|.: 12-Oct-2019 :.
|Port of Los Angeles September imports fall as trade war roils shipping|
The Port of Los Angeles, the busiest for ocean trade with China, processed fewer containers of imported goods in September as the prolonged U.S.-China trade war whipsaws global supply chains.
Imports fell 2.9% to 402,320 TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, in September - the first decline at the Port of Los Angeles since February. Exports dropped 11% to 130,769 TEUs - the 11th consecutive monthly fall. TEU is a standardized maritime measurement for counting cargo containers.
The "U.S.-China trade war continues to wreak havoc on American exporters and manufacturers," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, who added that he expects to see softer volumes in the fourth quarter.
Imports surged at the Port of Los Angeles and other major U.S. seaports in August after importers rushed in goods to avoid new 15% U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made consumer goods such as surfboards, smart watches, flat-screen TVs and shoes that started on Sept. 1.
More trade swings are expected as the list of tariff-targeted goods is expanded on Dec. 15 to cover about $300 billion in imports. In addition, 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports already imposed over the past year are set to rise to 30% on Oct. 15.
The Global Port Tracker from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates estimates that imports at major U.S. ports rose 1.6 percent in September. It is forecasting a 5.1% drop for October, an 8.9% jump in November and a 9.3% decline for December, when ports traditionally see a falloff because most holiday merchandise has already arrived.
"The strength of retail consumption will push any meaningful slowdown in imports into next year, when the full impact of the tariff wars will be translated into a consumption tax felt by consumers," Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said.
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|No rate adjustment in Hamburg port dues - HPA s strong signal to shipping|
Next year Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) will be making no adjustments to port dues levied for use of the Port of Hamburg by seagoing, inland or port vessels. In recent years, changes for seagoing ships were already below the inflation rate. Following various innovations and adjustments, continuity in tariff development will also be the aim in the inland and port shipping segment.
"Matching the start of work on fairway adjustment this year, by foregoing any changes in dues, the Port of Hamburg is sending a strong signal to our partners in shipping," says Jens Meier, CEO of HPA. "As Germany s largest universal port, Hamburg is clearly set for growth. With the stability of our rates, we are conveying a signal for Hamburg s future as a logistics hub."
In addition, any structural changes in port dues should promote more sustainability. Following many years of consultations with other ports, in 2020 evaluation of noise levels from seagoing ships will become possible. Vessels that are especially quiet will be granted a rebate on top of existing environmental incentives. This will be implemented as an element in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) , or ESI noise environmental incentive system. With well over 7,000 vessels and almost 60 ports participating, and HPA playing a major part in developing it, ESI air has already become established worldwide. Against the background of the trend in ship sizes, a moderate increase has been made in the cap limit.
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|Thailand and India to enhance digital links - OpenGov Asia|
Leaders from Thailand and India recently met to discuss ways to enhance physical and digital connectivity between them as well as identifying areas for cooperation in fields such as agriculture, science and technology, and information technology.
The issues were discussed in the 8th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India s External Affairs Minister and his Thai counterpart.
The Ministers had a restricted bilateral meeting, which was followed by delegation-level talks. During the meetings, both sides reviewed the progress made in all areas of the bilateral relationship, including political, defence and security, economic and commercial, connectivity, cultural, tourism and people-to-people ties.
Both sides noted that India and Thailand are close maritime neighbours having historical and cultural linkages. In the contemporary context, India s "Act East" policy is complemented by Thailand s "Look West" policy.
During the meeting, both sides noted that bilateral trade has grown by 20 percent last year and the investment is also growing.
Both sides decided to hold the next meeting of the Joint Trade Committee to discuss ways and means to enhance trade and investment.
The Ministers also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity as well as identified areas for cooperation in the field of agriculture, science and technology, space, human resource development, capacity building, information technology.
They also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest, including cooperation in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), UN and other sub-regional and international organizations.
The understandings and decisions of the JCM were concluded in the form of Agreed Minutes of the Joint Commission, which were signed by the two Ministers.
