Kuala Lumpur - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the  Secure Freight program has gained further recognition from governments around the world.

*         IATA and the Malaysia Civil Aviation Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on expanding the Secure Freight pilot scheme, which began in 2010.

*         The UK Department of Transport (DfT) has agreed to endorse the Secure Freight principles, which paves the way for further recognition of Secure Freight principles and IATA's efforts to build supply chain security capacity across the world. The first authority to officially endorse Secure Freight principles was the Australian Office of Transport Security (AU OTS), last summer.

*         Five governments have agreed to be co-signing authorities on IATA's Information Paper on Secure Freight, which will be presented at ICAO's AVSEC Panel, March 26-30. The countries co-signing the document include the CAA's from Malaysia, Kenya, Mexico, UAE and Chile. This represents a major step forward in building shared global standards for cargo supply chain security programs.

The Secure Freight program works across the whole air cargo supply chain, helping to secure shipments upstream by ensuring that cargo has come from either a known consignor or regulated agent. Secure Freight evaluates the strength of a nation's aviation security infrastructure and works with the civil aviation authorities to ensure that cargo is kept sterile until it is loaded. Not only does this ensure greater security, it also helps prevent bottlenecks at airports.

"IATA is working with countries to build the capability for Secure Freight implementation, including the launching of pilot programs. The development of a consistent set of standards should facilitate the mutual recognition of secure freight programs. The UK DFT is an important indication of success so far and should encourage more governments to implement this global standard supply chain solution," said Des Vertannes, IATA's Global Head of Cargo.

The MOU was signed on the opening morning of the World Cargo Symposium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13-15 March. Nearly 1000 cargo professionals have gathered to agree new solutions to deliver enhanced safety, security, quality and efficiency to the air freight sector.

"Since it launched the first IATA Secure Freight pilot initiative, Malaysia has been at the forefront of aviation cargo security, and this MOU commits us to work together for full implementation. Secure Freight offers the prospect of enhanced security and greater efficiency in the air cargo system, which should be of great benefit to the Malaysian economy," said Tony Tyler, IATA's Director General and CEO.

Commenting on the MOU, Mr YB Dato Seri' Kong Cho Ha, Minister of Transport, said "I am pleased that Malaysia is the pilot country for the Secure Freight program. The result of this close collaboration will benefit many industry players as it will reduce the complexities and costs of air cargo security, as well as ensuring that the supply chain stakeholders are working towards the same direction."

Source IATA

Kuala Lumpur -The International Air Transport Association (IATA) advocated strong partnerships across the air cargo value chain to address an industry agenda to enhance safety, security, sustainability and competitiveness.

“Air cargo is critical to the global economy. By value, over 35% of goods traded internationally are handled by air. But this accounts for just 0.5% of global volumes traded. Air cargo provides the connectivity that is at the core of modern businesses serving global markets. The growth potential is enormous. The challenge is to propel that growth sustainably, with quality products, efficiently delivered by a well-coordinated value chain,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO in a keynote address to the World Cargo Symposium which is meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Safety: The 2011 hull loss rate for western-built jet aircraft stood at the historic low of 0.37 hull losses per million flights (one hull loss for every 2.7 million flights). However,managing shipments of dangerous goods is an increasingly complex challenge for air cargo as the number of shippers proliferates, particularly with the growth of e-commerce opportunities for individual entrepreneurs, who lack awareness of dangerous goods regulations.  “The concern over shipping lithium batteries is a good example of where the supply chain needs to cooperate to raise awareness levels,” said Tyler.

Security:Tyler urged the industry to work together and in cooperation with governments on industry solutions for cargo security, or risk the imposition of regulatory solutions that may not fully understand the operational realities of global air cargo. “The challenge is two-fold. We must continuously improve security to meet evolving threats. And we need to achieve this while maintaining the speed necessary to support global commerce,” said Tyler. He highlighted three areas for a particular focus:

Data to Support Risk Management:Tyler encouraged regulators to harmonize risk-assessment measures in compliance through the World Customs Organization SAFE standards. At the same time he urged the air cargo value chain to redouble its efforts to improve the quality of data provided by making the Message Improvement Program a priority for 2012. “Ensuring quality data will gain the confidence of regulators and customs authorities that is necessary to motivate them towards efficient paper-free processes,” said Tyler.
Securing the Supply Chain:   The IATA Secure Freight pilot program was launched in Malaysia in 2010 with the goal of securing the supply chain by ensuring that air cargo has come from either a known consignor or regulated agent and has been kept sterile until it is loaded onto the aircraft. The success of the Malaysian pilot project has encouraged Kenya, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to start their own programs.
Technology:Tyler noted progress with regulators on addressing the constraints on current technology in screening air cargo. “It is clear that a robust risk-assessment needs both physical and data screening programs that are harmonized. The worst thing for both industry and states would be to have these programs competing with each other across airline networks,” said Tyler.

