September 5: Ocean Carriers’ Record Rejections Are Last-Ditch Effort to Bolster Spot Rates – American Shipper
Back in May, American Shipper warned that a second-half rebound in U.S. containerized import volumes was highly unlikely, as it was becoming increasingly clear that importers were facing a clear shift in consumer spending (from discretionary goods to more essential goods) and a nagging surplus of inventories that were carried over from last year. The reverse bullwhip effect was clearly going to crack any chances of a robust peak season. It also warned that this dismal outlook for future U.S. import demand may drive carriers to go to extreme lengths to keep upward pressure on spot rates.
Fast-forward to today and the tide is indeed turning quickly, with recent data from SONAR’s Container Atlas showing new booking volumes plummeting over 35% from their peak reached on August 1, a key indicator that U.S. import demand is rapidly deteriorating. While this significant drop in future demand is undoubtedly increasing the downward pressure on spot rates, ocean carriers have been pulling out all of the stops to help offset this downward pressure. This means going beyond blank sailings and rejecting a record amount of U.S.-bound containers in a seemingly desperate, last-ditch attempt to bolster spot rates ahead of (and after) their proposed general rate increase on September 1.
September 6: Cars in Containers the Norm as Ro-Ro Sector Capacity Crunch Continues – Seatrade Maritime News
Lack of capacity and congestion in the car carrier sector has driven some freight forwarders and manufacturers to move cars in containers rather than delay exports until space becomes available.
However, differences between insurers on the questions of safety and the movement of cars in containers, particularly electric vehicles (EVs), have emerged following the publication by the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) of the findings of a recent study.
Soaring freight rates, congestion and a lack of ro-ro capacity have seen delays of up to three months or more in the shipment of cars, as sky-high demand adds to the sector’s problems.
One freight forwarder who specializes in the handling of cars said, “The cost of moving cars in containers is on a par with ro-ro because, although the freight is cheaper, the cost of loading and unloading containers is greater.”
September 7: MSC-Zim Alliance Strengthens, with VSAs ‘Across Multiple Trades’ – The Loadstar
The world’s largest container line, MSC, is joining in an alliance with tenth-ranked Zim across “multiple trades,” as both carriers prepare for life outside their cooperation with Maersk within the 2M Alliance.
The Israeli carrier said it had made “a new operational agreement with MSC, encompassing several trades.”
Zim explained: “The cooperation scope includes services connecting the Indian subcontinent with the east Mediterranean, the east Mediterranean with Northern Europe and services connecting East Asia with Oceania.”
It added that the agreements included vessel sharing, slot purchases and slot swap arrangements.
September 7: Time to Start Worrying Again About Rising Cost of Ship Fuel – American Shipper
At this time four years ago, before the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war stole the headlines, the cost of fuel was the big topic in shipping.
The industry was about to implement a sweeping new global regulation, IMO 2020, requiring the use of more environmentally friendly and more expensive very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO), with a sulfur content of 0.5%. Added fuel costs would be passed along to cargo shippers, and ultimately, consumers.
Fuel costs spiked as predicted after the regulation went into force on January 1, 2020. Then COVID struck. Demand for gasoline and diesel collapsed, the price of oil plunged, and with it, the cost of ship fuel. By mid-2020, vessel fuel was 30% cheaper than it was prior to IMO 2020. Fears over regulatory fallout waned.
Now, ship fuel costs are rising yet again. The cost of VLSFO is back near highs reached soon after the IMO 2020 first came into effect. Bunker adjustment factors (BAFs) – the fuel surcharges shipping lines levy on their customers – are headed up. And the cost of freight is all the way back down to where it was before COVID – and before IMO 2020 – meaning the pass-along cost to shippers from expensive VLSFO is now a much higher proportion of their total cost.
September 14: Montreal Dockworkers Union Says Changes Made to Hiring List Criticized as Nepotistic – CBC News
The union representing dockworkers at the Port of Montreal says it has ended a long-standing hiring practice that has been criticized for fostering nepotism – to the point where workers’ preschool offspring were placed on a list of potential employees.
For decades, the association of shipping companies that use the port has hired longshore workers from a list supplied by the union – a list created by asking each union member to provide a single name.
But the Maritime Employers Association has argued the list is a recipe for nepotism, resulting in few women candidates or members of ethnic minorities, but in some instances children who were barely out of diapers.
In April, a labour arbitrator ordered a series of changes after finding it was impossible for people to get their names on the list unless they were related to current dockworkers.
September 18: Box Lines Hit by Rising Fuel Costs as OPEC Cuts Supply – The Loadstar
As global freight rates continue to fall, container shipping lines are being hit by a huge spike in fuel costs.
This will inflict further damage on the bottom line of the financials of weaker carriers already challenged by second-quarter losses.
According to Ship & Bunker data, the price of Rotterdam-sourced industry-standard low-sulphur fuel (VLSFO) jumped on September 15 by another $8 per ton to $643 and has now increased by 22% since the end of June.
In theory, carriers have fuel cost mechanisms in place to adjust bunker surcharge amounts payable by shippers, but in practice some lines have waived increases within the heavily discounted period of the past few weeks.
September 21: Container Shipping Rates Sinking Further into the Red – American Shipper
It’s not looking good for container shipping lines. Peak season is running out of whatever limited steam it previously had. Spot rates are sliding into loss-making territory.
Rates “continue to lose ground, bending under the pressure of insufficient demand and growing overcapacity,” said Alphaliner.
According to Linerlytica, “Container market sentiment continues to deteriorate, with freight rates still slipping and little prospect for a rate rebound in October despite carriers’ efforts to contain capacity availability through blanked [canceled] sailings.”
September 25: Transport Committee Calls for Thorough Review of Canadian Ports – National Newswatch
The government needs to conduct a thorough review of the capacity of Canadian ports and their long-term infrastructure requirements, says the Commons transport committee.
In a 26-page report to the Commons, the committee made 12 recommendations for the government to act on to ensure the 17 Canada Port Authorities (CPA) can fulfill their critical role in handling exports and imports. The Conservatives and NDP offered some additional suggestions.
In addition to the review, the government should reduce red tape and regulatory burdens on the CPAs as much as possible to ensure a more timely, predictable review process for large port infrastructure and expansion projects, the report said.
September 26: As Canadian Shoppers Tighten Their Belts, Vancouver Port Shipments Plummet – CBC News
The number of shipping containers passing through Canada’s largest port fell sharply in the first half of the year, driven down by weaker consumer demand and a sputtering economy.
Container volumes at the Port of Vancouver fell 14 percent in the first six months of 2023 compared with the same period a year earlier, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said on September 25.
In a phone interview, interim CEO Victor Pang said the figures reflected a stalling economy, which contracted slightly in the second quarter.
“There’s some economic softness, overall and for Canada. And you’re seeing that through our container numbers,” Pang said, noting that the decline was not unique to Canadian ports.
September 29: B.C. Mayor Sounds Alarm over ‘Rampant’ Crime at Local Port as Expansion Looms – CBC News
The federal government’s failure to fund a police force dedicated to Canada’s ports is a threat to national security that needs to be dealt with immediately, says Delta, B.C., Mayor George Harvie.
Delta is home to the Roberts Bank Terminal, and expansion plans over the coming years will see millions more containers move through the Port of Vancouver annually.
Harvie says Canada’s ports are the federal government’s responsibility, but the “total absence” of uniformed police at the facilities makes them obvious targets for criminal elements to set up shop, from Mexican drug cartels to biker gangs.
“We’re witnessing a relentless flow of illegal drugs, weapons and contraband into Canada through our ports and that threatens our national security,” said Harvie.
The City of Delta released a report on September 28 that it had commissioned about policing of Metro Vancouver port terminal facilities that says there’s “literally no downside” for organized criminals to set up shop. “Recently, ports scored very high in British Columbia’s provincial threat assessment with respect to the potential for infiltration and corruption,” the report says.
September 30: Panama Canal Trims Vessel Passage Quota Again to Deal with Severe Drought – Reuters
Daily ship crossings on the Panama Canal will be reduced to 31 from 32 to soften the impact from a severe drought that is expected to last until next year, the authorities managing the canal said.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in recent months has imposed various passage restrictions to conserve water, including cutting vessel draft and daily passage authorizations, which are normally 36 per day.
ACP said on September 29 that, due to the ongoing water crisis, it “finds it necessary to implement additional changes,” with the new rules implemented from November 1.
September 6: Why It’s Time for Shippers to Re-evaluate Their Air Cargo Agreements – Supply Chain Dive
With air cargo demand stabilizing and capacity up, shippers are re-evaluating contracts as air freight rates drop, industry executives say.
Following COVID-19’s capacity-strapped market, which put air carriers in the driver’s seat, shippers are now in a position to negotiate their rates, said Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Airfreight COO Jan Kleine-Lasthues.
“I believe we will see more and more RFQs coming out and shippers [trying] to secure the low rate level which we have at the moment for a longer period,” Kleine-Lasthues said. He anticipated possible contract agreements of six to 12 months.
September 22: Air Cargo Tonnages and Rates on the Rise – Air Cargo Week
Global air cargo tonnages showed a positive development in the second full week of September, after stabilizing at the beginning of the month, with average rates also on an upward trend, reaching $2.31 per kilo, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data.
Figures for week 37 (September 11 to 17) show a jump in tonnages of 4%, compared with the previous week, while average worldwide air cargo prices increased slightly (+1%), based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.
September 11: CN and Norfolk Southern Unveil Domestic Intermodal Service – FreightWaves
Canadian National and Norfolk Southern are pairing up to launch a domestic intermodal service that they say will allow customers in CN-served markets in Canada and the Upper Midwest to access markets in the U.S. Southeast.
The service, which will start October 2, will utilize steel-wheel interchanges in Detroit and Chicago and enable CN customers to gain access to markets in Atlanta and Kansas City, Missouri, via NS.
The two Class I railroads say the new service aims to operate “like a single-line intermodal product” and convert shippers from truck to long-haul rail. The service will also provide opportunities for customers to optimize their cargo loaded weights and give customers the ability to lower their shipment-related greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a webpage about the service, going between Atlanta and Toronto might take 3.3 to 3.7 days in transit time, while going between Atlanta and Calgary might take 7.1 days.
CN and NS’ service follows another partnership that CN has with other major freight railroads: the Falcon Premium service between CN, Union Pacific and Mexico’s Ferromex, established in the spring.
September 26: Canada’s Railways Mark Progress in Emissions Reduction Efforts – Progressive Railroading
The Railway Association of Canada’s latest Locomotive Emissions Monitoring (LEM) report confirms that greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission intensities improved across all railway operations, the association announced on September 25.
In 2021, the latest year available for LEM data, GHG emissions intensity for freight-rail traffic decreased 1.2%. Total freight-rail GHG emissions intensity has fallen 25.9% since 2005 while traffic rose 25.5% in that same period, RAC officials said in a news release.
September 13: CleanBC Heavy-duty Vehicle Efficiency Program Unveils Next Intake: Offers Carriers Rebates for Fuel Efficiency Upgrades – BCTA press release
The CleanBC Heavy-duty Vehicle Efficiency (HDVE) Program, administered by the British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA) and funded by the Government of B.C., announces the launch of its latest intake. Designed to promote sustainable transportation practices, reduce emissions and provide economic benefits to carriers, the CleanBC HDVE Program offers an outstanding opportunity for carriers to enhance their fleets’ efficiency while contributing to a greener future.
Under the program, eligible carriers are empowered with fuel-management strategies that align with the province’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The HDVE Program also includes a rebate system, providing carriers with a financial incentive to adopt fuel-efficient technologies. Carriers can receive rebates of up to $20,000 per vehicle, and an impressive $150,000 per fleet for the purchase and installation of approved fuel-efficient equipment.
September 18: Truck Drivers Among First Round of Express Entry Invitations for Transport Occupations – Today’s Trucking
Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the first round of invitations for transport occupations through category-based selection in Express Entry will occur this week. This focus on candidates with experience in the transport sector – including commercial truck drivers, pilots and aircraft assembly workers – will help the sector attract the skilled talent it needs across the country, according to a news release.
“The transportation sector is crucial to our economy, and if we want to keep things moving, we need to invest in the people that move travellers and transport our goods,” said Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport.
“With this new initiative, we are helping address a critical skills shortage while also attracting new, talented people to communities across Canada. Truck drivers, pilots, aviation mechanical engineers and seafarers play a critical role in our economy and Canadians’ lives. Filling vacancies in these professions will boost economic growth and create stronger and more resilient supply chains,” he added.
These category-based selection rounds will continue throughout the year, alongside general and program-specific invitation rounds.
September 20: Illegally Parked Trucks, Dropped Trailers Add to Parking Woes in Ontario’s Peel Region – Today’s Trucking
Out-of-town truck drivers trying to find parking spots at the handful of available places in Ontario’s trucking heartland are complaining that they are being squeezed out by illegally parked trucks, abandoned vehicles and dropped trailers.
Michael, a longhaul driver from New Brunswick, was left frustrated and worried on a recent evening as he failed to find a parking spot at a truck stop in Mississauga. Running out of drive time, he was forced to park on the street.
“I was lucky I didn’t get a ticket. People are dropping tailers next to a sign saying, ‘no dropping trailers’, and they sit there for weeks,” he said.
September 25: Cargo Thefts from Trucks, Warehouses Spike During Q2 – FreightWaves
Truckload carriers across the U.S. saw a sharp rise in cargo thefts during the second quarter – with thieves targeting everything from electronic goods to food and beverage products and construction materials.
Verisk Analytics’ firm CargoNet, which tracks voluntarily reported cargo thefts, said there were 566 incidents in the U.S. and 16 in Canada in the second quarter, a 57% year-over-year (y/y) increase compared with 2022.
“In total, thieves stole over $44 million in goods in the second quarter of 2023 and the average shipment value per event increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 per theft as cargo thieves focused on high-value shipments,” said CargoNet.
September 28: Broker Dodges Liability in Illinois Case, Had No ‘Control’ over Carrier – FreightWaves
In a case with strong parallels to C.H. Robinson vs. Miller and the case known simply as Ye, an Illinois appellate court has removed a 3PL from a more than $18 million decision against a carrier whose truck struck a teenager in 2016.
The decision in the Alliance case was handed down by a unanimous three-judge panel.
Much of the panel’s decision was driven by its conclusion about the control that 3PL Alliance had over the carrier and by extension its driver. The question, it said, is whether they were “agents” of Alliance or an independent contractor.
September 25: CIFFA Writes to Minister of Labour Regarding Negotiations at Port of Montreal
CIFFA was notified on September 24 that the executive committee of CUPE 375 sent a Notice of Dispute to the Minister of Labour after only one meeting with the Montreal Port Authority at which initial demands were exchanged.
As a result of this action, CIFFA sent a letter to Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan seeking government engagement and assistance.
CIFFA has asked the minister and his department “to do everything possible to ensure the continued reliability of port services in Montreal.”
August 1: Record Containership Deliveries Dash Carriers’ Rate-Recovery Hopes – Seatrade Maritime
Containerships commissioned in June hit a record, with more than one ship delivered every day, adding 300,000 TEU of capacity.
According to analysis by ocean and air freight data specialist Xeneta no fewer than 40 ships joined the fleet over the month. In its most recent market report, the Oslo-based firm said that a total of 990,000 TEU of capacity was delivered over the first half, with a similar volume expected between now and the end of the year.
The firm reported that long-term freight rates have crashed, sinking to a two-year low in July. Its XSI® Shipping Index fell a further 9.5% from the June figure. Long-term valid contract rates have now sunk by 57.8% since the same period in 2022.
August 1: Unifor Members Working for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation Reject Tentative Agreement – Unifor press release
Members of Local 4211 in Ontario and Local 4319 in Quebec who work for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation have rejected the tentative agreement presented to them at a July 12 meeting.
Negotiations got under way on June 21 in St. Catharines, Ontario. During the second week of bargaining, the parties decided to apply for conciliation in order to facilitate the contract talks. After two weeks of intensive negotiations, the parties reached an agreement in principle that was rejected by a majority of Local 4211 and Local 4319 members.
The union has contacted the conciliator to express the union’s desire to resume talks with management.
August 4: ILWU Canada Members Ratify Negotiated Agreement – BCMEA press release
BCMEA has received confirmation that the ILWU Canada voting membership have ratified the four-year negotiated tentative agreement that was achieved with the assistance of the Canada Industrial Relations Board last week. The BCMEA ratified the agreement on July 31.
The agreement was reached after five months of negotiations, conciliation and mediation, and five weeks of labour instability at B.C.’s ports.
The renewed collective agreement includes increases in wages, benefits and training that recognizes the skills and efforts of B.C.’s waterfront workforce, while providing certainty and stability for the future of Canada’s West Coast ports.
August 4: Asia-U.S. Spot Rates Top Contract Rates for First Time Since 2022 – American Shipper
Shipping lines have been in the red in the trans-Pacific trades for months. They may have just inched back into the black again, courtesy of the rise in spot rates over the past five weeks.
Annual trans-Pacific contract rates reset to sharply lower levels in May. Even so, multiple ocean carrier execs insisted on conference calls that they did not sign annual contracts at levels that locked in a year’s worth of losses.
The problem for carriers in recent months: A portion of their trans-Pacific volume – in some cases 50% – was booked in the spot market, at rates much lower than newly inked contracts, dragging the overall mix into loss-making territory.
Now, according to data from Xeneta, average trans-Pacific spot rates have just edged above average contract rates. If carrier execs are telling the truth about not signing loss-making contracts, and if spot rates are at or above contract levels, it implies a more sustainable market for shipping lines.
August 8: Panama Canal Draught Restrictions Start to Bite, Sparking Liner Surcharges – The Loadstar
Evergreen’s latest addition to its neo-panamax fleet had to offload 1,400 containers to pass through the Panama Canal, due to low-water restrictions. The event starkly highlights the problems the vital waterway and its users are facing.
The Ever Max, capable of carrying 17,312 TEU, had to offload the boxes before it could enter the canal’s neo-panamax locks. They had to be moved by rail across the isthmus for pick-up at the Atlantic end of the waterway.
The cause was draught restrictions imposed by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in response to persistent low water levels from the drought that has hampered transits since May. Rainfall in the first four months of the year brought water levels roughly to a par with 2019 – the lowest level in two decades.
Container lines like CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd have reacted to the restrictions by adding canal transit surcharges ranging from $300 per TEU to $500.
August 9: Statement by Labour Minister Regarding Disruption Caused by Recent Labour Dispute at B.C. Ports – Government of Canada press release
The Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr., yesterday issued the following statement.
“The recent dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association caused serious disruption to our economy. The deal reached by the parties brought stability to our supply chains.
But another dispute and disruption on that scale is still possible, and that’s not good enough. The workers and businesses that depend on our ports deserve long-term solutions. They deserve answers.
I will be initiating a process under Section 106 of the Canada Labour Code to examine the structural issues underlying this recent dispute, as well as similar disputes that have occurred at our ports across Canada.
Previous governments have commissioned reports on past disputes and analysis on these issues has already been done. So, we will begin by immediately reviewing that work. That will determine the next steps, and it will be done in short order.
It’s high time we dig into these underlying issues to develop long-term solutions; solutions that create a harmonious working environment between unions and employers, respect the collective bargaining process, and secure the fundamental stability of our supply chains in the interests of each and every Canadian.”
August 9: Panama Canal Pileup Due to Drought Reaches 154 Vessels – CNBC
The number of vessels waiting to cross the Panama Canal has reached 154, and slots for carriers to book passage are being reduced in an effort to manage congestion caused by ongoing drought conditions that have roiled the major shipping gateway since the spring. The current wait time to cross the canal is now around 21 days.
August 18: More Blanked Voyages and a ‘Newbuild Elephant’ Approaching the Room – The Loadstar
Container spot rates on the transatlantic came under renewed pressure this week, obliging ocean carriers to cut supply on the route by blanking more sailings.
The lowest spot rates on the trade are now well below $1,000, with the percentage of higher-rated contract business in sharp decline. With backhaul demand weak, and rates from the U.S. to North Europe below $500 per 40ft, transatlantic carriers are racking up loss-making voyages.
But they are now taking aggressive action to ‘stop the rot.’
August 25: Latest Data Wake-up Call for Shippers, Says Xeneta – Indian Transport & Logistics News
Long-term ocean freight rates may have started bottoming out after around a year of persistent, often dramatic monthly falls, says Xeneta in its latest update.
