Supply Chain

The perfect storm threatening container haulage is continuing

All parts of the UK have been impacted, including ‘essential’ freight, logistics and supply chain sectors, but the container haulage industry has been hit particularly hard, with many challenges still to be overcome. Six weeks ago Metro wrote about container haulage operations and how it had been impacted by massive increases in demand, at a time

Rates – reliability = frustrated shippers

Container shipping rates from Asia to Europe have soared to a five year high, while reliability falls to the lowest ever level recorded. The rapid recovery in post-lockdown demand has driven up volumes on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades, with global volume rising for the first time this year in August, up 1.5% on 2019.

Near-shoring: panacea or placebo

Industry ‘experts’ tell us that boardroom visibility of supply chain challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate a supply chain transformation as businesses reduce sourcing risks, in favour of closer suppliers. The expectation is a shift away from lowest-cost off-shore options, to a new near-shore bias based on managing risk and greater supply chain resilience.

Vehicle booking improvements at Felixstowe

In light of the recent criticism and industry-wide complaints concerning delays and service levels, the Port of Felixstowe – the UK’s largest and busiest container port – introduced vehicle booking changes on Monday, to improve service and lessen the delays on its terminals. One of these changes is to the ports VBS (Vehicle Bookings System),

The UK still doesn’t have the right pallets for Brexit

Despite the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) holding ‘emergency’ talks with industry leaders 20 months ago, the UK still doesn’t have enough of  the right pallets to continue exporting goods to the European Union after the 31st December.  EU regulations on third country imports stipulate that wood pallets must be heat-treated or

Container line alliances stifling innovation

The container shipping alliances help carriers lower operating costs and broaden service coverage through economies of scale. However, do the alliances restrict individual line’s ability to differentiate and innovate as services beyond the sea element is not always under a carrier’s control.  Container-line profits exceeded expectations in Q2 2020, a period when volumes were weak

UK container ports continue to struggle

After weeks of complaints from port users, shipping lines, hauliers and cargo owners, there is some hope that Felixstowe’s service levels may be improving, but similar challenges are now being experienced at other key container ports. After the recent well-documented service issues, delays, and industry frustrations surrounding the performance of the Port of Felixstowe, blamed on

India’s container shortage spreads

The anticipated equipment shortages in Asia are spreading as importers in the United States and Europe struggle to return empty containers to Asian manufacturing hubs, with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh hit particularly hard. The container imbalance followed the spike in imports to the US and Europe, after the reopening of their economies and now

Air freight market analysis

The global air cargo sector is recovering alongside improving economic activity and while most regions are on an upward swing, at different paces, volumes in Latin America have struggled amidst challenging economic and health conditions. Despite growing uncertainty in COVID19 developments, economic activity continues to recover, with indicators such as manufacturing output and new export orders improving, with

Biggest importers struggle for space from Asia

Container freight rates are at their highest levels in five years, Westbound Asia to Europe, driven by rocketing demand and the carriers manipulating capacity to create under or balanced supply, which allows the shipping lines to cherry-pick the best paying cargo and maintain rates at the strongest levels. With demand comfortably out-stripping supply, manufacturers, tech brands,