Freight Market Updates

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Radiant Logistics Acquires Cascade Enterprises of Minnesota, Inc.

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For Immediate Release Radiant Logistics Acquires Strategic Operating Partner Cascade Enterprises of Minnesota, Inc. RENTON, WA October 5, 2022 – Radiant Logistics, Inc. (NYSE American: RLGT), a leading provider of...
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Radiant Logistics Announces Record Results For The Third Fiscal Quarter Ended March 31, 2022

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For Immediate Release Radiant Logistics Announces Record Results For The Third Fiscal Quarter Ended March 31, 2022 Reports quarterly results with revenues of $460.9 million, up $224.4 million or 94.9%;...

Celebrating Women’s History Month | Women In Logistics & Supply Chain

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Celebrating Women's History Month Get To Know Some of the Inspiring Women Leaders at Navegate March is Women's History Month — a time to honor the bravery and achievements of...
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Radiant Logistics Announces Results For The Second Fiscal Quarter Ended December 31, 2021

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For Immediate Release Radiant Logistics Announces Results For The Second Fiscal Quarter Ended December 31, 2021 Continues trend with another quarter of record results for the second quarter ended December...

Port of Virginia Inland Port Switches to Renewable Power, Department of Transportation Announces Funding for 9 Megaprojects, Iowa Bill Introduced to Limit Length of Freight Trains.

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Ocean

ONE announces more blank sailings and detours as earnings fall. ONE announced that as a result of  falling cargo volumes and earnings from April to December last year it will blank more sailings and detour more ships round the Cape of Good Hope. ONE has been diverting ships round the Cape of Good Hope on return legs of Far East-Europe and Far East-North America east coast sailings to reduce the idle time of vessels caused by blank sailings, according to The Loadstar.

Ports

Port of Virginia inland port switches to renewable power. The Port of Virginia’s inland port in Front Royal has become one of the first inland port facilities to make the switch to 100 percent renewable electrical power for its own infrastructure and operations. Other Virginia terminals are expected to make the switch as well.

Customs

UFLPA ACE Enhancement Region Alert Information Notice for Trade. CBP will deploy the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Region Alert enhancement to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE On March 18, 2023. This enhancement will provide an early notification to importers and their representative of goods that may have been produced in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang or XUAR) and may be excluded from importation into the United States. This enhancement includes electronic data interchange (EDI) impacts. See the changes for trade users here.

Trucking

Department of Transportation announces funding for 9 megaprojects. This week, the Biden administration announced $1.2 billion in federal funds to be distributed to nine projects qualifying for a new grant program created under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, FreightWaves reports. The money for the projects comes from discretionary grants provided by the new National Infrastructure Project Assistance grant program. Eligible projects include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail and public transportation projects. 

Rail

STB says rail merger would cause noise pollution. In a statement released last week, The Surface Transportation Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis said that it is upholding its conclusion that “increased railroad noise levels in some communities would be the greatest environmental impact resulting from the merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern,” according to FreightWaves.  Read a more detailed report and recommendations from OEA here.

Iowa bill introduced to limit length of freight trains. A bill in the Iowa Legislature is seeking to restrict the length of freight trains operating in the state. Legislation was introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives last week that seeks to restrict the length of freight trains operating in the state. The bill would prevent railroad companies from running trains that exceed 8,500 feet in length, or about 1.6 miles, according to FreightWaves. The rule could cost companies between $500 and $5,000 per violation if signed into law.

Air

Air Canada heavily investing in cargo. Air Canada is amassing a sizeable cargo fleet, adding a fourth  Boeing B767 freighter, two factory-built B767-300Fs, and two newbuild B777Fs, making the company go from three to seven freighters between now and June 2023. Air Canada expects to have 12 freighters by the end of 2024, AirCargoNews reports.

International

India to build new container transshipment terminal. India’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways announced that a new container transshipment terminal will be built, the Galathea Bay Transshipment Port. The Ministry said that a transshipment hub in India would “attract Indian and regional transshipment traffic from the current hubs, save significant revenue loss, reduce logistics inefficiencies for Indian trade, reduce risks to the country’s export competitiveness and create an opportunity for India to become a large hub for Asia-Africa, Asia-US/Europe container traffic trade,” according to Splash247.

