ALERTS & ​ADVISORIES

Alert/Advisory

Five Ways to Prepare for Tropical Storm Season

By
June 2, 2022
With the tropical storm season upon us, it is important to plan ahead for adverse weather events to minimize the potential disruptions to supply chains.
With the tropical storm season upon us, it is important to plan ahead for adverse weather events to minimize the potential disruptions to supply chains.

Supply chain management is a complicated process even under the best of conditions. When a tropical storm occurs, the process is made even more complex as the extreme weather can not only wreak havoc on homes and buildings; but, the subsequent high winds and flooding, can disrupt and delay freight transportation, potentially causing supply chain delays and failures. As tropical storm season begins, it is important to plan ahead for adverse weather events to minimize potential repercussions.

  1. Know How to Prioritize Your Freight: The severe weather associated with tropical storms can shut down ports and ground flights. When operations do begin, capacity may be reduced, and extensive backlogs are possible. By understanding which freight is most important to maintaining business continuity, you can help prevent further disruptions downstream.
  2. Plan for Inventory Disruptions: During the peak of tropical storm season, it can be wise to plan for additional inventory to be on hand in case your supply chain is disrupted due to significant port and airport closures and delays.  
  3. Keep an Eye on the Sky: Taking a proactive approach to monitoring the weather during tropical storm season is vital. It allows you to stay well-informed of impending severe weather that might impact shipment delivery. While the forecast may change at a moment’s notice, it is essential you are aware of the weather forecast and any precautionary measures taken locally, such as port and airport closures and shelter-in-place orders.
  4. Utilize Technology to Increase Supply Chain Visibility: In the event of severe weather, maintaining supply chain visibility and real-time access to information about paused and canceled shipments is vital. By maintaining supply chain visibility, you can more readily identify potential problems and areas of concern, allowing informed decisions on things such as expediting time-sensitive cargo to be made early on minimizing disruptions.
  5. Maintain a Line of Communication: When severe weather occurs, it is important to maintain a clear line of communication with your service providers. This means ensuring that your provider knows which cargo is of the highest priority and giving as much notice as possible about a needed shipment as canceled flights and closed ports can delay shipments and reduce capacity.

With the start of tropical storm season having arrived, it is important to be prepared for whatever disruptions severe weather might bring. Whether it is developing a contingency plan long before extreme weather conditions occur or rerouting cargo and utilizing air cargo options when severe weather occurs, JAS can help keep your supply chain running smoothly. To make sure you are ready for tropical storm season, contact your local JAS office.

JAS News Advisory: Eastern Europe, Ukraine, and Russia Situation

By
Graeme Robinson
March 11, 2022
JAS NEWS ADVISORY: EASTERN EUROPE, UKRAINE, AND RUSSIA SITUATION
JAS NEWS ADVISORY: EASTERN EUROPE, UKRAINE, AND RUSSIA SITUATION

UPDATE (MARCH 11, 2022) As the world has seen, the events in the Ukraine have worsened and our thoughts are with all the victims of this conflict. The developing humanitarian crisis is tragic, and the management and staff of several of our European organizations have launched independent initiatives to contribute foodstuffs and supplies for various charitable organizations inside Ukraine, with delivery already underway. We are grateful and moved by their actions.  

 In view of the situation, JAS Worldwide has decided to suspend services involving shipments to, from, or through Russia or Belarus. This includes shipments by air, road or ocean and includes the Rail Service between Asia and Europe. We are aware that this decision impacts our customers, and we will work diligently with them to try to reduce any negative impacts. Specifically, for the Asia-Europe rail service we will provide alternative routings via our FCL and LCL Ocean freight services, or via our Blue World Orient flight operations.

We will continue to review our position and will make adjustments once the situation improves.

