Monday, May 12, 2008
Jail for former Qantas VP in price-fixing plea
FORMER QANTAS FreightAmericas VP Bruce McCaffrey agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges in the U.S. for his involvement in the illegal price-fixing of cargo shipments and will serve eight months in jail and pay a $20,000 criminal fine, the U.S. Dept. of Justice announced May 8.
According to charges filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, McCaffrey conspired with others from at least January 2000 to February 2006 to fix rates on air cargo shipments to the U.S. and international customers.
DOJ and antitrust authorities throughout the world have been conducting a wide-ranging probe into air cargo price fixing but McCaffrey becomes the first individual to face actual jail time as a result, the DOJ said.
In February, the airline issued a statement saying, “During this investigation, Qantas learned that the practice adopted by Qantas Freight and the cargo industry generally to fix and impose cargo fuel surcharges is likely to have breached relevant competition laws.”
The DOJ said McCaffrey will cooperate with its ongoing investigation as part of his plea agreement.
U.S. Dept. of Justice
Coast Guard looking for Kodiak oil spill info
The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking information to help find who is responsible for dumping oil in an area between Long Island and Woody Island.
Last week, a local pilot spotted and reported a mile-long oil slick. A Coast Guard helicopter on training was diverted to investigate, but spotted no boats in the vicinity of the spill.
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Lee with the Kodiak Marine Safety Detachment said they’ve been seeing these types of incidents more frequently during the last few months, especially after a heavy rain.
“It’s hard for me to believe that someone would pollute the very waters that so many rely on for their livelihoods and subsistence,” Lee said in an e-mail. Kodiak Daily Mirror
Port of Seattle picks developer for business park
THE PORT OF SEATTLE May 7 announced the selection of the developer for the 89-acre Des Moines Creek Business Park just south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Majestic Realty Co., a privately held real estate development firm based in Southern California, was chosen out of a field of 10 applicants to develop the property with a combination of airport-related uses and a big-box anchor retail development, the port said.
“Majestic Realty’s proposal is very responsive to the objectives of the city of Des Moines and the Port of Seattle for a business park that balances commercial and retail uses that will help grow the city’s tax base and support growth in air cargo,” said Mark Reis, managing director of Sea-Tac Airport.
Majestic Realty’s initial development budget for the project is estimated at $90 million.
The development will include a big-box retail center as well as flexible-use business park buildings able to accommodate airport-adjacent tenants that need the immediate proximity to Sea-Tac Airport for their business (such as freight, avionics manufacturers, air cargo company offices, etc.).
Port of Seattle
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
CN offers new Canadian intermodal service
CN May 12 announced a new intermodal service between the Eastern Québec region, Toronto and Western Canada.
The new CN product will appeal to shippers of heavy products who can load 60,000 pounds in a 40-foot container, which has the equivalent capacity of a 53-foot truck trailer, the company said in its news release.
CN will offer Québec City shippers daily service to Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
"Moving freight by rail for the long haul and truck for the short haul is the most environmentally responsible, efficient and economical transportation choice for shippers," said Stan Jablonski, CN senior VP, sales.
"The service will reduce wear and tear on long-distance truck fleets and extend the environmental benefits of rail to a new group of shippers," Jablonski added.
The new service will also appeal to forest products producers and manufacturers seeking cost-effective transportation to key markets in Ontario and Western Canada, CN said.
BNSF Railway adds to SCIG proposal
BNSF Railway Co. May 8 announced significant enhancements to its proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) based on input from residents, community leaders and elected and port officials.
Matthew K. Rose, chairman, president and CEO of BNSF, commented, "We've spoken one-on-one with more than 200 households near the facility and received feedback from hundreds of key stakeholders."
"We listened to their concerns and are adding several important features to make SCIG the greenest rail facility in the United States," Rose added.
In addition to BNSF's original commitments, which include electric cranes, LNG or equivalent yard tractors and low-emission switch engines, BNSF said that 100% of the truck fleet servicing SCIG will be 2007 or newer upon facility opening.
Trucks serving SCIG will be limited to traveling on specified non-residential truck routes and be equipped with global positioning satellite devices to monitor and enforce compliance, the company said.
BNSF also commits to giving qualified local residents first priority for all new job offers at SCIG and participating in the new CAAP Technology Committee to continually reevaluate alternative cargo movement technology.
BNSF Railway Co.
New president/COO for ProLogis in 2009
ProLogis, the world's largest owner, manager and developer of distribution facilities, May 12 announced that Diane S. Paddison has joined the company as executive director of global operations and will succeed Walter C. Rakowich as the company's president and COO in 2009.
She will assume her new role as executive director of global operations for ProLogis on June 3, 2008.
