It is with great concern that we all follow the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The far-reaching consequences are still difficult to foresee, but we have seen some immediate effects. Transports that directly affect Ukraine and Russia have been stopped or severely restricted. Ukrainian hauliers and drivers are dropping out of the transport network, which means a reduced capacity in Europe. Air rates are rising due to the shutdown of Russian airspace for European companies that are forced to change their routes. Asian airlines may continue to fly but will probably use the reduced capacity to push up the price level. Rail between China and Europe is affected but Asian operators are allowed to pass, so for the time being the train continous to works. Seafreight from Asia works as usual for the time being.We follow the development of sanctions and restrictions against Russia and have a constant dialogue with our partners in order to serve our customers in the best way and to mitigate the effects of the war as much as possible.
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.