Relo NewsBits Archive

  • Mills and Palmer to be Agents for Atlas in 2018 (11/14/17)
    Industry sources have recently indicated that Mills Van Lines (currently with Allied Van Lines) will become a new agent for Atlas Van Lines as of January 1, 2018. Additionally, Palmer Moving and Storage (currently with North American Van Lines) is also expected to join as an agent for Atlas Van Lines sometime early next year as well.
  • Congress Proposes Corporations to Pay Taxes on HHGs Expenses (11/10/17)
    Corporations may soon be paying taxes on all household goods relocation expenses. The House plan which was released last week on November 2, was followed yesterday, November 9, with the Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Plan. Both plans propose repealing the moving expense deduction becoming effective on January 1, 2018. This action would include the exclusion for these expenses paid by an employer. In a Worldwide ERC press release today they state, “the additional (corporate) gross-up could reach as much as $2 billion per year for American businesses, as well as an additional $150 million per year for the federal government.”(See ERC press releases at: https://www.worldwideerc.org/Newsroom/pressreleases)
  • Parsifal Interview Broadcast on WWB with kathy ireland® (11/03/17)
    Parsifal Corporation has announced the television broadcast of an exclusive interview with Kathy Ireland on the weekly business television program - "Worldwide Business with kathy ireland", this Sunday, November 5, 2017. It can be viewed on Fox Business Network as part of their sponsored programming lineup, as well as Bloomberg International. Company executives, Mark Olsen, CEO and Cliff Cannon, Chief Marketing Officer will discuss their specialized technology solutions for relocation procurement and auditing. “Our technology is designed to catch savings in two areas,” says Mark Olsen. “The first area is procurement; the secondary is through auditing (and) combined they present a very powerful combination…” (See Video Preview at top of News Page; also Press Release at “Parsifal in the News”)
  • Rebuilding From Disasters Will Add to Freight Demand (10/27/17)
    The American Trucking Association (ATA) reported this past week that the advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slipped 0.9%. It continues, however, compared to one year ago, September 2016, that the SA index surged 7.4%. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said that, “Tonnage gave back some of the solid gain in August, but remains at very high levels despite the weather-related issues during the month,” and “Going forward, rebuilding from those hurricanes and other natural disasters like the wildfires in California will add to freight demand.” Trucking represents 70.6% of all tonnage carried by all domestic transportation modes, and serves as a barometer of the US economy. (For more see ATA at: http://www.trucking.org/article/ATA-Truck-Tonnage-Index-Fell-0.9-Percent-in-September)
  • 400N Tariff Rate Increase Projected at 2.1% for 2018 (10/19/17)
    Based on US Government figures recently released, Parsifal projects that the 400N tariff will have a rate increase of 2.1 percent effective January 1, 2018. Government figures are occasionally updated and therefore may be subject to change. Although the Surface Transportation Board’s (“STB”) decision (May 2007) froze AMSA’s involvement in the tariff, Item 40 of the 400 series tariff references a methodology to calculate continued General Price Increases annually based on the government CPI and CEU Indices. Increases in the past few years were: 1.6% for 2017, 1.4% for 2016 and 2.8% for 2015. (For more info see: Parsifal News Page, “Resource Center”)
  • Cyber Threat in the Maritime Industry (09/29/17)
    In the wake of the Maersk cyberattack this past June in Europe, costing the company as much as USD 300 million, this week World Maritime News interviewed Julian Clark of Hill Dickinson in Liverpool, UK to discuss the future of cyber threat in the traditional maritime industry. Clark explains that if a “sophisticated” company like Maersk can be so dramatically impacted, then virtually everyone in the industry is at substantial risk. This exposure comes to the industry as it has evolved towards digitalization and connectivity even as the vast majority (91%) of vessel security officers claim they are short on knowledge to deal with the immerging problem. The threat puts all areas of the industry at risk including navigation of ships and cargo loading operations and services at ports and terminals, resulting in potential large damaging affects pervasive throughout the global industry. (For more: search “cyber threat” at worldmaritimenews.com)
  • The Aging Traditional US Truck Driver Population (09/20/17)
    Trucking executives at the McLeod Software 2017 User Conference were considering the need to adjust the demographics of the current traditional and aging driver pool, reported FleetOwner today. Discussions included a shift to younger and less experienced drivers for the future, including more women and ethnic minorities. Current trends versus driver availability may present a shortage of 239,000 drivers by 2022, suggests Randy Seals at McLeod. According to the ATA, 38.75% of the current 3.5 million US truck drivers are minorities and 6% are women, with the average age about 49 (compared to the average age of all US workers at 42). (For more-search, “aging trucker demographics” at: http://fleetowner.com/news-0)
  • Florida Ports Making Efforts to Reopen (09/12/17)
    As the truck and gate operations remain closed at Port of Miami (POMTOC) and South Florida container terminals (SFCT), the port authority states that after approval by the US Coast Guard, the Seaboard Marine container terminal will open today (Tuesday, 9/12), reports the World Maritime News. Marine traffic is expected to remain closed until 4 PM or later pending navigational channel inspections by NOAA. Ports remain closed at Everglades, Miami, Palm Beach, Panama City, Jacksonville, Canaveral, Tampa, Port Manatee and all Key West ports. (For more: search Florida ports at: https://worldmaritimenews.com/)
  • Probable 7% Sideline of US Trucking Due to Harvey (08/31/17)
    Fleet Owner reported this week (research firm FTR) that, 7% of the US trucking industry may be “sidelined” by Hurricane Harvey. It is noted that while the trucking operations in the (Texas and South Central) region will certainly experience the greatest hit, Harvey will additionally impact the US national capacity as a whole. As the brunt of this affect is expected over the next two weeks, the worst can be nearly 10% in this first week, estimating down to 2% national disruption (25% regionally) after one month. Already in double digit numbers, spot pricing is expected to jump over the coming weeks, especially in the highly impacted region. (For more, see ‘7% Sideline’ at: http://fleetowner.com/)
  • Historic Monthly Volume at Port of Long Beach (08/23/17)
    The Port of Long Beach has reported that their container cargo volume was record breaking for this past month of July reaching a total volume of 720,312 TEUs. Cargo traffic has increased for five consecutive months and up 6.4% YTD over last year. July imports are 16.3% higher, while exports are down 11.7%. Harbor Commission President, Lou Anne Bynum stated that, “Given the unprecedented change in the industry, we are pleased to see shippers choosing Long Beach.” Long Beach is the second busiest port in the US and one of the world’s premier seaports as a gateway for trans-Pacific trade. (More at News page of POLB: http://polb.com/default.asp)
  • Ship-Tug Collision on the Amazon (08/11/17)
    A barge tug on the Amazon River near the town of Obidos in Para, Brazil had a head-on collision with a containership operated by Mercolsul Line (part of Maersk Group) last week. The devastating event occurred on August 2, resulting in nine people missing (feared dead) as the tug sank while pushing nine barges in the river around 4 AM in the morning. Some of the barges also sank in the collision with the 2,478 TEU, 210-meter vessel known as Mercosul Santos. (See more at https://www.porttechnology.org/news/)
  • Port Congestion Eases at Rotterdam and Antwerp (07/31/17)
    Over the past few months, major congestion has negatively affected barge and other intermodal services at the key container ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp in Europe. Now Lloyd’s Loading List has reported this past Friday that Contargo (European intermodal operator) states that the port delays are currently at two days down from previous six days, resulting from various terminal and authority measures at these ports, including congestion surcharges. The current congestion reduction has been described as unstable and can potentially return to longer waiting times. (For reference, search Barge Congestion at: http://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news)
  • AMSA Reports 5.2% Decline in 2016 Shipments (07/19/17)
    According to first 2017 issue of Industry Trends, published by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), 2016 shipment totals are down by 5.2%, continuing an ongoing year-over-year trending decline since 2013. While the Corporate Account sector presents the greatest decline at -6.7%, the GSA sector is alone in showing no decline. The report also displays a matrix comparing shipment types by region for shipment weights, indicating the heaviest average weight at 8,193 lbs. in the Central region. Data is also provided on inbound/outbound market information, timing of moves, existing and new home sales, as well as a spotlight section on COD shipments. (See full AMSA "Industry Trends" report at: http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AMMOV/ it_issue1_2017/index.php)
  • Maersk Recovering From Cyber Attack (07/06/17)
    In the wake of the major cyber attack on 27 June in Europe, Lloyd’s Loading List reported yesterday that Maersk is now claiming that their operations are nearly normal and work continues towards a full recovery. Their major IT systems are operational and the online booking portal known as My.Maerskline.com is now online for activities such as booking and printing of bills of lading. Maersk said that, “the work towards bringing container track and trace functionality, all booking systems, and other customer facing applications back online is progressing well.” (See more on news tab at: http://www.lloydsloadinglist.com)
  • 11,000 TEU CAPE SOUNIO Deployed by ZIM (06/27/17)
    Now the largest vessel in its line, ZIM announced this week that it deployed CAPE SOUNIO on its Asia-South America East Coast service, “in order to respond to the growing market needs”. Embarking on its maiden voyage from Pusan, S. Korea on May 4th, the vessel was built in the Philippines (HHI shipyard) and delivered to ZIM in April 2017. CAPE SOUNIO is 330 meters long, 48 meters wide, and a nominal containers capacity of 11,037 TEUs. The growing need refers to increased trade between S. Korea, China and SE Asia, via Singapore and the hub in Port Kelang, to major SAEC ports. (More at: http://www.zim.com/newsandpress/)
  • Supreme Court Refuses ELD Appeal (06/22/17)
    Earlier this month on June 12th, the Supreme Court refused an appeal hearing against the electronic logging mandate (ELD). The appeal was proposed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). The ELD rule has a compliance date of December 18 of this year, which now comes after years of legal battles and contention over driver privacy issues. There are projections that this event can cause trucking rates to increase by as much as 20%. (See more by searching supreme court-ELD at: www.supplychaindive.com/news)
  • Proposal for Modified Tolls Structure at Panama Canal (06/13/17)
    The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) published a proposal on June 2nd for modifications to its current tolls structure. The publication begins a 30-day formal consultation period which allows for feedback from the industry. Administrator Jorge L. Quijano and executives met with customers in recent months. Mr. Quijano explained that, “These meetings with customers in Asia, Europe and North America have been extremely valuable in providing us with a deeper understanding of the industry today, the challenges faced by individual market segments, and the projected demand for the Neopanamax locks.” (See ACP official Press Release at:  www.pancanal.com; full proposal at: www.pancanal.com/peajes)
  • Are Remote Smart Ships on Future Horizons? (05/31/17)
    World Maritime News recently interviewed Innovation, Marine at Rolls-Royce VP, Oskar Levander to discuss and consider developing technology that envisions a near future with “smart steel giants” navigating the high seas via satellite remote control from land-based centers. Levander predicts, “a remotely operated vessel in local waters as the first stage and in operation by 2020”. He also suggests an impressive schedule stating that, “By 2025 we hope to have a remotely operated vessel at open sea and five years after that we expect unmanned ocean going vessels to be a common sight on the ocean.” World Maritime News asks, “What are the benefits for owners when compared to the current type of ships?” (See “Smart Ships”- http://worldmaritimenews.com) (Photos at https://www.linkedin.com/company/parsifal-corporation)
  • Federal ESC System Mandate Begins August 1st (05/12/17)
    On August 1, 2017 a federal mandate begins the requirement for all new trucks to be equipped with an electronic stability control (ESC) system. While the rule (developed by the NHTSA) does not require existing equipment be upgraded with ESC, Fleet Owner reports today that, “an estimated 35% to 40% of new trucks being produced today include the system.” ESC is expected to reduce rollover and jackknife occurrences, with studies also indicating a dramatic reduction in rear-end crashes by about 70%. (More at: fleetowner.com/news)
  • Yang Ming to Announce Investors by June 2017 (05/02/17)
    Today, Yang Ming released a News Bulletin/ Customer Advisory clarifying recent information out in the industry about their upcoming resumption of stock trading on May 4. As this occurs on Thursday this week, they state in the advisory that their shares are expected to “trade at a value exceeding twice its value before the suspension”. Yang Ming also explained that they would announce the names of most recent investors for the “2nd stage of its recapitalization by June 2017”, as well as further details. (See: http://www.yangming.com/news/)
  • Yang Ming to Restart Stock Trading May 4th (04/28/17)
    Early this month, Yang Ming released a customer advisory explaining that “the historic bankruptcy of a former alliance partner left as fallout numerous collateral issues which Yang Ming had to address” but also stated that the company “is not in default of any vendor obligations, large or small.” However, Yang Ming took a serious step and suspended its stock trading (Taiwanese exchange) on April 20 until May 4th. Now JOC has reported this past Wednesday that Yang Ming is set to announce new investors on the May 4th restart of its stock trading. (References: https://www.yangming.com/news; http://www.joc.com/maritime-news)
