Archived Articles
11/7/2017 - TRAFFIC DISTURBANCES AT GOTHENBURG AIRPORT DURING MID-NOVEMBER EU SUMMIT
Due to the European Union summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, significant traffic disturbances are expected at certain times between November 16 and 17.

Local sources report that traffic will be temporarily suspended as the police escort the summit delegates to their accommodations and the summit. While the exact times and itineraries will not be communicated in advance for security reasons, please be advised that the most significant traffic disturbances will occur in the morning and the afternoon of the 17th. As a result, on-time delivery in and out of GOT cannot be guaranteed—the airport will be completely cut off from the road network linking the surrounding areas at the discretion of the Swedish Police. Representatives at KWE Sweden recommend that priority shipments arrive and leave GOT within close of business day, Wednesday November 15. Considerations will be given to avoid and mitigate shipping disturbances for our customers.

The upcoming European Union social summit plans to focus on the promotion of job growth, and attendees of the summit will discuss ways to cultivate fair European labor markets, as well as social dialogue to promote a more social European Union.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
11/3/2017 - NEW THAILAND CUSTOMS REGULATIONS REQUIRE MARKS AND NUMBERS ON BILLS
On November 13, 2017, Thailand’s Customs Tariff Decree B.E. 2560 states that all cases or packages containing goods shall “bear [shipping] Marks and Numbers and such marks and numbers shall be shown on all documents relating to such goods.” (Section 59) This action has been implemented to prevent incorrect deliveries, accidents, losses, and damages resulting from improper storage or improper cargo identification.

There has been some discrepancy among carriers and forwarders in the interpretation of the provisions, which were first published in May 2017 via the Royal Thai Government Gazette. However, our regional offices inform that importers and exporters must clearly indicate shipping marks and numbers on the commercial documents (invoice and/or packing list) so that the forwarder would be able to display the same Marks and Numbers on the air waybill (HAWB) and bill of lading (HBL). As such, customers should provide clear shipping marks on their documents to prevent any potential impact to shipment transit schedules due to issues with customs brokerage.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
9/27/2017 - PUERTO RICO INFRASTRUCTURE BATTERED BY HURRICANES IRMA AND MARIA
Puerto Rico is reportedly still without power and communications in large swathes of the island, with sources saying that it could take months until infrastructure is completely restored in the U.S. territory. Reports say that San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is handling reduced air traffic—damage to the airport has left its terminals with little power to operate, which as a result is currently restricted primarily for relief efforts. U.S. politicians are currently debating on whether to waive the Jones Act for foreign-owned and operated ships to assist Puerto Rico’s reconstruction efforts.

While the San Juan branch office has persevered through Hurricane Irma and Maria, it is currently being powered by power generators—due to diesel shortages, operations will be limited to a few hours a day. Operations will completely resume once Puerto Rico’s infrastructure has been repaired. We will be sending updates as they develop.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
9/25/2017 - PENALTY REVISION FOR WOOD PACKAGING MATERIALS
9/21/2017 - COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC AND TRADE AGREEMENT GOES INTO EFFECT
Today, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) formulated between Canada and the European Union will provisionally go into effect, marking a new era of trade between North America and Europe.

The trade agreement was conceived in 2008 following conclusions reached in a study effort by Canada and European officials, with an official announcement made in 2009 on the opening of negotiations at the 14th Canada-EU Summit. CETA would come to incorporate the framing ideas of the then-halted Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement (TIEA), which sought to increase bilateral interest in trade and investment. A follow-up study done in 2011 by the EU-Canada Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) assessed the potential effects of the trade agreement.

For more information on CETA’s potential effects, read KWE Canada's comprehensive article "CETA Comes Into Force."



For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

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9/20/2017 - HURRICANE MARIA MAKES LANDFALL, 7.1 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE IN MEXICO CITY
Hurricane Maria, once classed as a Category 5, has made landfall on Puerto Rico and is last reported as a Category 2. According to news sources, all power has been shut down and the U.S. Coast Guard has closed ports in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The San Juan Luis Munoz Marin Airport was shut down in the previous evening before Hurricane Maria made landfall.

KWE’s San Juan office will be closed until further notice. Additionally, yesterday afternoon a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico’s capital, and is responsible for dozens of deaths and unprecedented damage to buildings and roads throughout the city. Not long after 1 P.M. local time, the earthquake struck less than 100 miles away from Mexico City, only weeks after an 8.1 quake hit off the Western coast of Mexico near Guatemala. The Mexico City Airport was suspended for a time, although it resumed operations at 4 PM local time.

Our staff at KWE Mexico City have been reported as safe.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
9/18/2017 - AT THE HEELS OF IRMA, HURRICANE MARIA HEADED TOWARDS PUERTO RICO
In less than two days, Maria has transformed from a tropical depression to a Category 3 hurricane and is heading towards the Caribbean Islands in the aftermath of Irma.

Maria is expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, where it will be met with preparedness—Governor
Ricardo Rossello has declared a state of emergency and shut down the island territory’s port operations beginning Tuesday. It is not yet known whether Maria will directly affect the U.S. East Coast as there are too many dependent conditions to make such a prediction.

KWE contingency plans are in place, and we will continue to provide service to the exten that local conditions allow, dependent on Hurricane Maria’s activity over the course of today.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
9/12/2017 - U.S. CUSTOMS ACCEPTING COMMENTS TO IMPROVE TRADE REGULATIONS
In response to the implementation of Executive Order 13771 signed January 30th of this year, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released a statement today seeking comments and information on current trade regulations from interested parties—the agency will accept submissions until December 11, 2017.

In order to better handle suggestions made, CBP has requested that commentators provide specific legal citation where applicable, an explanation on why such a regulation should be modified or repealed, and proposals to achieve the desired changes.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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9/11/2017 - AFTER WREAKING HAVOC ON FLORIDA, IRMA DOWNGRADED TO TROPICAL STORM
As Tropical Storm Irma pushes up to the Tampa Bay area and toward the other Southeastern States, it leaves much destruction in its wake, affecting millions of Floridians with loss of power, property damage, and heavy flooding. Though downgraded to a tropical storm, Irma still boasts winds with speeds up to 100mph as it moves toward Tennessee. Residents in parts of Georgia and Alabama are making emergency preparations to brace for Irma’s arrival, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reports flight cancellations in the
hundreds—regional utilities supplier Georgia Power has received power outage complaints in the hundreds of thousands.

Due to safety concerns, both KWE Miami and KWE Atlanta have closed their offices for the day, and will evaluate the situation before reopening for normal operations. Intense flooding, power, and communications outages have left many KWE employees, like their neighbors, unable to leave their homes. Last weekend, the Coast Guard shut down three of Florida’s ports, and have not yet updated on when the ports will re-open.

Hurricane Jose, which formed shortly after Irma, has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this story in PDF format here.
9/7/2017 - HURRICANE IRMA HEADED TOWARDS MIAMI, SOUTHEASTERN U.S.
Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall in Miami on Sunday afternoon before moving up to the Georgia and South Carolina border the following Monday afternoon. KWE Miami has issued notice of closure this afternoon and through the weekend as governor Rick Scott issued mandatory evacuations for nearly 100,000 residents in Miami. Meanwhile, flood warnings have already been issued for the Barceloneta, Ciales, and Manati
municipalities of Puerto Rico, and approximately 70% of the territory’s residents are without power. KWE Puerto Rico is working to restore power and internet connection to its facilities—it is not yet known when the branch will resume normal operations.

Ports in Savannah and Brunswick cautiously observe the hurricane’s trajectory to make emergency preparations, while Florida’s Miami-Dade county has set up its emergency website for up-to-date information on openings and closures in the area—at the time of writing neither the Miami International Airport or the Port of Miami have announced closures.

Two other hurricanes following Irma—Jose and Katia—are reported to build movement, albeit towards different areas. Jose is predicted to travel through some of the Caribbean islands such as Antigua, Barbuda, and the Virgin Islands, while Katia seems to be headed towards Mexican cities Veracruz and Tampico.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
9/5/2017 - CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA FOLLOWS HARVEY, PROMPTS STATE OF EMERGENCY
At the heels of Hurricane Harvey, a second, more powerful hurricane is threatening islands in the Northeastern parts of the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane by the National Hurricane Center as it gained momentum through the Caribbean Sea this past weekend. Irma is slated to hit the British Virgin Islands, parts of Montserrat, and Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and make landfall in South Florida by Sunday.

Governor of Puerto Rico Ricard Rossello has declared a state of emergency as San Juan Airport has cancelled over 80 flights. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott has also declared a state of emergency, and Port Everglades is closely monitoring the storm, although no terminal closures have been reported yet.

Irma is to be followed by Tropical Storm Jose, which is also predicted to become a hurricane as the week continues, according to weather reports.

As a precautionary measure, KWE U.S.A.’s Puerto Rico office will be closed at 3 PM today


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
8/30/2017 - MUMBAI TO RECOVER FROM MONSOON DOWNPOUR AS EARLY AS TOMORROW
Over the past day, Mumbai has received torrential rainfall due to the onset of monsoon season, which has led to airport shutdowns and rail closures. Although what has been labeled as the “worst monsoon in years” wreaked havoc on communities across South Asia yesterday, weather conditions are dissipating. In fact, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) resumed normal operations today, and some airport officials say that traffic is expected to resume on Thursday. The monsoon is predicted to travel to Sindh, Pakistan, according to news sources.

