Tentative Port Agreement Reached – A tentative contract agreement was reach between the ILWU and PMA last Friday evening.  Although this is important step toward recovery, it will likely take months before U.S. West Coast ports return to “normal” operations.  Clearing the cargo backlog, dealing with ever expanding vessel capacity, as well as infrastructure and equipment shortages all remaining hurdles to pre-congestion norms.  Additionally, the tentative ILWU-PMA contract must still be ratified.  The Port of Oakland issued a press release with a rather aggressive 6-8 week timetable for “Oakland and other West Coast ports to recover from the cargo backlog.”  Although most industry experts feel that 3 months is a more realistic schedule.

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FAA Issues Proposed Drone Rules – Last week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued proposed rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones.  The general consensus is that the rules are less stringent than expected.  However, there are important restrictions on aircraft size and limits on when/where they can be operated.  The public can comment on these rules before April 24, 2015.

Contact the FAA regarding the proposed drone rules here.

Maersk Set to Order 11 Megaships – Maersk is considering an order of 11 megaships in Q2, at an estimated price tag of $1.8 billion.  These vessels would be able to carry over 18,000 TEUs.  Despite these plans, Maersk CEO Soren Skou expressed concern this week that terminal productivity is not keeping pace with vessel growth.

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