What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 19

Air cargo volumes looking 'less bad', as the market has 'probably bottomed'

We may have reached the bottom, if analyses by Clive Data Services, Freightos and major banks are correct.

Air cargo volumes, which fell rapidly in March, improved in the second half of last month.

But although April volumes were down 39%, year on year, and capacity was 45% lower, the past fortnight shows cargo volumes have become “less bad”.

Source: The Loadstar


Insurers warn of the risks of storing import containers away from terminal yards

The offer by shipping lines to temporarily store containers at way ports to avoid congestion at destination terminals has proved popular with European importers.

There has been a significant take-up of the products to help manage the reduced demand during the coronavirus crisis, which have been variously dubbed ‘delay in transit’, ‘suspension of transit’ and ‘detention in transit’.

However, there have been reports to The Loadstar of some instances where the wrong boxes have been selected for storage at the transit hubs.

Source: The Loadstar


COVID-19 pandemic threatens positive train control implementation

The COVID-19 pandemic could hamper freight and passenger railroads’ ability to meet the December 31 deadline on positive train control (PTC) implementation, according to an April 30 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“Unforeseen issues, in particular the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic, could delay railroads’ implementation and put railroads at risk of missing the extended deadline,” the report said. 

Source: FreightWaves


India eases restrictions, but interstate trucking remains a major challenge

India eased some lockdown restrictions yesterday, but bureaucratic hurdles still hamper interstate trucking.

According to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), only 25-30% of truck fleets are on the road, and restrictions at state borders are “impeding their movement.”

Drivers are being “harassed and forcibly taken” for coronavirus testing, AIMTC said, claiming others were being subjected to “extortion and corruption”.

“They [drivers] must be treated humanely, as being in the service of the people is not a crime,” AIMTC said.

Source: The Loadstar


Port of Oakland gets new service to Asia, includes Saudi Arabia

A sprawling vessel service begins this week with 18 megaships linking the Port of Oakland to Asia, including Saudi Arabia. A highlight of the new service: the first-ever direct link between Oakland and the Middle East. The Port said today that Japan’s ONE line would operate the new weekly service called the Far East-Pacific 2. The first ship in the service, the ONE Aquila, should arrive at Oakland International Container Terminal May 7.

Each of the ships in the service has capacity to carry 14,000 20-foot containers, the Port said. That places them among the largest container vessels calling at U.S. ports.

Source: AJOT

7 states form regional supply chain to buy $5B in medical equipment to fight coronavirus

States have been caught in a bidding war against each other, the federal government and private entities for medical equipment as the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S. Fierce competition for supplies like masks, isolation gowns, nasopharyngeal swabs, ventilators and more has led states to shell out prices far above market rates. For example, the price tag of a single ventilator has snowballed from $12,000 to $65,000, according to the comptroller of Illinois.

Source: Supply Chain Dive