Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Swelled At The End of October

Late October saw spot rates from Asia to the US East and West coasts increase for the first time in two months, extending this year's peak season as importers work to dodge a general rate increase (GRI) slated to begin this month. The spot rate last week for shipping a 40-foot container from Shanghai to the East Coast was $2,075, an increase of 18.2 percent from the week prior. The West Coa

Nov 01, 2017

U.S. Customs Update: New Electronic In-Bond Requirements Coming At The End Of November. Are You Prepared?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published a final rule that adopts amendments to CBP regulations regarding changes to the in-bond process published in the Federal Register on February 22, 2012. The changes in this rule, including the automation of the in-bond process, will enhance CBP's ability to regulate and track in-bond merchandise and ensure that in-bond merchandise is proper

Oct 30, 2017

Analysts Say Container Shipping Industry 2018 Profitability Depends On Capacity Discipline

In an assessment made by shipping analyst group Drewry, container shipping industry profitability in the coming year is dependent on the carrier's ability to maintain the tight capacity management displayed so far in 2017. "A lot will depend on whether the carriers can refrain from undercutting one another and stick to the capacity management they have displayed this year," Drewry se

Oct 25, 2017

Despite Record Import Volumes, Eastbound Pacific Spot Rates Remain Stagnant

Despite record import volumes flowing through major US ports, container lines have failed to lift eastbound Pacific spot rates straight, although a forecast for accelerating Asia imports this month could propel prices in the coming weeks.   The spot rate for shipping a 40-foot container from Shanghai to the East Coast last week was $2,620, down 2 percent from $2,661 the week prior. The

Aug 16, 2017

Global Container Volume Forecast Projecting Strong Gains in 2017

Based on data collected in the first six months of 2017, shipping analyst Drewry is projecting strong increases in world container volume for the year. Port statistics Drewry compiled from a sample of nearly 150 sites around the world indicated that container handling grew by 6.6 percent in the first six months of the year, and deep-sea and regional trade numbers were showing similar progre

Aug 02, 2017

Improve Your Process Efficiency With The New e-CLEAR 10

e-CLEAR is a web-based software solution that allows you to post your manifests directly to Customs and Border Protection's ACE-AMS System and many other government agencies in order to get your clearances electronically.  Our service allows you to post manifests and amendments through Vilden's pre-approved service center so you do not have to worry about purchasing or developing

Jul 04, 2017

Maersk Group Infected By Global Ransomware Cyberattack

The cyberattack disrupted Maersk Group operations from Tacoma to Tangiers. The international cyberattack that paralyzed Maersk Group's computers has left customers of the world's largest shipping line anxious for answers and wondering how long the disruption will last. Tuesday's attack was reported to be caused by the "Petya" ransomware. Experts said it resembled a re

Jun 29, 2017

UPDATE: US Supreme Court Rejects ELD Appeal, All Eyes On December Compliance Date

The US Supreme Court has rejected a petition to overturn a rule requiring truck drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELDs), with all eyes now focused on the December compliance date later this year. The rejection of an appeal from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) added fresh urgency to the December 18th compliance deadline set by the ELD rule. "We are extr

Jun 15, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Posts Busiest May in Port's 110 Year History

Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) increased 3.4 percent in May compared to the same period last year, marking the busiest May in the Port's 110-year history. It was the second straight year the Port produced record May volumes.   Total volumes registered at 796,216 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), with container growth of 8.5 percent for the first five months of 2017

Jun 07, 2017

Due to eManifest Technical Issues, CBSA Announces Enactment of New Voluntary Period

With continual technical issues caused by and related to eManifest house bill filings to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), a notice has been issued informing filers that the mandatory filing date has been pushed back, and the announcement of a new voluntary period.  This is to provide a grace period for filers until the CBSA platform is stabilized and recognized issues can be addr

May 23, 2017

US Government Considering Legislation To Make Carriers Choose Between Alliances or Discussion Groups

Congress is considering legislation that would force carriers to choose between membership in rate discussions and ocean carrier alliances, while also giving maritime regulators more power to protect domestic third-party service providers from potential alliance collusion. Legislators' recent interest in rewriting the Shipping Act of 1984, which was last amended in 1998, has been sparked by th

May 17, 2017

Global Container Trade Grows At Fastest Pace Since 2010

Global container traffic is set to post annual year-over-year growth of 10 percent in the first three months of the year, the fastest quarterly increase since 2010, driven largely by China's intra-regional trade, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.   A surge in US imports in April, and the healthier earnings statements of major container lines point to accelerating global co

May 11, 2017

Gauging The Impact of the Upcoming ELD Mandate

With the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate taking effect on December 18th of this year, the impact of the ELDs may unfold more gradually than some shippers and carriers expect, and could depend on how the federal requirement is enforced from state to state. But the impact of the rule is hard to predict, and the mandate is expected to hit productivity in some sectors of trucking, such as t

Apr 27, 2017

eManifest Monetary Penalties For Non-Compliance Approaching

We are quickly approaching the July 12th marker, when monetary penalties are expected to be implemented by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to freight forwarders deemed to be non-compliant with e-Manifest filing requirements.   CBSA has also recently introduced a new subset of status notifications called Deployment 4 (D4) notices. Vilden is proud to announce that we are offi

Apr 13, 2017

Spot Rates Continue Slipping In Spring

Spot rates in the eastbound trans-Pacific continued their seasonal downward trend last week with no major developments occurring to move the market.   Last week the spot rate for shipping a 40-foot-equivalent unit (FEU) declined 6 percent from prior week to the East and West coasts. The East Coast rate was $2,721 per FEU compared with $2,887 per FEU the week prior, and the West Coast ra

Mar 22, 2017

Federal Budget Proposal Outlines Cuts To Department Of Transportation

US President Donald Trump's proposals sees cutting the 2018 Department of Transportation (DOT) 13 percent year over year to $16.2 billion. The budget proposal sees a slimmed down DOT that will focus on safety oversight and investing in transportation infrastructure, reported American Shipper. "The Trump budget reduces or eliminates programs that are either inefficient, duplicate oth

Mar 15, 2017

Navigational Issues Continue In The Newly Expanded Panama Canal

Seven months since the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, the narrow width of the canal continues to pose a serious problem for ships of up to 13,000 TEU, as well for the tugs that guide them through the expanded third lane. AP reporters traveled on a recent voyage by a tugboat guiding a  containership through the canal's Cocoli locks on the Pacific side of the waterway and report

Mar 06, 2017

Technology and Partnerships Keeping Smaller Truckers Competitive

In a trucking landscape that often seems tilted toward large players, smaller companies need to be innovative to survive and thrive. Increasingly, that means turning to new technology and partnerships to offer shipper customers services that make smaller carriers more competitive. Nebraska Transport Company, a regional less-than-truckload carrier with about $25 million in annual revenue, is tak

Feb 22, 2017

U.S. Court Ruling Challenges Owner-Operator Model

Swift Transportation has appealed a recent federal court’s decision that its owner-operator contractor agreements constitute employment, opening the door for the driver plaintiffs to receive back pay and other relief from the company, as sought in their lawsuit. About 5,000 of Swift’s 19,000 drivers are owner-operators, but only five owner-operators are involved in the lawsuit

Jan 25, 2017

New Truck Management System Cutting Truck Turn Times At Port Of NY-NJ

The appointment system designed to combat congestion and improve efficiency at a major terminal of the Port of New York and New Jersey has cut about 40 percent off turn times, the terminal operator said Tuesday. GCT Terminals said the early analysis is promising, but one full roll-out after pilots on the weekends doesn’t made a trend. Port truckers skeptical of its merits said they didn&rsqu

Jan 16, 2017

CBSA Opens Bonding for Non-Canadian Freight Forwarders

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that Canada will now allow non-Canadian freight forwarders to apply for a bonded carrier code, thereby opening intermodal, inbond and consolidated shipments to be filed as house bills by companies not domiciled in Canada.  Bonds must be issued in the amount of $25,000.00. Click the link below for the necessary steps to apply f

Dec 15, 2016

Canadian eManifest Update: NVOCC Filing Details Will Be Mandatory Following November

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that changes to the filing requirements for cargo passing through and destined for Canada will come into mandatory effect on November 7, 2016.  For purposes of CBSA, freight forwarder is defined as:  “A person who, on behalf of one or more owners, importers, shippers or consignees of goods, causes    

Sep 01, 2016

E.U. Container Status Message (CSM) Filing Requirement – Are You Ready For The September 1st Implementation?

For maritime carriers with a European service, a new Container Status Message (CSM) filing requirement is being implemented next month. From September 1, 2016, maritime carriers calling at E.U. ports will be required to file CSMs to the the European Commission’s (EC) anti-fraud office (OLAF). The pilot system has already transitioned to production environment, allowing carriers

Aug 18, 2016

Trans-Atlantic Spots Rates Hit 5 Year Lows

A normally stable trans-Atlantic route has seen spot rates deteriorate to 5 year lows, leaving shippers wondering whether there will see prices rise again before next year. Spot rates on exports from New York to Rotterdam fell to $422 for a 40-foot-equivalent (FEU) container on July 21 and remained there the following week, the lowest level since at least 2011, according to the latest data availab

Aug 18, 2016

Trans-Pacific Spots Rates Dip Despite Capacity Cuts

Trans-Pacific spot rates slipped again this week as weak demand and overcapacity keep them under downward pressure. The rate for shipping a 40-foot-equivalent unit from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast was $1,225, down 4 percent from last week and 29 percent year-over-year, while the rate to the East Coast was $1,768 per FEU, down 6 percent week-over-week and 44 percent year-over-year, according to

Aug 18, 2016

Canadian eManifest Update: NVOCC Filing Details Will Be Mandatory Following November

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that changes to the filing requirements for cargo passing through and destined for Canada will come into mandatory effect on November 7, 2016.  For purposes of CBSA, freight forwarder is defined as:  “A person who, on behalf of one or more owners, importers, shippers or consignees of goods, causes    

Aug 11, 2016

Port of LA-LB Truck Turn-Times Improve Through Trucker-Terminal Cooperation

The average truck visit time at the 13 container terminals in Los Angeles-Long Beach in May plunged to 78 minutes from 85 minutes in April, proving that cooperation between truckers and terminal operators can produce results, the Harbor Trucking Association said Tuesday. “While there are still issues of congestion, the partnership that the marine terminal and trucking communities have forged

Jul 10, 2016

SOLAS VGM Begins Next Week: Are You Prepared?

There is substantial confusion in the industry regarding the implementation of SOLAS weight verification regulation since it is an international requirement and not regulated, overseen or otherwise guided by a single governing body. Each of the 160 SOLAS signatory countries may choose how to enforce it, and each line and terminal may choose how to implement it into their business process. While th

Jun 23, 2016

SOLAS VGM: Are You Ready For July?

