one belt one road

China’s One Belt One Road Initiative – how will it affect global trade?

Since 2013 China have been advertising the One Belt One Road initiative, a scheme to join a network of roads, ports, railways and other links from East China through Southeast and South Central Asia to Europe.

This belt of land based links is paired with the Maritime Silk Road, which stretches from Australia to Zanzibar. The initiative involves developing six economic “corridors”: 1. a China-Mongolia-Russia corridor; 2. a new Eurasian “Land Bridge”; 3. a corridor from China to Central Asia and Western Asia; 4. a China-Indochina peninsula corridor; 5. a China-Pakistan economic corridor; and 6. a Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor.

Back in 2011, US President Barack Obama launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trading bloc across the Pacific region. The TPP is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States (until January 23, 2017) and Vietnam.

Now that Obama successor Donald Trump has carried out his pledge to withdraw from the TPP, the expectations are that Chinese-backed strategies like the OBOR will gain momentum. China experts say that this is a positive development, but there is scepticism over whether Beijing will follow through with the large amount of funding needed, whether big debt-financed projects bankrolled by China will benefit the recipient countries, and whether those projects will actually make sense in the long run.

China experts and economists say that the initiative makes sense and that it will accelerate as the U.S. turns more insular under Trump. “It is unfortunate that many U.S. diplomats and members of the previous administration worked for nearly a decade to push toward the TPP and now it is torn apart,” says Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong. The U.S. is turning its back on the rest of the world at a time when the world needs an open and engaged America, he says. “It is very likely and understandable that China … will try to fill those gaps with this initiative, and that is very logical — it’s something the U.S. will later deeply regret,” Kuijs says.

One of the main factors driving the OBOR effort is the slowdown in China’s own economy. With this in mind the policies are seeing a drive to create new markets for Chinese goods, political influence in the region, and security for the country’s natural resources supply chain. The initiative is part of the larger plan to shift Chinese goods to markets and to create jobs for Chinese companies. The infrastructure also means that products can get from China to Europe in days rather than weeks – a significant reduction in cost and time.

It seems that moving forward without relying on trade from the US and other larger countries, and also Great Britain post Brexit, China is moving to become even more of a global trade super power. Realising that there has been a shift in the global trade agreements in recent years means that China is reacting proactively to an ever changing market. Forecasts show that the OBOR project may take half a century or more, but ultimately is more than likely to succeed.

china uk

6 Top Tips for importing goods from China

In the current economic climate post Brexit, leaving the EU means that foreign relations have become more important than ever. Here are our 6 top tips for importing goods from China…

1. Ensure that the goods are permitted in your country, and that they are correctly classified. International trade is heavily regulated, and Supreme Freight can make sure that all your goods have the correct classifications, such as CFSP, IPR, OPR and warehousing entries, not forgetting BTI classification.

2. Do you need an import license? Do you need to pay VAT and Duty? This is dependent on the classification of the goods. Here at Supreme we can give expert advice to help simplify the process for you to make sure that the correct documentation is in place for your shipment.

3. Choose the right method of transportation. When importing from China the usual methods are either sea or air freight. If there are no time restraints and larger quantities, then sea freight may be preferable. If you would like your goods quicker and with higher levels of security, then air freight would be recommend. If you choose sea, then we can handle all types of cargo including full container load (FCL), less container load (LCL) and NVOCC groupie shipments. If air is your preference our team at Heathrow Airport offer a range of direct and indirect shipment services. Choice and flexibility are paramount and we work closely with both our client and supplier to design a schedule and transit time that will suit your requirements.

4. Track your cargo. Make sure you choose a forwarder who can track your goods. Our tacking page offers detailed information and insight to the status and progress of your shipment, for both sea and air freight. [link to tracking page]

5. Arrange collection of your shipment. We offer a door to door service if required which is convenient and flexible, and also offer container and cargo storage which is a crucial aspect of the supply chain.

6. Don’t forget the Chinese New Year! How can you avoid delays?! By making sure that your order is placed in plenty of time, November at the latest.

Happy importing!
进口快乐

London gateway

Big changes in shipping alliances open the door to the world for London Gateway

New London Gateway services are now available to and from the Far East in the wake of big changes in shipping alliances.

