Category: Conjoncture


1-Significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gases around the world

For several years, significant efforts have been made to promote renewable energies. It has been arduous and time-consuming to implement commitments of the Kyoto Protocol and the Conferences of the Parties (COP) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Almost 20 years were needed to develop concerted action on this issue among the world’s major countries. 1

The Paris Agreement of 2015 (COP21) is historic because it engages 195 countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to stabilize climate warming due to human activities to less than 2 ° C by 2100. [1]The main means used is the gradual elimination of fossil fuels, the main source of air pollution. It is estimated that global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) has reached nearly 49 billion tons of equivalent of CO2 in 2010 (latest data from IPCC ), increasing by 80% between 1970 and 2010.

The 2016 conference in Marrakech [2] reinforced the commitments of 2015 accelerating the adoption of the modalities by two years. The next conference will be held in Poland in 2018 and will provide an opportunity for several countries, such as Canada, Germany, Mexico and possibly the United States, to present their strategic plan.  [3]

Trump compromises 20 years of effort

However the election of Donald Trump has changed the situation and compromises effort of 20 years. Any global agreement cannot be held without the participation of all the major economic blocs lsuch as United States, China or Europe. The United States backing down could have a detrimental effect on other countries for reasons of competitiveness: the cost of producing fossil fuels is still lower than other types of renewable energies. The difference of costs can be regarded as unequal competition. In short, for this reason, the … Lire la suite


conjoncture 2017


As 2016, three trends will describe maritime industry in 2017: 1-an increased volatility of demand 2- a sustained but uneven global recovery 3- a restructuring of the maritime supply.  This text presents an analysis of these trends.

1- An increased volatility of demand

1.1 New external factors

Variability of the risk makes demand for transport less predictable. In 2016, several factors triggered this instability, including fluctuations of exchange rates, slowdown of Chinese economy, lower oil prices and difficulties of the European economy.

In 2017, recovering of American and European economies is well engaged. Despite a slight slowdown of the GDP of the United States in the last quarter of 2016, one can anticipate a still dominant position of the U.S. dollar will continue in 2017.  The impact of a strong U.S. dollar boost U.S. imports.

In return, other external event to the industry are related to international political situation. The intention of Donald Trump to review several agreements of free-trade (NAFTA and the transpacific Partnership), the vote on the Brexit inducing the exit of Great Britain of the European Union are some examples.  The rise of protectionism could have the effect of undermining the global economic recovery.

In the sector of maritime transport, two important events occurred in 2016, the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping and the opening of the new Panama Canal.

Some believe that Hanjin Shipping’s bankrupcy it is precursor to a major crisis (Gerry Wang, CEO de Seaspan) in the industry. Hanjin’s situation is not unique and other maritime companies are also in difficulty. Because, recessions are the result of a chain process, if other bankruptcies were to happen, the effects could be devastating on the financial institutions, the clients or suppliers and shippers. It could even slowdown entire world economic activity.

In the case of the … Lire la suite


By 2015, a lower demand for natural resources has had a considerable impact on the volume of cargo handled at Canadian port authorities.  There is a slowdown in activities in almost all port sites. However, this decrease has been more pronounced for 2016.

To understand the differences and determine cause of the declines, we will present an analysis of the activities of three Canadian port authorities; those of Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec City. In this regard, a composite indices measuring the Canadian port activity have been developed. These indices are based on trends in the international trade of  over 50 products shipped to  Canada (see annex to this article) and reflect the handling of volumes of industry trends. They can be used for comparisons, forecasts and calculations of optimization under constraints. Graphics that accompany the text illustrate both indices obtained from the actual data in the annual reports of the port authorities, and forecasts of the indices that have been developed.


The port of Vancouver

Vancouver-indexThe port of metro Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and one a major exporter of coal, minerals and wood products. In 2011, handled products, (including containerized products) grew from 122 million metric tons (mt) to 138 mt. It is the third most important port in North America, after South Louisiana (242 mt) and Houston (216 mt). The port of Vancouver metro ranks higher than the port of New York (120 mt). 80% of handled volumes are exported compared to 20% for imports.

Other major shipments from the port of Vancouver are (10.8 mt) wheat, cereals including canola (6 mt), large quantities of sulphur (2.6 mt), potash (8.7 mt), coal (35 mt), crude oil (1.96 mt) and forest (23 mt) products.

The decline that is indicated by the index, between … Lire la suite