THE CARGO LETTER 
Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
9 September 1997
Good Tuesday Morning from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the
officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right at
Los Angeles International Airport.
_ Lloyd's of London rang its famed Lutine Bell at notice of the premature
death of HH Diana, Princess of Wales as a unique mark of pure and simple respect
by our industry. Historically, the Lutine Bell is rung to signal loss of an
insured vessel -- a harmful disaster. We are each harmed today by this tragic
The thousands of Forwarders & Brokers who read this publication around
the world need to learn of YOUR experiences and what YOU learned today.
Contribute your knowledge & information ........ by e-mail to The
Cargo Letter. We strive to bring you useful information which is timely
Michael S. McDaniel, Esq., Editor & Publisher
INDEX to The Cargo Letter:
- OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
- Beijing Fumes At Taiwan Participation In Canal Talks
- Vincent Siew - 1st Taiwan Born Premier
- ShipFix Import/Export List Opens On The Net
- Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
- The Cargo Letter Financial Page
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
- Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News
- FF World Ocean Briefs
- The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
- The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
- Motor Carrier Selection
- Milk And A Bit Of History
- China Tariff Questions Answered
- Letters To The Cargo Letter
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
- Vincent Siew -- 1st Taiwan Born Premier
-- by Warren S. Levine, for The Cargo Letter
SEPT. 4 -- Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and a delegation of over 350
government and business officials and members of the Taiwan press arrived in
Panama today, after a short "unofficial" stopover to play golf in
Hawaii, for international conferences on the Panama Canal.
Jiang Zemin, President of the People's Republic of China, has asked Panama's
government to withdraw its invitation to Lee, and referred to their inviting him
as a "mistaken act." China holds firmly to its position that Taiwan
has no right to govern itself, as they consider the island state to be a
renegade province of the mainland.
In an act of appeasement towards Beijing, only three other heads of state,
out of 300 nations participating, will attend the conference -- those of host
country Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said that Taiwan's official
participation in the conferences "...will not benefit the spirit of
peaceful unification." However his counterpart in Taiwan, Roy Wu, said,
"As a sovereign country, it is only normal and legitimate for us to attend
In another major event last week in Taiwan, Vincent Siew, the island's first
native-born premier, along with his newly formed Cabinet, was sworn in at the
Presidential Office in Taipei. The 58-year-old former economics minister was
named as a replacement to Lien Chan, who had resigned the post. Lien will remain
At his first Cabinet meeting, Siew called on his ministers to
"...respond to and solve problems instantly under the principles that
public opinion is the most important guideline for governmental policy."
Siew, a former chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, also said that Beijing
must "... recognize the political reality of a divided China,"
indicating that in order for him to visit the mainland, he would have to be
recognized as a head of state.
He also issued a caution to Taiwanese investors in the mainland: "In the
face of increased trade and commerce ... the government has the responsibility
to remind Taiwan businesses of the political risks in making investments on the
Chinese mainland." However, Siew told CNN Wednesday that both the
government and the people of Taiwan want to see cross-strait relations improve,
and suggested that Beijing reopen the semi-official talks which they
unilaterally called off in 1995.
Siew told Beijing to put aside the "sovereignty issue" and
recognize the reality of a separate Taiwan government, but in a step
characteristic of the ongoing political ballet, he stressed that they should not
take that to mean he was promoting Taiwan independence.
Industry expert Dennis Aruta has established ShipFix, a creative new Internet
service for Exporters/Importers of large volume cargoes. With ShipFix users can
find expert ShipBrokers for the best deals on chartering &operating vessels.
Conversely, ShipBrokers and chartering agents can find new principals on ShipFix.
ShipFix is also a ShipBroker & charterer's network, proving users with
information on the current movement of ships & cargoes.
Says Mr. Aruta, "Little is known about the shipping and chartering
sector of our industry. As I see it the industry is 5 to 10 years behind in
cyberspace and continues conservative. It has changed little from sailing ship
days, except of course for containerization. Even back in 1900 some ships could
do 30 knots!"
ShipFix is designed to guide users through the maze of confusion and
misunderstanding which limit the effectiveness of many importers &
exporters. Said Aruta, "How many have asked, I want to ship steel to China,
give me a rate. Whoa! You might need a year to find out how to do it
successfully, if you haven't shipped before. Indeed, it once took me a full year
to teach a steel importer how to charter a ship. Ever seen a real ocean Charter
party? It's a huge and complex document." ShipFix is designed to assist
users in these issue areas.
The founder of Denar Chartering in 1971, Aruta is now retired and anxious to
assist ShipFix users. Because there is a waiting list, those interested in
belonging to ShipFix should apply NOW at .............. http://
www.liii.com/~denic/45knots.htm or obtain info at ........ http://www.liii.com/~denic/denar.htm
NOTE: All articles in The Cargo Letter are for the information of our readers
and not ads. No one is ever charged in connection with information on our pages.
