Today's Cargo News Archives
Summary for July 14 - July 18, 2008:
Go to Cargo Business News Home

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ports gather to set environmental goals

PORT LEADERS from around the globe gathered July 9-11 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to declare their commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gases and the improvement of air quality at ports worldwide. 

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz joined with other participants at the C40 World Ports Climate Conference.

The theme for the conference was “World Ports for a Better Climate.”

Participants at the conference endorsed a declaration saying that because there is evidence greenhouse gases are tied to global climate change, ports have a responsibility to cut emissions from oceangoing ships, port operations and hinterland goods movement and to promote renewable energy.

The ports also agreed to take stock of their carbon footprints and to develop goals to shrink them. 

The conference also featured representatives from ports that have already taken action to reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.

Knatz, the 2009 chairwoman-elect of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), made presentations on innovative climate initiatives like the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan.


C40 World Ports Climate Conference


Port of Seattle calls off housing agreement

THE PORT OF SEATTLE and the King County Housing Authority July 11 said they have mutually agreed to rescind their agreement for the sale of the Lora Lake Apartments to the KCHA following the completion of environmental testing that revealed significant soil contamination at the Burien property. 

The estimated cost to remove and dispose of contaminants and restore the site to the residential standard could potentially reach $8 million, according to the news release.

“Despite everyone’s considerable efforts to preserve Lora Lake as much-needed affordable housing for the region, given these findings it is not in the community’s best interest to continue forward with this project,” said Stephen Norman, KCHA executive director. 

“We appreciate the port’s cooperation in rescinding an agreement to purchase an apartment complex that would have been financially infeasible to operate as housing,” Norman added.

The port will also refund the initial $1 million payment for the property to KCHA.

“The port is committed to returning this site to a productive use for our community…,” said John Creighton, port commission president. 


Port of Seattle


Maersk Line celebrates 80th anniversary

MAERSK LINE July 12 celebrated the 80th anniversary of its first vessel sailing from Baltimore on the U.S. East Coast en route to the Far East via the Panama Canal.

In the holds of the Leise Maersk in 1928 were Ford car parts and general cargo —in all, 3,600 tons of cargo, the equivalent of 200 TEUs.

The Leise Maersk reached Japan 59 days after departing from Baltimore. She arrived at her next destination, the Philippines, on the 72nd day. On her homebound voyage, she carried sugar, silk and oil products.

Pre-1950, Maersk Line also offered passenger transport. Cargo liners could carry 12 passengers, who enjoyed “a carefree and restful time with the opportunity of becoming acquainted with life on the seven seas,” according to a Maersk news release.

In 1973, Maersk Line ordered its first dedicated container vessels, and in 1975, the Adrian Maersk, with a capacity of 1,400 TEUs, undertook Maersk Line’s first containerized sailing.

Today, Maersk Line operates a fleet of more than 500 container vessels and more than 1.9 million containers.


Maersk Line


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PMA, ILWU argue over coffee breaks

THE PACIFIC MARITIME Association July 12 reported that an International Longshore and Warehouse Union local “walked off the job at the Port of Tacoma July 11,” while at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, workers “continued taking coordinated unit breaks that have affected productivity.”

The action comes amid a lack of recent progress in negotiations for a new, three-year contract between the PMA and the ILWU.

The PMA negotiates and administers maritime labor agreements with the ILWU for its 71 member companies, including cargo carriers, terminal operators and stevedores on the West Coast.

“Any actions that are being taken unilaterally by the ILWU are troubling to us at a very sensitive stage of our negotiations,” said Steve Getzug, a spokesman for the PMA.

“Taking a coffee break together is not a crime,” said ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees. “Your right to a break is protected under state law, and I hope that the PMA is not opposed to workers taking coffee breaks. That would be un-American.”

Both sides reached an agreement on health care on June 17, but talks remain at an impasse on issues such as wages, worker safety and job security.


