Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel
THE CARGO LETTER 
Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News
31 October 2008
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.". Here is what happened in our industry during August 2008!
Here's what happened in our indusrty for Oct. 2008 -- all you need to know. This month - ocean container lines face grim times & 24 airlines bite the dust.
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.The Cargo Letter Archives of Past IssuesMichael S. McDaniel, Editor, Countryman & McDaniel - Trade, Transport, Hull & Machinery 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 _______________
***EU May Follow The U.S. Lacey Act ......as the European Commission (EC) published a notice announcing new proposed legislation that would require traders in the European Union (EU) to verify that wood used in traded merchandise is legally obtained. The rule would require importers & exporters of timber products to seek sufficient guarantees that their merchandise only contains legally obtained timber. According to the notice, approximately 19% of wood imports come from trees that were illegally obtained. Illegal logging "is part of a larger problem that includes issues of forest governance and law enforcement, and also has economic and social consequences." Some experts suggest illegal logging reduces competitiveness of legal logging operations and results in lost revenues for governments. The new regulation in the EU folio is similar to efforts in the U.S. at reducing traffic in illegally obtained wood & wood products. The recently passed Food, Conservation & Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-246), commonly known as the Farm Bill, contains legislation aimed at reducing trade in illegally logged plants & plant products. These provisions of the Farm Bill, sometimes referred to as the "Lacey Act", require U.S. importers of plants & plant products to declare the scientific name of any plant contained in the importation, along with the value, quantity & country of origin of the goods. These resources will bring your company up to date:
***New C-TPAT Regs. For 3PLs ....... as U.S. Customs and Border Protection has published minimum-security guidelines for 3rd-party logistics providers seeking entry into the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. 3PLs are the last industry category eligible to join the voluntary supply chain security partnership program that already covers importers, ocean carriers, customs brokers, motor carriers, airlines, certain foreign manufacturers, foreign marine terminal operators & others. Here is the minimum-security criteria for 3PLs:
***U.S. Exports - American Smiles Decline .....as one of the few bright spots in the economy the past 18 months, is beginning to wane in the face of growing economic troubles overseas and a strengthening dollar. Exports in August were US$3.4Bn less than in July, the Commerce Dept. announced. Weak consumer demand in the United States resulted in a US$5.5Bn decline in imports too, narrowing the trade deficit to US$59.1 Bn from US$61.3Bn. Total August exports were US$164.7Bn & imports were US$223.9Bn.
***Late Duty Payment Spanking ...... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection last week announced new penalty guidelines for importers who are late paying estimated duties through the periodic monthly account process. Under the new rules, effective immediately, CBP said it will assess liquidated damages against the importer's customs bond and block the importer's access to its own ACE account. Going forward, the importer will have to pay fees on an entry-by-entry basis. Customs brokers who are responsible for late or non-payment of duties may face sanctions, including loss of license or suspension.
***New Years China Textile Surge Expected ..... as on Oct. 9, 2008, the U.S. Congress Committee on Ways & Means issued a press release announcing that it had submitted a request to the International Trade Commission (ITC) for a textile monitoring program for Chinese textile imports. The request follows concern about a potential "market disrupting surge" in the number of Chinese textile imports once the existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) on textiles and apparel between China and the U.S. expires on Dec. 31, 2008.
***New Canadian Firewood Reg. ...... as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service requires heat treatment of shipments of all firewood made of hardwood species entering the U.S. from Canada. The USDA is concerned about the increased spread of wood-eating pests, such as Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer, within the U.S. Effective immediately, USDA will require all Canadian hardwood firewood be heat treated to a minimum temperature of 71.1° Centigrade for 75 minutes. Commercial firewood shipments must also be accompanied by a treatment certificate.
***UPS Will Increase Rates .......as the world's largest package delivery company and a big provider in the U.S. domestic trucking market, has announced annual increases in its 2009 list rates. The Atlanta-based integrated logistics company said package rates for UPS Ground service would rise 5.9% on average, while air express and Int'l shipments originating in the U.S. would be subject to a net increase of 4.9% after a 2% fuel surcharge is backed out. Less-than-truckload carrier UPS Freight took a general rate increase of 5.9%. The new rates will take effect Jan. 5. Customers can download the 2009 Rate & Service Guide.
***UPS Launches Revolutionary Green Vehicle ...... as the giant has announced it is the 1st transportation company to purchase a hydraulic hybrid vehicle that shows promise in significantly reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle (HHV) uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to capture and store energy in a large chamber, similar to what's done with electric motors & batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. The diesel engine is used to periodically recharge pressure in the hydraulic propulsion system. Fuel economy is increased by capturing vehicle braking energy, efficiently operating the engine at a constant state and shutting off the engine when stopped or decelerating.
***Trucking By The Kilo ..... as the French national assembly recently approved the introduction of a distance-related ecology levy for commercial vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons, in the framework of the country's environment protection program "grenelle de l'environnement." It will probably amount to between EUR 0.05 and 0.30 per km and will be levied in Alsace from 2011 on & nationally from 2012. It will apply to all roads outside of the motorway network. Several details of the proposal which have not yet been decided upon will be settled in a new national finance law. With heavier loads often being more efficient, this treand is troubling.
***Eurasia Trains May Out Fly Cargo Airlines ...... as the 1st commercial Trans Eurasia Express from China arrived in Hamburg on 6 Oct. after successfully completing the 10,000 km journey in 17 days. The arrival of the train heralds a new era of competition to airfreight on the key China-Europe route. Air cargo volumes have seen noticeable erosion to ocean freight in the last 12 months as high fuel prices and surcharges, plus a lack of manufacturing spikes have seen a number of major hi-tech manufacturers switch modes. The new train service, although initially of limited scale, will not help the erosion from airfreight. It is placed in terms of cost & transport time between air and ocean freight. Significantly, the 1st shipment on the train service was products for Fujitsu Siemens Computers &endash; a commodity that is traditionally a mainstay of airfreight. Schenker, the logistics arm of German railway heavyweight Deutsche Bahn (DB), will begin offering scheduled rail freight services to China after the festivities for the Chinese New Year in February. Under the product name of the Trans Eurasia Express, 2 container trains are initially to travel weekly to link up China with Germany in a little over 15 days.
***A Trans-Korean Railway? .......as the practical realization of the 1st section of the Trans-Korean railway began after 7years of negotiations in early Oct. The line will simultaneously connect the trans-Siberian mainline with the North Korean port of Rason. The work was ceremonially started at the North Korean frontier railway station of Tumangan. The North Korean government took the opportunity to once more confirm that it will not interfere in economic activities carried out by the joint venture between the Russian railways and the port of Rason. The authorities expect annual income from transit fees to amount to US$20M to US$25M.
***China & Vietnam Open Trade ...... as the Xinhua News reported on Oct. 6, 2008 that the countries have agreed to open a direct transport service between the border cities of Pingxiang & Lang Son by the end of this year. This agreement arose as an effort to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Representatives from both countries have agreed to start issuing permits for vehicles that provide direct transport service. Freight trucks would be allowed into the designated logistics parks between the cities.
***Kuehne + Nagel Buys French ..... as the giant has entered into an agreement to acquire the French consolidator Alloin. Alloin is based in Villefranche-sur-Saône near the city of Lyon and has annual sales of Euro 300M and 3,000 employees.
***Agility Gains China Ground .......as the major logistics provider has signed an agreement to acquire Baisui United Logistics (Shanghai) Co. a Chinese company that provides a range of domestic logistics services, including intra-city, regional & long-haul transport & warehousing. With more than 15 years of experience, Baisui operates from 15 locations throughout China, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Nanjing & Chongqing, and manages 8 logistics centres with more than 130,000 sqm of warehouse floor space. Baisui has its own fleet of trucks and also works with more than 75 trucking companies on a regular basis.
***Greatwide Logistics Services Seeks Protection ...... as it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and that it plans to sell the company to lenders holding its 1st lien. Dallas-based Greatwide is the 3rd-largest, non-asset-based trucking company in the U.S., with annual revenue of about US$1.2Bn. Greatwide was founded in 2000 & has 4 primary lines of business: dedicated transport, truckload management, truckload brokerage & warehouse/distribution logistics. Greatwide Dedicated is ranked 4th among dedicated carriers by industry publication Transport Topics and is the largest dedicated refrigerated carrier in the nation. Major retail clients include Pepsico, Nordstrom, Wal-Mart & Sysco. The company also provides truckload service by managing freight dispatch in 32 states for its fleet of independent truck drivers and customers, such as Ford, GM, UPS, Wal-Mart & Dow.
***The Evil of Used Cars ...as the Nigerian federal government has extended the ban on the importation of used cars from 8 to 10 years under a new tariff regime on 25 Sept. Buses & trucks, no matter their age, are, however, excluded from the prohibition list. No one wants beaters.
***American Idol On Aspahlt ....... as the folks who silenced the nation's first "musical road" are singing a different tune. Workers on have begun carving grooves on Avenue G in Lancaster, Calif. that will produce notes of the "William Tell Overture" when cars drive over them. The high desert city north of Los Angeles placed the grooves on another road, Avenue K, last month for a Honda commercial. The quarter-mile strip was engineered to play the notes &emdash; better known as the theme for "The Lone Ranger" &emdash; when motorists in Honda Civics hit them at 55 mph. It was believed to be the first such musical road in the U.S., although there are others in Japan, South Korea & Holland. The city paved over that stretch 2 weeks later after neighbors complained the noise was annoying and kept them awake. The city, however, received hundreds of calls praising the road and decided to retain the concept. "It will be a tourist attraction. It will pull people off the freeway," Mayor R. Rex Parris said. The city decided to recreate the road in an industrial area away from homes. The City Council approved spending up to US$35,000 for the work. Next will be the "Singing Advertizing" road. Hear the "Singing Road": In Japan.
***Mommy Made Me Do It ......as an Ontario, Canada woman was charged with a traffic violation on Oct. 16 after having her 9-year-old daughter drive her home following a night of drinking. "The woman was concerned that she was unable to drive having consumed some alcohol at a social function," police said. The child was driving the car slowly along country roads in southeastern Ontario when police noticed how tiny she was & pulled her over.
2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ___________
**Alexander & Baldwin (parent of Matson Navigation) DOWN as net income was US$36.8M during 3rd quarter 2008, down 33% from US$49.1M in same period 2007. Alexander & Baldwin Inc. has begun trading its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under new ticker symbol "AXB."
**Canadian National Railway. UP with 3rd quarter profit of US$460M, 14% higher than the C$485M earned in the comparable 2007 period.
**China Shipping Container Lines. DOWN with a 3rd quarter net loss of Yuan272m.
**Con-way Inc. UP as 3rd quarter net income rose 4.8M to $40.8ZM.
**CSX Corp. UP with reported profit 3rd quarter of US$382M, versus US$297M in same 2007 period.
**Euronav. UP with met income of US$158M in the 3rd quarter of 2008, compared with a loss of US$23.3M in 3rd quarter of 2007.
** Horizon Lines. UP with profit of US$12.5M in 3rd quarter ending Sept. 21 compared to US$1.6M in the same 2007 period.
**Hub Group. UP with 3rd quarter net profit of US$16.9M up slightly from US$16.6M in same 2007 period.
**J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. UP with record profit for 3rd quarter of US$60.3M, compared to US$50.8M in same 2007 period.
**"K" Line. UP net profit of US$494M up 16%.
**MOL. UP with net profit of US$1.2Bn up 42%.
**Norfolk Southern. UP with record profit of US$520M for the 3rd quarter, 35% more than the same 2007 period.
**NYK Line. UP with net profit $881M up 66%.
**Saia, Inc. DOWN as Q3 operating income was US$7.5M compared to US$12.7M in 3rd quarter 2007.
**Stolt-Nielsen S.A. UP with profit of US$42.3M, up about 3% from the US$40.9M earned in same 2007 period.
**United Airlines. DOWN with a 3rd quarter loss of US$799M -- but same quarter 2007 was a profit of US$334M.
**Union Pacific Corp. UP as net income rose 38% to US$703M in 3rd quarter 2008 compared with US$532M, or US$1 per share, in same period 2007.
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***
3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs __________
***Maximum Cargo Security Rules For All ....... as the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has announced proposed rules that would require most air cargo & passenger plane operators to meet stringent security rules similar to those now imposed on mainstream airlines. The rules propose implementing a Large Aircraft Security Program that would impact operators of general aviation planes of more than 12,500 pounds of maximum takeoff weight and cargo planes with a maximum takeoff weight of more than 100,309 pounds. Cargo planes affected -- now covered by the TSA's "private charter" security program -- would include any plane roughly larger than a Boeing 727 or an Airbus A300. The new rules would not apply to operators of smaller cargo liners, such as DC-3s, DC-9s, or MD-90s. The new rule would be based upon the core requirements of the TSA's current Twelve-Five Security Program, which requires TSA background checks of pilots and restricted access to the flight deck for aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight but under 100,309 pounds. New Rules & Timetable:
***Air Forwarders Face Screening Challenge .... as U.S. airlines are experiencing modest impact so far in meeting the government's Oct. 1 deadline to screen all cargo on narrow-body passenger aircraft, according to industry & government officials. Southwest Airlines, an early investor in X-ray equipment for piece shipments, has not experienced any noticeable delays in cargo transport, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The idea to get upstream businesses to screen their cargo before it arrives at the airport. Southwest Cargo said on its Web site that the new procedures only required minor adjustments to its cutoff time for accepting cargo. The TSA is developing a Certified Cargo Screening Program designed to relieve pressure on airlines by encouraging shippers, logistics providers, freight forwarders and other cargo handlers to screen cargo in advance. Under the voluntary program, shippers who meet TSA criteria would be approved to verify that each shipment at the piece level was securely packed & sealed. Forwarders would have authority to deconsolidate large shipments and inspect each carton by physical or technical means before repacking the goods for secure transport to the airline ramp. The TSA must audit and certify each facility seeking to participate in the program. The agency has recruited 14 large freight forwarders to install and use scanning & explosive trace detection equipment to gather data on which technology systems are most efficient, accurate and reliable. Although 96% of U.S.-launched flights are of the narrow-body variety, the remaining 4% of wide-body flights handle 75% of the cargo. The Certified Cargo Screening Program is targeted at inspecting cargo that moves on large aircraft to domestic and international destinations.
***U.S. Carriers Just Hanging On .... as the large U.S. airlines are heavily weighed down by the high price of fuel & uncompromising competition on their way to restoring their health. Both American Airlines & Delta Air Lines have reported losses for 3rd quarter. The AMR parent company of the largest U.S. air services provider, American Airlines only just managed to stay in the black in the 3rd quarter thanks to an extraordinary item, resulting in a profit of US$45M. The airline said that without the one-off gain from the sale of a subsidiary the result would have been a loss of US$360M. The 3rd-largest U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines was at least able to stop the series of losses amounting to billions, making a relatively modest loss of US$50M. It increased its sales by 9.4% to US$5.72Bn in Q3, in comparison with the like-for-like period last year. Delta's fuel costs alone rose by US$800M and American's by US$1.1Bn. The 4th largest U.S. carrier, Continental Airlines, went into the red to the tune of US$236M in Q3 & Southwest Airlines reported a Q3 loss of US$120M.
***24 Airlines Kaput ..... as the Int'l Air Transport Assn. (IATA) reports that it lost 24 members in 2008, and the number continues to rise. Now the Spanish airline LTE Int'l has suspended all its flights because it can no longer cover costs. LTE operates flights to a host of Spanish holiday resorts, including Malaga & Tenerife from the UK. 24 is a sobering number in the current economy.
***China Air Also Feels The Pinch ...... as China Eastern Airlines has predicted substantial losses for the 1st 9 months of this year, on account of declining demand & the high domestic price of fuel. Air China & China Southern Airlines have likewise reported declining passenger figures.
***India's Two Largest Private Airlines Circle The Wagons ......this week announced a major alliance aimed at cutting operating costs in an increasingly oppressive airline environment. Jet Airways, the largest private Indian airline, is dismissing 1,900 employees (almost 15% of total staff) in an attempt to secure there remaining 11,100 jobs. Jet has cut 15% of all planned flights from its winter schedule. The Indian aviation industry is expected to lose around US$2Bn this year, on sales of US$6Bn. Jet Airways & Kingfisher Airlines will form an alliance to significantly reduce costs. However, there will not be any mutual equity investments between the two companies. While maintaining their separate legal entities and brand entities, both Kingfisher & Jet will examine co-branding opportunities. Jet recently suspended service from Mumbai to San Francisco just 7 months after the route was launched. All Indian air carriers have suffered heavy losses as fuel costs mounted over the summer.
***UPS Moves Asia New Hub To Mainland China ..... as the giant has begun construction of its new intra-Asia air hub at Shenzhen Int'l Airport in the heart of China's Pearl River Delta. Once completed, the Shenzhen facility will replace UPS's current intra-Asia hub located at the former USAF Clark Air Base in the Philippines and serve as UPS's primary transit hub in Asia. The facility is expected to open in 2010. Repositioning of the air hub will slash at least a day off shipment times-in-transit for Asian customers while offering a new level of service to the manufacturing region located just north of Shenzhen, not far from Hong Kong. The UPS Shenzhen Intra-Asia hub will be built on a land area of 89,000 sq. meters (958,000 square feet) and include a dedicated 150,000-square-meter (1.6 million square feet) ramp provided by Shenzhen Airport, an express customs handling unit, sorting facilities and cargo handling areas. Package sorting capacity is projected to reach 18,000 pieces per hour with the flexibility to expand to 36,000 pieces per hour. The hub initially will employ approximately 400 people & represents an investment of US$180M.
***FedEx New EU Hub ..... as the giant has broken ground for its new Central & Eastern European hub at Cologne/Bonn airport (DE). The company wants to build the largest FedEx Express facility in Germany by 2010. It will be the 1st & largest solar-powered platform outside the USA. Around 450 people will be employed at the 50,000 sqm site, which will encompass a new freight & loading hall with fully automatic sorting equipment. FedEx is installing a 1.4-megawatt solar power system, which will have 16,000 sqm of solar panels to generate 1.3 gigawatt hours of electricity per year -- the equivalent to the annual consumption of 370 households.
***Cargo Price Fixing ..... as a former British Airways World Cargo executive has pleaded guilty to conspiring to fix prices of Int'l shipments, the U.S. Justice Dept. British citizen Keith Packer, a former general manager for the airline's cargo division, will serve 8 months in jail and pay a US$20,000 criminal fine. One year ago, British Airways agreed to pay a UUS$300M penalty for its involvement in the scheme. Eight other airlines have also pleaded guilty & paid multi-million dollar fines. In July 2008, Bruce McCaffrey, Qantas' former highest-ranking executive employed in the U.S., pleaded guilty & was sentenced to serve 6 months in jail & pay a US$20,000 criminal fine for fixing cargo rates to customers in the U.S. and elsewhere for Int'l air shipments. An SAS Cargo Group executive in the U.S. pleaded guilty in Aug.
***U.S. Opportunities Are Evergreen ..... as the U.S.-China aviation agreement of May 2007 permits the U.S. to name a new all-cargo carrier to begin service in the market on March 25, 2009. The Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has chosen Evergreen International to be that airline. With headquarters in McMinnville, OR, Evergreen Int'l handles global air cargo transport & charter services for major airlines & forwarders. Its hubs are at Rickenbacker Int'l Airport in Columbus, OH, New York City's John F. Kennedy Int'l Airport & Hong Kong Int'l Airport. If final authority is granted, Evergreen will operate 6 weekly round-trip flights to Shanghai from New York with additional traffic stops in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth & Columbus.
***Emirates SkyCargo To Hollywood ..... as the Dubai based in Dubai line started a new direct Dubai-to-Los Angeles service on Oct. 26. L.A. which marks the 3rd U.S. destination Emirates has launched since June 2007, following Toledo, Ohio & Houston. In Dec., Emirates plans to begin direct air freight service from Dubai to San Francisco.
***New Star ..... as the Macedonian civil aviation authority recently issued a permit to Star Airlines to operate cargo services, making it the 1st Macedonian cargo airline.
***Falling Star .... as the owners of the Russian all-cargo carrier Tesis, based at Domodedovo airport in Moscow, have said that the company will be declared insolvent in the near future. Tesis, which was founded in 1992, currently operates a fleet of 3 leased Boeing 747 freighters & 2 Ilyushin 76TDs.
***Waiting For 550..... as the Entebbe, Uganda based low-cost carrier Fly540 was granted air operator certification (AOC) by the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and has now acquired and put on the Ugandan registry 2 converted F27 freighters.
***Saudi Arabian Airlines To 2000 ..... as it has become the 26th major Int'l airline to join the Cargo 2000 quality control initiative for the air cargo industry. Cargo 2000 is sponsored by the Int'l Air Transport Assn. (IATA)as a standardized management system designed to improve cargo service by streamlining processes, establishing performance indicators and automating costly manual, paper-based functions.
***TAM Airlines Now A Star ......has it been granted entry into the Star Alliance, the largest global alliance in commercial aviation, currently made up of 21 of the world's largest airlines & 3 regional companies that jointly operate more than 18,100 flights daily. The members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, Egyptair, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, United & US Airways. Air India, Continental Airlines & TAM were announced as future members.
***Air France Volume Drops ...... as Europe's largest carrier Air France-KLM reported that airfreight volumes fell sharply by 12.2% in Sept. Capacity dropped by 3.2%. The decline was mainly due to a marked slowdown in goods flows, in particular with Asia. The load factor lost 6.3 points to 61.1%. However, unit revenue remained positive. IATA said air freight volume dropped 2.7% in Aug. compared with the same month in 2007, part of a widespread slowdown in international trade. August's decline followed a 1.9% drop in July.
***Being In Cleveland Is No Joke! ..... as passengers on the Aug. 24 American Eagle flight 4891 from New York's La Guardia airport en route to Cleveland were already running 2 hours late when the pilot asked the flight attendant to advise the passengers that the aircraft would be diverted to Toledo. The reason given was "an emergency has shutdown Cleveland Hopkins Airport". Once the plane landed, passengers whipped out their mobile phones, expecting the need to make plans to get to their final destination, only to discover that the pilot had played a prank on them. There was no "emergency" and the plane has actually landed exactly where it was supposed to be. Needless to say that some of the passengers didn't share his sense of humor. American Eagle has confirmed the incident and claims the matter is now "a personnel issue". What's next,"We're crashing -- just kidding"?
