INDIAN Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has told state-owned Air India to scrap its tender to sell six cargo freighters after finding irregularities, top sources have told the Indian Express.

The Indian flag carrier's regional subsidiary, Alliance Air, headed by Vipin Sharma, had issued a global tender in December to sell six Boeing 737-200 freighters and spares.

"The tender was against norms as it did not mention any reserve price for these aircraft," said a senior civil aviation ministry official. The matter was brought to the notice of Mr Singh, who ordered an immediate inquiry. "The minister has asked for the tender to be cancelled," said the source.

But Air India only said the bidding date had been extended until March 5. "The tender has not been scrapped," said a spokesman.

The aircraft were converted from passenger to cargo five years ago after undergoing massive engine overhauling and a total expenditure of nearly INR3 billion (US$6.1 million), said sources.

"These aircraft were hardly used for four to five months and remained grounded. The engines alone for these aircraft can fetch INR15 billion to INR20 billion each," the source said. "Absence of a reserve price makes the auction process arbitrary. The tender can be manipulated to benefit a certain party," said a ministry official.

The aircraft, which are at least 25 years old, were transferred from passenger service after the airline decided to brand Alliance Air as a cargo airline.

While four of these aircraft are stationed at Delhi, rest are at Kolkata. The spares included eight engines, aircraft seats and rotables.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

TURKEY has imposed restrictions on the use of its airspace by Israeli cargo planes carrying "dangerous materials" which include flammable perfumes and batteries, reports the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Henceforth, Turkey requires 10 days notification about such flights to review whether approval will be granted. This is expected to cause substantial financial damage, as most Israeli flights, and to the Far East that use Turkish airspace, are now being forced to use longer routes.

El Al and CAL Cargo Air Lines flights will be affected and most cargo flights in and out of Israel will be subject to new restrictions as any flight carrying such cargo, require special storage, are classed as "dangerous".

El Al and CAL have already contacted the Israeli Civil Aviation Administration, and have asked authorities to respond to the Turkish move with reciprocal measures on Turkish flights.

Turkey has downgraded its diplomatic relations and suspended military ties with Israel after the killing of eight Turks and a Turkish-American on an ship trying to breach the Israeli blockade of Gaza in May 2010.

Ankara says ties will not return to normal unless Israel formally apologises for the killings, compensates the families and lifts the blockade on Gaza.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

AS China explores widening business opportunities in Africa, Johannesburg-based Barloworld Logistics sees itself as in the best position to provide China shippers the ways and means of achieving their goals on the rapidly developing continent.

"We see Africa as a growth point. One of the few growth points in the world apart from China, of course. So the trade between China and Africa has huge potential," said Barloworld Logistics managing director Deon Heyns, who is based in Hong Kong.

Barloworld Logistics, the exclusive handling agent for this year's Hong Kong VINEXPO, today stresses its focus of developing trade between its offices in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shanghai and its other big offices in South Africa and the Middle East as well as Spain.

"Our immediate focus is to develop trade routes between our own offices - strongly to Africa and South Africa and strongly to the Middle East. Spain will follow, and of course, this is supported by a whole range of agents that we have around the world with whom we work - in all the major centres of the world. We also are focused on intra-Asia trade" he said.

As a division of the 20,000-employee Barloworld corporate giant with an annual turnover of US$6.5 billion, the South African company came to Hong Kong in 2008 when it acquired Flynt International Forwarders and its subsidiaries, Flynt Shipping, COOP Freight and FETA Freight Systems.

"There were four companies that we collapsed into one," said Mr Heyns. "And as part of another acquisition in the Middle East, there were branches in China that were involved in business which did not support our long-term strategy, so we exited those."

Barloworld is in an odd position, both being a smaller player in the China logistics market while at the same time being part of a major transnational corporation with automotive businesses in Southern Africa and Australia, handling businesses in the UK, Europe, US, and Southern Africa and handles Caterpillar Equipment sales in Southern Africa, Iberia and Siberia and has had a relationship with Caterpillar and Hyster for more than 80 years.

Because of this, this Hong Kong-Shanghai forwarder is small enough to enjoy personal relationships with a shippers while possessing global resources denied to smaller players.

For the most part, Barloworld handles sea freight to southern Africa and mostly air freight to east, and increasingly to West Africa where oil production and prices are spurring economic growth. It moves everything from electronic fashion products - iPhones and the like - to furniture.

