全球供应链僵局开始缓解

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2021年11月22日


全球供应链僵局开始缓解


亚洲的一些瓶颈是显而易见的,但劳动力短缺和美国港口拥堵依然存在。

全球供应链由于疫情的困境开始缓解,但航运、制造业和零售业高管表示,他们预计明年前不会恢复正常运作,如果疫情爆发扰乱了关键分销中心,货物将继续被推迟。
在亚洲,与新冠病毒相关的工厂关闭、能源短缺和港口容量限制在最近几周有所缓解。在美国,主要零售商表示,他们已经进口了假期所需的大部分商品。 海运费率已从创纪录的水平回落。
尽管如此,高管和经济学家表示,西方消费者对商品的强劲需求、美国持续的港口拥堵、卡车司机短缺以及全球运价上涨,仍将影响经济复苏。冠状病毒疾病的风险更大,而且更大的风险也可能再次威胁供应链。
供应链瓶颈的缓解将使生产朝着满足强劲需求的方向发展,并将降低物流成本。如果持续下去,这反过来将有助于缓解通胀的上升压力。
在洛杉矶和长滩港口等待卸货的船只数量有所好转,但仍徘徊在创纪录水平附近。长滩是美国从亚洲进口的最大门户。根据南加州海洋交易所(Marine Exchange of Southern California)的数据,上周五有71艘集装箱船停泊在近海,低于三天前86艘的峰值,预计三天内将有17艘集装箱船抵达。在疫情之前,任何船只停泊在海上都是不寻常的。
航运和零售业高管表示,他们预计美国经济将出现下滑。 港口积压的货物将在2022年初清理,中国农历新年期间,许多工厂将在2月份关闭一周,导致产量下降。
德国船东简·霍尔德说,交通拥堵,特别是在亚洲,正在好转。他的船只主要运输工业品,如巨型风车,而不是集装箱,但有时会在亚洲港口外等待一个月。
霍尔德说,全球交通系统正常化还需要一段时间。 位于德国北部城市哈伦的Hold Bereedrungs GmbH&co.KG的共同所有者霍尔德先生说: “为此,疫情必须结束,我认为这种情况不会很快发生。
最近几周,跨太平洋地区的运价有所下降,因为大多数美国大型零售商都进口了假日季节所需的商品,这逐渐为旅行的前端开辟了空间。在截至11月12日的一周内,跨太平洋运输集装箱的成本下降了四分之一以上,这是两年来最大的降幅。根据Freightos波罗的海指数,上周运价上涨约5%,至每40英尺集装箱约14700美元,仍然是去年水平的三倍多。
牛津经济学院(Oxford economics)亚洲经济主管路易·奎斯(Louis Kuijs)表示:“从全球角度看,供应链问题最糟糕的情况已经过去。” 这家研究机构对45个经济体进行了一项被称为“国家专家”的调查,结果发现,几乎所有人都认为供应链中断已经或将在今年最后一个季度达到顶峰。
