The peak season is in full swing. Significantly higher cargo volumes in the last quarter of the year and the resulting changes in air and sea freight are probably no longer news for most of the customers, who are importing from the Far East, but this year the peak season will be more pronounced than in many previous years. This year has provided since spring a number of challenges due to the coronavirus, with the biggest impact on air freight, but there have also been a lot of changes in sea freight. Significantly reduced air cargo space and, at the same time, for instance a great increase in cargo volumes through the continued growth of e-commerce have led to an increase of prices in air transport.
The decline in air transport opportunities and the increase in tariffs, which in many directions can be many times higher than in the normal period, have increased customers’ interest in sea and rail transport. Unfortunately, these ways of transport are not without the influence of the peak season either. Some factors affecting air freight are also felt in sea freight, and in times of corona restrictions, shipping lines have been forced to reduce their capacity, which has led to major deviations from normal operating procedures. The lack of empty containers or cargo space and the enormous rise in the transport price of full containers are the sharpest keywords this autumn. Shipping lines set tariffs for a maximum of a few weeks, but it may not be possible to get a spot during this period, and goods ready for export may not receive a booking confirmation for several weeks.
Despite of the difficult year, rail transport (aceRail) has remained stable for a long time, both in terms of transport capacity and price. Unfortunately, the severalfold increase in rail freight volumes over the last few months has led to some shortage of containers and a consequent increase in delivery times. Chinese railway operators are working to ensure transport capacity, but changes in rail freight prices are also expected in December. On the positive side, however, we can certainly emphasize the regularity of aceRail partial shipments. ACE Logistics has certain weekly departures, with which we can ensure the fastest and best service and cargo space for our customers.
2020 has been a difficult and challenging year for air, sea and rail transport. Given the market situation, the current peak season will continue until the end of the year. However, with the help of ACE’s wide range of services and experience, we always try to find a solution for our customers, combining cargo volumes between different ways of transport if necessary, and we make recommendations in planning deliveries in the current often changing situation.
ACE Logistics Estonia