Monday, May 19, 2014
Port of Seattle to revamp Terminal 5 for mega ships
On Friday, the Port of Seattle and the operator of Terminal 5, Eagle Marine Services, announced a plan to shift EMS cargo and breakbulk activities to another terminal so that Terminal 5 can be upgraded to handle the mega ships that are changing the face of global trade.
Hamburg-Süd moves terminals in Tacoma
As of June 13, 2014, Hamburg Süd will be calling at the Pierce County Terminal at the Port of Tacoma, switching from Washington United Terminal, according to a statement from the shipping line.
Charleston gets stop on new joint APL-MOL-Hyundai service to S. America
The Port of Charleston says it will be a stop on the new Andes Express Service between the west coast of South America and the U.S. East Coast, run jointly by APL, Mitsui O.S. K. Lines and Hyundai Merchant Marine.
Cargo volume up at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
April cargo numbers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach rose in April on improved weather and the fact that many shippers were trying to get goods in prior to West Coast port labor contract talks that will cover 20,000 workers, according to a POLA statement.
DP World announces new services as London Gateway opens second berth
DP World has announced new shipping services as the second berth at London Gateway opens, doubling its capacity.
Fatal container truck accident in Virginia
A container truck drove off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in a fatal accident Thursday.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
IMO approves mandatory container weight verification
The Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization today approved changes to the Safety of Life at Sea convention requiring verification of container weights prior to loading all export containers aboard ships.
Wrongly declared container weights have been a chronic problem for the transportation industry because they can cause safety hazards for ships, crews, other on-ship cargo, dockworkers handling containers, and on the roads. Inaccurately stated container weights also triggers Customs concerns.
The changes to SOLAS are effective July 2016, given final adoption by the MSC in November 2014. In order to help supply chain stakeholders implement of the container weight verification requirement, MSC has issued circular with implementation guidelines.
The MSC also approved a new Code of Practice for the Packing of Cargo Transport Units, including intermodal shipping containers. The new CTU Code, which replaces the current IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for packing of CTU, has already been approved by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and will now go before the International Labour organization for approval.
The CTU Code provides information and guidance to shippers, packers and other parties in the international supply chains for the safe packing, handling and transport of CTUs.
"We congratulate the IMO Secretary General and the IMO member governments for developing and approving these measures that, when properly implemented and enforced, should provide for long-needed improvement to maritime safety," said Chris Koch, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council. "The SOLAS amendments and related implementation guidelines regarding container weight verification represent a collaborative effort that we were pleased to be a part of and we look forward to final adoption of the amendments in November 2014."
Greenbrier opens hub in Dallas-Fort Worth region
Railroad equipment and services supplier Greenbrier announced the opening of a Dallas-Fort Worth regional hub to have ready access to growing energy markets, according to a company statement.
The company said it is leasing almost 6,000 square feet of office space in Colleyville, Texas, which positions the engineering and commercial center near a major customer base and its North American operations, as well as key Gulf Coast and Midwest energy markets.
In June, a small group of employees planned product development, engineering and retrofit design work for the tank cars that will be housed at the new center. Greenbrier said it intends to hire more Colleyville staff for engineering and commercial positions over the next year.
Furman said that than 20 sites in Greenbrier's wheels, repair and parts network are located in the Midwest and southern U.S., including three shops certified to perform tank car repair and maintenance. He said the company also builds new railcar at three facilities in Mexico.
Survey: Confidence index up for sea freight logistics
The Stifel Logistics Confidence Index for May 2014 reports that sea freight logistics confidence went up 1.5 points to 60.1, according to a statement from transportation think-tank Transport Intelligence.
Currently, the report said, rates on all trades increased except Asia-to-Europe. The Asia-to-Europe lane has been experiencing inconsistent rates, and they slipped under $1000 per-TEU for a few weeks in the first quarter. Since then, rates have risen above $1,000 per-TEU and the publication noted an increase for the last two weeks in April.
Survey respondents predicted a sunny 6-month forecast, for which the index went up 1.8 points, indicating a gain in all trades. The report speculated that expectations may be running high due to P3 alliance, which might alliance help stabilized both rates and capacity.
The overall air freight market grew as the combined air freight logistics confidence index went up for the first time in four months, just shy of the 50-level, which indicates growth. Expectations for the next six months barely registered, according to the report, a sign that the air freight market remains "fragile."
The overall Stifel Logistics Confidence Index for May increased 1.0 points, after dropping 0.1 index points in April, the statement said.
Port of Hamburg volume up, unaffected by Ukraine crisis
The Port of Hamburg, Europe's third-largest in terms of container trade, reported Q1 container volume increases that beat market growth, due Asian traffic and Russian trade that rose marginally after the Ukraine crisis.
