Rate & Market Information
The transpacific market slows down in April due to various factors, and one major factor is because of the serious COVID lockdown in China. As many as 45 cities in China are now implementing either full or partial lockdowns, including Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao and Shenzhen. Qingdao and Shenzhen now gradually getting back to normal, however for Shanghai will probably last till early May. The new infections are also spreading from Shanghai to Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Kunshan and part of Taicang are now locked down and many other cities in East China are also being greatly impacted.
USEC rates and spaces remain tight dur to heavy congestions on the USEC ports especially in Charleston and Norfolk. USEC congestions is getting worse than USWC. It’s reported that the median wait times is 2-4 days at LAX/LGB, but 9-10 days at Charleston. 2M will temporarily omit Charleston on TP23/Liberty because of extended wait times.
Due to the limited capacity, the space requirements to USEC remain strong, and the USEC rates keep firm. Meanwhile, the continuing congestion at USEC make more importers divert their volume to the Gulf port like Houston, which also push the Gulf rates to climb further.
USWC rates dropped and more FAK spaces are being released by carriers. However, carriers are starting to cancel sailings due to less cargoes to fill the ship under high operating cost.
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Port / Space / Equipment Conditions
Shanghai Shutdown Updates
Shanghai enters the 3rd week of a full lockdown. Lockdown means labour isn’t available to keep factories running and to load boxes at the warehouse, or to move containers to the ports. We are seeing a 40%-50% drop in volumes as a result of the lockdown. There is no sign that the government will end the strict general lockdown measures any soon despite a slight easing of restrictions in Shanghai since today. The limited reopening – with less than a third of the population are allowed out in very limited conditions – is unlikely to ease the shipping backlog mounting at the ports. Overall Efficiency at Shanghai ports and terminals are largely reduced due to lack of man-power.
South China Shutdown Updates
The Covid situation in Yantian and Nansha are gradually under control. There is 10% of bookings cancelled due to factories closure and limited trucking capacity. However, carriers are now providing more vessel capacity from South China since there are fewer volumes being shipped from Shanghai. Carriers are selling lower spot rates, and space open from South China. Meanwhile, the lockdown in Shanghai is having an impact on South China shipping schedules by delaying vessel arrivals at Hong Kong and Yantian.
MORE ships have been turning to Indian ports recently due to political and economic uncertainty in Sri Lanka, on top of congestion at the Colombo port, reports Sri Lanka’s Times Online.
BULK carriers – numbering 477 – lie at anchor waiting for berths off Chinese ports because of the current lockdowns ashore in response to the Covid scare, reports Bloomberg.
OCEAN carriers looking to avoid logjams at the US’s busiest container gateways on the West Coast are now facing even longer queues out east, according to Bloomberg.
MAJOR US ports have begun to catch up with the backlog of cargo seen over the past several months, but could experience another surge this summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.
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