\
Skip to content
flexport
 Subscribe to our Smart Commerce Newsletter for expert advice on growing your ecommerce business. Sign Up
  • English
  • Deutsch
  • 简体中文
Flexport
Schedule Disruptions Are Slashing June Ocean Capacity 6-8-21

June 8, 2021

Schedule Disruptions Are Slashing June Ocean Capacity

brand-mike
\

Ready to Get Started?

Flexport makes shipping your cargo transparent, reliable, and affordable

As demand continues to outstrip supply, finding capacity from Asia to the US is still a major headache. It’s been a brutal few weeks—with more ahead.

The percentage of blank sailings for June now approaches blank sailings this time last year, when initial Covid turmoil slaughtered schedules. The current situation has inspired a bidding war unlike anything seen before.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening, so you can prepare as much as possible for severe disruptions.

Wait, More Blank Sailings?

Blank sailings slated for June could reduce capacity anywhere from approximately 25,000 to 75,000 TEU each week.

No one wants to hear this, but there will likely be more cancellations than what’s being announced. Additional cancellations may catch everyone off-guard, because they could be last minute.

The truth is vessels aren’t making it back to Asia on schedule, because of port congestion in the US and Europe. As a result, carriers have to rearrange their timing just like everyone else.

The port overwhelm isn’t just in the US anymore, either. While June sees Los Angeles and Oakland struggling with 1 to 3-week wait times, the port of Yantian is now causing delays on the origin side.

Yantian is the world’s fourth-busiest container port. A partial terminal closure, after a Covid-19 outbreak at the end of May, has led to disinfection and quarantine measures that slow productivity. Ships are skipping port calls there, and containers are piling up, placing further pressure on container availability worldwide.

Finding Opportunities

It’s ugly out there right now. With vessels booked for months, last-minute space can command astronomical prices. Popular freight indices may underestimate what you really have to pay by several thousands of dollars. It’s basically a high-stakes auction at this point.

Diversifying shipping lanes as part of an overall route planning strategy could help, with some advance planning. And based on the current market, that’s more like well-in-advance planning.

Volatility makes business hard for everyone, so watch for solutions that may develop week by week. Follow updates, read blogs, and communicate your needs to your freight forwarder. With schedule reliability in flux, closely following the market for further insights is your best bet.

Share the Article

About this author

More From Flexport

Moscow skyline at sunset

Blog

Tech Stops, Energy Flows - Sanctions Impact on Russian Trade

Read More

A blue stacked chart graph

Blog

Taking the Long View - Flexport Weekly Economic Report

Read More

An admin worker counts packages in a warehouse. Image for masthead of Logistics Pressure Matrix report.

Blog

Logistics Pressure Matrix

Read More

arrowImagearrowImage

Ready to Get Started?

Sign up for a Flexport account or ask to see our platform in action.