CHINA Southern Airlines has opened a regular flights connecting Guiyang, the capital of southwestern Guizhou province, to Bangkok, reports Xinhua.

The route with daily round-trip flight is serviced by the Boeing 737-800. Flight number CZ3081 takes off from Guiyang at 0950hrs every day, stops in Guangzhou and lands in Bangkok at 1430hrs local time. The return flight CZ3082 departs from Bangkok at 1530 hrs local time and arrives in Guiyang at 1030 hrs after stopping in Guangzhou.

Previous flights between the cities were irregular charter flights arranged by travel agencies, and often took off at midnight.

The airline is also planning to open international flights from Guiyang to South Korea and Japan, and to launch two services from Guiyang to Qingdao and Changchun in June.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


HONG KONG's major ground handler, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl), has completed the final phase of its HK$240 million (US$31 million) COSAC-Plus Cargo Management System, marking the end of a three-year implementation process.

The last 26 of the 91 airline customers handled by Hactl transferred to the new system on April 9 following the completion of three previous phases.

The system launched in 1976 at Hong Kong's former international airport, Kai Tak. Thirty-six years later COSAC-Plus is multilingual and comes with a full web interface, online help and personalisation capability. It handles images for the first time, and has comprehensive cargo tracking features.

"COSAC-Plus takes the previous system's excellent features and total reliability to a new level," said Jardine Airport Services cargo chief Victor Lai. "It is easier to use and its many new features, such as storing photos enables us to provide a better service and work more efficiently."

COSAC-Plus will always be a work in progress, with ever-changing regulations and customer needs, the system must continue to evolve as it has done since Hactl was launched in 1976, said Hactl general manager Cindy Ng.

"When you handle three million tonnes of cargo a year for over 90 airlines and 1,000 freight forwarders, failure is not an option," said Ms Ng. "We are particularly grateful to our 140-strong development workforce from HACTL Solutions Limited for their hard work throughout the project."

Hactl, the world's largest single independent cargo handling facility, has more than doubled tonnage in the 13 years since it moved to SuperTerminal 1, with an all-time record throughput of 2.9 million tonnes in 2010.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

FEDEX Express will enhance its capacity on its northern Europe network with the addition of four Boeing 757 freighters on its next-business day service to eight major European airports.

"The introduction of these aircraft offers customers more time to prepare packages and get them to their destinations in the fastest time possible," said FedEx UK managing director Will Martin.

Extra capacity, allowing heavier freight shipments of 68 - 1,000 kilogrammes, will enable door-to-door service between the US east coast for the first time and Sweden, Finland and Norway, reported London's International Freighting Weekly. This will allows FedEx to cut two slower feeder services and retire aging aircraft, including an Airbus A300.

The introduction of the new aircraft also allows FedEx Express to axe two slower feeder services operated by smaller regional aircraft, as well as an A300, as part of the ongoing process of modernising its fleet, said Mr Martin.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

AIRBRIDGECARGO Airlines (ABC), Russia's biggest cargo carrier, has been listed in the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) register after successfully completing an audit.

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is an internationally accepted evaluation system designed to assess the management and control systems. Standard IOSA contains requirements for the organisation of an airline's operating process, which allows each company to reach and sustain essential levels of safety and quality. The audit itself consisted of three stages: preparation, audit and rectifying of deficiencies.

The scope of work necessary to comply with the IOSA standard required the involvement of all departments in the company because most areas of the operating process had to be checked, including the management system, quality monitoring and control, flight performance, operating control, flight preparation, maintenance and ground handling, cargo transport and safety, a company statement said.

"This certificate is a further demonstration to our customers of AirBridgeCargo's growth, safety standards and quality level," said ABC president Tatyana Arslanova.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

Riga. Latvian airline airBaltic carried 217,670 passengers in March 2012, representing 7% decrease comparing with the same month in 2011, when airBaltic transported 233,033 passengers.

During the three months of 2012, airBaltic transported a total of 589,112 passengers, or 2% less than during the same period in 2011, when the total number of passengers was 599,078.

In March, airBaltic operated 3,746 flights, or 14% less than in March 2011 when airBaltic operated 4,334 flights.

The airline’s load factor, which represents the number of passengers as a proportion of the number of available seats, in March 2012 was at a level of 74% - or 3 percentage points more than in March 2011. The airline achieved a 6 percentage point improvement of load factor to 70% for the first quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter in 2011.

