Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel


Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News

30 November 2008


Good Sunday 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 month - the results of Piracy on the Seas & on Wall Street.
CLAIMS TRAINING: The Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel will again present our two day "top to bottom" training courses in Asia for understanding the theory & science of cargo loss, cargo claims handling, loss prevention & Post 911 cargo security. Our courses begin in Singapore & Kuala Lumpur from Feb. 9 to 12, 2008. While The Cargo Letter has sponsored these classes for many groups over the years -- our model will again be presented by the Asia Business Forum. The schedule for our U.S. & UK presentations will be announced. JOIN US! See EVENTS section.

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Michael S. McDaniel, Editor, Countryman & McDaniel - Trade, Transport, Hull & Machinery 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***

***10+2 At Hand ..... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) in a change of plans has issued an interim, rather than final, rule for an advance importer security filing intended to provide early intelligence to cargo screeners about the parties handling int'l ocean shipments. To help prevent terrorist weapons from being transported to the U.S., vessel carriers bringing cargo to the U.S. are required to transmit certain information to CBP about the cargo they are transporting prior to lading that cargo at foreign ports of entry. The so-called "10+2" rule requires importers to submit 10 pieces of advance shipping data 24 hours prior to loading at a foreign port and ocean carriers to provide 2 streams of information about the status of containers under their control. Industry groups are worried that the controversial rule may add huge data collection & information technology costs to doing business. This rule is effective on Jan. 26, 2009. CBP said it will begin a series of regional seminars at seaports around the country, beginning with the Port of New York & New Jersey, as well as the Port of Boston, 30 days after publication and ending in the twin ports of Los Angeles & Long Beach 135 days after publication. Read the full text of the interim final rule, including instructions for submitting comments.

***World Economic Climate Index Falls ...... as it has dropped for the 5th consecutive quarter in a row, hitting its lowest level since 1998. The index, compiled by the Int'l Chamber of Commerce, fell steeply in the 4th quarter, dropping 13.4 points to 60.0 from 73.4 the previous quarter. The index is based on a poll of 1,001 economic experts in 91 countries in Oct., before U.S. elections were concluded. The decline is largely due to economists' unfavorable assessments of the current economic situation, but also their expectations for the next 6 months.

***Chinese Move To Spur Exports ...... as the government said Nov. 12, it will raise export rebates for 3,700 products in a bid to lift the gloom over the country's export sector, Xinhua reported. With demand for Chinese-made goods falling the emphasis is on reinvigorating exports. It's the 2nd such move in recent weeks, with Beijing raising export tax rebates on another 3,486 items beginning Nov. 1 -- products that included everything from textiles to high-tech components. It marks a pronounced change from China's export policy earlier in the year, when the government decreased export rebates as it attempted to curb low-value exports to even out trade imbalances with Western nations. But as U.S. exports have grown in 2008, Chinese exports started tailing off as the credit crunch fully gripped Western economies. The export rebates have probably come too late for many shuttered Chinese factories.

***Singapore Slump..... as manufacturing plummeted 13% in Oct. from a year earlier as demand for the city-state's electronic & pharmaceutical exports dried up amid the global economic slowdown. Electronics, which account for 30% of manufacturing, fell 14%. Pharmaceuticals, which make up 22% of production, dived 31%.

***Inbound Food .....as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has published its final regulation for the submission of prior notices for food imports, including animal feed. The final rule, effective May 6, 2009, requires that prior notices be submitted to the FDA electronically via Customs & Border Protection'sAutomated Broker Interface system or the FDA's Prior Notice System Interface. The information must be submitted & confirmed electronically by FDA for review no less than 8 hours for food shipments arriving in the first U.S. port of arrival by ocean transport, 4 hours for cargoes shipped by air or rail and 2 hours for trucked food shipments arriving at border ports. Compliance Policy Guide

***73 Yeaar Old Guavas ..... as Mexico last week exported its 1st commercial shipment of guavas to the U.S. since 1935, according to U.S. Customs & Border Protection. The U.S. has banned guavas because they are a carrier for the Mexican fruit fly & other pests that could pose damage to U.S. crops, if allowed to spread. Regulators are only permitting import of guavas that have been irradiated.

***Rail Haz Mat ...... as under final rules aimed at enhancing safety & security of hazardous materials transported by rail, effective Dec. 26, the U.S. Transportation Dept's Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will require railroads to compile annual data on certain shipments of explosive, toxic by inhalation & radioactive materials. The data will then be used to analyze safety & security risks along rail routes where those materials are transported & make routing decisions based on those assessments. The complete rule is available in the Federal Register at:

Final Rule 1

Final Rule 2

Final Rule 3

***U.S. Customs Border Fee ...... as the annual user fee assessed for each permit held by a broker is due Jan. 23, 2009. The amount due for each permit is US$138. Customs noted that the fee is assessed for each permit held by a broker, whether it may be an individual, partnership, association, or corporation. Customs regulations "provide that this fee is payable for each calendar year in each broker district where the broker was issued a permit to do business." Press Release

***Drop The Milk & Step Back! ..... as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration will restrict Chinese food imports that contain milk-based ingredients. The FDA said in a Nov. 12 Import Alert that its districts may "detain without physical examination all milk products, all milk derived ingredients, & finished food products containing milk from China." In Sept., infant formula, laced with melamine, sickened more than 53,000 infants in China and contributed to the deaths of 4. It's estimated that China exports about US$3.8Bn in food to the U.S. each year. It's unclear yet what impact the FDA restrictions will have on these shipments.

***Chinese Railway Sector Growth ..... as cargo volumes grew substantially in the 1st 9 months of the year. Rail freight volumes amounted to 2.52 billion tons between Jan. & Sept., which equates to 7.4% or 170 million tons more than in same period in 2007. Daily volumes reached 147,600 rail cars, a plus of 5.7% over last year. Above-average increases were registered primarily in the transportation of coal & cereals, which improved by 10% over 2007.

