Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Panama Canal Authority updates Maersk execs on expansion
Last week Denmark’s Maersk Line and Switzerland's Mediterranean Shipping Company submitted their 10-year agreement known as 2M with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission.
CMA CGM reports 8 percent cargo volume surge in Q2
Container shipping giant CMA CGM announced 8 percent year-over-year increase in cargo volume in the second quarter, an 8 percent increase to 2.1 million TEUs.
State of Virginia wants to buy former Hampton Roads APM terminal
Virginia wants to buy the former APM container terminal at Hampton Roads from its new owners, according to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne Jr.
Amazon to open distribution center in Shanghai FTZ
Amazon will open a distribution within the 11-square-mile Shanghai Free Trade Zone, according to media reports.
Container ship suffers ripped ballast tank while docking at B.C. port
The hull of the Malta-registered container ship Attila was punctured while docking last week in Centerm terminal at Port Metro Vancouver. The dock was also damaged.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
L.A. to sell $340M in debt to revamp Port of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Harbor Department is selling about $340 million of debt, following a tentative agreement on health-care costs between West Coast dockworkers and shippers that was seen by the industry as a hopeful sign for further cooperation.
The bond sale this week will help refinance debt and upgrade terminals at the Port of Los Angeles, according to bond documents. Moody's Investors Service ranks port securities at the Aa2 level, the third-highest investment grade.
Negotiations continue on a new contract that will cover almost 20,000 port workers at 29 West Coast ports, after the tentative deal on health care costs raised confidence in continued cargo movement at the port complex.
"Anytime you eliminate any uncertainty that might in some people's mind create some sort of risk, that's good," said Karl Pan, chief financial officer of the harbor department. "I would hope for those that are concerned about the labor negotiations that this helps them reach a positive conclusion."
The bond issue will be backed by revenue from the port, which features 43 miles of waterfront docks and 23 terminal facilities. The port gets most of its revenue from tariffs on cargo and the rental of land and buildings, according to the bond offering.
Proceeds of the sale will help automate container terminals and lessen air pollution from ships docked at the port, Pan said. Part of the deal will also refund 2006 bonds and save about $7 million in debt service, said Soheila Sajadian, the harbor's debt and treasury director.
"'We have to make sure our facilities are strong and efficient so that shipping companies will still want to dock their ships here, and cargo owners believe rightfully that coming through the Port of L.A. is advantageous for them,'' Pan said.
For more of the Bloomberg story: bloomberg.com
Port of L.A.-Long Beach truckers say trucking companies reneged on July deal
Truck drivers who haul cargo to and from the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports said Friday that three harbor-area trucking companies continue to violate an agreement brokered by Lost Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in July.
Meanwhile, state and federal labor regulators also ruled Friday against two of the companies in separate cases. The Long Beach office of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement ordered Total Transportation to give back pay to 14 truck drivers, ruling that they were employees, not contractors. Also, Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board announced that it is revoking a March settlement agreement with Pacific 9 and is filing a complaint after the company told drivers that the agreement was not applicable to them.
Officials from the trucking companies declined to comment Friday.
At a press conference across the street from Total Transportation Services Inc., truck drivers claimed that Total Transportation, Pacific 9 Transportation and Green Fleet Systems have continued retaliation against the truckers despite a July 12 deal with Garcetti, who asked truckers and employers to agree to a truce after five days of strikes at port terminals.
Under the terms of the July deal, the trucking firms said they would accept all drivers back to work without retaliation and without being forced to sign away all future rights in new truck leases. Drivers agreed to stop picketing and return to work on their regular shifts so that the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners could look into what drivers say are worker safety issues and unfair labor practices.
"We put down our picket lines because we trusted Mayor Garcetti when he said that he would investigate the violations that have been going on at our companies," said Santiago Aguilar, a Pacific 9 driver. "Since I went back to work, Pac 9 has continued to break the law by firing several of my coworkers. The mayor has to do something to stop this because if this continues we're going back on strike."
Truckers said employers did not honor their promise to the mayor, and instead demanded that drivers had to sign new leases on the condition that they would drop their wage claims against the company.
"These allegations are very serious and I want to be clear — putting our port operations at risk is unacceptable," Garcetti said. "Cool off and focus on an agreement."
For more of the Press-Telegram story: presstelegram.com
August manufacturer's index highest since mid-2011 as orders surge
The August PMI Index report from the Institute for Supply Management gained 1.9 percentage points to 59, up from July's reading of 57.1. This is the highest index reading for the index since March 2011, building on largely positive recent reports from the U.S. manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing supply chain executives reported the highest new orders activity for factory goods since April 2004 in August, with the new orders index rising to 66.7, an increase of 3.3 percentage points from the 63.4 percent reading in July.
Seventeen out of 18 manufacturing sectors n the ISM report reported growth in August. The odd category out was textile mills.
