European and Asian Owners avoid calling Indonesian ports because of epidemiological situation in this country. Owners advised that they are afraid that vessel can be quarantined for two weeks or most probably, crewmember might be infected with COVID-19, and the whole crew will be changed. Charterers of coals, petroleum gases, iron and fertilizers who usually trade to Indonesia now are trying to find solutions to ship their parcels to close countries as Malaysia or Singapore, and different ways of transshipment. Moreover, some of the Owners refused to go to Indonesia during the current voyages despite the signed charter parties and risk of penalties, so Charterers are forced to find extreme solutions to change discharging ports from Indonesia.
Situation with Asian ports also complicates by typhoon In-Fa. The operations in the ports of Shanghai and neighboring regions were terminated. The shutdown of seaports will affect container traffic and bulk cargo such as grain and fertilizers, and rates will go higher in this region.
In the 30th week, a slow pace trend on the grain trading has been revealed. Reportedly, this had happened due to the lack of grain commodities in Traders’ hands. Producers now are trying to postpone the sales. The freight market reacted accordingly, thus, lots of open tonnage had occurred besides the failing on subs vessels. The situation on the freight market is not clear yet; there is observed the lack of cargoes from the Continent and the Black Sea. On the other hand, there are lots of opening positions at the aforementioned areas from coasters up to Supramax tonnage, and Owners are still trying to get the best freight level from Charterers as possible. Some say that on the next two weeks, rates will be corrected slightly.
Tunisia reports that the protests caused by the resignation of the government might result in port congestion and the reduction of import volumes of goods. By this moment, not any official statements regarding suspending of port operation announced. However, some Owners already reject cargoes for Tunisian destination and some of them increase freight rates sufficiently. As we see, Handy size vessels from the Black Sea to Tunis on late July dates are fixed on mid 40’s.
The riots situation in SAFR region has stabilized during the last week. However, additional case resulted from the cyberattack to Transnet Port Terminals reportedly on 22 July caused the supply disruptions both Bulk Containerized commodities. In the middle of the SAFR’s citrus export season, malfunction of the logistic systems both railways and tucks delivery resulted in the domino effect. This has leaded to more than 3 weeks congestion reportedly revealed at Durban port.
We also see that almost all of the major ports worldwide are congested. Besides the heavily congested ports of CJK, Indian and Sea Asia regions, Israel port’s congestion is mostly caused by the lack of stevedores; at Haifa, it’s 2 up to 6 weeks at anchorage for coasters up to Handymax vessels; at Ashdod port, 3 up to 4 weeks at anchorage for coasters up to Handymax fleet. In SAFR region, Durban and Richards Bay: 2 up to 3 weeks for Handysize up to Supramax; Port Elisabeth: 1 up to 2 weeks for Handysize up to Supramax. In US Gulf and Lakes region, 2 up to 5 weeks for Handysize up to Supramax. In ECSA region, Up-River: 1 up 2 to weeks for Handysize; Vitoria: 2 up to 3 weeks for Handysize up to Supramax.
As we see, the situation does not changing for better due to lots of reasons such as COVID 19, grains and fruit seasons, bad weather conditions, rising demand for goods etc. We understand that it’s impossible to stop the shipments and redistribute the lines. Thus, in a year perspective, the freight market will continue hitting the tops despite local corrections.