Unitrans Global Logistics Newsletter | Edition 23 | May 01, 2015
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In Edition 23:
West Coast Update
FDA Announces 24-hr System Downtime
Iran Fires at Maersk Ship
JNPT Power Shutdown
Marine Highway Projects
June 1, 2015 GRI
> Panama Canal

Links of the Week

Improving Safety and Optimizing Capacity in China

U.S. and Senegal Sign Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement

AAR Weekly Rail Traffic Report

Nondurable Goods Manufacturing Led Growth in the Fourth Quarter (GDP by Industry)

Unitrans

West Coast Update

Today, May 1, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 in the Bay area will hold its monthly stop-work meeting in a different manner than usual. Local 10 will utilize the stop-work meeting to protest alleged police misconduct. Local 10 proposed that the typical Thursday night meeting be held on Friday's first shift and PMA employers did not object. The rescheduling of the meeting allows for the longshoremen to participate in a march and rally at Oakland City Hall. As a result, day operations at the Port of Oakland will be suspended, and operations will resume during the night shift.

Southern California independent contractors began picketing on Monday, April 27, claiming "persistent wage theft" by employers. The independent drivers are protesting for an increase in wages and employee status. The drivers argue that the drayage companies exert enough control over the daily operations of independent drivers to constitute an employer-employee relationship. The drayage companies counter that drivers deserve their independent status because they can accept or reject loads, creating their own working hours and their wages vary. The independent contract drivers have targeted four companies - Pacific 9 Transportation, Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport. The strike continued throughout this week, however, there has been little to no impact on the flow of trucks in and out of terminals.

Despite the recovery efforts at West Coast ports, truck turn times at the Los Angeles and Long Beach marine terminals have remained around 100 minutes, an increase from the average of 75 minutes in early 2014. Terminal operators, truckers and other cargo interests say that vessels carrying multiple line's containers are making terminal operations more complex, creating logistical problems and contributing to port congestion.

FDA Announces 24-hr System Downtime

Beginning Saturday, May 9, 2015, 01:00am EDT, FDA has announced a 24-hr system downtime for maintenance with the completion set for Sunday, May 10, 2015, 01:00am ETD. During this time, ABI filers will not be able to receive prior notice confirmations. Any ABI transmissions received by FDA will be queued and processed once the system maintenance is complete. As an alternative, filers can submit the PN via the Prior Notice System Interface (PNSI) and then present the PNSI confirmation page and PN confirmation number to CBP for cargo release. Unitrans anticipates delays for shipments subject to FDA review. More details can be found here.

Iran Fires at Maersk Ship

On Tuesday, April 28, the Maersk Tigris, en route from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE, came under warning fire from the military of Iran near the Port of Bandar Abbas. An Iranian naval ship fired warning shots across the vessel's bow after the ship's captain refused orders to "divert further into Iranian waters" while it was traversing the Strait of Hormuz. The Tigris was then boarded and detained by Iranian authorities. Maersk stated on Wednesday, April 29, that the 24 members onboard were mainly Eastern European and Asian nationals with one British national among them. The Tigris is a Marshall Island-flagged vessel, but according to State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, the U.S. has "full authority and responsibility for security and defense matters" related to the Marshall Islands, including ships flying their flag. Therefore, U.S. military vessels and one U.S. Navy destroyer were dispatched to monitor the situation from nearby international waters. Iranian authorities claim the vessel was legally and justfiably arrested as a result of a monetary dispute between Maersk and an Iran-based business. According to Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, the arrest was made after an Iranian court ruled Maersk Line owed damages to Iranian company Pars Talaie. The 5,446 TEU vessel was still in Iranian custody off the coast of Qeshm as of Thursday afternoon. The Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea, is a critical shipping lane for the world's oil supply. About a fifth of the world's oil travels through the Middle Eastern sea passage.

JNPT Power Shutdown

Today, May 1, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) will execute a 12-hour power outage for electrical upgrades within the harbor. "In view of the power shutdown planned on May 1, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., JNPT will not be able to accept any live reefer boxes by road until power supply resumes," Singapore-based container carrier APL said in a customer advisory. DP World-operated Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal stated that vessel operations would be affected during the power shutdown hours. A JNPT official stated that the power shutdown is imperative for maintenance and supply improvements before the start of monsoon season. To improve severe congestion at the major Indian port complex, terminals have recently introduced paperless documentation for the gate-in of export containers and inter-terminal truck transfers. JNPT accounts for roughly 60 percent of total containerized cargo moving via India's 12 state-owned major ports and around 40 percent of the nation's overall containerized ocean trade.

Marine Highway Projects

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, designated three new Marine Highway Projects earlier this week on Monday, April 27. The marine highway projects will create new routes for the movement of passengers and freight otherwise served solely by roads and railroads. The first Marine Highway Project will extend along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and will provide a new container-on-barge service between Chicago and New Orleans. Additionally, the Potomac, Occoquan and Anacostia Rivers, around Washington D.C., will provide a waterborne alternative to moving passengers and freight within the major East Coast region. The third service will provide access to origins and destinations east of the Hudson River for freight arriving and departing the Port Newark Container Terminal. The new service will link Port Newark Container Terminal with the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn and is set to begin operating on or around July 1. Though it is only a short distance across the New York Harbor, road congestion means the drive can take hours. Studies show a trip that combines barge and truck to final destination could reduce costs by $200-$250. Learn more about America's Marine Highway Program here.

June 1, 2015 GRI

Please be advised that a majority of ocean carriers have announced a GRI in the amount of $12/CBM, $24/MT, $540/20', $600/40', $675/40'HQ, $760/45', effective June 1, 2015. Unitrans International will continue to mitigate these charges to support our customers in every way possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Unitrans International account manager.

Panama Canal

On Tuesday, April 28, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced a key milestone in the Expansion Program, with the installation of the sixteenth and final gate for the new locks on the Pacific side of the Canal. The final gate is one of the heaviest and weighs 4,232 tons, or roughly 8.5 million pounds. It measures 57.6 meters wide by 10 meters long and 33 meters high. With all sixteen gates now installed, the next milestone for the program will occur when the lock chambers are flooded. The installation of all eight gates on the Atlantic side of the Canal was completed earlier this month on April 1. Read more here.


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