There is substantial confusion in the industry regarding the implementation of SOLAS weight verification regulation since it is an international requirement and not regulated, overseen or otherwise guided by a single governing body. Each of the 160 SOLAS signatory countries may choose how to enforce it, and each line and terminal may choose how to implement it into their business process. While th

May 10, 2016

Many Truckers Delaying Switch to Electronic Logging Required by HOS Mandate

A recent survey of more than 1,000 trucking operators by Truckstop.com has revealed that the vast majority do not have the electronic logging devices (ELDs) or any type of on-board computer that will be required by the Hours of Service (HOS) Rule. Many of the respondents also hinted that they may not be ready to comply with a U.S. mandate requiring them to replace paper logbooks with ELDs unt

Apr 15, 2016

LA-LB Drayage Truck Turn Times Still Improving In 2016

Truck turn times in Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex have unexpectedly showed dramatic improvement in March, due to the seasonal drop in cargo volume that followed the Chinese New Year in Asia, but also because terminal operators in the largest U.S. port complex are working harder than ever to improve their gate operations. “I really do want to commend the terminal operators for the progr

Apr 07, 2016

SOLAS Update: Ocean Carrier Group Outlines VGM Best Practices

The SOLAS amendment requires that shippers certify the verified gross mass (VGM) of loaded cargo containers to carriers prior to them arriving at container terminals, and is due to come into force July 1, 2016. The VGM requirement has been decried by beneficial cargo owners as onerous on U.S. exporters, and shippers and forwarders have also bemoaned a lack of clarity regarding implementation

Mar 23, 2016

Drayage Operators Believe Container Lines Retain Too Much Control Over Chassis

Drayage operators say container lines’ continuing influence over chassis lowers efficiency at ports and is an obstacle to the creation of truck appointment systems at marine terminals. “The ocean carriers are out of the chassis business, but they’re still in it,” said Gerard J. Coyle, vice president of Philadelphia-based Evans Delivery, during a pan

Mar 15, 2016

Harbor Trucking Companies Taking Brunt of Supply Chain Cost Increases

Whether it’s the growing presence of mega-ships at U.S. ports, the proliferation of mandatory appointment systems at marine terminals or the transfer of carrier-owned chassis to equipment leasing firms, harbor trucking companies are paying a price for decisions made by other members of the transportation supply chain. Port authorities on both coasts have formed

Mar 10, 2016

ILWU, PMA May Move Forward With Contract Extension

For the first time since the grueling contract negotiations of 2014-15, the presidents of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) said they are willing to raise with their memberships the possibility of extending the existing agreement beyond the July 1, 2019, expiration date in the interests of labor peace. This disc

Mar 05, 2016

SOLAS Container Weight Guidelines Not Mandatory According to U.S. Coast Guard

At the TPM Conference hosted by the Journal of Commerce (JOC) in Long Beach, California,  U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Thomas clarified that while the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) container weight verification rules will be mandatory, the guidelines on how to do so are not. “They (the guidelines) are not mandatory under SOLAS, they are not mandatory under any U.S. regulation. It say

Mar 03, 2016

Global Container Traffic Growth Limp In 2015

Global container port traffic grew by just 1.1 percent in 2015, the second-lowest annual increase ever recorded. The snail’s pace growth last year was only surpassed by the record low in 2009 when container volume declined by 8.4 percent in the wake of the global financial crisis, industry analyst Alphaliner said. North America bucked the trend with traffic rising 4.8 percent in 2015, driven

Feb 24, 2016

Shake Up in Chinese Maritime With Major Merger and Potential Partnerships

A major shake up is anticipated for Chinese shipping with the announcement of a merger between two of the mainland’s largest carriers. China Cosco Shipping Corporation (CCSC) was officially launched in Shanghai this week, a merger of China Cosco and China Shipping Container Lines. The combined fleet will compromise 832 vessels, almost three times those owned by Maersk Lin

Feb 17, 2016

Port of Charleston, SC First in U.S. To Suggest SOLAS Weighing As A Service

As the industry prepares for the controversial new verified weight rules that go into effect this July, the Port of Charleston is the first U.S. port to say it is willing to provide in-terminal weighing services for containers if it is allowed by the U.S. Coast Guard. In doing so, Charleston is lining up with terminals in Europe and the Mideast that say they will offer wei

Feb 11, 2016

Trans-Pacific Rates Hold Steady Ahead of Chinese New Year

Spot freight rates on the Asia-U.S. trades held their ground this week, rising slightly and ensuring most of the sharp gains made on the Jan. 1 rate increase were retained through the end of January. The Shanghai-U.S. East Coast spot rate rose 2 percent to $2,466 per 40-foot container, while on the trans-Pacific the rate was up by 1 percent to $1,388 per FEU, according to the latest read

Feb 03, 2016

Industry Braces For Mysterious New Container Weight Regulations

As the implementation date approaches, an unsettled cargo transport industry continues to search for more details on the upcoming container weight regulations being enforced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Amendments made to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee will require all shippers appearing on the bi

Feb 02, 2016

Port of NY-NJ Test New Terminal Wait Time Measurement Applications

Port truckers at the Port of New York and New Jersey will soon test ways to measure their wait times both inside and outside container terminal gates, providing visibility that could be the basis of an hourly surcharge to drayage customers. The information provided by the use of a number of applications and sources will allow truckers to show their customers detailed records of their wai

Jan 27, 2016

FMCSA Will Not Reinstate Hours of Service Rule Anytime Soon

The U.S. truck driver hours-of-service rules suspended by Congress won’t be put back in place any time soon, and not without consultation with trucking “stakeholders,” a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) official told trucking and logistics executives. “We are continuing with that suspension, even though we’re into fiscal year 2016,”

Jan 20, 2016

Trans-Pacific Rates Down After New Year

According to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, the spot rate for shipping a 40-foot container (FEU) from Shanghai to the East Coast last week was $2,542, down 1 percent from $2,555 the previous week. The spot rate to the West Coast was $1,498 per FEU, down 2 percent from $1,518 the week before. The spot rate last week to the East Coast surged 76 percent from the previous week whe

Jan 14, 2016

Mega-Ship Visit to Port of Los Angeles a Success, More Needs to Be Done for Regular Port Calls

Over the Christmas-New Years holidays, APM Terminals in Los Angeles  broke new ground in the handling of the new generation of mega-ships with capacities of 18,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUS). The Port of Los Angeles welcomed the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin over the new year, turning the massive ship in 56 hours of operations, averaging 29.1 lifts per crane, per

Jan 05, 2016

Global Container Ship Fleet Eclipses 20 Million TEUs

With a record number of 214 new container ships delivered in 2015, the world fleet’s capacity grew by 1.72 million to surpass 19 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The industry placed orders for 255 more vessels in 2015, with an estimated value of $20.2 billion, 98 percent higher than in 2014. These orders were placed even as freight and charter markets crumbled under the pre

Jan 02, 2016

Turn Times Inside LA-LB Terminals Best Since Early 2014

Truckers calling in Los Angeles-Long Beach are experiencing the lowest in-terminal service times since longshore labor issues in the fall of 2014 created the worst port congestion in more than a decade, according to PierPass. The organization which represents the 13 container terminals in the largest U.S. port complex, stated that cargo is moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach at

Dec 15, 2015

US Regulators Prepare New Trucking Regulations For December, Finalize Driver Coercion Rule

December will bring a number of new US regulations for the trucking industry, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) begins to release details on its rulings this month. Last week, the Office of Management and Budget published its finalized version of its coercion rule, a regulation that will penalize motor carriers, shippers, receivers, transportation intermediaries such as br

Nov 28, 2015

Asia-Europe Carriers Push Ahead With Hefty December GRIs

Asia-Europe carriers are planning a new round of hefty general rate increases (GRIs) in December, despite a downward trend that sees these increases losing steam after a week or so. According to analysts, spot rates from Shanghai to North Europe fell $265 per 20-foot container (TEU) from last week, a 31 percent drop and one of the largest weekly falls this year by percentage. The rate is now $409

Nov 20, 2015

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Continue To Be Plagued By Overcapacity

Trans-Pacific spot rates fell to uncomfortably low levels this week, suggesting that container lines in the Pacific continue to be plagued by overcapacity. The benchmark of spot rates from Hong Kong to Los Angeles fell to $1,009 per 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU). It was a 8 percent decrease from last week and 52 percent below the reading from a year ago. The East Coast is doing even worse, with ra

Nov 19, 2015

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) Announce Bay Plan (BAPLIE) Electronic Filing Requirements

After having been in an ‘informed compliance’ status for several years, CBSA announced that effective November 6, 2015, CBSA requires that Bay Plans (BAPLIEs/Stow Plans) for all vessels arriving Canadian ports be submitted electronically. Monetary penalties are anticipated to go into effect on May 6, 2016. CBSA is expected to announce more details soon. Vessel Operating Carr

Nov 10, 2015

ILWU Office Clerks And Employers Hope to Begin Contract Talks Early

In a bid to avoid the tumultuous and dragged out negotiations of 2010, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) office clerical workers in Los Angeles-Long Beach are expected to begin negotiations with employers in April – less than three months before the current contract expires. With shippers in no mood to tolerate another work stoppage and the West Coast ports sti

Nov 02, 2015

Carriers, Shippers Teaming Up In Preparation For New Container Weighing Regulations

A group consisting of carriers, U.S. shippers and logistics providers are coming together in preparation for new global regulations requiring the weighing of containers before they are allowed to be loaded onto a ship. The new rules are slated to be implemented on July 1, 2016. The Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTc) and the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) member carriers hav

Oct 15, 2015

TSA West-bound Lines Finalize Plans for GRI Beginning in October

The carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have announced future general rate increases (GRIs) next month. Beginning on October 1st, member carriers in the TSA’s westbound section will be seeking to establish new rates. They will target all dry commodity segments which the forum said would translate into “modest increases in most cases”, with higher pro

Sep 22, 2015

Transportation Industry Groups Seek FMC in Push Back Against Demurrage, Detention

A coalition of truckers, cargo interests, and trade organizations is preparing to ask the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to restrict charges for late pickup or delivery of containers. Spearheaded by the American Trucking Association (ATA), the coalition’s argument is that late fees shouldn’t be imposed if congestion at terminals makes it impossible to pick up or deliver con

Sep 13, 2015

U.S. Customs Regulatory Update: ACE Vessel Export Manifest

A Federal Register general notice posted on August 20th by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced plans to conduct the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Export Manifest for Vessel Cargo Test, a National Customs Automation Program (NCAP) test concerning ACE export manifest capability.  CBP has re-engineered the legacy AES to move it to an ACE system platform. The re-engineering and

