Recent Posts

Social media

Facebook
International Forwarding Association Blog » News

News

Shanghai’s Covid-19 Lockd freight forwarders

Domestic and Global Impact of Shanghai’s Covid-19 Lockdown

Lockdowns in various Chinese cities have increased pressure on logistics and transport, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise across the country. The trucking industry has been hard hit, which plays a key role in shipping cargo to major ports in China. There are also restrictions on deliveries and truck drivers moving goods to areas with a high Covid-19 count.   Domestic Impact According to domestic freight forwarders, trucking is the main problem at present. Booking truck services has proven extremely challenging and even impossible at times. Also, flight activity has shrunk to 3 percent from what it was in March,… Read more

China and Implications for Shipping

Massive Lockdowns in China and Implications for Shipping

Covid-19 is not over yet, with China reporting the worst outbreak since the onset of the pandemic. The third most populous city, Shenzhen was placed on lockdown this Sunday, and factories closed temporarily. Shanghai has also experienced a surge in cases, and new restrictions have been imposed. Shenzhen is the home to the world’s third largest port while Shanghai is home the world’s largest. The extent to which the trans-Pacific route will be affected depends on how long factories and ports will be closed. According to experts, the worst-case scenario would be a major shockwave putting pressure on already strained… Read more

Global Supply Chains

Global Supply Chains under Pressure due to New Lockdowns in China

Recent coronavirus outbreaks have forced China to implement new restrictions that can further strain global supply chains, resulting in disrupted flow of goods and even higher inflation. Global supply chains are already under pressure due to port congestions, delayed ships, and a surge in demand. New Challenges Ahead The tightening restrictions in the Jilin province and cities such as Shenzhen and Shanghai may cause further delays, stain port capacity, and increase freight rates on major routes, which already have reached sky-high levels. Major carriers have warned that test requirements for truck drivers and restrictions may cause delays in transport to… Read more

ship transport

Ship Backlogs Expected to Ease by Mid-2022

Ship backlogs have lasted for two years already due to the global health and economic crisis. According to experts, however, backlogs are expected to let up in mid-2021, easing pressure on carriers and container capacity. This would also mean less revenue for the big cargo carriers from the spot market. So far, freight rates have been record-high, up to 10 times that of 2019 levels on the busiest shipping routes. Going Forward Shipping experts point to the fact that while we are moving toward a post-pandemic future, we don’t really know what it will look like. The global community doesn’t… Read more

small shipments e-commerce

Is the Online Shopping Boom Going to Continue Post-Covid-19?

Demand for online delivery and products shipped to your doorstep has increased with the onset of the pandemic, as many consumers have been forced to work from home. Questions that beg to be answered are: what kind of people buy products online, is this shift in consumer behavior temporary or will continue post-Covid-19, and how has demand changed? Research from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York offers some valuable insights that could aid international freight forwarders and policymakers. Study Findings According to associate professor Cara Wang, the vast majority of people (over 90 percent) would return to their old… Read more

international freight forwarders

Mariners and Truck Drivers Refuse Contracts as the New Variant Spreads

With truck drivers concerned over travel restrictions and border closures and ship crew refusing to sign contracts, the shipping industry is facing challenging times. From small logistics companies to big businesses, freight forwarders find it increasingly difficult to get enough staff amidst a surge in omicron infections. According to experts, about 20 percent of truck driving positions are still vacant despite the fact that logistics providers are willing to offer higher wages. They predict another year of severe supply chain disruptions, with demand exceeding supply and high costs for cargo owners.   Why Drivers Refuse Contracts As omicron spreads quickly,… Read more

