Monday, February 4, 2008
Put Prince Rupert expansion on hold?
A THREE-day seminar in Prince Rupert, BC, last week to discuss the future of archeological research on the North Coast led to the announcement by a world-renowned archeologist asking the federal government to include the Prince Rupert harbor on the World Heritage List in order “to protect these archaeological treasures.”
The seminar was hosted by the communities of Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla, known as the Coast Tsimshian.
According to experienced researchers who attended the seminar, the shell middens ringing the Prince Rupert Harbor represent one vast cemetery.
“Preserved in the shell deposits are the remains of at least half a million people who lived here over the past 5,000 to 6,000 years,” said Dr. George MacDonald, Director Emeritus of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
MacDonald, a world-renowned authority on the archaeology of the Prince Rupert area, said earlier sites in the area have been dated to 10,000 years, with expectation of 14,000 years once sites higher on Kaien Island have been tested.
“It would be a national shame to lose what remains of this legacy as we prepare ourselves as a nation for a new role in global trade,” said MacDonald.
The Phase II expansion of the Fairview container port is currently proposed to begin in 2009.
World Heritage List
DHL re-OK’d for C-TPAT program
DHL Global Forwarding, part of the logistics division of DHL, Feb 4 announced that its freight-forwarding operations have been re-validated in the US government’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT, after an in-depth audit of its security plan.
The re-validation is expected to be in place for three years, the company said.
The re-validation, which took place at DHL Global Forwarding’s location in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, means that “the world’s largest freight forwarder remains fully compliant with the dynamic requirements of the C-TPAT joint initiative,” said DHL.
C-TPAT is designed to safeguard the security of goods entering US commerce while enhancing the flow of trade to and from the US.
Carol J. Sheldon, senior VP, Customs brokerage and regulatory compliance, commented, “The ability to provide customers with a seamless security program beginning with the pick up of goods at origin, flowing through the transport of goods, declarations to Customs, and final delivery is key to our value proposition.”
DHL Global Forwarding first received C-TPAT certification on Feb 26, 2003. DHL is a Deutsche Post World Net brand
DHL Global Forwarding
Hyster launches new reach stackers
HYSTER Co. Feb 1 introduced the Hyster Yardmaster II reach stacker series.
The new reach stackers “support load capacities up to 101,000 lb, are designed with innovative new features to accomplish even the most demanding material-handling jobs, and allow for maximum production with the least amount of effort,” Hyster said in its news release.
The Yardmaster II reach stackers are built with a high-strength boom for lifting 9'6'' or 8'6'' containers five-high in the first row and offer “the tightest turning radius in the container-handling industry,” said the company.
Built with a Cummins 10.8L QSM 11 300hp engine for an unladen lift speed of 94 ft/min,
the Yardmaster II series utilizes an advanced combination of engine, transmission, and hydraulic technologies.
Based in Greenville, NC, Hyster Co. is a leading lift truck designer and manufacturer in North America. Hyster offers more than 130 models configured for gasoline, LPG, diesel, and electric power, with the “widest capacity range in the industry” from 2,500 lbs to 105,000 lbs.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Maersk to lay off 200 Danish seafarers
DENMARK’S AP Moller-Maersk Feb 5 said it will lay off 200 Danish chief stewards and Danish ratings aboard its Danish-flagged container and tanker vessels and replace them with international crew because the company needs to make significant changes “relating to the cost of operating under the Danish flag.”
“In order to return to profitability, AP Moller-Maersk is focusing on being competitive and cost effective,” the company said. “Today we have to hire seafarers based on cost competitiveness.”
Most of the dismissals of ratings will take effect within six months. For the chief stewards the process will be ongoing into 2009. Negotiations with Danish seafarer organizations on conditions are ongoing, Maersk said.
“We regret having to dismiss these chief stewards and ratings who have served the company well for many years,” Maersk said.
“The layoffs are a result of the internationalization of the seafarers which has been going on for some years, and reflect the fact that international crew have proven their capabilities and abilities to offer a qualified alternative to the Danish chief stewards and ratings,” the company said.
2007 sixth year of growth for VPA
THE PORT of Virginia posted its sixth consecutive year of growth in 2007, port authorities said Feb 4, having handled 2.128mn TEUs in 2007, eclipsing last year’s mark by 82,000 TEUs.
Rail cargo volumes spiked as well. Cargo moved by rail in 2007 from the marine terminals to critical Midwest markets increased by 83,990 TEUs, or 20.9% when compared with 2006, the port said.
In 2007 the Port of Virginia handled 2,289 ship calls and 366,739 tonnes of breakbulk cargo, the port said.
“With all of the consolidation that has taken place in the industry, a soft economy, overall competition, and the change in leadership here, we were still able to post 4% growth, that says a lot about the effort and focus of the VPA and our operating company, Virginia International Terminals,” said Jerry A. Bridges, VPA’s executive director.
“The word is out about the Port of Virginia, and because of that we are going to continue to see this kind of growth,” Bridges added.
Numbers for the first half of FY 2008 are also showing growth, the port said.
