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Freight & Logistics Update – 15 February 2024

Freight & Logistics Update – 15 February 2024

Good Day Clients & Partners,

Please find below the Freight & Logistics Update for the week. The Inter-Sped team are ready to jump for you – so don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your freight and logistics needs.

SOUTH AFRICA    

DURBAN

Port berthing delays at pier 2 remain high due to continued congestion being experienced. The port has reported windy weather during the week.

  • Pier 1 : Upto 7 days
  • Pier 2 : Upto 20 days
  • Durban Point : 3 days

 

CAPE TOWN

Port berthing delays have reduced from week 5. The port has reported windy during the week.

  • CTCT : Upto 7 days
  • MPT : Upto 5 days

 

PORT ELIZABETH

The port has reported windy weather during the week. Low levels of delays experienced.

  • PECT : 0-2 days
  • NCT : 0-3 days

 

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS    

ANGOLA

  • Berthing delays of 10 days experienced at Luanda port. This is due to congestion being experienced.

 

GHANA

  • No berthing delays experienced at Tema port.

 

IVORY COAST

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Abidjan port.

 

KENYA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Mombasa port.

 

MAURITIUS

  • Berthing delays of 11 days experienced at Port Louis. High levels of congestion continue to be experienced as a result of poor weather conditions experienced in previous weeks.

 

MOZAMBIQUE

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Maputo port.

 

NAMIBIA

  • Berthing delay of 10 days experienced at Walvis Bay port.

 

NIGERIA

  • No berthing delays experienced at Apapa port.

 

TANZANIA

  • Berthing delays of 12 days experienced at Dar es Salaam port.

 

NORTH AMERICA    

CANADA

Montreal

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port. Bad weather continues on the North Atlantic Ocean, and this is having a mild impact on vessel schedules through Montreal.

 

Toronto

  • Berthing delays of 12 days experienced at this port.

 

Vancouver

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at this port. Due to adverse weather conditions and significant snow buildup, all Port Terminals in Vancouver are experiencing delays and/or suspension of operations for snow clearance.

 

USA

Terminals Updates:

  • New York/New Jersey – Vessel waiting time is up to 7 days.
  • Norfolk – Vessel waiting time is up to 6 days. Berth congestion has relaxed overall however bunched arrival of ships is still clogging the berth.
  • Savannah – Vessel waiting time is up to 4 days.
  • Charleston – Vessel waiting time is up to 3 days.
  • Miami/Port Everglades – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Houston – Vessel waiting time is up to 6 days. Bad weather in the Gulf of Mexico continues to cause closures at ports south of Houston and delays on arrival, on short notice.
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days.
  • Seattle – Vessel waiting time is upto 9 days. Terminal 18 will be closed on February 9 and February 12, 2024. Washington United Terminals will be closed February 19, 2024.
  • Oakland – Vessel waiting time is up to 2 days. OICT is still dealing with power issues. Berth 55 is closed until cranes 13 and 14 are repaired. Time frame is unknown

 

Rail Updates:

  • BNSF – Rail ramp is currently experiencing congestion in Chicago, Columbus, and Los Angeles. There are delays in picking-up and delivering containers at these locations.
  • UP/LAX/LGB – Rail ramp is currently experiencing congestion in Los Angeles. There are delays in picking-up and delivering containers at this location.

 

Equipment Availability:

  • Due to persistent congestion nationwide, chassis shortages continue to be observed resulting in potential delays for pick-up and delivery.

 

LATIN AMERICA    

BRAZIL

  • Berthing delays of 6 days experienced at Santos port. Carrier scheduling remains erratic from this country.

 

NORTH WEST CONTINENT, UNITED KINGDOM, MEDITERRANEAN     

MSC has announced an enhanced service offering between Europe and South Africa. Kindly see below details taken from their advisory issued on 29th January 2024:

“Dear Customers,

As part of MSC’s ongoing commitment to enhance services between Europe and South Africa, we are pleased to announce the following updates to our NWC to South Africa Service from March 2024.

 NWC TO SOUTH AFRICA SERVICE

The current NWC to South Africa Service rotation will be updated with a direct call at Bremerhaven, increasing flexibility for customers shipping cargo between Germany and South Africa.

