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CV International & Capes Shipping Agencies Newsletter | Spring 2024

By April 2, 2024No Comments

At CVI, we strive to keep our customers updated on current trends & events impacting their supply chain. We send regular Client Alerts, but encourage you to also follow us on LinkedIn for all the details in-between. On LinkedIn we provide you with Customs updates, company updates, port closures, rate fluctuations, and much more.

A Message from President & CEO Mike Coleman

Dear Valued Colleagues, Clients, Partners, and Friends,

The recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore is a tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this disaster. At CV International and Capes Shipping Agencies, we’re closely monitoring the ongoing situation and its impact on shipping in the region. It’s clear that these developments will disrupt the flow of goods for some time. However, our entire team – especially our dedicated Baltimore crew – stands ready to assist any customers whose shipments have been impacted.

The bridge collapse serves as a stark reminder of the inherent unpredictability of the shipping industry. While we strive for efficiency and timely deliveries, unforeseen events can significantly disrupt even the most meticulously planned routes. This underscores the importance of adaptability and agility in an increasingly unpredictable world. This focus on navigating change aligns with the recent TPM24 conference in Long Beach, where discussions centered around changing geopolitical dynamics and an evolving global marketplace. Global trade isn’t going anywhere, but how it operates transforms daily, and our ability to adapt quickly sets us apart.

To meet these changing demands, we’re actively expanding our reach. This means introducing the combined strengths of CV International and Capes Shipping Agencies to a broader global audience. On that note, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Capes Shipping Agencies’ newest office in New Orleans. This strategic location unlocks new opportunities in the booming Mississippi River and Gulf Coast trade. The Capes New Orleans team, with its deep local expertise and commitment to personalized service, will be instrumental in driving our success within this vital region.

Meanwhile, CVI has continued building our team to ensure we can meet your needs wherever you are, including increasing our commercial coverage to reach from Minneapolis to Miami. Our commitment to growth doesn’t stop at increased reach. CVI and Capes are synergizing like never before, tackling projects like offshore wind and warehousing as a unified team. We may operate under separate brands, but we have, as our Norfolk manager, Vinny Di Costanzo, often says, “the same DNA.” This collaborative spirit guarantees a seamless experience across all our services.

Our vision goes beyond growth; it’s about becoming your most trusted partner in global trade. By expanding our services and expertise across regions and industries, we aim to equip you with the most robust and comprehensive logistics, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and agency solutions available. Our team is dedicated to our mission of service excellence, and I’m confident that together, we’re well-positioned to navigate the challenges of global trade and fuel your success, now and in the future.


Mike Coleman
President & CEO
CVI and Capes Shipping

Market Update

The collapse of the Key Bridge in Baltimore last week, caused by the allision of Maersk-chartered m/v Dali, has closed the Port of Baltimore to cargo vessel traffic indefinitely. The timeline for reopening the harbor is unclear due to the extensive challenges involved in the recovery and clean-up operation. The Port of Baltimore is opening a small channel for emergency and essential traffic only for now. Vessels outside the harbor are being re-routed to nearby Mid-Atlantic and Northeast ports. Ship lines have declared force majeure and are issuing updates to sailing schedules. Container volumes typically handled by the Port of Baltimore are modest compared to other major East Coast ports, and the neighboring ports are optimistic they can absorb Baltimore volumes temporarily. Baltimore is a major player in volumes of non-containerized cargoes such as automobiles, coal, and breakbulk, however; accommodating those volumes at other East Coast ports may be more complicated.

We expect that truck power at East Coast ports absorbing Baltimore volumes may become tight while cargo is diverted. According to the Journal of Commerce, PortsAmerica, which operates SeaGirt terminal in Baltimore, is discussing plans with CSX and Norfolk Southern to utilize regional rail shuttle service. Under the proposed plan, the rail shuttles would move containers between Baltimore terminals and other ports in an effort to mitigate long-haul container drayage that will be required for cargoes moving via other ports to and from the Baltimore region…Read More.

Rachel Shames,
Vice President, Pricing & Procurement

Compliance Update


Congress Has Been Busy, Now Will It Help?

Congress has been busy with trade legislation recently; sometimes, that is a good thing, and sometimes, it is questionable. On the good news, a bill has been introduced that would reinstate the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a preferential trade agreement that has been allowed to lay dormant for far too long. Introduced in the House by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and sponsored by other House members from Florida, this bill would reinstate GSP and make it retroactive to the December 31, 2020, expiration date. The proposed renewal would extend the program to the end of 2029. GSP renewal has been attempted in previous legislation only to fall flat despite bipartisan support. While the prospects for passage of this bill are unknown, at least it has not been forgotten. GSP is the largest preferential trade agreement, covering 119 countries and dating back to its establishment under the Trade Act of 1974. The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), another tariff reduction package, is not included in this legislation. The MTB had been included in previous attempts to renew GSP.

