JOC Blockchain Explainer: Demystifying the buzz for shipping industry

Many experts argue that blockchain technology is tailor-made for container shipping’s international logistics work. But blockchain faces numerous hurdles – and the biggest of which may be cultural. Photo credit: Blockchain promises to help transform container shipping, but there’s plenty to resolve as this technology gains traction. The industry is… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics

Record US imports forecast for peak season

US importers plan to bring in record container volume this peak season, which will translate into an impressive 2018 year-end gain compared to 2017. (Above: the Port of Long Beach.) Photo credit: US importers plan to bring in record container volume this peak season, bringing year-end growth over 2017 to… Journal of Commerce | Regulation & Policy

Maersk further expands India cold chain services

  The Europe-based ocean carrier has created another specialized, end-to-end cold chain logistics operation, as it works vigorously to establish a stronger foothold in the emerging market economy. Photo credit: Maresk Line has made another statement regarding reefer cargo trade in India after delivering live apple saplings from Verona, Italy, to… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics

Reefer stakeholders demand better tech, customer service

A global head of reefer management for a major ocean carrier predicted that shipping is moving toward a “new era of customer focus” with an emphasis on “creating products that actually add value to customers’ supply chains.” Photo credit: Stakeholders throughout the refrigerated shipping industry are aligned on two key… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics

Carriers eye higher prices on reefer demand, tighter capacity

With supply and demand in more of a balance, sector analysts say shippers should expect higher reefer rates. Photo credit: The impact of carrier consolidation continues to reverberate through the shipping industry, with reefer beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) among the most prone to the inevitable consequences such as service slips,… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics

UPS order shows CNG-powered rigs still trucking in electric age

Electric trucks have been grabbing headlines lately, as startups and established truck makers develop and test battery-powered models, but don’t discount compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel. UPS last month invested $ 130 million to buy more than 700 new CNG-powered trucks and related technology, building on $ 190 million in… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics

US shippers question effectiveness of shorthanded FMC

The Federal Maritime Commission says that the two remaining commissioners, of a possible five, are up to the task, career staff are able to support the agency’s mission, and the two commissioners — both Republicans — have the authority to deliver a majority vote on decisions. Photo credit: Questioning the… Journal of Commerce | Regulation & Policy

Brazil customs officers suspend strike after politician’s intervention

Above: The Port of Santos, Brazil. Photo credit: Finally, some good news for shippers using the troubled Brazil Port of Santos, South America’s largest for containers, as the long-running job-action by customs officers (Receita Federal) may be on the verge of breaking up. As of Thursday, officials have suspended the job-acton/strike… Journal of Commerce | Regulation & Policy

Bank’s push of cross-border trade blockchain complicates single platform aim

Global trade-oriented blockchain solutions are moving from pilot to purported commercial viability in Asia and Europe, as shippers evaluate whether blockchain is something in which they should invest in the short term and which project to back. Photo credit: The advancement of European- and Japanese-based blockchain consortiums reflects the financial industry’s growing… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics

Profitable year slipping away as container shipping outlook darkens

After industry-wide profitability in 2017, only three container lines managed to stay in the black during the first quarter of 2018. Photo credit: The likelihood of the container shipping industry hitting two straight years of total profitability is fading fast, with rising tit-for-tat tariffs, bunker prices up by half from… Journal of Commerce | International Logistics