Monday, October 8, 2007
Retail box traffic drops
The peak monthly volume at the nation’s major retail container ports for 2007 is now expected to fall slightly below last year’s peak, according to the monthly “Port Tracker” report released Oct 5 by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight.
Ports surveyed were expected to handle 1.52mn TEUs of container traffic in August. Actual volume, however, came in at 1.46mn TEUs, down 1.4% from August 2006.
September 2007, which was expected to tie September 2006 at 1.48mn TEUs, is now estimated at 1.46mn, down 1.9% from a year ago.
October, traditionally the peak month of the year as retailers stock shelves for the important holiday season, was forecast at 1.54mn TEUs but is now forecast at about 3,300 TEUs short of last year’s 1.51mn TEUs, said the report.
“These figures reflect the weakened US economy and retailers’ cautious outlook for this year’s holiday season compared with last year,” Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said.
“The good news is that lower volume means the ports are free of congestion,” added Bingham.
Port Tracker report
Allen Group starts Dallas construction
The Allen Group has started construction on the first two industrial buildings at the Dallas Logistics Hub, a 6,000-acre multimodal logistics park.
The buildings will provide more than 827,000 sq ft of new industrial space for lease in the emerging Southeast.
The Dallas Logistics Hub is adjacent to Union Pacific’s proposed Southern Dallas Intermodal Terminal, four major highway connectors (I-20, I-45, I-35, and Loop 9), and Lancaster Airport, which is in the master-planning stage to facilitate air-cargo distribution, according to the press release.
The hub is also a key component of the NAFTA infrastructure and will serve as a major “inland port” by receiving products from the ports of Los Angles, Long Beach, Houston, and the new deep-water ports in Western Mexico for regional and national distribution, said the press release.
Both DLH Bldg. 1, a 635,000 sq-ft cross-dock distribution facility, and DLH Bldg. 2, a 192,850 sq-ft warehouse facility, will be available for occupancy in April 2008, according to the release.
“The Dallas Logistics Hub is open for business,” said Daniel J. McAuliffe, president of Allen Development of Texas.
Dallas Logistics Hub
Evergreen launches AsiaE. Med link
Evergreen Line Oct 5 announced it will launch a new weekly service linking Asia with ports in the Eastern Mediterranean in November 2007.
The AEM service will employ seven ships of between 2,500 and 3,500 TEUs, according to the announcement.
The first sailing will be made by the 2,824-TEU Ital Ottima, scheduled to depart from Shanghai on Nov 9, followed by calls at Ningbo, Nansha, and Hong Kong, China; Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia; Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus; Piraeus, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; and returning via Tanjung Pelepas to Shanghai.
Evergreen Line had in September run an ad-hoc sailing in the AEM trade and will run another two ad-hoc sailings in October to cope with booming demand in the region, according to the announcement.
Evergreen Marine Corp. President Jack Yen explained that the new service is in line with customer demand.
“The East Med ports … were previously served by feeders. However, such is the growth in cargo volumes through these ports that it is now more efficient to offer a direct service,” said Yen.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
New Asia/E. Med/Black Sea service
The New World Alliance of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, APL, and Hyundai Merchant Marine joined with Hanjin Shipping Co. and United Arab Shipping Co. Oct 4 in announcing a new Asia-East Mediterranean / Black Sea service, named “EBX” (East-Mediterranean / Black Sea Express).
The market “is growing at remarkable speed,” said the announcement.
The introduction of the new service will enable TNWA, Hanjin, and UASC to offer direct service from major Asian export hubs to key destinations in the East Mediterranean / Black Sea area, according to the announcement.
Beginning in early November 2007, the EBX service will deploy eight vessels, ranging from 2,500-2,700 TEUs, on a weekly service operating on a 56-day rotation.
MOL will operate three vessels, APL will operate two, and Hanjin, HMM, and UASC will each operate one vessel.
The port rotation will begin in Shanghai, followed by Hong Kong, Yantian, and Singapore, China; Damietta, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Constanza, Romania; Illychevsk, Ukraine; Izmir, Turkey; Damietta, Egypt; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Singapore before returning to Shanghai
Survey: US businesses miss global prospects
Most of America’s small- and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have failed to explore the significant growth opportunities offered by an increasingly global economy, according to a new survey conducted for UPS.
The inaugural UPS Business Monitor United States, a survey of 600 business decision-makers conducted by the marketing insight firm TNS, found that only 33% reported participating in any cross-border trade.
Of those, 15% are importers, 9% are exporters, and 9% do both, according to the survey.
“The survey shows that many American SMEs haven’t gone global yet,” said UPS CEO David Abney.
“And if they don’t take part in trade, they stand to lose their competitive edge in a business environment that continues to transcend international borders,” Abney added.
Survey respondents cite many reasons for not engaging in international trade, including a perception that it is too risky, a lack of knowledge about international markets, unfamiliarity with customs regulations, and disinterest in expanding business beyond US borders.
According to the Commerce Department’s US Commercial Service, the export potential of SMEs is “enormous,” said the survey announcement.
CARB approves REGEN for RTG cranes
VYCON, a designer and manufacturer of green-tech, flywheel energy storage systems, Oct 5 announced that it has been awarded California Air Resource Board (CARB) approval for its REGEN energy efficiency and recycling system for rubber tired gantry cranes.
CARB “has verified that the system will reduce diesel particulate matter emissions by 25%-50% while meeting the January 2009 NO2 limit,” said VYCON.
In addition, the system “also reduces oxides of nitrogen by 30% and CO2 by 25%,” said the company.
“Receiving CARB verification fulfills a key milestone in our efforts to introduce our REGEN system into the local shipyards to assist their emissions reduction efforts and help the community,” said Tony Aoun, president and CEO of VYCON.
The REGEN system can be retrofitted onto operating cranes or installed at the factory as part of a new crane, according to the press release.
Additionally, CARB verification “means that port operators will be able to install the REGEN system and receive emission reduction credit without further source testing,” said the company.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Caltrux calls for CAAP delay
Caltrux calls for CAAP delay
The California Trucking Association, calling the current strategy to retrofit and replace trucks moving goods through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach “unfeasible,” Oct 8 announced it is advocating that port officials develop an alternative plan that will still meet emission goals.
This collaboration needs to begin “with the ports issuing a new timetable for implementation of their Clean Air Action Plan,” said the trucking organization.
The proposed implementation date of Jan 1, 2008, would substantially disrupt goods moving into and out of the ports, thereby causing a serious destabilization to the supply chain and economy, claims the association.
“Everyone in the supply chain needs time to prepare and adjust to the potential impacts of this plan. Asking for a public timetable is not an extraordinary request but an essential one,” noted C.J. Nord of the California Furniture Manufacturers Association.
Ideally, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will announce their intentions to lay out a revised timetable and to explore a new CAAP strategy when they hold a joint meeting this coming Friday, Oct 12, said the announcement.
California Trucking Association
DHL to open “new generation” logistics complex
DHL, a global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, Oct 10 announced the first tenants of their new DHL Exel Supply Chain Logistics Campus in Unna, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Initially covering 645,000 sq ft, the first customers will be Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson. Reckitt Benckiser will move in mid-2008 when 215,000 sq ft will have been added to the campus.
André van den Broek, in charge of consumer goods business at DHL Exel Supply Chain in Germany, says, “The Logistics Campus is the concept of a new generation.”
“Its key benefits include its sector-specific orientation and high level of standardization,” added van den Broek. “Compared to traditional logistics centers, we can offer our customers markedly better quality and flexibility.”
DHL has designed the center in Unna to meet the requirements of manufacturers of cosmetic products and cleaning agents. Frequently changing assortments and seasonal capacity logjams are key features of this sector, said DHL.
The campus concept guarantees uniform standards in warehousing and transport processes as well as in the area of IT systems, said DHL.
59 Foss vessels awarded “green” honors
A top maritime organization has recognized 59 of Foss Maritime Co.’s vessels for outstanding safety records, according to a press release Oct 8 from Seattle-based Foss.
The Chamber of Shipping of America honored the Foss vessels at a CSA achievement dinner in Washington, DC. Altogether, the ships have achieved the equivalent total of 362 years without an environmental mishap, said the announcement.
“We are extremely proud of Foss’ environmental achievement,” said Susan Hayman, vice president of health, safety, quality, and environment. “It is built into our company’s culture. Fifty-nine ships. I’d say that’s something our employees should be enormously proud of.”
“At Foss, we pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of environmental development,” Hayman added.
Foss recently announced it is collaborating with the US Environmental Protection Agency and others in the freight industry to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Foss has pledged to contribute to the partnership’s goal to reduce 33mn to 66mn metric tons of carbon dioxide and up to 200,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxide per year by 2012.
Foss Maritime Co.
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