Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel


Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News

31 January 2005


Good Monday 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." This is our news review of January 2005.

To help you find what you need -- FAST -- there's now a transport search engine installed at our Cargo Law.com 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 website.

Our corporate sponsor &endash;- Interpool, Inc. -- named again to Forbes "Best 200 Small Companies" List -- for the 2nd consecutive year! -- http://www.interpool.com/

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor, 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 Ocean 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 Transport Related Legal Cases ___________            


 Back To Main Page


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

  1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________

***Looking Up? ......... as the U.S. Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators increased 0.2% after rising a revised 0.3% in Nov. The index had fallen 5 straight months before Nov. The LEI is closely watched by transportation companies because it forecasts business activity for the next 3 to 6 months. The Board's index of coincident indicators, a gauge of current economic activity, rose 0.3% in Dec. after increasing 0.2% the month before. The index tracks payrolls, incomes, sales & production. And -- the U.S. Consumer Price Index, the prices paid by consumers, declined 0.1% in Dec, whereas for all of 2004, prices rose the most in 4 years, the Labor Dept. reported. Also -- the number of Americans filing initial claims for jobless benefits fell 48,000 to 319,000 in the week ended Jan. 15, the largest drop in more than 3 years.

***Life In The Green Lane ....... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection this year will begin providing U.S. importers, who demonstrate willingness to go beyond minimal security guidelines & best practices to secure their supply chains, a "green lane" through customs for virtually all their shipments, Commissioner Robert Bonner said in a briefing with reporters. That means "no inspection upon arrival -- immediate release" for companies in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism trusted shipper program that adopt the highest levels of security controls, Bonner said. C-TPAT is a voluntary program. CBP has always promised fewer cargo exams for certified C-TPAT companies, but Bonner said he was ready to take the program to the next level, or "C-TPAT plus," as an incentive for low-risk shippers to do more. During the Customs Trade Symposium in Washington, CBP distributed a copy of its C-TPAT strategic plan in which the agency said it was exploring options to provide tiered-benefits to C-TPAT member companies.

***One Border, No Waiting ....... Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (Customs, CBP) has eliminated the requirement for truck drivers to present commercial or pro-forma invoices at the time of primary processing at land border crossings for shipments processed via Customs' Pre Arrival Processing System (PAPS).The PAPS process requires the carrier to provide a barcode to be placed on a form CBP 7533 (Inward Cargo Manifest) and invoice that contains the carrier's Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) and a truck bill of lading number on the U.S. northern border or filer code & entry number on the U.S. southern border. Shipment documents are then transmitted or faxed to the customs broker, who prepares & transmits the entry data to Customs at least one hour (1/2 hour for Free & Secure Trade (FAST) entries) prior to arrival of the shipment at the border crossing. See: "Updated PAPS Procedures, Invoices & Release Dates"

***Even Faster Border ....... as Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge & Mexican Interior Secretary Santiago Creel opened a dedicated FAST lane for trucks at Calexico, Calif. on Jan. 19. The "Free and Secure Trade" (FAST) program is an expedited clearance system for known low-risk cargo shipments. Calexico is the 6th U.S.-Mexico border port of entry to dedicate a FAST lane, Homeland said in a statement. The Calexico port has enrolled almost 500 drivers so far.

***U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) ...... as Jan. 1 was the kick-off for the 1st FTA between the U.S.& a developed country since the U.S -Canada FTA in 1988. More than 99% of U.S. manufactured goods exports to Australia have immediately become duty free -- manufactured goods accounting for 93% of U.S. exports to Australia. Australia purchases more goods from the U.S. than any other country, and the U.S. enjoys a bilateral goods & services trade surplus of US$9Bn. 

***Rocketing City ....... as the total value of trade for Shanghai last year amounted to US$282.6Bn, an increase of 40% over 2003. Imports rose by 37% to US$121.3Bn & exports surged 44% to US$161.3Bn. Overseas-funded companies accounted for 62.5% of the city's total trade valued at US$176.6Bn in 2004, up 50% over 2003. However, private companies, which carried out US$23.7Bn worth of trade in 2004, saw their business turnover double from 2003. The EU, Japan and the U.S. remained Shanghai's top 3 trading partners accounting for 55% of the total trade volume, according to customs statistics. >> Total China exports surged 35% to US$593Bn in 2004, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

***UPS Will Be Definite ........ as its UPS Supply Chain Solutions unit will add time-definite guaranteed Int'l heavy air freight deliveries to its portfolio across the globe. This will be groundbreaking.

***Best Year Since 1998...........as the American Trucking Assoc. advanced seasonally-adjusted Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.0%  to 158.0 (1993=100) in December, the national association for the trucking industry reported. This decrease followed a revised 1.4% increase in November. The fourth quarter average was 0.1% higher than during the 3rd quarter and 3.5% higher than the same quarter in 2003. For all of 2004, truck tonnage increased 6.1% compared to 2003, making 2004 the best year since 1998. Trucks hauled 9.1 billion tons of freight in 2003, or 68.9% of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation. Motor carriers collected US$610Bn or 86.9% of total revenue earned by all transport modes. The American Trucking Assoc. & its 50 affiliated state trucking associations represent more than 37,000 members covering every type of U.S. motor carrier. Again, looking up.

***Dangerous Paper ....... as the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles said Jan. 25 it would revoke up to 300 commercial drivers licenses as part of a fraud investigation, the Rocky Mountain News reported. The paper said the division was responding to a federal investigation looking into 2 of its employees who issued commercial licenses to illegal immigrants in exchange for bribes.

***Schneider National Brokers Expands ....... as it will open 10 new U.S. & Mexican brokerage offices in 2005 to augment its third-party carrier network. The new offices will be located in Indianapolis; Seattle; Tulsa, Okla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Detroit; New Orleans; Boston; St Louis; & Monterrey, Mexico. Schneider National will be hiring brokers & office managers at those locations.

***Matson Integrated Logistics Buys ...... as it has acquired Aquitaine Assets Ltd. (Aquitaine), a Houston-based freight transportation management & technology company. Founded in 2001, Aquitaine provides rail intermodal, technology, & highway brokerage services in the U.S. Its intermodal service provides customers with a low-cost transportation option. The technology services offered include a web-based pricing & routing system that was developed in-house. Its highway brokerage service includes full truckload & expedited. The company generated US$20M in 2004. Matson Integrated Logistics (MIL) was ranked the #1 intermodal marketing company (IMC) in Logistics Management magazine's Quest for Quality award & is a subsidiary of Matson Navigation Company, Inc.

