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General

Carriers ready surcharges in case of US West Coast disruptions
Journal of Commerce
Hapag-Lloyd at the weekend informed its customers that it will be prepared to levy what could be large congestion surcharges on shipments to and from the United States in the event that work stoppages occur during West Coast longshore contract negotiations this summer.

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association are scheduled to begin soon. The current contract will expire on July 1. Hapag-Lloyd stated in a release that it will be prepared to implement a congestion surcharge beginning June 10, if conditions at North American ports generate additional costs for its operations.
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Canadian International Merchandise Trade, March 2014
Statistics Canada
Canada's merchandise exports declined 1.4 percent in March, while imports edged up 0.4 percent. As a result, Canada's trade surplus with the world narrowed from $847 million in February to $79 million in March. Exports declined to $42.7 billion, with prices down 2.0 percent and volumes up 0.7 percent. Energy products were the main contributor to the overall decline in exports.

Imports edged up to $42.6 billion, as increases in basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products as well as consumer goods were largely offset by declines in electronic and electrical equipment and parts as well as energy products. Overall, prices were up 0.4 percent and volumes were unchanged.

Exports to the United States declined 2.5 percent to $32.2 billion, on lower values of energy products, while imports from the United States rose 1.0 percent to $28.5 billion. Consequently, Canada's trade surplus with the United States narrowed from $4.9 billion in February to $3.8 billion in March.

Exports to countries other than the United States rose 2.5 percent to $10.5 billion, led by the European Union, up 8.5 percent. Imports from countries other than the United States declined 0.7 percent to $14.2 billion. Lower imports from the principal trading area "Other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries" (-9.5 percent) were largely offset by higher imports from the European Union (+7.1 percent). As a result, Canada's trade deficit with countries other than the United States went from $4.0 billion in February to $3.7 billion in March. Read the full report in English here or in French here.

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Canadian agency increases grain price index for 2014-15 crop year
Progressive Railroading
The Canadian Transportation Agency announced a 4.2 percent increase in the Volume-Related Composite Price Index it uses to determine the maximum "revenue entitlement" for CN and Canadian Pacific to move western grain. The CTA now has set the index at 1.3219 for the 2014-15 crop year that begins Aug. 1. The index will be applied when the agency makes its grain revenue entitlement determinations by Dec. 31, 2015, for the 2014-15 crop year. Essentially an inflation factor, the VRCPI is a composite of the forecasted prices for rail labor, fuel, material and capital purchases. The index is one of numerous factors included in a formula the CTA uses to calculate the grain revenue entitlement.
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New report calls US a 'rising star' of global manufacturing
Reuters
Call it the comeback kid. A new ranking of the competitiveness of the world's top 25 exporting countries says the U.S. is once again a "rising star" of global manufacturing thanks to falling domestic natural gas prices, rising worker productivity and a lack of upward wage pressure. The report — released by the Boston Consulting Group — found that while China remains the world's No. 1 country in terms of manufacturing competitiveness, its position is "under pressure" as a result of rising labor and transportation costs and lagging productivity growth.
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Obama sends transportation funding bill to Congress
Cargo Business
The White House sent a transportation bill to Congress to address an expected shortage in infrastructure funding on U.S. bridges, roads and transit systems, but Republican opposition may thwart its passage. The four-year, $302 billion legislation would address the trust fund's imminent shortfall and offer an additional $87 billion to pay for a backlog of repairs such as structurally deficient bridges and aging transit systems. It would be paid for, in part, by ending certain tax breaks for businesses, a measure many Republicans are against.
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Rail


