NOL volume gained in August; revenue per-box dropped
Singapore's container-shipping giant, Neptune Orient Lines, posted an 8 percent gain in cargo volume at 235,200 FEUs carried in August over the same four weeks in 2010.
NOL reported its average revenue per-FEU dropped in August from $3,181 for the same period last year, to $2,559 per-FEU from $3,181 last year.
For the year to date, NOL said in a statement that it has carried 8 percent more containerized cargo, while average revenue per-FEU has slipped by 7 percent year-to-date compared to the same period in 2010.
Maersk, Rickmers form U.S. -flag vessel partnership
Maersk Line, Limited and Rickmers-Linie (America), Inc. announced a partnership to provide breakbulk and project cargo-shipping capability utilizing two 19,000 deadweight-ton U.S. flag (Marshall Islands) new-build multi-purpose vessels.
The Maersk Illinois and Maersk Texas, each have a combined maximum lift of 480 metric tons and are twice the size of U.S. flag multipurpose vessels currently in operation, according to the new Maersk-Rickmers partnership in a statement.
"The Maersk-Rickmers service is designed for shippers needing U.S. flag service and seeking the advantageous economics of large multi-purpose vessels," said Dave Harris, director of ship management and chartering at Maersk Line, Limited.
Delivery of Boeing's first 747-8 freighters to Cargolux suspended
The much-hyped first two Boeing 747-48 freighters that were scheduled for delivery today to Cargolux won't be, at least for now, due to "unresolved contractual issues."
"We're continuing to work with Cargolux and look forward to delivering these airplanes," said spokesman Jim Proulx as reported by the Seattle Times.
The 747-48 freighters are two years late, and are the biggest Boeing has built.
According to a statement issued by Cargolux over the weekend, its board of directors "took the decision yesterday to reject the first two Boeing 747-8 Freighters.due to unresolved contractual issues," that were financed through JP Morgan as an Ex-Im Bank guaranteed lender.
Cargolux said that if the contract issues can't be resolved "in a timely manger," that it would "source alternative capacity to fully meet customer demand and expectations ahead of the traditional high season."
The new freighters are listed at $319 million each, however industry estimates value their actual sales price at $189 million.
Boeing is also readying delivery of its new 787 to All Nippon Airways this month.
The Port of Baltimore reported a record first half of 2011 for international auto tonnage at 538,000 tons, a 15 percent increase over the same period in 2010, claiming it was more than any other U.S. port according to statistics the port authority cited by the U.S. Census that were analyzed by Global Trade Atlas.
"This is another good step forward in continuing to rebound from one of our country's most challenging economic periods," said Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley in a statement.
The port handled 270,000 autos for this year's first six months, up by 30,000 vehicles over 2010's first half, when the Port of Baltimore said it ranked second in the U.S. for autos handled behind New York.
Report: Container surcharges doubled at Chennai's private terminals
Citing severe congestion at Southeast India's major shipping hub, the Port of Chennai, shipping lines using the two big private terminal operators there have reportedly doubled a "trade recovery surcharge" for imported containers to $130 per-TEU, and an increase from $35 per-TEU to $65 per-TEU for export boxes, according to a report in The Hindu.
On Friday morning, six containerships were reportedly at anchor awaiting slots at the DP World and PSA Singapore terminal operations, including one major un-named shipping line diverting two ships to Colombo from which feeder vessels were re-routed back to Chennai.
There are reportedly frequent strikes by truckers and other servicing the port that have been a principal cause of the congestion at marine terminals in Chennai, causing increased detention fees and related for exporters.
As a result, exporters shipping out of the big Indian seaport are concerned about an even bigger backlog
as the peak shipping season for the holidays intensifies, The Hindu reported.
During last year's peak season at Chennai, export cargo service was halted for a week in order to try and clear up congestion.
Retail shoppers in the U.S. will be fewer in number but will spend more this holiday season, according to an industry trend firm.
While the U.S. economy continues to struggle amid high unemployment figures, retail sales for the holidays are forecast to rise 3 percent during November and December over the same period last year, and foot traffic will decrease 2.2 percent, according to ShopperTrak.
The forecasted increase in holiday sales follows 19 straight months of year-over-year U.S. retail sales growth, according to ShopperTrak's report.
