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Summary for March 16 - March 20, 2009:
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Top Story

Swire Shipping under fire in Australia oil spill

Hong Kong’s Swire Shipping, the operator of a container vessel that leaked a reported 250 metric tons of heavy fuel oil that reportedly hit over 37 miles of coastline and two islands in Australia’s Queensland last week, is under fire for allegedly under-reporting a fuel leak that authorities say is10 times more than initially thought, according to media reports out of the region.

Swire issued a statement that said the ship’s officers and Australian authorities were unaware initially of a second fuel tank puncture in the accident that occurred during the Tropical Cyclone Hamish at sea.

Thirty-one containers holding ammonium nitrate were reportedly washed overboard in the rough seas causing a puncture in the hull of the Pacific Adventurer on its port side. Swire said the ship’s officers didn’t discover the second hole in the starboard fuel tank until the ship was docked in the Brisbane River.

The captain of the MV Pacific Adventurer has since surrendered his passport to authorities, and he has been served legal papers by the Queensland government.

Reportedly, over half of the oil-spill impact areas have been cleaned up. The Australian Navy has been dispatched to locate the wayward containers of nitrate.



Speech excerpts: Cathay chief calls for one-stop, harmonized security

Cathay Pacific’s chief executive urged the global aviation industry to establish what he termed a "more efficient and harmonized process of aviation security that can make life easier for the millions of passengers who keep the industry alive," said Tony Tyler at the recent Aviation Security Conference in Hong Kong.

Tyler said Cathay Pacific strongly supports the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to "accelerate the harmonization of security standards through one-stop security."  

"The airline industry has been trying to achieve this since 1997 but progress has been painfully slow and sporadic. That's why we support and endorse the call from IATA for ICAO and its aviation security panel to provide the leadership to make one-stop security a global reality."
“I strongly believe we have to make a greater effort to tackle some of the long-standing issues that make the security process more difficult and more costly than it should be.” Tyler said.

"I have lost count of the number of times customers have complained to me about the ambiguities and lack of consistency they encounter in security requirements in the world's airports. Some airports require you to take out your laptop, others don't; some make you remove your shoes, others don't; some want you to take off your belt; others don't.  What kind of message does that send to passengers? They are understandably puzzled and frustrated and more than occasionally worried about these inconsistencies. Take liquids and gels, as another example. As Giovanni Bisignani of IATA asked pointedly in a recent speech in New York, where is the data that shows that a shampoo bottle is a greater risk than a belt buckle? There is none. Yet we spend millions to limit carry-on liquids.

"How do we expect our customers to make any sense of that? And what are passengers to make of the fact that they need to be screened again - sometimes twice - while in transit? Another example is the baffling array of policies covering metal knives onboard aircraft and in the secure areas of airports. The bizarre array of rules currently in place serves only to confuse and annoy passengers, create unnecessary costs for airlines and caterers and place strain on security staff."



Third-largest shipbuilder moves to secure cash in downturn

South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries announced today in a regulatory filing that it would sell $482 million in domestic bonds in its first corporate bond offering since 2002, as the major shipbuilder looks to hedge against declining ship orders and cancellations amid the slumping global shipping business.

Samsung, the world's third largest shipbuilder, said the three-year bond would be issued on March 24, and offer a rate of 6.22 percent per annum. 

The bond would go towards financing the investment of projects and repay maturing short-term debt, Samsung said.

Samsung said its new ship orders, measured in tons, have fallen 93 percent from a year earlier for the period between last October and January. The shipbuilder said only 18 vessels have been ordered in January-February of this year.

Samsung said its order backlogs can keep its yards busy for more than three year and that it would focus on offshore plants and energy vessels during the global economic downturn.



Nestlé opens its largest ready-to-drink factory and distribution center in Indiana

Nestlé announced the opening of its largest ready-to-drink factory and distribution center in Anderson, Indiana, at a cost of $359 million, and 880,000 square feet of space. The company said the facility will be the hub for its healthy beverages line of business, including new product lines that would be developed there.

Nestle said it would invest another $170 million to expand the facility to more than one million square feet and over 500 jobs by 2011. The company said the new facility is the largest single capital investment in Nestle’s history.


Military action

Chavez seizes Venezuala’s ports, airports

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the military takeover of his nation's ports, airports and roads on Sunday, according to various media reports.

