Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel
Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News
28 February 2013

Good Thursday 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."

The Cargo Letter is now perfectly designed to be enjoyed on your iPad.  Access all our internet links directly from your device.

       Here is what happened in our industry during the Month of February 2013. 

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

       Contribute your knowledge, stories & company information.......by e-mail to 
The Cargo Letter.  We strive to bring you useful information which is timely & topical.  Be sure to visit our website.......http://cargolaw.com
       Archive of 
The Cargo Letter ....... www.cargolaw.com/cl-archives.php
       Michael S. 
McDaniel, Editor, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker, hull & machinery attorneys at LAX.

The Cargo Letter:
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***
Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs ______________                            
The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______________                               
OUR "B" Section:  FF World Air News***
Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ____________                         
OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***
FF World Ocean Briefs _____________________                                            
The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches _____        
       **Back By Popular Demand**
OUR "D" Section:  FF in Cyberspace***
The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports of Call" _________             
OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***
7. New
U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases ________ 
  A Forwarder Warning           

OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***
Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________  

Mexico The Next China? ....... as rising wages in China, long transit times across the Pacific, and fluctuating gas prices are fueling a nearshoring trend among manufacturers serving the North American market -- all to the benefit of Mexico. Companies are pouring billions of dollars into new production capacity to the point where it is estimated by 2019, Mexico could surpass China as the United States' top trading partner, according to Mexico outsourcing solutions provider The Offshore Group. Mexico has transitioned from a simple assembler of products to "an exceedingly sophisticated manufacturer," the Offshore Group states. The country's government has aggressively sought free trade agreements with other nations to foster growth and now has such agreements with 44 countries.

   ***NAFTA Trade Rises ..... as surface trade among the United States, Canada & Mexico was 6.2% higher in Nov. than the same month a year earlier, the Dept. of Transportation reported. Trade among the North American Free Trade Agreement partners rose to US$81.5Bn, DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said in its monthly report.Month-to-month trade, which is affected by seasonal factors, fell 4.5% from October, BTS said. U.S.-Canada trade rose to US$46.7Bn from an originally reported US$44.3Bn a year earlier, while U.S.-Mexico trade increased to US$34.8Bn from US$32.4Bn.Truck imports to the United States from the two countries rose 3.5% to $27.2Bn, and exports rose 5.9% to $28.9Bn. This came as U.S. trucking added 5,000 jobs in Jan., U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs and the nation's unemployment rateticked up to 7.9%, the Labor Dept. said.

   ***U.S. Deficit Decline  ....... as the Georgia Center of Innovation Monthly Logistics Market Snapshot shows growth in
U.S. int'l trade.
U.S. exports of goods and services reached a record US$2.2 trillion in 2012. Exports in 2012 outpaced the growth in imports for the first time since 2007. Exports as a share of U.S. GDP were 13.9% in 2012.
* Intermodal container volumes hit a record high in 2012 with 13.1 million moves, a 5.9% increase year-over-year. Domestic container shipments topped 5 million for the first time, reflecting a growth rate of 12.2% over 2011 activity. International containers accounted for 52% of the total volume. 
* Import volume through major
U.S. container ports is expected to increase 8.5% in Feb.
* The
U.S. trade deficit decreased by 20.7% in Dec. to US$38.5Bn, the lowest deficit since Jan. 2010. Exports rose 2.1% to US$186.4Bn and imports fell 2.7% to US$224.9Bn.

    ***"Best Practice" Now To Be A Standard ..... as INTTRA has announced global study findings of high-volume shippers freight forwarders which show 81% of surveyed ocean shippers look to cut costs through e-Invoicing in 2013. Four years of economic volatility have intensified pressure on carriers and shippers to seek new ways to reduce costs and have seen no relief on pressure to increase service levels. One cost reduction method that has demonstrated results across government and commercial sectors is electronic invoicing (e-Invoicing). Once referred to simply as a "best practice," e-Invoicing is emerging as a critical cost reduction tool for companies in or those impacted by the struggling ocean shipping industry. INTTRA's fall 2012 e-Invoicing survey participants included 4 of the top 5 freight forwarders in TEU volume.

    ***Your Voice Needed For Freight Policy ..... as the U.S. Dept. of Transportation is seeking nominations for a committee to advise leaders about freight policies aimed at improving the national freight transportation system. The National Freight Advisory Committee will work with the Freight Policy Council, a group of DOT leaders who are working to develop the National Freight Strategic Plan mandated in MAP-21. The advisory committee is part of the council's plan to use stakeholder input in its decision process. The committee will have at least 25 voting members and meet at least three times a year, DOT said. It will exist for 2 years, but DOT may renew its charter after two years. For instructions on how to submit a nomination, go to:

Russia & U.S. Beef Over Beef Ban ...... as it's over a feed additive, ractopamine, came into effect on Feb. 11. Russia's Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service announced the ban earlier this month because American producers failed to agree to demands that their beef, pork, and turkey exports be certified as free of ractopamine. Ractopamine is used to boost growth and leanness in animals. Russia's chief health inspector, Gennady Onishchenko, said Moscow will lift the ban when the United States stops exporting meat products containing ractopamine. But he said he expects the ban to remain in place for a long time. The UN agency for food standards has ruled ractopamine in meat is not harmful for human health at low levels.

    ***Circling The Cash Wagons ....... as tensions among the world's major economies over currency values and export competitiveness came to a head this month, with G-20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs meeting in
Moscow with the hopes of dispelling growing fears of an int'l "currency war." However, despite the high-level meeting, questions on what effects developed country monetary policy and ensuing exchange rate movements will have on trade are expected to linger. Taking center stage during the G-20 meeting was Japan, whose central bank has been increasingly buying government bonds with the stated goal of reaching a 2% inflation rate - up from the previous goal of one percent - "at the earliest possible time." The actions of the Bank of Japan, which have rapidly driven down the value of the yen, come after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged the central bank to take additional efforts to stimulate growth in the Asian economy. The fear that developed countries will increasingly pursue loose monetary policy despite the impact on their trading partners has been on the rise since the fall, following news that the central banks of the U.S., EU, and Japan would be undertaking additional rounds of quantitative easing. In this context, officials and analysts alike have tabled a range of opinions over whether the global economy is indeed seeing countries pursue active monetary policy at levels seen during the 1930s Depression era - bringing back fears of a return to that era's beggar-thy-neighbour' policies. Questions have also been raised over what policy variables fall within central banks' mandates, and what this means for trade. "The currency war has become more explicit now because trade conflicts have become sharper," the Brazilian official told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of the G-20 gathering. "Countries are trying to devalue their currencies because of failing global trade," he added, noting that some countries "do not recognise the existence of a currency war."

    ***China Pushes EU Envelope ...... as it's leadership transition is complicating talks to resolve a multi-billion-dollar dispute with the European Union over solar panels, pushing both sides closer to placing punitive tariffs on each others' exports and risking a trade war. The newly appointed chief of
China's Communist Party Xi Jinping is set to take over the presidency at a national congress in March. But the full line-up of government officials is not yet in place, and China's current commerce minister is likely to step down after what some have said was a political snub at the party's congress in November. EU leaders want to avoid following the United States' decision last year to impose duties on Chinese solar power products, aware that Europe needs China to help it emerge from three years of economic crisis. But EU officials and diplomats say they have made little progress, accusing the Chinese of "stonewalling", and are unable to get beyond the outgoing commerce minister, Chen Deming. They complain of a limbo in the ministry that will not end until after the March congress.

U.S. Wineries Have Legs ..... as they set a record for exports last year with US$1.43Bn in revenues, up 2.6% on a yearly basis, and the 3rd consecutive year the value of wine exports has increased, according to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute.

   ***Forwarders Taking More Risk ....... as UK insurer TT Club notes forwarders are now "taking on a much higher degree of supply chain risk and sustain greater liability by providing increasingly complex and sophisticated services." Speaking as a judge at the British International Freight Assn. (BIFA) annual awards in
London, TT Club UK-Ireland development director Brian Sullivan said he was seeing more extensive services being provided. "The increased complexity of service offerings and the ingenuity of operators in designing alternative supply chain solutions is enabling the mid-sized, regional-based supplier to compete with their larger multi-national colleagues," said the TT Club statement. The insurer, which provides cargo, property and liability cover to freight forwarders and logistics companies, observes the adoption of technological capabilities and tailored supply chain processes is proliferating, the statement said. 

   ***UPS Supply Chain Solutions In Reverse ...... as UPS-SCS and Jabil Aftermarket Services will provide reverse logistics services for return & repair programs to high-tech original equipment manufacturers, service providers and enterprises on a global scale. The collaboration will combine UPS-SCS' warehousing, transportation, returns management and trade compliance capabilities with Jabil's reverse logistics planning, repair and call-center support. UPS has 1.8 million pickup and drop-off locations in 147 countries, and St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Jabil Circuit has 55 service centers in 21 countries.

   ***UPS Aiming To Be The Leader ...... as it has expanded its healthcare facilities in
Atlanta; Louisville; Reno; Mira Loma, Calif.; and Burlington, Ontario, adding 800,000 square feet to the company's healthcare portfolio. UPS now has 37 dedicated healthcare distribution facilities that span nearly 6 million square feet. 

   ***FedEx Keeps Cool ...... as it has rolled out new services for temperature-sensitive shipments using liquid nitrogen dry vapor, a dry ice alternative. The new offering can maintain a temperature of -150 degrees Celsius for 10 days when combined with FedEx's CryoPort Express Dry Shipper.Some of the benefits of the new service include later cut-off times, domestic delivery options that range from urgent to less critical and the ability to ship dangerous goods.

    ***New Elite Member ..... as Conqueror Freight Network has joined the Elite Assoc. of Logistic Networks (Elite) after passing the qualifying criteria for membership. Conqueror becomes the tenth network to belong to Elite following its official launch in late 2012. Based in
Madrid, Spain, its freight forwarder membership is spread across 164 cities and 81 countries worldwide.

    ***Before We Insured The Motor Truck Cargo ....... as insurance for the car has long been a major item in the budget of most households. The idea of insuring cars against accidents began this month in 1898 when the Traveler's Insurance Company issued a policy to Dr. Truman Martin of
Buffalo.  His policy cost US$12.25 and gave him US$5,000 in coverage.  Martin was chiefly concerned about accidents between his automobile — one of less than 4,000 in the entire country at the time — and horses, which numbered about 18 million.  Now, cars and trucks vastly outnumber horses, and there are nearly 14,000 property and casualty insurance firms. 

    ***Too Few Canadian Truckers ........ as there could be a shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 for-hire truck drivers by 2020, disrupting not only the trucking industry, but the entire Canadian economy, according to a new study released by Conference Board of Canada. The report found "tens of thousands" of current drivers are approaching retirement age, and there are "a very small number of young drivers taking their place," according to Canadian Trucking Alliance, which commissioned the study. CTA President David Bradley said the report "quantifies the magnitude of the emerging gap between the supply and demand for professional truck drivers — a looming shortage which could be 14% or more of the entire truck driver population in
Canada." The report estimates the total economic footprint of the for-hire trucking industry was almost US$37Bn in 2011, resulting in an economic multiplier that is "significantly higher than that of many other business services," CTA said in a statement.
The Cargo Letter Financial Page ____________  

DOWN with a year-on-year 67% net profit decline in 2012 to US$119.07M.
**C.H. Robinson. 
UP with a 15.7% year-over-year increase in revenue during 4th quarter of 2012, ending the period at US$2.97Bn. 
  **Maersk Group. 
UP with 2012 profit of US$4Bn, compared to a loss of US$553M in 2011.
  **Pacer International. UP as 4rth-quarter net income rose to US$2.2M or 6 cents a share, from US$1.1M, or 3 cents, a year ago. 
**Pilot Freight. 
UP at US$500.6M in 2012 revenue, up 8% over 2011 and a company record. 
  **TNT Express. 
DOWN with a Q4 loss of US$198M, compared with a loss of US$230M a year earlier, as revenue was flat at US$2.5Bn. 
UP with operating income of US$24..1 for 2012, a significant jump from the US$138M loss YRC posted in 2011.

OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***
Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs __________  

   ***The Biggest Deal ...... as merger of American Airlines and US Airways at US$11Bn will form the world's biggest airline holding more than 600 new mainline aircraft on order, following talks that began last August. The deal will create a new company to be based at Dallas-Fort Worth, headed by AA chairman and CEO Thomas Horton, as chairman to the new airline's board and representative to the oneworld
Alliance. The combined airline will boast a workforce of 100,000 and maintain existing hubs of each airline. It will offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries. Of the 600 new aircraft on firm order, 517 will be narrow-body and 90 wide-body aircraft.

   ***FedEx Management Downsize ...... as a voluntary redundancy program has reportedly accounted for 10% of the company's senior management, and that over 20 vice-presidents and managing directors who will be leaving the company. While this has not been confirmed by FedEx, the move is said to be part of a cost reduction plan announced in October to achieve an "annual profitability improvement of US$1.7Bn in 3 years, with a big portion achieved in 2015." Bloomberg said redundancies come because of a shift from air freight to sea and road transport by major shippers, resulting in as many as 5,000 leaving FedEx in the next 18 months. Job losses are said to hit FedEx Express and FedEx Services, and were in addition to further cost cutting at FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground, reported the
UK's Transport Intelligence. Bloomberg quoted a FedEx spokesman who said it was a move to a new organizational structure, but would not confirm the number of jobs to be lost, adding that offers of more voluntary redundancies are expected this month. FedEx's founder and CEO Fred Smith said in Oct. the cost reduction strategy was "closely tied to effective yield management. With slow economic growth the cost reduction is essential to achieve our financial goals."

   ***Boeing Holds It's Breath ...... as it awaits a response from the U.S. FAA after submitting its plan to fix the 787 Dreamliner's batteries and get the company's most advanced plane back in service. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Ray Conner met with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta at the agency's headquarters in
Washington, according to statements from the company and the agency. Boeing is proposing a battery redesign for the Dreamliner in a bid to satisfy regulators' safety concerns following its grounding Jan. 16 as a result of two incidents in which lithium-ion batteries smoldered and emitted smoke. According to Bloomberg, Boeing's plan includes adding space and insulation between the battery's individual lithium-ion cells, said the people, who weren't authorized to discuss the matter and asked not to be identified. The battery also will have a venting mechanism for fumes and a case made with heat-resistant glass to contain fires, the sources said. The company is developing kits so the new batteries can be swapped in for the old units, and occupy the same space in the planes, the people said. The new units also may have a system that lets pilots monitor individual battery cells, they said. Any repairs would be subject to FAA approval, and the agency isn't expected to act immediately. Boeing must show in tests and analysis that the fixes will ensure that the batteries meet the FAA's safety standards. No schedule for those tests has been released. The battery changes also would need the backing of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has said the 787 won't fly again until the U.S. is "1000% sure" it's safe. United Continental Holdings Inc.m(UAL) signaled on Feb. 21 it expects the process to take more time than Boeing's goal of getting the Dreamliner back into service in March. The airline said it is removing the model from most of its flight schedule through June 5. Chicago-based United is the only U.S. carrier with 787s in its fleet. The FAA grounded the Dreamliner following a Jan. 7 fire on a Japan Airlines Co. 787 parked in Boston and a battery fault which triggered an emergency landing in Japan by an All Nippon Airways Co. plane.

   ***Banning Lithium Batteries ...... as pending the outcome of the investigation being carried out presently in the
U.S. and Japan, the President of the Council of the Int'l Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has provisionally approved an interim amendment that will prohibit the carriage of lithium ion aircraft batteries as cargo on passenger planes. The final approval of the amendment from the ICAO Council is expected when it returns to Session later this month. The new amendment will rescind ICAO's recent inclusion of lithium ion aircraft batteries up to 35kg in Special Provision A514 to the UN aviation body's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. Special Provision A514 is designed to provide airlines with the operational flexibility to transport aircraft batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft in special circumstances. The inclusion of lithium ion aircraft batteries in A514 had only become effective on 1 Jan. 2013. The new amendment does not affect the carriage of other aircraft battery types on passenger planes under A514.

   ***Back To Basics ....... as
Europe's biggest plane maker Airbus has announced it will return to the use of traditional nickel cadmium batteries for its forthcoming A350XWB aircraft instead of the newly developed lithium ion batteries. Airbus said in a statement this decision was made due to recent lithium ion battery problem found on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner

   ***Airfreight In The Chips ...... as Drewry, the UK-based analyst, says global semiconductor sales rose 2% in Nov. 2012, the first increase in 16 months, saying this will lead to a recovery in air freight demand. The finding is significant because the semiconductor sector has been a long-term reliable indicator of air cargo volumes, noted Atlanta-based Air Cargo World. Air freight rates fell in Dec. as the trade returned to business-as-usual following the volume upsurge from earlier technology product launches, Drewry's monthly Sea + Air Shipper Insight report said.

    ***Single E-Message Standard ...... as the International Air Transport Assn. (IATA) has decided to build upon XML as the strategic direction for the air cargo industry electronic messaging. In March 2010, the IATA Cargo Services Conference (CSC) and Cargo Agency Conference agreed IATA will stop maintaining Cargo-IMP standard messages by end of 2014, and maintain only Cargo-XML standard messages. This will not prevent anybody from continuing to use Cargo-IMP, but no new Cargo-IMP versions will be released. This endeavour had been previously supported by IFCC.

    ***United Airlines Is On Time ...... as it has announced exceeding its 80% on-time arrival domestic and int'l performance goals for the month of January - the best combined domestic and international performance for the month in 10 years. The airline explained that despite challenging weather conditions across the system, it ended the month with an 82.8% domestic on-time arrival rate and an 80.5% int'l on-time rate. The on-time arrival rates are based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time. Employees will be awarded a US$100 on-time bonus to recognise this performance. 
    ***ARC Says Flight Volume Supported ...... as the financial settlement link between airlines and travel sellers reported the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 4.77% year-over-year in the first month of 2013 compared to the same period last year, totaling US$7.6Bn vs. US$7.2Bn in 2012. 