Competitiveness:  “Alongside a license to grow based on safety, security and environmental responsibility, to be successful the air cargo value chain must meet customer expectations with efficient and quality products and processes,” said Tyler, highlighting e-freight and the industry’s need to adopt Cargo 2000 as a global standard.

E-freight: E-freight penetration stood at 11% at the end of 2011, ahead of the 10% target set by the IATA Board of Governors. “I see three components to achieving 100% by 2015. First, we need to understand e-freight is a supply chain initiative driven forward by the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG). Second airlines must drive forward the implementation of the e-air waybill (e-AWB). Cathay Pacific and Emirates have led the way with mandating 100% e-AWB in their home markets. And finally we must ensure that the rapidly developing BRICS countries are on board,” said Tyler. Current e-AWB penetration is 4.6%.  IATA is targeting 15% e-AWB penetration by the end of 2012 and 100% by 2014.
Quality: In the last year Cargo 2000 made its Master Operating Plan an open source platform. “This effectively makes Cargo 2000 the industry benchmark for performance and quality. They will also be introducing a membership grading system to further identify the highest-quality participants. These are positive steps that will help us to provide quality products to our customers,” said Tyler. Tyler reiterated that managing quality requires a harmonized approach across the value chain, noting the industry agreement to mandate the “Time and Temperature Sensitive” label as an important example of improvements that can be achieved when the industry works with a common purpose.

Industry Cooperation: Air transport is a team effort. And that is particularly true of air cargo. I am also making it a priority for IATA to work even more closely with our industry partners.  For example we are working to modernize the cargo agency program in close collaboration with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA).  I am also fully supportive of the GACAG. This group is unique in the air cargo industry and we must all support the efforts of this coalition. All its members won’t always have the same view of the world. But our fates are linked as we are in the same business. By focusing on our common interests, I am confident that much can be achieved,” said Tyler.


In its latest forecast (issued December 2011), IATA expects air cargo to generate about 11% of total revenues or $66 billion. This is only slightly behind the average 14% contribution of business class to industry revenues. Growth in both volumes and yields is expected to be flat in 2012 as a result of economic uncertainty primarily centered on Europe. IATA will issue a revised forecast on 20 March.

Source IATA

LSG Sky Chefs, the world’s largest provider of in-flight services, and Finnair have signed a Memorandum of Understanding  on LSG Sky Chefs acquiring Finnair’s catering operations. The acquisition would comprise the entire share capital of Finnair Catering Ltd. and Finncatering Ltd. Finnair would continue to buy its flight catering services from Finnair Catering Ltd., which transfers under LSG Sky Chefs ownership. The acquisition is subject to the approval of Lufthansa Board and the competition authority of Finland and it is expected to be closed by the end of first half of 2012.

"LSG Sky Chefs is one of the leading players in the in-flight service industry. Its international product development, global operations and profound know-how of in-flight services are an excellent basis for producing high-quality in-flight service for Finnair customers. We have positive experiences with LSG Sky Chefs from other airports outside Finland and this is a natural continuation of our partnership", says Anssi Komulainen, Senior Vice President of Customer Service at Finnair.

“Together with other measures taken to improve efficiency in catering operations of our airline business, we expect this transaction to result in substantial permanent annual cost savings contributing to our overall savings targets.”

"LSG Sky Chefs is extremely pleased to be able to widen its operations to the strategically important Finnish market. Finnair’s catering operations are well run, the personnel is very professional and the production facilities are state-of-the art. Finnair is an important client for us and we are convinced that we can further develop the operations, thus producing additional value for Finnair and its passengers", states Jochen Müller, Executive Board Member Operations of LSG Sky Chefs.

