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.


US Union Calls For Shutdown of Some US Ports

Members of the US International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) from the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts have called for a one day shutdown of all US ports with a march on US capital Washington planned, according to report in Break Bulk.

The purpose of the protest is to bring attention to hiring systems at US ports, as well as to call for the scrapping of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

No date has been set for the protest. “The call was made for everyone to stop for a day, rent as many buses and trains as we can, and go to Washington to draw attention to government interference in our industry,” said Kenneth Riley, ILA vice president and President of ILA Local 1422, in Charleston, South Carolina..

Riley said ILA members want to highlight their complaints about the Waterfront Commission, which the ILA has battled for years in the Port of New York and New Jersey, and the use of state employee dockworkers at Charleston and other state-operated South Atlantic ports.

RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and provide more details once available.

FMC to Implement 30-day Service Contract Amendment Rule

US maritime regulators are preparing to eliminate  a rule that will require ocean carriers to report amendments to service contracts before they go into effect, as the Journal of Commerce reports.

Proposed rulemaking now under consideration at the FMC would gut language requiring service contract amendments be filed with the commission before going into effect and, instead, allow amendments to go into effect immediately, so long as they are filed up to 30 days after the changes are made.

The following rulemaking is done as part of a broader attempt to save shippers, carriers, and NVOCCs money and hassle by simplifying the filing process. The proposal  got full support from  carriers. Carriers claim that, on top of millions of dollars in costs, the existing filing requirement prohibits shippers and carriers from applying agreed-upon terms immediately and thus do business without disrupting or delaying that business.

The World Shipping Council, which represents roughly 90 percent of global container capacity, proposed the 30-day rule. The group recommends that the FMC requirements be amended to permit contract parties to implement a service contract amendment immediately, provided that the amendment is entered into by the parties and filed within 30 days of: either the date agreement on the amendment is reached, or the date the carrier receives the cargo to which the amendment applies. Carriers have promised the commission would still receive all service contract amendments, however, not prior to implementation.

While the 30-day rule was met with strong support among shippers who submitted public comments to the commission, those same voices encouraged caution when it came to deregulation in other areas.

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

Storm forces NY-NJ port closure for Thursday, 2/9/17

Due to the impending snow storm, all NY port container terminals, empty and chassis depots will be CLOSED on Thursday February 9th.

Free time will be extended for containers not already in demurrage.

Per diems on containers and chassis will be handled in accordance with the Winter Weather Plan.

Gates will be extended this evening as follows:

  • Maher (9PM),
  • RHCT (7PM), and
  • GCT Bayonne (7PM)

Please plan to fully utilize these additional hours.

Additional information about Friday’s opening will be distributed tomorrow afternoon.

Appointments WILL NOT be required on Friday at GCT Bayonne.

Please note that Monday, February 13 is an ILA holiday.

Terminal schedules will be shared tomorrow as well.