Key Ports Update

The earthquake that sadly hit Turkey and Syria at the start of the month has had a significant impact on logistics operations in the area. At this time, the Port of Iskenderun is closed until further notice due to receiving substantial damage from the disaster.

Maersk teams are working hard to divert cargo appropriately and keep supply chains moving. As such, we have developed a number of relief packages for affected customers. Please head to our dedicated advisory page for more details and to stay up to date with the latest developments.

Maersk would like to extend its deepest sympathies to those affected by the earthquake. Our thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.

Last month, we announced that Maersk and MSC have mutually agreed to terminate the current 2M alliance – effective in January 2025. This will enable us to accelerate our strategy and to create improved end-to-end, reliable, sustainable and flexible solutions for our customers.

This announcement has no immediate impact on the services provided to customers using the 2M trades. In the meantime, we remain fully committed to delivering on the 2M services to both Maersk and MSC customers. You can read more about the future changes here.

Container on crane

At the Port of Rotterdam, CLA (Collective Labour Agreement) negotiations at APM Terminals Maasvlakte II have concluded positively. All European hubs and primary gateway terminals are currently stable.

However, as we are now entering a period where poor weather conditions can cause delays to our fleet and across terminals, the situation can change very quickly. Our teams are working 24/7 to mitigate any disruptions for customers and we encourage you to reach out to us to discuss winter planning and prioritising.

Our teams are closely monitoring the situation across terminals in Europe and making necessary adjustments in the interest of keeping our customers’ supply chains moving. We have sufficient dry and reefer equipment to cover planned customer requirements, but continue to kindly request customers pick up full import containers or request dispatch as swiftly as possible after discharge.

For latest updates on your cargo, sign up for ETA notifications here.

Ocean Update

Over the course of 2022, pressure on global supply chains was very much apparent and caused significant disruption to services. However, with a sharper focus on contingency measures and collaboration, overall reliability across the ocean network actually improved throughout the year.

Even so, 2023 promises to be another year of challenges in a volatile market, with a number of factors – including inflation, geopolitical instability, weak economic growth and more – coming together to add pressure.

Maersk teams are preparing for the months ahead and ready to adjust services as necessary for customers in the interest of stability and resilience. We can also help in mitigating risks across your supply chain by building flexible solutions throughout. Please reach out to your local Maersk representative to discuss your options for 2023 or click here for more details.

Supply chains in Europe are also expected to be rewired through near-shoring and the diversification of sourcing this year. According to our recent whitepaper in collaboration with Reuters, 65% of surveyed manufacturers and retailers have already made near-sourcing changes.

Vessel on water

If you are analysing your sourcing structure and looking to bring operations closer to Europe, Maersk can support from a logistics side and is happy to discuss feasible options.

The major news across Ocean in February 2023 is the earthquake in Turkey and Syria and resulting effect on the network. As operations have stopped at the Port of Iskenderun, we have ceased acceptance of all bookings to the terminal until further notice.

From 6th February until 14th March 2023, Maersk vessels will omit Iskenderun on L07 and SLZ services. This could be prolonged depending on the situation at Iskenderun and how quickly recovery efforts take for the port. The new Iskenderun call on the SLB rotation is also postponed until 21st March 2023.

We will communicate any further developments with customers as soon as possible. Check Maersk schedules here.

Air Freight Update

The air freight market continues to witness negative growth as a result of high inflation rates and reduced consumer demand around the world. As unpredictability is set to continue, we expect European market volumes to remain flat in the coming weeks.

January saw airport workers at Berlin Brandenburg Airport walk out over a pay dispute, cancelling around 300 flights in the process and having an impact on air freight services.

Euro News reports that more strikes are expected across Europe in February – including in France and Spain. Maersk teams are closely monitoring the situation and will communicate the latest strike information to customers as soon as possible.

Plane on runway

A combination of China lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions, US refinery outages and a European Union embargo on Russian-refined products is expected to push jet fuel rates upwards. However, due to capacity levels and demand, we are not expecting rates to increase drastically.

Air remains a reliable alternative mode of transport in the event of bottlenecks elsewhere in the logistics network. Maersk Air Freight will continue use its own controlled network to keep supply chains moving fast and effectively when needed.

For more information on our air network and expansion, click here.

Inland Update

As the earthquake in Turkey and Syria caused substantial damage to roads and the further transport network, no vendors were able to move trucks in and around the area in the immediate aftermath.

However, at this time, the inland network of trucking and rail is back to being fully operational across the region. The situation is changing frequently, so we will keep customers informed of any new developments as soon as possible.

Elsewhere, water levels on river cargo routes in Germany are currently low. We saw in 2022 that droughts heralded the need to swap barge transportation for rail and truck services (BBC), and we are keeping a close eye on matters this time around.

We are currently not expecting an impact on our barge operations, but if levels reach critically low levels it will have a ripple effect on inland services once again. We will communicate the latest circumstances and potential contingency measures as soon as possible.

For more information on inland services, click here.

E-Delivery Update

After a year of economic downturn, online sales in Europe are expected to grow up to 4% more in 2023 than 2022. However, this is mostly driven by continuously rising prices due to inflation, as sales volumes are actually set to fall by up to 5% (as per Metapack).

The product categories of furniture, homeware and electronics are the ones most affected by volume decreases, since consumers are hesitant of making unnecessary spending in the current economic climate. On the other hand, 32% of consumers plan to carry on spending as normal on Health & Beauty products, preferring to trade down than to purchase less often. 

Lorry at warehouse

Metapack’s research also suggests that the cost of delivery is the most important factor for consumers when buying online in 2023, while speed and convenience of delivery have less sway for consumers, compared to 2022. In comparison, flexible returns, shipment tracking and green deliveries are becoming more important.

To satisfy their need for cost optimisation in last-mile delivery, businesses can offer pick-up and drop-off locations, mix and match carriers, or offer slower delivery speed to consumers. Effective return policies can also help optimise supply chains and keep a positive profit margin (read more on the importance of returns policies for e-commerce businesses here).

This does not mean that all the other factors for consumers can be ignored. To help Maersk customers make smart choices and start reducing emissions for their deliveries in Europe, Maersk partnered with CoZero and created an E-Delivery Emissions Dashboard MVP for e-commerce customers. Read more information here.

To learn more about Maersk’s offering for parcel deliveries, head to the E-Delivery portal here. 

Customs Update

On 1st March 2023, the second update of the EU’s Import Control System 2 (ICS2) will be released and impact all air shipments to the EU, Norway, and Switzerland.

ICS2 is the European Union’s IT system created to collect safety and security data about goods entering the Union. It allows customs authorities to better identify any possible risk and take appropriate measures as early as possible.

Man and woman at laptop

This particular release will introduce a mandatory risk assessment at both pre-loading and pre-arrival stages, therefore requiring Economic Operators and customers to provide additional data:

  • 6-digit HS Code.
  • A complete description of goods.
  • The EORI number and full address of the consignee (EU shipments only).

Based on the information provided, several outcomes are then possible:

  • Assessment complete (AC) if no risk arises and all details are valid.
  • Request for further Information (RFI) or Screening (RFS), in case of incorrect/missing information, or mild risk.
  • Do Not Load (DNL) if a major risk is detected.

That means, to avoid any delay in your shipments, you need to update your database accordingly as well as provide complete and accurate information as early as possible to your carrier and freight forwarder.

Click here to learn more about ICT2 and what you need to do to avoid supply chain delays.

Useful Links

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Click here for the latest Maersk Asia Pacific market update.

Click here for the latest Maersk North America market update.

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