GLOBAL provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, is on track to meet its 2012 expectations after a rebound in March offset a weak January and February, Air Cargo World reported.

Atlas customers flew 11 per cent more than the minimum block hours in March. The strong first-quarter numbers are also due to a new timeline for aircraft engine maintenance; upkeep that was expected to take place during the first quarter will now happen in the next three months.

Atlas Air reported an adjusted net income of US$13.6 million during the first quarter compared to an adjusted net income of $12.7 million in Q1 2011. The company reported a net income of $12.8 million for the first three months of the year compared to $10.5 million in the same period last year.

Operating revenues during the quarter rose 21 per cent to $359.3 million compared to the same period last year. Total block hours increased by eight per cent. ACMI revenues rose by $8.7 million compared to Q1 2011, on the back of two new services for DHL Express. Atlas Air also recently signed a multiyear ACMI deal with Etihad Airways for one Boeing 747-400 freighter, which will commence in June. This will be the first 747-400F in Etihad Cargo's fleet.

Operating expenses rose 20 per cent from the first quarter of last year to $338.7 million because of fuel and an uptick in labour costs. Jet fuel prices rose 28 per cent when compared to the same period in 2011. A wage increase, a ramp up in total block-hours flown and a few new hires pumped employee costs up 15 per cent, year over year.

"Earnings in the first quarter of 2012 were well above our expectations," William Flynn, the firm's president and CEO, said. "The improvement was primarily due to a substantial pickup in the commercial airfreight market during March 2012. Volumes and rates improved dramatically compared with January and February, and we were well-positioned to help customers respond to an increase in demand for airfreight capacity."

He added that this increase was fuelled by high-tech project launches out of Asia and a demand for time-sensitive shipments of auto parts and pharmaceuticals.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE "lack of a true 'open skies policy' in the Arab world is restricting the aviation industry from realising its full potential", said Air Arabia CEO Ali told delegates attending Arab Aviation and Media Summit 2012 in Sharjah, UAE.

Agreeing, Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO) secretary general Abdul Wahab Teffaha said: "Unfortunately, many Arab countries still nurture the notion that they should have a flag carrier irrespective of the losses their airlines accumulate."

Said Airbus Middle East president Foud Attar: "Today, many Arab governments are caught in a dilemma, to liberalise or not to liberalise. That is the reason they vacillate on implementing the open skies policy."

Despite such drawbacks and a challenging geopolitical environment as well as rising jet fuel prices, Arab aviation is robust with improved airline interconnectivity, contributing significantly to the gross domestic product of the countries, reported the Kuwait Times.

UAE General Civil Aviation Authority deputy chief Omar Bin Ghalib said: "An increased mobility in the region has remarkably boosted tourism, trade, logistics, technology and most importantly resulted in massive manpower development and job creation."

Mr Bin Ghalib said the UAE's aviation industry enjoyed robust growth after it implemented an open skies policy and liberalised the industry. "We expect reciprocal treatment form all the countries in the region," he said.

"Liberalisation of aviation sector in these countries has dramatically altered the horizons of their aviation industry," he said.

The Arab Spring has impacted on the Arab aviation industry with massive plunge in passenger numbers though the sector has rebounded quickly. "The crisis has affected Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, which registered a 50 per cent drop in tourists," said IATA regional vice president Maidi Sabri.

But Mr Teffaha said: "The long-term impact of the Arab Spring is extremely positive. It not only presented challenges but offered enormous opportunities to the industry to grow."

The report did not elaborate on the point, but Mr Teffaha said that the aviation sector currently supports 2.7 million jobs and accounts for $129 billion in GDP in the Middle East. Middle East international passenger numbers are expected to reach some 220 million by 2030 compared to 77 million in 2010.

He also pointed out that IATA has raised its 2012 profit forecast for Middle East airlines from $300 million to $500 million. The revision was fuelled by strong growth in regional traffic.

The 21-nation Arab League plans to spend nearly $200 billion on the purchase of new aircraft in the next 15 years. The Middle East is home to 65 airlines with 1,029 aircraft in service, operating from 70 commercial airports.

The region has 13 air navigation service providers. The combined value of the Arab aircraft fleet is expected to rise to nearly $200 billion in the next 15 years, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LIGHT aircraft operations at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be transferred to the Danilo Atienza Air Base in Sangley Point, south of Manila within a month to ease congestion at the main national airport, reports the Manila Standard.

"At present, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Department of National Defence are discussing plans to transfer the general aviation (light aircraft operations) from NAIA to Sangley," Philippines President Benigno Aquino told the media in Corregidor.

To reduce congestion in NAIA, we will move the general aviation in Sangley within a month or so. They have given a timetable of more or less a month," he said at the sidelines of the commemoration of the Fall of Corregidor.

The transportation department earlier announced plans to reduce the load on the runway and taxiways by transferring general aviation to the air bases in either Sangley or Lipa, Batangas.

The takeoff and landing times of flying schools have already been restricted and have been asked to relocate to another site to decongest NAIA. Private flights, particularly prop aircraft, will soon follow.

Airliner Operators Council members backed the plan to reduce the number of domestic flights to help decongest NAIA by moving the general aviation traffic to Sangley Point.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MSC Labeled Products from High Liner will begin to roll out later this month

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the world’s leading wild-caught seafood certification program, and High Liner Foods, Canada’s leading supplier of seafood, today announced a groundbreaking partnership that includes a commitment by High Liner to source all wild-caught seafood from MSC certified fisheries by 2013 and display the MSC ecolabel on all certified wild-caught products supplied by High Liner Foods in Canada.  Products bearing the MSC ecolabel will reach store shelves beginning this month and High Liner will add more over the coming months as additional certified products enter their system.

“High Liner Foods is a leader in its commitment to seafood sustainability and this partnership will make it possible for more Canadian consumers to help safeguard seafood supplies for future generations,” said Kerry Coughlin, Regional Director, Americas Region.  “The MSC ecolabel is a trust mark and will confirm and complement High Liner’s leadership and commitment to sustainability. We are proud to partner with High Liner Foods and its employees.”

“Our partnership with MSC in Canada is an important step forward in meeting our commitment to source 100% of our wild-capture seafood from MSC certified sustainable fisheries,” said Henry Demone, President and CEO of High Liner Foods.  “The future of sustainable seafood will be shaped by the actions and commitments we make today and partnering with the MSC will help us meet our goals.”

In the fall of this year, High Liner Foods plans to launch a major public awareness campaign to educate Canadian consumers about sustainability and how they can directly help protect seafood supplies and related livelihoods for the future by choosing sustainable seafood.

Source MSC

Christian Haug, currently based in New York as Director USA Northeast has been appointed Director North & Central China in Shanghai, effective 1 July. He succeeds Peter Ullmayer, who is taking leave of absence as part of his transition into phased retirement.

Alexander Karst, previously Regional Director Sales for the Frankfurt market, is taking over as Director USA Northeast with effect from 1 July. His position as Regional Director Sales in Frankfurt will be taken over by Kay Wichmann, at present in charge of Customer Service in the Lufthansa Cargo sales division in Germany.

Michael Vorwerk, currently President of the Cargo Network Services Corporation (CNS), an IATA subsidiary, is to take over as Director Sales Development Germany, effective 1 August.  He will additionally assume responsibility as Board Representative Air Cargo Gateway Frankfurt. In that function, he is responsible for the strategic “Home base Frankfurt“ project“, which has been launched by Lufthansa Cargo to improve the attractiveness of the Frankfurt cargo hub and strengthen its position against European competitors, such as Amsterdam, Paris or Luxembourg. Lufthansa Cargo’s position at its home base is to be further developed in cooperation with forwarders, the airport operator Fraport, the authorities and politicians.

Angelika Kreil, previously Regional Manager Sales and Handling in Hamburg, is to take over as Director of Lufthansa Cargo’s Munich hub, with effect from 1 June 2012. At that post, she is also responsible for ongoing development of the Munich hub.

Source Lufthansa Cargo AG

Contract signed at Thailand’s busiest port for the electrification of Rubber-Tire Gantry Cranes as commitment to environmental sustainability by shareholders of LCB Container Terminal 1 Ltd.

Laem Chabang, Thailand- APM Terminals’ program to convert Rubber-Tire Gantry (RTG) cranes from diesel to electric power announced a year ago has taken another major step forward with the signing of a €1 million ($1.3 million USD) contract with German-based Conductix-Wampfler for the retrofitting of RTGs at LCB Container Terminal 1 Ltd. (LCB1) - Thailand’s busiest container port.

“The electrification of the RTGs at LCB1 will enhance Port of Laem Chabang’s leadership position within environmental performance and make the port a role model for other ports in Thailand and elsewhere in the region” stated LCB Container Terminal 1, CEO Niels T. Hansen.

The conversion of RTG power from diesel to electricity is made possible through flexible automatic power connections linking the RTGs to a conductor rail. Conductix-Wampler will be installing more than 2.5 km of conductor rails at the terminal to accommodate the electric power link. By reducing diesel fuel consumption in the existing RTG engines, the terminal is projected to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,300 tons annually.