- U.S. Exports Hit Record, Deficit Declines ........... as a Journal
of Commerce article reports that U.S. goods exports in June 1997, led by
gains in automotive products, computer accessories, and metals, reached
US$57.4B, a new record. More good news, U.S. imports in June 1997 fell for
the first time since October 1996, driving the U.S. goods deficit down
US$1.3B from May 1997, to $15 billion. However, the article cites data that
this year's deficit could approach a record US$200B if recent trends
- Fast-Track Authority Bill ......... will be requested from Congress
by President Clinton, but it is understood that top aides still cannot agree
on what the fast-track trade negotiating authority should be. Congressional
staffers have now been told that the White House decisions on the final form
of the proposed bill may be announced this week. Teamster General President
Ron Carey and other labor leaders hope to convince Congress to defeat
President Clinton's request for new fast-track trade negotiating authority.
- U.S., Canada, & Mexico Trade Up Since NAFTA .......... as the
United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean
reports that total trade between the 3 NAFTA countries amounted to about
US$393B in 1996, and increased 11%, 24%, and 10% in the three years since
NAFTA enactment because of lower tariff duties & streamlined trading
- Expeditors Opens 11 New Offices ............... as Expeditors
International of Washington, Inc. announced two strategic moves this month
with 1.] its third & fourth India stations and 2.] nine new stations in
service to the Northern & Southern U.S. Borders. Total offices now
- INDIA: Stations at Bangalore & Madras now join the New Delhi &
Mumai (formerly Bombay) stations which opened last year.
- U.S. Northern Border: New stations are at the international bridges in
key cities: the Peace Bridge & the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge (often
called the "Niagra Falls Bridge") adjacent to Buffalo, New
York; the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan; the Blue Water Bridge
in Port Huron, Michigan. Seventy percent of imports from Canada cross
into the U.S. at these four locations.
- U.S. Southern Border: Two of the new Southern border offices are in
the adjacent cities of Laredo, Texas & Nuevo Laredo, Tamauilipas,
Mexico .......... the busiest Southern border crossing in the United
- Expeditors' other new southern stations are El Paso, Texas, Nogales,
Arizona and San Diego, California. Soon, Expeditors will open an office
in Calexico, CA.
NOTE: In other news Expeditors has been selected as Ford Motor Company's
- Kuwait "Equates" With Fritz ............ as Fritz
Companies Inc. has signed a 3-year contract to manage EQUATE Petrochemical
Company's global distribution from Kuwait. EQUATE is a joint venture between
Union Carbide &Petrochemical Industries Co. of Kuwait. The company is in
the final stages of completing a US$2B production plant in Kuwait that will
produce polyethylene & ethylene glycol at a rate of 800,000 tons per
month and 80 export containers per day. Fritz's Kuwait station opened this
- Circle Names New V.P. ............as Jon Monroe has been appointed
V.P. of Ocean Services at Circle Int'l (NASDAQ:CRCL). Monroe initially
joined Circle in 1992 after spending more than a decade at major shipping
companies including United States Lines, Lykes Brothers & Hyundai.
Monroe returns to Circle after a year at Emery Worldwide, where he served as
director of the company's ocean program.
- NCBFAA Warns Of Customs Consultants .......... as individuals who
hold no licenses from the Federal or a state government, and who represent
interested parties before a Federal agency, or advise persons on matters of
Customs law (e.g., customs consultants), may be in violation of state
statutes on the practice of law, Federal statutes on the conduct of Customs
business, or both. According to the National Customs Brokers &
Forwarders Association of America, Customs should not consider it to be
'reasonable care' by an importer to rely on the advice of unlicensed
consultants with regard to substantive questions of Customs laws &
- Emery Forms New Customs Unit ........ with its Customs Compliance
&Specialized Services Group. According to Emery Customs Brokers (a
division of Emery Worldwide) the new group is specifically designed to
assist importers on the regulatory complexities imposed on them as a result
of the Customs Modernization Act (MOD-ACT). The MOD-ACT altered the
relationship between U.S. Customs and the importer by shifting to the
importer the legal responsibilities associated with importing commercial
merchandise into the U.S. Emery's new group assists international customers
with proper record keeping, internal control, valuation and classification
of merchandise, NAFTA analysis, & other services. The new group can be
reached at 1-800-CLEAR-IT.
- A "Value Added" UPS Service Cancelled ........ as a fired
UPS driver surrendered last month to face charges that he used his delivery
route to hide a drug trafficking operation. Scott Ward, 33, was charged with
illegal possession of marijuana with intent to sell, distribute or
transport. Authorities confiscated about 40 pounds of marijuana, valued at
US$110,000, shipped from California to fictitious Torrington, CT addresses.
Ward would take similar packages on his route and deliver them to drug
- Say What? ........... as the U.S. Department of Transportation's
Federal Highway Administration is considering new rules and has asked for
public comment on the need for English proficiency among the nation's truck
drivers, according to the Journal of Commerce. In the American South West,
in Western Ports and along the U.S. Southern border, such rules could have a
- WESCCON '97 Approaches ......... as The Western Cargo Conference is
scheduled to be held from October 2-5, 1997 at Lake Tahoe, NV. The theme
this year is 'The role of the Freight Forwarder & Customs Broker in the
- CaroTrans Int'l Moves HQ ......... as the multimodal forwarder has
moved its headquarters from Cherryville, N.C. to Lemont, Ill. Its Full
Container Load Division will move from Cherryville to an office near the
Port of Charleston, S.C.
