Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel
THE CARGO LETTER 
Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News
27 Sept. 2007
Good Thursday Morning from our Observation Deck......overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and...... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport, voted "Best Cargo Airport in North America.".
PUBLICATION NOTE: There will be no edition for October 2007 while we attend the FIATA World Congress at Dubai, United Arab Emerites. We will return with The Cargo Letter  in November 2007.
Here's what happened in our industry during September 2007!
We are often asked whether Countryman & McDaniel, conducts training seminars. Yes, from multiple Fortune 100 companies, to smaller forwarders, to the U.S. government, to insurance companies -- for years we have conducted inovative programs for domestic & Int'l claims, Customs, security, trade compliance & post 9/11 industry business practice. McD
To help you find what you need -- FAST -- there's now a transport search engine installed at our Cargo Law.com website!
Contribute your knowledge, stories & company information.......by e-mail to The Cargo Letter. We strive to bring you useful information which is timely & topical. Be sure to visit our website.
Our corporate sponsor &endash;- Interpool, Inc. -- named again to Forbes "Best 200 Small Companies" List -- for the 2nd consecutive year! -- http://www.interpool.com/The Cargo Letter Archives of Past IssuesMichael S. McDaniel, Editor, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker/trade consultant attorneys at LAX.
INDEX to The Cargo Letter:
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***
1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs ______________
2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______________
OUR "B" Section: FF World Ocean News***
3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ____________
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News***
4. FF World Ocean Briefs _____________________
5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches _____
**Back By Popular Demand**
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace***
6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports of Call" _________
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World***
7. New Transport Related Legal Cases ___________
Back To Main Page
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***
1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________
***The Cargo Letter .... as there will be no edition for October 2007 while we attend the FIATA World Congress at Dubai, United Arab Emerites. FIATA is the Int'l Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations which is comprised of member associations representing countries around the world. Michael McDaniel & Byron Countryman will attend as delegates from the United States. Byron Countryman has just returned from the Government Affairs Conference of the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Assn. of America (NCBFAA) in Washington D.C. The Cargo Letter will return with our November 2007 edition. In the 3rd quarter of 2007 you readers made 34,313,673 hits to our website. Thank you for appreciating our effort. McD
***U.S. Trade Imbalance Less ...... as the gap between imports & exports narrowed slightly in July despite a jump in imports from China, an increase that made that nation the No. 1 source of U.S. imports. The gap was US$59.2Bn in July, down from the revised US$59.4Bn in June, according to the Commerce Dept. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a US$59Bn trade deficit.
***Agricultural Exports Soar ..... as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture said exports of U.S.-grown commodities will reach a record US$79Bn in fiscal 2007, and should reach as much as US$83.5Bn by the end of fiscal 2008. The USDA's fiscal 2007 agricultural export forecast beat last year's record of US$68.6Bn.
***ACE For All ..... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection said it has granted universal access to all industries engaged in Int'l trade to set up a secure online account in the Automated Commercial Environment. ACE is being developed to replace existing programs that process commercial import & export transactions. It provides a single portal for importers to file trade data with federal agencies and then access and analyze that data on an account-level basis. The system allows monthly payments of duties and fees rather than for each customs entry. The expanded access is the result of the first software install for the Entry Summary, Accounts & Revenue capabilities for master accounts. CBP is promoting all traders to use ACE and increase automation & efficiency. ACE accounts can be set up by brokers, carriers, truckers, crews, facility operators, importer, foreign trade zone operators, etc. Report.
***Mexican Trucks Roll & Congress Rocks ...... as despite overwhelming congressional moves aimed at defunding its contentious cross-border trucking pilot program, the U.S. Transportation Dept has moved forward with clearing Mexican & American trucking firms for the program. The program, which officially started Sept. 6, seeks to authorize up to 600 pre-screened Mexican trucks to move beyond the current 20 to 25 miles U.S. border zone limit. Announced earlier this year, the program has faced litigation and vociferous criticism from elected officials, labor unions, and community groups. Most have cited a perceived lack of safety within the Mexican trucking industry and threats to American jobs as reasons for their opposition. DOT officials claim the program contains adequate safeguards to protect the public. In an 88-7 vote Sept. 19, the U.S. Senate passed a US$104.6Bn transportation & housing bill, which included a provision that effectively defunds the DOT program. The Senate passed the truck program provision of the bill Sept.18 by a vote of 75-23. The House counterpart to the Senate bill, which passed overwhelmingly in July, contained a similar provision removing funding from the DOT program. A House-Senate committee must now merge the two into a single bill that must be voted on a final time by both bodies before heading to the White House. President Bush has stated his opposition to the de-funding provision and has threatened to veto the entire transportation & housing bill. Stay tuned.
***C-TPAT Is A Hit ..... as on Sept. 7, 2007, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) published the results of a study conducted earlier this year analyzing the costs & benefits to the trade community for participation in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. The study, which surveyed C-TPAT-certified companies throughout the world, also sought to learn the trade community's overall evaluation of the program, as well as motivations for participating in C-TPAT. According to the report, 56.8% of businesses surveyed indicated that either the benefits of participating in C-TPAT outweighed the costs, or that the benefits & costs were about the same. Over 90% indicated that they had never considered leaving the C-TPAT program. The main motivations given by businesses for participating in C-TPAT were to reduce the time & cost of releasing goods from Customs, and "to reduce disruptions to the supply chain," the report stated. Countryman & McDaniel can implement the changes necessary for most forwarders to complete the certification process at reasonable time & expense. For your company's C-TPAT Certification -- direct inquiries to Byron Countryman, Esq.
***FAST Adoption Grows .....as the Free and Secure Trade program facilitates border crossing for pre-approved, low-risk commercial shippers. It provides expedited processing for those who have completed background checks and a variety of other requirements for eligibility. The Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) are now accepting renewal applications from those participating in the Northern Border FAST Commercial Driver Program. For Canadians it's called the Frequent-Crosser Program. Renewals for the Southern Border FAST program aren't scheduled to begin until 2009. CBP says there are more than 87,000 North American truck drivers enrolled in the program. It's suggested by CBP that the FAST identification card may become an alternative document for acceptance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that requires travelers to show proof of identity and citizenship when entering or re-entering the U.S. by land or sea.
***Slipping On A Banana Bribe ..... as the U.S. Justice Dept. has decided not to prosecute any current or former company executives of Chiquita Brands Int'l Inc. following the previous disclosure of a banana-producing subsidiary in Colombia paying protection money to paramilitary groups designated as terrorists under a U.S. statute. Under a plea agreement reached in March, Chiquita will pay a fine of US$25M, payable in 9 annual installments. The Cincinnati-based company said it set money aside in 2006 for the fine, which it said would not impact its ability to operate.
***New Steak In Costa Rican Trade ..... as it will allow the import of U.S. cattle of all ages born after implementation of the U.S. government's 1997 ban of feed containing animal byproducts. Costa Rica banned imports of U.S. cattle after the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow" disease, in an imported Canadian cow in Washington state in Dec. 2003. In May 2007, the World Organization for Animal Health formally classified the U.S. as a controlled risk country for BSE.
***Closed ...... as China will be observing its National Day Holiday October 1 - 7, 2007. More
***Massive Investment Needed For Massive Railfrastructure Growth ..... as about US$148Bn is needed to expand rail infrastructure capacity to meet future freight demand during the next 28 years, according to a study commissioned by the American Assn. of Railroads (AAR) at the request of a federally chartered study panel. New tracks, signals, bridges, tunnels, terminals & other facilities are needed to keep pace with the projected 88% increase in freight rail transportation during that period. The rail industry is seeking a 25% tax credit from Congress for any expansion projects to help speed investment beyond the US$9.4Bn in capital spending projected for this year. Most of that money simply goes to maintain the tracks, bridges, yards & equipment currently in place. The credit would apply to port terminals, shippers & other companies that invest in new rail links.
***What Does He Know? ..... as the legendary investor's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported in a SEC filing Sept. 20 that it has call options to buy 392,378 more shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the nation's 2nd-largest railroad. A call option gives the buyer the right to buy the underlying stock at a future time for a fixed price. Berkshire paid US$39.10 for each option with an exercise price of US$40 per share, according to the filing. That means the company could acquire the Burlington Northern shares at a cost of US$79.10 each. Last week federal antitrust regulators said they cleared Berkshire to increase its stake in Burlington Northern to 25%, from 15% Berkshire's interest in railroads extends beyond Burlington Northern. The Omaha-based company revealed in May that it owned 10.5 million shares of Union Pacific Corp. and nearly 6.4 million shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. Class A shares of Berkshire trade at US$117,400 each.
***Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) Buys U.S. ...... as it will acquire the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. (DM&E) for US$1.48Bn. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the DM&E is the largest regional railroad in the U.S. and, according to CP, the only Class II railroad that connect.s & interchanges traffic with all 7 Class I railroads; it connects with CP in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Winona, Minn. It had 2006 revenues of roughly US$258M
***French Line's Global Rail ..... as CMA CGM, the world's 3rd-largest shipping line, will next month establish a management holding company to oversee the expansion of its global rail operations. The new company, CMA RAIL, is a wholly owned subsidiary of CMA CGM, which has rail services in Europe, India, China & North Africa CMA CGM's rail services in Europe reach more than 20 destinations, and there are plans for three new private rail shuttles as well as increased frequency on existing services.
***Panalpina Suspends Nigeria ..... as the Swiss forwarding & logistics firm said it has suspended part of its services in Nigeria, including its temporary importation services for oil & gas customers, while U.S. authorities conduct a bribery probe. Panalpina said in July that it's assisting the U.S. Justice Dept. by providing documents and other information related to customers suspected of improper payments to Nigerian officials to secure preferential customs treatment. The scope of the investigation has since been extended to review Panalpina's services into Kazakhstan & Saudi Arabia for a limited number of customers.
***Target Logistics Acquired ...... as the Int'l & domestic freight forwarder has reached an agreement to sell the company to Mainfreight Ltd. for US$53.7M in cash. Under terms of the agreement, holders of Target Logistics' common stock will receive US$2.50 in cash per share of common stock, representing a 36.6% increase over Target Logistics' closing price on Sept. 17, a 38.0% premium over the company's one-month average closing price and a 28.8% premium over the company's three-month average closing price. Mainfreight is based in New Zealand and also has logistics operations in the U.S., Australia & Asia. It had NZ$968 million in revenue in its latest fiscal year.
***A Hard Road ...... as Dallas-based logistics specialist, EP-Team, a subsidiary of Herculea Group, confirms it has acquired certain assets previously held by financially-troubled Stonepath Logistics, from creditors for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2004 by a group of project logistics industry veterans to support the specialized requirements of the Oil & Gas, Energy, Defence & Aerospace sectors, EP-Team has rapidly expanded from its initial Dallas, Texas domicile & is now represented in more than 100 global locations.
***SDV Int'l Logistics Makes New U.S. Buy ..... as the transport & logistics division of France's Bolloré Group, has acquired Pro-Service Forwarding Co. Inc. to increase its presence in the North American market. No financial details were disclosed. Founded in 1979, Pro-service generates annual revenue of US$50M and employs 100 people located across 7 agencies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Miami, Seattle, & Chicago.
***U.S. Trucker Expands in China ...... as Schneider Logistics (Tianjin) Co. Ltd. has purchased the key operating assets of BaoYun Logistics in the People's Republic of China. The investment allows Schneider to expand its current supply chain consulting and transportation & logistics service offerings by offering transportation, warehousing, cross-docking, 3rd-party logistics & consulting services on the domestic Chinese market.
***Menlo Worldwid In China .... as the global logistics company is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. and has a definitive agreement to purchase Chic Holdings Ltd & its wholly owned subsidiaries Shanghai Chic Logistics Co. Ltd., and Shanghai Chic Supply Chain Management Co. Ltd. The deal price was set at US$60M plus an undisclosed future earn-out incentive based on performance. Headquartered in Shanghai, Chic Logistics provides domestic third-party logistics and transportation management services in China. Its network includes 130 operating sites in 78 cities. Revenues were reported as US$55.2M in 2006, a 40% increase over 2005.
***Menlo Worldwide In Singapore .... as it has completed the acquisition of Singapore-based Cougar Holdings Pte for US$34M in cash. Cougar will expand Menlo's Asian reach with 12 additional facilities & 200 customers. In its most recent fiscal year Cougar brought in US$23M in revenue.
***DHL Gets More Wal-Mart Business ........ as the new contract nearly doubles the volume and revenue DHL generated from its previous relationship with Wal-Mart. DHL will continue its exclusive specialty product repair and return delivery service for Wal-Mart and will take on responsibility for all specialty product transportation for Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs nationwide. Additionally, DHL will serve as one of Wal-Mart's primary carriers for its state transportation program for all outbound shipments among the retailer's stores, distribution centers and suppliers.
***Dubai Square Meters For Kuehne + Nagel .... as it has started construction work on its new Middle East distribution hub in Dubai Logistics City (DLC). The Swiss logistics company has leased 52,000 square meters of land on a long-term basis for the new facility, which is scheduled to become operational the middle of next year upon completion of the 1st phase of construction, featuring 17,000 square meters of warehouse space with the option to expand to a total of 30,000 square meters.
***Hub Group Goes Hands On .... as the intermodal & brokerage firm said that its Comtrak Logistics subsidiary will buy intermodal drayage firm DNJ Transportation for US$12.1M. DNJ is a privately held intermodal trucking company whose primary focus is Int'l drayage for the intermodal sector. Established in 1975, Cicero, Ill.-based DNJ has 116 drivers, 60% of which are owner operators. It has 4 intermodal terminals in Illinois & Indiana.
***It's Alive! .... as an Oregon firm has created a new "pallet walker" conveyor that allows truck trailers to be self-loading and unloading. Using a technology called a "walking floor," a 53-foot trailer can be loaded or discharged in about 5 minutes instead of 20 to 25 minutes by driving a forklift in & out of a trailer. The new product is made by the Dock To Trailer Automation Inc. See it work:
***The Sharper Dullness .... as San Francisco-based gadget retailer Sharper Image Corp., suffering from a sharp decline in sales, says it plans to close its Richmond, Va.-based distribution center in an effort to streamline company operations & increase efficiency. Sharper Image reported a net loss of US$37.4M for the 6-month period ending July 31, compared to a loss of US$27.3M in the year earlier period.
***Grand Share Auto .... as Zipcar is the world's largest car sharing service, with more than 120,000 members & 3,500 vehicles in major metropolitan areas & colleges campuses, including Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Vancouver, Toronto & London, England. More than 40% of Zipcar members report giving up a car or deciding not to purchase one after using the service, resulting in hundreds of vehicles coming off city streets. To celebrate its 1st year serving Chicago, Zipcar is offering free memberships to all city employees; sign-up deadline is Nov. 1.
***Real Down Home Transport Anarchy .... as the town council in Germany has decided the best way of improving road safety is to remove all traffic lights and stop signs downtown. Starting Sept. 12, all traffic controls disappeared from the center of the western town of Bohmte to try to reduce accidents & make life easier for pedestrians. In an area used by 13,500 cars every day, drivers and pedestrians will enjoy equal right of way, the town's mayor said. "Traffic will no longer be dominant," he said. The idea of removing signs to improve road safety, called "Shared Space," was developed by Dutch "traffic specialist" Hans Monderman, and is supported by the European Union. The EU will cover half of the US$1.66M cost for Bohmte to ditch its traffic lights. Monderman's ideas have already been implemented in the town of Drachten in the north of the Netherlands, where all stop lights, traffic signs, & street markings have gone. Authorities in Iran have suggested Los Angeles as the next test city. Geeez!
***Next Year: He'll Make The World Flat ..... as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has changed his country's name, redesigned its flag and redesigned its coat of arms in his drive for a socialist state. Now the leftist leader, is seeking to move the country's time zone to offer a more equitable distribution of sunlight. Venezuela will turn clocks back by 30 minutes on Sept. 24 as it switches time zones to boost the amount of natural light to residents. Venezuelan clocks will be set at Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) minus 4-1/2 hours, compared to the previous GMT minus four hours, Science and Technology Minister Hector Navarro told reporters at a news conference. Venezuela, which under Chavez was officially changed to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, adopted its current time zone in the 1960s. The change in Venezuela's clocks will mean it's joining an as exclusive club of countries that are adrift by half-hour increments from Greenwich Mean Time, including Afghanistan, Iran & Burma.
***More Pre-Olympic China Adventures .... as Red hair & big earrings are out for women Beijing cab drivers in the run-up to next summer's Olympic Games, a state-run newspaper reported. The bans were part of a 12-item self-improvement list given to cab drivers by the city's transport management bureau, the Beijing News said. The list includes the usual pleas to be polite and not to smoke, spit or overcharge, plus the hair & jewelry tips for women. Men were told not to have long hair. Drivers who do not use their meters or refuse to pick up passengers will lose their licenses, the paper said. Authorities did not say if there would be any penalties for cab drivers who dyed their hair red or broke the other guidelines.
2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ____________
**Descartes Systems Group Inc. UP with net income of US$1.7M for its fiscal year 2008 2nd quarter ended July. 31, up 55% compared to a US$1.1M in the same previous fiscal year quarter.
**DryShips Inc. UP with 2nd quarter net profit of US$110M compared to a loss of US$808,000 in same period the prior year.
**Euroseas Ltd. DOWN with Q2 net profit of US$6.4M, down from US$6.6M in the same quarter of 2006.
**FedEx. UP as net income for the quarter ended Aug. 31 rose to US$494M or US$1.58 a share, from US$475M or US$1.53 a year earlier.
**Target Logistics, Inc. UP with net income for 4th quarter of FY 2007, ended June 30, 2007 of US$422,021 or $.02 per diluted and basic share, compared to US$642,564, or $.03 per diluted share reported in 4th quarter ended June 30, 2006.
**UTi Worldwide Inc. DOWN with a drop in 1st half fiscal year 2008 net income to US$45.8M, compared to US$53.8M a year ago.
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***
3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs __
***Volume Will Continue Growth .... as total air freight traffic is expected to rise 6.6% per annum in terms of freight ton-kilometers (1 ton of freight carried 1 km.) up to 2025, according to forecasts prepared by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Int'l air cargo is expected to continue to grow even faster at 6.9% per annum for FTKs with Middle East & Asia/Pacific airlines showing the highest growth. The Montreal-based ICAO is a UN organization.
***After 37 Years -- The Next Jumbo Will Step In Next Month ..... as an Australian man has paid US$100,000 for two 1st class tickets for the maiden commercial flight of the world's biggest passenger plane, Singapore Airlines A380. The Airbus A380 is scheduled to take off from Singapore for Sydney on Oct. 25. An airline spokesman said that Australian businessman Julian Hayward bought the premium one-way tickets in a charity auction. So far, more than 100 tickets have been sold, raising a total of US$400,000. Franco-German plane maker Airbus is scheduled to hand over the 1st A380 jet to Singapore Airlines on Oct. 15. NOTE: The 1st commercial flight of the Boeing 747 was in 1970 -- now 37 years & 1,387 planes later.
***New Cargo Giant Is Un-Named .... as German transport giants Deutsche Post World Net & Deutsche Lufthansa have moved ahead in their air cargo joint venture to be managed by their subsidiaries after getting the green light from competition authorities. The yet unnamed new limited company will be based in Leipzig and will be equally owned by Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express. Flight operations are scheduled to begin in April 2009 using 11 leased Boeing 777-200LRF planes focused on transporting cargo and express shipments into and out of Asia. Pending the granting of traffic rights, the new airline will gradually expand its route network from the summer schedule 2009. On weekdays, it will serve Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Bombay, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Nagoya, Almaty, East Midlands (UK) & Milan.
***UPS Expands Japan Service .... as it reached agreement with the U.S. State and Transportation Departments to expand its air operations to & from Japan. The agreement gives UPS rights to operate six daily flights between the U.S. and Nagoya, Japan, in addition to its daily service to Tokyo and Osaka, UPS said Sept. 14. "Nagoya, the 4th largest city in Japan, offers UPS significant opportunities to continue expanding its business in Asia" the company said. "In addition, UPS will be able to connect these flights to its new air hub in Shanghai, China." UPS has operated in Japan since 1987 and became a wholly owned Int'l express delivery operation in Japan in 2004. UPS operations cover 15 cities in China.
***Cathay Pacific Airways Has An Announcement .... as trading of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was suspended on Sept. 21 after reaching a record high US$2.96 in the morning. The airline said it requested the suspension due to the pending announcement of "a proposed transaction, which constitutes price sensitive information." There has been speculation that Air China, in which Cathay owns a sizeable share, could be poised to derail Singapore Airline's attempt to buy into China Eastern. Cathay Pacific Airways and subsidiary Dragonair carried a combined 142,597 tons of cargo in Aug., a 12.1% rise compared to Aug. 2006. The two airlines' monthly cargo load factor fell 1.7% year-on-year to 65.3%. But on Sept. 25 Cathay Pacific & Air China made the announcement -- they have dropped the bid to buy China Eastern Airlines, the Hong Kong-based airline said in a statement. Your move Singapore Airlines?
***NWA Cargo Hits The Ground In China ..... as it will begin offering express trucking service between Hong Kong & Guangzhou, China, as it's the 1st airline to receive authority to move in-bond trucks between Hong Kong Int'l Airport and Guangzhou's Baiyun Int'l Airport, in China's Guangdong province. The service allows NWA Cargo customers to transport their export freight with only one customs check in Huanggong, instead of stopping at multiple checkpoints along the way as typically required. The new service is particularly important for NWA, which shifted its South China hub from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
***IJS Global Takes Flight Down Under .... as the Stamford, Conn.-based freight forwarder & customs broker, has expanded its operations in Australia by acquiring a majority share in LYNAIR International. LYNAIR will be re-branded LYNAIR-IJS Global, IJS announced. LYNAIR, formed in 1988, has offices in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide, and operates in other Australian cities through alliances with other providers.
***Blue Dart Express Expands India For DHL .... as India's largest courier company, is in talks with airport operators in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad & Kolkata for dedicated cargo space to be shared with DHL, its Int'l parent company. Blue Dart is seeking between 5,000 to 30,000 square meters of space in each airport to cut down on turnaround times. Cargo facilities in domestic airports in Delhi & Mumbai are being upgraded, while new airports are being constructed in Bangalore & Hyderabad. Blue Dart plans to invest US$250M in the next 5 to 8 years to expand its aircraft fleet & double its current 1 million square feet of warehousing space in India.
***Volume >>> British Airways carried 393 million cargo ton-kilometers in August, up 3.9% compared to 378 million cargo ton-kilometers transported in the same month last year. BA's overall load factor in the month gained 1 point to 72.9%. >>> Cathay Pacific Airways and subsidiary Dragonair carried a combined 142,597 tons of cargo in Aug., a 12.1% rise compared to August 2006. The two airlines' monthly cargo load factor fell 1.7% year-on-year to 65.3%. >>> Continental flew 82.1 million cargo revenue ton-miles during the month, a 6.4 % decline. >>> Member airlines of the Latin American Air Transport Assn. reported an 11.4% cargo increase in July to 307,715 freight ton kilometers (www.alta.aero/). >>> United reported a 4.1% increase at 162.8 million system cargo ton-miles.
***Google Your Prime Parking Spot ...... as Internet service founders Larry Page & Sergey Brin park their jet just a stone's throw from their offices, reportedly paying US$1.3M a year for rights at a federally maintained airfield. Why put up with bothersome local traffic when you can shell out a princely sum for takeoff and landing rights just a few minutes from your office? According to the New York Times, the Google duo pay for their Boeing 767-200 and 2 Gulfstream jets to be housed & operated at Moffett Field an airport run by NASA that is generally closed to private aircraft. "Officials at the Ames Research Center of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration said the agency signed a unique agreement last month that (in addition to the fee paid) allows it to place scientific instruments and researchers on planes used by the Google founders," the Times reported. "NASA gets to collect scientific data on some flights of those jets, which in addition to the Boeing 767-200 includes 2 Gulfstream Vs."