Diesel-powered RTGs account for approximately 20% of all CO2 emissions from terminal operations.

If adopted nationwide, the emission-reductions would be considerable. There are currently a total of 158 diesel-powered RTGs in operation at Thai ports. The Port of Laem Chabang in the Chonburi Province on the Gulf of Thailand was the 4th busiest container port in Southeast Asia and the 21st busiest worldwide with 5.7 million TEUs handled in 2011.

APM Terminals holds a 35% minority share in LCB1, which opened in 1995. Through its share in LCB1, APM Terminals also holds a 31.5% share of neighboring LCMT Company Ltd. (LCMT), in which LCB1 holds a majority stake. Combined container throughput at LCB1 and LCMT in 2011 was 1.25 million TEUs. The conversion of LCB1’s RTGs is scheduled to be completed next year, with the considerably larger RTG fleet at the Malaysian Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), another member of the APM Terminals Global Port, Terminal and Inland Services Network next scheduled for conversion. PTP handled 7.5 million TEUs in 2011.

Source APM Terminals

In April, Finnair traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres rose by 10 per cent as the overall capacity was flat year‐on‐year. Passenger load factor improved by 7.1 percentage points and was 76.4 per cent. In the comparison period Finnair's traffic was impacted by the tsunami in Japan and by the events related to the Arabic spring.

The total traffic figures were impacted by the good development in both Asian and European traffic. In April, Asian traffic capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres grew by 5.2 per cent year‐on‐year, mainly as a result of the Singapore route opened in May 2011. Asian traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres increased by 13.6 per cent year‐on‐year. The strongest growth was seen in European traffic, which increased by 14.2 per cent year‐on‐year measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres.

“We saw positive development in passenger load factors in all scheduled traffic categories in April. In Domestic and European traffic passenger load factors improved by more than 10 percentage points. Likewise, the Asian traffic saw good development from last year, when the traffic was affected by the tsunami in Japan. The load factor improved by close to six percentage points year-on-year,” says Finnair CFO Erno Hildén.

In April, the capacity in leisure traffic decreased by 9.8 per cent with passenger load factor flat year-on-year.

In cargo, traffic measured in available tonne kilometres was flat, whereas revenue tonne kilometres increased by 11.3 per cent year‐on‐year. The load factor in cargo improved by 6.9 percentage points and was 74.3 per cent.

The arrival punctuality was at high level in April. In scheduled traffic, 87 per cent (86.9 per cent in April 2011) of flights arrived on schedule and in all traffic 86.8 per cent (86.5 per cent) arrived on schedule.

Finnair Traffic Performance April 2012


Apr 2012


Jan-Apr 2012


Total Traffic





Passengers 1000



2 796,4


Available seat kilometres mill

2 362,0


10 004,5


Revenue passenger kilometres mill

1 803,6


7 628,6


Passenger load factor %


7,1 p


4,5 p

Cargo tonnes total

12 054,8


49 947,2


Available tonne kilometres mill



1 555,2


Revenue tonne-kilometres mill





Overall load factor %


6,2 p


3,3 p






Scheduled Total





Passengers 1000



2 545,9


Available seat kilometres mill

2 145,0


8 432,1


Revenue passenger kilometres mill

1 636,0


6 258,5


Passenger load factor %


7,9 p


6,0 p











Passengers 1000



1 388,3


Available seat kilometres mill



2 740,1


Revenue passenger kilometres mill



1 969,8


Passenger load factor %


10,6 p


9,7 p






North Atlantic





Passengers 1000





Available seat kilometres mill





Revenue passenger kilometres mill





Passenger load factor %


4,9 p


4,9 p











Passengers 1000





Available seat kilometres mill

1 177,4


4 766,9


Revenue passenger kilometres mill



3 626,6


Passenger load factor %


5,6 p


3,1 p











Passengers 1000





Available seat kilometres mill





Revenue passenger kilometres mill





Passenger load factor %


12,5 p


11,0 p






Leisure Traffic





Passengers 1000





Available seat kilometres mill



1 572,4


Revenue passenger kilometres mill



1 370,1


Passenger load factor %


-0,3 p


-2,3 p






Cargo Traffic





Cargo scheduled traffic total tonnes

9 800,3


37 303,9


Europe tonnes

1 671,9


6 659,7


North Atlantic tonnes



2 562,4


Asia tonnes

7 248,5


27 343,4


Domestic tonnes





Cargo leisure traffic tonnes





Cargo flights tonnes

2 233,4


12 532,9


Cargo tonnes total

12 054,8


49 947,2


Available tonne kilometres* mill





Revenue tonne kilometres mill





Cargo load factor* %


6,9 p


2,1 p

- North-Atlantic cargo load factor* %


-4,1 p


-2,8 p

- Asia cargo load factor* %


6,9 p


3,1 p

* Operational calculatory capacity

Change %: Change compared to the figures of the respective periods in the previous year
(p = percentage points)

