BDP Trendwatch: Covid-19-fuelled peak may be bottoming out; Biden says action on China import tariffs still being discussed; UK train drivers vote to strike, threatening more chaos

Covid-19-fuelled peak may be bottoming out

The post-Covid-19 container demand boom appears to have peaked, based on Drewry's port throughput index, which showed a decline in April.

The Shanghai lockdown took its toll as volumes in the world's busiest port fell 25% in April, compared with March.

The Drewry Global Port Throughput Index increased by 1.7% month-on-month to reach 141.1 points in April 2022, 1.5% below the 143.1 points recorded in April 2021.

Container News

Biden says action on China import tariffs still being discussed

President Joe Biden said his administration is still discussing possible action on US tariffs on Chinese imports, after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she expects a decision “shortly.”

“No, we are having further discussions on that,” Biden told reporters in Delaware on Sunday when asked if there was a decision. 

Biden’s administration has been considering easing some Trump-era tariffs on consumer goods from China for some time amid divisions among his team. Senior US and Chinese officials discussed US economic sanctions and tariffs last week.

AJOT, Bloomberg

UK train drivers vote to strike, threatening more chaos

Britain’s train drivers’ union said members voted to strike over a pay dispute, a move that could bring some of the network to a near standstill for the second time in as many months.

The Aslef union said drivers at eight rail companies overwhelmingly gave the go-ahead for walkouts, potentially adding to a wave of industrial action that’s hit the country across a number of sectors. Travel was also halted in June by a three-day rail strike, the biggest in more than three decades.

Bloomberg, AJOT

All Nippon Airways changes Boeing 777 order to get next-gen freighters

All Nippon Airways said Monday it converted two of its 20 orders for Boeing’s next-generation 777 passenger aircraft, the 777-9, to the 777-8 cargo version, becoming the third airline to commit to the large future freighter since Boeing launched the program at the start of the year.

ANA is a large combination carrier that operates nine Boeing 767-300 medium-size freighters and two large 777 freighters, according to a March 2021 fact sheet. ANA said the new 777-8 cargo jets will enter service sometime in 2028 or 2029 and signifies the company’s growth plans for air cargo business.

FreightWaves, American Shipper

Container dwell fee on hold through July 15 at the Port of Long Beach

The San Pedro Bay ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will once again delay consideration of the “Container Dwell Fee” for another week, this time until July 15.

Since the program was announced on Oct. 25, the two ports have seen a combined decline of 10% in aging cargo on the docks.

The executive directors of both ports will reassess fee implementation after monitoring data over the next week. Fee implementation has been postponed by both ports since the start of the program. The Long Beach and Los Angeles Boards of Harbor Commissioners have both extended the fee program through July 28.


Boxship orderbook surpasses bulker and tanker newbuildings for first time

For the first time in history, the orderbook for container ships has exceeded those of bulk carriers and tankers.

Container freight rates were languishing for nearly a decade before Covid-19 struck in 2020, causing logistical bottlenecks as more people shopped online.

As freight rates soared to unprecedented highs, liner operators and tonnage providers embarked on a newbuilding ordering spree, and even companies such as Pacific International Lines, which was facing a financial crisis, recovered and commissioned newbuildings for the first time in seven years in March.

Container News

Air cargo reportedly back to normal at Shanghai Pudong Airport

The average daily frequency of cargo flights and freight volumes at Shanghai Pudong International Airport returned to a normal level in the first week of July, according to the Shanghai Airport Authority, said Xinhua.

Shanghai Pudong suffered with the impact of Shanghai’s two-month lockdown as flights were limited, factories and warehouses were shut down and trucks were restricted on roads.

AirCargo News

Singapore once again top shipping centre in the world

Singapore topped the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Report for another year.

In fact, this is the ninth year in a row that the report - jointly published by China's state news agency Xinhua and global maritime data provider Baltic Exchange - has ranked Singapore as the top shipping hub.

More specifically, Singapore scored 94.88/100, while the second one on the list, London, achieved a score of 83.04/100. The third place was taken by Shanghai with 82.79/100.

Container News

Sri Lankan ports operating normally despite political turmoil

Amid the worst political and economic turmoil in the country’s history, port operations around the island of Sri Lanka are managing to continue normally.

The country is broke, having failed to repay international loans, with fuel supplies limited and power outages now a daily occurrence.

The anger at the political ineptitude spilled out across the capital, Colombo, over the weekend with thousands of protesters storming and occupying the residencies of the nation’s president and prime minister.

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