The Cargo Letter

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THE CARGO LETTER [329]
Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
28 May 1998


Good Thursday Morning from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport. Its official! We've been named one of the "Top 10 Air Cargo Web Sites" as voted by readers of misc.transport.air- industry.cargo and the AIRCARGO Mailing List.

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 .......... http://cargolaw.com

To post comments or discuss articles, go to ....... http://www.interpool.com/tcl/disc1_frm.htm

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

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   1. The Warren Levine Chronicles
      * India-Pakistan-Indonesia-China - 
           Our Sr. Correspondent On The Region
      * What We Face?
   2. "CargoLaw.com" Internet Service Honored
      * Top 10 Air Cargo Web Site
   3. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
   4. The Cargo Letter Financial Page
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
   5. CARGO 2000 Reports Significant Developments 
      * New Members & Progress Towards a 
           New Air Cargo Product
   6. New FAA Security Regulations
      * The Crack Down
   7. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News
   8. FF World Ocean Briefs
   9. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
  10. Top 10 Air Cargo Sites
  11. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
  12. New Int'l Transport Cases At U.S. Supreme Court 
  13. 1997 NVOCC Top Ten List
  14. US Customs Pipeline Re Manifest Submittal

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


1. The Warren Levine Chronicles

India, Pakistan Ready To Erupt As Harsh Words And Bullets Transit Border

-- by Warren S. Levine for The Cargo Letter

SEATTLE, May 27 -- In response to India's five underground nuclear weapons tests earlier this month, Pakistan is reported by US intelligence sources to be readying themselves to conduct similar tests. Washington, in an attempt to dissuade Pakistan from continuing their preparatory measures, has offered an aid package to that country, reportedly consisting of 28 F-16 fighter jets which have been on hold due to US sanctions.

Over the past two days there have been bullets, mortar fire and artillery shells fired by both sides, however there have been no confirmed reports of any casualties. Fighting has centered around Kashmir, an area which has been the scene of a number of battles and skirmishes over the past 50 years.

India has reportedly moved troops toward their border with Pakistan, while Pakistan is said to be arming civilians along their side of the disputed Kashmiri border. India's Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee has rationalized India's nuclear test as being necessary due to a perceived nuclear threat from both Pakistan and China. However, he did attempt to ensure the press that India would never use nuclear weapons.

Suharto Steps Down And Habibie Assumes Presidency During Increasingly Tenuous Times In Indonesia

-- by Warren S. Levine for The Cargo Letter

SEATTLE, May 27 -- Vice-President B.J. Habibie was handed the reins of this economically ravaged country as President Suharto bowed to increasing public pressure and resigned his position of 32 years last week. Habibie has promised to hold elections, but has not announced any time frame.

Indonesia, a country of 300 million, has suffered through increasingly bad economic times of late, and there have been many reported incidents of secular violence in the capital and even in remote cities. Ethnic Chinese have been the targets of an escalating and almost organized campaign of terror -- Buddhist temples and long-established Chinese-owned business in this multi- ethnic country have been the targets of arsonists and masses of stone-throwing Indonesians. More than a hundred branches of Bank Central Asia, a Chinese- owned bank were damaged in the recent riots.

The United States has urged Habibie to release political prisoners from Indonesian jails, and the citizenry have demonstrated daily against the government as a result of the severe economic problems which have befallen the formerly flourishing economy. During one short period, the Rupiah declined from 3400 to the Dollar to over 12000.

On May 20, the U.S. State Department issued a Travel Warning to all U.S. citizens, asking that they defer travel to that country, stating, "The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has confirmed two separate incidents on May 14 in which two British citizens were killed in Jakarta after entering a taxi."

Citizens traveling to Indonesia are urged to get updated information from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta via their website: http://www.usembassyjakarta.org. Further information can be obtained from the State Department's home page.

The Cargo Letter suggests all foreigners who must visit Indonesia register with their country's Embassy in Jakarta before departing their native countries. Information for the Embassy should include a copy of your passport's data and picture pages, and a full itinerary, with all contact numbers and dates. This information can be faxed to most embassies.

Clinton Draws Bilateral Criticism On His June Trip to China & Visit to Tiananmen Square; Hong Kong Democrats Sweep, Shun Beijing Loyalists -

-- by Warren S. Levine for The Cargo Letter

SEATTLE, May 27 -- Over a hundred legislators have called on President Clinton to cancel his long-scheduled trip to China for next month due to China's apparent attempt to influence elections in the United States. Protests from American politicians have specifically asked that Clinton not visit Tiananmen Square, the site of a globally-televised bloody end to peaceful pro- democracy student demonstrations on June 4, 1989.

State Department Spokesman Mike McCurry answered their call by noting that Tiananmen Square, in the heart of Beijing's government district, is the Chinese equivalent of the White House's South Lawn, and that it would be disrespectful to the Chinese to refuse to visit that site.

Clinton plans to begin his trip to China and Hong Kong on June 25, with visits to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin and Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, the first public elections since China's takeover took place over the past weekend, in which 20 of the 60 seats on the Legco, or Legislative Council, were voted upon by a reported 53% of eligible voters. The balance of the seats are voted upon by 140,000 business people selected by Beijing, with the final third actually appointed by a committee of 800 named by Beijing.

With two-thirds of their government being directly appointed or backed by Beijing, many voters stayed home during the miserable weather on election day, although the turnout was said to have been a record.

One voter was reported to have said that he cast his vote because, "Having one voice that represents me in the legislature is better than not having a voice at all." Democratic Party leader Martin Lee, an outspoken critic of Beijing, is still pressing the PRC government to allow Hong Kong to hold completely independent and free elections by 2000. However, there are no scheduled changes to the current system planned until 2004. Democrats and their allies won 13 of the seats up for grabs, while other, smaller pro- democracy parties won the remaining seven seats. The pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, which was earlier expected to win four of the remaining seats, was shut out at the polls.

Before their assumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong, China promised that Hong Kong would remain essentially the same for at least 50 years after the takeover.

2. "CargoLaw.com" Internet Service Honored

LAX - A vote by readers of the "misc.transport.air-industry.cargo" official Internet discussion group & the AIRCARGO Mailing List has resulted in "CargoLaw.com" being named one of the "Top 10 Air Cargo Web Sites" on the world wide web. In receiving this prestigious award the site established by LAX forwarder-broker attorneys Countryman & McDaniel is now in the same company as other recipients such as FedEx, Airborne, JAL Super Logistics, Korean Airlines & Martinair. We're proud!

There are many features of "CargoLaw.com", but visitor comments suggest current favorites:

TRANS-CAMS : Over 80 live cameras focused on transport related activities around the world. See the world right now, from your desk!

"The Streets of Laredo" : Most of us has cargo which transits Laredo, but how many of us have been there? There are now nine live TRANS- CAMS which watch America's busiest commercial border crossing. Freight moves around the clock along with some 2.5 million people each day.

Law Navigator : The full text of laws & treaties which govern our industry. FAA Security & HAZ MAT Regulations, the Warsaw Convention, the Carriage of Goods By Sea Act, the Shipping Act of 1984, and much more. The site will soon include legal search engines.

The Freight Detective - General Investigations : The most extensive grouping of free research & investigation tools on the world wide web. Find anything ...... anything.

Thousands of industry professionals from Chicago to Cairo rely on "CargoLaw.com" for information & resources, and perhaps some fun. Join them ....... http://cargolaw.com

3. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

4. The Cargo Letter Financial Page


OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News


5. CARGO 2000 Reports Significant Developments

CARGO 2000, the special IATA interest group formed in March, 1997 by leading airlines & freight forwarders, to provide global, time-definite services with shorter delivery times, better customer service and lower costs through the implementation of a programme of agreed business process and automation standards in the air cargo industry, has reported significant developments at its recent Executive Committee meeting in San Francisco. Group membership has increased to 34 with the announcement that Air Canada, China Airlines, LEP Int'l & Wilson Freight Systems joined the organization on March 1st, 1998. Air France did not renew its membership. The group now consists of 19 airlines and 15 forwarders.

