Monday, October 6, 2008
Report documents ship pollution
A new report released Oct. 3 by the Environmental Defense Fund shows that large ocean-going ships — such as cruiseships and containerships —are big pollution emitters in U.S. waters.
The report, “Floating Smokestacks: A Call for Action to Clean Up Shipping Pollution,” examines pollution in the ports of the Lower Mississippi, Seattle/Tacoma, Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey, Houston/Galveston and the Great Lakes.
The bunker fuel that powers the large diesel engines of ocean-going ships contain approximately 1,800 times the sulfur content of the U.S. diesel fuel standards for other major diesel engines, the EDF said.
The report recommends protective policy action at this week’s meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization in London.
The report analyzed the latest available data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2001).
It found that large ocean-going ships in the United States emitted approximately 54,000 tons of particulate matter (PM 2.5), equivalent to the emissions from about 117 coal-fired power plants, and approximately 745,000 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx), equivalent to the NOx emissions from 94 coal-fired power plants.
Environmental Defense Fund
Evergreen Line joins Asia Australia Service
Evergreen Line Oct. 2 announced that it will join the two Asia Australia Services, known as AAS and AAN, operated by four steamship lines — APL, Hamburg Süd, Hapag-Lloyd and Hyundai Merchant Marine — beginning in the last week of October 2008.
The new service pattern enables the carrier to offer wider port coverage and improved transit time, Evergreen said.
With the participation of Evergreen Line, the five ships of AAN service will be upgraded from the range of 2,500-2,700 TEUs to average 3,500 TEUs.
The AAN (Northern Loop) service will call weekly at Yokohama, Osaka, Pusan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Yokohama.
The AAS (Southern Loop) weekly route is Kaohsiung, Yantian, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Kaohsiung.
In Northeast Asia, the AAN service covers Yokohama, Osaka, Pusan and Qingdao in addition to Shanghai and Ningbo currently served by TCA. In Taiwan and South China, the AAS loop matches TCA in the same coverage of Kaohsiung, Yantian and Hong Kong.
Crowley orders deck cargo barges
Crowley Maritime Corp. Oct. 1 announced that its Vessel Management Services subsidiary has awarded new construction contracts to Gunderson Marine of Portland, Ore., for eight Heavy Lift Series deck cargo barges.
The order is in addition to the two barges already under construction by Gunderson Marine for Crowley Maritime.
The deck cargo barges, 400 ft. in length and 105 ft. wide, are equipped with a massive deck loading capability and can be used in a variety of services including construction, salvage, oil and gas development and container transportation.
Crowley will deploy the barges to handle project work for the offshore energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.
The barges offer increased stability for loads up to 4,200 pounds per square foot in order to carry the larger offshore structures now being planned and engineered for deepwater projects, Crowley said.
Gunderson Marine is a subsidiary of The Greenbrier Companies, which also announced that its marine backlog now exceeds a record $200 million, with production extending well into 2012.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Port of Tacoma, UP sign agreement
The Port of Tacoma Commission Oct. 6 announced that it has authorized Port Executive Director Timothy J. Farrell to sign a lease and operating agreement with Union Pacific Railroad.
The agreement allows UP to expand its presence in Tacoma by moving the railroad’s domestic service from its Seattle Argo Intermodal yard, freeing capacity for additional international business.
When signed by both parties, the agreement calls for UP to handle a minimum of 35,000 container intermodal lifts at the port’s South Intermodal Yard. Activity is expected to begin later this year, port authorities said.
The lease term is five years with five one-year renewal options. UP will lease 10 acres with provisions to expand up to 25 acres during the term of the lease.
UP will guarantee a minimum of 35,000 intermodal lifts during the first year of operations and 45,000 lifts for the second year. Thereafter, the minimum lift guarantee will be increased by 5 percent per year. Lift fees charged to UP will be based upon Port of Tacoma costs from Pacific Rail Service.
Port of Tacoma
Union Pacific Railroad
STX Pan Ocean pleads guilty to illegal dumping
The South Korean shipping company STX Pan Ocean Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Wash., to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by knowingly failing to maintain an accurate Garbage Record Book.
Approximately six 55-gallon drums, 30 plastic-lined rice sacks and 200 garbage bags containing oil-contaminated grain were thrown into the ocean during a voyage from Korea to Longview, Wash., in July.
“This was a blatant example of marine pollution,” said Scott West, Special Agent-in-Charge for EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Tacoma. “This conduct was an insult to anyone who cares about our planet’s vital ocean resource, and the people who commit crimes like this will be tirelessly prosecuted.”
