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Industry groups appear to have succeeded in their request to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to offer shipping companies’ greater flexibility amid coronavirus crisis by agreeing to set up a Covid – 19 task force to identify and assess measures that can be implemented in a coordinated fashion to help facilitate business continuity.

In the midst of the current uncertainty of the dry bulk market grappling with international trade and geopolitical tensions, regional infrastructure disaster setbacks, uncertainty over the impact of the Imo 2020 sulphur regulation implementation, the slowing Chinese industrial activity and the coronavirus pandemic, the bulk carriers remain the workhorses of international shipping and global trade.

The Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) from Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America has declared their commitment to ensuring their ports remain open amidst the current Covid- 19 pandemic. Initiated by Singapore, the declaration calls for port authorities to collaborate and share best practices in ensuring port operations can remain undisrupted.

On the occasion of international Labour Day, May 1, it is more important than ever to remember the critical role played by seafarers in continuing to transport food, medicines and other essential goods during the Covid-19 pandemic, says Intercargo.

Early evidence shows international trade is collapsing, says UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), threatening access to goods and critical supplies. In a policy brief, the UN body echoes an earlier call by UNCTAD secretary general, Mukhisa Kituyi, to keep ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing.