May 1: Indian Trade Disrupted as Port Congestion Forces Liner Services to Skip Calls – The Loadstar

Container lines are wrestling with growing service reliability challenges on connections out of India – the longer journey around southern Africa and congestion problems at hub ports en route, particularly Jebel Ali, have taken a toll on their operations.

CMA CGM and MSC have announced port call changes on several Indian services to help schedule recovery, sparking serious concerns for shippers and forwarders.

According to industry sources, the widespread disruptions have left carriers constantly shuffling gate cut-offs or cargo carting windows for their Indian sailings over the past few weeks, making shipment planning increasingly difficult for exporters and freight forwarders.

May 3: Houthis Escalate Threats Against Shipping, Launching “Fourth Stage” – The Maritime Executive

The leader of the Houthi movement called for a further escalation of the attacks on shipping, citing the potential attack on the city of Rafah and as Western pressure grows on Hamas to accept the terms of a proposed ceasefire.

“The Yemeni armed forces announce the beginning of the implementation of the fourth stage of escalation,” Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree announced. He said it was effective immediately from “the moment of this statement.”

The statement said they were targeting all ships “violating the ban on Israeli navigation,” and heading to Israeli ports in the Mediterranean. They vowed attacks in “any reachable area” within their range, which some media outlets are interpreting as a threat against ships in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Houthis also threatened to expand their attacks to “all ships and companies that are related to supplying and entering [Israeli ports] of any nationality if a military operation is launched against Rafah” in southern Gaza. The United States and other Western allies have been pressuring Israel not to attack Rafah, while the Israeli government and military continue to accuse the leaders of Hamas of hiding among the civilian population of Rafah.

May 6: Maersk Warns Red Sea Impact Widens, Creating Capacity Constraints and Costs – The Maritime Executive

The largest container carriers are warning customers of increased disruptions and costs after the Houthis widened their attacks further into the Indian Ocean and have threatened to further expand the attacks. Both Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd said they will be further diverting ships, with Maersk raising its surcharges as it warns of increased costs and capacity constraints.

“The effects of the situation in the Red Sea are widening and continue to cause industry-wide disruptions,” Maersk wrote in a May 6 customer advisory. “The complexity of the situation in the Red Sea has intensified over the last few months…The risk zone has expanded, and the attacks are reaching further offshore.”

Maersk is reporting that bottlenecks and vessel bunching as well as delays and equipment and capacity shortages are developing. They report using 40 percent more fuel per journey while saying that charter rates are currently three times higher, often fixed for five years.

May 8: Container Fleet Adds Record Capacity as Orders Become Deliveries – The Maritime Executive

The global containership fleet continues to experience record capacity growth in the number of TEU capacity added to the fleet in 2023 and again so far this year. While industry executives continue to express concern over the mid-term overhang on capacity, near term it has helped to offset the impact of the diversions away from the Red Sea and the lower number of daily transits at the Panama Canal.

Industry trade group BIMCO calculates that 2.3 million TEU of containership capacity was delivered in 2023, beating a previous record by 37 percent. To put these volumes in perspective, Alphaliner calculates the global container fleet numbers just over 6,900 vessels with a total capacity exceeding 29.6 million TEU.

The pace of new deliveries has not slowed in 2024. BIMCO reports another new record has been set so far this year. It calculates that more than 1 million TEU capacity was delivered in the first four months of 2024. That represents an 80 percent increase compared with the previous record.

May 10: BCMEA–ILWU Local 514 Bargaining Update – BCMEA update

The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Ship and Dock Foremen Local 514 (ILWU Local 514) continued negotiations with the support of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).

Citing “the union bargaining committee’s intransigence at the bargaining table,” the BCMEA filed a complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board on May 10.

The 21-day cooling-off period concluded at 12:01 am PT on May 10. Therefore, the parties have acquired the legal right to strike or lockout, but may not exercise their right to strike or lockout until a strike or lockout vote has been taken and a 72-hour strike notice, including date and time of intended action, has been provided to the other party and the Minister of Labour.

May 10: A ‘Carrier-Controlled Market’ as Spot Rates Rise and Capacity Tightens – The Loadstar

“You take away all sense and rationale. And whatever is left, is the container shipping market,” said Peter Sand, Xeneta’s chief analyst, on May 10.

The continuing Red Sea crisis, in combination with higher-than-expected demand, caught many Asia-Europe forwarders on the back foot over the past two weeks, and in the week of May 6 the spot freight rate indices began to match anecdotal trade reports.

Spot rate rises were strong on the Asia-North America trades, with the XSI transpacific trade rising 145%, to $3,754 per 40ft, while the WCI Shanghai-New York leg showed a 116% jump, to finish the week at $5,089 per 40ft.

May 10: Renewed Piracy Menace Endangers Red Sea Shipping Routes – Global Trade

The resurgence of piracy in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa poses a grave threat to maritime security, with recent attacks by Somali pirates sparking renewed concerns for international trade and the safety of crew members. Exploiting the diversion of naval forces’ attention towards the Houthi crisis, Somali pirates have resurfaced, casting a shadow of fear and instability over the region.

May 13: Ocean Carrier Cocktail Leaving a Sour Taste in Shippers’ Mouths – American Shipper

The ocean carrier cocktail is back and it packs a punch. Two parts canceled sailings that spice up spot rates, coupled with a stiff pour of general rate increases, leaves shippers with a dull headache and a thinner wallet.

While this iteration of the cocktail is not as strong as previous ones, it is potent enough to sour shippers’ stomachs. With no end in sight to the Red Sea diversions and “meh” consumer demand, ocean carriers are in lockstep with their mission of trying to establish an artificial floor to stave off rate erosion and add some girth to their wallets.

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at Xeneta, says the market right now contains equal shares of “desperateness, defying gravity and frontloading.”

May 15: ILWU Local 514 Delays Serving 72-Hour Strike Notice on DP World to Take Part in Federal Mediation – ILWU Local 514 press release

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 514, representing ship and dock foremen, has agreed to delay serving 72-hour strike notice on employer DP World Canada at Centerm in order to take part in federal mediation and is refuting claims made by the BC Maritime Employers Association about the dispute.

May 16: Panama Canal Slowly Returning to Normal Operations – gCaptain

The increase in water levels in the Panama Canal has sparked hopes of a potential return to normal operations for container shipping after over a year of restrictions due to a severe drought. However, experts warn that the situation, while improving, is far from returning to pre-restriction levels.

Starting on May 16, the Panama Canal Authority has increased the daily number of ships allowed to transit the waterway from 24 to 31.

Peter Sand, Chief Analyst at Xeneta, says the increase will provide limited relief for container shipping services, since the increase corresponds to additional slots in the smaller panamax locks. However, a more meaningful change is anticipated on June 1, with an additional transit slot for larger Neopanamax ships (including containerships), which will raise the daily total to 32. Meanwhile, authorities also plan to increase the draft limits for Neopanamax ships from 44 feet to 45 feet on June 15, bringing it closer to the normal limit of 50 feet.

The disruption caused by the water shortage in the Panama Canal has had a significant impact on scheduling reliability and spot rates.

May 20: Mounting Container Shortages Creating ‘Total Havoc’ – The Loadstar

Containers out of northern China are becoming increasingly hard to get hold of, report forwarders. A surprisingly strong market, plus lower vessel capacity due to the Red Sea crisis, is creating a shortage of both ships and containers.

“There is a very real shortage of 40’ HC in China – we are all running out,” said Hans-Henrik Nielson, global development director at CargoGulf.

“When I say it’s week-to-week scrambling, I’m really not exaggerating.”

Ligentia confirmed the shortage on May 20 in a message to customers. “Equipment stock, particularly in North China, is tight and varies daily based on vessel arrivals and the discharge of empty containers.”

It added that in Shanghai, “almost all carriers are lacking empties, especially CMA and ANL”. Vessel waiting time at the port is now three to 14 days, it added, due to port congestion. “Across almost all carriers we are seeing schedule delays.”

It also noted that carriers are struggling to obtain containers across many more Chinese ports, including Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd in Yantian, Cosco, HMM, Hapag-Lloyd and MSC in Ningbo, Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk in Tianjin, and Cosco and CMA CGM in Qingdao.

May 23: Port of Prince Rupert Receives Funding to Build Export Logistics Hub – PRPA press release

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has reached financial close on a $150 million loan to the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) for the first phase of a project to build CANXPORT. The new export logistics hub will expand capacity and capabilities for rail-to-container transloading of multiple export products at the Port of Prince Rupert.

Work has already begun to prepare for the new facility, located a short distance from Fairview Container Terminal.

The facility will enable the containerization of bulk commodities with room to expand and diversify to handle additional cargoes in the future. The project’s scale, unit train capabilities and integration into existing container terminal operations are expected to facilitate substantial opportunities to exporters that enhance container supply chains and ways to reach international markets. The hub’s initial annual capacity will be 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.

May 24: Shipper Fury as Spot Rates Soar – And Box Lines Ignore Contracts – The Loadstar

The sense of genuine anger amongst North European shippers and freight forwarders was palpable this week as they struggled to digest rapidly escalating spot freight rates.

The ascent steepened over recent weeks, with Drewry’s WCI Shanghai-Rotterdam leg rising 20% week-on-week to finish at $4,999 per 40ft.

However, sources said that slots are being purchased at much higher levels.

“Rates for spot are in the $6,000-$7,500 mark, with carriers saying they will hit $10,000.”

Tight vessel supply is continuing to combine with high demand in trunk trades and has led to a worsening shortage of containers at key export hubs in Asia, which is now having a significant impact on secondary trades.

And carriers’ preference to carry higher-paying spot cargo over contracted volumes is infuriating many customers.

May 28: Trade Strains Boost Cargo Rates at Pace Recalling COVID ‘Chaos’ – American Journal of Transportation

Global goods trade is showing signs of accelerating after last year’s slump, pushing up shipping rates and giving some supply chain managers flashbacks to the demand spike that disrupted international commerce three years ago.

“This situation will bring back memories of the chaos and sky-rocketing ocean freight rates during the pandemic,” said Emily Stausbøll, a senior shipping analyst with Xeneta, an Oslo-based freight analytics platform. “Shippers have learned lessons from COVID-19 and some are bringing their imports forward, ahead of the peak season and the potential for a capacity squeeze.”

Some of the catalysts for the monthlong advance in seaborne freight rates stem more from worry than optimism. They include concerns about port congestion in Asia, labour strikes in North America that threaten to hobble ports or rail services, and heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

May 28: Box Ships Omitting Singapore Call as Port Congestion Hits Critical Level – The Loadstar

Congestion in Singapore, the world’s second-busiest container port, has reached a critical level, compounding the shortage of ships and containers.

Data from Linerlytica indicates that containerships have to wait up to seven days to berth in Singapore, recently seeing up to 450,000 TEU of vessels in the queue.

And port congestion globally is worsening and has tied up 2 million TEU of ships, nearly 7% of the fleet, which is lending support to carrier rate hikes.

The bottlenecks at Singapore are mainly due to the diversions caused by the Red Sea crisis and shipping lines skipping the less-busy Port Klang in Malaysia. In normal circumstances, ships can berth upon arrival in Singapore, or wait half a day at most.

May 29: Some Shipping Container Costs Hit US$10,000 – Transport Topics

Companies transporting goods from Asia face costs of as much US$10,000 for an urgent full-size shipping container over the next month – about double current spot rates, according to prices circulating between carriers and importers.

CMA CGM already announced a $7,000 rate for a 40-foot container for the second half of June for goods shipped to northern Europe from Asia. That’s up from the current charge of about $5,000. For the first half of June, rates range from $6,000 to $6,500, with premium service offered at $7,500 to $10,000.

May 29: New FMC Rules on Detention and Demurrage Come into Force – The Loadstar

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) revision to detention and demurrage (D&D) rules came into force on May 28, introducing new requirements for billing, time frames and how to dispute unfair charges.

A key provision determines that D&D invoices can only be issued to either the consignee – defined as “the ultimate recipient of the cargo” – the person who contracted with the billing party to provide ocean transportation or storage of cargo, or the person for whose account this was provided.

The FMC highlighted that “billing the proper party is an important part of the final rule.”

May 30: Getting Containers in the Right Place at the Right Time is Now ‘Impossible’ – The Loadstar

Shippers and forwarders could find it “impossible” to position containers in the right place at the right time, as the global box shortage worsens.

The global dearth of containers has been threatening to disrupt shipping over the past few months, driven by Red Sea crisis diversions. But recently, it hit a crescendo as demand is exacerbated by shipping’s earlier-than-usual peak season.

Mirko Woitzik, global director of intelligence at Everstream Analytics, explained that shippers securing back-to-school and holiday goods earlier, more blank sailings out of Asia, little idle capacity, longer transit times around Africa, bad weather in Asia and a looming strike at U.S. Gulf and east coast ports have all created the perfect storm for disruption.

May 30: Panama Canal Increases Maximum Draft Ahead of Schedule – gCaptain

The Panama Canal Authority announced on May 30 an increase in the maximum authorized draft of the Panama Canal’s Neopanamax locks to 45 feet, bringing it closer to the normal limit of 50 feet. This adjustment, originally scheduled for June 15, comes in anticipation of the rainy season in the Panama Canal watershed and the current and projected levels of Gatun Lake.

The announcement comes days before the Authority is scheduled to add one extra transit in the Neopanamax locks, bringing the total number of daily transits to 32, up from a low of 24.

The Panama Canal is slowly returning to normal operations after over a year of restrictions due to a severe drought.




