CHONGQING, the provincial status city on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, has recorded an international cargo volume of 1.11 million tonnes in January and February, 25 per cent more than in the same period in 2010. International containers totalled to 65,000 TEU.

Air cargo volume surged 180 per cent to 7,916 tonnes. On waterfront, trade cargo totals to 1.09 million tonnes, international containers jumped 33.9 per cent to 48,000 TEU. Overland trade cargo totalled 5,024 tonnes and 256 TEU.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MITSUI OSK Lines is facing its largest loss in history of JPY27 billion (US$0.32 billion) despite stable profits and cost-cutting the company has fallen into the red, said its president Koichi Muto at a 128th anniversary speech.

Factors such as the strong yen, high fuel prices, the impact of the earthquake and tsunami last year, and the economic slowdown in developed countries have weighed heavily on our performance, Mr Muto said, adding that the situation was also worsened by weak rates brought about by a glut of ships in almost every vessel category.

The delivery of new vessels will continue to negatively impact its operating results this year and unless cargo demand increases. It forecasts challenging market conditions into 2012 but a more favourable supply-demand balance for global fleet into 2013.

Despite a cost-cutting operation of JPY20 billion through the introduction of slow steaming the carrier is seeking further cost cuts if those that crept up without a loss to safe and high-quality services.

MOL is currently executing Phase 4 of its action plans for the reinforcement of operational safety, with the aim of becoming the world leader in safe operations to improve key performance indicators such as the accident rate.

MOL is investigating the cause of the collision of a MOL containership on the open seas southeast of Hong Kong on February 22 and stress the safety of seafarers, cargo and ships.

In order to manage the volatile market it has created a mid-term management plan in "GEAR UP! MOL" to create an earnings model unlike its traditional model-one that is resilient to drops in rates. It is also seeking to expand alliances in containerships and through pooling arrangements for tankers. It will focus on the LNG carrier business and energy-related marine business generated from it such as Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs).

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Economic Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri told a conference in Abu Dhabi that a global response was needed to meet threats of Iran shutting shipping lanes, piracy and volatile oil prices.

"The shipping business in general now has to address growing piracy threats. There are regional concerns too, especially those relating to the potential closure of shipping routes," Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri told a conference.

"These concerns have international implications and must be addressed in the spirit of cooperation and dialogue," he said, according to Reuters.

The UAE, one of the world's top oil exporters, ships crude through the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has threatened to block as tensions between Tehran and the west have intensified over the last few months.

The Strait of Hormuz is patrolled by naval forces of the US, France and Britain. Mr Mansouri called for more cooperation on fighting pirates and said merchant shipping was likely to be hit by current oil price fluctuations.

Shipping accounts for 80 per cent of global trade, and sea borne trade volumes have quadrupled over the last four decades, Mr Mansouri said, adding that Abu Dhabi's new Khalifa Port would become operational in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

PORT of Valencia aims to live up to its position as the largest sea port in Spain and the Mediterranean basin by investing in rail links into France and lowering transhipment costs.

Until last year different rail gauges in Spain and the rest of Europe stymied Spanish efforts to intercept cargo to and from the Far East via Suez, inducing it to take the long way round the Iberian Peninsula and land at northern European ports.

Valencia Port Authority president Rafael Aznar is keen to become the "best connected port in the Spanish port system" by increasing trade flow to Asia already well accommodated by northern Europe ports by being "faster, cheaper and sustainable" and providing "competitive prices."

"Valencia aims to offer the market a global offering taking everything into account, not just tariffs but also cost of operation. This is one of the challenges for the future and we are working on that," Mr Aznar told a London School of Economics seminar workshop, reported the UK's Port Strategy International.

To keep hold of dominance over neighbouring rival port of Castellon, port operators at Valencia have advised to lower costs rather than risk the loss of one million TEU annually.

Also competing for European cargo is Barcelona. While Valencia, which also benefits from a major transshipment trade from Asia to West Africa and North America and is closer to Spain's main Madrid market, Barcelona is much closer to the French border with shorter rail connections to Bordeaux, Lyons and points north.

The port of Castellon has dropped its tariffs 70 per cent to gain some traffic siphoned off to Valencia, which can handle postpanamax vessels of 18,000 TEU, unloading of 3,000-5,000 TEU during one call.

"We have to be able to respond to the increasing extra capacity of ships to remain competitive," he added of the need for a rail link through France which could cut journey time by three to four days from Gibraltar and up into northern Europe.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

PERU's National Port Authority predicts that cargo handled by its national ports will rise by 14-15 per cent annually for the next five years.

By 2014, it says national container throughput will rise to two million TEU, rising to 3.5 million TEU by 2018.

The forecast is based on the US$3 billion to be spent over the next five years on upgrading eight Peruvian ports reports the UK's Port Strategy. The ports include Paita, Salaverry, Chimbote, Callao, San Juan de Marcona, Ilo, Matarani and the river port of Iquitos.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

EVERGREEN Shipping Agency (America) has named the Canadian National Railway (CN) as the 2011 Railroad Company of the Year because of its "consistently high performance."

"CN's consistent high level of performance, particularly in comparison to its competitors, has earned CN this recognition. Evergreen appreciates and recognises CN's excellence in quality, service and support of our mutual customers and encourages CN to continually improve its performance," said Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) president Roy Amalfitano.

Said CN vice president Jean-Jacques Ruest: "CN is honoured to have received this award, which recognises our clear focus on improving the quality of our customers' supply chains."

Taiwan's Evergreen Line discharges and loads containers for CN at Port Metro Vancouver. CN hauls Evergreen Line traffic between the port and the Canadian cities of Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.

CN and its units spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Green Bay, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis and Jackson, Mississippi with connections to all points in North America.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTHERN China's Shijiazhuang airport has inaugurated an all-cargo Korean service to Seoul, Xinhua reports.

This is Shijiazhuang airport's first international cargo service and is jointly operated by China Postal Airlines and Asia Pacific Cargo (APC). It offers three flights a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, using Boeing 737-300 freighter that can carry up to 16 tonnes. The flight takes off at 1200 hrs from Shijiazhuang, reaches Seoul at 1340 hrs, then returns from Seoul at 1450 hrs to land at Shijiazhuang at 1700 hrs.

International cargo services have been absent at the Shijiazhuang airport as the city does not have a steady source of cargo. Some of the local shipments used to have to transit via Beijing or Tianjin. The authority is hoping the new international cargo service can attract more manufacturers to set up factories in the city.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE head of Taiwan's EVA Air is confident that the company's performance has picked up in the first quarter of 2012 after volumes handled by its air freight business were boosted by shipments of the new iPad tablet and its passenger business experienced growing demand.

"We are very upbeat about our general performance, which was better than in Q4 last year," said EVA Airways president Chang Kuo-wei, reported Taiwan's China News Agency.

Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to bring the carrier into the Star Alliance, Mr Chang was cited as saying that air freight volume has been recovering after suffering a decline last year on the back of weaker demand for electronic devices.

Mr Chang expects EVA's affiliation with the 26-member alliance will lead to greater business after it comes into effect in 2013.

"The synergy effect is likely to be reflected in both our accessibility and expansion of customer base," he said. He expects passenger traffic will rise by one-fifth after EVA joins the alliance, the report said.

According to Mr Chang, EVA's involvement in the Star Alliance will enable the airline to expand its global network coverage to 1,345 destinations in 191 countries.

On the other hand, the key factor in whether the carrier will turn a profit this year will be the rise in fuel prices, as fuel expenses account for 40 per cent of the carrier's operating costs.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTHERN Air will double its Boeing 777Fs fleet to four with the third aircraft delivered and the fourth on April 25 to be deployed by DHL Express for new round-the-world service from Hong Kong to Los Angeles and Leipzig.

Southern Air is the first and only ACMI operator to fly the 777F and represent a critical step in its long-term fleet enhancement programme, said its CEO Daniel McHugh. "These aircraft, which are more efficient and environmentally advanced than any other wide body freighter, solidify our position among the world's leading cargo carriers," he said.

DHL Express Americas CEO Stephen Fenwick said the second 777 start-up on the round-the-world service will reduce transit times for DHL customers in much of Asia to the US west coast, and will enable DHL to offer the latest possible pick-up times in key west coast cities for many customers shipping to European destinations.

Its fuel efficiency, range and payload operating at 17-28 per cent fuel-per-ton advantage compared to other freighters reduces costs for its customers and allows them to set up new routes easily, added DHL in a statement.

The third and fourth 777Fs in the Southern Air fleet are painted, like the first two, in combined DHL and Southern Air livery.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

Today, April 6, A Vitis of the passenger vessels MELODY (204,7 m, flag of Panama) is scheduled for the port of Odessa. The ship will arrive from Yalta. The ship company MSC Cruises - a frequent guest of South Palmyra. Thus, on 26 March this year the MSS MELODY opened cruise navigation at the port of Odessa, and last year this ship opened and closed the season. MSC MELODY baton in the fall of 2012 is taken up by other ships of MSC Cruises, with another musical names: 250-meter beauty MSC ORERA (known from Odessa for a frequent visitor during 2010-2011.) And MSC LIRICA (first visit to Odessa was in 2006). By the way, the godmother of at least eight ships of the mentioned cruise company MSC Cruises, a member of the Italian holding company Mediterranean Shipping Company is the film star Sophia Loren.

Press-Service OCSP.

