Carriers on the trans-Pacific have unveiled a bold new pricing approach to the 2015-16 contract season that will establish minimum rate levels and improve the bunker fuel cost recovery mechanism.

Nearly 300 shippers, port authorities and transportation groups are urging the U.S. Congress to follow through with its plan to send more money collected via harbor maintenance taxes back to ports.

While congestion continues to plague ports in North America and northern Europe, a number of other incidents are popping up that are also likely to negatively impact the global schedule reliability of ocean carriers.

The Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) will speed up construction of new yard facilities and an inland container depot at its flagship Manila terminal, boosting the yard capacity by more than 20 percent.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port of Seattle Monday signed an agreement to split the cost of a feasibility study for the deepening of the east and west waterways to 55 feet from the current depths of 34 and 51 feet.

Bunker fuel prices in Rotterdam, a global indicator, held steady this week though the charge per metric ton is historically lower than in previous years.

Old Dominion Freight Line drayage truck.
Old Dominion Freight Line is expanding its U.S. intermodal drayage network at ports and inland railheads, strengthening the less-than-truckload carrier's connections with global shippers.

Energy
Shippers need to think about end-to-end power costs, not just fuel prices, when designing supply chains, speakers at the CSCMP meeting said. Those costs, they warn, could become more volatile.

Ocean container carrier Hamburg Sud is opening a sales office in Gandhidham, India, to cater to the needs of its regular ship calls at the growing ports of Mundra and Pipavav.

On the back of yet another record-setting volume month at the Port of Savannah, the board of the Georgia Ports Authority is moving forward with measures to help the Savannah deal with the added volumes.

Iran and Oman plan to launch a shipping line to boost maritime trade between the two countries by the end of the year.

The number of container ships passing through the Suez Canal is on an upward trend, after nearly three years of declining transit numbers because of rapidly increasing ship sizes.

Maersk is facing aggressive competition on its most lucrative north-south routes, which are being targeted by rival carriers seeking to offset losses from the overtonnaged Asia-Europe trade lane.