May 1: Airfreight Contracts Begin to Reflect Threat of a Q4 Capacity Crunch – The Loadstar

“Capacity will be king in Q4,” said one forwarder at the CNS Partnership event in Dallas – that is now becoming clear in the data and shipper airfreight contracts, according to Xeneta.

Volumes are coming off the spot market, it explained. In April, the spot market share was 41%, down 4 percentage points from a year earlier. And, with fears of a busy Q4, shippers and forwarders are starting to plan ahead.

“There’s the reality of now, where you will see load factor decline on markets, because of the increase in capacity, sitting alongside preparations already under way for Q4,” said Xeneta’s chief airfreight officer, Niall van de Wouw.

May 2: Air Canada Abandons Plans for Two Boeing 767 Converted Freighters – American Shipper

Air Canada has again scaled back growth plans for its startup freighter division, announcing it has canceled orders with a vendor to convert two Boeing 767-300 passenger jets into freighters.

The airline took a one-time charge of US$14.5 million for backing out of reservations for production slots at Israel Aircraft Industries, it said in its earnings report for the first quarter.

Air Canada’s freighter airline division is nearly two and a half years old and now consists of eight Boeing 767-300 freighters: six converted passenger jets and two factory models. It had seven aircraft at the end of 2023. The feedstock for cargo conversions came from 767s that were retired from Air Canada’s passenger fleet.

May 8: Global Trade Gains Push Air Cargo Rates Higher: TAC Index – The STAT Times

Global air freight prices edged a little higher again, according to the latest data from TAC Index. The overall Baltic Air Freight Index calculated by TAC was up 2.1 percent for the week to May 6, leaving it now close to flat at -2.2 percent over the last 12 months.

“The ongoing strength of the market follows recent predictions of an uptick in global trade from the OECD, IMF and World Trade Organization – and some sources anticipating tight capacity for peak season later this year,” says the update.

May 23: Dramatic Increase in Severe Turbulence Incidents Impacting Airfreight – Air Cargo Week

The recent fatality and injuries on board Singapore Airlines’ flight SQ321 highlights the dangers of turbulence. A 55% increase in severe turbulence since 1979 is also having a dramatic impact on air cargo, warns international delivery expert Parcelhero.

The Singapore Airlines’ aircraft hit severe turbulence and dropped more than 6,000 feet (1800m) in three minutes. While this was particularly dramatic, the number of severe turbulence events has been growing in recent years.

“Meteorologists from the University of Reading released a report last year revealing that, at a typical point over the North Atlantic (one of the world’s busiest flight routes), the total annual duration of severe turbulence increased by 55% from 1979 to 2020,” said Parcelhero’s Head of Consumer Research David Jinks.

“This is … why anyone sending an item overseas must carefully follow all packaging recommendations. The increasing likelihood of turbulence means [packages] must be packaged as carefully and securely as possible. Cargo is securely stowed in the bellyholds of aircraft but the growing likelihood of turbulence means every precaution must be taken.”

May 31: Transpac E-Commerce Freighters on Pause as U.S. Customs Checks Every Parcel – The Loadstar

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is inspecting every single e-commerce shipment coming from mainland China on freighters – leading to airport congestion, delays and the cancellation or suspension of some flights, according to sources.

“All freighters coming into LAX from mainland China, many of which are Shein and Temu, are going straight to Customs warehouses for full inspection,” said one source at LAX.

“And CBP is finding a lot of illegal stuff. There is fentanyl, drug-making equipment and misdeclarations of value to meet the de minimis threshold.”

With estimates of 100 freighters a day carrying e-commerce into the U.S., perhaps 100 tons on each – there is a significant amount of cargo to check.




May 1: CP, CN Railway Workers Vote to Strike – iPolitics

Workers for Canada’s biggest railways have voted to strike, setting the stage for a potentially crippling labour disruption that could stall freight shipments across the country.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union says members working at Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate as both sides remain far apart in labour negotiations.

The Teamsters could now call for a nationwide rail strike as early as May 22. It would impact around 9,900 train conductors, locomotive engineers and other workers.

The union said turnout for the votes came in at 92 percent, with 98 percent supporting a strike mandate. The numbers varied among the four bargaining units, though none came back at lower than 95 percent.

The strike vote comes at the end of the 60-day conciliation period between the railways and unions. Both sides are now in a 21-day cooling off period. No strike or lockout can take place until it concludes.

May 3: Minister of Labour Wants Deal “Done at the Table” to Avoid CN, CPKC Strikes (video) – TCRC Calgary

Canada’s Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan, wants the unions and the railways to reach a deal through negotiation without resorting to a strike or lockout.

He said on May 3: “I am serious when I say that the best deals are made at the table. They have to be made at the table. They have to be made between those unions and those employers.” However, he stressed, the parties need to get serious now. “Get a deal.”

He added: “I am not one of these ones who considers drama part of the process… If you see the deal, get the deal. If you’ve got to work to get to the deal, then work to get to the deal… The less drama, the better. Get the deal done at the table.”

May 10: Labour Minister Asks CIRB to Review Safety Aspect of Potential Railway Strike – Chamber of Shipping

The Minister of Labour has referred a question to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to determine if any rail activity must continue during a strike or lockout to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Concerns with the supply of chlorine, fuel and other essential commodities to communities have been raised. This referral means a legal strike or lockout cannot occur until the CIRB renders its decision.

May 13: Construction on CN Rail Hub in GTA Can Continue for Now: Judge – CTV News

The Federal Court of Appeal says work on a massive rail-and-truck hub in the Greater Toronto Area can go ahead – for the time being, as the future of the facility remains in limbo.

In a stay of a lower court ruling that had halted construction, the judge allowed Canadian National Railway Co. to continue to build the terminal in Milton, Ont., pending appeal of the earlier decision.

The $250-million project aims to double CN’s existing line of tracks in the area and construct a hub for containers to be transferred between semi trucks and freight cars.

Federal Appeal Court Justice George Locke said that, while a halt to work would have no effect on CN’s long-term viability, any delay is “detrimental to the public interest.”

“The harmful effects of construction emissions appear to be outweighed by the costs to CN of suspending its construction activities, and more importantly, the public interest in the completion of the project,” the judge wrote earlier this month.

Final word on whether work can proceed will rest on a later ruling from the Federal Court of Appeal.

May 16: CN Presents Simplified Offer to TCRC – CN press release

In an attempt to avoid a work stoppage and end the unpredictability for Canada’s supply chains, CN has tabled a new offer to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

CN said the offer respects Duty and Rest Period Rules and is aligned with scientific fatigue management practices.

May 23: Letter to Ministers of Labour and Transport re Potential CN, CPKC Labour Disruptions – More Than 100 Signatories, Including CIFFA

Forty-five Canadian associations and 60 chambers of commerce and boards of trade have signed a letter to Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. and Minister of Transport Pablo Rodriguez to express “alarm over the potential for a labour disruption that would affect Class I railways.”

The letter noted:

“On behalf of the Canadian business community, we urge the government to actively engage in ensuring a successful bargaining process, and in the event of failure, that it be prepared to act to prevent another labour disruption,” said the groups.




May 5: Hundreds of Semi Trucks Drive Across Metro Vancouver Sunday to Protest Industry Changes – CityNews

Hundreds of semi truck drivers drove across Metro Vancouver on May 5 to show solidarity between company owners and drivers over proposed changes to the drayage industry.

The event was organized to protest new licensing of port container carriers and to advocate for fair pay for drivers hauling containers in and out of port terminals.

“Attempting to reshape British Columbia’s container drayage industry by way of licence will have detrimental effects on B.C. small business, jobs within all related sectors, risk the health of Canada’s supply chain, and will ultimately increase inflation,” the Port Transportation Association said in a news release.

May 7: Quebec Study Finds EV Transition Cost-Effective in Short-Haul Operations – Today’s Trucking

Many carriers can start saving money today by transitioning to electrification slowly, one truck at a time, said Philippe Louisseize, project manager of electrification at Innovative Vehicle Institute (IVI), and Charles Trudel, the institute’s technological applications group manager, during the EV & Charging Expo on May 2 in Toronto.

Louisseize and Trudel presented data from the Plug-In Fleet study, conducted by the Que.-based IVI. It has revealed that a quarter of the Quebec fleet’s trucks included in the study are suitable to be electrified overnight, and another quarter is electrifiable through operational adjustments.

The study highlighted that electric trucks are up to the challenge of Canadian winters, showing an average 30% drop in range during winter, a promising sign for year-round reliability.

The project has also revealed that 50-kW charges are sufficient for local short-haul deliveries, and battery weight in trucks has not proven to be a problem for carriers.

May 8: Sustainability Initiatives Bring ‘Double-Bottom Line’ to Carriers – Commercial Carrier Journal

Embracing sustainability initiatives isn’t just about being environmentally conscious; it’s also a financial decision.

According to a Geotab industry survey, 69% of fleet managers who implemented sustainability initiatives reported a significant decrease in operating expenses over the previous year. The survey also noted that 42% of fleet professionals believe customers will demand more fleet sustainability initiatives in the next one to three years to continue doing business with them.

May 10: Cargo Theft Increased 46% in Q1: CargoNet – Today’s Trucking

Criminal activities impacting the logistics and transportation industry reached new highs in Q1 2024, Verisk’s CargoNet reports. This year, the organization documented 925 incidents, a 46% increase compared with the same time last year, and a 10% rise from Q4 2023.

On average, the stolen shipment value in Q1 was $281,757, while the declared total value was $76 million. By extrapolating the average shipment value across events without a declared value, CargoNet estimates that a total of $154.6 million worth of goods were stolen during this period.

May 14: FMCSA Sticks with Broker Final Rule, While Planning Other Broker-Focused Rulemakings – Land Line

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to maintain its final rule on broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility.

Last November, FMCSA published a final rule that takes several steps to improve broker security regulations, including the suspension of operating authority if the available financial security falls below $75,000.

Although the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believes the rule is a step in the right direction, it argues that the agency should be doing even more to promote a fair working environment between brokers and motor carriers. Because of that, OOIDA filed a petition for reconsideration in December to strengthen the rule.

FMCSA, however, recently informed OOIDA that it is going to stay the course with the final rule, which took effect in January. The agency said OOIDA’s requests were “out of scope” for this specific rule but noted that it is taking steps to address broker issues.

May 17: Opposition Grows in U.S. to Speedy Electric Truck Transition – FreightWaves

There is a growing and widespread backlash in the U.S. to the regulation-driven transition to electric trucks.

Nearly every stakeholder – from the trucking industry and driver organizations to state attorneys general – is weighing in with dire estimates of crippling costs to a cyclical industry.

Electric truck proponents admit they cost more than diesel trucks – two or three times as much – to acquire. But with fewer parts, less maintenance and smart charging practices, the reasoning goes that EVs could reach parity with diesel while dramatically reducing air pollution.

The industry is on the defensive against the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency over purchase requirements for electric trucks and air quality standards achievable only by going electric, which have zero tailpipe emissions.

“A real-world understanding of the path to our shared goal of zero emissions is needed, but unrealistic timelines and expectations will break the bank,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations.



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

May 1: CIFFA Elects Six New Board Members at Toronto AGM – The Forwarder Online

CIFFA elected six new board members at its AGM on April 24, in Toronto. New board members are:

“We are very pleased to be adding such experience and diversity to our expanded board. These knowledgeable leaders in supply chain will assist in establishing future direction and guidance as we continue to focus on the challenges and interests of our members,” said Bruce Rodgers, Executive Director.

May 7: Monica Kennedy Recipient of CIFFA’S 2024 Donna Letterio Leadership Award – The Forwarder Online

Monica Kennedy, owner and President at ITN Logistics Group of Companies, has been named the winner of CIFFA’s 2024 Donna Letterio Leadership Award.

CIFFA introduced the annual Donna Letterio Leadership Award in December 2015, 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.

CIFFA will present the award during its gala dinner event in Montreal this June. In addition to the award, CIFFA will prepare a cheque in Monica’s name for $1,000, which will be presented to Bladder Cancer Canada.

In the nomination form, Kennedy is described as a successful business entrepreneur and an individual with outstanding values and vision who has devoted almost 50 years to the logistics and transportation industry and has been certified by the WBE (Women’s Business Enterprises) in Canada and the USA since 2020.

May 20: CIFFA Responds to CIRB Request for Comments: Do CN and CPKC Have to Provide Some Level of Service During Strike/Lockout to Ensure Public Safety?

On May 13, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) invited affected groups or organizations to file submissions in two referrals made by Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan. The referrals relate to agreements between CPKC and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and CN-TCRC that no services or activities have to be maintained in the event of a strike or lockout.

O’Regan asked that the CIRB determine whether the agreements entered into by the parties are sufficient to ensure that section 87.4(1) of the Canada Labour Code is complied with and that the CIRB determine the action, if any, that is required in order for the employers, the union and the employees in the bargaining units to comply with section 87.4(1) of the Code in the event of a work stoppage.

Section 87.4(1) of the Code provides that: “During a strike or lockout … the employer, the trade union and the employees in the bargaining unit must continue the supply of services, operation of facilities or production of goods to the extent necessary to prevent an immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public.”

In part, CIFFA wrote:

The primary concerns for CIFFA members in the questions posed by this request for submissions are the logistical complexities involved in the consolidated shipments of essential products (how essential products might be fairly identified and sorted in consolidated shipments), how the “definition of food products” might be articulated and the limitations that term would have for food security overall. Canada’s supply chain is complex and cannot transition quickly. CIFFA members are also concerned that the 72-hour notice period that would take effect once the CIRB renders a decision is insufficient.

The disruptions to Canada’s supply chain caused by railway work stoppages are damaging to Canada’s economy and reputation as a trading partner. The transition to alternative modes cannot happen quickly, causing congestion and chaos in Canada’s ports. Distinguishing essential versus non-essential goods is not as simple as providing a narrow definition of essential, as products at all stages of the value chain to ensure food, energy and water security should be considered essential. The complexity and integration for the movement of goods makes distinguishing between essential and non-essential goods for the purposes of moving only essential goods an almost impossible task.

For these reasons, CIFFA members encourage the CIRB and the government of Canada to recognize the essential nature of rail transportation services in general.


April 4: Relief as Finnish Port Strikes Are Set to Cease in Bid to Start Talks – The Loadstar

Finland’s supply chains look set for a reprieve after the country’s trade unions issued a temporary pause to the weeks-long labour disruption.

The Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) on Thursday confirmed that the wave of port strikes would cease on Monday morning at 6 am.

Petri Laitinen, MD of the Finnish Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association, said the union decision to suspend the action was intended to open up the possibility of government negotiations.

Finland’s recently elected ‘austerity government’ has taken a hard line on when and when it will not negotiate with unions, making clear that no negotiations would be permitted while strikes were taking place.

April 5: Box Logjam at Port of Vancouver as Import Surge Meets Rail Shortages – The Loadstar

A surge of imports meeting strained rail capacity has pushed up container dwell times at North American west coast ports, especially in Vancouver.

And importers face further disruption with Canadian rail workers set to vote on industrial action in their contract negotiations with the railways.

On April 4, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s dashboard for rail flows showed container dwell times of more than seven days at the Centerm container facility, while Vanterm and Deltaport registered dwells of five-to-seven days.

Average dwell times climbed from 4.3 days in December to 5.2 in January, 6.7 in February and 7.3 in March.

The congestion was caused by a double-digit surge in imports. For March, the port posted a 10% rise in boxes over February, 51.7% higher than 12 months earlier. Terminal utilization reached 91% at Deltaport and 96% at Centerm.

April 5: Port of Montreal Labour Negotiations Update

In a statement, the Maritime Employers Association said that mediation meetings have been scheduled by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for April 8 and 9.

The MEA noted that there has been no strike vote and the union has not planned a meeting to set that in motion. For any pressure tactics to be applied, a vote and 72 hours’ notice is necessary.

“While the situation at the Port of Montreal and at the MEA is critical, our priority remains the conclusion of a negotiated collective agreement as soon as possible,” the MEA stated.

April 5: MSC Faces $63-Million Penalty in U.S. Regulatory Dispute – Splash

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) is looking at a potential $63-million fine in the U.S. for alleged violations of the Shipping Act, encompassing thousands of contested charges directed at various clients.

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations and Compliance has accused the world’s largest liner of charging excessive late fees on non-operating reefers and billing companies that were not originally part of the contractual agreement.

In its case brought to the regulator’s administrative law judge, Alex Chintella, the Office of Enforcement alleged MSC knowingly and willfully employed unreasonable and unfair practices that did not promote or “ensure an efficient, competitive and economical transportation system in the ocean commerce of the United States.”

April 7: Houthis Claim Long-Distance Attacks on Three Boxships – The Maritime Executive

On April 7, a spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed that the group had attacked three more container ships, including one that appears to have been no closer than 700 nm away from the group’s territory.

In a statement, spokesman Yahya Saree said that, within the last 72 hours, Houthi forces had carried out attacks on the merchant ships Hope Island, MSC Grace F and MSC Gina.

He described the Hope Island as British, and the MSC vessels as Israeli; none have clear management links to Britain or Israel, based on their Equasis records, but the Houthis have previously targeted MSC ships.

Saree claimed that MSC Grace F and MSC Gina were hundreds of miles from Yemen in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea at the time of the attacks. The group has previously threatened to extend its geographic reach, though whether it has the technical ability to do so is unclear.

April 10: Transpacific Container Contracts ‘Substantially Below’ Initial Asking Rates – Splash

The first batch of transpacific contracts are concluding for the May 2024-April 2025 period, with analysts at Jefferies reporting Asia-U.S. west coast rates are understood to be in the $1,400 to $1,500 per FEU range, up from $1,200 to $1,300 per FEU last year. These agreements compare with current spot rates above $3,000 per FEU.

“While the latest contracts are a bump from last year’s levels, they remain close to break-even levels, highlighting liners’ inability to capture stronger long-term rates given the supply outlook even against a stronger than expected market this year,” stated a shipping markets update from Jefferies on April 9.

Providing further specifics on the deals being concluded, Hua Joo Tan, co-founder of Asia-based container advisory Linerlytica, explained that there are various tiers of contracts being concluded, with large beneficial cargo owner (BCO) rates expected to come in at below the $1,400 to $1,500 range, while smaller BCOs will come in at around that range. The $1,400 to $1,500 range was approximately what liners were making on the spot market in 2019, the year ahead of COVID.

April 14: MSC Containership Seized Near Strait of Hormuz – WorldCargo News

Iranian armed forces have seized a container ship, identified as the Portugal-flagged 15,000-TEU MSC Aries, near the Strait of Hormuz.

The vessel was commandeered by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on April 13, according to reports from Iranian state media. The move comes as a retaliation against an Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Syria, which has resulted in heightened tensions in the region.

The container ship had just completed a call at Khalifa port in the UAE and was heading with cargo onboard for her next call at Nhava Shiva port in India.

April 15: U.S. FMC Building Case for New Container Data-Sharing Rules – FreightWaves

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission is seeking another round of comments from container line operators and their customers as part of its quest to build the case for potential new mandates on container shipment data sharing.

The FMC wants to supplement an information request issued last year, along with a May 2023 report on the agency’s Maritime Transportation Data Initiative (MTDI). That project, led by Commissioner Carl Bentzel, attempts to measure the extent to which shipment data is used and shared throughout the supply chain.

The information request was to be published on April 16.

“While some key data elements are readily shared between supply chain participants, the lack of timely and accurate access to some data elements can lead to inefficiencies, as was seen during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the new information request states.

April 16: Panama Canal to Add Back Daily Transits as Rainy Season Approaches – The Maritime Executive

After months of increasing restrictions due to falling water levels in its reservoir, the Panama Canal Authority will continue its gradual restoration of daily transits and add a foot to the maximum draft. The decision was made after an analysis of the water levels, efforts to save water and increase storage, and a slight increase in rainfall levels in April ahead of the traditional rainy season.

The increase in transits is especially good news for bulkers, car carriers and gas carriers, as well as smaller containerships, as the increases in transits are slated for the original Panamax locks. After a week-long period of maintenance in May that will restrict transits, the number of daily crossings will be increased primarily for the” Supers” category, Panamax vessels with a beam over 91 feet. Five slots will be restored for a total of 18 daily transits for Supers with a total of 31 daily transits being conducted.

Starting in June, the Panama Canal Authority will also add one additional slot for the largest vessels transiting the canal through the new Neopanamax locks. They will increase from seven to eight the number of vessels and as of mid-June also add one foot back to the maximum authorized draft. It will increase to 45 feet as of June 15, which, while below the pre-draft levels that were as high as 50 feet, will still further reduce the challenges for the largest ships. Some containerships have been transshipping boxes across the isthmus to reduce their draft.

April 18: BCMEA/Local 514 Bargaining Update – 21-Day Cooling-Off Period Begins – BCMEA press release

The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union Ship & Dock Foremen Local 514 (ILWU Local 514) have been engaged in negotiations, assisted by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) since January 19, 2024. On March 19, the parties mutually agreed to a 30-day extension of the conciliation period.

As the extended conciliation period concluded on Thursday, negotiations have now entered a 21-day cooling-off period, with mediated talks continuing with the support of FMCS. During the cooling-off period, the parties may acquire the legal right to strike or lockout, but may not exercise their right to strike or lockout until:

April 22: Port of Montreal: Longshoremen Reject MEA’s Settlement Proposal – CityNews

The 1,200 longshoremen at the Port of Montreal rejected, by a margin of 99.5 percent, management’s latest offer to renew their collective agreement.

The Maritime Employers Association (MEA), which represents the employer side, had stated that this settlement proposal represented the furthest they could go in the current context.

Of the 1,206 members of this local of the FQ-affiliated Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), 1,078 were present, and rejected the employer’s offer by 99.54 percent.

April 22: Labour Minister Appoints Industrial Inquiry Commission on Longshoring Disputes at Canada’s West Coast Ports – Employment and Social Development Canada press release

Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. on April 22 announced the appointment of an Industrial Inquiry Commission on the underlying issues in longshoring labour disputes at Canada’s West Coast ports. The Commission will be chaired by Vincent Ready and will include Amanda Rogers as a Member of the Commission. The Commission will soon begin meeting with stakeholders and reviewing consultation submissions from relevant parties. The Commission will present its findings and recommendations in a report to the Minister in Spring 2025.

April 24: Box Ship Diversions due to Red Sea Crisis Having Dramatic Impact on Emissions – The Loadstar

Re-routing of vessels on Asia-European routes has added 5,800 nautical miles to the journey of each container, pushing up CO2 emissions.

According to Xeneta’s CO2 per-tonne-km measure, the carbon emissions index (CEI), the Far East-Mediterranean trade, which in Q3 23 was one of the best performers in terms of emissions, became the worst in the first quarter of this year, with a CEI score of 140.8 – an increase of over 60%.

The CEI index for Far East-Northern Europe trades also increased in the first quarter, to 111, a 20% jump year on year. However, Xeneta analyst Emily Stausbøll noted that the increased distance on this trade was partially mitigated by an improved vessel filling factor, up 6.1%.

April 24: Houthis Target Maersk and MSC Vessels as They Vow to Renew Attacks – The Maritime Executive

Security services received reports of an explosion near an unidentified vessel on April 24 in the Red Sea. It is the first acknowledged report in days and came just hours after the Houthis issued a renewed threat on their official channels.

Details were vague on the incident, with the UK Maritime Trade Organization issuing only brief details. They received a report from a vessel of an explosion in the water approximately 72 nautical miles southeast of the port of Djibouti. The statement said only that there had been an explosion “at a distance,” and that the crew and vessel were reported safe.

A Houthi spokesperson claimed responsibility, reporting they had targeted two vessels, the Maersk Yorktown (28,900 DWT) a U.S.-flagged containership operated by Maersk Line Ltd., which operates under contract to the U.S. military, and the MSC Veracruz (68,000 DWT). The MSC vessel is registered in Portugal. The Houthis are again attributing the MSC vessel as an “Israeli ship.”

April 29: FAK Rate Hikes Holding, with Strong Demand into Peak Season Predicted – The Loadstar

With excess container liner capacity continuing to be soaked up by the widespread vessel diversions around the Cape of Good Hope, combined with surprisingly strong demand, the recent turnaround in the fortunes of shipping lines is now expected to last into the peak season.

According to new analysis from shipping consultancy MSI, anecdotal evidence shows a round of FAK rate hikes announced earlier this month appear to have had some success.

“The initial signs are that these increases are sticking,” it said.

“Apart from the impact of the Cape of Good Hope diversions, a strong rebound in cargo demand across the world is supporting liners’ endeavours to keep freight rates at their current levels,” it added, noting that the main east-west trades, as well as variety of smaller north-south trades, had shown “robust” growth.

April 28: Baltimore Welcomes its First Container Ship Since Bridge Collapse – The Maritime Executive

On April 27, the Port of Baltimore received its first container ship since the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge one month ago. The arrival is an important milestone for Baltimore businesses and longshoremen, who have been heavily impacted by the closure of the inner harbour.

April 30: Houthi Attack on MSC Ship in Indian Ocean Indicates Further Range – The Maritime Executive

The attack on the MSC Orion on April 26 is raising troubling questions, as the vessel was in the Indian Ocean, up to 400 nautical miles from the mainland of Yemen.

The ship, which is registered in Portugal and owned by Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime and chartered to MSC, reported an explosion and found some debris believed to be from an “uncrewed aerial system.” The ship sustained some minor damage.

The Houthis in mid-March had threatened to expand the zone of attack to include portions of the Indian Ocean. They said they would disrupt ships attempting to divert away from the Red Sea and traveling around Africa. So far, while there have been several other Indian Ocean attacks, this is the first confirmed at these distances.




April 3: Shipping Disruption and E-Commerce Demand Driving Up Airfreight Rates – The Loadstar

The start of the airline summer season this month is likely to hit airfreight rates, due to an increasing amount of belly capacity on passenger routes. But right now, despite the major tradelanes not seeing significant changes, there remain pockets of high volumes.

Ex-India is still busy, say forwarders.

“Space is still congested across all India origin airports, as well transshipment points,” said Ligi Logistics.

“There is a severe backlog and congestion in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, where off-loading is being badly delayed and time for off-loading of trucks is a minimum 36 to 44 hours.”

April 10: Forwarder Anger as Scanner Malfunctions Hit Bangladesh Air Exports Again – The Loadstar

Air cargo flows through Bangladesh’s Dhaka Airport are again facing severe challenges, due to the malfunction of explosive-detection scanners (EDSs).

Only one of the airport’s EDS machines is working, as air cargo demand and rates out of the country have significantly increased this year.

“It is utterly impossible to meet the requirements of freight forwarders with only one operational EDS,” Kabir Ahmed, president, Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA), wrote to the civil aviation authority on April 9.

Outbound cargo is being stockpiled inside cargo villages, according to forwarders.