As part of the final plea agreement, the shipping line paid a $500,000 fine and made a $250,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for use in projects to restore Puget Sound.
Two whistleblowers who reported the illegal dumping have been authorized by the court to receive $125,000 each.
U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District
FedEx Express opens Mexico hub, launches service
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, Oct. 6 announced the start of operations for FedEx Express Nacional, a domestic overnight service in Mexico, and the opening of the Toluca Hub Multiplex, its new center of operations for domestic shipments.
The service covers all 32 Mexican states with the support of two new centers of operations in Toluca (Multiplex) and San Luis Potosi, the latter to open in early 2009, according to the company.
The express shipping market in Mexico is valued at $822 million and is projected to grow to $1.5 billion in the next 10 years, according to the Mexican Civil Parcel and Shipping Association.
“Mexico continues to be one of the fastest-growing markets in the express industry and a key part of FedEx international growth and profitability,” said Michael L. Ducker, president, international, FedEx Express.
The new facility has the capacity to process 6,000 shipments per hour with 48 new employees. FedEx expects the sorting capacity and the number of employees to increase during the next few years.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
2008 box traffic forecast lowest since 2005
The newest monthly Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight forecasts a declining cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports for 2008 — a drop of 6.5% compared to 2007.
Volume is projected to total 15.43 million TEUs for the year, compared with 16.50 million TEUs in 2007 and 15.40 million TEUs in 2005.
Merchants are carefully managing inventories “in response to the nation’s slow economy,” according to the report published Oct. 7.
U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.37 million TEUs in August, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available. The number was up 4 percent from July but down 5.9 percent from August 2007.
“Uncertainties remaining for implementation of the Clean Trucks Program at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are causing concerns,” Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said.
The remainder of the U.S. ports covered by Port Tracker — Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast — are rated “low” for congestion, the same as last month.
UPS joins EPA’s “Climate Leaders” program
UPS Oct. 7 announced that it has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Leaders” program
Climate Leaders is an industry/government partnership that works with companies to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. UPS is the first shipping company to join the program.
Partner companies commit to reducing their impact on the global environment by completing a corporate-wide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, setting aggressive reduction goals and annually reporting their progress to the EPA.
“Our decision to join the Climate Leaders program is just the latest demonstration of a long commitment by UPS to operating in an environmentally responsible way,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO.
Davis noted that UPS “already leads the industry in fuel and energy conversation,” saying that it operates the “largest private fleet of alternative fuel vehicles in the transportation industry” and that in 2008, it purchased 500 additional hybrid electric (HEV) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
Davis also noted that UPS has optimized its delivery routes using technology to minimize left-hand turns, saving the company 3 million gallons of fuels in 2007 alone.
Seattle, Tacoma ports hold 2nd joint session
Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma commissioners are scheduled to meet at noon today, Oct. 8, to talk about their recent joint trade mission to China as well as about progress made in other cooperative efforts.
Regional promotion was one of four areas of shared interest the commissions identified at their first joint study session in April, and staff members will share the results of recent collaborative efforts.
The two agencies have identified common transportation infrastructure priorities and will present a list of those projects at the public meeting. Other topics to be discussed include security and the environment.
Members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting will take place from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Sea-Tac International Airport.
Live audio stream from the meeting can be heard at www.portseattle.org
Thursday, October 9, 2008
CMA CGM starts service to Tangier hub
CMA CGM Group Oct. 9 announced the calling at Tangier of CMA CGM La Traviata, a 8,500-TEU ship deployed on the FAL1 service linking Asia to Europe.
The ship’s arrival at the new Tanger Med I container terminal (TC2) marks the official start of CMA CGM activities at the terminal, which opened in August 2008 and where the group holds a 40% share, including 20% through its Moroccan subsidiary Comanav, acquired in May 2007.
With its 800-meter quays, eight cranes and 21 RTGs, the terminal will soon offer an annual capacity of 1.3 million TEUs, according to the company. Its 18-meter depth will allow the berthing of containerships exceeding 12,000 TEUs ordered by CMA CGM.
The French company said it will be making weekly calls at the terminal with its FAL1 Asia-Europe line.
This new offer complements the three direct services CMA CGM Group already operates between Asia and West Africa: WAX (Asia / Sri Lanka / West Africa), ASAF (Asia / Indian Ocean / Africa) and AFEX (Asia / Indian Ocean / Africa).
New rule to protect No. Atlantic right whales
NOAA officials Oct. 8 issued a regulation establishing speed restrictions applying to all vessels 65 ft. or greater in overall length at certain times and locations along the east coast of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard.
