The world’s freight market is showing increasing signs of heating up at the end of traditional peak season, as shippers rush to replenish inventories in a retail sector that appears to be rebounding. Imports to the United States are surging worldwide, especially from Asia, which has led to considerable price increases.

Per regulations, last month most of the major carriers filed a general rate increase with the FMC of around $1,000 per 40’ container from the far east to either the east or west coast of the USA from Asia. Both the American and Chinese governments expressed their displeasure at the amount, but several major carriers maintained these big increases.

Right now that means that some importers are seeing rates nearly double of what they paid a year ago at this time, with the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, a tracking service for international freight prices, showing a sharp recent increase with an average price of a 40’ container to the West Coast of $3,867 and East Coast $4,634.

Airfreight is looking to be moving in the same direction, with a peak season on the way that is already showing some rising rates. Airfreight has been in a difficult place over the last several months due to reduced passenger flights because of COVID-19, but demands for increased imports are driving importers to secure their space at rising rates.

Imports continue to surge, on what appears to be a strengthening global economy, with US retail numbers showing increases for several months. While many high profile retailers have gone out of business due to recent shocks, those still in place are seeing demand for Chinese-manufactured goods, even in the face of increased tariffs.

In a time when prices are increasing and capacity tightens, all importers benefit from having a forwarder with the knowledge, skill, and options necessary to find the best rates and make sure your cargo is loaded. JMR’s global network allows us to find these options and bring real cost savings to our clients. Please contact us at


James Rodgers CEO