Today's Cargo News Archives
Summary for June 30 - July 4, 2008:
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Monday, June 30, 2008

Ice-free North Pole possible this summer

 AN ICE-FREE North Pole has a 50-50 chance of occurring this summer, according to Mark Serreze, a scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

 “We could have no ice at the North Pole at the end of this summer,” Serreze said. “And the reason here is that the North Pole area right now is covered with very thin ice and this ice we call first-year ice, the ice that tends to melt out in the summer.”

 If the ice were to break up completely this summer, it would be the first time this had happened in human history.

 The weather and ocean conditions in the next couple of weeks will determine how much of the sea ice will melt, and early signs are not good, Serreze said.

 Jay Zwally, a NASA ice scientist, said he thinks there is slightly less than a 50-50 chance the North Pole will be ice-free this summer.

 A more conservative ice scientist, Cecilia Bitz at the University of Washington in Seattle, put the odds of a North Pole without ice this summer closer to 1 in 4. Even that is far worse than climate models had predicted, which was 1 in 70 sometime in the next decade, she said.

 But both she and Serreze agree it’s just a matter of time.


 National Snow and Ice Data Center


San Pedro Bay opens new TWIC office

 THE TRANSPORTATION Security Administration and the Port of Los Angeles June 26 announced that they have opened an additional TWIC enrollment site on Terminal Island.

 The new registration site is at Berth 206, 1001 New Dock St., San Pedro, near the dividing line between the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.

 “The addition of a third enrollment center in the LA/Long Beach region provides more resources to an area dedicated to preventing persons who pose a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities,” said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC program director.

 As part of the TWIC program, tamper-resistant biometric credentials are being issued to truckers, longshore workers and others who need unescorted access to secure areas of the two ports.

 To obtain a TWIC, an individual must provide a digital photograph along with biometric information such as fingerprints. He or she must also pass a security threat assessment, which includes a criminal background check, conducted by the TSA.

 Established by Congress through the Maritime Transportation Security Act, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program is part of an effort to ensure that the nation’s ports are secure against people who could pose a security threat.


 Transportation Security Administration

Maersk Line reduces Asia-Europe capacity

 MAERSK LINE June 30 announced that because of significantly increasing fuel costs, the company will reduce space on its Asia-Europe services by 2,000 FEUs per week while keeping all corridors served in the network.

 In early July 2008, the AE5, AE7, AE2 and AE8 services “will undergo minor changes in order to remove capacity from our network while improving cost efficiency,” Maersk said.

 The AE5 service will be suspended, and the AE8 service will take over the coverage of Kaohsiung (Taiwan), according to the news release.

 The new AE8 rotation will be direct coverage from Shanghai (China), Ningbo (China), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Yantian (China) and Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia) to Valencia (Spain), Dunkirk (France), Southampton (UK), Gothenburg (Sweden), Aarhus (Denmark), Bremerhaven (Germany) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).

 The eastbound AE7 rotation will be Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Algeciras (Spain), Tangier (Morocco), Tanjung Pelepas and Yantian.

The westbound AE7 rotation is unchanged.

 The AE2 will have a changed rotation in North China and Korea as follows: Busan (South Korea), Dalian (China), Xingang (China), Qingdao (China), Kwangyang (South Korea), Shanghai, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Felixstowe (UK) and Salalah (Oman).


 Maersk Line

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Contract expires, West Coast talks continue

 THE CONTRACT between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association expired today, July 1, according to the ILWU’s website, but talks between the two parties continue.

 Representatives for both the union and the shipping lines said on Monday that they anticipated the talks will continue past the deadline.

 The two sides announced on June 17 that they had reached a preliminary agreement on health and welfare benefits for the new contracts.

 The ILWU represents 25,000 workers in 29 ports along the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle. The PMA negotiates for the cargo carriers, stevedores and terminal operators.

 “There’s a lot to do yet, and I don’t think anyone will be surprised if they go past Tuesday,"” said Craig Merrilees, communications director for the ILWU. He stressed that safety remains a primary concern.

 “Seventeen people have been killed while the [current] contact has been in effect the last six years,” Merrilees said. “So it’s become a very dangerous job, and it’s more dangerous than it needs to be.”

