What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 34

UK plans for express medical products shipping service ahead of Brexit

The contract and solicitation for bidders primarily centers on a request for fast, low-volume shipping. The purpose is to enable the government to move devices and drugs into the U.K. within one working day, thereby ensuring critical products reach patients even if the traditional routes into the country become clogged as a result of customs checks and other issues created by Brexit.

With the U.K. set to leave the EU without a deal on Oct. 31 unless something changes, the creation of the supply service faces time pressures. The government hopes to award the contract next month and have the service fully operational by Oct. 24, giving it a week to test the supply route before it may need to use it to get critical products to patients. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive


US regulators gear up for offshore wind project oversight

For the first time in more than a decade the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has revised its guidelines for assessing the effects of offshore wind projects on commercial shipping, an indication that such projects are gaining momentum as a renewable energy option.

The new guidance, made public earlier this month, identifies navigational safety information the agency will consider when reviewing permit applications to build and operate an Offshore Renewable Energy Installation, including wind farms. It updates and replaces guidelines originally issued in 2007.

Source: Freight Waves


Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia are Asia's top spots for China's belt and road plan: executives

Regional companies who want to get involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s ambitious plan to boost trade and connectivity, have ranked Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia as the top three Asian countries with the most opportunities, according to a new survey.

The infrastructure projects they are eyeing include smart cities, industrial estates and roads, according to the Singapore Business Federation and professional services firm PwC, which canvassed close to 50 senior executives across various industries, most of whom were based in Singapore.

Source: South China Morning Post


US warns Greece over inbound Iranian VLCC

The Iranian Adrian Darya 1 VLCC, formerly known as Grace 1, continues to head east through the Mediterranean, bound for the port of Kalamata in Greece, having been allowed to leave Gibraltar yesterday after being detained for seven weeks. The Greek port commenced ship-to-ship operations earlier this year, which the fully laden tanker will need to carry out if, as presumed, it intends to transit the Suez Canal.

Source: Splash 247


US box reports surprise growth in imports, despite tariffs

Despite the escalating US/China trade war, the ten biggest US container ports posted a surprisingly robust 2.7% year-on-year import throughput growth in July, for a cumulative 1,865,645 teu.

However, analyst John D McCown, of consultancy Blue Alpha Capital, still believes that the impact of tariffs on Chinese imports “will become dramatically more pronounced”.

Source: The Loadstar