Newsletter – March 2, 2021
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Message from the MEA
The Port of Montreal Longshoremen’s Union and the Maritime Employers Association, in collaboration with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service completed on February 28th, another continuous 4-day negotiation period.
Unfortunately, parties did not reach an agreement. Mediators contacted MEA representatives to summon them to a meeting on Friday, March 5.
We are now assessing all our options and we remain ready and available to negotiate.
Our priority is still to reach a settlement.
In order to comply with the truce concluded with the Port of Montreal Longshoremen’s Union, the Maritime Employers Association will not comment on the ongoing negotiations. This truce will remain in effect until March 21, 2021.
Container chaos will take through to Q3 to resolve: TPM
Shippers have been told they’ll need to wait through to the second half of the year before any semblance of normality returns to container trade flows. The CEOs of three of the world’s leading global carriers – Ocean Network Express (ONE), Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk – have been speaking at TPM, the world’s top container shipping event, organised by the Journal of Commerce, during which they discussed the current supply chain logjam and potential routes out of the ongoing container crunch. Read more here.
More blank sailings ‘a harbinger’ of soaring rates on the transatlantic
Container spot rates on the transatlantic headhaul North Europe to North America east coast tradelane have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but have so far not seen the hyper-inflation impacting other routes.
According to Friday’s Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) reading, the price for a 40ft container on the route stood at $2,026, which is on par with the rate in April last year and compares with a low of $1,622 in September. Read more here (login required).
It’s crucial that ports escape congestion and delays as global trade rebuilds
Few corners of the global container supply chain were left unscathed by severe congestion at terminals last year, but new data from IHS Markit, released today, shows just how significant the problem became.
According to the research group, vessel time in ports around the world shot up in the second half of last year, and it was the largest vessels that were most heavily affected by congestion. Read more here.
CANADA BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Go-Ahead for Port of Montreal to Expand in Contrecoeur
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a decision statement on the Port of Montreal Contrecoeur expansion project. The favourable decision, rendered after five years of consultations and analysis by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, makes it possible for the Port to now take a step toward obtaining permits. This means that the MPA can move forward on the future terminal in light of the terms and conditions adopted by the Minister.
Canada’s Porter Airlines Pushes Its Flight Resumption Back Again
Canadian Dash 8 operator Porter Airlines has once more pushed back the date for its service resumption. The regional carrier, based at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, will remain grounded until at least May 19th, citing government travel restrictions as the reason for the prolonged delay. Read more here.
Canadian industrial vacancy still hitting record lows
Canada’s market for industrial real estate approached the record low vacancy rate it hit a year ago at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
New research from JLL shows the vacancy rate was 2.7 percent at the end of 2020, just 10 basis points above last year’s record low. Read more here.
Feds developing comprehensive security plan
The Trudeau government is pressing ahead with efforts to counter economic-based threats to national security, such as theft of valuable intellectual property and damage to critical energy and information networks.
In its newly published plan for the coming year, Public Safety Canada says it will lead the development of a comprehensive framework across the government to deal with the broad range of risks to Canada’s economic well-being. Read more here.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS- GOVERNMENT UPDATES
NRF Forecasts Retail Sales to Exceed $4.33T in 2021 as Vaccine Rollout Expands
WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today issued its annual forecast, anticipating that retail sales will grow between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent to more than $4.33 trillion in 2021 as more individuals get vaccinated and the economy reopens.
“Despite the continuing health and economic challenges COVID-19 presents, we are very optimistic that healthy consumer fundamentals, pent-up demand and widespread distribution of the vaccine will generate increased economic growth, retail sales and consumer spending,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. Read more here.