At the beginning of every year, carriers announce blank sailings that coincide with Chinese New Year. In 2020, that number surged beyond what is normally expected, as factories in China remained shuttered as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Now, blank sailings have entered a third phase associated with the impact of the global pandemic and lower consumer demand, Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy told Supply Chain Dive in an interview.
Source: Supply Chain Dive
Ships and their crews must be able to trade freely with minimal port restrictions to ensure supply lines don't collapse while the coronavirus places many major cities around the globe under lockdown.
The call to the Group of 20 major economies was made jointly by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH). It comes as ships are being quarantined for up to two weeks and seafarers held up as many countries worldwide impose lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus.
Source: Asian Shipper
According to the China Ports and Harbors Association, eight major container ports’ maintained throughput growth for last week, with ports in Hubei is resuming operations.
The eight major container ports in China posted 3.4% growth on container cargo volume last week, among them, the port of Dalian and Guangzhou achieved an increase of over 25%.
The crude oil throughput at major Chinese ports increased 3.5%, and the iron ore throughput increased 6.3%.
Source: Seatrade Maritime News
Airfreight volumes are declining at an increased pace – last week, figures were down, year on year, by 48%.
This follows 27% and 11% declines recorded the previous two weeks, according to Clive Data Services, and supports anecdotal evidence revealed in The Loadstar last week.
The biggest pace of decline was seen on Europe to North America, down 51% last week year-on-year. The least affected lane was Asia Pacific to Europe, down 35%.
Source: The Loadstar
Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero says: “We are coping with an unpredicted crisis caused by COVID-19 virus and the threats it poses to the supply chain.”
In an interview with AJOT, Cordero said “our first priority is the protection of the work force and ensuring that all of the people that work at the Port of Long Beach complex are safe and protected from contamination.”
He noted: “It is with this priority in mind that the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have agreed to set aside one hour for the cleaning of equipment and machinery between shifts. This is an important precaution for us to protect our workers. However, what this means is that trucks are backed up at the gates waiting to pick up and deliver containers and so this adds a complication to the process but so far there have been no serious disruptions.”
Blank sailings peaked earlier this year as a result of factories in China being shut down by the coronavirus outbreak, but with factories now beginning to restart production, the new batch of ship cancellations is due more to the drop in consumer spending that is leading retailers to cancel orders.
With consumers not spending money at shuttered retail locations, retailers are canceling orders with suppliers. Many of those suppliers are shuttering as a result and ocean carriers are blanking sailings to keep supply in line with demand.
Source: Supply Chain Dive
Factories across the U.S., Asia and Europe cut output and jobs at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis, a sign the global economy has entered a deep freeze as governments lock down their populations in an effort to contain the novel coronavirus and minimize mortality.
In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February. Readings above 50 indicate activity is expanding across the manufacturing sector, while those below 50 signal contraction. The index has been in contractionary territory for six of the past eight months.
Source: The Wall Street Journal