Monday, October 29, 2007
AMB Property launches two China projects
AMB PROPERTY Corp., a leading global developer and owner of industrial real estate, Oct 24 announced that it has broken ground on two development projects in China totaling more than 608,000 sq ft.
AMB Beilun Port Distribution Center is located in the Ningbo Economic & Technological Development Zone (NETDZ), one of China’s premier business and port areas, said the announcement.
The facility represents the first investment by an international industrial property developer in the NETDZ and is expected to be 398,000 sq ft.
AMB Kunshan Bonded Logistics Center is located in the Kunshan Export Processing Zone (KEPZ), said the announcement.
The distribution center, expected to total approximately 210,000 sq ft, is AMB’s first bonded logistics center in China, according to the announcement.
“China represents an important part of AMB’s expanding global platform,” Hamid Moghadam, San Franciscobased AMB’s chairman and CEO, told reporters.
China is “on track to overtake Japan as AMB’s largest market in Asia in three years in terms of development area and in five to seven years in terms of portfolio value,” said Moghadam.
AMB Property Corp.
Panama Canal FY 07 stats released
THE PANAMA Canal Authority (ACP) Oct 29 announced its operational metrics for the 2007 fiscal year.
Canal Waters Time (CWT), the average time it takes a vessel to navigate the Panama Canal including waiting time, dropped 7.4% in FY 07, from 30.05 hours to 27.84, said the announcement.
The ACP set a canal record in FY 07 by transiting 313mn Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons (from 298mn PC/UMS tons in FY 06). This 5% increase represents a difference of 15mn more PC/UMS tons over last year.
Total transits increased 3.7% to 14,721 in FY 07 from 14,194 in FY 06. Additionally, the Panama Canal saw a rise in transits of vessels 900 ft or more in length. Transits by these vessels increased 11.4%, to 1,794 transits from 1,610 in FY 06.
The numbers show a rise in total annual tonnage, “evidenced by the canal’s record-breaking achievement surpassing the 300mn-ton mark,” according to the announcement.
The Panama Canal set another transit record last September by ushering through 25 Panamax ships in one day, said the authority.
Panama Canal Authority
GCCOG celebrates pollution reduction
THE GATEWAY Cities Council of Governments (GCCOG) celebrated the five-year anniversary of its landmark Fleet Modernization program for heavy-duty trucks this month, according to an announcement issued Oct 25.
“We are excited and proud to achieve this milestone over five years,” said Elba Guerrero, president of the GCCOG’s Board of Directors.
“By removing older trucks from use and replacing them with newer trucks, the Gateway Cities Fleet Modernization Program is addressing Southern California’s two most urgent air quality goals,” added Guerrero.
Since providing its first grant in October 2002, the Gateway Cities has allocated $23.5mn from five different government funding partners to replace 628 older heavy-duty diesel trucks with newer, cleaner models.
To date, these efforts have succeeded in eliminating an estimated 107 tons of toxic diesel particulate matter, which is the leading airborne cause of cancer in California, said the announcement.
In addition, emissions of smog-causing oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and reactive organic gases (ROG) have been reduced by an estimated 150 and 62 tons, respectively, according to the announcement.
Gateway Cities Council of Governments
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Bankrupt Kitty Hawk halts major operations
KITTY HAWK, the Dallas/Fort Worthbased air cargo operator, Oct 29 announced it is suspending all major business operations and that 500 employees have been terminated.
The company, which declared bankruptcy earlier this month and was attempting to restructure via Chapter 11, said that it “will immediately cease all scheduled network air and ground operations” owing to declining demand and rising fuel costs.
The company specialized in expedited delivery of time-sensitive heavyweight cargo in the US and handled close to 90% of the freight shipped in and out of Fort Wayne International Airport, according to press reports.
Kitty Hawk said it would continue to operate its air cargo charter operations.
The company also said in a filing Oct 26 with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to be delisted from the American Stock Exchange because it has failed to meet requirements.
Kitty Hawk, which has its headquarters at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, reported net losses of $19.9mn in the first six months of 2007 and more than $34mn since Jan 1, 2006.
POLB delays vote on dirty truck ban
THE LONG Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners Oct 29 pulled a staff proposal for a Clean Trucks Program tariff that would progressively ban the dirtiest diesel-powered trucks from calling at Port of Long Beach shipping terminals.
Explaining the delay, Commission President Mario Cordero noted inconsistencies between the proposed tariffs posted by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Cordero added that he also wanted to allow the full commission to consider the landmark proposal. Harbor Commissioner Nick Sramek was absent from Monday’s board meeting.
The ports in April released a $1.8bn proposal, the most ambitious element of the Clean Air Action Plan, that would replace or retrofit virtually all of the approximately 16,000 short-haul drayage trucks that carry cargo locally, reducing truck emissions by 80%.
The staffs for the two ports had drafted consistent proposals for the clean trucks tariff last week, but the Port of Los Angeles then amended its proposed tariff, creating inconsistencies between the two ports, said the announcement.
