NASA NEWS​​​​​​​​​​​


Italy - Strike Notice for all Italian Ports Friday May 11, 2018
May 9, 2018 

Major labor unions have announced a 24 hour strike for Friiday May 11th which will affect all Italian ports. 


USA - Trucking Market Update & Outlook    
May 4, 2018  

The USA trucking capacity is still recovering from the challenges that started mid 2017 when the industry had to manage increased economic demand, ongoing driver shortages, implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD), and weather events all at once.  Trucking demand and capacity did not stabilize in the first quarter of 2018 signaling another difficult year ahead for shippers. 

In a recent session with Journal of Commerce on the trucking market outlook, analysts from Bloomberg Intelligence and the trucking providers project capacity will still remain tight as the economy and manufacturing sector continue to fuel demand.  Barring any unforeseen economic event, normalization is not expected to occur until some point in 2019.

The phased in enforcement period of the ELD mandate has passed and companies have had to rethink fleet strategy – each driver has a fixed limit of hours available per day with no room to maneuver once that point is reached, even if most of that time has been waiting at terminals, warehouses, or in traffic.  For shippers, driver detention costs are rising as providers reduce free time at warehouses.  Managing warehouse service expectations and adopting best practices at facilities in the form of appointment scheduling, expanded hours and flexibility are even more crucial today.        

For shippers importing into California ports, a recent Supreme Court ruling will make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors and is expected to impact port drayage truck operations.  Additional proposed legislation seeks to make cargo owners liable for violations if they hire drayage companies that are non-complaint with labor laws.  Articles on the topic can be found at FreightWaves and Maritime Executive.

We will continue to update on market developments and monitor capacity and pricing fluctuations across a range of trucking operators to provide dependable service.  Providing us more advance notice and volumes forecasts, especially for US inland areas, will minimize the impact of the current trucking environment on cargo flows. ​ 


Italy - Strike Affecting Ports and Terminals in Sicily
May 2, 2018 

Major labor unions have announced a strike from May 3 to May 5, 2018 (included) at Sicilian ports.  This will include Ports of Palermo – Catania – Trapani and all main terminals involved in container handling on the island.  



USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for June 2018   
May 1, 2018  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for June 2018 will be USD 138 per TEU.  The BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA is USD 510 per TEU.  ​



Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach - PierPass Announces Upcoming Program Changes
April 17, 2018 

The PierPass program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced today upcoming changes to its program including adopting an appointment system and charging a flat fee on all cargo for daytime and nighttime moves. 

Currently the traffic mitigation fee (TMF) of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is applied on weekday daytime cargo moves to encourage cargo owners to use off-peak hours (nights and Saturdays).  The revised program will replace this with a single fee during both peak and off-peak shifts, and use appointments to spread out traffic.  The TMF will be charged at a rate of $31.52 per TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) and $63.04 for all other container sizes.  Empty containers will be exempt, please see full details.   

The new program is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be launched in August 2018.

Read the full press release and frequently asked questions at www.pierpass.org



France - Dockworkers Strike every Monday starting April 9, 2018    
April 5, 2018 

The Dockworkers Trade Unions have called for a strike every Monday starting on April 9th for all French ports.  The French rail company is also on strike for two days a week through the end of June. Therefore during April will stop using rail for container haulage instead will utilize road solutions.

Discussions between the French government and Trade Unions are currently taking place which could result in an agreement soon.  Will advise when more information is available.


USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for May 2018   
April 2, 2018  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for May 2018 will be USD 136 per TEU.  The BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA is USD 510 per TEU.  ​



Portugal - Port Strikes   
March 27, 2018 

The Port Authorities workers union (SNTP) has initiated a strike affecting all Portuguese ports from March 26th through March 30th, with no overtime work available until April 2nd, 2017.  The focus of the strike is centered around the pilot boats that assist vessels entering and exiting the port and at present no vessels are allowed to enter.  The port of Leixões is the most affected so far.  Talks are taking place between the unions and government in effort to resolve the labor dispute.  


USA - Winter Weather Closures March 21, 2018  
March 20, 2018 

The Port of NY/NJ has announced that all container terminals will be closed Wednesday March 21, 2018 due to anticipated snow accumulation and freezing temperatures from winter storm Toby.  The JF Hillebrand USA office in Edison NJ will also be closed with staff working remotely according to emergency procedures.  Delayed openings are expected for Thursday March 22, 2018.  

