DANISH shipping giant Maersk Line has sounded the warning in Latin American of coming rate hikes in the face of higher fuel, steel, terminal and container costs after reporting a US$599 million first quarter financial loss.

"The goal is to boost profitability and safeguard the continuity of service levels. Fuel prices have risen 250 per cent, while Maersk Line's rates have dropped more than 10 per cent across Latin America," said a company statement.

Maersk Line said Latin America is important enough to warrant a US$2.2 billion 2011-2013 investment programme with the delivery of 16 new vessels, known as SAMMAX (South America Max) with a capacity of 7,500 TEU.

Other investments include $992 million in the Moin terminal, Costa Rica; $170 million in the building of a container factory in Chile; $200 million in construction of two supply vessels at Asenav in Chile; $450 million in Brazil's Santos terminal; $1.26 billion in Maersk Peregrino's FPSO in Brazil's Campos Basin and $3 billion in oil and gas exploration and acquisitions in Brazil, said the company statement.

"The shipping industry is losing money," said Maersk Latin America CEO Robbert Jan Van Trooijen. "Previously, we followed the downward market trend on rates to regain market share, but today we are happy with our position and see Latin America as a growth opportunity. To achieve this, our prices must reflect the current environment of higher fuel, container and terminal costs."

Maersk Line moved 183 million tonnes of cargo in 2011 and is the largest container carrier in the world. Latin America represents 14 per cent of Maersk container volume and the carrier has a 15 per cent market share in the region, said the company statement.

AP Moller-Maersk Group also includes terminal operations (APM Terminals), freight forwarding, supply chain management (Damco) and tanker (Maersk Tankers).

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GERMAN transport logistics provider DB Schenker is building a 46,000-square-metre logistics centre in Kunshan, west of Shanghai for Kone, the global lift and escalator provider to open this autumn.

"With the new centre, we are setting a new standard in challenging distribution solutions for an industry with highest demands in terms of quality and speed," said DB Schenker North-Central China chief Karl-Heinz Emberger.

DB Schenker has provided services for Kone in Kunshan since 2009. But the 26,000-square-metre warehouse cannot cope with coming expansion. DB Schenker stores the lift and escalator components from the company's German plants, then labels the products and loads them onto trucks for distribution throughout China.

There are currently 24 staff with another 45 new hires due next year to run the new plant in the Kunshan Junxi Eco-Industrial Park.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LOGISTICS companies in China and Japan has signed agreements on agency business for each other to co-operate the Hunchun-China, Zarubino-Russia, Niigata-Japan international land-sea transport service in northeast China's Changchun city, reports Xinhua.

The service links Jilin province to Japan and South Korea via Zarubino, Russia. This development of the route business will play a positive role in promoting the province and Japan to strengthen economic and trade exchanges.

Jilin Changjitu International Logistics Group and Japan Niigata International Shipping Group finally reached an agreement to act as agent for each other on operating the route and organising the shipments, after the preliminary research and demonstration, the overall planning and trial voyage, the promotion of cooperation between logistics companies in the three countries,

Over the years, Jinlin and Niigata, Japan have made efforts in promoting the construction of the land-sea transport route, the cooperation in cross-border tourism and the facilitation of cross-border transport.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTHWEST Guizhou provincial energy resource transport project via the Hongshui River has passed inspection by the Transport Ministry, reports Xinhua.

The project will transport energy resources by trucks and ro-ro vessels with an aim to move annually 14 million tonnes to the Pearl River Delta via the Hongshui River by 2015.

The Hongshui River, a key waterway connecting to the Pearl River, has a drainage area of 55,000 square kilometres covering Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi. The river's transport capacity will reach 21 million tonnes by 2020. Guizhou has built eight river ports along its 360-kilometre shipping lane, which can accommodate vessels of more than a 1,000 tonnes.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GERMANY's DB Schenker Logistics has opened up its own business in Windhoek, the capital and the largest city of Namibia with an office in another city Walvis Bay, after acquiring full ownership of service partner Desert Logistics, which used to operate the business in the region in the past five years.

"The focus of the activities is on looking forward to exponential growth in the Namibian market whilst maintaining good relations with existing customers by providing reliable and cost efficient world class logistics services," said regional director NME/Africa Peter Glatz in a company statement.