***A Rose By Any Other Name ....... as the former Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad has a new name: the "BNSF Railway Co.", which became effective last week. Matt Rose, chairman, president, & CEO of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., spoke the new name before he rang the Jan. 24 closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (soon to be known as the"NYSE"). The new BNSF identity -- BNSF Railway Co. -- will be phased in over a period of time, Rose said. The name & new logo will gradually appear on locomotives (soon to be refered to as "train engines") and other rolling stock (also to be renamed "rail cars").  When asked to explain the meaning of the name "BNSF Railway Co.," Rose said it will stand for the "Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co."  OK, we got it.

***Union Pacific Open Again ....... as it has reopened its California "Coast Line" and Nevada's Caliente railway line, a desert canyon track that runs northeast of Las Vegas, which were closed as a result of severe winter storm damage earlier this month. However, UP warned that traffic on these segments of railway track will be limited for an unspecified short period as final clean up work is completed. These two lines are the last of 5 storm damaged rail lines to be repaired. Between this & the Los Angeles "suicide derailment" (track now reopened) last week, West Coast Ports were further tangled. See UPRR Current Embargoes

***Not In Kansas Anymore ....... as Grupo TMM, S.A. announced that its shareholders unanimously approved the board of directors' recommendation to sell TMM's 51% voting interest in Grupo Transportacion Ferroviaria Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. ("TFM") to Kansas City Southern ("KCS"). As previously announced, under the proposed transaction, TMM will receive US$200M in cash, 18 million shares of KCS common stock, US$47M in a two-year promissory note, and up to US$110M payable in a combination of cash & KCS common stock upon successful resolution of pending issues.  Javier Segovia, president of TMM added, "The combination of KCS & TFM creates an efficient shipping route between the U.S. and Mexico, a truly integrated railroad service, from Mexico's Pacific coast up to the Great Lakes. Through its ownership in Kansas City Southern shares, TMM will have an estimated 22% interest in a valuable franchise and a strong rail alternative with more than 5,281 miles of main track to service its clients. This transaction will provide significant opportunities to both KCS & TMM."

***Railroaded ....... as General Motors has reached a definitive agreement in which GM will sell its Electro- Motive Division (EMD) to an investor group led by Greenbriar Equity Group LLC and Berkshire Partners LLC.  Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed. The agreement covers all of the Electro-Motive businesses, including North American & Int'l locomotives; power, marine & industrial products; the spare parts & parts rebuild business; and all locomotive maintenance contracts worldwide. Both the LaGrange, Illinois & London, Ontario manufacturing facilities are included. Since the early 1930s, Electro-Motive has produced more than 58,000 diesel-electric locomotives for customers in 73 countries, currently used in over 100 countries worldwide.

***Rail Arabia ...... as Saudi Arabia is planning to involve Int'l companies to finance the construction & operation of an ambitious rail landbridge designed to move containers between the Red Sea port of Jeddah and the Arabian Gulf as an alternative to the current maritime route. Saudi Railways invited potential investors for discussions about the Saudi landbridge in London on Jan. 31. The project will add over 650 miles of new rail & rely on private sector participation under a build-operate-transfer concession. At present, ships from the U.S. & Europe have to sail all the way around the Arabian peninsula to reach Gulf ports in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates & neighboring countries. A freight landbridge rail link from Jeddah to Dammam would shorten transit times to the east coast by 8 to 10 days for Int'l container traffic, according to a World Bank study cited by the Saudi Landbridge Project. The project organizers said most concessions for infrastructure assets have a tenure of 25 to 50 years.

***Brown Outreach ...... as the UPS Foundation, which for 15 years has pursued a major initiative to alleviate hunger in America, has announced it is broadening that effort to address nutrition & obesity issues.  The UPS Foundation's new initiative, "The National Collaboration to Reduce Hunger and Improve Nutrition," has been launched with the award of US$2M in grants to eight different organizations. Founded in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its support will clearly impact social issues. The Foundation's major initiatives currently include programs that support increased nationwide volunteerism, family and workplace literacy & hunger relief. In 2003, The UPS Foundation donated more than US$39.8M to charitable organizations worldwide. 

***More Than Baggage Tags ....... as the Dept. of Homeland Security will begin testing the feasibility this summer of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enhance the U.S. VISIT program for tracking the entry and departure of immigrants. The main feature of U.S. VISIT is the use of biometric technology. Fingerprint scans & digital photographs of visa applicants are taken at U.S. embassies & consulates and automatically matched against the same data captured at air, sea & land ports to make sure the same person who applied for the visa is attempting to enter the country. DHS said it will use RFID at land border crossings as a way to automate recording and matching entries & exits without slowing down processing time. A visitor tag will have embedded information about the person that can be transmitted to a nearby reader when activated and populate the computer screen of customs officers making admissibility decisions. The "proof of concept" phase will take place at the ports of Nogales, Ariz.; Alexandria Bay, N.Y.; and Pacific Highway and Peace Arch in Washington.

***Navigators Underwriting Agency On The Continent ...... as the subsidiary of The Navigators Group, Inc. has announced the established of Navigators NV with the opening of a new office in Antwerp, Belgium. The new specialist marine underwriting unit is Navigators' first office in continental Europe.  Stan Galanski, CEO of Navigators, said, "Antwerp is a significant maritime center, home to the 2nd largest port in Europe. Our local presence in this historic city will allow Navigators to access a client base which we do not currently reach through our UK operations, and reflects our ongoing commitment to developing attractive niche opportunities in local markets in the U.S., UK & Europe." Navigators NV will focus on transport liabilities, cargo & marine liabilities.

