Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for June 8 - June 12, 2009:
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Top Story

Report: Hapag Lloyd America president front runner to be next South Carolina ports CEO

After a nearly five-month search, the State Ports Authority has zeroed in on a choice for its new chief executive: Jim Newsome, president of German-based container carrier Hapag Lloyd's America division.

Though SPA officials would not release any details of the potential hire, sources close to the process said the agency narrowed its list to five candidates, with Newsome as the clear front-runner.

The SPA board had not yet approved the new hiring, but that is expected to happen at its next meeting. Newsome declined to comment.

-The Post & Courier

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IATA director: Airlines to lost $9 bil in 2009

Despite an expected fuel drop of $59 billion in 2009, the world’s airlines are projected to lose $9 billion this year, according to Giovanni Bisgnani, the director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in a state of the industry speech in Kuala Lumpur.“Our industry is in survival mode. Whether this crisis is long or short, the world is changing,” Bisignani said. “Even if we try to look beyond the crisis we must recognize that it will not be business as usual. Change is critical. We must use this crisis as an opportunity for governments, partners and airlines to build a stronger industry.”

Bisignani’s factors for global airline survival include protection globalization, adapting business strategies to better fit the times, improved relationships governments, and environmental advancements.

On the subject of biofuel integration into the air industry, Bisagnani said: “Nobody thought it possible but four airlines have tested biofuels, making certification a reality by 2011. But where are governments? Of the trillions of dollars in stimulus funds there is nothing on aviation biofuels. The U.S. is investing $25 million in research but it’s peanuts. Governments are not providing the right incentives and oil companies who cashed $48 billion in refinery margins from aviation are not moving fast enough.”

Hanjin restructures Pacific services

South Korea's Hanjin Shipping announced the restructuring of its PSX and CAX services into a new SJX (Singapore Japan Express) and a Pacific Southwest (PSW) service to begin mid-month.

The Pacific South Express (PSX) schedule will be rearranged to offer a more comprehensive schedule for South China and Korea-based customers, the shipping line said.

The China American Express (CAX)'s transit time has been improved to an 11-day Shanghai to Long Beach transit time and nine days from Busan to Long Beach, the company said.

Starting June 21, the Singapore-Japan Express (SJX) service will link Southeast Asia and Japan to the U.S. West Coast, Hanjin said.

Maersk Logistics to merge under Damco name by September

The Danish shipping provider AP Moller-Maersk announced it would merge its supply chain management subsidiary Maersk Logistics with its forwarding unit Damco, re-branding both under the Damco name on September 7.

"Our teams across the globe will become easier to do business with than before," said Maersk Logistics-Damco CEO Rolf Habben-Jansen. "This means spending more time with customers, asking questions and engaging with them to build the right solutions."

Maersk Logistics and Damco employ 10,500 in 272 offices, covering over 93 countries in Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, Middle East and Latin America. The companies reported 2008 revenue of $2.8 billion, shipping 500,000 TEUs of ocean freight, and 60,000 tons of airfreight.

Nexus Distribution expands to one million square feet in Midwest

Third party logistics provider Nexus Distribution announced it plans to add a third warehouse to its Midwest region by expanding to one million total square feet of distribution space with a new, over 306,000 square-foot facility in Bedford Park, Illinois, adjacent to the CSX intermodal yard.

The facility is near the recently constructed "Chicago Land Bridge," a half-mile-long private roadway that can be used to transport "heavy" containers, or containers weighing more than allowed on U.S. public roadways, Nexus said.

The world's shipping fleet could cut carbon emissions by 15 percent in just a few years, and the industry could be carbon neutral in 10 to 15 years aided by new technology, ship classifier Det Norske Veritas (DNV) said.

DNV also said on Monday the global shipping fleet had the potential to reduce carbon emissions with 50 percent by 2030.

The current fleet accounts for close to 3 percent of the world's carbon emissions, comparable to that from the aviation sector, according to DNV, a Norway-based ship classifier and international risk management group.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Top Story

FedEx launches campaign against “Brown Bailout”

FedEx Corp. has launched a major media campaign against what it terms the proposed congressional “Brown Bailout” of United Parcel Service.

FedEx said it is specifically opposed to a 230-word portion of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 that, if it became law, would transfer FedEx Express drivers from Railway Labor Act jurisdiction to that of the National Labor Relations Act, allowing FedEx drivers to organize locally as opposed to the current requirement of a nationwide election.

The bill has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

FedEx contends UPS is a trucking company, shipping 85 percent of its parcels on the ground, while FedEx Express is an airline, flying 85 percent of its packages in the air.

“The operations of an overnight airline and that of a traditional trucking company are radically different. You can’t shoehorn an airline into trucking company’s rules and still expect critical packages to arrive within hours on the other side of the country,” said FedEx Express Spokesperson Maury Lane.

“America relies too much on the reliability and dependability of the FedEx Express overnight-delivery network, and we can’t allow this bailout to pass only because UPS wants to harm its main competitor,” Lane said.

UPS is already under National Labor Relations Act jurisdiction and has a considerable union base.

MOL barge service links Cambodia and North America

Japanese shipping group MOL announced a new service between Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and North America.

The new shipping service will employ Phnom Penh’s river barge terminal, MOL said.

Containers are to be shipped via barge to Ho Chi Minh’s deepwater terminal and trans-shipped onto MOL’s line-haul vessels for direct service to North America and intra-Asia, the company said. By utilizing Phnom Penh’s barge service, MOL said it would provide 2-10 days faster transit times to the U.S. West Coast and Canada over current routes through Singapore.

MOL said new transit times to key ports will be reduced to the following:
Los Angeles: 20 days; Oakland: 24 days; Seattle: 19 days; Vancouver: 21 days.

U.S. ports target Canadian port subsidies

Canadian ports are being targeted by U.S. rivals as trade rule scofflaws benefiting from illegal government subsidies – part of a mounting wave of American protectionism as the global recession hammers shipping traffic.

U.S. port officials yesterday brought their complaints against Canada to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, making the case that government help for ports such as Vancouver is partly to blame for a decline in business at American terminals.

-The Globe and Mail

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BP’s first LNG shipment to Chile to set sail end of June

Chile is set to receive its first ever cargo of liquefied natural gas at the end of June after a BG Group cargo set sail from Trinidad for the Quintero terminal on Monday.

BG's 145,000-cubic-meter Methane Jane Elizabeth LNG tanker is expected to arrive at its destination on June 28, according to AISLive ship tracking data on Reuters.


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Alliance Global Logistics Hub offers national logistics training program

Alliance Global Logistics Hub continues to grow in scope. The North Fort Worth hub is now the home of a new national logistics training program, instituted by the Washington, D.C.-based Manufacturing Skill Standards Council.

MSSC is an industry-led training, assessment and certification system for the nation’s production and supply chain logistics workers. The initial training is being funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The MSSC training-and-certification system provides a foundational-level Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) certificate, as well as a mid-technical level Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) certification.

-Forth Worth Business Press

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top Story

NOL to raise nearly $1 billion to repay debt

Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines plans to raise just under $1 billion through a share sale to repay debt and clear the decks for future acquisitions, according to news reports.

NOL’s shares rose 17 percent on the news, the highest for the company in nearly eight months as investors showed strong support from the majority shareholder, Singapore state investor Temasek, which acquired 67.4 percent of the rights as well as purchasing shares not taken up by minority holders.
"NOL's proactive capital raising will strengthen its balance sheet, enhance its financial flexibility and allow it to seize investment opportunities," said Temasek’s managing director Ong Beng Teck.

NOL shares have gained 54 percent this year, providing the global shipping firm with the ability to raise funds in the company's biggest share sale since its initial public offering in 1981, according to a Bloomberg report.

NOL Chief Financial Officer Cedric Foo said the company's gross debt stands at $1.4 billion, with a cash position of $400 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

CTSA to raise bunker surcharge rises up to 27 percent July 1

The Canada Transpacific Stabilization Agreement announced that its 11 member shipping lines will raise bunker surcharges between 24 percent and 27 percent beginning July 1.

The surcharge will go to $308 per-TEU, $385 per-FEU, $433 per-40-foot, high-cube and $487 per 45-footer for Canadian East Coast ports.

The charge will be $150 per-TEU, $188 per- FEU, $212 per-40-foot, high-cube container and $238 per-45-footer.

CTSA members are APL, COSCO, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, "K" Line, NYK, OOCL, Yang Ming and Zim.

CMA CGM raises freight rate, adds bunker surcharge for Asia-Europe

French shipping group CMA CGM announced a rate restoration move in the Asia-Europe trade to $300 per-TEU, effective July 1, 2009.

The shipping line said it would also begin, as of July 1, to levy a separate “Bunker Adjustment Factor” from $283 per-TEU to $333 per-TEU.  The company said it has been monitoring bunker prices and has published the BAF level on its website :

The shipping group said it might also decide to implement a “Peak Season Surcharge,” in the same trade as of August 1, 2009

American Realty Trust acquires new Texas freight facility for lease to FedEx Freight

American Realty Capital Trust, Inc. announced it intends to finalize, by June 15, a new 152,640 square-foot freight facility located in the Satsuma Station Industrial Park in the northwest corridor of Houston, Texas. The facility will continue to be net leased to FedEx Freight.

The purchase price, excluding closing costs and fees, is approximately $30.9 million, and is being acquired from PinPoint Commercial, American Realty said.

The primary lease term is fifteen years, which commenced October 16, 2008, and provides for up to two successive five-year extensions, the real estate trust said.

CAT Logistics to instigate “rolling layoffs”

Employees at the three Caterpillar Logistics Services Inc. locations in Lafayette will have their work hours reduced by at least 50 percent through a series of "rolling layoffs" that are planned to begin Aug. 24.

Caterpillar Inc. said the action, designed to bring production levels and costs in line with demand, is being taken in response to the global recession.

- Journal & Courier

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top Story

Greenbrier receives $75 million financial infusion

The financially struggling Lake Oswego, Ore.-based rail-car-and-barge-builder, Greenbrier Companies, announced it has received a three-year funded term loan from WL Ross & Co. LLC of $75 million, with the potential for the investment to increase to $150 million.

Greenbrier said the loan proceeds would be used to pay down debt “and serve as a platform for future growth, including the pursuit of select growth opportunities in conjunction with WL Ross in all areas of Greenbrier’s present business.”

Greenbrier also announced its North American credit line with Bank of America has been eased down from $290 million to $100 million.

“WL Ross is a top-tier partner and this new relationship is a testament to the success of our integrated business model,” said William A. Furman, president and chief executive officer of Greenbrier. “Our expansion into adjacent, less cyclical markets has dampened the effects of the current downturn and has positioned us to attract this capital on favorable and flexible terms. This investment will strengthen our balance sheet and serve as a platform for future growth,” he said.

Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of WL Ross, said: “Rail and barge transport are significantly more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than road transportation. Therefore, we believe that both sectors will continue to grow over the long term and Greenbrier’s management team has thoughtfully positioned the company to participate in that growth once the present recession ends. We have invested for many years in both heavy manufacturing and financial services, including railcar leasing, and look forward to using that experience to help management develop and execute growth strategies.”

The companies said the new secured term loan provided by WL Ross contains a feature whereby Greenbrier and WL Ross can jointly agree on conditions to increase the loan to $150 million. The initial $75 million investment is in the form of a three-year, non-amortizing, term loan with no financial covenants and a favorable interest rate, they said.

In connection with the loan, Greenbrier said it has issued warrants to purchase approximately 3.378 million of Greenbrier’s common shares, representing 16.5 percent of Greenbrier’s common shares on a proforma basis, at $6.00 per share. WL Ross said it also plans to purchase, at a minimum, $1.5 million of Greenbrier common stock in the open market and will be subject to certain transfer and hedging restrictions associated with the warrants.

WL Ross, based in New York City, has sponsored more than $8 billion of equity linked investments since its inception in 2000. Many of these investments have been in the industrial sector, such as the steel, automotive, coal and rail space.

Truckers in South Korea on strike

South Korean cargo transportation suffered no serious disruption Thursday despite a strike by unionized truck drivers, who are demanding the reinstatement of fired workers, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The Korean Cargo Workers' Union, which claims about 15,000 members, launched a nationwide strike earlier in the day after talks with their top client, Korea Express Co., broke down.

According to the ministry, there are 21,400-container trailer trucks across the country, about 4,000 of which are run by unionized workers

-Korea Times

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Port of L.A. and shipyard at odds over future property use

Deep inside the nation's busiest seaport lurks the old Southwest Marine shipyard, a collection of rusting corrugated-metal buildings, broken windows and dark interiors that has appeared in more than a dozen films and television shows, including "Die Hard," "24" and "CSI: Miami."

But these days, the 38-acre site at the Port of Los Angeles is the setting for another kind of high-stakes drama, this time involving competing visions of the port's future. It's being waged with spreadsheets, economic forecasts, political clout and environmental impact reports as thick as a set of old telephone books.

Yacht builder Gambol Industries wants to build a modern shipbuilding facility while the port, dockworkers and businesses prefer the site to be a dump for toxic material dredged from the harbor.

-L.A. Times

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Yangtze River Express launches Shanghai-Dallas service

Yangtze River Express has launched a new service between Shanghai and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), according to Xinhua.

The service will run four times a week and make DFW the second U.S. destination for Yangtze River Express, and its fourth outside of China. The service starts in Shanghai at Pudong International Airport, connects in Los Angeles, and continues to DFW before returning to Shanghai.

The Shanghai-based cargo carrier' expansion will elevate DFW International Airport to a total of 36 freighter flights a week from Asia.

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