Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel
THE CARGO LETTER 
Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News
31 January 2007
Good Wednesday morning 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." Happy New Year 2007! Here's what happened in our industry during January 2007!
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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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/The Cargo Letter Archives of Past Issues
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 _____________
***Monthly Traffic To Our WWW.CargoLaw.Com ...... as there have been over 5,765,163 hits to our CargoLaw Wesbsite during Jan. 2007. We are told the data flow is 1.2 Megabytes per second -- and once again we have been asked to leave our current Internet Host Site, due to huge traffic that the hosting company cannot handle. We are proud of this accomplishment for the industry. Clearly, many agree that there is much to see on your next visit! One example -- the world is watching our coverage of the ongoing crisis for M/V MSC Napoli -- can the 4,427-TEU containership survive? REAL TIME Coverage of this tragic loss. McD
***Delayed Transport Question -- Who Are You? ...... as the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the US Coast Guard issued (at last) the final rule implementing Phase One of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The rule, which lays out the process for issuance and initial use of TWIC cards, comes into effect on March 26. Comments on the card replacement fee should be submitted by Feb. 26. The requirement for facilities and OCS facilities to limit unescorted access to secure areas to persons holding valid TWIC cards will come into effect based upon notifications to be published in the Federal Register and will require compliance on a USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) Zone basis. While the TWIC will be a smart card, with encrypted biometric data, the requirement for installation and use of a card reader will be delayed for a future rulemaking (Phase Two). In the meantime, the TWIC card will function as a photographic identification. The fee for TWIC will be US$139 to US$159, and the TWIC cards will be valid for 5 years.
***Securing The Chemical Risk ...... as the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for regulating security at all chemical facilities. Companies with chemical facilities would be required to complete a secure online risk assessment to set a baseline of their overall risk to terrorist attacks or theft of material. High-risk facilities will then have to conduct vulnerability assessments and submit site security plans that meet DHS performance standards. The department will validate submissions through audits & site inspections, and provide technical assistance to facility owners & operators. Security plans will be designed to provide perimeter security, control access, deter theft of potentially dangerous chemicals, and prevent internal sabotage. An appeals process allows firms to challenge the disapproval of a site security plan. Failure to comply with performance standards may result in civil penalties up to $25,000 per day and DHS could order facilities shut down in severe cases of noncompliance. The proposed regulations are an outgrowth of new authority given DHS by Congress in the 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.
***Don't Leave Home Without It ..... as beginning Jan. 23, 2007, citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, & Bermuda are required to present a passport to enter the U.S. when arriving by air from any part of the Western Hemisphere. This part of the Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
***No More Bulgaria & Romania GSP ..... as effective on Jan. 1, 2007, they are no longer designated as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program as a result of their Jan. 1, 2007 accession to the European Union. The GSP program grants duty-free treatment to eligible articles that are imported from designated beneficiary developing countries. Countries that may not be designated as beneficiary countries for purposes of the GSP include, among others, EU Member States. More.
***Zeroing In? ..... as the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body has called for the U.S. to end its so-called "zeroing" practice when calculating antidumping duties. Zeroing refers to the treatment of U.S. export sales when they are compared to "normal value," or the foreign value, of similar goods. Goods that are sold at less than their normal value are considered "dumped." However, when the U.S Commerce Dept. finds transactions in the U.S. that occur at prices that are higher than normal value, it chooses to ignore those sales rather than averaging them into the final calculations. Opponents of zeroing say the Commerce Dept. practice leads to artificially inflated dumping margins. Japan had challenged the U.S. practice in the WTO.
***Mandatory ACE For Truckers ....... as motor carriers electronically filed more than 20,000 cross-border manifests with U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Dec., a 65% increase from the 13,000 submitted that way in Sept. Since the pilot program began in 2005, CBP has received more than 100,000 electronic shipment statements, although the number is a fraction of the overall cross-border truck traffic. But in 2007, truckers will be required to file their manifests for security checks by electronic means rather than faxing paper documents 2 hours prior to arrival at the border, as is currently required.
***The Border Is ACEs ..... as on Oct. 27, 2006, U.S. Customs established the mandatory use of ACE e-Manifest at all land border ports in the states of Washington & Arizona, as well as the ports of Pembina, Neche, Walhalla, Maida, Hannah, Sarles and Hansboro, effective Jan. 25, 2007. Now, Motor carriers entering the U.S. at all land border ports of entry in California, Texas & New Mexico will be required to present advance electronic cargo information through the Automated Commercial Environment truck manifest system effective 90 days from the publication date of the notice, which would make the compliance date April 19. In phase #2, CBP will deny entry to any carrier that arrives without submitting or attempting to submit an e-manifest at land border ports where e-manifest submissions are required. In phase #3, CBP will deny entry to any carrier, entering at land border ports that require submissions of e-manifests. During this phase, a monetary penalty may be issued for egregious violations.
***Canadian Government Also Has An "ACE" ..... as it has announced US$431.6M in funding for three programs aimed at making the border more secure & trade-friendly. The proposed plan will promote and implement electronic manifests for truck cargo, and programs called "Business Resumption & Partners in Protection." The eManifests will require carriers to convey cargo and crew information to border officials prior to crossing the border by highway or rail. This will be similar to the U. S. ACE program &endash; Automated Commercial Environment.
***That Christmas Sweater You Got Was Not Real Cashmere ..... as President Bush has signed into law The Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness & Int'l Standards Conforming Act, which took effect Jan. 1. The law, which revises the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939, expands the scope of misbranding, regarding descriptions of fibers as "cashmere" and wool quality claims. Cashmere products must be "fine (dehaired) undercoat fibers produced by a cashmere goat, the average diameter of the fibers must not exceed 19 microns, and the product cannot contain more than 3% by weight of cashmere fibers with average diameters that exceed 30 microns. Translation: expect real cashmere at a higher price.