***Russia's Epic Far East Rail Jam ...... as a backlog of cargo trains waiting to be unloaded in Russia's southern Far East can only be eliminated by spring 2009. The number of trains carrying coal & oil products which are waiting to be unloaded in ports in the Primorye Territory and the Khabarovsk Territory recently rose to 120. Rail officials warn that the growing build up threatens to paralyze the Far Eastern section of the Trans-Siberian railway. Dock staff have failed to deal with growing amounts of cargo. The situation has also been aggravated by weather conditions, when rain and a subsequent cold spell made coal freeze solid. A total of 60 trains bound for the Vostochny Port are standing on sidings at the Nakhodka-Vostochnaya rail station. A total of 33 trains have been stationed near the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, while 17 are waiting to be unloaded near the port of Posyet. Ten trains have been sent to the neighboring sections of Trans-Baikal & East Siberian railways in an attempt to ameliorate the situation.

***New LA Rail Road ..... as BNSF Railway has officially opened a new 3rd main rail through on a key rail pass in & out of Southern California. The US$90M, 16-mile track project through the Cajon Pass will increase capacity on the railroad's Chicago to Los Angeles Transcontinental (Transcon) route from about 75 to 100 trains a day to nearly 150 trains a day. The Cajon Pass, which cuts through the San Bernardino Mountains about 65 miles east of downtown L.A. at an elevation of 4,200 feet, is the main rail exit from the L.A. basin to the northern & eastern part of the state. The two existing BNSF tracks through the 32-mile-long pass were built in 1885 &1913. Union Pacific maintains another set built in the late-1960s. The 4 year project employed more than 300 BNSF workers who moved more than 1 million tons of earth, placed about 42,000 concrete railroad ties & laid more than 30 miles of steel rail.

***Giveth & Taketh Away ..... as the U.S. government has awarded Tanzania's Ministry of Infrastructure Development a US$653,600 grant to support the development of a regional rail transportation corridor. The grant, which was awarded under the U.S. Trade & Development Agency's African Trade Lanes Partnership, will fund early investment analysis on a proposed upgrade to the Dar es Salaam to Isaka Railway. The current railway dates from the early 1900s & is narrow gauge. The USTDA grant will be used to evaluate the feasibility of upgrading the railway to standard gauge, which would allow trains to carry more weight per car, more cars per train & move trains up to 3 times faster. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has been selected to carry out the USTDA-funded study. Meanwhile, the board of directors of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Corp has accused its suspended CEO of misappropriating up to EUR 6.3M.

***U.S. Intermodal Continues Rise ..... as domestic 3rd quarter intermodal volumes for railroads grew 6.7% in the third quarter, the highest rate since the 2nd quarter of 2004, on the strength of a 10.5% gain in domestic containers, the Intermodal Assn. of North America said

***U.S. Trucking Continues Slide ..... as the American Trucking Assn. said its advanced seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index decreased 3% in Oct., marking the 4th consecutive monthly drop. The index fell 0.8% in Sept. & 1.9% in Aug. In Oct., the seasonally adjusted tonnage index equaled 108.9 (2000 = 100), its lowest level since Oct. 2003. October is typically a busy month for motor carriers as retailers begin to take delivery of products for the holiday season. But, "the latest truck tonnage drop suggests that retailers are very pessimistic for the holiday sales season," ATA said. This Oct. was a fizzle.

***U.S. Driver Regs. To Stand ....... as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is making no changes to its controversial hours-of-service rule. FMCSA officially adopted its previously interim rule which maintained both the 11th hour of driving and the 34-hour restart provisions of the rule that had been overturned by a federal court. Since the rule was first revised in 2003, courts have either invalidated the entire rule or rejected parts of it twice. However, FMCSA has continued to maintain the basic framework of the regulation, which includes 11 hours of driving within a window of 14 consecutive hours of work, followed by 10 hours off-duty. FMCSA also limited drivers' hours behind the wheel to 60 in 7 days, or 70 in 8 days, while allowing those clocks to be reset by taking 34 straight off-duty hours. Previously, the rule had allowed for 10 hours of driving in a 15-hour period, but allowed drivers to log on & off duty at will, while requiring just 8 hours of rest between shifts.

***UPS Is Paperless ..... as it has announced it is deploying a new combination scanner & paperless printing device from HP that will print millions of sorting labels directly on packages, helping the world's largest delivery company reduce operational costs while slashing its consumption of paper. As a package enters a UPS center for sorting, a UPS employee uses the HP device to scan the shipping label. The device obtains the proper sorting information from a UPS database via a WiFi network inside the facility, then prints those instructions directly onto the package using a specially formulated, fast-drying HP ink. See the HP Handheld sp400 All-in-One.

***Schneider Logistics Expands ...... as the 3PL arm of trucking giant Schneider National, has opened 5 new freight forwarding offices in the U.S. & Europe. The offices in the U.S. include Chicago, Atlanta & New York, while the European offices are located in Rotterdam & Amsterdam. The company said about 70% of the freight handled in Rotterdam & Amsterdam is destined for, or originates from, other European countries including Eastern Europe. Schneider attributed its new U.S. East Coast & Midwest offices to shippers seeking to diversify their West Coast port options for points of delivery.

***UPS Polishes Pharmaceutical Network ...... as it will open a new 150,000 sqft healthcare facility in San Juan (Puerto Rico) in the 1st quarter of 2009. The center will be capable of storing medical devices, as well as sensitive & perishable pharmaceutical and biotech products. The platform will open around the same time as a previously announced 215,000 sqft healthcare distribution facility in Roermond (Netherlands). UPS will then have 25 such units in its network.

***Danzas AEI Emirates Expands In Dubai ...... as the DHL subsidiary has officially opened an 80,000-square-foot logistics facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai. The center is fully air-conditioned & includes 6,700 square meters of office space and an 8,000-square-meter temperature-controlled, life sciences distribution center.