"I am proud that all current employees of Desert Logistics remain with us," said, managing director of Schenker Namibia (Pty) Ltd Fritz Kaufmann, who was the former chief of Desert Logistics. "We plan to grow and expand our market share."

The company said its highlighted services include air and ocean freight, freight forwarding (road and rail), customs clearing, warehousing and distribution, courier services, and ground handling.

The new Schenker Namibia (Pty) Ltd strengthens the global DB Schenker network that comprises 2,000 locations in more than 130 countries.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Lawhill Maritime Studies programme, an educational programme offered to financially stressed young South Africans, has won the international Seatrade Investment in People Award.

The programme, which has been running for 17 years, is wholly funded by the shipping industry and has been pioneered by shipping line Safmarine.

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu presented the award in London to Brian Ingpen, the head of the Lawhill Maritime Centre based in Simon's Town. The honour recognises Lawhill's effectiveness in addressing youth unemployment and poverty in South Africa by providing students with maritime-related skills while they were still at school.

More than 300 young South Africans have graduated from the programme since its inception, many of them pursuing successful careers in the maritime industry, both ashore and at sea, while others have made their mark in other industries, a Safmarine statement said.

Brian Ingpen paid tribute to all those who have supported the programme, particularly those organisations and individuals who have provided bursaries which has made it possible for young South Africans to obtain a quality education.

Said Safmarine CEO Grant Daly: "The Lawhill programme has made, and continues to make, a real and visible difference in the lives of many young South Africans."

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

JAPAN's Mitsui OSK Lines seafarer education and training programme, the MOL Rank Skill Training and Evaluation Programme (MOL RankSTEP), has received certification from Oslo-based Det Norske Veritas (DNV) for compliance with the Competence Management System (CMS).

CMS is a management system that improves education programmes by identifying gaps between the skills seafarers currently possess and the qualifications needed to fulfil the corporate philosophy.

The programme also complies with Society of International Gas Tanker & Terminal Operator Ltd (SIGTTO) and Tanker Officer Training Standard (TOTS) requirements, a statement from the transportation company said.

"The introduction of CMS will help MOL identify problems after determining gaps between skills required of seafarers in previous programme and those currently needed, ensuring ongoing improvement of MOL RankSTEP," the statement said.

The skill training and evaluation programme was introduced in 2007 to establish "seafarer skill requirements by position, which unifies skills to be acquired, acquisition methods, and evaluation methods for different types of jobs," it added.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has made a C$2 million (US$1.97 million) order for 63 next-generation Itemiser(R) DX desktop explosives trace detection (ETD) systems from California's Morpho Detection (MDI).

The trace technology analyses both positive and negative ions from a single sample by detecting a broad range of explosives and narcotics with accuracy through a lightweight desktop package.

The Itemiser DX utilises Ion Trap Mobility Spectroscopy (ITMS(TM)) has been globally approved by five regulatory agencies including US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for baggage screening and air cargo transportation facilities.

Said Morpho Detection CEO Brad Buswell: "Our work with CATSA is another example of Morpho Detection's commitment to helping enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the aviation security screening processes through the deployment of advanced technologies."

Morpho Detection, of Newark, California, is a leading supplier of explosives and narcotics and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection systems. More than 30,000 company systems have been installed globally, said the Morpho statement.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

AIRBRIDGECARGO Airlines (ABC), part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has clinched the Wings of Russia national aviation prize for the fourth consecutive year.

Russia's largest international scheduled cargo airline was presented with the award for Cargo Airline of the Year on Domestic and International Routes at a Moscow awards ceremony that drew 600, including top managers from Russian airlines and government officials.

ABC president Tatyana Arslanova said the award reflects the successful realisation of its "cargo supermarket" strategy, based on the development and synergy of the two main businesses of Volga-Dnepr Group for charter and scheduled cargo operations.

"In 2011, ABC's growth was attributed to the introduction of new markets in the USA and China and the successful development of our route network in Russia to incorporate Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg," said Ms Arslanova. "This victory is the result of effective cooperation with our partners and participants of the Russian cargo industry, notably airports, service providers and national authorities."

