Friday, December 21, 2012

Port of Houston Updates -- Potential Strike

This "potential strike" will not just affect the Port of Houston but ALL the container ports, down the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico.  We,  at Dixie Cullen,  understand that this is a stressful time for many of you not knowing until the last minute how your cargo is going to be affected.

Please note that Dixie Cullen is here to assist you, in what way that we can from staging containers and cargo in our yard to storing product and material on our warehouse house floor until you can ship.  Contact our office with your specific requirements and we will be flexible in trying to accommodate your needs.

Just call or email   832-465-8670

Port of Houston Update

December 20th, 2012

To all PHA Customers and Stakeholders:

The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) continues to closely monitor the contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), and to date, an agreement has not been reached between the two entities.  Therefore, it appears that a strike is likely to occur at PHA’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal (BCT) and Bayport Container Terminal (Bayport) beginning Sunday, December 30, 2012.  We have been advised that operations at PHA’s general cargo facilities, including the Turning Basin Terminal, will not be disrupted by this strike.

The Port Authority staff is in regular communication on this matter with the container carriers that call at PHA’s terminals, as well as representatives of the ILA members who work at PHA’s terminals, and has initiated contingency plans in preparation for the anticipated work stoppage. Currently planned contingency plans are as follows:

On December 26, 27, and 28, 2012 (subject to CBP’s ability to work overtime as described below), prior to the work stoppage, both BCT and Bayport will have extended gate hours, remaining open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on each of these days.  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has agreed to man the RPMs as long as there is sufficient volume to support its overtime work. An evaluation will be made during the morning hours of December 27, 2012 to determine if volume was sufficient on the 26th to justify additional overtime work on the 27th. If not, the extended gate hours will be canceled for the 27th and the 28th.
  • Once the strike commences, both BCT and Bayport will be closed for all vessel and gate activity.
  • All PHA staff will report to work at their usual starting times until further notice.
  • Storage/demurrage charges for all containers will be suspended for each day that BCTand Bayport respectively is closed due to the strike.
  • PHA will continue to regularly update customers and other stakeholders on the PHA website during the strike.
  • PHA staff will stand ready to quickly reopen BCT and Bayport and return to normaloperating procedures when the strike is over.
  • The measures outlined in this Memo apply only to PHA operated facilities and do not apply to the Maersk‐APM Terminal located at Barbours Cut Terminal


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gulf and East Coast Ports -- ILA Talks Reach an Impasse

ILA and USMX Talks Reach an Impasse
Dear Catherine"Cathy",
OHL recently received word that negotiations on a new contract between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and employers represented by the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) broke off abruptly this afternoon.
The ILA and USMX were slated to mainly discuss container royalties - payments that are made to longshoremen based on the weight of containerized cargo. USMX has wanted to cap those payments at existing levels and eliminate royalties for new hires.
The ILA has been reported to have said they are willing to extend the contract to Feb. 1st and keep talking if USMX would be willing to take the container royalty cap off the table. In exchange the ILA would be willing to show USMX other ways to offset the royalties.
Reportedly USMX declined the ILA’s offer and in turn the ILA said they plan to strike as of Dec. 29th unless they hear back from USMX before then.
Dave Adam, senior vice president and chief operating officer of USMX, said "employers are willing to continue to bargain in good faith," but that the ILA had put terms on the extension that were unacceptable.”
OHL will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure we are ready to re-route cargo as needed. The contingencies being planned will be subject to the underlying carrier’s service and availability.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ILA Authorizes Strike

We received this information this morning and thought we would share it with you as it's an issue that COULD effect many of us on December 29th.  We thank OHL for taking the time to share.


