Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for May 18 - May 22, 2009:
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Top Story

New COSCO, MOL shipping services

A major Asian shipping line is sending its first ships to a U.S. Southeast port while another introduces a service to the West Coast from Vietnam.

The Georgia Port Authority announced the first China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) vessel to call at the port arrived on May 10 at the Garden City Terminal.

Prior to the call of the MV Zhen He, COSCO cargo moved through the port as part of the CKYH Alliance that also includes K-Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin.

"COSCO recognizes the importance of providing our customer with the most options in selecting a gateway for their cargo from Asia” said Howard Finkel, COSCO’s vice president of trade. “By adding Savannah as a port of call for our vessels, we have enhanced our customers’ ability to reach the consumer markets faster and at a lower cost. The already established growing number of distribution facilities in proximity to the Port of Savannah represents a new and exciting market opportunity to grow our business," he said.

Meanwhile, Japanese shipping group Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) announced a new direct service from Vietnam to the U.S. West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Oakland via its Pacific Southwest Express (PSX) service.

"MOL is very pleased to be able to offer its customers direct service from the emerging Vietnam market. By providing direct line-haul service, customers can be confident that their cargo will be moved quickly and economically, without concern for feeder misconnections," said Richard Hiller, vice president transpacific trade, MOL (America).

The new service will utilize Vietnam's Tan Cang Cai Mep Terminal, MOL said.

Westbound, the MOL Premium will be the first to sail from Cai Mep in Vietnam on June 4. The rotations will be-Cai Mep (Wed/Thurs), Hong Kong (Sun/Sun), Shenzhen-Yantian (Mon/Tues), Los Angeles (Sat/Tues), Oakland (Wed/Thurs), Tokyo (Sun/Mon), Xiamen (Thurs), Shenzhen-Dachan Bay (Fri/Sat) and Hong Kong (Sat/Sun) returning to Cai Mep (Wed).

Transit time from Cai Mep to Los Angeles will be 16 days, MOL said. The service would also provide the shortest transit time of 11 days from Shenzhen-Yantian to Los Angeles, the carrier said.

Senate bill aims to increase non-highway freight by 10 percent

S1036, a bill just introduced in Congress which aims to increase use of non-highway, intermodal freight by 10 percent by 2020 has kicked up a lot of dust lately.

Rail coalitions and other groups are lauding it while trucking groups point out the problem of changing the distribution and supply chain network by which 70 percent of the nation’s goods are moved.

It was introduced by Senators Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who serves on the Appropriations and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees and is chairman of the Commerce Committee.

-The Trucker

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DHL opens $12.9 million Hong Kong fashion distribution center

DHL announced it has opened a 120,000 square-foot distribution center called the DHL Fashion Competency Center at a cost $12.9 million in Hong Kong's Kowloon District.

"Despite the economic slowdown, speed to market remains crucial for this business to stay competitive," said DHL global forwarding CEO Hermann Ude. "The fashion and apparel industry is Hong Kong's second-largest export commodity worth over $26 billion, after electronics."

The fashion sector represented 16 percent of total exports from the region January to February. In 2008, the European Union accounted for 36.5 percent of total fashion exports, valued at $10 billion. Exports to Finland, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. from Hong Kong represented 35.6 percent at nearly the same value, DHL said.

Hong Kong's total airfreight export for the fashion and apparel sector amounted to more than 130,000 tons while ocean freight export amounted to more than 270,000 TEUs in 2008. The airfreight and ocean freight export of the sector is expected to reach over 124,000 tons and 276,000 tons, respectively in 2009, said DHL.

The fashion center investment is part DHL's expansion in the fashion industry, the company said. Earlier this year, the DHL launched its Fashion Center of Excellence in India and another in Sri Lanka. In April, it inaugurated a DHL Leadership Dialogue Series in Hong Kong that saw participation from leading global fashion brands.

MISC to quit Grand Alliance; exits Asia-Europe for intra-Asia

Malaysia's MISC Berhad informed its Grand Alliance partners NYK, Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL it is going to quit the consortium on January 1, abandoning the Asia-Europe trade.

