To Our Valued Customers:


We know the situation impacting all of us is evolving hourly it seems, we wanted to continue to advise you all of what we are seeing and experiencing in the market.  At Laufer, we are committed to providing you with as much information as possible as quickly as possible, understanding of course that the events are quite fluid and changing rapidly.


So here is a shortlist of what we are seeing so far today:


Market Conditions: Immediate vessel space for US Exporters is still difficult to secure on the Transpacific trade. The first available bookings to Asia are 3-4 weeks out. We forecast this situation with space to remain into June. Laufer is advising our clients to speak with their customers to determine a forecast for future shipments so that we can secure space and equipment in advance.


Blank Sailings: Ocean carriers have canceled 458 sailings since Chinese New Year, according to Copenhagen-based Sea-Intelligence. Carriers are attempting to match supply with demand to keep ocean rates from dropping. As importers continue to cancel and postpone orders there will be additional blank sailings on the horizon.


Inland Container Shortage: Due to the lack of imports into the US and an increase in agriculture exports, we are seeing a shortage of equipment in some inland locations. We foresee this problem getting worse as many of the blanked sailings ETA’s are still to come which will delay the resupply of containers.


General Rate Increase: In addition to the May 1st general rate increases, some ocean carriers have begun announcing May 15 GRI’s to the Far East, Asia, India Subcontinent and Middle East. Initial indications have GRI amounts at $80 per 20’ and $ 100 per 40’ for both dates.


MSC Network Outage: MSC websites are back on line and fully functional after an outage caused by malware.


US Port Volumes Contract in March: Voided sailings have caused the number of containers moving through US ports to shrink. Below are year over year decrease in volumes reported for March.
Los Angeles – 30.9% 
Seattle / Tacoma – 15.4%
Charleston – 12.6%
Houston – 11%
Oakland – 10.3%

Country Updates

Philippines:  There is no end in sight for Philippines lockdown. Due to the slowdown in customs clearance and back log of containers, ocean carriers are implementing port congestion surcharges for Manila ports.

Vietnam:  Vietnam has extended their lockdown for 12 provinces including the provinces for Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

Malaysia: Malaysia has extended its Movement Control Order through April 28th due to COVID-19.

India: India extended the world’s biggest lockdown until May 3rd.

Bangladesh: Many carriers are implementing a Port Congestion Surcharge for Chittagong. The range for this surcharge is $ 1000 – 1500 depending on the ocean carrier.

Singapore: Singapore government announced workplace closure with the exception of those providing essential services on April 3rd.

Our #1 priority as always is to help maintain our customers’ competitiveness, to keep your cargo flowing as quickly and as consistently as possible, and to continue to communicate effectively along the way. Our nimbleness, market awareness, and “Built Different” philosophy enable us to do this - as your partner.


Thank you very much for all your support.