What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 16

Your weekly update on the latest trends and news from the supply chain world. 

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EU green lights US trade talks amid tariff threats

April 15, 2019 - The Council of the European Union on Monday authorized trade talks with the U.S. to seek the elimination of tariffs on industrial products. The negotiations follow through on a joint statement made last July by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Trump to work toward zero tariffs. 
Source: Supply Chain Dive 

EU extends Brexit deadline to Oct. 31

April 11, 2019 - After months of failed votes to approve her Brexit plan, British Prime Minister Theresa May obtained yet another extension to the deadline for the U.K. to leave the European Union. The new deadline, granted by the EU, is Oct. 31. If the U.K. can approve a plan and the EU can support it, the break could take place earlier than the deadline. 
Source: Supply Chain Dive 

FTA calls for urgent action as UK faces worsening driver and logistics staff shortage

April 15, 2019 - The UK logistics industry is being urged to tell the government about the skills shortage facing the country, following an appeal from an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on road freight and logistics. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) believes Whitehall needs to contribute more and is urging its members to contribute to an APPG survey, as it warns of the threats from Brexit and the ongoing driver shortage.
Source: The Loadstar


New Digital Container Shipping Association is aiming to make a splash

April 16, 2019 - A container shipping group to help coordinate the industry’s rapid digitization has formally launched after a green light from the US Federal Maritime Commission. MSC, Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, and Ocean Network Express (ONE) officially established the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) last week in Amsterdam, with Maersk’s Thomas Bagge named chief executive and MSC’s Andre Simha (pictured above) chairman. The Loadstar


European Shipyards Launch Digital Standards Initiative

April 16, 2019 - The members of European shipbuilders' association EUROYARDS are launching a new standards initiative for ship systems data. In collaboration with shipowners, suppliers and classification societies, these shipyards will work to standardize their data management methods. Modern ship equipment generates large amounts of data about operating status and performance, and if that data can be captured in a usable format, it can be analyzed by maritime stakeholders to search for possible improvements. 
Source: Maritime Executive

Bulging stockpiles will weigh on U.S. growth throughout 2019

April 17, 2019 - The rising stockpiles of cars, furniture and other goods that helped the U.S. economy boom in 2018 are now poised to cause a hangover this year. Inventory accumulation added an average 1.2 percentage point to U.S. growth in the third and fourth quarters, government figures show, and were a key to the year’s 3 percent expansion, the fastest since 2005 and President Donald Trump’s annual goal. Reversing that buildup will trim growth in 2019, likely starting in the second quarter and continuing through the rest of the year, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 20 economists last week.
Source: Bloomberg


Rise in ocean plastics evidenced in 60-year time series

April 16, 2019 - Scientists from the University of Plymouth and the Marine Biological Association have confirmed the significant increase in open-ocean plastics in recent decades using records of entanglement of plankton research equipment.
Source: The Maritime Executive