Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for November 9 - November 13, 2009:
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Top Story

Maersk to rejoin TSA

Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Monday that its Maersk Line would apply to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) after a five-year absence.

"With Maersk Line's acceptance, there will be 15 members of made up of major ocean shipping lines that carry cargo between Asia and the United States," A.P. Moller-Maersk said in a statement.

The decision to re-join the TSA comes after the trans-Pacific shipping trade has incurred losses estimated to be $3 billion or more, Maersk said.


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NOL boxes up 14 percent through mid-October

Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NEPS.SI) (NEPS.SI) (NOL), the world's fifth-biggest container shipping firm, said it carried 14 percent more containers in the four weeks to October 16 versus a year ago.

NOL said in a statement it carried the equivalent of 211,700 40-foot containers, or FEU, on its ships in the period, up from 186,500 a year earlier.


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CMA CGM adds Singapore to round-the-world service

French shipping company CMA CGM announced it would add Singapore to its round-the-world PEX 3 service, which runs from Asia to the U.S. Gulf via Panama, onto U.S. East Coast ports to the Mediterranean through the Suez, ending up back in the Far East.

As of November 11, CMA CGM said it would offer a direct connection between Houston and Singapore on the PEX3, which deploys ten 4,589-TEU ships that includes slots through China Shipping.

The PEX3 rotation will be Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen (Chiwan), Hong Kong, Manzanillo, Houston, Miami, Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, Norfolk, Tangiers, Jebel Ali, Singapore and Shanghai.

OOCL adds $400 Peak Season reefer surcharge in Atlantic

Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) announced a $400 per-reefer container surcharge on refrigerated cargo for westbound sailings from Europe to Montreal starting November 12.

"With the onset of the winter peak season, the demand for reefer plugs on westbound sailings exceeds supply," said the company in a statement.

Norfolk Southern third quarter net profit plummeted 42 percent

The Norfolk Southern announced third quarter net profit dropped 42 percent to $303 from $520 million in the same period last year.

Revenue for the period declined 24 percent to $2.06 billion, with a 35 percent drop in coal revenues, and 31 percent decline intermodal traffic.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Story

Ceva says global auto woes overstated

Ceva Group Plc, the world’s largest car-parts transporter, said concern that the auto industry is shrinking may be overdone as emerging-market growth spurs orders from clients including General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG.

Ceva, the biggest global logistics specialist following its disposal by TNT NV in 2006, is tapping booming auto sales in China and Brazil, John Pattullo, the Dutch company’s chief executive officer, said in an interview.

Sales are “booming” in China, where Ceva has “a very significant automotive business” with customers including VW, GM and SAIC Motor Corp., the country’s largest domestic carmaker, Pattullo said. Brazil, GM’s third-biggest market after the U.S. and China, is also “very, very buoyant.”


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Aloha Air Cargo forms partnership with Hawaii Farm Bureau

The Hawaii Farm Bureau Foundation and Aloha Air Cargo have formed a new partnership that they say "champions local farmers."

As of Monday, foundation associates have access to an exclusive discount program, including up to 35 percent off air freight from Aloha Air for locally grown and "Made in Hawaii" packaged products.

Foundation President Dean Okimoto says it's the first time a discount program of this magnitude has been provided to the group's entire member base.


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CWS Consulting Group tapped for logistics facilities project

Newton, Mass.-based CWS Consulting Group LLC announced it was selected by the Transportation Research Board – a member of the National Academy of Sciences – to perform a study of economic and transportation factors influencing site selection decisions for freight and intermodal facilities.

CWS said the one year study is to provide insight on location decisions for transportation facilities, and suggest best practices for transportation, land use, economic development, and regional partnerships.

“Major transportation facilities – ports, intermodal terminals, inland ports, and distribution nodes – can act as significant assets in attracting business to a community and region,” said Chris Steele, President of CWS Consulting Group.

“Understanding how businesses view these facilities in conjunction with other community assets can allow communities to build stronger, more sustainable economic development plans. This becomes even more important with increased attention to the impacts of globalization, fuel costs, and green pressures on the supply chain,” Steele said.

CWS Consulting Group will lead a project team that includes HDR Decision Economics, Halcrow Inc., Resource Systems Group Inc., and Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc.

Tideworks lands Massport contract

Seattle-based Tideworks Technology, Inc., announced it was selected by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) to deploy its container terminal management solutions at the Conley Container Terminal at the Port of Boston.

The technology company said Conley Container Terminal will replace its legacy system with Tideworks’ solution, which will be hosted at Tideworks’ U.S.-based data center in Western Washington. The deployment at Conley Container Terminal is Tideworks’ first project in New England, the company said.

Somali pirates demand $3 mil ransom for hijacked ship

Pirates have hijacked a Panamanian-flagged ship with 18 crew off the east coast of Africa, the latest in an increasing number of attacks, a Somali businessman said Tuesday.

A group of Somali businessmen called the Juba General Trading Company had hired the al-Mizan to carry cargo from the United Arab Emirates to Mogadishu, said Abdirisaq Abdulkadir, the head of the consortium.

