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Port Volumes Near Pre-Pandemic Levels, Shippers Say Railroads Aren’t Fulfilling Common Carrier Obligation, EU Reaches Agreement on Import Pollution Tax.

Dec 15, 2022

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Containerships to be scrapped following market drops. Analysts are anticipating that a large amount of older containerships will be scrapped soon, with significant amounts of boxships currently being put up for recycling as the container market sinks to pre-covid levels. “The ongoing trade slowdown is expected to worsen for 2023. While the outlook for global trade remains uncertain, negative factors appear to outweigh positive trends,” according to a new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


Port volumes near pre-pandemic levels. Imports are close to pre-pandemic levels following weakening inbound cargo volumes and reduced exports from China. Descartes reported that 1,954,179 twenty-foot equivalent units of containerized cargo were imported in November, down 12% month on month and 19.4% year on year – only 2.8% higher than imports in November 2019, and down 37% from the May peak. The m/m drop in November of this year is the steepest recorded by Descartes since 2016.


CBP to launch new interactive guidance tools for UFLPA. CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said during a Dec. 7 Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee meeting that CBP will soon launch interactive tools on its website to aid in compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Miller said the agency has been exploring ways to better aid U.S. importers as they navigate increasingly “complex global supply chains” and vet suppliers who may be using forced labor, according to International Trade Today.


New heavy duty engine emission standards could cost truckers. Truckers are bracing for new tailpipe emissions standards from the Biden administration that single owner-operators and owners of large fleets warn could “place heavy cost burdens onto the U.S. economy as a recession already looms,” according to FreightWaves. The new nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions standards were proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March.


CN outlines winter plan as required by the provisions of the Canada Transportation Act. CN has prepared a Winter Plan that outlines the challenges they face operating in Canadian winter conditions, as well as sets out the actions that enable CN to maintain operations through the winter at a level acceptable to the needs of customers while ensuring that operations continue in a safe and efficient manner. See the CN winter weather situation report here for updates on rail conditions.

Shippers say railroads aren’t fulfilling common carrier obligation. This week, several shippers told federal regulators that they “don’t believe the railroads are meeting the common carrier obligation because of the service issues they’ve encountered in the past year, including an increased use of embargoes as a means to control congestion,” FreightWaves reports. Shippers made these comments before the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which was holding a two-day hearing to determine why Union Pacific’s use of embargoes rose significantly in the last five years.


Last Boeing 747 produced in Washington. The last Boeing 747 rolled off the production line in Everett, Washington on December 6, after 52 years and 1,574 planes. The production line will be closed and potentially repurposed for other aircraft.


EU reaches agreement on import pollution tax. A provisional deal between the Council of the EU and members of the European Parliament was reached Tuesday morning, enabling plans for the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to move forward. The Parliament said the CBAM levy would be established “to equalize the price of carbon paid for EU products operating under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the one for imported goods,” in a statement.


Average price of new cars hits all-time record. The average new car price in November was a record-high $48,681, according to Cox Automotive’s data. The price was $422 higher than in October and $2,250 higher than one year ago. The average buyer has paid more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) every month since July 2021, according to Kelley Blue Book calculations.