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.
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.
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.
Nearly three weeks after their apology for service issues, Felixstowe have announced vehicle booking changes, but performance is now deteriorating at other key container ports.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, or zhongqiujie (中秋节), is one of the largest festivals in Mainland China and Hong Kong, bringing families gather to sample autumn harvests, light lanterns and admire what’s believed to be the fullest moon of the year.
Import volumes at Felixstowe have been 30% higher than usual in recent weeks, leading to severe congestion at the port, which has impacted road and rail transport and with port efficiency further diminished by the COVID crisis vehicle booking slots are not currently being issued, the restitution of empty containers has been interrupted and some vessels are omitting or diverting from the port.