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General

State of the Union address highlights infrastructure, need for transport assessment
Canadian Shipper
In part of his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama pushed the issues of infrastructure and trade. Most infrastructure in the U.S. is reaching the end of its design life and experts estimate the nation must invest hundreds of billions of dollars to bring the highway system to a state of good repair, reported American Shipper. One in nine bridges are rated as structurally deficient and 32 percent of roads are in poor or mediocre condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.
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Sen. McCain wants to get rid of the Jones Act, eliminating special treatment for American-made ships
AL.com
A lot of people have a bone to pick with Arizona Sen. John McCain. He proposed changes recently to the Keystone XL pipeline legislation that some argue would destroy American shipbuilding jobs. The amendment would repeal the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 — widely known as the Jones Act — which requires that all goods shipped on waterways in the United States be carried on domestic ships owned by an American citizen. The law has sustained reams of jobs in the decades since it was enacted, advocates of the law say. But McCain argues that it's just an "unnecessary, protectionist restriction" on competition from foreign-flagged vessels.
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Study: Automated vehicles will reduce congestion, improve economy
Canadian Shipper
A new study from The Conference Board of Canada, in collaboration with the Van Horne Institute and Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, titled "Automated Vehicles: The Coming of the Next Disruptive Technology," estimates that self-driving cars could be on the roads by 2020-25 and economic benefits for Canada could total over $65 billion per year. Automated vehicles, already on the road in some form, will continue to rapidly enter the on-ramps, highways and Canadian roadways, packed with time-saving benefits and reducing road collisions.
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US container volume forecast to rise in first half of 2015
Journal of Commerce
Container volume through the top U.S. port gateways is expected to continue rising through the first half of 2015 after traffic rose 6 percent year-over-year in 2014 despite U.S. West Coast port congestion, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report. The report, produced for the National Retail Federation by Hackett Associates, estimated that container volume through the 10 gateways last year hit 17.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units. JOC Economist Mario O. Moreno forecasts total U.S. imports rose 6 percent last year to nearly 19 million TEUs, and he expects import volume in 2015 to increase 6.8 percent to 20.2 million TEUs compared to 2014.
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Report: Existing e-commerce logistics models 'unsustainable'
Canadian Shipper
The present business models being employed by e-retailers and their shipping partners are becoming increasingly unsustainable, a new benchmark report from Ti has concluded. Global e-Commerce Logistics Report 2015 found that while logistics is viewed as a strategic advantage by online retailers and many are investing in delivery and fulfillment networks, the financial impact of these investments is weighing heavily on their profit margins.
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Rail


CP shattered operating ratio record in Q4
Progressive Railroading
In the fourth quarter, Canadian Pacific achieved the lowest quarterly operating ratio in its history at 59.8. The railroad's first sub-60 ratio improved 6.1 points compared with fourth-quarter 2013's OR. CP also set Q4 records for net income at $451 million and earnings per share at $2.63. In addition, revenue climbed 10 percent to an all-time high $1.76 billion; adjusted earnings jumped to $460 million, or $2.68 per share, from $338 million or $1.91 per share in fourth-quarter 2013; volume increased 4 percent to 690,000 units and total operating expenses fell 30 percent to $1 billion.
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CN rejects union request for longer conciliation with locomotive engineers
The Canadian Press via Winnipeg Free Press
Conciliation between Canadian National Railway and its locomotive engineers is set to expire a midnight after the union says the railway rejected its request for a 60-day extension. As a result, the country's largest railway could be headed to a strike or lockout as of mid-February following a 21-day cooling off period. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says one of the sticking points is the company's demand to remove all rest provisions.
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CP announces the appointment of Timothy E. Marsh as senior VP of sales and marketing
CP
Canadian Pacific announced that Timothy E. Marsh has been appointed senior vice-president of sales and marketing effective Feb. 1, 2015. Marsh joins CP from COSCO where he had been executive vice-president North America Trade Division. His career at COSCO began in 2002 when he was appointed General Manager National Sales. Marsh brings to CP 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the international shipping industry. "Finding the right person to lead CP's sales and marketing team is integral as we look to position ourselves for long-term growth," said Keith Creel, CP's president and chief operating officer.
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CN may be headed for strike
Materials Management & Distribution
Conciliation between Canadian National Railway and its locomotive engineers is set to expire at midnight night after the union says the railway rejected its request for a 60-day extension. As a result, the country's largest railway could be headed to a strike or lockout as of mid-February following a 21-day cooling off period. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says one of the sticking points is the company's demand to remove all rest provisions. The union representing about 1,800 CN locomotive engineers says it is concerned the Montreal-based railway may be relying on government intervention and trying to "run the clock out" on talks.
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Trucking


