COMMERCE Minister Chen Daming has criticised a US bill that would place punitive duties on subsidised goods from China and Vietnam that nullifies a court ruling that forbid the US Commerce Department from imposing countervailing duties on subsidised goods.

Protested the minister: "The US Government has subsidised companies, like the three big automakers, but China did not criticise these moves or start massive countervailing actions," he said.

"We follow the rules of the WTO [World Trade Organisation], but we have no obligation to follow domestic laws or regulations in any country that go beyond international rules," Mr Chen told a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress meeting in Beijing, said Reuters.

Beijing will not adjust the yuan's value to help the US solve its trade deficit problem, he said, adding that keeping the yuan from a free market float was not the cause of the trade imbalance. The yuan, he said, is near its fair value.

Mr Chen said China's trade surplus was reduced to 2.1 per cent of GDP in 2011, while the US trade deficit remained at 4.8 per cent and that China's trade surplus was only $150 billion, but its trade surplus with the US was $200 billion.

US President Barack Obama has agreed to sign the bill into law to allow duties to be imposed on subsidised goods from China and Vietnam, which the White House says this will protect American jobs.

The consensus view of a Reuters poll is that China's annual export and import growth enjoyed a sharp rebound in February from a year earlier.

The White House recently announced setting up an Interagency Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate compliance with trade rules, targeting China and Vietnam.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Ports of Auckland has signed a deal with two independent stevedoring companies to replace 300 striking dockers it sacked by signing contracts with Drake New Zealand and AWF Group to provide new hires.

"These are partnerships that will contribute to innovation and the development of Ports of Auckland as a customer focussed, aspirational port, which delivers for Auckland," said port CEO Tony Gibson, according to New Zealand's Voxy News.

But the dockers, members of New Zealand's Maritime Union (MUNZ), say the port authority is acting illegally and are seeking legal advice, reported London's Containerisation International, adding that the they are also talking to Auckland City Council, which would have to pay some of the NZ$12 million (US$9.9 million) needed in redundancy pay.

Said union president Garry Parsloe: "They have kicked all of us out the door. And Tony Gibson thinks we'll all run back and work for half the money."

Meanwhile, Gary Withers, general manager of Drake New Zealand stevedores said his company will deliver high quality workers. "We look forward to working with Ports of Auckland as it implements its move to competitive stevedoring," he said.

Said AWF Group CEO Mike Huddleston: "We are very pleased to partner with Ports of Auckland to provide stevedoring services. We will bring a motivated, skilled team to the wharf."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

PORT of Taicang, 60 miles upstream from Shanghai on the Yangtze, is aiming to complete handling four million TEU and overall 120 million tonnes by the end of this month, Xinhua reports.

The eastern China port, once home to now defunct The Containership Company, also plans to invest CNY5.43 billion (US$860.6 million) on development projects, and launch 16 to 24 new lines to raise the total to between 115 and 123. It will also seek to increase its client base in Suzhou by 200 to 300 shippers to raise the total to 1,500 companies.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MANZHOULI, China's largest overland customs checkpoint on Sino-Russian border registered an import and export value of US$570 million in January, reports Xinhua.

The export value increased 22.8 per cent year on year to $90 million. Export cargo mainly were vegetables, steels, textile products and automobile parts.

The overland port exported 32,000 tonnes of vegetables, up 140 per cent with a value of $20 million, 8,030 tonnes of steel, up 430 per cent with a value of $7.55 million, textile products valued at $4.56 million with a 25.6 per cent increase, automobile parts in value of $849,000, up 49.7 per cent, and 1,955 tonnes of granite and stone, up 100 per cent with a value of $669,000.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTHWEST China's overland checkpoint bordering Kazakhstan, Alataw Pass, moved 1.99 million tonnes of cargo in January, growing six per cent year on year, reports Xinhua.

Imports increased 1.5 per cent to 1.52 million tonnes while the exports grew 24.5 per cent to 363,600 tonnes with a total trade value of US$1.41 billion, up 23.6 per cent.

The import value grew 6.6 per cent to $1.09 billion while the export value increased 177 per cent to $316 million.

The imports mainly are bulk cargo such crude oil and iron ore while the exports focus on construction material, chemical products and industrial machinery.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Philippines Ports Authority (PPA) has experienced a 6.3 per cent increase in overall 2011 cargo volume to 162.2 million tonnes year on year, also posting 4.8 million TEU at its four ports in Luzon and Mindanao.

Domestic container growth was most pronounced at 17.53 per cent to 1.9 million TEU, but only increased 1.19 per cent to 74.86 million tonnes year on year.

International container volume was up 4.52 per cent to 2.98 million TEU against a robust uplift in cargo tonnage of 6.10 per cent to 102.48 million tonnes. Ship calls to ports dropped by 3.04 per cent to 335,580 from 345,096 year previous.

