वापस Rail freight in China

Asia status, ongoing updates

The transport and logistic situation towards the Asian market has met severe trouble, and it all started with the pandemic Covid-19.    

In this article, we try to sample all the latest news on a monthly basis. Please get in contact with us if you like more in-depth information. 

December 2021

Update of China

 

Xi'an imposes lockdown amid rising cases

According to the local authority, all districts, villages and communities in Xi'an, capital city of Shaanxi province, will implement closed management controls along with other preventive measures from 12.24, as the epidemic situation is still complex and grim.

All facilities will be temporarily closed except those conducting work related to epidemic prevention and livelihood protection.

Local traffic: Bus routes in the city will be suspended, as well as freight delivery vehicles, except those carrying daily necessities and epidemic prevention material.

Rail freight from Xi’an

The trucking associated with the China Railway will have special passage to and from Xi'an, the circulation will not be restricted by the traffic policies.

Our weekly rail service from Xi’an to Oslo maintains its regular operation. To avoid the pressure of supply chain and transportation caused by the Chinese New Year holidays (2022.01.31-2022.02.06), we plan to prioritize shipments in the first half of the month. Please see the January schedule at here;

 

New info about Zhejiang

A new Covid outbreak in Zhejiang province is triggering local restrictions and factory shutdowns.

As Zhejiang is the most important manufacturing base in China, it has a great impact on international supply chain. According to preliminary statistics, up to 12.13, 17 listed companies have announced the suspension of production due to the epidemic in Zhejiang.

The Ningbo Zhoushan Port has notified and taken corresponding strict measures; it also may affect the processing of the shipping.

There is bound to be a large shortage of drivers since it is now approaching Chinese New Year, there may be a shortage of capacity and equipment, and further leading to rising freight costs.

We encourage that you contact with your venders as soon as possible and arrange your shipment early.


General

The market continued strong demand for line from the US, while the outlook is more uncertain in Europe where we have seen the demand slowing, which mostly because it's almost time for the holidays season.

There are some factors, such as COVID-19 restrictions, the global supply chain congestion, power curbs and the Beijing Winter Olympics, as well as Chinese New Year, which may have some impacts on your supply chain in the coming months.

The usual consequences of this include long transit times, flight cancellations and blank sailing. We recommend that you consider creating a forecast for a longer period of time.

COVID-19

Manzhouli, the largest rail and land port on the China-Russia border in the inner Mongolia autonomous region, has reported 377 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases in the latest outbreak by 12.07, according to local authorities.

Manzhouli has suspended certain activities for goods transportation via its railway port and land port to strengthen the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic and avert the risk of imported COVID-19.

Starting from the last Wednesday, Manzhouli railway port has suspended all imports of non-container goods including wood, coal, mineral powder, fertilizer, pulp, agricultural and sideline products, and other goods that need manual handling.

Starting from 12.05, the land port suspended on-site operations including loading and unloading, transportation and customs clearance.

Ports:

Dalian suspended all cold chain facilities from November 8 that impact all reefer shipments except chilled fruit. Some shipping companies recently stopped all the new reefers booking into Dalian.

Hong Kong barge operation will be suspended from the end of December to Lunar New Year in early February 1.

Vessels usually wait for more than 3 days in Hong Kong, Yantian, and Shanghai.

We expect limited ocean capacity for transshipments within South China and suggest customers replan schedules to avoid cargo delays.

 

Air freight

The demand has increased, and the rates have followed the same trend.

 

Rail fright

It is expecting strong demand for rail services from China to Europe as more shippers see rail as a competitive addition to ocean. As a result, westbound rail services are currently suffering delays.

The rate is stable, our solid weekly rail freight service from Xi’an to Oslo keeps its regular departures in December, Click here to find the December schedule.

Situation in India

All the ports, factories and offices are full-time operation until the year end i.e. 31st December 2021. Factories are open all days of the week but decision making for dispatching shipments takes place from Monday to Friday. 

So far, no specific guidelines have been issued in reference with new Covid-19 strain - Omicron.

Sea Freight

Freight rates have increased yet again.

There is relief in terms of vessel space. However, the roll over time is 2 weeks, meaning that a booking made on 1st December would be rolled out around 15th December.

Equipment availability has improved by 5-10%.

Currently, delays can be seen in orders having two or more transhipments. However, this situation is more likely to occur with certain specific carriers only.

