进出美国的货运成本——无论是远洋集装箱, space on an airplane, an empty 53-foot trailer, 或者是最后一英里运送包裹的货车数量也在显著增加. 这迫使货主认真考虑2021年的运输预算, 不仅是如何减少成本的增加,还包括如何维护服务.

Further complicating 2021 transportation budgets is broad uncertainty about the health of the US economy and indeed US consumers themselves, as COVID‑19 cases hit new highs this fall. 尽管美国消费者对实物商品的需求是白热化的, 这从亚洲进口对西海岸港口的冲击所反映出来, 经济学家警告说,经济复苏将是一个漫长的过程.

That leaves shippers’ budgetary plans balanced on a knife’s edge as they meet with carriers across all modes to discuss the renewal of annual contracts. The tight freight markets of the fourth quarter provide an argument for moderate to significant contractual rate increases, but the possibility of a slower US recovery makes cementing long-term plans increasingly difficult for shippers.

作为回应,物流经理们提前开始了合同谈判, extending existing contracts where possible, 并为他们的小部分业务寻求短期合同, 据几位与JOC交谈过的托运人和物流高管透露.com. They’re making volume forecasts more accurate and protecting the business of core carriers that are crucial to their supply chains. 他们很早就和运营商以及他们自己的首席执行官和首席财务官进行沟通.

“如果市场压力是真的,你就无法逃避它,中西部一家食品托运人的物流经理说. 与此同时,过高的价格压力可能会适得其反,他说. “Money doesn’t come from thin air. 在这样的环境中,经济的方方面面都是封闭的,许多业务类别和渠道都是黑暗的, 欧冠冠军足彩应该期待多长时间提出更多的要求?”

This year is not 2018, 上次运输能力如此紧张的时候, at least on land, spurring double-digit rate hikes. 当时,美国经济正在健康地扩张. 2020年肯定不会出现这种情况,明年也可能不会.

“By the second half of 2021, 欧冠冠军足彩可能会回到运输量滞后的欧冠冠军足彩衰退,” the food shipper said. “我不会把市场波动误认为经济繁荣时期的牛市.”

Disruption, demand tighten capacity

然而,到2021年,各种模式的货运能力预计仍将紧张. 不仅仅是一些行业的运输需求, such as big-box retail and e-commerce, is high. 在COVID-19大流行导致经济崩溃8个月后, 各类供应链仍处于混乱状态,资产和工人流离失所.

“欧冠冠军足彩的(托运人)客户面临的挑战因行业而异,” Mark Yeager, 第三方物流供应商(3PL)红杉物流总裁, said in an interview. 他指出,在这次复苏中,一些行业落后于其他行业. Manufacturing has not recovered to pre-COVID levels of demand and has had difficulty bringing employees back to factory floors.

“Some [customers] are facing major shifts in their inbound flows and in production capacity; some are seeing a shift in who they’re shipping to,” Yeager said. “最重要的是,市场的复杂性正以我所见过的最快速度变化, 因此,发货人挥霍掉他们的预算也就不足为奇了. They’re not used to this.”

拟议的涨价幅度令托运人感到沮丧, especially those that held themselves out as “shippers of choice” and didn’t press for rate cuts when the bottom dropped out of the market in the second quarter. 托运人也对承运人的服务提出了抱怨, 从空白集装箱船到迟装运的零担货物.

在货运谈判中"欧冠冠军足彩将更加认真地审视服务方面, 一家西海岸的消费品托运人说. “如果我要支付更高的利率,那么我需要一些回报. 如果欧冠冠军足彩花更多的钱,仍然得到糟糕的服务,欧冠冠军足彩就得找别的供应商.”

Shorter contracts, better forecasting

The threat of higher rates on land, sea, and air has more and more shippers tossing their old annual contract playbooks and shortening their budgeting horizons. They’re negotiating more narrowly focused, 这些短期合同锁定了他们目前所需的运输费率和运力, tomorrow, and next week, rather than six to nine months from now.

但短期投标需要托运人提供更多数据和灵活性, according to John Haber, CEO of Spend Management Experts. “Now more than ever, 托运人需要了解所有的运输成本,并能够快速适应突然的变化,” Haber told JOC.com. “Investments in visibility and analytic tools are important to [be able to] access and understand shipping data.”

