Trendwatch: Maersk and MSC to disband the 2M alliance in 2025; IMF chief says global economic outlook ‘less bad’ than feared; U.S. economy slows, but Europe’s picks up, raising hopes world will avoid recession

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Maersk and MSC to disband the 2M alliance in 2025

On Wednesday MSC and AP Moller-Maersk issued a joint statement that the two companies had mutually agreed to terminate the 2M alliance in 2025.

The alliance between Maersk and MSC was founded in 2015 with a minimum term of 10-years with a two-year notice period of termination, as such today’s announcement will see 2M being disbanded to after the minimum 10-year term is complete.

Vincent Clerc, CCO of AP Moller - Maersk, and Soren Toft, CEO of MSC, said jointly: “MSC and Maersk recognize that much has changed since the two companies signed the 10-year agreement in 2015. Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies.”

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IMF chief says global economic outlook ‘less bad’ than feared

Prospects for the global economy have brightened amid signs that inflation is retreating from its four-decade high, the head of the International Monetary Fund has said.

Speaking at the closing session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kristalina Georgieva said growth prospects had picked up in recent months but warned against overoptimism, according to The Guardian.

“My message is that it is less bad than we feared a couple of months ago but that doesn’t mean good. What has improved is that inflation seems to be leaning in the right direction — that is down.”

Supply Chain Brain


U.S. economy slows, but Europe’s picks up, raising hopes world will avoid recession

Two of the world’s largest economies moved in opposite directions at the start of the year, with U.S. businesses reporting further declines in activity in January while the eurozone saw a modest pickup.

The divergence suggests that while the U.S. economy continues to lose momentum, Europe’s could be stabilizing, at least for now. The pace of contraction in U.S. firms slowed in January, according to new business surveys released Tuesday, a possible signal that the economy could be bottoming out, thanks to slowing inflation and resilient demand.

The Wall Street Journal


Industry study tracks China tariffs’ added costs to importers and consumers

Tariffs hikes in 2018 on imports from China of apparel, footwear, furniture and travel goods have raised indirect and direct costs for companies and prices for consumers, according to a new study released last week by five major industry groups representing brands and retailers.

Direct costs from the tariff amounted to more than $1 billion annually each for apparel and furniture imports, as well as nearly $800 million in 2022 for travel goods and over $450 million in 2022 for footwear.

Supply Chain Dive


Shipping coalition calls on EU for FuelEU incentives and consistency

A broad coalition across the shipping industry issued a joint statement supporting the FuelEU maritime regulations while calling for more clarity and action as the different political and regulatory bodies in the European Union work to hammer out the final language on the regulation. The three key bodies of the EU are currently meeting to finalize language for the program.

“The FuelEU Maritime Regulation has the potential to set the necessary regulatory preconditions for the decarbonization of the shipping sector. The signatories call on the co-legislators to fully seize this opportunity to make the European industry a global leader in green shipping by raising the ambitions of the GHG intensity limits and promoting the uptake of green, sustainable e-fuels via a dedicated binding sub-quota. This should go hand in hand with matching targets on fuel suppliers and ports to ensure the availability of green e-fuels.

The Maritime Executive


How Europe needs freight trains to cross Russia from China

Giving Ukraine modern tanks remains a key question facing Kyiv’s allies after a meeting of top defense officials in Germany on Friday yielded little progress. But perhaps the most exposed link in supply chains for producing such weapons runs on train tracks through the foe they’re trying to defeat.

Russia is at the center of a rail cargo route supplying Western arms manufacturers with a steady supply of metals needed to make the microchips, electronics and ammunition used in modern weaponry. Most of the so-called rare earth elements are mined in China. Russian Railways JSC and other carriers are hauling a rising volume of critical metals needed for Europe’s defense industry.



Nigerian president opens Lekki Port, largest port in the country

President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari officially inaugurated the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Itoke village, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, on 23 January, while observing the offloading of the CMA CGM Mozart at the port's quay.

This US$1.5 billion project is a joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Lagos State Government, the Tolarams Group (owner of the Lagos Free Zone), and China Harbour Engineering Company.

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