Few bright spots in official 1Q intermodal data

A BNSF Railway train hauling ocean containers. Although international volumes rose slightly, overall intermodal loads fell in 1Q for the first time since 2016. Photo credit: Shutterstock There are few bright spots for intermodal in the first quarter and warning signs that business conditions are heading towards a freight recession. It’s hard to determine whether the numbers mean shippers aren’t moving as much freight, they are disenchanted with rail service,…

April 19, 2019
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Capacity ‘overshoot’ pulls down truckload contract rates

Truckload carriers added enough capacity in 2018 to Truckload pricing power has swung back to US shippers, and it’s difficult to see when that might change as the US economy expands more modestly in 2019 than last year, Kevin M. Zweier, vice president of transportation practice at Chainalytics, said during a JOC.com webcast Thursday. The addition of fresh truck capacity is pulling spot and contract rates lower. “What we predict…

April 19, 2019
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Mexican teacher blockade dents KCS intermodal volumes

A 26 percent decline in Kansas City Southern’s intermodal volume through the port of Lazaro Cardenas contributed to a 1 percent decrease in overall volume for the railroad during the first quarter. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. The teacher blockade that halted trains into the Mexican ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas in early 2019, pulling down intermodal volume handled by Kansas City Southern of Mexico, provides a reminder of the challenge…

April 18, 2019
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Zeaborn to take full ownership of Zeamarine

Zeamarine’s present fleet consists of about 90 multipurpose and heavy-lift (MPV/HL) vessels with lift capacities up to 1,400 tons, according to the company. Photo credit: Zeaborn. Multipurpose and heavy-lift (MPV/HL) carrier Zeaborn Group will take full ownership of its Zeamarine joint venture (JV), pending approval by antitrust authorities, under an agreement to acquire the remaining interest in Zeamarine that is now held by New Mountain Capital. The Zeamarine JV was…

April 18, 2019
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Small US truckers feel pinch as pricing drops

Two-thirds of small trucking carriers reported losing business to competitors charging “unsustainably low prices” within the past year, while 55 percent said customers have requested price cuts. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. Small US trucking companies are feeling the sting from falling prices and heightened competition for freight, but those carriers remain optimistic about their ability to grow in 2019, according to a motor carrier survey by Bibby Financial Services. Bibby surveyed…

April 18, 2019
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Decarbonization shipping is newest existential challenge

The reality of decarbonization has forced a paradigm shift in thinking away from decades-long efforts to improve efficiency of engines to ending all use of fossil fuels. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com The lead up to the International Maritime Organization’s low-sulfur fuel mandate has revealed a stark and unfamiliar reality to the industry: Emission reductions take a financial cost that carriers can’t bear alone without risking further consolidation and bankruptcies. But no…

April 18, 2019
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Rotterdam volume rising despite Asia-Europe slowdown

Rotterdam, Europe’s busiest container port, handled 250,000 more TEU from January through March than during the first quarter of 2018. Photo credit: The port of Rotterdam. First-quarter container throughput at the port of Rotterdam soared 7.3 percent compared with last year, despite slowing volume on the continent’s largest source of business, the Asia-North Europe trade. Europe’s busiest container port handled 250,000 more TEU from January through March than during the…

April 18, 2019
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CBP takes aim at border freight delays

About 300 CBP officers are being deployed to the Southwest border from other parts of the country in an effort to alleviate crippling cargo congestion at key crossings. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is rushing to get Customs agents back in position at clogged Southwest border truck crossings, but a surge in pre-Easter holiday manufactured goods and produce is backing up freight operations that have been…

April 18, 2019
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Zim involvement major win for TradeLens

TradeLens is designed to enable trust between trading partners and supply chain stakeholders by allowing them to exchange trade and freight documentation in a blockchain environment. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. Ocean carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services has joined the IBM- and Maersk-led blockchain platform TradeLens, a key step toward TradeLens reaching critical mass in a broader shipping industry that has been skeptical of both the concept of blockchain and also Maersk’s…

April 17, 2019
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NY-NJ truck association picks new president

The 170-member Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers selected Communications and Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Yakomin as its new president. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com. The Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, the largest trucking group in the Port of New York and New Jersey has picked Lisa Yakomin to succeed Jeffrey A. Bader, the association’s founder and only previous president, who died earlier this month. The board of the 170-member association picked Yakomin…

April 17, 2019
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