What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 9

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

Want to receive our weekly updates in your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter. 


U.S.-China trade: tariff and non-tariff barriers

February 26, 2019 - U.S. President Donald Trump said this week he may soon sign a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping to end a trade war blamed for slowing global economic growth and disrupting markets. Citing progress in talks between the two countries, Trump said he would delay a planned increase in tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Source: Reuters


Container lines cleared in U.S. antitrust investigation

February 26, 2019 - Maersk, MSC, and Hapag-Lloyd have been cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice after an investigation that started in 2017 after two shipping alliances became operational.  "Hapag-Lloyd was informed that the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division is closing its investigation without charges against the company, its affiliates or any other current or former employees," said a company spokesperson late on Tuesday. This followed similar statements from the other companies earlier in the day.
Source: The Maritime Executive

Air freight operators get together to step up contingency plans for no-deal Brexit

February 26, 2019 - Politicians may be failing the UK, but the private sector has stepped up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, adding air freight capacity and new supply chains for the automotive industry. In support of the saying that freight is like water and will always find a way to flow, today a partnership of Leipzig-Halle and Liverpool airports, together with Wynne Aviation Services, Jota Aviation, Airport Park Leipzig-Halle, Volga-Dnepr Group and handler Portground announced a Brexit contingency plan.

Source: The Loadstar


IMO 2020 fuel restriction may prove a ‘windfall’ for the charter market

February 26, 2019 - MSC, Maersk, Cosco, and CMA CGM are among ocean carriers that expect to temporarily increase their capacity this year to mitigate the downtime as ships are retrofitted with scrubbers, or for the decontamination of tanks to accommodate compliant fuels, ahead of IMO 2020. Notwithstanding seasonal supply and demand drivers, containership owners are anticipating a charter market boost in the second half of the year, as operators prepare for the introduction of the IMO’s 0.5% global sulfur limit on 1 January next year.

Source: The Loadstar


China to boost Belt and Road links with Saudi Arabia

February 26, 2019 - Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last Friday. "The two countries should speed up the signing of an implementation plan on connecting the Belt and Road Initiative with the Saudi Vision 2030," Xi said, also expecting progress on cooperation in areas such as energy, infrastructure, trade, investment and high value-added industries.

Source: The Maritime Executive 

ICS warns shipowners on sulfur cap “Free Pass”

February 26, 2019 - The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed in principle the decision made at the IMO PPR 6 meeting last week that safety or operational concerns about the quality of low sulfur fuels may, in exceptional circumstances, be a valid reason for shipowners to be issued with a Fuel Oil Non Availability Report (FONAR) when the sulfur cap takes effect.

Source: The Maritime Executive


Smart Maritime Council to boost software compatibility

February 26, 2019 - Representatives from major maritime technology companies gathered in London on Tuesday for the inaugural meeting of the Smart Maritime Council, a new initiative created by the Smart Maritime Network to support collaboration and standardization in the development of IT systems for the shipping sector. Smart Maritime Network was formed in January 2019 to promote the benefits of enhanced integration and data sharing among stakeholders within the maritime and transport logistics sectors. A core element of the initiative is the creation of a Smart Maritime Council consisting of maritime technology developers, systems integrators and other key stakeholders, which will hold a series of meetings to discuss areas of mutually beneficial collaboration on issues relating to the compatibility, standardization and harmonization of the technology used in the modern shipping industry.

Source: The Maritime Executive