***Boot Jack .... as a truck-driving thief made off with more than US$3M worth of merchandise from a venerable maker of cowboy boots & other footwear. The thefts occurred Labor Day weekend & Nov. 9 at a Justin Boots distribution center. Surveillance video shows a white single-cab tractor entering the property without a trailer & each time leaving with one. The driver gained entry by cutting the locked chain securing the gate. Over Labor Day, 3 containers mounted on 3 chassis were taken, holding 10,740 pairs of boots & 7,400 sets of boot uppers worth nearly US$2.4M. On Nov. 9, two more shipping containers-chassis sets were taken, holding nearly 10,000 pairs of boots worth nearly US$800,000. Four of the 5 shipping container-chassis sets were found abandoned & empty; the 5th is still missing. Justin Boots was founded in 1879 & has had its headquarters in Fort Worth since 1925.

***Microsoft-Like ..... as U.S. Customs at the Port of Savannah seized an estimated US$500,000 worth of counterfeit computer keyboards & peripherals bearing the "Microsoft" and "LG" logo & trademark. The fake merchandise was discovered this month in a container selected for an examination.

***Toys R Them....... as 23 shipping containers of Chinese-made fake toys with a retail value of more than US$1.1M were seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers at the San Luis, Ariz., port of entry on Nov. 14. The counterfeit goods are in CBP custody, while the agency works with the legitimate trademark holders, such as toy maker Mattel. The CBP said the trademark owners would likely opt to destroy the merchandise. CBP did not identify the importer.

***Consequences of Customer Theft ..... as a Texas jury has awarded US$600,000 in damages to an agent of the logistics company Exel. The Idaho-based agent said Exel allowed another of its agents based in California to steal its customers. A jury in state district court in Dallas made the award Nov. 7, to Aim High Logistics Services of Post Falls, Idaho, after it sued Exel, a unit of Deutsche Post World Net, as well as the other agent, Rick Sipkoi and his agency Sip-Code Logistics Inc., based in Foothills Ranch, Calif. Aim High's attorney said the jury found Exel had violated its own policy that required agents to get clearance from the company to ensure agents did not take business from each other and that a contract for Yamaha Motor Corp. was unfairly "yanked" from Aim High. In addition to the money awarded Aim High, the jury awarded US$410,000 for Aim High's attorney fees. In its complaint filed this spring, Aim High said that despite what it said was its "outstanding performance as an independent contractor" Exel had "chosen to play favorites" and allowed Sipkoi, who it described as a former corporate Exel employee, to circumvent the "account clearance" policy.

***Self Service ...... as a 21-year-old man was accused of driving drunk & leading police on a chase that finally ended with him running over himself on Nov. 25. The man was treated for minor injuries at a Santa Fe, New Mexico hospital & booked in to jail on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated, fleeing a police officer, careless driving & two outstanding traffic warrants. State Police spotted the man's pickup truck swerving across both lanes of a highway, driving slowly and then fast. He refused to stop. After narrowly missing other vehicles, he drove through a ditch & a barbed-wire fence before stopping. He tried to put the truck into park, but it ended up in reverse. Police said the man fell from his open door & both of his legs were run over by the front driver's side tire.


  2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ___________

**Atlas Air Worldwid. UP with net profit of US$5.2M.  

**British Airways. DOWN as a sharp drop in profits in the 1st half of the current business year (April to Sept.) from GBP 616 million in 2007 to GBP 52 million (EUR 63.7M) this year

**China Shipping Container Lines. DOWN with a net loss of US$39M in 3rd quarter.  

** Expeditors International of Washington Inc. UP with profit of US$85.6M for 3rd quarter, a 15% increase over same 2007 period.

**Hapag-Lloyd. DOWN as 3rd quarter earnings drop 30.5% to US$109M, 19.6% less than in the same 2007 period. 

**A.P. Moller - Maersk Group. UP with US$3.6Bn profit through the 1st 9 months of 2008, a substantial rise over US$2.6Bn in same period in 2007 

**Norfolk Southern. UP 35% with record profit of US$520M for Q3/2008.

**Russian Railway RZD. DOWN with a 20% drop in profits to US$1.19Bn in the 1st 9 months of 2008, compared to 2007 same period.

**Singapore Airlines. DOWN as profit slid to US$216M, compared with US$338 M during same period in 2007



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

3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs __________  

***Good Bye DHL ..... as in the face of a global economic slowdown that is impacting the shipping industry, Deutsche Post World Net announced Nov. 10, that it has opted for a full shutdown, instead of partial downsizing, of its DHL Express domestic ground & air service in the U.S. DHL said it will end domestic ground & air package pickups on Jan. 30 to focus on its core int'l express service. The company said it will serve the entire U.S. for deliveries and 99% coverage for pickups. The U.S. market is still critical for DHL as part of its global network. The move represents a full circle for Deutsche Post, which acquired Airborne Express in 2003 & began an expensive construction program to build a ground hub network to compete with FedEx & UPS. DHL is now returning to its int'l roots, handling shipments into & out of the U.S. Under the radical restructuring, DHL will close all 18 ground hubs, cut the number of package stations from 412 to 103 and eliminate 9,500 jobs on top of the 5,400 positions already cut since the beginning of the year. DHL will go from moving 1.2 million shipments to 100,000 shipments per day via air under the new arrangement. DHL Express will retain 3,000 to 4,000 employees. 

***FedEx & UPS Rates Up ..... as with DHL Express focusing solely on int'l business, anecdotal evidence is that remaining providers FedEx, UPS & USPS are less inclined to negotiate rate reductions for domestic U.S. shipments, even as they announce increases for the new year. On Jan. 5 standard list rates for FedEx Ground & FedEx Home Delivery increase by an average of 5.9%, & FedEx Express rates will move up by an average of 6.9% for both domestic & int'l service. To moderate the FedEx Express increase, the carrier will be adjusting downward by 2%. Remarkably similar are rate increases for UPS customers that have been previously announced. Also beginning Jan. 5, UPS Ground rates will climb by an average of 5.9%. UPS Air & int'l rates will grow by 6.9% to be eased by a 2% reduction in fuel surcharges. Published rates for UPS Freight will also grow by 5.9%. Specifically, for its int'l air business, UPS says that on Dec. 1 it will lower air fuel surcharges from 28.5% to 15%.