KWE India’s Mumbai office has remained closed for the day, and is slated to resume normal operations tomorrow.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
8/30/2017 - PORTS, RAILS, AND ROADS OFFLINE FROM HURRICANE HARVEY'S PERSISTENCE
As conditions caused by Hurricane Harvey worsen, ports in Houston and Galveston remain closed while state and federal agencies continue to provide relief efforts across the Gulf Coast. Railroads operated by Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and BNSF Railway have also discontinued services in the area—a significant amount of traffic headed to the affected ports will be delayed until further notice as repair crews visit some sites to remedy the situation.

Select inbound ocean cargo has been redirected to ports in Savannah, New Orleans, and Tuxpan, as some officials predict that the tropical storm will persist through the week. Trucking activities in the area are suspended until further notice due to impasses caused by high waters.

On Wednesday morning, Hurricane Harvey made a second landfall, this time in Port Arthur, leaving much of the city underwater. Many have lost their homes to flooding, including several KWE staff in affected areas. Our thoughts go out to those affected by the hurricane.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
8/28/2017 - AIRPORTS AND SEA TERMINALS REMAIN CLOSED IN HURRICANE HARVEY'S WAKE
Due to extensive flooding over the weekend from Hurricane Harvey, KWE Houston will remain closed through Monday—more rainfall is expected over the following days. Most of Texas’ east coast, Louisiana, and parts of Mississippi have received public alerts for flash floods and evacuations.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Houston’s two hub airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), “are expected to remain closed to the public until Wednesday.” The Port of Galveston remains closed until Tuesday, leaving nearly 20,000 cruise ship passengers from disembarking the liners. Likewise, the Port of Houston will also remain closed through Monday as officials evaluated weather conditions for potential reopening on Tuesday.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall at Corpus Christi last Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane with winds over 100mph, receding offshore periodically before returning to Copano Bay as a downgraded Category 3 hurricane.

There have been at least five deaths and a dozen injuries related to Hurricane Harvey.

KWE extends its heartfelt condolences to the individuals and families affected by Hurricane Harvey.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
8/24/2017 - HURRICANE HARVEY TO HIT TEXAS COAST TOMORROW, CLOSURES AND DELAYS
In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Harvey is expected to gain strength and make landfall in the Texas coast, along Corpus Christi. Its growing intensity has some meteorologists forecasting an upgrade to a Category 3 hurricane, with winds blowing at speeds over 100 mph. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has preemptively declared a State of Disaster for several counties, reasoning that such a measure “will allow Texas to quickly deploy resources for the emergency response effort in anticipation of the storm’s hazardous conditions.”

While the Port of Houston has not yet made official announcement of closure, Port of Galveston will remain closed until further notice. Hurricane Watch will be in effect from Baffin Bay to San Luis Pass.

In light of the weather update, KWE’s Houston office will close early tomorrow, August 25. If the storm lingers over the weekend, there may be sustained service disruptions through Monday.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
7/31/2017 - BRICS CONFERENCE PUTS DG SHIPMENTS ON HOLD IN XIAMEN
The 2017 gathering of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) Conference will be held on the last week of August at Xiamen, China, where it is reported that Dangerous Goods (DG) shipment transportation will be prohibited for the duration of the conference. Although no formal announcement has yet been made, reputable sources inform that cargo operations may experience delays—a pre-application to the Xiamen administration is required for parties that plan to transport DG cargo through the city, which must be filled and returned before August 29.

On July 7 at the Hamburg G20 Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech to the other participating members, emphasizing the need to “unswervingly” follow four key tenets to a peaceful and prosperous global economy. The conference is scheduled to take place from August 30 to September 7. Foreign ministers of the respective countries met earlier in June.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
6/30/2017 - MAERSK TO RECOVER FROM CYBER ATTACK OVER COMING WEEKS
Three days after a cyber attack disrupted Danish carrier A.P. Moller-Maersk’s global operations, the company has reported that its systems are being recovered, with most of the 17 affected terminals back in operation (check http://www.maersk.com/operationalupdate to see specific gates) and bookings re-opened for EDI, INTTRA, and online portal

The worm behind the attack has also compromised other companies in transportation, pharmaceutical, and energy sectors, according to news sources.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


Read this article in PDF format here.
6/21/2017 - LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH PORT WORKERS PICKET PORTS AND COMPANIES
A strike by Teamsters union Local 848 members at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports will not significantly affect transportation or port operations as forecasted, inside sources say. Increased wait-times seem to be attributed as much to the restructuring of steamship alliances as to the efforts of the picketers, which target specific trucking companies and warehouses.

The picketing is attributed to disagreements on employee driver misclassification, an issue that has remained at the center of transportation debates and received substantial attention recently due to the push for trucks with alternative fuel sources by the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach in accordance with the Clean Air Action Plan.

The picketing is expected to last until Friday, June 23, 2017.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
6/20/2017 - IDC CALLS FOR STRIKES AT ALL EUROPE PORTS TO SUPPORT SPANISH EFFORTS
On June 29, International Dockworkers’ Council will call on ports across Europe to conduct a two-hour strike in support of Spanish dockworkers, who have been protesting for job security.

The IDC stated in an article, “This stoppage has been called for two main reasons: to support the struggle of Spanish dockworkers in their conflict with that nation’s government; and to fight the ultra-liberal model of the European Union that goes against the interests of workers and trade unions.” There are reports that the strike will continue intermittently throughout late-June and early-July.

In 2016, the European Union fined Spain over $17 million because the country had withheld port employment to all but union members. This spring, Spain modified its laws in order to comply with the EU, and received initial pushback from longshoremen. Eventually, a consensus was reached between the government and union organizations in late-May. News sources report that soon after, a misunderstanding led to a return to strike, leading to shipment delays and vessel re-routings.For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
6/8/2017 - COMPLIANCE ANNOUNCEMENT: UPDATE ON LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE (LED) REPORTING TO FDA
The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is providing this update to clarify expectations regarding Light-emitting diodes
(LED) reporting.

The FDA has regulatory authority over radiation-emitting electronic products, which are defined in 21 CFR 1000.3 as any electrically-powered product that can emit any form of radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum. As such, reporting to FDA upon importation of radiation-emitting electronic products is required. LED products emit visible optical radiation, which qualifies them to be radiation-emitting electronic products and gives FDA regulatory authority. The level of information to be provided varies based on whether there is a performance standard, but the general regulatory authority remains with the FDA.

Recently, the FDA became aware that information was not being transmitted to their administration for review of imported
LED products. To rectify this, the FDA updated the FD Flag for LEDs under HTS code 8541.40.2000,which is now set at FD2.
The FDA expects the transmission of entry data for products falling under this HTS code. LED products used for general
or local area illumination, such as lamps and lightbulbs, are of special interest to the FDA and must be submitted to the
FDA for review.

However, the FDA does not expect the transmission of entry data for finished products which incorporate LEDs as indicator
lights, such as in toys, tablets, cellular devices, tablet devices, shoes, household appliance and entertainment systems,
remote controls, or other products not otherwise regulated by the FDA in another capacity. These types of products do not fall under HTS code 8541.40.2000 and are not indicated for entry submission to the FDA.

If your product may be subject to this additional agency release/reporting and you have questions regarding this matter, please contact your local KWE Brokerage Servicing branch.

Read this article in PDF format here.
6/6/2017 - MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES SEVER DIPLOMACY, TRADE ROUTES WITH QATAR
Diplomatic ties to Qatar have been cut from several countries in the Middle East after allegations that the nation has supported “Iranian-backed terrorist groups.” On June 5th, a press release issued by the Saudi Press Agency notified that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken a stand in solidarity with the Kingdom of Bahrain, along with the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and the Maldives. All have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, and shipments can no longer be transported via land, air, or sea through Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, or the United Arab Emirates to reach Qatar and vice versa. There is current speculation as to whether Egypt will allow Qatari vessels to use the Suez Canal, and it’s reported that any vessels currently traveling through Qatar will be banned from certain ports. Meanwhile, Qatari diplomats have received orders to leave the UAE and Egypt.

Kuwait has offered to hold mediations between Qatari representatives and those of its neighbors, and other country leaders and organizations have also spoken out on the matter. In the meantime, carriers and freight forwarders have received instructions on alternative routings to ensure that goods in transit are delivered. KWE will provide more information as the story develops.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
5/24/2017 - COMPLIANCE ANNOUNCEMENT: THE OFFICE OF THE US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE (USTR) IS ACCEPTING COMMENTS FOR THE RENEGOTIATION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA)
On May 18, 2017, President Trump through the Executive Office of the White House filed a letter with the both houses of the US Congress notifying them of the his intent to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)...

Read the entire announcement in PDF format here.
5/16/2017 - SHANGHAI OCEAN TERMINALS CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE CARGO CONGESTION
Ports in Shanghai, including Yangshan, Qingdao, and Ningbo continue to face cargo congestion, impacting container availability for global ocean liners. According to sources, the congestion is attributed to several factors, from erratic weather to new liner alliances and others—spot rate hikes, overbookings, maintenance of a major waterway, and port system upgrades are said to have contributed to the cargo backup and turnovers in the Yangtze waterways.

From as early as late-April, industry news sources wrote on the incident and reported that the congestion had spread to other nearby ports. A statement released by Maersk line regards “large phase-in/out exercises from the reshuffling of alliance networks starting in March” as the main culprit for terminal delays. Lloyd’s Loading List also attributed the congestion to steady growth in container volumes, with a 6% year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2017.

