Six Labor Unions Reach Tentative Agreement with Freight Rail Carriers

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SOURCE The American Shipper

Port Workers Block French Port Le Havre

Please note that  port workers have blocked the road entrances to France’s largest container port, Le Havre, as nationwide protest kicks off against the reform of French labor codes, according to 76 Actu.

Demonstrations at Rouen and Le Havre ports began with roadblocks at 5:00 am on September 21, 2017. Port workers in Le Havre have blocked the roads near the Trade Basin, on the Quay of Georges-V, on Georges-Pompidou road, as well as on the Avenue du Général-Archinard, causing traffic jams.

The National Federation des Ports et Docks (CGT Dockers) had previously declared a 24-hour strike.

A blockade of the Port of ​​Rouen, Seine-Maritime, also immobilized road traffic routes. The blockade was carried out by dockers, road workers and industrial workers from the trade unions of General Confederation of Labour (CGT), Sud, and L’Union Nationale des Etudiants de France (UNEF). They prevented access to the liquid bulk terminal operated by Rubis and started fires with what appeared to be tires and pallets.

Please be guided accordingly. RCL Agencies will provide more updates once available.

Port of LA Approves 10-year Labor Agreement

The Port of Los Angeles’ harbor board  unanimously approved a 10-year agreement  that establishes wages, benefits and work rules for laborers hired to build designated port projects, American Shipper reports.

The labor contract  ensures that all workers – electricians, pipefitters, iron workers, cement masons, laborers and others – earn prevailing wages set forth in the bargaining agreements of all participating union locals.  The agreement initially covers a list of 38 planned and proposed infrastructure projects that represent an investment of about $780 million in wharf improvements, rail enhancements, shore power upgrades, marine oil terminal modernization and waterfront projects. The port said it expects to add more projects over the life of the agreement.

This is actually the second PLA (project labor agreement) between the port and Building Trades Council; a previous five-year agreement with similar provisions expired earlier this year.   “This PLA builds on the previous five-year agreement,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents over 100,000 trade and craft workers. “I’m proud to say we are extending this agreement and doubling its term to 10 years. This is a huge vote of confidence in the men and women of our affiliated local unions.”

The port said that under the previous agreement, 20 major construction projects were completed on time and within budget, and it is on track to do the same with six remaining projects. The projects already launched under the previous PLA included a total investment of nearly $848 million and includes the Berth 200 Rail Yard, TraPac Container Terminal Project, the South Wilmington Grade Separation, and waterfront improvements.

The deal still needs to be approved by the Los Angeles City Council, as it covers covers more than three years it is still subject to final approval by the Los Angeles City Council. If approved, the PLA is expected to take effect within the next three to six months, according to the port.

South Brazilian Ports Reopen After Severe Weather

Itajai and several other south Brazilian ports are again open for business, according to the Journal of Commerce.

The container facilities at the Port of Itajai, both Portonave and AP Moeller Itajai and at Imbituba, Sao Francisco do Sul and Porto Itapoa, were closed to vessel calls from either late Thursday/early Friday before opening again Tuesday morning.  Strong waves of up four meters (13 feet) and winds clocking at more than 70 kilometers per hour (43.5 miles per hour) were reported.  The severe weather also closed the alternative Brazilian ports of Rio Grande to the south and Terminal de Containers de Paranagua to the north and disrupted shipping as far away as Argentina and Uruguay.

Seven vessels waited outside the Itajai port before it opened, Itajai Port Authority Executive Director Heder Cassiano Moritz told  At the port of Imbituba, four ships were waiting to enter from Sunday and were only allowed to berth this morning. There were none berthed when the port closed.

 Stay informed via RCL Agencies updates about global trade and international ports.

Brazil to End Maritime Shipping Agreement with Chile

Brazil’s Chamber of Foreign Trade (CAMEX)  has decided not to renew it’s exclusionary maritime shipping agreement with Chile, the American Shipper reports.

The arrangement between the countries currently gives two companies – Alianca, the Brazilian unit of Hamburg Sud, which is now owned by Maersk Line, and CSAV, the Chilean subsidiary of Hapag Lloyd AG – exclusive shipping rights between the two South American countries.

The agreement, which was established in 1975, expires in January 2020. After that point, the transport of goods between Chile and Brazil could be carried out on ships of any flag, which is expected to increase competition and reduce costs of shipping goods between the two nations.

A study by the Institute for Applied Economic Research, a Brazil-based economic think tank, previously found that the maritime pact ads five percent to the final price of products in both countries.

In an action related to dropping the exclusionary maritime shipping agreement, CAMEX  said it will extend waivers for roll-on, roll-off and breakbulk ships to one year from the current period of one month.

ILWU Vote Promises Three-Year Contract Extension at West Coast Ports

Early reports of election results indicate the International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington have voted on a three-year contract extension with their employer, with indications that it will be passed.

