Forwarders See Slot Shortages as Unlikely Ahead of Chinese New Year

Forwarders See Slot Shortages as Unlikely Ahead of Chinese New Year

In the run-up to factory closures in China for Chinese New Year from February 10 liner utilization levels are increasing, but slot and equipment shortages are unlikely to materialize and lines have struggled to push through General Rate Increases, according to leading forwarders.

 “We do not see significant volume increases leading to any rollover scenarios,” said Hamid Haboub, area manager North Asia at Swiss forwarder Panalpina.

“The actual utilization in the Far East westbound trade is at 97 to 99 percent, whereas in the trans-Pacific eastbound trade we see a load factor in the low to mid nineties.”

“As a result, we have seen limited shortages of equipment, but overall no significant rollovers.”

Claus Schensema, managing director of GAC Forwarding & Shipping (Shanghai), said in the run-up to CNY volumes had been steady compared to the major surge seen in 2009-10 both for air and ocean. “Utilisation is strong (but) there are no rollovers and no problems in getting space, which is based on commitments,” he added.

Haboub said production at factories would continue until week 7, with a return to pre-CNY production levels not resuming again until week 11. “This impact will be felt in Europe as well as the Americas,” he added.

“GRIs have been declined by the market, and PSS decreased from USD 350 to USD 50 and back to USD 200 (per TEU) within 10 days. The PSS is now rolled into the base ocean freight.”

“The market is expecting rate decreases after CNY.”

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