Port of Virginia
Port air pollution study released
US PORTS are among the biggest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in their cities, and progress toward reducing harmful emissions has been slow, according to a new research study conducted by Energy Futures Inc.
The report on the study, entitled “US Container Ports and Air Pollution: A Perfect Storm,” presents findings of a 10-month undertaking in 2007 that assessed air pollution control efforts at America’s top 10 container ports.
Ports included in the study were Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland, CA; New York and New Jersey; Savannah, GA; Tacoma and Seattle, WA; Hampton Roads, VA; Charleston, SC; and Houston, TX.
“Port air pollution is bad and getting worse,” warns study author and Energy Futures President James Cannon, who made on-site research visits to each of the ports.
Cannon added, “We’ve concluded that the best way to lower air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and diversify fuel supply at US container ports is to use alternative fuels or advanced technologies to replace diesel.”
The study found that natural gas is currently the leading alternative fuel for goods movement.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
AAPA raps DHS port security budget
THE AMERICAN Association of Port Authorities Feb 5 announced it is “disappointed” in the proposed fiscal 2009 budget by the Bush administration particularly relating to port security.
“The Bush administration has proposed still another annual budget that would significantly underfund the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program and the portion of the US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program that provides crucial navigation access to ports,” the AAPA said.
The administration’s budget request calls for a 7.6% overall increase in DHS’s budget in fiscal 2008 but recommends a huge decrease for port facility security, the AAPA said.
The Bush administration recommends the Port Security Grant Program the only federal program that assists public ports to fund marine facility security improvements receive $210mn in Congressional appropriations.
This is the same amount the administration recommended in its fiscal 2008 budget, even though both the administration and Congress authorized $400mn for the program in the 2006 SAFE Port Act and both approved a $400mn appropriation for port security grants in the fiscal 2008 omnibus appropriations bill, according to the AAPA.
American Association of Port Authorities
Evergreen, Maersk exchange slots
CONTAINER lines Evergreen and Maersk Feb 4 announced a cooperative agreement on their Asia-Europe services, beginning March 2008.
The agreement consists of an exchange of slots between Evergreen’s China-Europe-Mediterranean (CEM) service and Maersk’s Far East to Europe (AE2) service.
The CEM service rotation is Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, and Hong Kong, China; Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia; Le Havre, France; Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Thamesport, UK; Port Said, Egypt; and Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia.
The AE2 service rotation is Busan and Kwanyang, S. Korea; Dalian, Xingang, Qingdao, and Shanghai, China; Bremerhaven, Germany; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Felixstowe, UK; Tangier, Morocco; and Salalah, Oman.
The cooperation will start westbound with M/V Ital Contessa sailing Mar 6 from Kaohsiung and M/V Grete Maersk sailing Mar 9 from Busan.
Eastbound services will start with M/V Ital Contessa sailing Apr 2 from Le Havre and M/V Grete Maersk sailing Apr 9 from Bremerhaven.
“We expect both Evergreen and Maersk to see significantly upgraded service coverage and more efficiently utilized capacity on the crucial Asia-Europe trade route as a result of this slot exchange agreement,” said Jack Yen, president, Evergreen Marine Corp.
Evergreen Marine Corp.
Gatekeeper, Container Security ink deal
GATEKEEPER USA Inc. announced recently that it has signed an exclusive development and licensing agreement with Container Security Logistics LLC.
CSL will “aggressively and immediately prosecute the development and accelerate the manufacturing process” of GateKeeper USA’s Container Automated Monitoring System, according to the announcement.
CSL anticipates that it will be shipping the first devices within the very near future.
GateKeeper USA will have the exclusive worldwide rights to sell, market, and distribute all present and future generations of CAMS devices manufactured by CSL. GateKeeper USA will begin marketing the CAMS devices, initially, to countries included in the Container Security Initiative.
“We are very pleased to be working with CSL Ltd. They have a world-class team of experts, and we are extremely confident that they will meet and exceed all of our expectations,” said James W. Wishart, chairman and CEO of GateKeeper USA.
CSL is a US-based company specifically formed to address various areas affecting US border security with an emphasis on securing containerized shipping in compliance with and as mandated by PL 110-53. This program is to be implemented at all foreign ports by July 2012.
Gatekeeper USA Inc.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Maersk Line switches to euro tariff
MAERSK LINE in a statement Feb 7 said it will change the tariff currency on its Europe-Oceania services from the dollar to the euro, effective Apr 1.
The company said the change is due to the “volatility of the US dollar” at a time where an increasingly high proportion of the line’s costs are settled in euros.
The change will apply to all shipments from Europe and North Africa for destinations in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Islands), Maersk Line said.
The change will not apply to cargo originating in the Middle East and South Asia for destinations in Oceania, nor will it be implemented in the northbound trade from Oceania to the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, according to the statement.
Maersk Line said it will honor commitments made for customers who have contracts in dollars extending beyond Apr 1 until the contracts expire.
The exchange rate that will be used for the conversion is the “European Central Bank Euro Foreign Exchange Reference rates on Feb 14, 2008.”
