Monday, September 24, 2007
$148bn needed for rail infrastructure
About $148bn must be invested to expand the nation’s freight rail infrastructure over the next three decades to ensure that adequate rail capacity exists to meet future demand, according to the results of a first-of-its-kind study to measure rail capacity needs.
The report, released Sep 20 by the National Rail Freight Infrastructure Capacity and Investment Study, “explores the long-term capacity expansion needs of the continental US freight railroads.”
The study, conducted by Cambridge Systematics, states: “Without this investment, 30% of the rail miles in the primary corridors will be operating above capacity by 2035, causing severe congestion that will affect every region of the country and potentially shift freight to an already heavily congested highway system.”
Association of American Railroads (AAR) President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger commented, “If these investments aren’t made, everyone in the country will feel the impact.”
The study highlights needed investment in new tracks, signals, bridges, tunnels, terminals, and service facilities that railroads need to keep pace with demand for rail freight transportation, which is expected to almost double over the next 30 years.
Association of American Railroads
Horizon’s Ops Director Tami Porter honored
Tamara (Tami) Porter, director of East Coast & Gulf terminal operations for Horizon Lines, Sep 20 was named a 2007 Women of Influence honoree at a breakfast held in Jacksonville, FL.
Porter “is responsible for the effective loading and delivery of more than 113,000 containers annually and the efficiency of vessel operations for 190 ship arrivals per year,” said Horizon in a news release.
She “has earned and enjoyed great success in what was formerly considered a non-traditional role for women port operations,” said Horizon.
Porter’s team “consistently outperforms targets on service reliability and schedule integrity two critical attributes in the transportation industry,” said Horizon.
The Women of Influence Award honors women in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida who have demonstrated leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit within their particular industry as well as contributed their time and talents to the community at large, according to the news release.
“Congratulations to Tami on this most deserved recognition,” said John V. Keenan, president of Horizon Lines LLC.
Horizon Lines Inc. is the leading domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company.
Georgia ports report 30% August growth
Tonnage and volume reports for August released Sep 24 by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) reflect a very strong start to FY08, according to the GPA.
“In August we experienced total tonnage growth of 26.9%, or 2.1mn tons,” said Doug J. Marchand, executive director of GPA.
“This exceptional performance followed an equally strong 26.7% gain for July, or a total increase of 910,000 tonnes for the first two months of the fiscal year for Savannah and Brunswick,” continued Marchand.
The Port of Savannah handled 236,020 TEUs for August, a 30.1% increase, and a combined 467,711 TEUs for the first two months of the fiscal year. GPA reported a 28.5% increase in TEUs for the fiscal year to date.
Marchand said that GPA will bring an additional 14 rubber tire gantry cranes on-line in FY08, four ship-to-shore cranes in early 2008, and by late 2009 another four cranes at the Garden City Terminal.
In addition, Marchand said, the $100mn-plus capital improvement plan for FY08 includes considerable infrastructure improvements, new technology upgrades, and $12mn to complete Phase 1 of the Chatham Yard ICTF.
Georgia Ports Authority
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
US ports laud WRDA passage
Representatives of public seaports in the United States are praising Congress for passing HR 1495, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007, citing it as long overdue legislation to address a seven-year backlog of US Army Corps of Engineers projects.
“AAPA and our member ports have worked hard to get this crucial piece of legislation through Congress, and today we are extremely pleased that our efforts have been successful,” said Kurt Nagle, president and CEO, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
The US Senate Sep 25 approved a House-Senate conference report for the WRDA, which the House adopted Aug 1.
Included in the WRDA 2007 bill are projects for navigation channel deepening, dredged material disposal and storage facilities, and policy provisions to improve the Corps of Engineers project implementation process.
“America’s ports depend upon a regular, biennial cycle of new project authorizations to improve federal navigation channels to accommodate the modern world fleet of deep-draft ships, but it’s been seven years since the last WRDA bill was approved,” said Nagle.
American Association of Port Authorities
Charleston switches to cleaner fuel
The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) Sep 24 announced it has switched to cleaner-burning ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) three years ahead of a federal mandate.
While federal law requires the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in all off-road equipment by 2010, the first deliveries of ULSD are arriving at SCSPA container terminals in Charleston today, said the announcement.
“This move underscores our commitment to reduce air emissions and improve air quality in the greater Charleston region,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the SCSPA. “We are switching to cleaner fuel well ahead of the curve.”
Rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) will be the first fueled with ULSD, said the announcement. Storage tanks that supply fuel to about 70 other pieces of on-terminal equipment such as stacking cranes and yard trucks will be filled later.
The SCSPA purchases almost 1mn gal of diesel fuel annually, according to SCSPA.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that all off-road equipment switch to ULSD by Jul 1, 2010.
