Friday, May 29, 2020
Manager air cargo business development for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Bryan Schreiber, said: "This marks a major milestone for Wen-Parker, Rickenbacker and our region. Vietnam is a huge product sourcing area and growing trade partner with the US. Until last year, the US and Vietnam did not have harmonised aviation regulations in place, and Vietnam traffic had to travel via another country. As supply chains shift, these initial series of direct flights from Hanoi may start additional, direct freighter opportunities from Vietnam through Rickenbacker in the future."The Elmont, New York based Wen-Parker Logistics has chartered flights carrying much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for those in the healthcare industry from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, Vietnam. Five flights have already been carried out and they will continue through the end of June, reports AJOT."Wen-Parker Logistics is proud to be supporting our customers who are shipping critically-needed protective gear to the United States," said Brady Borycki, executive vice-president, global business development at Wen-Parker Logistics. "Our team overseas and in the USA are working hard to make this programme a success, and we are excited to be assisting the international relief effort!"Rickenbacker and its partners in the logistics industry have been playing a vital role in responding to demands for personal protective equipment in the fight against Covid-19. Early in the pandemic, airfreight-forwarding companies rallied to the cause by utilising their connections to bring PPE into the United States."We are very proud to have Wen-Parker bringing these flights into LCK," said Mr Schreiber. "In addition to these critical PPE flights, many industry partners have found that in this time of extreme supply chain disruption, Rickenbacker is an efficient connection point to and from the US market for many different types of cargo."
Freight rates from China to Europe were down US$0.59, while China to the US is down $0.23.FIS said the slower rate drop was due to Hong Kong, where rates rose to the US by $1.14. Shanghai, however, fell $1.37 to Europe and $1.60 to the US.Seabury data from last week showed eastbound transpacific capacity grew 4 per cent compared with last year, while Asia-Europe was down only 10 per cent. Asia to Latin America was down 13 per cent year on year. But, it added, "transatlantic air cargo capacity shows no signs of recovery yet".It said there was limited growth of passenger freighters on the transatlantic, with most added on routes to and from Asia, and intra-Middle East and south Asia.Passenger freighters had added close to 75,000 tonnes of air cargo capacity a week since the peak decline, but, as Seabury notes, most of it is directed towards the urgent demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).Overall, global air cargo capacity is 26 per cent lower than this time last year.FIS's forward-looking rates suggest that next month will see China to Europe rates rise $0.32, but China to US will fall $0.40. It forecasts that in July, both lanes will lift $0.20.But, FIS notes, there remain many uncertainties in the market, citing the likelihood of freighter capacity needing to go into maintenance. While freighter capacity has been relatively stable, FIS warns it could fall in the coming months, reports The Loadstar of UK.It said: "The second unknown is the scale of passenger demand, and thus the availability of belly capacity. The reluctance of governments to engage in open air-bridges and the asymmetry of quarantine measures fixes the stopper on passenger travel for the near future."The third unknown is the impact and size of consumer demand as 'non-essential' economies start to return from mid-June. Inventories will either have to react to high demand, thus causing a sharp, high-speed volume spike, or demand will slump in line with a recession, and cargo will move on slower transport modes (container, rail), or not at all."
However, according to Transport Intelligence (Ti) the surge in e-commerce growth during lockdowns, and a permanent switch in consumer behaviour combined with an economic recovery in H2 could lead to growth of up to 4.5 per cent.Ti's scenario-based projections for express market growth in 2020 show, with suppression of the pandemic and recovery in H2, potential for growth of up to 6.3 per cent in domestic express and 3.3 per cent in the international express market.There are gloomier prospects under a 'severe impact' scenario, however. A prolonged pandemic could see as much as 2.5 per cent wiped from the domestic market with a contraction of -13.3 per cent in international express.Andy Ralls, quantitative analyst at Ti, commented: "The performance of the express market hangs in the balance. It cannot escape the weak global economic environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic but at the same time restrictions on daily life have led to a surge in e-commerce growth. The change in consumer behaviour, if permanent, could lead to much higher express growth rates in future, but in 2020 the economic environment will force growth down, potentially into negative territory."
