Monday, August 17, 2009
Report: L.A./Long Beach ports won’t fully recover until 2013
As the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach post another round of dismal monthly import statistics, a new assessment finds that the nation's busiest seaport complex will need at least four more years to fully recover its momentum -- not to mention the jobs, incomes and revenues that went with it -- after the worst global recession in 60 years.
The recovery will be so slow and painful that a return to the pace set during the economic boom year of 2006 -- when the ports handled 15.8 million cargo containers bound for most parts of the U.S. -- won't come before 2013.
That is the grim conclusion of a new report produced for the local ports but not released to the public.
-Los Angeles Times
For the full story: www.latimes.com/business
Russian cargo ship owner says crew found safe
A Russian cargo ship believed to have been hijacked off the coast of Sweden last month has been located, the ship's owner told CNN on Monday.
The Arctic Sea's crew is safe and onboard a Russian navy vessel, according to Victor Matveev, the director of Solchart Management AB.
The Arctic Sea, which sails under a Maltese flag, was carrying a 6,500-ton cargo of timber from Finland to Algeria when it reported trouble in Swedish waters on July 24.
Its crew told authorities that eight to 12 masked people boarded the vessel about 3 a.m. that day and bound and beat the crew, according to a statement from the Maltese Maritime Authority.
For the full story: /www.cnn.com
Texas senator takes on governor over transport policies
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison called the transportation policies of Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Transportation "arrogant" Friday, arguing they are not in the best interest of the state's property owners or taxpayers.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison talked to attendees before her speech Friday at the Transportation & Infrastructure Summit at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas.
Hutchison, who next week will formally announce her candidacy for governor, said she disagreed with the 1,500-mile Trans Texas Corridor proposal, once the centerpiece of Perry's transportation vision.
The Trans Texas Corridor project was killed last year, but parts of it remain, and Hutchison's campaign has used it as an example of Perry's bad judgment.
-The Dallas Morning News
For the full story: www.dallasnews.com
Cargo thieves getting more organized
According to a new cargo crime trend report, cargo thieves are becoming more organized and are more frequently targeting trucking company facilities for their heists.
Data compiled by LoJack Supply Chain Integrity via its Supply Chain Information Sharing and Analysis Center (SC-ISAC) in the second quarter this year noted that 34 cargo theft incidents occurred at trucking company facilities, including secured drop yards, an increase of more than 300% over the number of thefts at such carrier facilities in the first quarter of 2009. The number two and three locations for theft were at truck stops (24 incidents) and parking lots (21 incidents), LoJack SCI said.
For the full story: fleetowner.com
Damco launches carbon emissions dashboard
Damco announced it has launched a Supply Chain Carbon Dashboard - a graphical representation that allows customers to keep track of their carbon footprint throughout their supply chain.
The dashboard joins Damcos’s other supply chain development services, including the Supply Chain Health Check™ and the Supply Chain Carbon Check.™
Erling Johns Nielsen, head of Damco’s supply chain development team, said the dashboard enables customers to report their carbon emissions periodically, helping the with their carbon strategies.
“By displaying carbon emissions on a detailed level, for example by transport mode or by product, the Carbon Dashboard immediately allows you to identify ’carbon hotspots’ in your supply chain. This will help you reduce your carbon footprint, in response to the growing focus on climate change, while at the same time generating genuine cost savings opportunities,” said Johns Nielsen.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The mystery continues: Hijackers reportedly threatened to blow up ship
The hijackers of a cargo ship that disappeared off the coast of France threatened to blow it up if their ransom demands were not met, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday.
Russia on Tuesday arrested eight people on suspicion of hijacking the Arctic Sea off the Swedish coast and sailing it to the Atlantic Ocean, ending weeks of silence about the fate of a ship which has intrigued European maritime authorities.
The limited information from Russian authorities has failed to satisfy skeptics who voiced doubts about whether the piracy actually took place or was a convenient cover story to conceal a possible secret cargo of arms or nuclear material.
For the full story: www.nytimes.com/reuters
Macquarie teams up to raise $1.5 bil in China infrastructure
Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s largest investment bank, and China Everbright Ltd. plan to raise $1.5 billion for two funds to invest in infrastructure projects in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Macquarie and Everbright, an offshore investment arm of the Chinese cabinet, will contribute as much as a combined $100 million to the funds, which will invest in toll roads, airports, renewable energy, water treatment, ports and railways in Greater China, they said in a joint e-mailed statement today.
For the full story: www.bloomberg.com
Avnet CEO: Electronics supply chain has stabilized
The head of one of the world's largest electronics distributors said the global supply chain connecting semiconductor companies with computer, cell phone and industrial equipment makers has finally stabilized.
Roy Vallee, chief executive of Avnet Inc. (AVT), said that after months of declining inventories and halted production, the supply chain has "right-sized" itself relative to lower levels of demand.