 PMA spokesman Steve Getzug said that “… we're working as hard and as quick as we can to try to get an agreement in place.” Getzug said that employers continue to look for productivity enhancements.


 International Longshore and Warehouse Union

 Pacific Maritime Association

Airbus selects K + N, DHL for lead providers

 AIRBUS has selected Kuehne + Nagel as lead logistics provider and DHL as lead transport provider, becoming Tier 1 partners for Airbus, the company announced June 30.

 The decision “is a significant step towards the integration of Airbus and will allow a further harmonization and optimization of Airbus’ logistics and related transport processes in Europe,” said Airbus.

 “The integration will lead to substantial savings in the range of a high double-digit million euros amount. The process is part of the Power 8 programme,” Airbus said in the news release.

The Airbus new logistics concept foresees the successive consolidation of all local warehouse facilities into regional hubs in Germany (Hamburg), France (Toulouse, Nantes-Saint Nazaire), Spain (Madrid, Puerto-Real) and the U.K. (Broughton) by 2010. They will be fully managed and operated by Kuehne + Nagel.

 As lead transport provider, DHL will implement a full transport management system and streamline the transport of moving materials from the supplier to the Airbus manufacturing plants.

 International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) will be harmonized to one common FCA (Free Carrier) standard. This allows “better integration, rationalizing of capacity and better tracking of items,” Airbus said



Ports America promotes top execs

 PORTS AMERICA Group June 30 announced the promotions of Douglas A. Tilden from chief executive officer to chairman and Stephen Edwards from president to chief executive officer and president.

 Earlier this year, Tilden was promoted to CEO of Ports America from his previous position as president and CEO of Marine Terminals Corp./MTC Holdings.

 Tilden began his career in the shipping industry in 1969, working for United States Lines for 18 years before joining Marine Terminals Corp. in 1987. His new role will allow Tilden “to focus on enhancing value to customers and to work on corporate-wide strategic initiatives,” the company said.

 “As chairman I will be able to devote time and attention to our top strategic priorities — exceeding our customers’ expectations and making a long-term investment in the business,” Tilden said.

 Edwards joined Ports America in February 2005 after working 17 years for the P&O Group. Prior to his appointment as president, Edwards was president and CEO of P&O Ports North America Inc.

 “I very much look forward to leading the operations of the Ports America Group as we develop the premier marine terminal and port operating company,” Edwards commented.


 Ports America Group

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

VIT signs $500 million deal with ship consortium

 THE VIRGINIA PORT Authority July 1 announced that its operating company, Virginia International Terminals Inc., has signed its largest customer to a 10-year contract valued at more than $500 million.

 The customer, a shipping consortium composed of five carriers, was created after two consortiums, CKY and HU, joined forces. The consortium, now called CKYHU, includes the following carriers: Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin Shipping Inc. and United Arab Shipping Co.

 “This cements our relationship with 100 percent of our customers for the next decade,” said Jerry A. Bridges, the VPA’s executive director.

 “The reason we have been able to bring these ship lines to agree to these long-term deals is because of the service VIT delivers and because of the room we have for growth. We know there is more business out there, and we intend to go and get it.”

 CKY had an agreement with VIT, and that was incorporated into the 10-year consortium agreement with HU, according to the VPA. Joe Dorto, VIT’s president and chief executive officer, said the negotiations with HU were ongoing for nearly two years.


 Virginia Port Authority

POLB extends Middle Harbor comment period

 THE LONG BEACH Board of Harbor Commissioners June 30 agreed to add 30 days to the public comment period on a draft environmental impact study for a proposed Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project at the Port of Long Beach, moving the deadline for input to Aug. 8, 2008.

“We very much appreciate those who have given us their constructive comments on the project so far,” said Commission President Mario Cordero. “Given the scale of the environmental analysis, we agree that the public should be allowed another 30 days to submit comments.”

The draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) analyzing the Middle Harbor project is more than 3,000 pages long, including appendices.

 The port has conducted two public hearings, June 11 and June 18, to receive verbal comment from the public. About 200 people attended the hearings, and about 100 offered comments on the proposed project.