A spokesperson for Shanghai International Port Group Co., Ltd. (SIPG) said the group could not guarantee that the congestion problem would be resolved in this month.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
5/4/2017 - COMPLIANCE ANNOUNCEMENT: ON CUSTOMS BOND SUFFICIENCY
To import merchandise into the United States, you need to provide security to Customs to guarantee that you will comply with rules and regulations. This includes the guarantee of paying the total taxes, duties, and fees related to your entries. A Continuous Bond can conveniently be used for multiple entries across the country. Customs will perform periodic reviews on bonds to make sure that the bond amount is sufficient to protect the revenue of the United States. Once Customs deems a Continuous Bond to be insufficient, it can no longer be used for entries. This means your shipment cannot be cleared and will be held at port until a new sufficient bond is filed. Furthermore, a bond with egregious deficiencies will be rendered by Customs as insufficient immediately...

Read the entire announcement in PDF format here.
3/17/2017 - WINTER STORMS IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST MEAN LASTING EFFECTS FOR RAIL & OCEAN
Although the torrential snow and rainfall that plagued the Pacific Northwest since January has receded, rail and sea freight transport are still catching up with the cargo backup that has resulted from its wake. Several news sources, including Reuters, have noted that the rail delays in the Pacific Northwest have not been alleviated, and caution that shipment movement may be congested through March, possibly into April. Because of this, Asian grain exporters may be forced to switch origin points to Gulf ports, possibly resulting in significantly longer transport times and adversely impacting prices and demurrage fees. American Shipper also reported that twice the number of vessels along the Columbia and Willamette rivers—two major ports in the Pacific Northwest region—were either anchored or berthing near the seven terminals, although shipment loading is reportedly down by a quarter due to adverse weather.

In a conversation with AGWeb, Soy Transport Coalition’s executive director Mike Steenhoek corroborated on these reports—“We’re also seeing increases in cars delayed to destination and when you’re moving millions of bushels of ag products you depend on timely arrival for storage not to be exhausted.”

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
3/13/2017 - HEAVY SNOW FORCES GROUNDED FLIGHTS AND DELAYS IN NORTHEAST COAST
A large blizzard slated to hit the Northeastern corridor on Tuesday, March 14, has led to massive flight cancellations, rail shutdowns, and delays in cargo movement. Winter Storm Stella is expected to bring more than a foot of snow as it blows through parts of New England and the Northeast megalopolis. Over 6,000 flights across New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states have been canceled in response to warnings of heavy snowfall, with tentative plans to resume Wednesday morning.

KWE offices in Boston and JFK Airport will be closed tomorrow as the adverse weather will render trucking services and roads unavailable for the day.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
2/24/2017 - PORT SHUTDOWNS FROM GULF TO ATLANTIC REPORTED TO TAKE PLACE FEBRUARY 27
In a press statement released by The Maritime Executive, the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) have called for port shutdowns across the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to march on Washington and protest reductions in job hires. According to The Loadstar, the action will take place on February 27. ILA Vice President Kenneth Riley alleges that a number of regulations proposed by the South Carolina Port Authority and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor (WCNY) have decreased dockworkers hired in New York and New Jersey over the past few years.

On January 5th, ILA President Harold Daggett announced in a press release statement that the organization opposes fully-automated terminals: “The ILA will not allow automation to rip apart our livelihoods and destroy our jobs and families.” Earlier this week, the ILA pledged their support to the thousands of dock workers protesting at the Port of Algeciras in Spain. As of posting, the press statement has not been released on the ILA website.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
1/9/2017 - WINTER STORMS ACROSS NORTHWEST MAY DELAY RAIL SHIPMENTS
Several sources, including the National Weather Service, have reported heavy snowing, strong winds, and dangerously low temperatures across the Pacific Northwest and Northern regions of America, which may affect railway services throughout the week. Winds blowing at up to 70 mph through Wyoming and Oregon, as well as significant snowfall (over one foot in parts of Idaho) are expected to impact rail delivery times throughout the Pacific Northwest, Los Angeles Basin, and Chicago, with shipment delays lasting up to 72 hours. Snow storms are also predicted to hit the mountainous regions of Northern California and Oregon on Saturday, which may exacerbate conditions. Weather forecasters predict strong ice storms taking place as early as Tuesday.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
11/29/2016 - ONE-DAY WORKER STRIKE COMMENCES AT CHICAGO O'HARE AIRPORT
Several sources have confirmed that Chicago's O'Hare International Airport will experience a general workers strike on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 as baggage handlers and customer support attendants protest to increase wages and benefits. The workers on strike are not associated with a worker union, although they are receiving support from Service Employees International Union Local 1.

There were fears that the one-day strike would land during Thanksgiving holiday, but these were quelled last week as strike attendees voted they would wait until the following week. The airport workers gave reassurances that the strike will likely not shut down the airport even as it strives to disrupt operations. The Chicago Department of Aviation has also stated that they do not foresee the strike impacting services.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
11/7/2016 - PORT OF LONG BEACH BEGINS REMOVING HANJIN SHIPPING CONTAINERS
In the aftermath of the Hanjin Shipping Incident, the port terminals of the Port of Long Beach reported on Thursday that cargo containers of Hanjin Shipping Co. will be cleared from local storage yards in the coming weeks. Terminal operator Total Terminals International (TTI) will work with the Port of Long Beach to clear up to 4,300 containers for transport back to Asia. Long Beach Port's chief commercial officer Noel Hacegaba noted in a statement to the Long Beach Press Telegram that some 3,000 Hanjin containers will still be left.

More importantly, the Port of Long Beach will continue to accept boxes that have been leased by Hanjin, and will also waive fees for terminal access. Costs associated with loading the TTI vessel, which arrives Tuesday, November 8, will be incurred by the Port of Long Beach.

As of writing, there has been no confirmation that all Hanjin containers will be returned—KWE will relay more information as soon as it is received.



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10/7/2016 - HURRICANE MATTHEW MOVES ALONG SOUTHEAST COAST TO GEORGIA, CAROLINAS
Hurricane Matthew is expected to veer into the Georgia coastline up to South Carolina. Two ports in South Carolina—Charleston Port and Georgetown Port—will be closed from October 7 to October 8, and will tentatively reopen on October 10 depending on weather conditions.

The Georgia Ports Authority has also issued advisories for the closures of Port of Brunswick and Port of Savannah; the ports are expected to resume normal operations on October 10. Operations in Florida ports including Jacksonville and Canaveral are also expected to resume October 10.

Trucking routes, especially on the I-95, have also been heavily impacted following declarations of States of Emergency in the affected areas.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
10/6/2016 - CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE MATTHEW CLOSES BUSINESSES, PORTS IN FLORIDA
The growing Hurricane Matthew is now classified as a Category 4 hurricane and Floridians are urged to evacuate. The hurricane has already claimed at least 20 lives while making its way up the Caribbean Sea, through Jamaica, Haiti, and The Bahamas. Approximately 90% of flights at the Miami International Airport are cancelled. Flights to and from Fort Lauderdale Airport and Orlando Airport are also grounded.

Port Everglades and PortMiami traffic have been suspended since Wednesday—to be closed until Friday. The United States Coast Guard closed Port Canaveral on October 5. KWE’s Miami Office will be closed for an undetermined amount of time as the hurricane passes.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
10/6/2016 - TYPHOON CHABA BATTERS SOUTH KOREA, MOVES TO JAPAN
After causing shutdowns in South Korean ports and killing at least five people, Typhoon Chaba heads to the southwestern parts of Japan, bringing heavy winds and torrential rainfall with it. The Korean island Jeju was hit on the night of October 5, disrupting outbound and inbound flights to South Korea and China. Busan’s port was shut down as the storm raged, and flights at the Gimhae Airport were canceled due to storm conditions.

Shipping routes were reportedly suspended on October 4 when the storm first hit, according to Arirang News. In preparation for the typhoon’s landfall, major Japan Airlines including All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines have cancelled over 100 flights.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

Read this article in PDF format here.
9/12/2016 - SOME EASE FOR UNCERTAINTY CAUSED BY HANJIN SHIPPING CRISIS
Over the weekend, one of Hanjin Shipping’s vessels, the Greece, was allowed to dock at the Long Beach port to discharge containers. The Greece had been trailing Mexican waters earlier last week, presumably to avoid being seized by creditors via U.S. Marshals—a fate experienced by the Hanjin Montevideo. Port workers began unloading the vessel at the start of morning shift today. The Hanjin Boston is currently anchored at the Port of Los Angeles, and two other ships, the Gdynia and Jungil, are scheduled to arrive at the Port of Long Beach later this week.

Last week, the proposed funding plan for Korean carrier Hanjin Shipping was initially delayed by one of its largest shareholders, Korean Air Lines—the company later pledged to provide $54 million in funds to help unload cargo, but only after Hanjin Shipping offers its stake of a terminal at the Port of Long Beach as collateral.

A significant portion of funds will also come from former Hanjin Shipping chairwoman Choi Eun-young and Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho, who have both pledged millions to support the seventh largest container carrier in the world. The South Korean trade ministry stated on Sunday that it would offer about $360 million in low-interest loans to vendors and freight forwarders currently doing business with Hanjin Shipping to “tide over a spurt in transportation costs.”

Hanjin attorney Ilana Volkov was quoted last Friday at a US Bankruptcy Court hearing to say: “We have the money to fully service those four ships,” in reference to the Hanjin Boston, Greece, Jungil, and Gdynia, adding that at least $10 million was authorized to be used. Earlier today, the Panama Canal Authority advised that the Hanjin Baltimore has been arrested at the Panama Canal.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local
KWE branch for information.

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9/7/2016 - NEW DEVELOPMENTS ARISE IN HANJIN SHIPPING CRISIS
Today, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Sherwood has granted Hanjin Shipping Co. some protections of Chapter 15 Bankruptcy, which the company filed for last Friday. Per the decision, creditors will not seize Hanjin’s container ships as the company restructures its finances in light of the bankruptcy.

