Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel


Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News

31 January 2004

Part 1 of 1


Good Saturday Evening 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's what happened in our industry during November 2003.

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/

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker 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 ___________            



OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***

  1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________

***Editor Note ....... as after some reorganization, past editions of The Cargo Letter, back to 1994 are all now restored to the archives of our valued corporate sponsor &endash;- Interpool, Inc. Use the resource.

***Yellowish Orange ......... as the U.S. National Threat Alert Level won't be raised despite renewed concerns about terrorist threats against British & French flights headed for the U.S. New intelligence indicated that British Airways flights from London to Washington & Air France flights from Paris to an unspecified U.S. cities could be terrorist targets, U.S. officials said Jan. 30. Some of the flights are the same as those that drew increased attention when the nation's terror alert was raised temporarily to orange, or high, just before Christmas. Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed there is no specific information about what might be plotted, only that those flights are possible targets. British Airways, on advice of the British government, announced Jan. 31, it had canceled 6 flights from Heathrow Airport to Washington, D.C., & Miami because of security concerns. Continental cancelled a domestic flight to Houston.

***Keep The Corruption At Home ....... as on Jan. 22, 2004, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Attorney General John Ashcroft pledged the U.S. government's commitment to fighting corruption worldwide & urged other countries to do so as well. Ashcroft's speech was a follow-up to the signing of the UN Int'l Convention Against Corruption by the U.S. & 93 other nations in Mexico in Dec. 2003. In light of this heightened focus on anti-corruption measures, U.S. businesses must review their procedures to ensure compliance with anti-corruption legislation, particularly the FCPA.

Every U.S. business operating internationally must comply with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Under the FCPA, it is illegal to make corrupt payments to foreign officials anywhere in the world for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business.  The law also requires companies with publicly traded stock & their majority-owned foreign subsidiaries to meet certain standards regarding their accounting practices, books & records, & internal controls. Violation of the FCPA can lead to significant civil as well as criminal penalties-including jail time.


***Back On Course ........ as the U.S. trade deficit shrank to US$38Bn in Nov., the narrowest in 13 months, after exports climbed to a 3 year high, the U.S. Commerce Dept. reports. The trade gap was US$41.6Bn in Oct. November's reading was the lowest since US$35.2Bn in Oct. 2002. U.S. exports rose 2.9% to US$90.6Bn, the most since Nov. 2000, from US$88.1Bn.

***Back On Track ........ as on 25 Jan., Costa Rica announced it was joining the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) concluded last year between the U.S. & 4 other Central American countries -- El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua & Guatemala. Costa Rica had left the Dec. 2003 talks late in the process due to disagreements with the U.S. in some sensitive sectors. See The Cargo Letter for Dec. 2003.

***Back To WTO .......... as the Air Courier Conference of America (ACCA) applauded the "common sense" approach to reinvigorating the WTO Doha Development Agenda proposed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Ambassador Zoellick, in a letter to over 140 WTO Ministers responsible for trade, called for WTO members to focus on the basics, including market access for agriculture, goods & services, & called for a WTO Ministerial Conference before year end.  "We commend Ambassador Zoellick for his call to reinvigorate the Doha Round in general, and services negotiations in particular.  We hope other countries will agree to a stepped-up agenda of meetings that will produce meaningful negotiations within months," said David Spence, chairman of ACCA's Int'l Trade Subcommittee and Managing Director, FedEx Express Regulatory & Legal Affairs.  ACCA is seeking meaningful commitments for express delivery services as part of the ongoing negotiations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

A key ACCA objective is gaining commitments from WTO members to facilitate customs clearance so express carriers can provide the fast, reliable service that businesses & consumers need.  "We are particularly pleased that Ambassador Zoellick has suggested that negotiations on trade facilitation proceed.  We are also hopeful that a reinvigoration of the GATS negotiations will produce important new commitments that ensure fair competition between public & private providers of express delivery services," said Selina Jackson, VP of Int'l Public Affairs at UPS, an ACCA member. ACCA members include DHL/Airborne, Purolator, TNT U.S.A. & UPS, as well as smaller businesses with strong regional delivery networks. ACCA members employ more than 510,000 American workers, have operations in over 200 countries, move more than 20 million packages each day, employ more than 800,000 people, operate 1,200 aircraft & earn revenues of US$60Bn annually.

***Talks Splinter ......... as on 12 January, Canada's Int'l Trade Minister Jim Peterson met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick & Commerce Secty Don Evans in Washington in an attempt to resolve differences in the ongoing Canadian-U.S. lumber dispute. Canada turned down a U.S. proposal aimed at ending tariffs on Canadian lumber exports. The proposal would have locked all Canadian provinces into a quota on softwood exports for at least 3 years, limiting Canada's access to the U.S. market. During the meeting, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce presented a new method for calculating antidumping & countervailing duties on Canadian softwood, reducing the penalty from 27.2% to 21.6%. A NAFTA panel is set to review this new duty rate before it can come into effect.

***Beefing Up ....... as by rough estimate, about 46,200 tons of U.S. beef were at sea when the recent "Mad Cow" scare was announced. It all has or will be turned away from foreign ports, the experts agree. David Hegwood, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's trade counsel, said Japanese & South Korean officials do not plan lifting their moratorium on U.S. beef imports, meaning about 2,200 container loads, valued at US$300M, have either made the two-week journey back home or been destroyed.

***Chrysanthemum & Dragon ........ as starting 1 Jan. 2004, Hong Kong & the Chinese mainland entered into a free trade agreement called "Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement" (CEPA). The CEPA agreement will liberalize the huge China market especially for goods & services and eliminate trade & investment obstacles between Hong Kong & the Chinese mainland, thus creating more business opportunities for both markets. Hong Kong's status as the foundation for China business will receive a further boost as with its preferential access to China's market. Initially, 273 categories of goods have been identified to qualify for tariff exemption & distributors of these goods will enjoy the benefits of tax exemption. A product will be qualified for tariff exemption if it fulfills the Hong Kong origin rules using the "specific manufacturing process" criterion which has also been adopted as the CEPA rules.                                                               

***Brown In The Mix ....... as UPS Chairman & CEO Mike Eskew has been elected chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council, the principal organization of U.S. corporations engaged in business relations with the People's Republic of China. The U.S.-China Business Council, Inc. is a private non-profit, non-partisan, member-supported organization. Founded in 1973 as the National Council for U.S.-China Trade, the Council serves several hundred leading U.S. companies from its Washington, D.C., headquarters and field offices in Beijing & Shanghai. "The U.S. & China have developed a strong trade & investment relationship over the past few decades," said Eskew. "The U.S.-China Business Council remains at the forefront of those vital relationships, and I look forward to contributing to the Council's continued success."

***South Cone Accord ........ as on 16 Dec. 2003, the MERCOSUR countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay & Uruguay and 3 members of the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador & Venezuela) signed an Economic Complementary Agreement envisaged to create a free trade area between both blocks. The deal will come into effect on 1 July this year, concluding a process that began in 1995, and includes tariff reduction schedules for goods with phase-out periods of 10 to 15 years, depending on the level of development of the member countries.

***Getting Over Those Yugo Sales ....... as the U.S. State Dept. issued a Notice stating that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has officially changed its name to "Serbia and Montenegro" effective 21 Jan. 2004. The FIPS 10 geopolitical code remains "YI".

***Big Butt Bust ......... as in the largest crackdown of its kind, federal officials announced they had broken up a tobacco-smuggling operation that sometimes disguised cargo containers of cigarettes as toys & other goods. U.S. Customs & Border Protection said 10 people have been arrested so far in 5 states - Texas, New Mexico, New York, Florida & California. Portions of a 92-count indictment detailing the alleged scheme were unsealed in El Paso, Texas. "Because the profits are so fantastic, we're now seeing drug traffickers, other criminal organizations & even terrorists involved in tobacco smuggling,'' Customs said.  Federal agents have spent more than 3 years investigating the smuggling operation, which they said sought to bring 5 million packs of bootleg cigarettes into the U.S. Authorities seized about 2.5 million packs, said to be worth about US$20M. Some of the cigarettes turned out to be counterfeits, others were genuine product. The seizures were made in Texas, California & New York. The indictment alleges that Jorge Abraham, 34, of Sunland Park, N.M., was mastermind of the plot.  He faces a sentence of more than 530 years behind bars & early lung cancer.

***Kiwi Export Rules Reflect The Times ....... as starting March 1, New Zealand Customs Service will require export entries to be lodged electronically & export entries must be cleared by Customs & a delivery order issued prior to goods being loaded. Heard this before?

***Chicken Kiev ........ as Ukrainian customs officials confiscated nearly 19 tons of frozen U.S. chicken legs on Jan. 26, that smugglers had manifested as sugar. Customs inspectors discovered about 945 boxes of chicken legs, valued at US$16,800 in a truck in the S. region of Mykolaiv. Officials detained the cargo because transport documents claimed it was granulated sugar. Last year, Ukraine banned American chicken because the U.S. poultry industry widely uses antibiotics & chemicals to stimulate chicken growth, as well as disinfectants to preserve meat that are prohibited in Ukraine. U.S. officials insist such chicken is safe to eat. American chicken shipments certified to contain no growth stimulants, hormones or other banned additives resumed in Dec. 2003, when Ukraine lifted the ban after 11 months, the U.S. embassy said. Before the ban, U.S. producers supplied about 90% of Ukraine's chicken imports.

***The Real Detectives On Board ..........  as U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has engaged Kroll Government Services, Inc., the government consulting & monitoring subsidiary of Kroll Inc. to provide background investigations of customs agents & border patrol personnel. Under the contract, Kroll will assist CBP in the management, processing, investigation, report writing, quality assurance & supervision of background investigations for CBP. Kroll is known for its no nonsense approach & is populated by former FBI & Secret Service agents.

***UPS In Rising Sun ....... as it will buy out its Japanese joint venture with Yamato Transport Co. by the end of March. UPS Yamato Express would be renamed "UPS Express" when the transaction is completed. Currently, UPS owns 51% of the joint venture. Established in 1990, the jointly owned company employs 600 workers in Japan. UPS & Yamato Transport Co. also have agreed to continue their cooperation in the Japan express market. UPS will utilize Yamato's domestic network, while Yamato Transport will take advantage of UPS's comprehensive global network for its Int'l express shipments.

***Making The "A" Grade ...... as Geologistics Corp. has been granted a Class A forwarder's license by China's Ministry of Foreign Trade & Economic Co-operation for its Int'l freight forwarding operations in the PRC. GeoLogistics has been offering coverage in China via its Hong Kong office. The Class A designation means that forwarders will be able to book freight space directly with carriers, instead of through an intermediary such as Sinotrans. Danish forwarder DFDS Transport (China) Co. also made its "A" this month.

***U-Freight - You Be Careful  ........ as it is to set up a subsidiary in Sri Lanka, taking advantage of what it sees as rising demand for freight forwarding services there. The new wholly-owned subsidiary, U-Freight Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, will begin operations in Feb. U-Freight is optimistic about Sri Lanka's growth prospects despite mounting political uncertainty overshadowing the island nation's peace process with the very destructive Tamil rebels.

***Going Way Up Down Under ....... as the 1st train to cross Australia with freight from south to north set off on its 3 day journey Jan. 17, marking a new era of rail travel through the vast Outback. An US$988M extension covers the 882 miles from Alice Springs to the northern port city of Darwin. The entire train line, billed as one of Australia's greatest civil engineering projects, now runs some 1,851 miles. The 1st passenger train on the new route was Jan. 31 & named "The Ghan" in honor of the 19th-century Afghans who built the 1st stretches of the line from the S. city of Adelaide to Alice Springs in the central Outback. While an east-west link between Sydney on Australia's east coast & Perth on the West Australian coast has existed for years, this is the 1st time north & south have connected. During the construction, daytime temperatures forced the Outback construction staff to work through the nights and, sleep through the days. They also consulted local Aboriginal tribes to ensure tracks did not pass through any of their sacred sites.

***China Rails West ........ as the Asian Development Bank has approved a US$500M loan to China for construction of almost 400 kms of electrified railway, designed to speed freight & passenger connections between Shanghai & cities in western China. The loan, the largest sum the ADB has ever offered China, will help construct a key east-west trunk line as well as build new stations, power & signalling facilities and container handling equipment. The line will run between between Yichang, in Hubei province, & Wanzhou, in Chongqing province -- to be the fastest land route between Shanghai, on China's east coast, and the rapidly industrializing cities of Chengdu & Chongqing in the west, Xinhua news agency reports. Total cost of the project has been estimated at US$2.36Bn.

***RailAmerica, Inc. Up ....... as the national bellwether for consolidated carloads for Dec. 2003 increased 13.5% to 126,273, from 111,227 in Dec. 2002. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, total carloads were 1,438,409, up 0.8% from 1,427,122 in 2002. 

***Another Bit of History Takes Its Bow ....... as RailAmerica Inc. has completed acquisition of the Bay City, Michigan-based Central Michigan Railway Company (CMGN) for US$25.3M. The transaction was funded by utilizing cash on hand supplemented by funds from the Company's US$100M revolving credit facility. The Central Michigan Railway operates 100 miles of rail line from Midland, Michigan, south to Durand, Michigan & generated revenues of approximately US$11M in 2003. CMGN provides rail freight service to the Saginaw, Michigan area, & interchanges traffic with Canadian National, CSXT, Lake State Railway, Tuscola & Saginaw Bay Railway, in addition to RailAmerica's Huron & Eastern Railway (HESR) & Saginaw Valley Railway (SGVY). Major shippers on the CMGN include Dow Chemical & Consumers Energy. Commodities moved on the CMGN include chemicals, coal, agricultural commodities, sugar beets, fertilizer & cement. CMGN also has cross-dock, warehouse & transload facilities.

***InterRailNet ....... as in a rail industry 1st, rail giants CN & CSX Transportation (CSXT) have jointly developed an electronic tool offering customers instantaneous interline prices for carload shipments moving over their networks. The new tool, called "A+B Pricing," uses Web Services Internet technology, and allows railroad account managers to retrieve & combine CN's & CSXT's revenue requirements to quote market competitive interline prices in real time for any origin, destination & commodity on the rail systems. The railroads expect to make the tool available on their web sites this year for customers to access directly. Customers will be able to go to the originating railroad's web site & ask for a combined interline price.

***U.S. Roads Continue South ........ as Swift Transportation Co. has completed its acquisition of the remaining 51% of Mexican truckload carrier Trans-Mex Inc.  Swift said the deal makes it the only U.S. trucking company with a 100% ownership interest in a Mexican carrier. The purchase price was US$31M, consisting of US$11M in cash & 942,155 shares of Swift common stock. The business strategy matches that of the USF Corp. joint venture with Autolineas Mexicanas SA de CV -- the result of a continued ban on Mexican trucks in the U.S. See The Cargo Letter for Dec. 2003.

***Wild 5 Year Ride .......  as the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, has indicated an increase of 24.5% or US$1.3 trillion dollars of trucking's share of all goods moved from 1997 to 2002, as reported in the Jan. 5, 2004 issue of Transport Topics, a leading industry periodical. Preliminary findings from its "Commodity Flow Survey" also indicate railroad tonnage increased 17.2%, to 1.8 billion tons over the same period. This economic census captures trends in the transportation industry & reports on the results in 5-year increments.

***Great 1 Year Ride ....... as the American Trucking Assn. advanced seasonally adjusted "Truck Tonnage Index" surged 14.6% to an all-time high of 164.2 (1993=100) in Dec., the national association for the industry reported. The previous highpoint was in Dec. 1999 at 157.2. The Dec. jump followed a revised decrease of 6.5% in Nov. 2003.

***Maple Leaf LTL Sale ...... as Consolidated Freightways Corp. said Jan. 27 it completed the sale of Canadian Freightways Ltd. & its subsidiaries to TransForce Income Fund for US$108.2M.

***Post-it Note ........ as 3M Corp. has entered into an agreement to acquire HighJump Software Inc., a provider of supply chain execution software & solutions, including it's related trademarks & patents. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed & require approval by HighJump Software's shareholders. HighJump Software provides a comprehensive suite of adaptable supply chain execution solutions, including advanced, integrated, solutions for warehouse & yard management, transportation management, supply chain visibility & event management, trading partner collaboration, & data collection. Timing of the 3M buy seems good as in Jan. 2003, 3M launched the "3M Integrated Packaging Tool", a web-based, data-enabled packaging information management system. This tool is said to be the 1st to integrate product information, package design & production systems to manage compliance, time to market, product surety & packaging costs in industries such as food & beverage, life sciences, chemical, & consumer packaged goods.

***Self Sacrifice In Mother Russia ...... as Russian troops have retrieved 10 tons of beer trapped under Siberian ice, the Itar-Tass news agency reported. The truck carrying the beer sank when trying to cross the frozen Irtysh River, near the Siberian city of Omsk, 1,400 miles from Moscow. The driver & his partner managed to escape, leaving the beer-laden truck. The rescue team of 6 divers, 10 workers & a modified T-72 tank from the Emergencies Ministry managed to save the load Jan. 21, after a week-long operation. They pulled the truck to an ice hole, opened the doors, and managed to pull out the kegs & bottles of beer. But as they were ready to retrieve the truck, the rope tore, leaving the truck on the bottom of the river. To hell with the truck. The Rosar Brewery in Omsk, part of the Interbrew Belgian group, says it is ready to take the beer back. With temperatures around minus 17 degrees Fahrenheit in the area, the brewery told Tass the beer was still in good condition & will sell as a rarity, but with a discount. Sure, but does the Rosar Brewery know those kegs & bottles are now empty from "military testing"?

***Balled Up ........ as a giant snowball stopped Dutch trains in their tracks on a key route late this month, and young pranksters thrilled by a rare snowfall are the prime suspects. "The engine driver felt a smack & stopped the train. He walked back & reported a large snowball had rolled down the slope onto the rails," a spokesman for rail network operator ProRail said.

***Handlebars On The Border ........ as police in northern India are being paid an extra US.96 cents a month to grow a mustache to give them more authority, a newspaper has reported. Mayank Jain, superintendent of the Madhya Pradesh state police, told The Asian Age that research showed that police with mustaches were taken more seriously. U.S. Customs & Border Protection is studying the concept.

***Hey Lady, Did You Order This Glowing Stuff? ........ as a plethora of U.S. agencies are investigating how a shipment of blended Russian uranium wound up in North Carolina instead of the intended destination, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Ky. The trucking company that transported the uranium, Transport Logistics Int'l, accidentally sent the load from a dock in Norfolk, Va., to Global Nuclear Fuel LLC in Wilmington on Dec. 19. Rod Fisk, CEO of Transport Logistics says the error was quickly spotted & both companies were notified of the problem. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission believes the shipment did not pose a risk to anyone and there was no criminal intent. The company that operates the Paducah plant, USEC, said the uranium was going to be delivered to Kentucky and that it had been under "tight security" ever since it arrived in the U.S. We understand, perhaps that same level of "tight security" accorded misdelivered bananas.

***Should Have Paid The Express Charges ........ as a young Colombian thief hid in a parcel delivered to a wealthy home on Jan. 6, but his planned burglary went wrong when suspicious security guards called in bomb disposal experts. Guards at the condominium in the City of Medellin feared the strange, heavy, unmarked package dropped off by a private vehicle could explode & phoned for help.


  2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______

  **J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. UP as 4th quarter profits were US$26.5M or 32 cents per share, compared with US$14.7M or 18 cents a year earlier.

  **Norfolk Southern Corp. DOWN as 4th-quarter net income fell 60% to US$52M, or 13 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with net income of US$129M, or 33 cents per share, in Q4 of 2002. For the year, net income was UP to US$535M, compared with US$460M in 2002. Revenues in 2003 rose 3% to US$6.5Bn, up from US$6.3Bn.

  **Overnite Corp. UP with net income for 4th quarter of US$3.1M or 11 cents per share on operating revenue of US$378.1M, an increase of 7.7% from Q4 of 2002. The LTL carrier was spun off last year by Union Pacific Corp.

  **Pilot Air Freight. UP as revenue for 4th quarter was US$66.7M, up 9.9% from 2002 & a new quarterly record for company. During quarter, Pilot handled a record 220,463 shipments totaling 113.4 million pounds, up 22% & 3%, respectively from 2002.

  **Union Pacific Corp. UP as 4th-quarter net income rose 46% to a record of US$551M or US$2.12 a share, helped in part by sale of its trucking subsidiary, Overnite Transportation Co.

  **UPS. UP as net income for 4th quarter was US$856M or 75 cents a share up 28%, as its total revenues rose 8.2% to US$8.93Bn. UPS earned US$1.5Bn or YS$1.32 per share in Q4 of 2002, but that includes a number of special charges, a tax-liability settlement of US$1Bn.

  **USF Corp. UP with Q4 profits of US$18.7M or 68 cents per share, compared with US$13.6M or 50 cents a year eariler.

  **Yellow Roadway Corp. (formed by combination in Dec. of 2 largest U.S. LTL carriers). DOWN with Q4 quarter loss of US$672,000 on acquisition-related costs.    

  ***C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. Online ....... as it will hold a live conference call at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time on Wed, Feb. 4, 2004, to discuss its 4th quarter & full-year 2003 results. Hosting conference call will be John Wiehoff, CEO of C.H. Robinson. To participate in conference call, please call 10 minutes early by dialing (888) 625-1618 (in the U.S.) & supply the passcode CHRW. Int'l callers can dial (210) 234-8003. Call is expected to last 45 minutes, including questions & answers.                       



OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***

  3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs _____

***Air Marshal Mandate ........ as the U.S. announced Dec. 29 that it will require armed law enforcement officers aboard Int'l flights in U.S. airspace when necessary, a demand at which some European nations have balked. Britain & France are open to the idea of sky marshals, but Finland, Portugal, Sweden & Denmark have signaled they prefer canceling flights to deploying armed guards on planes if there were a strong suspicion of an attack. "It may be that sky marshals have a place," British Airways CEO Rod Eddington said, adding that Europeans view the notion of putting weapons on airplanes as "abhorrent." Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Under Secty for Border & Transportation Security said the U.S. government would urgently pursue bilateral security standards with European countries to tighten security on trans-Atlantic flights. These would spell out when & how Air Marshals are to be used & also mandate added passenger screening & other stiffer security measures.

**April Brings New AWB Change .......as under current IATA regulations, it is required to insert either dimensions or volume of freight on the air waybill only when the volume weight is used as the chargeable weight. However, starting April 1, an amendment to this resolution makes it mandatory to include cargo dimensions on each air waybill. Information to be shown in the box, "Nature and Quantity of Goods" includes consignment dimensions, comprising max length, width, height, unit of measurement & number of pieces. If a consignment is consolidated as one moveable part, then only the dimensions of the overall consolidated consignment are required. Dimensions are not required for cargo tendered intact in authentic pre-built aircraft containers or pallets. If dimensions are not available and/or cannot be included on the air waybill at the time of completion, then total volume of the consignment has to be inserted. If the dimensions & total volume are not available & cannot be included on the air waybill at the time of completion, such must be clearly indicated by inserting the words "No Dimensions Available". IATA said: "We believe that this change will contribute to highly efficient planning of aircraft payloads, reduction of handling irregularities, and eventually, significant improvement of service standards."

