China’s top port operator and an engineering group will invest $601 million in a container terminal at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, as China seeks to deepen its ties with the strategically placed Indian Ocean island.

With the odds growing that a global ballast water treaty will come into force next year, concern is building among shipowners, including container carriers, that its implementation will be chaotic, expensive and ineffective.

Jorge Quijano
A $400 million loan necessary to complete the $5.3 billion Panama Canal expansion project has been received by the engineering consortium responsible for widening the canal, according to the Panama Canal Authority’s lead administrator, Channel News Asia reported.

Despite reports of tight truckload capacity, the number of 'active' trucking firms is rising steadily, QualifiedCarriers.com reports.

Hapag-Lloyd's Hamburg Express container ship
Container freight rates will stabilize and may trend upward over the next few years despite the existing overcapacity of vessel space because of the expansion of existing carrier alliances and the creation of new ones, according to Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

Wrap-up
A new carrier alliance entered the fray this week after weeks of feverish speculation.

Six U.S. ports are poised to receive roughly $53 million in federal funding that will support more than $261 million in upgrades, expansion and project planning.

The Embraport container terminal in Santos this week signed a contract with Antaq, the regulatory body for waterways in Brazil, that gives it the status of a Terminal de Uso Privado, or a TUP or Private Use Terminal, making it exempt from certain labor rules.

Weak global demand is hurting U.S. containerized exports, while a reviving U.S. economy is aiding imports. A larger long-term trade imbalance is the likely result, Cass says.

APL at Port of Los Angeles
When APL earlier this week informed its importer customers that the APL Norway was being diverted from Los Angeles “due to congestion at Global Gateway South,” it caused all importers and exporters that use the Los Angeles-Long Beach gateway to cringe. Would other terminals in the nation’s largest port complex plunge into another round of congestion?

Congestion and labor shortages remain issues at New York-New Jersey container terminals, but the East Coast’s busiest port made through the summer without the widespread gridlock of the previous summer or last winter.

Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., has proposed legislation that would use federal funding to test whether 100 percent container scanning is feasible at two U.S. ports.

Taiwanese ocean carrier Yang Ming Line has confirmed that the fixed-rate time charter terms for five 14,000-TEU container ships, currently being built by CSBC Corp., will be extended to 10 years, with one two-year option, according to Seaspan.