What is currently shaping the air freight market? What about sea freight? What about the rail connection with China? Read more.
High Ocean Freight rates and delays on the Ocean route are creating very high demand for Air Freight. According to the air transport association IATA, the industry benefits from "exceptionally congested" supply chains in container shipping. Costs and competitiveness in direct comparison to Ocean Freight are improving significantly. In contrast, passenger traffic is struggling with declining demand due to border closures and travel restrictions (source: aircargonews.net).
As a result, many markets continue to show congestion. Relief: Next week SENATOR INTERNATIONAL offers an additional charter flight to Sao Paulo. In the direction of the USA there is also a high demand - also due to a high number of project shipments.
To South Africa, demand is expected to increase despite the politically unstable situation in the country. To meet demand, additional connections may be added on the "SAB" SENATOR Africa Bridge.
Prices for imports from China to Europe continue to rise. Again, increased demand is driving development.
The floods in western Germany are having an impact on inland shipping. So far, no serious impairments have been reported for the Lower Rhine (Emmelsum, Duisburg, Neuss). The Middle Rhine at Andernach is temporarily closed. For the Upper Rhine (Strasbourg, Kehl, Weil CH) the closure is expected to last until the middle of next week.
Finally: the M/V Ever Given is free again and is expected to arrive in Rotterdam on July 28th. After that the voyage will continue directly to Felixstowe. Hamburg will not be called, but will be forwarded from Rotterdam by feeder M/V Ever Utile. Arrival in Hamburg will be on August 8th - as of today. Affected shipments should arrive at their final destination in August.
For exports from Europe to Asia, same picture as last. Rates? High level, but stable. Free equipment? In short supply. Bookings? Make them as far in advance as possible. On the North Africa route, CMA CGM has imposed a booking freeze for Tunis/Rades (Tunisia) with immediate effect. Background: considerable delays in local handling.
The same applies to imports from Asia to Europe: high rates, critical space situation, free containers are hard to come by. In the meantime, operations are back to normal at the port of Yantian (southern China).
For exports from Europe to North America, Mexico and South America, full ships, little equipment, rates at record levels. Congestion continues off some U.S. ports, especially on the West Coast. For the U.S., there are added delays in domestic traffic. There is a shortage of drivers and free chassis. Good news from Chile: the strike at the Port of San Antonio has ended.
Following last week's severe flooding in Belgium, the southern Netherlands and western Germany, rail freight traffic in these regions is largely impaired. Especially in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, the complete extent of the disaster is still unclear. Deutsche Bahn officially reports massive damage to more than 80 stations and tracks along more than 600 kilometers. The disruptions will last at least several weeks (source: railfreight.com).
CURRENT SITUATION WORLDWIDE
115 million people have now been vaccinated. Many major cities are gradually relaxing strict measures. The economy is hoping for an early recovery.
For Air Freight, capacity bottlenecks and high rates continue to affect day-to-day business. Forward planning is required. For imports, the situation has eased slightly. Background: passenger flights with cargo option (PAX flights) are picking up again somewhat.
For Ocean Freight, the situation is complex. Due to the global backlog, some major shipowners are not accepting bookings for Brazil. Rates have once again skyrocketed. Delays have to be taken into account for the coming weeks.
China's economy grew 7.9% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021. The country fell just short of expectations, according to information services provider Bloomberg. For the full year, China is targeting economic growth of more than 6% (source: scmp.com).
The congestion at the port of Yantian, which has since been worked through, could have longer-term consequences for southern China's container traffic. The week-long disruption has opened the eyes of customers worldwide to alternative ports, says the Port of Nansha's Europe chief Johannes Nanninga. Still, he says, a fundamental change in schedules by major shipping companies is unlikely. In the short term, there are not enough ships ready to operate (source: theloadstar.com).
There are still capacity bottlenecks for Air Freight. Particularly via important hubs such as Frankfurt or São Paulo. On the other hand, there is a slight improvement on routes to and from the USA.
For Ocean Freight, the situation remains difficult: hardly any free slots, high prices. All inquiries should be made as far in advance as possible. Especially for transatlantic traffic to and from Europe, rates remain at a very high level.
After the devastating riots of the previous week, the situation in South Africa has calmed down noticeably. Police and military presence has restored public order in almost all parts of the country. However, the financial damage from the events amounts to billions of rand (ZAR). Reconstruction will take a long time.
For Ocean Freight, port operations in Durban have resumed after interruption. The container terminal is operating normally again. However, congestion must be expected as a result of the unrest. The N3 highway between Durban and Johannesburg has reopened. Burning trucks and tire barricades had blocked traffic. Police and the army are monitoring potential hot spots. This should keep the route clear. In parallel with the political situation, South Africa continues to be in a COVID-19 wave with up to 20,000 new infections daily. Companies are largely working remotely from home offices. Therefore, longer wait times should be expected for inquiries.
For Ocean Freight, Los Angeles alone (excluding Long Beach) expects a projected 10.5 million TEUs of annual throughput in 2021. Record-breaking in the history of the City of Angels. The global situation and the clearing of the backlog from Yantian are giving the port in California top results from month to month. July and August volumes are expected to be even higher. The number of container ships waiting at anchor is currently on the rise again (source: freightwaves.com).
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