The expected 3 percent increase is lower than 2010's holiday sales increase of 4.1 percent sales over 2009.
ShopperTrak attributes the decrease in retail foot traffic to high U.S. unemployment and a 33 percent increase in gas prices as year to date, shoppers have visited an average of 3.10 stores per trip, down from 3.19 per shopping trip in 2010. In 2008, the average stores visited per trip were in the 4-5-store range, the analytics firm said.
"The persistently high unemployment and fuel rates along with consumers' conservative purchasing attitudes will affect spending this holiday season more than in recent years," said ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin in a statement.
"Every shopper in a store will be more valuable than last year, and retail stores should be ready to convert their holiday shoppers into sales," Martin said.
Holiday retail sales and traffic have historically accounted for approximately 20 percent of annual retail activity, according to ShopperTrak.
Trans-Pacific carrier group moves to executive committee leadership
The group representing trans-Pacific container-shipping lines announced it has evolved its leadership structure from one chairman to an executive committee.
The expiration in July of Hanjin Shipping President and CEO Y.M. Kim's 18-month chairmanship of the 15-member Transpacific Stabilization Agreement was the last of that arrangement as a six-person directorship takes over in what the TSA in a statement described as "a further step in the evolution of its leadership structure."
The current TSA executive committee is APL, Ltd. President Ken Glenn; Evergreen Marine Co. President Anchor Chang; Hanjin Deputy President and Chief Executive of Container Business W.W. Lee; Maersk Line Vice President, Network and Product, Pacific Services Lars Mikael Jensen; N.Y.K. Line Global Liner Management Division CEO and Board Director Kenji Mizushima; and OOCL Chief Operating Officer Andy Tung.
"The move reflects TSA's expanded, more diverse membership over the past two years, and the need to base strategic decisions going forward on member's different geographic, customer and cargo market profiles," the ocean carrier group said.
Brian Conrad will continue on as executive administrator that the TSA said would equate to facilitation of meetings, research and documentation, and coordination of policies.
Conrad said the TSA would decide in the coming months on a term limit and rotation process for the executive committee.
The American Association of Port Authorities announced it has named Virginia Port Authority Executive Director Jerry Bridges as chairman of the board for 2011-2012.
"Mr. Bridges has the knowledge, leadership skills, enthusiasm and industry respect to advance our association's mission of connecting port communities with the global marketplace, and we look forward to his chairmanship for the coming year," said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle in a statement.
Bridges' previous experience included serving as executive director at the Port of Oakland and various operating positions with Marine Terminals Corporation, Sea Land Services and Roadway Express.
In addition to his role as AAPA board chairman, Bridges will serve as AAPA's U.S. delegation chair for 2011-12 along with other newly-installed U.S. delegation officers that include Chair-Elect Adoph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority; and Vice Chair Tay Yoshitani, chief executive officer at the Port of Seattle.
Representing AAPA's Canadian delegation, Prince Rupert (BC) Port Authority President and CEO Don Krusel was elected as the delegation's new chairman for the 2011-12. Gaétan Boivin, president and CEO of the Trois-Rivières Port Authority (PQ), is the Canadian delegation's new chair-elect, and Bernie Dumas, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority (BC), is the delegation's new vice chair, the seaport association said.
For AAPA's Caribbean delegation, Sean Matthew, general manager for the St. Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority, in St. Lucia, West Indies, will serve as the 2011-12 chairman.
AAPA's Latin American delegation includes Jenaro Sánchez, a member of the board of directors of the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico (INCOP), in Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, as chairman, while Carlos de la Cerda, executive director for the Comisión Portuaria Nacional (CPN) in Guatemala City, Guatemala, was named chair-elect. C.P. Alejandro Couttolenc Villar, commercialization director for the Administración Portuaria Integral de Veracruz S.A. de C.V., in Veracruz, Mexico, was named vice chair.
During its five-day convention in Seattle this month, AAPA bestowed its Distinguished Service Award to two past AAPA board chairmen: retiring Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard Steinke and former Curaçao Ports Authority Managing Director Agustin Diaz.
Freight forwarder, Rock-It-Cargo, has publically denied involvement in a cocaine-smuggling operation between the U.S. east and west coasts.
