Asia’s renewed surge in COVID-19 infections is compounding supply chain blockages across the world’s biggest source of manufactured goods.
After weathering earlier pandemic waves better than other regions, the fast-spreading delta variant has thrown into turmoil factories and ports in countries that were once among the most successful containing the virus.
The snarls in Asia - where the United Nations estimates around 42% of global exports are sourced - risk twisting their way through global supply chains just as shipments would usually ramp up for the Christmas holiday shopping season.
Ocean carriers are reported to be considering a new round of blank sailings from Asia around China’s Golden Week holiday, in the first week of October, to support their massive rate gains of the past year.
There has been no sign of any easing of the record high rates on the major transpacific and Asia to Europe tradelanes in the last few weeks, with the current lockdown at Ningbo’s Meishan terminal ensuring space will remain extremely tight right up to the national holiday.
The biggest U.S. trade gateway with Asia is clogged with the most inbound container vessels in more than six months, threatening to extend transportation delays, bite further into margins for American importers and boost prices for consumers.
Thirty-seven ships were anchored awaiting berth space outside the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, as of late Sunday, the most since early February, according to officials who monitor marine traffic in San Pedro Bay. That’s almost double the length of the queue in mid-July and close to the record of 40 anchored vessels set Feb. 1.
Barge delays have returned just days after European intermodal services reported a return to normality.
Congestion in China is again taking its toll on the inland market.
Operator Contargo warned shippers last week that, from Thursday until yesterday, the EMX Terminal in Rotterdam wouldn’t accept any empty containers.
North American railways have suddenly become hotter, and it has nothing to do with the summer heat.
Drama is ensuing over proposals for one of two major Canadian railways to acquire Kansas City Southern. Stakeholders across the supply chain are watching the situation unfold — especially shippers, who are trying to determine whether and how a cross-border acquisition by either entity could affect their movement of goods.
Cathay Pacific’s cargo capacity in July increased 12.1% month-on-month driven by the full resumption of its freighter schedule and a 33% increase in cargo-only passenger flights.
“All sales regions and route groups recorded healthy tonnage growth proportional to the increase in capacity, ensuring we sustained a high load factor of 81.8% across the month,” stated Passenger Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam.