Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for November 4 through November 8, 2013:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Top Story

FedEx predicts Cyber Monday will be busiest 2013 shipping day

FedEx said the Monday after Thanksgiving, or Dec. 2, will be its busiest day of the year. Cyber Monday is when retailers typically launch online deals, cut prices and offer fast delivery for holiday shopping.

FedEx forecast it will ship more than 22 million packages that day, an increase of 11 percent year-over-year.

The busiest day for FedEx is usually closer to Christmas, said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications. He said the shift toward Thanksgiving is noteworthy.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales will rise approximately 4 percent this year. Consumers use online deals as a way to save money in a still weak economy, according to surveys by Accenture and Deloitte.

For more of the Washington Post story:

U.S. manufacturing grows in October

U.S. factories were a source of economic strength in the fourth quarter, as the Institute for Supply Management index rose to 56.4, the highest reading since April 2011, rising above analysts' forecasts.

Car and housing sales are on the rise, helping to sustain production. Even the shutdown of the government didn't stall the manufacturing recovery.

"The government closure didn't have much effect on manufacturing -- this is a modest pace of growth and fairly well sustained," said Terry Sheehan, an economic analyst at Stone and McCarthy Research Associates, who forecast a reading of 56.4. "We actually see some increase in the export orders, so it's possible that some of the slowness in the global economy is beginning to ease."

For more of the Bloomberg story:

Jaxport signs 10-year lease with tenant Trailer Bridge

Jaxport and tenant Trailer Bridge, Inc. have signed a new 10-year lease deal that includes two additional five-year options, according to a port statement.

The agreement continues the Trailer Bridge's operations on 32 acres at the port's Blount Island Marine Terminal, the statement said. The company offers cargo transport services to and from North America, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The port said that the cargo company has operated at Jaxport since it began operations in 1991.

"We look forward to continuing a long and healthy relationship with the Port of Jacksonville," said Trailer Bridge Inc. Chief Executive Officer Chris J. Dombalis. "This contract solidifies our plans to move forward here in Jacksonville."

"For more than 20 years, Trailer Bridge has been an important part of Jaxport's prominence in the Puerto Rico and Caribbean market," said Roy Schleicher, the port's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "As one of our major tenants, we're delighted to have Trailer Bridge onboard at Jaxport for years to come."

Port of Stockton dedicates Marine Highway

Last week Stockton port officials, along with 200 guests, formally dedicated their Marine Highway, a project that barges cargo containers between Stockton and Oakland. An alternative to trucking, the water route reduces emissions and road traffic.

There are only three such projects in the U.S., according to Paul Jaenichen Sr., acting administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration, who attended the dedication.
"This is the poster child—this is what we want everybody to be doing," Jaenichen said. "It's an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable transportation system."
Victor Mow, vice chairman of the Stockton Port Commission, said the project is well over a decade in the making, stemming from a study that looked at different ways to move cargo between the Central Valley and Bay Area.

A $13 million federal transportation grant made the Marine Highway possible. The Stockton Port's original study concluded in 2004 that without subsidy, the operation wouldn't be viable.

Richard Aschieris, port director, said the service has barged approximately 3,000 shipping containers between the ports since starting operations in June and is now running at less than 50 percent of capacity.

"We're actually doing much better than what we originally projected at this time," Aschieris said.

For more of The Record story:

U.K mariner dies in vessel's cargo tank

A sailor suffocated 20 miles off the Norfolk coast after entering a ship's cargo tank without authorization while the atmosphere was still toxic and lacking in oxygen, an inquest heard.

Seaman Ryane Palabrica was cleaning pyrolosis gasoline tanks on board a Stolt Skua when he entered the tank, without asking for the permission of the chief officer, which is required so that the air in the tanks is tested before entry to ensure oxygen levels were sufficient.

Pathologist Nathaniel Cary carried out a post-mortem examination, which revealed Palabrica died from asphyxiation caused by the inhalation of benzene fumes. Crew members found the 26-year-old sailor lying on the first step in the tank and he was airlifted to a nearby hospital but did not survive.