   ***Cargolux Seeks Buyer ...... as efforts to attract an investor to acquire a 35% equity interest has attracted 8 potential bidders for the stake recently held by Qatar Airways until re-capitalisation plans reportedly turned sour. This comes despite the cargo airline's forecast that it would post a loss for 2012. However, Lloyd's Loading List said the company was confident that its losses would be significantly lower than the US$60M budgeted. The stake in Cargolux was previously re-purchased by the
Luxembourg government at the end of last year for the original sale price of US$117.5M, with the intention of selling it soon. Potential bidders are said to be HNA, owner of Hainan Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines, as well as Yangtze River Express, Volga Dnepr, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Cobelfret, Luxembourg-based freight transport company Silkway Airlines, Miami Centurion Air Cargo and private equity fund Saphir Capital Partners.

   ***Global Aviation Regroups ...... as the largest commercial provider of
U.S. military charter flights, is to begin a financial restructure following bankruptcy filed in Dec. 2012 due to military spending cuts and debts of US$493.2M.. The subsidiary of parent company World Airways & North American Airlines will restructure and sell assets to reduce debt, exit financing facility of US$35M and new five-year collective bargaining agreements with four of its 5 working groups.

    ***Turkish Airlines In Africa ...... as the world's fastest growing major carrier will to take 49% of a new
Niger national airline while the government holds a controlling 51%, Reuters reports. Turkish Airlines is expanding in Africa where it aims to challenge the dominance of Air France and Brussels Airlines, a Lufthansa unit, on the European, Asian and North American routes to Africa. "The government has decided to create a viable national airline to transport passengers and cargo that will be based in Niamey and named Niger Airways," the government said in a statement. 

   ***AirCargo 2013 ...... as on 10 March 2013, the 
Countryman & McDaniel law firm will deliver a presentation on effects of the Panama Canal Expansion at the AirCargo 2013 at the Red Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas 

   ***The Big Heist ...... as the Feb. 18 theft of some US$67M worth of diamonds from the tarmac of Brussels' international airport is a "huge blip on the radar," said retired FBI agent Bill Rehder, who spent more than three decades on Los Angeles' bank robbery squad. An armed gang dressed as police officers stole £32M of diamonds in a daring raid at
Brussels' int'l airport. The 8 masked robbers cut their way through a perimeter fence before racing up in two cars with blue lights flashing to a Swiss passenger jet of Helvetic Airways where the gems were being loaded by guards. They trained the infra-red sights of their machine guns on the terrified security staff before snatching the diamonds. The 8 person gang fled with 120 small parcels containing the jewels after the raid at Brussels airport. A Belgian police source said: "This was undoubtedly a highly professional job. "The way the gang was equipped and the way they operated suggest a meticulously planned raid."Airport spokesman Jan Van Der Crujsse added: "No shots were fired during the attack, which was over within 3 minutes." The Helvetic Airways plane bound for Zurich was packed with passengers and had been minutes away from take-off when the drama began. The flight was cancelled and several witnesses were treated for shock. The jewels were being transported from the Belgian city of Antwerp, the world's diamond capital, in a Brinks security van. They were destined for one of Zurich's high security vaults. The gang arrived at the airport in a Mercedes van and an Audi automobile. The van was later found burned out and abandoned near the scene. In 2005 at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, £76million worth of diamonds - the largest haul ever recorded - was stolen from a truck heading for a plane to Antwerp.

>>> Cathay Pacific Airways, together with sister airline Dragonair, up14.2% year-on-year cargo and mail increase in January to 132,792 tons.  >>> Chongqing international air freight volume hit 80,000 tons in 2012, setting a record high and a growth rate ranking first among China's 10 biggest airports, as the city has launched 19 international air cargo routes so far with 40 flights weekly. >>> Dubai Airports announced traffic statistics for Dubai World Central that showed the airport handled 219,092 tons of airfreight during its 2nd full calendar year of operations, an increase of 144% over 2011. >>> Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport has posted a 1.4% increase in air freight volume in 2012 to 33,327 tons, including 30,120 tons of express freight year on year. >>> Miami Int'l Airport has set a new record of just over 2 million short tons of cargo handled, surpassing its 2007 record by more than 15,000 short tons, an increase of 4.61%. >>> Singapore's Changi Airport saw airfreight volumes fall by 3.2% in 2012 to 1.81 million tons, compared to the previous year, driven down by uncertainties in the global economy. 

   ***Guaranteed Half Century Air Delivery ..... as it may have taken 46 years, but one boy's postcard has made it home to Mom. Bert Jacobson sent the postcard to his mother in Pauls Valley, Okla., in January 1967, when he was 13 years old. The card, from the Old Country Store Museum in
Hereford, Penn., arrived Feb. 8. Jacobson said that he traveled to the East Coast with his father and cousins to buy concrete trucks and mixing equipment for the family business. The postcard was sent with a 4-cent Abraham Lincoln stamp. The card reads: "Mom, Hi. We've been having a great time." Jacobson's sister, Marilyn Hubbard, says their mother wasn't surprised her son sent a card - only that it took 46 years to arrive.            

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

   ***The Solution Was There All Along ........ as there appears to be reasons to hope the drop in pirate attacks off Somalia means piracy as a serious threat is coming to an end as more ships have armed guards aboard ready to repel boarders with military force, says Reuters. Only 5 ships were captured in 2012, down from 25 in 2011 and 27 in 2010, said the report, adding that the last merchant ship to be successfully taken was 9 months ago, a far cry from two years ago, when several were taken in a week. For many, the fall in attacks is a vindication of the decision to massively deploy shipboard armed guards. Not a single ship with armed guards has been taken by pirates, though some say security contractors have fired on innocent fishermen from
India, Oman and Yemen. Navies say the numbers show they are finally having an impact. Since piracy first grabbed global attention in 2008, a number of nations have sent warships to the region. Despite the political pushbaack at the time, The Cargo Letter suggesterd the armed guard solution as a least cost approach in 2008.

