Shipping Just Can’t Catch a Break From Imports

Shipping Just Can’t Catch a Break From Imports

May 10th, 2021

From a $2.6B investment in new containers, to import demand on the rise yet again, to carriers cracking down on trans-Pacific contracts, to a post-Brexit Britain buried under paperwork, to global air cargo demand outperforming pre-COVID levels, we’re back with another round of the latest stories in international shipping. To start this update off, we have a container-leasing company that recently ordered 890,000 TEUs of new containers it expects to see by July of this year.

With a total value of $2.6B, Triton’s lofty purchase is just one of the many investments companies are making to expand their fleets and meet increased consumer demand for goods. Speaking of demand, if you thought import volumes were on the decline, then you may be in for some disappointment.

According to FreightWaves’ SONAR ocean bookings data, “the current index indicates the likely level of U.S. imports later this month and in June, as departing ships arrive at American shores. The forward data for bookings due to depart from all destinations to the U.S. shows a new all-time high will be set next week. The index has continued to climb since mid-May 2020.” 

Global air cargo market demand is also on the up and up, marking a 4.4% increase this past March in comparison to pre-COVID levels recorded in March 2019. While airfreight capacity hasn’t managed to reach pre-COVID levels yet, it’s also showing signs of recovery with a 5.6% MoM increase in global capacity between February and March. So, what does this all mean for trans-Pacific contract negotiations?

Given how volatile today’s ocean shipping environment has become, many shippers are shifting the focus from price to capacity in order to secure space, while many carriers are significantly lowering the amount of free time they’re allotting to customers. Across the pond, the DDC FPO’s (a global provider of business process outsourcing solutions for the freight transport and logistics industry) recent report titled, Brand New Britain: What Post-Brexit Really Means for Businesses, revealed that “nearly 70% [of respondents] expect their operations to be negatively affected for more than 12 months.” 

To follow up on any of this week’s most important international shipping news, check out the links below:

Triton grows container fleet with $2.6B investment

Triton, a container-leasing company, has ordered 890,000 TEUs, worth $2.6 billion, of new containers so far in 2021, most of which it expects to be delivered by July, CEO Brian Sondey said on the company’s earnings call last week.

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Brace for impact: Data shows US import demand still rising

As Deutsche Bank analyst Amit Mehrotra told American Shipper back in March, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” He was right. The latest data reveals that despite a deluge of inbound cargo since the second half of last year, import demand is not abating — it’s increasing.

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Air cargo demand in March outperforms pre-Covid levels; capacity recovers 5.6%

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released March 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that air cargo demand continued to outperform pre-Covid levels (March 2019) with demand up 4.4 percent.

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Trans-Pac contracts leave shippers paying more, less ‘free time’ (sub. required)

Container lines have secured trans-Pacific service contract rates with midsize shippers at approximately double the rates from last year’s agreements, and have tightened commercial terms such as free-time allotment, which could also increase costs for shippers.

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Paperwork is the new trade in post-Brexit Britain

A new white paper, Brand New Britain: What Post-Brexit Really Means for Businesses, reveals the depth and length of the challenges faced by businesses in the UK as they adapt to the new trading environment.

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