CHONGQING-Xinjiang-Europe (Chongqing) Logistics Company Limited, the operator of Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe Railway, has been officially established, Xinhua reports.

The company has been jointly established by the railway departments of China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Germany and Chongqing Transportation Holdings (Group) Co Ltd and offers station-to-station transport between Chongqing and Europe.

Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe Railway's frequency will be enhanced to three Europe-bound runs and one Chongqing-bound run per week by the end of this year. A single journey lasts about 14 days.

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THE US International Trade Commission has approved anti-dumping duties on optical brightening agents from China and Taiwan after rejecting duties on steel wheels from China and refrigerators from South Korea and Mexico, Reuters reports.

North Carolina-based Clariant Corporation brought the case against mainland and Taiwan imports of brightening agents, used in detergents and cosmetics. The US imports US$39 million worth of brighteners from China last year and $19 million from Taiwan.

The commission also approved duties on steel nails from the United Arab Emirates on, voting 6-0 in both cases that US producers had been materially injured or threatened by the imports.

The steel nail ruling was brought about by the Mid Continent Nail Corporporation of Missouri, the largest supplier of fasteners to the US wooden pallet and crating industry.

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CHILE's major ocean carrier CSAV will impose a US$200 per TEU and a $300 per FEU general rate increase from May 1 on westbound cargo from the Indian subcontinent to north Europe and the Mediterranean.

"To continue offering our wide portfolio of services and high level of reliability, it will be necessary for us to implement a general rate increase," said a CSAV India statement.

Hamburg Sud earlier said it would apply a $200 per TEU rate increase on trades from the subcontinent to Europe, South America and the Caribbean from May 1.

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THE Port of Prince Rupert, nearly 500 miles north of Vancouver, posted a 120 per cent volume increase in March to 52,283 TEU year on year with the addition of two new services last year.

Imports increased 138 per cent and exports were up 100 per cent, the port authority. Prince Rupert's year-to-date volume increased 95 per cent with imports increasing 98 per cent and exports up 92 per cent against 2011 first quarter results.

Box volumes also increased at Vancouver, with container throughput up 10.5 per cent year to date. Imports increased 11 per cent and exports were up 9.6 per cent over the same period against 2011 first quarter results.

Prince Rupert attracted weekly services in May 2011 by China Ocean Shipping Co. and Hanjin Shipping, which doubled the weekly transpacific services calling at Prince Rupert to four.

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DURING the first quarter of this year, Chongqing posted a 28.7 per cent year-on-year increase in waterborne container volume of 146,000 TEU, reports Xinhua.

Overall waterborne cargo movement went up 10 per cent up to 26.15 million tonnes. Passenger transportation volume fell 12.1 per cent to 3.03 million. Turnover dropped 1.1 per cent to 208 million persons per kilometre.

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TAIWAN's Evergreen Line is to add West Africa connections through slots on the Algeciras-West Africa relay service operated by Hanjin, MOL and UASC, reports Alphaliner.

The service will also be used by Hapag-Lloyd as a slot buyer with Evergreen offering connections from the Hanjin terminal at Algeciras to Tema, Lagos-Apapaand Abidjan.

The service also calls at Tangier and Cotonou, although these two ports are not advertised by Evergreen, said Alphaliner. At Algeciras, the service connects with a revamped CKYH Alliance Asia-north Europe (NE 6) service, on which Evergreen has slots as part of the widened CKYH-Evergreen arrangement on the Far East-north Europe trade.

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NANHAI (Danzao) Logistics Centre, together with Guangzhou-Zhuhai Railway Foshan freight station as its core facility, has broken ground in becoming the largest railway cargo logistics facility in Guangdong's Foshan city, Xinhua reports.

The facility will cover 300 hectares (741 acres), costing CNY6 billion (US$951.2 million). The first phase of the freight yard will cover 26 hectares and have an annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes. After the second phase is completed, its capacity will be raised to eight million tonnes.

The logistics centre will mainly focus on the processing, distribution and trading of steel and aims to become one of the major steel logistics facilities in China.