***Osama bin Laden Take Note ....... as you wouldn't be safe in Costa Rica. A startled taxi driver shot & wounded a jokester wearing a plastic mask of the al-Qaida leader, police said Dec. 14. Leonel Arias, 47, told police he was playing a practical joke by donning the Bin Laden mask, toting his pellet rifle & jumping out to scare drivers on a narrow street in his hometown, Carrizal de Alajuela, about 20 miles north of San Jose. Arias had startled several drivers that way. But when he jumped out in front of taxi driver Juan Pablo Sandoval, the motorist reached for a gun & shot him twice in the stomach. He was hospitalized in stable condition. "For me and I think for anybody else at a time like that one thinks the worst and so I fired my gun," Sandoval told local Channel 7 television. Police declined to detain Sandoval, saying he had believed he was acting in self-defense. >> Later that day, 3 men wearing Jimmy Hoffa masks were found organizing Costa Rican laundry workers.


  2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______ 


**American Airlines. DOWN with a net loss of US$387M in the 4th quarter of 2004. During Q4 in 2003 the carrier had a net loss of US$111M.

**Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF). DOWN with a net income of US$791M, down from US$816 million in 2003.

**CNF, Inc. UP with 4th-quarter 2004 after-tax income from continuing operations of US$41.1M (after preferred stock dividends), or 74 cents per diluted share, up 19%.

**Continental Airlines. DOWN with a 4th quarter 2004 net loss of US$206M and a net loss of US$363M for the whole of last year. 

**Covenant Transport Inc. DOWN as it lost US$6.5M or 44 cents a share in the 4th quarter compared with earnings of US$4.1M or 28 cents in the previous 4th quarter.

**CSX Corp. DOWN as 4th quarter net earnings fell to US$66M, from US$123M a year earlier, due to losses on the sale of its international terminal business, CSX World Terminals.

**Expeditors Int'l. UP as 2004 revenues increased 26% to US$2.6Bn between Jan. & Sept., compared to the 1st three quarters of 2003, while net income rose 32% year-on-year to US$113M over the same period.

**International Shipholding Corp. UP as for 2004, net income was US$12.785M as compared to net income of US$5.491M for the same period of 2003.

**Norfolk Southern Railroad. Up with earnings of US$264M, or 65 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to US$52 million, or 13 cents per share, in last quarter of


**Northwest Airlines. DOWN with a net loss of US$420M during 4th quarter of 2004 -- compares to Q4of 2003 when the carrier reported a net income of US$363M.

**Old Dominion Freight Line. UP as net income rose 37.2% to US$10.6M for the 4th quarter of 2004.   

**Overnite Transportation. UP as net income for 4th quarter was US$16.6M or 59 cents per share.

**Praxair, Inc. UP with record net income of US$181M & diluted earnings per share of 55 cents for the 4th quarter of 2004, 17% higher than US$155M and 47 cents, respectively, in 2003.

**Singapore Airlines. UP with a 3rd quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, net profit of US$290.99M, up 25.9% over Q3 in 2003.

**Target Logistics Inc. UP as net income for its 2nd 1st quarter ended Dec. 31 was US$545,241 or 3 cents per share, compared with US$153,902 or one cent a year earlier.

**Union Pacific Corp. (largest U.S. railroad) DOWN as 4rth-quarter net earnings dropped 86% to US$79M from US$551M a year earlier, due to high fuel costs, service disruptions, the effect of an exceptional charge for asbestos claims & failure of the Cleveland Browns to make the playoffs.

**United Airlines. IMPROVED with a net loss of US$1.6Bn in 2004 compared to a net loss of US$2.8Bn in the previous year. Cargo revenues during Q4 improved by 30%.

**United Parcel Service. UP as 2004 ended with a net profit of US$3.3Bn, an increase of 15% compared to US$2.9Bn in 2003. Consolidated revenue during the year also surged by 9.2% over 2003 to a record US$36.6Bn. UPS delivered almost 3.6 billion packages in 2004 - the most in history.  

**Yellow Roadway Corp. UP with a profit for its 1st full year as a combined company, earning US$184.3M or US$3.75 a share. When Yellow Corp. acquired Roadway Corp. in Dec. 2003, the company predicted it would earn about US$3 a share for 2004.   


***Interpool Inc. On Top ...... as the container & chassis leasing giant, with total assets of US$2.4Bn, has rejoined the New York Stock Exchange & continues listed under the symbol "IPX." Interpool is corpoate sponsor of The Cargo Letter Archive.              



OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***

  3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ___

***Not Quite The U.S. & EU Situation ...... as a study by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has indicated that airlines in the Asia-Pacific & the Middle East (ME) will face a shortage of workers by 2010. The CAPA study suggests that airlines in these two regions would require an average of 19,000 new employees a year over the next 5 years, which is more than eight times the level needed in recent years. The increasing need for more employees is a result of the large number of new orders that have been placed by airlines in the region, including those from Air China & Emirates.

***Superjumbo ........ as Airbus put its stamp on aviation history Jan. 18, unveiling the world's largest commercial jet and raising the stakes in its 35-year rivalry with Boeing Co. The double-decker A380 "superjumbo," has a 262-foot wingspan and a tail as tall as a seven-story building & is capable of flying up to 800 passengers. It gives the European plane maker a new flagship & completes its range of jets at a time when Boeing is losing market share and reducing some production. If Airbus is right, the A380 could consign the once-dominant Boeing 747 jumbo jet to history, deal a further blow to the Chicago-based company and leave Airbus with a monopoly in a lucrative & fast-growing market. Boeing would need 10 years or more to develop a rival to the A380, industry experts say. Boeing sees a different future, one in which industry deregulation and smaller, long-range planes like its planned two-aisle 7E7 Dreamliner allow passengers increasingly to fly direct, spurning stopovers (China just ordered 60, see below). The 7E7, which will seat between 217 & 289 passengers, is scheduled to debut in 2008. But Boeing is hedging its bets. Last year, it announced plans for a larger, 450-seat 747, despite having previously dismissed the need - and Airbus' plans - for a bigger plane. A launch decision is expected in mid-2005. New orders for the current 747 are on the decline, dropping from 35 in 1999 to 10 in 2004. Boeing delivered 15 last year and its current backlog is down to only 32, according to the company. It has no orders for the aircraft so far this year. FedEx & UPS have each ordered 10 units of the A380F freighter version which will have a 165-ton payload on standard pallets over distances of up to 5,600 nautical miles (10,400 km). Airliners.net

