From labor strikes to breaking news, UWL's Logistics Roundup compiles the month's important highlights.
International Trade News
The PierPass OffPeak Program for extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is changing. PierPass has overhauled its incentive-based truck traffic mitigation program and has moved to an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves, the organization reports.
The new system is expect to increase flexibility and address the issue of "bunching up of trucks" that happens before OffPeak shifts begin.
Despite growing volume and revenue, container shipping lines are struggling to manage high bunker fuel prices, which have risen 34 percent since January to around $422 per ton. Many ocean carriers posted losses during the first half of the year largely due to increasing bunker prices. Fuel price is a container line’s single greatest operating cost, but it is often challenging for carriers to pass these costs onto shippers.
Carriers may announce new bunker adjustment factor (BAF) tariffs to recover fuel-related costs from shippers while ensuring compliance with the new IMO regulations which go into effect on Jan 1, 2020.
Virginia International Gateway (VIG) has cleared the backlog of shipments that caused it to temporarily close its gates to empty and heavy shipments. All origin-facility ingates are now open to all shipments billed to VIG.
The Port of Virginia published the latest VIG and NIT Project Updates.
VIG - November 2018 Project Status: 11 of 13 new container stacks online. Wharf extension complete
Plans for January 2019 - All 13 new container stacks in service. Delivery of 4 new STS cranes
NIT - November 2018 Project Status: Three additional containers stacks with new RMG cranes placed in service (6 of 30)
Plans for December 2018 – PHASE II construction begins. Six RMGs delivered (24 of 60). Three additional container stacks with new RMG cranes placed in service (9 of 30)
Regulatory & Compliance Updates
With the constant barrage of updates about Section 301 tariffs, it can be difficult to know what new development will actually affect your business. How can you protect your business from potentially expensive consequences caused by these ongoing trade disputes? A great place to start is your Customs continuous bonds (CBs). Keep reading to learn about how customs bonds are affected by the new tariffs, and how you can protect your bottom line.
The Commerce Department has developed a new online portal to replace the use of the federal rulemaking portal for submitting exclusion requests, objections to exclusion requests, rebuttals and surrebuttals in connection with Section 232 duties or quotas on steel and aluminum.
On Dec. 6 and 7, Commerce will host public testing of the new portal, which will allow parties an easier way to view all 232 exclusion request documentation in one system and improve collaboration between government agencies processing these requests.
Around the World: Current Events
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most popular Hindu festivals with over 800 million people celebrating in various ways. Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance." Temples, homes, shops and office buildings are brightly illuminated during the celebration, which coincides with the Hindu New Year and the start of the new business year.
Diwali lasts for 5 days, with the Festival of Lights taking place on the darkest night (first night of the new moon) in the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar. Diwali typically falls between mid-October to mid-November.
Six people were killed and at least five others were wounded Sunday during demonstrations across Haiti protesting allegations of embezzlement from a Venezuelan program that provided the country with subsidized oil, reported the Associated Press.
Due to the unrest and blockades throughout Port-au-Prince, the government has advised against the movement of cargo amid security concerns and truck gates at Port Lafito closed.
Domestic Shipping & Logistics News
*Update* UPS Freight and Teamsters ratified a five-year work contract for its 11,600 unionized workers. The majority of its workers voted "yes" on the contract after months of negotiating, avoiding a strike and work stoppage.
UPS Freight stopped taking inbound shipments starting on Thursday 11/8 as it prepared for a Teamsters union strike, JOC reports. Shippers, particularly in the industrial and retail/e-commerce markets, were impacted.
Labor disputes like this highlight the importance of having an alternative trucking provider.
Evergreen Terminal in the Port of LA/LB was evacuated after explosion inside shipping container. Police said the explosion was caused by combustion of scrap metals and it is being treated as an industrial accident. The scrap metal was intended for export.
SAFETY REMINDER: Even a small amount of flammable substance can vaporize in a shipping container and explode when combined with a spark or heat source. Please be cautious when loading shipping containers and make sure to use proper safety procedures when dealing with any flammable or explosive substances. Contact us if you need assistance moving hazardous or potentially hazardous loads.
UWL is looking for experienced import and export logistics coordinators to join our team.
WDS has several open positions across our network, including warehouse operations management and equipment operations roles. Check 'em out below and apply today!