Sep 03, 2015

PierPass Fee to Increase at POLA-LB

Effective on August 1st, the traffic mitigation fee charged for container movements at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will increase to $69.17 per 20-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) from the current $66.50 per-TEU fee. The rate per 40-foot container also increased and is now $138.34. The last traffic mitigation fee increase was in August 2013. PierPass, which administers the extended gates prog

Jul 16, 2015

US Trucking Employment Hits Pre-Recession Peak

Trucking employment surged for a second straight month in June, with U.S. truckload and less-than-truckload carriers hiring approximately 7,400 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That pushed for-hire carriers tracked by the BLS past their pre-recession employment peak in 2007. The strong increase in trucking employment, a 3.1 percent year-over-year gain, is good n

Jun 28, 2015

ILWU Ratifies 5-Year Labor Agreement With the PMA, Concluding Port Negotiations

Labor negotiations which began in May 14, 2014 between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) ended successfully this week, as the ILWU membership voted to ratify a 5-year agreement with the PMA. Following a vote in favor by ILWU delegates in early April, rank-and-file members of the union voted overwhelmingly to ratify the new agreement.&

May 28, 2015

Asia-Europe Carriers Push Ahead With June GRIs

Asia-Europe carriers are planning a new round of hefty general rate increases (GRIs) in June, despite a downward trend that sees the increases losing steam after a week. According to analysts, spot rates from Shanghai to North Europe lost $214 per 20-foot container (TEU) late last week at 32 percent, the largest ever weekly fall in percentage terms that took prices down to $444 per TEU. The rate i

May 23, 2015

ATA Calls for Graduated Licensing to Combat Driver Shortage

With driver shortages being a repetitive issue in the U.S. trucking industry, The American Trucking Association (ATA) is floating a graduated licensing program as an idea on how the federal government can make reforms to try and mitigate the labor problem. The ATA is calling for a change to a graduated licensing system, much like what you see for normal civilian motorists. In graduated licensing,

May 05, 2015

Truck Drivers Continue Strike in POLA-LB, Cargo Uninterrupted

Picketing at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA-LB) continued today, as organized groups of harbor truckers move ahead with their campaign to gain union status. Justice for Port Truck Drivers, a group affiliated with the Teamsters, accuses drayage companies of misclassifying drivers as independent drivers. The Teamsters argue that the companies exert enough control over the daily operati

Apr 29, 2015

ILWU Delegates Vote to Advance Tentative Labor Agreement

Labor negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) took a major step forward today as ILWU delegates voted in favor of recommending the tentative five-year agreement with waterfront employers to rank-and-file members. The delegates recommendation to accept the contract – covering 20,000 dockworkers at 29 ports –

Apr 09, 2015

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Rise After 12 Month Low

Trans-Pacific spot rates rose this week from a 12-month low, suggesting that container lines won acceptance of some of the $600 general rate increase (GRI) imposed this week. Benchmark of spot rates from Hong Kong to Los Angeles climbed to $1,889 per 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU). It was a 15.3 percent increase from last week and 2.9 percent above the reading of a year ago. The index reached a

Apr 02, 2015

Job Openings in US Cargo Transport Sky Rocket

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job openings in the U.S. transportation and warehousing industries increased by 23 percent year-over-year in January. While jobs are more readily available, these businesses lost more workers than they hired that month. According to non-adjusted data from the Labor Department, as of Jan. 31, there were 205,000 openings

Mar 19, 2015

Trucking Operations Reaching Full Employment

As the U.S. heads toward what some economists consider “full employment”, trucking companies tracked by the Labor Department hired an additional 2,600 workers in February, pushing the monthly Trucking Employment Index from the Journal of Commerce up to 99.9. That means the more than 100,000 motor carriers surveyed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for its monthly U.S. employ

Mar 05, 2015

U.S. Customs Regulatory Update for Carriers: ACE Export Manifest

May 1, 2015 is an important date for carriers filing electronic ocean manifests. It is the date that CBP has set for anyone filing electronic manifests to use the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) as the approved filing mechanism. To further impart the urgency of this, on February 10, 2015, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner, U.S. CBP issued a “letter to the trade” advising

Feb 22, 2015

Senate Ends Attempt to Repeal Jones Act

Sen. John McCain’s amendment to repeal a key provision of the Jones Act failed to make it into a Senate-passed bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The amendment ran into stiff opposition from the U.S.-flag maritime industry. Trade groups organized a campaign of calls and emails to senators and U.S. House members to push back against the rider which would have done

Feb 14, 2015

Trans-Pacific Carriers February GRI Next Week, Announce Future Rate Increases

Carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have announced future general rate increases (GRIs) slated for March and April, following the GRI that will be imposed beginning next Monday. In early January, the TSA members announced plans to collect another $600 per FEU in a GRI that would take effect on Feb. 9, in anticipation of strong pre-Lunar New Year shipments from Asia

Feb 05, 2015

Members of Congress Push Back Against Attempt to Repeal Jones Act

A bi-partisan group of U.S. House members are pushing back and criticizing a recently submitted amendment that would do away with the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. In summary, the Jones Act requires that domestic waterborne cargo be shipped in U.S.-flag ships owned, built and operated by Americans. Opponents have long criticized the Jones Act for raising the cost o

Jan 26, 2015

Trans-Pacific Carriers Announce February GRI, East Coast Remains Strong

Carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have announced another planned general rate increase (GRI) slated for early February. Spot rates on the Asia-U.S. West Coast trades rose just $159 per 40-foot container last week, despite a $600 general rate increase levied by trans-Pacific carriers on Jan. 15 that was accompanied by a $400 peak season surcharge. As of last week, th

Jan 21, 2015

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Down Again Ahead of January GRI

Transpacific spot rates slipped at the end of December , losing a significant portion of the gains from the GRI imposed by carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) in mid-December. Hong Kong to Los Angeles benchmark spot rate dropped 20 percent in the week of December 31st  to $1,975 per 40-foot container (FEU). Spot rates soared by $682 per container following a

Jan 12, 2015

Federal Mediation Underway in ILWU-PMA Labor Dispute

After 8 tense months of negotiations, there has finally been an encouraging development in the labor dispute at the West Coast ports. With hundreds of trade groups and associations writing letters to the White House asking for the federal government to intervene in the West Coast port standoff, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) announced they will be stepping in to oversee the

Jan 07, 2015

Thank You & Happy 2015

As we approach the end of 2014, we would like to personally thank you for doing business with Vilden Associates. We truly value our relationship with you and are proud to be your services provider. All of us on the Vilden team look forward to a prosperous 2015 and continuing to help you grow your business in the new year. Thank you again and have a wonderful new year! Sincerely, The Vi

Jan 01, 2015

U.S. Customs Regulatory Update: ISF Enforcement

The following notice was circulated today by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regarding “late” Importer Security Filings (ISFs).  CBP has been phasing in penalty notices and allowing late filing of ISF 10 and 5 when no bond is required.  All ISF filings are required to comply with the published time frame of 24 hours prior to loading and be filed with the appropriate

Dec 11, 2014

Transpacific Spot Rates Remain Steady Ahead of Mid-December GRI

The benchmark spot rates from Asia to North America have continued to remain relatively the same, showing stability in the trans-Pacific trade lane ahead of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement’s (TSA) mid-November general rate increase (GRI). The spot rate from Asia to the West Coast is $1,891 per FEU, and $4.044 to the East Coast. After the mid-November GRI lost all of it’s gains

Dec 08, 2014

U.S. Customs Regulatory Update: ACE Export Manifest

The modernization of U.S. Customs and Border Protection document filing is continuing with the soon to be announced pilot program for the EDI of export manifests. This is a major step towards the multimodal, single window vision that CBP and the trade have been working towards for many years. In January of this year, Census and CBP announced a pilot program for the Advance Export Information (A

Dec 01, 2014

Transpacific Spot Rate Down Before November GRI, Rates Drop Across All Major Lanes

Transpacific spot rates slipped slightly this week ahead of the November 15th general rate increase (GRI), losing all the gains from the GRI imposed by Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) carrier members in October. Hong Kong to Los Angeles benchmark spot rate dropped 2.7 percent this week to $1,875 per 40-foot container (FEU). While that rate is higher year-over-year, this week’s $50

Nov 11, 2014

U.S. Import Growth Expected to Ease As Tensions Rise in West Coast Ports

Analysts have projected that U.S. import growth is expected to ease this month after healthy highs in September and October. While the reduced import volume can help with the congestion issues plaguing the West Coast ports, not much relief is expected as tensions are swiftly building between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Negot

Nov 04, 2014

Rates Remain Steady Ahead of Mid-November GRI

The benchmark spot rates from Asia to North America have continued to remain relatively the same, showing stability in the trans-Pacific trade lane ahead of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement’s (TSA) mid-November general rate increase (GRI). The spot rate from Asia to the West Coast is $1,891 per FEU, up 6.2 percent year-over-year, and $4.044 to the East Coast, up 20.7 percent year-ove

Oct 28, 2014

Spreadsheet Abuse: A Risky Business

Spreadsheets can be a powerful tool for businesses, yet many professionals are unaware of the risks that come with abusing its functions. Since it is inexpensive and flexible, spreadsheets can be pushed beyond their useful capability and can develop from being a multipurpose tool into a complete mess. Overusing spreadsheets for daily tasks can cause inconsistency along many lines and can lead to p

Oct 07, 2014

Spot Rates Stabilize Before Mid-October GRI

Benchmark spot rates from Hong Kong to Los Angeles remained relatively the same for the third straight report, showing stability in the trans-Pacific trade lane ahead of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement’s (TSA) mid-October generate rate increase (GRI). The spot rate from Hong Kong to Los Angeles remained at $1,875 per 40-foot container (FEU) this week. However, the rate has tumbled o

Oct 02, 2014

Transpacific Carriers Unveil New Pricing Plan for 2015-2016

With Transpacific Stability Agreement (TSA) general rate increases (GRIs) implemented over 2014 largely failed to hold ground. Members of the 15-member carrier group are collaborating on a pricing plan that will establish minimum rate levels in hopes of creating a more stable rate structure for the 2015-2016 trade year. The group will concentrate on hitting higher contract rates in 2015 and 2016,

Sep 25, 2014

Cargo Spot Rates Drop Across All Major Trade Lanes

Earlier this week, spot rates dropped across all major trade lanes, despite stable U.S. trade due to a healthy peak season and the carrier’s September 1st general rate increase (GRI). Asia to northern Europe saw rates drop by 6.6 percent this week, down $74 to $1,055 per 20-foot container (TEU). The spot rate is still 9.2 percent higher than the same week of 2013. Asia to Mediterranean dippe

Sep 18, 2014

U.S. Imports and Exports Slow, Increasing Trade Imbalance

This summer has seen a reduction in global demand of U.S. containerized exports, particularly with the U.S. number one trading partner, China. Both containerized imports and exports were down in August, with analysts suggesting that a growing trade imbalance may be on its way. A larger trade imbalance could complicate both inbound and outbound freight flows and the movement of chassis and containe

Sep 09, 2014

With Global Competition Tightening, Legislation is Introduced to Strengthen U.S. Port Infrastructure

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA-LB) have long been the main entry way for imported goods coming through the Pacific for many years. With 40 percent of all imported goods coming through the POLA-LB, Southern California has more than a half million jobs tied directly to international trade. From dockworkers on the coast to distribution centers inland, the local economy and many livelih

Aug 28, 2014

ILWU-PMA Reach Agreement on Healthcare Benefits

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) took a surprising turn earlier this week as the two sides came to an agreement on healthcare benefits, long believed to be one of the main sticking points in the contract dispute. These labor negotiations have been characterized as peaceful when compared to the prior disputes, whi

Aug 28, 2014

Ports of NY-NJ Release Updated Importer Security Filing (ISF) Enforcement Stategy

U.S. Customs in conjunction with the Ports of NY-NJ released an update regarding the enforcement of the Importer Security Filing regulation that went into affect July 2013. Specifically, the update addresses how liquidated damages can be assessed with failure to report the requirements. CBP may also withhold the release or transfer of cargo until the ISF reporting requirements are met as well.

