Logistics News Dec. 22, 2014

FMCSA updates HOS rules – As a result of the suspension of the revised 34-hour restart rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has updated it web site, providing guidance. See the update here. (FMCSA)


Fuel at lowest in three years – The decline in gas and diesel prices continues. See the latest regional and national averages here. (US EIA)


PMA requests mediation of ILWU negotiations – After seven months of on-and-off talks, the Pacific Maritime Association has requested outside assistance to conclude a new master contract for West Coast longshore operations. The ILWU would need to agree to mediation before that process could begin. See the PMA press release here. There’s more on the request here (JOC) and here. (Transport Topics)


Port of Long Beach weighs tactics to relieve congestion – The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners will likely authorize the creation of a shared chassis pool. This is one of the measures being considered to ease months of congestion. See the story here. (Long Beach Press-Telegram) Read details from the Port of Long Beach’s own press releases here. (POLB.com)

Logistics News Dec. 14, 2014

ILWU says no shutdown – Amidst work slowdowns and calls for government intervention in contract negotiations, a spokesman for the West Coast longshore union says “Nobody wants to shut down the ports.” Read the story here. (Puget Sound Business Journal)


Egyptian Gov’t wants to rework Suez port concession – After years of economic issues brought on by political instability, Egypt’s transport ministry is trying to renegotiate terms of its deal with Suez Canal Container Terminal. Read details here. (Reuters Africa)


CVSA joins truckers in calling for CSA data be kept out of public eye – The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance agrees with the trucking industry: the general public doesn’t understand, and will misuse, CSA information on carriers. Read the story here. (Heavy Duty Trucking)


Port congestion is the new normal, says MOL VP – The fact is, it takes so much longer to expand a terminal than it does to build ships. Only major investment in terminal infrastructure relating to throughput will eventually ease congestion. Read more here. (JOC)


CH Robinson buys Freightquote.com – The acquisition extends one of the continent’s largest 3PLs’ reach into LTL and e-commerce. This buy puts smaller shippers within CHR’s reach. Read about it here. (JOC)


Weekly fuel prices – See the weekly roundup of gas and diesel prices here. (US Dept. of Energy)


After FMC nixes West Coast surcharges, TSA carriers try $1000 GRI – As spot rates drop during the winter slack season, can carriers really effect revenue increases? Read more here. (JOC)


Lifestyle Solutions to add 2 warehouses – The company’s Signature Gallery sofa bed line will be services from the Texas and New Jersey locations. See more here. (Furniture Today)


Sen. Schumer wants crackdown on “chameleon carriers” - The senator from New York is asking the FMCSA to include individual driver names in the effort to root out carriers who close up and reform under another name to avoid consequences for poor safety records. Read the story here. (Transport Topics)

Logistics News Nov. 21, 2014

Relations between management and ILWU are deteriorating - The Pacific Maritime Association claims dockworkers are deliberately slowing down in an effort to gain a negotiating advantage. It started at Tacoma, and has spread to the beleaguered terminal at LA and Long Beach. Read details here (LA Times) and here. (Seattle Times) and


Ocean carriers continue to move from Panama Canal to Suez services for US East Coast – Carriers are dropping Panama routing to go through the Suez Canal, primarily due to the size of the vessels in use by expanded alliances. Read about Drewry’s analysis here.


Shippers ask for federal action to resolve PMA-ILWU impasse – A letter signed by over 100 business groups has been delivered to the White House in the hope of prompting intervention that may result in a new master contract. Read the story here. (Cargo Business News)


Heritage Home consolidates operations in Lenoir, NC – In as effort toward increased efficiency, the company is moving operations from Long View to Lenoir. Read more here.



Dray drivers protesting at LA-LB – Wages and classification as contractors are among the issues being protested by drayage drivers as they picketed specific facilities at LA and Long Beach. This arouses fear that ILWU locals could refuse to cross the picket lines. Read the story here. (Journal of Commerce)


Weekly diesel update – The weekly roundup of fuel prices is here. (Dept. of Energy)



Logistics News Oct. 30, 2014

Will holiday goods be in stores in time? – Chassis, truck, and driver shortages. Longshoremen working 4 months (so far) without a contract. Container imbalances. Extended dwell times for vessels at US ports. All of these factors and more will affect the merchandise available for sale during the critical “Black Friday” weekend. Will retailers be ready for consumers? Read more about the causes and effects of supply chain delays for containerized cargo here. (Reuters)


VA Ports increased volumes and profitability increase, but congestion issues hold everyone back – September 2014 truck volume increased 21% from 2013, and motor carriers are feeling the squeeze. The Virginia Port Authority is trying to make it easier for truckers to move containers in and out of its terminals. See the story here. (Newport News Daily Press)


UP profits up 19% in Q3 2014 – Customers will feel right in demanding performance from Union Pacific, given the better-than-expected profits received this year. Read more on a potentially record year for earnings here. (Cargo Business News)


Badcock to consolidate GA, AL warehousing under one roof – WS Badcock will construct a new 535,000 sq ft distribution center in LaGrange, GA. This replaces the Thomson, GA and Cullman, AL facilities. Read more here.


