Newsletter – March 29, 2023

  • Newsletter – March 29, 2023


    Trans-Atlantic container rates still double pre-COVID levels
    Container shipping rates are not back to normal quite yet. Trans-Pacific rates have returned to pre-COVID levels, but pricing in trans-Atlantic markets has not.
    Spot container rates from Europe to the U.S. — while falling — are still more than twice pre-pandemic rates. U.S. imports from Europe remain strong, with building materials supporting volumes. Read more here.

    Banking crises lead inexorably to shipping crises
    There might be a problem with banks, or there might not be. All we can say for sure, today, is that UBS has acquired the Greek private client business that used to be such a prized possession of Credit Suisse; so UBS has accidentally become a shipping bank, and that Deutsche Bank, which accidentally became a shipping bank a few years ago, is once more the subject of rumours, which, of course, is the default condition of Deutsche Bank. Move along, please, nothing to see here.  Read more here.

    House panel eyes ending ocean carriers’ antitrust exemption
    In a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, members of Congress discussed overturning antitrust immunity that ocean carriers have enjoyed for decades.
    The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee hearing also included discussion on requiring ocean container companies to load more domestic exports, while reconsidering how detention and demurrage charges are applied to U.S. exporters. Read more here.


    Retail sector grapples with shifting consumer behavior
    It is normal for consumers to take a shopping break after the winter holidays, leading to lower retail volumes during the first quarter of the new year. This year, however, shoppers are weathering more than just the typical post-Christmas budget crunch.
    Folks have been hit hard by inflation, and the rising cost of everyday necessities — coupled with fears surrounding a potential recession — has led to higher-than-expected levels of hesitation around spending. Read more here.

    What’s contributing to freight market volatility chaos?
    It’s no secret the freight industry is highly cyclical.
    “Every year or two there is a recession and then there’s a spike, specifically in the freight industry,” said Margie Hamlin, head of operations and accounts at Leaf Logistics. Read more here.

    Jittery US retailers remain cautious over their logistics commitments
    Logistics providers are finding the US retail sector a harder nut to crack this year.
    Merchants are grappling with stubbornly high inventory and uncertainty over how much longer consumers can sustain spending in a high-inflation environment. Read more here (login required).

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