Trade news - Reflections of a challenging year in global trade

December 3, 2019

Thus far, 2019 has been a challenging year for international trade, impacted greatly by increased regulations and tariffs.

Supply chain partners need to work together in 2020 to overcome any obstacles ahead with proactive communication and increased supply chain visibility.

Picture of George Schutte, Vice President Energy Solutions

George Schutte, 

VP Energy Solutions

‘The foreign trade war between China and the USA has presented many challenges for our clients,’ George Schutte, Vice President Global Energy Solutions at Crane Worldwide comments, ‘Particularly, the steel tariffs hitting the energy industry and the impact on costs has been significant from the operators through to the end-users’, he adds. ‘Being cost-focused has driven the need for agility amongst the supplier base and increased competitive pressure for the lead service providers.

Many manufacturers, for example, valve manufacturers, have been looking for an alternative to suppliers in China. However, there is some weariness to make Capital expenditures (CapEx), as the longevity of the Chinese tariffs is not evident, and we are already seeing exemptions being made in the tariff ‘lists’. Our clients are focused on inventory optimization and reduction of transportation requirements. This has been demonstrated in the recent publications of global air freight volumes, for example, that are seeing a downward trend in comparison to original forecasts.’

Picture of Michael Labadie, Vice President Automotive

Michael Labadie

VP Automotive & Industrial

‘There is no question that the biggest challenges we have faced in the Automotive industry have been the consequence of geopolitical events, adds Michael Labadie, Vice President Automotive & Industrial at Crane Worldwide. ‘Along with the global trade war, we see continued uncertainty in the face of Brexit and protectionist policies coming into play.

From a car manufacturer perspective, the immediate impact has been on increased cost pressure on transportation but importantly an increased focus on customs and importation practices’. Keeping our clients and prospective clients up to date on regulatory changes via our international trade communications has been vital to ensure we continue to offer expert advice available to the market and to communicate industry challenges that may impact our clients significantly. As the year continued, the uncertainty in the market has led to slowing investment, particularly concerning project-related moves and notably in China and North America,’ he adds.

‘Looking to the future, we recognize that adaptability and flexibility to change is a key component of what Crane Worldwide Logistics has to offer our clients as a logistics provider. Agility in the supply chain can provide substantial benefits to an end client when faced with challenges such as have been experienced in 2019,’ Schutte adds, ‘In the past being ‘24/7 and fast shippers’ has been the badge of honor, however in addition to that we are focused and dedicated to measurement, control, planning, and consistency, focusing in on supply chain optimization and the benefits that our clients can reap in the long run.

2020 is fast approaching, and we are dedicated to proving our capabilities as a reliable global logistics partner when one is needed the most. We can provide enhanced visibility and systems integration to automate to complete operational tasks, as well as drive reliability and consistency mitigating risks in the delivery model.

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