Customer Advisories

Discover our latest customer advisories

12 February 2024

RED SEA CRISIS X LUNAR NEW YEAR

The Red Sea crisis persists, impacting the Asia-North Europe freight market. CMA CGM has once again halted Red Sea transits indefinitely due to security concerns. 

 

  • As vessels face delays returning to Asia, equipment availability tightens ahead of Lunar New Year departures. Many carriers are arranging container repositioning to ensure shipments proceed as scheduled. Our best advice to our clients is to remain as flexible and accept container substitutions, when possible, to avoid additional delays as well as to arrange early empty pick-up. Carriers are often extending origin free time to minimize Lunar New Year disruptions. 

     

  • Demand is anticipated to remain flat for the latter half of February. Through this ‘lull’ there is downward pressure on the spot market which we expect to remain through February. This despite significant blank sailings already announced (with WK08/09 seeing a 30% average reduction), Ocean Alliance has introduced seven additional void sailings, three of which are scheduled for February and the remainder for March. We anticipate similar void plans will be forthcoming from other alliances. 

     

  • To mitigate operational challenges such as sailing schedule adjustments, vessel downsizing, equipment shortages, and rollovers, shippers may consider transit time extensions or book premium services offered by certain carriers at a higher cost, but with guaranteeing space and equipment which mitigate delays. 

     

  • In the Asia-Mediterranean trade lane, floating rates have remained elevated following the trend in North Europe. From Week 06 onward, rates have seen a slight decrease as carriers strive to attract more cargo to fill vessels before Lunar New Year and prepare roll pools for the latter half of February, considering weak demand and Asian holidays.

17 January 2024

THE IMPACT OF THE PROLONGED RED SEA CRISIS ON GLOBAL TRADE

The global maritime trade supply chain continues to face disruptions caused by the prolonged crisis along the world’s largest trade route through the Red Sea and Suez Canal. Over the last weeks, the Houthi insurgents attacked several container vessels within the Bab al-Mandeb Strait which is leading to suspension or reroute operations from almost all carriers. 262 container vessels in this area have been affected so far, which in turn reduced the Suez passage utilization by 61%.

 

As the crisis continues, we expect schedule integrity to degrade, impacting equipment availability which brings additional challenges to the overall booking and planning process. It is increasingly important to work to secure capacity earlier than normal, at least through the month of February. It is also important to note that this is not an “Asia origin centric” situation, these same conditions are becoming more prevalent in Europe impacting exports not only to Asia but also transatlantic and “north-south” flows.

 

Europe Westbound (US/MX/LATAM)

  • Carriers have announced rate increases on all strings serving this trade lane. 
  • The global transport supply chain and connections are impacted by the situation in the Red Sea. While none of the vessels serving the transatlantic trade is having a detour via Suez or Red Sea and Arabic Gulf, some carriers are having to redirect ships from serving the transatlantic trade into Asia-Europe strings in an effort to re-secure weekly frequency on the longer service via Good Hope. 
  • As a result, transatlantic services are left with reduced capacity, poorer service integrity and lower levels of available equipment.

     

Europe Eastbound (mainly Asia, MEA/IPBC and OCE)

  • 10 days longer transit time due to routing via Cape of Good Hope leading to 14 days longer transit because of change of operational berthing windows at the terminal.

 

Asia Westbound (Asia to Europe)

  • 10-15 days longer transit. More blank sailing and port omissions are expected. 
  • Consequently, 35-40% less weekly capacity in the 2nd half of Jan and until Chinese New Year (CNY). 
  • Additional demurrage and detention might incur in January affecting cargo deliveries. 
  • Additionally, we expect the crisis to drive a higher peak prior to CNY. 
  • Large roll pools are being build up, to secure volume on the vessels during CNY. 
  • Equipment shortages are being experienced SHA, NGB and TAO and are expected to increase later this month. 
  • Short term rate levels have increased considerably, and PSS and emergency surcharges are being applied. 
  • US, British and French military vessels have been deployed to the Red Sea to safeguard commercial vessel convoys and are actively engaged in defending against Houthi attacks. These last days have seen US & British led attacks on Houthi positions in Yemen intended to diminish the ability of Houthi forces to continue to impact international trade.