Trucking group: Highway 30 toll rate increases absurd
Montreal Gazette
The toll rate increases coming to Highway 30 are absurd and unacceptable in today's fragile economy, says Marc Cadieux, president of the Quebec Trucking Association. "There's just no justification to be up to a 60 per cent increase for a structure that's been in place for two years," Cadieux said. Increases to the toll rates will be implemented on Feb. 1. For passenger vehicles, the rates will rise to $2.40 per trip, up from $2. For trucks, the rate will increase to $1.85 per axle, up from $1.50.
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Port Metro Vancouver truckers deliver ultimatum to transportation ministers
The Vancouver Sun
Port Metro Vancouver container truck drivers have threatened to go on strike as early as Feb. 1 if Transportation Minister Todd Stone does not crack down on alleged non-compliance with the agreement they signed last March to end a 28-day work stoppage. Representatives of Unifor, the Teamsters and the non-union United Truckers Association met with Stone and federal Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt to press their case that trucking companies haven't been paying the rates for container movements between facilities outside of port terminals that were part of the deal brokered by top mediator Vince Ready and Corinn Bell.
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Marine


PMA comments on continued slow downs at West Coast ports
American Journal of Transportation
The Pacific Maritime Association released the following statement regarding its ongoing negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union: "Nearly three months ago, the ILWU began a coordinated series of slowdowns intended to pressure employers to make concessions at the bargaining table. Ever since, PMA and its members have worked hard to counter the growing backlog of cargo that threatens to bring our ports to gridlock."
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Led by steel products, Port of Hamilton moves record volume in 2014
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is becoming the gateway to North America for international shippers. The latest cargo tonnage figures from the Hamilton Port Authority show the volume of foreign cargo flowing through the harbour rose 39 per cent last year over 2013, its highest annual overseas tonnage in a decade. "All commodities are up right across the board," said HPA president Bruce Wood. "We've even hit an all-time revenue number of $22 million for the year."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Rail-car forecast: 83,000 freight cars in 2015 (Progressive Railroading)
CN and CP face fines over grain shipments (MM&D)
PMA renews call for Federal mediation in West Coast Longshore negotiations (American Journal of Transportation)
Driving Kriska's ProStar with SmartAdvantage powertrain (Truck News)
Freight costs up (MM&D)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


West Coast longshore workers, employers agree on chassis issue
Long Beach Press Telegram
The union representing West Coast dockworkers and their employers reached a tentative agreement on a key component of the stalled labor talks that threaten to cripple cargo movement at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers at 29 ports, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents 20,000 dockworkers, have agreed on the issue of repairing and maintaining the trailers that are vital to moving cargo containers in and out of Los Angeles, Long Beach and other West Coast ports. A spokesman for the PMA confirmed the tentative agreement recently.
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Air


FIATA welcomes airline shift towards 'all-in' cargo rates
Lloyd's Loading List
FIATA has joined the ever-increasing list of forwarding and shipper representatives to welcome the emerging shift by airlines towards 'all-in' cargo rates, describing it as a "long-awaited move in the right direction that may be supportive of transparency." The comments from FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, follow the recent announcements separately by two major and rapidly expanding air cargo carriers, Emirates and Qatar Airways, to switch to an inclusive air cargo pricing structure, incorporating fuel and security surcharges within the freight rate, over the next few months.
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FMA News Bulletin
Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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