The business model of Prime Freight is a simple, straightforward marking of our freight costs. Our underlying carriers set the freight rates that we pay and may fluctuate as carriers adjust up or down their rates. Two major types of rate adjustment apply to ocean carriers: General Rate Increase (GRI) and Peak Season Surcharge (PSS).
One or both of these may affect your freight charges, depending on the timing of your quote request.
Once Prime Freight offers a quote, any relevant General Rate Increase and/or Peak Season Surcharge shall be included as long as the GRI or PSS has been declared for the given period.
Often, traditional forwarders do not include the GRI or PSS in their quotes in an effort to lower their pricing.
We believe in transparency at Prime Freight, and our quotes will always reflect the full amount we expect to invoice (except for customs duties), including additional charges such as GRI and PSS.
What’s the GRI?
GRI is a general rate increase for U.S.-bound shipments that all ocean carriers may choose to submit for a month to come. U.S. regulations require every GRI to be informed by carriers at least 30 days in advance. Therefore, on the 1st of a given month, carriers tend to announce GRI to take effect on the 1st of the next month. For example: Example July Carrier’s price: $1000/40′ On July 1, Example Carrier announces August 1 GRI of: $500/40′ The new rate on August 1 will be: $1500/40′ ($1000 base rate + $500 GRI) The GRI the vary significantly from month to month. It may also vary from carrier to lane to lane.
Although a GRI must be declared 30 days in advance by carriers, at any time they are free to lower rates. As a result, freight prices tend to drop in the course of a given month from week to week and then jump back into the next month as a new GRI comes into effect. Many times, the GRI can hold throughout the month, so predicting how levels will change is not always possible.
What’s PSS about?
PSS is a variable surcharge which can be levied by carriers during peak demand periods. PSS may be applied at any time of year, but it appears to be more common before fall / winter holidays and before Chinese New Year.
PSS works similarly to GRI in theory. Carriers announce it monthly on top of the base rate as an additional fee, although it may be cancelled or mitigated at a lower rate.
How do my Prime Freight quotes have GRI and PSS factor?
Carriers may postpone, cancel or implement a lower-than-announced rate of GRI and/or PSS. Other freight forwarders could charge you as initially announced for the full amount of the surcharges, even if they were implemented at a lower rate.
At Prime Freight, as they are implemented, we incorporate GRI and PSS, which means that our rates always include the actual rate of any applicable surcharges. We don’t think it’s too much or too much.
Each quote we share with you has a date of validity clearly marked. You will pay the pre-agreed price if your cargo ships within that time. When you ship after the expiry date of the quote, we will create a new, revised quote, where appropriate, which may alter to accommodate GRI business.