EU carbon charges, UK port congestion, surging container freight rates, a whirlwind peak season, the South African Airways lockout, and the new U.S. Transportation Secretary, oh my! We’ve got a lot to unpack in this week’s global freight updates.
Let’s dive in by starting with the European Commission’s plans to make big changes in the shipping carbon market.
As of right now, the Commission remains undecided on whether or not it will include international trips in its ambitious emissions trading scheme plans. Many in the sector, however, are protesting what they believe to be an overreach on the Commission’s part to regulate the industry as it works toward its goal to reduce net emissions by at least 55% over the next 9 years.
Next up, we’ve got the port chaos that’s currently wreaking havoc on UK supply chains for 45% of manufacturers. With the severe strain caused by the impact of leading issues like COVID-19 and Brexit, the nation’s factories are reporting steep rises in lead times and stockpiled goods.
The UK certainly isn’t the only one struggling to overcome massive transportation complications though. Countries around the world are scrambling to manage the distribution of the new coronavirus vaccine alongside the huge spikes in e-commerce imports primarily from China. And the U.S.-China trade war is only making matters worse.
Some ocean shipping lines have even refused to transport U.S. exports in an effort to prioritize taking back empty containers to China. Not to mention the fact that spot rates are continuing to soar everywhere, especially for Asia-North Europe lanes receiving quotes up to $5,000 per TEU.
And airfreight doesn’t have it any easier either. For instance, after declaring bankruptcy and then being forced to ground many flights last year, South African Airways recently put a temporary lockout into effect against 383 pilots due to reluctance over the airline’s new employment terms.
Last, but not least, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has officially nominated Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to lead the country’s Transportation Department. To learn more, check out the following article highlights:
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:
Worried about recent cyber-attacks? Can’t find containers? Concerned over the Panama Canal’s congestion? Frustrated with rate increases and carrier service? Want to learn more about canceled flights to LA? Dreading the post-Brexit logistics nightmare? Don’t worry. We’ve got the inside info to help you better understand the most pressing issues the shipping industry is facing right now, and there’s no shortage of them!
To start off, here are some ocean container stats we believe are pretty telling for the Port of Long Beach’s 2020 operations provided by Cathy Roberson, President of Logistics Trends & Insights LLC:
“For the July-September period, loaded inbound TEUs to the Port of Long Beach increased 22.6% YoY.
According to USA Trade Online data, some of the biggest YoY gains in terms of volumes (Kg) for Asian import commodities, based on harmonized 2-digit codes, to the Port of Long Beach were:
Miscellaneous chemical products up 404.4%
Tobacco up 368.9%
Wadding, felt, specialty yarn, twine, ropes up 247.8%
Food industry residues and waste 279.5%
Arms & ammunition, parts and accessories 207.2%”
Next up, we’ve got Acronis’ new in-depth review on the risk of cyber threats in the supply chain, which includes detailed analytics on ransomware spikes, 2021 cybersecurity trends, key takeaways, and more. This report makes it clear that ransomware attacks will increase, especially against remote employees; however, traditional solutions won’t be able to provide sufficient protection against advancing malware tactics.
And, the struggle to find containers continues. From the article we’ve included below: “All carriers report severe shortages of the popular 40ft high-cubes (HCs) at their depots, and there has also been a run on 40ft standard boxes – even 20ft containers are sometimes showing as unavailable.”
Not only do we have to deal with rising threats to data security and a container shortage, but we’ve also been facing some pretty major transit delays in the Panama Canal as COVID strikes again and shippers without reservations fight for limited capacity. Adding to that, rates and surcharges on trades from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast, Australia, West Africa, the East Coast of South America, and Singapore are at all-time highs while carrier service levels have fallen to all-time lows.
And COVID isn’t only impacting ocean freight. According to Loadstar, Air China and China Southern have canceled all flights to LA until Dec. 10 because of the city’s recent coronavirus outbreak, with expectations of other airlines following suit. Last, but not least, we’ll end on the U.K.’s fear of Brexit’s potential to create a domino effect of severe supply chain bottlenecks across the country’s ports and highways. All in all, the industry appears to be right on track to reach its boiling point, but with insight like this on your side, you’ll have a much better chance of preparing your company to take on these challenges.
Check out the article highlights below to learn more:
Whether you’re interested in ocean freight rates, the race to return empties, cargo rollover ratios, the state of airfreight, international trade deals, or Brexit’s role in logistics (and really, who isn’t?) we’ve got it all.
It looks like ocean freight rates are finally settling down, according to the CEO of Maersk, Soren Skou.
“Global supply chains had quite a lot of bottlenecks and they have driven up prices,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday, describing the whiplash effect of a steep decline in seaborne cargo in the second quarter followed by a sharp rebound.
