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Canadian Transportation Agency suspends MMA/MMAC's certificate of fitness
Canadian Transportation Agency
In an order issued recently, the Canadian Transportation Agency suspended the certificate of fitness for Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Ltd. (MMA) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Canada Co. (MMAC), finding that the railways have not demonstrated that their third party liability insurance is adequate for ongoing operations.
Given the exceptional circumstances of the derailment in Lac-Mégantic, the Agency contacted MMA and MMAC seeking confirmation that they continued to hold adequate third party liability insurance coverage with respect to any continuing operations as stated in their certificate of fitness.
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Global shipping industry report and forecast released
Canadian Transportation & Logistics
Research and Markets has released the "Global Shipping Industry 2013 — Forecast, Trends & Opportunities" report, now available from their report offerings.
According to the report, during the coming years, the global shipping industry is expected to decline by 5-10 percent due to oversupply and high bunker oil prices that will eventually lead to constraining of its performance.
A sustained oversupply of vessels combined with high bunker oil prices will pressure margins in most shipping segments. The dry-bulk and crude oil tanker segments are likely to have the largest supply-demand gap in 2013, complicating these sectors' ability to meaningfully improve their earnings, said the report.
US Senate Republicans block $54 billion transportation bill
Cargo Business News
Senate Republicans blocked a $54 billion transportation and housing bill right before leaving for a month-long recess.
The Senate voted 54-43, six votes short of the 60 needed to invoke cloture on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for housing and transportation agencies.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was the lone Republican who voted in favor of moving forward with the bill and urged her colleagues to follow suit. "Think very carefully bout this vote," Collins said. "It would be so unfortunate if we go home to our constituents in August and are forced to tell them that we're unable to do our job."
US Court upholding new FMCSA Hours of Service
Truck News Daily
Any faint hope that remained that a US Court would reverse the new hours-of-service rules, has been completely dashed.
The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its ruling, retaining the new rules with the exception of one small change that won't affect Canadian carriers. The court struck down the requirement for a 30-minute off-duty break for short-haul drivers only.
"While we are disappointed the court chose to give unlimited deference to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's agenda-driving rulemaking, the striking down of the short-haul break provision is an important victory (for American carriers)," said Dave Osiecki, ATA senior vice-president of policy and regulatory affairs.
Hours of Service court decision ends battle, not war
Journal of Commerce
U.S. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote that the recent federal appeals court decision on the new hours-of-service rules "brings an end to much of the permanent warfare" between regulators, safety advocates and the trucking industry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decision, which upholds most of the new truck driving rules, may have ended the battle, but the war over highway safety is far from finished.
Eastern Canada intermodal volumes increase in Q2
Intermodal activity is up in Eastern Canada, posting a volume increase of 6.5 percent in the second quarter compared to the same time last year.
The region's share of total North American intermodal shipments increased one point to 8 percent in the second quarter.
"This positive showing can be attributed to strong domestic intermodal statistics, which increased 7 percent," the Intermodal Association of North America reported.
The association released data that showed domestic container volume continued its steady performance in the second quarter, posting a 9 percent year-over-year gain. The growth was attributed to the big box segment. Total intermodal traffic rose 2.4 percent in the quarter.
Court reverses class action status in rail price-fixing lawsuit
Journal of Commerce
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington reversed a ruling that turned a price-fixing lawsuit against four U.S.-based Class I railroads into a class action.
The three-judge panel said the lower court's decision to grant the lawsuit against BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX Transportation didn't fully consider the potential harm to the railroads, Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in the opinion filing. The four railroads face damages of $10 billion or more in a case that could involve about 30,000 shippers.
Canadian railway car-loadings for May 2013
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Freight carried by Canadian railways rose 12.9 percent to 29.3 million tonnes in May as the industry saw a strong increase in domestic freight traffic over May 2012 levels. Domestic shipments more than offset a decline in traffic received from United States connections. Within Canada, combined loadings 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) rose 15.5 percent to 26.0 million tonnes. The volume of domestic tonnage loaded marks the highest amount for the month of May since 1999.
Non-intermodal loadings rose 15.9 percent to 23.3 million tonnes. The gains were widespread as higher loadings were reported in 45 of the 64 commodity groups. Leading the way were commodity loadings of iron ores and concentrates (up 562,000 tonnes), fuel oils and crude petroleum (up 468,000 tonnes), potash (up 385,000 tonnes), and coal (up 367,000 tonnes). Shipments related to fuel oils and crude petroleum and potash represent record haulages for the month of May.