The latest takeovers are in a line of such moves in recent months, such as with hospitals and police departments, as he reportedly is expanding central government control after losing some important states in the 2008 regional elections, in effect limiting the power of opposition governors and mayors.

Venezuela’s Congress cleared the way for Chavez to enforce the key transportation services takeover after legislation was passed to allow the central government to step in on roads, ports and airports if state leaders could not properly maintain them.

"We are going to take over ports and airports throughout the republic, whoever wants can oppose it, but it is the law of the republic," Chavez said in his weekly Sunday broadcast.



China Shipping inks e-commerce deal with GT Nexus

China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) announced it has selected GT Nexus for e-commerce shipping services. CSCL said would integrate its back office systems in with GT Nexus to enable paperless business transactions with its shipper and forwarder customers.

"In the containerized shipping industry, e-commerce has matured to the point where it is now a vital part of a carrier's value added services," said Xiao Wen Huang, Executive Director at CSCL. "GT Nexus has succeeded in delivering a proven solution that delivers value to all stakeholders. We are looking forward to working together with our customers as they continue to automate their global supply chains, and are pleased to now offer the GT Nexus Portal in addition to our existing in-house e-commerce solutions."


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top Story

Slumping freight rates could cost shipping lines $68 billion in 2009

Due to freight rates that tumbled in 2008, particularly from November to January, ocean shipping lines could see close to $70 billion in lost revenues this year, according to a new report produced by Drewry Shipping Consultants.

Drewry’s Container Freight Rate Insight reports that rate decreases are significant on all shipping lanes out of Asia, especially between Asia and Europe.

Containerized freight rates between Asia and the U.S. fell 12.1 percent between November and January to $1,681, and 14.3 percent between January 2008 and January 2009, the report said.

Rates between Asia and Europe dropped much 42.2 percent between November and January to $1,232, and 68.7 percent between January 2008 and January 2009, the report said.

For the year, rates between Hong Kong and the U.S. West Coast fell 15 percent for an FEU to $2,090, and dropped 17 percent to the U.S. East Coast to $3,340.

"Eastbound transpacific freight rates to the US have also come under market pressure…Reductions of $300 per FEU have been common in recent months and the trend is continuing downwards. Rates from Hong Kong to Los Angeles (reached) a record low of $1,350 per FEU in mid-February," the report said.

Globally, rates fell on average at 20 percent between November and January, and 36 percent for the year.

"Based on global container traffic of 152 million TEU for 2008, that suggests there is as much as $68 billion in revenues that the container operators are now not going to get - and that shippers are going to save - if today's levels hold for the next 12 months," the report said.
The report went on to say: “The shipping lines' container services are being run with negative cash flows, for both spot and contract cargoes. This situation raises serious questions about the carriers' ability to continue to trade and the resulting risk of disruption of shippers' supply chains from Asia. Shippers will need to pay close attention to the risk and consequences of bankruptcies of carriers."
A sharp drop in bunker surcharge levels at the end of the 2008 is responsible for half the decline in carriers' “all-in rates” between November and January, the report said.

"There has emerged a new trend of pricing in lump sum freight rates from the Far East, under which the base rate and the bunker surcharge are no longer separated…The dangers of this are obvious if oil prices start creeping up again - as many observers think they might.

Operators could find they have given away their only chance to improve revenues this year," the report said.



Report: Guangdong shippers oppose Maersk terminal handling charges

In South China, the Guangdong Shippers’ Association is opposing a terminal handling charge (THC) increase levied by Danish shipping line, Maersk, and might try and boycott the world’s largest carrier, according to a report in Xinhua.

Maersk raised its THC in Mainland China and Mongolia in January going from $54 per-TEU to $69 per- TEU, a 28.4 percent increase, and from $82 per-FEU $110 per-FEU, an increase of 33.9 percent.

The vice chairman of the Guangdong Shippers' Association. Pan Zhiheng, said in the article that Maersk's rate hike has gone against Chinese law in three areas:  A Chinese Ministry of Transportation ruling in 2006 that the THC is a part of the freight rate and cannot be charged in forms other than freight rate; Maersk has allegedly not reported its rate hike to relevant government authorities for advance approval; Maersk allegedly violated international standards and Chinese law which stipulates that carriers must consult with shippers' organizations before raising freight rates and surcharges.

There was no official response from Maersk in the news report.



Massive Wal-Mart distribution center project back on track in California

A proposed 1.2 million-square-foot distribution facility for Wal-Mart in Merced, Calif. might be closer to reality after a three-year planning period, according to a report in the Central Valley Business Times.

