Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for April 20 - April 24, 2009:
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Top Story

Georgia Ports Authority institutes environmental policy

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) announced it has instituted a best environmental practices and procedures policy to be applied to its port operations.

 “Efficient cargo movement is our job, and this policy establishes the framework by which we will evaluate our operations and determine how we can operate in an even more environmentally-friendly manner,” said Doug J. Marchand, the GPA’s executive director. “As our environmental programs evolve at our facilities, this new policy will be considered in present and future decisions.”

The GPA said it is one of five North American ports chosen to participate in the Environmental Management System program sponsored by the American Association of Port Authorities. As a result, the GPA said its new policy would meet or exceed environmental regulations; measure and continually improve performance; minimize pollution from port operations; and communicate its performance to the community.

As part of its new environmental policy, the port authority said it would do the following: meet or exceed all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and other commitments; define and establish environmental objectives, targets and best management practices and monitor performance; minimize pollution from port operations; continually improve the port’s performance; ensure that the environmental management policy is available to staff, tenants, customers and the general public; and communicate our performance to the community.

The GPA said it is in the process of instituting an environmental management system at its Garden City Terminal.

The port had also recently announced the completion of environmental projects including the construction of 34 electrified refrigerated racks and the electrification of its ship-to-shore cranes reducing diesel fuel consumption by 2.1 million gallons per year; retrofitting container handling equipment with engine exhaust enhancements, which reduced diesel emissions on this equipment by 25 percent; and converting fleet of container handling equipment to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which the GPA says cuts emissions on this equipment by an additional 10 percent.

Tibet’s largest logistics center close to completion

Work on a super logistics center to handle freight for the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is almost complete, but an operating date has still to be set, according to the construction company.

About 98.6 percent of the construction on what will be Tibet's largest logistics center was complete, said Yang Yanguang, a project leader from China Railway Construction Engineering Group.

-Trading Markets

For the full story:

Landstar deals with low demand

Landstar System Inc. and CSX Corp. have a lot in common right now. The two Jacksonville-based transportation companies are experiencing low demand for their freight-hauling services because of the recession. And both companies reported last week first-quarter earnings per share that were 18 cents lower than the first quarter of 2008.

But while railroad company CSX's stock rose $2.20 to $30.59 Wednesday after its first-quarter report, trucking company Landstar fell as much as $2.34 to $32.77 on Thursday, before recovering to close that day at $34.45.

-Florida Times-Union

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NOL chief to take 20 percent pay cut

SHIPPING giant Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), which is expecting net losses this year, said its chief executive and directors would take pay cuts as it targets to double its cost savings.

NOL Chief executive Ron Widdows told shareholders on Wednesday that new initiatives could cut costs of up to US$550 million (S$826 million) this year, up from the US$250 million initially revealed in its full year review in February.

Its chairman Cheng Wai Keung said Mr Widdows volunteered to take a 20 per cent pay cut, which took effect in March, while the board of directors will have their fees reduced this year.

--The Straits Times

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PepsiCo makes almost $6 billion buy-out offer to largest bottlers

PepsiCo Inc., the world’s second- largest soft-drink maker, offered about $6 billion in cash and stock to buy out other shareholders of its two biggest bottlers to gain greater control over product sales in North America.


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VAI implements web-based portal for NDCP

VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) announced the implementation of its joint S2K Enterprise Portal and S2K Enterprise for Distribution software for the National DCP (NDCP), which services over 6,000 Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins outlets worldwide, via four regional distribution centers throughout the United States.

S2K Enterprise Portal provides the National DCP with Web-based access to data from three of their four distribution centers--the Mid Atlantic DCP, Southeast DCP, and Northeast DCP--which service the product needs of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins stores located in these regions, the companies said.

BASF implements Elemica logistics system

Elemica announced that BASF has implemented the Elemica Logistics Road solution to facilitate collaboration with its carriers.

Elemica said the project was completed in six months and connects BASF with more than 100 North American road carriers.

