Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel


Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News

30 Nov. 2003

Part 1 of 1


Good Sunday Evening 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." Here's what happened in our industry during November 2003.

To help you find what you need -- FAST -- there's now a transport search engine installed at our Cargo Law.com website!

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 website.

Our corporate sponsor &endash;- Interpool, Inc. -- named again to Forbes "Best 200 Small Companies" List -- for the 2nd consecutive year! -- http://www.interpool.com/

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

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

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

1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs ______________                            

2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______________                               

OUR "B" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ____________                         

OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

4. FF World Ocean Briefs _____________________                                            

5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches _____        

**Back By Popular Demand**

OUR "D" Section:  FF in Cyberspace***

6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports of Call" _________             

OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***

7. New Transport Related Legal Cases ___________            



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

  1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________

 ***Advanced Electronic Cargo Info Rules Approach ......... as the new U.S. rules "take us beyond the maritime 24-Hour Rule to incorporate advance electronic information for all cargo shipments to the U.S., pertaining to commercial trucking, air freight & rail. It is a bold but necessary move to better secure our borders against the terrorist threat without delaying the flow of legitimate trade," said U.S. Customs & Border Protection Commissioner Robert C. Bonner this month.

The new requirements will be similar to the current requirement that ocean carriers submit manifest information at least 24 hours prior to loading in a foreign port. The differences are that the new rules will require that all advance manifests be submitted electronically & the requirement will apply to all modes & for cargoes being imported or exported. U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CPB) received significant input from the trade community & the Canada Customs & Revenue Agency (CCRA). CBP carefully considered & in many cases adopted the trades recommendations. CBP says it will work closely with the trade community to phase in these rules over the coming months. Following are the timelines to be required for all modes of transportation:


•Air & Courier - 4 hours prior to arrival in U.S., or "wheels up" from certain nearby areas

•Rail - 2 hours prior to arrival at a U.S. port of entry

•Vessel - 24 hours prior to lading at foreign port

•Truck - Free And Secure Trade (FAST): 30 minutes prior to arrival in U.S.; non-FAST: 1 hour prior to arrival in the U.S.


•Air & Courier - 2 hours prior to scheduled departure from the U.S.

•Rail - 2 hours prior to the arrival of the train at the border

•Vessel - 24 hours prior to departure from U.S. port where cargo is laden

•Truck - 1 hour prior to the arrival of the truck at the border

***Summary of Advanced Electronic Cargo Info Rules ....... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection has released its "Executive Summary" of the new advance electronic cargo information rule. The summary cites two instances in which receipt of advance information for cargo being imported by ship led to interceptions of illegal shipments. The rule is expected to result in substantial new costs. The new rule has been submitted to Congress for its consideration. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on approximately Dec. 5, 2003, assuming Congress doesn't intervene. Get the summaries:

Summary By Mode

Video-on-demand of Secretary Ridge & Commissioner Bonner's press conference, with a summary of final rules, at CBP website:

***Reminder On New FDA Rules ........ as new regulations on "Registration of Food Facilities" & "Prior Notice of Imported Food Shipments" take effect Dec. 12. These regulations were mandated by the Bioterrorism Response Act of 2002. See details in The Cargo Letter [394] for Oct. 2003. Prepare with these new pamphlets:

Pamphlet #1

Pamphlet #2

***New Pamphlets On U.S. Customs & Trade Issues ....... as the Bureau of Customs & Border Protection offers a variety of new publications aimed at providing importers & exporters with guidance on a variety of subjects related to common customs issues & questions.Topics include:                         - Questions & Answers on Customs Bonds                                

- Import Quotas                             

- Drawback                                                                 

- Temporary Importation Under Bond                                         

- CBP Bonded Warehouses                                                    

- U.S. Import Requirements                                                 

- Foreign Trade Zones                                                      

- How to Protect Your Intellectual Property Rights                         

- Marking of Country of Origin                                             

***Dig Deep For The Next "Big Thing" ........ as manufacturers may have to invest millions of dollars to comply with Wal-Mart's request (and soon the world) that every carton & pallet it receives carry a radio identification tag. Known as UHF Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) smart label identification, the technology can track containers on trains & ships & in automatic toll systems. This is the long-term successor to bar codes in the retail industry. Radio tags can carry more information about the product, can be scanned more rapidly & can be found even if they are hidden in cartons. Wal-Mart said it expected its top 100 suppliers to adopt the technology by the end of 2004 & the rest of its suppliers to do so in 2005. In late Sept., the Dept. of Defense said it would also require major suppliers to use such tags by the end of 2004. This will soon be the world standard. Get ready.

***China On A Roll ....... as the total China trade was valued at US$682.3Bn over the 1st 10 months of this year, up 36.4% on the corresponding period last year. Last month, the country's total trade was worth US$76.12Bn, a rise of 38% over the same month last year. Geeez.

***On The Other Hand ....... as U.S. imports of goods from China & Europe contributed to a widening of the U.S. trade deficit in goods to US$46.5Bn in Sept. from US$44.7Bn in Aug., according to the latest statistics of the U.S. Census Bureau. The value of U.S. goods exported rose US$1.2Bn to US$59.8Bn in Sept. from US$57.7Bn in Aug. >> The goods deficit with China increased to US$12.7Bn in Sept., from US$11.7Bn in Aug. Imports from China increased US$1.1Bn (primarily toys, games, sporting goods, computers, electronics & other household goods) to US$14.8Bn. The trend continues, as in the 1st 9 months of 2003, ocean shipments to the U.S. exceeded 504,000 FEU -- a 10.4% increase over same period in 2002 and 37.8% higher than the whole of 2001! Meanwhile, exports to China increased only US$100M (primarily civilian aircraft) to US$2.1Bn. >> The goods deficit with the European Union also widened to US$8.1Bn in Sept. from US$6.6Bn in Aug. Imports from the EU increased US$1.5Bn (primarily passenger cars, pharmaceuticals, civilian aircraft & gems) to US$19.9Bn. Exports to Europe were virtually unchanged at US$11.8Bn.