On Monday, the Merced City Council voted 5-1 to end the public comment period over the project on April 28 instead of extending
that deadline.

Those critical of the Wal-Mart project have lobbied the city for more time so residents not fluent in English, such as the many Spanish-and-Hmong-speaking residents, would be able to participate in the public process.

The project’s environmental impact report is 441 pages and the technical review is at 675 pages, the report said.

The facility would employ up to 1,200 people in a county where unemployment reached almost 19 percent in January, the report said.

There would be an estimated 450 daily truck trips in and out of the facility that would operate 24-hours, seven days a week.



Report: Port of Portland considers layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs

The Port of Portland, Ore., which runs the biggest seaport and airport in the state of Oregon, is looking at potential layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs, the Oregonian reported.

The port’s executive director, Bill Wyatt said aside from cutting pay and forcing time off, that layoffs are unavoidable due to declines in the lines of business.

"Passengers are down. Air cargo is down. Containers are down. Wheat is down. Potash is down," said Wyatt.

The Port of Portland employs 780 full-time staff. The Oregonian story referenced a March 5 memo to port employees, where Wyatt said cost cutting wasn’t enough, and "a more aggressive set of measures" would be implemented, beginning in April.

"For the third month in a row we have experienced double-digit year-over-year declines in airline passenger traffic, which has had follow-on impacts to parking, rental car income, concessions, air cargo and so forth," said Wyatt in the memo.

Wyatt said he thinks the economy will hit bottom this summer, while the port enjoys a strong regional cargo base and agriculture exports, and companies like Nike and Intel are headquartered there.

"I'm actually quite bullish about the future," Wyatt said.


Charleston Gains lands new breakbulk/container service

The Port of Charleston announced a new combination breakbulk/container shipping service will commence operation between Charleston and several ports in the Middle East and India.

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (NSCSA) is scheduled to make the inaugural call of its North America service at Charleston’s Columbus Street Terminal the week of March 30, the port said.

The liner’s service is to be a combination of traditional breakbulk, roll-on/roll-off and containerized cargo with a frequency of every 21 days, the port said.

The North America service will connect Charleston to the ports of Jeddah, Jubail and Dammam in Saudi Arabia; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Mumbai, India; Port Qasim, Pakistan and Livorno, Italy. Carolina Shipping will serve as the local agent for NSCSA.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Top Story

Wireless data technology supply chain alliance formed

A new wireless data technology supply chain alliance has been announced that includes Michelin, Lockheed Martin’s Savi Technology, Texas Instruments, U.S. Department of Energy, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The DASH7™ Alliance initiative said it plans to expand the use of wireless data technology utilized in the global defense industry that is also being used more by the commercial sector.

The group said its technology is based on a ISO 18000-7 standard and provides commercial and government users with the ability to track the whereabouts and status of a range of products that include vehicles, shipping containers, pharmaceutical products, hazardous materials, perishable goods and manufacturing and operational equipment.

The DASH7 Alliance said it would work to ensure cross-vendor interoperability as well as to promote greater use of the ISO 18000-7 wireless data standard. The DASH7 Alliance said it would also foster new wireless data innovations based on the standard, including advanced sensor networking, electronic seals, mobile phone integration, and other advances enabled through upcoming DASH7 developer resources.

“The DASH7 Alliance is an important next step for the wireless industry as DASH7-ready products become more ubiquitous,” said David Stephens, CEO of Savi Technology.  “By assembling this coalition of both end users and technology companies, we can promote greater interoperability and reliability, but also inspire greater innovation around a common standard.”

“As United States companies grow RFID technologies from their infancy into an industry, it is incredibly important to set a common standard for how all of these new applications are going to be designed and built,” said Dr. James Shuler, manager of the United States Department of Energy’s packaging certification program.

Commenting on the U.S. Department of Defense’s move to an RFID III multi-vendor contract earlier this year, Lt. Col. Pat Burden, the DoD’s Product Manager Joint-Automatic Identification Technology, stated, “This is a significant milestone for DoD in that this migration will not only give DoD and other Federal agencies’ customers best-value solutions at competitive prices, but it moves us to ISO 18000-7:2008 compliant products, thus broadening interoperability with DoD and our coalition partners.”

