Today's Pickup: Port of LA backlog, a new short line rail service, IKEA furniture spill in North Sea

Watco launches new short line railroad in New York. ( Photo: Watco )

Watco launches new short line railroad in New York. (Photo: Watco)

Good day,

The congestion choking the Port of Los Angeles has prompted calls for more efficient movement of containers, FreightWaves reported earlier this week. Delays are one reason the Los Angeles facility has been losing market share to other California ports including Long Beach and Oakland, as well Canadian ports (Vancouver and Rupert), according to a Deutsche Bank note posted yesterday. Emboldened ports are hoping to capitalize on POLA’s traffic woes for the long term. What is more, the delays are helping drive intermodal traffic to the Canadian and Eastern U.S. railroads, bypassing UNP and BNSF.

Did you know?

The top ten cities (including San Francisco, Seattle San Jose and Los Angeles) with the highest share of software companies now account for 44.3 percent of all digital services jobs in the country.

Source: Brookings Institute report: “Tech is (still) concentrating in the Bay Area.”

Quotable:

"We've reached the point where China and the US are both hurting.”

— David Kotok, co-founder and chief investment officer at investment firm Cumberland Associates. (CNN)

In other news:

RIP TPP

Pacific nations ushered in 2019 with new a trade deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).  (SupplyChain Dive)

Chugging along

Watco Cos. recently launched the Ithaca Central Railroad, the holding company's first short line in the state of New York. (ProgressiveRailroading)

Supermarkets not feeling the love

A Zipline Logistics survey of 150 trucking companies revealed grocery stores are the worst shippers to work for. (BusinessInsider

More e-commerce prognosticating

Amazon, last-mile, mobile and AI developments will reshape online shopping in 2019. (Entrepreneur)

Christmas all over again

Flat-screen TVs and IKEA furniture washed up on North Sea islands after a cargo ship lost its containers. (The Independent)

Final Thoughts:

Nancy Pelosi made history yet again yesterday when she was sworn in as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — for the second time in her career. Although Pelosi’s votes against legislation such as the Denham amendment have not endeared her to the trucking industry, her call for stricter labor standards in the USMCA might find favor among drivers. As transport interests ponder a divided government in 2019, one thing is clear:  Like other House Democratic leaders, Pelosi aims to make infrastructure a priority.  “One of my themes is build, build, build,” she said during an event hosted by CNN last fall.