Transportation Update 11/18/14

Weather Slows Movement Through Great Lakes Snow Belt (11/18/2014)

Extremely cold temperatures and snowfall are affecting operations across a large portion of the country. Dangerous winter travel should be expected along the typically hardest-hit Great Lakes snow belts and travel bans have been sanctioned in some areas due to hazardous road conditions. Current weather conditions have led to states of emergencies in some areas where up to five feet of snow is possible over the next 48 hours.  Details can be found here.

Some West Coast Congestion Surcharges Suspended

Last week and the beginning of this week, many major shipping companies announced congestion surcharges on shipments into and out of West Coast ports.  These charges were up to $1000 per 40 ft. container for imports into North America and $300 per 40 ft. container on exports out of North America.  As of this afternoon, several ocean carriers have announced that they are suspending the application of these charges pending further review.  We also believe that the Federal Maritime Commission is reviewing the validity of these charges on shipments tendered to carriers prior to this past Monday November 17th, the day most carriers imposed the charge,  and that this may be part of the reason why carriers are suspending the charges.   Read more here.

The situation remains fluid, and Odyssey will strive to keep you informed as events warrant.

Truck Drivers Strike in Los Angeles and Long Beach

In an action unrelated to the PMA-ILWU negotiations, truck drivers are striking a limited number of companies in the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.  According to the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Journal of Commerce, the drivers are claiming misrepresentation as independent contractors, and are seeking to be organized by the Teamsters union.  Companies targeted this week include:  QTS Inc., LACA Express, WinWin Logistics Inc., Pacer, and Harbor Rail Transport .   Actions against TTSI, Green Fleet Systems, and Pac-9 Transportation are in a cooling off period, and talks between the parties have resumed.

Impact of these actions has been limited.  The Press Telegram wrote, “Officials from both ports reported minimal disruption.”

The Harbor Association Seeks Relief from the Federal Hours of Service Regulation

According to a report from the Long Beach Press Telegram earlier this month, the Harbor Association, which is a coalition of Los Angeles and Long Beach intermodal carriers, is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for an exemption from 34-hour rest regulations that require two consecutive days of rest between 1am and 5am.  The exemption would give drivers more flexibility in their schedules and could help relieve some of the congestion at the ports.  Read the article.