IATA’s Industry Charges, Fuel & Taxation (ICFT) team will face challenging financial and qualitative targets in 2012.

IATA achieved US$5.9 billion in savings on airport and ATC charges, fuel fees, and taxation in 2011. In 2012, as well as continuing to meet financial savings goals, IATA will be challenged with qualitative targets.

IATA’s efforts to ensure that airport and air-navigation service charges and fuel fees are transparent and cost-related saved the industry $6 billion last year. This figure exceeded the Board target of $3 billion. Nevertheless, airlines saw their charges bill rise by $5 billion.

This year, IATA will work toward a more diverse set of savings targets. As well as securing cuts to existing charges, taxes, and fees, we will need to ensure that proposed increases are reduced by at least 30%.

IATA will aim to persuade seven major service providers/states to commit to more favorable pricing agreements. We will also campaign to improve service shortfalls at seven major service providers/states in fuel supply, airport infrastructure, or ATC operations.

Given the uncertain economic outlook for 2012, airlines will continue to be challenged by rising charges, fees, and taxation. A particular threat currently comes from debt-laden European and North American governments looking to tax aviation. IATA will seek to educate governments on air transport’s invaluable role as a key driver of economic activity.

Finally, in the area of fuel, registration has opened for the next Aviation Fuel Forum, to be held in Chicago from 15 to 17 May 2012. The event is for IATA Strategic Partners and member airlines involved in fuel activities. For more details and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Aviation Fuel Forum event page.

Source IATA

TROUBLED by an export slowdown, the Port of Shenzhen's container volume fell 7.8 per cent to 1.93 million TEU in January, reports Xinhua, with throughput of laden boxes sliding 7.6 per cent to 958,322 TEU.

An unidentified official at Shenzhen's Shekou Container Terminal pointed out that there had been a shrinkage of consumer demand overseas, resulting in a weak Chinese export performance.

In addition, moving of more and more processing factories from Shenzhen into hinterland China combined with competition from neighbouring ports with lower prices also diminished Shenzhen throughput.

Another unidentified official from the China Merchants Western Shenzhen Terminals said Shenzhen was beset by uncertainty. Whether the port can maintain its leading status depends on whether Shenzhen can develop new competitive advantages, he said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTH Korea's Hanjin Shipping is to take delivery of the first of nine 13,092 TEU, the Hanjin Sooho, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which will phase into CKHY Alliance NE6 service with a maiden voyage on April 1.

The second and third vessels, Hanjin Asia and Hanjin Europe will be delivered on the April 15 and May 6 respectively. All three vessels will replace vessels averaging 9,000 TEU with a further shift of other vessels from CKHY Asia/Europe structure into the NE6.

By mid-March, the existing average weekly capacity of the NE6 service willhave increased from 9,300 TEU to 11,050 TEU, an increase of just over 18 per cent.

The port rotation from April 1 will be: Tianjin, Kwangyang, Busan, Shanghai, Singapore, Algeciras, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Algeciras, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Tianjin.

The NE6 service will serve both east and westbound directions for transhipment at Algeciras with the Felixstowe call to be moved to the CUS service and westbound port calls to Ningbo, Xiamen and Hong Kong removed altogether.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

FRENCH shipping line CMA CGM says it is revising its services on the Asia-US east coast trade.

"The strengthening of our Asia/USEC loops means three departures a week and a wider geographical coverage. These are two major steps to better serve our customers and improve their logistic supply chain," said a company statement.

It said in a statement that with effect from March 28 the network will be covered by the following loops, as follows:

The PEX 3, Asia-US Gulf Coast service will be operated by the carrier with 11 vessels of 5,500 TEU. The port rotation is Xiamen, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Chiwan, Shanghai, Busan, Punta Manzanillo, Houston, Mobile, Miami, Jacksonville and back to Xiamen.

The Manhattan Bridge, another Asia-US east coast service will be operated by China Shipping, Evergreen and UASC with nine 4,000-TEU ships.

The port rotation is Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Yantian, Hong Kong, New York, Norfolk, Savannah and back to Shanghai.

It said the Columbus Suez service that connects Asia to the US east and west coasts remains unchanged. CMA CGM and Maersk Line operate this service jointly with 16 vessels of 8,100 TEU.

