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Dollar Down, Economy Up & Container News

There have been several developments recently considered advantageous for U.S. exporters. The dollar has weakened, giving exports a boost forward with competitive prices once again, and the global economy is recovering at a faster pace. Also, a European logistics technologies company is getting creative with a new container design meant to save companies money.

The dollar has dropped to its lowest level since May 2016 based on the dollar index, which tracks U.S. currency against the euro, yen, pound sterling, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc. The euro is currently rallying, with a value above $1.19 for the first time since January 2015. Political and monetary policy uncertainty are said to plague the dollar, although it’s been a boon for exporters with U.S. exports up 6.74% through May 2017.

Furthermore, the International Monetary Fund released a World Economic Outlook report last month which stated that the global economy is gaining momentum in its recovery. Growth estimates are up for Japan, Europe, China and Asian emerging markets. The U.S. and Great Britain received downgrades in growth projections for the year, with predictions of 2.1% and 1.7% respectively. However, the overall world economy is experiencing its strongest upswing in a decade and projected to grow by 3.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018. The IMF said the upswing is due largely to an increase in world trade, which is expected to continue over the next two years.

Along with an increase in world trade comes efforts to increase shipping efficiency. A Spanish logistics technologies company is looking to increase container availability and save shippers money and space by developing a collapsible shipping container. Navlandis is currently developing a 20-foot container that when empty, is foldable and stackable.  Five folded, empty containers could fit into the space normally occupied by one empty container. Empty containers are estimated to take up a quarter of sea traffic.

Navlandis CEO Miguel Navalon said, “It will reduce company operating costs by up to 50% and CO2 emissions by up to 20%.”

Navlandis’s pursuit is being supported by the Port of Valencia and area shipping companies. The collapsible container has obtained certification from ISO and CSC and is manufactured with the same parts as standard shipping containers. According to Navalon, the new design is easy to collapse and requires less handwork. The company is making a series of trial runs and then hopes to sell 3,000 units in 2019.

If indeed logistical and transportation costs can be cut, along with a reduced dollar and a strong global economy, the market will remain favorable for U.S. exporters.

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Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corporation