Welcome to Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association, Inc.

“Our mission in serving the Customs Brokers, Forwarders and the Trade Community as a whole, is to act as a forum for the interchange of ideas, promote greater knowledge and understanding among its members, encourage unity of purpose, ideals and ethics in addition to disseminating information of interest to the community and our members while advocating on their behalf.”

Member Resource Guide


Responses Needed by Feb 28 to Detention Demurrage Petition before the FMC

Do you believe that terminals, ports, and carriers should not charge demurrage and detention  when our customers are not in position to pick up or deliver containers because of events outside of their control?

This happens as a result of  severe weather, labor issues, carrier bankruptcy, equipment shortage, etc.

If you answer yes, please take a moment and submit a short letter of support to the Petition before the FMC.    Attached is a sample that the NCBFAA (National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America) has drafted.

Please use it or add your own words.  Perhaps include an example you have experience.

If you agree that something be done to control excessive and unreasonable use of demurrage and detention, then it is really important to show the FMC that you support the petition.

If you think that reductions or discounts for demurrage and detention are unfairly applied, then please send in a short letter.

Although the NYNJFFF&BA joined with 24 other trade associations in this petition (attached),  our voice will be stronger if individual companies join in as well.

Per attached FMC instructions, just mail 1 Original and 5 copies  by February 28, 2017  to:

Assistant Secretary

Federal Maritime Commission

800 North Capitol Street, NW

Washington DC 20573-0001

And email a PDF of the letter, showing the docket number of P4-16 in the subject line to:


If at the same time you can email a copy to Michele Farrell of the NYNJFF&BA, our association will gather the responses and send them  to the counsel for the Coalition for Fair Port Practices on your behalf.

Otherwise please mail a copy to Ms. Karyn Booth, Thompson Hine LLP, 1919 M Street, NW, Washington DC 20036.

Thank you.  Your letter will count.




Get ready ELD in view

SOURCE: AJOT Blogs          Feb 06, 2017

One small change can have an enormous impact. The change in this case is the electronic logging device (ELD) mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2015. It goes into effect for commercial motor carriers December 2017, less than 12 months from now. If your business relies on intermodal trucking, it’s important to understand how ELDs may impact your supply chain.

But first, let’s look at the purpose of ELDs and why they’re being mandated. The FMCSA’s goal is to increase safety on the road and strengthen hours-of-service (HOS) compliance. They believe ELDs will help reduce large truck and bus accidents that occur due to driver fatigue from driving long hours or beyond the legal limit. Additionally, ELDs are considered to be a more accurate and efficient method of recording a drivers’ time on the road.

The fact is only 8% of intermodal trucking is handled by large, national firms. The remaining 92% is handled by smaller trucking companies and independent, owner-operator drivers. In many cases, these smaller firms and independents are still logging their miles with paper logs. The transition to ELDs may be a big leap for them for financial and operational reasons. The cost of expensive equipment may be prohibitive and many of these businesses are logging additional miles to stay afloat and support their typically lower base rates. ELDs will simply cut into their current hours of business which will be costly.

The ELD mandate may push these drayage drivers out of the industry which could result in a loss of up to 15% of the drayage capacity

An interesting twist to the ELD mandate is that drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000 are exempt from the ELD rule. The outcome is drivers are holding onto their 1990s trucks to take advantage of the exemption. But, this raises a possible concern regarding the viability of these trucks and if they will be a weak point for supply chains. Obvious concerns regarding green initiatives are raised as well.

Furthermore, this regulatory change adds to existing challenges in the drayage sector including: port congestion, an aging driver population, and drivers leaving to work in other industries. Together, these factors plus ELDs add up and may create a challenging environment for truck capacity in 2017.

To prepare for ELDs, intermodal trucking firms and owner/operators should prepare early. By getting ahead of this mandate through early implementation of this new technology it gives drivers time to learn and adjust to the new technology.

