Murder hornets arrived on container ships, posing a threat to local honeybees that pollinate food we trade. Invasive alien species are a reminder that increased trade volume, changes in trade routes, and the expansion of airport and seaport capacity around the world means having to deal with the unwelcome stowaways in global trade.
80 percent of all global trade is transacted through third-party lenders and cargo insurers, but the process is complex, can be costly and many banks find it too risky to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Blockchain has the potential to increase transparency, speed and accuracy in assessing risk across the trade finance process, which in turn could expand the supply of credit available for SMEs.
There are rough waters ahead for shippers dealing with the tariff uncertainties. The prospect of tariff hikes is incentivizing companies to lock in better shipping prices now. But many retailers are competing just to find space for their goods on an ocean carrier, and the shipment surge has resulted in massive congestion at ports and warehouses.
Blockchain technologies will play an increasing role in international trade. Using blockchain to track the origins of raw materials and follow domestic and international supply chains can help meet the increasing demand for consumer information about globally produced goods, providing more transparency and accuracy about a product’s long journey to the store.
Polar caps in the Arctic are receding, creating access to new trade routes for parts of the year. The routes are valuable short cuts for global trade but the waterways are precarious to navigate with unpredictable weather, the need for specialized icebreaking ships, and the necessity to operate at slower speeds, all of which make the routes less commercially reliable and partially offset the savings in time and fuel. So why are Russia and China racing other major powers to gain control of these waterways?