February 20 – February 27, 2014

FastFreight is a weekly review summarizing the ten major events or stories of the past week in logistics and the supply chain. We know you’re busy so each post is under 400 words. Enjoy! Want to get this to your inbox? Be sure to sign up from the right sidebar!

1.  A Fireless Dragon via @AdamRoseReuters

Chinese factory activities continued to drop, hitting a 7 month low and sparking mild currency drops in Asia. Concerns about Chinese economic growth continue to run rampant.

2. Growth Nonetheless

Despite a Chinese slowdown, the Clarkson Research Service predicts that global container supply will grow by 4.8% this year, on the tail of a 3.9% increase last year.

3. Bridging Worlds

It’s not all about maritime shipping though. The first ever railway bridge, connecting China’s northeast Tonggjiang Port to Russia, began construction this week. The bridge will facilitate the transfer of 21 million metric tons a year.

4. My Port is Bigger than Yours

The Port of Felixstowe, pressured by the increased capacity of the London Gateway, has just received permission to remove 750,000 cubic meters of material to accommodate the berth’s of the world’s largest ships at a 190-meter long pier.

5. No Captain on the Bridge via @iarnsdorf

The Maersk EEEs only need 22 crewmen. But new Rolls Royce ship prototypes require 22 fewer. Yep, the company has prototyped drone ships that will be cleaner and safer than the manned versions. Oh, and operating costs are about $3,300 less per day.

6. EmptyContainer EmptyContainer EmptyContainer EmptyContainer via @4foldcontainers

Not a typo. You can easily fit four empty containers into the space of one…when you can fold and stack them. 4fold, a company creating foldable FEUs, are going forward with a pilot between Netherlands and Spain.

7. Maersk’s Profits Sinks

Moving 15% of the world’s containers is lucrative…but not as lucrative as expected. Maersk Line saw net income drop $22 million dollars (6.6%) from last year, down to $313 million dollars.

8. Heroin Abuse on the Maersk Alabama

The Maersk Albama, made famous in “Captain Philips”, is having a bad streak of luck. Two American security contractors were found dead onboard last week, with drugs and drug paraphernalia located in their cabin. A police report indicated possible drug abuse.

9.  Most Popular Plane on the Block

The A320, the bestselling single-aisle, 150 seat Airbus airplane, played a large role in a 22% increase in profits for Airbus in 2013. The company plans to ramp up production, churning out 46 planes a month, up from 42.

10. The Great Freight Experiment

This may be cheating…but we’re highlighting an experiment we conducted last week, where we requested spot quotes from the world’s top 15 freight forwarders to test their speed. The results? Not very impressive. Check it out:

Tune in next week for FastFreight (or read last week’s edition here). You can also get this weekly update directly to your email by signing up in the right sidebar!