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Summary for March 23 - March 27, 2009:
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Top Story

LA-LB ports and mayor respond to clean truck ruling

The ports of Long Beach-Los Angeles, and the Mayor of L.A., responded to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling on Friday that reversed a lower court decision on a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by the American Trucking Associations to block the ports’ concession requirements in their Clean Truck Programs.

"There is a likelihood of irreparable damages in this case...We conclude that the concession agreements of both the ports will likely be found to be pre-empted in whole or in part," the court said.

The Ninth Circuit sent the case back to the district court for expeditious review.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach launched a clean truck program that has been aimed at reducing diesel truck emissions by up to 80 percent by phasing out older trucks with new, clean vehicles.

In February, the ports began collecting a $35-per-container fee to help fund the program.

But the trucking industry has objected to components of the program, such as requirements that include truckers having to obtain concessions from each port and the Port of Los Angeles requiring companies hire drivers rather than using independent contractors.

"The decision today does not change the legal status of our Clean Trucks Program or any other requirements currently in effect at the Port," said Richard D. Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. "The port will continue to study the decision and appropriate next steps of the Court of Appeals, and anticipates that further proceedings will be held promptly before the District Court."

“Our Clean Truck Program is reducing toxic port truck pollution at an accelerated pace, and today’s ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals does not challenge the truck ban schedule or truck fees that are helping us successfully battle this health crisis,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  “We are committed to fighting this case because our Clean Truck Program is the most sustainable plan for ensuring a clean, safe and secure trucking system for the long-haul at the Port of Los Angeles.”  

The Port of Los Angeles also responded in a statement that included: “While the District Court has been asked to undertake further proceedings with respect to the case, the City of Los Angeles is pleased that the centerpiece components of the Clean Truck Program that are currently in effect -- i.e., the dirty truck ban and clean truck fee -- remain intact for the benefit of thousands of Southern Californians who are already breathing cleaner air less than six months after the Clean Truck Program’s implementation.”

OOIL profit dropped 50 percent in 2008

Hong Kong-based shipping group Orient Overseas International Limited (OOIL) posted a 2008 profit of $272.3 million, down from the $2.5 billion for the previous year. The 2007 margin included a one-time profit of $1.9 billion from the sale of OOIL’s terminal division. Profit from continuing operations stood at $275.5 million in 2008, down 50 percent from the $553.7 million reported in 2007, the group said.

Port of L.A. launches rail cargo incentive

The Port of Los Angeles announced on Friday what it termed an “Intermodal Container Incentive Program” that would pay shipping companies $20 per-TEU for each additional container brought into the port by rail that exceeds that company’s 2008 level.

The new incentive program is set to begin on May 1 of this year at a cost of $900,000, the port said. Intermodal cargo accounts for over 40 percent of the Port of L.A.’s total container volume, according to port statistics.

“Given the nation’s current economic climate, we need to help our steamship lines,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “Coupled with the recent rate reduction for our terminal operators, this new program will help the Port remain competitive,” she said.

The Intermodal Container Incentive Program is the second of two year long cost reduction programs initiated by the Port of Los Angeles this year.  The Intermodal Discount Program took effect last month, and offered terminal operators a 10 percent discount on each container they transported to or from the port by rail. That program is retroactive to January 1, 2009, and is expected to cost $13 million dollars, the port said.

CMA CGM rationalizes U.S. East Coast-Asia services

French shipping group CMA CGM Group announced it would rationalize its services between Asia and the U.S. East Coast.

As of the end of March 2009, the carrier’s ESX/SAX service with its partner TNWA will cease. The service has called Ningbo, Shanghai, Chiwan, Hong Kong, Balboa, Manzanillo, Jacksonville, Savannah, New York, Norfolk, Balboa, Ningbo.

The PEX1 and Suez Express services to the U.S. East Coast will continue through April and May 2009, respectively the shipping line said.
The PEX1 service calls Pusan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yantian, Panama, New York, Savannah, Miami, Panama, Pusan.

The Suez Express services calls Port Kelang, Singapore, Colombo, New York, Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk, Jebel Ali, Port Kelang.

Beginning in May, CMA CGM will launch the Hudson and Columbus services in partnership with Maersk as replacement for the PEX1, SAX and Suez Express services.

The two new services will be operated with ships at 6,500-TEU capacities via the Suez and 5,100-TEU via Panama, the carrier said.

