Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel
THE CARGO LETTER 
Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News
31 Dec. 2005
Good Saturday 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 is our industry review for December 2005.
We are often asked whether Countryman & McDaniel, conducts training seminars. Yes, from multiple Fortune 100 companies, to smaller forwarders, to the U.S. government, to insurance companies -- for years we have conducted inovative programs for domestic & Int'l claims, Customs, security, trade compliance & post 9/11 industry business practice. McD
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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/trade consultant 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 ___________
Back To Main Page
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***
1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________
***Dumping The Byrd ......... as the controversial "Byrd Amendment," which allows U.S. companies that file antidumping and countervailing duty petitions to receive the revenues from the duties, has been repealed by Congress. The Byrd Amendment, officially known as the Continued Dumping & Subsidy Offset Act, was repealed as part of a broader, US$40Bn federal spending reduction plan. The package which was approved by the Senate by a vote of 51-50&emdash;with the vice president's vote as the tiebreaker&emdash;and in the House by a vote of 217-215. The repeal was pushed by the Retail Industry Leaders Assn. (RILA), which has criticized the law as "a perverse economic incentive for companies to file protectionist antidumping and countervailing duty cases, to expand the scope of cases, and to oppose sunset reviews since they stand to receive a financial windfall for petitioning." The Byrd Amendment became law in 2001, and since then there has been more than US$1.2Bn in payouts. In 2005, more than half of the US$225M in tariff revenue has been distributed to just 5 companies. The Byrd Amendment was ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization, and as a result, the U.S. was subject to trade retaliation.
***U.S. Trade Deficit Record ...... as it grew to a record US$68.9Bn in Oct., as crude oil prices surged & exports dropped by the most in 4 years, the Commerce Dept. reported. The record gap followed a revised US$66Bn deficit in Sept., Commerce said. Imports rose 2.7% & exports rose 1.7%. The U.S. trade deficit with China, Canada & Mexico all reached records.
***Got CAFTA? ......... as an implementation schedule for the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was expected before the end of the year.
***MEFTA? ......... as a free trade agreement between the U.S. & Morocco that is expected to help U.S. agricultural interests should be in place by Jan. This agreement will expand markets for American farmers, ranchers & businesses -- bringing the U.S. closer to achieving the President Bush's goal of a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA).
***Japanese Government No Longer Mad ...... as it will now reopen its market to U.S. beef imports. Japan and numerous other countries stopped accepting U.S. beef shipments in late Dec. 2003 after the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture confirmed that a Washington State cow was infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or "mad cow" disease. Under its new agreement with Japan, the U.S. is able to export beef from cattle 20 months of age or younger to Japan. The USDA said more than 94% of total U.S. beef products, with a value of US$1.7Bn (in 2003), are again eligible for export to Japan. The U.S. exported US$1.4Bn in beef to Japan in 2003, making it the U.S. beef industry's largest overseas market. Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Singapore remain closed to U.S. beef.
***UPS Heart To Pakistan ....... as it announced a US$2M donation to support relief & recovery efforts for the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck South Asia last month. The earthquake, which struck Pakistan & northern India in early Oct., has claimed more than 80,000 lives & left millions more without basic supplies, medical treatment or shelter.
***Eagle Global Logistics Found Not Fully At War ....... as it said it has received an offer from the U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District of Texas to settle a war risk surcharge case against the Houston-based company for the sum of US$4M. EGL cooperated with the investigation by initiating an internal investigation and forensic analysis by accounting firm KPMG. The company said its analysis found that about US$1.14M in war risk surcharges charged by EGL to KBR were not actually imposed on EGL by transportation providers. EGL said it reported these results to the government & fired 2 employees for violating its code of conduct.
***U.S. More Transport Wary. ....... as the U.S. Transportation Security Administration says it is deploying teams of federal air marshals & uniformed law enforcement officers at bus & train stations across the country. The agency says these teams will patrol mass transit systems in the cities of Atlanta, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; & Washington, D.C., all in the eastern U.S. They will also patrol bus stations in Houston, Texas, & Amtrak rail lines on the east & west coasts of the U.S. The agency says some of the officers will wear TSA gear, while others will work undercover. An air marshal spokesman said there is no new intelligence suggesting terrorists are targeting public transportation.
***E-Manifest To Speed Border ....... as the U.S. Customs & Border Protection said a trucking company filed the 1st electronic manifest on the Mexican border earlier this month. The agency began rolling out the advance filing capability to ports on the Canadian border earlier this year. The e-manifest is part of the Automated Commercial Environment project to automate customs functions & information collection. CBP eventually plans to mandate electronic manifest filing to provide analysts an advance look at cargo shipments entering the country for security purposes and to speed up processing at the border. Fewer than 40 motor carriers have systems and training to transmit manifests to CBP. Once CBP officers punch in the truck's identification information they are able to use the new ACE features to view multiple release documents and shave time from the clearance process.
***New CPB Inland & Ocean Rules ....... as under draft security criteria proposed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection, ocean carriers must conduct pre-departure security sweeps of their vessels for stowaways & cross-border trucking companies need to instruct drivers to inspect vehicles & trailers prior to and after loading for false compartments used for contraband. The new criteria are part of the next phase in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, during which CBP is tightening its guidelines. CBP officials circulated separate drafts of the updated C-TPAT requirements to ocean & motor carrier groups. For Truck. For Ocean
***Bird Brained Flu Blockade ...... as U.S. Customs agents have seized 51 shipments of counterfeit Tamiflu, the antiviral drug being stockpiled around the world to prevent the spread of the avian flu to humans, at the Air Mail Facility in San Francisco. This was the 1st time that fake Tamiflu pills have been seized . Preliminary lab tests conducted by the FDA found only trace amounts of the active ingredients in Tamiflu, U.S. Customs & Border Protection said. The pills were shipped from Asia and purchased via several Internet sites for personal use. CBP & FDA continue to investigate the matter. Hoffmann-La Roche, the Swiss maker of Tamiflu, applauded the seizure & encouraged people to obtain drugs from reliable sources.
