Unitrans Newsletter | Edition 21 | April 17, 2015
View this email in your browser

In Edition 21:
West Coast Update
Latest Airline to Ban Lithium Ion Batteries
Midwest Rail Operations
TPA Legislation Introduced
FMC Addresses Demurrage Complaints
Nhava Sheva Congestion
Seattle and Tacoma Seaport Alliance

Links of the Week

FAA Forecast Fact Sheet - Fiscal Years 2015-2035

Modest Trade Recovery to Continue in 2015 and 2016

 

West Coast Update

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced on Wednesday, April 15, that it voted to allow the Pacific Ports Agreement to proceed. The agreement allows terminal operators and equipment managers on the West Coast to work with shipping lines, trucking companies and railroads to tackle congestion. "Given the exigent circumstances related to congestion, this agreement's effectiveness is timely. Through this Agreement, the parties seek to address issues that could help to alleviate the congestion that is plaguing U.S. Pacific Coast ports," said FMC Chairman Mario Cordero. Read the FMC press release here.   

Port of Oakland officials have stated they are developing plan proposals to speed cargo throughput at the West Coast port. The plans include Saturday operations, off-terminal locations for after-hours drop-offs and pickups, electronic monitoring to measure wait times at gates and a "gray chassis" fleet for harbor truckers. The port stated all four plans could be implemented, or at least pilot-tested, within two months. The port posted a 39.4 percent year-over-year increase of containerized imports during the month of March, recovering from sharp declines in container volumes early this year.

Latest Airline to Ban Lithium Ion Batteries

Cathay Pacific Aircraft

Cathay Pacific Airlines announced on Wednesday, April 15, they suspended the carriage of lithium ion batteries in bulk on both passenger and freighter aircraft. New IATA regulations came into effect on January 1,2015, restricting the carriage of lithium ion batteries to freighter aircraft only. They join major airlines such as Qantas, Delta, United and Virgin Australia that have decided to go beyond industry regulations extend the ban to passenger aircraft.

Midwest Rail Operations

Early this week, over 500 intermodal containers were awaiting available chassis at the Union Pacific (UP) Dallas Intermodal Terminal (DIT) Railhead. Trains en route to the Texas facility have been stopped along the railway line between Los Angeles and Dallas and will not be allowed to proceed until a significant number of containers have been loaded and out-gated from DIT. It has been reported that trains destined for DIT will not be allowed to depart Los Angeles until the congestion is cleared. On Wednesday, April 15, UP officials met to discuss possible solutions to the congestion. Officials stated they are hopeful for improvement within two or three days.

TPA Legislation Introduced

On Thursday, April 16, members of the Senate and House tax-writing committees introduced the "Trade Promotion Authority" (TPA) bill, also called "fast track" authority. TPA allows the President and Congress to work together on trade agreements, enabling the President to negotiate agreements based on terms set by Congress. Additionally, the TPA gives President Obama the power to send signed trade pacts to Congress for straight up-or-down votes, without room for amendments and limited floor debate. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an ambitious free trade agreement currently under negotiation between 11 other Pacific and South American nations. The TPP partner countries include: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. The TPP stands to be the largest free trade agreement since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Learn more about the TPP here.

FMC Addresses Demurrage Complaints

On Monday, April 13, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) held its scheduled private meeting regarding 'unreasonable' demurrage charges tied to recent port congestion. During the meeting, the FMC voted to release a staff report regarding detention, demurrage and free time for containerized imports and exports moving through selected ports. The 64-page report outlined eight ways the FMC could choose to proceed. Potential actions include demanding reports by vessel operators under Section 15 of the Shipping Act, creating an industry advisory committee, as well as proposing a rule to address practices the commission has determined violate the Shipping Act. Read the entire FMC report here.

Nhava Sheva Congestion

Continued congestion at the Nhava Sheva port complex resulted in a temporary halt of gate operations at APM Terminals-operated Gateway Terminal on Thursday, April 16. The temporary gate closure prevented the gate-in of export cargo and the pickup of import containers from the terminal. Sources reported traffic awaiting entry into the terminal extended about six kilometers (around 3.7 miles), with truck turn times averaging five hours.

Seattle and Tacoma Seaport Alliance

As announced last year, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma established the Seaport Alliance, combining the two largest Washington seaports. Kurt Beckett, the Port of Seattle deputy CEO, stated the ports will complete a draft document by early May to detail how the Seaport Alliance will function. Then, the new partnership will undergo a review process by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). If the plan is not challenged during the commission's customary 45-day public comment period, the two West Coast ports should be able to implement the alliance in early August. Currently, the two ports combined have nine international container terminals. John Wolfe, Port of Tacoma CEO, stated that when the Seaport Alliance takes effect, there will probably be no more than four large, modern terminals built to handle mega-ships. The remaining space will be repurposed for bulk, breakbulk and neo-bulk cargo.


Unitrans International Logistics
peace of mind > every time
All business transactions are based on Unitrans' terms and conditions, available on request. Unitrans is a certified member of C-TPAT - Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism. Our SVI number for Customs House brokerage is: uniBro00850. 

Our email address is:
marketing@unitrans-us.com
 
Unitrans is a proud Roadrunner company

unsubscribe    subscribe 

Copyright © 2015 
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Unitrans
Unitrans