THE aggregate loss clocked up by Malaysian shipping line MISC since 2007 has ballooned to MYR3,305 million (US$1,6 billion), making it the biggest loser among its rivals.

For the whole of 2011, MISC Berhad suffered an operating loss of MYR661 million (US$215 million) in liner shipping and logistics.

To make amends, the company has taken a MYR1.4 billion (US$460 million) provision for its plan to exit from the container shipping trades by the end of June this year.

Alphaliner reported the provisions included impairment of asset values and costs related to its withdrawal from shipping line alliances and the scrapping of related services and operational contracts.

The company's average operating margin of 31 per cent in 2011 for its container shipping arm is said to rank as the "worst among all liner operators for the third straight year".

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTH CAROLINA has assigned US$180 million from US funding to pay for harbour dredging, mostly for the Charleston Harbour Deepening Project, a total of 60 per cent of the total project cost of $300 million.

The state funding from the SC House committee, to be taken up in early March, will cover construction costs following the completion of the project's feasibility study and adds to an earmarked $3.5 million in the US President's Budget for fiscal 2013. This means that half of Charleston's Harbour Deepening Project's feasibility study is funded. It does not include separate funds from the US Army Corps of Engineers' Work Plan.

Charleston's deepening project would open the port to the biggest vessels 24 hours a day at low tide and is likely "the cheapest South Atlantic harbour to deepen to 50 feet," according to the Corps' Reconnaissance Study, 2010.

"We believe this project offers the best value for a true post-Panamax harbour in the entire Southeast region, and we commend the Ways and Means Committee for recognising the critical need for a deepened shipping channel in Charleston," said Bill Stern, chairman of the South Carolina Ports Authority.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INCHCAPE Shipping Services (ISS) is commencing operations in Saudi Arabia, to build a presence in one of the largest industrial and project-orientated economies in the Middle East.

In creating the new entity, the company has signed a joint venture agreement with Al Bakri Group in the kingdom. Named ISS Saudi Arabia, the JV will provide customers with marine, cargo and government services as well as survey and liner agency.

The JV will also operate launch services off Rastanura. All services are available to customers 24/7, and are supported by the parent's global network, systems, infrastructure and standard operating procedures.

Headquartered in Jeddah, where the country management team is based, the new company has offices in Yanbu, Rabigh, Jubail, Rastanura, Ras Al Khafji and Dammam, a company statement said.

Rohan D'Souza, who has over 15 years of port agency experience, has been appointed as ISS Saudi Arabia port manager. He has been transferred from ISS Qatar, where he was the Marine and Government Services Operations manager for several years. Based in Jeddah, Mr D'Souza will be responsible for operational delivery and ensuring a high level of service for customers within the region.

Inchcape Shipping Services is a maritime services provider with more than 260 proprietary offices in 63 countries and a workforce of over 3,500.

ISS provides landside commercial and humanitarian logistics, transit, offshore support, informational and other associated marine services. The company also provides a growing range of outsourcing services including global crew and marine spares logistics; port hub agency management; and sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning solutions through its subsidiary ShipNet.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE US Grains Council's latest report that looks at "A Changing Vision of World Food Demands in 2040," has concluded that "sophisticated food demands of newly affluent consumers in China and other developing nations are likely to cause major change in US farming and food production".

It said that this will likely change Asian food policy and world trade, said USGC president and CEO Thomas Dorr.

"Growing affluence in China could change people's diets and the global food system. Consumers will expect more choice, quality, convenience and safety in their food purchases," he said.

A statement said that the Food 2040 study also reveals important implications for agricultural trade policy between the US and Asian nations. "We are seeing China become more open to acceptance agricultural biotechnology, which can help meet the needs of the Asian middle class in a sustainable manner," Mr Dorr said.

It also highlighted that US attitudes about feeding the world are likely to change too. "Many of the agribusinesses and agricultural organisations that comprise the US Grains Council are starting to review possibilities for meeting the needs and capturing the economic value with the ascendancy of the Asian middle class," said USGC chairman Wendell Shaman, an Illinois corn farmer and member of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

"Working together with trading partners around the world to understand emerging trends, we can use a convergence of science, technology and policy reform to meet changing food demands and capture the economic potential of new Asian consumers."

The report said that although India is expected to surpass China in population numbers, China is likely to remain the dominant economy within the timeframe of Food 2040.

"Agricultural biotechnology may no longer be dominated by US technology. China is on a path to global bioscience leadership, driven by major central government investments to meet its own food needs and a desire to be an export leader," the study found.

On the other hand, it said: "Asia does not yet have a well-developed food safety and inspection system, but this could change through use of 21st-century Nan technology, biotechnology, information technology and logistics systems.

"By 2040, 70 per cent of consumer food expenditures in Japan will go towards foods prepared outside the home, and China is likely to adopt Japan's rapid acceptance of foods prepared outside the home."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG Airlines has been blasted by two environmental groups in the state-owned China Daily for shipping live dolphins to from Osaka to Hanoi.

The San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute and the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society were quoted in a substantial China Daily article, which told of five dolphins flown in tanks with fins protruding as if it were blameworthy.

It accused Hong Kong Airlines of "torturing the dolphins" by placing them in "flying coffins" for up to seven hours in transit from Osaka to Hanoi.

Hong Kong Airlines said it had complied with government rules and International Air Transport Association regulations on live animal transport. It is understood the animals were bound for Vietnamese theme parks and zoos.

Quoted in the China Daily, Earth Island director David Berman: "This is kidnapping. Hong Kong Airlines should be boycotted for this for this inhumane money-grabbing contract to traffic in dolphins."

Of Earth Island's executive director David Brower, former US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Russ Train said: "Thank God for Dave Brower. He makes it easy for the rest of us to appear reasonable." (This quotation appeared on Earth Island's website.)

Said Samuel Hung, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society: "If this plane took off from Osaka Airport, its almost definite where they have a dolphin drive and hunt. Because of the film the Cove, a lot of people know about the Taiji dolphin hunt in Japan."

Hong Kong Airlines said in its internal e-mail that after the "smooth handling of such special cargo which is time sensitive and vulnerable," it hoped to do more business of this nature.

"Based on the experience we have obtained this time, Hong Kong Airlines cargo will develop the business onward." It described the shipment was a successful flight and earned HK$850,000 (US$110,000).

"Hong Kong Airlines is fully committed to the protection of animal welfare," it said in a statement, in response to the charges, adding "no dolphin suffered or was injured during this shipment."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LOS ANGELES International Airport, the world's sixth busiest, recorded a five per cent decline in total air cargo tonnage to 135,383 tons in January, due to a six per cent drop in air cargo to 128,037 tons though having an 8.6 per cent growth in airmail to 7,347 tons.

The total number of landings and takeoffs, including passenger and cargo aircraft, increased four per cent to 49,455, reported the Los Angeles Business Journal, adding that total passenger traffic was up 5.4 per cent in January at 4.9 million.

In 2011, LA airport's total air cargo tonnage dropped 3.8 per cent despite a 4.7 per cent growth in passenger traffic. The decline of cargo volume last year was because of a 4.2 per cent drop in cargo freight.

Airport officials said they planned to study why cargo traffic is decreasing.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

 

NORTHWEST China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region will launch one more international flight service this year, which is the Kashgar-Islamabad passenger and cargo chartered service, to raise the total of international flights to 37 reaching 32 foreign destinations, Xinhua reports.

This year, Xinjiang Airport Group, the operator of Xinjiang's airports, will set up one new air carrier to operate routes from other Chinese cities to Xinjiang capital Urumqi and from Urumqi to its feeder cities.

By the end of this year, the Xinjiang Airport Group expects to handle 119,000 tonnes of freight, up 2.8 per cent year on year, and 16.1 million passengers, up 13.3 per cent.

The group is also expected to register an aircraft movement of 166,000 flights, up 11.4 per cent. Urumqi airport is estimated to have a throughput of 12.5 million passengers this year. Flights from other Chinese cities to Urumqi are expected to increase 11 per cent.

This year, Xinjiang will also build or upgrade a number of airports, including those at Kashgar, Yining, Hami, Qiemo, Hetian and Korla.