***Mini Dragon Free Trade ....... as South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun & Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong have announced that Singapore & South Korea will enter into formal talks on bilateral free trade agreement in early 2004. Both countries anticipate the talks on free trade will be finalized within a year. 

***Grooming The Bear ....... as the World Bank is to release a US$140M development & modernization loan to help reform Russian Customs. The reforms will boost Russia's ability to process Int'l trade by the adoption of internationally accepted practices. They will create a climate to encourage foreign investment in the Russian economy. Russia is still a growing, changing & sometimes dangerous market. Last year, the EU became Russia's biggest trading partner, with Russia at #5 in the EU's trade table. Total trade exceeded US$96Bn.

***Giving The Finger ........ as the Transportation Security Admin. (TSA) did not meet its self-imposed deadline to begin conducting fingerprint background checks for drivers certified to haul hazardous materials in the U.S. The agency had set a Nov. 3 deadline for states to begin fingerprinting anyone renewing or applying for a new commercial driver license with a hazmat endorsement. There are an estimated 3.2-million drivers who currently haul hazardous materials, while some 5 million drivers hold certifications on their commercial drivers licenses to do so. On the other hand, trucking industry leaders say TSAs requirement that the U.S. States administer separate programs to check the backgrounds of 3.5 million truck drivers licensed to carry hazardous materials will create a "nightmare." Trucking industry leaders said : "Our companies move commerce nationwide & our drivers are everywhere. Simply put, allowing each state to implement its own processes would be a nightmare. There would be significant delays & driver downtime if states are allowed to implement their own processes."

***Maple Leaf Railways ........ as the British Columbia government will lease BC Rail, Canada's 3rd-largest railway, to Montreal-based Canadian National Railway Co. for US$758M. Canadian National will acquire the outstanding shares of BC Rail Ltd. for US$1Bn in cash, along with the right to operate over BC Rail's roadbed under a 60-year lease. The province will continue to own BC Rail's rail bed, with Canadian National (CN) assuming responsibility for rail transportation & infrastructure maintenance, which has cost the government about US$30M a year. CN said BC Rail will require a work force of 950, including 60 employees to be relocated within CN's system in Western Canada, down from its current 1,380.

***The Big Engine That Can ....... as RailAmerica, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of the Bay City, Michigan-based Central Michigan Railway Company (CMGN). CMGN, which operates 100 miles of track from Midland, Michigan, south to Durand, Michigan, moved approximately 30,000 carloads & had revenue of approximately US$11M in 2002. RailAmerica consolidated carloads for Oct. 2003 increased 1.9% to 130,356, from 127,886 in Oct. 2002.

***Taking The Short Cuts ....... as a small subsidiary of UPS is deploying computer software that allows exquisitely precise planning of delivery routes. The software, known as the Roadnet Transportation Suite, is offered by UPS Logistics Technologies & is being used by grocery stores, beverage bottlers & snack food companies, among others, to shave miles off their delivery networks. The 1,300 customers of UPS Logistics Technologies will save an estimated 250 million miles during calendar 2003. That equates to 250,000 tons of CO2 emissions eliminated from the environment. The totals are calculated based on the number of vehicles within each customer's fleet, the miles driven & an average mileage reduction of 10% per customer. Wow!

***They Might Still Deliver Letters .......... as U.S. Postal Service will discontinue an electronic bill-payment service operated through CheckFree Corp. A filing with the Postal Rate Commission said the service notified CheckFree that it would not renew the contract when it expires in April. The service, called "USPS eBillPay," lets customers receive, view & pay bills electronically using the post office's Web site. Also being dropped are "USPS Send Money," an electronic money-transfer service, & "USPS Pay@Delivery", which lets customers combine money transfers with delivery confirmation.

***Road Work ....... as the American Trucking Assn.' advanced seasonally adjusted "Truck Tonnage Index" fell 1.2% to 153.2 (1993=100) in Oct. 2003. October's decrease followed a jump of 10.6% in Sept. For last year, trucks hauled 8.9 billion tons of freight in 2002, or 67.9% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Motor carriers collected US$585Bn, or a whopping 87% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. 

***Joining The Edsel & "New Coke" ....... as Con-Way Transportation Services (Con-Way), an LTL subsidiary of CNF Inc., has withdrawn its proposed application of a 2% surcharge intended to recover a portion of its health insurance expenses. The "Insurance Surcharge" was to have been effective Jan. 1, 2004 & would have affected shipments moving in its LTL companies: Con-Way Central Express, Con-Way Southern Express, Con-Way Western Express & Con-Way Canada Express. Con-Way said that feedback from its customers indicated they preferred the rising insurance expense be included in the more traditional method of a general rate increase. So, the company will follow this more traditional route. No date was announced for the next general rate increase, but it may also incorporate the "Windshield Wiper Replacement Surcharge."

***Biometric Gate ......... as Science Applications Int'l Corp.'s (SAIC) Transportation & Security Technology Group (TSTG) has announced that its Intelligent Intermodal Solutions (IIS) gate system at the Union Pacific (UP) terminal in Rochelle, Ill., now is operational, enhancing throughput and security at the facility. SAIC's IIS systems streamline the processing of cargo containers at ports, rail yards & other intermodal facilities. The IIS system for UP uses SAIC's digital video, optical character recognition (OCR) and biometric technologies to automatically identify containers, vehicles & drivers as they enter and leave the terminal. SAIC provides 24/7 monitoring, maintenance & support for the IIS system. Utilizing a highly accurate two-finger fingerprint scanner, the SAIC system identifies truck drivers at the entry & exit gates, and also identifies all UP personnel as they enter & leave the terminal. The IIS system maintains a fingerprint database of drivers & UP personnel for positive identification.

***Insure & Then Take Great Care ....... as trade expert & insurance consultant David Heather has warned transport operators that profits could be slashed if more care is not taken over the transportation of perishable goods. Heather outlined his views at a recent transport & logistics conference in Rotterdam. "If claims & losses are not kept under control, the high cost of insurance combined with secondary, uninsured costs will have a direct influence on the profits of the operating company," he said. By way of an example taken from the transport of perishable goods sector, Mr. Heather cited the case of a milk & dairy produce distribution company, which was quoted by the UK Health & Safety executive as having suffered costs of insured & uninsured losses equivalent to 1.8% of its operating costs in 1 year. Because of the low margins inherent in the transport sector, these losses equated to some 37% of the company's profits.

