Even more good news! 1.3G Shipping Update (Jan. 18, 2009)
There is good news for 1.3G shipping, however rates continue to be excessively high.
Shanghai Port has opened to accepting 1.3G shells. As of this time at least two Steam Ship lines have begun accepting bookings.
Here is a quote for one of the shipping companies: "The next earliest schedule for imco 1.3 should be M/V etd Shanghai Feb 14 & latest loading date in Liuyang at Feb 4 ( the first sailing after Chinese New Year holiday) - Route TP3." So this is real!
Now with two ports and at least two steam ship lines accepting 1.3G, we would expect rates to fall, and they have fallen, but in our opinion, they have still not fallen enough... For example, inland trucking rates from Liuyang to Beihai have fallen by 33% in the last month, however they are still triple where they were just two years ago. Because of this, Dominator Fireworks has taken the stance to help its importers as much as possible to offset this excessive 1.3G shipping cost. Dominator hopes that this will help its importers to overcome what it views as a temporary period of excessive shipping costs.
Dominator encourages its importers not to "change their sourcing strategy" in search of lower shipping costs by moving production in search of lower shipping costs. Although this may save some money in shipping, it creates additional costs and risks. As Shanghai and other major ports re-open to fireworks, a steady sourcing strategy with reliable vendors is still your best approach.
As usual, there are many rumors. It is rumored that 1-2 additional ports may open in the April time frame. Another rumor is that in the USA, there may soon be an issue with the rail lines and the total explosive weight they will accept.
For the last four years in a row, there have been significant events that have occurred in the February - April time frame that impacted fireworks shipping. This coincidences with the busy Chinese New Year holiday and a spike in fireworks related manufacturing and shipping across China. We will have to wait to see what changes 2009 will bring to the industry... we will keep you posted.