Cargo Business Newswire Archives
Summary for November 23 - November 27, 2009:
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Monday, November 23, 2009

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Ports America lands Baltimore terminal for 50-years

Ports America was awarded a 50-year contract by the Maryland Port Administration to operate its 200-acre Seagirt Marine Terminal on Friday.

According to the announcement made by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, the deal includes a 50-foot deep berth to be constructed by Ports America at an estimated cost of $105.5 million. The berth is scheduled for completion by 2014, which would make the Port of Baltimore the second port on the East Coast with a 50-foot berth and channel.

The MPA said the project is expected to produce 5,700 new jobs with total investment and revenue from the deal to the State of Maryland having the potential to reach more than $1.3 billion over the life of the agreement, generating $15.7 million per year in new taxes for the state

“This public-private partnership is about three things: - jobs, jobs, and more jobs,” said Governor O’Malley.

“These challenging economic times call for new ways of doing business. We welcome an internationally respected partner in the maritime field for this unique long-term joint venture. With this agreement, we are able to secure the port’s long-term future with a 50-foot berth, apply an immediate influx of capital for system preservation of roads, tunnels, and bridges, and provide an extended revenue stream to the state,” the governor said.

Pending approval of the agreement by the state’s Board of Public Works, Ports America will be responsible for running the daily operations of the Seagirt Marine Terminal, as well as investing in the new 50-foot berth, cranes, and other infrastructure at Seagirt, the release said. Ports America will make an annual payment and provide ongoing revenues to the MPA during the life of the agreement while the State of Maryland would continue to own Seagirt.

Ports America has been the operator of the Seagirt Marine Terminal since it opened in 1990, and has also operated the Dundalk Marine Terminal since 1996.


Home Depot to reportedly double distribution space in Calif.’s Inland Empire

Home Depot is poised to double its warehouse distribution presence in the Inland Empire.

A company spokeswoman said she couldn't comment, but Ontario planning documents show that the retail home improvement giant is getting ready to move into a massive built-to-suit distribution center near the 10 and 15 freeway intersection as early as fall 2010.

ProLogis, a Denver-based developer that owns and manages almost 31 million square feet of industrial space in the Inland Empire, said it will start construction on a 667,000-square-foot distribution facility at Crossroads Business Park in Ontario in December.

-Contra Costa Times

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Truck freight rates projected to climb in 2010

Too many trucks continue to compete for too little freight, but truckers can expect gradual increases in the amount of goods to be hauled next year, according to the latest market analysis by FTR Associates.

FTR projects GDP to grow at a 4.5 percent rate in the first half of 2010, while freight growth continues to lag, though climbing from 2.5 percent growth early to 4 percent by midyear. But as GDP growth slows to 3.5 percent by year’s end, freight volumes will climb, approaching 7 percent growth.

-The Trucker

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BTT sells Vancouver, BC container trucking division

BTT Canada Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of Bridge Terminal Transportation (BTT), Maersk’s trucking arm, has sold its Vancouver, BC division to the Payne Group for an undisclosed price. The sale closed on Nov 20. The former division has been renamed Harbour Link Container Services Inc. Harbour Link president is David Payne, moving on from the position of General Manager of BTT’s Vancouver branch. Payne has 19 years experience with BTT and predecessor Pacific Rim Transport Inc. (PRTI) in Vancouver.

Harbour Link has a fleet of 40 trucks and more than 100 chassis. The company has also taken over the 10.8 acre BTT container yard in Delta BC . The yard is served by two top picks and 1 side lifter to enable it to handle both full and empty containers.

-Fred McCague, CBN’s Canada correspondent

Shipping service from Latin America calls Total Terminals in Seattle

Total Terminals International announced the first call of the NACSA (North America, Central, and South America) service to its T46 terminal at the Port of Seattle on Nov. 2 with the arrival of CSAV’s M/V Venezuela.

