Market sentiments continue to remain strong across major economies in West and Central Asia, driven primarily by strong demand for consumer products. Despite growing concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the region has seen varied reactions across the logistics sector over the last month. A truckers’ strike created supply chain disruptions in Bangladesh, while in India, a dip in fuel prices brought welcome relief for businesses and consumers alike.
Infrastructure bottlenecks and labour shortages continue to impact key ports across our global network. About 10-20% of global capacity is being absorbed due to higher waiting times at present, despite all vessel capacity being deployed. The tender season is in full swing for many of our customers, with long-term Ocean rates rising by 16.3% in November 2021 as compared to the previous month. Maersk continues to be the most reliable carrier in the region, with schedule reliabilities of 83% for main trade lines between the region and Europe.
Rail freight is seeing a massive boost in infrastructure as governments across most of the region invest in creating dedicated freight corridors and expanding their network. For the year 2022, our Chief Executive Officer Soren Skou, sees global container demand growing faster than expected. Over the coming year, Maersk is also working on several developments designed to enhance our customer’s supply chain experience.