Port News- Covid Continues to Make Waves
Although the effects of covid continue to ripple through supply chain, they are not the only challenges we face. Sometimes all it takes is some extreme weather to up-end our carefully laid plans.
Here is some top news from the seas.
Auckland, New Zealand
Spikes in demand causing availability of supply issues due to covid are leading to congestion at the and empty store shelves as retailers continue to wait for stock that’s to be offloaded Ports of Auckland, the country's main gateway for sea freight.
Due to jam-up, Maersk has announced that it will re-route one of its regular services, skipping Auckland for the next 11 weeks.
750 Maersk Containers Lost Overboard
The California bound ship, en route from Xiamen, China, to the Port of Los Angeles carrying fitness equipment, electronics, furniture and other goods had fall overboard due to a “rough sea encounter.”
With a capacity of 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the Danish-flagged Essen sails on Maersk’s TP6 Asia-U.S. West Coast service. The Essen “experienced heavy seas during her North Pacific crossing,” Maersk said, “resulting in the loss of approximately 750 containers overboard.”
“All crew members are safe, and a detailed cargo assessment is ongoing while the vessel continues on her journey,” Maersk said in its brief media release issued Wednesday.
Panama Canal Signs a MoUs to Optimize Supply Routes for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Due to its location, Panama holds an advantageous position to help meet the high demands imposed on supply chains by the global pandemic.
As part of the agreement, the Panama Canal, PPC and PSA Panama have agreed to undertake joint initiatives to establish an alliance of cooperation and explore working together to form a logistic hub on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal for the storage and distribution of the vaccine and supplies for the region.
“By forging this partnership, we aim to affirm Panama’s contributions to overcoming this global challenge,” said Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales. “We have served the world throughout this global pandemic and together will facilitate its swift recovery through our combined capabilities as the logistics hub for the region.”
IHS Markit/CIPS: UK Manufacturing PMI near-record high
UK manufacturing trends
For the UK manufacturing sector, growth of output and new orders were both reported by IHS Markit and CIPS as among the best seen over the past seven years, which in turn has led to a strong increase in employment. Despite this, the sector continues to face supply chain delays and input shortages, which resulted in increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation.
UK Manufacturing IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®)
Seasonally adjusted, IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) rose to 60.9 in April, which was an increase compared to March (58.9) and above the estimated 60.7 for April.
Increasing for the eleventh consecutive month, the latest readings are the highest since July 1994 (61.0). The output growth for April has been attributed to the loosening of lockdown restrictions, improving demands and a rise in backlogged work.
“The manufacturing sector was flooded with optimism in April as the PMI rose to its highest level since July 1994, bolstered by strong levels of new orders and the end of lockdown restrictions opened the gates to business. It was primarily the home market that fuelled this upsurge in activity though more work from the US, Europe and China demonstrated there were also improvements in the global economy. This boom largely benefited corporates as output growth at small-scale producers continued to lag behind,” said Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
In addition to expanding production, total new orders rose for its third consecutive month, which was attributed to a revival of domestic market conditions, stronger client confidence, parts of the economy reopening and improving global market conditions.
While new exports rose in April, the rate was reported as weaker in comparison to new orders. “Companies reported improved new work intakes from several trading partners, including mainland Europe, the US, China and South-East Asia. Large-sized manufacturers saw a substantial expansion in new export order intakes, compared to only a marginal rise at small-sized firms,” said IHS Markit/CIPS.
UK Manufacturing’s outlook
Remaining positive at the start of the second quarter, 66% of companies forecast that output will be higher in a year's time, which is attributed to expectations for less disruption related to COVID-19 and Brexit, economic recovery, improved client confidence and new product launches.
“Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories. The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high, as output and new orders expanded at increased rates. The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time. Export growth remains relatively subdued, however, as small manufacturers struggle to export,” said Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit.
Adding to comments from IHS Markit and CIPS, , Managing Director of Freight and Logistics at Accenture Global said: “While today’s figures are positive overall, the worsening supply situation is still a concern, with rates of both input costs and selling price inflation running far above anything previously seen. Shipping delays and material shortages are driving huge backlogs of uncompleted work and the surge in manufacturing orders is leading to many firms struggling to boost operating capacity to keep up with demand. With business expectations becoming even more optimistic as the economy rebounds, the big question will be whether firms will be able to cope with the surging inflows of new orders.
“As ongoing supply chain issues are still at large, companies with wide international footprints should look to reassess their logistics strategies by running supply chain stress tests and simulations in order to respond quickly to upswings and variability in demand. A flexible and resilient supply chain will be a key way for businesses to remain both competitive and stable as we emerge from the pandemic”