Trendwatch: Canada border agents threaten June strike; New FMC rules on detention and demurrage come into force; Air cargo volumes rise 11% in April

Canada border agents threaten June strike, risking billions in cross-border trade 

The union representing Canadian border agents said over 90% of its members voted to go on strike as soon as next month, posing a risk to billions of dollars in daily cross-border commercial trade between the U.S. and Canada. 

A strike could bring truck traffic to a standstill at designated crossings along the 4,000-mile U.S.-Canadian border, and marks a second threat this summer to the North American supply-chain network. Canada could face a possible simultaneous strike at the country’s two main railroads, Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Kansas City, sometime in July. 


New FMC rules on detention and demurrage come into force 

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) revision to detention and demurrage (D&D) rules came into force yesterday, introducing new requirements for billing, timeframes and how to dispute unfair charges.  

A key provision determines that D&D invoices can only be issued to either the consignee – defined as “the ultimate recipient of the cargo”– the person who contracted with the billing party provide to ocean transportation or storage of cargo, or the person for whose account this was provided.  

The FMC highlighted that “billing the proper party is an important part of the final rule”. 


PSA and PIL complete first low-carbon shipment trial 

PSA Singapore and Pacific International Lines (PIL) have successfully completed their inaugural trial of low-carbon green shipments, aiming to create a more sustainable end-to-end supply chain ecosystem. 

This pilot trial stems from a Memorandum of Understanding signed in October last year between the two long-time partners, focusing on green and sustainability solutions to decarbonize supply chains. The trial involved the transportation of cargo from warehouse to warehouse, from Singapore to Chongqing, via the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. 


Air cargo volumes rise 11% in April 

Air cargo demand remained robust in April to mark the fifth consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year growth, although growth slowed month-on-month. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for April showing total demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs), rose by 11.1% compared to April 2023 levels. 

The trade association said robust international air cargo traffic was “likely supported by booming e-commerce and capacity constraints in global maritime shipping”. 


Porto Alegre military base to serve commercial flights after floods force civil airport’s closure 

Brazil’s civil aviation regulator has granted authorisation for a Porto Alegre military air base to handle commercial flights, after flooding put the city’s international airport out of action for an indefinite period. 

Porto Alegre’s Salgado Filho airport was flooded after storms struck the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul at the end of April. 

Brazilian regulator ANAC says the military Canoas air base – about 6km north of Salgado Filho airport – has been granted approval to receive commercial passenger and cargo flights.