Ocean Freight Market Update – October 2021

11.24.2021

The study analyzes the sea freight market by the end of September — beginning of October 2021. It reveals the problems associated with the movement of goods in various regions of the world, highlights the latest developments in the industry and gives a forecast for the next month.

Dedicated Far East and Middle East services appear worst hit by the capacity shift to the big East — West trades. On Sep 14th 29 ships were deployed on these services, while 50 would be required according to pro forma schedules. The share of the global cellular fleet deployed in the Asia — Europe and Asia — North America trades increased from 34.6% on 1 July 2020 to 41.4% on 1 July 2021.

Transpacific capacity has risen 30.6.% year-on-year and the Far East — Middle East trade is one of the worst affected by the capacity shift to Asia — US West Coast services. The share of the global cellular fleet deployed in the Asia — Europe and Asia — North America trades increased from 34.6% on 1 July 2020 to 41.4% on 1 July 2021.

Transpacific capacity has risen 30.6.% year-on-year and the Far East — Middle East trade is one of the worst affected by the capacity shift to Asia — US West Coast services.

The researchers found that the economic recovery depends on the region. Western Europe’s consumer-led expansion gains traction. The easing of COVID-19 containment measures, resilient labor markets, and household savings accumulated during the pandemic are reviving consumer spending.

COVID-19 concerns and supply issues shift US growth from 2021 to 2022. The forecast of real GDP growth has been lowered 0.4 percentage point, to 5.7%, in 2021, owing to more cautious consumer spending on services, fewer light vehicle assemblies, and less inventory investment.

Mainland China’s economy has decelerated broadly. In August, industrial output growth slowed to 5.3% year on year (y/y), restrained by semiconductor shortages and production curbs designed to achieve the government’s decarbonization targets.

HS Markit economists estimate that real GDP contracted q/q during the third quarter in AU, ID, MY, PH, TH, & VN. With vaccination campaigns accelerating and new COVID-19 cases declining from recent peaks, Asia Pacific is poised for a strong rebound in late 2021 and early 2022. Virus containment efforts have been most successful in IN, TW, ID, & JP.

Central banks in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Peru have increased their policy rates, prompted by high inflation.

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ IndexTM (PMITM) surveys through August indicate record-high delivery times for manufacturing inputs. These supply delays are driving up prices and curbing output in many sectors—especially autos, construction, industrial equipment, and technology. Semiconductor shortages continue to depress global auto production, resulting in depleted dealer inventories and reduced sales.

Due to the massive influx of Ocean import cargo, particularly from Asia Pacific there are significant issues with available warehouse space across the country. Dwell times increased drastically, as well as drayage between port and customer warehouses. Rail delays are occurring across country (Midwest and Chicago areas), are facing average of 6-8 weeks dwell time. These issues combined causes a significant congestion at ocean terminals, rail terminals and Container Freight Stations (CFS) and often results in delays that can sometimes last several weeks.

As post-COVID19 demand for goods in North America soars US ports move up the ranks. Figures for the first half of the year show that Los Angeles/Long Beach and New York/Newark recorded year-on-year throughput growth of 41% and 31% respectively. Although year-on-year increases are distorted by the drop in port throughput last year. Nevertheless, volume wise Los Angeles/Long Beach has now overtaken Hong Kong and New York/Newark is now one rank before Hamburg. Dubai has also seen a drop in ranks as the port has suffered from local competition.

Overall, the top 20 container ports handled 13% more containers compared to previous year. Although there was a slight decline of around 1% compared to the last 6 months of 2020 — another possible sign that the current boom is driven by disruption rather than volumes.

Experts predict an increase in rates for European shipments with a continuing shortage of equipment and high loading of ships in several directions (Latin America, Asia, South Africa). The West coast of North America will be slightly discharged due to the transition of carriers to the Middle East. However, Vancouver and Seattle remain overwhelmed. Past storms in South America have led to a delay in shipments, which will cause a domino effect in the region. The typhoon also passed in Shanghai, which will raise prices in Asia, Australia and Oceania.

News on topic
Analytics on topic
Report
10.29.2021
Report
10.29.2021
Sea and air cargo transportation: the end of the crisis regime?

For more than a year, the whole world has been living with COVID-19 and related restrictions. The coronacrisis had a huge impact on the transport and logistics industry represented by sea, rail and air cargo transportation. Some of them continue to be in crisis mode, while others have become beneficiaries of the crisis.

Report
05.27.2020
Report
05.27.2020
Review of the current state of sea and air cargo transportation market: crisis recovery scenario

The coronavirus outbreak exposed the fragility of global supply chains that move goods between countries. Due to the volatility of the logistic market, carriers are facing new risks and the need to promptly respond to changes in order to manage them. The global cargo transportation market is experiencing significant difficulties caused by abrupt decrease of the transport infrastructure throughput due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.