The CARGO 2000/Unisys process working party which was charged last year with developing a generic, time definite capability for the group, has now completed three sets of trials. The first involving containerized cargo took place last autumn and showed that 42% of consignments moved door-to-door in 72 hours or less. A 2nd series of trials worldwide in November, measuring loose (non-containerized) & transshipment cargo, showed that for this type of cargo, the average door-to-door time was 6.3 days, almost unchanged from the surveys* carried out in 1975 by IATA and in 1995/96 by Unisys. The working party measured every aspect of the process and it was apparent that considerable time is lost while documentation & processing takes place. The trials showed that cargo spends less than 10% of the total time involved actually moving and over 90% of the total time awaiting some form of documentation or processing. The working party ascertained that 60% of total transit time is spent at destination waiting to be cleared and delivered. It was evident that Customs clearance is not a major delay factor, but considerable time is wasted in submission of Customs entries. As a result of the trials & examination of 43,000 detailed measurements carried out worldwide by airlines & forwarders, the working party designed a new, generic control process to facilitate the movement of cargo and the co-ordination of collection, clearance & delivery with the air transport sector, to enable time definite delivery.

New, Generic Control Process - Good Trial Results. The process was tested by CARGO 2000 in February (1998) in the 3rd of the trials. Using the services of six forwarder and ten airline members, detailed monitoring of 950 consignments took place worldwide. 91% of all consignments in the test were delivered door-to-door within 72 hours. These trials required the checking and measuring of over 20,000 individual processes involving the 950 consignments. Commenting on the outcome of the generic process trials, James Hartigan, Chairman of CARGO 2000 & V.P. Cargo of United Airlines, said "This is the most significant step taken by the industry in 50 years to change the air cargo product to meet customer requirements. This change was only possible because of the enormous joint efforts of the airline and forwarder members of the group.” Hartigan continued “We have proved conclusively that it is only by the joint development, control and management of the processes by both airlines and forwarders that a reliable, consistent, time definite and seamless service can be provided to customers.”

The new, generic process & results of the trials will now be taken to a series of customer forums being organized worldwide in coming months to check and test customer requirements based on the findings and, most importantly, to seek customer input to the systemic development of the time definite capability. The results & initial input from the customer forums will be brought to the next Board meeting of CARGO 2000 in mid-summer for endorsement & approval.

Electronic Data Interchange Working Party. The meeting also received reports from the EDI working party on the successful joint airline/forwarder submission of all customs reporting in the U.S. a via electronic communication. This was and is a very significant factor in achieving time definite delivery. The live testing by airline and forwarder members was achieved through much practical assistance and co-operation from the US Customs authorities. In addition, the EDI working party is drawing up a revised set of membership criteria which will reflect the progress being made by CARGO 2000. An airline/forwarder performance measurement for airlines and forwarders exchanging EDI messages has been developed by the working party, this will also be presented to the next Board meeting.

Bar Code Label Working Party. After extensive consultation, the Bar Code Label working party has recommended the adoption of IATA Resolution 606 as the implementation standard. It has also recommended unique piece identification and radio frequency bar code scanning as essential for CARGO 2000. It is developing an implementation schedule for bar code labeling and scanning which will be a requirement for all existing and new members of the group.

Montreal Protocol Four. Commenting on the recent ratification of the ICAO Montreal Protocol Four agreement which allows for paperless trading between approving nations, Mr. Hartigan said this was a major breakthrough for the air freight industry and especially for the membership of CARGO 2000, who were leading the industry in the development of a paperless trading environment. He now hopes that the major trading nations such as the U.S., Germany & Japan will ratify the agreement to enable the development of paperless trading between them all. NOTE: the U.S has not adopted this.

Members of CARGO 2000 are : Airlines : Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Alitalia, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa Cargo, Northwest Airlines, SAS, South African Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Cargo & United Airlines. Forwarders : Air Express Int'l, Danzas, Emery, Kintetsu, Küehne & Nagel, Lemuir Air Express, LEP International, MSAS, Nippon Express, Panalpina, Schenker Int'l, Thyssen Haniel Logistics, SCAC, Wilson Freight Systems & Yusen Air & Sea.