Other

Cardboard box demand plummeted during 2022 fourth quarter. According to data released by the American Forest & Paper Association and Fibre Box Association last week, demand and output for cardboard boxes and other packaging material plunged in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Maersk and MSC to End 2M Vessel-Sharing Alliance, East Coast Container Imports Continue to Rise, UP Quickly Returns to Embargoes After STB Hearing.

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Ocean 

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. 

Ports

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. 

Customs

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!

Trucking

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. 

Rail

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.”

International

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.”

Other

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.

Cargo Volumes Hit Record High at Port of Savannah, Important Change in CSX Free Time for CY Customers, Mexico Breaks Record for Exports and Production of Cargo Trucks.

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Ocean 

Secondhand containerships face acute pricing drops. Secondhand boxship prices are falling following a muted second half of 2022 and severe drops in prices during the first two weeks of 2023. Boxship S&P volumes fell last year from 1.6m teu down to 0.6m teu sold in 2022. Clarksons Research’s secondhand boxship index fell 46% across the year as dropping markets and increased investor uncertainty took their toll, according to Splash247

Ports

Cargo volumes hit record high at Port of Savannah. The Georgia Ports Authority announced this week that the Port of Savannah handled a record 5.9 million TEUs in 2022 for an increase of 5% over 2021. GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch said that “it was a challenging year, but collaborative effort across Georgia’s supply chain ensured cargo movement remained fluid.” The port is being billed as the fastest growing container terminal in the U.S.

Port of Halifax crosses new throughput threshold. The Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada, has a new record of “crossing the 600,000 [twenty-foot equivalent units] annual throughput threshold for the first time.” In 2022 the Canadian government invested CA$7 million ($5.4 million) to build a marine container examination facility that aims to reduce inspection turnaround times and port congestion. This year, the port will add more yard handling space and equipment, as well as two additional super post-Panamax cranes at PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub, according to FreightWaves.

Rail

Important change in the CSX free time for CY customers. From Maersk: “Beginning January 1, 2023, free time at the CSX is now day of notification plus 2 days for CY customers. Please spend some time reviewing the applicable storage rates and terms, which can be found on Page 31 of the CSX Transportation Inc Intermodal Service Directory. Cargo that fails to out gate within free time will be subject to daily storage charges as detailed in the terms outlined in the CSX Transportation Inc Intermodal Service Directory, with peak periods being notified by CSX with 30-day advanced notice.” See the full notice here. 

Trucking

Mexico breaks record for exports and production of cargo trucks. Truck making production increased 20.6% year over year (y/y) in Mexico, assisted by exports of heavy-duty cargo trucks to the U.S., according to Miguel Elizalde, president of Mexico’s National Association of Bus, Truck and Tractor Producers (Anpact). The 16 truck makers that are members of Anpact manufactured 195,789 heavy vehicles in 2022, beating the previous 2019 record of 195,499 vehicles. According to FreightWaves, exports of trucks in 2022 totaled 166,878 units, an 18% y/y increase.

Air

NATA wants comment period extension on SMS proposal. The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is looking to request an extension of the comment period on the FAA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to extend safety management system (SMS) mandates. Published in the Federal Register on January 11, the proposal is open for comment through March 13. The proposal would require on-demand operations, commercial air tour operators, production certificate holders that are holders or licensees of a type certificate (TC) for the same product, and holders of a TC who license out that TC for production to comply with the SMS requirements, according to Aviation International News.

FAA says deleted files led to NOTAM outage. The Federal Aviation Administration said that last week’s computer system outage appears to have been the result of “unintentionally deleted files.” The outage caused a temporary grounding of the nation’s airspace and delayed thousands of flights across the U.S. In a statement, the FAA said that “a preliminary FAA review of last week’s outage of the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system determined that contract personnel unintentionally deleted files while working to correct synchronization between the live primary database and a backup database. The agency has so far found no evidence of a cyber-attack or malicious intent. The FAA continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outage.”

