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

 

NORTHWEST China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region will launch one more international flight service this year, which is the Kashgar-Islamabad passenger and cargo chartered service, to raise the total of international flights to 37 reaching 32 foreign destinations, Xinhua reports.

This year, Xinjiang Airport Group, the operator of Xinjiang's airports, will set up one new air carrier to operate routes from other Chinese cities to Xinjiang capital Urumqi and from Urumqi to its feeder cities.

By the end of this year, the Xinjiang Airport Group expects to handle 119,000 tonnes of freight, up 2.8 per cent year on year, and 16.1 million passengers, up 13.3 per cent.

The group is also expected to register an aircraft movement of 166,000 flights, up 11.4 per cent. Urumqi airport is estimated to have a throughput of 12.5 million passengers this year. Flights from other Chinese cities to Urumqi are expected to increase 11 per cent.

This year, Xinjiang will also build or upgrade a number of airports, including those at Kashgar, Yining, Hami, Qiemo, Hetian and Korla.

Last year, Xinjiang's airports handled 116,000 tonnes of cargo altogether, up 14 per cent year on year. Their throughput increased 21 per cent to 14.2 million passengers. A total of 149,000 flights took off and landed at the airport, up 21 per cent.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


By the order of the Harbour Master Alexander Antonov from 00.00 on 28 February in the port of Odessa the ice campaign is canceled. RLet's remind,  it was announced on February 1. Virtually all of the current month and the statement of vessels in the output OMTP conducted in difficult navigational conditions. Northeast winds at sub-zero temperatures formed ice field with a radius of 12 miles from the entrance to the waters. Harbour port was sealed and hummocky ice thickness of 30 cm. Despite the fact that the mooring occupied by four to six hours instead of an hour and a half for the postings of "pure" water, the port continued to work around the clock. To put to berths large vessels up to 300 m tow-canting operations involved six tugboats of an ice class from the port fleet service: "Granit", "Innovator", "Udarnik", "Dokovets", "Trud", "Stividor". On February 23 north-east wind shifted to the southwest. The ice started to slowly leave the Gulf of Odessa


Source Odessa commercial sea port

Boost for offshore supply and subsea vessel lifting equipment development


Kongsberg Evotec, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, has established a new department dedicated to developing its crane and lifting products for the offshore supply and subsea segment. The department, which opened officially in January 2012 is based in Molde, Norway, with production taking place at the Kongsberg Evotec headquarters in Gurskøy, Norway.

Initially, Kongsberg Evotec will deliver deck cranes, offshore cranes, subsea cranes and railcranes including safe deck operation tool with capacity up to 400Tm. The company will develop cranes and lifting equipment to meet the challenging offshore and Arctic environments, with focus on safety, green credentials and operational efficiency.

"Cranes and lifting is an exciting and complementary field for Kongsberg Evotec,” comments Tormod Olsen, Site Manager, Kongsberg Evotec in Molde. “Our experienced team is developing an extensive portfolio covering cranes and lifting systems for standard and complex operations, and we are looking forward to launching several new and exciting products and solutions in the future.”

Acquired by Kongsberg Maritime in October 2011, Kongsberg Evotec is a provider of Marine Handling Technology to the demanding offshore industry. In addition to the new cranes and lifting equipment, engineering and service, Kongsberg Evotec also designs and builds hydraulic power packs, winches, spooling devices, overboard handling equipment and control systems.



Source SALTWATERPR

Rising obesity levels have given a new urgency to efforts aimed at improving European eating habits. European research is helping, by finding out how food labelling can change and improve consumer habits.

Deny it as we might, but Europeans are getting fatter. From 1990 to 2006, obesity levels in Europe tripled on the whole, according to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Faced with this unprecedented public health challenge, Europe is changing the way food products are labelled in an attempt to improve citizen's overall nutritional education. One research project looking into this issue is FLABEL (Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life) which receives €2,860,000 in EU-funding. FLABEL has examined more than 37,000 products in 84 retail stores, finding an average 85% of the products with back-of-pack (BOP) nutrition labelling or related information, versus 48% for front-of-pack (FOP) information.

The research from FLABEL and other projects is already feeding into the European debate. In June last year new rules on food labelling were agreed by the European Parliament and EU member states, setting obligations on manufacturers to display nutritional information on packaging. The rules say that within five years EU food labels must indicate the nutritional breakdown for energy, protein, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar and salt levels. It also says pre-packed meat should indicate the country of origin, and allergenic substances must be shown. And the legibility of labels is to be improved with a minimum font size.

Indeed, sometimes labels can be misleading: in November last year, a German court ordered the makers of a well known brand of chocolate products to change the labels which gave the impression that its nut-chocolate spread had more vitamins and less fat and sugar than it did.

Giving consumers the best information possible can clearly help them decide whether the product on a shop shelf is really right for them. FLABEL looks at the question of how to label products, as food label information is not always understood by consumers. Until now, research on how nutrition labels are used by consumers in real-world shopping situations has been limited. The research can then help policy makers and food manufacturers to determine the most effective way to deliver the data.

Food labels alone will not solve Europe’s obesity problems: it will require a complex mix of solutions covering factors like education, physical activity, portion size and frequency of consumption. But it is important nonetheless, given that on average, Europeans have about a half hour each week to do all their food shopping, forcing them to make quick decisions while rushing through the supermarket aisles. Devising better labels could give them the tools to make healthier choices.


Source MEDIA CONSULTA
 

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