Warning: High peak shipping season surcharges around the corner

Carriers are determined to get back in the black after poor first quarter results. Controlling vessel capacity during heavy peak shipping season could get them there in 2018.

freight forwardingHeading into peak shipping season (August to October) steamship lines try to manage capacity and force high peak season surcharges for imports by cancelling services.

  • THE Alliance (Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming, and the three Japanese carriers – MOL, NYK, and K-Line) announced it will drop a trans-pacific U.S. west coast service Aug. 6.
  • They join the M2 Alliance (MSC and Maersk) that cancelled a service to the west coast in July.
  • On the east coast, ZIM announced it is joining the M2 Alliance by combining one of ZIM’s services with M2 and dropping some vessels out of the rotation.

According to Alphaliner, west coast capacity will drop by seven percent and east coast capacity will drop by 5.2 percent. Considering west coast vessels are around 95 percent full and east coast vessels at 97 percent capacity that will make capacity very tight moving into August, September, and October, which is usually the busiest shipping time of the year.

Prepare for very tight space August through October and the possibility of escalating peak season surcharges. Plan on containers “rolling” to later vessels and long lead times.

If you have questions about how to manage the situation, call Cargo Services at 800-645-0386.

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