“The latest General Rates Increases (GRIs) from carriers appear to have held relatively firm, pushing spot rates up above long-term rates on key corridors. As such, long-term prices may now follow suit and rally, meaning now is the time for cost-conscious shippers to assess strategies and negotiate new contracts.”
Looking at the key Far East to North Europe trade lane, Xeneta’s real-time data shows that, even though spot rates have fallen by around $100 per FEU since early August’s GRIs, they are still around a third higher than prices in early July, the update added. “This is in contrast to GRI moves earlier this year, which largely failed to influence a market hamstrung by weak demand and rampant over capacity.”
Emily Stausbøll, an analyst at Xeneta, says: “This is a definite, eye-catching change, and shippers should view this as a bit of a wake-up call.”
August 25: Panama Canal Authority Warns Restrictions Will Stay in Place for at Least 10 Months – Splash
Global shipping bodies have been urged to come together to share transit plans at one of the world’s key maritime chokepoints with officials at the Panama Canal Authority warning that water-conserving measures will be in place for at least the next 10 months.
Faced with an unprecedented drought this year, combined with the onset of the El Niño weather phenomenon, administrators at the Panama Canal have cut the draft restrictions for ships transiting its larger neopanamax locks by 2 m as well as slashing the volume of daily transits by 20% to just 32 vessels a day. These measures have seen ships backing up in significant numbers at either end of the canal. Today’s official total count is 129 ships, down from the peak of 165 earlier this month, but still 43% higher than the average.
August 31: U.S. West Coast Port Workers Ratify Contract Agreement – Reuters
U.S. dockworkers have ratified a six-year contract that improved pay and benefits for 22,000 employees at 29 ports stretching from California to Washington State.
Members of the ILWU voted 75% in favour of approving the West Coast port worker agreement that will expire on July 1, 2028. The deal, which is retroactive to July 1, 2022, includes a 32% pay increase over the span of the contract as well as a one-time bonus for working through the early days of the COVID pandemic.
August 10: Air Canada Ranks Last in On-Time Performance Among 10 Biggest North American Airlines – CTV News
A new report says Air Canada ranked last in on-time performance among the 10 largest airlines in North America, as some carriers north of the border struggle to find their post-pandemic footing despite much better outcomes than the travel chaos of 2022.
Canada’s biggest carrier landed 51 percent of its flights on time last month, according to figures from aviation data firm Cirium.
WestJet, which placed seventh, saw 62 percent of its trips make it to the gate on time – defined as within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival.
August 4: Yellow Shutdown May Lead to Sticker Shock for Shippers, Analysts Say – Supply Chain Dive
Yellow Corp.’s shutdown has left shippers without a major player in the less-than-truckload space – a development that means higher costs are likely in store, according to trucking industry analysts.
“There’s probably going to be an increase in the pricing charged to the shipper,” said Craig Decker, who leads investment banking activities across supply chain, logistics and transportation areas at Brown Gibbons Lang & Co.
The price difference could be a 20% to 25% price per pound increase depending on the circumstances, DAT Chief of Analytics Ken Adamo suggested on a weekly market update show. All together, he said the price increases could be 7% to 10%.
August 7: Industry Responds to Heightened Cargo Theft – FleetOwner
Cargo theft trends came out of 2022 with severe momentum. That trend has continued with elevated numbers for the second quarter of 2023, causing industry stakeholders to caution carriers and offer information on how to protect freight.
“Cargo theft is at a 10-year high right now,” said Scott Cornell, transportation lead and crime and theft specialist at Travelers. “January was up 61% year over year, February was up 49% year over year, and March was up 82% year over year.”
Cargo theft security network CargoNet recorded 582 thefts across the U.S. and Canada in the second quarter of 2023, a 57% increase compared with the second quarter of 2022. These shipments were valued at over $44 million altogether. Notably, the average shipment value per theft increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 as thieves focused increasingly on high-value shipments.
Strategic theft, or theft using deceptive means such as stolen identities instead of force or the threat of force, are primarily to blame for the increase. According to CargoNet, much of the increase is due to ongoing shipment misdirection attacks, a kind of strategic cargo theft in which actors use stolen motor carrier and logistics broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they could steal it.
“If you separate out the strategic theft category,” Cornell said, “from November to March… that’s up over 600%.”
August 8: Today’s Freight Fraudsters Are Sophisticated, Brazen, and Coming for Your Cargo – Today’s Trucking
Loadboards in the U.S. have recently taken steps to increase their screening of the brokers and carriers in their networks to help prevent double brokering crime. Fortunately, such sophisticated freight fraud is less prevalent in Canada than in the U.S., according to Claudia Milicevic, president of Canada-run Loadlink Technologies.
However, that’s not to say double brokering doesn’t exist here. A recent white paper titled Double Brokering in the Canadian Trucking Industry, produced by the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFFA), indicated it’s a major – and growing – problem.
“The practice of double brokering is now rampant in the industry,” the white paper declared. It raises three “potential perils” of double brokering: the load is diverted and not delivered to its destination; the carrier the load is double brokered to is involved in a crash; or payment may not find its way from the shipper to the carrier that delivered the double-brokered load to its final destination.
“With each added layer in the logistics equation there is increased risk that there will be a failure in payment,” the white paper asserts.
August 11: AI Helps Fleets Navigate Risk Management – Transport Topics
Insurance companies and brokers are finding the benefits in artificial intelligence to better assist trucking companies with their risk management needs. The technology has helped by quickly collecting and deploying data, enhancing safety and potentially paving the way to lower insurance costs, technology and insurance experts said.
“Insurance companies are using data and AI technology on the route, on the origin, on the destination, how the driver is driving, to ultimately price insurance,” said Lisa Paul, Hub International’s chief strategy officer, specializing in transportation.
Artificial intelligence has utilized data from electronic logging devices, telematics systems and dashcams to address issues like driving behaviour and problematic routes. AI is also beneficial in proposing and revising agreements with shippers.
August 18: Federal Funding Available to Repower Equipment, Buy Low-Carbon Trucks – Today’s Trucking
Natural Resources Canada has opened a second funding stream under its Green Freight Program to help offset the costs of engine repowers and shifts to low-carbon fuels.
Funding will cover up to 50% of the costs – up to $5 million per company – to repower existing equipment and convert it to run on low-carbon diesel alternatives. Fleets can also earn up to half the incremental costs of new trucks that run on low-carbon fuels.
Any repowers must be permanent. Eligible projects include replacing the engine or drivetrain, adding kits or introducing dual-fuel options.
August 24: ‘No Profit Right Now’: Trucking Industry Facing Leaner Times as Consumer Demand Drops – CTV News
For Jas Singh, the road to profit just keeps getting narrower. “It’s slow right now, not too many loads,” said the owner of JK Transport, a Brampton-based trucking company Singh launched 15 years ago.
On top of fewer shipments, costs have shot up while freight rates have plummeted. A new tractor now costs him $225,000, up from the $135,000 he paid in 2019, Singh said. Trailers for his fleet of 15 semi-trucks have doubled in price to $80,000. And he can only charge $1.50 per mile for deliveries that reaped $2.30 per mile last year.
“A lot of problems this year,” the 45-year-old said in a phone interview.
He’s not alone. The entire Canadian trucking industry faces a shaky market as cargo volumes and rates continue to fall – in step with downward consumer demand – compared with the soaring highs seen during the pandemic.
August 31: Minister of Transport Announces Funding to Support Clean Energy Adoption in the Trucking Sector – Government of Canada press release
The Government of Canada is taking additional action to accelerate the integration of zero-emission technologies in the trucking industry.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, announced an investment of nearly $3 million under the Zero-Emission Trucking Program to support of three projects in Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
Of this investment, $1.5 million will be used to establish a Zero-Emission Trucking Testbed in the Montreal area. The Testbed, launched in collaboration with FPInnovations, will collect real-world performance data in Canadian conditions to speed up the reduction of pollution from medium- and heavy-duty on-road transportation.
July 4: B.C. Ports Strike Could Inflict Damage That Takes Months to Correct, Warns CN – Strathroy Age Dispatch
CN says the ongoing workers’ strike at ports in British Columbia could increase costs and inflict economic damage that could take months to correct.
“A labour disruption can create significant impacts on shippers’ decisions to use Canada’s ports,” spokesperson Jonathan Abecassis said in a statement. “Given the integrated nature of ports and rail corridors, a work stoppage can create disruptions that take weeks or even months to correct.”
He urged the parties to come to an agreement and added that CN Rail encourages the federal government to “remain engaged and prepared to act to end the labour disruption.”
July 13: BCMEA, ILWU Reach Tentative Agreement – BCMEA press release
A tentative agreement has been reached between the BCMEA and ILWU Canada, with operations to resume as soon as possible.
The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada officially advised that the parties have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year deal “that recognizes the skills and efforts of B.C.’s waterfront workforce.”
The tentative agreement is subject to ratification by both parties and, consequently, details of the agreement have not been released.
July 18: ILWU Leadership Rejects Mediator’s Tentative Deal Without a Member Vote – BCMEA press release
ILWU Canada’s internal caucus leadership rejected the tentative agreement before it was taken to a vote of the full union membership. The union communicated that it would re-engage in strike activity on July 18.
July 19: Canada Industrial Relations Board Ruling – Illegal Strike Action Declared – BCMEA press release
The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruled that the union was in violation of the Canada Labour Code by not providing 72 hours notice to BCMEA, and has ordered the union to cease and desist its illegal strike action effective immediately.
July 19: ILWU Canada Removes 72-Hour Strike Notice – BCMEA press release
ILWU Canada communicated that, effective immediately, the 72-hour strike notice issued for July 22 at 09:00 has now been removed.
July 21: Tentative Deal to Go to ILWU Membership for Ratification Vote Week of July 24 – BCMEA press release
The BCMEA has received communication from ILWU Canada that the ILWU Longshore Caucus approved and will recommend to their membership the Terms of Settlement that was proposed by the senior federal mediator and ratified by the BCMEA on July 13.
The tentative deal will be sent for a ratification vote by the ILWU voting membership, expected late in the week of July 24, with results anticipated shortly thereafter.
July 28: ILWU Canada votes down tentative agreement – BCMEA press release
The ILWU Canada voting membership rejected the four-year tentative agreement that was proposed by the senior federal mediator and recommended for ratification by the ILWU Bargaining Committee and their Longshore Caucus.
July 29: Minister of Labour Refers B.C. Dispute to the Canada Industrial Relations Board – BCMEA press release
On July 29, the Minister of Labour announced use of his authority under section 107 of the Canada Labour Code to “preserve industrial peace” and has formally directed the matter to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).
The Minister has directed the CIRB to determine whether the union’s rejection of the tentative agreement has eliminated the possibility of a negotiated resolution. If the Board determines that to be the case, the Minister has directed it to either impose a new collective agreement on the parties or impose final binding arbitration to resolve outstanding terms of the collective agreement.
July 30: ILWU Canada, BCMEA Reach Negotiated Collective Agreement – joint ILWU Canada, BCMEA press release
ILWU Canada and BCMEA have concluded a negotiated collective agreement with the assistance of the Canada Industrial Relations Board. The parties are recommending ratification of the collective agreement to the union’s membership and member employers, respectively.
July 6: Ships Leaving Chittagong Half Empty due to Factory Closures – The Loadstar
With Bangladeshi factories remaining shut throughout the week, due to Eid-ul-Azha holidays, vessels are having to leave Chittagong port half empty owing to a lack of cargo. The factories closed on June 26, and will reopen this weekend.
But shipping executives said ships will not be fully laden until the end of next week, with factories requiring three to four days to produce goods.
July 6: IMO Agrees to Nonbinding Target to Achieve Net Zero “Around 2050” – The Maritime Executive
IMO member states have reached a tentative deal on the thorny question of bringing shipping into line with the Paris Agreement. The newly agreed MEPC climate roadmap calls for reaching net-zero emissions “by or around, i.e. close to, 2050.”
IMO and the shipping industry negotiated an exception from the landmark 2016 climate agreement, on condition that emissions would be regulated by the IMO. Along with aviation, shipping is one of only two sectors in the world not subject to national-level Paris pledges. The nature of the IMO’s climate regulation has been a matter of constant debate over the intervening nine years. The deal announced on July 6 begins to resolve that question, and it includes elements of proposals from NGOs, developing nations and climate action opponents – like China, which has pushed for greater flexibility on the target date and less ambitious emissions policies.
The specific targets in the agreement include a 20 percent cut in emissions by 2030 and a much deeper 70 percent cut by 2040 (relative to 2008 levels). The first goalpost would be broadly achievable with proven interventions like slow steaming, just-in-time arrival, technical efficiency upgrades and add-ons like rotor sails. The 2040 target would require deeper changes to shipping’s fuel supply.
July 10: D&D Charges in Freefall as Carriers Vie to Keep Shippers Onboard – The Loadstar
Detention and demurrage (D&D) charges have plummeted over the past 12 months, as carriers try to keep hold of their shippers in a slackening market.
Container xChange’s annual D&D survey found that, across 65 international gateways, average D&D charges fell 25% year on year, and were below pre-pandemic levels for the first time in three years.
July 24: Trans-Pacific Shipping Rates Rise as Carriers Make Capacity Cuts – American Shipper
Shipping lines finally seem to be making some headway in managing vessel capacity in the Asia-U.S. trades.
Spot rates have been on the rise for three straight weeks, rebounding to levels last seen in early 2023 and late 2022, according to several index providers. U.S. import bookings remain above pre-COVID levels, and multiple analysts are now highlighting increasing rates from reduced vessel capacity.
July 7: Minister of Transport Announces Funding to Increase Supply Chain Capacity at Toronto Pearson International Airport – Transport Canada press release
Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced an investment of nearly $94 million under the National Trade Corridors Fund for a cargo development project at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
The project will improve cargo capacity by building two new facilities: the South Cargo Transfer Development Facility (YYZ South) and the North Cargo Apron Development (YYZ North). YYZ South will increase capacity for incoming cargo, and YYZ North will build additional infrastructure for more cargo aircraft parking spaces, which will also increase cargo capacity.
July 10: IATA CASSLink Information and Next Steps for Wave 3 Go-Live
IATA has announced that the new CASSLink platform is scheduled to go live for Wave 3 markets, including Canada, on October 3. A detailed schedule will be made available in the coming months.
A migration checklist will help users prepare during this transition. More information on the changes to the new CASSLink can also be found here.
The system will be open for user setup starting on September 11. Your company CASSLink administrator must set up your users prior to the go-live date in order to continue operations in the new CASSLink. Find more information here.
July 17: Price War Keeps Air Cargo Rates Below Natural Level – American Shipper
Amid a burgeoning price war, pessimism is growing in air cargo circles that a market in prolonged recession could drift further downward, after a short pause, reducing the chance of a modest recovery during the traditional preholiday shipping rush.
Logistics professionals had hoped for an upturn by now that would steadily build into the second half, but that hasn’t happened. Freight forwarders and, increasingly, cargo airlines have responded by chasing volumes without regard to cost, which observers say is accelerating a decline in rates.
Aggressive price discounting, and reports that some carriers are shelving older aircraft, suggests companies are increasingly nervous that demand won’t improve this year in a world with excess capacity. In fact, freight rates are lower than supply and demand fundamentals actually support because freight forwarders and carriers, eager to generate some cash from committed airlift, are undercutting each other on price to keep bookings and steal business, transportation managers and analysts say.
July 25: Flight Delays at Canadian Airlines Far Outstrip Peers in U.S., Despite Improvements – BNN Bloomberg
Canada’s two biggest airlines have seen a far higher proportion of their flights delayed this summer than many of their American peers, according to figures from an aviation data firm.
Overall, only half of Air Canada’s 31,168 flights were on time between June 19 and July 16, statistics provided by Cirium reveal.
In comparison, 64 percent of WestJet’s 14,998 flights touched down late.
Flights are considered on time if they reach the airport within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.
The numbers contrast with on-time performances that range between 68 percent and 83 percent for the five biggest airlines in the United States.
July 23: CN Customer News: Eastern Washouts
CN advises that heavy rainfall in Nova Scotia has resulted in delays across the Atlantic region. Damages from the rainstorm on the railway’s Bedford and Dartmouth subdivisions are impacting service to/from the Port of Halifax.
Once the rain event has passed, CN’s focus will be to enable crews to clean any debris, assess any damages and prepare for any repairs that may be required.
July 26: Tariff Update – CN 9100, Effective August 25
CN has announced updates to its Tariff 9100 (Intermodal) effective August 25.
A major change will be put in place on that date to Item 6500 – Storage of dry and reefer steamship units–loads. Storage free time and chargeable start time will change from 00:01 to 07:00.
July 27: Rail Freight from Canada to U.S. Continues to Drop After Ports Strike – CNBC
Rail traffic from Canada into the U.S. had a third-straight weekly drop as a result of the on-again, off-again strike at the West Coast Canadian ports.
The vessel and container gridlock is raising concerns for chemical companies who have critical materials stuck as a result, creating supply chain issues.
Total rail volume from Canada to the U.S. was down 12%, according to the Association of American Railroad’s latest rail traffic report for the week ending July 22. This was an improvement, given the first full week of the strike saw a 46% decrease in rail trade from Canada, and the second week suffered a 36% decrease.
July 28: B.C. Port Strike Cost Canadian Pacific’s Newly Amalgamated Railway $80 Milllion, Exec Says – CBC News
The B.C. port workers’ strike deprived Canadian Pacific Kansas City Ltd. of scores of millions of dollars, its chief marketing officer said, tacking on a costly coda to a tough quarter.
“At this point, we’re estimating the strike had a negative impact of about $80 million in revenue, much of which we will work hard to claw back over the remainder of Q3 and Q4,” John Brooks told analysts.
The 13-day strike – plus a brief wildcat job action – earlier this month halted operations at most ports along the West Coast. In the first week alone, it depressed the number of containers hauled by Canadian railways to barely half the level reached during the same period in 2022, according to the American Railroad Association.
July 30: CN Update Regarding Eastern Washouts
CN reported that its service on the Bedford Subdivision near Truro, Nova Scotia, was restored on July 27 after heavy rains affected rail lines for several days in the area.
July 7: New Federal Fines for Hours of Service, ELDs Range from $300 to $2,000 – Today’s Trucking
Truck drivers and carriers face 60 new federal fines for hours-of-service violations – including those specific to mandated electronic logging devices (ELDs).
Coming in three tiers, the fines range from $300 to $1,000 for drivers, and $600 to $2,000 for motor carriers.
The lowest tier includes administrative and minor recordkeeping contraventions. A second tier includes on-duty/drive limitations; off-duty requirements; more serious recordkeeping contraventions that increase risk; and contraventions that make it difficult to enforce carrier compliance.
Topping the scales are fines for tampering, falsifying or obstructing records, and the most serious on-duty/driving limitations and rest requirements.
July 13: Canada’s Share of Women Truckers Lags Totals in North American Survey – Today’s Trucking
A Women in Trucking (WIT) survey has concluded that women account for nearly 12.1% of North America’s professional drivers, but preliminary 2021 Census data suggests Canadian-specific totals are actually far less than that.
Women now hold 16.4% of Canadian jobs in trucking, logistics and warehousing – up from 15% in 2015 – but account for just over 4% of Canada’s truck drivers, according to the Census results.
While the increase in the overall share of women may seem relatively small, Trucking HR Canada chief program officer Craig Faucette says the preliminary results might underestimate current totals. The 2021 Census data was conducted in the middle of the pandemic when many women left the industry to take care of their families, he explains.
July 18: ‘Nuclear’ Lawsuits Against Truckers Continue to Rise in U.S. – Transport Topics
A new study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform found that trucking in America is “under siege by litigation.”
“Verdicts in trucking accident cases accelerated in size starting in the 2000s but have skyrocketed over the last 10 years, despite a decreased rate of serious trucking crashes over that time frame,” the study said. “Moreover, with the inflation of verdicts and settlements, the search for deep pockets is expanding and the circle of potential defendants is widening.” A review of 154 trucking litigation verdicts and settlements from June 2020 to April 2023 revealed a statistical mean plaintiffs’ award of $27.5 million and a statistical median award of $759,875 for settlements.
July 19: U.S. Court Enters Huge Win for Freight Brokerage Industry – FreightWaves
The freight brokerage industry began humming Meat Loaf’s 1977 power ballad “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit became the third federal appellate court to consider the extent to which negligence claims against freight brokers are preempted by federal law.