USA TTB issues additional guidance on the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform  
March 13, 2018 

Industry Circular: Alternative Procedure for a Wine Producer to Tax Determine and Tax Pay Wine of Its Production That is Stored Untaxpaid at a Bonded Wine Cellar: 

 

New General Questions and Answers updated on:

·         G6: If I receive imported or domestic beer, wine, or distilled spirits in bond, am I eligible to take the reduced tax rate or new tax credit?

·         B1: The Act says I may be eligible for a reduced rate of tax on beer that I “produce.” For purposes of the reduced rate of tax, what activity counts as “produced”? May I pay the reduced rate on beer that I’ve received in bond in containers (for example, bottles) and subsequently remove subject to tax? May I pay the reduced rate on beer that I’ve received in bond and bottled?

·         W7: I am a Bonded Wine Cellar (BWC) and I do not produce my own wine. How does the new law affect my ability to take a tax credit on wine that I hold for other wineries that produced the wine?

·         W8: The Act says I may take a credit on wine I "produce" and remove. For purposes of taking the new tax credit, what activity counts as "produced"? May I take the new tax credit on wine that I've sweetened or blended? May I take the credit on wine that I've received in bond?



USA East Coast / Gulf Port-Labor Negotiations to Resume 
March 12, 2018 

The US Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) issued a joint press release last Friday announcing that they are resuming negotiations on the master contract.  The current contract expires on September 30, 2018.  Read the full press release here.  



USA - Winter Weather Closure Update, Red Hook Terminal Brooklyn to open at 1PM, all other Port of NY/NJ Terminals Closed today   
March 8, 2018 

Port of New York / New Jersey terminals are closed today with the exception of Red Hood Terminal in Brooklyn which is planning to open at 1PM today.  



USA - Winter Weather Closure Update, Port of NY/NJ, JF Hillebrand USA Edison NJ office.  
March 7, 2018 

Winter Storm warnings and advisories are in effect across portions of the northern Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.  By Thursday evening snow accumulations could exceed 1 foot for areas west of the I-95 corridor where commercial truck bans were announced yesterday.  The major cities will receiving varying levels of snowfalls.

 

The Port of NY/NJ has announced the following terminal closures:

-       APMT closing at 1PM today

-       PNCT closing at 2PM today, reopening March 9th at 6AM.

-       SeaLink TSC closing at 1PM today

-       Red Hook closing at 2PM

-       RHCT Brooklyn closing at 3PM

-       All Port of NY/NJ terminals closed Thursday March 8th for cleanup

 

The JF Hillebrand USA office in Edison NJ is closed on Wednesday March 7th, 2018 with staff working remotely according to contingency operations procedures. ​



USA - Winter Weather Closure for JF Hillebrand USA Edison NJ offices March 7th, 2018. 
March 6, 2018  

Winter Storm Quinn is headed to the US northeast with heavy snow and winds forecasted.  Winter storm watches have been updated to winter storm warnings from Pennsylvania to Maine.  Authorities have announced commercial vehicle bans in Pennsylvania on I-84 and I-380 and more restrictions are to be expected across the region. 

The JF Hillebrand USA office in Edison NJ will be closed on Wednesday March 7th, 2018 with staff working remotely according to contingency operations procedures



USA - Inland Weight Limits for Chicago Deliveries  
March 6, 2018  

The USA has strict weight limits on gross vehicle weight and axle weight distribution, with specific restrictions or additional weight permit allowances which vary by region and or market zone. 

For deliveries to Chicago the legal weight allowances are as follows:

Type / Size

20’

40’

Dry container

37,500 lbs

44,000 lbs

Reefer with genset

33,000 lbs

40,500 lbs

Reefer without genset

36,000 lbs

42,000 lbs


In the Chicago market specifically, truck power is in short supply from several factors:

·    Increased volumes and elongated peak season

·    CSX is re-working facilities in the market and shutting down or scaling back more than 30 container rail yards to improve operating efficiencies

·    General shortage from driver shortage and electronic data log (ELD) regulation

 

As a result it is more challenging to find carriers willing to assign lighter trucks to handle containers that push the edge of legal road weight limits.  Operators have sufficient volumes to move that are well within legal limits and will charge overweight permits to minimize any risk of fines or violations.



USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for April 2018   
March 1, 2018  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for April 2018 will be USD 135 per TEU.  The BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA will be USD 510 per TEU.  ​



Update - Winter Weather Conditions 
March 1, 2018  

US – Boston / Conley Terminal will be closed Friday March 2nd for high winds and potential tidal flooding

Italy update – expanded truck bans are in place affecting in particular regions in Emilia, Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria and Campania areas.  Terminal gates closed at ports of Livorno and Genova.  

Winter conditions continue to impact parts of Europe with truck bans and delays in road transportation which impact pickups and container positioning.  See snow and temperature forecast maps for Europe on weatheronline.com



Winter Weather Conditions across Europe 
February 28, 2018  

Winter weather conditions are in effect across much of Europe with snow accumulation and low temperatures impacting transportation and delaying shipments. 


Truck bans and delays are present, but not limited to, the following regions:

·         France – Truck driving bans are in place in the Paris area and in the south of France.

·         Italy – Snow and ice conditions have resulted in limited truck circulation today and further restrictions are expected for tomorrow as more snowfall is forecasted.

·         Spain – All of northern Spain is impacted by winter weather conditions with truck restrictions for the entire region and a road travel ban is still in effect in Catalonia.  This would impact shipments from Barcelona, Bilbao, Tarragona, Gijon and Vigo.

·         UK/Scotland – most producers and customers in the region are closing possibly until Friday as heavy snowfall is expected over the next 36 hours.  JF Hillebrand in Glasgow will close at 2PM local time and will be operating under emergency contingency procedures.

See snow and temperature forecast maps for Europe on weatheronline.com

Shipments of wines, beers, and craft spirits can be sensitive to changes in temperature for both the bottled product as well as closures, labels and packaging when moisture condensation builds up from freezing and re-thawing.  Shippers should opt for temperature controlled equipment or insulation at minimum to increase cargo protection during the winter months. 



Spain - Winter Weather Conditions Alert 
February 27, 2018  

Winter weather conditions are in effect in the region of Catalonia, Spain where snow accumulation has impacted road transport.  Local authorities have imposed a truck travel road ban starting at 2PM local time until the conditions improve.  This will delay order and container pickups for cargo sailing from the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona.



Italy - Winter Weather Conditions Alert 
February 26, 2018  

Winter weather conditions are impacting transport around Italy today; especially in areas in Northern and Central Italy where snow and ice are affecting the roads.  A driving ban has been implemented for trucks over 7.5 tons which will delay order and container equipment pickups across the region.   



USA - Dense Fog Impacting Multiple US East Coast and Gulf Ports
February 21, 2018  

Dense fog is impacting visibility at US East Coast and Gulf ports as reported by MSC.  Vessel schedules and terminal congestion is expected at the following ports:

 

·         HOUSTON, Dense fog is currently affecting channel, visibility is between 1-3 miles. No any improvements are expected in the next days/ Strongly affected.

·         SAVANNAH, Dense fog is currently affecting river channel, visibility is between 3-5 miles. It will persist until tomorrow 22nd 18 UTC, then we have gap until 23rd 18 UTC, then is expected to thick again.

·         CHARLESTON, Fog is expected to lift today until 23rd pm with good visibility. Notwithstanding, it’ s expected to thick again in the next days.

·         NORFOLK, Dense fog is currently Cape Henry, visibility is between 1-3 miles. Visibility should improve in the next hours, but it’ s expected to be still poor in the next days.

·         BALTIMORE, Dense fog is currently Chesapeake Bay, visibility is between 1-3 miles. Visibility should improve in the next hours, but it’ s expected to be still poor in the next days.

·         PHILADELPHIA, Dense fog is currently affecting channel, visibility is between 0.5-1 miles. No any improvements are expected in the next days/ Strongly affected.

·         NEW YORK, Dense fog is currently affecting channel, visibility is between 0.5-1 miles. Visibility should improve by tomorrow morning 22nd 0600 UTC.

·         BOSTON, Dense fog is currently affecting channel, visibility is less than 0.5 miles. Visibility should improve by tomorrow morning 22nd 0600 UTC.​



USA - Truckers Adopt 1 Hour Free Time Windows     
February 12, 2018  

The USA trucking industry, already facing capacity challenges that started in the second half of 2017 and an ongoing driver shortage, is now reeling from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) mandates on electronic logging devices (ELD). 

