The Cargo Letter
Section A: Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News|
Section B: FF World Air News |
Section C: FF World Ocean News | Section
D: FF in Cyberspace |
Section E: The Forwarder Broker World
FF World Ocean Briefs
The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
- ILWU & PMA -- At The Brink ........
as the Bush administration is
encouraging the parties to reach an agreement before their contract expires
July 1 evening and avoid a work slowdown or strike at U.S. West Coast ports.
The contract between about 10,500 members of the Int'l Longshore & Warehouse
Union & the Pacific Maritime Assn. controls the flow of goods through the
nation's 29 major Pacific ports. Last year, that trade amounted to US$260Bn
in cargo. The contract expires at 8 p.m. EDT July 1. The union has not voted
to strike, but the talks are not thought to be going well. In 1999,
longshoremen kept working past a contract deadline & a contract was settled
after 2 weeks. But they struck in 1936-37, 1948 & 1971. The White House would
not say whether President Bush would intervene should negotiations break
down. The Taft-Hartley Act allows a president to block a strike for 80 days
if a dispute in a substantial segment of an industry will "imperil the
national health or safety." Congress could impose a settlement. Bush hasn't
been shy about preventing strikes, intervening in 2 airline labor disputes.
In Dec, Bush signed an executive order 1 day before a strike deadline,
imposing a "cooling-off" period between United & its mechanics. In March
2001, Bush intervened 4 days before Northwest mechanics' strike deadline,
barring a walk out. An agreement was later reached. At American Airlines,
just hours before Bush planned to block a strike by flight attendants in June
2001, both sides came to agreement. NOTE: Vancouver, Canada's largest
maritime gateway said it will give priority to current customers over
diverted cargo in case of a job action by dockworkers at U.S. West Coast
- Teamsters Union In Solidarity With Longshoremen ........
union has entered into a coalition with the ILWU & the Int'l Longshoremen's
Assn. to "make ports wall-to-wall union, and to provide mutual aid in times
of struggle." "The ILWU is in tough negotiations for a new contract on West
Coast ports, & the Teamsters union has pledged its support," the union said.
The Teamsters have attempted to organize port drivers for the past 2 years.
The union said port drivers are the some of the lowest paid workers in North
America, earning about US$7 to US$8 an hour before taxes. There are more than
40,000 owner-drivers moving cargo in & out U.S. seaports. Coming
Attractions? >> The Int'l Longshoremen's Assn. has confirmed on that its
Local 1964 is attempting to unionize about 120 clerical & office employees of
Evergreen America, based in Morristown, NJ. The ILA's pitch to Evergreen
America's employees is the union's 1st effort since to organize office
personnel of shipping lines whose vessels call at ports within the ILA's
jurisdiction. Might we see ports, trucks, ocean carriers -- all in the ILA,
ILWU & Teamsters?
- US$92.3M In Federal Grants For Seaport Security ........
transportation secretary Norman Mineta has announced award of US$92.3M in
grants for port security. The funding — which will be spread across 51 ports
around the country — is modest at best, though port officials in New York
expressed satisfaction with their allocation of US$9.3M. According to DOT,
grants totaling US$78M will fund enhanced facility & operational security;
grants for US$5M will be set aside for ports to assess security; & US$9.3M
will fund research for new technology for maritime security. Fiscal year 2002
supplemental appropriations bills passed by the U.S. House & Senate also
include additional funds for port security grants. The House passed its
version May 24 with provisions of US$75M for additional security grants. The
Senate Appropriations Committee passed its bill June 7 with legislation
calling for US$200M in security grants. Additionally, the "Maritime
Transportation Antiterrorism Act" authorizes US$249M over 3 years for federal
grants to help ports enhance security. Senate bill, S.1214, calls for US$390M
in grants over a 5 year period.
- The New U.S. Coast Guard ........
as it has awarded a US$17Bn contract
to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin &
Northrop Grumman for new ships, aircraft & communications equipment to help
guard U.S. shores against a terrorist attack. The new fleet & equipment will
allow the Coast Guard to stop ships away from the U.S. coastline; instantly
run lists of crew members & cargo shipments through intelligence databases;
and check for biological, chemical or radiological materials. Known as the
"Deepwater Program," it is the largest contract ever awarded by the Coast
Guard. It may run for as long as 30 years as the Coast Guard buys up to 91
ships, 35 fixed-wing aircraft, 34 helicopters & 76 unmanned surveillance
aircraft -- with upgrades to 49 ships & 93 helicopters. Some of the ships to
be replaced date as far back as World War II.