***Hazmat Change ....... as the U.S. Dept.of Transportation's Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) revised definitions and made other changes to hazardous materials (hazmat) regulations in a final rule issued in the Dec. 9, Federal Register. PHMSA said it revised the hazmat employee & employer definitions to specify that both include self-employed individuals, in addition to persons who represent, mark, certify or sell packaging components qualified for transporting hazmat materials. The effective date of the changes is Jan. 9, 2006.
***JFK Is New Gateway ....... as the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) has announced that New York's John F. Kennedy Int'l Airport (JFK) was the top Int'l freight gateway by value in 2004, displacing the Port of Los Angeles, the top gateway in 2003. JFK handled US$52.7Bn in export trade and US$72.6Bn in imports, for a total of US$125.3Bn in 2004, the DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported. BTS noted that JFK had been the leading gateway for 4 years from 1999 to 2002 but the Port of Los Angeles took the top spot in 2003. In 2004, JFK handled about US$4Bn more than the US$121BN worth of freight that moved through the Port of Los Angeles, BTS said.
***Getting Respect At The Website ...... as Customer Respect Group, an int'l research & consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their online customers, has released findings from its Fourth Quarter 2005 Online Customer Respect Study of Transportation, Distribution & Logistics Industry. This is the 5th study conducted on the industry. This report analyzed mail; package and freight delivery; trucking & truck leasing; and mail facilitation websites to obtain a good sample of the sector. The websites from five sector firms ranked excellent, including Overnite Transportation Co., Canada Post, Purolator, UPS & the U.S. Postal Service. The other winners are ranked Online .........
***Fitch Ratings Rates U.S. Land Strong ....... as it said that following a strong 2005 for the U.S. land-based freight transportation industry, it expects a strong showing from the industry again next year. Continued strong demand this year has led to significant increases in freight railroad and trucking industry revenues and profits, Fitch said. Although risks of slower 2006 U.S. economic growth have risen somewhat as a result of higher energy costs, demand for the goods transported by the nation's railroads and trucks is expected to remain relatively strong next year, Fitch said in a statement.
***U.S. Rails Continue Strong ........ as RailAmerica Inc., a holding company for 47 short-line railroads in the U.S. & Canada, said Nov. freight carloads rose 2.1% to 109,304 from 107,097 in the same month 2004. For the year to date, RailAmerica's total carloads increased 5.3% to 1.19 million from 1.13 million in the same 11-month period last year. RailAmerica operates about 8,900 track miles in the U.S. & Canada.
***Not In Kansas Anymore ......... as Kansas City Southern (KCS) has announced that it has changed the name of its Mexican subsidiary, TFM, S.A. de C.V., to "Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V." (KCSM). KCS also announced that it is combining the management of certain marketing and support services for its U.S. and Mexican railroads, as well as other management changes at KCSM. Mexico City will now be known as Topeka South.
***DHL Takes Czech Mate ....... as it will acquire 100% of the shares of Prague-based, Czech domestic express parcel company PPL CZ s.r.o. for an undisclosed sum. The majority of PPL's customers are from the computer pharmaceutical & electronic industries. Deutsche Post is the parent of DHL.
***TNT To Dump Logistics ........ as the Dutch express-package delivery company said it would sell its TNT Logistics unit & buy back 1 billion of shares to fend off unsolicited offers for the company. TNT Logistics posted revenue of US$5.5Bn in 2004. The sale of the logistics unit, which stores & transports customers' products and supplies and accounts for about a third of TNT's sales, will let the company, based in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, focus on handling letters & express packages, it said in a stock exchange filing.
***Arpin Int'l Group Takes Advantage ........ as the freight forwarding unit of Arpin Group Inc. which specializes in corporate & U.S. government moves, has bought London-based freight forwarder & Int'l household goods transportation provider Advantage Int'l Relocation UK Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. In July, IJS Global changed its name from Inter-Jet Systems Inc
***IJS Global, Inc. On The MAP ....... as the New York-based forwarder has acquired Philippine air & ocean freight forwarder MAP Global Logistics Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
***Kuehne & Nagel Inc. Is Now The Aces......... as the U.S. arm of Swiss forwarding & logistics services provider Kuehne + Nagel Int'l AG, has acquired Scituate, Mass.-based forwarder Aces Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. Aces specialize in the handling & documentation of forestry products from 29 North American ports. Aces has 18 employees in offices located in Scituate; Mobile, Ala.; and Seattle, Wash.
***Vitran Corp. Buys Trucker ........ as the North American transportation & logistics firm announced that it has agreed to acquire the assets of Sierra West Express, Inc., a Nevada-based, regional less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier with operations in the Western U.S.
***Frans Maas & DSV A/S Courting ...... as they have announced entry into talks about a possible merger of the businesses. DSV has informed Frans Maas that it is considering making an indicative cash offer of ¤38 per share including any dividend for 2005 and that a majority of Frans Maas' shareholders have agreed to support such possible transaction.
***Chilly Deal ........ as London-based ports & ferries group Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O) has completed the US$323M sale of its cold logistics business to Canada's Versacold Holdings Corp. P&O Cold Logistics has more than 3,000 employees located across about 50 sites in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand & Argentina. Last year the company posted revenue of US$363M.
