Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for August 12 through August 16:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Top Story

L.A. Harbor Commission approves new port master plan

Last week the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a new port master plan, the first substantive update in 30 years, according to a port statement.

The plan promote development in line with making the best use of the port's land and water resources, boosting terminal efficiency, diversifying cargo, expanding public access to the waterfront and its recreational uses, and working to preserve the port's history through reuse of historic buildings and sites, the statement said.

The document also outlines policies that will make the port more agile in adapting to changing technology, cargo trends, regulations and competition from other U.S. and foreign seaports.

"This comprehensive update reflects our evolution, growth and priorities going forward," said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. "For example, the updated plan preserves the fishing community at Fish Harbor while ensuring Terminal Island is primarily designated for cargo handling and related uses."

The master plan sets development policies for the promote port commerce, navigation, fisheries, recreation and environmental protection. It reduces the number of planning areas from nine to five: San Pedro, West Basin/Wilmington, Terminal Island, Fish Harbor and Waterways. It also updates the port's assessment process of potential risks related to the storage and transfer of crude and petroleum products.

"The updated Port Master Plan is a new roadmap for a new era," said Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski. "It ensures the most efficient, beneficial and responsible use of this vital asset for our city and our nation."

Cargo gridlock continues at Port of Oakland SSA terminal complex

A serious month-long bottleneck at the Port of Oakland's SSA terminal complex is making customers wait weeks for their cargo and truckers waiting in lines as long as seven hours to load goods.

For the fourth weekend in a row that complex controlled by SSA Terminals has stayed open to address the backlog.

"It's a huge problem," said Gloria Stockmyer of Stockmyer Trucking. "We've had issues in the past, but I've never seen anything like this."

Due to the additional hours of operation the backlog would be alleviated this week, said port spokesman Robert Bernardo. He said the problem had worsened because of the Fourth of July holiday and three one-day labor stoppages by dockworkers, including one to protest SSA's takeover of the terminal.

Mike Villeggiante, president of ILWU Local 10, said the cargo delay was because SSA, which terminal complex last month, took two berths out of operation at a time when cargo volumes have increased.

For more of the Contra Costa Times story:

ICTSI profits up in first half

International Container Terminal Services profits for the first half of the year reached $82.9 million, up 18 percent from the previous year's $70.3 million. 

"The higher net income attributable to equity holders for the first semester was mainly due to strong revenue growth and margin improvement in certain key terminals and the contribution of the new terminal in Karachi Pakistan," said ICTSI.

Total ICTSI container volume was 3,027,005 TEUs for the first six months of 2013, 12 percent higher than the 2,697,735 TEUs handled in 2012. 

The volume bump was attributed to ongoing growth in trade in the majority of the company's terminals, plus the traffic two new ICTSI container terminals — Pakistan International Container Terminal in Karachi, Pakistan and PT Olah Jasa Andal in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Seven terminals in Manila, Brazil, Poland, Madagascar, China, Ecuador and Pakistan accounted for 79 percent of the group's volume in the first half of 2013. For the quarter ending June 30, 2013, total throughput was 13 percent higher at 1,530,543 TEUs compared to 1,359,419 TEUs in 2012.

For more of the Malaya Business Insight story:

Commercial truckers could get break from DOT on paperwork

Commercial truckers may soon get a break from some of their paperwork, as the U.S. Department of Transportation is trying to ease some of the requirements with a policy they say will save the industry $1.7 billion a year.

The DOT wants to eliminate driver vehicle inspection reports unless an issue that requires maintenance or repairs is found. Department officials say these inspection reports rank 19th in terms of the highest paperwork burden imposed by federal agencies. Plus, only five percent of all the "required" papers are actually submitted.

"What it's doing is eliminating an unnecessary and redundant amount of paperwork," said Dale Bennett, president of the Virginia Truck Driving Association. "It's one of those regulations that's been there forever and it's one of those things that people just got used to."

