HAMBURG's Hapag-Lloyd, the world's No 4 container carrier, has posted a net loss of US$38.3 million in 2011, despite an operating profit of $133.3 million, after reporting a $565 million net profit in 2010.

"In comparison with the competition, this was an excellent result for Hapag-Lloyd in a challenging year," said CEO Michael Behrendt, referring to the overall losses suffered by rival carriers.

"Not only were we the only large liner shipping company to achieve a positive operating result in all four quarters of 2011, but we were also the only market participant to close the second half of the year with a group profit after interest and taxes," he said.

The world's fourth largest carrier previously reported revenues slipped to $8 billion from $8.2 billion in 2010 largely because of exchange rate fluctuations.

Throughput grew 5.1 per cent to 5.2 million TEU while rates fell 2.4 per cent to $1,532 per TEU. A 34 per cent surge in the average bunker price to $655 per ton "severely depressed" profits, said the statement from the carrier. The additional cost of around $600 million could not be passed on to customers "as some market players resorted to aggressive pricing in 2011 to gain market share".

But Mr Behrendt said the market appears to have accepted recent rate increases that came into force in March and will again go into effect in April when higher rates are imposed.

"These increases are unavoidable in order to get back to adequate and sustainable rates again, especially as the bunker price has gone up even further," he said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE US has imposed lower than expected tariffs - between 2.9-4.73 per cent - on China solar panel exports, arguing that manufacturers received unfair subsidies, reports London's Financial Times.

Reuters reported that analysts had expected duties of 20-30 per cent with Joe Osha, of Bank of America, warning that the benefits to US manufacturers may be short-lived and lead to lower demand for US solar energy products.

The US Commerce Department set 2.9 per cent duties on Suntech cells and 4.73 per cent tariffs on Trina Solar panels and 3.61 per cent duties for all other Chinese solar manufacturers.

The low duty rate seemed to satisfy both sides in a US election year, with each ready to blame China for American economic troubles, calling for tariffs and others warning about the damage they may cause.

Peng Fang, chief executive of China's JA Solar, warned investors of the negative impact this trade dispute could have on the company, saying the "increase of tariffs will disrupt trade with China into 2013."

Chinese solar makers have begun to shift production outside the country in an effort to head off duties, though tariffs may target companies that have their operations, rather than production, based in China.

The US Commerce Department also set large punitive tariffs on steel wheels from China on Monday, stating that Chinese producers sold products at 45-194 per cent below fair value. The department will make final duty decisions on galvanised steel wire and optical brightening agents.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ENVIRONMENTAL regulations should be uniform and global and not products of individual countries, trading blocs and provincial jurisdictions each trying to out-green each other, says International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) chairman Spyros Polemis.

Speaking to the Maritime Association's Shipping 2012 conference in Connecticut, Mr Polemis said local rules are 100 times more stringent than what has been agreed on by the UN's International Maritime Organisation.

"Many governments now see MBMs [market based measures] as a means of raising money from shipping as an end in itself - a tax on trade seen as green protectionism. This is inequitable," he said.

It was unfair to view the shipping industry as a "cash cow" levied on a local basis the problem is global involving a vessel flagged in one country, owned in another with cargo bound for still others.

Mr Polemis said he was committed to the decision made by the IMO agreement three years ago for regulatory change of sulphur (SO2) emissions, but says carriers must be able to get its hands on distillate by 2015.

The introduction of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) standards already implemented in Europe, the Baltic and the North Sea is to be run along the west and east coasts of the United States in which ships will be required to burn fuel with a sulphur content of one per cent this year, and just 0.1 per cent in 2015.

"It is still unclear whether enough low sulphur fuel will be available for the US shipping industry, let alone the huge amount of international shipping that trades in and out of the US," he said.

If the oil refining industry is unable to produce enough and the costs of fuel increase it could risk an intermodal shift to roads counteracting any environmental benefits, said Mr Polemis.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THROUGHPUT of Barcelona port was up more than four per cent to over two million TEU in 2011 due to a boom in the first year of the year.

But results also reflected the slowdown in the in Spanish economy in the second half, reported London's International Freighting Weekly (IFW), adding that the growth was driven by exports, which increased 14 per cent to 511,096 TEU with China, the Arab emirates and Turkey. Other major overseas markets include Algeria, the US, South America, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, South Korea and India.

In March, it Terminal Catalunya, a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) group, took delivery of eight super-postpanamax quay cranes at its Muelle Prat terminal at the port.

Said HPH central European managing director Clemence Cheng: "This is another important milestone in the completion of this new terminal, which is scheduled to open in mid-2012. With the eight-track rail facility connecting the terminal to the European rail network, Barcelona will be an important Mediterranean gateway for southern and central European cargo."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTHWESTERN China's emerging manufacturing city Chongqing plan to reduce land using tax on warehouses, both owned and leased, by 50 per cent in the upcoming three years, Xinhua reports.

With demand soaring, Chongqing is facing a shortage of warehousing facilities. Warehouse charge has gone to CNY20 (US$3.16) per square metre from CNY10. Reduction of the land using tax is expected to reduce operating cost for logistics service providers.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Port of Charleston achieved a 9.2 per cent increase in container volume handled in February compared to the same month last year.

Charleston Port handled 119,052 TEU in February, representing 5.8 per cent growth compared to the previous month, largely on the strength of loaded exports.

"We are experiencing a very balanced trade between import and export containers, which is a credit to the companies in South Carolina and across the southeast that are competing well in the global marketplace," said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority.

A statement from port authorities said that Charleston was one of only two of the nation's top 10 container ports that experienced a rise in inbound cargo in February, according to trade intelligence company Zepol Corporation.

Volume for the fiscal year to date (July 2011 through February 2012) remained relatively flat, with a 0.9 per cent increase over the same period the last fiscal year.

At the same time, the SCPA's non-container business segment in Charleston and Georgetown showed double and triple-digit gains.

Breakbulk volume in Charleston, which totalled 62,680 tons, rose 41.9 per cent in February compared to the same month a year earlier, while cargo volume in the Port of Georgetown increased nearly fourfold to 74,083 tons. Total breakbulk volume in February at the two ports was more than double the volume handled in February 2011.

With increased demand in the SCPA's non-container business, the board has authorized the agency to proceed with contract negotiations with Charleston Heavy Lift on the construction of a new, barge-mounted heavy lift crane.

The new crane would be used exclusively in the Port of Charleston in handling oversized and overweight project cargo across the docks. The SCPA said it would contribute up to US$2.5 million to the project for dedicated access over the life of the crane.

The SCPA also said it has completed $23 million in upgrades to Columbus Street Terminal to handle its non-container business, including automobiles made in South Carolina and heavy project cargo requiring on-dock rail.

The board also approved a $525,000 contract for maintenance berth dredging at Veterans Terminal, a 110-acre non-container facility at the Port of Charleston located on the former US Navy Base site.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DUBAI's DP World Vancouver and the Canadian west coast Nanaimo Port Authority have signed a three-year agreement to operate the Vancouver Island ports facilities including the running of general cargo between the Duke Point facility and Assembly Wharf.

The introduction of a weekly barge service between the mainland facility and Nanaimo will cut costs removing two truck moves and handling of the cargo will aim to increase frequency to twice in a month's time within six months increasing it to a twice daily service.

Vancouver Island is one of the world's highest population, non-road connected communities without lift-on, lift-off container terminal facilities.

DP World Vancouver hopes to pursue container operations for its export resources going to international markets of bottled water, lumber, wood pulp using short sea shipping.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE recent UK government initiative to ban payment of ransoms to pirates has been criticised by a leading ship manager for its disregard of the safety of seafarers.

Such a ban would have "massively detrimental effect on the risk to the world's seafarers and the global economy", said Intermanager president Alastair Evitt, also chairman of the Save Our Seafarers Campaign.

Not only would a ban impact recruitment for crews transiting high-risk waters but would create huge insurance premiums for vessels in pirate-infested trade lanes creating higher costs for those forced to reroute. "In many cases vessels would become a total loss after six months," Mr Evitt said in a speech at Maritime Association's Shipping 2012 conference in Connecticut, US.

"I, for one, would not sanction one of Meridian's vessels transiting the high risk area - if there was no ultimate solution in the event of a vessel and her crew being held captive," he said.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the move to stop the illicit flow of money and eliminated the profit motive by breaking the ransom business cycle.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SWEDEN's Greencarrier Freight Services has signed a cooperation agreement with Turkey's leading logistics company, Ekol Logistics, that will cover the Baltic region and Turkey.

"With its integrated logistics services, Ekol offers efficient supply chain management from a single source with its 3,800 employees in Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Izmir and Mersin. Ekol operates 2,000 mega trailers, said Greencarrier CEO Peter Nevhagen in a statement from his company.

"We now have an opportunity to offer daily freight services to and from Turkey. We will offer road, sea and intermodal traffic in a cost effective and environmentally friendly way, combining sea, rail and road freight," Mr Nevhagen said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CANADIAN-owned PD Ports Group has won yet another supplier award from one of the UK's major retailers, ASDA (originally Associated Diaries), this year walking away with the overall prize for Carrier of the Year 2012, the company announced.