Abdulkadir said there are 15 Indians, two Pakistanis and a Somali on board. He denied media reports that the ship is carrying weapons.

A man who answered a satellite phone number provided by Abdulkadir on Tuesday identified himself as a pirate and said the bandits were demanding a $3 million ransom. The man refused to give his name for fear of arrest. He said the ship was captured 10 days ago about 60 miles off the Somali coast.


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top Story

CMA CGM enters 13,300 TEU ship in Asia-Europe loop

Despite its financial difficulties, the French shipping giant CMA CGM took delivery of the 13,300 TEU Christophe Colomb from South Korea’s DSME (Daewoo) shipyard, the first of eight new-builds at that size.

The ships were originally ordered in 2007.

The new mega-vessel will be deployed in the world's largest liner loop, the Maersk-CMA CGM joint Far East-Europe AE-7/FAL7 service, joining Maersk’s E'-class vessels, making for an average weekly capacity of 14,400 TEUs.

Wan Hai, Yang Ming report heavy Q3 losses

Wan Hai and Yang Ming Lines reported third-quarter losses of $41 million and $117 million, respectively.

Wan Hai’s cumulative net loss for the first nine months of the year stood at $78 million, whereas Yang Ming’s cumulative nine-month losses were at $331 million.

Damco launches Amazon barge service

Damco announced it has launched its new Amazonia River Barge service utilizing the River Madeira, linking Port Velho via the Port of Manaus on the Amazon River with other ports, including Panama.

"Damco customers exporting commodities have since early 2009 been able to take advantage of using Porto Velho Port (Rondonia) which will save them money, transit time and enable them to get a faster payment from their consignees by issuing the bill of ladings in Porto Velho," said Ulrich Nissen, Damco’s director in Brazil.

"This is a major advantage for Damco customers exporting cotton, leather, minerals, lumber and beef from the region going to Europe, Russia and Asia. The approximate cost savings for the exporters are around 10 per cent of the total logistics costs and further more cuts three to five days off the total transportation time,” Nissen said.

Damco said the new service is competing with trucking to ports in the coastal region of Brazil

Emirates Shipping signs on with GT Nexus

Technology provider GT Nexus announced Emirates Shipping Line of Hong Kong has become a customer of its web-based logistics management data platform.

Emirates Shipping is the ninth ocean carrier to either sign up or renew with GT Nexus this year, and brings to 20 the number of customer announcement GT Nexus has been able to make public during 2009, the company said.

Zepol releases upgrade of TradeIQ for import data

Zepol Corporation, a trade data intelligence company, announced the launch of an upgrade of its import trade data platform TradeIQ.

The Minneapolis-based company said the upgrade adds several features that have increased customer usability of the product's download capabilities for the U.S. Customs data it provides.

TradeIQ(TM) annual subscription access fees start at $ 1,995 with what the company calls Flex, and $2,995 for Lite. Zepol said a professional subscription provides comprehensive access to all trade data available from the U.S. government including U.S. Customs data and U.S. Census data with annual access for $5,995. Enterprise is Zepol's solution for companies with many users across their organizations and starts at $7,595.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top Story

Maersk to lose $1 bil in 2009

Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk reported a deeper-than-forecast net loss for the first nine months of the year, hit by a global slump in freight, and said it would lose $1 billion in 2009.

The full-year 2009 outlook, unchanged from three months ago, points Maersk -- the world's biggest container shipping line -- towards its first year loss on record as container freight rates and volumes have plunged in the global downturn.

Container shipping rates in the fourth quarter are seen slightly above the third-quarter level, but volumes are expected to be somewhat lower due to seasonal fluctuations, said Maersk.

The trillion-dollar shipping industry carries around 90 percent of the world's traded goods by volume, and many analysts look to seaborne activity for signs of economic recovery. The global economic crisis has prompted shipping lines to cut freight rates and capacity.


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NYK out to raise $1.6 bil

Nippon Yusen KK (NYK), Japan's biggest shipping company, said on Thursday it would raise up to $1.6 billion through a public share offering to shore up its capital base as it hastens reforms to cope with a global shipping slump.

The severe economic downturn that has reduced global trade volumes pushed Japan's all of top three shipping companies into first-half losses, forcing them to scale back their fleets and review their growth strategy.

Nippon Yusen in particular has been hit hard by bulging losses in the air cargo business. Its debt ballooned to more than double its equity by the end of September, sharply above such ratios for domestic rivals Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd.


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Freight index dipped in September

The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) fell 0.5 percent in September from August, showing its first decline after three straight months of increases, according the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The Freight TSI has declined 10 of the past 14 months and in five of the nine months in 2009 despite the three consecutive monthly increases that began in June, the BTS report said. Between May and August, it increased 2.8 percent.

The September Freight TSI of 95.7 is a 2.3 percent increase from the recent low of 93.5 reached in May. In May, the index was at its lowest level in more than a decade since June 1997. The Freight TSI is down 15.2 percent from its historic peak of 112.9 reached in May 2006.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles and combined into one index, covering for-hire freight transportation in trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

Coalition wants $6 bil invested in U.S.-Mexico border

The country's understaffed land ports of entry need massive investments in infrastructure, technology and personnel to avoid becoming the path of choice for human and drug smugglers, according to a report released Wednesday by a border advocacy group.