Bennett said truck companies pay significant costs to keep records logging trips where no defects or repair issues were reported. "They'd spend a lot of money on paper showing that there's nothing wrong with the vehicle," he said. "The driver will still be doing the checks, but now it will save a lot of money by just reporting issues with the truck."

"We can better focus on the 5 percent of problematic truck inspection reports by eliminating the 95 percent that report the status quo," said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "Moving to a defect-only reporting system would reduce a significant paperwork burden facing truck drivers and save the industry billions without compromising safety."

For more of the Daily Press story:

Fishing boat sinks in China leaving 2 dead, 9 missing

Two bodies were recovered and rescuers are continuing to search nine others who are missing after their fishing boat capsized in off east China's Shandong Province on Saturday, according to local officials.

The Luchengyu60326 turned upside down at about 8:25 a.m. Saturday in waters 12 nautical miles southwest of the Chaolian Island of Qingdao, the local maritime bureau said.

Divers were able to enter the cabin, but did not find any fishermen inside.

The accident is being investigated.

For more of the CRI story:


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Story

Seattle ILWU demands jurisdiction over waterfront tunnel jobs

ILWU officials claim that Highway 99 tunnel contractors are giving waterfront jobs that should be performed by longshoremen to non-union workers.

At the Port of Seattle's Terminal 6, adjacent to the pit where the new tunnel is being dug, dirt from the excavation will be loaded onto a barge and sent across the Puget Sound to fill a quarry near Port Ludlow.

Currently, Seattle Tunnel Partners plans to hire two operating engineers and two carpenters to load the barges, instead of using longshoremen who have traditionally moved goods across the West Coast docks.

From the union's point of view, the contractors are withholding four jobs loading the barges for two shifts a day, which should rightfully be claimed by ILWU members.

Chris Dixon, project manager for the Seattle Tunnel Partners contracting team, said Friday the work will proceed using non-ILWU labor. In July a mediator ruled that the four jobs are covered by the tunnel's broader project labor agreement, which means tunnel work belongs to workers in the building trades.

The tunneling companies actually signed a maritime loading contract on April 5 with Total Terminals International, when tunnel borer Bertha's 41 pieces were waiting to be delivered from Osaka, Japan. That contract established that ILWU members would offload Bertha, and contained a section giving ILWU the muck conveyor jobs.

Contractors expect to save almost $4 million during the 14-month dig with building trades workers, who can switch to other tunnel tasks when the muck isn't moving, said Dixon.

It is uncertain if the ILWU will ultimately picket or file a lawsuit over the conflict. The union is usually quick to protect West Coast waterfront jobs, mobilizing even over a few jobs that may set a precedent for future contract negotiations.

For more of the Seattle Times story:

Hapag-Lloyd profits drop on Asia-to-Europe competition

Container line Hapag-Lloyd lowered its second-quarter revenues and profits, citing competition on the Asia-to-Europe route.

The shipping company said second-quarter sales fell 5 percent to $1.706 billion from $1.794 billion, year over year.

Michael Behrendt, Chairman of Hapag-Lloyd's executive board said the group implemented small increases in July and had plans to increase rates more in the future.

Container prices averaged $622 per ton in the period, down more than 10 percent from last year's $694.

The average freight rate decreased 6 percent to $1,499 per-TEU, a measure of container ship capacity, down from $1,594 in the same period last year. 
Freight rates for standard TEUs on the Asia-Europe route have dropped by about 60 percent since mid-March.

For more of the Malaya Business Insight story:

Crowley Maritime orders 8 tankers from Aker Shipyard

Crowley Maritime has ordered eight oil tankers from Aker Shipyard Philadelphia.

Aker signed the $500 million contract with Crowley to build the first four 330,000-barrel tankers, to be finished in 2015 and 2016, with an option for four additional tankers. The ships, with a capacity of 50,000 tons, will be built on a Hyundai Mipo Dockyards design.

Aker will invest $115 million in the first four ships, according to the agreement, through a mixture of existing shipyard equity and new debt. Aker and Crowley will share in the economics of operating and chartering the vessels, the companies said.

Crowley will control the ownership, technical operation, and commercial management of the ships.

"The shale revolution is creating industrial opportunities throughout the United States and specifically here in Philadelphia," said Aker Shipyard chief executive officer Kristian Rokke.

For more of the Philadelphia Inquirer story:

Suez Canal breaks daily cargo record

The Suez Canal has exceeded its record for the amount of cargo passing through in one day, according to Mohab Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority.

On Friday, 68 vessels crossed the canal with a total of 4.8 million tons, Mamish said, the most since it opened in 1869.

The Suez Canal is a money maker for Egypt, reaching revenues of $438.1 million in May 2013.

For more of the Island Packet story:

Drunk man wakes up in shipping container 65 feet high

A drunken man in the city of Qingdao in China awoke to discover he was trapped in a container suspended more than 65 feet above the ground, according to news reports.

The container was going to be shipped to the United States the following day.

The man called his friends on his cell phone, and they contacted the police. About 40 police officers from the Qingdao Development Zone eventually located the container yard after repeated calls. More than 60 workers also joined the search.

The inebriated man had evidently mistaken the container for his apartment at 4 a.m. 

For more of the CRI English story:


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Top Story

Panama insists UN handle North Korean cargo ship case

Panama has refused to try to settle the case of a North Korean cargo ship that was found carrying weapons through any kind of diplomatic meeting between the two nations, and continues to demand that the United Nations handle it.

A U.N. inspection team will travel to Panama to investigate the Chong Chon Gang freighter that was sailing through the Panama Canal on the way to North Korea from Cuba when Soviet era weapons were found.

Cuban officials claim they were sending aging aircraft, missile-launch equipment and other military gear to North Korea for maintenance services and that the weapons would have been returned.

But the secret cargo was hidden under bags of sugar and may have violated a military export embargo against Pyongyang due to its illegal nuclear arms program.

A verbal message sent by North Korea's embassy in Havana on Friday said that the cargo ship did not intend to threaten the security of the Panama Canal and expressed the North's desire to resolve the case "diplomatically," according to an anonymous Panamanian government official.

"As long as the case is in the hands of the (Panamanian) Security Ministry and there's no final report from the United Nations, there is no diplomatic solution," an anonymous official told El Nuevo Herald.

The diplomatic note also asked that two North Korean diplomats be allowed into Panama so that they could advise crewmen of the North Korean freighter.

For more of the Miami Herald story:

UPS grows its China distribution network

UPS is increasing its network in China, opening two new distribution centers in Shanghai and Chengdu.

The logistics facilities, located near major roads and airports, add a total of 117,000 square feet of space, according to UPS. The Chengdu distribution center is 47,000 square feet and is less than three miles (4.8 kilometers) from the airport that connects businesses in central and western China to the rest of the world. The Shanghai facility is 70,000 square feet and is UPS's fourth in the area. The additions bring UPS's total number of facilities in China to more than 130, in 87 cities.

"It's about longer-term demand within China," said Jim Barber, president of UPS International, in a Bloomberg interview. "They need goods and services, and logistics is a piece of that. Every economy in the world is in a state of flux. Two new facilities in an economy like China makes sense for us."

UPS will use the new spaces to ship parts for computers and smartphones to manufacturers throughout China and Asia, where they will be assembled into products and subsequently distributed back into the region or exported, Barber said. Health-care, retail and aerospace products are also part of the mix, he said.

For more of the Bloomberg story:

California fines three shipping companies for dirty fuel

The California Air Resources Board fined three shipping companies for failing to make the transition from dirty "bunker" fuel to cleaner burning fuel when they entered state waters, calling at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and Stockton.