Growth increases were most marked at Surigao with 21.64 million tonnes while PMO in Puerto Princes, Palawan's growth rate was the highest at 56.8 per cent, said a statement from PPA.

Declines were the steepest at Iligan, down 19.97 per cent; Iloilo, down 19.6 per cent; Legazpi, down 13.6 per cent; Tacloban, down 10.7 per cent; Zambonga, off 9.96 per cent, with the smallest drop - 9.45 per cent - at Manila's North Harbour.

"This may be attributed to lesser exportation of coal, metal scrap, minerals, and importation of grains, cement and fertilisers" the PPA said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) plans to acquire a controlling interest of between 35 and 55 per cent in Pakistan International Container Terminal Ltd (PICT) that has an annual capacity of 750,000 TEU.

According to a Philippine Stock Exchange filing, the planned acquisition comprises 60.03 million ordinary shares at PKR10 (US$0.11) each. The company is listed with the Karachi Stock Exchange Guarantee Limited.

This comes as the Manila-bses global terminal operator posted 32.8 per cent growth in 2011's net income to reach US$130.5 million. The stronger performance was attributed to an increase in port revenues owing partly to the inclusion of earnings from ICTSI Oregon in the US and Adriatic Container Gate Terminal (AGCT) in Croatia.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HAMBURG's Kuehne Logistics University (KLU) is inviting entries for "Case Competition Focused on Humanitarian Logistics" for a scholarship at the university.

A statement from Swiss-based logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel announced that KLU is holding a second case competition for Bachelor (undergraduate) students.

"After last year's case study, this year's is firmly focused on humanitarian logistics and is being organised with the support of a reputable international aid organisation," it said.

At the end of April business studies students and graduates will be required to "cope with the logistics challenges posed by a humanitarian aid mission, using a genuine case", to demonstrate their decision-making skills, their solution-oriented approaches and their "professional" presentation.

The winning team will receive a scholarship at the KLU. No previous experience in humanitarian logistics is required. The closing date for applications is April 20. For more information, visit

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INCHCAPE Shipping Services (ISS) has established a new office in Malta with a newly recruited management team, after ending a sub-agency agreement with local firm Thomas Smith.

The new ISS office will cover all ports in Malta with the new team drawn from large international shipping agencies and having experience of all vessel and cargo types, a company statement said.

The newly appointed ISS country manager is Ray Turban who joins the company from a local agency firm. With 25 years' industry experience, Mr Turban's expertise extends to all agency activities, covering all cargo commodity types, ship husbandry matters, crew logistic services, ship to ship, cruise, liner and vessel repairs. The Malta branch will continue to be supported by the company's Greek unit, based in Piraeus.

Said ISS Greek manager Christos Makrialeas: "Geographical expansion in the Mediterranean and beyond is a key strategic objective of ISS," adding that the same model will be followed in other countries in the Mediterranean region.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THIRD party logistics provider Damco has appointed international logistics professional, Martin Sieg, to take charge of ocean freight at a time when the company aims to achieve ambitious growth.

Since January 1, Mr Sieg took up the position of global head of ocean freight with overall responsibility for 600,000 TEU of ocean freight that the company manages each year.

The international freight expert is bullish about his new job in spite of market volatility. "The role of ocean transport, as a substantial part of the ever growing worldwide trade, will grow further," Mr Sieg said.

Having registered record profit growth of 29 per cent to US$97 million last year, the company is looking to grow more than the market average, to become one of the top five logistics providers in the world.

"It is extremely exciting to be in charge of one of the major products supporting this growth. Our Ocean Freight solutions will play a major role in our future development and we will further enhance our service scope to follow the customer demands," the new head of ocean freight said.

Mr Sieg was prior to joining the company the managing director of German logistics company SDV Geis and has previously held several managerial roles with Hapag-Lloyd.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INTTRA in collaboration with Fonterra, a major exporter of dairy products, says it is delivering the sea freight industry's first standardised electronic bill of lading.

Using the e-bill of lading process, sellers/exporters can accelerate the order-to-cash cycle, reduce days of sales outstanding and generate significant cost savings by reducing or eliminating courier and discrepancy fees, a statement said.

In addition, e-B/Ls are designed to facilitate faster access to goods for buyers. This new electronic process can impact over 15 million ocean shipments that rely on courier delivery of paper B/Ls each year as the document of title to goods.

"We are pleased to deliver a standardised multi-bank, multi-carrier electronic B/L solution to Fonterra, in association with SWIFT and Bolero, which utilises Bolero's proven technology and legal framework to reduce costs and streamline global supply chains," said Ivan Latanision, INTTRA, senior vice president, product management.

"This multi-party e-B/L solution streamlines electronic title transfer for shipments involving letters of credit or collections and connects the physical supply chain with the financial supply chain," Mr Latanision said.