***Bangkok's Int'l Airport Siege ..... as it was closed Nov. 25, as anti-government protesters stormed the passenger terminal of one of Asia's key air hubs. The Suvarnabhumi Int'l Airport is also a key cargo gateway. It's unclear what impact the protests & airport closure are having on all-cargo flights, but passenger flights have been canceled or diverted due to the unrest. Cathay Pacific, for example, said that its regularly scheduled Hong Kong-Bangkok-Mumbai route would bypass the just head straight to Mumbai. At least 2,000 protesters surrounded the airport as part of their 6-month campaign to oust the government, which they say is a puppet of exiled former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. The protesters were armed with metal rods as they stormed the passenger terminal. The siege continues.

***Advance Notice Rules Extended ..... as private aircraft entering or leaving the U.S. will have to provide more pre-arrival & departure information to the government under final rules issued last week by the Dept. of Homeland Security. The final rule, which goes into effect Dec. 18, will require pilots of private aircraft to send Customs & Border Protection electronic manifest data for all passengers & crew traveling onboard. The information must be sent 1 hour prior to departure for flights arriving into or departing from the U.S. by filing manifest data through the Electronic Advanced Passenger Information System or an approved alternate system.

***Airlines Gambled & Lost ..... as many airlines purchase kerosene at a long-term fixed price to hedge against rising or falling prices. Most companies did not foresee either the record kerosene prices in mid-2007 or the drastic decline in prices this autumn. Now it appears that Air China & China Eastern Airlines have backed the "wrong horse" in the kerosene market. The Chinese newspaper China Business News reported that China Eastern has accumulated debts of US$690M from hedging position losses. Air China recently reported that it had lost US$453.4M through its jet fuel hedging contracts at the end of Oct. But last year Southwest Airlines in the U.S. made the same play & put itself in profit heaven when it bought low & then kerosene prices skyrocketed.

***China Airlines Goes To China ...... as Taiwan's biggest carrier, will launch direct flights between Taiwan & mainland China on 15 Dec. The state-owned airline Air China already has plans to deploy 10 aircraft in this trade. Up to now such direct flights have only been permitted on traditional Chinese holidays & on weekends. The jets always had to fly through Hong Kong's air space. An agreement signed on 4 Nov., now allows for daily services. There are to be 108 direct flights to Taiwan per week. The number of Chinese airports which provide connections to the island is to be augmented from 5 to 16. Yes, there is hope for the world as the PRC & Taiwan connect.

***DHL Is China .... as the counrty set to become DHL's largest market in the world in terms of express service volume after the company moves out of the U.S. The company has about 34% of China's express service market, ahead of rivals FedEx & UPS. Since the Belgium-based logistics giant set up the joint venture in China in 1986, it has invested US$1.3Bn in the mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwan, accounting for 59% of its total investment in Asia.

***Growing Your Own Jet Fuel ...... as the world's 1st commercial aviation test flight powered by a sustainable 2nd-generation biofuel is to fly Dec. 3, 2008. The jatropha oil-based fuel has now been blended 50:50 with standard Jet A1 fuel by Air New Zealand at its Auckland Engineering Base. The biofuel blend, named J50, has now been transferred into an RNZAF fuel tanker ready to fuel the Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 early this week. The test flight is a joint initiative between Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce & UOP, a Honeywell company, as part of commercial aviation's drive for more sustainable air travel. The jatropha oil Air New Zealand has sourced & refined for its test flight comes from South Eastern Africa & India. It was sourced from seeds grown on environmentally sustainable farms. Jatropha is a plant that grows to approximately 3 meters high & produces seeds that contain inedible lipid oil that is used to produce fuel. Each seed produces between 30% & 40% of its mass in oil & jatropha can be grown in a range of difficult conditions, including arid & otherwise non-arable areas, leaving prime areas available for food crops.

***Back To Bagdad ..... as Istanbul-based Turkish flag carrier Turkish Airlines resumed flights to Iraq in Oct., ending a 17-year interruption. Three weekly connections between Istanbul (Turkey) & Bagdad (Iraq) are offered. The company halted the service in 1991, at the beginning of the Gulf War.

***Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast .... as this month it said demand for freighters over the next 20 years will not be affected by the current downturn. Air cargo growth is projected to rise between 4.8% & 6.7% annually over that time, depending on how much world GDP grows over the next 2 decades. At present, 20% of the 747 classic freighters have been taken out of service because they were not economically viable with elevated fuel prices, but there is still no fixed date for the launch of 747-8 freighter, the most fuel-efficient version yet of the Boeing's signature model.

***The Big Easy ..... as obese people have the right to 2 seats for the price of 1 on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Nov 20. The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have 2 seats for one fare. The airlines had lost an appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal in May and had sought to launch a fresh appeal at the Supreme Court. The court's decision not to hear a new appeal means the one-person-one-fare policy stands. The appeal had been launched by Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz & WestJet.  

**Moon Glow .... as a U.S. funeral business that specializes in launching cremated human remains into Earth's orbit has begun taking reservations for landing small capsules of ashes on the moon. "Celestis' 1st general public lunar mission could occur as early as 2010 and reservations are now being taken," said the company. The company says it can send up to 5000 individual capsules to the lunar surface. Celestis hopes to install a cemetery on the lunar surface to hold cremated remains of the dead which one day could be visited by relatives of the deceased. For sending a tiny, one gram portion of cremated remains to the moon, Celestis charges US$9,995. Other funeral services, besides the full lunar trip, include sending ash into Earth's orbit -- the cheapest option, starting at US$700 -- and all the way up to launching remains far, far away into deep space, for which the company charges more than US$37,000. The latter option is expected to be available from 2011, after the development of a special capsule. Ten years ago NASA paid tribute to top U.S. astronomer Eugene Shoemaker by carrying into space a portion of his cremated remains. After a year in lunar orbit, Shoemaker's remains were intentionally planted on the moon's south pole, the 1st time human remains have been landed on the lunar surface -- but maybe not the last time.

