Monday, September 17, 2007
PierPASS changes at LA/LB ports
PierPASS Inc. Sep 12 announced new procedures for cargo owners to register under the OffPeak program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The changes, effective Sep 14, were made to “enhance the security of the registration process,” said the company.
Registration is a one-time procedure for cargo owners that establishes an account with PierPASS. The changes apply only to new registrations and will not affect existing accounts, said the company.
Under the revised procedure, registration applications must be approved by PierPASS before cargo owners can access the PierPASS TMF payment system, said the company.
PierPASS “intends to process registration applications for approval or denial within four business hours (Mon. through Fri., 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.),” said the company. Previously, cargo owners could access the PierPASS TMF payment system immediately after registering with PierPASS.
Cargo owners can register for the OffPeak program by following the “OffPeak Login/Registration” link on the PierPASS home page, said the company.
The OffPeak program was launched in July 2005 to reduce congestion in and around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Virginia port opens Saturdays
Virginia International Terminals (VIT), the Virginia Port Authority’s operating arm, announced Sep 14 it has adjusted operating hours at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).
The terminal and the empty container yard will be open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon through Dec 1, traditionally the year’s busiest months as holiday cargo moves through the port, said the port authority.
If the program is successful, the extended hours may run beyond Dec 1 or more hours may be added to the Saturday schedule, said Joe Dorto, VIT’s general manager.
VIT said it “will voluntarily adjust its operating hours at NIT in an effort to cooperate with the Norfolk City Council’s desire to keep heavy trucks off Hampton Blvd. during the work week.”
“We want to be a good neighbor and do our part to help reduce the number of our trucks on Hampton Blvd.,” said Jeff Keever, the deputy executive director for the Virginia Port Authority.
“We are encouraging the trucking community and shippers to make use of Saturdays now,” added Keever.
Virginia Port Authority
Labor Day rail/intermodal traffic down
Rail carload and intermodal freight traffic declined from a year ago for the Labor Day holiday week ended Sep 8, the Association of American Railroads said Sep 13. Both this year’s week and last year’s comparison week included the Labor Day holiday.
Intermodal volume fell 3.6% to 207,911 trailers and containers, AAR said in its weekly report.
Container volume fell 2% to 164,910 units, while trailer volume dropped 9.1% to 43,001.
Rail carload traffic, which doesn’t include the intermodal data, totaled 317,313 cars, down 1.6% from a year ago. Compared with last year, loadings were up 0.5% in the West but down 4.5% in the East, AAR said.
Cumulative volume for the first 36 weeks of 2007 totaled 11,684,906 carloads, down 3.5% from 2006; 8,269,266 trailers or containers, off 1.9%; and total volume of an estimated 1.20 trillion tonne-miles, down 2.0% from last year.
On Canadian railroads, during the week ended Sep 8 carload traffic totaled 74,012 cars, down 4.5% from last year while intermodal volume totaled 45,088 trailers or containers, up 6.2% from last year.
Association of American Railroads
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Hanjin ship refloats on Columbia River
An 872-ft containership that went aground on the Columbia River is floating again.
The Korean-flagged containership Hanjin Beijing got stuck Sep 17 near St. Helens after leaving Portland, OR. It broke free a few hours later when river and tide conditions changed, said the US Coast Guard.
Capt. Paul Amos, president of the Columbia River Pilots association, said the ship appeared to move off the sandy bottom under its own power shortly after 5 p.m.
The 10-year-old vessel is owned and operated by Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest shipping firm.
There were no reports of injuries to the 15-member crew. No oil sheens were spotted, said the Coast Guard.
Tugs escorted the vessel to Kalama, WA, where it was to be checked for damage before continuing its voyage to Japan, according to the Coast Guard.
Port of Portland spokesman Josh Thomas said some containers on the ship were empty.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is in the middle of a $163mn project to deepen the Columbia’s shipping channel from 40 ft to 43 ft.
Kuehne + Nagel starts Dubai construction
Kuehne + Nagel, one of the world’s leading logistics companies, Sep 17 announced it has begun construction of its state-of-the-art facility in Dubai Logistics City.
Dubai Logistics City (DLC) is set to become the world’s largest supply chain community within Dubai World Central (DWC), the huge city-within-a-city taking shape at Jebel Ali in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said the company.
Kuehne + Nagel has leased 52,000 sq meters of land on a long-term basis for the facility.
It paves the way for the development of the company’s Dubai base into the “principal Kuehne + Nagel distribution hub for the Middle East,” said the company.
The new facility will become operational mid next year upon completion of the first phase of construction, featuring 17,000 sq meters of warehouse space with the option to expand to a total of 30,000 sq meters, said the company.
“Kuehne + Nagel is aligning its activities to meet the dynamic Middle East logistics market requirements. At the heart of this development will be our new integrated facility in DLC,” said Werner Kleymann, regional manager, Middle East.
