Shipping congestion may be back to ‘normal’ by March next year. Supply chain pressure is easing, and delivery times have fallen – so can you return to last-minute Christmas shopping?
Hoping to get that new mountain bike or PS5 before Christmas? The good news is that global shipping congestion has improved dramatically since the same time last year - but delivery times aren’t back to pre-pandemic levels yet.
The Logistics Managers Index shows a strong increase in transport capacity, coupled with falling prices for transport – hitting a two-year low in September and predicted to remain flat in 2023. Fifty percent of congestion has been resolved, according to Sea-Intelligence, which predicts that the flow of vessels will be back to its 2019 ‘normal’ by March 2023.
It’s also taking less time for goods to be delivered by sea. In January 2022, it took 113 days for goods to travel from Asia to the US, according to the OTI – that’s now fallen to 82 days. But it remains a long way above the 45 or so days that the journey took in 2019, so you should still leave plenty of time to get your Christmas orders delivered.
Economic headwinds will cut trade volumes
Although it’s welcome news that costs and delays for shipping are falling, part of the reason is that international trade is on the decline.
The World Trade Organisation believes international trade will grow just 1% in 2023, having cut its forecast from 3.4%. It cites “the war in Ukraine, high energy prices, inflation and monetary tightening” as the main factors weighing down trade. This means you’ll need to think ahead about how to future proof your sales in a potentially tight market, at least until some of these factors start to resolve.
Prepare your business for the headwinds
What impact will an improved supply chain have on your business? And how will this pan out in a tougher economic climate? We can work with you to position your company so it is ready to thrive in 2023 – get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.