Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for May 11 - May 15, 2009:
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Top Story

DP World in possible minority stake sale talks

DP World, the largest port operator in the Middle East says its parent company, Dubai World, has received an approach from a private equity group about buying a stake in the company.

A deal could trigger renewed interest in the region’s private equity industry, which has seen buyout deals slow to a trickle since the onslaught of the financial crisis.

The discussions with the private equity company “may or may not result in a transaction regarding a minority stake in DP World”, the Dubai government-owned company said today in a statement posted on the NASDAQ Dubai bourse website.

-The National (Abu Dhabi)

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China Shipping to order dry bulk ships in buyers’ market

China Shipping, the nation's second-biggest sea cargo company, plans to order dry bulk ships this year as prices fall on overcapacity concerns and the global recession.

China Shipping intends to order vessels as prices have fallen following an 81 percent drop in bulk shipping rates in the last 12 months caused by China's waning demand for imports of iron ore and other commodities.

-The Australian

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Canadian Pacific proposes ethanol storage facility on the Hudson

Canadian Pacific Railway and Global Partners are proposing a $14.8 million (€10.8 million) ethanol storage and distribution facility along the Hudson River.

The facility would be based at Global's distribution terminal on the Hudson River just north of the Port of Albany, and adjacent to CP's Kenwood intermodal yards.

The companies are seeking $8.8 million (€6.47 million) in federal stimulus money to help pay for the project.

-Biofuels International

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CMA CGM, Maersk launch North Asia-Black Sea service

CMA CGM and Maersk announced the launch, effective May 20, 2009, of a new joint service linking North Asia and Black Sea.

The Bosphorus Express will be a partnership with Maersk Line, with 10 containerships at 6,500 TEUS each, of which five would be CMA CGM vessels.

Rotation will be:

Dalian, Tianjin, Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Taipei, Chiwan, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Aqaba, Port Said, Damietta, Istanbul Evyap, Istanbul Ambarli, Constanza, Illichivsk, Odessa, Damietta, Port Said, Port Kelang, Tanjung Pelepas, Dalian.

The first vessel to be deployed on the new service will be the CMA CGM Baudelaire leaving Dalian on May 20.

WWL names new larger, greener vessel

Wallenius Wilmenson Logistics said it named one of its largest and most environmentally adapted car and truck carrying vessels today in Melbourne, Australia.

The MV Tijuca’s sponsor is Mrs. Andrea Schrempp, wife of Wolfgang D Schrempp, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific.

Built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in Korea for owner, the MV Tijuca has carrying capacity of up to 8 000 cars or a combination of 3 486 cars and 466 trucks/buses, the shipping line said.

The new ship replaces an older, smaller vessel in the WWL Australia service, with increased capacity for high and heavy rolling cargoes such as agricultural, mining and construction machinery and non-containerized and static cargoes such as power generation and mining equipment, the company said. The new vessel’s service will offer six sailings per month from Europe, including four direct from North America, WWL said.

The new vessel will, according to the owner, reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent per transported unit, as well as reducing emissions of SOx and particulate matters. The ship also has a very low NOx emission engine that is able to use bunkers with as low as 1 percent of sulphur content, improving performance, and reducing NOx emissions 35 percent below current international regulations, WWL said.

The new ship also has what the company terms “a state-of-the-art ballast water treatment system” using biodegradable oil in all hydraulic systems, and using an effective Marinfloc Bilge Water Flocculant Plant system, which exceeds current international regulations. The MV Tijuca has a Green Passport.

Boeing submits proposal to USAF for KC-10 logistics support

Boeing today submitted a proposal to the U.S. Air Force to continue providing Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for the KC-10 Extender fleet. The Air Force is expected to name the winner of the contract later this year.

KC-10 CLS includes depot-level maintenance and modifications, supply-chain management and other critical support tasks for the Extender, an Air Mobility Command tanker/cargo aircraft that has played a prominent role in anti-terrorist and humanitarian operations around the world.

-Defense Professionals

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Top Story

Maersk may post first full-year loss in half-century

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, owner of the world’s largest container line, may post a full-year loss for the first time in at least half a century after freight rates declined because of falling trade.

Maersk had a first-quarter net loss, including minority interests, of 2.13 billion kroner ($390 million) compared with profit of 5.22 billion kroner a year earlier, the Copenhagen-based company said in a stock-exchange statement today. The loss was wider than the 821 million-krone median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales dropped 12 percent to 63 billion kroner.


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NOL posts $245 mil Q1 net loss

Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (N03.SG) Tuesday said that it posted a first quarter net loss of US$245 million as the current economic slowdown crimped global trade.

The latest earnings were marginally higher than the first quarter earnings guidance NOL issued last month. On April 17, NOL said that it estimated a first- quarter net loss of US$240 million.

During the first quarter last year, NOL posted a net profit of US$120.7 million.

-Dow Jones newsier

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PANYNJ first quarter cargo traffic down 17.4 percent

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reported declines in its transportation operations and facilities, including a 17.4 percent drop in cargo traffic at its seaport.

The port authority said the declines “are due primarily to the economy, including job losses on Wall Street and throughout the New York-New Jersey region, as well as the global financial downturn that is impacting everything from tourism to international cargo to and from the port.”

During the first quarter of 2009,the port reported the following business impacts:

• Passenger traffic at the region’s airports was down 11.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008, and air cargo dropped 29.8 percent;

• Bridge and tunnel traffic was down 5.4 percent. Automobile traffic was down 4.9 percent, truck traffic declined 11.6 percent, and buses using the crossings dropped 3 percent. The biggest impact was felt at the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, traditional crossings for commuters going to and from Manhattan jobs;

• On PATH trains, rider-ship declined 2.3 percent, the first quarterly decline on PATH since the fourth quarter of 2003;

• Cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey declined 17.4 percent, representing the biggest quarterly drop in more than 15 years;

The port authority said its overall fiscal health “remained sound, with the majority of the port authority’s revenue coming from what it termed “stable leases and fees.” The port said it has already instituted measures to reduce expenses, including a zero growth operating budget in 2009.

Airbus reports 40 percent earnings drop for Q1

Battered by a significant charge for a stalled military freight plane and fewer deliveries of commercial Airbus jets, the European aerospace company, reported a 40 percent drop in first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

The company, European Aeronautic Defense and Space or EADS, said net profit in the first three months of the year fell to 170 million euros, or $230.76 million, from 285 million euros in the same period in 2008. EADS has taken a hit as the recession has sapped global demand for commercial air travel and undermined its customers’ ability to pay for new planes.

-New York Times

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Taiwan eases logistics center set-up requirements

Taiwan on Monday eased requirements on both domestic and overseas companies seeking to set up logistics centers as part of its efforts to become a regional logistics hub, the Department of Customs Administration, under the Ministry of Finance, said Tuesday.

Companies seeking to set up logistics centers on the island now need a minimum paid-in capital of NT$150 million (US$4.56 million), down from NT$200 million previously, the department said.

-Dow Jones newswire

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First Data launches PayCargo for shipping industry

First Data announced the launch of PayCargo for the maritime shipping industry. The online freight payment system has already been use in air cargo industry, First Data said.

The PayCargo system is an electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) tool, First Data said.

According to a study by Aberdeen Group, companies pay an average of $18 to process an invoice, and some companies pay $40 or more, First Data said. Disputes can cost up to an additional $15 in personnel expenses due to ongoing long-distance phone calls,
e-mails, and fax charges between the shipper and carrier to approve, question, and dispute payments and deal with last minute exceptions. The company says its PayCargo solution simplifies the payment process and manages disputes within a single web-based system.

Econocaribe Consolidators, a non-vessel operating common carrier, has signed an agreement with PayCargo after seeing initial success with a pilot project. President John Abisch said: "Disputes are a major issue in this industry. PayCargo gives people on both sides of a transaction insight into the billing so issues can be addressed and payment can be made efficiently."

First Data says its PayCargo system has no setup or membership fees, and minimal capital expenditure by either carriers or shippers.

