CEOs Are Really Optimistic About the Economy

Chief executives at some of the largest U.S. companies are increasingly optimistic about the future of the economy. According to The Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Index, as cited by Bloomberg, the optimism among 141 CEOs increased 19.1 points in the first quarter to 93.3-the largest jump since the last three months of 2009. The index, according to Bloomberg, is a measure of the expectations CEOs have for revenue, capital spending, and employment.

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ATA Announces First Annual Economic Summit

American Trucking Associations announced it will be hosting the first annual ATA Economic Summit July 20 in Arlington, Va., for its motor carrier and private fleet members. The Summit will bring together chief economists from several trade associations for an outlook on their respective industries, spanning from manufacturing to construction to retail. Attendees will gain a broad perspective on the state of the economy and forecasts in the supply chain ecosystem that they can use to strategize their budgets and future plans.

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IBM & Maersk launch blockchain for cargo

In a move that could have profound implications for supply chain efficiency and visibility, IBM and Maersk have used a blockchain to manage cargo documentation for ocean freight shipments. The two companies have announced a “new collaboration to use blockchain technology to help transform the global, cross-border supply chain”. Using IBM’s open source Hyperledger, the two companies will develop a blockchain for the shipping and logistics industries.

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US-Flagged Ships to Carry 30 Pct of US LNG Exports

A bipartisan bill titled Energizing American Maritime Act was introduced last week to the US Congress requiring up to 30 percent of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to be carried on US-flagged ships.

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Air cargo rally rolls into 2017

The global air cargo rally continued into 2017, with traffic rising 6.9 percent year-over-year in January on strong growth in Europe and the Middle East, according to the International Air Transport Association. While this was down from the 10 percent growth in December, it is still well above the average annual growth rate of 3 percent over the past five years, the industry body said.
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TIACA committee calls for change in supply chain

The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Shippers’ Advisory Committee (SAC) said in a new position paper that change is needed, and all sectors of the air cargo supply chain industry must collaborate to drive the adoption of new technology and greater transparency.

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Brands in crisis: A practical guide for regaining control

At some point, almost every retailer will face a public relations episode that requires attention. Experts say that learning how to respond — and how not to respond — can turn a bad situation around.

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The Fault In Our Stores

Yesterday, Target became the latest retailer to report weak earnings and shrinking physical store sales. They certainly won’t be the last. As more leading retail brands disappoint on both the top and bottom lines–and announce scores of store closings–analysts and investors may conclude that brick-and-mortar retail is going they way of the horse-drawn carriage.

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Target to cut prices, update stores amid ‘seismic shift’ in retail industry

Target announced plans Tuesday to cut prices while hanging on to aspects of the “Tar-zhay” image that’s endeared it to customers. The retailer has made good progress rolling out new brands, tailoring stores to local markets and improving Target’s ability to cater to customers shopping both online and in stores, but it’s clear from their results that wasn’t enough, CEO Brian Cornell said.

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Shippers want progress on air cargo digitization

A new position paper from TIACA’s Shippers’ Advisory Committee (SAC) has urged the air cargo industry to work together to drive adoption of new technology to improve data flow and create greater transparency.

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Air cargo transformation is taking off due to e-commerce

From a customer’s perspective, with e-commerce, “convenience”, “control”, and “cost” (the so-called three “Cs”) assume a crucial role: Today, customers determine the hours of operation (they log on whenever they want, thus a company always has to be “on”), customers increasingly want to serve themselves (think of a retailer checking the status of their shipments via e-tracking or reserving shipping space through an air cargo business website ), and companies’ e-commerce services need to be delivered at the customer’s location (be it an office desktop, a mobile device, or wearable computing).

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AAR offers rail-policy ideas for Trump’s infrastructure plan

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump said last night that he will send lawmakers a bill calling for a $1 trillion investment in the nation’s infrastructure. Earlier in the day, Association of American Railroads (AAR) President Ed Hamberger outlined a five-point policy position on infrastructure investment in an open letter to Trump.

