BDP Trendwatch: Freight rates elevated more than 90% in one year; New shock for importers as shipping lines cut box free-time, despite haulier shortage; U.S. trade chief to engage with China on trade-deal shortfalls

Freight rates elevated more than 90% in one year

Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI) has revealed another monthly hike in long-term ocean freight rates, with global container prices rising by 3.2% in September, followed by a 2.2% increase in August and an unprecedented 28.1% jump in July, making rates now marking a remarkable surge of 91.5% over the previous year.

However, "there is little evidence to suggest a weakening of market fundamentals, meaning there could be more pain in store for shippers with colossal profits looming for carriers," noted Xeneta, the freight rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform.

Container News


New shock for importers as shipping lines cut box free-time, despite haulier shortage

Ocean carriers are ramping up the pressure on beleaguered shippers by reducing the amount of import container free-time at North European ports.

Millions of dollars in extra detention and demurrage (D&D) charges at the busiest box hubs will go straight to the balance sheets of carriers’ that currently enjoy billion-dollar profits on a quarterly basis.

Importers already face heavily congested landside operations and a shortage of container haulage right across the Le Havre-Hamburg range of hub ports, and now carriers are reducing the number of days containers can be stored before they attract onerous D&D fees.

The Loadstar


U.S. trade chief to engage with China on trade-deal shortfalls

The Biden administration will directly engage with Beijing in the coming days to enforce commitments in their trade deal and start a new process to exclude certain products from U.S. tariffs in an effort to help American workers and businesses, senior administration officials said.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is set to speak to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He soon, in what will be the first meeting where she will mainly stress China’s shortfalls in the agreement struck under former President Donald Trump. Tai is scheduled to lay out the issues Monday morning in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“I am committed to working through the many challenges ahead of us in this bilateral process in order to deliver meaningful results,” Tai will say, according to excerpts from her speech. “But above all else, we must defend – to the hilt – our economic interests.”

AJOT, Bloomberg


Chinese power cuts may disturb US$120 billion of trade flows

The current Chinese power shortages that have gripped the country could see US$120 billion of trade flows delayed, according to the risk modelling company, Russell Group.

Some of China’s key ports, including Ningbo, Guangzhou, Yantian and Shekou, are located within the affected provinces, while Shanghai and Ningbo also process many of the container exports from the Jiangsu province.

ICB's (Integrated Circuit Boards) were the most impacted commodity at US$1.5 billion which will affect suppliers and consumers as the world continues to reel from a global circuit chip shortage.

Container News


Planned UK restriction on EU operators will put the brakes on driver availability

Hauliers on both sides of the Channel have reacted with dismay at the UK’s announcement to discontinue access rights for EU operators transiting between the UK and non-EU states.

This will further restrict the number of available drivers from next year, they say.

A letter from the UK Department of Transport (DfT) seen by The Loadstar notes the changes mirror those prohibiting haulage of goods between EU and third countries for UK operators, and that they are due to take effect from 1 January, pending parliamentary approval.

The Loadstar


California Port’s 24-hour operation is going unused

Extended hours at the Port of Long Beach have gone unused by truckers for more than two weeks as dozens of container ships idle offshore, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A pilot program offering 24-hour container operations at Total Terminals International LLC — among the largest terminals at Long Beach — is an effort to cope with the flood of imports that has swamped the neighboring Los Angeles and Long Beach ports and snarled inland supply chains.



DP World opens empty container park in Southampton

DP World has opened an 11.5 acre empty container park at Southampton, aiming to increase storage capacity and maintain service levels for customers during the peak pre-Christmas season.

The new £3m (US$4m) facility will be able to hold additional empty containers to meet customers’ requirements, helping to keep supply chains moving at a time when dwell times at terminals across the UK have increased.

Container Management


Bunker surcharges resurface – 'justified by oil price spike', say carriers

As oil prices spike to multi-year highs of $80 a barrel, ocean carriers are preparing to dust off their bunker surcharge mechanisms to mitigate the impact.

Although several carriers, including CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd, have capped further FAK rate increases, surcharges were specifically excluded from their rate moratoriums.

Rotterdam-sourced LSFO (low-sulphur fuel oil) increased a further $4 yesterday, to $560 a tonne, having jumped 20% since the end of August.

The Loadstar


Ever Given docks at Qingdao yard, will reenter service in late October

This year’s most famous ship, the 20,388 teu Ever Given, finally docked at a Qingdao shipyard yesterday and is now undergoing assessments ahead of a busy repair schedule.

The Shoei Kisen-owned ship, which suffered damages when it grounded and blocked the Suez Canal in March, is now moored at Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, where its repair schedule is expected to last three weeks before it reenters service on an Asia-Europe loop operated by the Ocean Alliance. Much repair work will focus on the ship’s bulbous bow (pictured below at Qingdao yesterday), which was rammed hard into the right bank of the Suez Canal.

Splash 24/7


Port of Oakland attracts fourth first call service in 2021

MSC is launching a route between Oakland and Southeast Asia from November, marking the fourth first call service the US West Coast port has landed this year, as congestion persists in San Pedro Bay.

The weekly Sentosa service will link Oakland with ports in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

First calls are where ships make their initial US stop after sailing from Asia. The majority of US import cargo – usually time sensitive – is discharged at first ports of call.

Container Management


Panama Canal sets the stage for the path forward

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the status quo of the shipping industry. As supply chains shifted, trade patterns once solidified in their routines altered course and a whole industry began to adapt. This exposed areas up and down the supply chain that needed to reform to the demands and challenges of today, beyond pandemic preparedness.

Most notably, the latest IPCC report revealed that human influence has warmed the Earth’s climate at an alarming rate, and it is expected that global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions occur in the coming decades. This report sounded the alarm, and proved, furthermore, that inaction is unacceptable.



Jakarta government hooks up with carriers to bolster exports in capacity crisis

Indonesia has joined a list of governments that have stepped in to support local shippers affected by capacity and equipment shortages in container shipping.

The Ministry of Trade has teamed up with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to secure shipping slots from mainline operators to transport goods from Indonesia to Los Angeles, New York, Savannah, Baltimore and Florida in the US, as well as China, South Korea, Japan and other Asian locations.

The Loadstar