The U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York has accused music manager James Rosemond, the founder of Czar Entertainment, on 20 counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, firearm charges and obstruction of justice.
Rosemond is accused of smuggling cocaine in tour equipment and musical instrument cases while using music star Lady Gaga's New York-based recording label Interscope Records as the drop-off station. Bundles of money - reportedly $100,000 per bundle - were then placed in the cases for the return trip to Los Angeles.
The instrument cases were shipped through Rock-It Cargo, which specializes in forwarding musical instruments and equipment.
Rock-It Cargo issued a public statement regarding the investigation of Rosemond.
"Rock-It Cargo is neither the subject of the investigation, nor implicated in any way. The company has provided the U.S. Attorney with all of the documentation it has requested."
"As a global freight forwarding and logistics company, Rock-It Cargo has always been and continues to be strongly committed to maintaining the highest levels of transportation security. With regard to the current investigation, the company followed all of the government's and its own required procedures and remains in compliance with all Federal and state regulations," the firm said.
Rock-It-Cargo did not own any of the cases used to hide drugs.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Chicago location tops annual report on U.S. highway trucking congestion
An annual report on areas in the U.S. where truck-oriented highway congestion creates significant freight bottlenecks was released this week with 250 rankings that list Chicago I-290 at I-90/I-94 as the worst to get through.
The highway freight congestion report was compiled by the American Transportation Research Institute and the Federal Highway Administration using "customized software tools and terabytes of data from trucking operations" to come up with the 250 locations, and rankings, of congestion, according to a joint statement.
The highway congestion report is part of the Freight Performance Initiative sponsored by the FHWA and produced by ATRI.
"Strengthening the efficiency of supply chains is becoming a critical component of U.S. economic growth. Challenge number one is identifying the freight bottlenecks. Fortunately, ATRI's report goes far in using real-world data to tell us where the impediments lie," said Kevin Knight, chairman and CEO of Knight Transportation.
According to the ARTI, the "FPM congestion monitoring effort combines anonymous truck GPS location information with sophisticated software applications and analysis techniques to assess the levels at which truck-based freight was affected by traffic congestion in 2010."
The ARTI claims "the result is a clear documentation of system chokepoints, especially during peak travel times in urban locations."
Following is the ARTI's report. You can click on each link to obtain a detailed report on each location:
San Francisco export bulk facility project on hold
By Richard Knee for CBN in San Francisco
Development of an export bulk terminal at San Francisco's Pier 96 is on hold pending completion of a rail-capacity analysis by Union Pacific and a subsequent a subsequent shippers' assessment of the project's economic viability, port authority spokesman Jim Maloney said late Monday.
Port officials said in March that they hoped to have the facility in operation by fall 2012 but Maloney told Cargo Business News that the timetable will be revised once they have the UP analysis and shippers' perspectives in hand.
"We expect to have the results of UP's analysis in our hands within the next week or two. Once receive the analysis and the costs for railing product to the Port of San Francisco, we can then determine, in discussion with the shippers, the economic viability for moving forward with the project," Maloney said. "The information from UP will be key for addressing those issues."
UP wants to determine how many 80- to 100-car unit trains it can run to and from the port per week "given current conditions, and how many additional trains can similarly be accommodated per week if certain improvements are made, such as adding track infrastructure at the port, upgrading the Quint Street Lead, UP adding storage track, etc.," he said. "One important consideration is that existing UP freight rail business on the line would not be negatively impacted by any news business to the Port of San Francisco."
Shortly after the announcement in March of plans to build the facility, four marine terminal operators formally expressed interest in developing and running it. They were identified as
Ports America, Metro Ports, Kinder/Morgan and Ebony Iron Pty Ltd. In addition, the port authority reportedly received several informal queries after the March 18 deadline the port had set for responding to a Request for Information.
Maloney said at the time that some mining companies had expressed in using the facility to move bulk cargoes, especially magnetite and iron ore.
Peter Daily, the port's deputy director for maritime, said he was not sure how much throughput capacity the new bulk facility would have or how much developing it would cost, but a bulk import terminal on Pier 94, which is contiguous with Pier 96, handled as much as 1.5 million tons during a recent year.