***Three Months As Terminal 2 .....as a Japanese man, Hiroshi Nohara has been in Terminal 1 of the Benito Juarez Int'l Airport in Mexico City since Sept. 2, surviving on donations from fast-food restaurants & passengers and sleeping in a chair. Nohara, whose job in Tokyo was cleaning office buildings, sits & sleeps at a table near a Dunkin' Donuts shop in a crowded food court on the int'l departures level. He carries no suitcase, only a torn paper shopping bag with items including a blanket & a baseball cap. "I like the airport, I like Mexico," Nohara said in an interview at his usual table. He speaks broken English & knows a few words in Spanish. It isn't clear if Nohara's stay was planned after seeing the movie "The Terminal." In that 2004 film, Tom Hanks portrayed a foreigner who found himself stranded at John F. Kennedy Int'l Airport in New York & ended up living there. "'Terminal 2,'" Nohara said & pointed to himself, suggesting a sequel. Nohara said he plans to return to Japan in Dec.                         



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

  4. FF World Ocean Briefs     

***Avoiding Somali Pirates ..... as more carriers are beginning to avoid routing ships through the Suez Canal & Gulf of Aden because of the upsurge in piracy. A.P. Moller - Maersk said Nov. 20, "Vessels without adequate speed or freeboard will, for the time being, avoid the Gulf of Aden and seek alternative routing south of the Cape of Good Hope & east of Madagascar. However, based upon availability of escorts, these vessels may join naval convoy transit in the Gulf of Aden." Maersk said it was taking to action to "ensure the safety of our crews as well as vessels & cargo." The tanker owner group INTERTANKO, also will avoid the area off Somalia's coasts & in the Gulf of Aden, and to sail instead via the Cape of Good Hope & East of Madagascar. Taipei, Taiwan-based ocean carrier TMT Co., one of Asia's largest shipping firms, said it plans to divert its entire fleet of oil tankers around the Cape of Good Hope due to concerns of piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden.

***The Cost of Avoiding Somali Pirates ..... as re-routing cargo ships around the tip of Africa rather than through the Suez Canal will dramatically increase both cost & delivery schedules. For example, the one-way Europe/Far East distance would increase by roughly 3,300 nautical miles or, at 20 knots, one full week of sailing -- an additional expense of US$350,000 for vessels with a US$50,000 per day overhead. A service round trip would thus take 2 weeks longer, using 2 extra vessels and soaking up around 20% more capacity. On the Europe/Far East trade alone this would require about 50 more ships.

***The Cost of Somali Pirates On Suez Canal ..... as major charterers & cargo insurers are encouraging vessels to avoid the Gulf of Aden, but numbers through the Suez Canal seem to be holding up well, despite highly publicised decisions by some shipowners to re-route round the Cape of Good Hope, one of Egypt's leading shipping agents has confirmed. One way or the other, the outcome is of vital economic importance to Egypt, which depends on the canal as its 3rd-largest owner of foreign exchange after tourism & remittances from overseas workers. Officials of the Suez Canal Authority have told the media that they are fearful of the impact of continued Somali piracy on canal business.

***French Shipping Lines Pony Up For Protection ..... as they have accepted a proposal made by the country's defence minister Hervé Morin, that they should bear some of the costs for protecting their vessels against pirates. The shippers' association Armateurs de France said that it was prepared, for example, to bear a part of the costs for the transportation, board & lodging of protective teams that could be deployed on board vessels. Details have to be settled with the defence ministry concerning whether the involvement will be limited to the men on board merchant marine vessels or whether it could be extended to the navy's units patrolling the Horn of Africa.

***Dept. of Useless Acts ..... as the United Nations on Nov. 20 approved a set of financial sanctions on the Somali pirates who have wreaked havoc in Gulf of Aden, but it's unclear how effective the sanctions will be since "those responsible for much of the anarchy plaguing the country are well outside any traditional finance system," an Associate Press report said. On Nov. 21, the UN banned use of tooth paste below the 40th parallel.

***The Daily Pirate ......as we have covered each day of the current Somali pirate crisis since Sept. 25 -- with a summary of all the events, interpretive data, inside stories & amazing photos. Don't miss our daily coverage of these events.

***U.S. Origin Inspection Plan Blasted ..... as U.S. efforts to move ahead with a law requiring all inbound cargo containers to be inspected at overseas ports by technical means would act as a further drag on economic activity at a time when many countries are confronting recession, the European Union's top diplomat in the U.S. said Nov.13. EU Ambassador John Bruton described the 100% imaging of containers by 2012 as mandated by Congress as a "one-sided" & "discriminatory" security measure. The EU has been vocal since before the law's passage in its opposition to X-ray style inspections of all containers because of the potential disruption to trade at many ports without available real estate or resources to conduct scans in an efficient manner. It favors strengthening intelligence-based systems for targeting container inspections based on the risk of each shipment. Bruton complained that "the U.S. is not proposing to scan all containers leaving the U.S. and, secondly, all the costs are to be borne by the European exporter. This is a protectionist measure which will harm transatlantic trade at the time when our flagging economies need more, not less, trade," he said.

***Western Container Decline ...... as volumes moving through the 5 major West Coast ports continued to decline in Oct., with the collective ports shedding more than a million containers of volume so far this year. The ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle & Tacoma have handled 17 million TEUs so far this year, a 6.6% drop from the 18 million TEUS reported during the 1st 10 months of 2007.