The 15-minute flight punctuality indicator for airBaltic was at a level of 95.3% in March 2012. This means that 95 of every 100 airBaltic flights in March departed at the planned time or with a delay of no more than 15 minutes.

Source A/S Air Baltic Corporation

CA-NEWS (KZ) - Annual Kazakh-American consultations within the Kazakh-American Strategic Partnership Commission (SPC) were held in Washington on April 9-11, the press service of the Kazakh Embassy in the United States said.

Kazakh delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov, the U.S. delegation - by United States Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake.

The forum was attended by representatives of Kazakh and U.S. companies under the "Road Show", organized by the National Agency for Export and Investment "Kaznex Invest" and Ministry of Industry and Trade of Kazakhstan. The American side had representatives of the largest companies in the fields of engineering, chemical and defense industries, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and informational technology.

The main purpose of the "Road Show" was the presentation of investment opportunities in non-primary sector of Kazakhstan and to promote industrial and innovative development by establishing direct contacts between business communities of both countries.

Kairat Umarov and Robert Blake encouraged businesses of both countries to actively cooperate and work together to promote economic and innovative potential of Kazakhstan.

After Washington, the Kazakh business delegation held "Road Show" in New York, as well as business meetings in Chicago and California.

Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy and Labor Michael Posner noted positive developments in Kazakhstan in recent years. For example, Kazakh Government implements the Kazakh National Action Plan for Human Rights for 2009 to 2012 with the participation of civil society. Also, the country held the OSCE Chairmanship and conducted the Astana Summit in December 2010. Official Washington has expressed the desire to continue joint cooperation with Kazakhstan in the field of democracy.

Umarov also held separate meetings with seniors of White House, Ministers of Energy and Defense and the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, Kazinform agency reported.

central asian news service

CA-NEWS (KZ) - Air_Astana_E190Air Astana and SCAT air companies will launch 8 new international routes by the end of 2012, reported citing the press-service of Kazakh Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The companies will open the following flights: Almaty-Hong Kong, Astana-Ulan-Baatar, Almaty-Ho Chi Minh, Astana-Beijing, Astana-Kazan, Astana-Tashkent, Astana-Baku and Almaty-Kazan. Earlier Kazakhstan President instructed the transport authorities to set up direct flights to all the major destinations within the 7-hour flight range.

The flights Almaty-Tbilissi, Almaty-Samara, Shymkent-Istanbul and Astana-Omsk opened in 2011. "Opening of each new international route involves diligent work of Kazakhstan aviation authorities in creation of the legal base. This March Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications signed the memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong and negotiated with aviation authorities of Mongolia. The meetings with aviation authorities of China, India, Jordan and Georgia are planned in the nearest time," the Ministry’s press-service wrote.

central asian news service

SPOT rates from Asia to the US west coast soared 12.7 per cent last week to US$2,285 per FEU, while rates to the east coast jumped 9.6 per cent to $3,516 per FEU, ahead of the proposed April 15 increases, according to the latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI).

Rates on the Asia-Europe trade dipped 1.5 per cent to $1,744 per TEU, and remained steady on the Asia-Mediterranean trade at $1,762 per TEU. Carriers are looking to increases rates on both trades from May 1.

Across all trades covered by the index the SCFI rose 3.1 per cent to 1,416.87 points.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE rising price of oil has prompted Geneva's Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to levy an intermodal fuel surcharge from Asia via US east coast ports from May 11.

The charges will be US$175 per unit for all rail moves, $235 per unit for all rail/truck moves, $80 per unit for all truck moves that cost less than $400, $145 per unit for all truck moves that cost between $400, $800 and $235 per unit for all truck moves that cost more than $800.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

UNITED Arab Shipping Company (UASC) to raise rates on north Europe to Asia, India trade from May.

Rates will increase rates US$150 per TEU and $400 per FEU in a move that follows a $100 per TEU rate hike the company imposed on same routes on April 1.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE #17 and #18 berths at the Port of Dalian's Dayaowan harbour area have completed and passed inspection by China's Ministry of Transport, Xinhua reports.

The two berths are equipped with eight quay cranes, 24 rail-mounted gantry cranes and 40 container tow trucks, each has a capacity of 100,000 tonnes, able to handled 1.3 million TEU per year.