 The new rotation of the service will be as follows:

London Gateway – Rotterdam – Antwerp – Hamburg – Bremerhaven – Le Havre – Sines – Las Palmas – Coega – Durban – Coega – Cape Town – Las Palmas – London Gateway

The first vessel on this new rotation will be MSC BRANKA voyage number NZ411A, due to arrive in Bremerhaven on 19 March 2024.

 

BELGIUM

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Antwerp port. PSA 913: Terminal returned to normal operations however, salvage of collapsed crane to be completed in February. All terminals in Antwerp faced operational challenges end of last week due to farmers strikes blocking entry roads to the terminals. Strike is over and no further impact to operations during this week.

 

FRANCE

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Le Havre port. 05/02 – 4 hours of operational interruption. 07/02 – 24 hours of interruption. 09/02 – 4 hours of interruption. Strikes impact to gates and yards with 24 hours of closing. Vessel arrivals have been adjusted to work around the closings.

 

GERMANY

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Hamburg port and 3 days at Bremerhaven port. Strong winds beginning of the week lasting until Wednesday led to serval delays to vessel arrivals and departures as the river Elbe was temporarily closed for larger vessels. CTB: Ongoing shore power construction with challenges to operations for all piers at CTB but currently low impact.

 

ITALY

  • Berthing delays of 4 days experienced at Genova port and 5 days at La Spezia port.

 

NETHERLANDS

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Rotterdam port. Operational challenges beginning of the week due to strong winds.

 

SPAIN

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Barcelona port.

 

SWEDEN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Gothenburg port.

 

TURKEY

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at Istanbul port.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at London Gateway port. Terminal expanded export delivery window for all equipment types to 14 days due to the Red Sea crisis. Terminal expected to receive delivery of new Gantry cranes for the ongoing pier expansion in week 8 which will temporarily impact berth availability.

 

INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT & MIDDLE EAST    

INDIA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Nhava Sheva and Mundra ports and 2 days at Chennai port.

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Jebel Ali port.

 

APAC (Including Oceania)    

  • Please take note that China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan will be celebrating Chinese New Year in week 7 from 10th to 17th February 2024 while Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam will celebrate the Lunar New Year from 10th February. During this period, our partners offices will be closed, and trucking serviced for collections and deliveries will be affected. This may cause delays with shipment movement.

 

HONG KONG

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

KOREA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Busan port.

 

MALAYSIA

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Port Kelang.

 

NANSHA

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.

 

QINGDAO

  • Berthing delays of 2 days experienced at this port.

 

SHANGHAI / NINGBO

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at Shanghai port and 2 days at Ningbo port.

 

SHEKOU / YANTIAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Yantian and Shekou ports.

 

XIAMEN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at this port.

 

XINGANG

  • Berthing delays of 3 days experienced at this port.

 

SINGAPORE

  • Berthing delay of 1 day being experienced at this port. No delays experienced for transshipment cargo. Slight delay experienced for FCL containers transshipping in Singapore. Expected delays between 1-2 weeks.

 

TAIWAN

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Kaohsiung port.

 

THAILAND

  • Berthing delay of 1 day experienced at Bangkok port.

 

VIETNAM

  • Berthing delays of 1 day experienced at Ho Chi Minh and Hai Phong ports.

 

NEWS ARTICLES    

Cape Town Container Terminal reduces vessels at anchor:

Date: 7th February 2024

The Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) completed three vessels in a single shift over the weekend, reducing vessels at anchor from four to one, despite three hours of lost time due to fog. CTCT said in a statement that management’s plans to place the terminal on the road to recovery had led to the recent improvement in productivity.

Transnet Port Terminal’s Western Cape acting managing executive Oscar Borchards said it was important for the port to maximise refrigerated container intake as the industry faces shortages. Container vessel Santa Rita is expected to sail with a planned total of 1,750 refrigerated containers in the next two days.

However, the confirmed number of refrigerated containers that have reached the terminal is 1,730. “Customers are battling a global shortage of empty refrigerated containers that has long been a problem in peak seasons, placing pressure on both the terminal’s and the supply chain’s capacity.”CTCT said.

Borchards added that recovery initiatives are progressing well, including scheduled overtime work and increased management visibility on the quayside. He said volumes have increased weekly, providing assurance that the improvements are starting to yield results. [1]

 

US Container Import Volumes Surge Amid Global Supply Chain Challenges:

Date: 8th February 2024

U.S. container import volume increased 7.9% in January 2024 from December 2023, marking the largest month-over-month growth for January in the last seven years, according to Descartes Systems Group’s latest Global Shipping Report.