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

IN a move to boost the overseas sales of US-made business aircraft and helicopters, the US Export-Import Bank has announced a new process to assess credit risks and expedite foreign buyer financing, reports American Shipper.

"Ex-Im Bank understands that business-aircraft transactions require specialised knowledge and experience but has limited resources to meet the growing demand for export financing in this industry," said chairman Fred Hochberg in a statement.

"By leveraging private-sector expertise to assist and support our evaluation of these credits, we will be able to expand Ex-Im Bank's support for US business-aircraft exports and the manufacturing jobs that they sustain."

The bank will expedite these applications, the approval and closing process for foreign borrowers of Ex-Im-supported financing in business aircraft transactions. Using qualified advisors is also expected to provide enhanced credit structures, resulting in additional credit protections for Ex-Im Bank.

"The process is designed to benefit manufacturers that do not have a captive financing company, but which can now designate one or more advisors to work with their foreign buyers," the bank said.

Ex-Im Bank said it developed the process following on the successful model of its US$500 million loan facility approved in 2009 that provided funds to assist Textron Inc in financing exports of two of its companies, Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter Textron. The loan allowed Textron to provide competitive terms and interest rates to finance the export of more than 100 Cessna aircraft exports and six Bell helicopters.

Last week, Ex-Im Bank's board approved a second facility for Textron, providing a guarantee of a $350 million loan from PNC Bank to a Textron subsidiary to finance the export of additional Cessna aircraft and Bell helicopters. The repayment term is 12 years.

"We anticipate that this facility will add to the success of the first such financing for Textron, which has helped to support hundreds of manufacturing jobs in Kansas, Georgia and Texas," Mr Hochberg said.

In fiscal year 2011, Ex-Im Bank authorised more than $12.6 billion in financing to support the export of US-manufactured aircraft of all types, including about $90 million for 10 business aircraft and helicopters exports to four countries - Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

Kazakhstan plans to produce railway products worth of 300 billion tenge by 2015, Vice President of JSC NC "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" Erik Sultanov told at the extended session of the Social Council of National Welfare Fund "Samruk-Kazyna", Gazeta.kz reported citing Kazinform agency.

According to Sultanov, railway industry produced products worth KZT 100 billion in 2011. This year the industry wants to hit the mark of KZT 155 billion.

By 2015, Kazakh railway producers are believed to produce 5,200 items of railway products. Today the analogous figure stands at 3,563 items, Sultanov added.

Central Asian News Service, en.ca-news.org

Montreal - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Ground Handling Conference (IGHC) set priorities for improving safety and reducing aircraft damage in ground operations. These are: Establishment of a Ground Handling Council (GHC): IATA endorsed the establishment of the Ground Handling Council (GHC) to promote cooperation across the ground handling safety chain. The GHC will address all aspects of ground operations including load control, airside safety, ground support equipment, ground services agreements, as well as ground handling processes and procedures. The GHC will comprise 20 high-level representatives from airlines and ground service providers (GSPs) and report to the IATA Operations Committee.

Data-driven Analysis: IATA will link several key data sources and statistical information to facilitate data driven decisions to improve safety performance and reduce ground damage. The sources to be linked include:

*         The Ground Damage Database (GDDB)

*         Risk Management (RM)

*         IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) and

*         IATA Ground Operations standards and procedures, specifically the Airport Handling Manual (AHM) and the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM).

Regulatory Engagement: IATA will promote greater regulatory acceptance and utilization of ISAGO and IGOM at the national level. The European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) already has endorsed these initiatives to which airlines and GSPs have committed. The goal is to achieve worldwide recognition of these programs by national regulators to initiate and implement oversight on ground operations.

"Ground handling is core to airline operations. Through renewed commitment to working together, taking a risk-based and data-driven approach, aviation stakeholders and regulators can improve safety and reduce the cost of ground damage, which is estimated in the billions of dollars annually. This will also increase reliability and improve operational performance," said Guenther Matschnigg, IATA Senior Vice President Safety, Operations and Infrastructure.

Matschnigg was speaking at the 25th annual meeting of the IGHC which met in Prague from 6-9 May 2012.

