Spot freight rates on the key Asia-north Europe trade are reported to have slumped to just $750 per 20-foot container, down more than $1,000 since the beginning of the year.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection is considering new regulations that would put provincial authorities in charge of approving wastepaper imports that the ministry now regulates.

LA stacktrain
The percent of import containers arriving at the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway that were transloaded into domestic containers for onward rail transport into the interior U.S. continued to increase last year and is forecast to continue rising in 2014.

The global carrying capacity of container ships will grow by just shy of 5 million TEUs by the end of 2016, but the trend toward ordering larger ships means the number of vessels will not grow significantly, according to a Deutsche Bank shipping report.

U.S. containerized exports will grow in the next five years on the back of a strong construction demand around the globe, JOC Group Economist Mario Moreno says.

Port of Charleston
The Port of Charleston’s strong container traffic in August has furthered its strategy for above-market growth, although the outlook for the rest of the year is not quite so bright.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack urged Warren Buffett last week to ensure that his BNSF Railway will be prepared to deliver a potential record U.S. corn and soybean harvest this year, the latest sign of political pressure on the rail industry to improve poor service.

The state of Hawaii plans to build a new $266 million container terminal in Honolulu to cater to anticipated higher levels of cargo volumes in coming decades, according to West Hawaii Today.

looking for the bug
The number of ships quarantined in Los Angeles by Asian Gypsy Moth infestations has risen to 15 as inspectors battle to keep the invasive species from making its way into North America.

CMA CGM has upgraded its Amerigo service between the U.S. and the Mediterranean with the addition of a new call in Miami.

Rob Ward
Robert Ward, a shipping and transportation journalist with more than 20 years of experience, has recently begun reporting for JOC Group Inc.’s print and online products.

inspectors, Customs
The newly appointed head of international trade at U.S. Customs and Border Protection said she wants to streamline regulation, make better use of data and improve employees’ analytical skills to improve cargo trade facilitation. As a result, the agency will be able to better focus its attention on high-risk cargo, giving safe shipments faster clearance.

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority is seeking “expressions of interest” from potential developers of Southport, a 200-acre Delaware River waterfront site where a container terminal had been planned.