China’s stringent Covid Zero strategy has damaged foreign businesses’ confidence, with U.S. firms in the country slashing investments and lowering revenue projections as lockdowns hit operations and supply chains.
More than half of the 121 companies polled by the American Chamber of Commerce in China have either reduced or delayed investment in the country, while nearly 60% of them lowered their income forecasts for this year following the latest outbreaks, according to a statement.
“We understand China choosing to prioritize health and safety above all else, but the current measures are throttling U.S. business confidence in China,” Colm Rafferty, chairman of AmCham China, said in the statement. “An already challenging situation continues to worsen,” he said, adding that companies “don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”
Jim McKenna, president and CEO Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), is hopeful that contract negotiations set to begin with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) will avoid a work stoppage.
Mckenna was speaking at the Port of Los Angeles monthly media briefing on May 6th.
Mckenna denied that the release of a PMA commissioned study finding positive impacts from terminal automation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach was designed to put ILWU negotiators on the defensive: “The report was released when it was because it was finished,” he said.
The independent federal agency of the United States, Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has announced enhanced monitoring of the three global container shipping alliances.
FMC said in its latest statement that "the three global ocean carrier alliances and each of their member companies will now be required to provide enhanced pricing and capacity information."
The commission noted it will use these uniform data to assess ocean carrier behaviour and marketplace competitiveness.
Insurer Allianz’s annual shipping review, published yesterday, warned that despite the sector’s continued long-term positive safety trend over the past year, there is no room for complacency due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the growing number of costly issues involving larger vessels, crew and port congestion challenges, and managing decarbonisation targets.
The annual study analyses from the German insurer reports on shipping losses and casualties over 100 gt. Allianz data shows that during 2021, 54 total losses of vessels were reported globally, compared with 65 a year earlier. This represents a 57% decline over 10 years, while during the early 1990s, the global fleet was losing over 200 vessels a year.
The port authorities of Duisburg and Rotterdam have jointly signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to renew and expand their cooperation agreements that date back to 2020. Besides existing agreements relating to the optimisation of logistical connections, the cooperation will be expanded to include initiatives in the area of digitisation and the energy transition. The agreement was signed by Markus Bangen, CEO at Duisport, and Allard Castelein, CEO at Port of Rotterdam.
Duisport and the Port of Rotterdam have been trading partners for a long time. For example, each year more than one million TEU of containers are exchanged between the two logistics hubs. Almost a third of them are already shipped by rail. Digitisation and data sharing could further increase the part played by this sustainable mode of transport. This LOI is aimed at creating the most digital and most sustainable port-inland hub connection in the world by linking Duisburg’s ‘Rail Freight Data Hub’ initiative with Rotterdam’s ‘Rail Connected’.
The US government has announced it will give another US$234.3 million to the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) aiming to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of goods in the country's ports.
In particular, the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that up to US$684.3 million is now available for PIDP grants, to be awarded on a competitive basis to port-related projects.