New Incentive Programs at Port of Long Beach – Two new incentive programs were approved by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissions on Monday, July 2. Under these programs, the largest ships calling at the Port will have their daily dockage fees capped, and the ocean carriers who move additional containers via rail through Long Beach will get incentives. The programs are aimed at protecting the Port’s share of business in an increasingly competitive maritime market, keep jobs in the region and encourage more environmentally friendly and efficient practices. The programs launch August 1, 2012.
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Panama Canal Project Delayed – The Panama Canal Authority has confirmed that the $5 billion expansion project has fallen six months behind schedule. Problems arose last year when officials determined that the concrete for the project did not meet specified standards. The project was originally slated for completion October 2014, but this delay could mean that the new locks will not be operational until 2015.
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EU Signs Trade Agreement with Colombia and Peru – After nearly 3 years of negotiations, a trade agreement between the European Union (EU), Colombia and Peru was signed on June 27, 2012. Once fully implemented, the trade agreement will eliminate tariffs in all industrial and fisheries products, increase market access for agricultural products, and further reduce technical barriers to trade.
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ILWU Barred from Causing Slowdown at Portland – On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) from engaging in work slowdowns at the Port of Portland container terminal. All of the parties in the dispute have come to an agreement to clear the way for cargo loading and unloading to take place. The port, terminal operator ICTSI, the ILWU and the IBEW announced the ILWU would work the reefer jobs until a separate legal proceeding before the National Labor Relations Board results in a ruling.
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