In 2010, the catering business included in the Memorandum of Understanding had net sales of 80 million euro. Subject to the final agreement, approximately 650 employees of Finnair Catering Ltd and Finncatering Ltd will be employed by LSG Sky Chefs. The transaction does not include Finnair Travel Retail, which as of January 1, 2012 has been a part of Finnair’s other operations.

Developing its partnership network is a part of Finnair’s strategy and the planned structural changes of the company, which aim at cost savings and facilitating growth through quality improvements. Finnair had announced earlier that it was looking for a cooperation partner for its catering services.

LSG Sky Chefs is the world’s largest provider of in-flight services. These include catering, in-flight equipment and logistics, in-flight retail as well as the management of onboard service and related airport services. LSG Sky Chefs partners with more than 300 airlines worldwide and operates some 200 customer service centers in 50 countries, producing around 460 million airline meals a year. In 2010, the companies belonging to LSG Sky Chefs Group achieved consolidated revenues of € 2.2 billion. For further information also visit www.lsgskychefs.com

Finnair announced on August 5, 2011 that it targeted decreases in its annual costs of 140 million euros by 2014. Finnair has already announced that it:

  • has chosen Swissport as its partner for  baggage and apron services
  • is optimizing the size of its fleet in European air traffic, has discontinued the leases of four Airbus 320 series aircraft, and subleased four Embraer 170 aircraft
  • is exploring  different alternatives to improve cost-efficiency of its engine and component maintenance services
  • is streamlining its support functions as well as  marketing and distribution activities
  • seeks a partner to accelerate its Nordic Champion strategy and aims to significantly lower costs in European traffic
  • has initiated  numerous other savings measures throughout the company.

Source Nasdaqomx

Seafood farming, or aquaculture, is an increasingly important food production sector, as natural populations of fish and shellfish grow scarce. On average, each person in the world eats 17kg of seafood per year and aquaculture production is increasing by 8.7 % annually. Infectious diseases are one of the major obstacles in the development and improvement of aquaculture and the lack of efficient and cost efficient vaccines and disease prevention methods are considerable drawbacks for the sector.

The IMAQUANIM (Improved Immunity of Aquacultured Animals) project took five and a half years to complete. European scientists performed studies of fish and shellfish defence mechanisms including those of trout, salmon, sea bream, sea bass, carp and mussels. The knowledge developed by IMAQUANIM, an EU project bringing together a large group of European scientists studying fish and shellfish defense mechanisms, will help to establish efficient disease prophylaxis strategies in aquaculture and hereby not only improve animal health but also help reduce costs in the seafood industry and encourage environmental sustainability.

One result of this work is a set of experimental vaccines acting against bacterial, parasitic or viral infections in fish. In combination with the projects´ characterisation of a range of new molecules involved in the animal's defense against infection, these represent an essential toolbox for development of new efficient commercial vaccines.

Scientists also used so called immuno-stimulants to increase the reaction of the fish to diseases or to vaccination. They further analysed the activity of tens of thousands of genes using state-of-the-art microarray technology, where small glass plates are spotted with DNA fragments from fish or shellfish, to assess the relative importance of individual genes in keeping the animals healthy.

“This kind of knowledge will be instrumental for the development of efficient disease prevention strategies for fish and shellfish. We are getting closer to knowing what essential elements are needed to protect the animals against infections” says project co-coordinator Niels Lorenzen, of the Technical University of Denmark. “We strongly believe that prevention always is better than cure.” Use of vaccines and related prevention strategies would reduce the amount of antibiotics, disinfectants and chemicals that might be used in aquaculture – all of which might pose potential risks to the environment and the consumer. Additionally, it would increase animal welfare and reduce production costs in the industry. The researchers expect that the project results will significantly contribute to reduced disease problems and boost the European fish farming industry, improving sustainability and increasing the competitiveness of the sector.

Furthermore, the project has provided sufficient funds to train over 30 young scientists in this field, who will continue to expand the European research network on fish and shellfish immunology.

The IMAQUANIM group, made up of 17 universities and government research institutes as well as 5 small medium size enterprises, received €8 million funding from the European Commission, and a further €2.5 million from other sources. The scientific work has contributed to more than 130 international publications.


