92% of Felixstowe port workers vote for August strike

The vote in favour of strike action in August, in a dispute over pay, would bring Felixstowe to a standstill and cause major disruption to port operations and road haulage transport of containers to and from terminals. The Unite Union’s 1900 members at the port voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike next month, rejecting

China/Hong Kong update; cross-border trucking capacity cut

Increasing COVID case numbers in China are cutting cross-border trucking capacity, prompting carriers to drop calls at Hong Kong, raising fears that the city is losing shipping line favour as a transhipment hub. With almost one million people in lockdown in Wuhan, where COVID was first detected, the Politburo confirmed last Thursday that China will

China Update; Testing prompts Shanghai lockdown scare

With individual district lockdowns and mass testing again underway, the trade press have been reporting that Shanghai could go back into lockdown, which would be a major disruption as we enter the traditional peak season. It’s been just six weeks since Shanghai emerged from its two-month zero-COVID lockdown and several districts have been subjected to

Shipping line profits just keep growing

The operational efficiency of shipping lines are reaching dizzying levels, with the leading carriers generating an average operating margin of 57.4%, versus an average of just -0.2% in the decade preceding the pandemic. All carriers reported higher margins in the latest quarter, compared to 55.6% in the third quarter of 2021, with Taiwan’s Evergreen achieving

Ports struggle to clear congestion ahead of peak

The re-opening of Shanghai after its extended COVID lockdown has not triggered the surge of sea freight that had been feared, but while volumes softened as a consequence, many UK and North European ports are still struggling with congestion. High yard densities at container terminals and inland transport bottlenecks continue to aggravate port congestion problems,

Interpreting mixed US peak season signals

With the Asia/Europe trade typically mirroring trans-pacific trends within weeks, we are watching how much US importers are pulling back on orders from Asia, and the degree to which container lines will adjust capacity, if demand suggests a slack US peak season, or alternatively a hectic and congested one. The market had been expecting a hike

Two thousand dollars penalty for container weight mis-declaration

The accurate weighing of a container is a legal requirement, that is critical for safe handling and correct vessel stowage, to avoid stability-related issues which may contribute to capsizing or sinking of the ship, with severe penalties for non-compliance. The Verified Gross Mass (VGM) declaration was introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) six years

Strikes put sea freight capacity  and reliability under further strain

Despite the UK’s recent rail strikes having little impact on container movements, the global increase in workplace militancy will inevitably start to disrupt supply chain operations, adding to port congestion. In the same week that the RMT union ran its first week of strikes, road, rail and sea cargo operations were halted by strikes at