BIFA director general, Robert Keen comments: "This is not a political comment from our members. They are a pragmatic group. They understand that the UK has left the EU."It is a clear message to Government that BIFA members and the clients that they serve have great reservations over whether they will have the capacity to handle the major changes to the UK's trading relationship at the start of 2021, such as new customs documentation and procedures."The survey revealed considerable concerns regarding the recruitment of staff qualified and experienced in Customs procedures and the lack of available time to train them.With no extension to the transition period, 50 per cent of respondents felt they would not have sufficient staff to undertake the additional Customs-related work that will be required from January 1, 2021, whilst 60 per cent felt they would not have time for comprehensive training of new recruits.In a recent letter to the parliamentary committee responsible for the UK's future relationship with the EU, BIFA raised ongoing concerns over potentially misleading and ambiguous comments from politicians and government regarding Customs matters.In the letter, BIFA noted that it had heard that the Government is planning a new customs academy in Kent. It expressed its surprise that the trade association that represents companies that undertake a large proportion of the UK's customs entries, and is the largest provider of Customs training services, has not been invited to participate in any substantive talks about such an academy.Mr Keen adds: "Sadly, it is a further example of the lack of meaningful consultation with UK trade regarding the policies and procedures required in order to ensure that trade with the EU can continue relatively uninterrupted post December 31, 2020."With very little progress to date on key negotiating points in the formal talks and with many of the civil service resources previously assigned to support negotiations reallocated to deal with the coronavirus emergency response, it would be very risky and unwise not to seek an extension."Even before the pandemic, our members were concerned that the 11-month transition wouldn't leave enough time to prepare for a potential no deal. Having had their businesses affected badly by the effects of the pandemic, I really do wonder whether they, and the clients they serve, will have the capacity to increase readiness for a sharp change in trading practices and conditions from the start of next year."When 72 per cent of the 400 BIFA member companies which completed the survey, and are actively involved day-to-day in managing the UK's visible imports and exports, call for an extension of the transition period, we can only hope that the Government will again be listening."
ATA chief economist Bob Costello commented: "These results show that fleets did exactly what we would expect them to in the face of a tightening market for drivers: they raised pay and increased benefits in order to attract talent."According to the survey, which was based on data from 2019, the average pay for truckload national, irregular route solo van drivers was roughly $58,000, up $6,000 from 2017, reports AJOT."We saw large carriers hire more entry-level drivers in 2019, including drivers directly from driver training school, which lowered the average pay for these carriers, but they did not reduce pay rates. It was just a different driver experience pool," Mr Costello said.Fleets responding to the survey also reported offering significant benefit packages in order to attract drivers including paid leave, insurance, meals and other incidentals and retirement plans. For example, more than 90 per cent of truckload carriers, less-than-truckload carriers and private fleets surveyed offered drivers paid leave and health insurance."What these figures show is that being a truck driver can be a path to a middle-class lifestyle for millions of Americans," Mr Costello said. "With the long-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis not yet fully clear, we can say that a career in trucking could be a well-paying solution for some of the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs so far this year."
Executive director of North Carolina Ports, Paul J Cozza, said: "This is a monumental milestone for North Carolina Ports, the Port of Wilmington and the entire state of North Carolina. This has been years in the making and seeing our hard work and dedication come to fruition with the arrival of the MV Hyundai Hope is truly something to celebrate."Our ports are an important asset for connecting North Carolina to opportunities around the globe. Welcoming this ship shows our commitment to supporting North Carolina's ports and the overall economy is paying off and keeping our state globally competitive," added Robert A Wicker, chairman, North Carolina Ports board of directors.The arrival of the MV Hyundai Hope highlights North Carolina Ports' commitment to its more than US$200 million capital improvements plan. Enhancing the Port of Wilmington's infrastructure to support the largest vessels calling on East Coast ports has long been a focal point of this initiative."Our team and board of directors recognised the importance of improving our infrastructure to support the growing vessels able to reach the United States following the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016. Since then, we have been working tirelessly to modernise our facilities in preparation of this historic moment," said Brian E Clark, chief operating officer, North Carolina Ports, reports AJOT.The arrival of the Hyundai Hope follows the completion of four major projects aimed at improving access for 14,000-TEU container ships to the Port of Wilmington. Earlier this year, NC Ports completed phase two of its turning basin expansion project; opened 2,600 contiguous feet of container berth space; and completed an air draft improvement project which increased the air draft over the Cape Fear River. Additionally, the Ports Authority welcomed three neo-Panamax cranes in 2018 and 2019 specifically designed to work ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs).The Hyundai Hope is operated by HMM in partnership with THE Alliance linking Asia and South America to Wilmington. HMM officially joined THE Alliance on April 1, 2020, which is made up of three additional ocean carriers: Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming and Ocean Network Express (ONE).
