What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 29

Container Volumes Fall at Port of Long Beach 

The Port of Long Beach, California posted a drop in container handling volume for June, with imports down sharply relative to the same period last year.  

A total of about 680,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) were processed at the Port of Long Beach in June, 10 percent fewer than last year. Imports shrank nearly 14 percent last month while exports were flat at 130,000 TEUs, about one percent down. Empties loaded onto ships to fill with goods in Asia decreased nine percent to about 210,000 TEU. 

Source: The Maritime Executive


WTO Issues Mixed Ruling Over U.S. Duties for Cheap Chinese Goods 

The World Trade Organization on Tuesday delivered a mixed judgment over America’s sanctions on subsidized goods produced by Chinese state-owned enterprises. 

The WTO decision said that the way the U.S. calculated its duties using third-country prices was not consistent with WTO anti-subsidy rules, and that it must modify the way it penalizes subsidized Chinese exports or face the prospect of retaliation. 

Source: American Journal of Transportation


The Panama Canal is thirsty. That's a problem for ocean carriers. 

It is likely not a surprise the Panama Canal needs water to operate. It might be more surprising though that the canal, which connects the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, is thirsty. 

The Panama Canal, and Central America more broadly, is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its recorded history. With less water, the canal is forced to place restrictions on the amount of cargo ships can carry, meaning carriers have to limit the shippers they can serve on routes that rely on this waterway. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive 


Trucking data shows signs of recession 

Earlier this year, economists forecast a potential slowdown in the trucking industry in 2019. DAT data predicted a negative impact of tariffs on the freight market. Part of the problem stemmed from shippers rushing inventory into the U.S. to avoid tariffs, which pushed freight rates upward as trucking capacity strained to keep up. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Singapore Tops International Shipping Center Development Index 

Singapore has topped the 2019 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index for the sixth year running. The index provides an independent ranking of the performance of the world’s largest cities that offer port and shipping business services. 

Source: The Maritime Executive


ICTSI Pakistan opens rail service 

A subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) on Monday said it launched a dedicated rail cargo service connecting Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan. 

In a statement, Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) said the cargo rail service will “move goods faster and at a significantly lower cost to upcountry markets, benefiting major industries” such as agriculture, textile, fertilizer, sports goods, electronics and fast-moving consumer goods. 

Source: Business World


BAF calculator may help ease uncertainty over looming IMO 2020 fuel rule 

With the deadline looming for the new IMO regulations reducing vessel sulphur dioxide emissions, new research suggests that fuel costs for shippers on the Asia-Europe trades could rise as much as 50%. 

The International Maritime Organization’s sulphur regulations will come into force on 1 January and see the sulphur content of ship fuel reduced to 0.5%. 

Source: The Loadstar