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Market Update

Market Update: August 30, 2017

An update on ocean and air freight rates for the week of August 30, 2017, with notes about the General Rate Increase and Peak Season Surcharge.

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Ocean Freight Market Updates: August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: impact and recovery

Hurricane Harvey has brought devastating wind, rain, and flooding to southeast Texas. Port Houston closed for several days and will be closed through Thursday, at least; many inbound vessels have been delayed or re-routed. Trucking and rail services are suspended.

Transportation providers in the region will be coming back online within the next week, but vessel, rail, and truck operations will be severely restricted for a few weeks. If you have cargo moving into or around Houston, you can expect delays, and potentially extra fees (trucking rates, in particular, are expected to rise).

Peak season -- plan ahead!

Peak season is upon us. Volumes are up, and so are rates. We suggest planning ahead and working closely with your Flexport team to plan shipments. See here for more peak season tips!

Carriers have begun announcing blank sailings

Some regular vessel departures will be canceled due to blank sailings.

Air Freight Market Updates: August 30, 2017

Air rates are still high, and capacity is still tight

As we’ve noted previously, this has been a huge year for air freight. Throughout peak season, demand will continue to climb, and capacity will tighten further; rates will continue to go up.

Throughput is up at major global airports. Asia-US routes are in the greatest demand, while Asia-Europe has stabilized a bit.

Delays and higher rates out of Hong Kong

Two typhoons hit southern China last week, resulting in many flight cancellations and delays. There’s still a freight backlog at the Hong Kong airport, which is resulting in continued delays and higher rates out of HKG.

Other Freight Market Updates: August 30, 2017

Congestion and chassis shortages
If your cargo is being routed through any of those ports / terminals, you may see chassis split fees and/or storage fees:

  • Chicago: The CN Harvey rail ramp is experiencing a chassis shortage. This will affect cargo that’s routed through Chicago from Vancouver or Prince Rupert.
  • Nashville: Chassis issues continue at CSX.
  • Seattle: Congestion at the Port of Seattle is significant -- we’re seeing congestion fees and average trucking wait times of about 3 hours.

Congestion at JFK, ORD, ATL, and LAX

There is major congestion at JFK, ORD, ATL, and LAX, with truckers reporting long wait times to pick up cargo. This may mean delivery delays and trucking wait fees if your cargo is moving through one of those four airports -- and we expect the congestion to become more severe as peak season continues.

Labor Day is Monday, September 4

Most U.S. ports will be closed Monday, September 4, in observance of Labor Day. Most trucking companies will also suspend operations for Labor Day.

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