"Elemica keeps costs of external communications down by handling all of our outside connections. Rather than interfacing with a couple hundred customers and suppliers, we only have to connect once. Elemica is the middleman that sits between all of us, ensuring we're all coordinated in the electronic playground," said Tom Warner, BASF’s manager of e-Commerce systems integration.

Elemica said its network integrates completely with BASF's ERP system and carriers can view the loads and bookings that BASF has tendered to them, respond to tender offers, set pickup and delivery appointments, communicate shipment status information, and submit freight invoices.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Top Story

Long Beach harbor commission votes to postpone cargo fee

The Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Monday to postpone collection of its infrastructure cargo fee until July 1, 2010.

The port commission also announced it approved incentives to boost intermodal cargo, and modified its clean truck fee, and appointed a new managing director for trade relations.

The port’s commissioners also urged its staff to seek supplementary federal stimulus funds. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles had planned to collect a $6 per container fees as of July 1, 2009 to fund highway and rail upgrades, and repairs.

The port commission also approved a 10 percent reduction in the port’s wharfage rate for intermodal container cargo, intended as an incentive for terminal operators to maintain or increase their “discretionary” cross-country cargo that could be shipped through any of several ports to reach inland destinations, the Port of Long Beach said. The port said the reduced rate could cost it as much as $11 million, and would go into effect beginning May 1, 2009, and continue for one year.

A second one-year incentive approved by the Board provides ocean carriers with a $20 per-TEU reduction on wharfage, or roughly a 10 percent discount to bring additional intermodal cargo through Long Beach, above the volumes from May 2008 through April 2009.

The Long Beach board approved changes to the clean trucks program, effective May 4, 2009, that:

· Eliminates the clean truck fee and scrappage requirements for privately financed clean trucks.
· Eliminates the clean truck fee and scrappage requirements for port-funded liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled
or alternative-fueled trucks.
· Eliminates the clean truck fee for Gateway Cities-funded, and the first 50 or so new trucks funded by the clean trucks program.

Only container cargo moved by 2006 and older trucks and clean diesel trucks funded by port after April 20 will pay the clean truck fee of $35 per-TEU and $70 per-larger container.

The changes also immediately reduce the “day pass” to $30 per day for out-of-state and infrequent truckers.

The Port of Long Beach board also approved the appointment of Alex H. Cherin, who has been executive officer to the board of harbor commissioners, as the port's managing director of trade relations and port operations.

Maersk to call new Mobile container terminal

Maersk Line announced Thursday that its Transatlantic (TA2) line will make weekly calls at the new, $300 million Mobile Container Terminal, starting with Maersk Utah. The line offers shipping to Northern Europe, UK/Ireland, Scandinavian and Baltic destinations, according to Maersk.

The 958-foot Maersk Utah turned in the Mobile River about midday Thursday. It was scheduled to be unloaded and loaded at the terminal from about 3 to 7 p.m., said Brian Clark, terminal director.

-Mobile Register

For the full story:

DHL to reopen U.S. package-sorting hub in Northern Kentucky

DHL confirmed yesterday that it will reopen its U.S. package-sorting hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., bringing more than 800 mostly part-time jobs in an operation about half the size it once was.

The announcement is good news for Northern Kentucky, which has seen the $220 million hub and sort building sit largely idle since the German-owned package carrier consolidated operations in Wilmington, Ohio, 50 miles north of Cincinnati, in 2005.

-Louisville Courier-Journal

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Boeing taps Ryder for freight bill payments and audits

Ryder System, Inc. announced the Boeing Company has selected Ryder to manage Boeing's freight bill payment and audit process for a five-year contract.

Ryder said it would provide Boeing with payment and audit services for their approximately 2.3 million annual freight bills.

Since 2007 Ryder said it has provided Boeing with shipment planning, execution and global transportation visibility.

FMC selects EOS Web Express

EOS International announced the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), selected the EOS.Web Express for its special library needs. The FMC has locations all over the country and houses resources that includes sensitive documentation, legislature and laws, newspapers, and photography.

