Monday, Decembe 3, 2007
CMA CGM to acquire US Lines
CMA CGM Group Dec 3 announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire US Lines, based in Santa Ana, CA, in a move to further its global market presence.
US Lines is the vessel-sharing partner of Australia shipper ANL, a subsidiary of CMA CGM Group.
The two carriers currently operate eight ships in a weekly tri-continental service. Both lines will continue to operate under their own brands, with USL managed by its existing global management team, according to the announcement.
The complementarity of US Lines with ANL allows a more global solution on the triangular trade connecting the US West Coast, Australia, New Zealand, and Southern China, said the announcement.
CMA CGM is the largest container shipping company in France and the third largest container company in the world, according to the announcement.
Operating a fleet of 350 vessels, including 110 company-owned, CMA CGM Group serves 400 ports around the world. In 2006, it carried 6mn TEUs.
Largest auto ship calls Port of Tacoma
THE PORT of Tacoma Nov 30 welcomed the Wallenius Lines’ new car carrier, M/V Fidelio, to Terminal 7 on the vessel’s maiden voyage.
While typical auto ships visiting the Port of Tacoma are 3,0004,000 CEUs (car equivalent units) in size, said port authorities, the Fidelio is 8,000 CEUs the largest in the industry.
“As our port’s breakbulk cargo and auto volumes continue to grow, it is wonderful to see our customers making substantial investments like this in their business. We are proud to host the Fidelio and proud to have Wallenius as our customer,” said Tacoma Port Commissioner Clare Petrich.
The 745-ft Fidelio, christened in Yokohama, Japan, began its maiden voyage Oct 30 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and has stopped at ports in Germany, Belgium, England, Nova Scotia, and California.
The latest addition to the Wallenius fleet, the Fidelio is designed to handle both autos and breakbulk cargoes (heavy equipment, construction machinery, agricultural equipment, and other rolling stock).
The Fidelio is the second in a series of seven to be built at Daewoo Shipyard and Marine Engineering in Korea.
Port of Tacoma
Port TV program wins national award
THE PORT of Long Beach’s newsmagazine television program, “Pulse of the Port,” has won first-place honors from the prestigious National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the port announced recently.
“Pulse of the Port” takes viewers behind the scenes at one of the world’s busiest seaport complexes, showcasing the “big machines, innovative technology, creative people, and pioneering programs that make Long Beach a world leader in seaport management and environmental stewardship,” said the port.
The half-hour program is broadcast on cable television, on Long Beach Television 8 in English and Spanish, and is available for viewing anytime on the port’s Web site.
“Not only does this programming look great, local governments are using this medium to provide pertinent information to their communities on matters that may affect their residents on a much higher and more personal level,” said NATOA President Lori Panzino-Tillery.
At NATOA’s 22nd Annual Government Programming Awards last month, “Pulse” claimed a first-place award in the newsmagazine category, one of the most competitive. Overall, NATOA received more than 1,200 entries.
Port of Long Beach
Tuesday, Decembe 4, 2007
Marine vessel pollution, disease linked
ABOUT 60,000 premature cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths each year are caused by pollution from marine shipping, according to a report scheduled to appear in the Dec 15 issue of Environmental Science and Technology, the journal of the American Chemical Society, NewsRx.com reports.
The study, conducted by James Corbett of the University of Delaware and James Winebrake from the Rochester Institute of Technology, benchmarks for the first time the number of annual deaths globally caused by pollution from marine vessels.
The study correlates the global distribution of particulate matter black carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, and organic particles released from ships’ smoke stacks with heart disease and lung cancer mortalities in adults.
Annual deaths related to shipping emissions are estimated at 26,710 in Europe, 19,870 in East Asia, and 9,950 in South Asia.
North America has approximately 5,000 premature deaths, concentrated mostly in the Gulf Coast region, the West Coast, and the Northeast, while the eastern coast of South America has 790 mortalities.
Corbett and Winebrake estimate the annual mortalities from ship emissions could increase by 40% by 2012.
American Chemical Society
CMA-CGM to move 1.6mn TEUs in 2007
CMA-CGM , the world’s third-largest container shipping line, expects to move 1.6mn TEUs this year and 2mn TEUs in 2008 at Westports Malaysia, according to press reports.
CMA-CGM Malaysia Managing Director Simon Whitelaw said the growth it has charted since 2005 was made possible due to close cooperation and assistance rendered by the efficient system at Westports.
The CMA group, which also includes Delmas and ANL Shipping Lines, has recorded 1.35mn TEUs through October at Westports, surpassing last year’s total of 1.23mn TEUs.
Whitelaw added that the company hopes to reach 2mn TEUs in 2008 because of increased volume and a number of larger ships coming into service.
CMA-CGM has ordered a fleet of 11,500-TEU vessels to be delivered in the next two years.
