Zencargo Market Update: 11th AprilApr 11, 2022
In focus: Ocean carriers are preparing to announce blank sailings in response to the lockdown in Shanghai
Covid restrictions in China have caused factory operations to be suspended. This means that demand for space has decreased as fewer goods are produced.
As space on ships are not being filled as quickly, ocean carriers are starting to consider adjustments to their schedules. For example, Maersk has upgraded its customer advisory from ‘a few vessels will be omitting Shanghai’ to ‘several vessels will be omitting Shanghai’.
Businesses should speak to their freight forwarding partners to discuss whether this move will affect any shipments in the coming weeks.
- Covid restrictions are yet to be lifted in Shanghai. This has affected port operations in the region.
- Trucking availability has been impacted as virus testing has prevented some drivers from picking up imports at ports.
- A shortage of trucks to haul containers from the port is affecting the clearance of imports. Although the port is operating normally, the number of containers are piling up which means that some ships may not be able to unload any more boxes at the port.
- Refrigerated goods are especially affected due to no availability of plugs for reefer containers.
- Reports have noted that 350 vessels are in the queue for a berth and are currently waiting for 24-48 hours.
- Maersk has offered the choice of changing destinations at no charge, if there is an estimated arrival date of up to 15th April.
- MSC has advised customers about the lack of trucking availability in Shanghai and how it is affecting imports.
- Spot rates are currently declining as export cargo has declined from suspended manufacturing caused by the Covid lockdown.
- However, rates may spike again once operations in Shanghai return to normal.
- There have been warnings that the number of Covid cases in Ningbo and Guangzhou is on the rise.
- With China’s zero-Covid policy, please keep an eye on any developments.
- See below for equipment availability
Central China to USA and Europe
- Covid-19 restrictions in China have affected trucking services in the area.
- However, daily operations at PVG Airport remain normal.
- If cargo can be delivered to PVG Airport, flights could still be arranged for goods.
- Many flights have been closed from NGB Airport and rates have increased this week.
- Final rates depend on a case-by-case basis.
North China to USA and Europe
- The air market is currently tight for TSN Airport. Due to the Covid restrictions, some factory production has been suspended and trucking services are delayed.
- Terminal handling is also facing lower efficiency.
- For PEK Airport, space has become tight after the CNY holiday. This combined with the Covid-19 restrictions in neighbouring cities (Hebei/Shandong/Jilin) has caused air rates to increase.
- Trucking services are disrupted as drivers are facing restrictions from entering the area.
- The advice is to reconfirm rates and space 4-5 days in advance.
South China to USA and Europe
- Some flights from CAN airport have been changed to charter flights this week as Shanghai is still in lockdown.
- Air China has cancelled many flights to London Heathrow Airport, Milan Malpensa Airport and Frankfurt Airport.
- Space is tight and all shipments need to be checked with carriers on a case-by-case basis. Spot rates may be available for dense cargo.
- The market and rates remain stable between SZX to the USA but it has increased to Europe.
- From XMN Airport, freight has decreased compared to last week due to the situation in Shanghai.
- The flow of transhipment cargo over Colombo Port in Sri Lanka is facing increasing disruption.
- On top of congestion, Colombo is experiencing other pressures such as the economic downturn in the country.
- The shortage of diesel and infrastructure issues have affected port operations in Colombo.
- Therefore, shipping lines are diverting cargo from the East coast to the West to try and alleviate the situation.
- Maersk will be diverting export shipments out of India’s East Coast ports to West Coast ports by deploying dedicated block trains.
- Nhava Sheva and Mundra are the two focal points for long-haul services out of India.
- Ocean container dwell times at major gateways on the US West Coast have increased in recent weeks.
- The availability of rail equipment and chassis has also decreased.
- This has forced terminal and port operators to slow the unloading of containerships.
- The Port of Long Beach has announced concerns that terminals are running out of room to accommodate imports as boxes are staying longer on site before being moved.
- Average container dwell times at the port increased from 3.5 days in January to 5.2 days in February. This has increased to 7 days in March.
- This problem has spread to other ports such as the ports of Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma.
- As of Wednesday, there were ships with more container capacity stuck outside US East Coast ports compared to US West Coast ports.
- 15 container ships are waiting outside the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Long Beach, carrying a total of 95,000 TEUs.
- 18 vessels are waiting at Charleston and South Carolina and a further 12 at Norfolk and Virginia, carrying a total of 209,000 TEUs.
- Inland waterways in the Benelux region are facing a number of disruptions:
- There is over a three day wait for inland services to Rotterdam.
- Shippers in Antwerp are waiting for an estimated 40 hours to receive shipments.
- Barge operator, Contargo, has announced an emergency surcharge of €25 per container, blaming the charge on the surging cost of fuel from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Belgium has blocked €196.4 billion in Russian financial transactions in line with European sanctions on Russia.
- In Belgium’s ports, 23,191 containers have been checked and 20,601 of these were released.
- In the Port of Zeebrugge, 1000 vehicles intended for sale in Russia have been seized.
- The assets that have been seized are goods that have been purchased by Russian customers prior to the sanctions.
- The 2M Alliance has restored the Port of Felixstowe in its services this week.
- Maersk announced that capacity at Felixstowe improved, therefore, it has restored the direct call of its AE7/Condor loop.
- The 2M Alliance dropped the loop in November due to berth waiting times and high year density.
- However, the 2M Alliance has also decided to include Felixstowe in their blank sailings at the end of April on its AE6/Lion loop service.
- According to the Port of Dover’s harbour board, truck queues have now been cleared.
- Traffic backlogs have been increasing since P&O Ferries sacked 800 of their staff in mid-March.
- To clear this congestion, the Port of Dover has worked with ferry operators, the Kent Resilience Forum, National Highways and Kent Police to clear freight backlogs.
- The port is still working to minimise disruption despite the constraints of capacity.
- However, further disruption may occur over the Easter weekend.
- Freight prices have consistently risen for the past 14 months.
- New industry index data reveals March’s average haulage and courier price-per-mile was up 12% year-on-year.
- The average price-per-mile for haulage and courier vehicles increased from 100.6 points to 112.2 points between March 2021 and March 2022, according to the TEG Road Transport Price Index. These year-on-year increases have now continued for 14 months due to Brexit, driver shortages, high fuel prices and various other factors.
European Bank Holidays
We anticipate a shortage of availability and the occurrence of delays around the bank holiday periods. Plan ahead and allow extra time for your products to be delivered.
April 14th – DK, ES, NO
April 15th – AD, CH, CZ, DE, DK, ES, EE, FI, GB, HU, LV, NO, NL, PT, SE, SK
April 16th – DK
April 17th – BA, DE, DK, EE, FI, HU, IT, LT, LV, NO, NL, PT, PL, SE, SI
April 18th – AT, AD, BE, BA, CH, CZ, DE, DK, ES, FR, FI, FL, GB, HU, HR, IT, IE, LU, LT, LV, NO, NL, PL, SE, SK, SI
April 22nd – BG, BA, GR, ME, RO, RS
April 23rd – BG, TR
April 24th – BG, GR, MD, RO, RS, UA
April 25th – BG, BA, GR, IT, MD, ME, PT, RO, RS, UA
April 27th – NL, SI
*Not in all regions
The route ahead
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