- The Africalink Import - Export Newsletter .............focuses on
business active ties in Africa and the diaspora, import - export contacts,
events listings, business leads, business briefs, classified ads and
opportunity listings. For info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Intercargo Insurance Co. UP US$3.8M or a full 34% for the first
half of 1997. The company will pay a US$0.09 per share dividend on 15 Sept.
- Aramex Int'l Ltd. UP 30% in the 2nd quarter for the express and
freight forwarding company specializing in the Middle East & Indian
Sub-Continent regions with net income of US$0.72M, or US$0.16 per share, on
revenues of US$15.6M.
- El Al Israel Airlines. UP with a small profit in the 2nd quarter
and is expected to end the year with a narrower loss than originally
projected. Loss for the full year may be considerably under the US$45M
projection. The carrier lost US$80M in 1996.
- Lufthansa. UP with a pre-tax profit in the first half of 1997
jumped to US$219.1M, slightly above analyst's forecasts
- Southwest Airlines. UP with net income for 2nd quarter 1997
increased 10.0% to US$93.8M. ($.62 per share).
- The Freight Connection. UP as the Tampa forwarder, announced
revenues for the quarter ended June 30, were US$6.78M, an increase of 20%.
Revenues for the six months ended June 30, 1997 were US$13.06M, an increase
of 27%. The continued growth can be attributed to the offices in Atlanta
& Los Angeles, which were added during 1996.
- Tower Air. UP with an operating profit of $9,507,000 and a net
profit of US$3.58M, or US$0.23 per share, for 2nd quarter 1997, compared
with an operating profit of US$5.15M and a net income of US$2.93M, or
US$0.19 per share, in the same 1996 period. For the first half of 1997,
there was an operating profit of US$2.43Mversus an operating loss of $7.99M,
in 1996. Operating revenues for the second quarter declined by 1.2%
- Trans World Airlines. DOWN with wider-than-expected loss for the
2nd quarter, combined with its decision to cut 1,000 jobs, has some
wondering whether the line will survive. The loss was US$15.9M, compared
with net income of $25.3 million a year ago. It was the 4th consecutive loss
since the Flight 800 crash a year ago.
- C. H. Robinson Worldwide IPO .......... with an 18 Aug.
announcement that it has filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission
for the initial public offering of 10,578,396 shares of its common stock,
constituting approximately 25% of the shares outstanding, at an expected
price between US$l5 & US$17. All of the stock is being sold by
shareholders of the company, current or former company employees. The
offering is expected to be made in this month through underwriters led by
Alex. Brown & Sons. Founded in 1905, C. H. Robinson is the largest 3rd
party logistics company in North America, with 1996 gross revenues of
$US1.6B and is a global provider of multimodal services operating through a
network of 116 offices in 38 states, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, the U.K.,
France, Spain, Italy, Singapore, & South Africa. It maintains the single
largest network of motor carrier capacity in North America through contracts
with more than 14,000 carriers.
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
- Moscow - Taipei Direct ........... as the Russian Foreign Ministry
announced last week that an agreement to open direct air links this year was
made by a joint Russian-Taiwanese commission on economic & cultural
cooperation, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. However, only
non-government airlines, such as Transaero, will be allowed to fly the route
because Russia only recognizes the Beijing government and considers Taiwan
to be part of China.
- Operation HazStrike Underway ........... as the FAA is making
UNANNOUNCED spot checks at major airports to make sure hazardous materials
are not being loaded onto passenger planes. The nationwide probe stems from
the May 1996 crash of ValuJet Flight 592 which was blamed on unsealed oxygen
canisters that started a fire in the cargo hold. Recent weeks have seen
inspectors visiting Airforwarders and other facilities in the CVG, LAX &
JFK areas.. The program started in June at MIA where 10 problems were found
among more than 100 maint. & repair centers, all relating to employee
training programs according to FAA. First word of CVG inspections came to us
from Advanced Express, Inc. in early August which reported company couriers
being questioned during out bound freight drop offs. According to Ed Kasper,
President of Advanced Express, "We have nothing to hide from the FAA
and I believe that we are co-operating and complying with all of the
security requirements. The job of the agency must be 'to inform and to
educate'. I know of no shipper or associate in our industry who wants to
deliberately skirt or short-cut any of the rules when it comes to airline
security or safety. The agency should use its 'helping hand', and always
avoid threatening shippers & forwarders with a 'back-hand' so that our
industry may achieve the ultimate goal." Current reports suggest that
no major violations on the part of Airforwarders have been found, but
several forwarders have described to us inspector attitudes suggestive of a
keen desire to actually find such violations. Is your house in order?