  • Major Congestion at Port of Shanghai (04/25/17)
    As shipping rates are anticipated to rise in the month of May, Lloyd’s Loading List reported today that the Port of Shanghai is experiencing major congestion. The problem is attributed to the rush in loading as much cargo as possible before the increase in freight rates, along with other delays exacerbated by inclement weather or fog, as well as vessel schedule changes. Reports estimate waiting times from 18 to 60 hours, with some vessels delayed as much as 10 days. (See more at News: http://www.lloydsloadinglist.com
  • ATA Before Congress on Infrastructure Investment (04/12/17)
    Corporate membership executives from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) explained before the US Congress last week about the current state of problems and deterioration in the national infrastructure, its negative impact on the transportation industry and the need for new future investment. Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO stated that, “Our industry currently loses nearly $50 billion annually to congestion – that is unacceptable.” Further discussion about investment focus brought a variety of issues to the forefront including, major freight bottlenecks and congestion, insufficient truck parking and increasing driver stress and frustration. (More at: http://www.trucking.org/)
  • 1000th Neopanamax Ship Passes Through the Expanded Panama Canal (03/31/17)
    Earlier this month on March 19th, the MSC Anzu became the historic 1000th Neopanamax vessel to transit the new Expanded Panama Canal since its inauguration only nine months ago in June 2016. Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano, has hailed this event as a “considerable milestone” in the continued success of the Expanded Canal, while the average number of Neopanamax vessels transiting the new waterway is now at 5.9 per day as of March this year. The ACP explains that with the advantage of the new canal’s economies of scale, “many major liner services have already redirected service to the waterway.” (See press release at: https://www.pancanal.com)
  • Graebel Van Lines Closes Business Across US (03/22/17)
    While there has been some recent indications floating in the industry, the Washington Business Journal reported an update today that Graebel Van lines is closing its business across the US. As most of the 33 branches are closing, the WBJ sites a source inside Graebel who states that two offices remain open (Sterling and Seattle) for an undetermined time frame. While there were reports of substantial increase in revenue for 2016 as of August of that year, Graebel also made separate announcements last year stating it would close its warehouse in Wausau, WI, as well as lay off 50 employees at that same branch office. In addition, Suddath launched a press release last Friday, announcing that it would acquire three Graebel locations (Florida, Oregon and California). (See: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news)
  • American Red Ball Acquired by Interstate (03/15/17)
    Last week, InterstateGroup Holdings, Inc., parent company of Interstate Van Lines, Inc., announced its acquisition of American Red Ball World Wide Movers, which is one of the oldest US carriers with a 98 year company history. Interstate is one of the largest independent moving companies in the country as well. There is much expectation for enhanced business growth with this joining of companies, as John (J.D.) Morrissette, president, Interstate Van Lines explains that, “We’re excited about the synergies between the two organizations and the opportunity to leverage best practices, technology, and talent.” (See more at: http://moveinterstate.com/newsroom)
  • North Europe–Asia Spot Freight Rates Surge 45% (03/09/17)
    Drewry reported today surging spot container freight rates from North Europe to Asia. Carriers are charging higher rates due to ships that are currently full. As a result, rates have reached a four-year peak with an increase of 45% this week alone. Drewry describes this capacity shortage as an ‘unusual’ situation (normal loads less than 70%) for this Europe/Asia route, and traces the problem back to cancelled sailings after the Chinese New Year in January earlier this year. (See more at:https://www.drewry.co.uk/news)
  • Newbuild Contracts for Containerships Hit Historic Bottom (02/27/17)
    Lloyd’s Loading List reported that Drewry published its Container Insight Weekly report today, explaining that 2016 saw a record-breaking “all-time low” in orders for containerships, leaving the shipbuilding industry in crisis. Drewry stated that, “Nobody is ordering vessels, of any type, and pretty soon yards across the world will find themselves with little to keep them occupied.” Drewry notes that the large ship-making hubs of South Korea, China and Japan will experience the biggest impact, while carriers will have a major opportunity to balance the supply and demand by spreading out delivery of current orders over the next year or two. (See News at: http://www.lloydsloadinglist.com)
  • Moving Trend to Mountain and Pacific West for Retirees (02/24/17)
    The 40th Annual National Movers Study provided by United Van Lines is reporting that retirees are continuing to move to the Mountain and Pacific West over the past year. In general, the top four inbound states were (in order) South Dakota, Vermont, Oregon, and Idaho. At the other end, the top four outbound states were New Jersey, Illinois, New York, and Connecticut as the northeast continues to lead the nation in a moving deficit. While the main reasons for moving are attributed to a new job, company transfer, retirement and proximity to family, the report explains that there are now more retirees relocating than ever before, contributing to the western trend. (See newsroom at https://www.unitedvanlines.com)
  • Secretary Chao Greets ATA Infrastructure Task Force in DC (02/10/17)
    Elaine Chao, Transportation Secretary met this week in the nation’s capital with eleven CEO-level trucking industry executives comprising the American Trucking Associations’ Infrastructure Task Force. The group was formed immediately after the November election with very positive expectations for a future spending package to improve US highway and bridge infrastructure as a major focus in the new Trump administration. ATA President and CEO, Chris Spear stated that, “The members of this task force represent an industry that moves 70% of the nation’s freight, moving 54% of our GDP and pays half of all highway taxes.” (See more at: http://www.trucking.org)
  • New Trend of Hacking Attacks on Ports (01/31/17)
    As the National Data Protection Conference was held last week in Dublin, experts discussed how there is a growing trend in the data hacking of global shipping ports. Experts explained that one reason is attributed to drug traffickers modifying information, falsely reporting that certain shipments needing inspections have already been checked by customs. Andrew Harbison of Grant Thornton stated that, “Operators of essential services will be subject to (a) new EU Network Information and Security directive due to come into force next year (2018).” The European Commission on Digital Single Market announced that Ireland would host a data summit on June 15th and 16th. (See more at: www.irishtimes.com)
  • Parsifal Winner in 2017 Innovation & Excellence Awards (01/23/17)
    Last week, Parsifal Corporation became a prestigious winner in the Innovation & Excellence Awards, specifically receiving the “Excellence in software development solutions winner – US 2017”. Corporate LiveWire is the sponsor of these awards. CLW invited over 100,000 professionals working across the various corporate industries, the general public and their subscriber base to provide nominations based on achievements and strengths. The CLW research team also selected individuals who have excelled within their sector. All winners are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by CLW experienced in-house professionals, ensuring that only the most deserving walk away with one of these esteemed accolades. (More at www.corporatelivewire.com)
  • Largest Mega-Ship to Transit Panama Canal in 2016 (01/18/17)
    As we move into 2017 and look back briefly to last month, the Panama Canal came to the end of an inaugural year by seeing the largest vessel to transit the canal in 2016 involving a 10,500 TEU mega-containership. This occurred just eleven days before the New Year on December 20th. The Neopanamax vessel was the Valparaiso Express of Hapag-Lloyd’s Europe - South America West Coast service which transited the new Expanded Canal. The new massive locks (70 ft. wider, 18 ft. deeper) are able to accommodate mega-ships up to 14,000 TEUs. (See more at: www.pancanal.com)
  • Shippers Optimistic with Trump Pick of Chao (12/28/16)
    After the recent US election, President Elect Donald Trump nominated Elaine Chao as his Secretary of Transportation on November 29th. Shippers are now more optimistic that Chao’s pro-business approach and a history of minimizing regulation could bode well for the shipping industry. As an example, JOC reported this week that, “Under more conservative leadership, some elements of the regulatory tsunami prepared to hit motor carriers (per the Obama administration) could be avoided, according to industry analysts”. Future regulations planned for driver safety can have the effect of shrinking capacity and increasing rates. (See “Trump’s DOT Chief Pick” at: www.joc.com)
  • Driver Turnover Drops in 2016 (12/15/16)
    The American Trucking Association (ATA) reported last week that the third quarter in 2016 has seen a third decline in driver turnover rates for truckload fleets for the year. However, “despite the falling turnover rate, carriers continue to report difficulty finding well-qualified drivers,” said ATA Chief Economist, Bob Costello. This decline represents the lowest point since Q2, 2011 and a drop this year alone by two points down to 81%. There are expectations for increased difficulties in the availability of drivers as the economy improves as well. (More at: http://www.trucking.org/)
  • New Alliance Between Major Shipper Groups (11/18/16)
    Lloyd’s Loading List reported yesterday that two major shipper groups, European Shippers’ Council and Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) united in a combined effort to meet the current challenges in the global container shipping industry. This results from growing concerns about the ongoing increase use of the huge (18,000 TEU) mega-ships together with more alliances between shipping lines. Lloyd’s states that, “Shippers fear that the contraction of the shipping market into a very small number of tightly knit alliances, and the use of much larger vessels will reduce their choice of carrier and the quality of the services delivered”. Earlier in the week, GSF released a paper that provided substantial recommendations regarding the regulation and oversight of new shipping alliances. (see: https://www.lloydsloadinglist.com/freight-directory/news/)
  • Merger of Three Largest Japanese Ocean Carriers (10/31/16)
    In a continued trend of major changes in the container shipping industry due to global over-supply and business decline, there is now an announcement of a major merger between the three largest Japanese container carriers. The shipping companies are Nippon Yusen K.K., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. The Wall Street Journal reports that the action, “would save them a combined total of ?110 billion, or $1.05 billion, annually through synergies”. The most recent other, major industry event was the filing of bankruptcy protection by the Hanjin Shipping Company out of South Korea this past summer (See Relo NewsBits 9/09/16). More at: (http://www.wsj.com/)
  • Higher Contract Rates Expected in 2017 (10/24/16)
    As reported today by Lloyd’s List: Drewry says shippers can expect contract rates to increase in 2017 on the back of a third-quarter spot rate rally. The resurgence in Asia-Europe spot rates over the third quarter points to higher contract rates in 2017, according to analysts. London-based Drewry says that the recent rate rally where the spot market has finally emerged from its ‘dark recesses’ will improve carriers’ chances of securing higher contract rates next year and forewarns shippers to begin budgeting for this expected increase. (Continued at www.lloydslist.com)
  • US East Coast Ports Close (10/07/16)
    As Hurricane Matthew bears down on the east coast of Florida, Parsifal Corporation has closed its US headquarters office in Palm Bay, FL for Thursday and Friday this week. Operations continue at other offices in ME, IN and CO. Splash24/7 reports: Millions of people in four states on the US east coast were being strongly advised on Wednesday to evacuate and move inland in anticipation of the possible arrival of Hurricane Matthew, which has already made landfall on Haiti and eastern Cuba. (Florida’s) governor and the governors of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina had all declared states of emergency. Several ports in Florida were forced to close to incoming vessels – including the Port of Palm Beach, Port of Miami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral. And US Coast Guard officials were warning vessels berthed at Florida ports to plan on leaving before Matthew arrives. (More at: http://splash247.com)
  • Hanjin Receives Extended Protection in US Court (09/09/16)
    Federal Judge John Sherwood directed today in US District Bankruptcy Court to extend the temporary protection order for the Hanjin shipping vessels. It was estimated at about a dozen ships waiting in, or bound for U.S. waters and ports. The protection order allows Hanjin-operated ships to enter US ports without concern of arrest from creditors, preventing terminals and others from breaking contracts with the carrier due to Hanjin bankruptcy proceedings. The judge said discussions would continue next week regarding this (complex and difficult) situation, to work towards an agreement on a process to allow negotiation between terminals and BCOs, in order for BCOs to obtain cargo and pay for unloading and other costs along with Hanjin’s approval. (More at: www.joc.com)
  • New MSC Weekly Container Service Links Nine Ports in Three Regions (08/29/16)
    Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is launching a new ‘Cheetah Service’ (a weekly rotation container service) on September 7, linking the origin port of Jebel Ali (UAE) with four East African ports, the Middle East, Pakistan and India. The four ports in E. Africa are Salalah (Oman), Mombasa (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Mogadishu and Kismayo (Somalia); with Mundra and Nhava Sheva in India and Karachi old port in Pakistan. The service will begin with the MSC Positano sailing on the 7th followed by deployment of five 2,200 teu boxships each week. (See map and more info at: http://www.seatrade-maritime.com)
  • Panama Canal Celebrates 102nd Anniversary with New Milestone (08/18/16)