This surge was primarily fueled by a 14.9% rise in imports from China, with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach picking up the most volumes. As a result, the volume share at top West Coast ports increased significantly, accounting for 43.0% of the total import container volume – an increase of 3.3% from December 2023. In contrast, the top East and Gulf Coast ports saw their share decrease to 42.4%, down by 2.5%.

The report also noted that ongoing issues such as Panama’s drought and the Middle East conflict have begun to affect transit times significantly, but not necessarily import volumes. Panama’s drought, in particular, has disrupted traffic through the Panama Canal, with the number of transit slots in January increasing slightly to 24, still well below the usual 36. Moreover, the conflict in the Middle East has affected traffic through the Suez Canal, leading to more ships opting to go around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

Looking at 2024, Descartes will monitor factors such as monthly TEU volumes that continue to surpass 2019 numbers, port transit wait times, the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the health of the U.S. economy, Panama Canal-based trade flow, Middle East conflict, and ILA/USMX contract negotiation to assess global supply chain performance. These factors have the potential to stress ports, affect global supply chain efficiencies, and disrupt trade flow. [2]

 

End of El Nino Could Bring Relief for Panama Canal Water Crisis:

Date: 8th February 2024

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an end to El Niño conditions by April-June 2024, with a 79% probability. The shift to ENSO-neutral conditions will likely be followed by the development of La Niña weather patterns between June and August 2024, with a 55% chance.

Throughout January 2024, equatorial Pacific Ocean waters maintained above-average temperatures, but with a slight reduction in the east-central Pacific region. Atmospheric anomalies also lessened, with rainfall near average around Indonesia. These changes indicate a weakening El Niño, with historical patterns suggesting a likely transition to La Niña conditions, although the timing remains uncertain.

The predicted weather changes could provide relief for the Panama Canal water crisis, as La Niña weather patterns historically result in above-average rainfall in Panama.

The future of Canal operations hinges on the arrival of the rainy season in May. If rain comes as expected, the Panama Canal Authority hopes to return to the normal rate of 36 transits per day. If not, further reductions in daily transits or maximum drafts might be required. [3]

 

Haulage spot rates in Germany are bucking the Euro trend:

Date: 8th February 2024

European road freight spot rates may have collapsed against contract rates over the course of 2023, but in Germany the picture is looking markedly different. The end of last year the country saw the introduction of the Maut (or Infrastructure Usage Charge), a spike in the price of diesel, an additional CO2 levy increasing costs by nearly 50% and a rise in the minimum wage for hauliers – all of which, one forwarder told The Loadstar led to the domestic spot market spiking.

“There is no doubt that prices have gone up, even ‘cheap’ drivers from the likes of Poland are costing more,” the forwarder said. “We have one customer based in the south of Germany for which we’d pay an average of €1,050 to €1,100 for a 760km journey. Now we are paying €1,300 to €1,400.”

Indeed, data supplied to The Loadstar indicates minimum wages for drivers have increased by some €3 since the onset of the pandemic, with the additional costs for hauliers having risen by between 69% and 83%, depending on truck classification.

Unlike other EU markets, the forwarder said, Germany’s trucking rates were “always spot”, rather than contract, with fuel costs calculated daily, which added oil price volatility into the mix. While Germany may be experiencing surging spots, a recent update from the IRU, Transport Intelligence and Upply found European road freight spot rates had fallen below contract rates for the first time in seven years. It said spot rates had been hit by declining industrial demand, while contract rate rises were driven by new emission tolls and general rising costs. [4]

 

Maersk switches ME2 service from PSA to group terminal at Nhava Sheva:

Date: 6th February 2024

Maersk has implemented a flurry of port call changes as its ships take longer voyages around southern Africa in the wake of the Red Sea crisis.

On the Indian leg, the rejigging has also meant some terminal changes, with the potential to drive market share swings among private terminal operators or concessionaires at Nhava Sheva port.

The Danish carrier has called off a long-term berthing window deal with PSA Mumbai, also known as Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT), to shift weekly calls on its ME2 (India-Mediterranean) service to nearby APMT’s Gateway Terminals India (GTI). The terminal reshuffle took effect this week and all inland container depot bookings on the ME2 for Indian customers have been put on hold, until necessary system updates are in place.