April 15: Bottlenecks and Price Hikes as Airlines Now Avoid Iran Airspace – The Loadstar

Asia-to-Europe airfreight could face extreme bottlenecks and price hikes due to the rising tension in the Middle East, and sea-air transshipments from Dubai will also be affected.

On April 13, Iran launched around 300 missiles and drones at Israel, most of which were shot down by Israel’s U.S.-backed missile defence system and its allies.

Safety concerns led many major carriers to cancel or reroute flights. Lufthansa Cargo told The Loadstar it would “fly around Iranian airspace” until April 19, at least.

But with Russian airspace also closed since 2022, due to its invasion of Ukraine, carriers rely on Iranian airspace as a vital crossing for the in-demand Asia to Europe trade, creating concern that the airspace closure would bottleneck Asia-Europe airfreight routes further.

April 30: EU Launches Greenwashing Action Against Airlines over Emissions Offsetting Claims – ESG Today

The European Commission announced on April 30 that it has launched action, alongside the EU consumer authorities, against 20 airlines over misleading greenwashing practices, with a particular focus on claims made by the airlines that the CO2 emissions from flying could be offset by paying additional fees to support climate projects or the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

In a letter sent by the Commission and the Network of Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Authorities, the airlines are invited to outline proposals to bring their practices in line with EU consumer law, and warned that they may face enforcement actions by the CPC authorities if they fail to take steps to solve the concerns, including sanctions.

The Commission’s action follows the launch of a complaint last year by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) targeting misleading climate-related claims by several European airlines, and calling on European authorities to require airlines to stop making claims aimed at giving consumers the impression that flying is sustainable.




April 1: Teamsters Canada Calls for Strike Authorization Vote by CN and CPKC Train Crews – Trains

The union representing Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Kansas City engineers and conductors in Canada has authorized a strike vote, as labour and management remain far apart on new contracts.

Leaders of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference told their members on March 28 that a strike vote will be held from April 8 to May 1. If the rank and file vote to authorize a strike, the earliest a walkout or lockout could occur is May 22.

After being unable to reach agreements during negotiations that began last fall, labour and management since March 1 have been negotiating with the help of federal conciliators. Also still negotiating: CPKC rail traffic controllers, who are represented by TCRC in Canada.

April 8: CPKC–TCRC Collective Bargaining Update

Following Canadian Pacific Kansas City’s (CPKC) filing of a notice of dispute and request for assistance in ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, the Federal Minister of Labour appointed conciliators on March 1 to help CPKC and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) reach new negotiated agreements.

CPKC met during the week of April 1 with TCRC leadership representing both the TCRC – Train & Engine (T&E) division and the TCRC – Rail Canada Traffic Controllers (RCTC) division, along with federal conciliators. The parties remain far apart.

Bargaining will continue the week of April 22.




April 1: Trucking LLCs Must File New Report Under U.S. Law – Transport Topics

Small trucking company owners may find themselves among the millions of limited liability company proprietors across the U.S. [and beyond] facing hefty fines and prison time if they fail to report information now required by an obscure new U.S. Treasury Department law that took effect January 1 to thwart money laundering, tax fraud and financial crimes.

The new paperwork, called beneficial ownership information reports, for LLCs is now required by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau under the Treasury Department focused on safeguarding America’s financial system from illegal activities and collecting, analyzing and providing regulators with financial information to the agency.

[Some non-U.S. companies may be required to file the report as foreign reporting companies.]

April 2: Nova Scotia Offers Rebates for Zero-Emission Vehicles – Today’s Trucking

Nova Scotia will offer rebates of up to $50,000 per medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle, depending on its class.

Eligible vehicles include vans and trucks used for commercial or industrial purposes that weigh more than 3,856 kilograms (8,500 pounds), according to a news release.

“Transportation is Nova Scotia’s second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tory Rushton, minister of natural resources and renewables. “Moving to zero-emission vehicles reduces emissions and supports our goal of reaching net zero by 2050.”

April 4: Alberta’s New Class 1 Training: More In-Cab Training Hours, Red Seal Certification – Today’s Trucking

As of next year, new Class 1 drivers in Alberta will require 103.5 hours of mandatory training as a part of broader goal to make truck driving a Red Seal certified job three years from now. This will make Alberta the first province to officially recognize truck driving as a skilled trade.

The existing mandatory entry level training program (MELT) requires 113 hours of training, which includes 57 hours of in-cab training.

“While the new learning program will reduce barriers to Class 1 licensing, it will also require more hours of in-vehicle training than the current MELT system, and opportunities for ongoing competency training will continue throughout a driver’s career, increasing safety,” said Jesse Furber, press secretary of Alberta’s Transportation and Economic Corridors Ministry.

April 6: Fuel Costs Show Why Trucking Market Is So Challenging for Providers – FreightWaves

Retail diesel fuel costs are up 33% versus April 2019, while the National Truckload Index that measures all-in spot rates shows an increase of only 16% over the same time. The implication is that carriers are in a far worse position on the spot market than they were in 2019 as they are unable to fully pass along operating costs.

Fuel is just one of many trucking operating cost inputs that have inflated dramatically over the past five years, but it is one of the largest measurable costs that are relatively homogenous across the national carrier base. It is also a glaring example of how desperate the truckload spot market has become.

April 9: Urgent Action Needed for Commercial Truck Driver Training: Report – Insurance Bureau of Canada

New commercial truck drivers who have not received adequate training are putting the safety of Canada’s roads and highways in jeopardy, according to a new report from professional services firm MNP, commissioned by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

MNP found drivers with less training and experience are more likely to be involved in collisions and make costly claims than drivers with more training and experience. Insurance claims related to commercial trucking accidents have been increasing rapidly in recent years.

“This third-party report echoes many of the recommendations that our industry has put forward and we encourage governments across the country to use this report as a call to action to update and improve training and enforcement standards,” said Celyeste Power, President and CEO, IBC.

To identify best practices in truck driver training, MNP conducted a review of driver training programs in various Canadian and international jurisdictions. It then offered recommendations on how to improve training requirements.

April 16: False Hours-of-Service Log Reports Rise in U.S. Despite ELDs – FreightWaves

The full implementation of the U.S. federal ELD rule dates back to December 2019, but that hasn’t stopped hours-of-service violations from racking up, said P. Sean Garney, co-director of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting.

The working theory always was that the tight, immutable data on HOS generated by an ELD would reduce the frequency of violations. The record spelled out by Garney shows mixed results.

Garney said the road to HOS violations generally runs through two pathways: questionable use of the personal conveyance provisions of the HOS rule and the “yard rule” that allows drivers to be behind the wheel but considered off duty while moving a truck within a defined company-owned area.

April 18: Philadelphia Judge Rejects $25 Million Jury Verdict in Truck Crash – Transport Topics

In an unusual ruling, a state judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas last month erased a “clearly inappropriate” $25 million jury verdict for punitive damages in a 2019 truck-involved accident lawsuit.

However, Judge Gwendolyn Bright’s decision still left the defendant, Lancaster, Pa.-based Ecore International, a family-owned recreational flooring firm with only four trucks, facing a $1 million jury award in compensatory damages.

Before the judge reduced the jury verdict, it seemed that the litigation – Clemmons v. Ecore International – would stand as another nuclear jury verdict, like some past decisions that tilted the scales of justice against motor carriers.

April 18: U.S. FMCSA Looks to Streamline Tracking of Motor Carriers, Freight Brokers – FreightWaves

U.S. regulators are moving ahead with plans for a new registration system that will help the government keep better track of motor carriers and freight brokers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be asking the White House Office of Management and Budget to review and approve a request to collect new information that will inform the FMCSA Registration System (FRS). FRS will replace the current Unified Registration System (URS), according to a Federal Register notice.

FMCSA and the states use operating-authority registration information to track motor carriers, freight forwarders and brokers, as well as the companies that insure them.

“Registering motor carriers is essential to being able to identify carriers so that their safety performance can be tracked and evaluated,” FMCSA stated in the notice.

April 24: U.S. FMCSA to Establish Registration Fraud Team – FreightWaves

After years of complaints from truckers, brokers and insurance companies, U.S. federal regulators are setting up a team specifically to deal with rampant fraud in the trucking industry.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Registration Fraud Team will work in the agency’s registration office to focus solely on assisting those who have been victims of registration fraud at the agency as well as identifying measures to help prevent it.

“We’ve heard from every corner of the industry about how bad fraud is right now,” said Ken Riddle, director of FMCSA’s Office of Registration, “and the one thing we’ve heard loud and clear is, ‘How can FMCSA help?’ We took that very seriously, so we’re looking at every way that we can help mitigate it.”



March 1: Cost of ‘Land Bridge’ Alternative to Panama Canal Too High for Carriers – The Loadstar

Liner operators say they are unlikely to emulate Maersk in using land transport to circumvent the Panama Canal restrictions, as moving containers by land in the Americas could drive costs up more than 30%.

In January, the Panama Canal Authority increased the number of daily transit slots to 24, despite first announcing a reduction to 18 for February. However, this is still fewer than the usual 36 daily transits through the waterway.

March 4: Empty Container Movements Increase by 20% – WorldCargo News

The demand for transporting empty containers has surged much more than the demand for transporting full ones, with back-haul trades expanding 2½ times faster.

By analyzing data sourced from Container Trade Statistics (CTS) on the movement of full containers between regions, it is evident that the expansion of empty container volumes, when compared with 2019 (excluding the significant fluctuations caused by the pandemic), has hovered around the 20% threshold over recent months.

March 6: Contracts: Shippers and Forwarders Wary of Usual 12-Month Deals – The Loadstar

The annual transpacific contract tender bartering season is in full swing at the S&P Global TPM24 conference and networking event in Long Beach, California.

The meeting rooms and halls of the vast venue are populated with formal, informal and sounding-out conversations on rates and routings for Asian container imports for the traditional May to April 12-month period.

However, this could be the year when the timeline of those contracts is reset – perhaps for good.

Indeed, ahead of those meetings, several shippers said they felt the lines were being unreasonable in their first rate increase requests.

And some indicated that they would look to sign for a shorter duration in order not to commit at too high a rate level for the second half of the year, when analysts are predicting rates will fall sharply against a background of the huge influx of newbuild tonnage.

March 11: Deadly Ship Attack Means Red Sea Voyages Need Rethink, Union Says – American Journal of Transportation

A major transport union urged a full halt of merchant ships sailing through the Red Sea, adding to calls for vessels to reconsider the voyages after a Houthi militant attack killed three sailors.

“We call on the industry to divert ships around the Cape of Good Hope until safe transit through the Red Sea can be guaranteed,” the International Transport Workers’ Federation said in a statement. “No delivery window is worth the loss of seafarers’ lives.”

The ITF lobbies for seafarer rights by acting alongside more than 700 affiliate trade unions. It followed a similar appeal by Nautilus International, one of the world’s largest crewing unions on March 7.

March 11: Finnish Port Workers Start Two-Week Strike, Anticipate Delays and Disruptions – WorldCargo News

The Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions last week instructed its member unions to engage in industrial action following unsuccessful negotiations with the government regarding employee rights and social security.

Among the participating member unions is the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union, which predominantly represents workers in the stevedoring industry and has announced a port strike. The strike was scheduled to start on March 11 at 6 am and will continue until March 25 at 6 am.

Consequently, disruptions in operations are anticipated across all container ports, resulting in vessel loading and unloading delays.

March 12: Panama Canal Authority Adds Three More Daily Transit Slots – Splash

Solid amounts of rain have allowed the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to add three extra slots per day at its panamax locks, taking the total daily maximum transits to 27, still more than 10 shy of the waterway’s normal maximum, but a sign that the worst is over from the record drought that has been plaguing the canal since June last year.

Two additional slots will be offered through auction for transit dates beginning March 18, and an additional slot will become available for transit dates beginning March 25.

March 14: Tribunal Rejects Montreal Port Employers’ Bid to Rule Dockworkers as Essential – CityNews Halifax

A federal tribunal on March 14 reiterated its stance that Montreal port employers cannot require employees to work during a strike, paving the way for negotiations to resume ahead of potential job action.

In a summary decision, the Canada Industrial Relations Board rejected a request by the Maritime Employers Association to deem port work an essential service in a bid to prevent a strike on the waterfront.

The employers and the union representing 2,100 port workers failed to secure a new collective agreement before it expired on Dec. 31, but the case was before the tribunal at that time, postponing possible labour action.

Explaining its ruling, the board cited a 2020 decision that the employers association failed to demonstrate “imminent and serious risks to the health and safety of the public” – the criteria for essential activity – in the event of a work stoppage.

March 15: Maersk CEO Says Container Rates Have Hit Unsustainable Levels – WorldCargo News

“Freight rates have fallen significantly since the good years of 2021 and 2022, and have fallen actually to an unsustainable level,” said Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc on March 14.

According to Clerc, further headwinds are emerging on the supply side, with an additional 11% of containership capacity expected to be added to the global fleet this year, followed by 7% more in 2025.

March 19: Local 514 Bargaining Update – BCMEA update

The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union Ship & Dock Foremen Local 514 have been engaged in negotiations with the assistance of conciliation officers from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services since January 19. In anticipation of the conclusion of the initial 60-day conciliation period on March 19, the parties have mutually agreed to a 30-day extension to conciliation.

This agreement extends the conciliation period to April 18. At the end of the conciliation period, the 21-day cooling-off period will begin (ending on May 9). Any further extension to the conciliation period can be made only by mutual consent of the parties. Accordingly, the parties have meeting dates scheduled in April.