South Korean Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho has issued a statement that the South Korean government will assist Hanjin Group to resolve the logistic disaster, commenting that “[as] the top economic policymaker, I feel responsible for causing the confusion and concerns.” Several news sources report the minister saying that the incident will begin to subside later this week. A number of alternative vessels will also assist with shipment on routes throughout parts of the world.

The parent company, Hanjin Group, has pledged within the week to raise about $90 million to pay for costs associated with discharge and container offloading. The Seoul Central District Court has requested the funds from one of Hanjin Shipping’s creditor’s, Korea Development Bank(KDB), and will provide strict oversight in the disbursement of funds. KDB has also recently provided a short-term loan to Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, a South Korean shipbuilder that has also been saddled with financial troubles.

Several Hanjin Shipping vessels have already been seized at various ports, and the company’s rival Hyundai Merchant Marine has capitalized on the incident, deploying its own vessels on lanes that were once used by Hanjin.

Per the South Korean government, Hanjin Shipping vessels have been advised to certain ports for safe discharge, such as Los Angeles, Hamburg, Singapore, Busan and Gwangyang.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local
KWE branch for information.

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9/6/2016 - CONTRACT DISAGREEMENTS DELAY CARGO HANDLING AT SURABAYA AIRPORT
The Surabaya Juanda International Airport (SUB) is currently experiencing delays over contractual disputes on cargo operations. The holdup has been attributed to a conflict between airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) I and ground-handling firm Jasa Angkasa Semesta (JAS), The Jakarta Post reports.

As a result, international freight handling is suspended for Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, and AirAsia since September 5th. Cargo traveling to and from other countries in East Asia may experience significant delays.

The Surabaya Juanda International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the East Java region of Indonesia, moving over 100,000 tons of cargo and over 15 million passengers on a yearly basis. SUB is a hub for a handful of Indonesian airlines and is slated to be one of the main airports in Indonesia to pursue Open Skies agreements with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).



For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

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9/1/2016 - THE 2016 G20 SUMMIT IN CHINA: WHAT CUSTOMERS SHOULD KNOW
The G20 Summit will take place at Hangzhou during September 4-5. Per the Chinese government, all national companies and government employees will be off-duty, except those directly related to the support of the Summit. Other companies can continue to work based on demand, but are suggested to follow a proscribed working schedule that would limit traffic throughout the city.

Since August 28th, there have been significant restrictions put on trucks in the Hangzhou area: normal trucking service has been shut down, and all active trucks must attain special G20 permits to access only specific parts of the administrative region. Transporters of dangerous chemicals that have not previously applied for permits can no longer apply for them, and all drivers must present all relevant certifications to be verified by government officials. Traffic in the metropolitan areas will be heavily restricted and monitored—even buses and bicycles will be forbidden from certain sections of Hangzhou’s downtown.

A majority of KWE Hangzhou employees will take leave from September 1 to September 7 in observance of the event and restrictions to traffic and business operations. KWE Hangzhou will have minimal operational support during this week to coordinate current shipments. Normal operations are scheduled to resume on September 8th.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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8/31/2016 - LARGEST BANKRUPTCY IN CONTAINER SHIPPING LEADS TO TRANSPACIFIC DISRUPTIONS
After its creditors decided overnight to stop lending financial support to South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. the carrier filed for court receivership under Korea’s insolvency law. Hanjin, a unit of the Hanjin Group, the conglomerate that also controls Korean Air Lines Co., has been posting yearly losses since 2011 and has been under a debt restructuring program since May.

This is seen as the largest de facto bankruptcy in the industry, as Hanjin is the seventh largest shipping line with a global capacity of 609,500 TEUs across 98 container vessels (with an estimated daily shipping of 25,000 containers).

Effect on Service

Hanjin accounts for around 7% of Asia-U.S. cargo trade, which means that space capacity has severely tightened overnight on the Transpacific inbound and outbound trade.

Severe disruption is expected across the container supply chain as a result of the web of alliances, vessel sharing agreements and slot swaps, which make it difficult to isolate Hanjin freight from the rest of the supply chain. Repercussions will extend to all carriers but especially to Hanjin partners of the CKYHE alliance. Other members of the CKYHE alliance (China Cosco Shipping Corp., “K” Line, Yang Ming Line, and Evergreen Line), have begun announcing that they will immediately pull Hanjin vessels and containers from joint operations on all rotations and set up sub-charter agreements to ensure charter vessels continue sailing. An Evergreen Line press release sent today stated that no cargo will be loaded on Hanjin vessels and vice-versa.

Hanjin also stopped taking new bookings as creditors are threatening to seize ships. There have already been announcements of vessel arrests by order of creditors such as the Hanjin Rome (5300 TEUs) in Singapore and the Hanjin Sooho (11300 TEUs) in Shanghai when creditors ordered ports to deny entry or impound the vessel.

Out of concern that they will not be able to pay terminal fees, and to avoid having ships seized by creditors inside their terminals, ports around the world—including Shanghai, Xiamen, Valencia, Savannah and U.S.’s largest twin container port complex of Long Beach/Los Angeles—are blocking access to Hanjin ships that are currently at sea, leaving vessels stranded as they are unable to berth.

Effect on Pricing

Hanjin’s announcement follows last week’s GRI announcements by many steamship lines which are scheduled to go in effect this week in an effort to raise long-depressed prices. In addition, premium rates are being negotiated to guarantee space as everyone scrambles to move their cargo during the busiest season of the year.

What will KWE do at this time?

KWE is working diligently to find alternative solutions for shipments currently affected by these disruptions. We are
exploring alternative measures to secure space for new cargo, but there is no easy or quick solution based on the size of
Hanjin’s deployed capacity.

KWE will continue to update its customers with further information as we receive it. If you have any urgent questions or concerns, please contact your KWE office for assistance.

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8/29/2016 - USDA SHEDS LIGHT ON CHINA'S RECENT ZIKA VIRUS PREVENTION UPDATES
On August 19th, the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) issued a statement regarding their understanding of China’s recent measures to prevent the spread of Zika virus through air and ocean export goods, not just the latter as previously thought.

The statement gives greater detail to China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), following an August 18th meeting between the US Embassy of Beijing and the AQSIQ’s Department of Supervision and Health Quarantine. Based on that meeting, the FAS as outlined several terms of understanding that have been laid out in the above-issued statement. It is strongly recommended that all shippers, carriers, and customers carefully review the statement.

Among the points listed in the statement are that all shipments disembarking from a United States port after August 5 require proof of disinfection (sans temperature-controlled containers at 15°C or lower); that the proof of disinfection needs not be issued by a government authority; and that treatment can be carried out at any point during the shipping process. Interested parties can also find a FAS template for its Disinfection Treatment Certificate.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

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8/19/2016 - UPDATE: BLUE CUT FIRE 22% CONTAINED, SOME RAILS REOPENED
In an update, the Blue Cut fire just north of San Bernardino is now 22% contained according to InciWeb, the Incident Information System. Currently, all three BNSF Railway tracks have resumed, with periodic rail inspections. An insider source has also reported that some BNSF trains have also used Union Pacific rails as a detour.

Evacuation notices have been lifted for some residential areas, and the Interstate-15 freeway has been reopened, but there is still considerable caution exercised by residents and emergency personnel. The Blue Cut fire began on Tuesday in the early afternoon and quickly spread throughout parts of San Bernardino and Barstow, growing to nearly 37,000 acres in just three days’ time.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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8/18/2016 - BLUE CUT FIRES RAGE ACROSS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, STALLING RAILS AND TRUCKS
In less than three days, the raging Blue Cut fires have burned well over 30,000 acres across the Cajon Pass in California, forcing evacuations of nearly 82,000 San Bernardino residents. Governor Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for the San Bernardino county in response, and the San Bernardino County Fire Department is fully mobilized to fight the flames. BNSF Railway has reported a track outage between San Bernardino and Barstow, California, stating that the active wildfire is obstructing safe passage to its Los Angeles and San Bernardino facilities. Union Pacific Railroad has also disabled tracks running through the area, citing safety concerns.

Customers should expect delays between 36 to 48 hours on shipments destined to move through this corridor. Carriers shipping container through the Northwest, East, and Canada are switching to other rail companies to circumnavigate the affected areas.

The Blue Cut fire is just one of eight large fires that the California Fire Department is currently fighting. At the time of writing, the fires are 4% contained. KWE will provide more information as it is received.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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8/12/2016 - CHINA TO INSPECT AND QUARANTINE CARGO FOR ZIKA VIRUS PREVENTION
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has announced that the United States has been added to a list of over 40 other countries whose export shipments have been flagged for inspection and quarantine of when arriving to China ports, following the spread of the Zika virus. Shipment documentation must include a Disinfection Certificate from the port of origin, verified either by local authorities or a third party disinfection contractor. Cargo without certification will be subject to Zika anti-mosquito treatment in an effort to prevent spread of the virus to China.

Per latest the AQSIQ announcement, all the port authorities in China are adopting effective measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and halt the spread of the Zika virus. Several ocean carriers have relayed AQSIQ’s announcement, including NYK, MSC, and Evergreen. According to some carriers, the customer will be responsible for all costs related to the mosquito treatment, as the inspection and quarantine are not conducted by carriers but by terminal staff.

The list of countries affected by this announcement include most of those in the Central and South American regions, several Pacific island nations, Indonesia, Thailand, as well as Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.

The first announcement in March only mandated that vessels be fumigated; recent updates have extended this to cargo as well. It is unclear at the time which authority AQSIQ will acknowledge—KWE will update on the matter as new information is released.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.