With ELDs in place it will be important to be fully compliant with all HOS (hours of service) regulations. With a higher level of precision and accuracy there may be an operational impact. To prepare for this impact, firms can develop their network to build driver density to ensure they have the additional capacity in place when ELDs go into effect. This will ensure customers have the service they require for effective supply chain management.

The December 2017 deadline will be here before you know it, so prepare now for ELDs. Determine how they will impact your business and what steps can be taken to address their impact now.


CBP Bulletin 17-013 CES Port of West Palm Beach

This Information Bulletin is issued to announce the solicitation for applications to operate a Centralized Examination Station (CES) for the Port of West Palm Beach, Florida to ensure U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) compliance with Title 19, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 118 (19 CFR 118.2). The solicitation period commences February 16, 2017 and expires on April 17, 2017. The initial phase of the selection process will consist of a 60 day application period, or “open season”. Public comments are also invited.

The Port Director has determined that one (1) or more CES facilities are required to properly meet the needs of CBP and the trade community. One (1) or more applicants may be selected from this solicitation.







Healthy Orderbook for Reefers

SOURCE: Maritime-Executive.com          By MarEx 2017-01-29 19:04:29

The maritime transport of fresh produce grew faster than the overall world seaborne trade of dry cargoes of all kinds in 2016, a market share of 4.3 percent.

Shipping analyst Dynamar has issued its latest reefer analysis highlighting that the seaborne transport of fresh produce in both conventional reefer ships and refrigerated boxes reached an estimated 108.5 million tons in 2016. This equals some 16,900 laden conventional reefer ships of 500,000-cubic feet average, or 3.65 million filled 40-foot High Cube reefer containers.

The conventional reefer sector went through difficult years, but compared to containers it seems to have arrived into calmer waters when it comes to mergers and takeovers, says Dynamar.

There were just three:
•    Eimskip acquired Nor Lines – including one conventional reefer ship
•    Samskip took full control of Silver Green – seven small conventional reefers (fish)
•    Fruit trader GF Group is to merge with ditto Glenata Food – no ships involved

If considering rates, however, the conventional reefer seas were extremely rough, again. Annual average 2016 Time Charter Equivalents for the 270,000 cft benchmark were the lowest since 2010; at 39 dollar cents for 450,000 cft vessels, they were the worst ever in 10 years.

With the oil price still at a historically low level combined with low scrap prices, demolition of conventional reefer ships dropped to a very low level. Only those vessels unfit for further trading, usually over thirty years old, were scrapped. This was five average 423,000 cft-units in 2015, increasing to ten last year. If the present trend to higher oil prices persists, scrapping may well pick up further again in 2017, says Dynamar.

By the end of 2016, the reefer ship-orderbook counted a relatively healthy sixteen units, with their capacities ranging between 120,000 and 650,000 cft. Most, if not all of the smaller, up to 350,000 cft, units will be for the fisheries trades, including four on order by Seatrade.

Just four vessels are of the largest sizes and assumed all to be for Star Reefer. The Anglo-Norwegian company itself has so far confirmed only two of them of which the first was delivered early in 2017.

“With the average age rising and an overall restricted newbuilding activity, the conventional reefer ship fleet continues its decline, although now slowed somewhat by the current orderbook and the four ships delivered in 2016. Yet, by 2025, ships built before 1995 will reach the average scrapping age of 30, altogether causing the fleet to fall by around 35 percent to some 400 units.”

Running against the trends of previous years, at an estimated 135,000 TEU, the 2016 production of reefer boxes halved compared to 2015. It may be considered a reflection of the signaled weakening reefer trade environment with the single advantage of a lack of equipment shortage, says Dynamar.

Just as the “Dynamar 2016 REEFER Analysis” went to press, Seatrade Chartering announced the January 2017 launch of a new, 10-day frequency, reefer-heavy full container service, styled Meridian. It is the first operation in which it will deploy its purpose-built newbuildings. The first four of an initial order for six have meanwhile been delivered, with the remaining two following shortly. Chartered units will initially complement the planned eight-ship Meridian flotilla.

