In recent times the cost of sea freight both inbound and outbound of New Zealand has been at all-time lows. Coupled with the choice of availability and space on the various shipping lines the importer and exporter have benefited from low shipping costs and frequent vessel arrivals.

Is this trend changing? Over recent weeks we have seen sea freight rate increases from several shipping lines with rises in rates for imports from Asia, Europe, and imports and exports to and from the USA. Where as in recent years shipping lines attempts to increase freight rates have failed, we are now seeing market acceptance of increases and across most shipping lines.

Excess capacity has been one factor in driving lower rates – now with the advent of peak import season – space availability has been reduced – allowing shipping lines to stand fast on their rate increases in an effort to drive rates in an upward direction. The recent receivership issues Hanjin Shipping has experienced illustrates the financial pressure on the shipping industry and has refocused shipping lines on seeking increases in revenue.

The team at Cunningham Gill are constantly working on checking market rates and services to ensure both import and export offerings are competitive and meet our client’s needs and expectations. Often this will mean changing your shipments between competing shipping lines to retain the best available offering. This is all part of our role as your freight advisor / professional and often this is done behind the scenes and away from the knowledge of our clients. After all, our role is not to seek accolades but to source the best available options for our clients. It is therefore, vital that you keep us in the loop when considering new markets or suppliers as often the difference between success and failure can be on the method of transportation – something we pride ourselves on at being pretty good at.

As market conditions change – we will of course, keep our clients well informed and up to date with offerings. Whatever the colour of the container – you can relax in knowing we have your best interests at heart.