"We do air freight; we do sea freight. On sea freight we do full containers, reefers and we do LCL cargo - both import and export. And we have contracts with major airlines, so we are a master loader on the air freight side. We see Africa as a growth point. One of the few growth points in the world apart from China. So the trade between China and Africa has huge potential," he said.

As to the immediate future, Mr Heyns said: "Our strategic intent is not to become the largest freight forwarder in the world. We want to create long-term partnerships with corporate customers where we can develop specific solutions for their supply chains."

That goal, Mr Heyns said, will be achieved incrementally. To this end, Barloworld has started looking at 3PL in terms of warehousing services in Shanghai and Qingdao, as well as exploiting China's fast developing rail links to the northern parts of the country as coastal industry migrates in search of lower costs.

"Regionally we will be focusing on freight forwarding, then warehousing and distribution services, and once we have built substantial volumes and have started to identify corporate customers, we will to go to these customers and offer our capabilities in supply chain solutions 'As part of our capabilities at Barloworld Logistics, we can do much more than just 3PL services.'

"Once you tie-up with corporate clients, it is a matter of listening to their needs and aligning their supply chain to their ultimate strategy by doing things smart - not necessarily negotiating better rates and prices, but planning better and doing the whole supply chain smarter," Mr Heyns said, adding that Barloworld has the proprietary software products that will help achieve this.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

TIANJIN Airlines launched a new flight service connecting northern China city Baotou in Inner Mongolia to northeastern city Xi'an and southern city Haikou on March 1.

The service uses E190 passenger aircrafts, offering four flights per week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Haikou-bound flight takes off at 1755 hrs from Baotou, reaching Xi'an at 1915 hrs, later arrives at Haikou at 2245 hrs. Return flight leaves Haikou at 1125 hrs, reaching Xi'an at 1520 hrs, then leaves Xi'an and lands at Baotou at 1640 hrs.

Baotou airport was built in 1934. After times of rebuild and expansion, the airport now has a terminal of 10,000 square metres with a passenger capacity of 459,000 persons and a cargo capacity of 3,500 tonnes.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

 

-      Strong pipeline of new ports sets stage for more growth

The Hague, Netherlands - APM Terminals, the Hague-based global port operator, yesterday reported record breaking annual results for 2011. A revenue growth of 10% year- on-year and an EBITDA of USD 1,059 mio. makes APM Terminals’ result for 2011 “the strongest ever”, according to CEO Kim Fejfer.

Net operating profit after tax was USD 649 mio. Profits of USD 793 mio. in 2010 were heavily influenced by extraordinary items incl. divestment gains. The profit in 2011 before gains and special items was USD 611 mio., 24% higher than the previous year.

Even better: The return on invested capital – ROIC, often described by APM Terminals’  top exec as the most important single key figure for the port operator – reached 13.1%.

This is a significant leap in profitability from 2010 where the return percentage was 10.4% when corrected for divestment gains and special items.

“This shows that APM Terminals is tracking well towards our long term goal of being the best and most profitable global port operator in the world. Profitability is our license to grow,” stated Mr. Fejfer in a comment on the annual results.

And growth is key for the independent port and inland services operator. Most industry analysts forecast a large need for additional port capacity over the next decade, and Mr. Fejfer is eager to secure the lion’s share of global growth opportunities. 

“If there were such a thing as a “market share” for expansion, we believe that APM Terminals would be the #1 global port operator in 2011 in that category. We committed more than 3 billion USD to infrastructure development and facility expansion in 2011 and expect to do something similar in 2012,” added Fejfer.

During 2011,  APM Terminals secured 5 new locations as a result of the company’s active portfolio development efforts: Poti in Georgia, Moin in Costa Rica, Callao in Peru, Gothenburg in Sweden and Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico. These complement the project pipeline of Santos, Brazil; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Wilhelmshaven, Germany and Vado, Italy. APM Terminals has recently also announced upcoming investments in Izmir, Turkey.

The total amount of containers handled – weighted with ownership share – increased by 8% on a like-for-like basis and reached 33.5 mio. TEU.

“And yes - gaining market share is also a long-term ambition for us, but we are only interested in sustainable and profitable growth, not just growth for its own sake,” says Fejfer, who also hopes to offer customers a more stable service level during 2012:

“We are very humble about the fact that although financial performance went well some of our customers’ experience has been more mixed as operations in container terminals in North Africa and the Middle East were negatively influenced by unrest related to the Arab Spring during 2011.”

APM Terminals is part of the global shipping and energy conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, and the customer base consists of more than 60 shipping lines. Volumes from customers outside the ownership sphere increased by 11% year-on-year and now constitute 46 % of volumes handled.

