THE International Air Transport Association's (IATA) 2012 Operations Committee (OPC) has agreed to four priorities, including pilot and engineering training.

IATA said in a statement that accommodating the growth in demand for air connectivity with trained pilots and engineers is a priority. It will facilitate this with the IATA Training and Qualification Initiative (ITQI), which moves into its implementation stage.

The focus will be on working with the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) and regulators to shift to a competency-based approach to training for pilots and engineers.

"Safety remains the top priority. We have a full agenda to make an already safe industry even safer. Industry and governments have always cooperated to achieve our common goals based on global standards and harmonisation. The need to take those even further in the areas of training, ground safety, and auditing will be our priority over the coming year," said Guenther Matschnigg, IATA's senior vice president for safety, operations and infrastructure.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

The state airline "Tajik air" starts to perform regular flights Khujand-Kulob-Kurgan-Tube-Khujand, which will connect the north and south of the Republic, on Tuesday, reported the press service of the company.

"The flights will be operated once a week, on Tuesdays, on a plane MA-60," said a statement.

The cost of a ticket from Khujand to the two southern cities (Kulob and Kurgan-Tube) is the same - $ 60.

The share of "Tajik air" in a total volume of air traffic in 2011 amounted to 29.6%. 470 thousand 600 people, which is 5.3% lower than in 2010, used the services of the company.

Performance of "Tajik air", which is 100% state-owned, was falling due to lack of service, cancellation of scheduled flights and delayed flights. As a result, passengers began to trust less, and even a statement on the acquisition of new aircraft does not help the company.

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

May 1, 2012 (Seattle, WA) — The Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin (Thunnus albacares) and skipjack (Katsuwonus pelamis) tuna fishery has been awarded MSC certification. The fishery, which operates in the Mexican Exclusive Economic Zone off the west coast of Baja California, was certified following independent assessment to the MSC standard for sustainable, well-managed fisheries. Products from the fishery will now be eligible to bear the blue MSC ecolabel. This is the first MSC certified yellowfin tuna fishery in the world.

About the fishery

The client for this fishery is Productos Pesqueros de Matancitas S.A. de C.V. (PPM). The certificate covers two vessels (Molly N and Westerly) currently owned by PPM, with the possibility of extension to other pole and line vessels licensed to fish yellowfin and skipjack tuna in the area. The fishery is managed by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) under the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) of the government of Mexico and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).

The fishery operates year round with most fishing taking place between late April and late December. Landings by the two client vessels have fluctuated over the years and in 2009 were 379 metric tonnes. The catch of yellowfin and skipjack tuna is canned at the client’s processing facility in Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, also known as Matancitas, and currently marketed in Mexico.

What the fishery says

Salvador Montes, director of Productos Pesqueros de Matancitas, said: “We hope to take full advantage of the benefits resulting from this certification, which will allow us to enter into selected markets that demand products originating from sustainable sources and fishing practices. Through the client action plan certain improvement actions were specified and we are committed to following through on these. We hope to prove that it is possible to conduct business within a framework that respects the environment and its natural resources while allowing for rational and equitable utilization, so that these resources will endure for future generations.”

What CONAPESCA says

"With great joy, I am pleased to announce that now, due to the rewarding of the MSC certification, the Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery meets the highest international standards. The importance that the MSC certification has in the market will give consumers the confidence that these species have been caught through the optimum sustainable management for the fishery," said Ramón Corral Ávila, National Commissioner for Aquaculture and Fisheries in Mexico.

What MSC says

“The Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery is the third Mexican fishery to become MSC certified and I congratulate the fishery on this accomplishment,” said Kerry Coughlin, regional director for MSC Americas. “The commitment of this and other fisheries in Mexico to environmental sustainability is important. This newly certified tuna fishery will no doubt be rewarded for its efforts given the high demand in world markets today for tuna that has met the MSC standard.”

About the certifier

Intertek Moody Marine, an independently accredited certifier, was the certifier for this assessment. During the assessment, the three principles of the MSC standard were evaluated in detail: the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the management system overseeing the fishery. More information about the Mexico Baja California pole and line yellowfin and skipjack tuna fishery and the complete Public Certification Report detailing the fishery’s passing scores against the MSC standard can be found on MSC’s web site at www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified.

About the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organization set up to help transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. The MSC runs the only certification and ecolabeling program for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization Guidelines for the Eco-labeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. These guidelines are based upon the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and require that credible fishery certification and ecolabeling schemes include:

·         Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilizing scientific evidence;

·         Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;

·         Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.

