The main change for the supply chain industry in the two weeks since our last update has been the continued downgrading of COVID-19 handling, with major China cities now lifting controls, which will further simplify logistics, transport and shipping operations.
Container sea freight markets continue to face a volatile year. Norman Global Logistics personnel work locally at the primary Asia production hubs of China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand and provide these local updates.
All China ports are operating, while facing a variety of local COVID control measures and the prospect of lockdown with short notice. Some critical road infrastructure is not available and strict rules for the testing of drivers is limiting transport capacity in many areas, impacting operations and adding to costs in many regions.
The first freight market update of the year and 2022 is starting very much as last year finished, with freight operations challenges and continuing demand for capacity.
Ningbo container port, the world’s largest, has maintained steady operations during the latest COVID-19 outbreak, with ten cases reported over the weekend, at a clothing factory in the district of Beilun, which homes several of the port’s busiest terminals.
Global supply chains have been under intense and sustained pressure for close on two years, with every likelihood of no let up, until well into 2022….and now the Omicron variant may pose even more challenges.
The impact of the COVID pandemic has shone a spotlight on the global supply chain and the challenges in keeping goods moving efficiently along it, with disruption likely to continue well into 2022 and some expectation that its impact may be felt into 2023.
Yantian International Container Terminal (YICT) handles 13 million TEU which is why its partial closure is having a greater impact on Asia supply chains than March’s Suez blockage.
So here we are, June already, the second half of the year soon to start. Time seems to be accelerating while we work flat-out, spinning the wheels in the supply chains fast as we can. We are moving our customers’ trade and navigating the extraordinary challenges in the supply chain landscape.
The mega-container ship Ever Given has been recovered and the Suez Canal is unblocked, but the real problems for shippers have just begun, with some lines refusing to accept Asia bookings (in either direction) blanked sailings announced and the ripples of disruption likely to touch all aspects of global Maritime trade.