What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 18

Blank sailings have reached their scheduled peak

The canceled sailings by ocean carriers brought on in response to the drop in consumer demand during the coronavirus pandemic has reached its scheduled peak, according to Sea-Intelligence. But carriers could announce more blank sailings to push the peak out further based on various macroeconomic factors and if carriers don't see shipper demand increase, Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy told Supply Chain Dive in an interview.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Battered and bruised, supply chains shift to recover-and-survive mode

When the timeline of the pandemic of 2020 is complete, March 24 will stand out as a day to remember for everyone from sports fans to anthropologists to cola drinkers.
Japan postponed the Summer Olympics that day. India put 1.3 billion people under lockdown. Inhabitants of the U.K. awoke to their first day in home confinement from the coronavirus. The World Health Organization warned the U.S. could become the new hub of the outbreak. President Donald Trump said he’d love to see the country reopen by Easter, just three weeks later.

Source: Bloomberg via Supply Chain Brain


China crackdown on shoddy PPE exports pushing air cargo rates even higher

A Beijing crackdown on shoddy medical exports has led to surging air cargo costs and congestion in South China.

Following widespread complaints of defective personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks and coronavirus test kits, the Chinese authorities have tightened quality controls and increased customs inspections.

New regulations include yesterday’s announcement by China’s Ministry of Commerce on strengthening the export quality supervision of “non-medical” masks, including a blacklist of suppliers which failed to gain export certification.

Source: The Loadstar


Uncleared import boxes clogging India's ports being used as 'free warehousing'

There seems no end in sight to the congestion choking India’s ports.

According to the Container Shipping Lines Association of India (CSLA), tens of thousands of uncleared import containers are clogging supply chains amid the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

CSLA executive director Sunil Vaswani said only 26,000 teu had been cleared from container freight stations (CFSs) near Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru port, leaving more than 100,000 teu lying uncollected.

Source: The Loadstar


IATA warns of “severe and immediate” air cargo capacity crunch

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that global air cargo is facing a “severe and immediate” capacity crunch as a result of Covid-19 and urged governments to offer more support to airlines and cut red tape.

“At present, we don’t have enough capacity to meet the remaining demand for air cargo,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s CEO.

“Volumes fell by over 15% in March compared to the previous year. But capacity plummeted by almost 23%.”

Global capacity shrank by 22.7% in March compared to the previous year.

Source: Aviation Business ME


20 Port authorities pledge to keep seaborne trade moving

Some 20 port authorities spanning four continents have signed a declaration pledging to keep ports open for seaborne trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 20 member ports of the Port Authorities Roundtable came together virtually last week to pledge that merchant ships can continue to berth and carry out cargo operations; best practises are adopted according to national circumstances; and port authorities continue to share experiences in combating COVID-19.

Source: Seatrade Maritime


FMC eases certain service contract filing requirements

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Monday, April 27, said it would temporarily allow service contracts to be filed up to 30 days after they take effect to provide relief to shippers and ocean container carriers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the FMC order, the relief becomes effective immediately and will last through December 31, 2020.

The relief measure was identified by the Fact Finding 29 Supply Chain Innovation Teams, which includes more than 50 industry representatives who hold regular telephone meetings with FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify pain points in container shipping due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spring is the period when most annual service contracts are concluded between ocean carriers and shippers.

Source: Freight Waves