Marlink, the world’s largest maritime VSAT service provider recently acquired by Astrium, has announced an agreement with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc), a major satellite provider of broadcast and data services throughout Europe and the Middle East, to renew and increase Marlink’s capacity for the next three years. Utilising TSBc’s IS 10-02 high powered satellite capacity, located at the prime orbital location, 1°West, Marlink is able to meet the future requirements of its many maritime customers in the busy oceanic areas of the Nordic, European and Middle Eastern regions.

TSBc’s capacity on Intelsat 10-02 provides unsurpassed coverage above 60° North offering high throughput for Offshore, Transportation and Ferry customers of Marlink, one of few providers offering reliable services in this far Northern region. The contract confirms Marlink’s commitment to providing its customers with robust Ku-band coverage in these key areas of business. The agreement provides significant Ku-band capacity on Spot 2 of the satellite and almost 200 MHz Ku-band on Spot 1.

In a further move to create a flexible growth path, the agreement with TSB cconfirms an option for Marlink to use the Ka-band payload of the new THOR 7 satellite which will be operational in early 2014. This will provide additional capacity to support the increased demand anticipated from maritime customers in the coming years.

Tore Morten Olsen, CEO of Marlink commented, “We have enjoyed a long standing relationship with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting which has helped us to develop a reliable and trustworthy VSAT service for our customers in these essential regions. Coverage extends from the busy sea lanes North of Norway to Northern Africa and the Middle East. Our customers can therefore continue to rely on us to provide exceptional service and continuity. When the new THOR satellite comes online, Marlink will now be one of the first to utilize this new frequency band.”

“We are delighted that Marlink are confident in the high quality satellites services that Telenor Satellite Broadcasting provides by renewing and increasing their long term agreement“ said Cato Halsaa, Vice President and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting. “With the launch of THOR 7, we are particularly pleased to be able to offer Marlink a future growth path at 1° West, providing additional capacity to support increased communication services.”

Source Marlink

VR is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The celebrations reach a high point this week, for 17 March 1862 was the date when regular rail services began between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna.

“We look back with pride at our long, splendid history, during which the railways have played a key role in the development of Finnish society,” states President and CEO Mikael Aro. “At the same time we look to the future with confidence, for we intend to transport passengers and freight for at least another 150 years.”

“We are working continuously at self-renewal, for the world around us is changing,” says Mr Aro. “Together with personnel and customers we are building VR Group into a modern, international service company, for which the most important goals are improving service, open dialogue and satisfied customers.”

Events in the week

Preparations for the celebrations are being made at railway stations. At VR’s stations with service over the next few weeks the public can not only see the flags flying but also enjoy complimentary birthday cake with coffee. The anniversary has brought stations a new look, and VR is making special offers for rail travel throughout the year.

An anniversary exhibition of photographs is opening to the public at Helsinki Central Station on 15 March. The exhibition includes photographs of VR’s rolling stock, the different railway professions and stations. Old posters advertising the railways will also be on display and a miniature railway built in the station ticket hall. The exhibition will be open until September.

A smaller exhibition of photographs put together by Reilia, the railway culture centre, will travel round different stations during the year.

VR will be on television on 25 March, when a documentary film telling the history of VR will be shown on the MTV3 channel.

Jubilee year got underway in January

VR’s anniversary year began in January with the publication of Getting there together - 150 years of VR, which tells the history of the railways in Finland. The book was published by WSOY and written by Professor Seppo Zetterberg. In honour of the anniversary, in February personnel received new uniforms, and at the beginning of March VR anniversary postage stamps were issued.

VR refurbished a heritage train for the anniversary year, which was named Valtteri. Valtteri has fully restored wooden-bodied carriages and a Dr13 diesel locomotive. Thanks to the automated protection device fitted on the train, it is able to travel on all sections of the rail network.

During the anniversary week Valtteri will travel on the oldest section of track in Finland between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna. The train can be admired at station events open to the public to be held in different parts of Finland during the summer.

Source VR Group

Competing retailer groups, Coop, Dansk Supermarked and SuperGros, together covering 97 per cent of the Danish market have united to achieve a common objective, to promote MSC certified sustainable seafood.