Norway Joins Up ........ as it's parliament has approved a new marine transport and security bill that introduces permanent rules and a legal framework to enable the country's cargo ships to employ armed guards when sailing in high-risk waters. The country has been testing the efficiency and operation of armed guards on board a selected number of Norwegian-registered ships since 2011 as part of its response to pirate attacks on vessels in the Gulf of Aden, Lloyd's Loading List reported. Norway's Union of Marine Engineers described the new law as key to safeguarding the passage of Norwegian vessels in high-risk waters.
Following months of acrimonious negotiations, the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), an alliance of container carriers, direct employers, and port associations serving United States-based East and
Gulf Coasts, and the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), the largest union of maritime workers in North America, have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. This tentative agreement came in slightly ahead of the Feb. 6 deadline, with the original deadline of Sept. 30 pushed to Dec. 29 and then to this month.

    ***Helpless Means Vulnerable ..... as the unarmed 7,114 deadweight ton French-controled Luxemburg-flagged tanker 
M/T Gascogne, seized by pirates off Ivory Coast on Feb. 6 together with a crew of 17, has been released. Two seafarers suffered injuries in the hijacking and were receiving medical treatment, according to the French shipowner SEA Tankers. But further details were not offered. The tanker was hijacked by pirates off Abidjan. Ivory Coast Government officials said the crew included seven seafarers from Togo, four from Benin, two from Ivory Coast, two from Senegal and one apiece from China and South Korea, The Associated Press reported. In another incident off West Africa, a Filipino seafarer was killed when pirates hijacked an unarmed medium range tanker off the Nigerian coast on Feb. 4, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. DFA assistant secretary Raul Hernandez said pirates shot and killed the Filipino seafarer when they boarded the unarmed 46,700 deadweight ton ITM-managed M/V Pyxis Delta, registered in the Marshall Islands on Feb. 7. 

    ***Port Labor Resolution ...... as on Feb. 21, 2013, the Journal of Commerce (JOC) published an article announcing that the tentative labor contract previously rejected by the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of the Int'l Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was approved on Feb. 20. On a joint statement issued by the lead negotiators of the ILWU and the Harbor Employers Assn., they announced that "OCU bargaining units voted and agreed to ratify the terms of tentative agreements reached with the Harbor Employers Association member companies on
Dec. 4, 2012. The contracts for the roughly 600 office clerical workers and the 14 employers at the ports will run through June 30, 2016." The contract expired in June 2010, and the office clerical workers continued on the job until Nov. 27, 2012, when they posted pickets at 10 of the 14 container terminals in Los Angeles-Long Beach.

    ***U.S. 8.5% Annual Volume Gains In Feb. ...... as according to a Port Tracker report, 1.32 million TEU were handled in Dec.for the ports followed by Port Tracker, which represented a 2.8% gain from November and an 8 percent gain from December 2011. With December's tally, 2012 had a total of 15.8 million TEU for a 2.9% increase over 2011. The ports surveyed in the report include: Los Angeles/Long Beach,
Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, and Savannah, Miami, and Fort Lauerdale, Fla.-based Port Everglades. The report estimates January volumes at 1.34 million TEU for a 4.6% annual gain, with Feb. forecasted at 1.18 million TEU for an 8.5% jump. March is expected to increase by 3.6% at 1.29 million TEU, and April is expected to head up 4.4% at 1.36 million TEU. May and June are pegged at 1.45 million TEU each, respectively, for 4.4% and 4.9% annual increases. Port Tracker said based on these projections, the first half of 2013 should result in about 8.1 million TEU, which would be a 5.3% annual improvement.

   ***Reliability Record ....... as dependability reached a new record high in the 4th quarter of 2012 with the percentage of on-time ship arrivals across all trades increasing to 79.9%, a rise of 6.4% compared with the preceding 3rd quarter. The new ship reliability record eclipsed the previous best of 75.7% set in the 2nd quarter of 2012. This was disclosed in the latest publication of Drewry's quarterly report, Carrier Performance Insight, which showed significant quarter-on-quarter increases in reliability in the last 3 months of 2012 based on ship-level and container-level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Hanjin Shipping toppedMaersk Line as the most reliable major carrier with an all-trades on-time average of 90.2% in the 4th quarter.

   ***NRAs For Foreign OTIs ...... as the Federal Maritime Commission has announced its commissioners have approved the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) allowing negotiated rate agreements for foreign OTIs. Under the proposed rule, foreign OTIs will be able to enter into negotiated rate agreements (NRAs) in lieu of publishing rates. In order to enter upon an NRA foreign OTIs will need to register with the FMC, supply more information than is currently required and renew the registration every 3 years. The proposed rule will be issued with a 60 day comment period.

    ***The Weigh-In Debate ..... as shippers and forwarders are fighting the Dutch government's support for compulsory pre-shipment container weighing The Dutch government must withdraw its support for compulsory pre-loading container weighing, say the Dutch shippers' council (EVO) and forwarders' association (Fenex). The two bodies have called on the Dutch Parliament to force the government to withdraw its "over-active" role in support of compulsory container weight verification (CWV) within IMO. They argue that such a rule would increase the cost and administrative burden of trade and slow down the logistics chain, but at the same time it "would not significantly improve maritime safety" However, the Dutch transport minister, Mrs Melanie Schultz van Haegen, has reasserted the government's position to support compulsory pre-shipment container weighing within IMO. She reiterated that the two Dutch coalition parties VVD (Liberals) and PvdA (Social Democrats) had raised the joint objections from EVO and Fenex. "They may oppose compulsory weighing, but the shipping lines don't," said the Minister, adding there are reports that confirm hazards to maritime safety from incorrect weight declaration.

   ***More Ghosts ..... as the global idle fleet of containerships has risen within a week to 280 vessels, from an aggregated 739,000 TEU to 804,000 TEU, led by an increasing number of idle units over 5,000 TEU which is expected to continue until the summer peak season begins. According to Alphaliner, the slowdown and growth in the idle fleet is attributed to the post-Chinese New Year, but will continue to grow against newbuilding deliveries at as much as 400,000 TEU by the end of the 1st quarter. Maersk holds the highest number of idle units at 14 without assignment and 12 of over 6,000 TEU. The crippled 15,550-TEU 
M/V Emma Maersk is now idle due to a flooding of its engine room during a transit through the Suez Canal to Asia and will be out of service for at least a few months while in repair at Palermo. Vessels over 5,000 TEU are mainly carrier-controlled with only eight out of the 31 units controlled by a non-operating owner (NOO). This is due to an unexpected decline in cargo demand, which created an unexpected capacity surplus.

