Congestion and Delays Related to Hanjin Bankruptcy and Robust Peak
Since Hanjin’s August 31 bankruptcy, many containers have been stranded and unable to be delivered to their final destination in time for the US peak retail season. To replace these cargos, shippers have been sending urgent replacement shipments. The addition of these urgent replacement orders, coupled with Hanjin’s immediate withdrawal of 7% of the Transpacific Eastbound capacity, have created the perfect storm.
We are seeing an extended and robust peak season with vessels being booked out 2 to 3 weeks in advance of sailing, with extreme congestion at origin, destination and transshipment points. This congestion is causing delays throughout the entire Transpacific marketplace. Contrary to the customary November time period, we are not slumping into slow season yet; in fact, it is still a hot TP eastbound market. Utilization for PSW, PNW, and A/W loops are above 97%.
This congestion should endure throughout November, with some temporary relief forecasted in early December. We do expect another surge of volume in January with this year’s early Chinese New Year. We also want to advise you to prepare for delays at destination ports in the USA. The larger vessels that have cascaded into the TP trade lane are now arriving fully loaded and terminals are experiencing land side operational delays making the containers available.
We are recommending to our customers to calculate the potential delays into your supply chain planning. Please book cargos out at least 14-21 days prior to AMS cutoff period and send a detailed weekly volume forecast up until CNY. Please allow for potential delays while in transit, especially if cargo is being transshipped on a mother vessel.
Please feel free to contact our BOC staff to work on a detailed plan for the next couple of months as we get over the surge. With more supply coming on board to replace Hanjin’s vessels, we expect to move in to a calmer, more traditional, February/March/April slack season.
Thank you for your support.