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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"  


"Singles Only"

Page Number 12

Year 2007 Second Half

The Individual Moments of Transport Crisis

Which Don't Constitute A Full Page Feature

"Singles Only" Year 2007 Second Half - Our Feature Page - Page #12 - Our "Singles" Photo Features By Date

"Full Power Run Up" - Etihad Airways - Nov. 2007

"Just Scraping By" - M/V Cosco Busan - Nov. 2007

Somali Pirate SmackDown - USS Porter - Oct. 2007

Please Do Not Park On The Fuel Truck - Nov. 2007 - Østfold County, Norway

Irony - Oct. 2007 - Katowice, Poland

Oil Rig Vs. Drilling Platform - Oct. 2007 - Gulf of Mexico

Another Step For Mankind - Sept. 2007 - Panama Canal

Another Day At The Beach? - Sept. 2007 - M/V Maersk Diaddema

Extinguishing The Flame? - 12 August 2007

Beach Detour - 17 July 2007

Shanghai Cutoff - 9 July 2007

For All The Many Transport Disaster Photos We Receive Each Month,

Only A Few Picture Series Result In A The Cargo Letter Photo Feature Page.

For All The Rather Amazing Single Picture Contributions We Recieve --

-- Here Are Our Selected One Photo Wonders!

Countryman & McDaniel

 The Air & Ocean Logistics- Customs Broker Attorneys

International Trade Consultants

"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

Countryman & McDaniel

Transport Single Photo Nightmares

Contributed By Our Readers* REURN TO "Singles Only" MAIN INDEX
Full Power Run Up - Etihad Airways - Nov. 2007

The New Etihad Airways A340-600 Before Last Engne Test


The New Etihad Airways A340-600 After Last Engne Test

The Cargo Letter for Nov. 17 2007 -- Full Power Test
This Airbus 340-600 met with an accident at Toulouse Blagnac airport, southwestern France. She was due to be delivered to UAE national carrier Etihad Airways.
The four-engined ultra-long-haul aircraft, due to be delivered to Etihad on Nov 21, was involved in a collision on the ground during engine testing at 5.00 pm local time in Toulouse. The aircraft was undergoing engine run-ups at the time it crashed through a barrier. The Etihad spokesman said it is too early to comment on whether it will receive compensation either from Airbus or the third party maintenance provider overseeing the tests. He confirmed that the Airbus aircraft was registered in France with a French registration in preparation for its planned handover to Etihad.

No Etihad Airways staff were involved in the incident, said the airline's Bahrain-based general manager for northern Gulf, Hussam Al Aseeri.

The aircraft which slammed into a wall on Nov. 15 was undergoing final pre-delivery tests A full power run-up.

Most of the people involved in the aircraft are employees of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, a Middle Eastern maintenance company. Airbus staff were also present.

Although the aircraft is in Etihad livery, it is not registered to Etihad yet. It currently has a French registration.

Of the 3 persons remaining in hospital, one is an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), a contractor working for Etihad, and 2 are Airbus employees. Injuries sustained to them are not life-threatening.

Etihad Airways said an accident involving an Airbus A340-600 aircraft due to be delivered to the Abu Dhabi-based airline is unlikely to have a 'significant impact' on its operations, although the full impact has not yet been assessed, he said.

The aircraft, one of two A340-600s due to be delivered by the end of the year, to complete the order of 4, was intended 'as a back-up aircraft to support overall fleet maintenance,' an Etihad spokesman said. However, 'it is too early to assess the impact of the loss of the aircraft on operations,' he added.

Etihad said in a statement that it 'has been made aware that a number of people have been taken to hospital following the ground incident in which the aircraft sustained significant airframe damage during routine engine performance tests.'

The accident took place at Airbus's Saint-Martin site at Toulouse Blagnac, adjacent to the city's airport. Airbus confirmed that 5 of the 9 people on board aircraft MSN 856 were injured; there were no fatalities.

Airbus confirmed that of the 5 people injured, 3 remained in hospital. One is an employee of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, and two are Airbus employees.

Etihad currently operates two A340-600 aircraft, with 2 more, including the one involved in the accident, due for delivery by the end of the year.