    Monday, August 15th this week marked the 102nd Anniversary of successful canal service together with its 100th vessel transit through the new expanded canal just the day before on Sunday. Since the very recent Inauguration of the Expanded Canal on June 26, the Neopanamax vessel Hanjin Xiamen became the 100th vessel to transit the canal. While the canal handled an annual tonnage of 228 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) in 1999, and a record-breaking volume of 340.8 million PC/UMS last year (50% growth), the expectation is to increase this tonnage to approximately 524 million PC/UMS annually over the next five years. (See press release at: www.pancanal.com)
  • Spotlight on Trucking at Port of Charleston SC (08/08/16)
    Port of Charleston, SC, is ranked as one of the most rapidly growing seaports over the last five years and currently the 8th largest in the U.S. According to the S. Carolina Port Authority (SCPA), trucks average quick “turn times” (in and out of port). 2015 volume increased by 10% with the port handling 1.12 M containers (80% of port freight is containerized), as well as 9% and 8% increases in 2013 and 2014 respectively. FleetOwner reports that the port takes security seriously with substantial patrol units, entrances/exits with several security checkpoints including detection devices across a host of trucking security lanes. (See news at: fleetowner.com)
  • Brexit with Living/Working in the UK and EU (07/27/16)
    While the ramifications of Brexit will continue for a long time to come, global mobility professionals are currently left to project how citizens and workers across the region will be impacted. Starting the process of U.K. disengagement is expected to be delayed for months and potentially until the end of 2016. About 3 million EU nationals live in Britain (6.6% of UK workforce) and 1.3 million Brits are living in the EU. Writer Avrom Goldberg explains that, “until the U.K.’s disengagement has been negotiated, EU citizens already residing in the U.K. prior to the referendum will not lose the right to live and work in the U.K.” The same is true for U.K. citizens living in the EU. (More at: www.lexiconrelocation.com/blog)
  • Probable Deployment of 18,000 TEU Ships in US Trades by Ocean Alliance (07/21/16)
    According to a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) filing, the Ocean Alliance (a vessel sharing agreement involving CMA CGM of France, China's COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line of Taiwan and Japan's OOCL) is considering a major deployment in April of 2017 of up to 175 container vessels in U.S. trades. The vessels will range from 4,200 TEUs up to 18,000 TEUs, while the FMC filing (last week) also includes the option to adjust operations up to 220 vessels, sizing as large as 21,000 TEUs. The CMA CGA Benjamin Franklin (a 18,000 TEU Ship) made multiple test voyages to U.S. West Coast ports late 2015/early 2016. (More at: http://www.americanshipper.com)
  • EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Launched By European Commission (07/13/16)
    The European Commission (Executive Body of the EU) adopted the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield yesterday in Brussels, which protects individuals in the EU and their personal data that is transferred to the U.S., additionally clarifying legal issues for businesses involved in transferring data across the Atlantic. A commission VP, Andrus Ansip, stated that, "We have approved the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield ….. It will protect the personal data of our people and provide clarity for businesses. ……. - we now have a robust framework ensuring these transfers take place in the best and safest conditions". The Privacy Shield replaces the Safe Harbor data agreement invalidated last October. (See press release at: http://europa.eu)
  • Industry Moving Forward as SOLAS Amendment Begins Friday (06/29/16)
    The industry makes final plans with approval by U.S. maritime regulators as SOLAS container weight requirement is scheduled to go live this week on Friday, July 1st. JOC reported this week, that last Friday these regulators, “gave the go-ahead to allow a group of six East and Gulf coast ports and 19 ocean carriers to hash out a common strategy to use existing weighing processes used to satisfy federal regulations to meet the new international rule”. The industry momentum builds as the JOC continues to explain, that the NY-NJ Port Authority also agreed to a similar plan and the G6 Alliance stated it would receive container weights from terminal scales. (More at: www.joc.com)
  • Inaugural Opening at Expanded Panama Canal (06/28/16)
    The long awaited inaugural transit of the Expanded Panama Canal occurred earlier this week Sunday morning, June 26 as planned and executed by the Neopanamax vessel COSCO Shipping Panama. Canal Administrator/CEO, Jorge Quijano was joined by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela at the momentous event and stated that, “Today, we make history and improve global connectivity. We thank our customers for their support and appreciate the 170 reservations we have received thus far to transit the Expanded Canal." The Expansion project which formally began in 2007 involving nearly 40,000 workers, doubles the canal capacity adding a new traffic lane with a 3rd set of locks (70’ wider and 18’ deeper than original Canal) accommodating the current huge Neopanamax vessels. (See Press Release at: www.pancanal.com)
  • Brexit Vote Brings Warnings of Job Cuts and Corporate Relocation (06/24/16)
    There have been many responses from the corporate world today in the wake of the UK vote to leave the European Union. Toyota, Ford, Airbus, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley (both US banks) released statements or made indications warning of potential serious, negative impact for jobs and investments in the UK. The Guardian reports that, “Jamie Dimon, chief executive of US bank JP Morgan, warned that between 1,000 to 4,000 UK jobs at the bank could move overseas.” Analysts expressed concern especially for the City of London where more than 360,000 employees are currently working in the financial services industry. (More at: www.theguardian.com/us)
  • Successful Training Transit of New Locks at Panama Canal (06/10/16)
    As part of a planned series of training transits across the new Expanded Canal leading up to the June 26 Inauguration, the MN Baroque carrier successfully crossed the Agua Clara Locks yesterday. This Neopanamax vessel, chartered by the Panama Canal, can transport approximately three times the number of containers than that of a current Panamax vessel. After the inauguration, the Canal Press Release explains that, “the Expanded Canal will double the waterway's cargo capacity, enhancing the Canal's efficiency, reliability and customer service.” (See Press Release at: https://www.pancanal.com)
  • Transport Strikes Nationwide in France (05/19/16)
    As the French government continues plans for national deregulation of the labor market, transport workers are protesting by beginning rolling strikes this week. As a result, France will face shutdown of ports, railways and airports across the nation in the weeks ahead. Dockers of the country’s largest labor union, CGT voted for a 72-hour strike in most ports. Rails have been affected in many regions with only half of normal services in the hard hit Sud Ouest and Nord lines of the TGV Atlantique. Strikes are planned to continue through July. (See more at: www.thelocal.fr)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Approves Two Methods for SOLAS (05/05/16)
    With only 62 days before the new IMO SOLAS rule goes into effect on July 1, the U.S. Coast Guard announced its approval last week for two alternative methods of certifying container weights. The USCG provided a letter to the International Maritime Organization, emphasizing the opinion that there are multiple ways to comply with the new SOLAS regulation, offering two examples where: (1) the terminal weighs the container and verifies the VGM, and (2) the shipper and carrier mutually coordinate efforts to verify the weight. (See more at: www.joc.com)
  • Port of Lisbon Shuts as Dockworkers Strike (04/22/16)
    Operations shut down on Wednesday this week as dockworkers for the Port of Lisbon launched their impending strike, according to notices that have been delivered by the union since last November. The Portuguese Dockers Union (SETC) state that the strike, which affects operations at all port terminals, could last to May 5. This union action is a result of a three-year dispute involving a new collective bargaining agreement. (See https://worldmaritimenews.com/)
  • Record Container Traffic at West Coast Ports - Q1 2016 (04/15/16)
    Container TEU traffic in the first quarter of the year showed record volumes, along with strong growth at the major East Coast ports as well. Volumes have been level at Gulf Coast seaports. The port of Los Angeles has had historic volume in Q1 of 2016 with 11.3% increase over same period of last year, followed closely by Long Beach on a list of top performing ports. The mega-ships, CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin and the Maersk Edmonton (18,000 and 15,000 TEUs respectively) both first came to call at LA in December, and are now scheduled to return again next week. (More at: http://seekingalpha.com)
  • Discount at the Suez Canal (03/31/16)
    As traffic through the canal declined by 30% in 2015, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has now in 2016 offered a reduction in transit tolls. The discount has been available since March 7th to selected ships (based on routes involved) and runs through June 5th, with renewal available at the discretion of the SCA. With ongoing low fuel prices, container lines have been choosing routes going around the Cape of Good Hope as an alternative to the canal. In addition, the Panama Canal expansion will soon begin to present new global transit competition. (See more at: www.joc.com)
  • Brussels Airport Resumes Cargo Flights (03/23/16)
    In the wake of yesterday’s terrorist bombings and continued suspended passenger services for today and tomorrow, cargo operations resumed Wednesday morning. Lloyd’s Loading List reported that the airport opened for full cargo flights at apron 9 of the Brucargo area. The airport explained that the Brucargo zone landside became accessible late on Tuesday and there were only some empty repositioning flights yesterday from international carriers. Sources also released that some Brussels bound cargo flights as well as additional outbound scheduled flights were re-routed to other airports. (See more at: www.lloydsloadinglist.com)
  • SOLAS Guidelines Drafted by India (03/10/16)
    With worries in the industry that SOLAS may lead to additional overwhelming paperwork, greater costs, as well as congestion at the port/terminal, the Directorate General of Shipping of India has provided a draft of guidelines which counter these concerns. JOC reports that the guidelines (called Draft I) explain that the shippers will provide the VGM or Verified Gross Mass via Method 1 or 2 to the terminal operator which will then have the discretion (non-mandatory) to re-verify VGM at its own cost. The tolerance level of variation on weight will be determined by the rules existing in the Indian Legal Metrology Act, 2009. (More at: www.joc.com)
  • Trial Phase Begins For Panama Canal Expansion (03/02/16)
    The GUPC (consortium for the expansion project) is now stating that they are nearing completion, claiming achievement of almost all requirements, “such as timing for opening and closing the gates, time to fill locks, seal capacities and others”. They will now proceed with more than 2,000 trials in the waterway over the next two months followed by actual navigation tests in May with a vessel leased by the ACP (Panama Canal Authority). The ACP then expects to open commercial operations in the second half of 2016, increasing the transit volume of cargo by an impressive factor of 2.6. (More at: http://latino.foxnews.com/news/index.html)
  • Freight Rates Impacted by Oil Prices (02/25/16)
    Over the past two years, oil prices are down by more than 60% due to both declining global economy and other oil production fundamentals. Experts expect oil pricing to reverse but are not clear on the timing. The price decline has been attributed to the fundamental of increased supply due to recovering Iraqi oil industry, and more recent lifted sanctions against Iran. There is a fundamental relationship between diesel and oil pricing, which causes diesel pricing to lag behind changes in oil prices. It is expected that as oil eventually hits bottom and rebounds, the diesel pricing will increase even more rapidly, impacting cost of fuel per mile, as well as rates respectively. (More at: http://fleetowner.com/)
  • The SOLAS Weight Requirement Legalizes in Five Months (02/17/16)
    The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) amended January of last year by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with a new requirement, soon becomes legally effective on July 1, 2016. The regulatory change holds the shipper responsible for the weight verification of any container packed onto a ship for export. The amendments provide two methods that shippers and operators may use to comply with the global requirement. The World Shipping Council provides full details at www.worldshipping.org.
  • Trucking Weaker in 2015 But Ends Strong (01/20/16)
    The ATA released news yesterday that the US trucking tonnage for 2015 increased by 2.6% compared to 2014. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said, “Tonnage ended 2015 on a strong note, but it was not strong for the year as a whole,” and that even with some monthly small gains, stated that “there was a clear deceleration in truck tonnage.” Trucking represents 68.8% of tonnage of all modes of US freight transportation, hauling just under of 10 billion tons in 2014. (More at: http://www.trucking.org)
  • Rising River Forces Ships to Pass on Calls at New Orleans (01/08/16)
    The Port of New Orleans is experiencing high water with levels 5 to 10 feet higher this time of year, and the Mississippi expected to crest at 17 feet at New Orleans next Tuesday. As a result, several container ships are omitting port of calls there because of resulting reduced clearance under bridges. Ships involved include the Hapaq-Lloyd and the 2M Alliance of the Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. respectively. (More at www.joc.com)
  • Panama Canal Expansion 96% Complete (12/28/15)
    Just before the holidays, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced 96% completion of the canal expansion project. Reinforcements of the locks are planned to be finished by mid-January with subsequent testing. Chartered vessel transit trial tests are scheduled for April, followed by the inauguration and opening expected to be some time in the second quarter. The commercial opening date will be selected soon after the inauguration. See an exciting recent video on the immense project at http://micanaldepanama.com/expansion/.
