Tiger Cool Express reefers on railcars
Rail logistics provider Tiger Cool Express is making strides with equipment purchases and a growing customer base. Its success is all the more impressive given that service from Class I freight railroads experienced a difficult 2014 and continues to struggle. Cool Cargoes spoke with CEO Tom Finkbiner to get his take on where the intermodal rail industry is failing and how and where it can make improvements to better support time- and temperature-sensitive shipments such as fresh produce.

West Coast port congestion hit international shipment volume hard and affected domestic volume during the opening months of 2015, the Intermodal Association of North America said in its latest quarterly analysis.

The economics of the mega-ships of 18,000 20-foot-equivalent units that container lines are building and deploying may not be all they are cracked up to be. The savings that carriers are touting as the reason for ordering them may not be as great as advertised when all their costs are factored in.

USA Truck posted its first profitable first quarter in eight years this week. It also marks the fourth consecutive profitable quarter for the firm as it pursues a new corporate strategy as a “capacity solutions provider,” the company said.

Saying that predictions of 20 percent over-capacity on all-water services to the East Coast this year “were based on faulty assumptions,” a carrier discussion agreement in the eastbound Pacific is recommending two general rate increases and a peak season surcharge.

Port congestion and labor issues took a toll on West Coast port volumes in 2014, as West Coast ports lost market share and East Coast ports gained market share, according to a report by CBRE Americas Research.

Logistics service provider Expeditors International of Washington said its first quarter operating income jumped 25 percent, aided by higher airfreight volume from West Coast port congestion.

One developer is betting big on BNSF Railway’s Kansas City logistics park. NorthPoint Development this week announced the construction of a 822,104-square-foot speculative building at the park.

Don’t call the Freightliner Inspiration a “driverless truck.” The heavy-duty tractor, unveiled yesterday by Daimler Truck North America, is an “autonomous commercial vehicle,” but the driver is still a key part of the “collaborative vehicle system.”

Logistics providers out of India’s largest container port complex — Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust — are again reporting abrupt terminal gate closings and long truck waits, even as the stakeholders put in place a spate of proactive steps to streamline gate activity and truck flow in the past few months.

Direct ChassisLink has expanded its Direct ChassisLink pool in Southern California and has contributed to the pool formerly included in the Grand Alliance pool. The Direct ChassisLink pool now has 28,000 units in Los Angeles-Long Beach.

Four super post-Panamax cranes that will span 22 rows of containers have been delivered to the Port of Houston’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal after a 73-day voyage from South Korea.

Container lines hoping to see freight rate increases supported by a significant rise in export orders will be disappointed by data emerging from the giant Canton Fair in Guangzhou as transaction volumes, numbers of visitors and value of deals were all down compared to last year’s event.