Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for June 29 - July 3, 2009:
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Top Story

Matson and unions avert strike

Matson Navigation Co. and three unions avoided a widespread shipping strike yesterday after reaching a tentative agreement on a four-year contract for ship captains, officers, radio operators and engineers.

The American Radio Association established a picket line in Seattle directed toward the Maui, a Matson-owned vessel that was supposed to arrive in Hawaii next Saturday.

The agreement came 12 hours after one union, the American Radio Association, put up pickets in Seattle, stopping the loading of the MV Maui, which was scheduled to arrive in Honolulu next Saturday.

-Honolulu Star Bulletin

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Galveston commissions container terminal study

The Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees agreed Monday to hire a consultant to do a conceptual planning study for the proposed Pelican Island container terminal.

The Port of Galveston will equally share the study’s $750,000 cost with the Port of Houston, its partner in the terminal project.

Consultant AECOM USA Group will evaluate the 1,200-acre site, looking at environmental, geotechnical, utility and layout considerations

The Pelican Island terminal is expected to be developed within the next seven years.

-Galveston County Daily News

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Alaska tops in U.S. for air cargo casualties over past decade

From 1997 through 2008, Alaska had 18 of the 93 fatal air cargo accidents in the U.S., according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress.

The report, released Wednesday, blamed Alaska's high crash rate on challenges such as unusual weather conditions, relatively heavy air traffic because of a lack of roads, and poorly maintained and substandard
rural airports.


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New $3.1 bil terminal planned for Incheon Intl. Airport

The government will build a new terminal at Incheon International Airport by 2015 as part of efforts to develop it into a transportation hub, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said Monday.

According to the airport expansion plan, the second terminal will be built on 350,000 square meters of land, while the size of the current terminal is 496,000 square meters and the satellite concourse is 166,000 square meters. The number of gates the new terminal will have has not been decided on yet.

The total cost is estimated at about 4 trillion won ($3.1 billion).

-The Korea Times

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Manatee port approves $2.1 mil for dredging

The Manatee County Port Authority has approved a $2.1 million bid for dredging work for a new, 1,584-foot berth at Port Manatee as part of a $150 million, 10-year port expansion to accommodate container shipping.

The berth is expected to be operational by early 2010, the port announced last week.

Sarasota-based Spectrum Underground, Inc., was the low bidder for the first phase of the dredging project with an offer $1.1 million less than preliminary engineering estimates.

-South Shore News and Tribune

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top Story

OfficeMax to offer FedEx shipping services

FedEx Corp. (FDX) and OfficeMax Inc. (OMX) reached a multiyear agreement to offer domestic FedEx express and ground shipping services in more than 900 OfficeMax stores beginning this fall as the struggling office-supply retailer looks to boost traffic at its stores.

The companies said FedEx services were rolled out in certain Chicago and Memphis, Tenn., locations this month, and all U.S. OfficeMax stores are expected to offer domestic FedEx shipping capabilities by the end of September.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

-Dow Jones Newswires

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Macquarie stockholders approve $1.8 bil Canada Pension takeover bid

Australia's Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group stockholders on Tuesday voted in favor of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's 2.2 billion Australian dollars ($1.8 billion) takeover bid.

CPPIB is one of Canada's largest institutional investors and has extensive interests in infrastructure.

-Malaysia Star

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Port L.A. and shipyard strike compromise on $96 mil dredging project

A last-minute compromise struck Monday between the Port of Los Angeles, a local ship builder and the Los Angeles Conservancy will allow a $96 million dredging project at the Port of Los Angeles to proceed.

Long Beach-based Gambol Industries and the Los Angeles Conservancy agreed to drop appeals filed against a plan to dredge 3 million cubic yards of dirt from the Main Channel, then dump the contaminated soil in a pair of unused slips at the shuttered Southwest Marine shipyard on Terminal Island.

-Daily Breeze

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DHL opens new $25 mil domestic transportation hub in Shanghai

DHL announced it has opened its new $25 million DHL Eastern China Domestic Transportation Hub in Shanghai.

