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Freight costs from China to the U.S. From $8000 to $24,000 per 40 foot container in the past month.

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MitchM

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Hey guys. I'm sure that I'm not the only one dealing with this right now and that's why I wanted to make this thread.

In the past month I have seen the cost to ship one full container basically triple. From $8,000 to $24,000. (and of course, it was lower than $8000 not long ago)

While my margins can support this with no need to raise my price, this seems crazy to me.

I've been reaching out for quotes from a bunch of different companies and am finding no luck on getting something more reasonable.

I'd love to know if anyone else has a referral that they could offer, because right now I am considering shipping to another country as a pitstop before going to the US.

Any suggestions?
 

Dimitron

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Hi @MitchM !

The same is happening to us.

40-foot HQ containers were 3,000$ for YEARS, now the latest price was 14,000$ and our shipping company rep said it will rise to 20,000$ by the end of the year.

This is quite devastating for us as we sell larger/bulkier products. Back in the good days, shipping cost were maybe 5% of the total sales price, now it's 20-30%. We keep raising our prices, but can't raise it forever. Competition seems to be raising theirs slower than us, so sales dropped too.

This is on top of manufacturers raising their prices.

We are on the brink of simply NOT ordering certain products.

Worst of all, it's not freigh forwarders, but the actual ocean freigh companies raising their prices, so you get similar sh*t quotes everywhere.
 

MitchM

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Hi @MitchM !

The same is happening to us.

40-foot HQ containers were 3,000$ for YEARS, now the latest price was 14,000$ and our shipping company rep said it will rise to 20,000$ by the end of the year.

This is quite devastating for us as we sell larger/bulkier products. Back in the good days, shipping cost were maybe 5% of the total sales price, now it's 20-30%. We keep raising our prices, but can't raise it forever. Competition seems to be raising theirs slower than us, so sales dropped too.

This is on top of manufacturers raising their prices.

We are on the brink of simply NOT ordering certain products.

Worst of all, it's not freigh forwarders, but the actual ocean freigh companies raising their prices, so you get similar sh*t quotes everywhere.
I'm sorry to hear that man. I was thinking about how much it would suck if I sold large products.

It actually looks like I'm getting better quotes by doing several LCL shipments than full container shipments.. which is odd.

My suppliers themselves have contracts with some companies and they are able to get me slightly better prices, but after being on it for the past few days, I've only managed to get it down to $18,000. Better than $24,000 - but still terrible.

This does seem like something that will improve, but who knows how long it will take. From what I've read, it seems to be an issue of contrast between US exports and China exports. There just isn't enough capacity right now in China due to reduced US exports - which leads to less containers (and freight ships) available on their end.
 

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Its happening to everyone, I have like 6 leaving in the next month.

Try shipping some products LCL if you can, we've started to do that. Itll mostly likely be the strong that survive, we're already starting to outrank competitors who are running out of stock.
 

B.Cotter

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My neighbor has a good friend in international shipping and he mentioned this to me in a conversation we were having a few weeks back. Supposedly his friend said that shipping containers will be at 3x the price by end of year, and once it’s at that level they don’t project that it’ll come down any time soon. But who knows, just gotta wait and see.
 

Walter Hay

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It actually looks like I'm getting better quotes by doing several LCL shipments than full container shipments.. which is odd.
Its not really odd. This happens because logistics companies have freight to load that does not fill a container, so they look for small shipments to add to it and they still only pay the FCL charge.

In fact there are companies known as freight consolidators whose business consists of doing just that. Freight consolidating is common in the airferight industry, and my book lists a number of them.

Let me know if you would like some names and I will send you a PM.

Walter
 

MJ DeMarco

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Apparently you guys don't watch CNN or CNBC.

They've clearly stated that inflation is under control -- so their reporting outranks your real world experience.

(sarc)
 

MitchM

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Its not really odd. This happens because logistics companies have freight to load that does not fill a container, so they look for small shipments to add to it and they still only pay the FCL charge.

In fact there are companies known as freight consolidators whose business consists of doing just that. Freight consolidating is common in the airferight industry, and my book lists a number of them.

Let me know if you would like some names and I will send you a PM.

Walter
Hey Walter! Thanks a lot for the reply.

That would be great. I definitely can't go with air freight right now, but if you have any companies you can recommend me for consolidation I would really appreciate it.
 

MitchM

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Its happening to everyone, I have like 6 leaving in the next month.

Try shipping some products LCL if you can, we've started to do that. Itll mostly likely be the strong that survive, we're already starting to outrank competitors who are running out of stock.
Yes, that's the one positive for me. I can definitely take the hit on my margins without raising price at all as well. It's just a bit frustrating since I already over-extended with this round of production.
 

James90

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Weird. I'm ordering my next container from China (Fuzhou) and received a quote for $4300 40'HC

Although transit time will be 40 days + 2-4 weeks of anticipated delays.
 

Kung Fu Steve

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Apparently you guys don't watch CNN or CNBC.

They've clearly stated that inflation is under control -- so their reporting outranks your real world experience.

(sarc)

I hear the canal thing actually made a huge impact on the supply of containers. Shipping is so far behind because they have containers bookmarked for like 3 years. I don't know how true it is but we talked about it at dinner the other night.

They know they can squeeze because there's such a shortage.

"American Made" isn't maybe all it's cracked up to be but there's got to be a way to take back control over shipping and logistics.
 

Walter Hay

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I hear the canal thing actually made a huge impact on the supply of containers. Shipping is so far behind because they have containers bookmarked for like 3 years. I don't know how true it is but we talked about it at dinner the other night.

They know they can squeeze because there's such a shortage.

"American Made" isn't maybe all it's cracked up to be but there's got to be a way to take back control over shipping and logistics.
Yes the bottleneck in the Suez did have a huge impact, but C0VlD is also causing problems. Dock workers in some ports are dying in numbers that affect the port's ability to move containers.

This means many empty containers are lying idle. It also contibutes to the congestion that is plaguing many ports.

Another problem is inefficiency in a number of large shipping companies caused by the employment policy of co-determination. For those who don't know, that policy is imposed by various governments, requiring that employees be allowed to share in decision making.

For those in the US, my suggestion is to try sourcing in Mexico and if possible, Brazil. Road transport is available from both.

Walter
 

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