Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for August 31 through September 4, 2015:

Monday, August 31, 2015

L.A./Long Beach terminals to require cargo pickup reservations

In an effort to decrease cargo congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, 10 terminal operators plan to require truckers to make reservations to pick up shipping containers from the docks, according to PierPass Inc., the nonprofit organization that operates terminal gates at the ports.

The terminals have adopted an appointment system action plan and committed to a set of common requirements. The five terminals that currently operate appointment systems have agreed to adopt these requirements, and five more terminals plan to introduce appointment systems in 2016 that will follow the same guidelines, the statement said.

The following terminals currently have appointment systems:
1. APM Terminals
2. Eagle Marine Services
3. West Basin Container Terminal
4. Seaside Transportation Services
5. Total Terminals International

Terminals planning to implement appointment systems in 2016:
1. Trapac
2. Long Beach Container Terminal
3. SSA Terminals
4. International Transportation Service
5. Pacific Maritime Services

PierPass said the terminals have agreed that all appointment systems will apply these rules:

- Appointments will be mandatory at all participating terminals.
- The appointment systems will apply to import containers at all terminals.
- Appointments for exports are being evaluated as a potential future requirement.
- All individual terminal appointment systems will be accessible via links from PierPass websites.

For truck drivers, the appointment systems are designed to add predictability to the supply chain. The variable queue lengths at different times of the day will be flattened out, which is expected to reduce the longer truck turn times.

Hapag-Lloyd increases cost savings as IPO approaches

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd widened its cost-reduction target by $100 million and brought it forward by two years amid plans for an initial public offering in coming months.

Annual spending cuts should now reach $400 million by 2017 as Hapag-Lloyd benefits from the merger with Chilean container line CSAV, according to the German carrier’s first-half earnings report. Additional savings of $200 million will be generated starting next year, partly because of more efficient new vessels entering the fleet, the company said.

"Our results prove that the merger with CSAV was the right decision," Chief Executive Officer Rolf Habben Jansen said in a statement. "The market environment remains very challenging, but we are well positioned."

For more of the Bloomberg story:

DP World profits 22 percent in first-half rise

DP World said its first-half profit rose 22 percent year-over-year on higher cargo volume and its acquisition of a logistics and industrial parks company in Dubai.

DP World said it added new capacity in developed markets such as U.K.’s London Gateway and in the Netherlands, while also investing in fast-growing emerging markets to boost earnings. The company, which manages more than 65 ports across the globe, added the equivalent of over 3 million TEUs of new capacity in the first half, with its projects in Rotterdam and India’s Nhava Sheva now operational.

Net profit attributable to owners of the company for the six-month period rose to $405 million from $332 million a year earlier, DP World said. Revenue rose 14.5 percent over the year to $1.9 billion.

"In 2015, we have invested over $3.5 billion in acquisitions and expansionary capex, and this investment leaves us well placed to capitalize on the significant medium to long-term growth potential of this industry," said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World’s chairman.

For more of The Wall Street Journal story:

Port of Long Beach broadens sponsorship outreach

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has voted to update the Harbor Department’s sponsorship policy, bringing greater transparency and accessibility to the program, according to a port statement.

The Harbor Department provides sponsorship funds to local groups for community functions and events to help residents learn about the port. The new policy will continue that process with a greater focus on funding the groups that make Long Beach a better place to live and work.

Going forward, the statement said community groups will be asked to submit their sponsorship funding requests during two defined application periods each year. The first call for applications will be Sept. 1 through Oct. 2, 2015. The next call will be in March 2016.

"As we inform and educate the community about the port, the city’s greatest economic engine, we have a responsibility to do that in a way that is transparent and consistent," said Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. "This is an opportunity to better partner with many great organizations in Long Beach that serve communities surrounding the Port."

The port-scheduled twice-a-year call for sponsorships will give stakeholders a clear process to follow and help in their planning, as well as a way for the port to evaluate where its funding will have the greatest impact.

$8M in cocaine seized at Port of Long Beach

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach seized 424 pounds of cocaine that had been concealed in a container shipment of tires.