The FMC is now able to make its information accessible nationwide as a result of the EOS Web Express system, EOS said. Circulation, serials, and cataloging are among the modules FMC is using to organize and share expansive collections of continually
updating documents.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top Story

NYK releases initial design for “Super Eco-ship 2030”

NYK released what it termed an initial exploratory design for its “NYK Super Eco Ship 2030,” an energy-efficient ship that the Japanese shipping group says is expected to emit far fewer CO2 emissions than current vessels.

The design was created by MTI, a wholly owned NYK subsidiary charged with making use of advances in technology, along with Garroni Progetti s.r.l, an Italian designer of ships, and Elomatic Marine, a Finnish marine-technology consultant.

NYK said its Super Eco Ship 2030 would make use of technologies that have the potential of being realized by the year 2030.

The power needed to propel the ship could be lessened by decreasing the weight of the hull and reducing water friction, NYK said. Propulsion power could be increased through use of LNG-based fuel cells, solar cells, and wind power, leading to a reduction of CO2 by 69 percent per container carried, the carrier said.

MOL to offer all-water service to Asia out of Jaxport

The Japanese shipping line MOL announced it would provide its East Coast customers all-water service to Asia from Jacksonville, Florida (JAXPORT), via the Panama Canal, to Asian ports as part of its NYX service. The first NYX vessel will sail from TraPac’s newest terminal at JAXPORT on May 13, 2009, the carrier said.

The NYX westbound port rotation is as follows:
New York – Norfolk – Savannah – Jacksonville – Miami – Manzanillo – Balboa – Los Angeles – Busan – Shanghai – Ningbo – Yantian – Hong Kong – Kaohsiung

“As with our APX trans-Atlantic service to Europe and Africa, by adding Jacksonville as a direct export service call to Asian markets, MOL is providing customers with an efficient alternative for their export cargo,” said Tsuyoshi Yoshida, executive vice president, MOL Trade Management.

Wilmington, DE lands Höegh Autoliners

Höegh Autoliners Inc. and the Diamond State Port Corp. signed a 10-year, multimillion-dollar land lease deal Tuesday that will keep the automobile shipper at the Port of Wilmington until at least 2019.

The deal was announced by Gov. Jack Markell in an afternoon news conference attended by administration and port officials, labor representatives and Höegh executives.

-The Delaware News Journal

For the full story:

Two-thirds of partnership bails on $1.8 billion Texas offshore port

Two of three partners in a proposed $1.8 billion oil port off Freeport said Tuesday they have withdrawn from the project, but the remaining company involved says the plan will go forward.

Enterprise Products Partners and Teppco Partners, both affiliated with Houston billionaire Dan Duncan, said they were pulling out of the Texas Offshore Port System, a project announced last August that would allow two supertankers at a time to unload crude oil into pipelines 36 miles off the coast.

-Houston Chronicle

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Charleston port’s tugs convert to cleaner fuel

Tug operator Moran is converting half of its fleet to cleaner-burning fuels at the Port of Charleston, the port announced. The fuel switch was made possible through grant funding awarded by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Last week, DHEC, through the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, awarded grants to nine organizations across the state in both the public and private sector, the port said.

Moran Charleston will upgrade one tug to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) three years ahead of federal mandate and another tug to a biodiesel blend, the port said. The funding covers the additional cost of buying the cleaner fuel, which ranges from 10 to 22 cents more per gallon than regular diesel. The port said Moran will receive 75 percent of the cost difference in DERA grant funding and will cover the remaining 25 percent.

Moran’s project involves switching its largest Charleston-based tug, the 6,140-horsepower Elizabeth Turecamo, to ULSD. This change will provide an estimated 10 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions. The company also will switch the Cape May, a 3,000-horsepower twin-screw tug, to a B20 biodiesel/ULSD blend, reducing particulate matter by 9 percent, carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 10 percent and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions by 21 percent.

