ECX Newsletter: Volume 64, April 14, 2022
EU In-cabin Cargo Ending This Summer
When both passenger and flight counts plummeted on the north Atlantic with the COVID outbreak, airlines turned to “phfreighters,” – passenger aircraft carrying boxes in the cabins – to move cargo. To make this happen, not only did airlines have to reconfigure their planes, but also had to get approval from regulatory bodies. July 31st will mark the end of the “phfreighters” to and from Europe as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced the end date for this exemption.
More Covid Lockdowns in China
The COVID closure situation in China continues to worsen supply chains. With city-wide lockdowns, factories are closed, ports and truckers are unable to operate without severe restrictions and at a fraction of their normal capacity. And now comes news from Nanjing, the largest inland port in the world, that a COVID outbreak among port workers will likely lead to more of the same there as well.
Next Xinjiang Steps
CBP has notified importers of goods from the area of China subject to the jurisdiction of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act that they will be receiving letters from the agency in the coming weeks informing them of their obligation to ensure their supply chains are free of forced labor and to stand ready to prove that fact affirmatively.
West Coast Watch
Given everything happening in China and the backlog of vessels being created on the opposite side of the Pacific, there is growing concern that the situation on the West Coast will again worsen and a flotilla of ships will move en masse off California, making things worse once again. Dwell times were up from 3.5 days in January to 5.2 days in February.
USTR Reinstates Section 301 Exclusions
The USTR announced they would be reinstating more than 350 exemptions granted to items subject to the Section 301 investigation from China. Not only are these goods again free of trade remedy duties through December 31, 2022, they are being renewed retroactive to October, 2021, and duties paid since then are eligible for a refund.
Eyes on Houston
We are closely watching some odd activities in the port of Houston that are driving up trucking costs. Because of restrictions being placed by some carriers, we are unable to return containers to terminals and are instead instructed to send them to rail yards adding cost to local drayage moves. As we learn more and have stories to share, we will do so.