Commentary

A shipper’s failure to file a timely loss-and-damage claim with a motor carrier will bar recovery on the claimant’s part.
2016 is a test year for LTL carriers in how they react to reduced demand and the new aspects at play. Carriers should recall the difficulties in 2009-10, and that it took more than four years to regain lost profit. They must avoid price discounting to fill trucks with freight.
If you’re keeping up with the news on self-driving vehicles, you’d be forgiven for being confused whether their arrival is right around the corner or years away. Looking closely at the technology, we can see that both views are correct, and it will have wide-ranging implications for freight brokers.
Many U.S. importers regard procurement cost and pallet vendor selection as the shippers' burden, but this is risky and exposes an importer to severe supply chain disruptions should their pallets not be compliant with local requirements and face rejection by border officials.
The average U.S. diesel pump price dropped below $2 per gallon for the first time since 2005 this week. With prices this low, perhaps its time for shippers and carriers to rethink fuel surcharges.
High inventories impede GDP growth and depress freight demand, and often are seen as an omen of economic downturn and recession. Inventory-to-sales ratios “are approaching pre-recession levels, with retail, manufacturing and wholesale all trending in the wrong direction,” Deutsche Bank Markets Research said in a late-January report.
While other transportation modes have long since adopted simple and sensible rating processes, the less-than-truckload industry has continued to wade through a mire of weight/class formulas that, in many cases, are inaccurate, obsolete, and baseless and, in all cases, costly to maintain and execute.
A cooperative win-win attitude from longshoremen, which has long been present throughout the South Atlantic and U.S. Gulf regions, is a key reason shippers seeking predictability are gravitating to Georgia and other ports in the region.
The latest change in the rollout of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Automated Commercial Environment, or ACE, means that some functions will be moved to the new system, while others will remain on the legacy Automated Commercial System, or ACS, for some time, creating opportunities for confusion.
A shipper negotiates a reduced rate with a railroad that’s published in a confidential document. Later, the carrier publishes a lower rate in a public document, and refuses to give that rate to the shipper holding the original agreement. Is there legal recourse?
As the IMO's container weight rules near launch, there is great doubt about how countries will implement them and even if they can. For those who can, there’s the time and cost elements to consider as well as the concern about being different from others that can’t comply. Are those reasons to do nothing or to comply when convenient?
With each passing day, the difficulties of implementing the SOLAS container weight rule by July 1 become ever more apparent. I’m getting the strong feeling that given its potential to disrupt a significant portion of world trade — that which moves via ocean container — it won’t be long before this issue hits the headlines of the mainstream business media.
Will the National Motor Freight Classification system ultimately vanish into obscurity? The answer is a clear-cut affirmative, and there’s certainly an argument that it should happen sooner rather than later.
Shipping is not a business for widows and orphans. Seldom has that adage been truer than in today’s breakbulk and project cargo market. Risks always have been part and parcel of cargo transportation. Unpredictable economic conditions and sluggish global demand will make 2016 especially dicey.