Container ships collide, sparking cargo fire in Malaysia – Ships from UASC and Hamburg Sud collided at Port Klang, causing fires on both vessels. No injuries were reported. Read more here. (JOC)


Port of Oakland woos shippers to divert from LA-LB – The Maritime Director of the Port of Oakland says shippers should consider diverting cargo away from the gridlock at L.A./Long Beach to the upstate facility. Read details here. (JOC)


La-Z-Boy closing High Point office – The move will take place over the next couple of years. It’s prompted in part by the closure of Lea Industries. Read more here


Logistics News Oct. 24, 2014

Long Beach Chief acknowledges “3-5 day delays” – At the annual “State of the Trade and Transportation Industry” town hall at Cal State Long beach, leaders called for integrated solutions to the gridlock at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Read the story here. (AJOT)


Long Beach port extends free time due to delays – From October 18 through October 31, the Port of Long Beach is adding three days to “free time” at terminals for import containers. Cargo interests have made noise recently as they try to retrieve cargo that is unavailable in the normal 4 day allotment. Read the story here. (Cargo Business News


CKYHE Alliance will expand US services – The CKYHE (Cosco, K Line, Yang Ming, Hyundai, Evergreen) have announced that beginning in 2015 the alliance will expand services to the US. Read here (Cargo Business News) and here. (JOC)


 Teamsters make inroads at organizing FedEx Freight drivers – The first FedEx Freight to have drivers vote to become Teamsters is in Croydon, Pennsylvania. Read the store here. (Heavy Duty Trucking)


Weekly Fuel Update – Please see this week’s fuel price averages here. (Dept. Of Energy)



Logistics News Oct. 17, 2014

US Jobs, Factory Orders illustrate US economic expansion – A catalog of positive reports are outlined in this piece from Bloomberg.


The Port of Long Beach will enter the chassis business – In a surprising development, the Long Beach Harbor commissioners approved a plan to create an entity which would manage a fleet of chassis. The move is meant to help ease congestion issues plaguing the port. Read the story here. (Cargo Business News)  Another piece on the same, here.


STB requires railroads to file delay reports – The Surface Transportation Board is now requiring all Class 1 railroads to report weekly on delays and operations. The rule has been prompted, at least in part, by non-oil customers who claim they are being pushed away in favor of petroleum shippers. Read more here. (Omaha.com)


Retail organization predicts record October for imports – The National Retail Federation comments on the summer’s import volumes and holiday stocking. Read the story here. (Cargo Business News) And here. (Furniture Today)



Another rosy report on US manufacturing – Economists outline increases in manufacturing across several industries. See the story here.


Contrasting the growth in the US, concerns for the European economy grow – Containerized Asia-Europe freight volumes are declining. Carriers will see cargo rates decline again, an A.P. Moeller Maersk official states here.


Shippers, Truckers say “No” to demurrage charges at congested terminals – Cargo interests are pushing back against demurrage and per diem charges they say are beyond their control. Congestion and unavailable cargo keep consignees from their containers. Read the story here. (JOC)


 FEC launches Piedmont Express service between N. Carolina and Florida – Faster rail services between Florida and the rest of the country continue to be added. See the story here. (JOC)



Logistics News Oct. 10, 2014

Westbound  TSA rate hikes for November – With so many empty containers to move back to Asia, rates for westbound moves have been reported close to zero at times this year. Carriers seek to raise income exports to Asia. Read more here. (Cargo Business News)


Army Corps paves way for Charleston dredging – The Corps of Engineers has recommended deepening of Charleston’s shipping lanes to 52 feet. This would make the South Carolina port the deepest on the East Coast. Read the story here. (Post and Courier)


China looking to improve logistics – Beijing has announced ambitious goals for 2020. Consolidating smaller logistics business, streamlining intermodal transport, and easing port congestion are among the goals. See more here. (Reuters)


Fuel Prices – See this week’s fuel numbers here. (DOE)


FMC OK’s 2M – The Federal Maritime Commission has approved the vessel sharing agreement between Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping. See more here.


Cory Delivery opens New Jersey facility – Cory Home Delivery plans to better serve its NY/NJ clients better with a new 120,00 square foot facility opened this week in northern New Jersey. The ribbon-cutting was held this week. See the story here. (Furniture Today)


Are we seeing the first ILWU labor action? – As if the congestion and delays at LA-Long Beach were not already hard enough, there are now complaints that excessive truck inspections by ILWU workers are making a very bad situation even worse. Read more here.


