Outlook for supply chain disruption in 2022
Early this year, any expectations of easing supply chain congestion and containerized freight rates are too optimistic as the pandemic continues to exert its influence over the sector.
Carriers and their customers began their 2021-22 service contract negotiations several months earlier than usual, seeking stability and predictability in an eastbound trans-Pacific trade roiled by supply chain disruptions.
With import volumes in the trans-Pacific projected to remain strong into the new year and water and landside congestion continuing, the first half of 2022 will look eerily similar to 2021.
Pandemic-born disruption will continue forcing logistics practitioners to rework supply chains in 2022 to deal with ongoing congestion and equipment shortages.
Measures for long dwelling containers in Los Angeles and Long Beach ports
Los Angeles and Long Beach ports will further delay implementing a container dwell fee until January 17, again citing declining numbers of over-staying containers.
Port of Oakland said it plans to launch an “interagency effort” to improve the flow of agriculture exports by using extra yard space and equipment, restoring export ship calls, and assistance to export users.
The Port of Los Angeles has aimed at empty containers at its terminals with a proposed fee in January to penalize container lines for failing to move long-dwelling outbound boxes.
The US urges lines to improve services for agricultural exports
The US departments of Transport and Agriculture have urged container shipping companies to improve services and fully utilize available terminal capacity on the west coast to help mitigate disruptions to agricultural exports.
The US secretaries of Transportation and Agriculture are urging ocean carriers to bring more ships to Oakland and Portland so that agriculture shippers can get their products to market.
The situation of US west and east coast ports
The Northwest Seaport Alliance is preparing for additional container and intermodal volumes with the opening on January 7, 2022, of the first phase of Terminal 5 in Seattle.
The number of vessels anchored outside Savannah fell to fewer than five, a significant improvement from September when the number was as high as 30.
The Port of New York-New Jersey is seeing an uptick in ships waiting for an open berth as vessel calls rise and more freight gets diverted from other ports
Container lines invest big money to switch focus from ships to shore
Containership operators have made no secret of developing their logistics capabilities to provide integrated services along the supply chain.
Maersk announced it would acquire Hong Kong-based LF Logistics in a deal worth $3.6bn, which came less than 48 hours after MSC confirmed it had made an offer for Bolloré Africa Logistics valued at $6.4bn.
With its latest multi-billion-dollar acquisition, Maersk will significantly expand its Asia Pacific contract logistics and e-commerce footprint Asia Pacific.
Forwarders are raising red flags as a more integrated Maersk becomes better equipped to establish direct relationships with shippers.
Forwarders face risks from flirting with shipping
Freight forwarders that have moved into container shipping to benefit from surging rates face many financial and practical risks as the market eases.
The high freight rates and congested supply chains that have afflicted container shipping over the past year have led to many new entrants launching services on trades that were previously the domain of the major container lines.
But several challenges are facing those that dabble in this market, and any correction could lead to significant losses, according to experts.
Read more: Lloyd’s List
Ningbo port clogged by lockdown measures
Coronavirus disruptions have continued in China’s Ningbo, where the world’s third-largest container port is striving to maintain operation levels. Truck entry into the port area remains restricted. At the same time, some container freight stations have halted operations due to roadblocks and other lockdown measures in the city’s Beilun District, home to a string of large box terminals.
While no COVID-19 cases were reported at Beilun’s three container terminals, warehouse and container depot closures and trucking disruptions have made it difficult for manufacturers and suppliers to get goods to and from Ningbo port.
New California task force shines a spotlight on port automation
Creating an ILWU-supported California task force, a new industry panel on automation, is an example of how the union is increasingly determined to fight automation outside the confines of a contract that allows employers to automate.
Read more: JOC
TradeLens builds on Asia momentum with Pakistan Customs deal
TradeLens has continued to develop its network in Asia by securing Pakistan Customs and its single window initiative as a new member, bookending its existing investment in India.
Read more: JOC