***India Cuts Customs Duties ..... as the government has lowered customs duties on 11 industrial product categories -- including cement & steel -- in a bid to stave off inflation before several key state elections, the Economic Times of India reported Jan. 22. The high customs duties, in some cases, have been reduced from 12.5% to 7.5%. Rising inflation in key states that border the New Delhi capital region may have influenced the decision.
***UPS Starts Celebration of 100th Birthday .........as events in more than 55 U.S. cities will revolve around the arrival of a mobile Centennial exhibit, built inside large tractor-trailers. UPS was founded in Seattle as a messenger service in 1907 by a 19-year-old teenager who borrowed US$100. Over the subsequent 100 years, much of it guided by founder Jim Casey, UPS transformed itself into a department store delivery service; a common carrier offering package delivery service throughout the U.S.; an Int'l package delivery service with its own airline and now, a trusted business partner that literally enables commerce for its customers by synchronizing the flow of goods, information and money. Today, UPS employs more than 427,000 people; operates the world's largest package delivery network; operates the planet's eighth-largest airline; utilizes almost 92,000 vehicles, and offers an ever-expanding array of supply chain services. Enjoy the celebration show:
***EGL Goes Private? ...... as the the Int'l forwarder, which operates as Eagle Global Logistics, said Jan. 3 it received a US$1.2Bn leveraged buyout offer from CEO Jim Crane & private equity firm General Atlantic LLC to take the Houston-based firm private. Crane proposed in a letter to the board to pay US$36 per share, all in cash, to acquire the entire company at a 21% premium over the previous US$29.78 closing stock price. Crane already owns about 18% of the outstanding common stock. Crane said other members of senior management are also partnering on the bid & would continue in their current positions once a transaction is completed -- as he would continue as chairman & CEO. EGL, as former Eagle Air, Inc merged with Circle International in 2000, a company that would now be 106 years old & once had clipper ships.
***U.S. Rails Flat ..... as increases were consistent across the board, according to the Assn. of American Railroads (AAR). Total freight volume reached 1.74 trillion ton-miles in 2006, a jump of 2.5% from 2005. Carloads were up 1.2% year over year, with a total of 17,380,102. Intermodal loadings had the greatest percentage gain, up 5% (588,709 trailers & containers), with a total of 12,282,221 loadings.
***Sidtracked Hazmat ...... as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will start a nationwide tracking system in Feb. to determine how long rail cars filled with lethal materials are stopped on tracks or sit in unsecured storage yards in urban areas. The agreement, agreed upon by the 257 railroads that transport toxic chemicals, aims to reduce the number of hours hazardous rail shipments sit unguarded in each of 46 major urban areas to make sure cars vulnerable to attack don't sit unguarded for too long.
***Feather Footed Drivers ...... as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it is taking comments on a proposal that would put speed limiters in trucks limiting their speeds to 68 miles per hour. FMCSA said it will review a request by American Trucking Assn. & 9 trucking companies that back moves to put speed governors in new trucks.
***Swiftly Buying ..... as after an unsuccessful attempt to buy truckload carrier Swift Transportation Co. Inc. in Nov., a group led by the company's former chairman & CEO Jerry Moyes has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Swift in an all-cash transaction for approximately US$2.74Bn. The transaction is subject to review by regulatory agencies, approval by Swift shareholders, and other closing conditions. Included is the assumption of US$332M in debt. Swift said that its stockholders will receive US$31.55 for each outstanding share of company common stock. Swift is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona & operates the largest fleet of truckload carrier equipment in the U.S.
***Goodbye Lewis ...... as the Fargo N.D., trucking firm Lewis Transportation, which has employees in at least 7 states, is shutting down after 43 years of operation.
***Hybrid Hauling ..... as Volvo AB & Mack Trucks Inc. last week unveiled a hybrid prototype of a heavy-duty Mack construction truck. Company officials said their diesel-electric power supply will cut fuel costs 30% for stop-and-go trucks & buses while running much cleaner.
***Passing of A Pioneer ...... as Johnnie Bryan "J.B." Hunt was an Arkansas grammar-school dropout who parlayed a 5-truck operation into one of the nation's largest & most progressive motor carriers. Hunt died on Dec. 7, 2006, after suffering a fall. He was 79. J.B. Hunt Transport Services of Lowell, Ark., was launched with just 5 vehicles in 1961. It now operates more than 12,000 power units & 52,000 trailers and is the country's 11th-largest trucking concern. In 2005, the company reported revenue of US$3.13Bn and is solidly profitable, with an operating ratio of 89 and US$207M in net income.
***The "Pay To Drive Zone" - Coming Here Soon?..... as the United Kingdom's Freight Transport Assn. said that most truck operators will reach deeper into their pockets when London's congestion charge scheme is expanded westwards on Feb. 19 to include the affluent areas of Kensington & Chelsea. In 2003, "Transport for London" introduced the congestion surcharge in the center of London at peak hours, aimed at increasing daytime traffic speeds, which are about the same as in the days of horse-drawn carriages. The congestion charge is £8 (US$15.70) for vehicles that cross the zone boundaries between 7 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding public holidays. More.