March 19: Box Throughput Improves, but Delays Still Endemic at South African Ports – The Loadstar

Crane breakdowns and adverse weather are exacerbating delays at South Africa’s ports, despite a recent improvement in container throughput at its main gateways.

The South African logistics crisis has been escalating for years, and a lack of government investment into supply chain infrastructure has left the country’s ports, railways and roads extremely susceptible to disruption.

However, for the week ending March 15, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders reported that ports had handled an average of 8,838 containers a day, up significantly on the 7,755 handled the week before.

And state-owned port operator Transnet reported in its February figures that 23% more containers were handled than in January and 26% year on year.

March 22: Strike Paralyzing Finnish Ports Extended After Talks Collapse – The Loadstar

The two-week strike by Finnish transport workers that has effectively shut down the country’s ports is set to enter a third week, after union members voted to extend the action until April 1.

Around 7,000 workers across the transport, industrial and electrical sectors, and including the AKT transport workers union, have been on strike since March 11 in protest at proposed labour reforms by the Finnish government.

March 26: At Port of Montreal, Fewer Containers, Same Salary, Complains Employer – La Presse

More and more longshoremen at the Port of Montreal with job security are being paid even if they don’t “work” due to the drop in container volume, their employer complains. The Maritime Employers Association (MEA) blames this on the uncertainty of union bargaining and is asking a federal court to order a bargaining blitz.

The MEA is criticizing the Port of Montreal Longshoremen’s Union, which is affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), in its application recently filed with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). The employer accuses the union – which represents some 1,100 longshoremen – of showing “bad faith” by refusing to make itself available to negotiate.

After a series of meetings since last September, there have been no talks since January 16, the MEA points out. The employer accused the union of dragging things out, fueling instability and causing cargo to “flee from the Port of Montreal.”

March 27: Baltimore Bridge Collapse Impacts I-95 Shipping, Rail, Trucking and Port of Baltimore – American Journal of Transportation

The collapse on March 26 of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, after it was hit by a container ship, will disrupt shipping, rail, trucking, the Port of Baltimore and the Mid-Atlantic region served by the I-95 highway corridor, according to one shipping executive.

The executive said: “At this point, nobody knows how long the Port of Baltimore will be closed. It could be weeks, it could be longer. There are still containers in the water, and they have to be retrieved. There is still the damage assessment to the ship to be taken into account. There is also the environmental impact. Right now, we are scrambling to redirect our ships either to Norfolk or to New York/New Jersey and our concern is whether there is sufficient capacity to take the redeployments …”

The shipping executive went on to say: “In terms of the traffic, the loss of this bridge is huge: There’s a lot of vehicles that cross that bridge a day. There is also the impact on trucking and especially on hazmat cargoes that were transiting the bridge that may not use the tunnels. Rail, in and out of Baltimore, will be impacted, both the CSX and the Norfolk Southern.”

March 28: Finland Strikes Extended for Another Week, Port Disruptions Expected to Continue – WorldCargo News

The Executive Board of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions has extended its national program of political strikes for another week.

The extended strike began at 6:00 am on March 28 (coinciding with the anticipated conclusion of the current two-week strike) and will conclude at 6:00 am on April 8.

The Executive Board will reconvene this week to assess the situation and determine any further continuation of industrial action.

March 28: Cargo Companies Start to Reroute Away from Montreal amid Fears of Port Strike – Today’s Trucking

A major transport company has rerouted cargo away from the Port of Montreal over fears of a potential strike, prompting concerns that others may follow in its wake.

Delmar International, a Quebec-based logistics firm that counts 1,500 employees across 17 countries, said all Montreal-bound freight will now flow through the Port of Halifax in a pre-emptive move to curtail fallout from possible job action.

Association spokeswoman Isabelle Pelletier said employers are “very worried” about the consequences of mounting fears that a strike is looming.

“We have strong signals that cargo will be rerouted because of the uncertainty at the Port of Montreal,” she said in an email.




March 5: Lufthansa Cargo Woes Continue as Ver.di Union Vows to Fight On – The Loadstar

Following repeated strikes at its hubs across Germany, Lufthansa is to engage in further negotiations with trade union ver.di.

Ground staff at Lufthansa Cargo have been striking intermittently since the start of the year, calling for a 12.5% increase on their basic salary, among other conditions.

The last round of negotiations between the German carrier and union were on February 21 and proved unsuccessful. The next round is set for March 13 and 14.

If the involved parties again fail to reach an agreement, the head of aircrew alliance at ver.di, Dennis Dacke, warned that ver.di is prepared to up the ante.

March 19: Exporters Nervous as Air Cargo Congestion Builds in Delhi and Mumbai – The Loadstar

Airlines are dealing with considerable cargo backlogs across major international airports in India as volumes spike, according to industry updates.

“The effect has been most [noticeable] at Delhi and Mumbai airports,” a source at Air India said.

The source also noted that ocean trade diversions, in the wake of lingering Red Sea-linked pain points along with the traditional peak season for air cargo during March and April, had caused the acute capacity overhang.




March 6: CN Committed to Milton Logistics Hub Despite Court Ruling – Progressive Railroading

After a Canadian federal court rejected the federal government’s approval of CN’s planned Milton Logistics Hub, the Class I reiterated its commitment to the $250 million project in the Greater Toronto Area.

The court recently ruled that the government failed to settle whether the CN facility will have a harmful impact on air quality and, by extension, human health. The court’s decision sets aside the approval issued by the federal government in January 2021 and sends it back for reconsideration.

Authorization to build the project was subject to Canada’s most extensive environmental review process, resulting in an approval that includes 325 conditions designed to protect both the community and the environment, CN officials said in a press release.

CN officials also said they’re still reviewing the decision. But they reiterated that the project is a critical piece of infrastructure in Canada’s busiest and fastest growing region, where new capacity is needed to meet the growing demand for goods.




March 4: B.C. Container Truckers Will See Rate Increase in July – Today’s Trucking

The Office of the British Columbia Container Trucking Commissioner (OBCCTC) has increased the minimum rates for drivers that move drayage containers to and from the Vancouver ports and within the Lower Mainland.

As of July 1, 2024, independent owner-operators will see a 3.9% increase in wages, while company drivers will receive a minimum of $33.66 per hour.

The change applies to drivers with 2,340 hours of experience, while truckers with less than the required hours of experience will receive a $32.26 per hour rate until they reach 2,340 hours.

March 19: ‘Massive’ Rate Increase Needed to Finance Projected $1 Trillion U.S. Electric Trucking Conversion – Commercial Carrier Journal

Battery electric trucking is an almost $1 trillion proposition, and that doesn’t include the cost of acquisition for the actual trucks, according to a report released by the Clean Freight Coalition, an alliance of truck transportation stakeholders whose founding members include the American Trucking Associations and Truckload Carriers Association, among others.

The report was compiled by Roland Berger, an international management consultancy headquartered in Munich, Germany.

The group pegs full electrification of the U.S. medium- and heavy-commercial truck fleet at a cost of nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure investment alone: upwards of $620 billion from the trucking industry in chargers, site infrastructure and electric service upgrades, and $370 billion from utilities in upgrades to grid networks to meet the surge in demand of just commercial vehicles.

“An industry with a yearly turnover of about $800 billion and a profit margin around 5% cannot invest $620 billion without financial support or a significant increase in freight rates,” said Dr. Wilfried Aulbur, Roland Berger senior partner responsible for the firm’s global commercial vehicle, construction and agricultural business.

March 20: 5,000 Commercial Truck Parking Spaces Needed in Metro Vancouver – Daily Hive

There is a shortfall of 5,000 large parking spaces for oversized commercial trucks across Metro Vancouver, according to the Canadian Trucking Association of BC (CTABC).

This includes the need for 2,000 spaces within Surrey, where many of the region’s truck drivers reside, and where many logistics, warehouse-based and other types of traditional industrial businesses are located.

“The issue has been left unresolved for more than 20 years and the planners and politicians have never shown any real intention to resolve this issue. They need to get this issue resolved in partnership with the industry before it is too late,” said Amit Kumar, the president of the CTABC.

According to the City, a shortfall of available industrial lands in the region has created pressures in the trucking industry in Surrey and other areas within the South of Fraser. Without designated truck parking facilities, there have been growing issues with unpermitted truck parking lots, which create issues such as noise complaints, safety concerns and damage to roads not designed for heavy-duty trucks.

March 21: U.S. FMCSA to End MC Numbers, Overhaul Registration System to Stamp Out Fraud – Overdrive

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 21 admitted its system for motor carrier, broker and freight forwarder registration and updates has fallen behind and in part enables rampant fraud, while pledging to completely overhaul its verification processes and improve the “customer experience.”

The changes include ending MC numbers and using USDOT numbers as the sole identifier for carriers, brokers, forwarders and others, and also would require some work on the carriers’ part.

Much of the details of the change await finalization, and many will have to wait for a full rulemaking process to take place through publications in the Federal Register, where industry stakeholders can comment. Furthermore, FMCSA plans to hold an “industry stakeholder day” on May 29 to communicate the changes and gather feedback.

The changes are aimed mostly at security and fraud prevention.

March 29: U.S. EPA Announces New Strict Emissions Rule for Heavy Trucks – Commercial Carrier Journal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 29 set strict emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks covering model years 2027 through 2032.

The new rules are somewhat more strict than those proposed last year. For example, motor carriers will have more time (2027-2030) to build out a zero-emissions infrastructure, but the flip-side is stronger emissions limits in 2031 and 2032. Under the final rule, roughly 30% of heavy-heavy-duty vocational trucks would need to be zero-emission by 2032 and 40% of regional day cabs.

The EPA Phase 3 rule does not specify any particular emissions solution in its rules, maintaining its promise of a “technology-neutral” approach. However, it will be difficult to hit emissions benchmarks without some integration of either hybrid, battery-electric or hydrogen-electric trucks.



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

March 13: CIFFA Writes to Minister of Transport Ahead of Budget 2024

CIFFA wrote this week to Pablo Rodriguez, Canada’s Minister of Transport, to “emphasize the importance to our membership of adequate funding for the new Supply Chain office” in the coming budget.

The letter said, in part:

As you will recall, this new organization was one concrete action by your government in response to the disasters which befell Canada’s supply chain during the Covid pandemic and the floods in British Columbia.

The Budget of 2024 will be the first time your government can equip this Office with the resources it needs to have a positive impact, increasing the security and resiliency of our supply chains.

We also recognize that the government is consulting on the development of the National Transportation Supply Chain Strategy and opportunities for collaborative action, and we look forward to seeing the strategy outlined and in place, with concrete deliverables.

March 18: Executive Director’s Statement – Milton Logistics Hub: Oversight or Roadblock?

The year has started with a very upsetting development affecting supply chain fluidity. On March 1, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that it was blocking approval of the CN Logistics Hub planned for Milton, Ontario. Proposed in 2015, the $250-million investment would handle four trains a day, transferring cargo to approximately 800 trucks into or out of the rail yard.

The Federal Court’s decision is especially frustrating because the project had passed through a multi-year environmental assessment as requested by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Minister established 325 legally binding conditions, to protect the environment and human health, which would make this the most stringently regulated hub in North America, all of which were satisfied by CN.

After the licence was issued by the federal government, opponents sued to stop the project and the Federal Court did so, ruling that the assessment was flawed and failed to consider potential health risks relating to air pollution from the diesel fumes. Thankfully, CN has pledged to continue its attempts to develop the Hub.


February 1: Strikes at DPW Ports Across Australia Exacerbating Empty Box Shortage – The Loadstar

Dock worker strikes across Australian ports operated by DP World are amplifying the Red Sea crisis equipment crunch being felt largely in Asia.

Following shipping delays caused by diversions from the Red Sea, empty-container shortages have been reported on high-yielding trades from Asia.

Peter Sundara Swamickannu, head of global ocean freight product at Visy Global Logistics, said: “I think equipment shortage is hitting many of us… Especially in China, we require these containers, but most of the surplus is in Europe.

Dock workers throughout Australia have been striking since October in a pay dispute against port operator DP World, which estimated the cost to the Australian economy at A$86m ($56m) a week.

The Maritime Union of Australia has extended its strike action to February 10.

February 2: Dock Workers Down Under End Strike at DP World – The Loadstar

Australian shipping stakeholders have cause to celebrate as DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have reached an agreement that will end protected industrial action at Australian ports.

Dock workers throughout Australia have been striking since October in a pay dispute against port operator DP World, which it is estimated has cost the Australian economy A$86m (US$56m) a week.

February 6: Ocean Freight Industry Lagging in Digitization, Report Finds – Inside Logistics

A new study has found that 40 percent of ocean freight carriers are not using digital solutions to expedite operations. The report, based on a large-scale survey conducted by ODeX, provides in-depth insights into the operational challenges, adoption of digital documentation and the evolving landscape of maritime logistics.

The survey, which garnered responses from a diverse group of industry professionals, revealed the following findings.

Three quarters of respondents experience operational bottlenecks frequently or occasionally, with 50 percent citing documentation issues as a major challenge. The most common issues included delays, errors and difficulties in obtaining originals. Approximately 30 percent cited logistical challenges such as blank sailings and roll overs as significant bottlenecks. Around 20 percent of participants pointed out delays and complexities related to customs and regulatory compliance.

February 7: Revised Carrier Schedules Bedding-in, Say Shippers, But They See Trouble Ahead – The Loadstar

Amid continuing attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels, scheduling issues caused by re-routing of services away from the Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope (CGH) have begun to stabilize.