The cocaine, worth more than $8 million, was discovered Saturday at the Port of Long Beach when officers using scanning technology saw an anomaly within a container carrying tires. Upon inspection, Customs officers found three large bundles that contained 170 bricks of cocaine.

No arrests were announced. Investigators believe the container was tampered with at some point during its voyage from South America to the U.S.

"Without any doubt, this is one of the most significant narcotic interceptions in recent years at our nation’s largest seaport," said Carlos Martel, Customs port director for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in a statement.

For more of the Press-Telegram story:


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

TOTE and NASSCO launch second LNG-powered containership

On Saturday, TOTE and NASSCO launched Perla del Caribe, the second of two Marlin Class ships that are the first containerships in the world to be powered by natural gas, according to a TOTE statement.

"The Marlin Class ships are the most fuel efficient, eco-friendly containerships in the world. As the first of their kind, these ships represent the next generation of US-built ships and we at General Dynamics NASSCO are proud to be leading in that effort," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO.

The Perla del Caribe and the Isla Bella were built for the Puerto Rican trade for TOTE and operated by TOTE subsidiary Sea Star Line out of Jacksonville, Florida. By moving to natural gas, an environmentally superior fuel, the Marlins will reduce NOx emissions by 98 percent, SOx by 97 percent, carbon dioxide by 72 percent and particulate matter by 60 percent over the company’s Ponce Class ships that are currently serving the trade.

Tim Nolan, President of Sea Star Line, noted "The ability to innovate and lead in the maritime sector is something that comes along once in a lifetime. . .These ships and the technology they employ will redefine what is possible in the shipping industry both here in the United States and abroad."

"TOTE is one of six lines of business that together create a national transportation network, moving cargo by land, sea and air," said Tim Engle, president of TOTE’s parent company Saltchuk, speaking at the launch ceremony. "Saltchuk continually invests in our operations, ensuring that we provide safe, stable and proud environments for our more than 7,500 employees to come to work each day."

The Perla del Caribe will enter service in the first quarter of 2016 between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Isla Bella, the first Marlin Class vessel, launched in April of 2015 and will enter service later this year.

To view video of the launch:

CMA CGM second quarter profits up

French shipping giant CMA CGM posted second quarter profits that were 67 percent year-over-year on lower fuel prices, which bolstered fuel consumption reduction measures it had undertaken in the past years, according to The Wall Street Journal.

CMA CGM said its net profit in the second quarter rose to $156 million even though overall revenue dipped 2.1 percent since freight prices also fell during the period.

The company decreased cost per-container by 11 percent during the period. Lower fuel prices intensified the effects of improved average ship fuel-efficiency achieved in recent years. CMA CGM had gradually reduced the fuel it uses by operating larger ships and reshaping existing ships’ hulls to reduce friction. Average freight prices fell by 7.8 percent in the second quarter from the same period in 2014.

In response to falling freight rates, the largest operators are competing to deploy mega ships as a way to reduce costs, bringing down freight prices even further on the busiest trades, such as between Western Europe and China.

To weather the enduring crisis, CMA CGM has also turned aggressively towards businesses that are both more profitable and growing faster, such as shipping to and from U.S. ports and the transportation of refrigerated containers.

For more of The Wall Street Journal story:

U.S. retailers push for low-cost manufacturing after China devalues yuan

U.S. retailers including Toys R Us are negotiating with Chinese suppliers to take advantage of lower manufacturing costs now that China has devalued the yuan, with many saying they want to be ready if currencies in China and other Asian countries drop more against the dollar.

Earlier this month, China devalued its tightly controlled currency in an effort to boost growth and help weakened exports. The nearly 2 percent cut on Aug. 11, the most significant downward adjustment to the yuan since 1994, will make imports from China cheaper.

The Chinese currency is down 3.2 percent versus the dollar so far this year.

After China's move, Vietnam devalued the dong by 1 percent while the Malaysian ringgit dropped to a 17-year low, its largest one-day loss in almost two decades.