 

As of December 18th, commercial trucks (with very few exceptions) must be equipped with an ELD that replaces paper logs.  This reduces a driver’s paperwork as well as potential errors or omissions in logbooks, but does not exclude traffic or loading dock delays from maximum drive time restrictions.  Commercial drivers have a maximum 60 hour work week, and are limited to 11 hours of driving time per day – including waiting time at port terminals and loading docks.

 

These non-driving delays directly impact truck utilization rates and driver compensation so truckers must increase the number of pickups and deliveries made in a workday.  To offset these limits, trucking companies have increasingly adopted shorter free time windows for all operations.

 

USA West Coast drayage providers have already been operating with a one hour delivery time window, and this industry standard is being adopted by carriers at other ports and terminals nationwide.  Going forward, JF Hillebrand will apply the same rates as imposed by trucking and rail operators.


As of March 7, 2018, free time charges will be limited to 1 hour and charged at a rate of $100 per thereafeter and will be applicable at all US ports and rail terminals.   



France - Weather Conditions Alert    
February 6, 2018  

Inclement weather conditions in France are impacting transportation flows, especially in the Paris region where driving bans have been implemented for trucks over 7.5 tons.  For active shipments could be delayed or will need to be diverted.  We strongly encourage shippers to avoid dry container transport when cargo could be exposed to cold / freezing temperatures and choose operating reefer equipment or insulation at minimum.


USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for March 2018   
January 31, 2018  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for March 2018 will be USD 135 per TEU.  The quarterly BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA is USD 425 per TEU, from January to March 2018.​




USA - CBP and TTB Still Establishing Procedures to Implement New Federal Excise Tax Cuts for Wine, Spirits and Beer      
January 31, 2018 

 

As previously announced, recent tax reform legislation on January 1st, 2018 reduced the federal excise tax rates on  wines, spirits and beer.  However government agencies have not implemented the new rates while new procedures are established, at which point importers will be able to apply for the excise tax relief on qualifying entries retroactively. 

 

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have issued the following memo to alcohol importers today:  

 

MESSAGE TO ALCOHOL IMPORTERS FROM CBP AND TTB

Under the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2017 (as contained in Public Law 115-97), appropriate procedures must be established in order for an importer to receive a lower effective excise tax rate on qualifying imports of beer, wine, and distilled spirits. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be updating their websites with forthcoming guidance to importers.

Until such procedures are established and guidance is issued, importers of beer, wine, and distilled spirits seeking to qualify for excise tax relief, based on qualifying assignments made by a foreign producer, should continue to pay the full excise tax rates. Importers will be provided with the opportunity to seek the applicable excise tax relief, on entries made after the law went into effect, once forthcoming procedures and guidance have been issued.

 

There is also a general Question & Answer section on the TTB website:

https://www.ttb.gov/alcohol/craft-beverage-modernization-and-tax-reform.shtml




2M Shipping Alliance to Drop La Spezia and Boston Port Calls from Mediterranean-US East Coast Service     
January 30, 2018 

 

The 2M Shipping Alliance, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), is making changes to its Mediterranean-US East Coast Service in March, dropping port calls at La Spezia and Boston and adding a new call at Tangiers.  The service changes are expected to improve transit times and schedule reliability to the US East Coast in order to compete with other shipping alliance schedules, but it will lengthen the transit time for Boston shipments.

 

The Mediterranean – US East Coast scheduled rotation will be:

Tangiers – Valencia – Gioia Tauro – Naples – Leghorn – Genoa – Valencia – Algeciras – Sines – New York – Baltimore – Norfolk – Savannah – Charleston.  


With this change, there will no longer be a direct all-water routing from the Mediterranean to Boston, and service would be replaced by a transshipment schedule via North Europe (Rotterdam). 

 

We understand these changes will impact shipment planning for Boston port calls.  NASA’s shipping partner JF Hillebrand is here to assist our members and explore new routing solutions and additional cargo protection measures for Boston shipments; please reach out to your local representative with any questions or concerns.




USA - Industry Impact from Government Shutdown    
January 22, 2018 

 

The US government went into effect as of Friday evening, closing certain federal entities.  Under the shutdown " essential services" continue, which as defined by the International Labor Organization, is a "service without which the safety, health or welfare of the community...would be endangered or seriously prejudiced."  


Most employees at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are viewed as essential, and the shutdown is not expected to negatively impact incoming shipments or operations at ports of entry.  For full U.S. Department of Homeland Security procedures relating to a lapse in appropriations, please see here.  

 

The US Senate passed a procedural vote today to re-open the government, which the House must then approve, extending funding through February 8th, 2017. 

 



USA - Federal Excise Tax Cuts for Wine, Spirits and Beer   
January 16, 2018 

As part of the recent tax reform legislation, wines, spirits and beer will have reduced federal excise tax rates as of January 1st, 2018.

 

The TTB has issued information on the summary of the changes, initial guidance on filing excise tax return forms, and a general Question & Answer section on their website:

https://www.ttb.gov/alcohol/craft-beverage-modernization-and-tax-reform.shtml

 

Main highlights of the tax change

 

-       Winery production size limits removed on excise tax credit, allowing all wineries to claim credit on the first 750,000 gallons of wine produced and removed or imported in the United States during 2018 and 2019 calendar year.  The tax credit applies to all wines, except for hard cider.

 

-       Wines with 14% to 16% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) formerly taxed at $1.57 per gallon, along with mead or low alcohol wines will be now subject to the still wine tax rate at  $1.07 per gallon.

 

-       Beer – reduced tax rates on beer, separate tax rate for small domestic brewers who produce no more than two million barrels of beer during the calendar year.

 

-       Spirits – reduced tax rates on distilled spirits; exceptions for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

Be advised that US government entities have yet to implement the changes.  We will continue to update you as more information becomes available; in the meantime, please reach out to your JF Hillebrand representative or import customer service at +1 732 388 0101 for questions or concerns.  


France - 2 Hour Dockworkers Strike December 21st, 2017  
December 20, 2017 

Dockworker trade unions have called for a 2-hour strike on Thursday, December 21st 2017 as follows: 

- Le Havre: Strike hours from 9AM - 11AM

- Fos sur Mer: Strike hours from 12PM - 2PM

JF Hillebrand France is working to adjust scheduled loadings to minimize delays where possible. 



USA - Wildfires in Southern California 
December 6, 2017 

Wildfires, fueled by strong Santa Ana winds and dry conditions, have broken out across Southern California, with major actives fires in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.  Pickups or deliveries to locations near the fire perimeters could be impacted by highway and local road closures or evacuation advisories.  For incident information and a fire map, visit calfire.ca.gov


Italy Update - Truckers' Strike Cancelled
December 4, 2017 

An agreement has been reached over the weekend and the previously announced trucker’s strike on December 11th and 12th, 2017 has been cancelled.​



USA - Port of Miami (POMTOC) Truck Drivers Protest 
December 1, 2017 

Local trucking providers that make deliveries and pickups at the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Company (POMTOC) are protesting current operating conditions, especially the lengthy gate wait times.  Turn times at the gates recently have been up to 4 hours, and failure to meet specific documentation sends truckers back to the start of the queue. 

 

At this point, the majority of trucking companies are not sending drivers to POMTOC for container operations.  Representatives from trucking companies, the port and terminal are arranging meetings to discuss how to move forward. 

 

For shippers with pending orders arriving or departing POMTOC, please contact your local JF Hillebrand representative for further information and options.  Import customer service can be reached at +1 732 388 0101 or visit AXIS for shipment updates.​ 


USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for January 2018   
December 1, 2017  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for January 2018 will be USD 108 per TEU.  The quarterly BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA will be $425 per TEU.​



Italy - Truckers' Strike December 11th - 12th, 2017
November 27, 2017 

Be advised that several trucking companies have confirmed a potential trucker general strike on December 11th and 12th, 2017, although a formal announcement has not been released by the labor union.

 

As December 8th is a national holiday in Italy, a trucker’s strike immediately following on December 11th and 12th would disrupt the transportation of containers, scheduled pickups and container positioning.  



South Africa - Intermittent Operations at Cape Town Port 
November 17, 2017 

Over the past few days, operations at Cape Town Port have been disrupted as heavy winds have required closures (no operations, no gate movements).  These regional wind gusts are common this time of the year and typically last for a few weeks.

