Global supply chain management continues to change in the wake of multiple disruptions. On one hand, global freight management is challenging, despite the best efforts of transport optimization, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the 2020 hurricane season is shaping up to be far more active than originally predicted. Within this mix, the US presidential election will further build more instability and uncertainty going forward. Few transport modes have seen the massive changes that have swept through the state of ocean freight in 2020. In fact, 15% of shippers have experienced the adverse impact in ocean transport simply due to the pandemic, says Supply Chain Dive. Surviving through the fall and peak season is predicated on understanding the state of ocean freight now and how it will move in the coming months.
More Blank Sailings Continue to Marr the Face of Ocean Carriers
Earlier this year, multiple ocean transport carriers announced blank sailings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These blank sailings were to avoid excess losses and maintain minimal operations. The unprecedented downturn, as explained by Patrick Burnson of Logistics Management, meant that “carriers had little alternative but to remove capacity from the market.” Unfortunately, the problem, which experts hoped would fade by now, appears to continue as the major ocean freight alliances, particularly THE Alliance, have further announced blank sailings through Q4 2020.
According to Container News, The Alliance’s members, including Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, ONE and HMM have announced additional changes to void core routes in weeks 36 through 39. These continue to affect both transpacific, transatlantic, and Asian-Middle East routes.
Uncertainty Continues to Highlight the Importance of Data-Driven Decision Making When Planning Ocean Transport Capacity
Vessel Maximum Capacity Appears to Have Reached a Precipice
Ocean Freight Is Very Much a “Pay to Play” Market for Now
What Does It All Mean for the Ocean Transport Market
The ocean transport market is in turmoil. As goes ocean shipping, so goes the state of the global shipping market. Of course, technologies such as transport modeling and using a transportation management system (TMS) can help. Regardless, volumes are consistently higher in transpacific markets, and transatlantic markets have seen more blank sailings. The future of ocean freight management hangs in the balance. As a refresher, a blank sailing refers to aA scheduled sailing that has been canceled by a carrier or shipping line so a vessel skips certain ports or even the entire route.