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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Supply Chain News

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US Trade Deficit Reaches Record High

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a record high in March amid roaring domestic demand, which is drawing in imports, and the gap could widen further as the nation's economic activity rebounds faster than its global rivals.Manufacturers lack the capacity to satisfy the surge in demand because of resource constraints and bottlenecks in the supply chain. Inventories are very lean. Demand is being driven by a rapidly improving public health situation and massive government aid to households…

(Photo: DP World)

DP World Launches Wholesale E-commerce Platform

DP World, best known for operating ports around the world, has launched a wholesale e-commerce website that it hopes will become the global platform for businesses to buy and sell goods.The platform, Dubuy, aims to connect buyers and sellers around the world with goods offered for delivery via the supply chain of DP World and its logistics partners.Dubuy is already live in Rwanda and will soon be expanded to some east African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, before being rolled out across the continent.It will also be launched in markets outside Africa."We are multimodal.

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MSC Rolls Out Electronic Bill of Lading Globally

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is introducing the electronic bill of lading (eBL) for its customers globally following a successful pilot phase of the independent blockchain platform.The eBL enables shippers and other supply chain stakeholders to receive and transmit the bill of lading document electronically, without any change or disruption to day-to-day business operations, potentially saving the industry billions of dollars, the Swiss-headquartered container shipping giant…

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Maersk Lifts Outlook on Surging Demand

Shipping group Maersk lifted its full-year forecasts after a strong first-quarter performance driven by high demand which has led to supply bottlenecks and higher freight rates.Shares in Maersk rose 5% in early trading.Maersk raised its outlook for underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to $13-15 billion from $8.5-10.5 billion.It expects underlying EBIT of $9-11 billion, up from 4.3-6.3 billion previously, Maersk said in a statement released late Monday."The continued strong performance is mainly driven by the continuation of the exceptional market s

Photo courtesy RUSCON Group

Russian Transport, Logistics Group Opens Dutch Hub

The RUSCON Group, a Russian container cargo transhipment and railway transportation service provider, has expanded its presence in Europe with the opening of new subsidiary in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The new Dutch company, Smartcontainer B.V. offers customized logistics services and solutions to help European shippers optimize supply chain operations and to improve the quality and speed transportation of the containers transit between Europe and Russian and the Eurasian market.“Our new company of Smartcontainer B.V.

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US FMC Eases Service Contract Filing Requirements

Shippers and carriers will soon have more flexibility in meeting service contract filing requirements as the result of a rule change approved by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) going into effect on June 2, 2021.The final rule amends existing regulations so ocean carriers will be able to file original service contracts with the commission up to 30-days after they go into effect. Current FMC regulations require the filing of initial service contracts with the FMC before…

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Panama Canal Delays Fee Increases

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced Tuesday that it will postpone increasing canal transit fees following calls from the shipping industry to reconsider the rate hikes amid a spate of global supply chain disruptions.The higher rates for the canal's transit reservation system were scheduled to take effect on Thursday but will now start on June 1, allowing the maritime industry more time to prepare for the adjusted booking fees, ACP said. The proposed changes represent a minimum cost increase per transit reservation of $20…

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Coverage for Suez Canal Supply and Trade Disruptions

The six-day blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given has resulted in numerous trade and supply chain disruptions for businesses that depend on timely shipments. At least 400 cargo ships were stuck and many forced to reroute. Businesses may be protected from lost profits and the costs of these interruptions and supply chain delays by insurance.Businesses that depend on the Suez Canal to deliver their cargo, commodities and products face billions of dollars of lost profits and damages.

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Ever Given Fiasco Illustrates Importance of the Shipping Container

Take a look around you.Perhaps you’re snacking on a banana, sipping some coffee or sitting in front of your computer and taking a break from work to read this article. Most likely, those goods—as well as your smartphone, refrigerator and virtually every other object in your home—were once loaded onto a large container in another country and traveled thousands of miles via ships crossing the ocean before ultimately arriving at your doorstep.Today, an estimated 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea…

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Future Prospects of Shipping COVID-19 Vaccines by Sea

The lucrative prospect of transporting COVID-19 vaccines by sea has intensified the spotlight on the maritime industry’s cold supply chain and its ability to carry high-value pharmaceuticals.At present, speed to market is critical to stemming the spread of the pandemic, so the vaccines are being shipped by air to international destinations. Delivering them by sea is a longer-term strategy; certainly, the present urgency would have to calm considerably before enough confidence could be built to support delivery times in weeks…

SC Ports reported an all-time container record for March. (Photo/SC Ports/English Purcell)

SC Ports Records Its Strongest Ever Monthly Volumes

South Carolina Ports handled the most cargo in its history in March, with the Port of Charleston handling record volumes as the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal begins operations.SC Ports reported an all-time container record for March, moving 248,796 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) across the Port of Charleston’s Wando Welch and North Charleston container terminals. This is up 34% year-over-year — a significant increase from last March.The previous container record was set in August 2019, with 233,110 TEUs handled at the port.

Commissioner Daniel B. Maffei has been sworn in as the Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. Photo courtesy FMC

President Biden Taps Maffei as Next FMC Chairman

Commissioner Daniel B. Maffei has been named Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, as appointed by President Joe Biden on March 29, 2021. Maffei is a sitting member of the FMC and replaces Michael A. Khouri in the role of Chairman.A native of New York, Maffei was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms. His previous professional experience includes serving in the Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration, and earlier in his career, working as a Capitol Hill aide and as a broadcast reporter.

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Port of Halifax Dives Into Data

A new project aims to leverage advanced AI and maritime enterprise software to enhance supply chain data for shipping at the Port of Halifax.BlueNode, which has developed an AI solution that optimizes maritime shipping, has partnered with Saab, the global port enterprise systems leader, for the Port Integration and Enhancement of Data (PIED) project, which will see BlueNode’s BNData application integrated with Saab’s maritime enterprise software to enhance and improve the data that the Halifax Port Authority generates and uses to operate one of Canada’s largest and busiest ports.

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How Shipping Ports Can Become More Sustainable

Marine shipping drives 90% of global trade, moving over 11 billion tonnes of containers, solid and liquid bulk cargo across the world’s seas annually. Almost all consumer products we buy — or the raw materials required to make them — arrive at Canadian ports via ship.Each year, Canadian port facilities handle about 340 million tonnes of goods, worth about $400 billion. Roughly 25% of Canadian exports and imports, by value, are transported by marine shipping.Despite their economic importance…

(Photo: BlackSky)

Suez Crisis Adds to Pandemic Supply Worries

A stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal threatens to make it even more difficult for European and U.S. retailers to keep products in stock during the coronavirus pandemic.The Suez Canal saga that began on Tuesday and could go on for weeks, is just the latest crisis to strike the global supply chain that was upended when coronavirus shutdowns spurred house-bound consumers to upgrade appliances, sofas, televisions and backyards.IKEA, the world’s largest furniture seller…

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OPINION: Blockchain can Revolutionize the Shipping & Logistics, but is it Ready?

The pandemic led to a disruption of the global sectors that also included the ocean trade. International trade witnessed an extensive impact on operations, causing a sharp decline in trade activities worldwide. Only a few technology-driven service providers managed to overcome some of the Export and Import industry's challenges during the pandemic. Interestingly, however, the exporters and importers' stumbling-blocks could have been handled efficiently if the entire ecosystem was backed by digital infrastructure.

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Suez Canal Blockage Adds Strain to Global Supply Chains

A stuck container vessel in the Suez Canal, which has blocked the flow of goods through the narrow channel, will add strain to global supply chains already stretched by rebounding economic activity and tight shipping container supplies, analysts said on Friday.The 400-metres long Ever Given container vessel has been stuck in the canal since Tuesday, suspending traffic of containers transporting goods, parts and equipment through the shortest sea link between Europe and Asia.The…

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Ever Given Grounding Causes Vessel Logjam In and Near the Suez Canal

