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Shippers are scrambling to secure containers for their clients to load their freight before the Chinese New Year Holiday (Feb 11-17) and also for after the holiday, as ships are filling up as well. For those US consignees whose suppliers arrange the own origin trucking, we are recommending that clients instruct them to print the Equipment Interchange Receipt (EIR) on the first date that it is available and for all container sizes available. For most carriers the equipment window opens six days prior to vessel departure and closes when vessel space has been fully allocated. This allows the maximum opportunity for suppliers to secure equipment for your shipment.

Mallory Asia-Pacific is also reporting that truck capacity in Asia is becoming very tight. For many truckers, all their capacity is fully booked through the Chinese New Year holiday. In some instances in cities such as Shanghai, Ningbo, and Nanjing, some truckers have already returned to their hometowns over COVID-19 travel concerns or are planning to return this week. In other cities such as Fuzhou, truckers are still honoring bookings through February 5, but no new bookings are being accepted. It is also anticipated that trucking volume may be slow to return after the holiday due to the quarantine requirements of various provinces.

Sources: CNBC, Mallory Alexander Asia-Pacific