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Summary for May 28 - June 1, 2007:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

CA Senators want tougher ship emissions law

California’s two US Senators, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), May 25 introduced legislation in the Senate to require the US Environmental Protection Agency to adopt tougher pollution controls for ocean-going ships.

“It is long past time to tighten controls on pollution from ships in our harbors. For too long, people who live near our busiest shipping facilities have paid a price with their families’ health,” Boxer said.

The Marine Vessel Emissions Reduction Act of 2007 (S1499), which requires significant reductions in emissions of air pollutants from marine vessels, was introduced and referred to the Environment and Public Works committee.

The Act would require ships to use cleaner-burning, lower-sulfur fuels that reduce soot and smog-producing emissions when the ships are in or near US ports.

The bill also would impose tougher emissions standards for marine engines.

Emissions from ships are among the major causes of persistent air-quality problems at California’s ports ... and at other ports around the nation, said the senators.

A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (D-CA).

USACE schedules annual MCR dredging

The US Army Corps of Engineers Portland District May 24 announced that its yearly channel dredging at the Mouth of the Columbia River (MCR) will begin soon.

An informational meeting will be held Thursday, Jun 7, at the Port of Ilwaco, 165 Howerton Way SE, Ilwaco, WA, at 6:30pm.

The MCR navigation channel is located between River Mile 3 and River Mile -3, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.

The USACE dredges the navigation channel annually to provide a lane of safer transit for vessels crossing the Columbia River bar.

At the meeting, the Corps will present the schedule for dredging activities and the disposal locations for sediment removed from the navigation channel.

The meeting is open to anyone who is interested, said the Corps.

The dredging, which has been contracted to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, is tentatively scheduled to begin around the end of June. The Corps’ dredge, Essayons, will begin work at the MCR in July.

Vick retires from Western Stevedoring

Western Stevedoring May 24 announced the retirement of Frank Vick, Terminal Operations Manager, Lynnterm, after 14 years with the company and a 37-year marine career.

“Western Stevedoring and our clients would like to thank Frank for his 37 years of industry service and would like to congratulate him and extend our best wishes

on his retirement,” said Tim Chapman, president of Western Stevedoring, who appointed Dave Lucas to fill the position effective Jun 1, 2007.

Vick joined Western Stevedoring in 1993 as Dock Superintendent, Lynnterm, and in 1998 was promoted to Manager, Terminal Operations.

Lucas has been with Western since 1985 and has held a wide variety of positions in the company’s terminal operations. He most recently held the position of Assistant Manager, Terminal Operations, following approximately 10 years as Dock Superintendent.

Western Stevedoring, located at the Port of Vancouver, BC, is actively engaged in all phases of stevedoring in British Columbia and operates Lynnterm East Gate and West Gate in North Vancouver, the largest export forestry products terminal in North America, according to the company.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

WTSA hay rates rise

The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) May 29 said its member shipping lines will raise rates for hay and adopt a second-stage rate increase for dry agri-product cargoes effective Jul 1.

An earlier agri-products increase went into effect in April.

The increases “are needed to address ongoing higher cargo handling, equipment, and other operating costs in the transpacific market,” member lines said.

Individual member carriers plan to raise hay rates by $100/FEU from California ports and by $200/FEU from Pacific Northwest ports.

The increase applies to a list of commodities including, but not limited to, soybeans and related products; cotton by-products; grain and grain products; and peas, beans, and lentils. Non-seasonal cargoes include meal, flour, corn products, starches, animal feed (except pet food), seeds, and food additives.

WTSA members include APL Ltd., COSCO Container Lines Ltd., Evergreen Line, Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd., Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (“K” Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line), Orient Overseas Container Line Inc. (OOCL), and Yangming Marine Transport Corp.

Grand Alliance adds Busan

The Grand Alliance is adjusting its service known as EUM between the Mediterranean and Asia in response to increasing cargo volume, it announced May 25.

The enhanced Mediterranean-Asia loop will add a port of call at Busan, South Korea, and an eighth vessel for the service, said the organization.

All changes will become effective in week 25 of 2007, according to the announcement.

Ships deployed in EUM will be in an average capacity of around 6,500 TEUs, replacing the present 4,400 TEUs.

EUM will call at Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Kelang, Damietta, Genoa, Barcelona, Fos, Damietta, Singapore, and Hong Kong with a transit time of 56 days.

The Grand Alliance is an integrated consortium of global container shipping lines. Its members are Hapag-Lloyd (Germany), MISC Berhad (Malaysia), NYK (Japan), and OOCL (Hong Kong). MISC Berhad does not provide any trans-Pacific services.

Port of Seattle holds special meeting

The Port of Seattle Commission May 29 announced that it will convene a Special Commission Meeting at 12:00 noon on Thursday, May 31, at Port of Seattle Headquarters, Pier 69, 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA.

The special meeting will “immediately recess to an executive session to discuss employment, legal, public contract, and real estate matters,” said the port.

The special meeting “will reconvene to open public session at 1:00pm,” said the port. The agenda for the public meeting, as well as direct links to agenda memos, are available on the port’s Web site.

Port of Seattle Commission public meetings are streamed live on the Web. On meeting days, go to the agenda page and follow the LIVE link in the right-hand box.

Links to archived meeting files up to six months in the past are also available on the commission video/audio Web page.

King County TV (Comcast Digital 22 or Millennium Digital 72 or 80) broadcasts the most recent Port Commission public meetings on Sundays at 1 p.m.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

USMMA museum opens doors for ‘The Box’

A group of international maritime industry leaders associated with transportation pioneer Malcom McLean May 30 kicked off a campaign to collect artifacts, historical data, and documents for a museum and research center at the US Merchant Marine Academy about the history of containerization.

“The shipping container is called the box that changed the world — and not just maritime commerce. It changed global economies, societies, and cultures too,” said Paul F. Richardson, Chairman of the McLean Container Center at Kings Point, NY.

The center, named for the late Malcom McLean, whose 1956 shipping innovation is credited with revolutionizing world commerce and accelerating the pace of globalization, seeks to acquire, preserve, and share material with historians, industry, researchers, students, and the general public.

The McLean Container Center will be maintained at the American Maritime Museum and Bland Library at the US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY.

Seaspan appoints Chu as CFO

Seaspan Corp. May 29 announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Sai W. Chu to be the new Chief Financial Officer as of Jun 8, 2007. Chu will replace Kevin M. Kennedy, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests, said Seaspan.

Chu currently is the CFO of Seaspan Ship Management Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the company’s manager, Seaspan Management Services Ltd.

“Sai play[ed] a key role in [Seaspan’s] initial public offering and in its growth since that time” said Gerry Wang, CEO of Seaspan.

Wang added, “This, combined with his chartered accountant designation and previous experience with publicly traded companies, ensures that Seaspan has secured a highly qualified CFO during a strong growth period for the company.”

“We would like to thank Kevin for the great job that he has done, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Wang added.

Seaspan owns containerships and charters them pursuant to long-term fixed-rate charters. Seaspan’s fleet of 55 containerships consists of 27 existing containerships and 28 to be delivered over approximately the next 3.5 years.

Wind farm blades dock in Olympia

The Port of Olympia May 30 announced the arrival of the M/V Industrial Dawn, the third wind energy vessel to call at the port in the last 12 months.

The D-class vessel will discharge a cargo of windmill blades, each about 125 ft long and about 35,000 pounds heavy.

Port Commissioner Bob Van Schoorl commented, “It demonstrates the capacity of our port for handling difficult cargoes and the high caliber of our longshore labor force.”

The windmill blades are manufactured in Brazil for GE Wind Energy, which is supplying them to Phase 3 of the Klondike Wind Farm in Oregon.

The Klondike Wind Farm is owned by PPM Energy, an energy company based in Portland, OR, said the port.

The two phases completed to date generate 99 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 25,000 homes in the Pacific Northwest, said the port.

The Port of Olympia is the southernmost deepwater port on Puget Sound. The port owns and operates a diversified international shipping terminal, an established niche facility that handles a range of breakbulk and project cargoes.


Friday, June 1, 2007

ABF Freight wins record fourth award

ABF Freight System Inc. May 31 announced it has been recognized by the American Trucking Association (ATA) for a record fourth time for exceptional security practices.

The 2007 Excellence in Security Award from the ATA Security Council was presented in Orlando during the group’s annual Trucking Security and Law Enforcement Conference and Exhibit.

Including the inaugural award in 2001, ABF has earned the Excellence in Security Award an unprecedented four times, said the company.

“Each year, the council recognizes the motor carrier that has excelled at protecting personnel, equipment, and freight and has surpassed all others in securing its company’s and customers’ assets,” said Susan A. Chandler, executive director of the ATA Security Council.

“Protecting our customers’ freight and company assets and the safety and security of our employees are major concerns for the company,” said Jim McFarlin, ABF safety and security director.

The ABF security program is led by 15 regional security managers strategically located throughout the carrier’s North American system. Each security manager is a former law enforcement official who works closely with ABF management and local, state, and federal authorities and regulators, said ABF.

NASSCO lays keel for US NAVY T-AKE program

General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), May 30 held a keel-laying ceremony for the sixth ship in the US Navy’s T-AKE program.

The Navy announced yesterday that the ship will be named USNS Amelia Earhart, in honor of the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

A keel-laying ceremony is a shipbuilding tradition that signifies an important milestone as full-scale production begins. In recognition of that milestone, event honoree, Darlene Costello, welded her initials into the keel.

Costello is the deputy director for Naval Warfare in the office of under-secretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.

The Amelia Earhart, 689 ft long and displacing about 41,000 metric tons when fully loaded, is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) in fall 2008. Its primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel, and other provisions to combat ships at sea, said NASSCO.

General Dynamics NASSCO employs more than 4,600 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States.

Con-Way Freight testimony supports National Guard

Con-way Freight May 31 announced that a Con-way top executive testified recently on the topic of employer support of National Guard and Reserves at the US Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.

“It is not just a responsibility, it is a duty that as business leaders we continue to support these brave men and women and their families and to help them return successfully to the workforce when their duties end,” said Con-way Freight-Central President David L. Miller to the committee.

Miller outlined best practices implemented by Con-way Freight for assisting deployed employees and their families and encouraged other employers to follow their lead.

Con-way’s support includes $1,100 (2006) in monthly premiums for each family’s health insurance coverage, $4,100 (on average) in military differential pay, approximately $4,000 to train each replacement, and $54,000-$100,000 to relocate each replacement employee required in an alternate location.

The independent commission was established by the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 to recommend changes in laws and policies governing the National Guard and Reserves.

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