Dozens of ships carrying everything from oil to consumer goods have been delayed by the grounding of a vessel in the Suez Canal, and companies may have to reroute cargoes around Africa if the blockage extends beyond 24 hours, shipping sources said.Efforts were underway on Wednesday to refloat the 400-meter, 224,000-tonne Ever Given, which got stranded on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm.Shipping sources say the grounding has disrupted regular voyages through the Canal…

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Stranded Suez Ship's Owner, Insurers Face Millions in Claims

The owner and insurers of one of the world's largest container ships stuck in the Suez Canal face claims totaling millions of dollars even if the ship is refloated quickly, industry sources said on Wednesday.The 400-metre, 224,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement, threatening to disrupt global shipments for days.GAC, a Dubai-based marine services company…

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Congestion at Brazil's Largest Port Leaves Traders Scrambling

Soy and sugar traders are fighting for room in Latin America’s largest port, rushing to secure loading slots as the slowest Brazilian soy harvest in 10 years pushes the grains export window into the sugar season.Congestion was hitting Brazil’s Santos port just as consumers worldwide have been turning to top exporter Brazil for sugar and soybean supplies. The glut of shipments waiting to leave is boosting transport costs and will likely delay arrivals at destinations.Sugar prices hit a four-year high late last month, boosted by supply tightness.

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Seafarer Vaccination Conundrum a 'Legal Minefield', ICS Says

Seafarers' lack of access to vaccinations is placing shipping in a "legal minefield", while leaving global supply chains vulnerable, warns the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).The organization is planning to circulate a legal document to the global shipping community later this week highlighting its concerns following reports that some states may require crews to be vaccinated in order to enter their portsComplicating matters even further, it's expected developing nations will not achieve mass immunization until 2024…

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JAXPORT Bringing More Jobs to Florida

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) in Northeast Florida and Volusia County in Central Florida have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a working relationship to promote each other’s geographical and business advantages. The goal of the partnership is to attract more global businesses to Volusia County, bring more Florida-bound cargo through JAXPORT and create high-wage jobs for Florida.Under the agreement, JAXPORT and Volusia County will work together to attract new distribution…

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Hapag-Lloyd Avoids Forecast Due to Coronavirus Uncertainty

German container shipper Hapag-Lloyd said on Thursday it almost tripled its net result in 2020 due to lower costs and higher freight rates, but shied away from specifying 2021 results due to uncertainty in the coronavirus crisis.The net result in 2020 amounted to 935 million euros ($1.12 billion) compared with 373 million euros in 2019 after revenue rose 3% and freight rates increased 4%, it said in a statement.Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s fifth largest container line, expected to…

(Photo: DP World)

DP World Optimistic for 2021 Amid Pent-up Demand

Ports operator DP World gave an optimistic outlook for 2021 on Thursday, citing pent-up demand for cargo and an easing of geopolitical tensions after the change of U.S. administration.Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who is chairman and chief executive of the Dubai state-owned global ports operator, said that demand and supply chain capabilities had also improved as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.“You are always cautious ... (but) the outlook this year looks good for many reasons…

Steel imports at Port of Middlesbrough - the vessel MV Blue Tune. (Photo: Port of Middlesbrough)

Teesside Family Businesses Secure Home-win for the River Tees

Three Teesside family firms have worked together to secure a post Brexit shipping deal, keeping business in the region and supporting the growth of Middlesbrough’s port facilities.Shipping companies Casper Shipping and Cockfield Knight, along with AV Dawson, owner and operator of Port of Middlesbrough, have collaborated to provide a complete local supply chain solution to help a major U.K. steel stockholder import steel into Teesside.Casper Shipping secured a vessel on a long-term charter to deliver a broader, more competitive logistics offering to its clients.

Dr. Anish Shah (Photo: MLL)

Mahindra Logistics Names Anish Shah as Chairman

Mahindra Logistics Limited (MLL), a provider of logistics and people transport services, announced the appointment of Dr. Anish Shah as the chairman of the board, effective April 2. Dr. Shah will join the company's board of directors on the same date. He is the deputy managing director and group CFO of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Limited. He is designated to take over as the managing director and CEO of M&M Limited from April 2.VS Parthasarathy, president - Mobility Services Sector and member of the Mahindra Group executive board…