May 2010


Ocean Freight

Air Cargo


Ocean Freight

Tight Space Situation - Worldwide

Space on vessels is extremely tight, not just from the Far East but worldwide.  Within the last week, we were advised that there are absolutely NO 20’ containers in Hong Kong and many parts of China.  Carriers have announced a 20’ reposition charge to help alleviate this situation.  (see below)


When the economy came to a standstill in late 2008, for the most part many companies stopped shipping.  Vessels were taken out of service so that the lines could save money on routes that were not full.


U.S. exports dried up over night.  The U.S. was still importing some, but not to the degree we were previously. Containers piled up on the USWC from the trade imbalance and much of the surplus empty equipment is still sitting here on the USWC.  Now that shippers have regained a bit of confidence they have begun to ship again.  Vessels are full BOTH incoming and outgoing because of the decreased number of vessels.  The vessels in service are overbooked.  Carriers are trying to figure out how to reposition empty equipment back to heavy export markets.  Some carriers are repositioning huge numbers of empty containers from the U.S. to Asia forcing the carriers into huge deficits.  All lines are having imbalance challenges.


Unfortunately, this is happening worldwide.  Europe / U.S. lane currently has a 3 - 4 week backlog for booking and equipment. The Asia / U.S. lane is about the same.  Please keep in mind these challenges over the coming months when planning shipping.  We will try to keep you updated as best as possible.  The situation is changing daily.


PSS and/or Equipment Reposition Announcement


In addition to the General Rate Increase (GRI) enacted by most Trans-pacific East Bound (TPEB) carriers on May 1, 2010 many TPEB carriers have announced a Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) from Asia to the USA effective June 21, 2010 at the following amounts:


$ 320 per 20’
$ 400 per 40’
$ 450 per 40’HC
$ 505 per 45’ container.


All Asia Origins to All USA Destinations - $ 8.00 W/M Minimum $ 8.00


If there is any mitigation or delay is the PSS by carriers, we will continue to pass along the mitigated charge to our customers.

Equipment Reposition Charge


Many TPEB carriers have announced the below Equipment Positioning Charge on all cargo moving in Dry 20’ containers originating from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong. This charge has become necessary due to abnormally high demand, causing a shortage of inventory. This shortage is expected to continue for the next several months.


Effective June 15, 2010


Equipment Positioning Charge:


For all cargo moving in Dry 20' containers originating from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong and discharging at U.S. ports other than NY/NJ, the following Equipment Positioning Charge shall apply:




For all cargo moving in Dry 20' containers from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong and discharging at the port of NY/NJ, the following Equipment Positioning Charge shall apply:




Again, if there is mitigation or delay in the Equipment Reposition Charge, we will continue to pass along the mitigated charge to our customers.

Air Cargo

Cargo Screening


Please be aware that when shipping air cargo, there are many layers of security and regulations.


All cargo shipments are subject to inspection. International Freight Systems is not obligated to perform such inspection, except as may be required by law.  Federal law requires air cargo shippers to give their written consent to cargo inspection, please contact us for further details.


The TSA regulates all aspects of air cargo security. Their website is


Effective August 1, 2010, all cargo offered for transport aboard any Passenger Aircraft within or from the US must be screened. This upcoming date and its accompanying inspection mandate may create cargo backlogs in major US gateway airports. The Air Freight Industry and the Transportation Security Administration are working together to expand programs that allow cargo screening earlier in the supply chain, thereby avoiding screening delays at the airport. Please contact us for any additional information.

International Freight Systems (of WA) LLC Newsletter is a bulletin for customers and partners.  Information contained in this publication has been gathered from a number of public sources that, to the best International Freight Systems’ knowledge, are true and correct.  It is our intent to present only accurate information.  However, in the event any information contained in this newsletter is erroneous, International Freight Systems (of WA) LLC accepts no liability or responsibility.

For more information on importation and U.S. Customs please click on the below link directly to Customs & Border Protection website:

For more information on air cargo matters, please click on: