Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hopes of profits fade for container lines

Any hopes of a profitable year for container shipping lines have been dispelled as they saw their average operating margins plummet further into the red in the third quarter.

Most carriers will end the year in the red, as Q4 results are expected to be even weaker.
Volumes and rates are said to be declining further due to the impact of the winter slack season, while operating costs remain under pressure from high bunker costs.

In a survey carried out by analyst Alphaliner, the average operating margins of the 15 major carriers included fell 9% in Q3, compared with an 8% drop in the second quarter.

It found that Hapag-Lloyd was the only shipping line that managed to avoid negative operating figures for the period, while the remaining 14 carriers posted losses of between 3% and 25%.
“The rising losses have created additional pressure to seek fresh cash injections among the carriers, as the industry braces for a prolonged downturn that could last for several more quarters,” said Alphaliner.

“The majority of carriers are currently recording negative ebitda, implying cash losses on their operations.
“The liquidity situation for a number of carriers has become more severe, with further deterioration expected in the fourth quarter,” added the analyst.

Weak operating results forced MISC Berhad to announce its exit from the container market, several other carriers, including CSAV and Zim Lines, are pursuing new cash injections and Maersk and OOIL have announced cutbacks in their Asia-Europe services.

Source: IFW

Friday, November 25, 2011

Green wind blows some good at Belfast

Belfast Harbour is to invest £50 million (US$77m) to develop a new terminal for the assembly of offshore wind turbines. 

The project is the largest in the facility’s 400-year history and will create 150 jobs and provide a major boost for the Northern Ireland construction industry.

The 20ha facility will initially support the construction of the West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm – a 50:50 joint-venture between Danish state company Dong Energy and ScottishPower Renewables.

The terminal will open in 2013. The development is the first bespoke offshore wind installation and pre-assembly harbour in the UK, and is part of Belfast Harbour’s wider plans to create a renewable energy hub. 

Len O’Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour, said: “This is one of the most important developments in the history of Belfast Harbour, providing a platform from which to market Northern Ireland as one of the UK’s leading green hubs.

“Dong Energy and ScottishPower Renewables are world leaders in renewable energy and their decision to invest in the Harbour is a major coup.”

The £50 million cost of the terminal will be funded entirely by Belfast Harbour which will, in turn, lease the facility to Dong Energy.

Source:   IFW

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Court orders liquidation of SeaFrance

The Paris commercial court has ordered the liquidation of SeaFrance – but allowed the ferry operator to continue trading until 28 January 2012.
The court yesterday judged that the two takeover bids for SeaFrance – one from DFDS and LD Lines and the other from a co-operative of SeaFrance workers – were "unsatisfactory".

However, it has left the door open for new offers to be submitted before 12 December.

In its judgement, the court said the bid from DFDS and LD Lines made provision for an important number of job cuts (around half of the company’s permanent workforce) and that there was, “therefore, a risk of a serious industrial relations conflict".

It also remarked that the price offered for SeaFrance’s vessels was too low in relation to their real value, and that the takeover would also create competition issues.

As for the co-operative’s bid, presented by SeaFrance’s main staff union, the CFDT, the court said it was unable to approve a bid whose financing was “non-existent”.

A tense situation had developed at SeaFrance’s home port of Calais yesterday, when around 150 seafaring staff occupied the company’s vessels.

This was in protest to a management decision on Tuesday to cancel all the ferry operator’s services between Calais and Dover until further notice, pending the court’s decision.

The company said it had taken the step in order to guarantee the safety of passengers, staff and property.

A contingent of riot police had been drafted in to prevent the port being blocked and to maintain public order.

The court’s verdict was greeted with cheers by SeaFrance staff in Calais.

“This is a great relief, while at the same there is the feeling that we now have even more responsibilities on our shoulders,” a senior union official said.

“We must now roll up our sleeves and get to work on lobbying politicians, SNCF and the state in order to secure the financing of our bid for SeaFrance.”

