Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for April 18 through April 22, 2016:

Monday, April 18, 2016

Global carrier alliances to shift after mergers

Photo credit: Bloomberg

Industry executives say some of the world's biggest ocean shipping alliances could soon be much bigger, as top container operators vie for regulatory approvals of new partnerships, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The changes come as China Ocean Shipping Co. (COSCO), and China Shipping Group are trying to get their recently completed merger approved by EU and U.S. regulators. The Chinese have already approved the merger.

France's CMA CGM is also seeking regulatory approvals by all three regulators for its $2.4 billion acquisition of Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines, announced in December.

"Chances are that the alliances you see today will change significantly over the next two weeks," said William Doyle, a commissioner at the Federal Maritime Commission. "The alliances have in fact changed already because of the recent consolidation among four major carriers. We are expecting their proposals for regulatory approvals."

The European Commission, the EU's regulator, has set April 29 as its deadline to decide on the merger of CMA CGM and NOL.

CMA CGM and China Shipping Container Lines, the container unit of China Shipping Group, currently belong to the Ocean Three alliance along with Dubai-based United Arab Shipping Co. The alliance has a 22 percent market share of all cargo moved between Asia and Europe, the world's busiest ocean trade route.

"We are becoming a larger shipping line and we are in the position to select the partners with whom we want to do business," Rodolphe Saade, vice chairman of CMA CGM, said in February. "We are discussing with the new China Shipping group, but we are also discussing with others."

Cosco belongs to a different alliance, CKYHE, made up of Asian operators. CKYHE controls a 25 percent share of the Asia-Europe trade loop. Industry leaders A.P. Møller-Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co., which form the 2M alliance, have a 34 percent market share.

Alliance members share ships, networks and port calls, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in annual costs as the industry remains mired in one of its worst downturns ever. Weak economic growth in Europe and falling growth in China is exacerbated by an estimated 30 percent overcapacity of ships in the water, which has resulted in freight rates barely covering fuel costs over the past year.

Cosco is considering joining Ocean Three or leading a new alliance with CSCL, people familiar with the situation said. The Cosco-CSCL merged entity is called China Cosco Shipping Group, based in Shanghai.

CMA CGM has told European regulators that it will withdraw NOL from another alliance, called G6, which controls an 18 percent market share in Asia-Europe. NOL's container unit, APL, expects to stay in G6 until the first quarter of 2017. CMA declined to comment.

"The only alliance which will likely stay intact is 2M because of their dominant position," Doyle said.

For more of The Wall Street Journal story:

Port of LA in line for federal funding to prepare for big ships

The Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex may receive dredging funding from the government, as it prepares for the advent of megaships. The port's funding request moved forward Tuesday when the House Committee on Appropriations included it in a draft bill, raising hopes that the port could receive additional revenue next year.

U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn's request for $1.26 billion — which, if eventually approved, would be divvied up among all the nation's ports — was included in the preliminary version of the 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

The money would go into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, which is used to pay for critical infrastructure projects at the U.S. ports.

"This is yet another victory for ports and the future of the U.S. economy," Hahn said in a statement Tuesday. "This funding will go toward important dredging and maintenance projects and will be critical in ensuring our ports are prepared to handle the megaships of the future."

While the funding remains only in a request stage and is preliminary, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said the additional revenue would help keep the port competitive in a global industry that is fast changing.

Among those changes are megaships that often require infrastructure accommodations, including channel dredging, due to their enormous size.

Hahn, who represents the Los Angeles Harbor in Congress, has complained in the past that larger ports paid the most into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund but did not get a comparable amount back.

Hahn's request "brings us closer to a more equitable distribution of (Harbor Maintenance Tax) funding," Seroka said.

For more of the Press Telegram story:

Largest maker of shipping containers sells shares to expand business

China International Marine Containers Group Co., the world's biggest maker of shipping containers, plans to raise as much as 6 billion yuan ($928 million) selling shares to fund an expansion of a business park in Shenzhen and other assets.