The recent changes are affecting the location and timing of many international shipments, one of the notable benefits however is that the London Gateway now has deep seas connections for the first time. The Alliance will be using London Gateway for two transatlantic loops and 2 Asia – Northern Europe.

Supreme customers looking to import their shipments to London and the surrounding area can take advantage of this.

Interested in London Gateway arrivals? Please contact our import team to discuss your requirements, we’d be happy to help.

 

airfreight-offer

Free customs clearance on any air freight bookings this month!

For this month only, we would like to offer our loyal customers free customs clearance on any air freight bookings made!

We have electronic links to all UK airports. This means that our team can skilfully arrange customs clearance for your cargo. With knowledge of all customs clearance procedures, home use, CFSP, IPR, OPR and warehousing entries we can also organise BTI classification for your goods.

Our team of highly skilled experts at our office at Heathrow Airport have extensive knowledge of handling all aspects of air shipments, with daily nationwide collections and an air freight consolidation service. We are able to offer a range of direct and indirect shipment options from any airport worldwide.

Contact us now to take advantage of this great offer! Call 02380 337778 or email enquiries@supremefreight.com 

 

 

bad-weather

Weather Warning – Strong Winds in the UK Predicted on Thursday 23rd Feb

The MET Office have a severe weather warning in place for Thursday 23rd February covering the Port of Felixstowe with wind gusts forecasted between 60 – 80mph.

Weather Forecast MapsWind speed, 10 m above ground, 51°N 1°W, 2017/02/23 08:00 (UTC), © VentuSky.com

Due to the forecast we are expecting Felixstowe Port to close from1000hrs tomorrow morning through to the early hours of Friday morning the 24th
With this in mind, potentially there could be some disruption and delays to deliveries.

If you have deliveries booked for Thursday PM or Friday morning we would suggest bringing them forward (if possible) to tomorrow morning so we can collect containers early to avoid the MET office severe weather warning.

If you require any further information please get in touch.

We thankyou for your understanding and continued cooperation during this time.

bad-weather

Weather Warning – Poor sea conditions in Southern Europe

We have been advised that due to weather issues of waves of up to 11 meters in Southern Europe, vessels may be forced to slow down or seek shelter until conditions improve. This will have an impact on vessel ETAs into the UK.

Below is a quote from a carrier :

“Sea conditions are expected to deteriorate to the point where vessels are unable to transit the Bay and will seek shelter either in the Med or NEU waters, waiting out the storm”

If any of your shipments are affected then your account manager will be in contact in due course. If you have any questions please get in touch.

China freight train

First ‘Silk Road’ train from China to Britain arrives

The train took 18 days to arrive in Barking, East London from Yiwu, China after a mammoth journey which took it through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.

The arrival of a freight train in East London is the start of a new era for the 2000 year old trading route.  The Silk Road was an ancient network running through central Asia connecting to the Mediterranean which once bought a wealth of goods from China over to the UK.

The consignment would have taken nearly twice as long to arrive by sea, and contained a cargo of household items, clothes, fabrics, bags and suitcases. Weekly trains will be run initially to assess demand.

A direct rail link between Beijing and Western Europe enables manufacturers to explore new means to lower transport costs. The line may not provide a suitable alternative to all, but its arrival coincides with even greater emphasis being placed on Britain’s export business post Brexit.

China Railway already has freight services to European destinations including Madrid and Hamburg – and is now hoping to strengthen its links with Russia, Asia and Europe in the future.

 

Southampton freight terminal expansion

Southampton’s freight terminal plans further expansion

The planned expansion of Southampton’s container terminal will help cement it’s reputation as one of the fastest, most productive freight terminals in the UK.

With the mega vessels arriving in Southampton getting bigger and bigger, Southampton’s freight terminal are scaling up to match. DP World Southampton are investing heavily in new equipment, land and quayside cranes. This increase in capacity is great news for the local freight industry, and will only help to improve the speed and productivity of the Southampton Terminal, which is already widely regarded as one of the best in the country.

The terminal recently acquired an additional 11.2 acres of land at the north east edge of the terminal, creating 640 extra ground spaces to store containers and bringing the size of the terminal to almost 100 hectares.

