Ocean Freight Rates from China to US Have Tripled Compared To Last Year
Due to current backlogs as a result of the pandemic, space on container ships from Asia to the US is extremely tight and rates have gone through the roof. Booking space is even more problematic and could easily take 4-6 weeks to get a booking. As a result of the high demand and tight space, eastbound transpacific ocean freight rates are now more than 3 times higher than the same period last year.
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Transporting Railcars And Railroad Tampers By Sea
Railcars and railroad construction cars are shipped internationally on several types of ships such as breakbulk carriers, RO/RO carriers and containerships. Breakbulk ships lift the railcars from the pier into the hold with ship’s onboard gear. RO/RO carriers load the equipment on rolling mafi platforms that get towed into the hold via the ships massive ramp. Containerships utilize flat rack containers which are containers with no sides and no roof, designed to carry oversized equipment. The loaded flat racks are lifted on board ships with dockside gantry cranes. Lifting and securing these heavy units is planned with the use of engineering drawings that take into account center of gravity, lifting angles and lashing points. The upcoming Texas and California high speed rail projects will involve these types of shipments.
(Photo credit: ocean_network_express via Instagram: “Special cargo shipment from Europe to Japan”)
Airbus Aims To Be First To Market With Zero-Emissions Aircraft
European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, has developed several concept designs for zero-emission commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen. The concept designs are codenamed ZEROe. According to IATA, commercial aircraft produce up to 3 percent of worldwide carbon emissions. The industry has set ambitious goals to reduce the impact of commercial aviation on climate change such as a 50% reduction of carbon emissions by 2050. The zero-emission aircraft are likely to revolutionize the air transport industry.
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Paris Trading Floor Project Completed Despite Lockdown And Riots
Trading desks manufactured by LaCour were shipped from New Jersey to Paris, France and installed without a hitch in the midst of the pandemic lockdown. The project was completed minutes before riots broke out in the streets of Paris to protest the lockdown. The shipment was routed via the port of Rotterdam, Holland to bypass delays at the port of LeHavre, France. The Dutch installation crew were equipped with parking permits from French Police and special dispensations allowing them to work until 6 pm every day, at which time they had to return to a rented apartment to comply with the evening curfew.
Helicopter Survey of Sheep Spots a Strange Steel Monolith Embedded in Barely Accessible Rock in the Desert
Speculations abound about how the Sci-Fi invoking 12’ monolith was transported and installed in the forbidding terrain. As specialists in transporting equipment to challenging remote locations, we believe that the mysterious 3-sided monolith and the rock cutting equipment had to be transported by helicopter or a purpose-built all-terrain vehicle in order to access the inhospitable terrain.
According to Lt. Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, the authorities were confident that “it’s somebody’s art installation, or an attempt at that.” As to how it was transported to a remote spot in Red Rock Country, he said, “Somebody took the time to use some type of concrete-cutting tool or something to really dig down, almost in the exact shape of the object, and embed it really well. It’s odd…There are roads close by, but to haul the materials to cut into the rock, and haul the metal, which is taller than 12 feet in sections — to do all that in that remote spot is definitely interesting.”
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(Credit: Utah Department of Public Safety)
Alibaba And Amazon Battle For 3PL Supremacy
Alibaba and Amazon are battling to control the third party logistics market by providing supply chain logistics services to outside clients.
Cainiao, the logistics division of Alibaba, is now offering end-to-end logistics services to Japanese and South Korean importers and exporters and have started an air charter service between Asia and South America. While Amazon is well on its way to becoming a global player in providing logistics services to other companies as an extension of the logistics infrastructure they created to serve their own needs, Alibaba understands they must catch up with Amazon’s growing dominance in the field to remain viable.
Cainiao aims to cover international shipping by sea and air, customs clearance, trucking, warehousing and last mile delivery. By offering an in-house turnkey service, they will reduce transit times, take control of their supply chain and reduce costs that will benefit consumers through more competitive pricing and faster delivery times.
Alibaba plans to operate about 1,300 chartered flights by the end of 2020. Amazon is offering a full range of logistics services in Europe and recently opened an air hub in Germany to support its Prime delivery service . In the U.S., Amazon offers ocean freight services for its own imports as well as other customers.