***RFID Continues To Gather Momentum ........ as hardware & software spending will accelerate in late 2006 & 2007 as true benefits are documented. Worldwide RFID spending is expected to total US$421M in 2005, up 39% from 2004, according to a report from technology market research firm Gartner. RFID will begin to experience broader industry adoption with business value-focused implementations toward the end of 2006 when new license revenue totals US$627M. By 2010, Gartner forecasts worldwide RFID spending to surpass US$2.5Bn.
***IBM Makes Useful RFID Printer ...... as it has announced the general availability of its Infoprint 6700 R40 RFID printer, as well as updates to the printer to meet the latest compliance requirements. Introduced in June, the Infoprint 6700 R40 can print both traditional bar codes & RFID verified tags. The printer can be used in current supply chain infrastructures and then be upgraded to RFID technology when needed. To improve reliability and efficiency of the supply chain, the Infoprint 6700 R40 can verify each RFID tag before any mission-critical information is encoded on the chip or printed on the label. If a tag is faulty, the printer can move to the next tag and continue output without operator intervention, to eliminate the unreliable tag.
***Don't Super Size It ....... as diesel fuel sold in Minnesota, which now requires a 2% biodiesel blend, is clogging trucks' fuel filters, prompting some companies outside the state to tell their drivers traveling through Minnesota not to refuel in the state, a trucking official said. Diesel fuel experts cautioned that the same problem could occur wherever biodiesel is used. Biodiesel is made from soybeans or vegetable oils or fats & contains no petroleum derivatives.
**DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Expressa Makes The Last Mile ....... as the Hawaii-based neutral NVOCC that provides ocean & air transportation and logistics services, has added a trucking operation on the island of Hawaii. The new company is called Dependable Hawaiian Express-Big Island, Inc. It is headquartered in Kailua-Kona, the center of the tourist industry on the Big Island, and offers "last mile" service from a depot in Kona. Cargo to the Big Island is brought in by barge from Honolulu to Kona. DHX-Dependable Hawaiian Express has been operating in Hawaii for 25 years & services full containerloads and LCL shipments from any point in the U.S. The company already has a trucking operation in place on the island of Oahu.
***FedEx Calls Its Lawyer ....... as a FedEx truck carrying Maxim Integrated Products parts was hijacked in the Philippines on Dec. 17, 2005. The parts, with a market value of US$565,000, were en route to Maxim customers. Maxim is in the process of notifying the customers. The part numbers of the stolen units can be accessed via the internet. Maxim is offering a reward of US$50,000 for evidence that leads to the recovery of the parts. Maxim believes that FedEx & the Philippine government need to take action swiftly to recover the stolen goods as well as prevent future recurrences. Maxim is a supplier of quality analog & mixed-signal products for applications that require real-world signal processing.
***Cats Rule Transport -- As Long Suspected ....... as locking yourself out of your car is bad enough, but Jeanna Stewart was even more embarrassed when the culprit was not her, but her cat. The Morgantown, West Virginia resident said she was getting a spare house key out her car's trunk, when her cat Mork, one of 3 in the car, stepped on the automatic door lock. She couldn't unlock the door because she had left her car keys on the driver's seat. "He wouldn't unlock the door for me," Stewart said Dec. 27. "He was standing there, saying why aren't you opening the door? I want to go inside." Stewart went into her house & called the Morgantown Fire Dept. for help.
***To Hell With Internal Combustion ...... as a 10-year-old boy found pedalling his toy car alongside a road in central Germany in the middle of the night said he was on his way to his grandmother's in Berlin, police said on Dec. 28. The boy had been pedalling for about an hour but still had more than 250 miles to go to reach Berlin. He had no coat on when spotted by a motorist in the middle of a snow storm. The motorist called police, who said the boy was unhurt, if cold. They warmed him up & took him home, where no one had noticed his midnight escape, police said.
2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______
**Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc.(parent of Atlas Air & Polar Air Cargo) UP with 3rd quarter net profit of US$29.9M, compared to a net loss of US$4.4M in same quarter 2004.
**FedEx Corp. UP with a consolidated net profit of US$471M for its fiscal 2nd quarter ending Nov. 30, up 33% compared to US$354M in the same quarter last year.
**UAL Corp. (parent of United Airlines) DOWN with a net loss of US$187M in Nov., including US$159M of reorganization expenses.
**UTi. UP with net income up 31% to US$26.1M in 3rd quarter.
***The World De-Listed? ........ as Georgia-based World Air Holdings Inc., parent company of World Airways and North American Airlines, has requested an extension to remain listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Nasdaq had given World Air until Dec. 15 to file an amended quarterly report with the Securities & Exchange Commission or be delisted from the exchange. At the same time, World Air said it expects its 4th quarter revenues to be in the range of US$205M to US$215M & operating income from US$12M to US$14M.
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***
3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ___
***The World Is Flat ....... as the Int'l Air Transport Assn. reports that growth in worldwide air freight traffic was flat in Oct., with a 1.1% year-on-year increase in freight-ton kilometers. October's marginal increase brought the average growth in worldwide traffic after 10 months to 2.6%, well below the 13.4% growth recorded in 2004. In October air traffic in North America declined 0.5%, when measured in freight-ton kilometers. For the year-to-date, freight traffic in North America has declined 0.4%.
***But ATA Saw Marginal Increase ....... as Int'l air freight & express shipments carried by U.S. airlines in Sept. rose 5.4% to 1.14 billion revenue ton-miles, from 1.08 billion revenue ton-miles a year ago, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Air Transport Assn. (ATA). After the 1st 9 months of the year, ATA members' int'l air freight & express shipments were up 3.7% to 9.58 billion revenue ton-miles, compared to 9.24 billion revenue ton-miles after the same period 2004. ATA Airlines are Aloha, Alaska, America West, American, ATA, Continental (including Micronesia), Delta, FedEx, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Midwest, Northwest. Southwest, United, UPS & US Airways.
