Supply Chain

Shippers go out of business as ocean surcharges continue to mount

Container shipping lines are becoming ever more inventive with the names they apply to the surcharges they keep adding to already over-loaded FAK rates. The latest example is Hapag-Lloyd’s ‘value-added surcharge’ of $5,000 per 40ft, from China to the US and Canada. The carrier told customers the new surcharge was due to “extraordinary demand from China and the

Sea Freight market update and Q3 Rates

We are in a new world of shipping. There have been spikes in demand and freight rates before, but never for such a long time and never on such a continuously upward trajectory. The challenges we face are unique. Even with demand levels increasing on the most popular trades, equipment availability continues to be an

Post-Brexit update: Haulier and multimodal transport market latest

UK hauliers are under massive pressure, struggling to counter the border delays, increased administration and crippling driver shortages that have plagued the industry since Brexit and now, as they fear the full UK border checks due in January, drivers are planning a strike in August. Surges in pandemic-driven demand are pushing hauliers to breaking point,

Air cargo gains momentum from rising prices in ocean shipping

The record-breaking sea freight rates, driven by restricted volumes, equipment availability and service disruption is pushing increasing quantities of ‘distressed’ ocean cargo to air freight solutions. Metro have advised and updated regularly on the dynamic air freight market, which has restricted lifting capacity through the grounding of passenger aircraft and increased costs as carriers rely

Air freight market update

Following a brief lull in May and June, air freight volumes and rates are climbing again, with production backlogs and continuing sea freight disruption combining to create a spike in demand for the time-sensitive mode. Air cargo demand returned to growth in June following a drop in May. The latest statistics from CLIVE Data Services

Available container equipment shortage continues

Containers continue to be in short supply – particularly in the places where they’re needed most – with wait times varying region to region, country to country and port to port. And even the world’s biggest shipping lines are not sure when their containers will be available, or where. Despite relationships going back decades, long-standing

Excessive demand likely to mean higher contract rates next year on all modes

The early start of the sea freight peak season and its likely extension through 2021 and possibly up to the Lunar New Year in 2022 means the chance of current market rates softening significantly are slender, particularly as disruption in any region creates more congestion and delays, pressuring prices as shippers try to secure scarcer slots. If they have the

Extended hours and secret visa talks to end driver crisis – or will they?

Driver hours have been temporarily legally extended and the government launches secret visa talks for foreign lorry drivers, amid a staff shortage that threatens to undermine supply chains. Over 45,000 HGV driver tests are outstanding at DVSA as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns, while 79,000 European logistics workers returned to their home countries following Brexit and recent tax

Westbound sea freight market update

Demand for imports from Asia and the Indian subcontinent (ISC) continues to outstrip shipping line capacity, in a sign that with inventories low, second-half volumes are unlikely to let up, keeping pressure on a global supply chain infrastructure that is already buckling. The UK’s primary container ports will be expecting a spike in imports from

Automotive supply chain issues not just about semiconductors

An unexpected upturn in consumer demand is playing havoc with Europe’s automotive supply chains, as supply shortages disrupt OEM’s manufacturing productivity Factory shutdowns were a significant contributor to poor sales in 2020 and there were fears that a shortage of semiconductors would be manufacturers undoing in 2021. The semiconductor chips are important to the microcontroller units that underpin