***Slovakian Squirrel Fest .... as it's biggest airport began relocating ground squirrels near the complex on Sept. 11as they were endangering flights by attracting large birds. "We started moving the first animals today," Bratislava airport spokeswoman Zora Kalouskova said, adding that around half of the estimated 1,000-strong ground squirrels could be relocated from fields bordering the airport. The squirrels attracted large birds of prey. This often led to bird hits or caused them to be sucked into the engines of planes either landing or taking off. The ground squirrels are being relocated to an area about 25 miles away where holes have already been dug to house them.
***Boeing Answers To A Higher Power .... as officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed 2 goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Sept. 4. Nepal Airlines, which has 2 Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend some services in recent weeks due to the problem. Local media this month blamed the company's woes on an electrical fault. The carrier runs Int'l flights to 5 cities in Asia. It is common in Nepal to sacrifice animals like goats & buffaloes to appease different Hindu deities. OK, so who is the flight delay god & what gets sacrificed?
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News***
4. FF World Ocean Briefs ___________
***Middle East & South Asia Will Soar .... as the regions are set for continued strong container growth through 2020, according to research by Ocean Shipping Consultants Ltd. (OSC) based in the UK. OSC's study, Containerport Markets in the Middle East & South Asia to 2020, shows demand in the regions has accelerated in recent years due to strong oil prices, a measure of deregulation & investment in the Indian subcontinent, and the integration of the regions into the major east/west trades. The consultants said that Middle East throughput increased to 22 million TEUs in 2006, up 291% compared to 5.6 million TEUs in 1995, while South Asian throughput jumped 260% over the same period to 11.8 million TEUs.
***Big Bang For Big Ditch -- And For The World -- U.S. Shipping World Could Change.... as a crowd of 30,000 on Sept. 3 observed the start of work on expansion of the Panama Canal. Officials marked start of the US$5.25Bn project with speeches and by setting off explosive charges to begin the dry excavation project on Paraiso Hill for the channel that will access a new set of locks. The new Pacific Locks access channel will ultimately connect the Gaillard Cut to the new locks. The larger locks in the new part of the canal will enable larger ships to cross the isthmus. For example, while the largest containerships that can use the canal today carry about 4,500-5,000 TEUs, the new waterway will be able to accommodate vessels carrying 12,000 TEUs & more.
***East Coast Ports May Rule After Canal Project -- If NPX Vessels Can Ever Dock ....as the U.S. East Coast will take over from the West Coast as the key entry point for Asian goods destined for the Midwest once the Panama Canal project is completed in 2014, according to research by London consultants Ocean Shipping Consultants on behalf of Lloyd's Register. OSC, said the widened transport corridor, combined with the ultra-large New Panamax (NPX) containerships of more than 12,500 TEUs being ordered for arrival in three or four years, will fundamentally change the trade patterns on the major east/west routes. New York-New Jersey is the key point because it has such extensive inland links. The problem is that NPX ships will not be able to access the container terminals until the Bayonne Bridge is heightened
***Short Sea Shipping May Be Solution To New Panama Canal Surge .... as nearly 5 million trucks passed through the New Rochelle, NY toll barrier on U.S. Interstate 95 last year, and this traffic is only expected to grow once the Panama Canal project is completed. Transportation experts predict all-day gridlock isn't far off. Meanwhile, just a single East Coast barge operation from Baltimore to Norfolk, Va., is taking 2,000 trucks a week off the I-95-I-64 corridor. The maritime industry is lobbying for lawmakers to reduce its tax burden and help develop interstate marine highways. Specifically, it wants Congress to do away with the harbor maintenance tax, charged when international cargo enters a U.S. port, and again when the same cargo is shipped elsewhere in the states. Additionally, the maritime industry wants tax credits for shippers who use marine highways & tax-exempt financing for facilities built to handle waterborne cargo.
***Candidates Favor U.S. Seaman ....as a maritime industry coalition survey of Democratic & Republican Presidential hopefuls for the 2008 presidential race has elicited support for the Jones Act from 7 candidates. A U.S. maritime union recently circulated a questionnaire to all the current presidential candidates. The survey included a question about the Jones Act, which focused on the build elements of the act. However most of the respondents chose to address the act in general. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act after original bill sponsor Sen. Wesley Jones of Washington, restricts the carriage of goods or passengers between U.S. ports to U.S. built & flagged vessels. In addition, at least 75% of the crew must be U.S. citizens. Moreover foreign repair work of U.S.-flagged vessels' hull & superstructure is limited to 10% foreign-built steel weight. This restriction largely prevents U.S. ships from being refurbished at overseas shipyards. To date, the following candidates elicited support for the Jones Act: Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chris Dodd, Former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama, Gov. Bill Richardson & Rep. Dennis Kucinich. We wait for the Repbublican votes.
***Busy U.S. Ports .... as in 2006, a total of 8,178 individual vessels, from 79 different flag states, made 78,668 port calls to the US. The coastguard conducted 10,136 SOLAS safety exams and 9,053 ISPS examinations on these vessels. The total number of ships detained in 2006 for safety-related deficiencies fell from 127 to 110 and the total number of ships detained in 2006 for security-related deficiencies dropped from 51 to 35. Flag state performance for 2006 improved from the previous year, with the annual detention rate decreasing from 1.6% to 1.35%. Malaysia, the Ukraine and Venezuela were removed from the flag state safety compliance targeted list. Report.
