ISRAELI flag carrier Zim is to enhance Europe-to-Asia services with changes to East Med Express Service (EMX) by adding a new direct call to the Black Sea ports of Odessa and Novorossiysk.

The addition of these ports will enhance its connectivity to Russia and CIS countries and improve transit times to its major Asian ports with the addition of a call to Busan.

The EMC revised port rotation is now Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen-Dachan Bay, Port Kelang, Haifa, Ashdod, Istanbul, Odessa, Novorossiysk, Gemlik, Istanbul, Haifa, Mundra, Colombo, Port Kelang and back to Busan.

Zim is to launch a new weekly Asia-Black Sea service (ABS) to connect Asia with ports of Constanta, Romania and Illichivsk, Ukraine as well as the ports of Piraeus and Istanbul.

The ABC port rotation will have the following rotation: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen-Shekou, Singapore, Port Kelang, Piraeus, Istanbul, Constanta, Illichivsk, Port Kelang and back to Shanghai.

Said Zim: "Together, these two additions constitute a significant upgrade, part of the company's strategy is to strengthen its leading position in the Black Sea with two weekly sailings, wider port coverage, improved transit times and higher reliability."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DUBAI-based Emirates Shipping Line has announced it will increase the rates for services from Far East and southeast Asia to east Africa by US$250 per TEU, as well as from Far East and southeast Asia to Indian subcontinent by $300 per TEU from April 15.

Headquartered in both Dubai and Hong Kong, Emirates Shipping Line is the world's 59th largest carrier, according to Alphaliner Top 100 League.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DUBAI's Emirates Shipping Line has announced it will participate in the Korea-East Asia-Middle East loop (KMS) with Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) with first sailing on April 24 from Kwangyang.

Port rotation of the KMS is Kwangyang, Busan, Ningbo, Keelung, Shenzhen-Yantian, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Klang, Jebel Ali, Bandar Abbas, Karachi, returning to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Emirates said in a statement this service offers a direct call from the Middle East to Karachi and connects Korea and the Far East to the major Middle East Gulf ports, making it "a comprehensive and competitive service in the North Asia to the Middle East Gulf trade lane."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CONTAINER import cargo volume at American major ports is expected to increase 3.2 per cent in April year on year with such gains continuing through summer, says the Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

"Retailers are continuing to watch rising gas prices, but job gains and other indicators show the economy is strengthening," said federation vice president Jonathan Gold. "All of this should improve consumer confidence and lead to increased spending, so retailers are building up their inventories."

American ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.04 million TEU in February, the latest month for which records are available. With February traditionally the slowest month of the year, volume was down 16 per cent from January and 5.7 per cent from February 2011.

March was estimated at 1.19 million TEU, up 9.6 per cent from a year ago, and April is forecast at 1.25 million TEU, up 3.2 per cent from last year. May is forecast at 1.29 million TEU, the same as last year; June at 1.29 million TEU, up 3.6 per cent; July at 1.35 million TEU, up 1.9 per cent, and August at 1.42 million TEU, up 7.4 per cent.

The first half of 2012 should total 7.3 million TEU, up 2.2 per cent year on year. The total for 2011 was 14.8 million TEU, up 0.4 per cent from 2010's 14.75 million TEU. The federation continues to project 2012 retail sales will grow 3.4 per cent to $2.53 trillion.

"Our forecast for the remainder of the year has brought us back to the traditional peak season patterns," Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. "Hopefully the importers and the carriers can work closely together to ensure sufficient capacity and a solid supply chain."

Global Port Tracker covers the ports of Long Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah and Houston.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

The Port of Humen, in Guangdong's Dongguan city, has applied to set up a three-square kilometre bonded port area and aims to become an important international free port in the Pearl River Delta in 10 years' time, Xinhua reports.

Humen Bonded Port Area will be situated at the Shatian port area Xidatan operation area, offering bonded logistics, export processing, trading, exhibition and financial services, according to the local Nanfang Daily.

Once becoming a free port, Humen is set to be a locomotive for the development of industries in Dongguan and the regions around, the paper said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Fujian provincial government has been authorised to merge three port areas, Quanzhou, Putian and Meizhou under the name Meizhou Bay Port, whose administration is already functioning, Xinhua reports.

Meizhou Bay Port will focus on domestic container shipping and large bulk volumes. The port plans to spend CNY22 billion (US$3.49 billion) on upgrades during the 12th National Five-Year Plan period and raise its annual capacity to 200 million tonnes by 2015.

After the merger, Meizhou Bay will have eight port areas, including Xinghua, Dongwu, Xiuyu, Xiaocuo, Douwei, Quanzhou, Shenhu Bay and Weitou Bay.

