Yet again, rates are on the move northwards as empty container equipment is scarce, resulting in a scramble to get goods moving from China.

This, along with the fact there are still nowhere near enough vessels in operation AND shipping lines announcing further blank sailings, coupled with destination port congestion from West Coast USA to every port in Britain, we have a bleak outlook for importers.

If you’re expecting this to drop after Chinese New Year, think again.

Speaking to one of the main global carriers, forecasted bookings and contractual rate agreements are taking the current levels through to well beyond Chinese New Year already. Many would argue that Chinese New Year is the break we’re all waiting for in order for volume to catch up, but in fact the ‘stop’ on shipping is only going to add further demand for when factories return to work, thus keeping rates at a level that we’ve come to accept today.

We’re urging clients to keep up to speed with our news as it streams through, even though it can often seem painfully short notice (we relay the news as we receive it), because there will come a point when importers have to decide a) Is it viable importing at this rate or b) the end-users must pay the increase in landed cost.

Rates for a 40ft ex. main ports in China are set to climb above $5000 as of the 22nd November, and for those hanging on in the hope of rates falling may be loss chasing, as the sentiment across the industry confirms it’s set to get worse still. It’s currently a race to grab empty containers, and again for vessel space.

Westbound Logistics appreciate the devastating affects Covid19 is having on our clients businesses and many importers across the UK, Europe and North America with these ludicrous rate levels. We are constantly doing all we can to alleviate certain issues, delays, rate increases and generally very poor experiences all round but would like to thank you all for your understanding as we do our best to come through these testing times together.


At Westbound Logistics we pride ourselves in offering personalised and tailored logistics solutions. To find out more please call 01375 800800​ oemail