Available seat kilometres, ASK: Total number of seats available, multiplied by the number of kilometres flown

Revenue passenger kilometres, RPK: Number of revenue passengers carried, multiplied by kilometres flown

Passenger load factor: Share of revenue passenger kilometres of available seat kilometres
Available tonne kilometres, ATK: Number of tonnes of capacity for carriage of passengers, cargo and mail, multiplied by kilometres flown

Revenue tonne kilometres, RTK: Total revenue load consisting of passengers, cargo and mail, multiplied by kilometres flown

Overall load factor: Share of revenue tonne kilometres of available tonne kilometres

Source Finnair Plc


IRU awards Abdelilah Hifdi, Secretary General, AMTRI and President, FT CGEM, the IRU Order of Merit for his contribution to the development of the Moroccan road transport industry.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has awarded the distinguished IRU Order of Merit to Mr Abdelilah Hifdi, Secretary General, AMTRI and President, FT CGEM, for dedicating his career to the development of the road transport industry at national and international level in Morocco.  Thanks to his continuous support for the work of the IRU, Morocco is one of the only African countries using the TIR System with all of the IRU risk management tools such as the IRU TIR-EPD and Real-Time SafeTIR (RTS).

In 1996, he worked hand in hand with the IRU Secretariat General and the road transport associations in the Maghreb to set up the first committee representing the interests of the Western Mediterranean region, MEDOC.  It is through this cooperation that the IRU was able, with his full support, to successfully organise the 26th IRU World Congress in Marrakesh in 1998.  

Mr Hifdi collaborated most recently with the port authorities of the new port of Tangiers-Med and the highest Moroccan authorities to successfully bring together 22 Ministers and road transport associations of North-West Africa to conclude a Resolution asking the IRU to set up a Regional Committee for Africa and to obtain approval of the IRU Rules of Procedure, budget and working programme from all participants.  In addition, the office for the IRU Permanent Delegation to Africa has also been able to operate efficiently thanks to Mr Hifdi’s contribution.

His dedication has always been instrumental in the successful work of the IRU to promote and further facilitate trade and international road transport in the region so that future generations can benefit from the IRU motto, “Working together for a better future”.


THE recovery of Baltic Dry Index (BDI) back to 1,000 points has brought back the confidence of a depressed global shipping industry, prompting it to impose another round of rate increases, reports Xinhua.

But this is considered as difficult option by experts in the industry, says Xinhua. In early February, the BDI slid to historic lows of 647 points, but has since recovered steadily and has come back to 1,000 points in late April. This is because of a rise in demand stimulated by the surge of grain export from South America, which has caused shortage of capacity on Atlantic lines.

After two rounds of rate increases in March and April, some carriers plans to launch another round in May. Cosco plans to levy a surcharge of US$400 per TEU on oversize cargo from Far East to South Africa since May 1. OOCL announced a rate increase of $200 for cargo from northern Europe to Asia.

The Shanghai Shipping Exchange reports that the market is taking an wait-and-see attitude towards the rate increases in May, as the previous two rounds in March and April have raised the rates on European lines to a high level.

According to Clarkson Shipping Intelligence, there will be about 20 new ships coming into service in May, suppressing the further increases in rates. In addition, it has yet to be determined whether shippers will accept a new round of rate hikes.

But concerns of further increases in May has resulted in a recent peak in the Chinese container shipping market with a rush of cargo to the docks before they are imposed with some roads connecting ports experiencing unseasonal congestion.

Continuous rate increases has pushed the rate of shipments from Shanghai to Europe from $500 to $1,700 per TEU, higher than the balance point of $1,300. This means the carriers' revenue will possibly be substantially improved, says Xinhua.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG-listed SITC International Holdings, one of China's largest non-government controlled shipping and logistics companies, has posted a 46 per cent first quarter net profit decline year on year to US$13.5 million, drawn on revenues of $288 million, up 19 per cent.

Rising costs were blamed for the profit slump while the robust revenue increase was attributed to the growth of the intra-Asia business.

SITC's first quarter cargo throughput increased 17 per cent to 406,857 TEU year on year with its forwarding arm accounting for 336,684 TEU of the total.