The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Glasgow, Berlin, Cape Town, Paris, Madrid and Stockholm.

In total, over 270 fisheries are engaged in the MSC program with 154 certified and 122 under full assessment. Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment. Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to nine million metric tonnes of seafood. This represents over 10 percent of the annual global harvest of wild capture fisheries. Certified fisheries currently land over six million metric tonnes of seafood annually – close to seven percent of the total harvest from wild capture fisheries. Worldwide, more than 14,000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.

Source MSC

Saudi Arabia and Iraq are emerging as major new markets for Jordan’s Red Sea port, which saw overall volume growth of 16.5% and transit cargo growth of 63% in 2011.

Aqaba, Jordan- A delegation from the Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) in conjunction with the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), representing Jordan’s Port of Aqaba, the second-largest container port on the Red Sea, is actively seeking to build ties with the Iraqi business community in order to promote Aqaba as the preferred gateway for goods on their way to Jordan’s eastern neighbor.

“Our port facility in Aqaba is the smartest, safest way to get goods in and out of Iraq” stated ACT’s Vice President of Operations Amin Kawar.

While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast a 4.2% economic growth rate for the Middle East and North Africa in 2012 overall, the Iraqi economy has been projected to expand by 11.1% this year and by 13.5% in 2013 with a commensurately increasing need for access to cargo transportation services and infrastructure.

At a Mideast trade conference, ACT’s Chief Executive Officer Soren Hansen also emphasized the advantages provided to shippers by Aqaba, describing Jordan’s only port as “an efficient, cost-effective option for businesses moving cargo throughout the Levant”.  The Kingdom of Jordan, bordered by Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, has 26 km (16 miles) of coastline at the northern tip of the Red Sea, on the Gulf of Aqaba. Slightly smaller than Portugal in area, Jordan has a population of 6.5 million, and a 2011 GDP of $28.4 billion USD. ACT’s container volume surged by 16.2% in 2011 to 705,000 TEUs.

“Our growth at ACT is heavily driven by the trade to and from neighboring counties, including Iraq” said Hansen.

In 2011, transit cargo handled at ACT increased by 63% to over 100,000 TEUs as a $235 million USD major terminal expansion project nears completion. Improvements include a 14.5 meter depth alongside, and a 460 meter doubling of the quay, which will increase annual container throughout capacity to a projected 2 million TEUs when fully completed and equipped next year. A 550 km (340 mile) rail link from Aqaba to the Iraqi border town of Traibil, which would provide connections to the planned domestic Iraqi rail network, was approved by the Jordanian government in August 2011.

“We are seeing more and more businesses in Iraq and Saudi Arabia now viewing Aqaba as a long-term, sustainable element in their supply chain”, noted Hansen.

ACT is a joint venture between the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) and APM Terminals, operating under a 25-year build-operate-transfer agreement signed in 2006.

Source APM Terminals

BP today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2012. Underlying replacement cost profit, adjusted for non-operating items and fair value accounting effects, was $4.8 billion for the quarter, compared to $5.0 billion in the previous quarter.

The quarter result was impacted adversely by a $541 million consolidation adjustment in respect of unrealised profits in inventory held within the downstream business (see notes).

The company also said that it is making good progress towards the operational milestones that it expects to meet in 2012  advancing the development of major new projects, continuing to gain promising new exploration access, and continuing its $38 billion divestment programme.

Group chief executive Bob Dudley said: We have made a good start against our strategic priorities for 2012. During the quarter we gained access to significant new deepwater and US shale exploration acreage, our ongoing divestment programme has reached $23 billion, and we have five deepwater rigs at work in the Gulf of Mexico. This operational progress will underpin the financial momentum we expect to come through as we move into 2013 and 2014.

Operating cash flow for the quarter was $3.4 billion, compared to $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2011. The net cash outflow relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was $1.2 billion for the quarter compared to $2.8 billion a year earlier. The quarter cash flow was adversely affected by an increase of around $3 billion in net working capital as inventory levels and prices increased. At the end of the quarter, gearing was 20.7 per cent and BP held just over $14 billion in cash. The company today announced a dividend of 8c per share for the first quarter of 2012.

Underlying replacement cost profit in the upstream improved compared to the previous quarter, due to the better environment, a higher contribution from gas marketing and trading and lower costs.

