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Category Archives: Announcements

Newsletter February 2015

Westar Ocean LCL Consolidation and our use of smaller ports for European westbound freight.

The major east coast ports continue to become more and more congested due to overflow from west coast traffic slowdowns, truck and rail issues and east coast winter storms. You may want to consider how Westar routes westbound European ocean freight. We utilize smaller, non-congested ports of entry into the US via the port of Chester, PA(Philadelphia) and port of Wilmington, NC. We can reduce your days in transit by our routings where it geographically makes sense for your company.Our ocean LCL consolidation service from Europe to the US routes direct into our Pittsburgh warehouse via the port of Chester, PA. And we can distribute your product anywhere nationwide within a matter of days without the use of rail.

The Harbor Trucking Association (HTA), which represents drayage companies near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, said more than 70 trucking companies have declared “force majeure” in letters sent to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) and various steamship lines in response to huge “per diem” and demurrage charges for containers and chassis. More…

US Trade Deficit Soars In December As Strong Dollar Hurts Exports, Downward Q4 GDP Revisions Imminent

NY-New Jersey 2014 volume up 5.4pc to record 5,772,303 TEU
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has posted a 5.4 per cent year-on-year increase in container volume for 2014 to 5,772,303 TEU, reports American Shipper. Philadelphia up 16.7pc to 449,122 TEU, dredging 70pc done in 2014. The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) has posted a 16.7 per cent year-on-year container volume increase in 2014 to 449,122 TEU as well as a 16.6 per cent rise in overall cargo throughput to 5,950,319 tons, marking a fifth straight year of double digit growth.

In October, the State of Pennsylvania created the Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Programme that commits up to US$ 1 million a year for five years to encourage ocean carriers to move more cargo through Philadelphia by awarding US$ 25 per container lift above previously reported lift totals.The scheme is to ensure that Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) continues to call. While the strings of ships operated by MSC and Maersk’s 2M alliance do not call Philadelphia, MSC has said it will continue to call from North Europe to Philadelphia and Boston.The Port of Philadelphia posted a 14.4 per cent increase in break bulk cargo to 1,382,861 tonnes. Steel was up 49.5 per cent to 394,717 tonnes, and forest products were up 28.2 per cent to 614,843 tonnes.The port said while the amount of fruit and cocoa beans it handled as breakbulk cargo fell, because more of it was containerised, reported American Shipper.”These cargoes aren’t genuinely down at all, only that a portion of them are shifting to containers,” the port said. The port handled 150,637 automobiles (Hyundai and Kia vehicles), 16.6 per cent more than the 129,239 in 2013, and 1,437,664 tons of liquid bulk products last year, up 13.4 per cent year on year.

The port’s $350 million dredging of the Delaware River channel from 40 to 45 feet is close to 70 per cent complete, with the latest rounds of bids to deepen the remaining areas now being evaluated.

US-EU trade deal – the Guardian briefing
What is TTIP, other than an ugly acronym? And will it boost global prosperity by billions of pounds every year – or just make big business ever more influential and unaccountable? More…

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Newsletter January 2015

West Coast Port Congestion & Labor Update
The congestion situation that has existed for many months on the US West Coast continues and has worsened since the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Delays are occurring in every aspect of the supply chain, covering both export and import transactions up and down the West Coast, including Seattle/Tacoma, Oakland/San Francisco, and Los Angeles/Long Beach. Ships are often at anchor for days awaiting berthing, unloading and loading the vessel is taking longer than ever, pick up of loaded boxes can often take weeks due to congestion, containers are being buried in closed areas, there is a lack of chassis in good order and a lack of qualified drivers, the rails are congested, etc.

On top of the structural problems that are already existing, the ongoing labor dispute between employers (PMA) and longshoremen (ILWU) has gotten worse, despite the mutual agreement to allow a mediator, appointed by the federal government, to intervene in an attempt to resolve the issues that have caused them to be working without a contract for the past seven months. The battle has intensified this week, with both sides accusing the other of causing the current situation: the PMA accuses the ILWU of deliberately slowing their work speed to a crawl, the ILWU accuses the PMA of reducing longshoremen’s hours in an attempt to break the union.