But costs increased related to SICT's expansion of its land-based logistics business with higher high bunker and vessel charter costs also contributing to the decline in profits.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Singapore-managed 75,678-dwt BW Rhine, loaded with petrol, has been taken by pirates while at anchor off Lome, Togo, reports the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

IMB director Potengal Mukundan told Agence France Presse that warships from neighbouring countries have been alerted and are searching for the ship, which has 24 crew members and was reported missing last week.

The status of the tanker was not known, said Nick Fell, Singapore-based lawyer for BW Maritime, reports Bloomberg. The last contact the company had with the ship's crew was on April 30, he said.

The vessel carried refined fuel oil when hijacked. BW Maritime said that the company had been working with local navies to locate the ship and had sailed to West Africa from Ventspils, Latvia.

Meanwhile, Capt Mukundan, who was in Kuala Lumpur for a series of meetings with industry and government players, said in similar cases the pirates would transfer the petrol to other ships and for re-sale.

"Here we have criminal gangs whose main purpose is to steal multi-million cargo, which is gasoline, as it has a ready market. It is very easy to dispose of it. There has been an underground trade in the Gulf of Guinea for decades," he told AFP.

Capt Mukundan said in 2012, there had been 19 attacks off the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, with two vessels hijacked. Some 42 crew have been taken hostage, two crewmembers killed and two kidnapped by pirates.

He warned the safety of seafarers continue to be threatened by pirates and urged vessel masters and owners to alert IMB of any incidents and of suspicious vessels.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SINGAPORE's manufacturing fell 3.4 per cent in March from a year earlier, according to data published by the Economic Development Board (EDB).

But compared with the previous month, manufacturing output grew 2.7 per cent in March after adjusting for seasonal variations. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output increased 2.9 per cent during the same period. Manufacturing output for the first three months of 2012 fell one per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

On a year on year basis, output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster fell 3.3 per cent in March. The medical technology segment expanded 14.2 per cent, while the pharmaceuticals segment contracted 6.3 per cent, mainly due to a different production mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients. On a year to date basis, output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster was 18.4 per cent higher compared to the same period a year ago.

The transport engineering cluster's output expanded 20.8 per cent year on year in March 2012. The aerospace segment grew 23.2 per cent on the back of strong demand for maintenance and repair jobs from commercial airlines. The marine and offshore engineering segment's output grew 22.1 per cent with increased activities in rig building, ship conversion as well as higher production of oil field equipment. Output of the transport engineering cluster increased 19.7 per cent in the first three months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

Output of the general manufacturing cluster in March grew 4.1 per cent year on year, while the precision engineering cluster contracted marginally by 0.3 per cent during the same period. The chemicals cluster fell 4.7 per cent compared to March 2011, and the electronics cluster was 15.9 per cent lower in March 2012 compared to a year ago.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DURING the first three months of this year, southwestern China's Chongqing city recorded a bonded logistics trade cargo value of US$1.49 billion, an upsurge of 313.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2011, Xinhua reports.

Imported cargo accounted for a major part of the above total, totalling $1.46 billion in value.

Since commencement of operation in August 2010, Chongqing Bonded Port Area has handled 330,000 TEU of containerised foreign trade cargo, valued at $12.13 billion, contributing CNY7.16 billion (US$1.13 billion) to the tariff.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MANZHOULI, China's biggest overland checkpoint bordering Russia, moved 6.67 million tonnes of import and export cargo in the first quarter, up 16.6 per cent year on year, reports Xinhua.

The import cargo grew 14 per cent to 4.19 million tonnes, while exports increased 17.4 per cent to 613,000 tonnes, and the re-exports went up 34.1 per cent to 1.87 million tonnes.

Import cargo was mainly mineral powder, chemical fertiliser, coal and lumber, while the export cargo focused on fruit and vegetable, light industrial products, minerals and building materials.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MALAYSIA's Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman Teh Kim Poo has resolved problems involving truckers and off-dock container depot operators after a three-day strike, reports the New Straits Times.

Truckers were protesting delays and the doubling of gate charges. Drivers claim earnings are being reduced because three and four hour waits limit them to one or two depot trips a day.

Said the PKA's Mr Teh Kim Poo: "After two days of negotiations, we are pleased to announce that a memorandum of understanding has been reached between the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) and the Container Depot Operators, which will resolve the grouses faced by the drivers.

"The terms and conditions of the MoU include the depot operators agree to give credit terms to hauliers and the details of the agreement will be dealt with individual hauliers and that they shall take all steps with AMH to achieve the target of maximum one hour to service each driver," he said.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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