Enviro groups warn POLB
THE NATURAL Resources Defense Council and the Coalition For A Safe Environment Feb 6 announced their intention to file a federal lawsuit against the Port of Long Beach within 90 days if the port does not put a hold on future expansion plans and take concrete steps to reduce air pollution.
In a letter delivered to the port, the two environmental groups detailed what they said are numerous health consequences caused by “port-related diesel emissions.”
As an example, the letter said that more than 400,000 people who live in the 45 sq miles near the ports have a cancer risk “200 times higher than the federal government considers acceptable.”
“We are tired of listening to the port authorities saying all the right things, but doing very little,” said David Pettit, a senior attorney with NRDC and director of NRDC’s Southern California Air Program.
“The Port of Long Beach has a good written plan to clean up its pollution, but its plan is being ignored by the Long Beach Harbor Commissioners and staff,” said Melissa Lin Perrella, a lawyer with NRDC. “We need a plan with enforceable deadlines.”
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Coalition For A Safe Environment (CFASE)
Malta, CMA CGM sign 65-yr contract
THE MALTESE government Feb 4 granted CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company, an extension of its terminal concession held through its subsidiary, Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd., in the Port of Marsaxlokk to 65 years.
CMA CGM was awarded a 30-year concession to operate and develop Malta Freeport Terminals in October 2004.
Since then, CMA CGM said, it has continued to develop its presence in Malta by expanding operations, increasing its investment, and creating numerous jobs, resulting in the contract extension to 65 years.
“This agreement marks the beginning of an ambitious expansion and modernization program targeting the port’s infrastructure and equipment. These developments come in response to increasing international traffic and will enable the berthing of vessels exceeding 13,000 TEUs,” CMA CGM said.
The sizeable investment program will boost the terminal’s capacity to 3mn TEUs and help create 500 jobs in the years to come, the company said.
The agreement to extend the concession was signed in Malta by the Hon. Austin Gatt, Malta’s Minister for Investments, Industry, and IT, and CMA CGM President J.R. Saadé, in a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister of Malta, Dr Lawrence Gonzi.
Friday, February 8, 2008
NRF reports on retail box traffic
Traffic at the nation’s major retail container ports ended a four-month slump in December, rising above the previous year’s level for the first time since mid-summer, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Feb 7 by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight.
But weak or even negative growth compared with last year is predicted for the next several months as the nation’s economic slowdown continues, according to the report.
“Container traffic at the ports is a leading economic indicator because it reflects retailers’ expectations for sales,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “With the industry expecting the slowest growth in half a dozen years, we’re going to see little increase in cargo on the docks.”
With light traffic, little congestion is expected.
“Most ports are operating without congestion from the harbor to the gate,” Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said. “Seattle and Tacoma are threatened with near-term winter weatherrelated delays and are rated medium for congestion.”
Ports surveyed handled 1.3mn TEUs of container traffic in December, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available.
Port Tracker report
DHL Global picked by Siemens
DHL Global Forwarding, the world’s leading logistics service provider, Feb 7 announced that it has been selected as the preferred international carrier for Siemens’ air and ocean freight and Customs brokerage business in the US.
The global contract awarded to DHL will support Siemens in “improving service levels, reducing costs, and streamlining their overall supply chain,” according to the announcement.
DHL has also been re-awarded the exclusive contract for the Siemens Energy and Automation Europe to US Drop Shipment Program. Siemens selected DHL as the only provider endorsed for its US to Worldwide business and received the freight forwarding endorsement for all regions.
“Our solutions have a proven record to reduce costs, streamline the supply chain process, reduce transit times, and deliver overall improved service levels and visibility to Siemens’ customers,” said Hans Toggweiler, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, North America.
“We are uniquely positioned to provide a range of product offerings and services under one umbrella, integrated into a total supply chain solution for Siemens,” said Peter Boeker, Global Customer Director, DHL Global Customer Solutions.
DHL Global Forwarding
Shell recruits US seafarers for LNG vessels
Shell International Trading and Shipping Co. Ltd. Feb 8 announced that it will begin recruiting US seafarers for the company’s growing portfolio of managed international liquefied natural gas vessels.
Shell said it is “committed to securing the most qualified seafarers for its maritime fleet operations” and the US offers “an exceptional skill pool, particularly for LNG vessels.”
“The recruitment drive also provides an excellent opportunity for American mariners to enhance their careers through Shell’s international businesses and domestic joint ventures, such as Broadwater Energy LLC in Long Island Sound,” said Bob Salmon, GM of shipping for Shell Trading (US) Co.
“We applaud Shell’s announcement, which coincides perfectly with a universal training standards agreement facilitated recently by the Maritime Administration. That agreement standardized training and internationally accepted competencies for US seafarers,” said Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton.
“The growing worldwide demand in the LNG industry, including domestic proposals like Broadwater, create a significant opportunity for US mariners, the US maritime industry, and coastal communities throughout the country,” added Connaughton.
Shell International Trading and Shipping Co. Ltd.
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