CBP makes it easier for shippers to obtain manifest data confidentiality

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says its new automated tool allows importers and exporters to apply and receive approval for their vessel manifest confidentiality requests from the agency within 24 hours.

Before CBP deployed the new online application, shippers had to submit their confidentiality requests to keep their names and addresses off the public manifest record to the agency by mail, fax or email, which often required the agency 60 to 90 days to process.

In addition, CBP said the new online confidentiality application for manifests allows companies and individuals to input all applicable name variations as part of their request. “This will enhance the requesting party’s ability to ensure that a name provided matches the name entered electronically in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE),” the agency said.

CBP’s vessel manifest data, which is compiled daily, is available to the public for purchase and supplied on CD-ROMs. These CD-ROMs are available for specific days or on a subscription basis. Those importers or exporters that have requested confidential treatment of their shipment data in the manifests are not included.

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Source: American Shipper

China Waives Retaliatory Tariffs on 79 US Import Categories

May 13, 2020

The announcement to waive tariffs on 79 categories comes as China’s imports from the U.S. fell by nearly 26% in April, casting doubt about the country’s ability to meet its purchasing requirements under the Phase One trade deal.

To fulfill its end of the bargain, China must purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. commodities, namely agricultural goods, over the course of two years. In December, the Chinese government announced tariff waivers on some imports of U.S. soybeans and pork. However, with the global economy fast approaching a recession, or even a depression, that purchasing target remains far away.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive

Port of LA Chief: ‘We Will Need to Reinvent Ourselves’

May 11, 2020

The Port of Los Angeles loses approximately $400,000 in revenue with each canceled sailing. With 28 blanked sailings forecast for the remainder of the second quarter through June 30, that’s $11.2 million in revenue the port won’t collect.

“But the story is much greater than that,” said Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka of the coronavirus pandemic. “So many folks now are seeing the impacts, whether it be on quarterly earnings announcements, their decisions on personnel, what we see in the knock-on effects across the industry.”

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Source: American Shipper

FMC Eases Certain Service Contract Filing Requirements

April 28, 2020

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Monday, April 27, said it would temporarily allow service contracts to be filed up to 30 days after they take effect to provide relief to shippers and ocean container carriers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the FMC order, the relief becomes effective immediately and will last through December 31, 2020.

The relief measure was identified by the Fact Finding 29 Supply Chain Innovation Teams, which includes more than 50 industry representatives who hold regular telephone meetings with FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify pain points in container shipping due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spring is the period when most annual service contracts are concluded between ocean carriers and shippers.

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Source: American Shipper

US Intermodal Sector Braces For Lasting Pain As Traffic Numbers Plumb New Depths

April 22, 2020

US intermodal traffic has slumped to levels last seen in the recession of 2008-09 – and there are no signs of relief in sight.

Industry organisations are predicting the decline continuing into next year.

Weekly traffic numbers from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) keep plumbing new depths: in the week ending 27 March, volumes fell 15% to 2008/9 levels.

“Since 1988, when our data began, total US railcar loads were lower than last week only during a few Christmas and new year’s weeks, when rail operations are seasonally low,” said AAR senior vice-president John Gray.

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Source: The Load Star