When conditions close the port in the evening, this prevents container stacking and empty container pickups for the next day’s deliveries, creating congestion and bottlenecks at the port terminal the following morning.    ​



USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for December 2017   
November 1, 2017  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for December 2017 will be USD 89 per TEU.  The quarterly BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA is USD 390 per TEU, from October to December 2017.​


Italy - Update on Strikes this week 
October 30, 2017 

As advised last week, major Italian trucker unions are on strike today October 30th and 31st which is followed by a national holiday on November 1st
 
Strike information:
·         October 30th and 31st – Trucker general strike
·         (November 1st – National Holiday)
·         November 2nd and 3rd – Genova port workers strike – CANCELLED
 

The strike will disrupt the transportation of containers, scheduled pickups and container positioning this week.  Major Italian ports are also not operating today due to the protests. ​ 



France - General Strike Announced for November 16th, 2017
October 26, 2017 

A general strike has been announced for November 16th, 2017 by most major trade unions and it is likely that dockworkers will participate in the strike.  They will have to announce their attentions at least 48 hours in advance so official confirmation would be expected the week of November 13th, 2017. 



Italy - Upcoming Strike Dates Announced  
October 23, 2017 

Please be informed about strikes announced in Italy for the coming days:

 

·         October 27th – Public Sector strike

·         October 30th and 31st – Trucker general strike

·         (November 1st – National Holiday)

·         November 2nd and 3rd – Genova port workers strike

 

As a result of the strikes, transportation of containers and scheduled pickups could be delayed.  Port terminals and customs authorities will not be able to guarantee normal operations. ​ 



USA - Latest update on JF Hillebrand USA's California Operations 
October 17, 2017 

Wildfires in California have now burned over 213,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures, and killed 41 people, making it the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history.  Evacuation orders in parts of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino have been lifted, but roughly 40,000 people are still displaced.  Fire teams have gained more ground and containment levels have drastically increased as the winds have died down and cooler temperatures are expected throughout this week.  Fires are still active in some areas, and there is now a new fire in the Santa Cruz mountains prompting new evacuations.  The entire state remains on high alert for continued fire danger. 

Most major wine warehouses and supplier facilities in wine country have re-opened this week.  JF Hillebrand Benicia (office and warehouse) was open all last week and doing outreach to customers and suppliers impacted by the fires.  Additional temperature-controlled warehousing was obtained to address immediate shipping needs along with other local initiatives.  

JF Hillebrand USA Last Mile Delivery service is supporting delivery of wine donations at the warehouse for a state-wide restaurant By the Glass program being mobilized to raise funds to support fire relief charities and nominated shelters.  For more information please contact Elly Hartshorn at e.hartshorn@jfhillebrand.com  

A statewide fire map, current containment levels and updates, visit http://www.calfire.ca.gov/

For any pending shipments to or from the area please contact your usual JF Hillebrand account representative for updated status.​ 



Ireland - Hurricane Ophelia 
October 16, 2017 

Hurricane Ophelia, the worst storm to hit the country in 50 years, is moving across Ireland forcing early closures of businesses and regional power outages.  JF Hillebrand offices closed at 11AM local time Monday and expect to reopen on Tuesday.   



Portugal - Wildfires in Portugal / Northern Spain  
October 16, 2017 

Wildfires, fueled by strong winds, have spread across central and northern regions of Portugal and in northern Spain (Galicia region) over the weekend.  A state of the emergency has been declared in the affected regions in Portugal and due to the warm weather conditions the situation is still critical.

 

Media coverage on the wildfires can be found here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/world/europe/portugal-spain-fires.html

 

Link to active fire map:

https://fogos.pt/​




USA - Update on JF Hillebrand USA's California Operations
October 13, 2017 

NASA and JF Hillebrand USA are deeply saddened by the devastation of the wildfires burning in Northern California and across the state.  Our continuing concern is for the safety of our staff, customers, partners and local communities impacted.

 

Most major wine warehouses and supplier facilities in Sonoma and Napa have been closed or have reduced operations this week in accordance to evacuation advisories, staffing, power outages and air quality health alerts. 

 

JF Hillebrand USA’s office in Benicia California is at present 25 miles south of the Atlas fire.  The facilities are open and operational this week and the team is working on additional temperature-controlled warehousing solutions for industry needs, considering the ever-changing conditions.  We have been reaching out to customers and suppliers to see what their needs are and how we can support them. 

 

We have also heard from wine communities around the world wishing to help.  JF Hillebrand USA Last Mile Delivery service is contributing delivery support from their warehouse on wine donations for a state-wide By the Glass program for restaurants being mobilized to raise funds to support fire relief charities and nominated shelters.  For more information on this program, please contact Elly Hartshorn at e.hartshorn@jfhillebrand.com.

