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Biden and Congress Intervene to Prevent Rail Strike

Potentially Catastrophic Rail Strike Averted by Bipartisan Cooperation Some might say Christmas has been saved—others feel like all they’ve got is a lump of coal in their stocking. Rumors of a rail strike have been percolating since this summer, before reaching a fever pitch ahead of a December 9th deadline. At the urging and approval of President Joe Biden, congress acted on Wednesday, November 30th to enshrine previous agreement terms. Regardless of viewpoint or political affiliation, it is undeniable that a rail strike in the final weeks leading up to the holiday season would have…
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Dispatch from MJBizCon 2022

SiShips was on the Ground for MJBizCon 2022, the Biggest Professional Cannabis Event of the Year Cannabis is moving fast, and SiShips is helping it move even faster. As domestic and international laws evolve, hemp and cannabis is quickly becoming one of the quickest growing sectors in the agricultural industry.  SiShips has been working with growers to import supplies like grow lights and processing machines over the last few years. Then, following the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 we were able to begin shipping hemp and its derivatives.  Much of our business at SiShips comes…
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SiShips Launches New Mobile App

Exciting New Way to Manage Freight Forwarding Available on Google Play Store Now Freight forwarding is officially at your fingertips. Sheltered International is excited to announce that, as of June 27th 2022, our SiShips mobile app is now available on the Google Play store for Android devices. UPDATE (11.01.22) The SiShips mobile tracking and quote tool app is now available on the Apple App Store for iOS devices! Specifically optimized for the iPad, our clients are now able to quote, book and track shipments on all of their mobile devices. At Sheltered International, we are constantly…
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Ocean Carrier vs. Drayage Carrier Fees

How Port Congestion and Port Fees Affect You No one likes port congestion. It causes supply chain delays and missed deadlines, but, worst of all, port congestion can lead to additional ocean carrier and drayage carrier fees. Ocean carriers refer to the vessel and vessel operators physically transporting goods between international ports. The next step in the supply chain are drayage carriers, which transport goods from ports to their destination. Drayage often refers to trucking and short distances known as “the first mile” on an export or “the last mile” on an import. Unfortunately, both…
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Weakening Markets Lead to Trans-Pacific Rate Drops

Trans-Pacific Rate Drops Expected to Last Through End of Year After generating record-breaking profits during the pandemic, shipping companies are feeling the squeeze of recent inflation. Container carriers are planning on blanking nearly 700,000 TEU in the month of October. Carriers are looking to entice customers back with lower rates. This appears to be one of the best times in recent memory for those looking to transport products internationally, especially between China and the United States. These trans-Pacific rate drops are not entirely unexpected. The rates that began rising to unimaginable heights during the pandemic stemmed…
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Tentative Deal Prevents Railroad Strike

President Biden Steps In at 11th Hour to Forestall Railroad Strike Late at night on Wednesday, September 14th, President Biden intervened in deadlock negotiations between railroad companies and their workers. Biden, a long time supporter of America’s rail system, has been keeping a close eye on this contract dispute over the summer. The executive branch originally flexed its power back in July, amid fears that a railroad strike could cost the economy $2 billion per day. Now, following a marathon negotiation session, both sides have made a tentative agreement. The railroad brotherhoods will vote on…
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Dispatch from Gen Con 2022

SiShips Hit the Floor at Largest Tabletop Game Convention This past August, the Sheltered International team had the pleasure of attending Gen Con 2022 in Indianapolis. The 54th iteration of Gen Con was four days of gaming excitement, with a focus on pen-and-paper games, board games, card games, and more. It was a particularly exciting time for us, as Gen Con presented a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with fans who order games and collectibles from all across the world. Many of our clients manufacture their products in Asia and attendees of…
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East and Gulf Ports Experience Supply Chain Bottleneck

Record Amounts of Cargo Lead to Delays in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Backlogs of dozens of ships have reached the East and Gulf Ports. Shippers looking to divert their cargo from the highly publicized congestion in Southern California are finding similar supply chain bottlenecks in the eastern ports of New York, Savannah, and Houston. Manufacturers, carriers, retail and more are still discovering the residual effects of the past two years on the global supply chain. The peak shipping season, coinciding with the upcoming holiday season is expected to bring challenges. However, experts forecast…
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New Updates to Merchandise Processing Fees

Why You May Notice Different Fees on Your Invoice Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, U.S. Customs and Borders Protection is modifying their fee structure on cargo. The new Merchandise Processing Fees, first announced on August 1st, 2022, will enter into effect on October 1st, 2022. Keep in mind that duty-free imports are not exempt from paying these fees. As part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015, the Secretary of the Treasury was given the power to adjust Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) fees in accordance with inflation.…
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Biden Uses Executive Power to Delay US Rail Strike

Possible US Rail Strike Averted by Creation of Presidential Emergency Board Last week, President Biden created a Presidential Emergency Board via Executive Order to mediate ongoing labor disputes between railroads and railroad unions and prevent a US rail strike. This had been long expected to arrive before the drop date of July 18th, when a national strike would have taken effect.  “I have been notified by the National Mediation Board that in its judgment these disputes threaten substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree that would deprive a section of the country of essential transportation…
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