Built in South Korea at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering's (DMSE) Okpo shipyard, the 399.9-metre HMM Algeciras has a capacity of 23,964 TEU and is the first of 12 vessels of the same class, design and size contracted to be built by DSME and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).The mega ship was delivered in April and is deployed on Far East Europe 4 (FE4) service, one of the Asia-North Europe trade lanes of THE Alliance, with its port rotation starting at Qingdao, Busan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Suez Canal, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, London Gateway, then Singapore via Suez Canal.Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman, Admiral Osama Rabie said a number of highly experienced SCA pilots were assigned to provide the required navigation aids, like escort tug boats, and real-time monitoring of the transit from the Main Traffic Control Office, and various traffic control stations, as the Panamanian-flagged containership transited among the south convoy, via the New Suez Canal, heading from Yantian to Rotterdam, reports New York's MarineLink.
Average rates across all Zim trades during the first three months of the year increased 7.1 per cent to US$1,091 per TEU, pushing revenue up 3.4 per cent to $823.2 million despite a 4.5 per cent decrease in volume to 668,000 TEU, the carrier announced.There was real improvement in the carrier's operating results with Zim's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rising 40 per cent year over year to $97.2 million in the first quarter. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $27.2 million was 23.6 per cent above the same quarter last year and the shipping line's net loss of almost $12 million was also a 49 per cent improvement year over year."Despite the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis on the global economy in general, and on the shipping industry in particular, Zim was able to mitigate the adverse impact of the crisis, and Q1 2020 results show improvements in all parameters, compared to the same period in 2019, including strong cash generation and a continued deleveraging of our balance sheet," Zim CEO Eli Glickman said in a statement.Most of the major carriers have now reported their first quarter results, with Maersk posting a positive EBIT of $552 million, which Sea-Intelligence Maritime Consulting noted in its latest Sunday Spotlight was its second-highest first-quarter EBIT in the last decade, and a significant $322 million higher than what the carrier recorded in the first three months of 2019. Maersk was also the only carrier to record a three-digit year-over-year increase in EBIT in the first quarter.In terms of volume, Sea-Intelligence noted that Hapag-Lloyd was the only carrier to report global volume growth in the first quarter, increasing its throughput 4.2 per cent year over year to 3.05 million TEU, bringing the Hamburg-based carrier within 1 million TEU of Cosco Shipping for the first time since the first quarter of 2015, reports UK's The Loadstar.Cosco Shipping recorded a decline in global transported volumes of 6.3 per cent year over year to 4.01 million TEU, its lowest first-quarter figure since 2016. HMM reported an even larger decline in volume, down 18.7 per cent, while OOCL volume was basically flat through the first quarter at 1.6 million TEU. Maersk's global liftings decreased 3.2 per cent year over year to 6.1 million TEU in the first quarter.However, Sea-Intelligence said the coronavirus mainly impacted China and neighbouring Asian countries for much of the first quarter, with the crisis only becoming global in nature at the end of March."As such, the real impact of the crisis will be felt in Q2 and will be reflected in the carriers' Q2 results," Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence, noted in a statement. "That said, carriers have so far maintained freight rate levels, and spot rates, net of fuel, are up 25-40 per cent in some trades, which may provide some respite in these tough market conditions."