***Airbus Winning? ....... as it has called 2004 "another landmark year" after it surpassed Boeing in terms of both orders & deliveries. Airbus said it surpassed its own expectations of 305 deliveries forecasted for last year with a final tally of 320 aircraft deliveries. In terms of new orders, Airbus received 370 new firm orders valued at US$34Bn, which it said accounted for 57% of the market in terms of units; in 2003 it had 284 new orders. Airbus expects to increase its 2005 production rates to match the deliveries which are expected to be some 10% higher this year than in 2004.  But Boeing has started 2005 stong, as the Peoples' Republic of China signed a preliminary agreement for the purchase of 60 Boeing 7E7 Dreamliners by Chinese airlines on Jan. 28. The agreement is valued at US$7.2Bn, based on average list prices. The airplanes will be delivered to 6 Chinese carriers -- Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines & Xiamen Airlines. Each carrier is scheduled to receive its 1st 7E7 in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

***The Higher Price of Air Security ....... as the fee charged to airline travelers to help pay for airport security would more than double under President Bush's spending proposal for the Homeland Security Department. Bush's plan calls for boosting the security fee from US$2.50 to US$5.50 for a one-way airline ticket and from a maximum of US$5 to US$8 for multiple legs. The hikes are expected to generate US$1.5B. Making use of the funds new budget provision would set aside US$174M to complete installation of high-speed computer connections to replace dial-up connections used by about half of the nation's airports. Officials of the Transportation Security Administration have said the upgrade is needed because some of the nation's largest airports do not have telephone or computer connections among administrative, screening, baggage & cargo areas. That poses a security risk because a problem could occur in one area of an airport and another area may not learn of it right away. Other spending proposals call for creating an office to coordinate programs that collect information about foreign visitors, airline & ship crews, hazardous materials & cargo workers. The plan would provide more money for authorities to crack down on undocumented workers & arrest and deport illegal immigrants, but it would fund only 210 more Border Patrol agents. A bill signed by Bush last year called for 2,000 additional agents. Customs & Border Protection would get US$125M to buy equipment to detect radioactive materials in trucks, trains, cars, air freight, packages and people, including a new generation of monitors that detect gamma & neutron radiation.

***Cupid's Rush ....... as it starts on Feb. 3 this year when the 1st shipments of fresh cut flowers arrive -- but over the Valentine's Day season from farm to sweethearts more than 175 million fresh cut flowers will be sold in the U.S. . Eighty-seven percent of all cut flower imports to the U.S. arrive at Miami Int'l Airport. And who exactly gets all these flowers? According to the Assn. of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF), 82% of men give flowers to their wives or significant others, followed by friends & mothers with 5% each. But men get flowers too, as 15% of women report buying flowers for their husbands or significant others. Women's first choice? Thirty-one percent say "mom."

***Taiwan & Mainland China Reached Turning Point ....... as a landmark agreement was forged Jan. 15th to allow nonstop charter flights over the Chinese New Year holiday, a 1st step that could herald a full resumption of direct transport connections between the countries. The limited Chinese New Year agreement will allow the first direct flights between the two rivals since 1949. Under the current regulatory ban on direct flights, travelers between Taiwan & mainland China have to fly via a 3rd country airport such as Hong Kong or Macau. "We hope that the smooth negotiations on New Year charter flights will pave the way for further cross-strait talks, and be a turning point for positive interaction," Reuters quoted Joseph Wu, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council as saying.

***Free Enterprise DIiscovered To Work........ as Air Transport World Magazine, the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry, selected Air France-KLM as its Airline of the Year for 2005. "'Remarkable' may be the only word to describe the transformation of Air France Group, now Air France-KLM Group, simultaneously exploiting geographic and national advantages while staking its future on a philosophy of aggressive global growth," ATW's editors said. ATW Editorial Director J.A. Donoghue added: "The merger with KLM and the subsequent privatization of AF are worthy of special recognition." The awards will be presented on Tues, Feb. 22, in Washington, D.C. at Air Transport World's Gala Awards Dinner at the The Wardman Park Marriott. For attendance info contact Anthony Wang, 1-202-659-8500X107, or email awang@penton.com

Other ATW awards include:

-- Cargolux Takes A Bow ....... as the freight carrier of Luxembourg, was named Cargo Airline of the Year by Air Transport World Magazine.

--Air New Zealand Rises Again .....as the 2nd recipient of the ATW's Phoenix Award, survived a near-death experience in 2001 to remake itself into a profitable & innovative competitor across different markets, posting combined annual profits of NZ$331 million over its last 2 fiscal years.

***U.S. & India Open Skies ...... as the countries quickly came to agreement this month on a treaty to open aviation markets after 3 days of negotiations. The open skies agreement eliminates many government restrictions on routes, fares, frequencies, cities served, & type of aircraft to let the market determine how to offer aviation services. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation said the agreement will lead to more direct flights, code sharing and lower fares between the U.S. & India. The agreement allows all-cargo airlines to operate in either country without directly connecting to their homeland. Route & code-sharing provisions take effect immediately, while the rest await formal signing of the agreement. India is one of the fastest growing economies, and trade between these nations totaled US$18Bn in 2003.

***Homogenizing The Fleet ...... as UPS Inc. will acquire 11 pre-owned Boeing MD-11F aircraft, bringing the total number of MD-11Fs in its fleet to 28. UPS will take begin taking delivery of planes during the current quarter. It also said 15 of the 28 planes were already in service. The MD-11F has the capacity to carry approximately 190,000 pounds of cargo & a range of nearly 3,900 nautical miles. The MD-11F serves as UPS's primary workhorse on Int'l routes.

***China Southern Airlines Big Heart Lift ...... as the largest airline in The People's Republic of China is continuing its 747 freight airlift of emergency medical supplies to the flood ravaged areas of Indonesia & Sri Lanka.  China Southern has used both of its 747-400 freighters from its standard Europe/China & USA/China commercial service and has been pushing them into emergency airlift duty to Colombo, Sri Lanka & Medan, Indonesia.

***Cocktail Lounge For The Cargo?...... as American Airlines Cargo is trying to sweeten the deal for shippers by offering a cargo version of a frequent flier program. The company said customers can earn travel awards for booking cargo shipments online through the Web site. Benefits include credits toward free travel certificates, upgrades & Admiral Club memberships for qualified shipments. The program will be administered through Business ExtrAA, an incentive program originally set up to help companies manage business travel and earn award points. Once enrolled, American Airlines Cargo customers will be able to accumulate points based on their volumes & level of participation in online booking. Sounds like the old TWA "Cargo Voucher" program for vacation travel.

