Rag News: February 2021


The Shortage of Shipping Containers around the World

COVID-19 has been the main cause for many global issues over last year, including the shipping container shortage. This situation began when countries started implementing lockdowns and heavier restrictions on imports and exports. As a result, carriers reduced the number of vessels that were out at sea, in order to stabilize costs and ocean rates. This strategy impacted the amount of trade across the world. However, at the end of 2020, Asia resumed their exports to full capacity. On the contrary, North America and Europe continue to have workforce restrictions and stricter customs, creating congestions in the ports. For this reason, retrieving containers became extremely difficult; creating a high demand and a low supply, which caused an increase in container prices. Asian Companies began paying for containers to return to Asia empty, 3 out of 4 containers return completely empty, making it even more difficult to secure a container.


According to Common Objective, the second-hand industry ships roughly around 130,000 containers a year.  Thus, the need for shipping containers is crucial for transporting these goods across the world. The shipping container shortage has impacted this industry immensely, by increasing the purchasing price of the goods in order to secure a container in a reasonable time. In addition, it has also decrease the amount of exports available to ship and many sellers have been stuck with their goods because of many logistic problems and cancellations.

There are about 180 million containers worldwide, but with the current situation they are all in the wrong place. “So, what is happening is that what was already a trade surplus in China has turned dramatically more severe and the reality is, there’s three containers going out for every container that’s coming in” according to Mark Yeager, CEO of Redwood Logistics. “The sudden recovery in trade volume has seen virtually all of the major shipping lines needing to add significant container capacity to address the container shortage issue” he added.  However, orders for new containers were largely cancelled during the first half of 2020 as most of the world went into lockdown. Many companies are working hard in order to solve this issue in a timely manner, seeing how it is impacting the whole world.

Universal circular economy policy goals by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has published a set of ‘Universal circular economy policy goals,’ which intend to help governments move towards a circular economy. The circular economy policy goals detailed in the paper can also offers solutions to key global challenges such as climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss; all while still delivering economic development and growth.


The Foundation has shown that moving towards a circular economy, where waste is eliminated and reduced by regenerating natural systems and reusing and recycling products and materials, can play a vital role in tackling climate change. A circular economy can bring health benefits by reducing the environmental impacts, advances in food safety and security, and improving resource organization.


However, in order for a circular economy to happen there needs to be a greater alignment between the industry and the government. This is where the Foundation comes in and calls on businesses and policymakers at all levels, to work together and align with these five goals in order to transitions smoothly into a circular economy. Based on  the Foundation’s latest release, ‘Universal circular economy policy goals,’ the goals are:


1. Stimulate design for the circular economy

2. Manage resources to preserve value

3. Make the economics work

4. Invest in innovation, infrastructure and skills

5. Collaborate for system change


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides a detailed explanation of each of their goals with examples  and  resources to  help make these policy goals a reality. Click here to read more.

COVID-19 vaccination at St. Vincent de Paul Home in Malta


The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, also known as SVDP, is a non-profit Catholic organization; whose mission is to serve the poor with love, respect, justice and joy. In addition to their mission, they come together as a family to help people in all possible ways. The SVDP strives in helping those who are in need, they do so in many different capacities including providing homes to the homeless. Saint Vincent de Paul has multiple houses founded, each with a different and unique mission, one of them being their home for the elderly. The  Saint  Vincent  de Paul home for the elderly in Malta, has begun implementing the COVID19 vaccination programme for all residents who accepted to be vaccinated. According to the Minister for Active Ageing, Michael Farrugia, the programme is progressing ahead of schedule. Currently they are administrating the second dose of the vaccine to its 880 residents who accepted to be vaccinated.


Malta’s goal is to have 70% of the population vaccinated by September, with all medical workers and people over 80 receiving their first doses by March. In addition, Malta’s Health Minister observed that the vaccine rollout in Malta is now the fastest in Europe as a percentage of the population. In February, all other frontline workers and people over 80 will be eligible for the vaccine, followed by people with chronic illnesses, people over 70 and staff at schools and other childcare centres. Lastly the vaccine will be offered to people over 55 before becoming available to general public, which is expected to be in late April or the beginning of May.


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