BP reported oil and gas production, excluding TNK-BP, in the first quarter of 2.45 million barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d). Reported production in the second quarter is expected to be lower, affected by the normal seasonal increase in turnaround activity. TNK-BP production was 1.02 million boe/d net to BP and in the quarter BP received a cash dividend from TNK-BP of $690 million.

Despite a challenging external environment, all three downstream businesses ā€“ fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals delivered higher underlying replacement cost profits than in the previous quarter.

Strategic progress

BP continues to make progress against its strategic 10-point plan to grow value for shareholders over the next three years

It has now announced divestments totalling approximately $23 billion since the beginning of 2010. BP completed the $1.2 billion sale of gas assets in Kansas in March, the $1.7 billion sale of its Canadian natural gas liquids business in April and agreed in March to sell its Southern North Sea gas assets to Perenco for $400 million. It continues to make progress with the divestments of two of its US refineries and associated marketing assets.

BP today also announced that, as it continues to focus its businesses worldwide around major assets and future growth opportunities, it is marketing for sale its interests in certain non-strategic assets in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Marlin, Horn Mountain, Holstein, Ram Powell and Diana Hoover fields.

Reflecting its increased focus on exploration, BP has added significantly to its interests in promising South Atlantic equatorial margin plays during the quarter, farming-in to four exploration concessions with Petrobras in Brazil, deepening its interests offshore Namibia, and being awarded three new blocks offshore Uruguay. BP also gained access to the promising potentially liquids-rich Utica shale formations in Ohio.

BP remains on track to start up six new major upstream projects in 2012 with Clochas-Mavacola in Angola and Galapagos in the Gulf of Mexico expected to start in the second quarter. BP continues to progress plans for the Mad Dog Phase II project in the Gulf of Mexico; the final investment decision for the project is expected in 2013. Five deepwater rigs are operational on BP-operated fields in the Gulf of Mexico; two undertaking appraisal, two undertaking production activity and one plugging and abandoning a well. BP expects to have eight rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico before the end of the year.

In the downstream, construction of the Whiting refinery project is over 60 per cent complete and remains on track for start-up in the second half of 2013.

US progress

During the quarter, BP made payments of $1.5 billion to the $20 billion Trust, including $250 million following settlement with Cameron. At the end of the quarter, BP had made payments into the Trust totalling $16.6 billion and expects its payments to end in the fourth quarter of this year, a year earlier than initially anticipated.

At the end of the first quarter, BP had paid a total of $8.3 billion in individual, business and government entity claims, advances and other payments. On 18 April, BP announced it had, subject to court approval, reached definitive and fully-documented agreements with the Plaintiffs Steering Committee to resolve the substantial majority of eligible private economic loss and medical claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill.

The cost of the proposed settlement is expected to be around $7.8 billion, to be paid from the Trust. While BP has sought to reliably estimate the cost of the settlement agreements, it is possible that the actual cost could be higher or lower than this estimate, depending on the outcomes of the court-supervised processes. The estimated cost of the settlement is not expected to result in any increase to the total charge taken in respect of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which remains at $37.2 billion at the end of the first quarter.

Source BP p.l.c.

The Shanghai Railway Bureau and China Eastern Airlines have launched an “air-railway traffic” joint ticket. According to the partners, the price of a combined ticket will be lower than the total price of the railway and air tickets.

china-eastern-airlinesCompanies signed an agreement on 12 April 2012 to provide intermodal travel offer among four cities – Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Ningbo, and two airports - Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport. In the second stage of the partnership there are plans to introduce intermodal travel on high speed railways and China Eastern Airlines' flights in Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces and Shanghai.

Passengers can purchase the combined ticket via airline’s hotline or via global ticket selling network. Passengers can also book their air-rail ticket at the Suzhou Railway Station, Wuxi Railway Station, Changzhou Railway Station, Ningbo East Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, as well as Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports.

Air Rail News Ltd

DANISH shipping giant Maersk Line has announced a series of general rate increases (GRI) on a number of trade lanes from May as a means to restore profitability.

From May 1, the world's largest carrier said it will increase the rates of its southeast Asia-Australia service by US$500 per TEU and $1,000 per FEU.

Starting May 15, Maersk will impose GRIs on the following trade lanes. Rates for service from the Far East to India and Pakistan will increase by $150 per TEU and $300 per FEU and 45-foot high cube box.

Also effective May 15, rates for services from the US to Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), the Middle East and Red Sea region will increase $100 per all types of containers.