任何一次冠状病毒疾病的反复,比如中国8月宁波临时关闭舟山港,都可能会再次导致货运量飙升。
许多大型连锁店,包括沃尔玛公司、家得宝公司 和塔吉特公司上周表示,他们的假期存货充足,主要是因为他们今年比往年更早进口商品。 一些人还租用自己的船只绕过瓶颈。
很少有高管表示他们的问题已经结束,在最近一轮的结果中,全球公司继续列举世界各地港口和公路的问题。一些零售商报告利润率下降,原因是运输货物的运费增加。
对Christine Humphreys来说,似乎没有缓解供应链混乱,这意味着她英国饮料公司只有一半的库存,圣诞节,她最繁忙的时期。
她说:“从德国到英国的旅行需要两周时间。”汉弗莱斯说,她是一家正品饮料有限公司的创始人,她说:“来吧,离这里不到一百万英里,仅仅相隔一个海峡。”
在疫情爆发后,近几个月来,马来西亚、越南和其他国家的工厂产量下降,过去一个月,COVID-19病例下降,生产限制被取消,缓解了全球半导体和纺织品产量的瓶颈。
“这是一个积极的巨大改变,因为它应该改善亚洲的工业产出和全球供应,”香港的NATXIS高级经济学家Trinh Nguyen说。不过,她警告说,许多国家仍在努力解决其他问题,如劳动力短缺。
“供应链冲击的某些方面正在缓解,但短缺问题不会完全消失,”她说。
在越南,该制造业中心的工厂老板说,生产比几个月前的情况要顺利得多,但仍然面临着挑战,包括高运输成本和劳动力短缺,因为许多工人在CavID-19浪潮中返回村庄时还没有回来。
越南木材和林产品协会会长杜宣立(Do Xuan Lap)表示,情况正在改善,中型家具厂的产能约为80%。 但拥有3000名工人的大型家具制造商却失去了更多的劳动力,生产能力约为65%。
在中国,今年秋天早些时候袭击中国制造业中心的电力短缺在最近几周有所缓解。 根据对位于中国南方制造业中心广东的几家工厂主的采访,自10月份以来,制造业生产已基本恢复正常产能。
海运集装箱的短缺似乎也在缓解。 佛山欧峰家具有限公司董事总经理托马斯·布罗特杰斯(Thomas Broertjes)表示,9月份,他无法装运任何产品,因为当月他甚至无法在一个集装箱上获得足够的空间。 “这确实是最低点,”他说。
数据提供商eeSea表示,10月份集装箱船的延误比9月份有所减少,但11月份在港口外等待的船只的延误情况并没有太大变化。 截至周五上午,有500艘大型集装箱船等待在亚洲、欧洲和北美港口外停靠,略高于10月8日的497艘。
在美国,许多亚洲工厂生产的商品的目的地,几乎没有迹象表明僵局正在缓解。 货运铁路最近取消了对芝加哥地区拥挤集装箱码头的入境货物限制。 但是箱子仍然淹没了洛杉矶和长滩的港口。
“我们仍处于困境之中,”洛杉矶港Yusen Terminals LLC首席执行官Alan McCorkle表示。


