What is Peak Shipping Season (PSS)?

Peak Season is a term used within the shipping and Forwarding community to describe the increase in volume of both air and sea traffic leading up to Christmas.  The term is being classed as outdated by many within the Industry due to the historical decline in volumes over the last few years, this pattern seems to be repeated for the 2015 shipping season.


When is Peak Shipping Season?

Peak Season traditionally runs from June/July to October/November in the run up to Christmas.  Most trade lanes for the peak season tend not to be longer than about 3 weeks, so shipping in October/November time for an import to the UK should still give enough time for clearance and delivery of your goods in time for Christmas.


What are the Cost Implications for Shipping During Peak Season?

The additional cost of PSS for ocean freight ranges from around $150-$250 per 20 foot shipping container, and about double for 40 foot shipping container.  For air freight it is hard to give a cost as it depends on how much pressure is put on the space capacity to and from a particular area – it is a case of supply and demand.


What are the other implications?

Other implications can be less capacity on shipping routes from the Far East and China to Europe and the UK.  Which can mean delays in shipping, and can lead to the fall down of JIT (Just in Time) Logistics, meaning supply chains can slow down so it is best to work ahead of schedule in case there are delays as shipping in this season is time sensitive.


Is it happening in 2015?

At Mercator Cargo we have yet to see the implementation of the usual Peak Season Surcharge by the air carriers and shipping lines, simply due to the fact that the demand is not there.  If anything rates have remained extremely static for the whole of 2015 and a rise for Peak Shipping Season seems extremely unlikely.  Volumes from China and the Far East to Europe and the UK remain very low, with plenty of capacity on both shipping lines and aircraft available.


What should you do?

Be prepared to ship your goods early if possible in order to avoid space problems or increased charges during the Peak Shipping Season.  If your goods won’t be ready early enough, but you have secured the order and have an estimated date they will be ready, then book your space on the vessel or aircraft as soon as you can.  Booking early will also minimise the problems with space and additional shipping charges.  If you have a product which you simply cannot wait to arrive in the UK, then you may wish to consider air freight for part of your shipment.

If you’d like to discuss the Peak Shipping Season with one of our freight forwarders, then get in touch +44 2392 756 575 or email sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk

Get a Quote for Peak Shipping Season

    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.