Newsletter – March 4, 2021
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
Global air cargo volumes recover to pre-Covid level inside 10 months
A robust global air cargo market has virtually completed its recovery to post-Covid volume levels inside 10 months, according to airline performance data for February 2021 from industry analysts CLIVE Data Services and TAC Index.
For the four weeks of last month, chargeable weight stood at just -1% compared to February 2019 and was 2% ahead of the same month of 2020. Niall van de Wouw, Managing Director of CLIVE Data Services, says airline passenger departments will be ‘dreaming of such a recovery in passenger demand.’ Read more here.
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Port of Halifax Improving Supply Chain Consistency
Supply chains continue to face challenges. While the Port of Halifax has had no vessels waiting for a berth, service bypasses and increased dwell did occur during February. So far in March, dwell times are decreasing with improving weather and the ongoing efforts of CN and the port’s terminal operators. Forecast vessel port calls are returning to near-normal in weeks 11 and 12. See the veesel forecast summary here.
West coast port congestion ‘could last until summer peak season’
Major port and landside congestion at US west coast ports could last until the summer peak season, according to ocean carriers attending the JOC’s virtual TPM21 conference this week.
Ocean Network Express (ONE) CEO Jeremy Nixon and Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen both warned of a “difficult” period leading up to the start of the traditional peak season. Read more here (login required).
Singapore port faces container congestion amid surge in vessel calls
Singapore — Container vessels planning to berth at Singapore port are now facing longer wait times, market sources said, with one source estimating that this has grown to five to seven days from a maximum of two days to turn around an 18,000 TEU vessel. “There is a lot of port congestion in Singapore, which is one of the biggest factors,” a freight-forwarder based in Singapore said. Vessels calling at Singapore have not departed on time since September, the freight-forwardersaid. Read more here.
GROUND AND RAIL UPDATES
‘Improved’ inventories still lagging sales growth; tailwind for trucking
The nation’s largest retailers are painting a more constructive picture on inventories. On a sequential comparison, merchandise levels have continued to recover from the widespread stockouts seen in the early days of the pandemic. But record demand throughout the summer, fall and holiday buying season have inventories still in need of significant replenishment, which is a favorable catalyst for trucking demand. Read more here.
CANADA BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Canadian economy enters 2021 with double digit growth
The Canadian economy sprinted to the finish line of 2020 with nearly double-digit growth in the fourth quarter, ending its worst year on record on a strong note that has continued into the start of 2021.
The economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6 percent over the last three months of 2020, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday, down from an annualized growth rate of 40.6 percent in the third quarter when the country fully emerged from the near-shutdown last spring. Read more here.
Trade with China fuels Vancouver port’s cargo volumes despite COVID-19 pandemic
Canadian trade with China jumped 18 per cent last year at the Port of Vancouver, fueling an overall increase in cargo volumes despite the pandemic.
China accounted for 34.9 million tones of exported and imported cargo in 2020, making it the largest trading partner with Canada at the Vancouver port. Read more here.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS- GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Inventories drop with no signs of softening demand: ISM
Manufacturing inventory levels declined in February following four months of growth, as supply chain delays and slowing supplier deliveries have dealt a blow to the industry, according to the latest figures from the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing report. Read more here.