Inbound Logistics Update

By: Jennifer Roberts

Nov 16, 2021

The shipping and supply-chain crisis has been well documented in the news recently and impacts nearly every part of global trade. You can check out our earlier blog post on this topic on Atlas News.⁠

Since the post in August, things have only gotten worse. Last month, the industry research firm Sea-Intelligence reported last month that 12.5% of all cargo capacity worldwide is absorbed by delays. They put this in perspective by noting that figure is equivalent to removing the entire fleet of the 3rd largest container line all at once. The majority of these bottlenecks are at US Ports, specifically on the West Coast, where we see an average wait time of 21 to 28 days for arriving vessels to find a berth here in Seattle. Shipping lines need to relieve congestion and avoid having equipment stuck waiting at the port. As a result, they are either not taking new bookings to the west coast or will do so only at the current spot freight rate, which can be three to four times our standard contracted rates for ocean freight. In cases that we don't have a direct ocean route, we're booking vessels going into any open US port and repositioning coffee domestically to meet our roaster's needs. Unfortunately, this adds both time and cost to every container load.⁠

We've been reaching out weekly to those roasters with late-arriving contracts to provide updates and substitutions where needed. We'll continue to do so as long as this crisis is ongoing. We anticipate both the market and import costs to remain above average for the foreseeable future. Therefore, roasters should evaluate their needs frequently, build excess inventory when possible, and be flexible on origin and grade for blends. ⁠

We value our partnerships and are certainly all in this together. Please reach out for support!⁠