An ‘uphill battle for shippers’ on the transpacific as carriers shy away from contracts

As Asia-US demand continues to surge, BCOs are struggling to ship contracted cargo and are increasingly turning to NVOCCs to support their fractured supply chains.

Anecdotal reports to The Loadstar suggest carriers are finding spurious reasons to refuse the release of equipment at depots in China, in addition to rolling contracted containers without notice.

“It’s a no-brainer really,” one Shanghai-based forwarder told The Loadstar. “Carriers can get four times the price for a spot booking and, with a few exceptions, they are not worried about contracts anymore, as it will be a completely new ballgame next year.”

Annual contracts on the transpacific are usually negotiated through February and March, and shipping consultant Drewry said it expected early deals for 2021 concluded in excess of 40% higher than this year, “having seen the rate quotations of carriers for early transpac bids”.

During a webinar presentation yesterday, Philip Damas, head of Drewry supply chain advisors, said: “It is a sellers’ market.”

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Source: The Load Star