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Danish 3PL Scan Global Logistics published today a rather interesting report that may well deserve five minutes of your time.

It reads:

While unnormal seems to have become the new normal for everyone involved in the transportation and logistics industry, there is full steam on the quest to find the elusive answer to what 2022 and beyond will bring.

No signs of pre-COVID 19 rates in the foreseeable future

Airfreight continues to act somewhat in accordance with historic development. Q4 is marking the traditional peak season, and it has triggered rate increases throughout the quarter. It is our opinion that these increases are primarily owed to peak volumes and less related to other factors such as COVID-19 impact. However, ground handling congestion is a serious concern causing significant delays, which can largely be contributed to a lack of labor due to COVID-19.

Ocean freight remains the big-ticket item and talk of the town. On the back of eye-watering financial results, all carriers remain adamant that a return to a market situation resembling pre-COVID-19 is not on the cards, neither short/mid-term nor long term. In any case, hoping for more merciful rate levels would hinge on the ever-present option of further blank sailings not being introduced at a large scale.

The macro-economic, port congestion, and peak season cocktail

Looking at the macro-economic indicators, the growth in global GDP has remained strong throughout the last months. We are, however, seeing the first signs of a slow- down as a natural result of record-high inflation levels, as well as the year-long consumer spending spree aided by governmental stimulus packages slowly coming to an end.

With continued global port congestion triggered by lack of labor in most ports in the western world, and additional vessel capacity not being added until 2023, there are though only little signs that this will trigger a dramatic shift in the supply and demand situation. In plain terms, whatever economic slow-down comes in the short-mid-term, it will be leveled out by many other factors that continue to plague the shipping industry…

To read the full report, please click here.

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