The new rotations will be as follows:

Columbus loop: Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Yantian, Singapore, Suez, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Good Hope, Singapore, Hong Kong, Yantian, Shanghai, Pusan, Seattle, Vancouver, Yokohama.

Hudson Loop:
Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Pusan, Balboa, Panama, Savannah, New York, Miami, Panama, Balboa, Ningbo.

NYK,"K" Line, PIL and HMM launch Far East-East Coast South America service

NIippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd ("K" Line), Pacific International Lines (Pte.) Ltd (PIL), and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd (HMM) announced a joint agreement to launch a shipping service between the Far East and South America’s East Coast of South America beginning in mid June of this year.

Ten vessels of about 4,250-TEU each are to be deployed in a 70-day rotation, for a weekly where NYK, "K" Line, and PIL will provide three vessels each and HMM will deploy one vessel, the group said. 
The new service’s port rotation will be: Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Shekou, Singapore, Santos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Navegantes, Paranagua, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town (only "K" Line and PIL will offer service to Cape Town), Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Port of Montreal fires its chief executive

A year and a half after he was hired, Port of Montreal boss Patrice Pelletier has been fired, the Montreal Port Authority said Tuesday evening.

“The reason for his departure had to do with different perspectives from those of the board as to the implementation of the corporate vision,” the Port said in a statement.

Reached Tuesday night, Jean-Paul Lejeune, director of communications for the Port, said there would not be any further comment about Pelletier’s dismissal.

He said the decision was effective at the end of the day Tuesday. Lejeune said he did not know whether Pelletier would receive a severance package.

For the full story:

New York-New Jersey15-year growth streak ends
Probably to no one's surprise, statistics released Friday showed business at the Port of New York and New Jersey was flat, ending 15 years of continuous growth.
Due to the current global economic downturn, container cargo volumes at the port were flat for the first time since 1993, Port Authority officials reported. However, other ports showed a 5 percent decline in business.
During 2008, total container traffic handled at the port was 5,265,053 loaded and empty TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), compared to 5,299,105 in 2007. Officials said they expect activity to be decreased during 2009, as the full effect of the economic downturn is realized.

For the full story: 

Cargo plane crash lands at Tokyo airport, kills pilots

A Fedex cargo aircraft crashed on landing at Tokyo’s Narita airport in strong winds, bursting into flames and killing two pilots on board.

The Boeing Company MD-11 was coming from Guangzhou, China, and crashed at 6:49 a.m. local time, according to the Japanese transport ministry. Americans Kevin Kyle Mosley, 54, and Anthony Stephen Pino, 49, were piloting the aircraft, the ministry said.

For the full story:

Vegetable-based technology introduced for temperature control

PureTempTM was launched today by Minneapolis-based Entropy Solutions as a specially engineered vegetable oil derivative that controls temperatures to extremes - as cold as dry ice, as hot as coffee- for extended periods of time. Entropy claims PureTemp is “the world's first and only 100 percent renewable, biodegradable and environmentally friendly material to answer age-old issues concerning temperature control and maintenance.”
PureTemp is available in liquid, micro encapsulated and macro-encapsulated forms and has applications that can serve in the shipping, construction, textile, healthcare and energy industries, or wherever strict temperature control is required, the company said.
Entropy said its own GREENBOX Thermal Management System utilizes PureTemp in order to maintain the box’s payload temperature for more than five days.

PureTemp said its patented and proprietary product works by “absorbing and releasing otherwise-wasted surrounding ambient energy, providing the ability to hold specific temperature ranges for long periods of time. Tests performed by the USDA and analyses completed by Independent Life-Cycle and BEES® have resulted in PureTemp being listed in the USDA BioPreferredTM directory as the only green choice in the Heat Transfer Fluid category.”
Entropy says PureTemp is a "phase change material," meaning it has the ability to change "phases,” for example, liquid to solid or solid to liquid. It can change anywhere between 40°F and 160°F, the company said. During the process of liquefying and solidifying within a set temperature range, phase change materials absorb, store and release large amounts of energy, the company said.

PureTemp said the natural properties of latent heat energy help maintain a product's or structure's temperature and buffer it from temperature swings. PCMs recharge as ambient outdoor temperatures fluctuate.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top Story

Long Beach commission supports eliminating cargo fees on some trucks

In the wake of Friday’s Ninth Circuit ruling that reversed a lower court decision on a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by the American Trucking Associations to block the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach concession requirements in their clean truck programs, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners announced preliminary approval on Monday to a proposal that it said would spur private investment in the Port of Long Beach Clean Trucks Program.

The commission said it backed a plan that would provide incentives to port truckers to quickly acquire cleaner-running big-rigs, in particular, trucks that run on alternative fuels like liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The proposal, which is scheduled to go back before the commission for final consideration on April 6, would eliminate cargo fees on some trucks starting May 4, in response to the goods movement industry's demand for privately financed big-rigs, the port said. The proposal would also drop the fee for those who buy port-subsidized trucks that run on LNG, the port Said.

The port said the latest revisions would help truck owners comply with the gradual phasing out of older, dirtier vehicles, as required by the Clean Trucks Program adopted by the Port of Long Beach.

"These changes will help keep the Clean Trucks Program on target to dramatically reduce pollution from port-related trucking in Southern California," said James C. Hankla, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. "The economy has changed, the drayage industry has changed, and we need to be proactive with our response."

The Clean Trucks Program started October 1, 2008, with a ban on 1988 and older trucks. On February 18, 2009, the port initiated a Clean Truck Fee of $35 per twenty-foot container and $70 for larger containers. The port expressed the view that in the current economic climate, many importers and exporters have favored truckers who privately finance clean trucks and are therefore not required to pay the clean truck fee.

The port said the changes to the Clean Trucks Program would eliminate the clean truck fee for cargo hauled by the following:

-- Trucks bought without Port assistance. Previously, there was a 50 percent fee for some of this cargo. The scrapping of an old truck will no longer be required.

-- LNG-fueled trucks purchased with Port assistance. Again, the scrapping of an old truck will no longer be required. Cargo carried by privately purchased LNG trucks is already exempt.  

-- About 500 trucks acquired with the help of the Gateway Cities Program in recent years. 

-- And, the first 40 or so trucks financed by the Clean Trucks Program.

The port commission also shelved an earlier proposal to reduce by 50 percent the fee for containers hauled by clean diesel trucks purchased with port assistance.

The port said it believes the proposed changes should “ease the burden on industry by making the Clean Truck Fee exemptions very similar at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.”

Grand Alliance and ZIM to cooperate on South China-U.S. East Coast service

The Grand Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), along with Zim Integrated Shipping Services, announced a joint service from South China to U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal. The South China East Coast Express (SCE) will take effect from early April, subject to filing with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the group said.

The SCE service is Kaohsiung – Shekou – Hong Kong – Kingston – New York – Norfolk – Savannah – Kaohsiung on a 56 day round trip. 

The new service will consist of eight vessels of 4,200 TEUs with the Grand Alliance providing five vessels and Zim providing three ships.

The Grand Alliance members are Hapag-Lloyd, MISC Berhad, NYK, and OOCL. MISC Berhad does not operate on this trade and is not party to this particular agreement.

Australian scientists launch system to test X-ray cargo scanners

Scientists from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization and the University of Canberra have unveiled a world-first system for testing equipment used to examine large cargo objects.

ANSTO’s Ned Blagojevic said it was the first time an independent scientific standard had been set to determine the best X-ray equipment for air and sea cargo examination around the world.

Mr. Blagojevic said the key role of the project was to test manufacturers' claims about how good their machines were, thus leading to improvements to equipment and border security.

"Bearing in mind that the United States Government will require 100 percent inspection of cargo entering the country by 2012, having the correct standards for X-ray machines is vital,” Mr Blagojevic said.  

“Currently only about 10 per cent or less of all maritime cargo is examined by any technology so throughput is a major challenge facing cargo security."

For the complete story:

CMA CG launches dedicated reefer customer service desk

The French shipping company CMA CGM (America) LLC announced today it would launch a new dedicated export reefer customer service desk on March 30, 2009.  The new Export Reefer Customer Service Desk will be based in the Norfolk, Virginia office, and offer export refrigerated cargo customers access to a customer service representatives that can help customers place or modify bookings, track and trace cargo, process documentation and/or assist with problem resolution, the company said.

