Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for May 4 - May 8, 2009:
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Monday, May 4, 2009

Top Story

Purchasing Managers Index shows some promise in April

Manufacturing contracted in April as the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hit 40.1 percent, which is 3.8 percentage points higher than the 36.3 percent reported in March, according the Institute of Supply Chain Management.

April’s numbers marked the 15th consecutive month of contraction in the manufacturing sector, ISM’s report said. A reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50 percent indicates that it is generally contracting.

A PMI in excess of 41.2 percent, over a period of time, generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy, so the PMI indicates contraction in both the overall economy and the manufacturing sector, the ISM said.

Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing business survey committee said: "The decline in the manufacturing sector continues to moderate. After six consecutive months below the 40-percent mark, the PMI, driven by the New Orders Index at 47.2 percent, shows a significant improvement. While this is a big step forward, there is still a large gap that must be closed before manufacturing begins to grow once again. The Customers' Inventories Index indicates that channels are paring inventories to acceptable levels after reporting inventories as 'too high' for eight consecutive months. The prices manufacturers pay for their goods and services continue to decline; however, copper prices have bottomed and are now starting to rise. This is definitely a good start for the second quarter."

Konecranes to acquire majority stake in Chinese crane manufacturer

Heavy equipment manufacturer Konecranes announced it signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in China’s Jiangsu Three Horses Crane Manufacture Co. Ltd. (SANMA). The letter of intent was signed and published in November 2008, and the final agreement is still subject to e.g. inspection and approval by Chinese authorities, Konecranes said.

Konecranes would become a 65 percent owner of SANMA, with the remaining
35 percent to be held by the present owners who work in the management of the company, Konecranes said. SANMA would be converted into a joint venture company, with finalization of the deal estimated to take place during the third quarter of this year.

SANMA is based in Jingjiang, about two hours northwest of Shanghai with 500 employees and has been known as a supplier of wire rope hoists in China, and as a crane supplier in Jiangsu and the neighboring provinces, Konecranes said.

Report: Gulf Coast ports not as impacted during recession

Although the economy has had a downward impact on the East and West coasts, some of the Gulf Coast ports, and its real estate, haven't been quite so adversely affected. Depending on where the port is located, the economic impact may not be quite so dire.

James K. Lyons is director and CEO with the Alabama State Port Authority, which oversees and operates the Port of Mobile. He acknowledges the port, like many of the nation's ports, has experienced a decrease in cargo. But Lyons is convinced the downturn is very temporary.

For the full story:

Report: China economic growth could rise 7 percent in Q2

Chinese annual economic growth will rise to 7 percent in the second quarter, a key Chinese government think-tank said in a report published on Monday, up from the first quarter's 6.1 percent. The State Information Center also said in a report published in the official China Securities Journal that China would continue an appropriately loose monetary policy but that record loan growth was not sustainable.

CMA CGM to launch new direct service between North Europe, Greece, Turkey

French shipping group CMA CGM Group announced the launch, effective June 1, of a new service linking North Europe, Greece and Turkey called the French Europe Med EXPRESS (FEMEX).

The fixed-day service will deploy five vessels of 2,100 TEUs, the company said.

FEMEX will call eastbound and westbound in Tangiers, a CMA CGM hub in the West Mediterranean, and, according to the shipping line, would “offer new import and export opportunities between North America, Latin America, West Africa, Greece and Turkey.“

The rotation of the new weekly service will be: Hamburg / Felixstowe / Antwerp / Le Havre / Tangiers / Malta / Piraeus / Thessaloniki / Istanbul / Gebze / Gemlik / Izmir / Malta / Tangiers / Hamburg.

DHL adds Boeing freighter service to Hong Kong- Singapore trade

DHL announced it added a Boeing 747-400 freighter to service its Singapore-Hong Kong route through Air Hong Kong, a joint venture between Cathay Pacific and DHL.

The 110-ton-freighter replaces the current 45-ton Airbus A300-600F, and will operate between both cities six days a week, more than doubling capacity on the SIN-HKG route, the company said.

"The Boeing 747-400F service will link DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong, and the DHL Express Singapore Hub, which constitutes over 50 percent of DHL's Asia volumes," said Stephen Fenwick, senior vice president of operations, DHL Express Asia Pacific.

Intra-Asia volumes from Hong Kong grew an average of 16 percent year on year between 2003 and 2008, as compared to a 3 percent annual growth on other trade lanes, DHL said. Similarly, in Singapore, DHL said its intra-Asia volumes rose by an average of 5 percent per annum during this period, as compared to an average of 4 percent growth on non-intra-Asia trade lanes.

