IRU General Assembly today awarded the distinction of IRU Honorary Member to Mr Klaus Schröder for his long-standing contribution to IRU’s activities and achievements.

Geneva – The International Road Transport Union (IRU) today paid tribute to Mr Klaus Schröder (AIST, Germany), by appointing him Honorary Member of the IRU at its General Assembly, for his successful leadership of his association – Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Förderung und Entwicklung des Internationalen Strassenverkehrs (AIST) e.V, representing the former East Germany – through the many challenges facing the industry following German reunification in 1990.

IRU President, Janusz Lacny, said, “the IRU Presidential Executive and all the IRU Members recognise all that he has done for the IRU, its national Member Associations and their members, the transport operators. We sincerely thank Mr Schröder for the contribution he has made to national and international road transport throughout his career and for his commitment to the work of the IRU over more than two decades.”

Appointed Vice President of the IRU Commission on Customs Affairs (CAD) in 1992, Klaus Schröder subsequently became CAD President in 1996 – a post which he held for 12 years.

Mr Schröder led the CAD at a time when the events and challenges affecting the road transport industry in general, and the TIR System in particular, were tremendous. 

Those who took part in the CAD will recall his dynamic and indefatigable leadership and his unfailing defence of the IRU and the TIR System.

Source IRU Communications

IRU awards Theodor Kaplan, KAZATO Secretary General, the IRU Order of Merit for 55 years of outstanding service to the road transport industry.

Geneva - The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is pleased to announce that it has awarded the IRU Order of Merit to the Secretary General of its Kazakh Member Association, The Union of International Road Carriers of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KAZATO), Theodor Kaplan, in recognition of his major contribution to the development of national and international road transport in Kazakhstan, the CIS region and beyond.

This year, Theodor Kaplan celebrates 55 years of loyal service to the road transport industry.  After his economic and legal studies devoted to the transport sector, he worked for several years as a senior manager before being appointed Deputy Minister of Road Transport of Kazakhstan, a post which he held for more than 25 years.  In this function, he actively participated in the establishment of the national road transport association, KAZATO, in 1994 and was subsequently appointed Secretary General of the association in October 1998.

Presenting the IRU Order of Merit, IRU President, Janusz Lacny, said, “Thanks to your vision, thanks to your understanding of the difficulties faced by the road transport industry and thanks to your managerial talents, under your leadership, KAZATO membership has steadily increased and currently represents more than 250 companies for a total fleet of over 5,000 trucks. True to the industry’s commitment to excellence, you have also established a professional training centre in Kazakhstan where, to date, more than 2,000 drivers have been trained. We are proud to present your achievements as an example to follow by all professionals in our industry.”

Mr Kaplan was instrumental in the introduction of SafeTIR in Kazakhstan and, under his leadership, road transport operations under the TIR System have increased 33 times over since 1996.

He has always played an active role in promoting the work of the IRU in his region, in particular through the initiation, jointly with the IRU, of the Beijing-Brussels truck caravan in 2005 and the successful organisation of the 5th IRU Euro-Asian Road Transport Conference in Almaty in 2009.  
Thanks to his continued efforts in favour of the profession and his major contribution to the development of national and international road transport, Mr Kaplan is considered by his peers to be one of the top road transport professionals in the CIS region.

Source IRU Communications

The IRU awards prestigious IRU “Top Road Transport Manager” to 59 managers from 17 countries worldwide, for their promotion of safe, secure, environmentally friendly and efficient road transport through their professional experience and managerial achievements.

Geneva – IRU General Assembly today awarded the IRU “Top Road Transport Manager” to 59 managers from 17 countries.

This new award was created in 2011 to honour top managers of road transport companies, engaged in the national or international transport of goods or passengers by road, including taxi companies, whose managerial achievements focus on solutions that improve environmental protection, road safety and productivity.