Air Freight

Freight rates for Air have increased to Europe specifically. This price hike is predicted to last until the mid of January 2022 owing to Christmas and New Years' shipments.

Number of carries have now increased. Whilst earlier only Qatar and Emirates and Ethihad Airways were operating on daily basis; now British Airways and Lufthanza have resumed their daily services as well. Additionally, Finnair has started operating 2 flights a week.

November 2021

In general, the Asia situation is stable. Still recurring issues as congestion, lack of containers, lack of capacity, delays, and high cost.

In addition, we follow the Covid-situation closely due to new coronavirus outbreaks in several countries, also in Asia.

Situation in China

Sea freight

Capacity and equipment availability remains tight.

Port congestions and vessel delays particularly in Europe and North America are causing reduced capacity and delayed arrival back to Asia. Delays in most ports.

While power restrictions in certain provinces in China may slow production, the demand remains very strong.
 

Air freight

The markets are likely to tighten from October. The rates for lines as China to North America and Europe remain elevated. Rates increased by nearly 30 percent in the last two weeks, according to major carriers.

Rates will remain high due to huge demand against limited capacity. Demand is expected to continue to increase, as the upcoming peak season approaches.

Also, upgraded sanitizing processes and strict operation restrictions due to Covid-19 limits operational capacity and increased rates. 

 

Rail freight

Rail rates remain stable but are subject to the capacity and equipment availability in general.

Congestion and equipment shortages can lead to delays in departure and transit time. Covid-19 also causes delays in some areas, such as Shaanxi. For example, the departure time is usually delayed by 7 days at Xi'an station.
 

Situation in India

In India, all the ports, factories, and offices are full-time operational with no closure or restrictions. But suffers from the situation as all over Asia - lack of containers and capacity, delays and high rates.

Container shortage on inland ports (as well) within India. And urgent shipments are not being carried out - so there is no extra service for express shipments or urgent matters.

In addition, India experiences difficult communication with the port authorities. Very challenging to secure bookings, as ports are rarely answering calls or responding to emails.

Sea freight is especially difficult, due to lack of equipment.

 

Our recommendation is to take precautions in order to reduce the impact on your supply chain
 

  • share your logistic needs and shipment deadline enabling us to offer you the most suitable solution

  • communicate with your suppliers and customers to avoid possible delay

  • place booking as early as possible

  • prepare the accurate shipment plan and indicate the most urgent shipment if possible

October 2021

Update from Asia, with latest news on the COVID-19 and Golden week.

Due to the logistic and container situation in Asia, this year's Golden Week (from 1 October to 7 October) will truly impact your supply chain further.

We gathered some information, together with some market forecasts. 

 

Situation in China

Limited or no production during Golden week

Golden week is a public holiday and almost all businesses, factories as well as government organizations will be closed or low-staffed. Meaning that production slowed down or stopped completely.

Airports, seaports, some terminals, and warehouses will keep running with limited capacity, and Customs offices will be closed.

ColliCare offices in China will be closed from October the 1st to the 7th.

 

Energy crises in China

A growing power supply crunch in China is forcing factories to cut production, threatening to slow the economy and place even more strain on global supply chains.

Companies in the country's industrial heartlands have been told to limit their energy consumption to reduce demand for power, state media has reported.

Especially when it hits some major industrial and shipping hubs, such as Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang province, the delays caused by shortages and global shipping delays are mostly like to happen. 

The reason is mainly that China industries are facing huge pressure from soaring energy prices.

Container ships piling up

Container ships now piling up at anchorages off China’s ports 
The number of container ships berthed near Shanghai and Ningbo has surged in recent weeks.

There are now 242 container ships waiting for berths countrywide.
 

Situation in India

In India, all the ports are full-time operational with no closure or restrictions, same goes for factories and offices.

Vessel space and container availability remain an issue, a persistent situation ever since the period of COVID-19 second wave. We experience a slight improvement but far from optimal.

Rise in freight rates is a major area of concern and a global market situation. We are following the situation closely, forecasting this will persist during fall and winter 2021.

In terms of highest freight rates to lowest freight rates from India, this is what it looks like: USA and Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East 

 

Air freight recommendation

For air freight, booking 2 weeks in advance is needed to secure cargo space.

 

Rail freight recommendation

For rail freight,  booking 3-4 weeks in advance is needed to secure cargo space.
 

