The Cargo Letter

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Air & Ocean Freight Forwarder - Customs Broker News
30 November 2000

Good Thurs. 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". Be kind to errors, as we were on the road for two weeks this month!

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

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 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. Many 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) including dramatic new pictures just posted & coverage of the 800-foot M/T Westchester which lost power Nov. 28 evening & ran aground about 60 miles south of New Orleans, spilling 546,000 gallons of crude oil & closing traffic to a 26-mile stretch of the Mississippi River today.

SPECIAL NOTE: The Cargo Letter has received new U.S. Navy photos of USS Cole disaster. Please view these dramatic pictures 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

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

Dancin Dubya ........... cute site we found, since the U.S. election may last a few more months, or years!

The Foolproof Palm Beach County Voting Ballot ......... try it for yourself!

American Institute for Shippers' Associations ......... a very useful list of member organizations is published, plus focus the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 ("OSRA").

RiskVue ......the excellent e-zine for risk managers now has a search engine, called "Ask RIMS", the brain child of the Risk & Insurance Management Society. A simple phrase typed into the engine will search a database of 40,000 risk insurance-related web pages.

U.S. Shipping Statistics

U.S. Shipbuilding Statistics

MITSUI OSK Lines ........ has revamped its website.

How Much Luggage Does Each Airline Allow?

Permanent Luggage Tags

Landings.Com ......... aviation links. One of the best.

Aviation Accident Photos

Pprune (pronounced peeproon) ........ site allows professional pilots to discuss issues under the comfort of pseudonyms away from corporate pressures. Recommended.

Rail Mail ........ the undgergound trains, moving parcels & mail in London. Interesting.

Seafarers Training Standards of The U.S. Coast Guard

Bermuda, Insurance Laboratory .......... world's largest offshore insurance market.

New Transport Industry B2B & B2C "E-Commerce" Sites of The Month -- (Business to Business & Business to Consumer)

AirNewco ........ aviation industry B2B.

Cargo4Less ....... an auction like, but for cargo. Minimum of 225 lbs. by air. ........ Hong Kong logistics B2B.

FreightCash ........ a marketplace for transport factoring companies.

Global Rail Exchange ........ a B2B from General Electric for the Int'l rail industry. ........ has been selected as one of Inter@ctive Week's "Interactive 500" in its annual ranking of the New Economy's biggest & best. It was ranked #307 of the top 500 biggest revenue generators on the Web.

MyAircraft ........ enough said.

NedCargo ...... an online container shipping marketplace from Amsterdam and will focus on the region around Rotterdam, Le Havre, Felixstowe & Hamburg.

Trucker's B2B ....... the name says it all. .......... focuses on B2B trade leads, has launched its latest regional site.

OUR "E" Section: The Forwarder/Broker World

7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's v. Sinkovich
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Nov. 2, 2000

Experts: Underwriters' marine surveyor who was not identified as an expert witness in response to discovery demands could not testify as an expert at trial, only as a lay witness; the District Court erred in allowing the marine surveyor, who had no personal knowledge of the events in question, to answer hypothetical questions and generally give his opinion in an expert manner, rather than as normal person would based upon 1st-hand perceptions; Evidence: The District Court also erred in admitting the marine surveyor's report as a business record since it was prepared in anticipation of litigation and consequently lacked the requisite trustworthiness.

Stewart v. Dutra Construction
First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Oct. 31, 2000

Jones Act: a dredge engaged in the excavation of a tunnel in the Boston Harbor, which was used primarily as an extension of land for the purpose of securing heavy equipment and was not in transit at the time of injury, is not a "vessel in navigation" for purposes of the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. app. § 688, thus plaintiff's personal injury claim under the Jones Act was properly dismissed.

Nippon Miniature Bearing Corp. v. Weise
Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Oct. 24, 2000 No. 97-55930

Civil Procedure - Int'l Trade: Customs preenforcement penalty assessment determinations are not final agency decisions under the Administrative Procedures Act, so district courts may not exercise jurisdiction over claims that such determinations are unlawful. To read the full text of this opinion, go to:

Lewis v. Lewis & Clark Marine, Inc.
Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
No. 99-1331

Admiralty - Jurisdiction Limiting Liability: The issue in this admiralty case was whether the district court abused its discretion by using admiralty jurisdiction to dissolve an injunction against state court proceedings in limiting the liability in a personal injury case. James Lewis, a deckhand aboard the ship M/V Karen Michelle, injured his back when he tripped over a piece of barge rigging on the ship. Shortly after the injury Lewis and Clark Marine, Inc. filed for limitation of liability protection under the Limitation of Liability Act (46 USC sec. 181). The Act allows an innocent ship owner to be exempt from liability for amounts beyond their interests. Lewis filed his claim in Illinois state court for state claims as well under the Jones Act for negligence. The district court granted Lewis & Clark's restraining order preventing the state court from proceeding. In July 1998, James Lewis stipulated that his claim would be below the US$400,000.00 liability fund limit. The district court then dissolved the restraining order so James Lewis's state case could be heard. The court below reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in dissolving the restraining order. Further, there was no statutory conflict between the Limitation of Liability Act and the "saving to suitors" clause (28 USC sec. 1333). The clause creates a presumption for use of jury trials which does not exist in admiralty cases with exclusive federal jurisdiction. Finally the court concluded that even though James Lewis stipulated that the limitation fund was large enough to cover his damages, the federal court retained jurisdiction to determine if the ship owner should be exonerated for negligence under admiralty law. Full text:

United States v. Mead Corporation
Argued Before The U.S. Supreme Court On Nov. 8 2000
Status: Under Submission For Decision
No. 99-1434

Court Below: U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit TARIFF - Judicial Deference to Classifications by Customs: The issue in this importation case is whether courts should grant deference to tariff classification rulings made by the U.S. Customs Service. Mead imports a variety of products into the United States, including "daily planners." Customs originally classified the daily planners within a category of duty-free products. This classification was later changed by Customs, which associated the daily planners with "bound diaries" that are subject to a 3.2% import duty. At trial, the court below determined that Customs classifications are not entitled to judicial deference. Before the Supreme Court, Customs will argue that broad deference has traditionally been extended to Customs interpretations when reasonably drawn from their statutory foundation. Mead argues that Customs interpretations are not subject to deference in that their ruling procedures lack the notice-and-comment characteristics upon which the Supreme Court has previously based the extension of deference. Mead also argues that any deference should be limited in that Customs does not issue a reasoned analysis with their rulings, which makes it difficult to determine if the ruling is "reasonably" drawn from the statutes. Full text:

My Lawyer Will See You At The Post Office ! ......... as the Beijing Xiqu Post Office has been given the go ahead by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court to set up an express mail service to litigants for legal documents. This is the 1st time such a service has been offered for this activity an official announcement said. The post office will be responsible for delivering copies of documents such as complaints, verdicts, mediation papers & citations. This service has been introduced as a way to improve efficiency & reduce handling costs.

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

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