Coronavirus

Container equipment shortages may be lessening in Asia

Even if ‘one swallow does not a summer make’ we fervently hope that one container index’s ‘positive trend’ really does signify a turning point in container shortages. The container selling and leasing platform Container xChange, track and compare the global availability of containers on their Container Availability Index (CAx), with score above 0.5 indicating a

Import supply chains; the UK challenge

The equipment shortage in China and Asia and the lack of vessel space on primary trade lanes are continuing to present significant supply chain challenges and while the UK’s port and transport infrastructure continues to struggle, stability is emerging in some areas. The port and terminal disruption that began in Felixstowe and filtered out to

Container crisis continues from Asia to the rest of world

As Metro reported in last week’s supply chain bulletin, the availability of container equipment has become the primary supply chain issue for shippers and importers from China and Asia in general.  The lack of equipment is a key issue impacting both rates and supply chains across Asia, with some areas experiencing the shortages more severely,

2020 supply chain challenges continue into 2021

The COVID pandemic massively impacted freight infrastructure operations, rates, vessel space and equipment availability last year and is showing little sign of ending any time soon. Sea freight rates from Asia are at the highest levels ever seen, equipment shortages continue at virtually every origin and schedule reliability continues to be impacted by continuing port

Regulators circle shipping lines

As container freight rates continue to rise from Asia, regulators in China and the US are raising concerns and the European Commission is being urged to consider whether the carriers’ behaviour is damaging trade growth at a time of economic recession. Chinese regulators are renewing their carrier investigations, driven by concerns over volume controls and

The supply chain at Christmas

This year may become notorious for the global COVID pandemic, but its impact is having the most profound impact on global trade and supply chains, disrupting normal operations and tearing up the best-laid plans. This weekend the BBC reported how the Swedish furniture favourite, Ikea, was forced to apologise to irate customers, waiting for late

The impact of another national lockdown

As 70% of England move to Tier 3 on Saturday and Wales announce strict new lockdown measures from the 28th December, we consider the impact of a further national lockdown on operational and freight infrastructure. The COVID pandemic has starkly highlighted our reliance on, and the fragility of, extended supply chains to lockdowns and the

Critical Ningbo issues and Southern China port suspension

The container shortage that is currently impacting Asia supply chains, has led lines to stop accepting shipment bookings from Ningbo, while the suspension of Southern China feeder operations, because of COVID, will impact key ports until after Chinese New Year 2021. Due to the severe lack of container equipment in the Ningbo area, shipping lines

UK port congestion is not easing

Congestion at UK container ports which commenced in the Summer at Felixstowe, before filtering out to Southampton and London Gateway, is continuing despite all efforts, with Japanese carmaker Honda warning that production at its Swindon plant will be disrupted. Problems at the UK’s container ports have been building for several months, with shipping lines altering

Forwarders and shippers face double air whammy

The rollout of COVID vaccines is slowly but surely restricting access to air freight services for other cargoes, at the same time that cargo handlers in the UK unveil massive price increases, that will directly impact the costs paid by air freight shippers. Just days into vaccine roll-outs and we’re already seeing regular shipments removed