Newsletter – January 13, 2021
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
Cargo Airlines Go On Spending Spree As Passenger Planes Stay Grounded
2020 may have been a bust for commercial passenger airlines, with 2021 not looking much brighter, but it’s a different ballgame for cargo airlines. There was a big demand for air cargo in 2020, and that’s staying strong. The demand is fuelled by disruptions to normal supply chains and a huge increase in e-commerce. While many passenger airlines are culling their fleets and postponing orders, the opposite is happening at cargo carriers. Read more here.
TSA to reveal security plan for air cargo industry
Companies that purchase and provide transport on all-cargo aircraft will be closely watching whether the Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday offers an alternative security arrangement many believe is designed to help one company — Amazon — avoid screening every outbound shipment for explosives. Read more here.
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
US forwarders struggle with ‘insane’ pre-CNY ocean buildup
Transpacific ocean freight markets are showing no sign of cooling down as supply chain bottlenecks, equipment shortages, and a lack of capacity keep ocean logistics capacity tight and prices high.
Klaus Lysdal, the US-based vice president of operations at iContainers, told Lloyd’s Loading List the build-up to next month’s Chinese New Year holidays on the transpacific headhaul trade into the US was as “insane” as the latter months of 2020, with carriers failing to honour contracts and guaranteed slots only available at prices far higher than spot rates listed in public indexes. Read more here.
MSC Update on Canadian Supply Chain Congestion
MSC sent a message to customers this week, including the following information.
“The purpose of this message is to update you on the current situation as it relates to the overall supply chain congestion in Canadian ports:
“As you may be aware, major rail providers in the Greater Toronto Area are experiencing a high level of volumes and congestion in their yards. This is causing a ripple effect to other depots in the area as empty import return containers have had to be redirected to their yards. These depots are now reaching maximum capacity, resulting in longer wait times or an inability to accepting empty import returns until space becomes available.
“Our teams are working to resolve this backlog as quickly as possible and are starting to see results. Concerns may continue to be noted until early March 2021, based on overall demand and capacity.”
Shippers warned to prepare for bunker surcharge increase
Shippers were spared the worst impacts of the introduction of new low-sulphur fuel regulations last year due to a collapse in the price of oil following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
But as economic recovery continues and demand for oil returns alongside cuts by major oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, bunker prices are on the rise again. Read more here.
CANADA BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Government of Quebec Grants $55 Million to Contrecoeur Container Terminal Project
The Government of Quebec announced yesterday $55 million in financial assistance to the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) towards its expansion project in Contrecoeur.
While this support remains conditional on obtaining the required authorizations, the funding will be used to carry out the start-up phase of the development project for the new Contrecoeur container terminal, making it possible to undertake site preparation and earthworks, among other things, and to build a visual and sound barrier.
Alghabra named Canada’s new transport minister
Canada has a new federal transportation minister in the latest cabinet shuffle by governing Liberals, who are reportedly preparing for a potential spring election call.
Omar Alghabra — currently parliamentary secretary to the prime minister (public service renewal) and to the deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs – is the new transport minister. Read more here.
Porter Airlines Flight Resumption Pushed To Late March
Unfortunately, regional Canadian carrier Porter Airlines has decided to postpone its flight-resumption plan yet again. The most recent resumption date for Porter was February 11th. However, with the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec shattering records for COVID-19 cases, the airline has decided to push back its re-launch date to March 29th. This means Porter will have been absent from operating scheduled commercial services for over a year by the time it takes to the skies again. Read more here.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Packaging, PPE and surgical supplies: How COVID-19 is pushing hospitals to reduce waste
Acquiring enough personal protective equipment and supplies to test for and treat COVID-19 in the United States was a major challenge in 2020. With case numbers rising and vaccines rolling out, managing supplies and reducing waste continues as a huge issue this year. Read more here.