MISC said it would withdraw Asia-Europe to focus on developing intra-Asia trades where it said it plans to become a leading player.

MISC has participated in five of the Grand Alliance's Asia-Europe loops, EU1, EU2, EU3, EU4 and the Asia-Europe Express (AEX).

FedEx Express adds CryoPort frozen shipment solution

CryoPort Systems, Inc. and FedEx Express announced both companies have signed an agreement to provide a frozen shipment solution for the life science industry.

The CryoPort Express Shipper allows for products to remain frozen at temperatures below -150C for up to 10 days, unlike dry ice shipping, which often requires re-icing during transit, the company claimed.

CryoPort also claims customers can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and landfill disposal issues associated with traditional dry ice methods.

"This new frozen shipping solution significantly enhances our customers' product integrity versus the traditional dry ice and over pack solution," said Jerry Beyl, FedEx vice president of worldwide services. "We are very pleased to add this innovative solution to the FedEx suite of life science industry offerings."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top Story

Boeing delivers first 777 freighter to new Lufthansa-DHL joint venture

Boeing announced the delivery of the first 777 Freighter to Deucalion Capital and its customer AeroLogic GmbH on May 12. AeroLogic, formed in 2007 and based in Leipzig, Germany, is a new cargo company joint venture between Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express and will operate a fleet exclusively deploying the new 777 Freighter, Boeing said. Deucalion Capital and its customer AeroLogic currently have eight 777 Freighters on order.

"It is a truly historic day for everyone at AeroLogic and it is a great feeling to take delivery of our first Boeing 777 Freighter," said Thomas Pusch, managing director of AeroLogic GmbH. "The 777 Freighter is the perfect airplane for a start-up cargo operation such as ourselves; its combination of reliability and efficiency will allow us to quickly establish the company as a leading force in the industry."

Boeing says the 777 Freighter is the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter and features the lowest trip cost of any large freighter, with high cargo density and 10-foot interior height capability.

The 777 Freighter can fly up to 4,885 nautical miles with a full payload of 226,800 pounds, Boeing said.

Aerologic will use Boeing's Airplane Health Management Fault Monitoring and Maintenance Performance Toolbox to manage its 777 Freighters. These systems will give the operator a real-time fault-management tool to identify maintenance needs and communicate with ground teams to enable maintenance operations and address potential issues, while managing technical publications and training, and customizing online maintenance manuals, Boeing said.

The 777 Freighter is powered by General Electric's GE90-110B1 and meets QC2 noise standards. Eleven customers have ordered a total of 72 777 Freighters.

Some Wash. State growers consider airfreight out of Canada

Washington state cherry growers who depend on passenger flights to transport perishable crops are so concerned about potential delays related to new cargo screening rules that they're considering flying their shipments out of less-restrictive Canada.

Growers and shippers of highly perishable crops like cherries worry that a new requirement that all cargo on U.S. passenger flights undergo a security scan could create huge delays, leaving crops to rot in hangars as they await inspection.


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North Charleston mayor threatens lawsuit against rail expansion

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey is prepared to take lawmakers to court if they send an edict that would cause more railroads to run through his city, and he is planning to rally as many as 500 people to Park Circle tonight in protest.

In the session's three remaining days, the Legislature is expected to pass a law to overhaul the governance at the State Ports Authority. The bill, as it's drafted now, also includes a provision that is intended to open up access to the region's two major rail carriers by transferring ownership of a rail line and right of way at the north end of the former Charleston Naval Base.

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Chinese manufacturer developing electric rail cars for coal transport

The Chinese company Harbin Electric, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of electric motors, announced it has signed an agreement with a domestic Maglev technology company to co-develop a linear motor-driven freight train system for coal transportation. Under the agreement, the initial phase of the project is to build 850 meters of testing line in a coalmine in Inner Mongolia.

Once the testing line is validated, the project is expected to expand to a 32-km-long coal transportation line. Harbin Electric said it would provide linear motor driving systems including the motors' primary and secondary components for the entire transportation line. For the initial testing line, Harbin said it would deliver 5 linear motors to be integrated with the train along with a total of 850-meter long secondary components to be installed on the train track before the end of June 2009.