***Football Team In The "Parcel Bowl?" ......... as the FedEx Institute of Technology has opened in Memphis, Tenn. The institute's 250 researchers will work on projects including speeding Internet communications & helping truckers get a better night's sleep. The US$23M center is a joint venture of the University of Memphis & a group of private companies led by FedEx. Research at the institute will include work with such new companies as IdleAire Technologies, which seeks to reduce diesel consumption while making long-distance truck drivers more comfortable. The institute will also study digital communications, artificial intelligence & robotics.

***EU New Pet Travel Scheme ...... after July 2004 owners must have their pet microchipped or tattooed, vaccinated at least 30 days later & then blood tested more than 3 months prior to movement. Get the pamphlet.

***Stuck In A Bad Transport Job ....... as 2 robbers left a German taxi driver glued to his steering wheel before running off with EURO300 on 14 Nov. After the 31-year-old cabbie drove the men to a village near the eastern city of Dresden they threatened him with a gun, glued his hands to the wheel & escaped with the money, police said. Perhaps it was a glue gun.

***Cross-Border Spam Rage Export ........ as a Silicon Valley computer programmer was arrested at San Francisco for threatening to torture & kill employees of the company he blames for bombarding his computer with Web ads promising to enlarge his penis. In one of the 1st prosecutions of its kind in the state that made "road rage" famous, Charles Booher, 44, was arrested on Nov. 20 & released on bail for making repeated threats to staff of a Canadian company between May & July. Whether Mr. Booher's was seeking warranty recourse is not immediately known.

***Darwin Van Lines ....... as a commercial truck driver crashed his semitrailer while trying to change clothes as he drove 60 mph on a northern Indiana highway on the night of Nov. 11. Terry Gilmore, 59, of Ohio, told investigators he had set his cruise control so he could change clothes while driving on U.S. 6, about 25 miles SW of South Bend, the LaPorte County Sheriff's Dept. said. The truck rolled off the road & into 2 fences. Gilmore was not seriously injured, but was taken to LaPorte Hospital as a precaution. A witness told investigators she found Gilmore naked when she went to check on him right after the accident. No charges were filed in the crash, police said. A hometown for Gilmore was not available from police, but perhaps it is not on this planet.


  2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page _____ 

**Deutsche Post World Net. UP as net profits in the 1st 9 months jumped to US$1BN, compared to EURO392 million for same period 2002.

**EGL, Inc. UP with earnings of US$5.6M for 3rd quarter ended Sept. 30 -- earnings same period last year were US$5.7M.

**Expeditors Int'l. UP as 3rd quarter profits increased 6% to US$32.5M.

**Interpool. UP with net income was US$10.5M in 1st quarter of 2003, compared to US$10.3M in Q1 of 2002.

**Japan Airlines System Corp. Down with a loss of US$533M for the fiscal first half 2003.

**"K" Line. UP with net income of US$144M, 244% more than the result reported for April-Sept. 2002 & 52% higher than the full-year net result for the financial year ended March 31.

**Lufthansa. UP with a loss of EURO17 million (US$20M) in Q3, compared to a profit of EURO371 million in last year's 3rd quarter.

**Malaysian Airlines. UP with net profit of US$26.6M for 2nd quarter ended Sept. 30, making a rebound from the impact of SARS in 1st quarter.

**NYK Line. UP with net income up 173% in 1st half ended Sept. 30 to US$192M.

**Pilot Air Freight. UP as revenue for 3rd quarter was US$63.8M, an increase of nearly 13% from 2002

**P&O Nedlloyd. UP with 3rd quarter profit of US$56M before restructuring costs compared to a loss of US$46M in same period last year. Average revenue per TEU improved by 18%.

**Royal Mail (British postal service) UP with a profit of US$5M through the 1st half of its fiscal year, its 1st first-half profit in 5 years.

**SWISS Int'l Air Lines. DOWN with a US$48M loss in 3rd quarter of 2003, but the loss was lower than that for the 2nd quarter of this year.

**Target Logistics. UP as net income for the fiscal 1st quarter was US$48,361, compared with a net loss of US$(452,709) in Q1 for 2002.

**Trailer Bridge. DOWN as operating loss for Q3 ended Sept. 30, 2003 was $152,404, an improvement of US$1,343,178 from an operating loss of US$1,495,582 in prior year period.

**Volga-Dnepr Groupa. UP with a 48.8% increase in revenues to US$172M for the 1st 9 months of 2003 (airline's fleet of Antonov 124-100 freighters transported more than 46,000 tons of cargo, a 34% improvement on same period 2002).    


***Big Bake Sale ...... as financially troubled AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines has filed a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. The move is in connection with the potential future offer & sale, from time to time, of up to US$3Bn aggregate of AMR's common stock, preferred stock, debt securities & other types of securities, & American Airlines' pass through certificates, debt securities, other types of securities, baked good & collected copies of National Geographic.    

***Delta Deepens ...... as Fitch Ratings has lowered it's senior unsecured debt rating from B+ down to B. The rating action affects approximately US$4.5Bn of outstanding unsecured debt securities. The rating outlook for Delta Airlines remains negative, Fitch said. The downgrade reflects deepening concerns over Delta's ability to deliver the type of improvement in operating cash flow in 2004 & 2005 that will be necessary to guard against intensifying liquidity pressures. Delta's operating costs remain the highest in the U.S. airline industry, the agency said.      

***UAL Making It ........ as United Airlines' parent company, recorded an Oct. net income of US$25M, excluding Chapter 11 reorganization expenses of US$149M. The majority of reorganization expenses were non-cash items resulting from the rejection of aircraft as the company aligns its fleet to the market. Operating profit for the month was US$60M, which is an improvement of about US$300M compared to Oct. a year ago. Positive cash flow during the month was US$7M per day, excluding a quarterly retroactive wage payment to Int'l Assn. of Machinists members of IS$63M. Good luck UAL.            



OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***

3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ____ 

***On Time -- On Target ........ as a civilian DHL Airbus-300 landed at Baghdad Int'l Airport Nov. 22 with its port wing on fire -- trailing thick smoke & part of wingtip missing as it overflew Baghdad's Mahmoudiya district prior to touch down. Bound for Bahrain the pilot declared in-flight emergency just after takeoff from Baghdad -- after being hit by an SA-14 Gremlin missile, not an SA-7 Grail, as initially reported by the U.S. military. No injuries in the missile strike after a miraculous emergency landing at Baghdad airport but the hit prompted suspension by the U.S. military of all commercial civilian flights into the Iraqi capital.

"Angel Fire -- Mission To Baghdad"

***Public Towers & Private Heat ....... as the Bush administration has agreed to shield all air traffic control jobs from privatization for a year to get Congress to approve a US$60Bn aviation spending bill that was stalled over the issue. The measure, which President Bush is expected to sign, says the government must provide self-defense training for flight attendants, allows freighter pilots to carry guns & provides billions for construction & security projects. Congress usually passes aviation spending bills without much controversy, but this legislation was stymied by the biggest fight over air traffic control jobs since 1981, when President Reagan fired more than 11,000 controllers on grounds they violated a national security provision in their contract by striking. This time the privatization was the sticking point. The Bush administration wanted Congress to give the FAA authority to hire private operators at 69 towers, mostly at smaller airports. More than 200 public airports already have towers with privately employed controllers. The government says those facilities are 3 times cheaper to operate & allow greater scheduling flexibility.

Congress also agreed to allow cargo pilots to carry guns in the cockpit. The bill requires cargo pilots, like passenger pilots, to volunteer & to pass a week-long training course before they can be issued semiautomatic pistols. The program would start 90 days after the bill becomes law. The air cargo industry opposed the idea, saying weapons in the cockpit would increase danger. Ed Note: Because there has been some federal foot dragging, the differences of opinion on the freighter gun issue may not immediately matter. In the year since Congress ordered the TSA to arm pilots, fewer than 1,000 have been trained, according to Capt. Bob Lambert, President of the Airline Pilots' Security Alliance, a grass-roots organization with members from all major U.S. airlines. Lambert said as many as 40,000 commercial passenger pilots want to carry weapons while flying. He estimated there are 25,000 cargo pilots in the U.S. TSA spokesman Brian Turmail said the agency plans to double its training capacity in January. He said everyone who has applied for the program will be trained by Oct. 1, 2004. We'll see.

***UPS Ups A Little ....... as for most U.S. services effective Jan. 5, 2004, UPS commercial ground services rates will increase 1.9% with U.S. air & UPS Worldwide Express services increasing an average of 2.9%. The premium for packages & letters delivered to residential addresses will rise from US$1.15 to US$1.40. UPS also will introduce a US$1.00 delivery surcharge to commercial shipments headed to more remote ZIP codes. In addition, UPS will discontinue the fuel surcharge on UPS Ground Service, while a new index will be applied to UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select & Int'l services to reflect their higher fuel consumption.

***LOT Polish Airlines A Star ...... as it has joined Star Alliance, making it the 15th member of the group & extending its worldwide network into eastern Europe. LOT serves 12 domestic & 48 Int'l destinations out of Warsaw with a fleet of 51 aircraft. The Star Alliance network spans 680 airports in 127 countries, while its fleet of over 2000 aircraft makes almost 11,000 daily departures. Star Alliance members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Mexicana Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Spanair, Thai Airways Int'l, United, & Varig Brazilian Airlines.

***Melbourne HQ For The Airline With No Name....... as it has been selected as the headquarters for a new Qantas airline. Qantas has recently invested US$7.04M in the refurbishment of Hangar 4 at Avalon Airport, which will grow to employ 300 workers, and entered into a joint venture with Patrick Corporation to acquire the former Ansett engine maintenance facility at Garden Drive, Tullamarine. Further information relating to the low cost carrier -- including its name, livery & fleet - - to be announced soon. How about: Air G'day?

***DHL Stealthy Buy ...... as it has taken delivery of its 34th & last Boeing 757 Special Freighter for its Europe region. Arrival of the aircraft marks completion of a US$1.12Bn four-year project that has created the quietest & most advanced fleet in the transport industry. The B-757SF is the quietest aircraft in its category. The fleet as a whole reduces noise impact by 77%, & CO2 emissions by 13%, compared to the fleet of B-727F's, which it replaces.

***DHL Makes Indian History ...... as it has opened an express terminal at Delhi's Indira Gandhi Int'l Airport. The terminal spreads over about 26,000 square feet & has a custom bonded warehouse. India's Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has given DHL independent custodianship of customers' consignments, making the Delhi unit a completely independent self-contained facility. For the 1st time in Indian history, DHL will have customs' staff onsite at its premises, which will enable speedier clearances. It will be a round-the-clock customs clearance service -- & the 1st of its kind in the Indian industry.

***FedEx Scores Central Asia Touchdown ........ as it is now the 1st U.S. air carrier to operate a regularly scheduled flight into Kazakhstan, using the country's largest city & business hub, Almaty, as a refueling & new cargo stop for its Hong Kong to Paris flight.

***Hong Kong's Dragonair Fires Up ...... as it set a new cargo uplift record in Oct, the 2nd month in a row that the airline has produced top figures. The new high comes at the start of what is traditionally the busiest period of the year for carrying freight. The airline carried 25,996 tons of cargo in Oct., an increase of 1.4% over Sept. record of 25,627 tons, & a 36.7% rise over Oct. last year.

***Kalitta Air To Kuwait ....... as on Dec. 4th, it will commence 2X weekly scheduled B-747F all-cargo service from the U. S. The Kalitta flights from Chicago, via New York & Amsterdam (AMS) to Kuwait City. This will be the 1st U.S. flag carrier B-747 scheduled main deck freighter service and the 1st scheduled U.S. single-plane all-cargo service of any type in this market.

