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Ascent Global Logistics News Update
Top Logistics Headlines This Week 

Driverless Trucks Continue to Inch Towards Reality

This week the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) took a monumental step towards the future of driverless vehicles with the release of new federal guidance for automated driving systems. The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology was also scheduled to meet this week to discuss autonomous vehicles and the application to trucking specifically. Mercedes, Tesla, General Motors, Ford, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Lyft and Uber are among many of the companies already working behind the scenes to prepare for the passage of new laws. Click here to read more.

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FMC Authorizes THE Alliance's Contingency Fund

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voted this week to allow THE Alliance to proceed with establishing a contingency fund that would help its member carriers in the event that a participating line incurs financial distress or insolvency. Contingency funds have been a major topic within the international shipping community since the collapse of Hanjin Shipping last fall. THE Alliance includes Hapag-Lloyd, K-Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming. Click here to read more.


U.S. Supply Chains Still Impacted due to Harvey & Irma

While logistics operations have resumed in many of the hardest hit areas, supply chain delays due to Harvey and Irma continue. Due to the severity of the storms and the short time between the two, it is estimated that the impacts will persist through the holidays and could linger for as long as six months. Limited capacity, misplaced equipment, shortage of labor and fuel cost increases continue to impact shipments. Click here to read more.


U.S. International Trade in Goods & Services

The U.S. goods and services deficit increased to $43.7 billion during July as imports reached $238.1 billion and exports decreased to $194.4 billion. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $27.9 billion, or 9.6 percent, from the same period in 2016. Click here to read more. 

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New Research Shows Retail Store Openings Have Increased in 2017

Challenging reports that brick-and-mortar retail location closures are hitting record-levels, a new study shows that retail store openings have actually increased in 2017. IHL Group reports that for each company closing a store, 2.7 companies are opening stores. Additionally, 751 brands are increasing their store counts versus 278 that are reducing store counts. Click here to read more.

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Top Five Ocean Carriers Servicing the U.S. 

According to the JOC (Journal of Commerce), the top five ocean carriers handling U.S. import and export cargo include:

  1. Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC)
  3. Maersk Line 
  4. Hapag-Lloyd/United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC)
  5. Evergreen Line
All five carriers reported increases in U.S. import volumes during the first six months of the year with MSC leading the way (+15.7 percent or 1.4 million TEUs). Evergreen Line reported the largest increase in U.S. export cargo (+19.4 percent or 423,690 TEUs). 

October 15 GRI 

Please note that Trans-Pacific Eastbound Trade carriers have announced a General Rate Increase (GRI) in the amount of $20/CBM, $40/MT, $900/20', $1,000/40', $1,000/40'HQ and $1,265/45', to become effective October 15, 2017. Ascent Global Logistics will continue to work diligently with carriers to mitigate this GRI in support of our clients. 

Statistic of the Week

$12.4 Million

The dollar value of pumpkins imported into the United States during 2016. The top countries of origin include Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and Honduras.

Upcoming Events

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

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW)
Nationwide 9/10 - 9/16

NAFA Annual Convention 
Annapolis, Maryland 9/20 - 9/22

Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Membership Maximizer
Detroit, MI 9/28

International Holiday Calendar 

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Reminder: The Golden Week holiday, which will occur October 1-8 across China, is expected to impact transportation networks in the weeks leading up to and following the holiday. Combined with peak shipping season, congestion and space tightening is expected. To alleviate space challenges, ocean and air cargo bookings should be secured as early as possible. Bookings should be placed at least three weeks in advance of the departure date, however, more than a month of lead time is suggested.