Newsletter – January 29, 2021

  • Newsletter – January 29, 2021


    Hong Kong traders see Biden bounce for airfreight
    Hong Kong traders are optimistic about the airfreight outlook, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the US president, which might ease tensions between China and the US. Read more here.


    Is Lunar New Year the turning point for equipment shortages?
    Dive Brief:
    Ocean shipping analysts expect the equipment shortages that plagued shippers in 2020 to end at some point in 2021, though there are differing opinions on when the market will normalize and containers will become easier to acquire.  Read more here.

    Commentary: Breaking the backbone of trade
    Just when the congestion at the ports couldn’t get any worse, China’s latest maritime measure to control the spread of the coronavirus ahead of the Lunar New Year is going to add to the clog of containers. The proof is in the flow of containers.
    At the beginning of December, U.S. exporters like Scot Courtright, owner of Courtright Enterprises Inc. in Moses Lake, Washington, who exports hay and alfalfa out of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, received notification that the Chinese government was going to limit the movement of vessels between the Northern and Southern ports for the months of December, January and February. On Dec. 15, Chinese state media reported a virus outbreak in China’s northernmost port city of Dalian. Read more here.

    Box port delays causing service cancellations
    Major global container lines are being forced to cancel significant numbers of east-west services due to exceptionally long delays to vessels caused by congestion in Asian and North American ports.
    Reflecting the reality faced by box lines around the world, Hapag-Lloyd told customers this week that it was being forced to implement “a comprehensive schedule recovery plan to get vessels back in their intended positions”. The German line, the world’s fifth largest, said this “will result in some services not having a sailing for one to two weeks”, although the carrier stressed that this was in no way an indication that it was wanting to reduce capacity.  Read more here.

    Hapag-Lloyd operating profit exceeds $3bn after strong fourth quarter
    Hapag-Lloyd said its operating profit exceeded $3bn in 2020 following a strong fourth quarter, despite a slight fall in transported volumes during the year.
    It said preliminary figures showed earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) for the 2020 financial year of “more than $3bn,’’ with earnings before interest and taxes (ebit) at around $1.5bn. Read more here.

    ‘Win-win’ for shipowners, with charter market rates and vessel values soaring
    Containership owners have seen the value of their assets soar in the past few weeks, and they are said to be “raking in the money”.
    This week, shipbroker Braemar ACM reported the sale of the 6,350 teu post-panamax APL Norway at $31.5m, a 50% increase in the ship’s value since the beginning of December.  Read more here (login required).

    Longshore Union, Which Handles West Coast Containers, Could Face Bankruptcy
    SAN FRANCISCO — The union that handles every shipping container that crosses West Coast docks is bracing for bankruptcy. It’s a rare prospect for a bargaining group, and it’s rattling organized labor nationally.  Read more here.


     Canadian Prime Minister Expected To Increase Travel Restrictions
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is anticipated to announce measures to restrict international travel later today. He has warned the public not to take any trips that aren’t absolutely essential, saying that restrictions could be imposed at any time that could make it difficult for them to return. The aviation industry is calling for aid, as flying through the pandemic is set to get tougher. Read more here.


    The Changing Nature Of Returns Management
    One of the most expensive parts of e-commerce has taken on a whole new meaning over the last 12 months: returns. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in e-commerce sales that could not have been predicted. Starting in May, monthly e-commerce sales soared beyond a normal holiday season, with no signs of slowing down. The return rate on e-commerce purchases is typically at least double that of in-store purchases. And as more consumers turn to e-commerce over traditional in-store shopping, that rate is likely to climb. Read more here.

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