What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 43

2020 in numbers: The year of freighters and preighters

The airfreight sector had just come out of its worst year for traffic in a decade, driven by weak global trade, with a 3.3% fall in freight tonne-kilometres (FTKs) during 2019, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Demand began to plummet in March, with a fall of almost 28% in April, before a slight recovery to a 13.5% drop in July, according to IATA data.

Compared to the passenger market’s first half year traffic reduction of 58.4%, cargo seemed to escape relatively lightly with just a 14.5% fall, but there have been many challenges.

Source: Air Cargo News


Brexit Talks Hit Stalemate After Call Between Chief Negotiators

Talks between Britain and the European Union over a post-Brexit trade deal are mired in a stalemate after a call between the two sides’ chief negotiators concluded without a breakthrough.

David Frost and Michel Barnier held discussions for the second day running on Tuesday as they tried to restart talks that were suspended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday.

“Our door remains open,” Barnier tweeted after the call. “We should be making the most out of the little time left.”

Source: Bloomberg


'We're sold out' says ONE, but we all face new hurdles in 'this incredible year'

As container shipping’s rollercoaster year continues a steep climb, one senior carrier executive has declared: “We’re sold out.”

Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE), said 2020, with global lockdowns and subsequent swings in demand, had been an “incredible year”.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this,” he said during an International Chamber of Shipping webinar.

Source: The Loadstar


Cargo levels remain below 2019 at key European, Asian airports

Three major cargo airports in Asia and Europe continue to lose volume because of the paucity of passenger flights during the coronavirus pandemic, but the situation is marginally better than in early summer.

Hong Kong International Airport, the largest cargo airport in the world, has gradually increased freight volumes since the bottom of the COVID crisis earlier this year, but September volumes slipped slightly from the prior month. The Hong Kong Airport Authority said cargo tonnage fell 4.4% year-over-year, to 380,000 tons, despite a 25% spike in freighter movements. In August, cargo volume contracted 3.5%. For the year, cargo is down 8.5%.

Source: Freight Waves, American Shipper


The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé set a new world record for the number of full containers loaded on a single vessel

On her departure from Singapore last week, the CMA CGM Group’s new flagship was carrying a record 20,723 full containers. A record set by a world leader in shipping and logistics.

Featuring a host of innovations, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE clearly demonstrates the CMA CGM Group’s commitment to energy transition in the shipping industry. LNG is currently the industry’s best available technology for preserving air quality, and also provides an initial response to the challenge of tackling climate change.

After joining the Group’s fleet on 22nd September, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE is now on her maiden voyage on the CMA CGM Group’s iconic French Asia Line (FAL 1), connecting Asia with Europe. This line provides a weekly service comprising 13 calls over the course of 84 days.

Source: AJOT


China’s economy plows on as world’s only major growth engine

China’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued in the third quarter and showed signs of broadening in September as consumer spending accelerated, keeping the economy on track to be the world’s only major growth engine this year.

Gross domestic product expanded 4.9% in the third quarter from a year ago, missing economists’ forecast for a 5.5% expansion. Both retail sales and industrial production gained momentum in September, reassuring markets that the recovery is on track.

Source: AJOT, Bloomberg


Freighters will be 'very near and dear' for the next three years - Boeing

All-cargo aircraft must continue to shoulder a higher share of international freight flows, as passenger networks are expected to take years to recover – widebodies plying longhaul sectors being the last to return to normal.

Boeing’s recent 10-year market forecast shows the impact of Covid-19 on passenger travel and the need for aircraft to serve the market, and predicts 18,350 jet aircraft deliveries over the period, which is 11% lower than its projections a year ago.

Source: The Loadstar


How Panama Canal navigated COVID, drought and trade war

The Panama Canal debuted a $5-billion-plus set of larger locks in 2016, only months before a trade war broke out between the U.S. and China — the waterway’s two largest transit sources. The canal, which relies on water availability, suffered one its worst droughts ever in 2019. And then came the coronavirus. Carriers slashed Asia-East Coast services transiting the canal in the second quarter of 2020. In the third quarter, U.S. importers flocked to Asia-West Coast services boasting faster transit times.

And yet, despite all of this, the canal is not in crisis mode. Far from it. Overall cargo volumes are increasing as gains in some segments offset declines in others.

Source: Freight Waves, American Shipper


Shippers Near Global Deal to Cut Greenhouse Gas Pollution

Almost 200 countries are nearing a legally-binding agreement to reduce pollution from the world’s cargo ships, a step forward after two years of talks on how the industry should clean up its emissions.

A series of virtual meetings will start on Monday hosted by the United Nations shipping agency over a new rating system that will measure the carbon intensity of 60,000 large ships that haul everything from containers to crude oil.

Source: Supply Chain Brain


Belgian and Dutch Ports Join Together for Shore Power for Inland Ships

Belgian and Dutch ports are working together on a plan to establish a single shore-based power system to support the inland shipping industry as well as river cruise ships. The goal is by working together to develop a user-friendly system that will provide moored vessels with power and support the sustainability goals of the region.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Port of Amsterdam, North Sea Port Netherlands, Drechtsteden, the Port of Antwerp, and De Vlaamse Waterweg intend to work together to set up the new shore-based power system. They hope that other parties that offer shore-based power may also decide to join the new agreement and that it will lead to a standardization of the approach to supplying shore power to inland shipping.

Source: The Maritime Executive


Pain for US importers appears far from over as seasonal stock pours in

Retailers are concerned about delays to their holiday merchandise, as robust import volumes are straining the US west coast gateways.

In particular, they claim, the port complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach is already struggling with lengthening transit times.

According to the Port Tracker report, published monthly by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, US container ports handled 2.1m teu of imports in August, up 9.7% month on month, and 8% year on year, to reach the highest monthly level on record.

Source: The Loadstar


India limits non-scheduled freighter flights to six airports

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has limited non-scheduled and ad hoc cargo flights by foreign carriers to six airports.

The change in country’s open sky policy was made following a government review and it is hoped the move will promote India’s airfreight carriers.

“The changes have been made with a view to ensure fair and equal opportunity in the air cargo capacity offered by Indian registered airlines and airlines registered elsewhere,” a circular from the Ministry of Civil Aviation read.

Source: Air Cargo News


As trade rebounds in Australia, war of words erupts over surcharges

Although trade with the Far East is booming, shipping line surcharges in Australia are “spiralling out of control” – and carriers blame port congestion.

Last week, Alphaliner highlighted a significant increase in cargo demand in Australia, coinciding with the country’s peak season.

“The rise is fuelled both by the Far East-Australia trade itself and by increased transhipment activity to and from other regions,” according to the analyst.

Source: The Loadstar