Situated at the Kangqiao Industrial Park iin Shanghai’s Pudong area, the DHL Eastern China Domestic Transportation Hub is one of the five regional hubs[2] owned and operated by DHL Supply Chain in Mainland China, the company said. Together with another 15 sub-regional hubs[3] across the country, DHL says its domestic supply chain transportation network now covers more than 400 cities in China.

The 25,000 sqm new hub includes 53 loading and cross docks and operates 24 hours, providing cross dock operations, storage, multi-modal transfer and data management for customers, DHL said. The facility also houses the fleet control center and customer call center, the company said.

Crowley tugs begin cold ironing in L.A. harbor

Transportation provider Crowley announced its tugboats deployed for ship assist and escort operations at the Port of Los Angeles have begun using newly installed shore-side electrical power when not on the job to cut fuel consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Previously, tugs tied up at the dock needed to run their generators to provide electrical power, the company said.

Crowley and the Port of Los Angeles completed the “cold ironing” initiative at Berth 86 this month.

The port is providing the electrical power at the dock, and Crowley said it purchased and installed the electrical connections to the boats and transformers to take the voltage from 440 volts to 220 volts.

Crowley said it expects to conserve fuel used by the generators daily in its Los Angeles operations, and consequently reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 486,180 pounds in the first year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, each gallon of diesel fuel produces approximately 22.2 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Crowley said it already has cold ironing capabilities in Seattle, Jacksonville, Pennsauken and Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Top Story

Credit Managers: Economy on rebound with growth areas

The Credit Managers’ Index for June, released by the National Association of Credit Managers (NACM), rose for the fifth month in a row since February to 46.6 from 45.4; although still short of the 50-point line that signals the shift from contraction to growth. It has been almost a year since the index was above the 50 mark, and, at its worst, fell to the high 30s.

The report revealed durable goods orders have been up for two months in a row, driven by new demand for machinery and computers. The CMI also reported consumer confidence is moving slowly upward based on expectations for future recovery and from signs that consumers are beginning to feel the impact of stimulus money as spending has been creeping up.

The CMI report said inflation is a distant problem and the Federal Reserve remains committed to boosting the economy with low rates.
“The latest CMI is holding steady and showing stability in the credit sector. The data has not yet been enough to push past the point of contraction to expansion, but it is getting ever closer to that point, suggesting that expansion is only a month or two away,” said Dr. Chris Kuehl, NACM’s economic analyst.
Sales and new credit applications are both up dramatically; with a significant increase in credit granted and dollar collections are up, the report said. There were fewer bankruptcies and disputes; all signs of business returning to more normal activity, the report said. Businesses that have survived the recession are looking to return to normalcy and are paying their bills, buying product and gaining access to capital again, the report said.

The CMI report said the most serious concern now is with state governments and sharp drops in revenue that have forced many of them into a budget crisis and they have reacted with program cuts. These programs and projects, according to the CMI, help provide private business expansion and there will be a reaction to this decline.
The energy sector is booming, the report said, to the point that there are job shortages in the alternate energy community.

Medical manufacturing continues to grow and the latest durable goods orders show a second month in a row of gain—1.8 percent. The majority of this movement has been in the production of machinery and computer equipment. The report said these are capital purchases that indicate business expansion as these expenditures are made due to the availability of credit.

Ceres and Ports America named as bidders for Baltimore terminal

The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) announced on Tuesday that Ceres Terminals, Inc./Alinda Capital Partners LLC and Ports America Group/Highstar Capital have qualified to submit offers to enter a possible public-private partnership agreement with the MPA to operate the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal.

The MPA issued a Request for Qualifications on April 15 with that information from interested private bidders having been due on
June 4.

Under the proposed P3 agreement, the MPA said it would lease the 200-acre Seagirt Marine Terminal, which opened in 1990, exclusively to a private entity for a minimum of 30 years.

The lessee would invest in a new berth, cranes, and other infrastructure at Seagirt, and pay an annual rent.