Paddison is the former president of client accounts, global corporate services, for CB Richard Ellis, the world's largest commercial real estate services company.
At CBRE, Paddison was responsible for a global corporate services business, delivering those services through a 5,000-employee, client-centric account management delivery model.
"Diane's more than 20 years of client-focused real estate services experience makes her an excellent addition to ProLogis' customer-driven culture," said Jeffrey H. Schwartz, ProLogis chairman and CEO.
Paddison, 49, holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
UPS orders largest hybrid truck fleet to date
UPS May 13 announced that it has ordered 200 hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) the largest commercial order of such trucks by any company in addition to another 300 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for its U.S. delivery fleet.
The purchase of the 500 additional vehicles means that the UPS alternative fuel fleet, already the largest such private fleet in the United States, will grow 30%, from 1,718 to 2,218 low-carbon vehicles, UPS said.
“Alternative fuel research and development is just one of the ways that UPS is mitigating climate change risks,” said Bob Stoffel, UPS’s corporate sustainability officer. “We also are focused on aggressive conservation programs and improving network efficiency to cut fuel use.”
UPS’s “green fleet” operates in the U.S., Germany, France, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the U.K. The fleet includes electric, hybrid electric, CNG, liquefied natural gas and propane-powered vehicles.
“UPS has been utilizing alternative fuel vehicles for more than 70 years and is clearly the industry leader in hybrid electric and CNG vehicle purchases,” said Robert Hall, director of UPS’s ground fleet.
K + N fills last lease at AMB Palmetto
AMB PROPERTY Corp., a leading global developer and owner of industrial real estate, May 13 announced that it has fully leased the more than 406,000 sq. ft. AMB Palmetto Distribution Center in Orlando, stabilizing the development months ahead of schedule.
Kuehne + Nagel, a leading global provider of integrated supply chain solutions, leased approximately 141,000 sq. ft. for dedicated distribution and warehousing activities, which will support the Florida operations of an entertainment customer.
The remainder of the development, approximately 265,000 sq.ft., has been leased to a leading consumer electronics retailer.
“We see the southeastern United States experiencing steady demand for logistics real estate, due primarily to an increase of goods shipped through the region’s seaports, as well as a growing population base,” said Gene Reilly, AMB’s president, the Americas.
“At Kuehne + Nagel, we turn the logistics requirements of our customers into their competitive advantage, and AMB understands we call for speed and efficiency from our distribution facilities in order to deliver on this commitment,” commented John Frick, a senior vice president.
AMB Palmetto Distribution Center provides rapid access to the Interstate 4 corridor between Orlando and Tampa Bay, as well as to Highway 27, which is the main access route to south Florida from central Florida.
AMB Property Corp.
Kuehne + Nagel
BNSF buys 198 acres at Dallas Hub
THE ALLEN GROUP May 12 announced the sale of 198 acres of land in the Dallas Logistics Hub to BNSF Railway Co., the nation’s second largest railroad. In conjunction with the sale transaction, the parties entered into an option agreement giving BNSF the right to purchase an additional 164 acres.
The subject property is located in the cities of Lancaster and Dallas and provides more than 9,000 ft. of rail frontage and represents a portion of the 2.5 miles of BNSF track frontage within the Dallas Logistics Hub.
BNSF confirmed the deal but declined to discuss its plans for the land. The price and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Analysts speculate that BNSF will eventually build an intermodal terminal where freight containers could be moved on and off trains.
Dan McAuliffe, president of The Allen Group’s Texas operations, called it “the final seal of approval that this is the location to do business.”
But Patrick Hiatte, a BNSF spokesman, said it would be “inappropriate” to assume the company will build an intermodal facility on the property.
The Allen Group
BNSF Railway Co.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
NOL Q1 profit up 183%
NEPTUNE ORIENT Lines, SE Asia’s largest container shipping company, May 15 announced a net profit of $121 million for the three months ended March 31, up from $43 million a year earlier, a 183% net profit.
Announcing the results, NOL Group President and CEO Dr. Thomas Held said, “At a time of economic uncertainty and unprecedented fuel costs, we have again illustrated the viability of our business model and our strong focus on cost management.”
The earnings reflect NOL’s “premium pricing power and competitive cost advantages, which better positions it to maintain profitability in a slowing environment,” said Sophie Loh, Chin Lim and Pey Herng Yap, analysts at Morgan Stanley, in a May 15 report.
Average freight rates will probably increase by 11.6% this year on expectations that shipping companies will be able to pass most of the higher fuel costs to customers, particularly on trans-Pacific routes, Morgan Stanley estimated.
The Singapore firm, whose APL unit is the world’s eighth-biggest container shipping company, did not comment on the reported possibility that it might buy container line Hapag-Lloyd.
