Simulation Confirms Port of NY & NJ Can Handle ULCVs Through 18,000 TEUs

A state-of-the-art computer simulation has confirmed that both new classes of ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) – those handling 14,000 and 18,000 TEUS — can safely navigate the Port of New York and New Jersey. The critical components to facilitate such transits will be communication and coordination among the various port stakeholders, said officials in the Port Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The simulation was conducted in two phases during the second half of 2016 at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. The port’s major stakeholders – specifically a partnership between the NJ Office of Maritime Resources, New York Shipping Association (NYSA), and the port’s three vessel pilot organizations — felt it was vital to conduct a full-mission ship simulation study to identify best practices for the safe and efficient handling of ULCV transits to the port’s major container terminals.

Notably, the simulation factored in the new controlling depth (50 feet) of the port’s major navigation channels as well as the new working height of the Bayonne Bridge once the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey completes its “Raise the Roadway” Program in 2017.

The simulation established some important parameters for the handling of ULCVs at the Port of New York and New Jersey. For example, there will be limitations on which part of the tidal cycle these vessels can transit, as well as speed, visibility and maximum wind conditions.

The simulation’s results were briefed at the NYSA Annual Luncheon earlier this week. Members of the Port Authority’s Port Department will establish a working group to develop a set of procedures and protocols that all port constituents will be asked to concur with in order to ensure the safety and efficiency of all waterside activities.

A complete list of the simulation results and handling requirements can be reviewed here.

Gothenburg Port Strike Called Off

The Swedish Dockworkers’ Union on Friday cancelled a strike at Gothenburg planned to last through February 28th, according to information provided by the Journal of Commerce.

The decision came after the union and APM Terminals agreed to return to the negotiating table to settle year-long strife, says the joint statement.

The disagreement stems over APMT’s refusal to meet the dockers’ demand for a separate collective bargaining agreement from the one that is in force throughout Sweden.

The union has disrupted operations by blockading the port and instituting a ban on members performing overtime work, creating a backlog of containers and delays for shippers.

Gothenburg is a leading Nordic hub and handles 60 percent of Sweden’s container traffic, but unless it undertakes major investment in dredging so that more fully laden mega-ships can call at the port, its stature will diminish, according to a recent study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Stay informed with RCL updates for the latest global ports and international shipping news.

ILA and USMX Plan to Negotiate New Contract Before Expiry

Officials of the International Longshoremen’s Association and its US East and Gulf Coast employers said in the statement that they are committed to negotiating a new or extended contract before the current one expires in 19 months.

Last week the Journal of Commerce reported that the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance held an informal contract talks. Earlier last week, the ILA conducted a two-day workshop in which leaders from ILA locals discussed key issues for bargaining on the coast-wide master contract and supplementary local or regional agreements.

The informal conference provided both sides with “an opportunity to share, in preliminary talks, issues that are important to both the ILA and employers as we collectively move from these talks to official wage scale negotiations,” the ILA and USMX said in a joint statement after the session. They described the conference as “productive and fruitful.”

No date has been announced for formal bargaining, which will begin after ILA locals elect more than 150 wage-scale delegates to be on hand for negotiations with USMX. ILA President Harold Daggett is expected to call for those elections soon.

The current six-year contract is in effect until September 30th, 2018.

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


Port Authority Approves Largest Ever $32.2 Billion 10-Year Capital Plan

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners has approved the agency’s largest ever $32.2 billion 2017-2026 Capital Plan, which reflects the agency’s continuing return to its core transportation mission.

The plan is expected to generate 235,400 job years and $56 billion in overall economic activity for the region.

The plan allows for $11.6 billion in major redevelopment projects to advance at the region’s major airports during the next decade, including the $4 billion LaGuardia Terminal B replacement, the largest transportation public-private partnership in the United States.  It also provides for the advancement of work on Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport and the redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport, under which Port Authority investments are expected to leverage billions of dollars of private sector investment.

At the agency’s tunnels, bridges and terminals, the plan provides $10 billion to greatly enhance trans-Hudson commuting, including the construction of new facilities and the upgrading of existing ones.  Funds are included to complete the $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge Replacement, being done through the first true surface transportation PPP in the Northeast.  It also provides funding to complete the rebuilding of the Bayonne Bridge, a $1.6 billion project that will effectively provide a brand new bridge for travelers and remove an existing navigational impediment to allow modern ships to pass underneath it and keep the ports competitive.  The plan includes $3.5 billion to begin planning and construction of a new Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan and nearly $2 billion to complete the largest overhaul and rehabilitation of the George Washington Bridge ever undertaken in the bridge’s 85-year history.

