Supply Chain

Heathrow cargo staff strike averted

British Airways’ (BA) cargo handling operation at Heathrow airport had been threatened with significant disruption following the announcement of further strikes, by members of the Unite union, in a nine day continuation of the action that started last December. The cargo handlers have called off three days of strike action, which were scheduled to start today,

Soaring freight costs and transit delays from China threaten price rises for consumer goods and products

As consumer demand for Asian-made goods rebounded in the second half of 2020, the shipping lines decision to remove capacity by idling vessels and stop replenishing container supplies, had an almost instant impact on freight rates with the unbalanced sea freight supply and demand equation driving rates up. Competition among shippers for empty containers has

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,

New inland border facilities

As part of their preparation for the UK’s new EU trading relationship the government committed to build new inland border facilities, to carry out customs compliance, transit, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary checks, including one facility opened beside Metro’s midland freight hub.  Seven inland border facilities have been operational from the 31st December 2020, so that

Metro’s role in government border strategy

On the 17th December 2020 HM Government (HMG) released its 2025 Border Strategy document, which outlines its intentions for modernising the UK frontier and embraces many technologies and ideas pioneered by Metro. The 2025 UK Border Strategy sets out the government’s vision for the UK border to be the most effective in the world, with

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

Looking ahead to the 1st quarter

The COVID pandemic has simultaneously battered supply-chains and emphasised their importance, making many companies reconsider their approach to a critical business area, that is going to be under immense pressure as we move into 2021.  2020 highlighted, in a very big way, the need for the supply chain to be flexible enough to absorb shocks