A senior official from Fujian Provincial Transport Department said that Fujian will develop three port clusters each with their own function to avoid overlapping. Meizhou Bay Port in the centre of the province and Fuzhou port in the north will mainly focus on domestic container shipping and bulk. Xiamen port in the south will concentrate on foreign trade.

Meizhou Bay port has 147 berths in operation. Twenty-four have a capacity of more than 10,000 tonnes. The port has a capacity of 102 tonnes in terms of tonnage and 1.45 million TEU. Last year, throughput increased 12.2 per cent to 114 million tonnes, accounting for 31 per cent of provincial seaport volume.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Port of Rotterdam Authority announced a 10 per cent year-on-year net profit increase to EUR186 million (US$243 million) in 2011 driven by higher harbour dues paid by ships that visit the port and from rental revenue.

Harbour dues rose six per cent to EUR305 million, partly due to the one per cent increase in throughput, but mostly because the seven per cent 2010 "crisis discount" was cut to a three per cent "recovery reduction".

The income from the letting out of sites rose by seven per cent to EUR267 million because of price indexation, the extension of a number of contracts at prices more in line with market rates and the allocation of new sites in Maasvlakte 2.

In total the operating income increased by almost seven per cent to EUR588 million, EUR37 million more than in 2010. The operating expenses increased slightly. The income from participating interests amounted to EUR9 million in 2011, mainly due to the favourable development of the participating interest in the Sohar Port in Oman.

The port authority invested a record EUR494 million in 2011, of which EUR379 million was invested in Maasvlakte 2 and EUR116 million in the existing port area. Investment in 2012 will amount to about EUR500 million.

Said port financial director Paul Smits: "These figures mean that we can continue with our planned investments in the port. That is very important for the development of the main port in the long term."

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is moderately positive about the developments in 2012 and anticipates an increase in throughput up to one per cent. Net income is expected to continue developing positively in 2012, due to income increasing slightly while expenses remain constant.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


CHINA registered record-breaking 11.06 million tonnes in its daily railway cargo volume in March while the number of loaded railcars also climbed to a new high of 172,883 cars a day, Xinhua reports.

China needed 228,000 rail cars per day in March, 37,000 cars more than in February. Railway cargo totalled 344.21 million tonnes, up two per cent over February. Both Qinghai-Tibet Railway Company posted a freight volume increase of 14.8 per cent while the Nanning Railway Bureau grew 12.6 per cent.

In the passenger traffic, China moved 145 million people by rail in March, up 2.7 per cent. Eight railway bureaux recorded growth in passenger volume. Leading in growth was the Jinan bureau up 15.2 per cent and the Urumqi bureau up 13.6 per cent.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

BRISTOL based maritime software developer AtoBviaC, has introduced an anti-piracy route device in the BP Shipping Marine Distance Tables, reports Digital Ship.

The anti-piracy route system is based upon information on pirate activity obtained on a regular basis from Joint War Committee bulletins, and from specific route requested by ship operators.

All routes calculated are navigable, taking account of the need to keep suitable distances off shoals, wrecks, coasts and obstructions, and also avoid oil field development areas.

The routes are reviewed weekly and updates are issued at two-monthly intervals, or more frequently if significant changes need to be made.

"Anti-Piracy Control allows ship operators to make informed decisions on voyages which may need to avoid piracy areas," said AtoBviaC director and master mariner Trevor Hall.

"With the amount of uncertainty in the industry and the depressed freight rates being experienced, the implication of avoiding piracy has to be carefully measured," said Capt Hall.

"The AtoBviaC tool enables the ship operator to select routes based on the most current intelligence, and accurately calculate the time and fuel implications of the voyage," he said. "In many cases this can work out to be considerably more accurate than the other available options and provides a level of self-determination that is missing from other solutions."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LOMAR, the ship owning and management subsidiary of the Libra Group, has signed a new order with the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard for up to six new 2,190-TEU containerships.

Scheduled for delivery starting from early 2014, the vessels have been designed by Chinese design institute Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) and are said to meet the highest standards for fuel efficiency and environmental compliance.

The investment reconfirms Lomar's return to the container shipping sector in recent years, and follows the company's order earlier this year for up to six new bulk carriers from China's Cosco Group, said a statement from Libra Group posted on PRNewswire via COMTEX.

The order takes Lomar's current fleet to close to 50 vessels. These new hull-optimised ships are said to offer improved performance compared with existing container vessels of the same size by providing significant savings on fuel consumption at a wide range of speeds in comparison to those on the market.

