The Cargo Letter

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Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
21 June 1999

Good Monday Morning & the first day of Summer from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport, voted ``Best Cargo Airport in North America''. And yes, we have lots of PIRATE news in Part 2, some quite sad.

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 ..........

To post comments or discuss articles, go to ....... the Message Board or try our new News Server.

The Freight Detective ........

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor & Publisher, Countryman & McDaniel, logistics/customs attorneys at LAX.

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR Top Story
   1. History Made On The High Seas 
      * A Bridge Cam For The World
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs 
   3. The Cargo Letter Financial Page 
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
   4. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News
   5. FF World Ocean Briefs
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
   6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
   7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases

OUR Top Story

1. World History On The High Seas

-- by Michael S. McDaniel, Esq. for The Cargo Letter

LAX - 19 June -- Our office group gathers to watch as morning breaks over the historic landscape of Venice, Italy. The great ship approaches a colorful port, casts her lines and then discharges passengers to explore the ancient city. Last week we glimpsed a U.S. Navy Iwo Jima Class assault ship passing our web camera view, perhaps in support of the Kosovo operation. Our world has changed forever. For the first time in history a live camera has been mounted on an earth based conveyance which can be viewed from anywhere by anyone on demand, 24 hours a day.

There is now an Internet web cam which broadcasts live, from the bridge of a major ocean vessel around the clock ..... M/V Grand Princess. We see what the ship experiences as an alert bridge crew directs the camera ..... LIVE. This is real life in real time.

The Internet opened a historic door through which we have been able to "Go Live" during recent years in observing the daily affairs of ocean & air ports around the world, and to the very edge of human activity at the North Pole. Our TRANS-CAMS web site feature monitors this door for you every day and has become a central feature on the Internet, now offering over 170 live camera views. Visitors can see everything from a dispute at the Gibraltar - Spain border crossings to multiple views of vessels at the Port of Hong Kong, and the current maritime conditions at the North Pole. The experience provided by our TRANS-CAMS is rich, but it has never before included live views from an earth based conveyance while underway. The new "Bridge Cam" from M//V Grand Princess of the Princess Line renews every 60 seconds on your screen.

At industry seminars around the world since 1994 The Cargo Letter and the Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel have predicted the day when an ocean carrier would be the first to offer a live "Vessel Cam" or "Bridge Cam". We felt the advertising opportunities to be self evident, but this simple step has not yet be taken by a cargo carrier.

The M/V Grand Princess Bridge Cam is a first on many accounts and represents an industry breakthrough. The benefits have a potential far beyond passenger development, entertainment & ads. Web cams can also allows users to monitor transport progress, current conditions & expected arrival times. Confirmation of arrival is critical in the air mode, where truck dispatch & prep to receive cargo is a money issue. The "air cam" says "a thousand words" and avoids long phone calls to confirm that a certain flight is on the ground. One cold store operation in Miami will soon allow its customers to "see" their perishable cargo, with header info showing all important time & temp information. Indeed, this is a trend which has now been pushed forward.

For the sheer adventure and beauty offered, we tune in to M/V Grand Princess several time a day. Often "at sea", the view is only of the main deck hot tub, but many times each day we are treated to a vessel encounter at sea, a port arrival & docking or some weather situation which makes that visit to the site a memory not soon to be forgotten. Even as this article is being written, we are studying an ancient castle on an island off Spain as M/V Grand Princess glides by! Keep looking!

We invite Sea-Land, APL, COSCO, Maersk, NYK, OOCL, and the rest, especially P & O Nedlloyd (owner of Princess Line) to understand that a very small investment (under US$1,000 on an existing satellite link) will bring hundreds of thousands of customers to their web sites, over and over again, each day to monitor vessel progress, thrill to the scenes of far away ports, learn about company services and develop brand loyalty. Once a custodial cargo carrier makes the move, most all will follow. We are entering a new era of "cargo tracking" and a time when shippers are well supported to ask why they are currently unable to view the state of the ship laden with their expensive goods.

The current Eastbound rotation for M/V Grand Princess is below and includes such ports as Istanbul, Venice, Monte Carlo, Athens, Naples, Florence & Barcelona. The schedule reverses every 14 days. The ports calls & times are available at the Princess Lines web site, below. Join the adventure! Get the direct web address below.

Cruise Itinerary M/V Grand Princess (all times local)

Day	Port	                              Arrival	      Departure
1	Istanbul, Turkey	             Embark PM   Overnight onboard vessel
2	Istanbul, Turkey	                                2:00p
3	Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey	       8:00a            6:00p
4	Athens, Greece	                       7:00a            6:00p
5	At Sea
6	Venice, Italy	                     12:00 noon  Overnight onboard vessel
7	Venice, Italy	                                        2:00p
8	At Sea
9	Capri/Naples, Italy	               7:00a            6:00p
10	Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy	       8:00a	        8:00p
11	Monte Carlo, Monaco	               7:00a            7:00p
12	Barcelona, Spain	             12:00 noon  Overnight onboard vessel      
13	Barcelona, Spain	                              Disembark AM

You may begin your adventure at our TRANS-CAMS feature web site.

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

2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

3. The Cargo Letter Financial Page

OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News

4. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs

OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News

5. Freight Forwarder World Ocean Briefs

OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace

6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"

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

Logistics Technology News .......... from the Journal of Commerce. Tech Center provides logistics and transportation professionals with software reviews and demos, articles from Traffic World & Air Cargo World, links to related web sites, and a guide to software automating the supply chain from Enterprise Resource Planning to Transportation Support Systems.

Spanish Transport Directory .......... with 39 sections indexed by provinces & towns. 

Urgente Spanish & Euro Freight News 

DHL Hong Kong ......... 1st bilingual website for the air express industry for local users. Linked with a large UNIX database, the website allows customers to arrange packages such as finished goods or arrange just-in-time delivery. 

Maritime Jobs At Sea Sites 

Strengthening America's Shipyards: Progress, Challenges, Opportunities ........ the event will take place July 29-30, 1999, at the Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, in Arlington, Virginia. 

ABF Freight System's "eCenter" ............ with tools such as "Advanced Reports," & "Freight Bill Review." 

American Freightways Corp. ........... with shipment notification that gives customers the ability to schedule automatic notification when shipments reach a predetermined status, such as pickup, delivery, etc. and customized reports 

McAlpin Logistics Team ........ assists U.S. tuckers in minimizing dead-head & empty mileage costs. 

Get .......... U.S. FTL & LTL cargo finder with 24 hour posting. 

American Forces Information Service: "Confronting Y2K."............. the site is accessible from the front page of DefenseLINK.

Y2K Problem ......... get the new report. ........... a web based platform to ensure secure, confirmed delivery of messages, newsletters, & documents online. The service offers e-mail & document delivery with universal receipt confirmation, regardless of size, origin, or destination. The basic service is free. Message recipients are automatically provided with membership and receive full access to their personal mailbox upon visiting the site to pick up their mail. 

Pfastship-2000 ......... Extended Supply Chain Software Shipping Solutions. 

e-Parcel ........... competes in the online delivery market along with Tumbleweed Software, UPS Document Exchange, docSpace, & Pitney Bowes. The company focuses on directly delivering any type of data straight to the desktop. 

"World's Easiest Print Center" ......... is the name of a new Internet service which aims to meet printing needs for your business. They promise turnaround times of approximately 3-10 days. 

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases

Mingtai Fire & marine Insurance v. United Parcel Service
No. 98-15088 (05/25/99)
International Law of Air Cargo
Holding: The 9th Circuit held the Warsaw Convention does not apply to the lost cargo in this case.

Case Facts: The question presented before the 9th Circuit was whether the Warsaw Convention in the People's Republic of China binds Taiwan (the Republic of China) which did not sign the convention. Appellant Mingai insured microchips sent from Taiwan to San Jose, Calif. under an UPS AWB. The chips were lost. Mingtai alleged that the lost package contained computer chips worth $83,454.80 and brought suit against UPS in the Northern District of California alleging, inter alia, loss of cargo under the Warsaw Convention. UPS answered that the Convention did not apply, and that its air carrier liability was therefore limited to the US$100 released value provided by the air waybill. The district held that Taiwan, which is not a signatory to the Convention, was not bound by the People's Republic of China's ("China") adherence to the Convention. The district court therefore upheld the limitation on liability provided by the air waybill, and entered summary judgment in Mingtai's favor in the amount of US$100. The parties did not dispute that Taiwan is not a High Contracting Party, nor that China is a High Contracting Party. Thus, the sole question presented was whether China's status as a High Contracting Party is sufficient to bind Taiwan to the terms of the Convention.

The 9th Circuit held this it will not recognize Taiwan as a party to any treaty signed by China even though the U.S. does as a political matter. AFFIRMED.

NOTE: The U.S. recognizes Taiwan as a party to the treaty as a political matter, but the 9th Circuit Court does not for court purposes. The result is that contract terms of the AWB apply. This is interesting because the Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel recently participated in a case before the Taiwan District Court, making the argument that Taiwan itself DOES honor the Warsaw Convention. The Taiwan Court agreed. Read the entire decision:

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