The port rotation is Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tanjung Pelapas, Suez Canal, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Suez Canal, Tanjung Pelapas, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Yantian, Shanghai, Busan, Seattle, Vancouver, Yokohama and back to Shanghai.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Port of Long Beach says it has reached a tentative agreement on a 40-year US$4.6 billion lease with Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) for use of the Middle Harbour property, "in what would be the largest deal of its kind for any US seaport", a statement from port authorities said.

This comes as work on Phase 1 of the Middle Harbour Redevelopment Project reaches that part of the plan to combine two aging facilities into one modern terminal to speed movement of cargo and improve environmental performance.

The nine-year, $1.2 billion project will upgrade piers, water access and storage area, as well as add a greatly expanded on-dock rail yard. The project is expected to cut air pollution.

Phase 1 of the project began in spring last year. Currently, landfill for part of a new wharf is in place and concrete piles to support the wharf deck are being sunk. Crews are also at work on the wharf's electrical infrastructure, which will eventually power cranes and allow ships at berth to plug into the power grid instead of burning diesel to make electricity, the statement said.

By October, dredging work was completed in the main ship channel all the way into the Middle Harbour and East Basin, improving access for oil tankers and creating one of the deepest harbours among US seaports.

In keeping with the port's green port policy and the San Pedro Bay ports clean air plan, the project is required to minimise or eliminate negative environmental impacts from shipping operations.

To improve air quality and reduce environmental impacts, the project includes shoreside power for ships, expanded on-dock rail to shift more than 30 per cent of the cargo shipments from trucks to trains, cleaner yard equipment, electric rail-mounted gantry cranes, green flag vessel speed reduction programme requirements, use of low-sulphur fuels for ships' main and auxiliary engines, storm water pollution prevention, solar panels, and the reuse or recycling of waste materials such as concrete, steel and copper during construction.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NEW ZEALAND's Port of Napier - benefiting from Auckland's dock strike - has reported a nine per cent year-on-year increase in fourth quarter container volume as full-year volume went up to six per cent to 191,000 TEU.

Strike-bound Auckland continues to divert traffic to its rivals Tauranga and Napier with the giant diary cooperative Fonterra's diverting its 500-700 TEU weekly exports away from Auckland, splitting it between its two rivals in unknown proportions.

Labour trouble in Auckland is expected to improve Napier profit. Thus far, annual operating profit has increased 10.5 per cent to NZ$$2.76 million (US$2.31 million) year on year.

Fonterra business accounts to NZ$$27 million a week. "Obviously, the port is working aggressively to secure these gains long term," Napier port CEO Garth Cowie told Fairfax NZ News.

Mr Cowie said exports increased - despite a strengthening New Zealand dollar - through December to 913,000 tonnes, an increase of 10 per cent with forest products accounting for 40 per cent of throughput.

But container handling efficiency was down compared to rivals at 22.8 TEU per hour by crane with Auckland slightly ahead at 25.1, Wellington at 30.4 and Tauranga beating all at 34.8.

But Mr Cowie said port productivity was more than speed of loading and through its mobile cranes and policy of no work stoppage, it can increase efficiency elsewhere.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTHEASTERN China's Jilin province spent CNY1.4 billion (US$222.2 million) on 46 grain storage projects last year, adding an extra one million tonne to the total silo capacity and 300,000 tonnes to distribution capacity last year, Xinhua reports.

Last year, the province also upgraded the existing warehouses, raising the total grain warehousing capacity of the province from 13.2 million tonnes to 15.7 million tonnes.

Jilin province is vying for state government support and at the meantime seeking investors to boost development of grain logistics.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

EASTERN Anhui province plans to spend CNY27 billion (US$4.3 billion) on road infrastructures this year and will try to increase investment to CNY30 billion, Xinhua reports.

This year, the province will have over 150 kilometres of new expressways open to traffic, raising the total to 3,200 kilometres. It also aims to keep cargo volume rising at a rate of 14 per cent and passenger at 13 per cent, and to achieve a port throughput of 400 million tonnes.

The province will also try to reduce transport energy consumption by 1.2 per cent, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MALAYSIA's MISC Bhd has scrapped its Straits-Middle East Halal service and the Malaysia East Asia (MES) service, the last of its intra-Asia services in late February.

Alphaliner reports that the moves come as MISC prepares to make a final exit from its entire container shipping operations by June.

It said the carrier has been operating the Halal service with three 4,500-TEU vessels since last September when its port rotation was shortened to call at ports in Singapore, Jebel Ali, Dammam, Mundra, Colombo and Port Kelang.

It said the East Asia leg of the Halal service was integrated in its MES service and deployed three 1,700-TEU ships on a port rotation of Singapore, Port Kelang, Shanghai, Busan, Qingdao and back to Singapore. The three vessels used on the MES are owned by MISC, but are likely to be sold.

As for the three ships deployed on the Halal service, which have been sublet from Cosco, they are to be delivered to the Chinese shipping company soon.

At the end of January MISC suspended its Philippines Feeder Service (PFS) that was originally launched in May 2007 to connect Port Kelang and Singapore with Manila and Davao. The PFS was temporarily suspended in 2010 and later recommenced in January 2011, on a revised port rotation of Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Davao, Port Kelang, returning to Singapore. By October port of calls at Ho Chi Minh City and Port Kelang were dropped and a stop at Jakarta was added.

The service used two chartered ships, the 957-TEU Elena and the 966-TEU MedBay, which have already been removed from the fleet.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE aggregate loss clocked up by Malaysian shipping line MISC since 2007 has ballooned to MYR3,305 million (US$1,6 billion), making it the biggest loser among its rivals.

For the whole of 2011, MISC Berhad suffered an operating loss of MYR661 million (US$215 million) in liner shipping and logistics.

To make amends, the company has taken a MYR1.4 billion (US$460 million) provision for its plan to exit from the container shipping trades by the end of June this year.

Alphaliner reported the provisions included impairment of asset values and costs related to its withdrawal from shipping line alliances and the scrapping of related services and operational contracts.

The company's average operating margin of 31 per cent in 2011 for its container shipping arm is said to rank as the "worst among all liner operators for the third straight year".

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SOUTH CAROLINA has assigned US$180 million from US funding to pay for harbour dredging, mostly for the Charleston Harbour Deepening Project, a total of 60 per cent of the total project cost of $300 million.

The state funding from the SC House committee, to be taken up in early March, will cover construction costs following the completion of the project's feasibility study and adds to an earmarked $3.5 million in the US President's Budget for fiscal 2013. This means that half of Charleston's Harbour Deepening Project's feasibility study is funded. It does not include separate funds from the US Army Corps of Engineers' Work Plan.

Charleston's deepening project would open the port to the biggest vessels 24 hours a day at low tide and is likely "the cheapest South Atlantic harbour to deepen to 50 feet," according to the Corps' Reconnaissance Study, 2010.

"We believe this project offers the best value for a true post-Panamax harbour in the entire Southeast region, and we commend the Ways and Means Committee for recognising the critical need for a deepened shipping channel in Charleston," said Bill Stern, chairman of the South Carolina Ports Authority.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INCHCAPE Shipping Services (ISS) is commencing operations in Saudi Arabia, to build a presence in one of the largest industrial and project-orientated economies in the Middle East.

In creating the new entity, the company has signed a joint venture agreement with Al Bakri Group in the kingdom. Named ISS Saudi Arabia, the JV will provide customers with marine, cargo and government services as well as survey and liner agency.

The JV will also operate launch services off Rastanura. All services are available to customers 24/7, and are supported by the parent's global network, systems, infrastructure and standard operating procedures.

Headquartered in Jeddah, where the country management team is based, the new company has offices in Yanbu, Rabigh, Jubail, Rastanura, Ras Al Khafji and Dammam, a company statement said.

Rohan D'Souza, who has over 15 years of port agency experience, has been appointed as ISS Saudi Arabia port manager. He has been transferred from ISS Qatar, where he was the Marine and Government Services Operations manager for several years. Based in Jeddah, Mr D'Souza will be responsible for operational delivery and ensuring a high level of service for customers within the region.

Inchcape Shipping Services is a maritime services provider with more than 260 proprietary offices in 63 countries and a workforce of over 3,500.