Director of Global Shippers Forum James Hookham said: “There was a bit of a lull in ports while the diversions were in place, so there were a lot of ships that didn’t turn up when they were expected to, but they are on their way and they’re starting to arrive.

“We should see stability in schedules and arrivals now – albeit it will take longer for goods to get here – but they should bed down into the new arrangements and start to get back to the regular pattern shippers are expecting.”

February 12: First Rays of Optimism Are Shining on South Africa’s Struggling Ports – The Loadstar

From Durban’s shoreline, the immediate horizon of the Indian Ocean is still decorated with freight vessels on anchorage, waiting for berthing slots in South Africa’s largest port, a legacy of several months’ of port congestion. Although it was hoped the backlog could be cleared by late January, industry experts now say the whole of February is needed to clear the congestion at the country’s eight main ports that has seen shipping rates soar and some major lines pare down port calls.

But in a sector beleaguered by over a decade of difficulties, including neglected infrastructure, aging equipment and a stagnated economy, that maritime horizon looks set to start clearing metaphorically as well as literally, with local industry favourite Michelle Phillips taking the helm as the acting CEO of Transnet National Ports Authority.

“We’ve seen some really good moves from Transnet in recent months, especially with changes to the executive board, which have helped a lot,” said Jacob van Rensburg, R&D head of the South African Association of Freight Forwarders. “It’s very promising and good things are starting to happen, but this is against a backdrop of 10 to 15 years of stagnation, so a lot of hard work is taking place behind the scenes.”

February 15: Ocean Carriers Propose “Feebate” Carbon Levy – The Maritime Executive

The World Shipping Council, the industry body for ocean carriers, has joined the call for a “feebate” bunker tax-and-subsidy program – but with a new twist.

The idea of the “feebate” is straightforward: Fossil bunker consumers pay a levy, and the proceeds are used to subsidize the price of expensive green fuels. This makes green fuels more competitive on the market and paves the way for broader commercial adoption.

The International Chamber of Shipping has proposed what may be the best-known feebate structure. ICS’ levy would start at an initial $20-$40, and would remain at that level until IMO member states vote to raise it, without an automatic mechanism to increase fees over time.

WSC’s bunker levy would start at a comparable level, but would increase automatically to match the expansion of the green-fueled fleet.

February 21: Carriers Still Desperate for Capacity to Guarantee Emergency Schedules – The Loadstar

Ocean carriers are struggling to maintain weekly sailings from Asia to Europe via the Cape of Good Hope routing, despite the delivery of some 425,000 TEU of newbuild capacity this year.

According to an analysis by Alphaliner, the extended voyages are proving a challenge for carriers endeavouring to keep to revised proforma schedules.

“At least two, and preferably three, extra vessels need to be added to each loop to guarantee all scheduled departures,” said the consultant.

However, to plug the gaps in their networks, carriers have adopted a hybrid strategy of adding some extra vessels and speeding-up ships, supplemented by additional sailings with any size ship they can fix on the charter market.

February 23: Carriers Face Chilly Response to Their New Transpacific Contract Rates – The Loadstar

Transpacific container spot rates remain high as the contracting season moves into gear; however, new contract proposals from carriers may get the cold shoulder.

Xeneta’s XSI Asia-U.S. west coast component ticked up 1% last week, to an average of $4,762 per 40ft, which compares with the reading for the same week of last year of just $1,329 per 40ft.

Meanwhile, reversing consecutive weeks of decline, the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) Asia to U.S. east coast average spot rate increased 3% last week, to an average of $6,764 per 40ft, more than double the spot rate a year ago.

With ocean carriers, BCOs, shippers and freight forwarders assembling in their hundreds for the JoC TPM conference in Long Beach in a week’s time – the traditional start of the transpacific contract season – the lines will believe they are in the perfect position to push for substantial contract rate hikes.

However, anecdotal reports suggest carrier account negotiators at TPM24, endeavouring to persuade customers to sign up for long-term deals, will be in for a challenging few days across the meeting rooms and halls of the Long Beach convention centre.

February 23: U.S. FMC Releases Final Rule on Detention and Demurrage – Supply Chain Dive

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission released a new rule on detention and demurrage billing practices as part of its compliance with the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022.

Detention and demurrage billing practices were major problems for shippers during the pandemic. Ocean carriers collected about $6.9 billion in detention and demurrage costs from 2020 to 2022, according to the FMC’s final rule shared on February 23.




February 5: January Pushes Air Cargo Volumes Up 10% as Red Sea Conflict and Lunar New Year Combine – American Journal of Transportation

Global air cargo volumes rose by 10% year on year in January as shippers’ concerns over hostilities in the Red Sea and an early Lunar New Year more than compensated for an anticipated post-Christmas drop in ecommerce traffic, according to the latest weekly market analysis by Xeneta.

With plenty of available air cargo capacity in what is traditionally a quieter month for demand, however, fuller cargo holds are yet to translate into higher rates. Globally, general air cargo spot rates in January declined 12% month on month, to an average US$2.27 per kg, consistent with the trend of the global dynamic load factor, which dropped three percentage points to 56% versus December. Xeneta’s dynamic load factor analysis measures air cargo capacity utilization by considering both cargo volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available.

Overall, the year-on-year growth of global air cargo market supply slowed down in January, as much of the missing capacity was restored last year.

February 21: Shein, Temu and Other E-Commerce Retailers Are Upending Global Air Cargo Industry – CBC News

The rapid rise of fast-fashion e-commerce retailers such as Shein and Temu is upending the global air cargo industry, as they increasingly vie for limited air-cargo space to woo consumers with rapid delivery times, industry sources say.

Shein, PDD Group’s Temu and ByteDance’s TikTok Shop, which recently launched online shopping in the U.S., ship the majority of their products directly from factories in China to shoppers by air in individually addressed packages.

Shein and Temu together send almost 600,000 packages to the United States every day, according to a June 2023 report by the U.S. Congress, and their growing popularity is boosting air-freight costs from Asian hubs like Guangzhou and Hong Kong, making off-peak seasons almost disappear and causing capacity shortages, the sources said.

According to data aggregated by Cargo Facts Consulting, Temu ships around 4,000 tonnes a day, Shein 5,000 tonnes, 1,000 tonnes and TikTok 800 tonnes. That equates to around 108 Boeing 777 freighters a day, the consultancy said.




February 20: Canada’s Two Major Railways Could See Strike in May: Teamsters – Today’s Trucking

Tensions between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) union and railways Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) are ramping up after the December 31, 2023 expiration of three major collective agreements.

About 9,300 workers at the railways are covered by the agreements.

Negotiations have come to a standstill and CN and CPKC have filed notice of disputes with the federal government, requesting government mediators be appointed. Teamsters points out the notice of dispute starts the legal countdown to a possible strike or lockout, which could come as soon as 81 days after government mediators are appointed. This could lead to a labour disruption as early as May.




February 2: International Student Cap to Squeeze Driving School Enrolment – Today’s Trucking

The federal government on January 22 capped the number of international student permits over the next two years. It will approve approximately 360,000 undergraduate study permits for 2024, a 35% reduction from 2023.

Each province and territory will get permits according to population, and Ontario is likely to see a 50% cut from present numbers.

“Driving schools in Brampton are fed by international students,” said Manan Gupta, regulated Canadian immigration consultant and president of Skylake Immigration based in the city. “Their intake is going to suffer.”

Raj Walia, owner of Trukademy based in Mississauga, Ont., said international students form a large part of trainees at truck driving schools in the area. He added there are schools in Brampton whose trainee intake is 60% to 70% international students, and they will be affected. “It will impact the training business and the overall trucking industry down the road,” he said.

February 2: Lower Mainland Authorities Placed 58% of Inspected Trucks Out of Service in 2023 – Today’s Trucking

Burnaby RCMP’s Traffic Services and 10 partner agencies placed 58% of the commercial vehicles they inspected out of service (OOS) during enforcement operations across the Lower Mainland in British Columbia last year.

Authorities conducted 50 operations in 2023, inspecting 1,715 trucks and placing 999 OOS, according to a news release. The RCMP said there were 3,974 violations recorded and 1,298 tickets issued.

“Though the percentage of trucks placed out of service has inched down slightly this past year, there is still a lot of room for road safety improvement,” Corporal Mike Kalanj with the Burnaby RCMP said in the release.



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

February 1: CIFFA Selects 2024 Canadian Young Logistics Professionals Award Winner – The Forwarder Blog

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 Rashaad Francisco D’Gama Rose of DSV Global Transport and Logistics has been selected as the 2024 Canadian Young Logistics Professionals Award winner.

CIFFA would like to acknowledge the good efforts and exceptional work of the Young Logistics Professionals Award competition runner up, Dhiraj Kochar.

February 9: CIFFA Submission: Supply Chain Regulatory Review

On January 26, CIFFA sent a submission to the Treasury Board Secretariat for its pending Supply Chain Regulatory Review. The review, “Let’s Talk Federal Regulations,” will examine federal regulations and practices, with the goal of supporting supply chain efficiency and resilience.

Following the review, the Government of Canada will develop a Regulatory Roadmap, outlining initiatives to improve the federal regulatory framework to better support economic growth and innovation.

Submissions were due by February 5. CIFFA commented on the issues of Duplication of Reporting Requirements and Weakness of Canadian Competition Legislation.

February 26: CIFFA’s Pre-Budget Submission

CIFFA has submitted, to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, a pre-budget document outlining our key priorities for the upcoming federal budget.

As we approach the next federal budget, our industry is experiencing reduced volumes of freight, owing to a decline in consumer demand due to inflation. The very severe human resource problems that afflicted the shipping sector following the COVID pandemic have somewhat declined, as a result. We see rising investor caution across our sector.

We have often stated that Canada’s supply chains are fragile at best, and frequently nearly broken. There has been ample evidence to support this over the last several years as environmental disasters, a pandemic, labour issues and infrastructure woes, not to mention geopolitical factors, contributed to that fragility.

But as the concept of a fluid supply chain becomes more recognized and championed for its contribution to our country’s GDP, productivity and reputation as a trading nation, we are hopeful that things will improve over the long term for Canadian consumers and businesses.

The Supply Chain Office created by this government is a good indicator that the role of a strong supply chain is supported.

We cannot ignore the weak spots, including the current labour environment, continued climate shocks and an economy with tightened monetary controls. And so we await with great anticipation a budget that recognizes these constraints and addresses concrete solutions.


December 1: Five Carrier CEOs Call for Regulatory Partnership and End to Fossil Fuel Ships – The Maritime Executive

The CEOs of five of the world’s largest shipping companies took the unusual step of joining together to outline a shared vision to accelerate the decarbonization of the global maritime industry. Timed to the conclusion of the UN’s COP 28 conference in Dubai, the executives of CMA CGM, Maersk, MSC, Hapag and Wallenius Wilhelmsen called for cooperation, including an alliance with the International Maritime Organization, and the definitive regulatory measures needed to create the investment conditions critical to accelerating the industry’s green transition.

As four of the largest container shipping companies, along with the leader in vehicle logistics, each of the companies highlights that they have taken steps to drive the transition. They are investing in efforts within their fleets and reiterating their belief that the importance of shipping achieving the IMO’s greenhouse gas targets is very clear.

December 1: Quebec City Longshoremen Reject Mediator’s Recommendation to End Lockout – CUPE press release (translated from French)

At a meeting on December 1, longshoremen at the Port of Quebec voted 70% against the proposal from a mediator. With the holidays approaching and the possibility of a second Christmas on the picket lines, the members rejected the offer as insufficient.

“It’s a … message to the employer that, after 15 months of lockout, there can be no half-deal. The parties need to get back to the bargaining table and find common ground that satisfies both parties,” said Nina Laflamme, CUPE union representative.

The longshoremen have been locked out since September 15, 2022. To carry out the work at the port, the employer uses replacement workers.

December 7: Strike Across Flemish Waterways Disrupts Antwerp Port Operations – The Loadstar

Strikes across Flemish waterways have hit operations at Antwerp – the second biggest container port in Europe.

Action by marine pilots and public service workers, which has spread across Flanders, Belgium, has resulted in lock closures and congestion, as unions VSOA and ACOD respond to reforms to the Flemish civil service statute.

The Port of Antwerp said the industrial action started on December 4, and it was “very hard to predict” how long it would last.

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) said on December 7 there were 49 ships waiting for arrival or departure at Antwerp, and raised concern that knock-on effects to wider supply chains could be expected if the strikes continued.

December 7: More Liner Services Avoiding Canals to Head for the Cape – The Loadstar

Confidence in the Panama Canal to process container vessel transits appears to have completely bombed over the past week.

“Multiple carriers have revealed changes to imminent voyages by removing the Panama Canal, signalling a continued loss of confidence in the passage in the weeks to come,” said eeSea operations and forecasting analyst Destine Ozuygur.

However, expectations that this might result in an increase in vessels transiting the Suez Canal have been dented by the recent attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels, off the coast of Yemen.

“It seems many vessels that had originally planned to utilize a divergent route through the Suez Canal are now avoiding the area for fear of the safety of their crew and the vessels,” Ozuygur said. “For the first time in recent memory, we could possibly see a significant downturn of traffic through the Suez and the Panama canals, with a high volume of vessels preferring passage past the Cape of Good Hope.”

December 7: Container Shipping Outlook 2024: Rising Risk of Delays, Disruptions – American Shipper

The supply chain crisis is long over, but America’s importers still have a lot to keep them up at night as they plan for 2024.

