Factories in at least ten Chinese provinces have either cut output or closed temporarily this month, after government-imposed power cuts to curb carbon emissions.
By Friday, at least 10 publicly listed companies told the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges their factory output had been hit by the power cuts, and their 2021 earnings could be adversely affected.
The cuts followed China’s economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, released a “dual-control” plan to restrict energy-intensive activities and consumption.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged Britons to stop panic-buying gas as the Petrol Retailers Association warned that a U.K. supply crisis that has led to pumps running dry is still days away from being sorted.
The government and fuel industry said Tuesday there are early signs supplies are increasing at gas stations, while demand is also reducing after people filled up their tanks in recent days. But there were long lines at forecourts, and some retailers still said supplies remain patchy.
“We’re starting to see the first signs of stabilization, which won’t yet be reflected in the queues, but is in the percentage of fuel now available” at gas stations, Shapps told broadcasters on Tuesday.
Barges are being turned into floating storage platforms to alleviate pressures on Northern Europe’s ocean terminals, as inland waterway operators report surging congestion.
Wait times at Rotterdam have sky-rocketed over the past week to almost seven days, masking a positive start to a month in which delays on inland services hit a near-five-year low around the 40-hour mark.
But on Friday, Contargo informed customers wait times for barge handling had hit 163 hours for Rotterdam and 43 hours for Antwerp, but failed to explain the cause.
Such is the severity of the current air cargo capacity squeeze that there will be shipments for which (air) transport solutions cannot be found between now and the end of year, a leading air charter broker has warned.
”Most widebody freighters have been secured by major forwarders, e-commerce firms and express courier companies on long term programmes leaving very little air cargo charter capacity available as the peak season approaches,” Chapman Freeborn’s Group Cargo Director, Operations, Pierre Van der Stichele, told Lloyd’s Loading List in an interview.
He added: “And these same market players continue to contact to us to ask if we have more aircraft to offer such is their need for extra capacity. The market is saturated right now and I do not believe everything will fly as intended.”
Strikes planned at ports across Australia threaten to cripple imports ahead of Christmas.
The Maritime Union of Australia has launched industrial action at Patrick Terminals sites in Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney, in what the shipping container terminal operator has described as “bewildering”.
Patrick Terminals CEO Michael Jovic says the company has been negotiating with the union since February 2020 and has held nearly 70 meetings to finalise a new enterprise agreement.
Maersk says it expects to see “early signs of a pre-Chinese New Year rush in December”, and is advising customers to plan their supply chains “well ahead”.
It also notes that inventory levels in Europe and the US are at their lowest on record and that, even when retail demand declines, “we will see cargo volumes continue to remain strong” as inventory levels are rebuilt.
The carrier said it was taking steps to “rationalise” its service coverage and reduce the number of port calls, in an attempt to speed-up schedules and improve reliability.
Huge relief comes in for Indian exporters as the Indian government has extended the deadline by three months for the re-export of imported vessels lying at different domestic ports. Duty-free imports of containers are allowed currently with the condition of re-export in the next six months.
According to the government notification, this extension of the timeline for re-export of imported vessels will reduce the export of empty containers from the country on the ground of imposition of import duty thereby increasing the availability of containers for trade. The government has also chalked out several other relief measures that include turning the focus on bulk exports to tackle container shortage. Spaces in ships will be used with optimisation ensuring minimum use and unnecessary movement of containers.
The head of the port of Los Angeles has asked the federal government to switch priorities in terms of port investment areas to help alleviate supply chain crunches hitting the nation’s retailers.
Speaking with Bloomberg Television yesterday, Gene Seroka, the port’s executive director, claimed the government has spent approximately $11bn in the eastern Gulf coast compared with roughly $1bn in the west coast over the past decade.
“That’s got to change,” Seroka said, going on to provide some updated relevant data affecting port operations at his port, which has been battling its busiest backlog of containers all year long.
The Port of Vancouver has registered the busiest throughput in container volumes during the first six months of the year.
In particular, the port handled 1.9 million TEU during the first half of 2021, showing an increase of 24% compared to the same period of 2020, and a growth of 15% over the previous record set in 2019.
In addition, imports noted a year-on-year rise of 20%, reaching 989,442TEU, while exports grew by 29% to 954,650TEU.
Hapag-Lloyd is investing in the JadeWeserPort deep-water port in Wilhelmshaven just days after Cosco acquired a stake in a rival container port in Hamburg. The company is taking over 30% of the container terminal and 50% of the shares of the rail terminal at JadeWeserPort.
Hapag-Lloyd took over the shares from Maersk’s APM Terminals, but it is not known how much the Hamburg-based liner paid. The remaining 70% is to remain with the Bremen terminal operator, Eurogate.
Subject to approval by the antitrust authorities, contract closing is expected within a few months.