The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the Shipping Industry is starting to impact across the globe. Freight Agency Ltd has been in discussion with Shipping Lines who are reporting that the knock on effect of the disrupted Far East market will impact our established markets also.
Lloyds List reported on 3rd March 2020 that “shippers and cargo owners in Europe are facing a shortage of empty containers as a result of carriers’ blanking sailings because of lower volumes emanating from China. Forecast that indicate supply and demand in containers for many large port locations, shows that compared with 2019, containers are piling up in China, increasing by almost 50% for a comparable week last year. Additional surcharges and costs include peak season surcharges, container imbalance surcharges, congestion surcharges and general rate increases”.
The market in the UK and North Europe is already badly affected with space at an absolute premium and Lines are informing Freight Agency that other markets such as Africa are likely to suffer also, especially regarding equipment availability.
Consequently we at Freight Agency highly recommend that customers book shipments with as much notice as possible in order to try and avoid disappointment regarding lack of equipment or space on vessels. We anticipate this issue to last for the next few months and would appreciate any additional co-operation you could extend to us.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or clarification.