Qualifying as an award nominee requires much more than a person’s ability to improve the company’s growth. An excellent manager constantly seeks to improve the high quality and sustainability of transport services the company provides by embracing, supporting and enacting a set of core values in moral qualities and labour standards as well as innovative solutions to improve environmental protection, road safety and productivity, and by developing drivers’ skills according to national and international road transport standards and best practices.

Managers must also hold the appropriate CPC Manager Diploma and should actively promote vocational training for themselves and their staff, such as the activities of the IRU Academy’s Accredited Training Institutes, to ensure that the road transport industry and its employees are in tune with the latest legislative and practical developments impacting the sector.

IRU President, Janusz Lacny, stated: “This distinction confirms the wide professional experience, moral qualities and specific achievements of all nominees, as well as the IRU’s position that excellence in road transport can only be achieved through the proper vocational training of managers and staff. This ‘IRU Top Manager Award’ will ensure appropriate international recognition of exemplary top road transport managers who have been successfully active at the management level in the road transport industry and have demonstrated outstanding professional experience and a high level of know-how, while improving the image of the road transport industry.”

This year’s recipients come from the following countries: Bulgaria (1), Moldova (3), Ukraine (2), Russia (10), Spain (3), Belarus (3), Czech Republic (8), Estonia (4), Belgium (1), Morocco (4), Kazakhstan (2), Kyrgyzstan (2), Latvia (2), Romania (2), United Kingdom (2), Turkey (9), Poland (1).

Source IRU Communications

President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambaev on Thursday met with the delegation of the Toyota Motor Corporation led by its General Manager for Europe Mashato Hota, the president's press service said.

Opening of the dealer center of the Toyota Motor in Kyrgyzstan was discussed at the meeting.

Kyrgyzstan is interested in a broader presence of the Japanese business in Kyrgyzstan, attraction of its capital in transport, mining, processing industry, energy, tourism and agricultural sectors.

The official dealer center of the Toyota Motor will open today in Bishkek.

Central Asian News Service,

JAPAN's biggest carrier, MOL, has posted a fiscal 2011 annual net loss of JPY26 billion (US$316 million), drawn on revenues of JPY1.4 trillion, down seven per cent year on year.

For container shipping, the net loss from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012 was JPY29.9 billion, drawn on the revenues of JPY544.1 billion.

"A considerable loss was recorded for the containership business, compounded by a strong yen and the high bunker prices," said the company statement accompanying the results.

The carrier also said throughput was weaker than expected and freight rates were low, which reflected not only the "slowdown in cargo volume but also an easing in the supply and demand environment caused by increased capacity from new vessel deliveries".

For individual trade lanes, the volume on dominant east-west run was weak due to European debt crisis. Although intra-Asia remained stable, the north-south trade was weak.

In response, MOL expanded lifting by making effective use of space on all its main services worldwide. The carrier said it improved service quality on the east-west trade. And on the Asia-North America trade, MOL upgraded the Panama/Amazon service (CX1) to independent operations to offer more space and enhance the operation quality.

On the Asia-Europe trade, MOL joined APL, Happing-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, NYK and OOCL to form the G6 alliance. And on the north-south route's Asia-South America east coast service (CSW), the carrier applied super-slow steaming to introduce additional vessels.

On the intra-Asia route, it opened a HS3 service linking Japan, Hong Kong Jakarta and Straits, and a NCX service connecting India's west coast with China.

"In addition, we established a service linking Singapore with Yangon (SYX) to secure our independent network in Myanmar, where economic growth is expected to occur."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

TRANSPORT Ministry spokesman He Jonahing predicts a sector growth slowdown to happen in the first half of the year, Xinhua reports.

Transport Ministry statistics show China's first quarter road cargo movement increased 13.6 per cent to 7.05 billion tonnes, 0.9 per cent slower year on year. Volume increased 14.9 per cent to 1,261 billion tonnes per kilometre - much the same as last year.