***P&G Says Just Keep It Moving ..... as industry analysts note that Procter & Gamble (P&G) has seen its profits fall under double-digits for the past few years and one move to improving the picture is to reduce its asset base. To that end, worldwide the company will reduce its distribution centers (DCs) from 450 to approximately 225 over the next 2 years. Accompanying the slimming down of P&G's physical infrastructure is a reorganization of its logistics operations through a boost in its product demand velocity. That means increased shipping frequency for some of the company's faster moving products as well as a new approach for P&G in its transport asset management for some other market offerings. For transportation this will involve creating a better balance in the management of truckload & LTL shipments to improve the costs of its transportation & to improve supply chain relationships with retail customers.
***German Privatization of DB Logistics Slows ...... as partial privatization of German state-owned rail & logistics giant Deutsche Bahn, scheduled for 2009, will likely be delayed, Financial Times Deutschland reported. The German coalition government has agreed to sell up to 49% of Deutsche Bahn, the transport & logistics division of which, DB Logistics, owns Schenker and BAX Global. Delays to the government's privatization bill, which calls for Deutsche Bahn to continue managing the nation's rail tracks & stations for a minimum of 10 years and were due to be drafted by the end of March, will probably push that date back. Meanwhile DB Logistics unit consolidates to a single enterprise.
***Meanwhile DB Logistics Fully Merged In Indonesia & Japan ........ as Schenker and BAX Global Logistik (BAX Indonesia) said they have completed their merger & operational integration as of Jan. 1. The combined Indonesian company will be known as PT Schenker Petrolog Utama, & have a workforce of more than 400 staff throughout Indonesia. In the merged Japan unit there will be about 460 employees at 23 locations. Schenker's parent company, German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG, is in the process of integrating its logistics units around the world, following its purchase of BAX Global for US$1.1Bn from U.S. security firm The Brink's Co. in Jan. 2005.
***Arpin Int'l Group ...... as the U.S. worldwide household goods forwarder has opened in Singapore, expanding the company's presence in the Asia Pacific Region -- a reflection of expanded U.S. migration patterns
***Borat Was Teaching Them To Speak ..... as Kazakh border guards arrested a man trying to smuggle 500 parrots in his car from neighboring Uzbekistan on Jan. 23. "Border guards discovered a live cargo of 500 parrots in his car," Kazakhstan news agency quoted a KNB Security Service official as saying. It was unclear how the parrots fit into the Kazakh man's Audi. It was a parrot-clown Audi. Trade in wild parrots is banned around the world, according to the U.N. Convention on Int'l Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora.
***Welcome Aboard! ...... as first, repair work stopped their UK train. Then a replacement bus broke down. But the final blow for 6 sorry passengers came when the rail crew jumped in a taxi & abandoned them outside London in the snow. "They said not to worry there will be another bus or a larger taxi along in a minute. Then they scampered," said passenger Alex Waite, one of the people left stranded in snow near the town of Woking on Jan. 23 night. After 30 min. shivering in the cold, no one had arrived so one of the other passengers called a cab to rescue the group & drop them home at a cost of 180 pounds (US$354.6), Waite, 37, told Reuters, adding that South West Trains had agreed to refund the amount. The rail firm was quoted as as saying the train driver & guard had needed to go as quickly as possible for another job. Right.
***Special Delivery ..... as Reuters rerports that Russian Postal officials have begun delivering 4.5 tons of parcels & letters that were sent from the U.S. in 1999 -- BUT the container finally reached Russia on Dec. 8 2006. The government run Russian Post denied responsibility (amid great shock here) explaining that the container had been stuck at a port in Finland.
2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page _____
**Arkansas Best Corp. DOWN as 4th-quarter net income fell to US$14.2M or 56 cents a share, from US$30.2M or US$1.20 a year earlier.
**Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. UP with net income of US$1.9Bn for 2006, up 23% from US$1.5Bn in 2005.
**Canadian National Railway Co. UP with 4th quarter net income of US$422M up 16% from the same period 2005.
**CSX Corp. UP with 4th quarter net income of US$347M, up 46% from $237M for the same period in 2005.
**Delta Air Lines (which recently rejected an US$8.4Bn takeover offer from US Airways) DOWN with a net loss of US$49M for Nov.
**Int'l Shipholding Corp. UP with net income of US$22.4M on revenue of US$58.8M in Q4 of 2006 versus a loss of US$225,000 on revenue of US$62.0M in same period 2005.
**Norfolk Southern Corp. UP with Q4 net income of US$385M, an increase of 6% compared with US$362M for the same quarter in 2005. Income from railway operations increased 3% to US$614M.
**Swift Transportation Co. DOWN as it earned US$23.4M or 31 cents a share in Q4, down from US$39.3M or 53 cents a year earlier.
**Union Pacific Corp. UP with 4th quarter net income of US$485M, up 64% compared to US$296M a year ago.
**UAL Corp. (parent of United Airlines) DOWN/UP with a 4th quarter net loss of US$61M, but managed to post a profit of US$25M in the 11 months after it exited bankruptcy.
**UPS Inc. UP as net income rose 7.5% to US$1.13Bn. For 2006 revenue was US$47.5Bn, up 11.7% over 2005.
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***
3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ___
***U.S. Airlines "Sluggishly" Optimistic ...... as they are expected to report US$2Bn to US$3Bn profits for 2006, according to the Washington-based Air Transport Assn. of America (ATA). While cargo remains a small part of that, both the Int'l Air Transport Assn. (IATA) and ATA reported freight traffic was on the rise. Calling the Nov. 2006 growth rate of 3.1% for Int'l freight traffic "sluggish," IATA indicated that year-to-date freight traffic rose by 4.8% for the 11 months of 2006. Looking forward, the ATA suggested 2007 shows promise, but the challenge facing airlines will be achieving meaningful & sustainable profits. Int'l air freight & express shipments carried by 15 U.S. airlines increased 5.3% year-on-year in Nov. to 1.24 billion revenue ton-miles, according to ATA.