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News***
4. FF World Ocean Briefs
***Piracy Surges ..... as the number of reported pirate attacks on commercial shipping rocketed in the third quarter due to the "unprecedented" situation off the coast of Somalia. In its 3rd quarter report the Int'l Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre reported a dramatic increase in attacks in the 3rd quarter with some 83 incidents, out of 199 reported in the first 9 months of the year. The IMB directly attributes the spike in the number of attacks to the surge in hijackings off the coast of Somalia. The statistics for attacks by Somali pirates off the East Coast of the country and the Gulf of Aden offer a stark picture of the scale of the problem. A total of 63 incidents were reported in the first nine months of the year, with 51 in the Gulf of Aden, the major shipping lane linking Asia & Europe. Pirates have hijacked a total of 26 vessels & taken 537 crew hostage, and fired on a further 21 vessels in unsuccessful attempts to hijack them. The indiscriminate firing on of vessels by the pirates has killed 1 crew member and the use of rocket propelled grenades damaged the hull of a tanker causing minor pollution. Our photo feature.
***Box Biz Bad ..... as cuts in earning forecasts, dropping rates, canceled ship orders, worries of overcapacity, weak charter markets. The credit crunch has hit liner shipping in a big way. Last week, the Howe Robinson Containership Index, a barometer of the containership charter market, plunged. According to Containerization Int'l, a CV 1100 class vessel could be had for US$8,000 per day, down from US$13,000 a day 6 month ago. This will resonate through industry rates.
***Follow That Box! .... as the British Int'l Freight Assn. hopes a new BBC project giving the wider public an insight into container shipping will also showcase the work of freight forwarders. The BBC has teamed up with the Container Shipping Information Service on a project called "The Box" that is tracking the progress of a 40-foot container on a 12-month voyage from the Port of Southampton in the U.K. to China & back. The producers have emphasized the box will have to earn its keep throughout the year-long project by moving revenue-earning cargo.
***FMC Wants Your Opinion ....as the Federal Maritime Commission is seeking public comment on its draft Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2010-2015. The online copy of the draft plan provides links from each goal and objective in the plan to the corresponding fiscal year plans as well as to the agency's annual budget process. Each goal & objective includes corresponding measures and targets to assist in evaluating the FMC's performance in meeting its strategic goals.
***Malaysia Proposes Traffic Limit In Malacca Strait ..... as the Malaysia Star newspaper said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has proposed to limit the number of vessels plying the Malacca Strait, one of the world's busiest waterways, for safety reasons. Traffic had jumped from about 44,000 ships in 1999 to more than 70,000 last year and some experts were estimating that number could climb to 120,000 by 2015. He indicated that at some level, increased traffic could become dangerous or too costly to control. Malaysia has reportedly spent more than US$60.6M on navigational aids in the straits. We've been there -- the traffic is amazing.
***New Container Security Rule Now Mandatory .....as of 14 Oct. all laden maritime containers in transit to the U.S. must be sealed with a high-security seal that meets the ISO standard ISO/PAS 17712. Non-laden & non-standard containers such as open-top & tank containers are exempt from these requirements. In general terms, the standard requires that the seal meets or exceeds certain standards for strength & durability and be clearly marked with a unique identification number. Carriers are obliged to transmit all seal numbers to the U.S. Customs 24 hours before the cargo is laden aboard a vessel at a foreign port, via the vessel automated manifest system (AMS). Failure to follow the new rules could hit forwarders & shippers with a fine.
***Paving The "Marine Highways" ...... as the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) is seeking to establish a new network to help cut traffic on some of the nation's most crowded roads. This initiative features the James River Barge Line in Norfolk, VA. With a new service, the barge company will move cargo up the James River to Richmond, VA taking what DOT says is 4,000 truckloads of freight off I-64 and putting them onto the water. The governmental effort seeks to select & designate key inland & coastal maritime corridors. These Marine Highways will be eligible for as much as US$25M in existing federal capital construction funds. These communities would qualify for federal highway congestion mitigation & air quality funds that total US$1.7Bn. The DOT claims, "Over the next 15 years, experts project that cargoes moving through our ports will nearly double." Most of this additional cargo will ultimately move along surface transportation corridors, many of which are already at or beyond capacity. Since 92% of all domestic freight currently moves on road & rail infrastructure, the implications of this growth are significant. America's Marine Highway can be a viable alternative transportation mode. The U.S. marine highway system comprises more than 25,000 miles of inland, intracoastal, & coastal waterways. The system already handles the transport of about 1 billion tons of mostly domestic bulk cargoes annually, with "considerable room to grow," MarAd said.
***WorldWide Alliance Adds One ..... as the network of neutral NVOCCs, has added 2 new members: SSL Consolidation in Argentina & Teamglobal in India. The alliance, formed in 2007, allows its NVO members to maintain their individual brand identities and operations, but offers them the ability to expand in import and export trade lanes through their partnership with the other alliance members. The alliance now has exclusive representation in more than 30 countries. The alliance includes Shipco Transport (Americas, Europe, & Asia); SSC Consolidation (Belgium & the Netherlands); Saco Shipping (Germany); CFR Freight (South Africa); Allink (Brazil); Combimar Agemar (Italy); Transglory (Spain, Portugal, Tunisia & Algeria); Multimodal (France); Panama Consolidation Services (Panama); Interteam (Mexico); Mahe (Colombia); Mesco (Egypt); SSL Consolidation (Turkey, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland & Austria); & Scanway Shipping (Russia).
