Zencargo Market Update: 21st MarchMar 21, 2022
In focus: P&O Ferries pauses its services in a bid to hire new agency staff
Last week, P&O Ferries announced that their 800 crew members were to be made redundant and replaced with cheaper agency workers.
The company suspended services for over a week to locate new crew members on the Dover to Calais, Larne to Cairnryan, Dublin to Liverpool and Hull to Rotterdam routes.
P&O ferries carry about 15% of all freight cargo in and out of the UK. They have advised customers to look at rival ferry company, DFDS, as an alternative.
Businesses should communicate with their freight forwarding partners to understand whether their imports or exports will be affected by this announcement.
- Due to Covid-19 lockdowns, China’s ports are seeing shipping queues and logistics disruptions.
- Maersk has announced that Shenzhen and Shanghai ports are still operating as usual, however the major lockdown in Shenzhen has caused warehouses and container freight stations to remain closed until Sunday.
- Trucking restrictions due to the lockdown may potentially impact the pick up of ocean freight both from the restricted area or from outside Shenzhen.
- Even though ports are open, they are operating with fewer terminal handling staff.
- Cross-border trucking with Hong Kong is also affected as Hong Kong has also gone into lockdown. Warehouses in Hong Kong have reduced capacity for cargo handling, causing delays for handling and loading.
- There have been reports of increasing delays outside Chinese ports.
- Last week, 262 vessels were recorded off the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo and Zhoushan. This increased from 243 vessels the week before.
- See equipment availability below:
Central China to USA and Europe
- Shanghai is seeing an influx in COVID-19 cases, therefore many people are working from home. However, this has no impact on airfreight operations as bookings can be made online or by phone.
- From SHA to the US and Europe, rates have increased slightly.
- The epidemic controls at PVG airport are still in place. However, there are no rules that are specific to Omicron due to the day-to-day control on COVID-19.
- Over 40% of cargo flights are cancelled
- Terminals are at 50% in terms of labour resources.
- Rates are stable from NGB to the US and Europe. Final rates should be checked on a case-by-case basis.
- Please collaborate with your partners and book space in advance.
North China to USA and Europe
- From TSN Airport to the USA and Europe, space is tight due to the lack of carriers available.
- Due to the rise in COVID cases, some factories are closed and trucking companies face strict traffic policies.
- Terminal warehouses are operating at lower efficiencies and this will affect the market.
- All cargo should be checked on a case-by-case basis with cargo details and required estimated time of arrivals.
- Air rates from PEK Airport to the US and Europe remain level compared to last week.
- Space is more available however, neighbouring cities and provinces such as Hebei and Shandong are suffering from tighter restrictions.
South China to USA and Europe
- From CAN Airport to the USA and Europe, space has increased as SZX has lifted their lockdown restrictions.
- However, space is still tight at SZX so please check with your carriers on a case-by-case basis.
- Due to the situation in Ukraine, airlines are making adjustments to their flight schedules. Under these circumstances, air costs will increase dramatically.
- All shipments need to be checked with carriers on a case-by-case basis.
- Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, trucking services have been limited as there has been a control on the amount of trucks entering Beijing.
- Trucking services will have greater lead times or may be locked down in some areas.
- The impact of COVID-19 lockdowns in China has raised concerns about sailing disruptions in India.
- Most empties returning to India have historically arrived on intra-Asia routes. Indian executives at major carriers have begun to send out cautionary signals that lockdowns could disrupt vessel flow which is already constrained.
- They have warned that vessel operations will experience delays, leading to congestion at ports and even potential blank sailings as vessels may attempt to keep their schedules.
- Wan Hai Lines has announced that four 1,200 TEU ships will be added to its Asia-East India network.
- The rotation will be: Haiphong, Zhanjiang, Nansha, Cat Lai, Port Klang (North Port), Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Port Klang (North Port) and back to Haiphong.
- This will start on 27th March from Haiphong.
- China’s lockdowns could result in further disruption to US ports.
- The closure of factories over the Chinese New Year period gave the ports of LA and Long Beach some respite as it allowed them to work through the backlog of pandemic-driven cargo.
- The number of ships waiting for a berth fell to 43 last week, down from 109 in early January.
