525 S. Douglas St. , #100• El Segundo, CA 90245 • (310) 607-8000
As we enter the final quarter of the year, a new year - and new decade - will be here before we know it. Aside from the momentousness of the first day and year of a new decade, shippers and carriers have been looking to January 1, 2020 with dread. On this date, the International Maritime Organization is requiring that shipowners reduce the amount of particulates they are emitting.

The term most frequently applied is “low-sulfur fuel”, and a study released this week put a staggering figure on what it could mean for an increase in ocean freight rates. Read more about it on our blog.
FDA enforces Foreign Supplier Verification Program. 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued its first warning letter to an importer concerning non-compliance with requirements under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Without corrective action, the importer could be denied entry for future shipments.
Under the program, importers are supposed to make sure overseas suppliers mirror U.S. food safety standards.
Fruit farmers juiced up about U.S.-Japan trade agreement.
U.S. agricultural producers, especially fruit growers, could enjoy greater access to the Japanese market if the U.S. and Japan finalize a tentative trade deal made in August. Presidents Trump and Abe announced the agreement at the UN earlier this week and the USTR has also provided a fact sheet for agricultural exporters to learn more.

Japan has agreed to lower its high import tariffs, but equally important is the reduction in sanitary and phytosanitary standards that make it difficult to do business in the island nation.
Doing business in China gets harder for U.S. companies.
American companies are less optimistic about the potential for growth in China, especially if they are focused on exporting to the home market, according to a new report by PwC for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. As a result, investment is slowing.

Tariffs and China’s slowing economy are the primary concerns, with more than 50 percent of member companies saying they are either delaying or reducing investment because of the U.S.-China trade tensions. Only 47 percent of companies say they plan to increase China investment this year compared to 61 percent in 2018, with many manufacturers reporting they are relocating to production sites in other countries.

Other challenges include rising costs, local competition, onerous regulatory requirements, and limited protection against intellectual property theft. Nonetheless, about three-quarters of companies reported profits for their Chinese business.
The container trade appears to be in for a period of more continued weakness. Shipping association BIMCO says in a new report that a slowdown in intra-Asia trade is expected for the remainder of the year and is a precursor to volume declines in trans-oceanic routes.

The industry’s ability to control rates is further undermined by the ongoing build up capacity, which is projected to grow by 3.2 percent in 2020. How much capacity is there now?  Alphaliner says the global container fleet recently passed the 23 million TEU mark.

The oversupply will make it more difficult for shipowners to impose more fuel surcharges.
The USTR last week published three new groups of exclusions from lists 1, 2 and 3 in the Section 301 investigation against China. Importers should check if their products were among those that were excluded in the most recent batch dated September 17th.

By the way, did you know that Coppersmith has put a page on our website that deals specifically with the China 301 duties and the most current information about exclusions and actions? You can visit it using the "China 301" button in the navigation bar in the upper right-hand corner, or you can just click the button below to go right there - be sure to bookmark it.
The International Chamber of Commerce has officially released Incoterms 2020. This is the first major update in a decade to the rules that international buyers and sellers should be aware of when setting the terms of sale for a transaction.

The new rules will become effective on January 1, 2020, and interested US parties can learn more and purchase their copy from the US Council for International Business.
Coppersmith Global Logistics is a proud member of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association. The group is celebrating its 40th year in 2019 and holding its annual conference in Chicago. Coppersmith Global Logistics has an office in Chicago and we will be represented at the meeting which is being held November 1st through 5th.

Coppersmith is also proud to be a gold sponsor of the conference and we look forward to seeing our fellow IPATA members and discussing important issues in transportation in a little over a month.
   This week, Coppersmith team members were in Washington, DC for the NCBFAA's Government Affairs Conference. Pictured above is Victoria Lane (right) with NCBFAA President Amy Magnus (left) and another conference delegate. The NCBFAA holds this event in the Capitol every year and members from across the country fan out and visit the House and Senate offices of their representatives to discuss important trade issues.