Strike at Canadian West Coast Ports End after Federal Mediators Intervene
Canadian West Coast Port workers returned to work on July 13th after a 13-day strike at Canada’s largest West Coast Ports (Vancouver and Prince Rupert, BC) after a tentative agreement between the Unions and Employers was reached with the intervention by Canadian Federal Mediators. The International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada, representing 7,400 members, and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, representing 49 private sector employers and terminal operators, announced the tentative agreement on July 13th just before a deadline imposed by the Federal Mediator, which could have led to a Legislative back-to-work order, as had been done previously at the Port of Montreal in 2021. The tentative agreement must be ratified by both parties, which could take several weeks. The strike also affected U.S. cargo processed by the Ports, primarily by intermodal rail to/from U.S. rail hubs such as Chicago and Memphis, which could take weeks to clear the backlog.
At the U.S. West Coast Ports, the ILWU and PMA are currently in the process of ratifying a tentative agreement reached on June 14, 2023. The U.S. agreement ratification process may take several months to complete. Read more (FreightWaves)
UPS and Teamsters Union Contract Negotiations Approach Deadline
Contract negotiations continued between UPS and the Teamsters Union, representing 340,00 UPS workers nationwide. The current 5-year contract expires July 31st, after which the Union Leadership could call for a strike, which was authorized by member vote last month. Contract negotiation details have not been made public. The Teamsters President indicated the issues remaining are economic in nature. Should a tentative agreement be reached among negotiators, the union membership would need to ratify the agreement, which could take several weeks. According to Pitney Bowes, UPS has a 24% market share of the U.S. parcel delivery market, which in 2022, was 21 billion parcel deliveries (58 million parcel deliveries per day). Should a strike occur, Shippers are expected to utilize alternative carriers, including the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and Amazon Logistics at additional cost and delay. Read More (NBCNews)
CA to Provide $1.5 Billion for State’s Supply Chain Infrastructure
The State of California announced $1.5 billion of funding to modernize the state’s Ports, reduce pollution, and eliminate bottlenecks towards creating a more dynamic distribution network. These investments follow the state’s approval of $1.1 billion for infrastructure improvements as part of the “Trade Corridor Enhancement Program” for a total state investment in supply chain infrastructure of more than $2.6 billion. The investments include grants to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and supporting infrastructure including zero-emissions projects, POLB Pier B On-Dock Rail Support facility, POLA Maritime Support Facility for chassis and empty container storage, Freight Air Quality Solutions DC Fast Chargers and Hydrogen Refueling Dispensers near Ports and Railyards, and the Hobart/Commerce Intermodal Facility Leads project. Read more at CalSTA and RailwayAge.
Prologis to Acquire 14 MSF of U.S. Industrial Properties from Blackstone
Prologis, a top industrial property REIT, announced the pending acquisition of nearly 14 million sq ft (MSF) of industrial properties from Blackstone Real Estate for $3.1 billion, funded by cash. The deal, expected to close by the end of the 2nd quarter, will expand Prologis’ presence in key U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington DC, Southern California, CA Central Valley, CA SF Bay Area, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York/New Jersey, Phoenix and South Florida and expand Prologis’ relationship with 50 existing customers and add 77 new customers to Prologis’ portfolio of 6,600 customers worldwide. Blackstone, the largest global property owner, with $100 billion of warehouses in North America and $175 billion in total around the world, completed over a dozen transactions with Prologis in the past 11 years. The 70 properties to be acquired by Prologis are concentrated in and around U.S. cities with large populations, with 60% well positioned for direct-to-consumer delivery. Read more at Prologis and CoStar.
CARB and Truck & Engine Manufacturers Establish Zero-Emissions Agreement
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) established an agreement with top truck and engine manufacturers to commit to the relaxation of the zero-emissions implementation requirements for new trucks sold in CA from the current requirements established by the California Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) Rule to align with national EPA standards. The written Clean Truck Partnership Agreement, which includes the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Assoc. and top manufacturers, including Cummins, Daimler, Ford, GM, Navistar, and Volvo requires CA NOx emissions regulations which were to begin on the new 2024 Model Year Trucks to align with national regulations, which apply to 2027 Model Year Trucks. CA was granted a waiver by the U.S. EPA, earlier this year allowing stricter implementation requirements. In exchange for the reduced requirements, the truck and engine manufacturers committed not to challenge the CA requirements in court. The new rules will slow the truck zero-emissions implementation timeline, but will not change the long-term goals of the ACT program, which requires at least 40% of new class 8 truck sales in CA to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. Read more at CARB and CalMatters.
Knight-Swift Completes Acquisition of Truckload Carrier U.S. Xpress
Knight-Swift, one of the largest motor carriers in North America, announced the completion of its acquisition of U.S. Xpress, a top U.S. Truckload carrier. The $808 million deal, previously announced in March, was closed effective July 1, 2023, following U.S. Xpress shareholder approval. U.S. Xpress, with a 2022 operating revenue of $2.2 billion has a blue-chip customer base through a network of approx. 14 facilities, with a fleet of approx. 7,200 tractors and 15,000 trailers, including tractors provided by approx. 900 independent contractors. U.S. Xpress’ workforce includes 7,700 drivers (including independent contractors), 300 maintenance technicians, and 1,900 non-driver employees. The acquisition will bring Knight-Swift to a total of 25,000 tractors and 93,000 trailers generating $10 billion in revenue. Dave Jackson, Knight-Swift CEO, commented, “Against the current backdrop of a particularly difficult business environment, the chance to add one of the largest brands in our industry, with a significant opportunity to improve earnings, gain customers and reach more professional drivers, is a compelling part of our plan to drive higher highs and higher lows across successive truckload freight cycles”. Read more at U.S. Xpress and DC Velocity.
3PL Saddle Creek to Expand National Distribution Network
Saddle Creek Logistics Services, a Lakeland FL-based third-party logistics provider, announced the expansion of its existing warehousing and distribution operations in 4 key U.S. markets, Joliet, IL (712K sq. ft), Walton, KY (232.5K sq ft), Myerstown, PA (277K sq ft), and North Las Vegas, NV (583K sq ft), which is currently under construction and expected to open early next year. The additional multi-client distribution centers, collectively accounting for more than 1.8 million sq ft, will bring Saddle Creek’s distribution network to more than 33.5 million sq. ft in 31 states. The new facilities, designed for e-commerce fulfillment, have high ceilings (36’-40’), are equipped with state-of-the-art automation and robotics, and are located to enable 1-2 day delivery to millions of consumers. Duane Sizemore, Saddle Creek’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, stated that the expansion helps strengthen the company’s DC network in strategic locations so that it can be nimbler and react more quickly to meet the demands of current and future clients. Read More (Logistics Managment).