The unseasonably cold front that moved through Chicago last weekend provided railroads and shippers a chilly reminder that the rail meltdown seen in winter 2013-2014 could occur again.

Kuehne + Nagel, the world’s largest sea freight forwarder, said it is targeting the trans-Atlantic container trade to offset slowing Asian exports to Europe.

China’s logistics industry is expected to show double-digit growth over the next five years, continuing a trend of 21 percent compound annual growth since 1991 and driven by rising online shopping and a growing trend of outsourcing non-core activities.

Negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association will likely conclude without a strike or lockout, former Maersk port executive Tony Scioscia told the IANA conference in Long Beach this week.

Maersk, MSC in Hong Kong
The 2M and O3 alliances likely will first lock horns in the Asia-Mediterranean trade, with planned increases in capacity threatening to unleash a rate war, according to analyst Alphaliner.

Port executives at West Coast landlord ports say that when it comes to fixing congestion resulting from big ships and carrier alliances, the buck stops with them.

New export orders saw China factory output increasing in September as the mainland manufacturing sector continued to expand, reaching a two-month high and raising expectations that inventory building could see export growth into the fourth quarter.

TOTE Shipholdings and Saltchuk Resources have secured a $324.6 million Maritime Administration loan guarantee for construction of two container ships that will be fueled by liquefied natural gas.

U.S. diesel prices slipped 0.6 percent or 2.3 cents to $3.778 per gallon on Sept. 22, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which brought the price to its lowest level since July 16, 2012.

The average amount intermodal providers charged customers for shipping a U.S. intermodal unit declined last month on a year-over-year basis, the first time since January 2013.

Near-shoring of manufacturing from China to Mexico, tight U.S. transportation capacity and competition from Amazon as a logistics provider were prominent topics in an annual survey of 27 third-party logistics CEOs sponsored by Penske Logistics and released today.

Air and ocean freight are expected to see “good” trade volume growth through the third and fourth quarters of 2014, especially in air freight, given a strong peak season outlook and a number of high-profile tech product launches, according to a new survey from the investment firm Stifel Nicolaus.

Zim container ship at Long Beach
The European Shippers Council attacked the proposed 2M vessel-sharing agreement in a letter sent last week to the Federal Maritime Commission but is unlikely to convince the U.S. regulatory agency to reject the agreement involving the world’s two largest container lines.