    ***China Shipping Container Lines Bumps Up ...... as the
Hong Kong carrier has announced a US$700 per TEU peak season surcharge on the Far East to Europe and Mediterranean westbound cargo starting March 15. The company gave as its reason the "current market situation" in a general notice to trade.

   ***Significant Increase In Russian Volume Via
Hamburg ........ as this positive trend largely attributable to Russia's decision to join the WTO, resulting in associated simplifications in commercial law as well as the dismantling of trade barriers. With a total volume of approx. 675,000 standard containers (TEU) handled between Hamburg and the Russian ports, the volume of container traffic was up by a further 13.3% in 2012, consolidating the lead in foreign trade with Europe and overseas via Hamburg. Just under 95% of the total direct traffic between Russia and Hamburg are handled via the seaport of St Petersburg, Russia's so-called "Window to Europe". The most important commodities exported from Russia in seaborne container traffic via Hamburg include hard coal, diesel oil, crude oil, paper, copper and chemical substances. Imports to Russia predominantly consist of meat, motor vehicles, fruit preserves, electrical appliances and paper. 

   ***Maersk's Largest Containership Stricken ..... as the 15,550-TEU 
M/V Emma Maersk is en route by tug to Fincantieri's repair yard in Palermo, Sicily since she suffered a water ingress into its engine room during southbound transit through Suez Canal to Asia. The bad luck ship is expected to be out of service for at least three and a half months while repairs are made to its terminal berth, so 13,000 cubic meters of contaminated seawater can be discharged from its engine room. 

   ***World's Largest Ship Seen ...... as the first picture of an almost finished US$190M Triple-E Class 18,000 TEU container vessel, 
M/V Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller (IMO 9619907), has now been posted on the Internet. It is a boat enthusiasts who shares images on the portal Ship Spotting who has captured an image of the first 400 meter Triple-E vessel with a telephoto lens. The photo was taken at Daewoo Shipbuilding in South Korea, which is in the process of building a series of 20 Triple-E ships for Maersk Line. Note the new Bridge design. Maersk Line's new Triple-E container ships have 2 propellers and 2 rudders, and therefore they are not equipped with the aft thrusters that may have caused the flooding which struck M/V Emma Maersk 3 weeks ago. Photo:

   ***UPS Expands Ocesn Service ...... as it has added more than 300 direct less-than-container-load (LCL) ocean lanes to its global ocean product portfolio in 2012. The company said this expansion was made to address market trends related to increased manufacturing and consumer demand in many regions, with these lanes originating in
Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa & South Africa. With this expansion, UPS has more than 1,700 direct LCL lanes serving 116 countries. Andy Huckbody, VP of UPS Ocean Freight Services, said a major driver for the 300-lane expansion was to address the growing demands in the global marketplace and meet the needs of its customers for a service that allows them cost-effeciency. UPS has been an NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) since 2001 when it acquired global freight forwarder Fritz Companies, which had begun offering NVOCC services 3 decades prior in 1972.

   ***Rivaling The China Monopoly ...... as Maersk Container Industry (MCI),
San Antonio, Chile, will create the first factory outside China making insulated reefer containers when it opens in Dec. because that is where they are most needed. MCI's reefer box factory in Qingdao, in China's north-east, produces 40,000 containers and Star Cool reefer machines a year. The US$170M San Antonio factory will equal that output once production is fully underway. China is moving away from being a low-cost production center, especially in well-established manufacturing areas, reports Lloyd's Loading List, which added that this was not sufficient reason to move out as the labor force becomes more demanding & expensive.

Jamaica -- Next Big Hub? ...... as talks have begun into the development of the Caribbean island as a global logistics hub for the Americas to rival world trading hubs of Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam. Foreign investment talks are underway to discuss the development of vast areas of land to accommodate increasing air and ocean cargo volumes, by the country's Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce with a decade timeline at estimated cost of US$8Bn. The projects under discussion include the development of a dedicated freight airport and expansion at its existing port of Kingston to increase container throughput and large scale ship repair dry docks. Jamaica has access to markets of the U.S. and Brazil on its doorstep and can benefit from key trade opportunities which will "burst wide open" in the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015.

S/V Götheborg ........ as the largest wooden sailing ship in the world has teamed with Swedish carrier Greencarrier as a marketing platform to strengthen the company's brand.

>>> Port of Charleston handled 121,286 TEUs in Jan., 7.7% more than the same month in 2012. >>> Port of Hamburg lifted 8.9 million TEU in 2012, 1.7% less than the previous year, with general cargo throughput at 91.5 million tons, 1.2% below the 2011 total. >>> China's Hebei province posted a year-on-year 65.5% growth in container throughput to 78,000 TEU in January 2013. >>> Hong Kong Marine Department show the port handled 1.98 million TEU in January, representing a year-on-year decline of 0.7% from two million TEU in January last year. >>> Port of Los Angeles volume fell 4.25% to 669,000.30 TEU. >>> Port of Long Beach reached 536,263 TEU, up 17.5% >>> Port of Philadelphia throughput was flat at 2,003,909 tonnes in 2012 year on year. >>> Port of Qingdao broke its cargo handling records during the Chinese New Year holiday as the port handled 18,177 TEU in a single shift. >>> Port of Savannah reported container volume for the fiscal year 2013 year to date dropped 1.1% for the fiscal year to date to 1.45 million TEU, but box tonnage increased 4.1% to 13.3 million tons in the 1st half of the fiscal year. >>> The Suez Canal posted 15.9% fewer transits to 248 vessels with toll revenue falling 9% year on year to US$405M in Jan. Still, the Suez Canal Authority has announced tolls for the waterway will be increased starting May 1. For general cargo, ro/ro and passenger vessels, the increase will be 3%. Containerships and vehicle carriers will have the least increase at 2%. >>> Port of Tauranga (New Zealand) posted a 114% year-on-year increase in first half profit to US$62M for the six months period ending Dec. 31, as container volume increases 25%.

