Hazardous Cargo May Be Involved in South Korea Plane Crash – A cargo plane en route from Incheon, South Korea to Pudong, China crashed on Thursday after reporting a fire onboard.  The plane’s cargo consisted of lithium-ion batteries as well as other hazardous cargo.  Although the exact cause of the crash is still unknown, battery shipments (especially lithium-ion) are highly regulated due to fire concerns.

Read more from the NY Times and learn more about battery safety from the Transportation Security Administration.

U.S. Textile Industry Seeks Tariffs on Chinese Imports – The National Textile Association is petitioning for tariffs against imported upholstery fabrics from China.  The group claims that the Chinese imports are unfairly priced and render domestic producers uncompetitive.  As a result, they are asking for duty rates ranging from 75% – 125%.

Read more from Furniture Today.

Panama Canal Begins Concrete Work on New Locks – This month, workers began pouring concrete that will become the floor of new locks that will be used in the expanded Panama Canal.  Locks are used as “elevators” to raise ocean vessels above sea level to traverse uneven land.  At the Panama Canal, locks allow ships to cross the Gatun Lake which is approximately 85 feet above sea level.  After expansion is complete in 2014, the canal’s capacity will be doubled.

Read more from the Maritime Executive.

New York/New Jersey Chassis Program Shows Growing Pains – Port trucks in New York and New Jersey are facing chassis shortages as carriers move away from the old model of providing the equipment free of charge.  Truckers are reluctant to use new chassis pools that charge rental fees and sometimes have substandard equipment.

Read more from the JOC.