Global Freight Updates Delivered To You!

Global Freight Updates Delivered To You!

December 14th, 2020

As we prepare to say good riddance to 2020 and leap into 2021, there are still no dull moments for many parts of the shipping industry. Year-end, peak season, Brexit, and the impact of the pandemic are all (hopefully) coming to a head. We’ll know if this means calmer seas in 2021 soon enough.

In this week’s global freight updates, we’ve got record-level spot rates, port chaos, a commodities slump, thousands of stranded seafarers, outrageous air freight prices, and rising market tension. 

According to Sea-Intelligence Maritime Analysis, 2021 base contract rates for Asia-Europe shippers are expected to increase by 23 percent as a result of a surge in spot rates. With freight prices sitting at $2,091 per TEU, unwavering demand, and severe capacity contraints, the tension between shippers and carriers is only growing.

These conditions paired with the impending end of Brexit recently forced Honda to shut down its entire UK plant because of the country’s overwhelming amount of bottlenecks and transportation delays. Britain isn’t the only country experiencing some major setbacks, however. Africa’s exports to China have fallen by 23.6 percent YoY due to COVID-19’s impact on the nation’s economy and a drop in commodity prices.

Because of travel restrictions, the cornavirus has also left roughly 400,000 shipping and transportation workers stranded on ships for over a year and a half. While agencies like the U.N.’s International Labour Organization are working tirelessly to get these people home, crew changes ultimately can’t happen without additional support from countries around the world.

Ocean container shipping isn’t the only sector that’s facing some serious coronavirus-related issues though. As shippers race to secure air freight capacity for medical equipment like dry ice to transport the new vaccines, some airlines are quoting up to 20 times more than the average going rate for this time of year. Despite all of these struggles, one thing that’s for sure is that there’s never a dull moment in this business.

Check out the article highlights below to learn more:

JOC Uncharted: Shippers vs. carriers as market tension rises (sub. may be required)

Tensions are growing between carriers and their customers on the Asia-Europe trade as service levels plummet and rates reach all-time highs, a dynamic that could shape their future relationship.

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Ports chaos hits firms' supplies as Honda forced to halt production

UK logistics chiefs are urging the government to help fix growing delays at Britain’s ports, as Honda revealed disruption had forced it to halt production.

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China-Africa trade falls 10 percent on pandemic, commodities slump

Trade between China and Africa fell by 10.6 percent in the first 11 months from a year ago amid the pandemic, but analysts expect a rebound next year as key commodities like oil and copper recover.

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Labor Group Seeks Help for Hundreds of Thousands of Seafarers Stranded by COVID

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers around the world are stranded at sea due to coronavirus travel restrictions, unable to go home or get medical care.

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Air freight prices 'outrageous' as COVID-19 shots rolled out, says WHO expert

Some carriers are seeking “outrageous” prices to fly dry ice and other medical equipment in the pre-holiday rush, but a capacity squeeze should ease in 2021 when the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is expected.

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US retailers project strong import growth at least through April (sub. may be required)

With imports continuing to exceed expectations and showing no signs of slowing, US retailers are now predicting year-over-year monthly growth in imports will continue at least through April.

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ONE Apus Arrives in Kobe, Revealing Cargo Loss of Epic Proportions

When a picture says a thousand words…

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