Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for July 20 - July 24, 2009:
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Top Story

State DOT stimulus spending moves slowly

In February, when Congress approved President Obama's mammoth plan to stimulate the economy, transportation projects were supposed to be among the fastest-acting pieces of the $787-billion package.

All 50 states moved quickly to qualify for their share of the money. But since then the pace has slowed considerably, particularly in California and Florida, where the effect of the economic crisis has been especially severe.

As of July 10, more than 3,600 of the 5,600 road projects approved by Washington -- including six of the 10 largest approved projects -- had not been given the green light to start construction.

-L.A. Times

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Puget Sound ports’ Alaska business down significantly

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma both reported drops in their Alaska business this year and local trucking companies, shipping lines and freight forwarders are also reporting declining volumes.

The state is the Port of Tacoma's third largest trading partner behind China and Japan, with $3.5 billion worth of mostly northbound goods shipped out of the port last year. Most of those goods are consumable items - everything from groceries to lumber - headed for store shelves in Anchorage and beyond.

But this year the port is reporting a 9 percent drop in its domestic container volume, which represents Alaska cargo, though includes a small volume of containers headed to Hawaii. The Port of Seattle domestic container volume is down 10.5 percent.

-The Olympian

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ProLogis leases 498,000 square feet in Southern California

Denver-based industrial real estate provider ProLogis announced it signed a lease agreement during the second quarter of 2009 for 498,000 square feet of recently completed distribution space to Continental Tire North America, Inc (CTNA), a business of Continental AG.

CTNA will occupy the space in Southern California at ProLogis Park Redlands in a recently constructed, 600,000-square-foot facility. The park comprises seven buildings for a total of 3.1 million square feet. CTNA will use the space to store and distribute tires to its customers throughout the region.

Construction begins on East Coast biodiesel terminals

The past few weeks have seen heightened activity for biodiesel terminal operations on the East Coast. Construction has started on Orlando’s $2.5 million biodiesel blending station meant to serve its public bus agency, and Bay State Biofuels is building a distribution facility in North Andover, Mass. This terminal will be the first industrial distribution center in Massachusetts. The Lynx Orlando blend station will be the first in the U.S. operated by a transit agency.

-Biodiesel Magazine


GT Nexus launches 10+2 solution

GT Nexus announced it has launched a new service, Easy ISF™, to help U.S. importers comply with “10+2” requirements introduced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) earlier this year, also known as the Importer Security Filing, or ISF rule. For a flat monthly fee of $295, users can make unlimited 10+2 filings directly to CBP using the GT Nexus industry trade and logistics portal, and then manage responses online, at GT Nexus.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Top Story

Business economists’ survey: Recession abating 

The U.S. recession is abating, but showing few signs of recovery according to the survey responses of 102 members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).

The survey was conducted between June 19 and July 1, 2009, reflecting second quarter results and the near-term outlook, the NABE said.

“NABE’s July 2009 Industry Survey provides new evidence that the U.S. recession is abating, but few signs of an immediate recovery,” said Sara Johnson, IHS Global Insight.

“Industry demand was still declining in the second quarter of 2009, but the breadth of decline had narrowed considerably since late 2008, raising prospects for stabilization in the second half,” Johnson said.

“Businesses were aggressively cutting costs this spring by trimming payrolls, inventories, and capital spending. Looking ahead, respondents plan milder reductions in employment and capital budgets over the next 6-12 months,” she said.

According to the survey, 56 percent of the respondents projected real GDP to fall by 2 percent or more this year, and only 6 percent expected any positive growth.

The vast majority of NABE survey respondents expect their companies’ sales to rise in 2010, the report said. Approximately 45 percent reported that sales had hit their cyclical low in the first half of 2009 or earlier, with 41 percent seeing their low point in the second half of 2009, the report said. Fourteen percent expect that sales will reach their low point in 2010 or later, the survey said.

U.S. diesel prices continue to drop 

U.S. diesel prices continued to decline 4.6 cents to $2.496 a gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The average price of a gallon of diesel is $2.22 compared to less than a year ago when prices were close to $5 a gallon.

The least expensive region reported by the DOE was the U.S. Gulf Coast at $2.443, with the highest average price coming out of California at $2.703.

Hanjin raises trans-Atlantic rates; adds Europe-South America fuel charge 

South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping announced it would increase rates for the trans-Atlantic trade, effective September 1, 2009.
The shipping line said the amount of rate increase for all shipments between Europe and North America in both directions is $150 per-TEU and $225 per-FEU.

Hanjin said it would also introduce a fuel recovery charge for all shipments between North Europe and South America, effective August 15, 2009. The charge is $73 per TEU and $146 per FEU for the northbound and $78 per-TEU and $156 per-FEU for southbound.

Port of Long Beach awards subsidies for LNG trucks

The Port of Long Beach recently awarded subsidies for 100 new trucks, of which 98 were alternatively fueled liquefied natural gas (LNG) models. The trucks will add to a growing local fleet of less polluting vehicles, which, under the port's Clean Trucks Program, will reduce truck-related air pollution by 80 percent by 2012.

-Energy Current

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Ford awards Penske Logistics

Penske Logistics announced it was honored with the Ford Motor Company Silver World Excellence Award. Ford recently held an event recognizing three-dozen worldwide suppliers and Penske was cited for providing outstanding logistics services, the company said. This is the second Ford World Excellence Award for Penske Logistics.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Top Story

Duluth iron ore shipping lowest since
Great Depression

By at least one economic measure, the Great Recession is approaching the Great Depression in Duluth.

Shipping organizations reported Tuesday that iron ore shipments from the Twin Ports have declined by nearly two-thirds this season, hitting levels not seen since the 1930s.

Just over 1 million tons of ore have been shipped out of Duluth and Superior, Wis., so far this year, a drop of nearly one-half from a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers Association.

That's well below levels reached in the wake of the crash of 1929, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

-Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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Wartsila Ship Power CEO says no further job cuts

Finnish engineering firm Wartsila has no plans at the moment to cut more jobs at its hard-hit Ship Power unit, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The firm said in May it would cut 400-450 jobs at the division, around one third of the total workforce, due to a sharp fall in demand, and on Wednesday it forecast the standstill in the market to last for "quite some time".


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Dutch Harbor-Unalaska and New Bedford top fishing ports

Commercial fishermen unloaded 612.7 million pounds of fish and shellfish at the port of Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, in 2008, mostly pollock, making it the country’s top fish port the 20th consecutive year, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The port of New Bedford, Mass., took top honors on value of landings for the ninth year in a row, primarily due to sea scallops, bringing in $241.3 million in 2008, NMFS said. The port’s total landings were down 3.6 million pounds and the value declined by $27.6 million from 2007 primarily due to a significant drop in the price of scallops, NMFS said.

Nationwide, the total domestic commercial landings for 2008 were 8.3 billion pounds, valued at $4.4 billion. Landings were down from last year’s 9.3 billion pounds, however the value was up from last year’s total value of $4.2 billion. The main reason for the landings drop was the drop in pollock landing and the reason for the increase in value was that the price of Pollock rose significantly from eight to 14 cents per pound, NMFS said.

Figures in Millions of Pounds




Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska



Reedville, Va.



Empire-Venice, La.



Intercoastal City, La.



Kodiak, Alaska



Pascagoula-Moss Point, Miss.



Cameron, La.



New Bedford, Mass.



Los Angeles, Calif.



Gloucester, Mass.




Figures in Millions of Dollars




New Bedford, Mass.



Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska



Kodiak, Alaska



Cape May-Wildwood, N.J.



Honolulu, Hawaii



Hampton Roads area, Va



Naknek-King Salmon, Alaska



Empire-Venice, La.



Gloucester, Mass.



Cordova, Alaska



Note: To avoid disclosure of private enterprise certain ports have not been included.

