As we all know, the peak shipping season for importers happens during the second half of the year.
But cargo demand far exceeds available capacity this year, and the vessel space in Asia is getting even tighter in June.
Historically, it is booked around two weeks in advance, but it is now taking four to six weeks and sometimes up to eight weeks.
Freight rates from Asia to the US and Europe have surged above previous records as strong booking activity and limited supply.
Major ocean carriers even filed for an eye-popping $3,000 GRI in June. The Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) hit new highs on June 4th.
No one konws how much higher spot rates can go.
The world is experiencing a supply chain nightmare. There are shortages in a bunch of different goods and components. The import wave is coming.
As retailers struggle to catch up, imports could be capped in the months ahead by the shipping network that has reached its limit.
That, in turn, implies more premium charges and even higher all-in costs for importers.
High freight rates and tight capacity are currently common problems for all importers. They can not be alleviated in the short term.
Putting off importing can not help, but may miss the opportunity of the market and even face another shipping cost increase.