As space, container equipment and port congestion continue to make importing from Asia very challenging, ocean freight carriers have been responding to the significant rise in rates in a risk-averse manner by reducing credit terms.

Yes, we know what you’re thinking… It seems that with every problem we’re faced that it surely cannot get any worse and then it feels like someone at the shipping lines says ‘Hold my beer’.

Carriers are now insisting on extremely short ocean freight payment terms before confirming bookings, as everybody fights for space and equipment.  While there are variations per carrier, payments are usually now expected within 5 days of the vessel sailing.

With availability being so heavily reduced over recent weeks, our focus and priority has been on ensuring we secure bookings regardless of the terms, as we appreciate the impact of the current market conditions on our customers. However, we need to ensure importers are aware of the trend towards reduced credit terms and need your support during the current circumstances.

While we will continue to be as flexible as we can, for full load movements where we have to agree to short terms as part of the booking process, we may need to ask for similar terms from customers, otherwise, it will prove to be difficult to ensure space. In other words, we need you to help us help you.

Other transport modes, such as air freight and road freight are unaffected by the above and, at this stage, usual credit terms apply.