The holiday season is coming up soon, and with the current landscape of the container shipping trades and the resilience of the American consumer, preparing your supply chain has never been more critical. Here are some tips from ITG based on recent market trends.

  • 1. Anticipate Challenges in Container Shipping: The global outlook for container shipping is becoming increasingly challenging, with Drewry forecasting an industry-wide loss of $15bn next year. This downturn, driven by a stark imbalance between supply and demand, suggests that carriers will struggle to maintain rates above cost.
  • 2. Stay Updated on Port Throughputs: While previous years saw a swift recovery in port throughput after decreases, experts predict a more extended recovery period in the coming years. The unusual demand surge in 2020-2021 resulted in a significant pinch on consumer spending, causing a prolonged impact on the container market.
  • 3. Keep an Eye on Transpacific Volumes: Despite a challenging peak season, US domestic and transpacific carrier Matson reported slightly decreased freight volumes from China to the US. Interestingly, the Port of Los Angeles also noted a 14% rise in loaded import containers in September compared to last year. This data suggests a rebound in consumer demand, so businesses should be ready to meet this resurgence.
  • 4. Adapt to Changing Consumer Behavior: American consumers exhibit resilience, maintaining spending despite economic challenges. However, their spending habits and priorities are evolving. It’s essential to stay informed and adjust your supply chain strategies accordingly to cater to these changing patterns.
  • 5. Diversified Sourcing Strategies: While China remains a significant source of imports, there has been a noticeable shift in sourcing products from other nations. Diversifying sourcing strategies is wise, ensuring businesses can pivot to alternate suppliers.

As the holiday season approaches, businesses must be agile and informed to navigate the fluctuating landscape of global trade. By staying updated and anticipating challenges, businesses can position themselves to maximize opportunities and ensure a successful holiday season. If you’re ready to get ahead of potential market issues, contact ITG today.