China – Exports surged 32.2 percent in June compared with the same month last year. The increase has come as a surprise to many as Yantian was partly closed for most of June and exports of medical supplies have begun to level off. Shipping rates have continued to rise since Yantian Port reopened. The increase is likely to continue as shippers start preparing for the Christmas shopping season.
Europe – Antwerp is the latest North European box port to suffer from the knock-on effect of terminal and quay congestion, with vessel berthing waiting times now extending to five days at the Belgium hub. chedule delays have prompted the 2M alliance partners Maersk and MSC to temporarily omit the Antwerp call on their AE55 / Griffin loop for a period of six weeks, starting from this week’s sailing from China of the 23,936 teu MSC Diletta.
USA – US imports from Asia in June totaled 1,521,431 TEU up almost 24 percent from a year ago. Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have been warned to expect a surge of imports from China later this month. This comes as a backlog of US-bound cargo that had built up in Yantian during the COVID-19 outbreak in May and June arrives at West Coast ports.
Bangladesh – A large volume of export containers are stuck off-dock at Chittagong. 15,553 teu of export containers are lying off-dock, 70% of them waiting for Maersk. It is reported that some containers have been waiting for almost 4 weeks. Normally only 6,000 teu would be stored off-docks. The increase is said to be partly due to the lack of feeder vessels, space shortage on mainland vessels and a lack of 40ft containers.
A sudden spike in demand in air cargo has been reported which is resulting in a very early peak forming. This is mainly down to the production backlogs and a knock on effect of sea freight congestion. It appears that as demand has increased massively, rates are on the up. Demand is expected to stay strong until the end of year as we edge into traditional peak season.
It has been another tough week for Roadfreight as the driver shortage situation escalates. Figures for the UK alone suggest the full scale of the driver shortage may not be realised for some time, but it is suggested there is a shortfall of at least 100,000 and very little to suggest a fix is forthcoming.
On top of Brexit and European drivers returning home, there are around 35,000 outstanding driving tests, that coupled with IR35 regulations relating to new tax issues for self-employed drivers are adding pressure on the industry.
As a result, costs have increased between 5-10% across the pallet, full trailer load and container haulage market. The impact has been felt industry-wide and the significantly reduced capacity affects final-mile delivery of products to the end consumer.