While the decision governs only federal courts in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, it naturally provides highly persuasive authority for courts elsewhere across the country.
July 26: B.C. to Commence ELD Enforcement August 1 – Today’s Trucking
The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said that, as of August 1, enforcement officers in the province may issue violation tickets to carriers who fail to equip a commercial motor vehicle with a certified electronic logging device (ELD).
The fine amount is $520, which results in a ticketed amount of $598 when the victim surcharge is included, said the ministry.
Recently, the federal government imposed 60 new fines on truck drivers and carriers for hours-of-service violations – including those specific to mandated ELDs.
July 27: Strategic Tactics Drive Cargo Theft Rise – Transport Topics
The trucking industry has faced an increase in cargo thefts this year, with thieves developing more sophisticated and strategic tactics.
Verisk Analytics’ CargoNet in a second-quarter report released July 18 found that “supply chain risk events” increased 57% year-over-year, with 582 reported incidents across North America. This accounted for over $44 million in stolen shipments.
The report noted that much of the increase was attributable to a type of strategic approach known as shipment misdirection attacks.
“We have clever criminals here, but it’s become more of a global problem in regard to the organized crime piece,” said Keith Lewis, vice president of operations at CargoNet. “When they steal by fraud, use the internet and use surrogates to do their dirty work that don’t know they’re involved in a crime, they can do it so much easier and so much faster. And now they can target and hit, with a bull’s-eye, high-value commodities.”
July 11: CIFFA Launches International Education Brand: TraversEd – CIFFA press release
CIFFA has officially launched TraversEd, its new educational arm designed to meet the needs of freight forwarding organizations and learners outside of Canada.
TraversEd builds on CIFFA’s 40-year legacy of successfully educating Canadians in freight forwarding and logistics, and aims to extend this expertise to a global audience.
Currently, CIFFA delivers training to over 300 freight forwarding member firms and partners with colleges across Canada, registering 10,000 students annually for the CIFFA Certificate in international freight forwarding.
TraversEd offers flexible, customized world-class education and certification through two distinct delivery methods:
Many international business, supply chain and global logistics programs do not cover specific competencies required to fulfil the complicated role of an international freight forwarder.
TraversEd will ensure that students receive specific education on the competencies sought after by employers.
CIFFA members with international offices can now benefit from the same great training offered by CIFFA through TraversEd. Additional savings will be provided to freight forwarding companies outside of Canada who are linked to members in Canada.
July 27: CIFFA’s Canadian Young Logistics Professional of the Year Wins Americas Contest – CIFFA press release
Congratulations to Viktoriia Rudyk, who has won the Americas Region competition in the 2023 Young Logistics Professionals Award competition.
Viktoriia was selected by CIFFA in January as the Canadian Young Logistics Professional of the Year, after a review of her industry experience and a written dissertation demonstrating her technical knowledge.
Next, as the Americas regional winner, Viktoriia will compete at the FIATA World Congress, where she will present her dissertations to the Award Steering Committee that will subsequently announce the 2023 Young Logistics Professional of the Year.
June 1: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Announces Leadership Transition for CEO – VFPA press release
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority CEO Robin Silvester has announced that he will be leaving the port authority after more than 14 years leading the organization.
Robin will be staying on to support a leadership transition, with more details to follow in the coming weeks. The board of directors will undertake a global search for a new president and CEO.
June 2: Labour Flareup Affects Operations at Several U.S. West Coast Ports – Supply Chain Dive
Labour shortages at several West Coast ports led to limited terminal operations on June 2.
The Port of Oakland and Port of Los Angeles had limited some terminal operations, spokespeople at the two ports confirmed.
The terminal closures come as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association are negotiating revisions to a coast-wide master contract. Talks have now been ongoing for more than a year, but prior to the terminal disruptions, negotiators had said they were optimistic that a deal could come soon.
June 4: Panama Canal’s Continuing Draft Reductions Pose Threat to Trade – The Maritime Executive
Concern is growing that a significant climate event is unfolding at the Panama Canal, with the potential of impacting one of the world’s most important shipping routes. Last week, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said drought conditions in the region persist, affecting water availability for passage through the locks and raising the potential of further restrictions.
The ACP reports that May 2023 was the driest since 1950. Climatologists are saying that this is expected to worsen due to the arrival of the El Nino phenomenon, which is associated with warmer weather conditions across the Central American region. In this case, water-saving measures will continue to be a priority for the ACP.
The ACP has so far announced six draft-level adjustments, forcing ships to reduce the volume of cargo they carry. Starting in April, the ACP lowered the maximum from 50 feet first to 47.5 feet and then on a sliding scale down to 46 feet as of mid-May.
June 5: ILWU Canada Issues Strike Vote Notice – BCMEA update
On June 5, ILWU Canada’s Negotiating Committee authorized the ILWU Longshore Locals to conduct a strike vote in their negotiations with the B.C. Maritime Employers Association. The votes will be held on June 9 and 10.
June 7: Major Ocean Carriers Set Course for More-Profitable Routes – The Loadstar
Ocean carriers constantly reassess network coverage to cope with the impact of demand fluctuations but, post-pandemic, this has translated into widely different trading patterns for the top-ranked lines.
A survey by Alphaliner reveals that, compared with a year ago, most of the top ten carriers have reduced their fleets trading between Asia and North America – MSC in particular having cut the percentage of its tonnage deployed on the transpacific from 16% to just 9%.
June 8: Transpac Rates Head North as Carriers Face Panama Canal Restrictions – The Loadstar
Transpacific spot rates from Asia are set to spike as a consequence of industrial action at U.S. West Coast ports and Panama Canal draught restrictions.
And the prospect of a lengthy period of labour unrest at the ports will accelerate the coastal shift of cargo to the U.S. east and Gulf coast gateways.
However, the largest ships deployed on the Asia to U.S. east coast Panama loops are facing new draught restrictions at the neopanamax locks. This will see vessels obliged to transit the waterway with significantly reduced load factors.
Several carriers implemented surcharges from June 1 and there are rumours of specific GRIs being announced for transpacific Panama Canal loops.
June 8: Record Growth Trajectory to Ramp Up for Port Saint John Focus of Port Days Keynote – American Journal of Transportation
Last year, Port Saint John and its partners exceeded the milestone of 100,000 TEUs of cargo passing through the port, going on to end the year with more than 150,000 TEUs in throughput and an annual growth rate of 72 percent – the largest container volume the port has ever processed in a single year. With hundreds of millions in investments from the private sector, government and the port itself, Port Saint John will soon have capacity to reach 800,000 TEUs.
“In many ways, Port Saint John and our region are entering a bold new era. With our partners, we’ve created a new global gateway in Saint John and in New Brunswick. There’s no other place on the Eastern Seaboard that has been able to make this happen,” says Craig Bell Estabrooks, President and CEO of Port Saint John. “We are emerging as significant players to support national supply chain fluidity and the world economy. And we’re just getting started.”
June 8: FMC Orders Hamburg Sud to Pay $10 Million for Retaliating Against Shipper – The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge filed an order on June 7 ordering Hamburg Sud to pay one of the largest judgments awarded as a violation of the Shipping Act and the actions of carriers during the pandemic. The FMC sided with a Florida-based e-commerce home goods retailer, ordering the subsidiary of Maersk to pay nearly $10 million for having retaliated against the shipper in a refusal-to-deal violation of the Shipping Act of 1984.
June 12: ILWU Canada Confirms Strike Vote Mandate – BCMEA update
ILWU Canada has confirmed a mandate in favour of strike action if needed.
The timeline for possible strike or lockout action has not changed; the parties cannot acquire the legal right to strike or lockout before June 21. Further, the BC Maritime Employers Association and ILWU Canada have mutually agreed that no 72-hour strike or lockout notice will be filed before June 21. The earliest either party could exercise the right to strike or lockout is 12:01 am PT on June 24.
The parties are continuing to meet with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
June 12: Cyclone Shutters Already Congested Ports on India’s Busy West Coast – The Loadstar
All Indian ports along the coastline of Gujarat have halted operations until further notice in the wake of Cyclone Biparjoy heading towards the country’s north-west corridor.
The affected ports are some of the country’s leading container handlers, such as Mundra, Pipavav and Hazira.
Across the ports, ships already at berth have been shifted from jetties and authorities have been told to halt further vessel movements and immediately secure harbour equipment.
June 12: Port of Vancouver Places Second Last on Global Efficiency Ranking – The Daily Courier
The Port of Vancouver placed second to last on a global ranking of hundreds of container ports, after some cargo ships waited weeks to unload their cargo last year.
Compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence, the container port performance index lists Vancouver at No. 347 out of 348 – and dead last among ports of similar size.
The study uses vessel wait times as an indicator of overall efficiency.
The low grade speaks not just to port operations in isolation, but the vast supply network they sit within as well as snarls and bumps specific to Canada.
June 13: Blank Sailings Under Scrutiny as U.S. Maritime Commission ‘Looks for Clarity’ – The Loadstar
Following the $9.8 million penalty imposed on Hamburg Süd last week, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is to revise OSRA 22 to give a clearer definition of “refusal to deal.”
The FMC found Hamburg Süd in violation of the act’s provision 41104(a)(10), ‘refusal to deal,’ ruling that the carrier shut out complainant OJ Commerce, a Florida-based furniture importer, in retaliation for legal action against the carrier.
The evidence was uncovered during the examination of an email exchange between Hamburg Süd employees, showing the company made the decision to “disengage” from fulfilling its contract agreements with OJC, in light of “potential litigation.”
FIATA was chief among those concerned, saying many of the measures used by shipping lines to manage capacity could be co-opted for the purpose of squeezing out certain customers.
June 14: Port of Vancouver Disappointed by Poor Efficiency Ranking, Says Change Is Coming – CBC News
After placing near the bottom in a global port efficiency ranking two years in a row, Peter Xotta, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s vice president of operations and supply chain, said port expansions and investments will buck the trend, even as he called into question the accuracy of the ranking system.
Xotta said he was disappointed the port placed second last of 348 container ports in a ranking compiled by World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The study used vessel wait-times as an indicator of overall efficiency, with Vancouver ranking third-last in its 2022 report.
“I think the ratings system is challenged to be accurate at a time when we’ve got this level of volatility in the supply chain,” he said, referring to the ongoing fallout from issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 atmospheric river that paralyzed B.C.’s road and rail systems.
Xotta said each port is different and questioned the methodology authors used to make fair comparisons.
June 15: Tentative U.S. West Coast Port Contract Deal Reached – Reuters
The Longshore union and employers of 22,000 dockworkers at U.S. West Coast ports on June 14 said they have reached a tentative deal on a new six-year contract, ending 13 months of talks and easing supply chain worries.
The deal was reached with assistance from Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) employer group said in a joint statement.
The agreement, covering workers at ports stretching from California to Washington State, is subject to ratification by both parties. The ILWU and PMA declined to provide details on the deal.
June 20: ‘Extreme’ Measures Under Consideration at Drought-Hit Panama Canal – Splash
New draft restrictions from the drought-stricken Panama Canal will mean that from next month the waterway will have slashed its draft by more than 2 metres, with authorities warning daily transits may have to be cut by up to 25% in order to save water.
Panama has been suffering one of the worst dry spells in its history this year, with repeated announcements of draft restrictions on the canal, something likely to worsen with the onset of El Niño, a weather pattern that tends to bring dry weather to Central America.
As of June 19, ships transiting the newer neopanamax locks must have a maximum draft of 13.41 metres, going down to 13.26 metres next week and to just 13.11 metres on July 19, a significant drop from the maximum draft of 15.24 metres. By July 19, the old panamax locks will be able to welcome ships with drafts of just 11.73 metres.
Further restrictions are possible, with meteorologists warning water depths in Lake Gatun, which is in the centre of the canal, could hit historic lows by July.
June 21: Barge Operators Impose Surcharges After Rapid Fall in Rhine Water Level – The Loadstar
A rapid decline in water levels along the Rhine has resulted in barge operators imposing low-water surcharges (LWSs).
MSC announced it will pass on to customers LWSs imposed by its barge operator partners on services to or from Antwerp and Rotterdam.
“Navigation’s still possible but with reduced capacity,” the carrier told customers. “As a result, reaching closings in the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, all cost arising from this situation, such as demurrage, detention and storage, is not for account of MSC.”
Cargo owners have grown used to chaos along Europe’s inland transport sector, congestion frequently stretching into days. One former barge owner said news of the surcharge only “added to the difficulties cargo owners wanting to use European transport were grappling with,” adding that the industry as a whole “remains in deep crisis.”
June 26: Carriers Face Cargo Logjams as Congestion Persists at Mundra – The Loadstar
The congestion plaguing Mundra Port over the past week, following cyclone-related disruption along India’s western coast, has severely crimped carriers’ ability to maximize export lifts amid increasing vessel capacity utilization woes.
According to industry sources, container terminals in the private harbour – Adani Group’s flagship entity – have tightened the time allotted for cargo gate-in as they attempt to mitigate vessel congestion.
That means “carriers are facing challenges connecting all planned loads,” said a ship agent in Mundra, with shippers facing significant delays to exports already at the port or in transit from inland locations.
June 26: Panama Canal Delays Draft Restrictions but Lowers Number of Transits – The Maritime Executive
The Panama Canal Authority delayed the planned further draft restrictions for vessels making the transit that had been due to go into on June 25. They publicly cited expected rainfall, while CNBC is reporting that they are also lowering the number of daily transits through the original locks to conserve water.
Economists have warned of the potential for a significant impact on global trade and especially in the United States, which remains the Panama Canal’s largest customer. The Panama Canal Authority reported that the draft restrictions are mostly impacting laden containerships. Forty percent of all U.S. container traffic travels through the Panama Canal every year, according to a report from CNBC. There have been reports of containerships offloading containers for shipment by rail as the canal increased the draft restrictions this year.
June 28: Port of Vancouver Operations Update – ILWU Canada Serves 72-Hour Strike Notice
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada served a 72-hour strike notice to the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) at 8:00 am PT on June 28. The notice enables legal strike action to commence effective 8:00 am on Saturday, July 1. Bargaining between the ILWU and the BCMEA continues.
The parties are scheduled to continue bargaining with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on June 29.
June 30: Schedule Reliability Reaches Three-Year High with Blank Sailings Down – The Maritime Executive
Schedule reliability for the global container shipping industry continues its rebound from the depths of the delays in 2021 and 2022 to reach a nearly three-year high in May 2023. Analytics firm Sea-Intelligence is highlighting the continued progress in its monthly reporting while carriers have also increased capacity back into the markets reducing the number of sailings blanked from their schedules.
“Global schedule reliability has continued to improve month-over-month, with the latest improvement of 2.7 percentage points in May 2023,” said Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence. “With this increase, schedule reliability is now up to 66.8 percent.”
June 7: U.S. Shippers Warned of Coming Stricter Security Rules for Large Air Cargo Loads – Air Cargo News
U.S. freight forwarders have been urged to prepare for stricter cargo security rules by the Airforwarders Association (AfA) or face not being able to fly larger shipments.
AfA executive director Brandon Fried said that, from October, shippers wishing to fly cargo that cannot be screened – due to size or volume restrictions – will need to be enrolled in one of the Transport Security Administration (TSA)’s authorized cargo security programs.
“There will only be three options after October 31: Join one of the programs, use seafreight instead of airfreight, or don’t ship cargo at all,” said Fried.
“TSA is holding the line on this, there will be no extension.”
June 7: Air Cargo Market Suffers Lowest Rates in May Since March 2020 – Cargo Trends
The global airfreight spot rate fell 40% in May from a year earlier, reaching its lowest level, at US$2.41 per kg, in over three years, just days after IATA predicted airline cargo revenues and yields could fall by more than 31% and 29% respectively in 2023.
Softening global air cargo demand saw a less severe year-over-year drop of 1% in chargeable weight in May, the smallest monthly decline in the past 12 months, but the influx of belly capacity for the peak summer leisure travel market applied more downward pressure on rates. Global air cargo capacity in May continued its double-digit increase, up 14% year-on-year.
June 14: The Next Step for CPKC: Fully Fusing and Fostering Growth as the Newest Class I – Progressive Railroading
“I think I just ran an ultramarathon,” said Keith Creel, the former Canadian Pacific leader who’s now president and CEO of Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), on March 16 – the day after the STB issued its favourable merger decision.
But a lot more endurance will be required by Creel & Co. to kickstart and drive CPKC. A newly formed executive leadership team now faces the challenge of fully integrating the two Class Is, forging and nurturing an entirely new organization, and cashing in on the new railroad’s reach and promise. The integration process alone could last up to three years.
June 2: Several U.S. Senators, Reps Push to Establish ‘Cop on the Block’ to Shut Down Double Brokering, Other Freight Fraud – Overdrive
In a letter to the Department of Transportation Inspector General Eric J. Soskin dated May 22, five U.S. Senators and three House reps urged Soskin to work with the Department of Justice and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to explore a permanent task force policing fraud in brokered and other freight markets.
The letter explicitly addresses the issues of organized double brokering and other freight fraud and its rise in prominence in the spot market over many years, particularly the last couple.
June 12: Protect Your Fleet from Double Brokering Scams – Today’s Trucking
Even a freight recession can bring new opportunities, new markets, new services and new customers. But no one group is hustling harder right now than the scammers who use load boards to double broker freight.
They take advantage of the urgency, anonymity and one-off nature of spot market transactions to steal identities, money, freight and reputations. And this April, the load board provider Truckstop said that reports of fraud on its network jumped 400% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021.
June 15: U.S. FMCSA Issues Final Guidance to Expose Illegal Brokers – FreightWaves
Final guidelines issued on June 15 by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration clarifying the agency’s interpretation of truck brokerages could help reverse a growing trend of illegal brokers and dispatchers infiltrating the industry, according to a group representing small-business truckers.
The new guidance, created in response to a mandate in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, updated interim guidelines issued by FMCSA in November, based on public comments the agency received since then.
Key to the updated guidelines, contends the trucking group Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC), is a further explanation by FMCSA of how it interprets “allocation of traffic” as it pertains to brokers, dispatchers and agents.
“FMCSA intended this term to mean any exercise of discretion, choice or decision-making on the agent’s part about which motor carrier to assign a load,” the agency stated.
June 16: Trucking Trends: Canada’s Spot Market Bounces – Today’s Trucking
Loadlink Technologies reported a notable recovery in May spot market volumes, with loads up 22% from April. But capacity is also on the rise, with a 16% jump in equipment postings, reaching record levels.
The truck-to-load ratio increased to four trucks posted for every load on Loadlink, the company reported. It’s a decrease from the 4.16 trucks per load seen in April, but the ratio is up 138% year over year. A year ago May, there were just 1.68 trucks available per load.
June 22: FBI Says EVs Raise Risk of Cyberattacks – Transport Topics
Trucking companies that are considering electrifying their fleets must be on their guard for the heightened opportunities such decisions offer cybercriminals, according to the FBI, which is keen to help minimize the chaos such attacks can cause.
Electric vehicles have enhanced attack surfaces for cybercriminals to latch on to, said FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Smith.
Edison Electric Institute Senior Vice President of Security and Preparedness Scott Aaronson warned that cybersecurity vigilance needs to be on three fronts: software, hardware and meatware (or the people within an organization).
June 22: Customs Broker Systems Shutdown Causes Border Delays – Today’s Trucking
Carriers and truck drivers complained of delays at Canada-U.S. border crossings beginning June 21, after customs broker Livingston International “shut down select operating systems” because of a suspected cyber attack.
An official from a Mississauga, Ont.-based carrier said they were facing delays and downtime due to Livingston’s shutdown. “Multiple drivers are affected. It is affecting all border crossing locations as it is not a regional issue but a system-wide outage,” the official said.
June 27: Ontario Providing Free Training for Truck Drivers – Government of Ontario press release
The Ontario government is investing $1.3 million to prepare 54 women, newcomers and others from underrepresented groups for in-demand careers in the trucking industry. Across Ontario, at least 6,100 more truck drivers are needed to fill job vacancies and to ensure families and businesses receive goods on time and the province’s economy reaches its full potential. Only two percent of Ontario truck drivers are women, which is why the program will reimburse up to $4,500 for childcare and other living expenses.
Led by the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada, this free project will provide participants with up to 200 hours of training needed to obtain AZ (tractor-trailer) and DZ (straight truck) licences. Instructors will use both virtual reality systems and in-cab, hands-on training to teach jobseekers how to operate a commercial vehicle, perform manoeuvers, conduct inspections, maintain the vehicles and understand commercial vehicle systems and controls.
