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‘Tis the season for moving many cargo containers of floral greens, apples, citrus, and grapes to places such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The end of the year rush always sees many shippers attempting to clear out warehouses of inventory to start the New Year with less volume.

What is notable this year is the sheer volume of freight combined with the lack of containers worldwide. This began with COVID-19 and the U.S. lockdown in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of last year. Everyone was working from home, ordering things for their homes, yards, cars, etc., and it was all ordered from Asia. 

This created an increase in cargo demand from Asia that has never been seen in history.  In an attempt to keep up with the demand, carriers moved container volumes to Asia which left many worldwide locations short of equipment.  It was considered a temporary rush and was expected to last 3 months maximum. We are now 9 months into this rush and it is now anticipated to last through April 2021. 

The majority of terminals in the U.S., LA/LGB, SEA/TAC, Savannah, New York / New Jersey, etc., face unprecedented congestion as record volumes continue to pour in weekly from Asia. Terminals are full, warehouses are full, and trains are severely congested as they leave the midwest with no empties to load exports.  

Truckers are busy like never before, often taking better-paying jobs at the last minute and not showing up for scheduled runs. It appears the power struggle between the shipper and the carrier has finally shifted to favor the carrier.  What this means for 2021 is much high container pricing, refusal to accept door moves, refusal to empty reposition equipment inland, and lack of equipment inland. 

As we touched on last month, this is the situation when you need a strong advocate to manage your perishable shipments, especially if you’re using ocean containers and shipping cool chain cargo.

Our CFI team is made of industry experts, passionate, knowledgeable, tested, and ready to jump in and provide solutions to your perishable shipment worries. Unprecedented times like these cause concerns, but when you’re moving with CFI, you have the whole Kuehne + Nagel family working in your corner. CFI has your back. Let us show you what being the best is all about!

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