***Did They Tell UPS? ...... as World Airways said it will provide dedicated carriage to Menlo Worldwide Forwarding with two DC-10-30F freighters under a 1 year contract valued at US$22M. Last year World operated a DC-10 with service between Menlo's Dayton, Ohio hub and Brussels, Belgium, five times a week. Menlo extended the contract during the peak season for airlift between Dayton & Los Angeles, and between Dayton & Hong Kong for two months on an MD-11 cargo plane. Menlo Worldwide Forwarding was acquired by UPS in Dec. 2004.

***Critical Condition ........ as Switzerland's struggling national airline will cut up to 1,000 jobs and shrink its fleet by 15% as part of a second wave of restructuring aimed at saving US$250M a year & restoring the company's health. Swiss Int'l Air Lines also said it will downgrade its operations at airports in Geneva and Basel, with partner airlines taking over these flights, while the Swiss carrier focuses on its Zurich hub. The company, known as Swiss, has suffered massive financial problems since it was created out of the defunct Swissair in 2002. It also has felt the bite of high oil prices and competition from low-cost carriers in Europe.

***Vietnam Perils ...... as the Vietnam Ministry of Finance plans to sell 86% of shares in Pacific Airlines in the near future in hopes of reviving the failing joint-stock airline. Some may be available to foreign investors. Over the last 3 years, the airline has lost US$13.5M after beginning flights in 1991 with a starting capital of US$2.47M. Pacific Airlines' management board has blamed the events of Sept. 11, the Iraq war, SARS, avian flu, oil price increases and the introduction of New Coke for contributing to Pacific Airlines' loss . 

***Japan Airlines Turns To Cargo ....... as it has announced its intention to increase cargo flights as part of an overall strategy to improve performance for 2005. In particular, the airline said that it will increase cargo flights to the US and China as well as rearrange existing routes to both destinations in order to provide a more efficient operation & to meet expected demand. Exact details have yet to be announced, however the airline confirmed an extra flight per week on its Tokyo-Anchorage-Chicago service and an additional 2 flights per week on its Tokyo-Anchorage-Chicago-Atlanta-Anchorage-Tokyo service.

***African Air Meld ....... as officials of Global Air Group & Afra Airlines announced the merger of the airlines and the signing of an engagement letter with Babcock & Brown to facilitate the purchase of 100 Utilicraft Aerospace Industries, Inc. FF-1080-300 freight aircraft valued at US$1.2Bn and ordered by Global Air Group late last year. Afra Airlines was recently awarded its Air Carrier's License for cargo & passenger operations by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. Global Air & Afra Airlines joined forces to accommodate the formal engagement of the global investment and advisory firm of Babcock & Brown which will assist in structuring and arranging the financing of 100 FF-1080-300 aircraft that will be operated for strategic feed to the Afra Air Cargo operations in Africa & Europe. The FF-1080 Freight Feeder aircraft carries standard industry air cargo containers on short-to-medium range/medium density routes. 

***Alpine Is Universal ...... as Universal Express Inc. & Stonetree Group, LLLP announced their agreement to assign the rights of Universal Express to the stock purchase agreement for a majority interest in Alpine Air Express, Inc. to Capitalliance Financial Services, LLC. Founded in 1975, Alpine Air, provides competitively priced scheduled air cargo flights throughout the western & southwestern U.S. Universal Express, Inc. owns & operates several subsidiaries including Universal Express Capital Corp., (including its USXP Cash Express) Universal Express Logistics, Inc. (including Virtual Bellhop, LLC and Luggage Express), UniversalPost Network & Universal Jet Aviation. >> Alpine Air Express announced today it has given a 90-day termination notice to the U.S. Postal Service for the AMOT mail contract servicing the Hawaiian Islands -- effective April 24, 2005. Not a good sign.

***The Lonely Great Planes ...... as Tulsa, Okla.-based Great Plains Airlines filed for Chapter 7 liquidation, saying efforts to locate financing & investors were unsuccessful.                           

***Sadness At Long Beach ...... as Boeing Co. will stop producing its 100-seat 717 plane, marking the end of passenger plane production in Southern California, a region with a rich aviation history. Faced with a shrinking market for its small passenger plane, Boeing said the last 717 will leave the assembly line at its Long Beach plant in May 2006 - unless the aerospace giant can secure a few more orders, which would extend production several months. Either way there will be layoffs, though it's too early to know how many, the company said. Regardless, Boeing will remain a major employer in Southern California. Boeing's massive Long Beach factory was built in 1940 by Douglas Aircraft to build warplanes. After Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas, the company phased out production of the MD11, MD80 & MD90 as the last of these planes rolled off the assembly line in 2001.



OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

  4. FF World Ocean Briefs ____________                                                  

***Mega Monsters In the Ways ....... as COSCO has ordered the 1st containerships of 10,000-TEU capacity under a contract for four such "ultra-large containerships" signed with the Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries. Hyundai Heavy Industries hailed the order, saying these are the largest containerships to be built in the world. The biggest boxships on order until now have been eight 9,200-TEU vessels ordered by China Shipping Container Lines from the shipbuilder Samsung, also based in Korea, and due for delivery in 2006 and 2007. The 10,000-TEU ships are expected to be delivered in 2008. Hyundai has completed designs for 12,000-TEU containerships. Meanwhile, rival Samsung said recently it has already completed performance tests for 12,000-TEU containerships. The third major shipyard involved in the battle for the construction of the largest containerships is the A.P. Moller-Maersk group's Lindo shipyard. The Danish group is rumored to be building much larger vessels than the previous series of 8,000-TEU-type "S-class" vessels. The 10,000-TEU COSCO vessels will have a length of 349 meters (1,145 feet), similar to Maersk Sealand's 352-meter (1,155-foot) "A-class" ships. However, the future COSCO ships will deviate from current standards with their bigger width of 45.6 meters (150 feet), suitable to carry 18 containers across on deck, as compared to the 140-foot width (17-container-wide) common among 8,000-TEU-type containerships. The COSCO ships will therefore be 13.3 meters (44 feet) wider than the maximum beam of vessels allowed to transit the Panama Canal.

***Expansion of The World Fleet ....... as the number of containerships worldwide is expected to grow by about 13.7% between now and 2007 during which time the number of vessels above the capacity of 7,500 TEU will be more than doubled to 197, according to the latest forecast released by container data agency, BRS-Alphaliner. The figures also showed that in 2004 the number of container vessels grew by 9.8% to a total of 3,362 ships with a capacity of 7.29 million TEU. According to the forecast, the amount of cargo vessels will rise 13.3%during 2005, 14.5% in 2006, & 13.4% during 2007; with the globe's fleet expected to total 4,271 containerships at the end of the 3 year period.

***Thanks, But We Already Had This Talk ....... as major non-vessel-operating common carriers & the National Industrial Transportation League have urged the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to reject petitions from the Int'l Shippers' Assoc. & the American Institute of Shippers' Assoc. that called for the newly implemented rule allowing NVOCC service agreements (NSAs) to be reconsidered and postponed. In response to the petitions of the shippers' associations, the NIT League, UPS, FedEx Trade Networks, BAX Global, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, BDP Int'l and the Transportation Intermediaries Assoc. issued a joint request Jan 19 to the FMC, urging the agency to keep the rule as it is.

***EC Anti-Trust Immunity OK? .......... as European Liner Affairs Assoc. (ELAA) says the European Commission's White Paper on the Review of Regulation 4056/86, that grants shipping lines immunity from competition rules and regulations, contains no hard evidence to support the view that the regulation should be repealed. In its official response, ELAA the industry body representing the world's top 25 container shipping lines - also said that the impact assessment of such a move, included in the White Paper, was "incoherent and speculative". However, the ELAA said it welcomed the process of dialogue to review Regulation 4056/86, and in particular, it appreciated the suggestion included in the White Paper that consultation on a new regulatory structure for the liner shipping industry be initiated and that its own proposal, already lodged with the commission, had been cited.

***U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command Provides Relief ...... as it has increased its relief work in the tsunami-ravaged areas of South Asia. The command's hospital ship USNS Mercy is scheduled to arrive in the area early next week. The ship, which has one of the nation's largest trauma centers on board, was activated from reduced operating status in San Diego, Calif., Jan. 1 and underway five days later, the command said. Three maritime prepositioning ships, also operated by the Military Sealift Command, are in the tsunami-affected region, prepared to offer help. Two of the three ships are providing fresh water, clearing debris and distributing aid to the Maldives. Four command underway replenishment ships are supporting Operating Unified Assistance. This includes fast combat support ship USNS Rainier, which is providing underway replenishment of fuel, food & other supplies to the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group, a major contributor to the relief efforts. Two combat stores ships, USNS San Jose & USNS Concord, are in the tsunami-affected area providing fuel, food and other supplies to several U.S. Navy ships in the region. USNS Tippecanoe, a fleet replenishment oiler, is replenishing Navy ships at sea to help them remain underway on their missions for extended periods. The Military Sealift Command's 208-foot oceanographic survey ship, USNS John McDonnell, is operating near the disaster area & will conduct hydrographic surveys.

***Ditch Appeal ....... as Int'l shipping groups have appealed to Panama Canal's directors to reverse proposed fee changes that would raise container ships' tolls by about 60%, the Financial Times reported. Tolls charged to container ships are currently US$34 per 20-foot container a vessel can carry. Under the proposed increase, that would rise to US$54 by 2007. The Panama Canal Authority proposed the changes in Dec. to remove an anomaly whereby container ships - the canal's main users - pay less than other classes of vessel.

***Pirate Pondering ....... as the Int'l Maritime Organization (IMO) says it plans to organize a high-level, sub-regional seminar in Aden, Yemen, on maritime security and prevention of piracy & armed robbery against ships. The IMO says the seminar, aimed at senior officials in the maritime and port authorities of selected countries in the region will be held in April 2005. It is intended to provide an opportunity for participants to gain a deeper insight into measures to prevent & eradicate acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and of the provisions to strengthen ship & port security, in particular those contained in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention chapter XI/2 and the Int'l Ship &Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

***French Port of Marseilles Joins The Fight ....... as it has become the 34th Int'l port to begin joint inspections with U.S. officers under the Container Security Initiative, U.S. Customs &Border Protection. CSI is a major component of the U.S. strategy to prevent terrorist attacks or smuggling using an ocean container. The goal of CSI is to identify & inspect suspicious cargo before it moves across the ocean to a U.S. port. CSI has been operational at French port of Le Havre for 2 years.

***Lesson Learned? ........ as Japanese ports, which are regarded by the industry as very expensive to use, are reportedly planning to slash charges by up to 40% in a bid to compete for business with their Asian rivals in South Korea and Taiwan. The Japanese transport ministry, which regulates the nation's ports, is planning to cut the cost of using the country's three main harbours - Tokyo-Yokohama, Nagoya-Yokkaichi and Osaka-Kobe - which collectively handle about 80% of the Japan's Int'l shipping. Apart from reducing the cargo unloading charges by 33%, there are also plans to change the ports into facilities that operate 24 hours a day. Further, there are steps being taken to simplify and expedite port entry procedures as presently it can take up to three days to complete such tasks compared with a single day at other Asian ports. Because of the inefficiencies, Japanese ports have lost their dominance over the last 25 years. An example of this is Kobe, ranked 4th in the world in 1980 in terms of container volume handled, but which slipped to 27th place in 2002.

***Rise of The Eastbound ....... as shipping lines of the Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement have reiterated their intention announced last Oct. to raise eastbound & westbound freight rates in several installments this year. Eastbound, traditionally the weaker leg of the transatlantic trade, cargo volumes increased an estimated 10% in 2004, helped by depreciation of the U.S. dollar against European currencies. TACA lines plan to raise eastbound tariff rates US$640 per 20-foot container & US$800 per 40 or 45-foot container this year, with four increases each of US$160 per 20-foot container & US$200 per 40 or 45-foot container effective Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 & Oct. 1.  TACA carriers are Atlantic Container Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Sealand, Mediterranean Shipping Co., NYK Line, OOCL and P&O Nedlloyd.