June 11: CIFFA Urges Government to ‘Be Proactive and Swift in Taking Action’ on West Coast Port Negotiations
On June 9, CIFFA wrote a letter to several ministers and the Prime Minister’s office to draw attention to the ongoing labour negotiations at Canada’s West Coast ports.
The BCMEA and ILWU are negotiating two coastwide collective agreements on behalf of the Longshore Locals and Local 514 Ship and Dock Foremen.
The parties participated in a conciliation process that has now ended and they are currently in a 21-day “cooling off” period. There is not much evidence of coolness, unfortunately, and the union authorized a strike vote to start on June 9.
CIFFA’s 300-plus members regard this situation as one of the most significant impacts on Canada’s economy, with the potential to create very significant disruptions, which would undoubtedly increase consumer costs, fueling additional inflation, and severely impact businesses relying on imports of equipment or exports of products.
CIFFA is urging the federal government to ensure this bargaining process is well-supported and that government be proactive and swift in taking action to protect Canadian business and consumers.
May 4: Maersk: Downturn on Predicted Course, Liners Acting ‘Rationally’ – American Shipper
Pain during shipping downturns is often self-inflicted by the industry itself. A scramble for market share spurs a rate spiral; too many ship orders compound the losses. Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc maintained on a May 4 conference call that liners are avoiding at least some of these self-inflicted wounds.
Clerc said ocean carriers are managing capacity fairly well, demand is primarily down due to temporary inventory overhangs, and margins remain higher than pre-COVID levels.
The general message from the world’s second-largest container line operator: Market normalization is proceeding as anticipated.
May 10: Panama Canal: Drought, Shipping and the Supply Chain – Inbound Logistics
The past few months have been unusually dry across Panama and there is no sign of improvement over the next few weeks, let alone the rest of the spring season. In 2022, nearly 15,000 vessels with 520 million tons of cargo passed through the channel.
This year, there’s simply not enough water – leading to vessel restrictions and ultimately fewer goods able to travel through this area that normally moves about 6% of global maritime trade.
May 11: Ports of Montreal, Québec and Trois-Rivières taking the Net-Zero Challenge – press release
The Ports of Montreal, Québec and Trois-Rivières are taking the federal government’s Net-Zero Challenge.
Launched in August 2022 by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Net-Zero Challenge is a voluntary initiative that invites organizations to develop and implement credible and effective transition plans to make their facilities and operations emission-free by 2050.
By announcing their collective participation in the Net-Zero Challenge, the ports of Montreal, Quebec City and Trois-Rivières are joining forces to accelerate the decarbonization of maritime transport on the St. Lawrence River corridor.
May 19: Container Shipping Under Pressure as Peak Season Hopes Dim – American Shipper
One of the earlier scenarios for container shipping’s 2023 peak season went like this: Importers would get cocky and keep much of their business in the spot market. Shipping lines would heavily curtail trans-Pacific transport capacity. America’s inventory overhang would evaporate just as holiday imports ramped up. Spot rates would jump and importers without sufficient contract coverage would get caught out.
No one’s really talking about that one anymore.
Inventory destocking has gone on longer than expected. Pressures on consumer demand are building. Trans-Pacific shipping capacity is not down as much as predicted. Spot rates bumped up in mid-April but have eased since and remain extremely weak.
The talk now is more about a moderate peak season at best, roughly in line with pre-COVID levels, with no fireworks.
May 19: ONE and Wan Hai Pay $2.65 Million in FMC Fines Over D&D Practices – The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is continuing its enforcement efforts regarding the fees charged by carriers, reporting that Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Wan Hai Lines agreed to pay a combined amount of $2.65 million to settle FMC actions related to detention and demurrage fees plus restitution to shippers. Both of these settlements related to actions brought by the FMC independent of the numerous complaints filed by individual shippers with the FMC against a range of carriers.
May 23: Major Financing and Operator Decisions Coming on Montreal’s Contrecoeur Container Project – American Journal of Transportation
As the clock ticks away, so do construction costs escalate in a high inflationary environment. Delays on the Contrecoeur project could mean the Port of Montreal will not have the container capacity it wants in place by 2027 to meet expected demand and thereby continue to compete effectively against key U.S. East Coast ports in a strong expansion mode – buttressed by the Biden Administration’s multi-billion-dollar infrastructure program. But latest developments point to important announcements this spring and summer on finalizing a financing package, followed by the selection of the terminal operator and a detailed construction schedule.
An announcement from federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra outlining federal financial support for the Port of Montreal’s Contrecoeur container terminal project was described as “a question of weeks, not months” by Martin Imbleau, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority, during the port’s annual board meeting at end of April.
On the same occasion, Imbleau also said that an announcement could be expected this summer on the selection of the winner from three groups who made the shortlist of bidders to build, finance and operate the terminal that would increase Montreal’s container capacity by 1.15 million TEUs.
May 23: Vancouver Increases Container Throughput at DP World Terminal – The Maritime Executive
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority joined with terminal operator DP World to mark the completion of a major expansion project at one of the port’s terminals. The increased capacity is considered critical to the near-term growth of the port while Vancouver continues a long-term process to add a third terminal and operator to the port.
The expansion project was designed to increase throughput at the terminal by 60 percent. Construction on the US$260 million project was completed in February 2023 and, with the facilities now in operation, capacity has been increased to 1.5 million TEU a year, 40 percent over the previous capacity of 600,000 TEU annually. The terminal’s footprint was increased by 15 percent.
May 31: Long-Term Ocean Freight Rates Collapse by Almost 30% in a Month as New U.S. Contracts Reflect Market Reality: Xeneta – PortNews
Xeneta reports that the ocean freight industry saw a slump in global long-term rates of unprecedented proportions in May, as the contracted cost of shipping containers dived by 27.5%. The development, detailed by Xeneta’s Shipping Index (XSI®), marks the ninth consecutive month of rates drops, and is the largest ever monthly fall recorded on the XSI.
“If industry observers were left wondering just how bad it could get for carriers after the 10% fall in long-term rates seen in April, here’s the answer,” comments Patrik Berglund, CEO of Oslo-based Xeneta. “This is the largest drop we’ve ever experienced on the XSI, which charts real-time global rates developments, and it paints a bleak picture of the state of the industry.”
May 3: Cargojet Postpones More 777 Freighters, Tightens Belt as Shipments Slow – American Shipper
Cargojet, which operates an extensive middle-mile air cargo network in Canada for express delivery and e-commerce companies, has increased steps to cut costs and preserve cash amid weak shipping demand that contributed to a 32% reduction in gross profit margins during the first quarter.
The most dramatic step to maintain financial flexibility and match fleet size with demand is the unloading of a third secondhand Boeing 777-300 intended for conversion into a main-deck freighter, according to financial reports released on May 1. Cargojet confirmed it plans to finalize the sale of three 777-300s this year for a total of $110 million because of the slowdown in the global economy and air cargo shipping.
May 9: Summer Capacity Boom Hits Airfreight Rates – Air Cargo News
With the start of Northern Hemisphere airline summer schedules at the start of April, the addition of services has meant the availability of significantly more bellyhold capacity in the market.
In fact, industry analyst CLIVE Data Services has reported that “a flood of summer bellyhold capacity on major lanes,” coupled with a 4% drop in demand in April, means that the industry is facing a challenging four or five months.
CLIVE believes that the global air cargo market may have to wait will October for any meaningful recovery.
May 18: WestJet and Its Pilots Reach 11th-Hour Deal to Avoid Strike – Global News
Airline WestJet and its pilots have reached a last-minute deal, averting a strike ahead of the May long weekend.
Some 1,800 pilots at WestJet and Swoop had been poised to walk off the job overnight on May 19 after the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l served a strike notice on June 15.
Already the airline had cancelled hundreds of flights in anticipation of its fleet being grounded.
May 30: Air Cargo Groups Join Forces to Enhance Standard Practices for Air Cargo – Inside Logistics
Quality standards organization Cargo iQ has forged a partnership with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the Airport Services Association (ASA) to set shared goals for enhanced standard practices across the air cargo supply chain.
The objective of the alliance is to strengthen collaboration between forwarder, ground handler and airline communities, working on a global basis to achieve common standards and enhanced quality.
The decision was made at Cargo iQ’s most recent board meeting that FIATA’s director general, Stéphane Graber, and ASA’s director general, Fabio Gamba, will attend all Cargo iQ board meetings as observers and work together with the board members, with a view to intensifying co-operation in the future.
May 9: Customs Brokers, Forwarders and Shippers Ask U.S. Congress to Change Rail Storage Rules – American Journal of Transportation
More than 70 trade associations sent the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leadership a letter asking for clarification regarding rail storage fees charged as part of international ocean shipping: “Continuing to allow railroads to invoice importers and their agents directly without oversight undermines the purpose and intent of the Shipping Act.”
The May 2nd letter notes that there is a gap in authority between the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to regulate these charges: “The lack of clear statutory authority for the FMC to address unreasonable rail storage charges assessed under ocean carrier through bills of lading is a gap that must be clarified.”
The letter adds: “… the railroads’ storage charges under through bills of lading should more appropriately be invoiced through the ocean carriers. Rail storage charges assessed against containers moving in International commerce, an as-yet unaddressed abuse of demurrage charges, should clearly and formally fall within FMC authority through an act of Congress.”
May 18: Why Canada’s Two Big Railways Are Livid over Justin Trudeau’s Attempt to Force Competition – The Financial Post
Ottawa is trying to curb the market power of Canada’s two major railways, setting the stage for a nasty public battle in the Prairies.
The railways have launched an aggressive campaign in response, with Keith Creel, chief executive of Canadian Pacific Kansas City Railway Ltd., calling the government plans “short-sighted and damaging,” and warning that they could clog the rail network that Canada depends on to get billions of dollars worth of commodities to ports for export.
But shippers say they’ve put up with subpar service from the railways for long enough, and the new rules deliver a desperately needed dose of competition into a Canadian rail system that is essentially controlled by two companies: Canadian National Railway Co. and Creel’s CPKC Railway.
May 1: U.S. to Lift Most COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates for Foreign Travellers – CBC News
The Biden administration will end most of the last remaining U.S. federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements next week when the national public health emergency for the coronavirus ends, the White House said on May 1.
Vaccine requirements for federal workers and federal contractors, as well as foreign air travellers to the U.S., will end May 11. The government is also beginning the process of lifting shot requirements for non-citizens at U.S. land borders.
May 12: Port of Montreal Plans Benefits for Greener Trucks – Today’s Trucking
The Port of Montreal plans to introduce incentives for carriers that use trucks that generate lower emissions, under plans revealed at a climate summit this week.
The port is looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% as of 2030 and be carbon-neutral by 2050.
Benefits such as exclusive time slots, express routes or discounts on certain port fees will be made available to lower-emitting trucks by 2025.
May 15: Exodus of Fleets Reaches Historic Levels in Q1, U.S. Data Shows – FleetOwner
The tumbling freight spot market and historically high fuel prices are teaming up to push more small fleets out of the trucking industry – which is setting records in carrier departures this year, according to the latest U.S. data – amid the backdrop of a fits-and-start economy on the edge of recession.
This means many trucking companies – 31,278 of them in the four months to start the year, this data shows – are folding up shop and leaving the industry. Or their operators are leasing their services to larger fleets. And more are filling seats as company drivers, easing the driver shortage.
Watching “revocations” of operating authorities with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (how the U.S. government measures fleet expansion and contraction) also indicates how volatile the trucking business has been since COVID-19 transformed the industry.
May 16: CTA, Teamsters and Carriers Take Driver Inc. Fight to Parliament Hill – Today’s Trucking
Crisis. Unsavory. Atrocity. Scam. Those were some of the words thrown around on May 16 as the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), member carriers and Teamsters Canada went to Parliament Hill with their campaign against the Driver Inc. model of misclassifying employee drivers as independent contractors.
In some of their strongest language to date against Driver Inc., CTA representatives including president Stephen Laskowski and members Claude Robert (president of Robert Transport) and Scott Tilley (president of Tandet Group) – along with Teamsters Canada leaders – implored the federal government to take action against the growing scheme.
May 24: U.S. Shippers Put on High Alert over Double-Brokering Fraud – The Loadstar
Truckers and shippers in the U.S. are on high alert over double brokering, an illegal activity that is hitting the market to the tune of more than $500 million a year. The practice has been around for a while, but it recently has escalated to alarming dimensions, with a new variation gaining ground.
Essentially, double brokering occurs when an outfit successfully bids for a load posted by a broker or load board and then brokers it to a third party. In its most benign form, this can involve a trucker winning a load but deciding to offer it to other truckers because of lack of proprietary capacity to move the shipment. These instances often go unreported, as no party in the transaction is harmed, but the practice is nevertheless illegal if the approval of the shipper is not obtained.
Most cases of double brokering, however, are downright fraudulent. In the simplest form, the rogue carrier obtains a load from a brokerage and tenders it to a carrier, then receives payment from the broker but does not compensate the carrier, who is left holding the bag.
Loads also may be stolen. The fraudulent firm that obtained the load and tendered it again for carriage may contact the carrier and instruct it to deliver the cargo to a different destination, claiming that there has been a change of plan. As the carrier believes it is dealing with a bona fide broker, there is no cause to doubt the legality of this change.
Lately a variant called ‘load phishing’ has mushroomed.
May 25: Government Meets with CTOA on Incorporated Drivers, Pledges to Drop ‘Driver Inc.’ Term – Today’s Trucking
Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan and several MPs met with members of the Canada Truck Operators Association (CTOA) last week, discussing the roles of incorporated truck drivers and vowing to end references to “Driver Inc.” when referencing how drivers are classified.
The meeting, held May 23 at MP Iqwinder Gaheer’s (Mississauga-Malton) office, included representatives from more than 20 CTOA member carriers, the labour minister, and MPs Charles Sousa, Sonia Sidhu, and Ruby Sahota, in addition to the host.
It came just one week after the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and Teamsters held a strongly worded press conference at Parliament Hill, condemning the misclassification of truck drivers under the scheme that CTA has labeled Driver Inc. But that’s not language you’ll hear from the federal government, according to CTOA leader Jaskaran Sandhu.
“There were a few things [O’Regan] made very, very clear in that meeting,” Sandhu said. “First and foremost, he assured and promised the industry and our association that, from here on in, the term Driver Inc. will never be used by the government. It is a deeply problematic term that unfairly maligns incorporated drivers. In fact, they stated you may have already noticed they don’t use that term anymore after learning how it was weaponized within some circles of our industry.”
May 26: Major Logistics Providers Join Forces to Set Freight Scheduling Standards – Transport Topics
Freight transportation is a fragmented industry whose players should collaborate to overcome entrenched inefficiencies. That is the message from major logistics companies and technology providers that have joined forces to alleviate a particular pain point hampering the industry – the making, keeping and adjusting of freight appointments.
“All of us have heard from our customers about the inefficiencies” at the dock level, and “opportunities to become more efficient,” said Spencer Frazier, executive vice president of sales and marketing at J.B. Hunt Transport Services.
The trucking and intermodal logistics company joined third-party logistics providers Convoy and Uber Freight in December to form the Scheduling Standards Consortium, which aims to establish industry standards for sharing scheduling information among shippers, freight brokers and carriers.
May 1: CIFFA Announces Two Recipients of 2023 Donna Letterio Leadership Award: Janet Wallace and Christina Forth – The Forwarder Online
CIFFA is pleased to announce two winners for its Donna Letterio Leadership Award this year: Janet Wallace, Managing Director, Cargo Operations and Transformation, with Air Canada Cargo, and Christina Forth, Director of Logistics Canada, Mass Logistik Inc.
CIFFA introduced the annual Donna Letterio Leadership Award in December 2015. The award is granted annually in memory of former CIFFA President Donna Letterio, who passed away in August 2013. The award recognizes a woman in the global freight logistics sector who has demonstrated, as Donna did, professionalism, commitment, leadership and a passion for excellence in her career and in her life. In addition to the award, CIFFA will prepare a cheque in each winner’s name for $1,000, which will be presented to Bladder Cancer Canada.
April 3: Conciliation Officers Appointed to Further Talks Between BCMEA and ILWU – BCMEA website
After the ILWU filed a notice of dispute to Canada’s Minister of Labour, two conciliation officers from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service were appointed to this matter on March 29.
The conciliation officers have a 60-day mandate from the day of appointment. An extension beyond 60 days can be made by mutual consent of the parties. At the end of the conciliation period, a 21-day cooling-off period would begin, if required.
April 4: Sharp Increase in Containership Schedule Reliability – The Maritime Executive
Coming back from the depths of the shipping surge experienced in 2021 and early 2022, the container shipping industry is recovering its schedule reliability to levels last seen at the onset of the pandemic. New data from Sea Intelligence shows the highest level of schedule reliability in 30 months, reaching levels not seen since August 2020 and approaching pre-pandemic norms.
“Schedule reliability was a staggering 26 percentage points higher” year over year, highlights Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence. The analysis firm’s data shows that the industry bottomed out a year ago, falling to a level where only one in three ships was on schedule. February 2022 showed just 34.2 percent global schedule reliability, continuing a two-year trend that began in January 2021 when reliability fell for the first time into the 30 to 40 percent range.
“Global schedule reliability increased sharply by 7.7 percentage points month over month in February 2023, reaching 60.2 percent,” says Murphy. Levels had begun nearly consistent monthly increases in May 2022, but February was the first time the level reached 60 percent.
April 5: ‘Nervous’ Box Lines Back-Pedal on D&D Charges in U.S. as New Rules Loom – The Loadstar
While U.S. ports and container terminals still resist a regulatory drive to curtail detention and demurrage (D&D) charges, several shipping lines have stopped charging cargo owners and truckers on days when terminals are closed.
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has been questioning container terminals and the 11 largest box lines serving the U.S. on their policy of charging D&D fees when their facilities are closed.
Over the past couple of years, shippers and truckers have protested furiously over being charged when they had been unable to get access to congested terminals.
April 7: Los Angeles, Long Beach Port Terminals Shut Down Due to Labour Issues – Supply Chain Dive
Terminals at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach effectively shut down as a result of a local longshore labour action that began on the evening of April 6.
The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents West Coast port employers, said a local union at the twin ports withheld some labour for the evening shift on April 6, leading to widespread labour shortages that halted operations. The actions continued, leading to closures on the morning of April 7 as well.
April 12: China’s Container Depots Fill Up as Exports Feel the Pinch – The Loadstar
Container depots in China are full and having to turn away new customers, following a slowdown in exports.
Container xChange CEO Christian Roeloffs said: “We hear from many customers that the demand for containers is still there, just that the supply is overshooting the demand.
“Due to this, we see ripple effects, such as depots working at maximum capacity and not being able to accept new clients.”
Container xChange’s latest report suggests China’s container depots are working at 90% utilization, adding: “Oversupply makes it harder for the depots to move boxes. And because depots make money by moving these boxes, as opposed to storing them, the current circumstances are rendering the depots inefficient in both operations as well as revenue generation.”
The increasing number of idle containers at terminals does not only mean ports are getting congested, but repositioning empty containers has become more expensive and inconvenient, making it difficult for the NVOCCs and shipping lines to open new markets globally.
April 13: Nanaimo Studies Port Expansion – Inside Logistics
The Nanaimo Port Authority has received federal funding to study the potential for expanding its facilities. The Port of Nanaimo is on the east coast of Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver.
The federal government has committed up to $600,000, under the National Trade Corridors Fund, for the Nanaimo Port Authority to study the expansion of container handling capacity; the development of land near the port to support economic growth, job creation and trade; and the assessment of potential improvements to the transportation of cargo by sea over short distances between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
April 20: Government of Canada Approves Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project in British Columbia, Subject to Strict Conditions to Protect the Local Environment – Government of Canada press release
Following an environmental assessment conducted by an independent review panel and significant work to address concerns highlighted by the panel report, the Government of Canada has decided the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project can proceed subject to 370 legally binding conditions to protect the environment, including to prevent harm to local species.
The project will increase the Port of Vancouver’s capacity by 50 percent.
The port can now apply for the additional authorizations and permits it requires from federal departments, as well as from the Government of British Columbia. This includes from Fisheries and Oceans Canada under the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act.
April 20: ILWU, PMA Reach Tentative Deal on ‘Certain Key Issues’ – Supply Chain Dive
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in a press release Thursday that negotiators had reached a tentative deal on “certain key issues” with the Pacific Maritime Association. The longshore union did not specify which issues the new tentative agreements cover, and declined to share further comments.
