Coronavirus

Trans-Pacific demand impacting Europe trade

The large numbers of empty containers stranded in Europe, due to blanked sailings, has led to equipment shortages in Asia, which is being exacerbated by shipping lines diverting empties to more profitable trans-pacific services. On the 10th September we reported how UK port operations had been severely diminished and inland distribution massively disrupted by the

The perfect storm threatening container haulage is continuing

All parts of the UK have been impacted, including ‘essential’ freight, logistics and supply chain sectors, but the container haulage industry has been hit particularly hard, with many challenges still to be overcome. Six weeks ago Metro wrote about container haulage operations and how it had been impacted by massive increases in demand, at a time

Air Freight Demand Continues to Fly

Further to recent reports of increased demand for air freight from Asia and generally around the Globe we have seen a continued increase this week in demand from China and the Asia Region. There have been many launches of tech products by Apple, Samsung and Sony and most are running later than expected so air

Rates – reliability = frustrated shippers

Container shipping rates from Asia to Europe have soared to a five year high, while reliability falls to the lowest ever level recorded. The rapid recovery in post-lockdown demand has driven up volumes on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades, with global volume rising for the first time this year in August, up 1.5% on 2019.

Vehicle booking improvements at Felixstowe

In light of the recent criticism and industry-wide complaints concerning delays and service levels, the Port of Felixstowe – the UK’s largest and busiest container port – introduced vehicle booking changes on Monday, to improve service and lessen the delays on its terminals. One of these changes is to the ports VBS (Vehicle Bookings System),

What’s happening in the world of training at Metro?

Metro has been providing internal and external training since inception, but never in such challenging circumstances. Traditional training in the current climate has simply not been possible and while the benefits that follow learning for the individual and the organisation make the effort of finding alternative methods a worthwhile investment, the Metro training team have

Metro resume twin UK air hub operations

The air freight market remains in a very different environment, to pre-pandemic conditions, with the vast majority of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet grounded and air cargo capacity a fraction of what it should be. During September we observed steady price increases by the remaining operating airlines on all routes, with a 20% increase added

UK container ports continue to struggle

After weeks of complaints from port users, shipping lines, hauliers and cargo owners, there is some hope that Felixstowe’s service levels may be improving, but similar challenges are now being experienced at other key container ports. After the recent well-documented service issues, delays, and industry frustrations surrounding the performance of the Port of Felixstowe, blamed on

India’s container shortage spreads

The anticipated equipment shortages in Asia are spreading as importers in the United States and Europe struggle to return empty containers to Asian manufacturing hubs, with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh hit particularly hard. The container imbalance followed the spike in imports to the US and Europe, after the reopening of their economies and now

UK export surge thanks to manufacturers

Manufacturing output continued to rise in September, after the three-month low recorded in June. September saw manufacturing continue its recovery from the steep Covid-19 induced downturn, as global importers continue to demand goods from the UK. The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recorded a small dip in September to 54.1, following August’s two-and-a-half