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ESC – European Shippers' Council

Huge booking crunch disrupts supply chain

European Shippers’ Council members report that many shippers who regularly export goods to Asia have been facing a large drop of available slots for containers on almost every shipping line.

The main reason given by carriers of the two new alliances is the reshuffling of their organization and the repositioning of their ships to start their new services next month. M2 alliance has stopped accepting freight from customers of competitors turning to them because of the shortage of capacity encountered.

Shippers are confronted with heavily damaging situations, ranging from breeching of contractual commitments by some liners to impossibility to get boarding slots before May. Either this results in a very fluctuating freight rates situation, with instant hikes up to 45% to firm up a booking. Or this translates into missed sales, stock failure, significant extra costs as some exporters are trying to circumvent these obstacles by using other modes.

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Air Cargo Shippers Calling for Change in the Air

The Shippers’ Advisory Committee of TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association) has finally published its White paper to voice the concerns and needs of the shippers in air cargo. Change is needed, and all sectors of the air cargo supply chain must work together to drive adoption of new technology and a greater transparency according to the Shippers’ Advisory Committee. The European Shippers’ Council (ESC), a Board member of TIACA, has fully endorsed the work of the Shippers’ Advisory Committee and is pleased that the voice of the Shipper is heard and is taken seriously by the entire air cargo supply chain.

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Sleeping in the Cabin

A Dutch Court has decided that taking a long weekend rest in the cabin by a driver is not in line with the law. The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice wrote his conclusions in the same direction a couple of weeks ago. In most cases, the European Court of Justice follows the Advocate General’s position.

What can be the consequences?

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Survey: Alliances in Maritime

ESC in cooperation with Drewry are conducting a survey to see what a real impact of the Alliances is on shippers, and whether the quality of the Alliances’ services corresponds with the promised level.

Shippers are welcome to respond and to disseminate this survey as broadly as possible to other shippers’ organisations:

https://www.research.net/r/ESCDrewrysurvey.

Deadline to fill in the survey is 10 March 2017.

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Shippers to respond to the survey: Rail Transport

Shippers are invited to express their opinion on the use of rail freight transport in the survey “Rail Freight Barometer 2017” prepared by EUROGROUP CONSULTING in partnership with the French Shippers’ Association (AUTF), French railways (SNCF), and other stakeholders.

The results of the survey will be presented at the opening of the 8th European Rail Freight Day that will take place in the framework of the International Week of Transport and Logistics (SITL), in Paris, on the 15th of March 2017.

The survey takes 10 minutes. It is available online: https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/V8P6LQ3 and will be accessible until 28 February.

We value your opinion as a user/potential user of rail transport. This year, the Rail Freight Barometer will not only update the trends observed last years, but will also shed light upon the shippers’ perception at the European level.

We remain available for any further information at: christian.rose@autf.fr.

Opinion: Battling Unfair Competition in Aviation or Protectionism?

According to Reuters, the European Commission, strongly lobbied by theAirlines4Europe pact and the legacy carriers Lufthansa, IAG and AFKLM, is preparing a draft proposal to counter unfair competition coming from the Gulf carriers – Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Emirates. The regulation might cover measures against illegal government subsidies, favourable treatment, and advantageous airport charges among others. The consequences of this regulation for shippers, if adopted, can be enormous as extra duties are always paid by the end-customer – the shipper. Stripping flying rights, if imposed, may damage capacity and connections in the air cargo operations.

As it was mentioned, the goal of the draft proposal is to cover unfair competition in air cargo.  But here come some controversies. (more…)

EU Trade Agreement with Canada is signed

ESC applauds the approval of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade agreement (CETA) by the European Parliament on 15 February 2017. This agreement will reduce the red tape in international trade, make the procedures more agile, and, by mutual recognition of procedures, will open new possibilities to exporters and importers. If CETA enters into force it will also break the psychological barrier that prevents the EU from concluding trade agreements.

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Brexit

The House of Commons has allowed the British Government to launch the art. 50 procedure for leaving the EU.  Although the Scottish Parliament rejected the plan with a vast majority, it has (regrettably) no formal say in this procedure.

Theresa May has also published a roadmap for leaving the EU. It seems from this program that Britain would like to reduce the present EU-membership to a Free Trade Agreement arrangement. For some sectors, this would mean a return to customs duties, for instance, for the agricultural sector.  This development will have considerable consequences for the GDP in a lot of member-states as well as in the UK.

ESC will monitor the situation and support the Commission to reduce negative consequences for trade in the EU.