Monday, May 5, 2008
TWIC deadline changes
THE FINAL compliance date for approximately 1.2 million maritime workers to obtain Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) has been extended to April 15, 2009, according to an announcement May 2 by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
The seven-month extension is a direct result of collaboration with port officials and industry and “realigns the enrollment period with the original intent of the TWIC final rule,” DHS said.
TWIC was established in the Maritime Transportation Security Act and the SAFE Port Act to serve as an identification program for all Coast Guard credentialed mariners and personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas within a port.
Owners and operators of facilities located within Captain of the Port Zones Boston, Northern New England, and Southeastern New England, however, will still need to comply by Oct. 15, 2008. These three ports were selected based on favorable conditions that facilitate near-term implementation, DHS said.
Additional ports will be announced in the coming weeks, DHS said, and the Coast Guard will provide at least 90 days notice prior to enforcement.
Workers can pre-enroll online at www.tsa.gov/twic, which would accelerate credentialing, DHS said.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
POLA begins public comment period
THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES announced May 2 that it has posted the Re-circulated Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR) for the proposed Berth 97-109 Container Terminal Project (China Shipping).
With the posting of the draft document, a public comment period is now in effect until close of business day June 30, 2008, the port said. The port will hold a public meeting to receive public comments June 5, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., at Banning’s Landing Community Center, 100 E. Water St., Wilmington.
The DEIS/DEIR is a re-circulation of the original DEIS/DEIR released in 2006. It includes a re-assessment of existing project components, assessment of proposed components, and new environmental measures in response to community feedback on the previously released DEIS/DEIR.
The Re-circulated DEIS/DEIR illustrates how the port proposes to substantially reduce air emissions at the terminal as part of a proposed expansion, which could create “more than 900 construction jobs during the project and 4,000 new jobs upon full build-out,” the port said.
The project proposes aggressive measures to reduce air pollution, including shore-to-ship electric power (AMP) while vessels are at berth, use of low sulfur fuel on ships, and use of clean trucks, solar panels, and alternative-fueled yard equipment
Port of Los Angeles
DHL Express and Teamsters in agreement
DHL EXPRESS U.S. employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters May 2 voted to ratify a new, historic national labor agreement between the Teamsters and DHL, according to a DHL press release.
The national agreement’s approval, following three weeks of voting among the affected employees’ groups, puts in place a five-year deal between the express package delivery company and the union that represents the vast majority of its employees who handle customer shipments.
“The agreement is good for both parties and our continuing commitment to serve the U.S. market with great service performance,” said Hans Hickler, CEO, DHL Express U.S.A.
“It provides DHL Express employees with improved wages and benefits, and it provides the company with the flexibility it needs to ensure DHL customers continue to receive the highest level of customer service they deserve,” continued Hickler.
The new national collective bargaining agreement applies to practically all of DHL’s unionized operations nationwide. The deal provides for “increased operational flexibility that allows DHL to enhance labor resources management and improves its competitive position,” DHL said.
It also provides for annual wage and benefit increases for DHL’s Teamster-represented workforce.
DHL Express U.S.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
NY/NJ port executive director named
“Chris Ward has developed extraordinary skills during his long career in both the public and private sectors,” said Gov. Paterson. “I believe he will provide the visionary leadership needed to build and maintain a first-rate transportation and infrastructure system for the 21st century.”
Ward is currently the managing director of General Contractors Association of New York Inc. Prior to this position, Ward served as CEO (2005-06) and as director of business development (1996-97) of American Stevedoring Inc.
Ward also served as commissioner of the New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection (2002-05) and as chief of planning and external affairs and director of port development for the Port Authority (1997-2002).
He holds a B.A. from MacAlester College and a master’s in theology from Harvard University.
“I am honored that Governor Paterson has asked me to serve as the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” Ward said.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
FedEx Truckload expands to Canada
FEDEX TRUCKLOAD Brokerage Inc., a subsidiary of FedEx Custom Critical Inc., May 5 announced the additional capability of truckload shipments between the U.S. and Canada. Customers can now receive truckload solutions for select provinces, including Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.
“Since we opened our doors last year, our customers have been asking if we could handle their shipments to and from Canada,” said John Colonna, managing director of FedEx Truckload Brokerage.
“This is the reason we started the company in the first place customers wanted a FedEx solution for their truckload shipments. So for us, the formula is simple. We’ll continue listening to our customers and build our capabilities to meet their needs,” continued Colonna.
Customers who call FedEx Truckload Brokerage work directly with a logistics account manager, the company said. The account manager handles all aspects of the shipment, from initial setup to finding the right carrier and providing the final invoice.
The logistics account manager serves as the customer’s single point-of-contact for future business, the company said.
FEDEX TRUCKLOAD Brokerage Inc.
DHL wins exclusive Lord and Taylor contract
DHL, a leading express delivery and logistics company, May 5 announced that it has been chosen as the exclusive U.S. and international express shipping provider for Lord and Taylor, one of the nation’s leading department stores.
