Maritime transport remains under pressure
The sanitary restrictions and the economic rebound of the last few months continue to contribute significantly to the global disruption.
All maritime corridors are still experiencing significant delays. Lack of space and congestion in ports (mainly in Asia and the USA) are not being resolved, which continues to cause tariff increases and other surcharges in the market.
The only way to regain quality of service and reduce rate pressures will be through schedule compliance and the scheduling of regular services.
Indeed, as soon as services and time slots are no longer respected, the machine jams.
The growing unreliability of schedules is becoming a real problem, both for industrialists (shippers), who find themselves with considerable delays despite anticipated orders, and for port infrastructures, which are no longer able to schedule work.
In addition to the fact that shipowners have the ability to slow down or speed up vessels, we also note that a significant number of "Blank sailing" has been implemented by some shipping companies, which will probably continue to accentuate the tension on the shipping market on the Asia-Europe and Asia-USA routes.
Last but not least, the production of empty containers has not yet returned to the level needed to meet market requirements. This is also an important parameter to be taken into account for the return to a "normalcy" of our industry.
Air Transport: precarious stability... Return of fare increases
As we can see from the data below (Source: IATA data), volumes remain above pre-Covid crisis levels and the overall trend remains strong.
Supply remains fragile, although the situation is easing slightly. Nevertheless, caution remains the order of the day as the expansion of the Delta variant has required the implementation of sanitary measures which have strongly affected airport operations. All of these factors have contributed to the reduction of both passenger and cargo flight schedules.
Price stability remains very fragile and the market will once again evolve according to the level of demand from manufacturers.
Although the main maritime players are trying to make efforts in a suffering market (freezing of spot freight rates), and the governmental authorities are closely monitoring the situation, we must expect to remain in the turbulent zone we have been in since the beginning of the year for a few more months. As long as demand remains well above supply, no improvement or easing of tariffs can be envisaged.
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