An update on the Ningbo Port in China: According to Maersk, only one of the port’s five terminals has closed—the Meishan Island Container Terminal (MSICT) was closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. MSCIT has been closed since August 11th until further notice. Container lines have diverted vessels from this terminal to other terminals at the port to be called, with the average number of weekly port calls plunging 70%—from 200 to fewer than 60 vessels. The rest of the terminals are open and working normally.
Forwarders are expecting a phased reopening of MSICT after extensive rounds of testing by Ningbo health authorities, with a resumption of full service hopefully starting September 1st. This outbreak hasn’t had as much of an effect on the industry as the Yantian Port closure, but ripple effects may continue.
South Vietnam production stalls as COVID-19 lockdown is extended. COVID-19 lockdowns are spreading across South Vietnam’s manufacturing heartland, prompting factory production cuts and disrupting supply chains. With the Delta variant continuing to spread, cases are rising at an average of 3,000 per day. Ho Chi Minh City has been in lockdown since July 9, with restrictions extended to September 15. With more factories closing, large numbers of workers are returning to their homes and less than 30% of factories in key manufacturing areas are able to maintain production.
Microsoft Edge becomes the official browser for the ACE Secure Data Portal. Customs is recommending the use of Microsoft Edge as Microsoft has announced that Internet Explorer will go out of support on June 15, 2022. More information on this matter can be found on the ACE Frequently Asked Questions page of CBP.gov.
ICYMI: The strike by Canada Border Services Agency ends after a deal is reached with the Canadian government. After the CBSA’s union reached a deal with the Canadian government, the work-to-rule strike by employees ended, ceasing supply chain disruptions. During the strike, trucks were lined up at border crossings across Canada for hours. The agreement includes pay increases for the workers over four years and implementing protections against excessive discipline in the workplace.
Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) unveils capacity boost with a completed phase of an expansion project. On Friday, the third phase of an expansion project at the Port of Long Beach will be completed and unveiled. This expansion will add 1 million TEU of annual throughput capacity, a much needed boost amid record import volumes from Asia.
President Biden’s comments on congestion send a positive message to ports. Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles Gene Seroka and other executives who serve on U.S. federal advisory committees are making recommendations to the Biden administration on how to remedy port congestion in the short term and long term. Seroka has been impressed with the attention of the administration and its willingness to offer tangible solutions, sending a positive message to ports.
As the COVID-19 outbreak in China continues, flights get canceled and rates soar. Tough measures have been implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 in China, which has halted cargo operations at major Chinese international airports. Hundreds of flights have been canceled at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, as well as airports in Beijing and Xiamen.
Additionally, ground handling staff in China are quitting over new COVID restrictions, which will likely bring air rates to unprecedented levels, with estimations of rates being five or six times more expensive than normal for the fall rush. According to one Chinese forwarder, export cargo handling times are two-to-three times longer than normal as well. Many flights could only load a small portion of outbound cargo, with some flights taking off with no cargo at all, creating a backlog of flights. If you have any questions about air cargo, don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts.
For the U.S. trucking industry, peak season arrives early. With rampant supply chain disruptions and strong demand, the U.S. trucking industry’s traditional peak season has been advanced by months. It is expected that both spot and contract truckload rates will remain strong through the end of the year, even if volumes subside.
In Southern California, the demand for trucking capacity has increased as congestion at intermodal terminals continues and steamship lines and railroads restrict containers from flowing inland. This demand has caused spot truckload posts to jump 40% in the last four weeks from Los Angeles to Chicago.
An influx of containers amid record international shipping demand prompts railroads to leverage additional yards. BNSF Railway and Norfolk Southern (NS) are diverting containers to other inland depots as they try to handle record import volumes to meet intermodal shipping demand across the U.S. BNSF reinstated service as its Harvard facility in Arkansas to “meet increased intermodal demand in the greater Memphis region and unlock capacity.”
NS is making a similar move by reopening an intermodal facility in Greencastle, Pennsylvania “will handle domestic containers originating from or terminating at its Memphis ramp starting Sept. 10.”
ICYMI: Supply chain concerns rise with questions about the holiday season. As COVID-19 and its variants continue to cause major supply chain disruptions, retailers, shippers, and manufacturers are quite concerned about what the holiday season will look like. Labor shortages and capacity constraints are still salient problems, and companies are finding ways to incentivize workers to be on the retail frontlines. Read more about how the holiday season may be difficult for supply chains in an article by PYMNTS.com.