13-minute read (45-minute listen)
Lockdowns, ports congestion, war, lack of slots and flights – you name it, the supply chain has seen it all.
In this podcast of the Loadstar, a news resource for the global logistics industry, Mike King looks at the implications of more Covid-19 lockdowns in China, the latest on air and shipping capacity and prices, port congestion challenges, and what war in Europe is doing to air cargo markets.
China Import and Export Fair, aka Canton Fair, is one of the biggest trade events on the international trading calendar.
It is a platform for people who want to source products from China or current importers who want to see the latest China has to offer, find out about new trends for specific types of products, look for ideas for their bus ...
Competition authorities around the world – including our own here in New Zealand – are investigating the current state of container shipping markets and the rates being charged to exporters and importers.
Shippers and freight forwarders are irate about freight rates, restricted access to slots, and the expansion of shipping lines into other parts of the market. It has led to several calls for action.
It takes something unusual for shipping to catch the attention of the mainstream public – such as the Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal – or the fire onboard the Felicity Ace and her subsequent sinking.
That interest wasn’t so much in the fact it was a ship fire – it was the fact that she was full of luxury cars. The thought of 4000 Volkswagen-Audi Group vehicles going to the bottom of the sea, with a value of something like NZ$550 million, became an international fascination.
The record-high prices of oil and commodities continue to bring challenges to a civil aviation sector worldwide that’s been hit hard by COVID. The industry has also been impacted by the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine in ways not seen for many years.
However, the industry still does its best not to forget about the environmental challenges as it pursues to progress towards the Flying Net Zero CO2 project.
There is no doubt container carriers are reaping record profits at the expense of cargo owners.
International maritime analysts Drewry recently stated that “ocean carriers have generated about US$190 billion of annual profits and about US$130 billion of fresh cash in 2021, obtained mainly by charging higher prices”.
Nonetheless, it is fair to say that there are also some additional areas of expenses they have to deal with, such as spiralling charter costs and high prices for second-hand container vessels (even older vessels that may otherwise have been heading for the scrapyard).
10-minute read (23-minute listen)
Exporters are forced to charter private ships to ferry produce to foreign markets amid Covid driven cargo crisis. Meat producers and fresh fruit and vegetable producers are struggling to get goods to overseas buyers because of the ongoing containership congestion problem.
As more goods are being shipped and delays lay siege to best-by dates, meat company Affco has resorted to chartering private vessels to get exports – valued at close to $120m – to their overseas markets.
There is nothing like detention and demurrage charges that affect the relationships between shipping lines, importers, customs agents and freight forwarders. Over the years, the disputes were taken to tribunals and courts.
Therefore, there’s likely to be significant interest in a fascinating case currently going through the deliberation process by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the US Government body that oversees competition in that country’s supply chain.
Returning disruptive elements in the supply chain to anything resembling normality will take a lot longer than shippers, freight forwarders, ports, and governments will hope. One of the key disruptors, schedule reliability, is in the spotlight.
Even though supply chain problems continue to plague the industry, it appears that COVID is now entering an endemic phase rather than a pandemic, says Alan Murphy, CEO, Sea-Intelligence.
As such, it is also the time to take stock and contemplate how long it will take the supply chain to normalise, he says.
Demand for air cargo increased by 6.9% in 2021, compared to 2019 (pre-COVID levels) and 18.7% compared to 2020, following a strong performance in December 2021, according to IATA data for global air freight markets.
This was the second biggest improvement in year-on-year demand since IATA started to monitor cargo performance in 1990 (behind the 2010s 20.6% gain), outpacing the 9.8% rise in global goods trade by 8.9 percentage points.