Kuehne + Nagel
GENCO in $13.5mn deal at Ft. Hamilton
GENCO Sep 11 announced that its subsidiary, GENCO Infrastructure Solutions Inc. (GIS), was selected by the US Army Contracting Agency to provide public works and logistics services at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY.
The contract has a base period of one year plus eight one-year options with GIS’s portion valued at up to $13.5mn, said GENCO.
Under the contract’s scope of work, GIS will provide storage and property accountability, logistical and warehouse support, vehicle maintenance and dispatching, personal property shipping, environmental management, and pest control.
Fort Hamilton encompasses 177 acres with 47 non-housing buildings totaling 800,000 sq ft.
“We are very pleased to be selected by the US Army Contracting Agency for this combined public works and logistics award,” said John McGonigle, president of GIS.
“With this and other recent contract awards, we are proud to continue serving federal government agencies by providing commercial infrastructure and logistics best practices that deliver value,” added McGonigle.
GENCO is North America’s second largest provider of supply chain services and manages 120 operations and more than 34mn sq ft of warehouse space, according to the company.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
US judge approves Chiquita $25mn fine
A US district judge Sep 17 approved a $25mn fine for Chiquita Brands International Inc. after it admitted to more than 100 payments between 1997 and 2004 to violent paramilitaries and guerrilla groups in Colombia.
The fine, which was agreed to by Chiquita and the US Justice Dept. in March, is the largest ever to be imposed under US counter-terrorism laws.
“Funding a terrorist organization can never be treated as a cost of doing business,” stated US Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor. “American businesses must take note that payments to terrorists are of a whole different category. They are crimes.”
Chiquita admitted paying $1.7mn to paramilitaries belonging to the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia. The payments were illegal after September 2001, when the US State Department declared the AUC a terrorist organization, said the Justice Dept.
“Chiquita was extorted,” the company said in a court filing on Sep 14, adding, “The threats facing Chiquita were very real, a point the government does not ... contest.”
Colombia Interior Minister Carlos Holguin reacted strongly. “For US$25mn, those who financed a mass massacre of Colombians were able to purchase impunity,” he said.
Chiquita Brands International Inc.
APL Logistic’s Lutt sees China challenges
While beneficial to billions of people, the China trade surge has created unprecedented complexity, additional costs, and potential choke points in thousands of international supply chains that touch the country, according to Brian Lutt, president of APL Logistics.
Lutt told the 1st Transpacific Maritime Asia Conference Sep 18 in Shenzhen that these challenges will be magnified as China looks to spread wealth beyond the coast.
“The challenges we face today will be multiplied many times once China’s vast hinterland is unlocked,” said Lutt.
On transportation infrastructure, Lutt commended the Chinese government’s forward planning, fast decision-making, and committed program of investment.
“China has recognized that transportation infrastructure is closely linked to its future economic and social prosperity,” said Lutt.
However, Lutt said, building infrastructure is only part of the solution to China’s challenges.
“From a container logistics perspective, this additional road and rail capacity must be matched by precise connectivity with ocean transportation and other value-added logistics services. Without this connectivity and integration, supply chains will falter,” said Lutt.
San Diego Port’s chief engineer honored
Tony Heinrichs, the Port of San Diego’s senior director of facilities and its chief engineer, was recently honored by the San Diego & Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) for outstanding service, the port announced Sep 18.
The APWA award for Outstanding Service in a Public Agency was presented to Heinrichs at an awards luncheon Sep 13. The award honors “distinguished public service and commitment [that] has resulted in positive impacts to public works programs, services, and policies.”
Heinrichs joined the port in 2000 and has overseen the activities of its engineering, construction, and general services departments.
He’s been at the helm of several APWA award-winning projects, including the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park on Spanish Landing and an accessible crosswalk on Harbor Drive at B Street, which was a joint engineering project with the city of San Diego.
The APWA, with 67 chapters throughout North America, is an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to providing high-quality public works goods and services.
Port of San Diego
Thursday, September 20, 2007
CodePINK plans Oakland port shut down
The peace group CodePINK Sep 15 announced a call to shut down the Stevedore Services of America (SSA) shipping corporation at the Port of Oakland Friday, Sep 21, as part of its International Peace Day and Iraq Moratorium activities.
The group has called for supporters to gather at the W. Oakland BART station and “march to the Railroad Bridge to the Oakland Ports.”
CodePINK’s call to action is to “shut down war profiteer SSA, the shipping corporation that received a ‘no-bid’ contract to take over the port in Iraq, and that supplies the war daily,” according to their announcement.
The group scheduled a protest against the Iraq War at the Oakland Federal Bldg. Sep 18, which drew about 100 people.
According to their Web site, “CodePINK was started in direct response to the Bush administration’s color-coded security alerts that are based on fear. CodePINK is a determined call for women and our supporters to ‘wage peace and justice’ in our lives, our communities, our country, and around the world.”
