Moscow Reconsiders OPEC+ Cuts as Demand Forecasts Turn Bleak
At the beginning of February Russia had blocked a proposal suggested by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make additional production cuts. Originally Russia decided to let cooler heads prevail by taking a wait-and-see approach in the face of virus woes. However, it seems that sentiment may have altered as Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister suggested that the countries position might change as demand forecasts will likely be downgraded in the coming weeks. This news came on Friday and is thought to be a direct result of the coronavirus reaching the European Union.
Along with Moscow potentially agreeing to cuts, Saudi Arabia is reportedly pushing partners within the OPEC+ alliance to now agree to additional cuts of 1 million barrels per day. This proposal is likely to be at the forefront of the group’s next policy meeting in Vienna on March 6th. Under the new proposal, Saudi Arabia would bear most of the cuts splitting the balance with other members of the group including Russia. If the alliance comes to an agreement the new deal would bring an estimated total reduction of 3.1 million barrels per day. If these proposed cuts were implemented it would be the biggest supply curtailment in over a decade.
Einride to Hire Remote Truck Operators, Plans U.S. Launch
The Swedish-based autonomous trucking and transportation company, Einride, announced they will be hiring their first remote drivers in Sweden and will launch their vehicles in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2020. The goal of the remote drivers is to allow the vehicle to be operated from a remote location instead of the driver being in the vehicle itself. This is more focused around the countries that will not allow Level 5 Autonomy on public roads. Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride explained, “They [operators] don’t need to sleep in a vehicle. They can work in an office environment and then go home.”
This news came out around the same time that Starsky Robotics shut its doors after funding dried out. Starsky was the main developer using drivers remotely controlling the truck in the U.S. The company successfully operated a 10-mile run in Florida with no driver on board less than a year ago.
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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners known as OPEC+ will meet in Vienna on March 5-6 to discuss additional steps to support markets hit by demand fears over spread of coronavirus.
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Einride, a Swedish-based remote-operated autonomous trucking and transportation company, announced today that they will be hiring their first remote drivers in Sweden in March 2020 and in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2020.
Protesters in Canada blocked train lines, Vancouver’s port entrance and at least one highway in Quebec on Tuesday in response to the arrest of 10 indigenous protesters on Monday as police cleared a three-week rail barricade in southern Ontario.
Heading into trans-Pacific service contracting season, container lines say they’re confident they will sign all-inclusive freight rates that are slightly higher than last year, with higher fuel surcharges tied to new global regulation driving much of the increases. Concerns about securing space once coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-impacted Asian imports rebound is only further sharpening shippers’ focus on service commitments.
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Top Economic Stories
Asia reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, including a U.S. soldier stationed in South Korea, as the United States warned of an inevitable pandemic and outbreaks in Italy and Iran spread to other countries.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to an all-time low Tuesday as stocks swooned for a second straight day, driven by worries the coronavirus could seriously disrupt an already sluggish global economy.