This news offers a lot of hope for the many shippers on the other side of the pricing equation that have been dealing with unusually high costs for this time of year, especially on trans-Pacific lanes. While rates appear to be evening out, container volumes are only piling up at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
As trucking demand continues to increase, drivers are having to spend at least three hours just to return an empty container to a different terminal. The sheer amount of congestion at major U.S. ports is causing drivers to run out of time before they’ve even had a chance to touch an import load, resulting in detention charges that are spinning wildly out of control. The increases in cargo rollovers over the month of October serve as further proof that ocean container capacity has simply reached its limit.
Airfreight hasn’t had much luck escaping the whiplash that is 2020 either. Earlier in March when airlines were grounding passenger planes due to a shocking drop in revenue, the sector experienced a 44 percent YoY decrease in cargo capacity. Then came the scramble to transport PPE as quickly as possible, which produced a shift from typical passenger planes to cargo-only flights.
To sum up, with concerns surrounding the ability of supply chains to effectively manage Brexit and the recent formation of the world’s largest trade pact, it’s safe to say that 2020 is not quite done leaving its mark.
In this week’s international freight updates, we’re covering everything from the shortage of shipping containers, to the transition from ocean to air and rail, to research on supply chain risk management, to El Paso’s new role in trade, to the concerns surrounding COVID vaccine distribution, to efforts to limit detention and demurrage at key U.S. ports. Well, that was a mouthful. There’s clearly a lot going on, so let’s get to it.
Here’s our timely take on the most important issues that are currently affecting the day-to-day lives of logistics professionals everywhere around the globe:
We’re sure you’re already aware of the major container capacity crunch that’s going on in the ocean freight marketplace. While demand remains strong and volumes soar, shippers are pleading with authorities to help them as carriers focus on backhaul empties and rates on less popular lanes climb. Thanks to Chinese regulators discouraging any further rate increases, however, prices on China-U.S. lanes have continued to stay relatively untouched for over two months.
These equipment shortages are even impacting China-Europe rail capacity due to those who are jumping ship as a result of canceled sailings and rising air freight rates. According to JOC, “Rail demand is being driven by shippers balking at the sky-high air freight rates on Asia-Europe with most of the long-haul passenger fleet — source of half the available capacity on the route — still grounded. And unexpectedly high and ongoing peak season demand on the ocean trades is limiting Asia-Europe container shipping space.” Let’s also not forget about the significant disruptions many, especially those managing pharmaceuticals, will face once companies start distributing COVID-19 vaccines.
With their complex cold chain storage and transportation requirements, industry leaders are striving to proactively improve shipping visibility and efficiency by developing strategies that will address critical logistics gaps and stressors. Even if you aren’t directly dealing with these pharma problems, it’s probably a good idea to start reevaluating your shipping reliability and risk management based on the findings of a recent report on manufacturing costs in a post-pandemic world.
A topic every shipper hates is detention and demurrage and it turns out some shippers have finally decided enough is enough. A coalition has gotten the attention of the FMC and the situation at several U.S. ports is being investigated.
Last, but certainly not least, El Paso well-positioned as a key trade portal between the U.S. and Mexico. With a focus on improving logistics infrastructure, many large industry players are making big investments in the area. There is a lot going on at the border.
Want to go straight to the source? We understand. Check out the article highlights below:
Our team at Jaguar Freight visited the Maher Terminal in New Jersey. Our experience there helped us to see firsthand the inner workings of Maher Terminal. The tour was very informative and impressive to see how the containers are moved around the terminal.
Maher Terminals is one of the largest multi user container terminal operators in the world. As a vital link in the container cargo movement chain, they are responsible for helping customers effectively compete in the global marketplace by handling their cargo as expeditiously and economically as possible. Maher takes this responsibility very seriously and has developed North America’s largest marine container terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
This highly efficient container terminal operation strategically located in the heart of one of the world’s most affluent consumer markets provides ample container throughput capacity to efficiently meet and exceed the current and longer term operating requirements of their ocean carrier customers. The scope and flexibility of their highly automated multi user marine terminal operation truly makes their facilities a “Port within a Port.” This is best supported by the many ocean carriers that have been utilizing Maher’s facilities for decades, ranging from single trade lane operators to the world’s largest global alliances.
Founded in 1993 in New York and London, our roots are in logistics. As we’ve grown with our customers, we’ve developed state-of-the-art technology expertise that transforms logistics and shipping services into world-class supply chain solutions.
Clear supply chain leadership, expertly coordinated around the globe, backed by an exceptional degree of customer care. That’s what Jaguar delivers.