然而,即使是短期合约也无法阻止利率上升. Data reported by marketing intelligence firm Xeneta show short-term ocean container rates in late October were in the range of $2,400 to $2,500 per FEU to the West Coast. 相比之下,跨太平洋运费为1美元,300 to $1,今年春天,每个FEU进口商获得了400份年度服务合同.

Looking toward 2021, 进口商正准备迎接跨太平洋海运运费可能翻倍的局面. 尽管2021-22合同的谈判要到明年春天才会开始, 运营商已经提醒消费者,价格可能在2美元左右,000 to $2,500 per FEU, with one carrier telling JOC.谈判将从这个区间的高端开始.”

Several sources indicate shippers could be looking at 20 to 30 percent rate hikes from container lines and mid-single-digit increases from intermodal rail and trucking providers. 联邦快递宣布将整体费率提高4.9 percent beginning in January, and UPS is expected to follow suit, 但包裹运输公司也在收取比往年更多的附加费来管理运货量.

Better forecasting may help retailers and direct importers avoid the nightmare they have endured since summer, 当运营商开始收取超过3美元的现货价格时,800 per FEU to the West Coast and $4,对于任何超过托运人最低数量承诺(MQC)的进口货物,到东海岸的最低数量为600。.

That nightmare followed them to shore, as Union Pacific Railroad imposed thousands of dollars in surcharges from West Coast ports on freight beyond service contract commitments as imports flooded its network. 附加费的影响波及到一些LTL承运人以及包裹运营商联邦快递(FedEx)和UPS, 因为他们都试图阻止自己的网络被货运淹没.

As a result, 托运人表示,他们将努力更加精确地预测2021年的天气, to ensure they remain within MQCs. The logistics manager of an automotive parts company whose imports are relatively consistent throughout the year said he will base his MQCs on “normal” demand and then guard against unexpected surges via non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs) or short-term contracts.

许多托运人的困难在于从供应商那里获得良好的预测数据. “欧冠冠军足彩注意到,欧冠冠军足彩的很多工厂不够精明,无法给出良好的预测,” a Southeast furniture shipper said. “The truckload carriers we use need this data; otherwise the factory is going to be jammed up with products because the trucker hasn’t shown up on time.”

简单地以市场上最低的合约率跳涨是一种灾难, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) told JOC.com. If carriers generally believe the service contract rates they have negotiated in the spring are compensatory, 在需求高的时期,在实施一般的利率提高时,应更加慎重, shippers said.

However, 如果海运公司明年能像今年一样成功地管理运力的话, 跨太平洋合同费率“有可能”增加1美元,000美元/个集装箱”,到西海岸的运费实际上每年翻倍,” said James Caradonna, general manager of pricing, Americas, 在M+R货运公司和mcl -多箱线, an ocean freight forwarder.

BCOs believe they can avoid extreme swings in ocean container pricing if service contracts recognize the uncertainties in the current trade environment and the terms are written to protect the ocean carriers as well as shippers if trade conditions change dramatically. 托运人和咨询师说,在各种运输方式中都是如此.

“We’re seeing shippers say, 他说,我需要用不同的策略来评估我的现任员工,’” said Ben Cubitt, 3PL运输公司供应链和运输高级副总裁. His shipper customers are approaching motor carriers early and agreeing not to put their business up for bid, 或者接受适度的费率增长以保留那些核心运营商, he said.

当谈到最后一英里和套餐定价时, Haber said UPS and FedEx are trying to get shippers into long-term contracts to better plan their own capacity needs. He thinks parcel capacity constraints will ease as additional workers hired in 2020 stay on at the carriers into 2021.

“But all of this, of course, 是否取决于[COVID-19]疫苗的可用性, 哪些因素将影响最后一英里配送能力的可用性——目前有多少人在猜测,” he said.

Air cargo’s capacity problem

尽管海运公司今年的运力有所限制——有些人甚至会说这是限制, airlines simply lost it.

A significant percentage of available global air freight capacity is carried in the bellies of passenger aircraft, 其中绝大多数是在3月底实施国际旅行禁令时搁浅的. 这大大削减了跨太平洋的货运空间, Asia–Europe, 以及欧洲-北美航线在一夜之间减半. 一些目的地受到的影响甚至更为严重, such as routes to South America, 在哪里,高达70%的货物是通过客机运输的.

