Sterling has continued to rally, strengthening against its major since the new year. This can all be attributed to the “first mover advantage”, attributed to over 17 million COVID 19 vaccinations since the start of the year. Further to this, Boris Johnson revealed that the Govt’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown could see the country back to normal by mid-way through the year. This is all provided that the pandemic and further contagion is quashed by the continuation of the vaccination programme.
Demand from the energy sector has been the main driver behind the surge in China’s rare earth prices over the past 12 months. Since last May there has been a sharp rise in the cost of four rare earth minerals in particular – praseodymium, neodymium, terbium, and dysprosium – which are required for neodymium magnets widely used in electric vehicles and wind power generation.
Sustained consumer demand and lack of containers in Asia has continued to cause disruption with global sea freight. Ongoing FCL demand, lack of LCL space, covid surcharges and port congestion charges being applied after vessels have sailed are all impacting freight rates. Predictions released this month state that it could be well into 2022 before prices return to pre-covid rates.
Yellow weather warnings have been issued around some UK ports, with wind speeds and gusts exceeding safe working limits. As a result, there is an expectation of delays and longer turnaround times for vessels arriving into the UK in the coming days.
Hopes for a recovery in airfreight capacity in Quarter 1 have faded as passenger traffic suffered further setbacks from the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of the hoped-for steady build-up of capacity, the passenger business shifted into reverse again, as Covid-19 infection numbers climbed in most major markets. The air cargo market has responded to these setbacks as expected with volatility, with prices continuing to rise in response to the shortage of services and availability.
At Goudsmit UK, we have a number of freight partners that we use to transport our customers products globally. This multi-carrier approach allows us to select the carrier best suited to your requirements, providing flexibility and a tailored service.
Whilst freight delays are unavoidable at this time, we work with our customers by holding UK stock and would encourage that 6-8mths of buffer stock is considered when re-ordering new production, reducing the impact of potential freight delays.