For more of the Norwich Evening News 24 story:


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Top Story

Drewry: P3 Alliance to increase sailing speeds

According to Drewry Maritime Research, the P3 Alliance partners—Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM—are aiming to improve average headhaul ship speeds as a group, dashing the hopes of rival carriers who may have been planning on slow steaming to save costs.

Drewry’s latest issue of Container Insight says that if the P3 alliance is sanctioned by regulators, starting the second quarter of 2014 the P3’s average vessel speed from Asia to Northern Europe will be 19.5k, and ship speed on the return journey will increase slightly from 14.4k to 14.7k.

Other container lines will be forced to follow the lead of the P3 and increase speeds in order to try to compete with the alliance, the publication said.

Drewry says the P3 alliance will put pressure on other carriers to spend more money on fuel, even though the benefits of such a strategy are unclear. At the recent Intermodal 2013 conference, some shippers asked why container lines did not try to sell themselves through increased speed rather than price. Carriers say when this was tried in the past, shippers generally declined to pay a "speed premium."

According to a recent survey of 1,600 shippers carried out by APL in the U.S., the most important feature of ocean carriers’ services is schedule reliability, while transit time is fairly low down on the list.

P3 says it will offer a faster transit time from Asia to continental Europe via the AE12/Phoenix schedule, which will be a significant improvement on Maersk/CMA CGM’s existing service since it eliminates Beirut. While the travel time from Shanghai to Trieste will still be 27 days, it will be five to seven days faster than to Hamburg/Bremerhaven.

Piracy rate down but continued vigilance advised

By Richard Knee

The rate of actual and attempted attacks on vessels during the first nine months of this year was at its lowest level for the period in seven years but incidents in Indonesian waters continued to rise sharply, and while hostage-taking and attack-related deaths were down significantly, the number of kidnappings rose sharply, the piracy-monitoring arm of the International Chamber of Commerce said in its latest quarterly report.

Masters of all ships in all waters should remain vigilant, said the Piracy Reporting Center, a unit of the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau.

The 188 incidents of actual or attempted hijacking or armed robbery were well under the 233 reported for the span in 2012 and represented the lowest number since the 2006 three-quarter total of 174, the report said.

Hostage-takings, while well under the 2012 three-quarter number, remained the heaviest human-toll element of the attacks; they fell to 266 this year from 458 a year earlier, the report said. There was only one attack-related death this year versus six a year earlier, while the number of kidnappings jumped to 34 from seven, the report said.

Somali pirates were involved in 10 of the attacks and the lowered attack rate was attributable to "navies’ proactive responses toward suspicious/potential Somali pirates," the report said. As of Sept. 30, "suspected Somali pirates held two vessels for ransom with 15 crew members of different nationalities as hostages on board these vessels," and 49 crew members were being held on land, the report said.

Sixty-eight of this year’s attacks occurred off Indonesia, compared with 51 a year earlier, the report said. Nigerian waters were the next most attack-intensive area, with 29 incidents this year compared to 21 in 2012. Ten attacks took place off Bangladesh, up by one from the 2012 three-quarter period, and seven each occurred off Egypt, India and Togo, compared to year-earlier totals of six, six and 11, respectively.

Of the 150 actual attacks reported this year, 90 were against anchored vessels, 42 were against steaming ships, 17 were against berthed vessels and one attacked vessel was listed in a "non-stated" category, the PRC said. Of the 38 attempted attacks, 23 were against steaming ships and the rest were against anchored vessels, the report said.

Chemical product tankers have been the most popular attack targets this year, being involved in 55 incidents, the report said. Next in line were bulk vessels, 41; container ships and crude oil tankers, 22 each; general cargo ships, 15; and offshore tugs and barges, 13. Attack totals on some other types of vessels were in single digits, and some ship types were not targeted.