Lord and Taylor chose DHL “in order to improve distribution for its retail store network throughout the U.S., enhance merchandising capabilities for its new Internet presence, and support its on-going brand campaign that spotlights the company’s reputation for quality, customer care and style,” DHL said.
DHL will handle all U.S. and international package shipments for Lord and Taylor, including shipments to and from Lord and Taylor’s distribution center in Pennsylvania and 47 retail stores in nine states throughout the U.S.
“DHL has a proven track record of superior service, including proactive tracking systems and dedicated support personnel with a consultative approach,” said Jane Elfers, CEO of Lord and Taylor.
Last fall, Lord and Taylor launched its new Internet storefront as part of an ongoing brand campaign, featuring the company’s high-quality merchandise, apparel and accessories.
DHL integrated its shipping systems with Lord and Taylor’s consumer ordering processes, providing a seamless order management system for Internet orders, the company said.
Lord and Taylor
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
ATA asks Congress to support lower gas prices
AMERICAN TRUCKING Associations State VP Mike Card May 6 testified on behalf of the ATA before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Card, on behalf of the ATA, asked Congress to create incentives to speed the introduction of auxiliary power units to reduce main engine idling, establish a 65 m.p.h. national speed limit and support the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program.
Card said the dramatic increase in the price of diesel combined with a downturn in the economy and softening demand for freight transportation has many trucking companies “struggling to survive.”
“Our industry can’t simply absorb this rapid increase in fuel costs,” Card said. “We must pass some of these costs through to our customers, which ultimately translate into higher prices on the store shelves.”
Card, whose Oregon-based, family-owned trucking company operates more than 400 trucks, expects to spend more than $21.7 million on diesel fuel this year, a 26-percent increase from 2007, he said. The trucking industry overall is on pace to spend $141.5 billion on fuel in 2008, $29 billion more than a year earlier.
American Trucking Associations
Nautilus re-brands as Metro Ports
NAUTILUS INTERNATIONAL Holding Corp. May 5 announced that various key operating companies of the Wilmington, Calif.based company were re-branded as Metro Ports.
Those key companies include Metropolitan Stevedore Co., Southeast Crescent Shipping Co., Southeast Maritime Services LLC (which holds the Savannah International Terminal) and Cape Fear Bulk LLC.
“We are pleased to announce this re-branding as we also celebrate the 85th anniversary of Metropolitan Stevedore Co.,” said Nautilus CEO James Callahan.
“Coordinating with the nationally recognized ‘Metro’ name, the utilization of Metro Ports in the branding of certain diversified and growing holdings of Nautilus highlights the rich experience and history of the Nautilus group, which has business roots dating back to the formation of California Stevedore & Ballast Co. in 1852 in San Francisco during the California Gold Rush,” added Callahan.
Nautilus International Holding Corp.
Port of Long Beach gets new fire station
LONG BEACH’s newest fire station the first in 22 years was dedicated and opened May 6 on Terminal Island in the Port of Long Beach by city officials and firefighters with a traditional ceremony and tours.
Bagpipes played and firefighters conducted the traditional ceremonial “push-in” of a firetruck into the firehouse bay, signifying the final effort to make Fire Station No. 24 operational.
“Public safety is absolutely a top priority for us,” said Mario Cordero, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, during the dedication ceremony. “You’ll see it in our support of these fire stations, and you’ll see it in our support for these firefighters.”
Built with $11 million from the Port of Long Beach, the station is located at 111 Pier S Ave. on Terminal Island. It’s the fourth within the port boundaries, including two recently upgraded facilities, Fire Station No. 6 next to the Queen Mary and Fire Station No. 20 under the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
There’s also Fire Station No. 15 now under construction, located on Pier F near the port’s Command and Control Center.
Port of Long Beach
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Box traffic grows, still below 2007 levels
CONTAINER TRAFFIC at the nation’s major retail container ports will grow steadily this summer but will nonetheless remain at or below last year’s levels throughout the period, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released May 7.
The report, by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight, cites “the nation’s economic slowdown” as the main factor for the slow growth.
“Import container traffic is forecast to continue to be quite weak through September due to the underlying weakness in consumer demand in the U.S. economy,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy.
U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.16 million TEUs of container traffic in March, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available.
That’s down 4.8% from February traditionally the slowest month of the year and represented the lowest monthly volume since the 1.11 million TEUs imported in February 2006. The number was down 8.5% from March 2007.
April was estimated at 1.28 million TEUs, down 3.2% from a year ago, and May is forecast at 1.31 million TEUs, down 4.8%.
National Retail Federation
San Diego port opposes terminal redevelopment
THE SAN DIEGO Board of Port Commissioners May 6 voted unanimously to oppose a proposed ballot initiative that seeks to amend the San Diego Unified Port District’s master plan to allow hotels, restaurants and possibly a sports stadium at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal cargo facility.
The board unanimously agreed that the initiative threatens the viability of the terminal by allowing non-maritime uses, according to the port.