OTHER RECENT A340 PROBLEMS: A loaded Iberia A340-600 departed a runway while landing in Ecuador on Nov. 9. At least one tire burst as Flight 6463, inbound from Madrid with 330 passengers onboard, landed at Quito's Mariscal Sucre Airport November 9, reports The Associated Press. The aircraft skidded off the runway, and came to rest tipped on its left wing with the number 1 and 2 engine nacelles bent inboard on their pylons.

"Just by looking at the jet, you could tell there was major damage," said airport director Diego Pachel. Local media reports say it was raining at the airport at the time of the accident.

The plane was still off the runway this week, as crews prepared to paint over the "Iberia" logo -- a common airline practice with aircraft still visible following an accident.

The A340-600 is the largest aircraft approved to land at Mariscal Sucre, which is in the heart of Quito and sits at 9,200 feet MSL.

The incident is the 2nd in 3 months involving an Iberia A340-600 landing in Quito. A second aircraft also burst its tires following a hard landing at the airport August 31.

More recently, on Nov. 1 2007, a South African Airways A340-600 departed the runway after landing at Cape Town International Airport. That aircraft was "taxiing at a very low speed" when the plane's nosegear slipped off the runway, according to the airline. 

The Cargo Letter Features -- "Steeplechase" -- This Event Has Now Expanded To A Full Feature!

Index For This Feature:

A340 Long Range Aircraft

Etihad Airways

Contributor For This Feature:

Our Doc
Just Scraping By - M/V Cosco Busan - Nov. 2007

How Does This Happen On San Francisco Bay With A Harbor Pilot Aboard?

The Embarked Harbor Pilot Blames Vessel "Maintenance" For The Mishap --

-- What Remains Unspoken?

M/V Cosco Busan Had Been Purchased Last Month -- Crew Was On Inaugural Voyage

Above: U.S. Coast Guard Inspects Starboaard Side Damage At The Stern of M/V Cosco Busan

The Cargo Letter for Nov. 11 2007 -- In Collision With Oakland Bay Bridge
"Human error factors" probably were involved in a ship crash and oil spill that killed nearly 400 birds in San Francisco Bay and prompted a federal criminal probe, the U.S. Coast Guard said Nov. 11. The U.S. attorney in San Francisco has opened a federal criminal investigation into the Nov. 7 crash of the M/V Cosco Busan to determine whether the captain & crew violated federal maritime laws.

Although not officially detained, the captain and crew were barred from leaving the vessel, which is docked for repairs in Oakland, the Coast Guard said.

In command at the time -- harbor pilot Captain John Cota said he could hardly feel anything on the ship -- suggesting that there wasn't much damage. The ship didn't roll. There wasn't a loud sound. Cota quickly radioed authorities over an open radio network to report the ship had "touched" the bridge, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation. "Traffic, we just touched the delta span" Capt. Cota is alleged to have said.

"You had a competently manned ship with a pilot, all the navigation and sensors," said Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. There were "probably some human error factors, but we need to determine the facts, because there's no reason a ship like that should have collided with the bridge." M/V Cosco Busan was departing Port of Oakland for South Korea when it struck a tower supporting the western suspension span of the Bay Bridge, cutting a 212-foot, 12-foot wide gash in the ship's side.

About 58,000 gallons of heavy-duty bunker oil poured out of the vessel as it was moored near Treasure Island. The oil sickened birds and formed globules on more than 20 of the area's beaches. It oozed along the San Francisco city waterfront and out of the bay, beneath the Golden Gate Bridge toward Marin County.

"Response was set into play within an hour of the event itself," Admiral Allen said Nov. 11. Regarding the initial low estimate of 140 gallons of lost oil, Allen said heavy fog and damage to the ship's tanks hindered initial aerial and on-ground evaluations of how much oil had leaked from the ship.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident, and was interviewing the pilot, the ship's crew, and other pilots who were on the water at the time of the crash on Nov. 7. The 26 crew had been on its inaugural voyage on the ship, which the current owner purchased last month. The NTSB also intends to review the ship's voyage data recorder, which should have recorded captain and crew conversations on the bridge and other information in the 12 hours leading up to the bridge collision, Hersman said.

As of Nov. 10, 23 beaches in the area remained closed. Angel Island State Park, the Bay's largest island, reopened Nov. 11, the Coast Guard said. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency, freeing money to clean up the spill. Seven miles of containment boom stretched across the bay has collected more than 12,271 gallons of oil so far, and another 4,000 gallons have evaporated, officials said.