***100% Air Cargo Screening - Not Yet ...... as the Associated Press is reporting that cargo screening provisions of a U.S. Congress-passed security bill will likely not survive the Senate version of the bill. The bill covers a wide variety of security measures, including 2 provisions that call for the screening of all air cargo & ocean freight bound for the U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, told reporters Jan. 25 that the ports & cargo screening portions of the bill will likely not make the final passage. Earlier, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief Kip Hawley spoke out against the provisions, saying inspecting all passenger-plane cargo would add "a very small, incremental benefit for security." Hawley said it also could divert airport screeners from other activities such as screening airport employees, inspecting passenger travel documents and looking for suspicious travelers. The Airforwarders Assn. said that legislation passed by the U.S. House requiring inspection of all air cargo on passenger planes was an improvement over past amendments on the matter but could still harm the air freight industry because of a rapid phase-in period calling for 100% inspection. The provision was included as part of a bill designed to implement the homeland security recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission 3 years earlier.
***Wininning The US$100M Lottery ..... as the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Jan. 9 tentatively awarded United Airlines the right to operate daily flights between the U.S. & China, denying applications from American Airlines, Continental Airlines & Northwest Airlines. The tentative award will allow United to inaugurate a new non-stop service between Washington Dulles Int'l Airport and Beijing's China Peking Capital Airport. The route will launch within 90 days of the DOT's final order & is scheduled to start March 25. American sought to fly between Dallas-Fort Worth & Beijing, while Continental applied for service between Newark & Shanghai. Northwest Airlines planned a Detroit/Shanghai service.
***FedEx -- Armed & (Less) Dangerous ........... as a Boeing MD-10 cargo jet equipped with a "Guardian" anti-missile system designed to eventually protect passenger aircraft from a terrorist attack took off from Los Angeles Int'l Airport on a commercial flight Jan. 16. The system's designer, Northrop Grumman Corp., said the FedEx flight marked the start of operational testing & evaluation of the laser system designed to defend against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles during takeoffs & landings. During the current test phase, which concludes in March 2008, nine MD-10s equipped with the Guardian system will be in commercial service. No passenger plane has ever been downed by a shoulder-fired missile outside of a combat zone. But terrorists linked with al-Qaida are believed to have fired two SA-7 missiles that narrowly missed an Israeli passenger jet after it took off from Mombasa, Kenya, in Nov. 2002.
***Crack'n Suvarnabhumi .... as authorities have refused to extend an Int'l safety certificate for Bangkok's new Int'l airport, a senior official said Jan. 27, dealing another blow to the problem-plagued facility. With runway & tarmac repairs at Suvarnabhumi Int'l Airport still under way, the Dept. of Civil Aviation decided Jan. 26 not to renew its interim safety certificate, which expired a day earlier. The airport can, however, continue to operate without the license. On Jan. 25, several incoming flights were diverted to another airport about 200 kms. (125 miles) away after debris was found on a runway. The discovery of taxiway cracks, which began appearing about 2 weeks after the airport opened, was made public last week by lawmakers inspecting the airport. Cracks at 25 separate locations made it impossible to use 11 out of 51 air bridges for boarding aircraft.
***Gerhard Fischer On Swiss Hot Seat ...... as the chairman of Panalpina & former board member of Swissair, defended his role at the now defunct national-flag airline, in the country's biggest-ever corporate trial which started this month. Swissair grounded abruptly in Oct. 2001, unable to pay fuel and landing fees, leaving thousands of stranded passengers and wiping out many employees & shareholders' life savings. Fischer is one of 19 people, including other Swissair executives, bankers, politicians & corporate leaders on trial, which is the result of four-and-a-half year investigation by the Zurich state prosecutor's office. The allegations include mismanagement, making false statements and forged documents. "I fulfilled my task with great responsibility," Fischer said. "The allegations by the prosecutor's office are unfounded & malicious." The trial will last until March 9.
***Small Steps For American & United ...... as Chicago-based United Airlines saw a 1.4% increase for system cargo ton-miles for 2006 to 2.05 billion from 2.02 billion in 2005. United's mail shipments dropped 21.3% to 294.3 million cargo ton-miles while its freight volume improved 6.6% to 1.75 billion cargo ton-miles. Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines reported a 0.7% increase in system cargo ton-miles to 2.22 billion in 2006 from 2.21 million in 2005.
***Shrinking Fuel Surcharge ..... as American Airlines Cargo will on Feb 8 drop its fuel surcharges to 45 cents per kilo from 50 cents/kg for most U.S.-origin international shipments, and to 18 cents per pound from 20 cents/pound for U.S. domestic shipments. The fuel surcharge fee will be applied to shipments on a per-kilo basis for most non-U.S.-origin shipments, unless the adjustment is not allowed for regulatory reasons. Expect a trend.
***DHL Digs In, In Hong Kong ..... as it will invest US$35M in Hong Kong, including building a new facility in South Kowloon to increase its ground handling capacity in the country by about 20%. The Kowloon South Service Center is scheduled to open by the 2nd quarter and will raise DHL's ground handling capacity in Hong Kong to 45,500 shipments per day, complimenting the company's 2 existing ground handling facilities. Also, DHL has invested US$400M in Air Hong Kong, a joint venture with Cathay Pacific, which feeds cargo from around Asia Pacific into Hong Kong for consolidation and transit purposes, and some service centers & office facilities.