The move follows Maersk axing ME2’s westbound calls at Salalah and Jeddah until further notice and the service now rotates Jebel Ali, Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Port Tangier, Algeciras, Salalah, Jebel Ali. Maersk told customers: “To minimise any disruption to your business, the ports of Algeciras and Tangier will be used for onward connections to northern Europe and the Mediterranean. [5]

 

Revised carrier schedules bedding-in, say shippers, but they see trouble ahead:

Date: 7th February 2024

Amid continuing attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels, scheduling issues caused by rerouting of services away from the Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope (CGH) have begun to stabilise.

According to UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), a UK-owned ship was fired on at just after midnight on the 6th of February, just west of Yemen’s Hodeidah port. UKMTO said: “The projectile passed over the deck and caused damage to the bridge windows. The vessel and crew are safe. Vessel proceeding on planned passage.”

With CMA CGM the latest and last of the 10 major carriers to confirm it will be avoiding the Red Sea and Suez Canal, forwarder Flexport noted that as carriers adjust their schedules, networks were starting to normalise.

Director of Global Shippers Forum James Hookham told The Loadstar “We should see stability in schedules and arrivals now – albeit it will take longer for goods to get here – but they should bed down into the new arrangements and start to get back to the regular pattern shippers are expecting. [6]

 

Staff shortages and logistics lay-offs go hand in hand in today’s world:

Date: 8th February 2024

You may be forgiven for believing you’re living in a parallel universe, when new research by Descartes shows a serious shortage of supply chain workers, while logistics providers are shedding employees by the thousands.

Headlines in recent industry publications have indicated a parade of news of job cuts as logistics providers struggle to adjust to a market characterised by slow demand and escalating costs. To pick out just two examples: UPS announced at the end of January it was axing 12,000 jobs this year; next day, news broke of Flexport planning to say goodbye to about 15% of its workforce. UPS had already trimmed its headcount from 540,000, in December 2022, to 495,000, while for Flexport, this marked the third round of job cuts, following last year’s two rounds, each of about 20% losses in the workforce.

However, a study by software solutions provider Descartes of 1,000 executives in logistics and supply chain management positions paints a radically different picture. It shows 76% of supply chain executives are facing labour shortages, with 37% describing the shortfall as “high to extreme”. Only 5% of respondents reported no labour shortage, while 19% described their shortage as ‘little’ and 40% reported ‘some shortage’.

Companies in Germany, the US and the Nordic countries are most affected by labour shortages, Descartes observed. The respondents’ logistics providers were also struggling with labour shortages. Only 9% saw no impact on their logistics partners’ performance, while 24% said their providers were ‘very impacted’ and 12% found their providers ‘extremely impacted’. The biggest hit was in transport operations (61%), followed by warehouse operations (56%), transport planning (51%) and customer service (42%).

The study indicates correlations between labour shortage and financial performance, and in the impact of labour shortage and top management’s attitude to supply chain and logistics.

When it came to filling vacancies, 32% of respondents said it was not hard to replace warehouse workers; most challenging to recruit were planners and analysts, said 55%, closely followed by managers, at 54%. [7]

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES     

SACO CFR | Hapag Lloyd | Maersk | MSC | Transnet | The LoadStar Publications | gCaptain.com | Shipco Transport | Splash247.com | Freightnews | Hellenic Shipping News | Seatrade Maritime News | JAS Newsflash

[1] https://www.freightnews.co.za/article/cape-town-container-terminal-reduces-vessels-anchor

[2] https://gcaptain.com/us-container-import-volumes-surge-amid-global-supply-chain-challenges/

[3] https://gcaptain.com/end-of-el-nino-could-bring-relief-for-panama-canal-water-crisis/

[4] https://theloadstar.com/haulage-spot-rates-in-germany-are-bucking-the-euro-trend/

[5] https://theloadstar.com/maersk-switches-me2-service-from-psa-to-group-terminal-at-nhava-sheva/

[6] https://theloadstar.com/revised-carrier-schedules-bedding-in-say-shippers-but-they-see-troubleahead/

[7] https://theloadstar.com/staff-shortages-and-logistics-lay-offs-go-hand-in-hand-in-todays-world/

 

Please contact your Inter-Sped representative with any urgent queries or freight needs. We continue to monitor the freight world developments closely, and will be in contact with you for updates that concern you.

 

Best Regards

Jennifer & The Inter-Sped Team