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8/1/2016 - TYPHOON NIDA IMPACTS HONG KONG AIR AND SEA OPERATIONS
Over the night of August 1, Typhoon Nida has impacted the city of Hong Kong, with potential to travel further inland to Eastern China.

The Hong Kong International Airport has cancelled over 100 flights and the Hong Kong Observatory has issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning for Shipping, detailing characteristics of Nida and its forecasted trajectory. Over the weekend, the typhoon passed through the Philippines and flooded northern cities like Tuguegarao with as much as 11 inches of rain.

The Chinese government has issued a first-level emergency response to prepare for the imminent landfall of Typhoon Nida—all classes and work have been cancelled in the city of Guangzhou for the duration of the typhoon, and sea operations are reportedly on hiatus. A red alert has also been issued by China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) KWE’s Hong Kong office will remain closed and all operations will be halted until the storm subsides.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.

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7/20/2016 - FAA LIFTS FLIGHT BAN FOLLOWING CONCLUSION TO FAILED TURKEY COUP

After some discussion and security auditing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has lifted its ban on flights between Turkey and the U.S. following a failed coup attempt by the Turkish military. For Turkish Airlines, the leading airline serving the region, this comes as a relief, after more than 160 flights were cancelled, many of them to the US.


Over the weekend, a section of the Turkish military advanced vehicles and personnel to strategic points in Istanbul, blocking movement to and from the capital and several key sea and air ports, including the Ataturk International Airport. In response, major airlines delayed or cancelled flights, and the aviation administration issued a statement: “The FAA is monitoring the situation in Turkey in coordination with our partners in the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security and will update the restrictions as the situation evolves.”


Following the Notice To Airmen (NOTAM), there were suspicions that the ban would last until September 1. The Turkish government has allegedly arrested some 3,000 suspects linked to the coup attempt.



For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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7/15/2016 - CONFUSION AND CALAMITY OVER MILITARY COUP IN TURKEY
On July 15, the Turkish military staged a coup against the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, blocking entry to Istanbul from two major bridges: the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and the Bosphorus Bridge. The Atatürk Airport has been blockaded and shut down by military forces. While the military forces issuing the coup stated through news anchors that the sea ports are closed, The Maritime Executive reports that merchant vessels continued to sail to and from the Bosphorus Strait.

There is no word on how long the air and sea ports will remain closed. President Erdogan has made a televised announcement, and is reported to have returned to Istanbul.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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7/1/2016 - UPDATE: FATAL TRAIN CRASH IN TEXAS PUTS DELAYS ON INTERMODAL SHIPMENTS

Three days after the unfortunate train collision in Panhandle, Texas that killed three train operators, internal sources indicate that the rail mainline is currently operational, and the backlog of over 40 trains delayed by the incident is currently being processed. Freight service is estimated to return to normal by the following week—clients are still advised that all traffic may be subject to delays.

BNSF President and CEO Carl Ice issued a press release statement two days earlier: “The entire BNSF family is terribly saddened by this event and we extend our deepest sympathy and thoughts to the families and friends of the employees involved in this incident. This is an extremely difficult time and our entire organization grieves for the loss of our colleagues.''
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues its investigation into the train collision. KWE extends its condolences to BNSF and all those deeply affected by this tragic event.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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6/30/2016 - FATAL TRAIN CRASH IN TEXAS PUTS DELAYS ON INTERMODAL SHIPMENTS

Officials are still investigating the wreckage of a deadly train collision and derailment in Panhandle, Texas on the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, which has resulted in extensive delays for intermodal transport.

The incident, which occurred two days earlier, has delayed as many as 45 trains, and reports suggest that intermodal traffic throughout the Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, and Kansas City corridors will need to be re-routed. Two crew members have died, and a third is currently missing.

KWE has reached out to several carriers for information regarding alternate container routes. Some MOL, COSCO and NYK containers have already been diverted to other trains. K-Line, APL and OOCL have confirmed in writing that no containers were directly impacted. Evergreen is pending response.

Customers will be separately notified if their containers were directly involved in the collision, and are advised that containers may be delayed for up to 48-72 hours. KWE will continually update the situation as new information comes to light.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local
KWE branch for information.


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6/29/2016 - ISTANBUL RESUMES FLIGHTS FOR CARGO AND PASSENGERS AFTER ATTACK

Atatürk Airport has resumed domestic and international flight operations after some cancellations through the night following a suicide attack. According to CNN, 41 have perished and over 200 are injured in an shooting and suicide bombing that took place in the arrival hall of the third busiest airport in Europe, and the 11th busiest airport in the world.

Only a week earlier, Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines announced its network expansion to the Middle East and Europe regions, among others.

In light of the incident, many other airports have taken cautionary measures: India has increased security at its Kolkata Airport, and airports in the United States are also on heightened alert. Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has also increased security, but has not cancelled any flights to Turkey.

Immediately following the attack, departing flights were suspended, although some arrivals were taken before being diverted to surrounding airports in Turkey. For five hours, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suspended incoming flights from Atatürk to US airports.

The attacks come only months after the Brussels attack at Zaventem Airport earlier in the year, where two suicide bombers killed 35 and injured over 300 others. As of writing, there has been no claim of responsibility.

As with such incidents, delays from additional screening
and security processes may be expected.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local
KWE branch for information.


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6/24/2016 - THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: INAUGURATING THE MODERNIZED PANAMA CANAL
On June 26th, the Panama government will celebrate the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal: an eight-year effort and the first significant modernization since the canal was created in 1914. These major improvements will allow post-Panamax ships—vessels that exceed the Panama Canal’s current 5,000 TEU holding capacity—to safely navigate the channel.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported nearly $7 billion invested and some 30,000 jobs created as a result of this project. Workers of Jan De Nul N.V., Grupo Unidos por el Canal, (GUPC) and other contractors have dredged a combined 150 million cubic meters of material from the Gatun Lake and the Culebra Cut; excavated approximately seven miles of navigational channels; flooded the channels with an additional 1.4 million cubic meters of water; and installed a third set of locks over 18 meters deep on the Atlantic and Pacific sides. The entire project is at 97% completion as of March 31st, with some dredging and lock installation left to be finished.

Until now, the canal’s size constraints and toll hikes have pushed traffic toward alternatives like the US intermodal system or the Suez Canal. But word of the canal expansion in 2007 has motivated ports around the world to upgrade their facilities, and inspired canal plans in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Port authorities in the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts have undergone major improvements, most of which have already been completed in anticipation of the canal expansion. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has invested $1.3 billion to raise the height of the Bayonne Bridge for larger ship access, while the Port of Baltimore installed four Super-Post-Panamax cranes and a 50-feet-deep berth to the Seagirt Marine Terminal in 2012. In 2015, PortMiami completed a $205 million operation to increase the depth of its dredges. This year, Port Tampa Bay is poised to install two new post-Panamax cranes in June.

Incidentally, ports in Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and more are buffing their berths and facilities to accommodate smaller vessels that would otherwise take second priority as post-Panamax ships vie for terminal support. Pacific port authorities, who have boasted the capability to take post-Panamax vessels, but lacked the space and infrastructure to accommodate increased container traffic, are also in the process of expanding their container yards, berths, facilities, warehouses and railroads to reduce the likelihood of trade traffic diversion to other ports.

In April, Chinese shipper Cosco was drawn from a raffle to make the maiden voyage through the canal upon completion, and even former president Jimmy Carter has been confirmed to attend the inauguration. Despite missing its last three deadlines and warnings of water shortage, the project has attracted much attention from members of the global trade and transportation industry, who await with bated breath during the last stretch of the expansion’s timeline.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for more information.



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6/16/2016 - MORE POTENTIAL STRIKES AT FRENCH PORTS TO DISRUPT SHIPMENTS
Port and dock worker unions may engage in yet another strike as French citizens continue to protest the labor reform laws, KWE France reports. At least two ports, Le Havre and Fos-sur-mer, have been identified by KWE France as potential areas affected by the demonstrations. LCL and FCL shipments may face disruptions and delay in transport in the coming days, and KWE France staff will advise its window party in KWE network offices on the status of any currently affected shipments.

On the night of June 13, French artist JR painted a raised fist onto a 15m stack of containers at the Le Havre port. The fist has become a rallying symbol for port and dock workers at the Le Havre port. Port Fos-sur-mer may also be a site for worker protests, coupled with shutdowns at the incinerators in that area, which may have adverse effect on waste collection
and disposal.

The national strike on June 14 escalated to sporadic violence between riot police and protesters, resulting in some injuries and arrests throughout the country. Yesterday, President François Hollande made a public announcement threatening to ban protests.

KWE France will continually update the KWE network on the situation.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local
KWE branch for information.


Read this article in PDF format here.
6/15/2016 - FDA MANDATORY TRANSITION TO ACE SYSTEM - JUNE 15, 2016

By Zainab Nassar, LCB, CCS

The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) has been the sole electronic data interchange (EDI) system authorized by the Commissioner of CBP for processing certain electronic entry and entry summary filings since March 31, 2016. This has required upgrading of software by all partners in the services supply chain, such as airlines, forwarders, customs brokers, container freight stations, etc. KWE has been at the forefront of effecting these changes, with minimal or no impact to our customers’ cargo processing needs, as we made the switch to ACE Entry Summary processing a few months back, and to ACE Cargo Release processing for all shipments with APHIS Lacey Act and NHTSA data on the mandatory date of March 31, 2016.

In the Federal Register Notice published on May 16, 2016, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) announced that ACE would be the sole CBP-authorized Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system for processing certain electronic entry and entry summary filings accompanied by Food & Drug Administration (FDA) data, effective June 15, 2016.