“Having a devoted team of professionals working with our reefer clients ensures that our customers’ shipments receive the proper handling,” said Jeanne Wilson, vice president, import and export Services for CMA CGM (America) LLC.  “Reefer cargo requires special treatment, and this team has extensive expertise in transporting fragile and precious refrigerated cargo.”  
CMA CGM said its reefer fleet is now over 95,000 TEUs. Beginning March 30, customers can contact CMA’s Export Reefer Desk by dialing 1-877-556-6308, option 1 then option 3.

Volkswagen deploys IBM’s RFID sensor technology 

IBM announced it is working with vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen Group to deploy a new sensor technology system following a one-year pilot project in which the automaker and IBM tested RFID technology with suppliers. Shipping containers carrying auto parts destined for Volkswagen will be increasingly fitted with RFID tags, IBM said.

"The pilot project has been ground-breaking," said Kurt Rindle, global sensor Solutions executive, IBM. "Volkswagen is driving innovation by becoming the first vehicle manufacturer to make daily use of RFID technology in the flow of materials between suppliers and the manufacturing line."

IBM said the information on the tagged containers is automatically collected by readers at all key locations throughout the supply chain -- first at the supplier's shipping department, through the transportation process until they arrive at Volkswagen, then during storage, collection and installation on the automaker's assembly line. The same process is used when Volkswagen returns the empty shipping containers to its suppliers to ensure that all containers are returned after the auto parts are received. The technology is also reducing the need for paper documents and barcode labels, IBM said.

"Our long-term goal is to implement an integrated, paperless production and logistics chain throughout the whole Group," said Klaus Hardy Mühleck, group CIO and head of group IT at Volkswagen. "The pilot project showed that we can reliably integrate RFID technology into our business processes at a low cost," he said.

For the pilot, Volkswagen fitted around 3,000 shipping containers with passive RFID tags, supplied by Intermec Technologies Corporation. The technology has reportedly been refined so that it can also automatically register metal containers, which normally interfere with RFID technology. The tags were used on containers carrying sunroofs for the new Volkswagen Golf. Readers at the entrances to the manufacturing line, along with mobile handheld scanners and forklifts were used to identify the containers and their contents.

The IBM technology being used for this project is comprised of IBM Global Technology Services' RFID container management solution together with the IBM WebSphere Premises Server, an application-neutral RFID middleware product.

Port of Houston receives ISO 14001 recertification

The Port of Houston Authority announced that its Environmental Management System (EMS) has been recertified to meet the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001. The independent auditing firm Det Norske Veritas confirmed the recertification, as well as the ISO 14001 certification of the port authority’s state-of-the-art Bayport Container Terminal, as an extension of that recertification, the port said.

“We are extremely pleased with this latest validation of the Port of Houston Authority’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship,” said PHA Chairman James T. Edmonds. “The ISO standard is a tangible, measurable means of gauging our progress in this area and each recertification is a concrete indication that we have not only met previous goals, but are committed to raising the bar and achieving more.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top Story

DP World sees little sign of volume recovery

Dubai-based port operator DP World said there was no end in sight to a fall-off in activity caused by the global downturn, after reporting an 8 percent drop in trade volumes in the first two months of 2009.
The company, one of the world's largest container operators, reported a 19 percent rise in 2008 net profit to $572 million, ahead of expectations, but only after a sharp contraction in the last quarter of the year.
"This volume decline has continued into 2009 and in the first two months of the year we have seen an average decline of 8 percent in consolidated volume across the group," the company said in a statement.

For the full story:

Will a downsized YRC be profitable?

YRC is making moves to close 11 terminals in the Northeast that belonged to the former USF Holland unit, now a part of the money-losing YRC Regional trucking operation. The closings include terminals in Harrisburg, Allentown, Bedford, DuBois, Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia. The move comes after parent YRC Worldwide has lost more than $1.6 billion the last two years.

For the full financial analysis:

Japan's February exports halved

Japan's exports saw a record plunge in February, falling by nearly half compared with a year earlier, according to the country's finance ministry.

Exports fell 49.4 percent year-on-year to 3.526tn yen ($36bn), though this was in line with forecasts.

The latest data comes after figures for January showed year-on-year exports nearly halved that month as well.

The world's second-largest economy is suffering in the downturn as demand for its products has collapsed.

