As the Covid Pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world with various new stains coming into the spotlight, shipping continues to be impacted. Prices continue to go up based on supply and demand. Companies like us continue to need containers to ship, ports are slow or closed due to covid concerns or outbreaks, ships build waiting to dock and be off loaded, and in-land transportation continues to be overloaded.
Some routes have increased well over 1000% from Asia and will continue to increase. For example, some routes from China to the US have broken over $20,000 per container according to a recent article at The Telegraph (http://digitaleditions.telegraph.co.uk/data/686/reader/reader.html?social#!preferred/0/package/686/pub/686/page/101/article/204421). We have continued to be lucky because of our factories and our CEO’s continued communication with the shipping lines directly. The lines have continued to guarantee us space on vessels, so long as the ship arrives to Colombo.
In the past rates were stable for months, and even years on end, but currently those days are past us. Without strong relationships directly with the line the few remaining slots on ships go to the highest bidder. Many coco suppliers are stuck with full containers in their yards because they can’t afford to pay the new rates, or in some cases the lines are asking 100% upfront for shipping costs and they don’t have the cash on hand to get the places.
Then when the containers finally get to the destination country, they are having to wait days or weeks to be unloaded. Yantian port closed recently to help prevent the spread of covid that was running through the port, and this is happening all over the place now. The chassis pools are empty at many major US and Canadian port, and all over the world. Leading to more delay time, and many ports and carriers are charging detention, waiting, or other fees.
Shipping for coco coir continues to be cheap compared to many other medias. This is mostly attributed to the higher loadability of compressed coir to other non-compressed options like stonewool. Other medias have been having harder times due to border crossings slowing or being shut down all together.
At RIOCOCO we have prolonged our employees working split shift, and those that can work from home remain doing so. We have increased another 2 production facilities which will help to not increase lead times as we continue to get more orders as one of the few companies still able to produce and ship products. We also are working on building several more refining facilities and drying facilities.
We want to stay being as transparent with all our friends and clients, and hope to have more positive news in the future, but until then we will keep you informed of our plans and changes. We will also plan to send out these newsletters every month or so with the intention to provide you with the latest news.
As always we want to thank you all for your encouragement and confidence in us as we all containue to sail these uneasy seas together.