News — 01.28.2021

Spread of sup­ply bot­tle­necks widens

No deliv­ery until mid-February? 

Against the back­drop of a steadi­ly increas­ing bot­tle­neck in avail­able freight vol­umes, the sup­ply sit­u­a­tion from Asia is becom­ing more and more acute. Until the Chi­nese New Year on Feb­ru­ary 12, there is no more freight space avail­able in the 40-foot con­tain­er range. This means that many Euro­pean com­pa­nies will only be able to obtain urgent­ly need­ed goods to a lim­it­ed extent. After that, the sit­u­a­tion is only slight­ly more relaxed, as the spot mar­ket is very volatile, i.e. sub­ject to con­stant fluctuations. 

Freight rates con­tin­u­ous­ly increas­ing in price 

In addi­tion to the short­age of free freight vol­ume, freight rates have been ris­ing con­tin­u­ous­ly for sev­er­al weeks. Com­pared to last year, prices have already quadru­pled! Since the out­break of the pan­dem­ic, inter­na­tion­al new ship­build­ing has also been sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced, the sit­u­a­tion described above will not change in the fore­see­able future. The result is a con­tin­ued risky sup­ply from Asia and a sig­nif­i­cant increase in freight rates for deliv­er­ies to Europe. 

Sup­ply sit­u­a­tion raw materials 

In recent weeks, more and more raw mate­r­i­al sup­pli­ers are report­ing lim­it­ed mate­r­i­al avail­abil­i­ty. Orders are con­firmed with­out a fixed and bind­ing deliv­ery date and raw mate­ri­als are sub­ject to quo­tas. Deliv­ery times are extend­ed by up to four months, depend­ing on the material.

In the case of rub­ber com­pounds and plas­tic gran­u­lates, all mar­ket par­tic­i­pants assume, sim­i­lar to steel, an immi­nent Euro­pean sup­ply prob­lem, which results from reduced pro­duc­tion capac­i­ties of the poly­mer indus­try, the sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er rub­ber pro­duc­tion in the last year, as well as a dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly increased demand from the Asian region. For these rea­sons, we are exam­in­ing all alter­na­tives and remain in close con­tact with our sup­pli­ers in order to ease the situation.

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