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February 2019 Newsletter

A monthly roundup of our Industry Updates, Blogs and Market Information

Industry Update - Congestion at Ports and Inland Rail Terminals 

Unfortunately, issues related to congestion at ports and inland rail terminals remain a recurring topic in our Industry Updates and Newsletters. There are ongoing congestion issues at many US Ports and inland rail terminals including Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta and Houston. The seasonal slow-down that occurs during Chinese New Year (Feb 5th- Feb 19th) is expected to help reduce container backlogs temporarily. However, it is highly likely that congestion at the ports and inland rail terminals will increase again after the Chinese New Year Holiday has ended. 

Please be aware of the increased potential for additional charges related to container movement including storage, pre-pull, per-diem and other charges which remain the responsibility of the billing party. In addition, some providers have announced Emergency Congestion Surcharges for LCL shipments at New York Ports and in the Chicagoland region. The key factors cited by providers for implementing congestion surcharges are:

Rail Delays and terminal congestion

Increased costs for container storage

Severe shortage of chassis

Trucking delays and driver waiting time

Increased container volume, both import and export

We are working with carriers and inland transport providers and will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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A Look at What's Happening with Tariffs

The March 2nd deadline for imposing a 25% tariff on List 3 is fast approaching. President Trump has made comments suggesting the March 2nd deadline for the List 3 Tariffs could be extended. The President's remarks were made in a February 12th cabinet meeting:

“If we‘re close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it’s going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while,” Trump told reporters at the White House Tuesday. “But generally speaking, I’m not inclined to do that.”

Unless President Trump makes a definitive statement regarding extending the March 2nd deadline, importers should prepare for the increase in tariff amount. For more information on Section 301 tariffs, visit our Blog

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Market Trends and Developments we are watching

Trans-Pacific Ocean Volumes and Rate Outlook 

The Journal of Commerce reports the ocean carrier rates may be difficult to predict after Chinese New year; citing an uncertain global outlook. US retailers have indicated less demand for imports in the first quarter of 2019. Overall, transpacific ocean rates are still up 28.4% year over year. 

Forecasting Air Freight Outlook

According to, Airfreight rates on the transpacific trade lane from Hong Kong to North America declined by 0.0% on year over year largely due to decreased demand on transpacific trade. Overall demand for the first part of 2019 has softened due to a slow start in air cargo volumes and some insiders speculate this is due to concerns about US-China trade relations. 

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Low Sulfur Fuel Regulations Affect on the BAF 

The impact of the International Maritime Organization's sulfur regulations (IMO 2020) have already been seen in the form of increased low-sulfur fuel charges implemented by many carriers. Beginning on January 1, 2020, all vessels must comply with the new low-sulfur emissions. Many industry experts are signaling the potential for increased fuel surcharges and some carriers have already begun to completely redefine how they compute these charges. Some things you could expect to see as the January 1, 2020 deadline approaches include more frequent changes in BAF Charges; including low-sulfur or similarly named fuel charges and increases in low-sulfur charges in general. 

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How Important is Cargo Insurance? 

Check out the complete article HERE. For more information about cargo insurance Contact Us.


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