The co-operative is thought to require between €25-30 million in start-up capital.

Asked by IFW whether DFDS and LD Lines would be making a new offer for SeaFrance, LD Lines MD Christophe Santoni said no decision had been taken.

In a joint statement, the two companies said their bid had "offered the best guarantee of an enduring future for SeaFrance”, and “regretted that this had not been recognised”.

Meanwhile, French Transport minister Thierry Mariani  said the judgement “did not close any doors and offered more time to save SeaFrance”.

Earlier in the week, Economy Minister François Baroin said France had decided to contest the European Commission’s decision last month to reject the recapitalisation plan for SeaFrance.

But he accepted that hopes of a successful appeal were slim.

Source;    IFW

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Cat and Dog regulations entering Ireland

Changes to Entry Requirements for cats and dogs from 1 January 2012
From 1 January 2012 the rabies vaccination requirement for pets entering Ireland is being harmonised with requirements throughout the European Union, although some additional requirements and advice with regard to tick and tapeworm treatment shall still apply.

see our pet services page at the following link for more details.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


26 Cantons to 32 Counties

The line operated by Trans Maritime AG and EFL International Distribution has become one of the most reliable services operating between Switzerland and Ireland available today.

 Highly trained staff combined with ongoing investment in technology, keeps our developments at there highest level.
Minimum twice-weekly services, combining container and trailer operations, depart Basle and  Dublin each Tuesday and Friday for distribution throughout Ireland and Switzerland.

Call your local office for more details or to place your booking.

Basle:                                                                           Dublin:
Trans Maritime AG                                                       EFL International Distribution Ltd        
Rheinfelderstrasse 12    ,                                               Unit 4b, Santry Hall Industrial Estate
CH 4127 Birsfelden, Switzerland                                  Santry, Dublin 9

Contact: Mr. George Huber                                          Contact: Ann Short or Chris Nugent

Phone: +41 613195588                                                Phone: +353 1 8867700
Telefax:+41 613195566                                               Telefax:+353 1 8421910
E-Mail:                                             E-Mail:


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another year in the doldrums for air cargo

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned it expects 2012 to be a tougher year for the airline industry, with slim profits and tighter margins ahead.

Director General and CEO Tony Tyler admitted: “It looks like we are headed for another year in the doldrums.
“With business confidence declining, it is difficult to see any potential for significant profitable growth.”

Tyler said that, despite high oil prices and economic uncertainty, “airlines are going to make a little more money in 2011 than we thought”, but added: “However, given the weak global economies, it won’t be much.

“While airline profits may rise from the US$4 billion projected in June to $6.9 billion, we should keep the improvement in perspective.

“The $2.9 billion bottom-line improvement is equal to about a half a percent of revenue. And the margin is a paltry 1.2%.

“Airlines are competing in a very tough environment.”

IATA emphasised that despite the improvements, profitability was still exceptionally weak, considering the industry’s total revenues of $594 billion.

It said air freight had stagnated since the start of this year and had slashed its full-year volume growth projection from 5.5% to 1.4%.

Airlines are expected to carry 46.4 million tonnes of cargo in 2011, down from the previous forecast of 48.2 million. Air cargo volumes reached their post-recession peak in May 2010, largely driven by re-stocking. This July, traffic was 4% lower than that level, said IATA.

Source: IFW

Monday, September 19, 2011

Swiss transport costs expected to rise in 2012

Costs in the Swiss transport sector are continuing to rise. "In addition to the strong franc, state requirements and fiscal burdens, in particular, are having a negative impact," criticises the Swiss commercial vehicles association Astag. They include the imposed introduction of a night-shift allowance and an inflation adjustment of the heavy vehicle fee as of 1 January 2012. Astag expects transport prices to rise by 3 to 5% in general cargo and overland traffic next year.