Aug 25, 2014

August Could Set Record for Container Imports

As July container import numbers show major year-over-year gains, it is anticipated that container imports may break an all-time record in August. July’s total containerized imports were 1.7 million TEUs, 5.8 percent higher than June’s total and nearly 5 percent higher compared to July 2013. Trade analysts attribute the increases to both an improving economy and a pre-mature peak se

Aug 19, 2014

After Solid First Half, Truck Rates Expected to Continue Rise Through 2014

With a tightened truckload capacity, weather related disruptions, and driver pay increases, truck rates across the U.S. are expected to continue to rise after strong growth in the first half of 2014. With this growth continuing into the third quarter, analysts expect steady increases in transportation rates within North America during the late third and early fourth-quarter peak season. Trucklo

Aug 16, 2014

Trans-Pacific Rates to Rise With Sept. 1st GRI

On Monday, members of Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) in the eastbound Pacific will implement another general rate increase (GRI) of $600per FEU, effective September 1st. Members of the TSA announced a rate restoration program in January, aimed at bringing rates up cumulatively $300 per FEU over the year. As of last week, rates on the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index fr

Aug 16, 2014

FMC to Host Public Forums in California and Maryland to Address U.S. Port Congestion

Next month in San Pedro California, Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero will be hosting a forum titled, “U.S. Port Congestion: Examining Causes, Impact on Stakeholders, and Exploring Possible Solutions.” The Sept. 15 West Coast forum will focus  on opening dialogue between the FMC and local operations on the causes and implications of congestion at U

Aug 12, 2014

Trans-Pacific Benchmark Rates Reach A Peak as Latest GRI Takes Affect

After the latest general rate increase (GRI) imposed by members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) on August 1st, along with peaking east-bound volumes, have pushed the transpacific benchmark rates from Asia to the U.S. to their highest levels so far this year. The benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles rose over 20 percent this week, increasing $375 to $2

Aug 07, 2014

Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Trade Volumes Steadily Rising Year Over Year

Both West Coast and East Coast container volumes are steadily up compared to last year, signifying solid growth over the last year for both imports and exports. Containerized imports moving through West Coast ports in June were up 10 percent from June 2013. Exports also grew, increasing 3 percent and with total container volume up 7 percent compared to June 2013. Containerized imports moving

Jul 16, 2014

ILWU & PMA Negotiations Stretch to Final Hours

Contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) continue into the final hours. Though the prospect of reaching an agreement by today’s 5p.m. expiration date seems very remote. However, given the lack of tension or disruptions leading up to today, the expiration date does not appear to be of major importance. When

Jul 02, 2014

US Customs Issues Guidlines in Case of West Coast Port Disruptions

Less than a week remains until the current contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) expires. Earlier this month a coalition of trade groups representing manufacturers, retailers and transportation providers urged both sides to wrap up negotiations over a new West Coast longshore labor contract before it expires at midnight o

Jun 25, 2014

Rising Industrial Volume Brings Demand For More Truckers

Many signs point to a nearly recovered U.S. freight economy as the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts positive trends for 2014. Increased industrial demand combined with tightened truckload capacity has sent spot market truck rates rising. Intermodal volumes are on the rise as well, driven by accelerating volumes at West Coast ports. Container volumes in April at the ports of Lo

Jun 12, 2014

P3 Partnership Approved by E.U. Regulators

Following the March vote of approval from the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the European Commission announced this week that it hasn’t found any anti-competitive issues with the proposed P3 Network, giving the vessel-sharing agreement involving the three largest global container lines safe harbor on the continent. The three lines, Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping

Jun 05, 2014

Trans-Pacific Rates To Rise With Mid-May GRI

The benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles was flat last week, but the analyst anticipates a short-term boost around the general rate increases planned for mid-May. The Hong Kong-to-Los Angeles rate remained flat in the week of May 7, at $1,850 per FEU. The rate is down 1.9 percent or $36 per 40-foot container from Jan. 1 of this year, and down 9.0 percent or $182 per FEU com

May 14, 2014

CBSA Announces Delay in eMANIFEST Implementation

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014 the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) announced that the changes required for house bill filings via eManifest will be postponed from the anticipated implementation date of  July 1, 2014. While there is no concrete date, the CBSA will communicate the enforcement of eManifest regulation requirements for NVOCCS  at least 45 days in advance of the mandat

May 07, 2014

CBSA eManifest Becomes Mandatory July 1, 2014

The long awaited e-Manifest requirements will move forward with a mandatory filing date of July 2014. What is e-Manifest? This is the third phase of the Canadian Border Services Agency’s (CBSA’s) initiative to modernize and improve the security of the commercial process of importing goods into Canada. Highway carriers’ EDI and Portal access were deployed in 2011 and

Apr 05, 2014

Asia-U.S. Rates Jump This Week as GRI Takes Effect

This week, spot container freight rates from Shanghai to U.S. ports saw some of the upcoming general rate increases (GRI) implemented, as both East and West Coast lanes saw increases of more than $100 per FEU. The rate from Shanghai to the U.S. East Coast was $3,287 per FEU, up 3.2 percent ($101) per FEU from last week (reflecting 33.7 percent implementation rate of the GRI.) The spot rate

Mar 21, 2014

Port of Vancouver Strike Enters Third Week

The delivery of local imported cargo at Port Metro Vancouver is being interrupted as the standoff between striking truckers and the Canadian government showed no signs of ending this week. With the strike in its third week and truck traffic at Canada’s largest port has decreased dramatically, marine terminals are running out of storage space. The terminals are accepting intermodal rail ca

Mar 20, 2014

President Obama Calls for Boost in Transportation Spending

President Obama called for $302 billion in transportation spending over the next four years, paid for in part with proceeds from tax reform, while discussing his budget in St. Paul, Minnesota last week. The president announced proposals for new federal grant money for transportation projects – higher spending on highways, ports, rail and bridges. The bid for a $302 billion, four-year plan

Mar 12, 2014

Japan’s AFR (JP24): Implementation Begins for Japan’s 24 Hour Rule

Japan’s 24 Hour Rule has finally arrived, with full implementation kicking off earlier this week. Nearly a year ago, Customs Tariff Law had been passed establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to be implemented by Japanese Customs. The amendment requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit information on maritime container cargoes bound for a port in Japan to Cu

Mar 05, 2014

President Obama to Issue New Fuel Standards for Trucks in March 2016

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration will issue tougher fuel-efficiency standards for delivery trucks by March 2016. He says that the triple benefit of reduced dependence on foreign oil, lowered consumer expenses and limits on green-house gases is ample reason to move ahead with his new proposal. Obama also cited that heavy-duty trucks make up just 4 percent of the vehicl

Feb 26, 2014

Truckload and Intermodal Rates Rising

Reflecting higher spot market rates, growing freight demand and declining capacity, truckload line-haul rates jumped 2.9 percent in January, the biggest year-over-year increase since February 2013. Spot market rates year-over-year were up 13 percent in January. Intermodal rates rose 1.7 percent from a year ago in January, as the Cass Intermodal Price Index increased for the first time

Feb 18, 2014

Vilden Opens New Satellite Office

Vilden Associates, Inc. announces the opening of a new satellite office in Shelton, Connecticut. Ann Moreau, who had been working in our Signal Hill Headquarters as an independent contractor/consultant for several months, will now be a full time employee and will operate out of the new facility. Ann has vast experience in a broad range of disciplines that are key skills our company needs to offer

Feb 10, 2014

Liner Reliability Sinks, Study Cites Cost Cutting

Container ship reliability has been on a down turn for over a year, and is slated to only get worse according to researchers at Drewry. Liner service reliability has worsened in every quarter of 2013. With the fourth-quarter decline, the on-time average was below 64%; the lowest it has been for two years (61% in 3Q11). Compared to the same quarter in 2012 , the trade average was down 11.4 percent,

Feb 05, 2014

Eastbound Trans-Pacific Rate Remains Flat, Hike Coming Soon

Benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles remained at $2,086 per 40-foot container for a fourth straight week in the week of Feb. 5. While the rate is down 17.7 percent year-over-year, it is 10.6 percent ($200) higher than it was on the first of January. The rate has been at this level since the week of Jan. 15, when members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) announc

Jan 29, 2014

Japan’s AFR (JP24): Sign Up Today to Test System with Japan Customs – Deadline February 7th

On March 30, 2012, a bill to amend part of the Customs Tariff Law had been passed, establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to be implemented by Japanese Customs. The amendment requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit information on maritime container cargoes bound for a port in Japan to Customs, in principle no later than 24 hours before departure of the vessel from t

Jan 23, 2014

Eastbound Trans-Pacific Rate Rises Slightly Following Quiet Few Weeks

After three weeks of no change, the Drewry benchmark rate for shipping from Hong Kong to Los Angeles rose this week. The rate climbed 10.6 percent or $200 per 40-foot container in the week of Jan. 15, reaching $2,086 per FEU, the highest level since early September 2013. This increase was planned by the members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement for January 15. Drewry expects pric

Jan 12, 2014

Shippers Anticipate More Rate Fluctuations in 2014

Much like 2013, analysts predict 2014 as a year of modest growth in demand and excess capacity. This is anticipated to lead to repetitive and short lived rate increases during peaks in demand. While growth in demand remains sluggish, container lines in global operations continue to position themselves for the long term, ordering large vessels with capacities of 8,000 to 18,000 20-foot-equivalen

Jan 06, 2014

Trucking Associations Continue Fight Against Hours of Service Rule

The battle over the new Hours of Service (HOS) regulation continues in the capitol this week. Yesterday, representatives from the trucking industry, including the American Trucking Association (ATA), called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to address the problems that have begun to surface now that the HOS ruling has been implemented. Citing two studies conducted by the ATA and a

Nov 21, 2013

Diesel Price Forecast Predicts $3.73 Average in 2014

The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) new Short-Term Energy Outlook expects diesel fuel prices, which averaged $3.97 per gallon in 2012, are projected to average $3.91 per gallon in 2013 and $3.73 per gallon in 2014. The monthly average for Brent crude spot oil prices decreased from $112 to $109 per barrel between September and October 2013.

Nov 14, 2013

CBSA eManifest Compliance Date Extended to July 2014

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has developed the eManifest Portal primarily to modernize and improve the  cross-border commercial process, helping trade partners  comply with eManifest requirements and to ease their transition from paper reporting to pre-arrival electronic data transmission. When fully implemented, eManifest will require carriers, freight forward

Nov 07, 2013

Japan’s Advanced Filing Rules (AFR – JP24) Full Enforcement Next March

As many of you are well aware, on March 30, 2012, a bill to amend part of the Customs Tariff Law had been passed, establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to be implemented by Japanese Customs. The amendment requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit to the Customs information on maritime container cargoes to be loaded on a vessel intended to enter a port in Japan, in pr

Oct 24, 2013

CBSA eManifest Compliance Beginning Next Year

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has developed the eManifest Portal primarily to modernize and improve the  cross-border commercial process, helping trade partners  comply with eManifest requirements and to ease their transition from paper reporting to pre-arrival electronic data transmission. When fully implemented, eManifest will require carriers, freight forward

Oct 09, 2013

Containerized Export Volume From Europe to North America Growing

The volume of containerized exports from Europe to North America reached 323,700 TEUs in July, up 1.8 percent from the 317,000 TEUs in July of 2012. Volume was also up 5.2 percent compared from the month prior. European exports totaled 2,082,800 TEUs for the first seven months of 2013, 1.8 percent above the level seen in the same period in 2012.

Oct 03, 2013

Japanese Overall Containerized Cargo Trade Expected to Rise

According to market analysts, Japanese containerized cargo exports is anticipated to rise 3.0 percent in fiscal 2013 (begun April 1st), to 5.176 million TEUs. The anticipated growth in loaded container cargo exports from the nine major Japanese ports follows a decline of 1.7 percent in fiscal 2012. They state that the bounce can be attributed to the moderate recovery of Japan in the global economy

Sep 26, 2013

U.S. Diesel Prices Down Slightly After Summer Peaks

Average U.S. diesel prices dipped this week after they peaked in the weeks prior at levels last seen in early April. The national average price is $3.974, down 0.2 percent or 0.7 cents from last week. Prices are up 1.4 percent or 6 cents from January. However, prices remain down 3.9 percent year-over-year. Prices dipped in most U.S. regions this week. The largest decrease came from the Wes

Sep 19, 2013

Drayage Operational Costs Up With Ocean Carriers’ Exit From Chassis Supply

In 2009, Maersk surprised the U.S. transportation industry when it  announced that it would no longer directly provide chassis to truckers, forwarders and cargo interests due to the increasing maintenance costs and liabilities associated with the service. Since the initial announcement, the majority of the larger ocean carriers followed suit, putting the onus of providing these container chas

Sep 12, 2013

Japan’s Advanced Filing Rules (AFR – JP24) Full Enforcement Next March

As many of you are well aware, on March 30, 2012, a bill to amend part of the Customs Tariff Law had been passed, establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to be implemented by Japanese Customs. The amendment requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit to the Customs information on maritime container cargoes to be loaded on a vessel intended to enter a port in Japan, in pr

Sep 03, 2013

European Exports Grow Along With Shipper Confidence

A survey of international shippers and freight forwarders last week shows a  growth in confidence in the European market, as data from the summer displays sustained growth in European exports for the majority of the trade lanes from May to June of this year. Europe to Asia cargo grew 2 percent from May to June, and stands at 9.4 percent higher than they were in June 2012. Europe to North A

Aug 15, 2013

Trans-Pacific Rates Fall Again

Average container spot rates fell again this week for the eastbound trans-Pacific trade routes, eliminating the $200 per FEU gain attributed to the last general rate increase (GRI) in the first week of August. The trans-Pacific spot rates fell $100 to $1,936 for this week, a loss close to 5 percent. These rates are the same level seen the week of July 24th, prior to the last GRI. The latest ben

Aug 15, 2013

U.S. Diesel Fuel Prices Continue Month Long Rise

Average U.S. diesel prices rose another 1.2 cents this week, continuing month long increases so far in July. After 4 consecutive weeks of increases, diesel prices are up 10 cents in all regions of the United States. The national average price is currently $3.915 per gallon, still at its highest since mid-April. The average is 3.1 percent higher than it was a year ago in 2012. The Rocky Mountain

Jul 31, 2013

Truckload Capacity at One Year High

After hitting a historic lows the previous two quarters , truckload capacity has reached a one year high in this second quarter of 2013 on freight demand increases. While the rise in demand has been welcomed news this year, capacity still remains 19% below the peak seen in 2006. This one year high can be attributed to the strengthened freight demand this year, which has coincided with improved tr

Jul 31, 2013

ISF 10+2 Full Enforcement Underway at Ports of LA and LB

Last week the LACBFFA sent out a copy of LA. Public Bulletin13-026 that explains the holds that CBP will place on cargo that is not in compliance with the ISF filings.  This includes explanations of the new manifest hold codes that will be placed on non-compliant shipments.  These codes can be queried in CBP’s system for the manifest. CBP Director of Field Operations Todd Owen h

Jul 18, 2013

CBP Announces Enforcement of Liquidated Damages for 10+2 Non-Compliance

Last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that the agency will begin issuing liquidated damages against importers and ocean carriers filing the Importer Security Filing (ISF) for non-compliance. These penalties will be enforced starting on July 9th(including “10+2″ submissions due to CBP on or after July 9th).     CBP officials stated that oce

Jun 14, 2013

Carriers GRI’s Losing Battle Against Sluggish Rates

Trans-Pacific carriers got some relief this week from falling rates through a general rate increase (GRI) that was implemented on Tuesday. The Hong Kong-Los Angeles Container Rate Benchmark rose $250, 63 percent of the proposed $400 GRI. This followed a six-week slump that saw a total decline of 24 percent or $600. This week’s GRI brought the rate to $2,150 per FEU. While the GRI helps, f

May 29, 2013

Lawmakers Join Drayage Operators in Seeking HOS Rule Delay

With the July 1st implementation of the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rule for commercial vehicle drivers six weeks away, drayage companies are increasingly worried about how these new regulations will affect their intermodal operations. The HOS rule requires an 11-hour daily driving limit, including a 34-hour duty-clock restart provision (once every 7 days) as well as a 30-minut

May 16, 2013

Strong First Quarter for Japan: Surging Imports and Exports

Strong numbers in March continued a 5 month streak of year-over-year import growth in Japan. Japanese imports were valued at $68 billion dollars last month, a 5.6 percent increase over the $64.4 billion traded in March 2012. However, this year-over-year increase was just half the rate of growth compared to February 2012-2013 (12%). Import value was up 9.4 percent between February and March. Jap

May 02, 2013

Federal Sequester and CBP Budget Cuts

With the federal sequestration anticipated to cut nearly a billion dollars from its budget, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is taking preemptive actions in order to maintain solvency. With the sequestration order signed, CBP has begun looking into different ways to operate more efficiently, while finding other revenue sources. The agency has already begun limiting worker overtime, and by late

Apr 04, 2013

Message From U.S. Customs: Sequestration

March 2nd, 2013 Dear Trade and Travel Industry Colleagues: As a result of the budget sequestration which went into effect on March 1, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is writing to provide you with information on how these budget cuts are likely to affect our operations, and to enable you to make plans to minimize their impact on your businesses and the public. Under the automa

Mar 04, 2013

LA-LB Office Clerical Unit Approve Contract

Last Wednesday the office clerical units of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILW) at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles finally approved the tentative contract with their employers. With the agreement in place, labor negotiations finally reached the conclusion of a contract battle that began in the Spring of 2010. In early February, all 16 bargaining units under the ILW fai

Feb 28, 2013

LA-LB Office Clerical Unit Reject Last Year’s Contract

On Wednesday the office clerical units of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILW) at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, voted down the tentative contract negotiated last year. This latest rejection has set the stage for another strike within a week, labor analysts concluded. All 16 bargaining units under the ILW failed to approve the contract, according to the Los Angeles/Lo

Feb 19, 2013

Supreme Court to Hear ATA vs. POLA Clean-Trucks Program

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) challenge to the concession requirements within the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) clean-trucks program. The clean-trucks program was implemented five years ago, with the intention of curbing truck emissions at the nation’s busiest port. The case of American Trucking Associations vs. City of Los Angeles&

Feb 11, 2013

ILA, USMX Agree to 6-Year Contract

After several mediations, the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) reached a tentative agreement last Friday night. Although it is still in the ratification process, with ongoing local union negotiations, operations at the ports will not be interrupted whatsoever. The deal averted what could have been a Maine-Texas work stoppage, which

Feb 11, 2013

ILA Walk Out of Contract Talks

Negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents shipping companies and terminal operators, opened and ended abruptly last Wednesday morning as the ILA walked out after objecting to employers proposed changes.  The initial strike was averted late last month with a 60 day

Jan 10, 2013

U.S. Diesel Continues Price Drop

U.S. diesel prices fell again last week, continuing a trend that began in early December. The average cost per gallon is now at $3.911, compared to $3.828 a year ago. Prices fell everywhere except for the Central Atlantic, Gulf Coast and California. The Gulf saw the largest price increase (to $3.837), while the Rocky Mountain regain saw the largest drop (to $3.688)

Jan 09, 2013

Freight Rates to Remain Down

Despite efforts by ocean carrier’s to cut down on capacity in east-west trade routes, freight rates are expected to remain steady due to lower than expected cargo volumes. Average head-haul freight rates have declined from $2,700 to $2,400 in little over 9 months. With an estimated 40 ships (10,000 TEUs) ready to be deployed early this year, carriers will be challenged on how to balance supp

Jan 03, 2013

East & Gulf Coast Vessel Ports Strike Avoided, 30 Day Extension

The impending East and Gulf coasts ports strike was avoided this morning as shippers and longshoremen decided to extend talks for 30 days. With the issue over royalty payments on containers now settled, negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents shipping companies and termi

