The Cargo Letter

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Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
13 October 1999

Good Wednesday Morning from our Observation Deck...... overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and....... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport, voted "Best Cargo Airport in North America." Today LAX has announced that all systems are fully Y2K compliant! But sadly, we again must feature tragic Pirate news and reports of mass murder on the high seas. Why no one else covers this important news is a bit of a mystery. Also this month, please help us find the very missing M/V Kobe Queen 1, our top story.

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 web site 

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor & Publisher, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker attorneys at LAX.

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR Top Story
   1. The Search For M/V Kobe Queen 1
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   2.  Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
   3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News
   4. FF World Ocean Briefs
   5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
      * Back By Popular Demand
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
   6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"
OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
   7. Int'l Forwarders Go 'Code Red' in Japan
   8. Mass Arrest of Customs Officials
      * Biggest Scandal In China
      * Some Officials Flee
   9. Last Farewell To Tall Ships
  10. Top 10 Ways Columbus' Crew Passed The Time 
      During Their Two-Month Voyage

OUR Top Story

1. The Search For M/V Kobe Queen 1

LAX - 12 Oct. 1999 -- A party with cargo interest aboard the M/V KOBE QUEEN 1, Panamanian Registry, Greek ownership, Ukrainian operation, is offering a very substantial reward for information leading to vessel location and cargo recovery, guaranteed by in cash by The Cargo Letter. M/V KOBE QUEEN 1 was scheduled to arrive Rio Haina, Dominican Republic, in early August 1999 and has failed to arrive. Cargo interests suspect that the vessel may attempt to sell her cargo, including steel, in an unknown port. Notifications should be sent to The Cargo Letter. URGENT. Please send us full details by e-mail, phone or fax. Contact information is always at the end of this page.

Vessel details are:
Name:		M/V KOBE QUEEN 1 (ex M/V Barenbels)
Type:		GGC -- General Cargo
Flag:		Panama
Class:		GL/NV
Gross:		12,156
DWT:		18,500
Built:		1976
Length overall:	148.9 m
Beam:		23.0 m
Depth:		13.0 m
Hull type:	Double bottom
Call Sign:	3FVM8
Owners:		NOMINATOR, Greece

We must find M/V Kobe Queen 1. She may be re-flagged or re-named. Please check your local harbor. This matter is very important to us. McD

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

2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News

3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News, Lloyds & other world sources.

OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News

4. Freight Forwarder World Ocean Briefs

5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches

We're back! "Cargo Damage Dispatches" was one of your most popular features, for years, until Steve Schultz of Whitefish Bay took a much deserved break in 1998 from gathering all the information each month. Indeed, the West Coast's ILWU has put up a special web site, just for our previous reports. We've now brought the feature back for you. The Cargo Letter is searching for volunteers to fill Steve's big shoes. Please let us know of casualties in that most dangerous place ....... out there.

While the casualties below are only a portion of ocean disasters for Sept./Oct. 1999, our ability to gather the info will continue to improve in coming editions. McD

The Egyptian tug/supply vessel MARIDIVE XII (844 gt) sank in bad weather while en route from Port Said to Baltim on Oct 10. The master & 2of his crew were killed. (Oct. 13)

The Panamanian motor bulk carrier M/V SANAGA (14,929 gt), with 26 crew on board, reported in lat 27 34.3S, long 44 13.6E, about 700 miles ENE of Durban, at 1000, UTC, taking water in No.1 hold. Down by head 2.5 meters & at waterline level to Nos. 1 & 2 holds. Ingress to No.2 hold. Nos 1 & 2 decks awash. Heading 258 degs true. (Oct. 12)

Two crewmembers serving on board the 317,000 dwt VLCC tanker M/V Atlantic Prosperity had to be flown to hospital under UK police escort after a knife fight erupted between them. The incident happened as the vessel entered the North Sea after leaving Rotterdam earlier in the day. One man was treated for a stab wound to the shoulder while the other had a severed finger. The doctor worked on them for an hour before allowing them to be airlifted to hospital with a police escort. Although the incident happened outside UK jurisdiction, the involvement of the police was requested by the Master of the vessel due to the severity of the incident. Both men, Philippino nationals, are now being questioned. The cause of the fight is not known. The 1995-built Panamanian-registered vessel was unladen at the time, and heading into the North Sea to await employment. According to the UK Maritime & Coast Guard the ship's safety was never in any danger. (Oct. 10)

