A resurgent economy kick-started the revenue engines of the largest U.S. trucking companies in 2014, fueling the most rapid growth those big freight haulers have seen in three years.

Port of Tacoma
The Seaport Alliance should begin to take shape later this summer after it goes through the Federal Maritime Commission review process. Kurt Beckett, Port of Seattle deputy CEO, said the ports by early May will complete the draft document that will detail how the Seaport Alliance will function.

Yang Ming Line container ship
Yang Ming Line, Wan Hai Lines, Pacific International Lines and Cosco Container Lines have jointly kicked off a new container service between the Far East and the Middle East.

Freight rates from Asia to Europe and the Mediterranean are at such low levels that container carriers are withholding increases or delaying the GRIs until May 1.

Shippers’ frustration with West Coast port congestion might end up delivering more international intermodal volume growth to CSX Transportation over the coming years, but clogged marine terminals on the opposing coast dragged its total intermodal traffic growth to a crawl in the first quarter.

The truck driver shortage was supposed to push freight from the highways to intermodal rail, but now that shortage may be the biggest threat to intermodal growth. Drayage truck drivers are increasingly hard to find, and that hurts intermodal service even when trains run on time, speakers at the NASSTRAC Shippers Conference said.

It’s not clear whether Scott’s meeting tipped the scales for the Port of Jacksonville or Nestle USA had planned the cargo shift for some time — but the announcement fit in well with the governor’s highly publicized and controversial visit to California.

The Port of Charleston posted a 6.8 percent year-over-year increase in loaded 20-foot-equivalent-unit containers and a 13.7 percent rise in total loaded and empty TEUs during March.