Nearly 400 dead birds have been recovered from the bay, while another 500 birds have been rescued alive but soaked in oil, according to Lisa Curtis, administrator of the Department of Fish and Games Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

In 1989, the oil M/T Exxon Valdez ran aground & fouled Alaska's Prince William Sound with almost 11 million gallons of crude -- the nation's worst ever oil spill. Thousands of birds & animals died in the disaster, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Often birds and animals are threatened when they come in contact with the oil and swallow it as they try to clean themselves, said the NOAA Web site. In addition to birds, oil spills can be very harmful to fish and shellfish, NOAA said.

Twenty wildlife teams were scheduled Nov. 11 to be the bay, working to find sick birds so they can be rehabilitated, Curtis said. On Nov. 10, the state's other U.S. senator and a leading Coast Guard official decried the accident.

Rear Adm. Craig E. Bone, the U.S. Coast Guard's director of inspection and compliance said "This incident should have never ever occurred," he said. "There's systems, there's capabilities, there's licensed operators, there's a pilot on board the vessel, there's the capacity and the capability to safely navigate through this port and waterways every day." He added, "But we have to move beyond the incident and the fact that it occurred and move forward into the response." The California Dept. of Transportation said the collision did no structural damage to the bridge and there was no interruption of bridge traffic -- more than 250,000 vehicles daily.

The Cargo Letter for Nov. 16 2007 -- Revelations

The Embarked Harbor Pilot Is Reported To Blame Vessel "Maintenance" For The Mishap, At Least In Part. Sources To The Cargo Letter Tell Us That One of The Two Radar Units Aboard M/V Cosco Busan Did Not Function As She Began Departure From Port of Oakland On Nov. 11 2007. Dramatic, But Not A "Maintenance" Problem Sufficient To Explain The Incident.

We Also know that the harbor pilot was relieved/replaced by another pilot shortly after the incident. He left the vessel shortly.

As Controversy Grows -- A New Question Arises. Knowing That A Bridge Collision Was Inevitable At Some Point In History -- Why Did The Oakland Bay Bridge Not Have Fenders Or Other Standard Guards To Prevent Such Fuel Tank Damage To M/V Cosco Busan? The Oakland Bay Bridge Has Just Undergone A Major Refit. Harbor Safety Has Been Disregarded?

While The Media Condemns The Harbor Pilot -- We Stll Have Questions. Issues of Current, Wind & Visibility. These Issues & Others Have Yet To Be Addressed. We Are Not Yet Ready To Place Blame On he Harbor Pilot -- Captain John Cota.

Clearly there was an informational and communication failure on bridge of the vessel on Nov. 7 2007.


Contributors For This Feature:

James Conn

A. Fairfax

Hildegard E. Krause - Roanoke Trade Services, San Francisco

Sophie A Stockholm

Christoph M. Wahner, Esq.

Somali Pirate SmackDown - USS Porter - Oct. 2007

Rescued Panama Flagged M/T Golden Nori

A Good Day For USS Porter (DDG-78) -- Fired On & Sank Two Pirate Vessels

U.S. Navy Assistance To Mariners World Wide

"Hi Pirate Guys! -- U.S. Navy -- Prepare To Be Boarded !"

USS James E. Williams - A Somali Pirate Nightmare

The Cargo Letter for Oct. 31 2007 -- Naval Combat Off Somalia

Rescue of M/V Dia Hong - North Korean Crew Wins The Day

U.S. Navy sailors brought injured North Koreans aboard their destroyer USS James E. Williams for medical treatment after the Koreans were shot & wounded in a battle with pirates off the coast of Somalia, the U.S. Navy said Oct. 31 2007. The destroyer USS James E. Williams assisted Korean sailors who retook control of their North Korean-flagged vessel Oct. 30 in a deadly battle with Somali pirates who had hijacked the VESSEL late Oct. 29 2007.

A spokesman for the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain said that pirate attacks are not rare in the U.S. Navy's area of operations and that "it's our duty to help all vessels in distress."

According to the military, the North Koreans asked for medical assistance and gave permission for U.S. Navy personnel to board M/V Dai Hong Dan. When the Navy boarded the ship with a small team of medics, security personnel and an interpreter, the Koreans already had regained control of the vessel and detained all pirates, the U.S. Navy said.

