Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Companies limited by direct contracts with one or two carriers will have a much more challenging time securing container service for the near future.
The scarcity of space is a result of a new surge in demand from importers and the blanked third-quarter sailings by various carriers. According to Panjiva, the surge in demand is coming from healthcare, particularly pharmaceutical products, and some household consumer staples. The increased demand, especially from essential industries, highlights the need for companies to enlist the help of a more experienced logistics company that works with a diverse range of carriers and that is in a strong position to secure space for a reasonable price.
“Flexibility with carriers is absolutely necessary at this moment and working with a logistics company that has long-established relationships is critical during this time,” said Frank Costa, Vice President of Sales at OEC Group New York. “In the current climate, delayed shipments can result in significant monetary losses, which can be the difference in being able to either weather this historic storm or suffer severe repercussions.”
The ability to provide space quickly is especially critical for businesses that are either in a rush to resupply depleted inventories for products such as personal protective equipment, or stock up for online sales in anticipation of potential new COVID-19 shutdown measures from a second viral wave, as costs incurred from product delays could be catastrophic. In fact, many carriers predict space will be difficult to secure through the remainder of 2020 because producers are desperately trying to get their products to market and recover some market share.
“Given the unique conditions facing the market today, it’s more critical than ever for importers to partner with a well-connected freight forwarder like OEC,” said Peter Hsieh, Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing at OEC Group New York. “As a 20-year market leader in trans-Pacific trade, OEC is uniquely positioned to leverage its relationships to help its client base in ways that others simply cannot, which in this case is securing space at the best rate possible.”