This Week In Global Logistics

Panama Canal Authority LogoPanama Canal Expansion Will Resume – The Panama Canal Authority has reached an agreement with their construction consortium, resuming work after a month-long suspension. Under the agreement, the authority agreed to pay $36.8 million for cost overruns. However, there are still some issues that have not been agreed upon.

Read more from New York Times.

Secure Supply Chain Pilot Program – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is initiating a Secure Supply Chain Pilot Program to enhance the security of imported drugs. Participating companies will receive expedited entry for the importation of up to five selected drug products into the U.S. Thirteen companies have been prequalified for the program.

Read more from

Retailers Concerned About Port of New York and New Jersey Freight Delays – The Retail Industry Leaders Association has sent a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey urging officials to take action on the increasing delays at its terminals.  The letter outlines four initiatives that could help restore productivity.

Read more from Trucking Info.

Russia May be Excluded from Trucking Union – The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has warned that Russia could be excluded from an international system of guarantees unless Moscow scraps certain border restrictions. The IRU is an international organization that runs the “TIR” system of customs guarantees. Excluding Russia would raise costs and slow down container exports.

Read more from Reuters.

This Week in Global Logistics

trucking freight drayageNew Rules for Truckers – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued new rules regulating the amount of hours truckers can work.  These restrictions will go into effect in 2013 and aim to reduce driver-fatigue related accidents. The new rules will decrease a trucker’s maximum work week from 82 to 70 hours. Though safety advocates have been unsuccessful in their push to reduce the daily limit from 11 hours to 10, the trucking industry and manufacturers remain concerned about the impact of new weekly limits on productivity and costs.

Read more from the Miami Herald.

U.S. Stops Short of Calling China a Currency Manipulator – Some in the domestic manufacturing industry were disappointed when the U.S. failed to label China a “currency manipulator” in a recent report. These critics accuse China of artificially lowering its currency value to drive support for its exports. The report, however, did cite that the renminbi (RMB) is “substantially undervalued” and that the U.S. government will continue to pressure Beijing on its exchange rate. Despite its critics, the renminbi has appreciated 12% against the dollar over the past year and a half.

Read more from the New York Times.

U.S. Container Traffic Grew Nearly 4% in 2011 – Annual U.S. container trade grew approximately 3.7% over 2010.  Exports grew almost 6% while imports registered just over a 2% increase.  The overall growth was only about half of last year’s increase; however, that data represented a rebound from sharp declines in 2009.

Read more from the JOC.

Airport Food Guide – If travel is on the menu for 2012, use the below guide to find your best airport food options. Nearly two dozen U.S. airports are profiled in the Airport Dining Guide and the authors are excited about the growing list of on-the-fly culinary alternatives.

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This Week in Global Logistics

truck in line at portChinese Currency Rises – The renminbi (RMB) rose to its strongest level since 2005, the year China removed the fixed U.S. dollar valuation peg.  This is seen by economists as Beijing’s willingness to use appreciation as a tool against rising inflation.  However, experts believe that the government will allow for only gradual appreciation going forward to protect its massive export market.

Read more form the New York Times.

Will Russia join WTO? – U.S. Government officials have stated their desire for Russia to become part of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Currently, trade between the U.S. and Russia is about half the value of U.S.-Brazil trade market.  Furthermore, the value of goods and services exchanged between the U.S. and China is approximately 12-times greater than its trade with Russia.

Read more from Forbes.

Shanghai Truckers Back to Work – Last week’s protests subsided after government officials planned on reducing or eliminating certain port and trucking fees.  During the protests, an estimated 2,000 truckers disrupted cargo operations at the Port of Shanghai for several days.  Normal service has now been restored.

Read more from the New York Times.

Humanitarian Air Drop Deadline – May 2, 2011 is the deadline to participate in a challenge designed to create safe new ways of air dropping humanitarian aid into populated areas.  Traditionally, aid is dropped over unpopulated areas to minimize the risk of falling debris.

Participate at InnoCentive.

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