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Data Shows Increase in Container Ship Schedule Reliability, MSC Updates Policy on Customer Billing, FedEx to Combine Businesses into One Organization.

Apr 6, 2023

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Data shows increase in container ship schedule reliability. The container shipping industry is seeing an increase in schedule reliability. New data from Sea-Intelligence shows that schedule reliability is approaching pre-pandemic levels, and is currently at the highest level since August 2020. Sea-Intelligence CEO Alan Murphy says that “schedule reliability was a staggering 26 percentage points higher,” year-over-year. According to the data, the industry bottomed last year, falling to a level where just one-in-three ships were on schedule.

MSC updates policy on customer billing. MSC announced last week that it is updating its policy on customer billing. The decision came just a few days after the Federal Maritime Commission announced its investigations into detention and demurrage compliance. The company said in an email notice to customers: “MSC will not assess demurrage, detention or per diem charges for any day in which a terminal is closed due to holidays, weekends, or other port closure events.” The carrier also noted that “working days” where per diem charges would apply include holidays and weekends in which marine terminal operators are open for business, according to SupplyChainDive.


Port of Morrow faces $2m fine over wastewater spill. Oregon’s Port of Morrow faces a new violation over contamination in eastern Oregon, linked to a spill of port wastewater “in an area reeling from years of water contamination from the port and other sources,” Maritime Executive reports. The Department of Environmental Quality failed to act on the violations for years, but is now negotiating a settlement with the port over previous violations. The DEQ appears to have waited weeks to act again until two people complained about the latest spill.


Cummins to invest $1B in engine plants and hydrogen equipment. Cummins Inc. plans to spend $1 billion to “modernize engine plants in three states and invest in hydrogen production equipment in Minnesota,” the company said this week. Cummins CEO Jennifer Rumsey said that federal investment through the infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act influenced Cummins’ decision to invest in its U.S. plants. Read more about Cummins plans at FreightWaves.

Tesla recalls semi trucks over parking brake valve module issue. Tesla issued a voluntary recall of 35 of its all-electric Class 8 Semi trucks due to a parking brake issue. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety recall report says that electronically controlled parking brakes on semi trucks “may intermittently fail to transition when the parking brake is engaged or disengaged, which could then result in the parking brakes not being set or released.” Tesla will send letters to semi owners on May 23 notifying them of the recall, according to FreightWaves.


Canadian rail operators seeing more investment demand ahead of earnings season. According to Bank of America, Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific are receiving more investor interest ahead of earnings season for rail operators across North America, showing that investors are viewing US rail operators as more risky than their Canadian peers at present.


UPS to open cargo sorting facility at TPA. UPS plans to open a 40,000-square-foot sorting facility at Tampa International Airport (TPA). The $79.5 million cargo building is expected to be complete by the end of 2023 and will be able to sort up to 7,500 packages per hour, according to an airport release. UPS will lease the facility from the airport’s Aviation Authority, and it will support its Next Day Air deliveries for Tampa Bay and Florida’s west coast.


China’s first cargo airport begins international flights. The first cargo-focused airport in China launched its inaugural international route with a flight bound for Belgium loaded with 100 tonnes of freight. According to China’s state press agency Xinhua, the flight departed Ezhou Huahu Airport in Hubei Province on April 1, and the route is scheduled to provide two round-trip cargo flights each week between China and Europe.


FedEx to combine businesses into one organization. FedEx Corp. plans to combine most of its companies into one business, effective June 1, 2024. The restructuring will bring FedEx’s air, ground parcel and FedEx Services businesses under one entity called One FedEx, but the company’s LTL operation, FedEx Freight, will continue to operate as a stand-alone business within the new corporation, according to FreightWaves. FedEx expects E-commerce to account for 90% of all new business through 2026.

Job openings fall below 10 million. In February, job openings fell below 10 million for the first time since May 2021. The Labor Department reported this week in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey that available positions totaled 9.93 million, a drop of 632,000 from January’s downwardly revised number.