Last year, Xinjiang's airports handled 116,000 tonnes of cargo altogether, up 14 per cent year on year. Their throughput increased 21 per cent to 14.2 million passengers. A total of 149,000 flights took off and landed at the airport, up 21 per cent.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


By the order of the Harbour Master Alexander Antonov from 00.00 on 28 February in the port of Odessa the ice campaign is canceled. RLet's remind,  it was announced on February 1. Virtually all of the current month and the statement of vessels in the output OMTP conducted in difficult navigational conditions. Northeast winds at sub-zero temperatures formed ice field with a radius of 12 miles from the entrance to the waters. Harbour port was sealed and hummocky ice thickness of 30 cm. Despite the fact that the mooring occupied by four to six hours instead of an hour and a half for the postings of "pure" water, the port continued to work around the clock. To put to berths large vessels up to 300 m tow-canting operations involved six tugboats of an ice class from the port fleet service: "Granit", "Innovator", "Udarnik", "Dokovets", "Trud", "Stividor". On February 23 north-east wind shifted to the southwest. The ice started to slowly leave the Gulf of Odessa


Source Odessa commercial sea port

Boost for offshore supply and subsea vessel lifting equipment development


Kongsberg Evotec, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, has established a new department dedicated to developing its crane and lifting products for the offshore supply and subsea segment. The department, which opened officially in January 2012 is based in Molde, Norway, with production taking place at the Kongsberg Evotec headquarters in Gurskøy, Norway.

Initially, Kongsberg Evotec will deliver deck cranes, offshore cranes, subsea cranes and railcranes including safe deck operation tool with capacity up to 400Tm. The company will develop cranes and lifting equipment to meet the challenging offshore and Arctic environments, with focus on safety, green credentials and operational efficiency.

"Cranes and lifting is an exciting and complementary field for Kongsberg Evotec,” comments Tormod Olsen, Site Manager, Kongsberg Evotec in Molde. “Our experienced team is developing an extensive portfolio covering cranes and lifting systems for standard and complex operations, and we are looking forward to launching several new and exciting products and solutions in the future.”

Acquired by Kongsberg Maritime in October 2011, Kongsberg Evotec is a provider of Marine Handling Technology to the demanding offshore industry. In addition to the new cranes and lifting equipment, engineering and service, Kongsberg Evotec also designs and builds hydraulic power packs, winches, spooling devices, overboard handling equipment and control systems.



Source SALTWATERPR

Rising obesity levels have given a new urgency to efforts aimed at improving European eating habits. European research is helping, by finding out how food labelling can change and improve consumer habits.

Deny it as we might, but Europeans are getting fatter. From 1990 to 2006, obesity levels in Europe tripled on the whole, according to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Faced with this unprecedented public health challenge, Europe is changing the way food products are labelled in an attempt to improve citizen's overall nutritional education. One research project looking into this issue is FLABEL (Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life) which receives €2,860,000 in EU-funding. FLABEL has examined more than 37,000 products in 84 retail stores, finding an average 85% of the products with back-of-pack (BOP) nutrition labelling or related information, versus 48% for front-of-pack (FOP) information.

The research from FLABEL and other projects is already feeding into the European debate. In June last year new rules on food labelling were agreed by the European Parliament and EU member states, setting obligations on manufacturers to display nutritional information on packaging. The rules say that within five years EU food labels must indicate the nutritional breakdown for energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar and salt levels. It also says pre-packed meat should indicate the country of origin, and allergenic substances must be shown. And the legibility of labels is to be improved with a minimum font size.

Indeed, sometimes labels can be misleading: in November last year, a German court ordered the makers of a well known brand of chocolate products to change the labels which gave the impression that its nut-chocolate spread had more vitamins and less fat and sugar than it did.

Giving consumers the best information possible can clearly help them decide whether the product on a shop shelf is really right for them. FLABEL looks at the question of how to label products, as food label information is not always understood by consumers. Until now, research on how nutrition labels are used by consumers in real-world shopping situations has been limited. The research can then help policy makers and food manufacturers to determine the most effective way to deliver the data.

Food labels alone will not solve Europe’s obesity problems: it will require a complex mix of solutions covering factors like education, physical activity, portion size and frequency of consumption. But it is important nonetheless, given that on average, Europeans have about a half hour each week to do all their food shopping, forcing them to make quick decisions while rushing through the supermarket aisles. Devising better labels could give them the tools to make healthier choices.


