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Feb.6, 2017

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A J U M P I N the value of shares of the par- ent of Orient Overseas Container Line and a Drewry report expressing concern of Yang Ming 's debt levels helped ig nite specula- tion of more merger and acquisitions. Those flames died down a bit after Orient Overseas (International) Limited told investors that no bid has been made to take over its container unit, OOCL, and Yang Ming Line unveiled its financial recovery plan. Most of the specula- tion by analysts is that OOCL's partners in the Ocean Alliance, to be launched in April, are the most likely suitors — Cosco Shipping, CMA CGM, and Evergreen. All three carriers either have declined to comment or said they have no knowledge of any bid to acquire OOCL. In unveiling its recovery plan, Yang Ming said it can draw on a $1.9 billion state fund should it need financial assistance as the container line prepares a recapitalization plan in which the Taiwanese government will extend its stake in the company well beyond its current 33 percent. The stock consolidation plan was approved at a shareholder meeting in Decem- ber, a month after the Taiwanese government made available a $1.9 billion assistance pro- gram for the country's shipping industry, the carrier said in a customer advisory seen by The Journal of Commerce. "While the predictions for 2017 appear to show some improvements for carriers, Yang Ming remains prepared to take any measure necessary to maintain its competitiveness," the advisory said. US SHIPPERS AVOID TRUCK DRIVER DETENTION RULE SHIPPERS CAN EXPECT a report on how exces- sive detention time affects truck drivers from US truck safety regulators this spring, but not a rulemaking on the practice. That should relieve shippers concerned the Federal Motor Car- rier Safety Administration might use a surface transportation law's requirement to extend its authority to their operations. "This is an oppor- tunity for someone other than the government to get involved in finding solutions," Robert Miller, director of the policy, strategic planning, and regulation at the FMCSA, said at the 96th annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washing ton, DC, in early January. Truck driver detention "is something carriers and shippers can address in many ways," Miller said during a presentation on the truck safety agency's regulatory priorities in 2017. That will be music to the ears of those disturbed by what they see as federal regulatory overreach. Speaking at a press conference last month, US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Dono- hue called for sweeping regulatory reform under the incoming Trump administration, blasting regulators as an unelected "fourth branch" of the US government. But regulators, who work for the executive branch, are quick to point out that they receive marching orders not just from the White House, but from Congress. "What's really driving our agenda? Statutory mandates," Miller told the TRB. From 2005 through 2016, three major trans- portation spending bills contained 89 regulatory mandates for FMCSA, he said. AUTOMATION IMPROVES LOGISTICS DECISION-MAKING IT MAY BE years before we see widespread use of automated trucks, but logistics software devel- opers are working to automate the processes that will route and manage them. Shippers should prioritize automating mundane processes such as carrier selection, a transportation software executive said at the SMC3 JumpStart 2017 con- ference in January. Using embedded analytics to take historical, transactional data and make actual decisions, such as selecting a trucking company, may sound like fiction to some, but "this is very real stuff," said Monica Wooden, co-founder and CEO of software provider Mer- curyGate. Unlike "driverless" trucks, embedded analytics, a form of artificial intelligence, is OOCL, YANG MING CAUGHT UP IN M&A SPECULATION Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock, Inc. Spotlight 6 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE www.joc.com FEBRUARY 6.2017 6 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE www.joc.com

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