ILA Authorizes Strike
Here at OHL, we have been following the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Strike to provide you, our customers with the most recent updates regarding ILA negotiations for better insight.
Most recently the negotiations between the ILA and  East and Gulf Coast Employers (USMX), under the auspices of the Mediation & Conciliation Service resumed today here in Washington DC. They are scheduled to run through Wednesday of this week. At this point there is no agreement to further extend the discussions beyond December 29, although that is always a possibility.
The ILA issued a press release that the membership has provided ILA President Harold Daggett with strike authority if the two sides cannot reach an agreement by December 29. Washington insiders caution that this does NOT mean the ILA has decided to strike. Wednesday afternoon will provide us with insight into whether the parties are making progress, or not and OHL will keep you posted.
If all ports on the US Gulf Coast and US East Coast are shut down in connection with the ILA strike, OHL International will assist customers in trying to utilize alternate port on the US West Coast or via Canada where possible.We are monitoring the situation closely to ensure we are ready to re-route cargo as needed. The contingencies being planned will be subject to the underlying carrier’s service and availability.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your OHL Account Manager, local OHL Station or OHL Trade Services at You can also find updates on the OHL website Trade Alerts page.
OHL Trade Services
T: 215-238-8600
F: 215-238-8554
Visit our Trade Alert Library by clicking your topic of interest below:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Seminar: Complying with U. S. Export Controls

BIS - Houston DEC Seminar 1/29/2013-1/30/2013
Dear Clients and Friends:

The Houston District Export Council (DEC) will be hosting a BIS two-day seminar entitled “Complying with U.S. Export Controls” on Tuesday, January 29th, through Wednesday, January 30th, in Houston, TX, at the Hotel Derek. This two-day program, co-sponsored with the Houston District Export Council, is led by BIS's professional counseling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods. This program is well suited for those who need a comprehensive understanding of their obligations under the EAR. Technical, policy, and enforcement professionals from BIS, as well as specialists from other U.S. Government agencies such as the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Bureau of Census will participate in certain programs.

Time:  7:30 am breakfast/registration until 4:30 pm.
Cost: $450.00 per person (Includes breakfast, lunch and breaks each day)


Jamie Joiner
Chair, Houston District Export Council
Attorney, Joiner Law Firm

Monday, November 05, 2012

NAFTA - Business Opportunities in North America Webinar

International Trade Center, Providing Value. Delivering Results. Globally

Your Global Edge

NAFTA - Business Opportunities in North America
November 6, 2012, 10:00 - 11:30 am CST
Register Online: $45
Registered on See below for special offer.
2012 is the 20th anniversary of the historic North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Join the International Trade Center and the US Commercial Service to find out how to take advantage of NAFTA. Learn about the newest market opportunities, strategies, and hot industries in Canada and Mexico.

Rick Ortiz, DSCO/Commercial Counselor
US Commercial Service – Canada

John Howell,
Principal Commercial Officer
US Commercial Service – Mexico

Topics Include:
• NAFTA Overview and Impacts in Canada and Mexico;
• Market Overview;
• Best Prospects for US Exporters;
• Regulatory Environment and Market-Entry Strategies;
• Trade Regulation;
• Why You Should Export to Mexico and Canada;
• Border Trade – Initiatives and Opportunities;
• Communicate Directly with Market Experts;
• Q&A.
Attendees will receive an electronic copy of the Country Commercial Guide for both Mexico and Canada, courtesy of the US Commercial Service.
Download Registration Form
US Commercial Service
Learn more about the upcoming NAFTA Summit at

Why Should You Participate?
Stay current and competitive | Learn about new market opportunities | Convenient and easy to access

Sponsor an Event for $300

Sponsorship Includes:

Sponsor logo on event page on;
Sponsor logo on all webinar promotional materials;
Presentation opportunity or company ad at the beginning of webinar;
Complimentary admission for 2 sponsor representatives.
For More Information
phone: 210.458.2470

A partnership program with the US Small Business Administration.

Time and Location

November 06, 2012
10:00 am to 11:30 am CST

Individual: $45

Registered users get two webinars when they pay for one. Contact for details.

Register online
or call the International Trade Center at 210.458.2470

Follow the International Trade Center:

SWTX Border SBDC Network
UTSA Intstitute for Economic Development