For the full story:

Seattle port authorizes $17 million for freight mobility project

The Port of Seattle commission announced it has voted to invest an additional $17.2 million in the East Marginal Way grade separation project, a freight mobility improvement in South Seattle, bringing to the total port investment to $18.8 million.

“For the Port to move more cargo and create more jobs, we must have a transportation system that can handle the growth,” said Commission President Bill Bryant.  “This investment demonstrates the Port’s ongoing commitment to an efficient transportation system in Washington State.”

Improvements to East Marginal Way are part of a broader effort to improve freight mobility in the region, including improvements to the Spokane Street corridor and the eventual replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the port said.

Other funding sources for the $50 million project include federal grants, the Transportation Improvement Board, the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB), and contributions from the City of Seattle and rail partners. 

The port said delays to the project resulted in significant increased costs and the port’s additional investment closes the existing funding gap in order for the project to proceed.

INTTRA signs carrier contracts worth more than $100 million

The ocean freight e-commerce firm INTTRA announced it has entered into long-term agreements with Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and Hamburg Sud for its services worth more than $100 million over the next three years.

INNTRA said the new contracts are part of its long-term strategy to expand
e-commerce services and products for carriers and their shipping partners.

INNTRA said more than 260,000 container orders are initiated on its platform each week, representing what it claims to be more than 10 percent of global ocean container trade.
"This is a very challenging market for our carriers, so INTTRA is particularly pleased that many of our carriers have entered into long term contracts with us. We are committed to creating more efficiency for this market through new and existing products and services," said Ken Bloom, chief executive officer of INTTRA. "For all our carriers we are pleased to say that, in these tough times, e-commerce volumes continue to increase. INTTRA has logged increased year-on-year volumes and has grown in the last quarter by 12 percent as carriers seek to gain more cost savings from their business processes."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Top Story

War of clean truck words: ATA strikes back at Port of L.A., city’s mayor and NRDC

The vice president of public affairs for the American Trucking Associations, Clayton Boyce, criticized officials of the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles and the Natural Resources Defense Council for what the ATA in a press release termed “misleading the public and press about the purpose and results of ATA’s lawsuit against the Concession Plans of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.”

“These parties continue to mislead the citizens of Los Angeles and Long Beach by claiming that ATA is trying to kill the Ports’ Clean Truck Program,” said Boyce. “ATA has supported the Clean Truck Program, including the Ports container fee for financing the replacement of older trucks, the banning of older trucks and the Ports Drayage Registry, and continues to do so. ATA has opposed only the Ports’ Concession Plans, especially the Los Angeles ban on independent owner operators.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling on Friday that reversed a lower court decision on a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by the American Trucking Associations to block the ports’ concession requirements in their Clean Truck Programs. The case has been sent back to the lower court for further review.

Boyce contended in the ATA release that the parties in question intend to “lower public expectations for the ports’ unsuccessful defense of the lawsuit; and to distract from the reason that Los Angeles, but not Long Beach, bowed to union influence and banned owner-operators. Requiring that drivers be trucking company employees will allow unions to organize the drivers.”

“In short, the public’s health, safety and security are not at risk in the ATA litigation,” Boyce said. “This litigation is about removing unconstitutional and illegal red tape, and about protecting the rights of the owners of small businesses that the Port of Los Angeles has trampled.”

The ATA said the judicial opinion on March 20 was clear that ATA does not oppose the environmental components of the ports’ regulations. The ATA went on to say the judges’ opinion criticized the Port of Los Angeles’ owner-operator ban, allegedly depriving “thousands of small business owners of their livelihoods.”

The ATA cited the judges’ opinion: “As to smaller companies that cannot afford the vast increase in capital requirements for the purchase of equipment and personnel expenditures needed to turn independent contractors into employees, the result would likely be fatal. And that means that those smaller carriers, and their employees, and even independent contractors who depend upon them, will be out of work. One wonders why it should be thought that they should just put up with the loss any more than employees of a company should be forced to abide their wrongful termination and the resulting emotional damages and stress that termination causes.”

“We see little safety-related merit in those thread-paper arguments, which denigrate small businesses and insist that individuals should work for large employers or not at all. … It is a rather blatant attempt to decide who can use whom for drayage services, and is a palpable interference with prices and services,” the judicial opinion published by the ATA said.

