What's happening in Europe



Will moving maritime education and training from vocational to academic improve competence at sea?

Bureaucratic activism, viewed as the solution to most everything, has its fierce advocates in the area of seafarer competency today.

They are bent on making it harder to achieve the Seafarers Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) by transforming from practical task-oriented training into a university degree programme.

Such is the view of the author of an extended article advocating such a change in Sweden's WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, of Malmo, across the strait from Copenhagen.

Dredging and infrastructure upgrades benefit mega ships, but disrupt landside logistics into the mess it has become

Difficult problems can work themselves out naturally in shipping when each party takes advantage of a fresh development by adapting to changes in adjacent link of the global supply chain.

As vessels grow and crews shrink, ships that were too big to work themselves into harbours that could only dock smaller ones have since widened market access through dredging, and infrastructure upgrades that enlarge air draft in tunnels and bridges.

Big carriers and big shippers say go big or go home, but isn't that a recipe for mega ships importing mega woes?

While consolidation among ocean carriers is both enormous and scarifying, it is hard to say whether it is a good or bad - perhaps only a necessary evil.

True, President Joe Biden, addressing corporate concern as a traditional leftist terror, has directed agencies in his administration to scrutinise consolidation in an attempt to increase competition. One industry explicitly called out was the ocean freight market.

Examining China's African investment - will it pay off or result in entanglements of ever rising costs and losses?

What could possibly go wrong, asked a journalist to then British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan when all ahead looked sunny and bright.

"Events, dear boy, events," the PM replied somewhat sourly.

Such events have appeared to have befallen an otherwise sensible, clear headed article in Tokyo's Diplomat, under the now questionable headline: "The African Continental Free Trade Area Is a Boon for China."


Europe Trade Specialists

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