***Pilot Airfreight Goes Up .... as it is increasing its base transportation rates by 4% at all stations, the logistics & transportation provider said. Effective Jan. 22, the rate adjustment is Pilot's 1st across-the-board increase in several years. Dimensional rules remain the same.
***World Airways Expands Africa Capacity ..... as it has signed a contract with Ethiopian Airlines to provide DC-10-30F cargo service between Addis Ababa, Ethiopia & Brussels, Belgium beginning this month. The contract is valued at an estimated US$6.8M, and will provide two DC-10 freighters, one for 5 months and one for 3 months.
***Russia Joins Cargo 200 Initiative ...... as scheduled cargo airline AirBridge Cargo, part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has become the 1st Russian carrier member of Cargo 2000, a coalition of air freight & logistics firms aiming to reduce the number of processes in the air cargo supply chain. AirBridge Cargo is the 22nd airline to join Cargo 2000. Other airline members are Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia, American Airlines, Asiana, Austrian Airlines, British Airways World Cargo, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Etihad, JAL, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, SAS Cargo, Singapore, Swiss WorldCargo & United Airlines.
***German Forwarder Joins Cargo 2000 Initative ..... as Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has joined Cargo 2000, an air carrier & freight forwarder program that aims to reduce the number of processes in the air cargo supply chain. Cargo 2000's forwarding members include DHL, Kuehne + Nagel, Schenker, TNT Freight Management & UTI Worldwide.
***Fighting For Glue? ...... as the U.S. Humane Society warned American & Delta airlines in a letter to stop shipping horsemeat from slaughterhouses in Texas to Europe & Asia for human consumption. The Humane Society's letter follows a federal appeals court ruling last week upholding a 1949 Texas law making the possession of horsemeat for human consumption illegal in the state. A Humane Society investigation last fall documented American & Delta employees loading horsemeat into cargo bins outside the Dallas Crown slaughterhouse in Kaufman, Texas. The society noted that the shipments violate the published shipping policies of both airlines. American & Delta declined to meet with the society on the issue. Continental told the Humane Society that it had already voluntarily stopped shipping horsemeat overseas. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimated that 100,800 American horses were slaughtered in 3 foreign-owned slaughterhouses in 2006.
***No Hockey Mask? ...... as Allen Jasson, a 55-year-old IT specialist, was turned away from a Qantas flight from Melbourne to London Jan. 21 after refusing to remove the shirt, which carries an image of Bush & the words "World's Number One Terrorist". Jasson said the airline had denied him freedom of speech and he was taking legal advice on challenging its policy & recovering costs involved in missing his flight. "To be fair to Qantas, they have said I can take another flight if I don't wear the t-shirt but I am not prepared to go without the t-shirt," he said."I might forfeit the fare (about US$2,000) but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech." A Qantas spokesman said: "Whether made verbally or on a T-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft will not be tolerated."
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News***
4. FF World Ocean Briefs ____________
***Piracy Attacks Generally Down -- Problem Areas Increase ...... as they fell worldwide for a 3rd year in a row in 2006, said the Int'l Marine Bureau's International Piracy Reporting Center (PRC) in Kuala Lumpur, but there are troubling increases in some areas. The center recorded 239 attacks on ships last year, compared to 276 in 2005 and 329 in 2004. It attributed the drop to more reporting and greater awareness leading to increased government reaction, and said it was the first systematic decline since the center began analyzing pirate attacks in 1991. While attacks are down somewhat in Indonesia -- problems have increased in Nigeria & Somalia are on the rise -- attacks in Bangladesh have doubled -- and Santos, Brazil is experiencing a wave of attacks against container ships at anchor.
***Ship Tracking Approved ...... as the U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it has received formal approval from the Dept. of Homeland Security to seek proposals & award contracts for a national ship-tracking system. The new system, to be known as the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS), would help identify unusual ship movements that pose security risks & would also monitor the location of vessels of particular interest and enforce security zones. Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Harris, CACI, and SAIC, have all reportedly expressed interest in submitting contract proposals for the program. The Coast Guard says that both it and the Naval Sea Logistics Center plant to establish NAIS at 60 critical U.S. ports & coastal areas during the current fiscal year. It is expected that the system will be fully operational by 2014.
***Container Discrimination At The Ditch? ..... as bulk & breakbulk cargo vessels are increasingly becoming 2nd-class customers when it comes to gaining passage through the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal Authority, which recently won overwhelming approval from a Panamanian referendum to expand the canal with a new set of locks, is deliberately catering to the ever-growing container line industry, primarily through increasing the availability of booking slots. the canal is likely to near its sustainable throughput capacity limit in 2008, a year or two ahead of previous forecasts. In 2006 the canal handled 14,194 vessels, including 12,772 oceangoing vessels. In 2004, 12,506 ocean vessels transited the canal. As demand to use the canal increased in recent years, the authority instituted an auction reservation system, whereby vessel operators could bid on the value of a slot depending on how urgently they needed transit. A ship that is behind schedule and needs to make up time, for example, can take a slot ahead of other ships by outbidding them for the appointment. The original nominal value of the reservation slots was set at US$30,000 to US$40,000 but slots are now going for US$200,000 to US$250,000 in the auction process.
***Maersk Cuts Halifax ..... as it has confirmed reports in Canadian newspapers that it will end direct service to Halifax.
