Sept 27, 2022

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

BREAKING NEWS - IBEX 2022 CANCELLED. About 1:30 pm EST on Sunday, I received an email from IBEX show organizers stating: The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced on Sunday, September 25th that based on the weather reports from NOAA and consultation with the City of Tampa, Tampa Convention Center, and other stakeholders, the cancellation of this year’s show.

“It is a very difficult decision to cancel IBEX 2022, as we were on track to have an excellent event,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “The entire IBEX team is very disappointed, but the safety of our community is our priority. This was the right choice. Additional information will be shared with exhibitors and visitors as we work through our cancellation process.” 

This is deeply disappointing. The approaching storm that only formed on Friday, September 23, is projected to possibly reach Category 3 hurricane status as it hits the Tampa area on Thursday, September 29.  


--Hope for lower prices--

For some time now, I have been receiving information about global shipping conditions from a research company called Xeneta. As of September 16, in their real-time container rates update, Xeneta stated that spot prices across the main trans-Pacific and US West Coast corridors have converged over the past two to three months, with dramatic declines since the all-time highs recorded earlier this year.

Xeneta reported that since the end of March, rates from South East Asia to the US West Coast have fallen by a massive 62%, while those from China have collapsed 49%.

Oslo-based Xeneta’s unique software platform compiles the latest ocean and air freight rate data aggregated worldwide to deliver powerful market insights. Participating companies include ABB, Electrolux, Continental, Unilever, Nestle, L’Oréal, Thyssenkrupp, Volvo Group and John Deere, amongst others.

Supply chain issues and parts shortages have been behind many business disruptions since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Container rates skyrocketed as pandemic-related worker shortages snarled traffic through major ports and shipping centres world-wide. 

Those shortages and disruptions were blamed for escalating prices on many products. It’s my hope that the easing of congestion at ports will speed deliveries and that prices will decline as supply catches up with demand.

Note also, that a National US rail strike was averted less than two weeks ago. That too, should alleviate some price pressure.

The global economy is not out of the woods yet though. Bloomberg reported that Ford warned that it’s expecting to have up to 45,000 vehicles (“disproportionately” skewed to “high-demand, high-margin” trucks and SUVs) by the end of the third quarter waiting for parts that are in tight supply. This isn’t over by any means but I’m hoping that as one thing after another recovers to pre-pandemic levels, product supply, wage and price problems will ease. In turn, that should gradually lower inflationary pressures and open the door to easing of interest rates. Or at least, avert future rate increases.

I have my fingers crossed.

Andy Adams - Editor

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