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Montana Wants Extended Border Crossing Hours for Truckers, Norfolk Southern Train Backlog May Take Weeks to Recover, Air Freight Rates Remained Stable in August.

Sep 7, 2023

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Shipping industry faces shortage of carbon-neutral fuels on journey to decarbonization. The shipping industry is expected to face significant challenges in securing enough carbon-neutral fuels in the future, as stricter emission reduction targets, such as a 20% reduction by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by around 2050, are being imposed by regulatory bodies like the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Meeting the anticipated demand for 17 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) annually by 2030 will require access to a substantial 30-40% share of the projected global carbon-neutral fuel supply. DNV suggests that shipowners should shift their focus towards improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions beyond just relying on fuels, according to Splash 24/7.


Port of LA/LB stakeholders oppose emissions rule in development. Port and cargo interests in Los Angeles and Long Beach caution that an upcoming regional air quality board proposal, intended to reduce transportation emissions significantly, may effectively limit cargo volumes at the largest U.S. port complex. This could accelerate the diversion of discretionary cargo to other ports. In a letter dated August 25, a coalition of over 100 shippers and transportation organizations urged the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach to oppose the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (AQMD) proposed Indirect Source Rule (ISR), according to the Journal of Commerce.


Montana wants extended border crossing hours for truckers. In a joint letter to President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor Greg Gianforte and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith have called for the Wild Horse border crossing between Montana and Canada to remain open 24/7. They argue that this change is necessary to accommodate increased commercial truck and personal traffic. Currently, truck drivers transporting goods face limited operating hours at this crossing, forcing them to rush or travel longer distances to other 24-hour ports of entry. Extending the hours at the Wild Horse/Coutts crossing, Gianforte and Smith contend, would benefit people and help alleviate ongoing supply chain challenges by facilitating the smoother movement of goods.


Norfolk Southern train backlog may take weeks to recover. Norfolk Southern said it may take several weeks to clear its train backlog following a recent service interruption. The railroad clarified that the disruption was not due to a cybersecurity breach but a vendor software error. “During a routine maintenance procedure being performed by our vendor, a defect in their software created an error which caused both our primary and recovery data storage systems to become unresponsive,” the railroad said in a statement. “This, in turn, affected our core operational systems.” Norfolk Southern successfully restored its systems and resumed operations on Monday evening. They anticipate a complete network recovery in the upcoming weeks. “We are working closely with the vendor to understand the steps they are taking to strengthen their systems to prevent this incident from reoccurring and identify opportunities for Norfolk Southern to become more resilient,” the railroad said.


Air freight rates remained stable in August. Air freight rates remained relatively stable in August– the Baltic Air Freight Index (BAI00) dropped by about 1.8% during the week ending on August 28, resulting in a small decrease of 3.5% over the past four weeks and a significant 45.9% decline over the last 12 months. Despite the overall flat market, there was strong e-commerce activity in southern China, particularly within Asia to the U.S. and Europe, as indicated by a 2.2% increase in the outbound Hong Kong (BAI30) index for the month. However, it remained down 40.5% year-on-year. Air cargo rates out of Shanghai (BAI80) also increased by approximately 4% in the month but remained lower by 46.9% year-on-year. Rates from other regions showed a more mixed performance, with Frankfurt (BAI20) down by 14.1% for the month, resulting in a 44.0% year-on-year decrease, and London (BAI40) experiencing a steeper 17.5% drop in August, leading to a year-on-year change of -55.9%.

Spirit AeroSystems production issue leads to Boeing delivery delays. Spirit AeroSystems faces production problems with Boeing 737 Max models, causing delivery delays. The issue involves elongated fastener holes on the rear pressure bulkhead of certain fuselage units. Multiple downtier suppliers are involved, leading to varying impacts on units. “We are working closely with our customer to address any impacted units within the production system and address any needed rework,” Spirit said in an Aug. 23 statement. “Based upon what we know now, we believe there will not be a material impact to our delivery range for the year related to this issue.” Boeing, one of Spirit’s top customers, confirmed that the issue has led to delivery delays.


Asia storms cause port closures and delays. Carriers and shippers in Asia are facing challenges such as port closures and disruptions to vessel and cargo operations due to severe storms over the last few days. These weather events, including Typhoon Saola impacting South China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and Typhoon Haikui hitting Southern China after affecting Taiwan, have resulted in delays in certain sailing schedules. Due to Typhoon Saola, Hong Kong issued its most severe storm warning in five years.


Amazon Shipping shaping up to compete with delivery giants. Amazon is getting closer to competing with FedEx and UPS through the relaunch of Amazon Shipping. This ground delivery service, aimed at sellers, offers two to five-business-day delivery for non-Amazon channel orders in the contiguous U.S. Still, it needs to be a complete solution for challenging traditional delivery giants, according to SupplyChainDive.