China enacted a new data privacy law in early November, and it didn’t take long for it to affect the global supply chain. As a result of the new law, some companies in China have stopped providing data that international shippers need to navigate supply chains, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

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The law, known as China’s Personal Information Protection Law, prevents foreign companies from accessing the data needed for shippers to gain an understanding of cargo volumes so that they can plan their routes in a way that prevents them from becoming congested. to avoid ports and reduce the total amount. The time of ships is spent waiting for the goods.

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Under the new law, the Chinese government has greater ability to control how domestic and foreign entities collect and distribute Chinese data. Reuters reported that the law does not specifically address shipping companies, yet Chinese companies are operating under its guidelines.

Representatives for Marine Traffic, which provides information on the movements of ships globally, told Reuters it had been affected by the law. With much of the world’s manufactured goods coming from China, Anastasis Turos, a leader at MarineTraffic who oversees automatic identification systems (AIS) that pinpoint the locations of ships, stressed that the law’s implications are wide-ranging. can be.

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“If this continues, there will be a huge impact in terms of global visibility, especially as we approach the busy Christmas period, with supply chains already facing huge problems all over the world,” Turos told Reuters. told. “All of a sudden we don’t know when and where the ships are leaving, and we don’t even have the full picture on the port congestion that AIS offers us.”

In the US, products are stuck at ports as dozens of ships are docked and unable to unload their cargo as they wait for truckers to arrive and move the cargo to their next location. David Dollar of the Brookings Institution told newsweek In mid-October this was largely linked to a shortage of truck drivers. He said at the time that he felt that the issues in the supply chain did not come largely from foreign affairs.

According to information gathered by market intelligence and valuation provider VesselsValue, Reuters reported that between October 28 and November 15, shipping data levels in China’s waters fell by an estimated 90 percent. As demand for shipped goods continues to rise along with global energy shortages, this problem can only increase in its severity.

Charlotte Cook, Head Trade Analyst at VesselsValue, said, “With China being a major importer of coal and iron ore and one of the main container exporters globally, this decline in positional data poses significant challenges related to ocean supply chain visibility. might.”