"With the addition of the Boeing 747-400F, the existing A300-600F will replace some of the smaller aircraft within the network," said Tom Murphy, senior vice president of aviation, DHL Express Asia Pacific.

South Korean warship chases pirates off from North Korean vessel

A South Korean naval warship chased away pirates who were seeking to hijack a North Korean vessel in seas off Somalia Monday, according to Seoul's military officials, an incident that comes amid increasingly tense relations between the two Koreas.

After receiving a distress signal from the North Korean vessel, the South Korean destroyer, Mummu the Great, which was only 3 kilometers away from the suspected pirate ship, dispatched a Lynx helicopter with snipers on board.

The pirates retreated when the snipers threatened to open fire, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

-The Korea Times

For the full story:

China Auto Logistics launches twelfth website

China Auto Logistics Inc. announced it has launched its twelfth domestic automobile website in the city of Suzhou, in the province of Jiangsu, approximately 80 kilometers from Shanghai.

Suzhou's 6.2 million residents own more than 1.7 million automobiles, making it the third largest city in China in terms of auto ownership behind Beijing and Shanghai, according to China Auto Logistics. With 2008 GDP per capita of more than $15,300, it also ranks second in this category among China's 659 cities, the company said.

The auto logistics company said the Chinese government’s massive economic stimulus this year has included incentives to purchase automobiles to the more than 700 million citizens living in rural areas. China Auto Logistics said it anticipates active buying from this segment of the population based on grants provided by the government, no-interest loans provided by rural credit associations and discounted prices from auto manufacturers, which have lowered.

The company said it will next launch a national website “providing accurate regularly updated information for consumers and dealers on a national scale.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top Story

AgTC shippers support Long Beach harbor redevelopment

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition of exporters and importers sent a letter to the Port of Long Beach harbor commission voicing support for the proposed $750 million Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, saying “U.S. agriculture depends on ports’ remaining competitive so we can remain competitive.”

The AgTC letter, signed by Peter Friedman, the group’s executive director, went on to say that it “is vital for policymakers, including port executives and commissioners, to understand that today nothing sourced in the United States in ag or forest products, cannot be competitively sourced elsewhere in the world…We know, from a long and constructive working relationship with the Port of Long Beach professional staff that they are cognizant of this impact.”

The letter pointed to other ports around North America “making significant investments in their port infrastructure and are inviting importers and exporters, including agriculture and even California agriculture, to take advantage of the efficiencies those new facilities offer. The expansion of the Panama Canal will also enhance those ports’ competitiveness.”

The AgTC said it does not want to divert to other ports, but that it can’t afford to lose foreign and domestic sales to competing foreign suppliers of food and fiber.

“Modernizing old and outdated terminals to meet today’s economic and environmental standards is essential. Port of Long Beach terminals must be modernized to stay competitive. The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project provides this opportunity, and not a moment too soon.”

The agriculture group said it felt that despite the global economic slowdown, delays and congestion will return, unless capacity is increased at the Port of Long Beach.

“We strongly urge the City Council to approve the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project so that construction can begin promptly.”

MSC signs through 2017 at Port of Charleston

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) announced Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has signed a new agreement that would keep the world’s second largest shipping line at the Port of Charleston through 2017.

The first phase of a new, 280-acre container terminal is scheduled to open in Charleston in 2014.

MSC’s existing presence at the port includes services to the western Mediterranean, South America, Caribbean, Africa and Europe, with over 200 vessel calls annually, the port said.

In March, MSC dedicated its new, 45,000-square-foot South Atlantic headquarters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and the company currently employs about 225 professionals in Charleston, the port said.

Dow Chemical to invest $200 million in Tianjin logistics center

Dow Chemical is going to invest $200 million developing a logistics center for its chemicals supply chain business in Tianjin, China, according to a report in Shihua.

The logistics center will provide liquid chemicals storage service and could handle up to 9 million tons of liquid chemicals per year, the report said.

WWL adds Ecuador and Peru to North America/South America trade

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics announced the launch of a new service to South America s West Coast. The new service will call once per month at Guayaquil (GYQ), Ecuador; and Callao (CAO), Peru, the Ro-Ro shipping company said.

John Felitto, executive vice president, region Americas for WWL, said South America’s economy attracts a variety of Ro-Ro cargo, from vehicles to agricultural, construction, mining and factory equipment.