We will continue to post updates as the situation develops.  For any pending shipments to or from the area please contact your usual JF Hillebrand account representative for updated status.​ 


France - Strike on October 19th, 2017

October 13, 2017 

French stevedores unions have called off the strike planned for Monday October 16th, and a new nationwide general strike of transport personnel has been announced for Thursday October 19th, 2017.


USA - Active Northern California Fires Prompt New Evacuations
October 11, 2017 

Firefighters in California are battling 22 large wildfires that have burned nearly 170,000 acres and a shift in wind direction and speed are prompting new evacuations alerts in the Napa and Sonoma counties.  Red Flag Warnings have been issued for much of Northern California due to the gusty winds and low humidity, which increase the risk for new wildfires. 

 

A state of emergency is in place for Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange and Solano counties.  Wildfires have claimed 17 lives and burned an estimated 3,500 homes and commercial structures, although the situation is still ongoing and damage assessment is still in progress.   

 

Most major wine warehouses in Napa County and American Canyon have been closed or have reduced operation hours this week in accordance to staffing, road closures, power outages and air quality conditions.   

 

JF Hillebrand Benica’s office and warehouse has been operational this week; however, as the conditions change, the office is on alert to move to remote contingency procedures with limited staff to allow employees to address evacuation alerts.  Our thoughts and prayers are with our staff, industry colleagues, wineries, suppliers and the communities deeply affected by these fires. 

  

California statewide fire map http://www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps

San Francisco Chronicle Interactive fire map http://www.sfchronicle.com/north-bay-fires/

 ​ 




USA - Update on Northern California Wildfires  
October 10, 2017 

Dry and windy conditions have continued to fuel 15 wildfires in Northern California covering over  73,000 acres in nine counties since Sunday night.  A state of emergency has been declared for Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange counties with evacuation and road closures near active areas.  These fires have claimed 11 lives and burned an estimated 1,500 homes and commercial structures.   

California statewide fire map http://www.fire.ca.gov/general/firemaps

San Francisco Chronicle Interactive fire map http://www.sfchronicle.com/north-bay-fires/

For shippers with pending shipments from this area, please contact your JF Hillebrand customer service representative for updated status. ​ 


USA - Northern California Wildfires Affect Napa and Sonoma Counties
October 9, 2017 

Several wildfires have broken out overnight across Northern California affecting over 20,000 acres in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.  Evacuation notices and road closures will affect immediate operations in those areas.   

 

Napa County:

Tubbs Fire – 20,000 acre fire off of Highway 128 and Bennet Lane

Atlas Fire – 5,000 acre fire off of Atlas Peak Road south of Lake Berryessa

Partrick Fire – 100 acre fire off of Patrick Road west of Napa

 

Sonoma County:

Nuns Fire – 300 acre fire off Highway 12 north of Glen Ellen

 

More fires are further north affecting parts of Mendocino County and Lake County.  Visit CalFire for current incidents at http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents

For shippers with pending shipments from this area, please contact your JF Hillebrand customer service representative for updated status. 

Please note most major port terminals are closed today in observance of Columbus Day (a public holiday but not observed in all states).

 ​



USA - Weather Alert for Port of New Orleans, US Gulf Coast
October 6, 2017  

US Gulf Ports are making preparations in advance as  the threat of Tropical Storm Nate moves northward on Thursday.  Storm surge warnings have been issued for the Northern Gulf Coast.  The US Coast Guard has set the port conditions for New Orleans at X-Ray and Port Whiskey for Mobile, Tampa, and St. Petersburg ports.  National Hurricane Center advisories can be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

 

The US Coast Guard port conditions system direct ship operators how to respond to advancing tropical weather and are as follows:  

·         Whiskey: Gale force winds expected within 72 hours.  Ports remain open but oceangoing ships and barges greater than 500 gross tons must report intention to remain in port or depart (must depart within 12 hours of gale force winds)

·         X-Ray: gale force winds expected within 48 hours, same process for oceangoing ships and barges as condition Whiskey. 

·         Yankee: Gate force winds expected in  24 hours.  Vessels must arrange immediate departure to seek safe refuge in a port outside of the affected port.  Cargo operations must stop in 18 kilometer per hour (kph) winds.