HONG KONG's Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, parent of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), posted 90 per cent year-on-year decline in net profit in 2011 to $181.6 million as overall revenue fell 0.4 per cent to $6 billion and container shipping revenues slipped 1.5 per cent to $5.5 billion.

Industry-wide overcapacity, resulting in depressed freight rates, as well as higher fuel costs, were blamed for the disappointing performance. Bunker fuel prices increased 39.7 per cent to $650 per ton in the last year, Bloomberg noted.

Losses were acute in the second half, said OOIL. "Despite the poor performance in the second half, the group remains operationally robust and well placed for the future with its alliance memberships and financially strong, well capitalised, and has sufficient liquidity and access to funding to meet its future needs," said the statement accompanying the results.

Yet OOIL has a low expectations for the coming year because of more new ship deliveries and sluggish growth in Europe and America. "We expect trading conditions to continue to be difficult. The major markets of North America and Europe are likely to see low levels of demand growth," said the statement accompanying the results.

OOCL's average charge for moving a container fell 6.7 per cent last year while its throughput increased 5.6 per cent to five million TEU.

OOCL has joined the new G6 Alliance together with Singapore's APL and Hapag-Lloyd, to improve business on the Asia- Europe trade lane and press rate increases. One, of $450 per TEU, has been announced for April 1, following a $800 rate hike levied in March.

Global demand growth slowed down from 13 per cent in 2010 to seven per cent in 2011, with weak consumption growth in the United States and with the impact of austerity measures taken in Europe.

Capacity in the Asia-Europe trade increased by 16 per cent and in the transpacific trade by 10 per cent. With capacity growth in both trades being substantially greater than demand growth, freight rates deteriorated. The deterioration in freight rates and rising fuel costs combined to severely impact the economics of the major east-west trades.

Half of OOCL's volume is in intra-Asia trades. But short voyages and limited intermodal transport opportunities mean low margins, said the company. "But it has provided a cushion against the poor trading conditions on the east-west trades," said the company statement.

"We may, however, see a slowing in growth rates for intra-Asia container volumes in 2012 as Asian economies are not immune to the slow growth of the export markets of Europe and North America," said the company.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CKYH MEMBERS, Cosco, "K" Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin and Evergreen have agreed to strengthen the alliance by offering eight weekly services for Asia-North Europe and four for Asia-Mediterranean, including direct services for Asia-Adriatic regions calling at Rijeka, Koper and Trieste.

A number of vessels ranging from 8,000 TEU to 13,000 TEU will be deployed on the 12 loops, said the joint statement, adding that these services are designated to offer the highest frequency with attractive transit times from Asia to major European ports including Rotterdam, Hamburg and Felixstowe, featuring 26-27 days from Shanghai/Ningbo and 23-24 days from Shenzhen-Yantian.

For Asia-North Europe trade, there are eight weekly service loops.

The NE1 loop calls at Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Guangzhou-Nansha, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Singapore, Guangzhou-Nansha and back to Shanghai.

The NE2 string calls at Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Shenzhen-Yantian, Singapore, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Felixstowe, Antwerp, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Xiamen.

The NE3 has the following rotation: Xingang, Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo, Singapore, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Antwerp, Shenzhen-Yantian, Hong Kong and back to Xingang.

The NE4 service calls at Ningbo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore, Shenzhen-Yantian, Kaohsiung and back to Ningbo.

Rotation of the NE6 loop includes Xingang, Kwangyang, Busan, Shanghai, Shenzhen-Yantian, Singapore, Algeciras, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Algeciras, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Xingang.

The CEM service rotation includes Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen-Yantian, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Hong Kong and back to Shanghai.

The CES string calls at Kaohsiung, Ningbo, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo, Piraeus, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Thamesport, Piraeus, Jeddah, Colombo, Tanjung Pelepas and back to Kaohsiung.

Rotation of the CES2 service is Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Kelang, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Tanjung Pelepas and back to Qingdao.

For Asia-Mediterranean trade, there are four weekly services.

The MD1 loop calls at Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shenzhen-Yantian, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Shekou, Singapore, Piraeus, La Spezia, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Piraeus, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Qingdao.

Rotation of the MD2 service includes Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Singapore, Port Said, Ashdod, Genoa, Barcelona, Marseilles-Fos, Port Said, Singapore, Hong Kong, and back to Ningbo.

