🤔Port automation needs to augment labor, says Biden supply chain envoy
Pres. Joe Biden’s supply chain envoy Stephen Lyons, the former head of military supply chains for the country, spoke as a keynote at the recent TPM23 Conference in Long Beach, saying that while port automation is inevitable, supply chains quickly adjust and work to augment existing labor systems at terminals all over the world. Lyons added that “automation has to be part of the solution going forward, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of labor. Labor has to be part of the solution,” he adds. Lyons’ remarks are noteworthy as major players in shipping converge on Long Beach to kick off the year’s contract-signing season.
🌱3.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses tied to top U.S. importers
According to new research conducted by the Ship It Zero campaign, the largest importers in the United States have been tied to emitting about 3.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas. Ship It Zero’s research indicates that retail chains like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot generated the highest ocean-based shipping pollution in 2021 as pandemic e-commerce quickly escalated. It should be noted that other significant brands tied to these GHG emissions include Nike, IKEA, and Amazon. Another note is that trucking and air cargo are working to decarbonize, too. Total GHG emissions for shipping a single widget or product must be scaled down, especially as the world works to achieve zero emissions in the global shipping industry by the fiscal year 2030.
❌Australia maritime agency blocks MSC containership for 90 days
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has forbidden a Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) freight vessel from docking at Australian dockyards due to its upkeep and security problems following multiple occurrences of restraining MSC-run vessels. AMSA took action against the Liberian-flagged MSC Kymea II. MSC Kymea II is blocked because of major maintenance problems, among other portage violations and subpar management from MSC.
🛫Air cargo carrier Amerijet sheds freight forwarding unit
Miami-based Amerijet International Airlines announced that it is shutting down its global freight forwarding business unit, iTN Worldwide, to further emphasize its cargo airline unit. Tim Strauss, chief executive of Amerijet, informed iTN employees via a companywide notice about the unit closure. Strauss said this was a “difficult decision and comes after a lengthy, careful, and thorough review of our portfolio of businesses.” Amerijet is the fourth-largest cargo carrier out of Miami International Airport by volume. 27 employees based in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago will lose their jobs. Amerijet has 1,046 employees, including 245 pilots.
🤮Rail unions report some have fallen sick at the Norfolk Southern derailment site
The leaders of railroad unions across the United States have reported that employees working on the Norfolk Southern derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio, report illness. Some twelve rail union leaders met Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg and Amit Bose. the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to discuss the incident. The meeting with the union bosses, Buttigieg, and Bose, came soon after letters were sent to the Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration claiming rail workers were getting sick at the derailment site. Mike Baldwin, the president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, said, “this industry can work towards the same goals related to safety when transporting hazardous materials by rail.”
⚠️Other stories we’re reading…⚠️
- “US Postal Service plans to buy 9,250 EV Ford delivery vehicles” – Reuters
- “Mixed views on cargo shift from US west coast ports to the east” – The Loadstar
- “LA-LB needs more than new labor deal to bring cargo back…” – Journal of Commerce
- “Fed Officials Lean Into Higher Rates as Inflation Keeps Going” – Bloomberg (paywall)
- “Biden Nominates Julie Su as U.S. Labor Secretary” – NY Times
📈 BY THE NUMBERS: Important numbers impacting freight and logistics
⛽ Diesel: $4.294 / gal (⬇️ from $4.376 last week) – Source: EIA
✈️ Air Cargo Index (Jan ‘23): 190 (⬆️ from 194.7 in Dec ‘22) – Source: FRED
🚢 Global Container Index: $1,984 (⬇️ from $1,991 last week) – Source: Freightos
For shippers, by an anthropomorphic shipping container (and a human named Michael).
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The current edition of our newsletter was written by Michael M., Freight Forwarding Weekly’s chief news analyst. Do you have a tip or do you want us to cover something? Tell us by replying.