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Summary for November 15 - November 19, 2010:
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Top story

Horizon Lines to launch inland box service in U.S

Horizon Lines, Inc. the biggest U.S. domestic ocean shipping company, announced it would launch express intermodal container service to inland U.S. cities when it begins the new Five Star Express (FSX) trans-Pacific liner service in December.

The announcement was made during a press conference in Shanghai.

The maiden FSX voyage is scheduled to depart Ningbo, China, on December 14, 2010, Shanghai on December 15, and arrive in Los Angeles on December 26. Approximately 60 percent of the initial voyage’s cargo capacity is sold, as the company said in a statement its goal is to have 75 percent of its bookings for the first sailing.

"As other carriers reduce service locations and slow service speeds, U.S. shippers continue to tell us they want fast and reliable service alternatives not only port-to-port, but inland to final destinations as well," said Brian Taylor, senior vice president of international services for Horizon Lines.

"At a time when U.S. retailers are maintaining lower inventory levels and placing more logistics responsibilities on their manufacturing partners here in China, our Five Star Express service offers a fast and reliable transit schedule to keep supply chains running smoothly," Taylor was quoted as saying in the company’s statement.

Horizon Lines says it "plans to offer some of the fastest inland transit times in the industry, including 15-day availability in Kansas City from Shanghai and 16-day availability in Dallas, using scheduled intermodal rail service from Los Angeles every week."

The carrier said it would offer express inland service to Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta and Charlotte using on-dock rail connections to avoid drayage fees on the West Coast, "saving customers time and expense."

The Charlotte, N.C.-based carrier said it plans to expand the inland express network to other locations throughout the U.S. next year.

Two-state board convenes in Charleston over Jasper Ocean Terminal

The two-state board appointed to develop a new shipping terminal on the Savannah River is meeting in Charleston.

The board of the Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project Office meets on Monday.

Georgia and South Carolina have agreed to work together to build a $500 million shipping terminal on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River just downstream from Savannah.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a memorandum of understanding three years ago and the panel was formed to develop a 1,500-acre port.

Then the recession hit and consultants have told the panel that container capacity in Charleston and Savannah likely won't be reached until 2024 so there is no immediate need for a new container port.

-WXIA TV (Atlanta)/A.P.

For the story source:

Newspaper report raises potential ethics issue between Governor of Georgia and state ports authority

Excerpted from Atlanta Journal Constitution:

In September 2009, Gov. Sonny Perdue and two men who run the governor’s trucking company met in the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah with a half-dozen state employees.

The purpose: Grow Perdue’s private business.

"The governor wanted to know if there are any particular services which we feel could help them here," wrote Chip Hawkins, a sales manager at the ports, in an internal memo dated Sept. 21, 2009.

During the past three years, Perdue and his companies’ employees have tapped the expertise of state workers at the Ports Authority and the departments of economic development and agriculture several times to boost the governor’s grain and trucking businesses, according to documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open Records Act.

The September 2009 meeting was the only one on record for which Perdue was present. But Perdue’s business associates have met with ports officials on at least four other occasions since January 2009.

Bert Brantley, the governor’s spokesman, said Perdue is simply gathering information, available to any Georgian, for his post-gubernatorial business life and, his interactions with ports and other state officials are no different from those of any businessman seeking information.

"I don’t think you’ll find anywhere that he’s been given any preferential treatment," Brantley said.

"Ports [employees] meet with businesses constantly to help them grow their business. And the people running his businesses are actively looking for ways to grow, just like all small businesses in the state."

Perdue’s mingling of public and private business raises ethical and conflict of interest questions, ethics watchdogs say.

State law regarding the conduct of a public official reads, "It shall be unlawful for any full-time public official who has statewide powers, for himself or on behalf of any business, or for any business in which such public official or member of his family has a substantial interest to transact any business with any agency."

-Atlanta Journal Constitution

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All trucks driving in, through Pennsylvania need U.S.D.O.T. number displayed

A new requirement for all motor carriers driving in and through the state has been enacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

All motor carriers must now have a U.S. Department of Transportation number displayed, along with their business name, on both sides of the truck, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. The purpose of this requirement is to better track trucks with a poor safety record, and to assist in investigations of accidents involving motor carriers.

-The Mercury

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All trucks driving in, through Pennsylvania need U.S.D.O.T. number displayed

A new requirement for all motor carriers driving in and through the state has been enacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

All motor carriers must now have a U.S. Department of Transportation number displayed, along with their business name, on both sides of the truck, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. The purpose of this requirement is to better track trucks with a poor safety record, and to assist in investigations of accidents involving motor carriers.

-The Mercury

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Bristol-Meyers victim of full truckload heist

Bristol-Myers Squibb suffered a full truckload (FTL) theft of pharmaceuticals in the USA on November 11 with an estimated value of several million dollars.

The haul of products - destined for sale in Canada - included the antihypertensives Avapro (irbesartan) and Avalide (irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide), anticoagulant Coumadin (warfarin), Abilify (aripiprazole) for schizophrenia, the HIV drug Reyataz (atazanavir) and Plavix (clopidogrel), an antiplatelet medication.

This latest theft ties in with a trend towards increased value of stolen pharmaceutical shipments, even though the absolute number of thefts in 2010 has stayed relatively consistent with 2009.

-Securing Pharma

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top story

SC-Georgia joint terminal could request permitting by 2012

A two-state board developing a new $500 million shipping terminal on the Savannah River was told Monday it could request permits for the project as early as 2012.

But the project first needs the approval of lawmakers on both sides of the river.

Georgia and South Carolina are working to build the terminal in Jasper County on the South Carolina side of the river, just downstream from Savannah.
The two states bickered for years over the property that at one time was owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Then South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a memorandum of understanding three years ago to develop the tract jointly.

The Jasper Ocean Terminal Joint Project was formed to develop a 1,500-acre port and has been laying the groundwork for two years.

Consultant David Sanborn told the board that, according to a rough timetable, final permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could be in hand by 2019 and the first phase of the terminal open in 2025.

That's the date when container capacity in both Savannah and Charleston is expected to be used up.

The first phase of the terminal is projected to have two berths for container ships, but no rail service.

-Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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Former GPA chief tapped as consultant for Jasper County terminal

The group responsible for shaping development of a shared South Carolina-Georgia marine container terminal in Jasper County on Monday hired a former top executive of the Georgia Ports Authority to serve as its consultant.

Doug Marchand, who retired as executive director of the GPA in 2009, will earn $120,000 for the one-year contract.

Outgoing Jasper Ocean Terminal board chairman Jim Balloun, who represents Georgia, said Marchand will oversee the work of engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol and ensure that the joint office documents its work and keeps track of its budget.

-Charleston Post-Courier

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Rising U.S. rail and truck freight signal recovering economy

Economists often look at railcar loadings as a harbinger of things to come for the bigger economy. This October compared with October 2009, U.S. railroads each week moved 11 percent more carloads — including intermodal containers that ship on rail and trucks.

Such double-digit percentage increases have been common in 2010, with the year's high of 17 percent coming in May.

Trucking, too, is rising. Tonnage hauled this September was 5.1 percent higher than in September 2009. It was the 10th consecutive month of gains in year-over-year comparisons.

FedEx Corp. said it expected to have its busiest day ever on Dec. 13, when it anticipates moving nearly 16 million shipments around the world.

When asked by a CNBC reporter last year what set of economic numbers he'd want if he were stranded on a deserted island, investor Warren Buffett replied, "freight-car loadings" and "truck-tonnage moved." Rising demand for rail services reflects growth in other sectors of the economy, said Dan Keen, economist with the Association of American Railroads.

"No one puts a load of lumber or scrap steel or chemicals on a railroad for fun," he said. "Rather, they put these things on a railroad so they can be turned into houses or rolled steel or fertilizer or whatever."

