JAPANESE shipping giant MOL has announced a US$150 per TEU rate increase from Asia (excluding Japan) to the Indian subcontinent to take effect from March 15.

The carrier said the increase was needed to maintain service quality by a more sustainable rate level to cover costs. "For further information, please contact your local sales representative," said the company.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services has posted a 33 per cent increase in net profit of US$130.5 million drawn on revenues of $664.8 million, up 26 per cent.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came to $281.4 million, an increase of 14 per cent,

"The higher net income attributable to shareholders holders was mainly due to the upsurge in revenues, lower financing charges, lower effective tax rate and a one-time gain on sale of non-core assets," said the company statement.

"The increase in revenues for 2011 was mainly due to the strong double digit volume growth across all geographic segments of the group, higher storage revenues and ancillary services, favourable volume mix, and the inclusion of the new terminals in Portland, Oregon and Rijeka, Croatia," according to the company.

ICTSI handled 5.23 million TEU in 2011, up 25 per cent year on year, due to an upturn in global trade, particularly in markets where ICTSI's ports are located, new carrier customers and the consolidation of the company's new ports in Oregon and Croatia.

The company's total port volumes, excluding the volume from the two latest port acquisitions, grew 18 per cent in 2011. Volumes from its six key terminal operations in Manila, Brazil, Poland, Ecuador, Madagascar and China, which accounted for 74 per cent of the consolidated volume for 2011, rose 18 per cent to 3.86 million TEU to 3.26 million.

In Asia, its aggregate throughput was up 11 per cent in 2011 to 2.95 million from 2.65 million TEU. The increase was due mainly from the exceptional volume increases in three areas in China and the Philippines.

ICTSI's operations in Yantai Rising Dragon International Container Terminal Ltd (YRDICTL) grew 36 per cent; Davao Integrated Port and Stevedoring Services Corp (DIPSSCOR) in Davao, southern Philippines increased 30 per cent; Mindanao International Container Terminal Services Inc (MICTSI) in Cagayan de Oro, southern Philippines registered 17 per cent growth. "This segment accounted for 56 per cent of consolidated volume in 2011 compared to 63 per cent in 2010," said the company.

In the Americas, its container terminal operations grew 50 per cent to 1.571 million TEU in 2011. The largest contributors were Contecon Guayaquil SA (CGSA) in Ecuador with its growth of 35 per cent and Tecon Suape SA (TSSA) in Brazil with its volume increase of 28 per cent.

This segment also benefited from the volume generated by the newly acquired terminal in Portland, Oregon, USA, which was taken over by its subsidiary ICTSI Oregon, Inc (IOI) on February 12, 2011 and added 176,751 TEU to the company's full-year throughput. The contribution of container volume from the Americas increased to 30 per cent in 2011 from 25 per cent in 2010.

In Europe, Middle East and Africa, ICTSI container terminals handled 706,357 TEU in 2011, up 41 per cent compared to 2010's 501,275 TEU. The best performer was Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) in Poland with 29 per cent volume growth. Also, the Batumi International Container Terminal Ltd (BICTL) handled 45,442 TEU in 2011, nearly tripling the 16,318 TEU handled in 2010.

"The EMEA segment also benefited from the volume generated by the newly acquired terminal in Rijeka, Croatia. The company's subsidiary, Adriatic Container Gate Terminal (AGCT), took over the operations of the container terminal in Rijeka, Croatia on April 15, 2011 and added 98,675 TEU to the group's annual throughput. EMEA operations accounted for 13 per cent of consolidated volume in 2011," said the company statement.

Looking ahead, the company said its total estimated consolidated capital expenditure in 2012 is $550 million. In that budget, $345 million is allocated for the greenfield projects in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, and the balance mostly goes to civil works, systems improvement, and purchase of major cargo handling equipment at its port operations in Manila (MICT), Croatia (AGCT), Brazil (TSSA) and Ecuador (CGSA).

ICTSI is an international port management company involved in the operations and development of 22 marine terminals and port projects in 17 countries worldwide.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DANISH shipping giant Maersk has received the first of its South America Maximum (SAMMAX) class, the Maersk Lota, enhancing its capacity by raising the wheelhouse and spreading another layer of containers on the weather deck to raise capacity from 7,450 TEU to 8,700 TEU.

The newbuild is the ninth in a series of 16 ships ordered in June 2008 from the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea to be chartered in the Far East-ECSA service jointly operated with Hamburg Sud (known as ASAS 1/NGX 1), reports Alphaliner. The Maersk Lota was originally intended to join the Europe-ECSA Samba Service, but due to scheduling, the Maersk Leticia will take its place.

The upgrade allows the enhanced capacity vessels to be fitted with 1,700 reefer plugs with a reefer equivalent capacity of around 70,000 cubic metres, taking into account the mix of TEUs and FEUs.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Shanghai Guandong International Container Terminal Co (SGICT), which runs two facilities at the new Yangshan Deepwater Port at Shanghai, has ordered a dual-lifting ZPMC quayside crane that when operational, will be largest in the world.

The crane, one of two ordered, will be delivered at the end of the year, to handle ships of 8,000-TEU or more, reports Dredging Today. This goes towards meeting the goal of SGICT, affiliated to Shanghai International Port (Group) Co, and enlarging capacity to 6.6 million tonnes this year.

Terminals 3 and 4 of the Yangshan Deepwater Port are located in the north-central area of the Yangshan facility. Along the 2,600-metre shoreline, there are seven berths for containerships of 150,000 dwt. The 26 quayside container cranes and 70 rubber-tyre gantry cranes equipped at the two terminals are all provided by ZPMC, said the reports.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SINCE it started operation in August 2010, the western port area of eastern China's port of Yantai in Shandong province has handled more than a million tonnes of cargo, Xinhua reports.

Yantai's western port area is located at Yantai Economic Development Area. It will be developed into five operation areas for containers, bulk, liquid, oil and break bulk and will eventually have 45 berths of 10,000 to 300,000 tonnes with a capacity of 7.5 million TEU and 200 million tonnes in overall tonnage.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SHANGHAI's Zhenhua Port Machinery Co and the Port of Miami have signed a contract relating to the procurement of four quayside container cranes.

The Port of Miami in southeastern Florida is the first US port to use ZPMC's port machinery products, reported Dredging Today. In 1994, the port purchased four Panamax quayside container cranes from ZPMC. The four super giant Panamax quayside box cranes specified in the contract will be delivered before August 2013.

ZPMC's port machinery products are seen to be widely favoured by US terminal operators. At present, more than 80 per cent of the port machinery products used by major port authorities and ports on the US east and west coasts are from ZPMC.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SICHUAN province plans to invest a record-breaking CNY4.5 billion (US$715 million) on river shipping facilities this year to raise its port capacity to 1.65 million TEU by the end of this year, Xinhua reports.

This year, Sichuan will finish building the phase two project of the Luhzhou port multi-use terminal with a capacity of 500,000 TEU, and raise the aggregate capacity of Luzhou port to one million TEU.

Yibin port's Zhicheng operation area, the first phase of the project, will also be finished. Besides, Guang'an port's Xindongmen operations area, phase one, project will also be completed, raising capacity to 150,000 TEU.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NETHERLANDS based CEVA Logistics has posted a 9.9 per cent increase in operational profit of EUR321 million (US$422 million) in 2011, drawn on record revenues of EUR6.9 billion, up 0.7 per cent year on year.

Ocean freight volumes increased 17 per cent. The company has since increased staffing to launch a new less than container load (LCL) service.

In early 2012, the group completed a "transformational equity and debt funded financing", which eliminated over EUR850 million of debt, strengthened the balance sheet, and positioned CEVA well for future growth.

"We improved our financial performance substantially in the first half year and have maintained top line performance in a more challenging economic environment in the second half," said CEO John Pattullo.

"Our recent transformational financing has strengthened our balance sheet and positions us well for profitable growth in the future," said Mr Pattullo.

In a statement the company said it expects economic uncertainty in the coming year. "We have identified and prioritised actions to continue to strengthen our business model, even with this external background, and build our market position so that we outperform our peer group in 2012."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

US SENATE and House committees have introduced a protectionist bill to counter a "deeply flawed" court ruling to limit the Commerce Department's power to apply countervailing duties on goods from China and Vietnam.

Last December, the Court of Appeals found, in GPX vs United States, that US law prohibits the federal Commerce Department from applying countervailing duties (CVD) to "non-market economies".

"This legislation overturns that deeply flawed decision," said the US Commerce Department and US Trade Representative in a joint communique, reported American Shipper, adding that the bill was also praised by the White House.

Said Commerce Secretary John Bryson: "This bill would ensure the 24 existing CVD [countervailing duties] on imports from China and Vietnam remain in place and that ongoing CVD investigations involving imports from these countries continue."

"If Congress does not take up this bill, the Commerce Department may lose a critical tool to level the playing field for American workers and companies in the future," Mr Bryson said.

Said US Trade Representative Ron Kirk: "This has been a major focus and priority for the Obama Administration, which has been working closely with Congress to produce this legislation as quickly as possible."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE president of Valencia port authority, Rafael Aznar, says a reduction in transhipment costs may be key to unlocking future investment in container handling facilities in the port, reports the UK's Port Strategy.

Noatum Terminal Valencia has yet to decide upon an opening date for its Muelle Costa extension, which has a capacity of handling up to one million TEU, despite already having invested EUR50million (US$66.1 million).

Meanwhile, Castellon port authority has reduced tariffs 70 per cent in 2012 as a means of slowing down the amount of ceramics traffic being lost to neighbouring Valencia.