“In ABI’s opinion, the DASH7 Alliance is both timely and mission critical to growing the active UHF segment of the RFID market,” Michael Liard, Practice Director, RFID, of ABI Research, said in a just-released report entitled, “Introducing the DASH7 Alliance:  Bringing Balance and Vision to Active RFID Markets.”

“The DASH7 Alliance will bring stakeholders together to share and discuss ISO 18000-7 technical issues such as advancing the standard on a global scale, identify and eliminate potential gray areas, and share information about wins and pitfalls,” the ABI report stated.  “The Alliance will also work to build applications on top of the core standard, including electronic seals, RTLS, sensing and monitoring, long distance communication, and more.”

Semiconductor manufacturers STMicroelectronics and Analog Devices plan to provide hardware developer toolkits that enable product innovations and enhance interoperability, and Texas Instruments also plans to be a DASH7 participant, the group said.  The United States Department of Energy and three of its national laboratories, as well as the University of Pittsburgh, will provide technical advisory services, the group said. 

The University of Pittsburgh said it plans to serve as the initial test and certification lab for DASH7-enabled products.After successfully completing DASH7 test and certification, alliance members will be able to deploy the “DASH7 Certified” logo on their products to demonstrate reliability and interoperability to prospective end users.



Mexico issues new tariff list on U.S. goods worth $2.4 billion

The Mexican government issued a list of 90 goods imported from the U.S. worth $2.4 billion that would be subject to tariffs ranging mostly from 10 percent to 20 percent, and as high as 45 percent.

The tariff moves are retaliation by Mexico over its objection to the U.S. cancellation of a long-haul truck program between the two countries.

Products subject to the new tariffs include telephones, wines, certain juices and fruits, Christmas trees, pencils, soy sauce, toilet paper, mineral water, and pet food. Item such as wheat, corn, rice, and beans are not included.


CMA CGM America appoints director of inbound trade, government cargo

CMA CGM America announced the promotion of Timothy Ring as d of inbound trade and government cargo.

Ring had directed the company's worldwide food aid, PL-480/Title II program, from CMA CGM's Washington D.C. office since he joined the shipping line in 2005. Ring will continue to act as a liaison between the carrier and US government agencies of the US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service, U.S. Agency for International Development, and non-governmental bodies also, the company said.
Ring will be based at CMA’s Norfolk, Virginia office, and will report to Todd Rives, vice president, export trade and line management, the company said.


Panalpina to cut up to 10 percent of workforce 

The global third party logistics firm Panalpina announced its plans to cut between 1,400 and 1,600 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce worldwide, citing declining freight volumes.

The company said in a statement that both its airfreight and ocean freight units grew quicker than the market overall, transporting 901,000 tons of airfreight and 1.278 million TEUs last year.

"Gross profit, EBITDA and net earnings were significantly negatively influenced by currency fluctuations and the withdrawal from the domestic business in Nigeria,” the company said.

"EBITDA was negatively impacted by CHF100 million, including one-time expenses due to the withdrawal from Nigeria as well as costs associated with ongoing investigations; legal and consulting fees of CHF45 million are included in the aforementioned amount. In spite of all this, the company was able to increase free cash flow by 29.2 per cent, largely thanks to the strict management of net working capital and reduced investments in comparison with the previous year."

"We were able to gain market share in the air freight and ocean freight sectors and won new contracts in all segments. These results underscore the success of Panalpina's asset-light business model, which enables us to react quickly to the market and to the individual requirements of our customers," said CEO Monika Ribar.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top Story

Bulk, general cargo fleets to continue growth through 2012

The global dry bulk and general cargo fleets are projected to continue growing through 2012 despite weakened freight rates and general overcapacity of tonnage, according to a shipbuilding market forecast from Lloyd’s Register - Fairplay Research.

The increased scrapping of existing ships not be enough to offset the heavy volume of new ships sliding down the ways, the report said. The resulting net growth of tonnage in most segments of this market includes dry bulkers, general cargo vessels, reefer cargo ships, and dry cargo barges, the report said, with much of the current capacity consisting of relatively new tonnage, slowing down removals to scrap yards.

New-build orders for dry bulk carriers is now at 3,359 ships totaling 292 million deadweight tons (dwt), and equal to 70 percent of existing fleet capacity, the report said.

Bulk ship orders are subject to cancellations and delayed delivery and are accounted for in the forecast.

“Even if deliveries are to be cut by half, bulk supply growth is still expected to outpace demand growth in 2009 and 2010, which will affect freight rate development trends negatively,” said Niklas Bengtsson, project manager and senior consultant, Lloyd’s Register - Fairplay Research.

