What's happening in Mediterranean & Africa



Now that Panama can transit 14,000-TEU ships, it worries it will not have water to keep them afloat

One could not have imagined the Panama and the Suez Canal in commercial competition a decade ago, but one's head is left spinning at all the "new normals" with which world shipping must cope today.

Perhaps there was a hint of it 15 years ago, when ships loading in Singapore and points west might take Suez instead of Panama to reach the consumer-rich hinterlands of North America.

As tensions rise between China and the US, Beijing turns to Europe with offers to purchase EU goods

As the decoupling of the US and Chinese economies proceeds with declining Asian imports being sourced in China by American importers, Beijing has been compelled to look to Europe.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy expert Daniel Yergin in his book, “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations,” notes that container shipping, that enabled China’s meteoric rise, and gave birth to globalisation, is now being profoundly impacted by the declines, and faces a world of rising geopolitical tension and one less hospitable to global trade and lengthy supply chains.

Does less trade 'twixt the US and China auger well for European Med ports as road and rail improves?

The Mediterranean route is plagued with contradictions and contrary trends as it traverses the Year of Covid 19 that has had a huge impact on world shipping as well as everything else.

On the positive side, there are two trends of note. As overland infrastructure improves in southern Europe particularly on the rail side, with intermodal-friendly tunnels and bridges, there has been increasing interest among beneficial cargo owners (BCO) to short circuit Northern Range ports between Hamburg and Le Havre by landing containers at Med ports in Greece, Italy, France and Spain.

Threats of even more costly cyber attacks increase dramatically as shipping becomes more cyber reliant

During Covid lockdowns, cyber criminality came into its own as ocean carriers were hacked, Maersk, MSC, CMA and others large and small.

A profit making motive surfaced in the cyber attack on the French shipping giant CMA CGM, reported the Wall Street Journal, when dealing with an encryption malware, the liner had been contacted by someone claiming to be the hacker who asked for ransom in exchange for the decryption key.


Mediterranean & Africa
Trade Specialists

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Nov, 2020

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