During the months of October and November we saw not only increased demand for space but also increased rates. For December we anticipate rates to stabilize in the first half of the month consistent with current supply and demand. One should anticipate increased freight charges in the last half of the month as volumes surge prior to Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster/ Fire Chicken) will be celebrated on January 28, 2017. Factory closures will most likely begin around January 15 and full production not resumed until early February. One can anticipate a shortage of available container capacity in late December and early January and thus you should plan your import volume accordingly. Additionally many carriers will void sailing on or around Chinese New Year since factories are closed and volume will not be at normal levels.
Merger and acquisitions continue with ocean carrier industry. In addition to previously announce mergers and acquisitions ( China Shipping and COSCO, CGM/CMA and APL, Hapag Lloyd and USAC, MOL,K-Line and NYK, etc.) in was announced on December 1 that Maersk will purchase Hamburg Sud. The acquisition is consistent with Maersk announced strategy of growth by acquisition and will increase Maersk global capacity share from 15.7% to 18.6% or to an estimated global capacity of 3.8 million TEUs. Mergers and acquisitions coupled with changes in the various alliances will reduce the number of carrier options and services available to the international trading community in 2017.
USPTI will continue our efforts to insure we are fully prepared to handle your transportation requirements by maintaining relationships and contractual arrangement with various ocean carriers. Our goal is to provide you with quality reliable transportation services at market driven rates.
We look forward to a long term relationship of service.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact your USPTI representative