What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 39

Managing evolving shipper relationships

Only one thing is certain in today’s global supply chain: uncertainty. Rising political unrest, increased frequency of natural disasters, financial-market fluctuations and labor disputes are just a few of the myriad challenges that continue to plague companies in defining long-term supply chain strategies, including who to partner with and how to engage.

Source: Inside Supply Management Weekly


Japan, South Korea trade war escalates with supply chains caught in the middle

While the issue of Nippon Steel's compensation plays out in international courts, firms importing and exporting goods between the two countries have begun to feel the strain in the form of additional bureaucratic legwork and delays. 

Import-export processes, which previously took five days, could now take as many as 15, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Shipping sector sets course for zero carbon

Leading ports, banks, oil and shipping companies on Monday launched an initiative which aims to have ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions on the high seas by 2030, in another step by the maritime sector to reduce CO2.

International shipping accounts for 2.2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the U.N.'s International Maritime Organization (IMO), has a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Source: Marine Link


China gives new waivers for tariff-free US soy purchases

The Chinese government has given new waivers to several domestic state and private companies to buy U.S. soybeans without being subject to retaliatory tariffs, according to people familiar with the situation.

The companies received waivers for between 2 million to 3 million tons, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Some firms already bought at least 20 cargoes, or about 1.2 million tons, from the U.S. Pacific Northwest on Monday, the people said.

Source: American Journal of Transportation


Vietnam buckles to Trump's pressure to cut trade surplus

Vietnam’s campaign to tamp down the Trump administration’s trade gap ire has come to a coastal commune better known for growing dragon fruit along one-lane potholed roads.

The community could soon be home to a $5 billion liquefied natural gas project that would include an import terminal and gas-fired power plant and eventually import billions of dollars of U.S. fuel into the country. It’s being fast-tracked with the blessing of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as part of a push to buy American products in Vietnam, where the Communist government has embarked on a crash course in modern U.S. politics.

Source: American Journal of Transportation

Singapore, Panama to strengthen maritime relations

Singapore and Panama have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their maritime relations.

Under the MoU, the maritime authorities of Panama and Singapore will cooperate on maritime matters including the promotion of the use and acceptance of ship’s electronic certificates to facilitate port state inspections, the exercise of port state control (PSC) inspections by both countries, as well as personnel exchange.

Source: World Maritime News


US west coast ports warn Trump of negative effects of trade war with China

The six largest US West Coast ports have sent a letter to President Donald Trump sharing their concerns about the impacts of the trade war between the US and China.

The Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Oakland, Port of Portland, Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma said the long-term implications of the escalating trade conflict “will create irredeemable economic harm to employers, workers, residents and international partnerships along the West Coast and throughout the entire country.”

Source: World Maritime News


Port of Long Beach offers incentives to attract more container cargo

A year after neighboring Port of Los Angeles launched a similar program, the Port of Long Beach seeks to stabilize volumes and reward customers growing volumes faster than the trans-Pacific trade.

The Port of Long Beach is instituting an incentive program to attract more containerized cargo through its terminals, a year after the Port of Los Angeles launched a similar program.

Source: Freight Waves