- "Lot Labels": A Statement of ....... The Airforwarders
Association ............ as Director Jim Foster tells us that the
association has "long supported forwarder applied bar coded lot labels
as a means to achieve real time tracing and tracing information, both
domestically and internationally. The major stumbling block we have found
has been the inability and/ or unwillingness for airlines to equip
themselves to read and process the bar codes on a real time basis. There are
a few airlines who are experimenting with the process but as far as we know
no airline has made a commitment to fully implement bar coding. We continue
to encourage the process because we feel it is necessary for forwarders to
have the information quickly and efficiently
- UPS Pilot Contract Talks To Continue ........... as we wait to see
if a 2nd disastrous strike could emerge. About 2,000 members of the IPA
normally work for UPS flying its fleet of 500 aircraft. The Independent
Pilots Assn. has warned that the Teamsters' strike is just the beginning of
UPS labor negotiation problems. Under the current/final UPS proposal, the
average Captain wage would increase 34% from US$153,000 a year to US$202,000
a year. Co-pilots would rise 56% to US$132,000 a year and the average Flight
Engineer's pay 94% to US$94,000 a year. A pilot who retired from UPS after
25 years of service would receive more than US$100,000 a year in pension
benefits every year for the rest of his or her life. .....[Where do we sign
up?] ....... If the offer is voted down, the UPS has agreed to arbitrate
differences. We should know the outcome by October. Ten years ago last month
UPS began flight operations. As of last week UPS was operating at about 78%
of normal volume.
- U.S. - Japan Air Deal? ............ as a 3rd round of talks on an
aviation treaty has commenced. Experts suggest that an agreement could
relieve tensions between the two countries in other trade areas. The current
treaty grants US flag carriers United & Northwest wide 5th Freedom
rights, meaning the airlines can pick-up passengers in Japan on flights
arriving from the US and carry them to third countries in Asia and back. In
exchange, Japanese airlines JAL & ANA have been granted similar rights
on only one route each, from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro & Mexico City
through the USA. However, Japan has now retracted its latest proposal for
the new aviation treaty, which would have granted the 2 U.S. lines and the 2
Japanese lines unlimited 5th Freedom rights and additional routes to 3 other
U.S. lines, American, Continental & Delta. Since the start of these
negotiations, the U.S. position has been that nothing short of an "Open
Skies" agreement, allowing all U.S. lines unlimited access to Japan and
vice versa, was acceptable. Japan has been equally adamant in rebuffing the
"Open Skies" policy because it is seen to tip the balance strongly
in favor of U.S. carriers. The next round of talks is scheduled for Sept. 22
in Japan. Will the U.S. ocean sanctions be involved? See The Cargo Letter
> Freight Forwarder World Ocean Briefs ......below.
- Boeing Launching New Freighter ......... as it received the first
in a series of FAA certificates on 28 Aug. which will lead to commercial use
of the C-17, to be know in our industry of the MD-17F for use as a as a
heavy, out sized commercial freight hauler.
- Cathay Pacific & Singapore Air To Star? ........... as they
hold separate talks to join the recently-established Star Alliance global
partnership. Discussions have been under way for months between the Alliance
and the two Asian carriers. Existing members of the Star Alliance are Air
Canada, Lufthansa, SAS, Thai International & United.
- Cause Of Fine Air MIA Crash Probed .......... as the Dominican Republic
bound Fine Air Services DC-8F crash on 7 Aug. (see The Cargo Letter 
for full details) continues under investigation. According to eyewitnesses,
the freighter took off at a very sharp angle of about 85 degrees before
falling to the ground tail first onto a busy street close to the airport,
killing five. The "black box" was found defective in that several
of the 11 parameters it was supposed to record were missing, but this is not
uncommon on older aircraft retrofitted with the device such as a 20 year old
DC-8F. The aircraft rolled down the runway longer than usual before a steep
climb which eventually caused a stall and then a fall to the ground.
Investigators are now looking at whether the cargo may have shifted to the
back during take off, which would cause the steep climb, and/or whether the
aircraft was overloaded, either with cargo or with fuel to avoid refueling
in the Dominican Republic, which could be a reason for the longer than usual
roll down. The cargo was Levi Strauss pants parts.
- Fine Air Services Shuts Down In Crash Wake ........... as the MIA
based cargo carrier decided to voluntarily cancel all flights rather than be
suspended by the FAA whose inspectors found ``significant violations,'' it
was reported last Thursday. FAA said it was negotiating on what steps would
have to be taken before it would be allowed to resume flying. Meanwhile,
Fine Air pilots met with a Teamsters representative last month and said they
have enough votes to unionize the flight ranks of the line. Said a pilot
spokesman on 25 Aug.,"Our issues with the company are related to
quality of life for the pilots, not safety, and are in no way related to the
- Eagle USA Airfreight Gets Quality Nod .......... as Distribution
Magazine's annual Quest for Quality awards recognized it as a Quality
Transportation Carrier in the air freight forwarder division. Each year,
Distribution Magazine surveys readers on transport providers in 5 major
categories: on-time performance, value of service, equipment &
operations, customer service, and admin. & staff. This was the 1st year
that Eagle pursued consideration for the award, which consisted of 25 air
freight forwarders. It is very unusual for a company to be selected the
first year it is listed, according to Distribution.
- May Cargo Stats Announced ........ as the Airports Council
International issued word that world air cargo traffic climbed 6% in May,
led by growth in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region. Federal Express
Corp's Memphis Super Hub was the world's busiest cargo airport, with 178,307
metric tons, up 2.6%, followed by Los Angeles International Airport at
157,155 metric tons, a rise of 9.6% over the prior May.
- The Polar Boom ........... as U.S. carrier Polar Air Cargo reported
a significant increase in cargo shipments during the first half of 1997 as
shipments jumped 80.6% over last year and the freight ton kilometers (FTKs)
increased 61.43%, to 946,247,000 FTKs in 1997. The load factor rose 7%
system wide over the previous year to 79.2%.
