發布時間:2021-12-03 16:21 人氣:


  Currently,shipping costs are rising sharply and intense competition for ocean freight capacity is the new normal.With new capacity only slowly coming on stream,shipping rates are expected to continue to hit new highs this year and remain above pre-epidemic levels in the long term.


  No short-term relief


  Ocean freight costs have been growing strongly since the fall of 2020,but the first months of this year have seen new price increases on the major trade routes at different rates(dry bulk,container).Several trade routes have seen prices triple compared to last year,and container vessels have seen similar increases in charter rates.


  There is little sign of relief in the short term and rates are likely to continue to soar later this year as global demand growth will continue to meet limited capacity growth and the damaging effects of local blockades.Even with new capacity arrivals,container liner companies are likely to continue to manage capacity more aggressively,thereby keeping freight rates higher than they were prior to the new coronavirus pandemic.


  1-Continuing global imbalances further push up prices


  Problems that have built up since the beginning of the New Coronavirus pandemic include imbalances in cargo production and demand,differing blockades and opening times across countries,and capacity cuts and shortages of empty containers by shipping lines on major routes.As the economic recovery advances,global demand is recovering strongly,especially in the sectors most closely associated with international cargo trade.Competition for ocean freight capacity intensifies as the economy opens up further and inventories are rebuilt at multiple points in the supply chain.


  2-Few alternatives to maritime transport


  The lack of sea freight alternatives means that it is currently difficult to avoid soaring sea freight costs.For higher value products,there are often alternatives to shipping,such as shipping electronic equipment by air or train,especially via the Silk Road.But capacity is currently limited and tariffs have soared.Shippers of low-value products such as housewares,toys,promotional items or T-shirts have seen freight costs increase from about 5%to over 20%of their purchase cost.


  The difficulty of absorbing profit increases of this magnitude means that consumers may begin to feel the impact of higher prices or changes in product availability.


  3-Uneven recovery throughout 2021


  Trade in goods will grow further,and recovery will continue not only for the major trading nations but also for their trading partners.With competition for maritime capacity set to continue,the uneven recovery will continue to exacerbate some of the problems of world trade,including the shifting of empty containers.All of this adds to the pressure on freight rates in the short term.


  4-Vessel gap sailing tightens capacity


  Globally,capacity on major routes has returned to pre-2020 major blockade levels,although blanket voyages(cancelled port calls)continued to cut 10%of scheduled capacity in the first quarter.There were signs of improvement during the quarter,averaging 4%as currently scheduled.However,the cancellations are partly in response to delays,so while the system remains congested,capacity is likely to continue to be taken out of the system for a short period of time.


  5-Port congestion and closures continue


  As the link between cancellations and delays suggests,congestion is part of the problem.2021 shipping performance continues from 2020,as ship on-time performance decreases and average ship arrival delays increase.There are some indications that average performance will begin to improve as the proportion of ships arriving on time at their destination stops declining in April and average delays improve,but overall performance remains the lowest recorded in a decade.


  Proportion of ships arriving on time


  Meanwhile,the New Coronavirus pandemic is still causing disruptions,such as the abrupt closure of China's Yantian Container Port-the world's fourth largest container port-in early June.Even though operations have resumed,congestion and the ongoing need to take measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 mean that delays continue to increase.Despite progress in vaccination programs in China and other major trading countries,it will take time to develop immunity,so handling disruptions will remain a risk for months to come.


  Significant new container capacity will ease price pressure,but not before 2023


  Container liners have delivered excellent financial results during the epidemic,with a record 229 new orders for container ships in the first five months of 2021,for a total cargo capacity of 2.2 million TEUs.By 2023,when new capacity is ready to enter service,it will have increased by 6%after years of low deliveries,which is not expected to be offset by the scrapping of older vessels.As global growth crosses the catch-up phase of the recovery,the upcoming increase in ocean freight capacity will put downward pressure on shipping costs,but will not necessarily return freight rates to pre-new coronavirus pandemic levels,as container liners appear to have learned to better manage capacity capacity in their alliances.


  In the near term,freight rates could reach new highs due to further increases in demand and the constraints of a congested system.Even if capacity constraints are eased,freight rates are likely to remain at higher levels than before the new

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