如此多的运力被取消,导致第二季度运力飙升至创纪录水平, 虽然这些利率已经从5月中旬的高点回落, 产能仍然远远低于需求水平, 保持所有贸易通道的高汇率. Now, air cargo-heavy product launches, such as new smartphones, 是否填补了有限的容量,并再次推高了费率.

旅客运输可能在两到三年之内不会全面恢复, 一些货主正在转向快速海运和铁路服务作为另一种选择, but the majority of air cargo shippers, for whom these are not viable options, can expect the air segment of their transportation spend next year to be substantially higher than in the past.


“That’s going to be a major disruptor, 特别是对冷链和空运,” said John Janson, 服装分销商SanMar的全球物流经理. “There just isn’t enough capacity to fulfill the demand if you’re delivering vaccines to millions of people around the globe. 这将给市场带来巨大的压力.”

Rate expectations gap

Shippers are deploying some of the same cost control strategies in trucking and intermodal rail as they are on the ocean: using short-term contracts, strengthening core carrier relationships, improving volume forecasts, 并通过与第三方物流公司和其他承运人合作来对冲需求冲击.

“欧冠冠军足彩不得不做出调整,每周,” Matt Montour, senior director of logistics at IPC, 赛百味连锁餐厅加盟商的采购合作, said in an interview. “挑战在于你如何度过接下来的几个月?他表示,目前的合同谈判不是欧冠冠军足彩价格,而是欧冠冠军足彩确保所需产能.

The Southeast furniture shipper also sees more frequent bids as part of the solution for rising intermodal costs. 他说:“你不能每年都去竞标,然后坐视不管。. “你可能一年要进入市场三到五次. 有时联运价格的波动会很疯狂.”

“在一些地方,销量肯定会增加,而在其他地方,销量则严重不足,” the Midwest food shipper said. 他强调,有必要保护核心运营商,并奖励那些提供优质服务的公司. “Flooding your network with low-cost carriers that just want to get a foot in the door tends to decimate the routing guide,” he said. “On the flip side, any carrier approaching the table looking for a double-digit increase due to the pandemic may lose their invitation.”

定价预期之间的差距尚未开始缩小. 而许多美国货主预计卡车价格将上涨5%左右, some carriers expect much more. 最常提到的原因是缺少卡车司机.

“欧冠冠军足彩预计2021年的合同利率将平均增长10%至15%,” Eric Fuller, president and CEO of US Xpress Enterprises, told investment analysts during an Oct. 23 earnings call. 富勒认为,长途卡车司机的数量每年可能会减少200人,000 by 2021, keeping pressure on pricing.

As a result, Fuller expects to see structural changes in the request for proposal (RFP) bidding process over the next three to five years. “我不会说今年是发生重大变革的一年,”他在电话会议上说. “This year, everybody’s really focused around trying to capture capacity because of concerns that are going to be ongoing into 2021.”

Taking it to the C-Suite

Logistics managers, of course, 等不及三到五年再和他们的首席财务官和首席执行官们讨论明年的预算了吗. 今年,这些讨论至少可以说是紧张的.

“我今年对我的高管们发出的警告让他们陷入了困境,一位不愿透露姓名的家具托运人说. “They called an immediate meeting the next morning with everybody on the phone to talk about ocean rates and asked me how this could have happened. They were in disbelief. 但欧冠冠军足彩无处可逃,无处可藏.”

“How do I go to the C-suite? 我穿着防弹背心去找他们,”另一个发货人说. “与此同时,每个和欧冠冠军足彩做同样事情的人都在面对同样的问题. 欧冠冠军足彩并没有被供应商单独列为客户. So, 如果欧冠冠军足彩不能在市场上提高价格, 欧冠冠军足彩必须找到其他可以削减的领域.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the importance of the supply chain and transportation to the attention of everyone from the C-suite down to the sub-basement. 当他们被要求解释飞涨的成本时, 物流经理需要拿出更多的数据, said Dave Reiss, 3PL arrival Logistics客户关系高级副总裁.

"目前的数据和指数比以往任何时候都多," Reiss说. “如果你要和你的财务团队或高管团队交谈,你就必须利用这些指数. 你不能只说,‘嘿,欧冠冠军足彩每年会有5%或6%的利率增长.你必须有合理的理由,并解释市场正在发生什么.”


Photo credit: Shutterstock.com, original article posted here: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/shippers-look-keep-2021-transportation-budgets-grounded_20201030.html?page=1

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