***Gone But Not Forgotten ........ as the sleek needle-nose of a supersonic Concorde was sold to an anonymous buyer for £278,650 at a Paris auction, over 30 times the price it was expected to fetch, auctioneers Christie's say. Over two hundred Concorde souvenirs, from the plane's instruction manual to its engine, were up for grabs in the auction, which brought in a total of EURO3.29 million.     

***Lofty Goals ........ as so very pleased with workers who scored top marks on customer service, Air Canada recently picked 100 at random to give them a hefty bonus -- a 2.25 pound hamburger coupon that expires in 5 weeks. Employees winning the award were sent a personal letter containing the coupon, redeemable until Dec. 31 at the Harvey's hamburger chain, Second Cup coffee shops or other restaurant outlet owned by Cara Operations, which provides food service for the insolvent airline! Next year, special effort might even bring fries with that burger -- a sure sign of an Air Canada turn around. NOTE: Hong Kong businessman Victor Li Tzar Kuoi has just taken a 31% stake worth US$485M in the company, through privately controlled Trinity Time Investments. The investment will help bring the Air Canada out of bankruptcy. Under the plan, Air Canada creditors with claims between US$8 & US10Bn, will receive around a 56% stake, while existing shareholders will get a combined stake of about 0.01% (ie they're in the cold). Air Canada said that the US$485M investment will be fully funded by Mr. Li, whose burger coupon expiration date is confirmed to have been extended by the Board.

***Glad They're Watching ...... as 25 airport ground crew members were arrested on Nov. 25 & accused of smuggling tens of millions of dollars worth of cocaine & marijuana into the U.S., federal officials said. The suspects, nearly all current or former employees at JFK Int'l, unloaded drugs stashed aboard flights from Guyana & diverted it around border inspection areas. "A network of corrupt airport employees, motivated by greed, might just as well have been collaborating with terrorists," said the Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Federal officials began surveillance on flights from Guyana 14 months ago & watched suspects unload drugs that had been stashed in luggage, cargo and, in one case, under ice in a plane's galley. In Sept., federal agents seized 3 boxes of cocaine weighing 400 pounds & worth about US$23M. One of those arrested worked at MIA.

***Freud Thieves Couched ........ as cargo handlers were arrested for allegedly stealing a US$1.5M painting by a renowned British artist who also is the grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Lucian Freud's "Painter's Garden" was stolen on Nov. 12 after it arrived at JFK Int'l Airport on a United Airlines flight from London -- headed to a Manhattan art gallery. Prosecutors said that before the oil painting could be claimed, cargo handlers Kirt Garvey & Rajmohan Autar swiped it & hid it in a garage in Queens. Garvey, 19, & Autar, 29, face up to 25 years in prison, prosecutor Richard Brown said. LESSON: Always buy cargo insurance. This loss on the airport property would not disturb the airline's low limitation of liability.                   



OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

  4. FF World Ocean Briefs ______________  

***FMC Agreements Regulations ........ as a proposal for amending its regulations governing agreements among ocean common carriers & marine terminal operators has been published. These amendments are in response to changes in the shipping industry since enactment of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 (OSRA). Among other things, the proposal, if adopted, would revise the requirement for information that a filed agreement must contain; revise requirements relating to transshipment agreements; and modify the Information Form & Monitoring Reports requirements. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by Jan. 30, 2004.

***Relief For NVOCC's? ........ as the has FMC has issued a series of orders reopening the comment period, through Jan. 16, 2004, on the petitions by non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOCCs) for exemption from the prohibition against use of confidential service contracts. Interested persons may also request one-on-one meetings with individual Commissioners to describe their views. Cases reopening:

Petition of UPS

Petition of NCBFAA

Petition of Ocean World Lines

Petition of BAX Global

***Int'l Maritime Bureau Strongly Warns ....... as a spate of attacks against small tankers in the Malacca Straits off Indonesia's war-torn Aceh province by heavily armed pirates aboard fishing vessels & fast craft have led to renewed warnings from the IMB & its Kuala Lumpur-based Piracy Reporting Center. Should attacks continue, it was inevitable that an environmental disaster would occur in the restricted waters of the strait, the IMB said. It added that in most cases attacks are thought to be led by Aceh rebels whose main purpose is to raise money to fund their separatist fight by holding hostages for ransom. This July saw 3 attempted boardings in almost as many days off the Sumatra coast in which pirates in fast craft fired automatic weapons at an LPG tanker, gas tanker & an oil tanker. 

More recently a fully laden small oil tanker, the M/T Penrider, was attacked in the NB lane of the traffic separation 12 nautical miles from Port Klang with 3 crew taken hostage. A US$100,000 ransom was demanded & after protracted negotiations the hostages were released after an undisclosed sum was paid. The crew said the pirate wore military-style fatigues and carried AK47 & M16 assault rifles. Overall, the first 9 months this year saw 344 pirate attacks worldwide, a 27% increase over same period last year. "This is the highest number of attacks for the 1st 9 months of any year since the IMP Piracy Reporting Center began compiling statistics in 1991," said Capt. Mukundan of the IMP Piracy Reporting Center. A rising trend of violence has also emerged with a steady rise in the use of guns and knives over the last decade with 77 attacks using guns this year & 115 involving knives. Violence of all types against crew rose 55% to 416 attacks this year with hostage taking leading the way at 221. Twenty crew lost their lives this year compared with 6 last year. Indonesian waters again led the way with 87 reported incidents -- more incidents of violence against crew than any other location in the world. 

***Another 24 Hours ....... as starting Nov. 21 Sri Lanka Customs has new rules for import shipments which require all vessel agents & NVOCCs to report cargo manifests 24 hours prior to arrival. Sounds familiar. Where have we heard this before?

***Meet The GB/L ........ as the U.S. General Services Admin. (GSA) has revised the government bill of lading (GB/L) to reflect new regulation of transportation payments and audits for domestic & Int'l shipments of government cargoes. The new GB/L is entitled "U.S. Government Bill of Lading &endash; Int'l & Domestic Overseas Shipments." How'd they get that name?

