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Weekly Logistics Briefing Key logistics updates for the week (Week 5 of May 2024)

Registration dateMAY 29, 2024

[US]MAY 24 US announced a tariff increase on Chinese products
U.S. President Biden criticized China's unfair trade practices and announced a tariff increase on Chinese products worth about $18 billion on May 14. Items range from electric vehicles with tariff rates rising from 25% to 100% to marine cranes with 25% tariffs. Other products facing tariff hikes include steel, aluminum, masks, and semiconductors. The tariff increase schedule varies from product to product, and some are scheduled to increase by this year and some by 2026. New tariffs can induce shippers to find alternative routes to the United States, including southern neighboring Mexico.
US announced a tariff increase on Chinese products
[US]MAY 24 US Baltimore port suspension latest updates
Baltimore port is ready to restore 24-hour channel now that Dali was removed. On May 20, Dali, which collided with Francis Scott Key Bridge, moved to the terminal. On May 21, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that it expects to restore 24-hour access to the port as the effort continues on track to reach the goal of fully reopening the federal channel by the end of May. Maersk and MSC announced reopening bookings for direct imports and exports to/from Baltimore.
US Baltimore port suspension latest updates
[Panama]MAY 22 Panama Canal water level decline updates
All liner services affected by restrictions on passage of the Panama Canal will return to normal operation from this month. The affected services include THE Alliance’s Asia-US East Coast services, MSC’s Santana service and the Asia-US East Coast service run by Hapag-Lloyd and Wan Hai Lines. These services were compelled to reroute, first through the Suez Canal and then to the Cape of Good Hope after the Red Sea crisis intensified at the end of 2023, but with the increase in the number of neo-panamax transit slots at the Panama Canal from May, carriers are bringing back all of these services to Panama which would allow them to reduce overall round trip transit times by 1-2 weeks. However, the increase in canal transits has not fully eased the tonnage shortage caused by vessel diversions. It’s a matter of bringing the draught restrictions back to 50 feet, allowing fully laden boxships to transit.
Panama Canal water level decline updates
[Philippines]MAY 26 Some flights canceled due to tropical storm
Several domestic flights have been canceled due to Tropical Storm Aghon. The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) issued an advisory announcing the cancellations as the storm brought heavy rains and strong winds, affecting travel safety and schedules. Aghon has maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour kph with gustiness of 125 kph. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration(Pagasa) said Aghon is moving toward Sariay.
Some flights canceled due to tropical storm
[US]MAY 26 Barge crashes into dridge and causes oil spill
A barge collided with the Pelican Island Bridge in Texas, causing an oil spill in the Gulf Coast bay. The incident occurred around 10 am on Wednesday, damaging the bridge and halting both vehicle and vessel traffic. Some railroad tracks fell onto the barge, but no injuries were reported. The collision led to a temporary power outage on Pelican Island, home to Texas A&M Galveston, which switched to secondary power. The barge, owned by Martin, released vacuum gas oil into the water.
Barge crashes into dridge and causes oil spill
[Red Sea]MAY 24 Red Sea and Suez Canal latest updates
Hootie rebels are continuing their attack, claiming to have shot down a U.S. drone. The Houthi rebels said they shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Raptor drone over Yemen. On May 21, a video claiming to have used locally manufactured surface-to-air missiles was posted on social media. The UK Maritime Trade Organizations and security company Ambrey reported three accidents in which missiles were dropped near ships. All of the ships are not named, and there is no direct damage to the ships. The U.S. Central Command reported it shot down four drones on May 22. EUNAVFOR Aspides reported that it escorted 120 ships for three months as of May 19 and destroyed 12 aerial drones, one ground drone, and four ballistic missiles.
Red Sea and Suez Canal latest updates
[India]MAY 24 Air India Express faces flight disruptions amid operational challenges
Air India Express in Mumbai continues to face disruptions despite efforts to resolve operational issues. A strike was called off on May 9 after the meeting with Delhi's labour commissioner and the crew members who were on strike joined back duty on May 10. However, a new rostering software transition resulted in data loss, causing further flight delays and cancellations. More than 350 flights were reportedly canceled between May 10 to 20. The airline is working to resolve these issues, but challenges with the new system and airport entry passes for crew persist.
Air India Express faces flight disruptions amid operational challenges
[Singapore]MAY 22 Severe turbulence on Singapore Airlines causes emergency diversion to Bangkok
A Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore encountered severe turbulence, resulting in one fatality and multiple injuries. The Boeing 777-300ER was diverted to Bangkok after facing extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin approximately 10 hours into the flight. The turbulence caused significant injuries, with at least 30 passengers requiring medical treatment, including critical care for 20 individuals.
Severe turbulence on Singapore Airlines causes emergency diversion to Bangkok
[US]MAY 21 Charleston port in South Carolina in US closed due to software problem
As of May 20, all cargo operations at Charleston port as well as South Carolina inland port are suspended due to software problems. On May 18, port authorities are first aware of this problem. Currently, port authorities are working with external suppliers to restore operations as soon as possible, and although it is a 'fluid situation', they expected to reopen the port at 5 a.m. on May 21. The port authorities announced that the software problem was found to have affected the server and that it was not a cybersecurity problem.
Charleston port in South Carolina in US closed due to software problem
[South Africa]MAY 20 South Africa’s truck driver union strike and road blocking
Unionized truckers represented by the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied South Africa (ATSD-ASA) are reportedly planning to stage a nationwide shutdown strike on May 20, targeting major routes and highways. Protest against hiring foreigners instead of local drivers, and major road closures are expected. In particular, national roads and major routes around ports and major cities may be blocked and areas such as the N3 between Durban port and Johannesburg, N2 of Richards Bay Harbor may be affected.
South Africa’s truck driver union strike and road blocking
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