One pirate was dead & 3 were wounded, while 3 Korean sailors also were wounded, the U.S. Navy said. The Navy medics treated all 6 for gunshot wounds. The Korean sailors were taken aboard the American destroyer and treated there for 2 hours. They were returned to the Korean ship the same night. The pirates remain detained on the Korean vessel, the U.S. Navy said.

On Oct. 30, a helicopter flew from the USS James E. Williams to investigate a phoned-in tip of a hijacked ship and demanded by radio that the pirates give up their weapons, the military said in a statement. The crew of the M/V Dai Hong Dan then overwhelmed the hijackers, the military said.

U.S. Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said the incident didn't indicate the U.S. military was taking a more aggressive stance toward pirates off Somalia, but added that piracy in the Horn of Africa region is a concern because "you're talking about an area that has seen greater terrorist involvement."

Morrell said it was logical that the military would want to know "what is being transported on the high seas and who is out there operating and if they have nothing but the best intentions in mind."

A U.S. Navy spokeswoman, Lt. Jessica Gandy, said later that the American destroyer had not been shadowing the North Korean ship. She said it was not known what its cargo was.

The attackers were believed to have been security guards hired by a local ship agent, said Andrew Mwangura, program coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Program, which independently monitors piracy in the region.

An Int'l watchdog reported this month that pirate attacks worldwide jumped 14% in the first 9 months of 2007, with the biggest increases in the poorly policed waters of Somalia and Nigeria.

Reported attacks in Somali waters rose to 26, up from 8 a year earlier, the London-based International Maritime Bureau said through its piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This is the third time Somali pirates have been overpowered by mariners. In 1989, crew members of the MV Alpha Mitchel managed to overpower their captors in Somalia waters. In 2004, six crew members of the M/T Jenlil also managed to escape to Yemen after overpowering their captors in Somalia territorial waters.

Rescue of M/T Golden Nori - U.S. Navy Sinks The Bad Guys

The U.S. Navy also confirmed that other American warships sank two pirate skiffs late Oct. 27 after answering a distress call from a hijacked Japanese chemical tanker and said U.S. ships were still monitoring that vessel.

Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, the 5th Fleet spokesman, said coalition ships fired on and sank two pirate skiffs tied to Panama flagged, Japanese M/T Golden Nori. A Navy photo showed one of the skiffs burning after being hit by a gun aboard the USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer. Robertson could not confirm reports Oct. 29 that the Japanese tanker was filled with highly flammable benzene. But she said, "we were aware of what was on the (M/T Golden Nori) ship when we fired." USS Arleigh Burke, another guided-missile destroyer, also was involved in the operation and had entered Somali waters with the approval of the government.

Somalia has had 16 years of violence and anarchy and is now led by a government battling to establish authority even in the capital. Its coasts are virtually unpoliced. Piracy off Somalia increased this year after Ethiopian forces backing Somali government troops ousted an Islamic militia in December, said Mwangura at the Seafarers Assistance Program. During the 6 months that the Council of Islamic Courts ruled most of southern Somalia, where Somali pirates are based, piracy abated, Mwangura said. At one point, the Islamic group said it was sending dozens of fighters to crack down on pirates. Islamic fighters stormed a hijacked, United Arab Emirates-registered ship and recaptured her after a gunbattle in which pirates &emdash; but no crew members &emdash; were reportedly wounded.

Index For This Feature:

USS James E. Williams (DDG-95)

USS Porter (DDG-78)

USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)

The Somali Pirate Patrol

Largely unknown & unappreciated by the media, there has been a multi-national task force operating in the lonely waters off Somalia for the past several years.

Nations supporting this effort have included U.S., Britain, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It is noticeable that China & Russia are not included in the group.

Combined Task Force 150

U.S. Naval Support Activity, Bahrain

Somali Pirate Patrol -- pirate miscalculation --March 2006

Pirate Payback - USS Winstn Churchill - Jan. 2006

Please Do Not Park On The Fuel Truck - - Nov. 2007 - Østfold County, Norway


The Cargo Letter for Oct. 30 2007 -- Collision In The Gulf
A spectacular helicopter crash in Østfold County, Norway luckily ended without serious injury. A helicopter apparently being used to photograph a construction site in Rudskogen went out of control before crashing upside down into the cab of a fuel tanker truck. Several eyewitnesses at the site who watched the accident in disbelief.

