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Canadian West Coast Port Strikes Continue, UPS and Teamsters Contract Talks Collapse, Egg Production Recovers From Avian Flu.

Jul 6, 2023

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New containership deliveries hit record in June. New containership deliveries hit a record of 285,000 teu in June, according to analyst Alphaliner. MSC accounted for over one third of the newbuild deliveries.


Canadian West Coast port strikes continue. 7,400 International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada’s Longshore Division (ILWU Canada) workers went on strike Saturday following failed labor contract negotiations with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA). The ongoing strike could affect container cargo traffic at two of Canada’s busiest ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, according to Freightwaves. Canadian National Railway Co. said the labor dispute could ultimately result in increased shipping and consumer costs if it continues.

Containerships diverted to Seattle from Canadian West Coast ports amid strikes. Containerships are now being diverted to the Port of Seattle following ongoing port strikes at the Ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert on Canada’s West Coast. According to VesselsValue, two ships originally bound for the Port of Vancouver have so far changed course to Seattle. This could be the beginning of a widespread rerouting of ships, causing delays and putting strain on supply chains. Canadian Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr. is set to have a phone call with Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to discuss strike impact on North America, according to CNBC.


UPS and Teamsters contract talks collapse. Ongoing contract negotiations between UPS Inc. and the Teamsters union collapsed on Wednesday, with both sides placing blame on each other. The Teamsters issued a statement saying that UPS “walked away from the bargaining table at 4 a.m. after presenting an unacceptable offer to the Teamsters that did not address members’ needs,” according to Freightwaves. The UPS Teamsters National Negotiating Committee unanimously rejected the package. Following marathon negotiations, UPS refused to give the Teamsters a last, best and final offer, telling the union the company had nothing more to give, the Teamsters’ statement said. A potential strike could occur August 1 if a deal is not reached.


Bill reintroduced to define reasonable rail service. A bipartisan bill was reintroduced in the senate that would “charge the Surface Transportation Board to better define what should constitute ‘reasonable’ rail service,” according to Freightwaves. The Reliable Rail Service Act, introduced by Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Roger Marshall, R-Kan., requires that the Surface Transportation Board refine the definition of the common carrier obligation, which the senators say is currently ambiguous. The common carrier obligation asks that railroads provide rail service on a reasonable request. Baldwin had introduced a similar bill last September. According to a bill summary provided by Baldwin, the legislation “seeks to clarify the common carrier obligation and establish specific criteria for STB to determine whether a rail carrier has violated the common carrier obligation.”


JetBlue to end American Airlines partnership. JetBlue announced in a statement that it will terminate a partnership with American Airlines which covered flights from Boston, and said it won’t appeal a judge’s ruling against its partnership with American Airlines. A federal judge decided in May that the JetBlue-American deal, called the Northeast Alliance, violates antitrust law. JetBlue is hoping to instead convince the federal government to let it buy Spirit Airlines.


Japan’s largest port hit by cyber attack. This week, the Port of Nagoya, Japan’s largest port by total cargo throughput, suffered a suspected cyber attack which caused a crippling system glitch. The port was unable to load and unload containers from trailers. According to the Nagoya Port Authority, the system failure occurred Tuesday morning when an employee could not start a computer.

Maersk hikes rates for Asia-North Europe tradelanes. In an attempt to undo weeks of heavy discounts, Maersk is implementing substantial increases to FAK rates for Asia-North Europe tradelanes at the end of the month. Maersk warned that other routes “may also be subject to increases” as it reassessed rate structures across its network, according to The Loadstar.


Egg production recovers from avian flu. Egg production numbers are on the rise in the U.S. following the deaths of more than 43 million laying hens last year from avian flu. A total of 9.37 billion eggs were produced in May, up 4% from last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Avian influenza affected 325 U.S. commercial poultry flocks over the past year, but only seven cases have been reported since March, and no cases have been reported in the past 30 days.