Rhine River shipping returns to normal as water levels rise

December 10, 2018 – Freight shipping on the river Rhine in Germany has returned to normal after heavy rain in the past week raised water levels, the German government said on Monday. Water levels on the Rhine had been low for around six months after a hot dry summer and a dry autumn, forcing vessels to sail only partly loaded and increasing the cost of commodity deliveries.

Trade truce at G20 summit

December 3, 2018 – U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed to halt new trade tariffs for 90 days to allow for talks, the U.S. says. At a post-G20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires, Mr. Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on January 1. China will buy a "very substantial" amount of agricultural, industrial and energy products, the U.S. says. Meanwhile, Beijing says the two sides agreed to open up their markets. sIt was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since a trade war erupted earlier this year. In other news, Canada, Mexico and the US have now officially signed their new CUSMA trade agreement.

Canada Post back to work legislation on the horizon

November 26, 2018 – Conservative senators say they wanted to push Canada Post back-to-work legislation through on Sunday but are pointing the finger at independent senators for delaying the third and final reading until Monday. After nearly eight hours of proceedings in a rare weekend sitting on Saturday, the Senate agreed to hold the third and final reading of the bill on Monday afternoon.

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have held rotating walkouts for more than a month, causing backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots. The controversial back-to-work bill, if passed, would go into effect at noon ET on the day following royal assent.

In 2011 the then-Conservative government passed back-to-work legislation demanding an end to a Canada Post lockout and rotating strikes by postal workers.

But that legislation was overturned by the courts in 2015, after a ruling that by removing workers’ right to strike, the bill violated their right to freedom of association and expression.​

The current Liberal government on the other hand believes they have crafted the bill in a way that does not violate charter rights, because it does not impose immediate outcomes affecting postal contracts.

Housakos said the current legislation could possibly be overturned but he reiterated that his primary concern is ensuring mail is being delivered.

"More important than that is making sure that the trucks are rolling, the mail is being delivered and the Canadian economy and Canadian public is being served."

CUPW has already vowed to fight the legislation in court, which Housakos said they have a right to do.

Meanwhile negotiators from both sides remained at the bargaining table Sunday in a last-ditch effort to bring an unforced end to rotating walkouts, but with little sign that a deal would be reached before the Senate returns for the final reading. Source: CBC News

Canada Post strike update

November 19, 2018 – The ongoing strike by Canada Post’s union continues despite an exchange of offers by both parties. Canaan Transport has already mitigated the effects of this strike to a significant portion of our customers where possible. The next phase of our temporary contingency plans will revolve around ensuring that business continuity is fulfilled during the holiday season.

UPS avoids strike in time for holiday shipping season

November 14, 2018 – Workers at UPS Freight represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have ratified a new five-year agreement on pay and conditions, averting a strike within the continental USA. In a released statement, UPS said, “We will resume normal operations and will immediately begin accepting new volume from UPS Freight customers.” In anticipation of a possible strike, UPS Freight had gradually wound down normal operations, stopping taking new shipments on a phased basis between November 1 and November 7, and aiming to deliver all remaining shipments within its system by November 8.

Canada Post rotating strikes now causing delays

November 5, 2018 – Canada Post is facing a days-long backlog of parcel deliveries as scattered walkouts by postal workers escalate across the country, the Crown corporation warned Wednesday, hours before the Canadian Union of Postal Workers was set to call a national overtime ban.

Dozens of trailers filled with parcels and packages were awaiting processing at the agency’s three biggest hubs as Canada Post employees from several Quebec communities joined countrywide rotating strikes a day after about 6,000 workers walked off the job in Montreal. “At this point there is a backlog of over 150 trailers in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal of items waiting to be unloaded and processed, with more arriving every day,” said Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton. “Once processed, these items have to be delivered without overburdening our delivery employees. As a result, customers could see delays of several days.”

