Container shortage intensifies

Finding an empty container in Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian or any other major Chinese gateway port, is becoming a major problem, yet again, as Asian container availability is tightening, and purchase and rental costs are soaring, and equipment will become even scarcer as demand builds through May into the peak season.  Continuing and sustained demand for

Containerisation turns 65 in its most challenging year

Sixty five years ago saw the beginning of containerisation, with the inaugural voyage of the first container ship, the Sea Land Ideal X on the 26th April 1956. Today, despite its best efforts, the container shipping industry is swamped by the continuing deluge of pandemic and lockdown related trade, with resulting delays, rising costs, ongoing disruption and challenges

Canadian government legislate against Montreal strike

Port operations at Montreal resumed on Sunday after legislation was passed by the Canadian Parliament to end the industrial action by longshoremen, however it will take several days, or probably weeks, to return operations to anything like a normal situation. About ten ships are currently en-route to Montreal and 20,000 containers are in the terminal,

When will freight rates return to ‘normal’?

The leading container shipping lines are releasing their Q1 2021 operational statements, which show a sharp increase in freight rates compared to Q4 2020 reports. Not only in the sense that rates are increasing, but the pace at which the rates increase is also accelerating, but when will the increases slow and eventually reverse? Global

South East Asia market weekly update and focus

Singapore is a major global freight hub, that is located at the heart of major shipping lanes in Asia and a gateway for Southeast Asia, which is why we value the regional insights and transport intelligence provided by our partners in-country. Metro recognised Singapore’s pivotal role in regional trade 40 years ago and, with our

Sea rates surge amidst equipment shortages

Peak Season surcharges were expected to soften, reduce or even be withdrawn after Chinese New Year. And while this was widely anticipated, the reality is that with continued demand, the lack of empty equipment and the Suez crisis, rates have gone much higher and most carriers have actually increased peak-season surcharges (PSS) although we have

£150m stolen from supply chains in 2020

Over £400,000 worth of goods in transit were stolen every day from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) supply chains in 2020, even with many countries being under lockdown for much of the year. The Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA) recorded 6,463 cargo thefts across 56 countries in the EMEA region despite widespread lockdowns, with

Ocean Freight Update; On the front line from Asia

Our sea freight ops team continue to perform in a very challenging global ocean freight environment and with global supply chains likely to be under pressure for the rest of the year, they will continue to deliver the highest possible levels of service and performance available with all options being considered. Overcoming operational impacts and

Conflicting UK and European port performance reports this week

While many ports are currently experiencing no issue, or are even quiet, the fallout of the week-long Suez Canal closure in March is likely to impact supply chains through to June and possibly beyond, into the traditional peak season. Early indications suggest some ports are managing rising inbound Suez-delayed vessel numbers without major delays, while others are

Record Asia imports driving US supply chain disruption

Nine consecutive months of record breaking imports from Asia together with global supply chain volatility and uncertainty, is congesting US terminals and choking the inland supply chain infrastructure.  Booming US imports from Asia accelerated even further in March, to 1.66 million TEU, up an astonishing 90.5% from the same period in 2020. The top 13