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Red Sea crisis: epicentre of global economic uncertainty

The crisis in the Red Sea has plunged the maritime sector into deep uncertainty, threatening to unbalance global trade and generate worldwide economic consequences. With more than 50 attacks by Yemen’s Houthis in recent weeks, the world’s major shipping lines have been forced to halt their operations in this channel.

The Red Sea is a strategic route connecting Europe, Asia and Africa, and the ongoing siege has created a critical situation for international trade. The immediate impact is reflected in a significant delay in the arrival of essential supplies for various industries, generating widespread fears of possible price increases globally.

In this context, Smart Logistics, as a logistics operator with global coverage, keeps abreast of the current situation and is in constant communication with its customers to keep them informed. The aim is to offer them efficient and secure logistics solutions.

The alternative route

One of the most notable responses to this crisis has been the rerouting of vessels that previously transited the Suez Canal. Unable to guarantee safety in the Red Sea, ships are now forced to round Africa via the Cape of Good Hope in the south of the continent. This change means an increase in crossing times of between 12 and 20 days, as well as an increase in the distance travelled from 18,000 to 25,000 kilometres.

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The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has confirmed that at least 18 shipping lines have opted to divert their ships around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid persistent attacks in the Red Sea. This increase in distance and travel time not only affects the operating costs of shipping lines, but also has a direct impact on logistical efficiency and the timely delivery of goods.

Supply shortages

The Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC) has also expressed its concern about the lack of supply of consumer products. A situation that could worsen with the arrival of the Chinese New Year on 10 February.

Spain imports 100 billion euros worth of key Asian products annually, such as food, textiles and fashion, hardware and DIY, and technology goods. Delays in delivery time would have a serious impact on the country’s economy.

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ETS, the EU’s environmental strategy in the maritime field

From 1 January 2024, the EU ETS (European Union Emissions Trading System) will come into force, a regulation that refers to the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme created by the European Union to combat climate change. A pioneering scheme, the ETS is the world’s first emissions trading scheme applicable to all 27 EU Member States, plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.

From that day on, shipping companies will have to rigorously monitor their emissions to ensure the required environmental compliance. The proportion of CO2 emissions to be covered by allowances increases gradually each year, by 2025 40% of reported emissions must be covered, by 2026 70% and from 2027 onwards 100% of emissions must be reported.

The keys to the EU ETS

Shipping companies covered by the EU ETS must have an approved monitoring plan for reporting annual emissions. Each year, companies must submit a report on emissions from each of the ships under their responsibility.

How is this data checked? A particular year’s records need to be validated by an accredited body by 31 March of the following year, or by 28 February if required by the relevant administrative authority. Once verified, companies must surrender or use the appropriate number of allowances by 30 September of the same year.

Smart Logistics, as an integrated logistics operator, is aware of the relevance and impact of these new regulations on the maritime sector and the environment. The ability to adjust to the new regulations with flexibility and commitment is a key element in the company’s strategy.

Its impact on the maritime sector

According to some studies, the implementation of the EU ETS could lead shipping companies to make a first stop in North Africa, the Adriatic Sea, the United Kingdom or the Eastern Mediterranean in order to avoid the costs of the levy. A situation that worries the representatives of some Spanish ports because it could lead to a flight of calls to other ports outside the European area, or to a decrease in transhipments.

Within the framework of the international meeting “The challenge of the ETS for European ports”, presidents and managers of these enclaves have demanded a greater involvement of the IMO. A measure which could attenuate the effects on the loss of stable jobs and business relocation which could occur with the entry into force of the new Emissions Trading Scheme in the European Union.

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Smart Logistics, company specialised in import and export processes between Mexico and Spain

The forwarder company Smart Logistics is an effective ally in import and export traffic with Mexico. This was confirmed during the training day held at the Consulate of the North American country in Barcelona, where the Consul Claudia Pavlovich welcomed the participants. The meeting was attended by Spanish companies with large commercial exchanges with Mexico, who were able to share experiences and knowledge regarding traffic on this route.

The conference, which was also attended by representatives from the port of Barcelona, served to discuss the main operational processes required from both Mexico and Spain. The subject of customs processes and documentation was also discussed. In summary, the importance of having practical and efficient information as a first step to start successful operations in the medium and long term was noted.

One of the biggest economies in Latin America

Antonio Durán, Managing Director of Smart Logistics, highlighted during his speech that “in a constantly evolving international trade scenario, Smart Logistics is developing and presenting itself as an integral partner, as a strategic partner, for companies that want to grow in different international markets, offering tailor-made logistics solutions”.