"They opened one door to take pictures. We stood and watched the helicopter when it tipped over on one side. In a flash it crashed into a tanker truck that was sitting on the plain," said Bjørn Gunnar Torp.

Witnesses said that the helicopter circled for about 15 minutes before the crash. It is regularly seen hovering over the area as the real estate developer uses it to photograph progress on the site.

"A person was filming or photographing from the door opening. The helicopter suddenly started to rotate, then it flew sideways into the tanker truck. Then it smashed into the cabin and lay there upside down," another witness rep[orted. "The person filming managed to get out on their own. The other two hung there in their safety belts and had to be cut loose. The whole thing was quite scary," Torp said.

The fuel truck was empty at the time. The three people in the helicopter were taken to hospital but police said that none of them suffered serious injury.

Index For This Feature:

Air Europa

Katowice Airport

Contributor For This Feature:

Our Doc
Irony - - Oct. 2007 - Katowice, Poland

Irony - Oct. 2007 - Kato

The Cargo Letter for Oct. 27 2007 - Katowice, Poland
Air Europa Charter Boeing 737-800. Bringing Polish Military Forces Home From Peacekeeping Assignment In Lebanon.

In Recent Years Poland Has Stepped Up In The War On Terror.

The Troops Are Now Home -- But There Was A Problem on Oct. 27 2007

The Air Europa Charter Boeing 737-800 Has Sheared Her Wing ..

... And Suffered Port Side Engine Damage.

The Air Europa Charter Boeing 737-800 Has Taken Out The Approach Lights At Katowice, Poland.

This Occurred 27 October 2007

Nothing Like Living Through A Tough A Posting In Beirut & Then Almost Buying The Farm On Your Home Soil.

The Irony Is Obvious -- Dodge All The Al Qeada Bullets -- But Fail To Dodge The Landing Lights At Home!

Editor Note:

This Boeing 737-800 almost crashed, but was saved by quick pilot action. The flight was chartered to bring Polish soldiers from the Middle East and was on her way home from Beirut.

During the approach to Katowice in foggy conditions the aircraft descended too low and damaged approach lights to the runway stretching 870 meters before the runway. The approach lights varied in height from less than 1 meter to 10 meters.

The aircraft suffered extensive damage to the fuselage, wings and the engine coverings but managed to land safely with 111 passengers and 11 crew. Th Polish Aviation Authority is investigating the accident. The aircraft will remain in Katowice for repairs. The repairs to the approach lights will take a few weeks and will affect landings of some aircraft in bad weather conditions.

Index For This Feature:

Air Europa

Katowice Airport

Contributor For This Feature:

Our Doc - that enenmatic figure who has never failed us over the past decade.
Oil Rig Vs. Drilling Platform - Oct. 2007 - Gulf of Mexico

Usumacinta Platform

Kab 101 Light-Production Rig - After Collision

The Result 21 Dead

The Cargo Letter for Oct. 24 2007 -- Collision In The Gulf
Mexico state-owned drilling platform Usumacinta slammed into the Kab 101 Light-Production Rig on Oct. 2, killing 21 people. Waves as high as 8 meters knocked the rig and platform together, damaging a drilling mechanism & pipes and causing fuel & oil spills

The accident occurred 20 miles offshore from the Port of Dos Bocas and caused gas & oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, coast state of Tabasco. The crew was unable to contain the oil leak. Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company was not clear how much gas and oil has spilled.

The Mexican Navy sent 8 rescue helicopters and 4 boats to helped with initial rescue operation.

Bad weather had brought stormy seas & high winds shutdown all Mexico's top 3 oil producers in the Gulf. Over 81 workers abandoned a Pemex subcontractor's Usumacinta Platform Oct. 25 after the platform hit the Kab 101 Light-Production Rig amid 25-foot (8-meter) waves & winds gusting to 80 mph (130 kph) which suspended most of the country's oil shipments to the United States.

Workers abandoned the rig amid 25-foot waves only after leaking gas rose to unbearable levels and the supply of air from emergency breathing devices ran out. Once in the water, the waves battered the workers' orange-colored, covered life rafts.

The Usumacinta, a mobile, self-raising drilling rig, was set up next to Kab 101, preparing to drill a well close to the platform. The force of the waves caused of the rig's "legs" to hit the valve assembly of the platform, causing it to leak oil and gas. The Usumacinta Drilling Rig is owned by the Compania Perforadora Central SA de CV and operates under contract to Pemex.

