Peter Zink, Business Development Manager Middle East and Greater China at a. hartrodt in Frankfurt, prepares customers in time for Chinese New Year on February 12, 2021. The trained Management Assistent for Freight Forwarding with 25 years of experience in the industry is not easily shaken, but in view of the current market situation for sea freight imports from the Far East to Europe, he misses solid ground under his feet: "The space problem has become even more acute due to a lack of sufficient capacities, and there is also a lack of empty containers. As a result, prices are going through the roof".
Better postpone orders for low value goods
According to Zink, the pain threshold will soon be exceeded: "6,000 to 7,000 USD for a 40-foot sea container is already a disaster". According to him, sea freight costs have already more than tripled compared to the previous year. This is particularly painful for customers with low value goods. Zink's tip: "In a risk assessment, customers should check whether shipments can be postponed until after Chinese New Year".
Book at least four weeks in advance
In Asian-European trade, Zink recommends for sea freight: "Full containers should be booked already for January, but at least four to six weeks in advance". Alternatively, according to him, more and more customers are opting for land transport, where the situation is similarly difficult due to the strong demand. With the "Stars on Rails" product, a. hartrodt handles transports from China by rail. For full container loads, truck transports are also becoming more and more interesting. But Zink warns: "The booking deadline here is also at least four weeks in advance".
For urgent shipments by air freight, a. hartrodt offers "Golden Services". Thanks to pre-booked ULDs (Unit Load Devices), the solution from Greater China to Frankfurt functions "like clockwork", Zink emphasizes: "This is possible for machine parts or production components, for example". Daily departures are possible at a. hartrodt's hubs in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong and Guangzhou as well as partial and full charters.