Mexico, with a population of 127 million people, ranks 14th in the ranking of world economies, is the leading exporter in Latin America (42% of the region’s total) and holds fifth place in terms of territorial extension on the American continent. At present, 1,697 Catalan companies export constantly to Mexico. By sector, vehicles, machinery, perfumery and cosmetics stand out. They represent 35.7% of Spain’s total exports to the country. As for imports, the chapters on vehicles, organic chemical products and fish stand out.

The US-China trade conflict is a win-win situation for the country

The economic war between the US and China, especially since COVID-19, is benefiting Mexico in terms of trade and investment. In this scenario, the country is emerging as an attractive destination thanks to its geographical proximity to the US market and its well-established manufacturing infrastructure. This trend, as evidenced during the conference, is generating a greater demand for production capacity in the Latin American country (nearshoring).

In the coming years, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mexico’s development will be concentrated precisely on exports of goods and services.

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Smart Logistics boosts trade between Spain and Mexico

On 30 November, Smart Logistics is organising, in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate and the Port of Barcelona, a conference on exports and imports between Mexico and Spain. A great opportunity to promote and strengthen trade ties between the two countries by exploring innovative strategies for the exchange of goods.

In a global context of growing economic interdependence, it is essential to understand the challenges and opportunities offered by bilateral trade. Mexico and Spain have a solid relationship, but this event aims to strengthen it even further. Valuable information and practical tools for entrepreneurs, exporters, importers and professionals in the logistics sector. In addition, during the course of the training, success stories of Spanish companies with a strong presence in the country will be discussed.

Mexico, increasingly influential

Mexico is currently one of the most promising economies on the American continent and has a logistics sector that is constantly evolving. The country has implemented significant measures such as the use of advanced technologies and the development of projects to boost logistics.

In addition, the offshoring and reshoring of manufacturing is having a significant impact on the country’s trade. This strategy not only seeks to reduce logistics costs, but also to mitigate risks related to supply chain disruptions.

It is also one of the main beneficiaries of this change, especially due to the poor trade relations between China and the United States. In this scenario, Mexico emerges as an attractive destination thanks to its geographical proximity to the US market and its well-established manufacturing infrastructure. This trend is generating a greater demand for productive capacity in the Latin American country.

Smart Logistics, an efficient logistics partner

Smart Logistics, an international logistics operator, has strengthened its relations with the American continent, especially with Mexico, streamlining imports and exports with efficient logistics solutions. Its innovative approach has optimised supply chains, allowing greater agility in the transport of goods, reducing waiting times and improving distribution in both countries.

Spain is currently the second largest investor in Mexico both in terms of volume (80,651 million dollars according to the Mexican Ministry of Economy) and in terms of the number of Spanish companies present in the country (around 7,000).

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Smart Logistics reinforces its presence in the perishable sector with its participation in Anuga and Fruit Attraction

The food industry, an economic sector of prime necessity, currently relies on outstanding logistics. The transport, storage and processing of perishable goods are crucial aspects in the day-to-day work of an integrated logistics operator.

The refrigerated division of Smart Logistics, a global forwarder, is an expert in the transport and maintenance of all types of perishable goods. Thanks to the help of new technologies, this division ensures the traceability of goods at all times.

In recent weeks, the company has presented its services at two of the most important international trade fairs in the food sector: Anuga and Fruit Attraction. Events that have brought together experts and professionals from the food industry and cold logistics.

Key events for the global market

These trade fairs are two of the most important events in the global food and agriculture industry calendar. Anuga is held in the German city of Cologne, Germany, and is considered the world’s largest trade fair for the food and beverage industry. Fruit Attraction, on the other hand, is held in Madrid and focuses specifically on the fruit and vegetable sector. Both events attract a diverse audience that includes producers, distributors, importers, exporters and industry professionals, making them ideal platforms for showcasing innovations and developments in the industry.

Smart Logistics‘ participation has been a strategic step in consolidating its position in the international market. On this occasion, the company has highlighted its expertise in cold chain solutions for transport, which is of utmost importance in the handling of perishable products. From temperature tracking and monitoring systems to specific storage and transport solutions. It all adds up to the best logistics offer for this industry.

Commitment to refrigerated transport

As an integrated logistics operator, Smart Logistics handles all types of temperature-controlled transport. The company offers key services that guarantee high quality in the refrigerated sector, such as:

  • Cold Treatment: an innovative real-time temperature control system that guarantees the integrity of the cargo at all times.
  • Frozen or refrigerated transport: guarantees the maintenance of the cold chain and perishable products during transport.
  • Qualified professionals: the team of expert workers in cold logistics guarantees constant supervision of the goods.

Smart Logistics is a key logistics partner to guarantee quality and efficiency in the transport of temperature-controlled goods, ensuring absolute traceability in the maintenance of the cold chain.

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