On the same date, rates for dry cargo shipments from Far East to central America and the Caribbean will increase by $560 per TEU and $800 per FEU and high cube container.

Effective May 16, rates for dry cargo shipment from Far East to east Africa will raise $200 per TEU.

Also, with effect from May 17, rates for cargo from the US to Sri Lanka will increase by $100 per all types of container.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) increased by US$9.4 overall to $1,426 per TEU, but the Asia-European trade rate fell to $36 to $1,747 per TEU as the Med trade lane route fell $15 to $1,747.

Rates out of China to the US west and east coasts accounted for most of the general increase in the SCFI, as the April rate hikes took hold on the transpacific.

Spot rates from Shanghai to the US west coast jumped $130 to $2,415 per FEU while rates to the east coast increased $40 to $3,556.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHINA COSCO Holdings tripled its first quarter loss of CNY2.7 billion (US$423 million) compared to the CNY502 million Asia's biggest shipping company lost in the same period last year.

In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange, the company said revenues fell 4.5 per cent as the container freight rates sunk below profitable levels.

"For the first quarter, shipping volume of the container shipping business of the group reached 1,748,677 TEU, representing an increase of 19 per cent over the same period last year, and total revenue of the container shipping business and the total revenue of the container shipping business increased by two per cent to CNY8.4 billion."

Container shipping volumes were up 19 per cent overall. To China, volumes increased 24 per cent to 366,215 TEU. In the transpacific, box throughput was up 21.1 per cent to 337,961 TEU, and in Asia-Europe, up 21.3 per cent to 328,588 TEU. Volumes also increased 9.3 per cent to 378,668 TEU in Cosco's intra-Asia trade. Other international box shipping, including the transatlantic trade, was up 36.8 per cent to 51,618 TEU

Container revenues did not do as well: 8.9 per cent up to CNY2.8 billion in the transpacific trade, 9.8 per cent down to CNY2.4 billion on the Asia-Europe trade and 2.9 per cent down on Intra Asia to CNY378,668.

Cosco operates a fleet of 159 containerships with a capacity of 693,627 TEU. The company has 30 containerships on order with a combined capacity of 217,984 TEU

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHINA Shipping Container Lines widened its first quarter year-on-year loss tenfold to CNY1.5 billion (US$229 million), compared with the CNY146.1 million the country's second biggest carrier lost last year.

First quarter revenue fell 1.1 per cent to CNY6.4 billion year on year while operating costs increased 15 per cent to CYN7.7 billion, the company revealed in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

 

JAPAN's third largest carrier "K" Line has announced its fiscal year 2011 results ending March 31, 2012 suffering a net loss of US$503 million against $380 million profit in 2010 due to considerable loss recorded in its container shipping business.

The world's 14th carrier experienced an operating loss of $494 million drawn on 1.3 per cent decrease in operating revenues to $11.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. Earlier, "K" Line had reported a $173 million operating loss for the last quarter of 2011 from January to March.

In container shipping, "K" Line lost $520 million against a profit of $360 million in fiscal 2010. Container revenues fell 11 per cent to $4.9 million from $5.5 billion in the previous year.

The carrier said the heavy loss was the result of "weak market conditions, a strong yen and high fuel oil prices." Last fiscal year saw the Japanese economy recover from the downturn caused by March earthquake and tsunami, but the persistent appreciation of the yen and the floods in Thailand caused a further slowdown.

It said the container market was soft and "sluggish" last year due to declining cargo shipments in the US and Europe and an increase in container capacity.

"K" Line said uncertainty remains, but the upside is that demand is expected to increase. So it expected earnings to see a "substantial improvement" this fiscal year, attributable to recent freight rate increases, cost-cutting and slow-steaming.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


MELBOURNE container terminals will be expanded to accommodate expected trade growth, announced by Victoria state Premier Ted Baillieu.

The project involves the construction of a new container terminal at Webb Dock and the improvement and modernisation of infrastructure and facilities at Melbourne's existing container terminals on the Swanson Dock under the A$1.2 billion (US$1.24 billion) redevelopment plan.

In its 2010-11 fiscal year, Melbourne handled a record 2.5 million TEU. Premier Bailleu said the work was needed to ensure that the port was able to upgrade efficiency as a gateway port.

"With container movements in and out of Melbourne increasing in excess of six per cent every year and tipped to reach eight million TEU by 2035, this announcement is an important part of the coalition government's plan to provide the infrastructure required to meet demand," the premier said.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SPAIN's Port of Barcelona has posted an operating profit of EUR60 million (US$79.5 million), drawn on revenues of EUR158 million, down six per cent on the previous year.

