Covid disruptions in China are expected to continue through the of May further alleviating space and equipment constraints on the TPEB trade. Carriers are providing more space at FAK rate levels and port congestion and equipment shortages continue to ease. June will likely see rates start to increase as peak season s and China looks to its Covid closures.
We have started to see an increase in delays with booking confirmations from many clients. In order to ensure that space and rates offered will be available once cargo is ready, please make sure to confirm all bookings within 24 hours.
Amid record high diesel rates, trucking companies have been passing through weekly fuel increases ranging from 10-20% since March. The amount of the increase varies between truckers and market location. Please make sure you are budgeting for these increases.
Supply chain disruptions continue to abound but are not as severe as they have been in past months. Containers continue to roll both at origin and transhipment ports. The frequency of incorrect information from the carriers has eased, however we are still seeing incorrect last free days and ETAs. Chassis availability and trucker turn times have improved slightly. We are still seeing ports and ramps unable to accept empty returns due to congestion at the terminals, however this too has improved.
Contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Port Authorities began on May 10th, two days earlier than the originally scheduled start date of May 12th. Wages, hours, working conditions, and port automation are expected to be the key points central to negotiations.
Less-than-truckload (LTL) rates rose by double digits in 2021 leading LTL carriers to expand capacity 1-2% this year. Unfortunately, this rise in capacity will still fall short of the expected LTL tonnage increase of 3%. Rates will likely continue to increase due to a higher rate of US industrial production, retail inventory growth, and a fresh wave of import expected to hit US ports. (JoC)
Spot rates on the truckload market for loads departing California have fallen below 2021 levels after reaching a record peak in November 2021. Trucking utives believe the rate slump will be short-lived, suggesting that a rebound is coming once China’s Covid lockdown s.
Shanghai has remained closed for over six weeks, however the situation there is improving due to a daily decline in Covid infections. Trucking services have improved, with 70-80% of full container loading and point to point pickup requests being fulfilled. The ports are working close to normal, however heavy berth congestion is reducing port productivity 20-30%. Many carriers have canceled their sailings from Shanghai and are shifting their capacity to Ningbo, Busan and other Asian origin ports where markets are in need of additional space allocation.
The decrease of imports into Shanghai has prevented many manufacturers from receiving key raw materials vital to production. Even with Shanghai being completely , it will take weeks of a steady flow of materials to allow the factories to ramp production back to normal levels. Technology and automotive industries will see the brunt of the impacts with many factories already needing to halt production due to parts and component shortages.
Carrier alliances, including 2M, THE Alliance, and Ocean alliance and are coming under closer scrutiny of the FMC amid record industry profits and criticism from the Biden Administration. The FMC will require the alliances to provide more information on pricing and trades in which they cooperate as they seek to gauge carrier behavior and market competitiveness.
The Port of Charleston has managed to drastically reduce port congestion over the past two months by employing several efficiency measures involving berths, chassis, and trucks. Charleston, which had the most vessels at anchor of any of the major US East ports, now has the fewest with only five currently at anchor. Savannah has also improved with only eight anchored vessels, however New York, New Jersey and Virginia ports still have nearly a dozen vessels waiting to berth. Charleston’s handling of its rising import volumes has helped land a new Walmart distribution center in nearby Ridgeville, SC. The new facility is expected to boost Charleston’s container volumes by 5% once completed.
Air cargo warehouses throughout the U.S. continue to experience delays in cargo availability, and many have shortened their free time from 48 hours to 24 hours. Truckers are still experiencing longer than normal wait times to pick up freight.
Upcoming May Holidays:
Malaysia: Wesak Day May 15-16th
Thailand: Wiskha Bucha Day May 16th
Indonesia: Waisak Day May 16th, Ascension Day May 26th
India: Buddha Purnima May 16th
Cambodia: Visak Bochea Day May 15-16th, Royal Ploughing Ceremony May 19th
Goldman Sachs calculates a worst-case recession fore as investors dump stocks and crypto Stocks limped across the finishing line on Friday to close lower for a sixth consecutive week, a losing streak as bad as any that investors have seen over the past decade.
As gutting as that sounds, Goldman Sachs figures things could get worse. Much worse.
In a note to clients, the investment banks equities team calculated twin full-year fores for the S&P 500.