***Warf War Heats Up ..... as the Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference has filed comments with the FMC calling the Southern California ports' recent antitrust agreement regarding its drayage overhaul program as "simply unlawful." The IMCC, an arm of the American Trucking Assn. that represents more than 37,000 motor carriers nationwide, asked the FMC in the comments to "act expeditiously" to eliminate portions of an agreement filed Oct. 8 by the ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles that require drayage motor carriers to obtain access licenses from the ports to continue serving the ports. The access license requirement, called concession agreements under the two ports' trucking re-regulation program kicked off Oct. 1, is also the core issue in a lawsuit ATA brought against the truck plan that is moving through U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. A related case seeking an injunction against the ports' truck plan is also moving through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after being denied by the lower court. Attorneys for the U.S. departments of Transportation & Justice have now filed the 35-page "friend of the court" request, also arguing that a lower court misinterpreted federal laws in denying an injunction against the truck program sought by the American Trucking Assn. First announced early last year, the truck program seeks to replace nearly 17,000 drayage trucks serving the 2 ports with newer models by enacting 3 major components: (1.) Banning all pre-1989 model year trucks from entering ports; (2.) Levy a US$35-per-TEU tax to pay for the truck replacements; and (3.) Require all motor carriers entering the port to have a ports-issued access license.
***Big Ditch Funding Approved ..... as the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) has approved a loan of up to US$400M for the Panama Canal expansion, the largest infrastructure project underway in Latin America. The loan is for the Autoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP), the autonomous government-owned entity that manages & operates the 77 km canal. ACP plans to raise about US$2.3Bn in loans to finance the expansion program, which is expected to cost approximately US$5.25Bn. The remainder will be covered by cash generated by canal operations. About 5% of the world's seaborne freight passes through the canal annually.
***Hapag-Lloyd - SOLD! ...... as German tourism company TUI AG's supervisory board has approved the sale of its container shipping subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd AG to a Hamburg-based consortium of investors for US$5.9Bn.deal worth US$6Bn -- and keeping the shipping line in German hands. The deal is the biggest in the shipping industry since A P Moeller-Maersk, the world's largest shipping line, bought Royal P&O Nedlloyd in 2005. The "Albert Ballin" consortium, spearheaded by Klaus-Michael Kühne (Kuehne + Nagel), Wolfgang Peiner (a former Hamburg senator for finance) and Christian Olearius, a partner of M M Warburg Bank, has thus emerged "victorious," after Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (the early favourite) dropped out of the auction. Other prominent members of the Alfred Ballin consortium include the City of Hamburg, HSH-Nordbank (the world's largest ship finance institute) and insurance companies HanseMerkur & Signal-Iduna. NOL's CEO Ron Widdow has said in a letter to customers that his company is not at all disappointed for not having bought Germany's Hapag-Lloyd. He said that NOL never intended to make "an acquisition at any cost."
***Industrial Carriers Insolvent ...... as the Ukraine based bulk carrier operator has confirmed that it has filed for bankruptcy in Greece, becoming the first high-profile casualty of the dramatic market collapse in freight rates. The 9-year-old company has confirmed that it had 52 ships on charter when it began to experience cash flow problems in Sept. 2008. Industrial Carriers is a Marshall Islands-incorporated company operating from an office in Odessa under Diamant Co Ltd. with affiliated offices in Moscow, Athens, Rio de Janeiro & Shanghai. Average revenues are estimated to be as much as US$1Bn annually, with Sergey Baranskiy & Georgy Andritsa the major shareholders.
***Maersk Line Cuts Service ..... as it will reduce capacity on its services between Asia/Europe because of "challenging market conditions." "The current Asia/Europe market is characterized by unsustainable rate levels. The changes will support our market position and ensure that our network is sustainable in the long term. Thereby, we can continue to offer our customers an extensive & reliable service network in the Asia/Europe trade," said Maersk Line in a statement:
***APL Cuts Service..... as the Singapore-based shipping line is reducing capacity & reorganizing its global network to better align with slowing container demand. The moves were made, the carrier said, "in response to increasingly challenging conditions in the major container trades." Specifically, APL is reducing capacity in the Asia/Europe trade by close to 25% and the transpacific by 25%. The carrier will also suspend a service in the intra-Asia trade. "The traditional seasonal softening of demand in the main container trades has been compounded by the global financial crisis & economic slowdown," APL said in a statement." APL's parent, Neptune Orient Lines 3rd quarter profit fell 82% & it has started to lay-up vessels as it looks to save over US$200M a year -- and has warned that the boxship market faces much worse to come.
***BIFA Hails End To Anti-Trust ..... as the trade association for U.K. freight forwarders said this month that the end of carrier conferences to & from Europe "heralds a new era for shipping & trade liberalization." The ban on carrier conferences went into effect starting last week, making it unlawful for shipping lines to fix freight rates, any additional charges or capacity on a collective basis. "The British Int'l Freight Assn. has lobbied the EU Commission over a number of years, for a proper market in the provision of containerized liner shipping services between the EU & the rest of the world," BIFA said in a statement. The EU Commission is accepting comments from the public until Nov. 21 on how liner consortiums should be structured under new laws that ban liner carrier conferences. The current regulation expires in April 2010. "It is time to adjust the block exemption for liner shipping consortia to current market practices in the liner industry and to current antitrust law," the EU Competition Commission said in a statement.
***Cambodia Security Watch ..... as the U.S. Coast Guard said in an Oct. 24 Federal Register notice that it will impose increased security-related requirements on cargo vessels arriving from certain ports in Cambodia, effective Nov. 7. The agency has determined that Cambodia's ports, with the exception of the Phnom Pehn Autonomous Port & Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, are not maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures. For these vessels to enter U.S. ports, the Coast Guard requires operators to implement measures per the ship's security plan equivalent to security level 2, while in a Cambodian port. Guards must also be present on board to control access points.