The NACSA is a South and Central America service composed of Hamburg Sud, CCNI and CSAV. The service now calls TTI-Seattle each Monday and will handle a combined volume of 18,000 containers per year, the terminal operator said.

The port rotation is Seattle, Vancouver, Long Beach, Manzanillo, Lazaro Cardenas, Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle.

Report: U.S.-Mexican border program for speedy truck freight attracts drug smuggling

A U.S. program that offers trusted trucking companies speedy passage across American borders has begun attracting just the sort of customers who place a premium on avoiding inspections: Mexican drug smugglers.

Most trucks enrolled in the program pause at the border for just 20 seconds before entering the United States. And nine out of 10 of them do so without anyone looking at their cargo.

But among the small fraction of trucks that are inspected, authorities have found multiple loads of contraband, including nearly 13 tons of marijuana seized in a three-week period last spring.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2009

Top Story

Matson raises 2010 rates 3.8 percent

Matson Navigation Company announced it would raise rates for the shipping line’s Hawaii service by $120 per westbound container and $60 per eastbound container, effective January 3, 2010.

Matson said it estimates the increase will raise rates by an average of 3.8 percent.

Matson also said it would raise its terminal handling charge by $125 per westbound container and $60 per eastbound container by January 3, 2010.

“This rate increase will help offset rises in operating costs and support ongoing investments in our Hawaii service,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services.

“Terminal handling costs comprise over 40 percent of Matson’s operating costs,” said Hoppes. “Matson continues to absorb most of the costs associated with terminal operations, the majority of which are driven by factors that are outside of our control, but needs to pass on some of the expenses to our customers.”

Analysts: YRC business unit sale not enough

When Kansas-based trucking giant YRC Worldwide Inc. -- owner of two Central Pennsylvania-based firms -- sold a slice of its YRC Logistics business for $34 million, it barely changed the company's precarious financial position, analysts today told the Business Journal.

YRC yesterday sold its dedicated contract transportation business to Greatwide Logistics Services with headquarters in Dallas.

However, $34 million is only about 2 percent of YRC's total debt, said David Ross, an analyst with St. Louis-based Stifel Nicolaus.

YRC needs to complete its exchange of more than $536 million in bonds to common stock to help the company survive, analysts said. Results of that sale are expected after Dec. 8. The company could sell more property to help its bottom line, but sales of additional business units are unlikely, analysts said.

-Central Penn Business Journal

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Optimistic report on containerized retail growth in 2010

Port analysts are optimistic that container volume will see growth in early 2010 after 31 straight months of year-over-year declines.

In its monthly Port Tracker report, the National Retail Federation announced that although ports saw a 16 percent decline in container volume in September compared with the same month in 2008, the trend could be reversed as soon as February 2010.

With a month to go before year’s end, the same analysts are predicting that overall container volume will be down 16.8 percent over 2008.

-Land Line

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Ships warned to look out for icebergs floating towards New Zealand

A flotilla of hundreds of icebergs that split off Antarctic ice shelves is slouching toward New Zealand and could pose a risk to ships in the south Pacific Ocean, officials said Tuesday.

The nearest one, measuring about 30 yards tall, was 160 miles southeast of New Zealand’s Stewart Island, Australian glaciologist Neal Young said. He couldn't say how many icebergs in total were roaming the Pacific, but he counted 130 in one satellite image alone and 100 in another.

-Fox News

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Close to $16 mil in drugs nabbed from FedEx plane in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Nearly $16 million worth of illegal drugs landed in Anchorage this week, and now the feds are trying to figure out who was expecting them.

Someone in Thailand stuffed the drugs into a shipment of wooden cat figurines and tried to ship them to Wassau, Wisc.

The FedEx plane carrying the load stopped off in Anchorage where a routine X-ray turned up suspicious.
Federal officers opened the containers and found 40 kilograms of opium.

-KTUU TV (Anchorage)

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