With 2020 coming to a close this week, shippers need to be aware of a few trends heading into the next year that will affect their planning for the coming year. We at J.M. Rodgers are looking forward to the coming year and the opportunities it will bring.

One issue that shows no signs of abating in the immediate term is capacity both in vessels and of equipment generally. Ships and planes remain full of cargo to replenish global inventories even beyond the holiday surge, while restrictions for workers at ports and warehouses have diminished capacity for these shipments to be processed at full speed.  Equipment shortages have led to congestion at ports, and all shippers should plan for this to be the case into 2021.

Rates, tied in with capacity, look like they will be remaining high for 2021 shipping. With space being limited, rates will be able to hold, with some increases possible. For the next year’s shipping season, BCO negotiations are likely to focus more heavily on guaranteed capacity and space than merely the lowest rates, so most shippers should plan to continue paying premiums.

Importers should expect to continue to pay tariffs for the foreseeable future as well. The incoming administration has indicated that there are no short-term plans to reverse current policy around section 301 tariffs, and so the additional duties seem to be the norm at this time.

So far heading into next year signs point to positives: the economy appears to be growing with unemployment shrinking down. With an increasing global rollout of effective coronavirus vaccines, 2021 has every indication of being a better year not just for the import/export industry, but the world in general. We certainly see many reasons to be positive this will be a good year for shippers and for J.M. Rodgers.

Heading into what will certainly be a busy year, all shippers benefit from having a logistics partner with the knowledge, skill, and options necessary to find the best rates and make sure your cargo is loaded. J.M. Rodgers’ global network allows us to find these options and bring real cost savings to our clients. Please contact our SVP of Sales Andrew Galloway at (212) 220-7412, (973) 726-5340, or via email at agalloway@jmrodgers.com.