The MD3 string calls at Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian, Singapore, Port Said, Napoli, La Spezia, Livorno, Port Said, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian and back to Ningbo

The UAM sling calls at Tokyo, Osaka, Busan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo, Ashdod, Alexandria, Taranto, Koper, Rijeka, Trieste, Taranto, Colombo, Tanjung Pelepas, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Shanghai and Ningbo.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


Officers aboard Cosco Busan when it collided into a San Francisco Bridge languish in an a Los Angeles apartment, detained as material witnesses on a US$50 a day food allowance, waiting for the day they give evidence for the trial of the ship's pilot, reports New York's Maritime Advocate.

Bay area governments fined the owner and operators of the 5,450-TEU Cosco Busan US$44.4 million for polluting California waters with a 53,000-gallon oil spill after the ship hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 2007.

"True, they are living in a reasonable apartment, they have been allowed to visit the local Chinatown and museums, almost certainly under the watchful eye of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service or spooks from the Department of Homeland Security," said the report.

They have not been charged but are witnesses in involving Cosco Busan pilot John Cota who was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, said the report. There is a lawsuit against the pharmacist who provided the prescription drugs that incapacitated the pilot.

"At the moment they are receiving their salaries from their company, Hong Kong's Fleet Management Ltd, which was fined US$10 million. But wages stop on May 31, said the report. They've lost their jobs on the Cosco Busan and can't find replacement employment because of their detention," said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE British government must negotiate to ensure the EU directive on ship sulphur emissions go no further than the revised UN International Maritime Organisation's MARPOL Annex VI agreed in 2008, says the chairwoman of the parliamentary transport committee.

But Transport Committee chairwoman and Liverpool Labour MP, Louise Ellman, said the committee was against Transport Minister Norman Baker's view that the EU directive should be rejected.

"We do not agree with the minister's assertion that the government will not negotiate with the commission on its proposals. The government will have to forge alliances with other member states. We recommend that UK negotiators focus on removing the tighter emissions limits for passenger ships outside specified Emissions Control Areas and ensure that the directive replicates Annex VI safeguards regarding the non-availability of low-sulphur fuel," she said.

"We believe that it's not appropriate for the [European] Commission to go further than these globally-agreed limits by imposing tighter regulations on shipping operators. We therefore endorse the UK Government's efforts to resist any additional requirements," she said.

"These regulations were agreed on a worldwide basis through the International Maritime Organisation," said Ms Ellman.

The committee, she said, recognises that the benefits of the revised MARPOL Annex VI exceed the costs of compliance, acknowledges that costs will fall most directly on ship operators and accepts that the abatement technology required for passenger shipping may not yet be ready for widespread commercial use.

But MPs also reminded the shipping sector that tighter emissions limits have been under discussion for many years. "Operators could have been more proactive about developing effective pollution abatement technology and must shoulder the cost of ensuring that their activities comply with relevant environmental legislation," she said.

"Clearly the government must work with industry to identify available abatement technologies and help overcome barriers to the development of this equipment. But when tough emission standards were first imposed on cars, suitable technology emerged far more rapidly than much of the motor industry forecast and cost far less than predicted," Ms Ellman said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

VOCIFEROUS opposition to the US Harbour Maintenance Tax has been voiced at the recent Long Beach-hosted JOC Transpacific Maritime Conference by west coast maritime interests who say it drives cargo away though Canadian ports and is spent to help rivals on the east coast.

West coast ports pay most of the dredging tax because they takes in most of the cargo while east coast ports get most of the dredging, which makes those ports more accessible to Asian cargo that is being diverted from west coast through the Panama to the US eastern seaboard.

"Shippers going through our ports pay money for this and they are not seeing it used," Long Beach port CEO Chris Lytle told London's Containerisation International.

"A lot of money is collected and we need to make sure that it goes to us and the use needs to be expanded - we should be allowed to utilise it," he said.

The tax, which chiefly pays for dredging, has been in the spotlight recently with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) investigating claims that the tax is driving shippers away from US west coast ports to Canada, where the tax is not payable.

Said Tacoma port commissioner Connie Bacon: "Price matters: There are financial incentives for shippers to reroute to ports where they don't have to pay this tax."