Pier 96 has access to on-dock rail and a five-track rail yard, as well as a 1,000-foot-long berth. It abuts 40-foot-deep water.
When the port sent out the Request for Information, Maloney said container-handling capability at Piers 94-96 and 80 would be kept in place "for the foreseeable future."
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $31 Million to Improve Rail Service in Washington State
Wash. State gets $31.1 mil for rail improvements
Freight and passenger rail access in Washington State received a shot in the arm from the U.S. Department of Transportation this week with the announcement by Secretary Ray LaHood that $31.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would go towards improving the rail structure along the I-5 corridor and for rail access to the Port of Vancouver, located in the southwest part of the state.
"The investments we're making in the Cascades line will improve reliability and service for passengers while putting people to work on crucial rail projects," said Secretary LaHood.
"It's a win-win because these investments will also help create jobs and grow the economy by building and maintaining railways with American-made materials," he said in a statement.
The rail improvements include:
Pacific Northwest Corridor - $16.1 million for design, environmental review and construction work to stabilize and improve track structure along the rail line between Blaine, Wash. near the Canadian border, running all the way south to the Columbia River Bridge in Vancouver, Wash. The D.O.T. said the upgrades along this route would "increase service reliability by reducing the number of closures and delays due to inclement weather."
Vancouver-Port Access Rail Improvements - $15 million for construction of a new, rail access route to the Port of Vancouver, including grade separation at an existing rail crossing which the D.O.T. said "has acted as a significant choke point for rail traffic. This enhancement will substantially minimize delays affecting freight trains and Amtrak's Cascades service."
The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Port of Vancouver are pitching in $22 million to the port's rail access project where construction is expected to begin in July 2012.
The D.O.T. said: "Amtrak's Cascades Service is one of its faster growing routes. Ridership grew 10 percent in 2010 to 838,251 passengers, and is trending to break that record in 2011."
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Delaware River channel deepening project gets $15 mil in state funding
The Delaware River's shipping channel project will get $15 million in funding from the state of Pennsylvania it was announced this week by Governor Tom Corbett at a press conference held at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority's Packer Avenue marine terminal.
The project, launched last year, is scheduled to eventually deepen the Delaware's 103-mile main channel down from 40 feet to 45 feet.
"With ports up and down the East Coast deepening their navigation channels, Pennsylvania's international seaport in Philadelphia must keep pace to remain competitive in the growing international market," said Governor Corbett at the port gathering.
"A deeper river opens the way for world trade- an economic high tide of sorts. One estimate says the deepening of the river channel will create more than 8,000 to 12,000 direct jobs, and indirectly contribute to another 38,000," the Governor said.
The Delaware River Main Channel-Deepening Project is a federal public works project that includes 65 percent of the project's cost to be funded by the federal government and 35 percent funded by a local match, that the Commonwealth has invested $45 million in to date. Total cost of the deepening projected is estimated to be $305 million and is scheduled for completion in five years.
More protesters arrested in ongoing labor dispute at Port of Longview (incl. video link)
In the ongoing dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the operators of a new $200 million grain terminal at the Port of Longview, Wash., a dozen protesters were arrested on the morning of September 21 attempting to block a 107-car BNSF train.
According to a news report in the Longview Daily News, local law enforcement in riot gear arrested 12 protesters who were mostly women, and three longshoremen. The nine women were reportedly all wives and mothers of ILWU members.
Two local longshore leaders who were arrested, Byron Jacobs, 28, and Kelly Muller, 54, were reportedly pepper-sprayed as a result of a scuffle with police.
"It's an unfortunate incident that happened. It's dividing the community. It would be easy for this not to become a physical incident by the folks that are protesting. They could easily get their word out by not violating the law," said Grover Laseke, a Cowlitz County sheriff's office spokesman in the Daily News story.
The ILWU's dispute with terminal operator EGT Development, a joint venture of Japan's Itochu, Korea's STX Pan Ocean, and St. Louis-based Bunge of North America, has been over the facility's decision to go with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701 based just over the border in Portland, Oregon for its 21 laborers.
The Daily News reports the total number of arrests related to the labor dispute has hit about 135.
For the full Longview Daily News story:
For a video of arrests being made: