Ocean carrier space out of Asia is still hard to find. For many places out of China, space is either full or limited until mid or end of December. In Vietnam, space is either tight or full for the next 4 weeks, while space in Malaysia and Thailand shows no sign of getting back to normal until the end of December or even early January. Other Asian countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, India, and Korea have tight capacity through early January. Unless a booking is cancelled somewhere, it will still be difficult to secure a booking out of these countries. If you need help navigating these issues, reach out to one of our Freight Experts.
Vietnam tariffs see both support and opposition in response to Section 301 investigations by the Trump administration. There were mixed reviews by the public on the ongoing Section 301 investigations of timber and currency valuing against Vietnam. If a successful solution isn’t reached, these investigations could result in tariffs and quotas on Vietnamese imports, thus, affecting importers of wood products from Vietnam. However, nothing is finalized yet. The public comments are available in an online docket at regulations.gov.
There are calls to suspend detention and demurrage fees to improve congestion at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Because of the spike in imports from Asia arriving at the ports, coalitions of shipping and trucker organizations are calling for the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to suspend detention and demurrage charges to reduce the congestion. Ocean carriers, however, say that doing so may actually further cause congestion at the ports, and are instead offering other options like dual transactions, open more weekend gates, and provide truckers with more advanced information on any operational changes at the ports. Delays can still be expected from these ports.
U.S. West Coast ports continue to see delays and congestion due to equipment shortages. These equipment shortages have actually worsened, with a lack of 40GP and 40HQ containers, while the availability of 20GP containers is much better. Because of this availability of 20GP containers, it is recommended that customers accept these containers because it will be much easier to get equipment and may save money in the meantime. If you have trouble navigating these equipment shortages, reach out to one of our Freight Experts.
Air freight rates remain stable but still high. With ocean capacity remaining tight for the next several weeks and months, air freight rates are as high as they were when the COVID-19 pandemic first started in March and April and are remaining that way for the foreseeable future. Because of this increase, capacity remains tight and delays are expected.
There has been congestion for truckers at LAX Airport. Trucks have been reportedly waiting between four to eight hours to receive cargo at the airport, and these wait times have been even more pronounced this peak season. If you ship cargo out of LAX Airport, shipments may be delayed.
Christmas tree season starts this week, so trucking capacity is expected to be tight. Capacity will worsen in Christmas tree producing areas such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and northern California. With stores usually stocked by Thanksgiving and with no Black Friday this year, some trees may be shipped even earlier. As people continue to order trees throughout the holiday season, these trucking shortages are likely to continue until after Christmas.