Wal-Mart names Con-Way top LTL provider

Con-way announced it was named Wal-Mart’s top provider of LTL freight transportation services based on an evaluation of key performance criteria that included daily on-time delivery performance, market coverage, transit times, claims prevention, effective communication and ease of doing business and customer service.

Con-way Freight "has set itself apart from other carrier partners in the industry by going above and beyond to service our customers," said Kelly Abney, vice president of transportation for Wal-Mart. "Walmart realizes the continued pressure and challenges facing the transportation industry. Your ability to rise above these obstacles has won our utmost trust and confidence. We look forward to a long and rewarding partnership."

Wal-Mart launched its carrier award program in 1997 to recognize the outstanding contributions of its transportation providers in categories including truckload, LTL, small package, produce and intermodal.

The company previously honored Con-way Freight as its LTL Carrier of the Year in 2005 and 2007, and for its leadership in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Overseas Shippers Association taps GT Nexus platform

GT Nexus announced it has been awarded a contract to provide a global transportation management platform for the Overseas Shippers Association (OSA).

OSA provides commercial services to a group of international household goods removal and relocation companies. The association manages container freight volumes in excess of 80,000 TEUs on behalf of 180 companies worldwide, GT Nexus said.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Top Story

Port of Long Beach approves $881 million budget

Environmental programs will be maintained as other costs are reduced according to the $881 million fiscal 2010 budget approved by the Port of Long Beach harbor commission yesterday.

The fiscal year 2010 budget, which covers October 2009 through September 2010, calls for a reduction in port spending by $139 million, or 13.6 percent, from the fiscal year 2009 spending plan. However, the new budget includes $369 million for capital projects to modernize terminals, cut air pollution and improve traffic flow on roads and railways.

More than $96 million is designated for environmental programs, including $26 million for electrification of berths so ships can plug in and shut down diesel engines, the port said.

A major factor that differentiates the budgets of fiscal 2009 and 2010, according to the port, is what it termed “the evolution of the Clean Trucks Program.”

Initially conceived as a mostly port-funded enterprise, the port said the program has turned out in the current fiscal year to be based mostly on private transactions, due to changes in Clean Truck Fee exemptions.

Overall, the port said it has tailored the new budget in line with the economic realities of the global cargo-shipping slowdown. Already, based on the first half of the current fiscal year, the port said it is expecting a 16 percent decline in operating revenue from the previous year.

“Despite the downturn, the port’s financial outlook is still strong. Thanks to years of sound fiscal management, we are able to continue to pursue the major projects that will allow this Port to modernize its facilities and reduce its environmental impact,” said James C. Hankla, president of the board of harbor commissioners.

Environmental projects in the budget include: $26 million for shore power projects on six piers; $5 million for the development of clean-air technology; and $5 million for potential wetlands restoration projects at the Colorado Lagoon and Los Cerritos Wetlands. The port said the wetlands projects are planned as partnerships with city and state agencies and local citizens groups.

Other highlights of the budget include: $27 million for spending on Clean Air Action Plan projects; approximately $54 million for the first phase of construction on the 10-year Middle Harbor Redevelopment project; $26.4 million to develop plans for the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge.

The port said it would also continue to seek state and federal funding for this $1.1 billion proposed project.

The port also budgeted approximately $68 million for security projects including $20 million for security technology and communications systems and $6 million to participate in programs to implement the Transportation Worker Identification Credential federal security system.

The port said its largest source of funding, container terminal revenue, is expected to be $307 million in fiscal year 2010. Due to the decline in cargo shaping up throughout 2008-2009, the port said it began implementing mid-year reductions, including cuts to travel, overtime and hiring.

Japanese stocks rise with gains on oil and shipping fees

Japanese stocks rose as domestic production figures pointed to a bottoming of the economy and resource companies gained on oil and shipping fees. T&D Holdings Inc. led insurers lower after posting a worse-than-forecast loss.