Global Supply Gridlock Starts To Ease 


Some choke points in Asia clear, but labor shortages and U.S. port congestion persist

Global supply-chain woes are beginning to recede, but shipping, manufacturing and retail executives said that they don’t expect a return to more normal operations until next year and that cargo will continue to be delayed if Covid-19 outbreaks disrupt key distribution hubs.
In Asia, Covid-related factory closures, energy shortages and port-capacity limits have eased in recent weeks. In the U.S., major retailers said they have imported most of what they need for the holidays.  Ocean freight rates have retreated from record levels.
Still, executives and economists said strong consumer demand for goods in the West, ongoing port congestion in the U.S., shortages of truck drivers and elevated global freight rates continue to hang over any recovery. The risk of more extreme weather and flare-ups of Covid-19 cases can also threaten to clog up supply chains again.
An easing of supply-chain choke points would allow production to move toward meeting strong demand and would lower logistics costs. If sustained, that, in turn, would help alleviate the upward pressure on inflation.
The number of ships waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the biggest U.S. gateway for imports from Asia, has improved but is still hovering near record levels. There were 71 container ships anchored offshore this past Friday, down from a peak of 86 three days before, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, and 17 more were expected to arrive within three days. Before the pandemic, it was unusual for any ships to anchor offshore.
Shipping and retail executives said they expect the U.S. port backlogs to clear in early 2022, when Lunar New Year shuts many factories for a week in February, slowing output.
German ship owner Jan Held said congestion, particularly in Asia, is getting better. His ships transport mainly industrial goods, like giant windmills, rather than containers, but would sometimes spend a month waiting outside of Asian ports.
Mr. Held said it would be some time before the global transport system normalizes.  “For that, the pandemic has to end, and that is not happening any time soon, in my opinion,” said Mr. Held, co-owner of Held Bereederungs GmbH & Co. KG, based in the north German city of Haren.
Trans-Pacific freight rates have cooled in recent weeks as most big U.S. retailers have imported what they need for the holiday season, gradually opening up space on the front end of the trip. The cost to move a container across the Pacific fell by more than a quarter in the week ended Nov. 12, the biggest decline in two years. Rates rose about 5% last week to about $14,700 per 40-foot container and are still more than three times year-ago levels, according to the Freightos Baltic Index.
“Globally speaking, the worst is behind us in terms of the supply-chain problems,” said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics.  A survey by the research house among what it described as “country experts” covering 45 economie s found that almost all believe supply-chain disruptions have peaked or will peak in the last quarter of this year.
Any hiccups, such as a repeat of the temporary closure of China’s Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in August due to a single Covid-19 infection, could send freight rates soaring again.
Many big chains, including Walmart Inc., Home Depot Inc. and Target Corp., said last week that they are well stocked for the holidays, mainly because they imported goods earlier than usual this year. Some also chartered their own ships to get around bottlenecks.
Few executives said their problems are over, and in the most recent round of results, global companies continued to cite issues at ports and roads around the world. Several retailers reported thinner profit margins, citing elevated freight costs to move their goods.
For Christine Humphreys, there seems to be no easing of the supply-chain chaos that means her U.K. drinks company has only half its stock for Christmas, her busiest period.
Journeys from Germany to the U.K. that would have taken two weeks are taking six, said Ms. Humphreys, a co-founder of Mindful Drinking Company Ltd. “Come on, it’s not a million miles away, it’s only across the water,” she said.
After slowdowns in production in recent months due to Covid-19 outbreaks, output at factories across Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries rebounded over the past month as Covid-19 cases declined and production limits were lifted, easing some bottlenecks that have choked output of semiconductors and textiles globally.
“It’s a huge change in a positive way as it should improve industrial output in Asia and global supply,” said Trinh Nguyen, senior economist at Natixis in Hong Kong. Still, she cautioned that many countries continue to grapple with other problems, like shortages of workers.
“There are certain aspects of supply-chain shocks that are easing, but the shortage issue isn’t going to completely disappear,” she said.
In Vietnam, factory owners in the country’s southern manufacturing hub said production is far smoother than it was several months ago, but challenges remain, including high shipping costs and labor shortages, as many workers that had returned to their villages during the Covid-19 wave have yet to return.
Do Xuan Lap, the head of Vietnam’s Timber and Forest Products Association, said the situation is improving and that midsize furniture factories are operating at around 80% capacity.
But larger furniture makers, with up to 3,000 workers, were missing more laborers and operating at around 65% capacity.
In China, a power crunch that hit the country’s manufacturing hubs earlier this fall eased in recent weeks.
Manufacturing production has largely resumed at normal capacity since October, according to interviews with several factory owners based in China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangdong.
Shortages of shipping containers also appear to be easing.  Thomas Broertjes, managing director of Foshan Oufeng Furniture Co., said that in September, he wasn’t able to ship any products because he was unable to secure space on even a single shipping container that month. “That was really the lowest point,” he said.
Data provider eeSea said container-ship delays fell in October from September, but there hasn’t been much change when it comes to vessels waiting outside ports in November.  As of Friday morning, there were 500 large container ships waiting to dock outside ports in Asia, Europe and North America, up slightly from 497 vessels that waited on Oct. 8.
In the U.S., the destination for many of the goods made in Asian factories, there are few signs that the gridlock is easing.  Freight railroads recently lifted their limits on inbound cargo into congested container terminals in the Chicago area.  But boxes are still swamping the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“We are still in the thick of it,” said Alan McCorkle, chief executive of Yusen Terminals LLC at the Port of Los Angeles.

英文原文摘自11月22日《华尔街日报》



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