After years of debate, Savannah deepening closer to reality – Scheduling around tidal fluxes at Savannah may become less of an issue, and the war with Charleston for business will carry on, given an agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and Georgia officials. See more details here. (JOC)


NY/NJ Port Authorities plan ahead for winter – While we all hope for a less eventful winter than that of 2013-2104, authorities will attempt to make it easier on shippers. Read the story here.



Logistics News Oct. 3rd, 2014

TSA carriers float minimum rates for new contract season – Monthly GRIs and RRIs aren’t doing the trick for Trans-Pacific carriers. Between minimum rates, fuel surcharge updates, and better recovery of intermodal costs, lines hope to overcome the financial effects of continuing over-capacity. Read details here. (JOC)

 Con-way Truckload increases tuition reimbursement for student drivers – As the driver shortage grows, large trucking companies try multiple strategies to lure drivers. Con-way is doubling tuition for driver trainees. See more here. (JOC)

Con-way also raising driver pay – exemplifying the difficulty trucking companies are seeing attracting and keeping drivers, Con-way plans to revise its pay structure. See details here. (Cargo Business News)

 IKEA casegoods plant to double in size – IKEA has announced plans to expand its Virginia facility by early 2016. Read more here. (Furniture Today)

 Wholesale furniture orders up 4% in July – July shipments were up 11%, although furniture sales lose ground in percentage of disposable income expenses. More here. (Furniture Today)

 Confidence down in September – Order increases aside, consumers aren’t as optimistic as they were in August. Anticipation of a worsening job market and declining short-term economic conditions made the difference. Read the story here. (Furniture Today)

 This week’s average fuel prices here. (DOE)

 Savannah aims to be East Coast’s busiest port – Georgia Ports’ executive director is targeting New York/New Jersey’s spot as the highest-volume port on the East Coast. Read the story here. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)


Logistics News Sept. 26th, 2014

Ad campaign for infrastructure  spending targets lawmakers – A coalition headed up by the US Chamber of Commerce is doing its best to make sure Congress gets the message when it comes to spending on “roads, bridges, and transit systems.” See the Americans for Transportation Mobility announcement here.

 Former Maersk official thinks West Coast contract will conclude peacefully – A former VP with AP Moeller- Maersk believes operations at West Coast US ports will continue without labor disruptions, even though the last ILWU/USMA contract expired three months ago. Read more here. (Bloomberg)

 This week’s fuel update – See the latest gas and diesel price averages here. (US DOE)

FMC will hold forum on port congestion – The Federal Maritime Commission will hold a forum in Baltimore Oct. 1. Steamship representatives will be on hand, along with major forwarders and shippers, to discuss the growing congestion issues at US marine terminals. Read more here. (Cargo Business News)

 DOT announces TIGER grants – 72 projects with a price tag of $600 million will receive financial backing from the Dept. of Transportation. You can find details of individual grants here.


Logistic News Sept. 21, 2014

Lea Industries to close – Youth furniture seller Lea Industries will close up shop by the end of the year. Read more here. (Furniture Today)


 Drewry: Ocean 3 fills out worldwide shipping – It’s general consensus that carriers will need to belong to alliances to survive. See Drewry’s take on the Ocean 3 announcement  here. (Cargo Business News)


This week’s fuel update – See the latest gas and diesel price averages here. (US DOE)

Logistics News Sept. 11, 2014

DOC accepting comments on Ethan Allen accent chest – The Dept. of Commerce will be taking public comments on a ruling regarding whether one of Ethan Allen’s accent chests should fall under the scope of the wooden bedroom furniture anti-dumping order. The deadline for comments is Sept. 18. Read more here.  (Furniture Today)


Carriers that kept sailing through the Panama Canal will receive toll discounts – The Panama Canal Authority plans on giving ocean carriers who didn’t move their business to the Suez a break on tolls once the widening project is complete in 2016. See the whole story here. (JOC)


This week’s fuel update – See the latest gas and diesel price averages here. (US DOE)


Cory drivers help save woman after accident – Two Cory Home Delivery drivers in Illinois witnessed a woman’s car run into a tree. They stopped to assist, and were able to get the unconscious driver out of the vehicle. See the whole article here. (Furniture Today)


Hertz chairman steps down – Hertz Global Holdings CEO Mark Frissora has stepped down and the search is on for a successor. Read more here. (Bloomberg)


Zenith Global Logistics opens new facilities – The specialty 3PL is taking advantage of increased US furniture sales by adding warehouses in Texas and Mississippi. Read more here. (JOC)


Ocean alliance rumors become reality – The much-anticipated alliance between China Shipping and United Arab Shipping will have a third partner – CMA-CGM. The French carrier announced Sept. 9 that it has signed a vessel sharing agreement with CSCL and USAC. Read CMA-CGM’s announcement here.