National press highlight Felixstowe port chaos

With disruption at the Port of Felixstowe branded “a mess”, the national press is now also reporting on global port disruption, as retailers express concerns about product shortages in the run-up to Christmas.  As Metro has been reporting regularly in recent weeks, the impact at Felixstowe along with other serious challenges is also having an

Shippers switching to air to escape sea freight hell

With sea freight rates reaching some of the highest levels ever seen, along with equipment shortages, late vessels and still no guarantee of uplift, some shippers are starting to switch to air, driving up rates on a mode that had been enjoying some stability. The current lack of container line consistency and reliability, is unparalleled,

Road transport supply chains under threat

As the first wave of the COVID pandemic took hold in March the International Road Transport Union IRU estimated a decline in global road transport activity of up to 20% and a global loss in operator revenues of up to $1 trillion. Despite maintaining supply chains, especially for essentials such as food and medical items,

Critical situation: Vessels skipping UK ports on daily basis

Container ships, including the world’s largest, are skipping UK ports entirely, or leaving only partially discharged and without collecting export containers, in what is fast becoming a daily occurrence. COVID-safe working practices and extensive deep-cleaning at shift handovers, continues to cause huge issues at UK ports and in particular at Felixstowe, that have been struggling

Metro in lockdown (again)

From today, England enters a new national lockdown, meaning that everyone who can work effectively from home must do so, excluding those working in essential services, including the supply chain, who may continue to go into work.  As in the earlier lockdown period, Metro will divide home and office based working protocols to service core

Inbound freight situation update

The UK’s supply chains are facing unparalleled challenges and some links are buckling under the strain. The following is a transcript of a customer advisory issued by Metro Shipping on Tuesday…….. The COVID pandemic continues to impact global and domestic freight in the most profound ways, slashing air and sea carrier capacity and driving rates

Felixstowe in the news again – for all the wrong reasons

The start of the working week and the Port of Felixstowe is back in the news, for cancelling empty container restitutions (again), but the challenges facing shippers run much farther afield than Suffolk. The Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen has issued a customer notice stating that the port (Felixstowe) announced on Sunday that it would

Strong air freight demand expected to continue

Even as England enters a four-week lockdown and the rest of the UK operate under strict restrictions, consumer activity will continue to be strong, driving further air freight demand. Air freight rates from China continue to rise, as the peak season continues and distressed sea freight is increasingly diverted to the mode, exacerbated by blanked

Trans-Pacific demand impacting Europe trade

The large numbers of empty containers stranded in Europe, due to blanked sailings, has led to equipment shortages in Asia, which is being exacerbated by shipping lines diverting empties to more profitable trans-pacific services. On the 10th September we reported how UK port operations had been severely diminished and inland distribution massively disrupted by the

The perfect storm threatening container haulage is continuing

All parts of the UK have been impacted, including ‘essential’ freight, logistics and supply chain sectors, but the container haulage industry has been hit particularly hard, with many challenges still to be overcome. Six weeks ago Metro wrote about container haulage operations and how it had been impacted by massive increases in demand, at a time