Spot rates on the Asia-Mediterranean trade fell to their lowest ever levels this week, hitting $244 per 20-foot container as China shut down during the country’s Golden Week national holidays.

President Obama’s decision to enforce the end-of-year deadline for U.S. railroads to install new safety technology will hurt the network fluidity intermodal shippers depend on, a Norfolk Southern Railway executive said Thursday.

Among the top 10 fastest-growing Asian sources of U.S. imports are a number of nations, such as China, South Korea and Vietnam, that have long played a dominant role in global supply chains for both raw materials and finished products. But there are also a number of surprises on the list.

South Korea’s container shipping companies Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine are leading the country’s cautious financial recovery, but it’s unclear if the good times will last.

Danish logistics company DSV will acquire loss-making UTi Worldwide for $1.35 billion in a surprise announcement that represents a 50 percent premium on UTi’s closing price yesterday.

This year’s peak shipping season has come and gone, and with it so has the notion of a traditional peak season, industry executives said at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference here Thursday.

China has begun safety inspections of companies handling dangerous goods in the vicinity of Tianjin Port, the world’s 10th busiest container port, as supply chains adjust to the changes wrought by deadly explosions in August.

Shipping Australia Limited is betting the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal will be a boon for the Australian reefer trade, which the country hopes will offset the trade losses sustained after the commodity bust.

An increase in the annual subsidy for operation of U.S.-flag ships under the Maritime Security Program has been inserted into a U.S. House bill to lift the United States’ 40-year-old ban on oil exports.

Zim Integrated Shipping Services refused to comment on reports it is planning an initial public offering in the U.S. next year.

Swedish furniture maker IKEA has decided it will make Incheon port its primary South Korean gateway after it began testing out Incheon New Port Phase 1-1 container pier (Terminal B) in July.

Russian containerized rail companies are cutting their fleets this year and plan to do the same next year, as the country’s trade suffers from Western sanctions and the low price of oil.

The imminent suspension of several liner services between Asia and the U.S. East Coast and South America during the slack shipping season threatens to put as many as 50 Panamax container ships out of work by January, according to Alphaliner.