***Reversing The Tide ...... as South Korea's Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Fisheries plans to introduce a "volume incentive system" in Dec. to attract foreign companies to the country's ports. Under the program, high-volume shipping companies will be offered discounts of up to 50% on transshipment cargo handling fees at Korea's 2 major ports, Pusan & Kwangyang. The ministry said it expects the new system to provide savings of US$6.7M for shipping companies. The move reflects the ministry's growing concern over the future of Korean ports -- in particular the nation's largest, Pusan, which has been losing trade from foreign firms. This year, Pusan throughput was overtaken by Shanghai as the Chinese port's cargo handling volume rose by 34% compared to a year earlier, to 9.23 million TEU through to Oct. Pusan's volume, by contrast, grew 11% to 8.56 million TEU. Two major strikes by truck drivers during the summer & damage caused by a typhoon in Sept. were partly responsible for poor growth, according to analysts.

***UK Domestic Throughput Continues Down ...... as cargo lifted on the UKs inland waters fell by 8% in 2002 compared with the previous year to 49 million tons, & goods moved also fell by 8% in 2002 to 1.7 billion ton-kilometers. The fall is mainly due to the decline in liquid bulk inland waters traffic, principally crude oil & oil products, according to UK Dept. for Transport figures on freight traffic carried around the country's coast, traffic/from UK oil & gas offshore installations, and sea dredging. The newly published statistics show that non-seagoing traffic fell by 7% in 2002, to 4 million tons, in terms of goods lifted, by 5% to 0.18 billion ton-kilometers in terms of goods moved. Sea going traffic crossing into inland waterways fell by 9% in 2002 (tons lifted) to 45 million tons and fell by 7% (goods moved) to 1.5 billion ton-kilometers. UK registered ships handled 14 million tons of coastwise and UK offshore oil cargoes, 17% cent of the total. The Thames was the busiest of the major inland waterways accounting for 19 million tons of goods lifted & 0.77 billion ton-kilometers of goods moved.

***Removing Those Pesky Humans ....... as using a shipping line's portal dramatically reduces the customer service costs of the carrier. Forrester Research estimates that the cost of handling a customer cargo inquiry in shipping costs US$32.74 by phone, or US$9.09 by e-mail, or US$1.17 by Web "self-service."

***Robo-Box ...... as P&O Nedlloyd has noticed dramatic improvements in efficiency following installation of an automated container maintenance & repair tracking system at its ports. The system was installed by Int'l Asset Systems (IAS), a supplier of asset management solutions to the container shipping industry. IAS announced at the Intermodal Transport & Logistics trade show in Rotterdam in The Netherlands that it signed an agreement to automate the capture & processing of P&O Nedlloyd's critical container maintenance & repair data at more than 300 depots worldwide. We'll take that 40 footer with no holes.

***Operation Safe Commerce ....... as the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Admin. (TSA) has selected System Planning Corp. to participate in demonstrating a cargo container security system for the Operation Safe Commerce initiative in the Port of New York & New Jersey. The value of SPC's participation in this supply chain demonstration is US$1.49M. Operation Safe Commerce is the TSA's innovative public-private partnership program aimed at improving Int'l & domestic supply chain security. The initiative uses existing trade lines to evaluate & test new security systems designed to prevent & combat terrorism. The program's goal is to conduct pilot tests of promising solutions with the aim of enhancing the security of intermodal cargo shipping containers, container ports & terminals. During the course of the Operation Safe Commerce initiative, SPC will demonstrate & evaluate a seamless container security system, which uses micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology & satellite tracking to enhance the physical security of intermodal containers. SPC's objective during the yearlong demonstration is to determine the best integration of human factors & technology to increase container security in a cost-effective manner. Under the initiative, SPC will secure, monitor & track containers of a Maine-based consumer goods retailer as they are stuffed in Turkey & travel to their final destination in the U.S.

***Seals Not The Answer?......... as despite liner industry misgivings, the Bush Administration's Dept. of Homeland Security is to push ahead with plans to force the introduction of new "smart" containers into the U.S. trades. Under new rules, containers equipped with metal seals & sensors to detect tampering or intrusion would get fast-track passage through U.S. border controls. Containers entering the U.S. without the new gadgetry would be subject to more time-consuming checks. Indeed, Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner said that "the shipping companies can continue to use the 'dumb' containers, but those containers will be inspected." Allied to this is the suspicion that the decision-making process in Washington is unduly influenced by politically well-connected security technology companies. Mr. Bonner reportedly insisted that "the technology is here to do this." But Maersk CEO Thomas Thune Andersen recently expressed doubts, stating: "We do not believe that container seals at this point represent the magic solution to container security. "He stressed rather that "the critical point of security is the point where the container is stuffed" & that this is where the primary focus of the security enhancement measures should be. The cost of the new rules remains unclear. Bonner said an electronic sensor that could be clipped onto a container door would cost less than US$20, but then there is the cost of the readers that must be installed at ports & container transfer points throughout the transport system.

***Swedish Club Up ........ as it is raising premiums by 15% for the P&I year 2004/05, "In response to shipowners' increasing liabilities." The marine mutual insurer also says it intends to continue its strategy of no supplementary calls &endash; a position now held for over a decade. In addition, the Club will hold the release call at 25% for 2004/05.

***One Less Asset ....... as Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has sold its landmark office building in Jersey City, NJ, for US$24M. The sale of the 11-story 11,500 sq. meter at No. 15 Exchange Place is part of the NOL Group's continued strategic divestment of non-core assets. The sale of the wholly owned historic office building, situated on the Hudson Waterfront, which dates back to the early 1900s, will realize a profit of US$500,000 in addition to a write-back on provision of US$4.8M. The proceeds would be applied to reduce debt. The building formerly housed some of the business operations of NOL subsidiary American Eagle Tankers (AET), which was sold in July.

***Matson Navigation Co. Rises ....... as it will raise its rates for the company's Hawaii service by US$125 per westbound container and US$60 per eastbound container, effective Jan. 11, 2004. In addition, the Matson will increase its terminal handling charge by US$25 per westbound container & US$15 per eastbound container.