The base case is for the benchmark to close out 2022 at 4,300, a near-7% premium over Fridays close. This assumes Corporate America will be able to eke out profits as they adapt to a coming slowdown.
The worst case is far bleaker. It involves a full-on recession slamming the U.S. economy, and that would mean stocks falling a further 10% to close out 2022 at 3,600.
Lloyd Blankfein, Goldmans former CEO, and current senior chairman, appears to be banking on the latter scenario. On Sunday, he told a Face the Nation interviewer that theres a “very, very high risk" the American economy will slump into a recession.
The pessimistic calculations are adding further volatility to a risk-off market.
At 3:30 a.m. ET Monday, global stocks and U.S. futures were awash in red with Nasdaq futures down by more than 1% (after climbing 3.8% on Friday). Meanwhile, the safe-haven dollar was climbing again, adding to its impressive gains against rival currencies.
Baked into Goldmans downbeat fore is the belief that economic growth will f in the worlds most advanced economies.
Over the week, in a separate report, Goldmans chief economist Jan Hatzius downgraded 2022 and 2023 U.S. GDP growth.
Hatziuss team now sees the U.S. economy growing 2.4% this year (previously, theyd calculated 2.6% growth) and a lackluster 1.6% next year (vs. 2.2.% for full-year 2023).
The economy is in for a big hit this quarter, Hatzius says, with COVID and Russias invasion of Ukraine pushing up prices, snarling supply chains and sapping consumers sping power. Hatzius, it should be noted, did not mention the R-word in his teams report.
Global stocks, Bitcoin sink
Across the Atlantic, the Europe Stoxx 600 ed at 0.6% lower, and stocks in China were weaker.
At 3:30 a.m. ET, the Shanghai Composite was off 0.3% following a dump of lousy economic data that confirmed the acute cost of Beijings most recent COVID restrictions in the financial capital.
Sticking with risk assets, investors are selling out of crypto once again. Bitcoin tumbled below $30,000 on Monday, a 5% . Ether was also down by roughly the same percentage.
Looking ahead, its a packed week for economic data and earnings. Wall Street will be tuning into tomorrows retail data numbers to see if the consumer truly is holding back on sping. Meanwhile, on Tuesday and Wednesday, investors will get the latest quarterly results from retail giants Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and Target.
The federal government is offering another round of free COVID tests The federal government is sing out a third round of free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests through the U.S. Postal Service.
Americans can once again order free COVID-19 tests from the federal government by visiting COVIDtests.gov. In this round, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver eight free rapid antigen tests to any household in the U.S. that wants them, according to the website. That brings to sixteen the total tests offered per household so far.
The site suddenly appeared active Monday to offer the third round of free tests without a prior announcement. The White House is expected to make it official Tuesday, but the site was fully functional and taking orders ahead of time.
This comes as COVID cases in the U.S. have risen more than 60% in the past two weeks and hospitalizations have begun to climb again as well. "As the highly transmissible subvariants of Omicron drive a rise in cases in parts of the country, free and accessible tests will help slow the spread of the virus," explains a White House fact sheet.
The administration has been criticized for not giving away as many tests as households might need if someone comes down with COVID. But officials previously said they were holding back to see how much demand there was.
Four months into the program, the White House says 350 million tests have been given away to 70 million households, more than half of the households in the U.S. In the midst of the first Omicron wave, with cases spiking and tests hard to find, the Biden administration announced it would order one billion tests to distribute free to Americans.
By the time the free government tests started showing up in mailboxes, the acute shortage had passed as cases fell and pharmacy shelves were restocked with at-home rapid antigen tests.
The first round of tests sent out in January and February provided four per household, and the second round in March provided four more tests per household, for a total of eight. This latest round doubles that, getting more tests out more quickly.
The purchase of a billion COVID tests was funded by the American Rescue Plan and served dual purposes, getting free tests into American homes and creating market stability for a domestic testing industry that struggled with the boom and bust cycle of COVID waves. In 2021, manufacturers slowed production when cases fell, only for the country to be caught flat footed when case numbers rose again.
White House officials have been pleading with Congress to pass another round of COVID prevention and treatment funds, with little progress. Part of that funding would go to buying additional tests to keep the nations supply up even if consumer demand wanes.