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British Artist Stranded at Sea After Shipping Firm Collapses

Rebecca Moss calls it 'completely ironic'

(Newser) - When British artist Rebecca Moss set out to sea for a 23-day adventure last month, it was to to "explore the comedic potential of the clash between mechanical systems and nature," as the Guardian puts it. Little did she know just how real things were about to get.... More »

Hanjin Shipping Crisis Hits Tech Giants

Company promises to pay $90M to resolve issues

(Newser) - Some 85 Hanjin ships carrying up to 24 crew members each are now stranded around 50 ports in 26 countries over fears the company can't pay port fees—and food and water supplies are dwindling, per Bloomberg . "Our ships can become ghost ships," says a rep for... More »

Shipping Line Goes Bankrupt, Causes Global Chaos

Hanjin bankruptcy could affect Xmas sales

(Newser) - The bankruptcy of the Hanjin shipping line has thrown ports and retailers around the world into confusion, with giant container ships marooned and merchants worrying whether tons of goods will reach their shelves. The South Korean giant filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and stopped accepting new cargo. With its... More »

Panama Canal Christens Its $5B Gamble

Vast overhaul doubles capacity

(Newser) - With a band playing and flags waving, a Chinese ship carrying more than 9,000 containers on Sunday entered the newly expanded locks that will double the Panama Canal's capacity in a multibillion-dollar bet on a bright economic future despite tough times for international shipping. Several tug boats pulled... More »

Feds Release Photos of Ship's Final Resting Place

El Faro wreckage may be searched a 2nd time

(Newser) - Federal accident investigators are considering launching another search of the wreckage of a freighter that sank in October in an attempt to locate the ship's "black box." Tom Roth-Roffy, the lead investigator for National Transportation Safety Board, told the AP that a weeks-long search found one of... More »

FedEx May Have Just Dealt Science a 'Devastating' Blow

It won't ship bioterror pathogens anymore

(Newser) - A change in a FedEx shipping policy sounds pretty routine, except for the fact that the one revealed yesterday by USA Today "potentially is a devastating blow" to science, as one lab director puts it. After it was revealed in May that an Army lab in Dugway, Utah , had... More »

Gasp: New Bubble Wrap Is Unpoppable

Fear not: The original version isn't going anywhere

(Newser) - For decades after its invention in 1957, Bubble Wrap was consistently maker Sealed Air’s top seller. By 2012, the adored product had deflated to just 3.6% of its sales. Its new top seller: liquid foam, reports the Wall Street Journal . Why the hate on Bubble Wrap? Well, space... More »

Watch Out, Amazon: Walmart Testing Unlimited Shipping

At $50, it's half the cost of Amazon Prime

(Newser) - Walmart will test a new unlimited shipping service for online shoppers this summer that will be priced well below Amazon's $99 per year Prime service. The world's largest retailer says the shipping subscription service will cost customers $50 a year, with products arriving in three days or less.... More »

Today Will Be Busiest Day in UPS History

Shipping firms say there will be no repeat of last year's chaos

(Newser) - After last year's debacle left a lot of people without presents on Christmas Day, UPS and FedEx say they've spent a lot of time and money making sure there is no repeat this year. For UPS, today will be the busiest day in its history, with 34 million... More »

Holiday Deliveries Kept on Track by ... Weather Nerds?

Corporate meteorologists are 'secret weapon' during high shipping season

(Newser) - Santa had Rudolph's red nose to get him through the winter storm so he could deliver our holiday packages; we have corporate meteorologists. They're what the Washington Post calls "the secret weapon" of shipping companies trying to cash in during the hectic holiday season: "a motley... More »

Since 1992, World Ship Traffic Has Exploded 300%

Satellite data reveals huge increase

(Newser) - In the 20 years between 1992 and 2012, there was a huge explosion in traffic in every shipping lane in the world apart from the pirate-infested waters off Somalia, according to a new study. Researchers used satellite data to estimate shipping traffic worldwide and found that there had been a... More »

Rolls-Royce Plans New Drones: Ships

The idea is in prototype but faces years of regulatory approval

(Newser) - Might ship captains someday do all their work from land instead of sea? Bloomberg reports that Rolls-Royce is working on a prototype of a drone freighter ship. One advantage, financially speaking, is that such ships could carry more cargo because they wouldn't need to make room for humans and... More »

Amazon Prime May Get Much More Expensive

Subscription fee could be hiked $20 to $40 in the next year or so

(Newser) - Amazon Prime may cost you more in the near future—quite a lot more, in fact. Thanks to rising fuel and shipping costs, the company revealed in yesterday's quarterly earnings call that it's looking into bumping up the current $79 subscription fee $20 to $40 in the next... More »

New Amazon Idea: Ship Your Item Before You Order It

'Anticipatory shipping' system in the works

(Newser) - Can Amazon see into the future? The firm is betting that it can predict shoppers' needs so precisely that it can start shipping orders before they have even been placed. A patent filed by the retail giant last month outlines "anticipatory shipping," in which products will be boxed... More »

UPS, FedEx Ruined Some Christmases

Companies apologize after getting swamped by online rush

(Newser) - When it comes to delivering gifts, UPS and FedEx were lousy excuses for Santa this year. Both carriers suffered widespread delays that left many customers leaving IOUs under the tree, NBC News reports. Both companies explained that they'd simply underestimated the flood of online shopping orders coming their way—... More »

Giant Freighter Is First to Cross Northwest Passage

Danish bulk carrier makes milestone journey

(Newser) - Sure, scientists are nearly positive that humans are heating up the planet, but there's an upside: more efficient shipping. For the first time, a major freighter has crossed the Northwest Passage in the Arctic, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail . The 735-foot Nordic Orion achieved the feat this week... More »

Somalis No Longer World's Worst Pirates

Attacks off West Africa soaring

(Newser) - The pirate-infested waters of West Africa are now even more dangerous for seafarers than the rather more infamous seas around Somalia, according to an International Maritime Bureau report. West African pirates recorded attacks on 966 sailors last year, compared to 851 for Somali pirates—which was down 78% from the... More »

Open by 2050: Shipping Lanes in North Pole

Climate change opening up China-Europe shortcut

(Newser) - Climate change has got its upside if you happen to own a shipping company. Researchers say that by 2050, the Arctic ice sheet will be weak enough for cargo ships to take the northern route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans without the aid of icebreakers, the Guardian reports. Ships... More »

China Takes Over Key Pakistan Port

India alarmed by string of Chinese ports

(Newser) - China has taken over management of a major port in Pakistan in a move that gives it a potential naval base close to the Strait of Hormuz, reports Reuters . China paid most of the $248 million used to build the port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, aiming to slash... More »

FedEx Expects Big Holiday Season

Prediction seen as a positive sign for the economy

(Newser) - FedEx is expecting to ship 280 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, a 13% improvement on last year's figures that means the Memphis-based company will hire 20,000 additional workers to handle the surge. FedEx attributed its growing shipment figures to the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping,... More »

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