The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) held a public-private information sharing meeting on international logistics. Shippers, shipping companies, airlines, logistics operators, and representatives of related organizations reported on the current status of international logistics from their respective standpoints. According to Maersk and representatives of JIFFA (Japan International Freight Forwarders Association), "European ports are overflowing with containers, and both outbound and inbound voyages are experiencing delays. Adherence to schedules on European routes has dropped significantly and the number of voyage days has increased. This is due to stricter cargo inspections by the European Union (EU) and British customs authorities as a result of economic sanctions against Russia, as well as congestion at transhipment ports in Singapore and other Asian ports. On the land side of Europe, warehouse space is being squeezed by the backlog of cargo bound for Russia, whose transportation has been suspended, and there is a shortage of drivers due to the return of Ukrainian drivers. In addition, labor unions went on strike at the Belgian ports of Antwerp and Bruges, following strikes at German ports such as Hamburg. In the U.K., a total of three days of rail strikes are planned for this week, and labor-management tensions are rising in Europe against a backdrop of inflation and other factors. As for international logistics in Shanghai, China, where the lockdown (city blockade) was lifted this month, "the start-up is relatively slow. Waiting times offshore are also limited, and priority is currently being given to processing import cargoes that have been held up. However, due to quarantine measures, there continues to be a shortage of drivers and other personnel, and trucks are being competed for. There is also a shortage of handling staff at airports. The government's zero-corona policy has also resulted in sudden blockades of districts. Under these circumstances, there are fears that shipments from China could surge, depending on demand on the Western side, and that this could cause chaos. On the other hand, shippers are accelerating their consideration of "China plus N," a plan to diversify their production bases in China to multiple countries and regions. Southeast Asia is seen as the recipient of this trend. In Southeast Asia, cargo movements are currently expanding and congestion continues at major ports. Vessels are frequently changed or removed from ports. In Thailand, an exporting country, container shortages have become pronounced, and logistics companies are being pressed to respond.
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