First, the consumer end: flow dividend peak, purchasing power decline
01 Foreign epidemic “lying down”, online traffic dividend peaked
At present, many countries in Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia have taken “lying down” measures to control the epidemic through mass vaccination and effective drug treatment. Instead of strictly controlling the epidemic, they are gradually liberalizing it.
As we all know, the dividends of export trade, cross-border e-commerce and cross-border logistics in the past two years are essentially the dividends of offline traffic transferred to online traffic during the epidemic.
Therefore, thanks to the relaxation of foreign epidemic prevention measures, overseas offline consumption scene is gradually recovering, online traffic dividend is gradually fading, and the “epidemic dividend” of cross-border e-commerce industry is gradually peaking.
In this context, the overall flow of mainstream e-commerce platforms shows a declining trend, and the cost of online sellers to obtain traffic is becoming higher and higher. When sales fall short of expectations and orders taper off, sellers adopt a more cautious stocking strategy.
Take Amazon, for example. According to Marketplace Pulse, the price per click on an Amazon AD rose 43% to $1.33 at the end of 2021 from $0.93 at the beginning of the year, while the average conversion rate for ads has held steady at 12%-13% compared to the increase in AD prices.
For sellers, the cost of traffic is getting higher and higher, but there is no proportional relationship between income and expenditure. Therefore, whether it is FBA, special parcel or overseas warehouse, all channels of cross-border e-commerce logistics are facing a problem at the moment: out of stock!
With the end of the money splashing era, consumers’ purchasing power has declined
Although the dividend of online traffic has peaked, people abroad still need to spend.
We believe that the nature of the growth of e-commerce during the epidemic is partly due to the consumption motivation fueled by traffic, and partly due to the fiscal and monetary stimulus policies adopted by some overseas countries, such as the United States.
For example, in the Trump era, in March 2020, the US launched a fiscal stimulus plan totaling about $2 trillion to prevent the US economy from falling into a deep recession due to the impact of the epidemic, which is the largest fiscal stimulus plan in the HISTORY of the US. Biden era, passed a new $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan.
Consumers’ appetite for spending has been particularly strong with every dollops of government stimulus, and for the past two years, even as congestion at America’s ports has not eased, americans have kept spending strongly.
But now, the fiscal and monetary stimulus policies similar to the direct “cash” are gradually reduced or even withdrawn, and the consumption motivation and purchasing desire and ability of overseas people are also affected to some extent.
In April, the LATEST data released by the BUREAU of Labor Statistics showed that the US consumer price index (CPI) rose 8.5 percent year-on-year in March, the fastest growth since December 1981, and the highest in more than 40 years. The YEAR-ON-YEAR growth rate of CPI exceeded 6 percent for the sixth consecutive month.
The core CPI, which strips out seasonal and supply-dependent prices such as food and energy, rose 0.3% from the previous month, the highest increase in 40 years.
This suggests that us inflation remains stubbornly high.
In the period of inflation, the most obvious feeling is that “money is worthless”, which will directly increase the financial pressure of American consumers, and also cause consumers to become more sensitive to product prices.
Affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, consumers adopt conservative strategies
The rising prices of crude oil, grain, minerals and other commodities caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict indirectly drove up the cost of daily necessities, transportation and logistics, which brought greater uncertainty to the recovery of the world economy in the post-epidemic period.
In April, the WTO released its annual forecast report on global trade, which showed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would have a negative impact on the recovery of global trade.
Affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, world trade in goods will grow by 3.0% in 2022, lower than the previous forecast of 4.7%. In 2023, the growth rate will be 3.4%.
The global economy at market exchange rates is expected to grow 2.8 percent in 2022, down 1.3 percentage points from the previous forecast of 4.1 percent, according to a simulation by WTO economists.
Global growth will pick up to 3.2 per cent in 2023, close to the 3.0 per cent average between 2010 and 2019.
In the context of uncertain economic recovery, consumers in most countries around the world will have less confidence in future economic expectations and adopt a more conservative consumption strategy.
Only when consumers have sufficient confidence in their income expectations and the country’s economic development, the desire to consume and purchasing power will rise.
Southeast Asia resumed work and production, and trade orders shifted
If online consumption is insufficient, are consumers shifting to offline consumption scenarios and purchasing via B2B bulk trade? In particular, As China is the world’s largest exporter, when the cross-border e-commerce B2C orders decrease, the offline B2B orders should increase.
However, from the current situation of the whole logistics end, the traditional trade has not seen too much increase in the volume of goods, and even a decline.
In the past two years, production stagnation and supply chain difficulties brought by the epidemic have provided a good opportunity for China’s foreign trade, resulting in a large number of foreign trade orders pouring into China, a large part of which is the transfer orders from Southeast Asian countries.