The news marks the first deal publicly announced since July 26.
April 24: As Asia-U.S. Shipping Rates Rise, So Does Skepticism on Staying Power – American Shipper
Container lines have used general rate increases (GRIs) to forcibly push up Asia-U.S. spot rates, yet there’s widespread skepticism on rates’ staying power given the gravitational pull of weak demand.
Carriers introduced a round of GRIs on April 15 and are scheduled to implement the next round on May 1. But Linerlytica reported Monday that carriers are “already deferring the May 1 GRI” to mid-May because “cargo volumes are unable to support rate hikes despite the blank sailings planned in early May.”
April 28: Soft Demand Pushes Ocean Spot Rates to ‘Their Lowest Sustainable Level’ – The Loadstar
Weak demand in the three major ocean trades, coupled with the expected flood of new tonnage, will feed declining rates, according to the latest report by Maritime Strategies International (MSI).
And ONE CEO Jeremy Nixon said on April 28: “Demand in the last quarter [Q1 23] has been significantly weaker than the previous two years’ first calendar quarters.” But, he added, this was not unexpected, “since the COVID 2022 recovery cycle brought strong inventory ramp-up programs for consumer merchandise.”
Even though Nixon believes there has been an over-correction affecting sales and inventory levels, ONE is not expecting any signs of recovery until June or July.
MSI’s report describes spot rates as being “at their lowest sustainable level,” but they are stable, whereas contract terms are still under negotiation for many and “there is further room for weakening in terms of contract freight rates.”
April 6: Sporadic Strikes in France Are Causing European Flight Chaos – American Journal of Transportation
Walkouts among French air traffic controllers have led to thousands of flight cancellations since the start of the year. The French civil aviation authority DGAC has asked airlines to limit the number of flights on and off for weeks at Paris Orly and some other airports, at a time when the nation is being roiled by strikes over an unpopular pension reform.
Labour action by air traffic controllers not only affects flights to and from France but also leads to turmoil elsewhere in Europe, causing delays for planes that fly over the country to reach other destinations.
Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, has gone so far as to ask passengers to sign an online petition urging European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to “keep EU skies open” amid the walkouts. Twenty-five days of strikes among French air traffic controllers in the first three months of the year forced it to cancel 3,080 flights, leaving more than half a million passengers stranded with short notice, the carrier said.
April 18: WestJet Pilots Vote in Favour of Strike Mandate, Could Walk Before May Long Weekend – CBC News
The union representing WestJet pilots says they have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate.
The Air Line Pilots Association says the 1,600 WestJet pilots it represents can launch a strike as early as the week leading up to the May long weekend.
April 20: WestJet Eyes Latin America as Freighter Services Set for Takeoff – Air Cargo News
On April 22, WestJet will launch its first-ever freighter service following the certification of its 737-800 Boeing converted freighters in March. The operation will initially start with three 737-800BCFs flying between Calgary, Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Miami.
However, WestJet executive vice president for cargo Kirsten de Bruijn said that the carrier hopes to expand flights into Latin America after it adds its fourth 737, currently in modification in Costa Rica.
De Bruijn wouldn’t be drawn on exactly which countries the airline would target – as the carrier is still in the process of registering the aircraft in those countries – but said that they are likely to be in the northern part of Latin America.
Due to the range of the aircraft, the flights will need to include a stop in the U.S. to avoid breakage in the maximum payload, which for the 737-8000BCF is around 23 tonnes.
April 14: Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Combine to Create CPKC – CPKC press release
Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern have combined to create Canadian Pacific Kansas City, as authorized by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s March 15, 2023 final decision, creating the first single-line railway connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
With its global headquarters in Calgary, CPKC is the only railway connecting North America and has port access on coasts around the continent, from Vancouver to Atlantic Canada to the Gulf of Mexico to Lázaro Cárdenas on Mexico’s Pacific coast. While remaining the smallest of six U.S. Class 1 railroads by revenue, the new combined company has a much larger and more competitive network, operating approximately 20,000 miles of rail, and employing close to 20,000 people.
Full integration of CP and KCS is expected to take place over the next three years, unlocking the benefits of the combination.
April 24: CN, UP and GMXT Announce New Mexico-U.S.-Canada Intermodal Service – American Journal of Transportation
CN, Union Pacific Railroad and GMXT have announced the creation of Falcon Premium intermodal service, a Mexico-U.S.-Canada service with a seamless rail connection in Chicago, Illinois. It will directly connect all CN origin points within Canada and Detroit, Michigan to GMXT terminals in Mexico: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and Silao, Guanajuato.
April 3: Trailer GHG Rules Delayed at Least One More Year – Today’s Trucking
Canada’s federal government is suspending proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for trailers by up to one additional year, while a U.S. proposal on which those standards are based remains stalled.
Under proposed rules, trailer manufacturers would need to adopt fuel-saving technologies like side skirts and automatic tire pressure monitoring systems. But the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia determined the EPA and NHTSA couldn’t apply such rules south of the border because trailers are not “motor vehicles.”
April 4: Owner-Operators Sound Off to FMCSA on Need for More Light on Brokered Rates – Overdrive
In an effort to gather more feedback from motor carriers and freight brokers regarding recent guidance and proposals related to brokers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration held a listening session on March 31, at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
During the session, FMCSA officially announced it would be issuing another rulemaking proposal at a later date, as it had granted a petition from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association regarding brokered transaction transparency.
“It’s important to note that the decision to grant these petitions and commence a rulemaking proceeding does not mean that the regulatory changes in question will ultimately be adopted,” said Ken Riddle, FMCSA Office Director, Registration and Safety Information. “FMCSA determines whether a proposed provision is adopted as part of a final rule on the basis of all available information developed in the course of the rulemaking proceedings.”
April 5: Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry Can’t Secure Funding, Plans to Close in September – Today’s Trucking
Efforts by the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry to secure government funding to continue operations in light of declining hazmat traffic have been unsuccessful, and the ferry will close at the end of September.
Ferry president Gregg Ward said that, “after September there will be no legal border crossing in Detroit-Windsor for flammable, corrosive, infectious, radioactive and explosive materials, until the Gordie Howe [bridge] opens in later 2025. Also, there will be no local border crossing for trucks over 12-ft. wide. As well, during border emergencies, there will be no local outlet for critical freight.”
Trucks carrying hazardous materials are not permitted to cross the Ambassador Bridge. When the ferry shuts down in the fall, Ward noted that hazmat vehicles will have no legal border crossing options at Windsor-Detroit. The detour to the Blue Water Bridge adds about $500 in costs and five hours of additional travel.
April 12: U.S. Vaccination Mandate Remains at Borders – Today’s Trucking
U.S. President Joe Biden has ended the national COVID state of emergency this week, but the border vaccination requirement for Canadians remains in place.
Previously, all COVID-related emergencies were slated to end May 11. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has confirmed the vax mandate remains in place for non-U.S. citizens, including cross-border truckers.
April 21: Economic Trucking Trends: Q1 Earnings Paint Grim Picture as Freight Conditions Deteriorate – Today’s Trucking
Publicly traded U.S. fleets have begun reporting Q1 earnings, and they aren’t pretty. Spot market rates continue to be below operating costs, squeezing smaller carriers out of the marketplace. But equipment demand remains healthy, albeit at lower levels than we’ve seen.
Truck tonnage has seen its sharpest decline since the start of the pandemic, and industry forecaster FTR has reported worsening overall trucking conditions.
These are some of the economic highlights (lowlights?) from last week, delivered in the first Today’s Trucking’s weekly Economic Trucking Trends roundup.
April 28: U.S. Trucking Bloodbath Snares Fleets Large and Small – FreightWaves
America’s $875 billion trucking industry is struggling.
The number of authorized interstate trucking fleets in the U.S. declined by nearly 9,000 in the first quarter of 2023, according to federal data analyzed by Motive, a fleet management technology company. Several midsized fleets have already shuttered this year, and major freight brokerages have laid off 1,000 employees in 2023 alone.
Per FreightWaves’ Outbound Tender Rejection Index, trucking fleets are rejecting about 2.8% of load requests. That makes “early 2023 the softest sustained truckload market since the tender data history began in early 2018,” said FreightWaves’ Zach Strickland.
April 30: Reported Cargo Thefts Rise Sharply, and That’s Just Part of the Story – Today’s Trucking
The trucking industry is facing a sharp increase in cargo theft, even as insurance providers and police forces say the crime is underreported by those who suffer the losses.
Since last year, cases of cargo theft increased nearly 80% in Canada and the U.S., says Keith Lewis, vice-president of operations at Verisk’s CargoNet, which reports thieves stole $223 million worth of freight in 2022. Trucking-related fraud cases are up 700%.
In Canada alone, reported cargo losses increased 29.8% last year, compared with 2021, says Bryan Gast, vice-president, investigative services at Équité Association. Ontario continues to see the highest activity, accounting for 62% of total recorded cargo thefts in the country.
April 3: New CIFFA White Paper: Double Brokering in the Canadian Trucking Industry – CIFFA website
For freight brokers, the practice of double brokering poses potential legal and commercial risk.
CIFFA’s new white paper on this topic addresses three areas of enhanced commercial and legal risk where loads are brokered out by a selected carrier and something goes wrong during transit or in the freight billing cycle.
March 1: ONE’s Nixon Says Decarbonizing Shipping Could Add $2,000-$3,000 per Container – American Journal of Transportation
Ocean carriers should focus on transitioning from fossil fuels to decarbonized green fuels but expect an added cost of between $2,000 and $3,000 per 40-foot container, warned Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE).
Nixon said an international regulation or carbon tax will be needed so that all ocean carriers make the investment together and not allow for some carriers to opt out, continuing to operate with cheaper fossil fuels that will allow them to undercut decarbonized ocean carriers.
Nixon explained the process by which the adoption of green fuels would add to the cost of a 40-foot container: “First, we have got to get the green fuel. So, the key three solutions, which are really methanol, ammonia, potentially synthetic LNG … require a lot of green hydrogen. Many other industries are competing for green hydrogen, so we need to make this call to all governments, to the IMO (International Maritime Organization). We need to accelerate the production of green hydrogen across the energy companies.”
March 2: Prince Rupert Port Authority Announces Milestone on Ridley Island Export Logistics Project – press release
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced that the Ridley Island Export Logistics Project (RIELP) has reached a significant milestone with the receipt of its final determination of the federal environmental effects evaluation review.
Federal authorities have determined that the Ridley Island Export Logistics Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The conclusion of the environmental review process is a prerequisite for the federal authorities to consider the required authorizations for the project to proceed.
Planned for the southern end of Ridley Island, the export logistics complex will be an integrated ecosystem of large-scale bulk and breakbulk transload facilities, intermodal rail yard and a container storage yard. The development will create a transloading facility for commodities such as plastic pellets, cereal grains, specialty agriculture crops, lumber and pulp to be loaded directly from rail into containers for export, creating 400,000 TEUs of export capacity in the first phase.
March 2: Transpacific Ocean Carriers Hope to Regain Trust of Shippers Burned During Pandemic Supercycle – gCaptain
Ocean carriers attending the S&P Global TPM conference last week owned up to mistakes over the past two years and are jockeying to rekindle relationships with shippers.
“Being back in front of the customer is the number-one priority for us right now,” said Peter Levesque, new president of CMA CGM in North America.
Levesque told the audience “a lot of things went wrong” with carrier-shipper relationships, but he suggested it was now time to “draw a line and learn from those mistakes.”
March 6: Container Shipping Market Yet to Bottom as Spot Rates Keep Slipping – FreightWaves
Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund said in late November that, if spot rates had not stabilized and started to rise again by the first and second quarters of this year, “carriers have played this market really badly.”
By that definition, ocean carriers have played this market really badly.
Spot indexes are not plummeting like they were in the second half of 2022, but they’re still inching downward week after week. The market bottom is proving elusive as transport capacity continues to exceed demand.
March 13: Infrastructure Upgrade Sparks Cargo Logjam at Nhava Sheva Port in India – The Loadstar
Container terminals in Nhava Sheva Port (JNPT), India’s busiest public gateway, have been hit by congestion.
The problem is due to drastic capacity reduction at APM Terminals Mumbai, which accounts for the majority of export/import shipments moving through the gateway. Sources noted that the number of weekly services handled by APMT Mumbai, also known as Gateway Terminals India (GTI), had reduced from the normal 13 calls to six, due to the closure of a berth for crane upgrades.
“Spill-over berthing demand has complicated flows through other terminals,” a shipping line agent said.
March 13: Lake Superior Port Being Developed as Link to Northern Ontario’s Resource-Rich Ring of Fire – Inside Logistics
The northernmost heavy-cargo port on the Great Lakes is being developed by the BMI Group and the Red Rock Indian Band.
The two groups signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow them to explore the redevelopment of lands formerly used by a linerboard mill in Red Rock, Ontario, as a deep-water port. Red Rock is on the northernmost shore of Lake Superior, just off the Trans Canada highway, about 110 km northeast of Thunder Bay.
The Red Rock Integrated Marine Supply Chain, RRIM SC partnership between the BMI Group and the Red Rock Indian Band intends to connect the Great Lakes seaway to existing transportation infrastructure from the Red Rock port through to the Trans-Canada Highway and the northern Community Infrastructure Corridor.
March 14: Containers Outbound from Montreal Undergoing Extra CBSA Scrutiny – Inside Logistics
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has stepped up inspections of export containers leaving the Port of Montreal.
In a note to customers, Maersk said that, as of March 1, CBSA had increased the number of export exams in Montreal. Containers are being referred to the Entrepôts LaFrance examination facility for a full destuffing and exam.
The customs agency is stepping up the inspections to try to intercept increased stolen property and contraband being exported from Canada.
Maersk said customers should expect delays if an export container is selected for a full destuffing and inspection.
March 15: 3PL Sues Shipper for US$20 Million in Unpaid D&D Charges – The Loadstar
The fractious relationship between shippers and logistics service providers over D&D charges and billing has reached new heights: Expeditors is suing a customer of more than 10 years for withholding some $20 million in payments.
Expeditors said, “the vast majority of the amounts owed to Expeditors consisted of pass-through demurrage and detention charges from the underlying ocean carriers and marine terminal operators, which Expeditors had long since paid on Kohler’s behalf.”
March 16: Wan Hai Fined by U.S. Federal Maritime Commission – Splash
Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines has become the latest carrier to feel the wrath of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), copping a $950,000 fine as well as agreeing to refund charges in a detention and demurrage case that dates back to 2021.
Wan Hai invoiced a customer at least 21 times in the spring of 2021 for detention charges when the carrier “either offered no return locations, the designated terminal was not accepting the containers’ chassis, or appointments were unavailable for the subject containers,” according to the FMC’s order of investigation and hearing.
March 17: New U.S. FMC Rule Expands Shippers’ Eligibility for Carrier Refunds – FreightWaves
A new rule requiring ocean carriers to refund importers and exporters for illegal overcharges and potentially for other violations of the U.S. Shipping Act will go into effect next month.
The changes, set out in a final rule scheduled to be published by the Federal Maritime Commission on March 20, are in the form of amendments to the FMC’s Rules of Practice and Procedure governing the assessment and collection of civil penalties. They codify provisions included in the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) of 2022.
FMC’s rule explains that before OSRA 2022, any person violating the Shipping Act – or a regulation or order of the FMC issued under that law – is liable for a civil penalty. OSRA 2022, however, changed the language in the Shipping Act governing potential liability of a violator by adding the phrase “or, in addition to or in lieu of a civil penalty, is liable for the refund of a charge.”
Customer refunds are also included in a new provision enacted by OSRA 2022 that addresses the issue of charge complaints, such as inappropriately charging or overcharging for demurrage and detention.
March 20: Crunch Time for Trans-Pacific Container Shipping Contract Talks – FreightWaves
The annual contract season is down to the final stretch in the trans-Pacific shipping market. Import costs, liner profitability and service reliability all hinge on where contract prices settle in the next few weeks.
The plot twist this year is that the prior round of annual contracts were signed at historically high levels and the timing of the current contract RFP season coincides with a period of still-sinking spot rates.
Import demand remains weak due to bloated inventories, with inbound volumes reminiscent of spring 2020, when the culprit was COVID lockdowns.
The risk ahead: If shipping lines cannot obtain enough contract business at rates sufficient to cover costs as a result of weak demand and falling spot rates coinciding with the 2023 contract RFP season, the lines could take drastic action and cut much more capacity in the trans-Pacific, reminiscent of what they did in 2020.
March 20: ILWU Canada Seeks Conciliation in Talks with BCMEA – news post on ILWU Canada website
The ILWU Canada Bargaining Committee has filed a notice of dispute with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The union said in a post on its website that it is taking this action “because there has been no meaningful progress with the BCMEA in discussions to renew the Industry Collective Agreement.”
The union is seeking to have the Minister of Labour appoint a conciliation officer to assist the parties in their negotiations.
March 21: Measuring the Carbon Footprint of Vessels at the Port of Montreal – press release from the Port of Montreal
The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and Global Spatial Technology Solutions (GSTS), a company that specializes in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to shipping, announced the launch of a new project to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of vessels using the Port of Montreal that makes the most of artificial intelligence.
The project provides real-time data on the route, speed and position of vessels heading to Montreal. These data are then analyzed to obtain an accurate estimate of a vessel’s arrival time and adjust its route to coordinate with the availability of berths in the Port of Montreal. This makes it possible for ships to optimize their sailing speed, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and GHG emissions, shortens anchoring time before docking, and benefits operational planning and optimization.
Ultimately, the digital corridor concept will enable accurate, real-time communication between ports, terminal operators and ocean carriers to improve operational efficiency and decrease GHG emissions.
March 22: The ‘Mother of All BAFs’ May Loom for Shippers as Green Targets Advance – The Loadstar
Shippers are concerned that maritime discussions on decarbonization are shaping up to result in “the mother of all BAFs” for shippers, as carriers will seek to pass on the costs of using sustainable fuels.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is set to meet in July and is widely expected to increase its ambition of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 to 100%, and will also discuss market-based measures, such as a carbon levy.
To achieve the new target, the maritime sector will need to invest heavily in the technology needed, with some of these processes already under way, with methanol testing, ammonia and LNG all a possibility.
Costs related to decarbonization are difficult to estimate, but Drewry Shipping Consultants director Philippe Damas, in a Linkedin discussion on the EU Emissions Trading System, said: “Drewry estimates that on the major Asia-North Europe route, these combined policy measures will increase bunker costs and emission-related taxes or allowances from $312 per 40ft container for very low-sulphur fuel oil today to $568, or about $458/40ft using methanol, a low-carbon fuel.”
March 23: Vancouver Fails to Get ILWU Canada Support for RBT2 – WorldCargo News
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) has failed in its effort to get the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU Canada) to lobby the federal government to support its proposed new Roberts Bank Terminal 2 development.
The federal government is currently considering the final environmental assessment for RBT2. The VFPA has been conducting a lobbying campaign in Ottawa for months now to try to get a favourable decision and working to line up support for the project in Vancouver and across Canada.
Earlier this year, the ILWU wrote an open letter to the Government of Canada asking that it deny the environmental permits for reasons including its concerns about automation. The ILWU is concerned that RBT2 will bring in a higher level of automation than currently exists in Vancouver. There are some remote-controlled RMGs at the rail interface at Deltaport and at DP World’s terminal in Vancouver, but it is believed they are operated with one operator to each crane. As the ILWU sees it, RBT2 will bring a higher level of automation to the port, creating a precedent that existing terminals will be forced to follow to remain competitive.
After the ILWU Canada came out against RBT2, the VFPA tried to get the union to change its mind and support the terminal in return for a commitment from the port to “ensuring the terminal will be an ILWU-certified facility.”
March 27: Container Shipping Can See ‘Green Shoots’ of Freight Demand Recovery – The Loadstar
Some liner services are reported to have full ships again, container spot rates have stabilized, the charter market is bullish and ocean carriers are back at shipyards ordering new tonnage.
It seems the week has started positively for carriers and shipowners, with ‘green shoots’ of a recovery starting to emerge.
The March 27 Ningbo Containerized Freight Index (NCFI) commentary reports that, during the past week, container spot rates increased on 15 of the 21 export routes it tracks from the Chinese port.
For instance, on the key Asia to Europe tradelanes, it says “some voyages sailed with full loads” and that carriers had “pushed up market rates for April voyages.”