Mark Helprin: A letter to the Somali pirates

Here is our memorandum, as promised, and we very much enjoyed meeting you (please return Mr. Goldstein, the fax machine, and the candy bowl). Your business model is admirable in view of its low start-up costs, high return on investment, lack of long-term obligations to employees, freedom from taxation, agility in the face of changing conditions, and absence of regulation. No expenditures are required for public relations, advertising, marketing, or employee recruitment. When necessary, you can liquidate your holdings with neither legal fees nor court supervision—although you yourself may be hanged. To answer the key question of how long you will be able to operate, you must take into account the resources and constraints of your competitors, the maritime nations represented in this analysis by the coastal states of NATO plus Japan.


For the full letter:

Compass Logistics launches virtual warehouse

Atlanta-based Compass Logistics, Inc. announced the launch of Comp-Space Service, a virtual warehouse program designed to reduce overhead by eliminating the need for a dedicated warehouse, the company said. Comp-Space is for clients who need to flex their space requirements, paying for only the amount of space needed at any given time, Compass said. Clients have the opportunity to significantly reduce overhead by eliminating the expense of warehouse leases, insurance, and payroll, the company said.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jafza South Carolina tags engineering firms for logistics complex

Jafza South Carolina LLC on Wednesday released the list of engineering firms who will receive a request for proposal to build the infrastructure for the first phase of the company’s first U.S. project — its much anticipated logistics, distribution and manufacturing complex in Santee, South Carolina.

The firms selected are AECOM; Alliance Consulting Engineers; Arcadis; BP Barber; and Seamon, Whiteside and Associates.

In 2007, Jafza acquired more than 1,300 acres in Orangeburg County for a logistics, warehouse, light manufacturing and multi-use commercial complex.

Jafza South Carolina is a subsidiary of Jafza International, a Dubai-based global logistics company.

ProLogis plans Japan development

ProLogis of Denver, one of the world’s largest operators of distribution centers, will develop a 382,000-square-foot building in Japan for Kirin Logistics Co. Ltd.

Kirin Logistics is part of Japanese food and beverage conglomerate Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. of Tokyo, which makes Kirin beer.

The project will advance despite the fact that ProLogis has cut back on developing new properties since its restructuring effort in fall 2008 to deal with the recession and a multibillion-dollar debt load.

The new Kirin Logistics building, scheduled to be finished in spring of 2010, will be located on 10 acres at ProLogis Parc Ebina in Ebina, Japan.

ProLogis is one of the largest providers of distribution space in Japan, with roughly 8.2 million square feet of buildings there, plus 98 acres of land for future development.

-Denver Business Journal

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Norfolk Southern plans intermodal yard in Memphis

Norfolk Southern Corporation's planned $129 million, 570-acre intermodal yard will be built in Rossville, close to Memphis, TN. Local logistics and distribution industries will benefit from the railroad’s new facility.

Not only is the railroad’s sprawling facility dubbed the Memphis Regional Intermodal Terminal, but it will also be close enough for Memphis-based companies to gain unprecedented logistical access to eastern cities.

The facility, which is scheduled for completion in January 2012, will serve as an anchor for Norfolk Southern’s “Crescent Corridor,” a $2.5-billion, 2,500-mile rail network designed to take a million trucks off roads that don’t have significant rail parallels, including Interstates 40 and 81.

-The Daily News (Memphis, TN)

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Major Oakland port project progresses

A Port of Oakland redevelopment project with a potentially broad economic impact hit a milestone Tuesday when the Port Commission chose a partner for remaking the former Oakland Army Base.

The Port Commission voted 4-1 for an exclusive negotiating agreement with a team led by Oakland developer Phil Tagami and San Francisco maritime developer AMB for 168 acres of waterfront property south of the Bay Bridge. Tagami/AMB also is competing for a 135-acre piece of the former Oakland Army Base, hoping to add it to the port land and build facilities for packaging, warehousing and distributing cargo.

The plan would extend rail to the port's Outer Harbor, where Ports America recently signed a 50-year deal with the port worth $60 million initially, plus a minimum of $19.5 million a year in rent.

