Monday, November 10, 2008
2008 box traffic slowest since 2004
Cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports fell again in October as the downturn in the nation’s economy continued, and 2008 is now expected to be the slowest year since 2004, according to the
monthly Port Tracker report released Nov. 7 by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight.
Volume is projected to total 15.3 million TEUs for the year, compared with 16.5 million TEUs in 2007, which would be a decline of 7.1% and the lowest total since 2004, when 14 million TEUs moved through the ports.
The estimate is down from the 15.43 million projected just a month ago, which would have been a 6.5% decline from 2007 and the lowest number since 2005’s 15.4 million TEUs.
“Retail sales forecasts this year are the lowest they’ve been in more than half a decade, and the cargo volume we’re seeing reflects those numbers,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
November is forecast at 1.26 million TEUs, down 8.7%, and December is forecast at 1.21 million TEUs, down 5.5% from 2007.
Port Tracker report
New service from Port Everglades to Amazon
Bringer Lines, a Miami-based air and ocean shipping company, Nov. 6 announced that it is beginning a new service from Port Everglades to the Amazon region of Brazil with Japanese cargo shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd, or “K” Line.
“Historically, North-South hemispheric trade has been an important factor in South Florida’s international trade, with Port Everglades already capturing 28% of the market share in the Southeastern United States,” said Diana Wasserman-Rubin, Broward County commissioner.
“We view this new service as a further step to encouraging growth in the Amazon region,” she added.
The Bringer Amazon service will deploy two 500-TEU vessels on a biweekly basis. Ports of call for the service include Savannah, Port Everglades, Manaus, and Vila do Conde.
Brazil is one of the top 10 trading partners for Port Everglades, generating approximately 400,000 tons of containerized cargo annually. During 2007, approximately $13 billion worth of merchandise was exported and imported between Florida and Brazil, according to the company.
Broward County Port Everglades
Ryder celebrates 75 years
Ryder System Inc., a global leader in transportation and supply chain management solutions, Nov. 7 celebrated its 75 years in business and its “remarkable success story as one of the most recognized brands in transportation and logistics” at its headquarters in northwestern Miami-Dade, according to Ryder.
Ryder Chairman and CEO Greg Swienton welcomed guests and introduced a video presentation showcasing historic images of Ryder’s origins in 1933 and its growth throughout the decades.
The Ryder Charitable Foundation then presented Nat Moore, former Miami Dolphins player and founder of The Nat Moore Foundation, with a $5,000 check for his foundation’s efforts promoting higher education for youth living in urban communities.
Ryder’s roots trace back to the days of the Great Depression in 1933, when a teenager named Jim Ryder made a $35 down payment on a used 1931 Ford Model A truck to haul concrete in Miami Beach.
Today, Ryder is a $6.6 billion Fortune 500 business with more than 28,000 employees, according to Ryder.
Ryder System Inc.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
DHL curtails U.S. ops, cuts 9,500 jobs
Beginning Jan. 30, 2009, DHL U.S. Express will focus entirely on its international offerings and will discontinue its domestic-only air and ground services, according to an announcement Nov. 10 by its parent company, Deutsche Post World Net.
DHL U.S. Express will close its U.S. ground hubs and reduce the number of stations from 412 to 103. This will result in an additional reduction of 9,500 U.S. jobs at DHL Express on top of the approximately 5,400 positions already reduced since January, according to the announcement.
The company also said it will retain 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. Express employees, tailored to the needs of international express customers. Overall, DHL U.S. Express said it expects to reduce its operating costs from $5.4 billion to under $1 billion, a decrease of more than 80%.
DHL U.S. Express said it will maintain its international express service in the U.S. at today’s levels and the U.S. will remain an integral part of DHL’s global network.
“All international shipments to and from the U.S. will still be delivered, while 99% will be picked up,” the company said.
DHL U.S. Express
Horizon Lines to restructure
Horizon Lines Inc. Nov. 10 announced a workforce restructuring initiative that will reduce its non-union workforce by at least 10%, or approximately 70 of its 700-plus non-union employees.
The workforce reduction is targeted at reducing annualized labor-related costs by an estimated $7 million to $10 million.
“We continue to face a very difficult macro-economic environment that is having a significant adverse impact on the markets we serve,” said Chuck Raymond, chairman, president and CEO. ”We expect these challenges to continue through at least 2009…”
Initially, Horizon will offer a voluntary severance program to certain eligible non-union employees. If the company is unable to achieve anticipated reductions from the voluntary program, it intends to implement an involuntary severance program for non-union employees.
The company expects to complete the workforce reduction initiative by Jan. 31, 2009.
“While our company remains well-capitalized, with strong liquidity, our focus for 2009 will be on conserving cash and removing costs from our organization wherever possible,” Raymond said.
