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e-Flash No. 191 - 14 January 2019


2019 RAME Field Meeting Beirut, Lebanon Dates – June 24-26th 

We are happy to announce that the 2019 RAME Field Meeting will take place in Beirut, Lebanon from June 24-26th. This event will be hosted by our Lebanese Forwarders Syndicate which are well underway in preparing an engaging program for all delegates in attendance.  

More details and the agenda will follow in the coming months on the FIATA website and further communication will go out to members.

For more details, please visit: https://fiata.com/initiatives/fiata-congresses-hq-sessions.html



Shipping costs from China to the US have more than doubled as trade war sparks a ‘bonanza’

Freight prices for containers going from China to the U.S. have surged over 100 percent from a year ago as of the beginning of December, according to data from Freightos, an online freight marketplace.

The world’s two largest economies have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff fight in the last year, levying duties on each other’s imports worth hundreds of billions of US dollars in the last few months.

For more details, please visit: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/14/us-china-trade-war-container-shipping-freight-rates-jump.html

Freight forwarders cornered by high container deposits

Freight forwarders in the country have been pushed into a corner due to high container deposits imposed by international shipping lines. Seeking a lifeline to save their business, the Federation of Malay­sian Freight Forwarders is urging the government to intervene.

the shipping lines imposed the deposit in 2008 but had only requested RM100 to RM200 per container then. However, the amount was increased to RM1,000 to RM4,000 beginning this year. Currently, Malaysia and India are the only countries required to pay such a deposit.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/12/21/freight-forwarders-cornered-by-high-container-deposits/#mRZLicvccyiEr9Y1.99

Sri Lankan freight forwarders see margin pressure from liner consolidation

Consolidation among container shipping lines trying revive profitability is likely to squeeze profit margins of freight forwarders, especially smaller players, an industry official said.

“As freight forwarders, we get into long term contracts and need stability in rates which has been a challenge. Of course, margins have eroded. But we have not seen a challenge in sustaining the business we have,” Pathirana said.

For more details, please visit: https://economynext.com/Sri_Lankan_freight_forwarders_see_margin_pressure_from_liner_consolidation-3-12979-6.html



Disruption from Brexit and trade wars could mean uplift for air freight

The global air freight market is likely to benefit from a no-deal Brexit and from potential crises around the world this year.

While market uncertainty is expected to see fewer forward bookings in air freight, the potential chaos caused by Brexit, or a significant upturn in trade hostilities between the US and China (or anywhere else, for that matter), could see shippers flock to air to ensure timely deliveries.

For more details, please visit: https://theloadstar.co.uk/disruption-from-brexit-and-trade-wars-could-mean-uplift-for-air-freight/

Tough times for air freighters as fuel cost set to hit $200bn

The global airline fuel industry is projected to hit $200bn (Sh20.4 trillion) this year, accounting for about a quarter of operating expenses, according to a report released last month by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“In 2019 the fuel bill is forecast to be $200 billion, accounting for around 24.2 per cent of operating expenses at $65 (Sh6,630) per barrel of Brent, while the industry net profits are forecast to reach $35.5bn (Sh3.6trn).

For more details, please visit: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/corporate/shipping/Tough-times-for-air-freighters-as-fuel-cost-set-to-hit--200bn/4003122-4926616-jsr3n7/index.html



Shippers hit in the wallet by rising cost of inland UK container transport

UK shippers have entered 2019 facing significantly higher inland container transport pricing, as shipping lines look to recoup raised haulage and empty container repositioning costs. Sources told The Loadstar the cost of transporting a container from a deepsea gateway to the interior had risen 10-40%, with few opportunities to negotiate discounts.

“The price of a box going to the north-west of the UK from Felixstowe has gone up by about £200, and whereas rail used to be competitive versus road on price, it has now become more expensive,” one freight forwarder said.

For more details, please visit: https://theloadstar.co.uk/shippers-hit-in-the-wallet-by-rising-cost-of-inland-uk-container-transport/

Rail Freight Forward alliance to fight climate change

During the UN climate conference in Katowice, the Rail Freight Forward alliance of 14 European rail freight operators and four associations announced on December 14 a target of boosting rail’s market share from 18% to 30% by 2030. It suggests that this could save up to 290 million tonnes of CO2 in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.

RFF notes that freight transport is a key economic activity which accounts for 6% of European GDP, with more 19 billion tonnes of goods transported every year. Demand is projected to grow by around 30% over the next two decades, the equivalent of the total German transport sector today, which could put another million lorries a year on Europe’s roads.

For more details, please visit: https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/freight/single-view/view/rail-freight-forward-alliance-to-fight-climate-change.html



Singapore freight forwarder company not liable for trade mark

The Court of Appeal had dismissed two appeals by luxury brands Burberry and Louis Vuitton, against the decision of Justice George Wei in the High Court, holding Singapore freight forwarder Megastar Shipping Pte Ltd not liable for trade mark infringement in respect of two sealed containers containing counterfeit goods bearing the formers’ brand’s signs.