The company, also known as CIMC, will sell yuan-denominated stock to a maximum of 10 investors, it said in a filing April 9. The money from the share sale, which requires regulatory approval, will be used to fund the development works of CIMC's financial-leasing arm. The stock will be sold at $2.14 each, marking a discount of 8.2 percent over the closing price April 8.

CIMC's expansion of diversified businesses comes amid a global slump in container-shipping rates and serious overcapacity. Shipping lines worldwide have been selling assets and exploring consolidations to stem losses as freight rates plunged after years of slowing trade and overcapacity.

Other than supplying logistical equipment, CIMC is also the developer behind the Songshan Lake National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in Dongguan, in southern Guangdong province. The company counts China Merchants Group and Cosco Container Industries Ltd. among its biggest shareholders.

For more of the Bloomberg story:

Port of New Orleans opens new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal

The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans joined a host of elected officials and industry partners to dedicate the port's new $25 million Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal.

The terminal, made possible by a $16.7 million federal transportation TIGER grant, has a capacity of moving 160,000 TEUs per-year by rail, according to a port statement.

"This new terminal provides a highly efficient option for our customers moving cargo via rail," said Gary LaGrange, port president and CEO. "I want to thank the entire Louisiana congressional delegation for their assistance and support in obtaining the federal funding that made this state-of-the-art terminal possible."

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant provided about 68 percent of the total funding for the terminal. The port's capital budget covered the remaining investment, which provided 280 temporary construction jobs and will create an estimated 100 new permanent maritime jobs.

"The new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal will move marine and rail cargo more efficiently, creating new, exciting opportunities for trade and growth that will yield hundreds of new jobs," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "The Port of New Orleans plays a major role in our global economy and is an irreplaceable economic engine for our city and state."

The new rail yard features four tracks with 1,550 feet of working pad for each track, in addition to a runaround track. Two new rubber-tired gantry cranes built by Konecranes are part of the project, further increasing cargo handling and efficiency. A new marshalling yard of 18-inch concrete paving will provide an additional 64,000 TEUs of capacity in the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. In addition, the new terminal design will make five more acres available for the planned expansion of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.

Maersk agrees to use union labor on charters

According to the International Transport Workers' Federation, shipping giant Maersk has agreed to ensure that any vessel it charters has an ITF or similar agreement covering it, providing protections for crews on flag-of-convenience ships. The company already has collective bargaining agreements covering its directly-owned fleet.

Maersk Group vessels (owned or chartered) total around 500 ships.

"This is welcome news," said Jacqueline Smith, ITF maritime coordinator. "It shows that Maersk Group is reaching for high standards and behaving in a responsible and praiseworthy manner."

"This closes a circle that has been kept open by, in some cases, vessel providers who have told Maersk they have agreements on board when we know they haven't."

The news was announced at a meeting of the ITF Maersk network (comprised of seafarer and dock worker unions with members based on vessels or in ports operated directly or indirectly by the Maersk Group) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"Millions of the transport workers represented by our unions work for Maersk directly or via subsidiary companies and we are committed to making sure they have decent terms and conditions," said Smith. "As a key industry player we think Maersk wants that too, which is why good faith open dialogue is the only thing that makes sense moving forward."


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

PMA and ILWU consider extending 5-year dockworker contract

The Wall Street Journal reports that dockworkers and employers at U.S. West Coast ports are considering an extension of the five-year contract they agreed to in February of 2015, according to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who met with the two groups Friday in Los Angeles.

Extending the existing contract would avoid another contentious round of negotiations that could disrupt trade, and would ease the concerns of retailers, manufacturers and other users of the West Coast ports.

Both sides have indicated they are at least willing to consider it.

James McKenna, president of the Pacific Maritime Association, which negotiates labor contracts on behalf of West Coast port employers, told Pritzker on Friday that the association sent a letter to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union suggesting a contract extension.

Union Vice President Ray Familathe confirmed in the meeting that the ILWU received the letter and would be considering the proposition at a caucus in coming weeks.

Familathe and McKenna didn't immediately respond to messages from WSJ Friday afternoon.

When the contract came up for renewal in mid-2014, negotiations between the ILWU and PMA dragged on for nine months, leading to chronic delays at West Coast ports. Outside the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, dozens of ships sat at anchor waiting to unload cargo for weeks.

