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Today's Cargo News Archives
Summary for April 23 - April 27, 2007:

COSCO bulks up

COSCO Group, China's leading shipping and logistics service provider, Apr 21 signed contracts with Chinese shipyards to build 66 ships.

The 66 ships, which include containerships, bulk cargo ships, an oil tanker, and car carriers, will have a total deadweight tonnage of 5.14mn.

COSCO spokesman Zhang Fusheng declined to state a total value for the shipbuilding contracts but noted that it is a record amount for the company.

The ships will be built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., COSCO Shipbuilding Industry Co., and COSCO Shipyard Group. COSCO says the ships will be delivered between 2008 and 2010.

Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, attended the signing ceremony.

COSCO currently owns 740 ships, with a total loading capacity of 46mn dwt.

“Green” mega-ship makes maiden call at LA

Ever Strong, the seventh vessel in Evergreen Marine Corp.’s new advanced technology “green” mega-ships, made her maiden call at the Port of Los Angeles on Apr 20.

Ever Strong is a member of the S-Class “green” ships in the Evergreen fleet, linking Southern China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to the US West Coast.

The ship is part of a series of 10 Evergreen Group S-type container vessels with environmental features that exceed the requirements of new and soon-to-be introduced international green standards, said Evergreen.

The vessels feature double-skinned hulls and fuel tanks positioned for optimal safety against spills and fires; AMP™ cold-ironing technology; and a high-capacity oil/water separator that significantly reduces oil content in waste water.

The ships also feature much larger bilge-water and gray-water holding tanks to reduce the need to discharge when sailing, along with main engines and generators that incorporate low NOx technology.

AAPA hosts port communicators

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) will hold its 2007 Public Relations Seminar in Cape Canaveral, FL, Jun 13-15, focusing on effective community and public relations to support port development.

“Without question, seaports throughout the Western Hemisphere — as well as the transportation connections that serve seaports — are under increasing capacity pressures, both from growing freight and cruise passenger volumes, and from the communities affected by this growth,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO.

“AAPA’s Public Relations Seminar will help port public relations practitioners with a program that educates, excites, and engages them to enhance the way they interact with their communities. Only by bringing key stakeholders together can ports develop the partnerships and resources they need to tackle today’s growing congestion problems,” Nagle added.

AAPA’s Public Relations Seminar topics will include a strategic look ahead at the key issues important to ports, how to help port communicators better connect with audiences through new and emerging technologies, such as podcasts, vodcasts, blogs, and personal microsites.

The topics also will include how two major Southern California ports – Los Angeles and Long Beach – combined their resources and talents to develop a comprehensive program to reduce air emissions from port operations in and around San Pedro Bay.

US follows China in container traffic

The United States ranks second after China in world maritime container traffic, according to a new report released Apr 23 by the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) entitled America’s Container Ports: Delivering the Goods.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration in the US Dept. of Transportation, reported that US container trade in 2005 and 2006 was more than double the trade of a decade earlier.

An estimated 46.3mn TEUs passed through US ports in 2006, up from 22.6mn in 1996, according to the report. Two-thirds of the containers are imported into the United States.

During the last decade, according to the report, world container trade more than tripled, resulting in a decline in the US share of world container trade, from 16% to 11%. China has exceeded the US share of world container trade since 1998.

The BTS report also found that container traffic in the US is becoming more concentrated as larger, faster, and more specialized vessels are finding a limited number of ports capable of handling them.

Key Safety Systems selects Ryde

Key Safety Systems Inc. (KSS), a global designer and supplier of automotive safety systems, has selected Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R), a global provider of supply chain, warehousing, and transportation management solutions for logistics and transportation management services.

Under the multi-year contract, Ryder will develop and manage a customized transportation solution to optimize Key Safety’s supply chain, supporting all of Key Safety’s North American and European operations.

Ryder will provide the services through a turnkey transportation solution that includes carrier procurement and management, logistics engineering, freight bill audit and payment, claims management, and shipment planning and execution.

KSS products are used in more than 300 vehicle models produced by more than 60 automobile manufacturers worldwide.

“Our decision to outsource logistics and transportation management functions to Ryder was primarily driven by their expertise in the automotive industry and ability to leverage their transportation buying power,” said Steve DuBuc, senior vice president of Global Purchasing for Key Safety Systems Inc.

“K” Line, NYK to provide Singapore’s first car terminal

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (“K” Line), PSA Singapore Terminals, and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Apr 24 agreed on a contract for establishing the first dedicated automobile terminal at PSA Singapore Terminals.