  • Panama Canal Waiting Back to Normal (12/23/15)
    The (ACP) Panama Canal Authority announced earlier this month that, “the current wait times experienced by transiting ships have returned to normal operating levels.” Ships awaiting transit has decreased by 67% from recent peaks, and wait times are down 80% from October highs. Along with improved weather conditions, this improvement is due to special efforts and measures taken by the ACP, modification of its booking system, certain postponed projects and additional operational personnel. (More info at: www.pancanal.com)
  • Mega-Ships to Push Automation at US Ports (12/14/15)
    Port planner Larry Nye predicted last week at the JOC Port Performance Conference, that mega-ships coming to call at US ports in future coming years will overwhelm port operations (for vessel, yard and gate) with cargo surges that can only be addressed with port automation development. Nye continued to explain that this will become a major issue even as the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin (nearly 18,000 TEU capacity) arrives in LA port on Dec. 26th. (Details at: www.joc.com)
  • Highway Bill Passed in Congress (12/04/15)
    Only one day before the deadline, both the House and Senate approved the five-year compromise, $305 billion highway bill yesterday. If signed by President Obama as expected, the new “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act will substantially support funding infrastructure improvements for the country’s highways, bridges and rails. The Act dedicates first-time funding of about $11 B for freight transportation, with an additional $4.5 B offered through competitive grants for major projects across all surface modes and sea ports throughout the nation. (More info at: www.thehill.com)
  • Chennai City Flooded Impacting Shipments (11/18/15)
    Torrential rains continued for days this week in the southern Indian city of Chennai resulting in more than 70 deaths. The city has essentially been shut down while 80,000 people have also been affected in the adjacent region of northern Sri Lanka. Writer Relocations stated yesterday that, “(the flooding) has impacted the movement of shipments from and into Chennai city from other locations into India. Also, the operations at the sea port and the airport has been impacted.” (More at: www.bbc.com)
  • Volumes at US West Coast Ports Decline (11/12/15)
    The Port of Los Angeles had a shipping volume decline of 3.3% in October (358,602 total containers imported) compared to 2014. Ports at Long Beach and Oakland also saw substantial declines in October, as well as up to 14% decreases looking back to August 2015. While October is normally a very busy month approaching the holiday season, this year ranked it as the second-slowest month over the past five years at the L.A. port. Reported by the Wall Street Journal. (See: www.wsj.com)
  • Market Declines and Maersk Cuts 4,000 (11/06/15)
    In a major reversal of corporate direction, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Maersk Line decided to end its fleet expansion and cut 4,000 of 23,000 land-based staff. This decision along with canceling or delaying new vessel orders comes after years of facing the downturn in the container-shipping industry. These recent Maersk plans include cancelling their orders for six Triple-E class vessels (massive container ships, over 18,000 TEU), and delaying the purchase of eight smaller vessels. (More at www.wsj.com)
  • U.S. Domestic Transfer Volumes Trending Up (10/30/15)
    Companies experienced a 4% increase in transfer volume for current employees and 7% increase for new hires, according to Worldwide ERC? in its recently released 2015 Transfer Volume and Cost Survey. Participating companies projected relocating an average of 280 current employees and 98 new hires in the U.S. for 2015. Other survey results include: relocations in the U.S. are 80% interstate vs. intrastate moves; 2014 average cost for a home-owning transferee decreased by 5% to an average of $85,673 and renters cost increased by 9% to $27,327. (More at: www.worldwideerc.com)
  • More Warnings Due to Slowdown (10/26/15)
    Continued warnings arise indicating ongoing slowdown of China’s manufacturing will impact other supplier chain players worldwide. Jeffries and Fitch Ratings report investor long-term risks of throughput decline at ports in China. The top eight Chinese container ports showed a combined volume decrease of .4 % in September (12.56 million teu) over last year. Warnings point out that this slowdown will contribute to a worsening container shipping overcapacity and pushing container lease rates lower. (More at: www.joc.com)
  • Panama Canal expansion leaks but opens in April (10/16/15)
    Despite concerns projecting delays because of leaks in the canal construction, Jorge Quijano (Panama Canal administrator) explained last week that the expanded canal is still expected to be open next April for operations. The expansion project will be able to accommodate 14,000 teu container vessels, but will initially begin to handle smaller ships and allow time for pilots to adapt to the new conditions. The first shipment going through the canal will be destined for Japan. (More at: www.ihsmaritime360.com)
  • China Ports Impacted by Slowing Export Demand (10/09/15)
    While some of China’s top container ports continue to show annual increased volume typical in recent years, others are experiencing little growth and even declines this year. IHS Marine is reporting this week that slowing export demand is resulting in minimal growth and declines for some of its top 20 ports that handled 120 million teu YTD through August. Examples of decreased port throughput can be found in Shanghai (down 3%), the port of Chongqing (down 15%), while the August massive explosion at the port of Tianjin, not surprisingly effected a 28% decline in the region. (More at: www.ihsmaritime360.com)
  • Record High for US Imports Forecasted (09/30/15)
    According to JOC, economic factors such as strength in consumer spending, housing and automobiles are resulting in their increased 2015 forecast for US imports volume to 6.6% (previously 6.3%). This translates to an all-time high of U.S. containerized imports surpassing 20 million 20-foot-equivalent units. Mario Moreno at JOC additionally forecasts a reduced decline to 2.4% in the short term with another rise of 7% in 2017 to 21.65 million TEUs. (More at: www.joc.com)
  • Carrier Costs Fall and Profits Rise with Decreasing Revenue (09/22/15)
    Oil prices have fallen at a faster rate than shipping companies’ freight rates resulting in a rise in corporate profits for the first half of 2015. Drewry reports 16 of the top 20 largest container carriers saw 11% drop in costs compared to previous year, while revenues sank 7% in an ongoing quarterly trend due to slow growth. The maritime industry analyst additionally noted that carriers benefit from larger and more efficient ships, which also cause negative destabilizing effects on rates. (More at: http://www.drewry.co.uk)
  • Chinese National Holiday Delays for Oct 1 (09/11/15)
    Cargo from China reports that shipment delays are very probable and expected in China due to the upcoming Chinese National Day holiday on October 1 and extending for a week through October 7th. Even though there are many various holidays in China, this holiday along with the Chinese New Year in February are the two main concerns for shipping delays. It is recommended to avoid these two holiday periods or plan accordingly for long delays in the schedule. (More at: https://cargofromchina.com/shipping-delays/)
  • Tianjin Port Blast Caused by Shortcuts, Weak Governance (09/02/15)
    The New York Times revealed this week that the Tianjin port deadly blast last month focused on a company, Rui Hai Int'l Logistics involved in the storage and export of the most dangerous chemicals made in China. The explosions occurred at its warehouses (storing 3,000 tons of hazardous chemicals, 700 tons of deadly sodium cyanide) resulting in 150 deaths, injuring over 700 and leaving major fears of toxic fallout. A Beijing university political scientist explained reasons for the disaster ranging, “from the lack of regulation for handling hazardous chemicals to the collusion of business and corrupt officials.” (more at: www.nytimes.com)
  • Massive Tianjin Port Explosions (08/28/15)
    Massive explosions occurred at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin (Binhai New Area) on Wednesday, August 12th. While the first explosion registered as a 2.3 magnitude earthquake, equivalent to 3 tonnes of TNT, the second larger explosion was estimated at 21 tonnes. 139 deaths resulted and 34 others remain missing. A huge crater was formed at the blast site, with estimated 18,000 containers and over eight thousand new cars damaged or destroyed. The 10th busiest global container port handled 14.05 million TEU in 2014. (More at: www.bbc.com)
  • Port of Nhava Sheva Terminal Gates Closed (08/10/15)
    The terminal gates at (GTI) Gateway Terminal India, Port of Nhava Sheva remain closed since last week on August 4th because of ongoing labor issues now resulting with the RTG Crane operators strike. The action has severely impacted the port with congestion, as export loaded containers will be delayed at GTI terminal and vessels with import containers will be bypassing this port of call until the strike is ended. The port, located on the west coast of India near Mumbai, handles nearly half of the country’s maritime shipping. (More at http://www.joc.com/)
  • Gala Inaugural Ceremony for Suez Canal Expansion on August 6 (08/05/15)
    The original 10 year construction of the Suez Canal occurred over 150 years ago. Now the recent $8 billion expansion project was completed in only one year (one third of original plan) as directed by Egyptian President, Abdel el-Sissi. The expansion enlarges the width and depth of the original waterway, while adding another parallel canal about 22 miles long. Officials are claiming the renovation will nearly double the traffic from 50 to 97 ships daily, and decrease canal travel time to 11 from 18 hours. (More at www.usatoday.com)
  • Optimistic ATA annual report through 2026 (07/28/15)
    Despite continued challenges in the economy and industry regulation, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) released a positive annual report titled, “U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2026,” projecting a 28.6% increase in annual freight tonnage, and a 74.5% gain in freight revenues to $152 trillion in 2026. While share of hauling tonnage decreases slightly, trucking will be the dominant mode of freight transportation, and rail share drops as well by about 2% down to 12.3%. Intermodal freight will be the second fastest growing mode following pipeline volume. (See more at: www.logisticsmgmt.com)
  • Parsifal Welcomes Over 700 Visitors at SHRM 2015 (07/16/15)
    Parsifal welcomed over 700 visitors at its exhibition booth during the recent SHRM 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas at the end of June. The final registration count was a record-breaking 15,617. Including speakers, volunteers, press, and exhibitors, there were 21,475 people at the Las Vegas Convention Center during this year’s conference. SHRM also hosted 1,216 international delegates, representing 85 countries. (More about SHRM at: http://annual.shrm.org/)
  • Cambodian cargo ship sinks off Phuket (07/14/15)
    Last week, a Cambodian cargo ship struck rocks off of Koh Hei (Coral Island), only five km from Phuket, and sunk. All ten crewman abandoned ship in a lifeboat and were subsequently airlifted to safety by the Thai Navy. As officials have surveyed the area, it has been found that five containers are still in good condition as of this past weekend. Mr Thanet, Director of Marine and Coastal Resource Centre 5, stated that, “Some of the containers from the ship are floating, while others have sunk.” (More at: www.thephuketnews.com)
  • Panama Canal Expansion Makes Important Step (07/06/15)
    At the end of June, the Canal Expansion Program, now estimated for completion and operational by 1 April 2016, took an important step forward with commencing to fill the Cocoli’s locks on the Pacific side. The locks on the Atlantic side were filled earlier in June. The total Expansion Program was at 89.8 percent completion as of the end of May. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) predicts that the volume of cargo transiting the canal will double its 2005 tonnage by 2025, growing by an average of 3% per year. (More at: https://www.pancanal.com)
  • Northwest Seaport Alliance Agreement Submitted to FMC (06/09/15)
    In a major step to complete the process to unify management of the Seattle and Tacoma ports, both commissions agreed on Friday to submit a final agreement to the Federal Maritime Commission for approval. While the ports will remain separate organizations, the plan includes the formation of a port development authority or PDA to manage mostly the container, breakbulk and auto terminals. Recent analysis shows port operations providing over 48,000 jobs and $4.3 billion in economic revenues in 2013. (See Press Release at https://www.portseattle.org)
  • Survey Indicates Corporate Relocation Volume Rising (06/06/15)
    This spring, Atlas Van Lines reported that 49 % of corporations claimed increases in relocation volumes in 2014 and about half anticipate a continued increase in 2015. These numbers are based on their recent 48th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey. Atlas also explains that about 50% of companies indicate a budget increase in 2014, as well as a projected increase in 2015. Other survey results show that firms relocated 50-99 employees on average and greatest relocation growth occurred with international corporations. (More info on survey at: www.atlasvanlines.com)
  • Brazil Port Fees to Rise 31.7% (05/19/15)
    President of port authority Codesp, Angelino Caputo de Oliveira has stated that, “Our tariffs have not been changed for more than 10 years and in some categories [electricity charges] for 19”, and has been pursuing an increase since last April. Now Antaq, the Brazilian national authority for ports and waterborne traffic has granted permission to raise rates at the port of Santos which will rise 31.7% after a decade long rate freeze. Port profit fell by almost 85% in 2014 compared to 2013. (More info at http://www.shippingtribune.com/)
  • 2014 Revenue Tops $700 Billion for Trucking Industry (05/12/15)
    In its annual publication, “American Trucking Trends”, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) reported 2014 revenue at $700.4 billion, the first time historically to break through $700 billion in annual revenue. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello identified lower fuel prices together with increased freight and tight capacity as major contributors. While the driver shortage continues, trucks moved 9.96 billion tons in 2013 and the industry employed more than 7 million people, which included 3.4 million drivers. (More at: http://www.logisticsmgmt.com)
  • $5 Billion for Mexican Ports (04/21/15)
    The general coordinator of Mexico’s ports and merchant marine feet, Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa states that, “For years, Mexico has been a crossroads for trade. But we are still below our true potential.” Now President Nieto is supporting 25 new port projects with government funding of $5 billion involving the Mexican network of 117 ports. Ruiz de Teresa describes a new logistics approach as a “two-port system’, consolidating the network into two groups: Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast; yet coordinated as one “articulated port system”. (More at: www.joc.com)
  • 30 Year Panama Canal Deal (04/14/15)
    “The world’s third largest box carrier, French group CMA CGM has signed an agreement with the Port Authority of Jamaica granting the CMA CGM Group the concession of Kingston Container Terminal for 30 years”, reports the Longshore & Shipping News. The port (since 1975) is strategically located off main trade lanes offering facilities with minimal deviations for the Panama Canal. With 2,400 meters of wharf and an 80 hectare surface area, the terminal has plans to increase capacity up to 3.6 million TEU containers annually. (see: www.longshoreshippingnews.com)
  • Port of Long Beach launches “Vessels at a Glance” (04/03/15)
    POLB released its new online program, known as “Vessels at a Glance”, which provides daily updated information on vessels at berth and anchor both at POLB, and at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA). Inspired by the recent months of port congestion, it shows the number of vessels as well as arrival, departure and length of stay information. Officials claim this can be used to indicate trends over the last six months. (More details at: www.logisticsmgmt.com)
  • China-Europe Rail Services Growing Shipper Interest (03/27/15)
    The new China-Europe rail services has created a transit route that is substantially more cost effective than air freight and faster than ocean transit. In addition, rail transit time may be double that of air but about 20% of the cost. On the other hand, rail is roughly three times the cost of sea but at half the transit time. As this rail services trend continues, multimodal air-rail services is also becoming a future supply chain option. (See more at: http://www.joc.com/)
  • Cartus Opens in São Paulo, Brazil (03/13/15)
    Cartus opened a new service center in Sao Paulo, Brazil last month on February 24th making it their 19th global service center.  In 2014 alone, Cartus managed over 1,300 assignee transfers both into and out of Brazil on behalf of global relocation clients. Additionally, 2015 marks the 60th anniversary for Cartus. (See Press Room at https://www.cartus.com)
  • Even More Ships Anchored at Port (03/02/15)
    LA port executive director, Gene Seroka stated last week that, "Just based on the mathematics, it will be about three months before we return to a sense of normalcy." The number of anchored container ships (at LA port) actually rose to 31 while another dozen ships were reported to be soon arriving near the port. Regardless of the recent labor agreement, some are estimating up to six months to work off the existing backlog with continued extreme delays during the interim. (More at: www.scdigest.com)
  • Agreement Reached For West Coast Ports (02/23/15)
    Over the weekend, a tentative agreement was reached between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the ILWU workers union resulting in a new five-year tentative contract. While full operations are now expected to begin, there is much doubt in the industry about how and when the massive backlog of cargo will be handled. NBC News conjectures that, “the mass of containers on ships waiting to dock at the ports of LA and Long beach, if put in a line, would stretch 579 miles.” (More at: http://www.logisticsmgmt.com)
  • West Coast Seaports Crippled (02/18/15)
    Now hitting national news, Associated Press has reported that U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday and continued meetings today. Political and economic tensions are rising for an agreement to end total cargo congestion at 29 ports and impacting an annual $1 trillion in trade. While there are indicators for progress, both the union and maritime association have declined to comment. Secretary Perez, having no legal authority, is pushing hard for an immediate agreement to avoid “further damage to our economy”. (More at: http://www.foxnews.com)
  • Strike or Slow Down at West Coast Ports (02/09/15)
    Either slow down or strike at these key US ports does not bode well for anyone. Forbes is speculating a possible Ronald Reagan type maneuver as occurred with the air traffic controllers in the 80’s. Two industry titans, the employee’s union and the employer’s association, are clashing. While 40% of US trade moves through these ports, a 10 day shut-down is estimated for a potential US economic loss of $2.1 Billion per day and $37 Billion impact over two years. (Search at: http://www.forbes.com)
  • Turnover for Drivers Rises to 97% (02/03/15)
    The ‘American Truck Associations’ reported last week that the annual rate for turnover of drivers for large truckload carriers increased by 1%, to 97% in Q3 of 2014. This enhances widespread industry worries, claims a ‘Supply Chain Digest’ editorial, that this current trend nearing 100% may soon rival the crisis levels occurring back in 2005 and 2006. A growing economy would trigger higher freight demand and increased need for trucks and drivers, putting even more pressure on shipping costs. (More at: htpp://www.scdigest.com)
  • Storm Closes Port of New York and New Jersey (01/26/15)
    As a huge winter storm bares down on the northeast coast, the Port Of New York and New Jersey closed all its marine terminals by mid-afternoon today, anticipating a historic storm event. Forecasts are including gale force winds with snow accumulations regionally from one to three feet, and over two feet at the port area with even higher drifts. All terminals will remain closed on Tuesday, 1/27, and further decisions about Wednesday will be made by 12 noon tomorrow. (See http://www.panynj.gov)
  • Container Shipping Profitability Improving in 2015 (01/13/15)
    There are expectations for the continued decline of industry unit costs at a faster pace than average freight rates resulting in increased profits for 2015, projects the shipping consultancy Drewry.  This optimistic news for more carriers comes with the forecast of a global fleet growth of 7.2% in 2015 as well. While costly issues of port congestion persist, Neil Dekker (Drewry) explains that, “Carriers are winning the battle between rates and costs.” Search more at (http://www.drewry.co.uk/)
  • Global Mobility via Latin America (01/05/15)
    Global and Talent Mobility was the topic of discussion among global mobility leaders at the recent Latin America Summit held in Sao Paulo. The panel substantially focused on Brazil, finding that there was much agreement on the “familiar challenges of shortages in engineering and the problem of bringing talent from Venezuela, Bolivia and Australia”. Fiona Murchie explains more in her article posted in Relocate Global, found at: (http://www.relocatemagazine.com/articles/fm12-d2-2014 -5656-latin-americas-take-on-global-mobility).
