The authors previously reported that on or about February 27, 2019, the Ministry of Transport (“MOT”), PRC dropped formal application approval procedures and insurance (in the U.S., the China bond) requirements for all NVOCCs, including U.S. NVOCCs. While the MOT dropped the tedious application requirements and insurance (and bond) requirements for NVOCC registration, it

shipping containersIronically, during the current China/U.S. tariff turmoil, the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Peoples Republic of China’s (PRC’s) is leading the deregulatory trend in ocean shipping as applicable to Non-vessel Operating Common Carriers (“NVOCCs”). The MOT has quietly deregulated burdensome registration application procedures for Non-vessel Operating Common Carriers (“NVOCCs”) from on or about February 27, 2019. The MOT has dropped formal application registration and insurance requirements for all NVOCCs, including U.S. NVOCCs. It is our understanding that as of now the prior registration certificates issued by MOT have no regulatory function or value. Currently, the requirements for registering NVOCCs has been substantially simplified as noted below. Until now, without the aforementioned Certificate U.S. NVOCCs could not issue their house bills in the U.S./China trade lanes without risk of substantial sanctions and penalties. However, also note that the NVOCC requirement by the Shanghai Exchange for filing rate ranges remains in place.

Continue Reading

On September 22, 2018, Bill (SB-1402) was signed into law in California to become effective January 1, 2019. That law makes “Customers” (generally shippers, exporters, importers, and ocean intermediaries, FMCSA Property Brokers)  that engage or use “a port drayage motor carrier” jointly and severally liable with that port drayage motor carrier if that carrier is listed on the Internet Web site maintained by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. This ominous list now identifies port drayage motor carriers which have been found liable to a “port drayage driver” for unsatisfied court judgments, assessments, orders, decisions, or awards, for port drayage services performed for which the drivers have not been paid or expenses for which they have not been reimbursed, plus damages, penalties, and interest. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, has awarded in excess of $45 million in unlawful deductions from wages and out-of-pocket expenses to more than 400 drivers, and the California Labor Commissioner’s Office noted that drivers have seen little of those awards.
Continue Reading

According to the American Trucking Association, there is a current shortage of about 51,000 drivers which is impacting U.S. retailers, and it is predicted to get worse in the coming years. The driver shortage is leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices. Also coupled with driver shortages are equipment shortages, including in the maritime container/chassis environment. Many, if not most, retailers are subject to seasonal cycles where timely delivery is key to a “make it or break it” year. Other retailers, such as e-commerce retailers and other lesser known industry groups (the animal feed industry, for example) do not have seasonal peaks, but a substantial percentage of these industry segments have same day or next day delivery requirements essentially on an on-going basis. The retailer industry, including e-retailers, are looking to different solutions for addressing these real bottom-line issues—i.e., getting all kinds of goods to customers in a timely manner.
Continue Reading