Maersk and MSC to end 2M vessel-sharing alliance. MSC and Maersk announced this week that they had mutually agreed to terminate their 2M vessel-sharing alliance effective January 2025. “Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies,” said MSC CEO Soren Toft and newly appointed A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc in a joint statement. They also said that the decision to terminate the 2M alliance has no effect on immediate alliance services.
East Coast container imports continue to rise. Imports on the East Coast are still rising above pre-pandemic levels, with loaded imports to the Port of Charleston up 5% in December versus November, and imports to the Port of Virginia up 2%. Imports on the West Coast are still down, however. The Port of Los Angeles reported last week that it handled 352,046 twenty-foot equivalent units of loaded imports in December, down 9% year on year and down 6% from December 2019.
NCBFAA celebrates International Customs Day. January 26 is International Customs Day, a holiday that originates with the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels. According to the NCBFAA, “the WCO celebrates each Jan. 26 by initiating an annual theme for the world’s customs administration. The organization declared its 2023 theme to be ‘Nurturing the Next Generation: Promoting a Culture of Knowledge-sharing and Professional Pride in Customs.’”
Thank you to all of our customs brokers!
Bill introduced in House to provide incentives for new truck drivers and expand access to truck parking. The Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking bill introduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday would “provide temporary tax incentives for new truck drivers and expand access to truck parking and rest facilities,” according to JOC. The bill would simplify the commercial driver’s license application process and make it easier for states to waive truck size and weight limits during emergencies. The bill would also authorize $755 million in grants over four years to expand truck parking along US highways.
UP quickly returns to embargoes after STB hearing. Less than two weeks after a hearing in mid-December over its use of embargoes to deal with congestion issues, Union Pacific was back to using them. The railway announced an embargo on December 29 in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, citing severe weather events and arctic temperatures. The embargo was initially set at 14 days, but it was extended for another two weeks, ending Wednesday, January 25. According to The Loadstar, eight members of Congress from the affected region wrote to the STB asking the authority to step in and lift the embargo.
UP forced to halt container traffic between LA and Midwest due to bridge outage. Due to a bridge outage in New Mexico, Union Pacific Railroad has been forced to halt the movement of all domestic and international containers in both directions between Southern California and the key inland hubs of Chicago and Kansas City. As of 1/26, UP’s latest update said: “The bridge repairs in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, are proceeding ahead of schedule, with completion expected by Friday, January 27, 2023. Customers with rail shipments moving through the impacted area should continue to anticipate a delay of 48-72 hours as we work off the backlog of rail shipments. The La Honda Canyon bridge repairs between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, California, are scheduled to be completed in early February, with Embargo #UP003823 remaining in effect while the bridge remains out of service.”
Amazon launches air cargo service in India. This week, Amazon launched a dedicated air cargo service in India “as it looks to expand and speed-up deliveries across one of its key markets amid fast-growing e-commerce sales,” an executive said on Monday. Amazon is using Indian cargo carrier Quikjet to exclusively transport packages for Amazon across four major Indian cities, Reuters reports.
Pakistan ports see major container logjams. A bottleneck has been created at the port city of Karachi, which includes nearby Port Qasim, as a result of an acute foreign exchange crisis and the inability of importers to secure delivery orders for the timely clearance of cargo. “Thousands of containers are already stuck in the docks, creating a supply chain logjam,” one Karachi-based ship agent told The Loadstar. “The backlog is humongous.”
Volvo recalls over 100k cars worldwide. Volvo Cars issued a recall of around 106,900 cars worldwide over a suspected fault related to the brakes. The vehicles being recalled are 2023 year models of the C40, XC40, S60, V60, XC60, V90 and XC90 models, according to Reuters.