The new service will directly connect cargo from WWL’s U.S. East Coast ports at Baltimore and Savannah to Ecuador and Peru.

Trans-shipment cargo will also be accepted from the ports of Galveston, Long Beach, Tacoma, Mexico (VER), Panama (MAO), Venezuela (PBL), Colombia (CTG), Brazil (RIG/SSZ/VIT) and Argentina (ZAE), as well as Asian, Australian and European ports, WWL said.

Port of Oakland nets $11.8 million from stimulus for harbor deepening

The Port of Oakland announced it will receive $11.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help fund harbor deepening project, and for operations and maintenance of the harbor. Of the total, $7.8 million is specifically for the –50-foot project, the port said. The port said the funding would help make it possible to substantially complete the harbor deepeningthis summer.

Market study: RFID market to grow 11 percent in 2009-2010

Despite the global recession, RFID markets are not contracting, according to recent data released by ABI Research.

The report said that even with the ailing automotive sector, the RFID market should see 11 percent growth between 2009 and 2010, which would be 16 percent if not for the ailing auto market.

“Transponders, readers, software, and services are all showing healthy growth,” said ABI’s practice director Michael Liard. “The most robust applications include contact-less ticketing, contact-less payments (particularly in North America and Europe), item-level tracking in fashion apparel and footwear, asset management (not only corporate assets, but also returnable transport items, tools/parts, and work-in-process), baggage handling, real-time location systems (RTLS), and electronic identification documents.”

Retail should boom with contact-less payment cards in the U.S., followed by Europe, the report said.

Asset tagging will show a strong uptick, particularly in corporate finance and banking, healthcare, and manufacturing environments, as well as in new areas such as energy, utilities and gaming, and traditional rental asset management (library books, media, laundry, etc.), the report said.

“Based on sales growth pipeline conversations, our end user research, and RFID revenues reported to ABI, 2009 will likely not be as bad as many thought,” said Liard. “Key economic and industry indicators point to stronger growth in 2010, especially the second half.”

For the full report: Semi-Annual RFID Market Data.

Maersk partners up for sustainable commercial fishing certification

Danish shipping group, Maersk, has partnered up with the Earth Island Institute Dolphin-Safe project and Friend of the Sea announce to provide a certification program in the commercial fishing industry, the groups announced.

Maersk said it would “discourage and refuse the handling and shipping of tuna from companies declared by the Earth Island Institute as non-Dolphin-Safe,” and that it would also work with Friend of the Sea to provide “total transparency over the containers carrying sustainable seafood certified by the international scheme,” according to the announcement.

Earth Island Institute said its Dolphin-safe project has lowered dolphin-mortality in the tuna fishery by targeting dolphins in what it termed “the Eastern Tropical Pacific.” The group said it is also against the use of banned high seas driftnets.

“We want to provide all possible help and collaboration to such deserving projects as we are aware of our important role and responsibility in the international trade of seafood.” said David Pawlan, head of global seafood for Maersk.

“We appreciate Maersk’s support and wish all other shipping and transport companies will show the same level of collaboration and environmental awareness,” said David Philips, executive director of the Earth Island Institute.

“Maersk collaboration, together with the recently deployed International Monitoring Program, provides a global real time and onsite chain of custody, making Friend of the Sea a credible and reliable eco-certification,” added Paolo Bray, director of Friend of the Sea.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top Story

NITL supports Rotterdam Rules for cargo liability

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) has come out and announced it has formally approved adoption of the new international multi-modal convention on cargo liability that is currently referred to as the "Rotterdam Rules (The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods).

The Rotterdam Rules, essentially, means all parties are treated similarly by having the same liabilities and obligations without distinction between shipping companies.

The NITL said it is urging the U.S. government to ratify the new convention, and is seeking changes consistent with those rules in domestic U.S. law known as the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA).

Mark Maleski, chairman of the League said: The development of compatible worldwide standards applicable to the loss and damage of maritime cargoes is long overdue. The League's Board of Directors has unambiguously endorsed the new Rules and established a firm mandate to work with other industry sectors to advance the adoption of the Rules in the United States and all of our trade partners as soon as possible."

Peter Gatti, executive vice president of NITL said: “The reality is that in the world of maritime shipping today there is no consistency or uniformity in theapplication of awards for loss and, or damaged cargoes. The Rotterdam Rules will reflect current shipping practices, contain significant improvements over existing cargo liability conventions, promote harmonization among trading partners, reduce legal obstacles and will allow shippers, carriers and third parties to customize their contracts to meet their commercial needs."