OSG adds four Suezmax vessels
Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. Sep 19 announced it has expanded its crude oil tanker fleet with the addition of four Suezmax vessels.
The vessels, 120,000-200,000 dwt in size, “complement OSG’s crude oil tanker fleet of ULCCs, VLCCs, Aframaxes, and Panamaxes,” said the company. “Suezmaxes offer greater port flexibility than VLCCs and better economies of scale than Aframax tankers.”
Mats Berglund, head of OSG’s crude oil tanker strategic business unit, commented, “OSG is now the only ship owner in the world that can offer customers service in all crude oil tanker segments as well as lightering.”
OSG expects to take delivery of a 2001-built 164,000-dwt vessel in December 2007 and a 2000-built 153,000-dwt vessel in 1Q 2008. The vessels have been chartered for seven and 10 years, respectively.
OSG also has time-chartered in two 156,000-dwt sister ships for three years. The vessels, currently under construction in China, are expected to deliver in 4Q 2008, said the company.
OSG is one of the largest publicly traded tanker companies in the world, according to the company Web site.
Overseas Shipholding Group Inc.
YRC names senior VP, CEO
YRC Regional Transportation, a subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc., Sep 19 announced that Keith Lovetro has been named senior vice president and CEO, effective Oct 1.
Prior to joining YRC Regional Transportation, Lovetro was executive vice president, marketing, and US management board member of DHL Express.
Lovetro also served as president and CEO of FedEx Freight West in San Jose, CA, and senior vice president and CEO for FedEx Freight West.
“Keith is a proven leader and brings a wealth of experience to our organization,” said Jim Staley, president and CEO, YRC Regional Transportation. “We are delighted to have Keith as a part of the YRC Regional Transportation management team.”
Lovetro is a graduate of the University of California. He earned his MBA from the University of Santa Clara.
YRC Regional Transportation is comprised of USF Holland, USF Reddaway, USF Glen Moore, and New Penn. Together, the YRC Regional Transportation companies deliver nationwide services in the next-day, second-day, and time-sensitive markets, according to YRC.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Allen Group plans MidState 99 addition
Allen Group plans MidState 99 addition
The Allen Group Sep 20 announced construction plans for two additional industrial buildings at its MidState 99 Distribution Center in Visalia, CA, one of the fastest growing industrial markets in the state.
Two buildings one 139,590 sq ft and one 140,700 sq ft will be developed as warehouse/distribution facilities. The project is currently under construction, with both buildings available for occupancy in April 2008, according to the announcement.
The MidState 99 Distribution Center has eight existing buildings totaling more than 2mn sq ft of space, all of which are 100% occupied. Approximately 200 acres are left for future build-to-suit opportunities up to 1mn sq ft, said the company.
The Allen Group is a commercial development firm specializing in logistics parks and industrial developments.
The company’s MidState 99 Distribution Center “is strategically located in the heart of California, with a two-day distribution radius reaching more than 65mn people in the western United States,” according to the announcement.
MidState 99 is also adjacent to rail access and State Highway 99, the major trucking corridor in California, said the company.
The Allen Group
NY/NJ port acquires key Bayonne property
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will acquire a key parcel of property on the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne to handle their continuing growth and expansion in activity, announced the Port Authority Sep 20.
Under an agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners, the Port Authority will pay $50.5mn to the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority to acquire a 153-acre parcel to add to the approximately 3,000 acres it controls in the port, said the announcement.
The Port Authority intends to use the Military Ocean Terminal property for future auto marine terminal and other maritime-related uses, said the announcement.
Cargo volumes have doubled in the past 10 years, and they are expected to double again in the next 10 years. Last year, the port handled more than $149bn in cargo, said the announcement..
Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said, “This parcel is a gem in the New York harbor that will allow us to begin to address the critical issues we face in order to maintain our position as the leading East Coast destination for international shippers.”
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
SCCT launches Phase II E. Port Said terminal
Positive negotiations between the Egyptian government and Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), operated by APM Terminals, have resulted in signing an agreement launching Phase II of SCCT’s East Port Said container terminal, according to an announcement Sep 20.
“Phase II of the deepwater container terminal strategically located at the Mediterranean side of the Suez Canal will double the capacity of the leading terminal in the East Mediterranean,” said SCCT.
This new phase “will expand SCCT not only in size but in manpower, boasting 24 super post-Panamax cranes and a terminal capacity of 5.1mn TEUs,” said the announcement.
The signing ceremony took place at the Egyptian Cabinet attended by HE Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif, HE Minister of Transportation Mohamad Mansour, and executives from SCCT and the AP Moller-Maersk Group, according to the announcement.
Jens Floe, managing director of SCCT, based in Port Said, stated, “SCCT is excited to launch this new expansion for our customers and its vital role in their global supply chains. Equally important, we are creating the port infrastructure necessary to position Egypt as a leader in world ports.”
Suez Canal Container Terminal
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