Gao Ya

22 Dec 2021

(Yicai Global) Dec. 22 — Ocean freight costs between China and the US will decline steadily the whole of next year as more countries take measures to return to normal, taking pressure off the world’s supply chain, the head of the logistics department of cross-border e-commerce platform DHGate told Yicai Global recently.

China-US shipping rates this year were basically the same as air freight in 2019 before the pandemic, Wan Song said. But as suppliers’ capacity drops, their demand for transport will fall and prices will come down. But this could be hindered by other factors such as rising oil prices, he added.

Most orders by large traditional supermarkets and shopping malls will be over by Christmas, but there will still be robust demand in cross-border e-commerce until the end of January next year, Wan said.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, global shipping rates have more than doubled due to an acute shortage of containers and shipping space. While it is costing buyers more to purchase from overseas, the vendors are in fact making less profit and it is the logistics firms that are benefiting, he added.

Logistics platforms like DHGate, which help to connect international buyers with Chinese vendors, need to stock more goods at their overseas warehouses to hedge against transport delays that are beyond their control, but will affect the buyers’ shopping experience, Wan said.

China’s online marketplaces operate over 2,000 warehouses abroad, Li Xingqian, head of the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Foreign Trade, said earlier. They enable fast customs clearance, a quick turnover and lower costs.

Editor: Kim Taylor