The general cargo segment is projected to continue growing at 3.5 percent annually through 2012, the report said, which also pointed out that as in the dry bulk segment, when older ships are replaced, newer ones tend to be substantially larger in capacity due to increased economies of scale.

Demand for reefer cargo remains relatively strong, however the report pointed out that the specialized reefer fleet continues on a slow decline with those cargoes increasingly migrating to reefer containers. In 2008, only seven reefer ships were delivered, while 39 were removed, the report said.

Even with current overcapacity and depressed freight rates, the report cited the underlying strength of global demand for waterborne deliveries of bulk commodities such as coal, bauxite, iron ore and grain. The authors noted massive government stimulus spending on infrastructure improvements would help bring about increased demand for steel in 2009 and 2010.

Through 2012, the report said orders are projected to continue on pace for new bulk and general cargo vessels at a slower pace from the order level of 2007. For example, the general cargo market is projected to hit, for instance, the forecast calls for 16.4 million dwt in new orders during that period, 35 percent less than in 2003-2007. 

China still leads the world in shipbuilding for bulkers and general cargo ships with 47 percent of the ships currently on order, followed by Japan with 19 percent and South Korea with 11 percent.


Fedex to cut $1 billion in costs

FedEx Corp. has announced it plans to cut $1 billion of costs for its 2010 fiscal year due to a 75 percent drop in third-quarter net income.
The company said it would enact cost-cutting measures in the following areas:

* Network capacity reductions at FedEx Express and FedEx Freight
* Further reduction of personnel and work hours
* Expansion of previously announced pay actions to include non-U.S. employees, where permitted
* Streamlining of information technology systems and other internal processes
* Additional reductions in other spending categories

FedEx had previously laid off 900 staff in its freight division at 2.6 percent of the workforce. The company also reduced salaries and related compensation for its U.S. employees. Chairman and Chief Executive Frederick Smith took a 20 percent salary reduction.

"Our goal when we implemented compensation reductions in January for U.S. salaried personnel was to both protect our business and minimize the loss of jobs" said Smith in a company statement. "With industrial production and global trade trends worsening since last quarter, we are applying these additional measures to continue to secure as many of our jobs as possible during this downturn. We remain focused on providing outstanding service, and will ensure that our actions do not impede our industry-leading customer experience"

FedEx reported net income for the quarter ended Feb. 28 at $97 million down from $393 million a year earlier. The company’s revenue decreased 14 percent to $8.14 billion.

FedEx's express segment’s operating margin declined to 0.9 percent from 6.9 percent as revenue dropped 18 percent and average daily volume fell 5 percent. Daily volume at the ground segment rose 2 percent on continued growth in the FedEx Home Delivery service, as operating margin rose to 10.9 percent from 9.9 percent. U.S. domestic express package volume dropped 3 percent, as revenue per package fell 12 percent on lower fuel surcharges and package weights.


U.S., shippers to pay higher freight costs to Mexico

General Electric Co., 3M Co., Caterpillar Inc., and other U.S. companies operating in Mexico will pay higher shipping costs after the U.S. scrapped a trucking program designed to eliminate daylong delays at the border.

The U.S. last week canceled a pilot project begun in September 2007 that allowed Mexican trucks to transport goods past a 25-mile commercial zone along the border. Mexico responded this week by placing tariffs on $2.4 billion of U.S. goods exported to the country annually.

For the full story:


China plans to drop business tax in logistics sector

China’s State Council announced it has approved a plan to stimulate its logistics industry by reducing the business tax for that sector by 3 percent, according to state media, Xinhua.

China's logistics industry value fell 8.1 percent year on year in 2008 with profit margins for many logistics companies dropping 20 to 30 percent, the report said.

EPA toxic chemical release update

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today posted its most recent reporting on the amount of toxic chemicals released into the U.S. environment. According to the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, the latest data, from the calendar year 2007, shows an overall decrease of 5 percent in releases since 2006. Releases to air decreased 7 percent and releases to water decreased 5 percent.

The report shows increases in the releases of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals like lead, dioxin, mercury and PCBs. Overall PBTs releases increased 1 percent. The increases were primarily due to a handful of facilities, and most of the releases reported were not to the air or water.

Total disposal or other releases of mercury increased 38 percent, but air emissions of mercury were down three percent. The majority of mercury releases were reported by the mining industry.