“2011 was also the year where we developed and implemented a new corporate visual identity to enhance the APM Terminals brand as a truly independent company. We will continue to diversify our client portfolio in the upcoming years,” added Mr. Fejfer.

Highlights:

  • Number of containers handled increased by 7% compared to 2010. On a like- for-like basis, volumes increased by 8%.
  • Revenue of USD 4.7bn was 10% above the level of 2010.
  • The customer portfolio was further expanded and share of volumes from customers outside the ownership sphere increased to 46% (44%).
  • Net operating profit after tax was USD 649m.
  • Profit, excluding sales gains and impairment losses, etc. was USD 611m, 24% higher than in 2010.
  • Cash flow from operating activities was USD 912m (USD 845m).
  • Return on invested capital (ROIC) reached 13.1% (16.0% and 10.4% excluding divestment gains and other special items).

 

Source APM Terminals


BP (NYSE: BP) announced today that it has agreed to sell its interests in the Hugoton, Kansas, Jayhawk gas processing plant and associated producing gas fields in Kansas to an affiliate of LINN Energy, LLC (NASDAQ: LINE).

Under the agreement, LINN Energy has agreed to pay BP $1.2bn in cash. Completion of the agreement is subject to closing conditions including the receipt of all necessary governmental and regulatory approvals. The sale is currently expected to complete on 30 March, 2012.

The agreement includes the sale of all of BP’s working interest in about 2,400 wells in the Hugoton natural gas field, as well as the Hugoton Jayhawk gas processing plant, which has a processing capacity of about 450 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/d). The majority of BP’s current net natural gas production of about 110 million cubic feet of gas equivalent in the area is processed through the plant.

BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said: “We are reshaping BP’s business around the world, focusing on our strengths and future growth opportunities. The sale of these mature assets will allow us to concentrate our efforts on our strong core positions in the U.S. and globally.”

In 2011, BP produced over 1,800 mmscf/d natural gas in the US. BP’s North America Gas business has a high quality portfolio of assets with a presence in 6 of the top 13 gas basins in the US Lower 48.

BP's operations center in Ulysses, Kansas is staffed by 120 employees. Most are expected to receive offers with LINN.

BP's growing presence in the wind business in Kansas will be unaffected by the sale.

Source BP

- The International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition, chaired by its Managing Director, Blanca Sorigué, has presented this morning its 2012 edition at the Barcelo Hotel in Casablanca (Morocco).

-The Moroccan Ministry of Transports has led the interest of this Maghribian country in the International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition


Barcelona, 28th of February, 2012. The International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition (SIL 2012) carries on with its marketing campaign at the North of Africa. After having successfully presented its 2012 edition in Tunisia and Algeria, this morning, the SIL’s managing director, Blanca Sorigué, accompanied by the Marketing, Promotion Manager & Special Events Director, Gisèle Muñoz, has informed about the offers and the business opportunities that the SIL 2012 has to offer to the companies and institutions in Morocco. The presentation has taken place at the Casablanca Barcelo Hotel (Morocco) and has hosted a great representation, professional as well as institutional, of the Moroccan logistics industry, headed by the Ministry of Transports. Almost 40 Moroccan companies have attended this presentation act.

The presentation’s opening act has been chaired by Mustapha Baba (Ministry of Transports of Morocco), and Mohamed Talal, President of the Logistics Commission of the General Confederation of Moroccan companies, who have explained the business opportunities that the Mediterranean market has to offer to the Moroccan companies and what an opportunity it is to participate in the International Logistics and Material Handling Exhibition of reference at the Mediterranean.

Right afterwards, Blanca Sorigué, the SIL’s Managing Director, has presented the Show to all the attendees explaining the possibilities and the business opportunities that are generated in it and reminding that this year is the 10th anniversary of the Mediterranean Logistics and Transport Forum, a renowned platform for the exchange of ideas and opinions and the Mediterranean networking that takes places inside the SIL. At the end of the presentation and after answering the questions of some of the attending companies, the SIL representatives carried out around 20 personal interviews with logistic companies and entities that showed great interest in the possibility of participating in the 2012 edition, that will take place on June 5th-7th at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via Venue.

The Moroccan Ministry of Transports, the General Confederation of Moroccan Companies, Maroc Export, the Moroccan Association of Exporters (ASMEX) and the National Ports Agency have been the institutions attending this presentation. The main logistics, infrastructures and material handling companies in Morocco didn’t miss this date and many of them have shown their intention to participate in the next SIL 2012 edition.