"HMT [Harbour Maintenance Tax] is not fair. Ports on the west coast get no use out of it. It would be great if the money collected could be spent on things that are important to us," she said.

Anthony Pagano, professor of supply chain management and logistics at the University of Illinois said: "Get rid of it, kill it, we don't need it."

Disagreeing that Canada is a serious threat to US cargo, Vancouver port CEO Robin Silvester said: "There are some who believe that a fee should be levied at land borders of the US/Canada. These are misconceptions; this will inhibit, not create growth."

Mr Silvester has often said that 95 per cent of his import cargo is Canada-bound, so the tax does not affect his operations much. Less than five per cent of Vancouver's 2.2 million TEU annual throughput in 2011 went to the US. While proportions tend to be reversed through Prince Rupert, the small container terminal 200 miles up the coast from Vancouver only handles 410,366 TEU in imports a year against 10 million TEU for Long Beach and 1.49 million TEU for Tacoma.

But Tacoma's Ms Bacon said: "If the HMT is not important than why does PMV [Port of Metro Vancouver] run ads encouraging shippers to use the port because there is no tax?"

Said LB's Mr Lytle: "We lose cargo because of this tax. The price of cargo is one of many reasons why shippers move cargo to different ports, It's a lot more money. The HMT clearly needs to be looked at."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Panama Canal Authority (ACP) board of directors has announced the appointment of engineer Jorge Luis Quijano as the new Panama Canal administrator, succeeding Alberto Aleman Zubieta, who has been at the helm of the canal for the past 16 years and whose term ends in September.

Mr Quijano' career at the Panama Canal began in 1975 and after several promotions he was appointed maritime operations director in 1999. Since September 2006, he has been the executive vice president of the engineering and programmes management department in charge of the Panama Canal expansion programme.

"We are proud to announce the appointment of Jorge Quijano as the new canal administrator. The board of directors, as part of its legal duties and based on its autonomy, considers engineer Quijano to have the knowledge and experience needed to manage the waterway at this key moment in its history," said Romulo Roux, board of directors chairman and minister for canal affairs.

Said Mr Roux: "The board of directors completed this selection process through the elaboration of a specific chronogram which compiled the challenges of the canal and its expansion. Based upon this strategic planning process, the board developed the profile of the new administrator."

Mr Roux explained that Mr Quijano will begin a transition period under the guidance of administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta, to guarantee a smooth succession once he officially occupies the position beginning on September 4.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Philippines port operator Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI) saw profits fall 29.3 per cent last year to PHP1.52 billion (US$35.8 million) from PHP2.15 billion in 2010.

At the same time, revenue slid by 3.1 per cent to PHP4.39 billion from PHP4.53 billion in 2010, Manila's Business World reported.

Officials of ATI could not be immediately reached to elaborate on the 2011 results and its financial statement has not yet been made available, said Business World.

In reporting its nine-month results earlier, however, the port operator had pointed to a 44 per cent drop in international non-containerised shipments reportedly due to lower rice and steel imports.

In contrast, port operator International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) last week said it ended 2011 with a 33 per cent increase in net income to $130.5 million on improved performance of its terminals globally.

But ATI said it is working to achieve growth. "Asian Terminals is constantly expanding its port facilities and further improving the efficiency of its operations through the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment and technologies," the company said.

"Asian Terminals is also expanding the quay length of Pier 3, its container yard, and is adding two more rubber-tyre gantries to increase the annual throughput capacity of Manila South Harbour near the one million TEU mark," said the company that operates South Harbour.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE UK's Barloworld Handling has announced its ports and terminal specialists are willing to offer free advice and site surveys to companies wishing to lower handling costs and/or bolster their operations ahead of the expected growth in traffic volumes.

The free advice and site surveys will be conducted through the use of the company's materials mapping and 3D simulation software. This enables the operator/facility to test various operating scenarios and equipment choice before committing to a particular investment.

The company said the expected increase in rail freight volumes will prompt the requirement to improve rail/yard operations, reports London's Containerisation International.

Ports and terminals sales manager Mike Parkin said: "The UK's Department of Transport says rail freight has expanded by 60 per cent over the past decade and is expected to grow by a further 30 per cent by 2019."

According to the company official, "ports and freight terminal operators are highly motivated to review options that lead to improved efficiency and carbon reductions".