***Being The Target ....... as the Bush administration has chosen BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman & United Airlines to develop plans for anti-missile systems to defend U.S. commercial planes against shoulder-fired rockets. Each will get US$2M to determine whether existing technology could be used to counter the terrorist threat. The companies, selected from a pool of 24 that sought the contracts, lead teams that will work on adapting defenses already used on military planes & Air Force One. All will test infrared jammers that redirect heat-seeking rockets away from aircraft engines. The 1st, 6-month phase of the project calls for the companies to develop plans for using anti-missile technology & analyze economic, manufacturing & maintenance issues for placing systems on civilian aircraft. Contractors then will be chosen to conduct more rigorous testing for up to 18 months. After that, the Homeland Security Dept. will recommend to Congress how to proceed. On Target!

***United Airlines On Target ....... as it assured this month that it will exit from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy by June 30 2004 -- as predicted. The nation's No. 2 carrier seeks court approval of its agreement with J.P. Morgan Chase & Citigroup to underwrite US$2Bn in loans in order to enable its exit from bankruptcy. The banks' loans hinge on United receiving US$1.6Bn in federal loan guarantees & getting its reorganization plan approved by the bankruptcy court by June 30.

***Atlas Shrugged ......... as Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (AAWH), parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. & Polar Air Cargo, Inc. announced Jan. 30 that it, Atlas & Polar and certain other direct and indirect U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. The bankruptcy filing is intended to implement the restructuring program commenced in March 2003, pursuant to which AAWH has been successful in obtaining agreements in principle from its major secured creditors & lessors. Chapter 11 permits a company to continue operations in the normal course while it develops a plan of reorganization to address its existing debt, capital & cost structures.

***Das Citizen Part Deux ....... as FedEx & UPS Inc. are asking the Dept. of Transportation to reject a federal administrative law judge's ruling that Astar Air Cargo Inc. is owned & controlled by a U.S. citizen, not a German company. FedEx & Atlanta-based UPS made the comments in a Jan. 26 filing that served as a response to the law judge's Dec. 19 ruling. Final authority rests with the DOT, which has not said when it will decide. At issue in the fight is the Astar Air Cargo's ability to do business in the U.S. FedEx & UPS say Miami-based Astar, called "DHL Airways" under former ownership, should be disqualified because of its ties to the German government. The contention is that Astar Air Cargo is controlled by German postal monopoly Deutsche Post. It is illegal for foreign companies to own more than 25% of a U.S. domestic air carrier. In April, FedEx & UPS challenged whether DHL Airways met the U.S. citizenship requirements. At the time, 55% of DHL Airways stock was owned by a U.S. citizen, William A. Robinson. On July 14, a group led by former Northwest Airlines CEO John Dasburg bought all shares of DHL Airways & renamed it Astar. See The Cargo Letter for Dec. 2003.

***UPS & FedEx Turn Up The Heat ........ as they are taking steps to crack down on illicit Internet pharmacies that send drugs using their trucks &planes. The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee asked these companies and MasterCard & Visa to show what they are doing to stop the flow of illegal drugs. In response, UPS said it notifies law-enforcement officials whenever it discovers a shipment containing illegal drugs & sends cease-and-desist letters to Internet pharmacies that steer shipments through the company but don't demand prescriptions from customers. 

***Can You Guangzhou? ...... as FedEx has formalized plans to move its Asia-Pacific transport & distribution hub to Guangzhou from the Philippines, said the Guangzhou Daily. The hub to be built at new Baiyun Airport will open between 2008 & 2012. Guangzhou, on the Pearl River, N. of Hong Kong is where the SARS epidemic began & where your Editor was the week it began!

***Hong Kong A Star ......... as throughput at Hong Kong Int'l Airport (HKIA) was 249,000 tons in Dec. 2003, an increase of 15.8% over same month in 2002. The growth attributed mainly to the boost in exports to China, Europe & the U.S. A new record was also set in air cargo handled in 2003 at 2.64 million tons, 6.6% more than previous record of 2.48 million tons set in 2002. 

***FedEx Goes Postal ...... as it is offering large customers a cheaper delivery option that uses the U.S. Postal Service to carry packages the final mile to homes, Bloomberg reported. Under the venture, FedEx can deliver parcels to any of 38,000 post offices, which transport the packages 1 mile to homes. FedEx is offering the service to high-volume shippers as a national 4 day delivery option at prices less than its typical rates, Bloomberg said.

***Final Flights? ...... as cargo carrier Coyne Airways has begun 2 regular weekly flights into Baghdad in response to what it says is growing demand for scheduled freight services to the Iraqi capital. The UK-based company began its all-cargo Iraq flights on Jan. 15, using IL-76 & AN-12 freighter aircraft out of Dubai. Coyne said it will use existing interline services to move cargo bound for Iraq on a single AWB from Europe, the U.S. & Asia via Dubai. Photo Feature

***Boeing Has A Gut Feeling In The Belly ....... as it has no concrete plans for a freighter version of the upcoming 7E7, but it does plan to use the passenger version's belly cargo potential as a key selling point. "There is a lot of talk within the company about 7E7 belly space, which could make the difference between a paying & non-paying route," said Boeing. The baseline 7E7 will have room for 5 pallet positios & 5 standard LD-3 containers -- the stretch 7E7 will be able to carry 6 pallets & 8 LD-3s.     

***Humbug ......... as for South African children there was no Santa Claus this year. South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority banned an advertisement for the country's Post Office that gave children an address to write for air mail service to Santa Claus with their Christmas wishes.                 



OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

  4. FF World Ocean Briefs ______________

***America's Seaports Are Vulnerable Targets ...... as they have attracted interest from terrorists, an FBI counterterrorism official told the U.S. Senate this month. The Deputy Asst. Director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division said, "I can't be more specific as to the threats of attacks. We have received information that indicates there is an interest." Officials from the Coast Guard & Customs Service said they've made progress in securing the nation's 361 ports, which receive about 6 million cargo containers from overseas each year. Customs said 5.4% of cargo containers entering the nation's ports in the 2003 fiscal year were inspected -- nearly double the percentage from 2002 and "it's important to note we think this is the right 5.4%." Customs said the inspections are getting results & have found contraband goods & evidence of inaccurate ship manifests. The U.S. Coast Guard still is assessing how many ships, ports, ferry terminals & fuel-chemical tank farms failed to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for submitting security plans, said the agency's director of port security, Rear Admiral Larry Hereth. The latest estimates are that only 60% of 5,000 facility plans & 75% of 10,000 vessel plans have been received, Hereth said.

***Pirate Attacks On Int'l Shipping Soared In 2003 ..... as the Int'l Maritime Bureau reports the number of reported attacks on vessels rose to 445 from 370 in 2002, the 2nd-highest total since the IMB started compiling statistics in 1991. The number of seamen killed also climbed to 21 compared with 10 in the previous year, while 71 crew & passengers are listed as missing and 88 were injured, the IMB said in its annual report. The number of hostages taken also nearly doubled to 359 in 2003. The IMB said the number of ships attacked for the theft of the vessel & its cargo has fallen sharply but more vulnerable craft such as barges & tugs are being targeted and crews are being abducted for ransom. The waters off Indonesia, including the busy Malacca Straits, continue to be among the world's most dangerous with 121 reported incidents, followed by Bangladesh with 58 & Nigeria with 39.

***FMC Action On NCBFAA China Petition ....... as the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an Order granting in part & denying in part a petition submitted by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Assn. of America (NCBFAA). The petition asked the FMC to amend its regulations to permit licensed NVOCCs to file an additional bond to the amount of US$96,000 to satisfy bonding requirements imposed by the People's Republic of China (PRC). The FMC will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to allow licensed NVOCCs, at their option, to file proof of additional financial responsibility as an alternative to meet Chinese requirements for deposit of at least US$96,000 in a Chinese bank. The FMC declined, though, to establish a procedure by which the Commission would administer payment of claims against these optional riders. Order

***China Seeks Instant Rates ......as the FMC has summarized its recent meeting regarding shipping issues related to China. Three Chinese carriers petitioned for relief from the 30-day waiting period for reduction of tariff rates. The Maritime Admin. & U.S. State Dept. recommend favorable consideration. FMC will accept comments on these petitions until Feb. 23, 2004. The FMC also decided to review shipping restrictions, requirements, & practices of the PRC when further information is available regarding changes in conditions anticipated as a result of the U.S.-China bilateral Maritime Agreement. Read Press Release:

COSCO Petition

China Shipping Petition

Sinotrans Petition

 ***NVOCCs Seek Service Contract Exemptions ...... as the FMC has received petitions from two non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) for exemptions from the requirements of section 8 of the Shipping Act of 1984 so that they may enter into Confidential Service Contracts. Comments on the petitions must be submitted by Feb. 13, 2004.

Danzas Petition

BDP Int'l Petition

***U.S. Coast Guard Gets Explosive ...... as it has issued a Notice stating that collection of information & signage requirements of its new rule regarding handling of Class 1 Explosive materials & other dangerous requirements within or contiguous to waterfront facilities will come into effect on March 1, 2004. Read the Rule:

***500,000 TEU - No Waiting ...... as long truck lines at marine terminals in Los Angeles, Long Beach & Oakland have dramatically dropped since California's idling law took effect last year, although waterfront employers & labor disagree over the reasons. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Assn., said California's container ports have added more than 100 new gates, installed optical character readers to speed up processing of trucks & opened another 700 acres since 2002 so terminals can store containers on chassis.  The new law, officially titled AB-2650, took effect on Jan. 1, 2003. Authorities gave marine terminals a 6 month grace period, & on July 1, 2003, began enforcing the bill's main provision, which fines terminal operators US$250 for every truck that must idle for more than 30 minutes outside the gates. California's South Coast Air Quality Management District, after conducting more than 1,000 inspections in Los Angeles-Long Beach over the the past 6 months, found no violations of the bill & did not issue any fines. The Bay Area AQMD also found terminal gates to be fluid in Oakland.  

***Old Argument - New Ruling ....... as a governmental determination that a contract port driver qualifies as an employee has set the stage for a large back pay settlement by the ATS Intermodal Trucking Co. of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Teamster Port Division announced Jan. 30 that ATS has agreed to pay former driver Bill Campbell US$15,000 in back pay & other compensation. ATS terminated Campbell last year after he joined a picket line to demonstrate solidarity for members of the Int'l Longshoremen's Assn. on strike against Evergreen, the Chinese-owned steamship line. In addition to the back pay award, ATS agreed to post a notice to all employees notifying them of the employee-status determination by the National Labor Relations Board's Regional Director in North Carolina. The finding means that Campbell & other ATS owner--operator drivers have the same protections under the National Labor Relations Act as any company driver or other company employee. According to the notice posted by ATS: "The NLRB was prepared to issue a formal complaint & have the case heard and decided by an administrative law judge." This is just the begining.

***M/T Exxon Valdez Sails On ....... as a federal judge has ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay US$6.75Bn to thousands of Alaskans affected by the 1989 M/T Exxon Valdez oil spill. The ruling is the latest of several damage awards in the case over the past decade -- the result of successful appeals in federal court by Exxon. The company plans to appeal again. The Irving, Texas-based company is ordered to pay US$4.5Bn in punitive damages & US$2.25Bn in interest. The money is to go to 32,000 fishermen, Alaska natives, landowners, small businesses & cities affected by the massive oil spill in Prince William Sound. The judge had been ordered by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the damages awarded in an earlier ruling in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year concerning punitive damages. The spill occurred on March 23, 1989, less than 3 hours after M/T Exxon Valdez left the Alyeska Pipeline terminal. The ship grounded, rupturing 8 of its 11 cargo tanks & spewing some 40.9 million litres of crude oil into the sound. "This ruling flies in the face of the guidelines set by the appeals court," Exxon said. Exxon added that the 9th Circuit has twice before vacated the same judge's decisions in this case.

***Back To The Future Or End of Era? ......... as 9 years ago in a book on the container industry, our good friend Sam Ignarski (publisher of "Bow Wave") made a series of predictions about the container industry titled "The Box", described as "an anthology celebrating 25 years of containerisation & the TT Club." TT Club had commissioned Sam Ignarski, who then headed up the multimodal mutual insurer's Asian operation from Hong Kong, to bring together articles written over the first 25 years of the club, and more or less the 1st quarter century of container shipping."The Box" is said to be the best account of the development of containerization. The Shipping Times has reprinted high points in a review. Interesting reading:

***Paperless Panama ....... as the Canal Authority issued a Notice stating that, effective July 1, 2004, all collection of data required for transit will be accomplished through electronic means and submission of paper information will no longer be accepted.