South Carolina State Ports Authority
Penske Logistics names new S.A. exec
Penske Logistics Sep 24 announced that Bill Scroggie has been named managing director, South America, reporting to Terry Miller, executive VP operations, Americas.
Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Scroggie will direct business development and oversee operations in South America.
Scroggie has more than 17 years of logistics experience and has been with Penske Logistics for 10 years. He has served in a number of positions at Penske Logistics, most recently as VP, operations.
Prior to that, he was general manager for Penske’s Ford Motor Co. operations. Scroggie was also directly responsible for global growth of Penske’s relationship with Ford.
“The depth and breadth of Bill Scroggie’s experience working with our global logistics customers have prepared him well for this exciting new opportunity,” said Vince Hartnett, president, Penske Logistics.
Scroggie replaces Gary Franz, who will return to the US in a new sales capacity for the company.
Scroggie earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University in Oxford, OH. He also holds an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a concentration in strategic management.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Port of Oakland to re-open
Workers at the nation’s fourth-largest port are expected to resume work today after staying off the job yesterday after a worker was crushed to death by a shipping container Sep 24, officials said.
The fatal injury occurred aboard the vessel the Stuttgart Express, operated by Hapag-Lloyd, said the Port of Oakland.
The vessel was berthed at the Oakland International Container Terminal. The accident occurred as ILWU members were working the vessel to move cargo, said the port.
The Alameda County coroner’s office identified the victim as Reginald Ross, 39, of San Francisco.
A spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said Ross was not a registered member of the union but had been working dockside for several years.
“We are saddened by the loss of one of our Port of Oakland team members and express our condolences to the longshoreman’s family and to the larger ILWU family,” said Omar Benjamin, executive director for the Port of Oakland.
Ross’ death is being investigated by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which looks into fatalities aboard ships.
Port of Oakland
Breakbulk exports rise at Port of Tacoma
The Port of Tacoma Sep 25 reported that breakbulk cargo exports are up 4.5% at the port compared with 2006.
“While containerized imports to North America generally exceed exports, a constant stream of agricultural, mining, and construction equipment is strengthening non-containerized exports through the Port of Tacoma,” said the report.
“We continue to see strong movement of machinery and equipment, both inbound and westbound,” said Port of Tacoma Senior Director of Operations John Bush.
“We are forecasting continued growth. In fact, by 2010, we expect our breakbulk volumes to grow another 18% above current volumes,” Bush added.
In 2006, the port handled 129,259 short tons of breakbulk cargo the most since 1998, according to the port.
While overall breakbulk volumes are expected to dip slightly by the close of 2007, Port Director of Operational Services Susan Becklund credits the port’s continued strong performance to investments in its facilities.
While breakbulk exports grow, the port continues to handle significant volumes of imports, including structural steel from Korea and wire rod from China, said the port.
Port of Tacoma
UPS VP to lead new healthcare team
UPS Sep 25 announced it has named a senior UPS manager to direct a new enterprise team focused on serving the diverse needs of the global healthcare industry.
Bill Hook, who most recently oversaw UPS’s relationship with healthcare strategic accounts, has been named vice president of healthcare logistics, said UPS.
In his new role, “Hook will direct a team that ties together for healthcare customers small package and heavy freight transportation services along with third party logistics, distribution, and a network of regulatory-compliant and controlled-environment facilities,” said UPS.
The team will focus on healthcare companies engaged in biotechnical development or that manufacture or coordinate research trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device and equipment, and surgical supply markets.
“Healthcare has an increasingly complex supply chain, unique requirements, and societal impacts that necessitate this focus,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing.
“We’re combining UPS’s supply chain management capabilities and healthcare expertise to accelerate new product entry, provide detailed inventory, expiration information and reporting compliance, and respond to service and critical care needs,” added Kuehn.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
CN to acquire key operations of EJ&E Rail
Canadian National Railway Co. and US Steel Corp. Sep 26 announced an agreement under which CN will acquire the major portion of the Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern Railway Co. for $300mn (approximately C$301mn).
The acquisition will “significantly improve the fluidity of CN’s rail operations in the Chicago region, rewarding customers with faster transit times and more reliable service,” said CN.
EJ&E, a Class II railroad, operates more than 198 mainline miles of track encircling the city of Chicago.
CN President and CEO E. Hunter Harrison commented, “Chicago is essential to CN’s rail operations, yet it presents us with major operational challenges.”
Harrison added, “This transaction will improve rail operations on the CN system and the rest of the Chicago rail network by moving CN trains out of the urban core to EJ&E lines on the outskirts of the Chicago metropolitan area.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory review by the US Surface Transportation Board. Both CN and US Steel believe that if the application is approved by the STB as filed, it should allow closing in mid-2008.