Building momentum in the seafood industry

SuperGros, COOP and Dansk Supermarked, Denmark’s largest retailer groups, have entered into partnership with the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organization (DFPO) and the MSC [1]. The aims are to drive preference of MSC labelled seafood, increase the amount of MSC labelled seafood under own retailer brands as well as to encourage key fisheries to engage in the MSC programme.

”We welcome this partnership, and we are pleased that we have been able to work together as wide as in this case. In Dansk Supermarked we are confident that many people will be happy for this alternative. That is why we would like to offer a sustainable alternative to our customers”, Sören Bo Christensen, Dansk Supermarked.

Joining forces to boost the MSC ecolabel in-store

The retailers are also committed to help build consumer awareness of the MSC program through an in-store nationwide marketing campaign.

”We can see the business model of this joint cooperation in MSC labelled fish, and even better; it’s good for the environment! That’s primarily why we support the partnership. We are happily looking forward for the campaign to kick off”, Lars Frost, SuperGros.

A fast growing market

Denmark is the world’s fifth largest seafood exporter and one of the fastest growing MSC markets in terms of products. Several Danish fisheries were certified against the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fisheries during 2011 with key species such as cod, plaice and saithe. The number of MSC labelled products on the Danish market has surpassed 500, an increased by 75 per cent in 2011.

The Danish fishery sector has been one of the strongest supporters of the MSC programme to date. Denmark currently has 16 fisheries engaged in the programme and more than 100 Chain of custody certified companies supplying key MSC markets.

“The Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organisation is committed to bringing all its fisheries into the MSC programme and by now two-thirds of the Danish human consumption landings are certified ….. As the world’s fifth largest exporter of fish and seafood, the Danish fishing industry can drive sustainable fisheries in Europe and at the same time contribute to the local economy, employment and environment”, says Kurt Madsen, Chairman of the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organisation.

A first for Denmark and the MSC

Nicolas Guichoux, Regional Director Europe, MSC says; “Retailers are uniquely positioned as seafood buyers: they can influence fishing practices and they also have a direct relationship with consumers. I am extremely pleased to see that Coop, Dansk Supermarked and SuperGros are using their relationship with consumers to communicate in-store and help support the MSC's mission. The scale of this campaign is unprecedented as it covers almost the entire food retail sector in Denmark, a world first.”

”In COOP we believe in this. We are confident that there will be a market for MSC labelled products. With this partnership we intend to offer a sustainable choice that over the next couple of years will grow in size and in the number of different products”, Mogens Werge, COOP Denmark.

Source MSC

LSG Sky Chefs, the world’s largest provider of in-flight services, and Finnair have signed a Memorandum of Understanding  on LSG Sky Chefs acquiring Finnair’s catering operations. The acquisition would comprise the entire share capital of Finnair Catering Ltd. and Finncatering Ltd. Finnair would continue to buy its flight catering services from Finnair Catering Ltd., which transfers under LSG Sky Chefs ownership. The acquisition is subject to the approval of Lufthansa Board and the competition authority of Finland and it is expected to be closed by the end of first half of 2012.

"LSG Sky Chefs is one of the leading players in the in-flight service industry. Its international product development, global operations and profound know-how of in-flight services are an excellent basis for producing high-quality in-flight service for Finnair customers. We have positive experiences with LSG Sky Chefs from other airports outside Finland and this is a natural continuation of our partnership", says Anssi Komulainen, Senior Vice President of Customer Service at Finnair.

“Together with other measures taken to improve efficiency in catering operations of our airline business, we expect this transaction to result in substantial permanent annual cost savings contributing to our overall savings targets.”

"LSG Sky Chefs is extremely pleased to be able to widen its operations to the strategically important Finnish market. Finnair’s catering operations are well run, the personnel is very professional and the production facilities are state-of-the art. Finnair is an important client for us and we are convinced that we can further develop the operations, thus producing additional value for Finnair and its passengers", states Jochen Müller, Executive Board Member Operations of LSG Sky Chefs.

In 2010, the catering business included in the Memorandum of Understanding had net sales of 80 million euro. Subject to the final agreement, approximately 650 employees of Finnair Catering Ltd and Finncatering Ltd will be employed by LSG Sky Chefs. The transaction does not include Finnair Travel Retail, which as of January 1, 2012 has been a part of Finnair’s other operations.

Developing its partnership network is a part of Finnair’s strategy and the planned structural changes of the company, which aim at cost savings and facilitating growth through quality improvements. Finnair had announced earlier that it was looking for a cooperation partner for its catering services.

LSG Sky Chefs is the world’s largest provider of in-flight services. These include catering, in-flight equipment and logistics, in-flight retail as well as the management of onboard service and related airport services. LSG Sky Chefs partners with more than 300 airlines worldwide and operates some 200 customer service centers in 50 countries, producing around 460 million airline meals a year. In 2010, the companies belonging to LSG Sky Chefs Group achieved consolidated revenues of € 2.2 billion. For further information also visit


Achievement a Significant Positive Development for the Gulf Region

  • Three-thousand Louisiana blue crab commercial fishermen represented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board have earned the right to tell buyers and consumers across the country that the Louisiana blue crab fishery is Marine Stewardship Council certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery.  

The independent, third-party certification body, Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) assessed the Louisiana blue crab fishery against the MSC standard in a rigorous, open and transparent process that was scientifically peer reviewed and involved site visits to the fishery and outreach to stakeholder groups.  During assessment, SCS identified six improvement actions the fishery must perform during the five year period of certification that address harvest strategy, acquisition of additional data, bycatch and ecosystem impact and progress will be assessed during the annual surveillance audits required by the MSC program.

What the fishery says

Randy Pausina, LDWF Assistant Secretary says, “We are pleased to have worked so closely with members of the crab fishery and the LSPMB on this significant step forward for our industry.  I would like to express my appreciation to the biologists who work at LDWF now and those who have in the past, because without the excellent management techniques that our department has implemented over the years, this certification would not be possible.”

Ewell Smith, Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board says: “MSC certification is a major, positive development for thousands of Louisiana commercial blue crab fishermen, our processors and marketers and the entire Gulf Region. MSC certification brings a new source of pride and confidence in Louisiana Seafood and it will help us assure buyers and consumers across the United States that Louisiana Seafood is sustainable.”

What the MSC says

Kerry Coughlin, MSC Americas regional director, says: “Louisiana fishermen, families and communities have been working hard to rebuild their livelihoods after the oil spill and we are very proud that MSC certification will help in that process.  By voluntarily entering the Louisiana blue crab fishery into assessment when it did, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board showed its commitment to sustainability and preserving the livelihoods of commercial blue crab fishing.”

The fishery is managed by the state of Louisiana through its Wildlife and Fisheries Commission by the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Division of Marine Fisheries in active consultation with industry via the Louisiana Blue Crab Task Force.

Louisiana blue crab is sold in the local and national domestic market and exported.

Source MSC

In spring 2012 Aarhus welcomes cruise visitors in new and spectacular surroundings. Port of Aarhus has moved the cruise quay closer to the centre of the city and has purchased an architect-designed tent for the reception area on the quay.

In future, the cruise vessels will go alongside a new quay only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the city and close to the coming multimedia house, Mediaspace, and the wide open spaces at the mouth of the creek.

The new location will give the large number of cruise visitors who prefer to walk to the city a shorter and more comfortable walk. Previously the big vessels berthed in the northern part of the port from where it takes about 15 minutes along busy roads to walk to the centre of the city.

At the new reception area on the quay, covering 10,000 sq m, the visitors will be received under a beautiful and futuristic tent, originally designed to be a landmark for the Aarhus Festival. In future, the tent will be placed at the port area during the entire cruise season from April to October, and on every call the tent will create the framework for tourist information, booths offering handicrafts, folk dancing, music etc.

On the quay area 20 to 30 tour busses and a number of city bikes will be available, ready to transport the tourists to the many sights, shops and restaurants to be found in Aarhus and Eastern Jutland.