-Kansas City Star

For the full story:

L.A.-Long Beach box traffic up 18 percent in October

The nation's busiest cargo complex posted 18% growth in combined container traffic for October, adding another strong month to the ports' recent string of double-digit growth.

At the Port of Los Angeles in October, 349,545 containers brought imports from Asia, up 3% from the 338,735 import containers received in October 2009. Exports rose less than 1% to 151,049 from 150,657 a year earlier. Overall, including empty containers, traffic in October was up more than 5% to 682,385 from 647,424 a year earlier.

For the first 10 months of the year, much of which compared against some of the worst times of the global recession in 2009, traffic at the Port of Los Angeles rose almost 17% to 6.6 million containers.

Long Beach imports last month hit 303,168 containers, a nearly 34% jump from the 227,064 containers logged a year earlier. Exports through Long Beach rose to 150,581 containers, up 26% compared with the 119,194 containers in October 2009.

Including empties, Long Beach's traffic soared 36% overall in October to 613,621 containers from 452,418 a year earlier. For the year, Long Beach's cargo traffic was up nearly 25% to just under 5.2 million containers.

-L.A. Times For the full story:

Asia leads global industrial real estate recovery

Industrial real estate markets across the globe are now in recovery mode, albeit at very different stages, with Asia leading the rental recovery according to a new MarketView report from CB Richard Ellis.

CBRE’s first global analysis of both the occupational and investor aspects of the industrial logistics sector, shows that Tokyo has emerged as the most expensive location in the world for distribution/logistics centers, followed by London and Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The report shows that the contraction in demand for industrial and logistics properties in 2008 and 2009 led to a more than 10% decline in the company’s Global Rent Index, bringing rents back to 2003 to 2005 levels.

The US and EMEA had the most significant reduction in rents during the period, with declines of 14% and 12%, respectively, while the Pacific Region and Asia weathered the storm better with rental declines of 5% in both regions.

The decline in industrial rents eased throughout EMEA, the Americas and the Pacific region in the second quarter of 2010. Rent growth is now well underway across Asia, with rents having increased by over 6% since the end of 2009.

CBRE’s analysis covers 55 of the leading industrial and logistics markets across the world. It shows that, as of the second quarter of 2010, Tokyo was the most expensive industrial market with an average rental of US$237.77 per square meter, followed by London at US$210 per square meter, Sao Paulo at US$140 per square meter and Singapore at US$122.38 per square meter.

Five of the top 10 most expensive markets are in the Asia Pacific region, with four in the EMEA. Only one country in the Americas, Sao Paulo, features in the top 10, with Los Angeles ranking as the most expensive US market at 18th position with a rental of $74 per square meter.

-NuWire Investor

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Carnival cruiseship out until January after fire at sea

The Carnival Splendor cruise ship on which 4,500 passengers were stuck for several days because of an on-board fire will be out of service until Jan. 16, company officials announced Tuesday.

The Splendor was disabled Nov. 8 when a fire broke out in the engine room, and passengers had to eat cold food because the electricity was cut off. The ship was towed into San Diego on Thursday.

Passengers aboard the disabled craft will receive a full refund on their fares and air transportation costs, as well as a 25% discount on future cruises.

The 952-foot ship is being inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board, Carnival engineers and technicians, and the Republic of Panama, where the ship is flagged. It will also undergo repairs.

-L.A. Times

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top story

UPS chief: "Defeat the tyranny of protectionism"

Calling free trade key to robust U.S. and global recoveries, United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) Chief Executive Scott Davis said Monday that more must be done to "defeat the tyranny of protectionism" and eliminate trade barriers.

Davis, speaking at the Americas Competitiveness Forum taking place in Atlanta, offered a number of prescriptions for the U.S. in particular.

He said so-called "Buy America" provisions included in the 2009 federal economic stimulus package should be abolished, and he also said a dispute regarding the ability of Mexican trucks to enter the U.S. must be quickly resolved.

"I'll be blunt," Davis said, according to a copy of his speech. "There is little or no merit to the argument that Mexican trucks are unsafe."