Pacific Maritime Association


Jasper port land transfer set

THE PORT AUTHORITIES in Georgia and South Carolina will share ownership of the Jasper Ocean Terminal site under plans set for approval this week.

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board of Directors July 14 unanimously approved the acquisition of 1,518 acres of land for the development on the Savannah River.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) Board is expected to approve a similar resolution at its regular meeting in Charleston today.

The property, which is in South Carolina but currently owned by the Georgia DOT, will be paid for and owned jointly by the SCSPA and the GPA. The land transfer could close by July 28, port authorities said.

“The acquisition approved today by the Georgia Ports Authority is the next step toward realizing the great potential for international trade and commerce in this region,” said Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.

“Our two ports authorities assuming joint ownership of the Jasper site is an incredibly significant and tangible step in moving forward on this port facility,” South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said.

The land transfer is in accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement signed by the SCSPA, the GPA and the GDOT in January 2008.


Georgia Ports Authority (GPA)

South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA)


New president, new Clean Trucks administrator at POLB

LONG BEACH Board of Harbor Commissioners President James C. Hankla accepted the gavel from immediate Past President Mario Cordero July 14 to start a one-year term as the board’s leader and the port’s chief spokesperson.

“We’re at the forefront of ports around the world,” said Hankla, who previously served as president from 2006-07. “This next year is not going to be easy, but I look forward to serving all of you in this capacity.”

The Board of Harbor Commissioners also announced the selection of an administrator to oversee the Clean Trucks Program, an aggressive plan to replace or retrofit thousands of trucks serving the port and reduce truck air pollution by 80% by 2012.

The board hired Tetra Tech, a Pasadena-based consulting, engineering and technical services firm, to administer the trucks program.  

In other key actions, the board asked staff for an evaluation of cutting-edge “zero or low-emission cargo movement systems” that could be used to move containers to and from an off-dock rail yard.

Such technologies include magnetic levitation (“maglev”) and fixed electric “conveyor belts.” Board members said they want to select the best option and to initiate a demonstration project.


Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

$60 a box bill passes Calif. Assembly

Shipping containers through California might get a bit more costly as Senate Bill 974 was passed by the state Assembly 45-24, and now works its way back to the Senate for final approval for its amended language.

Put forth by State Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D- Long Beach), the container fee, which would take effect in 2009, would assess $60 per forty-foot container ($30 per TEU), and reportedly bring in $400-$500 million annually to address congestion and air quality issues.

Provided this amended version of the bill is approved by the State Senate, there is no official indication if Governor Schwarzenegger will sign off, other than a statement on the current bill, released from his office, that both “air quality is protected while facilitating the movement of goods throughout the state." The Governor rejected a similar bill two years ago.

The Lowenthal bill would be added on top of fees to be imposed by the ports of L.A./Long Beach and Oakland.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, Assembyman Rick Keene (R-Chico) reacted:  "We can't be competitive, folks…if we continue to tax the economic engine of the state."


Report: Maquiladoras rise again

The Maquiladoras are back, according to a report by the research arm of Denver-based ProLogis, a global industrial real estate company.

Titled “Mexico’s Maquiladoras – Climbing the Ladder of Success” – the report points out that the rise of China as a cheap global manufacturing base, needed economic reforms in Mexico, and the loss of preferential tax treatment, dimmed the once-vibrant Maquilardoras sector. Maquiladoras are foreign-owned manufacturing plants.

However the Mexico report points out that Mexico is now the world’s 14th largest economy and could rise in those rankings with an increase in higher-value, Maquiladoras exports, including aerospace, custom-order electronics, and

The report also points to President Calderón’s National Infrastructure Program, which is slated “to increase infrastructure investment by 50 percent and thereby elevate Mexico’s status as the leader in infrastructure coverage in Latin America. Mexico’s highway system will get the lion’s share of the new outlays for infrastructure. The NIP allocates MXPs$270 billion to the construction, modernization and refurbishment of 10,937 miles of highway throughout the country. Specific projects include expansions to the NAFTA highway, a loop around Mexico City, deferred maintenance throughout the nation and construction of roads.”

