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Summary for August 4- August 8, 2008:
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Monday, August 4, 2008

Prince Rupert reports box traffic milestones

The B.C. Port of Prince Rupert reported the first six months of 2008 saw 42,555 TEUs move through the Fairview Container Terminal, an average of 7,093 TEUs per month.

Outbound containers accounted for nearly 50% of the throughput, of which 39% were fully laden for export to Asia.

Weekly container volumes through Prince Rupert have been steadily increasing since early April, from 1,232 TEUs to a record of 2,631 TEUs, compared to the North American West Coast port trend of declines in container imports, port authorities said.

“All of the players involved in the Fairview Terminal, from labour and border security services to Maher Terminals, CN and COSCO, have been working collaboratively and diligently to meet shippers’ needs and expectations,” said Shaun Stevenson, VP marketing and business development for the port authority.

“As a result, we are maintaining a high velocity in moving customers’ cargo from point of origin to destination consistently on time, efficiently and quickly,” Stevenson added.

The throughput is expected to increase substantially as both weekly service calls continue to ramp up, port authorities said.


Port of Prince Rupert


NYK to build ‘revolutionary’ box hangar

The Tokyo-based NYK Line July 30 announced plans to build a “revolutionary” state-of-the-art container hangar, the first of its kind, at the Oi Container Terminal’s No. 6 berth, Tokyo.

The new 90,416-ft. hangar is expected to be able to handle 60,000 TEUs per year, a 66% increase over the current handling volume of 36,000 TEUs per year, the company said.

The hangar, to be built in FY2010 and opened at the beginning of FY2011, will “improve yard usage, lead to increased efficiency in loading and unloading and result in operations that are much more environment friendly,” the company said.

“Containers on the bottom of the stack, which previously could not be reached until those above were moved, …[will] be easily removed from the bottom of the hangar without first moving any other containers,” NYK said.

The new hangar will feature two modern stacker cranes, running on electric power, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 63%. The cranes will be able to handle 48 containers per hour, whereas the present two-transfer cranes can currently handle 36 containers per hour.


NYK Line


New contracts manager at Tacoma port

The Port of Tacoma Aug. 1 announced that it has hired Alyce Benge as contracts manager, responsible for the management and oversight of construction contracts, including the financial and legal compliance of all port contracting activities.

Before joining the port, Benge was director of purchasing services for the Issaquah (Wash.) School District, where she was responsible for the management and oversight of daily warehouse and procurement operations, including contracting services, purchases, public works contracting, professional services, asset management and vendor relations.

A Certified Public Purchasing Officer and Certified Purchasing Manager, Benge holds an Associates degree in business (1992) from Olympic College, Bremerton, Wash., and a Bachelor’s degree in international relations (1994) from the University of Washington-Tacoma.

A major gateway to Asia and Alaska, the Port of Tacoma is among the largest container ports in North America, handling an estimated more than $36 billion in annual trade and about 2 million TEUs.


Port of Tacoma


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

POLB offers subsidies for Clean Trucks Program

The Port of Long Beach is offering “generous subsidies of as much as 80% for vehicle owners who participate” in the port’s Clean Trucks Program, a clean-air initiative to reduce air pollution from the port truck fleet by 80% by 2012, port authorities reiterated Aug. 4.

The port is providing financial assistance to accelerate the transition to clean trucks and offering the option of three financing plans: a lease-to-own program, grants for the purchase of a new truck and grants to retrofit an older truck.

Financial assistance is available to independent truck owner-operators and trucking companies (licensed motor carriers) who own trucks that have been in service at the ports for at least two years. 

Under the lease-to-own program, an applicant can exchange an old truck for a pre-approved new truck under a seven-year lease agreement. With a grant for purchase, an applicant can exchange an older truck for a pre-approved new truck with a port grant. Scrapping the old truck is required for either.

A grant for a retrofit is also available.

To make an appointment to apply, call 888-KLN-TRUX (888-556-8789) or visit the Clean Trucks Center on Terminal Island at Pier S Ave. and New Dock St.


Port of Long Beach

Philadelphia to brief bidders on new box terminal

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has announced it will hold an industry briefing Monday, Aug. 11, for potential bidders interested in the proposed development of a new greenfield marine container terminal on the Delaware River, south of the Walt Whitman Bridge.

The briefing will be at the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal, 5100 S. Broad St, Bldg. 3, in Philadelphia, PA, at 10:00 a.m. A site visit will follow. Details and a map are available at by clicking on “Philadelphia Southport Development.”

The proposed development site “boasts access to three class one railroads, access to two interstate highways, an ‘air draft’ or height limit of 188 ft. and significant quantities of contiguous, undeveloped waterfront property,” port authorities said. 

The development will be procured and delivered through a public/private partnership. Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) will be considered by the Pennsylvania Dept. of General Services following the industry briefing.

