In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 28 May 2021, UK trade with the
EU declines; China lags on US trade deal purchases; Belarus
sanctions could disrupt trade routes; FedEx announces peak
surcharges; plus the differences between EU and US parcel shipping
According to the Office of National Statistics, UK trade with the
European Union declined by 23 percent from 2018. The fall was a result
of both Brexit and coronavirus disruptions. For the same period, trade
with nations outside of the EU fell by 0.8 percent, showing the impact
of the post-Brexit trading agreement.
UK exports to Ireland experienced the largest decline. However, trade
falls were also experienced with other EU markets, including Germany,
France and the Netherlands. Furthermore, official figures showed that
China has replaced Germany as the UK’s biggest single import market
for the first time on record. This was partially driven by increased
demand for Chinese textiles for face masks and PPE. For more
information, please click here.
On Tuesday, figures from Ireland’s Central Statistics Offices (CSO)
showed the number of vessels in Irish ports were down 8.5 percent in
2020. Last year, Irish ports handled a total of 51.4 million tonnes of
goods. This was a 3.5 percent decrease from 2019.
Additionally, according to the CSO figures, Irish ports forwarded
17.3 million tonnes of goods last year. The ports received a total of
34.1 million tonnes of goods during the same period. Furthermore, the
figures showed that Great Britain and Northern Ireland accounted for
39 percent of the total tonnage of goods handled in Irish ports by
region of trade in 2020. Other EU countries accounted for 36.3
percent. For more details, please see RTE.
China is lagging on its commitments to the “Phase One” trade deal
with the US. These figures come from the US’s Peterson Institute for
China agreed to purchase at least $200 billion more US goods and
services over two years compared to purchases in 2017. During the
first four months of 2021, China needed to purchase $64.5 billion
worth of US goods to stay on track with the deal. However, the data
showed that this figure was 73 percent below the levels needed to meet
the year-to-date target as of April.
The purchase of agricultural products came closest to meeting the
target. According to US data, agricultural purchases are at 79 percent
of target; Chinese data claims it is at 87 percent. Last year, the
purchases of US goods by China fell short by approximately 40 percent,
according to the institute. The two-year trade deal will end in
December 2020. For more details, please click here.
From June 21, FedEx will increase three peak surcharges on Express
and Ground shipments. These include the additional handling surcharge,
a residential delivery surcharge and a peak surcharge on Ground
Economy. However, oversized peak surcharges will remain unchanged.
According to the company, the reason for the increase in surcharges is
due to high volumes and tight capacity. FedEx rival UPS also increased
surcharges on international shipments from a number of locations to
the US. For more details, please click here.
On Tuesday, DHL announced that it is filing applications with
Austrian authorities for a new airline. The new airline’s main focus
will be European cargo flights. In addition, DHL intends to
reconfigure its DHL Air UK unit into an intercontinental long-haul
carrier. According to the company, this move is a response to volume
growth and customer expectations for faster e-commerce deliveries. DHL
expects the new airline to begin operations on inter-European routes
later this year. Furthermore, the carrier is also leasing four more
767-300 freighters to support operations in North and South America.
For more information, please see FreightWaves.
The fallout from Belarus’ interception of a passenger flight forced
to land in Minsk may disrupt air and land transport between the EU and
China. The EU imposed a flight ban and the European Council has called
to ban Belarusian airlines from flying over EU airspace and accessing
EU airports. Furthermore, it has requested all EU-based carriers avoid
Belarus airspace. A ban on overflights of Belarusian airspace would
cause flights to be re-routed. This would add flight times and reduce
According to reports, France has called for a ban on all movement by
land as well. The Eurasian Landbridge rail services crosses Belarus
and terminates at Małaszewicze on the Polish border. However, so far,
other EU members have rejected this ban. For more information, see Transport
Sending a parcel from Austin in Texas to Akron, Ohio is not a big
deal. Well, other than the fact that there is nearly 1,400 miles
between them — which takes a bit of time to traverse.
There’s roughly the same distance between Budapest in Hungary and
Bilbao in Spain. Distance is the least of your worries in this
scenario. Sending a package between the two is far more complicated
since you need to cross a number of borders. Your parcel could go a
number of routes, but the most direct one will take it across
Slovenia, over the top of Italy and around the south of France.
Sending parcels across borders can be a complex challenge. There are
50 sovereign states in Europe. As a result, transporting your goods
across Europe is somewhat more complicated than moving goods across
the United States. It also means that a European transportation
execution system needs different capabilities to a US solution.
Geography and demographics demand it. In this QAD Precision Report,
Jack Moloney explains the differences. To read the full report, please