Two key container shipping “chokepoints” – the Panama Canal and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea – are simultaneously under threat. Container-line financials are under severe pressure, forcing ever more vessel sailings to be canceled. The dockworkers union serving East and Gulf Coast ports is threatening to strike next October. While freight rates are low, concerns over delays in import shipments are high.

For an overview of the disruption risks in the year ahead, and advice on how U.S. importers can mitigate those threats, read this interview with Nerijus Poskus, global head of ocean procurement for Flexport.

December 15: Maersk and Hapag Pause Red Sea Runs as Industry Calls for Immediate Action – The Maritime Executive

Shipping giants Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd both confirmed on December 15 that they have paused all planned transits of the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, while the shipping industry is calling for immediate actions and a stop to the “flagrant breach of international law” that is risking the lives of seafarers and global trade. The actions came after the recent escalation, which saw a missile land close to a Maersk containership on December 14, a confirmed strike on a Hapag vessel on the 15th, and two MSC containerships targeted by the Houthi with one possibly struck.

December 15: Panama Canal Reverses Cuts in Daily Transits and Adjusts Reservations – The Maritime Executive

The Panama Canal Authority is delaying some of the scheduled reductions in daily transits that it was planning to implement starting next month due to slight improvements in the reservoir’s water levels and, at the same time, further adjusting its system for reservations. The changes come as good news for the shipping industry, which is increasingly diverting vessels as the conflict in the Red Sea threatens to choke off a critical alternate route.

The announced changes will restore two slots that had been removed from the daily transits for a total starting in January 2024 of 24 daily transits. The Panama Canal is currently restricted to 22 transits split with six at the Neopanamax locks and 16 at the Panamax locks. The plan called for the number of slots to be lowered to 20 in January and further reduced to 18 in February. The Panama Canal Authority highlights that today’s announcement allows for an increase of six daily slots above the projected low that was scheduled to take effect in about six weeks. It adds 30 percent from the previously announced daily low starting in February.

November’s rainfall was less adverse than projected by the forecasters plus the Panama Canal Authority highlights the positive outcomes of its water-saving measures. They implemented steps ranging from water recycling to short locking to decrease the amount of water lost from each transit.

December 17: OOCL Stops Serving Israel Because of ‘Operational Issues’ – The Maritime Executive

Chinese container carrier OOCL has decided to suspend all shipments to and from Israeli seaports, the company announced on December 16.

“Due to operational issues, OOCL will stop cargo acceptance to and from Israel with immediate effect until further notice,” the firm said in a one-sentence statement on its website.

At least four container lines have abandoned shipping through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal because of the ongoing threat of attack from Houthi forces in northern Yemen. MSC, CMA CGM, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have all signaled that they will take the Cape of Good Hope route, avoiding the risk of missile strikes, drone attacks or hijackings near Bab el-Mandeb.

The Houthi movement has threatened to attack any ship carrying cargo to Israel, and the militant group has the full width of the Red Sea in range off Hodeidah. By stopping service to Israel, OOCL appears to satisfy the Houthis’ political conditions for safe passage.

December 19: U.S. Announces Naval Coalition to Defend Red Sea Shipping from Houthi Attacks – The Guardian

The U.S. has announced the creation of an enhanced naval protection force operating in the southern Red Sea in an attempt to ward off mounting attacks from Yemen’s rebel Houthis on merchant shipping.

Britain said it would be among the countries participating, but notable absentees were Arab nations Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Analysts speculated that shipping would continue to be disrupted and attacks continue.

Lloyd Austin, the U.S. defence secretary, said the new effort would be called Operation Prosperity Guardian and was necessary to tackle the “recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen.”

Other participants in the effort, Austin said, included Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain.

December 19: Brace for Increased Shipping Rates as Lines Avoid Red Sea – Inside Logistics

Four of the top five largest container carriers will be avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal until security is restored to the waterway. Together with ZIM, who was already diverting its Red Sea traffic, these carriers represent 56 percent of global capacity, meaning an estimated 17 percent of global volumes will be taking a longer, more expensive route from Asia around the southern coast of Africa.

Container diversions will take an extra seven to 14 days in transit time depending on the lane, and mean a 15 to 20 percent increase in costs for carriers. In addition to longer voyages and higher costs, disruptions to scheduled arrival times could cause congestion at destination ports and some equipment shortages, as empty containers take longer to get back to origin ports.

December 19: Houthi Leaders Vow to Keep Up Attacks on Shipping – The Maritime Executive

After a month of missile and drone attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group, the United States has convened a group of 10 partner nations to assist in restoring maritime security in the Red Sea – but industry players, defence experts and Houthi leaders question whether it will have the desired effect.

“The American-formed coalition is to protect Israel and militarize the sea without any justification, and will not stop Yemen from continuing its legitimate operations in support of Gaza,” said Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam in a statement. “Whoever seeks to expand the conflict must bear the consequences of his actions.”

December 20: Carriers ‘Tear Up Schedules’ in Race to Get Diverted Box Ships to Port – The Loadstar

European and U.S. container ports and forwarders are scrambling to obtain revised ETAs for vessels from Asia that have been rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that ships heading for North Europe may be instructed to increase speed to grab terminal slots ahead of their competitors.

At an average service speed of 18 knots, diverting around Southern Africa will add around 10 days to voyage times to North Europe and could add 15 days to transits to eastern Mediterranean ports. Asia-U.S. east coast services will see voyages extended by approximately seven days.

December 22: Carriers Are ‘Price Gouging,’ Claim Shippers as FAK Rates Skyrocket – The Loadstar

Shippers are accusing Asia-North Europe ocean carriers of ‘price gouging’ as FAK (freight all kinds) rates being quoted for January shipment go through the roof.

The Loadstar has been inundated with messages from shipper contacts who just cannot believe the level of rates being quoted by carriers.

“We expected our rates to be increased next year, but not to this level, and apparently they are non-negotiable,” said one UK-based NVOCC.

“This has cemented their $3,000 January GRIs and more,” said a forwarder contact.

And a shipper contact, importing bulk commodities into the UK from China, said carriers were refusing to accept his heavy boxes, although he said one line had quoted him $3,000 for each 20ft.

“I was only paying $435 per 20ft a month ago,” he said, “I have no hair left!”

December 26: Red Sea Drone and Missile Attacks Continue Undeterred Despite Coalition – The Maritime Executive

Attacks on commercial shipping coming from Yemen continued on December 26, apparently undeterred by the multinational coalition led by the United States. While no vessels reported being hit, the Houthi rebels reiterated that they are targeting Israeli shipping interests and ships trading with Israel.

U.S. Central Command reported that U.S. forces shot down 12 one-way attack drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles and two land attack cruise missiles over a 10-hour period on December 26.

The U.S. Pentagon asserted that more than 100 drones and missiles have been launched against commercial ships from 35 nations.




December 14: Shippers and Forwarders Expected to Target Longer-Term Deals in 2024 – Air Cargo News

Shippers and forwarders are returning to longer-term and fixed-capacity agreements as the air cargo market continues to normalize.

In a recent market update, Flexport vice president and global head of airfreight Zeid Houssami said that this switch to longer fixed-capacity contracts was partly driven by the rise of e-commerce demand, with some companies looking to secure predictability in terms of cost and speed.

The switch is also driven by improving shipper confidence that next year’s market will be more predictable and consistent as supply and demand is more balanced.

December 19: New Calgary Airport Property Owner Shifts Focus to Air Cargo – American Shipper

A jungle gym, indoor go-kart track and other mismatched businesses will eventually be moved out of a logistics complex at Calgary International Airport to make way for cargo operators that can utilize the airside access for its intended purpose – moving commerce – according to the property’s new owner.

Realterm, a global investment manager focused on logistics infrastructure and a developer of cargo real estate at airports, last week announced it had acquired control of more than 502,000 square feet of industrial property adjacent to the Calgary airfield.

Three of the five buildings in the logistics centre sit along the tarmac and have the capability to host freighter aircraft. In the 13 to 15 years since they were built, none of the facilities have had dedicated air cargo tenants, said Alexi Lachambre, Realterm’s vice president of investments.

December 20: Exporters Explore Air Freight Options as Red Sea Chaos Deepens – Yahoo Finance

Exporters are scrambling to find ways to get key consumer goods to buyers, including by air, as a wave of attacks in the Red Sea adds to ocean freight supply chain problems.

Companies are now trying to switch to intermodal transport to maintain global supply chains, which involves a combined sea and air route, said Jan Kleine-Lasthues, Chief Operating Officer, Airfreight with German freight forwarder Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.

That means goods being transported first by sea to a port in Dubai, from where they are moved by air freight, he said.

“This alternative route allows customers to avoid the danger zone in the Red Sea and the long voyage around the southern tip of Africa,” Kleine-Lasthues told Reuters.

December 28: Airfreight Rates Bounce Back to 50% Above Pre-COVID Levels – Air Cargo Week

Preliminary figures for week 50 (December 11 to 17) indicate that global tonnages and average worldwide rates were stable compared with the previous week, after recovering more quickly than last year from the seasonal post-Thanksgiving dip last month, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.

Comparing weeks 49 and 50 this year with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), overall tonnages increased 1%, and overall global average rates continued to rise, by 2%, with capacity up 1%. The figures indicate that demand and pricing are levelling off, as they usually do in the second half of December, after rallying in the last three months.

Although the main driver for the recent increases has been a surge in tonnages and rates ex-Asia Pacific, especially China, volumes ex-Asia Pacific have now flattened, although there have still been some modest rises in average rates ex-Asia Pacific, especially to North America (+4%), on a 2Wo2W basis.




December 7: CN to Acquire Iowa Northern Railway – Progressive Railroading

CN has signed and closed an agreement to acquire Iowa Northern Railway (IANR), which operates 275 track miles in Iowa connecting to CN’s U.S. rail network.

The transaction closed into an independent voting trust pending regulatory review of the transaction by the Surface Transportation Board (STB), CN officials said in a press release. An STB decision on the acquisition is expected in 2024, according to CN.

IANR serves upper Midwest agricultural and industrial markets covering many goods, including biofuels and grain. The transaction creates single-line service to North American destinations, while preserving access to existing carrier options, CN officials said.




December 1: Truck Drivers Want More Training, MELT Falling Short: Survey – Today’s Trucking

Surveyed Canadian truckers want future truck drivers to undergo substantially more training than they did themselves, with almost half expressing concerns about mandatory entry-level training (MELT) requirements.

Fifty-one percent of those who responded to a survey said mandatory entry-level training has failed to improve the quality of entry-level truck drivers.

Twenty-six percent said students should complete up to 125 hours of formal training before being licensed to drive, while 12% set the benchmark at 125-149 hours, 29% at 150-299 hours, 18% at 300-599 hours, and 15% at 600 hours or more.

In contrast, 59% of those who were surveyed received less than 100 hours of formal training before being licensed themselves.

December 15: Teamsters, B.C. Container Commissioner Square Off – Today’s Trucking

The Office of B.C. Container Trucking Commissioner (OBCCTC) and unionized trucking companies in Greater Vancouver are in heated debates over a new policy that applies port rates to off-dock trucking.

OBCCTC believes this is the way to achieve stability and equal driver pay in the Lower Mainland.

But the Teamsters, who represent both licensed and unlicensed companies, say that enforcing regulated port rates for non-port work exceeds OBCCTC’s jurisdiction, causing financial issues for licensed trucking companies and putting unionized jobs and business stability at risk. According to a recent Teamsters press release, unlicensed trucking companies that are not paying port rates ‘can swoop in and undercut the unionized competition.’

December 15: B.C. Pilots Vehicle-to-Grid Bidirectional Charging – Today’s Trucking

Lion Electric is one of several companies that are participating in a B.C. pilot project aimed at providing the feasibility of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, in which electric vehicles not only draw from, but also return unused electricity to the grid.

The project is led by Coast to Coast Experiences (CTCE), which says this is Canada’s first vehicle-to-grid pilot project for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Fleet owners will be able to monetize their electric vehicles by selling power back to the utility using V2G technology.



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

December 7: CIFFA to Appear Before House of Commons’ Standing Committee on International Trade

CIFFA was asked by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on International Trade to appear on December 7 as part of a panel of witnesses in view of its study The 2023 strike at the Port of Vancouver: Selected Impacts, Responses and Port-related Innovation. CIFFA’s Executive Director Bruce Rodgers and Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs Julia Kuzeljevich appeared before the committee.

December 19: CIFFA Signs MOU with Pledge Earth Technologies

CIFFA recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Pledge Earth Technologies Ltd., a carbon-emissions measurement and offsetting platform.

This new partnership will provide research documents for member benefit, as well as informational webinars to educate members in the new year.

Pledge offers software solutions to empower logistics service providers to support their clients in meeting their sustainability goals. It provides accessibility and transparency to freight emissions measurement, reporting and offsetting, allowing businesses to offer these services without increasing operational costs. To learn more, visit


November 3: Maersk Cutting 10,000 Jobs in Face of ‘Worsening Market Conditions’ – American Shipper

Maersk revealed on November 3 that it is “intensifying” job cuts in light of the “worsening market conditions” in ocean shipping.

“Given the challenging times ahead, we accelerated several cost and cash containment measures,” said Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller-Maersk.

“We are in a very uncertain trading environment with significant further downside risk potential – one that could stay with us for quite a while,” Clerc said on a call with analysts.

Maersk began the year with 110,000 global employees. Year to date, it has cut 6,500 jobs, which it had not previously disclosed. It has now decided to cut a further 3,500 jobs, including 2,500 by year-end and 1,000 in 2024. The total reduction – 10,000 layoffs – will reduce the company’s global headcount by 9%.