The delays disrupted domestic and international supply chains and caused significant financial losses for many retailers.

The parties reached a deal in late February 2015, but ports around the country have continued to feel the reverberations of those disruptions, as recently as last month.

Representatives of the ILWU and PMA said at an event in February that they would consider an extension, but there had been little indication as of last month that the parties were following through on that. With the issue now officially on the agenda, it is possible that shippers may begin to breathe easier.

For more of The Wall Street Journal story:

Deutsche Bank to sell Maher Terminals to Macquarie

Deutsche Bank is selling its container terminal in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey to a Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III, a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, as it continues to shed legacy assets.

Deutsche Bank acquired the 454-acre Maher Terminals USA in 2007 from the Maher family for roughly $2.3 billion, the bank said Thursday in a statement. Maher Terminals at Port Elizabeth currently handles more than 2 million TEUS per year.

Under the transaction, MIP III has agreed to acquire 100 percent of Maher Terminals USA, LLC. This is subject to Port Authority and other regulatory approvals. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but are not expected to have a material impact on Deutsche Bank's financials.

In 2015, Deutsche Bank sold Maher Terminals' Canadian operations Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert, BC, to DP World.

"This sale marks another important step in Deutsche Bank's commitment to the reduction of legacy assets," said Pius Sprenger, Deutsche Bank's head of the NCOU.

For more of the Street Insider story:

Cold storage firm Nordic doubles capacity in Savannah

Nordic Logistics and Warehousing has doubled capacity at its Savannah location after opening a new 200,000-square-foot cold storage and blast freezing facility.

"Exactly three years ago, Nordic opened its doors here in Savannah to give our customers the logistical advantages that come with one of America's most efficient ports, combined with the superior connectivity of Interstates 95 and 16," said Don Schoenl, president and CEO of Nordic.

A member of AGRO Merchants Group, Nordic opened its first 200,000 square-foot cold storage warehouse in Savannah in April 2013. Nordic's Phase I facility has exported over half a million tons of frozen food since its opening.

"Nordic's expansion here is a powerful endorsement of the Port of Savannah's expertise in handling refrigerated cargo, and its ability to meet the demands of producers as well as a growing consumer market across the U.S. Southeast," said Griff Lynch, incoming executive director at the Georgia Ports Authority.

Phase II is just six miles from the Port of Savannah. The site's second building can hold more than 20,000 tons of cargo at a time. Ross Maple, Director of Business Strategy for Nordic, said the added space will bring the company's total Savannah capacity to almost 50,000 tons of cargo.

"With the port's deepening project, post-Panamax ships and continued growth of the area, we are building not only for our current customers, but our future growth and new commodities as well," Maple said.

The Georgia Ports Authority's Garden City container terminal features 104 refrigerated cargo racks plus 738 plug-ins for containers on chassis. At 24 container slots per rack, it has the on-terminal ability to power a total of 3,234 chilled containers at a time.

L.A. port chief appointed to federal supply chain committee

Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup has been named by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to the department's Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC).

Slangerup, along with 10 other industry executives representing the various segments of the supply chain, were appointed to the 45-member ACSCC. The committee proposes solutions to the Obama administration related to freight, transportation and logistics issues, working with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Transportation, and various other government agencies related to goods movement.

The latest appointees also include Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, who has teamed with Slangerup to address supply chain issues related to trans-Pacific trade to the U.S. Slangerup and Seroka have spearheaded a supply chain optimization initiative focused on improving shipping velocity and reliability.

The next meeting of the ACSCC is scheduled for April 20-21 in Houston.

CMA CGM charter attacked by pirates

The containership attacked off Nigeria on April 1 by pirates, who reportedly kidnapped two crew members, was chartered by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

The ship has been identified as CMA CGM Turquoise by Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea.

The Turquoise, owned by Kassiakos Navigation and managed by Dioryx Maritime Corporation, was attacked last Monday.

The taken crew members are thought to be an electrician and the ships second officer.

