Wednesday, January 16, 2019
An initial flight, carrying five tonnes of dried fruit, was flown by Turkish Airlines to London, following similar routes carrying dried fruit and other products to India and China, where an inaugural cargo of pine nuts was sent in November, reported Reuters.The new air corridor follows the opening last month of the Lapis Lazuli corridor, a road, rail and sea route from western Afghanistan to Turkey and Europe, part of President Ashraf Ghani's drive to strengthen Afghanistan's trade connections."The air corridor has been one of the effective programmes of the national unity government for export development," said deputy commerce and industry minister Zohoruddin Shirzada. "Given that Afghanistan is a landlocked country, we must have alternatives," he said.Mazar-i-Sharif is one of Afghanistan's most prosperous and economically powerful cities, already a major business hub due to its proximity to the Hairatan border crossing into Uzbekistan.Afghan officials say the air corridor programme, aimed at opening up an alternative to the land route from the Pakistani port of Karachi, has carried exports of US$100 million since it opened up in 2017.
The cargo and mail load factor in December fell by 4.2 percentage points to 67.7 per cent. Capacity measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres (AFTKs) remained unchanged while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) decreased by 5.9 per cent year on year.For the whole of 2018, tonnage increased by 4.7 per cent to 2.15 million tonnes against a 2.6 per cent increase in capacity and a 4.2 per cent increase in RTKs, a statement from Cathay said.Cathay Pacific Director Commercial and Cargo Ronald Lam said: "Turning to cargo, we finished the year-end peak with strong movements of cargo in the weeks leading up to Christmas and demand slowed down towards the end of the month. Uncertainty remains in the coming months regarding the trade situation between China and the United States."The group's airlines carried a total of 3.10 million passengers in December - an increase of 1.8 per cent compared to the same month last year.The passenger load factor decreased 0.8 percentage points to 83.8 per cent, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 5.8 per cent.In 2018, the number of passenger carried increased by 1.9 per cent to 35.47 million while capacity rose by 3.5 per cent."Business Class demand remained strong during December, with premium leisure traffic over the holiday period being a key driver. We also saw improved yield in Economy Class, especially on our popular regional routes to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines," Mr Lam said.
Last year, HKIA saw cargo volumes increased by 1.5 per cent after becoming the first airport to handle more than 5 million tonnes the year before.However, while it was another year of growth for cargo at Hong Kong, the level of improvement slowed from 2017's 9.2 per cent increase, reflecting a general market slowdown.Freighter flight movements for the year were also up, increasing by 2 per cent to 57,670. Passenger numbers and flight movement also improved on 2017 levels.Chief Executive of Airport Authority Hong Kong, Fred Lam, said: "It's gratifying to see HKIA scale new heights in 2018 on all three air traffic categories, attesting to the dedication, resilience and contribution of our 73,000 airport community members."In December, cargo throughput was down by 5.2 per cent year on year which the airport said came "amid the uncertain global economic situation".Among the key trading regions, traffic to/from Europe and Southeast Asia decreased most significantly in the month, reports London's Air Cargo News.
Thirty-eight-year-old Dr Rothkopf will start his new job on July 1. He has been a partner at consultant McKinsey & Company since 2014, a member of its global travel, transport and logistics leadership team, after joining the firm in 2005.As an executive board member at Hapag-Lloyd, he will assume responsibility for the global shipping business and advance the implementation of the company's "Strategy 2023".Chairman Michael Behrendt said: "With Maximilian Rothkopf, we are bringing on board a proven and internationally experienced logistics expert who is familiar with Hapag-Lloyd and has already given the company much strategic advice during his time as a consultant in the past three years. We are very much looking forward to working with him."At the same time, we would like to sincerely thank Anthony Firmin for his enormous commitment. For more than two decades, he has contributed to the company's success, such as with his invaluable efforts to implement two mergers and the IPO during his five years as a member of the executive board."The other members of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG are Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rolf Habben Jansen, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nicolas Burr and Chief Personnel and Global Procurement Officer (CPO) Joachim Schlotfeldt, reports UK's The Loadstar.