"We are re-investing in our fleet with these new vessels," said Lomar CEO Achim Boehme. "Wenchong has a very strong reputation for delivering excellent quality container vessels and being among the best shipyards in the 'feeder' size sector. We look forward to taking delivery of these newbuildings which will enhance our existing portfolio and allow us to stay competitive, continuing to offer a comprehensive service across the whole of Lomar with a modern, fuel-efficient fleet."

After 35 years of buying and selling mixed class vessels, Lomar sold almost its entire fleet between 2004 and 2007. However, the company re-invested in shipping in late 2009 with the US$325 million acquisition of the Allocean fleet of 26 vessels.

Nowadays, the company has a mixed fleet of vessels including bulk carriers, containerships, LPG and chemical tankers as well as offshore vessels.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE United States does not intentionally block Chinese investment and imports, says US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, according to China Business News.

"We encourage Chinese trade and investment," Mr Locke said. "Growing Chinese demand for American products will help to create more jobs in the US. We are trying to unlock the full potential of the US-China economic relationship by becoming more open and appealing. The export control reform is underway although it may take a few more years, and we are also trying to remove barriers for new investment.

"The US is responding to Chinese concerns about American economic practices - for example on inbound investment and export control restrictions on high-technology goods - so that together we can find ways to further unlock the economic potential of our two countries," he said.

Mr Locke said Chinese investment into the US was vital to economic growth, job creation and productivity, and the world's largest economy welcomed such investment.

"Many Chinese firms are reluctant to invest because they misunderstand that their investment will be blocked by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and that all Chinese investment in the US requires US government approval." To change that perception, he said the US had beefed up efforts to attract Chinese investors.

He said the US Foreign Commercial Service had regularly been organising investment fairs and conferences targeted at attracting Chinese investment, and the embassy had commissioned a video in Chinese to dispel "false myths" about investing and guide investors on how to become successful in the US.

"The video will be ready in a month and we will show it all over China," Mr Locke said. "The reality is that only a handful of all foreign investment in the US is reviewed by the US government, and very few of these involve Chinese companies."

The US is also in the midst of a major reform that will enable more high-tech goods to be exported to China, Mr Locke said.

It has granted 46 out of 141 high-tech items that China listed as hoping to purchase from the US, he said. For the remainder, China needs to offer additional details so the US can determine whether and under what conditions they can be exported.

In May, Mr Locke said, a delegation of American companies will be in Shanghai to meet Chinese companies interested in purchasing high-tech goods, including items on the list.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

A RUSSIAN delegation of government authorities and representatives from leading airlines and airports has visited Hactl SuperTerminal 1 at Hong Kong airport to explore best practice in air cargo processing.

The mission included 25 delegates from Russia's transport ministry, customs, state borders development agency, the Russian Air Transport Agency as well as representatives of Aeroflot, AirBridgeCargo, Volga-Dnepr, Tolmachevo Airport and STS Logistics.

The visit to Hactl, Hong Kong's No 1 ground handler, was organised by Russia's Innovation Centre of Civil Aviation (ICCA) that runs the pilot project for e-freight implementation in the country.

The visit included a tour of the facility, and focused on Hactl's e-freight capabilities within its recently launched HK$240 million (US$31 million) COSAC-Plus cargo management system. Delegates also examined airport layout, its role in local air freight movement, cargo infrastructure needs, competition in ground handling, and how Hong Kong accommodates inter-modal traffic.

Said ICCA president Rano Dzhuraeva: "Hong Kong airport and Hactl have successfully worked with electronic data messages and documents to IATA standards. We are very grateful to Hactl for allowing us to look at their impressive facilities and new IT system.

"It is important to see details of the e-freight practice in Hactl because the first test transit flights in the pilot project will be provided by Aeroflot from Hong Kong via Tolmachevo Airport to Frankfurt Hahn and by ABC also from Hong Kong via Sheremetyevo Airport to Amsterdam," said Mr Dzhuraeva.

Said Hactl managing director Mark Whitehead: "We hope that this visit has given them a clearer insight into the most effective ways of developing their air cargo infrastructure so that Russia can play an integral role in the global industry."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MAIDEN flight of the first direct all-cargo flight service from southwestern China city Chengdu to Paris Vatry Airport has taken off from Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport, Xinhua reports.

The new service is operated by Yangtze River Express Airlines, offering three flights a week, using Boeing 747-400 freighters that can carry up to 100 tonnes. Flight duration is nine hours.

The service is estimated to be able to move 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes of hi-tech products and food manufactured in Sichuan province and Europe each year.