Crowley christens Alaska tug

Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime announced the christening of its1,362 horsepower, triple-screw diesel powered tug Nachik, in Nome, Alaska.

The Nachik will move petroleum and freight barges throughout Alaska, and will be joined by its sister vessel, Sesok, later this month, Crowley said.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Top Story

Long Beach council unanimous in support of Middle Harbor project

The Long Beach City Council met for almost six hours, giving its unanimous support for the $750 million Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project with a 9-0 vote, thus denying four appeals filed against the Port of Long Beach environmental impact report (EIR).

The cities of Riverside and Commerce, and two coalitions representing environmental, along with community groups, had challenged the EIR.

The 10-year Middle Harbor Project includes the upgrade of two aged container terminals that the port says would more than double cargo capacity, add 14,000 new jobs, including nearly 1,000 construction jobs annually, and cut air pollution 50 percent from current levels.

Freight Transportation Services Index fell 3.3 percent from Feb to March

The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 3.3 percent in March from its February level, falling to its lowest level in more than six years, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported.

The March decrease was the largest monthly drop for any month since March 2000.

The 3.6 percent decline in the first three months of 2009 is the second largest in the last decade, exceeded only by a 4.8 percent decline for the first three months of 2000, the BTS said.

The March level of the Freight TSI of 101.4 is the lowest since May 2002 when it was 101.1. The Freight TSI is down 10.4 percent from its historic peak of 113.1 reached in November 2005.

The freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire freight transportation industries. The index consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

The 6.4 percent decline from March 2008 to March 2009 was the largest March-to-March decline in the 20 years for which the TSI is calculated, the BTS said.

With the March decrease, the index is down 7.7 percent in the five years from March 2004, the fourth consecutive month in which the index declined for a five-year period. The index is down 1.3 percent in 10 years for the first ever 10-year decline in the 20-year history of TSI data.

General Mills plans $42 mil distribution center in Georgia

Gov. Sonny Perdue says General Mills is planning a 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center in Social Circle, where it will invest $42 million and create 112 jobs.

The governor says General Mills will contract with a third-party provider to staff and run the distribution center in Walton County. The facility will distribute General Mills products throughout the Southeast.

-Macon Telegraph

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Radioactive substance found on Air France flight

An Air France airbus headed for Mumbai that turned back to Paris mid-flight on Sunday was carrying a small quantity of the mildly radioactive substance Yttrium-90 in its cargo.

Concerned about the sensitive shipment, airline officials decided to recall Flight AF 218 to Paris after the captain heard a thud from the hold of the aircraft and felt some vibrations.

Checks at Paris, however, later confirmed that the Yttrium-90 cargo was intact, and not to blame for the incident.

-Mumbai Mirror

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“The Box” arrives in Yokohama on NYK ship

A container arrived in Yokohama on April 28 on board the NYK Clara, and it wasn’t any old container – it was “The Box;” so dubbed by the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) since its departure in September 2008.

The unique BBC project is to tell the story of international trade and globalization by tracking a standard shipping container around the world for about a year.

The Container Shipping Information Service (CSIS) is working in collaboration with the BBC on this project, and NYK, as a member of the CSIS, carried the box on its most current leg, from Santos, Brazil, to Yokohama.

The box began its voyage from Southampton, U.K. last year, and has since traveled to a number of countries around the world. On this particular journey, the box arrived in Yokohama filled with foodstuffs.

The Container Shipping Information Service (CSIS) is an organization formed in 2007, is composed of 23 of the largest container shipping companies across the world. The CSIS was formed to give the global container shipping industry a voice with which to communicate with the world.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Top Story

Columbia River deepening project lands $26.6 mil

The project to deepen the Columbia River from 40 feet to 43 feet deep could be completed by spring of 2010, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers upon the announcement from U.S. Senator Patty Murray that $26.6 million in stimulus funding would be allocated towards the project.

The latest funding is courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Columbia River channel was reportedly not to be included in the list of ARRA projects, but Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said she pushed for the channel funds.