- Continental Boomed In August ........ with 49,683,000 cargo revenue
ton miles, up 19.40%, and up 16.8% for the year to 314,736,000.
- Hawaiian Air Also Booms ....... with a 16.6% cargo ton mile
increase to 33,809,000 for the first seven months of 1997.
- Above & Beyond During UPS Strike ......... as FedEx will
distribute about to its 90,000 U.S. operations employees for their recent
efforts. The bonus, which will be valued at 10% of eligible pay for the
4-week period between July 27 & August 23
- Major Bust Spares LAX ......... as Los Angeles officials announced
this week that customs police at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in
Lima, Peru seized over 1,000 animals, some rare & endangered, packed in
crates in the Lan Chile warehouse and set for smuggling to LAX. Included
were anacondas, water snakes, black crocodiles, iguanas, and several rare
species of frogs & turtles from the Amazon jungle. Declared as
'ornamental fish.', the contraband was worth at least US$500K.
- Air South Airlines Goes Down ....... as it filed for Chapter 11
Bankruptcy protection last week and ceased operations (at least temporarily)
and laid off over 700 employees.
- JAL To "Secure" New Customers .......... as Japan
Airlines (JAL) has given attendants permission to tie up unruly passengers.
The action is one of a number of measures to control raucous passengers
authorized in a new manual on duties & rights of flight attendants.
Under the new rules, drunken passengers can be refused boarding a flight.
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News
- Japan Sanctions Begin ........... as the first three full container
ships facing fines arrived at Seattle & Houston last Friday. The
sanctions mandate a fine of US$100,000 for each arrival at U.S. ports on
vessels operated by K Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Line & NYK Line. The ports
will not collect the fines, but instead bill the carriers for payment later.
First to be fined are K Line's M/V Bay Bridge at Port of Tacoma, and NYK's
M/V Springtide at Port of Seattle. Japan's Transport Minister Makoto Koga
has demanded and end to the fines in that they violate the Friendship,
Commerce and Navigation Treaty between Japan and the U.S., but added that
the issue will be resolved through negotiations. FMC has taken the sanction
move for two reasons, being ...... 1.] a Japanese practice known as ``prior
consultation,'' in which all changes in shipping practices must first be
discussed with the Japan Harbor Transportation Association; and 2.]
discrimination by Japanese harbors against U.S. carriers who have attempted
to run their own operations in Japanese ports.
- APL Shareholders Bless Marriage ........ with 28 Aug. approval of
the merger agreement between APL & Neptune Orient Lines Ltd (NOL). Under
terms of the agreement, the outstanding stock of APL will be converted into
the right to receive US$33.50 per share in cash and APL will become a wholly
owned subsidiary of NOL. The carriers will operate a total fleet of 113
vessels, including 76 container ships with a total of about 200,000 TEUs in
- Hanjin Hits A Milestone ......... as it has reached a cumulative
total handling volume of 10 million TEUs, the first South Korea carrier to
do so. It began container operations in October 1978.
- Orient Overseas In Trouble? ....... as the Wall Street Journal
reported on 12 August that Orient Overseas (International) Ltd., a Hong Kong
company, has been facing problems stemming from the continued glut of
containership capacity. For the past few years ocean carriers have been
taking delivery of new vessels at a rapid rate, but as we all know demand
isn't keeping up, the result being that rates on some lanes have dropped
more than 20% in the past 18 months. This issue in mind, Orient Overseas
Container Line Ltd. on 26 Aug. christened the seventh of eight 4,960-TEU
capacity containerships. Getting the message, COSCO has reduced the number
of containerships sailing between northern Europe and Asia from 9 to 8.
- NOL Gets New Container Vessels ......... as M/V NOL Agate & M/V
NOL Cyprine were christened for Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. on 2 Sept. in
South Korea. The 49,600-dwt containerships have a capacity of 5,000 TEUs.
They are fully cellular and are capable of 24.5 knots. Congratulations, but
did we need the capacity?
- Lykes To Increase Capacity ............ as the newly
post-bankruptcy carrier will introduce 3 new chartered ships of 1400 TEU
each on its U.S. East-Coast to Mediterranean service, each less than 4 years
old. As of 8 September, calls will be made every 2 weeks at New York,
Norfolk, Charleston, Valencia, Livorno, Alexandria, Haifa, Izmir, Naples,
Livorno, Valencia & New York. Capacity will be increased by 12%.
- DSR-Senator & Hanjin Wed .......... with announcement they will
combine several activities. Hanjin Shipping owns 75% of DSR-Senator Lines
stock. Office closures are expected and DSR-Senator Lines' around-the-world
container service will be replaced by a pendulum service. Among the areas to
be combined are operations, information technology and logistics.
Headquarter s will be in Bremen, Germany, with regional offices in Asia,
Europe and the U.S..
- Genstar Container On-line Equipment ........... started 29 Aug.
with Internet access to its equipment reservation system, reportedly the
first such system in the container leasing industry. The On Line Inventory
and Booking option on Genstar's Internet Connection Customer Desktop allows
bookings in less than 3 minutes. Customers can view the fleet and locate
containers at specific locations. On-line billing and a depot directory have
also been introduced. The services were developed in conjunction with APL,
Maersk & Sea-Land.