Mitsubishi Corp., a trading company that gets more than half its profit from commodities, jumped 5 percent as Goldman, Sachs & Co. recommended the stock. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s No. 3 shipping line, added 4.7 percent as commodity shipping fees advanced for a 13th session. T&D Holdings, the nation’s biggest listed life insurer, plunged 15 percent.

Japan’s gross domestic product shrank an annualized 15.2 percent in the three months to March 31, the Cabinet Office said today. Economists had estimated a 16.1 percent contraction.


For the full story:

UP chief reiterates possible freight stabilization

Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) Chief Executive Jim Young reiterated his view Wednesday that a steep decline in freight volumes may have stabilized a bit, but he voiced little optimism regarding prospects for a 2009 rebound.

Union Pacific's car-loadings early in the second quarter are down about 25% compared to the same period last year, Young said. But the decline doesn't mark a major acceleration from the first quarter's 21% volume slide.

Meanwhile, Young said a variety of factors - including extremely low inventories - could help firm up freight shipments in the second half. He also noted that higher oil prices could help coal volumes.

-CNN/Dow Jones

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Grand Alliance merges JCX and SCX services into one loop

Grand Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) announced they have agreed to merge the SCX (South China Sea Express) and the JCX (Japan China Express) into a single loop. The new service will take effect from May 25, 2009, sailing from Thailand.

Grand Alliance customers will be offered the same port coverage options under the new service, the consortium said. One additional vessel at 6,200-TEU capacity will be added on the SCX service, and Japanese ports previously covered on the JCX will be covered by the upgraded SCX service, the group said.

Kaohsiung will be transferred to the Super Shuttle Express (SSX) service on the trans-Pacific eastbound call, while the westbound call on SCX will remain unchanged, the group said.

Port rotation for both services are:

Laem Chabang/ Singapore/ Kobe/ Nagoya/ Tokyo/ Sendai/ Los Angeles/ Oakland/ Tokyo/ Nagoya/ Kobe/ Kaohsiung/ Shekou/
Laem Chabang

SSX Shekou/ Yantian/ Hong Kong/ Kaohsiung/ Long Beach/ Kaohsiung/ Xiamen/ Hong Kong/ Shekou.

Finnish transport minister rejects Russian intermodal proposal

The Finnish hauliers' lobby on Monday joined Anu Vehviläinen, the transport minister, in rejecting a proposal by Russia's Federal Customs Service to shift most of the country's container shipping off the roads and onto the railways and vessels.

Russian Customs have proposed shipping containers in excess of 20 feet directly to Russian ports or by rail through neighbouring countries like Finland.

Ms. Vehviläinen said the Russian proposal flew in the face of World Trade Organization principles, adding she had written to her Russian opposite number, Igor Levitin, about the issue.

-Helsinki Times

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Mexico trucker busted hauling 23,000 pounds of marijuana

A tractor-trailer driver hauling onions between Mazatlan and Tijuana was also carrying a hidden cargo of nearly 23,000 pounds of marijuana, the Mexican military announced yesterday.

The 5,114 seized marijuana packages are worth about $4.7 million, the military reported.

-San Diego Union-Tribune

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Penn. Governor resigns as Delaware River port chairman

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has resigned as chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority, the two-state agency that operates bridges between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Rendell appointed his former chief of staff, John Estey, to succeed him for a five-year term.

Estey, an attorney, is chairman of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and board chairman of the Independence Visitor Center Corp.

-Philadelphia Enquirer

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TC PipeLines to acquire North Baja Pipeline from TransCanada Corp.

TC PipeLines, LP announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire North Baja Pipeline, LLC from TransCanada Corporation.

"The acquisition of North Baja from TransCanada provides the partnership with a high quality asset offering supply diversity and long-term contracts, stable earnings and solid cash flow," said Russ Girling, chairman and chief executive officer of TC PipeLines GP, Inc. "The restructuring of the General Partner Incentive Distribution Rights better positions the Partnership to pursue future acquisitions and expansion projects by reducing our cost of capital." Girling added, "The sale of North Baja, the restructuring of the Incentive Distribution Rights and the increased ownership of TransCanada all position the Partnership to potentially play a greater role in the financing of TransCanada's C$19 billion capital program."

