Global Aperture As the economic outlook leading up to the holiday had suggested, Lunar…
After nearly three years of disruptions, industry leaders are moving on a new slogan: out with the old; in with the new.
Global shipping lines start pruning near-obsolete vessels for scrap and ordering boxships powered by alternative fuels to comply with decarbonization initiatives. New proof of insurance measures in Turkey choke about 20 million barrels of crude oil traveling through the Bosphorus Strait while EU sanctions and a G7-enforced price cap hold down Russian exports.
China stacks over 1 trillion yuan in domestic incentives for chipmakers and files a complaint to the World Trade Organization on US semiconductor export controls levied in October, with Japan and Netherlands rumored to follow suit in the coming weeks.
The railroad unions didn’t strike on December 9 as some feared. West Coast ports may never hear the end of it from port analysts while East Coast leader Savannah opts to convert its breakbulk terminal for containerized operations and New Orleans sets up a joint partnership to construct a new $1.8 billion container terminal. Construction of new battery plant in South Carolina may start by early 2023, adding to the formation of a ‘battery belt’ across the US Southeast—partly incentivized by the Inflation Reduction Act.
US and Mexico officials may consider diverting cargo traffic away from the El Paso border to accommodate the latest influx of immigrants.
China relaxes lockdown measures for seafarers and port workers; Hong Kong lifts traveler restrictions and cross-border detours, and domestic travel is back. A lone carrier restricts feeder service to several ports in Southern China, but air connections to Japan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Malaysia have resumed—a new Hong Kong charter to Sydney underscores 50 years of diplomacy and trade with Australia.
Korea’s cargo trucker strike finally ends by vote on December 9; though unable to extend its Safe Trucking Freight Rates System per initial demands, government officials will work with union leaders to improve working conditions.
In India, construction of a new port in Vizhingam, Kerala is expedited following the end of a four-month protest by local residents.
Europe, Middle East & Africa
More cargo vessels in Europe-Asia trade lanes are taking detours through the Cape of Good Hope to avoid Suez Canal fees, increasing transit distances by around 3,500 nautical miles. New service connections are introduced to connect Saudi Arabia’s Dammam Port with Dubai and India, and Estonia prepares to ban the transport of Russian and Belarusian cargo by January 1, 2023 via state-owned rail company Operail.
Felixstowe Port avoids another work stoppage with a new pay deal that increases dockworker wages by 8.5% in 2023. But much of the UK is still at risk of strike action, with nurses and Border Force workers scheduled for late-December walkouts. Spain and France will also have to wade through similar disruptions into 2023.