In March 2013, the two containers were shipped by Chinese companies from China to Singapore, with intended shipment to Batam, Indonesia. Megastar was approached by an Indonesian freight forwarder to arrange for the containers’ transshipment to Batam, and received packing lists and commercial invoices describing the contents of both containers.

For more details, please visit: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2019/01/09/singapore-freight-forwarder-company-not-liable-for-trade-mark-infringement-by-taking-consignments-of-counterfeit-goods-court-of-appeal-rules/

Read more on FIATA’s Position on IP here - https://fiata.com/uploads/media/FIATA_Position_Paper_-_Intellectual_Property_Rights_-_September_2010_01.pdf

Brexit and Customs Update

With regards to Customs and the export of goods, the Commission noted in its communication of 19 December that if the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified, all relevant EU legislation on imported goods and exported goods will apply as of the withdrawal date (29 March 2019).

Furthermore, the UK has communicated that it is set to remain in the Common Transit Convention (CTC) after Brexit. The CTC is used for moving goods between the EU member states, the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) as well as Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia.

For more details, please visit: https://bifa.org/news/articles/2019/jan/brexit-and-customs

Chinese Freight Firms Are Finding Ways Around Rising Tariffs

Freight companies in mainland China are openly offering tariff-dodging services to reduce the cost of rising tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by Washington as part of the Sino-U.S. trade war, RFA has learned.

Many say they are able to do this by transhipping, repackaging and providing goods with Malaysian documents before they make their final journey to U.S. ports.

For more details, please visit: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/chinese-freight-firms-12142018100108.html

E-freight and the e-AWB: How much longer can we wait for full implementation?

UK freight forwarder Gerry Burgin, with some 58 years in the air cargo business, is still passionate about airfreight digitalisation after more than two decades. Burgin is using his experience to call for widespread adoption of the electronic air waybill (e-AWB) as a first step in full digitalisation of the air cargo supply chain.

The progress since then has dragged on very slowly and even now uptake on agreed trade lanes has only just climbed to over 50%, mainly because of the multi-nationals' interest (in which I was very much involved as a consultant) and in certain areas of the world where use of e-AWB has been mandated and/or strictly encouraged.

For more details, please visit: https://www.aircargonews.net/news/single-view/news/e-freight-and-the-e-awb-how-much-longer-can-we-wait-for-full-implementation.html



BiTA appoints IEEE for standards

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), an organization dedicated to determining best practices and standards for blockchain in the transportation industry, announces that it is working with the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (ISTO) to assist the Alliance in its standards activities.

According to BiTA Chief of Staff Arlen Stark, “Given the pace at which the BiTA Standards Council [BiTAS] is expanding its activities, it needs an organization with the resources and bandwidth to accommodate the volume of Technical Committee and Working Group meetings that are planned.”

For more details, please visit: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/blockchain/bita-to-use-ieee-standards

Cargo.one takes aim at synchronised shipping

There are many examples of ideas coming about by chance -— from penicillin to Post-it Notes -— but the airfreight sector can now lay claim to having its own serendipitous discovery in the shape of cargo.one’s real-time online spot market booking platform.

The platform’s story begins when its founders were exploring new business ideas and found themselves in the office of a freight forwarder. While in the meeting, the forwarder received a request for a shipment and the cargo.one team witnessed the number hoops that needed to be jumped through as the individual tried to book space on an aircraft.

For more details, please visit: https://www.aircargonews.net/news/people/single-view/news/cargoone-takes-aim-at-synchronised-shipping.html

The “Internet of Shipping” is upon us

In early 2017, a container traveling from Shenzhen, China to a fulfillment center in Greenville, SC, disappeared. “It was a nightmare,” explained the center’s owner, John Monarch. No one knew where the container was. The forwarders were yelling at the transporters. Monarch was yelling at the forwarders. The client was yelling at Monarch.

Then, one day, the container magically appeared at the fulfillment center’s loading dock, along with a bill for demurrage. The container had been languishing at a Port for weeks. “We had no idea, because no one had ever communicated it to us,” said Monarch.

For more details, please visit: https://www.ajot.com/premium/ajot-the-internet-of-shipping-is-upon-us

Saudi Customs Pilots Shipment Tracking on the Blockchain

According to a report in RTT News, Saudi Customs is currently currently experimenting with tracking shipments on the blockchain. The project will link the Saudi customs officials’ existing shipment tracking platform, known as Fasah, to a blockchain-based one, powered by TradeLens.

Aiding the pilot will be the Saudi Arabian customs IT partner, Tabadul. The Riyadh-based firm has helped to integrate the Fasah platform with TradeLens.

For more details, please visit: https://www.newsbtc.com/2019/01/02/saudi-customs-tracking-blockchain/

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