Air Freight – crazy season is upon us! The usual fun and games have started already as we run up to Christmas. All the airlines out of the Far East and China in particular, are experiencing peak demand with freight in back-logs and on standby. This is not unusual for this time of year, but this year does seem much worse than last year. We are already hearing of delays up to a week or more and together with some degree of chaos in LHR around the cargo centre and you have a recipe for some longer than usual lead times on import cargo to the UK. All importers should be aware of this and plan accordingly. The knock-on effect is that freight rates have gone through the roof and supply and demand dictates further increases coming from all the airlines. Even on exports we know of one of the major consolidators that are struggling to meet their published tariff rates as the airlines seek to extract higher rates – and more profit for them! Stuart Todd of Lloyd’s reports “Strong air freight demand that has been driving up prices and creating backlogs on some trades looks set to continue until the end of 2017 and into early 2018″
Storm Ophelia – Update 16.10.17
Due to the well published storm due to hit Ireland and the UK today we have been notified by all the ferry operators that all sailings from/to Scotland and Heysham/Liverpool to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are likely to be cancelled.
Due to severe warnings on the west coast of Ireland hauliers will not be effecting any deliveries today in this area today i.e Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo.
We are already seeing signs of things heating up for the 2017 season, both airlines and shipping lines are seeing volumes up and space starting to become an issue. The lines love this of course and will no doubt try to push through GRI increases coming into the season, it remains to be be seen how successful they will be.
Like every year please try to plan ahead and not leave things too last minute – it pays to be organised.
Worlds Largest Container Ship (again !!)
The OOCL Hong Kong has now arrived into Felixstowe and takes the crown of being the worlds largest container ship to arrive into the UK. In the space of a few weeks we have had the two largest vessels on the water. The BBC have being covering this arrival and have provided video here:
Worlds Largest Container Ship
The Madrid Maersk, the largest container ship (soon to be beaten by the OOCL Hong Kong arriving 21st June) has just arrived on it’s maiden call into Felixstowe. At 214,826 tonne and capable of carrying over 20,000/teu. It continues the trend of the mega-ships currently coming on stream serving the Far East-Europe. The vessel is currently discharging on berth 8&9 at Felixstowe Container port.
It is that time of year again when the sun appears and we feel things beginning to warm up, however unfortunately it is not the only thing warming (going) up and there is a definite trend for increasing freight rates for both import and export shipments at the moment. It is therefore a good time to have a spring-clean and to make a fresh start when it comes to your shipping arrangements. So if you are involved in importing or exporting at the moment do give us a call to look with a fresh pair of eyes on how you can protect yourself from increases to your costs.
Chinese New Year 2017
Our Far East colleagues and friends are now returning from their Chinese new year holidays and will be busy catching up with shipments and progress-chasing factories on behalf of our customers. In terms of the freight rate picture the rates continue to be volatile, however we will be working hard to spot-rate all our client’s shipments.
UK Ports Update
The congestion at Southampton seems to have now eased and rail services are back to normal levels, the same can be said for Felixstowe but we are very aware that it only takes a few days of bad weather, high winds or fog to create havoc. All the more reason to be very organised paperwork wise this time of year, don’t leave balance payments to suppliers to the very last minute – give yourselves a few days to ensure payment is cleared and Bills of Lading’s released.
London International Toy Fair 2017
We have recently returned from our first visit to the London Toy Fair at Olympia. It was amazing to see all of the major toy suppliers all under one roof and also to enjoy the live TV stream with the roving reporters interviewing and covering many different companies and products. If you were one of the companies we spoke to, firstly thanks for giving us the time and secondly we are re-contacting all of you who gave permission for us to do so, with a view to working with you on your international import and export shipping.
We wish all of you every success this year in designing new and successfully selling your products and we look forward to working with you in the future.