"Up until now, there has been nothing to indicate that either of the men has been injured and we have every reason to believe that they are both alive," said a statement from the ship managers, Dioryx Maritime Corporation.

The Nigerian Navy has commenced investigation into the incident.

In the first quarter of this year, 14 commercial vessels were attacked in the Niger Delta area and in 6 of these incidents, 23 crew members were kidnapped for ransom.

For more of the Leadership news story:


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hutchinson Port Holdings predicts Shenzhen port will become mega-ship hub

Billionaire Li Ka-Shing's Hutchison Port Holdings Trust predicts more mega-ships will call at its Shenzhen port to move cargo from the key Chinese export manufacturing region.

The Singapore company's Shenzhen facility in Yantian opened a new berth this year and another will begin operating in the second half to handle these big ships, according to CEO Gerry Yim. Hutchison Port is also seeing more container barges moving from other parts of the Pearl River Delta to Shenzhen to be loaded onto ships for export.

The Yantian terminal moves about 70 percent and 65 percent of the Shenzhen area's exports to the U.S. and Europe respectively, the CEO said, making it the largest port facility in the southern Chinese province. Growth at Shenzhen, accounting for more than half of Hutchison Port's revenue, may eat into some volume at the company's Hong Kong terminal, which is seeing a drop in the cargo it handles as transshipments decline.

Shenzhen "is important for China's exports," Yim said at a briefing in Singapore.

Hong Kong, once the world's busiest container port, has lost volumes to its neighbors in the last two decades and has fallen in global rankings to fourth place after Shanghai, Singapore and Shenzhen.

Expansions by mainland Chinese ports and more shipping lines making direct port calls have hit the company's Hong Kong port volumes, which are largely transshipments.

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust operates container terminals in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, as well as river terminals in Guangdong. Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. runs facilities controlled by Li elsewhere, including Rotterdam, Sydney, South Korea's Busan and other Chinese cities.

Worldwide, the number of mega-ships will probably increase to 250 in two years' time from the current 150, Yim said.

For more of the Bloomberg story:

Georgia hopes to get more federal funding for expansion

Georgia lawmakers fumed when the Obama administration in February proposed giving the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project roughly half of what proponents said was needed to keep construction work on track. And at first glance a new government spending bill sticks to that level of funding requested by the White House: $42.7 million.

But boosters of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, known as SHEP, say they're bullish about getting the full $90 million requested by Gov. Nathan Deal this year. That's due to some accounting that's not obvious upon first glance.

Lawmakers largely can't set aside money on their own for specific projects because of the federal earmark ban. That means Congress can't do much to change the administration's initial $42.7 million request for SHEP.

They can, however, shape some more general accounts at agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers, which doles out funding for water projects like SHEP, as long as they don't specify which individual projects should get the funding. For example, Congress can still direct federal agencies to prioritize certain types of projects when the administration picks which ones to fund.

That's what encouraged Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and the Georgia Ports Authority when they saw the Senate's draft bill for the Army Corps this week.

"The language is written in such a way that's very helpful for Georgia," Isakson said in an interview Friday.

For more of the Atlanta Journal Constitution story:

NTSB launches second search for El Faro's data recorder this week

The National Transportation Safety Board resumed its search for El Faro's voyage data recorder on Monday, according to a board spokesman.

The mission for the second search is to retrieve the ship's data recorder and better document the wreckage to help determine exactly why and how the ship sank, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a news release.

The U.S. flagged El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, 2015. All 33 of the El Faro's crew perished in the accident.

The mission for the second search is to retrieve the ship's vessel data recorder and better document the wreckage to help determine exactly why and how the ship sank.

The second search is being conducted in cooperation with the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The research vessel Atlantis departed Charleston, S.C., April 18. The vessel is scheduled to search the accident site for 10 days before returning to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, around May 5.

The Atlantis will carry an autonomous underwater vehicle, AUV Sentry, to search for the voyage data recorder. Besides basic navigational data, the recorder memory is expected to contain voice data from the El Faro's navigation bridge in the hours before the ship sank in more than 15,000 feet of water. In addition to the information contained in the VDR, investigators will obtain digital high-resolution imagery of the hull and wreckage of the El Faro.