Waterway cargo traffic grew 8.5 per cent to 1.01 billion tonnes. The increase is 5.7 per cent slower. Again volume increased 11.3 per cent to 1.8 billion tonnes per kilometre, but 2.8 per cent slower growth than last year.

Chinese lifted 2.24 billion tonnes of cargo, up 6.5 per cent, but showing 8.9 per cent slower growth than last year's first quarter. Foreign trade cargo throughput climbed 12.6 per cent to 730 million tonnes. Container throughput grew 8.4 per cent to 39.58 million TEU.

Mr He expects an increase of three per cent in the world's dry bulk cargo demand this year, but capacity will outgrow demand with an increase of 12 per cent. Carriers will continue to experience reduced demand, rising costs, falling rates, widening losses, fiercer competition and heavier pressure.

In the first three months, China's road and waterway traffic fixed assets investment dropped 7.7 per cent to CNY185.4 billion (US$29.4 billion).

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG's imports declined 4.7 per cent while exports fell 6.8 per cent in March year on year, according to the Census & Statistics Department.

The value of total goods exported in March, comprising re-exports and domestic exports, dropped 6.8 per cent over a year earlier to HK$262.4 billion (US$33.81 billion), after a year on year increase of 14 per cent in February. Within this total, the value of re-exports fell 6.4 per cent to HK$257.5 billion in March, while the value of domestic exports slumped 23 per cent to HK$4.9 billion.

The value of goods imported in March fell 4.7 per cent over a year earlier to HK$306.3 billion, after a year on year increase of 20.8 per cent in February. A visible trade deficit of HK$43.9 billion, equivalent to 14.3 per cent of the value of goods imported was recorded, according to Hong Kong Government Information Services.

In the first quarter, the value of goods exported dipped 1.5 per cent over year on year. Within this total, the value of re-exports' declined one per cent, while the value of domestic exports tumbled 24.1 per cent.

As the value of goods imported nudged up 0.7 per cent, a visible trade deficit of $98.5 billion, equivalent to 11.2 per cent of the value of goods imported, was recorded in the first quarter.

Comparing the first quarter with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total goods exported rose 3.3 per cent. Within this total, the value of re-exports rose 3.4 per cent, while the value of domestic exports slipped 1.3 per cent. The value of goods imported rose 1.1 per cent.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

PORT of Antwerp, Europe's second biggest port, has posted a first quarter 0.7 per cent increase in container volume to a record 2.2 million TEU year on year compared to a four per cent decline at the rival Port of Rotterdam.

Further expectations of container growth at Antwerp in the second quarter were buoyed by the launch of two additional Far East container services.

But overall cargo tonnage declined 2.2 per cent to 46.3 million tonnes, outpaced by Rotterdam's three per cent growth at 110 million tonnes and 2.78 million TEU, a fact that kept the Dutch port No 1 in Europe. The number of vessel calls at Antwerp was down three per cent to 3,629.FAXTEXT = The spike in container volume was stark contrast to the fall in breakbulk which was down 13.6 per cent to 2.53 million tonnes. Steel product shipments were down 20.3 per cent to 1.55 million tonnes and liquid bulk declined 13.5 per cent to 10.3 million tonnes.FAXTEXT = But coal shipments were up to 1.73 million tonnes, a 34.5 per cent increase and grain as up by 18.7 per cent.

Roll-on/roll-off shipments totalled 1.3 million tonnes.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) experienced another year of strong growth in 2011 up 20 per cent in gross tons (GT) reaching 78 million tons.

Japanese shipowners represent the RMI's fifth largest shipowning group with the Japanese-owned fleet increasing by 20 per cent (+1.3 million tons) against total registration of Asian offices at 6.4 million tons for 2011.

The opening of an office in Imabari, Japan, a year ago has supported Japanese owners with 15 ships registered since it opened a year ago, said president of International Registries, Bill Gallagher, one of its fastest growing shipowning groups.