APL taps ex-DHL exec for new VP position
A longtime business development executive with DHL has been named vice president of contract logistics for supply chain services leader APL Logistics.
Peter Knapp, for the past 12 years DHL’s vice president of business development with stints in Asia, Europe and Latin America, will now be responsible for growing warehousing and related businesses such as distribution and related primary transportation services at APL Logistics.
It’s a new position designed to build on the company’s inherent strength in Contract Logistics.
“With Peter’s skill and experience we intend to expand our portfolio globally,” said APL Logistics President Brian Lutt. “We have particular interest in developing our position throughout Asia, and his background is ideally suited to the task.”
Knapp — with a background in operations — is expected to expand APL Logistics’ role in managing dedicated as well as multi-user facilities. He will be based in Singapore.
APL Logistics is a unit of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, a global shipping, terminals and logistics company.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
October ship orders drop 90%
Global ship orders have fallen 90% in October and shipping lines are finding it harder than ever to borrow money, according to Lloyd’s Register Group.
Ship owners ordered a total of 37 containerships, tankers and other vessels in October 2008 as compared with 378 a year earlier, according to Lloyd’s Register statistics.
The slowdown means that some shipyards have not had any orders at all since early September.
Richard Sadler, Lloyd’s Register CEO, said that the global full year order count likely will fall more than the previously predicted 15%. “We underestimated it. On the positive side, compared to 2006, 2007 was an exceptional year,” he said.
Meanwhile, new contracts at Chinese yards fell 62% in the first 10 months of 2008 to 25.35 million gross tonnes while new contracts in Korea dropped by half to 33.68 million gross tonnes.
Lloyd’s Register Group
Konecranes acquires three MTS companies
Konecranes Nov. 12 announced that it is expanding its machine tool service (MTS) activities. During the past four months, it has acquired three MTS companies in the UK. The prices of the acquisitions were not disclosed.
Until now, Konecranes has had machine tool service activities only in Finland, Sweden and Norway, but it is now expanding these operations to the UK, the company said.
Konecranes acquired Machine Tool Services Ltd, in the East Midlands, in July and Electron Service Ltd., headquartered in Walsall in central England, at the end of October. In November, Konecranes acquired the third company, Machine Tool Services (GB) Ltd. in Lewes in southern England.
“Through the acquisitions Konecranes will be able to offer a wide range of machine tool maintenance solutions to customers in the engineering industry throughout the UK,” said Pekka Kujala, director, MTS.
“The UK machine tool service market is one of the key markets in Europe. After our successful establishment in the Nordic market, this is a natural next step in also providing machine tool services locally for Konecranes customers outside the Nordic countries,” Kujala added.
Tacoma honors Carlile’s clean air commitment
The Port of Tacoma recently recognized the “significant clean air achievements” of Carlile Transportation Systems, an Alaska-based trucking company that also serves the Port of Tacoma.
The Port of Tacoma, with the Port of Seattle and Port Metro Vancouver in Canada, last year developed the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy to set short- and long-term targets for reducing diesel emissions from port-related activities, including shipping, rail, trucking, cargo handling and harborcraft.
Port of Tacoma Commissioners recognized Carlile for achieving the truck performance standards outlined in the strategy ahead of the 2010 target.
Among the company’s achievements, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program recently certified Carlile for demonstrating tangible results in reducing diesel and greenhouse gas emissions.
The trucking company’s entire Washington state fleet includes engines newer than model year 2000, which burn cleaner than the 1994 model average in the state.
The company also installed 22 APUs, with 10 more on order, to provide power to the truck cab for heating, air conditioning and other amenities without requiring the diesel engine to idle.
Carlile Transportation Systems
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hanjin, Jaxport to develop new terminal
A 30-year lease agreement for a new terminal that is expected to generate nearly $1 billion in annual economic impact has been approved by the Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) and the Board of Directors of Hanjin Shipping Co. of Seoul, Korea.
The joint announcement Nov. 11 said the lease calls for Hanjin to build an approximately 90-acre container facility at the Dames Point Marine Terminal in North Jacksonville with the option for further expansion.
The $300 million Hanjin Container Terminal at Dames Point is expected to open for business in late 2011 and will be a key hub operation for Hanjin’s East Coast port activity. Jaxport’s Board of Directors approved the lease offer earlier this month, according to the announcement.
The new agreement is expected to create more than 5,600 new private sector jobs in Jacksonville and support operations such as trucking, distribution and related services.
Construction of Jaxport’s Hanjin Container Terminal is expected take approximately 24 months, following the permitting process.
The proposed Hanjin Container Terminal will be Hanjin’s first dedicated U.S. operation outside of the West Coast, a strategic move meant to capitalize on the expansion of the Panama Canal and the anticipated increase in container traffic along the East Coast.
Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport)
Hanjin Shipping Co.
CMA CGM augments ES2 service
CMA CGM Group Nov. 13 announced it is optimizing its services operated in partnership with Hamburg Süd and Hapag-Lloyd on the North Europe / Caribbean / West Coast of South America routes.
The three partners will deploy eight 1,700-2,000-TEU vessels within the jointly operated ES 2 service, offering weekly coverage beginning in January 2009 of the following ports:
Rotterdam / Hamburg / Antwerp / Le Havre / Port of Spain / La Guairá / Puerto Cabello / Willemstad / Cartagena / Manzanillo (Panama) / Guayaquil / Callao / Paita / Guayaquil / Manzanillo (Panama) / Cartagena / Caucedo / Rotterdam.
CMA CGM will provide two container vessels in the fleet, the company said.
“This service enhancement is another major step in the Group’s continued development in South America as a whole, and on the West Coast in particular,” said Laurent Falguière, vice president, Caribbean & Latin America Lines.
“It enables CMA CGM to meet growing demand on these trades, especially for the transport of refrigerated cargo, and perfectly fits with the expansion of the Group’s local network of agencies,” Falguière added.
POLB celebrates first shoreside plug-in power
The “K” Line container vessel Long Beach Bridge Nov. 11 became the first ship to plug in to clean electrical power and shut down its diesel engines at berth at the Port of Long Beach.
A dockside commissioning ceremony at the International Transportation Service Inc. terminal marked the completion of an $8 million project that installed electrical power outlets for ships docking at Pier G.
“Shoreside power is a top environmental initiative under our Green Port Policy,” said Harbor Commission President James C. Hankla.
Shutting down a single ship’s diesel engines at berth for a day achieves the same air quality improvements as taking 33,000 cars off Southern California roads, port authorities said.
The new ITS shoreside power installation, also known as “cold-ironing,” is part of a 10-year, nearly $800-million project to create thousands of additional jobs and a more efficient and environmentally friendly container terminal at Pier G.
The project also includes a new electrical substation added by Southern California Edison to accommodate the increased demand for electricity at Pier G.
As part of its “green” lease with the port for the ITS property, “K” Line agreed to retrofit all five of its ships berthing at G232 to accommodate shoreside power.
Port of Long Beach
Friday, November 14, 2008
SoCal Clean Truck Fee delayed
The Clean Truck Fee at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which was scheduled to be implemented and collected beginning Monday, Nov. 17, has been delayed.
A filing relating to the ports’ arrangement with PortCheck is still pending with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and the fee collection will be delayed while issues relating to that filing are resolved, PortCheck said in an announcement Nov. 13.
PortCheck Inc. is the not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators to collect the Clean Trucks Program tariff fees and administer a ban on older trucks as required by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“The terminal operators and ports continue to work with the FMC to resolve remaining questions about the program,” said Bruce Wargo, president and CEO of PortCheck. “We hope to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”
The new start date for fee collection is not yet clear, but PortCheck strongly urges cargo owners to complete preparations for claiming cargo online and paying the CTF.
PortCheck also urges cargo owners that are not registered with PierPASS to register on the PierPASS site.
Weekly U.S. freight volume off
Freight volume on U.S. railroads was off compared to the same period a year ago for the week ending Nov. 8, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Nov. 13.
Total volume was estimated at 33.5 billion ton-miles, down 7.2% from the comparable week last year, according to the report.
Carload freight for the week totaled 314,433 cars, down 8.4% from last year, with volume off 8.1% in the West and 8.7% in the East.
Intermodal volume, which is not included in the carload data, totaled 228,632 trailers or containers, down 6.3% from the same period last year.
Container volume fell 4.9% while trailer traffic was off 11.2%.
Sixteen of 19 carload commodity groups were also down from a year ago, with waste and scrap down 40.0%, motor vehicles down 30.8% and metals dropping 30.6%.
Association of American Railroads
UPS adopts HP paperless labeling device
UPS announced Nov. 13 that it has begun using a new combination scanner and paperless printing device from HP that will print sorting labels directly on packages.
UPS and HP collaborated for 18 months to develop a mobile, wireless printing/scanning solution called the HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One, according to the announcement. UPS then built a custom business application to support the device.
“Leveraging technology innovation is critical in today’s tough, competitive economy,” said Dave Barnes, senior vice president and CIO of UPS.
The company estimates it will save 1,338 tons of paper each year and millions of dollars in annual operating costs once the imprinter is fully deployed.
UPS already has deployed HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One devices in 41 U.S. package centers and plans to expand the deployment to a total of 850 imprinters in 55 centers by the end of this year.
The company expects to use the device to process 1.5 million packages per business day by mid-2009 and to increase that to 3.1 million by 2010.