A Stressed Global Logistics Supply Chain’s Effect On Global Mobility

Written By

Machaela Casey
Global business logistics import export background and container cargo freight ship transport concept

A global pandemic, trade sanctions, trucker driver shortages. All of these factors and more have placed tremendous pressure on an already stressed global supply chain.

Air Shipments

Loading cargo on the plane in airport, view through window

Airfreight rates are at historic highs due to lack of capacity as airlines ground aircraft due to lack of air travel. In addition, many airlines are committed to priority cargo such as medical equipment, vaccines, and other critical items needed to deal with COVID-19.

An average kilo air freight rate has more than quadrupled pre-pandemic levels in some instances, especially to and from Asia.

Westerberg GMS is carefully counseling our clients regarding the absolute necessity of an air freight shipment, and if critical, keeping it to the absolute essentials to contain cost.

Sea Shipments

The steamship line industry is experiencing space/capacity issues as well. Imbalances of freight flows are creating capacity shortages and difficulties obtaining booking on vessels. Freight rates have also increased exponentially to and from certain regions. The average time from placing a booking with a steamship line and availability of space on a vessel increased from 5-7 days to 3-4 weeks in Q4 of 2020, particularly to and from Asia.

Westerberg GMS has been urging our clients to increase move lead times in order to better plan ahead and mitigate departure and arrival delays to host countries.

Proactive Not Reactive

Westerberg GMS maintains a philosophy of proactively following global logistics trends enabling us to counsel our clients so they may adjust their approach to global mobility in accordance with current situations on the ground and predicted challenges in the future.