Industry News
From The Cargo Letter

Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
9 September 1997

Good Tuesday Morning from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right at Los Angeles International Airport.

_ Lloyd's of London rang its famed Lutine Bell at notice of the premature death of HH Diana, Princess of Wales as a unique mark of pure and simple respect by our industry. Historically, the Lutine Bell is rung to signal loss of an insured vessel -- a harmful disaster. We are each harmed today by this tragic event. _

The thousands of Forwarders & Brokers who read this publication around the world need to learn of YOUR experiences and what YOU learned today. Contribute your knowledge & information ........ by e-mail to The Cargo Letter. We strive to bring you useful information which is timely & topical.

Michael S. McDaniel, Esq., Editor & Publisher

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

  1. OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
  2. Beijing Fumes At Taiwan Participation In Canal Talks
  3. ShipFix Import/Export List Opens On The Net
  4. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
  5. The Cargo Letter Financial Page
    OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
  6. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
    OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News
  7. FF World Ocean Briefs
  8. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
    OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
  9. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
    OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
  10. Motor Carrier Selection
  11. Milk And A Bit Of History
  12. China Tariff Questions Answered

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

1. Beijing Fumes At Taiwan Participation In Canal Talks

-- by Warren S. Levine, for The Cargo Letter

SEPT. 4 -- Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and a delegation of over 350 government and business officials and members of the Taiwan press arrived in Panama today, after a short "unofficial" stopover to play golf in Hawaii, for international conferences on the Panama Canal.

Jiang Zemin, President of the People's Republic of China, has asked Panama's government to withdraw its invitation to Lee, and referred to their inviting him as a "mistaken act." China holds firmly to its position that Taiwan has no right to govern itself, as they consider the island state to be a renegade province of the mainland.

In an act of appeasement towards Beijing, only three other heads of state, out of 300 nations participating, will attend the conference -- those of host country Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said that Taiwan's official participation in the conferences "...will not benefit the spirit of peaceful unification." However his counterpart in Taiwan, Roy Wu, said, "As a sovereign country, it is only normal and legitimate for us to attend international activities."

In another major event last week in Taiwan, Vincent Siew, the island's first native-born premier, along with his newly formed Cabinet, was sworn in at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The 58-year-old former economics minister was named as a replacement to Lien Chan, who had resigned the post. Lien will remain as vice-president.

At his first Cabinet meeting, Siew called on his ministers to "...respond to and solve problems instantly under the principles that public opinion is the most important guideline for governmental policy." Siew, a former chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, also said that Beijing must "... recognize the political reality of a divided China," indicating that in order for him to visit the mainland, he would have to be recognized as a head of state.

He also issued a caution to Taiwanese investors in the mainland: "In the face of increased trade and commerce ... the government has the responsibility to remind Taiwan businesses of the political risks in making investments on the Chinese mainland." However, Siew told CNN Wednesday that both the government and the people of Taiwan want to see cross-strait relations improve, and suggested that Beijing reopen the semi-official talks which they unilaterally called off in 1995.

Siew told Beijing to put aside the "sovereignty issue" and recognize the reality of a separate Taiwan government, but in a step characteristic of the ongoing political ballet, he stressed that they should not take that to mean he was promoting Taiwan independence.

2. ShipFix Import/Export List Opens On The Net

Industry expert Dennis Aruta has established ShipFix, a creative new Internet service for Exporters/Importers of large volume cargoes. With ShipFix users can find expert ShipBrokers for the best deals on chartering &operating vessels. Conversely, ShipBrokers and chartering agents can find new principals on ShipFix.

ShipFix is also a ShipBroker & charterer's network, proving users with information on the current movement of ships & cargoes.

Says Mr. Aruta, "Little is known about the shipping and chartering sector of our industry. As I see it the industry is 5 to 10 years behind in cyberspace and continues conservative. It has changed little from sailing ship days, except of course for containerization. Even back in 1900 some ships could do 30 knots!"

ShipFix is designed to guide users through the maze of confusion and misunderstanding which limit the effectiveness of many importers & exporters. Said Aruta, "How many have asked, I want to ship steel to China, give me a rate. Whoa! You might need a year to find out how to do it successfully, if you haven't shipped before. Indeed, it once took me a full year to teach a steel importer how to charter a ship. Ever seen a real ocean Charter party? It's a huge and complex document." ShipFix is designed to assist users in these issue areas.

