US West Coast port workers go on strike, disrupting cargo operations; US employment has grown for 29 consecutive months | Cross-border E-commerce Daily

Port workers on US West Coast strike, disrupting cargo operations; US employment growth for 29 consecutive months

【West Coast port workers’ strike action disrupts cargo operations】 The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing West Coast port operators, said on June 2 that dockworkers had carried out coordinated disruptive work actions, causing large container ports from Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California to Seattle to stop or severely disrupt operations.

Shipping officials said that dockworkers did not report to work on time from Thursday evening and slowed down operations at the ports, which continued until Friday morning.

【US employment continues to grow for 29 consecutive months】 The US added 339,000 jobs in May, showing resilience in the job market despite rising interest rates and inflation. The US job market has added more jobs than expected in recent months. Employment growth in May marked the 29th consecutive month of job growth. Although the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, it remains near historical lows. The low unemployment rate has put pressure on wages as employers compete for scarce workers. Wages grew a solid 4.3% in May from a year earlier.


North America

【Biden signs debt limit bill】 US President Biden has signed a bill to avoid a catastrophic default on US debt, temporarily avoiding a disastrous blow to the US economy. The debt limit bill will suspend the debt limit until January 1, 2025, in exchange for spending limits for federal defense and domestic programs before 2025. This may force the US government to cut back on stimulus plans if the US inflation rate remains at 5%.

【The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds rises by 7.5 basis points to 3.683】 The yield on US Treasury bonds continues to rise, with the 10-year bond yield rising 7.5 basis points to 3.683%.

[The US Treasury Department may postpone the auction of 3-month and 6-month Treasury bills next week] On June 2nd, it was reported that the US Treasury Department is considering postponing the regular auction of 3-month and 6-month Treasury bills next week if the restrictions around the statutory debt limit persist. The auction is currently scheduled for next Monday.

[Amazon has no plans to offer low-cost wireless services to Prime members] On June 2nd local time, major US wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile responded to reports that they were in talks with Amazon to offer low-cost mobile communication services to its Prime members. However, an Amazon spokesperson stated, “We have been exploring ways to add more benefits to Prime membership, but we currently have no plans to add wireless services.”

[Amazon to open two new logistics centers in Japan, employing over 3,000 workers] On June 2nd, Amazon Japan announced that it will open two new logistics centers in the Kanto region, with a total floor area of approximately 200,000 square meters.

Amazon will employ over 3,000 workers at these two logistics centers, including regional managers, workplace safety and health managers, product quality managers, equipment maintenance managers, and product selection, packaging, and transportation personnel.

Amazon Japan stated that if these two logistics centers are put into use, Amazon Japan’s total storage capacity for goods will increase to over 17 million cubic feet, and the total number of Amazon Japan logistics centers will exceed 25. Additionally, the expansion of the logistics distribution network will also promote the growth of the Japanese seller customer base.

[Melissa Nick, Vice President of Customer Fulfillment for Amazon North America, is about to resign] On June 2nd, it was reported that Melissa Nick, Vice President of Customer Fulfillment for Amazon North America, will leave the company on June 16th. Amazon confirmed the news.

It is reported that Nick joined Amazon in 2014 and was responsible for one of Amazon’s largest fulfillment regions, overseeing nearly 300 facilities handling and shipping customer orders.

[Puneet Chandok, head of Amazon Web Services in India and South Asia, resigns] On June 4th, a spokesperson for Amazon Web Services (AWS) confirmed to the media that Puneet Chandok, President of AWS India and South Asia, has resigned.

It is understood that Puneet Chandok joined Amazon’s cloud computing department in June 2019 and will be transferred from the company on August 31, 2023.

[Apple plans to build, relocate, or renovate 53 stores in Asia, North America, and Europe] Apple currently plans to build, relocate, or renovate 53 stores in Asia, North America, and Europe over the next four years.

Apple is considering opening 15 new stores in the Asia-Pacific region by 2027, five in Europe and the Middle East, and four in the United States and Canada. Apple also plans to renovate or relocate six stores in Asia, nine in Europe, and 13 in North America accordingly.