Source
Información actualizada constantemente en
www.silbcn.com

Airline and railway realities have changed a lot over the past few years. On the one hand, airlines have been looking at profitable ways to increase their reach and fill up the hubs from which they operate their most lucrative routes. On the other hand, many railways have seen competition rise in what used to be state-monopoly environments. These realities have unfolded in a context in which political authorities are increasingly imposing environmental and operational constraints on carriers. In this context, airlines and railways see better air-rail integration as a business opportunity.

Until now, air-rail cooperation was quite difficult, as both worlds had their own distribution methods and railways had standards often foreign to the airline world. This is no longer the case.

The many railways that choose AccesRail and operate under the IATA carrier code 9B can now easily interline or seamlessly code share with airlines on the primary screen displays of the global distribution system (GDS), while following IATA rules as well as the various GDS protocols. Moreover, through AccesRail, they can offer a seamless settlement process based on flown segments as per airline protocols. Today, 9B has more than 70 interline and code-share agreements.

Like any airline, AccesRail 9B files schedules through OAG, another Strategic Partner. In addition, it has an e-ticketing facility hooked up to all GDSs worldwide, an airline-type check-in facility, and a departure control system.

If integrating with a railway, checking AccesRail 9B can save time and money and prevent headaches.

Source IATA

IATA’s Industry Charges, Fuel & Taxation (ICFT) team will face challenging financial and qualitative targets in 2012.

IATA achieved US$5.9 billion in savings on airport and ATC charges, fuel fees, and taxation in 2011. In 2012, as well as continuing to meet financial savings goals, IATA will be challenged with qualitative targets.

IATA’s efforts to ensure that airport and air-navigation service charges and fuel fees are transparent and cost-related saved the industry $6 billion last year. This figure exceeded the Board target of $3 billion. Nevertheless, airlines saw their charges bill rise by $5 billion.

This year, IATA will work toward a more diverse set of savings targets. As well as securing cuts to existing charges, taxes, and fees, we will need to ensure that proposed increases are reduced by at least 30%.

IATA will aim to persuade seven major service providers/states to commit to more favorable pricing agreements. We will also campaign to improve service shortfalls at seven major service providers/states in fuel supply, airport infrastructure, or ATC operations.

Given the uncertain economic outlook for 2012, airlines will continue to be challenged by rising charges, fees, and taxation. A particular threat currently comes from debt-laden European and North American governments looking to tax aviation. IATA will seek to educate governments on air transport’s invaluable role as a key driver of economic activity.

Finally, in the area of fuel, registration has opened for the next Aviation Fuel Forum, to be held in Chicago from 15 to 17 May 2012. The event is for IATA Strategic Partners and member airlines involved in fuel activities. For more details and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Aviation Fuel Forum event page.

Source IATA

TROUBLED by an export slowdown, the Port of Shenzhen's container volume fell 7.8 per cent to 1.93 million TEU in January, reports Xinhua, with throughput of laden boxes sliding 7.6 per cent to 958,322 TEU.

An unidentified official at Shenzhen's Shekou Container Terminal pointed out that there had been a shrinkage of consumer demand overseas, resulting in a weak Chinese export performance.

In addition, moving of more and more processing factories from Shenzhen into hinterland China combined with competition from neighbouring ports with lower prices also diminished Shenzhen throughput.

Another unidentified official from the China Merchants Western Shenzhen Terminals said Shenzhen was beset by uncertainty. Whether the port can maintain its leading status depends on whether Shenzhen can develop new competitive advantages, he said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTH Korea's Hanjin Shipping is to take delivery of the first of nine 13,092 TEU, the Hanjin Sooho, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which will phase into CKHY Alliance NE6 service with a maiden voyage on April 1.

The second and third vessels, Hanjin Asia and Hanjin Europe will be delivered on the April 15 and May 6 respectively. All three vessels will replace vessels averaging 9,000 TEU with a further shift of other vessels from CKHY Asia/Europe structure into the NE6.

By mid-March, the existing average weekly capacity of the NE6 service willhave increased from 9,300 TEU to 11,050 TEU, an increase of just over 18 per cent.

The port rotation from April 1 will be: Tianjin, Kwangyang, Busan, Shanghai, Singapore, Algeciras, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Algeciras, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Tianjin.

The NE6 service will serve both east and westbound directions for transhipment at Algeciras with the Felixstowe call to be moved to the CUS service and westbound port calls to Ningbo, Xiamen and Hong Kong removed altogether.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

FRENCH shipping line CMA CGM says it is revising its services on the Asia-US east coast trade.