As well as creating more container capacity, the 11.2 acres supports operations at SCT 5 – the freight terminal’s newest and largest deep-water berth, which opened in March 2014. The new land behind this berth enables shorter run distances for straddle carriers taking containers to and from the stack, improving productivity overall.

Nick Loader, Chief Executive Officer, DP World Southampton, said:

“Container ships are getting bigger all the time. The 11.2 acres of new land will allow us to increase the utilisation of SCT 5. It will also help us to be much more efficient so that DP World Southampton can continue to load and unload vessels faster than any other container terminal in the UK. Our customers tell us that we are the most productive terminal in the UK and we intend to stay that way.”

The terminal operator’s expansion plans also include:

• Investment in 17 new straddle carriers, being manufactured by Kalmar in Poland, to replace older equipment and bring DP World Southampton’s fleet more up to date.

• The purchase of a two additional new super post-panamax cranes scheduled for delivery in early 2018.

The size of container ships importing and exporting goods around the world has nearly doubled in just under 10 years. The world’s largest container ships regularly call at DP World Southampton including the MSC Diana at 19,462 TEU. However, there are already 21,000 TEU vessels on order for delivery during 2017.

The growth of the Southampton freight terminal will help to future proof it for dealing efficiently with increasingly larger vessels, which is great news for Supreme Freight as one of the major freight forwarding companies in the area.

Feel free to get in touch to see how this could effect your freight requirements.

Southampton ABP

ABP announces £50m investment in the port of Southampton

In September Associated British Ports (ABP) unveiled it plans to invest £50m in the port of Southampton on the English south coast. The major investment comes after the port has already benefitted from £32m in ABP investment over the past five years and will support the port’s continued growth over two phases.

ABP said that Southampton is the UK’s biggest port for vehicle handling, and that the expansion of its vehicle handling facilities will increase the port’s export capacity. In 2015 in excess of 900,000 vehicles passed through the port, of which 520,000 were for export.

James Cooper, chief executive of ABP said: “Southampton is the UK’s number one port for exports, handling exports worth some £40bn and it is the UK’s number one for vehicle exports.The port is a critical part of the supply chain for the British automotive industry, providing essential access to global markets.Our investment will build on this critical role and support our customers’ drive to continue to grow their exports well into the future.”

The first phase of £25m investment will see two new vehicle handling facilities built with a combined capacity of 7,600 vehicles to be stored en route from UK manufacturers for export worldwide.

An additional two facilities will be developed during the second phase of investment – a further £25m. In total the funding from ABP is expected to increase Southampton’s capacity by 15,000 vehicle spaces; bringing the total number of vehicle handling facilities in the port to nine and the total number of vehicles it can accommodate to 55,000.

The move has been welcomed by international trade secretary Liam Fox. Mr Fox said: “This investment is positive news not just for Southampton, but for our world-class automotive industry as a whole. Southampton is a key route for British brands to access international markets and this investment will allow exporters to take advantage of the global demand for British-made vehicles.”

Hanjin

Shockwaves across global trade networks as Hanjin Shipping collapses

Hanjin Shipping, the seventh-largest container shipment firm in the world collapsed in late August after its creditors stopped providing funding and it was forced to request court receivership.

Over $14bn in cargo was left stranded at sea, and shocked global trade networks were faced with unprecedented disruption. Container ships in transit at the time the news broke were forced to remain at sea for up to a week to avoid cargo being seized at the docks by creditors.

While some ships were seized, ports all over the world were forced to deny service to Hanjin ships because agents refused to unload cargo because they feared they would not be paid. The company had no option but to pay for unloading, which has continued into October.

Cho Yang-ho, the chairman of its parent company, Hanjin Group told a court hearing in early October that the Korean firm had reached the point at which it was no longer able compete sustainably against its global competitors in receipt of financial support from their governments.

He said: “What pains me the most is that due to the court receivership many ship crews were in the middle of international waters like orphans. I am very sorry and pained to have created a logistics crisis, but we did everything we could.”

The firm is currently compiling a plan for rehabilitation which it is expected to submit to a Seoul court before the end of the year. However, industry experts anticipate that in spite of its best efforts, the carrier will be liquidated in what will be the largest bankruptcy in the industry’s history.