Several bills addressing China have also been introduced. HR 7476, The Countering Communist China Act, was introduced on February 29 by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) and has been termed “the largest and most comprehensive legislation addressing the Chinese Communist Party ever introduced” by its sponsors. Among other actions, this bill would end permanent normal trade relations status for goods imported from China. This could result in very significant duty increases for any goods imported from China. The bill would also restrict investments in Chinese tech companies while giving incentives to US companies to manufacture drugs and medical supplies domestically…Read More.

Sam McClure,
Director of Compliance & Customs Services


Team Member Perspective

As a customer service representative with CV International, my goal is to give customers peace of mind. They should always trust that CVI will handle their shipments with professionalism, unwavering commitment, and a sense of urgency.

Serving on the front lines of the global logistics industry is not always a walk in the park – unexpected challenges are part of the job. During the recent Suez Canal disruptions, for instance, my customer service skills were put to the test. A situation unlike any I’d faced before demanded showcasing CVI’s core values by providing exceptional service and knowledgeable support.

This wouldn’t have been possible without a company culture that fosters a supportive environment and a management team that encourages healthy ways to pivot during high-stress moments. Since day one with CVI, I’ve felt empowered to contribute my skills and knowledge while being trusted to do my job well. This trust and support were essential in ensuring that I was well-equipped to manage our customers’ needs and maintain a sense of normalcy for them.

Good companies meet goals through good communication, work ethic, and management. Great companies transcend basic expectations and provide service in an environment that encourages excellence in all areas. Good isn’t good enough when great is an option – this is what CV International represents to me.

Elexiss Ledbetter,
Customer Service Representative

Company News

Capes Shipping Agencies Announces Expansion into U.S. Gulf, Opens New Orleans Office

Capes Shipping Agencies is excited to announce the opening of our newest location in New Orleans! To lead the way, we’ve brought on board industry veterans Ron Soldani and Marshall Adams, whose decades of experience working in U.S. Gulf ports will be invaluable in providing the exceptional service you have come to expect from us.

To ensure a smooth launch and uphold our commitment to exceptional customer service, Director of Operations Peter Hansen and Manager of Systems and Processes Rachel Upshaw recently visited the new office. They met with Ron and Marshall to discuss our proven methods for exceeding client expectations and fostering strong, long-lasting relationships.

With this local expertise and a personalized approach, we’re your trusted partner for success on the Mississippi River and beyond. Let Capes’ New Orleans team be your voice in port!

For the full press release, or to see a full list of our locations, visit our website at

CVI Team Gains Industry Insights at TPM24

We are reflecting on an extraordinary TPM24 experience earlier this month! Long Beach becomes the nucleus of the global logistics industry for three action-packed days each year, and we want to congratulate the Journal of Commerce and S&P Global on delivering such a supercharged and worthwhile event. The insight gained and relationships forged at TPM24 enable CV International to better serve our customers as supply chains adjust to a new global trade paradigm and continued uncertainties in international shipping. A sincere thanks to all our customers, carriers, and industry partners for their time and engagement at TPM24.

Celebrating the Women of CVI and Capes

This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the talented women of CV International and Capes Shipping Agencies, and all the women making waves in the logistics and supply chain industries! From leading complex logistics operations to navigating the intricacies of customs regulations, the women on our team are essential to our success.

At CVI and Capes, we’re committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where women can thrive. We applaud their leadership, expertise, and dedication, and we’re constantly seeking ways to empower and support them in their careers.

CVI’s Izabela Paloka Gets a Look at the Future of Distribution Technology at MODEX 2024

CVI’s account executive, Izabela Paloka, recently returned from MODEX 2024 with a clear message: when it comes to supply chains, science fiction is quickly becoming science reality! Automation is surging, and the next decade promises more change than the last century. While the conversations surrounding automation often center around job displacement, the reality is that AI is poised to become a valuable partner to the workforce rather than a competitor. Its focus on automating repetitive tasks unlocks human potential for more strategic endeavors.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, successful AI implementation cuts logistics costs by 15% and boosts inventory and service levels by 35% and 65%, respectively. Sustainability is also key, with renewable solutions taking root. By embracing these trends, companies will keep their supply chains ahead of the curve in this exciting, tech-driven era!