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AMERICA'S eastern railway, CSX, has posted an 11 per cent increase in first quarter operating profit to US$449 million year on year, drawn on revenues of US$3 billion, up 13.7 per cent, the company announced.

The third largest railway in the US was able to gain on pricing despite a volume increase of only one per cent, reported American Shipper. Intermodal volumes increased 8.4 per cent alongside revenue growth per unit of 9.6 per cent, which was attributed to growth to robust chemical, auto and equipment freight, offsetting a decline in coal and agricultural shipments.

"Although utility coal-related headwinds are likely to be stronger in the second quarter, CSX remains on track to achieve year-over-year earnings growth in 2012," said CSX chief executive Michael Ward.

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CANADA's second railway, the Canadian Pacific (CP), has posted a fourfold increase in first quarter profit to C$142 million (US$142.9 million) year on year, drawn on revenues of C$1.4 billion, a rise of 18.3 per cent.

The Calgary-based company also boosted operating profit 66 per cent to C$274 million in the same period.

All this was happened as CP management fended off a proxy battle with its largest shareholder, activist investor Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, who said profits were not high enough.

Said CP chief executive Fred Green: "Our record operating metrics are driving enhanced financial results, as evidenced by a strong first quarter performance. By aggressively executing on the Multi-Year Plan, CP delivered an increase in revenues of C$213 million.

"We have improved operating momentum, we are delivering excellent service and we have a stronger, more resilient rail network. This quarter, we generated an 18 per cent year-over-year increase in freight revenues. Looking ahead, we are confident we can continue to deliver improvements in our operating metrics and financial performance and further growth in shareholder value," said Mr Green.

But Mr Ackman, the rebel shareholder, argued that the railway isn't improving profitability fast enough. He is pushing a slate of seven directors and trying to replace Mr Green with E Hunter Harrison, former CEO of rival Canadian National Railway, the country's largest. The proxy vote is slated for May 17 at the annual shareholder meeting.

"Last year, when they put out their results they said, 'horrible winter, that's why we had a 90-plus per cent operating ratio'," Mr Ackman told Reuters. "This time, what they don't remind you is that this is one of the best winters in the last 100 years."

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AMERICA's western railway, the Union Pacific, has posted a record 25 per cent year-on-year first quarter profit increase to US$863 million drawn on revenues of $5.1 billion.

During the first quarter revenue per carload rose 12 per cent year-over-year to $2,175 attributed to higher pricing and fuel surcharges.

Omaha-based Union Pacific, America's largest, experienced double digit revenue increases in four of its six business segment despite a decline in agricultural and coal volumes.

Intermodal volume increased one per cent year on year in the same period and double digit volume increase in automotive and industrial product.

Said UP chief executive Jack Koraleski: "We're clearly realising the benefits of our diverse franchise, despite current coal challenges."

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FOOTWEAR tariffs on US imports must be lowered to promote trade and investment with member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), retailers told US trade representative Ron Kirk.

In a letter, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) said less than one per cent of footwear sold in the US in domestically produced, and tariffs only represent costs and have no benefit for Americans.

"These tariffs make footwear more expensive and updating the rules for footwear in the TPP would help to lower costs for a basic necessity," said the RILA letter which asked for a quick reduction in duties and regulations.

RILA pressed its case during the TPP negotiations with nine Pacific Rim nations of US, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Peru, said the letter.

Since autumn 2011, US legislators have asked to retain the status quo in the hope of retain the American footwear industry, which has been overwhelmed by imports from Vietnam, and now accounts for as much as eight per cent of shoes worn by Americans.

Mike Michaud, chairman of the US Congress House Trade Working Group, said in a letter to Mr Kirk last autumn: "Our trade negotiators need to make sure that this trade deal doesn't off-shore what's left of our shoe manufacturers."

Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

FINLAND's provider of real-time decision support systems to provide cost savings in the shipping industry, Eniram Limited, recently opened a Singapore office to serve Asia where many shipping companies are based.

"With the prices of marine fuel continuing to soar, we have a lot to offer ship operators who believe that the ability to produce tangible savings is of paramount importance," said Eniram CEO Philip Padfield.

"Singapore was a clear choice for us as it is not only one of the premier global hubs for shipping but has also made clear its intention to be a hub for green shipping in the region," he said.

