U.S. farm trade
U.S. exports of agricultural goods have outpaced imports since 1960, generating a surplus in the nation’s farm trade and helping to “counter the persistent deficit in nonagricultural U.S. merchandise trade,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Much of the trade in this sector relies on an integrated global cold chain.

Hamburg Sud in Port of Santos
SeaLand, the hallowed container shipping brand relaunched by Maersk Line in January, sees an opportunity to gain market share in the Latin American lanes resulting from two mergers — between two German container lines and two Chilean carriers.

A premium shipping market awaits container lines who would be willing to offer premium service at a higher price than commoditized service offered by most carriers today, Kuehne+Nagel Chairman Karl Gernandt told TPM 2015.

The challenges are abundant for second-tier suppliers moving west into China’s interior, a massive region rife with cheap labor but lacking necessary infrastructure and reliable transportation.

Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, on Monday called on Congress and the Obama administration to change how unionized port labor and waterfront employers negotiate agreements so “the interest of thousands” can no longer threaten the livelihood of millions

"K" Line ship stack
Japan’s third-largest shipping line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, announced Monday it would be beefing up its LNG and bulker vessels over the next four years, while downsizing its container shipping fleet.

Global economic growth will accelerate next year driven by lower energy prices, a resurgent U.S. consumer as a global driver of growth, and stimulus measures being imposed by multiple central banks, IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh told the 2015 TPM conference in Long Beach on Monday.

Spot rates on the Asia to the Middle East and South Asia are being undermined as carriers on the trades struggle to maintain load factors to support freight rate increases, according to Drewry Container Insight.

Norfolk Southern Railway company president Jim Squires will succeed Wick Moorman as CEO of the fourth largest railway in the U.S. in three months.

MOL on Monday confirmed orders and charters for six 20,150-TEU vessels that catapults the Japanese carrier into the ranks of the operators of the world’s largest container ships.

Old Dominion Freight Line
Old Dominion Freight Line will keep its long-term expansion rolling this year, spending $463 million on terminals, tractors, technology and people.

The U.S. faces many challenging port issues but chief among them is a system of labor-management relations that fails to consider the interests of the ultimate customers, the chairman of Kuehne + Nagel told TPM 2015 in Long Beach on Monday.

The shipping executive perhaps best suited to assess the relationship between container lines and non-vessel operating common carriers sought on Monday to set to rest the tensions that have long existed between the two, and very much continue today.