Therefore, if you are an importer bringing in foodstuff, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic ingredients, biologics, radiation-emitting products, etc. , please be aware of the enhanced data requirements specific to each of these industries. Some of you may have already been informed of these upcoming requirements by us. However, we would like to remind you to initiate obtaining and providing all the required additional data requirements in the below links and attached documents to your primary entry filing office so that the transmission of data is smooth and efficient, and we may address any remaining concerns prior to the mandatory filing date going into effect.

Provided are relevant links for the general summary of the FDA’s Import Program, Tips for Importing FDA-Regulated Products in ACE, FDA Quantity Codes, and ACE Affirmations of Compliance codes.

For those of you who would prefer to have more information rather than less, please feel free to refer to FDA Supplemental Guidance 2.4.1.


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6/10/2016 - CLARITY AND RECONSIDERATIONS AS SOLAS VGM DEADLINE DRAWS CLOSER

There is less than one month until the International Maritime
Organization (IMO) implements the Verification of Gross Mass (VGM) Ruling for 162 Member States around the world. A memo issued on May 23 by the IMO gave three months’ leeway to shippers, carriers and terminals to implement standard operating procedures in compliance with cargo VGM policies.

The new amendment does not delay the VGM policies, but instead urges authorities to enforce them in a “practical and pragmatic” manner for these first three months. A pressing issue concerning shippers has also been resolved with the memo: cargo to be loaded onto ships before July 1st, the date of implementation, and transshipped to the final port of discharge will not require VGM.

Many ports are revisiting the idea of offering weight services in their container yards. In Russia, Global Ports Investments PLC has recently completed equipping its terminals and facilities, and modified its operating procedures to electronically verify and issue VGM certificates to cargo owners. Singapore’s terminal operator PSA International reports that its terminal facilities will comply with VGM guidelines, adding that “most PSA terminals will be ready to provide a weighing service to determine VGM upon request.”

The World Shipping Council has created a resource to identify implementation policies in specific regions for SOLAS VGM.


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6/10/2016 - FRENCH AIRLINE PILOTS ON STRIKE JUNE 11 TO 14, AMIDST FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

Two unions associated with Air France pilots, Syndicat des Pilotes d’Air France (SPAF) and Syndicat National des Pilotes de Ligne (SNPL), have called for industrial action from Saturday, June 11, to Tuesday, June 14. KWE France estimates that as much as 30% of Air France flights are to be canceled by the strike. Air France-KLM CEO Frederic Gagey announced on Thursday that the airline offered a new proposal concerning working conditions to unions, but was rejected.

Outbound shipments will be routed through a different carrier—inbound shipments may experience disturbances in customs clearance or transit.

Air France Management is implementing contingency plans to mitigate the effects of the strike. The flight cancellations come during the time of the 2016 UEFA European Championship, with the first football match to take place in Marseilles. The tournament will begin as planned.
A general protest is scheduled to take place in Paris on June 14 as worker unions across various industries continue to push the French Socialist government to repeal the new labor reform laws. However, French President François Hollande and his administration have not backed down to union demands.

KWE France will continually update the KWE network on the situation.


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6/8/2016 - LONG BEACH BRIDGE RENOVATIONS TO BE COMPLETED BY 2018
Renovations are underway to turn an integral structure linking Long Beach’s Terminal Island to the mainland into the first cable-stayed bridge in California. In an effort to accommodate larger cargo vessels, ease traffic congestion and provide bicycle lanes for residents, Long Beach agreed to initially invest $950 million to upgrade the Gerald Desmond Bridge. The renovation will significantly raise the bridge’s vertical clearance to 205 feet, giving post-Panamax class ships and larger the room to sail through to the North Harbor area. Repairs will also be made to combat the road wear and tear that the bridge has experienced in the past 50 years.

In January 2013, the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project began with approval from harbor officials and the city of Long Beach two years prior. Complications with bridge design ballooned its budget from the projected $950 million to nearly $1.5 billion, delaying its year of completion from 2016 to 2018—costs increased on separate occasions to accommodate oil field and gas pipeline relocations, bridge demolition and seismic safety standards.

The reconstruction has also helped to stimulate economic growth in the city: a plan recently approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners will allow for the employment of up to 26% of disadvantaged workers at the Gerald Desmond Bridge—unemployed, single parents, apprentices, or without a high school diploma or equivalent. The same plan will also give union workers contract preference in exchange for an agreement to refrain from causing further delays, such as striking. Once completed, operations will be transferred to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Named after Long Beach City Councilmember and City Attorney Gerald Desmond, the bridge was created in 1968 as a long-overdue replacement to a pontoon bridge used during World War II. The bridge has been designated as a National Highway System Intermodal Connector Route, of critical importance to the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports, and provides passage for 15% of containerized cargo that enters the United States.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


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6/2/2016 - FRANCE AIRPORTS AND DOCKS TO STRIKE, JOINED BY RAIL WORKERS

Strikes continue from French dock workers today as President François Hollande pushes back on reforms to the El Khorma labor reform law. The Le Havre and Fos-sur-Mer ports will face significant disruptions from blockades by ports and dock workers unions—KWE France reports that cargo delays are to be expected.

Aviation workers will also decide on a strike over the next few days. Air France pilots have yet to determine a date to protest, although a vote has already been cast to participate in a strike in June, says Reuters, although the strike is over an unrelated matter dealing with pilot pay.

Workers from oil refineries across France are also in the midst of protest—six of eight refineries are either operating at reduced capacities or shut down. Although transport minister Alain Vidalies reports via The Guradian that the Métro and Paris train strikes would not cause major disruption, there are plans for Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques (SUD) union train workers of Paris to launch an open-ended strike in Paris. June 14 will be a day of national protest, with street demonstrations held in response to the labor reform law.

KWE France will continually update the KWE network on the situation.


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5/25/2016 - FRENCH PROTESTS SIGNALED TO CONTINUE IN COMING DAYS, OIL AND POWER SHORTAGES
The French ports of Le Havre and Fos-sur-Mer will face more cargo disruption as worker unions call for another strike on May 26 and May 27, says a source from KWE France. The strikes continue in protest of the El Khomri law, recently passed by President François Hollande’s administration in a bid to remediate country-wide unemployment.

Roadblocks impeding the ports will affect cargo transport, while the French government has assured that these blockades will be broken up. Reuters reported that workers from 19 of France’s nuclear plants have also voted to go on strike on May 26, which may adversely affect power supply for the entire country.

Airport workers are also calling on a strike, and are purported to cut flight services by 15% at Paris-Orly airport, says Connexion France. While there are currently no delays in the French airports, KWE sources warn that domestic flights may be delayed on the 26th. Another three-day strike is planned to take course on June 2—several unions representing some 12,000 workers of France’s Civil Aviation body may participate, which may result in hundreds of flights cancelled. The strike is to be confirmed on May 31 when union negotiators convene.

KWE France will continually update the KWE network on the situation.


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5/20/2016 - UPDATE: STRIKES AND PROTESTS TO END MAY 20TH, BUT FOR HOW LONG?
Insider sources have reported that the general strike in France is ending today, May 20th. Ports may still experience delays in cargo transport. An oil refinery in Normandy is still shut down, Reuters reports.

There is no official information on whether the strike will resume through the next week. However, two national strikes are rumored to take place on May 26th and June 14th, says French news source The Connexion.
Organized in response to a new labor reform law, the intermittent and months-long general strike is responsible for thousands of cancelled flights, several blocked ports and docks, and shutdowns in train services running throughout the country.

KWE France will continually update the KWE network on the situation.

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5/19/2016 - CONCERNS OVER VOLCANIC ACTIVITY OFF ALASKA PENINSULA
There is consideration that Mount Pavlof, a stratovolcano on the Alaska Peninsula, may erupt as it continues to release ash into the air. The Alaskan Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported on May 18th that there were “[no] signs of eruptive activity in satellite images or significant seismic tremor since the low-level ash emissions that were observed yesterday,” but the General Aviation Color Code warning is still set on orange—“heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, time frame uncertain, or eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic ash emissions.”

“Pauses and fluctuations in eruptive activity are typical for Pavlof. It is possible for conditions to change at any time and more significant ash emissions may resume with little to no warning. AVO will continue to monitor the volcano closely.”

In an earlier update, a Volcanic Ash Advisory was issued by the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit on May 17th. AVO noted that The National Weather Service SIGMET described the levels of ash as “…below an altitude of 15,000 ft (4.6 km) above sea level…Ash emissions are not identifiable in satellite images and views of the volcano from the FAA web camera at Cold Bay are obscured by low clouds.”

No air carrier has issued a warning thus far. An eruption from Mount Pavlof occurred between March 27th and 28th with no seismic warning, which caused flight cancellations across Alaska’s airports. Mount Pavlof is known to be one of the most active volcanos in North America.

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5/19/2016 - UPDATE: WEEK-LONG STRIKES AND PROTESTS IN FRANCE OVER LABOR REFORM
Insider sources have determined that while there are no issues for booking or delays in Air Export, truck drivers continue to block roads to some terminals and warehouses, which have impeded sea freight operations. Congestion in ports such as Le Havre and Fos-sur-Mer may adversely impact receipt and transport of cargo. KWE France has reported that export cargo departures may be postponed until next week.

Today, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls asked union leaders to call off protests in the wake of violence between protesters and police, Reuters reported. French President François Hollande has not issued an official statement.
KWE France will continually update the KWE network on the situation.

