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Ascent Global Logistics News Update
Top Logistics Headlines This Week 

Severe Weather Continues

Only two weeks after Harvey caused massive destruction, another hurricane is quickly approaching the South Atlantic states. Hurricane Irma's imminent threat has prompted LTL, TL and ocean cargo carriers, railway companies, ports and airports to begin restricting logistics operations across the Southeast. Click here to see our comprehensive list of operational updates for today.

Average Number of Containers Off-Loaded at Terminals Climbs

Average Number of Containers Off-Loaded Climbs

The average number of containers off-loaded at cargo terminals around the globe increased 12.6 percent during Q1 compared year-over-year. This equates to an average of 1,076 discharged containers during each port call. Three regions reported the largest increases: Southeast Asia (+19.2 percent), Latin America (+17.1 percent) and North America (+17 percent). 

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NRF Revises Sales Forecast

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has lowered its annual retail sales forecast for 2017. The growth rate is now predicted to increase between 3.2 and 3.8 percent compared to the original projection of 3.7 to 4.2 percent. Contributing factors include revisions by the U.S. government on personal income, weaker-than-expected spending in the first quarter and decelerating inflation. Click here to read more. 

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DOT Suspends HOS Regulations for States in the Path of Irma

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a Regional Emergency Declaration for numerous Southeast states. This will temporarily suspend the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for drivers and carriers providing "direct assistance" to the impacted areas. This does not exempt drivers from other regulations including size and weight limitations. Click here to read more. 

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Retail Consolidation & OTIF Update 

Please note that three Walmart Regional Distribution Centers (RDC's) in Florida (Brooksville, Ft Piece and Alachua) are only accepting emergency loads until further notice. It is expected that RDC's in the Carolinas and Georgia will also be impacted next week as the storm moves inland. The impact that Harvey and Irma will have on supplier OTIF scores remains unclear. Walmart has stated that OTIF will be addressed, however, supporting the communities impacted is its first priority. 

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Second Round of NAFTA Talks Complete, Focus Remains on De Minimis

The second phase of NAFTA negotiations occurred this week in Mexico City. One ongoing topic of discussion within the international trade community pertaining to NAFTA is the de minimis level. This is the value threshold at which imported products are duty free. Many U.S. trade executives are in support of a de minimum reconciliation so the U.S. level (currently at $800) is closer to the thresholds in Canada ($15) and Mexico ($50). The third round of talks will take place in Ottawa, Canada later this month. Click here to read more. 

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Chinese Factory Closings 

According to the JOC (Journal of Commerce), Chinese factories continue to be shut down after being found in violation of environmental regulations. This month, audits occurred in Zhejiang with reports stating the focus could potentially move to Guangzhou in Q4 or the beginning of 2018. Potentially impacted industries include textiles, rubber, leather, chemicals, carbon, metal, coating and plastics. As a precautionary step, logistics teams are encouraged to communicate with suppliers as well as internal sourcing and procurement teams to understand contingency plans.

Statistic of the Week


Increase in global air freight demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) during July 2017 compared to 2016. African airlines posted the largest jump (33.7 percent), followed by Europe (12.1 percent), North America (11.9 percent), Asia-Pacific (11 percent), the Middle East (9.3 percent) and Latin America (5.8 percent). Global capacity growth lagged behind demand during July, with the available FTK rising by only 3.7 percent. 

Upcoming Events

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

National Fireworks Association EXPO 
Erie, PA 9/5 - 9/9

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.