LOGISTICS
European trucking faces looming AdBlue shortage / US processors unhappy due to supply chain issues / Air freight share rises significantly / Container freight rates almost unchanged
The North American industry is grunting under the weight of widespread supply chain problems. According to the results of a survey by the American Chemistry Council (ACC, Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com), problems relating to transport have become more pronounced since the first half of 2022.

About 97% of all companies surveyed reported that they had changed their operations due to supply chain problems and transport disruptions. To protect themselves from further shortages, many companies have increased raw material inventories and supplies (92%), and finished goods (62%). Half of the survey participants reacted by cutting production. Another third said they were confronted with order cancellations because customers feared delays or non-delivery.

Road freight transport in Germany is likely to face similar problems. The controversial gas levy hangs like the sword of damocles over the transport and logistics industry. AdBlue manufacturer SKW Stickstoffwerke has already threatened to stop operations, in view of high gas prices and additional costs. According to a company spokesperson, the resulting additional costs amount to EUR 30 mn per month. An SKW outage would have a drastic effect on the scarce availability of AdBlue, and thus, also on logistics companies: without the additive, there would be no road logistics.

Turkish Airlines, on the other hand, is very close to becoming new number one in European air freight business, according to data from annually published transport statistics of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In an international comparison, the company ranks sixth with a transport performance of 9.2 bn t-km (32% more, compared to the previous year). Europe’s number two, Cargolux, follows closely behind with an improvement of 17%. The undisputed international number one remains Fedex Express, with a traffic performance of 20 bn t-km (5% increase), ahead of Qatar Airways and UPS, both of which also recorded significant increases.
Rhine River temporarily quenched
Now, some good news: rainfall in southern Germany on the 20-21 August weekend caused the water levels in the Rhine River to rise. Among other things, the Kaub gauge, which is essential for shipping, broke the one-metre mark for the first time in a long time. As long as the Rhine has this much water, it is possible to transport more freight than in the past few weeks – reason enough for shipowners to breathe a cautious sigh of relief. This relief won’t last too long though, it seems: as soon as the wave passes, Germany’s Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration sees the water levels dropping again.

In the UK, workers at the Felixstowe port turned their strike threats into reality after failed wage negotiations (see Plasteurope.com of 22.08.2022). Since 21 August 2022, the port has been at a standstill, and is expected to remain so till 29 August. Some shipowners are making efforts to have their ships bypass the port during this time. Ocean liner Ever Alot did not succeed in doing so on its maiden voyage: according to tracking website VesselFinder, the carrier has been anchored in Felixstowe since 18 August.

Despite all the upheavals, international container freight rates hardly changed in the 22-28 August week. From China to both the West Coast and the East Coast of North America, costs were USD 6,500 (EUR 6,435) and USD 9,800, respectively – both remained unchanged from the previous week.

The route from China to Northern Europe increased only slightly, by 2% to USD 10,200, and the return journey remained unchanged at USD 750. The route from China to Southern Europe was 1.8% cheaper at USD 10,800; in the opposite direction it remained unchanged at USD 1,250.

The journey from the North American East Coast to Northern Europe recorded the most significant reduction in freight rates at USD 650 – a discount of 7.1% on the previous week. The reverse route also remained unchanged at USD 8,500.
25.08.2022 Plasteurope.com [251036-0]
Published on 25.08.2022
Logistik: Lkw-Verkehr sieht sich „AdBlue“-Engpass gegenüberGerman version of this article...

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