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Opportunistic carriers face shipper backlash

2019-02-12 Source: Jctrans

Shippers say all cargoes that could be frontloaded have been and there will be no further rush ahead of the March 1 tariff deadline

Container lines on the transpacific trade have been accused of using “opportunistic” practices to benefit from the frontloading of cargoes ahead of increased tariffs, but could be about to face the consequences. “Carriers have had a very opportunistic year,” David Bennett, president of US forwarder Globe Express Services, told the Cargo Logistics conference in Vancouver. “The contracts we signed back in April and May were basically thrown out the door because suddenly there was a demand that surged due to the threat of tariffs; carriers said they could no longer carry the freight at the rate they had agreed on six weeks earlier.” He said the past three weeks had been very soft, with “absolutely no surge in freight leading up to Chinese New Year” and the next six weeks would be even softer, noting that “all the freight that that would typically move at this time of the year has already been advanced” and he doubted shippers would try to advance freight again because anything that could be moved had been moved.
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