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


FEDEX Express is preparing to deploy an unspecified number of electric Newton Step Vans for use in select markets over the course of the year.

Neither the logistics firm nor the manufacturer would say how many vans will be deployed this year. The electric step vans, which are standard shape walk-in vehicle in which one can stand up, are able run up to 100 miles on a single charge.

It said the Newton Step Van features Smith Electric Vehicle's proprietary battery-based technology and a walk-in body manufactured by Indiana-based truck-body maker Utilimaster.

The Newton Step Van can be specified for gross vehicle weights of between 14,000 and 26,000 pounds. The report added that the electric step vans have been deployed and tested as an urban pickup and delivery vehicle by several companies already, including Coca-Cola, Duane Reed and New Deal Logistics.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CATHAY Pacific Airways has announced the combined cargo throughput of Cathay Pacific and Dragonair in February was up 0.8 per cent to 117,800 tonnes year on year.

But the cargo and mail load factor was down by 1.8 percentage points to 65.8 peer cent. Capacity in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres rose 4.7 per cent, while cargo and mail tonne kilometres flown increased two per cent. For the year to date, tonnage has declined 10.4 per cent while capacity has shrunk 1.6 per cent.

Cathay Pacific general manager cargo sales & marketing James Woodrow said: "On the surface the February cargo figures look reasonably okay, but comparisons with 2011 are distorted because of the Chinese New Year effect. Our key markets remained soft, with weak demand to Europe in particular out of Hong Kong and Shanghai. We continued to manage capacity in line with demand, which helped to keep load factors reasonably stable. At the end of February, demand out of Hong Kong and mainland China did improve due to large project shipments."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SINGAPORE's big aviation engineering company is playing a central role in helping Airbus reduce Boeing's air freight dominance by converting redundant A330 passenger aircraft into cargo carriers to compete with converted versions of Boeing 767s, reports Bloomberg.

According to the agreement with Singapore Technologies, the Asian company's ST Aero unit will develop the model with Dresden-based Airbus Group unit EFW, that already does Airbus conversions. Conversion work will be split between the two, with most work done in Germany.

The EFW facility already does A300s and A310s, which are up to 40 years old and expensive to fly though they are about the same size as the A330s. "The converted planes offer fuel-efficiency at a relatively low price.

While Airbus SAS (EAD) dominates the civil aviation sales worldwide, Boeing has 90 per cent of the dedicated freighter market. Airbus had no model to match Boeing's products and would face prohibitive costs to produce one.

"This makes good sense," said Oddo Securities analyst Yan Derocles in Paris. "Given the size of its order backlog, Airbus is in no position to do something like this on its own, so partnering with Singapore Technologies avoids cannibalising its own resources. Plus a freighter conversion extends the life of the A330 passenger model and protects residual values."

Airbus estimates a demand for 2,731 cargo jets through 2030, according to the company's first ever market forecast solely for that sector, published last month.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders said the converted aircraft - known as the A330P2F (passenger to freight) - won't affect sales of the purpose built A330 cargo aircraft as they appeal to different markets.

Purpose-built freighters are mostly deployed by carriers with high-intensity cargo operations and minimal downtime, said Andreas Hermann, who heads the Toulouse-based company's freighter unit, whereas converted aircraft are preferred by airlines that have lower utilisation and are not willing to pay high prices for new planes.

The Airbus plan was influenced by Qatar Air CEO Akbar Al Baker's announcement last year that he planned to switch a batch of the planes to cargo use by 2016 and would buy converted 767s if the Airbus could not do the work.

Qatar Air, which has expanded its cargo business after buying a 35 per cent of Cargolux, Europe's biggest air freight carrier, now wants to convert twenty A330s. The carrier is also looking at converting 777-200ERs.

"We will not buy new freighters," said a Qatar executive. "The cost of ownership is so high that there's no way we'd make money."

But Emirates thinks conversions are over-rated. Ram Menen, the Dubai-based carrier's cargo chief, is adding nine new 777 through 2014 to double its freighter fleet and will consider placing an order for 747-8Fs once traffic picks up.

"I'm not keen on those converted airplanes, especially when you have oil prices where they are right now," he said. "They tend to be a bit more inefficient because they tend to be heavier, and their payload capabilities are a bit challenged."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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