6. New FAA Security Regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new Cargo Security Regulations that officials say will make the skies safer but will complicate business for shippers, according to a Journal of Commerce article. Indeed, we know that such regulations will do nothing beyond making life more difficult for airforwarders ....... to no purpose. The new guidelines are being mailed to shippers, forwarders & airlines, who have until June 26, 1998 to comment. The JOC article cites an FAA source as saying that final regulations should be in place by October 1998. According to the article, the regulations will significantly narrow the universe of so-called "known shippers," frequent clients who are subject to minimal security by forwarders & carriers. The article states that a shipper will no longer qualify as "known" after just one transaction with a forwarder, but will have to establish a long-standing relationship with that company. The FAA likely will require proof of a certain number of shipments by a given client over a certain period of time, the article states. According to the article, the new regulations also abolish the "Security Endorsement" every shipper is now required to produce with every shipment.

7. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs


OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News


8. Freight Forwarder World Ocean Briefs

9. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches

As the world is now so taken by the movie "TITANIC", we seriously question what the response might be if the public came to know just how dangerous is the sea. Make certain your customers know the truth. Arrange quality marine cargo insurance for all shippers and let them see the following .........

Ocean CARGO disasters this month include: ..........

1.] 18 April, 2 crew of M/V Sea-Land Mariner (Marshall Island-registry containership) were injured on 18 April after an explosion in a container ignited a fire that burned for 10 hours. The ship was 130 miles southwest of Crete in Greece when the fire began. One person was rescued from the water by a Swedish vessel and taken to the U.S. Navy's lead ship of the U.S.S. Wasp (LHD 1)-class Helicopter/Dock Landing Ship;
2.] 18 April, M/T Nissho Maru (Japanese-registry motor chemical tanker) & M/V Yamkuni Maru No. 3 (Japanese-registry) collided in Japan's Inland Sea. The latter suffered damage to its starboard side near the engine room has well as 3 cargo hold fractures. The ship took on water and was towed to Yanai, Japan. The Nissho Maru had minor damage;
3.] 19 April, Sri Lanka Navy vessels attacked vessels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam early 19 April off northeastern Sri Lanka, sinking at least five. At least 10 LTTE members were killed near Trincomalee;
4.] 21 April, M/V Koznitsa (Bulgarian-registry) grounded in Rosario and was then hit by a barge, causing substantial starboard hull damage;
5.] 21 April, containership M/V Heng Hoi 308 and an oil tanker, collided in Hong Kong on 21 April. Both vessels were Chinese. Three Chinese crew were injured. The collision was southwest of Tsing Yi Island in the New Territories. The tanker was not seriously damaged but the containership began flooding;
6.] 21 April, M/V Koon Hong 211 (Chinese-registry containership) sank off Hong Kong. Five beaches were closed as one of 17 containers aboard the ship contained ammonium chloride. The ship was anchored off Tuen Mun opposite Butterfly Beach, southwest of Tsing Yi Island in the New Territories. Five local beaches (Butterfly, Cafeteria Old, Cafeteria New, Golden & Kadoorie) were sealed. Of the other 16 containers, 13 had batteries and 3 had metal items. Nine of 17 have been recovered but not the one containing the ammonium chloride;
7.] 23 April, M/V Sirius (Belize-registry) capsized & sank following a collision with M/V Yushin Maru No. 8 (Japanese-registry) off Kitakyushu, Japan;
8.] 24 April, an 11-mile section of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis was closed after 137 barges broke their moorings. The section reopened at 1530 25 April. One barge carrying grain sank but the rest were recovered. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, about 24 barges broke free at a fleeting area near an Anheuser-Busch facility in St. Louis. As they floated downstream, they hit barges in other fleeting areas and caused the others to break free;
9.] 25 April, M/T Tom Elba (Portuguese-registry chemical tanker) and M/T Helle Wonsild (Danish-registry) collided in the Skagerrak Strait. The Tom Elba suffered minimal damage but the Helle Wonsild was holed in a fuel tank and sailed to Skagen, Denmark.
