The Cargo Letter

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Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
17 March 1998

Good St. Patrick's Day from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport ........ where we handle about US$3.1 billion worth of imports from South Korea each year.

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 web site ..........

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor & Publisher, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker attorneys at LAX.

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR Top Stories
   1. Live ! "TRANS-CAMS" Premiere On The Internet
      * 1st In The World
      * Where Will You Go Today?
   2. Indonesia's New Cabinet Picked Amid Protests
      * China's National People's Congress 
        Names Legislative Heads
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   3. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
   4. The Cargo Letter Financial Page
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
   5. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News
   6. FF World Ocean Briefs
   7. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
   8. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
   9. Revisions To U.S. Drawback Regulations
  10. Industry Trends Announced By A.T. Kearney
  11. WISTA Wants You

OUR Top Stories

1. Live ! "TRANS-CAMS" Premiere On The Internet

LAX--17 Mar- You can now forget age old considerations of time and space. The LAX forwarder/broker attorneys at Countryman & McDaniel have announced launch of their "TRANS-CAMS" service to our transport industry. Internet users are now able to instantly see live color views of current conditions at dozens of Int'l air & ocean ports, harbors, border crossings & rail operations via over 70 LIVE! cameras which keep vigil 24 hours a day. These LIVE! Cameras span the globe.

"We're very excited", said web site designer Michael S. McDaniel. "One of the toughest parts of this industry is educating customers & associates as to how the international freight system works. Now we can just show them!. Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words."

"TRANS-CAMS" is the first site of it's kind on the Internet, but Countryman & McDaniel point out that there is one serious deficiency. While these cameras now cover the world from Istanbul, to Port of New York, to Geneva Int'l Airport, to Ballard Locks at Port of Seattle, to Brussels Int'l Airport, to the Port of Halifax, to the Port of Yokohama, to Abu Dhabi Harbor, to cargo reception stations at the South Pole .......... there are no cameras currently being operated by either carriers or forwarders. It is understood that The Journal of Commerce will soon use the "TRANS-CAMS" concept to propose live company cameras as representing the "next wave" in customer service & public relations. While freight forwarders & custodial carriers have made considerable investments in creation of company web sites, this most basic concept of actually "showing" company operations, locations & features has been overlooked. Imagine your next cyber visit to the Fritz station at Qingdao, or to the Circle International station at Heathrow, or to the Expeditors station at Sydney ....... all LIVE!. This is a feature that will grab attention and compel customers to return to your web site day after day.

The set-up cost of a live web camera is less than US$200 for a full color link through existing company desktop computers at the desired site. This low cost, when combined with currently operating company communications systems should allow us to soon view a "Mast-Cam" from a Sea-Land container ship at sea or an "Engine-Cam" from a speeding UPRR locomotive on the plains of Texas. Because freight forwarders & custodial carriers operate from the most diverse locations in our world, the possibilities are endless. Details for setting up YOUR camera can be found at the"TRANS-CAMS" site.

The "TRANS-CAMS" web site is committed to add the cameras of ALL freight forwarders & custodial carriers to it's site. Credit will be given to the sponsoring company of each camera, along with all details of the operation depicted. Links to "TRANS-CAMS" are currently being added to many major business, travel & research sites on the world wide web. Visitor traffic to "TRANS-CAMS" is very high.

Where will YOU go today? Visit "TRANS-CAMS" at the Countryman & McDaniel web site and select "TRANS-CAMS", under "The Manifest" menu. The address is:

2. Indonesia's New Cabinet Picked Amid Protests, China's National People's Congress Names Legislative Heads

--- by Warren S. Levine, for The Cargo Letter

Seattle, WA. (Mar. 16) -- Indonesian President Suharto won a seventh term in office last week, but faced vocal charges of cronyism when he appointed his new Cabinet. The controversial appointments included Mohammad Hasan as Trade Minister. Hasan, known popularly as Bob, is a Chinese Muslim who owns a large timber cartel and is a golf buddy of the president.

Over the past two years, and during their current period of economic instability in Indonesia, ethnic Chinese have been the subjects of considerable social violence in that country. Last year a large Buddhist shrine was destroyed by a mob. Construction is still going on to restore the temple.

Hasan will be the first ethnic Chinese to serve at the ministerial level in the 32 years since Suharto first took office.

Suharto named his daughter, Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, known as "Tutut," the new Social Affairs Minister. A millionaire in her own right, "Tutut" has been mentioned as a possible successor to her father.

Suharto also appointed close aides and friends to positions as Ministers of Finance and Defense.

Thousands of students protested at a college campus in Surabaya, where extra police were called in, and smaller demonstrations have taken place throughout the country.

In Beijing, the National People's Congress re-elected President Jiang Zemin. Premier Li Peng, an unpopular yet still-powerful figure, was elected to chair the Legislature, but there were a high number of dissenting votes.

The National People's Congress also elected Zhu Rongji, current Vice- Premier, to replace Li Peng as Premier, by a 98% - 2% margin, a solid vote in favor of the 69-year-old.

Of 2942 votes, Li only received 2616, or 88.92%. There were 200 votes cast against him, and 126 abstentions. Li's vote count was second-lowest. Dissidents inside and outside China were vocal in their opposition of Li when plans to install him were announced.

Li is term-limited and must soon leave the Premiership, after having served the maximum two five-year terms. He is widely disliked for having declared martial law in 1989, which led to the killing of hundreds, possibly thousands, of students in Tiananmen Square.

In Hong Kong, nominations were opened for posts on an 800--member election committee which will appoint ten of Hong Kong's 60 legislative seats in May. The first elections in Hong Kong since Chinese reassumed sovereignty over the territory are due to be held on May 24.

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

3. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

4. The Cargo Letter Financial Page

OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News

5. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs

OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News

6. Freight Forwarder World Ocean Briefs

7. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches

Recent Pirate Incidents ........ as Bulgarian owners of M/V Alfa BG (Belize-formerly the Mona C.) have agreed to pay ransom for the 11 crew as well as the 22 crew of a Syrian-affiliated vessel. Both were seized by pirates off Somalia on 13 Jan. by about 25 armed men. Reportedly, the Syrian vessel was towing the Alfa BG when it lost power.

On 27 Jan., it was reported that the M/T Clipper Sea (Norwegian) was boarded by two men approaching Dakar, Senegal, at 2355 hrs. 19 Dec. They jumped onto the stern by using grappling hooks and climbing over the transom. One then jumped overboard with the end of the mooring line coiled on the deck. The second, who held crewmembers at knife point, cut the line & leaped overboard as well.

M/V Meridian Spica (Malaysian.) was boarded by pirates, 28 Jan. while at Cigading, Indonesia. They stole parts from an engine room storage area.

Washington State Ferries Crewmember Missing ........... as a crewmember of M/V Tacoma (1,400-dwt ferry built in 1997, operated by Washington State Ferries) fell overboard the night of 18 Feb. in Puget Sound as the vessel sailed to Winslow on Bainbridge Island, Wash. Steven Brown, 41, of Redmond, was reported overboard about 2000 hrs, 2 miles from Seattle off Alki Point. The Tacoma turned around to search for the man until U.S. Coast Guard air & sea units arrived along with vessels & aircraft of the Bainbridge Island Police Dept. & the Seattle Fire Dept.. Three passengers reported hearing someone in the water and one saw a light. The man had worked for Washington State Ferries since May as an "on-call" able bodied seaman. Brown was last seen near the 2nd mate's office on the main passenger deck. Washington State Ferries has moved to formally convene a board of investigation to probe the circumstances surrounding the apparent drowning death of this crew member of the ferry M/V Tacoma.

Ocean CARGO disasters this month include the following ..........

