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Fines Increasing for Violations of FMCSA Regulations, Reason for NOTAM Outage Under FAA Investigation, Chicago O’Hare Avoids Labor and Cargo Disruptions.

Jan 12, 2023

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Containership charter market continues to stabilize. The containership charter market has now stabilized, but the outlook for the sector remains uncertain as charterers appear to be waiting for better demand visibility after the Chinese New Year holiday before reassessing their network requirements, the Loadstar reports.


U.S. imports surge is over, volumes fall to pre-pandemic levels. U.S. imports continue to fall as import patterns appear to return to pre-pandemic levels. Volumes began declining sharply in September and were already close to 2019 levels by the end of last year. The “pandemic-driven surge [is] finally over,” said the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF’s monthly Port Tracker estimates that the 12 ports it covers handled 1.88 million twenty-foot equivalent units in December, down 10.1% year on year.


Fines increasing for violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. The FMCSA announced the new civil penalty amounts in a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 6. The increase is based on the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which requires all federal agencies to adjust minimum and maximum civil penalty amounts for inflation “to preserve their deterrent impact.” The new fine amounts are effective immediately. A complete list of U.S. DOT fine increases for 2023 can be found here.


Canada announces requirement for freight railroads to provide more performance data. Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that the Canadian government will soon require the nation’s major freight railroads to provide more data in “an effort to strengthen the nation’s supply chain,” Progressive Railroading reports. Transport Canada officials said in a press release that the railroads must supply the data to help rail users better understand the freight-rail sector’s end-to-end performance, effective April 3.


FAA proposes 2024 deadline for airplane altimeter upgrades. Airlines were granted another year to fix or replace airplane altimeters that can’t filter out cellular transmissions from outside their allotted frequencies by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA said it “estimates that approximately 180 airplanes would require radio altimeter replacement and 820 airplanes would require the addition of radio altimeter filters to comply with the proposed modification requirement.” The total estimated cost of compliance is $26 million.

Reason for NOTAM outage under FAA investigation. All flights across the U.S. were paused by the Federal Aviation Administration Wednesday morning following an outage of the Notice to Air Missions system (NOTAM). Flights slowly resumed by Wednesday afternoon, but residual delays and cancellations could last days. The FAA said that early investigative work traced the blackout to a “damaged database file,” but the agency is still working to determine the root cause, according to NPR.

Chicago O’Hare avoids labor and cargo disruptions. Chicago O’Hare International Airport reached a required labor agreement and will continue cargo operations as normal, avoiding potential service interruptions. On Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) notified freighter operators that cargo handler Swissport has signed an agreement with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) establishing parameters for the union to mount a membership drive, according to FreightWaves.


Piracy drops to 14 year low. Global acts of piracy fell to their lowest level last year since statistics were first established and tracked in 2008. The Maritime Information Cooperation and Awareness Center (MICA), the France-based branch of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), said there had been 300 reported acts of piracy and robbery in 2022.


Ozone layer on track for recovery. Some good news for your week: A panel of international experts backed by the United Nations has found that the Earth’s ozone layer is on its way to recovering, thanks in part to decades of work to get rid of ozone-damaging chemicals.