April global logistics update; Five key supply chain disruptors

Since the early days of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, creating shortages of goods, even though ships, trains, trucks and planes continued to run, to the best of their ability. The infrastructure that supports global supply chain operations has struggled to absorb the continuing impacts emanating from COVID-19; including the need

Bracing for continued fuel surcharge increases – if it moves it needs an engine

Fuel prices were already on the way up before Russia decided to invade its neighbour and the additional volatility and uncertainty created by the conflict in Ukraine are significant enough to drive oil and fuel prices to levels not seen before. Or at least since the 1970’s relatively. Average low-sulphur marine fuel prices had already risen to $726/mt prior to the Ukraine

China ship queues growing with further disruption to schedules

Despite key Chinese ports, including Shenzhen and Shanghai, operating normally, land-side logistics disruption, in the wake of the latest Covid-related lockdowns is inevitable and vessel queues are growing. Queues of container ships outside major Chinese ports are lengthening, despite ports continuing to function normally – though with limited capacity – because many of the most profound

Lines grow capacity and now cancel sailings

The container shipping lines have been increasing their capacity out of Asia, based on strong demand expectations through 2021 and while the increase of deployed capacity has extended, at least through the first few months of 2022, lines are now reacting to short-term demand fluctuation with cancelled sailings and surcharges. Shipping lines expanded their capacity

The sea and air alternative from China

China to Europe rail freight services have grown massively since the advent of the COVID pandemic, with volumes surging 29% last year. But with services transiting Russia and Belarus sanctioned and the Ukraine route halted, the equivalent of 1.46 million TEU needs alternative solutions. Trains are still running along the Trans-Siberian route, but Russian Railways has been

Sea freight facing even more challenges

Low-sulphur fuel container ship bunker prices have increased by a third since Russia’s move on Ukraine, with bunker surcharges rising around 15% and expected to spike further with crude oil hitting new highs of more than double the price at the beginning of the year. Expect the carriers to claw back as much cash as

Record-breaking numbers of new ships may be placebo

Container shipping lines have used massive profits accrued since 2020, to refresh their fleets with modern, high-spec vessels, but their investment may only slightly alleviate port congestion and equipment shortages. Soaring freight rates, post-Covid lockdown, have generated cash on an unprecedented scale for the global shipping lines, with Maersk expecting 2022 to be another bumper