The Cargo Letter

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Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
27 June 2000

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."

To help you find what you need -- FAST -- there's now a transport search engine installed at our 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 web site:

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

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   1.  Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
   2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page
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. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases
   8. Tall Ships 2000 / Operation Sail 2000
      * Schedule & Links

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

1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page

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

Visit our new Daily Vessel Casualties & Pirate Activity Database ......... where daily updates of this news are posted. Stay up to date!

This is only a partial list of casualties for the month in that most dangerous place ....... out there. Read much more at our website.

M/V RIAD M. (3,237 gt, built 1965) had engine fire in approximately lat 35 25N, long 34 55E, Jun 26. Crew abandoned vessel & picked up by tanker M/T BT Stream. Crew reboarded vessel after fire apparently died down, & reported fire extinguished. Vessel to be towed to Syria. (Tues. June 27 2000)

Tamil rebel carried out a suicide attack on the Colombo registered M/V Mercs Uhana carrying food & other items for government troops and civilians in the north Monday. Sri Lanka navy boats rescued 21 of 28 crew members, who abandoned ship. An unspecified number of rebels on the suicide boat were believed dead. Mercs Uhana was attacked by rebel suicide cadres as it tried to anchor off Point Pedro. The 2,850-ton ship was carrying food, 500 tons of cement & other supplies from the capital, Colombo, to Point Pedro for the 40,000 troops stationed in the Jaffna peninsula fighting the separatist rebels. Some of the food also was meant for 500,000 civilians trapped in the fighting. (Mon. June 26 2000)

Liberian LPG carrier M/T NORGAS DISCOVERER (7,173 gt, built 1971), Oita for Antwerp, was in collision with Bahamian tanker M/T GREEK FIGHTER (62,670 gt, built 1974), on voyage from China, in lat 03 13N, long 100 35E, on June 24. Norgas Discoverer began taking water & listed 7 degrees to port. Vessel also sustained superstructure damage. Tug will escort Norgas Discoverer to Singapore. No significant damage to Greek Fighter. (Sun. June 25 2000)

Container vessel M/V HANJIN BREMEN, (37,134 gt, built 1991), which arrived Hamburg on Jun 8, declared General Average in respect of a fire on board while on voyage from the Far East. Understood many containers effected by heat/water. (Sat. June 24 2000)

The South African tanker M/T Treasure carrying 1,300 tons of oil sank June 23 six miles off Cape Town, unleashing a large slick threatening Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned 17 years. The ship had developed a 56-foot-wide hole in the hull, but its cause was not immediately clear. All 29 crew members, most Chinese, were airlifted to safety as the Panamanian-registered Treasure - China for Brazil - went down before dawn. The oil did not pose an immediate threat to the popular beaches along the coast. But the 20-square-mile slick was a danger to Robben Island, a rocky outcrop where political prisoners were incarcerated by the apartheid government. Mandela, now the former president, spent 17 of his 27 years in prison there. The island is now a museum and World Heritage Site & home to a large colony of penguins & other birds. The South African Maritime Safety Authority said air patrols were trying to determine the direction the slick was moving, while patrol vessels were trying to contain it. South Africa's last major oil spill was in 1994 when the bulk ore carrier M/V Apollo Sea sank 40 miles north of Cape Town, killing 36 crew members & causing extensive environmental damage. The Treasure was carrying twice as much oil as the Apollo Sea. (Fri. June 23 2000)

The Lithuanian refrigerated M/V LINKUVA (4,160 gross), on ballast voyage, had main engine failure about 220 nautical miles S.W. of Acapulco during "Hurricane Carlotta" Jun 21. 18 persons on board. Unlocated & all contact lost Jun 22. The 330-foot, 4,160 gross ton Linkuva carrying 18 people was last reported to be rolling 35 to 40 degrees in heavy storm conditions created by Hurricane Carlotta. Carlotta was upgraded to a Category 4 storm early June 21 according to Mexico's National Weather Service, puttiing the storm about 240 miles S.E. of Mexico's coastal state of Michoacan. Pray. (Fri. June 23 2000)

More than 180 people are missing after an overloaded passenger ferry capsized in a fast-flowing stretch of the Yangtze river in Hejiang county in the S.W. Sichuan province on June 22. The vessel was carrying an estimated 200 day-trippers to a country fair, Xinhua news agency said. Only 20 or so passengers had been rescued & 7 bodies had been pulled from the waters. State television reported that more than 180 people were still unaccounted for. All those aboard were tossed into raging waters after the vessel capsized in the S.W. province of Sichuan. The overturned vessel was dragged several miles down the river by the force of the current. None of the passengers had been issued tickets, so there was no record of the exact number on board. The mighty Yangtze is one of the world's most treacherous waterways, narrowing in places into surging torrents that race between jagged rocks. It is also a major transport artery from the western interior to eastern cities as far as Shanghai on the coast. In Nov. last year, 280 people were drowned when a ferry caught fire & capsized in freezing conditions off the coast of Shandong in one of China's worst shipping disasters in recent years. (Thurs. June 22 2000) Update: Chinese authorities have arrested the captain & the owner of the overloaded ferry that capsized in the Yangtze river, leaving more more than 130 people still missing. (Sat. June 24 2000)

The bodies of 58 people thought to be asylum-seekers were found on board a truck on June 19 in the English Port of Dover. A Home Office (interior ministry) spokesman said the bodies had been found in the rear of a Dutch-registered vehicle at about midnight. Two people were found alive and taken to hospital, where they are expected to survive. The nationalities of those found aboard the truck were not immediately known. The discovery was made by customs officers during a search of the truck after it disembarked from a cross-Channel ferry just before midnight. It had traveled from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Dover, a major landing point for ferries from France & Belgium, has been a major entry point for asylum-seekers, many of whom come from eastern Europe. The British government introduced fines earlier this year for people who try to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country in a bid to stamp out the practice. (Mon. June 19 2000)

The Greek tanker M/T SLOPS (10,815 gross) had explosion & fire amidships while at permanent moorings at Kynosoura, Salamis Island, Jun 15. Fire under control Jun 16. 1 dead. (Sun. June 18 2000)

On June 10 2000 at 1215 LT at Tg. Priok anchorage, Indonesia. Eight pirates armed with steel pipes boarded a container vessel from the stern. They were noticed & alarm was raised. The pirates immediately left the vessel. (Fri. June 16 2000)

On June 9 2000 at 2220 LT at Chittagong Roads, Bangladesh. Two pirates armed with long knives boarded a general cargo vessel from the stern & lowered 2 mooring ropes into the water. A small wooden boat dragged the ropes slowly. Duty AB spotted the incident & alerted the crew. On seeing the duty AB, the pirates threatened him with knives. The duty AB resisted with a steel bar & the pirates escaped with ropes. (Fri. June 16 2000)

On June 6 2000 at 0215 LT, 4 nm from breakwater, Chennai, India. Six pirates in a speed boat came alongside to port side of a heavy lift vessel. Three pirates boarded & tried to gain access to the accommodation. The AB on watch noticed them & informed the duty officer who raised the general alarm & the crew mustered at emergency stations. The pirates jumped in to the boat & fled towards the seaward direction. A police launch came to investigate at 0300 hours. (Fri. June 16 2000)

On June 5 2000 at 0300 LT at Belawan anchorage, Indonesia. Two pirates armed with long knives boarded a tanker via anchor chain from a small wooden boat. Duty AB noticed them & raised the alarm. On seeing the alert crew, the pirates jumped overboard & fled in their boat. (Fri. June 16 2000)

The Maltese M/V PETER (6,940 gross) bound Portugal with logs, in collision with French bulk carrier/container vessel M/V ADELINE DELMAS (23,275 gross) off Owndo, Gabon, Jun 8. Peter in sinking condition, crew abandoned ship & rescued safely. LOF signed. Adeline Delmas sustained no serious damage. (Tues. June 13 2000)

The Thailand ferry M/V Phuket Cruiser 2 taking more than 150 foreign tourists from a southern resort island to an outlying island in the Andaman Sea caught fire & sank June 12, but all aboard were rescued safely. The blaze broke out at about 9 a.m., an hour after the ship left the dock at Phuket island, 428 miles south of Bangkok, headed for Phi Phi Island. All 166 passengers & 3 crew members were rescued by the time marine police arrived. The flames later consumed the wooden hull of the boat & it sank. The vessel Capt. & engineer were arrested & charged with recklessness leading to damage of other people's property. (Mon. June 12 2000)

The Italian 15,000 ton M/V Med Star, bound for India's Kandla port in ballast on the western coast has been hijacked by a group of Iranian & Iraqi stowaway pirares who have threatened to blow up the ship. "We received a message from the local agents of the ship that a group of 14 stowaways have taken control over the vessel," Deputy Conservator of Kandla Port Trust, Praveen Chandra Chaturvedi told Reuters from Kandla. According to the message, the stowaways have threatened to blow up the vessel if it moved towards India,'' Chaturvedi said. The captain, who flashed a message to Kandla port on June 8, said the captors clandestinely boarded the vessel at the Iranian port of Bandar-e-Abbas, where the ship sailed from on June 7. The vessel was located some 150 nautical miles from Indian waters & about 275 miles from Kandla port on June 10 evening. "Right now it is difficult to say whether the ship is moving or anchored in the high seas. It is not clear if the hijackers had made any demands. The vessel with 20 crew was scheduled to arrive at Kandla port on June 12 evening to load 2000 tons of granite cargo. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were in radio contact with the hijackers who are asking to be transported to some European city, (Sat. June 10 2000)

The Australian Navy amphibious landing ship HMAS Manoora with 200 troops, 3 Black Hawk helicopters & 6 armored personnel carriers is sailing for the Solomon Islands to assist in evacuations of foreigners. The fighting involves indigenous Isatabus who in the past 18 months have been pushing thousands of migrant Malaitans off plots of land in Guadalcanal, the main island in this archipelago slightly smaller than Maryland. Warring Solomon Islands militias agreed on June 9 to a 14 day cease fire to allow a Commonwealth foreign ministers' visit this weekend aimed at restoring peace after an attempted coup. HMAS Manoora moved from Australian port of Townsville on June 8 & is expected in the Solomons capital Honiara by June 11 night. The Solomons are about 1,000 miles northeast of Australia. Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu was released from house arrest on June 9 after being detained at gunpoint on June 2 by the Malaita Eagle Force militiamen who took over Honiara. This special ground includes Guadalcanal, the territory for which thousands of Americans made their ultimate sacrifice, foot by foot, minute by minute, in the defense of Australia against the Imperial Japanese Forces in World War II. Tell it to the Marines. (Fri. June 9 2000)

The Turkish vessel M/V FAKAZ-1, 702 gt (built 1974), which departed Karasu for Eregli, sent out a distress signal & sank in the Black Sea on June 6. Crew abandoned ship & rescued. (Fri. June 9 2000)

The tug Alex C, owned & operated by Bay State Towing, guiding the Panamanian-registered tanker M/T Posa Vina from Tosco Marine Terminal in East Boston struck & punctured tanker's port side 2 feet above the waterline at 8:30 a.m, causing some 50,000 gallons of heating oil to pour into Boston Harbor. (Thurs. June 8 2000)

The People's Republic of China vessel M/V HAI RONG, 5,168 gt (built 1978), in collision with bulk carrier M/V JOINT MIRIAM, 6,976 gt (built 1978), in lat 38 04N, long 122 23.5E, at 1820, local time, Jun 2. HAI RONG sank & all crew rescued. (Wed. June 7 2000)

Fighting between rival rebel factions on the Solomon Islands intensified on June 7, with one using a stolen gunboat to fire cannon rounds at coastal encampments set up by the other group. A rebel spokesman said his side killed 100 enemies. He said he received the information from colleagues who fired a machine gun from the gunboat directly into a crowd of people, as well from others on the ground watching. There had been about 300 to 400 armed men on the beach. ''There were no civilians.". ''They were all carrying weapons. They were not holding a picnic", said the rebels. There was no immediate way to confirm the rebel claim. A Solomon Islands government spokesman & New Zealand officials said there had been a gunboat attack in the morning, but no information about deaths. For 18 months, the rebel groups -- the Isatabu & Malaitans -- have skirmished on Guadalcanal, the country's main island and the scene of the historic battle between U.S. & Japanese forces in World War II. (Wed. June 7 2000)

The 15,000 g.t. Cambodian-flagged bulk carrier M/V Zeycan suffered damage to its starboard side after colliding with the 6,300 g.t. Maltese-flagged vessel M/V Kaleli Ana around 0000 GMT at the mouth of the Black Sea. There were no reports of injuries. Turkish Coast Guard is escorting the cargo vessels to the Bosphorus Straits. The Zeycan was in ballast toward Ukraine when it collided with the Maltese-flagged ship carrying steel to the Russian port of Novorossiysk. Turkey's Bosphorus & Dardanelles straits, linked by the Marmara Sea, are among the world's busiest shipping lanes and the site of frequent collisions. Tankers use the straits to transport oil from Russia & the Caucasus. Turkey opposes the heavy traffic, citing danger to Istanbul's 10 million residents, but is bound by the 1936 Montreaux Convention to provide free passage to all merchant ships in peacetime. A Russian-flagged tanker ran aground & split in two in the Marmara Sea off Istanbul in February. (Tues. June 6 2000)

Canadian bulk carrier M/V ALGOWOOD (22,558 gt, built 1981), while berthed at Bruce Mines, Ontario, loading stone on Jun 1, had structural problems & the vessel sank at the dock. About 15 feet of hull remains above water. No pollution was reported but oil booms have been deployed around the vessel. No injuries to crew. Salvage operation is expected to take at least a week. (Mon. June 5 2000)

The Norwegian m research vessel M/V RAMFORM VIKING (9,456 gross) contacted ground in lat 52 53N, long 04 36E, and lost her starboard propeller May 27. Diverted to Rotterdam for repairs. Still repairing May 31. (Fri. June 2 2000)

NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shi ppers 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 ...............

Equasis ......... new maritime safety vessel database.

ComPairData .......... vessel schedules, ports & rates.

CargoSphere ......... new free service lets business owners compare both national & Int'l air shipping rates, track shipments to customers, & integrate shipping functions into their own Websites.



FreightDeskPro & ......... software developed by the Bethesda, MD.-based Internet firm to help NVOs & freight forwarders reduce their operations costs.

ShipLogix ........ complete suite of collaborative, Internet-based transportation management tools that link shippers, carriers, 3rd-party logistics providers & other trading partners. Real-time integration and collaboration among shippers, carriers & their customers.

Webmodal ......... Internet-based intermodal transportation service for full-truckload freight transport, called Point-Click-Ship, is designed for door-to-door, intermodal (dray/rail/dray) transportation.

Model Boat Builders of The Internet

World Maritime Directory ...........for US$139.00 from Maritime Reporter Magazine.

World Federation of Trading House Associations (WFTA)

Martin's Marine Engineering Page

Maritime Volunteer Service ...... uniformed service in the UK.

U.S. Navy Cargo Handling & Ports Group

Hampton Roads ......... interesting slide show showing coal & its travel to the ships hold. Coal is one of the largest bulk commodities for the shipping industry.

Global Time Zones ........ an Internet download.

Reduction of Hazards In Midstream Container Handling Operations

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases

U.S. vs. Mead Corp.
U.S. Supreme Court
Case No. 99-1434

Who Makes The Customs Rules?

This month the Supreme Court agreed to clarify whether courts must defer to U.S. Customs Service rulings on whether import duties should be paid on certain products. The court said it will hear the Clinton administration's argument that the Mead Corp. should have to pay such a fee for importing loose-leaf daily planners. A federal appeals court reversed a Customs Service decision that required payment of the import duty. The appeals court said it did not have to defer to the agency's findings. Mead, based in Dayton, Ohio, imports the daily planners that contain a calendar, sections for daily notes, phone numbers & addresses, and a note pad. In 1993, the Customs Service classified the planners as "bound diaries" on which a 4 percent duty was owed. Mead argued that the loose-leaf planners were neither bound nor diaries & therefore it owed no duty. The U.S. Court of Int'l Trade ruled for the government in 1998, but last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed that decision. The appeals court said it was not required to defer to such decisions by the Customs Service because they were not formal regulations and only applied to a specific case. The appeals court agreed with Mead that the daily planners should not be considered "bound diaries," and that the company did not owe a duty on them.

In the appeal acted on this month, Justice Dept. lawyers said the appeals court's refusal to defer to the agency's rulings "has left both importers & the Customs Service without effective guidelines for a wide range of transactions." The ruling will lead to "expensive customs litigation and unpredictable outcomes," the appeal said. Mead's lawyers said such Customs Service determinations traditionally have not been given the deference courts must give to other federal agency decisions.

For the appeals court ruling in Mead v. U.S., go to the web & click on Federal Circuit.

8. Tall Ships 2000 / Operation Sail 2000

Happy Year 2000!!! All along the U.S. East Coast this summer, enjoy the big show with tall ships from around the world -- featuring USS Constitution!

Operation Sail vs. Tall Ships 2000? ........ as these historic events may have pitted port against port for this years East Coast event. Hampton Roads against Charleston, S.C., & Boston against New London, Conn. Ports that once worked in concert are now fighting to lure the big sailing vessels. Cash inducements may have seeped into the once gentlemanly tall-ship community. Read the full U.S. Coast Guard story story. Great stuff!

Tall Ships 2000 / Operation Sail 2000 U.S. East Coast Schedules of Events

NOTE: For ease of downloading to you, the web addresses are not bolded in this feature.

Dates & Timings - may be found on the U.S. Coast Guard site

HAMPTON ROADS JUNE 16-20 OpSail 2000

BALTIMORE JUNE 23-29 OpSail 2000


NEW YORK JULY 3- 9 OpSail & INR 2000

NEW LONDON JULY 12- 16 OpSail 2000

BOSTON JULY 11- 16 Tall Ships 2000

NEWPORT JUNE 29- JULY 2 Tall Ships 2000 no USCG site

PORTLAND JULY 28-31 OpSail 2000 no USCG site

Tall Ships 2000 / Operation Sail 2000 Information Web Sites For New York - July 4th

U.S. Coast Guard - also has maps of the harbor, including where the fireworks will be.

Int'l Naval Review 2000

Main OpSail 2000 Site

Main OpSail New York Site

Hidden 'Secret' Site

Liberty State Park Site

Staten Island Events

Pete Seeger's 'Save the Waters' Conference Site

Enter as 'Guest'

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

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