What's happening in Europe



Covid proves to be a wake-up call to world shipping as the rise of ecommerce changes the way we do business today

Lives have been turned upside down by the Covid crisis, but financial results for shipping, shippers and ports the world over have not been nearly as bad as most people expected.

Most agree that a big mitigating factor has been the surprising role played by ecommerce worldwide.

US consumers alone have increased online spending by 42 per cent to US$813 billion in 2020, according to Adobe Analytics. Online sales exceeded expectations by $183 billion, Adobe said in its Digital Economy Index. That’s the equivalent of a having two annual holiday shopping seasons in a single year.

Tale of four cities: Montreal and Toronto - Hong Kong and Singapore - the fall of two boosts the fortunes of two rivals

What appears to be happening to Hong Kong today is taking on aspects of what happened long ago in Canada's then major city in the French-speaking Province of Quebec in the 1970s where long-standing civil rights were curtailed in a nationalist cause to bolster the role of the shrinking French language.

Thus, the use of the English language was severely curtailed by law. In Hong Kong, it is the same, but different. Different because while it had little to do with language, but the same in that civil rights, such a freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and rule of law, long enjoyed by citizens, has been now criminalised if exercised.

Case study: How one a shipping agency coped with ships' crew exchanges and made concrete gains in the Covid crisis

Perhaps it is because the Covid-19 crisis has had so little negative impact on world trade that the least considered stakeholder - the humble seafarer - has been given the rawest of raw deals.

Yet one shipping agency network, London's Inchcape Shipping Services,  has managed to pool and coordinate its  global resources to ameliorate a deplorable situation from which few if any in the seafaring world have escaped.

Weighing costs and benefits of Brexit in first year and in future when membership costs skyrocket in entitlements

To those who favoured Brexit, the UK's departure from the European Union, face gloomy told-you-so assessments of its effect as it moved into the second half of its first year.

With the impact of the Covid crisis, together with its curfews and lockdowns, and a foot-dragging media, academic, bureaucratic complex, it is not surprising that early reviews are negative. But looking through the retrospectoscope, were they correct in their judgments?


Europe Trade Specialists

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