Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 8, 2011

Ocean cargo carriers can take nothing for granted
The container shipping industry stands on the brink of an “era-defining moment” as it faces fundamental challenges, said Maersk Line CEO, Eivind Kolding. In a keynote address at a major EU logistics event, he declared that if container the shipping industry is to secure its right to operate in the future, the industry needs to change now.

Ocean Carriers Delay Peak-Season Surcharge
A peak-season surcharge scheduled to take effect next week in the eastbound Pacific has been postponed for at least one month. The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, which represents most of the large carriers in the U.S. import trade from Asia, late last year published a voluntary guideline for its members calling for a peak-season surcharge of $400 per 40-foot container to run from June 15 through Nov. 30.

DOT Sends $1.5 Million to Alabama for Tornado Repairs
The Department of Transportation is making $1.5 million available to Alabama in “quick-release” emergency funds, to reimburse the state for some initial repairs to traffic signals, road signs and other roadway damage from the deadly April 27 tornadoes. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the early funding as he toured the damage zone in that state.

Japan Reports Record Trade Deficit
Japan’s trade deficit with the rest of the world soared more than three-fold to a record in the first part of May as the country’s exports withered in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. According to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, Japan incurred a trade deficit of $13.2 billion between May 1 and May 20, up a whopping 224.3 percent from the same 20-day period last year.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst