What's happening in US





Boston's lonely quest to make US container shipping reflect value rather than scale

It wasn't that long ago that New York's finger piers that ringed Manhattan were operational and that most cargo going to metropolitan London landed on the quays of ancient Docklands.

All that has long gone, having moved off to New Jersey across the Hudson in one case and 70 miles north east from London in the other, both faraway from the bright lights of big city congestion to where road and rail access were once again readily available.

If port congestion caused the world waterfront community to look elsewhere for salvation 50 years ago, it is again congestion that has reared up, prompting a new generation to yearn for a way to solve the problem for which they can blame no one but themselves.

Mid-Atlantic explosion aboard then MSC Flaminia in 2012 still in US court today

TODAY's safety first, last and always mentality that drives an increasing careful world, has resulted in greater expense in getting hazardous materials (hazmat) from one place to another not to mention the new serious legal risks they pose to those who handle them.

One only need to reflect aviation and marine accidents and the detailed litigation they spawn to appreciate how the expense of settling claims can drawf the real costs of the accident itself.

Still taking up court time today in New York is the case of the aptly named 6,750-TEU MSC Flaminia that exploded mid-Atlantic in July 2012, when it was engulfed in flames for a time. Eventually, the German-owned ship, on charter to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) was taken in finally - with other ports refusing entry fearing hazmat contamination - at the then unused Port of Wilhelmshaven. A few months later, following repairs at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering's shipyard in Mangalia, Romania, the ship edged its way back into MSC service.


US trade wars Detailed look at today's big trade disputes affecting the US and the west

AS the fear of trade wars and ever-widening protectionism mounts, it would a worthwhile to examine that lies ahead in terms of international trade disputes affecting the United States and the West generally.

Such fears have given rise to much talk about fair versus free trade. Free trade involves the powers that be absenting themselves, or at the very least minimising their involvement the natural process of pricing based on supply and demand.

Fair trade involves trade controls imposed by government or government-sanctioned, or at least tolerated, monopolies or oligopolies. One cause of the American revolution was the control imposed by the mercantilist system, insisting American shippers to only sell to a limited number of buyers in Britain, who together dictated the price to American exporters who could go nowhere else - legally, that is. This situation prompted many to smuggle goods to France, with whom Britain was at war.

Today, Canadian National Railway delivers more American than Canadian consumers

FROM broken collection of bankrupt railways put together by the government in 1919, the Canadian National Railway has come a long way though most of rapid ascent has only come in the last 20 years after a lifetime as a state-owned money-losing rival to the once mighty and still privately owned Canadian Pacific Railway.

But after Canadian government privatised CN in 1995, the energised company took off. Over the next decade, it expanded significantly into the United States, purchasing Illinois Central Railroad and Wisconsin Central Transportation, among others.

Recently, CN vice president JJ Ruest led a CN team on a tour of the Far East, calling on major Asian shippers and shipping lines to sell cheaper and quicker access to consumer-rich US markets. That's because CN is now as much a railway that delivers more US consumers than Canadian.


U.S. Trade Specialists

Shenzhen Shining Ocean Int'l Logistics Co., Ltd.
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