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Major carriers’ group opposes driverless trucks

A trucking industry group of major carriers opposes deployment of fully autonomous, driverless trucks. In a statement Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Alliance for Driver Safety and Security says it “supports the development” of automated truck technology, as long as deployment of such technology doesn’t leave unmanned trucks on U.S. highways.

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U.S.-NAFTA freight rises for third time in five months in December, reports BTS

United States trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico rose 0.4 percent annually to $87.1 billion, according to data issued by the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), which was released this week.

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Detention and demurrage petition gains more support

Additional shippers and logistics companies have expressed support on a call for the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to provide guidelines on detention and demurrage charges. In December, a group of 25 shippers and logistics companies, called the Coalition for Fair Port Practices, asked the FMC to address fees imposed on shippers when they can’t pick-up and return cargo, containers and chassis for reasons beyond their control.

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Qatar B777 freighter welcomed to Americas

QATAR Airways Cargo has commenced new scheduled B777 freighter operations in the Americas. The twice-weekly services depart from Doha via Luxembourg, the cargo carrier’s European hub and stop at Såo Paulo in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Quito in Ecuador, before arriving in Miami, Florida.

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HMM Eyes Stake in Two More Hanjin Terminals

South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine has signed a deal with Hanjin Shipping and Marine Terminals Investment Limited (MTIL) to acquire Hanjin Pacific Corporation’s terminals in Tokyo and Kaohsiung.

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Lockheed rolls out first LM-100J Super Hercules commercial freighter

After a three-year wait, the LM-100J has finally arrived on the commercial market. Last week, Lockheed Martin rolled out the first of these propeller-driven, modified military aircraft, known as “Super Hercules Commercial Freighters.” Lockheed expects the freighter’s first flight to happen this spring.

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More freighter orders for Boeing

January was kind to Boeing in terms of freighter aircraft orders – especially if you consider the 767-200C a freighter. To start, Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines converted two 777 passenger aircraft orders to freighters, and an unidentified customer ordered one 777F.

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Port Tracker calls for strong annual growth in first half of 2017

While United States-bound retail container volumes trended down in December, the over all outlook for 2017 volumes appears to be solid, according to the most recent edition of the Port Tracker report issued by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and maritime consultancy Hackett Associates.

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Reverse logistics takes off

As consumers are turning away from purchasing products in traditional brick-and-mortar stores in favor of buying those same goods online, the need for enhanced reverse logistics services is becoming increasingly more apparent.

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Payless could shutter up to 1,000 stores

Payless is working on a restructuring plan that could entail closing as many as 1,000 stores. If the footwear retailer can’t come to terms with its lenders, it may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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Newly redesigned Nutrition Facts label rolled out

As mandated by the Food & Drug Administration, the latest version of the redesigned Nutrition Facts label was unveiled Monday. Manufacturers with more than $10 million in sales are required to have the new label in place by July 26, 2018.

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Dallas adds to cool chain capabilities

Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) airport is adding to its cold chain storage facilities in response to the growth in pharma and perishables traffic. Expected to be operational this summer, the transfer facility will give DFW the ability to control warehousing temperatures for shipments of pharmaceuticals, flowers and fresh foods.

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Intermodal market is in a decent spot early into 2017, reports FTR

Moderately favorable was how freight transportation forecasting firm FTR described the current state of the intermodal sector vis a vis to truck, according to the Intermodal Competitive Index (ICI), which the firm recently released.

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HMM stake puts Long Beach terminal on path to recovery

Hyundai Merchant Marine announced last Thursday it will buy 20 percent of a company part-owned by Hanjin Shipping that operates terminals in Seattle and Long Beach, in a move that may go some way to restoring the severely depleted flow of cargo through the California terminal.
(This article requires registration at the Journal of Commerce. To access, please click on the above link.)

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