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New Transport Canada rail safety rules move way too slowly
The Globe and Mail
Here is what Transport Canada knows:
That the average train derailment in Canada and the United States involving crude oil costs the rail industry $13.2-million;
That the most expensive such derailment to date, the one in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in 2013, with its loss of 47 lives and the annihilation of the heart of a small town, cost the industry $1.5-billion (or would have, if industry had to pay all the costs);
That new Transport Canada regulations on tank-car construction that phase in over 10 long years will cost the rail industry a tad more than $1-billion;
Therefore, if the regulations prevent 3.8 "average" spills per year for the next 20 years, or one "high-consequence incident" like Lac-Mégantic, then, by golly, the industry is going to come out ahead.
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Global intermodal freight to grow 17.4 percent
Cargo Business News
The impact of globalization tends to focus thinking about supply chains mainly on ocean transportation over long distances, but the interaction of the water, air, rail and trucking modes are what makes the modern supply chain tick.
The Intermodal Association of North America defines intermodal as the "transfer of products involving multiple modes of transportation — truck, railroad or ocean carrier."
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FMC: Big shipping alliances are overwhelming major US ports
Cargo Business News
The sharp rise of container ship sizes and alliances among the world's largest shipping lines is overwhelming major U.S. ports, costing millions to shippers who can't access their cargo on time and prompting the Federal Maritime Commission to threaten legal action if the parties don't deal with the mess.
Container shipping is largely controlled by around 15 mostly European and Asian operators, which recently have sought to cut costs by increasing the pooling of operations within big alliances.
CP applauds US DOT,Transport Canada's harmonized tank car standards
Canadian Pacific applauds the Canadian and U.S. governments for working together on harmonizing new tank car standards and fully supports their leadership in the full implementation of these new cars for transporting dangerous goods.
The new tank car announced, the TC-117/DOT-117 will include outer jackets, thermal protection, thicker steel shells, head shields and improved bottom valves to protect against leaks during a potential incident. The rules also call for the full phase out or retrofitting of all older tank cars that do not meet the new standards.
Railway carloadings, February 2015
Government of Canada
The volume of rail freight carried in Canada totalled 25.7 million tonnes in February, up 7.2 percent from the same month last year.
Domestic rail freight originating in Canada and destined within Canada and other parts of the world rose 8.4 percent to 22.8 million tonnes. These shipments are composed of non-intermodal freight — that is, cargo moved via box cars or loaded in bulk — and intermodal freight — that is, cargo moved via containers and trailers on flat cars.
Non-intermodal freight increased 7.3 percent to 248,000 carloads. The amount of freight loaded into these cars totalled 20.4 million tonnes, up 9.7 percent.
CN targets $2.7 billion in capital investments to raise network safety, efficiency
CN announced the details of its 2015 plan to invest $2.7 billion in rail infrastructure maintenance and improvements, as well as in new capacity, equipment and technology to raise network safety and efficiency, improve service and support future growth.
Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said, "With the work season now well underway, CN is embarking on a large number of maintenance and construction projects to ensure we continue to run a safe railway and play a continuing role as a true backbone of the economy."
The US is getting serious about oil train explosions
Oil is a global commodity, traversing vast distances by pipeline, tanker and recently in the U.S. by rail car. A resurgence in domestic crude oil production due to technological advances in drilling has led to a transportation bottleneck between landlocked oil fields and coastal refineries and ports, and that bottleneck has opened up the door for more oil shipment via rail.
But increased shipment by rail has also led to an increase in accidents, and the U.S. Department of Transportation released long-awaited safety standards for train cars carrying oil and other flammable materials following a series of dangerous derailments.
Creating a collaborative network of YouTube truckers
By Matt Chase
YouTube's handful of young, popular truckers have made a name for themselves primarily through a dogged pursuit of making daily videos. They have become idols to many with a following of people who see them as "stars," larger than life. So does the popular YouTube driver help the industry with real issues? Are they genuine voices for helping other drivers in this tough arena of over-the-road driving? What would it look like if YouTube was actually used as a platform to discuss real issues in the trucking industry? Let's see.
eManifest implementation date finally announced
The Canadian Trucking Alliance has welcomed the publishing of Canada Gazette Part II which outlines changes to regulations regarding eManifest information required by Canada Border Services Agency prior to arrival in Canada.