"Our solutions target fuel consumption, using techniques such as dynamic trim optimisation to fine-tune the way their fleets move through the water. On average this can lead to savings per vessel of up to US$300,000 per year on a VLCC or mid-size container vessel, and in some cases much more," Mr Padfield said.

The company, which has offices in Fort Lauderdale and in London, develops onboard applications, performance management and analytics solutions that help owners and captains better operate their ships towards reduced fuel consumption and improved overall vessel efficiency.

Eniram offers a range of products designed to enhance efficiency and provides analytics and measurement tools to enable ship operators to determine where they are achieving savings. This includes speed management and dynamic trim optimisation, both of which significantly affect the amount of fuel consumed on a ship's voyage and can each result in measured savings often in excess of three per cent.

The company last year won Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Finland awards for being the fastest growing greentech company in Finland and it' s has also been shortlisted for this year' s Technical Innovation Award at the Seatrade Asia Awards.

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SOUTH Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) announced that it's doubling grants to US$10,000 to have trucker replace their older trucks.

The authority said in a statement that eligible truck owners will also be offered the scrap value of their pre-1994 trucks, and apply the amount to buying 2004 or later models.

A mobile office will also be set up at the port's Wando Welch Terminal each week to make it even easier for truckers to learn about the benefits of upgrading their rigs, such as improved fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs and decreased air emissions.

Seaport Truck Air Cleanup Southeast, or STACS, is a voluntary truck replacement programme launched last autumn that provides truck owners who are frequent port users a financial incentive to replace pre-1994 model trucks with 2004 or newer models.

The incentive for the programme is funded by the SCPA, along with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) through a federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant.

This is the first such truck replacement programme in the region and so far 24 trucks have already been replaced. The STACS programme is part of the SCPA's Pledge for Growth environmental programme that has already helped fund $5 million in retrofits, upgrades and replacements to trucks, tugs and other port equipment.

According to a truck survey commissioned by the SCPA, about two per cent of the trucks that frequent the Port of Charleston were manufactured in 1993 or before. Based on EPA estimates, moving from 1993 or older trucks to 2004 or newer trucks reduces emissions 60 per cent.

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THE Missouri legislature has revived a bill recreating tax breaks for exports shipped out of Lambert-St Louis International Airport after a similar measure to build a China air cargo hub to rival Chicago was rejected.

The lower house has given initial approval to legislation authorising up to US$60 million in tax credits over several years for companies that coordinate exports through the airport, reported The Associated Press.

The bill to recreate a China air cargo hub, needs another lower house vote to move it to the state senate, but prospects of tax credits passing in the upper house remain shaky, said the report.

Shanghai-based China Cargo Airlines ran two flights, but did not return in November after making it clear their continued participation depended on tax breaks. The Chinese carrier has a two-year lease on a building and ramp space at Lambert.

China Cargo uses China Eastern Airlines route structure. It is a joint venture of China Eastern (51 per cent) and Cosco (17 per cent) and Singapore Airlines Cargo (up to 16 per cent) and Taiwan's EVA Air (16 per cent).

During a special session last fall, the proposed tax breaks for air cargo exports were a central part of a massive plan to overhaul Missouri's business incentives. But that plan never passed because the two houses could not agree on terms, said AP.

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JAPAN's All Nippon Airways (ANA) and its rival carrier Japan Airlines (JAL) has reported a surge in international cargo in February while each struggled to match volumes in the first 11 months of fiscal 2011.

ANA reported a slight increase in international cargo to 464,603 tons, a 3.1 per cent year-on-year increase, but struggling rival Japan Airlines Corp (JAL) plunged 42.7 per cent year on year to 215,222 tons.

Domestic cargo for both carriers showed uplift in February with ANA's reaching 37,081 tons, an 8.8 per cent increase with a slight uptick in first 11 months at 438,323 tons, up 1.1 per cent year on year.

In contrast JAL struggled over a longer period for 20 months, in February declining by 1.7 per cent to 28,455 tons. During the 11 months between April and February JAL volume declined 14.1 per cent to 348,359 tons.

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