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Ascent Global Logistics News Update

Top Logistics Headlines This Week

Domestic Freight Management

February Freight Cools Slightly

February Freight Cools Slightly

The spot market cooled slightly during the month of February after a strong end to 2017 and first month of 2018. While demand slowed slightly compared to recent months, the spot market remains considerably stronger than last year. February is commonly one of the slower months in the spot market, however, demand is expected to increase during March and April due to Spring Peak and the next level of ELD enforcement. Click here to read more. 

Freight Rates Continue to be Impacted by More than Just ELD

Freight Rates Continue to be Impacted by More than Just ELD

While the ELD mandate has been closely correlated to rising freight rates, general market factors continue to increase pressure on the domestic freight market. Some of these factors include a decline in appeal of driver jobs among young people, roadway delays due to damaged infrastructure, expanded U.S. manufacturing levels, a strengthening national and global economy as well as stronger demand for faster delivery by e-commerce shoppers. 

International Freight Forwarding
CBP's Part in Valentine's Day

CBP's Part in Valentine's Day

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists have been busy inspecting flowers at the nation's largest seaports for several weeks in advance of today's holiday. According to CBP, Miami is the nation's largest gateway for roses and cut flowers imported from Central and South America. Last year, CBP agriculture specialists processed nearly 1.1 billion stems of cut flowers between New Year's Day and Valentine's Day. Click here to read more.

GSP Renewal Process Underway

GSP Renewal Process Underway

Last week the renewal process for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was introduced into the House of Representatives. Congress and the President must now approve the legislation which would renew the program through 2020. If passed, U.S. importers could potentially recover duty paid on certain imported products since the GSP program lapsed on December 31, 2017. Click here to read more. 

U.S. Imports from Central America Flourish

U.S. Imports from Central America Flourish 

U.S. imports from Central American countries reached a record one million TEUs, an increase of 12 percent year-over-year, the quickest expansion since 2011. Costa Rica recorded the largest export growth with volumes up 30 percent year-over-year. Some of the most common imports from Central America include fruit, nuts, coffee, tea, non-knit apparel, heating equipment and machinery. 

Retail Consolidation

Walmart Debuts New Store Assistant to Improve Shopping Experience

Walmart Debuts New Store Assistant to Improve Shopping Experience

Walmart recently announced a series of enhanced features to its app as well as its new Store Assistant. The upgrades allow shoppers to make a list in the app, check inventory stock of selected items, view a store map and search for specific department information. Click here to read more. 

Two Biggest Retailers Announce Layoffs

Two Biggest Retailers to Conduct Layoffs 

According to reports, Walmart will cut two department manager positions at an estimated 4,700 stores across the country. Within the same week, reports state that Amazon is laying off several hundred employees in its consumer retail business. Both retailers stated the layoffs are workforce restructures and that e-commerce related job opportunities continue to expand. 

Statistic of the Week

$26.8 Billion

The combined estimated value of common Valentine's Day products - chocolate and candy - shipped by U.S. manufacturers, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2016 Annual Survey of Manufacturers. 

Upcoming Events

Catch up with the Ascent Global Logistics team at the below upcoming event: 

TPM (Transpacific Maritime) Annual Conference 
Long Beach, CA - March 4-7, 2018 

International Holiday Calendar

International Holiday Calendar 2.14.18.png

*Please note that Ascent Global Logistics offices will be open on Monday, January 19, however, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Other Government Agency offices will be closed or operating with limited staff which could impact customs clearance and cargo release. 

Please remember that the Chinese New Year (CNY) begins this week and will continue through February 21, 2018. The CNY will cause origin operations to cease during the official holiday dates with the potential to impact production and shipping up to a month after the holiday. If urgent airfreight bookings are needed, please contact your local Ascent Global Logistics representative.