International

UN searching for affordable tanker for oil transfer off Yemen coast. UN officials reported they are struggling to find an affordable tanker to remove and store the oil stored on a decaying tanker off the coast of Yemen. In a briefing at UN headquarters, they said they are making good progress both in the financing and planning for the effort, but that the cost and availability of tankers is their latest challenge, according to Maritime Executive. 

Other

Amazon to shut down charity donation program. Amazon announced this week that it plans to shut down its charity donation program, AmazonSmile,  by the end of February, according to a notice that the company posted to its website. When a shopper uses the platform, Amazon donates a percentage of eligible purchases on the site to a charity organization of the shopper’s choosing. Since the program began in 2013, Amazon has donated roughly $500 million to charities. The discontinuation of the program is part of recent cost-cutting efforts by the retail giant.  

Fines Increasing for Violations of FMCSA Regulations, Reason for NOTAM Outage Under FAA Investigation, Chicago O’Hare Avoids Labor and Cargo Disruptions.

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Ocean 

Containership charter market continues to stabilize. The containership charter market has now stabilized, but the outlook for the sector remains uncertain as charterers appear to be waiting for better demand visibility after the Chinese New Year holiday before reassessing their network requirements, the Loadstar reports

Ports

U.S. imports surge is over, volumes fall to pre-pandemic levels. U.S. imports continue to fall as import patterns appear to return to pre-pandemic levels. Volumes began declining sharply in September and were already close to 2019 levels by the end of last year. The “pandemic-driven surge [is] finally over,” said the National Retail Federation (NRF).  The NRF’s monthly Port Tracker estimates that the 12 ports it covers handled 1.88 million twenty-foot equivalent units in December, down 10.1% year on year. 

Trucking

Fines increasing for violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. The FMCSA announced the new civil penalty amounts in a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 6. The increase is based on the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which requires all federal agencies to adjust minimum and maximum civil penalty amounts for inflation “to preserve their deterrent impact.” The new fine amounts are effective immediately. A complete list of U.S. DOT fine increases for 2023 can be found here.

Rail

Canada announces requirement for freight railroads to provide more performance data. Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that the Canadian government will soon require the nation’s major freight railroads to provide more data in “an effort to strengthen the nation’s supply chain,” Progressive Railroading reports. Transport Canada officials said in a press release that the railroads must supply the data to help rail users better understand the freight-rail sector’s end-to-end performance, effective April 3

Air

FAA proposes 2024 deadline for airplane altimeter upgrades. Airlines were granted another year to fix or replace airplane altimeters that can’t filter out cellular transmissions from outside their allotted frequencies by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said it “estimates that approximately 180 airplanes would require radio altimeter replacement and 820 airplanes would require the addition of radio altimeter filters to comply with the proposed modification requirement.” The total estimated cost of compliance is $26 million.

Reason for NOTAM outage under FAA investigation. All flights across the U.S. were paused by the Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday morning following an outage of the Notice to Air Missions system (NOTAM). Flights slowly resumed by Wednesday afternoon, but residual delays and cancellations could last days. The FAA said that early investigative work traced the blackout to a “damaged database file,” but the agency is still working to determine the root cause, according to NPR.

Chicago O’Hare avoids labor and cargo disruptions. Chicago O’Hare International Airport reached a required labor agreement and will continue cargo operations as normal, avoiding potential service interruptions. On Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) notified freighter operators that cargo handler Swissport has signed an agreement with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) establishing parameters for the union to mount a membership drive, according to FreightWaves

International

Piracy drops to 14 year low. Global acts of piracy fell to their lowest level last year since statistics were first established and tracked in 2008. The Maritime Information Cooperation and Awareness Center (MICA), the France-based branch of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), said there had been 300 reported acts of piracy and robbery in 2022.

Other

Ozone layer on track for recovery. Some good news for your week: A panel of international experts backed by the United Nations has found that the Earth’s ozone layer is on its way to recovering, thanks in part to decades of work to get rid of ozone-damaging chemicals.

Import Dwell Fee at Port Houston to Take Effect February 1, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Ratifies New Labor Deal With CN, CBP Bans Imports From Companies Using Forced North Korean Labor.

