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Two Remaining Unions Split Votes on Ratifying Agreement, UPS Hikes Fuel Surcharges for International Air Shippers, Tesla Recalling 321,000 Vehicles Due to a Safety Issue.

Nov 23, 2022

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Study calls for regulatory framework for ammonia fuel. A new study has found that ammonia spills while used as a shipping fuel could negatively impact certain habitats and species more than others. The study is calling for a regulatory framework for suitable mitigation measures, according to Splash247. Ammonia produced with renewable energy is projected to be a main fuel source for shipping in the future, however ammonia is toxic if released into the environment, resulting in new challenges related to storing and consumption related to the fuel.


Canadian transport regulator wants more say over ports and railroads. Federal legislators in Canada are being asked to pass a new law that gives the government more oversight of port and rail infrastructure by Canada’s transportation regulator. The goal of law is to improve the country’s supply chain that has been “wracked by recurring congestion and other problems over the past two years,” according to JOC. Transport Canada Minister Omar Alghabra introduced a bill called “Strengthening the Port System and Railway Safety in Canada Act” to the country’s lower house of parliament.


FMSCA shuts down two related carriers in Texas. The FMCSA on Thursday shut down both Pac Express LLC and Texas Interstate Express LLC after federal officials determined that one of the companies had previously been put out of business for safety violations but tried to resume operations under a different name. The carriers were served a federal out-of-service order on Nov. 11, according to a news release. “[Their] … avoidance of compliance with the [safety regulations] and the out-of-service order substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for your drivers and the motoring public if your operations are not discontinued immediately,” the FMCSA said.


Two remaining unions split votes on ratifying agreement. The two remaining railroad unions that must vote on whether to ratify their labor agreements have split their votes, raising the prospect of a rail strike in December. Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and yardmasters with the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) have voted in favor of ratifying the agreement. But SMART-TD train and engine service members have voted to reject the tentative agreement, meaning that SMART-TD must go back to bargaining with the freight railroads. The unions must come to an agreement by December 9th or a strike could occur, however negotiations remain ongoing.

Union Pacific execs called to hearing over use of embargoes. The Surface and Transportation Board has called Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz and other Union Pacific top executives to appear at hearings December 13-14 in order to question them about UP’s increased use of embargoes that the regulatory body characterizes as “substantial.” According to CNBC, the STB is interested in “how UP’s staffing and service levels have impacted the supply chain and the economy, issues that overlap with union concerns in current negotiations.”


UPS hikes fuel surcharges for international air shippers. Effective Dec. 5, UPS will increase fuel surcharges by 150 basis points, or 1.5%, on its U.S. air import and export services. UPS said that the increases will be based on Gulf Coast jet fuel prices set by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) for the week of Nov. 28.


Maritime sector pressures policy makers ahead of ETS decision. The maritime sector is putting pressure on European policy makers as they work to finalize the cap-and-trade emissions reduction system that will include the shipping industry from Jan. 1. The European Commission, European Parliament, and European Council will meet on Nov. 29 in a final negotiating round to decide how the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) will be structured.


Tesla recalling 321,000 vehicles due to a safety issue. In a filing posted over the weekend on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, Tesla said that some Tesla Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs had an issue that caused the tail lamps to “intermittently illuminate,” meaning poor visibility on the road in some instances, resulting in a recall of 321,000 vehicles. Tesla said the brake lights were not affected by the issue.