All six 27,200-dwt ships have a nominal capacity of 2,250 TEU and are fitted with 670 to 770 (the last two) reefer plugs. This means that at a full load of 40-foot High Cube reefer containers filled to their maximum allowed payload, the four 670-plug vessels could still accommodate an additional 120 TEUs of dry cargo. The maximum gross weight of a full load of laden 40-foot High Cubes alone would exceed the deadweight capacity of the two ships with 770 installed plugs.

Meridian FDD (Fast, Direct, Dedicated) will connect 11 ports spread over New Zealand, Peru, U.S., Europe and the South Pacific. The rotation will be as follows: Nelson, Napier, Tauranga, Callao, Paita, Philadelphia, Zeebrugge, Dover, Rotterdam, Dunkirk, Radicatel, before returning via the Panama Canal, Papeete and Noumea back to Nelson. Representing an 80 day-roundtrip, it is quite a world trip, albeit not around.

“Meridian definitely represents a major happening: the world’s largest conventional reefer ship operator goes containers,” says Dynamar. “Ultimately, and as part of the company’s 2020 fleet renewal program, the number of similar container ships should grow to 20, i.e. another 14 to go, therewith replacing most of its current largest conventional vessels.”

However, container ships are not new to Seatrade. At present it operates eight box ships of between 1,100 and 2,500 TEUs with 250 up to 500 plugs in two different services: Agadir (Morocco)-St Petersburg and Caribbean-North Europe, the latter operated by subsidiary StreamLines.

In the last quarter of 2016, 872 reefer heavy ships accepting containers operated 133 different South-North services originating in Latin America, Africa or Australasia. This represented a weekly capacity of 488,000 TEU along with the onboard availability of 71,000 reefer plugs. Apart from some smaller differences, the overall operated capacity, in terms of slots and plugs, remained largely unchanged in comparison to 2015. It is the first time in years this has happened, says Dynamar.

The (theoretical) annualized refrigerated capacity of all these reefer heavy South-North container services can be calculated at a rounded 9.0 billion cft. This compares to the 1.3 billion cft capacity of the current conventional fleet. That is, containers exceed conventional capacity nearly seven-fold.

Seatrade Reefer Chartering continues to be the largest conventional reefership operator with an, albeit reduced fleet of 56 527,500 cft average ships. Baltic Reefer including its subsidiary Cool Carriers comes second with 42 units/590,000 cft average, followed by Lavinia-controlled Frigoship Chartering: 33units/351,000 cft.

In the container segment, measured by reefer plugs on ships operated on the South/North routes, Maersk Line is, again, the number one with 115,000 plugs. MSC comes second with 86,000 devices and Hamburg Süd third with 79,000 connections. Combined, Maersk Line and its future subsidiary Hamburg Süd operate 195,000 reefer plugs on the South/North routes, equal to a relevant share of 36 percent.

Dynamar’s Reefer Analysis highlights over 120 reefer ports in more than 40 countries, detailing data such as main perishables and volumes handled, annual reefer ship calls, total port throughput, number of terminal plugs, draught and more.

Reimbursable Services Program (RSP) 2017 Open Period for Applications

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is pleased to announce the 2017 open period for applications under the Reimbursable Services Program. In an expansion from previous years, the submission period will remain open indefinitely, with three evaluation windows annually. All applications received between February 1, 2017 and February 28, 2017 will be included in the evaluation process beginning March 2017, with subsequent evaluations beginning in July and November, as described in the table below.

Application Received Between the following Dates                         Evaluation Begins
February 1, 2017 February 28, 2017 March 2017
March 1, 2017 June 30, 2017 July 2017
July 1, 2017 October 31, 2017 November 2017
November 1, 2017 February 28, 2018 March 2018


Interested private sector or government entities may submit a letter of application via e-mail to RSP@cbp.dhs.gov.

