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Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for August 3 - August 7, 2009:
Go to Cargo Business News Home

Monday, August 3, 2009

Top Story

Brazil's LLX Logistica to build Sudeste Port

LLX Logistica the Brazilian logistics company controlled by billionaire Eike Batista, said on Monday it received regulatory approval for the construction of the Sudeste Port, a port terminal that could handle 50 million tons of iron ore annually in its initial phase.

Located in the municipality of Itaguaí, 80 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro and only 4 km away from MRS railway network, Port Sudeste will handle the production from MMX’s Sudeste System mines located at Minas Gerais State.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company said the license, issued by Rio de Janeiro State's Environmental Institute, is a key requirement for the construction, which is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2009. The port is expected to start operations in 2011.



POLA, Long Beach may end cargo fee

After a series of delays, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are considering whether to scrap a cargo fee that was supposed to generate $1.4 billion for bridge, railway and road improvements.

The infrastructure fee, adopted by the twin ports in January 2008, was never collected because of the national recession and the fact that no specific construction projects were ever approved.

The proposal had initially called for placing a $15 fee on all loaded 20-foot cargo containers entering or leaving the ports by truck or train beginning Jan. 1.

Just weeks before the fee was scheduled to kick in, the twin ports delayed implementation until July 1 and slashed the fee to $6 for loaded 20-foot cargo containers.

Earlier this year, that date was delayed - again - to July 1, 2010, with a new fee amount that still needs to be calculated.

In the meantime, staffers from both ports are studying whether to completely take the fee off the books.

Part of the problem stems from a provision that requires the ports to complete a series of environmental impact reports for the proposed projects before the fee could ever be collected from shippers.

-Daily Breeze


Sunken Norwegian cargo ship found

The Swedish coastguard has confirmed that the sunken cargo ship Langeland has been found south of the Koster islands off Sweden's west coast.

The Langeland's crew of six likely perished in the accident.

The vessel is at a depth of around 110 meters in the southern part of the Koster fjord and was located at around 1pm this afternoon with the help of a Remotely Operated Vehicle.

The shipping line together with its insurance company, which now have the main responsibility to decide on whether to salvage the ship.

A massive search operation had been ongoing since Friday when the Langeland sank after it had entered the Koster fjord in search of shelter from strong winds.

The Langeland is 230 feet (70 meters) long and weighs 70 tons. It was on its way to Moss in southern Norway, carrying insulation material.

-The Local (Sweden)


Somali pirates get $2.7M ransom for German container vessel

Somali pirates holding a German ship with five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos on board announced they have received a $2.7 million ransom and are counting it before releasing the ship.

The German-flagged container vessel Hansa Stavanger was captured about 400 miles (645 km) off the southern Somali port of Kismayu on April 4.

The release of the 20,000-ton ship, owned by Hamburg shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg, was expected last week but it was delayed after the pirates demanded a higher ransom.

- Reuters


Baltic sea freight index weak

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index .BADI, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, fell 2.76 percent on Friday with weaker interest for cargoes weighing on activity.

The index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, fell 95 points to 3,350 points on Friday in a second day of falls after rising for three sessions previously.

Brokers and analysts have said short-term movements of the main index continued to be dominated by the availability of the Capesize fleet, typically hauling 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal. Chinese demand for iron ore -- the primary material in the manufacture of steel -- has driven freight market activity.

In recent months heavy congestion at China's ports tightened the supply of Capesize vessels and helped push the Baltic index higher but also added to swings in freight rates.

Port congestion in China as well as off Australia's coast had tied up a large number of Capesize vessels.

- Reuters


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top Story

Pirates release German cargo ship

A German-flagged cargo ship captured by Somali pirates and held for nearly four months has been released after a ransom was paid, officials say.

The Hansa Stavanger cargo ship was seized in April far out to sea, some 400 miles (645 km) from the Somali port of Kismayu.

A ransom, reportedly some $2.7 million, was paid to the pirates. The release of the vessel and its 24 crewmembers was delayed while the ransom was raised.

A spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy mission confirmed that the ship and her crew had been released.

The vessel was under the protection of European naval forces, the spokesman said. Earlier in June the EU, which co-operates with Nato in the region, agreed to extend its anti-piracy operation there until the end of 2010. Two dozen ships from European Union nations, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy, patrol an area of about two million square miles.

-BBC News


Seattle port program reduces at-dock ship emissions

Vessel operators in the Port of Seattle's At-Berth Clean Fuels Program have reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by at least 80 percent and diesel particulate matter by 60 percent, helping the region to meet its clean-air targets.

The program, known as ABC Fuels, was formally unveiled this month in a demonstration aboard Matson Navigation Company's container ship Manoa, which was docked at the port's Terminal 18 container facility and using low sulfur diesel fuel to power its auxiliary engines.

Low sulfur fuel is more highly refined and thus more expensive. The ABC program helps compensate shipping lines for the transition to low sulfur fuel.

Vessels participating in ABC Fuels agree to use low sulfur fuel (0.5 percent or less) in their auxiliary engines while docked in Seattle. In exchange, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency helps defray the cost of the more expensive low sulfur fuel by providing participating vessels with $1,500 for each port call.

