BDP Trendwatch: KLM cargo flights continue, Cathay Pacific cargo capacity to be hit by new Covid requirements, Asia-Europe blankings for CNY

KLM cargo flights continue after Covid crew compromise

The feared suspension of all KLM long-haul flights, including cargo flights, due to new Covid protocols in the Netherlands has been averted, thanks to a compromise agreement reached between KLM and the Dutch government.

In an effort to further reduce the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government of the Netherlands last week announced a number of new far-reaching measures, including additional travel restrictions and testing requirements for airline crews, causing concern among representatives of cargo owners in the Netherlands after KLM said the new restrictions may cause it to cancel all its long-haul flights.

Source: Lloyd´s Loading List


Cathay Pacific cargo capacity to be hit by new Covid requirements

Cathay Pacific has warned that new Covid-19 requirements for pilots and crew will result in its cargo capacity being reduced by around a quarter.

The Hong Kong-headquartered airline said that in February, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government will implement a new 14-day hotel quarantine plus 7-day medical surveillance requirement for both its Hong Kong-based pilots and cabin crew.

Cathay Pacific Group chief customer and commercial officer Ronald Lam said: “The new measure will have a significant impact on our ability to service our passenger and cargo markets.

Source: AirCargo News


New blow for shippers as carriers announce Asia-Europe blankings for CNY

Ocean carriers are to cancel several headhaul sailings to North Europe around the Chinese New Year holiday next month.

It is a blow for beleaguered shippers that have managed, at great expense, to secure space on sailings that won’t happen.

2M partners Maersk and MSC intend to blank three advertised sailings from Asia to North Europe in weeks 5-7, including one vessel that will be allowed to ‘slide’ into the following week, maintaining existing bookings.

Source: The Loadstar


Port of LA offers $7.5m 'beat congestion' incentive to terminal operators

The port of Los Angeles (PoLA) is stepping up its battle against congestion at its container facilities.

With a new financial incentive programme for terminal operators, it is offering a total of $7.5m for faster truck turnaround times and for dual transactions.

The scheme starts on 1 February and terminal operators that cut their truck turn time between 5% and 20% will receive $0.50-$2.75 per teu, the compensation rate increases with the degree of improvement.

Source: The Loadstar


Shippers saw a need for bigger vessels, but they built them too big

Unless you’re involved with international commerce in some way, you might not have heard that the cost of shipping goods out of China is absolutely soaring right now.

Six months ago, the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index of spot shipping rates was at 1,022. Last week, it was close to 3,000. Bloomberg spoke with economist and historian Marc Levinson — author of “The Box,” a book on the container-shipping revolution — about what’s behind the skyrocketing prices. A key dynamic at play is, even though the U.S. is importing a ton of goods from China, there’s very little flow happening in the opposite direction.

Source: Supply Chain Brain, Bloomberg


Decline in UK road-borne exports also hitting imports

A lack of demand for road freight capacity from the UK, as a result of export volumes to the EU falling well short of normal levels almost one month after the end of the Brexit transition period, is making it difficult for importers to find trucks willing to make the journey to Britain because it is less financially worthwhile for hauliers than was previously the case, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

The trade body noted that most of the trucks transporting goods to the UK are not British-registered and that there has been a marked reduction in the number of hauliers who are ready to commit vehicles to crossing the Channel. It said this was likely due to concerns about being stuck at the ports, not having customs paperwork in order and the procedures for testing drivers for COVID.

Source: Lloyd´s Loading List


Maritime stakeholder initiative launches to resolve the crew change crisis

More than 300 companies and organisations have joined forces to help resolve the crew change crisis.

The Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change is a global call to action to address the ongoing crew change crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on concrete actions that can facilitate crew changes and keep vital global supply chains functioning. The maritime stakeholder initiative was developed by the Maritime Industry Crew Change Taskforce created by the Global Maritime Forum. The taskforce is chaired by Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Networks Express (ONE), and Graham Westgarth, chairman of V. Group, and brings together representatives of companies from across the maritime value chain as well as organisations including ICS, ITF, International Maritime Employers’ Council, the Global Maritime Forum and the World Economic Forum.

Source: Splash247


Is West Coast freight here to stay?

Chicago used to be considered the top freight market in the U.S. as a centralized location and solid infrastructure make it an ideal hub for distribution channels in the eastern half of the country. Understatement alert: Times have changed. Over the past two years, the Los Angeles markets have taken over as the nation’s leading point of origin. Trade wars and pandemics have driven most of this shift in shipping activity to the West Coast, thanks in large part to surging imports from Asia. So why is this important?

Source: FreightWaves


Dalian port suffers dramatic 42% decline in box volumes

The Chinese Ministry of Transport released full year figures at the end of last week for the country’s 24 largest mainland ports. The most eye-catching figures pertain to the Port of Dalian, which registered the largest annual percentage decline in box throughput for a port in excess of 1m teu in the history of containerisation. Dalian, located in northeast Liaoning province, saw its container throughput decline by 41.7%, sliding 3.7m teu year-on-year to finish on 5.11m teu.

Sources in the region point towards hinterland shifts, weakening GDP, reefer shipments dropping off and volumes shifting to nearby Yingkou as reasons for the spectacular drop in volumes.

Source: Splash247


Georgia Ports ends roller-coaster year on upside

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch described 2020 as a year of “the low of lows and high of highs.”

Those highs helped propel the GPA to move more than 4.68 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2020, a 1.8% increase over the year before.

“When we think about where we were in the July time frame, I never would have expected or anticipated that we would come out positive year-over-year for the annual number,” Lynch said. “In October we broke the all-time record. Then in November we topped that. We said, ‘OK, we might have a chance of closing out the year on the container side with positive numbers.’ And then December came through.”

Source: FreightWaves, American Shipper