Asia ocean freight rates are currently on a steep upward trajectory following further attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and carriers routing vessels via the Cape Of Good Hope in South Africa.
At the back end of last year, GRI’s were introduced and emergency surcharges were in the process of being applied. However, rates have continued to spiral rapidly in the days that have followed Christmas and New Year.
The container ship ‘Maersk Hangzhou’ was struck by a missile last weekend, before two further missiles were intercepted by the US Navy. The 15,000 teu vessel was then attacked by Houthi rebels in four small boats that attempted to board her. The US military sank three of the boats, killing at least 10 of the attackers.
Maersk have announced that their ships will be avoiding the Red Sea region, which has also been confirmed by all major carriers except one that continues to use the Suez Canal. The journey around Africa adds around 9-10 days to transit times, but does ensure that shipments are not caught up in the conflict.
Space and container equipment availability are starting to come under pressure due to the extended journey times to and from Asia. Therefore, market conditions right now are beginning to look similar to those that immediately followed the pandemic, when rates started moving rapidly upwards and finding booking space became more difficult.
The team at Unique Forwarding are closely monitoring developments and will notify customers directly of the relevant changes in rates.