The Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent COVID pandemic massively impacted supply chains, rates, vessel space and equipment availability last year and is showing little sign of ending any time soon in 2021, with Chinese New Year and the traditional blanked sailings in the mix too.
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We are deeply saddened to report the loss of our founder, Ken Norman, who passed away peacefully in December.
The shortage of containers in Asia, limiting their ability to load exports, and the continuation of port congestion across the UK and Northern Europe has had a profound impact on sea freight services, with a number of shipping lines suspending all freight bookings until, at the earliest, the last week in December.
Bad weather, which began last week, has forced the intermittent suspension of operations at Southampton, exacerbating ongoing issues at the port with high import volumes, mounting stacks of empty containers and a shortage of haulage.
As the peak season from Asia looks set to continue up to Chinese New Year with more price rises and blanked sailings on the way, our MD in the region considers four critical developments in 2020 and how they impacted rates, volumes and equipment availability.
Despite the peak season continuing and the shipping lines on the way to a colossal $11 billion profit for 2020, further price rises and blanked sailings are on the way.
While England enters the second day of its month-long lockdown, the COVID pandemic continues to impact global supply chains in the most profound ways, diminishing port performance at origin and destination, while slashing air and sea carrier capacity and reliability and driving rates up.
The modern-day container dates back to 1956, when American entrepreneur, Malcolm McLean, shipped the first containers from Newark to Houston, in an innovation that transformed international shipping. The container now underpins the global economy moving $4 trillion of goods every year.
Equipment shortages are spreading to China, as the lines struggle to reposition sufficient empty containers, with some lines diverting equipment to higher-yielding trans-pacific trade lanes.
Chung Yeung Festival, also known as the Double Ninth Festival, is a public holiday in Hong Kong, for locals to pay tribute to the dead by visiting graves and columbaria.