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(Photo credit: Alibaba Group)
Aircraft Fuselages Are Shipped By Rail In An Unusual Combination Of Transport Modes
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A unique combination of transport modes was captured on video in a way you wouldn’t expect when Boeing 737 MAX aircraft fuselages were filmed during transport by rail through a narrow railroad tunnel. Although the video may seem to show something that can’t possibly be right, it is all too real.
The fuselages are manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas. Transporting such large pieces of equipment presents a challenge due to height and width limits for over-the-road transport. Due to their dimensions, they must be transported by rail without the wings attached, as the fuselages alone are too long to be transported over the road from the factory in Kansas to Boeing’s assembly facility in Washington State. The fuselages are meticulously prepped for shipment on railcars to ensure sufficient clearance through tunnels.
On June 4, 2020 Spirit AeroSystems was directed by Boeing to stop production on four 737 MAX shipsets and avoid starting production on sixteen more units for delivery in 2020 due to COVID-19’s impact on air travel in an effort to reduce unnecessary production costs. Spirit’s production was subsequently lowered from 125 units to 72 units for 2020. As of September 2020, CEO Tom Gentile said Spirit expects to be back to 10 aircraft per month on the 737 in January.
That is good news for Boeing, the passenger airline industry and the air cargo industry. Of course railroad executives will be very happy to resume shipments of this special cargo. The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes.
Read more about the ripple effect that the grounding of the 737 MAX created in combination with the challenges presented by the pandemic at:
Overseas Brokers Handles LaCour Trading Desk Project in Australia
LaCour has continued to expand its partnership with Overseas Brokers to handle their global transportation by sea and air, cross-border customs formalities, delivery and installation of their products, all over the world. LaCour is a major manufacturer of custom-designed trading desks, and we’ve completed projects in London, Monte Carlo, Geneva, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Juan, and Brisbane, Australia. Next up is Paris, France.
Take a look at photos from a 300 desk project we handled, on behalf of LaCour, from New Jersey to Australia, for a metals and energy trading company. The photos show the process at destination starting with grounding of ocean containers at site, installation of frames, attaching work surfaces and placement of pedestals. Through Overseas Brokers’ global network of trusted logistics partners, we are able to make this a cookie cutter process for global distribution, easily duplicated worldwide – without the need for a local dealer in every market.
Sky High Ocean Freight Rates From Asia Attract Government Scrutiny
Ocean carriers have been skipping sailings to shore up their bottom line during the virus-induced downturn in manufacturing and consumer demand. Tactical blank sailings combined with record breaking rate spikes in the trans-Pacific trade have increased carrier profitability now that manufacturing and demand are coming back online. Decreased capacity and increased rates are helping ocean carriers recover at the expense of the global economy while suppliers struggle to meet pent up consumer demand. Government regulators have begun to exert pressure on ocean carriers to restore capacity and restrict rate increases. It has been customary to blank sailings during the Chinese Golden Week holiday, however the threat of intervention will surely impact carrier cost manipulations and capacity decisions.
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(Photo credit: OOCL)
Walmart And Amazon Drones Battle For Last-Mile Delivery Supremacy
Walmart and Amazon are engaged in a war of delivery drones. Although Amazon may be the largest e-commerce retailer, Walmart may have a structural edge enabling them to deliver groceries and household items by drone more quickly. Both players introduced short-range drones to transport small packages up to 5 pounds. According to Amazon, about 90% of products they sell weigh under 5 pounds.
Walmart claims they have a store within 10 miles of 90% of Americans. Amazon, by contrast, delivers from its fulfillment centers, usually located near major cities. That gives Walmart an edge until Amazon ramps up their rural presence.
Meanwhile, Amazon has patented a futuristic Jetson-style idea for distribution towers that look like beehives. The towers would function as fulfillment centers with landing pads for delivery drones, strategically located near high-density residential towers.
The current need for social distancing has accelerated a paradigm shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping with contact-free delivery.
Read more about the drone war between Walmart and Amazon at:
(Photo credit: Amazon, via FreightWaves, and Walmart, via FreightWaves)