Last November the NTSB worked with the U.S. Navy aboard the USNS Apache to successfully find the El Faro and conduct surveys of the debris field. The first search revealed that the upper two decks, including the navigation bridge, had separated from the El Faro's hull and were about a half mile away on the ocean floor. The main mast of the El Faro and the attached VDR were not found during the first search.

Former Guatamala president charged with bribery in container terminal deal

Guatemala's former president Otto Perez Molina and his vice-president, Roxana Baldetti, allegedly took at least $25 million in bribes from a Spanish port company, an anti-corruption commission alleges.

The firm, TCB, won a contract to operate a new container terminal on Guatemala's Pacific coast for 25 years.

Molina was arrested in September after resigning amid anti-corruption protests. He said the contract offered the best deal for the country. Anti-corruption protests had forced Baldetti to stand down in May.

The former president is due to appear in court next week. He and Baldetti deny wrongdoing.

Attorney General Thelma Aldana said Perez Molina started the approval process for the $225 million project immediately after his election in November 2011. There were no competing bids.

The Spanish executive in charge of the local branch of TCB (Terminal de Contenedores Barcelona), Juan Jose Suarez, has been arrested.

In a separate scandal, the two were accused of running a bribery scheme at Guatemala's customs, which became known as La Linea, or The Line.

A former television comedian with little political experience, Jimmy Morales, was elected president in the wake of the scandal.

For more of the BBC news story:


Thursday, April 21, 2016

WSJ: China Cosco Shipping to announce new shipping alliance

The Wall Street Journal reports Cosco and China Shipping will announce a new shipping alliance this week as they try to win approval from U.S. and EU regulators for their recent merger, according to inside sources.

The world's biggest carriers have been meeting with the Federal Maritime Commission, the European Commission and China's Ministry of Transportation on an agreement expected to set a new landscape in container shipping following consolidation moves since the end of last year.

Chinese regulators have already approved the Cosco-China Shipping merger which resulted in a new Shanghai-based entity called China Cosco Shipping Group.

"An announcement is expected from Shanghai, likely tomorrow where China Cosco Shipping Group will announce its proposed partners," one source said. "Talks with the regulators are continuing and substantial changes in the composition of existing alliances may happen."

Two other people involved in the matter said the new grouping may include China Shipping, Cosco, France's CMA CGM, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line, Taiwan's Evergreen Marine and Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. The alliance would control around 26 percent of the trade between Asia and Europe, the world's busiest container shipping lane.

CMA CGM and China Shipping Container Lines, the container unit of China Shipping Group, currently belong to the Ocean Three alliance along with United Arab Shipping Co. The alliance handles 22 percent of all cargo moved between Asia and Europe, the world's busiest ocean trade route.

Cosco belongs to a different alliance, called CKYHE, made up of Asian operators. CKYHE controls 25 percent of the Asia- Europe trade loop. A.P. Møller-Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co., comprising the 2M alliance, have a 34 percent market share.

Shipping executives say regulatory approvals won't be given to merged entities where their members belong to different groupings.

For more of The Wall Street Journal story:

Port of New York and New Jersey to reduce container fees

The New York Shipping Association announced that the cost to use the Port of New York and New Jersey will be reduced.

"NYSA is pleased to announce that effective May 1, 2016 the charge for a container of cargo with a destination within 260 miles of our port has been reduced to $89.00 from $94.00 in all trades except in the Bermuda Trade which shall stay at a rate of $25.00," said John Nardi, NYSA's President.

"The ability to reduce our assessment rate is a direct link to the continued growth in cargo volume over the past several years," Nardi explained. "Cargo containers with a destination within 260 miles of our port comprise approximately 60 percent of the total of all containers, making this a significant rate reduction for the international carriers that call here."

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third largest port in the U.S. The companies that operate in the port and those related businesses support more than 336,600 jobs in the region. The port generates more than $7.1 billion in tax revenue to federal, state and local governments.

NYSA's mission is to maximize the efficiency, cost-competitiveness, safety and quality of marine cargo operations at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The association has boosted the number of longshore workers at the port over the past two years and will continue to adjust the work force to meet future demand.

