BDP Trendwatch: Exporting restarts at Yantian, but carriers bypass port as congestion reigns; X-Press Pearl 'a total loss' and hits rock bottom, despite efforts to move it; Coronavirus surge in India hits raw materials, manufacturing across multiple industries

Exporting restarts at Yantian, but carriers bypass port as congestion reigns 

Export operations resumed at Shenzhen’s port of Yantian on Monday, but a 20,000 container backlog and slow productivity means at least another week of delays. 

The past 48 hours saw a raft of schedule omissions, with ONE announcing 12 of its vessels would skip Yantian and nearby Shekou between 30 May and 13 June, and a further two services switching to Nansha, in Guangzhou. 

Hapag-Lloyd said it was temporarily switching two of its Far East loop sailings to Nansha, while Maersk said it would omit nine calls at Yantian and one at Shekou. 

Source: The Loadstar


X-Press Pearl 'a total loss' and hits rock bottom, despite efforts to move it 

The smouldering wreck of the X-Press Pearl has settled onto the ocean floor after water flooded the engine room, according to the latest information from its owner’s spokesman. 

Even though the aft of the vessel had settled on the seabed, the forward portion of the ship was still afloat and salvors had hoped to attach a tow line to move the ship away from the Sri Lankan coastline. 

Experts believe the vessel will now be declared a total loss and, while this has not been officially confirmed, an accident specialist told The Loadstar the latest images of the X-Press Pearl suggest there is no way back for a vessel that was only delivered in February. 

Source: The Loadstar


Coronavirus surge in India hits raw materials, manufacturing across multiple industries 

A wave of coronavirus cases in India has impacted manufacturing and production across multiple industries and regions, according to comments from executives and analysts. 

Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura Alber called the situation "heartbreaking," while noting the company's production in the region has been impacted. 

Gap is facing a raw material shortage as a result of the outbreak in India, CEO Sonia Syngal said Thursday. 

Case numbers in India have started to come down from their early May peak, according to figures from The New York Times. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows nearly 28 million reported COVID-19 cases in India since the pandemic began, although many experts believe the true figure is much higher. The U.S. has 33 million reported cases. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Erdogan vows to begin construction on Canal Istanbul in June 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the construction of a multi-billion dollar canal, an alternative to Istanbul’s Bosporus strait, will begin at the end of June as the pandemic continues to take its toll on the country’s ailing economy. 

Erdogan’s announcement on Saturday came a decade after he first revealed his “crazy project” and at a time when his support has hit an all-time low. The 45-kilometer (28-mile) Canal Istanbul would cost around $15 billion and link the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, officials say. 

The government says it is meant to ease shipping traffic and the risk of accidents in the Bosporus, which bisects Turkey’s biggest city. 

Source: AJOT


Slashing red tape helped airlines speed COVID vaccine shipments 

The airfreight industry has performed well during the first rollout of COVID vaccines, but air cargo professionals say they expect vaccine volumes shipped by air to increase this summer as more doses are produced and developed countries begin exporting more after immunizing their own populations. 

Initial fears that huge quantities of temperature-sensitive shipments would overwhelm a system handicapped by a severe shortage of aircraft, limited cold-storage infrastructure in developing nations and lack of clear pharmaceutical shipping specifications never materialized. 

Much of the distribution to this point has been in countries or regions producing the eight vaccines approved so far, enabling transportation to be accomplished by truck and domestic air networks that have fewer parked aircraft than international ones due to the pandemic-induced travel decline. Vaccines were also distributed in small, frequent batches, making it easier to manage. UNICEF recently said that in the 117 countries where vaccines were first delivered, the reliability of air transport schedules was 100%.

Source: Freight Waves


Ocean Freight: From famine to feast 

It’s important to take note of the rapid adaptation by ocean carriers to the elastic demand in international freight in 2020. The owners and operators went from famine to feast in a few months. 

Predictions of an end to global trade due to the pandemic and trade barriers were literally blown out of the water, with huge surges in demand for goods for consumers and large resellers. As of this month, western ports in North America are congested with cargo sitting on ships at anchor waiting for a berth to unload. 

At the beginning of the year, there was a sharp decrease in demand for shipping services since retailers hesitated to restock their shelves as the pandemic spread. The remarkable thing was how quickly cooperating competitors in freight markets reduced ocean shipping capacity to match these dwindling demands to keep rates higher than expected.

Source: Supply Chain 24/7


Transatlantic shippers get a taste of the Pacific as container rates rocket 

Shippers using the North Atlantic tradelanes are getting a taste of what their counterparts on the transpacific have been dealing with for some time. 

Westbound pricing is rising sharply in response to a combination of robust demand and equipment shortages. 

According to rate benchmarking platform Xeneta, spot rates for westbound containers last week were almost double those charged at the end of March. Meanwhile, container rates in Europe climbed 57% in the first four months of the year, largely helped by a 30% surge from March to April. 

Source: The Loadstar