Commentary

The metropolitan Los Angeles area has the dirtiest air in the United States, but area residents should not fret; there is a readily available solution to this longstanding problem.
If history is any indicator, one should not underestimate the potential of global trade and container shipping to change how we live and the world around us.
US shippers’ challenge in securing drayage capacity has eased since the peak eight weeks ago, but tightness persists regionally.
Voluntary export restraint agreements may seem like an amicable, cooperative solution to a trade problem, but in reality they are a dangerous relapse into trade quotas banned by the World Trade Organization — and they increase protectionist pressures globally.  
In the United States, who is liable for payment to a carrier after the shipper pays a broker and the broker declares bankruptcy without paying the carrier? 
Change is unavoidable, but strategic points of inflection are not always obvious in real time. In the future, it’s likely that April 1, 2018 — the date electronic logging device enforcement “went live” — will be enshrined as a red-letter day for our industry.
The transportation and logistics industry is heavily regulated, with myriad federal, state, local, and international laws on the books whose terms are directly reflected in the contracts. This poses a compliance burden. Fortunately, technology is helping forward-thinking organizations in this arena mitigate risk.
There has been little momentum to address the menace of container ship fires. That is despite the fires killing crew members and causing tens of millions of dollars of cargo losses and supply chain disruption annually. Something needs to change.
Last month, the Port of Long Beach agreed to join and partner with the Port of Los Angeles in the portwide portal — the GE Transportation Port Optimizer. The portal’s goal is to give the industry one platform to exchange data, and improve visibility and driver productivity in the process. This portal will ensure that LA-LB remains the leader in communication, innovation, and productivity.
Given the importance of NAFTA to the economies of all three countries and the sense of uncertainty the negotiations have been causing over the past eight months, one might conclude the urgency to wrap them up is rooted in creating greater economic stability and spurring investment. This is not so.
Given less attention than the resin boom and Asia import growth, but still deserving a close watch is the potential for Gulf ports to funnel a rebound in Latin American trade
In exchange for dropping its proposal for 50 percent of content to come from the United States, US policy makers tabled a new suggestion that would require US automakers to have their auto content produced in jurisdictions with a set minimum wage in exchange for financial credits to help offset the additional labor costs. It is a proposal that is being given serious consideration by Canadian and Mexican policy makers, as well.
The warehouse revolution is on. It is time for third-party logistics providers to embrace the changes of this new brave world or disappear. To be sure, the change will not be easy or quick but there is a considerable upside for your business.
What, exactly, is the true competitive edge, or threat, posed by digital forwarders?