- FMC May Take Action Against Panama ....... over its controversial
decision to award contracts for the development of key ports on the Pacific
&Atlantic Panama Canal entrances to a Hong Kong company instead of a
U.S. company, the Journal of Commerce reports.
- Canadian Pacific To Buy Contship ........ as the railroad will get
the line's name, administration, routes, 73,000 containers & 19
chartered containerships (four 2,900-TEU capacity, four 2,700-TEU, seven
1,600-TEU and four 1,600-TEU to 2,000-TEU.) Contship Containerlines will be
operated under its own name as a separate entity with 7 routes, serving 28
countries & 59 ports with another 36 countries accessed through
transshipment and feeders.
- Port Of Oakland Has Doubled Its Size .......... after a vote by the
Board of Commissioners on 2 Sept. certified the final state & federal
environmental impact reports for the U.S. Navy's Fleet Industrial Center at
the port. In addition to acquiring the last part of the 528-acre site, the
board approved a harbor fill alternative. The port also voted to accept
U.S.$7M from the federal government under the U.S. Intermodal Surface and
Transportation Efficiency Act to begin work on a planned intermodal terminal
at the former Navy site. Demolition will start in January with construction
of the new intermodal terminal beginning in late spring.
- New Los Angeles CTNR Record ......... as for the fiscal year that
ended 30 June, the Port of Los Angeles handled 2,884,477 TEUs, a new record.
The previous record was 2,641,540 from fiscal year 1995. ....... this does
not include its next door neighbor Long Beach. Together, a powerhouse.
- Containers Can Now Be Shanghaied .......... as the Port of
Shanghai, China, announced 1 Sept. that Int'l container transshipment has
started. Shippers authorized for Int'l container transport at Shanghai can
apply to transship containers. Previously, Shanghai only handled containers
being imported or exported.
- Don't Cry For Me ........ as major expansion of the Port of Buenos
Aires, Argentina, has been announced. Using spoils from dredging of the
River Plate, the port would be extended beyond the breakwater at Puerto
- N/S Savannah Update ......... as we report to you regarding the
gleaming white, world's 1st & ONLY nuclear powered freighter N/S
Savannah. After a short career of controversy and great technological praise
she has been laid up in the James River NDRF since 1995. She was at the
Patriot's Point (SC) museum for some years prior. Savannah is a victim of
scientists who pushed for the future of nuclear energy, but did not
anticipate the containerization revolution.
The Institute of London Underwriters announced 2nd quarter figures for
casualties of vessels 500-gt or more on 18 Aug. Fifteen ships were lost and 48
have been lost in the first 6 months of the year, for a total of 376,502 gross
tons. For the first half of 1996, 53 ships of 309,273 gross tons were lost.
During the first six months of this year, 142 persons were killed in maritime
casualties, compared to 1,061 in 1996. Thirty-six of the 48 ships lost this year
were over 20 years old.
Here is the sad news for this week.........
1.] 7 Aug. M/V Vishva Nandini (Indian cargo ship.) partially sank at the Port of
2.] 9Aug. M/V Dongjin Sky (Taiwanese) dragged its anchor in the outer harbor of
Pusan, South Korea during high winds. The ship ran aground in the Namhang
3.] 9 Aug. a crew member from M/T Shina (Panamanian) fell overboard off Bermuda
and is presumed dead;
4.] 14 Aug. M/V Halsingland (German) ran aground off Kalajoki, Finland in bad
weather. The ship was sailing to Rahja. It has 160 tons of heavy fuel & 30
tons of diesel aboard. Late 15 Aug. about 10 tons of oil washed ashore;
5.] 14 Aug. fire started aboard M/T Amyndas (Maltese) at Perama, Greece;
6.] 16 Aug. M/T Beykim II (Turkish), sailing to Yarimca, had a fire and is
reportedly a total constructive loss;
7.] 17 Aug Twenty-four crewmembers of M/V Goodeast (Panamanian) were rescued
after the ship caught fire about 50 miles southwest of Hong Kong.;
8.] 19 Aug. M/V Anatoli I (Panamanian-general cargo) sank in the East China Sea,
off Kagoshima, Japan. Thirteen of the 19 crew were rescued and two were killed
with 4 missing;
9.] 20Aug. M/T Orktyabrsky (Russian tanker), loaded with 750 tons of fuel oil,
ran aground and was holed near Cape Goly, Russia, in the Ussuri Gulf during a
10.] 20 Aug. M/V Anangel Prosperity (Greek) and M/V Larkfield (Bahamian) were in
a collision off Suao;
11.] 24 Aug. the steamboat Belle of Louisville, home ported in Louisville, Ky.,
since 1962, partially sank. Built in 1914, the vessel is operated with
Louisville as an excursion vessel. Flooding was stabilized after the tug Sharon
M. wedged herself against the Belle of Louisville to prevent it from sinking
further. The Belle of Louisville is the oldest authentic Mississippi River-style
12.] 24 Aug., M/V No. 7 Shimizu (Panamanian), carrying 387 steel products,
suffered flooding in its engine room after leaving Pohang, South Korea and is
13.] 26 Aug. M/V Meridian (Thai general cargo ship) capsized & sank at 08
degrees 15 minutes north, 105 degrees 32 minutes east;
14.] 26 Aug. a Honduran-registry wooden tug capsized and sank off the Pasir
Panjang Container Terminal in Singapore killing a crew member;
15.] 27 Aug. as M/V Ibiton, carrying passengers &cargo collided with another
vessel in poor visibility near the southern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, and
100 people are estimated dead;
16.] 28 Aug. M/V Liberta (Honduran general cargo ship) sank 28 Aug. in the
17.] 30 Aug. fire in the No. 4 cargo hold of the Matson Navigation Co. vessel
M/V Manulani caused heavy damage to 56 CTNRs while berthed at Seattle
........... we omit the many other cargo vessel groundings and fishing &
passenger vessel disasters this month which took many lives. Including the Haiti
disaster yesterday, ferry deaths for the past month could be as high as 650.