The Reimbursable Services Program enables partnerships between CBP and private sector or government entities, allowing CBP to provide additional inspection services upon the request of stakeholders.

These services can include customs, immigration, agricultural processing, border security and support at any facility where CBP provides or will provide services, and may cover costs such as salaries, benefits, overtime expenses, administration, and transportation costs. Agreement may not unduly and permanently impact existing services.

The Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act, 2016, signed into law on December 16, 2016, expands CBP’s public-private partnership authority by:

  • Making CBP’s ability to enter into Service Fee Agreements permanent;
  • Removing the annual limit on the number of agreements at air ports of entry;
  • Permitting for agreements at any facility in which CBP provides, or will provide services; and
  • Allowing small air ports of entry with fewer than 100,000 international passenger arrivals annually to offset CBP for the salaries and expenses of up to five full-time officers.

Proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to satisfy the Letter of Application Requirements, Evaluation Criteria, and Program Requirements posted on CBP.gov/RSP.

If possible, interested applicants are encouraged to coordinate with the affected CBP Field Office and ports of entry in developing their letters of application.  Thank you for continued CBP support and interest in the Reimbursable Services Program.

15th Annual Miami Marathon and Half Marathon

On Sunday, January 29, 2017, at 6 a.m., the City of Miami will be hosting the 15th Annual Miami Marathon and Half Marathon.  Please anticipate some minor delays at times when the runners are transitioning from one point to another, and use alternate routes around the street closures to gain access to PortMiami:
  • The Marathon will start at the American Airlines Arena. An estimated 25,000 runners participating.
  • The runners will travel east along MacArthur Causeway/I-395 to south beach.
  • The runners will circle south beach and travel west along Venetian Causeway back into downtown Miami.
  • Inbound tunnel traffic/MacArthur Causeway will be impacted by partial lane closures and the congestion of thousands of runners early in the morning.
  • Estimated total time span of the Marathon and half-Marathon runs, is eight (8) hours (6:00 am to 2:00 pm).
  • Port Operations is anticipating a busy tempo with 6 cruise vessels in Port.
For additional information, please see that attached Road Closure Advisory and visit the Miami Marathon website at: www.themiamimarathon.com

Press Release: TSA partners with 11 additional airlines to offer TSA Pre✓®

TSA partners with 11 additional airlines to offer TSA Pre®  

Expedited screening now available through 30 air carriers

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the expansion of TSA Pre✓® to 11 new airlines, bringing the total number of airlines participating in TSA Pre✓® to 30. The expansion includes both foreign and domestic airlines operating within the United States. Effective immediately, eligible passengers traveling on Aruba Airlines, Avianca, Boutique Airlines, Emirates, Key Lime Air, Miami Air International, Southern Airways Express, Spirit Airlines, Sunwing, Virgin Atlantic, and Xtra Airways will now have the opportunity to experience expedited screening.

TSA Pre✓® is an expedited screening program that enables trusted travelers to enjoy a secure and efficient screening experience at more than 180 U.S. airports. TSA Pre✓® travelers do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets. Last month, 97 percent of TSA Pre✓® passengers got through an expedited screening lane in less than 5 minutes.

“Partnering with 11 additional airlines to offer TSA Pre✓® will significantly increase our trusted traveler population, and reflects our commitment to implement the most effective aviation security,” said TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia. “By collaborating with our partners in industry and the aviation community, we will continue to increase the number of airlines participating in TSA Pre✓®, enabling more eligible travelers across the country to experience expedited screening.”

Today, a total of 30 carriers participate in TSA Pre✓®. The other participating airlines are: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Cape Air, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa, OneJet, Seaborne Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America, and WestJet.

Travelers can apply for TSA Pre✓® for a cost of $85 for five years, or $17 per year. Other passengers who are eligible for TSA Pre✓® include members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs, such as Global Entry and NEXUS for Canadian citizens. TSA Pre✓® is also available for U.S. Armed Forces service members, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard.