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Ocean 

Evergreen to pay more fines to MD for 2022 Chesapeake Bay grounding. Taiwanese company Evergreen has been ordered to pay the state of Maryland more than $676,000 as a penalty for the 11,850 teu boxship Ever Forward running aground in Chesapeake Bay last March. The fine will go toward enhancing state oyster bars.

Ports

ONE to acquire controlling interest in three CA container terminals. Ocean Network Express (ONE) is acquiring a controlling interest in three container terminals in California. ONE said the acquisition of the interests in the terminals is part of its growth strategy and will safeguard access to terminal capacity in key and strategic gateways, Maritime Executive reports. “The recent disruptions to the supply chain due to Covid-19 have highlighted the importance container terminals play in keeping global trade flowing,” said ONE. “The newly acquired container terminals will safeguard ONE’s access to terminal capacity in key and strategic gateways, support its growth ambitions and enhance its service offerings to customers.”

Import dwell fee at Port Houston to take effect February 1. Port Houston is set to implement its Sustained Import Dwell Fee on February 1. The $45 fee will be charged per unit per day starting on the eighth day after the expiration of free time. This fee is in addition to the demurrage charges for loaded import containers and does not replace those charges. Port Houston says that containers will be held until all terminal fees are reconciled. 

Trucking

Diesel prices increase after long streak of declines. Following seven straight weeks of declines, the national average price of diesel increased 4.6 cents to $4.583 according to Energy Information Administration data on Jan. 2. The average price for a gallon of diesel costs 97 cents more than it did at this time in 2022.

Rail

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference ratifies new labor deal with CN. CN announced this week that the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference ratified a new collective agreement on Dec. 23. The deal covers about 160 rail traffic controllers in Canada and will last through Dec. 31, 2025.  “We are committed to working with our railroaders and their union representatives to create a workplace where employees thrive and together we deliver better and safer service to our valued customers.” CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson said in a news release. Read more Rail Roundup news from FreightWaves here.

Air

Passenger sues Southwest Airlines following holiday meltdown. A passenger has sued Southwest Airlines, saying that the airline failed to provide refunds to passengers who were left stranded after the carrier canceled more than 15,000 flights late last month. Passenger Eric Capdeville accused Southwest of breach of contract in a proposed class action filed on Dec. 30 in New Orleans federal court. Southwest had no comment on the lawsuit, but said it had “several high priority efforts underway to do right by our customers, including processing refunds from canceled flights, and reimbursing customers for expenses incurred as a result of the irregular operations,” according to Reuters.

O’Hare Cargo flights could be disrupted as a result of pro-union mandate. Two-thirds of cargo traffic at O’Hare airport could be at risk of being stranded after the city of Chicago threatened to revoke the licenses of cargo processing contractors if they don’t open to union organizers. The situation is the result of new conditions imposed on airport service providers at O’Hare International Airport (ORD) last summer requiring them to enter into a labor peace agreement within 60 days of a labor union’s request, according to Freightwaves. 

International

Germany receives first shipment of LNG from U.S. A tanker arrived in Germany this week with enough gas to supply 50,000 German households with energy for a year, according to a joint statement from terminal operator Uniper SE and Venture Global LNG Inc. The first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. to Germany arrived at a new floating terminal in the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven, a “milestone in the nation’s quest to diversify its energy supplies,” Bloomberg reports. 

Other

CBP bans imports from companies using forced North Korean labor. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that imports from three companies the agency said use North Korean labor in their supply chains have been banned. The companies are Jingde Trading Ltd., Rixin Foods. Ltd. and Zhejiang Sunrise Garment Group Co. Ltd. The imports are banned under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a 2017 law that strengthened sanctions on North Korea, Iran and Russia according to The Hill.

Canada places 2-year ban on foreign home buyers. Canada has enacted a two-year ban on foreign home buyers in order to help ease their nearly unaffordable housing market. The ban prohibits people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents from buying residential properties as of January first, and imposes a C$10,000 fine on anyone who breaches it.

FMC Checking Shipping Lines’ Anti-Retaliation Compliance, Southeast U.S. Ports Adding Capacity for Future Growth, Legislative Changes Expected to Address Crashes in 2023.

