It looks like importers may be continuing to receive inflated freight rates, well beyond the Chinese New Year period and perhaps well into quarter two. Right now, a 40ft container will cost anywhere upwards of $12,000 in ocean freight only, although that number is very dependent on port, service, timing and equipment availability.

Since last year’s peak season, which extended well beyond previous timings, much of the industry has looked towards the Chinese New Year period as the pivot for rates to start falling. However, early indications from carriers are suggesting that there has been a slight slowdown as factories closed early, but ships are full and demand is high beyond this week’s holiday.

In fact, some carriers are reporting to be ‘flooded’ with bookings and are predicting it to be well into the second quarter before we start seeing any significant changes.

Hopefully, the situation will not continue quite as long as carriers would like – nobody can be 100% confident of market predictions in these unprecented times. In the meantime, Westbound will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated of developments.

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