10.] 25 April, M/V Rema (Belize-registry) sent out a distress message in the North Sea while sailing with 930 tons of redstone from Berwick-on-Tweed, England, to the Netherlands with a crew of five. A search of the area by the British Coast Guard found a capsized lifeboat & a small petroleum slick. The Trinity House Lighthouse Service said this week it has found a shipwreck it believes to be the Rema;
11.] 27 April, M/V Marine Ranger (Liberian-registry) and M/V North Countess (Greek-registry) collided south of Flores Island near Montevideo, Uruguay. Damage is not known. The Marine Ranger was sailing to Buenos Aires, while North Countess was sailing from San Pedro, Argentina, to Necochea, Argentina.
13.] 27 April, M/V Heung-A Tokyo (South Korean-registry containership) & M/T Sun Duke (Panamanian-registry) collided off Japan on 27 April. The Heung-A Tokyo was sailing from Shimizu, Japan, to Ulsan, South Korea, and the Sun Duke was sailing from China to Tobata, Japan, with coal tar;
14.] 27 April, two crew of M/V Natalemar were reported missing in the southern Ionian Sea. The Syrian citizens disappeared at 0400 when the ship was near Greece's Strofades Islands. Two life jackets are also missing;
15.] 29 April, a North Korean- registry cargo vessel sank in the Yellow Sea after it collided with M/V Yang Lin (Chinese-registry 13,635-dwt dry cargo ship operated by COSCO Guangzhou). One crew is missing and 2 were injured;
16.] 29 April, M/V San Clemente (Liberian-registry containership) ran aground at the access channel to a COSIPA terminal in Santos, Brazil;
17.] 30 April, the Bagmati River ferry capsized near Burawghat, India, killing about 25 people and leaving 30 missing;
18.] 1 May, M/T Four Seas (Cayman Islands-registry) and M/V Tong Hai (Chinese-registry operated by COSCO Shanghai) ran aground in the Western Scheldt of the Netherlands while trying to avoid a collision following rudder damage to the Tong Hai;
19.] 4 May, eighteen stowaways from Morocco were found in containers at the Port of Rotterdam. The men hit the walls of containers aboard M/V Rendsburg (German-registry containership) as the ship neared the port entrance. Local police listened outside 133 containers before finding all the men. Earlier during the ship's voyage, 32 stowaways were found during a call at Casablanca, Morocco;
20.] 4 May, M/V Spring Dream (ro/ro operated by Cool Carriers A.B.) has been towed to Cape Town, South Africa, by the John Ross (St. Vincent and the Grenadines-registry tug). The 25 crew abandoned the ship on 17 April after it caught fire about 104 miles west of Port Nolloth, South Africa. The crew boarded a fishing vessel after a fire that began in the generator room & spread to the rest of the ship. Damaged areas reportedly include the bridge;
21.] 5 May, the tug Towing Wizard (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) and M/V Anangel Honour (Greek-registry) collided just before 0100, seven miles east of Dover, England. The Towing Wizard was sailing from Tilbury, England, to the Black Sea and was badly damaged especially around the starboard bow. It towed to Dover and 4 crew were hospitalized. The empty Anangel Honour has severe port side damage including a large gash that breached the hull;
22.] 5 May, - military cargo - 4 crew of the Royal Australian Navy's Underway Replenishment Ship H.M.A.S. Westralia (O 195) were killed & another 9 were injured in a fire during a naval exercise near Rottnest Island, Western Australia. The engine room fire began and spread through a lower deck of the ship while a ruptured fuel line was being repaired. The vessel lost power soon after and the fire took 1.5 hours to extinguish. The dead were 3 men & 1 woman. H.M.A.S. Westralia is home ported at Fremantle, Australia;
23.] 6 May, Nine people are missing after a fishing vessel capsized following a collision with M/V Vishva Parimal (Indian- registry dry cargo ship) in the East China Sea at 1900 hrs.. The fishing vessel, with a crew of 11, flooded about 81 miles off Cheju Island (Ed: one of the most beautiful places on earth), South Korea. Two crew were rescued. Vishva Parimal was sailing from India to Busan, South Korea;
24.] 7 May, Twelve bodies have been found near Sabah, Malaysia, and at least one has been identified as crew of M/V Virgin Pearl (Philippine-registry). The vessel sank 4 April near Balut Island, Philippines, after rough seas damaged the ship & it lost power(see The Cargo Letter [328]) . It had been reported that all 24 people aboard, including the 15 crew, were rescued by M/V Chongket. That report is now seriously questioned. The Virgin Pearl was sailing from Manado, Indonesia, to Davao.

