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US retailers upgrade import forecast, but maintain caution

[caption caption="US containerized imports from Asia in the first half of 2020 are projected to be down 9.3 percent from the first six months of 2019. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]US retailers on Wednesday slightly upgraded their expectations for imports for the six-month period from May through October on the belief consumers...

Transship adds partner, launches cold-chain service

[caption caption="Transship hopes to automate the international cold chain and door-to-door shipments. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]The worst global pandemic in a century may not be the most opportune time to launch a digital start-up, but Amit Hasak has found opportunities to secure new partners and customers for his company, Tranship, as...

Startup helps forwarders convert documents to data

[caption caption="A blending of machine learning and optical character recognition technologies allows Vector.ai's system to learn over time how to more accurately pull data from foundational shipping documents. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Forwarding is a document-intensive business, but it’s only recently that global forwarders have gotten a true sense of the scale...

JAXPORT seeking city funds for dredging project

[caption caption="Lawmakers in Jacksonville will vote later this month to give JAXPORT up to $70 million in grants and a $40 million bridge loan to fund the final three miles of deepening the inner harbor to Blount Island. Photo credit: Ari Ashe."][/caption]The city of Jacksonville will vote July 28 on...

Backlash festers as carriers’ capacity discipline portends profitable 2020

[caption caption="Carriers’ reluctance to add capacity, after being burned badly after failing to remove capacity following the plunge in volumes triggered by the 2008-09 financial crisis, is understandable. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]The capacity discipline that has allowed container lines to keep spot rates elevated on major trades despite falling volumes, raising...

Easing of bridge draft limit encourages larger ship calls along Pearl River Delta

[caption caption="The change to ease the draft limit under Hong Kong’s Tsing Ma bridge still has to be approved by local lawmakers, which is expected to happen by the end of 2020 or early next year. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Hong Kong and western Shenzhen ports could see a 15 to 20...

Antwerp grows first-half container volume despite COVID impact

[caption caption="MSC PSA European Terminal in Antwerp is handling fewer ships but larger call sizes. Photo credit: MPET."][/caption]The Port of Antwerp reported a marginal increase in container throughput for the first half of the year, an unexpected development given the demand-cutting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that shut down most retailers...

JOC Uncharted: Episode 8

This week’s episode of JOC Uncharted, available at 11 a.m. Eastern, features a one-on-one conversation with Thomas Boye Dyregaard, head of crisis management at A.P. Moller-Maersk, during which he discusses how Maersk has been able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in a more agile manner and how logistics managers...

PPP loans supporting 30 percent of US for-hire trucking jobs

[caption caption="US Small Business Administration data show the PPP program is maintaining approximately 479,000 for-hire trucking jobs. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Approximately 30 percent, perhaps more, of US for-hire trucking jobs are being supported by government loans, according to data released this week by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) about companies...

Intermodal shippers pushing hard on container fees

[caption caption="Large intermodal providers such as Schneider National have been successfully courting cost-conscious shippers in recent months because they charge less for containers than non-asset providers who must rent rail-owned UMAX containers: Photo credit: Ari Ashe."][/caption]US shippers are more aggressive than they were six months ago in negotiating terms of...

Startup aims to bridge gap between trucking optimization, execution

[caption caption="A new wave of technologies is aimed at allowing entities that have purchased software, such as transportation management systems (TMSs), to use those technologies more optimally through machine learning. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]A startup born out of decades-old research on freight transportation optimization has nabbed a $4 million seed round...

Europe votes to include shipping in emissions trading system

[caption caption="Ships must be emissions-free at berth in Europe by 2030, the European Parliament announced. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]The European Parliament voted Tuesday to include shipping in the emissions trading system (ETS) that will require a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030.The vote, which passed 62 to...

Global regulators failing to keep container shipping fair: ITF’s Merk

[caption caption="Olaf Merk, ports and shipping expert at the International Transport Forum. Photo credit: ITF."][/caption]Global regulators are failing to keep the container shipping industry in check, allowing them to wield disproportionate levels of power over service providers and shippers, argues Olaf Merk of the International Trade Forum (ITF). The need for...

DCSA publishes vessel schedule standard

[caption caption="In nine months, the members of the Digital Container Shipping Association have developed three standards and a broader industry process blueprint. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]A consortium of nine container lines has developed a new standard for the exchange of container vessel schedules designed to give forwarders, ports, and shippers easier...

Increase in US truck freight tightens pricing pressure

[caption caption="As rates rise, shippers search for better ways to manage cyclical pricing. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]US shippers are at a crossroads when it comes to negotiating trucking contracts: continue to push for lower prices in the short-term or attempt to procure steadier rates for the long term? Some businesses that...

CMA CGM simplifies two-brand trans-Pacific network

[caption caption="CMA CGM Group operates more than 20 trans-Pacific services in its US network. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]CMA CGM Group, in a move to simplify its trans-Pacific trade network, said Monday CMA CGM will be its sole commercial carrier on the trade from Oct. 1, while APL will focus on serving...

Shippers, NVOs face tougher credit terms as virus risks bite

[caption caption="Carriers and forwarders are tightening credit controls amid the uncertain trade conditions wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Shippers and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOs) are facing tighter credit controls from carriers and freight forwarders amid concern about the financial health of companies due to the uncertain trading...

Acquisition expands Maersk’s European customs services

[caption caption="Maersk wants to grow its landside business segments at a disproportionate rate to ocean, including via acquisitions of inland logistics service providers such as Gothenburg-based customs specialist KGH. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]A.P. Møller-Maersk has added another building block to its integrated logistics strategy, expanding its European landside footprint with the...

Pandemic will hasten automation of container shipping jobs

[caption caption="The near seamless shift to home offices during the pandemic will hasten the push to automation, meaning carriers could reduce their land-based employees. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]We are now into the fifth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become normal for stakeholders in the container shipping supply chain...

Third GRI in a month pushes Asia-US container rates higher

[caption caption="Spot rates to the West Coast are up 69 percent year over year. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Trans-Pacific container lines successfully pushed up eastbound container spot rates with the third general rate increase in a month.  The cost to ship an FEU from Shanghai to the West Coast surged 8.5 percent, to...