***Dubai Ports World Cracks Down ..... as it has issued a circular saying that improperly marked shipments have been clogging the operator's flagship terminal in Dubai and will be rejected, as of Dec. 1. The company said shipments arriving without "marks and numbers" or with information that does not match the manifest falls under the new requirement. DP World urged shipping agents to ensure the proper information is listed prior to departure from origin ports.
***Suds Afloat ..... as Dutch brewer Heineken is to make another major modal shift from road to inland water. The brewer is no stranger to inland barging, as it has been shipping exports from its Den Bosch brewery by this mode for the past 10 years. From next year, export shipments from its Zoutwerwoude brewery will be transferred to barge, saving an estimated 100,000 truck trips/year between the brewery and the ports of Rotterdam & Antwerp.
***Aggregation On The Rail ...... as researchers at Jiaotong University's School of Economics & Management in Beijing, have ascertained that companies in China can attain far faster & more efficient deliveries of small shipments by rail than by road, on account of the great distances and the poor road network. New containers and handling methods would have to be used to make full use of this advantage. A new pallet-sized container is currently being discussed in order to make the best of the current conditions.
***WANTED: Dead Or Alive ..... as the Port of Los Angeles' governing board will consider a plan to pay tenants a US$10 per TEU bounty on new service brought to the port. The port's marketing incentive program would cover any new service, or diversion of an existing service from another West Coast port, that brings in new container volumes during a consecutive 12-month period that begins before Dec. 31, 2009. Container volumes at the Los Angeles port have slipped nearly 5% during the 1st 9 months of the year compared to the same period in 2007. The port moved 8.4 million TEUs in 2007 down from 2006 volumes of 8.5 million TEUs.
***Green Idling ...... as Tokyo-based ocean carrier MOL has successfully completed a test of a system utilizing a liquefied natural gas-powered generator to provide electric power to a berthed ocean-going vessel. MOL and Oakland, Calif.-based CleanAir Logix partnered on the power generating system, which feeds power from the shore-based LNG generator to a berthed ship, thus allowing the vessel to turn off its auxiliary engines and reduce diesel emissions while in port. Ocean-going vessels berthed at the neighboring ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles have been identified as one of the leading causes of diesel pollution in the Southern California Basin. MOL conducted the ship-to-shore power test at the TraPac Terminal in the Port of Los Angeles, successfully connecting the LNG system to the berthed 4,500-TEU container M/V MOL Enterprise.
***New MarAd Public Resource ..... as the U.S. Maritime Administration said it is making information on the condition & performance of the Marine Transportation System -- including U.S. ports, vessels, waterways & intermodal connections -- available through an Internet site. Access to the site is free, but the government is requiring users to apply for a subscription and state why they want access to the information. The system, dubbed "MarView", will provide access to more than 2,500 links to transportation data sources, giving statistics on intermodal freight transportation and on trained & licensed mariners. It provides real-time tracking of vessels, plus physical attributes information on national and Int'l ports, vessels, and related facilities. MarView provides real-time information on waterways and facilities and background facts about domestic & foreign shipbuilding & repair yards.
***Throughput >>> Port of Antwerp up as container volume through the 1st three quarters of the year grew 9% over the same period in 2007, to 6.6 million TEUs. >>> Port of Brunswick GA (USA) handled more than 2.6 million tons of cargo, an 8% increase, setting a new record for total tonnage in fiscal 2008 (July 2007 to June 2008) >>> Guangzhou Port Group total throughput declined 3.6% in Aug. & a further 5.4% in Sept., to 598,000 TEUs in Sept. >>> Port of Ningbo has seen throughput rise 17% to 8.1 million TEUs through the 1st 3 quarters of 2008. >>> Port of Singapore, has handled 10.5% more TEUs through the 1st 3 quarters of 2008 than it did during the corresponding period in 2007, as volume for the predominantly transshipment port has grown from 20.1 million TEUs from Jan. through Sept. last year to 22.1 million TEUs through Sept. this year. Singapore was the busiest port in the world in 2007 but is expected to be overtaken soon by hard-charging Shanghai.
***This Month In U.S. Navy History
1814 - Launching of Fulton I, first American steam powered warship, at New York City. The ship was designed by Robert Fulton.
1955 - Ships of the 6th Fleet join U.S. military aircraft in evacuating American citizens from Egypt, Israel and Syria when war breaks out in the Middle East.
1980 - USS Parsons (DDG 33) rescues 110 Vietnamese refugees 330 miles south of Saigon.
1989 - A pilot making his 1st carrier landing & 4 others are killed when his plane crashes on the flight deck of the training carrier USS Lexington (AVT 16) off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.
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 OCT. 2008: "THANKS, BUT NO TANKS" ....... biggest pirate story of the 21st Century -- the taking of M/V Faina!
Also for Oct. "Fedra Backs In" - The Death of M/V Fedra"
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>>>>>>
Ecrat.com ...... wide variety of perspectives on countries: economic, cultural, political, human rights & corruption, public health, trade agreements, & more.
GeoHive ...... important economic & population statistics
Greater China Business
Lack of Icebreakers on Lake Michigann
London Shipping Law Centre at IMO
UK's Admiralty Manual of Navigation Vol 1 ....... published 15 Oct. 2008
U.S.- China Exchange Association
U.S. Customs - Burmese Jade Act of 2008 (JADE Act)
U.S. Customs Accreditation of Laboratories & Gaugers
U.S. Customs Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
U.S. Customs Rulings Online Search System
Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Information About "Lacey Act"
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Special Need Requests Under the Plant Protection Act
Virtual Int'l Business & Economic Sources
China Port Industry Report, 2007-2008
Fleetilla ...... in touch with the fleet.