Skanska CEO sees infrastructure stimulus recovery starting to work

Construction company Skanska AB (SKA-B.SK) Wednesday said its first-quarter net profit halved and it flagged continued weak demand, but signaled the beginning of a recovery in the U.S.

Chief Executive Johan Karlstrom told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview that the U.S. government's economic stimulus package has begun to spur demand for infrastructure projects.


For the full story:

Deutsche Post “reaching the bottom”

Mail and logistics giant Deutsche Post AG (DPW.XE) Wednesday said it "may now be reaching the bottom in terms of volume declines" and expects more benefit from its cost-cutting program in the second half of the year and in 2010.

In November, the Bonn, Germany-based company said it plans to cut about EUR1 billion in non-operational costs by the end of 2010. The Express unit, which contributes EUR460 million to these savings, is expected to reach its cost-savings target "by the end of 2009 already."

For the full year 2009, the company said it expects a net profit on a higher valuation of put options on Deutsche Postbank AG (DPB.XE) shares, after a EUR1.69 billion net loss in 2008. A put is an option to sell a security at a specified price, usually within a limited period.


For the full story:

NRS hits 1.5 mil square feet of DC space near Southern Cal ports

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS), a provider of logistics services to U.S. retailers and manufacturers, announced it has opened a 15-acre distribution center in Compton, Calif., near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The company said its total distribution facility space in the L.A.-Long Beach area is now at more than 1.5 million square feet, all within 10 miles of the ports.

"It's no secret that the U.S. retail industry is struggling right now," said Raymond Wisniewski, president of NRS.

"But we are seeing selective growth from customers that are weathering the downturn well and positioning themselves for recovery,” he said.

NRS said it has expanded business with existing customers by offering integrated pier drayage, trans-load and D.C. bypass services on the West Coast linked with the company's national retail distribution network. NRS said it is also adding new clients outside of the retail industry, including electronics and pharmaceuticals manufacturers.

NRS said its new clean air trucks pier fleet can handle 70,000 TEUs worth of imports per year, with plans to increase that fleet to handle 300,000 TEUs in imports per year.

U.S. senators: Shipping companies need to toughen up on Somali piracy

Commercial shipping companies need to take greater responsibility for protecting their vessels against Somali pirates -- including hiring private armed security guards -- and look less to the U.S. Navy or other international military for help.

That was the message senators delivered at two hearings Tuesday on U.S. efforts to combat piracy on the world's oceans, a growing problem punctuated in the U.S. by last month's capture of the Maersk Alabama and the dramatic rescue of its captain, Richard Phillips, by Navy SEALs.

Phillips told a Senate Commerce subcommittee that the world must address socioeconomic problems on land in Somalia if it wants to eradicate Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

-Miami Herald

For the full story:

Bromma: Twin-lift spreaders going all electric globally

The crane spreader company, Stockholm-based Bromma, reported today that terminals in many areas of the world are continuing, despite the recession, to invest in spreader fleet upgrades, including in its own offerings.

Terminals are increasingly opting for all-electric spreaders for the twin-lift portion of their spreader fleet, continuing the long-term trend of moving from hydraulic to all-electric spreaders in single-lift yard crane operations, Bromma said.

While terminals are being affected by slowing container traffic, many long-term spreader fleet upgrade programmes are continuing, Bromma said. Some major projects are being delayed, but over the past year major “greenline” all-electric upgrades have been ongoing in most regions, according to Bromma.

All-electric yard crane spreader fleet upgrades (orders for 20 or more “greenline” spreaders) have been won by Bromma recently at leading terminals such as: SA Port, Durban, South Africa; Salalah, Oman; TTI, Algeciras, Spain; Thai Prosperity Terminal, Thailand; and the Port of Felixstowe, U.K., the company said.

With the exception of the Americas, Bromma said its all-electric spreaders are in use in every region of the world. Bromma said the early adopters of all-electric twin-lift design include APM Terminals, DP World and Hutchison Port Holdings, CTB Terminal at HHLA, Hamburg, and the Port of Tianjin in China.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Top Story

Puget Sound ports release “green gateway” study

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma announced this week the results of a study that they said, “quantifies the carbon footprint of containers coming through the Puget Sound.”

The lowest emission route to ship cargo from Asia to the U.S. Midwest is through the Puget Sound, the Puget Sound ports claimed.