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Ocean 

FMC checking shipping lines’ anti-retaliation compliance. According to a release, the Federal Maritime Commission is calling on the top 20 U.S. shipping lines to provide information on how they are complying with the new prohibitions on retaliation established by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA).The Commission’s Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) Audit Team is examining how ocean carriers are adapting to the increased prohibitions on retaliatory and discriminatory behavior. 

Ports

Southeast U.S. ports adding capacity for future growth. Ports in the Southeast United States are focusing efforts on increasing capacity to handle future upswings in demand following two consecutive years of strong growth in container volumes, according to JOC. The Port of Charleston will have its first full year with a deeper, 52-feet harbor that allows it to handle ultra-large container ships, and planned infrastructure projects will expand container handling capacity at the ports of Savannah and Virginia.

Trucking

16,000 Peterbilt refuse trucks recalled by Paccar. Following three rollover accidents traced to insufficient axle bracket support, 16,033 Peterbilt refuse trucks built over the last eight years are being recalled by Paccar Inc. No injuries were specified in conjunction with the crashes in Paccar’s filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An estimated 4% of the recalled trucks may experience the condition.

Legislative changes expected to address crashes in 2023. Congress and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are expected to advance regulatory and legislative policy in 2023 pertaining to the National Roadway Safety Strategy, a U.S. Department of Transportation-wide initiative aimed at addressing rising injuries and deaths involving cars and trucks. A breakdown by FreightWaves of planned policies can be found here. 

Canada looking to launch trucking decarbonization initiatives. The Canadian government is launching two upcoming calls for proposals to help decarbonize the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sector. Canada is looking to reduce freight emissions, as freight transportation currently accounts for over 10% of Canada’s overall climate-warming emissions.

Rail

US Class I railroad employment up 4.4% year over year. Data collected by the Surface Transportation Board observed that employment numbers with the U.S. operations of the Class I railroads in mid-November were the highest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, although this information is being questioned by an attorney representing six rail labor unions. 

Air

Southwest Airlines causes frustration with flight disruptions. On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines had canceled more than 2,660, or 65%, of its scheduled flights according to FlightAware. The federal Department of Transportation said it would investigate the meltdown, saying it was “concerned by Southwest Airlines’ disproportionate and unacceptable rate of cancellations and delays as well as the failure to properly support customers experiencing a cancellation or delay,” according to CBS News.

International

EU ETS deal estimated to come at large cost. The European Council and Parliament reached a provisional deal on Dec. 18 to gradually phase in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) for maritime emissions. Although the precise cost of the EU ETS for the container shipping is not fully known, it will likely exceed $10 billion annually.

Germans stocking up on candles during energy crisis. Following the cutoff of gas flow from Russia to Germany, the German government “has been working to reduce gas consumption and diversify its energy supply,” according to NPR. German citizens are now encouraged to use less hot water; turn off the heat in private swimming pools; and lower the temperature in many public buildings. In addition to this, many Germans have been stocking up on candles. “Candle demand is very strong right now,” says Stefan Thomann, Technical Director of the European Candle Manufacturers Association.

Other

A collection of good news from 2022. In the spirit of a new year, here’s a look back at some weird and wacky good news that happened in 2022 from NPR.

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to End Container Dwell Fee, Section 301 Exclusions Extended Through September 2023, Union Pacific to Pause Embargoes Following STB Hearing.

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Ocean 

Ocean carriers to blank sailings from Asia after Chinese New Year. Ocean carriers are preparing to blank around half their advertised sailings from Asia to North Europe and the US after Chinese New Year as a result of weakened demand forecasts. Chinese factories are preparing to shut down ahead of Chinese New Year because of canceled and postponed orders and uncertainty surrounding future consumer demand. 

New bill seeks to close Jones Act loopholes. In an effort to strengthen enforcement of the Jones Act, Representative John Garamendi introduced the “Close Agency Loopholes to the Jones Act” last week. The bill would turn back a spate of “letter rulings” which have benefited offshore energy producers by allowing lower cost foreign vessels into the offshore realm, Seatrade Maritime reports.