Whitelaw was speaking after opening ceremonies at the CMA and ANL new office at Westports Business Centre recently.
Whitelaw said CMA’s recently acquired Taiwan-based Cheng Li Navigation (CNL) will be developed to become a major intra-Asia regional player.
CNL will become CMA’s feeder arm in Asia with increased services and will be linked into CMA’s main line services, Whitelaw said.
Yemen, DP World sign MOU
Yemen and DP World last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to run and develop the container port of Aden, according to press reports.
Deputy PM of Economic Affairs Abdul-Karim al-Arhabi cited the agreement as concrete proof of the good relationship between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.
Negotiations between the Yemeni government and Dubai Ports World Co. on managing the Aden container port have resumed three years after discussions floundered, the head of the General Authority for Investment, Sallah al-Attar, said.
Al-Attar said that the two sides had reached the final stages of talks and that he expects the parties will make a final decision soon to improve the project in its current understanding or open the door to bring other interested companies into the project.
Sources said that Khalid al-Wazir, the minister of transport, was out of the country and could not comment.
Other officials also refrained from commenting but sources said that the minister is currently in Dubai negotiating with Dubai Ports, and they expected that the contract will go to Dubai Ports.
Wednesday, Decembe 5, 2007
HHI wins $783.3mn order
HYUNDAI Heavy Industries Co., the world’s largest shipbuilder, Dec 3 said it has closed a 679.8bn won ($738.3mn) order to build nine containerships for an unidentified Singaporean company.
Hyundai will deliver the vessels by December 2011, it said in a filing with the Korea Exchange.
South Korea, home to seven of the world’s top 10 shipyards, won record-high orders last year because of strong demand for crude oil carriers and offshore exploration equipment as oil prices remained high.
In the first six months of the year, South Korean shipbuilders also secured a record $33.2bn worth of orders, thanks to a strong increase in global demand for new vessels, up 51.3% from a year earlier.
In 2006, Hyundai set a new world record in shipbuilding history by exceeding an aggregate total of 106mn dwt in ship production, according to the company’s Web site.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.
Matson to increase Hawaii rates
MATSON Navigation Co. recently announced that it will raise its rates for the company’s Hawaii service by $75 per westbound container and $40 per eastbound container, effective Jan 6, 2008. Matson estimates that this increase will raise rates by an average of 2.5%.
In addition, Matson will raise its terminal handling charge by $125 per westbound container and $60 per eastbound container, also effective Jan 6, 2008.
“This rate increase will help offset rises in operating costs and support a number of investments in our Hawaii service,” commented Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services.
Hoppes added, “In the past six years, Matson has awarded $584mn to US shipyards for fleet enhancements, including over $500mn for construction of four new containerships. These investments will ensure Hawaii will be served with modern, reliable service for decades to come.”
Terminal handling costs comprise approximately 40% of Matson’s operating costs and today represent nearly $300mn annually, according to the company.
Matson is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. of Honolulu.
Matson Navigation Co.
CEVA revenues increase after merger
CEVA Logistics, a leading global supply chain management company, reported a successful quarter following the merger with Eagle Global Logistics, leading to an increase of more than euro 6.2bn of total annualized revenues.
With the merger, more than 11,000 EGL employees working in more than 120 countries started operating, as of Nov 30, under the CEVA Logistics brand.
More than 95% of the senior management continues working with the group. All existing contracts and agreements will remain without change in terms and conditions, said the company.
“We are a new company comprised of former TNT Logistics and EGL, and we already behave as a single, integrated entity,” said John Pattullo, CEO since August.
“In these months after the merger, CEVA has already established disciplined leadership processes and started leveraging scale with powerful global initiatives such as LEAN and ‘Smart Solutions,’” added Pattullo.
CEVA’s strategy for growth in the coming years will focus on cross selling and integrated solutions, said the company.
Thursday, Decembe 6, 2007
Retail box traffic still down
TRAFFIC at the nation’s major retail container ports dropped below last year’s levels for the fourth month in a row in November, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Dec 5 by the National Retail Federation and Global Insight.
“The slow pace of container traffic growth is forecast to continue due to weakness in the US economy,” Global Insight Economist Paul Bingham said.
“All covered US ports are operating without congestion from the harbors to the gates and are rated low for congestion through spring,” Bingham added.
Ports surveyed handled 1.46mn TEUs of container traffic in October, down 1.3% from September’s 1.48mn TEUs and down 3.5% from the record high 1.51mn TEUs set in October 2006.
October is traditionally the peak month of the year as retailers stock up for the holiday season, but the figures left September as the peak month for 2007.
November was estimated at 1.36mn TEUs, down 3.5% from a year ago.
Volume will continue to trend downward through February, traditionally the slowest month of the year, the report said.