***U.S.-Flag Vessel Hit Great Lakes Bottom ..... as members of the Lake Carriers' Assn. moved 109.7 million tons of dry bulk cargo on the Great Lakes in 2006, up 1.9% from 107.9 million tons in the previous year. The LCA reported strong demand for iron ore (up 5.1% to 49 million tons) and limestone (up 5.6% to 29.5 million tons) but a drop in coal cargos (down 6.9% to 25.3 million tons). The association said the modest growth in 2006 was partly the result of "inadequate dredging," which forced many vessels in both the coal & iron ore trades to load at 90% capacity or less when the water levels plunged, a situation that became acute in the final months of the year.
***TSA Again Speaks French ..... as after more than a year's absence, French carrier CMA CGM has decided to rejoin the anti-trust exempt Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), which has just restructured its leadership following the retirement of Exec. Director Albert Pierce. Marseilles-based CMA CGM, the world's 3rd-largest ocean carrier in fleet capacity, left the TSA in Dec. 2005. The 12 carriers of the TSA are now APL, CMA CGM, "K" Line, COSCO Container Lines, NYK, Evergreen, OOCL, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, MOL, Yang Ming & Hyundai Merchant Marine. Was it about Albert?
***Shipco Has New Class -- "A" ...... as New Jersey-based NVOCC Shipco Transport has upgraded its Shanghai liaison office after it received a "Class A" freight forwarding license from the Chinese government in Dec. In China, foreign-based freight forwarders with a Class A license can operate within China without subcontracting through another Chinese company. This move saves $ millions -- the goal of all foreign NVOCCs.
***Foss Maritime Captures A New U.S. Flag ..... as it is continuing to expand & has acquired U.S.-flag carrier American Cargo Transport (ACT) from Jore Int'l. ACT, like Foss, is based in Seattle, and will retain its current employees & operate as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary. ACT operates the integrated tug barge units M/V Thunder/Lightning & M/V Strong/American as well as conventional towed barges. It operates regular sailings between ports such as Houston & Lake Charles, La., and ports in the Caribbean & Central America. It also handles large amounts of military & government food aid to other countries in Latin America, Africa & Middle East. The integrated tug barges that ACT operates are configured to handle a mix of cargo. The M/V Strong/American, for example can carry a combination of containers, heavy-lift, breakbulk, temperature-controlled, roll-on/roll-off, and oversized cargo simultaneously while M/V Thunder/Lightning can carry 70,000 barrels of liquid cargoes in lower tanks and 380 TEUs in the enclosed deck space & upper open deck.
***Horizon Lines Takes RFID Leap ...... as it has established an active RFID solution for the ocean container shipping, offering real-time shipment visibility during all phases of transit. The active RFID tracking system is designed to offer detailed shipment information at all times. Horizon is in the process of tagging its entire fleet of containers serving the Alaskan trade with active RFID. Safeway, a grocery retailer in the Alaska market, has joined the carrier's effort by participating in a pilot testing program that utilizes RFID visibility to monitor shipments from its Pacific Northwest distribution centers to stores across Alaska. Bravo.
***Another Shameful Magic Pipe ...... as New Orleans shipping company Pacific-Gulf Marine Inc. has been sentenced to pay US$1.5M for deliberately discharging hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil-contaminated bilge waste in Maryland waters. The company admitted that its fleet of four car carriers had discharged the bilge waste without using an oily water separator, a required pollution prevention device, and instead used secret bypass pipes, sometimes referred to as a "magic pipe."
***New Hull Demand Strong ..... as the world's 3 biggest shipbuilders, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, & Samsung Heavy Industries Co., are this year aiming for combined ship orders worth US$36Bn, just down from the record US$37.4Bn set in 2006, reports The Korea Times. The rising cost of steel plates for ship hulls & the strengthening value of the Korean currency against the U.S. dollar is reducing the value of Korean shipbuilders' contracts, which are based on dollars.
***IMO Increasing Cargo Safety ...... as the Int'l Maritime Organization (IMO) on Jan. 16 inaugurated the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Cape Town, South Africa. Together, the Cape Town MRCC and its sub-centers, will cover sea areas extending up to 3,500 nautical miles into the Indian & Atlantic Oceans and to Antarctica in the south. The first MRCC under this initiative, located in Mombasa, Kenya, was inaugurated in May 2006, covering the east coast of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.
***And The World Winner Is...... the Port of Singapore won the annual race with Hong Kong to be the world's busiest container port, according to preliminary statistics provided by the two Asian ports. Singapore handled 24.8 million TEUs in 2006, up 6.8% compared to 23.2 million TEUs in the previous year, while Hong Kong's container throughput was up 2.8% at 23.2 million.
***Brotherly Love Bait ..... as the port of Philadelphia has doubled the size of an incentive designed to bring more intermodal traffic through the port. The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) said that participating ocean carriers that utilize its marine facilities and any of the Class I railroads in the port district for the movement of their containers will receive a US$50-per-container incentive compared to the US$25 previously offered.
***Throughput >> Antwerp Port Authority reported a provisional annual throughput of about 7 million TEUs in 2006, up 8% over the 6.5 million TEUs handled in 2005 >> Port of Dunkirk Authority reported that the French port's container throughput rose a modest 1% in 2006 to 206,000 TEUs. >> Port of Hampton Roads moved a record number of cargo containers in 2006, firmly establishing it as the U.S. East Coast's 2nd-largest container port with nearly 2.05 million 20-foot equivalent units handled, up about 3.2% from 2005. >> Port of Houston Authority indicate that container throughput at the Texas port was flat in 2006 at 1.6 million TEUs. >> French Port of Le Havre handled 2.13 million TEUs in 2006, a small 0.5% increase over 2005. >> Combined box volume at the South California Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, North America's busiest port complex, increased 11% in 2006 to 15.76 million TEUs, up from 14.19 million TEUs in 2005. >> Port of Marseilles-Fos said its cargo throughput in 2006 passed the 100-million-ton mark for the 1st time since 1980, reaching 100.1 million tons, up 3.6% over 2005>> Port of Montreal said it handled 11.4 million tons of containerized cargo in 2006, up 2.1% compared to 2005 & nearly half of the port's total tonnage last year of about 25 million tons.>> Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, saw its container volume rise a modest 4 % to 9.6 million TEUs in 2006. >> Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, handled 2.2 million TEUs in 2006, up 25% from 1.8 million TEUs in the previous year >> Westports Malaysia handled 3.7 million TEUs of containerized cargo in 2006 as compared with 2.9 million TEUs in 2005, up 26%.