"Ships en route to California ports emit thousands of tons of diesel exhaust each year," ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden said in a statement. "Our regulation requiring ocean-going vessels to switch to cleaner fuel within 24 nautical miles of our shoreline protects all California residents, especially those in port communities, from this air pollution."

Hoegh Autoliners Shipping was fined $299,500 after its ship, the Hoegh Inchon, did not meet the state regulation during 17 visits from 2009 to 2011. NCN Corp. Panama was fined $87,750 after the Ikan Bawal ignored the fuel regulation in February before docking at the Ports of Stockton and Long Beach. Twin Phoenix Shipping was fined $53,000 after its ship, the K-Pluto, did not make the fuel shift in August 2012 after docking at the Port of Los Angeles.

For more of the Press-Telegram story:

Port of Wilmington renews deal with Dole

An agreement has been made that will keep Dole fruit coming into the Port of Wilmington for the next 15 years, according to Alan Levin, Delaware's economic development director. Gov. Jack Markell was at Dole headquarters in California on Monday to clinch the deal.

Dole is the largest tenant at the port, calling at the facility once a week, offloading to trucks that distribute fruit to supermarkets that serve a third of the U.S. population. The company was considering moving operations to the Port of Poulsbo in Washington after its Delaware contract expires in 2015.

One of two unions in Delaware agreed to a pay cut to help keep the port competitive.

"Dole had other options for its business, but keeping Dole in Wilmington is a priority for the port and we worked hard to reach terms that would do that," Levin said. "This is a very competitive industry and our agreement reflects that."

For more of the Delaware Online story:

Cargo ship capsizes in typhoon, 21 rescued

Twenty-one crewmembers were rescued by helicopter after a cargo ship sank off Hong Kong Wednesday during Typhoon Utor, which caused waves of up to 50 feet.

The bulk carrier Trans Summer sank 50 miles southwest of Hong Kong, according to the city's Flying Services.

For more of the Hindustan Times story:


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top Story

U.S. industrial real estate sector trending up for 2013

The industrial real estate posted good results for the first half of 2013, with year-over-year boosts in transaction volume and revenue in many markets, and an upbeat outlook for the remainder of 2013, according to Cushman & Wakefield's John Morris, leader of Industrial Services for the Americas.
After three straight quarters of decline, U.S. industrial leasing volume increased during the second quarter of 2013, according to the firm's mid year statistics. Twelve of 37 markets tracked by Cushman & Wakefield reported increased activity compared to 2012. 

Greater Los Angeles continued to dominate in leasing activity with 17.9 million square feet, followed by Chicago with 16.4 million square feet – although both markets experienced a drop in leasing growth year-over-year.
"Even with increased construction, steady demand has kept vacancies low in most major markets," Morris said. "The overall industrial vacancy rate fell to 8.0 percent during the second quarter, down 70 basis points from a year ago and 280 basis points lower from its recent peak during the first quarter of 2010."
The lowest industrial vacancy rates at mid-year 2013 were in Greater Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif.—both at 4.4 percent—and Lakeland, Fla. at 4.3 percent. Four out of 37 markets tracked posted larger year-over-year vacancy rate decreases, including Boston at 4.3 percentage points, San Francisco North Bay at 3.2 percent, Orlando, Fla. at 2.5 percent and Contra Costa, Calif. at 2.2 percent.
Improved market basics have pushed rents up, and net demand surged 20 percent year over year, with 34 of the 37 tracked markets recording occupancy gains. The Inland Empire is leading the nation with 5.1 million square feet of absorption, followed by Chicago with 5.0 million square feet.
"This represents 13 consecutive quarters of positive absorption, with Class A properties in seaport markets and inland hubs seeing the strongest demand," Morris said. "Generally speaking, the U.S. industrial market has performed well consistently since the recovery took hold. Even against a backdrop of relatively slow economic growth, we expect the sector to continue on a strong note during the second half of 2013."