“The carbon study results are good news, and a great boost to our efforts to measure and reduce our environmental impact,” said Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani. “Our ongoing sustainability initiatives have created a ‘Green Gateway’ that is good for our environment and our customers.”

“We are proud of our many port customers and tenants who have joined us to deliver a cleaner, healthier environment while contributing valuable jobs and goods to our state’s economy,” said Port of Tacoma Executive Director Tim Farrell. “They help us demonstrate that businesses can do well by doing good.”

The study was commissioned by the Port of Seattle and was conducted by the California-based firm Herbert Engineering.

The study reportedly analyzed carbon footprints of trade routes between Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and the U.S. distribution hubs of Chicago, Columbus and Memphis as well as routes that use U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports via the Panama and Suez canals.

For ports of origin as far south as Singapore, carbon emissions for cargo moving by ship to the Pacific Northwest and by rail to a broad swath of the United States are lower than on routes through the Panama Canal, Norfolk, New York and California, according to the report.

The Port of Seattle said it had Herbert Engineering’s study independently reviewed, including by trade experts, customers, and shipping partners.

“REI applauds the efforts of the Port of Seattle in undertaking this kind of study to better inform shippers about the carbon implications of their transportation options,” said Rick Bingle, director of global supply chain for Seattle-based Recreational Equipment, Inc.

Greg Shelton, managing director of the Global Trade, Transport, and Logistics Studies program at the University of Washington, said: “I feel that the study shows that the West Coast and especially the Northwest region have a lower carbon footprint for transporting goods between Asia and consumers in the heart of the U.S.”

Prince Rupert container volume almost doubled in Q1

The Port of Prince Rupert, British Columbia announced its container throughput almost doubled in the first quarter of 2009.

The Fairview Container Terminal handled 41,043 TEUs in the first three months of 2009, nearly double the 21,040 TEUs handled in the first quarter 2008, the port said.

"We need to keep in mind that the Fairview Terminal only commenced operations on November 1, 2007 and the first quarter of 2008 was part of the ramping up period," said port authority president and CEO Don Krusel.

"However, we are very pleased with the container terminal's performance and volumes during this severe global economic downturn."

The Canadian port authority said that during the first quarter, all import containers were fully loaded, while 32.5 percent of outbound containers bound for Asia were fully laden.

Report: Dept. of Defense to cut $2 billion cargo plane order in half

The U.S. Department of Defense will ask Congress to cut in half a $2 billion joint Air Force-Army plan to acquire L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. cargo planes, a Pentagon document obtained by Reuters shows.

Instead of as many as 78 C-27J Spartan aircraft, the department will seek to buy 38 -- 13 currently on order plus 25 in fiscal 2010 to 2012, according to the document titled "Resource Management Decision No. 802."


For the full story:

Maersk captain named “Maritime Man of the Year” by Mass Maritime

Capt. Richard Phillips has been named Maritime Man of the Year by his alma mater, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Phillips was aboard the Maersk Alabama when he was taken hostage by Somali pirates and held at gunpoint aboard a life raft for five days. He was rescued after Navy SEALs shot and killed his captors.

-Cape Cod Times

For the full story:

Household products giant breaks ground on $35 mil Utah logistics center

Household products giant Reckitt Benckiser is coming to Utah.

The global company broke ground Wednesday on a $35 million logistics, manufacturing and distribution center across the street from Miller Motorsports Park.

Construction of the 600,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of 2010 and could bring as many as 200 new jobs to Utah when the facility is at full capacity, Jason Perry, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, told the Deseret News. A company news release stated the facility would "ultimately create over 100 jobs at the site."

-Deseret News

For the full story:

GT Nexus selected by Inditex for web-based logistics platform

GT Nexus announced that it would provide Inditex SA, a global clothing retailer, a web-based platform for tracking and managing global ocean shipments.

The GT Nexus said its trade and logistics portal would serve as the retailer’s global ocean freight information system, to provide detailed container status and event information, documentation management and shipment transaction capabilities to automate interactions with Inditex’s global network of ocean carriers.

Inditex has more than 86,000 employees throughout the world and posted sales of 9.4 billion euros in 2007. Its retail presence under the Zara, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe concepts encompasses more than 4,200 stores in 73 countries worldwide, GT Nexus said.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Port of L.A. program targets 1,000 clean trucks by end of 2009

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission announced it approved up to $44.2 million to fund its 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program. The port said it would offer incentives that include up to $80,000 for concessionaires in its clean truck program for each liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) truck they purchase, and up to 80 percent of negotiated cost for terminal operators or concessionaires for each electric truck they purchase for drayage use.