Meanwhile, he said Congress should approve trade deals that the U.S. already has negotiated with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, and he noted that he was "clearly disappointed" in the lack of progress on a new pact with South Korea last week.

"In the halls of Congress, compelling arguments for trade get overwhelmed by noisy and heated attacks on globalization," said Davis, a member of the President's Export Council, an advisory group.

Still, he said he's hopeful "open season on trade is over" now that the recent mid-term elections have passed, "and free traders can safely come out of hiding."

He also said he thinks the U.S. can achieve the Export Council's stated goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years, from about $1.6 trillion to more than $3 trillion in 2015.


For the full story:

Oberstar fires some parting shots

Lame Duck U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar gave what was probably his last press conference as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee [on Tuesday].

The press conference with Washington transportation reporters came two weeks after Oberstar, D-Chisholm, lost his bid for a 19th straight term in Congress to political newcomer Chip Cravaack, a retired Northwest Airlines pilot and conservative Republican.

Oberstar criticized both Republican and Obama administration opposition to new federal transportation taxes, including gas taxes, saying the demand for new projects is outstripping the revenue in transportation trust funds.

Because Americans are driving less and driving higher mileage vehicles -- some 60 billion fewer miles in fiscal 2009 than 2008 -- Oberstar said the future of federal road projects funded by the gas tax is in doubt. Oberstar said he supported a 25-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase, suggested by bipartisan commissions, to keep highway projects rolling even as total gallons used declines.

On the Republican proposal to end "earmarks" from transportation bills:

Oberstar said the move is "a rather simplistic notion" that members of Congress shouldn't have input into large transportation projects in their district, adding that decisions on large projects shouldn't be decided only by the executive branch and its administrators.

Oberstar aides have suggested he may be in the running for a top Obama administration post in transportation, although they concede no job offer has been made.

-Trading Markets/Duluth News Tribune

For the full story:

Army Corps report favors Georgia port’s dredging

A US Army Corp of Engineers report says, the environmental effects of deepening the Savannah harbor can be offset.

That long-awaited statement released Tuesday is a major milestone in the decades-long effort to dredge the Port of Savannah, an economic engine for the state and region.

Corp project manager Jason O'Kane says the Environment Impact Statement details the project's natural costs.

"They would effect fish species, endangered species, possibly the aquifer, marsh, cultural resources," O'Kane says. "And there's a mitigation plan for each one of these effects."

A Georgia Conservancy official says, he's still studying the massive document.

Georgia Ports officials want to deepen the harbor in time for the Panama Canal deepening in 2014.

They've already acknowledged that they won't be ready by 2014 because of the delayed regulatory approval.

But they say, it shouldn't affect Georgia business as long as the project is significantly underway in 2014.

-Georgia Public Broadcasting

For the full story:

DHL gets aggressive in India

DHL Global Forwarding, the freight division of leading global logistics player DHL, today said it plans to set up facilities in five free trade warehousing zones (FTWZ) in [India] by 2013.

These will be in addition to the USD 10 million facility in the country's first FTWZ in Chennai.

"We plan to set up facilities in five FTWZs here in next two to three years to cater to the growing need of the trade as well as expand our footprint," Chief Executive Officer, South Asia Pacific, DHL Global Amadou Diallo told PTI. He said DHL Global Forwarding will be the first global logistics company to operate a facility within the FTWZ that offers customers the benefits of a duty free zone with high quality infrastructure.

The new facility will be a one-stop-shop for all logistics requirement of customers, he said. DHL has such a facilities abroad, including Singapore , for customers for inbound and outbound logistics requirements.

On investments so far in India, Diallo said DHL Forwarding has so far invested around USD 315 million (about Rs 15,000 crore) in India.

The logistics market in India is expected to grow to USD 120 billion (over Rs5.4 lakh crore) in 2014 from about 90 billion (over Rs4 lakh crore) at present.