Source: Trans Maritime AG

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pilots found after fatal crash

Searchers found the bodies today of two pilots killed when their cargo aircraft crashed last week in a remote part of Eastern Indonesia.

The pair were named as Australian David Cootes and Slovakian Thomas Munk. They went missing on Friday in their Susi Air Cessna 208-B was lost from radar over the mountainous Yahukimo district of West Papua after departing from nearby Wamena.

Thick fog and bad weather had prevented search and rescue teams from getting to the remote crash site earlier.

Source:      IFW

Monday, September 12, 2011

French green tax on trucks will raise a billion a year

France’s public agency for the funding of transport infrastructure, the AFITF, estimates that the“green” tax levied on hgvs will generate annual revenue  of €1.24 billion (US1.68bn) after it is introduced from mid-2013.

The French government has awarded a tender to a consortium, led by Italian group Autostrade per l’Italia, to collect the tax through a satellite-based toll system.

State-owned SNCF, the country’s biggest road and rail freight carrier, is a minority partner in the consortium.

The tax will be levied on commercial vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes at an average rate of €0.12 per km.

It will affect around 600,000 French trucks and 200,000 foreign-registered vehicles, plying over 12,000km of French highways – the aim being to encourage shippers to use modes of transport other than road.

The scheme would make provision for vehicles to be equipped with special badges enabling them to be tracked by satellite.

France’s leading road haulage federation, the FNTR, has opposed the tax since it was first mooted, estimating that it will add 5-10% to trucking firms’ operating costs.

The Autostrade consortium would collect an annual fee of €240 million for running the scheme and local authorities, which have responsibility for the upkeep of public roads, would receive €160 million. The remainder of the €1.24 billion income will go towards financing new transport infrastructure projects.

The tax scheme, initially earmarked for introduction between 2010-2012, has been put back on several occasions, due largely to technical problems.

Source:            IFW

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rioters set Sony logistics hub ablaze

Rioters set ablaze and destroyed a Sony distribution centre in London during a night of violence and looting on Monday.
Just before midnight, 11 fire appliances and around 55 firefighters were called to the 20,000sq metre Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation two-storey warehouse on Solar Way in Enfield.

The blaze was finally brought under control at around 11am yesterday. But the building, which had partially collapsed, was completely destroyed, the London Fire Brigade said.

PIAS, which licenses and distributes music from around 165 British indie recording labels, including Rough Trade, Domino and Warp, representing the likes of Adele and The Horrors, had stock in the warehouse.

The firm said Sony had implemented its business continuity plan.

Source:   IFW

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another cargo aircraft carrying batteries crashes

The Asiana Airlines’ B747 freighter was heading for Pudong Airport in Shanghai from South Korea’s Incheon Airport when it crashed just off Jeju Island in the south of country.

Asiana officials got a report from the pilot that the Boeing-747 was having mechanical difficulties and would try to make its way to Jeju Island’s airport to make an emergency landing.

According to reports, an air traffic official claimed the pilot had shouted “cargo fire” and “emergency” about 10 minutes before the aircraft disappeared from radar screens.

A South Korean coastguard boat has since found debris from the jet in waters about 107km west of Jeju city.

Asiana Airlines, which is South Korea’s second biggest airline, said the aircraft was carrying electronic products, mobile phones, liquid crystal displays, light-emitting diodes, lithium batteries and liquids including paints and resins.

A company spokesman said the cargo had been loaded in line with International Air Transport Association regulations.

While it is too early for officials to pinpoint the cause of the fire, the incident is bound to bring the transport of lithium batteries into the spotlight once again.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said 46 incidents of aircraft fires had been linked to cargo including lithium-ion batteries.

The most recent high-profile incident involving batteries happened in September when a UPS cargo plane crashed into the desert outside Dubai, killing both pilots.

Following the incident, the FAA said new research showed that lithium metal (non-rechargeable) and lithium-ion (rechargeable) batteries were highly flammable and capable of igniting during air transport under certain circumstances.