The purpose of this store expansion is to cultivate the brand in growing markets such as India and improve the shopping experience in the United States and Europe. The stock has risen 39% year-to-date, compared with a 10% increase in the S&P 500 index over the same period.

[Apple Savings Account Customers Report Difficulty Withdrawing Funds from Goldman Sachs] In April of this year, Apple and Goldman Sachs launched a savings account, but some customers reported difficulties withdrawing funds from their accounts. Goldman Sachs said it could not comment on specific customers, but added, “We take our obligation to protect customer deposits very seriously.”

Microsoft CEO to meet UK Chancellor, may withdraw Activision Blizzard from UK Microsoft CEO will meet with the UK Chancellor next week to express his dissatisfaction with the decision by the UK competition regulator to block its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Previously, the CMA rejected Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard in April. Microsoft’s extreme option could be to bypass the UK’s order and continue to advance the transaction, or withdraw Activision Blizzard from the UK market.

Twitter to undergo pressure testing for new digital content law this month The highest technology regulator in the EU said that EU regulators plan to pressure test Twitter to determine its compliance with the new digital content law in Europe, thereby strengthening the EU’s preparation for implementing the digital content law with the most profound impact on the West.

Twitter’s head of brand safety and ad quality to depart On June 3, Twitter lost its head of brand safety and ad quality, the second security management executive to resign last week. The company is currently trying to persuade timid advertising clients to return to its platform.

Before Brown resigned, Twitter’s Head of Trust and Safety, Ella Irwin, Brown’s immediate superior, resigned last Thursday, responsible for handling content moderation decisions.

Meta office employees will work in the office three days a week from September Meta is moving towards a more organized hybrid office arrangement, and office employees will need to work in the office three days a week starting in September.

Meta stated in a statement on Thursday that this move will not affect employees who currently have remote positions. The above-mentioned three-day weekly arrangement only applies to certain employees who have been working in the office for a period of time. This regulation will take effect on September 5.

【Tesla claims each new Model 3 is now eligible for a $7,500 tax credit】 The starting price of the Tesla Model 3 may once again be below the legendary $35,000 threshold after receiving tax breaks in the United States. Tesla’s American website shows that every new Model 3 in the United States is eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, while on April 18th, the US Treasury Department’s new regulations reduced the discount for the rear-wheel-drive version of the Tesla Model 3 to $3,750.

【Tesla recalls 137 Model Y vehicles in the US】 According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States, Tesla is recalling a total of 137 Model Y vehicles for the 2022-2023 models. The reason for the recall is that the steering wheel fastener may loosen, and the loosened fastener may cause the steering wheel to detach from the steering column, causing the vehicle to lose steering control and increase the risk of collision.

【Ford’s May electric vehicle sales in the US fell 13% year-on-year】 Ford Motor Company announced on its official website on June 2nd that total sales in the US market in May were 170,933 vehicles, an increase of 10.7% year-on-year. Among them, electric vehicle sales were 5,444 vehicles, a decrease of 13% year-on-year. From January to May 2023, the company’s total sales in the US market were 830,841 vehicles, an increase of 8.8% year-on-year.

【Ford recalls 142,000 Lincoln vehicles in the US due to fire risk】 According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States on Friday, the Lincoln brand under Ford Motor Company issued a recall order for 142,734 Lincoln MKC vehicles, covering models from 2015 to 2019, due to the risk of fire. The reason for the recall is that the battery monitoring sensor in the vehicle may short-circuit and overheat, which may cause the engine to catch fire during parking or driving.

【Disney to record $1.5 billion impairment charge due to removal of certain streaming content】 Walt Disney Company stated last Friday that it will record a $1.5 billion impairment charge in this quarter due to the removal of certain content from its direct-to-consumer service. Disney said it is continuing its review and expects to remove more production content from its direct-to-consumer service and other platforms, mainly in the remaining time of the third quarter ending on June 30. The company said it may incur further costs related to the removal of this production content, up to $400 million.