Source IATA

AerCap Holdings N.V. (NYSE: AER) (the "Company") today announced that AerCap Aviation Solutions B.V. (the "Issuer"), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, priced its previously announced offering of $300 million in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes (the "notes"). The notes will bear interest at a rate of 6.375% per year and will mature on May 30, 2017. The transaction is expected to close on May 22, 2012, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The notes will be guaranteed by the Company. The Issuer intends to on-lend the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to the Company and its subsidiaries, to enable the Company and its subsidiaries to acquire, invest in, finance or refinance aircraft assets and for other general corporate purposes, which will include the repayment of outstanding indebtedness.

The notes and related guarantee will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to any U.S. persons absent registration under the Securities Act, or pursuant to an applicable exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws. The notes will be offered only to "qualified institutional buyers" under Rule 144A of the Securities Act or, outside the United States, to persons other than "U.S. persons" in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the notes, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of any notes in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.


STATISTICS released by the Port of Los Angeles show that box throughput in April surged 14.5 per cent to a total of 707,182 TEU compared to the same month last year.

"April was a very, very strong month with double-digit increases on both the import and export side. It was our best month of 2012 and also the busiest April ever in terms of overall volumes. We were pleasantly surprised with the import numbers, and that could reflect increased consumer confidence," said port spokesman Phillip Sanfield.

Factoring in empties, which increased 13.3 per cent year on year, the overall volume reflects the busiest April in the port's history, surpassing April 2007 volumes of 679,575 TEU, reported American Shipper.

At the same time, import volume rose 16.7 per cent to 364,555 TEU from 312,359 TEU in April 2011, while exports increased 11.5 per cent, from 167,448 TEU to 186,838 TEU in April 2012. Combined, total loaded imports and exports for April increased 14.9 per cent from 479,808 TEU last April to 551,393 TEU in April 2012.

For the first four months of 2012, overall container volumes have increased 6.1 per cent (2,582,003 TEU) compared to the same period in 2011 (2,433,499 TEU).

Said Mr Sanfield: "The increase in empty containers returning to Asia bodes well because it's an indication that shippers are repositioning containers for the return-to-school season. Those goods traditionally start coming toward the end of June and into July. After that, we're hopeful that our late summer volumes will move into a more traditional holiday peak season pattern."

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NEW YORK listed Seaspan, with major offices in Hong Kong and Vancouver, but registered in the Marshall Islands, posted a first quarter 1.4 per cent net profit increase to US$51.25 million year on year, drawn on revenues of 152.08 million, up 25 per cent.

"During the first quarter, Seaspan continued to generate strong, stable operational and financial results for shareholders," said Seaspan CEO Gerry Wang.

The company achieved 99.1 per cent in vessel utilisation. "We also took delivery of two newbuildings during the quarter, increasing our fleet to 67 vessels," said Mr Wang.

Both 13,100-TEU ships, named Cosco Excellence and Cosco Faith have started operations under 12-year, fixed-rate time charter with China's flag carrier Cosco.

On April 18 and 27, Seaspan received the delivery of Cosco Hope and the Cosco Fortune, bringing its operating fleet to 69 vessels. Both 13,100-TEU ships are also on charter to Cosco under 12-year, fixed-rate time charter contracts.

Besides, it fixed the ship CSCL Ningbo on a six-month time charter with CSCL on April 24 at a charter rate of $8,450 per day, with an additional six-month extension option at a charter rate of $12,250 per day.

But it said CSCL did not exercise its option in March to extend the time charter for the CSCL Dalian. So the company plans to re-charter the ship when it is redelivered to Seaspan in July.

Also, the company said it was notified in March that the time charter for the UASC Madinah will not be extended, so the ship will be returned to Seaspan in June.

Said Mr Wang: "We remain committed to drawing upon our strong and flexible capital structure to further grow our high-quality fleet in a disciplined manner. In achieving this important goal, we intend to continue to emphasize our SAVER vessel design, which we believe provides customers with improved efficiency and operational savings."

The company will now pursue its plan on building three 10,000-TEU vessels. On May 12, three of its subsidiaries signed a deal of $224 million loan with a leading Chinese bank for these newbuildings.

The company said it expects the agreement to be implemented by early June. "These vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2014 when they will commence operations under charters with Hanjin Shipping for a period of 10 years, plus an additional two years at the option of Hanjin."

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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