The research also indicated that Halon 1301, the suppression agent found in Class C cargo compartment fire extinguishers, is ineffective in suppressing lithium metal battery fires.

To combat the risks associated with carrying the batteries the FAA made a series of recommendations.

It said customers should identify bulk shipments of lithium batteries on air waybills and other documents; the batteries should be stowed in Class C compartments, or where alternative fire suppression is available; training, stowage, and communication protocols for carrying lithium batteries in the event of a fire should be evaluated.

According to research by specialist dangerous goods forwarder Transport 129, lithium cells and batteries not manufactured to meet the requirements of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3 may be liable to overheating and catching fire.

Source;  IFW

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pirates grow bolder

Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden/Indian Ocean region climbed dramatically over the first six months of the year.
According to figures from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there were 266 attacks on vessels in the period, compared with 196 last year.

More than 60% were by Somali pirates, the majority of which were in the Arabian Sea area. On 30 June, Somali pirates were holding 20 vessels and 420 crew, demanding ransoms of millions of dollars for their release.

IMB Di¬rector Pottengal Mukundan said: “In the past six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before, and they are taking higher risks."

He said pirates had fired on ships for the first time during the monsoon season last month.

Somali pirates took 361 seafarers hostage and kidnapped 13 in the first half of 2011. The number of violent and organ¬ised attacks off West Africa also increased.

The IMB said a major “cause for concern” was the movement of pirates to the Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea, due to monsoon conditions in the Indian Ocean region that began in early June. It said 18 attacks had been reported in the Red Sea area since 20 May.

“It is necessary that shipboard protection measures are in place as vessels sail through this area,” advised Mukundan.

“It may be that these recent Indian Ocean incidents are a sign of desperation by pirates, or that there are many more pirate groups operating now than there were in 2010, particularly outside the Gulf of Aden.”

But although Somali pirates are more active, they managed to hijack fewer ships, just 21 in the first half of 2011 compared with 27 in the same period last year.

The IMB cited tighter security measures as well as the presence of EU naval forces as mitigat¬ing factors in the wake of recent, unsuccessful attacks on merchant vessels.

“It is vital that this naval presence be sustained or increased,” said the IMB.

Source:        IFW

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cargolux freighter hit by a bullet over Africa

Cargolux has grounded one of its Boeing 747-400 freighters after maintenance staff detected a bullet hole in the fuselage after it returned from a multiple-stop African service.
The aircraft was on a charter flight on 4 July from Luxembourg to Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Accra (Ghana), prior to arriving in Abuja (Nigeria), from where it returned to Luxembourg.

“The hole was found in an unpressurised area on the left side near the rear of the plane and did not endanger the safety of the crew at any time,” said Cargolux.

It has filed a police report and informed aviation authority Direction de l’aviation civile, Luxembourg - DACL of the incident. The forensic division of the Luxembourg police is also investigating the incident.

While it determined that the hole “was caused by a bullet”, it said there was “no evidence that the aircraft was targeted”, but said that it “cannot be ruled out.”

The carrier is Europe’s largest cargo-only airline and operates a fleet of sixteen B747-400 freighters.

Source:  IFW

Thursday, June 30, 2011

EU and US will collaborate to keep supply chains safe

The EU and the US have signed an “ambitious” collaboration agreement aimed at improving the security of global supply chains.
The agreement was sealed by a European triumvirate, consisting of EU Commissioner for Taxation, Customs and Anti-fraud Algirdas Semeta; EC Vice-President Siim Kallas; and Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, and the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.

The joint statement lays out an “ambitious agenda” for enhanced bilateral co-operation between EC and US Department of Homeland Security on Customs, aviation and maritime security and research and development.

Semeta said: “In a globalised world, no country can secure the supply chain in isolation.

“National supply chain security policies are ineffective and too costly, unless they are supported by enhanced international co-operation.