(MARCH 2, 2022) The events in Ukraine are impacting trade with the countries involved and all modes of transport are deeply affected. Trade restrictions are still in the process of being implemented and more seems destined to come as we move through what is a rapidly developing situation. Adding to the turmoil, private industry, in the form of steamship lines and airlines, are also taking independent actions in the interests of protecting their personnel.

  • Air Freight: With airspace over Ukraine already closed and the EU/UK prohibiting Russian airlines from their airspace, already heavy traffic routes from Asia will worsen. Some airlines have indicated an unwillingness to traverse certain airspace outside of Ukraine and this will disrupt service schedules and transit times. Moreover, airlines are now beginning to introduce War Risk surcharges and with the major Russian cargo carrier Airbridge now suspended from landing within the EU, congestion from China to Europe seems likely. Fuel surcharges are also expected to rise and be passed along due to the cost of oil spiking. 
  • Ocean Freight: In response to closures and amid reports of attacks on civilian shipping, the Black Sea ports are largely being removed from port rotation by most major steamship lines. We see carriers beginning to discharge cargo at ports in Romania and elsewhere within the Mediterranean. Independent of regulatory concerns, Russia is now also being omitted by some of the very largest carriers, rendering bookings extremely difficult.
  • China/EU Rail freight via Russia: Northern routes remain open, while other routes, such as the ones that move via Chop in Ukraine, will switch to service via Malaaezwicze in Poland. The disruption will potentially create a backlog and while currently sanctions do not embargo use of the Russian Railroads, limitations on routes need to be considered prior to any bookings.  
  • Sanctions: At this time the EU, UK, and the US, along with others, have imposed sanctions on Russia, Russian banks, and specific individuals, all of which serve to heighten the tension in the region. In addition, sanctions are in place for the Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk regions of Ukraine currently under Russian control. Banking restrictions have also been imposed, increasing the difficulty for transportation companies. Expanded export controls are in place for many countries, especially the USA where new requirements target commodities in the hi-tech and aerospace industries.

Our Operational teams are monitoring the situation daily, assessing the impact and reviewing the inevitable delays. For the time being, under certain conditions and where possible, we will accept bookings to the impacted areas as the situation allows.

Advisories

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Alerts & ​Advisories
Navigating Port Congestion After the Suez Canal

Even before the Suez Canal blockage the shipping industry was facing extreme congestion levels in many ports across the globe, including those in the USA, Canada, South Korea, China, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. With demand remaining high, port congestion challenges will continue for months to come with increased volumes, restrictions due to COVID-19 requirements, and missed berthing windows.

Even if the Suez Canal is now open, the operational impact of a week blockage will have a ripple effect lasting for weeks:

  • A further deterioration of schedule reliability and additional equipment unbalance is to be anticipated even on Trade-Lanes not directly related to the Suez Canal.
  • Some steamship lines have stopped accepting new bookings from Europe to USA until end of April.

Marine terminals at the U.S. ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are experiencing some of the worst congestion, with anchorage times often exceeding a week. In March, the United States passed another stimulus bill, while at the same time, COVID-19 infection rates are decreasing, multiple states are relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, and the number of people vaccinated continues to grow. Consumer spending and retail imports are predicted to remain high, and even increase, throughout the spring and summer months, providing the ports with no relief when it comes to congestion.

While it can be challenging to avoid port congestion, there are some ways to minimize the impact of port congestion and plan for success.