As always, TSA continues to incorporate unpredictable security measures, both seen and unseen, throughout the airport. All travelers will be screened, and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.

For more information, visit tsa.gov or read the frequently asked questions.


The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. For more information about TSA, please visit our website at tsa.gov.


The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security.

For more information about TSA, please visit our website at tsa.gov.

First Cuba to US cargo shipment arrives at Port Everglades

“Tuesday’s shipment of artisanal charcoal from Cuba aboard Crowley’s container ship K Storm, the first truly commercial shipment from a Cuban cooperative to a private U.S. business since the U.S.-Cuba trade embargo was imposed more than 50 years ago, adds another chapter to our company’s long history of trade in the Caribbean Basin. Perhaps more than anything it reflects Crowley’s approach to trade with the Cuba market: patience, passion and persistence. Working with the importer, Crowley executives, including Jay Brickman, vice president, Cuba and government services, helped ensure appropriate, expeditious ocean transport of the cargo to Port Everglades.

“The import shipment today follows 15 years of Crowley’s liner and logistics teams operating within the framework of regulations of both the U.S. and Cuban governments to transport U.S. exports to the island. Crowley was the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services for licensed cargo from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. Crowley launched its Cuba service in December 2001, becoming the first U.S. carrier to re-enter Cuba in nearly 40 years, and has maintained a regularly scheduled service ever since, currently operating from Port Everglades in Florida.

“The opportunity to participate in the trade was made possible by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, and cooperation of the Cuban government. The act authorized OFAC to license the transport of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices or other products directly from the U.S. to the Republic of Cuba. The U.S. Department of Commerce issues licenses for the products that can be shipped to Cuba.

“In addition to transporting frozen poultry and a variety of other foodstuffs to the island, Crowley has safely and reliably shipped equipment for major events and projects, such as sporting events and concerts.

“As the United States’ policies with Cuba continue to evolve, Crowley remains at the forefront of trade development between the two countries. This Thursday Crowley looks forward to supporting and participating in the visit of a delegation of officials from the Republic of Cuba at Port Everglades. Crowley is supporting the Port’s effort to responsibly increase economic opportunities, and the discussions with stakeholders provide valuable opportunities to foster trade.”

FWS Suspends ACE Pilot

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) pilot is being suspended as of January 12, 2017. As an interim approach, while FWS continues to work with the trade, those tariff codes currently flagged as “FW2” associated with government agency processing code EDS will remain flagged as FW2 and require the FWS “EDS” Message Set in all cases.
All other tariff codes currently flagged as “FW2” will shift to “FW1” with the ability to file a newly created disclaimer code “E” that is specific to FWS or the EDS. FWS is working with CBP to program the inclusion of the FWS Designated Port Exception Permit. The timeline for implementation is dependent upon revision of the FWS Implementation Guide and CBP programming. FWS and CBP will work with the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to understand the data needs of FWS and the trade’s concerns.
The COAC working group will explore potential alternative methods for FWS to collect data and ensure FWS regulated commodities are accurately declared. At the conclusion of the COAC working group, if not sooner, it is expected that the trade and FWS will have collaborated on a way forward.


Notice Provided by NCBFAA

Surge of new NVOs on US trades ending as margins tighten

Published on JOC.com (http://www.joc.com)     Hugh R. Morley, Senior Editor | Jan 11, 2017 4:32PM EST

The lower rate of growth in non-vessel-operating common carriers reflects how the shipping industry has changed in recent years

The steady decade-long surge in the number of non-vessel-operating common carriers operating on US trades may be coming to an end in the face of tighter margins

The number of NVOs registered with the Federal Maritime Commission has more than doubled since 1999, growing from 2,386 to 5,252 in November of last year, as entrepreneurs — seeing an opportunity in the rapidly growing global container market — launched their own shops to sell liner space to shippers. NVOs’ control of volume, as opposed to what is contracted directly between a carrier and beneficial cargo owner, has more than tripled since 1999, according to Joseph T. Saggese, executive managing director of the North Atlantic Alliance Association.