Yangtze River Express manager Yu Zhengdong said the launch of the line has shortened transit time from Chengdu to Paris by a day.

Including the new line, Chengdu is now operating 25 international passenger and cargo direct services including ones to Paris, Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Moscow, Singapore. Fifteen of them are passenger lines and nine cargo services.

Last year, Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport recorded a passenger volume of 29.07 million, for the first time surpassing Shenzhen and becoming the fourth in China. The city is planning to raise its international direct flight service number to 36 by 2015, forming a network connecting major cities in Europe, America and Asia.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LOSS-MAKING Air France, the French arm of the Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM, has announced that it will continue to offer short and medium-haul service within its European network "on condition of achieving extensive restructuring and a drastic reduction in costs."

Air France-KLM's chief executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta is seeking an agreement with unions to achieve EUR2 billion (US$2.63 billion) in annual savings after the Paris-based company registered a net loss of EUR809 million (US$1.1 billion) in 2011, reports Bloomberg.

The company said in a statement that "the goal is to return to break-even for point-to-point service in 2013 and for the entire short- and medium-haul business in 2014".

The cost-cutting programme already introduced at its Southern France bases of Toulouse, Nice and Marseilles will be extended to the rest of the point-to-point network, including flights from Paris Orly, in a bid to return short-haul routes to profit, Bloomberg reported.

Furthermore, a standardised regional division will be created to optimise costs and the "working relationship" between Air France and its regional subsidiaries.

The company said these initiatives will be reviewed in detail with employee representatives, re-emphasising that additional savings must be found to reach the break-even point in 2014.

Bloomberg also reported that the airline will continue to serve short- and medium-haul routes only if staff agree to a "drastic reduction in costs" aided by the development of budget airline subsidiary Transavia under its own or another brand to target the growing French leisure travel market.

"Although passenger unit revenue is better than competitors, Air France's costs remain too high. The objective is to reduce controllable costs 20 per cent to reach the industry level. This objective is included in the framework and methodology agreements signed with the majority of unions representing pilots, flight attendants and ground staff", the airline said in a statement.

Another key goal is to accelerate the transformation of freight. Air France said: "Confronted with a difficult economic environment and insufficient competitiveness, several improvement priorities have been identified in freight, particularly in the areas of purchasing, fleet and business development via enhanced integration between Air France, KLM and Martinair."

Another priority is to develop growth segments in maintenance, after claiming that maintenance is a growing business, but admitted the company's "competitiveness in major overhaul maintenance is wholly inadequate".

It said that "priority actions" are expected to significantly improve competitiveness and accelerate development of the "promising engines and equipment segments. Maintenance also will contribute more widely to the group's profitability, with a goal to be No. 2 globally".

Other major areas identified include a restructuring of the long-haul segment, which has traditionally been a growth engine for Air France, by lowering production costs, and to win back customers "significant investments will be made in the product, conditional on the success of the savings plan.

Air France chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in the statement, "The work performed by the (company's restructuring plan) "Transform 2015's project teams will enable us to fundamentally transform the company to restore competitiveness, win back customers and return to a growth trajectory."

The comments came as Mr de Juniac presented an update on the plan to the airline's central works council and executives at the end of March, when initial talks with unions were due to end. Details are to be worked out this quarter and a new business plan is scheduled to be ready by June.

"By next June, we will be able to present the company's business plan. The 20 per cent cost reduction objective is a minimum threshold; to fall short would jeopardise the recovery and the company's future. These equitably shared efforts must be implemented without delay. I am confident that with the commitment of our employees and the responsible spirit of our social partners, working together we will regain our leadership position."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTH China's Hohhot Airport has added a service to Xian via Baynnur in Inner Mongolia and another to Chongqing via Zhengzhou, reports Xinhua.

The Xian service operated by Tianjin Airlines flies once a day with deploying EMB145 aircrafts, departing from Hohhot at 1630 hrs, stopping at Baynnur at 1720 hrs, leaving at 1810 hrs and arriving at 1940 hrs. The flight returns at 0735 from Xian, landing at Baynnur at 0900 hrs, taking off at 0935 hrs and arriving at Hohhot at 1030 hrs.

The Chongqing service operated by China West Air flies on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with Airbus A320 planes, departing from Hohhot at 1200 hrs, arriving at Zhengzhou at 1315 hrs, taking off at 1355 hrs and landing at Chongqing at 1525 hrs. The return flight leaves at 0750 hrs, arriving Zhengzhou at 0920 hrs, taking off at 1000 hrs and arriving 1115 hrs.

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
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