***UPS Saw Growth In The Crunch ....... as it delivered more than 20 million packages on Dec. 20, its busiest shipping day of the year when deliveries accelerate to 230 packages per second. That is a 43% increase over UPS's normal daily volume.
***United States & Mexico Make Cargo Deal ....... as they have formally signed an aviation agreement opening the two markets to more passenger & cargo flights. The new terms allow any number of scheduled all-cargo carriers to fly between the countries, and 3 all-cargo carriers to fly in each U.S./Mexico city-pair market. Previously, only 5 scheduled all-cargo carriers from each country, and only one from each country could operate between any U.S./Mexico city pair except in a very limited number of markets.
***UPS & Pilots Continue Dance ....... as the federal mediator in charge of negotiations between the cargo delivery company and the Independent Pilots Assn. has implemented an indefinite recess in the talks. Under the Railway Labor Act which governs the negotiations, there can be no strike or work stoppage while the talks are in recess. The two sides can continue to talk during the recess period without the mediator. The mediator previously recessed talks last June for 3 months. The union is seeking an end to mediation so that it can call a strike. Some wary shippers have indicated that they have made plans to divert freight to other carriers such as FedEx and DHL if the mediator grants the union's request and a 30-day cooling off period begins that could lead to a work stoppage.
***Down On The Delta ....... as the bankrupt line said it has reached a tentative interim agreement with the Air Line Pilots Assn. (ALPA), to reduce the pay of its more than 6,000 pilots. The tentative agreement includes a 14% hourly wage reduction & reductions in other pilot pay and cost items equivalent to approximately an additional 1% hourly wage reduction. Atlanta-based Delta Airirliness aims to lower costs by US$3Bn a year by the end of 2007.
***Sign Up Or Ship Out ......... as the CEO of Swiss Int'l Air Lines, Christoph Franz, has told pilots to sign new job contracts before the end of year or he may start hiring new air crews in January. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, Swiss Pilots, the union representing former Crossair pilots said the pilots would be forced to accept "significantly worse working conditions." The company is forcing its pilots to accept pay cuts of as much as 40%, the Zurich-based Sonntags Zeitung reported. The airline said the new contract does include pay cuts, but wouldn't give further details. The new contracts are part of a restructuring plan by Swiss International aimed at stemming losses that reached US$1.7Bn since its 2002 creation from bankrupt Swissair Group and regional carrier Crossair. The carrier is hoping to post an operating profit in 2007, the report said. According to the union, the company threatened to fire pilots who don't sign the new contracts. In a letter to its pilots, the company said pilots will "definitely have no work at Swiss European as of April 1" if they had not submitted the new contracts by Dec. 31. The union hopes to resume talks with the company over a collective labour agreement. Deutsche Lufthansa AG is in the process of buying Swiss Int'l Air Lines Ltd.
***DHL In A Disaster ........ as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have contracted with DHL to manage part of the UN's response to future disasters. The agreement calls for DHL, a provider of express delivery and logistics services, to set up its own global network of 3 disaster response teams. The 1st will be operational in Singapore by the spring of 2006. Two other teams will be stationed to cover the Middle East & Africa, and also Latin American & the Caribbean. In the event of a major catastrophe, teams comprising specially trained DHL employees will help manage crucial logistics operations in airports close to the affected region.
***UPS Opens India ........ as cashing in on the boom in the Indian economy, UPS subsidiary, Mail Boxes Etc. Inc. (MBE), has named Jetair Business Solutions Pvt Ltd., the exclusive Master Licensee to sell franchised locations of the UPS Store within India. In the 1st phase, close to 150 franchisee stores will be opened over a period of 3 to 5 years and the aim is to increase it to 5,000 stores across India over a 10-year period. An initial flagship store is scheduled to open this year at Mumbai. The UPS Store will be India's first full-service network of retail outlets that combines packaging, shipping and other business products with Jet Airways ticketing services.
***DHL Express (USA) Raises The Bar ...... as it has new rates effective Feb. 5, 2006, in line with recently announced annual increases in the express & parcel industry, including a 5.5% increase for DHL Domestic Air Express and Int'l Express & a 3.9% rise for DHL Ground Service. Concurrent with the 2006 rate changes, DHL will institute a cap of 14.5% on its published fuel surcharge for Domestic Air Express and Int'l Express.
***No One At British Airways To Answer The Phone ....... as it will cut 35% its managerial staff by March 2008, firing nearly 600 of its 1,715 managers in an effort to save US$86M. The cutbacks are part of BA's cost reduction program announced last year, designed to save US$353M by March 2007. The 597 job losses will involve a 50% reduction in senior managers, from 414 to 207, and a 30% reduction in middle managers from 1,301 to 911.
***Kalitta Air To The Rescue ....... as the U.S. Postal Service and the Dept. of Defense have announced a contract for all mail to civilian & military personnel deployed in the Middle East & Persian Gulf areas. The contract, awarded to Kalitta Air, calls for the company to provide mail transportation to its hub in Bahrain, mail security, all terminal handling, and transportation to 10 other major Defense Dept. hubs serving operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. The contract will take effect in Feb. 2006. The Postal Service currently dispatches approximately 200,000 pounds of military mail to the Persian Gulf each day aboard Boeing 747 freighters.
***Cargolux Buys Itself ........ as the board of the Luxembourg-based cargo airline Cargolux has reached an agreement to buy back 33.7% of it shares from Swiss Int'l Air Lines (Swissair) on behalf of its other shareholders. Existing shareholders in Cargolux, excluding Swissair, are: Luxair (34.9%); BGL Investment Partners (11.5%); BCEE (8.8%); SNCI (8.6%) and Lux-AVANTAGE (2.2%). Swissair was recently taken over by Lufthansa.
