Like every year, Chinese New Year has a massive impact on sea freight and transportation to and from Australia. We spoke with our experts Helia Leighton and Michael Thirgood about the outcomes of this year’s Chinese New Year for the sea freight industry and our customers.

BCR’s expectations before Chinese New Year

In our previous article Helia Leighton, Pricing Manager at BCR, outlined what her expectation for this year’s Chinese New Year and the impact on the sea freight industry was. She mentioned, that “Blank Sailings or otherwise known as Slack Season Programs / Capacity Management Programs will be in place until the end of July, with carriers from all 8 consortiums participating in managing the space available in the off peak period to combat the oversupply of tonnage in the logistics trade.” Helia Leighton also said, capacity would be cut by 28-35%.

Now how does the sea freight market look like after Chinese New Year 2014?

High levels of volatility on the North East Asia – Australia trade lane

Helia Leighton says: “2014 has started in much the same way as 2013 finished – with high levels of price volatility and uncertainty regarding the ability of the carriers on the North East Asia – Australia trade lane to maintain reliable, profitable and ongoing services to meet the needs of importers in Australia.” She outlines: “Our expectation is that this high level of volatility will continue in the medium term.”

Peak seasons to be expected in logistics throughout the rest of the year 2014?

Michael Thirgood, Chief Operating Officer at BCR, highlights, that unlike carriers had hoped for another peak , the market has continued to deteriorate. The expectations for an increase of orders before Easter are low compared to previous years. “BCR is reacting by continuously matching carrier and schedule to meet the needs of our clients. Our customers will be able to take advantage of us securing cost effective solutions that directly affect their bottom line.”
And in the long term, “…going towards Christmas we still are expecting a peak season to take place and we will keep our customers informed about it.”

How to deal with peak seasons?

To assist you on how to generally prepare and handle potential peak seasons, Michael Thirgood created a checklist for long term and short term actions you can take as a freight forwarder.

What does BCR recommend to make sure our customer’s cargo will arrive on time?

Timing is everything. To avoid last minute disappointment, Michael Thirgood recommends: “Bookings from your suppliers 2-3 weeks prior to desired sailing time is desirable.”

For more than a century, 3PL and Freight forwarding service provider, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including BrisbaneSydneyMelbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).