For the full story: money.cnn.com/news
U.S. Senate to consider amendment on anti-piracy military units
Challenging a global aversion to guns aboard ships, France has put troops on tuna boats in the Indian Ocean, and Belgium is offering military units to its merchant vessels off the Horn of Africa. Now, U.S. lawmakers are weighing similar action to fight piracy.
Opponents fear such moves will escalate the violence and raise a minefield of legal issues.
In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment that would require the Department of Defense to put armed teams on U.S.-flagged ships passing through high-risk waters, specifically around the Horn of Africa where Somali pirates have become a scourge of world shipping.
The amendment now goes to the Senate. A separate bill introduced last month would grant immunity from prosecution in American courts to any "owner, operator, time charterer, master, or mariner who uses force, or authorizes the use of force, to defend a vessel of the United States against an act of piracy."
-North County Times
For the full story: www.nctimes.com/news
Port of Everett seeks $43 mil in stimulus funds
The Port of Everett is seeking $43 million in federal stimulus money to upgrade a marine terminal for Boeing Co. jet parts and other oversized cargo.
If approved, the project would accelerate planned improvements at the south terminal that would beef up the existing wharf to handle heavier loads, improve lighting for nighttime operations and construct a new siding to shuttle railcars.
For the full story: www.enterprisenewspapers.com
FEMA authorizes $3.1 mil for Gulfport restoration
U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker say the Mississippi State Port Authority will receive $3.1 million to restore facilities at the Port of Gulfport.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 inundated the port with about 20 feet of water, flooding West Gulfport and East Long Beach neighborhoods with chickens and cargo containers.
The Mississippi State Port Authority will use the money for its ongoing recovery work. The port also plans to increase its capacity to handle more ships.
For the full story: www.sunherald.com
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Pirates and ship’s crew being questioned by KGB
Eight 'pirates' seized by a Russian warship on suspicion of hijacking the Arctic Sea merchant vessel have arrived in Moscow where they are being held for questioning in the notorious Lefortovo prison.
Eleven of the ship's Russian crew members will also be detained in the former KGB jail until investigators have confirmed they played no role in the hijacking.
According to one of the crew members, the vessel's captain was threatened at gunpoint after a text message was sent warning that the ship had been taken by pirates in Swedish waters on July 24.
Under duress, the captain then had to pretend the message was a joke after the ship was called back with an urgent request for further explanation.
Investigators in Moscow said that the hijackers were wearing police insignia when they captured the ship.
For the full story: www.telegraph.co.uk/news
China’s freight railway volume rose slightly in July
The freight transportation volume of China's railways rose 0.3 percent year-on-year in July, increasing for the first time in eight months amid the global financial crisis, data from the Ministry of Railways showed Wednesday.
Combined cargo transportation volume stood at 1.88 billion tons in the first seven months this year, decreasing 63.23 million tons compared with the same period last year, but it was 4 percentage points lower than that in the first six months, according to the data.
For the full story: www.chinadaily.com.cn
Pacer closes sale of heavy-haul trucking operation
Pacer International, Inc. announced it has closed the $2 million sale of certain assets of its heavy-haul trucking operation to subsidiaries of Universal Truckload Services, Inc. (UTSI).
Pacer said it plans to use the services of UTSI for heavy-haul highway transport when appropriate.
“We are pleased to have completed the sale of these assets to UTSI where these operations are a better strategic fit, and we appreciate the efforts of the team that closed this transaction on schedule,” said Michael E. Uremovich, chairman and CEO of Pacer.
Merced, Calif. residents weigh on proposed Wal-Mart DC
Merced, Calif - A stream of residents, many wearing pins emblazoned with the word "jobs," marched to the microphone Wednesday to urge the Merced Planning Commission to support the proposed Wal-Mart distribution center.
In a meeting that lasted five-and-a-half hours, more than 37 people spoke in support of the controversial project while 19 argued against it. About 300 residents packed into the second-floor council chambers at City Hall and into the Sam Pipes Room downstairs.
Wal-Mart wants to build a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center on 230 acres in southeast Merced. After three years of operation, the center should employ up to 1,200 people. Nine hundred of those jobs will be full-time positions. The average full-time wage of people working at its other facilities is $17.50.
City staff has recommended that the project be approved.
-Merced Sun Star
For the full story: www.mercedsunstar.com
North Korean ship escorted to larger port in India for nuclear inspection
A North Korean ship inspected by India in the Andaman islands on suspicion of carrying nuclear cargo was escorted to a bigger port under heavy security for further investigations, officials said on Thursday.
The MV Mu San dropped anchor off Hut Bay island in the Andaman islands two weeks ago without permission and was detained after a more than six-hour chase.
A preliminary investigation by nuclear scientists failed to detect any nuclear fuel or material on board the ship, but officials say they would continue their search for nuclear components in its consignment of sugar and continue to interrogate its 39-member crew.
For the full story: www.reuters.com