BDP Trendwatch: South Africa’s exporters brace for major hit as Transnet strike gains momentum; Second strike at Liverpool to add to European port congestion, slow product delivery; Aviation sector adds to pressure on IMO with 2050 net-zero vote

South Africa’s exporters brace for major hit as Transnet strike gains momentum

Industrial action at South Africa’s ports and freight-rail operator Transnet is set to worsen as the second-largest labor union, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), downed tools in a dispute over pay.

SATAWU and the largest labour group, the United National Transport Union (UNTU), together representing around 80% of Transnet workers, confirmed that their members would be on strike for an indefinite period, which could affect all the country’s ports.

Splash 24/7


Second strike at Liverpool to add to European port congestion, slow product delivery

  • Dockworkers in Liverpool are set to start a seven-day strike on October 11 as U.K. and European ports remain congested from dual prior strikes in Liverpool and Felixstowe.
  • The new labor action will add to the existing delays in product delivery.
  • U.K. and Europe are markets for retailers including H&M, Inditex, Associated British Foods, Abercrombie and Fitch, Urban Outfitters, and Burberry.

Logistics experts are warning another strike set at the Port of Liverpool for Tuesday will only add to the existing delays in product delivery caused by the prior strikes at Felixstowe and Liverpool.



Aviation sector adds to pressure on IMO with 2050 net-zero vote

With two months to go until the 79th gathering Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is facing pressure to up its game when it comes to green targets.

Member states at IMO’s sister body at the United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), voted last week to adopt a collective long-term global aspirational goal (LTAG) of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, something that is far head of IMO’s current demands which call for emission cuts of 50% compared to a 2008 baseline.

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FMC proposal requires ocean carriers to give shippers more details on demurrage charges

Ocean carriers will need to provide shippers with more thorough documentation on demurrage fees and how to dispute charges, according to a proposed rule unveiled by the Federal Maritime Commission on Friday.

The rule, introduced as part of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 signed into law earlier this year, would address the fees imposed on shippers when cargo isn’t moved within a specified amount of time. Carriers have collected a record number in demurrage fees during the pandemic, and shippers say charges are often opaque with little pathway to challenge them.

Supply Chain Dive


Saudi Ports Authority to upgrade Jeddah Islamic Port with new berths

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has signed two contracts worth US$170 million with major contractors in order to deepen and build new berths at Jeddah Islamic Port aiming to enable the arrival of 24,000 TEU container vessels.

The two partners will be PC Marine Services and Modern Building Leaders (MBL), the latter in consortium with HutaHegerfeld Saudia Ltd.

Through these upgrades, the competitive capability of the port is expected to increase and local shores are anticipated to attract global shipping lines.

Container News


Asia trade pact members ‘taking our time’ with UK application to join, Canada says

The UK’s bid to join one of Asia’s big trade pacts will take a bit longer, according to the Canadian trade chief.

Mary Ng, Canadian minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, said the 11-economy Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is still mulling the first new-member application.

“We’re taking our time to make sure we do get it right with our first accession” of the UK, Ng told Bloomberg Television’s Kathleen Hays and Haidi Stroud-Watts on Monday in Singapore.



Global supply chain pressures ease as spot rates and indices dip

The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) reported a level of 1.05, for September 2022, which is a mere quarter of the peak reported in December 2021, suggesting that things, at least in terms of supply chain disruption, have gotten better.

The level is akin to the one reported in Nov-Dec 2020. While select ports such as Houston, have been seeing high levels of congestion (about five to six weeks) over the spurt in volumes, global port congestion seems to have eased, as against the peak of December 2021- January 2022. While the ‘Chinese Golden Week’ played last leading to no updates on the Shanghai and Chinese Container Freight Indices, the Freightos Baltic Index took a 9% hit, to end at US$3,699, almost on par with the Drewry’s World Container Index, dwindling to one third of its peak level quote.

Container News


Rail union rejects Biden-backed deal, reviving strike risk

A majority of almost 12,000 unionized railroad workers voted to reject a tentative labor agreement brokered in part last month by President Joe Biden, the first dismissal by members of a dozen labor groups that must accept the deal or risk a strike.

More than 6,600 members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees voted against the tentative agreement compared to 5,100 votes in favor, the division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said in a statement Monday.