PCB releases went up 40 percent. EPA banned the production of PCBs in the U.S. in 1979 and disposing of it safely to permitted, hazardous waste landfills is the final important step in removing it from use, the agency said. Dioxin releases or disposal increased 11 percent. Lead releases increased by 1 percent. The majority of lead released was by the mining industry to land, the report said.

This year’s annual publication of the data includes 650 chemicals from 22,000 facilities. TRI provides public information on chemical releases to communities and includes toxics managed in landfills and underground injection wells as well as those released into water and the air.
More information on the TRI reporting change: 
TRI 2007 Public Data Release:
TRI Explorer tool:


Friday, March 20, 2009

Top Story

Singing the blues: TSA calls for sustainable 2009-10 rate contracts

The container shipping line leaders of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) announced this week their collective intentions to ensure that 2009-10 service contracts reach sustainable rate levels and include continued fuel cost recovery.

At their most recent meeting in Tokyo, the 14 TSA carrier CEOs expressed their intention to avoid any further erosion of the current rate structures by expiring, no later than June 30, 2009, any short term rates that have been reduced over the past four to five months. 

TSA Chairman Ronald D. Widdows stated: “In spite of TSA members earlier announced intention to expire these unsustainable rates, carrier behavior not only failed to arrest the volatility in the trade, but contributed to further erosion in a number of cargo segments, most significantly in the spot market. There have also been isolated incidents where these non-compensatory rate levels have found their way into a small number of new contracts. Everyone involved in this trade faces the certainty of significant losses if quick action is not taken to approach the upcoming round of contract negotiations with a renewed focus on rates that will support continued servicing of this market. It will be evident shortly whether member lines individually can rise to the challenge.”

The TSA said the first step in rate stabilization would be to expire reduced short term/spot rates by the end of June at the latest. The second step would be lines establishing rates for 2009-10 contracting at levels that are $500 to $600 per-FEU above what the TSA referred to as “the low levels that some rates deteriorated to over the last few months.”
The TSA members also said they would seek further improvements to the number of contracts that contain full floating bunker and inland fuel recovery provisions.

The TSA lines acknowledged difficulties facing shippers and carriers alike in the Asia-U.S. trade, as the continued global economic downturn has impacted consumer demand in the U.S. and curtailed manufacturing and exports out of Asia.
“All carriers involved in the transpacific trade are adjusting as best they can to this new cargo demand level, which will probably be with us for some time to come,” said TSA Executive Administrator Brian Conrad. “This is a time for all parties to come to the table with an eye toward sharing the burden of this extraordinary market environment. Carriers will see rates soften from their 2008-09 levels – however, shippers will need to understand that in order to continue to be able to service this market, the rates will have to settle at sustainable levels.” 

Conrad added: “The carriers have reached a point where financial survival, not utilization or market share, has to become the driving force.  Moving to establish rates at least $500 to $600 above the levels to which the spot market has eroded, is a desperately needed first step in the industry’s efforts to move away from a potential catastrophic event.  Lines are starting to hear concerns expressed by their customers about the impact on service if these rate levels remain in the market for the long term.”
The TSA is a research and discussion forum of major container shipping lines serving the trade from Asia to ports and inland points in the U.S.

TSA members include: APL, Ltd., China Shipping Container Lines, CMA-CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Ltd., Evergreen Line, Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd., Hapag Lloyd AG, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line), Mediterranean Shipping Co., Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K. Line), Orient Overseas Container Line, Inc., Yangming Marine Transport Corp.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services

CMA-CGM takes delivery of mega green-ship

The French shipping group CMA-CGM announced the delivery of the world's first containership to be equipped with the "Fast Oil Recovery System" designed to help prevent pollution in the marine environment.
The 11,400-TEU CMA-CGM Andromeda, was delivered to the carrier in South Korea.

A special feature of the vessel is what the carrier terms the "interplay of judiciously placed pipes, a system that allows, if need be, a fast recovery of the oils contained in the tanks without having to open a hole in the vessel's hull."  The recovery system was Initially designed for oil tankers.

In addition to the Fast Oil recovery System, the new box ship will also feature a number of new environmental technologies, including an electronically controlled engine, optimizing fuel and lubricants consumption, which will be reduced by 3 and 25 per cent respectively, the company said.