From our Reader - Oct. 29 2007 -- Did We Goof?

Wonderful site! Great examples of what can, and does, go wrong! Funny, in a perverse sort of way, as long as it doesn't happen to you.

Unfortunately I have a problem with this story.

The top picture may well be Kab 101, it certainly looks like a "light production platform" as reported in the various press releases, but it's not Usucaminta which is shown in Rigzone as a Jack-up, not a small jacket.

The bottom picture is of the Mars TLP post (I think ) Katrina, not either one of the assets involved in the recent Pemex tragedy.

Alistair J. Lee -- Lead Production Engineer, Operations Dept., OG/OPS/PRO, TOTAL E&P UK Ltd

Editor Note: Well Alistair, you make a good point. We (you & us) should not believe everything we read or see from the wire & press reports. Here, our report is accurate, but there is a question regarding one of our pictures from the news services. Over the years we have found that most all of of our reporting errors come from the press -- while 99% of everything posted from you readers has lasted the test of time. One advantage of Cargo Law is that we have World-Wide experts available to correct the record. Our policy is to post all reliable corrections to set the record straight.


Index For This Feature:


Port of Dos Bocas - 2nd largest exportation center of crude oil in Mexico.

Usumacinta River - supplied name for Usumacinta Platform

Contributors For This Feature:

Scott E. Adams
Another Step For Mankind - Sept. 2007 - Panama Canal

Explosions Marks Start of Panama Canal Expansion

The Cargo Letter for Sept. 5 2007 -- Another Step For Mankind
A crowd of 30,000 on Sept. 5 observed the start of work on expansion of the Panama Canal. Officials marked start of the US$5.25BN project with speeches and by setting off explosive charges to begin the dry excavation project on Paraiso Hill for the channel that will access a new set of locks. The new Pacific Locks access channel will ultimately connect the Gaillard Cut to the new locks.

The expansion will build a new lane for traffic across the Panama isthmus. The expansion will double capacity and new, larger locks will allow longer and wider ships to ply the waterway.

"It's a historic day. Expansion will have a significant role in world trade and the maritime industry, said Dani Ariel Kuzniecky, chairman of the canal authority's board of directors and minister for canal affairs.

"We have researched and planned this project for years; we have the approval of the Panamanian people. As we stand here today, our vision and perseverance have paid off. Now, it is time to execute. Now it is time to begin the expansion of the Panama Canal," said Alberto Alemán Zubieta, the canal's administrator and chief executive officer.

Among the guests on hand were former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who 30 years ago signed the treaty that provided for eventual transfer of the canal to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999.

The larger locks in the new part of the canal will enable larger ships to cross the isthmus. For example, while the largest containerships that can use the canal today carry about 4,500-5,000 TEUs, the new waterway will be able to accommodate vessels carrying about 12,000 TEUs.The first of several excavation projects has already been awarded and construction began on Monday during a ceremony in which Panama President Martin Torrijos, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and heads of state from several Latin American countries including Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua participated. Torrijos' father, Omar, signed the 1977 treaty with Carter that led to the canal being turned over from the United States to Panama at the end of 1999.

The authority has also begun to process of prequalifying bidders for design and construction of the locks that will raise and lower ships as they pass over the isthmus. It expects to pick the four finalists to bid on that project by the end of the year.

Aleman expressed confidence that the new locks -- which will increase the size of the largest containerships transiting the canal from about 4,500 TEUs to 12,000 TEUs -- were the correct size even though one shipping company, Maersk, has already begun building some containerships that would be too large to transit the new canal. Maersk's largest ships are used on an Asia/Europe route.

"Most of the ships that are being built will fit … and there is a design that is being posted for 12,600 TEUs that is limited to the size of the new locks of the Panama Canal," he said. "The workhouse of the industry is going to be a ship that will be around 9,000 TEUs. When you look at what is being built, the main numbers of vessels are in that area.

"Panama is fast becoming the most transportation hub and logistics hub in the Americas," a port with "terminals in two oceans" connected by a railroad and a new highway that is slated for completion in 2009, he said.

Development of terminals near both entrances to the canal allows ships plying east/west routes to interchange cargo with ships moving cargo to the Pacific and Atlantic ports of Latin America, he added.