"This is a big victory for our state and the entire Northwest," said Senator Murray. "After years and years of work, we are now on the verge of ensuring the Columbia River remains the economic engine of the Northwest. A deeper channel will enable us to accommodate the modern fleet of larger ships, which will help save jobs and keep our state's goods moving. Funding the completion of this efforts is exactly the kind of project the Economic Recovery Act was designed to support."

The ARRA funding will be used primarily for one mile of rock removal near St. Helens, Oregon.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began deepening the Columbia River Navigation Channel in June 2005. As of January 2009, the Corps had deepened more than 80 percent of the navigation channel. Funding has reportedly been appropriated to complete the rest of the deepening work and all the environmental features on the Columbia River.

Statistics reported by the Columbia River Channel Coalition claim regional businesses and farmers would see $18.8 million in annual transportation savings, and 6,000 tons more cargo could be loaded per ship with a 43-foot deep channel.

Suburban leaders in Chicago call on Obama in railway fight

Several suburban state legislators and mayors called on President Barack Obama Wednesday to fill a vacancy on a federal regulatory board with someone sympathetic to their opposition to more freight trains in their communities.

The board in December approved the Canadian National Railway's acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern line through their suburbs. Canadian National purchased the line to divert freight traffic around Chicago's congested rail corridor.

-Chicago Tribune

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Global regulatory pact on ship recycling should pass on Friday

After more than five years of negotiations, delegates from 64 countries reached broad consensus here Thursday on a new international agreement regulating the recycling of ships. They scheduled a final meeting Friday to approve and sign the pact.

The new agreement, the International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, requires all vessels to carry detailed, regularly updated inventories of hazardous materials throughout their years of service, and for this information to be provided to recycling facilities.

-New York Times

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First Sakhalin LNG delivered to India

Gazprom Marketing & Trading affiliate Gazprom Global LNG on May 1 delivered the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Sakhalin, Russia to India. The cargo was bought by Total Gas & Power and was discharged at the Hazira regasification terminal
in Gujarat.

-Energy Current

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Wartsila to cut up to 450 jobs

Finnish engineer Wartsila Oyj said on Thursday it would trim the 1,300-strong workforce at its key ship engine unit by up to one third due to a sharp fall in demand, but stuck to its 2009 forecasts.

Wartsila said it would cut 400-450 jobs at the unit, aiming to cut annual costs by 30 million euros ($40.9 million).


For the full story:

Combined naval task force foils piracy attack

Ships from Combined Task Force 151 prevented a piracy attack in the Gulf of Aden, which resulted in the apprehension of more than a dozen suspected pirates aboard an alleged "mothership" May 13.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., the Republic of Korea Destroyer, ROKS Munmu the Great and guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg responded to a distress call from the Egyptian-flagged Motor Vessel Amira, which reported being attacked approximately 75 nautical miles south of Al Mukalla, Yemen.

-U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

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Transite lands Pergo

Transite Technology announced it has been signed the flooring company Pergo Inc., to handle its North American transportation and shipping processes.

“Pergo is aggressive in implementing ways to reduce cost and strengthen our organizational capabilities,” said David Rawls, director of transportation at Pergo. “Transportation management is an area where smart application of the right technologies and services can yield quick results both in process efficiencies and expense reductions.”

Pergo said it would use Transite’s My Freight Portal, Contract Manager and additional products and services.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Top Story

Secretary LaHood announces $1.5 billion in TIGER grants

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the U.S. Department of Transportation would make available $1.5 billion in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grants for capital investment in surface transportation projects.

The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area and can create jobs and benefit economically distressed areas, the DOT said.

“TIGER discretionary funding will open up the door to many new innovative and cutting-edge transportation projects,” said Secretary LaHood. “This is exciting news and I believe that these projects will promote greater mobility, a cleaner environment and more livable communities.”

The DOT said the grants could range from $20 million up to $300 million to support high impact transportation projects. Secretary LaHood said he could waive the minimum grant requirement for beneficial projects in smaller cities, regions or states. The DOT said it would “require rigorous economic justifications for projects over $100 million. To ensure responsible spending, the department will require all fund recipients to report on their activities on a routine basis.”

