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Jan. 27, 2021

Dear Valued Customers

Please be advised of the current delays, freight rate increases and equipment shortages being experienced on sea freight imports from the Far East.

With various sailings from the Far East being impacted during the Covid19 Pandemic, shipping lines implemented a number of measures during this time to reduce their running costs. These measures included blank sailings, smaller vessels, change in port rotations and slow steaming.

Unfortunately now that some of the lockdown measures have been lifted, there has not been any change by the shipping lines, which has resulted in reduced capacity versus an increased demand for space.

Taking the above into consideration, South African importers are being hit with shipping lines implementing Peak Season Surcharges and General Rate Increases from the Far East, due the artificially created capacity constraints. These increases have driven freight rates up by between $250 and $400 per teu and there is no let up in sight as shipping lines have only provided short term validities of two weeks at a time.

Indications from shipping lines are that the rates will continue to increase through October.

A further exasperation for South African importers from the Far East is the current shortage of equipment out of various countries in the Far East which is an indirect result of the trade wars between USA and China which has created an increased demand for products being sourced from various other countries.

Importers are advised to take note of the Chinese Golden week holidays from 01-07 October, with adjacent weekend days being mandatory workdays to make up for the lost time. Shipping lines have advised of additional blank sailings from the Far East to South Africa ahead of and during this period.

Please contact your KWE representative for more information

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