Newsletter – March 22, 2021

  • Newsletter – March 22, 2021


    US threatens sanctions on Cathay Pacific cargo flights in HK quarantine rule spat
    Cathay Pacific is facing retaliatory sanctions on its flights to the US.
    The American Department of Transportation (DoT) says Covid-19 restrictions in Hong Kong are unfair and create a tilted playing field. Read more here (login required).


    Longshoremen Vote 99.71% Against MEA Final Offer but Say They Will Ask MEA to Return to Negotiations
    The Longshoremen’s Union Local 375 held a press conference broadcast on its Facebook page on Sunday, March 21 at 4:00 pm.
    After a special meeting of its members during the day on March 21 (from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm), at 3:00 pm, 91% of the union local members voted on the Maritime Employers’ Association’s final offer, which was presented to the union on March 12.
    Of 1,023 total votes, 1,020 members refused the final offer, meaning that 99.71% voted no to the MEA offer.
    During the press conference, the union cited hours of work, job security, ocean carrier profitability and the need for the “real decision-makers” to be at the table as issues.
    Michel Murray, the CUPE union representative, said that, “Symbolically, the union also voted today to ask the employer to go back to the negotiation table. We intend to call the mediators this evening and our goal is to go back to the negotiation table to work on a collective agreement.”
    Murray also commented during the press conference that the union is aware of vessels already being diverted through the Port of Halifax even before the end of the truce and that this to them shows the employer is not playing fair.
    In a release, the MEA told CIFFA that it acknowledges the employees’ vote. MEA said it would have preferred a yes vote to the final job offer, but recognizes the will of the union to pursue further negotiations.
    MEA said it is looking at its options and its priority is to have a decision as soon as possible. Beyond this, MEA said it would not comment further.

    Carriers ‘cherry-picking’ customers as rates continue to head north
    Container spot rates from Asia may have eased slightly from their record highs, post-Chinese new year, but rates for backhaul and secondary trades continue to head north.
    According to today’s Freightos Baltic Index (FBX), the spot rate for North Europe is $7,684 per 40ft, down from more than $8,000 at the beginning of the month. Read more here (login required).


    Railroad megamerger could be boon for shippers
    Canadian Pacific’s (NYSE: CP) proposed acquisition of Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) will result in new service lanes across North America, the heads of both companies asserted in a Sunday afternoon call to investors explaining the proposed transaction.
    Both companies announced Sunday morning that CP would seek to acquire KCS in a deal worth $29 billion, pending approval from the Surface Transportation Board. The U.S. agency could finish its review process in mid-2022. Read more here.


    Canada welcomes a new shipping line
    Canada has a new shipping line. Founded by a family-run Ontario construction company Doornekamp Lines has been launched to take boxed cargoes inland from the nation’s eastern seaboard.
    The new company has taken a 2007-built, 869 teu boxship on charter and will start biweekly services this May from the port of Halifax on the Atlantic, down the St Lawrence River to Picton at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario. Read more here.


    Global shortage in computer chips ‘reaches crisis point’
    Consumers are facing price rises and shortages of products from TVs and mobile phones to cars and games consoles as a global shortage in semiconductors grows.
    The shortage in chips, the “brain” within every electronic device in the world, has been steadily worsening since last year.
    Initially the problem was only a temporary delay in supplies as factories shut down when the coronavirus pandemic first hit. Read more here.

    AskWaves: What is a customs broker for international shipping?
    Cross-border supply chains can be time consuming and complex.
    A customs broker can help navigate cross-border freight. But companies should know what to look for in a customs brokerage. Read more here.

    Japan carmakers scramble to assess impact of blaze at vital chip plant
    TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota, Nissan, Honda and other Japanese automakers scrambled on Monday to assess the production impact of a fire at a Renesas Electronics automotive chip plant that could aggravate a global semiconductor shortage.

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