Trendwatch: Canada border disruption? What shippers should know about possible strike; Air cargo heading for double-digit growth in 2024; Auto, steel groups urge Canada to match U.S. tariffs on China

World’s largest automated terminal: PSA Tuas Port pioneering automation transformation with event-driven architecture 

The inauguration of the first three berths during Phase One of its development in September 2022 marked a momentous milestone in Singapore’s maritime history, firmly establishing the nation as a global hub port powered by cutting-edge technologies. 

With a visionary and forward-looking approach, Tuas Port has undergone a transformative journey by embracing automation and establishing an innovative command centre to oversee its operations and maintenance. This has allowed the port to streamline its supply chain and provide enhanced support to PSA’s valued customers in managing cargo flows. 


Canada border disruption? What shippers should know about possible strike 

The union representing Canada’s border agents said members “will begin job action across the country” at 4 p.m. EST Friday unless a new labor deal is reached this week, according to a Thursday press release. 

The two parties, which are currently in mediated talks, have been operating without a contract for over two years. A majority of the 9,500 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union, the group representing the border agents, last month authorized a strike. 


Auto, steel groups urge Canada to match U.S. tariffs on China 

Auto manufacturers, steel producers and union officials urged Canadian lawmakers to hike tariffs on certain Chinese goods they consider to be the subject of deliberate over-production, warning that Canada risks being seen by the U.S. administration as weak in its stance on trade with China. 

Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a sweeping set of tariff hikes on Chinese goods, including quadrupling tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles to bring the rate up to 102.5%. By contrast, Canada currently imposes a small tariff of about 6% on Chinese vehicles. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other Canadian officials have said they are monitoring the American tariff policy, but have not committed to following suit. 


Air cargo heading for double-digit growth in 2024 

Booming e-commerce volumes are propelling the air cargo industry towards a double-digit percentage increase in demand this year, although a US crackdown on online shipments could prove a drag later in the year. 

The latest figures from supply chain data firm Xeneta show that air cargo demand in May increased by 12% year on year – the fifth month in a row of double-digit increases. 

Meanwhile, capacity was up 4% year on year meaning the dynamic load factor for the month increased by three percentage points to 58%. 


Rhine River shipping halted in southern Germany due to high water levels 

Shipping operations on the Rhine River remain suspended around Maxau and Mainz in southern Germany due to increased water levels following heavy rainfall, navigation authorities reported on Wednesday. The German inland waterways navigation agency halted freight shipping over the weekend as extensive flooding caused by the rain affected the region. 

The high water warning center in Baden-Wuerttemberg indicated that water levels are expected to drop with the onset of drier weather. The section around Maxau is anticipated to reopen for shipping early on Friday. 


Port of NY/NJ hits record: 700K+ TEUs in April, 9.4% growth 

In April, the Port of New York and New Jersey maintained its strong momentum for the year thus far, handling a total of 709,469 TEUs (396,517 containers), marking a 9.4% increase compared to the corresponding period last year. 

From January to April, the UK port processed 2,710,918 TEUs (1,501,276 containers). 

Imports in TEUs remained robust in April, reaching 349,792 TEUs (196,960 containers), up by 9% from April 2023's figures of 320,948 TEUs (179,138 containers). 

Year-to-date, imports at the port surged by 13%, totalling 1,378,123 TEUs (766,120 containers), compared to 1,219,385 TEUs (679,336 containers) during the same period in 2023.