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Sea market update; May

Sea freight demand from across China and Asia remains consistently strong, with rates at their highest ever levels and many sailings full into June, while continuing equipment shortages at many origins are likely to be exacerbated, as carriers cancel sailings, to try and restore schedule reliability.

Space on vessels from Asia is effectively ‘sold out’ for May and June, with a succession of GRIs being introduced by shipping lines and space will get tighter still, with THE Alliance confirming that it will cancel three sailings departing Asia at the end of May and beginning of June.

NEWSFLASH: The port of Yantian will stop receiving full containers (FCL) from 2200 on 250521 to 2359H on 270521 | Effective 280521 to 030621 inclusive; FCL ETA must be within four days of port receipt.

There are currently 115 Asia-Europe sailings scheduled for May, with five sailings blanked, while in June there are 111 sailings scheduled and so far only one has been announced as blanked, although this is very likely to increase.

With overall capacity from Asia significantly reduced since mid-April and expected to continue to the end of the month, equipment shortages are expected to persist for the next two months, exacerbated by the announced blank sailings.

A further unwelcome supply chain development, is the increasing number of containers being rolled over at major box ports, with 39% of shipments affected last month.

Research found that carrier CMA CGM had the highest proportion of rolled containers last month, with 56% of shipments, though other carriers were not far behind.

The normally stable, Europe to North America route has not been immune from the continuing supply disruption, with rates increasing and a possible GRI on the 1st June, with the additional likelihood of new and amended surcharge adjustments. 

From North America to Europe, rates are steady, though one carrier has announced a small GRI for the 1st June.

We continue to successfully book vessel space and locate available equipment for our customers, but it is increasingly challenging, which is why we ask that vendors and shippers provide as much notice as possible on their shipping requirements.

Global supply chains are going to be under intense and sustained pressure for some time yet and we will continue to do everything we can to support you, in these challenging times.