Newsletter – March 31, 2023

  • Newsletter – March 31, 2023



    Weak demand and slimmer retail margins eat into airfreight spend
    Concerns over excess inventories at retailers are misplaced: the real issue is weak demand and low margins – which are cutting into airfreight spend.
    “I’m not sure that any retailers are overstocked – they are just balancing supply against anticipated demand, and the rise in interest rates won’t assist in that dynamic,” explained one senior European retail forwarder. Read more here (login required).

    Air Canada adds Liege freighter flights
    Air Canada Cargo has completed its first flight to Liege as part of plans to expand operations in Europe.
    The new Toronto-Liege flights will operate twice per week utilising one of the airline’s B767 freighters. Later this year a third frequency will be added.
    The service also includes a stop in Halifax. Read more here.


    Arbitration call as Canadian port labour negotiations go off the rails
    While contract negotiations between US west coast labour and marine terminals move at a snail’s pace, talks north of the border, in Canada, quickly came off the rails.
    After a few sessions, barely two weeks after the start of talks, the International Warehouse & Longshoremen’s Union (ILWU) stepped back from discussions with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) for a new contract at Canadian west coast ports, and asked the federal government in Ottawa for conciliation. Read more here (login required).

    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).

    Shippers pushed towards spot rates as contract negotiations stall
    While container spot rates on the Asia-Europe and transpacific tradelanes appear to have reached a nadir, start dates for many new long-term contracts remains uncertain.
    Indeed, with contract negotiations stalled and demand weak, shippers, BCOs and NVOCCs are switching a much higher percentage of their business to the spot market. Read more here (login required).

    Pest prevention guidelines updated for container shipping
    Industry groups representing different parts of the container supply chain – the Bureau International des Containers (BIC), the Container Owners Association (COA), the Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) and World Shipping Council (WSC) – are now launching an updated version of pest control guidelines for container shipping. Read more here.


    Current market a hindrance for carriers and brokers alike
    To say the least, the last few years for the transportation industry have been turbulent.
    Motor carriers enjoyed elevated demand from mid-2020 through spring ’22, an environment that provided plenty of freight for them to move and stronger rates as consumers spent their stimulus dollars. Read more here.


    Federal budget includes focus on supply chain
    The 2023 federal budget takes measures to address supply chain challenges.
    The measures included are described in the budget document as a “down payment on Canada’s National Supply Chain Strategy,” which the government promises will be released in the coming months. It will be informed by the recommendations of the National Supply Chain Task Force report. Read more here

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