The port handled 2.4 million TEUs, up 8 percent, as trade with China and other Asian countries rose 9 percent to 1.3 million TEUs, according to the Port of Hamburg marketing department statement. Traffic with Russia went up 4 percent to 168,000 TEU.
"The crisis in eastern Europe hasn't had an impact on volumes," board member Axel Mattern said in Hamburg.
For more of the Bloomberg story: businessweek.com
Ecuador declares emergency over stranded ship off Galapagos
Ecuador has declared an emergency in the Galapagos Islands, because a cargo ship that ran aground last week still poses a threat to the region's fragile ecosystem.
The Ecuadorean freighter Galapaface I, carrying more than 15,400 gallons of diesel fuel, became stranded off the coast of San Cristobal last Friday.
The ship's cargo was offloaded, but officials still fear that pollutants, such as motor oil inside the vessel, could spill and cause environmental damage.
Work is ongoing to remove the ship.
For more of the BBC story: bbc.com
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
U.S. House passes Water Resources bill, paving way for port dredging
The U.S. House passed a $12.3 billion marine transportation bill aimed at increasing port dredging to accommodate mega ships built to pass through the expanded Panama Canal, to be completed in late 2015.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which passed 412-4, would sanction 34 marine-related projects, including dredging, flood control, hurricane recovery and environmental restoration.
The bill would change the way major U.S. shipping projects are funded, allowing ports to pay the cost to deepen harbors up front, then seeking reimbursement from the government once a project is authorized by lawmakers. That could help reduce construction time by years.
"It is a jobs bill," said Bill Shuster, House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman.
The measure would expand the number of U.S. ports that can handle super freighters, such as the Triple E Class ships built by Maersk Line, to take advantage of the expanding Panama Canal. The increased container capacity would reduce shipping costs for exporters.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would act on the compromise bill this week.
For more of the Bloomberg story: bloomberg.com
Maritime Administration announces internal reorganization
This week the Maritime Administration announced an organizational realignment that will help ensure the U.S. is ready to meet future sealift needs during conflicts or national emergencies, according to an agency statement
MARAD reports that the former Office of National Security is now the Office of Strategic Sealift, with three areas of focus: Federal Sealift, Commercial Sealift, and Maritime Workforce.
Federal Sealift will continue to be responsible for Ready Reserve Force vessels, emergency preparedness and the National Defense Reserve Fleet. Commercial Sealift will coordinate both the cargo preference and maritime security programs, according to the statement, and the Office of Maritime Workforce Development will evaluate mariner training needs and enforce service obligations for maritime academy graduates.
MARAD notes the realignment synchronizes the activities that support the vessels and crews, bolstering U.S. economic and national security.
ICTSI Hong Kong acquires 51 percent of DP World Yantai
Philippine port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. is consolidating operations in China, according to a company disclosure to the Philippine stock exchange this week.
In the filing, ICTSI said the Ministry of Commerce in the Shandong Province of China has given approval for its subsidiary ICTSI Hong Kong to acquire 51 percent of DP World Yantai Company Limited, to be renamed Yantai International Container Terminals.
DP World China Yantai will retain a 12.5 percent equity stake in YICT. Yantai Port Holdings will own the remaining 36.5 percent equity interest.
ICTSI has also received approval to sell its 60 percent equity interest in Yantai Rising Dragon International Container Terminals to Yantai Port Holdings, which will become the 100 percent owner and use the facilities for local container cargo.
"The objective of these transactions is to consolidate and optimize the overall port operations within the Zhifu Bay Port area in Yantai, China," ICTSI said.
For more of the ABN-CBN News story: abs-cbnnews.com
Report: BMW to open factory in Mexico
In July, BMW will announce plans to build its first assembly plant in Mexico, and is considering two regions for the site, according to a report in German magazine Automobilwoche.
BMW's Mexican factory will either be built in the state of Hidalgo or in San Luis Potosi, and will produce as many as 100,000 cars per year, the story said, noting models manufactured at the new site will probably include the 3-Series.
A spokesman for the BMW said there is no decision yet to build a new factory in Mexico.
The German carmaker said in March it will up annual production capacity at its U.S. factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina to 450,000 vehicles by 2016.
For more of the Chicago Tribune story: chicagotribune.com
6 dead after freight train derails and collides with passenger train
Six people died and 25 hospitalized with injuries after a cargo train derailed near Moscow, crashing into a passing passenger train on its way from Moscow to Chisinau, Moldova.
Seventeen of the injured are in serious condition, according to the Health Ministry website.
Officials are investigating the cause of the derailment.