·         Zulu: Gale force winds within 12 hours.  Port operations closed.​ 



France - Dockworker Port Strike Announced for Monday October 16th, 2017
October 6, 2017  

Unions of dockworkers and ports have announced a strike for Monday October 16th, 2017.  There will be no gate-in/gate-out movements at all French ports.  JF Hillebrand France is working to adjust loadings before or after where possible.  For shippers with pending shipments in this area, please contact your JF Hillebrand customer service representative for further information. 


Argentina - Road to Chile Closed due to Weather Conditions
October 4, 2017  

The international road connecting Argentina to Chilean ports has closed due to weather conditions.  


USA - Trucking Hurdles Ahead  
October 2, 2017  
 

The USA domestic trucking market is facing some tough hurdles as we enter the fourth quarter.  Transportation prices across the country are skyrocketing at the same time capacity is at the lowest level since 2014.  The national average van rate was $0.16 higher in September than for August according to DAT which reports on the US truckload freight marketplace.  Below we’ll highlight the key issues that have contributed to today’s situation:

 

Texas and Florida Resupply

FEMA and large retailers are shelling out high premiums to resupply affected areas in Houston and Florida.  The turnaround times for equipment back to carrier networks is delayed as some units are being used as temporary storage or are waiting for receiving facilities to unload.  These areas have little return cargo as well which also slows down equipment repositioning and available capacity levels.    

 

Rising Fuel Prices 

Fuel prices are headed upwards again.  The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) which reports on nationwide fuel prices reported the diesel fuel average for September at $2.785 per gallon, up 16% year over year.  

 

Electronic Log Device (ELD) Regulation   

Electronic log devices (ELDs) will be required on all truck moves as of December 18th, 2017.  All commercial truck drivers, no matter the transport mode (full truck load, less than truckload LTL or drayage) will be restricted to 14 hours on-duty totals in a day, with 11 hours maximum drive time in that same period.  Drivers that cannot complete moves will have mandatory “rest periods” of 10 hours according to Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.  Compliance to the ELD and HOS legislation will require more drivers and is estimated to further reduce trucking capacity and increase costs.  The industry is already facing an ongoing long-haul driver shortage and ageing labor force and tighter regulation could push smaller and mid-size trucking operations out of operation.   

 

JF Hillebrand continues to monitor market capacity and pricing fluctuations across a range of trucking operators to provide dependable service to our clients and NASA members.  For information on the impact to your domestic supply chain or to explore intermodal / rail alternatives for your business, please contact your JF Hillebrand sales representative. ​ 


Spain - Strike in Cataluna Tuesday October 3rd, 2017
October 2, 2017  

Please be advised Cataluna region main Unions and worker associations have called for a general strike tomorrow October 3rd, in protest against the incidents occurred during Sunday October 1st over the Catalonian Referendum process.

The strike will affect our daily operations at the JF Hillebrand Barcelona warehouse and container haulage in the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona.  


USA - Import Bunker Fuel Surcharge for November 2017   
September 29, 2017  

The monthly import bunker fuel surcharge on import cased goods from Europe, South America and South Africa for November 2017 will be USD 77 per TEU.  The quarterly BAF from Australia and New Zealand to the USA is USD 390 per TEU, from October to December 2017.



USA - Trucking Capacity Shortage Predicted 
September 20, 2017  
 

The truckload market is gearing up for the end of year rush and capacity is predicted to be tight.  Overall trucking demand has been steadily gaining ahead of available supply in the market, but the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Irma will sharply limit capacity in the short term (for immediate relief efforts), as well as in the long term (as affected areas work on resupply and rebuilding). 

The situation is not helped by the trucking industry’s ongoing long-haul driver shortage and ageing labor force.  It will be tough for providers to find drivers when competing against higher-paying construction jobs, especially as the rebuilding efforts will increase the demand and pull more drivers out of the labor pool.  A recent article predicting truckload capacity shortages published by FreightWaves gives a more in-depth look on the developing situation.

For customers moving freight across the country by truckload, in general the situation will put upward pressure on rates, limit capacity, and increase transit times.  According to Craig Allan, Director of Domestic Freight at JF Hillebrand USA, the domestic transport sector is already seeing capacity going to Texas, Florida and Atlantic states, which is having a ripple effect across all traffic corridors.

In order to better react to capacity fluctuations in the market and provide dependable service to our clients and NASA members, JF Hillebrand has well-established contractual relationships across trucking providers.  For information on the impact to your domestic supply chain or to explore the feasibility of intermodal/rail alternatives for your business, please contact your JF Hillebrand sales representative. ​