BDP Trendwatch: More misery for shippers, Air cargo rates set to remain sky high, US box imports set record despite pandemic

Lufthansa first to apply surcharge on cargo trucked from UK to EU airports

Lufthansa Cargo has imposed security charges for all cargo departing the UK on road feeder services (RFS)  for onward flights out of its European hubs.

Following Brexit, EU law no longer recognises trucked cargo from the UK as secure, and requires such goods to undergo rescreening before onward flights.

Source: The Loadstar


More misery for shippers with return of bunker surcharges on the radar

As oil prices head north again, ocean carriers are preparing to ramp up low-sulphur fuel surcharges to add to the misery of shippers struggling with sky-high freight rates, surcharges and premium fees.

Since early September, the price of Brent crude has increased by 41%, to $55 a barrel, with an 8% spike alone last week driven by Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut output.

Source: The Loadstar


Rotterdam Shortsea Terminals expect Brexit to drive more trans-channel freight onto container ships in 2021

Cees van Pelt, manager technical operations, Rotterdam Shortsea Terminals (RST) warned that post-Brexit maritime commerce between the UK and Europe is likely to face congestion and delays during the first half of 2021 resulting, at least temporarily, in more Trans-Channel freight being transported by container ships as opposed to rail and Ro/Ro (Roll On/Roll Off ships).

In the meantime, RST is moving to unload some ships by moving some crane operators from the crane cab to the RST office for remote operations claiming it saves time and money and reduces injuries.

Source: AJOT


With air cargo rates set to remain sky high, shippers need to plan carefully

Accurate forecasting by shippers will be crucial to manage their shipping requirements - and costs - efficiently, as air freight rates look set to remain high this year.

The Baltic Air Freight Index saw a 100% year-on-year increase this week, while the past few weeks have seen the highest readings since the Q2 capacity shortage.

Source: The Loadstar


US box imports set for record in 2020 despite pandemic

US container imports seen during 2020 appear to be headed toward a new annual record despite the coronavirus pandemic, and remain at high levels as 2021 begins, according to the latest monthly Global Port Tracker report from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

“Nobody would have thought last spring that 2020 would be a record year for imports, but it was clearly an unpredictable year,” observed NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy, Jonathan Gold.

Source: Lloyd´s Loading List


Space on box ships out of Asia now going, going, gone – to the highest bidder

Major forwarders are engaged in fierce bidding wars in China, in order to secure equipment and space to North Europe.

And several carriers are reported to have opened first- and second-round tenders with the highest bidders for guaranteed shipment this month.

Source: The Loadstar


Don’t expect rate relief from container-ship order spike

In virtually any ocean shipping market, a big jump in newbuilding orders is a headwind for future freight rates. More capacity spread among competing owners strengthens the negotiating hand of cargo shippers.

According to Alphaliner, container-ship orders spiked in Q4 2020. Orders totaled to 673,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the highest quarterly tally since Q3 2015.

That’s a big jump and cargo shippers may hope for rate relief when those newbuilds eventually hit the water. But they probably won’t get it.

Source: FreightWaves, American Shipper


Freight body fears mounting UK-EU disruption from this week

UK freight representatives are concerned about significant delays to cargo this week at Britain’s borders as a return to normal levels of demand after the Christmas holiday lull meets post-Brexit red tape.

Although much-reduced post-Christmas freight demand levels limited the disruptions last week in the first days since Britain’s departure from EU single market and customs union rules, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) told The Times  there could be worse delays this week – because there would be many more lorries trying to cross the Channel to France and French customs officials were expected to be much stricter with drivers without the right documents.

Source: Lloyd´s Loading List


Amsterdam Airport restructures cargo division

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam will move the cargo department under the wing of airline operations beginning in March to create more coordination between the commercial and operations units.

Schiphol is the fourteenth largest airport in the world for international airfreight, according to the Airports Council International.

Source: FreightWaves, American Shipper


More misery for European exporters as carriers tighten Asia bookings

Carriers are imposing booking stops around Europe, as well as tightening the time allowed to pick up equipment prior to vessel departure dates.

The moves come as exporters from North Europe to Asia continue to struggle to secure equipment and vessel space.

One UK forwarder source told The Loadstar that, for one client, it had taken him over three weeks of searching in December to find a carrier prepared to offer equipment and space to a particular destination.

Source: The Loadstar