Container slots sell out, risking holiday ‘shipageddon’
October 20, 2020
(American Shipper) “The ships are 100% full. The containers are 100% full. You can’t get a container built. You can’t pick up a ship from the spot market. The whole container-shipping cycle is at absolutely full pulse,” exclaimed Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE), the world’s sixth-largest container line.
October’s ocean container market is “unbelievable,” said Nixon during an International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) virtual event last week. “We are sold out,” he revealed.
“Our job now is to keep the network going from an operational standpoint,” Nixon continued. “The ports are getting jammed up now. We’re starting to see bottlenecks in the supply chain. That’s another challenge going into this winter.”
Some market watchers thought volumes and rates would relent in the wake of the China Golden Week holiday in early October. It hasn’t happened yet. The trans-Pacific market is still at its peak. According to the Freightos Baltic Daily Index, spot rates from China to the West Coast (SONAR: FBXD.CNAW) were at $3,847 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) on Friday. They’ve hovered around this same stratospheric level since the last week of September — at triple last year’s rates.
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