Container throughput increased four per cent to more than two million TEU and overall cargo volume came in at 44.2 million tonnes, up 0.4 per cent.

Exports rose 14 per cent to 511,096 TEU, with China, the UAE and Turkey, the principal destinations for increasing volumes of goods manufactured in Barcelona's hinterland.

In the automotive sector the terminal handled more than 630,000 cars, an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year, with more than half being exported.

Last year, the port invested EUR105.4 million, mainly on new infrastructure, such as the construction of Prat Wharf, the South Quay enlargement and the new border inspection post, as well as repairing and improving breakwaters and quays.

In 2012, the port expects to invest EUR193 million on infrastructure and initiatives to boost the domestic market, reported London's International Freighting Weekly. "We are creating a major port that will generate employment and become the driving force of Catalonia's economy," said port president Sixte Cambra.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GREEK Costamare Inc has announced that it will scrap two 1984-built ships and purchase two 1998-built vessels as replacements for their charters.

Costamare will purchase the 1998-built, 3,842-TEU Bunga Raya Dua (to be renamed Koroni) and the 1998-built, 3,842-TEU Bunga Raya Satu (to be renamed Kyparissia) and scrap the 1984-built, 2,922-TEU Gifted and the 1984-built, 2,922-TEU Genius I, reports World Maritime News.

The total acquisition cost for the two vessels is US$24.9 million and will be partly funded with debt drawn from a currently committed and undrawn credit facility. The total sale price for the Gifted and Genius I is $12.3 million.

The newly acquired vessels are expected to be delivered in May. At the same time, the Costamare has agreed to extend these two charters for 18 months, from November at an average daily rate of $11,150.

"We continue to deliver on our fleet renewal programme by taking advantage of attractive steel prices and second-hand, charter-free ship values," said Costamare chief financial officer Gregory Zikos.

"With an incremental cost of only $6.3 million per vessel, we are extending the useful life of older assets by substituting them for vessels that are 14 years younger, larger and with better specifications. The transaction enhances our earnings potential and re-chartering upside. We expect to realise book gains of $4.4 million in aggregate from the above disposals."

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

Costamare scaps 2 old container vessels and buys 2 newer, bigger vessels

GREEK Costamare Inc has announced that it will scrap two 1984-built ships and purchase two 1998-built vessels as replacements for their charters.

Costamare will purchase the 1998-built, 3,842-TEU Bunga Raya Dua (to be renamed Koroni) and the 1998-built, 3,842-TEU Bunga Raya Satu (to be renamed Kyparissia) and scrap the 1984-built, 2,922-TEU Gifted and the 1984-built, 2,922-TEU Genius I, reports World Maritime News.

The total acquisition cost for the two vessels is US$24.9 million and will be partly funded with debt drawn from a currently committed and undrawn credit facility. The total sale price for the Gifted and Genius I is $12.3 million.

The newly acquired vessels are expected to be delivered in May. At the same time, the Costamare has agreed to extend these two charters for 18 months, from November at an average daily rate of $11,150.

"We continue to deliver on our fleet renewal programme by taking advantage of attractive steel prices and second-hand, charter-free ship values," said Costamare chief financial officer Gregory Zikos.

"With an incremental cost of only $6.3 million per vessel, we are extending the useful life of older assets by substituting them for vessels that are 14 years younger, larger and with better specifications. The transaction enhances our earnings potential and re-chartering upside. We expect to realise book gains of $4.4 million in aggregate from the above disposals."


THE UAE's Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) has posted 10 per cent growth in first quarter container volume year on year to 177,147 TEU due to continued growth in overall cargo and passenger handling Mina Zayed port, reports Emirates News Agency.

General and bulk cargo volume increased 16 per cent to 1,452,630 tons with ro-ro rising 20 per cent to 18,770 vehicles. Cruise volume was up eight per cent to 107,273 passengers.

"It is rewarding to see the continued growth in cargo handling in Abu Dhabi. This is a good indication that Abu Dhabi's population and economy are developing favourably and that the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is on track," said ADT chief executive Martijn Van de Linde.

"The growth also reaffirms that the decision to develop the new container terminal at Khalifa Port was right, and we are excited about opening the region's first semi-automated facility in the fourth quarter of this year," Mr Van de Linde said.

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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