Titled ‘How surging shipping costs disrupt traders’ supply chains,’ the leading, front page report in our yesterday’s edition set out to forewarn Tanzanians and the world at large on the real possibility of adverse “ripple effects” of this.
As it happens, we were not alone in stressing this most unfortunate development, which is rooted in the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that’s caused by the mutating new coronavirus.
In its November, 18, 2021 Report on the World Economy, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) projected that ‘the current surge in container freight rates … could increase global import price levels by 11 percent, and consumer prices by 1.5 percent, between now and 2023…”
According analysts, the global rise in sea-freight rates is largely due to a sudden shortage of shipping containers in China, compounded by a rising demand for cargo vessels across the wider world – including especially in Europe and the Americas.
In Tanzania, all this is already negatively impacting traders’ profits – and will just as soon play merry hell with consumers’ wallets.
For instance it now costs $6,000 (roughly Sh13.86m) to ship a TEU (20-foot-equivalent-unit) of containerized cargo from Guangzhou in China’s Guangdong Province to Tanzania. This is compared to $1,800 (Sh4.16m) before the outbreak the global Covid-19 pandemic in China’s Wuhan City in December 2019.
Also, there is more money in shipping containerized cargo to Europe and the Americas ($30,000/Sh69.3m for a TEU container-load from Guangzhou).
Therefore, world carriers would tend to prioritise ships allocations to Europe and the Americas rather than to Tanzania.
As the lack of containers – resulting freight hikes – is also adversely impacting Tanzania’s exports, it is advised that the Government and related institutions (including the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation act fast and prudently in resolving this problem before its gets out of hand.
LET’S PROTECT DATA PRIVACY
Tomorrow, January 28, is ‘Data Privacy Day’ (DPD), known as “’Data Protection Day’ in Europe.
DPD is an international event which was formally inaugurated in 2007 following the rapidly advancing technologies beginning in the early 1980s – including pell-mell digitalization.
The event is the result of Convention 108 of the Council of Europe. Signed on January 28, 1981, the Convention was the first legally-binding international treaty on data privacy and protection.
According to the Convention, the main purpose of this Day is to raise and further spread awareness of the importance of data privacy and promotion – and how to more functionally and effectively promote best practices in data privacy and protection.
This is getting especially crucial in this day and age of mass adoption of technologies and digital media content, both of which are rapidly advancing beyond measure.
Today, 47 European countries, as well as the US, Canada, Israel and Nigeria, officially commemorate DPD, in seeking to bolster cyber security awareness all-round.
It is generally considered that functional Data Privacy/Protection does have benefits in business, including “improved brand-value and increased competitiveness at the marketplace.”
So, we urge more world countries, including Tanzania, to adopt the 2022 DPD theme – ‘A New Year, and a Renewed Emphasis on Data Privacy – and act accordingly.