Flag states whose ships were most targeted were Liberia, 33 vessels; Singapore, 29; Panama, 22; Marshall Islands, 21; and Hong Kong, 16. Managing countries whose vessels were most targeted were Singapore, 56; Germany, 28; Greece, 13; and Hong Kong, 11.

Port of Long Beach infrastructure cargo fee set for January 2014

In 2014, shippers may have to pay a fee designed to fund infrastructure projects at the Port of Long Beach.

Some harbor leaders on Monday tried to repeal the long-postponed Infrastructure Cargo Fee, which is set to be charged to cargo owners starting Jan. 1, 2014. The port has not yet determined the amount of the fee.

Two of the four Long Beach Harbor commissioners present at Monday’s meeting, Nick Sramek and Susan E. Anderson Wise, supported the repeal of the fee approved by the board in 2008 to support capitol projects.

Commissioners Rich Dines and Doug Drummond were against the repeal and suggested postponing the fee to 2016. Board President Thomas Fields was out of the country on port business.

Harbor commissioners at both Long Beach and Los Angeles approved an Infrastructure Cargo Fee charging cargo owners $15 per TEU starting Jan. 1, 2009. The fee was later reduced to $6 per TEU and postponed until July 1, 2009.

Since then, the fee has been further postponed and never collected due to the economic downturn. In September, the Port of Los Angeles repealed the fee.

Wise said the fee would be a competitive disadvantage, noting she’s seen ads by other ports promoting themselves as a "fee-free port."

Though Dines doesn’t want to implement the fee right away, projects like the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement make him want to keep it as an option.

"When we look at the cost of infrastructure and we look at what infrastructure means for this port as far as remaining competitive for decades to come, we only have to look at the bridge," Dines said.

The motion to reject implementation of the fee, or delay them for two years, could come up again before the end of the year, once Fields returns and can deliver the tie-breaking vote.

For more of the Press-Telegram story:

PSA to buy port container terminal from China Shipping Container Lines

A PSA International subsidiary has made a deal to buy stakes in a new container terminal company in Lianyungang Port in Jiangsu Province, China. The partnership between PSA and Lianyungang Port Group will take over the container terminal project from China Shipping Container Lines following completion of the agreement, which needs regulatory approval.

The terminal will connect the container trade from Shandong and Jiangsu, China's second and third largest economic provinces, to shipping routes that link China with Europe, the Americas and the rest of Asia.

For more of the Straits Times story:

Captain missing after freighter sinks in Aegean

A rescue operation was underway off the southeastern Aegean Sea island of Karpathos on Sunday to find the missing captain of Stella, a Sierra Leone-flagged freighter that sank.

The other six crew members of the vessel, sailing from Turkey to Cyprus, were saved by Greek Coast Guard.

For more of the CNTV story:


Wednesday, November 7, 2013

Top Story

Maersk Line president John Reinhart named director of Virginia port

The Virginia Port Authority selected John Reinhart, the president and CEO of Maersk Line Limited, as executive director of the third-largest port for container shipments on the East Coast.

Reinhart most recently served as president of Maersk Line Limited and was the company's CEO from 2000 to 2004. Maersk Line Limited, based in Norfolk, is the largest employer of American mariners.

Reinhart was chosen after the VPA interviewed 10 top candidates from of a field 71 applicants. He announced last month that he planned to retire from Maersk at the end of January.

"One of the reasons (I took the job) is I love Virginia," Reinhart said. "This has been my home for 14 years. I've gotten to watch what has happened in the port. I know the potential of the port. I know the talent that exists in this port. And, for me, it was: What is the next chapter of life?"

Reinhart, 60, will start his job at the port authority on Feb. 10. His contract details will likely be revealed at the board's Nov. 19 meeting.

Reinhart will direct an organization still in transition after the board's decision in March to reorganize its existing corporate structure, rather than privatize its terminals.

