Upgraded BoxTech to Track Lost and Stolen Containers

Containers that have been sold or are lost or stolen, or tied up in a bankruptcy case, can now be easily identified via new features in a nonprofit database, known as BoxTech, the  Journal of Commerce reports.

The database was launched in July 2016  by  the Bureau International des Containers (BIC) includes information on more than 30 percent of the global container fleet.  One new function allows owners to indicate  when containers have been sold. The This will help  shippers to avoid problems stemming from the inadvertent use of a container that has changed hands or otherwise has a “special status,” such as being part of a bankruptcy.

A second new feature, called a “recovery alerts system,” enables users to create a list of containers of interest that are then searched in the database to see they are involved in a bankruptcy situation, or are lost or stolen. Users that search the database for a specific containers will be alerted if  has been sold and is no longer part of a company’s fleet.

Users can also do an increased number of queries on the database, as a result of the implementation of new application programming interfaces (APIs), BIC said. These include increased automation of the process by which container owners update their information and others that enable users to search the database by rate weight, size and type, maximum ross mass and other characteristics.

Initially the BoxTech was introduced to help shippers meet the demands of the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations, which requires shippers to submit the weight of any container being shipped before it is loaded onto a vessel.

Some shipping lines like, Maersk Line and CMA-CGM are already using the new tools. Both lines have uploaded their entire global container fleets to the database and are now flagging units whenever they are sold.

Port drivers protest at Miami terminal

South Florida drayage companies say their drivers are  protesting  at Port Miami container terminal , as the Journal of Commerce reports.

The boycott of Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co. (POMTOC) started late last week by independent owner-operators against slow turn times that have stuck truckers and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) with costly penalties.

Drayage operators said that although several terminals at Miami and Port Everglades have had delays of varying severity and duration in recent months, drivers apparently targeted POMTOC because turn times had been longest there.

According to the drayage operators the turn times of three hours had been common, and in extreme cases have been as long as eight hours, which makes it impossible for drivers to complete more than one trip in a day.

The cause of the recent delays is unclear. POMTOC officials didn’t give any comments yet.

The Miami delays are generating demurrage charges for late pickup of cargo and detention charges for late return of equipment. The US Federal Maritime Commission plans to hold hearings on Jan. 16 to 17 on a shipper-led coalition’s complaint about the imposition of congestion-related fees resulting from high volume, weather, labor, or other issues beyond a BCO or trucker’s control.

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



Santos Customs Strike Spreads Nationwide

The Journal of Commerce reports that Customs officers in the port of Santos have escalated their slowdowns and strike.

The escalation at Santos comes as the the customs union, Sindifisco, says that 7,000 members nationwide will also join with their colleagues in Santos, and it signals that the simmering dispute between the government and customs officials has now come to the final point

As we reported earlier, the industrial action began  last Wednesday, and for an indefinite period of time into the future customs will refuse to process cargo except for “essential and emergency,” products such as medicines, every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and will not use computers on Mondays and Friday, which makes those days de facto strike days.

Various sources said between 3,000 and 4,000 extra containers were currently waiting for clearance in Santos.

Cargo that normally takes just 24 hours for clearance is now taking close to five days

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

Notifications for Shipments from India to Kuwait

According to the information provided by our partners, effective October 19th , all FCL/LCL shipments, both  Import and Export  from Kuwait to India need to be palletelized.

Cargo that is not palletelized  will be stopped by customs  and the customer will be fined directly KD 80. The cargo will be released only when the  penalty is paid.

Please be guided accordingly.  If any questions, please contact RCL Agencies representative at 973-779-5900.

Six Labor Unions Reach Tentative Agreement with Freight Rail Carriers

For additional information, visit www.raillaborfacts.org.

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 JOC.com.  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.