China has announced a gradual reopening plan for the Shanghai metro area beginning June 1. The timeline is not entirely clear, but there is an expectation that volumes from North China will increase by mid-June, likely putting upward pressure on China freight rates that have been depressed since the lockdown went into effect.
Carriers report strong volumes overall out of Asia to the US, with vessels still over 90% full despite the extended Shanghai closure. Rates from SE Asia ports have held at stronger levels than those from China ports. However, there are signs that volumes are softening in key sectors, particularly home goods. Some shippers are impacted by material shortages linked to the Shanghai lockdown, and some are reporting a reduction in orders. Q1 financial results from major US retailers indicate a slowdown in consumer demand for certain products, most likely linked to inflation and a recent expected shift in spending from certain goods to services.
Overall, the outlook is mixed. The reopening of Shanghai, continued concern about USWC labor contract negotiations, and carriers’ capacity controls are factors that may counterbalance a drop in demand in the short-term.
In the US, port congestion remains an issue, though there is some relief as a result of the slowdown in China volumes. Truck capacity is also expected to improve for a period during early summer. Due to the ongoing US west coast port concerns, services to the east coast are likely to remain in higher demand through the summer months. Other landside challenges persist, especially chassis shortages and over-capacity container yards that have made returning empties difficult in some port systems, especially NY/NJ.
Imports from Europe to the US remain very challenging due to port and rail congestion overseas. Many carriers are canceling a number of Europe – US west coast services, routing cargo over the east coast and adding to the pressure on east coast ports. There is still a long booking window for space on Transatlantic Westbound, 6-8 weeks on most lanes.
Director, Pricing & Procurement
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Director, Pricing & Procurement
CV International, Inc.
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Rachel serves as Director, Pricing and Procurement for CVI. Her responsibilities include vendor selection, contract management and negotiation, transportation pricing, FMC compliance, and international agent network management.
Rachel began her career in international shipping with CMA-CGM America. She joined CVI in 2011, gaining experience in various departments with a focus on inside sales and marketing for the company. In 2014, Rachel assumed the role of Manager, Transportation, working on service procurement and development of client proposals. She has served in her current position since 2018.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2005. She holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Maritime and Supply Chain Management from Old Dominion University.
– Rachel Shames, Director, Pricing & Procurement, CVI
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