What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 45

Shippers hit lack of port workers and containers as lines add congestion surcharges

Shippers around the world face huge supply chain challenges from port congestion and an acute shortage of containers.

And one carrier source The Loadstar spoke to today said the problems “will get worse”.

“There are so many pinch points building now and they will only get worse before the holiday season and may well run until Chinese New Year [in February],” he warned.

Source: The Loadstar


Felixstowe bans empties again as congestion builds and vessels 'cut and run'

The embattled UK port of Felixstowe has again had to revert to refusing to accept empty containers, in a continuing effort to clear its congestion backlog.

According to customer notice from Taiwanese line Evergreen to UK shippers and forwarders, the port this morning announced it would “temporarily stop the restitution of all empty containers until further notice”.

UK forwarders said the ban would mean further challenges to inland container operations already suffering from severe congestion.

Source: The Loadstar


5 air cargo sustainability trends for 2021

Nothing expresses the importance of air cargo quite like the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) “Ode to Air Freight.” An estimated 7.4 billion parcels are flown each year, and approximately 2.5 million lives are saved every year thanks to vaccines shipped via air, according to the IATA.

Air transport is responsible for 2% of global carbon emissions. As government regulations evolve and public support to fight climate change increases, aviation companies are looking for new strategies to offset the negative impacts of air freight on the environment. Here are ways airlines and freight companies are trying to decarbonize.

Source: Freight Waves, American Shipper


China to halt key Australian imports in sweeping retaliation

China has ordered traders to stop purchasing at least seven categories of Australian commodities, ratcheting up tensions with its key trading partner in its most sweeping retaliation yet.

Commodities traders in China won’t be able to import products including coal, barley, copper ore and concentrate, sugar, timber, wine and lobster, according to people familiar with the situation. The government has ordered the halt to begin on Friday, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is sensitive.

Source: AJOT, Bloomberg


Waves of change: Assessing the potential impact of a carbon levy on shipping costs

The year 2020 has been one of unexpected change and it has been no different for the maritime space. On January 1, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) started enforcing a new regulation (IMO 2020) that caps the allowable sulfur content of all global fuel oil used in ships from its former level of 3.5% m/m (mass/mass) to 0.5% m/m. The demand destruction in the oil markets led to a flood of traders chartering vessels for floating storage and high volatility in charter prices. Between March 2020 and May 2020, one-year very large crude carrier (VLCC) rates increased 100%. The spot rate was even more volatile, with the TD1 route (Arabian Gulf to U.S. Gulf Coast) seeing over a 500% increase.

Source: AJOT


HMM and ONE add Pacific extra loader capacity

Extra loader Transpacific services are being extended by South Korean operator HMM, while Japanese carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) will also deploy tonnage in an effort to support regional exports.

HMM has been offering Korean shippers a monthly extra loader service since August while ONE will add a similar service for Japanese customers this month.

Source: Container News


New UK lockdown adds to pressure on transport firms training for post-Brexit

The UK government’s announcement of a month-long lockdown – in line with several other European countries – to try and stymy a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated problems for companies looking to prepare for Brexit.

A customs clearance operator told The Loadstar the news had led them to question their ability to sufficiently train staff in new, and as yet still not fully known, customs procedures before the end of the transition period on 31 December.

Source: The Loadstar


Only slowing demand will sort Asian container backlog

Ports on both sides of the Pacific will not see relief from the congestion that is currently blighting the facilities until there is a slow-down in trade volumes, according to the forwarder Worldwide Logistics.

Asian ports are running out of space and equipment as a backlog of cargo, some two-three weeks long is blighting the ports in China and Southeast Asia, with Jon Monroe from Worldwide saying that the ports are “Too far behind” to catch up until demand for cargo falls.

Source: Container News


Air France KLM sees cargo revenues improve despite volume decline

The Air France KLM Group (AFKLMP) continued to see an improvement in cargo revenues during the third quarter despite a decline in volumes.

The airline group registered 31.7% year-on-year increase in cargo revenues during the quarter, while cargo volumes dropped 20% compared with last year to 220,000 tons.

As a result of the coronavirus, cargo capacity for the period was down by 33.3% to 2,537m available tonne kms and the cargo load factor improved by 13.4 percentage points to 68.4%.

Source: Air Cargo News