Singapore makes first move in reopening to China

Singapore will become the first regional countries to scrap mandatory quarantine measures for arrivals from China, a daring move coming against the backdrop of resurgent second and third Covid-19 waves and new lockdowns in Europe.

Starting from November 6, the Southeast Asian city-state will reopen its border to Chinese visitors and its returning nationals. China still puts all arriving passengers, including Singaporeans, in two-week, confinement-style quarantine.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s administration is taking the initiative amid a steep economic downturn, a sign that his trade-geared nation needs to reintegrate with the regional economy as fast as possible. Singapore’s stock market has shed 25% of its value this year, ranking among the region’s worst performers.

China’s Embassy in the so-called Lion City commended the one-way travel relaxation as a positive step for resuming bilateral exchanges that have fallen off dramatically since the pandemic started its lethal global spread earlier this year.

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Source: Asia Times

China’s vaccine diplomacy jabs US in SE Asia

MANILA – In America’s latest bid to shore up regional support against China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an eleventh-hour visit to key Southeast Asian nations ahead of next week’s US elections.

But the top US envoy’s efforts fell largely on deaf ears in Indonesia, where there is an obstinate aversion to strategic alignments as well as a deep commitment to pragmatic engagement with China, including for Covid-19 vaccines.

While the US seeks to build a coalition against China over its South China Sea aggression, Beijing is leveraging its first mover’s advantage out of the health crisis into a “vaccine diplomacy” campaign.

Beijing’s health drive appears to be resonating among the region’s worst-hit nations. This month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi conducted a regional tour, with stops in Thailand and Malaysia, where he touted the reliability of China’s vaccines.

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Source: Asia Times

ONE makes giant leap in quarterly profit

Ocean Network Express (ONE) reported Friday that its quarterly profit “significantly increased” — by a whopping 326%.

The Singapore-based container carrier said the profit for the second quarter of its 2020 fiscal year was $515 million, a $394 million leap from the $121 million profit in the same period last year. ONE’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31.

“This increase is mainly due to the improvements in the short-term freight market following a return to steady cargo demand,” ONE said. “From Q1 and through Q2, the supply-and-demand balance improved for all trades, most notably Asia-North America trade liftings recovering to the level of the previous year and other trades also performing steadily.”

In an analysis posted on his LinkedIn page Friday, SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen granted that ONE’s results showed “good and solid improvement.” But he went on to say, “Looking a bit further into the data, a few additional details should be noted.”

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Source: American Shipper

Ocean carriers add ‘unprecedented’ capacity on Transpacific

Dive Brief:

  • Capacity on the Transpacific lane is up 20% YoY, as carriers have injected resources into the trade lane resulting in “unprecedented capacity increases in Q4,” according to a release from Sea-Intelligence.
  • Capacity levels on the Transpacific have been a roller coaster ride throughout 2020 — plunging as carriers blanked sailings in the early days of the pandemic, only to be met with unexpected demand that resulted in shipping companies bringing resources back online. The capacity cuts earlier in the year brought deployment levels lower than any seen since 2015, according to Sea-Intelligence.
  • “In some weeks, we are seeing capacity grow by as much as 30% compared to last year at the same time,” Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy said in the release.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive

What shippers must know before packing containers

What constitutes a suitable ocean container for shipping is largely in the eyes of the shipper/packer and the product that it ships.

American Shipper recently discussed this topic with Technical Services Director Luiz Gonçalves of the Washington-based Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL).

Gonçalves said the practice of inspecting containers requires knowledge and experience on behalf of the shipper/packer, as well as a technical understanding of the International Maritime Organization/International Labor Organization/United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code).

However, Gonçalves said there are a half-dozen basic physical characteristics of containers that should be considered by all shippers/packers before their use.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Freight Waves