The publishing of the Canada Gazette Part II indicates to highway carriers that there are now 45 days to comply with CBSA's Advanced Commercial Information eManifest requirements for all trucks, loaded or empty, coming into Canada.
Port Metro trucking license system unfair, court rules
The Vancouver Sun
A group of Port Metro Vancouver container truck drivers who were denied licenses to haul cargo in and out of port terminals won their case in Federal Court arguing that the selection process was unfair and their applications should be reconsidered.
Unless Port Metro Vancouver appeals the decision, it means the port will have to issue additional new licenses to applicants representing about 200 trucks.
Riding in Freightliner's autonomous Inspiration Truck
After a flashy prime time introduction of its Inspiration Truck atop the Hoover Dam, Freightliner today offered further details on how the world's first road-legal autonomous truck works, and how it will benefit the North American trucking industry.
Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America stressed it was customers that drove Freightliner to develop a truck that will help improve safety and trucking industry efficiency.
Port truckers strike against 4 trucking companies at LA/Long Beach
After voting recently, short haul truck drivers at the busiest port complex in the U.S. started a strike against four major trucking firms to demand employee status and better wages.
Picket lines went up outside the trucking yards of Pacific 9 Transportation, Intermodal Bridge Transport, Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport, said Barb Maynard, a spokeswoman for the Teamsters union, which is supporting the truckers.
It is too soon to say what, if any, effect the work stoppage will have on business, said port officials. The strike is not expected to shut down all port terminals.
Air freight resumes modest growth trend
The International Air Transport Association released data for global air freight markets, showing a modest 1.6 percent rise in volumes in March compared to a year ago, measured in Freight Tonne Kilometers.
The industry's March performance stands in sharp contrast to the exceptionally strong 12.2 percent rise reported for February. February's performance, however, was positively skewed by the combined impacts of the timing of the Lunar New Year and the labor dispute at US West Coast seaports.
US fed may step in as airlines, travel groups battle over state subsidies
By Ryan Clark
Domestic airlines have been waging a war with travel groups and Middle East airlines over the latter's use of state-funded subsidies, bringing into the question the free-market equality promoted by the Open Skies agreements. At issue is whether the United Arab Emirates and Qatar should be allowed to provide funding to their countries' airlines. These subsidies cover revenue losses as the airlines expand rapidly across the globe and offer low fares to travelers.
Drewry: Shippers should push for reliability over speed
Some shippers want faster services but they would probably be better served demanding better reliability first, according to the latest issue of Container Insight by Drewry Maritime Research.
At the recent global shipping conference in Hamburg, Robert Gora of Siemens said ocean carriers should offer faster services between Asia and Europe, saying that many companies are willing to pay a premium for expedited options.
Gora said it currently takes around 40 days door-to-door to ship from Shanghai to Germany, compared to 10 days for the much more expensive airfreight option and 20 to 25 days for rail.
New toll structure approved for Panama Canal
The Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama has officially approved a proposal to modify the canal tolls structure, following a recommendation from the Panama Canal Authority Board of Directors.
ACP says the proposal — which modifies the pricing structure for most Canal segments — will better facilitate the goal of providing better service and reliability to the global shipping and maritime community while remaining competitive.
Shippers must meet new box weighing rules as overload risks grow
The Load Star
Regulators have decided that from July next year, all containers must be weighed before loading. Exporters, port executives and shipping line managers attending the Multimodal exhibition in Birmingham heard how the U.K. is leading the way in interpreting the new rules to keep sea freight flowing.
Captain Richard Brough, technical and administration director of the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association, said that in a recent survey, 10 percent of containers were found to have wrongly declared weights.
Canada transportation minister announces 50-port transfer
Canadian Minister for Transport Lisa Raitt has announced a government-funded program to transfer 50 of the country's ports to local interests.
The Ports Asset Transfer Program is a structured program that includes engagement, sale and divestiture phases, according to the statement. Sales and divestitures are designed to open up new commercial possibilities to allow port facilities to reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to economic growth, jobs and investments in local communities.
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