Six-year US East Coast, Gulf Coast Labor Agreement Reached

Six-year US East Coast, Gulf Coast 
Labor Agreement Reached

International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) concluded months of sometimes tough negotiations by agreeing on a tentative six-year master contract for East and Gulf coast dockworkers. The deal, which still needs to be approved by rank-and-file ILA members, would ensure labor peace on both coasts until at least 2024. This latest deal parallels the deal for US West Coast ports lasting until 2022.

The deal, reached three months before the current contract expires, was outlined to the union's 200-member wage scale committee. The committee unanimously recommended ratification, said ILA spokesperson Jim McNamara. Shortly before becoming public, a couple of rousing cheers rang through the hotel where the closed-door negotiations took place.

This removes the uncertainty hanging over the Gulf and East coast ports for shippers as the agreement would be in place until to 2024.

Ports Ready for Peak Season

Ports Ready for Peak Season

approaching the peak shipping season. Truckers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), and terminal operators are going in with a great deal of confidence that there will be sufficient chassis available to handle the expected increase in container volumes from August through October.

O"I don't anticipate that there will be a problem even as the peak season picks up," said Greg Moore, executive vice president of FlexiVan. The chassis program in the largest US port complex has been working relatively smoothly since the three IEPs formed the Southern California pool of pools in 2015. The three IEPs are FlexiVan, Direct Chassis Link, Inc. (DCLI), and TRAC Intermodal.

"We've been operating under the most consistent conditions since the pool of pools was started," said Alan McCorkle, vice president of Yusen Terminals in Los Angeles. McCorkle said Yusen several weeks ago experienced a shortage of TEU that lasted three or four days. "It's never going to be perfect, but it's been the most consistent in my experience," he said.

Truckers, for the most part, agree. There are always periodic chassis shortages, primarily tied to ocean carrier requirements in so-called store-door contracts, where the trucker is told which IEP-controlled chassis to use. Door contracts offer a bundled rate that includes both the ocean voyage and the drayage haul to the importer's warehouse.

"Our biggest problems are that ocean carriers continue to be involved in the business," said Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association in Southern California. LaBar said that issue could become even more of a concern to truckers if the larger non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs) designate the chassis that must be used as they move deeper into end-to-end logistics contracts. "Those contracts usually have chassis in the mix," he said.

While Moore is seeing some NVOCC contracts with chassis provisions, he is not especially concerned about that development becoming a significant problem in Southern California because most of the parties involved in the contracts have already signed with all three IEPs in the pool of pools. "At this point, it's not an issue," he said.

However, some carriers allow trucker choice in the Los Angeles-Long Beach pool of pools, said Bill Shea, DCLI's CEO, so truckers are not always restricted by the "designated chassis to use" clause. "They can use any pool chassis regardless of chassis ownership, but they can pay a specific IEP if the ocean carrier allows choice," Shea said.

COSCO Gets Approval for OOCL Takeover

COSCO Gets Approval for OOCL Takeover

The Chinese anti-trust body has given COSCO Shipping Holdings the "all clear" for its proposed takeover of Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL). "On June 29, 2018, COSCO Shipping Holdings received the decision from the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the State Administration for Market Regulation of the PRC not to prohibit the offer. Accordingly, as at the date of this announcement, all the pre-conditions to the offer have been fulfilled," the companies said in a joint announcement.

The merger deal was said to be in trouble after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) raised concerns over COSCO taking control of the Long Beach terminal in April. OOCL holds a 40-year concession to operate the facility at the Port of Long Beach, which is one of the biggest gateways for imports into the US. To secure the merger deal, the Chinese major said it could either divest or carve out the terminal in order to get CFIUS' go-ahead.

Now that all hurdles are said to be cleared, and once the transaction is completed, COSCO would hold 90.1% of OOIL, becoming the world's third-largest container carrier.

This is just the latest merger in the recent wave of consolidation in the container shipping industry which has seen numerous liner majors join forces. The most recent activities included the combination of Japanese trio NYK Line, MOL and K Line's container businesses under the magenta-colored ONE brand.

Port of Virginia Gets Approval for Expansion

Port of Virginia Gets Approval for Expansion

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given the final authorization to the Port of Virginia to move ahead with the Wider, Deeper, Safer project. The USACE's report is the last federal review of the project and clears the way for deepening and widening the commercial shipping channels serving the Norfolk Harbor.

