LATEST POST IN Transportation

The Supervisor’s Creed

As supervisors, there are lots of important operating factors we’re responsible for on a daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute basis.  Quality, productivity, efficiency, safety, compliance with food safety, USDA, EPA, DOT, and other standards, customer service… all are important.  None of them should eclipse the others.  For example, great productivity doesn’t accomplish anything if poor quality leads to customer complaints, efficiency

OLDER POSTS IN Transportation

Brazil Likely to Increase Barriers to Chinese

Ade Onitolo

On March 8, 2012, the Brazilian Ambassador to China, Clodoaldo Hugueney, declared that Brazil will intensify its protectionist measures on Chinese imports, which totalled $3 billion in January 2012. Brazil’s main protectionist instrument is anti-dumping safeguards that the government implements, rather than first going to the WTO. From the 90 antidumping cases currently in place, 31 are on Chinese goods.

Risks to Road Cargo in Brazil

Ade Onitolo

The main threat to cargo is highway robbery. According to NTC & Logística, the national association of cargo transport and logistics, there were 13,500 reported cases of cargo robbery in 2010 which resulted in losses of about $622 million. Just over 61% of all cargo in Brazil, much of it destined for export, is transported by road. The association itself

Contract Risk: Restrictions on grain exports are not likely due to an abundant harvest, but major delays at seaports are to be expected.

Ade Onitolo

Official statistical data has recently been released and indicates that Russia will reap an abundant grain harvest in the 2011-2012 agricultural year. The preliminary estimate of the grain harvest stands at 93 million tons. This is in contrast with the previous year: On August 15, 2010, the Russian government imposed a comprehensive ban on all grain exports in response to

OSHA and Yard Tractor Operators

William H. Kincaid

It’s a little-known fact OSHA considers yard tractors (also called mules, or hostlers, among other names) to be “powered industrial trucks” covered under 1910.178.  These are the tractors used for moving and spotting trailers around loading docks. In a June 27, 2011 letter to safety trainer Bob Pfister, OSHA stated “Yard tractors that are not designed to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications

Argentina: A dispute between US-based Mosaic and port workers increases the risk of port disruptions in Santa Fe, affecting soy exports.

Rafael Gomes

Analysis: Port workers in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe, are likely to go on strike next week over a dispute with US fertiliser company Mosaic. The workers, who are part of the Argentinean Ports Union (SUPA), have prevented the loading and unloading of Mosaic’s shipments at Rosario’s San Martin port for a week, and are currently demanding the incorporation

Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast): The risk of disruption to cargo and cocoa exports is likely to rise over the next month due to a resurgence of violence in Abidjan.

Rafael Gomes

Perils: War, Terrorism Sectors, Assets or Individuals Affected: All Sectors, Cargo Analysis: Following the arrest of former President Gbagbo on 11 April 2011, Exclusive Analysis assessed that the levels of violence in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, would drop for a period of no more than three months before intensifying. There are now growing indications that violence will once again increase in the

Guinea: Increasing food and fuel costs will lead to large protests in Conakry and other cities in the next few weeks.

Rafael Gomes

Opposition, civil society and unions plan to stage large protests in Conakry and other major urban centres over the next few weeks over increasing food and fuel costs. Implications: President Alpha Conde, who took power in the December 2010 elections after a drawn-out democratic transition process, has failed to curtail the deteriorating economic situation in his first 100 days in

A lack of effective policing leaves increasing risks of theft and extortion to cargo and grain warehouses by drug cartels unopposed

Rafael Gomes

Perils: Terrorism Sectors, Assets or Individuals Affected: Cargo, Agriculture Analysis: On 22 March 2011, the Mexican warehouse association Aagede reported that organised criminals had started to targeted warehouses containing corn and vegetables in Mexico’s northern Sinaloa state. Their statement follows a 15 March robbery of 250 tonnes of corn from a warehouse owned by Graneros Unidos Jova in the industrial

Treasury Department Reportedly Considering Tax Break for Plaintiffs’ Lawyers

Esther McDonald

The U.S. Department of Treasury may issue an order giving plaintiffs’ lawyers a substantial tax break allowing them to deduct costs upfront in contingency fee lawsuits.  These costs are typically fronted as a loan to the client; the client promises to repay the loan, sometimes with interest, at the end of the litigation.  Under this arrangement, the cost is a loan