Dec 27, 2012

ILA, USMX Continue Talks, Break Tuesday

Under federal moderation, representatives of the International Longshoremen Alliance (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents steamship lines and terminals that employ ILA union members, continued negotiations towards a contract resolution this week. In late September, the ILA and USMX agreed to extend the Maine-Texas contract 90 days until the end of December. The extension a

Dec 18, 2012

CBP Procedures for Vessel & Cargo Entry Processing In Event of Potential Trade Disruption East & Gulf Coast Vessel Ports

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in cooperation with trade stakeholders, is establishing procedures for events that cause major delays and diversions of vessel cargo arriving and departing the U.S. CBP will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the restoration of port operations for affected areas by using its authority and resources to facilitate the movement of cargo caused by event

Dec 12, 2012

Ports of LA-LB Strikes Settled, Agreement in Place

Cargo handling resumed in the Ports of Long Beach (POLB) and Los Angeles (POLA) on Wednesday morning, after an agreement was made Tuesday night. Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, announced that a settlement has been reached between the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 and their employers. The news came with great relief as an estimated 8 bil

Dec 05, 2012

Breaking News: Pickets to Spread at Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles

A resolution to the labor disputes between the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) and their employers will not happen today. Clerical workers at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) continue to strike for a fourth day, with rumors of additional pickets picking up steam inside the ports. Since the strike began on Tuesday, 10 of the 14 terminals between the POLB and the POLA rema

Nov 30, 2012

Japan’s Advanced Filing Rules (AFR – JP24) Sign Up For Special Year End Discount

On March 30, 2012, a bill to amend part of the Customs Tariff Law had been passed, establishing the Advance Filing Rules (AFRs) for imports to be implemented by Japanese Customs. The amendment requires carriers and NVOCCs to electronically submit information on maritime container cargoes bound for a port in Japan to Customs, in principle no later than 24 hours before departure of the vessel from t

Nov 30, 2012

ATA Predicts Driver Shortages

Analysts at the American Trucking Association (ATA) released a study this week confirming that the trucking industry is facing a driver shortage, and it is likely to grow over the next decade. The study reports that increased government regulations, specifically the hours-of-service changes and Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program have made it difficult to find qualified drivers. T

Nov 08, 2012

Post Sandy Update: Potential 14 Billion In Revenue For Motor Carriers From Reconstruction Efforts

After a tumultuous couple weeks, trucking companies in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast began reopening terminals closed during Hurricane Sandy early last week. However, logistic bottlenecks, fuel/power shortages, and challenges accessing customers have continued to hamper normal operations. With losses in revenue and damaged equipment, the trucking industry got a bit of good news this week. With

Nov 08, 2012

Post Sandy Update: Trucking Slowly Rolling in Northeast

After a tumultuous couple days, trucking companies in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast began reopening terminals closed during Hurricane Sandy, although the hardest-hit areas remained limited or closed as of today. Logistic bottlenecks, fuel shortages, and challenges accessing customers will hamper normal operations for at least another week.  In addition to this, it was reported today that

Nov 01, 2012

Asia-U.S. Carriers Plan December Rate Hike

In an effort to prematurely prevent rate erosion during the weak trade season, carriers belonging to  the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) announced a proposed general rate increase of $1,500 per FEU on standard and high-cube refrigerated container shipments from Asia beginning January 1st. TSA  has also proposed a rate increase of $400 per FEU for west coast U.S. imports fr

Nov 01, 2012

CBP Proposes Elimination of Paper In-Bond

On 4/22/2012, CBP published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making outlining changes in the in-bond process. Today, CBP continues to accept paper in-bond forms (CBP form 7512). The proposed changes would require all in-bond filers to electronically submit their in-bond applications. Additionally, these changes would require: Inclusion of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule number, Require the

Oct 17, 2012

ILA, USMX Continue Contract Resolution

Yesterday, representatives of the International Longshoremen Alliance (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents steamship lines and terminals that employ ILA union members, resumed negotiations towards a contract resolution. The week prior, the ILA and USMX agreed to extend the Maine through Texas contract 90 days until the end of December. This first step averted the potential

Oct 11, 2012

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Remain Steady

Trans-Pacific spot rates paid by NVOCCs have remained relatively unchanged for the fourth consecutive week according to analysts. The spot index of Hong-Kong to Los Angeles remained at $2,711 per 40-ft container (FEU), which is where it has averaged since mid-September. This is about 6 percent lower than the peak of $2,880 (mid-August). Year over year, the index is 82.5 percent higher than it w

Oct 11, 2012

ATA Predicts Confusing Months Ahead for Trucking

This past Tuesday, economic analysts at the American Trucking Association (ATA) told fleet executives that the economic trajectory for the trucking industry is going to be very uncertain for the remaining months of 2012. The analysts believe freight volumes will continue to be varied, depending on the sector (tank truck, flat bed, dry van, etc.). The good news is that overall, freight volumes have

Oct 11, 2012

Truck Tonnage Slowed in August

Although truck tonnage is up 3.2 percent from where it was a year ago in August, tonnage dropped 0.9 percent compared to June and July of this year, according to the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) assessment for the second quarter of 2012. The cause is attributed to lowered manufacturing output and spikes in inventories, which have reduced freight demand this past August. In a year by

Oct 08, 2012

Growth in Exports and Near Sourcing Could Create 5 Million U.S. Jobs

Although hardly talked about, the U.S. has been gradually shifting efforts towards the expansion of U.S. trade exports and the increase of home production in an effort to revive the economy and bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. Analysts predict that with new policies set in place, the growth in exports and U.S. production could bring up to 5 million jobs and 130 million dollars in addition

Oct 08, 2012

CBP Automated Commercial System Decommission Imminent

In a recent CSMS (Cargo Systems Messaging Service) from U.S. Customs, it was announced that 9% of ocean carriers have not begun program changes, testing and transition scheduling for the Automated Commercial Environment, known as ACE. Effective September 29, 2012 ACE will be the ONLY approved EDI for transmitting required advance sea cargo information, including 24hr rule, ISF, stow p

Sep 21, 2012

U.S. Diesel Prices Possibly Reached Peak

After 10 consecutive weeks of increases, the average price of diesel in the U.S. stayed nearly flat last week. The average cost per gallon is at $4.132, 27 cents higher than the same period a year ago. Prices slipped in the lower East Coast, the Gulf Coast and California, but remained above $4. The Rocky Mountain region saw the only gains, with the cost per gallon rising 2.5 cents to $4.242.

Sep 14, 2012

Asia-Europe Spot Rates Drop Again

For the fifth consecutive week, average Asia-Europe spot rates fell, this week falling 12 percent ($350 per loaded FEU). Rates have been dropping dramatically in the second half of the year, due to low European demand caused by the recession and lowered vessel utilization rates. The World Container Index (WCI) of spot rates has been dropping since July 5th, the last time the carriers implemente

Sep 14, 2012

Truckload Rate Increases Minimal in August

For the month of August, truckload rates remained flat in comparison to the month prior. Rates fell from 8.2 percent in February to 2.1 percent in July of this year, and truckload pricing increased 1 percent year over year (August). Intermodal rates climbed 1.3 percent from July to August, but were flat compared to the year prior. Although truckload rates didn’t drop, the data signifies t

Sep 14, 2012

Analysts Forecast Strong Import Volume For End of 2012

Despite the looming possibility of East Coast port closures, U.S. containerized imports are expected to rise 8.5 percent this month and remain high through the end of the year. September is forecasted to bring 1.49 million TEUs, which is over a 7 percent increase from the prior year. October is predicted to bring in 1.48 million TEUs, up 11.7 percent; November at 1.32 million TEUs, up 1.9 per

Sep 14, 2012

The Rising Demand for Natural Gas Trucks

Following strong demand from Asia, the global market for natural gas-powered trucks is expected to rise 14 percent from now until 2019. Currently, Asia- Pacific nations make up nearly 75 percent of the global natural gas vehicle sales. This demand in these countries has been boosted by domestic government investments and expanding infrastructure. The trends continue upward for the U.S. as well,

Sep 06, 2012

Surcharges Eminent If East Coast Ports Close

Following last week’s decision by the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) to grant authority to its president to recommend a union strike, several shipping lines have announced potential congestion surcharges if East or Gulf Coast ports are closed in response to the ILA’s contract expiration. The vote towards a work freeze was in reaction to a break down in contract ne

Sep 02, 2012

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Expected to Rise in October

Members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) accounced earlier this week the recommendation of a general rate increase of $160 per TEU and $200 per FEU on October 1st for all dry commodities to and from all origins and destinations. The WTSA has said that following weakened volume gains, the rates were cut. However now that typically busy trading months coming along, the ca

Sep 02, 2012

LA-Long Beach Clerical Workers Resume Talks with Employers

Shipping lines and terminal operators in the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports received good news this past Wednesday when the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of ILWU Local 63 agreed to resume contract negotiations. With no contract since June 2010, office workers were prepared to go on strike, which would have locked out the shipping lines and terminals from operating with the OCU. What makes the issue com

Aug 30, 2012

Potential Longshoremen Strike Could Threaten East Coast Ports

As the maritime industry prepares for its busiest time of year, a threat of a strike looms over the East Coast ports. Earlier this week, the members of Local 1804-1 (New Jersey) of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) granted authority to its president to recommend a union strike. This vote was in reaction to a break down in contract negotiations between the ILA and the U.S. Ma

Aug 30, 2012

World Container Ship Fleet Hits 16 Million TEUs

The world container ship fleet has crossed 16 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) after the addition of an estimated 802,000TEUs worth of new container ships in the first half of this year. These new container ships represent 5 percent of the global fleet at the beginning of the year. Although the capacity is growing, the rate of growth is slowing, possibly due to increased scrapping of older

Aug 20, 2012

U.S. Global Trade Expected to Grow 4.7 Percent Annually

Led by U.S.-based companies’ exports to emerging foreign markets, U.S. global trade is expected to rise 4.7 percent annually over the course of the next 15 years according to analysts. During the next 5 years, U.S. exports are expected to increase by more than 8 percent annually to trading partners Brazil, Peru and Turkey. U.S. exports to China are also expected to eclipse U.S. imports from

Aug 15, 2012

U.S. Diesel Continues Upward trend

The average U.S. price for diesel rose 6.3 cents last week, continuing a trend that began 6 weeks ago. The average cost per gallon is up to $4.089, with prices up 26.9 cents from a year ago. The price rose across the nation, with the West Coast seeing the largest increase, with the average cost jumping to $4.353. The Gulf Coast is the only region that did not see their price per gallon rise above

Aug 15, 2012

CBP Steamship Export Manifest Document

CBP has instituted a pilot project for export manifest submission using their DIS (document imaging system) earlier this year.  This pilot has been very successful in automating the delivery of manifest to CBP as well as saving exporting carriers a substantial amount of money for printing, postage and courier services. Carriers will not have to file paper manifest once they join the pilot for

Aug 15, 2012

The 9 Percent – Are You Ready for ACE?