The new technology aims to provide retailers with a seamless connection between the front-end and back-end on a global scale, the logistics giant said.Being available through Magento Marketplace, the extension delivers a convenient and cost-efficient way to connect web shops and warehousing services.The partnership evolved from increasing customer demand for web-shop order tracking. The offered solution includes all related warehousing activities, especially pick and pack, and delivery status updates along the entire supply chain."At DB Schenker we are actively investing in new products and channels," said Schenker AG CEO Jochen Thewes. "I fully believe that our new solution will help significantly improve our customers' e-commerce business."Customers will be able to use DB Schenker's network of shared facilities to enable "best-in-class e-commerce order fulfilment. As a strategic partner, Magento will provide merchants with a flexible shopping cart system based on open source technology," it said."We are pleased to welcome DB Schenker as our newest global logistics partner and look forward to helping our joint merchants achieve a smooth end to end e-commerce experience," added Magento Commerce business development head Ryan Murden.
The pair of ships are among six new vessels that the company is putting into service. Four of the new box ships, including the Tropic Hope and Tropic Island, are carib class vessels, which are 160 metres in length with 1,100 TEU capacity including 270 reefer plugs, serving ports in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Palm Beach, Florida, Puerto Rico, the eastern Caribbean and the Virgin Islands.The other two new vessels are smaller mini express class and will carry up to 300 TEU. They can deliver cargo in ports as shallow as 12 feet and will serve Providenciales, Marsh Harbour, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic, reported American Journal of Transportation."Tropical Shipping has been and continues to be the leader in ocean transportation to the Caribbean. Tropical develops and maintains outstanding relationships with our customers and provides them unmatched on time reliability and fast, purpose built, versatile ships," said vice president commercial & trades Tim Martin.Halterm maintains a basic workforce of 140 longshoremen and has strengthened its operational capabilities and its handling capacity to meet its commitments to Tropical Shipping around the carrier's delivery of the larger capacity vessels.
"One out of three refrigerated containers used in global perishable transportation uses Star Cool container technology manufactured by MCI," said Maersk Container Industry (MCI).Last November MCI announced it would start offering in 2019 a product called Sekstant that would relay information about reefer containers as they are in transit, reported American Shipper."With the recent launch of Sekstant Global Guidance solutions, the company is entering the IoT (Internet of Things) space, transforming reefer operations through the use of operational data," MCI added."MCI's strategy is to grow in cold chain where our Star Cool technology is a clear leader. This growth requires focused investment in the best products and services," said MCI Sean Fitzgerald."While the market for dry containers has been challenged and has been under enormous pressure for some time, reefer volumes continue to grow due to global demand for fresh produce and other commodities," Mr Fitzgerald said.However, Maersk closed a factory in Chile last summer dedicated to building refrigerated containers, just three years after opening it. MCI manufactures reefer containers and the Star Cool refrigeration units at its remaining factory in Qingdao, China.An industry expert estimated that a total of 275,000 TEU of reefer units were sold in 2018, up from 210,000 TEU in 2017, and 145,000 TEU in 2016 when production fell sharply from 270,000 TEU the prior year.
"The clean-up will likely take months," Dutch water authorities spokesman Edwin de Feijter was quoted as saying in a Reuters report. "The largest part of the debris has been located but there are still parts missing."Two salvage ships left the harbour at IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, on Friday night, heading towards a container north of the tiny Rottumerplaat island, which is barring access to an important shipping route between Germany and the Netherlands.Work was planned to start at midday on Saturday but rough weather looked set to delay the operation, Mr De Feijter said, adding that 238 objects had been identified in the water so far."Those objects are not all entire containers, they can also be part of the cargo lost from broken ones."Seventeen containers washed up on shore on the Dutch islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, with the debris of many others littering the islands' beaches.MSC said it had made significant progress on the Dutch islands, with a total of 1,220 tonnes of debris collected so far.Dutch authorities earlier said they would hold MSC liable for the cost of cleaning up the waters. Some 100 soldiers joined the clean-up operation last week, while local authorities and volunteers had already gathered up tonnes of waste from several kilometres of coastline.
