What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 45

How the trade war and a changing China are roiling world shipping

The trade war and China’s economic shift made 2018 a tough year for global shipping and will continue to reverberate through the industry, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Maritime shipping volumes grew just 2.7% to 11 billion tons last year, UNCTAD said in its annual review of the maritime industry, less than a 4.1% expansion the year before. The slowdown was broad-based with geopolitical turmoil, recessions in some emerging markets and Brexit also playing a role. Volumes are expected to grow by 2.6% in 2019.

Source: Supply Chain Brain / Bloomberg

Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd set fuel fees for shippers ahead of IMO 2020

Maersk's Environmental Fuel Fee was announced in September, but the shipping company informed customers of the tariff levels late last month, a spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive in an email. The surcharge covers all spot business and contracts that are three months or shorter, the company said.

The exact level of these fees is "being shared directly with the customers only," the spokesperson said.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


Logistics hiring growth slows on industrial weakness

Truckers edged back into hiring mode last month as overall logistics-sector job growth remained muted ahead of the holiday peak.

Trucking company payrolls grew by 1,300 jobs in October, ending a three-month stretch of job losses, according to preliminary employment figures the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday. The trucking industry added 11,000 jobs between October 2018 and October 2019, the slowest rate of annual growth in nearly two and a half years, as carriers contend with weakening freight demand and a slow start to the fall shipping period.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Xi calls for open world economy

China's President Xi Jinping gave an address during the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on Tuesday, calling for an open world economy.

“Distances between countries are getting shorter, and interactions among countries are growing, hence the probability of differences and frictions,” he said. “We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism. We need to continually bring down trade barriers, optimize global value and supply chains, and jointly foster market demand.”

Source: The Maritime Executive

Decision not to install scrubbers could prove expensive for ONE

Ocean Network Express (ONE) could “pay the price” for not investing in scrubber technology.

According to Alphaliner, the carrier will be more exposed than its rivals to the higher cost of low-sulphur fuel.

The consultant said the Japanese carrier was the only one of the top 10-ranked carriers that will have no ships equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) that allow a vessel to continue to consume cheaper HFO [heavy fuel oil] after the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap becomes law on 1 January.

Source: The Loadstar 


Airports can play a bigger role in supply chains, but must address congestion

Airports are claiming they have taken a more central role in the supply chain – but their customers say congestion problems still need to be fixed.

“The role of airports in the supply chain has changed completely,” said Gustavo Figueiredo, chief executive of Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport in Brazil (GRU). “We are more than a an airport now.

“We have information in real time, the capability to integrate shipments from different parts of the world and cargo consolidation. We’ve made it possible to clear the goods as fast as we can.”

Source: The Loadstar