In a recent CSMS (Cargo Systems Messaging Service) from U.S. Customs, it was announced that 9% of ocean carriers have not begun program changes, testing and transition scheduling for the Automated Commercial Environment, known as ACE.   Effective September 29, 2012 ACE will be the ONLY approved EDI for transmitting required advance sea cargo information, including 24hr ru

Aug 15, 2012

U.S. Diesel at Lowest Price Since February 2011

U.S. diesel prices fell by 5.1 cents in the week ending June 25th, hitting the lowest points since February 2011. The national average sat at $3.678 per gallon, 21 cents cheaper than they were a year ago and 10.5 cents lower from the beginning of this year. Crude oil slated for August delivery fell 55 cents to $79.21 a barrel.

Jul 27, 2012

Truck Tonnage Down 0.7 Percent in May

Although May saw a 4.1 percent increase in tonnage growth from the year before, for-hire truck tonnage was down 0.7 percent between May and April. This is the second month in a row that saw tonnage drop, wish tonnage slipping 1.1 percent from between April and March. Truck tonnage is up 3.8 percent over the first five months of 2012, compared to the same time period a year ago. Analysts expect ton

Jul 27, 2012

U.S. Global Trade Expected to Grow 4.7 Percent Annually

Led by U.S.-based companies’ exports to emerging foreign markets, U.S. global trade is expected to rise 4.7 percent annually over the course of the next 15 years according to analysts. During the next 5 years, U.S. exports are expected to increase by more than 8 percent annually to trading partners Brazil, Peru and Turkey.U.S. exports to China are also expected to eclipse U.S. imports from C

Jul 15, 2012

World Container Ship Fleet Hits 16 Million TEUs

The world container ship fleet has crossed 16 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) after the addition of an estimated 802,000TEUs worth of new container ships in the first half of this year. These new container ships represent 5 percent of the global fleet at the beginning of the year. Although the capacity is growing, the rate of growth is slowing, possibly due to increased scrapping of older

Jul 15, 2012

Comment Period on CSA Changes Extended

Due to the reaction to the proposed changes to the Compliance, Accountability, Safety program (CSA) from the American Trucking Association along with shipper & broker groups, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the comment period by 60 days, to July 30th.   In the March 27th Federal Register, the FMCSA issued a notice of prop

Jun 27, 2012

Ready for ACE?

On Thursday, March 29, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection  published a notice to the trade announcing that effective September 29, 2012 AMS will be retired and ACE will become the only acceptable CBP approved EDI. The road to realization of ACE has been a long one with many starts and stops.  Any company exchanging electronic data with CBP MUSTbe ACE cer

Jun 27, 2012

Used Truck Pricing on the Rise

After low new truck production levels in 2009, truckers are feeling the pinch with national used truck pricing rising around 16 percent in April compared to last year. Year over year, the national average price for used trucks is above $51,000, compared to the $47,500 average just a few months ago. With truckers now holding onto equipment longer now since the recession, resellers are now scramb

Jun 15, 2012

Transportation Industries Gain Most Jobs in May Job Report

According to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the transportation industries added the most jobs for the month of May. Out of the 69,000 jobs added to non-farm payrolls, the transportation industries represented 36,000. Out of these 36,000 jobs, trucking employment expanded by 7,300, with warehousing and storage operators adding an estimated 1,400 jobs to their w

Jun 15, 2012

Diesel Prices Fall Below $4 a Gallon

National Diesel prices fell below the $4 mark, slipping 4.8 cents in the week ending May 21st. The national average fell to $3.956, after dropping for five straight weeks. Year over year, the national average is 4.1 cents lower than it was at the period last year. However, prices are up 17.3 cents from where they were at the beginning of the year. Prices fell in all regions, with

May 24, 2012

TSA Proposing $600 Peak Season Surcharge

Expecting a strong peak season, eastbound Pacific shipping lines are proposing a peak season surcharge of $600 per 40-foot units (FEU).  The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement announced the proposed surcharge to take effect June 10th with no expiration date given.  Also, this surcharge is intended to apply to service contracts negotiated by retailers and other importers with ocean

May 24, 2012

Trucking Executives Warn Shippers About Rising Costs

Last Tuesday at the National Industrial Transportation League’s Freight Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., trucking executives from around the nation gave a stern warning about rising operation costs and how it can impact shipper’s budgets. Carrier executives warned that shippers could face much higher transportation costs in 2012 as higher demand meets tightened capacity, coupled wi

May 24, 2012

Clean-Air Program for Ships Picked Up By LA Port

On May 10th, the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) became the first port in the U.S. to implement the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) to help reduce harmful vessel emissions.  POLA is hoping the ESI program will help reduce the levels of sulfur oxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and diesel particulate matter in the port. Under this program, vessel operators will be incentivized with financial

May 24, 2012

Asia-Europe Carriers Rates Have Peaked

After freight rates in the Asia-to-Europe container trade increased fourfold from December 2011 to now, it seems that the Asia-Europe carrier rates have finally reached their peak.  Between December of last year and late April, spot pricing went from $490 per 20-foot equivalent (TEU) to $1,934 per TEU. However, it seems the truce in the rate war between ocean carriers has ceased as forward

May 15, 2012

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Hold Ground

Trans-Pacific spot rates eased last week after the nearly 20 percent spike the week prior, following the rate hikes by the shipping lines members of the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA). The Container Rate Benchmark slid by 2.8 percent, settling at an average of $2,337 per 40 foot equivalent (FEU) container from Hong Kong to Los Angeles.  The spot rate is 30.2 percent

May 01, 2012

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Proposes Modernization of NVO Rules

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Richard Lidinsky Jr. outlined a proposal to overhaul FMC regulations covering NVOs at the annual meeting of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America.  He said the FMC would begin discussing the modernization process for licensing, registration, and proof of financial liability for NVOs and freight forwarders in May. 

May 01, 2012

Truck Tonnage Continues Slow Rise through March

Truck freight continued its steady growth through March according to the American Trucking Association’s Truck Tonnage Index.  The report shows that truck tonnage slightly rose by .2 percent from February.  Year-over year, the adjusted tonnage rose 2.7 percent in March, the smallest annualized increase from the index since December 2009.  With the index showing a 5.5 percent y

May 01, 2012

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Rise 20 Percent

Trans-Pacific spot rates rose 19.9 percent in the last week, indicating that the carriers’ April 15th rate increase is holding.  NVOCCs reported paying $2,405 per 40-foot equivalent (FEU) this week, up from $2,005 last week, and 68 percent higher than the $1,436 rate from last December.  Rates stand 34 percent above where they were a year ago. Carriers have been increasing the r

Apr 30, 2012

Boston Port Gets First Truck Under Clean-Truck Program

After being successfully implemented in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Clean-Truck Program has been picking up steam in ports across the nation.  Boston saw its first clean truck purchased this month, funded by the Massachusetts Port Authority.  Last fall,  Massport teamed up with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish the jointly-funded program and bri

Apr 30, 2012

Diesel at Highest Price Since Summer 2008

National averages for diesel fuel hit there highest pricing point since August 2008 in the week ending April 9th.  The average price is $4.148 per gallon, up 7 cents from where they were a year ago. Prices rose in all regions except the West Coast, where prices dipped to $4.40.  The sharpest rise came from the New England region, where the price per

Apr 30, 2012

Diesel Prices See Dip After 10 Week Hike

National averages for diesel fuel fell by half a cent, marking a decrease for the first time since January 16th. Prices fell in all regions except the East Coast, where prices remained at an average of $4.190 a gallon.  The West Coast saw the biggest dip, with prices dropping 1.3 cents to $4.42 a gallon.  However, the national average of $4.142 a gallon is 16.6 cents higher from what it

Apr 12, 2012

Few Truckers Will Add Capacity

As freight demand increases this year, truckload carriers are considering adding capacity.  A quarter of carriers surveyed expected to increase their capacity by 6 to 10 percent this coming year.  Higher rates are making some carriers confident about adding capacity in 2012.  However, some analysts are predicting tightened truck capacity and an upward trend on rates for North Americ

Apr 12, 2012

Trans-Pacific Carriers Plan Second Round of Hikes for Westbound Rates

Trans-Pacific ship lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) have announced a second round of rate hikes for 2012.  The WTSA will recommend increases of $50 per 40-foot-equivalent units from Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland and $100 per FEU for all cargo moving via all-water or intermodal service from Pacific Northwest ports, inland U.S. points or the U.S. East an

Apr 12, 2012

West Coast Container Volume Declines 4 Percent

Container volumes at U.S. West Coast ports were down 4 percent coming out of February compared to the same month last year.  While exports stayed strong, increasing by 6 percent year-over-year, imports were hit especially hard and were down 11 percent. Container volumes in the Los Angeles-Long Beach terminals were down 4 percent.  Oakland and Seattle-Tacoma saw a 5 percent decline. &n

Apr 12, 2012

House Bill Proposes Cutting Excise Tax, Increases to Diesel Tax

A bill introduced by Congress this week is proposing the cutting of the excise tax on heavy trucks and replacing it with increases to the diesel fuel tax.  The proposed legislation would repeal the 12 percent excise tax and replace the revenue by raising the diesel fuel tax to 6.3 cents.  Although the bill has some bipartisan support, the majority of the House as well as the White House

Apr 12, 2012

Truck Tonnage Index Rises

Trucking activity rose 0.5 percent in February from January, showing freight volumes are rising after a post-holiday slump.  The American Trucking Association’s (ATA’s) tonnage index also showed a 5.5 percent year-over year increase for February, showing signs of recovery to levels seen before the recession. Since bottoming out in 2009, the tonnage levels are up 18.2 percent. T

Mar 29, 2012

Shippers Enter Trucker Hours-of-Service Lawsuit

Shipping association NASSTRAC has joined the legal battle over truck driver hours-of-service rules, siding against consumer advocate Public Citizen, which filed a lawsuit seeking daily driving limits reduced to 10 hours.  NASSATRAC agrues that the difference between the current 11-hour limit and the proposed 10 hour wouldn’t make a difference. They also cited that trucking fatalities ha

Mar 29, 2012

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Ease

Spot rates on the trans-Pacific trade slid slightly week-over-week, following a rate increase of $300 per 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU) two weeks ago implemented by Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) carriers on March 15th. The container rate benchmark for moves between Hong Kong to Los Angeles were down 0.4% to $2,004 from $2,013 per FEU this wee

Mar 29, 2012

Ready for ACE?