"We are pleased to reach the next step in this process and proceed forward with these two outstanding candidates," said Maryland's Acting Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley. "They will now compete to develop an agreement that is in the best interest of the State of Maryland. The ultimate goal is to identify a private partner that will contribute significant capital investment and enable the Port to build a 50-foot berth by 2014, when the completed expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to bring more cargo and larger vessels from Asia to U.S. East Coast ports."

Ceres Terminals, owned by the Japanese shipping group NYK Shipping Line, operates 32 terminals around the world. Ceres handles more than three million TEUs annually at 23 ports in the U.S. and Canada. Ceres currently performs some stevedoring services at Seagirt and has had a presence in Baltimore for more than 30 years, the port authority said. According to the MPA, Alinda Capital Partners the largest infrastructure fund in the U.S., with $5.8 billion in capital commitments and possessing about $15 billion in purchasing power.

Ports America is the largest terminal operator in North America, handling nearly 13 million TEUs containers annually at 15 container terminals. Ports America has operated the Seagirt Marine Terminal since it’s opening in 1990. Ports America is owned by Highstar Capital Fund L.P., which is a $3.5 billion private equity fund.

The MPA said final negotiations with the two bidders would be conducted later in the fall with a possible agreement reached by the end of this year.

NYK’s Tacoma terminal location plans could change

NYK Line is still promising to be at the Port of Tacoma by 2012 – but exactly where is now the question.

The port and NYK announced two years ago that the port would build the Tokyo-based shipping line a container terminal on the Blair-Hylebos Peninsula. The port then filed condemnation actions against several properties in the path of the proposed development and has since spent $137 million buying land for the project.

But now port officials won’t say for certain whether NYK will even be on the peninsula.

-Tacoma Tribune

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Calif. congresswoman campaigns for harbor tax monies going to port infrastructure

LONG BEACH - Congresswoman Laura Richardson is preparing legislation that requires the federal government to stop hoarding billions meant for infrastructure in and around the nation's seaports.

The untitled bill would force authorities to fully distribute the roughly $1.5 billion collected annually through the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT), a levy assessed on most waterborne freight entering the country.

In addition, the bill requires officials to begin distributing nearly $5 billion now sitting in an HMT surplus account.

-Contra Costa Times

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Dallas officials jumpstart scaled down inland port plan

After an eight-month hiatus, plans to guide and aid development in Dallas County's key southern inland port received a jumpstart on Tuesday when county commissioners voted to rejoin the regional effort.

The difference this time is a scaled-down development plan being coordinated by the North Central Texas Council of Governments that focuses on bringing key infrastructure improvements to the trade corridor south of Interstate 20.

-Dallas Morning News

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COSCO, Evergreen combine services to cut costs

Chinese shipping group COSCO, and Taiwan’s Evergreen, announced plans to combine their current, jointly operated Far East (FAX) and South Africa/East Coast South America (ESA) services into one ESA service.

The shipping lines said the consolidation is “to help minimize the impact soaring bunker price and responding to the deteriorating market conditions between the Far East and South Africa/ East Coast South America.”

The new service, which is expected to start on July 6, 2009 from Shanghai, will be composed of eleven vessels with a capacity of 3,500 TEUs. COSCON will provide four vessels and Evergreen will provide seven vessels separately.

The first vessel to depart will be MASS 0816W from Shanghai on July 6, 2009.

Port rotation is as follows: Shanghai / Ningbo / Kaohsiung / Yantian / Hong Kong/ Singapore / Tanjung Pelepas PTP / Durban / Cape Town / Montevideo / Buenos Aires / Paranagua / Santos / Durban / Singapore / Hong Kong / Shanghai. Evergreen’s vessels serve the ports of Kaohsiung and Paranagua only.

Through the combined weekly service, more port calls will be offered as well as fixed day weekly departures, the shipping lines said.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Top Story

EPA proposes tough clean air regulations for large ships

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced what it says are the next steps in a coordinated strategy to cut emissions from ocean-going vessels.

The EPA said it is proposing a rule under the Clean Air Act that sets tough engine and fuel standards for U.S. flagged ships that it said “would harmonize with international standards and lead to significant air quality improvements throughout the country.”