NOTE: Due to seasonal weather there were many, many more cargo vessel 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, but it does not involve cargo and is nor reported. It was another BAD month at sea. We mourn the many vessels lost.

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.


OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace


10. Top 10 Air Cargo Sites

As voted by readers of the "misc.transport.air-industry.cargo" Internet discussion group & the AIRCARGO Mailing List:

Cargo Law - Multifaceted site of Countryman & McDaniel - great "TRANS-CAMS!" , legal resources and search links.
http://www.cargolaw.com/index.html

Martinair - Loading configs, schedules, and online auctions - all well laid out.
http://www.martinairusa.com/

Reuters - All-you-can-eat air cargo news.
http://www.racs.com/

Finnair - The national airline of Finland.
http://www.finnair.com/cargo/index.htm

Cargomarket - Subscription based searchable trade database.
http://www.cargomarket.com/

Korean Air - A bit graphic-intensive, but beautifully designed site
http://www.koreanair.com/

Airborne - Clean new site with easy navigation.
http://www.airborne.com/

Travelocity - Search for available airlines by city, region, or country.
http://www2.travelocity.com/destg/index.html

JAL Super Logistics - Simple yet fun page - VR, Quicktime, and Shockwave.
http://www.jal.co.jp/jalcargo/index-e.htm

Aviacisn Espaqola - Spanish and Latin American airline info - en Espaqol
http://www.irinfo.es/aviacion/

The MTA-IC Top 10 is updated monthly. To recommend a site for consideration, see:
http://www.mta-ic.com/top10/

11. 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 ...............

The Bridges of Laredo ........ six LIVE! cameras provide 24 hour coverage of America's busiest commercial border crossing, plus 2.5 million people per day.
http://www.cargolaw.com/cameras.html

SmartShip ......... asks a user for the 'to' & 'from' zip codes of their package, as well as its weight. The user sees a chart showing current prices to ship their specific package, listed in order by several shipping couriers. SmartShip breaks down the prices by each courier's guaranteed delivery deadline.
http://www.smartship.com

Airforwarders Association
http://www.logcity/airfwdrasn

Colography Group ....... info regarding expedited worldwide cargo trends. A for pay service.
http://www.colography.com/

RMS Titanic ......... index to wide variety of sites
http://www.titanic.cc/

Build A New Titanic?
http://www.put.com/gigantic/

Tracking Your Investments
http://inside.excite.com/c/000015006185245703

Top 10 Seinfeld Sites
http://inside.excite.com/c/000015006185245702


OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World


12. New Int'l Transport Cases At U.S. Supreme Court

El Al Israel Airlines v. Tseng No. 97-475
Certiorari granted: 05/18/98 (acceptance for hearing)
Decision below: 122 F.3d 99
Court below: U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit

At issue in this aviation case is whether the Warsaw Convention exclusively precludes any recovery for a passenger's injuries involving Int'l transportation if the injuries were not sustained by an "accident" within the meaning of the Warsaw Convention and whether a plaintiff may bring an action in state court for the same injuries after being denied a remedy under the Warsaw Convention. The court below held that the security search of Tseng before she boarded an Int'l flight was not an "accident" within the meaning of the Warsaw Convention and those injuries may be pursued in state court if the Warsaw Convention does not apply to personal injuries suffered during the course of an Int'l flight.