- However, the effects of the Shenzhen lockdown at one of China’s busiest ports will cause ripple effects on the USA’s busiest gateways.
- Using last year’s COVID outbreak in Shenzhen as an example, import volumes decreased by 14% from the San Pedro Bay area and the effects were felt for two months.
- The current lockdown is also much bigger compared to last year, therefore the effects could last longer.
- Once lockdowns are lifted, the East Coast ports may experience a big surge in cargo which will be detrimental as they are suffering from equipment and labour shortages and congestion at docks.
- The Ever Forward remains stuck in Chesapeake Bay in the US.
- The grounding has not caused any vessel damage and there is no fuel leaking.
- A team of experts are working to refloat and free the ship.
- The vessel was reported to have departed from the Port of Baltimore and shipping in and out of the port has not been impacted.
- The cause of the situation remains unclear.
- Michigan’s Capital Region International Airport (LAN) will receive $8.3m in US federal funding to expand.
- LAN Airport handles around 25,000 tonnes of cargo annually and its airfreight operations continue to grow each year.
- The funding is put towards creating 63% more cargo ramp space.
- The cargo ramp expansion is expected to cost $11.9m and the additional funds will come from the Airport Improvement Programme and local match dollars.
- Antwerp Port Authority has formed a task force to tackle delays along its inland waterways.
- The taskforce will be working with private operators to address the congestion crisis across North Europe’s barge operations.
- The major problem experienced by barge operators is tied to the increasing number of ultra-large container vessels. Port terminals have not been equipped to handle the increased number of containers coming in.
UK and Rest of Europe
- MSC has announced a new direct service operating from the Port of Gothenburg to the United States.
- The first call departs from the APM terminals in the Port of Gothenburg on 31st March and will reach New York 11 days later.
- The loop will kick off with the MSC Cornelia and will continue through Philadelphia and Norfolk and then the vessel will return to Scandinavia and the Baltics.
- Lufthansa Cargo has launched a new European service from Frankfurt to Dublin with their A321 freighter, named Hello Europe.
- In August, a second freighter plane will be added to this network.
- The first loop will cover: Frankfurt – Dublin – Manchester – Malta – Tel Aviv – Istanbul and Tunis.
- Rising e-commerce volumes have partly contributed to this decision.
P&O Ferry Cancellations Leading To Delays
The ferry operator, P&O, has cancelled all of its services for the next few days claiming that it is “not a viable business” in its current state. Unfortunately this has resulted in around 800 UK seafaring workers losing their jobs.
Their website suggests that there will be significant disruption across their ferry services during the next few days, which they are working on minimising.
Reports in the national press are suggesting that the company is planning to use agency workers to maintain their services going forward.
From a road transport perspective, with P&O operating numerous routes between the UK and Europe, this has already led to disruption and delays at ports, including Dover and Calais, and we expect this to continue until the situation is resolved.
Zencargo are continuing to monitor the situation. If you require further information about current or upcoming orders, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Spain trucker strike sparks supply chain tensions
An open-ended strike by some Spanish lorry drivers over mounting fuel prices has triggered supply chain problems in Spain, leaving several sectors struggling to cope.
The Spanish Federation of Food and Drink Industries (FIAB) has urged the government to act against road blockages in some industrial areas in Spain that have partially compromised the supply of cattle feed to farms, packaging materials to factories and the flow of some fresh products to supermarkets.
There may be some delays on shipments transiting through Spain and Zencargo are closely following the daily developments.
The Ukraine crisis is beginning to have an impact on road freight.
Although reports are unclear, protestors are attempting to stop trucks driving into Belarus from Poland at the crossing point at Koroszczyn.
Intermodal terminals are based in this location and interface with rail-based Eurasian Landbridge services. Although there are reports of queues of vehicles, it seems road freight is still capable of moving between Poland and Belarus, if slowly.
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.
March 25th – GR
April 7th – CH*
April 8th – DE*
April 10th – BA*, ES*
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
The information that is available in the Weekly Market Update comes from a variety of online sources, partners and our won teams. Click below to learn more about how Zencargo can help make your supply chain your competitive advantage.
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