***Jetstar Flys Offshore ....... as it has obtained full regulatory approval to fly internationally for the 1st time, completing preparations for the launch of trans-Tasman flights directly from Christchurch. The Australian low fare carrier, owned by Qantas, will base 2 Airbus A320 aircraft at Christchurch Int'l Airport serving trans-Tasman market to four Australian destinations.
***AIG Insurance Pulls Out ...... as Taiwan's Far Eastern Air Transport Corp. said that U.S.-based American Int'l Group Inc. (AIG) plans to sell its 18% stake in the airline. AIG, a shareholder in the Taiwanese company since 1995, wants to sell its stake because it is increasingly focusing on business in mainland China, said Far Eastern. Far Eastern Air is a 2nd-tier air carrier with domestic and regional passenger & cargo services.
***UPS Buys The Giant ....... as it has confirmed its Jan. commitment for 10 A380 freighter aircraft from Airbus. The purchase price was not disclosed. Deliveries of the planes are scheduled between 2009 & 2012. The A380 freighter version has 3 cargo decks, compared to 2 in the Boeing 747-400 freighter, with 40,000 cubic feet of capacity and a maximum payload of 150 tons. It can accommodate 71 large cargo pallets. The standard Boeing 747-400 freighter can carry 124 tons and has a range of 2,600 miles. UPS's current fleet includes 47 A300 freighters.
***Cathay Pacific Airways Converts A Boeing ....... as it has received its 1st freighter conversion of a Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft, the Boeing 747-400SF, at a redelivery ceremony held in Xiamen, China. The 747-400SF was converted at the Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. engineering works in Xiamen from a former Cathay Pacific-operated plane. The plane is installed with a side cargo door, a strengthened main-deck floor, full main deck lining, a new cargo handling system, and a revised flight-deck system enabling it to carry more than 113 tons of freight. Cathay Pacific has signed up for at least 6 & as many as 12 of the 747-400SF planes.
***Cathay Pacific Airways Goes For 777 ....... as it has placed its largest-ever aircraft order, making commitments for 16 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with purchase rights for 20 more, as well as commitments for 3 Airbus A330-300s. The Hong Kong-based airline did not disclose any financial details.. The 777-300ERs are to be delivered between Sept. 2007 & July 2010.
***Qantas Airways Stakes Future On Boeing ...... as it has placed orders for up to 115 Boeing 787-8 "Dreamliner" aircraft, the largest order received so far by the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer. Under terms of the agreement, Qantas will receive 65 787s for delivery from 2008 and options for an additional 50 more of the aircraft. The Australian airline said the value of the 65 787s was US$10Bn at list price. Production of the "Dreamliner" planes will begin next year. Boeing now has 354 orders and commitments from 26 customers for the 787.
***Brazilian TAM Airlines 1st For Airbus ........ as it became the 1st South American carrier to order the A350-900 plane series from Airbus with a firm contract for 10 A350-900s plus options for 5 more. No financial details were disclosed. The A350 plane is the mid-size long-haul competitor to Boeing's 7E7 Dreamliner.
***Evergreen Int'l Aviation Uses 747 For 787 ......... as it will operate & maintain the super-sized 747 jumbo jets Boeing plans to use to ferry large sections for its new 787 long-range airliner from suppliers in Japan to its assembly plant in Everett, Wash. The all-cargo airline has subcontracted with Luxembourg-based Cargolux to transport parts from Europe to the United States. Cargolux operates a fleet of 14 747-400 freighters. Evergreen also selected the U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sojitz Corp. to coordinate logistics for Japanese supply lanes. Boeing is outsourcing more production to focus on design and final assembly, and will rely on the 747 Large Cargo Freighter instead of slower vessels to ship wing and other major assemblies. The Large Cargo Freighter, which will have an enlarged upper fuselage and an aft fuselage that swings open for loading and unloading, is being modified in Taiwan.
***MIA Blues ....... as U.S. authorities arrested several individuals and levied fines for multiple safety, licensing & immigration violations during an enforcement sweep of air cargo operations at Miami Int'l Airport 2 weeks ago. The Cargo Security Task Force inspected more than 350 commercial trucks & 4 airline warehouses, targeting cargo booked for transport on domestic & Int'l passenger planes. Federal officers levied 52 fines totaling about US$17,500 for safety & licensing violations and 19 trucks were forced out of service. Three individuals were discovered in violation of immigration law. Four violations were for improperly packed material, including one truck with radioactive material. A fuel truck was pulled out of service & removed from the airport for having a dangerous fire prevention system. One driver was arrested for resisting arrest after he was caught driving under the influence of alcohol & 3 other arrests were made for other driving violations. The task force is comprised of several federal, state & local law enforcement agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration & the FAA's Hazardous Materials Field Unit.
***Orbiting Christmas ...... as a holiday delivery arrived at the Int'l Space Station today for the Expedition 12 crew on Dec. 23. An unpiloted Russian Progress cargo craft linked up automatically to the station's Pirs Docking Compartment with 1,940 pounds of propellant for the station's Russian thrusters; 183 pounds of back up oxygen and air for the Russian Elektron system; and 463 pounds of water to augment onboard supplies. More than 3,000 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware, life support components and holiday gifts round out the cargo. The Progress was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The crew began unloading cargo last weekend.
***Interstellar Cargo .......... as NASA's Stardust mission is nearing Earth after a 2.88 billion mile round-trip journey to return cometary and interstellar dust particles back to Earth. Scientists believe the cargo will help provide answers to fundamental questions about comets and the origins of the solar system. The velocity of the sample return capsule, as it enters the Earth's atmosphere at 28,860 mph, will be the fastest of any human-made object on record. It surpasses the record set in May 1969 during the return of the Apollo 10 command module. The capsule is scheduled to return on Jan. 15.