***Shifting Container Volume Eastward ..... as the maritime industry, like every other transportation sector, is sending out an SOS. Unprecedented challenges such as slowing economies in Europe and the U.S., fuel cost inflation of 60%-plus & a steep decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, are having far-reaching effects on ocean shipping. The cost of moving a container from China to the U.S., for instance, has tripled since 2003. At the beginning of 2007, fuel cost less than US$300 a ton. In mid-summer 2008, prices hit US$750 a ton before dropping to about US$600 a ton presently. To address the fuel issue, liner companies and their U.S. importer customers agreed in contract negotiations earlier this year to floating bunker fuel surcharges that adjust monthly over the contract term to reflect world fuel price fluctuations. Carriers are doing their part to cut fuel consumption by slowing down their ships. "A 10% to 20% drop in vessel speed significantly reduces fuel consumption," says NYK Line . In response to fuel cost increases, U.S. shippers have been routing more freight through the Panama & Suez canals to East Coast & Gulf ports to reach Midwest, Gulf & East Coast markets. Panama authorities recently indicated that the Canal will be able to handle vessels of more than 13,000 TEUs, however, a development that would change the West Coast routing economic equation. If ship sizes through Panama increase to 6,400 TEUs, most places east of the Mississippi will fall out of the West Coast's sphere of influence. Push canal capacity up to 8,000 TEUs, and the 'border' shifts across the Missouri for 40-foot import cargo. If the Panama Canal Authority succeeds in getting 13,000-TEU ships through its new locks, then Denver, Albuquerque & El Paso could becoome the "border towns" for West Coast hinterlands.

***Canal Project Gets The Go ...... as the board of the Int'l Finance Corp., part of the World Bank, has given final approval for a US$300M loan to the Panama Canal Authority to support the expansion of the Panama Canal. The expansion project includes dredging the approaches to the canal, adding a new set of locks to handle bigger ships & widening navigation channels. The Panama Canal Authority has estimated the project, which will double the canal's capacity, will cost US$5.25Bn.

***Marine Insurers Facing Challenging Times ...... as the exiting chairman of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters issued a cautionary note at its annual meeting this month in New York. While statistics for the current year are not available, 2008 "has been a very difficult year for marine underwriters. It included Hurricane Ike, which some have said to be the 3rd most costly hurricane in U.S. history. Reviewing last year's statistics, AIMU member companies had a combined ratio of 85.9%, nearly identical to the 86% recorded by AIMU members in 2006. He said this was very favorable compared to the overall property casualty industry, which had a combined ration of 95.6%, up from 92% in 2006. (The combined ratio is the percentage of each premium dollar a property/casualty insurer spends on claims & expenses. A decrease in the combined ratio means financial results are improving; an increase means they are deteriorating.)

***American President Lines Will Lay Up ..... as it will some vessels from service in the next few days the company confirmed. APL's capacity in the Asia/Europe trade would be reduced by nearly 25%, with about 20% of the company's transpacific tonnage also to be removed from service the company said. APL's parent, Neptune Orient Lines reported 3rd quarter profit of US$35M, 82% less than in same 2007 period. Similarly, A.P. Moller - Maersk said it will close a global service center at Guangzhou, China & eliminate about 700 jobs.

***Ciao! Costa Container Lines ..... as the shipping line group Hamburg Süd will discontinue its brand name in Jan. 2009, to be replaced by the unified, well-known name of Hamburg Süd. Hamburg Süd acquired the liner activities of the Italian shipping line in Dec. 2007. No personnel changes will be made.

***Scrapping The Car Fleet ...... as up to 25% of the world's fleet of pure car & truck carriers could be heading for the scrapyard as shipowners take action to slash capacity in line with factory production cuts. Many of the ships used to transport vehicles were built between 1978-1988 & may soon be removed from service, as the specialist lines move fast to respond to rapidly changing market conditions. The unprecedented slump in new car sales is forcing motor manufacturers around the world to shut down for an extended period over Christmas & scale back output wherever they can. The handful of lines engaged in the ocean transportation of cars & trucks are scrambling to react to their customers' plight. In total, around 200 ships built in the decade to the late-1980s could be broken up as older, fuel-hungry units are eliminated. What lines are now seeing is a cancellation of contracts by importers, often when vehicles are already on the high seas.

***Economics May Force U.S. Modal Shift ..... as higher oil prices mean short sea container shipping services are likely to become viable on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System & on the Mississippi River & Gulf Coast corridors, says a new Maritime Administration study, Impact of High Oil Prices on Freight Transportation: Modal Shift Potential in Five Corridors. The report explores the effect of fuel prices on the likely prospects for implementation of short sea shipping along the East, West & Gulf coasts, as well as the Mississippi River & Great Lakes, near to about 90% of the U.S. population lives. The report said "water & intermodal rail infrastructure, at both coastal and inland ports needs to be developed to ensure the optimum distribution of freight through all modes of transportation, so that the U.S. transportation network develops in an efficient & integrated manner."

***Waste Not ..... as Japanese cargo ship operator Hiong Guan Navegacion Japan Co. pleaded guilty at U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla. & agreed to pay a US$1.75M fine as part of a plea agreement growing out of an oil water pollution case for falsifying & failing to properly maintain oil waste records of cargo M/V Balsa 62.

***FMC Fines NVOCCs ..... as M Star Logistics Corp. & Wanda Shipping Co., both of Los Angeles, paid a US$60,000 civil penalty to settle various alleged violations, including failure to publish tariffs, obtain licenses, & furnish the requisite proof of financial responsibility. Pudong Trans USA, based in El Monte, Calif., paid a US$60,000 civil penalty for allegedly obtaining ocean transportation in violation of the 1984 Act by accessing service contracts to which it was neither a signatory nor a lawful affiliate, by improperly describing the commodities shipped & through the unlawful use of carrier provisions for equipment substitution.

***The Higher Cost of Paradise ..... as Matson is raising its rates for the company's Hawaii service by US$120 per westbound container & US$60 per eastbound container, effective Jan. 4, an average hike of 3.9%. The Jones Act carrier said it would raise its terminal handling charge by US$175 per westbound container & US$90 per eastbound container on the same date.

***Better Breathing At Port of Long Beach ...... as it inaugurated its 1st dedicated ship-to-shore power service during a Nov. 11, ceremony when the "K" Line container M/V Long Beach Bridge became the port's 1st ship to plug into shoreside electrical power. It marks the start-up of an US$8M project that installed electrical power connections at the Int'l Transportation Service Inc. terminal. Studies have shown that up to 50% of diesel emissions generated by vessels arriving at the port come from the running of auxiliary engines while at dock. Plugging in to the shoreside power allows the vessels to cut their auxiliary engines while still having power for such onboard loads as refrigerated containers, pumps, lighting, air conditioning & computers.

***Throughput >>> Port of Bordeaux container volumes were down 17% to 619,842 TEUs in the 1st 9 months of 2008. >>> Port of Long Beach's Oct. volume dipped 7.7%, loaded import containers declined 9.5% to 292,456 TEUs, & loaded export containers dipped 8.5% to 132,521 TEUs. >>> Port of Los Angeles reported 706,308 TEUs handled in Oct., a 3.9% drop from Oct. 207, loaded import containers was off 3.8% to 370,987 TEUs and loaded export containers slipped 8.2% to 134,784 TEUs -- 1st 10 months, cargo volumes are down 4.7% to 6.63 million TEUs handled compared to 6.96 million TEUs handled between Jan. & Oct. in 2007 -- loaded import containers are off 5.5% while loaded exports are up 15%. >>> Port of Oakland moved 193,919 TEUs in Oct., a 10.7% drop. Loaded import containers were down 8.4% to 68,054 TEUs, while loaded export containers dropped 14.1% to 73,876 TEUs -- year-to-date volume is off 4.7% to 1.79 million TEUs, loaded import containers are down 6.4% for the year, while export volume gained 4.4%. >>> Port of Tacoma handled 157,590 TEUs in Oct., down 3.6% -- loaded import boxes were off 9.2% to 53,868 TEUs while loaded export containers fell 17.6% to 35,954 TEUs -- volume dropped 2.4% to 1.57 million TEUs. Loaded import boxes were off 6.1%, while exports jumped 15.1%. >>> Port of Seattle's Oct. volumes dropped 14 % to 152,486 TEUs. Loaded import containers fell 17.4% to 58,927 TEUs & loaded export container numbers plummeted 24.5% to 92,534 TEUs.

***Standard Maritime Legal Reference To Be Revised ..... as attorney Geoffrey W. Gill, of the Countryman & McDaniel law firm has been tasked by preeminent legal publisher West Publishing, a Thomson Reuters business, to fully revise his two volume Admiralty Forms and Commentary component of West's Federal Forms series. Mr. Gill has provided annual supplementation of these volumes since their latest revision in 1997. The revision is expected to be completed for release to the maritime legal community in early 2010.

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

1775 - Continental Congress authorizes privateering.

1943 - In Battle of Cape St. George, 5 destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 23 (Capt. Arleigh Burke) intercept 5 Japanese destroyers, sink 3 & damage one without suffering any damage.

1961 - Commissioning of USS Enterprise [CVA(N)-65], the 1st nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, at Newport News, Va. Still in service.

***Not The Love Boat ...... as luxury 270-foot yacht S/Y Ocean Breeze once owned by former dictator Saddam Hussein is for sale by the Iraqi government & is expected to fetch GBP18.8M. The vessel features gold-tap bathrooms, a helicopter landing pad & a secret escape passageway. "Given the current economic climate, clients are not falling over themselves (to make the purchase)," said a sales executive, noting a deafening silence from potential buyers. Take a tour:



   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!! Don't miss the pirate attack on  M/V Seabourn Spirit

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. You will be amazed.

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

See our new feature for OCT. 2008: "THANKS, BUT NO TANKS" ....... biggest pirate story of the 21st Century -- the taking of M/V Faina!

See our new feature for Nov. 2008: "The Death of Hercules"

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

Cargo & Trade>>>>>>

10 Most Expensive Accidents of All Time

Asian Studies Virtual Library

CoreIndex ....... find worldwide businesses & partners among importers, exporters, traders & distributors

Flight Tracker - In Real Time

Following The Export Trail Of Toxic U.S. E-Waste To China - Watch The "60 Minutes" Report

ICC Alert To All ships Transiting Gulf of Aden

New Horizons: 2008 Ocean Carrier Guide

Real Prespective On The World Financial Crisis ...... a World Bank servive has news & information about specific countries & sectors, as well as the global crisis response.

Taiwan Bureau of Animal & Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine -- New Regulations On Wood Packaging For Imported Commodities

U.S. Airports & Air Traffic

U.S. Airport Status and Delays

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act ...... the U.S. importer needs to issue a conformity certificate.

U.S. Commercial Service Guide to Peru

U.S. - Peruvian Chamber of Commerce

U.S. MarAd: Impact of High Oil Prices on Freight Transportation: Modal Shift Potential in 5 Corridors.

U.S. Customs - Cargo Systems Messaging Service (CSMS)

U.S. Customs - Foreign Assembly of U.S. Components

U.S. Customs - HTS Online Reference Tool

U.S. Customs - Rules of Origin

U.S. Customs Trade Strategy For Years 2009 -2013

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Updated information On "Lacey Act"

U.S. Treasury Dept. Final Guidelines - Foreign Investment & National Security Act (FINSA)




Clarkson Shipping Diary 2009 .... 40 pages of shipping data with 28 pages of full colour world maps & 13 pages of statistics

Maritime Job Search

Unmanned Vehicles Handbook



Transport Events

Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Conferences & Business Events Worldwide

World Trade Organization Events

Cargo Claims Handling, Loss Prevention & Security Seminar - Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel - The Asia Business Forum...... Feb. 9-10 2009, JW Mariott Hotel, Singapore. COME JOIN US!!

Cargo Claims Handling, Loss Prevention & Security Seminar - Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel - The Asia Business Forum ...... Feb. 11-12 200, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. COME JOIN US!!

Int'l Freight Week ...... 23-25 Nov. 2008, Abu Dhabi

Intermodal 2008 ....2-4 Dec. 2008, Hamburg

JAXPORT 2009 Logistics and Intermodal Conference ...... March 17, 2009, Amelia Island Plantation, Florida.

