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Freight Market Update: June 19, 2019

Ocean and air freight rates and trends; trucking and customs news for the week of June 19, 2019.

Freight Market Update: June 19, 2019

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Ocean Freight Market Updates

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Hari Raya Holiday Season May Cause June Delays

The Muslim holiday, known as Eid in some countries, will likely cause shipping delays in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and other observing countries as those celebrating take time away from work. Your operations team will keep you informed of any delays to your shipments.

Weight Restrictions on Panama Canal Shipments

The Panama Canal restricts the draft (how deep the hull goes into the water) of vessels based on the amount of water available in Gatun Lake, which varies based on rainfall, amount of vessels and other factors. Ships must be lighter to meet the draft requirement, so they need to carry less cargo/ballast/fuel or offload cargo to the Panama Canal Railway. 

The Panama Canal Authority has postponed the further reduction to allowable vessel draft for the Neopanamax locks and Panamax locks from June 19, 2019 to June 26, 2019 due to increased rainfall. 

Department of Transportation Announces $600M in Grants

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced grants for the Port Infrastructure Development Program and the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program. These investments will improve “infrastructure, safety, technology and efficiency at U.S. ports and rail hubs.”

Impact of New IMO ECA Regulations

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has mandated under new Emission Control Area regulations that by 2020, all merchant vessels must reduce their sulfur emissions from 3.5% to 0.5%. 

Whether they install scrubbers, build new vessels, or use higher-quality fuel, carriers will need to make significant changes to comply with the new regulations, and those changes will come at a cost to shippers. Freight rates may climb between now and 2020 as a result. 16% of global vessels are expected to be fitted with scrubbers.

For an in-depth look at the regulation and how to prepare, read our blog post: IMO 2020: What Shippers Need to Know Now 

Air Freight Market Updates

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Trucking Market Updates

Canada to Mandate ELDs in 2021

Beginning in June 2021, Canada will mandate electronic logging devices (ELDs) in the commercial transportation industry. ELDs are already common in the U.S. because of cross-border business, but unlike the U.S., Canadian ELDs will be third-party certified to lessen the chances of device tampering.

Customs and Trade Updates

Hearings All Week for Proposed List 4 on Chinese Goods

Representatives from numerous industries are scheduled to speak to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives on why their goods should not be included on the proposed fourth tranche. Many groups have spoken out against the proposed list because it would cover the largest array of products compared to the previous three lists. It’s still unclear if and when these tariffs would be put in place, but the earliest they can be implemented is next week. 

For a roundup of tariff-related news and the latest on the Mexico tariffs, read our Tariff Insider.

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