Supply Chain

Asia container shortage intensifies

The lack of container equipment at Asian origins is so severe that carriers are leaving export cargo on the quay, to ship empty containers back from Europe and the United States. The container shortages are so acute, particularly at the Chinese ports of Qingdao, Xiamen, Ningbo, and Shanghai, that some vessels are leaving Asia without

Consumer goods boom driving sea freight rates

Reuters report shows how global container shipping rates have surged to record levels due to spikes in restocking demand in the United States and Europe, container scarcity at export hubs, and changes in freight flows because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Freightos Baltic Global Container Index (FBX), a weighted average of 12 major global container

Selling sustainability to the board

The case for sustainability depends on debunking false mindsets around cost, outlining the value it brings to the business and clarifying the benefits to supplier relationships. Metro helps shippers reduce the environmental impacts of their logistics activities. One of the big myths to overcome is the expectation that sustainability comes at a cost and that

National press highlight Felixstowe port chaos

With disruption at the Port of Felixstowe branded “a mess”, the national press is now also reporting on global port disruption, as retailers express concerns about product shortages in the run-up to Christmas.  As Metro has been reporting regularly in recent weeks, the impact at Felixstowe along with other serious challenges is also having an

Shippers switching to air to escape sea freight hell

With sea freight rates reaching some of the highest levels ever seen, along with equipment shortages, late vessels and still no guarantee of uplift, some shippers are starting to switch to air, driving up rates on a mode that had been enjoying some stability. The current lack of container line consistency and reliability, is unparalleled,

Critical situation: Vessels skipping UK ports on daily basis

Container ships, including the world’s largest, are skipping UK ports entirely, or leaving only partially discharged and without collecting export containers, in what is fast becoming a daily occurrence. COVID-safe working practices and extensive deep-cleaning at shift handovers, continues to cause huge issues at UK ports and in particular at Felixstowe, that have been struggling

The mind-boggling logistics of Singles’ Day

Singles’ Day is an unofficial Chinese holiday celebrating people who are not in relationships, with the unmarried commemorating the occasion by treating themselves to gifts, making Singles’ Day the largest online shopping day in the world, by quite some margin. With 1.9bn products ordered in 2019 and many more expected this year, 3m people, 4,000

Inbound freight situation update

The UK’s supply chains are facing unparalleled challenges and some links are buckling under the strain. The following is a transcript of a customer advisory issued by Metro Shipping on Tuesday…….. The COVID pandemic continues to impact global and domestic freight in the most profound ways, slashing air and sea carrier capacity and driving rates

Felixstowe in the news again – for all the wrong reasons

The start of the working week and the Port of Felixstowe is back in the news, for cancelling empty container restitutions (again), but the challenges facing shippers run much farther afield than Suffolk. The Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen has issued a customer notice stating that the port (Felixstowe) announced on Sunday that it would