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission is scheduled to consider its Clean Trucks tariff at a Nov 1 meeting.
Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners
Nike switches to LNG trucks in LA/LB
NIKE INC. and its affiliate company, Converse, Oct 29 announced that they voluntarily would be switching a significant portion of their Los Angeles area harbor drayage fleet from diesel to new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)fueled vehicles.
The “green fleet” announcement was made in conjunction with news that Nike has joined the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT), a group advocating for policies and public/private partnerships that encourage the use of cleaner truck technologies in port communities.
Nike estimates the new LNG trucks will emit 18% less CO2, 88% less NOx, and 96% less particulate matter per mile when compared to their diesel counterparts. The new trucks will account for approximately 285,000 miles a year.
These trucks will meet the emissions goals set by the ports of LA and Long Beach several years before the relevant ports’ deadlines, said the announcement.
Nike has teamed up with Southern Counties Express, a local trucking firm, to meet approximately 50% of its port-related trucking needs in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, said the announcement.
Coalition for Responsible Transportation
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
DHS awards cargo-scanning contract
SCIENCE Applications International Corp. Oct 30 announced it has received orders totaling $33mn from the US Dept. of Homeland Security to implement cargo-scanning technology in the US and abroad.
With the SAIC systems, DHS authorities will be able to scan high volumes of cargo containers for weapons, explosives, and other threats before they enter US borders, said the announcement.
The SAIC technology includes the VACIS P7500 system, which produces high-resolution digital images of the contents of containers for online analysis.
A single system can scan up to 150 containers/hr with minimal impact on the flow of commerce, according to the announcement.
SAIC will manufacture the technology at its new Security and Transportation Technology Business Unit facility near San Diego and deliver it throughout 2007 and 2008, according to the announcement.
With approximately 44,000 employees in more than 150 cities worldwide, SAIC engineers and scientists “solve complex technical challenges requiring innovative solutions for customers’ mission-critical functions,” according to the company.
SAIC had annual revenues of $8.3bn for its fiscal year ended Jan 31, 2007.
Science Applications International Corp.
Economy, health care top SME concerns
A NEW survey of America’s small- and mid-sized enterprises (SME) shows the group clearly believes political leaders should be paying the most attention to “sustaining economic growth,” “changing the healthcare system,” and “securing future energy supplies,” in that order.
The inaugural “UPS Business MonitorUnited States,” a survey sponsored by UPS and conducted by the marketing insight firm TNS, interviewed 600 managers and owners of SMEs around the country.
The Monitor’s first report earlier this month focused on business and trade issues, finding that most SMEs have failed to explore sales opportunities outside the US.
The latest results focus on technology and political issues. More than half of those surveyed want to see stricter immigration laws, even though they say such laws wouldn’t have much impact on their own business.
Only one-third say they expect to add more employees over the coming year.
Surveys of SMEs earlier this year in Canada and Latin America showed that “protecting the environment” was one of their top three priorities, while it was only the fifth priority cited by US SME leaders.
Tacoma Port contracts Jacobs Engr.
THE PORT of Tacoma, WA, has selected Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to receive a general engineering services contract to provide open-order roadway, railway, and infrastructure engineering services to develop marine terminals along the Blair/Hylebos Peninsula.
The Oct 30 announcement by the Jacobs Group did not provide the contract value, but it noted that Jacobs’ design contract with the port is based on the time and expense to support approximately $300mn in roadway, railroad, and infrastructure work.
Jacobs Group Vice President Kevin McMahon stated, “Jacobs has maintained a 23-year relationship with the Port of Tacoma, managing numerous projects during that time. We are pleased to continue our successful relationship by supporting the port’s redevelopment efforts.”
Jacobs, based in Pasadena, CA, with more than 49,000 employees and revenues exceeding $8.0bn, provides technical, professional, and construction services globally.
The Port of Tacoma handles an estimated $35.6bn in annual trade and 2.1mn TEUs. The port is also a major center for bulk, breakbulk, and project/heavy-lift cargoes, as well as automobiles and trucks.
Port of Tacoma
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Russia bans Lufthansa Cargo overflights
Russia bans Lufthansa Cargo overflights
Russian authorities Oct 28 banned all Lufthansa Cargo planes from overflying Russian territory, disrupting service on 49 connections a week from Frankfurt to Astana, Kazakhstan, a spokesperson for Deutsche Lufthansa AG has confirmed.
Astana is Lufthansa’s main cargo hub on its route to Asia.
“Since October 28, we are flying around Russian airspace,” said Peter Schneckenleitner. “Each roundtrip takes an extra three hours, and we are having significant delays.”
Lufthansa passenger flights are not affected by the ban.
Schneckenleitner said the reason for the ban was a “disagreement with Russia about the royalties it charges for overflights” above its territory.
Another spokesperson said Lufthansa Cargo is hoping for a solution at the governmental level. “This is a political affair. We can’t do anything other than wait for a political solution.”