Dooley v. Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. No. 97-704
Heard By U.S. Supreme Court on 27 April 1998
Court below: U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

At issue in this maritime law case is whether the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) preempts a survival cause of action under general maritime law for the pre-death pain & suffering of decedents in an airplane crash over Int'l waters. The action was brought by the personal representatives of three passengers on board Korean Air Flight 007, en route from New York to Seoul, Korea, on September 1, 1983. All passengers were killed when the aircraft was shot down after crossing airspace of the former Soviet Union. DOHSA provides for a cause of action for the death of a person caused by wrongful act or neglect on the high seas. It also, however, precludes a survival action for pain and suffering endured by decedents before death. The court below concluded that general maritime law does not afford a survival action because DOHSA preempts such an action. The U.S. Supreme Court will now decide the case in a written opinion this summer.

13. 1997 NVOCC Top Ten List

U.S. Imports By TEU:
1. Fritz Companies, Inc                   311,911
2. Tower Group Int'l                      117,186
3. Kuehne & Nagel (Blue Anchor)            98,748
4. Schenker Int'l (Sea Cargo Int'l)        56,905
5. Nippon Express                          47,679    
6. AEI (Radix/Votainer)                    47,512
7. Panalpina (Pantainer Exp.)              44,243
8. Carmichal Int'l Service                 38,299
9. Translink Shipping                      35,082
10. Mitsui Soko                            31,362

U.S. Exports By TEU:
1. Direct Container Line                   34,757
2. Shipco Transport                        29,666
3. Kuehne & Nagel (Blue Anchor)            27,966
4. Nippon Express                          27,639
5. Fritz Companies, Inc.                   24,776
6. Ocean World Lines                       23,354
7. Panlpina (Pantainer)                    17,864 
8. Schenker (Sea Cargo Int'l)              16,549      
9. Marubeni                                15,193     
10. Mitrans Corp.                          15,128

14. U.S. Customs Pipeline Re Manifest Submittal

-- by Robert F. Caton, CSTA

I was asked to view an Information U.S. Customs Pipeline Draft which is limiting the cargo manifest filing for freighter aircraft at JFK from between 08:00-16:30, 7 days per week. Presently all carriers can file cargo manifest 24 hours per day at one of the 3 primary Int'l passenger terminals. Passenger aircraft will continue to be able to file cargo manifest 24 hours per day, yet Customs is looking to require Cargo Manifest for Freighters to be filed within the limited window.

Part of the problem is that forwarders have little idea what this means, since filing cargo manifests has been solely up to carriers. Typically a carrier files an out-bound cargo manifest within 2 hours prior to flight departure. Most freighter aircraft operate during off hours which means late at night. So either 1 of 2 things will happen. The carrier must submit its manifest by 16:30 for a flight that may depart at 01:00 the next morning. And I think we all know that it's nearly impossible to get a consolidation ready by 16:00 and delivered to the carrier in time for the carrier to file it's manifest. The other alternative is to delay the movement of air-cargo by 1 day. Thus, if the forwarder drops freight off at 21:30 it will have to wait until the carrier files manifest the following day, delaying cargo movement 1 entire day.

Because there has been very little concern expressed to Customs, it may simply go ahead and begin this practice un-challenged by all those that would be effected by the new policy. Although many may just see this asa JFK problem, many readers use JFK as a major gateway. BWI/BOS/PHL/IAD/ATL all take advantage of the JFK gateway & are dependent upon the arrival time of cargo to the outbound carrier. The new process may delay interline cargo 1 day.

This brief background goes back to SED and the issue of Manifest Compliance. For years Customs & Commerce have complained that export information has been less then accurate. Here are some statistics:

These were random manifest selections from a survey of 5 designated ports.

Now because of the rather low documentation compliance, U.S.Customs is looking at these tactics to improve compliance. Customs does not have enough manpower to assign 24 hour per day for a manifest review team so they want to shorten the submission window, where each manifest can be scrutinized before freighter departure. The concern is for Int'l cargo outbound movement but I think through this newsgroup that more industry members should take a look at this Customs Pipeline so you can be better prepared and protest this practice. All U.S. ports should be prepared.

Robert F. Caton is President of CSTA Cargo Shipping Transportation Analysts at JFK.

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