Unitrans Newsletter | Edition 10 | January 30, 2015

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In Edition 10:

> ILWU and PMA 

> MSC and Maersk to
   Omit Oakland Port

> Record Year for
   East Coast and
   Gulf Coast Ports

> Additional Tonnage    Added to TPEBT

> February 9, 2015        GRI

> China Delays
   24-Hour Manifest
   Filling Rule Again

> Vancouver Drayage
   Driver Update

> Links of the Week

> International              Holiday Calendar


Links of the Week

November 2014 North American Freight Numbers,

Gross Domestic Product: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2014,

Union Membership Rate Chart 

ILWU and PMA Update


After nine months of negotiations, the PMA and ILWU have reached a tentative agreement in regards to the jurisdiction of chassis maintenance and repair. However, specific details of the agreement have not yet been released. The ILWU recently demanded the jurisdiction to inspect every chassis before it leaves the terminal. Inspecting each chassis gives the union workers significant leverage over waterfront employers. In perspective, the East Coast International Longshoremen's Association has the right to inspect all chassis before leaving marine terminals. The three major remaining issues in the labor contract negotiations appear to be wages, pensions and the length of the new contract. A combination of persistent labor issues, the introduction of mega-ships, chassis shortages and mislocations as well as intermodal service issues have created massive vessel congestion at West Coast ports. The Marine Exchange of Southern California reported on Wednesday, January 28, that 17 container ships were at anchor in Los Angeles-Long Beach. Oakland reported that five container ships were at anchor, and Tacoma reported six at anchor. 



MSC and Maersk to Omit Oakland Port Call 

Due to severe port congestion, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Maersk Line have announced they will omit the Oakland port call on all Jaguar service strings until further notice. The change is scheduled to take effect with the Botswana V.1504 (ETD of February 5). Containers destined for Oakland will change to discharge in Long Beach. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Unitrans International account manager.     



Record Year for East Coast and Gulf Coast Ports 


East Coast and Gulf Coast seaports were able to capitalize on the mass diversion of cargo away from congested West Coast ports this year. Savannah, the fourth busiest container port in the nation, moved 3.3 million TEUs last year, a 10.2 percent increase in containers and a 7.4 percent increase in total tonnage. "We invested ahead of the curve," said port authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz Tuesday. "So there was new equipment, new technology ready when the West Coast ships started coming in." The month of December is typically one of the slowest months for the Port of Savannah, however, this year it was the second-busiest month on record and cargo volumes were up 18 percent. The Port of Philadelphia also reported an increased container volume of 22.2 percent last year. Philadelphia handled 449,122 TEUs in 2014 as the port recorded its fifth consecutive year of double digit growth in total cargo volume. The Port of Philadelphia also posted a 16.7 percent increase in cargo tonnage. Additionally, breakbulk and automobile shipments rose by double digits. The Port of Houston handled just under 1.6 million TEUs last year, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2013. Houston accounts for two-thirds of container traffic through U.S. Gulf ports. Steel imports totaled 6.6 million tons, up 45.8 percent from 2013. Steel exports totaled 236,393 tons, down 22.7 percent. As labor issues continue to plague West Coast ports, experts anticipate East Coast and Gulf Coast ports to continue to grow in 2015.



Additional Tonnage Added to TPEBT

Persistent congestion at West Coast ports has led carriers to add extra ships to trans-pacific trade lanes according to Alphaliner. The consultancy also reported earlier this week that ocean carriers have added a combined capacity of 233,000 TEUs from the introduction of 36 additional ships. Drewry Maritime Research has predicted that container shipping volumes will grow by 5.5 percent across major trade lanes in 2015, except Asia-Europe which will see growth of 3.5 percent. The U.S. economy is expected to continue improving this year, supporting growth in international trade volumes and capacity.   



February 9, 2015 GRI

As a reminder, TSA carriers will implement a general rate increase for Trans-Pacific Eastbound Trade in the amount of $12/CBM, $24/MT, $540/20', $600/40', $675/40'HQ and $760/45', effective February 9, 2015. Unitrans International will continue to work diligently with carriers to mitigate these charges and support our customers in any way possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local Unitrans International account manager.



China Delays 24-Hour Manifest Filing Rule Again

China has delayed implementation of its advanced manifest filing rule once again. The rule requires shipping instructions to be submitted to carriers days earlier than its current requirements. Carriers were notified earlier this week that the implementation date had been postponed, without a new enforcement date. China first announced plans for a 24-hour rule in 2008. 



Vancouver Drayage Driver Update

As previously reported, the Joint Action Plan has continued to create tensions between the provincial government and drayage drivers in Canada. The largest Canadian port notified 68 trucking companies that roughly 1,450 truck tags had been conditionally approved, leaving around 600 drivers out of the new licensing program. The licensing program is one subject matter in the Joint Action Plan which ended a drayage strike last year. The program is intended to reduce undercutting rates which has caused driver discontent at the Port of Vancouver. Drivers have threatened to strike if changes are not made to the Joint Action Plan. "The goal of the reform is to stabilize the container trucking sector and ensure drivers earn a good living," Peter Xotta, Vice President of Planning and Operations at Port Metro Vancouver, said in the statement. "It is unfortunate, and unavoidable, that some will no longer be licensed to access the port, but they are still able to provide driving services that do not require port access." As of Wednesday, January 28, the Canadian provincial government stated it would make two changes to minimum drayage rates. At this time, the union and non-union Canadian drivers have yet to comment if these changes will be satisfactory enough to prevent a driver strike. To follow the progress of the Joint Action Plan at Port Metro Vancouver click here



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