The founder of Denar Chartering in 1971, Aruta is now retired and anxious to assist ShipFix users. Because there is a waiting list, those interested in belonging to ShipFix should apply NOW at .............. http:// or obtain info at ........

NOTE: All articles in The Cargo Letter are for the information of our readers and not ads. No one is ever charged in connection with information on our pages.

3. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

4. The Cargo Letter Financial Page

OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News

5. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs

OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News

6. Freight Forwarder World Ocean Briefs

7. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches

The Institute of London Underwriters announced 2nd quarter figures for casualties of vessels 500-gt or more on 18 Aug. Fifteen ships were lost and 48 have been lost in the first 6 months of the year, for a total of 376,502 gross tons. For the first half of 1996, 53 ships of 309,273 gross tons were lost. During the first six months of this year, 142 persons were killed in maritime casualties, compared to 1,061 in 1996. Thirty-six of the 48 ships lost this year were over 20 years old.

Here is the sad news for this week.........
1.] 7 Aug. M/V Vishva Nandini (Indian cargo ship.) partially sank at the Port of Mumbai, India;
2.] 9Aug. M/V Dongjin Sky (Taiwanese) dragged its anchor in the outer harbor of Pusan, South Korea during high winds. The ship ran aground in the Namhang Breakwater;
3.] 9 Aug. a crew member from M/T Shina (Panamanian) fell overboard off Bermuda and is presumed dead;
4.] 14 Aug. M/V Halsingland (German) ran aground off Kalajoki, Finland in bad weather. The ship was sailing to Rahja. It has 160 tons of heavy fuel & 30 tons of diesel aboard. Late 15 Aug. about 10 tons of oil washed ashore;
5.] 14 Aug. fire started aboard M/T Amyndas (Maltese) at Perama, Greece;
6.] 16 Aug. M/T Beykim II (Turkish), sailing to Yarimca, had a fire and is reportedly a total constructive loss;
7.] 17 Aug Twenty-four crewmembers of M/V Goodeast (Panamanian) were rescued after the ship caught fire about 50 miles southwest of Hong Kong.;
8.] 19 Aug. M/V Anatoli I (Panamanian-general cargo) sank in the East China Sea, off Kagoshima, Japan. Thirteen of the 19 crew were rescued and two were killed with 4 missing;
9.] 20Aug. M/T Orktyabrsky (Russian tanker), loaded with 750 tons of fuel oil, ran aground and was holed near Cape Goly, Russia, in the Ussuri Gulf during a storm;
10.] 20 Aug. M/V Anangel Prosperity (Greek) and M/V Larkfield (Bahamian) were in a collision off Suao;
11.] 24 Aug. the steamboat Belle of Louisville, home ported in Louisville, Ky., since 1962, partially sank. Built in 1914, the vessel is operated with Louisville as an excursion vessel. Flooding was stabilized after the tug Sharon M. wedged herself against the Belle of Louisville to prevent it from sinking further. The Belle of Louisville is the oldest authentic Mississippi River-style steamboat;
12.] 24 Aug., M/V No. 7 Shimizu (Panamanian), carrying 387 steel products, suffered flooding in its engine room after leaving Pohang, South Korea and is under tow;
13.] 26 Aug. M/V Meridian (Thai general cargo ship) capsized & sank at 08 degrees 15 minutes north, 105 degrees 32 minutes east;
14.] 26 Aug. a Honduran-registry wooden tug capsized and sank off the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal in Singapore killing a crew member;
15.] 27 Aug. as M/V Ibiton, carrying passengers &cargo collided with another vessel in poor visibility near the southern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, and 100 people are estimated dead;
16.] 28 Aug. M/V Liberta (Honduran general cargo ship) sank 28 Aug. in the Mediterranean Sea;
17.] 30 Aug. fire in the No. 4 cargo hold of the Matson Navigation Co. vessel M/V Manulani caused heavy damage to 56 CTNRs while berthed at Seattle ........... we omit the many other cargo vessel groundings and fishing & passenger vessel disasters this month which took many lives. Including the Haiti disaster yesterday, ferry deaths for the past month could be as high as 650. ............ McD

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.

OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace

8. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"

Here are my suggested world wide web sites of the week for your business, your information and your amusement ............... McDaniel

For those of you who wish to understand our opening tribute to HH Diana, Princess of Wales ................. Lloyd's of London Lutine Bell

Directory of Freight Forwarding Services ........... where a comprehensive listing of over 6,000 forwarders. Importers, exporters & traders are offered a free "Freight Rate Quotation On-Line" service. Quotation requests provide valuable leads to forwarders who subscribe . A free "Trade Forum" for traders to locate buyers & sellers for their products. Listings in the site's database includes full contact data, company profile & detail of services offered. Fully searchable. There is currently a special offer which includes deluxe listing, business leads & hosting of your website for $24 a month, said to be a 50% discount.

Expeditors International .............. where you fill out a form describing your logistics needs and a company rep. will call within 24 hours. Once a shipment is en route, track it online. The site also offers a Daily Newsflash on items of concern to shippers, such as new customs & visa requirements from foreign governments. "Expeditors Insights", its company newsletter, is also available. Unveils Graphical FlightTracker ........ and chalks up another "1st" for the Internet. Using high-resolution topographical maps &Java programming language FlightTracker takes advantage of the graphical cyber environment so that flight status is "seen" as planes travel across the U.S..

Airborne Express ........ has announced a new, improved, Internet address

Atlas Van Lines Interchange ....... the KING of "how to" for HHG. Includes a planner for your customers.

United Airlines Flight Center ....... in an historic decision YOU can be a pilot for the day with access to flight simulators from DC-8 to B-747-400-F. YOU can fly the "Friendly Skies" ........ but it's not cheap. We hear of one fellow who crashed into Tokyo Bay 5 times! Take a look!

BA ........... the improved site includes all British Airways' flights and code-share services. Until now only "net-surfers" in the UK have been able to check out and book the airlines fares via the Internet and only World Offers, the airlines fare bargains, have been available.

Serra International ........ an industry leader with a very useful site.

The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, USA:

GSA Transportation Management ........... where you can get information on the freight & household goods programs managed and operated by GSA. News about pending bids & changes in policies relating to such issues as rate filing. The Freight Section has a library of every form you'll ever need, lists of participating carriers, a directory of federal customers entitled to general freight tenders, plus all the rules, regulations & fine print. Other areas take care of similar jobs for HHG movers and a full listing of zone offices and contacts is provided.

The Load Dock ........... is a database of available freight, freight for bid & empty equipment designed to keep trucks & truck freight moving by uniting shippers, brokers & truckers. Even when the service goes to fully-paid status, it will only cost $20 a year for unlimited use of the database. Search for available loads, freight up for bid or just an empty trailer and get real-time results. Any EDI-capable company can output its available-freight and/or empty-equipment listings to an electronic file and The Load Dock will import the data for free.

THAI Airways Int'l

Navigation Information Connection ........... has everything you need to know about general U.S. inland-waterway information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Included are such essentials as lock-maintenance schedules, grain-price reports and vessel locations. There's also historical info, charts, maps, links to GREAT Net connected LIVE cameras, and news. Updated river and lock conditions reference material.

EDI Meets the Internet .......... definitions of EDI, plus explanations of X12, VAN and all those other good acronyms, differences between EDI and electronic commerce, how common uses of EDI limit its potential, security issues, federal involvement and, finally, all that technical stuff you need to know.

INTERSHIP .......... provides offshore vessels to the oil & gas offshore Industry, including accommodation units, Arctic Support Vessels, Deck barges, Pipelay, Launch Barges, pontoons, submersibles for Dry Docking Rigs, Offshore platforms, Tugs and Offshore Maintenance vessels, located in world wide positions.

Miami International Forwarders

Ocean Marine Shipping Co. ....... Egyptian agents.

I Trek .......... a freight forwarder Internet service of the sort which only large operators can usually afford. Create a database and query about a shipments. A searchable databases of airline & airport information, plus live chat.

U.S. Customs International Travelers Site

..........other sites of interest from The Cargo Letter

EventCal ...... is a searchable database of over 500,000 global events from trade & transport to the arts to cyber events, science to sports.

India Today _ 50th Anniversary Special Issue

El Nino "Home Page" ........... is considered by some meteorologist's to be "the" official source to trust for all El Nino information. Brought to you by the NOAA, the site comes complete with weekly updates, a visual map of El Nino's current status, the official NWS forecast for Nino3.4, and a history of previous ENSO years.

Route 66 ........... a trip through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Route 66 facts, stories, advice, and movies. You'll also find a photo gallery and slide show and a listing of threats to the original roadway.

LanguageForce ........... has announced its "Universal Translator" software. Will translate 25 languages for US$99. Also a Chinese translator. Free Demo.

