What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 36

Boris Johnson challenges Jeremy Corbyn to back October election

Boris Johnson will call for a general election on 15 October if Labour and rebel Tories succeed in blocking a no-deal Brexit.

He challenged Jeremy Corbyn to put his policy of "dither and delay" over EU withdrawal to the British people.

Mr Johnson needs the support of two-thirds of MPs to trigger an election.

But shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told Labour MPs the leadership would not back an election until a delay had been agreed with the EU.

Source: BBC


Hurricane Dorian closes Southeast ports with path uncertain

Hurricane Dorian is inching its way northwest at about 1 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), threatening the U.S. southeast coast after pummeling the Bahamas over the weekend. The storm will get "dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Tuesday through Wednesday evening, very near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday, and near or over the North Carolina coast late Thursday," according to an NHC notice Tuesday morning. Five people have already died as a result of the storm in the Bahamas, according to media reports.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Trade war: US hits China with new wave of tariffs

The US has imposed fresh tariffs on $112bn (£92bn) of Chinese imports such as shoes, nappies and food.

The new tariffs are a sharp escalation in the bruising trade war and could cost households $800 a year.

The move is the first phase of US President Donald Trump's latest plan to place 15% duties on $300bn of Chinese imports by the end of the year.

Source: BBC

Why 2019 has been the worst year for trucking operators

Like travelers walking through the desert that found an oasis, carriers found a wellspring of freight in 2017 and 2018 and expanded their operations. Unfortunately for the carriers, the pool has dried, leaving many dying of thirst. 2019 has been a lesson in how trucking markets can overheat just like the economy, leading to an uncomfortable period of contraction. Operating ratios (ORs) for dry van carriers in the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Truckload Indexes program have averaged over 100% since the start of the year as a result of this contracting growth.

Source: FreightWaves


Creating freeports will be no 'magic wand' for a post-Brexit Britain

Freeports (otherwise known as free-trade zones, or FTZs) are “not a magic wand for reviving struggling regions”, despite claims made by the UK’s international trade secretary Liz Truss.

Shortly following her appointment, Ms Truss claimed FTZs would transform towns and cities across the UK, but senior ports analyst at Drewry Maritime Neil Davidson said: “Most successful FTZs are those launched in already successful ports, ie the big busy gateways… critical mass matters.”

Source: The Loadstar


Cargo thefts in the Emea region exceed €305,000 a day

Thefts of products from supply chains in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region exceeded €55 million or more than €305,000 a day in the first six months of 2019, according to new incident data reported to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), the world’s leading Security Expert Network for everyone in the supply chain.

Data published today in the Association’s Incident Information Service (IIS) Q2 Report confirms 2019 is already a record year for freight thefts recorded by the Association in EMEA, which follows four previous years of consecutive growth. After collating intelligence on 3,981 cargo crimes in 2018, TAPA EMEA has already identified 4,198 incidents in the six months to 30 June 2019, up 5.1%.

Source: American Journal of Transportation


Less guesswork concerning post-IMO 2020 marine fuel

Shippers, forwarders and carriers are getting a better idea of costs and data sources as Drewry launches a low-sulphur bunker price tracker.

For years, one of the biggest and hardest questions to answer in international shipping has been; what will the new low-sulphur fuel costs from 2020?

Everybody – or nearly everybody – agreed that there will be a large, extra cost for the industry and its users. But shippers surveyed by Drewry on the IMO 2020 issue admitted that “data is patchy and confusing” and a high proportion of shippers replied that they were very uncertain about the impact of IMO 2020 on their freight costs.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News via Drewry