【Netflix shareholders reject executive pay plan in symbolic vote】 Netflix shareholders rejected the company’s executive pay plan in a symbolic vote on Thursday. The proposal stated that Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos would receive total compensation of approximately $40 million in 2023, including base salary, stock options, and bonuses, while co-CEO Greg Peters would receive $34.6 million, and current chairman and former CEO Reed Hastings would receive approximately $3 million. The Netflix board unanimously recommended the above pay plan and can overturn the vote at the next meeting.

【JetBlue Airways and American Airlines alliance ruled anticompetitive】 A US judge ruled that the Northeast Alliance (NEA) between JetBlue Airways and American Airlines Group violated antitrust laws and ordered the two companies to dissolve the partnership within 30 days. JetBlue Airways said it is weighing its options.


Europe Region

【German e-commerce giant Otto Group exits Russian market】 On June 4th, German e-commerce giant Otto Group liquidated all of its assets in Russia and exited the Russian market. Otto Group reportedly sold its two warehouses in the Tver region to a local operator for over $28 million, or about 200 million yuan, but at half price.

Swiss government plans to require internet giants to pay for using Swiss media content The Swiss government recently stated that the payment rules for internet platforms apply to all internet companies with an annual user base equivalent to 10% of the Swiss population. This means that search engines, social media platforms, and multimedia websites with an average annual user base of more than 900,000, if they include and use Swiss media or publisher content, will need to pay for it.

Stellantis, a European automaker, will invest 160 million euros in a factory in France Stellantis announced that it will invest 160 million euros (172 million US dollars) in a factory in Rennes, western France, which will start producing a fully electric SUV in 2025. Stellantis said in an email statement that the investment will go towards projects including battery assembly workshops. The factory currently produces Citroen C5 Aircross and shares the production of Peugeot 500 with the Sochaux factory. It is reported that the factory produced 71,700 cars last year and has 2,130 employees.

Stellantis says it has not reached an agreement with Canada on subsidies for the Windsor plant Stellantis stated on June 1st that it has not reached an agreement with Canada on subsidies for the electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ontario. According to previous reports by Canadian media, the Canadian and Ontario governments have reached a preliminary agreement with Stellantis to save the currently suspended Windsor plant.


Other regions

Inflation in South Korea slows down in May South Korea’s inflation rate in May fell for the fourth consecutive month, indicating that price pressures are easing and leaving room for the central bank to maintain interest rates. Data from the South Korean Statistics Bureau on Friday showed that the consumer price index in May increased by 3.3% year-on-year, the lowest increase since October 2021, and lower than economists’ expected 3.4%. The core inflation, which excludes prices of oil and agricultural products, rose 4.3% in May, lower than the rise of 4.6% in the previous month.

【China’s warehousing index for May was 51.3%, in the expansion zone for four consecutive months】 The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing announced the warehousing index for May, which was 51.3%, in the expansion zone above 50% for four consecutive months. The warehousing industry maintains a stable recovery trend, but the pace of recovery has slowed slightly. The average inventory turnover continues to rise, reflecting a smoother circulation link, efficient turnover of goods, and stable inventory levels.

【485 trains have been dispatched by the China-Europe freight train in the first five months of the year, with 25 new international stations added】 On June 3rd, it was announced that from January to May this year, the China-Europe freight train (Hefei) dispatched 485 trains, a year-on-year increase of 24.04%. The coverage of the train has been further extended, with 25 new international stations added.

【BYD becomes the best-selling electric vehicle brand in Israel in the first five months of the year】 According to data recently released by the Israel Auto Importers Association, Chinese automaker BYD became the best-selling electric vehicle brand in Israel from January to May this year. The data shows that BYD sold a total of 8,497 electric vehicles in Israel during the first five months of this year, mainly the crossover SUV Atto3. BYD became the best-selling electric vehicle brand in Israel during this period and also ranked as the fifth best-selling car brand in Israel.

