Spot freight rates on the key Asia-north Europe trade are reported to have slumped to just $750 per 20-foot container, down more than $1,000 since the beginning of the year.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection is considering new regulations that would put provincial authorities in charge of approving wastepaper imports that the ministry now regulates.

LA stacktrain
The percent of import containers arriving at the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway that were transloaded into domestic containers for onward rail transport into the interior U.S. continued to increase last year and is forecast to continue rising in 2014.

Weekly wrap-up: Mega-alliances, LA-LB issues and trucking growth
Issues at the Los Angeles-Long Beach were on JOC.com readers’ minds this week, along with mega-alliances and growth in the trucking industry.

Demand for automotive logistics services is forecast to grow this year by 6 percent in Europe and 5 percent in North America, according to a new report by industry research and analysis firm Transport Intelligence.

Argosy Transportation Group plans next month to begin a twice-monthly service using multipurpose, shallow-draft tweendeck ships between Houston and the Mexican ports of Dos Bocas and Ciudad del Carmen.

The volume of intermodal units moving on U.S. railroads last week reached a record high for the railroad industry, according to the Association of American Railroads, furthering signs that the peak season is starting for intermodal shippers as the ocean peak recedes.

Westbound trans-Pacific carriers expect container availability to increase in the next three weeks at most key U.S. intermodal hubs, according to a weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture survey.

India and China signed 16 memorandums of understanding, including a five-year trade and economic cooperation plan, in a major attempt to address the growing trade imbalance between the two countries.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered Ken’s Trucking company, based in Grand Ridge, Florida, to immediately shut down following a federal investigation that revealed numerous violations of safety regulations.

The Teamsters union and safety advocates from the Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways have filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in attempt to force the agencies to issue a rule outlining training standards for entry-level truck drivers.

Southern California port crane operator
Having reached a tentative agreement Aug. 26 on the crucial issue of medical benefits, negotiators for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association have spent the past month discussing operational issues at marine terminals.

Florida East Coast Railway
Florida East Coast Railway launched at 53-foot domestic container service two weeks ago, giving North Carolina shippers a new option to ship goods to South Florida for either domestic consumption or to transload for export.