  • CSCL Not Concerned About Overcapacity (12/22/14)
    In the wake of the launch of the super vessel CSCL Globe (19,100 TEU) this past month, JOC is reporting that China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) has “shrugged off demand forecasts predicting 3 to 5 percent market growth in the next few years, that will not be enough to fill the capacity flooding into service”. Statements by CSCL executives express a lack of concern about overcapacity in an environment of a weak global economy. Continued comments reflect a strategy that is much more focused on increasing market share of the already existing, huge market “pie”, as explained by CSCL Deputy General Manager, Sui Jun. (More at: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/overcapacity-not-concern- cscl-giant-ship-enters-asia-Europe 20141222.html)
  • Continued Increase in Domestic Transfer Activity (12/15/14)
    The 2014 U.S. Transfer Volume & Cost Survey is projecting a continued positive trend with a 7% increase in domestic transfer activity this year. This expectation follows another substantial increase of nearly 10% in 2013. In recent years since the housing crash of 2007, this activity has been negatively affected by the resulting deterrent described as the ‘reluctance to relocate’. The survey anticipates increased volume of employee moves at 379 in 2014, up from 355 in 2013. (More at: http://www.worldwideerc.org/ Resources/Research/Pages/reports-and-surveys.aspx)
  • US West Coast Ports Seek Productivity for Panama Canal 2015 Expansion (12/12/14)
    As 2015 plans for expansion of the Panama Canal draw near, US West Coast ports are engaging major improvements to maintain their competitiveness against East Coast ports. While the major West Coasts ports (i.e., Seattle-Tacoma, Oakland and Los Angeles-Long Beach) currently maintain deep, 50-foot harbors, JOC reports that ports on the East and Gulf Coasts are in the process of deepening their harbors for the traffic of expected mega-ships. In response, the West Coast competitors are pursuing major operation developments to increase container moves up to 30 per hour or more with costly improvements such as yard, gate and on-dock automations, as well as dual hoist cranes. (More at: http://www.joc.com/special-topics/ west-coast-ports)
  • Malaysia - Ships Collide at Port Klang (10/30/14)
    Two container ships collided and broke into flames yesterday at Port Klang near Kuala Lumpur, reports JOC. More details provided by MalayMail Online.  The New Strait Times explained that the ships involved were the San Felipe, 9,000 TEU (Hamburg Sud) and the Al Riffa, 13,500 TEU (United Arab Shipping). A Malaysian newspaper, The Star, reported that there were no injuries and an official stated that an investigation is underway.
  • China Europe Rail Link (09/22/14)
    JOC reported that DHL is now using rail between China and Europe.    This will cost one sixth of air transportation and arrive in 10 to 21 days.
  • Ebola (09/16/14)
    AGS is reporting that "throughout August affected countries have experienced expatriates leaving - with negative impacts felt by local economies - and foreign diplomats and businesspeople abroad not returning."      AGS also reported that all their branches in Africa remain operational though those in Ebola regions have implemented strict hygiene control measures.
  • China Vat (09/05/14)
    JOC is reporting that forwarders are finding China's VAT System 'clear as mud' and very labor intensive.    A director of international freight forwarding stated that the latest updated China policy released in July indicated that freight forwarding businesses could enjoy tax exemption.    However, the jury is still out on that.
  • Suez Canal (09/04/14)
    Revenue for the Suez Canal topped 500 million (US) in August setting a new record.    JOC reports this is due, in part, to a surge in container volume.    The Canal is Egypt's largest source of foreign exchange ($5 billion plus).   It is vital that Egypt continues to maintain the security of the Canal.
  • Ebola (09/02/14)
    Hapag-Lloyd is charging shippers with an Ebola inspection fee on shipments to and from West Africa.   This is expected to cause lengthy delays.   Fees of $250 per 20 foot container and $350 per 40 foot container have been announced per JOC.   The inspection is expected to include confirmation that the crew is in good health.
  • China - Ningbo Port (08/22/14)
    China - JOC is reporting that a trucker strike has brought the world's sixth largest container port to a standstill.
  • US - Bob-Tail Bandits (08/07/14)
    JOC reports that a trio known as the "bob-tail bandits" pleaded guilty to stealing cargo from Maryland to Texas.    They did this the old-fashioned way: they drove tractors from truck stop to truck stop looking for unattached, unattended trailers.   When one was found they simply hooked up and drove away.
  • North American Truck and Rail Capacity (07/25/14)
    JOC is reporting that both rail and truck capacity in North America (not just HHG related) continues to face constricted capacity and rising costs.    According to JOC, the FTR Shippers Condition Index for May (unchanged from April) identified a utilization rate of between 98 and 99 percent.    Said differently, capacity is very, very tight.
  • UAE and Ramadan (07/07/14)
    Shipping to Muslim countries may be impacted by reduced hours during the month of Ramadan.    AGS reported that within the UAE, Customs, port authorities, airlines and shipping lines are all working at reduced hours through the month.   Ramadan started the evening of June 28th and ends a month later.
  • Drought impacting US/Mex Trucking (06/03/14)
    JOC is reporting that the usual excess of northbound vs. southbound trucking (Mexico/California) is being exacerbated this year due to the drought in California.   Mexican agricultural goods are now replacing produce normally shipped from CA.   Trucking companies are trying to find solutions for what some say are four truckloads coming north for every truckload of freight going south.  
  • China Logistics (05/30/14)
    JOC is reporting that huge savings in logistics can be realized in China where providers today are not able to offer nationwide coverage and thousands of low margin players, with low market penetration, are driving up costs.  
  • Thailand (05/23/14)
    AGS is reporting that Thailand has declared martial law but it has not impacted their operations yet.
  • Possible US West Coast Surcharge (05/06/14)
    Carriers are preparing to levy congestion surcharges if work stoppages occur during the US West Coast longshore contract negotiations this summer according to JOC.  
  • Supply Chain Troubles (05/02/14)
    JOC is reporting that supply chain troubles with cargo theft resulted in over $22 billion in losses in 2013.   In the US, 41 percent of cargo thefts involve a parked truck.   Hot spots in the US, accounting for 65% of all US losses, are TX, CA, FL, IL and GA.   Globally, 'unrest' in Asia (primarily Cambodia, India, Thailand and Bangladesh) cost at least $100 billion.   Europe remained the highest-loss region globally.    JOC also reported that "Countries that BSI rated as “high” or “severe” for cargo theft continued to see large numbers of thefts and “significant” losses in 2013, including Italy, Mexico, Russia and South Africa, which saw many violent cargo theft incidents".
  • Mexico Arizona Border Crossing (04/23/14)
    JOC is reporting that some Mexican cross border truckers may form a blockade at the Arizona Border to protest a disproportionately high number of inspections, fines and trucks put out of service by the US.
  • Hong Kong (04/07/14)
    The 633 foot German Container ship, Hansa Constitution ran aground in Hong Kong Sunday.    The containers appeared to have stayed on board but damage to the ship is unknown at this time.
  • Lufthansa Strike (04/01/14)
    Lufthansa has reportedly cancelled over 3000 flights for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday due to a planned pilot strike.    This will impact both passengers and cargo.
  • Port Metro Vancouver (03/28/14)
    JOC is reporting that striking truck drivers reached an agreement with Port Metro Vancouver, the federal government of Canada and the provincial government of British Columbia to end the 28-day strike that has wreaked havoc at Canada’s busiest port.   It will take some time, however, to clear the backlog of containers.
  • Port Metro Vancouver (03/17/14)
    The truckers strike continues today after almost three weeks.   Delivery of cargo is down to a trickle and the customer will ultimately end up paying delay charges.
  • Port Vancouver, Canada (03/14/14)
    JOC is reporting that Canadian National Railway obtained an injunction today against striking union and non-union truck groups that will prevent their drivers from blocking access to the railroad’s intermodal terminal serving Port Metro Vancouver.
  • U. S. Trucking (03/03/14)
    JOC is reporting that US spot market truckload rates remain unseasonably high due to high demand and several months of severe weather throughout the US.
  • Philippines Port (02/27/14)
    Manila - AGS is reporting that due to a trucking strike in the Philippines, containers are unable to be released from the port.   Demurrage costs may be applied until the strike is over.
  • Beijing Customs (02/25/14)
    AGS is advising that changes have been made following the Chinese New Year (1/31) by Beijing Customs with implications for air shipments.  One example is that the inventory must now match the contents of a shipment meaning that if a box contains both pillows and clothes that both must be stated on the packing list.  Other requirements have been implemented as well.
  • New York Port (02/24/14)
    The unusually severe weather this winter has played havoc with the Ports of NY/NJ and attempts to clear the backlog have not succeeded.   The truck queue outside the largest terminal extended 2.5 miles just a few days ago reported JOC.   Some port drayage companies are imposing surcharges due to the back log. 
  • Australia Weather (01/28/14)
    JOC is reporting that some ports in Northeast Australia will close due to a cyclone expected to make landfall shortly.
  • U. S. Weather (01/28/14)
    Some southern US ports closed due to unusual freezing conditions today including Houston, New Orleans, Charleston and Mobile.
  • California Regulations (01/21/14)
    The Association for Owner-Operators (OOIDA) filed lawsuit in CA against new regulations that require older trucks meet standards that didn't exist previously.   This seriously impacts out-of-state truckers and is believed to be unconstitutional at least for interstate commerce.   Unofficial estimates indicate that perhaps 30 percent or less of trucks are compliant.   
  • Cartus (01/21/14)
    Cartus appointed Mike Brannan to lead Global Supply Chain Management.
  • Chile - Port Strikes (01/17/14)
    There are more than a dozen ongoing port strikes across Chile reports JOC and at least one steamship line reported that it has not been able to dock in San Antonio for more than two weeks.
  • Piracy in 2013 (01/16/14)
    Piracy issues were lower in 2013 due to diminishing Somalia pirate attacks.
  • China VAT (12/11/13)
    There is hope that the confusion surrounding China VAT application on logistics, implemented August 1st, will be clarified soon JOC reports.  
  • Clark and Reid (11/25/13)
    Clark and Reid announced today that they were acquired by Wheaton Van Lines, the fourth largest van line group in the United States.
  • Floods in Saudi Arabia? (11/22/13)
    Extremely rare torrential rains have caused flooding in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.   A number of deaths have now been reported.   Central and Southern Iraq are also reporting flooding as well.
  • Philippines (11/08/13)
    A super-typhoon made landfall in the Philippines today.   Described by JOC as 'probably the most powerful storm to ever make landfall', it is creating transportation chaos along with a threatening humanitarian disaster.   The storm is expected to continue on to Vietnam and Laos.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Surcharge (10/30/13)
    JOC is reporting that Delmas announced an emergency port surcharge for shipments moving through the port.    Other major carriers are expected to follow as congestion delays intensify.   Additionally, dockworkers have called off their strike and returned to work this morning.    Emergency Port Surcharges appear to range from $150 to $250 per 20 foot container and congestion is expected to start to clear up in about a week.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port India (10/25/13)
    Container shipping disruptions have been reported at the largest container port in India, Port of Jawaharlal Nehru.    Port authorities are appealing to local labor groups and dockworkers to end illegal strikes/work stoppages and restore normal operations JOC reports.