-The Economic Times (New Dehli)

For the full story:

Investigative firm: “Frightening increase” in cargo theft

Cargo theft in the U.S. has experienced a “frightening increase” in armed robberies, warehouse theft, and truck hijackings, according to Diversified Risk Management, Inc. (DRM, Inc.), a Los Angeles-based investigative firm.

Many of these incidents are "inside jobs," according to DRM, with both law enforcement and insurance industry officials estimating cargo theft costs the U.S. shipping industry over $30 billion per year with most incidents occurring in the fourth quarter of the year.

Cargo thefts have risen to such high threat level that the FBI recently issued an alert last week on this growing form of crime, DRM said.

"Over the past decade, cargo theft has risen dramatically but it's never been as high as it is now," said George Ramos, Jr., managing partner and senior executive investigator for DRM, Inc. To offset millions of dollars in potential losses, Ramos recommended executives in the manufacturing and shipping industries immediately take some definitive action to protect their firms from theft.

"Cargo typically disappears from the truck somewhere between the distribution facility and the final destination," says Ramos.

"In our investigations, we have found that either there is an inside connection at the shipping department feeding valuable information to the hijackers, or the freight truck driver is working independently with the criminals. It's very rare for hijackers or burglars to approach a truck without already knowing what's onboard. The type of merchandise targeted for theft typically includes recyclable metals, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, clothing, building supplies, cigarettes, or food,” Ramos said.

Other steps Ramos recommends includes:

  • Employment background checks and drug tests on temporary workers.

  • Distribution and trucking centers should hire a competent investigation firm to place undercover workers on their shipping docks and inside warehouses that are at risk.

“Undercover workers can observe employees' work habits from the inside and document any misconduct. By taking preventative action, those participating in these crimes can be stopped in time to recover some or all of the stolen cargo," said Ramos.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Top story

YRC plans to close aprox. 40 terminals

YRC Worldwide Inc. plans to close about 40 terminals across the country as it continues shrinking its operations to handle a smaller amount of customer freight.

Sheila Taylor, CFO of the Overland Park-based company told analysts during an analyst conference on Wednesday that the company has submitted a “change of operations” with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union about the closures.

“We’re taking steps to ‘right size’ the business,” Taylor said, adding that the closures affect about 12 percent of the company’s 334 facilities.

Chairman and CEO Bill Zollars said that most of the terminals set to close are smaller facilities and that there should be no more closings for a while.

YRC came close to filing for bankruptcy last year as the recession cut the amount of freight being shipped and competitors slashed their rates in hopes of driving the company out of business.

It survived through a combination of wage and benefit concessions from its union-represented workers, as well as agreements with lenders to swap debt for equity in the company.

-Kansas City Business Journal

For the full story:

Boeing delivers 900th 777

Boeing Wednesday delivered its 900th 777, the first 777-200LR to an African airline and the first 777 Ethiopian Airlines, which has ordered five.

Ethiopian plans to use the 777-200LRs on new, nonstop service between Addis Ababa and Washington, D.C., and on other new long-haul, nonstop routes, such as Beijing.

The 777 program delivered its 900th aircraft faster than any other twin-aisle airplane in history, Boeing boasted. Boeing has netted 1,165 777 orders from 61 customers.

The 777-200LR has provisions for up to three optional fuel tanks in the aft cargo area, giving it a range of 9,395 nautical miles with a full load of 301 passengers.

-Seattle P.I.

For the full story:

Wash. State's exports to China up over 300 percent in past decade

China's status as the United States' number one importer has heavy hitters like Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Michael Bloomberg passing through Beijing jockeying for a piece of the China market, But there's one little welterweight that's making a big hit.

Call Washington state the little engine that could.

After a hard-fought campaign of cold calls and constant visits, China is eating Washington up, from its apples, to its salmon and its candy.

In the last decade, Washington state's exports to China increased over 300 percent. Last year, the state exported nearly $6 billion worth of products to China, second only to California.

Chinese consumers are going crazy for a Washington state candy called Almond Roca.