- Examiner


Navios Maritime takes delivery of three capesize vessels

Greek shipping company Navios Maritime Holdings has taken delivery of three newbuild capesize vessels, constructed at Korean shipyards.

The three vessels, the Navios Bonavis, the Navios Happiness and the Navios Pollux, will be employed under existing long-term charter-out contracts that are expected to generate total annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of approximately $46.6 million.

According to the company, two of the vessels are financed with a 10-year term facility for $120 million with margin at 190bps. The third vessel is financed with a 10-year term facility for $60 million with margin at 225bps.



Proximex Announces contract with Port of Long Beach

Proximex, a leading developer of physical security information management (PSIM) tools, has signed a contract with the Port of Long Beach, the nation's second busiest seaport.

Port of Long Beach has installed Proximex Surveillint in its new Command and Control Center, which serves as the Port's Security Division headquarters and as a coordination and communications hub for security agencies that protect the harbor complex.

In the Command and Control Center, Surveillint integrates access control, video management, radar, CAD and mass notification systems with plans to coordinate as many as 14 disparate systems.

Georgia Ports Authority handles 2.4 million TEUs in FY09

Georgia Ports Authority handled more than 2.4 million TEUs, added additional services and maintained its position as America’s fourth highest volume container port in fiscal year 2009.

During fiscal year 2009, GPA experienced a 10.5-percent decrease in total TEUs and a 12.4-percent decline in total tonnage for all terminal facilities, including Bainbridge, Brunswick, Columbus and Savannah. However, according to the Port Import Export Reporting Service (PIERS), total containerized trade to the U.S. experienced a decline of 30 percent for the first six months of CY09.

In FY09, GPA purchased four additional super post-Panamax cranes and 15 Rubber Tired Gantry cranes and completed the Chatham Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF).

- Maritime News


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Top Story

MOL and India's Sical Logistics form joint venture

Sical Logistics, Ltd., an India-based provider of integrated logistics solutions, has entered into a memorandum of understanding to form joint venture with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), a Japan-based marine transportation company, to operate an automotive management yard at Ennore Port near Chennai, India.

The joint venture will be engaged in yard operations such as storage and preparation for loading of vehicles at the export port, of all operations for exports of Nissan vehicles, for which MOL has already secured a contract.

The joint venture will combine the expertise of MOL in global automotive transportation and yard management with Sical's competencies in multimodal integrated logistics and terminal operations. The companies plan to establish the joint venture in 2009.



Vale Seeks to Build 400,000 Deadweight-Ton Ships

Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, is seeking to build ships with 400,000 deadweight tons capacity for its own fleet to serve the growing Chinese market and cut costs.

Vale’s fleet has helped Brazilian miners to reduce freight costs when shipping ore to Asia.

Commercial freight rates from Vale’s Brazilian ports to China, the world’s biggest iron-ore consumer, are double the rates paid by its competitors BHP Billiton Plc and Rio Tinto Group from Australia to China, because of the greater distance.

Since the beginning of the global financial crisis, Vale has bought 15 used ships and ordered 20 new ones to save on costs.

Vale shipped a record 35.6 million tons of the steelmaking ingredient to China in the second quarter, 42 percent more than a year earlier.

- Bloomberg


Port of Newport to be NOAA's new home

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will move its Marine Operations Center-Pacific on Lake Union in Seattle — and its 175 jobs — to the Port of Newport, beginning in 2011.

On Tuesday, NOAA officials said the Port of Newport will be the operation’s new home pending the signing of a 20-year lease. NOAA’s current lease expires on June 30, 2011.
The center provides management of 10 NOAA vessels and serves as the homeport for NOAA ships including the Rainier, Miller Freeman and McArthur II. The Bell M. Shimada is expected to join the fleet there next year.

The center also provides field support to NOAA ships Ka’Imimoana, Hi’Ialakai and Oscar Elton Sette out of Honolulu; David Star Jordan out of San Diego; Fairweather out of Ketchikan, Alaska, and Oscar Dyson out of Kodiak, Alaska.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington said she would oppose NOAA’s plan to move from Lake Union, using her position as chair of the Senate subcommittee that oversees NOAA.

- Portland Business Journal


Vidalia port receives $1.5 million for access road

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has secured approximately $1.5 million for the Vidalia loading and unloading dock project, better known as the Vidalia port.

In a news release, the senator announced the funding had been secured through the 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. The appropriation is specifically to build a port access road, which will facilitate the use of waterway transportation to move freight.

The project was also given $1.2 million from the Economic Development Authority for construction on the port. The access road will be the first step toward starting construction at the port site itself.

The City of Vidalia will donate the property the port will be located on — valued at $400,000 — as an in-kind match for future funds.

-Natchez Democrat


Bellingham port and Lummi nation approve waterfront deal

The Lummi Indian Business Council and Port of Bellingham Commission on Tuesday approved a deal that will help move forward major redevelopment and cleanup projects on the Bellingham waterfront.

