China Freight Rate Changes

The China freight market continues to be very volatile with past General Rate Increases (GRI’s) in the main, not being upheld in the market.

Every month we receive flyers from shipping lines advising that rates will increase, they have been coming since early January and despite a few minor special port increases
over the past 4 months, rates have remained quite stable.

The lines are all hurting financially with many losing from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars while these historically low rates are being offered. GPSM
are constantly negotiating with all lines and we hear their moaning and bleating every day.

The Free Trade Agreements now in place and level of the Australian Dollar over the past few months have certainly been a much needed boost for importers, however we all know
the ”good times” will come to an end at some stage.

We would warn of ”special rates”, even lower that current market rates, being offered in the market at present by predominately China based freight forwarders. These are known
as ”supermarket specials”, designed to get your interest, however we know from past experience they are generally only valid for very short periods.

There are a number of such flyers in the market again this week, what they do not tell you is that there are no space guarantees offered with the rates, and generally we hear
that containers booked under these rates are seldom loaded on the vessel you require.

”Rolling” of containers under these rate levels is common, particularly at a time when the shipping lines are cutting sailings from China as per below table.

China Freight Rate Changes

The delays involved can be anything up to  3 weeks at these times, so we suggest extreme  caution to avoid unnecessary delays. GPSM offer guaranteed space on booked sailings
and we are constantly working with the lines to ensure these goals are met.

We will keep you updated as further information comes to hand.

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