***Panamax? ....... as while 2003 was most profitable year in the 90-year history of the Panama Canal, the waterway must either build another set of locks for larger ships or see its vitality as a shipping lane fade, the Wall Street Journal reported. The canal has spent US$1Bn since 1996 to improve the existing system of locks & to widen and deepen the waterway, but the continued expansion is expected to cost several billion dollars. Some experts predict that with trade with China soaring, the canal would reach maximum capacity by 2010, the Journal said.

***Alligence To The Republic ....... as Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. continues to excavate the SS Republic, a vessel that sank in 1865 with a large cargo of coins. To date, more than 17,000 coins, with a total face value of US$54,500 (approximately 14,230 silver 2,950 gold coins) & over 750 other artifacts have been recovered. The recovered coins represent approximately 14% of the "US$400,000 in specie" (face value) historical records indicate was on board the Republic when she sank. National Geographic Television and Film has been following the expedition since the beginning. Principal photography was completed last week for the program's planned television broadcasts on Dateline NBC and "National Geographic Ultimate Explorer" on MSNBC. The airdate will be announced. The SS Republic was a side wheel steamer that sank in 1865, New York for New Orleans, after battling a hurricane for 2 days. Odyssey discovered the wreck 1,700 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 miles off the Georgia coast. The archaeological excavation of the shipwreck began in Nov. of 2003 & is continuing.

***Neutral On The Ditch ....... as I.T.N. of Miami, Inc., a neutral NVOCC based in Miami, Fla., has established a subsidiary in Panama named I.T.N. of Panama, and opened a full-service logistics at 16,000 square foot (1,500 sq. meter) cargo handling & storage facility at France Field inside the Colon Free Zone.

***High Times At SK Shipping ........ as Son Kil-Seung, who also served as head of the influential Federation of Korean Industries, a lobbying arm of the country's conglomerates, has been jailed. Son, 62, was charged with drawing US$666M from SK Shipping without permission from the board of directors between April 1998 & Aug. 2002 & having it invested in overseas futures. Son claimed most of this money evaporated on bad futures investment but prosecutors are investigating how it was used. He illegally diverted another 249 billion won from SK Shipping & funnelled it into a SK Group unit in 1998, according to the prosecutors. Son allegedly inflicted US$846M of losses on SK Shipping. Son has already admitted that SK gave money to politicians, sparking an investigation into illegal campaign funds raised by top businesses before the 2002 presidential elections.

***Sliding In To 3rd ......... as Port of Shanghai has become the 3rd largest container port in the world. According to a report by Xinhua News Agency, Shanghai Port handled a total of 11.28 million TEU in 2003, up 28.5% compared with 2002, as trade continues to soar. Singapor stays on top (16.48 million TEU), followed by Hong Kong.

***Thar She Blows ........ as decomposing remains of a 60-ton sperm whale exploded on a busy Taiwan street Jan. 29, showering nearby cars & shops with blood & organs & stopping traffic for hours, local newspapers say. The 56 foot dead whale had been on a truck headed for autopsy at a university, when gases from internal decay caused its entrails to explode in the S. city of Tainan.

***San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum Takes Shape ....... as the star of the show as ex-USS Midway arrived at her new berth along historic Navy Pier on North Harbor Drive on Jan 10, 2004. Thousands watched as tugs pushed the historic carrier into her mooring platforms.  Now the next phase begins as engineers & contractors work to install fire suppression systems & safety railings so that Midway can open as a museum in late spring. Contribute!

***This Month in U.S. Naval History ..........

1862 - Launching of 1st turreted warship, USS Monitor.

1942 - USS Gudgeon is 1st U.S. sub to sink an enemy submarine in action, Japanese I-173.

1943 - Beginning of 2 day battle of Rennell Island in South Pacific, after which U.S. transports reached Guadalcanal.

1944 - U.S. amphibious landing takes place on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands.

1949 - USS Norton Sound (AV 11), 1st guided-missile ship, launches 1st guided missile, Loon.

1961 - Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Lee Gravely Jr. becomes 1st African-American to command combat ship, USS Falgout (DER 324).

1967 - Fire in command module at Cape Kennedy during simulation countdown. Lunar module pilot Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee & 2 other crew died.

1968 - USS Pueblo (AGER 2) seized by North Korean forces in Sea of Japan.

1960 - USS John S. McCain (DL 3/DDG 36) rescues entire 41 crew of sinking Japanese freighter M/V Shinwa Maru, in East China Sea.

1962 - USS Cook (APD 130) rescues 25 survivors after section of Panamanian tanker SS Stanvac Sumatra broke in two in South China Sea.

1981 - Era of enlisted naval aviators ends when last pilot retires.

1986 - Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, killing Cmdr. Michael Smith & 6 other astronauts.

For more from the Naval Historical Center, visit the Navy Newsstand page.

    ***In Memorium ......... as services were held on Jan. 9 at the University Club in San Francisco for noted maritime lawyer Sam D. Delich, Jr., 63, managing partner of the law firm of Flynn, Delich & Wise of San Francisco, who died Jan. 4 of a heart attack. Born in Kemmerer, Wyo. & raised on a ranch, Delich worked his way through high school & college riding the rodeo circuit. In 1962, he graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a degree in engineering. He earned a joint Juris Doctor & MBA degree from Cornell University in 1966. He worked for other California law firms until helping found Flynn, Delich & Wise in 1992. He was a rock of our industry.


   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!! >> The losses of M/V Rockness, M/V Caribe Merchant, M/V Sea Riss, M/V Pride of America, M/V Anhua, M/V Stellamare -- just some of the merchant vessels lost this month!

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.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature. 