At the same time, tariffs charged on empty containers will rise, although the cost of transhipment is expected to fall. Castellon is the centre for ceramics production in Spain, but the majority of this is exported via Valencia.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ABU Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has received the first batch of super post Panamax ship-to-shore (STS) container cranes at Khalifa Port.

The three massive STS cranes, which are 44 metres high under the spreader and capable of lifting 110 tonnes, are designed and constructed by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd. The second batch of three cranes is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter.

By the fourth quarter, the flagship facility will be the first semi-automated port in the region, capable of initially handling two million TEU and 12 million tonnes of general cargo annually, a company statement said.

"I am tremendously proud to be a part of this instrumental project, which will play such a key role in Abu Dhabi's economic development," said Ahmed Al Jaber, chairman of ADPC. "Ports in the UAE account for 61 per cent of the trade volume among GCC countries. With this fast-paced growth, ports are striving to be more competitive and productive for their customers."

Khalifa Port is said to have been designed to accommodate the largest containerships currently at sea and those planned for the future. By 2030, the port will be able to handle 15 million TEU and 35 million tonnes of general cargo a year.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHINA Southern Airlines has inaugurated an all-cargo service from its Guangzhou base that flies to Qingdao and then to Los Angeles, shortening transit from Qingdao to LA to 12 hours, Xinhua reports.

The new service uses Boeing 777-200 freighters, offering two flights per week on Mondays and Thursdays that takes off at 0345 hrs from Guangzhou, leaves Qingdao at 0850 and reaches LA at 2035 Beijing time. Shipments can be carried to 85 cities across North America via the air-truck intermodal service.

This is the second inter-continental cargo flight service from Qingdao. The first is also to LA, operated by mainland China-based Yangtze River Express Airlines.

Lufthansa will also launch an all-cargo service from Qingdao via northeastern city Shenyang to Frankfurt in March. Besides, Korea Air, Asiana, All Nippon Airways and Dragonair are also going to increase their frequencies from Qingdao.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHINA Postal Airlines, the air carrier of China Post, plans to start a scheduled all-cargo service from the northern city of Shijiazhuang to Korean capital Seoul at the end of the March, Xinhua reports.

The service will offer three flights a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, using Boeing 737-300 freighter that can carry up to 17 tonnes.

An unidentified official at Hebei Airport Management Group disclosed that the China Post Hebei office also plans to set up a northern China distribution centre at the Shijiazhuang Airport.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

STAGNATION in volumes from China's electronics has damaged the country's air cargo sector.

But the 17.4 per cent fall export growth, because of falling demand from the US and Europe as well as the 23 per cent decrease in electronic imports did not hurt revenue which increased 11 per cent year on year to US$468 billion.

The electronics sector, of which computers and mobile phones are the top two exports, account for 35 per cent of China's total export value, noted the UK's Transport Intelligence.

Although airports and airlines experienced export and import declines, contributing factors in slack demand for air cargo carriers were marked by decreases in high-value goods shipped as well as a possible shift from air freight to ocean freight for such shipments.

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) has experienced a nine per cent decreases in exports and an 8.8 per cent fall in imports, with overall volumes holding steady being of rising transhipments to a total of 2.7 million tonnes.

Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific and its sister airline Dragonair reported a drop in tonnage for the region of 8.6 per cent. Taiwan's biggest carrier of China Airlines is to park its third Boeing 747 freighter due to slackening demand while Singapore Airlines is struggling with 2011's final quarter bleeding losses of $32 million missing break-even factor which was inflated by higher operating costs and lower rates.

The latest figures of 4.5 per cent inflation for China might be off mark given the double digit growth against a drop in tonnage of six to eight per cent. The results of air cargo carriers' performance in March will answer this in accurate year on year comparisons, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTHERN California Logistics Airport (SCLA) near Victorville, some 40 miles east north east of Los Angeles on the edge of the Mojave Desert, is gaining international interest as a dedicated link to airports in Canada and Europe, says the assistant city manager.

SCLA, also known as Victorville, has resurrected hopes to become an air cargo hub since trade has picked up following recession, said assistant city manager and director of SCLA Keith Metzler, aided by its work with aviation consultant Claasen Group International.

"The goal has been in place really since SCLA started," said Mr Metzler, it's distinct advantage from competitor Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is in speed of handling. "We're dramatically quicker," he added.

Though Victorville will face a challenge in luring traffic from more congested Los Angeles International Airport, Mr Metzler believes SCLA lack of restrictions for perishable goods and expensive equipment is attractive for customers.

The Claasen Group hopes to gain traffic from confidentiality agreements already in place with a number of companies, said its owner Johan Claasen, which would in turn benefit his maintenance and repair company based at SCLA, of which he is chairman and CEO and generate employment to the airport.

The Victorville city council will vote on the airport's agreement with Clausen shortly and should it be approved the company will have exclusive rights to negotiate a deal for the next six months, with the option to extend for an additional six.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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