What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 46

West Coast imports plunge as tariffs hit consumer goods

Loaded inbound shipments fell 14.1% in October at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
Seaborne imports into the largest U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific goods plummeted last month in the latest sign of volatility in supply chains from the U.S.-China trade war.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handled 120,077 fewer loaded inbound containers in October than a year ago, a 14.1% drop, according to figures released by the neighboring Southern California ports.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


US forwarders want clarity on new CBP electronic air cargo manifest rules

The US Airforwarders’ Association has expressed concern over plans by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to make forwarders file electronic air-cargo manifests in advance of flights.

There has been little take-up by forwarders of a pilot project in which they would file house and air waybill details directly to CBP and then tell carriers they have done so.

Source: The Loadstar


As trade war continues, pharma companies prepare for alternatives

The trade standoff between the U.S. and China has yet to seriously impact the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. But as neither side shows signs of backing down, and tariffs continue to be levied on virtually every segment, those sectors are preparing for a major supply-chain disruption.

The most recent round, in which a new tranche of tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports is threatened, will include nearly all products from China not currently subject to tariffs. There are likely to still be a few exclusions, including pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical inputs, and some medical goods.

Source: Supply Chain Brain


A greener supply chain

Much has been written about the recent US-based Business Roundtable event, where 181 CEOs announced their commitment “to lead for the benefit of all stakeholders,” not just shareholders. The implications will ripple through boardrooms around the country, as the event redefined the purpose of a corporation as one that serves — equally — shareholders, communities and suppliers, among others. As expressed by attendees, this means that traditional practices must be measured against the impact on others, with corporate social responsibility elevated to executive decision making (and not simply promoted in one’s press release materials).

Source: Inbound Logistics


IMO releases harmonized data structure

The IMO has made its compendium of data structures available as a tool for software developers to create systems for exchanging data electronically.

The aim is to facilitate the streamlining of the many administrative procedures necessary when ships enter or leave port.

The IMO Compendium is a reference manual containing data sets and the structure and relationships between them that will enable IMO Member States to harmonize the information needed to fulfil the mandatory obligation (in place since April 2019 through the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) Convention) for the reporting formalities for ships, cargo and people on board international shipping. 

Source: The Maritime Executive

‘Lose-lose’ trade war threatens 1.5 million jobs, $186 billion in economic activity, new study shows

Despite protestations from the Trump administration, the two-year tariff war with China may be having unintended negative consequences on freight haulers and the U.S. economy.   

A new study conducted for the Port of Los Angeles shows tariffs threaten nearly 1.5 million U.S. jobs and more than $186 billion of economic activity nationwide. The study entitled “By the Numbers: Jeopardizing the National Benefits of Trade through America’s Busiest Port Complex,” shows how many jobs and how much sales, income and taxes are at risk for every state (and every congressional district) due to tariffs inaugurated by the Trump administration last year. BST Associates, an independent economic consulting firm, conducted the study for the Port of Los Angeles. The report analyzes the impact of tariffs on trade through the San Pedro Bay ports for 2018, the most recent full year of data available.

Source: Supply Chain 24/7