【Baltic dry bulk freight index falls for 15 consecutive days】 The Baltic dry bulk freight index continued to decline on Friday, falling for 15 consecutive trading days and recording the largest weekly decline since early January. The Baltic dry bulk freight index fell by 18 points or 1.9% to 919 points, the lowest level in over three months, falling by 21.6% this week, the worst since the week of January 6th. The Cape size ship freight index fell by 28 points or 2.5% to 1116 points, the largest percentage drop since the week of February 17th, falling by 33% this week. The average daily profit of Cape size ships fell by $233 to $9254. The Panamax freight index remained unchanged at 1030 points, recording an eighth consecutive weekly decline. The average daily profit of Panamax ships fell by $1 to $9269. The Supramax bulk freight index fell by 28 points or 3.3% to 819 points, the lowest since the end of February, and fell by 13.4% this week.

Shanghai Shipping Exchange: Export Container Transport Market Steady and Improving, Most Route Prices Rise Shanghai Shipping Exchange released the weekly report on China’s export container transport market on June 3. The export container transport market in China has shown a steady and improving trend, with overall stable transportation demand and rising prices on most routes, supporting the rise of the comprehensive index. As China continues to promote high-quality economic development and the national economy continues to recover, the future export container transport market in China is expected to continue its positive trend. On June 2, the Shanghai Shipping Exchange released the Shanghai export container comprehensive freight index, which rose 4.6% from the previous period to 1028.70 points.

Ningbo Shipping Exchange: Container Shipping Companies Push Up Prices, US West Coast Route Rises 26.5% This Week On June 3, the Ningbo export container freight index (NCFI) of the Maritime Silk Road index reported 742.2 points, up 5.7% from the previous week. Among the 21 routes, 9 routes saw an increase in the freight index. Among them, due to most shipping companies pushing up the shipping prices for June, the freight price of the North American route rebounded significantly. As the previous freight price was relatively low, the US West Coast route had a more significant increase. The latest data shows that the freight index of the US East Coast route was 902.2 points, up 14.7% from the previous week, and the freight index of the US West Coast route was 940.7 points, up 26.5% from the previous week.

Ningbo-Zhoushan Port Welcomes the Largest Container Ship in the World for Its Maiden Voyage On June 2, China’s independently developed ultra-large container ship “Mediterranean Michelangelo” docked at berth 4 of the container terminal in the Chuanshan Port area of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port for its maiden voyage. This is the third “sister ship” of the “world’s largest container ship” to arrive at the Chuanshan Port area within 78 days. The “Mediterranean Michelangelo” is independently designed and built in China with completely independent intellectual property rights and was delivered on May 24.

【Amazon will have nearly 100,000 sellers update their backend verification information】 On June 4th, MarketPlace Pulse research showed that nearly 100,000 Amazon sellers have changed their company name or address in the past few weeks, a number that has grown 30 times more than at any time in the past.

Previously, only a few thousand sellers updated their business information in a calendar month. This includes small changes such as fixing postal codes in addresses to full changes in company names and addresses.

It is understood that the US “Consumer Notice Act” will come into effect on June 27th. Amazon has previously updated the Amazon Service Business Solution Agreement to comply with the new law.

【eBay US launches Up & Running Grant Program for 2023】 On June 2nd, eBay US announced that it has officially launched the 2023 Up & Running Grant Program. From now until Friday, June 9th, 2023 at 6pm Eastern Time, small business sellers can apply for the Up & Running Grant, which includes $10,000 in cash, technical allowances, and business acceleration coaching.

【Temu has final interpretation rights for returned items in inventory】 On June 4th, Temu recently strengthened its quality inspection requirements and some merchants received new contracts. The added policy is that Temu has the final interpretation rights for returned items in inventory.

A certain casual shoe merchant said that according to Temu’s rules, once the goods are stored, if the merchant and Temu cannot reach an agreement on the handling of the goods, Temu will gradually or entirely return the goods and require SF Express to pay for them.

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