BDP Trendwatch: Box shortages and port congestion now an 'industry-wide challenge' across Asia, WorldACD: March a mixed month for air cargo, Carriers need to box clever with equipment as new and used prices soar

Box shortages and port congestion now an 'industry-wide challenge' across Asia

Equipment shortages in Asia will get worse over the next two weeks, say carriers, impacting both deepsea and intra-Asia trades.

Maersk has told customers the strong cargo demand out of Asia Pacific would likely continue throughout the second-quarter, but…

“Schedule reliability is impacted by two main factors: recent delays from Europe via Suez Canal; and lower port productivity, especially on transpacific and European trade routes,” the company added.

Source: The Loadstar


WorldACD: March a mixed month for air cargo

March was a month of two halves for air cargo in terms of year-on-year performance as 2020’s lockdowns began to skew comparisons, according to data provider WorldACD.

The latest figures from WorldACD show that demand in March was 21% up on last year. However, in the first half of the month there was a 0.2% decrease on a year earlier, while the second half was up 44%.

“A clear reminder that the first lockdown started to bite air cargo by mid-March 2020,” WorldACD said.

Source: Air Cargo News


Carriers need to box clever with equipment as new and used prices soar

Ocean carriers are doing whatever it takes to hold onto chartered ships, and are investing heavily in container control systems to maximise their box fleets.

During a press briefing this month, Hapag-Lloyd chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said current market conditions had increased container usage time by some 20%, compared with pre-pandemic.

“In reality, this means you need about 20% more boxes to transport the same amount of goods,” he said.

Source: The Loadstar


UNCTAD urges regulators to fight for greater liner pricing transparency

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has urged regulators to push for greater transparency in container shipping amid a protracted period of record rates and dire on time performance by the world’s top liners.

UNCTAD issued Policy Brief 84 on Monday in which it examines why freight rates have surged along with recommendations for governments to try and clamp down on any liner attempts to coerce market conditions.

Source: Splash 24/7


Relief at Cathay Pacific Cargo as Hong Kong relaxes crew quarantine rule

Hong Kong has eased its airline crew quarantine measures – a move that will allow Cathay Pacific to regain its full complement of cargo capacity.

In February, Hong Kong imposed a 14-day quarantine for locally based crew, forcing Cathay to cut 25% of its cargo capacity, and raising its monthly cash burn by some $50m.

But the government has now lifted the quarantine requirement for crew who are fully vaccinated – excluding those in the UK and South Africa.

Source: The Loadstar


Evergreen blocked from offloading cargo from Ever Given

The 20,000 teu Ever Given (IMO: 9811000) was arrested by Egyptian authorities, pending settlement of the Suez Canal Authority’s almost $1bn claim for compensation, after the grounding of the vessel shut down the key waterway for six days last month.

In a statement released on Friday, the Taiwan-based line said it was investigating the possibility of the vessel and its cargo being treated separately, so that it could remove cargo to other vessels, allowing it to continue to its destination.

But according to a spokesman for Evergreen, the Egyptian courts have since clarified that both the vessel and its cargo are under arrest and the company’s request has been denied.

Source: Lloyd´s Loading List


US consumer demand for goods and low inventories will keep freight rates high

Consumers in the United States, and the country’s low retail inventories, could keep freight rates elevated, even post-pandemic.

According to Alan Murphy, CEO & partner at Sea-Intelligence, a resurgence of consumer spending on services in favour of physical goods, won’t necessarily put a dent in the record freight levels seen during the Covid-crisis.

Source: The Loadstar


Oakland tops L.A. area as ships inundate world’s ports

Los Angeles port officials see progress in reducing their bottleneck of cargo ships. Sail north to Oakland, though, and the line is even longer and there’s talk of the congestion lasting through the summer.

As of Friday, 25 container carriers were waiting to enter the Port of Oakland at anchor in San Francisco Bay and in a holding area offshore, up from 21 at the beginning of the week and little changed from a month earlier, a spokesman said. Outside the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the queue was 21 ships long, also about the same as in mid-March.

Source: SupplyChainBrain


Federal Maritime Commission further deregulates service contracts

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will begin this year what it calls a “new era of flexibility” for service contract filing for container lines and their U.S. importer and exporter customers.

An amended rule that takes effect on June 2 will allow ocean carriers to file original service contracts with the agency up to 30 days after they go into effect. Current regulations require that they be filed with the FMC before an ocean carrier is allowed to receive and move cargo under the terms of that contract.

When the rule change was proposed in October, then-FMC Chairman Michael Khouri saw it as one of many made recently by the agency to ease administrative burdens on the container shipping industry while still keeping the FMC’s mandate to preserve competition within U.S. international trade.

Source: FreightWaves, American Shipper


Cargo theft remains high in 2020 despite lockdowns

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region saw cargo crime continue at a high rate last year despite Covid lockdowns limiting the movement of people.

Figures from the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Cargo Theft Annual Report shows that 6,463 cargo thefts were reported across 56 countries last year.

The organisation said that the number of actual incidents is likely to be much higher as the number reported on its database was likely restricted by Covid.

Source: AirCargoNews


Panama Canal Authority postpones planned price hike to relief of shipping industry

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has postponed price increases on canal transit reservation system fees, which were due to come into effect on April 15, 2021, in light of industry concerns.

A joint letter sent by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) expressed concerns over the “significant increase” of the fees.

Source: Container Management


Airfreight rates predicted to remain ‘strong’ in the long term

Airfreight rates are expected to remain at an elevated level in the long term while freighters are expected to gain market share, according to a new whitepaper from Transport Intelligence (Ti).

The whitepaper predicts that there is a high likelyhood of structural change in the airfreight market as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report cites recent predictions from Boeing that the air fleet will grow by 3.2% annually over the coming 20 years, while cargo demand is expected to increase by around 4% each year over that same time frame.

Source: Air Cargo News