What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 32

HK protests spread to airport cargo operations

Air traffic controllers, flight crews, and pilots have joined the protests gripping Hong Kong. The result has been severe delays for the world’s busiest cargo gateway as hundreds of flight cancellations have been forced upon it. While flag-carrier Cathay Pacific has yet to cancel any freighter services, it has warned that all-cargo flights may experience delays. 

Source: The Loadstar


Tariff whiplash is already taking a toll on retail

Welcome to the era of trade chaos for retail. Beginning in May, retailers lived with the official reality that a huge swatch of Chinese goods — known as "tranche four" and covering pretty much everything that hasn't already gone through tariff increases already — would get a 25% tariff. Retailers and analysts from nearly every sector warned of price hikes for consumers, disruptions to their supply chain and margin hits. Some companies began rushing in imports to beat the tariffs.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Trump to add tariffs on another $300bn of Chinese goods

The United States would impose an additional 10% tariff on up to USD 300 billion worth of Chinese imports, according to the U.S. President.

The announcement was made after the world’s two largest economies restarted trade talks in Shanghai last week.

Source: World Maritime News


Container terminal throughput set to hit near a billion teu in five years

Global container terminal utilisation levels are set to increase over the next five years, according to new research from shipping analyst Drewry Maritime Advisors.
According to the newly published Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Review and Forecast 2019, global container port traffic is expected to grow by 4.4% a year for the next five years – meaning global throughput will be near a staggering 1bn teu by the end of 2023.

Source: The Loadstar


Sanctions and tariffs: the new economic battlefield

Economic warfare is being fought with an intensity not seen since the period leading up to World War II as countries deploy tariffs, embargoes and economic sanctions to force policy changes or punish their adversaries.

Free trade is coming off second best, and global trade has stalled. There’s been no growth in trade volumes since late 2017, contributing to a slowing world economy.

Source: The Maritime Executive


2020 bunker pricing pains

With the IMO 2020 regulations approaching, it is important that commercial operators are aware of the potential impact that volatile fuel prices may have on their operations. 

The effect the new MARPOL provisions will have on bunker prices is not yet clear though it is expected to be significant. The current price spread between fuel oil with 3.5% sulphur content and low sulphur fuel (0.5%) is estimated to be around USD200, according to Clarksons Platou Futures and the surge in demand for low sulphur fuel, coupled with concerns on refinery capacity, is likely to result in price rises and fluctuations while the market settles out.

Source: The Maritime Executive


Tariff fears caused a U.S. import surge. Now warehouses are full.

A short drive outside Los Angeles lies one of the world’s biggest warehouse complexes. Gene Seroka says its 1.8 billion square feet of capacity — enough room to house 9 million cars — is “bursting at the seams.”

The warehouse district is part of the Inland Empire, serving the port of Long Beach and the twin port of Los Angeles, where Seroka is executive director. Together they handle almost half of American’s maritime trade with China. If you live in the U.S., especially the western half, your toothbrush, television or shoes may well have passed through the Empire.

Source: Supply Chain Brain