It’s important to first mention that most imports from the trans-Pacific are being expedited because of the looming tariffs coming at the end of the year. A 25% tariff is excellent motivation to move as much cargo to the US as possible before the tariffs are in full effect. Having said that, it’s expected that this peak season will be longer and less volatile than previous years, extending up to Chinese New Year (February 5, 2019 – February 19,2019) when it will slow down and then recovering almost instantly at the first of March. Normal import schedules taper off around November as the holiday retail shipments are landed and into store inventory to prepare for Christmas and then don’t pick up until March, when spring goods, including patio furniture and yard equipment begin to arrive for spring and summer time.
Short bumps in shipments during January are common when retailers are working to prepare for the shutdowns that come with the Chinese New Year celebrations. Retailers want to have enough inventory in stock to glide through the two weeks when there’s no option for importing anything new from China. These typical cycles are becoming less typical as imports continue to escalate for longer and longer periods each year. The National Retail Federation states that total retail imports are up 4.5% year over year and holiday specific retail imports are expected to be up 4.3% – 4.8% over the same period in 2017.
Trans-Pacific spot rates have declined slightly though they’re still at a 5 year high as extra loaders have softened the tight bottlenecks causing delays in cargo moves once they’ve hit the US ports. Holiday demand has boosted the seasonal workers called upon to alleviate the increase in cargo coming in and thus the spot rates had a moment to relax though they’re expected to recover with gusto before they start to recede in earnest.
Everglory logistics is working with our strategic industry partners to make this peak season as painless as possible for our clients. We encourage you to reach out and let us know how we can help you build innovative and strategic solutions for your cargo shipments and import needs.