***Sugar, Pineapples, Macadamia Nuts & Garbage ........ as trash could become a substantial eastbound cargo from Hawaii, if plans by a company to ship waste to a Washington State landfill are realized. Hawaiian Waste Systems has received final permissions from the federal government to move garbage from Hawaii to Washington by barge, reports the television station KITV in Honolulu. It said an Oahu private waste hauler has signed a deal to export up to 100,000 tons of trash each year to the mainland. KITV said it would cost about US$80 a ton to dispose of the trash by shipping it to the mainland compared to US$92 per ton to dispose of it in a landfill or a trash-burning power plant on the island.
***U.S. Dollars Not Accepted ..... as state-owned ocean carrier Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) said it will switch from U.S. dollars to euros for foreign transactions, according to a news report in the Washington Post.
***A Little Bud On The Boomer ...... as sailor on one of Russia's flagship nuclear submarines was convicted this month of growing cannabis at his barracks and pushing it to fellow servicemen. Alexander Panov, who served on the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine, started growing cannabis on the window sill of the barracks over a year ago, Russian news agencies reported. "When the three plants he was cultivating grew above 1 metre, the sailor brought them into the stockroom," judge Oleg Arkhipov is quoted as saying. The military court in the Arctic town of Severodvinsk, the heart of Russia's northern submarine fleet, sentenced Panov to 2 years in a prison camp. The 175-metre (574 feet) Dmitry Donskoy, one of Russia's newest submarines, was refitted several years ago to carry up to 20 ballistic inter-continental missiles.
***This Month In U.S. Navy History .....
1783 - Hostilities cease between Great Britain & the United States.
1942 - USS Gudgeon is the first U.S. sub to sink an enemy submarine in action, Japanese I-173.
1945 - Commissioning of USS Higbee (DD 806), the first U.S. Navy ship named after a women member of the U.S. Navy.
1913 - The body of John Paul Jones is laid in its final resting place in the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
1960 - USS John S. McCain (DL 3/DDG 36) rescues the entire 41-man crew of the sinking Japanese freighter M/V Shinwa Maru in the East China Sea.
1968 - USS Pueblo (AGER 2) is seized by North Korean forces in the Sea of Japan, her crew imprisoned.
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 Jan. 2007: "Crack'n On The Sidmoouth" -- the ongoing crisis of M/V MSC Napoli - can the 4,427-TEU containership survive? REAL TIME Coverage of this tragic loss.
See our other new feature for Jan. 2007: "Wrong Way Agulhas?" -- the death of M/V Safmarine Agulhas -- amazing photos.
See our newest photo feature "Singles Only" - Transportation Disasters Told In A Single Photo! Includes our photo coverage of currently stricken M/V Cougar Ace!
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..............
Cargo & Trade>>>>>>
Conversion to the 2007 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States with WCO Updates -- Questions & Answers
European Business Directory ......... 700,000 companies
Hong Kong Trade Development Council's Product Sourcing Guide
How To Export A Vehicle From The U.S.
Int'l Maritime Organization
Japan's Customs Mandatory Advance Filing Rules - Effective Feb. 1
MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base ......... search interactive map for for groups & incidents
Next U.S. Customs Broker Exam is Mon., April 2, 2007
NOL Report: Vietnam Potential Held Back By Outdated Infrastructure
United Kingdom's House of Parliament Transport Committee Report ....... U.K. ports planning "too slow & expensive"
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Travelers Page
Transparency Int'l - Global Coalition Against Corruption
Understanding U.S. Import Quotas
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Report: "State of the American Economy" ....... high priority on transportaion.
U.S. Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights
U.S. Customs' Guide on Import Recordkeeping -- What U.S. Importers Should Know
U.S. National Agriculture Release Program ....... On Jan. 8, 2007 U.S. Customs implemented methodology for evaluating high-volume agriculture imports that are low-risk for the introduction of plant pests & diseases into the U.S.
U.S. National Traffic & Road Closure Information
2007 Security Buyers Guide ....... free
Budget Travel Online
U.S. Legal Forms
Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Conferences & Business Events Worldwide
World Trade Organization Events
2nd Annual Canada-Asia Maritime Conference .......Sept. 10 & 11, 2007, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2nd Annual Trans-Pacific Air Cargo Conference ......... June 5 & 6, 2006, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, CA
2nd Int'l Logistics Congress 2007 .........Feb. 19 & 20, Guatemala
4th Annual Short Sea Shipping Conference ......... April 16-18, 2007, JW Marriott Orlando Grand Lakes
7th Annual JoC Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference .......March 5-6 in Long Beach, Calif.