"IRI's decentralised office structure allows owners to interact with the Registry around-the-clock and routinely work with maritime professionals in their own regions who speak the local language. The registry built its foundation on providing industry-leading service, efficiency, and quality," said representative Masaharu Okamoto of International Registries (Far East) Limited Japan Branch.

"A recent challenge for the registry includes the voluntary implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 [MLC 2006], which is anticipated to come into force sometime in 2013. The RMI has also established a period of voluntary compliance for the inspection and certification provisions of the MLC 2006," said the statement.

"The registry has issued 235 Declarations of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC), Part I and 63 Statements of Compliance," said Bill Gallagher. "The RMI Maritime Administrator encourages all shipowners/operators of RMI flagged vessels to utilise this period of voluntary compliance to establish measures to meet the MLC, 2006 inspection and certification requirements."

The RMI registry is ranked as the third largest in the world at 2,634 vessels and nearly 81 million gross tons in the first quarter 2012. The RMI is the only major open registry to be included on the White Lists of both the Paris and Tokyo Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and to hold Qualship 21 status with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for seven consecutive years, said the registry statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTHERN Hebei provincial ports posted a 6.3 per cent year-on-year increase in throughput to 185 million tonnes in the first quarter, reports Xinhua.

The Port of Qinhuangdao port handled 69.3 million tonnes, the same level as last year while Tangshan port moved 85.36 million tonnes, up 12.4 per cent and Huanghua port's throughput grew 8.6 per cent to 30.63 million tonnes.

Provincial freight volume by water increased 4.6 per cent to 6.25 million tonnes in the first quarter.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

EASTERN Shandong province's Zibo Bonded Logistics Centre posted an import and export value over US$100 million since it operated in November last year, reports Xinhua.

The centre is the only inland facility without adjacency to seaports, airport and river port in China. It processed 284 import and export business transactions with a value of US$1.4 million from 154,300 tonnes of cargo.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Norfolk Southern (NS) railway, covering the eastern United States, reported record first quarter profits, up 26 per cent to US$410 million year on year, drawn on a six per cent revenue increase to $2.8 billion.

This was attributed to more aggressive pricing, common to other US railways, and a 13 per cent general merchandise business as well as an intermodal revenue increase of nine per cent. This more than offset a fall in revenue from coal shipments, which slipped six per cent.

Revenue per carload and intermodal unit increased 5.2 per cent on a 1.1 per cent volume increase. Revenue per intermodal unit increased 3.3 per cent and intermodal volume was up 5.1 per cent year on year. Operating costs increased one per cent to $2 billion on higher fuel prices and other expenses.

"The benefits of our focus on service and operating efficiency are reflected in our results, and we continue to position our franchise for sustained growth through strategic investments in infrastructure," said CEO Wick Moorman.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

AN additional US$46.7 million from the Georgia state budget has been allocated to the Port of Savannah to pay for harbour dredging.

The new money, passed by the state assembly as part of the governor's FY2013 budget request, brings the total of dedicated state dollars to $181.1 million, said the release.

Governor Nathan Deal recently visited the Port of Savannah to mark the passage of the state budget and said: "The strong support that business and elected leaders across Georgia have shown for this project is justified, based on federal findings. A corps of engineers study has shown that investing in our harbour expansion will yield a 5.5:1 benefit to cost ratio - among the best for any corps navigation project."

The governor's visit came after the release of the US Army Corps of Engineers' final environmental impact statement and general re-evaluation report on the Savannah Harbour Expansion Project, which will deepen the shipping channel to 47 feet. The documents are the culmination of 15 years of economic and environmental study, and the final step necessary before federal regulatory agencies can decide on project approval.

"The Corps of Engineers study has shown the project will reduce shipping costs by at least $174 million a year," Mr Deal said. "That's a price advantage that could make US goods more affordable in foreign markets, and a cost savings that will be felt nationwide."

