As “super peak season” in sea freight adds more friction in the air market, consumer analysts warn that the prices of many goods, particularly agricultural produce, will increase as more big box retailers charter entire cargo vessels to keep inventories stocked on time. The price of raw materials, including tin, iron ore, and steel, follows tanker and dry-bulk rates, while the sheer disparity between demand and vessel capacity has motivated carriers—from global leaders to regional titans and next-generation entrepreneurs—to simply buy more vessels. Unfortunately for shippers, this does not alleviate port congestion, erratic weather, or truck shortages.
Spotty flight networks and service restrictions will further hamper cargo transit in the weeks ahead, which has also adversely affected jet fuel demand in Asia. Finally: as US troops finally withdraw, several countries have advised their respective flag carriers to reroute flights that would cross Afghan airspace. Transit times, especially for Asia-Europe services, may change as a result.
Tropical storms and portside congestion in the Americas; stricter Covid-19 regulations and terminal closures in Asia-Pacific; and Europe shows fortitude against ripple effects in the global supply chain.