CN purchases TransX in a mega-deal

October 31, 2018 – A family trucking business started in Winnipeg more than half a century ago has been purchased by CN Rail in a mega-deal targeting intermodal transport. TransX Group has 2,600 employees across North America with annual revenues in the $500-million range. Its assets include about 1,500 large trucks and 1,000 intermodal containers. CN and TransX have worked closely for going on two decades, said Mike Jones, chief operating officer of TransX Group of Companies.

Refrigerated transport is a fast-growing sector and the TransX Group’s strength there will be a boon to CN, senior manager Patrick Waldron said. "There is a growing business of temperature-controlled containers on trains, ships and trucks and TransX does a lot of that business," Waldron said. The acquisition is subject to regulatory review by the Competition Bureau and Transport Canada. There is a movement to consolidation in the transport sector, but this agreement "is more a partnership where we’re going to be able to expand our reach and provide a more diverse product," Jones said.

Canada ratifies CPTPP agreement

October 29, 2018 – Canada will be in the first group of countries to take advantage of a major Asia-Pacific trade deal after royal assent was granted to a key bill on Thursday afternoon.

“This milestone achievement reaffirms Canada’s strong commitment to Canadian companies, industries and the millions of Canadians they employ,” said a statement from the office of Trade Minister Jim Carr, allowing the country to retain “first-mover advantage in many thriving Asia-Pacific markets.” The 11-country pact, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) can come into force 60 days after six countries pass legislation. Mexico ratified the deal in June, Japan in June and Singapore in September.

The 11 parties to the deal and in some cases their respective new governments — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — signed an updated version in March after less than a year of re-negotiation after the USA withdrew. The countries represent a combined $13.5 trillion in GDP. Japan has since said it hopes the U.S. will eventually re-join the agreement.

The CPTPP’s conclusion came after considerable consternation over Canada’s involvement, particularly in Japan, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau missed a leaders-level meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit about a year ago.

Since the updated version of the trade agreement was signed, complete with the new “comprehensive and progressive” name proposed by Canada, the push has been on to view the CPTPP not just as a balance against China but also as a way for countries to diversify trade outside of a more-protectionist U.S.

The importance of the deal “has grown over recent months with the rapid escalation or protectionist measures around the world,” the N.Z. trade minister, David Parker, said in a Thursday statement. The re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which ended in a revised deal called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) just weeks ago, highlighted the importance of diversification, said Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “We must never again allow ourselves to be so vulnerable.”

Canada’s implementing legislation passed the House of Commons last Wednesday after the NDP, concerned that not enough debate time was being given to the complex agreement, held up attempts to speed its passage.

What followed was an extraordinarily short deliberation in the Senate, where there was little if any opposition to the premise of the new trade deal. The bill unanimously passed third reading on Thursday afternoon just over a week after it was referred to the upper chamber. Then within hours it was signed into law by the Secretary to the Governor General.

A Senate committee had concluded that being among the first six countries to ratify the CPTPP was paramount: “The committee recognizes the potential benefits of the CPTPP and understands the significance that Canada be among those first six countries to ratify the agreement to ensure that Canadian businesses are not put at a competitive disadvantage,” said a report from the Senate’s standing committee on foreign affairs and international trade.

As Liberal Sen. Jim Munson put it on Thursday afternoon: “We’re all on the same page.”

Canadian companies are expected to gain 99-per-cent tariff-free access to the countries that have ratified the deal, including Japan, as early as January. Source: The National Post

Canada Post strike hits Vancouver

October 26, 2018 – The Canada Post strike has hit Vancouver on the 5th day of rotating strikes. Although Canaan Transport has already provided additional services to customers that have been affected, Canada Post is still operational but mail will be delayed.

Canada Post to hit Toronto with a strike

October 22, 2018 – Canada Post has just announced tonight that its workers in Toronto will go on strike at 12:01 AM on October 23, 2018. Canaan Transport has already initiated our contingency plans and customers should have no disruption for the time being.