Nowadays, neighboring countries such as Southeast Asia and ASEAN have begun to gradually resume work and production. For example, Vietnam’s foreign trade is developing strongly.
Since the opening of entry in mid-March, Vietnam’s total import and export of goods trade in March reached 66.73 billion US dollars, up 36.8% from the previous month. Of this, exports amounted to US $34.06 billion, up 45.5%; Imports reached US $32.67 billion, up 28.7%. In addition, In March, Vietnam also opened a foreign trade exhibition.
At home, it still takes some time to control the epidemic or open borders.
The resumption of work and production in Southeast Asian countries will bring their orders back from China to Southeast Asia, leading to a gradual decline and adjustment in China’s export, foreign trade and cross-border e-commerce data.
This phenomenon is reflected in the cross-border logistics industry, which is that prices in The European and American markets do not rise, but freight rates in Southeast Asia rise.
Recently, the goods destined for Southeast Asia have been in a relatively stable state. In North China, the prices of sea routes destined for Southeast Asia are still rising, some even more than 50%.
Ii. Supply side: Look at the future trend of the industry from a global perspective
01 Phased capacity shortage is alleviated
In 2020, shipping companies, airlines and freight forwarding enterprises all earned good profits. In 2021, these enterprises began to purchase transport capacity and layout infrastructure resources. For example, some air freight companies increased the allocation of full-cargo aircraft, and some shipping companies began to order new ships. Maersk, CMA and other shipping companies even began to buy their own full cargo aircraft to set up cargo airlines. In addition, some freight forwarders and charter companies also changed into cargo airlines.
In the past two years, the industry has added a lot of orders for full cargo aircraft, new ships. In terms of ship orders, shipping lines are expected to order a record 548 ships of 4.2 million teU in 2021, with contracts totalling 5.7 million TEU, according to Drewry’s latest Container Forecasting report.
Under normal circumstances, whether the aircraft or ships ordered, the delivery period is basically 2-3 years. Therefore, in the second half of this year and next year, there will be a lot of new ships and freighters on the market, which will add a lot of capacity. The capacity of the supply side of the industry has changed greatly, and the temporary shortage of capacity has been alleviated.
In addition, the main reason for the high air freight during the epidemic is the grounding of a large number of international passenger flights, which greatly reduces the abdominal cargo capacity of passenger planes, while the full cargo plane has very limited transportation resources, thus driving up the international air freight.
A growing number of countries are easing international travel restrictions and opening their borders to allow international flights to resume. As cross-border business travel continues to increase, the belly capacity of passenger planes in other countries except China will gradually recover, and this will reduce the reliance on all-cargo planes to some extent.
The development of the global cross-border logistics industry should not only be viewed from the perspective of China’s supply and demand, but from the perspective of global economy, industrial revitalization and changes in epidemic prevention policies.
The domestic epidemic has affected the supply chain, resulting in periodic changes in freight rates
At present, the ongoing epidemic in East China has blocked the production and supply chain of many industries in China, including automobiles, clothing and electronic 3C products.
Because these products supply chain is very long, and one part of the factory is located in the east China area, if the chain has a factory can’t return to work and production, or downstream lack some raw materials and spare parts, the whole supply chain will be unable to smooth running, resulting in a lot of foreign trade orders can’t timely delivery, destroyed one thing will be more and more.
Take clothing, a seasonal foreign trade product, for example. There are many garment manufacturers in the Yangtze River Delta region. Generally, the factories will produce summer clothes in the first quarter of the second quarter. But now affected by the epidemic, the factory cannot resume work as scheduled, and the warehouse has stored a large number of raw materials for summer clothes.
If the production resumes in the summer, then the garments will be shipped overseas, missing the best selling season. This has seasonal sales cycle for export factories and foreign trade enterprises, is undoubtedly worse.
And for foreign enterprises, it is impossible not to produce orders. If Chinese suppliers are delayed in delivery frequency and delivery time, then foreign companies will shift orders to other countries where delivery times and logistics are more secure.
In addition, the high logistics freight of China’s exports to other countries does not mean that the freight of other countries’ exports to third countries is also high.
For example, the high freight cost of China’s exports to Europe and the United States does not necessarily mean that the freight cost of Southeast Asian countries’ exports to Europe and the United States will be higher than that of China, and the rise of freight will also show phased changes.
Therefore, the current industry said “volume” is more industry sellers, platform, peripheral service providers between the volume. But the truth is, we’re not just competing with our domestic competitors, we’re competing with our global competitors in different dimensions.
Scroll inward, see is the epidemic brought industry profiteer era phased end!
Outward roll, hard work, stand in a higher dimension to participate in the competition of globalization!