The Seafood Rømø East Jutland and Isefjord blue shell mussel dredge fishery in Denmark was today awarded MSC certification following an independent assessment against the MSC [1] standard for sustainable fisheries. The certificate means that – subject to traceability certification – mussels from this fishery will be eligible to bear the coveted blue MSC ecolabel, which provides consumers with assurance that the product is traceable to a certified sustainable source.

Seafood Rømø operates two vessels, one in the Isefjord and one off the eastern coast of Jutland all year around but most intensively during the period mid-August to February. The fishery uses dredges to harvest approximately 1500 metric tonnes of blue shell mussels (Mytilus edulis) every year.

To protect potentially sensitive marine habitats in the shallow water, the vessels are limited by legislation and cannot fish in waters shallower than 4m depth. There are further restrictions in place to protect wildlife in Natura 2000 sites. These include depth restrictions on fishing in water shallower than 4m or deeper than 12m.

Denmark is one of the most important producers of processed mussels in Europe and more than 90 per cent of all landings are exported as single frozen mussels or canned commodities. The mussels from this fishery are sold to both the live market and processed. Most of the mussels are exported but a small quantity is sold to the live market in Denmark.

Commitment to further improvements

The assessment of this fishery took less than a year and it scored highly for its stock status, with the certifier noting that the fishery had a negligible impact on mussel stocks and the marine environment. Nevertheless, as a condition for on-going certification, Seafood Rømø will develop a monitoring programme and a detailed research plan for the fishery together with the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU-Aqua), which has overall responsibility for monitoring and assessing the different mussel stocks in this area.

Jan Rasmussen from Seafood Rømø says:  “With our MSC certification we now can continue our sustainable fishing in the same way as we have done so far, namely with respect for the same nature that we all are part of, and our customers can with good conscience continue to eat our delicious mussels.”

“On behalf of the MSC, I’d like to congratulate Seafood Rømø on the certification of their blue shell mussel fishery. It’s very positive to see this fishery come through with such good scores and yet still commit to improvements that will help it maintain its claims to sustainability into the future, for the sake of the environment and environmentally-conscious consumers,” says Helene Tivemark, fisheries outreach officer for the MSC in the Baltic Sea region.

Source MSC

HONG KONG's Orient Overseas Container Lines (OOCL) has announced it will increase freight rates for westbound Asia-Europe trade US$450 per TEU from May 1, covering shipment from the Far East (excluding Japan), India subcontinent and Middle East to North Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

"The ocean freight rate for the Asia Europe Trade continues to be below the required level to cover basic operating costs," the company explained.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SINGAPORE-based APL Logistics will raise rates by US$450 per TEU on westbound trades from Asia to Europe starting May 1.

This is the third general rate increase imposed this year on the depressed trade lane. The carrier imposed increases of US$750 per TEU from March and US$400 per TEU from April.

"The rate restoration is applicable to all shipments from Asia to North Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea," APL India said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), the 13th biggest carrier in the world, has signed a 40-year container terminal lease with the Port of Long Beach, according to a company statement.

The agreement, also known as the Middle Harbour Redevelopment Project (MHRP), was signed by OOCL chief executive Philip Chow and Port of Long Beach executive director Chris Lytle before representatives of the two parties and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

The lease will help OOCL develop a more advanced terminal with the latest automation technologies that will "triple the handling capacity of its current terminal at Long Beach and cutting environmental emissions by half."

Said Mr Chow: "This land-lease agreement has been many years in the making and without the support of the citizens of Long Beach, the government, the ILWU, harbour commission, and all those who believe in the many benefits that this project will bring to the city and region, this day could have been possible."

Said Mr Lytle: "OOCL has been a valued Port of Long Beach business partner for many decades. The historic agreement we sign today strengthens and continues that partnership for many decades to come. The Middle Harbour property is key to the future competitiveness of the Port of Long Beach. And we could not have a better partner than OOCL."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ITALIAN antitrust authorities have fined 15 container shipping line's in-house shipping agents and two trading firms US$5.3 million for price fixing at Genoa from February 2004 to December 2009.

The shipping agents were accused of undertaking secret activities that fix prices for shipping services, including issuing bills of lading for exports and delivery orders for imports, according to the Italian authority AGCM, which held that the pricing-fixing exerted "a significant impact on the market".

Maersk Italia was not fined for joining the cartel because it informed on the rest as did Hapag-Lloyd Italy to a lesser extent, which got its fine halved to $322,000.

Marseilles' CMA CGM was fined with the largest penalty of $1.18 million followed by China's Cosco at $965,000 and Japan's "K" Line at $575,000.

Other participants, which were each fined $108,000, included Singapore's APL, Taiwan's Yang Ming, Israel's Zim, and the two trade associations, Assagenti and Spediporto.

The exposure of the cartel can be used as a reference to look into the transactions in other Italian ports, including La Spezia and the container transshipment hub Gioia Tauro, said the authorities.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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