The Charleston Branch Pilots Association, South Carolina State Ports Authority, South Carolina Public Railways and tenants have also switched to ULSD in all pilot boats, on-terminal lifting equipment, and locomotives, respectively, the port said.

Anti-piracy teams for hire

Vessel Extractions, LLC (VessEx) announced the launch of its Shiprotek service to protect ships from pirate attacks. VessEx protection teams, composed of former Special Forces personnel, ride with ships in high-risk waters to prevent pirates from boarding their clients' vessels and harming the crews, the company said.

"Unfortunately, military forces and law enforcement agencies can't patrol all of the world's pirate-infested waters," said Michael Bono, a maritime attorney and Managing Director of VessEx. He quoted Vice Admiral William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, as saying, "Shipping companies have to understand that naval forces cannot be everywhere. Self-protection measures are the best way to protect their vessels."

Capt. Max Hardberger, VessEx's operations director, said: "The defense of a ship under armed attack cannot be left to an untrained, unarmed civilian crew. Our highly skilled and well-equipped teams offer effective and cost-efficient protection for ships going
in harm's way."

A VessEx Shiprotek team would board a client's vessel anywhere in the world, escort it through troubled areas, and disembark in its next safe port, the company said. During the voyage, the team assesses the ship's security situation, trains the crew in anti-piracy techniques, implements procedures to minimize risk, and assists the crew in maintaining anti-piracy watch. When a threat is identified, the team implements its counter-piracy procedures, the company said.

Long Beach contracts Cargotec Kalmar for three hybrid tractors

Cargotec’s Kalmar announced it was awarded a contract to supply three new hybrid terminal tractors for technology trials being carried out by the Port of Long Beach.

The three hybrid terminal tractors will be based on Kalmar’s Ottawa 4 X 2 terminal tractor, the company said. The tractors will be fitted with a Parallel Hybrid Drive system which converts power from on-board batteries, having been charged by the OEM diesel engine or regenerative braking system, to an electric motor for propulsion through the rear axle, Kalmar said. The technology is being developed by Kalmar’s development partner in hybrid technology, U.S. Hybrid in Torrance California.

SCA Transforest selects GT Nexus

GT Nexus announced today that it was selected by SCA Transforest to provide global logistics data hub and Web-based business applications to manage ocean freight rates and services.

SCA Transforest is the transport and logistics division of SCA Forest Products, a global consumer goods and paper company that develops, produces and markets personal care products, tissue, packaging solutions, publication papers and solid-wood products. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, SCA’s annual sales in 2007 amounted to EUR 11.4 billion. SCA has about 50,000 employees in some 60 countries.

“We have seen dramatic freight rate fluctuations over the past few years,” said Nils-Johan Haraldsson, vice president, marine transportation at SCA Transforest. “With GT Nexus, we infuse a new level of control to the way we manage our global freight spend. This will help ensure we get the maximum value, regardless of the market situation.”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Top Story

Report: MSC closes gap with Maersk

Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has closed the gap behind the largest container shipping line in the world, Copenhagen’s Maersk, to 2.6 percent, or 340,000 TEUs, according to a report by the Paris consultancy AXS Alphaliner. It is the closest MSC has ever been to Maersk, the report said.

Despite the severe downturn in global trade, MSC, the world's second largest container line, has been adding capacity, the report said.

Alphaliner based MSC’s market share ion its actual working fleet excluding vessel lay-ups, going from 10.4 percent at the start of 2008 to 11.5 percent as of April 1.

The report said Maersk's market share has declined from 16.1 to 14.1 percent, and CMA CGM's share has fallen from 7.6 to 7.1 percent.

In 2008, MSC’s lifts increased by 5 percent to reach 10.5 million TEUs, closing in on Maersk's 13.8 million TEUs.

APL by contrast currently has 21 ships of 3,300-6,400-TEU capacity idled, representing 22 percent of its operational capacity. MSC has only two ships reportedly laid up.

Alphaliner said MSC has been taking advantage of the impacted large vessel charter market by chartering ships at bargain rates. For example, MSC has chartered twelve containerships in the 2,500-6,000-TEU range for periods of 12 to 24 months, Alphaliner said.