Source MEDIA CONSULTA

New LED display for navigation and engine room applications

Leading maritime display solutions developer North Invent has expanded its portfolio of rugged maritime displays with the introduction of the new 19” Sea Line MK3 (LED), which is designed primarily for ECDIS, radar, Integrated Bridge System and engine room applications. The new display expands the use of LED technology within the North Invent Sea Line MK3 range, which brings with it benefits in operational performance and brightness in addition to enhanced reliability and increased lifetime.

The new 19” Sea Line MK3 (LED) display joins an established range of North Invent Sea Line MK3 displays in 15”, 19”, 21.3” and 23.1” sizes that are already a popular option with equipment manufacturers, system integrators, service companies and ship yards worldwide. With the introduction of the 19” LED model, North Invent improves on the flexibility its product portfolio gives to customers and provides operational enhancements to the end user.

“LED technology enables better performance in terms of brightness so our new 19” Sea Line MK3 (LED) display offers excellent viewing clarity,” comments Søren Refsgaard, International Sales Manager, North Invent. “Reliability and operational life expectancy have also been improved because LED displays use fewer components. Based on these benefits we have chosen to introduce LED versions of our most popular sizes first, but we plan to offer this technology throughout the Sea Line MK3 range in the future.”

The new Sea Line MK3 19” LED display is EN60945 approved with type approval for ECDIS and radar use from the major classification societies pending (expected before April 2012). North Invent also imposes a strict internal testing regime on all of its maritime displays, to ensure that they can continue to perform in the most extreme environments in terms of temperature changes and vibration.

Designed specifically for use in commercial maritime and naval applications on the bridge and in the engine room, the 19” Sea Line MK3 (LED) display features AC or DC power (self-sensing with priority for AC) and 100% graduated dimming for differing lighting conditions, in addition to being waterproof to IP65. It also features extensive interface options including DVI-I (analog + digital), VGA, Composite Video and S-Video.

The North Invent 19” Sea Line MK3 (LED) display is available now through North Invent’s global network of distributors and resellers. Visit www.northinvent.com to find out more.

Source SALTWATERPR

DANISH shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, which owns the world's biggest container carrier Maersk Line, posted 2011 profits of US$3.4 billion, down 32 per cent year on year due to "low container freight rates especially on Asia-Europe trades".

Maersk's container business made a loss of $600 million in 2011, a steep decline from a $2.6 billion profit in 2010.

Group revenue increased seven per cent to $60.2 billion in 2011 from $56.1 billion the previous year, "positively affected by higher oil prices and container volumes, but offset by lower freight rates," said the company.

Commenting on the under-performance of its container business, the company said: "The negative result was primarily due to the low rates on the Asia-Europe trades. The freight rates started the year at a reasonable level, but decreased throughout the year as large amounts of new tonnage was delivered.

"Overall freight rates were eight per cent lower than in 2010 and this, combined with 35 per cent higher bunker prices, reduced margins considerably. The number of containers carried increased by 11 per cent to 8.1 million FEU, and the group more than regained the market share lost during 2010."

Besides the liner business, APM Terminals posted a profit of $649 million in 2011, down 18 per cent from $793 million in 2010. However, said the company, the "profit excluding sales gains and impairment losses was 24 per cent higher than in 2010".

Its terminals' container throughput increased eight per cent on a like-for-like basis and the ROIC was down about three percentage points to 13.1 per cent from 16 per cent in 2010.

"The high investment level from previous years continued, and during 2011 APM Terminals secured further new investments and development projects primarily in emerging markets," said the company statement.

Additionally, Maersk Drilling made a profit of $495 million, up 24 per cent from $399 million in 2010, due to higher day rates and better contract coverage.

The company said it has signed several new long-term contracts and has committed $3.9 billion for investments in six new rigs.

And Maersk Supply Service made a profit of $210 million last year, up four per cent from $201 million in 2010 because of higher activity level and improved spot rates.

Damco, the group's freight forwarding and supply chain management business, posted a profit of $65 million in 2011, up $21 million from $44 million in 2010, attributing the gain to air freight with its acquisition of NTS International Transport Services in China.