  • Suspected Somali Pirate Boss Arrested (10/15/13)
    Belgium police, posing as filmmakers, lured a suspected Somali pirate chief to Belgium where he was arrested after asking him to appear as a star in a documentary about his exploits.    According to JOC, Mohamed Hassan (aka Big Mouth) reportedly has been the boss of a successful and ruthless gang pocketing millions of dollars in ransom payments.  
  • Egypt Suez Canal (10/14/13)
    JOC is reporting that Egypt has increased security along the Suez Canal after receiving threats that jihadists were planning attacks along the important waterway.
  • US Government Shut Down (10/03/13)
    AMSA reported that the government shutdown should not affect transportation at the GSA because the Employee Relocation Resource Center is "industrially funded" according to Kim Chancellor, Traffic Management Specialist COTR.
  • Philippines Customs (09/26/13)
    Moving agents in the Philippines are reporting problems with customs clearance.    The government is reportedly targeting the customs department in a corruption investigation.   This has brought to a crawl the already slow customs clearance process and is impacting all ports of entry.   The recent floods have added additional difficulties to this already complicated situation.
  • China VAT (09/20/13)
    The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is reportedly considering a range of options to obtain clarity on how China is implementing a new VAT on international transportation.    According to JOC, the FMC is concerned with the tax and is seeking clarity on the VAT's application and scope.
  • Colorado Flooding Update (09/18/13)
    While the flooding which began September 11th in Colorado has been receding, a lot of damaged infrastructure needs repair.    Rail operations in Denver continued to be affected by washouts and U. S. Highways 24, 34, 35, 287 and State Highway 52 are among some still closed according to JOC.
  • Colorado Flooding (09/13/13)
    Major flooding that started on September 11th in Colorado has disrupted transportation in major population areas including Boulder, Longmont and many mountain communities.    Road repair may reportedly take months to complete.   Shipments loading or unloading in the affected areas have been suspended.
  • Egypt (08/14/13)
    Chaos in Egypt continues and curfews are now in place.    Commerce has been dramatically impacted.
  • Mike Sewell (07/23/13)
    Mike (aka Skip) Sewell died today after a long illness.    Skip managed the Parsifal Florida offices for many years and left Florida to be near family as the illness progressed.    'Load the wagon Skip' is, and will be, sorely missed.  Our condolences to his family and the Florida staff he worked so closely with.
  • Egypt (07/02/13)
    AGS has advised that due to protests in Egypt there are gas and fuel shortages across the country.   In addition, the road between Cairo and Alexandra is reportedly unsafe and containers will not be transported on this route at this time.  
  • MOL Comfort Aft Sinks (06/27/13)
    JOC is reporting that the aft section of the MOL Comfort container ship, which split in half, sank today in the Indian Ocean in water over 2 miles deep.   1700 containers went down with the aft section though some are reportedly still floating.  Meanwhile, the fore part, which holds the majority of the cargo, is "stably" being towed to the Persian Gulf.
  • A. Arnold Relocation (06/25/13)
    A. Arnold World Class Relocation, Louisville, KY, sold to a group headed by Greg Hoover the current President and CEO.
  • MOL Comfort (06/25/13)
    The container ship MOL Comfort split in half in rough waters.   Both halves are still floating and 26 crew members rescued.   The ship was heading from Singapore to Jeddah.   Both halves of the ship are being monitored and reportedly slowly sinking.   See pictures here: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/Container-Ship-Breaks-in-Half-and-Sinks-26-Rescued-2013-06-17/
  • Suddath Global Logistics (06/10/13)
     Suddath Global Logistics acquired PenserSG, a third party logistics supplier.
  • Clark and Reid International (06/06/13)
    Clark and Reid made a strategic decision to focus on domestic business and sold their international business unit.     Word on the street is that New World Van Lines is the purchaser. 
  • Washington State I-5 Bridge Collapses (06/04/13)
    The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed after being struck by an oversized load late Thursday.   The bridge is about 60 miles north of Seattle and 40 miles south of the Canadian border and handles about 8000 commercial trucks daily.   This will disrupt transportation between the US and Canada which will now have to be rerouted to smaller roads to by-pass the failed bridge.
  • Piracy drops in 2012 (05/07/13)
    JOC is reporting that the cost of Somali piracy to the global economy dropped in 2012 compared with 2011.    Attempted attacks were down by 70 percent, actual hijackings by 50 percent and overall cost to the global economy was down by 13 percent.
  • Mississippi River (04/23/13)
    Four months ago the Mississippi River was 4.5 feet below the river gauge.   Today JOC is reporting that in St. Louis the level is expected to be just shy of 40 feet above the gauge.   That is a 45 foot swing in less than a few months and it is impacting river traffic.   In addition, 11 barges broke away in the flooding and sank over the weekend.  
  • Move Metric Domestic (04/22/13)
    Parsifal Corporation became the sole owner of MMD Technology on Friday after purchasing the Pasha Group's interest in the system.
  • Hong Kong (04/05/13)
    JOC is reporting that demonstrations and strikes by portworkers are now entering the second week at the Port of Hong Kong.   Vessle queues are lengthening and container traffic is being diverted away from the world's third-busiest container port.
  • U. S. Sequestration (03/20/13)
    U. S. Customs is planning a manpower reduction (in overtime and via furloughs)starting April 21st, 2013, according to some reports.   There are fears that this will create a slow down in processing containers especially for west coast ports.
  • Container Ship Capsizes (03/19/13)
    A container ship, the Guangyangxingang, reportedly sank off the east coast of China killing at least 11 Monday night.  One person was rescued by helicopter, 2 are still missing.
  • Sequestration and US Ports (03/11/13)
    There are concerns on how sequestration will impact the Ports of LA and Long Beach.  Since the government did not come to agreement on how to bring the federal budget under control, cuts will be across the board.   If US Customs decides to deal with these cuts by limiting overtime, the expected impact to the ports will be in 3 areas; scanning containers, intensive exams and vessel boarding.   Hopefully, US Customs can find areas of waste to cut instead of impacting how containers are processed.
  • OOCL Container Ship Stuck (03/05/13)
    JOC reported that OOCL Belgium (a 738 foot container ship) is stuck in ice in eastern Canada on its way from Montreal to England.   The Canadian Coast Guard is assisting.
  • Indian Ports (02/22/13)
    Containers stand idle at Nehru Port and many other government owned ports in India due to a nationwide strike.
  • Suez Canal (01/29/13)
    The continuing unrest in Egypt is a concern to canal traffic.   However, while a state of emergency has been declared in several Suez Canal cities, traffic continues to move through the canal at this time.
  • US - Mississippi River Update (01/22/13)
    The Army Corp of Engineers has been working hard dredging the shallowest parts of the River and so far has successfully kept the Mississippi River open to barge traffic during the worst drought since the 1930's.   Work is expected to continue through January.
  • US - Mississippi River (01/03/13)
    The mighty Mississippi is closing in on historic lows.    Barge transportation on the river may be halted in just a few more days if the water level sinks much lower.
  • US 400N Increase (12/20/12)
    According to our information, the 400N increase on 1/1/13 should be 1.6 percent.    Please let us know if other figures are applied so we can review.
  • US - East Coast Port Strike Looming (12/18/12)
    At 12:01 AM on December 30th, the International Longshoremen's Association contract expires for major US East and Gulf Coast Ports.    Negotiations have been going on since late March to settle.
  • Mega-ship Marco Polo (12/13/12)
    JOC reported that mega-ship CMA CGM Marco Polo made its first call to the port of Hamburg today.     It has a capacity of 16,020 20-foot equivalent units and is almost 1300 feet long and 176 feet wide.
  • France Inspections (12/07/12)
    AGS is reporting that container inspections in France are expected to increase now that custom clearing procedures are electronic, allowing officials more time to actually inspect.
  • India Service Tax (12/06/12)
    Forwarders are reporting that the Union Budget passed by the Government of India is revising the service tax rate up to 12.36%.   
  • Suddath Global Logistics (12/06/12)
    JOC reports that Jacksonville, FL based Suddath Global Logistics acquired Los Angeles based Cali America Logistics specializing in import and export, freight forwarding, transportation and warehousing, distribution and fulfillment servies.    
  • North Sea Collision (12/05/12)
    A Ro-RO vessel (Baltic Ace) collided with a container ship (Corvus J) and is believed to have sunk in the North Sea.    The Corvus J does not appear to be in danger of sinking.  Several deaths have been reported.
  • Nevada Intrastate (11/30/12)
    In July 2012 (Docket No. 12-04014) the Nevada Transportation Authority approved a request by Ace World Wide for a minimum shipping weight of 12,500 pounds for intra Nevada moves.  
  • U.S LA-Long Beach Strike (11/30/12)
    Port News - 10 of 14 container terminals in LA-Long Beach are shut down due to the clerical workers strike.   Shipments are starting to divert to other ports.
  • Missouri Changes Regulations (11/29/12)
    Missouri changed their HHG regulations.   It now appears that carriers no longer have to file rates with the state but must still post a tariff and charge no more and no less than what is listed.   Discounting may be allowed for 'volume based moves' where the carrier can show the reduced prices are justified due to multiple moves.
  • China VAT (11/28/12)
    Atlas is reporting that a VAT of approximately 6 percent will be assessed on shipments into and out of Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuchan and Chongqing ports.  Depending on how the supplier agreed to bill the customer for VAT, it may, or may not, appear as a separate line item on the customer's invoice.  However, when it can be billed as a line item, it should only apply to work performed within the country assessing the tax.
  • Argentina - strike (11/28/12)
    According to JOC, Argentina has been hit with a 24 hour strike affecting ports, airports, trains and road transportation.
  • 60 foot trailer? (11/12/12)
    Walmart Canada is rolling out a 60' supercube trailer adding more than 30 percent capacity to the current 53' trailer.     Is this in the future for moving within North America?
  • NY-NJ Port Information (11/06/12)
    In an effort to assist with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, JOC is reporting that the NY-NJ container terminals are open today (Election Day) even though it is usually a longshoremen's holiday.
  • NY-NJ Port Information (11/05/12)
    JOC is reporting that two more NY-NJ Terminals are to reopen today after a long interruption caused by Hurricane Sandy.   PNCT and Global were expected to open their gates at 7 AM for truckers.
  • US Ports (11/01/12)
    Northeast and mid-Atlantic US Ports reopened Wednesday morning (with the exception of the NY - NJ Port which remained closed) following the passage of hurricane Sandy.
  • U.S. Hurricane Sandy (10/29/12)
    Ports in the US Northeast are shutting down as Sandy moves up the coast.   In addition, northeast interruptions in international and domestic loading/unloading should be expected until the storm passes.
  • Portugal (10/22/12)
    Strikes in Portugal over the government's austerity program is impacting container handling in Lisbon.    Delays and demurrage charges are likely to occur.
  • Panama Canal Expansion (10/03/12)
    The Panama Canal expansion project is about 45 percent complete.   Workboat.com quotes Maj Gen. Michael J. Walsh as saying that 'Post-Panamax vessels today make up 16 percent of the world's container fleet, but account for 45 percent of the fleet's capacity'.   The goal of the canal project is to double capacity and allow larger ships to transit. The New Panamax should be able to handle Post-Panamax vessels increasing cargo capacity up to 13,000 TEU's versus about 5000 currently.
  • China Customs (10/01/12)
    AGS is reporting that 100 percent of shipments inbound to China now undergo X-ray and 20 percent are physically inspected.   PBO's are strictly forbidden and the inventory list must match the goods exactly.   This means that weight reconstructs will be quite accurate.
  • US Port Strike Negotiations (09/21/12)
    Negotiations between the US Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) have progressed significantly and the parties have agreed to extend the contract discussion till late December avoiding a potential strike in the next two weeks.
  • US Port Strike Looms (09/15/12)
    The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) will resume labor negotiations at the request of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service during the week of September 17th, 2012.   If the ILA orders a strike, major US port congestion is expected and congestion fees will be assessed.   These fees are expected to be as follows:   USD 800 per 20', USD 1000 per 40', USD 1125 per 40' HC, USD 1266 per 45' HC.
  • Mumbai Ship Fire (09/10/12)
    Indian Maritime Agencies are reporting that a 'K' Line container ship is on fire off the port of Mumbai.
  • Costa Rica Port Congestion (09/10/12)
    JOC is reporting that Hapag-Lloyd suspended calls at Puerto Caldera due to extreme port congestion.
  • China Ports (09/07/12)
    According to Drewry Shipping Consultants, China ports now handle 30 percent of the world's global container throughput.
  • China Africa Trade (07/30/12)
    JOC is reporting that Sino-African trade is booming reportedly increasing more than 22 percent year-over-year.
  • Container Ship on Fire (07/20/12)
    JOC is reporting that the post-Panamax MSC Flaminia (Container ship) is ablaze in the North Atlantic and now adrift after the crew abandoned ship.
  • Brazil Customs Slowdown (07/20/12)
    The slowdown by Brazilian custom officers continues to intensify as commerce is delayed at Santos and other ports.   Labor negotiations are continuing.
  • Swiss Alps (07/06/12)
    After close to a month, the Gotthard tunnel has re-opened.  A landslide forced the closure of the main north-south route for freight trains and trucks through the Alps.
  • Iranian Threats (07/06/12)
    Iran is threatening to disrupt traffic in the strait of Hormuz by blocking oil tankers that are headed to countries no longer buying its crude.     The 'strait' has a choke point of 21 nautical miles where reportedly 20 percent of the world's oil passes.   If they make good on their threat oil prices can be expected to rise sharply.
