The inability of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association to achieve consensus in the contract negotiations that began more than six months ago was demonstrated once again today with parties disagreeing over the current status of the talks.

Five carriers today joined Mediterranean Shipping Co. in announcing congestion surcharges on cargo heading from Asia to U.S. West Coast ports.

It’s not just Brazilian ports that are struggling to meet demand. Brazilian road and rail projects are also suffering from severe delays caused by bureaucratic red-tape.

Japan, US flags
Japan’s trade surplus with the United States expanded for the second consecutive month in October on a year-over-year basis despite a double-digit rise in imports, as exports also posted robust growth, according to preliminary trade figures released by the Japanese Finance Ministry.

DHL Supply Chain will expand its warehousing and transport capabilities in China by 50 percent over the next three years, investing $140 million in modern logistics facilities across the country to address huge demand for services from inland cities.

Fresh from a dismal third quarter, freight forwarding and logistics provider Damco is expanding its multimodal presence in China’s electronics manufacturing hub of Zhengzhou.

U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioners voted 3-2 to ask members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement more questions on their proposal to permanently include westbound trans-Pacific trade in their discussion agreement.

The port of Charleston saw double-digit increases in container traffic in October, marking another month of what the head of the South Carolina Ports Authority says is “exceptional” above-average growth.

Seattle cranes
The Pacific Maritime Association said work slowdowns continued in the northern ports, while the International Longshore and Warehouse Union was not dispatching sufficient skilled labor to handle cargo volumes in Los Angeles-Long Beach.

CMA CGM will use at least some of its new reefer fleet to serve growing produce trade between countries bordering both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved $2.42 million to continue a four-year-old program to help port truckers replace older, higher-polluting vehicles with newer, cleaner burning ones.

Representatives of global dockworkers’ unions pledged “active solidarity” to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and questioned the Pacific Maritime Association’s willingness to reach a contract with the U.S. West Coast union.

China Shipping said it will launch the first of five 19,100-TEU container ships by end of the month, supplanting Maersk Line as the operator of the world’s largest container vessel.