***High Flyer ........ as as a drunken passenger on a Monarch Airlines holiday flight from England to Spain on Dec. 27 was dropped at a tiny island off the African coast after he swore at the cabin crew. The plane's captain decided to leave the man at Porto Santo, a volcanic outcrop in the Atlantic, after he became abusive when he was refused more alcohol. The Airbus, heading from northern England to the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife, diverted to the Portuguese island, which is just 10 miles long & 4 miles wide. With only half a dozen hotels and a few sandy beaches, Porto Santo is little known to most tourists who flock to the nearby, larger island of Madeira, a 2-hour ferry ride away. Police met the man at the airport. He is due to appear in court in mainland Portugal in Jan.
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News***
4. FF World Ocean Briefs
***The End of EU Anti-Trust ....... as the European Commission has proposed a repeal of the liner conference block exemption. This exemption enables shipping companies & organizations in effect to fix prices and regulate capacity on routes. These cartels, known as "liner conferences," have existed since the late 19th century. They were legally accepted in Europe in 1986. The block exemption was originally granted to ensure reliable services. Now the Commission says that times have changed, and that the intended benefits of the exemption are not being achieved. It says repeal would increase the competitiveness of European industry. The European Liner Affairs Association, which represents about 80% of world capacity, is proposing that the block exemption should be replaced with an exchange of information system. Other organizations, such as the European Shippers Council - which represents over 100,000 exporting companies, consider that a replacement regime is unnecessary because carriers are already allowed extensive cooperation under the consortia block exemption.
***Lisbon CSI ....... as Portugal has become the 42nd port to start outbound cargo exams as part of the U.S. Container Security Initiative. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are stationed at the port to help Portuguese Customs identify suspicious containers for X-ray exams prior to loading on a U.S.-bound vessel.
***Pirates Continue Treacherous ...... as the Int'l Maritime Organization has issued a report stating that 35 acts of piracy & armed robbery against ships were reported during Oct. 2005. The total number of such acts so reported is now 3,957. Read the report.
***Gulf Ports Respond ....... as the American Assn. of Port Authorities (AAPA) said that a survey of Gulf Coast ports impacted by hurricanes this year shows that for the most part they are recovering well and coming close to returning to normal cargo and passenger volumes. The AAPA cited the Texas port of Beaumont; the Louisiana ports of Lake Charles and Fourchon; and Alabama's Port of Mobile as ports with operations at or near pre-hurricane levels. At the southern tip of Louisiana, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission reports the petroleum-handling facilities at Port Fourchon are about 90% back to normal. The AAPA noted Louisiana's renowned Port of New Orleans & the 2 largest ports along the Mississippi Gulf Coast -- Pascagoula & Gulfport -- received the storms' largest impacts. Even so, they've made significant progress. Port of Pascagoula said the seaport's public facilities will be operating at approximately 75% of pre-Katrina levels by the end of Dec. The Port of New Orleans is on schedule to be at 70% to 80% of pre-Katrina activity by March and about 85% of those who work directly for the port have returned to work.
***But New Orleans Rebounds! ....... as Hurricane Katrina destroyed about one-third of the Port of New Orleans. The port, a major entry point for imported steel, natural rubber and coffee, received its first post-storm ship Sept. 12, two weeks after Katrina. Just over 3 months later, the port is running at about half capacity. Before Katrina hit Aug. 29, it was getting 36 to 40 ship calls a week. Now, the count is 18 to 20. By March or April, the goal is to hit 70 percent of pre-Katrina calls. But finding enough truck drivers to haul and deliver containerized cargo, and enough longshoremen to handle bulk loads is difficult since the population of New Orleans fell after Katrina. In 2003, New Orleans ranked fifth among U.S. ports in tons of cargo handled, and 12th in total foreign trade, according to the latest figures available from the American Association of Port Authorities. It is estimated the port sustained US$100M in damage, while port-dependent businesses had another US$280M to US$300M in damage. The portion of the port nearest the Industrial Canal, the site of devastating flooding, was virtually wiped out. Cold Storage hopes to reopen with half its capacity early next year. Last year, 1,904 ships loaded and unloaded cargo at the port, a series of terminals and wharfs on the Mississippi River. The port handled 10.4 million tons of general cargo and 169,304 freight containers at a site that included 22-million-square feet of cargo handling areas.
***MSC -- Largest Ever Hit ....... as the chief engineer of the containership M/V MSC Elena pleaded guilty last week in a federal court in Massachusetts to charges of conspiracy, obstruction, destruction of evidence, false statements and violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships in connection to illegal discharges of oily bilge. Mani Singh, an Indian national, could face up to 40 years in prison when he's sentenced on March 8. The U.S. Coast Guard discovered the use of bypass equipment, known as a "magic pipe," on board the M/V MSC Elena during an inspection of the vessel in Boston Harbor on May 16, 2005. Singh then engaged in a cover-up. The Justice Department said MSC Ship Management discharged about 40 tons or 10,640 gallons of sludge during a 5-month period in 2004 through the "magic pipe." MSC Ship Management (Hong Kong) Ltd., the owner of the vessel, also agreed to plead guilty to similar charges. If the court accepts the plea, MSC Ship Management will pay US$10.5M. This amount would be the largest ever paid in a case involving deliberate pollution from a single vessel and the largest criminal fine paid by a defendant in an environmental case in Massachusetts's history, the Justice Department said in a statement. The 2nd engineer of the "MSC Elena," Aman Mahana, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1 to his role in the conspiracy. MSC Ship Management will be placed on probation for five years
***NCL Cleared .........National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its report on the large wave that struck Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) M/V Norwegian Dawn on April 16, 2005. After experiencing extremely rough weather, the ship was hit by an unpredictable, large wave near South Carolina on its return trip to New York from Miami during a Bahamas/Florida cruise. NTSB determined that NCL acted appropriately during the severe weather and tried to accommodate and comfort its passengers. The report notes that: "Rather than attempting to maintain the scheduled arrival time in New York, the master decided to lower the ship's speed and change its heading for the passengers' comfort." Moreover, "the hotel staff tried to accommodate the passengers' needs and make them comfortable." Property damage was US$750,000 and 4 of the 2,590 passengers were injured.
