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Today’s Pickup: Imports fall on the West Coast due to impending tariffs

  (Image: Shutterstock)
(Image: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Shipping imports across the West Coast have been on a decline over the last month as the maritime industry braces itself to face the upcoming trans-Pacific tariffs. The inbound containers across the ports of LA and Long Beach have recorded a 3.1% decline compared to last month, after the ports saw an 8.4% increase in import container handling in June.

July and August are usually the peak season for importers in the U.S., as the country looks forward to fall and holiday shopping seasons. But this time around, the impending tariffs have made August a damp squib, reducing imports to a level that is not in line with the perceived economic demand. The trade spat with China would mean that importers stock products in their inventory for longer times, as the expenses of holding them would be lesser compared to paying the proposed 25% ceiling additional tariffs.

Did you know?

From 2012-14, about $260M of venture capitalist money entered the trucking technology space, but that number dramatically increased to $2.3B for the period 2015-17.

Quotable:

“The quicker the broker has the data, the more efficient they can be in identifying the right truck for a load and being the first to call and book that truck. That’s especially important in today’s dynamic, capacity-constrained market, where carriers are turning down five or more loads for every one they take.”

– Prasad Gollapalli, founder and CEO of Trucker Tools on the need for brokers to get real-time and trustable data on capacity

In other news:

U.S. Businesses Ramp Up Lobbying Against Trump’s Tariffs

Organizations representing thousands of companies are cooperating on a lobbying campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. (The Wall Street Journal)

Florence Promises Flooding Rains as Landfall Looms Early Friday

Florence, now a Category 2 storm, could reach the coast near Wilmington on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center, bringing winds of 105 miles per hour. (Bloomberg)

JP Morgan: Big Oil’s Spend To Meet Climate Goals Will Be ‘Monumental’

JP Morgan estimates that if Europe’s Big Oil where to meet their climate goals, they would need to raise the share of the ‘new energy’ spending to 9 percent of capital budgets by 2020. (Oilprice)

Walmart tries to Spark interest in new Uber-style last-mile grocery deliveries

Less than three months after its collaboration with Uber ended, the giant retailer has embarked on a new venture that seeks to harness a pool of independent drivers. (The Loadstar)

Oil slips from four-month highs on economic concerns

Oil prices fell on Thursday, slipping back from four-month highs as investors focussed on the risk that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand even as supply tightens. (Reuters)

Final thoughts:

California, a long-time proponent of the need to reduce carbon emissions, has now passed a bill that would see the state’s electricity being produced from carbon-free sources by 2045. SB 100, the bill which is now a law, is considered to be a very aggressive move from Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill also laid down interim goals on the way to the final target by projecting a 60% carbon-free electricity production by 2030.

Countries across Europe have been known to set such stringent measures for reducing their respective carbon footprints, the impact of which is widely believed to be the primary cause of global warming. Nonetheless, these overarching goals have been difficult to manage, as in the case of Germany which is set to miss its 2020 climate goals even after spending over $580 billion to revitalize its energy network. The SB 100 legislation in California, if strictly adhered to, would have a huge effect on the country as a whole, as 40% of California’s greenhouse emissions are attributed to its electricity consumption.

Hammer down everyone!


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Vishnu Rajamanickam, Staff Writer

Vishnu writes editorial commentary on cutting-edge technology within the freight industry, profiles startups, and brings in perspective from industry frontrunners and thought leaders in the freight space. In his spare time, he writes neo-noir poetry, blogs about travel & living, and loves to debate about international politics. He hopes to settle down in a village and grow his own food at some point in time. But for now, he is happy to live with his wife in the middle of a German metropolitan.
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