The Panamanian bulker M/V Ocean Wave, ran aground & developed a crack on its bottom near Bangladesh's southwestern port of Mongla. It was carrying 14,500 tons of imported cement. (Oct. 10)

The Russian replenishment tanker M/T PECHENGA (8,499 gross) sustained main engine damage in the Sea of Okhotsk Oct 7. Taken in tow by salvage tug Atlas same day bound Aniva Bay, Sakhalin Island, where ETA about Oct 9. (Oct. 9)

The crew of the 35,000 dwt bulk carrier M/V Aspidoforos successfully beat off two pirate speedboats in the Straits of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, it was reported last week. The general alarm was sounded on board the 1982-built Bahamas-registered vessel when it became clear that the occupants of the boats were trying to board. The crew was put on alert, fire hoses were prepared and the vessel undertook evasive maneuvers. After ten minutes the pirates broke off their pursuit.

The Liberian motor ore carrier M/V WESER ORE, 134,366 gt, bound Taranto with full cargo of iron ore, ran aground in Tubarao at 0015, Oct 4. Vessel has flooding damage. Vessel, which still aground, has a slight port list due to ingress of water in ballast tanks. Considering off-loading part cargo. (Oct. 6)

The Cyprus M/V PHOENIX II, 1,934 gt, Safi for United Kingdom, sent a DSC alert at 1724, UTC, Oct 3, indicating she was in distress and abandoning ship in lat 33 29N, long 09 25W. M/V Juan J.Sister proceeded & rescued all 9 crew about 1900, UTC. Vessel understood to have sunk in lat 33 29N, long 09 25W, about 1930, UTC (October 5)

Italian bulk carrier M/V BULKIGNAZIO ((73,116 gt, built 1990), Hampton Roads for Antwerp, contacted Berendrecht lock while entering the lock on Oct 3. Vessel sustained 20-meter crack above the waterline & also slight damage to starboard side. Vessel will berth for survey. (Oct. 3)

An explosion aboard an LPG tanker M/T Mundogas Europe docked at Subic Shipyard in the Philippines killed at least 5 people. A shipyard statement said the vessel was being prepared for undocking when an explosion occurred in a cargo tank. The 1968, 17,699 dwt ship was sold to Olympi of Chile for US$4M last month. (Oct. 4)

The Philippines M/V OCEAN SAMPAGUITA (5,484 gross) dragged anchor during Typhoon "Bart" and grounded off Hesaki Sep 24. Refloated and towed to Shinkasado Sep 28 for repairs to damaged bottom plating and propeller. (Oct. 1)

The Panamanian m bulk carrier M/V HYUNDAI SPIRIT (68,093 gross), Newcastle, Australia, for South Korea with coal, broke her moorings during discharge and grounded at "Boryung," west coast of Korea, Sep 28. Engine-room reported flooded and some oily residue spilled. Owners/Underwriters arranging salvage. (Sept. 30)

The Malaysian m tanker M/T PETRO STELLA (3,022 gross) caught fire at Port Dickson on Sep 27. The fire is under control. (Sept. 29)

Bahamian passenger vessel M/V NORWEGIAN SKY (78,200 gt, built 1999) grounded near Tadoussac in lat 48 05N, long 69 33W, on Sep 24. Vessel, carrying around 2,000 passengers on 10-day cruise from Quebec City to Newfoundland and Maine, refloated same day and proceeded to anchorage for diver inspection. (Sept. 27)

The German container vessel M/V PUNJAB SENATOR (53,324 gross) and the German ro-ro ferry JOCHEN STEFFEN (5,293 gross) were in collision off Brunsbuttel Sep 21. Both vessels sustained slight damage but were able to proceed. (Sept. 24)

The Panama-flagged general cargo vessel M/V EASTERN HOPE (2,818 gt), Noro for Xingang with about 4,000 cubic meters of round logs, was abandoned by her crew after listing heavily following shifting of on-deck cargo in lat 21 52N, long 134 20E, on Sep 13. Vessel was subsequently reached by a tug, which towed her into Hiroshima on Sept. 22. (Sept. 23)

The Cyprus M/V SELNES (3,658 gross), bound Wismar with stone, grounded in lat 54 56N, long 11 00E, Sep 20. She refloated with tug assistance, after some cargo lightered off, Sep 21. No leakage or pollution. Now anchored to reload cargo, after which she will resume passage. (Sept. 21)

The Sierra Leone tanker M/T WORLD KINSHIP (49,827 gross), loaded with crude oil, is delayed at Dar es Salaam due to a defective single buoy mooring. The SBM is being replaced. (Sept. 18)

NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Sh ippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. It's dangerous out there.

OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace

6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"

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

U.S. Dept. of transportation ......... 1999 Int'l Civil Aviation Y2K Review. 

Investigative Tools - Personal Documents - Russia .............. as personal Documents are traditionally very important for every person who was born and raised in Russia. This article examines what you need to know about these documents when investigating insurance fraud. 

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Merger Website 

The Port of Portsmouth UK Newspaper ........... excellent arrivals & sailings web page including South Hampton. 

The American Sail Training Association (ASTA) Annual Conference be held on November 4/3/5 in Boston, MA. 

Compare Liner Services Rates 

Maritime Science Site ....... looks good, but we are not yet sure what it does. 

ACS Logistics ......... the newly redesigned Web site. 

Ferguson Shipbuilding ............. on the River Clyde. The new site celebrates a recent launch of M/V Stirling Lona. 

Freightgate Marketplace ......... connect shippers, 3rd-party logistics providers & carriers in a unique environment. Shippers submit conditional buying offers, from which carriers view an aggregated list of offers by trade lane, and have the option for acceptance or denial. 

Hyundai Merchant Marine ....... the new site. 

Water To The World .... they will bring it. 

The Seaport Group ........... port consultants. 

Web Radio ....... the complete directory of stations broadcasting on the web. .......... employment on line. 

Web Position Gold ......... Web site positioning software. Free trial. 

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

7. Int'l Forwarders Go 'Code Red' in Japan

-- by Stephen O'Connell of SOS Global Express for The Cargo Letter

October 2, 1999 - New York -- The International Freight Association's (IFA) 14th Annual General Meeting was held this past week in Tokyo. Proceedings were not "as usual."

Members from over thirty countries convened the 1st day at the Tokyo Prince Hotel in downtown Tokyo. The agenda included expansion of EDI facilities among the members (Logitrac) and the establishment of a fiscal guarantee system to protect the receivables of participating members.

Chairman Jim Cullen of JSI Shipping from San Francisco says "the AGM is not only a place where we look to continually improve and add value to the association but, more importantly, where our members can meet face to face every year. These meetings foster long lasting business relationships and even longer lasting friendships..."

These friendships were put to a test on Thurs. evening & throughout Fri. At 0200 on Fri. (local time Tokyo), Lili Niv of Lapid Forwarding Tel Aviv received a call in her room from her office in Israel stating that news reports were beginning to come out about a 'major nuclear accident, Japan's worst in history' which had apparently happened only 100 kilometers north of our hotel in Tokyo 14 hours prior. Reports were still sketchy but it was clear that this incident was very serious and still not under control. CNN* reports stated that there was an "uncontrolled nuclear reaction" still happening and that the Japanese Government was urgently calling for international assistance.

Sufficiently concerned at this point, members of the IFA board of directors together with the Japanese IFA partner, Hitoshi Yoshino of MSL Ltd, came together to develop a plan. Within an hour, with news reports getting more dire, it was decided that all members were to be awoken and advised of plans to evacuate from Tokyo. Calls were put out for possible charter options from Tokyo's Haneda airport, but it was quickly decided that the best course of action would be to have all members evacuate by train to a city far enough away from Tokyo as to get all away from immediate danger.

At 0400 all members came together in the hotel lobby, packed with just an overnight bag, and taxis were arranged to Tokyo's Central Station. Upon arriving at the station, money was pooled by everyone to purchase tickets for a 0600 departure to Osaka on Japan's version of the 'bullet' train. Board of Directors member Martin Nolan, of TQ Express - Manchester, said "we worked to get everyone out as quickly as possible with priority given to women and members traveling with children." All members did finally make it onboard the 0600 departure with only minutes to spare.

By 0830 everyone was safely in Osaka, waiting for news updates of whether Tokyo was to be affected. Some arranged flights directly home on Friday from Osaka's Kansai airport. At 1300, reports from Japan's and international news services stated that the nuclear accident was under control and that a major disaster had been averted. Slowly, members of the IFA who had not flown home directly from Osaka, assembled again for the 2.5 hour trip back to Tokyo. A tremendous sense of relief was felt by all, and then all gave in to the exhaustion brought on by lack of sleep and the tense situation.