The two berths started construction in March 2005 and began trial operation in July 2008.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTH China's Haikou port has started to build passenger-ro-ro terminal capable of handling other cargo, designed to enhance capacity to meet expected demand after next year, reports Xinhua.

The new terminal lies in the north of south station of the Guangdong-Hainan Oversea Railway in the Xinhai port area, the nearest place in the island province of Hainan to the mainland 12 nautical miles away.

The CNY2.4 billion (US$380 million) facility will be built in two phases. Its first phase costs CNY1.8 billion and will open in 2013. It will be equipped with 18 berths of 3,000 to 10,000-tonne capacity with an capability of handling 3.1 million cars and 20 million passengers a year.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GUAM is asking its representatives and those from Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska to support efforts to win exemptions from the restrictive Jones Act that requires commercial vessels between these ports and the US mainland to be flagged, owned, crewed and built by Americans.

By waiving the law's provisions, barriers to providing competitive low-cost ocean freight service would be removed, said Guam Republican Senator Frank Blas in a resolution he wants Guam Democratic Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo to present to the US House of Representatives.

Guam is unable to benefit from its current exemption in lowering shipping costs "because other non-contiguous US ports that shippers would need to connect to make a shipping route sustainable are subject to all the restrictions," Mr Blas said.

The rates for shipping a container part-way across the ocean from the US west coast are rising which means the end-consumer suffers, said Mr Blas.

Proponents of the Jones Act uphold its importance for national security and job numbers but Mr Blas says it is outdated - "a vestige of the post-World War I years, when the vulnerability of US shipping to German U-boats was still in the public's mind".

Jones Act lobbyists such as the Navy League and the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) stressed the importance of the act to foster shipbuilding for the navy and the US Coast Guard.

"Shipbuilding, ship repair and ship modernisation create well-paying jobs for thousands of workers and, when added to the equipment and material supply companies, add a large number of jobs to the US work force," said an AMP statement.

Charlotte, NC-based Horizon Lines, a Jones Act carrier, discontinued its (FSX) transpacific container shipping service between the US west coast, Guam and China last autumn following the end of a long-term space charter agreement with Maersk Line on its eastbound leg from China.

The expected growth in Guam from infrastructure improvements in connection with the military redeployment from Japan's Okinawa base has been delayed by budget problems in Japan and the US, particularly in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHINA's largest railway companies, China Railway Group and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), expect lower profits this year due to sharp decreases in railway spending and civil strife in the Arab world, reports the South China Morning Post.

National spending on new railways plunged 67.5 per cent to CNY20.8 billion (US$3.3 billion) in the first two months of 2012. SinoPac Securities cut its revenue prediction for China Railway Group this year by nine per cent, and China Railway Group's Shanghai-listed subsidiary, China Railway Erju, has predicted a 70 per cent fall in its net profit in the first quarter.

CRCC has set a revenue target of CNY430 billion this year, six per cent lower than its full-year revenue in 2011. Both companies are diversifying with China Railway planning to expand into airport construction, mining, property development and road building, while CRCC will add housing construction, mining and dredging projects to its portfolio.

"Due to the slowdown in construction of high-speed railway in China, we forecast the company's construction revenue will decrease in the first quarter, causing our profit to drop," said a China Railway Erju statement.

Said CRCC: "The continuous unrest, wars and riots in North Africa and Middle East since 2011 have affected the company's overseas operations. The weak global economic recovery, overall bleak prospect of the international economy, and growth of trade protectionism all lead to relatively high uncertainty in overseas construction operations," said CRCC.

When civil war broke out in Libya earlier last year, CRCC evacuated thousands of workers from its projects in the North African country.

The companies' reduced expectations reflect the steep drop in the mainland's spending on new railways, which plunged 67.5 per cent to CNY20.8 billion in the first two months of this year, according to the website of the Ministry of Railways.

"The domestic economy remains beset by a host of problems such as imbalanced and unsustainable development. Competition in the international market is set to intensify with growing instability and uncertainty. A market environment that is even more complex and challenging is ahead of us," said China Railway.

CRCC's revenue fell 2.72 per cent to CYN457.37 billion last year, but net profit jumped 82.6 per cent to CNY7.88 billion. Overseas revenue fell 23.5 per cent to CNY17.2 billion in the period.

Source Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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