The world’s top integrators are waiting to see how the recent ruling by China’s State Council to liberalise domestic package delivery will play out across the multi-billion dollar market dominated by a multitude of small low cost operators.

Trans-Atlantic spot container rates have been relatively stable in recent months on both eastbound and westbound shipping routes between northern Europe and North America, according to Drewry Maritime Research.

Swift Transportation truck
A big hike in truck driver pay seems to be paying off handsomely for Swift Transportation. The number of Swift trucks lacking drivers has dropped about 20 percent from the end of the second quarter, and line-haul truck utilization has improved more than 3 percent.

Maersk Line has announced low-sulfur surcharges of up to $160 per 20-foot container on the North Atlantic and lesser amounts on other trade routes to offset the cost of complying with regulations requiring ships to switch to cleaner fuels in 2015.

Toyota will use the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal for exports of several thousand Highlander sport-utility vehicles annually from the automaker’s Princeton, Indiana, plant to Australia and New Zealand.

The idle container ship fleet has shrunk to a three-year low, driven by rising carrier demand for Panamax vessels of 3,000 TEUs to 5,100 TEUs capacity, according to Alphaliner.

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.