It is the third consecutive year that the PD Ports Group, which includes PD Logistics, has picked up an ASDA Carrier award but the first time it has received the overall prize. The award is not open for entries but is given by ASDA to the most outstanding supplier in the retailer's supply chain based on performance and excellence in service.

ASDA launched the awards three years ago to help it continue to raise standards amongst its logistics suppliers.

Said ASDA supply chain manager Alex Linton: "The award is well deserved by the whole team at PD Ports. It is to recognise the effort that the whole team puts in to supporting our business. They really demonstrate a partnership approach, delivering solutions when we need them."

After receiving the award from ASDA's supply chain director, Gavin Chappell, PD Ports' key accounts manager, Kim Catterick, remarked: "This is such an outstanding honour.

"All the other prizes handed out at the ceremony were based on written submissions but to be recognised by ASDA for our performance throughout the year without having to put together an entry is an even greater distinction.

"We pride ourselves on the wide range of services that PD Ports supply to ASDA, from our container terminal at Teesport, Logical Link - the shipping service we provide between Felixstowe and Teesport, and our logistics services, right through to our portcentric business model."

In awarding the prize to the PD Ports Group, ASDA had taken into consideration the fact that its Teesport terminal had undergone a major upgrade and capacity increase programme last year but despite this, the retailer had not been subjected to any service failures or disruptions.

It was also impressed by the cross docking/re-working services offered at the Group's warehouse facilities in Billingham and Felixstowe, the exemplary shunting service between the port and the ASDA warehouse at Teesport, and the excellent road haulage services.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SINGAPORE's Changi Airport handled 143,900 tonnes of cargo in February 2012, representing an increase of 12.4 per cent compared with the same month last year.

February's result marked a rebound after cargo movements decreased by 7.1 per cent in January year on year, which airport authorities attributed to the Lunar New Year holidays.

A statement said: "Disregarding the impact of the Lunar New Year holidays, air freight movements grew by two per cent year on year during the January-February 2012 period.

Passenger traffic at the airport rose by 11.2 per cent to 3.77 million in February.

The result was driven by strong travel demand across all regions, with traffic between Singapore and the Middle East growing 20 per cent.

Passenger numbers travelling to the Americas, Europe, south Asia and southeast Asia also grew by double digits.

Aircraft landings and take-offs increased by 13.1 per cent in February to 24,900 flights, corresponding with the growth in passenger traffic.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LUFTHANSA Cargo has posted a 24 per cent decline in operating profit to EUR249 million (US$329 million) drawn on revenues of EUR2.9 billion, down 3.5 per cent.

Saying this was the company's second best performance, the best being achieved in 2010, chairman and CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt attributed the good result to "cost discipline, a broad product range and flexible capacity steering dictated by demand" despite shrinking demand in China and India.

"Lufthansa Cargo increasingly switched capacities from Asia to North America and included new and attractive destinations in its route network. On the back of those measures, the cargo carrier significantly boosted revenues and tonnage," Mr Garnadt said.

Mr Garnadt also said the company's successful investment and a strong focus on quality were vital factors. "That is evidenced by our investment in Lufthansa Cargo's cool centre for temperature-controlled shipments at Frankfurt Airport," he said.

Lufthansa Cargo launched the "Lufthansa Cargo 2020" programme last year, which produced a blueprint for long-term strategy, including orders for new Boeing 777 freighters, the IT platform upgrade, plans for a new logistics centre in Frankfurt to replace the existing 30-year-old facility and other long-term projects.

On the future, Mr Garnadt said: "In the present year, Lufthansa Cargo is anticipating severe pressures ensuing from the ongoing night-flight ban in Frankfurt. All in all, however, the company is expecting a good operating result once more at year-end."

Regulators are causing severe headwinds, he said. "The EU's unilateral stance on [carbon] emissions trading is notably hitting European airlines and distorting competition. The lack of uniformity in global security standards in air cargo as well as the slow certification of known consignors in Germany are threatening to inhibit growth," he said.

But of all problems the company faces, the Frankfurt night flight ban is the worst. "There is a real danger of Frankfurt losing its position as the best and most attractive air freight hub in Europe. A blanket night-flight ban of six hours daily would severely disadvantage the competitive standing of companies operating at the Frankfurt base," he said.

Unlike the recent past, Lufthansa Cargo said it would now focus on core business. Last year, the cargo carrier invested in some side businesses, such as in Traxon Europe, a provider of electronic solutions for airlines, and LifeConEx, a specialist company in temperature-controlled logistics.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a downgrade to its worldwide industry outlook for 2012 because of rising oil prices, says a communique from its Geneva headquarters.

