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Container shortages and increasing rates still prevalent

The already soaring Asia to US rates are expected to climb higher next week as vessel operators are to impose yet another general rate increase (GRI) on 15 September. Container shortages are still compounding shippers’ difficulties, even as the capacity has increased.

Lars Jensen, CEO of Sea Intelligence, told that capacity on the Asia to US West Coast is up 20% year-on-year, while capacity to the US East Coast has increased almost 25% over last year.

Nonetheless, consultant Jon Monroe expects next week’s GRI will stick and that rates to the West Coast could crash through the US$4,000/FEU mark. East Coast boxes will pay in excess of US$5,000/FEU.

Chinese operator COSCO has reportedly stopped taking bookings from Vietnam until October, with Monroe warning that other lines could follow suit, with the most congested routes out of the Southeast Asian country and Southern China to Southern Californian ports.

Rate rises are at least in part due to the shortages of equipment in China and Monroe reports, that in the US trucking is also suffering from equipment shortages. Congestion in Asian ports has been caused by factories and forwarders attempting to move cargo as the US economy continues to boom.

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