“Our former cruise facilities have served us well, but owing to the large number of building projects in the new port city area the location is no longer at its optimum. Now we have created a more dedicated cruise offer closer to the city where we will be able to take better care of the visitors and present a wide range of exciting events and sights in Aarhus and Eastern Jutland”, says Nicolai Kroyer, Chief Commercial Officer at Port of Aarhus.
Cruise Visitors Are Excited About Aarhus

Recent years’ building projects near the previous cruise facilities have, however, not spoiled the visitors’ experience of Aarhus. As many as 79 per cent of the cruise visitors are reported to say that their visit to Aarhus lives up to or even exceeds their expectations. In general, they feel very welcome in Aarhus and they are happy about the sights and shopping facilities available. This was the result of an investigation carried out by the British consultancy company G.P. Wild among 1,141 cruise passengers out of approx. 40,000 passengers who visited Aarhus in 2011.

Nicolai Kroyer expects that the new and improved cruise facilities will provide a more satisfactory experience to the cruise visitors and that Aarhus will be an even more attractive destination for cruises in Northern Europe.

20 cruise vessels have notified their call at the port of Aarhus in 2012, with an expected number of passengers of 45,000. Port of Aarhus aims at increasing the number of cruise passengers to 85,000 in 2015.

Source Port of Aarhus

RATINGS agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has downgraded the world's third largest carrier CMA CGM's debt to B- from B+ due to worries about deteriorating liquidity.

The ratings were also put on Credit/Watch Negative. Standard & Poor also reduced its issue ratings on CMA CGM's debt to CCC from B-.

"We believe CMA CGM's liquidity position will be increasingly constrained in the coming quarters if it cannot bolster its liquidity sources through asset disposals or amendments to its debt maturity profile," the rating agency said.

"CMA CGM reported significantly lower operating profits in 2011 than we had anticipated, owing to depressed freight rates and elevated operating costs," it said.

CMA CGM posted a net loss of US$30 million last year compared to a profit of $1.6 billion in 2010. To strengthen its liquidity, the Marseilles-based carrier has discussed with its bankers for the rearrangement of its 2012 and 2013 debts, which is expected to be settled by the end of June.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ASIA-EUROPE spot rates saw the biggest decline of all the major trades last week, slipping 1.7 per cent to US$1,388 per TEU, as rates remained essentially flat for the week.

On the Asia-Mediterranean trade rates were down 0.35 per cent, or $19, to $1,397 per TEU.

Rates from Asia to the United States also saw a marginal dip with east coast rates down just $2 per FEU to $2,914 and west coast rates were down $6 down to $1,753 per FEU.

All trades covered by the index the SCFI rose 0.6 per cent to 1,170.57 points.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DUBAI-based Emirates Shipping Line has announced it will impose a general rate increase (GRI) on Far East-Middle East trade by US$400 per TEU from April 1.

The carrier is registered in Dubai Maritime City of UAE and based in both Dubai and Hong Kong.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DANISH global container giant Maersk is to focus on its African services by improving coverage on its Middle East-Indian Ocean/East Africa services by replacing current services IOI and MESA.

It aims to begin the new Mawingu Express in early April by replacing existing service calls of IOI to Salalah, Port Victoria, Reunion, Port Louis, Toamasina, Salalah and MESA's Durban, Salalah, Jebel Ali, Jawarhalal Nehru Port (JNP), Durban.

Its new Mawingu Express will now offer weekly sailings to introducing Mumbai-JNP, Port Qasim, Salalah, Mombasa, Port Victoria and back to JNP instead.

Its new MISA service will create a loop creating its first direct call to Pakistan to connect the Middle East-Indian Ocean/South African services with an inaugural sailing by Maersk Izmir 3,460 TEU from Jebel Ali on April 7.

The service will deploy four vessels of average capacity 2,200 TEU to 2,500 TEU with the following port rotation: Durban, Port Elizabeth, Port Louis, Jebel Ali, Salalah, Reunion, Port Louis, Toamasina and back to Durban.

Maersk has already increased capacity on its African services following 2011 volume increase of 19 per cent in order to channel investments outside western Europe as it seeks to benefit from more "stable" container rates, said the carrier.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SEASPAN, the Marshall Islands-registered ship owner, with major bases in Hong Kong and Vancouver, has received its fifth of eight 13,100 TEU ship from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and its first delivery in 2012.