The buttercrunch toffee is an affordable treat in the United States. In China, it's marketed as a luxury item, showcased in upscale department stores and repackaged with Chinese characters. The Chinese character for Roca actually means "happy family."

Washington state isn't stopping with the candy. There's a new opportunity in wine. The expansion of restaurants and supermarkets in China is providing a new opportunity for marketing wine from the state.

-ABC News

For the full story:

British Airways wins cartel appeal in U.K.

British Airways won a U.K. appeal to block hundreds of air-cargo customers from forming a group in a U.S.-style class-action lawsuit over the carrier’s role in a price-fixing cartel.

Two flower shippers that sued British Airways in 2008 can’t represent all direct and indirect customers of the carrier, a group that could run into the hundreds of thousands, because there was no way to know if they had the same interest in the case, the Court of Appeal in London ruled today.

The decision comes a week after British Airways was fined 104 million euros ($142 million) by the European Union following a three-year probe of the cartel. In 2007, the London-based company pleaded guilty in the U.S. to related charges and was fined $300 million.

Justice John Mummery, who wrote the decision on behalf of a three-judge panel, said the customers’ request for a so-called representative action was “fatally flawed.”


For the full story:

Ton of cocaine seized in shipping container– Mafia suspecte

Police in Italy have seized more than a ton of pure cocaine worth as much as $340 million from a shipping container carrying farm equipment from Brazil.

Police in the city of near the southwestern tip of Italy, were tipped off about the 2,200-pound load by officials from Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Rome's Carabinieri, the country’s national police, said it was the largest drug seizure in Italy in 15 years.

Salvatore Cagnazzo, the commander in charge of the investigation, said at a press conference in Rome that the cocaine had been stashed in the cavity of some tractors stored in the shipping container, Sky News reported.

Cagnazzo said Italian officials believe that the cocaine came from Colombian drug cartels with ties to the 'Ndrangheta.

In October, eight New Jersey longshoremen were busted for helping Panamanian drug dealers smuggle more than a ton of cocaine into the U.S.

Twelve people, including another longshoreman, were arrested in that crime.

-New York Daily News

For the full story:


Friday, November 19, 2010

Top story

Pirates holding hostages twice as long

Motivated by a few sky-high ransom paydays, Somali pirates are holding on to hijacked ships and crew almost twice as long as they did only 18 months ago, prolonging the hostages' ordeal and increasing their numbers to above 500, a possible record.

Ships hijacked in April, May and June have been held an average of 106 days, up sharply from the 55 days that the average ship hijacked in early 2009 was held, maritime expert Cyrus Mody told The Associated Press, pirates now hold 508 hostages from 22 vessels, Mody said Thursday.

"People are making really huge amounts of money now," said Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the London-based think tank Chatham House.

He said that whereas pirates in 2009 and 2008 were getting around $1 million per vessel, ransoms appear to be going higher. Middleton said reports that a $9.5 million ransom was paid earlier this month for a South Korean tanker carrying crude oil were credible.

The last four ships released by pirates were held an average of 150 days, said Mody, an analyst with the London-based International Maritime Bureau.

-SF Chronicle/AP

For the full story:

North American commercial truck production could climb 56 percent in 2011

North American commercial truck production may climb as much as 56 percent in 2011 as owners refresh the oldest U.S. fleet in at least 31 years, boosting sales at Paccar Inc. and parts-makers such as Eaton Corp.

Output of Class 8 trucks, the workhorses of interstate hauling, may reach as many as 235,000 units in the U.S., Canada and Mexico next year from an estimated 151,000 in 2010, said Kenny Vieth, partner at market forecaster ACT Research Co.

Rising freight rates and volumes are helping rekindle demand after the worst recession since the Great Depression.

A 2006 production surge to a record 376,448 units before new U.S. emissions rules took effect helped create a glut heading into the economic slump, leaving some trucks parked for two years.


For the full story:

China outlines its twelfth five-year plan

In a lengthy commentary published by the Xinhua news agency this week, Vice Premier Li Keqiang has given one of the best explanations so far of the government’s economic strategy for the coming five years.

