Chinese New Year (CNY) gets underway this weekend – February 10th – which means China’s export production will be coming to an abrupt halt for two weeks, as Chinese nationals travel from far and wide to take part in countrywide celebrations.
Every Chinese ‘Lunar Year’ is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals and 2024 is the Year Of The Dragon, which symbolises power, honor, luck, and success.
Following a few weeks of Asia ocean rates spiralling, schedule disruption, capacity issues, and equipment shortages, some industry experts are predicting an improvement in the situation in the weeks that follow CNY.
Carriers are reportedly bringing in new vessels to cover the longer transit routes around the Cape Of Good Hope, and while it takes a while to position those ships, the reduction in output and sailings during the next fortnight should assist that process. Whether it does have a bearing on rates remains to be seen.
Further attacks on vessels in the Red Sea continue to make the Suez Canal route unviable. A UK-owned cargo ship was attacked by a suspected Houthi missile this week, which passed over its deck and damaged its bridge. Fortunately, the crew were unharmed and the vessel continued its journey.
Meanwhile, CMA CGM became the final major carrier to route all of their their vessels away from the Red Sea. They had previously been the only carrier within the major alliances that had continued to operate some services through the Suez Canal, but in an announcement this week they confirmed they would now be exclusively using the Cape Of Good Hope route.
Global Freight Services are monitoring developments closely. In the meantime, our directors and staff would like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year!