Commentary

Japan has played an interesting game with China; some might say it has taken an interesting gamble.
One senior carrier executive said that there would be “no negotiation” on bunker fuel surcharges beginning as early as 2019 annual contracts that won’t even extend into 2020, let alone trans-Pacific contracts signed as of May 1, 2019, that will extend well into 2020. That may well be so, but ocean carriers' track record is less promising.  
On Sept. 27, 2018, the FMCSA posted their advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the "broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility." This is the second time the FMCSA has initiated a rulemaking initiative pertaining to MAP-21. The advance notice delineates eight areas of inquiry in which new rules are being considered by the agency.
With no dramatic changes in sourcing or the state of trade tensions, shippers will be forced to pass on higher costs to customers – something that will affect trade volume.
Demurrage is arguably one of the most disputed contract terms in the transportation industry. The application of smart contracts could address many of the issues that make demurrage claims costly and inefficient, providing the industry can reconcile the technology with the uncertainties of the physical supply chain. 
The wind is at the intermodal sector’s back in the North American markets, but there is one headwind that, and as of now, the scope and ultimate impact is unknown. 
What will the US trucking capacity situation be in five years? Will it be tighter than today, looser, or about the same? A show of hands to those questions at a panel — which I moderated at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s 2018 Edge Conference — revealed most expect further tightness come 2023. Fundamentally, yours truly does not fully agree. 
In order to relieve itself of legal liability for damage, a carrier has to prove that what went on adds up to one of the excepted causes allowing for such relief.
Ocean carriers and shippers, although mutually dependent, continue to act in ways that are adversarial and self-destructive, and they're doing so while the industry is about to face major challenges, including slowing global demand growth, overcapacity, and the low-sulfur bunker fuel rule.  
Not all blockchains are the same. Some projects describe themselves as blockchain-based yet are effectively protected databases. These private blockchains are just another proprietary system, forcing participants to use the solution in a particular way. A better system? Open, or public, blockchains.
A driver-centric social network could not only become part of the trucking ecosystem, but establish itself as the very core of driver and industry interaction.
The Port of New York and New Jersey will face multiple-port competition for discretionary cargo in the decade ahead and with the head of the seaport departing, that intensifying competition calls out for a leader with operating experience.
On the surface, China’s Asia-Europe rail subsidies seem like a slam-dunk win for shippers, a free lunch. But as the axiom states, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And that axiom applies to international shipping as well.
With the internet and various complementary technology already in place, the road has been cleared for logistics service providers to launch a new vehicle for shippers to take advantage of — the online freight-forwarding platform.