While lockdowns in China have contributed to a 40% drop in the country’s GDP, there’s also been a drop of 31% in container volumes out of the country this month alone. And the longer lockdowns continue, the worse things will get. Unfortunately, when lockdowns are lifted and all that pent-up demand is released, there’ll be further havoc in the industry. A return to the backlogs of last year will be inevitable. However, the longer the situation in China plays out, the impact on the economy could be even more far-reaching.
Air cargo is also facing its own pressures with increased rates and decreased capacity, partly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Any feelings of optimism that the industry may have had—thanks to Covid travel restrictions ending, leading to additional passenger flights and increased cargo capacity—have waned, with some feeling that the industry could be turned “upside down once again.”
Click Here to Read: Air Cargo: Volatility Lingers
It’s not just the air cargo industry that could take a hit because of the war in Ukraine. A recent report from the World Trade Organization (WTO) expects reduced trade volume growth in 2022. Previous forecasts of 4.7% for 2022 and 3.4% for 2023 have been adjusted down to just 3% for 2022. They’re also forecasting lower export growth in Asia, Europe, and North America.
Click Here to Read: Russia-Ukraine conflict puts fragile global trade recovery at risk
For some slightly positive news, ocean carriers are reporting some headway in clearing empty containers dwelling in US ports. Hopefully, this will enable truckers to pick up more imports, thanks to fewer empty containers. However, the problem with empties in the US is far from over.
Click Here to Read: Carriers See Progress in Empties Sweep, But Issues Remain
Finally, the now-famous Evergreen is in the news again. The Ever Forward, one of Evergreen’s carriers, ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay on March 13 and remained stuck for nearly a month. The State of Maryland is requesting that a $100M responsibility fund be set up to cover the cost of any environmental effects.