International Trade News

Container lines hoping to see freight rate increases supported by a significant rise in export orders will be disappointed by data emerging from the giant Canton Fair in Guangzhou as transaction volumes, numbers of visitors and value of deals were all down compared to last year’s event.

The export growth rate of emerging markets in the last 20 years will not be seen in the next two decades as rising wages make outsourcing less attractive and new technologies such as 3D printing start to gain more traction, according to researchers.

There is little sign of China’s factories ramping up production for the mid-June start of the peak ocean shipping season as factory activity stumbles to its lowest level in a year.

Here’s a refresher on what the world was like before Malcolm McLean’s invention and what’s changed since.


U.S. imports of electrical goods in dollar value terms expanded 6.3 percent in 2014, the fifth consecutive annual expansion, partly because of a strengthening consumer sector. The trade outlook for 2015 looks positive, with import value expected to increase 5.9 percent, reaching an approximately $330 billion.

Just two hours before they were set to call the port at Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, the crew of the Maersk Tigris likely had little or no idea that the container ship would become international news while heightening tension in the Middle East.

General Mills will be the first tenant at a tri-modal logistics facility near Manchester, England, set to open next year. The inland port will offer rail, truck and short-sea shipping links.

U.S. consumer spending and new homebuilding are forecast to grow so steadily this year that imports from Far East Asia are likely to grow by a faster-than-expected 4.5 percent, year-over-year.

Japan posted a monthly trade surplus for the first time in nearly three years in March, as exports grew on the back of a weaker yen, led by robust U.S.-bound shipments, while imports tumbled due largely to lower oil prices.

The Mexican government is pumping $5 billion — more than 77 billion pesos — into its network of 117 ports, as the country’s rising middle class demands more imports and Mexico rises as a regional manufacturing powerhouse.