Ports

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to end container dwell fee. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are ending the container dwell fee they announced last year but never imposed. The ports will phase out the option to collect a terminal dwell fee on Jan. 24, 2023. 

Customs

Section 301 Exclusions extended through September 2023. The Office of the United States Trade Representative has extended the Section 301 Exclusions that were due to expire at the end of the year through September 2023. Read the Federal Register Notice of Extensions for Reinstated Product Exclusions here.

Trucking

California appellate court must decide on constitutionality of Prop 22. After hearing arguments on whether California should allow Prop 22, an appellate court must sort through several legal interpretations. Prop 22 is the 2020 referendum approved by a large number of voters designed to exempt the state’s gig workers from the AB5 independent contractor classification law. 

Rail

Union Pacific to pause embargoes following STB hearing. Following a hearing last week from the Surface Transportation Board regarding shipper and labor officials complaints of Union Pacific’s use of embargoes, UP’s chief executive has told federal regulators the railroad will pause its use of embargoes in order to give the congestion-alleviation practice a “hard look.” The number of UP’s embargoes has grown from 27 in 2017 to 662 in 2021 and 886 as of October 2022, according to FreightWaves.

Air

Air Canada to expand Vancouver cargo terminal. Air Canada announced that it will be expanding its Vancouver, British Columbia, cargo terminal in preparation for receiving two Boeing 777 factory-built freighters that will operate on trans-Pacific routes, according to FreightWaves. The Vancouver upgrade is part of a large program to improve cargo hubs across the Air Canada network. 

International

CMA CGM eyes Vietnam air cargo services. CMA CGM Air Cargo announced at the Asean-EU Business Summit in Brussels that it is planning to apply for a flight license in Vietnam. The carrier’s VP for business development Patric Bergamini said that CMA CGM was “committed to continuing to support Vietnam’s economic development through the expansion of […] CMA CGM Air Cargo.”

Other

U.S. sees lowest gas prices since 2021. According to AAA, the national average for regular gasoline dropped to $3.14 a gallon on Monday, the lowest they’ve been since July 2021. Pump prices spiked early in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the national average topping out at an all-time record of $5.02 a gallon in June.

Port Volumes Near Pre-Pandemic Levels, Shippers Say Railroads Aren’t Fulfilling Common Carrier Obligation, EU Reaches Agreement on Import Pollution Tax.

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Ocean 

Containerships to be scrapped following market drops. Analysts are anticipating that a large amount of older containerships will be scrapped soon, with significant amounts of boxships currently being put up for recycling as the container market sinks to pre-covid levels. “The ongoing trade slowdown is expected to worsen for 2023. While the outlook for global trade remains uncertain, negative factors appear to outweigh positive trends,” according to a  new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). 

Ports

Port volumes near pre-pandemic levels. Imports are close to pre-pandemic levels following weakening inbound cargo volumes and reduced exports from China. Descartes reported that 1,954,179 twenty-foot equivalent units of containerized cargo were imported in November, down 12% month on month and 19.4% year on year – only 2.8% higher than imports in November 2019, and down 37% from the May peak. The m/m drop in November of this year is the steepest recorded by Descartes since 2016. 

Customs

CBP to launch new interactive guidance tools for UFLPA. CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said during a Dec. 7 Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee meeting that CBP will soon launch interactive tools on its website to aid in compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Miller said the agency has been exploring ways to better aid U.S. importers as they navigate increasingly “complex global supply chains” and vet suppliers who may be using forced labor, according to International Trade Today.

Trucking

New heavy duty engine emission standards could cost truckers. Truckers are bracing for new tailpipe emissions standards from the Biden administration that single owner-operators and owners of large fleets warn could “place heavy cost burdens onto the U.S. economy as a recession already looms,” according to FreightWaves. The new nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions standards were proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March. 

Rail

CN outlines winter plan as required by the provisions of the Canada Transportation Act. CN has prepared a Winter Plan that outlines the challenges they face operating in Canadian winter conditions, as well as sets out the actions that enable CN to maintain operations through the winter at a level acceptable to the needs of customers while ensuring that operations continue in a safe and efficient manner. See the CN winter weather situation report here for updates on rail conditions. 

