Welcome to the Zencargo weekly freight market update – the latest news from our freight and procurement teams on the real experience of shippers.
This week: Covid disruption in China and Vietnam

Vietnam and China ports hit by COVID outbreak disruption

Major ports in China and Vietnam are facing severe operational disruption.

As we covered in July, South Vietnam saw new lockdown measures introduced after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. According to Saigon Newport (SNP), yard density at Cat Lai is currently around 85%, with 106,700 teu clogging the terminal, although 2,000 containers were cleared a few days ago.

More worrying for some is the news from the Chinese ports of Shanghai and Ningbo. At Ningbo, the container facility on Meishan Island, which handled more than 5m teu last year, suspended operations on Wednesday after a port worker tested positive for COVID. Ningbo is the world’s third largest container port by volume, ahead of Yantian in fourth place, where disruption earlier this year caused ripples that are still being felt in global supply chains.

The ports of Shanghai and Ningbo were already congested following typhoon In-Fa last month, as well as delays caused by increased Covid testing for port workers and restrictions on vessel crew changes. The Loadstar reports there are currently 140 containerships now waiting at anchorage outside the two ports. While lockdown currently only applies to the Meishan area of Ningbo, any spread would likely cause severe delays.


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Ocean

Asia → North America

Rates

  • Hapag Lloyd has announced a new GRI from Indian Subcontinent (ISC) and Middle East to USA and Canada of between $800-$1000 per container, effective from September 1st.

Capacity

  • August retail imports are forecast at 2.37 million TEU, which would be up 12.6 percent year-over-year and top May’s record 2.33 million TEU, the largest number of containers imported during a single month since NRF began tracking imports in 2002.
  • MSC has announced the start of a new India – Med – US East Coast ‘Indus 2’ service from the end of August.

Ports

  • Port congestion continues, with AIS data showing around 30 ships at anchor in San Pedro Bay, offshore from Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Maersk has warned customers of severe delays.
  • On the east coast and in the south-east there are reports of two-week trucking delays to add to container dwell times, with further difficulties in sourcing chassis, exacerbated by ongoing rail congestion.

Asia → Europe (Far East Westbound)

Rates

  • CMA CGM has announced a new PSS on shipments from Pakistan to North Europe & the Mediterranean of $1500/ container, effective from August 16th.
  • CMA CGM has also announced a PCS on shipments to Liverpool of $150 per TEU, effective from August 15th.

Capacity

  • Chittagong congestion has mostly cleared, with berthing times for vessels now below a day.

Equipment

  • Release of equipment is still limited, with equipment running out within hours of depots opening.

Europe → USA (Transatlantic Westbound)

Rates

  • Valencia Containerised Freight Index (VCFI) for July has grown by 9.19%, making it the first year of growth in export freight from Valenciaport. VCFI for July stands at 3.427,43 points representing a spike of 242.74% since the beginning of the historical series in January 2018.
  • CMA CGM has announced a new PSS on shipments from North Europe to the USA, Canada & Mexico. Charges include $1,250 per 20′ and $1,500 per 40′ to the West Coast and $1,250 per 20′ and $1,750 per 40′ to the East Coast. Both are effective from September 1st.


Air

Asia

US market

  • Some regions in China are dealing with an outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19 and as a result a number of flights have been cancelled. MU/CK are cancelling all flights out of Shanghai into North America.
  • We will see more and more cargo departing via charters from airports such as NGB/FOC/CGO/HGH/HFE/CSX.
  • Spot rates available for heavy/dense cargo as well as volume cargo.
  • For all airports – rates and space must be checked on a case by case basis.

EU market (base airport like FRA/AMS/LUX, etc)

  • Some regions in China are dealing with an outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19 and as a result a number of flights have been cancelled. MU/CK are cancelling all flights out of Shanghai into CDG & FRA.
  • We will see more and more cargo departing via charters from airports such as NGB/FOC/CGO/HGH/HFE/CSX.
  • Rates and space must be checked on a case by case basis.
  • Spot rates available for heavy/dense cargo as well as volume cargo.

UK market

  • Some regions in China are dealing with an outbreak of the Delta variant of Covid-19 and as a result a number of flights have been cancelled. MU/CK are cancelling all flights out of Shanghai into North America and Europe.
  • We will see more and more cargo departing via charters from airports such as NGB/FOC/CGO/HGH/HFE/CSX.
  • There are good spot rates out there if other, regional airports can be used – but there are restrictions on commodities, so it is always best to check.
  • There are direct flights with CA/BA, AIR-AIR by SQ and normal air-truck service.
  • Rates and space must be checked on a case by case basis.
  • Spot rates available for heavy/dense cargo as well as volume cargo.

Americas

  • Rates remain mostly the same this week, into UK, Europe and Asia
  • Space remains constricted due to reduced capacity and staff shortages.
  • US hauliers are still over capacity. We are facing delays and storage charges due to long turn around times with breaking down freight and then long queues at the airports to collect freight. Main hubs such as ORD and LAX are the worst affected.
  • Certain ground handling agents in LAX and ORD are still severely behind with breaking down freight. In some cases this is taking up to 3 weeks. It is important to ask advice from a US agent when choosing your carriers into these airports as the ground handling agent is determined by the carrier.

Europe

  • Rates into North America and Asia remain stable this week.
  • Capacity to most regions remains severely restricted

Road

Availability

Availability generally reliable across all routes and regions, though there are signs of a general UK strike on August 23rd from drivers which will cause significant disruption.

Rates

Rates remain stable across consolidated, groupage and dedicated trailers on other routes.

Customs

Border situations have improved considerably with clearances running smoothly.

The route ahead

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