Industry News
From The Cargo Letter

THE CARGO LETTER [297] Air & Ocean FF News For18 Mar '96

Good Monday Morning From World Port L.A. ! We issue a very abreviated edition today, primarily to rush you Correspondent Warren Levine's "just in" report from China. This dramatic story was brought to you here on 21 Feb 1996, weeks before the commercial press took interest. Follow Warren Levine's direct reports from the scene at our WWW site (details below). McD

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:


OUR Top Story:


HONG KONG, 17 March -- China announced late yesterday that they were ending their live-fire missile exercises, but that they were extending their war games in the Taiwan Strait until March 25, two days after the Taiwan elections. It was not stated whether the extended military exercises would utilize live ammunition.

Both stocks and the NTD were up yesterday after the announcement by Beijing that they would only use force against Taiwan under two conditions: if the island declared independence; or if "a foreign force intervened" (in their military exercises). The latter comment was directly aimed at the United States, whose naval forces in the region have been on alert for the past week in a move to calm nervous Taiwanese. China's latest series of exercises is in response to the presence of American naval forces, including three nuclear submarines, two carriers and their escort groups, and over 150 ship-borne aircraft.

However, late Saturday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said that the reports of China's earlier announcement were "groundless." He continued, stating that China has not ruled out the use of military force to reclaim Taiwan if "violation of Taiwanese space by a foreign force" occurred. In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Michael Doubleday said, ". . . (China) have said publicly and privately that they have no intention of settling their differences with Taiwan by other than peaceful means."

Rear Admiral James Ellis, commander of the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet, affirmed that the waters of the Taiwan Strait were international waters, and "free and open for passage," when asked if the carrier Nimitz was prepared to enter the Strait. In response, Beijing stated that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had the strength to block off the entire Taiwan Strait and the main island of Taiwan.

The pro-China daily "Wen Wei Po," which is published in Hong Kong, interviewed a Chinese military expert in Beijing who said that the exercises were practice for a "coordinated, quick and decisive assault" against Taiwan. Taiwanese defense sources stated that they were monitoring the movements of "the Chinese Communist military" and that Taiwan's forces were fully prepared to deal with any attack.

Two members of Hong Kong's Legislative Council spoke at a candle-light peace rally in Kowloon Saturday night, and seized the opportunity to restate their desire for "peaceful reunification" of Taiwan and China. They likened Taiwan to a drowning swimmer, grabbing for the nearest floating object to save them -- The American Navy. That statement caused the crowd of about 80 to shrink to less than 50.

Although they took a swipe at the United States, the speakers did concede that the economies of all the countries of the Pacific Rim, including the U.S., are linked inseparably.

[Warren Levine next moves on to Dalian and will post updated reports to our World Wide Web page.................... events occur.


OUR "A" Section: FF World Trade, Financial & Inland News

2. Cargo Letter's Freight Forwarder STOCK WATCH

Here are today's Stock Watch Report AND progress on our "Cargo Letter 10" portfolio. [portfolio represents $l000 purchase of each stock at close on 3 Nov 1995]

[INDEX: 1st & 2nd Number are last price & daily change............3rd & 4th Number represent how our $1000 investment in each stock is doing and our win/loss to date.]

Our "Cargo Letter 10" winner AGAIN this week is Air Express Int'l!.......with Delta Air, Cirlce Int'l & Fritz close behind. Intercargo continues in the rear.

Cargo Letter 10

Name Sym Price Change P/L Value
Airborne Express ABF 25 3/4 1/8 -100.36 898.93
Air Express Int'l AEI 25 -3/4 162.78 1,162.75
Am. Pres. Lines APS 21 3/8 1/8 -127.53 872.31
Delta Air DALpC 62 1/4 -3/4 84.82 1,083.15
FedEx FDX 70 -2 -175.22 824.60
Fritz Companies FRTZ 39 3/4 --- 39.21 1,039.06
Circle Int'l/Harper HARG 19 1/8 1 69.87 1,069.08
Intercargo Ins. ICAR 8 1/4 3/8 -266.64 733.26
Interpool IPX 14 1/2 -3/8 -134.32 865.65
Mercury Air Cargo MAX 9 1/16 --- -70.51 929.45

........And in other financial news Expeditors (NASDAQ:EXPD), has announced 1995 fourth quarter net earnings of $.40 per share, up from net earnings per share of $.31 for the same quarter in 1994--an increase of 29%.

3. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs


OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News

4. IIC Termination Act Poses Questions To Forwarders

Los Angeles - 17 March - When the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 ended that agency on 31 December of last year, a new set of questions for airfreight forwarders was created. Exactly what is required of forwarders under the Act? Exactly how will the Department of Transportation treat air FFs as different from surface forwarders? Why does it appear that our industry is in effect being re-regulated?

Leading industry representatives such as the Airforwarders Association are pressing for answers to these questions which even Dept. of Transportation (DOT) spokesmen have been reluctant to answer. The Cargo Letter will provide a detailed review of this situation in a coming issue.

Pending official clarifications, there have been calls by several air forwarding experts that all airfreight forwarders should simply register as a surface forwarder now if they want to continue to forward traffic by truck that does not have prior or subsequent carriage by air. Registration would act to protect forwarders from whatever views are ultimately adopted by the DOT and avoid possible cargo liabiliy issues as well. "FFs can always de-register with the Dept. of Transportation at a later time, if that turns out to be the right move" said one indusrtry insider.

5. FF World Air Briefs


OUR "C" Section: FF in Cyberspace

We are very pleased to report The Cargo Letter - Interpool Trade & Transportation Internation Resource Links Page continues to grow in popularity as a daily business tool and jumping off point for the World Wide Web. Thanks to Webmaster Ed Graham, daily visitors to our web site now average 116 from Iceland to Autrailia. "The Interpool /Cargo Letter Resources page coveres a lot of cyberspace" says Graham, "but there are still many more links to add."

Here are The Cargo Letter transport & trade World Wide Web sites of the week...........

Calculators On-Line (distance, time, financial, math, weather, aeronautics, & tax calculators.)

The GSP Renewal Page of Norman Krieger, Inc ( This inovative service allows importers to lobby Congress for GSP renewal directly.)

How Did The U.S. Congress Vote? (on special issues such as NAFTA, with calculations)

Marine Watch Quarterly

Trade Point USA (Sponsored By the U.N.......with a trade guide & services like NAFTA Resource Center, Trade Leads, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Dun & Bradstreet Information Services.)

.......And for general business interest:

AT&T 800 Number Directory (Toll free listings) [an error occurred while processing this directive]