Market Letters

Transpacific Westbound Market Update – Week 3, 2021

Market Conditions:     Strong import cargo demand continues to create numerous challenges for US exporters.  We continue to experience lack of vessel space, little to no available equipment, terminal congestion, consistent booking rolling and continuously changing cut off dates.    This situation is expected to continue due to the changing purchasing habits caused by Covid-19 as consumers purchase more goods instead of spending on entertainment, travel and dining out.

Los Angeles / Long Beach Port Congestion:   Severe congestion continues at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.   Today’s reports show 35 vessels anchored.  Below is a picture of the current situation at Los Angeles port.

General Rate Increase:   Ocean carriers continue their momentum with rate increases through February.   Please plan on these GRI’s being implemented.    Amounts range from $80 - $270/20’ and $100 - $300/40’.

Ocean Carriers Appetite for Empty Containers Grows:  The rate discrepancy between import cargo and export cargo continues to expand.   Ocean carriers are declining export bookings in order to prioritize returning their equipment quickly back to Asia to capture the significantly higher revenue recognized from import containers.    The month of November provides a clear indication of this. During that time, the port of Los Angeles moved a total of 424,000 containers outbound.   The breakdown of loaded export containers versus empty containers returned to Asia is:

  • 130,000 loaded export containers
  • 294,000 empty containers

Chinese New Year:     Chinese New Year celebration from Thursday February 11th to February 17th.

The Laufer Team:     We are experienced and working hard to minimize the effects of this unprecedented situation.    This includes booking with multiple carrier options, checking with numerous truckers and then keeping up with daily changes from the port or ocean carrier and this is for a single booking.   Please help us help you by booking early and providing forecasts if possible.  Thank you.

For over 70 years, Laufer Group International Ltd. has been helping customers improve the way they handle their logistics. To see how we can help, or for any questions, contact Marc Van Gorp, National Export Business Development Manager, or contact your local sales representative.