Shipping Industry

6 Ways in Which the Health Crisis Affected the Shipping Industry

The ongoing health crisis has affected shipping in many ways, from the medical handling of suspect Covid-19 cases and crew repatriation to vessel attendance for statutory purposes and certification and delayed repairs and retrofits.   Handling of Suspect Cases Medical handling of suspect cases can be a challenge due to shortage of equipment and supplies such as hand gloves, face masks, chlorine, hand sanitizer, sodium lactate solution, and pain and fever medications. Transferring crew ashore has also proven a challenge, given that in many countries crew is not allowed to disembark for treatment. Crew Changes and Repatriation The global crisis… Read more

Pandemic Control Strategies

China Expected to Double Down on Pandemic Control Strategies

The new Omicron variant could be another resilience test for trade flows and already stretched global supply chains. The Chinese government has already enforced a zero-Covid policy, involving strict monitoring of cargo and commercial ships, enforced quarantines, and mass lockdowns. According to experts, the government may double down on this strict policy. If the new variant turns out to be a major threat, this can cause reopening delays in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well.   The Reasoning behind China’s Strict Covid-19 Policy According to a study conducted at the Pekin University, dropping China’s zero-Covid policy could result in over… Read more

Suez Canal

Suez Canal to Increase Transit Fees by 6 Percent

The Suez Canal Authority recently announced fee increases for commercial vessels passing through the waterway. Experts warn that this move will cause price increases and further inflationary pleasures on the global supply chain. As the shortest route between Europe and Asia, linking Red Sea with Mediterranean Sea, about 12 percent of all commercial cargo ships pass through the Suez Canal. Officially opened in 1869, today the waterway is a major source of revenue for the Egyptian authorities. New Fees and Exemptions The 6-percent increase in fees will begin in 2022, applicable to all cargo vessels transiting through the canal. The… Read more

Product Shortages

From Raw Material and Worker Shortages to the Domino Effect

Shortages of magnets and microprocessors mean that manufacturers find it increasingly difficult to fulfill orders as they cannot produce enough tablets, phones, and computers. When it comes to plastic, shortages affect manufacturers across sectors, including medical products, personal care and hygiene, and food and beverages. The situation has also resulted in backlogs for plastic cups and other disposable supplies, PVC piping and house siding, and RVs and cars. Coupled with high demand, shortages have resulted in all-time record high prices.   Causes for Product Shortages Raw Materials Surveys among manufacturers show that many have been affected by the prolonged pandemic… Read more

Transport Workers

Covid-19 Restrictions Push Transport Workers to the Brink

Airline staff, truck drivers, and seafarers have been subject to testing requirements, travel restrictions, and quarantines to keep global supply chains moving during a prolonged pandemic. Many are on the brink of exhaustion, which is yet another threat to carriers shipping cargo around the globe. In September, industry groups sent an open letter to the UN General Assembly, highlighting the need to ensure that transport workers are given vaccine priority. The letter also stresses the importance of freedom of movement for transport staff.   Why Worker Shortages? According to industry experts, all shipping sectors are faced with worker shortages due… Read more

Maritime Shipping Crisis

When Will the Maritime Shipping Crisis End?

A year and a half since the pandemic started, shipping cargo from China to Europe now costs 6 times more than it did back in 2019. Surging costs have only made the situation worse, adding to existing problems such as the high cost of raw materials and the global semiconductor shortage. There is only a 5 percent increase in demand for shipping worldwide, with contraction partly due to the rise in Covid-19 cases. In addition to low demand, there are other factors causing strain on the maritime supply chain. Container Turnaround Times The turnaround times for ships, trailers, and containers… Read more

global logistics crisis

Increase in Consumer Demand Driving Product Shortages

The global logistics crisis is not solely caused by a spike in consumer demand but it is a factor that can’t be overlooked. When the pandemic started, shipping fell due to uncertainty how lockdowns and social distancing measures would affect consumer demand. Crew safety has also been a source of concern. Then the situation changed on a global scale as consumers were forced to limit their spending on dining out and travel. Many shifted to digital. They began buying electronics, home and office equipment, vehicles, and other goods to make lockdown life more bearable.   Trends With commercial vessels shipping… Read more