ORBIS 40 x 48 Nestable Plastic Pallet
Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Conferences & Business Events Worldwide
World Trade Organization Events
7th Annual Maritime Security Expo .....18-19 Nov. 2008, Long Beach
9th Annual Global Export Finance Conference .....27&endash; 29 Oct. 2008, Radisson Hotel, Berlin
Cargo Claims Handling, Loss Prevention & Security Seminar - Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel - The Asia Business Forum...... Feb. 9-10 2009, JW Mariott Hotel, Singapore. COME JOIN US!!
Cargo Claims Handling, Loss Prevention & Security Seminar - Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel - The Asia Business Forum ...... Feb. 11-12 200, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. COME JOIN US!!
Int'l Freight Week ...... 23-25 Nov. 2008, Abu Dhabi
Intermodal 2008 ....2-4 Dec. 2008, Hamburg
Kuala Lumpur Air Cargo Forum ......Nov. 4-6 2008, Kuala Lumpur
LogiTrans - Logisitcs & Transport of Madrid ......... 10-12 Nov. 2008
London Maritime Arbitrators Assn. Annual Lunch .......Nov. 6, 2008, London
MARAD Approved Maritime Security Awareness Classes
Maritime Vietnam 2009 ......... 25-27 Feb. 2009, Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center
Tensions in Marine Insurance ......... 9-10 Dec. 2008, London
TOC Americas 2008 ......18-20 Nov. 2008, Long Beach Convention Center, CA
Transport & Infrastructure India 2008 ...27-29 Nov. 2008, Mumbai, India
U.S. Customs & Border Protection 2008 Trade Symposium .... Oct. 29-31, Washington
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Updated information On "Lacey Act"
Washington Union Station's Centennial Celebration
2008 Green Logistics & Supply Chain Webcast Series ......... Register & Watch Now
What Works Better: Collaborative Approaches To Compliance Or Enforcement? ......... Nov 5, 2008 2-3pm US-EST
100 Years of Ian Fleming
America's Best Restroom
A True Transport Nightmare
Battleship - USS Texas
Cost of Your Drive
Data Center Knowlege
Find A Grave ....... millions of cemetery records
Lil Gordon Ramsey
Kings of Political Comedy - Jib Jab
New Gulfstream G250
Odyssey Shipwreck Store
Otow Orchards ....... hand massaged persimmons - what?
Public Profiler ......... where are your cousins around the world by name?
San Francisco Bar Pilots Since 1850
Skyscanner Maps Tool API
SS United States Desktop Wallpaper
SS United States - Propeller New Home
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World***
7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases _____
Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co.
2008 WL 3890170 C.A. 11, Aug. 22, 2008
Warehouse Cargo Destroyed by Katrina Not In Transit >>> Status of Cargo Determines Coverage of Marine Insurance >>> Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. imports raw lumber to various domestic ports, then transports the lumber to several facilities for chemical treatment, and sells the lumber to retail businesses. Routinely, Great Southern has shipments discharged at the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi where it leased a warehouse for short-term storage of lumber. In Aug. of 2005, two loads of lumber were delivered to the Port of Gulfport for Great Southern & were stored in the leased warehouse. At the end of that month, Hurricane Katrina destroyed all of one shipment and part of the other.
American Home Assurance Co. had issued Great Southern a Marine Open Cargo Insurance Policy effective June 2, 2005 (the "Policy"). Great Southern filed a claim under the Policy for the value of the destroyed lumber. After American Home denied the claim, asserting that the Policy did not cover the lumber at the time it was destroyed, Great Southern brought suit in U.S. District Court (M.D. Ala.) for breach of contract & bad faith. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of American Home.
The Policy included a "warehouse-to-warehouse" provision standard in marine insurance policies that provided, in relevant part, that the insurance extended "whilst the goods are in transit and/or awaiting transit until delivered to the final warehouse at the destination named in the policy."
Great Southern argued that the final destination of the lumber was not the Gulfport warehouse, but one of Great Southern's treatment facilities, so that the Policy was in effect at the time the lumber was destroyed in the warehouse. The Court of Appeals, agreed with the District Court, disagreed that it was settled within the marine insurance industry that under this type of warehouse-to-warehouse provision, the cargo was no longer in transit, and thus no longer insured, once the insured exercised "dominion and control" over it.
The Court rejected Great Southern's argument that it did not have dominion & control over one of the shipments because that lumber not yet been cleared by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of American Home. Read The Decision.
Volkswagen of America, Inc. v. U.S.
540 F.3d 1324 C.A. Fed., Aug. 22, 2008
Must Show That Defects Existed at Time of Importation To Reduce Duty >>> Volkswagen of America, Inc. imports automobiles on which it pays U.S. Customs duties based on the appraised value of the vehicles. Some of these vehicles later required warranty repairs for manufacturing & design defects. Volkswagen filed refund claims with U.S. Customs, contending that the defects reduced the appraised value of the vehicles by the cost of the repairs. Customs denied the claims, as well as Volkswagen's subsequent protests. Volkswagen then filed suit in the Court of Int'l Trade. Although the Federal Circuit acknowledged that latent defects in the design and/or manufacturing of a product do constitute damage within the meaning of the regulation at issue, Volkswagen still had to prove that the claimed defects existed at the time of importation. The Court agreed that proof that Volkswagen made the repairs under its warranty was insufficient to establish this element. Read The Decision.
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)
Maria Payne (Countryman & McDaniel)
Christoph Whaner, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)
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