South Florida ports to handle S. America fruit imports in test program

State and federal agencies are working on a pilot program that will bring grapes and blueberries from Peru and Uruguay into Port Everglades and PortMiami, starting in October, according to a statement from the Broward County Board of Commissioners. The permit should be approved this month.

Typically, regulations dictate that grapes, blueberries and other perishables are first brought into the U.S through North Atlantic seaports, which have cooler climates. If the pilot program works well, fruit could be shipped directly to South Florida and delivered to local grocery stores faster and cheaper.

"Our ambition is to have this pilot become a success so it can be expanded to other countries and other commodities," said international trade attorney Lee Sandler on behalf of the Florida Perishables Trade Coalition, a non-profit association that focuses the collective experience and efforts of trade, transportation and port leaders from throughout the state to increase trade in perishable products through Florida's airports and seaports.

Sandler, with input from inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Customs & Border Protection, described the steps needed to ensure the program's success at a recent meeting between regulatory agencies, importers, growers, shippers and terminal operators at Port Everglades. The key component is protecting Florida's citrus industry from destructive fruit flies.

The pilot program will implement a number of measures to prevent fruit-fly infestation, including completing the cold-treatment process before the ship arrives in port. Other steps include packing produce in clean marine containers, ensuring that sensors for checking produce work as designed, and checking seals and tailgate inspections before the container is released.

German business groups: Germany could take over U.S. spot as No. 2 global exporter

Germany may become the world's second-biggest exporter in 2013, besting the U.S., but its share of world trade will probably drop as its exports lag behind global expansion, according to a statement from Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Commerce.

Germany is Europe's biggest economy, and is currently the world's third-largest exporter after China and the United States. The country saw its share of world trade fall to 7.5 percent by last year, from a peak of 11 percent in 1991-92, the statement said.

German exports, which range from BMW cars to appliances to heavy machinery for manufacturing and agriculture, totaled 1.1 trillion euros last year.

DIHK predicts that economic growth would lead to a strengthening of the euro currency in the near term. While that would be risky for German exporters, it would up the value of Germany's exports in terms of dollars, pushing it above the U.S. in the ranking of world exporters, which is calculated in dollars, DIHK said.

"Germany has the right stuff this year to overtake the United States into second place. That's due to the strong euro because trade data is calculated in dollars. Germany should also be able to hold onto second place in 2014 as well," DIHK foreign trade head Volker Treier said.

DIHK foresees the euro's average exchange rate against the dollar will be 1.33 in 2013, strengthening from 1.29 in 2012, and rise to between 1.35 and 1.40 in 2014.

For more of the Reuters story: chicagotribune.comy

Fed: U.S. factory output declines slightly in July

Output at U.S. factories declined slightly in July, reflecting a drop in auto production. Since car makers are having a positive sales year, the drop is expected to be temporary.

The Federal Reserve reported that manufacturing fell by 0.1 percent in July compared with June, and that this first drop since declines in March and April reflects a 1.7 percent fall in the output of motor vehicles and parts. That weakness should be reversed in coming months as automakers boost production for the new model year.

Output in manufacturing, the most critical component of industrial production, is up 1.3 percent from the level of a year ago.

Overall industrial production, including factories, mines and utilities, was static in July after a 0.2 percent rise in June. A 2.1 percent surge in mining was offset by a 2.1 percent drop in utility output.

The Fed report was weaker than an earlier report from the Institute for Supply Management, which reflected that U.S. factories hired more workers and received a surge of new orders in July.

For more of the Business Week story:

Two die after UPS cargo plane crashes and explodes in Birmingham

A United Parcel Service cargo plane crashed when it tried to land in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday morning.

The Airbus A300, en route from Louisville, Ky., crashed and burst into flames about half a mile north of the runway at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport just after 5 a.m. local time, according to a UPS statement.

The plane's pilot and copilot died in the crash, according to WVTM-TV.

The station reported that nearly 80 households are without power, as the plane hit power lines on its way down.

For more of the U.S. News and World Report story:

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