Newsletter – April 5, 2021
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Suez Canal backlog officially over as last stranded ships pass through
The last ships stranded by the grounding of a giant container vessel in the Suez Canal passed through the waterway on Saturday, according to the canal authority, which said an investigation into the incident would report its findings soon.
The Suez Canal Authority said the last of 422 ships stranded by the grounding of the giant container ship Ever Given made their way through the canal by Saturday, ending the backlog caused by the blockage. Read more here.
Italy Formalizes Ban on Large Ships Docking in Venice
The Italian government is moving forward with its efforts to take advantage of the current pause in the cruise operations to enforce a permanent ban on large cruise ships from docking at the historic city of Venice. Previous efforts at restricting cruise ships from the Venice lagoon have not been successful despite complaints that the large cruise ships are contributing to the environmental issues confronting the city. Read more here.
25-year ship lifecycle questioned
Are the days of the 25-year lifecycle over for ships? Two-thirds of Splash readers in our latest quarterly poll believe the shelf life of today’s vessels is set to become shorter as technology breakthroughs accelerate along with looming environmental regulations.
“We will see reduced lifecycles now, only because relatively new ships will not be able to compete with vessels that are more efficient. But when new propulsion schemes will be available, the increased prices of the vessels will be palatable only by allowing an increased economic life,” one reader commented while voting in MarPoll, Splash’s topical shipping survey. Read more here.
GROUND AND RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
LTL is ‘stuck in the past’ and ripe for disruption, says sector veteran
Trapped in outdated practices, the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector in the US is ripe for disruption.
Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting, argues that this is a good time for an entrant to revolutionise the business with a new model that is ‘more’ rather than ‘less’. Read more here.
CANADA BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Global forecast: The economic storm is passing
Economic stormwatchers might have been accused of spreading a bad April Fool’s joke at this time last year. It was no joke; they didn’t know how right they were. In almost every way, the fallout of the storm we know as COVID-19 could not have been worse. Or as long: it just kept coming back, again and again, in waves. Is it true—could it really be passing? Read more here.
Western brands ‘squeezed between an irresistible force and an immovable object’
This time last year, retailers such as H&M and Nike (NYSE: NKE) released statements distancing their cotton sourcing from China’s Xinjiang region. The issue is predicated on severe human rights violations that NGOs and Western democracies believe involve the forced encampment of more than 1 million Muslim Uyghurs — allegations (obviously) denied by China.
Skip ahead to last Wednesday, when the 12-month-old statements from H&M and other Western brands resurfaced on Chinese social media. If you spend any time on YouTube, you’ll know their algo is whack and will suggest 10-year-old videos at random. That’s not what happened here. Read more here.
Alstom’s Quebec plant to close due to theft in Mexico
Dozens of workers at a factory in La Pocatiere, Que. have lost their jobs after a theft at a plant in Mexico.
French rail manufacturer Alstom confirmed Friday that 70 of its employees will be laid off for at least six months, while at least 50 more workers could lose their jobs in the months ahead. Read more here.
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Covid-19: Bangladesh announces 7-day countrywide lockdown from 5 April
Bangladesh government on Saturday announced a week-long countrywide lockdown from April 5 to curb the new wave of Covid-19 infections.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said the government is all set to announce a countrywide week-long lockdown. Dhaka Tribune reported.
Quader, who is also the road transport and bridges minister, made the announcement at a regular briefing from his official residence on Saturday morning.
“Every office and court will be closed during this lockdown but industries and mills will continue their operation on rotation,” State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said while confirming the matter to Dhaka Tribune. Read more here.