  1. Explore alternative gateway ports that face less congestion. With the congestion on the U.S West Coast, many are exploring other port options such as the Port of Seattle. Alternatively, some are choosing to bypass the U.S. West Coast altogether in favor of going through the Panama Canal and up the East Coast.
  2. Plan ahead. At this time, planning ahead is key and booking shipments as soon as possible can help keep your supply chain moving. With the current equipment shortages and severe congestion at ports, some levels of delays are almost unavoidable. Therefore, it is important to build extra time into your schedule to account for the current conditions.
  3. Consider utilizing other shipping methods. As in non-pandemic times, ocean freight affords the opportunity for cost reductions when compared to airfreight. However, the lead time is much longer than airfreight. When facing time constraints, air freight may be a more viable option. Another option to consider is LCL Ocean freight, smaller but more frequent shipments can keep your supply chain moving. While LCL also faces congestion issues it is much easier to be flexible and by splitting product on more vessels, better chance that cargo gets moved using multiple vessel/ports to get product through. Talk to your JAS representative for options on alternative shipping methods that fits your needs.
  4. Stay in contact with your JAS representative. With the increased port congestion, it is more important than ever to stay in contact with your local representative so that you are aware of arrival times, equipment availability, and market conditions.

For more information on how to navigate the current port congestion, contact a JAS representative.

For more information about current ocean market conditions, read our most recent ocean market update: https://www.jas.com/market.

JAS Update on Coronavirus Outbreak in China

Dear valued customer:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the new Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern now.
More than 7700 cases have been confirmed in China. There have cases been reported now also in 18 other countries.

We would like to share the latest update on the spread of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, and our operational plans and guidelines in response to this crisis. We are monitoring the situation very closely to ensure the safety of our employees whilst working towards minimizing any possible impacts on our operations and our customers’ shipments.

Acknowledging the potential threats to the health and safety of our employees, we are taking all necessary precautions and preventive measures by accepting all governmental regulations and guidelines The safety of our employees is our top priority. We therefore ask for your kind understanding on our limited in-office operations under this emergency situation.

Holiday Extension of China Branch Offices
In accordance to the announcements of China State Council and Provincial Governments, as of the latest update on 31st January, JAS China and HKG offices will resume operation on the following dates:


​Branch - Date of Office Operation Commencement

​SHA​ - Monday, 10 February 2020

NGB - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

SZX - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

CAN - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

XMN - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

DLC - Monday, 10 February 2020

BJS - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

TSN - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

TAO - ​Monday, 10 February 2020

HKG - Monday, 3 February 2020


​Flexible Working Arrangement of China and Hong Kong on 3rd to 7th February
To scale down the number of staffs in office and reduce the spread of novel coronavirus in the community, we have planned work-from-home flexible arrangement for all offices during 3rd to 7th February.

During 3rd to 7th February, all China branches (including those which will commence operation on 10th February) will arrange skeleton staff team to work in office to support business operation, while the rest of the staff will work from home. In Hong Kong Branch, operation teams will be split into two teams and work on rotation basis, while Logistics team will remain full support on site.

Following the flexible working arrangement, Sales team members in China and Hong Kong will work from home with 100% connectivity to business mails and can be reached via mobile shall there be any urgent business enquiries from customers.  All staffs have the connectivity to business mail, we will try our best endeavors to maintain our business service to make sure clients’ needs will be fulfilled in due course..

China Market Updates on Air and Ocean Operation
We are carefully monitoring the situation in regard to all carriers, terminals, customs, warehouse, trucking service and booking agents of cities where JAS offices are presented.

OCEAN:
In Greater China (except Hubei province ports, including Wuhan), the majority of container operations, including those at the terminals, depots, and other facilities, continue to operate as usual over the Lunar New Year holiday period. For ports other than Hubei province ports, vessels are still maintaining their normal port calls and operations. New bookings to/from all ports in Hubei province are temporarily suspended, and our staff will continue to liaise with customers who have shipments already in progress to discuss the most appropriate course of action for these.

AIR:
At time of writing, the majority of passenger airlines have suspended flights to and from China (mainland without Hong Kong) during February and March with further updates to follow during the weeks to come. The freighter carriers have cancelled several flights but will be operating on a special flight schedule after the extended Lunar New Year period. Until further notice, live animals (AVI) will no longer be accepted for carriage on routes to and from China (mainland).