The port said the current initiative follows its 2008 incentive program that put more than 2,200 trucks into service that currently meet or exceed 2007 U.S. EPA emission standards.
Since the launch of the Clean Truck Program October 1, 2008, the port said pollution at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex has been reduced by more than 23 percent.

“Our goal is to put 1,000 alternative fuel trucks into service through our 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program, and the funding our board just approved is a major step in that direction,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “Natural Gas technologies offer a variety of environmental benefits that make them a good fit for drayage in this market.   Through this program we will help truck operators purchase alternative fuel trucks and continue our aggressive efforts to reduce port truck emissions.”

The port said its 1000-truck goal for 2009 (900 LNG/CNG trucks and 100 electric trucks) will cost up to $100 million, and that it is applying for grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Energy Commission.  Within the next 30 days, the port said it would publish program guidelines and would begin accepting letters of intent.

Nuclear border, port security technology might get Obama axe

A long-troubled technology initiative to prevent illicit nuclear materials from being smuggled into the United States appears to be in danger, if the Administration's 2010 budget is any indication.

The Administration has requested $366 million for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), whose job is to develop and deploy technologies to tackle the threat of a radiological attack on the United States. That figure is $148 million less than—and about 75% of—the amount DNDO received in 2009. The reason for the drop is that DNDO is not seeking any money in 2010 for the acquisition of detection technologies. (By contrast, DNDO got $153 million for acquisition in 2009.)

-Science Now

For the full story:

OOCL, TSK Line, COSCON announce new Mid East service

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Tokyo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd. (TSK Line) and COSCO Container Lines Co., Ltd. (COSCON) announced they have agreed to operate a new joint service, the MEX (Middle East Express).

The new service is expected to start on May 17, 2009 out of Shanghai, will feature five vessels with average capacity of 7,500 TEUs, the group said. OOCL and COSCON will provide two vessels each and TSK Line will provide one vessel.

Port rotation will be: Shanghai / Ningbo / Hong Kong / Shekou / Singapore / Jebel Ali / Dammam / Singapore / Hong Kong / Shanghai.

The new service replaces the current Middle East Asia Express Service (MAX) operated by OOCL and TSK Line, which operates five vessels with an average capacity of 5,500 TEUs.

Hanjin forecasts H2 industry recovery despite losses

South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, one of the top three operators of the key Asia-U.S. route, said on Friday the downturn-hit container shipping industry was expected to recover from the second half of 2009.

Hanjin, which trails container giants such as Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM, posted a 273.8 billion won ($216.8 million) net loss in January-March, against a 78.5 billion won net profit a year earlier.


For the full story:

Charleston rail debate continues

Pressure to find a solution to the North Charleston port and rail line debate is under a two-week window, spurred on by the likely decision to end the Statehouse session early.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said Thursday he was "skeptical but hopeful" an agreement could be reached that kills a legislative proposal that would clear the way for rail lines through the north end of the former Navy base.

The destination would be a new ship terminal the State Ports Authority is building on the south end. Barring an agreement, the issue could end up in a protracted legal fight.

-Charleston Post-Courier

For the full story:

Shanghai down 25 percent year on year; up over 34 percent Feb-March

The Port of Shanghai was down 24.9 percent in March, but posted an increase of 34.4 percent in foreign trade value to $38.92 billion from February to March, its first monthly rebound in eight months, according to state media Xinhua.

In March, Shanghai's export value grew 46 percent to $24.95 billion compared with the previous month, but 16.4 percent lower year on year, while the port's import value grew 17.6 percent monthly to $13.97 billion, but was down 24.9 percent year on year.

MOL tests reefer box temperature monitor at Tokyo terminal

Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) announced that it and Wilco Inc. installed an automatic monitoring system for refrigerated containers at the Tokyo International Container Terminal.

The system automatically monitors the temperature inside reefer containers and relies on power lines to automatically transmit information from modems on containers to monitors in the terminal office, MOL said.

The signals travel over the same power lines that supply electricity to the reefer containers.

The temperature in reefer containers has been traditionally controlled by connecting a special cable for monitoring, or by periodic visual checks. MOL said its new system ensures safe and reliable control of temperature inside the reefer container by automatically monitoring over a 24-hour period. The monitored data is stored, so terminal personnel can track time-oriented changes in temperature.

MOL said it plans to install the monitors over time at its operated container terminals in Japan and overseas.

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