Canadian National Railway Co.
US Steel Corp.
ZIM orders eight 12,600-TEU ships
Zim Integrated Shipping Services Sep 25 announced that its Board of Directors has approved the purchase of eight 12,600-TEU ships with an option to buy one more.
The ships, each costing around $170mn, will be built in Korea and will be delivered at the beginning of 2012, according to the press release.
The size and capacity of the ships “will be compatible with the characteristics of the Panama Canal once its enlargement is completed,” said the company.
The purchase of these mega containerships “adds to the 12 ships already ordered last year from Hyundai eight ships of 10,000 TEUs and four ships of 8,200 TEUs. These ships will be delivered at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010,” said the company.
This new purchase of very large container ships (VLCS) “is another step in ZIM’s rapid growth plan, which to date is one of the fastest growing companies in the container shipping industry, with the aim to strengthen its position of leading global carrier,” according to the press release.
Horizon Lines receives top ‘green’ awards
Recognition for outstanding achievements in environmental excellence was presented to 13 Horizon Lines vessels by the Chamber of Shipping of America at the fourth annual Environmental Achievement Awards held in Washington, DC recently.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Commandant of the US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen aptly identified these as the “non-event” awards and went on to say that these are the kinds of “non-events” we can all be proud of, according to the press release.
Admiral Allen presented statistics showing that in the early 1970s, more than 25 oil contamination events of 7 tons or more occurred in and around US waters, while during this past year less than 6% of these events and accumulated contamination have occurred worldwide.
The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), founded in 1917, is an organization representing US owners, operators, and charterers of US and foreign-flag ocean-going vessels.
CSA promotes sound public policy regarding marine safety, maritime security, and environmental protection and supports the domestic maritime industry and open international trade, according to their Web site.
Chamber of Shipping of America
Friday, September 28, 2007
DOT plans real-time tracking of trucks
All Mexican and US vehicles participating in the ongoing cross-border trucking demonstration project will have to participate in a satellite-based vehicle tracking system under a plan announced Sep 27 by the US DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The tracking system would monitor “hours of service, cabotage, and vehicle position,” according to the announcement, but “no driver information would be collected or tracked.”
FMCSA announced its intent to issue a contract “to provide satellite terminals for the near real-time tracking of commercial trucks traveling throughout the continental US and Mexico as part of the cross-border trucking demonstration project,” said the announcement.
The systems will be installed at no cost to the participating trucking companies. The system would not be required on US trucking companies operating solely within the US, according to the announcement.
“This will give us the ability to monitor every vehicle from Mexico and ensure all companies are following our strict safety requirements, including those governing hours of service and cabotage,” said John Hill, FMCSA administrator.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Crowley to build largest, fastest ATBs
Crowley Maritime Corp. Sep 27 announced that its Vessel Management Services subsidiary has signed a contract with VT Halter Marine Inc. and Dakota Creek Shipyards to build three articulated tug-barge (ATB), 330,000-bbl tank vessels.
The three 750-series vessels, the largest in the company’s history and the fastest in their class, are to be constructed and delivered by mid-2013.
The new vessels will be delivered in yearly intervals between the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2013, said the company.
VT Halter Marine will construct the barges, which will have 78% more capacity than Crowley’s 650-class vessels (185,000-bbl capacity) in its shipyard in Pascagoula, MS. Dakota Creek will build the 16,320-hp tugs in its Anacortes, WA, shipyard.
Once received, the three new Jones Act ATBs (Legacy/750-1, Legend/750-2, and Liberty/750-3) will be operated in the US coastwise trade by Crowley’s petroleum services segment.
The new ATBs will feature the latest systems technology and double-hull construction for maximum safety and reliability, said the company.
Crowley Maritime Corp.
HGA Ports purchases Hutchinson Island acreage
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Sep 27 announced the purchase of 175 acres of property on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, GA.
The property has more than 3,700 ft of frontage on the Savannah River with rail and highway access and is located directly across the river from GPA’s Ocean Terminal, said the announcement.
“We are extremely pleased with the transaction and the addition of this prime piece of real estate to the Authority’s land portfolio,” said Doug J. Marchand, GPA’s executive director.
“This unique property will ensure numerous future growth opportunities consistent with the Authority’s mission to further support economic expansion for the state of Georgia,” added Marchand.
The property acquisition, for a net $47.5mn, includes the sale of 7.2 acres of GPA’s Ocean Terminal to Colonial Terminals, said the announcement.
“Today’s announcement guarantees GPA will remain a significant economic engine for the state of Georgia for many years to come,” said Steve Green, GPA’s chairman of the board.
No specific use for the property acquired by GPA has been identified, according to the announcement.
Georgia Ports Authority
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