That evening, back at the Tokyo Prince Hotel, everyone agreed that although we had missed our last day of meeting we had all shared a far greater experience. The calmness and quickness with which the evacuation was orchestrated proved that the IFA was truly a family. The nuclear hazard was contained as reported in detail by the world press, selflessness of action by all members has brought the IFA closer together more than just a meeting ever could have.

The IFA is planning it's 15th AGM in Europe/Africa next Sept. and everyone is looking forward to an incident free meeting with new & old friends alike.

ED NOTE: The IFA is a nonprofit association registered in NSW, Australia, founded in 1985 to help small and medium sized air & sea forwarders compete with multinational freight forwarders. The IFA has developed a proprietary EDI system for tracking and communication. If you are an Int'l agent and wish to consider membership in this organization, please contact the author or the IFA Secretariat. Carriers and vendors are also invited to apply for associate member status.

8. Mass Arrest of Customs Officials

Compiled From The China News Digest By Warren Levine For The Cargo Letter

CND, 10 Oct. 1999 -- The central government has replaced all customs officials in charge of customs check points in Shantou city of Guangdong province, including the chief, with officials from Beijing, the Hong Kong Standard reported on Saturday.

In an attempt to break the largest smuggling scandal in China, LIU Liman, Deputy Director of the Discipline Inspection Commission, ordered the replacement of local customs officials. The government has detained about a hundred officials in Shantou in connection with the smuggling case, which involves tens of billions of yuan.

The ring was detected when the son of a senior official revealed information under detention. As a result, the deputy party chief and vice-mayor of Xiamen city of Fujian province, were taken into police custody. The two were allegedly involved in the smuggling activities of the Huayuan Company.

Huayuan, a company that monopolizes oil products in the province, had an allegedly close relationship with Xiamen municipal officials as well as the military. The company also used equipment from the provincial petroleum company for its smuggling. As a result, CHEN Yanxin, general manager of Fujian's petroleum company, was also arrested.

The chief executive of Huayuan was believed to have escaped from the country with the help of ZHUANG Rushun, former police chief of Fuzhou, who was also arrested. (ZHOU Haosheng, WU Yiyi)

9. Last Farewell To Tall Ships

-- By Gillian Black, Livesights, to The Cargo Letter

LONDON - 6 Oct. -- Two tall ships, the STS Sir Winston Churchill & the STS Malcolm Miller, visited London on a bitter-sweet visit: their joint passage through Tower Bridge marks their last voyage together before the Malcolm Miller was decommissioned. Their arrival & departure was carried live online by the ThamesCam: Livesights' online video camera webcasting continuous images from the Thames at Tower Bridge.

The ships, both 3-masted topsail schooners, are operated by the Sail Training Assn. charity, which arranges sea experience for young people aged 16 to 24. The young crews manned the vessels' yardarms as they passed in through the Bridge with a Thames river police escort on Sept. 29, and a fireboat directed a jet of water high in the air in salute as they left on October 6. Among dignitaries aboard STS Sir Winston Churchill for the inbound voyage was the STA president and round-the-world yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Full details of the event, with interactive links, can be found online.

The Sail Training Association uses its funds to make the sailing opportunities available to everyone, regardless of their background, creed or nationality. The STA also organizes the annual Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race invo lving the world's large sailing vessels and their young crews; and for the year 2000, there's a special millennium race which involves a circumnavigation of the North Atlantic.

Aboard each ship for the voyage up the Thames was a crew of 55, all but 10 of whom are young people. They're completing an 11-day sail training voyage of about 1,000 miles. The crew members came from all over Britain, but among them are 14 from various parts of London.

10. Top 10 Ways Columbus' Crew Passed The Time During Their Two-Month Voyage

With thanks to CBS and the David Letterman Show of 11 Oct. 1999:

10. Testing equipment to make sure it was Y1.5K compliant.
 9. Complaining about how they don't get Columbus Day off.
 8. Pretending to enjoy Columbus' weird alter ego "Chris Gaines."
 7. "Polishing the telescope."
 6. "Pumping the bilge."
 5. "Placing all hands on deck."
 4. "Buffing the scrimshaw."
 3. "Oiling the bow thruster."
 2. "Shaking hands with the first mate."
 1. "Baiting the mast."

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News, Lloyds & other world sources. [an error occurred while processing this directive]