The dredging project will take the channels to 55 feet deep and widen the channels in select areas to allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels.

"The largest ships in the Atlantic trade are already calling Virginia, but the added depth will allow for even bigger vessels and their safe, uninterrupted passage to and from the harbor," the port said.

The project will entail two phases; the preliminary engineering and design is the first phase, expected to take 18-24 months. The dredging phase has a completion target of 2024.

The Army Corps' Chief of Engineers' report allows the project to be included in the federal Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill.

The report completes an effort that began in 1986, when the port was given authorization in the federal WRDA to deepen the Norfolk Harbor to 55 feet. In June 2015, the port and the Army Corps' Norfolk District office signed the Feasibility Cost-Share Agreement and began collaborating on the Wider, Deeper, Safer effort.

Getting to Know IFT:IFT Spotlight
IFT Announces New Office In Jacksonville

IFT Announces New Office In Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida last week. The facility in Jacksonville will be specializing in Breakbulk, RoRo and any type of out of gauge cargo. The Port in Jacksonville is the second largest RoRo port in the US. Being in such close proximity to the Jacksonville port will give IFT a competitive edge in handling their clients shipping in a timely and economic way.

IFT is always looking for innovative ways to take care of their clients needs and are the trusted choice for any of your project cargo requirements.

IFT Jacksonville Office:
Address: 2275 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach, Florida 32266
Email:Jen at,Salomon, at, Thomas at

JULY 2018

Did You Know...


Our IFT staff has the capabilities of assisting our customers in various languages such as English, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Finnish, Spanish, Polish and Russian. We pride ourselves in being able to help our customers in their own language along with knowing the cultural background of different countries.

In the Industry

Shipping Confidence Unchanged at Four-Year High


Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-May 2018, according to Moore Stephens' latest Shipping Confidence Survey.

The average confidence level was unchanged at the four-year high of 6.4 out of 10.0 recorded in February 2018. Moore Stephens said that the likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months was down on the previous survey from 5.5 to 5.2 out of a maximum possible score of 10.0.

The number of respondents expecting higher freight rates in both the tanker and container ship sectors was up, from 39% to 50% and from 38% to 43% respectively. In the dry bulk trades, such expectations were unchanged at 54%.

"We first launched the survey in 2008 just months before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy which was to trigger a protracted global financial recession. Shipping markets were buoyant at the time, with an average confidence level of 6.8 out 10.0."

"Confidence may have fluctuated, but it has never collapsed, and portents for the coming decade can reasonably be expected to be better," Moore Stephens concluded.

New At IFT

Processor to South Africa

New At IFT

IFT was recently handling the shipment of cargo that originated in Ohio bound for South Africa.

The equipment consisted of two pieces, one a pressure vessel and the other a pre-assembled cylinder, used in the food processing industry. The machinery is utilized in heating food during the procedure.

Starting the journey in Ohio, the units were loaded for the overland trip to the North Charleston Terminal. Once in the terminal, the pieces were loaded ship side as one unit for the next leg of the shipment taking it to South Africa.

All went well with the transport of the equipment.

Managers Meet in Jacksonville

Utah Office Hosts Meetings and Christmas Party

Thomas Krusin, Kristine Borden and Tyler Cragun attend the Managers Meeting in Jacksonville

June 12th was the date for the IFT managers to get together in the new office in Jacksonville, Florida. Discussions were held to determine the directions IFT will be taking in the near future and moving ahead throughout the remainder of the year to give their clients and partners the best value and services available.

Dinner and Good Company

Utah Office Hosts Meetings and Christmas Party

IFT sales people recently had a dinner with one of their partners. NYK RoRo invited the team for dinner in mid-June. The meeting was a pleasant one and gave all involved an opportunity to relax and have a good meal with colleagues.

IFT regularly ships regular RoRo and static cargo with their partner NYK RoRo.

Joke of the Month

joke of the month

Fast and Furious

What happens to a frog's car when it

breaks down?

breaks down? It gets toad away

What's the best thing about Switzerland?

I don't know, but the flag is a big plus.

If you have 10 apples in one hand, and 14 oranges in the other hand, what do you have?

Really, really big hands.

Our Prized Customers


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Good Luck to all who participate!

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