MSC's fleet has also been boosted by the addition of three 14,000-TEU and four 11,660-TEU containerships, which have all been deployed in the carrier’s Far East-Europe Silk service.

MSC has also removed older tonnage from its fleet since September, equating to a removal of 43,000 TEUs, the report said Currently, has 42 ships (22 owned and 20 chartered) built before 1980 currently in its fleet, totalling 64,000 TEU, the report added.

UPS net dropped 56 percent in Q1

United Parcel Service Inc.'s (UPS) first-quarter net income fell 56% as the global economic slump sapped shipping volumes and the company opted to retire some aircraft amid soft demand.

UPS, the world's largest package-delivery company, also forecast second-quarter profit below Wall Street's expectations. It said second-quarter domestic package volume will be down 4% to 6%, after falling an average 4.3% in the first quarter.


For the full story:

Vessel lay ups for 6,000-TEUs and over increase to 42

A report from the Paris consultancy Alphaliner AXS said that 42 ships of more than 6,000-TEU capacity were idle as at April 20.

Maersk Line currently has the highest number of large ships idle with 14 of these ships, followed by APL which has eight idle ships above 6,000 TEUs, the report said.

Rounding out the list of idled containerships in this size range includes CSAV with five, CSCL with three, IRISL, MSC and OOCL with two, and one each from COSCO, Evergreen, HMM, MOL, MSC, and UASC, Alphaliner said.

COSCO Holdings net dropped 43 percent

China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd, the country's leading international shipping carrier, announced that its net profit plunged 43.3% year on year to RMB 10.83 billion in 2008.

The company attributed the profit decline to the waning demand for bulk cargo transportation and the loss of RMB 4.12 billion arising from the Forward Freight Agreements (FFAs).

-China Newswires

For the full story: chinaknowledge

Coalition urges renewal, reform of U.S. trade preference programs

A coalition of non-governmental organizations and U.S. businesses, including the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), urged Congress and the Obama Administration yesterday to review and reform U.S. preference programs for developing countries, and to do so in a timely manner given the scheduled expiration of certain programs, according to a statement.

The coalition sent letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees, and to U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, the statement said.

The letters were signed by a group of 28 importers and non-governmental organizations, and highlighted what the coalition said are “the benefits that properly structured preference programs can have on development in poor countries and on the creation of economic opportunities both in developing countries and in the United States.”

The coalition’s letters “encouraged policymakers to replace the patchwork of current preference programs with a single, comprehensive trade preference program for developing countries with:

  • Simple and straightforward rules of origin,
  • Broad product coverage,
  • Clear and predictable eligibility criteria for countries and products, and
  • a strategic view to address country and product ‘graduations’ that would encourage additional bilateral and multilateral trade between and among the United States and developing countries.”

Alaska crude headed for Gulf Coast

A supertanker cargo of Alaska North Slope crude ASW- is headed for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, an unusual destination for crude from Alaska, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil's (XOM.N) shipping affiliate confirmed Wednesday.

The Alaska crude is similar in gravity and sulfur content to some Gulf Coast grades of oil, but there could be nonmarket reasons for the voyage, including retiring the vessel from the Alaska trade. It is the last single-hull ship on that service.


For the full story:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Top Story

UP, BNSF beat forecasts; profits still shrink in Q1

The two largest U.S. railroads had better than expected first quarters, although both reported profit loss, reflective of the economic downturn and decline in global trade.

The largest U.S. railroad, Omaha-based Union Pacific, reported its first quarter net income fell 18 percent to $362 million from $443 million in the same period last year. Revenue fell 20 percent to $3.42 billion from $4.27 billion, the railroad said.

Chief Executive Jim Young told Reuters in a phone interview that he thinks the freight economy has hit bottom.

"After a very significant fall in freight volumes in recent months, we really think this thing has flattened out."
The second largest U.S. railroad, Fort Worth-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., reported its first quarter profits fell 55 percent, in part due to the hefty charges it was ordered to pay related to a coal rate settlement.

