Carrier Capacity USA
In March, we already informed you about the challenges in the ocean freight market. Freight capacities for sea transport are still extremely scarce. Ships are already fully booked several weeks in advance, and short-term bookings are almost impossible. Carriers continue to follow their previous strategy and increase rates and surcharges at irregular intervals to a wide variety of degrees.
Demand for container equipment continues to exceed its availability, thus keeping the latter at a low level for several months. The Suez Canal incident in April has further aggravated the situation. As a result, empty containers may not be available in the European hinterland.
Global container production is expected to increase by 6-8 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year. However, this increase cannot cover the increased global demand. In addition, the current increase in production must make up for a certain degree of the low production volume from 2019 and early 2020. Container leasing companies have no incentive to push for an increase in capacity due to the profitable market situation for them. This situation is expected to continue until the end of the year.
Carrier Capacity USA
Due to the high number of incoming containers, U.S. seaports are heavily congested. In 2017 to 2020, the number of US seaborne cargo imports from Europe had always settled below a level of 350,000 TEUs from Q2 onwards. In April 2021, 425,000 TEUs were imported, and there is no foreseeable normalization in Q2 as in recent years. As a result, terminal operators have difficulty processing the mass of incoming containers.
The already tense situation in the on-carriage sector is currently worsening. The lack of available drivers and vehicles is currently unable to cope with the increased volume of container shipments. These circumstances are further complicated by pandemic-related reduced staff availability, driver strikes, or measures such as the DOT week (Department of Transportation), during which numerous vehicles and drivers nationwide are tested for roadworthiness in 72 hours. In 2020, there were nearly 50,000 inspections nationwide during DOT week, with over 8,000 vehicles removed from service.
Additionally, some carriers no longer offer their haulage service.
In practice, despite early bookings – sometimes up to three weeks in advance – we have no guarantee that containers will actually be accepted. EgeTrans makes every effort to proactively find solutions for you. Nevertheless, we are increasingly forced to switch to alternative trucking partners.
Please note that additional costs such as demurrage, detention, storage, or for trucker upgrades as well as prepulls may apply.
The current situation is more than a challenge for all parties involved. We at EgeTrans assure you of every support so that you know your goods are in good hands.