The new joint venture has been named Asia Automobile Terminal Singapore (AATS).

By January 2009, it will establish and operate a dedicated terminal for automobiles using two berths at PSA’s Pasir Panjang Terminal, according to “K” Line.

PSA, which provides trans-shipping for finished automobiles for export from Asian countries, is a very important harbor in Asia for “K” Line’s finished-automobile transport service, said the company.

By establishing this new joint venture, “K” Line will continue to develop its competitive network for the finished-automobile transport service that the company offers through the Port of Singapore in order to best position itself to respond to demand in Asian countries, which is expected to increase rapidly in the future.

Oakland greets Evergreen’s Ital Lirica

Port of Oakland officials Apr 23 welcomed Evergreen Line’s 5,090-TEU-capacity Ital Lirica on its maiden voyage linking China and the United States.

The Ital Lirica sailed from Busan, Korea, on Evergreen’s CPS Service (CPS: China–South US West Coast–China). Oakland is the first inbound port-of-call from China on this service.

The Ital Lirica is the first in a series of post-Panamax class vessels joining the CPS Service. The vessels are operated by Italia Maritima S.p.A. under the umbrella of the Evergreen Group.

The new vessels are expected to significantly increase the capacity of Evergreen Line’s service to the US West Coast and the Port of Oakland’s volume of import intermodal cargoes.

The vessel called at the Ben E. Nutter Terminal in Oakland, operated by Seaside Transportation Services.

Kalmar lands major Russian order

Kalmar Industries Apr 24 said it has received an order from Russia’s JSC Sea Port St. Petersburg, for 24 terminal machines to be delivered in May- September this year.

The order includes 12 forklift trucks with 10-32-tonne lifting capacities, eight TRX182 terminal tractors, three reachstackers, and one empty container handler.

The new machines, which will replace some older equipment, are mainly to be used for handling steel, aluminum products, and containers. The remaining equipment will be used to handle the port’s increasing container traffic.

Esko Pystynen, managing director of Kalmar Russia, said the St. Petersburg is the largest port in Northwest Russia and a strategic gateway for the country’s trade with Western Europe.

“As such,” he said, “it is an important market for Kalmar products, and I am pleased to say that Kalmar’s machines have helped to power this thriving gateway facility for many years.”

JSC Sea Port St. Petersburg handled 11.8mn tonnes of cargo in 2006.

Penske opens $5.6mn facility

Penske Truck Leasing, a global transportation services provider, Apr 24 opened a new facility in Cambridge, Ontario.

The 18,000 sq ft facility offers commercial and consumer truck rental services, full-service truck leasing, and contract maintenance. About 40 leasing customers are handled at the 9 acre location, and more than 400 vehicles are maintained onsite.

The $5.6mn facility has four service bays, a truck washing bay and a two-lane fuel island with high-speed fuel pumps for fast service.

“Upgrading our maintenance capabilities has positioned us to stay ahead of the technology curve within the transportation industry,” said Ken Coots, senior vice president, maintenance services, Penske Truck Leasing.

Penske has operated locally for nearly seven years, with previous locations in Kitchener and Cambridge. In Canada, Penske operates more than 11,000 vehicles and employs nearly 900 associates at 33 locations, 18 in Ontario.

Penske Truck Leasing Co., LP, a joint venture of Penske Corp and General Electric, is headquartered in Reading, PA.

China number one partner for Japan

Surpassing the US for the first time since the end of World War II, China has become Japan’s largest trading partner, according to a preliminary report on trade statistics for FY 2006 released Apr 25 by Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

Trade with China (excluding Hong Kong) climbed 16.5% year on year to 25,427.6bn yen, while that with the US rose 10.3% to 25,160.8bn yen, according to the report.

Japan’s overall trade surplus in March rose 73.9% year on year to a record 1,633.5bn yen.

If Hong Kong is included, China has been the nation’s largest trading partner since FY 2004.

The country’s trade surplus with the US grew 13.5% to 9,096bn yen on rising exports of cars and electronic parts for semiconductors, the second-largest amount ever following the level recorded in FY 1985.

Japan’s global trade surplus grew 16.4% to 9,054bn yen on strong exports of cars to the US. Surging crude oil prices worldwide pushed up the value of imports, but that was more than offset by export growth due to the weak yen.