***Rise of The Westbound ...... as the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA) are to increase their freight rate by US$200 per FEU & US$160 per TEU for all US-Asia cargoes not covered under separate, commodity-specific rate programs starting from March 1 2005. The commodities exempted by the increase are: wastepaper, forest products, metal scrap, hay, soybeans, peas, beans, lentils, dried fruit and nuts, hides, clay, cotton, chemicals and resins, onions in dry containers, refrigerated commodities and plastic scrap. WTSA said non-refrigerated agricultural products other than soybeans, peas, beans & lentils are already scheduled to take a previously announced US$200 per FEU & US$160 per TEU increase on March 1. WTSA members are APL, "K" Line, China Shipping Group, MOL, COSCO, NYK, Evergreen Marine, OOCL, Hanjin, P&O Nedlloyd, Hapag Lloyd, Yangming Marine, & HMM.

***Wow! What A Surcharge ........ as Seaboard Marine is implementing a port congestion surcharge for all southbound cargo carried into Georgetown, Grand Cayman. The charge, effective Feb. 20, will be US$500 per 20-foot container or US$1,000 per 40-foot or larger container. "This charge has been implemented as a result of the significant vessel delays incurred while berthing in Georgetown. These delays are creating significant increases in operational costs and also impacting delivery timing locally," Seaboard said in a statement. The carrier said the surcharge will be withdrawn 45 days after conditions at the Georgetown port return to normal.

***NACA Logistics In China ....... as the major non-vessel-operating common carrier based in Carson, Calif., is opening a data center in Zhuhai, southern China. The new "global resource center" will supplement the global operations of NACA and maintain and update databases of the company, with a staff of 60 to 80 people during the 1st development stage. Zhuhai, located close to Hong Kong, is part of a special economic zone under China's government policy.

***What's Wrong With El Salvador's Money? ....... as Maersk Sealand has notified its customers it will no longer accept prepaid & collect freight payment in El Salvador, due to "changes in local tax law." Effective immediately, all charges for shipments moving to & from El Salvador must be paid in full to Maersk Sealand outside of El Salvador before the shipment can be released, the Danish carrier said. LIKELY FACTOR: Currency in El Salvador: U.S. Dollar (USD)

***Europe At 45 ........ as Intra-European carrier Geest North Sea Line has taken delivery of the 1st of two 812-TEU containerships specifically designed to carry a full load of 45-foot pallet-wide containers. To compete against 13.6-meter (45-foot) European trucks, Geest said it has had to replace its entire container fleet with 45-foot palletwide containers. Its new vessel, M/V Geeststroom, is more than twice the size of Geest's current largest ship, and will be deployed on Geest's Rotterdam/Tilbury & Rotterdam/Hull routes. A sister ship, M/V Geestdijk, is due for delivery in April. Geest said it wants to expand European shortsea shipping and, in particular, push for a greater use of intermodal options including rail & inland waterway transport in Europe. "Unfortunately, no-one yet has built a containership specifically designed around the 45-foot box and so any vessel we have chartered (until now) has always been a compromise," said Wout Pronk, Geest's managing director. "Geeststroom has changed all that, " he added.

***South Korea Customs Gets Heavy ........as it has announced changes to the cargo weight restrictions moving in and out of Korean ports.  Local road regulation stipulates that the combined weight of truck & container should not exceed 40 tons in total. The change took effect on Jan. 2005 and does not permit the cargo weight per container to exceed 25.0 tons.                 

20' containers  Cargo weight not exceeding 17.5 metric tons           

40' containers  Cargo weight not exceeding 21.0 metric tons           

45' containers  Cargo weight not exceeding 21.0 metric tons 

***Unsanitary Blast ..... as despite inclement weather, cleanup & salvage operations are progressing on the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal at the site of an explosion Jan. 19 on a barge carrying more than 500,000 gallons of clarified slurry oil. The blast sank the barge in the Sanitary and Ship Canal, which connects the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard subsequently closed the channel to vessel traffic. See Jan. 9 entry for details

***FMC Revokes 6 OTI Licenses ....... as for failure to maintain valid bonds, effected firms are 1st Class Int'l of Hanover, Md.; Greenbriar Forwarding Co. in Metuchen, N.J.; Grizzard Customs Brokers of Hapeville, Ga.; Penasa Logistics (USA) of Inglewood, Calif.; Richard D. Kim in Torrance, Calif.; and Sec Sea & Air of Compton, Calif.

***Tianjin The New Star ...... as it is expected to be transformed into one of the world's leading port areas with the help of state-of-the-art technology by 2010. The port handled 200 million tons of cargo and 3.8 million TEU in 2004, and the state government has come up with a blueprint to develop the port over the next 6 years aimed to boost capacity at the port to 1.2 billion tons of cargo by 2010 & targeting a yearly increase of more than 25% in container throughput.

***Throughput >>> Port of Charleston's container volume shipments during the July to Dec, 2004 period increased 16.7% to 975,554 TEU compared to the 836,224 TEU handled in the last half of 2003. >>> Port of Long Beach, 2nd-largest port in the U.S. (after #1 Los Angeles), grew 24.1% last year, to 5.8 million TEUs, a new record for annual box traffic. >>> Port of Marseilles-Fos container throughput rose 10% to 916,600 TEUs for 2004, compared with 833,000 TEUs in 2003. >>> China's Qingdao port throughput for the 1st time breached the 5 million TEU mark in 2004. >>> Rotterdam throughput rose by 16% from 7.1 million TEU in 2003, to 8.2 million TEU last year. >>> Port of Shenzhen maintained its position as 2nd largest port in China & 4th most productive in the world in 2004, handling  135 million tons of cargo & 13.65 million TEU last year, up 20.33% &  28.22% respectively compared to 2003. >>> Malaysian Port of Tanjung Pelepas increased its container throughput 15.2% to handle over 4 million TEUs for 2004. >>> Yantai port in China's Shangdong province surpassed the 30 million ton mark in 2004, & container throughput reached 290,000 TEU, an increase of 20% year-on-year.

***This Month In U.S. Navy History .......

1783 - Hostilities cease between Great Britain & the United States (until 1812).

1840 - Lt. Charles Wilkes, aboard the sloop Vincennes, is the 1st American to discover the Antarctic coast.