Other eco-friendly features are its optimized hull design and a Twisted Leading Edge Rudder improving the vessel's hydrodynamic qualities; a last generation multi-chamber compactor for extensive waste recycling on board; and pre-equipment allowing the use of alternative maritime power while at berth.

EPA announces $211 million in clean diesel program funding

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this week the ability of state and local governments, nonprofit organizations and tribal agencies to apply for up to an estimated $211 million in funding for clean diesel program. 

The EPA funding is available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 that President Obama signed into law Feb. 17, 2009.

Diesel grantees will be able to use the estimated $206 million to implement clean diesel projects that, according to the EPA “would cut thousands of tons of diesel emissions, including particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. As a result, the projects would also reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost workdays, and many other health impacts every year.”

The EPA said brownfields grantees could use the estimated $5 million “to provide training for jobs and to facilitate job creation in the assessment, remediation, or preparation of brownfields sites for sustainable reuse. EPA anticipates awarding 10-12 cooperative agreements, whose maximum value each shall not exceed $500,000.”
The EPA said preference would be given to projects that can be started and completed expeditiously. The EPA said it plans to provide the funding in June.

More information on the diesel and brownfields grants: http:///


South African marine terminals deploy Navis system

A group of South African marine terminals are deploying the Navis(TM) SPARCS N4 terminal operating system from a central location across 21 marine and rail terminals, Navis announced this week.
Navis, a division of Zebra Technologies, said Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) became the first port operator in the world to manage the SPARCS N4 system from a central location for several terminal locations. Currently, three of the Transnet marine terminals are live with the system with the balance coming online by 2010, Navis said.

"Ultimately this will result in a single invoice to the customer for services performed by multiple operating divisions within Transnet," said Mark Wootton, executive manager of ICT Capital Projects and Technology at Transnet Port Terminals. "For the customer, the cost of doing business should decrease and the competitiveness of South Africa increase through a more effective, integrated supply chain."

Pier 1 in Durban was the first of the 7 marine terminals to implement SPARCS N4. In February, Port Elizabeth Container Terminal went live and East London Multi-Purpose Terminal went live on March 14, the second and third terminals respectively to implement the Navis solution. SPARCS N4 will be rolled out to the remaining terminals such as the Durban and Cape Town container terminals by next year, according to Navis.

The web-based SPARCS N4 operating system governs the movement of all container logistics and operations from gate to yard to vessel and offers users customer support, Navis said.

"Our progress has been watched with keen interest by global terminal operators like Dubai Port World," Wootton said. "This latest version of Navis is currently used by just over 10 ports worldwide including those in New Zealand and Australia. Although Navis offers this multi-site, single-server functionality, South Africa is the first to take advantage of it to run more than one site off a single system successfully. This is something we can be very proud of."

Navis said other benefits of the system include centralized visibility of information between TPT as the operator and its customers, as well as enhanced communication with TPT via web-based electronic data interchange. The system supports paperless operations through its real-time tracking of terminal operations from vessel to yard, the company said.


GPA’s Marchand inducted into Maritime Hall of Fame

The International Maritime Hall of Fame will honor the Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) executive director Doug J. Marchand as one of its newest members on May 13, 2009, at the United Nations in New York City, the GPA announced.

The International Maritime Hall of Fame was founded in 1993 and recognizes select maritime leaders.

“By creating unique opportunities and success at the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick, Doug has set the standard in the port industry and developed a model others attempt to duplicate,” said the GPA’s chairman of the board Steve Green. “From targeting distribution centers to capitalizing on specialized cargo segments, Doug’s excellent management has created an historic track record for the Georgia Ports Authority.”

Marchand has served as GPA’s executive director since 1995. The GPA owns and operates deepwater terminals in Savannah and Brunswick and manages inland river barge terminals in Bainbridge and Columbus. During the 14 years of his tenure, the port’s container and automobile volumes have more than quadrupled, the GPA said. The Port of Savannah is the fourth largest port in the U.S.

 “Doug’s leadership and vision have contributed to an unprecedented growth period for the Georgia Ports Authority,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. “Even in tough economic times, the GPA is positioned to continue this trend of bringing jobs and new opportunities for Georgia well into the future.”

Other honorees for the 16th International Maritime Hall of Fame include International President of International Organization of Masters for Mates & Pilots Captain Timothy A. Brown, General Maritime Corporation Chairman Peter C. Gergiopoulos, China Shipping (Group Company) President Li Shaode and Ports America Advisory Board’s Senior Strategic Advisor Douglas A. Tilden

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