Freight market report – August 2022
Our August freight market report provides multi-modal situation updates and insights, together with carrier updates and industrial disputes, that will provide you with critical insights for the weeks ahead.
With activity in all major economies falling and inflation rates dampening consumer and business confidence across the board, rapidly rising energy prices can be expected to further deter demand and by extension freight growth into 2023.
Air and ocean carriers will do everything they can to stop declining rates from falling, by strategically rolling out blank sailings and diverting aircraft to tighten supplies.
Accordingly blank sailings are on the rise, with up to 20% of services blanked on some ocean routes and airlines diverting so much transatlantic capacity, that they drove up profitability for the remaining carriers.
The peak season from Asia into Europe has yet to begin and while demand has been slowing down, rates have not softened significantly because supply is kept relatively tight by the volume of blank sailings, vessel sliding, and port omissions.
Port congestion in Europe and particularly Hamburg and Rotterdam, has reached critical levels causing further delays and late return of vessels to Asia, which will be further exacerbated when dockworkers at Felixstowe begin their eight day walkout on the 21st August.
- There may be no ‘’traditional’’ peak season this year
- Disruption and land-side issues (strikes) adding to European port congestion
- Space and equipment available but sailing omissions creating pinch points
- Blank Sailings on the rise and more expected, if market softens
Globally volumes are 3% down year-on-year (YoY) and softening is likely to increase in coming months, as consumer demand weakens and retailers work through excess capacity, though this may be mitigated by demand from the eCommerce sector.
Overall capacity is down by 10% compared to the same period in 2019, but it has been improving for some time and the PAX recovery is quite noticeable.
Even though jet fuel prices have breached $160/b rates are showing some signs of softening, but are still +120% higher than pre- pandemic 2019.
- Rates have started to slide due to demand lacking
- The market has slowed and space is starting to open up into Europe
- European bottlenecks shown no sign of easing anytime soon
- Ongoing strikes contributing to delays and existing congestion
Multiple indicators point towards the demand for European road freight weakening with activity in all major economies falling and inflation rates dampening consumer and business confidence across the board.
Energy prices can be expected to continue putting upward pressure on European prices, deterring growth and therefore road freight demand in Q3.
Driver shortages continue to push wages up and with it transport costs, as employers try to remain competitive and keep their drivers.
- Haulage rates remain high and are unlikely to soften in short term
- Operations continue to be disrupted by strikes and congestion
- Driver shortages still plague the industry across Europe
- UK Fuel surcharges remain high across the UK and Europe
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