“Through international co-operation, we can ensure policy coherence, establish compatibility of national systems and reduce costs.”

The statement calls for the implementation of mutual recognition of EU and US trade partnership programmes and sharing risk information, as well as recognition “wherever possible” of each other’s transport security controls.

Semeta added that, in signing the statement, the EU and the US aimed to jointly respond to global security issues, notably those posed by terrorists.

Earlier this week, the US had confirmed it was considering alternatives to earlier plans for all containers loaded at a foreign port to be scanned before they enter the country. 

The requirement, introduced in 2007 for implementation by 2014, meant all containers would need to x-rayed at foreign ports before loading.

Napolitano said Congress was considering “a more layered approach” to container security.

Sourse:   IFW

Monday, June 20, 2011

Boeing bullish on demand for new freighters

Boeing has increased its forecast for the global aircraft market over the next 20 years by 8%, and now expects demand for 33,500 passenger planes and freighters.
The US aircraft manufacturer predicted a US$4 trillion market between 2011 and 2030, following its forecast of a year ago for 30,900 new commercial aircraft worth $3.6 trillion.

Boeing’s 2011 Current Market Outlook, its annual commercial aviation market analysis, predicts a 3.3% average annual growth of world gross domestic product during the period, a 4.2% increase in the number of airline passengers, a 5.1% increase in airline traffic and a 5.6% average rise in cargo traffic every year.

“The world market has recovered, and is now expanding at a significant rate,” said Randy Tinseth, VP of Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Not only is there a strong demand for air travel and new airplanes today, but the fundamental drivers of air travel – including economic growth, world trade and liberalisation – all point to a healthy long-term demand.”

Boeing projects the world freighter fleet will increase from 1,760 to 3,500. Additions will include 970 new-production freighters, with a market value of $250 billion, and 1,990 converted from passenger models.

Larger freighters (of more than 80 tonnes in capacity) will account for 690 newbuilds, predicts Boeing, and 280 medium-sized models of 40-80 tonne capacity.

“No new standard-body freighters (less than 45 tonnes) will be required, but there will be 1,240 standard-body conversions. On average over the next 20 years, air cargo traffic will grow at a rate of 5.6%,” it said.

Meanwhile, Boeing is to fly a new 747-8 freighter (pictured above) across the Atlantic to the forthcoming Paris Air Show, using a renewable aviation jet fuel – the world’s first transatlantic crossing of a commercial jetliner using biologically derived fuel.

Each of the 747-8 freighter’s four GE GEnx-2B engines will be powered by a blend of 15% camelina-based biofuel mixed with 85% traditional kerosene.

Boeing VP, and General Manager of the 747-8, Elizabeth Lund said: “This historic flight is a boost to aviation’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency in all phases of our industry.

“And the 747-8F fits in well with these efforts by bringing huge improvements in fuel efficiency, lower carbon emissions and less noise.”

Source;   IFW

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DHL Cargo Plane Crashes, Crew Saved

Jun 7, 2011 – A DHL Express cargo plane crashed into the sea off the coast of Gabon on Monday, but the four crew members were rescued from the wreckage.
It isn’t clear what caused the Antonov-26 turboprop aircraft to plunge into the sea near the West African country’s capital  Libreville. The Russian-built plane was operated by local airline Solenta Aviation Gabon, which flies on regional routes for Germany’s DHL Express. The plane, which took off from Port Gentil, Gabon’s second city, was not carrying any cargo.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

BA agrees compensation bill in US price-fixing case

Four airlines have agreed to pay more than US$150 million in compensation to settle a US class-action lawsuit over their roles in an international price-fixing cartel.

British Airways will pay $89.5 million, while three South American carriers, Chilean Lan Airlines, Lan Cargo and Brazilian carrier Aerolinhas Brasileiras (ABSA) have agreed a $66 million settlement between them.