Intermodal loadings rose 12.3 percent to 2.7 million tonnes. The increase was tied to gains in both containerized cargo shipments and trailers loaded onto flat cars. From a geographic perspective, both the western and eastern railway divisions in Canada saw increased loadings in May. The Western Division, which accounted for 58.5 percent of the domestic freight loadings, rose 17.9 percent from the same month in 2012 to 15.2 million tonnes. The Eastern Division accounted for the remainder of the loadings and increased 12.2 percent to 10.8 million tonnes. Rail traffic received from United States connections fell 3.9 percent to 3.3 million tonnes. The decrease in traffic was spurred by a drop in non-intermodal loadings.
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Railroad files for bankruptcy after Quebec disaster
Journal of Commerce
Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, Ltd., the Maine-based railroad at the center of a July 6 derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In addition, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Canada Co. filed a petition seeking relief under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in the Superior Court of Quebec in Montreal. MMA Canada also announced that Richter Advisory Group agreed to act as the court-appointed monitor of the Canadian company.
Chairman Ed Burkhardt said closure of the company's rail line in Lac-Mégantic disrupted its operations, and the railroad faces massive cleanup costs and lawsuits related to the deadly accident.
Alberta crude terminal announced; will deliver oil to North American refineries
The Canadian Press via The Huffington Post
Keyera Corp. and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. have entered into a joint venture to build a new crude oil rail loading facility in Edmonton, Alberta.
The facility, which will be called the Alberta Crude Terminal, will be able to load crude oil handled at Kinder Morgan's Edmonton Terminal onto trains for delivery to North American refineries.
The terminal will have 20 loading spots and will be able to load about 40,000 barrels of crude oil into tank cars per day.
Cargojet declares quarterly dividend
The Board of Cargojet Inc. has announced a cash dividend of $0.1491 per share for the period from July 1-Sept. 30, 2013. The dividends will be paid to all shareholders of record as at the close of business on Sept. 20, and will be payable on or before Oct. 4. These dividends will be eligible dividends within the meaning of Canada's Income Tax Act.
Cargojet is Canada's leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services and operates a network across North America as well as global air charters.
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New program to celebrate Canada's best fleets for drivers
Trucking HR Canada has announced the launch of the Best Fleets to Drive For: Canada program, an offshoot of the popular Truckload Carriers Association competition, powered by CarriersEdge.
Best Fleets to Drive For: Canada, will recognize the Canadian private and for-hire carriers fleets that provide the best workplaces for drivers.
Officials: Railway regulation system works
Industry, government and union officials say the railway inspection and regulation process intended to prevent accidents remains sound.
"Despite what happened in Quebec, I'm still saying that the rail industry is the model," said Christine Collins, president of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, whose members include Transport Canada railway inspectors.
Murray: Don't expect passenger rail to return to the north anytime soon
Don't expect passenger rail to return to the north anytime soon if ever says Ontario's Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure Glen Murray said in North Bay.
Murray, who was in the bay to announce an $8 million investment to infrastructure improvements for the North Bay area and surrounding region, took time out to speak with media.
Transatlantic box volumes on the up in Q2
Lloyd's Loading List
Box volumes on the transatlantic trade increased in both directions during the second quarter of the year. The latest figures from Container Trades Statistics show container volumes from Europe to North America increased by 3.3 percent year on year during the second quarter, to 918,100 teu. During the first six months of the year, volumes were up 1.7 percent, compared with the first six months of 2012, to 1.8 million teu. In the opposite direction, second-quarter volumes increased 2 percent year on year to 691,800 teu. Between January and the end of June, volumes from North America to Europe had increased by 2 percent compared with last year, to 1.4 million teu.
Analysis: TransCanada's East Coast oil pipeline to change trade dynamics
TransCanada Corp's plan to build one of the world's longest oil pipelines has reverberations far beyond Canadian shores.
The planned 2,700 mile pipeline, which will bring crude from Canada's energy capital of Alberta to refineries and ports on the East Coast, has the potential to upturn the dynamics of the North Atlantic oil trade squeezing out some imported crude to North America and revitalizing once-ailing refineries.
Tesoro says rail-to-barge oil port for entire West Coast
A $100 million rail-to-barge oil terminal that Tesoro Corp plans to build at a port in Washington would help supply cheaper U.S. and Canadian crude to refineries all along the West Coast — both its own and those run by competitors.
The project, which would initially have capacity of 120,000 barrels a day and could be expanded to 280,000 BPD, is the biggest so far proposed to help Pacific Coast refineries tap growing output of inland U.S. and Canadian heavy crudes.
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