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Aperture and Focus- Sept 23 a

Aperture & Focus September 23, 2022

Global Aperture

Cargo airlines and trade analysts drop hints that fall-winter air demand may drop, attributed to recent earning reports from major transport operators and the oft-reported cargo disruptions and volatile fuel markets. But some global airlines remain optimistic, citing year-over-year recovering passenger traffic in key regions such as Middle EastAmericas, and Asia-Pacific.

More steamship lines blank sailings in the coming weeks due to low container utilization rates, particularly in Transpacific Eastbound lanes. China’s manufacturing output wanes on a combination of Covid-19 lockdowns and a dual water-energy crisis as factories re-shore their efforts to Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. But specialized vessels are in high demand: automotive companies are on the lookout for off-season ro-ro capacity, while reefer containerships field a demand uptick from agricultural producers.



Regional Focus



Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are reeling from the recent landfall of Hurricane Fiona, shutting down power and water for both nations—San Juan’s port operations were suspended between September 17-19. As projected, new data from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach shows import volumes dipping through August—down 17% and 6% year-over-year, respectively. Now, US container yards are brimming with empties and fewer ways to return them due to gloomy outbound demand. The disparity might resolve itself in coming weeks as officials are growing with confidence that West Coast port labor negotiations may conclude without work stoppage.

Operations at the Port of Manzanillo closed September 18-21 in preparation for Tropical Storm Madeline, but was further impacted by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that erupted 40 miles inland on September 19. Mexican government officials double efforts to unify coastal and inland port infrastructures in Guanajuato, Ciudad Juárez, Laredo, Altamira, and Michoacán for cross-border efficiencies.




On September 19, manufacturing hub Chengdu lifted lockdown restrictions after effectively controlling the outbreak with no new cases reported, continuing mass testing and requiring negative tests within 48 hours for indoor venues.

Typhoon Nanmadol made landfall in Southern Japan on September 18, causing power blackouts and disruptions to ground and air transport as thousands were evacuated throughout the island of Kyushu. Container vessels delayed their arrivals to the region’s ports.

India’s Prime Minister launched a new National Logistics Policy (NPL) on September 17, improving last-mile delivery and transport infrastructure with the launch of a unified digital platform.

1.4 million kilograms of fresh and dry produce were detained at three different ports in Indonesia on September 19 when newly required importing documents were absent during surprise inspections.



Europe, Middle East & Africa

Dockworkers at the port of Liverpool began an 8-day work strike on September 20 in protest of wages, coinciding with a strike at the port of Felixstowe set to begin September 25. The ensuing fallout compounds a worsening energy crisis in the Schengen Region, as liquid tanker vessels dwindle in seasonal availability and bunker fuel runs grow in time and distance.

Port and bunker operations in Gibraltar were suspended again on September 20 due to continued oil leakage from a wrecked bulker—services were previously downed on September 1 for clean-up.

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