NORMALLY, November ends the peak season, but not this year when cargo roll-overs persist and the month is marked by unusually late holiday-season bookings, reports IHS Media.
Some say it is another feature of the “new normal”, as imports into the US declined in September, with laden incoming boxes through west coast ports down two per cent year on year.
But others say it is a one-off phenomenon caused by the Hanjin Shipping collapse that has accounted for seven per cent of the transpacific volume.
While spot rates have slipped, the decline was much more gradual than it was a year ago when transpacific spot rates began a steady and dramatic fall.
One forwarder told IHS the market is not slumping into slack season yet. “In fact, it is still hot,” with vessel-utilisation a 97 per cent on most transpacific of the trade lanes.
But to others it is most likely do to the demise of Hanjin, which declared bankruptcy on August 31. I hate that, industrywide, we’re blaming Hanjin for every negative, but it’s simply a fact,” said Memphis-based IMC Global Solutions vice president Rhonda Ramsay.