As the US-imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth Chinese goods is set to take effect Monday, the race is now on to get Chinese goods into the U.S.
By plane, train, and sea, a frenzy has begun, resulting in surging cargo traffic at US ports, booming air freight to the US, and urgent dispatch of goods from Chinese companies earlier than planned. Getting in under the wire before Trump’s tariffs bite could mean hundreds of thousands saved on single shipments.
Bloomberg describes this week that cargo rates for Pacific transport are at a four-year high as manufacturers rush to get everything from toys to car parts to bikes into American stores.
This rush, which comes on top of a typically already busy pre-holiday season, is expected to continue well after next week as the tariff will leap from 10 to 25 percent after the new year.
US importers are expected to stockpile Chinese products before the 2019 25% mark. There’s currently widespread reports of companies scrambling to pay expedited air freight fees to dodge the new tariffs, as well as move up their orders.
Bloomberg relates the following on both sides of the Pacific:
- In Jiangsu province on China’s east coast, E.D. Opto Electrical Lighting Co. dispatched a batch of car lights by sea to Los Angeles in late August, earlier than planned.
- In the industrial hub of Dongguan in southern China, toy maker Lung Cheong Group: “More clients in the last two months are asking if we can deliver goods ahead of the scheduled time to avoid the upcoming tariffs,” said Chairman Lun Leung. For small high-tech toys that have higher retail selling prices, some clients are willing to upgrade from sea freight to air, he said.
- Imports to northern California’s Port of Oakland surged 9.2 percent in August. That was the busiest August in the port’s 91-year history.
- At the Port of Long Beach, imports of containers rose 9.4 percent this year through August. That comes after a record 2017.
- Concerns about the trade dispute is also spurring last-minute shipments across the Pacific for Ocean Network Express Pte.,