Both Ministers also witnessed the signing of MOU between the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of India s Ministry of External Affairs and the Devawongse Varopakarn Institute of Foreign Affairs of Thailandís Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Leveraging tech to boost ties
According to an earlier OpenGov Asia report, the Thailand India Business Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a networking platform for SMEs to establish a customized platform - the Thailand India GlobalLinker.
This platform aims to facilitate networking between Indian and Thai SMEs digitally along with enabling them to connect with other GlobalLinker members in Asia for new trade deals.
The MoU will help in getting Indian SMEs to network with the SMEs and industry bodies of Thailand and make more opportunities for themselves in Thailand.
It will help SMEs to make a corridor to get new trade in sectors such as rubberwood, rubber tyres, tapioca, construction and cosmetics, the Co-founder and CEO of this firm stated.
A new corridor between India and Thailand will be created to connect SMEs, to enable them to strike new trade deals and is estimated to bring more than 40,000 SMEs from Thailand and India onto the platform.
Recent data shows that trade between the two nations has grown at least 60 percent since 2016. Thailand is an investment-friendly destination and encourages opportunities from SMEs across sectors, around 25,000 SMEs are going to be benefitted from the partnership.
As Thailand works to push forward Thailand 4.0, international cooperation with other Southeast Asian nations will be imperative.
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|DFDS Takes Delivery of Third Chinese-Built RoRo|
Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS has taken delivery of the third of six roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ferries being built by Jinling Shipyard in China.
The vessel was officially delivered on October 9, a little less than a year after construction works on the vessel started in November 2018.
The yet-to-be-named vessel started sea trials in August this year.
The first in the series of mega freight ferries was delivered in February this year, while the second was delivered in early May. The two units are the largest freight ferries in the DFDS fleet.
Construction of the fourth unit started with a keel-laying ceremony in March this year.
In 2018, DFDS acquired U.N. Ro-Ro, Turkey s largest operator of freight routes, to better use opportunities from the fast-growing transport market between Turkey and the EU. In addition, the company decided to expand both port terminal and route capacities in order to accommodate the volume increase of around 30 percent in the Mediterranean. DFDS is also increasing vessel capacity by allocating further ships to this market.
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|Fincantieri: First Steel Cut for Cunard s Next-Generation Cruise Ship|
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri cut the first steel today for Cunard s newest ship.
The ceremony at Fincantieri s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard marked the construction start of the 249th ship in the British cruise line s fleet.
"After years of planning and design, we are delighted to see building works commence on our newest ship. The 249th Cunarder will be our fourth luxury liner for the 21st century," Simon Palethorpe, President of Cunard, commented on the occasion.
Scheduled for delivery in 2022, the yet-unnamed ship will be the second-largest ship to fly the Cunard flag. With a gross tonnage of 113,000 tons, it will be able to accommodate 3,000 passengers.
The first section of the ship is under construction at the abovementioned yard. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard s Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.
Based in Southampton, Cunard, part of Carnival Corporation, will celebrate 180 years of operation in 2020. The company operates three ships - Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria - which provide sailings in Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia.
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|Spain: Cruise Ship Passenger Dies after Falling Overboard|
Spanish authorities recovered a body of a cruise ship passenger in the Gulf of Cadiz today, NATO said.
The person was reported missing from an Italian cruise ship sailing off the coast of Spain.
Although the cruise ship has not been identified, German cruise ship website Schiffe und Kreuzfahrten reported that the vessel in question is Costa Pacifica operated by Italian Costa Cruises.
The passenger reportedly fell from the ship s deck 8 in the evening hours of October 10.
After receiving a "man overboard" mayday call, NATO Maritime Forces ships rerouted to assist the search and rescue operations. NATO units included the US, Norwegian, Belgian and Dutch naval vessels.
Additional units assisting in the search were the Spanish search and rescue tug Maria Zambrano, a French maritime patrol aircraft, and a Spanish search and rescue helicopter.
Further details on the incident are yet to be provided.
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