We would like to remind you of the Chinese New Year. In 2022, the holiday is celebrated between Jan 31st and Feb 6th when the country as usual, shuts down almost all its activities. The New Year is also celebrated in other parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, but then with slightly different dates. As usual, the Chinese production is slow started after the holiday, several producers are closed for more than a week. Transports usually start again, although with some delays which does not improve the already complicated situation in this sector. We are constantly working to find the best solution for you as a customer when it's time to book your transport.
Some trivia about the Chinese New Year:
2022 the Chinese New Year is celebrated on February 1st
The holiday is celebrated by 20% of the world's population
Schools are closed for a month in China
It is is a family holiday, people often travel far to get home
The children receive red envelopes with money, adults receive envelopes from their employer
90% of the firecrackers and fireworks in the world are made in China, a large part is used during the celebration
This year we celebrate the year of the tiger!
The pandemic has led to major disruptions in the global maritime transport system. The shipping lines cut down their capacity at an early stage by reducing the number of ships and by increasing the blank sailings. When the economy started to pick up again the result was a large imbalance of equipment with a shortage of containers in Asia, where the production increased notably and a surplus of containers in the USA where due to Covid, there was not enough staff to handle the large quantities of goods. In order to meet the demand, the shipping lines have vacuumed the world of empty containers but they have also made large investments in new containers for the Chinese market. Europe has experienced a shortage of equipment for export as some shipping lines send back empty containers for revenue reasons as it is more efficient to ship empty containers than loaded ones. In some cases, the vessels return directly to China without cargo, which further worsen the shortage.
The major ports in Europe have not had capacity enough to handle all vessels which has caused congestion. Bad weather during spring and Ever Given that ran aground in the Suez Canal has further worsened the situation.
The latest addition is a local outbreak of Covid among port workers in Shenzhen, which has led the Chinese authorities to act strongly with mass testing and lock down of certain areas, which in turn has negatively affected the ports of Yantian, Shenzhen and Nansha.
As a result sea freight rates have increased and delays are the new normal, often by several weeks. Scanlink is happy to offer other alternatives such as air freight or rail but even here the rates are high and the space is tight.
We feel that Swedish companies at the moment are looking for new suppliers in Europe, if so we can help out with the transports. Scanlink has a large European network and a long experience of continental traffic.
You are welcome to get in touch!
The container vessel Ever Given has run aground in the Suez Canal and is blocking the entire canal. The ship came from China with destination Rotterdam and was stuck due to a sudden strong wind. The vessel ran aground on Tuesday and a large number of ships in both south and north directions were quickly formed around the accident site. In order for the traffic to be able to pass the jammed vessel, an older, unused part of the canal was opened while tug boats try to free the more than 400 meters long ship. More than 50 ships pass through the Suez Canal daily, where about 12 percent of the world's trade volume passes.
Due to the accident, transports between Europe and Asia will be severely affected in the coming weeks. We have received indications that most of the departures will be delayed.
For those of you with shipments planned shortly, get in touch if you wish to look at alternatives such as air or rail.
As you have noticed, the last few months have been turbulent due to lack of space and lack of containers for imports from the Far East. The last few weeks have also featured congestion in several ports and bad weather with delays as a result.
Several import trade lanes have been delayed as the ocean vessels arrive late at the ports of loading. The ports in Europe have also been affected by bad weather and congestion has been built up in Rotterdam and Hamburg, which delays both arrivals and departures for all vessels.
We kindly ask for your understanding as this means changes and delays of your goods.
Regarding rate levels, most agree that the turbulence will continue throughout the spring. The equipment imbalance continues with empty units in the wrong place, mainly in the United States and a large number of container vessels have been removed, which reinforces the picture that it is the seller's market. The shipping companies have succeeded in creating all-time high rate levels which they now use.
If you have questions about a specific booking or if you have a new transport underway, you are welcome to talk to your contact person or contact us:
+46 31 733 34 00