Preregistration by Aug. 6 is required. The meeting is not considered mandatory for potential proposers, but “attendance is strongly encouraged,” port authorities said.

Foss management changes accent safety, compliance

The Foss Maritime Co. Aug. 4 announced that it has created three new management positions aimed at strengthening its safety, compliance and environmental programs.

Frank Williamson has been promoted to vice president, safety, quality and general counsel.

Formerly Foss’ general counsel, Williamson will take on new responsibilities in health, safety, compliance and quality assurance. He will oversee the team responsible for developing and implementing safety and environmental programs.

Susan Hayman, who spearheaded the development of Foss’ hybrid-powered, low-emissions tug due to enter service this fall, will become vice president for environmental and corporate development.

In this role, Hayman will focus on strategic planning, including environmental initiatives for both Foss and parent company Marine Resources Group. She was formerly Foss’ vice president, health, safety, quality and environment.

John Marcantonio has been promoted to marine assurance manager and will lead an operations team that will support Foss mariners in executing safety programs, as well as investigating and reporting accidents.

Gary C. Faber, Foss president and CEO, called the creation of the positions a logical step for a company where safety and environmental excellence have become the top priorities.


Foss Maritime Co.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Port of San Diego sues to stop ballot measure

The San Diego Board of Port Commissioners voted unanimously to file a lawsuit to stop a Nov. 4 ballot measure that would amend the San Diego Unified Port District’s master plan by allowing such uses as hotels, restaurants and a sports venue at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in San Diego.

The suit, filed in Superior Court Aug. 5, asks for a temporary and permanent order preventing the initiative from going on the ballot.

In approving the motion to legally challenge the initiative, port commissioners expressed concerns that the initiative, if approved, could irreparably harm the port district and its maritime operations.

“The board and shipping experts do not believe that sports venues, shopping centers and hotels can be built on top of a working marine freight operation,” said Michael Bixler, chairman of the board.

The initiative misleads the voters by “purporting to protect marine freight uses at the terminal, while introducing incompatible uses and allowing the uses to invade areas limited to marine freight,” port authorities said.

A court hearing is expected to be held soon on the port’s challenge to the initiative.


Port of San Diego

Polaris to buy POLB Pier B land parcel

Polaris Minerals Corp. Aug. 5 announced that its subsidiary, Eagle Rock Aggregates Inc., will complete the purchase of a parcel of land at Pier B in the Port of Long Beach for $15.18 million.

The transaction is scheduled to close on or about Aug. 18, 2008.

With this investment, ERA will own a 66% interest in the 12.4 acre Pier B parcel of land, with its strategic alliance partner owning the remaining 34%, according to the news release.

The alliance will secure a strategic port site intended to become a “major marine aggregate receiving and distribution terminal,” Polaris said.

The first phase of development will entail a sand and gravel receiving terminal that will supply products from the Orca Quarry to the massive Los Angeles market.

The second phase of the development is expected to be the construction of an additional aggregate terminal to receive granite from the proposed Eagle Rock Quarry.

“We anticipate that the acquisition of the Pier B land will play an important part in facilitating the development of our proposed Eagle Rock Quarry, on which we are currently conducting a feasibility study,” said Marco Romero, Polaris president and CEO.


Polaris Minerals Corp.

DHL appoints new global solutions CEO

DHL, a leading express and logistics company, Aug. 5 announced the appointment of Hans Hickler as CEO for its Global Customer Solutions (GCS) organization, responsible for the customer relationship management of the group’s largest customers worldwide.

Hickler will play “a key role in continuing to maximize customer relationship management on a global scale, in line with the group’s vision to becoming customers’ First Choice,” DHL said. First Choice is DHL’s global service and customer initiative aimed at transforming the way it does business.

In addition to his role as CEO of GCS, Hickler is also chairman of the DHL Global Commercial Board, which was recently set up to address, solve and leverage commercial priorities for all DHL’s business units.

Hickler brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the transportation, express and logistics industry. He joined DHL in 2005 and most recently served as CEO of DHL Express in the United States.

In that position, he focused on building up the DHL Express U.S. Network and implementing numerous service initiatives.




Thursday, August 6, 2008

4% drop for 2008 retail box traffic seen

Cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to decline 4 percent in 2008 compared with 2007 because of the nation’s slow economy, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Aug. 7 by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight.

Volume is projected to total 15.8 million TEUs for the year, compared with 16.4 million TEUs in 2007, according to the report.

Cargo volume each month this year has been below the same month last year and is expected to continue to be below last year’s levels in each remaining month except October and December.

“This has been a very challenging year, and cargo volume reflects consumer demand as retailers work to keep inventory as tight as possible in order to keep supply and demand in balance,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy.

U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.3 million TEUs in June, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available. The number was down 0.3 percent from May and 10.3 percent from June 2007.


