Supply Chain

Container crisis continues from Asia to the rest of world

As Metro reported in last week’s supply chain bulletin, the availability of container equipment has become the primary supply chain issue for shippers and importers from China and Asia in general.  The lack of equipment is a key issue impacting both rates and supply chains across Asia, with some areas experiencing the shortages more severely,

New inland border facilities

As part of their preparation for the UK’s new EU trading relationship the government committed to build new inland border facilities, to carry out customs compliance, transit, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary checks, including one facility opened beside Metro’s midland freight hub.  Seven inland border facilities have been operational from the 31st December 2020, so that

Metro’s role in government border strategy

On the 17th December 2020 HM Government (HMG) released its 2025 Border Strategy document, which outlines its intentions for modernising the UK frontier and embraces many technologies and ideas pioneered by Metro. The 2025 UK Border Strategy sets out the government’s vision for the UK border to be the most effective in the world, with

2020 supply chain challenges continue into 2021

The COVID pandemic massively impacted freight infrastructure operations, rates, vessel space and equipment availability last year and is showing little sign of ending any time soon. Sea freight rates from Asia are at the highest levels ever seen, equipment shortages continue at virtually every origin and schedule reliability continues to be impacted by continuing port

Regulators circle shipping lines

As container freight rates continue to rise from Asia, regulators in China and the US are raising concerns and the European Commission is being urged to consider whether the carriers’ behaviour is damaging trade growth at a time of economic recession. Chinese regulators are renewing their carrier investigations, driven by concerns over volume controls and

Looking ahead to the 1st quarter

The COVID pandemic has simultaneously battered supply-chains and emphasised their importance, making many companies reconsider their approach to a critical business area, that is going to be under immense pressure as we move into 2021.  2020 highlighted, in a very big way, the need for the supply chain to be flexible enough to absorb shocks

The supply chain at Christmas

This year may become notorious for the global COVID pandemic, but its impact is having the most profound impact on global trade and supply chains, disrupting normal operations and tearing up the best-laid plans. This weekend the BBC reported how the Swedish furniture favourite, Ikea, was forced to apologise to irate customers, waiting for late

The impact of another national lockdown

As 70% of England move to Tier 3 on Saturday and Wales announce strict new lockdown measures from the 28th December, we consider the impact of a further national lockdown on operational and freight infrastructure. The COVID pandemic has starkly highlighted our reliance on, and the fragility of, extended supply chains to lockdowns and the

US ports not immune from congestion

The continuing torrent of inbound containers from Asia has filled up all the terminal operating space at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with bottlenecks spreading to the East Coast and Gulf ports, and congestion, vessel bunching, and equipment shortages expected to last until at least Chinese New Year in February and possibly