A group of more than 20 Asian, European and South American airlines is accused of agreeing prices for fuel surcharges on US shipments between 2000 and 2006.

The latest settlements are subject to approval by a New York judge.

Michael Hausfeld, Chairman of plaintiffs’ law firm Hausfeld, said: “These two important settlements, returning over $150 million to claimants, represent yet another excellent result for the US class, which is fast approaching half a billion dollars in recoveries from settling defendants.

“BA and Lan/ABSA have taken an important step toward paying damages for their admitted price-fixing conduct. We will continue our efforts to pursue recoveries for the huge number of victims of this cartel.

“It is long overdue that the companies found to have engaged in price-fixing make restitution to all of their victims, everywhere in the world.”

In the US, 21 airlines and 21 executives have been charged in the investigation by the Department of Justice. Fines totalling more than $1.8 billion have been handed out and four executives have been sentenced to serve prison terms.

So far, 13 of the airlines involved, including Air France-KLM which has paid out $87 million, have reached compensation agreements with shippers for a total of $367.9 million.

British Airways admitted its role in the cartel four years ago and was fined $300 million by the US Department of Justice.

Source           IFW

Friday, June 3, 2011

International Chamber of Commerce calls for action on piracy

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has urged governments to take action against the increasing number of pirate attacks occurring off the Somali coast.
The Call for Action was launched at the annual International Transport Forum, which took place in Leipzig, Germany at the end of May.

The call for immediate action comes after companies witnessed an escalation in both violence and the number of attacks on ships and their crew over the past year.

It called on governments to improve the rules of engagement given to the navies present in the area.

The Call for Action also demands that the UN and other international bodies refocus their efforts to ensure that pirates are brought to justice and that required institutions in central Somalia are established to maintain economic and social standards.

According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau, there were 219 attacks in 2010 off Somalia, in which 49 vessels were hijacked and 1,016 crew members taken hostage.

Source;  IFW

Monday, May 23, 2011

New volcanic ash threat to air space

Flights across Europe and Russia are under threat from a new volcanic eruption in Iceland.
The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, emitting a plume of ash reaching 20km into the sky, although that plume has now shrunk to around 13km.

As a result of the ash plume, the Icelandic air traffic control operator, Isavia, has established a 120-nautical-mile no-fly-zone around the volcano, closed the country’s main airport, Keflavik, and cancelled domestic flights.

The UK’s Met Office said the ash cloud was expected to reach the UK mainland on Tuesday morning. It is expected affect parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and parts of northern Russia.

It has also warned the ash could spread to parts of Spain and France later in the week, depending on how the weather develops.

But it added that, while the eruption does not necessarily mean there would be airspace closures, it does make flight disruption more likely.

Other experts said the weather was much more changeable than in April last year, when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, causing the closure of airspace across Europe for days, making it hard to predict what impact the Grimsvotn eruption could have.

The European organisation for the safety of air navigation, Eurocontrol, said on Sunday it did not expect there to be any disruption over the next 24 hours.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Container lines' reliability declines alongside freight rates

Container shipping service reliability has declined for the second successive quarter, in line with decreasing freight rates. According to Drewry Maritime Research’s latest Schedule Reliability Insight report, the proportion of the 2,972 vessel calls arriving on time at ports around the world in Q1 dropped to 51%, down from 55% in Q4 2010.

Despite showing the biggest decrease, the transpacific trade remained the most reliable of the three major east-west routes.

Reliability of transpacific services fell from 64% in Q4 last year to 55% in Q1 this year. In comparison, Asia-Europe/Mediterranean services dropped one percentage point to 49%, while transatlantic services went from 55% to 52%.

“The decline in service reliability during the first quarter of 2011 mirrors the sharp fall in freight rates that lines have had to endure,” said Drewry.

Simon Heaney, Editor of Schedule Reliability Insight, said: “Drewry cannot speculate whether carriers are consciously rewarding or punishing their customers with varying service quality dependent on prices, but it can be assumed that low rates reduce the incentive to deliver above-average service reliability.”

