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.
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.
Read more about this trend at:
(Photo credit: OOCL)
Piper Aircraft Applies R&D Ingenuity To Build Superior Medical Masks For Hospitals Faced With A Shortage Of PPE
The engineers at Piper Aircraft came up with a unique solution to the current shortage of masks for healthcare workers. Using a plastic stamping machine and materials normally used in the production of aircraft interiors, they found a way to utilize in-house equipment and materials for the production of face shields for hospitals on the front line.
Read more about Piper’s engineering turnaround at:
(Photo credit: Piper Aircraft via AOPA/Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association)
US based office furniture manufacturers and dealers offer global, single-source solution for multi-national accounts by outsourcing logistics to industry specialized freight forwarder
Dealers no longer have to share profits and lose control to a foreign dealer. The entire supply chain can be managed from factory through installation by a US based logistics provider.
The functions of international shipping, customs brokerage, delivery & installation are managed through a single point of contact, under dealer/manufacturer control. Overseas Brokers handles the full turnkey process from the bidding stage, through site meetings, execution of shipment, import formalities, installation and day 2 work.
For instance, we exported these Kimball Xsede workstations, Villa lounge seats and training tables from the US to the UK and installed in Cambridge, England on behalf of Strategic Spaces, a Kimball Select dealer based in Boston.
Office Furniture Manufacturers Explore Strategies to Expand Global Footprint
Some top tier office furniture manufacturers are attempting to expand their global footprint through direct sales offices and showrooms in other countries, rather than relying on foreign dealers. The trend among multi-national clients is to standardize their workplace environments worldwide in order to project their brand globally. Therefore, many manufacturers are exploring ways to meet the needs of an increasing number of corporate clients searching for global solutions. Manufacturers are applying various strategies to fill the gap in their global coverage. The old world business model was to establish a global network of foreign dealers who provide an existing sales and operations mechanism. In an increasingly borderless world empowered by the internet, manufacturers are making more direct sales in other countries while operations are being handled by global logistics partners. Some manufacturers are even opening their own offices in multiple business centers around the world, in order to provide their multinational clients with local company stores, wherever their clients’ foreign offices are located. Click on the below link to read more about how a major European manufacturer is growing their global sales mechanism: https://officerepublic.news/en/2019/04/royal-ahrend-reinforces-position-in-france/
WeWork Opens Media and Entertainment Shared Workspace in Hollywood
This facility takes WeWork’s concept of shared office facilities a step further, by providing shared recording studios and editing rooms for smaller tenants, who prefer not to make large investments in equipment and facilities. To learn more about the new concept in shared media workspaces visit The Hollywood Reporter.
(Photo by Elizabeth Daniels)
Ocean Freight Rates
Ocean freight rates are impacted by reversals in short and long term demand as a result of the trade wars. According to some analysts, container rates from China typically increase with demand before tariff increases take effect. Once the tariffs are in place, demand softens, creating downward pressure on freight rates. Read more from Freightwaves here.
Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
Steel and aluminum tariffs have been lifted on imports from Canada and Mexico to the US. In return, Canada has agreed to lift the retaliatory tariffs on import of certain products from the US. This move will bring welcome relief to many industries. Imports into Canada still require NAFTA documentation for customs. Once the USMCA is approved by all parties, the requirements are likely to change.
Read more at Transport Topics
(Photo: An employee performs a quality check on a steel slab at a plant in Nanticoke, Ontario, Canada. Cole Burston/Bloomberg)