Market Update

Market Update December

December 3, 2021
Sasha Khan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
8 Minutes

The month ahead

2021 has been a challenging year for the shipping industry. From global scheduling issues, severe port congestion and continual disruptions in service, carriers had hoped that equipment and ships would be back in position by now. Demand continued to remain high during the summer and into the peak festive period, adding to service disruptions.  

Global schedule reliability dropped to 33.5% in August, marginally improving to 34.0% in September and 34.4% in October. Asia exports to Europe still face blank sailings and port omissions, leading to an overall reduction in capacity. Carriers endeavour to fill gaps in the schedule with extra sailings, but the situation is expected to remain into the New Year.

Heavy rains and severe flooding in South India

Due to heavy rains and flooding in the South of India this month, shipments ex Chennai, Ennore, Katupalli and Tuticorin ports have slowed down considerably, as well as container freight stations (CFS) operations.

The severe waterlogging in several areas have caused operations to come to a standstill, leaving cargo movement and inland transportation heavily affected and delayed.  

Asda charters own cargo ship to ensure Christmas stock amidst supply chain disruptions

In response to supply chain disruption in the lead up to Christmas, Asda has chartered its own cargo ship to ensure key festive items from toys, clothing and decorations reach stores in time.  

The supermarket revealed that their sales dropped by 0.7% in three months over the summer quarter, so these measures have been taken to ensure shelves are kept stocked, amid concerns over Christmas deliveries and stock.  

The ship, carrying 350 containers of items from east Asia is their first ever private charter, and just shows the drastic measures retailers are taking to mitigate pre-Christmas supply chain problems.  

The shortage of qualified HGV drivers, disruption in the distribution of containers during the pandemic and hold-ups in production in east Asia because of Covid restrictions have all held up delivery of products to the UK.

These disruptions have led to many retailers finding new ways to secure deliveries. John Lewis have teamed up with other retailers to charter container ships to deliver products and flew in items such as Christmas lights. Whilst Tesco, have scaled up its use of rail freight and offered lorry drivers £1,000 signing on fees.


European customs page

New Import Requirements from 1 January 2022

Following the Government announcement in September 2021 that certain EU to GB Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) import controls will begin from 1 July 2022, we want to remind you of the requirements that will still come into force from 1 January 2022.

Whilst certification, documentary, ID and physical checks, by commodity groups for products of animal origin, animal by-products, plant and plant products, will be introduced in three phases between July and November 2022, the requirement for pre-notifying consignments starts on 1 January 2022.

From 1 January 2022, businesses importing products of animal origin, animal by-products and high-risk foods not of animal origin (HRFNAO) must pre-notify consignments at least four hours in advance of arriving into Great Britain. The pre-notification must be made via the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

To help you get ready for these new requirements we have incorporated key information you need into the attached document. Please take the time to read and understand the actions needed to continue importing from the EU into GB from 1 January 2022. Additionally, you can refer to the Border Operating Model for further information.

GVMS Pre-requisites

In order to use GVMS, Hauliers who will register for GVMS and create a Goods Movement Reference

Number will need the following in place:

• A Government Gateway Account (this can be a new account or an existing account, however this

must be the account used to create the GB EORI)


• Access to GVMS

Our Port Tour in Dublin – watch Q&A

After the success of our Port of Calais Tour, Unsworth and partners hosted another event, this time at the Dublin Port BIP. It took place on Monday 29th November 2021, where attendees will gain first-hand experience of the port, including a live Q&A session with Irish Customs & Controls Division, CHED Officials and DAERA.  

There was a presentation from Dublin Port Authorities, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Revenue Customs followed by a one-hour Q&A session, where attendees could submit their questions live.

Our goal for this event was to provide clarity on the Irish border, with information on common errors encountered by the authorities which delay the flow of goods and how the process changes have made a difference for the Irish Importers.  

Watch the Q&A session here.

Freight rates: Market Snapshot

Whilst some carriers have chosen to freeze rates until the new year, capacity is still limited. We recommend getting in touch with your Unsworth representative to touch base and ensure you have a clear idea on what to expect for your shipments over the next few months.  

Rates remain steady, with a significant drop on the Asia - West Coast North America routes. Asia - Europe still remain high but no signs it will jump any further.

Driver shortages and fuel issues mean surcharges are in place to help carriers recover. This is driving up spot prices overall.  

Air freight’s Far East westbound ‘super-peak’ season is set to last until Chinese New Year. And with little prospect of an improvement in capacity on the horizon, any significant change in the current elevated level of rates is unlikely.

How can Unsworth help?

We are here through the festive season to continue to support our clients, with teams on hand into the New Year. We have been seeing ongoing blank sailings and port omissions, followed by last minute vessel sliding, which has been reducing overall capacity in the market and this remains an industry-wide challenge.

As usual, we strongly encourage our clients to take advantage of our technology driven platform, Pathway. This platform was designed to provide our clients unrivalled control over their supply chains, allowing them to position themselves in a place where they can better react to unexpected events.  Get in touch with our team today if you have any queries about any of the topics discussed in this document, and we will be sure to help you in any way we can.  

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