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Radiant Road & Rail Provides Updates on U.S. Rail Situation, DHL Express Announces 7.9% Rate Hike on U.S. Shipments, and Meta Announces Large Scale Layoffs.

Nov 10, 2022

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Shipping announcements made at United Nations COP27. This year’s United Nations COP27 climate conference, held at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, had no shortage of shipping announcements. Highlights included the Green Shipping Challenge, launched by the US and Norway, which aims to create a platform for around 40 commitments to accelerate ship decarbonization, and the establishment of a green and digital shipping corridor between Singapore and the San Pedro Bay port complex announced by The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach and C40 Cities. Read more about the COP27 announcements here.


Volumes at West Coast ports still down in October. U.S. container imports in October were down compared to a year ago for the second month in a row as a result in a decline in shipments from China to West Coast ports. New reports show that U.S. container imports in October were at 2,220,331 TEUs. That’s down 13% year-over-year but 7.2% higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.


USTR releases questions regarding 301 tariff renewal. The 301 litigation at the Court of International Trade remains pending, but the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently published a preview of the questions which will be asked of those who choose to submit comments regarding the renewal of the 301 tariff on goods from China. Read the pre-released questions here.

Yang Ming change impacts U.S. and Canada imports and exports. Via NCBFAA Monday Morning eBriefing: “Effective Nov. 1, the name and SCAC for Yang Ming changed for certain services to and from the U.S. and Canada. All transpacific, transatlantic, and North-South America Yang Ming services will be impacted, except the AL6 service between the U.S. East Coast and Mediterranean. The affected services will transition in phases to carrier name Yang Ming (Singapore) Pte., Ltd, SCAC YMPR, and CBSA carrier code 90K6 over the next few months. Since Yang Ming Transport Corp, SCAC YMLU, will remain active, the booking confirmation or the Cargo Tracking function on Yang Ming’s website may be reviewed to determine which company name and SCAC applies to a booking and should be used for import and export filings, including AMS, ISF, and AES. Yang Ming provided a few resources to provide additional information regarding the transition and address FAQs, including Diversification Plan for Yang Ming Group, FAQs related to AMS, ACI, and upcoming voyages under carrier Yang Ming (Singapore) Pte., Ltd, SCAC YMPR.”


Daimler recalls over 200,000 trucks for brake corrosion issue. Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) is recalling a total of 218,468 Freightliner and Western Star trucks for an issue with corrosion on front brake modules that could increase the risk of a crash. According to FreightWaves, “the corrosion could lead to pulling to the left or right, resulting in a sudden change in vehicle direction due to uneven braking on the front axle.” Chemical corrosion could affect the functionality of the brake modulator valve on less than 1% of the recalled trucks. See a complete list of recalled vehicle models here.

C.H. Robinson to lay off up to 1200 employees after weak third quarter. According to sources familiar with the situation, C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. is laying off between 1,000 and 1,200 employees, most of whom are reportedly at the vice president and general manager level. The move comes just a week after the company reported “weaker-than-expected, third-quarter results and strongly hinted at impending labor cost reductions to combat the impact of slowing demand and increased costs,” FreightWaves reports. “We got ahead of ourselves in terms of head count,” said Bob Biesterfeld, Robinson’s president and CEO, on a post-earnings call. In a statement on Wednesday, the company would not confirm the number of layoffs and disputed the number cited by sources.


Radiant Road & Rail provides updates on U.S. rail situation. Final ratification of the agreement between U.S. railroads and the twelve unions has still not been accomplished, according to multiple news outlets. While seven unions have approved the deal, two have rejected it, and three are still open for voting. Radiant Road & Rail is continuing to monitor the rail situation and will post any updates or significant developments here:


DOT wants carriers to use over-water routes on Florida flights ahead of holidays. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) sent a letter to airline leaders this week asking them to utilize over-water routes from North Carolina to Florida in order to ease congestion ahead of the holiday season. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that Florida airports congestion could be eased if airlines “equipped their aircraft so they can travel across under-deployed over-water routes.” The DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA ) affirmed that several disruptions this year were caused by heavily active flight patterns, especially during the peak summer period.

DHL Express announces 7.9% rate hike on U.S. shipments. Last week, DHL Express announced that it will raise tariff rates by 7.9% on all U.S. shipments, effective Jan. 1. The increase will apply to all international shipments to and from the U.S. that are billed to U.S. accounts. DHL Express does not operate within the domestic U.S. market with the exception of a limited number of domestic products available at retail points of sale, but mainly uses the U.S. market to support international air operations, according to FreightWaves. The increase surpasses the 6.9% general rate increases (GRI) announced recently by FedEx Corp. and UPS Inc.

FAA issues airworthiness criteria for eVTOL aircraft. This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the criteria for airworthiness that Joby Aviation will need to meet for its Model JAS4-1 eVTOL air taxi aircraft to be certified. The FAA released the criteria for public comment for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to be certified, according to Reuters. Joby said that it now expects to start commercial passenger air taxi service in 2025 after receiving FAA approvals. Read the criteria here.


South Korea hit by welder shortage after Vietnamese workers denied entry. Shipbuilders in South Korea are facing labor shortages at penalties for delays in ship deliveries after more than 1,000 Vietnamese workers were denied entry to South Korea over forged documents. A total of 1,150 welders from Vietnam scheduled to work at shipyards were refused admittance after several labor brokers were discovered to have provided false documentation, which included documents related to education and work experience, according to local media. Subcontractors of local shipbuilders have been sourcing foreign welders, painters, electrical engineers and plant engineers from unlicensed brokers to help with massive new-build orders and a lack of locally sourced labor. According to Splash247, the demand for foreign welders skyrocketed to 3,000 this year.


Meta announces large scale layoffs. CNBC reports that Facebook parent company Meta is laying off 13% of its staff, or more than 11,000 employees. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the layoff numbers in a letter to employees Wednesday. “Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg said in the letter. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.” The layoffs come after the company’s costs and expenses jumped 19% year over year in the third quarter to $22.1 billion.

Canada announces new strategy for satellite observation. This week, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the release of Resourceful, Resilient, Ready: Canada’s Strategy for Satellite Earth Observation, which “describes how Canada will take full advantage of the unique vantage point of space to address climate change and other key challenges of our time,” according to Newswire. Minister Champagne and Parliamentary Secretary Dabrusin also announced an investment of $8 million in 21 organizations across Canada to “advance innovative applications that focus on Earth observation challenges and sustainable development priorities.”