The Texas Border Coalition, a group representing border city mayors, county judges and economic development commissions, called for $6 billion to improve land ports of entry and 5,000 new customs officers during the next four years. The group said the money is needed to correct the imbalance between the security at ports of entry and the security covering the points between.

-L.A. Times

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Foldable 40-foot high cube container to be introduced

Boston-based Compact Container Systems (CCS) announced the introduction of a new industrial grade 40-foot high cube foldable container designed to, according to the company, “reduce backhaul shipping and storage costs up to 75 percent.”

The company said the FOLDX 40-HC will make its first appearance at the 2009 TransComp and Intermodal Expo (IANA/NITL Expo) in Anaheim, Calif. on November 15.

The design allows four containers to be stacked in the space of one standard container and can be folded in minutes with a two person team, CCS said.

As many as seven empty FOLDX containers can be handled and lifted simultaneously, CSS said. The container is compatible with existing intermodal handling equipment and meets the existing ISO/CSC Container Standards, the company said.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Top Story

New ISO standard for ship recycling

There will be a new standard that provides audit and certification of ship recycling management systems that “will increase the safety of workers and environmental protection by facilitating independent recognition of good practice,” according to the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).

ISO 30003:2009, Ships and marine technology – Ship recycling management systems – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of ship recycling management, will document and facilitate the recognition of accredited certification bodies and the acceptance of their certifications on an international basis, the ISO said.

“ISO 30003 responds to the need for disseminating best practice criteria for certification bodies auditing and certifying ship recyclers,” said Capt. Charles Piersall, chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard.

The ISO said the document is targeted at third party audit and certification bodies, “but can be of value to others involved in the assessment of management systems for the recycling of ships of all types and sizes, in both international and domestic trade.”

The ISO said the new standard: “Provides harmonized guidance for the accreditation of certification bodies applying for ISO 30000 certification and registration; defines specifications for the audit and certification of a ship recycling management system complying with safety and environmental requirements; and offers customers the necessary information and confidence about the way certification of their waste and other material handling or service companies has been granted.”

The ISO said the new standard would be useful for the shipping and ship recycling industries, shipyards, ship owners, maritime research institutes, universities for maritime technology, government ministries of shipping, navy, environment and labor, port authorities, classification societies and inspection agencies.


China’s imports driving commodity freight rates

Oil prices dropped by more than $2 a barrel yesterday following fresh evidence of US demand weakness while freight rates for transporting commodities to China continued their recent rally.

The Baltic Dry index jumped 5.5 per cent to 3,954 points as the global benchmark for freight costs for dry bulk commodities rose because of strong demand for iron ore and coal from China and growing ship congestion outside key ports. The index has surged 32.4 per cent over the past two weeks.

Freight traders have noted growing interest in hiring vessels for short periods of four to six months rather than for single voyages, suggesting confidence that demand will remain firm.

-Financial Times

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City of Long Beach to get sales tax funds to improve infrastructure

A half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters last year is expected to generate about $5 million to $6 million annually in Long Beach to fill potholes, repair sidewalks and jump-start a number of languishing road, parking and streetscape improvements in a city struggling with crushing budget problems.

Measure R, which raised the county's sales tax to 9.75 percent - costing taxpayers an average $25 more annually - is expected to generate $40 billion in the next 30 years to fund mass transit, bikeways, new roads, light-rail and subway projects, traffic light synchronization and street resurfacing, among other measures.

-Whittier (CA) Daily News

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JAXPORT faces multimillion dollar dredging shortfall

A dredging project that will benefit cargo ships calling on Jacksonville’s Talleyrand port faces a multimillion funding shortfall because a federal survey incorrectly calculated the amount of material that would have to be dredged. The Army Corps awarded a $46 million contract this year for dredging a 5.3 mile stretch of the St. Johns River leading up to Talleyrand.

But it could cost an estimated $18 million more to do the work, Army Corps project manager Steve Ross said today.

He said the contractor has continued to do the dredging and the Corps is working to get money so the work will finish as scheduled by September 2010. Based on the estimated cost increases, the Army Corps would need $2.5 million from the Jacksonville Port Authority to help cover the overruns, he said.

-Florida Times-Union

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LaHood announces formation of fed advisory committee for aviation

U.S. Transportation Dept. Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt today revealed the formation of a new federal advisory committee that will study every facet of the aviation industry.

LaHood further promised that within one year, that committee will submit a blueprint for change.

The announcement was made during closing remarks to an invitation-only, five-hour meeting of airline, airport, labor and consumer group representatives yesterday, who were called together to discuss the future of U.S. aviation. It appeared to have covered the gamut, and ended with LaHood asking the participants to go home and send him an email with three things: how many people should be on the committee, what the mix of participants should be, and the five issues they think must be addressed for the DOT to create a road map for aviation.

-Aviation Week

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