The Art of Service: A Fond Farewell to Cindy Reid on Her Retirement

For over 14 years, Cindy Reid has been a valued member of the CVI team. She joined us in 2009 when CVI acquired Central Carolina Shipping, Inc., with whom Cindy had spent the first 25 years of her career. She was integral to Central Carolina’s success, building close relationships with clients and vendors alike.

Her pursuit of excellence continued while working at CVI, as evidenced by the high praise she consistently received in our client surveys and customer visits. We pride ourselves on having a collaborative office environment, and Cindy was always willing to step in to help or provide guidance to reach the best solutions for our clients. She will be missed, but her years in the industry were not wasted, as she leaves us with great memories and enduring friendships.

Always looking for a new adventure, Cindy has already made plans to travel with her beloved family at her side. She sets out for new horizons with Randy, her husband of 40 years, her children Scott and Stephanie, and six adoring grandchildren.

Customer service is an art, and Cindy is an artist. We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement years.

Groniniger USA Visits CVI Charlotte for a Lunchtime Connection

You’ve got to love it when a client brings you lunch! CV International‘s Charlotte office was delighted when Gisela Clark of groninger USA, a long-time CVI customer, stopped by to thank us for going “above and beyond” on a recent marketing project. CVI strives to be the most trusted partner in global trade for our customers, and sometimes that goes beyond just shipping. Big thanks to Gisela and groninger USA…we’re glad we could be of service.

CVI’s Bernd Losskarn Rings in the 2024 with GACC South

CVI’s Bernd Losskarn had the opportunity in January to raise a stein and say “Prost!” to 2024 at the GACC South – German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern U.S., Inc. New Year’s event at Gilde Brewery in Charlotte, NC, connecting with over 110 business leaders and professionals from the vibrant U.S.-German business community in the Carolinas region. We are grateful for the opportunity to foster deeper relationships with our German customers and partners, both here in the U.S. and in Europe. CVI has dedicated staff, specialized products & services, and expertise in serving German/American business, and a proud tradition of handling Trans-Atlantic trade.

A special shout-out to Jiebing Wang and the GACC South team for hosting such a memorable event. We’re looking forward to attending more events in the year ahead!

Experienced Team Leads Capes Shipping’s New Orleans Expansion


Capes Shipping Agencies’ New Orleans office is rapidly taking shape, with a seasoned leadership team ready to navigate the growing needs of the U.S. Gulf region.

Industry veteran Ron Soldani, with nearly 30 years on the Mississippi River, will lead the team. Marshall Adams joins him as Commercial Manager, bringing a decade of international maritime experience.

“This new venture will allow us to both serve our existing customers and expand our market presence,” said CVI President & CEO Mike Coleman. Our people are what make us successful, and we are excited to have Ron and Marshall join our team.”

“We have been handling vessels on the Mississippi River for a few years now, and new opportunities made it the right time to establish a permanent presence in the U.S. Gulf” added Vice President & General Manager Steve Hagen.

Reflecting on the opportunity, Ron Soldani said, “I am excited to join the Capes Shipping family and am confident our team will deliver the service that our customers deserve.”

From the Surface to the Seam:
Capes’ Rachel Upshaw Visits a Coal Mining Operation

It wasn’t a typical day at the office for Capes Shipping Agencies‘ Rachel Upshaw when she recently stepped into an elevator and descended an impressive 650 feet into the heart of a coal mine!

Our valued coal industry partners generously hosted Rachel, providing a behind-the-scenes tour that unveiled the complex and often unseen world of coal mining. Not only did Rachel learn about the mine’s intricate operations and see its cutting-edge technology at work, but she even got to try her hand at the controls of a mining machine.

This immersive experience offered Rachel a unique perspective on the significant role that efficient and responsible mining operations like this play in the U.S. economy and energy infrastructure. At Capes Shipping, we’re proud to offer best-in-class port agency services, freight forwarding, and data analytics for the U.S.’s largest coal export centers.

Strengthening Maritime Partnerships:
Capes Team Attends the BPA Bull & Oyster Roast

Recently the Capes Shipping Agencies Baltimore and Delaware River Teams joined up at the 22nd Annual Baltimore Port Alliance Bull and Oyster Roast. This tradition goes beyond good food and live music; it serves as a valuable opportunity to connect with our maritime partners and support the important work of the BPA’s Education & Outreach, Environmental, and Legislative Committees.

At Capes Shipping, we appreciate the chance to support the local communities of the ports we serve.

Capes Team Enjoys Propeller Club Industry Night at ODU

The Capes Shipping Agencies Norfolk team had a great time at The Propeller Club, Port of Norfolk Industry Night at Old Dominion University. Capes is a long-time supporter of The Propeller Club and its dedication to the enhancement and well-being of the maritime community.