March 27: Trans-Atlantic Container Rates Still Double Pre-COVID Levels – FreightWaves
Container shipping rates are not back to normal quite yet. Trans-Pacific rates have returned to pre-COVID levels, but pricing in trans-Atlantic markets has not.
Spot container rates from Europe to the U.S. – while falling – are still more than twice pre-pandemic rates.
The Drewry World Container Index (WCI) spot-rate assessment for Rotterdam, Netherlands, to New York was $5,061 per forty-foot equivalent unit in the week ending Thursday. That’s down 32% from last year’s peak but still 2.5 times rates in March 2019.
Asia-West Coast spot rates shot far higher than trans-Atlantic rates during the 2021-2022 shipping boom but came down faster and fell further. The WCI Rotterdam-New York spot-rate assessment was 2.7 times higher than the Shanghai-Los Angeles index assessment last week.
March 28: FMC Wants Ocean Carriers to Prove Detention, Demurrage Charges Comply with OSRA – Supply Chain Dive
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is requesting details from 11 ocean carriers and marine terminal operators proving that their detention and demurrage surcharges comply with the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, according to a March 23 press release.
The agency is asking the carriers to attest and show policies and practices through its Vessel-Operating Common Carrier audit program.
COSCO, CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, Maersk, MSC, ONE, OOCL, Yang Ming and ZIM are the carriers in question.
March 31: Shippers Pushed Towards Spot Rates as Contract Negotiations Stall – The Loadstar
While container spot rates on the Asia-Europe and transpacific tradelanes appear to have reached a nadir, start dates for many new long-term contracts remain uncertain.
Indeed, with contract negotiations stalled and demand weak, shippers, BCOs and NVOCCs are switching a much higher percentage of their business to the spot market.
In fact, carriers are actively encouraging their contract customers to book cargo via spot, rather than lose them to cheaper competitors and have to buy them back later.
The Asia to North Europe component of the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) was flat this week, at an average of $1,349 per 40ft, and it is clear that carriers are prepared to do whatever it takes, in terms of capacity management, to prevent rates on the route dipping below $1,000.
March 2: ‘Time for a New Baseline’ as Air Cargo Capacity Rose Above Pre-Pandemic Level in February for First Time in 4 Years – American Journal of Transportation
Global air cargo volumes fell 4% year on year in February, as available cargo capacity rose above the pre-pandemic level for the first time in four years, according to the latest weekly market analysis from CLIVE Data Services, part of Xeneta.
Global air cargo capacity increased for the eleventh consecutive month in February, up 11% on the same period last year. The global average air freight spot rate of US$2.73 per kg declined 35% year on year but remained 52% ahead of the pre-COVID level seen in 2019.
Niall van de Wouw, Chief Airfreight Officer at Xeneta, said the latest data means it’s time for the industry to let go of pre-COVID comparisons and to acknowledge a new baseline for air cargo market growth.
“The fascination and rhetoric around airfreight rates going back to the 2019 level needs to be replaced based on the inflationary components we now see. Name me a service or product that you acquired four years ago that you’re still paying the same price for now. The air cargo industry should be focused on where growth is going to come from because the general air cargo volumes have seen negative growth for four years and, based on the first two months of 2023, are still -8% in terms of chargeable weight compared to four years ago. That is not a growth market,” he said, adding 2019 was also a relatively weak year for air cargo after a buoyant 2018.
March 6: Disjointed EU PLACI Rollout Risks Customs Clearance Delays – IATA press release
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) calls for urgent action to address the disjointed rollout of the EU’s new Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) System. PLACI went live on March 1 despite 12 European states not being ready and not having given definitive information about their timelines for readiness. As a result, there is a risk of exacerbating supply chain difficulties with customs clearance delays.
Some of Europe’s biggest air cargo hub airports are located in the 12 states that are not PLACI ready: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Sweden.
“The delayed implementation of PLACI in 12 European states must be urgently addressed. With supply chain difficulties already impacting people and businesses, the risk of increased delays for customs clearance must be avoided. It is exasperating that 12 European governments have not met the implementation timeline and have yet to provide definitive indication of when they will be ready. These states must urgently provide the necessary clarity to enable airlines to adapt their own implementation planning,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.
March 17: Global Tonnages Flatten as Average Rates Further Soften – Air Cargo Week
Global air cargo tonnages appear to have stabilized following their post-Lunar New Year bounce-back in recent weeks and their steady decline throughout most of last year, while average rates continue their gradual softening trend, the latest preliminary figures from WorldACD Market Data indicate.
Figures for week 10 (March 6 to 12) show a small decrease (-1%) in worldwide tonnages compared with the previous week, which had seen a modest tonnage rise (+1%). On the pricing side, global average rates remained stable compared with the previous week.
Comparing weeks 9 and 10 with the preceding two weeks, tonnages are up by 2% above their combined total in weeks 7 and 8, accompanied by a 2% increase in capacity, whereas average worldwide rates slightly declined by 2% – based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.
March 20: WestJet Freighters Set for Takeoff Following Conversion Approval – Air Cargo News
Transport Canada has certified WestJet’s four B737-800 Boeing converted freighters, meaning the airline can now launch all-cargo operations.
Until now, the airline has been unable to use its freighters as Boeing awaited certification of its conversion program.
Now that approval has been given, WestJet Cargo and partner GTA Group will “expeditiously implement three freighters into service” with the first flight expected on April 22. The fourth of WestJet Cargo’s freighters is expected to join the fleet later this year following the completion of its conversion.
March 29: Airfreight Rates Climb on the Transpacific in March – Air Cargo News
Transpacific airfreight rates picked up in March, although there were further declines from Hong Kong to Europe and across the Atlantic.
The latest statistics from the Baltic Exchange Airfreight Index show that prices from Hong Kong to North America in March increased by 9% compared with February, to $5.38 per kg.
Prices from China to the U.S. were also up, increasing by 7.8% in March compared with February.
“Sources cited an ‘end-of-quarter rush’ particularly in e-commerce and garments ahead of Easter – though [they are] also expecting prices to soften again,” stated data provider TAC Index in its weekly market round-up.
March 31: WestJet Pilots Set to Launch Strike Authorization Vote as Negotiations Fizzle – CBC News
The union representing WestJet pilots will launch a strike authorization vote on March 31 as contract talks with management drag on, the Air Line Pilots Association said.
Bernard Lewall, who heads ALPA Canada’s WestJet contingent, said its 1,600-person membership is “frustrated” after six months of bargaining with a company he claims has failed to seriously engage with it.
The issues revolve around wages, scheduling and work conditions at WestJet and its discount subsidiary Swoop, with 39 pilots opting to leave for other airlines in the past month alone, Lewall said in a phone interview from Calgary.
March 6: CN Workers Back Union Strike Mandate as Contract Talks for 3,000 Employees Continue – Global News
CN workers backed a strike vote with negotiations set to resume on a contract for around 3,000 Canadian employees.
Unifor announced on March 5 that workers with Local 100 are 98 percent in favour of a strike, while those with Council 4000 voted 97 percent to back job action.
The union says the two sides are in the final stages of negotiations, with another round of talks set for next week.
March 7: Head of Steam Building Against U.S. Freight Railways after New Derailment – The Loadstar
The heat is piling up on Class I rail companies after yet another Norfolk Southern (NS) train derailed in Ohio, barely a month after the catastrophic derailment of a 150-car NS train in the state.
Legislators are up in arms over the rail industry’s safety record and are preparing legislation to tighten safety measures.
Despite the minor impact of the March 4 derailment, it caused outrage across the U.S. Senate. Senator Sharrod Brown from Ohio pointed out that NS had suffered four derailments in the state in five months. He called this “unacceptable” and accused the railway of putting profit margins before safety, while Mike Turner, who represents the area of Saturday’s crash, called the derailments “outrageous.”
NS CEO Alan Shaw is due to testify before a Senate committee on Thursday and is bound to face a hostile audience.
In the aftermath of the derailment in East Palestine last month, U.S. transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called on the railways to end their aggressive lobbying efforts and resistance to safety legislation.
Momentum for tougher rules on railway safety has seen a rare show of unity of members of both parties on Capitol Hill. A proposal before the Senate, endorsed by President Biden, aims for higher fines for safety violations, tougher rules for trains carrying hazardous materials, increased funding for hazmat training, accelerating replacement of older tank cars with more robust models and a minimum of two persons manning a train.
March 15: Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern Combination Approved by U.S. Surface Transportation Board – press release from CP
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a decision on March 14 approving the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern joint merger application, subject to certain conditions, thereby authorizing the two railways to combine to form Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), the first single-line railway connecting the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
The decision authorizes CP to exercise control of KCS as early as April 14, at or after which point CP and KCS will combine to create the new CPKC. CP is reviewing the full 212-page decision in detail and in the coming days will announce its plans with respect to the creation of CPKC.
March 17: CP Sets Date for Combination with KCS, Announces CPKC Executive Leadership Team – press release from CP
Canadian Pacific will on April 14 exercise the authority granted by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s final decision and combine with Kansas City Southern to create Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), the first and only single-line railway connecting the U.S., Mexico and Canada. CP also announced the executive team that will lead CPKC.
March 20: CN and Unifor Reach Tentative Agreements, Avoiding a Potential Strike – press release from CN
CN has reached new tentative collective agreements with Unifor. The collective agreements cover approximately 3,000 CN employees working in various departments such as Mechanical, Intermodal, Facility Management, and in clerical positions in Canada.
No details of the tentative agreements will be released publicly until the agreements are ratified.
March 6: Quebec Fleets Frustrated by Problems with New SAAQclic Platform – Today’s Trucking
Quebec fleets are reporting an array of problems with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec’s new SAAQclic platform, ranging from denied registration processes, to delays and active fleets identified as being shelved.
“Things are still complex in some cases,” Quebec Trucking Association (QTA) CEO Marc Cadieux said, referring to the platform launched February 20. His members have complained the system is slow, and that appointments are set far into the future.
But there were also unpleasant surprises for some carriers when they went to consult their file. “With amazement, they saw that their fleet, or part of their fleet, was erroneously identified as being scrapped,” Cadieux said.
The QTA leader has expressed concerns about the registration renewal processes to Minister of Transport and Sustainable Development Geneviève Guilbault. “We are concerned that we will not be able to complete all registration renewals by March 31 if the situation does not improve, and this makes us fear that there will be a disruption in the supply chain,” he said.
March 13: Manitoba Legislation Targets ‘Chameleon Carriers’ – Today’s Trucking
Manitoba is looking to target “chameleon carriers” – businesses that close and reopen under a different name rather than addressing safety issues – by assigning “conditional” safety ratings to operations thought to be doing that very thing.
Current rules don’t allow the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to refuse to issue a safety certificate under such circumstances.
New carriers must identify a certified compliance officer and submit a safety plan before being issued a safety fitness certificate. Existing carriers with a “conditional” safety rating must certify a compliance officer within 180 days.
March 13: Quebec Announces New Measures, Extends Registration for Truckers amid Ongoing Crisis at SAAQ – Global News
The Quebec government is introducing another wave of measures to ease the ongoing customer service crisis at the province’s automobile insurance board.
The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has been dealing with lengthy lineups at many of its service centres since its so-called digital transformation. It introduced a new online portal on February 20, which users have had trouble accessing due to an authentication issue.
Under the latest plan, registrations for truckers and transportation companies will be valid for an additional 90 days, giving drivers more time to renew their registrations.
March 14: Three Red Flags That Could Signal a Double-Brokerage Scheme – Transport Dive
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association compliance team receives about 10 to 15 calls a week from unfortunate truck drivers with similar stories.
The drivers tell about hauling a load only for the broker who hired them to disappear. When the driver brings the bill to the legitimate broker, they often aren’t aware the shipment was rebrokered. “This double-brokering scam, it’s just so prolific,” said Tom Crowley, a regulatory specialist at OOIDA. “It’s everywhere.”
OOIDA and the Transportation Intermediaries Association, which represents freight brokers, disagree on plenty. But they share a common cause in eliminating fraud, which can hurt each group’s members financially.
March 27: CIFFA Letter Regarding Canada’s West Coast Ports Labour Negotiations
CIFFA has written to several government ministers to draw attention to the ongoing labour negotiations at Canada’s West Coast ports. The BCMEA and ILWU are negotiating two coastwide collective agreements on behalf of the Longshore Locals and Local 514 Ship & Dock Foremen.
CIFFA’s members regard this situation as potentially one of the most significant impacts on Canada’s economy, with the potential to create very significant disruptions, which would undoubtedly increase consumer costs, fueling additional inflation, and severely impact businesses relying on imports of equipment or exports of products.
CIFFA urged government to do everything in its power to ensure this bargaining process is well-supported and that the government is proactive and swift in taking action to protect Canadian business and consumers. Even the mere threat of a labour disruption will undermine the economic and social well-being of Canada.
February 1: Cross-Alliance Cooperation on the Increase as Market Weakens – The Loadstar
Ocean carriers are pulling capacity from Chinese export routes and redeploying the ships to more robust tradelanes with growth potential.
Moreover, the weakness in the Chinese market is prompting more discussions on carrier slot swap agreements between rival alliances.
“Poor cargo demand in China and falling ocean spot freight rates have led to significant changes in global fleet deployment,” said Alphaliner.
February 3: Pressure on Carriers Drives Cut-Throat Freight Market for China’s Exports – The Loadstar
On the transpacific, Drewry’s WCI Asia to U.S. west coast reading was down 1% on the week, to $2,056 per 40ft, whereas the XSI saw a drop of 3%, to $1,529.
However, on the U.S. east coast, the Freightos Baltic Exchange FBX reading held steady last week at $2,660 per 40ft.
And transatlantic shippers are starting to see the impact of the significant injection of extra capacity on the route, with another 5% fall in the FBX North Europe to the U.S. east coast spot, to $4,956 per 40ft.
According to Vespucci Maritime CEO Lars Jensen, the immediate outlook for carriers is more of the same, with new rate wars looming across tradelanes.
He noted that volumes on the major deepsea trades were “either at, or below, pre-pandemic levels following the collapse which began in September.”
February 7: FMC Demands Answers from MSC over Congestion Surcharges – Splash
Using its newfound powers granted by President Joe Biden, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has taken aim at the world’s largest containerline, Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC).
The FMC is questioning a congestion fee MSC charged SOFi Paper Products in a first case of its kind since the passing last year of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA). MSC has until the end of the month to explain why it should not pay a refund to SOFi.
The FMC said MSC never provided “justification” to SOFi stemming from a $1,000 “congestion surcharge” levied against SOFi in July.
February 9: Maersk Lays Out Integrator Plan: No New Alliance Post 2M – The Loadstar
Maersk has said that being a member of a vessel-sharing alliance (VSA) was “not compatible” with its global integrator aspirations.
And it sees the break-up of the 2M Alliance as “simply a transition from three to four networks,” as both MSC and Maersk decide to operate standalone services on east-west trades.
Taking questions during the company’s full-year and Q4 results presentation, CEO Vincent Clerc said he did not expect the end of the 2M VSA to induce a “role of musical chairs that has been talked about, with everybody trying to find new partners.”
He said: “Today there are three major networks on the east-west, in the future there will be four.”
February 10: Dockworkers Urge Trudeau to Sink Vancouver Port’s $3.5 Billion Terminal 2 Expansion Project – Business in Vancouver
The union representing Port of Vancouver dockworkers has delivered a strong thumbs-down to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s (VFPA) proposed multibillion-dollar container terminal expansion project at Roberts Bank.
In a February 9 open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal cabinet, the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) congratulated the federal government for successfully hosting the recent COP15 environmental summit but pointed to the VFPA’s $3.5 billion Terminal 2 expansion project as running counter to COP15’s aims to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by the end of the decade.
Terminal 2, which would add 2.4 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to the port’s annual container handling capacity, would require the construction of an artificial island in what Terminal 2 opponents point out is an environmentally sensitive marine area.
The ILWU also argues that the project’s sliding timelines and ballooning costs are a “major risk to all port tenants, operators and labour in an uncertain time.”
It also expressed concerns about Terminal 2’s automation and the subsequent job losses it would result in and the amount of money the port would need to borrow to finance the project.
February 14: Opening Date of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway 2023 Navigation Season – Seaway notice
The opening date for the 2023 navigation season is scheduled to take place as follows:
Ship transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed.
February 15: DCSA’s Member Carriers Commit to a Fully Standardized, Electronic Bill of Lading by 2030 – DCSA press release
The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) has announced that its nine ocean carrier members commit to 100% adoption of an electronic bill of lading (eBL) based on DCSA standards by 2030. Switching away from the transfer of physical paper bills of lading could save $6.5 billion in direct costs for stakeholders, enable up to $40 billion in annual global trade growth, transform the customer experience and improve sustainability, said the association in a press release.
Manual, paper-based processes are time-consuming, expensive and environmentally unsustainable for stakeholders along complex supply chains. Paper-based processes break down when cargo in ports cannot be gated out because original bills of lading fail to arrive or cannot be manually processed in time. In contrast, digital processes enable data to flow instantly and securely, reducing delays and waste.
February 19: Shipping Containers with Billions of Dollars Worth of Imports Are Stuck at Pakistan’s Ports – gCaptain
A bunch of Pakistan’s biggest companies have halted operations in the past months as they ran out of raw materials or foreign exchange, or both, compounding the troubles of an economy that’s trying to avert a debt default.
The local unit of Suzuki Motor Corp. extended the shutdown of its manufacturing plant to February 21, according to a statement to the stock exchange, saying that parts shortages are persisting.
Ghandhara Tyre & Rubber Company, which manufactures tires and tubes for automobiles, had shut its plant from February 13, saying it’s facing “immense hurdles towards importing raw materials and obtaining clearance of consignments from commercial banks.”
Those are just two out of a cluster of listed companies that includes manufacturers of fertilizers, steel and textiles that have shut their factories indefinitely or suspend operations intermittently as they grapple with a shortage in inventory or cash, or even a drop in demand.
Pakistan’s $3.19 billion in foreign currency reserves mean that the nation is unable to fund imports, stranding thousands of containers of supplies on its ports and stalling production, putting jobs at risk. Inflation that’s also increasing at the fastest rate in almost half a century is putting many goods out of the public’s reach.
February 20: Three Months to Get Iskenderun Terminal Operations Back to Normal – Splash
Management at LimakPort Iskenderun, the Turkish container terminal badly battered in this month’s mega earthquake, have said it will take around three months to get operations back to normal.
The port was severely damaged in the wake of the February 6 earthquake and suffered structural damage, as well as a severe blaze as containers caught fire. The fire at the Mediterranean terminal was eventually put out after three days. Carriers have put in alternate calls to other ports in the region this month, something they will continue to do through to late spring.
A total of 3,670 containers were burnt in the fire, management has revealed and clean-up operations are now underway.
February 21: Centerm Expansion Project Complete, Increasing Port of Vancouver Container Capacity – Port of Vancouver press release
Construction on the Centerm expansion project at the Port of Vancouver is now complete.
The project focused on innovative ways to make best use of the limited trade-enabling industrial land available and allow Centerm to handle 60% more containers by increasing the terminal footprint by 15%. Work completed includes expanding the terminal footprint to the west and east, reconfiguring and expanding the container yard, building state-of-art truck gates, expanding the intermodal yard, building a new operations facility, and improving marine habitat.
While construction of the terminal improvements is complete, work is ongoing to optimize operations to deliver the full capacity increase at Centerm. The full capacity gains are expected to be realized later this year, increasing the terminal’s container handling capacity by two-thirds from 900,000 TEUs to 1.5 million TEUs.
February 23: Negotiators Say U.S. West Coast Longshore Contract Talks Continue, Hopeful of Deal Soon – Supply Chain Dive
The two parties involved in West Coast port labour talks said, “they remain hopeful of reaching a deal soon,” according to a February 23 joint news release.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association said they continue to negotiate and both sides agreed not to discuss negotiations with the media as bargaining continues.
So far, the two sides have reached a tentative deal on “certain key issues, including health benefits, and remain committed to resolving remaining issues as expeditiously as possible,” according to the release.
February 10: WestJet Pilots Ask for Federal Assistance after Months of Failed Contract Talks – Global News
The union that represents pilots at WestJet says it is asking for federal assistance after months of failing to reach a contract agreement with the airline.
The WestJet Master Executive Council, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), says it has filed a request for conciliation assistance with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
The federal Minister of Labour now has 15 days to appoint a conciliation officer. Once appointed, the officer would work with the parties for 60 days to reach an agreement.
