COVID-19 Bulletin: April 1

April 1, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

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Supply Chain

  • The number of ships waiting to load or discharge at Shanghai’s port skyrocketed to more than 300 this week, a near fivefold increase in the past 2.5 weeks, according to VesselsValue. 
  • Volkswagen is suspending some Shanghai production until April 5 due to the city’s strict pandemic lockdowns. 
  • There were 39 container ships awaiting berths at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach last week, fewer than 40 vessels for the first time since September of last year. 
  • Container throughput at Canada’s Port of Vancouver rose 6% last year, including a 56% increase in empty outbound boxes. 
  • Container volume at the Port of Houston was up 37% in February compared with February 2021.  
  • Container lines coping with sliding Asia-North America rates are seeking short-term contracts with smaller shippers
  • Operating profit at Orient Overseas Container Line rose seven-fold last year as high freight rates offset flat volumes. 
  • Waterways connecting the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence Seaway opened for the freight shipping season
  • The owner of the giant container ship stuck in Chesapeake Bay the past two weeks is seeking to make owners of on-board cargo share in the surging cost of the disruption
  • Orders for new ships at Chinese shipyards fell 17% in January and February. 
  • Labor negotiations between 22,000 West Coast dockworkers and their employers will begin May 12 ahead of contract expirations on July 1. 
  • The Supreme Court temporarily blocked New Jersey from leaving the two-state agency that fights crime at the Port of New York and New Jersey. 
  • Apple is exploring alternative chip suppliers, including its first potential supplier from China, after a batch of output from Japan’s Kioxia Holdings Corp. was contaminated last month and exposed weaknesses in the tech giant’s supply chain. 
  • Ford and GM are suspending some Michigan production next week due to the continued shortage of computer chips. Across the globe, supply shortages are expected to slow vehicle sales to 12.7 million this quarter from 15 million the same time last year, according to J.D. Power. 
  • The rise in diesel fuel prices could cost independent truckers up to $120,000 a year and cause increased bankruptcies.  
  • Beginning Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service will begin imposing “dimensional” surcharges for large and non-standard packages as well as those where shippers fail to mark the package size.  
  • The S&P GSCI, a benchmark tracking the prices of commodities futures from precious metals to livestock, climbed 29% in the first quarter, its biggest gain since 1990. 
  • Self-driving startup Aurora Innovation will begin testing autonomous vehicles on a 600-mile route on one of the nation’s busiest freight thoroughfares between Forth Worth and El Paso. 
  • The U.S. administration awarded $2.7 billion of last year’s historic infrastructure dollars to hundreds of new projects to improve ports and waterways, officials announced Tuesday.  
  • More supply chain news related to the war in Europe:
    • The latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russia includes penalties on Mikron, Russia’s biggest chipmaker and largest exporter of microelectronics. 
    • Titanium shortages stemming from lost Russian shipments are hurting Airbus’ ambitious expansion plans. 

Domestic Markets

International Markets

Euro Area Inflation Rate
  • A purchasing managers index of eurozone manufacturing activity also was down in March, signaling slowing growth: 
Euro Area Manufacturing PMI

At M. Holland

  • In case you missed it, watch M. Holland’s Plastics Reflections webinar about the current and future state of the North American plastics industry. Click here to access the recording.
  • M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight. For more information, email our 3D Printing team.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.

For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

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