The Chinese Golden Week kicks off the booking marathon

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How will the upcoming celebrations impact last quarter of 2021?

Several holidays including current China’s Golden Week and upcoming Christmas will bolster strong demand for container shipping for the last quarter of 2021. Concurrently, global container shipping problems related to post-COVID 19 logistics problems will not show sign of letting up. Confirmation comes from several carriers.

Port congestion and high spot freight rates, caused by a combination of unexpected demand recovery and tight shipping space, would continue at least during the rest of 2021 and into the first quarter of next year, told Rolf Habben Jansen (CEO of Hapag-Lloyd,the world’s number five operator) during an online briefing. (Reuters)

Over recent weeks more events ranging from covid outbreaks to typhoons have hampered any recovery in available space, and the upcoming celebrations will cause more delays to exporters and importers who have already had a very difficult year.

Maersk expects to see early signs of a pre-Chinese New Year rush in December.


The global context

Let’s re-share some passages from the report published by Maersk a few days ago –Maersk Asia Pacific market update ( September 2021) which provides an overview of global transport trends.

Global container demand growth is projected at 6%-8% in 2021. The high 2021 forecast reflects the strong H1 as well as ongoing demand strength in the US and partly in Europe. Container demand growth ran ahead of supply growth in H2 2020 and into H1 2021, but the true drivers of high freight rates were congestions in ports and supply-chain bottlenecks including below factors:

  • Capacity at ports: Vessel waiting time has increased requiring more ships per string to lift same cargo volume. At LA/long beach the waiting time has risen with 70+ vessels anchored in mid-September. Covid-19 led shutdowns have delayed vessels from Asia
  • Warehousing capacity has been reduced due to port and landside congestion
  • Returning empty containers back to Asia is challenging. Maersk has taken many actions to redirect flows back to Asia to ensure we have equipment supply. Despite this, equipment turn-round times continue to increase driven by landside and seaborne delays

For further information, please visit the Maersk website.


In this context, we advise all our customers to plan and book their loads well in advance to ensure space on the departing ships.


Contact us for your international shipments!

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