The board, along with its outside legal counsel, questioned the legality of the initiative while raising a concern that the proposed changes could compromise security at the Tenth Avenue maritime terminal.
The initiative, “The Port of San Diego Marine Freight Preservation and Bay Front Redevelopment Initiative,” was proposed by a group known as San Diego Community Solutions LLC.
The sponsors must obtain at least 75,000 signatures of valid registered voters to qualify the measure for the ballot in November.
The proponents of the initiative were invited to attend today’s meeting but no one was in attendance, the port said.
“Although the initiative title pretends to preserve maritime trade in San Diego, closer analysis reveals something quite different,” Sharon Cloward, the president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, told the board.
San Diego Board of Port Commissioners
DHL opens large hub in Panama
DHL, one of the world’s leading express delivery and logistics company, May 7 announced the inauguration in Panama of “the industry’s largest hub in Central America.”
With the new facility, DHL has increased its capacity to sort up to 5,000 packages per hour, representing a 250% jump from its previous shipping handling capacity, DHL said.
The new DHL hub is “strategically located at Tocumen International Airport in Panama, a country that connects the main poles in the Latin America,” DHL said.
The $4.5-million hub “boasts the infrastructure and capacity needed to efficiently respond to the accelerated rise in international trade, particularly between the U.S. and Central America, which stems from the recent free trade agreements,” the company said.
The 83,000 square-foot center three times larger than the previous facility was designed to optimize space allowing for greater operational and storage areas, which results in increased shipment capacity and improvements in aircraft departure times by 10%, according to DHL.
“DHL has been working to strengthen its aviation network and offer better global connectivity to our customers,” said Neil Ferguson, senior VP, DHL Aviation Americas.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Sea-Tac heralds daily non-stop flights to Beijing
THE PORT OF SEATTLE May 8 welcomed the announcement from Northwest Airlines of their new daily nonstop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Beijing, China, scheduled to begin March 1, 2009.
Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire emphasized the importance of this new service and its potential impact for the state.
“China is Washington state’s number one export market with nearly limitless opportunities for growth,” Gov. Gregoire said during the press conference.
“Northwest Airlines’ new flight will greatly expand our ability to increase trade, tourism, education and cultural exchange with China, bringing new jobs and economic development to our state. It also reinforces Seattle as the gateway to Asia and the Pacific,” she continued.
“We are the most trade dependent state in the country and the Port of Seattle has enjoyed strong ties to China through our seaport. Now, we can begin strengthening our ties with additional direct service to China by our airport,” commented Lloyd Hara, Port of Seattle Commission vice president.
Minneapolis-based Northwest, currently in talks to be acquired by Delta Air Lines, flies three other nonstop international routes from Sea-Tac: Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Tokyo.
Port of Seattle
NW Intermodal Conference set for May 19-20
The Port of Tacoma will host and be principal sponsor of the second annual Northwest Intermodal Conference May 19-20 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, the port announced May 5.
The conference will bring industry experts from across North America in the fields of trade, research, economics, academia and transportation logistics to discuss intermodal business in the Pacific Northwest.
Attendees will learn how shippers and service providers view the port system and the interconnected distribution networks that move their cargo, the port said.
“With our robust rail network served by BNSF Railway, Union Pacific and our region’s own short-line service, Tacoma Rail we are at the epicenter of rail activity in the Pacific Northwest,” said Dick Marzano, Port of Tacoma Commission president.
More than 70 percent of the port’s containerized import cargo is handled by rail, Marzano said.
Speakers include Peter Keller, president, NYK Line North America Inc.; Jack Yen, president, Evergreen Marine Corp.; Gov. William Sheffield, director, Port of Anchorage; and Ed DeNike, president, SSA Containers.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Walter Kemmsies, chief economist, Moffatt & Nichol.
Port of Tacoma
Northwest Intermodal Conference
Schneider commits to be most energy-efficient fleet
Schneider National Inc., a premier provider of transportation, intermodal and logistics services and the nation’s largest truckload carrier, May 8 announced its plans to operate “the most energy-efficient fleet in the industry.”
The effort was announced at a news conference today in Washington, D.C., as the American Trucking Associations unveiled its strategies for minimizing the carbon footprint of the trucking industry.
“Operating an energy-efficient fleet, conserving fuel and minimizing our environmental impact have always been a part of how we conduct business,” said Chris Lofgren, president and CEO of Schneider National.
“Today, we’re announcing our plans to take our efforts to an even higher level,” continued Lofgren.
For example, Lofgren said, Schneider will expand its fuel conservation efforts starting immediately when it voluntarily slows down its fleet to 60 mph.
The environmental impact of just a three-mile-per-hour reduction will reduce the fleet’s consumption of diesel fuel by more than 3.75 million gallons per year and reduce truck CO2 emissions by 83.25 million pounds per year the equivalent of taking 7,259 cars off the nation’s highways, Schneider said.
Schneider National Inc.