Supply Chain Watch

August 1, 2011
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U.S. Carriers Suing EU Over Cap-and-Trade

A group of U.S. air carriers claims the EU is violating international law by imposing emissions caps on non-European carriers and they have filed a lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by the Air Transport Association of America, represents carriers such as United Continental and American Airlines.

Starting next January, the EU plans to include all airlines flying to and from the continent in its cap-and-trade deal, which is intended to eventually make airlines pay for their own emissions, thus encouraging carriers to reduce greenhouse gases by adopting cleaner fuels or mediating oil consumption.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg is expected to rule on the lawsuit before 2012.


Group of Airlines to Start Using Biomass Fuel

A group of 10 airlines—eight based in the US, plus Air Canada and Lufthansa—have signed letters of intent with Washington-based Solena Fuels to acquire a future supply of jet fuel made entirely of waste biomass.

The fuel, which is made from post-recycled urban and agricultural waste, will be produced at a plant to be built by Solena in Santa Clara County, California in 2013, and trucked to airports in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.

The biomass-to-liquids facility is expected to produce up to 16 million gallons of neat jet fuel per year by 2015 to support airline operations at the three airports. The project would divert about 550,000 tons of waste that otherwise would go to a landfill, at the same time producing jet fuel with lower emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants than petroleum-based fuels.



PierPass Fee Hike Delayed Until August 1

A planned hike of the PierPass program’s Traffic Mitigation Fee has been delayed until August 1, one month later than its original implementation date.

PierPass encourages the transportation of containers in and out of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach during off-peak hours in order to help reduce congestion on local freeways.

Since its launch in 2005, the program has diverted approximately 63,000 truck moves, equal to about 55 percent of all containers transported through the port complex, to off-peak hours.

However, containers transported during peak daytime hours Monday through Friday are subject to a Traffic Mitigation Fee of $50 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). The fee will rise to $60 per TEU on August 1.


Port of Miami Moves Ahead on Tunnel Project

A huge boring machine from Germany has arrived at the Port of Miami to begin the next phase of construction on a tunnel that will facilitate truck traffic in and out of the port.

Boring beneath Government Cut in Biscayne Bay is expected to begin in October and will take about one year to complete.

The entire project is expected to be completed by May 2014.



Freight Railroads to Hire 15,000 in 2011

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) says its survey of North American freight railroads finds that 15,000 positions will need to be filled this year.

While some of the vacancies will be due to retiring employees, most of the new positions will be for additional train and engineering crews.

 “We are seeing growth in about every commodity sector except for housing,” noted AAr President and CEO Edward Hamberger, who added that slow and steady traffic growth will likely continue for the rest of 2011.

North American freight railroads are on track to invest more than $12 billion in capital expenditures in 2011.


APL to Build Intermodal Hub in Joliet

Ocean carrier APL has purchased a 43-acres site in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in Joliet, Illinois for a new intermodal container terminal.

The “Chicago Global Gateway,” scheduled for completion by December 2011, will be APL’s largest U.S. container facility, and will feature automated gate technology, an equipment maintenance facility, and reefer servicing capabilities.

According to APL, the new facility will be “advantageously located” near BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad intermodal terminals, as well as numerous customer warehouses and distribution centers.



Survey: Most Carriers Hiking Rates

A survey conducted by Transport Capital Partners LLC shows most trucking firms (83 percent) reported rate increases in the second quarter, with the majority of carriers raising rates at least 5 percent.

Costs associated with drivers, new regulations, fuel, and general expenses were driving up costs for carriers, according to those surveyed.

Turnover Rate for Longhaul Truckers Grows to 75 Percent

The American Trucking Associations’ latest Trucking Activity Report reveals that turnover for longhaul truck drivers increased in the first three months of 2011.

In particular, the turnover rate for drivers at large truckload fleets rose to an annualized rate of 75 percent in the quarter ended March 31—up from 69 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and a low of 39 percent in the same quarter last year. wt

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