"The only downside in the report is that the improvement in imports was more than that for exports, an unfortunate result of stronger growth in the United States economy than for many of our trading partners," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the MAPI Foundation. "U.S. manufacturing production posted solid growth every month since January this year.
"The growth is driven by pent-up demand in consumer durables (particularly motor vehicles and housing-related durables, business equipment, and transportation and energy infrastructure). MAPI forecasts a 3.4 percent increase in manufacturing production this year and 4 percent growth in 2015—both well above the growth rate of the general economy."
For more of the Industry Week story: industryweek.com
Peru plans $2.8B port near Lima
Peru is planning a $2.8 billion port complex that will feature 10 piers and a logistics center on the Bay of Chancay, located 48 miles north of Lima, according to Peruvian officials.
On Saturday, Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano, Culture Minister Diana Alvarez and navy commander Adm. Carlos Tejeda inspected the site of the privately funded prospective port.
"As occurred in other successful cases, this strategic alliance between the state and the private sector seeks the concession of state properties to promote wealth (creation) and generate revenues for the government to consolidate the social inclusion policy," said the Defense Ministry in a statement.
The 10 piers will reportedly cost $1.6 billion and help bolster the country's port infrastructure, the ministry said, adding that the Logistics Activity Zone project will cost approximately $1.2 billion.
The new port is expected to primarily handle minerals.
For more of the Peru this Week story: peruthisweek.com
Oil tanker reappears off Texas coast with $100M worth of oil
A Kurdish tanker hauling $100 million in legally disputed oil that disappeared off the coast of Texas for several days reappeared Monday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The United Kalavyrvta was anchored at least 60 miles offshore when it vanished from Coast Guard radar screens last week. The Coast Guard said the vessel was anchored Monday in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area, close to its previous position, and it is still 95 percent full.
Reportedly, this isn't the first time Kurdish oil tankers have switched off their electronic transponders to avoid detection, making their movements impossible to track.
The ship's cargo became disputed when Iraq filed a lawsuit in U.S. courts, urging U.S. officials to grab the ship's oil in Galveston because it belongs to Iraq, not the Kurdish National Government. The Kurds say it's theirs.
A U.S. court denied the lawsuit since it has no jurisdiction over ships more than 60 miles off the coast.
For more of the WCNC.com story: wcnc.com
Protesters of oil-by-rail block BNSF tracks in Everett, Washington
On Tuesday morning, approximately 12 protesters blocked railroad tracks at a Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard in in Everett, Wash., objecting to train shipments of oil and coal and proposed oil export terminals in the Northwest.
Demonstrators included one person sitting on top of a tripod above the tracks, according to organizers from Rising Tide Seattle. Others were locked to the legs of the tripod, they said.
About two-dozen demonstrators on a nearby overpass carried signs that said, "Coal-oil-gas. None shall pass" and "Cut oil trains, not conductors."
"People in the Pacific Northwest are forming a thin green line that will keep oil, coal and gas in the ground," said spokeswoman Abby Brockway in a statement. "Just one of these proposed terminals would process enough carbon to push us past the global warming tipping point — we won't let that happen."
The demonstration blocked an oil train and freight trains at the yard near Interstate 5, according to railroad spokesman Gus Melonas. The main line remained open at the site, located 30 miles north of Seattle.
BNSF has broken a record this year for capital and safety improvements — $5 billion system wide, which includes new track in the Everett area, Melonas added. He said the railroad has focused on crew compliance with speed requirements, advanced detection systems and enhanced inspections for oil transports.
"There has not been one fatality on the BNSF Northern Tier from the Great Lakes, across the Plains, through the Rockies to the Pacific Northwest ports — not one fatality — as a result of a hazardous material release since 1981," said Melonas said.
For more of the King 5 story: king5.com
Thursday, September 4, 2014
JLL Seaport Index foresees cargo shift to East Coast ports
Although U.S. West Coast ports remain dominant, rapid growth and demand for space indicates that logistics professionals and shippers are shifting cargo to East Coast ports, according to the sixth annual Seaport Outlook by real estate investment firm JLL.
China announces plan to upgrade shipping industry
China released a set of guidelines to develop its shipping industry on Wednesday, which triggered a rise in shipping firm shares such as China COSCO and China Shipping.
New harbor commissioner appointed at Port of Long Beach
On Tuesday Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia nominated former state Deputy Attorney General Tracy Egoscue to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, which governs the Port of Long Beach.
Department of Commerce: Houston bests L.A.-Long Beach and NY-NJ in exports
Although California features the busiest port complex in the nation, it is not the top mover or employer in the export sector, according to a new reports from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Pirates rob petroleum products tanker in Ivory Coast
Armed pirates robbed a petroleum products tanker near Ivory Coast's port of Abidjan last week, indicating the proliferation of Nigeria-based gangs, according to the International Maritime Bureau.