If the parties remain at an impasse following this period, a 21-day cooling-off period begins before the parties can consider other alternatives, including a strike or lockout.
February 12: Heathrow Airport Workers Plan to Ballot for Strikes, Union Says – American Journal of Transportation
Heathrow Airport’s security, engineering and firefighting staff represented by the Unite Union will next week begin balloting for strikes, adding pressure to UK’s transport network, which has been hit by a wave of industrial action.
More than 3,000 members of UK’s Unite Union will start voting on February 17, with the ballot closing on March 17. These workers had rejected a 10% pay increase, the union said in an emailed statement on Sunday.
February 27: ‘Grim Reality’ Airlines Are Facing over Pilot Shortage – Air Cargo Week
The chairman of the board of Avia Solutions Group Gediminas Ziemelis has predicted a shortage of 300,000 pilots within a decade, which he describes as a “grim reality airlines are facing.”
Pilots work through a seniority-based system. This means that these aviation professionals progress through ranks and open positions as they advance in their careers. For many airlines, the recruitment process requires qualified pilots to bid for open positions, after which they receive intensive training to match the skill requirements for a specific position, notes Ziemelis.
On the other hand, the retirement system may create a ripple effect, exposing airlines to unexpected crew shortages, mainly due to unmatched levels of newly hired and adequately trained pilots and those going into retirement.
February 3: Canadian Rail Shippers Praise Feds’ Actions to Collect More Freight Data – FreightWaves
While the Canadian government has made inroads regarding the collection of additional freight rail data metrics and the preservation of interswitching, Transport Canada could go a few steps further in regulating better service in Canada, say rail shippers.
Transport Canada in January said the Canadian government approved amendments to the transportation information regulations that would require major railways to supply additional freight rail data, including waybill information – such as origin, destination and weight – and traffic data – such as the number of carloads, goods and car types.
This data will be published weekly on the Canadian government’s Transportation and Information Hub “to provide Canadians with a better picture of end-to-end freight rail performance,” according to a January 9 news release. The modifications become effective April 4 and include data pertaining to certain first-mile and last-mile metrics. Plus, the railways must report the number of operating employees available to move traffic.
February 16: Report: Canada’s Rail Rates Among the World’s Lowest – Progressive Railroading
A consultant’s report requested by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) shows that Canada’s freight-rail rates are the lowest of major market-based economies the firm surveyed, including in the United States.
The report by CPCS concluded that Canada’s average freight-rail rate is 11% lower than that of the United States, according to a press release from RAC.
Using publicly available data, the study surveyed 11 countries representing two-thirds of global gross domestic product. All of the countries are home to high-performing rail systems.
February 20: Unifor Taking Strike Votes at CN – Inside Logistics
Unifor’s CN workers will be taking strike votes this week.
Unifor’s two national bargaining committees continued contract negotiations with CN the week of February 13-17 in Montreal. This was the fifth bargaining session with the company since bargaining opened on October 19, 2022.
Unifor’s national collective agreements with CN that cover the working conditions of more than 4,000 workers expired on December 31. Two bargaining committees are involved, Council 4000 and Local 100. Local 100 represents locomotive and freight-car mechanics, electricians and apprentices. Council 4000 represents over 3,000 employees, including workers at CN, Intermodal, CNTL and CN Savage Alberta Railway.
February 22: Illinois’ Federal Lawmakers Urge STB to Put Off CP-KCS Merger Decision – Progressive Railroading
Federal lawmakers from Illinois have asked the Surface Transportation Board to defer its decision on the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern until the board conducts a “more thorough and accurate study” of its potential impact on the Chicago area.
In a February 17 letter, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi and Delia Ramirez (all Democrats) wrote that the STB’s recently released environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed merger relied only on data provided by CP and ignored more comprehensive modeling provided by Chicago commuter railroad Metra, whose tracks CP trains operate on.
February 3: Provinces Differ in ELD Enforcement Penalties – Today’s Trucking
More than a month into the enforcement of the federal electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, individual provinces are taking different approaches when it comes to penalties.
February 9: Government of Canada Invests in Trucking HR Canada’s Career ExpressWay Program – THRC press release
Trucking HR Canada (THRC) has introduced an addition to its Career ExpressWay Program. Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, the trucking industry will look to recruit and onboard up to 2,600 new workers in both driving and non-driving roles.
This new injection of funding will provide up to $10,000 to cover the cost of entry-level driver training for those looking to enter the occupation, along with a wage incentive of the same amount to support employers with onboarding, mentoring and finishing training. Wage incentives are also available for new hires in other in-demand positions.
February 10: CTOA Defends Driver Inc. Model – Today’s Trucking
You’d be hard pressed to find a more divisive issue in the Canadian trucking industry than the so-called Driver Inc. employment model for truck drivers.
Driver Inc. – a definition coined by those who oppose the practice of classifying drivers of company-owned equipment as independent contractors – has been widely adopted in the trucking industry. Carriers that stand by the traditional employee/employer classification feel the Driver Inc. model is used to reduce costs and undercut rates by sidestepping employer source deductions and depriving drivers of certain rights under employment law.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and its provincial partner associations have aggressively called on federal and provincial governments to crack down on the practice and have complained that enforcement has been woefully inadequate.
But tell that to the member fleets of the newly formed Canadian Truck Operators Association (CTOA), which largely comprises the growing number of fleets who prefer the model. They say they’ve been unfairly targeted by federal and provincial agencies that have in some cases laid fines against them for misclassifying drivers. And they have a lawyer who supports their position and is willing to go to bat for them where drivers in fact have an independent contractor relationship with the company for which they drive.
February 13: B.C. Provincial Carriers Required to Use ELDs Beginning August 1 – Today’s Trucking
Provincially regulated commercial vehicle operators in British Columbia will be required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) beginning August 1.
Failure to equip a vehicle with a compliant ELD will lead to a $520 fine, according to a new National Safety Code bulletin issued February 13 by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
February 24: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Postponing Truck Replacement Program for Third Time – CBC News
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is suspending a controversial program to replace older trucks servicing the port for at least another nine months while it reassesses its plans.
It is the third time the port is postponing the Rolling Truck Program, which was supposed to begin April 3 to phase out trucks more than 12 years old to improve air quality and community health.
Truckers who use the port say the onus is on owners and operators to replace the older vehicles at a steep cost, even though many of them already meet emissions standards.
The port authority says the decision comes because of the state of the economy and ongoing issues related to the pandemic, but it plans to explore new technologies and will reassess its emissions-reduction strategy.
February 26: NACFE Offers Guidance for Navigating the ‘Messy Middle’ – Today’s Trucking
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has dubbed the current part of the trucking industry’s journey toward decarbonization as the “messy middle,” but it doesn’t want that to be viewed negatively.
“It shouldn’t have a negative connotation,” said Jeff Seger, author of NACFE’s latest report on the messy middle. “It’s just a period of a lot of different options for fleets, and a lot of decisions are going to need to be made.”
Decarbonization is already in progress, added NACFE head Mike Roeth. This is even true for fleets that are still burning diesel, as they slash emissions through things like improved aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires, idle reduction, and other diesel-compatible options that are currently available.
The ‘messy middle’ is a time for fleets to take action, Roeth added. But he also cautioned fleets to only adopt the technologies that make sense in their applications. “Do not push a hamburger on a vegetarian,” he said, noting fleets should adopt technologies that make sense for them today.
February 9: CIFFA Selects 2023 Canadian Young Logistics Professionals Award Winner – CIFFA press release
Every year, CIFFA offers an award to a young freight forwarder who best demonstrates industry knowledge and skills to become a true international freight forwarding professional in the future.
After a review process of industry experience and a written dissertation demonstrating technical knowledge, CIFFA is pleased to announce that Viktoriia Rudyk of DSV Air & Sea Inc. has been selected as the 2023 Canadian Young Logistics Professionals Award winner.
Originally from Ukraine, Viktoriia came to Canada to study the 2-year International Business Management diploma program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver. In addition, she has taken the CITT and CIFFA courses, has been actively volunteering, participating at different networking events, and has worked on projects as a student consultant at Delta Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Centre Vancouver. After finishing her studies at BCIT, Viktoriia joined the trainee program at the Toronto branch of DSV Air & Sea Inc. At DSV she has worked as an Air Import Coordinator, an Air Export Coordinator, and currently works as an Ocean Import Team Lead in Montreal. She is a big fan of the continuous learning concept and likes the constant challenge that the freight forwarding profession offers.
MSC Online Invoice Dispute Tool
If you receive an invoice from MSC Canada that you believe requires a change before you make a payment, you can request a change to one or multiple invoices at the same time through MSC’s online invoice dispute tool.
December 29: Egypt’s Currency Crisis is Creating a Massive Port Backlog – The Maritime Executive
A major hard-currency crisis in Egypt is causing a massive backlog across the country’s ports, where goods worth $9.5 billion are stuck – even as the government engages in desperate measures to facilitate their release and avoid a spike in the prices of essential commodities.
With Egypt sinking deeper into a prolonged economic crisis, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country’s ports have recently been clogging up with goods due to a dollar shortage, a crisis that has been worsened by a substantial nosedive of the Egyptian pound. The currency has depreciated by about 36 percent since the beginning of the year.
Over the period from December 1 to 23, the government – which has imposed restrictions on imports to save foreign currency – managed to release goods worth $5 billion. Other cargoes worth $9.5 billion are still being held at the country’s ports awaiting the securing of dollars required to release them. Priority is being given to food products, food-manufacturing components, medicines and production goods.
December 29: Chance that Container Ship Arrives on Time is Still a Coin Toss – FreightWaves
A year ago, fear was a big driver of the supply chain crunch: fear that goods wouldn’t arrive on time, stoked by headlines warning that shipping delays could “cancel Christmas.” It became a vicious cycle. The threat of delays caused importers to max out orders and bring them forward, causing more delays.
Importers ordered too much in late 2021, and to avoid another holiday scramble, they shipped in seasonal goods early in 2022. This front-loading alleviated pressure on the supply chain in the second half of the year.
Container shipping schedules have become more reliable in light of lower volumes, so importers have less to fear from ocean shipping delays. But despite progress, the supply chain is still not back to where it was pre-COVID.
Sea-Intelligence’s “Global Liner Performance” report found that 56.6% of services arrived on time in November – the highest reliability percentage since August 2020. It’s a big improvement from January last year, when reliability cratered at just 30.4%. Yet the on-time rate is still just above a coin toss and remains well below the 2018-2019 average of 74%.
January 3: Maersk Joins Rivals in Softening Contract Conditions for Shippers – The Loadstar
Ocean carriers are tempting BCOs with a wide range of new, flexible, long-term contract options this year, after shippers complained of being “burned” by committing to rigid, highly elevated contracts a year ago.
Last year, shippers were presented with ‘take it or leave it’ fixed-rate long-term contract options by carriers against a backdrop of very strong demand and an acute shortage of equipment and vessel capacity.
But as consumer demand slumped in Europe and the U.S., and supply chain congestion eased around the world, the second half of 2022 saw container spot rates collapse to levels well below contract rates, leaving signed-up shippers at a significant disadvantage to competitors using the spot market.
It appears that now even Maersk, one of the architects of the inflexible multi-year contracts rolled out to selected blue-chip shippers a year ago, has recognized the need for more adaptability in long-term contract terms and conditions.
January 6: Coast Is (Almost) Clear as Port Congestion Fades Even Further – FreightWaves
What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2022, over 100 container ships were stuck waiting off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, with around 150 off all North American ports combined. Now, there are almost no ships waiting in Pacific waters and increasingly few off the East and Gulf coasts.
Ship-position data showed just 30 container vessels off North American ports on January 6. All remaining queues are down to single digits per port.
And factory closures for Asia’s Lunar New Year holiday are expected to depress U.S imports in the first quarter, giving ports a chance to clear out the last of the queues.
January 16: Hapag-CMA Deal Sees Re-emergence of Cross-Alliance Slot Chartering – The Loadstar
As their network coverage becomes compromised by an aggressive blank-sailings strategy, ocean carriers are turning to slot charter deals with members of rival ocean alliances to cover their contract commitments.
Effective next month, Hapag-Lloyd has agreed to a slot charter with Ocean Alliance member CMA CGM that it said would strengthen its coverage in Asia and provide dedicated connections for the North Europe Benelux ports and the UK’s Southampton.
The slot charter is outside Hapag-Lloyd’s THE Alliance membership and won’t involve any other partners in the vessel-sharing agreement.
Vespucci Maritime CEO Lars Jensen said there could be more cross-alliance agreements to come. “The dramatic decline in demand, especially on Asia-to-North Europe and Asia-to-U.S. routes, has forced the carriers to be busy cancelling sailings to attempt to avoid too much overcapacity,” he said. “This leads to a reduction in their service coverage, and an obvious solution for a carrier is precisely what we are seeing here.”
January 17: DP World Eyes Second Container Terminal at Port of Prince Rupert – Splash
DP World Prince Rupert has engaged AECOM, an infrastructure consulting firm, to conduct a feasibility and design study for the development of a second container terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert on Canada’s Pacific Coast. AECOM’s work is intended to determine the technical and financial feasibility of developing the terminal, and provide the baseline studies that will be required for environmental approvals.
The second terminal, which will be fully electric, is anticipated to double the Port of Prince Rupert’s overall container capacity, adding at least 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units annually.
January 17: Saskatchewan and Manitoba Seeking to Limit Fees on Exports Going Through Port of Vancouver – 650 CKOM
Saskatchewan and Manitoba are heading to court to get involved in a case based in B.C.
In a media release, the Saskatchewan government said it was joining Manitoba in seeking leave in federal court to intervene in a judicial review of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new gateway infrastructure fees.
“As a province that depends heavily on exports, Saskatchewan wants to ensure that the full impact of new port fees on key sectors of our economy is taken into consideration,” Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan’s justice minister and attorney general, said in the release.
“These fees could significantly increase costs for Saskatchewan goods moving through the Port of Vancouver and diminish Canada’s overall global competitiveness.”
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new fees took effect January 1. The government said the fees range from eight to 40 cents per tonne for bulk, non-containerized cargo such as potash and grain – two of Saskatchewan’s biggest exports.
January 19: Non-Alliance Carriers are Losing Market Share After Years of Growth – The Maritime Executive
After enjoying strong growth during the shipping surge experienced over the past two years, non-alliance carriers are losing market share. With the current levels of overcapacity rising across most segments of the container shipping industry and possibly getting worse as more new tonnage enters the market, Sea-Intelligence is predicting that the market share for the independent carriers will continue to decline.
“As the market strengthened after the initial COVID hit, there was a confluence of small carriers that started to deploy capacity, especially on the transpacific trade,” said Alan Murphy, CEO of Sea-Intelligence. He notes major carriers also started to introduce services outside the alliance networks. “The idea was to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the very high freight rate environment.”
Taiwan-based carrier Wan Hai for example in 2020 launched an independent transpacific route after its alliance with Pacific International Lines and COSCO ended. In addition, new specialized carriers emerged, seeking to offer niche services and appealing to shippers that found it difficult to place smaller cargoes with the big carriers.
January 20: Bleak Outlook Post-Chinese New Year Prompts More Blank Voyages – The Loadstar
As China begins its lunar new year celebrations this weekend, ocean carriers are desperately seeking visibility of export cargo demand for the first weeks and months of the Year of the Rabbit.
And with the short-term outlook looking bleaker by the day, 2M partners MSC and Maersk have blanked a further six transpacific headhaul voyages – following those they announced on January 12 – through to February 12.
January 20: Updates to Memorandum D3-5-1 – Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements
This memorandum outlines and explains specific Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) procedures for the advance notification, reporting, use and control of vessels in international commercial services.
In brief, this memorandum has been revised to:
Find details in Memorandum D3-5-1.
January 24: Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Information Request Response Declared Sufficient – VFPA press release
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault has informed the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority that information the VFPA provided related to the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is sufficient.
With this determination, the minister said “the federal timeline for the issuance of a decision statement for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project will resume as of today [January 23].”
January 25: Maersk, MSC Terminating 2M in 2025 – FreightWaves
The global container shipping network is poised for a major shake-up. The 2M vessel-sharing alliance between MSC and Maersk is being dissolved.
The two carriers announced that they have mutually agreed to terminate the alliance effective January 2025. Under the agreement signed in 2015, the alliance on east-west services was for a minimum of 10 years with a two-year notice period for termination.
“Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies,” said MSC CEO Soren Toft and newly appointed A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc in a joint statement.
The decision to terminate the 2M alliance has no effect on immediate alliance services, they emphasized. “We look forward to a continued strong collaboration throughout the remainder of the agreement period,” said Toft and Clerc.
January 25: FMC Reports Increase in D&D Claims as Carrier Rulemaking Proceeds – The Maritime Executive
The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is reporting that it has received a strong response to the proposed rulemaking for key parts of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 focusing on fees and the business practices of the leading carriers. The FMC is extending its process to solicit additional input while it also reported a strong increase in the complaints received in the second half of 2022.
In less than seven months since the act became law, the FMC staff estimates that more than $700,000 in charges have been refunded by carriers due to complaints filed over demurrage and detention billings. Fees were one of the issues driving the reform act. During the January meeting of the FMC conducted on January 25, the staff reported it has received more than 200 filings since the law’s enactment in June 2022. More than 70 charge complaints met the threshold requirements for being referred to investigators.
The FMC reports that the act is already having a positive impact on the market while the commission is continuing two of the key rulemaking elements called for under the act. The FMC staff reports a strong response with a large number of comments received both on its draft rules on D&D billing and defining the “Unreasonable Refusal to Deal or Negotiate” for vessel space and more specifically exports. Both of the issues were central to the reform act.
January 27: Maersk Plans Unified Identity, Ending Hamburg Sud and Sealand Names – The Maritime Executive
Maersk announced its intentions to move to a single brand identity as it works to integrate recent acquisitions and its multiple brands as the corporation continues the move toward its vision of a global logistics provider. In its aim to unify its brands and structure, storied brand names including Hamburg Sud and Sealand, as well as Twill, a freight logistics service for small and medium-sized businesses launched by Maersk, and newly acquired brands like Senator and LF Logistics will be phased out.
“We realize that our current brand structure doesn’t reflect the way you, our customer, have your supply chain structure and the need you have for end-to-end visibility and ability to drive outcomes,” Maersk wrote in a customer advisory on the intent to integrate its brands. It noted that an in-depth review will be conducted to conclude the future of each brand in different geographies and that the timeline would be determined individually for each brand.
January 9: Global Demand for Air Cargo Tailing Off: IATA – FlightGlobal
Global demand for air cargo softened in November 2022, the most recent month of data, as carriers continued facing economic headwinds and the pandemic-related cargo boom lost steam.
As measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), global air freight demand fell 13.7% last November compared with November 2021, according to a January 9 report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“Air cargo performance softened in November, the traditional peak season,” says Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “Resilience in the face of economic uncertainties is demonstrated with demand being relatively stable on a month-to-month basis. But market signals are mixed.”
January 4: Air Cargo Faces Mixed 2023 in a ‘Cooling’ Market – AIN Online
The CEOs of several major air cargo operators in recent weeks conveyed an optimistic outlook for 2023, yet they also acknowledged that the year will not likely yield the bumper performance the sector realized in 2021 and 2022.
Global air cargo volumes, yields, load factor and revenues will all decline in 2023, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s latest forecast released in December. The group expects air cargo volumes measured by cargo tonne kilometers (CTKs) to fall by 4 percent year-over-year in 2023, following an 8 percent year-over-year drop in 2022. “The softer outlook for the global macroeconomy, along with international trade, is presenting headwinds to air cargo,” noted Andrew Matters, IATA’s head of policy analysis. “Things that are exerting a bit of a drag in terms of cargo volumes include the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, global [economic] growth slowdown, higher inflation, higher interest rates, and the higher cost of living,” he said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that global growth will slow to 2.7 percent this year, from 3.2 percent in 2022 and 6 percent in 2021, and its managing director Kristalina Georgieva warned that a third of the global economy will enter recession this year. The World Trade Organization forecasts that trade will slow sharply in 2023 to just 1 percent as a result of the various headwinds in the global economy.
