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Research on Logistics

Whatever your do, you rely on logistics. Access analysis of the competitive dynamics and corporate finances of the shipping companies, as well as the impact of port activity and shipping rates on your business.


ZIM leads 2M, Ceva imports surge in November

Carrier and forwarder markets in November were affected by the continuing rise in ocean freight rates, up 1.2% on average after a lull in October. China to U.S. west coast routes were particularly affected, up 4.2% week to week as of Dec 10, and up 23.8% since the end of July. Other routes impacted by increases included China to South-East Asia, likely impacted by the transpacific traffic, and to South Africa which has seen an outbreak of the new Omicron variant. Carriers are likely the primary beneficiaries of these high rates, and the 2M alliance continued the trend of leading the major three in growth, up 6.3% year over year in November. This was led by ZIM and MSC, up 21.7% and 14.3% year over year in the same period. CMA CGM had the top growth rate for Ocean Alliance, up 14.3% year over year, and both CMA CGM and COSCO showed positive import momentum. Unaffiliated liners also saw success, with imports associated with SM Line up 58.0% year over year and Matson up 5.9% year over year. Forwarders are likely in a less advantageous position, caught between shippers and carriers, but some firms still posted strong growth regardless. Imports associated with Ceva Logistics increased by 95.8% year over year in November, while imports associated with Multi Container increased by 50.7% year over year. Amazon also had a strong month, up 88.1% year over year, likely driven by its logistics arm’s integration with its e-ecommerce site, a factor that has recently raised flags from regulators in the EU.

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Research on Manufacturing Industries

Learn what trade data can tell you about industries from commodities and food to electronics and autos with concise, regular updates.


Santa ramps up toy imports in November

U.S. imports in November were at least 2,854 thousand TEU, Panjiva data accessed on Dec 12 shows, down 4.7% month to month from October. While slower, this was still 6.3% higher than November 2020, and shows that elevated U.S. imports are still in place even after the usual October peak. This also brings the year to date total for U.S. imports to 19.6% higher than November of 2020, a further indicator of the scale and longevity of changes in consumer trends after pandemic lockdowns. The impacts of this continued import surge have hit lead times, with Flexport’s Ocean Timeliness Indicator showing 107.4 days from factory to inland network as of November 21, over 3 months and up by 46.1% since the end of December 2020. This impacts company decision making, putting a higher emphasis on inventory availability witch then translates to higher costs. Consumers still looking for holiday gifts may be glad to hear that seaborne imports of toys and leisure products continued to climb, up 16.9% and 4.5% year over year respectively and high above 2019 levels. Other consumer discretionary products like appliances, down 16.4% year over year, fell, likely as consumer wants for durable goods seen last year are filled. Other sectors like healthcare, consumer staples, and IT fell year over year as well, down 6.8%, 18.2%, and 8.9% year over year respectively while imports of upstream products like industrial goods and materials increased by 5.8% and 5.4%, likely to fill companies inventory needs.

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Research on Economics

Get the story behind the story with in-depth analysis of what is driving trade in the world’s largest economies.


Vietnam sourcing still problematic for Adidas, Nike

Vietnam benefited from the surge in U.S. imports over the past year, building on successes claimed during the U.S. China trade war and rising with overall trends. The country saw U.S. imports increase by 36.0% year over year in August, but the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns saw imports in October fall by 20.1% year over year, lower than 2019 by 9.1%. The footwear industry has had to adapt, with imports from Vietnam falling to 27.4% of U.S. imports from 31.5% in 2020. This was despite imports increasing overall, up 31.4% year over year. Some volume may have shifted to footwear makers in China, whose footwear imports in Q3 increased by 26.3% year over year and increasing the market share of Chinese sources from 42.3% in 2020 to 44.4% in Q3. Footwear is generally a labor-intensive product, but importers are likely willing to pay for increased manufacturing costs to ensure supply. Adidas is one of the companies affected, with imports from Vietnam to the U.S. falling from 41.2% in July to 6.3% in October. CFO Harm Ohmeyer commented that declines in inventories “reflects the factory lockdowns in Vietnam during the quarter” and that “we have a supply problem. At the end of Q3, almost 30% of our inventories, globally, were goods in transit. That means they’re sitting somewhere in a harbor, sitting on a ship or sitting on a truck or a train, but not being delivered to a customer or to a consumer.” This likely resulted in a decrease in overall imports as well, down 5.8% year over year in October. Nike also faced similar Vietnam challenges with imports from Vietnam falling from 51.3% in July to 16.2% in October but may have been able to switch sources as imports in October increased by 29.9%.

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Research on Politics

Shifting policies, regulations and trade deals move the goal posts - get the data and facts behind the hype.


Energy, corn, chips drive late surge in US exports to China

Trade rhetoric is starting to rise again between the U.S. and China. While not to the levels seen during the U.S. China trade war, actions like the joint U.S. EU statement on steel and the Chinese application to the CPTPP show that disagreements remain unresolved. One aspect that may come back to the forefront in 2022 is the Phase 1 trade deal that reduced Section 301 duties on China in exchange for commitments for purchasing U.S. export products. These commitments have largely been missed, with exports from the U.S. to China in 2020 and the first 10 months of 2021 making up only 61.4% of the goal. It may be a moot point at the negotiating table, however, as the commitments were contingent on ‘market conditions’, even before the pandemic, and overall monthly exports under the deal did rise by 2.2 billion dollars, or 34.9%. Different product categories under the agreement had varying levels of change, with U.S. exports of chips, corn, and energy seeing increases. Monthly U.S. exports of integrated circuits and semiconductor manufacturing equipment increased by $583 and $359 million dollars respectively from 2017 to the first 10 months of 2021, notable as some rhetoric around the Section 301 duties in the first place involved technology transfer. In the industrials category exports of cars fell by $308 million a month, reflecting the maturing of China’s domestic automotive industry. Corn saw monthly exports increase by $453 million dollars in the same period, offset by a $194 million dollar decrease in soybean exports, possibly driven by weak margins for soybean processors. Finally, the surge in energy was driven by LNG and coal, up $229 and $151 million dollars respectively as demand for fuels grows this winter.

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