***Going Home ....... as after more than 5 months confined to a freighter detained along the Delaware River, 8 Turkish sailors stepped onto solid ground & then a flight back to Istanbul on Nov. 17. The crew was released days after a federal judge in Philadelphia gave final approval to the sale of the M/V Ahmetbey, effectively ending the Int'l legal & financial battle that had made the men captives on their own ship.

***Vietnam Gets Another Port ....... as it will develop a new port 70 miles SE of Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh City. At the estimated cost of US$550M, the 10 year "Thi Vai-Cai Mep Port" project is slated for 6 berths accommodating up to 80,000gt.

***USS Midway At Oakland ....... as she is closer than ever to coming home to San Diego. The mooring platforms are complete at historic Navy Pier in downtown San Diego. Meanwhile the exterior painting of Midway continues in Oakland, CA. Other crews are cleaning spaces & completing necessary safety & sanitation work before Midway departs Oakland. There will be a number of community events celebrating Midways arrival & opening in 2004. Volunteers are needed for ship restoration & exhibit construction. Work will begin sometime in January. The San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum is a registered 501(c)3 charity. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The Countryman & McDaniel law firm has donated to this great effort. Join us!!

***Can It Carry A Small Container? ....... as French windsurfer, Raphaela Le Gouvello, has completed the 1st solo crossing of the Pacific from Peru to Tahiti. The 43-year-old arrived in Papeete on Nov. 3 after traveling 4,455 miles in 89 days & 7 hours. She has already completed solo crossings of the Atlantic & the Mediterranean.

***Bounty Descendants Sex Trial 'Illegal' ......... as Mutineer Fletcher Christian & his mates who took the HMS Bounty by force 214 years ago have returned to haunt the British government at a sex assault case being heard in New Zealand. A lawyer defending a group of islanders against sex charges said the trial before the Pitcairn Island Supreme Court &endash; set up according to British law &endash; was illegal because the Crown never attempted to claim the tiny Pacific island after a British ship 1st sighted it July 1767. Pitcairn public defender Paul Dacre added that the mutineers, who later landed on Pitcairn, effectively severed their ties with Britain when they committed a capital offense by burning HMS Bounty on Jan. 23, 1790, a year after the mutiny. With all ties to Britain severed, Dacre argued the British legal system had no jurisdiction over the trial and that the Pitcairn community should instead deal with the case. The court did not immediately rule on this defense. Dacre is presenting the defense for 13 island men facing allegations involving rape & sexual misconduct with women & girls as young as 3. The allegations 1st arose in 1989, but some date back 40 years. Britain administers the island from Auckland, 3,312 miles away.

***This Month in U.S. Navy History ........

1775 - Capt. John Manley in schooner Lee captures British ordnance ship Nancy with large quantity of munitions.

1776 - Captain John Paul Jones in Alfred with brig Providence captures British transport Mellish, carrying winter uniforms later used by Washington's troops.

1847 - Lt. William Lynch aboard USS Supply sails from New York to Haifa for an expedition to the River Jordan & the Dead Sea. His group charted the Jordan River from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea and compiled reports of the flora & fauna of the area.

1852 - Commodore Matthew Perry sails from Norfolk, Va., to negotiate a treaty with Japan for friendship & commerce.

1890 - First Army-Navy football game (Navy won 24-0).

1910 - Civilian Eugene Ely pilots first aircraft to take off from a ship, USS Birmingham (CL 2) at Hampton Roads, Va. He lands safely on Willoughby Spit, Norfolk, Va.

1929 - Cmdr. Richard Byrd makes first flight over South Pole.

1944 - USS Archerfish (SS 311) sinks Japanese carrier Shinano, world's largest warship sunk by any submarine during World War II.

1961 - Navy reports first use of its cyclotron at Harvard University to treat a human brain tumor. After 3 treatments, the tumor of the 2-year-old patient shrank by 80%.

1961 - Commissioning of USS Enterprise [CVA(N)-65], the 1st nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, at Newport News, Va.

U.S. Naval News   

***Throughput ........ >>> China's major ports handled a total of 32.293 million TEU in the 1st three quarters this year, up 30.6% over the same period last year >> Port of Albany's new container service has resulted in more than 325 containers passing through in 1st half of 2003. >> Ports of Auckland container handling up 7% to 657,597 TEU for the 12 months to the end of Oct. >> Port of Dalian handled 5,193 containers per day in Oct., or 216 boxes every hour up 25.7% >> Port of Nansha in China's Guangdong Province handled a total of 1.412 million tons of cargo in the 1st 9 months of the year, an increase of 10.5%. >> Port of Shanghai handled 1.055 million TEU in Oct., up 35.9% year-on-year -- 8.2 million TEU, up 33.1 for 1st three quarters of 2003.>> Shanghai Port Authority has ranked Israeli line Zim as 10th best company in terms of volume using the port, as between Jan. & Sept., the carrier handled 204,509 TEU, an increase of 44.84% over same period last year. >> Saigon Port handled 12 million tons of cargo in 2002 including 132,000 TEUs. >> Port of Singapore stood at 28,622,800 TEU for Sept., up from 26,665,700 TEU for same period 2002. >> Singapore's state-owned PSA handled 2.38 million TEU worldwide in Oct. against 2.18 million a year earlier, 9% more -- up 3% from September's 2.31 million. >> Tianjin Port for 1st 10 months, total throughput was 136.2788 million tons, up 25.6% year-on-year. >> Xiamen Int'l Container Terminals (XICT) throughput for the year to Nov. 20 exceeded a record two million TEU. >> Yantian Port throughput for 1st 10 months of the year increased by 25% over the same period last year, to 13,626.                   


5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches                        

**Back By Popular Demand**

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. Many people 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 twice daily.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature. 

See our new feature for Nov. 2003: "Angel Fire -- Mission To Baghdad"

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.



OUR "D" Section:  FF in Cyberspace***

  6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"                      

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

Air New Zealand ........ official airline to Middle Earth

"America On The Move" ........... how transportation transformed America -- largest permanent exhibit in Smithsonian history -- 26,000 square feet.

