Monday, October 22, 2007
Corpus Christi has new trade corridor
The Joe Fulton International Trade Corridor officially opened for business Oct 18 with a Texas-sized ribbon cutting, according to an announcement from the Port of Corpus Christi, TX.
The project, on the north side of the Inner Harbor of the Port of Corpus Christi, consists of almost 12 miles of new and existing roadway coupled with seven miles of new rail line.
Dignitaries from around the country and state along with local officials, as well as former port chairman and namesake of the corridor, Joe Fulton, were on hand to celebrate the completion of the $55mn project.
Port Chairman Ruben Bonilla led the ceremonies, stating, “The Fulton Corridor represents a significant milestone at the Port of Corpus Christi as the most important infrastructure project since the completion of the port’s 45-ft channel project.”
The project will provide an additional four miles of frontage and 630 acres along the ship channel for development, said the announcement.
The 630 acres offer one of the few remaining industrial sites in America served by a 45-ft deep channel, said the port.
Port of Corpus Christi
Menlo Worldwide: $60mn for China logistics
MENLO Worldwide LLC, the global logistics subsidiary of Con-way Inc., Oct 18 announced that it had completed the acquisition of Shanghai-based Chic Holdings Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiaries Shanghai Chic Logistics Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Chic Supply Chain Management Co. Ltd.
Under the transaction, Menlo acquired Chic Holdings and all of its assets and subsidiaries for $60mn, announced the company.
“The skilled workforce and strong management of Chic Logistics are excellent resources with proven expertise in inland China transportation and logistics,” said Robert L. Bianco Jr., president, Menlo Worldwide.
Menlo gains an “established logistics network with more than 1,500 employees working from 130 operating sites in 78 cities, providing a wide range of domestic third-party warehousing, logistics, and transportation management services throughout the country,” said the announcement.
The Chic acquisition complements Menlo’s existing presence in China, where the company has had operations for nearly a decade, said the company. It was the second acquisition for Menlo in Asia this year.
Menlo Worldwide is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc., a $4.7bn freight transportation and logistics company.
Menlo Worldwide LLC
Konecranes: $40mn contract with Russia NCC
Konecranes, a leading provider of lifting solutions and services, Oct 19 announced it has received orders from National Container Co. (NCC) in Russia for five ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and 14 rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes.
The cranes will be delivered to NCC’s subsidiaries First Container Terminal (FCT) in St. Petersburg, Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) in Ust-Luga, and the inland terminal Shushary in the St. Petersburg region.
The total value of the orders is euro 40mn, with delivery expected to take place during 2008 and 2009, according to the announcement.
Konecranes will deliver one STS crane and 10 RTGs to FCT, four STS cranes to BCT’s Greenfield Container Terminal in Ust-Luga, and four RTGs to the inland container terminal in Shushary, said the company.
The STS cranes, with a lifting capacity of 50 tonnes and an outreach of 40 and 38 meters, respectively, will be used for loading and unloading Panamax container vessels, said the announcement.
The RTG cranes have a lifting capacity of 50 tonnes and can stack over five containers high and seven containers wide plus a truck lane, said the company.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Global supply chain CEOs’ study unveiled
A research study based on a survey of CEOs of many of the world’s largest 3PL providers reported findings and key trends at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Conference in Philadelphia Oct 22.
The survey, conducted annually since 1994, was sponsored this year by Penske Logistics and looks at trends across three regions: North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Findings were presented by Dr. Robert C. Lieb, professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, and Vincent Hartnett, president, Penske Logistics.
This summer, 40 CEOs 21 from North America, nine from Europe, and 10 from Asia-Pacific responded to the survey.
Findings indicate that while CEOs struggle to retain and attract new talent, face increased involvement from procurement during the selection process, and are under pressure to lower prices while increasing service offerings, many are optimistic about global expansion opportunities and the overall prospect of growth for the industry.
The survey focused on revenue growth, M&A and private equity, expansion abroad, downward pricing pressures, talent shortages, procurement involvement, and the emergence of lead logistics providers.
First Reserve Corp. forms new partnership
First Reserve Corp., the largest US-based private equity firm specializing in the energy industry, Oct 22 announced that it has formed a partnership with Craig Stevenson, a 35-year-plus veteran of the shipping industry, that will be focused on energy-related shipping assets.
The venture, Diamond S Shipping LLC, will focus on investments in all shipping categories, said the announcement.
Diamond S will be based in Greenwich, CT, and will have an equity commitment of $300mn from First Reserve Fund XI LP, said the company.
Craig Stevenson has worked in the marine transport business since 1971 and joined OMI in 1993,
where he served as senior vice president in charge of charter operations, then COO, and eventually chairman, president, and CEO, until the company was sold to Teekay and TORM.
Under Stevenson’s leadership, OMI “grew to be one of the largest tanker companies in the world, controlling a fleet of 48 vessels with total capacity of approximately 3.6mn dwt and an average vessel age of less than four years,” said the announcement.
First Reserve Corp.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen opens Baltimore center
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), one of the world’s largest providers of outbound logistics for manufacturers of finished vehicles, Oct 18 announced it has opened a newly expanded Vehicle Processing Center at Dundalk Marine Terminal in Baltimore, MD.
The new VPC is strategically located at the Port of Baltimore, the East Coast’s number one port for roll-on roll-off cargo and number two port for car exports, said the announcement.
This new facility provides WWL with a “centralized preparation and distribution center for receiving, processing, and shipping vehicles inland and overseas, within close proximity to its ocean operations at the port,” according to the company.
“This VPC doubles the WWL footprint at one of the most important vehicle-processing ports and provides our customers with a more integrated, seamless ‘factory-to-dealer’ journey for their vehicles,”
commented Christopher J. Connor, president of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics in Region Americas.
“This new vehicle-processing facility on the Dundalk Marine Terminal reflects the strength of our partnership and the confidence Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has in the Port of Baltimore,” commented
Maryland Transportation Secretary John Porcari.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
San Diego Port offices remain closed
The administrative offices of the Port of San Diego remain closed Wednesday, Oct 24, because of wildfires that continue to rage in Southern California, announced the port authority.
Essential port personnel will be contacted individually by their direct supervisor if they need to report to work, according to the announcement.
Cargo operations at the port will “continue as conditions allow,” said the port.
All upcoming cruiseship calls to the B Street Cruise Terminal will occur as scheduled, said the port.
The port added, however, that all cruiseship passengers and persons meeting cruiseships should check with their individual cruise lines on the status of their ships.
Port of San Diego staff may contact the port’s toll-free number, (800) 854-2757, to determine if they will be required to come to work on Thursday, Oct 25.
The San Diego Harbor Police Dept. is providing mutual aid to the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, said the port authority.
Port of San Diego
Free shipping for holidays to drive sales
A leading retail research organization predicts that free shipping offers will abound and drive sales online this holiday season, according to study results released Oct 24 by the National Retail Federation.
Additionally, online retailers are expecting strong growth this holiday season with more than half of retailers surveyed (51.4%) anticipating online revenue to grow by more than 30% over last holiday season, said the report.
According to results of the 2007 eHoliday Study, conducted by BizRate Research for Shop.org and Shopzilla, the most popular shipping promotion will be free shipping with conditions, which the majority of retailers (78.6%) will offer this holiday season.
Retailers will also use “free shipping upgrades (60.4%), discounted shipping (53.5%), and free shipping without conditions (41.4%) to drive sales,” according to the study.
“Free shipping offers drive online sales more than any other promotion, which is why they remain popular with retailers,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org.
Silverman added, “Unfortunately, free shipping is not free for retailers. Merchants can minimize the financial impact of these promotions by carefully analyzing the conditions required for their customers to receive free shipping.”
National Retail Federation
Danaos Corp. orders five 12,600-TEU box ships
Athens-based Danaos Corp. Oct 22 announced that it has ordered five 12,600-TEU containerships for a total of $830mn.
All five post-Panamax containerships will be built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and are expected to be delivered to Danaos gradually starting from January until August of 2011, said the announcement.
Danaos has also arranged for a large international liner company to charter all these vessels for 12 years each, at accretive rates, said the company.
The deal increases Danaos’ contracted fleet to 32 vessels with a total carrying capacity of 217,421 TEUs or 150% of its current fleet, according to the announcement.
“We have ordered the largest size containerships available,” said Dr. John Coustas, CEO.
Coustas added, “In addition we have arranged 12-year charters at accretive rates with one of the largest liner companies in the world for all five of these vessels scheduled to be delivered to us in 2011. With this order Danaos is reaffirming its position as one of the major players in the containership market worldwide.”
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Oregon port sues railroad
THE OREGON International Port of Coos Bay Oct 24 announced it has filed a $15mn lawsuit against a railroad that closed a short line spur on its route from Eugene to Coquille.
The complaint filed in US District Court contends that the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad failed to provide the required 180-days notice that it would shut down a leased spur to the bay’s North Spit.
The lawsuit also says that the railroad is required by the lease governing the Coos Bay Railroad Bridge to get the port’s written agreement before suspending or ending operations.
The railroad abruptly closed the line Sep 21.
It says three of the nine tunnels on the 120-mile line pose a safety risk to workers, and there isn’t enough traffic to warrant repairs.
Scott Williams, general counsel of CORP’s parent company, RailAmerica, told The World newspaper of Coos Bay the railroad still is weighing its options.
The rail spur cost almost $5mn. The port took out a $1.2mn loan for construction and still owes $886,000 on it, according to the port’s finance director, Donna Nichols.