Read this article in PDF format here.
5/19/2016 - WEEK-LONG STRIKES AND PROTESTS IN FRANCE OVER LABOR REFORM POLICIES
French transportation workers were out in full force on Tuesday to protest the recent labor reform laws passed by the French Parliament. Paris airports ORY and CDG will be disrupted for the week due to a coordinated strike by technicians, engineers and air traffic controllers. A 24-hour strike called by the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union for Tuesday could be extended, and a separate 24-hour strike may start at 11 AM on Thursday, May 19, says The Connexion.

Truck drivers blocked several roads to cities in France on early Tuesday morning, among them Nantes, Caen, Marseille, Bordeaux, Rennes, Lorient and Le Mans. Major port routes to Le Havre, Marseille, Dunkirk and Calais have also been blockaded by truck drivers. Two 24-hour strikes have been called at the ports by worker unions on Tuesday and Thursday.

The strikes and protests come after the results of a highly controversial labor reform bill in France: the el-Khomri bill, which could potentially extend the current workweek and allow the dismissal of employees on economic grounds. Conceived by current president François Hollande and his administration, the bill has been denounced by unions like CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, and l’Unef. This week’s protests are not the first instance of public backlash—three weeks ago, France24 reported that 20% of flights were cancelled during the nation-wide protest.

KWE has reached out to its branches in Europe to ascertain logistical contingency solutions, and will update as more information is brought to light.

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5/18/2016 - AUSTRALIAN PORT STRIKES EMERGE FROM ONGOING LABOR DISPUTE
Workers of Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have begun a 48-hour strike at Melbourne’s East Swanson terminal on April 21st, slated to end Saturday morning. This swiftly follows another planned 48-hour strike at the Patrick terminal in Brisbane just one day earlier. In response, Patrick Corporation has threatened a lockout on the hundreds of union-backed workers. The strikes come after an unrelated 48-hour strike in Sydney’s Port Botany last week and 72-hour strikes in Fremantle the week before last.

A planned January strike was to be called off after an official of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) prohibited the MUA from taking action, but an appeal by the union proved successful. Just last week, Patrick sent a proposal to the MUA with a deadline of April 15th.

On the same day, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITWF) made an official statement backing the MUA, with MUA general secretary Steven Cotton saying, “This dispute is about job security, it’s about workers being able to manage their home lives, see their children. It’s about transparent and accountable allocation of labor and fair compensation for an honest day’s work.”

According to an industry source, the port strikes are not anticipated to last more than one to two weeks at the latest.

The industrial actions follow a negotiation spanning several months between Patrick’s parent company, Asciano Limited, and the MUA after the expiration of worker contracts last summer. Patrick terminals are also in the final stages of acquisition by logistics groups Brookfield and Qube, whose chairman Chris Corrigan shares a deep history with Patrick Corporation.

This ongoing event hearkens to the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute between Patrick Corporation and the MUA, which resulted in the lockout and replacement of approximately 1400 union-backed workers in the ports of Melbourne, Brisbane, Fremantle, and Sydney. Patrick Corporation is purportedly the largest of three terminal operators in Australia, next to Hutchison and DP World.

For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


Read this article in PDF format here.
4/22/2016 - COUNTRIES SCRAMBLE AS SOLAS VGM DEADLINE APPROACHES

As the July 1st deadline for the Verified Gross Mass implementation draws closer, some member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have yet to take decisive action and draw up definitive guidelines for port terminal authorities, shippers, and carriers. The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FNASBA) recently released the details to a 2016 follow-up survey on member state VGM policies, fielding responses from brokers and agents in over 40 countries. The association found that more than 18 countries have had no regulations set in place for VGM.


Meanwhile, the US container ports are divided on how best to approach VGM. South Carolina’s Charleston Port Authority announced early on that it would weigh shipments and provide VGM on behalf of the shippers. The Port Authority of Virginia updated its February announcement on April 6th that it will not weigh containers at the terminal “regardless of conveyance,” and that it will only accept VGM electronically via EDI from July 1st onwards. 13 major ports of the West Coast MTO Agreement have unanimously declined to offer weighing services, and Georgia Port Authority’s head (who will be stepping down June 30) has publicly stated that the responsibility to provide VGM lies squarely on shippers.


Pressed for greater detail in February, the US Coast Guard has clarified that it will enforce the SOLAS VGM regulations for foreign-flagged ships, and it has no authority over domestic shippers. The Coast Guard and Maritime subcommittee of the US House of Representatives on Transportation & Infrastructure heard testimonies on SOLAS VGM on April 14th.


On April 4th, the KWE USA Ocean Export Team released an official statement underlining our policies and procedures for SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (VGM), set to go into effect on July 1st. The statement also includes a form that KWE USA customers can use to fill out and transmit to our KWE USA Ocean Export teams. You can download a copy of the form here.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.



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4/19/2016 - JAPAN EARTHQUAKES LEAVE AFFECTED AREAS PARTIALLY SHUT DOWN

Following the pair of earthquakes that rocked the Kumamoto Prefecture last weekend, all KWE Japan operations personnel are confirmed safe, and all weekend deliveries have been fulfilled. The Kumamoto domestic airport is currently closed, but Kyushu’s Hakata seaport is in operation. Domestic deliveries to the Kumamoto area have been impacted by the damaged highways.


Several major automotive manufacturers have halted production in the wake of the quakes—a magnitude 6.5 that occurred on Thursday evening, and a magnitude 7.3 on late Saturday night. 42 people have been confirmed dead and over 1,000 are reported injured. The affected areas are currently without water and electricity. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has authorized 25,000 workers to aid in rescue and relief efforts.
Last weekend, Ecuador was also victim to a major earthquake that has left hundreds dead and thousands displaced in heavily damaged cities.


If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local KWE office for assistance.



Read this article in PDF format here.
4/18/2016 - SECOND, MORE POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE HITS SOUTH JAPAN ISLAND

A second earthquake, measured at a magnitude of 7.3, struck the Japan island of Kyushu less than 24 hours apart from the previous quake. The Kumamoto Prefecture, which lies at the epicenter of the quake, is currently out of power.


At least three people have been confirmed dead from the recent quake, and over 400 are being treated in hospitals. Combined with the list of dead and injured from Thursday evening’s earthquake, there have been 12 dead and nearly 1400 injured.


Local news source NHK has reported that highways have been heavily damaged, and a bullet train was derailed by Thursday’s quake. Some local flights to the Kumamoto Prefecture have been grounded. Several Japanese exporters shut down production in the Kyushu region a day earlier to inspect their facilities, including Toyota, Sony, and Mitsubishi Electric. The nearest and only working nuclear reactor in Sendai has not reported any damage or abnormalities because of the earthquake.


If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local KWE office for assistance.



Read this article in PDF format here.
4/15/2016 - EARTHQUAKE DAMAGES SOUTHERN JAPAN, FULL EFFECTS TO BE SEEN

Last evening, an earthquake with an approximate magnitude of 6.5 struck the Kumamoto Prefecture and nearby areas in Kyushu, Japan, according to the Associated Press. The earthquake, which struck around 9 PM, has caused significant property damage, injured several dozen, and claimed two lives in Mashiki, a nearby town. The nearest and only working nuclear reactor in Sendai has not reported any damage or abnormalities because of the earthquake.


There have been no reports thus far of any adverse effects on air cargo shipments to and from Japan. KWE will provide more updates as they are released.


If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local KWE office for assistance.



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3/23/2016 - BRUSSELS-ZAVENTEM RESUMES CARGO FLIGHTS

The Brussels Airport remains closed on Wednesday and Thursday, and passenger flights have not yet resumed. However, several sources indicate that air freight operations may operate as soon as airside areas are cleared at Brussels-Zaventem. Nearby ports Antwerp and Zeebrugge have also resumed ocean freight operations.


Since yesterday, many cargo flights have been diverted to Liège airport, about 90 km away from Brussels-Zaventem, as well as the Frankfurt airport in neighboring Germany. Cargo screening has also been increased following the twin bombings, and shipment delays are still expected as Belgian aviation authorities scan containers with increased scrutiny.


The Brussels suicide bombings that occurred yesterday morning left over 30 dead and more than 250 wounded. One of the suspects currently remains at large. Belgium is currently in mourning, and has issued a Level 4 terror alert—the country has increased security along its borders with countries like France and Germany, and train operations remain shut down.


For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.



Read this article in PDF format here.


3/22/2016 - AIRPORT AND TRAIN BOMBINGS IN BRUSSELS DELAY CARGO SHIPMENTS THROUGHOUT EU

At approximately 8:00 AM local time (7:00 AM UTC) on March 22, two bombs were set off in the departure gates of Bel-gium’s airport Brussel-Zaventem, followed by an explosion at the Maalbeek Metro station in Brussels.


As a result, all flights from Brussel-Zaventem have been cancelled, and the airport will remain closed through at least Wednesday, 3/23/16. All incoming flights to Brussels are diverted mainly to Frank-furt and Paris, which may lead to delays in cargo shipments throughout the European Union over the next few days.


The Belgian capital is currently under lockdown, and additional police and border security forces have been deployed across the city, as well as across neighboring cities in Germany, France and the Nether-lands—expect delays in all airports. Britain has also increased security in several locations, including the Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Two prominent railway services have discontinued operations following the attacks—Eurostar has suspended its London-Brussels service, and Thalys has cancelled operations throughout the European Union.


KWE’s Brussels colleagues are reported to be safe and unharmed; however, all phone lines are currently unavailable and the office can only be reached via e-mail. Customers who have shipments going to Europe may experience cargo flow interruptions due to this incident. Our personnel are working closely with local authorities to mitigate delay times. For pressing inquiries and updates, please reach your local KWE branch for information.


KWE expresses their deepest sympathies to the people who have been affected by this attack, and to the country of Belgium.