Cyberlaw In The U.S.

FDA Bioterrorism Rules ...... more on these rules which take effect Dec. 12. This is your last reminder.

FIATA Congress 2003 Logistics Report

Glacier Society ........ dedicated to preservation & redeployment of the historic polar vessel, USS/USCGC Glacier.

Hub Talk ........new service from Lloydslist.com with supply chain news.

Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI) .......... revised application form FMC-18.

Panama Canal Lock Outages For 2004.

Royal Institution of Naval Architects

Solid Wood Packing Material -- APHIS Industry Alert

Supply Chain Planning Market Solid at US$1.9Bn Despite Soft Global Economy

UN Review of Maritime Transport, 2003.

UPS Holiday Hints: Packaging & Shipping Tips ....... the well packed box.



NOTE: We select these items, no ads being accepted in this publication.

For Sale: 1928 Private Railroad Car..........an ultra deluxe palace on wheels with a 75-year lineage of famous guest riders including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, FedEx founder Fred Smith, the Blues Brothers, & ZZ Top. Valued at US$2.8M.

Illustrated Guide To Incoterms

World Importer Directory 2004



Aerospace 100 ........ Hong Kong will celebrate 100 years of powered flight with Aerospace 100, a program of events extending over the next 100 days. The 1st event on the program is an Open Day Carnival on Dec. 7 from 0900-1700hrs at West Kowloon Heliport. Hong Kong Aviation Days will also take place Dec. 13-14 2003, at the old Kai Tak Airport.

2nd Intermodal Africa Conf. ......... 5-6 Feb. 2004, Capetown.

13th Annual Int'l Air Cargo Conference & Exhibit- Gulfport-Biloxi 2004 ......... 10-13 May, at the Beau Rivage Resort, Biloxi, Mississippi

Bunkering In Asia ....... 4-5 Dec. 2003, Intercontinental Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, PR China

Holiday Gala Dinner - Int'l Air Cargo Assn. of Chicago ....... Fri., Dec. 5, 2003, Alta Villa Banquet Hall. 430 North Addison Road, Addison, IL  60101


Homeland Security Tech Workshop ....... Dec. 10-11, 2003, Warwick, Rhode Island. Topics include sensor & detection technology, deterring chemical & bioterrorist attacks in the marine environment, risk assessment and management, C4ISR, & security legal issues.

Int'l Work Boat Show ...... Dec. 3-5, 2003 Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA.


L.A. Harbor Transportation Club .......... 6PM, Thurs. Dec. 4th 2003 -- Ports 'O' Call Restaurant, Berth 76, San Pedro, CA -- speakers Capt. Martin A. Renteria, Commanding Officer, Administration, Port of Los Angeles & Mr. Octavius Covington, Chief Port Security Officer, Port of Long Beach -- "Port Security: Past, Present & Future" -- Since the attack on America Sept. 11, 2001, everyone has been on a heightened level of alert throughout the country. Nowhere in the country has that level been more acute than here in the port complex of Southern California.

Logistics Hong Kong ........ May 18-20 2004, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center

Marintec China 2003 .......... 2-5 Dec, 2003, Shanghai New Int'l Expo Center, Pudong, Shanghai. Both Marintec China & Port China will be held at Shanghai -- world's 4th busiest port & center of the China's maritime industry!

WEBCAST: Increasing Supply Chain Performance ........ Tues., Dec. 9, 2003. 2:00pm ET / 1:00pm CT / 11:00am PT

World Customs Organization ....... 26 & 27 Jan. 2004, Rue du Marché 30 &endash; B-1210 Brussels &endash; Belgium. What does the future hold for rules of origin?


FOR FUN>>>>>>>>>

Can You Pass The Color Test? ...... you likely can't.

"Master & Commander" -- Is It True History?

Pictures of WESCCON Conference 2003 ........... including our own Byron Countryman of the Countryman & McDaniel law firm -- from transport brokers Avalon Risk.

Sirens of Treasure Island ........ new "transport exhibit" at Las Vegas.

"The Last Samurai"

"Total Immersion Racing." ....... you command one of 18 real-world race cars & compete on a dozen tracks filled with tough competitors.



OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***

  7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases _______ 

Indemnity Insurance Vs. Hanjin Shipping Co.

7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

31 Oct. 2003

Carrier not liable for losses while in Customs custody: The carrier is not liable when a container is lost while undergoing a Customs inspection. In the instant case, the shipper contracted with defendant carrier Hanjin for the intermodal shipment of a container of tools from Shenzhen, China to its warehouse in North Vernon, Indiana. When the container arrived in Chicago, the U.S. Customs Service ordered inspection. While in the custody of private contractors of U.S. Customs, the container vanished. It was later found &endash; empty. The shipper brought suit against the carrier, the companies involved in the customs inspection process & the U.S. Customs Broker. The defendant U.S. Customs Broker (represented by Countryman & McDaniel) was voluntarily dismissed. In trial the court found the carrier fully liable & dismissed the claims against the customs inspection companies. On appeal, the court held that COGSA applied (by contract) to the entire intermodal shipment & that the carrier had delivered the container to the private agents of the U.S. Customs Service on written direction of shipper's agent, the Customs Broker. Thus, the carrier was acting in compliance with the waybill & COGSA and was thereby relieved of liability for the loss. The Court Opinion               

***Limitation Action Filed ......... as facing more than US$2Bn in damages sought by victims of the Oct. 2003 Staten Island ferry disaster, financially strapped New York City has filed a federal petition to limit its liability under maritime law to the value of the vessel -- calculated at US$14.4M. Eighty-one court claims have been filed against the city stemming from the Oct. 15 ferry crash in which 10 people were killed & dozens injured, many with amputated limbs. A federal trial could take up to a year & will determine if the city has properly invoked the petition.


Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News, Lloyds & other world sources.


The Cargo Letter Correspondents:

Michael S. McDaniel Esq, Editor (Countryman & McDaniel)

David Schuchman -- Interpool Corp. -- Webmaster of The Cargo Letter Archive

Cameron W. Roberts, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)


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