A release from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said local unions were reporting the extension with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) would be approved by 67%, according to the Journal of Commerce.

The current  contract is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019, but if ratified it will expire on July 1, 2022.  The contract at issue covers 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports handling nearly half of all U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of the country’s imports from Asia.

 Stay informed via RCL Agencies updates about global trade and international shipping.

EU and Japan Agree “In Principle” on Free Trade Deal

Japan and the European Union (EU) have reached a broad free-trade Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) following negotiations in Brussels on July 5th , according to the Associated Press.

 The two sides are expected to work out a final version of the EPA in due course. The agreement is certain to have a ripple effect on subsequent trade negotiations across the world.  Once the EPA goes into effect, it is anticipated that tariffs will be removed from more than 90 percent of items that flow between Japan and the EU.   Significant financial benefits are expected for both sides. It has been provisionally calculated that the increased trade will boost the GDP of Japan by at least 1 percent, and that of the EU by about 0.76 percent. It will also set standards for labour, safety and consumer protection

If it is endorsed as expected, it will likely still take several months for both sides to finalize all the terms of the deal. The EU says it is hoped the agreement will come into force in early 2019.

Mexico and Canada Preparing for ELD, Effective Decemeber 18th

A new federal mandate, published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), will require all truck drivers who currently keep a paper Record of Duty Status to use an electronic logging device (ELD) – a system that records truck drivers’ time behind the wheel using GPS signals and cellular communications.  The ELD will be mandated effective December 18, 2017 according the Journal of Commerce.

Starting that day, Mexican and Canadian truckers operating in the United States will also required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs), along with their US counterparts. Mexico and Canada are working on rules, however, that could affect truck driver hours of service enforcement on both sides of the border.

Mexico is moving closer to imposing its first specific hours of service regulation on truck drivers, including a provision requiring drivers to take a 30-minute break after driving five hours. The regulation would require drivers to take 8 consecutive hours of rest after 14 hours of work.

The rule, now in its draft stage, is being reviewed by the Mexican government, according to news reports in Revista Transportes y Turismo. It could be released as early as next month.

Transport Canada, meanwhile, is expected to issue a draft electronic logging rule for public consultation this summer. A final rule with compliance dates and transition timeframes for Canadian trucking companies could be ready by the end of the year, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

Canada allows truckers to spend more time on the road than the United States does, and that is not likely to change.

The new Mexican hours of service rules are not an immediate concern to shippers, but they will have to be taken into account in future cross-border supply chain plans.

WTO Members Approve Trade Facilitation Agreement

A World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement  which aims to support simpler and clearer procedures when it comes to imports and exports of goods came into force  after the requisite amount of member countries agreed to implement it.

The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) prescribes many measures to improve transparency and predictability of trading across borders and to create a less discriminatory business environment.

The TFA’s provisions include improvements to the availability and publication of information about cross-border procedures and practices, improved appeal rights for traders, reduced fees and formalities connected with the import/export of goods, faster clearance procedures and enhanced conditions for freedom of transit for goods.

In terms of time gains, the aim of the TFA is to reduce the time needed to import goods by over a day and a half and to export goods by almost two days, representing reductions of 47% and 91% respectively over current averages.

Developed countries have committed to immediately implement the agreement. Developing countries, in comparison, will immediately apply only the TFA provisions they have designated as Category A commitments.  For the other provisions, they must indicate when these will be implemented and what capacity building support is needed to help them implement these provisions, known as Category B and C commitments.

WTO director general, Roberto Azevëdo described the agreement as the biggest reform of global trade this century.

According to the global trade body, its impact would be greater than the elimination of all existing tariffs around the world.

Stay informed with RCL Agencies updates about global trade and international shipping.

The source: Automative Logistics

Canadian Spring Thaw Regulations 2017

Please be advised  that Canadian Spring Thaw currently is in effect from March 1st till May 30th 2017.

Spring weight restrictions on all provincial roads are in place and  will effect all pre carriages and truck deliveries  in the Province of Québec.

Heavy commercial vehicles will not be allowed to travel on specified roads throughout the province. The weight restrictions on heavy trucks are necessary during the spring thaw to help protect roads that are weakened by mild and wet weather.

Please note that weight restrictions can be different per carrier:


  • 20ft DV max 47900 Lbs (21.7 ton)
  • 40ft DV/HC max 50000 Lbs (22.6 ton)


  • 20ft DV max 46010 Lbs (20.87 Ton)
  • 40ft DV/HC max 44500 Lbs (20.19 Ton)


  • 20ft DV max 50706 Lbs (23 ton)
  • 40ft DV/HC max 48501 Lbs (22ton)

Please contact RCL Agencies  representative at 973-779-5900  if you have any  questions regarding your shipment.