Economic signals from China, the world’s most important shipping nation, continue to alarm shipowners. The surprise financial news out of Beijing today was the decision by the People’s Bank of China to reduce the medium-term lending rate, through which it provides one-year loans to the banking system, by 10 basis points to 2.75%. The decision, along with a move to inject liquidity into the system, is seen by China watchers as clear evidence Beijing is worried about the state of the economy, where stimulus plans have failed to get the nation back on track after a brutal zero covid policy and bursting real estate bubbles hammered the world’s most populous nation this year.
The Rhine River’s water level at a key waypoint hit a new low, risking the transit of fuel and other goods as Europe’s climate crisis exacerbates its energy-supply crunch.
The marker at Kaub, a particularly shallow point west of Frankfurt, briefly dropped to 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) earlier Monday before edging back up, the latest German government data show. It is forecast to fluctuate around 31-33 centimeters as the week progresses.
Canada’s trade minister praised US passage of a landmark tax and climate-change bill, playing down the potential for conflict over what was left out of it.
Mary Ng said legislation approved Friday afternoon by the House of Representatives represents a diplomatic victory for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. She led the push against an earlier proposal that would have restricted electric vehicle tax credits to cars and trucks built by unionized US workers, making it harder for Canadian auto plants to compete.
The Federal Maritime Commission is considering invoking its newly granted emergency powers under the 2022 reform of the Ocean Shipping Act to require data sharing among terminals, truckers, carriers, and other parts of the shipping industry. The commission said it would consider if data sharing would help to alleviate the persistent challenges of port congestion as the Department of Transportation earlier in the week said that its initiative to increase the flow of data across the supply chain was helping to address challenges.
More than 500 port operatives at the Port of Liverpool in the United Kingdom will strike over an "inadequate" 7% pay offer, according to the British trade union Unite, which pointed out that in real terms this pay offer is a pay cut.
In a ballot with an 88% turnout, 99% voted for strike action. The dates of the strikes have not yet been announced.
The proposed strike at the port of Felixstowe could result in over US$800 million in trade being disrupted according to the ALPS Marine analysis by Russell Group.
Clothing (US$82.8 million) and electronic components (US$32.3 million) will be the commodities that would be impacted the most by the strike, according to Russel Group's analysis, which was based on previous trade flows at Felixstowe in this August period.