CMA CGM, one of the biggest ocean freight movers recently announced its plan to freeze its rising spot rates through February 1st, 2022. This may come as a surprise to the freight shipping industry with the cost to ship containers recently reaching unprecedented heights globally. Drewry’s World Container Index recently reported that its spot rates have increased for 21 straight weeks. The demand to move freight internationally has exceeded the available capacity to do so. With the holiday season quickly approaching, the upcoming months may see rates soar even further.
The Effect may have on the CMA CGM and the Shipper
Rising spot rates for moving freight have led to record levels of profit for carriers. This may be the reason why it is such a big surprise to many that CMA CGM has halted its rising spot rates. Some shippers believe that the reasoning behind putting a cap on the spot rates is due to the little space that the ocean carrier has to move freight. There is a belief that CMA CGM Is almost fully booked for the next few months. This also may mean that the company may be trying to reserve vessel space for long-term contract customers.
It is important to distinguish the difference between contract and spot customers. Contractual customers tend larger to be companies that have stronger preexisting relationships with the carriers. Spot customers may be smaller customers that look for the best deals to move freight. CMA CGM capping its spot rates may give contractual customers more leverage because of their established long-term relationship with the carrier. With the limited capacity in the current market, the carrier has to prioritize who gets vessel space.
With the current freight shipping market already strained, CMA CGM may be seeking to focus on their current customer relationships. The company has also previously released a statement that in the past 15 months, the company has added over 780,000 TEUs. This means that CMA CGM’s capacity to move freight has increased over 10% since the start of 2020.
Can This Be a Positive Sign for the Freight Shipping Market
Many different factors have resulted in rising spot rates in the freight shipping market over the past year. From lack of capacity on carriers to congestion in many ports globally, each situation has worked together to have an unfavorable impact on the shipping industry. The COVID-19 pandemic also limited the number of available port workers and created a backlog of incoming freight. It was reported in late August that the total number of container-carrying vessels anchored at the port of Los Angeles was close to 5 times the amount pre-COVID.
While there are those that believe that the pausing of the rising freight rates could be due to minimal space, others may see it as a positive sign of things to come. CMA CGM may be predicting a return to normalcy with the freight shipping market returning to pre-COVID levels. Only time will tell if other carriers follow the trend and stop or even lower their rising spot freight rates.
A1 Worldwide Logistics
Planning on moving freight globally and need help with the logistics behind doing so? We at A1 Worldwide Logistics provide many services to make sure that your freight reaches its intended destination swiftly and securely. Contact us at 305-821-8995 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote to ship your goods internationally. We also have customs brokers to assist in making sure that your shipment meets federal obligations.