What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 39

Congestion at North American terminals as Covid takes its toll

Carriers are reporting a number of pinch-points at US and Canadian ports as container volumes have increased to in excess of pre-pandemic levels while inland infrastructure has suffered due to a lack of staff and terminal congestion.

Maersk has advised its customers that, “The peak season is being defined by a number of volume-related challenges and we encourage customers to add more buffer to supply chain schedules to allow for potential disruptions and delays.”

Source: Container News


Felixstowe port apologises to customers and rescinds empty container ban

The UK’s port of Felixstowe has issued an apology to customers for “inconvenience”, admitting that “our service standards are not currently where we would like them to be”.

On its website on Friday, the port attributed its problems to “a sharp spike in import container volumes, along with a high proportion of late vessel arrivals”.

It said it was taking measures to improve service levels, which included increasing its much-criticised vehicle booking system availability to more than 4,300 vehicles a day, opening on Sunday for haulage collection and recruiting more than 100 additional equipment drivers.

Source: The Loadstar


Port Houston container volumes gaining strength

Port Houston’s container activity in August neared 2019’s record volume levels for the first time since the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the month of August Port Houston handled 248,630 TEUs, only 4% less than August of 2019 when a total of 259,110 TEUs were handled. This also reflects a 5.9% gain over July of this year, when Port Houston handled 234,737 TEUs. In fact, August shows a significant increase in container volume as compared to the previous several months. Declines in March through July ranged from 10% through 16%.

Source: AJOT


Freighter conversion: a way to double an aircraft's life and add cargo capacity

Airlines are grappling with the difficulties of increasing their freight capacity while holding off adding unnecessary capacity into the passenger business.

Last week saw freight capacity increase 3%, according to WorldACD, while volumes fell 1%; yields remained stable, it added, at $2.82/kg.

Accenture’s Seabury revealed that the last two weeks of August had seen cargo capacity decline slightly, and that only 59% of the widebody passenger fleet’s cargo capacity was in the air.

Source: The Loadstar


Australian port congestion ongoing

In spite of the relief brought through the cancellation of imminent industrial action at DP World Australia’s (DPWA) terminal in Sydney congestion at a number of terminals remains.

As a result of ongoing industrial action organised by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) congestion at Port Botany, in south Sydney has carriers such as Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd take measures to make sure their services can maintain their schedules.

Source: Container News


Antwerp digitalises its container release processes

Port of Antwerp has introduced a new digital, secure and integrated solution for the release of containers, named "Certified Pick up" (CPu), which will commence from 1 January 2021 and will replace the current system of PIN codes.

The CPu platform receives and processes container information to generate an encrypted digital key, with which the eventual carrier can pick up the container. This digital key is only created when the final carrier is known.

The time between the creation of the digital key and the collection of the container is therefore minimal, highlighted the Belgian port in its announcement.

Source: Container News


Turkish Cargo builds up a global air bridge for special cargo shipments

Carrying 1 of each 20 air cargo carried around the world, Turkish Cargo increased its global market share to 5.4 percent from 3.9 percent by accomplishing a growth by 67 percent within the first half of 2020 thanks to its special cargo operations it has been maintaining by building up a global air bridge.

In addition to its wide flight network encompassing the globe, Turkish Cargo, being a notable logistics solution partner for the special cargo shipments by continuing its operations uninterruptedly, in particular from/to London, Dubai, Amsterdam and Maastricht, achieves to transport all special cargo shipments in particular the pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, dangerous goods and valuable cargo. The global air cargo brand carried 30 thousand tons of medicines and nearly 10 thousand tons of medical equipment between 1 February and 31 August 2020.

Source: AJOT


Drewry: Blanked Sailings Increasing but Less Impact Expected

During the spring and early summer, the ocean carriers blanked a large number of sailings departing Asia creating repercussions for shippers and ports. UK maritime research firm Drewry forecasts a new wave of canceled sailing in the coming weeks although they believe it will have less impact on shippers.

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Drewry Cancelled Sailing report shows that the ocean carriers canceled up to 46 East-West sailings every two weeks in April. By September they report that the number had fallen on average to just four canceled sailings per week.

Source: The Maritime Executive


Pharma, perishables and e-commerce driving air cargo recovery in India

India’s air cargo market is gathering steam, with exports leading the recovery, post-lockdown.

Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) saw 18,820 freighter movements between April and August, with general cargo volumes up 278% to 72,000 tonnes.

SpiceXpress, the cargo arm of low-cost carrier Spicejet, has also seen a big uptick in cargo volumes and revenue through the lockdown, when the focus switched to freight as passenger travel became almost non-existent.

Source: The Loadstar


Cargo volumes on China East-US Midwest witness 30% YoY growth: WorldACD

Based on the data for over 1.5 million shipments, August showed a year-over-year (YoY) drop of 17.2 per cent in worldwide volume and of 29 per cent in shipments carried.

However, it also showed a YoY increase in revenues (USD) of 37 per cent, owing to rates in USD that were 65 per cent higher than the year before (2.83 vs 1.71), it goes on to state. YoY, the origin region Asia Pacific lost least volume (-10 per cent), whilst the origins Europe and MESA (Middle East & South Asia) lost most (-25 per cent resp. -22 per cent). North America was – not for the first time – the one region that could not compensate for the YoY loss of volume with a sufficient rate hike.

But month-over-month (MoM), revenues from North America went up just slightly (+0.3 per cent) whilst worldwide revenues dropped by -1.4 per cent MoM. Preliminary figures for the first half of September indicate that volume remains at -17 per cent YoY. Taking a first look at yields in this period, they look stable so far at USD 2.83, the same as in August.

Source: The STATTradeTimes