The Capital Plan also includes funding to rebuild some of PATH’s aging rail stations and to upgrade other critical rail system infrastructure to ensure safety and service reliability.  Funds also are included to plan and build an extension of the PATH system from its current terminus at Newark Penn Station to the Newark Liberty International Airport Air Link Station, a project designed to improve airport access and enhance trans-Hudson commutation.

To further address the region’s critical trans-Hudson transportation needs, the plan also provides the largest contribution of any stakeholder to date — $2.7 billion — for the critical trans-Hudson rail tunnel link between New York and New Jersey and Portal Bridge North projects.  The contribution will pay debt service on expected borrowing by the Gateway Program Development Corporation from low-interest federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans.

The 10-year plan will accelerate the rebuilding of the region’s aging infrastructure by leveraging billions in private sector dollars including through public-private partnerships on major transportation and terminal projects, including those at the airports and bridges.  The plan’s multi-billion investment is expected to result in the creation of 235,400 job years, $20 billion in total wages and $56 billion in overall economic activity.

The approval followed a month-long public comment period – including two first-ever public meetings in each state that were attended by commissioners and agency leadership.  Prior to the Board’s vote to move the proposed plan forward on January 5 for public comment, there was robust debate and discussion by Board members over how to parcel out limited resources to the agency’s growing list of capital investment needs.

Since the Board’s January 5 meeting, the agency received 429 comments on its plan from 365 individuals.  Fifty-five speakers attended the public meetings in both states to comment on specific items in the document and 9 people Tweeted comments about it.  An additional 327 comments were emailed and 12 comments were received by mail.  The Board of Commissioners received periodic summaries of the public comments prior to today’s Board meeting.

The 10-year plan approved today includes $29.5 billion in direct spending on Port Authority projects and the $2.7 billion commitment to support debt service on the Gateway passenger rail tunnel project.

The plan outlines specific funding commitments for major capital projects the agency will invest in over the next 10 years.  All projects remain subject to Board authorization processes, and, before they proceed, are subject to a rigorous “gates” review process before they proceed that look at agency revenue and the ability to finance them.


The Source: Breaking Waves

Several Auto Shipments Stopped at Customs Due to New Russian Import Rule

Several car shipments have been blocked on their way into Russia by its Federal Customs Service because they are not equipped with the Era-Glonass accident emergency response system,  the Journal of Commerce reports.

According to Yuri Ladygin, head of the Customs Service’s Far East Department, amendments to Russia’s customs regulations require all cars imported into the country after January 1st – whether new or used – to be equipped with the telematics-based navigation and communication system, which is designed to cut emergency response times by automatically transmitting details of any accident including vehicle location, time and level of impact.

The vehicles that have been blocked were already in transit under import permits issued last year, before the new rules came into effect.

Ladygin did not disclose details of the vehicles held, saying only that based on current legislation, the Federal Customs Service did not have a scheme in place for dealing with them.

Most car makers have already confirmed they will equip cars bound for Russia with Era-Glonass, including Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Subaru. A number, however, including Audi and BMW, have said they will cut the range of cars imported into Russia instead.

According to Russia’s Association of Automotive Dealers (ROAD), the new legislation has come into force three years earlier than most car makers were expecting. It puts an additional burden on inbound logistics and will hit sales of new cars in the country, warned Andrey Petrenko, ROAD’s vice-president.

Need help with shipments to Russia –  or any other country?  RCL has extensive experience shipping throughout the world – contact us today for assistance with your shipping needs!

EU and Mexico Accelerate Trade Talks

The European Union and Mexico have announced an intention to accelerate trade talks and are planning two additional rounds of discussion on a “reformed free trade agreement”,  Reuters reports.

The next two rounds for the EU-Mexico trade negotiations will take place in April and June 2017

Last year, the EU and Mexico initiated negotiations to update their existing free trade agreement from 2000, pointing out that global trade patterns had changed substantially during the subsequent 16-year period.

“The purpose of this modernising process is to better mirror other ambitious trade deals that the EU and Mexico have negotiated lately,” said the two trading partners.

