What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 37

Industry leaders fed up with tit-for-tat trade war

The trade rollercoaster and its effects on the supply chain continued Thursday as the United States and China agreed to hold another round of trade talks in Washington, D.C., in early October.

The announcement, which came on the heels of a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods that took effect September 1, prompted an immediate response from the National Retail Federation (NRF), reiterating its plea for officials to end the trade war that began in January 2018. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said the talks are a step in the right direction, and urged administration officials to roll back existing tariffs the group says is hurting businesses and consumers.

Source: DC Velocity


Post-Brexit VAT on overseas parcels would be a 'no-deal stealth tax'

Further scrutiny is being heaped on the UK government’s Brexit strategy with claims of a “no-deal stealth tax” and calls for special economic status for freight gateways.  

Head of consumer research at Parcelhero David Jinks has slammed the government’s £900m ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign, claiming it provides business with “little new information”.  

He added: “But it does reveal that the £15 VAT threshold on overseas parcels would be quietly scrapped, should there still be a no-deal Brexit.

Source: The Loadstar


New guide to help shippers lower transport emissions at procurement stage

Shippers have been offered a “toolbox” to help them gauge and reduce transport emissions in the freight procurement stage – sending “a message” to the transport industry.

Smart Freight Centre and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have released guidelines to help freight buyers reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains. 

Transporting goods around the world generates 8% of global CO2, but most shippers depend on their freight transport providers to cut emissions.  

Source: The Loadstar


Chinese exporters get a taste of the misery to come 

An unexpected contraction in China’s exports during August is the clearest signal yet that the worst of the trade war damage is still to come.

Shipments of Chinese goods are expected to weaken further as the U.S. implements new tariffs and as global demand remains soft. Compounding the pain is an expectation that the front-loading of orders — buying toys now, for example, to avoid the imposition of levies in December — will only exacerbate the downturn when that effect wears off.

Source: American Journal of Transportation


IMO to act on bulk cargo liquefaction training and container lashing

A new IMO Model Course on Safe Handling and Transport of Solid Bulk Cargoes is expected to be validated by IMO's Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers when it meets this week (CCC 6, 9-13 September). 

The course will focus on the mandatory measures for handling and transport of solid bulk cargoes outlined in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code. The course will cover all solid bulk cargoes, including those which may liquefy when moisture limits are reached and cause instability of the ship. These cargoes require that particular attention is paid to testing and recording moisture limits before loading. 

Source: The Maritime Executive


Some respite for operators as EU extends transport links after Brexit

The possibly of a brief respite presented itself to logistics operators preparing for Brexit as the UK government announced a further £2bn in funding and the EU extended access to the market after the UK leaves.

During a spending review, in which chancellor Sajid Javid declared “an end to austerity”, he pledged the £2bn fund for Brexit delivery, with head of policy at the FTA Heidi Skinner welcoming the cash.

“The logistics industry is acutely aware of the need for government to support UK transport infrastructure, particularly at a time of such uncertainty for British business,” she said.

Source: The Loadstar


Joint US-Mexican truck inspections speed up agricultural trade at Texas border crossing

Officials in Mexico and the United States are discussing expanding a joint pilot inspection program aimed at reducing wait times for agricultural products at the border

The program has already been implemented at Port Laredo’s Colombia Solidarity International Bridge, where wait times have been reduced by an average of 3.5 hours, according to a release from Mexico’s Department of National Service of Health, Safety and Agrifood Quality (SENASICA).

“The program consists of transports that have the American security certification of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), which cross Mexican customs without inspection, through the Free and Secure Trade (FAST), which allows the border crossing to decrease on average 3.5 hours,” according to the SENASICA release.

Source: Freight Waves