The North Baja Pipeline System is an 80-mile natural gas pipeline that extends from Southwestern Arizona to a point on the California/Mexico border and connects with a natural gas pipeline system in Mexico. North Baja consists of 30 and 36-inch diameter pipeline with a capacity of 600 million cubic feet per day and is underpinned by long-term contracts extending, on average, to 2026.

Truck freight might be bottoming out

NEW YORK. Truck freight may be showing the first signs of a turnaround after 39 months of depressed freight volumes including sharp declines since last October, according to truckload executives addressing an audience of financial analysts here. Major LTL carriers, however, reported no changes in freight levels, which have been consistently dropping since December.

-Fleet Owner

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MeadWestvaco partners with Rockefeller Group on SC distribution space

MeadWestvaco Corp. has partnered with the Rockefeller Group in that company’s plans to build about 2.7 million square feet of distribution space in the Jedburg area.

Terms of the agreement between MeadWestvaco and Rockefeller were not disclosed.

New-York based Rockefeller has been planning to build four buildings for logistics use on roughly 400 acres in Berkeley County, one part of a massive logistics park project off Interstate 26 intended to serve the Port of Charleston.

-Charleston Regional Business Journal

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Foss honored with Puget Sound environmental award

Foss Maritime Company was honored as the Port of Seattle's and Propeller Club's Marine Environmental Business of the Year award at the 2009 Seattle Maritime Festival luncheon.

Environmental, maritime industry, and federal and state government officials were part of the committee that selected Foss, which reportedly edged out four other companies for the prestigious honor.

"Environmental stewardship is a core value of our company," said Gary Faber, Foss president and COO. "To win the Marine Environmental Business of the Year award, here in Puget Sound where our company was established more than a century ago, is a great honor for all of us at Foss."

The committee recognized Foss for its commitment to reducing its carbon and emissions footprints and adhering to the principles of sustainability and safety in its operations.

Earlier this year, Foss introduced the world’s first low-emissions hybrid tugboat.

The award was presented by Gael Tarleton, commissioner, Port ofSeattle.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Top Story

Retail leaders support Senate hearing on U.S.-Panama trade agreement

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced support of the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.

“RILA applauds Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Republican Charles Grassley (R-IA) for pressing forward with an ambitious trade agenda that will provide meaningful benefits to consumers, workers and businesses in the United States and in Panama,” said Stephanie Lester, RILA’s vice president for international trade.

The free trade agreement with Panama was signed by the U.S. and Panama on June 28, 2007 but RILA said it has “since languished, along with free trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea, failing to gain approval from Congress. Meanwhile our trading partners – many of whom who have industries that directly compete with U.S. companies – continue press forward with their own free trade agreements.”

”Passage of the agreement would provide significant and direct benefits for U.S. retailers. An existing constitutional ban in Panama prevents U.S. retailers from establishing stores within the country. The agreement would remove that barrier, give retail companies strong investment protections, and expand product-sourcing options, RILA said in a statement.

RILA said it is heartened that U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and other cabinet members are engaged in discussions with the Panamanian government to reach agreement on the few outstanding issues raised by both sides.

APL move to new Phoenix headquarters on schedule

Singapore-based NOL Group said it would relocate its regional headquarters for the Americas to an office building in northeast Phoenix.

The parent of shipping giant APL earlier announced it would relocate its regional headquarters from Oakland, with the move expected to be complete by Sept. 30.

NOL expects to employ 300 to 400 people at the MAX at Kierland building, 16220 N. Scottsdale Rd., when fully staffed. About one-half of those jobs will be filled by employees relocating from Oakland and other offices, with the rest hired locally. The company will occupy 1 1/2 floors.

-Arizona Republic

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Kuehne + Nagel to offer direct-to-store Christmas program for major UK retailer

Kuehne + Nagel announced that Homebase, the UK's second largest home improvement retailer, has renewed its deal with the logistics provider for its Christmas "Direct to Store" program, which bypasses traditional distribution centers and moves seasonal cargo from South China on store-ready pallets direct to 300 Homebase outlets in the British Isles.