6 Billion Human Beings ........... with facts and figures about the growth of the human population. It's pretty startling - check out the number of people who have been born since you were - incredible figures. An on-line exhibition.

U.S. Information Agency Declassified Historical Information (information recently declassified and once fought over)

Rail, Sea and Air Info Pages & FAQ Archive (Military & TC FAQs)] mirror]

Surplus Disposal .......... of Canadian Coast Guard & Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans equipment assets. Items available can be viewed and bid (generator sets, nondirectional beacons used for marking air strips or waterways, submarine power cable, barges etc...)

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

9. Motor Carrier Selection

-- by Cameron Roberts, Esq. for The Cargo Letter

All too often decisions in the transportation industry are based on "price," not qualifications. Unfortunately, the lowest price may be result of using outdated or in some cases, antiquated, equipment, lack of insurance or other negative factors YOU should address.. As a result reliability &quality may suffer. Historically, freight forwarders have not invested large amounts of time & resources in pre-qualifying carriers and maintaining a qualified carrier database. How often has your freight moved with "that guy" who someone used at forwarder "X". Why was that carrier selected? Was it the full page add in the Pacific Shipper or was the carrier simply the lowest bid?

Many problems can be avoided by asking basic questions in advance and putting the onus on others to prove that they are qualified to do what they claim they can do. Here are some "basic" criteria to selecting carriers. This is not an exhaustive list, but certainly a starting point that may help your day to day operations.

Create a carrier data base for each mode of transportation, by port. Pre -qualify the carrier by requesting specified information in advance and requiring the vendor to give you thirty (30) days notice of any changes. Create a company form which requests basic information from the prospective carrier, as follows:

1.] Proof of operating authority, DOT, PUC, or other agency (s); 2.] Proof of Insurance (cargo & liability) with coverage limits appropriate to the nature of the freight being shipped (require copy of insurance certificate and demand to become a certificate holder w/ notice of any changes.); 3.] Bond number if Customs Bonded Carrier, and date of expiration; 4.] Details of any release rate or limit of liability for freight carried (use your buying power to ensure any damage limits match your own.); 5.] Does the carrier interline or have partnerships to route freight & to meet service schedules. Additional inquiry can be made concerning (A.) Specialized equipment availability, (reefer units, lift gate, etc.); (B.) Special permits held (e.g. DOT Hazardous Cargo Certificate); and (C.) References or recommendations from other shippers/forwarders.

It is impossible to obtain too much information concerning the people entrusted with the freight of your customers.

10. Milk And A Bit Of History

In the last few days CNN has reported charges of "short weight" in milk cartons in the USA (1% to 6%). Short what? What?

Many centuries ago, the public in England complained that they were only getting 88 pounds when they bought a 100 pound (known as a hundred weight) sack of flour. The flour millers said that the 12 pounds was lost through the flour sacks during transportation and distribution. The wise king figured that the millers were giving "short weight" and issued an edict that "From now on one hundred weight is defined as 112 pounds." This accounts for the reason that the British Ton (Long Ton) is 2240 pounds and not the same as the American Ton (Short Ton) of 2000 pounds and almost equals the Metric Ton of 2200 pounds. (Warren Levine)

11. China Tariff Questions Answered

-- by Warren S. Levine & Lydia Hu Xiaoqing at Danzas Corporation in Qingdao, P.R.C. for The Cargo Letter

Our reader writes to ask: "You have a very easy-to-use website. I would like some information. Here are my questions:"

1. Does China pay tariff on goods exported to the United States? If so what is the rate? (Probably it varies as to goods imported.) A general statement will do.

Answer: There are no export taxes or duties on goods exported (from China to) overseas. The Chinese government encourages exports.

2. Now that Hong Kong is Chinese, will their tariff status change? If so, what is the general effect?

Answer: Under British rule, Hong Kong was a duty-free port. Duties were only collected on items such as tobacco, alcohol and cosmetics. China has promised that the economic system in Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years from the date of the handover, which covers tariff treatment as well.

3. I have heard that we pay about 35% on goods we sell to China. Is that a true figure? Are there items that go in duty free?

Answer: There is no special tariff treatment for American-made consumer goods. Duties & taxes depend on what kind of goods are imported. 35% is about the average tariff collected from the Chinese importer, but as with the American system, rates vary by commodity. If there are commodities which may enter China free by law (as, for example, books are free by law per the US tariff), then that treatment is accorded to American goods as well, but again, there is no special treatment given to American goods.

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