The coronavirus has hit the global economy hard, with companies like Titan Transline being forced to completely shift their strategies for the times in order to adapt. Global demands have shifted, and trade has ground to a halt in certain places.
With demands changing, shipping changes to match. To that end, European ports and warehouses are getting ready to accept container ships coming back from Asia, returning due to demand for their cargo evaporating.
Merchandise that retailers ordered in the period during the small period when China’s economy was recovering, but before the European countries went into lockdown, are landing in ports across the region, particularly in Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg.
Large parts of Europe have practically ground to a halt due to the restrictions put in place in order to stop the spread of the pandemic. Businesses like factories and fashion stores are closed across the region, which has led to people worrying that the supply chain could see bottlenecks which could lead to consumers not getting supplies.
SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen says that cargo is being dropped in Europe since no one wants them. Ports see piles of inventory, at least a month’s worth of cargo in size, and that’s an issue. Importers are going to have to deal with the overflow and the large volume of goods that they need to take delivery of, which, realistically, they won’t be able to sell all of.
The EU has 3/4ths of its goods enter by sea, while 30% of the trade in the region is by vessel, which is why any issues at the maritime terminals could ripple throughout the region’s logistics network, affecting not only companies like Titan Transline, but everyone.
Port operators say that they’re ready for the influx of cargo, without tailbacks outside of the harbors. They say that, while container volumes going into the EU from Asia will go up, they’re not going to be much more than what’s expected for the time of year, though the drop in consumer demand means that distributing them might prove to be a challenge.
Shipping company CMA CGM, which has gone on record to say that they’re willing to offload cargo at intermediate points, states that they’ll keep working on the matter as needed, but the important question is for how long that’ll be.