Oregon International Port of Coos Bay
LA port LNG project successful
SOUND ENERGY Solutions (SES) Oct 24 announced that a 14-month demonstration project utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in two yard tractors at Yusen Terminals Inc. in the Port of Los Angeles has shown initial favorable results.
The demonstration project, conducted from October 2005 through December 2006 at Yusen’s facility on Terminal Island, found that particulate matter emissions were 93% cleaner than a standard diesel engine and 90% cleaner than an on-road diesel engine using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
“We are very pleased with the initial findings of this demonstration project,” said Thomas E. Giles, SES’s president & CEO.
“If allowed to expand, the project’s benefits to the environment and the quality of life to port residents and workers would be significant,” added Giles.
The demonstration project was launched in the summer of 2003 as a collaborative effort by SES, YTI, and Applied LNG Technologies, according to the announcement.
Prior to the project, none of the major terminal tractor manufacturers had plans to develop technology with an LNG-powered engine, according to the announcement.
Sound Energy Solutions
Hyster releases new line of lift trucks
GREENVILLE, NC-based The Hyster Company Oct 24 announced a new release of its Fortis line of sit-down, counterbalanced lift trucks.
The advanced features of the Fortis line, including customizable applications and ergonomics, offer “maximum productivity and superior operator comfort to provide a hardworking, everyday lift truck,” said the company.
With a “durable power train design, industrial strength electronics, exceptional cooling, and enhanced hydraulics,” the Hyster counterbalanced lift trucks are able to decrease downtime “by up to 30%,” said the company.
The lift trucks are available in cushion tire (S80-120FT) and pneumatic tire (H80-120FT) configurations, according to the announcement.
The advanced features of Hyster counterbalanced lift trucks are proven to “lower operating costs by an average of over $2,400 per year,” said the company.
“The Fortis counterbalanced lift trucks represent a transformation in how lift trucks are designed, built, and acquired,” says Paul Laroia, president, The Hyster Company.
The Hyster Fortis counterbalanced lift trucks are available in three preconfigured power train bundles, said the company.
The Hyster Company
Friday, October 26, 2007
Another Mattel recall affects 55,000
Mattel Inc. Oct 25 voluntarily recalled 55,000 “Go Diego Go” Animal Rescue Boats because of surface paint containing “excessive levels of lead,” said the company and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Under current regulations, children’s products found to have more than 0.06% lead accessible to users are subject to a recall. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children.
The lead-tainted toys, manufactured in China and imported by Fisher-Price, were discovered as part of retroactive testing on products shipping out of Asia that were put on hold after the August recalls, said Mattel spokeswoman Lisa Marie Bongiovanni.
CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese said the recalls are due to the increased scrutiny promised earlier this summer.
“The CPSC, as well as manufacturers, continue to look for products that may violate the lead paint standard,” she said.
The toy boats included in this recall were sold only in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, and Canada, said Mattel.
“Fisher Price,” product number K3413, and date codes between 137-7HF and 223-7HF are marked on the toys, said the CPSC.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
YRC makes key management changes
YRC Worldwide Oct 25 announced key management changes along with 3Q earnings results.
Mike Smid has been named president of North American Transportation and will be responsible for the asset-based operating companies of YRC Worldwide, said the announcement.
Smid will continue to report to Bill Zollars, chairman, president, and CEO of YRC Worldwide. Smid has served as president of YRC National Transportation since its formation in January 2007 and was previously president of Roadway.
Jim Staley, president of YRC Regional Transportation, announced his retirement effective Dec 31, 2007, after 37 years in the industry.
Keith Lovetro has been named president of YRC Regional Transportation effective immediately and will report to Mike Smid., said the announcement.
Jim Ritchie, president of YRC Logistics, and the YRC Worldwide senior management team will continue to report to Bill Zollars, said the announcement.
Worldwide Inc. announced diluted earnings per share for the 3Q of $0.70 compared to $1.64 in the third quarter last year.
“The weak domestic shipping market continues to significantly impact the operating performance of all our companies,” stated Bill Zollars, chairman, president, and CEO of YRC Worldwide.
POLA/POLB propose tariff
The Port of Los Angeles Oct 25 announced it will present a proposed tariff item to the Los Angeles Harbor Commission meeting Nov 1.
POLA staff members will present a proposed tariff item intended to implement the progressive ban of older trucks from operation at the port beginning in October 2008.
If approved by the Los Angeles harbor commissioners, the proposed tariff will also require mayoral and city council approval by adoption as a city ordinance, according to the announcement.
Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners will deliberate a similar ban at the Oct 29 meeting of the Long Beach Harbor Commission.
Tariff requirements will enable the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to reduce port-related truck pollution by approximately 80% over a period of just over five years, according to the announcement.
Under this tariff, trucks will be granted access to port terminals only if they are registered with the ports and have an RFID tag that will provide information about each truck to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Port of Los Angele
Port of Long Beach
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