1913 - The body of John Paul Jones is laid in its final resting place in the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.

1942 - USS Gudgeon is the 1st U.S. sub to sink an enemy submarine in action, Japanese I-173.

1943 - Beginning of two-day battle of Rennell Island in the South Pacific, after which U.S. transports reached Guadalcanal.

1954 - Launching of USS Nautilus (SSN 571), 1st nuclear submarine, at Groton, Conn.

1960 - The Navy demonstrates the value of moon communication relay, which is used in fleet broadcasts.

1962 - USS Cook (APD 130) rescues 25 survivors after a section of the Panamanian tanker SS Stanvac Sumatra broke in two in South China Sea.

1968 - USS Pueblo (AGER 2) is seized by North Korean forces in the Sea of Japan.

1986 - The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, killing Cmdr. Michael Smith and 6 other astronauts.

U.S. Navy History Center


   5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches                        

          **Back By Popular Demand**

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

But you can read all this month's disaster news at our special Internet web feature which provides full details of each event -- our Vessel Casualties & Pirate Activity Database.  Bookmark the site and visit every day! Updated twice daily.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature. 

See our new photo feature for Jan. 2005: "One Brick Short of A Runway"

See our newest photo feature "Singles Only" - Transportation Disasters Told In A Single Photo!

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


Federal Regulation of E-mail

International Trade Agreements of The U.S.

Logistics Management Magazine Best Practices Survey ..... vote today.

Making Sense of RFID Tag Specifications

Palmdale, California Regional Airport Master Plan

Rapid Weather ....... weather forecasts & weather data to individuals, businesses, attorneys, energy companies and government agencies worldwide. Free air cargo delay info.

U.S. Bureau of Customs & Border Protection Directives .........for each World Trade Organization (WTO) member country for which 2004 textile & apparel quota categories have closed. Specific instructions & procedures for the submission of entries for the re-opening of 2004 closed quota categories on Feb. 1, 2005.   

U.S. Bureau of Customs & Border Protection Trade Publications  ........ those available include:

- Customs Bonds

- Drawback                                                                 

- Temporary Importation Under Bond                                         

- CBP Bonded Warehouses                                                    

- U.S. Import Requirements                                                 

- Foreign Trade Zones                                                      

- How to Protect Your Intellectual Property Rights                         

- Marking of Country of Origin                                             

- Import Quotas     

U.S. Bureau of Industry & Security ....... export licensing & info.

U.S. Int'l Trade Commission ........ includes U.S. & world trade guides and information.

U.S. Navy Conducts Post Tsunami Surveys

U.S. Navy Provides Tremendous Sea-Based Capability in Relief Effort

U.S. Trade Representative

U.S. Trade With Sub-Saharan Africa                  

U.S. Transportation Security Administration

Vendor Relations: Good Partners Make Good Customers

World Customs Organization 




"An Overview of Warehousing in North America -- Market Size, Major 3PLs, Benchmarking Prices & Practices" ............. estimates the U.S. commercial warehousing market at US$25.7Bn. After-tax profitability was reported at 2.7%.

China Logistics Report

GE Tamper Evident Secure Container

OnceSeal ......... high security seals used by COSCO & MSC meet U.S customs C-TPAT and ISO/PAS17712 standards.



Transport Events

World Trade Organization Events

7th eyefortransport North American Technology Forum .......... April 25-26 in Chicago.

14th Annual Int'l Air Cargo Conference & Exhibit- Houston 2005........17 to 19 May, 2005 (National Transportation Week). At IACC- Houston 2005. Contact

Forward Air Corp. Presentation At Deutsche Bank Global Transportation Conference in Naples, Florida. ......... Wed, Feb. 16, 2005 at approximately 10:15 a.m. EST. Interested parties may listen to the presentation via a live Internet webcast.

"NVOCC Confidential Contracting &endash; What it means for NVOs, Shippers, Carriers & 3PLs" .......... Feb. 9, 2005. To register:

Sea Cargo Americas ........ May 11 & 12 2005, Miami.

Twin Cities Chapter of the Council of Logistics Management Annual Conference........ March 4, 2005 in Minneapolis, MN, Airport Marriott, Bloomington, MN

U.S. Bureau of Customs & Border Protection Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Supply Chain Security Training Seminar .......... "Supply Chain Security in a New Business Environment," Miami, Florida, April 18-21, 2005. C-TPAT members only. Free.


FOR FUN>>>>>>>>>


"Commercial" Makes Waves Around The World

Human Space Flight News & Schedules

Men Style

Unique Real Estate Opportunity



OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***

  7. New U.S. Transport Related Legal Cases ____

Ambraco, Inc. Vs. M/V Project Europa

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

January 19, 2005 No. 04-30192

The Court ruled that the cargo owner failed to sustain its burden under the Fire Statute to prove that the shipboard fire which damaged the cargo was due to the actual fault or privity of the carrier. In the instant case, plaintiff's cargo of sisal twine was transported on defendant's ro-ro ship. A fire on the ship damaged the cargo. Plaintiff failed to establish any specific cause for the fire & failed to show any violations of the SOLAS Convention. The court declined to reconsider the Circuit's rule regarding burden of proof under the Fire Statute. Read The Decision


American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co. Vs. The Jacques Admiralty Law Firm

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

January 4, 2005 PC, No. 03-2170

In an unpublished decision, the Court ruled that an insurance company could rescind the professional liability insurance policy of an admiralty law firm for material misrepresentation in the application. The law firm (noted for filing asbestos claims against ship owners, among other things) indicated in its application that none of its lawyers knew of any circumstances that could result in a professional liability claim. Following the death of the senior partner, it was found that he had misappropriated more than US$15M of settlement funds owed to clients (Wow!). The insurance company filed suit to rescind the policy. The law firm contended that the partner who signed the application was unaware of the misappropriation. The court held that, in the absence of a severability clause, all the partners are bound by the misrepresentation of the misappropriating partner. Read The Decision



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


The Cargo Letter Correspondents:

Michael S. McDaniel Esq, Editor (Countryman & McDaniel)

David Schuchman -- Interpool Corp. -- Webmaster of The Cargo Letter Archive

Libby Thompson (Countryman & McDaniel)


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