To download the full report:


Maersk acquires two U.S.-flag ships

Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) announced today it has completed the purchase of two U.S. flag general cargo and roll-on/roll-off combination ships, formerly employed under long-term charter to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC). The ships are 755 feet long and feature six onboard cargo cranes, two side ports and a stern ramp, which allow handling of a wide variety of cargo. MLL has operated and managed them in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Prepositioning Program since they entered service in 1984. The vessels will be renamed MAERSK TEXAS and MAERSK TENNESSEE, respectively, and will join MLL’s U.S. flag commercial fleet, serving the U.S. charter and preference cargo spot markets. Both ships will continue to be crewed in all licensed and unlicensed positions by U.S. mariners from American Maritime Officers.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

PMA alleges disruptive job actions

THE PACIFIC MARITIME ASSOCIATION July 16 stated in a news release that International Longshore and Warehouse Union members in Southern California have “expanded disruptive job actions” at terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, leading to “widening productivity losses.”

The PMA represents 71 member companies including cargo carriers, terminal operators and stevedores on the West Coast.

According to the PMA, overall productivity at the twin San Pedro ports was down 20-30% during the day shift on Tuesday, July 15.

“The new work actions are occurring on top of coordinated mid-shift unit breaks that began Friday and continue to hamper operations at the nation’s busiest ports,” according to the PMA statement.

The ILWU, in a statement on its website, said: “ILWU members at the Ports of LA and Long Beach are now taking their breaks together, a longstanding ILWU practice known as ‘unit breaks,’ which are allowed under the contract.”

The statement added: “This moderate and measured response by workers to the lengthy negotiations is sending a message to the companies: it’s time to reach a fair agreement!”


Pacific Maritime Association

International Longshore and Warehouse Union


Major restructure at CEVA Logistics

CEVA Logistics, one of the leading supply chain companies in the world, July 17 announced a major restructure.

Effective immediately, four regional presidents will be responsible for running the integrated businesses in contract logistics (CL) and freight management (FM).

In making the announcement, CEO John Pattullo commented, “We believe this will bring our business even closer to customers and help us meet their growing need for integrated solutions.”

In August 2007, the former TNT Logistics merged with Eagle Global Logistics to form CEVA. The new company originally retained the CL and FM businesses as separate divisions, with the exception of Asia-Pacific, which tested a model integrating the two businesses at country level.

CEVA said in its statement that it has now decided to adopt the integrated model globally following “a very successful nine-month pilot in that region.”

CEVA announced the appointments of Joe Bento, president, Americas and global FM network; Vittorio Favati, president, Asia-Pacific; Bruno Sidler, president, Northern Europe; and Gianfranco Sgro, president, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa.


CEVA Logistics


LA/LB ports honor air quality winners

WINNERS OF THE FIRST San Pedro Bay Ports Air Quality Excellence Awards were announced by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles July 16 in Long Beach.

“They found better ways to run the machines that move goods at the nation’s No. 1 port complex: they switched to cleaner fuels, developed hybrid engines for vehicles and vessels, and invested in alternative-fueled equipment when others said it could not be done,” the ports said.

The honorees were selected by a judging panel comprised of representatives from the two ports, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

“Leadership at the Corporate Level” award winners are AP Moller-Maersk A/S at the Port of Los Angeles and Foss Maritime Co. at the Port of Long Beach.

“Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies” award winners are Long Beach Container Terminal (POLB) and Yusen Terminals Inc. (POLA).

The “Significant Early Action” award winner is Southern Counties Express (POLA).

“These companies have gone above and beyond status quo business practices to implement new processes that will clean the air — something that benefits every Southern Californian,” said Geraldine Knatz, POLA executive director.


Port of Long Beach

Port of Los Angeles


Submit Your Press Releases Here!