Said Fonterra documentation manager Clyde Fletcher: "The potential savings from straight-through electronic processing and a faster supply chain are likely to be considerable for all parties."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

JAPAN's largest carrier Mitsui OSK. Lines (MOL) has held this year's set of Safety Conferences in Manila, Mumbai, Dubrovnik and Tokyo.

More than 210 seafarers, who were on leave, took part in the February conference in Manila, 100 participated in Mumbai, 130 attended the event in Dubrovnik, and 70 were on hand for the March 7 session in Tokyo.

The event opened with a message from company chairman Akimitsu Ashida, and president Koichi Muto was cited as saying: "Safe operation is key to winning credibility and trust from our customers in the severe business environment surrounding our company. Our goal is to become the world leader in safe operation, as stated in its mid-term management plan."

"To achieve this goal, I hope all seafarers on the front lines of safe operation will be motivated to further enhance the safety of the MOL group fleet," Mr Muto added.

The conferences focused on the main theme of "eradication of accidents resulting in injury or death," and safe vessel operations.

In addition to the Tokyo conference, 60 Japanese seafarers and office staff, including executive officer Masaaki Nemoto, who took part in a "hazard experience" training session that replicated various potential risks in onboard operations, and reaffirmed the group's commitment to accident-free operation.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

JEDDAH based Saudi Airlines Cargo is to launch a twice-weekly freighter service to link cheaper manufacturing hubs of southeast Asia to the Middle East and Germany using a B747 freighter.

The service will fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Dubai and Frankfurt from March 25.

In a report from Air Cargo World its vice-president of commercial Peter Scholten said that Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is an emerging market: "With China becoming more expensive, production is increasingly being moved to Vietnam and other developing countries".

"With China becoming more expensive, production is increasingly being moved to Vietnam and other developing countries. This new service will enable us to expand our network into the region in response to changing market conditions," he said.

Saudi Airlines Cargo will perform a Brussels-Dubai routing twice a week and fly from Amsterdam to Dubai once a week, according to a press release.

Ingo-Alexander Rahn, executive vice president of global air freight and head of StarBroker at DHL, said the decision to collaborate with Saudi was strategic. "We chose to work with Saudi Airlines Cargo on this programme because, in addition to the new orientation of [Saudi Arabian Airlines], we have found the right mix of commitment, flexibility and network capabilities," he said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

KOREAN Air has announced the launch of A380 service between Seoul Incheon and Frankfurt starting March 25 with a three-class layout of lowest number of seats at 407 for the double-decker aircraft.

KE905 will depart Seoul/Incheon at 1250 hrs daily and arrive in Frankfurt at 1745 hrs the same day. The return flight, KE906, will depart Frankfurt daily at 1945 hrs and arrive in Seoul/Incheon at 1305 hrs the following day.

"Our A380 flight is a game changer for Frankfurt," says Korean Air's regional manager for the Frankfurt Office, Sung Hwan Jung in a statement. "Our exclusive upstairs Prestige Class, Duty Free Showcase, the hosted Celestial Bar and other lounges, combined with the roominess of the A380 aircraft, will provide our passengers with an unparalleled travelling experience," he added.

Korean Air's double-decker A380s feature cutting-edge amenities, with 12 ultra-luxurious First Class Kosmo Suites and 301 Economy Class seats on the first floor, and 94 lie-flat Prestige Sleeper seats in Prestige Class (business class) on upstairs.

Korean Air currently operates five A380 aircraft to major destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The introduction of the super jumbo aircraft on the Frankfurt route is expected to increase both business and leisure passengers from China, Japan and East Asia transferring to Europe.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MIDAMERICA St Louis Airport approval by St Clair County Board of US$550 million of bond issue to pay for a China air freight hub has been criticised by industry expert.

Aviation consultant Michael Boyd, of the Colorado-based Boyd Group International, a long-standing critic of the "big idea" of air cargo operation between St Louis and China, said Strategic Air Cargo's scheme is a "boondoggle" and a "national embarrassment".

But Strategic Air Cargo spokesman Gary Andreas said: "Nobody on the St Clair County side has gone into this blindly".

The air cargo group must still repay the bonds, despite tax-exemption, and should backers substitute equity for debt it is unlikely to borrow the whole amount, he added.

Further evidence of concrete links to a group, yet to be incorporated, is its partnership with BB&T Capital Markets, a subsidiary of a North Carolina bank, said Mark Kern, the county board chairman, of an underused airport with distinct advantages of lowest landing fees and excess developable land.

Mr Boyd stands by his previous criticism of a China hub in St Louis as a "pipe dream". Air cargo must be shipped to a place where the stuff is used or being built, not shipped by truck for another day and a half to New York.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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

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