Its ocean towage business Svitzer also experienced a profit of $133 million from $130 million in the previous year.

Looking ahead, the AP Moller-Maersk group expects "a positive result lower than the 2011 result. Cash flow used for capital expenditure is expected to be around the same level as in 2011 while cash flow from operating activities is expected to develop in line with the result."

For liner business, the company expects a "negative result in 2012 as a consequence of excess capacity. Global demand for seaborne containers is expected to increase by four to six per cent in 2012, lower on Asia-Europe trades but supported by higher growth in the north-south trades".

It expects the APM Terminals to perform better than in 2011, growing "more than the market supported by volumes from new terminals."

The total result from all other activities is expected to be at the same level as in 2011 excluding divestment gains and impairments, said the company.

But the company also said that its "outlook for 2012 is subject to considerable uncertainty, not least due to developments in the global economy".

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE most critical and expensive phases of the US$5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion programme may soon run over budget and require more funding, says Jorge Quijano, executive vice president of engineering at the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

In a lengthy interview appearing in UK-based Infinity Business Media, Mr Quijano said extra funds would be needed to completing the channel that connects the new Pacific locks to the Culebra cut to bring the locks project to completion on time.

"We started with a large contingency fund containing over $1.5 billion to account for inflation and all sorts of possible unknowns in the field. As projects were designed, bids made and awarded at or under budget the remaining contingencies have been consolidated to complement the final components of the expansion if we see that they are needed," he said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

 

MUMBAI's Gateway Terminals, controlled by Maersk's APMT, has said it will cut throughput the Mumbai area terminal after the Indian High Court upheld the 44 per cent reduction in terminal handling charges (THC) ordered by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP).

Gateway Terminals confirmed the company was looking to restrict the capacity of its Jawaharlal Nehru (JN port) facility to 1.4 million TEU. After the rate cut was ordered, Gateway told JN port it will load only 1.4 million containers a year - the number it can handle based on the optimum quay capacity of the terminal for the next three years, ending December 31, 2014.

"Handling higher volumes will depend on how the tariff case is settled; we cannot be perpetually running in losses," said Gateway chief executive P Agrawal, reported Livemint Wall Street Journal.

But Jawaharlal Nehru port operations chief SN Maharana said: "This is not acceptable to us. Gateway has declared a capacity of 1.8 million standard containers a year. If the capacity is reduced, exporters and importers will suffer."

Gateway Terminals is 74 per cent owned by APM Terminals Management BV, the world's third-biggest container port operator with state-run Container Corp of India (Concor) holding the balance.

Gateway Terminals loaded 1.85 TEU in 2010-2011, accounting for 20 per cent of India's national throughput.

Gateway had asked TAMP for an increase of 8.72 per cent on the existing rates arguing it could handle more than 2.1 million TEU.

Said a Mumbai and Nhava Sheva Ship Agents Association spokesman: "There is lack of capacity in JN port. If private terminals deliberately reduce volumes, it will seriously affect the trade."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


THIS week's Shipping Hong Kong conference features a Business of Crisis Media Management session today, (Tuesday February 28) at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Members Suite 3/F in Happy Valley, where one can learn public relations techniques and how the US Coast Guard deploys social media to advantage.

On Wednesday, February 29 there will be a session on marine insurance and P+I (property and indemnity) Clubs, and piracy from all angles - financial, armed guards, contractual, negotiations and cost to the industry and possible solutions. China pollution legislation, vetting, hedging strategies (freight/bunkers/currency) and magic-pipes are all covered.

"We look at the all important issues of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act and how they can affect you in Hong Kong and elsewhere. For owners the important issue of sanctions worldwide, how do you handle it and where will it end? The closing session will deal with how to plan and manage potential risks.

On Thursday, March 1, there will be a session on China's changing trade patterns, the new sea route over the north pole, the quality and cost of ships and in these depressed markets.

Should you outsource your ship management - listen to our experienced panel who have seen both sides. Sinopacific chairman Simon Liang discusses industrial shipowners and an examination of non-banking finance and using mergers and acquisition and private equity for restructuring.

For more information Noelle Wong or Adam Thompson, call +852 2840 0224.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

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