ISS provides landside commercial and humanitarian logistics, transit, offshore support, informational and other associated marine services. The company also provides a growing range of outsourcing services including global crew and marine spares logistics; port hub agency management; and sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning solutions through its subsidiary ShipNet.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE US Grains Council's latest report that looks at "A Changing Vision of World Food Demands in 2040," has concluded that "sophisticated food demands of newly affluent consumers in China and other developing nations are likely to cause major change in US farming and food production".

It said that this will likely change Asian food policy and world trade, said USGC president and CEO Thomas Dorr.

"Growing affluence in China could change people's diets and the global food system. Consumers will expect more choice, quality, convenience and safety in their food purchases," he said.

A statement said that the Food 2040 study also reveals important implications for agricultural trade policy between the US and Asian nations. "We are seeing China become more open to acceptance agricultural biotechnology, which can help meet the needs of the Asian middle class in a sustainable manner," Mr Dorr said.

It also highlighted that US attitudes about feeding the world are likely to change too. "Many of the agribusinesses and agricultural organisations that comprise the US Grains Council are starting to review possibilities for meeting the needs and capturing the economic value with the ascendancy of the Asian middle class," said USGC chairman Wendell Shaman, an Illinois corn farmer and member of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

"Working together with trading partners around the world to understand emerging trends, we can use a convergence of science, technology and policy reform to meet changing food demands and capture the economic potential of new Asian consumers."

The report said that although India is expected to surpass China in population numbers, China is likely to remain the dominant economy within the timeframe of Food 2040.

"Agricultural biotechnology may no longer be dominated by US technology. China is on a path to global bioscience leadership, driven by major central government investments to meet its own food needs and a desire to be an export leader," the study found.

On the other hand, it said: "Asia does not yet have a well-developed food safety and inspection system, but this could change through use of 21st-century Nan technology, biotechnology, information technology and logistics systems.

"By 2040, 70 per cent of consumer food expenditures in Japan will go towards foods prepared outside the home, and China is likely to adopt Japan's rapid acceptance of foods prepared outside the home."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG Airlines has been blasted by two environmental groups in the state-owned China Daily for shipping live dolphins to from Osaka to Hanoi.

The San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute and the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society were quoted in a substantial China Daily article, which told of five dolphins flown in tanks with fins protruding as if it were blameworthy.

It accused Hong Kong Airlines of "torturing the dolphins" by placing them in "flying coffins" for up to seven hours in transit from Osaka to Hanoi.

Hong Kong Airlines said it had complied with government rules and International Air Transport Association regulations on live animal transport. It is understood the animals were bound for Vietnamese theme parks and zoos.

Quoted in the China Daily, Earth Island director David Berman: "This is kidnapping. Hong Kong Airlines should be boycotted for this for this inhumane money-grabbing contract to traffic in dolphins."

Of Earth Island's executive director David Brower, former US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Russ Train said: "Thank God for Dave Brower. He makes it easy for the rest of us to appear reasonable." (This quotation appeared on Earth Island's website.)

Said Samuel Hung, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society: "If this plane took off from Osaka Airport, its almost definite where they have a dolphin drive and hunt. Because of the film the Cove, a lot of people know about the Taiji dolphin hunt in Japan."

Hong Kong Airlines said in its internal e-mail that after the "smooth handling of such special cargo which is time sensitive and vulnerable," it hoped to do more business of this nature.

"Based on the experience we have obtained this time, Hong Kong Airlines cargo will develop the business onward." It described the shipment was a successful flight and earned HK$850,000 (US$110,000).

"Hong Kong Airlines is fully committed to the protection of animal welfare," it said in a statement, in response to the charges, adding "no dolphin suffered or was injured during this shipment."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LOS ANGELES International Airport, the world's sixth busiest, recorded a five per cent decline in total air cargo tonnage to 135,383 tons in January, due to a six per cent drop in air cargo to 128,037 tons though having an 8.6 per cent growth in airmail to 7,347 tons.

The total number of landings and takeoffs, including passenger and cargo aircraft, increased four per cent to 49,455, reported the Los Angeles Business Journal, adding that total passenger traffic was up 5.4 per cent in January at 4.9 million.

In 2011, LA airport's total air cargo tonnage dropped 3.8 per cent despite a 4.7 per cent growth in passenger traffic. The decline of cargo volume last year was because of a 4.2 per cent drop in cargo freight.

Airport officials said they planned to study why cargo traffic is decreasing.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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