For more of the Bloomberg story: bloomberg.com
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Maersk Q1 net profits up 52 percent
A.P. Moller-Maersk posted a 52 percent increase in first-quarter net profit due to gains from its container line, which benefitted in part from cost cutting and increased demand on Asia-Europe routes, according to Reuters.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Danish shipping and oil conglomerate reported a net profit of $1.15 billion, compared with $790 million a year earlier, a welcome bellwether for the shipping sector.
The company upped its full-year outlook for 2014 to $4 billion from an earlier forecast of $3.6 billion. Maersk Line, which provides approximately half the company's revenue, will likely deliver a full-year result above 2013's profit of $1.5 billion, the parent company said in a statement.
Maersk Line made a first quarter profit of $454 million, according to the statement, compared to $204 million in Q1 of 2013. APM Terminals posted a first quarter profit of $215 million, compared to 2013's $166 million, with container volume increasing 9 percent to 9.4 million TEUs.
"It is a little bit surprising that volume to and from Europe is growing very nicely, particularly export out of Europe is developing very well," said Nils Smedegaard Andersen, chief executive of A.P. Moller-Maersk, in a Reuters article.
"The group's revenue increased by 0.9 percent in part impacted by higher container volumes and higher oil entitlement production partly offset by lower average container freight rates and lower average oil price," the statement said.
The company said it expects that global demand for seagoing freight will rise 4 percent to 5 percent in 2014 and Maersk Line will grow with the market. Excess capacity will put pressure on rates though, it said.
Greenbrier snags new orders worth $700M for 7,000 railcars
The Greenbrier Companies received new orders in April and May for 7,000 railcar units valued at more than $700 million, according to a company statement.
The orders span a broad range of railcar types, which Greenbrier says include a recent award for more than 1,700 intermodal platforms. Other orders are comprised of almost 2,500 small cube-covered hoppers and more than 2,300 tank cars, primarily used to transport energy-related cargo, the statement said. Four hundred automotive-related products were also ordered in North America and Europe.
Since the start of its fiscal third quarter in March, Greenbrier said it has received orders for more than 10,000 railcars valued at nearly $1 billion. Since September 1, 2013, the beginning of the Company's fiscal year, Greenbrier has received orders for more than 18,400 railcars in North America and Europe valued at almost $1.7 billion.
"As we anticipated earlier this year, increases in rail loadings across multiple car types, coupled with reductions in velocity are driving demand for many of our car types, including intermodal platforms," said William A. Furman, chairman and CEO. "Reduced railway speeds for most trains carrying crude oil continue to affect velocity across the entire rail network."
CMA CGM predicts P3 Alliance will begin in fall 2014
CMA CGM, the world's third largest container-shipping company, said Wednesday it expects its cooperative agreement with Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., also known as the P3 Alliance, will begin operating in the fall of 2014 as it expects regulators to approve the deal by then.
CMA CGM previously said the deal would start in mid-2014 once the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission approved it in March. However, European and Chinese regulators have yet to approve the deal, which would give the companies control of up to 40 percent of container cargo on the Asia-to-Europe trades.
Although the deal is not a full-fledged merger, the shipping companies agreed to jointly deploy 255 vessels ships collectively, sharing capacity of 2.6 million containers on some of the world's busiest sea routes.
Akin to a code-sharing deal among airlines, the alliance will allow the three to cut costs by using each other's ships and port facilities. It will also use each shipping company's geographic assets to move goods faster and more cheaply.
For more of the Wall Street Journal story: online.wsj.com
Yusen Logistics expands auto services in Russia
Global 3PL Yusen Logistics announced the expansion of its operations in Russia, with the opening of an office at Togliatti.
Togliatti is the location of the Renault Nissan AVTOVAZ assembly plant, the world's biggest car factory. The facility has more than 86 miles of production lines and the capacity to produce over a million cars a year, the statement said.
"We are seeing major increases in demand for high quality supply chain solutions for the automotive industry and this new office at Togliatti represents the next step in our development to serve this key sector," says Dennis Pastukhov, commercial director of Yusen Logistics Russia.
Yusen Logistics said it will offer key logistics services to the domestic Russian car industry, including road freight to and from Togliatti, airfreight services, inland port bonded and non-bonded transit operations, and cross docking and distribution services.
The company will offer ocean freight forwarding via Novorossiysk, St. Petersburg, Nakhodka and the Baltic states, as well as road freight services via Moscow and Smolensk.
For more of the Digital Journal story: digitaljournal.com
GM fined $35M over faulty ignition switch
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fined General Motors a record $35 million for delays in reporting a safety defect.
The issue resulted in the non-deployment of airbags since the ignition switch can move out of the "run" position in certain Chevrolet Cobalt and other GM models.
GM has admitted to knowing about the problem for at least 10 years but didn't recall the 2.6 million cars until earlier this year. The company says at least 13 people died in crashes associated with the problem.
For more of the ABC News Denver story: thedenverchannel.com