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Summary for November 26 - November 30, 2007:
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Monday, November 26, 2007

North Sea oil rig fire causes evacuation

A “VERY serious” fire on a remote North Sea oil platform has been extinguished and no one was injured, the Swedish company Lundin Petroleum reported Nov 25.

 Lundin Petroleum, owner of the Thistle Alpha platform located 120 miles northeast of Sumburgh, Shetland, in the North Sea between Britain and Norway, said that helicopters from the RAF, coastguard, and other platforms in the area were sent to the scene along with two Norwegian helicopters.

 Helicopters carried out an evacuation of all non-essential personnel, said Maria Hamilton, head of corporate communications at Lundin.

 She added that it was unclear when the platform, which pumps 5,000 bbl of oil per day, would be operational again.

 Around 117 personnel were airlifted to safety, while 42 staff remained on board, a coastguard spokeswoman said earlier Sunday.

 A Nimrod was also scrambled from RAF Kinloss to coordinate the operation, said the company.

 “This is just about as remote as it gets — it’s just five miles inside the UK search-and-rescue region,” RAF spokesman Michael Mulford told Sky News.

 Web site:

 Lundin Petroleum

Moffatt & Nichol chosen for new Tacoma terminal

LONG BEACH–based Moffatt & Nichol will lead development and construction at the new Port of Tacoma $300mn East Blair 2 Terminal (EB2), the port announced Nov 16.

 The terminal will be leased to Yusen Terminal Tacoma Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NYK Line.

 The two-berth, 168-acre facility will be located on the east side of Blair Waterway, with an integrated container yard and an on-dock intermodal rail loading yard, according to the port.

 Moffatt & Nichol prepared the Basis of Design/Schematic Design Report for EB2, outlining the concepts for terminal operations and the proposed scope of work to plan, permit, design, and construct the facility.

 As the prime consultant, Moffatt & Nichol’s Seattle office will provide project management and be accountable for all aspects of the project, according to the announcement.

 “The project is interesting because of the myriad issues that have to be solved to move from vision to reality in a constantly changing environment,” said Tom McCollough, a vice president with Moffatt & Nichol and the project manager for the development of the East Blair 2 Terminal.

 Web sites:

 Moffatt & Nichol

 Port of Tacoma

Kuehne + Nagel expanding in Russia

KUEHNE + Nagel has recently opened a new Class A facility in St. Petersburg, the company said Nov 22.

 The purpose-built warehouse, which replaces a smaller facility, is “conveniently located in the Shushary suburb of St. Petersburg, giving excellent access to the Moscow highway,” said the announcement.

 The new facility in Shushary features approximately 12,500 sq meters of warehouse space and 1,100 sq meters of office space. Kuehne + Nagel currently has nearly 90,000 sq meters of warehouse space under management in Russia.

 “With its dynamic economy and strong consumer market, St. Petersburg is a strategic logistics location,” said Clemens Abt, managing director of Kuehne + Nagel in Russia.

 Infrastructure and service levels “meet the highest Western standards and include round-the-clock guarding, security and advanced fire suppression systems, 11 loading docks, and Kuehne + Nagel’s global warehouse management system (CIEL),” said the company.

 “Customers, particularly from the FMCG, electronics, and retail industries, are offered a comprehensive portfolio of storage, distribution, and value adding services,” said the company.

 Web site:

 Kuehne + Nagel


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Punta Colonet port project seeks bids

MEXICO plans to begin taking bids in Q1 2008 to build a $7bn port and rail line on Mexico’s West Coast, Bloomberg reports Nov 24.

 Construction on a new port at Punta Colonet in the state of Baja California Norte and a 350-km railroad to connect with the US-Mexico border might begin by the end of 2008, said Alejandro Chacon, coordinator of advisers for the Communications and Transportation Ministry.

The port will be designed to handle shipping from Asia destined for the US, giving companies an alternative to California’s congested ports.

