The Cargo Letter

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Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
31 August 2000

Good Thursday evening 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". ED NOTE: For the 1st time in years, there may be no The Cargo Letter for Sept., as editor Michael S. McDaniel travels to address the FIATA World Congress 2000 (Int'l Federation of Freight Forwarder Associations) at Rotterdam this Sept. 2000.

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 Top Story
   1. Forwarder Not Responsible As Agent
      * Travel Agent Mode
OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News
   2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs
   3. The Cargo Letter Financial Page 
OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News
   4. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs
OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News
   5. FF World Ocean Briefs
   6. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches
      * Back By Popular Demand
OUR "D" Section: FF in Cyberspace
   7. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"

OUR Top Story

1. Forwarder Not Responsible As Agent

Los Angeles - 30 August -- A federal appeals court ruled last week that just because a forwarder promises close door-to-door care & supervision of a shipment doesn't mean it's liable when the cargo is damaged en route. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a lower-court ruling against forwarder Panalpina, which arranged a shipment of an electrical transformer from Italy to Iowa.

The transformer broke loose from the flat rack on which it was stowed, & damaged other cargo belonging to Prima (U.S.A.) Inc. After Prima sued, the lower court said Panalpina was liable because it had stated to Westinghouse: "Rest assured your shipment will receive door to door our close care & supervision." The appeals court quite properly said Panalpina was not liable, because it acted as a forwarder instead of a carrier (NVOCC), & because it exercised "reasonable care" in selection of the stevedore & carrier.

As to Panalpina's promise to provide door-to-door care & supervision, the appeals court said: "Because of the well-settled legal distinction between for warders & carriers, that statement -- mere puffing -- cannot transform Panalpina into a carrier, & bestow liability upon it."

The case was defended by leading Int'l transport underwriter XL Specialty Insurance Company & argued to the high court by our dear friend -- the great transport lawyer Andrew Spector, Esq. of the MIA firm of Hyman & Kaplan.

This case reconfirms a 1949 proposition of the U.S. Supreme Court that a forwarder, not issuing a B/L, is just an agent, with no responsibility for the physical state of the cargo. Bravo, Andy!

In it's opinion the high court quite properly defined a non-carrier freight forwarder as a "travel agent" for freight.

The public commonly accepts the imperative that a "travel agent" which books your passenger flight is not responsible for your lost luggage. The federal court now restates the old, but sometimes forgotten, rule that this same basic principle applies to cargo.

The entire text of this case will be available for your review at the "Int'l Transport Law Navigator" section of The Cargo Letter website.

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

2. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs

3. The Cargo Letter Financial Page

OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News

4. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs

OUR "C" Section: FF World Ocean News

5. FF World Ocean Briefs

6. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches

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

We're sorry, but there were so many sinkings, explosions, pirate attacks, fires, cargo mishaps, artillery battles on the water & other disasters at sea that we do not have room to print even the highlights this month. Well over 1000 people lost their lives at sea this month!!

But you can read all this month's disasters at our special Internet web feature which provides full details of each event. This month we also include special day-by-day coverage of the loss of the Russian Oscar II Class nuclear submarine Kursk. We even have a "dolphin saves boy" story.

This feature is updated for you twice daily!

Bookmark the site and visit every day!

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

7. 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 ...............

E-Freight World .......... annual meeting for e-business in the European freight transportation industry, 20th - 22nd Sept. 2000, at Cumberland Hotel, London

Supply Chain Management Conf ........ as the Marine Machinery Association and Newport News Shipbuilding have joined to present a day conference entitled "Supply Chain Management: An In-depth Look at Shipyard Supplier Relationships." The meeting will take place in Hampton, VA on Oct. 24 & 25, and will include a tour of the shipyard and the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding & Carrier Integration Center.

The Navigator ........ a quarterly newsletter for the public/private shipbuilding community.

Future World Food Situation & World Trade .......... download 23 of the most-requested charts & graphs showing past and future trends in the world food situation. Many of the figures are based on IFPRI's global model of future food supply, demand, & trade. New visuals will be added as they become available.

U.S. National Hobo Convention

JFK Air Cargo Assn.

Int'l Ships Masters Association

City of Adelaide .......... efforts to save the historic clipper ship.
- see Carrick / City of Adelaide section

Road Wage Express Delivery Game ........ in this game you've got to deliver...literally! Your mission is to deliver packages to businesses around town. With each successful delivery, your bank account grows, making additional, & cooler, vehicles available to you. Look out UPS! Download Now: Watch Video:

DriverNet ......... for truck drivers & fleet owners.

eRide ........ a custom U.S. air passenger pickup service.

AWB Label Pro.......... a user friendly Windows program which lets you print bar coded AWB labels with your own logo on inexpensive blank labels on virtually any printer. IATA resolution 606 (requiring bar coded AWB labels) has been in effect for some time now, and most airlines are beginning to take this very seriously. Access the following website to download a trial version. The software can also be integrated with existing applications

World Wide Marine .......... a marine supply store on line.

Bergesen ........ the largest bulk carrier in the world. Interesting.

Weekly GPS News

Standard Symbols For Your Web Page

Star Wars Episode 2 Move Trailer ......... it's not real, but quite good.

New E-Commerce & Industry B2B Sites of The Month

1hemisphere .......... Int'l trade portal ......... portal to subscribing express carriers.

eWorldFreight ........ Web-based transaction support for transportation assets in the rail, air, maritime, & trucking. Using an interactive discretionary trading environment, eWorldFreight provides a transaction model that allows users to buy, sell, lease, finance, maintain, service, store, & reposition the containers, truck trailers, rail cars, & tankers in which freight is moved, as well as the locomotives, airplanes, trucks, & ships that move them.


FreightWise ..... General Electric Co. will become a strategic investor in this transportation exchange.


LoadSource ........ the 1st U.S. nationwide freight locating service designed for web-enabled cellular telephones. LoadFone allows the trucker to search in over 60,000 cities for freight.

Logispot ............. import - export interface with logistics providers, from Turkey.

Marex ........marine industry B2B.

MyAircraft ......... a B2B for the air industry.


ShipChem ......... a global, multi-modal, virtual logistics & transportation management solutions provider for chemical & plastics industry manufacturers & distributors

ShipServ ......... for ship managers & suppliers.

V-CommeX .......... import - export database services.

AirNewco ......... an airline B2B with founding members American, Air France, BA, Continental, Delta, Iberia, United, UPS & Qantas. AirNewco will launch the marketplace later this year.

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

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