Global Aperture As the economic outlook leading up to the holiday had suggested, Lunar…
IATA’s data recap of October air cargo performance is attributed to euphemistic “headwinds affecting air cargo demand.”
“Headaches” seems more appropriate. Trade experts allege that US consumers will “largely determine the success of the airfreight industry,” an outlook extrapolated from holiday shopping in the previous week. This contrasts sharply with monthly consumer spending reports from other developed nations such as Germany, Japan, Australia, and Canada.
But gloomy market weather can only rock the boat; not capsize it. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently published its 2022 Review of Maritime Transport with some grounding data points, and a reminder from the agency’s Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan that “we must not lose sight of the actions needed to prepare for the long-term development of the sector.”
Oil tankers spurn Russian exports now that EU sanctions are in effect, but a new trade corridor in the Caspian Sea will bring the Eurasian nation more commercial opportunities with Iranian shippers. The US and Singapore coordinate on a new transpacific trade lane for low/zero-carbon vessels, and India is giving major consideration to subsidize its shipbuilding industry.
The US President signed an emergency bill on December 2 to codify labor contracts established between rail providers and union workers in September. Some rail unions may yet coordinate a strike—to potentially start on December 9—if a consensus cannot be reached in time. As a contingency measure, automotive and electronics giants have pre-emptively rerouted critical semiconductor components via truck.
West Coast maritime hubs have a bit more leeway with their labor negotiations—the new contract will be finalized by February 2023, according to Los Angeles Port’s chief. Gulf Coast shippers breathe a sigh of relief as Houston postpones the December 1 enforcement of its Import Container Dwell Fee due to implementation delays from the port’s external software developer. FMC approves plan for the construction of a shared South Atlantic Chassis Pool (SACP 3.0)—set to premiere in October 2023.
American Airlines preps over 500 transatlantic services for December, and Chinese carrier Eastern Airlines has requested the US DOT to approve a New York-Shanghai connection as soon as possible.
Empty containers have been piling up in Chinese ports. Truckers in South Korea blockade Busan and Gwangyang ports for six days and counting. Dockworkers launched an indefinite strike at Chittagong Port on November 27. Is port congestion in the Asia-Pacific beneficial for Saint Petersburg? Affected shippers say it’s just bad for business.
Europe, Middle East & Africa
Cargo shipping will be officially phased into the EU’s carbon market in 2024—vessels will be required to purchase permits for 40% of CO2 emissions, with annual 30% increments until 2026. Ukrainian grain flows eased considerably during the first full week of the renewed Black Sea safe passage agreement. DP World launches a domestic intermodal service connecting London Gateway and Southampton.