Shipping Challenges: 2022 Guide to Coffee Origin Arrivals

Can you believe it’s June and we’re still talking about the never-ending global shipping challenges? RNY Coffee Senior Trader Joe Borg is sharing his insights into the current global shipping challenges. He also has an updated coffee origin arrival guide for you to reference!

The Global Issue

Between increased costs, lack of containers and space constraints, the industry is still struggling to get coffee in “on time”. I think for many of us we’d hope that we would see some relief by now. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Across the board, demand is still high for all imports. Since China has been lessening lockdowns, we are expecting to see more traffic in their ports. It’s rumored that there are over 250k containers at their ports waiting for export. If this is the case, availability and space constraints will be pushed, resulting in another lengthy dance with shipping coffee from origin.

Here in the U.S.

Port wise, at least on the east coast, we are seeing even more bottlenecks. These bottlenecks come from not having enough containers, equipment and drayers at the port. If you’re not familiar, drayers are the trucking companies who pick up containers and deliver them to their end destination.

These bottlenecks are delaying most containers to only deliver on the LFD (last free day). They are so jammed and need all the time they can get before any type of extra fees get pushed onto the container for late removal. With the increased movement from ports and lack of equipment, including trucks and truckers, give yourself another 1 to 2 weeks give or take on pulling coffees from the ports.

Prior to these shipping challenges, we used to ship a significant amount of full container loads to our partnering warehouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Because of these challenges, however, we are no longer sending many direct containers because of a worsening scenario in Charleston.

Charleston also dealing with a lack of equipment and bottlenecks that are causing even more strain on their ability to get coffee from their ports in manageable time frames. Cost wise we’re seeing that it’s more expensive to ship directly from origin to Jacksonville because of the less attractive port destination. Instead, the more cost effective option we’re seeing is to ship directly to the northeast and then truck it down to Florida.

Coffee Origin Arrival Guide

So, how does this all translate to when you can expect coffee from origin? We’ve included some quick notes below. Make sure you take a look at our Coffee Origin Arrival Guide. This has been updated to reflect the current shipping environment.

Ethiopia: Ethiopia has been seeing similar delays caused by a lack of equipment and space constraints. The interesting situation in Ethiopia is that some suppliers that have strong relationships with local carriers are not experiencing these delays. Their coffees have been arriving on time, while others can’t seem to find a way to get their coffee out of Ethiopia.

Indonesia: We’ve seen some of the longest delays out of coffee growing areas like Indonesia. These have been arriving up to 2 to 3 months later than what was once normal in a pre-COVID shipping schedule.

Central & South America: In general, here we’re seeing delays of 1 to 2 months from the originally scheduled shipment month.

Central & South America

Africa & Asia

We’re here to help get the coffee you need from origin

Having said all this, what we can all do to mitigate delays and risk of not having your coffee is making sure you increase your communication with your trader. Your trader can help pre-book coffees and share ETAs to help better manage your inventory. We are here to help and be the source for your coffee needs. We will work to find the right coffees for you and do our best to make sure that with the added delays it’s available for you when you need it!

Contact your trader today to discuss the lead times for origins and when expected arrivals are for certain coffees.