90 Miles From Tyranny : Sinking ship: U.S. manufacturing orders from China collapse

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Sinking ship: U.S. manufacturing orders from China collapse

Manufacturing orders from China down 40% in unrelenting demand collapse

Shipping companies are already reacting with “blank” (canceled) sailings and reallocating cargo shipments (“vessel utilization”) to make sure they have full boats before they pull out of port. All this is raising hell with the logistic delivery schedules people waiting on the other side of the pond depend on.
…Carriers have been executing on an active capacity management strategy by announcing more blank sailings and suspending services to balance supply with demand. “The unrelenting decline in container freight rates from Asia, caused by a collapse in demand, is compelling ocean carriers to blank more sailings than ever before as vessel utilization hits new lows,” said Joe Monaghan, CEO of Worldwide Logistics Group.

U.S. manufacturing orders in China are down 40 percent, according to the latest CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map data. As a result of the decrease in orders, Worldwide Logistics tells CNBC it is expecting Chinese factories to shut down two weeks earlier than usual for the Chinese Lunar New Year — Chinese New Year’s Eve falls on Jan. 21 next year. The seven days after the holiday are considered a national holiday.
The shipping industry is feeling the bite as it spooled up with new ships coming online to address the pandemic shipping boom, just as that very business now falls precipitously away.
…″It seems to be a very bad time for the shipping industry. We have the combination of declining demands and overcapacity as new tonnage enters the market,” it wrote.
But what the collapse in demand signals for the larger picture is more the worrying aspect.
…Blank (canceled) sailings data shows the cut in vessel capacity on the transpacific route (China to the U.S.) continues at a significant pace. The 2M Alliance of Maersk and MSC has suspended almost half of its U.S. West Coast services for December. The Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping, OOCL and Evergreen) and THE Alliance (Ocean Network Express, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM and Yang Ming Line) have cut overall vessel capacity by 40-50% up to Chinese New Year.

As a result, space for shippers is considered tight for cargo bound for the Pacific Southwest route and service reliability has declined, with carriers including MSC and Hapag-Lloyd rolling (not accepting) cargo on sailings in an effort to make up time. According to logistics managers, this is creating two weeks of delay. MSC said in its latest notice to clients, “ETAs are indicative and subject to change without prior notice.”
Supposedly some of it can be attributed to Chinese COVID restrictions – orders aren’t being placed because of the uncertainty – but the truth of the collapse in orders is that the U,S. economy is on very fragile ground at the moment, and that has greater implications for the world’s economy at large. As much as they hate us, as the old kids’ song says, we are the head bone they are all connected to. Steve Van Metre of Markets Insider Pro points out:
“…out of the U.S., demands for foreign-produced goods, particularly out of China, are dropping so much that it’s impacting the shipping industry, it’s impacting jobs in China. It’s having a massive impact. And that’s telling us what’s going on in the global economy right now – that demand is falling on its face.”

While U.S. firms like Apple are finally in the process of shifting some or all of their manufacturing out of China, none of that alleviates the present woes. Business friendly alternative countries such as Vietnam have been a favorite of manufacturers in...

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