Newsletter- August 30, 2022
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
US-China spat set to squeeze capacity as air freight peak season takes off
As forwarders predict a September take-off for the air freight peak season, cancelled passenger flights between China and the US could put a squeeze on transpacific capacity.
Last week, the US government suspended 26 China-bound September flights from Chinese carriers in a tit-for-tat response to the Chinese government’s move to cancel flights by US carriers over Covid cases. Read more here (login required).
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
The container ship backlog outside Los Angeles ports is almost cleared
The number of container ships headed for the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — a traffic jam that once symbolized American consumer vigor during the pandemic — declined to the lowest level since the bottleneck started to build two years ago.
Eight vessels were in the official queue as of late Monday, according to data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California & Vessel Traffic Service Los Angeles and Long Beach. That’s an all-time low, officials said in a statement, down from a record of 109 set in January and about 40 lined up a year ago. Read more here.
Covid lockdowns return to key Chinese port cities
Covid lockdowns are ticking up in China again with neighbourhoods in key port cities such as Shenzhen and Dalian forced back home this week, and mass testing underway at other important maritime gateways including Tianjin.
There is no let up in the government’s zero-covid policy, which has stretched global supply chains a great deal this year. The difference today is that while outbreaks have been getting more widespread in the last fortnight, lockdowns are pursued neighbourhood by neighbourhood rather than city-wide, and quarantine times have been cut back since the middle of June, according to analysis from research firm Gavekal Dragonomics. Read more here.
N Europe port congestion eases as demand falls and strikes and holidays end
A combination of improved labour availability, due to the end of the school holidays and a reduction in Asian imports, has eased congestion at North Europe’s container hubs.
Moreover, a wage settlement last week at German ports is also expected to relieve the high yard density at Hamburg’s box terminals in the coming weeks. Read more here (login required).
Shipping Giant CMA CGM Sees Softening Of Global Freight Rates
(Bloomberg) –French container line giant CMA CGM SA is seeing an across-the-board drop in shipping rates and a loosening of logistics bottlenecks in some regions as demand softens.
“What we’ve been seeing now for many weeks is a decrease of freight rates in almost all sectors,” Chief Executive Officer Rodolphe Saade said Friday in Algiers. “We expect that decrease to continue. I don’t think we’ll see a strong drop but rather a soft landing.” Read more here.
GROUND AND RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
US freight railroads reach tentative deals with three unions
A group of large US freight railroads has reached tentative agreements with unions representing more than 15,000 workers, a step to avoid a widespread strike after years of failed labor talks.
The deals with three of the 12 rail unions come several weeks after a mediation board appointed by the White House issued recommendations including wage increases and expanded health coverage. Read more here.