Air and Ocean Carriers:
Both Air and Ocean Carriers continue to monitor the situation and assess the need for potential network capacity adjustments to cater for any short-term changes in demand out of China. We will update you as soon as information becomes available


Business Support for Clients
JAS China Sales team have closely communicated with clients during CNY holidays to identify their business needs during week of 3rd February, especially for clients with manufacturing sites in China. The team will continue to work both internally and externally to ensure clients’ requirement will be fulfilled.

For additional information, we ask you to please contact your local JAS Office.

Sincerely.
JAS Worldwide Management

SOLAS Amendment Announcement

As you may be aware, amendments to the International Convention for the Safety Of Life At Sea (“SOLAS”), will go into effect globally on July 1, 2016.

The recent amendment, which was adopted by International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member States, requires that a shipper verify the gross mass (Verified Gross Mass or VGM) of a container’s cargo/contents to the underlying carrier and terminal operator. While carriers, terminals and shippers alike will be affected by the new rules, the burden will primarily rest with shippers to provide the VGM.

Without a VGM, the amendments prohibit the vessel operator from loading a packed container.

As stated, from July 1st, the weight of the container and the cargo contained therein must be documented. Estimated weights are not allowed.
​There are two options permissible in determining the weight or Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the cargo and container.

They are as follows:

Method 1: Weighing
After it has been completely packed and sealed, the container can be weighed. The weighing can be performed by the shipper or by a third party contracted by the shipper (please refer to Chapter 5.11 of the SOLAS guideline).

Any scale, weighbridge, lifting equipment or other devices used to verify the gross mass of the container must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used (please refer to Chapter 2.1 of the SOLAS guideline).

Method 2: Calculating
All packages and cargo items may be weighed individually (including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material) and must be added to the tare of the container visible on the exterior of the container (please refer to Chapter 5.1.2 of the SOLAS guideline).

The method used for weighing the container’s content is subject to the certification an approval as determined by the competent authority of the state in which the packing and sealing of the container were completed (please refer to Chapter 5.1.2.3 of the SOLAS guideline).
Any weighing equipment used to weigh the contents of the container must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the state in which the equipment is being used (please refer to Chapter 2.1 of the SOLAS guideline).

There is currently no single document uniformly determined to be acceptable to verify the weight. Rather, the information can come via a weight certificate, separate documentation, or part of the shipping instructions.The amendment states that “irrespective of its form,” the document declaring the VGM should be signed by a person duly authorized by the shipper.

For shipper loaded FCL containers, JAS Forwarding requires a VGM from the shipper. Upon request, JAS Forwarding can have the container and content weighed at an outside weigh station.

Unless JAS Forwarding arranged the weighing of the container or has a weight certificate from an independent authority, JAS Forwarding will require a VGM certification from the shipper, prior to the carrier VGM cut off. The VGM cut off will be provided by the carrier at the time of booking.

JAS unless otherwise notified in writing, will ensure that the VGM is communicated to the carrier by one of the following methods:

  • EDI message (VERMAS, or for example a 304 message)
  • Portal Service (INTTRA, Nexus, CargoSmart, other)
  • Through the Ocean Carrier’s web portal specifically designed to accept VGM
  • Alternative methods to be determined by the Ocean Carrier

The carrier itself is not obliged to cross-check the VGM received. Independent of the party verifying and sending the VGM, it remains the responsibility of the shipper that the carrier and terminal operator receive the information in time.

Once the Ocean Carrier receives the VGM, the Shipper’s responsibilities are complete.

It is unclear yet what stance of the various Ports and Terminals will take globally. Some have announced that they will not accept containers into the terminal unless a VGM has already been submitted. Some have announced that they will accept containers but will be unable to weigh them, and others have confirmed that upon request, they will be able to weigh the container.

However, it is clear that if the VGM is not received by the VGM cut off, the container cannot be loaded on to the vessel.

As we get closer to the deadline, and industry groups coalesce into creating common forms, we will provide the documentation for the shipper’s certification.

Relevant Documents can be found below

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