November 8: MSC and Maersk Unwind Transatlantic Fleets as Rates Hit New Low – The Loadstar

The unravelling of MSC and Maersk’s 2M vessel-sharing alliance (VSA) fleet is continuing ahead of the termination of the east-west trades cooperation, slated for early 2025.

Alphaliner said the 2M partners were “increasingly moving away from services run with a mixed fleet of vessels.”

The consultant said the embattled transatlantic tradelane was the latest 2M route to be split into services operated individually by the partners, thereby making the dissolution of the alliance smoother, and allowing the VSA to be ended by mutual consent earlier than planned.

November 8: $4 Million Lets Shipper Cut to Front of Line at Panama Canal – Transport Topics

A shipper has paid nearly $4 million to jump to the front of the line at the congested Panama Canal waterway, a record high.

Japan’s Eneos Group paid $3.975 million in an auction on November 8 to secure the crossing, bidding documents show. That comes on top of the regular transit fees companies pay, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

A queue of ships waiting to use the canal has been growing in recent months amid a deep drought. To manage the situation, the canal’s managing authority has announced increasingly drastic restrictions for the depleted thoroughfare. It also lets companies bid on the chance to speed things up and move to the front of the line. Last month, the Panama Canal Authority held 140 auctions, it said. Three of those came in above $1 million.

November 10: Ocean Carriers Are Driving the Rates Race to the Bottom – ‘They’re All at It’ – The Loadstar

Carriers are themselves driving the rates ‘race to the bottom’ they warned would lead to a “dire situation” in 2024 – Maersk singled out as one of the worst offenders.

Announcing the group’s third-quarter flop, the Danish carrier’s CEO Vincent Clerc told investors that, without an uptick on the spot market in the final three months, the coming year would prove difficult for ocean shipping.

His comments, though, received sharp shrift from the wider supply chain, with Rhenus’s head of ocean freight for the Americas, Stephanie Loomis, describing them as “comical.”

She noted on social media: “I find it comical that Clerc is warning of a ‘dire’ situation if rate levels did not improve before the end of the year. These under-market Maersk offers keep ‘showing up’ in co-loaders’ rate sheets, week after week.”

But Maersk is not the only carrier behaving like this: sources claim “they are all at it.”

November 10: ‘Cybersecurity Incident’ Prompts Shutdown of DP World Australia Terminals – The Maritime Executive

DP World, one of the largest terminal operators in Australia, reported on November 10, that the company had suspended all port terminal operations due to what it is calling a “cybersecurity incident.”

“Our teams are working diligently to contain the situation and determine the impact on our systems and data,” DP World Australia said in a statement. The company reports that it is engaging with cybersecurity experts and notifying the relevant authorities while continuing to investigate the scope of the breach.

The work stoppage was reportedly launched for all shoreside operations at the company’s terminals in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle after the breach was discovered on that day.

November 13: DP World Hack: Port Operator Gradually Restarting Operations Around Australia After Cyberattack – The Guardian

Australia’s biggest ports operator, which has been the target of a cyberattack, has begun gradually restarting its operations, but key exports could be subject to prolonged delays.

DP World Australia closed its Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle port operations after detecting the breach on November 10, leaving cargo and containers stuck on the docks.

The company disconnected its internet, which stopped ongoing unauthorized access to its network. This also resulted in key systems linked to its port operations not functioning normally.

November 20: Durban Warns It Could Take 15 Weeks to Clear Backlog as 60 Ships Wait – The Maritime Executive

Port officials in South Africa are reporting it is likely to take until 2024 and possibly till February to clear the current congestion that has built up at the container port in Durban.

Consistently at the bottom of port rankings for efficiency, Durban is facing a crisis, with more than 60 vessels reportedly waiting offshore and importers now saying they will not have expected merchandise in time for Christmas.

November 21: More Surcharges Loom for Shippers as Panama Canal Restrictions Tighten – The Loadstar

French carrier CMA CGM is set to become the first major carrier to apply a new surcharge on shipments transiting the Panama Canal, in response to the ongoing capacity reductions.

The shipping line said the series of reduced capacity measures introduced by the waterway authority this year – and forecast to continue into 2024 – are pushing up its costs.

“The lack of precipitation over the summer has forced the Panama Canal Authority to reduce the number of vessels transiting a day. As a consequence, by 1 January, booking windows for transiting the canal’s neopanamax locks will be reduced by 30%.

“These restrictions, combined with an increase in the canal tariff implemented earlier in the year, are taking a severe toll on CMA CGM’s operations,” it said.

November 21: Global Shipping’s $3.6 Billion Carbon Bill is Six Weeks Away – The Uncontained

Ships sailing to European ports face a combined carbon emissions bill of $3.6 billion next year, the start of a levy that’s almost certainly going to rise as the continent steps up efforts to combat climate change.

The figure is an estimate of the total price of complying with the European Union’s Emissions Trading System from Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.

Under the regulation, which takes effect January 1, vessels going into and out of EU ports must pay for their carbon pollution.

The global shipping industry spewed more than a billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2018 and is almost exclusively powered by oil-derived fuels, which are significantly cheaper than low-carbon alternatives. Folding it into the ETS is part of the EU’s plan to decarbonize the sector to combat climate change.

November 22: More Shipping Lines Set to Plunge into Losses in Q4 – The Loadstar

Ocean carrier operational profits fell below pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter – and results for Q4 are likely to be a whole lot worse.

Alphaliner’s assessment of the reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of the nine largest carriers saw the average operating margin fall to 1.5% in Q3, which was lower than recorded in any of the quarters in 2019.

November 24: Ashcroft Terminal and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Partner to Increase Supply Chain Resiliency – American Journal of Transportation

Ashcroft Terminal Ltd. and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority have signed a letter of intent concerning a long-term arrangement for the transportation of Canadian imports and exports. The organizations will work together to invest in, build and operate rail infrastructure at Ashcroft Terminal to reduce congestion within the Port of Vancouver, support capacity growth and enhance resiliency within the critical Asia-Pacific Gateway trade corridor. This partnership is expected to advance the efficient movement of imports and exports in Western Canada and help deliver goods to market faster.

Ashcroft Terminal Ltd. – an inland terminal located approximately 300 kilometres east of Vancouver – will provide infrastructure to supply railcar storage and staging for improved resiliency and cargo fluidity along the Asia-Pacific Gateway Corridor. This will help remove bottlenecks along this major transportation corridor. The parties anticipate the railcar storage program to be operational by fall 2024.

November 24: ‘Dire’ Scenario for Shipping Lines More Likely as Spot Rates Fall Back – American Shipper

There’s a lot at stake for container lines’ 2024 bottom lines in the last few weeks of 2023. If lines can’t push up spot rates very soon, next year’s annual contract rates will reset much lower versus this year’s.

That scenario – which would have a very negative financial effect on liners – looks increasingly likely. Time is running out for a fourth-quarter rebound, and indexes show spot rates falling, not rising.

Shipping lines’ attempts to use general rate increases (GRI) this month to improve their negotiating hand for annual contract resets have failed. They have one last chance in December, but their track record of getting GRIs to stick has been poor.

November 28: The Panama Canal Is So Backed Up Ships Are Rerouting Through the Suez – American Journal of Transportation

A bottleneck at the Panama Canal due to low water levels has prompted shippers to divert to the Suez Canal, the Cape of Good Hope or even through the Strait of Magellan off the tip of South America.

The Panama Canal Authority, which normally handles about 36 ships a day, announced on October 30 that it will gradually reduce the number of vessels to 18 a day by February 1 to conserve water heading into the dry season. Panama had the driest October on record due to a drought caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, the authority said.




November 10: Flights Get Longer as Airlines Are Forced to Skirt War Zones – American Journal of Transportation

The Middle East has long been a global crossroads for air travel, with hundreds of aircraft bisecting the region every day on long-distance journeys connecting the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Plying those routes has become more challenging, with rising tensions forcing airlines to curtail services as a safety precaution. The war between Israel and Hamas, in a region already studded with hot zones, has added to the complications of flying between east and west.

That’s after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine already added hours to many journeys by shutting down vast airspace to many transnational operators – including the Great Circle routes through Siberia, a popular gateway between the continents.

Each extra hour of flight added $7,227 to the variable cost of a typical widebody journey in 2021, based on Federal Aviation Administration estimates. Expenses such as fuel and labour have only increased since then, said John Gradek, an expert on aviation operations and lecturer at McGill University in Montreal.

November 10: Cargojet to Sell Off New B757 Freighters, Pause 767 Conversions – American Shipper

Cargojet, which operates a nationwide air cargo network in Canada for e-commerce express companies plus international services, is moving more aggressively to cap fleet growth and preserve strong cash flows in response to the continued slowdown in shipping demand.

The airfreight specialist has a surplus of Boeing 757 converted freighters and recently listed four of them for sale. The planes were recently converted and had their engines overhauled.

The move follows an earlier decision not to proceed with converting four 777-300 passenger jets.

November 13: Pricing Index Shows Airfreight Rates Creeping Steadily Upwards – Air Cargo Eye

The August to September uptick on airfreight rates on major Asia-outbound lanes is gradually continuing, pricing analysts say.

Nevertheless, there was little change in the first week of November, according to the latest data from air cargo pricing monitor TAC Index.

The Baltic Air Freight Index (BAI) was overall slightly lower, down by 0.5 percent, in the week to November 6, leaving its year-on-year change at 28.8 percent down – but with the ‘firmer tone’ of peak season generally continuing, a statement says.

Rates on the biggest air cargo routes out of China continued to climb during the week.

November 16: WestJet Cargo and Flexport Collaborate on Airfreight Solutions to Asia – American Journal of Transportation

WestJet Cargo has signed an agreement with Flexport to offer new airfreight solutions for Canadian exports into Asia.

Under the agreement, WestJet Cargo will deliver Canadian cargo to O’Hare International Airport (ORD), where Flexport operates dedicated freighters from the U.S. to key air freight hubs in Asia, including Incheon International Airport (ICN), Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), effectively expanding the global reach for WestJet Cargo and its customers.




November 8: CN Announces New Intermodal Service to Port of Gulfport – CN press release

CN has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport and Ports America establishing a new intermodal service. The trial run of the service will launch in the coming weeks.

The goals of the MOU include identification and development of a best-practices vision through productivity improvements for the supply chain, and collaboration in implementing those supply chain improvements to leverage and increase market share.




November 3: 70% of Drivers in U.S. Violate Hours-of-Service Regulations Due to Lack of Parking: ATA – Transport Routier (translated from French)

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and its 50 affiliated organizations are calling on the governors of every state in the U.S. to put truck parking at the top of their infrastructure spending priorities.

In a press release, the ATA said the lack of parking spaces for truckers has been a long-standing concern of the industry, adding that it raises safety issues that affect all road users.

The association also cites a study by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which found that 98% of truck drivers regularly struggle to find a safe place to stop and rest, often forced to park at unsafe or outright illegal sites. That’s 23% more than four years ago.

Even more worrisome, 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of these all-too-common situations, the ATA said.

November 8: Truck Drivers Still Eligible for Express Entry After List Removal: IRCC – Today’s Trucking

Transport truck drivers remain eligible for Canada’s Express Entry immigration program for skilled workers, but may find it a bit tougher to secure permanent residence status under changes made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

An IRCC administrative update has removed National Occupational Classification Code 73300 for transport truck drivers from the list of occupations eligible for a Certificate of Qualification (CoQ) – a criterion that helped boost scores in the permanent resident application process.

“It has been determined that transport truck drivers do not have a CoQ-equivalent certification that some other tradespeople have [e.g. carpenters, welders, etc.]. Therefore, IRCC has removed the occupation from this list,” said an IRCC official.

November 14: Heightened Cargo Theft Trends Continue in Q3 – FleetOwner

In a trend that shows no signs of slowing, cargo theft for the third quarter of 2023 increased 59% year-over-year after comparable increases in quarters one and two, according to a report from freight security network CargoNet.

CargoNet recorded 692 instances of theft across the U.S. and Canada last quarter, largely as part of a continuing trend of shipment misdirection attacks, a type of fraud in which thieves use stolen motor carrier or broker identities to obtain freight. In total, thieves stole over $31.1 million in shipments in the third quarter of 2023.

November 15: FMCSA Issues Final Rule for Brokers, Forwarders – Trucking Dive

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released details on a final rule to help ensure brokers and freight forwarders have sufficient money posted to compensate carriers.

The rule sets parameters on what forms of security would be eligible and ineligible. Brokers and freight forwarders with financial security falling below $75,000 could have their operating authority suspended.

“This rule will result in benefits to motor carriers,” the agency said, noting it’s seeking to address how some brokers withhold payments to motor carriers. Provisions of the rule go into effect on January 16, 2025 and a year later.

November 30: Congestion in U.S. Cost Truckers Nearly $100 Billion in 2021 – DC Velocity

If you’ve been thinking highways are more crowded these days, you’re right. After dropping during the pandemic years, traffic congestion has returned with a vengeance, creating snarls and delays throughout the U.S.

And those delays are costing the trucking industry a bundle. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the nonprofit research arm of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), traffic congestion on U.S. highways added $94.6 billion in costs to the trucking industry in 2021. That represents the highest level in six years, according to the institute’s latest “Cost of Congestion” study.


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.



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

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.”

Maritime News

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.

Canada’s West Coast Port Strike

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.



Other Maritime News

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.”



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

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.



CIFFA Advocacy, Communications, Activities

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.