The Cargo Letter

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

Good Tuesday Morning and Happy Halloween 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". For the 1st time in years -- you received no The Cargo Letter for September 2000 -- a result of our obligation to present a paper before the FIATA at Rotterdam last month. Now we must try to catch you up on what has occurred in the world of Int'l transport over the last 60 days. Join with us in this rather BIG job!

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. President Clinton Approves Montreal Convention
      * Presentation To FIATA
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 "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World
   8. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases

OUR Top Story

1. President Clinton Approves Montreal Convention

The big event for the Int'l forwarding community this year was the FIATA Congress 2000 (Int'l Federation of Freight Forwarding Associations) held at Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Sept. 25-29. The Advisory Body Legal Matters (ABLM) received a presentation by Michael S. McDaniel, Esq. of The Cargo Letter which announced approval of the Montreal Convention by President Wm. Clinton on Sept. 3 2000, and concurrence by the European Commission three days later. The White House has now sent the Montreal Convention to the U.S. Senate for it's advice & consent.

The Montreal Convention will replace the Warsaw Convention in due course and contains many features which will revolutionize the air cargo industry. These include adoption of all cargo advancements now contained in Montreal Protocol 4. To acknowledge the truly intermodal nature of modern air cargo practices, a new Article 18 of the Montreal Convention proposes that all modes of carriage would be deemed have been by air -- and thus covered under the Montreal Convention -- if the contract of carriage reflects only intended movement in the air mode.

The full text of Mr. McDaniel's remarks, along with comments of The White House and complete tutorials for use of the Montreal Convention & Montreal Protocol 4 are now Online. Please note the special "Study Guides" which have been added for training purposes. Complete Review of Montreal Protocol 4 -- with "Study Guides."

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 these ship 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. 100's of 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 coverage of the great tragedy for USS Cole (DDG 67) & continued coverage of the loss of the Russian Oscar II Class nuclear submarine Kursk. Operations are currently underway to recover members of the Kursk crew from the freezing depths. Twelve bodies have thus far been recovered.

SPECIAL NOTE: The Cargo Letter has received exclusive U.S. Navy photos of USS Cole disaster. Please look for these dramatic pictures shorty at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature.

Our Daily Vessel Casualties & Pirate Activity Database is updated for you twice daily! You can also search ship wrecks & losses of the past in our extensive index.

Bookmark the site and visit every day! Thousands of visitors can't be wrong!

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

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 ...............

European Commission's Annual Report On Barriers To Trade & Investment In The U.S. ......... details obstacles EU countries face when exporting to & investing in the U.S., points out many differences between U.S. EU legal & regulatory systems, and talks about non-tariff barriers & the need to defend European intellectual property rights. Free copy

U.S. Dept. of Census: Foreign Trade Stats

Digital Signature Blindness ........ "Analysis of Legislative Approaches to Electronic Authentication" -- article is available as a downloaded .pdf file.

Manipulation of the Int'l Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) Publication No. 400.

NavTools Lite ...... shareware for merchant vessel navigation. Can be used for 60 days. Requires Win9x/NT/2000 (minimal Pentium PC, 8 mb RAM, 50 mb HDD). Features include: Continuos calculation of present dead-reckoning position; Starfinder, list of all visible celestial objects, hours of rise/set/meridian passage; Waypoint navigation (unlimited number of waypoints) via rhumbline or greatcircle; Hurricane tracking; and many other small navigational utilities.

New Panama Canal Site ........ for expats.

Digital Ship ....... new print magazine covers developments in vessel navigation, ship to shore communications, maritime software, e-procurement, online shipbroking & other web-based maritime services. As might be expected, the new venture has a free e-mail newsletter dealing with the latest in maritime information technology.

World Maritime Directory 2000 ........ from the publishers of "Maritime Reporter", on CD with 20,000 listings.

Crisis Management In Shipping ............ an article from our friend Pat Gardiner at Gibralter.

E-commerce for Freight Transportation ........ Amsterdam, Nov. 27-28-29 2000. 4 dynamic keynotes, 50+ speakers & quality exhibition.

Maritime Employment Opportunities Online

WEBGIS ........ allows you publish GIS projects & intelligent maps on web pages. The thin client (less than 34 kb) can display projects with both raster & vector maps, unlimited map layers that can be dynamically generated by ASP/CGI scripts extracting data from databases, and hyperlinks to other GIS projects or web pages.

Conferences For Our Industry

E-Business for Shipping.........e-business event for shipping operators, freight forwarders & the new B2B market players 7th-8th December 2000 at The Selfridge Hotel, London

E-commerce for Freight Transportation ........ Amsterdam, Nov. 27-28-29 2000. 4 dynamic keynotes, 50+ speakers & quality exhibition.

23 New Transport Industry B2B & B2C "E-Commerce" Sites of The Month -- (Business to Business & Business to Consumer) ........ online transportation facilitator for intermediaries servicing the trucking industry.

ARZOON ....... new transportation management system with true industry professionalism -- a B2B with class.. ........ new service combines global supply chain execution with financial services networks. Collaborative trading groups with access to shared application resources, messaging and workflow, trade information & online marketing tools. ...... an exchange for booking air freight.

DAT Services ....... the business-to-business freight exchange network has reorganized.

FreightStats ......... a portal for the national & Int'l freight transportation industry

Global Freight Exchange ....... the U.K. B2B E-Commerce start-up, has opened its wholesale air freight exchange for forwarders & airlines. Deutsche Post AG & Lufthansa Cargo are among the largest investors in GF-X. Other companies working with the marketplace developer include American Airlines Cargo, British Airways World Cargo, Cargolux, Continental Airlines Cargo, Danzas AEI, DHL Int'l, Emirates SkyCargo, Fritz Cos., Kuehne & Nagel, Exel, Panalpina, Swisscargo & Yusen Air & Sea Service.

iFLEET, Inc. ........ information technology & services to the commercial truck & automotive fleet marketplaces 

FreightWise ......... U.S. domestic, for carriers selling available capacity, including Schneider National, JB Hunt, Triple Crown and Comtrak Logistics. ......... for unsold airline seats, industry's 2 biggest carriers, American & United, are backing Hotwire in addition to Northwest, Continental, US Airways &America West. quotations, payment & issuance of the policy from Huntington Beach, CA based InsureCargo Insurance Services, in partnership with Fireman’s Fund.

INTTRA ............major ocean carriers will join forces to create & financially support a neutral transportation portal -- Maersk Sealand, P&O Nedlloyd, Hamburg Süd, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. & CMA CGM.

LevelSeas ........ maritime bulk freight B2B.

MyAircraft ........ aviation B2B.

PalletOnline ........ 1st Web-based application service for tracking & management of pallets and reusable containers. Inc. ....... E-Commerce supply chain management service.

Ryder System Inc. ....... B2B site for business & vehicle fleet managers to plan, order & deliver fuel, lubricants, parts and other equipment used to maintain trucking fleets.

SeaLogistics ......... 1st online petroleum chartering exchange for the Caribbean market.

SetFair ........ maritime B2B.

ShipVerticle ......... maritime B2B. ........ the shipping solutions company has just reduced it's work force by 40%. ......... trade data. ....... joins a network of Int'l trade sites. The network is composed of 17 other interactive, regional portals in the U.S., Latin America, Europe & Asia.

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

8. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases

Hartford Fire Insurance Co. Vs. Orient Overseas Containers Lines (UK)
Second Circuit Court of Appeals
October 27, 2000

CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA ACT: COGSA does not apply as a matter of law after goods have been discharged from the vessel, thus COGSA did not apply as a matter of law to the inland portion of an intermodal carriage from Wisconsin to the Netherlands; COGSA could apply as a matter of contract between the parties, but the bill of lading, although potentially ambiguous, should be construed as applying by contract the Convention on the Contract for the Int'l Carriage of Goods by Road ("CMR") to plaintiff's claim arising from the alleged theft of cargo in Belgium en route to the Netherlands. To be clear, this was not a cargo loss in the U.S. -- where COGSA likely would have been applied as a matter of contract;

ADMIRALTY JURISDICTION:  A "mixed" maritime/non-maritime contract is subject to admiralty jurisdiction only where (1) the claim arises from a breach of maritime obligations that are severable from the non-maritime obligations of the contract or (2) the land-based portion of the contract is "merely incidental" to the sea-based portion; since neither of these exceptions is applicable here, plaintiff's cargo damage claim is subject to the court's diversity jurisdiction.

Sea-Land Service Vs. Sellan
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Oct. 26, 2000

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS/JONES ACT: The previous settlement agreement between plaintiff seaman & defendant vessel owner which prohibited plaintiff from future employment with defendant is enforceable, thus plaintiff's Jones Act claim for personal injury damage arising during plaintiff's surreptitious re-employment was properly dismissed.

Gulf Marine Vs. M/V Golden Prince
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Oct. 24, 2000

MARITIME LIENS: Legal services are not "necessaries" under the Federal Maritime Lien Act, thus a law firm has no maritime lien against the sale proceeds of a vessel for which it performed legal services.

Racal Survey Vs. M/V Count Fleet
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Oct. 24, 2000

MARITIME LIENS: Since the plaintiff supplier of seismic equipment looked solely to a party other than the vessel for payment, it had no maritime lien against the vessel for equipment supplied to the vessel's time charterer; a supplier of necessaries must also provide those goods or services to a vessel to receive a maritime lien, thus supplying the equipment directly to the time charterer, and not the vessel, provided an alternate basis for denying plaintiff's maritime lien claim; with respect to the vessel owner's separate lien claim for non-payment of charter hire, which was brought against equipment of the time charterer aboard the vessel, the court upheld the district court's decision denying the claim since a vessel owner may only assert such a lien against cargo.

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

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