Space shortages when exporting from the UK to the USA

17th March 2022

If you regularly export sea freight shipments, you may have come across issues in finding space on vessels for your exports.  In our experience, many lines are facing waiting times of up to three or four weeks before they’re able to offer space on container vessels going to the East Coast and West Coast of the USA or Canada.


Help with exporting to the USA


Our close relationship with certain shipping lines means we are sometimes notified of space on vessels as soon as it becomes available. We find it is always worth asking the question and we will do this on your behalf. We will always have a conversation with our clients about their options, and possible space on future sailings, giving our best recommendations. We always recommend planning your shipment as early as possible.

FCL/LCL or even RO/RO shipments to USA


Depending on the size, quantity and weight of your shipment, switching from FCL (Full Container) to LCL (Part of a container) could be the preferred option. Many LCL operators have guaranteed space on vessels, so switching from FCL to LCL could ensure your goods get there quicker.


If you are shipping bulkier items it could be worth looking at Ro/Ro (roll on/roll off).  There are weekly ro/ro services from Liverpool.


Shipping rates are higher than ever!


Unfortunately, since the end of 2020, shipping rates across the globe have risen exponentially.  Whilst there is some difference across the lines and it's also worth looking at different routings to see if any difference in prices, in our experience most of the rates with the lines are similar across the board.  But it is still worth questioning the quoted price.  If your shipment is more price dependent and time is less of an issue, just let us know.

Driver shortages in the USA


Unfortunately the USA also has its own severe shortage of truck drivers, leaving many customers waiting weeks for their containers.  We’ve had experiences of truck drivers advising they are booked up 6 weeks in advance.  Thankfully, we have very good agency representation in the USA and Canada, that means we can act quickly to ensure all transport needs in Canada and especially USA are met and booked up in advance to ensure minimal delays to your shipments.

We are working day in and day on shipments to and from all over the world and we’re always happy to assist with any road, sea or air shipment you may have. Contact us to discuss your options.