Welcome to the OSCL's monthly blog and newsletter.
It's that time of the month when we sip a bevy, sit back and read through our blog that breaks down the ins and outs of the industry, news highlights, and just some handy tips as we move into 2023's peak season.
So let's get straight into all things supply chain and logistics...
Has it finally started? Is that you peak season?! After months of a soft market, we are finally seeing movement and freight bookings bouncing back, showing a slow increase in market confidence. Vessels are slowly being booked to full capacity and most lines have decided to introduce an August GRI for the CN-AU trade lanes.
It's been a turbulent month for China on the world stage. The US government and the United Nations have accused the Chinese Government of committing human rights violations in the Xinjiang region in many Solar Panel factories and supply chains. This has highlighted the importance of doing due diligence when purchasing products overseas to ensure adherence to Modern Slavery regulations.
Qin Gang has been removed as China's foreign minister, with all traces of his profile, speeches, meetings, and activities deleted from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Rumors have leaked that there was an internal political power struggle within the Chinese Communist Party.
Hebei Province has been hit with significant floods, causing major delays and stock loss in Zhuozhou. A pivotal central logistics hub for the publishing and printing industry, with losses estimated to be 13 million USD.
Construction is underway and on schedule for the 135km long, US $10.1 billion-dollar Pinglu Canal in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The project is expected to take 54 months to complete, resulting in ships being able to reach the Beibu Gulf via the Qinjiang River.
List of Known Vessel Cancellations:
One of our agents has recently launched new value-adding services in light of all the developments in the Chain of Responsibility and Heavy Haulage Regulations.
Cargo Inspection (Inspection Service):
1. Loading supervision:
Supervised loading, with assistance being provided to the supplier, including a comprehensive report and photos.
2. Factory Inspection:
A 3rd party factory/warehouse Inspection, including an extensive report and accompanying photos.
If these services interest you, please contact us for further information and pricing.
United States & Canada:
As predicted last month, the Canadian dock workers ended up following the US with strikes. The West Coast port strikes in Canada are ongoing as workers rejected the labour deal, and it has slowly started to cause issues and extensive financial impacts for stakeholders within the industry. A Canadian Pacific Kansas City Ltd representative has stated they have felt the losses to the tune of $80 million CAD. Canada’s labour minister has involved the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to see if the deal can be salvaged. There are rumors that a hypothetical deal was reached on 31/07; however, no formal response has been released.
The trucking industry has seen its fair share of turmoil over the past 12 months. Yellow, the US's third largest LTL (loose cargo) carrier, has collapsed and declared bankruptcy. Just shy of operating for over 100 years, the company had no option but to stop trading as it struggled with close to 1.5 billion USD in debt.
New Zealand's Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O'Connor was in Detroit, USA, to sign a supply chain agreement concluded in May as part of a four-pillar strategy within the Indo-Pacific Framework (IPEF) initiative to ensure further supply chain resilience. USA & Australia are members of this framework, representing 40 percent of the global GDP. The agreement aims to develop new collaboration channels amongst the countries to ensure each member can withstand the developing international events and environment.
Industry experts speculate that the US will not see a "peak" season in 2023, as the market, which would historically be tracking relatively strong in preparation for back to school and Christmas season, has remained stable and comparatively weak. Prominent players such as Kuehne and Nagel have reported Q1 losses in the US and are warning of a challenging year-end.
AI Investment within the supply chain and logistics market has started to take off, with FedEx investing in the platform Vue.ai. Microsoft has also released Dynamics 365 Copilot, an AI platform that manages and mitigates risk within the supply chains. This space is exciting to watch the advancements in customer service, data analytics, supply chain automation, and planning and risk management. The possibilities of how AI can be utilized within the industry are endless.
Australian Domestic Market:
Patrick Terminals has announced they have invested in 10 new Kalmar hybrid straddle carriers for the Port of Melbourne. The project is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2024. The investment is part of the overall strategy for Patrick's in reducing its carbon footprint and promoting environmentally responsible practices. Port of Newcastle has also made strides in its plans for a cleaner operational environment by announcing 30 clean energy partnerships on the back of developing its Clean Energy Precinct.
The ABF Goods Compliance Update Autumn 2023 dropped towards the end of July; it's always a fascinating read: https://www.abf.gov.au/trade-and-goods-compliance-subsite/ComplianceNewsletters/goods-compliance-update-autumn-2023.pdf
Indonesia has suspended live cattle imports from four Australian export facilities as Lumpy Skin Disease was detected. Negotiations have commenced between Indonesia, with the Australian government assuring that we do not have anything to worry about and rapid diagnostic testing of cattle across northern Australia commencing to rule out any outbreak, with sources stating that the cattle only tested positive after being in Indonesia for some time.
Further protests have commenced by Transport Workers, the latest being in WA at the Aldi Southlands. TWU has stated that Coles and Woolworths signed charters, committing to make their supply chains safer. In contrast, Aldi has refused to sign up for TWU's proposed safety principles. This is an excellent reminder to brush up on your obligations as importers under CoR regulations for safely handling and transporting goods.
- Unfasten your seat belts, Michael Rudolph, Freight Waves: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/unfasten-your-seat-belts
- Container ship at Kaohsiung anchorage sank, hundreds of containers afloat, Mikhail Voytenko, FleetMon: https://www.fleetmon.com/maritime-news/2023/42485/container-ship-heavy-list-crew-evacuated-container/
- Race to salvage sinking cargo ship carrying 3,000 vehicles including 350 Mercedes as it burns out of control in North Sea after fire 'caused by electric car', Elena Salvoni & Chris Jewers, DailyMail: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12338705/One-sailor-dead-23-evacuated-burning-18-500-tonne-cargo-ship-carrying-3-000-cars-North-Sea-Holland-electric-vehicle-caught-fire.html - further update - https://theloadstar.com/fears-for-still-burning-fremantle-highway-as-number-of-evs-aboard-is-revised/
- Russia preparing to attack cargo ships in Black Sea, Britain and America warn, James Kilner, Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/07/20/ukraine-war-russia-preparing-attack-ships-britain-warns/
- Almost 100 companies on watch list for cocaine imports into Australia, Rob Harris, The Age:
- Concern about chip supply vulnerability arises as China integrates AI into car technology, Nuying Huang, Taipei; Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia: https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20230728PD214/adas-china.html?dt_ref=topic&chid=10
- Improving broker reputation starts with integrity, Ashley Coker, FreightWaves: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/improving-broker-reputation-starts-with-integrity
What a fun month it's been for us at OSCL.
I was fortunate to be invited to attend the event "Turning A Digital World into Your Global Market" at the National Press Club. Fascinating to hear about the developments in AI and it was fantastic to network in Canberra.
We traveled to Sydney to catch up with our good friends Xtreme Freight and to attend the Care-Factor 2023 Ball. Raising money for charity and providing us with a fanatic opportunity to catch up with fellow industry members.
Thats a wrap from us.
Thank you so much for the support and we look forward to another awesome month of all things supply chain.
Steve & Bianca