"Most U.S. retailers have dollar-denominated annual contracts with provisions that allow them to renegotiate if the currency moves outside of a pre-established range," said Giuliano Iannaccone, chair of Tarter, Krinsky & Drogin LLP's international and retail practice group.

Some retailers will exercise those clauses immediately, while others look forward to entering next year's contracts with a stronger bargaining position, Iannaccone said.

For more of the Reuters story:

Port of Rotterdam investigates building port in Indonesia

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has signed a partnership agreement with the Indonesian Port Corporation Pelindo I in Medan, North Sumatra for the development of the new seaport Kuala Tanjung.

The port authority and Pelindo I will now conduct a feasibility study for the new port, to be administered by port staff based in Rotterdam. Depending on the outcome of study, Rotterdam will assess whether it will partner with Pelindo I to develop the port.

"We want to share our knowledge in the construction, development and management of Kuala Tanjung," said CEO Allard Castelein, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. "We are confident that the Port Authority and Pelindo I will form a strong team that will serve the country and provide for a better future."

The Rotterdam port authority says the development of a deep seaport in Indonesia is consistent with its mission to create opportunities for Dutch companies abroad. This is why, in 2003, the authority signed a joint venture with the Sultan of Oman – Sohar Industrial Port Company – for the development of the Port of Sohar, and is also focusing on developing Porto Central in Brazil.

Container ship and tanker collide

Two ships were at the center of a major rescue operation over the weekend, following a collision between the Streamline-chartered container ship Daroja and the fuel tanker Erin Wood off the coast of Scotland.

On Saturday evening, the Aberdeen Coastguard received a mayday call from the tanker, which had two crewmembers on board, and had taken on water following a collision with the cargo vessel approximately two miles off Peterhead. No injuries to crew were reported.

On arrival at the scene the coastguard found that the tanker had almost capsized. It had taken on large amounts of water through the wheelhouse, disabling all power and engines, which resulted in a severe list.

A number of lifeboat crew transferred to the tanker with a salvage pump to assist with removal of water from the engine room and the cabin of the tanker, in order to prevent capsize.

The Erin Wood was then towed by the trawler Ocean Endeavour into Peterhead, while the cargo vessel also went into the port.

For more of the Orcadian story:


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Trident Seafoods opens $40M facility near Port of Savannah

Trident Seafoods, a leading seafood producer in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, has opened a $40 million production and distribution center in Carrollton, S.C., bringing more business to the Port of Savannah.

The new facility will support 175 full-time jobs and has the capacity to produce 50,000 tons of products a year for the U.S. market.

"We are excited to add Trident to our family of customers, especially within the valuable refrigerated cargo market," said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz. "This is an important win for Georgia and for the Port of Savannah."

GPA’s Garden City Terminal currently has 84 refrigerated container racks and 814 chassis plug-ins, giving it the capacity to power 2,830 reefers at a time. Another 20 racks — adding 480 new slots — should be complete by the end of the year.

"Savannah’s refrigerated cargo infrastructure is unmatched on the U.S. East Coast and is an important asset as Georgia seeks to lure more business in the area of food production," said Foltz.

The Georgia location opened last month. The new facility will streamline the production process for a growing number of breaded and battered seafood items. It will also offer logistical advantages for major regional markets, the statement said.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development assisted Trident in acquiring the land necessary to expand and repurpose an existing food processing facility and arranged local workforce training in food safety and seafood processing skills.

Obama calls for new Arctic icebreakers

President Obama has proposed a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quick-melting ice has triggered more maritime traffic, and the U.S. has fallen far behind Russian resources.

It's a move that has long been urged by Arctic advocates inside and outside the administration as the country prepares for more shipping, mining and drilling in the region.

But the vessels are valued at about $1 billion each, and Congress would need to agree to pay for the expansion. Obama wants the government to buy a heavy icebreaker by 2020 - a year when routine Arctic marine transit is expected - instead of the previous goal of 2022.

He also will propose to start planning for additional icebreakers. The White House said the move is required for safety in the changing Arctic - and to keep up with Russia.