***Volume Steady, But Rates Up ..... as Asia-U.S. loadings for the members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) totaled 480,000 40-foot-equivalent-units (FEUs) in July, up 8.6% from a year earlier. Cargo volumes were up in the first half (7.1%) reflecting a 6.3% increase in West Coast and 9.9% increase in East Coast destinations. Carriers were forecasting a 7% to 8% growth for the full year. "While growth has moderated a bit, first half year over year it remains healthy and we continue to hear from our customers that their projections for the balance of 2007 and into early 2008 are for the current growth trend to continue," said Ronald D. Widdows, chairman of TSA. West Coast local rates remained relatively flat and intermodal rates increased by an average of US$300-US$350 per FEU in the 2006-2007 contracts. East Coast all-water rates rose US$100-US$150 per FEU, well below the level required to have the industry operating at a profitable level, according to Widdows. Those cost pressures haven't gone away, he said, and for many cost elements, the pressures have continued to escalate.
***Chilly Forecast .... as the continued containerization of refrigerated goods will reduce the world's specialized reefer fleet as global trade is expected to grow 3.7% annually to reach 156.2 million tons in 2015, according to a new report by Drewry Shipping Consultants. The global reefer trade has grown 50% from 72.2 million tons in 1994 to 108.6 million tons in 2005. The increase has come despite a decline in the number of specialized reefer vessels (or vessels greater than 100,000 cubic feet). Their numbers dropped from 880 vessels at the start of 1999 to 791 ships on Jan. 1 2006, providing 291 million cubic feet of under-deck capacity equaling 22% of overall reefer capacity. Conversely, the container fleet has increased significantly to about 3,600 vessels during the same point. The existing container fleet provides 1.05 million TEUs of reefer capacity, offering about 1,052 million cubic feet of reefer capacity, Drewry said.
***Cart Before The Horse? ..... as the access road & bridge to service Vietnam's new Cai Mep port will only be completed 2 years after the terminal has been built by APM Terminals. The port is designed to receive Panamax or Post Panamax container vessels of 50-80,000 DWT (dead weight tons) and 4-6,000 TEU. Cai Mep port, once operational, will replace the Saigon port that has reached & exceeded its designed handling capacity of 25mil tons a year. The enlargement of the port network was unfeasible, as the land fund for port development has been exhausted. Moreover, extensions could adversely affect public transport and the environment in HCM City. Report.
***53 & 54 Times More Safety ...... as the Port of Cartagena is the 53rd and the Port of Ashdod in Israel is the 54th operational Container Security Initiative (CSI) port to target & pre-screen maritime cargo containers destined for the U.S. Over 80% of all cargo containers destined for the U.S. originate in or are transshipped through 54 CSI-operational ports throughout the world. Report #1 Report #2
***Local Hands Off Our Cans .... as when the container tax bill passed a vote in the California Assembly Appropriations Committee this month, it received instant opposition from Los Angeles Mayor Antionio Villaraigosa. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger then threatened a veto, effectively killing this version of the bill. At the heart of the bill (SB 974) was a US$60-per FEU container tax on all inbound & outbound containers moving through the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach & Oakland. The funds would be spent on congestion relief and environmental mitigation. The California Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill saying it was a job killer.
***Next Step In Container Security ...... as California's Port of Oakland has teamed with General Electric subsidiary GE Security to deploy a new container security system to protect against theft, smuggling & other threats at the nation's 4th busiest container port. "CommerceGuard", is mounted inside a container during loading. The device monitors for and reports on any tampering or damage occurring while the container is en route. During transit, the device communicates securely to external fixed & handheld readers. Encrypted information collected from the container security devices is wirelessly transmitted to a GE network where it is accessible by authorized shippers, port authorities and other officials via the Internet. Automated warnings can be routed by the system to appropriate authorities when warranted. Oakland joins 20 other ports around the world, including Port Everglades in Florida, the Port of Portland in Oregon, the Port of Virginia & the Port of Antwerp, which have deployed the system.
***India Bribes Itself ..... as news outlets have reported that the Shipping Corp. of India admitted paying bribes to Indian customs officials to speed the clearing of its shipments at Indian ports. Maybe graft doesn't seem that unusual in the region, but the unique situation here is that SCI is a state-run entity, meaning that one division of the government was essentially greasing the palms of another division. The bribes were exposed recently in an audit performed last winter by yet another government agency, the Central Vigilance Commission, and SCI said the cost to bribe customs officers of around US$1,250 was far less than the thousands of dollars it costs to keep a Panamax vessel waiting in port for an extra day. Shipping bribes to customs officers total about US$6.25M a year. World trade will fully blossom when all of this is done.
***South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine Admits Rate Violations ..... as it has paid penalties of US$680,000 to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission after reaching a compromise agreement relating to allegations the container line breached the Shipping Act of 1984.. Hyundai was alleged to have violated section 10(b)(1) of the 1984 act by allowing shippers to obtain transportation for property at less than the rates or charges established in its tariffs or service contracts by permitting (a) use of its service contracts by persons who are neither signatories nor affiliates to those contracts, (b) unlawful equipment substitution, and (c) misdescription of commodities. It was also alleged that Hyundai violated sections 10(b)(11) & 10(b)(12) of the act by entering into service contracts with, and providing transportation services to, an ocean transportation intermediary that didn't have a tariff, license or bond as required by the act.
***Union Spikes Ro/Ro Plan ...... as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will acquire a 153-acre tract in Bayonne, N.J., for development into a marine terminal for US$50.9M under a plan approved by its board of commissioners. But the deal comes with an important restriction: The land, located on the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, cannot be used as a container terminal, but only for a roll-on/roll-off facility. Members of the Int'l Longshoremen's Assn. asked the port authority to delay a vote on the deal, and said they would continue to work on trying to modify the no-container port restriction. The ILA Local 1588 -- which also represents workers at the adjacent Global Container Terminal -- said the local was "vigorously opposed" to the restriction. "By not aggressively pursuing this property as a container port the port authority is risking the wellbeing of the entire port and the region," the union said in a statement. A roll-on/roll-off facility, he said, will not create as many jobs as a container port. >> But they need to raise that Bayonne Bridge! Report.