Said Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) chairman Alec Poitevint: "We are honoured that the governor chose to commemorate the passage of this important funding legislation here at the Port of Savannah," adding that the harbour deepening is a vital part of continuing the state's export-dominant status. In fiscal year 2011, export throughput comprised 53 per cent of the GPA's total containerised cargo.

"The larger ships accommodated by the greater channel depth will reduce shipping costs per container, making it more affordable for domestic producers to reach international markets," Mr Poitevint said.

The harbour project is necessary to prepare for a new class of larger containerships that are nearly three times the capacity of those currently able to transit the Panama Canal today. In 2014, the Panama Canal expansion will be completed and increase the maximum draft of vessels travelling to and from the US east coast from 39.5 feet to as much as 50 feet. While the Port of Savannah regularly handles vessels that are too large to transit the Panama Canal today, these vessels cannot load to their capacity," said Mr Poitevint.

Said GPA executive director Curtis Foltz: "Deepening the Port of Savannah is a key part of Governor Deal's broader strategy to improve the movement of goods across and within Georgia, and to expand the state's role as a global gateway for commerce. As we move toward the construction phase of this project, the state's $181 million financial commitment sends a powerful message to the world that we are determined to meet the new demands of international trade."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THAILAND is moving on with developing its ports and supply chain as it positions itself as the hub of Upper ASEAN economies, a senior Thai official told the UK's Port Strategy journal.

The plan is to create a major Thai port on the Andaman coast at Pak Bara instead of waiting for Burma's decision to go ahead with the apparently moribund US$50 million Dawei port project, once billed as the "new global gateway of Indo-China" that would transform 250 square kilometres of scrubland in southern Burma into southeast Asia's largest industrial complex.

Said Thai Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt: "We can give the concession now. We will go ahead."

The Thai plan calls for creating a combined annual terminal capacity of 70,000 dead weight tons as well as 825,000 TEU, increasing to 2.4 million TEU in 20 years.

The plan also calls for Pak Bara to be connected by rail from the outset just as the Thailand's major Port of Laem Chabang on its eastern coast is with its railways now being double tracked.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DYNAMIC business growth in south Asia has been driving tremendous growth in east-west container trades in the past few years, reports the UK's Port Strategy.

It highlighted that cargo volumes handled by the major ports of India, according to data from the Indian Ports Association. Cargo volumes rose to 569.9 million tonnes in 2011 while container throughput grew 9.37 per cent to 7.5 million TEU year on year.

India's major ports handle 67 per cent of the nation's total cargo throughput, with the nation's largest container terminal on the west coast, JNPT is emerging as the star performer after registering double-digit growth for several years.

Indian Shipping Minister GK Vasan has announced plans for port growth, to raise India's capacity to 3.2 billion tonnes by 2020, up from today's one billion tonnes through the 12 main ports of Mumbai's JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust), Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin, Kandla and Port Blair.

The report said that Shri Vasan has written to coastal state governments of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala asking them to identify and provide land for setting up a new major port or shipbuilding yard. The response will determine the number of ports to be developed, timelines and costs.

It said that there is also the emerging belief that new transhipment hub ports are needed, possibly one each on the east and west coasts.

According to a study by the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, it is important to focus on developing a few ports on both the east and west coasts with deepwater to handle larger vessels and strategic locations that would have the potential to reduce total transport costs using hub-and-spoke arrangements.

At present, much of the country's container traffic goes through Colombo, Singapore, Dubai or Salalah, which entails the double handling of cargo that ought to be handled in India.

It is estimated that by 2015-16, India's container traffic will amount to 21 million TEU and about nine million TEU will be hubbed, almost all of it overseas.

The report also noted problems, such as the position of Mumbai, the country's biggest container port today. But because Mumbai's JN port lacks adequate draft there is a question whether it can remain the obvious choice as a hub port in years to come, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
International business magazine JŪRA MOPE SEA has been
published since 1999.

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