 During an industrial conference in Los Cabos, Mexico, referring to the preparation for the bidding process, Chacon said, “Everything is moving along. This can be a very good opportunity to move cargo.”

Chacon added that the project would be funded, built, and operated by a group of companies as part of a Mexican government plan to encourage investment in highways, ports, railroads, airports, and other infrastructure.

Chacon said that Mexico’s two largest railroad companies are close to reaching an agreement on fees for using each other’s rail lines.

Security fee hike at 13 Northwest ports

THE NORTHWEST Marine Terminal Association of 13 deepwater ports in Oregon and Washington will increase a security fee by $45 per vessel per day beginning Jan 1, according to an announcement Nov 26.

 NWMTA ports implemented a security fee into their tariffs on Jan 1, 2006, to help offset the operating costs the ports have incurred following security requirements mandated under US laws and regulations.

Effective Jan 1, 2008, NWMTA member ports that publish a $250 per vessel per day security fee will increase the rate to $295, according to the announcement.

 The NWMTA also announced that general rate increases from CPI and/or 3% will be assessed to most member port tariffs effective Jan 1, 2008.  Some ports have elected to assess their increases on Jul 1, 2008. 

 Current NWMTA members include the ports of Anacortes, Astoria, Bellingham, Everett, Grays Harbor, Kalama, Longview, Olympia, Port Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver.

 The Northwest Marine Terminal Association has operated continuously since 1939 under an agreement approved by the Federal Maritime Commission.

 Web site:

 Northwest Marine Terminal Association

Phase 1 at Lazaro Cardenas complete

HUTCHISON Port Holdings, the world’s leading port investor, developer, and operator, Nov 26 announced the grand opening of the Phase I Expansion of Lazaro Cardenas Terminal Portuaria de Contenedores (LCT) at the Port of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.

 President of Mexico Felipe Calderon and HPH Group Managing Director John Meredith attended, as well as more than 500 guests including senior Mexican government officials and senior executives of the maritime industry.

 President Calderon praised the swift development of LCT and said, “It brings a much needed deep-water container-handling facility to the country and will provide strategic links to global carriers by facilitating the movement of cargo between the Pacific region and the Mexican hinterland.”

 Meredith commented, “With the completion of the Phase I Expansion, LCT is now a world-class container terminal which is outfitted with the latest handling equipment, capable of receiving the largest vessels afloat.”

 The expansion program includes the construction of a new 600-meter quay, a yard area of 48 hectares incorporating an additional 250 reefer plugs, and a 7,000 sq meter area for a container freight station.

 Web site:

 Hutchison Port Holdings


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Chinese automaker partners in Mexico

LATIN America’s leading specialty retailer, consumer finance, and banking services company, Grupo Elektra, Nov 22 announced that it will introduce the “FAW” automobile into the Mexican market in Q1 2008.

 The company completed a strategic alliance with First Automobile Works Group (FAW Group) — the largest automobile group in China and a partner of Volkswagen/Audi, Toyota, and Mazda.

 As part of the alliance, within the next three years Grupo Elektra and FAW Group will build an assembly plant in the state of Michoacan, with the expected launch date sometime in 2010.

 The planned production capacity of the $150mn assembly plant will be 100,000 vehicles annually.

 The vehicles’ prices are expected to be 5%-10% lower than the current average in Mexico, “allowing large segments of the population that currently cannot afford to be customers of this industry to participate in that market,” said Grupo Elektra.

 Also, FAW will begin exporting cars to Mexico immediately, said Daniel McCosh, a spokesman for Grupo Salinas, Elektra’s parent. He said subcompact vehicles retailing for as little as $6,000 should be available by year-end.

 Web sites:

 Grupo Elektra

First Automobile Works Group

CMA CGM in first Chinese port venture

A “STATEGIC cooperation agreement for the development of the port of Haicang at Xiamen” was signed Nov 26 by CMA CGM Group, the municipality of Xiamen (Fujian province), and New World Services Holding Ltd. (NWS), according to a company announcement.

