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Dec.14, 2015

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4 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE Editor's Letter Chris Brooks 2015 MAY NOT go down as the most disruptive or revolutionary year in freight transportation history, but it's certainly been one of the most transformative ones. The yea r opened, af ter a ll, with the second contentious, con- gestion-inducing longshore labor contract-negotiating process in as many years. When the dust settled in February with a fi ve-year agree- ment between the ILWU and the PMA — less than two years after East and Gulf Coast management reached an equally diffi cult contract with the International Longshoremen's Asso- ciation — it put a seal on what would become the story of 2015. But it wasn't the only story. In this, the fi nal Journal of Commerce of the year, we look back at what made 2015 a landmark year: THE BOTTOM FALLS OUT OF OIL AND FUEL PRICES. Remember when fore- casts had oil prices hitting $120 to $150 a barrel? With prices tumbling below $50 a barrel, the question now is how low they'll go. The plunge is affecting every link in the supply chain, with shippers the big winners, largely because of the gutting of fuel surcharges. MERGER-MANIA. Transportation and logistics acquisition activity — including XPO Logistics' purchase of Con-way and Norbert Dentressan- gle, and UPS's acquisition of Coyote Logistics — reached a crescendo. The fi rst nine months of the year yielded the highest number of major merg- ers and buyouts in that time frame in any year since 2006, according to PwC, and the value of those deals industrywide soared 55 percent year- over-year, to $97.9 billion. If FedEx closes on its $5 billion acquisition of TNT by Dec. 31, the year may go down as one of M&A's biggest. And we haven't even gotten to CMA CGM's possible acquisition of NOL-APL and maritime's worst-guarded secret: the merger of Cosco and China Shipping. CHINA'S SLOWDOWN. At its core, China's decision to devalue its cur- rency in August — its largest since 1994 — came down to trade. An emerging middle class and rising labor costs are ushering in a consumer- and import- driven era in China. Its export-driven manufacturing sector, meanwhile, is losing market share to Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Vietnam. After exports fell 8.3 percent year-over-year in July — the worst decline in four months — Beijing had hoped devalu- ation could jump-start the economy. It didn't. THE TRUCK CAPACITY CRUNCH THAT WASN'T. As 2015 opened, U.S. ship- pers braced for a capacity crunch in trucking that never materialized. The year ended with the transpor- tation landscape awash in truck capacity, if not in truck drivers. PORT CONGESTION. Many U.S. gateways experienced moderate to severe congestion. West Coast ports were hit hardest during the ILWU- PMA negotiations, of course, but cargo diversions were too much for East and Gulf Coast ports such as New York-New Jersey, Norfolk and Houston, too. Although the labor issues are over, North American ports still must deal with cargo surges from big ships, chassis dislocations, and lengthy truck delays at terminal gates. THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP. After fi ve years of talks, the U.S. and 11 other Pacifi c Rim nations signed off on what has been called the larg- est and most comprehensive trade pact in history. As it stands, the TPP will lower tariffs on a range of com- modities, impose restrictions on trade barriers countries could impose on food, plants and animals, and open new markets in growing econo- mies such as Vietnam and Malaysia. Analysts also believe it will boost con- tainer volumes for member nations. Perhaps most important, these stories will resonate throughout 2016. We'll continue to provide the insight and analysis that keeps you informed and, hopefully, positions you to make the best decisions for your supply chain. We'll start with our Annual Review and Outlook, the JOC's fl ag- ship issue of the year, which will take a deeper look at 2016's defi ning issues. Look for it on Jan. 11. JOC The Year That Was The Journal of Commerce (USPS 279 – 060), ISSN 1530-7557, December 14, 2015, Volume 16, Issue No. 25. The Journal of Commerce is published bi-weekly except the last week in December (printed 26 times per year) by JOC Group Inc. 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105. Subscription price: $344 a year. Periodicals postage paid at Newark, N.J., and additional mailing offi ces. © All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be copied or reprinted without written permission from the publisher. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Journal of Commerce, Subscription Services Department, 2 Penn Plaza East, Floor 12, Newark, N.J. 07105-2257. DECEMBER 14.2015 EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND JOC EVENTS Chris Brooks 973.776.7818 MANAGING EDITOR Barbara Wyker 973.776.7817 EXECUTIVE EDITOR, JOC.COM Mark Szakonyi 202.872.1234 SENIOR EDITORS Joseph Bonney, Trans-Atlantic, East and Gulf Coast, Latin America 973.776.7809 William B. Cassidy, Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202.872.1228 Bill Mongelluzzo, Trans-Pacifi c 562.428.5999 Greg Knowler, Asia Editor, IHS Maritime & Trade +852 3975 2647 Turloch Mooney, Ports, IHS Maritime & Trade +852 9011 9109 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Reynolds Hutchins, Intermodal Rail and Government/Regulation 202.572.1487 EDITOR-AT-LARGE Peter T. Leach 212.755.0940 RESEARCH EDITOR Marsha Salisbury 973.776.7828 ASSISTANT WEB EDITOR Dustin Braden 973.776.8652 ECONOMIST Mario O. Moreno 973.776.7850 SENIOR CONTENT EDITOR Alessandra Gregory Barrett 860.248.5238 SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR, ASIA Annie Zhu +86 (21) 60396986 SENIOR DESIGNER Sue Abt, 973.776.7825 DESIGNER Bryan Boyd, 973.776.7827 PUBLISHER Tony Stein 770.295.8809, SALES Cindy Cronin, Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954.551.8305 Zachary Gorman, Account Executive Northeast sales, Classifi eds/Reprints/Copyrights 973.776.7820 Jennifer Mallinger, Account Executive Midwest, West Coast sales, 630.210.6827 Ria Van den Bogaert, Sales Representative Europe, Middle East sales, +32 2 569 8905 Bon Kwok, Sales Representative Asia sales, +852 31707373 Michihiro Kawahara, Sales Representative Japan sales, +81 3 3212 3671 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 2 Penn Plaza East, 12th Floor, Newark, N.J. 07105 973.776.8660 • 800.952.3839 MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEDIA AND EVENTS, IHS MARITIME & TRADE, Rhiannon James SENIOR DIRECTOR, CONTENT, IHS MARITIME & TRADE, Peter Tirschwell DIRECTOR, JOC AND RAILRESOURCE, IHS MARITIME & TRADE, Amy Middlebrook DIRECTOR, IHS MARITIME & TRADE, Julia Murphy MANAGER, PRODUCTION, Carmen Verenna MARKETING PROGRAMS MANAGER, PIERS AND JOC, Jesse Case ©2015 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website,

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