The U.S. Coast Guard used to have seven icebreakers, but the fleet has dwindled to three creaky vessels, only one of which is a heavy-duty vessel, the White House said.

"Russia, on the other hand, has 40 icebreakers and another 11 planned or under construction," the White House said.

For more of the Reuters story:

China PMI down in August, further proof of slowed economic growth

In August, activity in China's factory sector shrank at the highest rate in at least three years as domestic and export orders tumbled, increasing worries that the world's second-largest economy may be heading for a fall.

Even more worrying, China's services sector, which has been one of the only positive spots in the weakening economy, also showed signs of cooling.

China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That was the lowest since August 2012, and below the 50-point mark separating growth from contraction.

New orders - indicating domestic and foreign demand - fell to 49.7 in August from July's 49.9. New export orders decreased for an 11th straight month.

Hurt by soft demand, overcapacity and falling investment, China's economy has been further plagued by plunging shares and a shock yuan devaluation, in what some have called a "perfect storm" of factors that is shaking global markets and could strain relations with China's major trading partners.

For more of the Reuters story:

CaroTrans launches weekly India-to-U.S. LCL service

NVOCC and freight consolidator CaroTrans recently announced its new, direct less-than-container-load import service from Nhava Sheva, India to Charleston, South Carolina that started in mid-August.

The weekly, all-water service has a 25-day transit and offers a Friday cut-off date, important service features for time-sensitive garment and fabric imports.

At origin, CaroTrans’ dedicated partner, Globelink WW India, provides dependable, secure consolidations and offers full India market penetration with 15+ inland container depots. Additional CaroTrans/Globelink direct India import services include Chennai to Los Angeles and New York, and Nhava Sheva to Los Angeles and New York.

"We continue to add new, direct ocean services to our network to provide our customers with efficient and reliable transportation options that best suit their customers’ supply chain needs. CaroTrans invests in an extensive U.S. and global network, and partners with the best NVOs in the world, to provide localized customer service and support. Globelink-CaroTrans import solutions are first-rate, dependable choices," said Greg Howard, CEO of CaroTrans.

Brazilian Petrobas depot explodes, killing two

A heating unit at a Petrobras depot in Brazil used to treat fuel for ocean-going ships exploded last week, killing two workers, according to an oil company statement.

The blast and resulting fire broke out about 10 a.m. while workers were doing planned maintenance on the heating unit, according to the press office of BR Distribuidora SA, the fuels distribution unit of state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known.

The heating unit is used to raise the temperature and reduce the viscosity of bunker fuel. Heating the fuel makes it easier to load aboard ships.

The fire at the naval-fuels depot at the Port of Tubarão near Vitória, Brazil, was controlled by firefighters and presents no immediate risk to anyone in the vicinity, Petrobas said in a statement.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Drewry: Carriers use different strategies for terminal ownership

To overcome financial challenges, many major container lines have been selling some of their container terminal assets to raise cash, but it’s not a common strategy for all carriers.

Drewry’s "Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Report 2015" looks at the 16 carriers that make up the big four global alliances — 2M, Ocean Three, G6 and CKYHE — and their different approaches to terminal ownership. For example, Maersk Line leaves terminal interests to its sister company APM Terminals.

Drewry says five carriers have engaged purely in the disposal of some of their terminal assets, or stakes in those assets, including Hanjin, Yang Ming, K Line, Hyundai and MOL. Three have sold stakes in terminal assets but at the same time are still making terminal acquisitions — TIL/MSC, CMA CGM and NYK.

Two lines have bought more terminal assets, researchers say, seemingly uninterested in the disposal of terminals. Interestingly, these are the Cosco Group and China Shipping which, given their weak financial performances, might have been expected to sell some of their terminal assets.

Instead, they have recently made some significant purchases. China Shipping acquired a 20 percent stake in HPH’s Terminal 8W in Hong Kong, a 10 percent stake in Yang Ming’s Kao Ming terminal in Kaohsiung and a 24 percent stake in APMT’s Zeebrugge terminal. Cosco acquired a 40 percent stake in Terminal 8W and a 10 percent stake in the Kao Ming terminal. If the rumored merger between the two companies proceeds, it will be interesting to see what is done with the respective terminal portfolios.