China’s government is now in the process of drafting its twelfth five-year plan, covering the years 2011 through 2015, and the leadership has already outlined its broad themes.

Considered the most likely candidate to take over the reins of government from current Premier Wen Jiabao in the 2012-2013 leadership transition, Li will likely play a central role in ensuring the plan’s targets are implemented. So his views count. Below we summarize Li’s main points by translating selected portions of his commentary.

On why China needs a new plan:

  1. The U.S. economy is in bad shape, and China can’t count on exports for growth anymore.

  2. Developing countries risk being left behind in the shift to new technologies.

  3. China’s previous strategies for maintaining rapid economic growth won’t work for much longer

  4. China’s citizens are becoming increasingly demanding as their living standards improve.

On the key policies in the new plan:

  1. Boost domestic consumer spending in order to compensate for weaker exports.

  2. Reorient investment priorities to avoid excesses and boost efficiency.

  3. Encourage more permanent migration by rural people to urban areas, in order to raise incomes and boost domestic demand

  4. Accelerate the development of new technologies to upgrade China’s manufacturing base.

  5. Expand basic social services – education, health, employment and housing assistance – provided by the government to the entire population.


For the full story:

Evergreen in talks to buy 10 to 12 additional containerships

Taiwan's Evergreen Marine, which operates the world's fifth largest container fleet, is in talks to buy 10 to 12 container ships on top of 20 it ordered earlier this year, its chairman said on Monday.

Bronson Hsieh said he was "cautiously optimistic" for the global shipping industry next year and wanted to expand the firm's fleet to meet an expected recovery in demand.

"The ships we ordered in July and September are from Samsung (Heavy Industries and at around $100 million each. We plan to order altogether more than 30," Hsieh told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference.

The ships are expected to be delivered from 2013 and would each have the capacity of 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

Evergreen had 20 ships in its order book as of Oct. 10 with total capacity of 160,000 TEU, or 45.5 percent of its existing capacity, according to industry consultancy Clarkson Research Services Ltd.

These new orders, if placed, would expand the company's order book to up to 73 percent of its existing fleet size.

Global demand for container vessels is expected to surpass fleet expansion by between 1 and 4 percent in 2011, a rare bright spot for the overall freight market, a senior industry executive said earlier on Monday.


For the full story:

Manatee port to build perishable-cold storage facility

The Manatee County Port Authority announced its board approved $735,660 in additional state funds would be made available for a perishable-cold storage cargo transfer facility at its port..

In October, the port was awarded a $9 million TIGER II grant to help fund the construction of a 32-acre container terminal and expansion of cargo storage capacity.

Port Manatee operates short-line rail that connects with the CSX Railroad.

Well aged: 200-year-old champagne recovered, and tasted, from Baltic Sea shipwreck

Veuve Clicquot has confirmed that the Champagne shipment discovered on a wreck at the bottom of the Baltic sea last July includes Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

The Champagne house took a keen interest in the discovery last July when it was announced that a wreck containing presumably the oldest bottles of drinkable Champagne had been found. A close analysis of the first bottle salvaged dated it to the first third of the 19th Century.

On a routine re-corking operation, François Hautekeur, a member of the Veuve Clicquot winemaking team, and Fabienne Moreau, house historian, were able to identify Veuve Clicquot branding on the inside of a cork, as the bottles have no labels.

Three bottles so far have been determined to be Veuve Clicquot, and there is a strong likelihood that more will be identified in the coming weeks.

The operation took place in presence of Champagne specialist Richard Juhlin, who was able to taste the wine contained in the bottles.

"The Clicquot is a bit drier, more Riesling-like. Colour with hints of green that also is shown by the refined and elegant notes of lime peel and white flowers and linden blossom. Underneath the slightly spicy and toasty layer and a bouquet close to brie de Meaux. Incredible freshness and almost like a very old Rheingau Auslese".

-Harpers Wine & Spirit

For the story source:



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