The DOT said primary selection criteria includes: contributing to the medium- to long-term economic competitiveness of the nation; improving the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems; improving the quality of living and working environments through livable communities; improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and improving the safety of U.S. transportation facilities.

The DOT said it would also give priority to projects that are expected to quickly create and preserve jobs and stimulate rapid increases in economic activity, especially projects that could benefit economically distressed areas.

The DOT said applications for TIGER discretionary grants must be submitted by September 15, 2009, from state and local governments, including U.S. territories, tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities and others. Comments on the criteria must be received by June 1, 2009.

Other potential suitors emerge for Virginia terminals

Several private companies have contacted the Virginia Port Authority expressing interest in acquiring the operating rights of the state-owned port terminals in Hampton Roads, the port's top official confirmed Thursday.

At least five U.S.-based companies have expressed at least a passing interest in submitting proposals to rival an unsolicited bid by Chicago-area based industrial real estate firm CenterPoint Properties Trust to lease the operations of the port's operations, said Jerry A. Bridges, the port authority's executive director.

APM Terminals Inc., which operates a $450 million marine terminal in Portsmouth and recently moved its North American headquarters to Hampton Roads, has emerged as a potential suitor.

So has Ports America, which along with an affiliate of Mediterranean Shipping Co., was awarded in March a 50-year lease on five berths at the Port of Oakland, Calif.

-Daily Press

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Report: DHS appt. of APL exec under scrutiny

The Department of Homeland Security says it is reviewing a last-minute Bush administration appointment of a shipping industry executive and registered lobbyist to serve on a government maritime security board, even as his company faced serious allegations of defrauding the U.S. military in war zones.

The appointment of Earl Agron, vice president of security for American President Lines Ltd. (APL), has raised questions in part because he continues to lobby on issues under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard's Maritime Security Advisory Committee - the same committee on which he now serves, according to the company's April 17 filing with the secretary of the Senate.

-Washington Times

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Port of Tacoma to announce layoffs

The Port of Tacoma plans to notify people Monday about whether their jobs have been eliminated as the organization shrinks to correspond with a decline in business.

The reductions will come through both voluntary buyouts and layoffs. The port employs 255 people.

Port Executive Director Tim Farrell has said that the port could cut up to 50 positions, according to port staff and a few port commissioners. Farrell hasn’t announced that publicly.

-The News Tribune

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Egypt holds Russian wheat at Red Sea port

Egypt has quarantined 52,501 tons of Russian wheat at the Red Sea port of Safaga for quality control reasons, but is not holding any other wheat, an agriculture ministry official said on Thursday.

Egypt's state news agency had said on Wednesday that the state prosecutor had ordered the seizure of all Russian wheat for checks over health concerns after a complaint that spoiled wheat had entered Safaga port without proper approvals.

-World Bulletin

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Biodiesel shipments begin out Port of Milwaukee

New York-based Innovation Fuels, a renewable energy company that manufactures, markets, and distributes second-generation biodiesel to customers around the world, announced that it has begun selling biodiesel to customers from its Midwestern renewable fuels hub at the Port of Milwaukee.

The company's 312,000-barrel (45,000 metric tons) capacity terminal at the Port of Milwaukee is located on ten acres. The terminal is the first in the country that is totally dedicated for the sale and distribution of renewable fuels, the company said.

-Milwaukee Biz-Times

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U.S., Korean destroyers capture 17 pirates

An American guided missile cruiser teamed up with a South Korean destroyer yesterday to capture 17 pirates who were attacking an Egyptian ship off Yemen, U.S. Navy officials announced Thursday.

The U.S. 5th Fleet reported finding a rusty old dhow being used as a pirate mother ship to attack shipping lanes.

A boarding team from the Gettysburg searched the ship, finding eight assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a rocket-propelled grenade.

The Somali pirates were being interrogated aboard the Gettysburg Thursday.

-New York Daily News

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