Shippers say railroads aren’t fulfilling common carrier obligation. This week, several shippers told federal regulators that they “don’t believe the railroads are meeting the common carrier obligation because of the service issues they’ve encountered in the past year, including an increased use of embargoes as a means to control congestion,” FreightWaves reports. Shippers made these comments before the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which was holding a two-day hearing to determine why Union Pacific’s use of embargoes rose significantly in the last five years. 

Air

Last Boeing 747 produced in Washington. The last Boeing 747 rolled off the production line in Everett, Washington on December 6, after 52 years and 1,574 planes. The production line will be closed and potentially repurposed for other aircraft.

International

EU reaches agreement on import pollution tax. A provisional deal between the Council of the EU and members of the European Parliament was reached Tuesday morning, enabling plans for the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to move forward. The Parliament said the CBAM levy would be established “to equalize the price of carbon paid for EU products operating under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the one for imported goods,” in a statement.

Other

Average price of new cars hits all-time record. The average new car price in November was a record-high $48,681, according to Cox Automotive’s data. The price was $422 higher than in October and $2,250 higher than one year ago. The average buyer has paid more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) every month since July 2021, according to Kelley Blue Book calculations.

Freight Rates from China to West Coast Down 90%, FMCSA Proposes Limiting Scope of Emergency Waivers, Boeing Awaits Certification for Converted Freighters in Canada.

By | COVID-19 Latest Updates, Freight Market Update | No Comments

Ocean 

Freight rates from China to West Coast down 90%. Prices in the ocean freight contract market showed a record monthly drop in November, with rates falling 90% year over year for cargo from China bound to the U.S. West Coast. This drop exceeded the expectation among experts for how fast trade demand would correct itself.

Ports

ILA president predicts peaceful contract negotiations. President of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Harold Daggett says that he is confident that the union will secure a new six-year contract following the start of negotiations next year, according to JOC. This expression of confidence should give shippers a sense of labor peace at East and Gulf coast ports as separate contract talks on the West Coast have stalled. 

CMA CGM to acquire two major terminals at Port of New York and New Jersey. French shipping group CMA CGM is set to acquire two key container terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey. The terminals, GCT Bayonne in New Jersey and GCT New York on Staten Island, are currently held by Global Container Terminals Inc (GCT) and have a current combined capacity of 2 million TEUs per year and counting, according to gCaptain.

Trucking

FMSCA proposes limiting scope of emergency waivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing to roll back the disaster relief automatically given to commercial truckers and trucking companies. The proposed change would mean that during a regional emergency caused by weather or other supply chain disruptions, drivers and carriers would be exempt only from daily and weekly limits on driving time. “Based on agency subject matter expertise and input from states, affected localities, industry groups and others, FMCSA believes that most emergencies justify allowing carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in responding to the emergency relief from the normal hours of service (HOS) limits to deliver critical supplies and services to the communities in need,” FMCSA stated in its proposal.

Rail

Norfolk Southern to move away from furloughing practice. Norfolk Southern (NS) plans to deemphasize the use of furloughs as a way to cut costs during market down cycles in order to improve labor relations. Stakeholders say that pandemic-related workforce reductions may have “exacerbated service issues that arose due in part to headcount cuts brought on by precision scheduled railroading,” according to FreightWaves. “I’m confident that changing our workforce strategy during economic downturns is going to be a positive step in our efforts … to improve our relationship with our employees and improve their quality of life,” NS President and CEO Alan Shaw said.

Air

Boeing awaits certification for converted freighters in Canada. Boeing is currently awaiting approval from aviation authorities in Canada after a delay in getting certification for four newly converted 737-800 aircraft has set back WestJet’s plans to expand into freighter operations by nine months. The four cargo jets are sitting idle at Calgary International Airport, and WestJet now expects to commence all-cargo flights on March 26, the start of the summer flying season.

