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.

soybean fields
Low prices invariably generate increased demand, so exports of corn, soybeans and energy products derived from those commodities will do quite well in the coming year and beyond, said David Hightower, principal at Hightower Associates in Chicago and publisher of the Hightower Report on commodities.

The northern Chile port of Iquique plans an $80 million expansion.

Maersk Group said it has raised $1.25 billion from the successful issue of two maiden U.S. dollar bonds.

Air freight is suffering from the same issues that afflict container shipping, with growing volumes not enough to lift profitability in the face of high fuel prices, weak yields and growing capacity, the International Air Transport Association said in an industry report.

China-Europe rail services continue to grow in popularity with DHL the latest forwarder to offer a new weekly scheduled block train from Suzhou to Poland.

The Port of Virginia made strides toward financial stability in August, on the back of volume growth that topped 8 percent.

MSC container ship
Executives from Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., in an attempt to expedite the U.S. approval process, met with a U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner last week to address questions regarding their proposed “2M” vessel-sharing agreement.

Singapore
Container handling rose nearly 2 percent in August at the world’s largest transshipment hub, the Port of Singapore.

cattle in Brazil
The tit-for-tat imposition of embargoes between Russia and the West has opened the door for Brazil beef exporters to significantly expand shipments to Russia in recent months, with greater growth likely in 2015.

Research firm Gartner identified 15 European companies with the best performing supply chains, based on metrics including inventory turns, return on assets and revenue.