  • Brazil's Ports (06/28/12)
    JOC is reporting that custom officers in Brazil are on strike which is slowing clearance and generally disrupting ports.
  • Hapag-Lloyd (06/21/12)
    Hapag-Lloyd is suspending trans-Atlantic New York / Hamburg service due to current market conditions.    According to JOC, the carrier stated they would recommence service once conditions improve.
  • Idle Container Fleet Dropping (06/18/12)
    BIMCO is reporting that the idle container fleet has dropped by close to 47% in the last three months even while freight rates continue their rise.
  • Global Recession Again? (06/18/12)
    Container volume handled by ports in northern Europe have been slowing and may indicate that the continent is moving into a deeper recession than anticipated.   In addition, there are concerns that the US economy is now following Europe's lead into recession if it has not already started.
  • U. S. Diesel (06/01/12)
    Diesel in the US has finally dipped below $4.00/gallon down to almost $3.88.  
  • EU Attacks Pirate Base (05/18/12)
    JOC stated on May 15th that the EU attacked a pirate home base on the Somali mainland leaving at least 5 pirate fast attack vessels inoperable.
  • US HHG Peak Season (05/07/12)
    The 2012 U. S. peak season looks like it may be more intense than the 2011 peak season.  According to Relo Roundtable, 2012 confirmed new order registrations are already exceeding 2011 tonnage levels across the country (comparing same time periods for both years).
  • U. S. Trucking (05/03/12)
    JOC is reporting that the top 50 U. S. carriers (all commodities) increased revenue by 11.6 percent to $95.6 billion in 2011 breaking their pre-recession records.  
  • California (05/03/12)
    Keep an eye on California which is proposing more regulation of HHG's in bill AB 2118.   If enacted, this bill will impact HHG movers, brokers, websites and even the transferee.
  • Trans-Pacific Rates (04/20/12)
    JOC is reporting that Trans-Pacific spot rates jumped close to 20 percent this week showing the continued strength in that market.  NVOCC's are now paying around 67% more than they did last December.
  • UPS (04/06/12)
    UPS agreed to acquire TNT Express, Europes second largest package delivery company, creating the world's largest logistics group according to JOC.
  • PODS (04/06/12)
    ReloRoundtable is reporting that PODS filed for bankruptcy protection on March 19th, 2012, as part of a bankruptcy protection plan filed by Arcapita Bank, a Bahraini investment firm in the US.
  • Solar Storm and GPS (03/12/12)
    A massive solar flare has been released on the sun's surface sending a quickly expanding cloud of electronic particles towards earth.   Trucking firms that dispatch via GPS or cell phone technology may have interruptions as the planet experiences the worst solar storm in years. 
  • VAT for Shanghai, China (03/12/12)
    According to AGS, a 6 percent VAT now applies to all removal services to and from Shanghai.
  • Wheaton Acquires Bekins (02/28/12)
    Wheaton Van Lines will complete the acquisition of Bekins Van Lines in mid March after months of rumors.   Wheaton will now be the fourth largest U. S. HHG Carrier.  
  • China Cargo Airport (02/28/12)
    According to JOC, China is planning to build the world's largest cargo airport near Beijing by 2017 at a cost of $4.8 billion (US).
  • Port of NY/NJ (02/27/12)
    The Port of NY / NJ set an all-time record in 2011 for cargo volume surpassing the previous record in 2007.
  • The New Panama Canal and US Port Battles (02/24/12)
    US East Coast Ports are quickly preparing to capture business from US West Coast Ports as the new Panama Canal channel comes to completion in the next few years.   According to Stateline, the new channel will accomodate ships carrying double the cargo.   At the moment, Norfolk, VA, is the only East Coast Port that can handle fully laden vessels coming through the new canal.   In preparation, NY/NJ is preparing to raise a bridge and other eastern ports are working hard to make sure they can handle this new business. 
  • Port of Antwerp (02/03/12)
    A nationwide strike brought Europe's third largest container port to a standstill earlier this week as unions protested deficit cutting programs by the government.
  • U. S. Trucking Index (01/27/12)
    The American Trucking Association is reporting that 2011 for-hire truck tonnage increased 5.9 percent year over year.   The biggest one year freight gain since 1998.
  • U.S Domestic Traffic (01/18/12)
    The United Van Lines study discussed in RELO Roundtable shows the following states are 'inbound' states for HHG traffic in 2011: Oregon, Nevada, Florida, North Carolina and DC.    The following states are considered 'outbound' states: North Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine.   The remaining states are considered 'balanced'.
  • Pirate attack thwarted (01/13/12)
    Somali pirates hijacked a Norwegian-flag ship off the coast of Nigeria.  The crew quickly retreated to a 'safe' room allowing Indian miliary forces to free the 20 sailors on board earlier this week.
  • Missouri Intrastate Regs (01/10/12)
    Missouri is considering legislation that will change (and hopefully simplify) the current requirements of carriers handling Intrastate HHG business.     More can be found at the Reloroundtable.com blog site.
  • Nigeria (01/09/12)
    Nationwide strikes in Nigeria today are expected to cause shipping interruptions nationwide.    Reports indicate the port has closed.
  • Rotterdam Port (01/08/12)
    Port operations at Rotterdam, one of the world's busiest ports, were interupted last Thursday due to severe storms.   A very unusual winter for northern Europe has produced storms typically experienced in the spring and autumn.
  • Shanghai Port (01/03/12)
    Shanghai was named the world's busiest port for the second year in a row.     Singapore lost this designation in 2010 when Shanghai roared ahead.
  • Tanzania Flooding (12/23/11)
    Flooding has caused deaths and the collapse of bridges in Dar es Salaam.   Delays and damage to containers discharged at the port are expected.
  • The Suddath Companies (12/23/11)
    Suddath announced their acquisition of City Moving Systems in Kent, Washington.   This strategic expansion gives Suddath coverage in all quadrants coast to coast.   Suddath acquired Minneapolis based Barrett Moving and Storage earlier this year. 
  • Bekins Acquired (12/22/11)
    Wheaton World Wide acquired Bekins Van Lines in an announcement made December 13th, 2011.    According to industry sources, this makes Wheaton the 6th largest van line in the United States.
  • Shanghai VAT (12/21/11)
    AGS is reporting that the Shanghai municipality is planning to apply a VAT between 6 and 7% to shipments effective January 1, 2012. 
  • Sirva News (12/21/11)
    Sirva announced in November that they acquired Peninsula Properties Hong Kong, a real estate company providing a full range of destination services in and around Hong Kong.
  • UPS Logistics (12/12/11)
    UPS purchased a major Italian Logistics firm, its first acquisition in several years.
  • Occupy West Coast (12/12/11)
    The Occupy movement threatened to shut down all the West Coast ports today but disruptions were primarily limited to the Port of Oakland.
  • Prudential (12/07/11)
    Brookfield Residential Property Services announced the acquisition of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services establishing Brookfield as the second largest relocation services provider and the third largest real estate franchise business.
  • Pacific Spot Freight Rates (12/01/11)
    JOC is reporting that spot freight rates for shipping 40 foot containers across the Pacific have dropped to the lowest level in almost two years indicating weak demand along with a capacity glut.
  • Occupy Movement (11/28/11)
    According to JOC, the Occupy Movement is attempting to shut down all U. S. West Coast Port activity on December 12th.   The ILW Union announced it will not participate in the event which would directly impact their daily work.
  • Tsunami Debris (11/14/11)
    Portworld is reporting that a 25 million ton marine debris field created by the Japanese tsunami last March is floating across the Pacific and should reach the Hawaiian Islands this winter and the west coast of North America in 2013.   This field can create navigational, along with environmental, hazards and an advisory was issued by MARAD requesting voluntary reporting by carriers of significant debris fields.
  • Thai Floods (11/09/11)
    The worst monsoon floods in Thailand in 50 years have reportedly killed over 400 people and are interrupting production at over 14,000 factories.   Global supply chains of large automobile and computer makers have been impacted and the freight and logistics sectors are in chaos.   Some container shipping companies have stepped in to help the people suffering in the flood zones by transporting needed supplies.  Our heartfelt sympathies to the Thai people.
  • US Train Strike Looming (11/07/11)
    The US is trying to intervene in a potential nationwide rail strike.  The US Federal Rail Board has made some recommendations on contract terms between the parties.   If an agreement is not made by December 6th, labor action is possible.
  • Occupy Oakland (11/04/11)
    The ILW Union is back to work as cargo operations returned to normal Thursday following a night of disruptions caused by the Occupy Oakland group.     
  • BNSF (11/03/11)
    According to JOC, BNSF expects to finally return to pre-recession volume sometime in 2013.  
  • Vision Relocation (10/25/11)
    The Secor Group (founded in 1890 as the Security Storage Company according to their website) acquired Vision Relocation.
  • Free Trade Agreements (10/19/11)
    The US Congress passed Free Trade Pacts with Panama, Columbia and South Korea.     Terms are expected to be implented in the early part of 2012 according to JOC.
  • Container Ship Charter Rates (10/07/11)
    JOC is reporting that container ship charter rates are falling due to sluggish growth and overcapacity.   Expect steamship owners to decrease capacity if this situation does not improve shortly.
  • Diesel (10/05/11)
    JOC is reporting that diesel prices in the US fell to their lowest level in 30 months.
  • Sante Fe - Interdean (09/29/11)
    The Sante Fe Group announced it completed its acquisition of Interdean, a leading relocation service company in Europe.
  • Pirate Attack Foiled (09/28/11)
    JOC reported that the Indian Navy captured pirates attacking two vessels in the Gulf of Aden Sunday.    Since India started patrolling in 2008, they have successfully thwarted 39 attacks.   Ships are beginning to travel in convoys to protect themselves from pirates.
  • Housing Starts (09/20/11)
    Housing starts fell 5 percent in August to less than half of what economists say is needed for a healthy market.
  • UPS (09/16/11)
    Despite the shaky economy, JOC advised that UPS is gearing up for one of their strongest holiday peak seasons.
  • APL Surcharge (09/14/11)
    APL is applying a peak-season surcharge starting 10/15 on cargo from India to the US and Canada via the Suez and all cargo discharged at Pacific coast ports or Vancouver of $400 per 40 foot container.
  • US Exports (09/13/11)
    JOC reported that a July export surge of American motor vehicles, industrial equipment and aircraft, pushed US Exports to an all-time high helping to decrease the trade deficit. 
  • Prudential Suit (09/08/11)
    According to an Appeals Court, Prudential is immune from liability, under qualified privilege, in a suit brought by a carrier against Prudential for sharing concerns with their client about the alleged over-billing practices of the carrier.
  • US - Truck Drivers (09/06/11)
    JOC is reporting that the availability of truck drivers may end up being the largest issue facing domestic shippers (HHG's and all others) in the coming year.
  • Libya (09/04/11)
    Portworld is reporting that the EU ended sanctions on 6 Libyan ports.
  • Container Shipping (08/30/11)
    JOC stated that research analyst Alphaliner is reporting that container shipping is heading towards a prolonged slump that could last longer than the 2009 downturn.   However, this time it would be caused by overcapacity and weak demand growth in Europe and the US.
  • China (08/29/11)
    There may be a heavy backlog of shipments at Chinese ports when the country celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival in September and the National Holiday in October.   Forwarders can plan appropriately to avoid these delays.
  • Hurricane Alert (08/23/11)
    Please be advised that Hurricane Irene is expected to pass by our Florida offices later this week as it heads towards the US Carolinas.    Service interuptions are possible.
  • China / US shipping (08/19/11)
    JOC is reporting that the cost to ship a container from China to the west coast of the United States jumped over 20 percent as long delayed peak season surcharges were implemented.
  • US Diesel Prices (08/17/11)
    Diesel prices hit their lowest level in 24 weeks as negative economic news continues to be reported.  A barrel of crude is now below $90.
  • Panama Canal (08/16/11)
    The Panama Canal is expecting completion of its $5.2 billion expansion project in 2014 which adds a new lane of traffic via the construction of a new set of locks which will double capacity and allow longer and wider ships.
  • Container Ship Capacity (08/03/11)
    Active container ship capacity is up 10 percent over the past year running ahead of cargo demand according to JOC.
  • Shanghai (08/01/11)
    According to AGS, Shanghai customs is not permitting personal effects to transit via Shanghai and be forwarded to another Chinese city.   
  • Bolliger International (08/01/11)
    Secor Group, a Washington, D.C. based company, has acquired a majority ownership in Bolliger International of Stamford, CT.
  • Writer Relocasia (07/26/11)
    Parsifal Corporation just learned that Writer purchased a majority stake in Relocasia.   The new firm will be called Writer Relocasia and is to be headed by Matt Burden as CEO.
  • Puerto Rico (07/18/11)
    According to the JOC, Sea Star Line is suspending its weekly service connecting Philadelphia, Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico due to lack of business.   This involved two ships with RoRo service.
  • Trans-Pacific Rates Fall (07/14/11)
    According to the Journal of Commerce, spot container freight rates from Asia to the US plunged 6.7 percent in the last week.  The rate erosion is blamed on excess vessel capacity.
  • Pirate Attacks Increase (07/14/11)
    The JOC reports that pirate attacks on shipping vessels is up 36% in the first half of this year versus the same time last year.    However, the number of actual successes has fallen.   Somali pirates are reportedly responsible for 60% of all attacks.     
  • Madagascar (07/11/11)
    According to AGS, Madagascar port strikes are disrupting imports and exports to the island.   Port workers are protesting alleged illegal exports of rosewood and are calling for an investigation.
