Newsletter – May 11, 2021
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
Companies in desperate hunt for aircraft to move cargo
The airfreight market is so saturated that companies without precommitments, or the stomach to pay premiums, are having difficulty finding aircraft to move their goods. And import cargo keeps coming, on top of record volumes for air and ocean shipping, further straining an air logistics system stretched by a shortage of equipment and airport labor.
Logistics professionals and analysts say capacity is rapidly tightening as more shippers turn to air for cross-border transport, sending air cargo rates sharply higher. The market is already running at peak levels five months before peak season normally starts. Read more here (login required).
‘Bit of a gamble’ – carriers seek the right balance for belly cargo flights
Like other international cargo airports, Rickenbacker in Ohio has clocked up an impressive increase in freighter landings, with Silkway West Airlines the latest all-cargo operator to launch regular flights.
And the all-cargo gateway of Columbus has seen a steady flow of passenger planes on cargo missions, handling its 500th 777-300ER passenger freighter from a pool of five different airlines on 1 April. Read more here.
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Four out of 10 boxes rolled over, schedule reliability at an all-time low
In the space of a year the box rollover ratio at CMA CGM Australian subsidiary ANL leapt by 30%. At ANL’s parent a remarkable 56% of containers were rolled over last month. At transhipment ports around the world boxes are being rolled over, missing connections in a massive way – the worst offender being Malaysia’s Port Klang, where nearly two out of three transhipment containers were rolled last month.
These are some of the takeaways from the latest data from project44, a container tracking platform, which maintained in a release yesterday that maritime supply chain woes are worsening, with little indication that carriers are addressing the industry’s serious capacity issues. Read more here.
General Rate Increase – Indian Subcontinent (ISC) and Middle East to USA and Canada
Please be advised that in light of current market conditions, Hapag-Lloyd will apply a new General Rate Increase from Indian Subcontinent (ISC) and Middle East to USA and Canada as outlined below, with effective date June 1, 2021. Read more here.
Reefer container freight rates soar
Reefer container freight rates have risen sharply this year “but remain far outgunned by the inexorable rise in dry box pricing”, according to Drewry’s newly launched Reefer Shipping Forecaster report.
Drewry’s Reefer Container Freight Rate Index, a weighted average of reefer freight rates across the top 15 reefer intensive trade lanes, jumped 26% in the first quarter, on a seasonal uptick in cargo demand and rising bunker surcharges. This was its highest level since the Index was launched in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17), and rates are expected to rise further through the second quarter, Drewry said, adding: “However, these increases are modest compared to the inexorable rise in dry freight rates.” Read more here.
More port restrictions from India’s Covid wave exacerbate crew change crisis
The catastrophic rise of Covid cases in India has reignited the ships’ crew-change crisis, prompting fears it could become “worse than Suez”.
Last week, the port of Singapore banned vessels changing crew who had been in India within the past 14 days, with similar restrictions at the UAE’s Fujairah, a major bunkering hub, and Zhoushan in China. Read more here.
GROUND AND RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
Canadian Pacific, CN continue to lobby for merger support
Rivals Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) and CN (NYSE: CNI) are still at work seeking to convince the Surface Transportation Board (STB), industry stakeholders and Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) shareholders which Canadian railway is the best company suited to merge with Kansas City Southern (KCS).
CP and KCS had announced plans to merge in March, while CN said in April that it is also interested in acquiring KCS. Both CP and CN are Canadian railways, and they propose that a merger with KCS would create a railroad that has operations across Canada, the U.S. Midwest and into Mexico. Read more here (login required).
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
U.S. retail container imports hit new milestones
Imports at retail U.S. container ports hit a new record this spring and volume during the first half of 2021 is expected to be a third higher than last year as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
U.S. ports covered by the Global Port Tracker handled 2.27 million TEUs in March, the latest month for which final numbers are available. That was up 21.2 percent from February and set a new record for the number of containers seen during a single month since the National Retail Federation (NRF) began tracking imports in 2002. The previous record was 2.21 million TEU set last October. Read more here.