Read this article in PDF format here.
3/12/2016 - SHIPPERS REQUIRED TO WEIGH CONTAINERS AS OF JULY 1ST

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), in collaboration with industry representatives, has developed a new regulation that will soon be part of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. Beginning July 1, 2016, the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) regulation, which requires shippers to certify the weight of their containers before they are loaded onto vessels (gate-in or off-rail), will go into effect for all 171 member states of the IMO. Local state authorities responsible for maritime affairs will enforce this policy.


The Shipper (listed in the bill of lading) is the party responsible for providing the VGM of the container to the carrier and port terminal representative in a timely manner before vessel loading, regardless of who may have packed the cargo into the container. Carriers and terminal operators will not permit loaded containers to board a vessel without an electronic or hard-copy VGM confirmation that is signed by an authorized shipper’s representative. The cargo may be returned to the shipper or stowed in the port at the terminal’s discretion. For additional information, please click here.


Carriers state that the new regulation is required because overloaded containers frequently damage cargo and even cause ships to capsize if the weight is inaccurately recorded. An overweight container placed on top of a stack may crush the other containers beneath it, putting a vessel in danger. The requirement will not only protect the vessel and its cargo but also increase safety for terminal workers and vessel crew.


According to the World Shipping Council, an estimated average of 1,700 containers per year were lost at sea between 2008 and 2013. Although such losses are a small fraction of the over 120 million containers shipped annually, it is still a major concern the carriers want to address and prevent in the future, especially now that shipping lines are utilizing larger ships capable of carrying as many as 20,000 containers.
There are two guidelines provided by SOLAS to implement VGM calculation:



  1. Weigh the entire loaded container; Or,

  2. Weigh all goods, packaging and dunnage material, and then add the tare weight of the container (standards, tanks, flat racks, or bulk)


The VGM weight tolerance is yet to be determined, but experts speculate it to be 5% from actual weight, with a maximum variation of 500 kilograms.


Despite the major impact on the industry, the effective date of the new regulation has not been postponed by IMO members. The time to implement VGM methodologies and requirements is short and KWE is working closely with its customers, terminal partner carriers, terminal operators and e-commerce hubs to have the standards and processes in place before July. As details are still being worked out on how to document, certify and communicate the VGM to the necessary parties, KWE will keep you informed of further developments as they arise.


Please contact your local KWE branch if you have further inquiries.


Read this article in PDF format here.

8/14/2015 - DG EXPLOSION AT PORT WAREHOUSE HALTS MOVEMENT OF DG CARGO TO THE TIANJIN XINGANG PORT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
5/22/2015 - ILWU-PMA WEST COAST LABOR CONTRACT RATIFICATION
4/24/2015 - LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH TRUCKERS TO VOTE WHETHER TO STRIKE
4/8/2015 - AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS IN FRANCE ARE ON STRIKE
4/3/2015 - WEST COAST PORT CONGESTION UPDATE
3/26/2015 - IMPLEMENTATION OF GST IN MALAYSIA
3/25/2015 - WEST COAST PORT CONGESTION UPDATE
2/24/2015 - FRAUDULENT EMAIL ALERT
Recently, we discovered that some of our customers may have received unauthorized e-mail messages utilizing the Kintetsu World Express or KWE name. The contents of the message describes un-deliverable shipment(s) and requests the receiver to open an attachment, print it, and to pay various freight related charges such as customs clearance fees, insurance, storage, duties and taxes, etc.

Please be advised that such messages are unauthorized and fraudulent and the e-mail contains a virus. KWE does not send e-mails requesting advance payments or personal information for shipments in transit or in our care or custody via unsolicited e-mail messages.

Kintetsu World Express cannot be responsible for any such charges or costs which may be incurred as a result of the unauthorized or fraudulent activity falsely utilizing the Kintetsu World Express or KWE name, service marks and logos. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
2/20/2015 - TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN PMA AND ILWU
2/17/2015 - KWE PURCHASES APL LOGISTICS
Today’s news releases in the Journal of Commerce, Reuters, and other publications announced that KWE has purchased the logistics division of American President Lines, known as APL Logistics, from Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) for US$1.2 billion. The date of the agreement was today, Feb. 17 with the share transfer date planned in June of this year. The transaction is subject to NOL shareholder and relevant regulatory approvals.

APL Logistics President, Beat Simon said Kintetsu was acquiring a company that had grown nearly five times since being incorporated in 2000 and made US$1.7 billion in revenue in 2014. Its primary focus was on automotive, consumer, retail and industrial verticals.

Mr. Ng Yat Chung, Group President and CEO of NOL commented “This is a strategic move that will allow us to focus on improving our liner shipping business, while at the same time enabling APL Logistics to grow. The proposed transaction with KWE is expected to provide APL Logistics with the opportunity to expand its business with the backing of a company with strong fundamentals and a commitment to grow in the logistics space. We believe that KWE has the ability and the ambition to continue APL Logistics’ growth strategy.”

Mr. Satoshi Ishizaki, Group President and CEO of KWE said “We are very pleased to successfully enter into this transaction. Since 2013, we have laid out a strategy to strengthen our international presence especially in the US and Asia. This transaction fits right into our strategy. We intend to retain the headquarters of APL Logistics in Singapore and to run it as a separate unit. We will also ensure that members of the group work together for the benefit of our stakeholders. We warmly welcome customers and employees of APL Logistics into our group. To them, I would like to give my assurance that when this transaction is completed, KWE will continue to invest in and expand APL Logistics’ services so as to serve our customers better, and to create exciting career growth opportunities for all employees and the KWE family.”
2/16/2015 - PRESIDENT OBAMA SENDS AID IN THE NEGOTIATIONS AS WEST COAST CONGESTION WORSENS
2/11/2015 - WEST COAST PORTS SUSPENDS VESSEL OPERATIONS
2/9/2015 - KWE BOSTON IS CLOSED ON FEBRUARY 9, 2015 DUE TO CONTINUING SNOWFALL
KWE Boston is closed, Monday, February 9, 2015, due to continuing snowfall. The third major snow event of the year is expected to bring 2 - 5 inches of snow. About 2,000 flights have been cancelled and another 3,000 flights delayed, as a result. Public officials in the Boston area announced on Sunday that schools will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

If the weather permits, KWE Boston is expected to reopen on Tuesday, February 10, 2014.
2/6/2015 - WEST COAST PORT CONGESTION UPDATE
2/4/2015 - WEST COAST PORT CONGESTION UPDATE
2/2/2015 - RECORD BREAKING SNOW FALL LEADS TO CLOSURES IN JFK AND BOSTON
Blizzards, snow, freezing rain and dropping temperatures hit the Great Lakes area and Northeast of the country this Sunday and Monday.

KWE’s Boston and JFK branches closed early today due to heavy snow and severe road conditions.
More than 6000 flights cancelled since Sunday in Chicago, JFK, Boston and other airports in the Midwest and Northeast.

By Tuesday, conditions will have improved and both offices expect to resume operations on Tuesday February 3rd.
1/26/2015 - USA MAJOR WINTER BLIZZARD IN THE NORTHEAST
A winter storm of historic proportions is expected to hit New York and adjacent areas over the next 24-36 hours. Total snow accumulation to exceed two feet with wind gusts up to 55 mph expected in some areas. Snow fall is anticipated at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour in the heart of the storm. New York Governor Malloy said at a press conference, “Do not plan on traveling unless absolutely necessary from Monday evening through the duration of the storm.”

In preparation for the storm, container freight stations, marine and airport terminals, transportation services providers, and KWE Boston and JFK, offices will be closing early today. KWE offices are planning to open Tuesday afternoon if weather permits. We will monitor the weather and road conditions to determine further as to whether further office closures are necessary.

Our Philadelphia and Washington offices will be less affected, but local delivery and airport transfer and trucking northbound to the Newark and JFK offices will be impacted by the extreme weather conditions in that part of the country.

As of this reporting, many flights have been cancelled at BOS, JFK, LGA, and EWR from Monday afternoon until Tuesday, and possibly through Wednesday morning.
1/22/2015 - WAR OF WORDS ALONG THE WEST COAST SHORES
1/21/2015 - ILWU/PMA CONTRACT NEGOTIATION UPDATE
1/6/2015 - MEDIATION ASSISTANCE FOR STALLED CONTRACT TALKS BETWEEN U.S. WEST COAST DOCKWORKERS AND EMPLOYERS

After both parties requested assistance, U.S. federal mediators agreed last night to join labor talks at West Coast ports to help revive stalled negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) management and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) of dockworkers. Collective bargaining talks to replace the six-year labor contract that expired on July 1st have been ongoing since May and will soon resume under the support of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).

Allison Beck, acting director of the FMCS stated, "We are prepared and ready to render prompt assistance. Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, a senior FMCS mediator with extensive collective bargaining experience in this industry, has been assigned to help the parties bring these important negotiations to a mutually acceptable resolution.” The dispute affects about 20,000 members of the ILWU in 29 ports including Los Angeles and Long Beach, the two biggest in the U.S. by container volume.

The two sides announced a provisional deal on health-care expenses in late August, without disclosing terms. However, In light of the negative impact of ILWU work slowdowns along major U.S. West Coast ports over the past few weeks, the PMA concluded last month that they would need outside intervention as they have not been able to reach an agreement on issues like wages, pensions, jurisdiction and work rules. Pressure on the ILWU to agree to mediation this week came in the form of an announcement from the PMA that it would slow the flow of containers off ships by reducing the number of longshoremen hired to load and unload vessels in Southern California so that congestion would be eased.

Federal mediators didn’t say where or when the sides would meet.
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