94th Annual American Short Line & Regional Railroad Assn. (ASLRRA) Convention ........April 22 - 24, 2007, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, Maryland
Crossroads 2007 -- Supply Chain Innovation Summit ......... 21-22 May, Zaragoza, Spain
India Supply Chain Summit .......... March 1, 2007, New Delhi
Intermodal South America 2007 ........24-26 April 2007, Transamerica Expo Center Sao Paulo, Brazil
Int'l Industrial Control & Automation Technology Exhibition & Conference .......8 to 11 March 2007. Cairo &endash; Egypt
Int'l Logistics & Transportation Conference & Exhibition Israel ....... Feb. 13-14th, 2007, Airport City, Lod
ITEX National Convention & Expo for Document Solutions Providers ....... March 20-23, Las Vegas
LogiCon 2007 ......... March 5-8, JW Marriott Las Vegas, NV
Logistics & Supply Chain Forum ........May 6-9,2007- Cruise Ship M/V Norwegian Dawn, NY. -- 9th year.
Managing Offshore Relationships in China & Beyond ......... March 5 -6, 2007, Los Angeles, CA
NCBFAA 33rd Annual Conference...... April 15 - 19, 2007, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa Chandler, Arizona
What Visibility Could Look Like in Your Warehouse
Optimizing Your Warehouse, Data Capture Goes "Multi-Modal"
Business In Australia
Data Collection Vehicle to Map Britain's Road Surfaces
English Eanguage Programming On Panamanian Radio
Fly Boys In The Gulf ........ crank up your music!
Google.de Domain Gets Kidnapped
Jury Duty Scam ........ FBI notice
Save The Albatross
Tale of Two Cockies
Wm. Shatner - Negotiator
World's Healthyest Foods
You Mother Was A Hamster & Your Father Smelt of Eldeberries
Worldmapper ........ as you have never seen Earth before
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World***
7. New Transport Related Legal Cases ________
Altadis USA, Inc. v. Sea Star Line, LLC
U.S. Supreme Court -- Certiorari granted: Jan. 5 2007
Court below: 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
458 F.3d 1288
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide if it is correct that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 14706, and its minimum 2-year statute of limitations, does not apply to the inland leg of a multimodal shipment, which was contratturally subject to the 1 year state of limitations under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act if the inland carrier does not issue a separate bill of lading.
Buyer Altadis USA, Inc. (Altadis), contracted to ship cigars from Puerto Rico to Florida. Ocean carrier Sea Star Line, LLC (Sea Star Line), carried the goods on the ocean leg of the voyage & contracted with a freight company for the inland leg. The cigars were stolen during the inland leg and Altadis argued for application of the Carmack Agreement, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 14706, which states that carriers cannot establish a statute of limitations of less than two years. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (District Court) held that Altadis' claims were barred by a one-year statute of limitations found in the bill of lading and the Carriage of Good by Sea Act, 46 U.S.C. Sec. 1303(6) (COGSA). Altadis appealed the judgment and Sea Star Line appealed the denial of their cross-claims to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The Court of Appeals affirmed & held that the Carmack Agreement did not apply unless a separate bill of lading covered the inland, domestic leg. In this case, the whole trip was covered by one bill of lading by Sea Star Line with a 1-year statute of limitations, consistent with COGSA. The Court of Appeals did not address Sea Star Line's breach of contract cross-claim because the District Court's opinion did not discuss the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court granted Certiorari .... agreed to decide the isssue. Read the decision
E.L.A.Z. Int'l Co. v. Hong Kong & Shanghai Insurance Company Ltd.
High Court of Hong Kong, Court
Commercial Action No. 4862 of 2001:  HKCFI 406
The reknowned Justice Stone held that goods stolen from an inland container yard while in transit from China to Mexico, via Los Angeles, were still "in the ordinary course of transit" and therefore remained insured under a policy subject to the Institute Cargo Clauses (A) - the 'All Risks' clauses. The goods had been delayed at the container yard for over 5 weeks, during which time they had been transhipped from the ocean container to a road trailer. The judge further held that the transhipment did not amount to a breach of the 'subject to full container load' warranty in the policy, since that simply meant that the consignment should not be intermingled with other goods and that only the same shipment should be in the container - as was the case here. Read the decision
Mayo Foundation, et al. v. STB
8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Dec. 28, 2006, No.06-2031
A U.S. Surface Transportation Board decision approving a plan by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E) to build a 280-mile rail line into Wyoming's Powder River Basin & improve another 600 miles of track was affirmed. But opponents of the plan, which include the Mayo Clinic and the city of Rochester, Minn., through which the coal trains would rumble, said they would continue to fight the planned rail line. The project would cost US$6Bn and the railroad has applied for a US$2.3Bn loan from the Federal Railroad Administration to help fund it. A decision on the loan is expected in early 2007. The STB first approved the plan in 2002.
Airborne Freight v. St. Paul
9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Dec. 26 2006, No. 04-35989
Airborne Freight sought indemnification from St. Paul following the settlement of 2 lawsuits in St. Paul's favor for lost & damaged packages from 3rd party carriers. St. Paul argued that indemnification was inappropriate because of the scope of coverage provision and deductible language in its contract with Airborne Freight. Airborne Freight brought a breach of contract suit, and the Washington State Supreme Court granted St. Paul's motion for summary judgment holding that the "care, custody, and control" provision of the contract be construed narrowly against the insurer. The 9th Circuit held that the "care, custody, and control" provision should be construed liberally in favor of the insured because of the location of the provision within the contract. The 9h Circuit further held that because St. Paul failed to show how the US Postal Service (USPS) was different then other 3rd party carriers a reasonable jury could find that Airborne Freight was financially & legally responsible for the package while it was in the USPS's possession. AFFRIMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART & REMANDED. Read the decision
Dissent by Judge Wallace.
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
Andrew D. Kehagiaras, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)
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