Industry News

News Updates

Northeast ports prepare for Baltimore-bound freight as shippers scramble (JOC)
Ocean carriers are diverting ships to other ports in the Northeast US while CSX Transportation plans on rare north-south intermodal trips between those ports to handle containers that would otherwise go through the Port of Baltimore. Read more…

SC Ports lands deal seeks to make North Charleston ready for bigger ships (JOC)
The Port of Charleston aims to make the North Charleston container terminal ready to handle larger neo-Panamax ships with the purchase of an adjacent industrial site that will allow the port to triple the size of the terminal’s container yard and double the length of its berth. Read more…

THE Alliance restores two trans-Pacific services as Asia imports jump (JOC)
Two trans-Pacific container services operated by THE Alliance that were suspended last year due to plummeting ocean freight rates will restart in the second quarter. Read more…

Ocean Alliance keeps status quo, renews partnership for another five years (JOC)
Members of the Ocean Alliance — CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping, Evergreen and OOCL — said Friday they have renewed their partnership for another five years, a move that maintains the status quo for the four carriers amid recent alliance restructuring that has roiled the container shipping sector. Read more…

Regulators must take slower approach to mandating green trucks: trade groups (JOC)
A group of industry associations in commercial transportation released a study Tuesday that puts the price tag to upgrade US infrastructure to handle electric trucks at $1 trillion, a cost they say would be substantial for shippers. Read more…

Air cargo market rides an incoming wave, but can it last? (FreightWaves)
The air cargo market has started the year on an apparent tear thanks to strong e-commerce volumes out of Asia and extended transits for ocean freight being rerouted around the Red Sea conflict zone, but whether the growth is sustainable or a product of low comparisons to last year remains an open question. Read more…

New Team Members: Welcome to CVI and Capes Shipping!

Olivia Starcke-Belford, CVI, Import Transportation Coordinator, Wilmington, NC
Olivia was born in Offenbach am Main, Germany, and is married with a daughter. When not working, she enjoys basketball, cooking, music, soccer, and catching up with friends. She hopes to one day visit New Zealand and Africa, attend a Dortmund game, and dine at the Butter in New York City.

Jeff Bennett, CVI, Regional Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, VA
Born in Norfolk, VA, Jeff has a daughter and recently welcomed a grandson. He has a Labish rescue dog named Stella and is a fan of the Washington Commanders. When not working, he enjoys the outdoors, hunting, and kayak fishing. Jeff loves to travel and would love to dive the Australian Great Barrier Reef one day.

Tonya Tolliver, CVI, Regional Sales Manager, Southeast, Charlotte, NC
Tonya was born in Cleveland, OH, but grew up in Fairport, NY.  She is married to Rozel, and they have 4 children (Dorian, Chelsea, Devin, and Jaden), as well as 8 grandchildren.  Her hobbies include spending time on the lake and at the beach (her “aqua therapy”), and she looks forward to a family cruise this summer.

Nick Asaro, Capes Shipping Agencies, Bulk Logistics Manager, Norfolk, VA
Nick was born in Lindenhurst, NY, and has been married to Melissa for 16 years. They have two children: a daughter, Lily, and a son, Camden. When not working, Nick enjoys coaching Little League baseball, volunteering at his kids’ school, playing tennis, cooking, and eating.

Ron Soldani, Capes Shipping Agencies, Port Manager, New Orleans, LA
Ron was born in New Orleans, LA, and has been married to Jeannette for 37 years. They have a daughter, Jaqueline, a son-in-law, Jonathan, and a granddaughter, Delilah. When not working, Ron enjoys spending time with his granddaughter, snow skiing, golf, and resistance training at the gym.

Marshall Adams, Capes Shipping Agencies, Commercial Manager, New Orleans, LA
Marshall was born in New Orleans, LA, and is married to Sophia. They have two sons, Charlie and Wyatt, and an Australian Shepherd named Bacchus. When not working, Marshall enjoys coaching his sons in basketball, playing basketball, and watching sports. He is a fan of LSU football and baseball, the Saints, and the Pelicans.


CV International, Inc. | 128 W. Olney Road, Norfolk, VA 23507 | 757.466.1170
Capes Shipping Agencies | 150 West Main Street, Suite 1120, Norfolk, VA 23510 | 757.625.3658 |

This e-newsletter is intended to be used for informational purposes only. CV International undertakes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, but assumes no liability for any errors or omissions. Contributed articles and hyperlinks to external websites are included for information only and do not constitute endorsement of the contributor or the content.

Copyright © 2024 CV International, Inc., All rights reserved.

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