***TSA Loses One ........ as French ocean carrier CMA CGM confirmed it withdrew from the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement effective Dec. 2. TSA carriers are now: American President Lines, "K" Line, COSCO Container Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Evergreen Marine, Orient Overseas Container Line, Hanjin Shipping Co., Hapag-Lloyd, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Yang Ming Marine and Hyundai Merchant Marine.
***"Lines" Wasn't The Problem ........ as Scandinavian car carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines Jan. 1 will change its name to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics to highlight the company's "broader outbound logistics offering." The company expects revenue of US$2.8Bn this year, transporting 1.5 million vehicles by sea and handling a total of 3 million vehicles by land.
***Goodbye To CP Ships........ as TUI AG, parent company of Hapag-Lloyd, will phase out the CP Ships brand name following its recent US$2.3Bn acquisition of the Anglo-Canadian shipping line. A spokesman for TUI subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Container Linie said the decision has been made to kill the CP Ships name, but that no timeframe has been set. By combining the operations of Hapag-Lloyd and CP Ships, the German group has been catapulted to become the world's fifth-largest ocean container carrier, with a merged fleet of about 414,000 TEUs. CP Ships itself has just recently ended its multiple-brand strategy and stopped using historical names such as Lykes, Canada Maritime & ANZDL. TUI AG has also closed the sale of its rail & tank container logistics business VTG to Luxembourg-based Companie Européenne de Wagons after receiving regulatory approval in Germany & Austria. The purchase price was not disclosed, but TUI said it will reduce its net debt by US$480M.
***Great Lakes Frozen ........ as according to the Lake Carriers Assn., a stormy November took its toll on the movement of dry-bulk cargoes in U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes. The weather idled 60 vessels more than 5,000 sailing hours during the month, so that the carriers could move only 9.5 million tons of dry-cargo in November, down 16% from a year ago.
***More In The Ditch ....... as the Panama Canal Authority said it will increase the number of booking reservation slots available in 2006, adding 2 per day for "supers," or vessels with widths of 91 feet or more. The booking slots were added in response to greater demand. More than 50% of canal transits are reserved through bookings. Canal officials said use of the booking system is an increasing trend for transits.
***Seaboard Marine After Katrina ...... as it will resume regular weekly service between New Orleans and ports in the Caribbean and Latin America on Jan. 9.
***FMC Revokes 6 OTI Licenses .......... for failure to maintain valid bonds, the license holders are Attila Cargo Express, South San Francisco, Calif.; CSI Cargo System Air and Sea, Jamaica, N.Y.; Forwarding Services, Parlin, N.J.; Mayda Beatriz Sabloon, Miami; Seven Seas Shipping, Winter Garden, Fla.; and Speedex Int'l, Rancho Dominguez, Calif.
***Throughput >> Port of Antwerp said it handled about 6.5 million TEUs in 2005, up nearly 7% on the previous year. >> Port Everglades handled a record 797,238 TEUs of containerized cargo during the 12-month period to Sept. 30, up from 653,628 TEUs in the 2004 fiscal year, an increased of 18% to US$24M. >> Port of Haifa, Israel's largest seaport, said it handled 842,192 TEUs in the 1st nine months of the year, up 10% compared to 754,844 TEUs throughput in the same period last year. >> Jurong Port in Singapore said today its container throughout was 839,000 TEUs from Jan. through Nov., up 32.5% compared to 633,000 TEUs handled in the same 11-month period last year. >> Port of Long Beach, Calif., reported handling 610,644 TEUs in Nov., a 4.8% increase over the 582,614 TEUs handled in Nov. 2004.
***This Month In U.S. Navy History .........
1775 - Congress commissions the first Naval officers: Esek Hopkins, commander in chief of the fleet, Capts. Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicolas Biddle and John Hopkins. Lieutenants appointed included John Paul Jones.
1812 - USS Constitution (Capt. William Bainbridge) captures HMS Java off Brazil after a 3 hour battle.
1826 - Capt. Thomas Catesby Jones of USS Peacock & King Kamehameha negotiate 1st treaty between Hawaii and a foreign power.
1841 - USS Mississippi, the first U.S. ocean-going side-wheel steam warship, is commissioned in Philadelphia.
1910 - Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson becomes the 1st Naval officer sent to flight training.
1917 - Four U.S. battleships arrive at Scapa Flow to take on the role of the British Grand Fleet's 6th Battle Squadron. The ships include USS Delaware (BB 28), USS Florida (BB 30), USS New York (BB 34) & USS Wyoming (BB 32).
1941 - The gallant defenders of Wake Island (Sailors, Marines, volunteer civilian contractors, & Army/Air Force radio detachment) surrender.
1943 - USS Grayling (SS 208) sinks its 4th Japanese ship in 3 days.
1951 - The 1st helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship takes place aboard USS Consolation (AH 15).
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!! Don't miss the pirate attack on M/V Seabourn Spirit
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. You will be amazed.
SPECIAL NOTE: Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature.
See our new feature for Dec. 2005: "NO Rails"
See our newest photo feature "Singles Only" - Transportation Disasters Told In A Single Photo!