1.] 7 Feb. M/V Fei Cui Hai (Chinese COSCO Bulk Carrier Co. Ltd.) sank off southern Vietnam with 34 dead & 2 missing;
2.] 10 Feb. the tug Aiu (Canadian-registry) sank 10 off Comox Bar, British Columbia;
3.] 13 Feb. M/V Leona I (Liberian) sank at a pier in Dakar, Senegal, after a collision with the M/V Caro;
4.] 1 Feb. M/V Agan (Russian) sank 40 miles north of Ullung-do Island, South Korea, carrying scrap from Nakhodka, Russia, to Masan, South Korea. Four Russian crew were killed, 11 others were rescued. The Agan sent a distress message stating it was flooding in a cargo hold and 4 vessels responded. An icebreaker took the survivors and the 4 bodies to Vladivostok, Russia;
5.] 14 Feb. M/V Begi (Belize) broke its moorings in Poti, Georgia, and drifted into the Black Sea during a storm. It later sank and the 5 crew are missing;
6.] 15 Feb. the tug Elizabeth S. (133-gt tug built in 1944) sank on 15 Feb. near New Orleans during a storm. The Samson (115.2-foot tug operated by Crowley Marine Services Inc.) ran aground near New Orleans at East Bell Pass the same day.
7.] 15 Feb. M/V Manzur, carrying calcium oxide & other chemicals, caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship reached the S.W. Pass of the Mississippi River the next day, by which time the fire was contained;
8.] 16 Feb. the barge Cherokee hit the offshore petroleum platform West Delta 106 in the Gulf of Mexico at 1345 and both caught fire 8.] 17 Feb. M/V Green Wave (U.S.-registry 507.12-foot dry cargo ship) had a crankcase explosion 256 miles off New Zealand. The ship was sailing from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, to Christchurch, New Zealand. The U.S. Coast Guard's lead ship of the U.S.C.G.C. Polar Star (WAGB 10)-class icebreaker, which was sailing to Melbourne, Australia, after 3 months operating around Antarctica, responded & took Green Wave in tow. The Green Wave is chartered by the U.S. Military Sealift Command from Central Gulf Lines Inc.;
9.] 17 Feb. M/V Marie Bouanga (Congolese, operated by Europea rvices Agency) collided with M/T Zircone (Italian) off the Netherlands. The Marie Bouanga was sailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Zircone was sailing to Rotterdam with caustic soda, gasoline, kerosene and methlyine chloride. The Marie Bouanga was towed by Eemshaven, the Netherlands. One of its crew is missing and the ship has severe damage;
10.] 17 Feb. M/V Shine (Honduran) sank in rough seas, about 16 miles east-northeast of Iki, Japan. Four crew were rescued and 1 was killed. A fishing vessel rescued the 4 South Korean citizens but the 5th, Engineer Kim Chong Kun, 62, of South Korea, was found dead. The Shine was sailing from South Lorea to Uwajima, Japan;
11.] 18 Feb. M/T Conquestventure L (Liberian-registry tanker) hit a submerged object near Robben Island in South Africa's Table Bay. Liquid caustic soda spilled into the water from 2 cargo tanks for 2 hours. The tanker was sailing from the United States to Cape Town, South Africa;
12.] 21 Feb. M/V Scot Trader (Bahamian dry cargo ship.) ran aground in the Humber River off Brough, England, on 21 Feb. and developed a 50-degree list. The crew evacuated and the cargo of timber was lightered to barges to enable refloating of the ship the next day.
13.] 22 Feb. M/T Hekabe (Bermudan tanker), carrying ammonia, lost power 101 miles south of Amchitka, Alaska. Two of the 35 crew were injured when a cylinder head exploded, disabling propulsion. Weather conditions included winds of 50 knots gusting to 75 & 40-foot seas. Repairs were made and the ship sailed to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The injured crew were airlifted to Anchorage, Alaska, by U.S. Coast Guard;
14.] 22 Feb. M/V Adria (Romanian motor dry cargo ship) caught fire 50 miles of Casablanca, Morocco, sailing from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, to Ravenna, Italy, with general cargo including baled cotton. The fire followed an explosion in the engine room. Three crew were killed and 13 were rescued. The ship was last reported adrift & still on fire;
15.] 25 Feb. is (Malaysian 53,483-gt, motor tanker) and M/T Oriental Violet (Panamanian-motor tanker) collided 20 miles northwest of the U.K.'s Guernsey Island in the English Channel. The Eagle Memphis was in ballast and sustained a holed port ballast tank;
16.] 25 Feb. M/V Laura (Noumea motor general cargo ship) sank in the Arafura Sea, N.E. of Darwin, Australia. All 11 crewmembers were rescued by the Royal Australian Navy's Fremantle-class Patrol Boat H.M.A.S. Wollongong;
17.] 26 Feb. the tug Florida Seashore sank in 38 feet of water, three miles south of the channel in Houma, LA;
18.] 27 Feb. M/V Ulsund (Norwegian motor general cargo ship) sank 16 miles off Lista, Norway. Of the 7 crew, 2 were killed & 5 are missing. Weather conditions included gale force winds. Two empty lifeboats and other debris was found. A distress call made at 2030 said the ship was flooding with a list to port;
19.] 1 Mar. M/V Algosoo (Canadian) as fire damaged the ship's self-unloading equipment beneath its cargo holds. The ship was moored at Welland, Ontario;
20.] 3 Mar. the tug Seagull sank 53 miles east of Assateague, Va. The tug Caicos Sound rescued the 2 crew, but that tug, with a crew of 5, suffered a propulsion failure. The two were sailing to Jacksonville, FL. Weather included seas up to 6 feet & winds of up to 30 knots;
21.] 6 Mar. M/V Canopus I (Cypriot general cargo ship) ran aground off Longstone Island, England. Cargo containers were undamaged;
22.] 8 Mar yacht Yuyu sank at 0330 8 March off Kushimoto, Japan, after it was in a collision with M/T Koshin Maru (chemical tanker). The 3 crew, including a British citizen who was the master, were rescued in the 40 minutes after the collision; .
23] 8 Mar. M/T Regents Park (Liberian.) dragged anchor in high winds & collided with the anchored M/T Yan Shui Hu (Liberian operated by COSCO Dalian Ocean Shipping Co.) off Galveston, Texas.;
24.] 10 Mar. M/V Golden Union (Maltese, motor dry cargo ship) lost power after its engine room flooded and the ship began sinking 4 miles S. South Africa. It was sailing from Karachi, Pakistan, to western Africa with rice. The 33 crewmembers were rescued by 2 So. African Air Force helicopters. On 11 March, the John Ross (St. Vincent) towed the ship further from shore to prevent it from running aground. Heavy weather was in the area but at last report, a decision had not been made on the ship's fate. The Golden Union was last reported 20 miles south of Umzimbuvu;
25.] 10 Mar. M/T Nadym (Cypriot), sailing from Pusan, South Korea, to Magadan, Russia, with 15,000 tons of fuel, was driven aground by ice at Cape Alevia, Russia. The ship grounded on rocks and has a holed ballast tank.