We recommend you take precautions in order to reduce the impact on your supply chain
 

  • share your logistic needs and shipment deadline making us able to offer you the most suitable solution

  • communication with your suppliers and customers to avoid possible delay

  • place booking as early as possible

  • prepare the accurate shipment plan and indicate the most urgent shipment if possible

September 2021

Update from China, with latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic in Fujian.

 

China’s southeastern province of Fujian is now battling the latest coronavirus outbreak.

  • The city of Putian reported 186 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases

  • Xiamen, the port city, had reported 92 confirmed cases


According to China Daily, the novel coronavirus outbreak in Putian, Fujian province, will likely spread to more regions across China but can be brought under control before the National Day holiday in October with the implementation of strong control measures.
 

Traffic & port operation in China

The government has imposed strict traffic restrictions and banned indoor gatherings in certain areas of Putian City and Xiamen city.

Port operation and traffic might be impacted and slowing down in a couple of weeks, as well as the booking. We will keep closely monitoring the situation.
 

In addition a typhoon forces two of China's busiest ports to suspend some operations

  • The Shanghai International Port Group said in a statement that several terminals at the Shanghai Port stopped running Sunday night in anticipation of Typhoon Chanthu.

  • Yangshan Port has suspended all container pick-up operations on 13th September.

  • The Ningbo-Zhoushan Port halted operations at some terminals as well, according to separate notices from those terminals.

 

However, the operations are expected to be resumed in a short time.

August 2021

The overseas situation persists and it looks like the autumn will be affected by overbooked ships, skyhigh rates, lack of containers, and unpredictable delivery precision.

 

We are working hard to get a daily overview of the changing Asia situation, to find the best routes, rates, and predictable delivery.

Our best advice is to plan the transportation of your goods well

  • book  as early as possible

  • plan the upcoming transportation needs, for the months to come

  • share plans and change of plans, with your forwarder, as early as possible in order to find the best goods transportation - by sea, rail or air

Ningbo port operations update:

  • Ningbo Meishan terminal has been suspended its operation and services since 11th of August due to Covid-situation

  • also, pick-up of empty containers is suspended, neither get them in port nor on board

  • many vessels omit the Meishan terminal, making the congestion even worse

  • if the closure of the Meishan terminal is extended, the impact could be significant, as other terminals in Ningbo will not be able to fully absorb Meishan's cargo for a long time.  The cargo probably will be transferred to Shanghai Port or other ports, making the congestion even worse

Other freight alternatives

Both rail freight and air freight might be good solutions for transporting your goods, though they are also very popular these days.

We are developing more departures and routes to meet demand from the market. 

 

Get in contact with us

In need of freight from Asia to Europe? Please contact us, our forwarding experts will help you with quotes, bookings, and additional information needed.

July 2021

Lack of containers, overbooked ships, high rates, blank sailings, and the historically lowest delivery precision ever - this sums up the issues of today's overseas situation. 

 

Delays and on-time deliveries

  • only 24% of cargo ships are on time from Asia to Europe
  • only 30% of cargo ships are on time from Europe to Asia or the US
  • in addition, the actual journey takes longer - for global trades 6 days longer on average

    • from Asia to Europe approx 8 days longer

    • from Europe to Aisa or the US, approx 6 days longer
       

So do shipping companies earn a huge profit from this situation? Not really ...

Chartering a cargo ship has increased by more than 50% - and almost half of all shipping lines charter their fleet, accompanied with increases in longer sailings, so profit stays almost the same for the shipping lines.

Why blank sailings?

is non-profit for the shipping lines. This is not desirable, but neither is an off-scheduled situation with huge delays and unpredictability.

Therefore, shipping lines have introduced blank sailings where they might have to skip some ports to get back on schedule.

The forecast is a lot of blank sailings in the weeks to come.

Rates for Asia

Huge demand from the market in general, combined with lack of both containers and space on the cargoships, extended duration of the sailings, higher costs for chartering, and blank sailings – the result is an all-time high cost for importing of goods.

We foresee that the rates will increase and stay at a high level throughout Q3.  

Covid-19, Coronavirus

We still see ports being challenged with local outbreaks of Coronavirus, forced to either lockdown completely or to operate with less capacity. Lately, the port of Yantian experiences a lockdown - creating delays of 2-4 days. 

Other freight alternatives

Both rail freight and air freight might be good solutions for transporting your goods, though they are also very popular these days.

Rail freight is fully booked during summer, but we are looking into adding routes to get more space for goods.