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Maersk Asia Pacific market update (August 2022)

'Supply chains will come under further strain in the next few weeks'

A.P. Moller Maersk published a press release stating:

We expect that supply chains will come under further strain in the next few weeks especially in Europe where labor unrest and the impact of climate change add to port congestion and cargo delays. In the UK, an eight-day strike by dock workers at Felixstowe, Britain’s busiest container port, that started on August 21, will be felt up until at least mid-September as vessels are delayed and some cargo diverted to ports including Antwerp and Le Havre according to Maersk’s contingency plans.

Low water levels on the River Rhine, a key transport artery into central Germany and Switzerland, are adding to cargo congestion in Rotterdam, Hamburg and Zeebrugge. But there are brighter spots, China increased foreign trade volumes in the first six months despite COVID-19 lockdowns in major cities including Shanghai. And Maersk is strengthening its logistics operations with an agreement to acquire project cargo logistics specialist Martin Bencher.

Market Trends
China’s foreign trade of goods increased by 9.4% to 19.8 trillion RMB in the first half of this year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. Exports rose 13.3% to 11.14 trillion RMB while imports climbed 4.8% to 8.7 trillion RMB, despite the impact from recurring outbreaks of COVID-19 including a two-month lockdown in Shanghai.

Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were China’s largest trading partner with imports and exports rising 10.6% to 2.9 trillion RMB, followed by the European Union with imports/exports up 7.5% to 2.7 trillion RMB. Trade with the US, China’s third largest trading partner, grew 11.7% to 2.5 trillion RMB. China's imports and exports to countries along the Belt and Road Initiative surged to 17.8%, while trade with China’s fellow members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement posted a 5.6% gain.

Trending Topic
Martin Bencher: Maersk has extended its logistics capabilities after reaching agreement to acquire Martin Bencher Group, a Denmark-based asset-light project logistics company. Martin Bencher specialises designing end-to-end project solutions for its customers in key industries such as pulp and paper, renewables, power, construction and mining, oil and gas and cranes and infrastructure. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the first quarter 2023 following the granting of all regulatory approvals. Maersk hopes this intended acquisition will create further opportunities for our customers to have an integrated end-to-end logistical network.

Project Logistics: As part of the Martin Bencher acquisition, Maersk is updating its project logistics strategy with the creation of Maersk Project Logistics that will operate as a solution-based global product. Maersk Project Logistics will augment the company’s existing project logistics services by offering the combination of solution design, special cargo transportation and project management services.

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