    ***This Month In
U.S. Navy History
1778 - Treaties of commerce and alliance are signed with France. This turns the American Revolutionary War into an international conflict.
1854 - Adm. Matthew Calbraith Perry anchors off
Yokosuka, Japan, to receive the Japanese Emperor's reply to a treaty proposal.
1861 - Steven R. Mallory, a former chairman of the U.S. House Naval Affairs Committee, is appointed Secretary of the Navy of the Confederate States.
1861 - 
USS Saratoga, a member of the U.S. African Squadron, captures the slaver sloop Express.
1945 - Naval units enter
Manila Bay for the first time since 1942.
1974 - Three Skylab III astronauts are recovered by 
USS New Orleans (LPH 11) in the Pacific Ocean about 150 miles west of San Diego.
1991 - Marine AV-8Bs conduct bombing runs off the flight deck of 
USS Nassau (LHA 4). This is the first time in history that Marine AV-8B jump jets have conducted combat missions from a helicopter assault ship.
1991 - Battleship 
USS New Jersey (BB 62) is decommissioned at Long Beach, Calif.

   ***"All Hands Magazine" ...... as the U.S. Navy has relaunched its flagship magazine for Sailors and their families as an online publication. The new online version features stories, photos and videos about topics that are relevant to Sailors and their families. The magazine highlights Navy culture and heritage, and aims to be an informative  entertaining resource.

   ***Thunder Logs ..... as drug enforcement agents in
Guyana found 794 pounds of cocaine hidden in a shipment of timber destined for the Netherlands, one of the biggest ever seizures in the South American country, officials said. Customs had been holding the container for more than a month at the Dutch-run Guyana Timber Products yard while they ran checks, and drilled into the wood. In total, 314 bricks of cocaine were found in 7 of the logs when they were pried open. Three people were detained, including a Dutch national. The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) said the timber had been inspected & certified by the state forestry commission, but that staff from its Drug Enforcement Unit noticed discrepancies between the paperwork and the container's contents. The country's biggest drug bust was in 1998, when more than 3 tons - 3,154 kg (6,940 pounds) - of cocaine was found hidden in an empty fuel tank of a Panamanian-owned cargo ship bound for the Netherlands.

   ***Khat Kaught ...... as U.S. Customs has made the biggest seizure of east
Africa's narcotic plant, khat, the drug of choice for Somali pirates. The largest consignment of Kenya-grown herbal high called khat with a street value of US$30,000 has been seized by US Customs at Washington Dulles Int'l Airport from a shipment en route from Doha, Qatar. Nearly 100 kilos of the green leafy plant, classified by the U.S. as schedule 1 narcotic along with many EU countries was found on a routine inspection of a freight shipment listed as wooden coffee tables. The drug grown predominately on the Horn of Africa is reputed for its stimulant properties. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)"remain vigilant to intercept khat and other illicit and dangerous drugs at our nation's borders," said the Port of Washington. The drug which loses its potency within 48 hours of harvesting was produced and shipped originally from a wood working company in Kenya bound for a Washington furniture store. The CBS destroyed the shipment.

   ***One of The Greatest Survival Stories Relaunched ..... as nearly 100 years later, a group of British and Australian adventurers have discovered why. They re-enacted Ernest Shackleton's journey to save his crew when their ship got stuck and sank in
Antarctica's icy waters. Tim Jarvis and Barry "Baz" Gray reached an old whaling station on remote South Georgia island Feb. 11, 19 days after leaving Elephant Island. Just as Shackleton did in 1916, Jarvis and his team sailed 800 nautical miles across the Southern Ocean in a small lifeboat and then climbed over crevasse-filled mountains in South Georgia. The modern-day team of 6 used similar equipment and clothes. But the harsh conditions forced several of them to abandon their attempt along the way. "It was epic, really epic, and we've arrived here against the odds," Jarvis told his project manager Kim McKay after reaching the station, adding that "we had more than 20 crevasse falls up to our knees and Baz fell into a crevasse up to his armpits." Shackleton's survival story was remarkable in that the final 2 legs of his journey came after the 28 crew had endured more than a year in Antarctica. Their ship S/V Endurance was trapped and then crushed by the ice pack and the men later sailed in lifeboats to Elephant Island, where 22 of them stayed, waiting for help. After reaching the whaling station, Shackleton was able to raise the alarm and save all his crew.


    ***Containerville ..... as
Detroit developers have announced a project to build a 36-room hotel made of shipping containers on the downtown Dequindre Cut at a cost of US$4M. The news comes after developers revealed a US$3.4M project that is to create 20 condo units out of cargo boxes near Wayne State University in Midtown, reports Detroit's MLiveMedia Group. Construction is to begin this year. It noted that according to Wikipedia the developments are known as "cargo-tecture", a trend that has been taking off in other parts of the country and the world. Housing made from used cargo containers is seen as an environmentally-friendly way of deposing of these large steel boxes. However, critics point to concerns over the difficulty to heat the steel boxes and health risks posed by the containers' possible exposure to toxic chemicals in their past working lives. The condo units will range in size form 850 to 1,920 square feet, with prices yet to be determined. A US$350,000 model unit is being built. Meanwhile, plans for the hotel are gathering steam, with Shel Kimen reported to be near to securing the first round of seed money for the project and has already assembled an advisory board of local entrepreneurs and designers. She is also nearing an agreement with the city to buy one acre of land for the project.

    ***The Queen's New Cargo ....... as after more than 4 years sitting idle in a Dubai port, the storied passenger liner 
RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is bound again for the high seas as part of deal to convert the vessel into a luxury hotel in Asia, officials said Jan. 17. The precise destination of the QE2 was not announced. But a map noted its planned voyage ending in China, raising speculation of seaports such as Shanghai or Hong Kong. "We promise to take good care of her," said Daniel Chui, managing director of the Oceanic Group, a Singapore-based maritime company leading the renovation of the vessel into a 500-room hotel. The deal marks the latest twist in the fate of the QE2, which has been docked in Dubai since it was purchased by the state investment company Istithmar World in 2007 for US$100M at the height of the city's boom era. In July, plans were announced to keep the vessel in Dubai as a hotel and hub of a seafaring center. The interior of the ship has been meticulously maintained since its last voyage in late 2008 and Dubai will retain ownership of the vessel after its conversion to a hotel. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II launched the QE2 in 1967. Since she went into service in 1969, the ship has made at least 26 round-the-world voyages.
The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches                        
            **Back By Popular Demand**

We're sorry, but there were so many sinkings, explosions, pirate attacks, fires, cargo mishaps, battles on the water & other disasters at sea that we do not have room to print even the highlights this month. Many people lost their lives at sea this month!! 

