Worldwide air cargo traffic volumes up 21% in March

Air cargo traffic in March showed year-on-year (YoY) worldwide growth of 21%, the corresponding month of last year having been significantly impacted by COVID-19, according to the latest analysis by WorldACD.

“To make any sense of this percentage (increase), we need to revisit the detailed results for March 2020,” the market data specialist said, underlining that the first and second hal of the month in question had displayed the sharpest of contrasts “in air cargo living memory.”

To bear this out, the YoY growth in the period 1-15, March, 2021, stood at -0.2%, whereas in the second half of the month  it was +44%, “a clear reminder that the first lockdown started to bite air cargo by mid-March 2020,” WorldACD observed.

“As the cautious recovery of early 2021 (+1.1% YoY for the first two months) was halted in the first half of March (-0.2% YoY), the question arises whether the second half reversed the trend again.”

Retailers clamor for limited industrial space near major US seaports in an attempt to mitigate future supply chain disruptions

Industrial markets at major U.S. port cities have come under additional strain from big increases in U.S. imports, fueling demand for warehouse space in markets with already scant availability, according to a new report from CBRE.

This increase in imports, which amounts to double-digit percentage gains from year-ago levels in many markets, has resulted from retailers seeking to bolster their inventories in the wake of pandemic-related demand and global supply chain shocks like the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.
West Coast ports such as Long Beach and Los Angeles have seen the biggest surge, with year-to-date loaded imports increasing 32.1 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively. On the East Coast, Savannah (17.7%), Port of Virginia (16.8%) and New York and New Jersey (13.2%) have all seen significant increases as well.

‘Chaotic’ supply chain pushed up supplier prices: MSC

Dive Brief:

  • Recent delays in the “chaotic” global supply chain contributed to MSC Industrial raising costs last month in response to its suppliers’ increases, the company said on a Q2 earnings call.
  • Port congestion, severe weather and COVID-19 disruptions have impacted product availability as demand has picked up, which contributed to shortages, MSC leadership explained. “What’s happening is there’s a lot of product scarcity and that’s beginning to lead to significant inflation,” said MSC CEO Erik Gershwind.
  • Typically, the company would anticipate another price increase during the summer, based on suppliers marking their prices up. But if cost inflations go up quickly, MSC said it could foresee its prices going up again even sooner.

‘March madness’ at LA port amid ‘once in a lifetime’ surge

The flood of imports into the Port of Los Angeles is relentless. More records were set in March. And volumes are expected to remain at peak levels — with container ships to remain stuck at anchor — until June.

“I would describe this as the port version of March Madness,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka during a press conference on Wednesday. He described last month’s import flows as “remarkable” and a “once-in-a-lifetime event.”

‘March madness’ at LA port amid ‘once in a lifetime’ surge

1.9m teu of capacity from Suez Canal blockage set to swamp ports

According to supply chain visibility company project44 the 1.9m teu in capacity held by the six day closure of the Suez Canal from 23 – 29 March is set to swamp ports that were already at the limits of their capacity following the boom in the container trades from the second half of last year.

The largest volumes are, not surprisingly, set to hit some of the main hubs on the Asia – Europe trade.

According to project44 there is some 370,000 teu of capacity were en route to Singapore, with 83 vessels representing 299,310 teu already anchored or at berth as of 12 April.

Chief Executive of the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore Quah Ley Hoon said on Monday thaPot the world’s largest transhipment hub was readying itself as a catch-up port to handle the anticipated shipping backlog.