Monday, September 3, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Panama Canal expansion breaks ground
An estimated crowd of 30,000, including world leaders in business and government, gathered Sep 3 for a historic groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the first-ever expansion of the nearly 100-year-old Panama Canal.
The $5.25bn expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships, said the announcement.
“It’s a historic day. Expansion will have a significant role in world trade and the maritime industry,” said ACP Board of Directors Chairman and Minister for Canal Affairs Dani Ariel Kuzniecky.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support of this project, and we are honored by the presence of government officials from around the world, particularly former US President Jimmy Carter,” added Kuzniecky.
Carter, who authorized the transfer of the canal to Panama in a treaty he signed in 1977 with Panamanian strongman Omar Torrijos, also attended the ceremony.
Expansion will double canal capacity to more than 600mn Panama Canal tons, said the announcement.
Report details US seaport economic benefits
Last year, US deep-draft seaports and seaport-related businesses generated approximately 8.4mn American jobs and added nearly $2 trillion to the economy, according to a just-completed study by Martin Associates, a business consulting service that specializes in port-sector economic impact.
The American Association of Port Authorities Aug 28 said that the study, based on 2006 US port cargo statistics and thousands of recent port-sector interviews, examined aspects ranging from jobs and wages to business and tax revenues.
“Of the 8,397,301 Americans working for ports and port-related industries in 2006, nearly 7mn were employed by firms involved in handling imports and exports, such as retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and logistics companies,” said the AAPA.
The new study also shows “that businesses providing goods and services to US seaports directly and indirectly paid $314.5bn in total wages and salaries,” said the AAPA.
Of this total, $207.4bn came directly from businesses involved in handling international waterborne commerce, said the AAPA.
In addition, port-sector businesses paid more than $102bn in federal, state, and local taxes in 2006, according to the report.
American Association of Port Authorities
Vancouver Port celebrates 1,000th crane
The Aug 30 arrival of the 1,000th crane from the Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. Ltd. (ZPMC) at the Port of Vancouver, BC, “marked an historic occasion for the Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) and container terminal operator TSI Terminal Systems Inc. (TSI),” the VPA said in an announcement.
The Port of Vancouver purchased ZPMC’s first crane for the Vanterm terminal in 1991, helping to establish them as a viable supplier in the Asia Pacific region, according to the announcement.
“TSI’s latest crane purchase is part of our ongoing upgrade program to service new, larger ships and increase capacity at our Vanterm terminal to 850,000 TEUs,” said Norman Stark, president and CEO, TSI.
The crane arrived on board the vessel Zhen Hua 16 late Thursday night.
The crane is the sixth ZPMC crane to be installed at the Vanterm container terminal and features twin lifts and total lift capacity of 65 tonnes, making it capable of lifting two containers at a time, increasing efficiency at the terminal, said the port.
TSI also operates seven ZPMC cranes at Deltaport.
Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. Ltd.
Port of Vancouver, BC
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Third Mattel toy recall issued
The world’s largest toy maker Sep 4 announced a third major recall of Chinese-made toys in little more than a month because of lead paint.
The latest Mattel Inc. recall covers 675,000 Barbie accessories sold between October 2006 and August 2007. No Barbie dolls were included in the action, Mattel said.
The recall also included 90,000 units of Mattel’s GeoTrax locomotive line and about 8,900 Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys, both from the company’s Fisher-Price brand.
The Big Big World products were sold nationwide from July through August of this year, while the GeoTrax toys were sold from September 2006 through August of this year, Mattel said.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, Robert Eckert, chairman and chief executive of Mattel, said, “We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys.”
Mattel added that it has completed its testing program for the majority of its toys and has spent more than 50,000 hours investigating its vendors and testing its toys over the past four-week period.
Vietnamese tanker is a first in US
The largest oil tanker in the Vietnamese fleet has become the Southeast Asian nation’s first vessel to anchor at a US port since the Vietnam War ended, reports the Vietnamese newspaper Nhan Dan.
The 47,000-tonne Vinashin Victory, with nearly a full load of oil from Japan, ended a 13-day journey across the Pacific Aug 23 in San Francisco Bay, according to the report.
The $50mn tanker was recently acquired by the Viet Nam Shipbuilding Industry Corp., or Vinashin, and has been in regular service with Vinashin member Bien Dong Transport Co. since April, said the report.
Bien Dong, with a small fleet of general cargo and container vessels, operates four international routes, according to the press report.
The tanker has a speed of 15 mph and is on the US ABS registry of shipping, the newspaper reported.
In order to be allowed to anchor at a US port, Vietnamese ships have to meet all the same strict requirements as stipulated in international maritime conventions to which Vietnam is a signature, said the report.
Viet Nam Shipbuilding Industry Corp.
Bien Dong Transport Co.
UPS exec “loaned” to FEMA
Matt Lawrence, a veteran UPS logistician, has become the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) first loaned executive from private industry, UPS announced Sep 4.
Lawrence will report to the newly created Logistics Management Directorate for the nine-month assignment.
Lawrence “will assist in the evaluation of current disaster logistics processes and share best-practices from the private sector,” said William “Eric” Smith, assistant administrator to the Directorate.
Internal changes within FEMA over the past year drove the creation of the Directorate, where new approaches to disaster logistics management are being explored, said the announcement.
Earlier this year, FEMA approached the US Chamber of Commerce seeking commercial expertise. “UPS was the only company that stepped up to volunteer an executive,” said the company. UPS will continue to pay Lawrence’s salary.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the solution and to better understand the challenges that FEMA faces in times of disaster,” said Lawrence, adding he hopes to work directly with the responders who are tasked with getting goods to those in need. “That’s where UPS’s operational skills really can come into play.”
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
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