Supply Chain

Sydney port congestion will take time to clear

Shippers through Sydney have faced significant disruption for several months, due to bad weather, congestion and continuing industrial action by longshore workers, which has caused extensive delays to other ports in Australia and further afield in New Zealand.  The ongoing congestion has stranded about 50,000 TEU of empty containers in Sydney and shipping lines have

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

Life imitates the training

Last week the Metro training team ran in-house sessions on the threats posed by cyber-crime and business fraud….how prescient they were. The air freight sector has never faced so many challenges, with global demand rising – spiking from some origins – and likely to spike further in the coming months. Demand is not usually a

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

Rates – reliability = frustrated shippers

Container shipping rates from Asia to Europe have soared to a five year high, while reliability falls to the lowest ever level recorded. The rapid recovery in post-lockdown demand has driven up volumes on the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades, with global volume rising for the first time this year in August, up 1.5% on 2019.

Near-shoring: panacea or placebo

Industry ‘experts’ tell us that boardroom visibility of supply chain challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate a supply chain transformation as businesses reduce sourcing risks, in favour of closer suppliers. The expectation is a shift away from lowest-cost off-shore options, to a new near-shore bias based on managing risk and greater supply chain resilience.

Vehicle booking improvements at Felixstowe

In light of the recent criticism and industry-wide complaints concerning delays and service levels, the Port of Felixstowe – the UK’s largest and busiest container port – introduced vehicle booking changes on Monday, to improve service and lessen the delays on its terminals. One of these changes is to the ports VBS (Vehicle Bookings System),

The UK still doesn’t have the right pallets for Brexit

Despite the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) holding ‘emergency’ talks with industry leaders 20 months ago, the UK still doesn’t have enough of  the right pallets to continue exporting goods to the European Union after the 31st December.  EU regulations on third country imports stipulate that wood pallets must be heat-treated or

Container line alliances stifling innovation

The container shipping alliances help carriers lower operating costs and broaden service coverage through economies of scale. However, do the alliances restrict individual line’s ability to differentiate and innovate as services beyond the sea element is not always under a carrier’s control.  Container-line profits exceeded expectations in Q2 2020, a period when volumes were weak

UK container ports continue to struggle

After weeks of complaints from port users, shipping lines, hauliers and cargo owners, there is some hope that Felixstowe’s service levels may be improving, but similar challenges are now being experienced at other key container ports. After the recent well-documented service issues, delays, and industry frustrations surrounding the performance of the Port of Felixstowe, blamed on