- U.S. Coast Guard Wants It Permanent ........
as it has proposed to
make permanent its 96-hour advanced notice for all cargo ships arriving in
the nation's ports. The 96-hour advanced notice for vessels greater than 300
gt. was imposed by the Coast Guard shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. Vessel arrivals used to be required 24 hours in advance. Coast Guard
also proposes to consolidate the notice of departure & notice of arrival;
require electronic submission of cargo manifest information to Customs; &
require additional crew & passenger information. Coast Guard will take
comments about its proposed rulemaking from the industry through Aug. 19.
- FOC Watch ........
as the U.S. House Armed Services Committee is
concerned that certain ship registries, or so-called "flags of convenience,"
serve as easy conduits for terrorist activities. In particular, the committee
believes there's sufficient evidence to link the 2nd-largest flag of
convenience, the Liberian Int'l Ship & Corporate Registry, to funding
Liberian President Charles Taylor. According to a UN report, the Liberian
ship registry accounts for about 50% to 75% of Liberia's annual revenue. U.S.
maritime officials & labor groups expressed similar concern about the lack of
operational controls of open registries. According to the U.S. Maritime
Admin., from 1980 to 1998, countries with developed economies, such as the
U.S., Japan & Western Europe, lost about half of their general vessel tonnage
to open registries, such as Liberia, Panama, Cyprus, the Bahamas, & Malta.
These registries account for 60% of world merchant fleet capacity. "We urge
the U.S. Congress on a unilateral basis to enact legislation authorizing the
U.S. Coast Guard to refuse entry to U.S. ports to any foreign-flag vessel
that does not provide full identity of the vessel's beneficial owner," said
the Seafarers', Fisheries & Inland Navigation Section of the Int'l Transport
- Black Flags ........
as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on
Port State Control, government group of 19 maritime nations, has published
its annual ranking of flags that have a high proportion of substandard ships.
For 2001, the group listed 25 flags on its "black list" following 18,681
inspections carried out during 2001 by member states. The "Black list" flags
in the latest report are: Albania, Bolivia, Sao Tome & Principe, Honduras,
Algeria, Lebanon, Georgia, Cambodia, Syria, Turkey, Belize, Libya, Tonga,
Romania, Morocco, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Egypt, Ukraine, Malta, Panama,
India, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria & Russia.
- UN Award For Containership ........
as the 27 crew & owners of the
Norwegian freighter M/V Tampa have been presented a U.N. prize for their
daring high seas rescue of 438 asylum seekers. The US$100,000 Nansen Refugee
Prize from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees also cited the crew's
courage & determination in an 11-day standoff with Australia over landing
mostly Afghan refugees on its soil. The vessel was diverted to rescue the 438
from a sinking ferry in the Indian Ocean last Aug, even though the ship &
crew did not have the capacity to care for that many people. Australia faced
Int'l condemnation for refusing to accept the refugees & for sending troops
to board the Tampa. The asylum seekers were finally transferred to an
Australian warship & taken to New Zealand & Pacific Island nation of Nauru.
- Crying Foul ........
as in a closed-door meeting June 26, the U.S.
Federal Maritime Commission decided to extend its consideration of a petition
filed by the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Assn. of America & the
Int'l Assn. of NVOCCs to investigate alleged anticompetitive contracting
practices of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement. The groups said TSA
carrier members have refused to negotiate with intermediaries or shippers'
associations until after they have created their contacts with direct
shippers. The industry groups said this results in higher rates for
non-direct shippers. They also said the TSA's actions violate the 1984
Shipping Act. The groups seek TSA member lines to pay reparations pursuant to
section 11(g) of the Shipping Act to intermediaries which have been damaged.
- Transpac Fuel Pump ........
as the Transpacific Stabilization
Agreement carriers plan to increase fuel surcharges on eastbound transpacific
containerized shipments on July 1. For the 3rd quarter, the fuel surcharge
will be set at US$180 per 45-foot container, US$160 per high-cube 40-foot
box, US$140 per 40-footer, US$105 per 20-footer & US$3 per revenue ton by
weight or measure. The carriers said the increase is "in response to
significantly increased costs of purchasing and loading marine fuel in the
U.S. & Asia." TSA member carriers are APL, CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines,
Evergreen, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai, "K" Line, Maersk Sealand,
MOL, NYK, OOCL, P&O Nedlloyd & Yang Ming Marine.