 In addition, the port has received about 150 written comments on the environmental document. The topics ranged from jobs to air quality issues to an extension of the comment period. The 45-day comment period was scheduled to end on July 11.


 Port of Long Beach

Port of Seattle reports on reforms

 THE PORT OF SEATTLE July 1 announced that it has submitted its SAO Annual Report Summary to State Auditor Brian Sonntag.

 The report cites “the significant progress made in implementing the recommendations contained in the December 2007 performance audit on the port’s construction management program.”

 The organization has implemented 24 of the audit’s 51 recommendations and is on track to implement 21 of the remaining recommendations by Aug. 31, 2008, the port said. While the organization disagreed with six of the recommendations, the port worked to find alternatives that met the underlying intent. 

 During public session, commissioners noted their confidence in the reforms implemented thus far and in the organization’s commitment to greater efficiency and transparency.

 “The Commission established an aggressive timeline, and we have accomplished a significant amount of work in a short time,” said John Creighton, port commission president.

The audit report contained two overarching recommendations: establishing a central procurement office and revision of Resolution 3181, which governs how the port commission delegates its authority to the CEO and throughout the organization.


 Port of Seattle

Thursday, July 3, 2008

NWA Cargo ups fuel surcharges

 NWA CARGO July 2 announced in a news release that because of continuing increases in the price of jet fuel, the company will raise its fuel surcharges in certain markets effective July 15, 2008, subject to government approval where required.

 Surcharges for shipments from the U.S. to Korea and Japan, as well as from Korea to the U.S., will increase from $1.20 per kilogram to $1.25 per kilogram. Trans-Atlantic shipments, except shipments continuing to Asia, will also increase from $1.20 per kilogram to $1.25 per kilogram.

 Westbound trans-Pacific surcharges from the U.S. to Shanghai (PVG) and Guangzhou (CAN) will increase from 50 cents per kilogram to 55 cents per kilogram.

 Surcharges on the longest routes in the NWA cargo network, including all other shipments between the United States and Asia, will increase from $1.30 per kilogram to $1.35 per kilogram.

 Domestic U.S. fuel surcharges will remain unchanged, according to the news release.

 Full surcharge details, including local currency equivalents and shipper built unit charges, may be obtained from local NWA Cargo sales offices or on the company website.


 NWA Cargo


New head office for DHL Express

 DHL EXPRESS July 3 announced that it is bringing its expertise and global management team under one roof with the opening of a new, state-of-the-art global head office and global Quality Control Center in Bonn, Germany.

 “The move to a new, technologically advanced building will create greater synergy” across its key business functions, DHL said.

 DHL also aims to bring increased collaboration between its express and logistics businesses as a result of the new office’s close proximity to Deutsche Post World Net’s headquarters.

Commenting on the opening of the new office, John Mullen, CEO of DHL Express, said: “This marks the start of a new era for DHL Express. Not only have we established our infrastructure globally, but we have engaged the right talent pool in our global team to forge stronger partnerships between the business units.”

 The new head office in Bonn is part of a world-wide infrastructure enhancement plan that will help DHL Express establish more seamless global operations, the company said.

 The plan also included the creation of the newly opened state-of-the-art European central hub in Leipzig, Germany.


 DHL Express


Port of Baltimore wins documentary award

 THE PORT OF BALTIMORE July 1 announced that “The Great Port of Baltimore: The First 300 Years” has won a Silver Telly, the highest honor in the 29th Annual Telly Awards competition.

 The 30-minute video documentary was produced by the Port of Baltimore Tricentennial Committee and Adventure Productions.

 “The Telly Awards are right up there with the Emmys in our industry,” said George Stover, president of Baltimore-based Adventure Productions. The competition received more than 14,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

The Telly Awards honor the best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs in addition to video and film productions and work created for the Internet.

The documentary was conceived and funded by the Tricentennial Committee, which also oversaw all aspects of its production. The committee was created to organize and implement a yearlong celebration of the Port of Baltimore’s 300th anniversary in 2006.

 “I hope this award will encourage more individuals and organizations to watch this film and learn about the key role the Port of Baltimore plays — past, present and future,” said Committee Chairman Helen Delich Bentley.


 Port of Baltimore

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