Pack n Send Blog

Possible Freight Monopoly Affecting Houston and US

Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011

US – There are rumblings of discontent in Washington at the moment about the behaviour of the rail freight carriers, some of whom are being accused of monopolistic behaviour. At a recent hearing of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) rail freight customers demanded federal intervention in a move which may be seen to be taking the industry back where it was before the 1981 Staggers Act.

The Act removed government intervention and led to a recovery of an industry which had been in the doldrums for a decade whilst theoretically protecting against anti trust behaviour. Now, in the intervening years, there has been a degree of polarisation with buy outs and failures resulting in an almost baronial system with little competition on vast sections of track. Dozens of independent railroads have now been distilled down to a handful of mega carriers.

When Warren Buffet made his move for BNSF in 2009 critics said he paid billions of dollars over the book price and now those same opponents say his Berkshire Hathaway group has a monopoly over a large client sector which will be forced to pay a premium rate for cargo by rail as they do not have access to an alternative carrier.

Certain industries, principally coal, chemical and agricultural products, have the ability to appeal the rates they are charged before the STB but the waters are muddied by dozens of exemptions such as container traffic where competition is deemed sufficient and the Association of American Railroads, which represents such industry giants as BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX and Norfolk Southern will have a fight on its hands as the economic noose tightens on producers and consumers alike. Now the veteran leader of the Senate anti trust committee, Sen. Herb Kohl, 77, has this week sworn to make it a priority that his team push for more control over the behaviour of the rail carriers and they will need to defend themselves vigorously to convince the sceptics.

The general feeling amongst many objectors is that the pendulum has swung too far in favour of the rail companies. The industry reply is that not only have the train companies spent billions on getting where they are, the need for infrastructure investment is a pressing one and more regulation will simply lead to a poorer service for the future.

Pack n send is constantly tracking trends and news reports in the domestic and international freight markets.

This article appeared in Handy Shipping News. Pack n send is reprinting this as a service to our customers.

For more information about shippingfreight from Houston, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.  Santa Fe R.R. freight train about to leave for the West Coast from Corwith yard, Chicago, Ill.  1943 March   1 transparency : color.  <b>Notes: </b> Title from FSA or OWI agency caption. Transfer fr...

Tags: Freight Receiving Houston Texas, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston, Shipping Antiques Houston Texas

Antique Shipping Houston- A Special Service

Posted on Wed, Feb 23, 2011


 Antique desk on display at the old courthouse museum in Tombstone, Arizona.

Antique shipping and moving is a very specialized service.  When you want to move just a small amount of antique furniture, you can have it custom crated and then freighted. 

Some pieces of antique furniture can go on a pallet, surrounding the furniture with protection and stretch wrap, and shipping the furniture via truck to its new city.

Some pieces will need to be custom crated. The crate will need to be built specifically to fit your antique.

The crating company should have years of experience both handling and valuing antiques. Remember: every crate will need to be built to specifically fit your individual item.

If you have many pieces of antique furniture you may use a special mover that specializes in moving antiques.

Make sure they know how to properly pack and prepare the furniture for your move.  Some of it may be blanket wrapped, some of it may be wrapped in flexible cardboard and some may need to be crated for the move.

You will want to make sure that you have a current appraisal before valuing the antique for shipping.

If you are shipping antique sculptures or art work, look for a firm that specializes in packing and crating high value items from one city to another.

Finding a company that can offer varied services when shipping antiques will help save you money.  You want to make sure that your antiques arrive in pristine condition.

For help with antique furniture shipping or if you have any questions about shipping antiques, please feel free to contact pack n send at  713 266 1450.

Tags: Artwork Shipping Houston, Shipping Freight Houston, Chandelier Shipping Houston, Freight forwarding Houston Texas, Crating and Packing Houston, Shipping Antiques Houston Texas, Shipping from Houston

Cargo Shipping Hong Kong on the rise

Posted on Wed, Feb 02, 2011

With freight shipping from Houston, and the United States, it is important to watch other countries that are recovering from the economic recession.

 ASIA-Pacific airlines saw cargo demand grow by 24.2 per cent in 2010, helping to position Hong Kong International as the world’s largest cargo airport.

The airport’s cargo alone grew 23.4 per cent to 4.1 million metric tons, while Memphis International Airport, holder of the largest cargo airport title for the last 18 years, grew only 5.9 per cent to 3.9 million metric tons.

Cathay Pacific Airways became the world’s biggest international air cargo carrier last year thanks in part to escalating exports from China’s Pearl River Delta. The airline’s cargo traffic rose 23 per cent to 10.2 million ton-kilometres, beating Korean Air Lines, previously the largest.

 Cathay expects to boost cargo capacity about eight per cent this year. The carrier is also forming a cargo venture with affiliate Air China to access hubs in Shanghai and Beijing, while also building its own freight terminal at Hong Kong airport.