Baosteel wants ore

By the year 2012, Baosteel Group Corp., China’s largest steelmaker, will need to buy 90% more iron ore a year, said Li Qingyu, CEO of Shanghai-based Baosteel Trading Co., in Beijing Apr 24.

Baosteel plans to more than double it current output, to 50mn tonnes of crude steel, in the next five years to take advantage of rising demand from carmakers and appliance manufacturers, Li said.

China’s iron ore production rose 40% last year to 588mn tonnes, Li said. The output would increase 61% to 944mn tonnes by 2010.

Baosteel, which relied on imports for almost all of its ore consumption, was also seeking domestic supply as the company stepped up domestic acquisitions, Li said.

Baosteel said it aims to become the “prime research and development base for new processes, new technologies, and new materials in China’s iron and steel industry.”

Baosteel courts NYK

Zhu Junsheng, vice president of Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. (Baosteel) Apr 23 led a five-member delegation on a call to the head office of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) in Tokyo.

The delegation met with NYK President Koji Miyahara, Senior Managing Corporate Officer Hiromitsu Kuramoto, and Managing Corporate Officer Hidenori Hono.

During the meeting, Miyahara expressed his happiness that Zhu’s visit came so soon after a visit by Xu, chairman of Baosteel Group Corp. Miyahara expressed his gratitude to Baosteel for four contracts and his desire for NYK to remain active in its role of assisting with continuing growth in China.

Zhu voiced his gratitude to NYK for its stable transport of iron ore and his hope for steadfast relations between China and Japan.

In March, NYK said it reached an agreement with Namura Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. to order two 250,000-tonne ore carriers, referred to as WOZMAX ore carriers. The vessels are to be completed in 2010-11, and will be used for ore transport from Western Australia.

Charleston wins OK for new terminal

The US Army Corps of Engineers Apr 26 issued permits for a new 286-acre container terminal at the former Navy Base in South Carolina’s Port of Charleston.

The Corps’ Charleston District said it spent four years studying the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s proposed terminal project on the former Charleston Navy Base.

In granting the approval, the USACE said it won the support of numerous regulatory and resource agencies charged with protecting and preserving the South Carolina coastal environment.

SCSPA president and CEO Bernard S. Groseclose Jr. welcomed the decision, saying, “This project has been in the works for a long time, so we’re delighted to sign the permit and move forward.”

Bill H. Stern, SCSPA Board chairman, said that, “The Ports Authority greatly appreciates all the support we’ve received from business, community, and political leaders throughout the permitting process.”

The SCSPA said the first phase of the terminal is scheduled to open in five years and, at build out, the facility will add 1.4mn TEUs in new capacity.

TSA releases trade data

The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Apr 25 released trade utilization data for 1Q 2007.

Asia-US cargo demand has rebounded on all major route segments following the week-long Lunar New Year holidays in Asia, according to a review of early 2007 activity in the trade.

Containership utilization has climbed to more than 90% on most sailings, after a two-week lull during the first half of March.

Utilization was 91% and 94%, at the end of March 2007, on the two most heavily used corridors — local and intermodal cargo arriving at California ports, and freight moving by water to the East Coast via the Panama Canal.

During much of February, prior to the Lunar New Year factory closures in Asia, vessel utilization held steady in the 95%-100% range.

Current cargo trends, and forward bookings received to date by TSA carriers, indicate an increase in container traffic through April. A brief lull is anticipated in early May due to national holidays in China and Japan.

TSA is a research and discussion group of major container shipping lines offering ocean and inland transportation, logistics, and supply chain services from Asia to the US.

The Allen Group promotes McAuliffe

The Allen Group, San Diego, has promoted Daniel McAuliffe to President of Allen Development of Texas, with responsibilities for managing the development of the newly launched Dallas Logistics Hub.

McAuliffe joined The Allen Group in November 2005 as Vice President of Development, bringing more than 24 years of diversified commercial real estate expertise.

He earlier held long-term executive positions in real estate organizations including Texas Industries Inc., J.E. Robert Companies, and Brookhollow Corp.

McAuliffe graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas, earning a BS degree in Finance, and is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) of the Realtors National Marketing Institute, as well as a licensed real estate broker in Texas.

The Allen Group Apr 13 launched its Dallas Logistics Hub, considered the largest new logistics park under development in North America, with more than 6,000 master-planned acres.

The Group expects the Hub to position Dallas as the premier trade hub in the southwestern US, serving as the primary inland gateway for the distribution of goods from US and Mexican West Coast ports eastward to the major population areas of the US Midwest and East Coast.