But you can read all this month's disaster news at our special Internet web feature which provides full details of each event -- our Vessel Casualties & Pirate Activity Database.  Bookmark the site and visit every day! Updated twice daily.

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

See our newest photo feature "Singles Only" - Transportation Disasters Told In A Single Photo!

Daily Vessel Casualties ...... as we don't want you to miss the excitement of our 24 hour reports of the dramatic events at sea each day -- stories of casualties & pirates --- almost none of which are carried on your local news.  Edited daily by Christoph Wahner, Esq. of Countryman & McDaniel. 

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***
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>>>>>>

2013 International Transport Forum's Transport Achievement Award - Call For Applications ............ deadline 15 March 2013

Aircraft Spotting At LAX

Captain of the Costa Concordia Breaks His Silence

Clean Diamond Trade Act Countries List & Summary

Protect U.S. Fleets & Shipyards! Voice your Concern

Seven Days on The Queen Mary 2

The Bionic Warehouse .......... using warehouse technology to improve labor productivity

Training On Board ........ seafarers' fitness website has launched

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) New Final Rule For Importation of Biological Agents


"Dead Tired" -- Book Focuses On Pilot Fatigue And Its Consequences

P&I Clubs: Law and Practice. Edition No. 4.


Transport Events


Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Conferences & Business Events Worldwide

World Trade Organization Events

7th World Cargo Symposium .......12-14 March 2013, Doha, Qatar

9th Int'l Freight Forwarders Conference ......... 15-17 March 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

11th 3PL Summit ........18-20 June, Chicago

26th IGHC Ground Handling Conference ........ 5 - 8 March 2013, Vancouver, Canada

AirCargo 2013 ......... 10-13 March 2013, Red Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas 

Air Cargo & Logistics Asia Conference and Exhibition ......... 16-18 Oct. 2013, Singapore

Asia Pacific Rail 2013 ......... 12-14 March Ritz Carlton, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Cargo Facts Asia Conference ......... April 16-17, Langham Hotel, Hong Kong

Express Carriers Association 2013 ECA Marketplace .......... 9-11 April 2013, Intercontinental Hotel, Dallas, TX

FIATA World Congress 2013 in Singapore ....... 16-19 October 2013

IATA Ops Conference 2013 -- "The Checkpoint of the Future" ......... 15-17 April, Vienna, Austria

JAXPORT 2013 Logistics & Intermodal Conference ......18-20 March 2013, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, Florida


Marine Insurance Association of Seattle Luncheon - "Oil Spill Response Basics in Washington Waters" ......... 5 March 2013, Seattle

Sustainable Ocean Summit ........ 22-24 April 2013, Washomgtpn, D.C.

TOC Container Supply Chain Asia Conference ........12-16 March, Hong Kong

World Cargo Symposium 2013 ......12-14 March 2013, Doha, Qatar

General Interest>>>>>>>>>

AA Pilot With Balls of Steel

B-747 Flying In A Warehouse

Ten Bets You Can't Ever Lose

Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Scores Another Hit ....... includes video of intercept

FedEx "Ground" Service

Fed Ex Messing With DHL

iDoctor: Could A Smartphone Be The Future of Medicine?

Iran's 'Fake' Fighter Which Experts Say Can't Fly Is Spotted In The Air ...... with a little help from Photoshop

Not Yet Available For Sale, But Already Crashed -- 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Spanish Treasure Convoys

SS United States in 1984

Utah Plane Crash Caught On Tape

Yacht Island ......OMG

OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***
  7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases _______   

Great West Casualty Company v. Cobra Trucking, Inc. 
United States District Court for Montana
2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15036)
Insurer Unsuccessfully Attempts To Argue Subcontracting Is Brokering For Coverage Purposes.......as the United States District Court for Montana ruled on February 4th against an insurer attempting to decline liability coverage for a freight forwarder being pursued for a traffic accident caused by a subcontracted owner-operator.  The policy covered carrier operations but not brokerage operations.  The insurer argued that because the forwarder's equipment was not involved, the forwarder had "brokered" the load for purposes of auto liability coverage.  The Court disagreed, citing statutory and common law distinctions between "carrier" and "broker," distinctions long recognized for cargo legal liability.  The freight forwarder was identified as carrier on the bill of lading and was legally liable for the carriage despite having subcontracted the load to an owner-operator.  On this basis, the Court ruled the forwarder had not acted as broker under the policy.  Insurers are reminded that ambiguities in policy language will be resolved in favor of the insured, regardless of underwriting intentions.  Forwarders are reminded to review their policies carefully to avoid coverage suprises or costly coverage litigation later. Never hesitate to contact the attorneys at 
Countryman & McDaniel with any insurance questions - before the claim!              
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)
Christoph M. Wahner, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel) 
Daily Vessel Casualties
Bruce Lindsay, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)
Maria Jackson (Countryman & McDaniel)

The Cargo Letter_
since 1978)

    A world news service for Air/Ocean Freight Forwarders, NVOCC's, Consolidators, Indirect Air Carriers, Surveyors, Intermodal Shipper's Agents, Inland Carriers, Customs Brokers and Liability& Marine Underwriters world-wide .............a free service to more than 8,000 industry subscribers & readers on 6 continents.
          Michael S. 
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The Cargo Letter_ is published by The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel:  Legal, Business, Marine Insurance and Claims representation of Air/Ocean Freight Forwarders, NVOCC's, Indirect Air Carriers, Shipper's Agents, Inland Carriers and Customs Brokers......and Liability & Marine insurance Underwriters since 1978 in the United States & world-wide via The Cargo Law Network.  Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States, FIATA and others.

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