US issues mandate that states be informed of oil train shipments
Cargo Business
The U.S. Transportation Department issued an emergency order requiring railroads to inform state emergency management officials before moving large shipments of crude through their states. The order stopped short of mandating the replacement of older model tank cars for such shipments. Instead, the DOT asked the rail companies not to use older rail cars, which can rupture even at slow speeds, to ship crude oil.
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Montréal's transit-rail network welcomes first new Azur car
Progressive Railroading
The Société de transport de Montréal received its first Azur metro car, which was delivered by the Bombardier Transportation and Alstom consortium that's building the agency's new fleet of rail cars. "The arrival of the Azur prototype train is an awaited historical moment, a major milestone that paves the way for the delivery of a second, fully outfitted train that will begin serving our riders by late 2014 if testing goes according to plan," said STM Chairman Philippe Schnobb in a prepared statement.
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CP responds to Transport Canada rail regulations announcement
Canadian Shipper
Canadian Pacific has welcomed Transport Canada's announcement pertaining to older DOT-111 tank cars, but the railway expressed disappointment with the federal government's incomplete actions around addressing human behaviour factors affecting rail safety in Canada. "CP has been a vocal proponent of increased tank car safety standards and we applaud the Minister of Transport's direction to eliminate the use of older tank cars," said CP CEO, E. Hunter Harrison.
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Canadian Pacific extends CEO Harrison to 2017
The Wall Street Journal
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said that CEO E. Hunter Harrison has agreed to a one-year contract extension, keeping him at the helm of the railway operator until 2017. Harrison, a rail veteran, was brought on board to lead CP in June 2012 after a successful proxy battle waged by U.S. activist investor Bill Ackman. "In seeing CP's rapid turnaround under Hunter's leadership, the Board was unanimous in wanting him to stay on until 2017," CP Chairman Gary Colter said in a statement.
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CP Rail provides KPI update
Canadian Shipper
CP Rail released an update of its key performance indicators for the week ending April 25. It reported overall terminal dwell declined by more than 7 percent as higher train weights and improved locomotive utilization continue to drive dwell in the right direction. The week also saw increases in train speeds of 7 percent. The significant reduction in trains staged in and around the Chicago area by other carriers has assisted in the improvement. CP currently has no backlog, it said in a CIFFA brief.
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Trucking


CTA objects to 'ludicrous' APHIS fee hikes
Canadian Shipper
The Canadian Trucking Alliance is decrying massive inspection fee increases proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. The fee increases are being implemented to recoup the costs of conducting agricultural quarantine inspections at U.S. border crossings. However, CTA chief David Bradley says the sharp increases can't be absorbed by the industry.
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Trucks and pipelines carried more US-NAFTA trade in February
Truck News
Two of five transportation modes — truck and pipeline — carried more U.S.-NAFTA trade in February 2014 than in February 2013, according to the TransBorder freight data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Trade using truck grew the most of any mode, 2.6 percent, as the value of overall U.S. trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico rose 1.3 percent from year to year.
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FedEx to open locations at Home Hardware to target e-commerce market
Canadian Shipper
Federal Express Canada Ltd. announced an agreement reached with Home Hardware Stores Limited that allows individual dealer-owners the ability to house full-service FedEx Authorized ShipCentres within their stores. This agreement represents the largest opportunity for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground retail growth within Canada to date. "The rise in e-commerce has presented both Home Hardware and FedEx Express Canada an opportunity to enhance our respective business models," said Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada.
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Air


IATA economist analyzes recent cargo trends
Air Cargo World
It's no secret that the trend of passenger business revenues is diverging from the trend of cargo business revenues after years of moving in sync. "What we consider then is what's causing the diversions," Julie Perovic, senior economist at the International Air Transport Association, said at the CNS Partnership Conference in San Antonio, Texas. One of the reasons for the divergence is modal shift, mainly to oceanfreight. "The share of total world airfreight has been declining," Perovic said.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Transport Canada takes action in response to TSB's initial Lac-Mégantic recommendations (Government of Canada)
Canada's railways face increased risk from regulations (The Globe and Mail)
Mary-Jane Bennett: Don't re-regulate the rails (National Post)
CN President: Commercial incentives and supply chain collaboration are key to helping move more grain (Canadian Shipper)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Slow, steady progress for e-AWB
Air Cargo World
The effort to remove paper from air cargo is moving along, albeit slowly. Global implementation of the e-air waybill stood at 13.4 percent at the end of March. During the past year, Cargo Network Services held 14 workshops, an array of webinars and conducted meetings with industry associations. U.S. implementation of e-AWB is 8.4 percent. IATA's goal is 22 percent implementation by the end of 2014 and 80 percent by the end of 2016. So far, 68 airlines covering 4,111 airports worldwide have signed the Multilateral e-AWB agreement.
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Marine


IMB: Lowest Q1 piracy figures since 2007 but no room for complacency
International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau has revealed that piracy on the world's seas is at its lowest first-quarter level since 2007, but warns that the threat is still present. The latest IMB Piracy Report shows 49 piracy incidents in the first quarter of 2014 — the lowest first quarter figure since 2007, when 41 incidents were recorded.
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CITA News Bulletin
Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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