Newsletter – December 8, 2021
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
Omicron set to restrict cargo capacity and keep rates high
The Omicron variant is set to keep air cargo capacity tight and as a result air cargo rates will remain at an elevated level.
In the latest Baltic Exchange market update, investment bank Stifel senior analyst Bruce Chan said that the new variant will restrict network capacity due to safety protocols, episodic infection and national response. Read more here.
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Another lockdown at Ningbo has exporters on edge
More than 300,000 people have been tested for coronavirus in a district in the port city of Ningbo, following an outbreak of the illness, detected on Monday.
The district of Zhenhai has been put on a two-week lockdown after five people tested positive for Covid-19. Early indications are that the measures taken by local authorities have yet to harm productivity at the port. Ningbo is home to the world’s largest port – it was partially closed in the summer for a fortnight after another Covid-19 outbreak. Read more here.
US east coast ports make major plays to become intermodal gateways
US importers and forwarders are looking to New York’s Port Elizabeth Terminal for a faster intermodal link to the US Midwest and Canada.
APM Terminals Elizabeth is marketing a new service that claims faster transfers from ship to rail, with multiple daily train departures to the interior. Read more here (login required).
Shipping alliances drop almost 400 port calls in North Europe in five months
Nearly a quarter of the scheduled port calls of Asia-North Europe alliance loops were omitted in the past five months, according to an Alphaliner survey.
The consultant found the three alliances had cancelled 383 calls during the period, attributed to port congestion, throwing the supply chains of thousands of shippers into disarray. Read more here (login required).
GROUND AND RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
CN reopens key Port of Vancouver rail line — again
CN has resumed service on its Kamloops-Vancouver corridor, the Canadian railway said on Monday, restoring a critical rail link to the Port of Vancouver.
The rail corridor was shut down three weeks ago as a result of damages brought by flooding and landslides that devastated British Columbia. CN (NYSE: CNI) had briefly restored service two weeks later before shutting it down again as a precautionary measure. Read more here.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Traditional RFPs are dying
The conventional request for proposal (RFP) process is notoriously tedious, expensive and antiquated. After a year characterized by strained capacity, sky-high rates and surging e-commerce sales, it is also dying.
Traditionally, RFPs are administered via email and Excel spreadsheets. The process involves a lot of manual labor and can be extremely time consuming, which makes it especially difficult to execute during extreme market conditions like those seen in 2021. Read more here.
Beijing hopes to secure its supply chains with creation of state-owned logistics group
State-owned China Logistics Group was launched yesterday by merging China Railway Material Group and four units of China Chengtong Holdings Group.
They are China Material Storage and Transport Co, CTS International Logistics Corp, China Logistics Co and China Packaging Corp. Read more here.
Cargo theft up as thieves take advantage of increased traffic, idled shipments
Record container backlogs at U.S. ports and overstressed supply chains are creating conditions ripe for cargo theft, according to experts.
“The backlog across all logistics infrastructure is causing containers and shipments to sit idle, not just in the ports but outside the ports, increasing opportunities for them to be targeted by criminals,” Ron Greene, vice president of business development at Overhaul, told FreightWaves. Read more here.