Yet the FMC figures, compiled by James E. Devine Jr., president of Distribution Publications, show that the growth in the number of new NVOs has slowed in recent years, with about 110 new NVOs created each year on average from 2013 to 2016, compared to nearly 200 created each year in the decade before. The annual increase peaked in 2007, with a 13 percent year-over-year increase in registered NVOs, and grew by only about 2 percent in 2016.

The buildup, and resulting slowdown, could be for a variety of reasons, with the financial woes of container lines foremost among the explanations offered by industry observers as to why the increase in the number of registered NVOs has slowed in recent years.

“The opportunities are less, and the margins are tougher without a question,” said the president of one large freight forwarder, who asked not to be named. “When you really get down to it, for example, export pricing, and the price between here and Europe is $200 a 40 (foot container), there is not a lot of room to start a business on that.”

In that argument, dramatic increases in global volume, and the high rates charged, lured entrepreneurs to start NVOs in the middle of the last decade. But now the rates have plummeted and the margins are so thin, there is much less incentive to start a new business.

Click to Enlarge

Consolidation among ocean carriers has exacerbated that, he said. “You have less lines to negotiate with, (which) certainly gives you less room to find a deal,” he said. And the growing power of some NVOs may also scare new players away from entering the market, he said, noting that the 15 largest NVOs in November handled 225,000 containers, slightly more than the next biggest 85 NVOs.

Moreover, the prospect of new, technology-fueled freight booking startups, such as Freightos and book-cargo.com, may also have deterred new NVOs from entering the market, he said.

“Ten years ago, when everybody was fat and happy, you could start an NVO and go into business and make your $100,000, $200,000 a year. And be happy doing it,” the forwarder president said. “I don’t know that it’s so easy today to do that.”

Charles Riley, president of the New York New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders Association, said it may simply be that the market is “saturated” after 15 years of strong NVO growth.

“The market might just not be there to start a business,” he said. “Because of the competition in the last several years, the profit margins might just not be there.”

The rise in the number of registered NVOs stemmed in part from efforts by the liners to cut costs, said Devine, of Distribution Publications. That reduced their service quality, and NVOs stepped in, often started by people laid off by carriers, he said.

“NVO is a non-asset business, and cost of entry is low — just a tiny fraction of the cost of operating” a carrier, he said. “This encourages start-ups with expertise and energy, but meager funding.”

Not all observers agree that the flow of new NVOs has slowed, however.

The increase in the number of NVOs began after hundreds of NVOs closed down in 1998, when the federal government passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and increased regulation of NVOs, requiring companies to hold a bond and be licensed, said Saggese, of the North Atlantic Alliance Association.

At the time, NVOs handled about 15 percent of all cargo moved, and the figure has since grown to about 50 percent, he said. The number of NVOs has been swelled by freight forwarders — seeing potential profits — registering as NVOs, he said.

In addition, “the instability of the market has caused shippers to look for help through the NVOs, who can navigate that market,” he said. “The NVOs are the full gamut now, where they used to be a small niche.”

He said he did not believe the pace of new registrations had slowed, and he does not believe the turbulent carrier market or the wave of consolidations will reduce the number of new NVOs registered in the future — and may even increase the number.

Years ago, Saggese said, a shipper sending two containers a week signed a contract with a carrier “you put it to bed, life was great. You didn’t have to worry about it.”

“Now the rates are changing, every two weeks, or the services are changing, or the carriers are changing, so now I can no longer count on one carrier to service my account,” he said. “So I go to an NVO who has access to 10 carriers. So it’s a very nifty tool, or release valve, for the shipper.” In the future, he added, an NVO also could become even more valuable as carriers replace employees with technology, and shippers need someone to interface with the technology.

“We see more and more of the small- and medium-sized shippers, moving to the NVO market,” he said.

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