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Equipment Shortages Spread, Increasing Spot Rates, and More Expiring Exclusions

By September 10, 2020 No Comments


Over the next few weeks, more Section 301 tariff exclusion lists are set to expire. Keep an eye on any imports that may be included in soon-expiring lists—the nearest of which will expire on September 20th and 23rd. As we near the end of the year, the fate of these tariffs and trade relations with China overall remain in question as President Trump warns of increasing such measures should he be re-elected. If you need any help managing tariffs and exclusions, reach out to a Navegate Customs expert. 


Spot rates continue to rise despite added capacity in trans-Pacific lanes. Import surges continue, driving spot rates to as much as 140% higher than this time last year. Whether these trends will continue into peak season is uncertain. 

Equipment shortages are growing and raising alarms as we prepare for fall. Importers in the U.S. and Europe are struggling to return containers to major Asian manufacturing hubs, casting doubt on how prepared international supply chains are for coming shipping surges. Many warn that shortages will get much worse before they get better. 


Demand continues to outpace air freight capacity. Many are raising concerns about the implications on peak season, as demand for e-commerce products remains high amongst consumers. Online shopping is keeping trans-Pacific volumes high as U.S. consumers hesitate to return to brick-and-mortar stores. 


Recent trucking capacity shortages and rate increases don’t seem to be going away anytime soon, as trucking employment remains down 5.5% from this time last year. Some have accused trucking companies of manipulating capacity, but large U.S. trucking companies blame high costs and economic struggles in keeping them from hiring more drivers.