Despite being the world’s fifth busiest container port, Hong Kong encounters a keen competition from other maritime clusters, according to a paper released by the Financial Services Development Council. The paper examines Hong Kong’s strengths and weaknesses in this global competition and recommends strategies for growth.
During the visit of the Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Washington for economic and trade negotiations last week, it was announced that China and the US have agreed not to launch a trade war, reaching consensus on economic issues. The potential implications from a dispute between the world’s two biggest trade forces has recently risen concerns for shipping.
Rotterdam based Europe Container Terminal exercised its right of retention on Hanjin containers after the carrier’s bankruptcy in 2016. ECT and Fenex, the Dutch trade association for logistic service providers and forwarders, reached an agreement that the containers will be released upon payment of 500 euros per container.
After the US withdrawal from JCPOA, which will reinstate all sanctions that had been previously imposed on Iran, the European Commission took steps to preserve the interests of European companies investing in Iran, on the sidelines of an informal meeting in Sofia, demonstrating the EU’s commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.
Increasing volumes and a growing population in the US compound the necessity for efficient port connections, the most efficient and speedy of which is rail. However, rail access projects continue to face barriers to completion, according to AAPA, which identifies more than $20 billion in rail access needs in the next decade.
The strong rate of trade expansion is likely to continue, while slowing slightly in the second quarter of 2018, according to the WTO’s latest World Trade Outlook Indicator released on 17 May. The latest results are in line with the WTO’s most recent trade forecast, which predicted a moderation of merchandise trade volume growth from 4.7% in 2017 to 4.4% in 2018.
After years of struggling with dwindling orders, the S. Korean shipbuilding industry is starting to show signs of recovery with a steady rise in orders. Busan needs to effectively use marine finance infrastructure and ensure its stronger presence as a marine finance hub city by focusing on changes.
Under the recently-announced $2 billion National Trade Corridors Fund, the government of Canada announced investments of $15.5 million for three projects at the Port of Québec, intended to help local businesses compete by moving local goods to market and by making improvements to port infrastructure.
The world’s top two container shipping companies, Danish Maersk Line and Geneva-based MSC, are reviewing their Iran operations, following the US withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement with Tehran. This is expected to have significant implications for shipping trade with Iran and the insurance of this trade.
Canada announced the $2 billion National Trade Corridors Fund, which is a strategy for improving Canada’s transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of the country’s trade corridors. This aims to make Canadian firms key players in the global marketplace. The National Trade Corridors Fund is part of Transportation 2030.
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