"Looking ahead this year, I think the key words or catchwords in the international economic diplomacy or relationship would be talks rather than wars," said Lu Feng, director of the China Macroeconomic Research Centre at Peking University, during a recent panel discussion in New York.With a focus on US-China trade frictions, the event was jointly hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations and Peking University's China Centre for Economic Research.The China-US trade relations have seen twists and turns after Washington announced high tariffs on Chinese products worth hundreds of billions of US dollars in 2018.However, both sides have since engaged in extensive, in-depth exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern to promote mutual understanding and lay a foundation for addressing each other's concerns.The panelists noted that it's mutually beneficial for the United States and China to find common ground while voicing their differences.Beijing has always been willing to negotiate, so Washington should also feel the need to make a deal, Mr Lu said."The US economy is facing downward pressure. Nobody wants some external sort of negative impact from escalating the trade tensions, the trade deficits in the US actually increased rather than declined, which indicates tariff measures are not working in addressing the imbalances between these two countries," said Mr Lu.His views were widely shared by the panelists during the discussion.Global chief economist at Citi Group, Catherine Mann, emphasised the importance of mitigating the trade rifts between the world's two largest economies since there would be a vicious circle of damages.The collateral damages are not only in terms of the global supply chains, but "we have to recognise the collateral damage to the global economy through the sentiment," Ms Mann said.The damage to the global economy may also further weaken the underlying macroeconomic framework in both countries as well as the rest of the world, she added.Calling himself "an optimist," Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said if economic rationality prevails, there should be an agreement and "sooner is better.""I think both sides have very strong interests in coming to an agreement, we will see increasingly the evidence that tariffs are actually disadvantaging the US economy, reducing employment and slowing growth," said Mr Lardy.Former chairman of China Merchants Group and China Merchants Bank, Qin Xiao, also expressed optimism about the prospects for a possible US-China trade deal.As the interactions between the two sides are increasing, it is inevitable that the two economies become competitors. However, "even rivals can cooperate in the global arena, including on topics such as international peacekeeping, climate change, and anti-terrorism," Mr Qin said.
China's December exports unexpectedly fell 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, with demand in most of its major markets weakening. Imports also saw a shock drop, falling 7.6 per cent in their biggest decline since July 2016.Analysts had expected export growth to slow to 3 per cent with imports up 5 per cent in December.China exports to the US declined 3.5 per cent in December while its imports from the US were down 35.8 per cent for the month.The latest statistics also showed China posted its biggest trade surplus with the United States on record in 2018, which could prompt US President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their bitter trade dispute, reports Reuters.China's politically-sensitive surplus with the US widened by 17.2 per cent to US$323.32 billion last year, the highest on record going back to 2006, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data.China's total global exports rose 9.9 per cent in 2018, its strongest performance in seven years, while imports increased 15.8 per cent.But December's gloomy data, along with several months of falling factory orders, suggest a further weakening in its exports in the near term."Today's data reflect an end to export front-loading and the start of payback effects, while the global slowdown could also weigh on China's exports," Nomura economists wrote in a note, referring to a surge in shipments to the US over much of last year as companies rushed to beat further tariffs."The export growth print also suggests that the recent strength of the yuan might be short-lived; Beijing will perhaps be more eager to strike a trade deal with the US; and that policymakers will need to take more aggressive measures to stabilise GDP growth."Softening demand in China is being felt around the world, with slowing sales of goods from iPhones to automobiles, prompting warnings from the likes of Apple and from Jaguar Land Rover, which last week announced sweeping job cuts."A trade recession is likely, in our view," Raymond Yeung, chief economist at ANZ, said in a note, predicting a period of export contraction similar to 2015-16."The global electronics cycle remains the key driver of Chinese exports. A potential downturn in the sector poses the real risk to China's external outlook even if China and the US reach a resolution on their trade dispute."ING said a fall in electronic shipments could be related to foreign companies avoiding using China-made electronic components, adding that exports and imports of electronic parts and goods will likely shrink this year.Sources told Reuters last week that Beijing is planning to lower its economic growth target to 6-6.5 per cent this year after an expected 6.6 per cent in 2018, the slowest pace in 28 years.