There are five remaining carriers with no recent change with regard to terminal assets. OOCL sold its terminals in Vancouver and New York nearly 10 years ago at the height of the terminal buying frenzy, but has held onto its remaining terminals in the Far East and North America. APL, with a portfolio of eight terminals in Asia and North America, has made no moves as yet. Evergreen has 13 terminals across the globe and has adopted a no-change strategy so far.

Only Hapag-Lloyd has a minority stake in one terminal in Hamburg. UASC has no terminals and has not as yet chosen to invest in any.

In conclusion, Drewry said big carriers face a challenge with their container terminal ownership strategy: whether to sell, buy, do both – or do nothing? "Given the ongoing financial pressures in the liner industry," the analysts say, "further change in carriers’ terminal portfolio ownership seems inevitable, but it may not necessarily be a case of simply selling off the family silver."

Louisiana plans to build first offshore mega-port by late 2016

Plans are underway to build a first-of-its-kind offshore mega-port just three miles off the coast of Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana, expected to open in the third quarter of 2016.

The mega-port, in the works since 2008, will be capable of handling some of the biggest cargo ships in the world, according to the Louisiana International Deepwater Gulf Transfer Terminal Authority. The LIGTT Authority held a press conference this week announcing the launch of the initial phase of development of the mega-port.

The authority said it would file applications with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard for permitting a dry bulk transfer terminal three miles off the coast of Plaquemines Parish.

The dry bulk transfer terminal is the first of multiple project "verticals" planned. Complete development will include facilities to serve the dry bulk, liquid bulk, hydrocarbons, container, and LNG industries in coordination with ports in the central and upper U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico.

The authority said the transfer terminal will be strategically located on 2,250 acres in the Gulf of Mexico, three miles offshore near latitude 28.95 North and longitude 89.31 West with strategic access to maritime highways and the Mississippi River.

Maersk Line announces GRI for Mediterranean-to-U.S. service

Maersk Line announced a General Rate Increase for its Mediterranean-to-U.S. services, effective October 1, 2015.

The details and scope of this surcharge are as follows, according to Maersk:

-From West Mediterranean to U.S. East Coast
$200 per container (both dry and reefer)

- From West Mediterranean to U.S. Gulf Coast
$100 per container (both dry and reefer)

- From East Mediterranean to U.S. East Coast
$100 per container (both dry and reefer)

- From East Mediterranean to Gulf Coast
$50 per container (both dry and reefer)

Sealand continues low sulfur surcharge

SeaLand sent its customers notice that they will maintain a low sulfur surcharge (LSS) for the fourth quarter of 2015. The new levels will take effect October 1.

The surcharge will apply to all cargo with load port, transhipment and/or discharge port in emission control areas (ECA) in North America (including Puerto Rico), according to the statement.

See the list of LSS tariffs below per 40’-container for the SeaLand trades. TEUs will be charged 50 percent of the tariff for 40-footers. The surcharge will be applied equally to dry/reefer and trade direction, Sealand said.

North American ECA
West Coast S. America – N. America (U8 – North America to/from WCSA): $80
Caribbean/Central America – N. America (U7 – North America to/from CAM): $80
East Coast S. America – N. America (UH – North America to/from ECSA): $80

Low waters on rivers hamper German shipping

Low water levels on the Rhine and Danube in Germany are preventing cargo ships from sailing fully loaded on the German sections of both rivers, traders said on Monday.

Dry weather in recent days has caused river levels to drop — river levels that have been unusually low since early August. The Rhine is too shallow to allow vessels to sail with full loads south of Cologne and Duisburg, traders said, and The Danube is also too low for ships to sail with full loads along the entire German section of the river.

Low water means vessel operators impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners. More vessels are needed to transport cargo, also increasing costs.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal and oil products. The Danube is a key route for heating oil and for Eastern European grain exports to Western Europe.

For more of the Reuters story:


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