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In a separate action, warehouse workers began a strike Tuesday morning against California Cartage warehouse in Los Angeles.
Without an extension past the original Dec. 31, 2015 deadline for implementation of Positive Train Control, shippers say the resulting "large-scale service disruption would be dire."
As the U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for survivors, experts say the now-likely loss off the TOTE Maritime cargo ship could be the worst disaster involving a U.S. flag vessel in decades.
The Israeli ocean carrier recently returned to the black, posting adjusted net profits of $23 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared with a net loss of $50 million the previous year.
With more tonnage to be delivered next year, London-based shipping consultant Drewry says "the overhang of excess capacity [in the ocean freight industry] will be even greater than that experienced in 2009."
Capacity growth was relatively stagnant across the three major east-west trades in the third quarter of 2015, as slowing global trade and an economic recession in China caused volumes to remain weak even during the summer peak shipping season.