***Suez Canal Container Terminal -- Big Push ...... as it will nearly double in capacity under an expansion plan agreed to last week in Egypt. The terminal, which began operating in 2004 and has a capacity of 2.55 million TEUs, will be expanded to 5.1 million TEUs by 2011. Employment, currently at 1,250, is also expected to double. When completed, the terminal will have 24 super post-Panamax cranes capable of reaching across 22 rows of containers. Terminal & government officials in Egypt signed an agreement to allow the expansion to proceed. The terminal is 60% owned by the APM Terminals arm of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group and 40 percent owned by an Egyptian public-private partnership.
***OTS Logistics Group Expands .... as it has acquired U.K.-based NVOCC Ocean Express Ltd., along with the company's interests in overseas operations. OTS Logistics Group said the acquisition will "substantially increase volumes" in the UK, Europe, and in the U.S. to Caribbean and Central & South America trades where Ocean Express is strongest. Ocean Express moves about 25,000 TEUs annually in those shipping lanes. Ocean Express is also active in breakbulk & liner agency work. Clarke said the company moves about 50,000 tons of breakbulk cargo a year.
***Neptune Orient Lines Gets More Per Box...... as the Singapore-based line reported a 10% rise in average revenue per FEU for its ocean carrier subsidiary APL during the 4 weeks ended Aug. 24, which it said reflects "continued strong container demand growth." APL's average revenue per FEU during the period improved to US$2,910, from US$2,651 a year ago. At the same time, APL moved 189,600 FEUs, up 11 % against 171,300 FEUs last year. For the year, APL's volume is up 11% to 1.49 million FEUs with the average revenue per FEU up 0.4% to $2,661.
***Throughput >>> Shanghai Port rose 17.9% in August to 2.3 million TEUs while Shenzhen Port -- comprising Yantian, Shekou, Mawan & Chiwan rose 10.9% to 1.9 million TEUs. >>> Great Lakes shipments by U.S.-flag members of the Lake Carriers' Association declined 2.7% in August to 11.3 million tons. >>> The St. Lawrence Seaway system saw a 14.1% decrease in the combined volume of its Welland Canal & Montreal/Lake Ontario sections to 23.6 million tons as of Aug. 31, down from 27.5 million tons a year ago. >>> Port of Savannah handled 236,020 TEUs in August, up 30.1% from the same month last year. >>> The Virginia Port Authority's operating company -- Norfolk, Portsmouth & Newport News -- reported that it handled 90,448 containers in July; a number which is up 16% from July of 2006.
***This Month In U.S. Navy History .....
1776 - John Paul Jones sails into Canso Bay, Nova Scotia, and attacks British fishing fleet.
1858 - Sloop Niagara departs Charleston, S.C., for Liberia with African slaves rescued from slave ship.
1944 - Aircraft from 12 carriers commence 2-day attack against Japanese ships & airfields on Luzon, Philippine Islands.
1951 - In Operation Summit, the first combat helicopter landing in history, U.S. Marines were landed in Korea.
1957 - Bathyscaph Trieste, in a dive sponsored by the Office of Naval Research in the Mediterranean, reaches record depth of 2 miles
1985 - Commander Middle East Force orders escort of Military Sealift Ships in Persian Gulf because of Iranian seizure of merchant vessels.
1989 - After Hurricane Hugo, Sailors & Marines provide assistance to Charleston, S.C.
***For Want of A Nail, For Want of A Horseshoe, For Want of A Horse, For Want of The Battle -- Might A Little Thing Like Binoculars Have Saved RMS TIitanic? ...... as a tiny key that might have helped prevent the Belfast-built RMS Titanic sinking has fetched US181,431.00 at auction on Sept. 22 at Belfast. The key, with the tag "Crows Nest Telephone Titanic" opened the binoculars store, but was not on the ship when she sailed from Southampton. It was in the pocket of an officer transferred off the vessel days before its maiden voyage. He forgot to hand it to his replacement as he left. As a result lookouts had to rely on the naked eye. RMS Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 15 April 1912 with the loss of 1,522 lives. Auctioneer Henry Aldridge said the key was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder who received applause as the hammer went down. Second officer David Blair held the key during the short journey from Belfast, where RMS Titanic was built, to the south coast. One of the lookouts on RMS Titanic told an inquiry into the sinking that with the binoculars RMS Titanic might have been able to dodge the iceberg. Mr Blair was disappointed to be moved off the ship at Southampton, but the transfer saved his life. He kept the key as a memento. What would history have recordel if David Blair just keft that key behind? The Story
5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
**Back By Popular Demand**
We're sorry, but there were so many sinkings, explosions, pirate attacks, fires, cargo mishaps, battles on the water & other disasters at sea that we do not have room to print even the highlights this month. Many people lost their lives at sea this month!! Don't miss the pirate attack on M/V Seabourn Spirit
But you can read all this month's disaster news at our special Internet web feature which provides full details of each event -- our Vessel Casualties & Pirate Activity Database. Bookmark the site and visit every day! Updated twice daily. You will be amazed.
SPECIAL NOTE: Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature.
See our new feature for Aug. 2007: "For The 'L' of It"
See our new Special Investigative feature for Sept. 2007: "Den Den Done" - M/V Denden - Sept. 2007
You Tube feature: "Container Gantry Gone"
See our newest photo feature "Singles Only" - Transportation Disasters Told In A Single Photo!
NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. It's dangerous out there.
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace***
6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"___
Here are our suggested world wide web sites of the week for your business, your information and your amusement..............
Cargo & Trade>>>>>>
2nd Quarter 2007 System Airline Financial Data .... most profitable since 2000
Air Traffic Advisory & Real-Time Airport Status
Bahrain -- Int'l Business & Trade Resource Connection
"Dirty Bomb" Threat Detector
European Commission's Draft Guidelines On Maritime Competition Law
Global Threat Research Report: Russia ........ free white paper
Highway Bridges in the U.S.-an Overview
Intermodal Links in the U.S. Public Transportation System
Int'l Transport Workers' Federation New Web site to Monitor Goings-on At A.P. Moller-Maersk Group.
Multi-Modal Voice in the Warehouse: Picking Productivity & Accuracy .... free white paper
Notify US ...... free subscription service offers U.S. readers an opportunity to review & comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that can affect their businesses & access to Int'l markets.
Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards....... free 424-Page Guide
Roadmap to China's Logistics Landscape
Russian & East European Network Information
South Korea Trade Profile
Texas Transportation Institute U.S. Transit Congestion Study
United Nations Commission on Int'l Trade Law
U.S. Air Traffic Hubs 2007
U.S. Customs & Border Protection 's Annual Trade Symposium ...... 14-15 Nov. 2007, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC
U.S. Customs Fines, Penalties, Forfeitures & Liquidated Damages
U.S. Government Auction Sales
U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement ...... U.S. GDP would likely increase by US$10.1Bn &endash; US$11.9Bn
Vietnam Transportation & Logistics: Challenges and Opportunities ..... an NOL research paper
Accident & Incident Reporting Kits and Cameras
Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Conferences & Business Events Worldwide
World Trade Organization Events
2007 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition ...... 20-23 Oct. 2007. Orlando, FLA.
2nd Air Cargo India Conf. & Exhibit .... 23-25 Jan. 2008, World Trade Center, Mumbai
5th Vietnam Int'l Trade Fair ...... 4-8 Dec.. 2007, Ho Chi Minh City Int'l Exhibition & Convention Center
Air Cargo India 2008 Int'l .... 23-25 Jan. 2008, World Trade Center, Mumbai
Europort Maritime 2007 .....6-9 Nov. 2007, Rotterdam Netherlands
Intermodal 2007 .... 4-6 Dec. 2007, Amsterdam Netherlands
Multimodal 2008 .... 22 to 24 April 2008, Birmingham, UK
National Maritime Salvage Conference & Expo 2007 .... Oct. 9-11, 2007 Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Va
TOC Americas ..... 6-8 Nov. 2007, Panama City, Panama
U.S. Maritime Security Expo 2007 ....... Nov. 26, 2007, New York City
Buying Transportation: Not Just About Price ..... on demand
16th Annual Masters of Logistics ..... on demand
Minimizing Supply Chain Costs Through Protective Packaging Material Selection ..... on demand
Technology's Role In Procurement Excellence ..... on demand
Agricultural Adventures of California's Central Coast ......cattle drives, stage coaches & lavender picking
Air New Zealand In Raging Pink For The 2008 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Cheapest U.S. Gas Prices
The 1st Ever Cell Phone Ad
Funny Bathroom Prank
Health Finder .... U.S. Dept. of Health
Hubble ......the most amazing photographs in the universe
Leave Britney Alone!
Lego Millenium Falcon Stop Motion
Live Mint Lounge
The Man In Seat 61 ....... travel overland comfortably & affordably where the journey is the adventure.
Perpetual Motion Discovered
Rotten Neighbors ..... know before you buy
Ultimate Global Warming Challenge
Which Budget ....... cheapest travel
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World***
7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases ____
DHX, Inc. v. Surface Transportation Board
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Aug. 30 2007 No. 05-74592
MARITIME LAW / SHIPPING RATES / DISCRIMINATION Opinion: As a result of diminished trade between Hawaii and the mainland U.S., the 2 major water carriers serving the Hawaiian water trade market, Matson & Horizon, were forced to cut rates. The freight forwarder DHX, which makes its profit by consolidating smaller shipments into full container loads and shipping them via one of the 2 major water carriers brought suit against the water carriers based on their new shipping rate schedule. By giving reduced rates to customers who shipped more than one but less than 2 full containers, the water carriers were able to beat DHX prices & regain customers from them. DHX brought suit, alleging that Defendants' rates and practices did not meet the safe-harbor standard of reasonableness required by 49 U.S.C § 13701(d)(1). Reviewing the decision of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) under the APA for "arbitrary & capricious" treatment and "substantial evidence," the court found that the STB's dismissal of the claims was within the discretion granted to them by the statute. Furthermore the court affirmed the STBs decision to deny DHX's antitrust claim because there was not "anti-competitive malice" but simply "competitive zeal." PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED The Decision
Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend
U.S.11th Circuit Court of Appeals
August 23, 2007 No. 06-13204
Court ruled that an award of punitive damages is not prohibited in an action alleging that the employer arbitrarily and willfully refused to pay maintenance and cure. In the instant case, plaintiff seaman was allegedly injured while working onboard the ship. He alleged that the employer refused to provide him with medical care and a living allowance. Plaintiff filed an action seeking, among other things, punitive damages. A 1987 decision of the Eleventh Circuit permits a seaman to recover punitive damages when an employer arbitrarily and willfully refuses to pay maintenance and cure. In 1990, the US Supreme Court ruled that recovery for non-pecuniary loss in the wrongful death of a seaman was not available under general maritime law. The employer contended that the 1990 Supreme Court decision prevents the lower courts from thereafter allowing a claim for punitive damages in an action for maintenance and cure. On appeal, the court ruled that the Supreme Court decision did not directly address an action for maintenance and cure. Therefore, the court is bound to follow the earlier decision that is on point. The Decision
In re Illinois Marine Towing
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
August 20, 2007 No. 06-2104
Court ruled that the right of claimants in an admiralty action to have their cases presented in state courts prevails over the right of a vessel owner to concursus where the claimants have entered into stipulations adequate to protect the owner's right to limit its liability. In the instant case, various individuals were injured or killed when their recreational vessel collided with a barge under tow. The individuals or their estates brought various actions in state court. The shipowner filed a complaint in federal court seeking exoneration from or limitation of liability. The plaintiffs filed stipulations conceding the federal district court's exclusive jurisdiction over limitation issues. The shipowner objected to allowing the state court actions to proceed, contending that it was entitled to concursus of the various actions. On appeal, the court ruled that the shipowner is only entitled to the right to have its limitation proceeding heard in federal court. Plaintiffs' right to proceed in state court actions is of greater import than whatever judicial economy there may be from having all the issues heard in one proceeding.
Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News, Lloyds & other world sources.
The Cargo Letter Correspondents:
Michael S. McDaniel Esq, Editor (Countryman & McDaniel)
David Schuchman -- Interpool Corp. -- Webmaster of The Cargo Letter Archive
Maria Payne (Countryman & McDaniel)
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