What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 7

China virus crisis roils supply chains for global manufacturers

Less than a month into the health crisis that began in China, supply chain disruptions are showing up around the world, from automakers to mobile-phone producers to energy companies.

As the human toll from the novel coronavirus continues to rise, with more than 31,000 infected and hundreds dead, the impact on global industry is spreading as well.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. extended shutdowns at their China plants beyond the Lunar New Year holiday, while iPhone maker Foxconn warned employees away from its facility in Shenzhen, a technology hub that is more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away from the outbreak epicenter of Wuhan. And in a drama that’s riveting commodity markets, two of Europe’s biggest energy companies rejected a Chinese force majeure on liquefied natural gas contracts.

Source: Bloomberg


U.K. mulls introduction of freeports

Now that U.K. has left the E.U., the Government's Department for International Trade says it is free to make its mark as a champion of free trade, and freeports (free trade zones) are on the table.

The Government is developing a tariff schedule that will enter into force January 1, 2021. The bespoke regime, known as the UK Global Tariff, aims to ensure U.K. businesses compete on fair terms with the rest of the world. A four-week consultation period is now underway.

Source: The Maritime-Executive


87% of US businesses in China expect coronavirus to impact revenue

Nissan announced Monday plans to temporarily pause production at one of its Japan factories for Friday and next Monday with plans to restart production immediately thereafter, according to Bloomberg. The company said supply shortages were to blame.

Facilities outside China, including Hyundai, have closed in some cases, but the trend is not expected to extend beyond China, according to an analysis by Verisk Maplecroft.

The majority of companies stopping operations are in Wuhan, China, according to the Nikkei Asian Review, which is tracking stoppages with filings on regional stock exchanges.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Air freight services in China still in flux, with cargo bottlenecks on the cards

As airlines continue to pare Chinese services, with much belly capacity now not returning until the summer season begins in April, freight data on the routes is becoming harder to interpret – but a freight “bottleneck” is expected soon.

“Index transactional data is very thin, increasing the noise and volatility of prices on the smaller amount of transactions taking place,” noted Freight Investor Services yesterday.

Source: The Loadstar


Europe-China air freight traffic overtakes China-Europe for the first time

Europe to China and Hong Kong air freight load factors have overtaken China to Europe for the first time, according to new data.

Dynamic load factor information from Clive Data Services to 9 February shows a massive reduction in the imbalance between Europe/Middle East and Hong Kong.

At the start of the year, dynamic load factors out of EMEA to Hong Kong were 21%, against 93% westbound. As of the end of last week, eastbound was 76% against 71% westbound.

Source: The Loadstar


India to build major new west coast port

India's Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has granted approval in principle for a new major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra on India's west coast.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), also in Maharashtra, will be the lead partner in the project by providing at least 50 percent f the funding. The port will be built to accommodate the largest container ships and will cater for the spill over traffic from JNPT. It will give JNPT a capacity of around 10 million TEUs on completion in 2023.

Source: The Maritime Executive


One trade dispute with Europe may be winding down, but another is ramping up

Days after President Donald Trump chalked up a supposed victory in the United States-China trade dispute the president announced he was seeking a trade deal with the European Union and threatened the EU with automobile tariffs if he couldn’t get an agreement soon. Apparently, Trump likes his negotiating partners back on their heels at onset of negotiations.

If the China Phase One agreement is any indication, the administration will be pressing for a quick win that won’t necessarily address any of the deeper issues that divide the parties. Meanwhile, there are two other ongoing trade disputes involving Europe, one which soon may be resolved and the other that is just getting started.

Source: American Journal of Transportation