Cargo yields likely will take a “significant step back” this year, said Matters. IATA expects a year-on-year fall of 22.6 percent. “[It] sounds like a very big number; it sounds pretty dramatic,” he commented, calling expectations of a pull-back in yields, however, “not unreasonable” in the context of the very strong increases of recent years. Cargo yields grew by 52.5 percent in 2020, 24.2 percent in 2021, and 7.2 percent in 2022. “These levels are not sustainable,” Matters remarked. “Even the sizable and expected decline leaves cargo yields well-above pre-COVID levels.”
January 3: Union Representing CN Rail Traffic Controllers Ratifies New Agreement – CN press release
On December 23, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference ratified a new collective agreement. The agreement covers approximately 160 rail traffic controllers in Canada.
The agreement came into effect on January 1 and includes adjustments to wages of 3% in 2023, 3% in 2024 and 2.5% in 2025 and other benefits. The agreement is in effect until December 31, 2025.
January 9: Minister of Transport Announces Requirement to Provide More Freight Rail Data – Transport Canada press release
Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra on January 8 announced amendments to the Transportation Information Regulations to increase supply chain transparency and create a better understanding of the performance of Canada’s freight rail sector for the benefit of all rail users.
These amendments aim to strengthen the accountability of freight rail service providers, by requiring major railways to provide Transport Canada with enhanced service and performance information. This information will significantly enhance the value of the information being collected and it will be published weekly on the Government of Canada’s Transportation Data and Information Hub to provide Canadians with a better picture of end-to-end freight rail performance.
Major railways will also provide Transport Canada with additional data to support targeted public policy and other regulatory purposes, including waybill information (such as origin, destination, weight) and traffic data (such as number of carloads, goods, and car types).
These changes will come into force on April 4, 2023. They are an important part of the Government of Canada’s response to the issues raised in the National Supply Chain Task Force’s Final Report.
January 13: CP and Unifor Reach Tentative Collective Agreement – CP press release
Canadian Pacific Railway Limited has reached a tentative collective agreement with Unifor on a new contract for mechanical employees in Canada.
Unifor represents approximately 1,200 of CP’s mechanical employees, who are responsible for maintaining rail cars and locomotives. The previous collective agreement expired on December 31, 2022.
January 30: U.S. STB Issues Final Environmental Review of Proposed CP-KCS Merger – Progressive Railroading
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board on January 27 issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS), accessible here, for the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern.
Issuance of the final EIS completes the STB’s environmental review of the proposed merger. The board will consider the transportation merits of CP’s acquisition of KCS, and the entire environmental record, including the draft EIS, final EIS and all comments received, as part of its final decision in the proceeding, STB officials said in a press release.
January 4: FMCSA Proposes Tougher Rules for Truck Broker Financial Backing – FreightWaves
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing more oversight of truck brokers and freight forwarders and the surety bond and trust companies that back them up in an effort to ease the monetary pain they can inflict on motor carriers.
“FMCSA believes that most brokers operate with integrity and uphold the contracts made with motor carriers and shippers,” the proposal states. “However, a minority of brokers with unscrupulous business practices can create unnecessary financial hardship for unsuspecting motor carriers.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has complained to FMCSA of those hardships. In comments filed in 2018 to an advanced rulemaking proposal on the issue, the group pointed out that a legislative statute known as MAP-21, signed into law in 2012, increased the amount of the broker bond to a minimum $75,000, “but raising the bond to this amount did not stop brokers from continuing to steal transportation services in excess of the bond amount,” OOIDA stated.
“It is critical that FMCSA’s final rule implements the imperatives and timeliness provided in the statute to act quickly by suspending a broker’s authority before the broker’s nonpayment to motor carriers results in claims on its bond or trust in an aggregate amount of more than $75,000.”
January 6: Provinces Differ in Approaches to ELD Penalties – Today’s Trucking
Canada’s federally regulated carriers now face a mandate to equip trucks with certified electronic logging devices (ELDs), but individual provinces are taking different approaches when it comes to penalties and deciding whether to apply the rules to provincially regulated carriers.
Quebec remains the sole province yet to begin enforcing the federal rules that apply to trucks that cross provincial borders or the international border, although any Quebec carrier would see the rules enforced as soon as they cross into Ontario or New Brunswick.
All remaining provinces, with the exception of B.C. and New Brunswick, will issue fines to those who fail to comply with the rules, while those other than B.C. and Newfoundland will apply points to carrier records. Provinces other than Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are also threatening to shut down carriers in cases of “gross non-compliance.”
January 9: MGT Gates to Open Earlier, Operate 18 Hours a Day
The overhaul of the Lafontaine Tunnel in Montreal is expected to take three years. As of October 31, the capacity of the six-lane tunnel has been reduced by half, leaving just one lane heading south and two heading north. Despite numerous mitigation efforts, the reduction in capacity has created challenges for South Shore commuters and for freight transportation providers.
Effective January 9, MGT truck gates will open an hour earlier, at 5:00 am instead of 6:00 am, Monday to Friday, to help minimize the morning peak commuting period. MGT gates will now operate 18 hours a day on weekdays, until 11:00 pm.
MGT will absorb the additional costs associated with this extra hour of service from January 9 through February 10, inclusively. However, given the high inflationary environment, plus the significant costs associated with the added operating hour, note that, effective February 13, the Gate Service Fee will be adjusted to $50.00 per laden container, in or out, while empty containers will continue to be received and delivered without any service fee.
January 17: U.S. Carriers Continue to Fold as Pandemic Freight Boom Recedes – FleetOwner
As freight truck utilization continues to fall from pandemic-era capacity, more small carriers are giving up for-hire authority as equipment and other carrier costs remain higher at the start of 2023. This could be a slow, messy year for freight.
The U.S. trucking industry lost more carriers in December than any month since Hurricane Katrina disrupted much of the over-the-road freight industry, according to data from FTR Transportation Intelligence.
The booming freight market born out of the pandemic that began nearly three years ago created a market for new for-hire carriers within a thriving spot market. During most of 2020 and 2021, hundreds to thousands of companies established for-hire authority each month. While there were fits and starts through much of 2022, Avery Vise, FTR’s VP of trucking, said the industry started losing “a pretty substantial number” of carriers in October.
“Preliminary data for December would indicate that we have lost more carriers in December than we lost in any month on record – with the exception of December ’05, which was in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and all the disruptions that led to,” Vise said. “This is likely to continue for a period of time.”
January 22: New Trucking Group Vows to ‘Disrupt the Status Quo,’ Demands Seat at Decision Making Table – Today’s Trucking
A newly formed trucking organization has been created over the last two months, and on January 21 brought together at its inaugural gala more than 1,000 people representing about 200 carriers.
The Canada Truck Operators Association (CTOA), comprised largely of trucking companies run by people with South Asian backgrounds, promised inclusivity as it demands a seat at the tables where policy and legislation affecting its members are created.
The segment of the trucking industry that comprises the CTOA has largely been missing from discussions regarding the policy and regulations affecting it, said Executive Director Jaskaran Sandhu. A Newcom Media analysis in 2018 found that 17.8% of Canadian truck drivers identified as South Asian, up from 1.8% in 1996. That number was higher in Ontario (25.6%) and B.C. (34.6%).
January 4: CIFFA Signs eFBL Agreement with FIATA
CIFFA recently signed a distribution agreement with FIATA, enabling our members to distribute paperless FIATA bills of lading.
Benefits to this new agreement:
For more information, visit the website FIATA eFBL.
December 2: Container Shipping Rates Still Sinking: Skid Slows for Asia Spot Rates to West Coast but Not to East Coast – FreightWaves
“This cliff that rates have fallen from shows there is more competition in the market than a lot of people had feared,” said Patrik Berglund, CEO of rate-tracking company Xeneta, in a recent interview.
The pace of spot-rate declines did slow in some trade lanes in October versus August and September. However, rate losses picked up again in many lanes in November, causing global averages to fall further. There’s no sign yet of a market bottom in most trades.
December 7: Liners Turning into ‘Tramp Operators’ as They Blank More Sailings – The Loadstar
Ocean carriers are ramping up their efforts to halt the relentless erosion of container spot rates by blanking more sailings from Asia, but shippers claim they are becoming like tramp operators in the process.
But there is some evidence that export space is now tightening: reports to The Loadstar recently have indicated that some carriers are putting out full signals for ships sailing before the Chinese New Year holiday next month.
December 7: Carrier Schedule Reliability Returns to 2020 Levels as Backlogs Recede – The Maritime Executive
While much of the attention has been on how declines in container volumes have caused freight rates to plummet in 2022, it is also having a positive effect on the schedule reliability of the major carriers.
In its latest monthly update, market research and data analytics firm Sea-Intelligence highlights that the container carriers’ schedule reliability during October had its strongest monthly improvement, which is also being seen by the declining backlog of vessels at major container ports.
Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy reports that both schedule reliability and the average delay for vessels have returned to levels more consistent with 2020 than the levels seen over the past two years. Analyzing the performance across 34 different trade lanes and more than 60 carriers during October, Sea-Intelligence shows that schedule reliability surpassed 50 percent for the first time in two years, while the average delay calculated in the number of days is at its lowest point since November 2020.
December 9: Spot and Long-Term Container Rate Gulf Continues to Widen – Seatrade Maritime News
As container spot rates continue to plunge, the gulf with long-term contract levels gets ever wider.
The Asia–Europe trade continued to lead the downwards trajectory, with Drewry reporting that Shanghai to Rotterdam spot rates lost another 14% last week to sit at just $1,686 per FEU.
Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI) dropped a further 6% to sit at $2,139 per FEU and is now 79% below the peak of $10,377 reached in September 2021.
December 13: CMA CGM Restricts Bookings to South China Through January – The Loadstar
French liner CMA CGM has told customers it will restrict bookings for shipments due to arrive at ports in southern China in early 2023, due to a suspension of service by feeder and barge operators through January.
South China and Hong Kong feeder operators have announced temporary service suspensions throughout next month, “due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements for ship crews” prior to Chinese New Year, CMA CGM (India) noted in an advisory.
It said the restriction would apply to cargo bound for some 30 destinations, including three in Fujian province, on sailings calling at Hong Kong, Yantian, Nansha and Shekou, in January.
According to the Marseille-based company, normal services are expected to resume in early February, subject to further updates from feeder operators.
December 15: U.S. FMC Probing Shipping Lines’ Anti-Retaliation Compliance – American Journal of Transportation
The Federal Maritime Commission is asking the top 20 shipping lines calling the United States to provide information on how they are complying with the new prohibitions on retaliation established by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA).
The added protections against retaliation were created by Section 5 of OSRA and became effective immediately upon the law’s enactment in June. The prohibitions apply to common carriers, marine terminal operators and ocean transportation intermediaries.
The Commission’s Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) Audit Team is examining how ocean carriers are adapting to the increased prohibitions on retaliatory and discriminatory behaviour. The team will specifically focus on how companies are training personnel at all levels to act legally, and how those same employees are being made aware of the consequences for violating the law.
December 16: Ocean Carriers to Increase Blank Sailings from Asia Post-Chinese New Year – gCaptain
Against a background of extremely weak demand forecasts, ocean carriers are preparing to blank around half their advertised sailings from Asia to North Europe and the U.S. after Chinese New Year on January 22.
High inventory levels in Europe and the U.S., coupled with uncertainty surrounding future consumer demand, has seen orders cancelled or postponed, resulting in Chinese factories preparing to shut down well ahead of the CNY holiday.
December 21: New Shipping Regulation to Combat Global Warming is Under Fire – FreightWaves
The ocean shipping industry is just days away from the debut of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), a new regulation meant to combat global warming. Even as an initial baby step, the CII is not inspiring confidence in the future decarbonization of shipping.
The new regulation seeks to lower carbon emissions by having container ships, tankers, bulkers, car carriers and other vessels operate more efficiently. It is a product of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) that has been in the works for years and debated ad nauseam within shipping circles.
Those outside of shipping who rely on the world’s vessels to transport their goods may scratch their heads when they learn of the strange brew the IMO has concocted. CII’s complexities, unintended consequences and weak enforcement call to mind the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
And implementation, set to begin January 1, just got even more complicated.
December 5: China’s Air Cargo Supply Chain Faces More Pressure – Air Cargo News
Freight forwarders are reporting a mixed picture of the current supply chain situation in China as COVID lockdowns continue following recent protests against the government’s pandemic policy.
China’s pandemic measures are continuing to have a negative impact, although market rates remain similar to the previous week, according to Flexport.
“The COVID outbreak in the Guangzhou area continues to affect manufacturing operations, resulting in cargo output delays,” said Flexport in its airfreight market update on November 29.
Additionally, low demand out of North China is set to continue and this has had a direct impact on flights.
Westbound Logistics pointed out in a recent customer update that Chinese New Year is also approaching, with a two-week shutdown starting January 22. The shutdown could further exacerbate supply chain weakness.
December 7: 2022 SAF Production Increases 200% – More Production Incentives Needed to Reach Net Zero – IATA press release
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production will reach at least 300 million litres in 2022 – a 200% increase on 2021 production of 100 million litres. More-optimistic calculations estimate total production in 2022 could reach 450 million litres. Both scenarios position the SAF industry on the verge of an exponential capacity and production ramp-up toward an identified tipping point of 30 billion litres by 2030, with the right supporting policies.
December 8: Forwarders Stick with Short-Term Deals as Air Cargo Volumes Fall – Air Cargo News
Freight forwarders are continuing to opt for short-term airfreight deals as volumes and rates continue to decline.
The latest statistics from CLIVE Data Services show that, in November, air cargo volumes declined 8% year on year and were down 2% on October, while the dynamic load factor – based on weight and space – was down five percentage points on last year, at 61%.
It is the ninth month in a row that demand has fallen.
Average rates for the month were down 27% on a year ago, but remained 85% ahead of 2019 levels.
December 13: Air Freight Rates Nosedive, with Shippers Flocking to Ocean – Supply Chain Dive
Air cargo rates dropped for the third consecutive month in November as demand slows and shippers flock to an improved ocean landscape, according to a December 7 update from Xeneta’s Clive Data Services.
In November, rates on the China-North America trade lane fell more than 40% YoY, Freightos reported last week. Spot rates on the general TransPacific lane were down 32% YoY, though still higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to Clive.
Despite hopes for a late peak season boost, demand fell 2% in November compared with October, with volumes declining for the ninth consecutive month, according to Clive.
December 1: U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Avoid Rail Strike – Transport Topics
The U.S. Senate moved quickly on November 30 to avert a rail strike that the Biden administration and business leaders warned would have had devastating consequences for the nation’s economy.
The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. That settlement had been rejected by some of the 12 unions involved, creating the possibility of a strike beginning December 9.
The Senate vote came one day after the House voted to impose the agreement. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
“I’m very glad that the two sides got together to avoid a shutdown, which would have been devastating for the American people, to the American economy and so many workers across the country,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters.
Schumer spoke as Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized to Democratic senators that rail companies would begin shutting down operations well before a potential strike would begin. The administration wanted the bill on Biden’s desk by the weekend of December 3/4.
December 20: U.S. Rail Regulators Streamline Process for Shippers to Challenge Unreasonable Rates – Supply Chain Dive
U.S. federal regulators have finalized the process for determining unreasonable freight rail rates, giving shippers with smaller disputes a more streamlined pathway to challenge carriers.
The Surface Transportation Board adopted two rules establishing a voluntary arbitration program in addition to a new procedure to challenge rates. The reviews are meant for disputes worth up to $4 million in relief over two years, a statement said.
By adopting two separate pathways, regulators are hoping to incentivize rail carriers to resolve disputes through mediation rather than intervention. If all seven Class I carriers agree to opt into the voluntary arbitration program, they will become exempt from the Final Offer Rate Review process.
December 13: NRCan Funding Available for Fuel-Saving Equipment – Today’s Trucking
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is now accepting applicants for funding available to the trucking industry to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG).
Stream 1 of the Green Freight Program has been recapitalized and applications are now being accepted.
Fleets can apply for grants covering up to 50% of the costs of third-party fleet energy assessments and truck equipment retrofits through the program. Devices that are covered include side skirts, boat tails, cab heaters, auxiliary power units, low rolling resistance tires and tire pressure monitoring systems, among others.
Nearly $35 million will be awarded through the program in 2023/24.
December 14: Canadian Businesses Face Challenges in Zero-Emission Truck Journey – Today’s Trucking
Transport Canada is acknowledging that Canadian businesses face plenty of barriers in the journey to eliminate vehicle emissions, and that diesel or biodiesel will continue to drive longhaul trucking until new technologies and fuel sources reach scale.
But the funds to support available zero-emissions equipment are beginning to flow. The Incentives for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles Program has so far allocated $545,700 and attracted 37 applicants asking for a collective $2.87 million in funding.
The observations are included in Canada’s Action Plan for Clean On-Road Transportation, which highlights a series of previously announced strategies such as a sales target that will require 35% of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission designs as early as 2030. Where feasible, all such vehicles in “a subset of vehicle types” will need to be zero-emission models by 2040.
December 21: Quebec ELD Enforcement Delayed Until June 1 – Today’s Trucking
Quebec will begin enforcing the federal electronic logging device (ELD) mandate on June 1, 2023.
Marc Cadieux, president and CEO of the province’s trucking association Association du Camionnage du Quebec (ACQ), shared the news of the delay after he and some of the largest carriers in the province held talks with Minister of Transport Geneviève Guilbault on December 21.
Cadieux said that the minister said she did not want another unexpected postponement and consequently, the application of the rules on ELDs would be postponed until June 1.
December 23: The Top 10 Trucking Stories of 2022 – Today’s Trucking
It was an eventful year, to say the least. Right out of the gate the Canadian trucking industry found itself in the international spotlight as trucks noisily rumbled their way from the West Coast to Ottawa where they parked for an extended, and unwelcome, stay.
It’s not often the industry attracts this level of attention – whether it be for right or wrong reasons. But while coverage of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ was far and away the most-read topic of the year, it was not the only newsworthy story. The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate was delayed once more, then finally enforcement plans were revealed. One of Canada’s largest and most recognizable trucking companies was purchased by a non-traditional buyer. Another of the most recognizable fleets on Canadian roads left the country.
Shipper-carrier relationships were a hot topic as shippers found themselves at the mercy of capacity-constrained fleets. And owner-operators who were attracted to record spot market conditions found themselves suddenly vulnerable as trucking conditions rapidly changed.
December 7: CIFFA Holds Second Meeting with CN, Forwarders and Dray Carriers to Discuss Inland Terminal Congestion and Dwell Times
On November 30th, CIFFA held a follow-up meeting, chaired by Executive Director Bruce Rodgers, with representatives from CN, forwarders, dray carriers, importers and other trade associations.
The purpose of this session was for CN to provide a further update to the initiatives implemented to improve the situation of excessive container inventory and dwell.
CN representatives noted that, since the previous meeting, and thanks to initiatives put in place by CN, out-gate activity at terminals is higher than arrivals, resulting in an improvement in Toronto congestion. Similar improvements were also noted in various operating metrics across the terminal, indicating a recovery to more normal operations. Overall fluidity at the Port of Vancouver also turned positive, with zero vessels at anchor. While ground counts are much lower, the mix of Toronto-destined cargo on dock is still strong, which is a concern given the extended dwell at destination.
As a result, CN indicated the railway will revert to right-sizing trains to match destination capacity. Due to the recent improvements, plans are to increase the import volumes marginally, but to continue monitoring to ensure the level of out-gates is maintained.
There is significant focus on the level of imports still dwelling at the container yards, affecting optimal terminal fluidity. CIFFA encourages all stakeholders to work with their importers to retrieve containers as soon as possible, as the rail yards cannot be used as storage facilities.
CN has offered a further follow-up meeting in mid-January, to re-examine the situation and progress made.
December 13: CIFFA Brief on Shipping Conference Exemption Act
CIFFA provided a brief in response to the invitation from the federal government and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, to comment on Canada’s competition policy and enabling legislation.
December 14: CIFFA Comment: Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities’ Report: “Improving Efficiency and Resiliency in Canada’s Supply Chains”
CIFFA released a comment on the federal government’s Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities’ report: “Improving efficiency and resiliency in Canada’s Supply Chains.” (The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities primarily studies the legislation, policies and programs, and other issues of national importance related to transportation, infrastructure, and Canadian cities and communities, as well as the operations of Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada.)
As noted by CIFFA, “Improving efficiency and resiliency in Canada’s supply chains” is a complex and critical issue in public policy and the committee’s diligence in examining it was much appreciated by the people who are living this situation every day.
The report recommendations provide the government with several valuable proposals that we believe should be acted upon.