 This will be CMA CGM’s first port investment project in China. The French group has shares in 16 port terminals around the world.

 According to the agreement, CMA CGM and its partners will invest in the construction and management of a deep water container terminal.

 The container port is planned to be operational in 2009.

 CMA CGM is the third largest container shipping group for international traffic in China, with 280,000 TEUs planned for 2007, according to the announcement.

 New World is a “well-established Hong Kong–based group with a rich experience of investments in transport infrastructure projects in China, especially in ports (Xiamen, Tianjin, Dalian, and Wenzhou).”

 The ceremony, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, was attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

 Web site:


Jacobs/POLB awarded by CMAA

JACOBS Engineering Group Inc. and the Port of Long Beach Nov 27 earned national recognition for excellence in construction management from the Construction Management Association of America.

 In presenting the award, the judges commented, “Fifteen percent of all of America’s imports begin their distribution journey in trucks traveling on Ocean Boulevard.”

 The Ocean Boulevard/Terminal Island Freeway (OBTIF) Interchange project in Long Beach, CA, was named winner of a Project Achievement Award in the category of infrastructure projects with a constructed value of less than $50mn.

 Jacobs was construction manager on the project owned by the Port of Long Beach.

 “This is the story of a resounding construction management success,” commented Jacobs Group Vice President Kevin McMahon. “We are honored to receive this award along with the Port of Long Beach.”

 A panel of industry judges selected the dozen honored projects, in diverse size and type categories, from among more than 100 nominations.

 CMAA is North America’s only organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of the professional construction and program management industry.

 Web sites:

 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

LA mayor touts short-sea shipping

LOS ANGELES Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke recently at the first Mexican Pacific Ports Conference, held in San Pedro and Long Beach.

Rather than fight over business from anticipated increases in Asian exports to Mexico, the mayor told the conference, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach should develop new trade routes through short-sea shipping with smaller freighters between So. California and Mexico.

Such a strategic alliance with Mexican ports would benefit economies on both sides of the border, said Villaraigosa.

“I think the opportunity that comes with this conference is figuring out the opportunities … that come from short-distance shipping and make it a reality,” he said.

Proponents of short-sea shipping say the plan would keep goods moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while also allowing Mexico’s growing ports to cash in on the nation’s own domestic growth.

The plan would also help pay for improved roads, railways, and other infrastructure needed in Mexico, said Cesar Reyes Roel, general coordinator of Merchant Marine and Ports in Mexico.

Web site:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

NY/NJ port authority sues Bayonne agency

THE PORT Authority of New York and New Jersey Nov 26 filed suit against a redevelopment agency in Bayonne, claiming that the local group cannot void a $50.5mn deal for the bi-state agency to purchase waterfront property for a ro/ro (roll-on/roll-off) automobile port.

The port authority seeks a court order upholding a contract it reached in September with the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority for a 153-acre parcel for a future auto marine terminal and other maritime-related uses, according to the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court for Hudson County.

The Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority said it received a higher bid of $90mn from Iselin-based Ports America, which is owned by AIG Global Investment Group.

 John F. Coffey II, general counsel for the Bayonne agency, responded to the lawsuit by saying, “We believe that the BLRA was within its rights to act as it did.”

 The land at issue is part of the former Military Ocean Terminal, a 437-acre site previously operated by the US Army as a dry dock and supply base.

 Web site:

 The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

 Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority

Radiation scan test at Port of Oakland

VeriTainer Corp., a world leader in crane-mounted radiation scanning, Nov 28 announced the successful completion of its second field test, the Oakland Pilot Project II.

 Operating at the Howard Terminal in Oakland, CA, since Apr 2, 2007, the VeriSpreader handled 24,178 “lifts” while simultaneously passively scanning each container for its nuclear and radiological qualities, said the company.