"The strengthening of our Asia/USEC loops means three departures a week and a wider geographical coverage. These are two major steps to better serve our customers and improve their logistic supply chain," said a company statement.

It said in a statement that with effect from March 28 the network will be covered by the following loops, as follows:

The PEX 3, Asia-US Gulf Coast service will be operated by the carrier with 11 vessels of 5,500 TEU. The port rotation is Xiamen, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Chiwan, Shanghai, Busan, Punta Manzanillo, Houston, Mobile, Miami, Jacksonville and back to Xiamen.

The Manhattan Bridge, another Asia-US east coast service will be operated by China Shipping, Evergreen and UASC with nine 4,000-TEU ships.

The port rotation is Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Yantian, Hong Kong, New York, Norfolk, Savannah and back to Shanghai.

It said the Columbus Suez service that connects Asia to the US east and west coasts remains unchanged. CMA CGM and Maersk Line operate this service jointly with 16 vessels of 8,100 TEU.

The port rotation is Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelapas, Suez Canal, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Suez Canal, Tanjung Pelapas, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Shanghai, Busan, Seattle, Vancouver, Yokohama and back to Shanghai.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Port of Long Beach says it has reached a tentative agreement on a 40-year US$4.6 billion lease with Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) for use of the Middle Harbour property, "in what would be the largest deal of its kind for any US seaport", a statement from port authorities said.

This comes as work on Phase 1 of the Middle Harbour Redevelopment Project reaches that part of the plan to combine two aging facilities into one modern terminal to speed movement of cargo and improve environmental performance.

The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade piers, water access and storage area, as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard. The project is expected to cut air pollution.

Phase 1 of the project began in spring last year. Currently, landfill for part of a new wharf is in place and concrete piles to support the wharf deck are being sunk. Crews are also at work on the wharf's electrical infrastructure, which will eventually power cranes and allow ships at berth to plug into the power grid instead of burning diesel to make electricity, the statement said.

By October, dredging work was completed in the main ship channel all the way into the Middle Harbour and East Basin, improving access for oil tankers and creating one of the deepest harbours among US seaports.

In keeping with the port's green port policy and the San Pedro Bay ports clean air plan, the project is required to minimise or eliminate negative environmental impacts from shipping operations.

To improve air quality and reduce environmental impacts, the project includes shoreside power for ships, expanded on-dock rail to shift more than 30 per cent of the cargo shipments from trucks to trains, cleaner yard equipment, electric rail-mounted gantry cranes, green flag vessel speed reduction programme requirements, use of low-sulphur fuels for ships' main and auxiliary engines, storm water pollution prevention, solar panels, and the reuse or recycling of waste materials such as concrete, steel and copper during construction.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NEW ZEALAND's Port of Napier - benefiting from Auckland's dock strike - has reported a nine per cent year-on-year increase in fourth quarter container volume as full-year volume went up to six per cent to 191,000 TEU.

Strike-bound Auckland continues to divert traffic to its rivals Tauranga and Napier with the giant diary cooperative Fonterra's diverting its 500-700 TEU weekly exports away from Auckland, splitting it between its two rivals in unknown proportions.

Labour trouble in Auckland is expected to improve Napier profit. Thus far, annual operating profit has increased 10.5 per cent to NZ$$2.76 million (US$2.31 million) year on year.

Fonterra business accounts to NZ$$27 million a week. "Obviously, the port is working aggressively to secure these gains long term," Napier port CEO Garth Cowie told Fairfax NZ News.

Mr Cowie said exports increased - despite a strengthening New Zealand dollar - through December to 913,000 tonnes, an increase of 10 per cent with forest products accounting for 40 per cent of throughput.

But container handling efficiency was down compared to rivals at 22.8 TEU per hour by crane with Auckland slightly ahead at 25.1, Wellington at 30.4 and Tauranga beating all at 34.8.

But Mr Cowie said port productivity was more than speed of loading and through its mobile cranes and policy of no work stoppage, it can increase efficiency elsewhere.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTHEASTERN China's Jilin province spent CNY1.4 billion (US$222.2 million) on 46 grain storage projects last year, adding an extra one million tonne to the total silo capacity and 300,000 tonnes to distribution capacity last year, Xinhua reports.

Last year, the province also upgraded the existing warehouses, raising the total grain warehousing capacity of the province from 13.2 million tonnes to 15.7 million tonnes.

Jilin province is vying for state government support and at the meantime seeking investors to boost development of grain logistics.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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