The deal includes 15 various projects, in particular a tribal agreement not to oppose the waterway cleanup and marina projects in the initial stage of the federal regulatory process. The tribe can still review permits for designed projects, but tribal officials have agreed they will not oppose the projects themselves.

Lummi Nation members have a treaty-guaranteed right to make a living from fishing, according to numerous court rulings. That right gives tribe legal leverage to block or delay waterfront development and cleanup plans, if tribal officials believed those plans could damage populations of salmon, crab or other species harvested by tribal fishers.

-The Bellingham Herald



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Top Story

NOL posts Q2 loss; sees slight pickup in Q3

Neptune Orient Lines, one of the world's top container shipping firms, said on Thursday it saw its business stabilizing but still warned it might post a significant full-year loss, the first since 2002.

The company posted a second-quarter net loss of $146.2 million, compared with a net profit of $75.8 million a year ago. The quarterly loss was smaller than the consensus estimate of $245 million.

The company, 67.4 percent owned by Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL], said it saw a slight pick-up in its container business in the third quarter.

Eng Aik Meng, president of NOL's container shipping unit APL, said there has been some improvement in the container business this quarter but NOL has no concrete plan to put 15 idle ships back in service.

Last month the company embarked on a rights issue to raise $972 million in an effort to cut its debt and build a warchest for
possible acquisitions.


For the full story: www.reuters.com

MSC to launch Europe service at Philadelphia port

At a time when shipping companies are shrinking because of the global recession, the second-largest container shipper in the world will expand its operations at the Port of Philadelphia, transporting cargo from Europe.

In the next few weeks, Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.A., based in Geneva, Switzerland, will begin European shipments into the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia, the board of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority said yesterday.

The Europe service will replace what was lost when Hamburg Süd, of Hamburg, Germany, pulled European shipments out of Philadelphia in June, costing the port about 20 percent of its container business.

-The Philadelphia Inquirer

For the full story: www.philly.com/inquirer

Wallenius says shipping market may be bottoming out

Norwegian car shipper Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA said the ocean transport market may be bottoming out after the weak global economy again hit its cargo volumes in the second quarter.

Wilhelm Wilhelmsen said that car recycling incentives around the world should boost car sales in the second half of 2009 and that weak sales in past quarters have reduced excess inventories, boding well for shipping volumes.

Additionally, stimulus packages should start to lift construction equipment sales late this year, boosting shipping.


For the full story: www.reuters.com

Longview breaks ground on $200 mil grain terminal

Citing a growing demand for safe grain transport to Asia, backers of a $200 million grain terminal at the Port of Longview said Tuesday it fills a demand both at home and across the Pacific.

About 200 people were at the ceremony, including a contingency from EGT Development LLC, the company formed to build the terminal, and a handful of delegates from Japan and South Korea.

EGT is a partnership among St. Louis-based Bunge North America, Japan-based Itochu Corp. and Korean shipper STX Pan Ocean. Once construction is complete in 2011, the company will be headquartered in Portland.

-The Daily News (Longview)

For the full story: www.tdn.com

APL-Con-way container service expands to Mexico

APL Logistics and Con-way Freight announced their OceanGuaranteed service for less-than-containerload (LCL) cargo from Asia will now reach all major metropolitan markets in Mexico in the biggest expansion yet of the three-year-old program that combines ocean and truck transportation to deliver cargo to a customer’s store door.

“We’re already serving most of the continent with day-definite service,” said APL Logistics President Jim McAdam. “We’re pleased that we can now extend OceanGuaranteed throughout North America by incorporating the very important Mexican market.”

OceanGuaranteed debuted in 2006 as a China-to-U.S. service. It expanded last year into Canada. With the addition of Mexico, origin ports in Asia are now connected for the first time to every major North American market via day-definite delivery.

Day-definite means that cargo arrives on a date agreed to by the shipper and carrier. If it doesn’t, the shipper is refunded a portion of the transportation fee.

“OceanGuaranteed has proven to be very popular with shippers in the U.S. and Canada who need a high degree of assurance that cargo will arrive when they need it,” said John Labrie, President of Con-way Freight. “We’re confident it will prove equally popular with Mexican shippers who need reliability at favorable rates.”

APL Logistics and Con-way Freight launched OceanGuaranteed to compete with expensive airfreight carriers. The service is not only the first of its kind; it’s up to 60 percent less expensive than airfreight, the companies said.

OceanGuaranteed cargo moves from Asia on vessels operated by APL and Con-way Freight transports shipments inland to final destinations.

Because the ships, trucks and terminals in the OceanGuaranteed network are owned by one of the two partners or their affiliates, the freight companies said they could provide expedited service including late-gate privileges at origin ports and first-off priority at the Port of Los Angeles where the vessels arrive. The two companies said OceanGuaranteed’s on-time performance record is reportedly better than 98 percent.

For its new Mexico service, OceanGuaranteed cargo will be transported on dedicated Con-way Freight trucks from Los Angeles to Laredo, Texas. From there cargo will cross the border to Mexico with delivery via a Con-way Freight affiliate to the final destination, the companies said.

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