A few years ago, many foreign traders hoped that the Spring Festival holiday would alleviate the situation of high shipping costs and difficulty in finding a container, but the reality is still hitting hard.
Ocean freight rates may remain high
On February 19, the latest Baltic Freight Index (FBX ) The spot freight rate from Asia to Northern Europe increased by 3% from the previous week, reaching 8,430 US dollars/40 feet, an increase of 145% from the beginning of December, and a sharp increase of 428% from the same period last year; the spot price from Asia to Eastern Mediterranean ports increased this week 3%, reaching US$7,893 per 40 feet, an increase of 270% from 12 months ago, and the single-day freight rate reached US$7,969 on February 19.
On the U.S. line, according to FBX data, after weeks of stagnation, spot freight rates from Asia to the U.S. West Coast hit a new record of $4,654 per 40 feet last week. , an increase of 7% from the previous week, and the single-day freight rate reached a record high of US$4,709 on February 19; East Coast ports also began to rebound after a brief decline, with an increase of 8.0% per 40 feet in the past week compared with the previous week. , the single-day freight rate reached US$5,960 on February 19.
According to the latest data released by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange on February 19, the Shanghai Export Container Comprehensive Index was 2875.93, an increase of 1.8% from the previous issue. On February 19, the market freight rate (shipping and shipping surcharges) exported from Shanghai to European basic ports was US$4,281/TEU, an increase of 4.2% from the previous period. For the Mediterranean route, the market conditions are basically in sync with the European route. The cargo volume fell back this week, the supply and demand relationship was stable, and the market freight rate fell slightly this week. On February 19, the market freight rate (shipping and shipping surcharges) exported from Shanghai to the Mediterranean basic port was US$4,252/TEU, down 0.7% from the previous period.
Commenting on the tough market conditions facing shippers, Gordon Downes, CEO of digital contract platform NewYork Shipping Exchange, said he It is not expected that freight rates will fall back “within a few years” after the COVID-19 epidemic. “In fact, I think the industry is at the beginning of a structural upcycle.”
Currently, some European ports, including the largest container port in the UK, Felixstowe Port, the largest port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and the second largest port in Europe, the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, are experiencing port congestion, resulting in Cargo piled up and ships were delayed.
To make matters worse, some countries are still going on strike. The Hellenic Tugboat and Salvage Crew Federation decided to hold a 48-hour strike at the Port of Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, starting from 00:01 local time on February 23, 2021, until ending at 24:00 on February 24, 2021 . During the strike, the Port of Piraeus will not be able to provide tugboat services, which will reduce the maneuverability of the ship at the port and affect the ship’s docking. After the ship arrives at the port, berthing will become a major problem. After the strike ends, the mountains of cargo will cause serious congestion at the port.
In the United States, congestion in Los Angeles/Long Beach may spread to the entire West Coast of the United States, and congestion at all major terminals has worsened.
Container ships anchored in Los Angeles and Long Beach need to wait an average of 8.3 days to unload, which is longer than the previous period of 8.0 days; it is reported that 35-40 ships are anchored in Los Angeles and Long Beach every day. Anchors await, with record congestion at two major Western U.S. terminals and carriers looking for other ports.
Relevant data from the National Retail Federation shows that import volumes in January 2021 are two to three times the levels seen in the past few years. The association expects that this summer, major U.S. ports will container imports will reach record levels.
In addition, as for the China-Europe freight trains, due to serious backlog at the port stations, from 18:00 on February 18 to 18:00 on the 28th, all stations will not depart through Horgos (border area). ) All types of goods shipped in boxcars for export will be stopped. After this outage, subsequent customs clearance speed may be affected.
European retailers suspend orders
Due to rising freight costs As a result, many retailers have temporarily shelved their ordering plans. Among them, the reaction of the Eurozone is the most obvious. The rising cost of importing goods from Asia is causing shortages of goods in Europe. From furniture, bicycles, sports equipment to children’s toys, shortages are affecting daily life in Europe.
Cary Grant, founder and government chairman of British toy retailer The Entertainer, said “ridiculous” shipping costs had a “huge impact” on costs. He usually ships about 50 containers a week from the Far East, but he said: “We have reduced this period by about 200 containers because we have no reason to pay for shipping.”
Halfords, one of Europe’s largest bicycle retailers, reported stock gaps caused by shipping issues and spoke of disruptions to freight prices and its latest buy-and-sell alternatives, although it said it was struggling with smaller rivals. In comparison, it has higher risk resistance in terms of manufacturing and transportation capabilities.
Peter Sander, an analyst at global transport services agency Bimco, said rising costs “will impact smaller importers and retailers more than the likes of Tesco, Walmart and IKEA” Be big”, the former needs to be shippedAdditional shipments usually require the carrier to consider shipping price costs.
In a survey of 900 small and medium-sized enterprises conducted by international freight market Freightos, 77% reported that they had encountered chain supply difficulties in the past six months. A survey by IHS Markit showed that supplier delivery times have continued to lengthen, reaching a record high since 1997. The tight supply not only affects the retail end, but also has an impact on manufacturing companies within the euro zone.
In addition, due to the impact of multiple factors such as the COVID-19 epidemic, severe container shortages, terminal congestion, extreme weather, etc., the comprehensive punctuality index of global trunk routes has declined for four consecutive months. , continued to decline in January 2021, once again setting the lowest record since the index was launched in 2019 – 22.36%.
In 2021, textile foreign trade people who have orders and can ship normally are really awesome. </p