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.
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
Here are my suggested world wide web sites of the week for your business,
your information and your amusement ............... McDaniel
For those of you who wish to understand our opening tribute to HH Diana,
Princess of Wales ................. Lloyd's of London Lutine Bell
Directory of Freight Forwarding Services ........... where a
comprehensive listing of over 6,000 forwarders. Importers, exporters &
traders are offered a free "Freight Rate Quotation On-Line" service.
Quotation requests provide valuable leads to forwarders who subscribe . A free
"Trade Forum" for traders to locate buyers & sellers for their
products. Listings in the site's database includes full contact data, company
profile & detail of services offered. Fully searchable. There is currently a
special offer which includes deluxe listing, business leads & hosting of
your website for $24 a month, said to be a 50% discount.
Expeditors International .............. where you fill out a form
describing your logistics needs and a company rep. will call within 24 hours.
Once a shipment is en route, track it online. The site also offers a Daily
Newsflash on items of concern to shippers, such as new customs & visa
requirements from foreign governments. "Expeditors Insights", its
company newsletter, is also available.
TheTrip.com Unveils Graphical FlightTracker ........ and chalks up
another "1st" for the Internet. Using high-resolution topographical
maps &Java programming language FlightTracker takes advantage of the
graphical cyber environment so that flight status is "seen" as planes
travel across the U.S..
Airborne Express ........ has announced a new, improved, Internet
Atlas Van Lines Interchange ....... the KING of "how to" for
HHG. Includes a planner for your customers.
United Airlines Flight Center ....... in an historic decision YOU can
be a pilot for the day with access to flight simulators from DC-8 to
B-747-400-F. YOU can fly the "Friendly Skies" ........ but it's not
cheap. We hear of one fellow who crashed into Tokyo Bay 5 times! Take a look!
BA ........... the improved site includes all British Airways' flights
and code-share services. Until now only "net-surfers" in the UK have
been able to check out and book the airlines fares via the Internet and only
World Offers, the airlines fare bargains, have been available.
Serra International ........ an industry leader with a very useful
The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, USA:
GSA Transportation Management ........... where you can get
information on the freight & household goods programs managed and operated
by GSA. News about pending bids & changes in policies relating to such
issues as rate filing. The Freight Section has a library of every form you'll
ever need, lists of participating carriers, a directory of federal customers
entitled to general freight tenders, plus all the rules, regulations & fine
print. Other areas take care of similar jobs for HHG movers and a full listing
of zone offices and contacts is provided.
The Load Dock ........... is a database of available freight, freight
for bid & empty equipment designed to keep trucks & truck freight moving
by uniting shippers, brokers & truckers. Even when the service goes to
fully-paid status, it will only cost $20 a year for unlimited use of the
database. Search for available loads, freight up for bid or just an empty
trailer and get real-time results. Any EDI-capable company can output its
available-freight and/or empty-equipment listings to an electronic file and The
Load Dock will import the data for free.
THAI Airways Int'l
Navigation Information Connection ........... has everything you need
to know about general U.S. inland-waterway information from the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers. Included are such essentials as lock-maintenance schedules,
grain-price reports and vessel locations. There's also historical info, charts,
maps, links to GREAT Net connected LIVE cameras, and news. Updated river and
lock conditions reference material.
EDI Meets the Internet .......... definitions of EDI, plus
explanations of X12, VAN and all those other good acronyms, differences between
EDI and electronic commerce, how common uses of EDI limit its potential,
security issues, federal involvement and, finally, all that technical stuff you
need to know.
INTERSHIP .......... provides offshore vessels to the oil & gas
offshore Industry, including accommodation units, Arctic Support Vessels, Deck
barges, Pipelay, Launch Barges, pontoons, submersibles for Dry Docking Rigs,
Offshore platforms, Tugs and Offshore Maintenance vessels, located in world wide
Miami International Forwarders
Ocean Marine Shipping Co. ....... Egyptian agents.
I Trek .......... a freight forwarder Internet service of the sort
which only large operators can usually afford. Create a database and query about
a shipments. A searchable databases of airline & airport information, plus
U.S. Customs International Travelers Site
..........other sites of interest from The Cargo Letter
EventCal ...... is a searchable database of over 500,000 global events
from trade & transport to the arts to cyber events, science to sports.