Neptune Orient Lines
CMA CGM expands South America service
CMA CGM announced May 15 that it is launching a new weekly service dedicated to the West Coast of South America, linking Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Costa Rica in the ANDEX service.
Commencing in June 2008, ANDEX will be “100% CMA CGM operated and will deploy three geared vessels with a capacity of 1,100 TEUs,” the company said.
The port rotation will be Balboa (Panama), Buenaventura (Colombia), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Iquique (Chile), Callao (Peru), Buenaventura (Colombia), Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica).
CMA CGM said this new regional service will widen the coverage of its services crossing the Panama Canal and open up new markets, particularly in North Chile and Ecuador.
To this end, the rotation of the SAX service (AsiaPanamaU.S. East Coast) is being redesigned to include calls in Balboa both eastbound and westbound.
“ANDEX allows us to offer new destinations out of Asia and out of the United States and to strengthen our regional coverage in response to growing demand from our customers on the West Coast of South America,” commented Laurent Falguière, VP, Caribbean & Latin America lines.
POLA/POLB offer fuel incentive workshop
THE PORTS OF Los Angeles and Long Beach will hold a workshop on the recently adopted Vessel Main Engine Fuel Incentive Program this Wednesday, May 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Port of Los Angeles Board Room, 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro.
The meeting will be an opportunity for shipping lines, vessel agents, terminal operators and any other interested parties to learn about the Incentive Program’s benefits and enrollment procedures, guidelines and restrictions, the port said.
Additionally, vessel operators will discuss their experiences with low-sulfur fuel.
On March 24, the two ports’ harbor commissioners approved the Incentive Program, which is aimed at accelerating cargo vessel operators’ use of cleaner-burning fuel when transiting within 40 miles of San Pedro Bay and at berth in either port.
As part of the program the ports will earmark nearly $19 million to pay vessel operators to use cleaner-burning, low sulfur fuel in their main propulsion engines.
To qualify for the incentive program, the ships must participate in the ports’ voluntary Vessel Speed Reduction Program
Port staff will be at the workshop to answer questions and take feedback on the program.
Friday, May 16, 2008
LA international trade growth moderate
LOS ANGELES will not experience the huge gains in international trade that characterized the industry in recent years, according to a new study released May 14 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
The total value of imports and exports through the customs district is forecast to reach $365.7 billion, up 4.7 percent from last year, according to the study.
“The days of 10 percent growth in container volumes at the local ports could be gone,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the group. “There are many daunting challenges.”
The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports retained their positions as the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 container ports, respectively. Los Angeles saw a slight decrease in the number of loaded containers handled to 5.74 million units, while Long Beach’s count rose 4.1 percent to 4.99 million containers.
The region’s top import by value in 2007 was electrical equipment, totaling $58.3 billion, and Los Angeles’ top trading partner was China.
The LAEDC expects the county to add nearly 2,000 international trade-related jobs in 2008.
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
CEVA Logistics top partner of Fujitsu Computer
CEVA LOGISTICS, the fourth largest supply chain management company in the world, was recognized recently as “Transportation Partner of the Year” by Fujitsu Computer Products of America Inc.
For the second year in a row, CEVA has emerged as the most valued supply chain partner for one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative computer products.
“Working closely with FCPA, CEVA has developed and executed innovative solutions that provide a higher level of service while removing cost from our model,” said Glenn Wood, senior director, logistics, Fujitsu Computer Products of America.
“The fact that CEVA (formerly EGL) maintained service excellence and enhanced our partnership in the midst of their merger with TNT Logistics is particularly impressive,” added Wood.
FCPA’s service providers were evaluated in the areas of operational execution, cost reduction initiatives, customer service and technology. CEVA’s performance over the measured period earned the highest score since the inception of the award, said the company.
On May 7, Wood presented CEVA with the award at the world Freight Management Headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Teamsters support fuel surcharge bill
The Teamsters Union May 15 urged Congress to pass the Truthful Reliable Understanding of Consumer Costs Act, which would lower fuel costs for non-union truck drivers.
The TRUCC Act would guarantee that truckers who pay for fuel will be reimbursed the full amount of any surcharge levied by shippers.
The bill is sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.
“Non-union owner-operator truck drivers are going broke because of fuel prices,” said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters president. “Since they’re the ones paying for diesel, they’re the ones who should be reimbursed for the entire amount of any fuel surcharge.”
For most non-union truckers who haul containers from U.S. ports or over the road, their brokers or trucking companies refuse to pay for fuel, maintenance and operating expenses, said the union.
“This bill won’t affect our members because their employers pay for fuel directly,” Hoffa said. “Still, we stand in solidarity with truck drivers struggling to make ends meet because they have to bear the entire financial burden of owning and operating their vehicles.”