- Not This Year ........
as Singapore's flagship maritime event, "Asia
Pacific Maritime," has been postponed for a year due to pressure from
exhibitors & other participants. The exhibition & conference, successor to
"Singaport", will now be held from March 24 to 26, 2004. A spokesman said
that the move was is in response to requests from exhibitors, national groups
& partner organizations who feel that holding an event in 2003 may be "too
soon" in view of current market sentiments.
- Now Everyone's A Forwarder ........
as Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine
Corp. will widen its activities by adding forwarding & other logistics
operations. In China, South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent & South
America Evergreen with invest in forwarding operations, container depots,
warehousing & trucking. Unlike other shipping groups, like A.P.
Moller/Maersk, APL, P&O Nedlloyd & Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Evergreen had not
moved into the logistics field beyond container shipping. The carrier has
operated some container depots & trucking activities. In some instances, it
has relied on its local agents to provide forwarding or other additional
activities for customers. Container cargo volume for the carrier declined by
8.5% in 2001, while freight rate revenues dropped by 14.7%.
- Major Container Shift ........
as Evergreen Marine has completed an
internal assessment into how many containers it should transfer as part of
the relocation of its southeast Asian center from Singapore to the rival Port
of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) in Malaysia's Johor state, as announced earlier this
year. The volume, according to one Malaysian report, would be about 80% of
the yearly throughput in Singapore, suggesting an equivalent of 960,000 of
the 1.2 million TEU. The balance of 240,000 TEU in Singapore has to do with
joint services with other carriers and with Asia-Australia service strings.
Evergreen's decision to keep 20% of its business in Singapore could possibly
reflect a counter-challenge from Singapore's PSA to stop, with special offers
and dedicated terminal facilities, & more carrier desertions.
- Newest MSC Vessel ........
as the U.S. Navy has transferred USS Arctic
, a fast combat support ship, to the operational control of Military Sealift
Command. Arctic went from a Sailor-crewed combatant ship to a
civilian-crewed, noncombatant ship during a ceremony held June 14 in Earle,
NJ. The ship, now known as USNS Arctic to designate her new status as part of
the Navy's Military Sealift Command, will join more than 30 other
civilian-crewed MSC ships that provide at-sea logistic support to the Navy
fleet. Two more ships, USS Rainier & USS Bridge, are scheduled to be
reassigned to MSC's control in the next 2 years. When they are, the Navy will
realize an estimated annual savings of US$75M in operating costs. Arctic,
which as a Navy ship was crewed by a complement of 544 sailors, will now have
a civilian crew of 176 mariners, accompanied by a small military department
of 28 Sailors for support & supply coordination.
- Throughput. ........
Port of Long Beach reported an 18% jump in loaded
inbound containers handles in May, to 231,382 TEUs (total container volume,
including empties, rose 16.4% to 428,033 TEUs).
Port of Los Angeles
reported a 22% rise in loaded inbound containers handled in April, to 258,026
TEUs (total including empties handled 484,299 TEUs) -- port has adopted
US$497.9M budget for the fiscal year 2002-2003 that focuses on security &
priority issues, up 11%..
Freight traffic through all UK ports in 2000
rose by 7.4m tons (1%) to 573.1m tons, with inward traffic up 3% to 316.3m
tons & outward traffic down 1% to 256.7m tons.
Malaysian ports rose 22% to
2.6 million TEU in 1st quarter of 2002.
Port of Vancouver has record box
shipments in the 1st 5 months of the year, reaching a total of 522,840 TEU, a
15% increase over same period last year.
"The essence of flexibility is in the mind of the commander; the substance
of flexibility is in logistics." ---Rear Admiral Henry Eccles, U.S. Navy
We're sorry, but there were so many sinkings, explosions, pirate attacks,
fires, cargo mishaps, battles on the water & other disasters at sea that we
do not have room to print even the highlights this month ...... even a major
rescue at the South Pole! May lost their lives at sea this month!!
But you can read all this month's disaster news at our special Internet web
feature which provides full details of each event -- our Vessel Casualties &
Pirate Activity Database. Bookmark the site and visit every day! Updated
SPECIAL NOTE: Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery
of Cargo Loss" website feature.
NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real.
Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance
from their freight forwarder or customs broker. It's dangerous out there.
Please click below for other sections:
Section A: Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
Section B: FF World Air News |
Section C: FF World Ocean News | Section
D: FF in Cyberspace |
Section E: The Forwarder Broker World
Written from wire stories, the Associated Press,
Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources.
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