 The VeriSpreader “has now established itself as the industry standard for 100% crane-mounted scanning,” the company told the 2007 Maritime Security Expo in New York City.

 The VeriSpreader “resolves the two most pressing issues for scanning: next generation 100% inbound scanning per the SAFE Port Act and reciprocity for our global neighbors for 100% Country of Origin scanning per the 9/11 Act,” said the company.

 “The response to the VeriSpreader product demonstration has been overwhelmingly positive,” said VeriTainer Corp. CEO and Chairman John Alioto.

 “Ports, steamship operators, customs, and security authorities from around the world have seen the scanning program, and we expect many to adopt this solution in the very near future,” added Alioto.

 Web site:

 VeriTainer Corp.

 Port of Long Beach


Friday, November 30, 2007

Kalmar offers automated “Smartspot” tool

KALMAR, a leading supplier of cargo-handling equipment to ports, terminals, and intermodal facilities, Nov 30 introduced “Smartspot,” a driver-assistance tool designed to optimize container handling between terminal tractors and ship-to-shore rubber-tired gantry cranes.

The Smartspot “expedites and increases the safety of terminal tractor positioning” by replacing manual positioning with an automatic system that informs the driver when the correct position for loading / unloading is reached, “markedly reducing operation time per container move.”

Smartspot is easy to use, simple to install, and can be retrofitted to all existing terminal tractor units, according to the company.

 Based on patented technology, Smartspot employs Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave technology to transmit electromagnetic signals from antennae located on the terminal tractor to a series of echo units on the STS/RTG crane.

 The system, which is automatically activated when the tractor approaches the crane area, continuously measures the distance between the tractor/trailer and the spreader landing position.

 A series of LED indicators inside the terminal tractor cabin guide the driver to the correct position underneath the crane.

 Web site:

 Kalmar Industries

CSCMP launches career Web site

THE COUNCIL of Supply Chain Management Professionals recently launched a new Web site dedicated exclusively to providing the most current information on and resources for pursuing a career in the supply chain management (SCM) profession.

 “CSCMP’s Careers in Supply Chain Management Web site is a student’s portal to the supply chain management profession,” said Dr. Brian Gibson of Auburn University, head of the Careers Web Committee that designed and developed the new Web site.

 “The site was designed to be equally beneficial to industry professionals, those working outside the industry seeking new employment opportunities, or anyone interested in a supply chain career,” added Gibson.

 The Web site’s user-friendly format features five main categories, each providing information on related topics: What Is SCM?, Additional Resources, Career Outlook, Job Roles & Profiles, and Building Expertise.

 Founded in 1963, CSCMP is the preeminent association for individuals involved in supply chain management. CSCMP provides educational, career development, and networking opportunities to more than 9,000 members and to the entire profession.

 Web site:

 Careers in Supply Chain Management

Maryland Port honored for restoration project

MARYLAND Gov. Martin O’Malley Nov 29 announced that the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) has been awarded a 2007 Mayor’s Business Recognition Award by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

 The MPA is being honored for its Masonville restoration project. This project will clean up and develop one of the most contaminated areas of Baltimore Harbor and convert that area to benefit wildlife, the local citizenry, and the port industry.

 The award is given annually to organizations that have demonstrated outstanding community service and have significantly improved the city of Baltimore.

 “With this project, we are taking a contaminated area of Baltimore Harbor and creating an environmentally friendly waterfront that will include wetlands, recreation areas, and a slice of Maryland that the local communities can use and be proud of,” said Gov. O’Malley.

 The first step in this project is to clear debris from about 22 acres of shoreline along the Middle Branch.

 To date, roughly 8,000 tons of trash and debris, 3,000 tons of hazardous waste, and more than 11,000 tons of timber from 27 abandoned vessels have been collected from the area.

 Web site:

 Maryland Port Administration

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