SPECIAL NOTE: See our quite amazing new feature for Jan. 2004: "On A Wing & A Prayer"

NEXT UP: Tragic Jan. 2003 photo story of M/V Rockness, a Posiden Adventure. Watch the Wesbsite.

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 worldwide web sites of the week for your business, your information and your amusement..............

2003 Procurement Outsourcing Survey

Assn. of Ship Brokers & Agents in the U.S. ........ distance learning courses online for Shipbroking and Chartered Vessel Operations, & Maritime Law.

Ben Stein's Top Ten Tips For Selecting A Retirement Planning Advisor

EU 2004 Fish Catch Quotas .......... meeting the demands of you readers!

German Regime of Forwarder Legal Liability - ADSp

Hours of Service&emdash;Problem or Opportunity? ........new U.S. regulations may force companies to rethink how they manage their supply chain operations.

NOAA Weather Radio

Securing The Supply Chain ......... what you need to know today.

Ship Technology - Current Projects

U.S. Coast Guard Hazardous Materials Response Speacial Teams Capabilities Contact Handbook ....... extensive free materials.

Wal-Mart and RFID .......... in the retailer's own words


Air Cargo World Index ....... re-launched in 2004 to locate aircraft with spare capacity & match them with cargo brokers & forwarders who have cargo to move.

European Supply Chain Analyst Subscription Service ....... guide to most important developments changing ways retailers do business with suppliers & customers.

Modern Materials Handling Online

Nautech Marine Consultants ......... Metairie, LA.

WANTED SHIPS ....... for tracking & arresting vessels.


2nd Intermodal Africa Conf. ......... 5-6 Feb. 2004, Capetown.

13th Annual Int'l Air Cargo Conference & Exhibit- Gulfport-Biloxi 2004 ......... 10-13 May, at Beau Rivage Resort, Biloxi, Mississippi -- 172 exhibitors -- small regional companies to large Int'l companies that include airports, airlines, express air carriers, freight forwarders, expedited motor carriers, consolidators, integrators, logistics, trucking, security, contractors & major companies that define the cargo industry. In attendance, thousands of shippers, manufacturers, distributors & custom brokers from around the globe.

Connecticut Maritime Assn. - CMA Conference 2004 .......... Connecticut on March 22, 23 & 24 2004, Westin Hotel, Stamford,Connecticut.

CMI 38th Conference ......... May 31 to June 4, 2004, Comité Maritime Int'l, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Coaltrans Conferences

Int'l Assn. of Marine Investigators 14th Annual Training Seminar ........ Feb. 22 to 25, Palm Beach County -- Hosted by Palm Beach County Sheriff's Dept.

Int'l Congress of Marine Arbitrators ..........April 26 to 30, 2004, Millennium Mayfair Hotel, London.

Int'l Air Cargo Assn. of Chicago ........ Tues, Feb. 10, 2004, Giorgios Restaurant, 276 E. Irving Park Road, Wood Dale, IL 60191. Topic: "Overview & Future Projects regarding TSA Regulations"

Los Angeles Transportation Club .......... Tues. Feb. 10, 2004, 11:30AM,  Marriott Norwalk Hotel, 13111 Sycamore Drive. Speaker- Jack Kyser, Sr. VP & Chief Economist,  L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) 

L.A. Harbor Transportation Club .......... 6PM, Thur. Feb. 12th, 2004. Reef Restaurant, Port of Long Beach. Speaker, Marianne Venieris, Exec. Director, Center for Int'l Trade & Transportation, California State University Long Beach

Logistics Hong Kong ........ May 18 to 20 2004, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center

Logicon 2004 ........Feb. 23 to 25, 2004, Amsterdam. 8th annual conference for senior logistics & supply chain professionals working in the FMCG sector. Attracting professionals from over 14 European countries, event tackles current challenges facing logisticians through 45 in-depth case studies.

Pacific 2004 Int'l Maritime & Naval Exposition ........ Feb. 3 to 6, 2004, Sydney, Australia.

Terminal Operators Conf. & Exhibition ......... June 2004, Barcelona, Spain.

World Cargo Alliance 6th Annual Worldwide Conference ........... 11 to 14 Feb. 2004, Bangkok, Thailand, world's largest network of independent int'l freight forwarders with 550 members in 112 countries.

FOR FUN>>>>>>>>>

200th Anniversary of Lewis & Clark Expedition ....... historians & educators have teamed up to re-enact the pair's historic 3 year trek across the American West--in real time.

Mars Exploration Rover Missions

Motor Trend ....... video of 6th-generation Chevrolet Corvette, 2005 Mustang & spectacular retro-futuristic Ford Shelby Cobra, introduced in the video by

Carroll Shelby himself.

National Geographic ....... examines extraordinary world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, delving into the fascinating parallels between real-life myths, events, & languages and the fictional world of Middle Earth. See a preview here.



OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***

  7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases _______   

Spector Vs. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.

5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Jan. 12, 2004

In an opinion that likely will have logistics implications, the court ruled that the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) does not apply to foreign cruise ships, even when those ships are in U.S. waters. In the instant case, plaintiff disabled persons asserted that the ships of defendant owner contained physical barriers that denied them access to public accommodations and other facilities on the ships. The court held that there was nothing in the ADA indicating that Congress intended for the ADA to be applied extra-territorially. This decision is directly contrary to the 11th Circuit decision in Stevens v. Premier Cruises and sets the stage for a possible review by U.S. Supreme Court. Opinion


Mulder Vs. Pilot Air Freight

Supreme Court of California

Jan. 5 2004

Injury & Tort Law: The Supreme Court has ruled on the case of Plaintiff Mulder who sued Pilot Air Freight, claiming that an inaccurate report by the airforwarder to police regarding theft of Pilot's flight data recorder -- resulted in Mulder's mistaken arrest. The California Court of Appeal dismissed Mulder's suit on ground that such claims are barred by the absolute "police privilege" established by Civil Code section 47(b), which bars tort actions based on privileged communications with police, the exception being claims involving malicious intent. The Supreme Court affirmed. Another flight recorder gone bad, but no "X File" for this Mulder! Opinion


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

Cameron W. Roberts, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)


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