NOTE: Due to seasonal weather there were many, many more groundings, barge losses, fires & other disasters we had no room to report. Large loss of life was reported in the fishing fleets and on ferries. It was a BAD month at sea. We mourn the many vessels lost.

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

8. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"

Here are our suggested world wide web sites of the week for your business, your information and your amusement ...............

Connecticut Maritime Association '98. Includes recent CMA Virtual Conference .......... ISM Code discussion & "electronic chartering"

Hamburg Sud and subsidiaries, Columbus Line and Deutshe Nah-Ost Linien launch a site.

Hellmann Forwarders

Lynden Air Freight. Now upgraded

Austrian Airlines. Good freight tracking for this small carrier

Amsterdam Airport. Holland's airport.

American Track Systems. The latest in rail technology.

Daily Freight News Of Spain

World Animal Transport

MALE. Hungarian air cargo carrier.

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

9. Revisions To U.S. Drawback Regulations

-- by Dave Jordan CHB for The Cargo Letter

LAX -- 16 Mar. - "Drawback" is a refund or remission, in whole or in part, of a Customs duty, internal revenue tax, or fee. Drawback may be claimed, under qualifying circumstances, when imported merchandise or articles have been exported or completely destroyed to the extent that they have no commercial value.

The functioning of the drawback process has implications for many types of businesses. Under varying circumstances, exporters, importers, manufacturers, and others may file a claim for drawback of ordinary customs duties, marking duties, and Internal Revenue Taxes. (Certain other duties and fees are not eligible for drawback.)

The U.S. Customs Service has published extensive revisions to the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R.) regarding drawback. These revisions, taking effect on 4/6, implement changes to the drawback law contained in the Customs Modernization portion of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. Additionally, certain other changes are intended to expedite the filing & processing of drawback claims and/or generally simplify and improve the editorial clarity of the Regulations. In the process of formulating the new rules, Customs consulted extensively with the drawback trade community.

The complete 104 page Final Rule is published as Part II of the March 5 Federal Register (Volume 63, Number 43, Pages 10969-11072). It can also be downloaded from the GPO Website ( or from the University of California’s GPO Gate ( However, take care to be sure to download the entire notice. Both the text-only and portable document file (PDF) versions have been split into three documents due to the length of the notice.


10. Industry Trends Announced By A.T. Kearney

A.T. Kearney, Inc., a leading management consulting firm, has now published it's Transport Outlook which includes the following:

11. WISTA Wants You

The Women's Int'l Shipping & Trading Association, "WISTA" began in 1974 as an organization for women involved in shipping-related businesses throughout the world. It started as an informal gathering of women brokers in the U.K. and has expanded to include women from all over the world in all areas of shipping & trading, including operations, finance, brokerage, chartering, freight-forwarding, agency, consulting, management, law and insurance. Today, WISTA provides its members with the opportunity to develop professionally, network & make contacts, share experiences, and generally facilitate the free flow of information.

WISTA organizes annual conferences which generally run 3 days and include workshops, lectures, specialized courses, tours of the port & terminals, company visits, professional discussions & various social events culminating in a gala dinner. This year's conference will be held in New York City from September 16-18 and promises to be an informative & exciting event.

The goal is to establish an active U.S. chapter of WISTA and, with YOUR support, to make the annual conference a success. An annual membership fee of $60.00 provides membership in WISTA USA, WISTA Int'l, mailings from the WISTA Int'l Committee, a subscription to "The Watch", a listing on the WISTA Int'l membership directory & discounts for WISTA USA activities.

For information, contact Marieann Rigos, Membership Commitee For WISTA USA, Inc.
E-mail -

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