Navigating the global container crisis
Reports this week tell a bleak story, predicting tough times ahead for the container shipping industry. As many UK ports fill up with empty containers due to the driver shortage it has been necessary to suspend the restitution of empty returns for many shipping companies.
Some are even considering navigating straight past UK shores to drop containers off in Europe for eventual return to the UK by road. The implications of this cannot be underestimated given the context of the driver shortage, ongoing COVID crisis and Brexit complications that caused this issue to materialise in the first place.
The Prime Minister is confident that the logistics industry will solve this crisis, and indeed we will, but with recovery rumoured to be unlikely before the end of 2022, businesses that rely on any kind of logistics need to make some quick decisions. The lead-up to Christmas is always a busy period for our industry, even when the ports are fully operational. With that demand surge on the horizon, businesses keen to benefit from the seasonal boom must investigate other options. If goods cannot arrive at UK shores by boat, then our island has no other choice than to turn to air freight.
At Priority Freight we have air cargo solutions for every type of shipment, regardless of size, weight or geography. Due to our existing AEO status across the group, our Faster Clearances by Priority Customs service means goods can be cleared within Priority Freight’s own premises, avoiding the queues at UK borders while still being 100% compliant with policy and regulations. Reduced delays result in reduced costs and, while some hauliers look to charge up to £500 per empty container, the advantages of air freight over sea freight are clear.
By its nature, air freight is faster than any other mode and can therefore prevent costly downtime for businesses regardless of sector or cargo involved. Despite reduced belly capacity, air logistics may still be the go-to service over the coming months, as this is perhaps the only way the ports will have the breathing space to recover from the backlog physically and financially.
The key to success will be forward planning and the earlier you involve us in your logistics solution, the better. We can secure belly capacity early in the planning stages and source the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable solution available to keep your supply chain moving during these turbulent times.