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Intermodal rate hikes necessary to address congestion: J.B. Hunt

[caption caption="J.B. Hunt said it lost opportunities to take on additional loads in the final three months of 2020 because of rail congestion and shippers sitting on equipment longer than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Shipper costs will rise more than 10 percent for intermodal service in certain US...

Outlook 2021: Latest US driver shortage requires long-term solutions

[caption caption="Caption: US truck driver employment was down 65,700 jobs year over year in October despite adding 63,500 jobs since the low point in April. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021, Journal of Commerce Annual Review and Outlook.The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown...

JOC Uncharted: Episode 31

In this week's episode, available at 11AM EST. Sustainability has long been a rather superficial element of supply chain decision-making, largely because the social onus on shippers wasn't strong enough, and the tools to truly measure carbon impact on a granular level didn't exist. But shippers are acutely aware of...

Heartland Express raises revenue, driver pay

[caption caption="Heartland Express has raised driver pay three times since 2017, including a 6 percent pay hike in October 2020. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]The financial results reported by Heartland Express Tuesday are likely a harbinger of what to expect from large publicly owned truckload carriers as they close the books on...

US imports from Asia hit record December level

[caption caption="US ports and inland rail hubs will most likely have to contend with congestion issues and equipment shortages into February. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]US imports from Asia recorded their highest December level ever, signaling the import surge that began in June still has plenty of momentum — and will continue to...

Ex-APL executive Timothy Rhein dead at 79

[caption caption="Timothy Rhein rose to become president and chief executive over a 34-year career at APL that started as a military contract analyst in 1967. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Timothy J. Rhein, a towering figure at APL and in container shipping, more broadly, who played a key role in the company’s pioneering...

Carriers, cargo owners at odds over India empty equipment inflow

[caption caption="The Container Shipping Lines’ Association — the representative voice of foreign carriers in India — says the present equipment imbalanced situation is a product of demand suddenly and unexpectedly outstripping available capacity. Photo credit: PSA India."][/caption]Equipment scarcity has been a heavy blow for Indian shippers scrambling to keep pace with a...

Outlook 2021: Rising e-commerce, industrial demand to keep pressure on LTL rates

[caption caption="US less-than-truckload (LTL) shippers and carriers are expecting mid- to upper-single-digit percentage contract rates increases in 2021. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021, Journal of Commerce Annual Review and Outlook.When the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread business shutdowns in March and...

Flexport vets take aim at apparel production management

[caption caption="SILQ tethers their approach to a network of inspectors at about 10 apparel sourcing hubs in China, India, and Vietnam, currently. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]A trio of Flexport veterans has secured $2 million in venture capital financing to grow a business aimed at reducing the costs and increasing data accuracy...

Demand pressure drives up cargo rolling at Asian hubs

[caption caption="Port Klang in Malaysia recorded the worst cargo rollover ratio in December out of Asia's major hubs. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Cargo rollovers at Asia’s main hub ports rose sharply through December, as rising container demand from the US and Europe overwhelmed terminals and carrier capacity, despite the deployment of all...

Improve Asset Utilization: Advantages of a Camera-Based Yard Management System

Strategic and nimble asset utilization is business-critical for maintaining yard efficiency. The last year showed us plainly that flexibility is no longer optional. Technology offers many solutions to streamline processes and promises of revenue growth, but identifying the best technology for your business needs and unique operations is challenging.  With warehousing,...

Antwerp posts record annual volume despite COVID-19

[caption caption="Strong demand from European importers in the second half of 2020 kept Antwerp's terminals busy. Photo credit: Port of Antwerp."][/caption]The Port of Antwerp handled record container throughput in 2020, with sharply recovering demand through the second half driving volume to 12 million TEU for the first time. It is a...

US truckload capacity to remain tight as volumes recover: FTR

[caption caption="Truckload volumes were down about 4 percent year over year in 2020, FTR said, but should catch up with 2019 shipments as the US industrial economy recovers. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Trucking’s recovery from the 2020 recession is far from over, with peak trucking volumes still months away, speakers at an...

Retailers investing in fulfillment solutions to mitigate rising delivery costs

[caption caption="More than half of surveyed retailers are investing in in-store fulfillment. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Facing rising delivery costs, more than half of US retailers in a recent survey say they are increasingly investing in fulfillment automation solutions and new fulfillment centers. According to a survey conducted by supply chain technology firm...

Multipurpose carriers benefit from congested container market's 'whipsaw effect'

[caption caption="The 31,000-dwt AAL Brisbane delivers a deck-load of multiple containers types to the Port of Brisbane for Australian container supplier SCF. Photo credit: AAL."][/caption]Requests for breakbulk carriers to reposition empties and equipment and to move full boxes not related to projects, a rarity for the sector, are on the...

Chicago rail disruptions spread to Minneapolis-St. Paul

[caption caption="BNSF trains destined for St. Paul, Minnesota, have been staged outside the terminal until enough TRAC chassis become available. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Some containers destined for shipper facilities in Minnesota have been idling in BNSF Railway’s St. Paul terminal because of a chassis shortage, a disruption to beneficial cargo owners...

Late vessel arrivals disrupt ag exports at Port of Oakland

[caption caption="Some carriers that had refused agricultural exports last fall are no longer declining those shipments. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Late vessel arrivals at the Port of Oakland have become even more frequent than they were last fall, disrupting agricultural shippers’ schedules for delivering export containers to the terminals and saddling them...

Solid Q4 result sets OOCL on course for profitable year

[caption caption="The trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe trades delivered a robust Q4 performance for OOCL. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com."][/caption]Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) Friday reported significant growth in volume and revenue during the fourth quarter, with its performance driven by heavy demand from US and European importers, strong regional trade, and soaring rate...

Outlook 2021: Retailers redefining the 'last-mile' through expanded contactless fulfillment

[caption caption="According to a McKinsey & Co. survey, 60 percent of US consumers who used buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) in 2020 will continue to do so after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Photo credit: Michael Vi/Shutterstock.com."][/caption]This story appears in the print edition of the Jan. 4, 2021, Journal...

Colin Barrett, JOC Q&A writer for 48 years, dies at 81

[caption caption="\"I found it [transportation\"I found it [transportation"][/caption]Colin Barrett, a journalist, consultant, author, and educator who for five decades answered nitty-gritty shipper questions on all aspects of transportation law, contracting, and claims, died Jan. 6 of cancer at his home in Johns Island, South Carolina. He was 81 years old.For...