The Loadstar

  • Why one forecaster sees a ‘long, soft fall’ for China
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 23/10/2014
    Taiwan294

    You ought not to need much help understanding the emphasis of this headline – the days of 7%-plus growth for China are over as it comes to the end of reaping the benefits its export-model business. There are still ways the country could engineer enormous economic growth, but they are ways that the Chinese government is unlikely to take – if it has even a modest instinct for self-preservation – such as removing state influence from private business; bringing credit markets under control; and allowing firms to go bankrupt if they fail – all of which are policies that have helped the Communist Party retain its grip on power.

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  • Fixing the LA-LB mess
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 23/10/2014
    The Port of Los Angeles. (Photo/Green Fire Productions via Flickr)

    When things go wrong in complex supply chains, where there are multitudinous independent links, problems have a habit of escalating in terms of a magnitude and intractability. Should you ever need evidence of this, simply point to what is happening at the giant US west coast container port complex of Los Angeles-Long Beach. Congestion began to rear its head in late spring, as higher-than-normal import demand appeared to be fuelled by nervous retailers hoping to avoid a repeat of the traumatic ILWU shutdown in 2002. Despite the continuing failure of unions and employers to finalise a new master contract, the current problems are a confluence of factors. “What is happening is on par with the most severe disruption the ports have seen in the past 20 years, including the 10-day 2002 lockout of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union”, writes Journal of Commerce chief content officer Peter Tirschwell.

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  • Air cargo: few other industries would tolerate its structural overcapacity
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 23/10/2014
    6-Belly-Hold-Net

    It’s an eye-catching title. CAPA has published an interesting analysis of the air freight market, and much of what it says will be welcomed by many in the industry. “Regardless of the demand outlook, an industry that uses less than half of the capacity that it offers is in serious need of structural change,” it argues. Better still, it makes the point that bellies, where the majority of the overcapacity lies, are not, as some airlines might argue, a “free resource”.

    “This ignores the impact that belly capacity has on the overcapacity situation in air freight markets, placing downward pressure on yields across the industry. Moreover, it ignores the capital costs of acquiring this space. If belly space cannot be filled, it should not be designed into aircraft.” It also argues: “The reduction in the global freighter fleet demonstrates that many have questioned their use of freighters and answered in the negative, but the growth in passenger belly space suggests that these are the same people that adhere to the “free belly” creed.” Well worth a read.

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  • Five-year forecast shows improved outlook for air cargo
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 22/10/2014
    tyler

    IATA has issued a five-year forecast for air cargo which shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% up to 2018. But, warns the association, there remain several risks to the industry, not least trade protectionism. It also notes that volume imbalances will continue, but – strangely – omits any mention of overcapacity.  There are several points of interest: the UAE will overtake Germany as the third-largest market, India will see a 6.8% CAGR, taking it to 622,000 additional tonnes and giving it a place in the top ten largest markets, while Europe and North America will grow at 3% CAGR and 2.8% respectively.

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  • Why the German economy is in a rut
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 22/10/2014
    merkel and chip

    Germany has been Europe’s last bastion of economic health. But, as it approaches a technical recession, in which its economy is expected to contract for the third consecutive quarter, The Economist asks why. There are some surprising facts along with the better known problems that German exporters are facing in selling to weakened economies in the Eurozone, China and Russia. But its energy prices, already among the highest in Europe, have risen further still, triggering some manufacturers to relocate – including BMW, which moved to the US where energy prices are 80% lower. In nearby Hungary, industry is booming, while German industrial production in August fell by 4%. And the future? The economy may not grow until the middle of next year.

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