It looks like being another challenging month in the world of international freight and container shipping from China especially.
Demand continues to exceed supply and this means there is a shortage of both ship capacity and also containers to load on ships. COVID restrictions also mean that many ports are operating at around 80% capacity. This means a perfect storm has developed.
This situation will only ease when there is more capacity in the market,
As you may have read in the BBC news website, The Times and other mainstream media the cost of container shipping from China to the UK and also the rest of Europe as well as the USA has steadily risen from last November and continued through 2021.
Why are prices increasing so much and are we going to reach a peak? We are hearing that due to western economies coming out of lockdown,
From December 2020 there has been a surge in container shipping demand that has affected all trade lanes worldwide to a large extent.
We are still passing through a perfect storm of ships initially taken out of service at the start of the pandemic for refurbishment and container orders cancelled as the expectation was that Covid would cause the market to collapse. The reality was the opposite with the majority of people still working,
Following on from our previous blog post regarding congestion at UK ports and Felixstowe in particular, we are now seeing an increase in demand from China for shipping line space.
Container Shipping Capacity In 2020
Throughout 2020 there have been cuts to container shipping capacity worldwide and from China in particular as shipping lines match supply to demand. Although demand has increased recently, it is neither easy nor straightforward for shipping lines to add additional ships,
As you may have read in the national press there are currently problems at Felixstowe port.
Felixstowe is by far the biggest container port in the UK, handling around a half of all the UK container imports, handling container ships to and from China, the Far East and Indian sub-continent in particular. So when there is a problem at Felixstowe port it quickly becomes a whole container industry problem.
The current congestion levels are causing up to 15 containerships at a time to be queued up to unload at Felixstowe.
We are in constant contact with our customers who import from China, Malaysia and Vietnam in particular and thought it worthwhile sharing with you the latest news and trends regarding importing by container and importing by air from China
Chinese Public Holidays
It is important to know that China has two major extended public holidays. Chinese New Year, which is well known and occurs in the spring time. Then there is Golden Week,
Many of our customers are wondering what is happening in the world of container shipping, specifically importing full containers and also part container loads from China and what effects COVID19 is having on shipping.
Container Shipping & International Shipping
The good news is that COVID 19 restrictions have not applied to international container shipping and in fact all international transport is normally except from such restrictions so on the face of it COVID19 should have had no effect.
As you may have read, or even heard, the UK Government is now turning its attention to all matters Brexit related. This includes imports into the UK.
Whilst the UK has left the European Union already, there are going to be major changes, challenges and opportunities as we leave the Customs Union on the 31 December 2020. Then our relationship with Europe is severed.
What does Brexit mean for imports into the UK?
Whilst demand for PPE has never been greater, especially for gloves and masks imports, there is now more airline space than bookings. Therefore prices have gone down by two thirds since the COVID-19 crisis started, making air freight a cheap option.
Are you enjoying the cheap, reduced rates that are now in the market?
It is still the case that passenger flights are still few and far between. The way that the majority of the world’s air cargo used to moved was in passenger planes.
If you have been trying to get PPE into the UK you may have already discovered the complexities and issues surrounding this process. There is an obvious massive demand for PPE equipment – masks, face shields, gloves, protective equipment etc in the UK at the moment with a lack of supplies.
With social distancing being common place and retail shops and industry starting up again in June, this demand is going to increase.