We will continue to keep you current with regular updates related to this ongoing situation which is causing unprecedented delays and financial burdens to all parties involved in ocean transportation via the US West Coast.

TTIP’s teflon coat wears thin
BRUSSELS – The prospect of an EU-US trade agreement was one of relatively few sources of comfort for EU lawmakers during the bloc’s struggling economy in 2013.

Port of Long Beach: busiest November since 2007
The Port of Long Beach’s cargo volume saw 2.1% growth in November when compared to the same month last year, but the modest rise was enough to mark the busiest November since 2007.

World’s biggest carriers grew again last year as ever-bigger box ships arrived
Maersk Line increase its total cellular capacity by 318,000 teu in 2014….

MOL looks to 20,000 teu ships
As the 19,000 teu ‘CSCL Globe’, currently the world’s largest containership, arrives in Europe on its maiden voyage from China, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) president, Koichi Muto, has raised the stakes again by…

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Holiday Greetings 2014

We wish you
joy and
prosperity throughout the coming year.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

We look forward to working with you in the years to come.

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Newsletter December 2014

It’s this time of the year…

The Port of New York and New Jersey Prepared for the Winter 2014-2015

Trucker strike at ports of L.A. and Long Beach ends…
Striking truck drivers from two companies agreed Friday to return to work, organizers said, ending a nine-day trucker protest at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The two struck companies — Pacer International Inc. and Harbor Rail Transport — said in statements that they would not retaliate against drivers who walked off the job and vowed to continue discussions with the Teamsters Union, which is backing the drivers.

Middle East Airfreight Ascent: Mecca or Mirage?
It wasn’t long ago that media and markets alike were ready to anoint the Middle East as the world’s next airfreight hub. More…

Panalpina, Pride, Noble Settle SEC Bribery Cases
Panalpina Inc., Pride International Inc., and Noble Corp. settled U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuits alleging they bribed officials of foreign governments. More…

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Newsflash November 2014

US Customs System Outage

All carriers, exporters and U.S. importers, should note that U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is experiencing a nation-wide system outage affecting all import activity through its Automated Broker Interface (ABI) and Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) systems. CBP is unable to receive or process data and messages from customs brokers, carriers and other related parties.

This outage has affected all import activity resulting in significant shipment delays at many ports of entry throughout the U.S. as Customs relies on its ‘down-time’ procedures.

Westar is continuing to monitor developments regarding this outage. No ETA has been provided by CBP regarding the system’s availability.

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Newsletter November 2014

The Value of Cargo insurance
There are risks associated with trading internationally and it’s important to arrange appropriate cargo insurance coverage. ‘Cargo marine insurance’ does not only apply to ocean shipping. It also covers transport by road, rail and air. Liability for the cargo carried is set by international conventions and does not always equate to the full declared value of the goods and can vary from market to market.
Call us, we can help with your insurance needs!

Strike by workers on St. Lawrence Seaway could happen in days: Union
CORNWALL, Ont. — A strike by workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway could be just a few days away.

Truck Power
Truck Power across North America to perform import door deliveries and export door pickups continues to be a major concern and our Operation colleagues continue to bring on new trucks but this is not an easy task in today’s market. Please see Truck Power Map on for more information regarding advance timing required for door movements.

U.S. chicken exports to India more likely after WTO ruling

Rail Network
This past weekend, the BNSF completed putting into service an additional six miles of double-track in a busy section across their Northern corridor, bringing their total to nearly 50 miles of new double-track added between Minot, ND and Glasgow, MT. The BNSF is also readying the operation for the upcoming winter season by testing and pre-positioning equipment as well as adding resources to help ensure they are better prepared for the possibility of extreme winter conditions.

Pacific Southwest
All Southern California marine terminal facilities remain highly congested.

