Home Forums Logistics Imports from China – BOOK EARLY

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    Dash Freight
    • Total posts: 89

    If you are planning to import from China – Plan ahead.
    Through most of 2020 Shipping has been unpredictable. There have been peaks and troughs in demand and supply. Closures of ports, trade imbalances, shortages of empty containers, reduced shipping schedules, and delays at Ports.

    It won’t all disappear at Christmas.
    In fact, in some parts of China it will likely get worse.

    Due to COVID 19 restrictions and the logistical problems around quarantine rules, many feeder services to some ports will be cancelled.
    This will affect export shipping from Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Xiamen (Southern China).
    The restrictions start 5 January and will last to 25 February.
    There are more than 20 ports in China, so it won’t affect everyone. But the equipment shortage will continue and these problems may extend throughout China.
    You can read the details here from The Loadstar

    Being the exporter to the world, China is most likely to experience the equipment shortages (lack of empty containers). Because many countries are struggling to operate at full capacity while their economy is hit by COVID 19, empty containers are not being repositioned in time. Shipping Lines are running more voyages with empties, and that adds to the cost of sea freight.

    What’s the lesson?
    High Cost– If you were hoping the congestion surcharge and the base rates will drop in January, think again.

    Demand will only increase up to Chinese New Year and holidays which starts 11 February and run to 17 Feb.

    The added restrictions and logistics issues will only keep rates as they are till the end of February

    Plan ahead– you must be prepared for delays in booking spaces. 3 months ago we could book a vessel to leave in the next 7 days. No we are finding they are booked out or unavailable, so we have to wait for the next sailing a week later.

    How do you plan ahead? you can get quotes and book a spot, if you have the following information

    • Pickup address (if EXW)
    • Date of availability
    • Weights and dimensions of packages/ pallets (estimates are okay. You don’t have to wait for the goods to be packed and measured.)
    • Consider purchasing on incoterms EXW or FOB – that way you have more control over costs, and more information on sailing schedules and availability.


    • Total posts: 4,472

    Interesting I just got this from one of my suppliers:-

    Apologies again for the bombardment of negative news, however, I URGE YOU ALL TO READ and acknowledge that importing as we all knew it has temporarily become extinct.

    I am still perplexed at the number of people who have simply brushed off my constant notices as if the problems in international shipping didn’t exist to only now being horrified once it has impacted their shipments.

    Current state of play is worsening by the day and Ningbo now have little or no empty containers – when containers do become available they are prioritised to the USA and European trades as these trades are now reaching freight prices of USD4000-USD5000 per 20’ container . Carriers are stopping services ex China for the rest of December and they continue to change vessel schedules to try and cope with the delays, congestions and equipment shortages at all ports worldwide.

    PLEASE take the time to read the below attachment which highlights what is happening in the UK – This is a mirror image of exactly what is happening in Australia.


    Dash Freight
    • Total posts: 89

    Yes it’s a problem that has been growing for months. Short answer is my man in Shenzhen is not too worried about Ningbo, Qingdao or Shenzhen…for now…as of today.. China has 34 major ports and more than 2000 minor ports

    In Sydney we had our own problems. When the Ports were going slow, some shipping lines were bypassing Sydney and dropping them all at Melbourne. So there were no empties being re positioned from Sydney. Our yards were full of empties. Obviously our numbers do not have that much impact overall. China sources blame the Americans for being too slow, due to their Corona-virus problems. Obviously China still has Corona-virus issues as well. Shipping lines are struggling to meet the change in trade patterns….
    Air freight prices are still sky-high (insert laughter at clever pun) so more people are using sea freight…. It’s a new world

    The good news is the prospect of new Trade Agreements for Australia. I am thinking of doing a brief report next week on the Free Trade alternatives to China

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