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Falling Truck Rates May Result in Lower Supply Chain Costs, Commissioned Study Says Rail Industry Added $75B to U.S. Economy in 2020, Air Cargo Industry Continues Aid Efforts in Turkey and Syria.

Feb 16, 2023

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MSC included in $45M settlement for 2021 pipeline spill in Southern California. According to Seatrade Maritime News, although Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has confirmed it is part of a $45 million settlement for claims related to the October 2021 pipeline spill in California, MSC maintains that responsibility for the incident lies with pipeline owner Amplify Energy. MSC Danit and Cosco Beijing are accused of allowing their ships to drag anchor, causing damage to the pipeline and resulting in a 25,000-barrel oil spill on October 2, 2021. Although the pipeline spill occurred in October 2021, the MSC vessel involved is suspected of causing damage to the pipeline in January of that year. MSC stated that it accepted the joint fund proposal and intended to proceed in a “positive and constructive manner.”


Port of Portland container shipping bounces back following labor dispute. Over the last three years, shipping container traffic through the Port of Portland has rebounded, a significant recovery following an infamous labor dispute that is said to have essentially halted container traffic at the port. According to port figures, Portland’s container volume in 2022 was the highest since 2013. Last year, the equivalent of 171,000 twenty-foot containers passed through the port, roughly half of the peak activity recorded in Portland in the 1990s.

Container volume plummets at Port of Long Beach. The Port of Long Beach attributes the 28.4% year-over-year drop in January container volume to consumer demand and shipping patterns changes. In January, the port handled 573,772 twenty-foot equivalent units, a 28.4% decrease from last year. Imports fell 32.3% on a year-over-year basis to 263,394 TEUs, while exports fell 14.2% to 105,623 TEUs. “We are taking aggressive steps to meet a new set of challenges for the new year,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Southern California port, in a news release.

Port of Savannah exports up, but total cargo volume down. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) revealed in its January volumes report a 21% year-over-year rise in exports and a total cargo throughput declined by 11.5%. The GPA declared that it handled 421,714 twenty-foot equivalent units in January, 55,000 fewer containers than in the same month in 2022. However, it noted that the 2023 total was 11.7% higher than the pre-pandemic volume of 377,671 TEUs in January 2020.


China places sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies over Taiwan arms sales. This week, China placed Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp on an “unreliable entities list” over arms sales to Taiwan, banning them from imports and exports related to China, according to Reuters. The sanctions follow the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon by the U.S. military, and come just one day after Beijing warned of “countermeasures against relevant U.S. entities that undermine China’s sovereignty and security.” Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile and Defense Corporation are prohibited from “engaging in import and export activities related to China,” China’s commerce ministry said in a statement.


Falling truck rates may result in lower supply chain costs. According to SupplyChainDive, carriers should not expect record spot prices to reappear in 2023. As economic conditions and consumer demand soften, the scene has transitioned to a shipper’s market, creating an ideal opportunity for shippers to capitalize on low prices and be more strategic.

Trucking associations advocate removal of vaccine mandates at U.S. borders. While President Joe Biden announced last week that he would lift the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, the revocation of the emergency order made no mention of ending the vaccine mandate for non-U.S. citizens crossing the border into America. As a result, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and other trucking associations urge the U.S. government to repeal its vaccine mandate for non-American truck drivers traveling between Canada and the U.S. According to CTA officials, the border vaccine mandate prevents thousands of unvaccinated truck drivers from entering the United States in Canada and Mexico, impacting the supply chain.


East Palestine train derailment raises health and environment concerns. Concerns about public health and the environment have grown in East Palestine, Ohio, following the release of toxic fumes from several derailed train cars last week. On February 3, about 50 cars of a Norfolk Southern train derailed in Ohio, sparking a days-long fire. Ten of the 50 derailed cars contained toxic materials such as butyl acrylate, vinyl chloride, and combustible liquids that authorities feared could cause a significant explosion. MPR News reports that some East Palestine business owners and residents have filed negligence lawsuits against Norfolk Southern.

Commissioned study says rail industry added $75B to U.S. economy in 2020. The U.S. rail supply industry’s impact to the nation’s GDP exceeded $75 billion in 2020, according to an economic study commissioned by the Railway Supply Institute, the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association and the Railway Tie Association. The report suggests that contributions from the industry stem from more than $15 billion in tax contributions at the federal, state and local levels, in addition to employment impacts of more than 680,000 jobs.


Air cargo industry continues aid efforts in Turkey and Syria. Following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the air cargo industry leaped into action to assist with transporting aid to the region. Air Charter Service (ACS) arranged passenger and cargo aircraft charters to transport search and rescue teams and provide essential humanitarian aid for the earthquake victims. Virgin Atlantic Cargo conducted an all-cargo aid flight from Heathrow airport containing more than £350,000 worth of vital supplies, making it one of the first UK aid flights to the region. AerCap has transported approximately 13 tons of humanitarian aid to Turkey so far.

Forwarders ask TSA to collaborate with air cargo industry on CCSSSP amendments. Air Forwarders are asking U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to work with the air cargo industry on amendments to the TSA Certified Cargo Standard Security Screening Program (CCSSSP) that expire in October of this year, according to AirCargoNext. The amendments that are due to expire create exemptions for impractical-to-screen cargo. Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association (AfA), said the “industry needs TSA’s strong support in messaging the shippers that the CCSSSP … is the only realistic available option to continue to move their cargo.”


India Approves Bangladeshi Exports via Sea-Air Route. The Indian government approved Bangladesh’s transhipment cargo to be handled at the Delhi Air Cargo complex in a bid to boost regional trade hub ambitions, according to The Loadstar. India’s Central Board of Excise and Customs said that “using the Delhi Air Cargo facility as well would improve cargo evacuation and logistics efficiency.”

Maersk tanker refused entry into Spain due to carrying Russian cargo. The Singapore-flagged product tanker Maersk Magellan was denied access to Spain’s Tarragona port because it transported cargo from a former Russian-flagged ship. According to the country’s transport ministry, the load was transferred from a Vietnamese-owned product tanker Elephant to the Maersk Magellan in a ship-to-ship transfer from the Cameroon-flagged Nobel ex-Neatis, which sailed under a Russian flag until July 1. As a result, the port denied entry to comply with EU regulations prohibiting access to any vessel registered under the Russian flag after April 16, 2022, and Russian-flagged ships that switched to another flag after February 24, 2022.


Retired Boeing 737 converted into private Indonesian villa. A retired Boeing 737 was purchased by developer Felix Demin in 2021 and transported to its remote location on a clifftop in Indonesia, where it was transformed into a luxury private villa. The Private Jet Villa by Hanging Gardens, which sits 150 meters above sea level near Nyang-Nyang beach and has two bedrooms and a swimming pool, will be available to rent beginning in April, with nightly rates starting around $7,000.