Skip to content

ILWU Reaches Tentative Deal with U.S. West Coast Maritime Employers, CN Monitoring and Adjusting Operations Amid Canadian Wildfires, Marine Carbon Fuels and Port Emissions Tax Legislation Proposed in U.S.

Jun 15, 2023

Navegate® GTM offers a centralized platform to access all your vital freight information. Log in now.

This field is required.

Navigate® Lite delivers easy access to essential tracking information for your shipments. Log in today.

This field is required.
Required when not searching by HAWB.


Marine carbon fuels and port emissions tax legislation proposed in U.S. Last week, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives proposed legislation aimed at cutting emissions from ships sailing to U.S. ports and while in the ports on World Ocean Day. The elected U.S. representatives are seeking to tax and limit carbon-based fuels, following the model established by the European Union with its FuelEU Maritime initiative. “We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to prevent the worst effects of climate change, so we’re introducing new legislation to encourage clean shipping, reduce the dirty fossil fuels polluting our oceans, and protect neighbors from the air pollutants plaguing port communities,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and one of the sponsors of the proposed legislative efforts, according to Maritime Executive.


Canadian ILWU votes to support strike. 99.24% of ILWU union workers for Canada’s West Coast ports, including the Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert, voted in favor of supporting a strike in a landslide vote, with the earliest date that the strike can occur being June 24. The Port of Vancouver is the largest port in Canada, with approximately 15% of container trade moving through the port destined to or from the U.S. The strike vote comes as U.S. West Coast ports have also been dealing with ILWU worker issues amid contract talks.

ILWU reaches tentative deal with U.S. West Coast maritime employers. Late Wednesday, maritime employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced they had reached a tentative agreement on a new six-year contract covering all 29 ports along the US West Coast, according to the Journal of Commerce. The deal is subject to ratification by both parties and ends 13 months of contentious negotiations that saw actions occur that disrupted port operations along the coast as well as diverted growing volumes of cargo to the East and Gulf coasts.


Freight shipments see largest year over year decline since 2020. According to data from Cass Information Systems, shipments and expenditures plummeted year over year (y/y) in May at the fastest pace in nearly three years. The Cass Freight Index recorded a 5.6% y/y decline in shipments during the month with expenditures falling 15.7%. Shipments captured on the index were up 1.9% from April. “While it was a softer-than-normal seasonal increase from April, it was nonetheless an increase,” the report said.


Class I railroads subject to sweeping safety review by federal regulators. According to a recent letter by FRA Administrator Amit Bose, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans to audit the safety cultures and practices of all the Class I railroads operating in the U.S. According to Freightwaves, FRA’s review will include “assessments of the safety culture, practices and compliance of individual railroads, as well as a final report that will address safety themes and trends in the industry overall.”

CN monitoring and adjusting operations amid Canadian wildfires. Canadian officials are bracing for a potentially destructive fire season amid warm and dry weather, and Canadian railway CN is keeping an eye on the wildfires occurring across several provinces and it is adjusting operations as needed. Natural Resources Canada says that opportunities for intense wildfires are high in both eastern and western Canada. Ongoing, fierce wildfires in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec have resulted in poor air quality across portions of eastern Canada, the U.S. Midwest and mid-Atlantic. “CN is monitoring the current wildfire situation along our network. We are making real-time adjustments to operations based on the latest information available on both the winds and wildfires in the different areas. We are in contact with our customers regarding any impacts to their shipments,” CN said in a statement to FreightWaves.


Cargo airlines get 8 week extension on move from Mexico City airport. Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador Cargo has announced an eight week extension on the deadline for airlines to shift operations out of Benito Juárez International Airport following a meeting with U.S. transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. Freighter operators were asked to move flights out of Benito Juárez before July 7, following a decree by the Mexican government in January banning all-cargo activities at the airport, citing “perennial congestion” as the reason for making the airport exclusive to passenger services, according to the Loadstar. Airlines and the International Air Transport Association were vocally opposed to the move, and warned that the alternative, Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), was not ready to handle cargo operations.


UK court orders British firm to compensate families affected by Beirut port explosion. London-registered chemical trading firm Savaro has been ordered to pay $1m in compensation to families impacted by the 2020 explosion at the port of Beirut. Savaro was responsible for delivering the ammonia nitrate that exploded in the port, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 6,000 others.


Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged, projects small hikes by EOY. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, but projected that borrowing costs may still need to rise by as much as half of a percentage point by the end of this year as a result of the U.S. central bank reacting to a stronger-than-expected economy and a slower decline in inflation, according to Reuters. Fed Chair Jerome Powell described U.S. growth and the job market as holding up better than expected under the weight of the aggressive monetary policy tightening of the past year during a press conference at the end of the central bank’s latest policy meeting.