Cut Carbon Emissions

Urgent Measures Needed to Cut Carbon Emissions

Commercial ships are responsible for about 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis or 3 percent of total emissions. Experts explain that if vessels were a country, it would be the world’s sixth biggest polluter. Unless urgent action is taken, shipping greenhouse gas emissions are forecasted to reach up to 130 percent of their 2008 levels in just three decades.   1997 Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol set targets for industrialized economies and nations to reduce their carbon emissions and slow down the onset of global warming. While targets vary by country, the US committed to… Read more

Global Trade

Global Trade Struggling Due to a Confluence of Events

A series of events is driving global trade to a breaking point, from cyber threats at major South African ports to natural disasters in Germany and China and a new wave of Covid-19 and cases rising worldwide. According to shipping experts, economists, and businesses, the effect is an interrupted flow of consumer goods, parts, and raw materials. The Delta Variant The new Delta variant of Covid-19 has already plagued parts of Asia, forcing many states to restrict land access for seafarers. Some 100,000 sailors are currently stranded onboard as captains are unable to rotate crews. Industry insiders warn that we… Read more

Distri24 – a new Benelux distribution division, composed and implemented by Corneel Geerts

Distri24 is the new distribution division, composed and implemented by Corneel Geerts Transport Group and operating since April 2021 via its depot (Hub) in Venlo. It is a parallelized freight distribution network with a fast and reliable national coverage, serving a wide variety of customers. The service is provided in collaboration with local partners for the Netherlands and Luxembourg and has its own logistics infrastructure. The transports between the logistic branches are carried out overnight to save time. The size of the shipments can vary from one pallet to several.Distri24 guarantees delivery within 24-48 hours in the Benelux, depending on… Read more

Air Freight Prices in the New Normal

The congestion caused by a recent outbreak in Southern China has been expected to impact air freight in summer. Yet, despite predictions that the chaos at major ports would cause a modal shift from sea to air, the volume of converted orders has only slightly increased. Experts are not really sure why this is happening but it can be high air freight rates that are causing drop in demand.   Reasons for High Rates About ¾ of freight capacity was removed in 2020 due to a significant reduction in travel. Demand for personal protective equipment skyrocketed, resulting in record high… Read more

Shipping Rates Set to Skyrocket due to New Outbreak in China

The freight transport industry has suffered significant supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing global health crisis. Intermodal transport in Europe, including truck carriers and railroad shippers, has been affected. Ports around the world have seen a reduction in cargo volumes due to uncertainty. Parcel delivery companies have been the least affected as they face less competition from cargo transported by air. Now due to a new outbreak in China, a shipping crisis is looming. Effect of Supply Chain Disruptions before the New Outbreak in China Disruptions are set to continue throughout 2021, possibly resulting in Christmas shortages. The industry… Read more

Global Economic Downturn Increases Truck Driver Shortages

Logistics companies are increasingly faced with a shortage of commercial truck drivers due to a combination of global economic downturn, Covid-19, and the Brexit. Driver shortages have been a global problem even before the start of the coronavirus crisis but recent studies predict a 25 percent increase across all EU member countries. A combination of factors that industry experts have been warning about for a long time, driver shortages have resulted in a situation where European logistics companies and businesses find it increasingly difficult to move goods to shelves on time. They are also increasingly facing higher operating costs for… Read more

India’s Surge in Infections Rocks the International Shipping Industry

Dry bulk and tanker shipping for outbound and inbound trade to India have become expensive due to the recent coronavirus outbreak in India. The country is one of the major exporters of dry bulk commodities and refined products such as salt, steel, pellets, and iron ore. India also imports significant volumes of crude oil, vegetable oils, and coal. Yet, countries around the world have barred ships from berthing at their ports if they arrive from India and have called any Indian port during the last 2 – 4 weeks. For this reason, some shipping companies are seeking premiums for discharging… Read more