The ATA also cited a Los Angeles Times report from last week that said the owner-operator ban was “pushed aggressively by the Teamsters and by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor” and was backed by Change to Win, a Washington, D.C.-based labor coalition that contributed $500,000 to Villaraigosa's campaign for a telephone users' tax.

The ATA reiterated that its legal challenge to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles’ Concession Plans does was never intended to affect the ports’ environmental, safety or security programs. The ATA said it is not challenging the ports’ mandatory truck-retirement program that will result in vehicles with higher emission levels being phased out, nor challenging the Drayage Truck Registry provisions, which would reportedly allow the ports to monitor compliance with the retirement mandate and also support security goals. The ATA said it supports the container fee to raise revenue to aid in replacing older, higher-polluting trucks.

The ATA said the NRDC claimed the Court of Appeals decision “places in jeopardy the clean air goals at the ports, as well as every port infrastructure expansion project that relies on clean trucks.”

“These officials are not being intellectually honest but are manipulating public opinion,” Boyce said. “Public health, safety, and security are not at issue in the ATA litigation. The case is about adding billions of dollars of unnecessary regulatory costs on an industry and economy that are already struggling.”

FDOT to consider alternatives to $1 billion Miami freight tunnel

The Florida Department of Transportation plans to complete its review of the Port of Miami tunnel by week's end and decide whether to build or shelve the stalled $1-billion project to carry trucks and other vehicles between the port and the MacArthur Causeway under Biscayne Bay.

Though state transportation officials in Tallahassee declined to tip their hand, they did list two potential options in a recent memo: reopening the bidding process for the project or scrapping the current deal and negotiating a new one with other companies that submitted bids.

For the full story:

MOL car carrier fired on by pirates

The president of Japan's MOL shipping group, Akimitsu Ashida, announced his company’s car carrier Jasmine Ace was recently attacked off the eastern coast of Somalia after loading autos at the Port of Sharjah in United Arab Emirates en route to Mombasa.

The 18 Filipino crewmen were fired on by pirates from two speedboats but no one was injured. The vessel sustained some damage to the hull, including bullet marks on the wheelhouse, Ashida said.

The Jasmine Ace was under attack for 40-minutes, and finally escaped by zigzagging at high speed until it reached safety, Ashida said.

China Shipping, Shanghai Port shares climb on stimulus approval

China Shipping Container Lines Co. rose the most in six months and Shanghai International Port (Group) Co. surged after the central government approved a Shanghai sea-cargo stimulus plan.

China Shipping Container, the nation’s second-biggest cargo-box carrier, jumped 10 percent in Shanghai, its hometown, to 3.98 Yuan. Shanghai Port, operator of the city’s harbor, also climbed by the 10 percent daily trading limit to 4.94 Yuan.

For the full story:

Chinese box throughput fell 17 percent in February

China's port container handling volume dropped a record 17 percent in February to 6.97 million TEUs, compared to the same time frame a year earlier in February, according to state media, Xinhua.

China’s February throughput was down 22.5 percent from January’s 8.99 million TEUs, and down 13.3 percent for the year, the report said.

China's export volume decreased 17.5 percent year on year to $90.45 billion in January, while its imports fell sharply at 43.1 percent from the previous year.

Hamburg Sud takes delivery of ninth Monte class box ship

Hamburg-Sud announced the christening of the Monte Alegre in Buenos Aires, the ninth in a series of ten 5,554-TEU ships of the Monte class to be delivered to German shipping line.

The Monte Alegre is to be phased into the shipping company's Asia-South America Service and deployed in Hamburg Sud's Europe-South America East Coast loop, the carrier said.

Jaxport welcomes biggest ship

The biggest ship to ever call at the Port of Jacksonville unloaded pulp products at Blount Island Wednesday afternoon.

The 983-foot Catania was able to call on the port because it was only carrying about 10 percent of its capacity, allowing it to traverse the channel.

It’s the first time the Port has hosted a post-Panamax ship, meaning one that is too large for the Panama Canal as it is currently configured. Typical ships calling on the Port are about 650 feet.

“You’re getting a snapshot of what Jacksonville can be,” said Rick Ferrin, the Jackson Port Authority’s executive director.

For the full story:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Top Story

Nestle taps GT Nexus

GT Nexus announced this week that it has been selected by Nestle to provide a central online hub for ocean freight procurement negotiation and contracting processes. The platform is already up and running, the technology provider said.