For more of the Virginia Pilot story:

NYK acquires stake in Yang Ming terminal at Kaohsiung port

Nippon Yusen Kaisha and subsidiary Nippon Container Terminals announced an agreement to acquire a 12.5 percent stake in Yang Ming's Kao Ming Container Terminal Corp at the Port of Kaohsiung.

KMTC, run by Taiwan International Ports Corporation, started operations in January 2011 and is an automated, green facility, according to NYK. The terminal uses windmills and solar panels to conserve energy.

Near the entrance to the second harbor at Kaohsiung port, KMTC has a 3000-foot-long berth and 54-foot depth, with an ability to accommodate two container carriers of 14,000 TEUs or more, the statement said.

The second phase of the terminal project began in 2012 and construction will be completed in September 2014. When fully operational, NYK says KMCT will have four berths with a total length of almost 5,000 feet, and able to handle four 14,000-TEU ships at a time.

Walmart makes more made-in-America manufacturing deals

Furthering its pledge to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the coming decade, Walmart announced new manufacturing commitments with three U.S. suppliers.

"We're hosting the SelectUSA Summit to showcase why there has never been a better time to invest in America," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "Since Walmart announced its commitment earlier this year to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next 10 years, manufacturers have committed to investments in the U.S. that will create more than 1,600 jobs.

Pritzker and Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO announced the new suppliers—footwear company Elan-Polo, drapery firm Louis Hornick & Co., and glassware company EveryWare Global—at the conference.

Elan-Polo, Inc., a longtime Walmart supplier that previously manufactured shoes overseas, will start production of injection-molded footwear in March 2014 at a factory in Georgia that will produce 20,000 pairs of shoes per day.

EveryWare Global, another established Walmart supplier, is investing $1.8 million to expand factory capacity and establish a new product line made in the U.S., producing canning jars for the retail giant in a Pennsylvania facility.

Louis Hornick & Company, a manufacturer and importer of window coverings, will invest $2.5 million to establish a new manufacturing factory in South Carolina.

"Today's announcement is a great example of the progress that's being made, and it highlights opportunities that exist for manufacturers to invest in the USA by re-shoring or expanding their manufacturing in America," said Simon.

For more of the Consumer Goods Technology story:

Bangladesh board urges 77 percent pay hike for garment workers

On Monday the official wage board of Bangladesh recommended a 77 percent rise in the minimum wage for garment workers, after a rash of fatal factory accidents this year put the workers' low pay and poor working conditions onto the global stage.

Garment factory staff went on strike over pay in September for six days, impacting production at nearly 20 percent of the country's 3,200 factories.

The world's second largest clothing exporter hopes to announce a new minimum wage this month. The wage board urged a raise in monthly pay to 5,300 taka, equivalent to $68, after factory bosses formally offered 3,600 taka and eventually raised that to 4,200 taka.

The proposal will go to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for review.

"We will urge the owners to implement it without any opposition, otherwise there will be a deadlock in the sector," said Sirajul Islam Rony, a workers' representative on the board.

For more of the Reuters story:

Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas under military control

The port of Lazaro Cardenas on Mexico's Pacific coast came under the control of the military Monday, part of the government's show force to fight drug cartel violence in the state of Michoacan.

The Mexican navy, army, federal police and attorney general's office swept into the port and city of Lazaro Cardenas on Monday, relieving local law enforcement of its duties to "strengthen the rule of law, as well as the legality of the daily commercial activities of the port," according to government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez.

All of the public employees who oversee the port will be gradually replaced, Sanchez said, in order to "prevent collusion by and between officials."

The Knights Templar cartel has long terrorized Michoacan as it expanded its criminal activities from methamphetamine production to extortion.

A number of factors have made Lazaro Cardenas an attractive port for smuggling, said George W. Grayson, professor of government at the College of William & Mary and an expert on drug cartels. He said many men unemployed during the recession were recruited by the cartels, and that corruption has grown to the point that Michoacan became "a sewer of violence."

Lazaro Cardenas is Mexico's second largest port by container volume.

For more of the CNN story:

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