Mexico is  second biggest trading partner for the EU , after the US and Canada. Between 2005 and 2015, annual trade flows between the two had more than doubled from €26 billion ($28 billion) to €53 billion.

One of Europe’s previously stated aims in the negotiations was to define more flexible rules of origin criteria, allowing products to benefit from lower customs tariffs.

Stay informed with RCL updates about the latest  international trade news.

New York Port Begins Truck Appointments to Combat Congestion

In order to reduce congestion and improve efficiency, a container terminal in New York Harbor has started to accept appointments for trucks to pick up or drop off cargo according to a report in the Journal of Commerce.

Starting on January 15th , truck drivers headed for the Bayonne, N.J., terminal operated by GCT USA LP must be registered on the website run by Port Authority and must schedule in advance if they want to enter the port in the first few hours after it opens.  Appointments must be made on the website before 3 pm the day before the appointment.

The goal is to eliminate the long lines of trucks that often line  up outside the terminal’s gates, clogging traffic in surrounding neighborhoods, slowing operations and raising costs for drivers.

Initial analysis shows that the appointment system helped to reduce the turn times by 40 per cent.

The Truck Management System most likely will be implemented at other NY Port terminals if it works well at Global Container Terminal.

Follow RCL Agencies for the latest news about  global shipping and international ports.

New Agreement to Tackle Carbon Emissions

Smart Freight Center (SFC) and FEPORT have signed a MoU to implement the most appropriate existing methodologies for port terminals in the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework, according to the PortTechnology.

The framework aims to tackle the global freight and logistics sectors carbon dioxide emissions, which account for 6% of the worldwide total.

The GLEC provides a common, global platform for industry to develop, apply and advocate for a harmonized logistics emissions accounting.

So that the  shippers and carriers that transport goods across the global supply chain can understand, report and reduce their emissions, as well as compare and select more fuel-efficient modes and carriers.

GLEC framework is now recognised as the logistics sector guidance by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard — the most widely-accepted GHG accounting practice.

GLEC was established  in 2014 through a voluntary partnership of companies, associations and programs committed to the consistent calculation and reporting of emissions from logistics operations.

The next step towards aligning carbon accounting in the logistics sector is  the acceptance and use of the GLEC Framework by industry and government.

The Source: PortTechnology

US Customs Postpones ACE Rollouts

US Customs and Border Protection has postponed the rollout of several more functions of its new electronic filing system- the Automated Commercial Environment  system , according to a recent report in the Journal of Commerce.

The agency announced that some capabilities including liquidation, drawback, reconciliation, duty deferral, collections, statements, and the Automated Surety Interface will be postponed. The original deployment date was scheduled for Saturday. Customs has provided no new deployment date.

“In consideration of stakeholder feedback and the complexity of the ongoing integration testing, CBP is providing additional time to prepare for the final core ACE deployment and ensure a smooth transition,” Customs said in a statement. “CBP will provide updated information and a new deployment date in the near future.”

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is designed to become the Single Window – the primary system through which the trade community will report imports and exports and the government will determine admissibility.

 The ACE system was designed with the intent to streamline cross-border trade, allowing shippers to easily transmit documents with government agencies, saving time and money. However , the system — now three years behind schedule, twice delayed, and more than $1 billion over budget — has been  plagued with issues.

In order to ensure smooth transition CBP is providing additional time to prepare for the final core ACE deployment.

RCL Agencies will provide more updates once available.


Explosion at port of Santos causes delays

Shippers using the port of Santos again dealing  with delays after an explosion last Thursday that closed the largest Brazil’s port according to the information provided by Journal of Commerce.

The company owners said the containers in Santos were full of acid and a disinfectant which came into contact with rainwater, causing a reaction.

The explosion occurred at 3 p.m. at the Vale Fertilizantes 2 industrial plant in Cubatao and closed the port until 7:30 p.m., when Santos and Sao Paulo firefighters got the blaze and toxic fumes under control. The facility’s location adjacent to the main Anchieta and Immigrantes Highways and the smaller BR 101 that connects Sao Paulo to the port of Santos led to highway closures that spawned congestion.

The plant is owned and operated by Vale, which also operates Log-In, Brazil’s last remaining container carrier. Police and environmental officials are investigating the explosion and Vale will likely face heavy fines.

This  is  the third time when the port of Santos got closed in the last three years.

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