The Cosco Excellence is on charter to Cosco Container Lines under a 12-year, fixed-rate time charter, thus expanding the Seaspan operating fleet to 66 vessels. The ship is also the 15th of 18 vessels to be chartered by Seaspan to Cosco.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

JAPAN's largest carrier, MOL, has announced it will start a joint Singapore-Yangon loop with Thailand-based Regional Container Lines (RCL) starting March 17 by RCL's vessel Ora Bhum.

Running twice a week, the SYX string is operated with three vessels with MOL deploying one vessel MOL Acclaim. The rotation is Singapore, Yangon and back to Singapore.

"Yangon, a major market in Myanmar, is positioned for future growth. The SYX route will draw on MOL's own network to offer wide variety of both inbound and outbound service to meet rising demand in this region," said the company statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

A US law banning the export of recycled material, typically scrap and electronic waste, is in violation of treaties governing American external trade, according to the Congress Research Service (CRS) which provides Congress with legal and technical advice.

The CRS report said the US cannot unilaterally impose restrictions on electronic exports without risking repercussions in the WTO system, in particular, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

"This is an inconvenient truth for those who think an export ban curbs irresponsible recycling. It confirms what ISRI [Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries], Republican and Democratic trade experts and well as the USTR [US Trade Representative] have been saying," said ISRI president Robin Wiener.

The CRS said e-waste export restrictions, contained in the Responsible Recycling Act (RERA), are hard to reconcile with the WTO's general exceptions to protect human, animal or plant life.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

PANAMA Canal Authority (ACP) has received pre-qualification documentations from three parties, comprising two consortia and one company, bidding to build a 4.6 kilometre bridge on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal that would stand 75 metres above sea level.

The two consortia are Odebrecht and Hyundai Joint Venture (Brazil-Korea), and Acciona Infraestructuras and Tradeco (Spain-Mexico). The sole company bidding for the contract is Vinci Construction Grands Projets of France.

The bridge will be located three kilometres north of Gatun Locks and the new post-Panamax locks on the Atlantic side province of Colon. It will ease crossing the canal. The bridge design is inspired on similar infrastructure work in countries such as Spain, Korea, France, China and Japan. The double-plane, twin pylon, cable-stayed bridge will feature two lanes of traffic in each direction.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ASIA-based freight services organisation, the U-Freight Group (UFL), has strengthened its operations in Hong Kong with the opening of a fourth dedicated, full-service warehouse after an extensive re-fit and modernisation, the company said.

The 3,600 square-metre facility is located in Tsing Yi, leased by UFL, offers around 1,350 pallet positions and is targeted at serving the fast fashion apparel and accessories sectors. The refit, which took two months, has already attracted one new fast fashion customer to UFL, says CEO Simon Wong.

"There is already an excitement within the Hong Kong garment industry about our newly refurbished Tsing Yi. This has translated into a new customer that was attracted by our first-rate facilities and state-of-the-art processes," he said.

The warehouse offers cross-docking, storage and daily delivery to stores within the Special Administrative Region (SAR). Goods arriving in Hong Kong from the US and China via UFL air and ocean freight consolidation services will be handled at the facility.

The facility is available around the clock and offers 12 loading docks. The back office functions are handled in modern offices, while the warehouse has security procedures set in accordance with TAPA standards.

The primary function of the warehouse is to provide cross-docking logistics services and temperature-controlled storage and distribution facilities. With enough racking for the storage of 1,350 pallets, the facility can maintain ambient temperatures between 22 and 24 degrees C and relative humidity between 45 and 70 per cent.

"The outsourcing of logistics functions to specialist companies continues apace. By establishing a fourth dedicated logistics warehouse in Hong Kong, U-Freight is in an enviable position to meet the needs of shippers engaged in transporting goods to and from this important region," he said.

"For customers involved in the fashion sector, this new facility provides a cost effective system for managing the flow of products from receipt of goods, through storage, picking, packing and dispatch," Mr Wong said.

The group's network now extends to multiple warehouses across Hong Kong, each with its own specialised target market, located at Yuen Long, Kwai Chung and Tokwawan.

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
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