Aleman said the bigger canal will benefit distribution activity at the free trade zone in Colon and distribution facilities being developed at a former U.S. Army base near the Pacific entrance to the canal.

Other sectors of the economy that will benefit from the expanded canal include banking, insurance, legal, call centers and businesses servicing the maritime sector. For example, workers for tugboats or terminal cranes are being trained today in Panama, and he said graduates of the country's new maritime university are finding strong demand for their skills.

Index For This Feature:

Panama Canal History

Panama Canal Master Plan

Panama Canal Locks

Panama Canal Lock Expansion

Expansion Project
Another Day At The Beach? - Sept. 2007 - M/V Maersk Diaddema

M/V Maersk Diadema With Decided Starboard List

Note Vessel Is Light With Bulbous Bow Exposed

The Cargo Letter for Sept. 4 2007 -- Another Day At The Beach?
291 meter container M/V Maersk Diadema (built 2006) port of Balboa, Panama for Lazaro Cardenas to Yokohama, Japan, ran aground on approach to Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico on Sept. 1. No pilot was aboard at the time of the incident. (Tues. Sept. 4 2007)

Editor Note: We are reminded of Christmas Day 2005 when M/V APL Panama decided not to wait for the pilot before entering the Port of Ensenada, Mexico. She was not at sea again until April 20 2006 at a cost of countless millions of dollars -- and an end to life for the vessel. Don't miss this historic sea tale

Our Sept. 2007 sources now report that apparently the Captain of M/V Maersk Diadema also did not wait for the Mexican harbor pilots when entering the Port of Lazaro Cardenas & ran aground around midnight Saturday, Sept. 1.

Our sources relate that M/V Maersk Diadema was inbound while another Maersk vessel was outbound. The outbound pilots were supposed to board M/V Maersk Diadema & take her in -- but due to high winds & waves caused by Hurricane Henriette and excessive speed of the vessel on approach -- M/V Maersk Diadema continued her way without a pilot & grounded on an 8 meter sandbank. Three tugs tried to pull M/V Maersk Diadema off right away -- but the Harbor Master did not report anything for a number of hours. This may be due to an intense marketing campaign by the Port of Lazaro Cardenas to attract new business saying they are the only Mexican Pacific Ocean deep water port!

The zeal to avoid bad press may have tragic consequences & brought us -- Another Day At The Beach!


The Cargo Letter for Sept. 6 2007 -- Not Another Day At The Beach

Titan Salvage, Crowley Maritime Corporation's salvage & wreck-removal company, successfully completed the refloating of M/V Maersk Diadema earlier this week at Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico. The 975-foot laden containership, went aground outside the entrance channel, on its approach to the harbor on Sept. 2. After a failed attempt by the ship's crew, Titan was contracted by the German owners on September 4 to refloat the one-year-old vessel from its resting place atop a sandbank.

A Titan salvage master & naval architect were dispatched to the scene to perform a preliminary survey of the vessel while a dive survey was also performed. Using local tugs, the ship's own ballast system and the expertise of Titan's personnel, M/V Maersk Diadema was successfully refloated on Sept. 5 approximately 24 hours after Titan Salvage was initially contacted.

Contributors For This Feature:

Valued & Anonymous Readers -- with access to the source
Extinguishing The Flame? - August 2007
The Cargo Letter for August 13 2007 -- Bulker Sinks - Half Way
Panamanian flagged 43,815 DWT bulker, the M/V New Flame, Newark, New Jersey for Iskenderun, Turkey with 23 crew & scrap -- In Collision early Aug. 12 with -- Danish flagged 46,362 DWT double-hull product carrier M/T Torm Gertrud, Augusta, Italy for U.S. with 37,000 tons of gasoline . M/V New Flame sunk in shallow water less than a mile from Gibraltar. A;; 23 evacuated and the maritime authorities in Gibraltar and Spain are supervising salvage plans which are presently being developed by Tsavliris under an LOF. M/T Torm Gertrud is presently at anchor in Algeciras effecting a change of crew.

M/V New Flame remains half-sunk one km. off Punta Europa, with her prow supported on the sea bed. Spain is providing assistance to Gibraltar in the salvage operation to safely remove the 750 tons of fuel the ship is carrying in its tanks, and has sent teams of specialized divers from Algeciras & Galicia.