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 week for your business, your information and your amusement..............
Air Cargo Screening -- Disaster Waiting To Happen
Aon Marine Report
European Association of Airport and Seaport Police
How Vulnerable Is Your Supply Chain?
Intel/Gateway Knowledge Center .......... Free Online courses taught by experts.
Mathematics of Oil Spills
Study Sees Strong 15% Growth For 3PLs
Teamsters Union Has Eye On FedEx
Volvo Ocean Race ........ battered vessels currently at at Capetown.
RAPID System Strategic Intermodal System
U.S. Coast Guard Takes Leap
Digital Weight Indicator
Precision Conversions 757-200PCF Freighter Conversions
Shanghai Flat Bed Cargo Truck
World Trade Organization Events
4th North America Cargo Security Conference ..........5-6 Dec. 2005, Washington, D.C.
15th Annual Int'l All Cargo Conference IAAC .......... 23-25 May 2006, Houston
Intermodal South America 2006 ........ April 26 to 28, 2006, Transamerica Expo Center, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Int'l Association of Refrigerated Warehouses -- Int'l Association for Cold Storage Construction & World Food Logistics Organization -- World Convention......... April 22-27, 2006, Walt Disney World Swan
Logistics & Supply Chain Forum ....... May 7-10, 2006, aboard M/V Norwegian Dawn, Ex-NYC.
RORO 2006 .......16-18 May 2006, Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium
Shipbuilding-Machinery & Marine Technology Int'l Trade Fair ..........Sept. 26-29, 2006 -- Hamburg, Germany.
TOC Asia - Terminal Operations Conference and Exhibition & Conference for Asia. .......14 -16 March 2006, BEXCO, Pusan, South Korea
U.S. General Services Admin. 3rd Annual Household Goods & Freight Forum ........Feb. 22-23, 2006, Anaheim, Calif. Co-sponsored by American Moving & Storage Assn.
Live Form Bridge of USS Missouri
Miaflores Locks In Time Lapse
Remote Control Airbus A380.
Ship's Cats ........ the famous Simon of HMs Amethyst
S/V Carthaginian Artificial Reef ........ on Dec. 13, 2005, Atlantis Adventures Maui sunk whaler replica S/V Carthaginian to create new artifical reef off coast of Lahaina. Great photos.
World Wide Words
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World***
7. New Transport Related Legal Cases _______
United States v. Rigel Ships Agencies, Inc.
U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Dec.15, 2005, No. 04-13065
Ruled that a surety is liable on an int'l carrier bond up to the amount of the bond for violations resulting from illegal actions of the master. In the instant case, a shipping agent filed an Int'l carrier bond with Customs, with defendant insurance company as the surety. As provided by statute, the purpose of the bond was to assure compliance with any provision of law, regulation, or instruction which Customs was authorized to enforce. Two ships (among various others) were covered by the bond. Upon arrival in Miami, the masters of both ships filed manifests with Customs indicating that the ships carried no cargo. Customs inspection revealed that both ships carried cocaine. Among the actions taken by Customs was imposition of civil penalties against both ships for the filing of incorrect manifests. When the penalties were not paid by the owners, the government proceeded against the surety. The surety contended that it did not contemplate these risks when it guaranteed the bond; that these penalties were not covered by the bond statute; that Congress did not delegate to Customs the authority to require bonds for prospective penalties; and that the bond requirement offends due process and equal protection. The court struck down all these arguments and upheld the authority of Customs to collect from the surety the amount of an international carrier bond where the underlying shipowner has failed to make payment. Read The Decision
In re Petition of McAllister Towing & Transportation Company, Inc.
U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
Dec. 21, 2005, No. 04-3938
Ruled that a joint tortfeasor is not entitled to contribution from the U.S. in a maritime personal injury suit brought by an employee of the United States. In the instant case, the federal employee was working on a government vessel engaged in towing an obsolete government vessel from one location to another. Two commercial companies were assisting in the effort. During the tow, a portion of the government vessel's towing gear broke off & struck the federal employee. The United States government paid the employee the compensation provided for under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). In the lawsuit brought by the federal employee against the two commercial companies, the companies contended that they were entitled to contribution from the federal government with regard to any amount that they may be liable to the federal employee. The appellate court, in affirming the trial court's denial of that contention, held that contribution claims against the United States are barred because the substantive right to contribution in maritime law is unavailable where the United States enjoys statutory immunity under FECA from tort liability to the injured plaintiff. Read The Decision
Vastframe Camera Ltd. Vs. Birkart Globistics Ltd. & Moiroud S.A.
High Court of the Hong Kong, Nov. 25 2005
Commercial Action No. 63 of 2002
The court ruled that Birkart Globistics Ltd., a freight forwarder, must pay Vastframe Camera Ltd. US$143,815 after a consignment of cameras was released to a buyer by Moiroud S.A., a 3rd party cargo facilitator and Birkart's partner, without surreder of a bill of lading. Birkart & Vastframe are based in Hong Kong. Moiroud is a French company. The incident, which occurred in 2001, provoked litigation when the buyer, H.P.I. France, refused to pay the purchase price after the shipment of cameras had been misdelivered. Moiroud called the incident "an unintentional mistake" and "an isolated case of an oversight" on the part of a Moiroud employee. Moiroud must pay Birkart the same amount Birkart has to pay Vastframe. The court determined that the release of the cameras without production of the shipment's bill of lading was a breach by Birkart of its contract of carriage, despite the fact that the only remuneration received by Birkart was US$150 profit share from its partner, Moiroud, and a small sum of Hong Kong dollars for container handling fees & export charges.
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
Libby Thompson (Countryman & McDaniel)
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