"We chose Kuehne + Nagel for two reasons: one, they delivered a fantastic service on the scheme in 2008; two, the quality of their Christmas 2008 post project review gives us confidence that they can drive even higher levels of customer service this year," said Tim Standen, inbound supply chain manager for Homebase.

Kuehne + Nagel said it would consolidate bulk orders into pallets at its origin warehouse in Shenzhen in such a way as to ensure that products can be unloaded quickly and easily by the store staff. Pallets are loaded into store specific containers that are shipped to the individual stores, the logistics provider said.

Five more Chinese ports approved for cross-straits shipping

The Chinese government has approved five more ports to offer direct cross-straits shipping with Taiwan, bringing the total number of approved ports to 68, according to China's Transport Ministry.

The five newest ports are Tongling, Shidao, Laizhou, Taizhou Damaiyu and Ningbo-Zhoushan.

The latest cross-straits port approvals comes ahead of the Straits Forum, a week-long event in China focused on strengthened business ties with Taiwan.

China has agreed to waive business and corporate income taxes for Taiwanese shippers on profit earned in the mainland from direct shipping, according to a report in Xinhua. The exemption is effective from December 15 of last year. Morever, the Chinese government says it plans on assisting Taiwanese shipping companies in setting up operations in China.

Sunoco to purchase bankrupt biofuels plant in New York

Philadelphia-based oil refiner Sunoco announced is the winning bidder to purchase a bankrupt biofuels plant in New York for $8.5 million from Northeast Biofuels, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, according to various news reports.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the plant cost Northeast Biofuels $200 million to build, but still owes creditors $172 million.

The biofuels plant has the capacity to process 100 million gallons of ethanol a year. This is the second deal between an oil refiner and an ethanol producer this year due to financial hardships. Valero Energy Corp. acquired seven of VeraSun’s ethanol plants for
$477 million.

Illinois lawmakers vote to legalize video gambling to help pay
for $29 billion infrastructure program

State lawmakers on Wednesday fast-tracked a $29 billion public works program that would start to rebuild crumbling roads and transit systems and pay for it with a slew of increased taxes and by legalizing video gambling across Illinois.

A new spirit of cooperation that's bloomed since the January ouster of indicted ex- Gov. Rod Blagojevich was a key factor cited as cheering state senators approved the bills by wide margins, predicting the House would soon sign off on the first statewide construction program for transportation and schools in a decade.

-Chicago Tribune

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Top Story

President Obama’s National Maritime Day speech

“Americans have long looked to the sea as a source of security and prosperity. Bounded by two oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, and criss-crossed by a myriad of inland waterways, America's destiny as a maritime nation was a story foretold.

The Merchant Marine took up arms alongside the Continental Navy to help defeat the British Navy during the American Revolution. Since then, they have served bravely as the United States has faced threats ranging from war to piracy, and our seafaring fleet has proven instrumental in protecting our safety. In times of conflict and crisis, the Armed Forces rely on the Merchant Marine's sealift capability to transport critical equipment and supplies. Time and again, mariners have demonstrated their willingness and ability to meet daunting challenges.

Waterways have also enabled much of the commerce that has expanded America's economy. Domestic and international commerce occurred along rivers and coasts even before our Nation's birth. Great cities have sprouted near waterways, and maritime activity remains crucial to our economy today.

The men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the many other workers who have supported the maritime industry have made significant contributions to our leadership in the global marketplace, and to our security.

On this National Maritime Day, we also mark the opening of a permanent exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution, "On the Water." It demonstrates the importance of the maritime industry and chronicles our history as a maritime nation.

The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2009, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance by honoring the service of merchant mariners and by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.”


Maersk delays rate hike for North America-Med-North Africa trade

Danish shipping group Maersk announced it has pushed back the introduction of a general rate increase in the North America to Mediterranean and North African trade from June 15 to July 1.

Maersk said it would also begin increasing rates on inland haulage in coming months to ensure "costs are fully recovered."

The rate increases will be: $120 per-TEU and $200 per-FEU and high cube 45-footers, the company said.

