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PMA renews call for Federal mediation in West Coast Longshore negotiations
American Journal of Transportation
The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers at America's 29 West Coast ports, on Dec. 29, 2014, released a statement regarding its ongoing contract negotiations with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and a renewed call for federal mediation. The statement can be found here.
The PMA has also issued a fact sheet Fact Sheet on ILWU slowdowns at ports of Los
Angeles and Long Beach that can be found here.
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Buyer for Montreal terminals
World Cargo News
Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is selling Montreal Gateway Terminals to Montreal Investor Fiera Axium Infrastructure Inc.
Morgan Stanley initially acquired 80 percent of Montreal Gateway Terminals, which has the concession on the Cast and Racine terminals in Montreal, in 2007 for around $400 million, then acquired the remaining 20 percent from Hapag LLoyd in 2013. Now operated as the Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership, Morgan Stanley has been looking for a buyer for several months.
US economic growth to continue through 2015, leading economist claims
The US economy is expected to continue its upward trajectory through 2015, eventually meeting its full potential before growth stalls in 2016.
That was the upbeat outlook from Bill Witte, lead economist with trucking industry forecaster FTR, during a State of Freight Webinar titled The Economy in 2015.
Witte said the economic recovery that began in mid-2009 has occurred in two stages. The first stage, mid-09 to mid-2013, was helped along by federal stimulus and characterized by slow growth of about 2 percent on a year-over-year basis.
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Freight costs up
Results published by the Canadian General Freight Index indicate that the total cost of ground transportation for Canadian shippers increased by 1.2 percent in October when compared with September results.
The base rate index, which excludes the impact of accessorial charges assessed by carriers, increased by 1.4 percent when compared to September 2014. Average fuel surcharges assessed by carriers decreased this month.
Rail-car forecast: 83,000 freight cars in 2015
According to author Toby Kolstad: When I made my first rail-car forecast for Progressive Railroading back in February 2003, I was very optimistic about both the immediate and the foreseeable prospects for rail-car builders. As I write this, my last public forecast, I again am very optimistic about the rail-car industry. Last year's early forecast of 61,500 cars and the statistical model forecast of 62,400 are close to our final 2014 projection of 66,000 deliveries. It appears 2015 deliveries will exceed 83,000 rail cars — if builders can secure enough wheels and cast parts.
CN and CP face fines over grain shipments
Canada's two largest railways have been fined a total of $150,000 for failing to transport the minimum required grain volumes last year, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said.
Canadian National Railway will pay $100,000 for violations under the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act related to shipments for the weeks of July 28 and Sept. 7.
However, Canadian Pacific Railway, which was assessed a $50,000 penalty for the week of Sept. 7, is disputing the fine on the basis that the shortfall was a result of matters beyond its control.
North American rail traffic gains continued at 2014's end
For the week ending Dec. 27, U.S. railroads logged 252,100 carloads, up 9.2 percent, and 181,238 intermodal units, up 5.4 percent compared with volumes from the same week in 2013, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Total combined weekly traffic rose 7.6 percent to 433,338 units as nine of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by motor vehicles and parts at 41.6 percent, nonmetallic minerals at 26.3 percent and coal at 9.9 percent. The lone decliner was forest products traffic, which dipped 2.5 percent.
Driving Kriska's ProStar with SmartAdvantage powertrain
He used to spec' all the trucks himself. One truck for every job. But Marcel Boisvenue, fleet maintenance manager with Kriska Transportation, has recently changed all that. He now leans more heavily on the expertise of the OEMs — their wind tunnels, their laboratories, their engineers — to design the best truck for each specific route and application.
"Years ago when we spec'd a truck, one truck did everything," Boisvenue explained. "It did this job, did that job. Did the hills, did the flats.
NTSB takes aim at commercial trucking safety, distracted driving
Strengthening commercial trucking safety is one of four new issues on the National Transportation Safety Board's Most Wanted List for 2015, including active safety systems and underride guard improvements, while distracted driving returns to the list.
The NTSB is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in other modes of transportation, such as railroad, highway, marine and pipeline.
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway to get $7-billion facelift
The Globe and Mail
One of Canada's most important transportation and trade networks, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, is undergoing a transformation that will see more than $7-billion worth of investments by 2018.
The upgrades include new docks, locks and freighters on the 3,700-kilometre trade route that links the centre of North America to global markets.
The improvements come as shipping on the seaway has been soaring with cargo volumes hitting 40 million tonnes last year, the highest since the recession.
Ships face lower sulphur fuel requirements in emission control areas
from Jan. 1, 2015
International Maritime Organization
Ships trading in designated emission control areas will have to use on board fuel oil with a sulphur content of no more than 0.10 percent from Jan. 1, 2015, against the limit of 1.00 percent in effect up until Dec. 31, 2014.
The stricter rules come into effect under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form ships (MARPOL) Annex VI (Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships), specifically under regulation 14, which covers emissions of Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and particulate matter from ships.
St. Lawrence Seaway tolls and wharfage charges to increase by 2.0
percent in 2015
Gateway Logistics Group
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation announced Dec. 23, 2014, a toll rate increase of 2.0 percent for the 2015 navigation season.
The Seaway also announced that Wharfage and Charges have been revised for the 2015 navigation season. Effective with the commencement of the 2015 navigation season, Wharfage Charges will increase 2 percent.
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Grain, steel lead St. Lawrence Seaway cargo volumes to post-recession high
The Globe and Mail
Cargo volumes on the St. Lawrence Seaway hit a post-recession high in 2014, driven by global sales of crops and demand for global steel from builders of cars, condos and oil rigs.
Seaway ships carried the most grain since 2000 as traders tried to catch up with a backlog of orders that followed the record harvest of 2013. And factories bought aluminum, steel and iron from international suppliers to meet robust consumer demand.
Port of Prince Rupert terminals see record volumes despite decline in overall port tonnage
Volumes reached record heights in 2014 at more than half of the Port of Prince Rupert's cargo terminals, according to year-end statistics released by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
Container, grain and biofuel shipments surged over a twelve-month period, while overall port volumes were tempered by decreases in coal and log exports, the port said in a release.
"The record-breaking performance of specific terminals demonstrates the value of building a diversified port complex," said Don Krusel, president and CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert.
Growth surged in 2014 vs 2013
Air Cargo Week
For January to November 2014, the total market FTK growth has been 4.4 per cent. Tyler says, "That optimism is tempered by the many macro-economic and political risks that continue to impact trade flows."
In November 2014, the total market FTK growth was 4.2 per cent compared to the same month in 2013. This was down on October when the total market FTK grew 5.4 per cent. In November, the Middle East had the fastest growth at 12.9 per cent with Africa coming second at 10.3 per cent. However, that continent only carries a small part of the world's airfreight.
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