BDP Trendwatch: Retail imports near record pace despite port congestion as holiday season begins; Bangladeshi truckers call off strike; Transatlantic air cargo capacity boost from US reopening

Retail imports near record pace despite port congestion as holiday season begins

Imports at the nation’s congested container ports are expected to remain at near-record levels for the remainder of the year as retailers rush to move merchandise from docks to shelves in time to meet the expectations of holiday shoppers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Dockworkers are unloading ships as fast as they can, but the challenge is to move the containers out of the ports to make room for the next ship,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “We need better empty return procedures and more chassis, truck drivers, rail capacity and warehouse workers to keep the system moving. Retailers have enough inventory on hand to make sure shoppers won’t go home empty-handed this holiday season. But there are still items sitting on the docks or waiting on ships that need to make it to store shelves and online sellers’ warehouses. Retailers want to make sure customers have product choices.”



Bangladeshi truckers call off strike

Bangladeshi goods transporters have withdrawn the strike after enforcing it for 88 hours as the government assured them of meeting their demands.

After a meeting with Bangladesh’s home minister Asaduzzaman Khan at his office, the truck owners and workers on Monday night announced that they are going back to work.

The meeting has decided that the government would not lower the diesel price as it was hiked following price spiral in the global market. Rather, the minister will sit with the truck users so that truck owners can get higher rent.

Container News


Transatlantic air cargo capacity boost from US reopening

The transatlantic air cargo market is set to receive a major capacity boost from today as US air passenger services reopen to a large number of major markets.

IAG Cargo announced an increased schedule into the United States from today, as the country reopens to fully vaccinated passengers from destinations across the world. The new schedule will service 21 destinations across the country including additional capacity into key routes and the restart of the service into Newark.

“From 8 November, IAG Cargo customers will be able to access additional capacity on many destinations across the USA with the volumes of flights into New York, Austin, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, to name a few, increasing. As well as restarting its direct service into Newark, IAG Cargo also plans to restart services to Baltimore, Orlando, Tampa and Las Vegas from 15November 2021,” the European airline group said.

Lloyd´s Loading List


China posts record trade surplus in October as exports surge

China posted a record monthly trade surplus in October as exports surged despite global supply-chain disruptions.

Exports rose 27.1% in dollar terms last month from a year earlier to $300.2 billion, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Sunday. That was the 13th straight month of double digit growth, and exceeded economists’ expectations of a 22.8% gain. Imports increased 20.6%, leaving a trade surplus of $84.54 billion.

China’s trade growth has remained well above pre-pandemic levels all year. Its exports through October have already surpassed all of 2020.

AJOT, Bloomberg


The need for change: container shipping is an 'accident waiting to happen'

Onboard firefighting regulations have not kept pace with the rapid increase in the size of containerships, and the steel box used to transport goods is a fire risk, a maritime industry conference in London concluded.

Hosted by the London Branch of the Nautical Institute, on board HQS Wellington, industry stakeholders heard from speakers representing the insurance, surveying and salvage sectors on increased fire risks aboard today’s containerships.

One insurance delegate said, during a post-conference networking session, she was “shocked” by the serious issues from the day’s presentation.

The Loadstar


Cargo market expected to remain tight despite increased passenger demand

The resumption of passenger operations has been in the headlines this week as the US eases its travel restrictions, but this is not expected to result in a sudden weakening of the cargo market.

Lufthansa Group chief executive Carsten Spohr for one is expecting the cargo market to remain tight.

Speaking following the announcement of the company’s third-quarter results, Sphor said the increase in passenger demand does not necessarily equate to a direct jump in belly capacity as many aircraft were already flying routes which were profitable from cargo alone.



Tacoma clamps down on long-stay containers with new charge

Husky Terminal & Stevedoring, which operates the Husky Terminal at the Port of Tacoma in Washington, has implemented a “long stay rehandling charge” payable by cargo owners on import containers that dwell more than 15 days at the terminal, replicating similar box lingering charges to those recently implemented in Southern California.

The new policy, which took effect on November 1, imposes a one-time charge of $315 that must be paid before a container will be released.

Splash 24/7


Evergreen splashes out on 24,000TEU ships and more containers

Taiwanese liner operator Evergreen Marine Corporation has extended its spree on newbuildings and containers, as its profit continues to climb amid firming freight rates.

On 5 November, Evergreen unveiled orders for a pair of 24,000TEU ships from Jiangnan Shipyard.

Priced between US$140 million to US$160 million each, the newbuildings are expected to be delivered from 2024 to 2025.

Container News


Maersk: strong ocean freight demand to continue in first quarter 2022

Maersk CEO Soren Skou expects the strong demand for ocean freight to be maintained well into next year while also underlining that the normalisation of the market remains quite some way off.

“What we’re saying to the market is that we expect our fourth quarter to be more or less in line with our third quarter and that we expect the first quarter (2022) – which is pretty much as far out as we can see in our booking data – to be in line with the third and the fourth quarter. We will provide guidance on 2022 (full year outlook) when we usually do that, in February (next year), but for now, there’s plenty of demand from our customers,” he told Bloomberg TV in an interview.

Lloyd´s Loading List


Port of Felixstowe invests in electric equipment

Coinciding with United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Hutchison Ports-owned Port of Felixstowe has announced a major investment in new equipment to help decarbonise its operations.

United Kingdom's largest container port has placed orders for 48 battery-powered terminal tractors and 17 zero-emission Remote controlled Electric Rubber-Tyred Gantry cranes (ReARTG).

Container News