The increase applies from all origin points in the U.S. and Canada to all destinations in the Mediterranean and North Africa and applies to dry cargo only, Maersk said.

Somali teen pirate pleads not guilty

After a month in solitary confinement, alleged pirate Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse had his day in court Thursday – a brief arraignment at which he pled not guilty to federal charges of participating in the attempted hijacking of the Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia in April.

Looking frail and downcast, Muse, wearing a dark colored smock and trousers over his orange prison garb, stood and made his plea through a translator before U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan's federal courthouse at 500 Pearl Street – just across from the federal correctional facility where he has been held since he was flown to New York and transferred from U.S. Navy custody to the FBI on April 20th.

-ABC News

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IMO: arming crews against pirates could escalate violence

The deputy director of the United Nation's International Maritime Organization (IMO) said arming crews in pirate-infested waters could result in an escalation of violence.

"Do we want to turn the whole area into a naval battle?" asked the IMO’s Nicolaos Charalambous at a piracy conference in Kuala Lumpur. "And if you are having firearms on board, where do you draw the line? Somali pirates have the capability of getting more heavy caliber weapons."

Charalambous said that armed policing should be left to naval forces, and said the international community could contribute to setting up a Somalian Coast Guard when adequate stability has been achieved on land in the war-torn country.

"When you have a proper legal framework and show willingness to take action on land, then necessity of the coast guard comes into the picture," he said.

The IMO has recorded 81 pirate attacks between January and April 20.

Hanjin adds 4,300-TEU newbuild

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping announced delivery of the 4,300-TEU-newbuild Hanjin Monaco, the last in a series of eight similar-sized vessels built by Samsung Heavy Industries dating back to 2005. The Hanjin Monaco will be the last vessel to be delivered to Hanjin Shipping until the end of 2010, the company said.

This newest ship is scheduled to be deployed in the company's All Water North Atlantic (AWN) service, departing from Busan on May 23, the shipping line said.

The port rotation for the AWN service is: Kaohsiung, Yantian, Shanghai, Busan, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Kaohsiung.

Port of Seattle dedicates new container terminal

The Port of Seattle, along with representatives from China Shipping, Matson, SSA Marine, and Secretary of Commerce Gary, gathered recently to dedicate the port’s revamped Terminal 30.

The port said it invested nearly $50 million in the two-berth, 70-acre complex.

Terminal 30 is a joint venture between China Shipping and Matson. SSA Marine will operate the facility under a long-term agreement signed in 2007 in Shanghai.

“Our relationship with the Port of Seattle has been strong and productive for many years,” said China Shipping President Li Shaode. “We are pleased to be opening this new facility, which represents a strong commitment to the region for years to come.”

For several years the Terminal 30 facility was used for the Port of Seattle’s expanding cruise business. Earlier this month, the port opened a new cruise facility, Smith Cove Terminal, at Pier 91.

India’s major ports decline in April; up for fiscal year

India's top 12 major ports were down 14 percent in April at 519,000 TEUs handled, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA).

However, the IPA reported that for the fiscal year 2008-09 ended March 31, the aggregate box throughput at all of the country’s ports totaled 6.85 million TEUs, up from 6.71 million TEUs for fiscal 2007-08.

Throughput at the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's largest container handling complex, slid to 315,000 TEUs in April, down from 365,000 TEUs a year earlier.

Chennai, the second largest box hub, handled 88,000 TEUs, down from 107,000 TEUs. Volume at Tuticorin fell to 32,000 TEUs from 38,000 TEUs.

Kolkata Port posted marginal growth at 41,000 TEUs, up from 37,000 TEUs for the previous period.

Study: South Florida inland port could bring 25,000 jobs

Thousands of jobs will come to the Treasure Coast if Port St. Lucie gets the chance to live up to its first name.

The Port of Palm Beach in Riveria Beach is looking for a site in South Florida to build an inland port, or an Intermodal Logistics Center, that uses roadways and railways rather than congested waterways to increase transport efficiency.

Studies commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation found that an inland port would bring at least 25,000 jobs to a community.

-Fort Pierce Tribune

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