The new measures are to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales, among the most endangered whales in the world. Only 300-400 are believed to be in existence.
Slow-moving right whales are highly vulnerable to ship collisions, since their migration route crosses major East Coast shipping lanes.
The regulation will, for the first time, require large ships to reduce speeds to 10 knots in areas where the whales feed and reproduce, as well as along migratory routes in between. In the mid-Atlantic area, the 10-knot speed restrictions will extend out to 20 nautical miles around major ports.
“The ship strike rule, based on science, is a major addition to NOAA’s arsenal of protections for this endangered species,” said Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
The new rule will be up for renewal in five years, after scientists assess its effectiveness. The rule will go into effect in early December, 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, according to NOAA officials.
Knatz takes chair of AAPA
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz was installed as board chairman for 2008-09 of the American Association of Port Authorities at the association’s annual convention in Anchorage, Alaska, last month.
In addition, Knatz will chair the organization’s U.S. Legislative Policy Council and U.S. Delegation of Ports. The AAPA represents more than 160 public port authorities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.
“Dr. Knatz has the experience, leadership skills, dedication and industry respect to advance our association’s mission of connecting port communities throughout the Western Hemisphere with the global marketplace,” said Kurt Nagle, AAPA president and CEO.
“It’s an honor to chair AAPA in the coming year,” said Knatz, member of the AAPA Executive Committee and former chair of the AAPA South Pacific Delegation and Harbors, Navigation and Environment Committee.
“We have a remarkable opportunity to educate policymakers as a new administration comes into office and the next surface transportation funding legislation begins to take shape. We’ll also continue to forge international alliances in the port community to affect change on critical environmental and free trade initiatives.”
American Association of Port Authorities
Friday, October 10, 2008
Strike threatens St. Lawrence Seaway
Negotiations continued yesterday, Oct. 9, between the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. and the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents 445 employees. The workers have been without a contract since April.
The union has voted to strike any time after Oct. 10, on 72 hours notice.
A main factor in the contract negotiations is the SLSMC’s plan to introduce new technology at the 13 Canadian locks of the 15-lock waterway. Up to 150 workers could be replaced, the union says.
The SLSMC, however, has stated that workers would be replaced over time through attrition, and that current employees would be offered retraining.
Mike Menicanin, a CAW national representative, says the technology is an unproven experiment. “We think they are heavily banking on this to reduce manpower.”
“We’ve been bargaining since December 2007 and we didn’t receive any proposals from the company on economics until [Monday]. We have a lot of work to do,” Menicanin added.
If a strike is called, “It does effectively shut the system down,” said Brent Kinnaird, spokesperson for the Hamilton Port Authority.
St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp.
Canadian Auto Workers
CEO survey names global supply trends
Results from the “2008 3PL Provider CEO Perspective” surveys were presented Oct. 6 at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference in Denver.
Incorporating insights from 20 CEOs in North America, 10 in Europe and nine in the Asia-Pacific region, this year’s research, sponsored by Penske Logistics, showed some of the lowest industry revenue projections ever seen in the history of the surveys.
“While nearly one-fourth of CEOs said that their organizations failed to meet 2007 revenue projections, almost 90 percent reported profitability last year,” said Dr. Robert Lieb, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University and co-presenter of the survey with Joe Gallick, senior VP of sales, Penske Logistics.
The surveys cited the “greening” of supply chains and the 3PL industry as well as continued pricing pressures to be among top industry trends
The surveys also cited rising fuel prices and a slow-growth economy as key challenges facing the industry. A trend toward reverse globalization was also noted.
CEOs completed 39 surveys via an Internet-based questionnaire during the summer of 2008.
ATA files brief, seeks injunction at ports
The American Trucking Associations Oct. 8 filed an opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seeking to secure an injunction against the enforcement of the concessionaire system inaugurated at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Oct. 1.
ATA believes the concession plans “unlawfully re-regulate the port trucking industry to the detriment of motor carriers, shippers, businesses and consumers that depend on the products that are handled at those ports,” according to their news release.
The concessionaire system requires companies to meet a list of requirements before they can have access to the ports.
U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder earlier ruled that the concession plans fell within the scope of what would ordinarily be pre-empted, but an express exception to pre-emption, the safety exception, protected the plans from pre-emption.
In this opening brief, ATA explained that most of the concession plans’ requirements do not affect safety, and the few elements that do repeat the requirements of federal and state laws.
American Trucking Associations