“These emissions are contributing to health, environmental and economic challenges for port communities and others that are miles inland. Building on our work to form an international agreement earlier this year, we’re taking the next steps to reduce significant amounts of harmful pollution from getting into the air we breathe,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Lowering emissions from American ships will help safeguard our port communities, and demonstrate American leadership in protecting our health and the environment around the globe.”

The rule comes on the heels of a proposal last March by the United States and Canada to designate thousands of miles of the two countries’ coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA).

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) begins consideration of the ECA plan on July 13, which could result in stringent standards for large ships operating within 200 nautical miles of the coasts of Canada and the United States.

By 2030, the EPA said the domestic and international strategy is expected to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large marine diesel engines by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter (PM) emissions by about 143,000 tons. When fully implemented, the EPA said the coordinated effort would reduce NOx emissions by 80 percent and PM emissions by 85 percent compared to current emissions.

The EPA said it estimates that in 2030, the emission reduction effort would prevent between 13,000 and 33,000 premature deaths, 1.5 million workdays lost, and 10 million minor restricted-activity days.

The proposed rulemaking is designed to reflect the IMO’s stringent ECA standards and broader worldwide program, EPA sad. The rule adds two new tiers of NOX standards and toughens EPA’s existing diesel fuel program for these ships.

PNW ports release clean air strategy report

The ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, BC, released their first annual Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy Implementation report for 2008 on port-related diesel and greenhouse emissions reduction developments as they work towards the benchmark years of 2010 and 2015.

The ports said their primary clean air strategy objectives are:

· Reduce maritime and port-related air quality impacts on human health, the environment, and the economy;

· Reduce contribution to climate change through co-benefits associated with reducing air quality impacts;

· Help the Georgia Basin/Puget Sound air shed continue to meet air quality standards and objectives.

The ports admitted there are a number of technical reporting standards needing clarification between the three respective agencies, but that they have established good benchmarks for future environmental goals.

Download the full report here (PDF):

Maersk won’t cut freight rates for 2010

A.P. Moller-Maersk's liner shipping business expects stagnation at best in the industry next year but will not cut freight rates to win more market share, the head of the division told a German newspaper.

"We are pretty disappointed by what we've seen in April and May," the head of Maersk Line, Eivind Kolding told business daily Financial Times Deutschland in an interview published on Thursday. He said growth in shipping volumes in 2010 is unlikely.

Kolding said he is currently not trying to increase Maersk Line's market share, which stands at about 15 percent.


For the full story:

Hueneme completes $15 mil dredging project

The port is a little deeper, the beach a little bigger, and local officials say they’re a lot happier after the completion of a one-year, $15 million dredging project at the Port of Hueneme.

With a large barge in the background, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, praised the joint effort by the Navy, the Army Corps of Engineers and the port to dig out more than 50 years’ worth of accumulated silt to make the deep-water port more accessible
and usable.

-Ventura County Star

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OOCL commended for environmental stewardship by Baydelta Maritime

Hong Kong-based shipping group OOCL announced its environmental stewardship efforts have been recognized by one of its logistics partners, Baydelta Maritime, in a ceremony in San Francisco on July 1, 2009.

Baydelta Maritime recently added its new tugboat Delta Billie to its fleet at Pier 15. The Delta Billie is equipped with two Caterpillar 3516C main engines that meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier II emissions standards - higher than those set by the California Air Quality Board, the company said.

“This new tug offers a significant reduction in emissions, with 90 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and 99 percent reduction in sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions,” said Henning. “The Delta Billie will be joined by its sister vessel, the Delta Cathryn in July.”

“We are grateful to receive this acknowledgement of our environmental efforts from Baydelta Maritime,” said Mr. Peter Leng, president of OOCL (USA) Inc.

“OOCL’s policy is that we believe every business in every industry must proactively work to reduce harmful emissions, and business leaders should encourage sustainable economic development through innovative and voluntary measures. Baydelta has demonstrated this innovation through its emissions reduction efforts with its new tugboats, and we congratulate the company on these efforts.”

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