As bookings already start to flood in for the end of December, shipping lines have confirmed that schedules are already full for most weeks of January already for the Asia to Europe trade!
Here's the short version if you're rushing to finish early today: Rates are going up on Jan 1st, higher than this month, but not as high as lines first announced and we have managed to re-negotiate on at the last knockings to get a 'reduced-increase'. Rates will be emailed today and 27th.
The longer version:-
As such, and as predicted, the rates will climb upwards albeit for one month only. As we now build towards a 2 week shut down in China for early February's Chinese New Year.
Rates were announced a week ago at a level of $2300+ per 40HC, which is on average an increase of $325 per teu.
The basic FAK (Freight of All Kinds) levels are now confirmed at the last knockings of December as very slightly less, port dependent, but we are in fact pleased (I know this is strange but bear with us) to announce an increase that isn't as high as we first thought. It's never pleasing to announce an increase, but we're are merely the messenger in some respect. That is until we negotiate favorable deals behind the scenes...
Just like December, we validated for the whole month whereas others didn't. This was due to an exceptional deal we gained based on the loyal support we have collectively shown over the year. Not throughout the quiet months of the year when anybody and everyone gambles with a poor service throwaway rate, but in one of the biggest two months of the year!
We've done it again!
Although an increase, our rates will not be as much as $325 per teu extra. Rates will be emailed out from today onwards.
This is VERY important. Although our rates are increasing, and somewhat less than others, there are still rates being bounced around the market even lower. "We're not going there"!
In December, although we had that one contract rate valid for the whole month, we did experience severe strain to get containers shipped whereas all other lines did in fact increase on the 15th. Some containers that were not pre-planned as suggested, didn't ship unless the alternative higher rate was paid. This is exactly what's going to happen in January - it's all rate/service related.
We have been offered rates by numerous lines that appear lower. However, it's always important for us to filter out those that have a catch.
The catch was, 'you can have this rate, but we can't guarantee to ship your containers'. Now, we understand rate is important but, if we can't actually do the job we're supposed to (and fundamentally that is quite simply to ship your goods) then, this is a rate that just doesn't need to be offered.
We are using the most reliable service in the business to represent what Westbound are as a forwarder. We will ship your products, on time, successfully, and for the best achievable rate.