International

Amazon using sea trips sustainable European deliveries. Amazon is making efforts to provide more efficient, faster, and lower-emission modes of freight transport by increasing their use of short sea trips to move inventory and customer packages across Europe. Amazon currently operates multiple sea routes between Italy and Spain and most recently linked its warehouses in Germany and Poland to the Swedish ports of Helsingborg, Nynasham, and Trelleborg via Stena Line, according to Splash247.

Other

Water levels improve on lower Mississippi River. Good news – shipping conditions on the lower Mississippi River are returning to normal following consistent rainfall. Within just the past few days, a dramatic improvement in water levels was measured at Memphis, Tennessee. 

The world’s first transportable stadium: Qatar’s Stadium 947. Built from 947 shipping containers, the FIFA world cup stadium is a win for innovation and sustainability. We’ve heard that the stadium is being dismantled and is headed for Uruguay for the 2030 World Cup…but no matter where it goes, the 947 shipping containers will be traveling by ship to its next destination! Check it out:

House Passes Resolution to Head off Rail Strike, FMC Approves Chassis Pool in Southeast U.S., Benchmark Diesel Price Continues to Fall.

By | COVID-19 Latest Updates, Freight Market Update | No Comments

Ocean 

Shipping industry passes earnings peak in third quarter. The container shipping industry earned profits of $58.9 billion in the third quarter, down 6.6% from the $63.7 billion earned in this year’s second quarter, breaking a streak of seven straight record quarters for the sector and effectively passing the peak of earnings. The downturn in earnings is expected to continue in the quarters ahead as overall pricing in the sector continues to ease.

Ports

FMC approves chassis pool in Southeast U.S. The formation of a chassis pool in the Southeast US covering three ports in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina has been approved by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). Port officials say that the move will “expand the fleet and improve the quality and reliability of the equipment necessary to move containerized cargo,” JOC reports.

East Coast imports surge as contract talks drag in the West. Import volumes from Asia are continuing to surge at ports along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts as a result of delays in longshore labor negotiations on the West Coast. It’s a sign that retailers have steadily shifted discretionary cargo away from the West Coast as a way to avoid potential disruptions linked to the contract talks.

Trucking

Benchmark diesel price used for most fuel surcharges continues to fall. The average weekly retail diesel price fell 9.2 cents per gallon to $5.141, according to the price posted Monday by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. The 9.2-cent decline is the largest one-week drop since falling 14.5 cents on Aug. 8. Diesel prices are now down 20 cents in five weeks.

Rail

U.S. House of Representatives passes resolution to head off rail strike. The House passed a resolution on Wednesday to head off the potential rail strike by imposing that the tentatively agreed upon terms from September be accepted by a vote of 290-237. They also added on a subsequent bill/resolution that would guarantee 7 days sick time to meet a portion of what the unions had been holding out for. The bill will move immediately to the Senate and will go through their presentation and voting process. Radiant Road & Rail is providing updates on the information here.

Air

UPS to maintain money-back guarantee on domestic, international next-day air deliveries. UPS Inc. announced on Monday that it will “maintain its money-back guarantees for peak-season deliveries of next-day air shipments in domestic and international commerce,” according to FreightWaves. The move by UPS counters the decision made by FedEx Corp. earlier this month to suspend money-back guarantees for peak-season deliveries of air express shipments within the U.S. and for export from the country.

International

China could ease covid restrictions following mass protests, marking a positive shift for shipping industry. Beijing’s zero covid stance looks to be easing in the wake of unprecedented protests throughout China. Strict protocols in the country have impeded industrial production since the pandemic began and put a brake on shipping earnings, according to Splash247. Vice premier Sun Chunlan said at a meeting with experts at the National Health Commission: “With the weakening of the pathogenicity of the omicron virus, the popularization of vaccination and the accumulation of prevention and control experience, China is facing a new situation and new tasks in epidemic prevention and control.”

Other

Amazon shows off new drone for 30 minute deliveries. Amazon showed off its new “next-generation” drone at a recent event to show the future of delivery for the company. The drone is about 5½ feet in diameter, and will be able to make deliveries in highly populated areas such as Boston, Atlanta and Seattle. Amazon’s goal is to deliver 500 million packages a year by drone in cities by the end of the decade, Amazon Prime Air vice president David Carbon told reporters.

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