China’s economy expanded 10.3 per cent in 2010, the fastest in three years. The growth of production in the Pearl River Delta, which neighbours Hong Kong, has lured investment from international air cargo carriers, including FedEx and United Parcel Service, which have both opened hubs in the region.

 Pack n send has republished this article from Handy Shipping News as a service to our customers. 

 For more information about cargo shipping, freight forwarding, packing and shipping from Houston, feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: crating and packing texas, Freight forwarding Houston Texas, Shipping Houston Texas, packing houston texas, shipping freight houston texas, Shipping Antiques Houston Texas

Cargo and Freight from Port of Houston Delay

Posted on Tue, Oct 05, 2010

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.  Pennsylvania R.R. [Railroad] ore docks, unloading iron ore from a lake freighter by means of "Hulett" unloaders, Cleveland, Ohio  1943 May   1 transparency : color.  <b>Notes: </b>...This article posted on the KTRK website highlights the diffuculites that ships are having with the temporary closure of the Houston Ship Channel.  Pack n send will try and post daily updates for our customers until the Port of Houston is fully operational once again.

 HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Coast Guard is working to reopen the Houston Ship Channel after a barge collided with a highline tower. Due to the accident, the Ship Channel is closed to marine traffic and it will remain closed until at least Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

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The accident basically shut down the entire Ship Channel from mile marker 105 to124. So unless you are in a local vessel that is conducting business between those two markers or if you are outside of those two markers, you are basically out of luck. This could be the case until Tuesday or even early Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard.

That's a big problem because there are 18 inbound vessels waiting at the Ship Channel and 14 outbound. The longer this repair takes, the more that number will grow.

On Sunday at around 6am, a tug boat owned by American Electric Power was pushing three barges carrying scrap metal when it collided with an electrical tower that was fortunately under repair, so the lines were not live at the time.

Nineteen miles of waterway are affected by the Ship Channel closure. The Port of Houston says $322 million are lost each day it's closed. The Coast Guard has two cranes performing the work to try to clear the Channel as fast as possible. One of them is called 'Big John.'

"We have the crane, Big John, on scene and the Big John is going to connect to the tower to take the tension off the tower. Right now the tower is sitting partially on the barge and is probably being supported a little bit by the power lines that are there between the other towers," said Captain Markus Woodrings with the U.S. Coast Guard. "Once the Big John hooks up and takes the load on the tower, then CenterPoint energy can get up there, disconnect the line and reel them in and then we can cut the base of the tower, pick the tower up and put it over on the bank and get the Ship Channel open."

According to the Coast Guard, the six tug boat crew members were not injured in this accident. They have been tested for drugs and alcohol. However, those results have not yet been released. The incident is still under investigation. The tug boat's owner will be responsible for repairs.

 There are 30 yachts that are stuck in downtown Houston, members of the Houston Yacht Club who can't get out because of the closure.

The channel is the lifeline to the Port of Houston, the nation's leader in foreign waterborne tonnage and imports and runner-up in U.S. export tonnage and total tonnage.

For more information on shipping cargo out of the Port of Houston, please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

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Improved Freight Service for Houston and US

Posted on Mon, Sep 13, 2010

Shipping News Feature

Pack n Send is reprinting this article posted in the Handy  Shipping Guide.  Seeing the United States plan ahead and have freight systems ready when up date to the Panama Canal is complete is quite an accomplishment.

It is  true; they do thing US – It’s s bigger in the States. In the olden, golden days of pioneering it was the railroads that opened up the country enabling the shipping of vital supplies to all parts of the territory, no matter how remote. This week saw the first freight containers carried on a tortuous, winding route through the Appalachian Mountains to Columbus, Ohio on a track that previously could only cope with the old, low height, coal carrying gondolas.

In an ambitious project costing almost $200 million (train operator Norfolk Southern put up half the money, matched by the federal government with a little help from the state authorities in Ohio and Virginia) they scooped out twenty eight tunnels, shifting power cables and strengthening bridges to accommodate rail cars loaded with double stacked shipping containers, cutting a day off the transit time and saving the nations roads from around 150 truckloads, half a double stacked freight train load.

The entire project, known as the ‘Heartland Corridor’ is part of a battle to upgrade and improve services and increase competition with road haulage services and to prepare for the $5.25 billion worth of improvements to upscale the Panama Canal which will be completed in 2014-15. The canal operators are enlarging capacity in an attempt to increase traffic before the viability of the North East passage becomes a reality for many of the freight carriers.

Norfolk Southern intend to seize their share of the extra containers carried in via Panama, as do intermodal rivals CSX in Florida who have a similar tunnel excavation scheme in progress to increase their own efficiency.

 For more information about freight shipping within the United States and international cargo shipping, please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.


Tags: Container Loading Houston, Cargo Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Crating and packing Houston Texas, Shipping Houston Texas, Crate Houston, packing houston texas, Cargo Loading Houston, Shipping Antiques Houston Texas