AS poll: One-third shippers with cargo rolled
Monday, November 21, 2011
Nearly one in three eastbound transpacific shippers and Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers has had at least some cargo rolled in recent weeks, but most say it’s not happening often, according to a poll conducted last week by American Shipper.
The poll found that 69 percent said they had no cargo rolled at all, while 28 percent said they had experienced rolls, but not often. Only 3 percent said rolls are happening at an increasing rate.
American Shipper conducted the poll to measure how prevalent cargo rolls in Asia have been for North American shippers, as well to gauge shipper views of capacity levels on the headhaul transpacific lane.
The 120 shipper/NVO/3PL respondents clearly are concerned about capacity levels in the coming weeks. Forty percent of respondents said that capacity at present was just about right for demand, while 34 percent said there was more than enough capacity. Only 21 percent characterized capacity at present as tight or very tight.
But nearly half of the respondents said they have seen capacity tighten in the last month. And nearly 70 percent said they felt capacity would tighten in the next two months. Nearly a third, however, didn’t expect capacity to tighten at all.
Rates, meanwhile, continue to be under pressure on the transpacific, according to the poll. One third of respondents said their rates had remained the same over the last month, while another third said their rates had decreased moderately. Seventeen percent said their rates were locked in for the year. Eight percent said their rates had increased moderately.
Among the 12 carrier respondents to the poll, two-thirds said they had rolled a few containers in the last few weeks, while two said none had been rolled.
Half of the carriers said they would remove a moderate amount of the capacity from the eastbound transpacific, while three said they would remove a small amount, and three said they would remove none.
Of the percentage of shippers that had seen cargo rolls recently, NVOs and 3PLs were much more affected. More than half of the NVOs/3PLs who responded said they had experienced rolls recently, compared to 10 percent of manufacturers and 22 percent of retailers. Indeed 62 percent of the respondents who said they have had cargo rolled recently were 3PLs or intermediaries.
The size of shipper polled seemed to make little difference as to whether cargo had been rolled. Forty percent of large shippers (10,000 or more TEUs annually on the eastbound transpacific) had experienced rolls, compared to 27 percent of medium-sized shippers (2,000 TEUs to 10,000 TEUs annually) and 30 percent of small shippers (less than 2,000 TEUs annually).
Small shippers, however, have been twice as vulnerable to rate increases as large or medium shippers, with 14 percent of small shippers seeing rates rise moderately or significantly, compared to 6 percent of medium shippers and 7 percent of large shippers.
Large and medium-sized shippers said they were more wary than small shippers of capacity tightening in the months ahead. Sixty-eight percent of large shippers and 79 percent of medium-sized shippers saw capacity tightening, compared to 62 percent of small shippers.
Those shippers and NVOs who have seen cargo rolled are also more wary of capacity tightening. Nearly three-quarters of those who have already had cargo rolled said they expect capacity to tighten, compared to 65 percent of those who have yet to experience rolls. - Eric Johnson