Nestlé’s global transportation network moves more than 300,000 containers per year and utilizes most of the world's ocean carriers, GT Nexus said.
"We selected GT Nexus for the purpose of being able to manage the end-to-end ocean freight procurement process in one working environment," said Brett Whitfield, head of ocean transport at Nestle. "Our freight profile is complex. With Nestle products reaching almost every corner of the world, we needed a system that could deal with our complexity. GT Nexus has met these requirements."

The GT Nexus Portal combines software applications, with a network of connected carriers and data management services as an on-demand service over the web, the company said.

Lynden Air Cargo lands major military contract

Lynden Air Cargo being was awarded an almost $53 million contract by U.S. Transport Command for an air cargo service out of Elmendorf Air Force Base, Ark., to Shemya and various points throughout the state of Alaska, Transport Command announced. The contract runs from Apr. 1, 2009, to Mar. 31, 2010, plus four one-year options.

Maersk Logistics and First Climate partner on environmental services

Maersk Logistics and First Climate announced they have formed a partnership to enhance Maersk Logistics’ environmental services.

First Climate, a carbon asset manager and global offset provider will bring its SupplyChain CarbonCheck solution into Maersk Logistics' environmental offerings, the companies said.

SupplyChain CargoCheck reportedly allows companies to assess and reduce their supply chain carbon footprints and become supply chain carbon neutral through the acquisition of certified carbon credits from First Climate's portfolio of Greenhouse Gas reduction projects.

Maersk Logistics said the new partnership would enable the Danish firm to become “a complete supply chain carbon management solution.”

Hillwood lands new tenant at Alliance Logistics Hub

Developer Hillwood Properties has leased 295,000-square-feet of a new building at its Alliance Global Logistics Hub in north Fort Worth to an affiliate of Trans-Trade, a large global logistics firm, Hillwood said Friday morning.

It was the first deal since completing a heavy-load container area adjacent to the BNSF Railway Intermodal facility.

The affiliate, Alliance Brokers, has secured space in its Alliance Westport 20 building, at the southwest corner of Intermodal Parkway and FM 156, Hillwood said. The 562,500-square-foot building was completed at the end of last year and is one of five speculative buildings totaling 1.8 million square feet that Hillwood built at the Logistics Hub in the past two years.

For the full story:

Shandong Province to invest  $7.76 billion in five shipping centers

The Shandong provincial government announced plans to $7.76 billion to build five of what it terms “shipping centers” in the northeast China region by 2010.

The shipping centers will be located in Qingdao, Yantai, Rizhao, Weihai and Jining, and include an increase in ship berths to 440, with 230 of those to be deepwater berths, it was reported.

The Shandgong government said it would also improve four main transport networks for containers, ores, coals and crude oil, by developing Qingdao, Rizhao and Yantai into 100 million-ton capacity ports, with the Port of Qingdao at its heart.

Ports America awarded for West Coast port safety by PMA

Ports America was recognized in several categories at the recent Pacific Maritime Association’s 60th Annual Safety Awards Banquets held at various locations on the West Coast, the company announced.

The terminal operator was honored for its achievements in workplace safety, including the third consecutive 1st Place Coast Award Group A Stevedore and third consecutive Coast Accident Prevention Award for Injury Rate Reduction for its Los Angeles/Long Beach operations, the company said. Ports America set a record in its Group A Stevedore category with 10 first-place coast awards in the past 12 years and 12 of the past 15 years, the company said.

Award winners are determined by companies operating on the West Coast that attain the lowest incident rate within their category. Companies are divided into categories and subcategories based on their type of operation and the number of hours worked for an entire year by longshoremen, clerks, and foremen. The categories are stevedoring companies, container companies, terminal companies, bulk operators and lines companies.

Ports America also announced that Greg Barker, the company’s Southern California Area health and safety manager was nominated to serve as chairman of the Area Accident Prevention Committee (AAPC) for Southern California from March 2009 to March 2010.

NYK Logistics names Armstrong as SVP, GM, warehouse division

NYK Logistics (Americas), Inc. (NLA) announced this week the appointment
of James Armstrong as senior vice president and general manager of the company's warehouse division. The company said Armstrong would be based at NLA's West Coast headquarters in Long Beach, Calif.
Prior to joining NYK Logistics, Armstrong was vice president of Maersk Distribution Canada Inc.

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