  • Libya Ports (07/10/11)
    The EU is reinforcing sanctions against Libya by blocking 6 key Ports in an effort to continue putting pressure on the regime and cut off their ability to export oil and import needed goods.
  • Mobile Harbors? (07/05/11)
    According to Portworld, South Korean researchers have showcased a harbor that goes out to the vessel.   It is intended to unload giant container ships in open waters relieving congestion at the docks.
  • Spain (06/20/11)
    A container ship ('Deneb') capsized during loading operations in Algeciras, Spain.   A salvage crew has arrived.
  • Chinese Inflation (06/16/11)
    China is desperately fighting inflation which hit 5.5% in May over the previous May.   Inflation in China, the world's factory, will put pressure on the prices of goods globally. 
  • U. S. updates (06/10/11)
    Transport Topics reports; fuel prices declined again this week, intermodal traffic rose 7.5% over this time last year and new trailer orders surged 71 percent in April.
  • Dollar Decline Expected (05/23/11)
    The Financial Times reported that the World Bank expects the US dollar to lose its solitary dominance over the next 10 to 15 years as the euro and renminbi erode the US dollar dominance.
  • Industry volume expected to rise (05/09/11)
    USA Today reports that 'as the moving van travels so goes the economy' and they are saying that corporate relocations are looking up this year.     In addition, 30 percent of companies say they will relocate workers in 2011, the highest percentage since 2005 according to a survey by Atlas Van Lines.
  • Russian Fuel shortages (05/04/11)
    Recent reports show Russia is the world's largest producer of oil (b/day) with Saudi Arabia second and the US third.   Nonetheless, Russia has been experiencing shortages of fuel after the goverment capped the retail price pushing Russian companies to export more to obtain higher prices.  Critical shortages are reported across the country (including St. Petersburg) and all road and ocean going deliveries may be affected.
  • Australia (05/02/11)
    Taipei Times reported that dockworkers at Australia's three major ports had a 24 hour walkout this weekend crippling about one-quarter of the nations's freight.   More strike actions are possible.
  • U.S. Port Traffic (04/25/11)
    From Portworld;  Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans ports are reporting increases in container volume with a 25% increase in New Orleans alone (year over year).
  • China (04/25/11)
    From FT; striking truckers have besieged Shanghai ports over increases in fuel costs.  The communist government increased the price of fuel only twice this year and has been consistently pushing up interest rates in an attempt to bring down inflation.  China has implemented a media blackout on this situation.   However, there are fears that the strikes will spread to other ports.
  • Texas Speed Limit (04/21/11)
    Texas approved increasing some highway speed limits to 85 miles per hour during the daytime.
  • U. S. Interstate Weight Limit (04/21/11)
    Federal truck legislation has been introduced to allow states to increase the interstate weight limit for trucks from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds if the trailer has six axles.   It is unknown if the bill will pass at this time. 
  • Diesel (04/13/11)
    The DOE expects diesel prices to remain above $4.00 for the 2011 summer.
  • Floating Container Port (04/10/11)
    From Portworld - Plans have been unveiled to create a floating container-port off the northern coast of the United Kingdom at 1/3 the cost of a conventional port.
  • Hawaii container service (04/05/11)
    Honolulu-based Pasha Hawaii today announced the final design specifications for their second ship, which will be a combination Container and Roll-On/Roll-Off Car Truck Carrier (“ConRo”).
  • U.S. Bridge Issues (04/01/11)
    The State of PA earned the honor of having the largest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the nation.  Roughly 26.5% of PA bridges are deficient.   Oklahoma landed second place with a 22% score.
  • Japan Ports (04/01/11)
    PortWorld News reports that container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd has resumed calls at the Japanese ports of Tokyo Bay and Yokohama this week.
  • Port News (again) (03/25/11)
    From Portworld; Japan advises radiation levels very safe at Tokyo and Yokohama ports and is urging shipping firms to continue services.    The Libyan port has not been damaged by the unrest (yet) and India is bracing for port strikes. 
  • Port News (03/20/11)
    From Portworld News;   Activity in Bahrain ports has slowed due to unrest in the country.   At least six Japanese seaports handling international trade have sustained major damage from last week's earthquake.  According to industry officials, many of the ports are set to be out of operation for months, disrupting global supply chains and causing billions of dollars in daily losses.
  • China (03/14/11)
    China regained the title of 'world's top manufacturing country by output' nudging by the U. S. which has held the title for over 100 years.   China lost that title to Britain around 1850 and Britain lost that title to the United States around 1895. 
  • Russia (03/11/11)
    Over 100 vessels are reportedly stranded in ice at Russian ports.  Spokeman for the St. Petersburg port indicated this is the worst winter since 2003.
  • Japan (03/11/11)
    Portworld is advising that all Japanese ports have been closed after experiencing a Tsunami caused by an 8.9 magnitude quake, the 5th largest in recorded history.   Shipping activity may come to a stop due to the size of the disruptions.
  • Maersk (03/03/11)
    Maersk Line, operator of the world's largest container ship fleet, ordered 10 new ships at a cost of close to $2 billion.    The new 'Triple-E' ships will have a capacity of 18,000 20 foot containers dwarfing the previous E-class vessels of 15,500.  It is reported that these larger more efficient ships will be able to reduce shipping costs by up to 26 percent per container.
  • Libya (03/02/11)
    From AGS - many nationals and expats are fleeing oil-rich Libya as the revolt there continues to grow.  
  • French Ports (03/02/11)
    Business has returned to normal at French ports following weeks of strikes.
  • Pirate update (again) (02/16/11)
    Pirates have hijacked 10 ocean vessels so far this year in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea compared to only 3 at this time last year.   At this rate, last years record of 49 hijackings may easily be broken.  
  • Hawaii RoRo (02/15/11)
    Pasha announced today that it signed a $144 million contract with VT Halter Marine in MS to build a RoRo ship to enter the Hawaii/Mainland trade lane.  RoRo (roll on, roll off) vessels allow cars and trucks to be driven on/off the ship versus securing vehicles in containers and shipping via container ship.    Pasha launched their first RoRo vessel in 2005 with great success.
  • Panama Canal Competition? (02/14/11)
    China is reportedly in talks with Colombia to build an alternative to the Panama Canal by creating a 220 km rail link between Colombia's Atlantic Port(s) with its Pacific Ocean Port(s).   This would make it easier for China to export goods through the Americas and import raw materials such as coal.
  • Ivory Coast (02/11/11)
    From AGS - shipping lines have suspended bookings to and from the Ivory Coast effective February 10, 2011, due to the implementation of EU Council Regulations implemented as a result of the ongoing situation in that country.
  • Pirates (02/10/11)
    Pirates from Somalia continue to dog the shipping industry.   An oil tanker was taken by pirates 350 nautical miles south-east of Oman on February 9th.   All steamships, including container ships, are at risk.  It was reported late last year that more than 20 steamships were being held for ransom.
  • Global shipping price volatility (02/07/11)
    From FT - There have been huge swings in demand for moving products globally as economic uncertainty is encouraging customers to hold less stock and place orders at the last minute.    This will impact the shipping prices of HHG containers as the global demand for shipping space rises and falls.  Contracted HHG rates should be compared to the market rate to ensure best pricing is obtained.  
  • Diesel Prices (02/07/11)
    Diesel continued its climb last week making it the 10th consecutive week of increases.    Current diesel prices are hovering around $3.50 gallon.
  • French Ports (02/04/11)
    From AGS - French ports continue to experience strikes and disruptions are expected at Le Havre and Marseilles.
  • FedEx goes intermodal (02/03/11)
    Word on the street is that FedEx will be using Rail Intermodal for long haul shipments shifting from trucks.    UPS has been using Rail Intermodal for years.
  • Suez Canal Control (02/01/11)
    Fears are mounting that radical Islam may take control of Egypt if Mubarak steps down.   Egypt, home to the Suez Canal, allows water traffic between Asia and Europe without having to navigate around Africa. 
  • Curfew in Egypt (02/01/11)
    From AGS - A mandatory nationwide curfew has been imposed restricting people from leaving their homes.  Internet connections have been suspended impacting all business activities including Skype and email.  Normal relocation operations such as packing, removals, forwarding and shipment clearance have been disrupted.   
  • Suez update (02/01/11)
    The Suez Canal has remained operational so far and is currently in the control of the military.   It is reported that 50 percent of the Canal's traffic is comprised of container ships operating between Europe and Asia.
  • Egypt (01/31/11)
    Social unrest continues in Egypt as demonstrators demand the removal of Hosni Mubarak.    Concerns raised that a religious oligarchy might take over if Mubarak leaves office.
  • France (01/31/11)
    From AGS - Strikes at French Ports expected to continue this week.   If a ship is delayed or a stop over is cancelled due to the strikes, connection fees, demurrage and port storage charges beyond the usual free detention and port storage period will be chargeable to the shipper.
  • Steel Prices (01/28/11)
    The cost of new steel containers will be heading up because steel prices are expected to soar by up to 66 percent this year.   
  • More VAT Increases (01/28/11)
    Vat increases were implemented in Switzerland, Latvia and Portugal this month (to name a few countries) as governments seek ways to increase revenues to offset budget shortfalls.
  • Pirates (01/27/11)
    Pirates continue to be a threat to international shipping.  South Korean forces just freed a hijacked chemical freighter in the Indian Ocean capturing 5 pirates, killing 8 and rescuing all 21 crew members.    
  • Global Warming Benefit? (01/27/11)
    A new sea lane may be created via the Arctic which is expected to be ice free part of each year starting 2035.   The time and cost of voyages between Europe and Asia will be slashed dramatically.   Shipping time from Rotterdam to Yokohama will be 40 percent shorter.  
  • New York Ports (01/25/11)
    Financial Times reported that the head of the Waterfront Commission claimed New York Ports would be more competitive if they didn't have the additional costs from associated corrupt activity.
  • French Ports (01/24/11)
    From AGS - Dockers and port agents continue to strike in the main French ports.  Expectations are that the strike will continue to Tuesday with possible escalation.    Some shipping lines are rerouting to avoid berthing in French ports causing delays and additional charges.
  • Budd Van Lines (01/24/11)
     Budd Van Lines is introducing a new approach to domestic crating as well as packing mirrors, glass tops, pictures, etc.   The Eco-Pak and Eco-Crate are green solutions because they are reusable and are expected to dramtically reduce client costs.
  • Oxy wins Abu Dhabi contract (01/22/11)
    Oxy was awarded the lead contract to develop the troubled Shah gas project by Abu Dhabi. 
  • GSK settlement (01/22/11)
    GSK is settling product liability lawsuits in the US for a record-breaking $3.5 billion.
  • China is the world's new bank? (01/21/11)
    According to the Financial Times, China's lending to developing countries has exceeded that of the World Bank over the past two years.    This is a dramatic indication of Beijing's economic power and drive to secure global natural resources.
  • Tunisia (01/18/11)
    Tunisia President is swept from power.   Civil unrest continues
  • JPMorgan Chase (01/18/11)
    JPMorgan Chase reported earnings of $17.4 billion for the year, up 48% over 2009 (FT).
  • Crude Oil (01/18/11)
    Oil supply disruptions (such as the pipeline outages in Alaska) along with strong investor inflows is keeping upward pressure on oil prices.
  • Reefers vs. Containers (01/16/11)
    The international refrigerated ship fleet (ships with refrigerated below deck holds) is expected to shrink by up to 50 percent over the next decade as refrigerated containers start to handle more and more food products.    Maersk's north-south service is planning to have plugs for 1700 refrigerated containers on their ships.   This, along with rising oil prices, will continue upward pressure on container shipping prices.
  • Tunisia (01/14/11)
    From AGS - political and social protests in Tunisia have led to a breakdown in communication with the local AGS Agent.   A night time curfew is in place and the army has been deployed in the capital.    A general strike is planned for today.
  • Crude Oil Prices (01/14/11)
    The price for crude oil is flirting with $100/barrel.    The high over the past two years was just under $150/barrel and the low during the recession was slightly under $40/barrel.    This will continue to put upward price pressure on domestic and international shipping.
  • US 400N Tariff Increase (01/12/11)
    Domestic US Shipments still operating under the old 400N tariff will see a CPI adjustment to current rates of 2.2% effective 1/1/11.
  • Class Action Settlement (01/10/11)
    A Class Action Settlement has been reached with a number of carriers involving the Fuel Surcharge for domestic US shipments.     To be part of this settlement class you must have purchased HHGD's service from 3/19/03 - 12/31/07 under Tariff 400N or contracts referencing or incorporating Item 16 of Tariff 400N.   Settlement estimates after attorney fees, etc., are expected to be less than $5 per shipment.   For more information on this settlement please visit the following site: https://householdgoodsantitrustsettlement.com
  • UK VAT Increases (01/06/11)
    The UK raised their VAT from 17.5% to 20.0% on January 4, 2011 to help bridge a spending deficit despite fears that the increase will slow down the recovery.
  • Chinese New Year (01/05/11)
    Shipments arriving during or shortly after the national holiday may be delayed due to the Chinese New Year holidays.   Many offices are closed from 2 February, 2011 to 8 February, 2011.
  • Acadia V3 (01/05/11)
    Acadia V3 is rolling out and will continue to deploy throughout 2011.   International forwarders will soon be able to view pending shipments allowing targeted rate adjustments for existing lanes.   In addition, in late 2011, forwarders will be able to bill directly in the Acadia system for faster and more accurate invoice processing.