On Thursday, March 29, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will publish the notice to the trade announcing that effective September 29, 2012 AMS will be retired and ACE will become the only acceptable CBP approved EDI. The road to realization of ACE has been a long one with many starts and stops. Any company exchanging electronic data with CBP MUST be ACE certified and transition

Mar 29, 2012

Diesel at Highest Price Since August 2008

Last week, the national price of diesel increased to an average of $4.142 per gallon, the highest price since the last week of August 2008.  The average cost per gallon increased by 1.9 cents as oil prices rose to more than $107 per barrel.  The average price is 2.6 cents higher than the same period in 2011. The price bump was the highest in the Rock

Mar 22, 2012

As Freight Demand Increases, So Will Truck Pricing

Freight analysts are predicting upward pressure on trucking pricing for North American shippers, as capacity remains at lower levels and demand begins to pick up in 2012. Truck utilization will remain strong and rates are expected to go up due to a forecasted 3.9 percent growth in truck volume in 2012, with little to no excess capacity expected until 2013 when new driver wor

Mar 22, 2012

Los Angeles and Long Beach Imports Decline

Container volume declined in February for both the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (POLA, POLB) with the expected slow down in imports.  Although February is the slowest month for trans-Pacific trade, volume was down even more than expected due to an early Chinese New Year and subsequent celebrations affecting cargo volumes for most of the month. The POLA saw i

Mar 22, 2012

Trans-Pacific Spot Rates Stabilize

Spot rates on the trans-Pacific trade remained stable week-over-week after a 13.6 percent increase last week following a rate increase of $300 per 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU) implemented by Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) carriers on March 15th. The container rate benchmark for moves between Hong Kong to Los Angeles remained at $2,013 per FEU this

Mar 22, 2012

Canada Border Services Agency’s Bay Plan Initiative

In April of 2004, CBSA implemented the first phase of the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) Program.  At this time, it became a requirement for marine carriers to electronically transmit marine cargo data to CBSA 24 hours prior to loading cargo at a foreign port.  Moving forward with that initiative, phase 2 was completed in July 2006, expanding the requirement to air carriers an

Mar 22, 2012

European Imports Expected to Rise After Fourth Quarter Drop

Containerized imports to North European ports are expected to rise just below 3 percent in this first quarter of 2012, after dropping nearly 7 percent in the quarter prior in 2011.  The European recession is having an impact on container shipping revenue as port traffic continues to drop.  In response shipping lines have been trying to increase rates in one of the world’s busiest t

Mar 14, 2012

Trans-Pacific Carriers to Increase Westbound Rates

Trans-Pacific ship lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) have announced rate hikes for 2012.  The WTSA will recommend increases of $50 per 40-foot-equivalent units from Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland and $100 per FEU for all cargo moving via all-water or intermodal service from Pacific Northwest ports, inland U.S. points or the U.S. East and Gulf coasts begi

Mar 14, 2012

Asia-Europe Spot Rates Rise 114 Percent

The Asian-European freight index exploded 114 percent over the last week of February.  The rate to ship a 40-foot-equivalent (FEU) from Shanghai to Rotterdam rose from $1,276 to $2,732 according to the World Container Index (WCI).  All the major carriers have increased westbound rates by $700 through $800 per 20-foot-equivalent (TEU), and some have followed Maersk Line’s decision t

Mar 14, 2012

Truckload Capacity Drops 1.1 Percent

Freight Capacity dipped 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, down 1.1 percent year over year as freight supply and demand found a balance at the end of 2011. Combined tractor count was down only 1.4 percent over the last two years, but was still down 7.6 percent since the end of 2008. Only a handful of major carriers added capacity in the last quarter, putting added pressure on freight ra

Mar 14, 2012

Truck Volume and Pricing Forecast 2012

The Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) shows truck freight outperforming the U.S. economy this year, with 3.9 percent growth expected.  The TCI slipped in January to 6.1, which is still a positive reading. Readings over zero indicates an “adequate” trucking environment, with reading over 10 meaning favorable pricing and volumes for truckers.  Truckload and less than-truckload pr

Mar 14, 2012

Long Beach Clean Trucks Program Achieves Goal

On January 1st the last 300 pre-2007 trucks left the Port of Long Beach (POLB) for the last time, marking the final step of its ambitious Clean Trucks Program implemented in late 2008. With a few exceptions, all 11,000 trucks operating in the POLB are 2007 EPA-certified or newer. Over a 3 year time span, thousands of older modeled “dirty” trucks have been taken off the road and re

Mar 01, 2012

ACE on the Horizon

In early summer 2011, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began advanced testing of the ocean and rail cargo manifest systems in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This testing is being done to ensure carriers and other filers currently utilizing the Automated Manifest System (AMS), are prepared to move forward with ACE. Some of the benefits of ACE are: Increased SNP notifica

Jan 17, 2012

Truckload Rates Up 8.6 Percent

Truckload Rates were up 8.6 percent year-over-year to end 2011 with a rise of 0.7 percent in December from the previous month. The Cass Index rose to 109.2 last month, up from 108.4 in November as the holiday season was coming to a close. This comes at the end of a year where spot rates rose 7.4 percent, with contract rates up an average of 6.5 percent. Analysts anticipate the rates to keep ris

Jan 17, 2012

DOT Freight Index Rose 0.1 Percent Last November

Freight Index for the transportation industry rose 0.1 percent from October to November last year. The increase left the DOT’s Index at 109.5, slightly below the peak of 109.6 in September but still higher than any of the months since July 2008. The index reflects month to month changes in ton-miles carried by trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines, and air freight. The index bottome

Jan 17, 2012

Trans-Pacific Carriers Plan New Years Rate Hike

In an attempt to stem the plummeting rates in east-west trade lanes, a discussion group of 15 major carriers operating in Asia is planning to implement interim rate hikes on January 1st of 2012. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) group says that its member lines plan to raise all-inclusive freight rates by a minimum of $400 per 40 FEU. They hope that the rat

Dec 12, 2011

AMS Celebrates 25 Years

Last month marked the 25th anniversary since the introduction of the Automated Manifest System (AMS). This accomplishment can only be attributed to the combined efforts of U.S. Customs, the shipping industry, and Customs Electronic Systems Action Council (CESAC). CESAC was formed in 1989 shortly after the initial release of SEA AMS as a forum for members of the shipping indu

Dec 12, 2011

Trucking Conditions Index improved in September

Tighter capacity, raised rates, and lowered fuel costs have helped improve profit margins for trucking companies in September. The Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) went up 3.1 points in last month to 9.2, Readings above 10 indicate freight volume, rates and profit margins are in good range for trucking operations. However, this also signifies more expensive moves for shippers using trucking serv

Nov 08, 2011

LA Port Plans to Uphold Some Concession Requirements

The Port of Los Angeles (POLA) plans to enforce a recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court to uphold some of the concession requirements found within the clean-truck plan. These concession requirements relate to provisions covering motor carrier financial responsibility, truck maintenance and off-street parking requirements. After winning an appeal on the employee-driver mandate portion of t

Nov 08, 2011

U.S. Customs Announces Changes to AMS Filing

In early summer 2011, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began advanced testing of the ocean and rail cargo manifest systems in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This testing is being done to ensure carriers and other filers currently utilizing the Automated Manifest System (AMS), are prepared to move forward with ACE. Some of the benefits of ACE are: Increased SNP notifica

Oct 24, 2011

Freight Index Up in August

Cass Freight Index for U.S. shipments grew 4.4 percent in August compared to the same month a year ago. The August gain was significantly smaller than the 11 percent increase in July, and was the smallest growth in 18 months. The spending index also reached its lowest point since March.

Sep 29, 2011

POLA Employee-Driver Mandate Struck Down

A federal court of appeals on Monday struck down the employee-driver mandate in the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) clean-truck program. The verdict was a huge victory for the American Trucking Association (ATA), which has been appealing and fighting the employee mandate for over two years. Implemented in 2008, the clean-truck program sought to reduce harmful diesel emissions in the POLA by more tha

Sep 29, 2011

Freight Index Up in August

The Cass Freight Index (CFI) has shown a year over year growth of 4.4 percent in August for U.S. shipments. This is the smallest gain in a year and a half, and shows the sluggish growth of the U.S. economy in 2011. Although the August shipment index has shown a growth in demand, the year over year improvement is far less than the 11 percent increase shown in July. The CFI also reports that spendin

Sep 16, 2011

Positive Forecast for Ship Lines in 2012

In a report released this week, industry analysts say that although container shipping will have to deal with excess capacity through 2011, 2012 should bring better balance between vessel supply and demand. Vessel over supply and concerns about the European and U.S. economies have slowed trade and affected rates globally. Analysts expect the 3rd quarter to bring slight improvements, follow

Sep 16, 2011

U.S. Container Imports Up 4 Percent

U.S container imports grew just 4 percent in the second quarter of 2011, after a 9 percent rise in the first quarter of 2011. Overall, the first half of the year saw imports rise 6.3 percent to 8.36 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).  Analysts blame the stuttering housing market and slow job growth for the slowed growth going into the second half of this year. China accounted for nea

Sep 16, 2011

Container Ship Capacity Grows 10 Percent

Global container ship capacity is up 10 percent since August of last year.  A dreary summer trade season, coupled with weak cargo demand has cut demand for vessel space and put added pressure on operators to keep freight rates at a 20-month low as they redeploy their vessels to trade routes with more activity.  Carriers have increased capacity on all routes, with secondary line haul mark

Sep 16, 2011

US Container Imports Up 9 Percent in April

Containerized imports at U.S ports in April are expected to grow 9% from a year ago, which would mark 15 consecutive months of year-over-year improvement in U.S container imports. The first half of 2011 is forecasted to grow 8% from 2010.  Industry experts say this growth indicates the rebounding state of the economy, with U.S retailers expecting increases in sales through the summer seaso

Jul 25, 2011

FMCSA’s proposed Hours of Service Ruling Brings Questions from the Transportation Community

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed amendment for Hours of Service (HOS) has brought up some questions from the different facets of the transportation industry. The changes, which took effect in October 2010, require that truck drivers take 10 hours off in between moves, but would be allowed to split the time into two blocks. Previously,

Jul 23, 2011

Hapag-Lloyd Joins Other Major Carriers Who Have Ceased to Provide Chassis to Truckers

Add Hapaq-Lloyd to the list of major ocean carriers who have stopped providing chassis to harbor truckers. At the end of 2010, many larger carriers operating in the US had begun to phase out providing chassis on the East coast, with the intention of eliminating the service completely in the entire US by the end of next year.  They state that the move is necessary to help reduce operat

Jul 23, 2011

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Jun 24, 2011