The spot rates for shipping goods from Asia to the US have risen sharply this week, as carriers applied the planned GRIs on Jan. 15 and added a PSS for both the West and East coast deliveries.
Moreover, importers who send their cargo to the East Coast through the Panama or Suez canals, or via the southern end of Africa, have to pay extra fees.
The new rate hikes may last longer than usual because of the delays and diversions caused by the militant assaults on vessels in the Red Sea, which force carriers to take longer routes around southern Africa.
The shipping costs from Asia to the US are likely to remain high until the start of the Lunar New Year holidays on Feb. 10.
According to PIERS, US imports from Asia in December rose to 1.37 million TEUs from 1.34 million TEUs in November. This indicates the onset of the peak season for shipping goods from Asia before many factories shut down for one or two weeks for the holidays.
According to Platts, the spot rates from Asia to the US West Coast were $4,200 per FEU on Jan. 16, a 15% increase from the previous week. The rates to the East Coast were $5,900 per FEU, a 17% increase.
Surcharges are unavoidable Carriers and NVOs say that most importers are facing some kind of surcharge.
“This is not a surcharge that only affects ‘the small guys’,” a carrier executive who asked to remain anonymous told the Journal of Commerce.
Several importers and NVOs are paying a PSS of a few hundred dollars per container, according to Christian Sur, executive vice president of ocean freight contract logistics at Unique Logistics International. PSSs are usually applied from August to October when most of the Christmas goods are shipped.