Ian Matheson, from Impress Communications, reviews some recent news that might impact on Members’ business
warehousing the fastest growing sector of the UK economy. Warehousing is outpacing information and communication, noted a recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Real estate services giant JLL Inc estimates the average age of the USA’s industrial warehouse product
is 42 years, whilst buildings constructed more than two
decades ago account for three- quarters of the total industrial supply. More than a quarter of all inventory is over 50 years of age, presenting another headache for an industry struggling to find capacity, with existing designs often not adequate to meet the demands. IN BUSINESS Western ports and logistics operators are bracing for the impact of China’s COVID-19 lockdowns on their operations this summer. Officials expect a wave of containerships to reach the docks once China lifts stringent restrictions that have hobbled factory production, left a big backlog of goods in distribution pipelines, and caused a back-up of vessels off the country’s coast. Some 71% of UK logistics companies reported an escalation in the cost of transporting goods during the first quarter of 2022, compared with the same period a year ago, according to a recent survey. There have been sharp increases in the cost of fuel, along with other global supply chain pressures, resulting in 40% of respondents saying that costs had climbed by 25% or more.
USA takes a tougher stance on boxline profits
ON THE OCEAN Early May brought numerous
OVERLAND New provisions for hauliers serving music concerts, sports and cultural events mean they will be able to move their vehicles freely between Britain and the EU from late summer. ‘Dual registration’ is being created to allow hauliers to drive the same vehicle in Britain and abroad, and transfer their vehicles between operator licences without needing to pay additional Vehicle Excise Duty in Britain for six months. New EU rules effective from 21 May mean that anyone using light goods vehicles – such as vans, or vans/cars towing trailers – to transport goods for hire or reward into or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein needs to have an International Operators’ Licence. GB Railfreight has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its inaugural intermodal service from the port of Felixstowe transporting goods across the UK for MSC. Today it runs 166 trains to and from Felixstowe each week. IN THE WAREHOUSE Record take-up, low vacancy rates and rising demand currently characterise the industrial and logistics real estate market, with
full visibility of container movement worldwide, enabling the earlier detection of delays and releasing automatic information to impacted customers. Almost a year after its launch in April 2021, and following a series of extensive sea trials and system tests, the 300 teu ZHI FEI, China’s first autonomous containership, has entered service. The vessel sails between the Shandong province hub port of Qingdao in northern China and the small port of Dongjiakou, some 60 km further south. It will provide proof-of- concept for (semi-) autonomous shipping and hybrid-electric vessel propulsion.
reports in the international trade media that the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in the USA is continuing to enhance its oversight efforts designed to scrutinise the business policies of the leading container shipping lines. This involves increasing the reporting requirements for those carriers and alliances which stand accused of profiteering from the supply chain crunch of the last two years. Container shipping line schedule reliability showed some small improvement in March, according to market analysts Sea Intelligence. Following a survey of the schedule reliability of over 60 lines across 34 different trades, Sea Intelligence reported that container line schedule reliability continued to “creep” upwards month-on-month in March to 35.9%, which is still below a year earlier. After introducing real-time monitoring of its reefer container fleet in 2019 with the IoT product Hapag-Lloyd Live, the shipping line will start installing the newly developed devices in all the standard containers in its 3 million teu fleet during 2023. This will provide customers with real-time track-and-trace data, giving them
IN THE AIR Global demand for air cargo
markets in March, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTK), fell 5.2% compared with March 2021 (-5.4% for international operations), according to IATA. Whilst capacity was 1.2% above March 2021 (+2.6% for international operations), it was a significant decline from the 11.2% year-on-year increase in February. Contributing factors were the effects of Omicron in Asia, the Russia-Ukraine war and a challenging operating backdrop, along with a slower increase in capacity levels.
After one of the global freight forwarding market’s most
challenging years to date amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it bounced back strongly in real terms in 2021 growing by 11.2%, according to Transport Intelligence. This was the fastest growth rate since 2011, bringing the market value to €269,656 million.
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