Maersk raises rates on Asia-to-Europe service

The world's largest container shipping company Maersk Line, owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk, plans to increase container freight rates from Asia to Northern Europe by $550 per-TEU starting May 1, it said on Tuesday.

The industry continues to grapple with overcapacity and freight rates for shipping containers on the key route that plummeted 78 percent this year to a level widely seen as loss-making.

Maersk Line also aims to raise freight rates from Asia to some ports in Central America and South America's West Coast by $1,050 per-TEU from May 15.

For more of the Reuters story:

Port of Rotterdam to bid for Australia's Fremantle Port

The Port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, is seeking to shake-up Australian port ownership, with a bold bid for Western Australia's (WA) $2.5 billion Fremantle Port.

While WA politicians debate whether or not to proceed with its two port privatizations, Street Talk reports that the Port of Rotterdam has hired local advisers and is doing preliminary work on a bid for the Fremantle port.

Rotterdam's pitch is expected to revolve around the strategic benefits it could bring to Australia.

As owner of Europe's largest port - and until not that long ago the world's biggest port - it reckons it has a pretty good view of global shipping movements and a good grasp on how to use Fremantle to capture a bigger share of the market.

Street Talk noted Rotterdam has not participated in Port of Melbourne's underway auction and is focusing solely on Fremantle.

The company's international arm is increasingly active in a number of regions including the Middle East, Brazil and Indonesia. Port of Rotterdam typically seeks to be a port landlord, where port authorities lease plots of land on a long-term basis and container stevedores operate the actual terminals.

Fremantle's sale, should it be approved by the politicians, is shaping up to be such a deal.

Rotterdam is expected to come up against the usual list of Australian port enthusiasts who are presently focused on the $6 billion-plus Port of Melbourne. That list includes Macquarie Group's Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, IFM Investors, QIC Ltd, Hastings Funds Management and United States-based Global Infrastructure Partners, and their respective clients and financial co-investors.

Fremantle makes about $100 million earnings a year. It's expected to be worth as much as $2.5 billion.

For more of the Australia Financial Review story:

Virginia ILA official resigns after audit finds unauthorized account

The business agent for one of six dockworker union offices at the Port of Virginia has resigned and will be removed from other union posts he holds after an internal audit found an "unauthorized and previously undisclosed account," the port's top labor official confirmed Tuesday.

Robert J. Smith III, business agent-financial secretary of International Longshoremen's Association Local 970, resigned after the audit found that "union funds were deposited and withdrawn allegedly for non-union purposes," wrote Thomas Little, international vice president for the ILA in Hampton Roads, in an email.

Local 970 has not filed any financial reports with the U.S. Department of Labor for 10 years, according to a spokeswoman.

The amount of money involved could be as much as several hundred thousand dollars, sources familiar with the matter said.

The last filing with the Department of Labor by Local 970 was its fiscal year 2005 report, received on April 12, 2006, department records show. It reported a membership of 559, assets of $598,507, liabilities of $1,561, receipts of $472,546 and disbursements of $378,491.

For more of the Virginia Pilot story:

Port of Seattle CEO charged with alleged DUI

King County prosecutors have filed charges against Port of Seattle Chief Executive Ted J. Fick for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol last week.

He was traveling across the Highway 520 bridge on April 13 around 8:30 p.m. when an officer pulled him over on suspicion of speeding and then arrested him, according to charging documents. Fick told officers he was heading home to Bellevue from a retirement party at the Port of Seattle, the papers say.

Fick's blood-alcohol-content level was around .097 about an hour later, according to the complaint, just over the legal limit of .08.

Fick issued a statement two days after his arrest U.S. Department of Labor for 10 years, according to a spokeswoman.

The amount of money involved could be as much as several hundred thousand dollars, sources familiar with the matter said.

The last filing with the Department of Labor by Local 970 was its fiscal year 2005 report, received on April 12, 2006, department records show. It reported a membership of 559, assets of $598,507, liabilities of $1,561, receipts of $472,546 and disbursements of $378,491.

For more of the Virginia Pilot story:


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