If Moscow doesn’t reverse its decision soon, there will have to be a reduction of cargo flights to Asia, said Schneckenleitner.
But the German government was keen to play down this unprecedented dispute in the transport sector. The transport ministry said the “misunderstanding” should be resolved quickly.
US Navy aids pirated North Korean ship
The crew of a North Korean cargo vessel fended off a hijack attempt by pirates off the Somali coast with the support of a US Navy destroyer and a fighter helicopter, according to press reports.
The US 5th Fleet in Bahrain received an SOS from the Malaysia-based International Maritime Bureau seeking help for the North Korean vessel.
The destroyer USS James E. Williams was ordered to help since it was only 90 km from the troubled North Korean ship.
Lt. John Gay, deputy spokesman for the US 5th Fleet, told the press, “It’s our duty to help all vessels in distress.” The US warship also dispatched a fighter helicopter to the scene.
According to the IMB, the Dai Hong Dan was carrying a crew of 43 sailors and anchoring in waters about 108 km off the coast of the Somali capital of Mogadishu after unloading sugar there.
The US rescue helicopter, arriving at the scene, told the hijacked ship that a US destroyer was approaching and urged the seven pirates aboard the ship to surrender.
Maersk Logistics pushes leaner, greener
Maersk Logistics, part of the AP MollerMaersk Group, Oct 31 announced the global launch of a new carbon footprint reduction service.
The new offering the SupplyChain CarbonCheck is a consulting service aimed at supporting companies in reducing carbon emissions from their supply chains, said Maersk Logistics.
The service is the “first of its kind developed by a logistics provider specifically to address global supply chains,” according to the announcement.
“An increasing number of customers are showing interest in their carbon footprint from supply chainrelated activities and are asking us for ways to reduce it,” said Henrik Ramskov, global head of Maersk Logistics.
“For our customers involved in international sourcing, the global supply chain holds significant potential for reducing carbon emissions, potential that has so far largely gone untapped,” added Ramskov.
“In supply chains, leaner means greener,” said Erling J. Nielsen, global head of supply chain development for Maersk Logistics. “This is why reduced carbon emissions typically come along with lower overall logistics costs and maintained or even improved service levels.”
Friday, November 2, 2007
POLB: Ban back on agenda
A PROPOSAL to progressively ban the dirtiest harbor drayage trucks will be back for consideration at the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners next meeting, Monday, Nov 5.
The port tariff would achieve an 80% reduction in truck emissions within five years, said the port.
The dirty truck ban would start Oct 1, 2008, by excluding pre-1989 trucks. By Jan 1, 2012, trucks that do not meet the 2007 federal standard would be banned from port service, according to the plan.
“The port is proposing this tariff to meet the aggressive air quality goals of our Clean Air Action Plan,” said Robert Kanter, the port’s managing director of environmental affairs.
The Los Angeles Harbor Commission approved a similar tariff at its Nov 1 meeting.
The tariff’s ban will rely on the electronic identification technology known as RFID Radio Frequency Identification. RFID tags will be placed in trucks, and RFID tag readers will be installed at port terminal gates to ensure access only for clean trucks, said port authorities.
Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners
Foss tugs switch to ultra low
SEATTLE-based Foss Maritime Co. Nov 1 announced that, effective immediately, its vessels are switching to ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSDF) from low sulfur diesel fuel, significantly reducing emissions of particulate matter and other pollutants.
“The next time our tugs fill their tanks, it will be with ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, the cleanest diesel fuel on the market. The maritime industry has to do its part,” said Gary Faber, president and COO of Foss Maritime.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and port officials in Seattle and Portland lauded Foss for “taking an important step to reduce the air emissions in Elliott Bay, Puget Sound, and the Columbia and Snake rivers” areas.
Foss’ voluntary switch to the cleaner fuel comes nearly five years in advance of an EPA decree for marine engines to use ULSDF by 2012, said the company.
Foss’s fuel switch to ULSDF will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by about 9 tons per year in the Seattle/Puget Sound region and 8 tons per year in the Columbia and Snake rivers area including Portland, according to the announcement.
Foss Maritime Co.
Penske Truck opens Portland facility
PENSKE Truck Leasing Nov 1 celebrated the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art facility in Portland, OR.
The 14,000-sq-ft facility offers commercial and consumer truck rental services, full-service truck leasing, and contract maintenance. About 50 leasing customers are serviced from this five-acre location and more than 400 vehicles are maintained on-site, said Penske
“The move to a state-of-the-art facility in Portland will result in added value for Penske customers,” said Peter Weeks, senior vice president, western region, Penske Truck Leasing. “We may add more associates in the future as we continue to expand in the Portland market.”
The one-story building incorporates Penske Truck Leasing’s new facility design elements and technology.
A new wireless technology component allows Penske service technicians to integrate various vehicle diagnostic and repair software, said the company.
To save energy, GE fluorescent light bulbs with electronic ballasts using 50% less energy have been installed, sai