Far East Situation Update

on 15 October 2021

The situation in China and the Far East is currently showing no sign of easing. Along with recent problems at Yantian coming up with serious COVID 19 issues, the knock on effect is that congestion is building at all main China ports, sub ports and other Far East locations.

The number of vessels operating the various trade lanes are struggling to offer space and as a consequence bookings are continuously bounced from vessel to vessel. Bookings are not guaranteed although some carriers are introducing a US$500 fee for a guaranteed slot on the vessel and some carriers are considering introducing a China port congestion surcharge, this on top of the ocean rate.

The shipping lines continue to raise the cost to try and quell to the demand but demand does not seen to be showing any signs of easing up either. Currently, freight rates are now at an all-time high of circa US$16500 for a 40’ and US$8500 for a 20’ PLUS any China port congestion surcharge or guaranteed space on vessel cost that may be applied and there does not appear any let up in rates in the near future.

If the rates do not begin to fall by late summer, the next period of seasonal imports will be the Christmas wares which will place further demand on the space for vessel bookings meaning the ocean rate unlikely to fall (more likely increase). This is NOT unique to the UK, the situation in China and the Far East is global.