Newsletter – January 25, 2023
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
International airfreight rates hit turbulence and ocean freight prices sink. Will shoppers benefit?
Global airfreight rates will continue to fall for the first half of 2023, the international delivery expert ParcelHero stated. It says airfreight rates are up in the air currently but likely to fall, and ocean transport rates will continue to sink. That should drive down prices for shippers, retailers and, ultimately, consumers.
“International airfreight rates are, to be blunt, all over the place. Rates between East Asia and Europe have fallen by 30-40% compared to this time last year,” ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research,” David Jinks M.I.L.T., said. Read more here.
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Liner alliances up in the air as MSC and Maersk give separation notice
Liner shipping is ready for an immense scrap as it braces for a downturn with the fabric of its alliance structure now under severe strain.
In a joint press statement today, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), the world’s two largest containerlines, have confirmed widespread rumours, announcing they have mutually agreed to terminate, effective January 2025, the 2M alliance, one of the three major global groupings on the main east-west trades. Read more here.
‘Humongous’ container logjams at Pakistan ports as forex crisis bites
Container carriers serving Pakistan’s ports are wrestling with an acute foreign exchange crisis in an already challenging market environment.
Local industry sources say the inability of importers to secure delivery orders for the timely clearance of cargo has created a bottleneck of alarming proportions at the port city of Karachi, which includes nearby Port Qasim. Read more here (login required).
GROUND & RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
Uber Freight cutting about 150 jobs, all in brokerage operations
Uber Freight is laying off 3% of its workforce, and all of the job losses are coming in its digital brokerage activities.
In a memo to staff, obtained by FreightWaves and confirmed by a spokesman for Uber Freight, CEO Lior Ron said the cutbacks would impact about 150 employees. The Digital Brokerage division is separate from the Transplace operations that Uber Freight acquired in 2021. Read more here.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Opening of borders with mainland China not a silver bullet for Hong Kong’s retail sector, says economists
Hong Kong economists do not expect a return of “revenge spending” following the reopening of the city’s borders with mainland China, as more people have left than arrived over the Lunar New Year holiday.
Economists on Wednesday predicted a 10 to 15 per cent bump in retail sales for the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2022 when the city was battling its fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.