BDP Trendwatch: MARAD awards $703 million in port development grants for 2022; US moves toward electronic export filing; Brazil government seeks to clear truckers' pro-Bolsonaro blockades

MARAD awards $703 million in port development grants for 2022

The U.S. Maritime Administration detailed an additional $703 million in grants to improve port infrastructure and strengthen the national supply chains as part of the bipartisan infrastructure investments approved by the U.S. Congress in 2021 and additional appropriation legislation. The grants will fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory that will improve port facilities through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

The goal of the program was to increase port capacity and modernize and expand the operations as well as reduce port emissions while enhancing the U.S.’s supply chains. The effort came in part due to the surge in cargo volumes and the long backlogs that developed at the major ports as well as an effort to make up for years of neglected investment in U.S. infrastructure. The grants were available both to coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports, and inland river ports, and also focused on new port development such as the efforts to build out ports for the developing offshore wind sector.

The Maritime Executive


US moves toward electronic export filing

It’s been a long time since the US Customs & Border Protection agency (CBP) switched clearance of imports to an electronic filing process. Now it looks like electronic filing of manifest data for exports is finally headed for the runway.

Submission of import manifest data went digital back in May 2015. Three years later, CBP kicked off pilots to trial electronic manifest submission for export shipments, but these trials never gained sufficient traction, despite repeated efforts to draw in more participants. The project has languished in low gear for years, but CBP is now signaling that it is preparing to pave the way for implementation.

Michael Ford, Vice President, Government and Industry Affairs

Voice of the Independent, October 2022


Brazil government seeks to clear truckers' pro-Bolsonaro blockades

Brazilian authorities sought on Tuesday to curtail truckers' blockages protesting the country's presidential election results after signs they were disrupting fuel distribution, meat production, and the ability to send grains to port.

Blockades were first reported on Sunday amid spreading demonstrations by truckers and other supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, challenging his narrow election loss to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Truckers, one of Bolsonaro's key constituencies and who benefited from his policies to lower fuel prices, have previously disrupted the Brazilian economy by shutting highways in recent years.



Shipping giants clash on West Coast labor dispute as contract talks drag

The world’s largest container carrier disagrees with another party over how to proceed on a key issue in ongoing contract talks with the union representing 22,000 dockworkers at US West Coast ports.

Mediterranean Shipping Co. filed a motion last week with the National Labor Relations Board urging SSA Marine Inc. to assign tasks at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News under a Freedom of Information Act request.



EU aims for U.S. deal to resolve EV subsidy dispute

The European Union hopes to resolve in upcoming negotiations a dispute with the U.S. over new subsidies for North American manufacturers, a senior diplomat from the bloc said October 31.

The recently passed U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which provides subsidies to support green technologies in the U.S., is seen as discriminatory by the EU, South Korea and other trading partners.

Supply Chain Brain


Inflation in Europe reaches a record 10.7% as officials face hard options

A startling new jump in consumer prices in Europe signals that inflation remains stubborn, despite slowing growth, complicating policymakers’ efforts to steer economies through a difficult winter and possible recession.

The New York Times reports that consumer prices in the 19 countries that use the euro as their currency rose at a record annual rate of 10.7% in October, according to the European Commission October 31. In September, the rate was 9.9%. Twelve months ago, it was 4.1%.

Supply Chain Brain


Port Houston will move forward with a container dwell fee in December

Port Houston plans to implement a container dwell fee starting Dec. 1 as it aims to minimize container dwell time.

Port staff amended two tariffs during an Oct. 27 meeting: a sustained and an excessive dwell fee.

A sustained import dwell fee will apply to all loaded imports with a $45 per day charge beginning on the eighth day after expiration of free time. This fee does not replace any demurrage charges and would address “chronic” long-term dwell.

Supply Chain Dive


Shippers urge Biden to prevent potential rail shutdown

Hundreds of retail, manufacturing, transportation and agricultural groups called on the Biden administration Wednesday to facilitate an agreement between railroads and their unions to prevent the potential shutdown of the nation’s freight rail system.

Over 300 state and national trade associations signed on to a letter asking the president to help ensure that labor contracts brokered by the administration are now ratified by the parties. The letter comes a day after a second union rejected its agreement over insufficient paid sick leave, reigniting fears of a strike or lockout.

Supply Chain Dive