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Ocean Timeliness Indicator Shows Improvement

Flexport’s Ocean Timeliness Indicator measures the amount of time taken to ship freight from the point at which cargo is ready to leave the exporter to when it is collected from its destination port. The ocean shipping world tends to run along “trade lanes.” The two biggest trade lanes carry goods from Asia to North America and from Asia to Europe. The OTI captures timeliness on each of these. In the latest update both FEWB and TPEB fell below 100 days.

The Methodology: The Flexport Ocean Timeliness Indicator (OTI) utilizes data from Flexport’s ocean shipping operations for an expansive view of a container’s journey. Updated on a weekly basis, it shows the time taken to transit from Cargo Ready Date at exporters’ gate to the Destination Port Departure date when products are ready to leave port to go to importers. Measures are shown for Far East Westbound (e.g., China-to-Europe) and Transpacific Eastbound (e.g., China-to-US) routes. More details about the OTI can be found in our background report.

Week to June 19, 2022 In the past week FEWB stayed fell by 5 days while TPEB fell by 1, likely reflecting previous weeks improvement in origin conditions.

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TPEB fell to 98 days, returning to the level last seen in November 2021.

FEWB also fell to 95 days, marking a return to September levels. Continued improvements in cargo ready to departure times may still be moving through the system as Asian ports debottleneck. The indicator may also be showing that the worst of late 2021 congestion may be passed, but the metric remains well above pre pandemic levels.

In order to gain deeper insights into the development of the OTI we have also introduced the Stage 1 measure. This covers the period from Cargo Ready Date to Origin Port Departure journeys that completed that stage in the past week.

While shown only on an four-week average, indexed basis it provides a sense as to whether bottlenecks early in the journey are declining or rising.

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In the latest calculations, covering the four weeks to June 19, 2022 (week 25), the Stage 1 measure for TPEB continued to decline, while FEWB was static, indicating lessening pressure on the opening stages of the cargo shipping process. The FEWB measure notably is now back to its lowest since June 20, 2021 while TPEB is at its lowest since July 4, 2021.

It should be noted though that there is some seasonality, with the Stage 1 index typically rising through weeks 8 to 10 ahead of lunar new year before declining steadily through week 20. A subsequent increase can be associated with the start of peak shipping season, and sustained improvement below May 2021 levels would indicate a relaxation of congestion pressures in Asia.

Please direct questions about the Flexport OTI to economics@flexport.com.

Disclaimer: The contents of this report are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. Flexport does not guarantee, represent, or warrant any of the contents of this report because they are based on our current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This report has been prepared to the best of our knowledge and research; however, the information presented herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this report.

Flexport Indicators

Indicator Published Details Air Timeliness Indicator Weekly Learn More Ocean Timeliness Indicator Weekly Learn More Logistics Pressure Matrix Weekly Learn More Trade Activity Forecast Monthly Learn More Post-Covid Indicator Monthly Learn More Southeast Asia Sectoral Cost Indices Quarterly Learn More

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