What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 21

COSCO container ship at port on hazy day with dark shadows

Super-cyclone Amphan hits coast of India and Bangladesh

The Bay of Bengal’s fiercest storm this century, super-cyclone Amphan, slammed into the coast of eastern India and Bangladesh on Wednesday afternoon, bringing heavy gales and the threat of deadly storm surges and flooding.

The intensity of the super-cyclone as it made landfall at 4pm local time was around 120mph, with waves 5 metres (17ft) high, before it moved northwards towards Kolkata, one of India’s biggest cities. The first deaths from the cyclone, one in Bangladesh and two in West Bengal, were reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Source: The Guardian 

 

U.S.-bound shipments see April gains but concerns remain, says Panjiva

While United States-bound waterborne shipment volume took a major hit in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from global trade intelligence firm Panjiva, April, in terms of numbers, was not nearly as bad, but that comes with a few caveats.

April shipments—at 1,126,970—saw a 13% annual increase, well ahead of March’s -10% reading, and on a year-to-date basis through March, U.S.-bound shipments—at 3,836,078—were off 1.6% compared to the same period a year ago, an improvement over the -6.8% year-to-date drop through March.

Source: Supply Chain 24/7

 

Virus revives worst-case scenarios for U.S.-China relationship

On Jan. 15, it seemed like the U.S. and China had avoided a quick descent into a new Cold War.

In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump declared that “our relationship with China is the best it’s ever been” while signing a preliminary trade deal that “unifies the countries.” The pact between Trump and China’s Xi Jinping raised hopes that the world’s predominant superpower could peacefully resolve differences with a rising China.

That same day, health officials in the central Chinese city of Wuhan acknowledged that they couldn’t rule out human-to-human transmission of a mysterious new pneumonia that had already sickened 41 people. A man who had visited Wuhan also arrived home in Washington state carrying the deadly pathogen — the first confirmed U.S. case of the disease that would become known as COVID-19.

Source: Supply Chain Brain

 

U.K. announces plan for sweeping tariff cuts after Brexit

The U.K. set out its post-Brexit tariffs plan, cutting import duties on many products while protecting industries such as automotive and agriculture in global trade beyond Europe.

Items like dishwashers, freezers and Christmas trees will be able to enter the U.K. tariff-free as of Jan. 1 2021, the Department for International Trade said in a statement Tuesday. Under the plan, 30 billion pounds worth ($36.6 billion) of tariffs will also be removed on supply chain imports, like copper alloy tubes, and screws and bolts, the department said.

Source: AJOT

 

Shipping group promotes standardized e-bill of lading

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) said the COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for a standardized industry e-bill of lading (eBL) greater than ever.

Cargo in ports sometimes can’t be gated out because paper bills of lading simply are getting stuck in a supply chain mucked up by the pandemic, according to DCSA, which argues that eliminating paper from the shipping transaction will make every aspect of container shipping better, faster, cheaper, more secure and environmentally friendly.

DCSA also has pegged $4 billion in annual savings for the container shipping industry with 50% eBL adoption. On Tuesday the nonprofit announced the launch of a collaborative effort to push for those savings through eBL standardization and implementation.

Source: Freight Waves
 

IATA proposes "Layered Approach" to passenger health for resuming flights 

The International Air Transport Association has proposed a detailed "layered" approach for restarting passenger flights following the COVID-19 crisis.

The report specifies implementation of a series of temporary biosecurity measures, from pre-flight through arrival at destination airports.

IATA said it foresees the need for governments to collect passenger health data in advance of travel. Measures proposed at the departure airport include temperature screening, physical distancing, face coverings, and sanitization of high-touch areas.

Source: Supply Chain Brain

 

April truck tonnage drops to lowest level since 1994, reports ATA

April truck tonnage data issued today by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) made history but not in a good way.

The ATA’s advanced seasonally-adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index for April—at 104.9 (2015=100)— fell 12.2%, following a 0.4% March gain, which was downwardly revised from an initial reading of a 1.2% increase. This came on the heels of a 1.8% February gain over January, which came in at 119.

Source: Supply Chain 24/7