LogiTrans - Logisitcs & Transport of Madrid ......... 10-12 Nov. 2008

MARAD Approved Maritime Security Awareness Classes

Maritime Vietnam 2009 ......... 25-27 Feb. 2009, Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center

Tackling Piracy at Sea Conference .... 18 - 19 March 2009, London, UK

Tensions in Marine Insurance ......... 9-10 Dec. 2008, London

TOC Americas 2008 ......18-20 Nov. 2008, Long Beach Convention Center, CA

Transport & Infrastructure India 2008 ...27-29 Nov. 2008, Mumbai, India

Truck & Bus World Forum 2008 ..... 8-9 Dec, Gothenburg, Sweden


U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Updated information On "Lacey Act"

U.S. Importer Security Filing (10+2) Workshop ... Dec. 9 2008, Elk Grove Village, IL

Washington Union Station's Centennial Celebration



Genco Connectivity & Visibility Across The Supply Chain Maximizes Customer Service ....Dec. 10 2008, 2 PM

Pallet Roundtable ........Dec. 10, 2008, 2 PM ET

U.S. Importer Security Filing (10+2) Workshop .... Dec. 9 2008, 1 pm Central Time



65th Annual CSX Santa Train

Anaheim Colony ...... more than Disneyland

Are Harry and David Gay?

Compliance Guide for the Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule

Johnny Clean Windows -- Clean Windows On Your Own Home Or Start A Business

Medical Information On The Invisible Web .... a goldmine of medical databases & specialized sites that don't show up on a cursory search in search engines

MV Oasis of The Seas ........ the new 220,000 GRT giant will carry 5,400 guests in 2,700 staterooms. See the incredible preview. You can even zip line!

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

The Flight Attendant Who Landed The Plane

Translate Into 75 Languages From Your Laptop

UPS Christmas Regifter ..... makes it possible to send virtual regifts to friends & family in an entertaining, eco-friendly, no-wrapping-paper-required way. A recipient of a virtual regift item will receive an e-mail with a link to claim the regift. Then the regiftee can regift the item they received to someone else or by uploading a photo of a new item to regift. Fun.

When One of Your Wings Breaks Off! ..... and we have a bridge to sell you




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

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

Best v. BWIA West Indies Airways, Ltd.

Eastern District of New York, Sept. 29, 2008

Montreal Convention Prempts U.S. Law >> Karen Best booked an airline flight from JFK airport to Grenada. Although she purchased her ticket from BWIA West Indies Airways, Ltd. ("BWIA"), she boarded a connecting flight operated by another carrier, LIAT, at Port of Spain, Trinidad. After boarding that plane, she suffered injuries while being forcibly removed from the plane for unexplained reasons. Best filed a personal injury lawsuit against BWIA in New York state court. BWIA removed the case to U.S District Court (E.D.N.Y.) under 28 U.S.C. §1331 as it arose under a treaty&endash;the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air (the "Montreal Convention") &endash; and filed a motion for summary judgment. The District Court noted that the Montreal Convention preempts domestic law on claims of liability for personal injury & damage to goods during int'l flights. Thus, Best's claims clearly must be brought under the Montreal Convention. The Court determined that the relationship between BWIA and LIAT was that of successive carriers. Liability for successive carriers under Article 36 of the Montreal Convention is limited to the carrier which performed the carriage on which the injury occurred, unless the previous carrier has expressly assumed liability for the entire trip. Given that LIAT was the servicing carrier at the point of the injury, BWIA was not liable under the Montreal Convention. Best argued the existence of an agency relationship between the two carriers, however, the District Court held that Article 36 of the Montreal Convention precludes implied agency in this case. BWIA's motion for summary judgment was granted.


Lewis v. Atlas Van Lines, Inc.

542 F.3d 403, Sept. 9, 2008

Carmack Claim Need Not State Exact Amounts >> Late Van Line May Be Liable for Lost Sale of House >> After executing a contract to sell their house, Richard & Patricia Lewis contracted with Atlas Van Lines, Inc. to move their household belongings from Pennsylvania to New York. The Lewises made it clear to Atlas that they were obligated to have their house empty by Aug. 27th, 2004. Despite promising to move the belongings on August 26th, Atlas failed to do so until August 29th, causing the sale of the Lewises' house to fall through. On Oct. 26 of that year, the Lewises sent a letter to Atlas claiming losses stemming from Atlas' delay, including lost profits on the sale of their house, additional mortgage payments and "other miscellaneous expenses." The letter explained that the Lewises could not provide an exact dollar amount of losses until they sold their house. The Lewises ultimately sold their house in June of 2005 for US$35,000 less than the cancelled contract price. The following Nov., the Lewises sent a letter to Atlas detailing the dollar amount of their losses. When Atlas refused to reimburse them, the Lewises filed suit in state court for breach of contract & negligence. Atlas removed the case to U.S. District Court (M.D. Penn.). The District Court held that the state law claims were preempted by the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. 14706, & dismissed the Lewises' claims for noncompliance with the procedural steps of that Amendment. On appeal, the 3rd Circuit agreed that the Carmack Amendment preempted state law claims against a carrier for "losses resulting from any failure to discharge a carrier's duty" regarding transportation. A claim under the Amendment must be filed with the carrier within the time specified in the bill of lading, but not less than 9 months. 49 U.S.C. 14706(e)(1). The Lewises complied with the claim deadline in the Atlas bill of lading only if their letter of Oct. 26 met the constituted "claim" under the Amendment. Among other requirements, a "claim" must include a "specified or determinable amount of money." 49 C.F.R. 370.3. Atlas argued that the Lewises' October 26 letter failed to include a "determinable amount of money" because there was no dollar amount specified. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that the term "determinable," particularly in contrast to the term "specified," requires merely that the claim include sufficient details so that a dollar amount may be determined at some future time. Thus, stating that there would be damages of lost profits on the sale of the house & due to additional mortgage payments was sufficiently "determinable." However, the Court held that referring to "miscellaneous" expenses was insufficient to indicate how a dollar amount would be determined in the future and ,thus, did not preserve damages which could be asserted under the Amendment. The Court of Appeals reversed the holding of the District Court, as to the Lewises' claim for reimbursement of mortgage payments & lost profits, and remanded the case for further proceedings.         


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)

Maria Payne (Countryman & McDaniel)

Christoph Whaner, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)


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