The railroad’s fiscal first quarter net income was $293 million, down from $455 million a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter fell 20 percent from last year to $3.42 billion.

"During the first quarter of 2009, BNSF's focus on cost control and a variable cost structure enabled us to weather a difficult economic environment," said Chief Executive Matthew Rose said in a statement.

Horizon reports $10 mil Q1 net loss

Horizon Lines, Inc. reports a first-quarter net loss of nearly $10 million, or 33 cents per diluted share. In the same period last year, the Charlotte-based shipping company earned $726,000, or 2 cents per diluted share.

Revenue fell to $272.4 million from $305.9 million in the same period.

-Charlotte Business Journal

For the full story:

City of Riverside files appeal with Long Beach over middle harbor project

The City of Riverside filed an appeal with the Long Beach City Council on Thursday, challenging the environmental impact report released by the Port of Long Beach harbor commission regarding the port’s $750 million middle harbor redevelopment project.

Harbor Commission President James C. Hankla responded in a statement: “We believe that with our exhaustive EIR, review by experts, diligent community outreach and multiple public meetings we have more than met the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. This project is critical to the competitiveness of the port, supporting badly needed jobs and greatly improving the environment."

The middle harbor project includes the modernization of two shipping terminals and, according to the port, cutting current air pollution levels by 50 percent.

The public has until April 27 to appeal the harbor commission certification of the EIR.  A hearing must be scheduled within 60 days after the filing of the appeal.

Halifax port finds seven stowaways

Officials are questioning seven men who arrived in Halifax as stowaways on a cargo ship Thursday afternoon.

The shipping agency ACL contacted the Canada Border Services Agency to say they’d discovered two stowaways while the Atlantic Concert was still crossing the ocean, according to CBSA spokeswoman Jennifer Morrison.

She said staff on the ship then commenced a search and found the other five before they arrived in Halifax. Their last port of call before Halifax was in Belgium and the ship set sail again early Friday for New York.

-Halifax Chronicle Herald

For the full story:

Macquarie Infrastructure names new U.S. CEO

Macquarie Infrastructure Company announced that its management company, Macquarie Infrastructure Management (USA) Inc., has appointed James Hooke to the position of Chief Executive Officer of MIC, effective May 8, 2009.

Hooke succeeds Peter Stokes who, after 5 years as CEO of MIC and 12 years in the New York office of the Macquarie Group, has decided to return to Australia, the company said.

Hooke is a managing director in the Macquarie capital funds division of the New York office of the Macquarie Group, and was most recently responsible for corporate development and management of a portfolio company investment for Macquarie Infrastructure Partners Inc. (MIP), the company said. MIP is the manager of two unlisted infrastructure funds responsible for investing and managing approximately $5.5 billion of investor commitments across a range of North American infrastructure businesses, the company said.

Wallenius opens new vehicle processing center at Zeebrugge port

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) announced it has opened a 7,600 m² European vehicle processing center in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The company said has invested almost $11.3 million to develop what it termed two eco-friendly VPCs.

The facility’s services range from cleaning and inspection of vehicles to all kinds of repairs, fitting of accessories and modifications to cars, agricultural machinery and construction equipment, the company said. Approximately 90 specialist technicians will work in the center that also includes a body shop, vehicle modification area, car wash and administrative offices, the company said.
The new vehicle VPC is complemented by a dedicated facility for handling high and heavy RoRo equipment. This recently opened unit, which incorporates a multi-flexible paint booth, conducts pre-delivery inspection (PDI) work on agricultural and construction equipment as well as tailor-made customer modifications to machinery prior to delivery to the end dealer.

The company said it has 400 sailings a year to and from Zeebrugge and more than 300,000 units are handled there annually. WWL’s Ro-Ro ships operate regular service to North America from Zeebrugge as well as South Africa and Oceania. Imports come in from North America, Southeast Asia and the Far East. At present, the company said its focus is on emerging markets such as China and India.

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