Container freight spot rates decline, but liftings are ‘still good’ – for now

Container spot rates from Asia to Europe and the US held up reasonably well this week, on good vessel utilisation levels, but the outlook for carriers is increasingly uncertain.
The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) recorded a 4.1% decline for North Europe, to $764 per teu, which is still some 17% higher than the same week of a year ago, when even traditional heavy fuel oil was around a third more …

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Supply chain radar: Freight forwarding shakeout – US loses, Europe mixed, Asia takes it all

Here are some key highlights of comprehensive research – headed: “Global freight forwarder tracker” – published by UBS on Monday, 23 March, spanning air and ocean freight performance for the major freight forwarders worldwide (emphasis in bold added):
– “Chinese port activity is reported to be aligned with 2019 levels (Clarksons’) with economic activity recovering in China. As past weeks orders are fulfilled volumes are likely to decline as Europe/US demand comes …

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Indian supply chains descend into ‘chaos’ as the lockdown goes nationwide

Cargo is being abandoned at Indian airports amid the “chaos” caused by the country’s three-week nationwide lockdown.
Having started on Sunday in some cities, the anti-coronavirus measures were extended on Wednesday to include the entire 1.3 billion population until 15 April.
Cargo movement is supposed to be exempt from the lockdown restrictions, but there are widespread reports of disruption across land, sea and air.
“Due to city-wide lockdown, vehicles are not moving freely …

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On the wires: As it preps its next move, let’s feel good about CMA CGM

“This transaction (…) is an important step in our 2.1bn U$ liquidity plan and will allow us to strengthen our balance sheet. Amid the high uncertainty created by the COVID-19 health crisis, the closing of this transaction as previously announced demonstrates the resilience of the CMA CGM Group.”
– Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé, whose remarks were taken from “CMA CGM completes a first transaction (…) sale of eight port …

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Ocean Insights gives a clearer picture of blanked sailings, and it’s free

As ocean carriers scramble to match vessel supply with rapidly reduced demand for shipments, container shipping freight data aggregator Ocean Insights has offered its dynamic database of blank sailings free to shippers and forwarders.
“Our system is able to detect cancellations and blank sailings, and with the unusually high number of blank sailings, we have decided to help out the supply chain community and provide the entire blank sailing list free …

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Transport industry urges Whitehall to extend Brexit transition period

 The UK’s forwarding and logistics sector is pleading with the government to “put politics to one side” and extend the Brexit transition period, as it grapples with the impact of coronavirus.
Stating that it would be “irresponsible” of the government to stick to its timetable for a 31 December deadline, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Robert Keen said there was “too much to do in the face …

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Carrier ‘no rollover’ guarantees will face a stiff test as demand slumps

CMA CGM is launching a new premium product tomorrow that, it claims, offers customers transport guarantees and priority boarding across its liner network.
“Seapriority Go provides customers exclusive treatment,” said CMA CGM, “their goods will be given priority whether it be for container allocation or loading on board.
“This new solution helps to expand our customers’ business, even when demand is strong, giving them more agility, flexibility and protection.”
The French carrier said …

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EXCLUSIVE Market Insight: First casualty – ex-AP Møller Mærsk JV goes bust

Looking for signs of financial pressure and distress building in the supply chain?
You are in the right place: a few out there are struggling, I hear, but nothing major has happened yet.

Relieved?
Now, maybe you remember this story from ShippingWatch in September last year: “Maersk-owned Svitzer and its partner Crowley Maritime Corporation have decided to sell salvage and marine company Ardent.”
With hindsight, what a great decision that was.
Ardent has gone bankrupt,” was the …

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Market Insight: MSC’s Covid-19 blueprint reaction – be ‘indispensable’ to survive

Soon after the Covid-19 crisis broke in so many countries, and the extent of the damage became apparent, preparations were made by the private sector to help cope with the outbreak. They have all been there to help, thankfully.
In fairness, in many cases it’s not an act of kindness so much as a necessity for any business service providers, aimed at strengthening existing relationships across different verticals.
In spite of the …

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New supply chain risks emerge as production lines restart in China’s factories

Most of China’s manufacturers are back online in some capacity, but new supply chain risks are emerging.
Normal Global Logistics (NGL) estimates that, in the wake of the country’s coronavirus lockdown, 90% to 95% of factories have returned to operation in most provinces – except Hubei.
“Several factories still have reduced production, due to a shortage of raw materials and labour,” said NGL, adding that larger factories had managed to get up …

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