The international logistic branch has been haunted by problems for months now. And unfortunately, there is no genius troubleshooter on the horizon. The disturbances do not seem to be purely transient but go deeper into the structures of the whole delivery branch. Experts talk about troublesome years to come, not only months. Thus the short version regarding freight Situation between Asia an Europe – “no end of trouble in sight” – Why is that?
Effects show up in Europe just now to the full
Construction industry here in Europe is alarmed, for example in Germany. The shortages on materials delivered from Asia hit some participants of the branch really hard. Even the consumers have to face an unknown situation as more and more articles are out of stock or have long delivery times such as textiles, electronics and furniture. In combination with an even stronger demand of consumer goods the situation is getting worse from day to day. Whole industry branches such as the automobile industry lack delayed elements, parts and raw materials. Due to the freight crisis houses cannot be finished on time and new orders for work have to be postponed for months by handymen. A lot of branches are concerned. There are booking stops of shipping lines and permanent delays.
Nobody can say so far how much money is at stake but the prospects are bleak. What seemed to have started as a temporarily disturbance of freight situation now has settled as a continuous fault in logistics. One thing is sure and can already be seen: Prices for certain goods and materials rise. And as far as we know for now prices could remain on a higher level for long. Another side-effect of the development is clearly seen now. Conditions for the whole logistic circle worsen. In order to avoid congestions at container places truckers are not allowed to bring in containers earlier then 48-72 hours before the ship arrives. A loss of time and money.
Shipliners somehow do net get on target
The current freight situation just shows how vulnerable the shipping business is. The breakdown in demand of deliveries in the aftermath of the Corona pandemic, the loss of and chaos of localizing stranded containers, and some other disturbances as a blocked ship in the Suez-Canal just mark a deep structural crisis in the shipping business. It seems not to have reached the flexibility and smooth processes a fully digitalized world needs. There is no big catastrophe necessary to hit the shipping business hard. A bunch of smaller problems is enough to bring it partially down. Hopefully, there is a lesson to be learnt and shipping lines adapt to the volatile challenges of a modern world soon. What can we do so far?
We cannot improve the freight situation between Asia and Europe on ourselves. But we should not sit down passively. We have to strengthen our supply chains and go for reliable partners. This is the only possibility to ensure a competitive advantage and to survive the ongoing insecurities in the freight business.
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