IATA expects airlines to turn a global profit of US$3 billion in 2012 for a 0.5 per cent margin, it said. "This $500 million downgrade from the December forecast is driven by a rise in the expected average price of oil to $115 per barrel, up from the previously forecast $99," said the IATA statement.

What avoided a more severe downgrade, IATA said, was greater optimism over the Eurozone debt crisis, improvement in the US economy, cargo market stabilisation and slower than expected capacity expansion.

Said IATA director general Tony Tyler: "The risk of a worsening Eurozone crisis has been replaced by an equally toxic risk - rising oil prices."

IATA said cargo markets stabilised at low levels in the fourth quarter of 2011. The pattern of rising sea freight and low level of air cargo is linked to Asian economies buying bulk commodities while western consumer confidence is weak. Reduced pessimism among purchasing managers is expected to support a moderate upturn in air cargo during the second half, said the statement.

Asia Pacific carriers did best. Better than expected performance in 2011, particularly by the Chinese carriers, saw an upward revision of 2011 profits to $4.8 billion, from the previous estimate of $3.3 billion.

For 2012, the region's airlines are expected to again deliver the largest absolute profit - $2.3 billion - which is $200 million more than estimated in December. Higher fuel costs will more than halve profits this year, but the region's relatively strong economies will continue to generate more rapid growth in travel and cargo than others, IATA said.

While a major deterioration of the Eurozone crisis has been averted, many European economies are in deep recession which will lead to continued weakness in both the cargo and passenger business. At the same time air travel is being hit by taxation and the cost of the EU carbon tax, IATA said.

North American carriers are expected to deliver a profit of $900 million, down from the previously forecast $1.7 billion. Airlines in this region will see the smallest deterioration among the major regions, as a result of the very small increases in capacity expected, IATA said.

Middle East carriers are expected to see profits of $500 million, up from the previously forecast $300 million. Latin American profits are expected to be $100 million, unchanged from the previous forecast. African carriers are still expected to experience losses of $100 million, unchanged from the previous forecast.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

KOREAN Air has become the official sponsor of the 17th Asian Games to be held in Incheon in September 2014 and as highest-ranking sponsor will underwrite air tickets, luggage and most areas related to air transport as well as participate in the construction of Wang San Marina which will be used during the games.

Korean Air signed the MoU to officially sponsor the 2014 Incheon Asian Games at the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) advisory board meeting in Bangkok, Thailand in the presence of chairman and CEO of the Hanjin Group, Yang Ho Cho; president of OCA, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah; and president of the organising committee of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, Yong-soo Kim.

Korean Air chairman Cho's goal to improve the level of Asian sports has led him to lend his and his airline's support to the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Mr Cho's passion has gained him a position to steer the winning bid committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in Korea, and is the only Asian on Prince Albert of Monaco's Peace and Sports foundation.

He will work as an advisor to the 2014 Incheon Asian Games organising committee, and foresees that the 2014 event will promote tourism in his country and contribute to the Korean economy.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

WSS Middle East wins World Cargo Alliance award22.03.2012 (Ships Service)Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) has won the prestigious title of 'Best Partner 2011 - Middle East', which was presented by the World Cargo Alliance (WCA) at their annual conference in Bangkok earlier this month.Commenting on the award, Flemming Andersen, Area Logistics Manager MiddleEast at WSS said: "We are honoured to have taken this title, and I wouldlike to extend my sincere congratulations to the maritime logistics team inthe Middle East for their splendid work throughout 2011. Next, our ambitionis not only to win the Best Partner - Middle East award, but to go for theGlobal Partner trophy as well".

WSS currently works with more than 2,800 independent freight forwarders inmore than 600 cities and ports worldwide, enabling it to act as a trulyglobal freight forwarder, and compete confidently with much largermulti-national logistics companies.

More than 900 WCA members attended the WCA partner conference from 4-11March. WSS representatives from the Middle East, India, Norway and Pakistanparticipated in the event. " This is a great place to meet our peers fornetworking, build new business relationships and strengthening existing tiesthrough more than 20,000 one-to-one meetings and practical workshops", saysFlemming.

Before the conference, every WCA member was invited to vote and elect the'Best Partner' within the network; namely, the company which they considerto be most supportive in terms of business generation, professionalcommunication and world-class service delivery. WSS has been a member ofWCA, a premier global network of elite independent international freightforwarders, since 2003 and previously won the 'Best Partner' award in 2009.

Source Wilhelmsen
 

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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