Contributors For This Feature:

Hildegard E. Krause - Roanoke Trade Services, San Francisco

Christoph M. Wahner, Esq.

Aero Republica -- Beach Detour - 17 July 2007

This Is Your Captain ... We'll Be Stopping Here At The Beach ....

.... Please Get Your Souvenirs & Reboard In Twenty Minutes.

My Auto Club Number? We Just Need A Tow & The Internet Address of Craig's List Employment Section.

50 Very Lucky Passengers Walked Away On July 17 2007

Six injured, 54 on board Embraer E190LR

The Aircraft Overran Runway at Santa Marta, Columbia During Heavy Rain Shower on July 17 2007.

Meanwhile, Some 1,500 Miles Away In Brazil -
The Cargo Letter for July 17 2007 -- Major Air Disaster -- All Aboard Are Lost
ALERT>> Airbus 320, TAM Airlines Flight JJ3054, Porto Alegre to Sao Paulo, Brazil with 176 people, skidded off runway, crashed into a building and caught fire while attempting to land in heavy rain at Sao Paulo's Congonhas Airport. Slippery runway conditions and /or unsafe runway design are believed to be the cause. At least 200 people, including some on the ground, are feared killed. (Tues July 17 2007)

Editor Note: This same day -- miles away in Columbia -- this Areo Republica flight suffers a loss at Santa Marta which is similar to that of TAM Airlines Flight JJ3054 where all aboard are lost at Sao Paulo, but with happily different consequences. Who is to say which accident takes all aboard -- and which delivers all aboard to thier loved ones?

Here are two incidents on the same day -- one in Brazil -- one in Columbia. Both planes Overran The Runway. No passengers lived at Sao Paulo -- all passengers lived at Santa Marta.


Index For This Feature:

Embraer E190LR

TAM Airlines

TAM Airlines

Santa Marta, Columbia - Nickname: America's Pearl (La Perla de America)

Contributors For This Feature:

Our Doc -- Valued & Anonymous Insider On Our Pages For Many Years. The Man Who Knows Too Much.

Christoph M. Wahner, Esq.

Shanghai Cutoff - July 2007

No, This Is Not The Evacuation of New Orleans In The Wake of Hurricane Katrina.

This Is An Increddible Rush of Containerized Cargo To The Shanghai Port On A Single Day!


30 June 2007

Behold The Mass Movement of Containerized Cargo -- To Catch The June 30 Export Tax Rebate Cutoff.

Reaching A Shanghai Container Yard (CY) Before The Deadline Has Become A Mania.

Note That The Normal Two Way Traffic Has Been Funneled By Authorities To A Single Direction On The Road --

The Stream of Cargo Moves Into The Shanghai CY-- No Way Out! The Outbound Lanes Are Closed On This Road.

-- Running The Bulls At Pamplona Has No Edge Over This Event!

This is The 2007 Christmas Shipping Season To The U.S. & UK.

Are U.S. West Coast Ports Ready?

Here are the issues at stake that have caused problems in Shanghai and elsewhere in China:

China has cut the export tax rebate. Effective July 1st, the Chinese government will scrap or greatly reduce the export tax rebate on roughly 3,000 export products. This means that exporters who used to enjoy huge VAT tax savings on a wide variety of products will now have to pay the VAT tax on their exports. While this will have a huge overall effect on the China supply chain, how this contributes to the current port situation in Shanghai and elsewhere is two-fold:

First, panicked exporters rushrd orders and goods out of the country in an effort to export as much as possible before July 1st, when the export tax rebate cut goes into effect. Hence, volumes, already high for this time of the year, just got higher.

Second, Chinese customs has increased their inspection rate in order to counter the illegal practice of some exporters mis-declaring their commodity and volume to avoid paying the higher export tax. This means more shipments being inspected which means an overall slowdown in the processing of containers at the port as well as containers being held out of the system for a longer period of time = equipment shortages.

High temperatures and the rainy season in Shanghai are effecting the pace of Shanghai customs inspectors. This means even more slowdowns in container & shipment movement.

There are rumors that rising volumes & the export tax cutoff have contributed to carriers being overbooked by at least 30%.

If youship under a service contract direct with the lines, confirm that you are providing them forecasts of expected equipment needs well in advance of shipment date..

Contributors For This Feature:

Anonymous Contributor - A Long Time Source To The Cargo Letter

Christoph M. Wahner, Esq.

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