Ports America's plans to double the cargo coming into the port would be greatly aided by proximity to trains. That strategy could make optimal use of Oakland's link to markets in the Midwest through the Sierra Nevadas.

The Tagami/AMB team is competing against Federal Oakland Associates, which has proposed big-box retail stores, a movie theater, office space, a business hotel and parks.

-San Francisco Chronicle

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NC Ports go green with biodiesel

NC Ports go green with biodiesel.

The North Carolina State Ports Authority have purchased three biodiesel storage tanks and fuel systems for operating equipment at the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City.

Transitioning to a blend of 20 percent bio-product/80 percent USLD in port operating equipment will reduce both diesel consumption and air pollution emissions by an estimated 20 percent annually.

Two biodiesel tanks at the Port of Wilmington, a 20,000-gallon tank and a 10,000-gallon tank, plus one 10,000-gallon tank at the Port of Morehead City will be installed by Jones and Frank Corporation of Raleigh. A NC Clean Air grant is funding $104,000 of the $126,000 cost, with Ports Authority revenues paying for the balance.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Top Story

Panama Canal Authority sees "signs of recovery" for auto shipping

The Panama Canal Authority has begun to see “signs of recovery” in shipping traffic, including from freighters transporting cars.

Traffic in the fiscal year ending in September is expected to total about 295 million tons, up from a previous range of about 290 million to 295 million tons. Traffic in the 95-year-old canal totaled 310 million tons in 2008. Revenue this year will be “similar” to last year’s record $2 billion.

U.S. auto sales have run at an annual rate of fewer than 10 million vehicles for each month this year, after averaging 16.8 million from 2000 through 2007.

The Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea, is undergoing a $5.25 billion expansion project through 2014 to handle larger vessels.


For the full story:

Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific launch intermodal reefer service

Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad have teamed up to offer a new expedited intermodal service for refrigerated trailer shipments between Los Angeles and Atlanta.

The Class I railroad carriers claim this new offering is the fastest intermodal service between Los Angeles and Atlanta.

The service allows customers to have their refrigeration units serviced at the UP’s El Paso, Texas-based stop, which reduces the risk of protective service failure during transit. The companies claim that this service offers shippers a viable alternative to over-the-road transportation through its “truck-like” speed—at more than 500 miles per day—and reliability.

The service is open to any shippers that do reefer business via intermodal.

-Logistics Management

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CHRW acquires Walker Logistics Overseas LTD

Global 3PL C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW) announced this week it has acquired Walker Logistics Overseas LTD, a London-based international freight forwarder.

Walker is a global, import and export door-to-door provider specializing in air and ocean freight, warehousing, courier, and logistics solutions. The company has more than 75 employees in five offices throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

This deal is the second acquisition CHRW has made this month. On July 10, it acquired certain assets of International Trade & Commerce Inc., a U.S. customs brokerage company specializing in warehousing and distribution based in Laredo, Texas.

-Logistics Management

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New Bedford port first in nation in value of landed seafood

Even with its ground fishing fleet on the verge of collapse, the Port of New Bedford is being recognized for landing the nation’s largest value of seafood in 2008, primarily due to sea scallops that sold for nearly $7 per pound.

It is the ninth consecutive year that the city has been named the top port in terms of the dollar value of its catch, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, which on Wednesday released statistics on U.S. commercial fishery landings.

New Bedford fishermen landed 146.4 million pounds of seafood for a total value of $241.3 million in 2008.


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Saigon Premier Container Terminal to open October 2009

Global marine terminal operator DP World has set October 1, 2009 for the official opening of its state-of-the-art Saigon Premier Container Terminal (SPCT). A joint venture between DP World and Vietnam’s IPC, SPCT is located on the Soai Rap River 15 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam's economy has seen an average annual growth of 7.1 percent since 2000. While Ho Chi Minh City is currently served by various port facilities along the Dong Nai and Saigon rivers, several terminals on the Saigon River will be closed over the next few years. SPCT will handle cargo that currently moves through these ports, while attracting new volumes.

-Maritime News

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