Commentary

Some shipping industry stakeholders may not realize it, but the approaching sulfur cap on Jan. 1, 2020 is a potentially game-changing issue in the container sector specifically.
Following a philosophy of short-term pain for long-term gain, a series of US actions have been taken against China regarding what is seen as its unfair trade practices, particularly as relates to intellectual property rights. Here's what you need to know.
You’re not imagining it: trucking companies and truck drivers are turning down loads. However, there is a way to create driver-friendly freight and routes so that your shipment is not left at the loading dock.
Technology has tremendous potential to bring drivers back into trucks, but it will not replace truck drivers. And there are several reasons why this is so.
Stakeholders in the shipping industry cannot sit still; they have the technologies in their hands that can disrupt the digital platforms that are the biggest outside threat to their existence.
To paraphrase the late, great Brooklyn Dodger play-by-play man Red Barber, US trucking companies are in “the catbird seat.” Shippers — you don’t want your cargo left at your loading dock or warehouse, so here’s how to stay in good graces with truckers and become a “shipper of choice.”
Before we can address how to solve the problem, we need to understand why it has occurred.
Despite current events you may read about, this is an age that provides advantages to those who proactively cultivate relationships. And there’s perhaps no better case study to support that theory than a shipper’s/forwarder’s relationship with an ocean carrier.
To be sure, CSX’s new CEO has a huge task in intermodal restructuring as the peak season approaches, following through on the work of the late, great E. Hunter Harrison. But the new CEO has an approach that’s promising.
Led by the above-trend growth in the United States, the global economic expansion continues. That should make 2018 a promising year for container shipping, right? Not quite. Consider: ocean carriers' perennial efforts to increase market share, rising fuel costs, ditto for charter/feeder/inland costs, and the threat of a trade war.  
A carrier always has recourse against the shipper in the event that it’s unable to collect from the consignee, with one exception: if the shipper executes Section 7 of the bill of lading, which directs the carrier not to make delivery without first collecting its freight charges.
Despite political isolation by many countries, Taiwan, its people and economy, have outperformed. How much more would it contribute to global trade and society if its people and nation were given equal rights on the international stage?
For yours truly, a container shipping industry veteran, this was a dream journey — a voyage on the APL Danube container ship.
Tit-for-tat tariffs will affect only a sliver of trade; but a climate of uncertainty, now that's another story.