Supply Chain

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

US ports not immune from congestion

The continuing torrent of inbound containers from Asia has filled up all the terminal operating space at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with bottlenecks spreading to the East Coast and Gulf ports, and congestion, vessel bunching, and equipment shortages expected to last until at least Chinese New Year in February and possibly

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

Catastrophic loss underlines need for marine insurance

Dramatic images on Twitter captured the 14,000 teu containership, ONE Apus, losing over a quarter of its load, in a catastrophic container stack collapse, that dumped over 1,800 boxes into the Pacific ocean on the 30th November. The Twitter image, shared by Container News, shows that most of the container stacks between the accommodation and

US regulator monitoring Asia shipping alliances

The United States Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the body responsible for the regulation of ocean carriers and intermediaries, is intensifying its monitoring of shipping alliance activity on the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trades. Citing market fluctuations, the FMC’s regulators are increasing their monitoring of the three major global shipping alliances, requiring them to provide carrier-specific trans-Pacific

Heathrow workers strike over pay cuts

Members of the Unite union employed at Heathrow Airport commenced their first 24 hour strike stoppage on Tuesday 1st December, in a dispute over what they claim are savage wage cuts imposed on the workforce through a “brutal fire and rehire programme” Heathrow says the Unite strike action will not disrupt cargo operations, but there have

Cargo rollovers exceed 30% at key hubs

As the Asia peak season rumbles on and the carriers struggle to meet demand, cargo rollovers are increasing at the busiest transhipment ports. After a global decline in rollovers during September, the average container rollover rate at leading transshipment ports rose in October. This time of year would typically be a lull, following the summer