U.S. Department of Commerce Awarded 1.6 Million for SmartPort to State of Louisiana
On June 9, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a $1.6 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Water Institute of the Gulf, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to develop the Lower Mississippi SmartPort and Resilience Center (i.e., SmartPort).
The State of Louisiana and other partners will match an additional $1.4 million for SmartPort, in order to streamline operations and improve safety through real-time data shared by port administrators, tenants, shippers, and warehouse, cargo, and ground transportation providers.
In the initial phase, the project plans to install sensors in and nearby locations of Lower Mississippi Ports to track real time traffic, water depth, and sediment level, in addition to developing wave and shoaling forecasting tools to improve operational efficiency and better emergency preparedness.
The second phase of the project plans to digitally connect container depots, road transporters, dock terminals, shipping lines, warehouses, and cargo operators to the port’s supply chain.
In 2020, New Orleans shipped 78 million tons of grain to export markets, accounting for half of the U.S. total bulk grain exports for the year.
FMCSA Extends Emergency Hours-of-Service Waiver for Feed and …
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently extended, through August 31, 2021, its waiver on hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for trucks transporting feed. Put into effect for the national emergency declared for COVID-19, the waiver does not allow motor carriers to ask truckers to haul loads when they say they are tired.
Grain News on AgFax
The waiver does not cover routine commercial deliveries— including mixed loads—that add nominal amounts of qualifying materials in order to obtain the waiver. FMCSA intends to review the status of this waiver as of July 1, 2021, and may take action to terminate the waiver sooner if conditions warrant.
… Extends Emergency CDL Waiver for Feed
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently extended, through August 31, its waiver for commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) for trucks transporting feed. The waiver permits, but does not require, States to extend the validity of CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020.
The waiver includes an extension for exemption from CDL-required medical certification—provided the certification expired on or after March 21, 2021. FMCSA intends to review the status of this waiver as of July 1, 2021, and may take action to terminate the waiver sooner if conditions warrant.
Snapshots by Sector
For the week ending June 3, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 25.6 million metric tons (mmt). This was 10 percent higher than last week, and 7 percent higher than the same time last year.
Net corn export sales were 0.189 mmt, down 64 percent from the past week. Net soybean export sales were 0.016 mmt, down 13 percent from the previous week. Net weekly wheat export sales for the 2021/22 marketing year which began June 1 were 0.326 mmt.
U.S. Class I railroads originated 21,352 grain carloads during the week ending June 5. This was a 16-percent decrease from the previous week, 2 percent more than last year, and 1 percent lower than the 3-year average.
Average June shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers (per car) were $295 below tariff for the week ending June 10. This was $9 more than last week and $379 lower than this week last year. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.
For the week ending June 12, barged grain movements totaled 819,200 tons. This was 27 percent less than the previous week and 3 percent more than the same period last year.
For the week ending June 12, 523 grain barges moved down river—180 fewer barges than the previous week. There were 716 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 19 percent higher than the previous week.
For the week ending June 10, 34 oceangoing grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf—26 percent more than the same period last year. Within the next 10 days (starting June 11), 45 vessels were expected to be loaded—2 percent less than the same period last year.
As of June 10, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $68.00. This was 3 percent more than the previous week. The rate from the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $39.00 per mt, 2 percent more than the previous week.
For the week ending June 14, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased 1.2 cents from the previous week to $3.286 per gallon, 88.3 cents above the same week last year.