National Retail Federation
Longview port buys $4.3mn crane
THE PORT of Longview, WA, Board of Commissioners Dec 5 announced it has approved the purchase of a new Liebherr shoreside mobile harbor crane for $4.3mn.
The crane, with a lifting capacity of 104 metric tons, will handle large wind-energy parts. Through December of this year, the port will handle nearly 200 full wind turbine sets plus tower components for wind-energy projects, said the port.
“This acquisition by the port strengthens what is already a proven capacity for handling project cargoes,” said Port Executive Director Ken O’Hollaren. “We are committed to supporting our current and future customers shipping heavy lift cargoes, and particular the wind energy sector.”
The port expects to take delivery of the crane in July 2008. The port currently rents a crane to unload wind-energy equipment, O’Hollaren said.
Since 2003, wind energy has grown to comprise 25% of the port’s marine cargo services, according to the port. Additionally, the port regularly handles vessels with other heavy lift project cargoes, providing services to and from barge, truck, and rail.
Port of Longview
Teamsters rally against cross-border trucking
TEAMSTERS General President Jim Hoffa Dec 5 led a group of members in an early-morning rally at the Otay Mesa border crossing to protest the “dangerous cross-border trucking program” that allows Mexican trucks to travel beyond the narrow border zone, according to the union.
“If Congress won’t act to protect drivers on US highways, the Teamsters will convince the court to do so,” Hoffa said.
Joined by the safety group Public Citizen, the Teamsters filed arguments Dec 3 with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The Teamsters have continued the court battle to stop the program since unsuccessfully seeking an emergency injunction in September.
“We filed hundreds of pages of legal arguments in the past few months that show the Bush administration broke the law in dozens of ways with this so-called pilot project,” Hoffa said.
“I totally reject the argument that the Teamsters are against Mexican truck drivers,” Hoffa said. “We are against the companies that exploit them and the governments that don’t live up to their responsibilities to make sure the highways are safe.”
Friday,Decembe 7, 2007
One I-5 lane open for truckers
ONE LANE of Interstate 5 in Chehalis, WA, is open in each direction to allow commercial vehicles over 10,000 GVW to travel from milepost 68 (south of Chehalis) and milepost 88 (south of Olympia).
Crews were able to get the lanes open because receding flood waters on I-5 in Chehalis revealed fewer problems than anticipated, according to the WA State Dept. of Transportation.
Truck drivers will encounter mud, water over the roadway, and other flood-related damage, said the DOT. For one mile north of Chamber Way (mileposts 79-80), all trucks are traveling in the southbound lanes without a median barrier.
Washington State Patrol troopers are talking with each truck driver before they enter this section to explain the traffic revision and driving conditions, said the DOT.
No oversize loads are allowed, and no trucks are allowed to exit or enter the freeway between mileposts 68 and 88.
“I-5 is crucial to our economy, and I’m pleased that our hard-working crews were able to get the freeway open to trucks today,” said Sec. of Transportation Paula Hammond.
WA State Dept. of Transportation
Commission OKs LA port expansion
AFTER MORE than 6 hours of public testimony, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission Dec 7 voted 4-0 to certify the final Environmental Impact Report for the $1.5bn upgrade at the TraPac Terminal.
About 200 people attended the commission hearing at Banning’s Landing Community Center in Wilmington.
“This is the best thing that’s happened here in two years,” said Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the port of Los Angeles. “We’re on our way. We’re going to do it. We’re going to clean it up.”
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President Gary Toebben predicted that the expanded terminal would create as many as 6,000 new jobs and generate $200mn a year in tax revenue.
Approval of the EIR enables the port and TraPac to finalize a 30-year lease and develop engineering plans to modernize Berths 136-147, expand the 176-acre property TraPac operates on to 243 acres, and add on-dock rail service to the terminal.
Environmentalists had urged the Harbor Commission to amend the EIR to require extra environmental protections.
Los Angeles Harbor Commission
Wal-Mart November sales up
WAL-MART Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, Dec 6 said that for the four weeks ended Nov 30, same-store sales rose 1.5% excluding fuel and 1.9% including fuel.
Same-store sales is a key indicator of retailer performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.
Total company sales for the month rose 8.4% to $31.72bn from the year-ago period, including a 4.8% jump at Wal-Mart Stores, an 8.7% rise at Sam’s Club, and 18.6% growth of international sales.
The company said Wal-Mart’s November same-store sales were driven by grocery and pharmacy goods, as well as solid “Black Friday” sales across the store, from entertainment items to sleepwear. The home category remained soft.
Sam’s Club saw strong performance in electronics and video games, as well as produce, bakery, juice, and water. Higher gas prices also boosted total sales. The company said sales of toys and Christmas seasonal items are meeting expectations moving into the December five-week period.
Looking ahead, Wal-Mart sees December US same-store sales growing between 1%- 3%.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
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