Port Tracker report

Boeing forecasts strong air cargo growth

The Boeing Co. projects that the global air cargo market will continue to exhibit strong, long-term growth, according to the company’s Current Market Outlook 2008.

During the 20-year forecast period, Boeing projects industry growth at an annualized average of 5.8 percent, with the world freighter fleet increasing from 1,948 to 3,892 airplanes.

This growth requires a total of 3,358 airplanes joining the freighter fleet by 2027, taking into account anticipated airplane retirements of 1,414 airplanes, according to the annual Outlook, which was released prior to the 2008 Farnborough Air Show.

Widebody freighters will dominate the new production freighter total, and 641 will be of the large freighter segment (more than 80 tons) capacity, according to the report.

“Over the long-term, global economic growth will drive demand for new, high-value products as well as seasonal perishables that people have become accustomed to enjoying,” said Jim Edgar, regional director, cargo marketing for Asia.

“We expect several trends to continue — dedicated freighters will continue to provide an increasing proportion of air cargo capacity, going to nearly 54 percent, and the industry will continue to move to larger airplanes,” Edgar continued.


Boeing Co.

Aker Shipyard lays keel for 11th ship

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market, Aug. 5 held a ceremonial keel-laying for the eleventh vessel being built at the yard.

The Veteran Class MT-46 product tanker is the seventh in a series of 12 tankers being constructed for American Shipping Co.

Following long-held shipbuilding tradition, coins representing good fortune and safe travels were placed on one of the keel blocks that supports the vessel during construction before the first section of the ship was lowered into place.

On behalf of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Alex Biddy, Joshua Byrne and John Gallagher — three apprentices who will soon graduate from the yard’s first apprentice class — placed the coins.

Initiated in 2004, the four year Apprenticeship Program is designed to develop the next generation of shipyard leaders. Since its inception, the program has developed into 11 classes with a total of 89 apprentices.

Recruiting for the next class has already begun, and applications will be accepted from Sept. 15, 2008, through Oct. 15, 2008, with approved candidates beginning in January 2009.


Aker Philadelphia Shipyard


Friday, August 8, 2008

Oakland port to retrofit 1,000 trucks

Port of Oakland Commissioners Aug. 5 voted to grant $5 million to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to help retrofit 1,000 trucks with new filters that would reduce air pollution in West Oakland.

The commissioners voted 5-0, with two abstaining.

A total of $15 million will be spent on the retrofitting program, according to Jack Broadbent, Air Quality Management District executive officer.

Broadbent told commissioners that the cancer risk in West Oakland due to diesel fumes emitted by trucks that use the Port of Oakland is two to three times higher than in the rest of the Bay Area.

He also said he believes that retrofitting trucks that use the Port of Oakland “will make a serious dent in improving public health in West Oakland.”

The program is aimed at the heavy-duty, diesel-fueled trucks that transport containers and bulk goods to and from ports and intermodal rail yards to other locations.

In other news, the Port of Oakland recently announced plans to cut 100 jobs out of its 600-member staff.


Port of Oakland


California Senate passes box bill

Beginning in July, cargo shipping companies that send goods through California ports will be subject to a new $30 fee for every 20 ft. of loaded containers that go into or out of the ports if Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger signs Measure SB 974, passed by the Senate Aug. 5.

The deadline for approval or veto by the governor is Aug. 17. 

The legislation would provide $500 million–plus annually to fund more efficient transportation systems, cargo movement and low-emission technology (including trucks) in California.

Supporters include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Long Beach City Council and Mayor Bob Foster, the Port of Long Beach and the Coalition for Clean Air.

Those urging a veto include the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and the Waterfront Coalition. Opponents say the measure hurts business and represents an unconstitutional tax on interstate commerce. 

Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, who authored SB 974, commented, “We have world-class ports that dump containers into a Third World transportation system. Right now we’re subsidizing our health to send cheap goods to the rest of the nation.”


Horizon celebrates 50 years in Puerto Rico

Horizon Lines Inc., the nation’s leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, Aug. 5 celebrated 50 years of service in Puerto Rico at an event held at the company’s San Juan marine terminal.

On Aug. 5, 1958, at the same location, the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Corp. Fairland docked and unloaded the first-ever “Sea-Land” containers in Puerto Rico, as reported by the Journal of Commerce shipping newspaper that day.

The Fairland, a converted C-2 type freighter, was one of the first “containerships” put into service by industry innovator Malcom McLean. McLean would later change the name of Pan-Atlantic Steamship to Sea-Land Service Inc. and go on to invent the container shipping industry as we know it today.

“Sea-Land’s focus on serving the island of Puerto Rico never wavered,” said John V. Keenan, president of Horizon Lines. “At Horizon Lines, our loyalty to serving the island — to providing anything people may need to live and work, to promote the growth of Puerto Rico’s economy — is stronger now than ever.”

Horizon has invested more than $10 million in its San Juan terminal development project.


Horizon Lines Inc.


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