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Newsletter October 2014

Mergers: Commission approves merger between Hapag Lloyd and CSAV in container liner shipping sector, subject to conditions
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed merger between Hapag Lloyd, a German shipping company with worldwide activities, and rival Compañia Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (“CSAV”) of Chile. More…

Inadequate resources blamed for truck congestion at ports
Port operators, users say cargo delays caused by inefficient system.
The root cause of mounting congestion problems at major U.S. container ports can be traced to low ocean shipping rates that lead to poor service trickling down through the supply chain, according to transportation service and equipment providers at a Federal Maritime Commission field hearing Wednesday in Baltimore.
Port of Virginia-related firm pleads guilty to federal charges in Baltimore
K-Line to pay $67.7 million in conspiracy fines, ruling will not affect container business at Port of Virginia
NORFOLK — A long-time Japanese ocean carrier with ties to the Port of Virginia has been popped by the feds after pleading guilty for price fixing and rigging bids for services at the Port of Baltimore.

Maritime security: the Commission takes Spain to court over the security of its ports
The European Commission is taking action against Spain before the Court of Justice of the European Union, because 20 Spanish ports have yet to adopt and implement the port security plan. More…
YAHOO NEWS – Watch Two Huge Container Ships Crash into Each Other

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Newsletter September 2014

LWU, PMA reach tentative agreement on health benefits
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association released a joint statement on Tuesday saying they have come together on at least one topic, and a highly contentious one at that: health benefits.

Trade Deficit Falls as Exports Hit Record, Imports Decline
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on August 6th that trade statistics for the month of June show that the U.S. trade deficit fell for the 2nd straight month, down 7.2% to $41.5 billion. Exports increased by 0.2% to $195.9 billion, setting a new all-time record, while imports dropped 1.2% to $237.4 billion.

Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102) and additional funding announced
The GSM-102 program provides credit guarantees to encourage financing of commercial exports of U.S. agricultural products, while providing competitive credit terms to buyers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has released additional fiscal-year 2014 funds for its Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102).

The U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing civil penalties ranging from $63,000 to $91,000 against three companies for violating Hazardous Materials Regulations, and resolved a case against another company for $54,000.

It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the

prosperous voyage. George William Curtis

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Newsletter August 2014

Effective July 1, 2014 changes were made to the 2014 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). These changes include 93 additions, deletions and modifications to the previous edition. To learn more about these changes  ontact us directly for more information.

Maersk, MSC enter a 10-year VSA
A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. have clinched a 10-year deal to share vessels on some of the world’s busiest trade routes, just weeks after Chinese regulators scuttled a wider alliance between the two carriers and France’s CMA CGM SA.
The aim of the new pact, which the partners are calling 2M, is to capture at least some of the cost savings that Mærsk had hoped to get out of the three-way logistics and ship-sharing tie-up, known as the P3 alliance.

Labor Talks at U.S. West Coast Ports Set to Resume Aug. 4
Labor negotiations at 29 ports along the U.S. West Coast will resume next week to head off a strike or lockout that could cost the U.S. economy more than $2 billion a day. Both sides describe talks as “productive.”

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Newsletter July 2014

LWU, PMA say ‘cargo will keep moving’
The collective bargaining agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association expired at 5 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday without reaching agreement on a new contract. In a joint statement, the ILWU and PMA said “while there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached.”

China decision sinks P3
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced it would not approve the proposed P3 Network between Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM, scuttling the effort by the three carriers to move the vessel-sharing agreement forward.

Enforcement of Importer Security Filing
In a recent Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS) notification (CSMS 14-000283), the Trade was advised that CBP had issued updated guidance to the ports regarding enforcement of the Importer Security Filing. CBP has since posted an FAQ document on their website detailing the update.
Here are a few “key points” behind the new strategy:
CBP Headquarters (HQ) will allow local discretion at the port levelResets the 12-month HQ review period that began on July 9, 2013 and will now conclude on May 13, 2015Standardized approach to allow for analysis into non-compliant ISF filings with the intent to conduct focused outreachMinimum of three (3) warnings to non-compliant importers.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
The European Commission announced on June 18th that it will host another round of discussions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Brussels July 14-18. According to the announcement, during this round, negotiators will continue their discussions on issues such as trade in goods and services, regulatory issues, government procurement, environmental protection and labor rights, energy and raw materials, and opportunities for small and medium size enterprises. To learn more about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) click here.

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