India Today _ 50th Anniversary Special Issue
El Nino "Home Page" ........... is considered by some
meteorologist's to be "the" official source to trust for all El Nino
information. Brought to you by the NOAA, the site comes complete with weekly
updates, a visual map of El Nino's current status, the official NWS forecast for
Nino3.4, and a history of previous ENSO years.
Route 66 ........... a trip through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas,
Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Route 66 facts, stories,
advice, and movies. You'll also find a photo gallery and slide show and a
listing of threats to the original roadway.
LanguageForce ........... has announced its "Universal
Translator" software. Will translate 25 languages for US$99. Also a Chinese
translator. Free Demo.
6 Billion Human Beings ........... with facts and figures about the
growth of the human population. It's pretty startling - check out the number of
people who have been born since you were - incredible figures. An on-line
U.S. Information Agency Declassified Historical Information
(information recently declassified and once fought over)
Rail, Sea and Air Info Pages & FAQ Archive (Military & TC
Surplus Disposal .......... of Canadian Coast Guard & Dept. of
Fisheries and Oceans equipment assets. Items available can be viewed and bid
(generator sets, nondirectional beacons used for marking air strips or
waterways, submarine power cable, barges etc...)
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
-- by Cameron Roberts, Esq. for The Cargo Letter
All too often decisions in the transportation industry are based on
"price," not qualifications. Unfortunately, the lowest price may be
result of using outdated or in some cases, antiquated, equipment, lack of
insurance or other negative factors YOU should address.. As a result reliability
&quality may suffer. Historically, freight forwarders have not invested
large amounts of time & resources in pre-qualifying carriers and maintaining
a qualified carrier database. How often has your freight moved with "that
guy" who someone used at forwarder "X". Why was that carrier
selected? Was it the full page add in the Pacific Shipper or was the carrier
simply the lowest bid?
Many problems can be avoided by asking basic questions in advance and putting
the onus on others to prove that they are qualified to do what they claim they
can do. Here are some "basic" criteria to selecting carriers. This is
not an exhaustive list, but certainly a starting point that may help your day to
Create a carrier data base for each mode of transportation, by port. Pre
-qualify the carrier by requesting specified information in advance and
requiring the vendor to give you thirty (30) days notice of any changes. Create
a company form which requests basic information from the prospective carrier, as
1.] Proof of operating authority, DOT, PUC, or other agency (s); 2.] Proof of
Insurance (cargo & liability) with coverage limits appropriate to the nature
of the freight being shipped (require copy of insurance certificate and demand
to become a certificate holder w/ notice of any changes.); 3.] Bond number if
Customs Bonded Carrier, and date of expiration; 4.] Details of any release rate
or limit of liability for freight carried (use your buying power to ensure any
damage limits match your own.); 5.] Does the carrier interline or have
partnerships to route freight & to meet service schedules. Additional
inquiry can be made concerning (A.) Specialized equipment availability, (reefer
units, lift gate, etc.); (B.) Special permits held (e.g. DOT Hazardous Cargo
Certificate); and (C.) References or recommendations from other
It is impossible to obtain too much information concerning the people
entrusted with the freight of your customers.
In the last few days CNN has reported charges of "short weight" in
milk cartons in the USA (1% to 6%). Short what? What?
Many centuries ago, the public in England complained that they were only
getting 88 pounds when they bought a 100 pound (known as a hundred weight) sack
of flour. The flour millers said that the 12 pounds was lost through the flour
sacks during transportation and distribution. The wise king figured that the
millers were giving "short weight" and issued an edict that "From
now on one hundred weight is defined as 112 pounds." This accounts for the
reason that the British Ton (Long Ton) is 2240 pounds and not the same as the
American Ton (Short Ton) of 2000 pounds and almost equals the Metric Ton of 2200
pounds. (Warren Levine)
- Letters To The Cargo Letter
-- by Warren S. Levine & Lydia Hu Xiaoqing at Danzas Corporation in
Qingdao, P.R.C. for The Cargo Letter
Our reader AudreyMLJ@aol.com writes to ask: "You have a very easy-to-use
website. I would like some information. Here are my questions:"
1. Does China pay tariff on goods exported to the United States? If so what
is the rate? (Probably it varies as to goods imported.) A general statement will
Answer: There are no export taxes or duties on goods exported (from China to)
overseas. The Chinese government encourages exports.
2. Now that Hong Kong is Chinese, will their tariff status change? If so,
what is the general effect?
Answer: Under British rule, Hong Kong was a duty-free port. Duties were only
collected on items such as tobacco, alcohol and cosmetics. China has promised
that the economic system in Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years from
the date of the handover, which covers tariff treatment as well.
3. I have heard that we pay about 35% on goods we sell to China. Is that a
true figure? Are there items that go in duty free?
Answer: There is no special tariff treatment for American-made consumer
goods. Duties & taxes depend on what kind of goods are imported. 35% is
about the average tariff collected from the Chinese importer, but as with the
American system, rates vary by commodity. If there are commodities which may
enter China free by law (as, for example, books are free by law per the US
tariff), then that treatment is accorded to American goods as well, but again,
there is no special treatment given to American goods.
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