He added: “Compounding the problem, escalating fuel prices means carriers are probably less inclined to speed-up if the ship falls behind schedule.”

In Drewry’s latest ranking of the top 20 most reliable container lines, Maersk Line ceded its top spot to CSAV (pictured above).
The Chilean carrier managed to improve its on-time average to 69.1% in the first quarter, up from 45.5% in Q4 last year.

Maersk slipped from 70.2% to 66.4%, putting it also behind APL, which finished the quarter with an on-time average of 67.6%.

The lowest-ranked carriers were CSCL (40.1%), UASC (39.8%) and Hanjin (38.8%, 20th in the list).

Only seven of the top 20 lines equalled or bettered the 51% industry average for punctuality, and only four improved their performance on the previous quarter, said Drewry.

Sourse: IFW

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

KOREA—Exporters must register to avail of new Free Trade Agreement ( FTA).

The EU and South Korea signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will help Irish companies expand  exports to Korea. Last year Irish exports to Korea totalled €357millio in goods. The FTA is expected to enable exports to Korea to increase by approx 50% in the coming years , by elimination virtually all import tariffs, as well as most non – tariff barriers.
This FTA is the most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU and the first with an Asian country and will come into effect on 1st July 2011. Across the EU it is expected the Agreement will increase trade with Korea by €19 billion .

New EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement – Approved Exporter Requirement
Among the provisions contained in the EU – South Korea Free Trade Agreement is the adoption of a system of preferential treatment for originating goods.

Under this system, an exporter can issue a declaration of preferential origin on an invoice for consignments up to the value of €6,000. Where an exporter has been authorised by the Customs authorities to do so (“Approved Exporter”), invoice declarations can be issued for consignments of any value.

N.B. The agreement provides that an invoice declaration is the only acceptable proof of preferential origin, i.e., exporters will not be able to issue EUR.1 Movement Certificates as proof of origin.

Source:Irish Exporters Association

Friday, May 6, 2011

Air cargo volumes through Hong Kong down on last year

Hong Kong Airport’s leading ground handler saw tonnage fall in April, compared with a year earlier, as exports from China continued to falter. 
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) handled 225,791 tonnes in the month, down 9.3% year on year.

Cumulative tonnage for the first four months of the year was down 1.1% to 876,136 tonnes. Decreasing export volumes was the prime cause, 11.6% down, year on year, to 122,123 tonnes.

Total export volumes for the first four months of 2011 totalled 457,236 tonnes, a drop of 4.1% year on year.

Import volumes for April also fell: down 6.4% to 57,748 tonnes.

“On account of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear crisis, imports from Japan in April showed a year-on-year decrease of 28.1%,” said Hactl.

Source;  IFW

Monday, April 18, 2011

First quarter 2011 the worst ever for piracy

Piracy attained an all-time high in the first quarter of the year, with 142 attacks reported worldwide, according to a new report.
The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) global piracy report says the sharp rise was driven by a surge in incidents off the coast of Somalia, where 97 attacks were recorded in the first three months, compared with 35 in the same period last year.

Worldwide, during the first three months of 2011, pirates murdered seven crew members and injured 34. Eighteen vessels were hijacked and 344 crew members taken hostage, with a further 45 vessels boarded and 45 more were fired upon.

Capt Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB said: “Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we’ve ever recorded in the first quarter of any year.”

The IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre has monitored piracy worldwide since 1991.

The east coast of Somalia, in and around the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden are the areas with the most reported hijackings and hostages taken, says the report.

In these areas, 299 people were taken as hostage with their vessels and a further six were kidnapped and taken from their ships. On 31 March, IMB figures showed Somali pirates holding captive 596 crew members and 28 ships.

“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the violence and techniques used by pirates in the seas off Somalia,” said Mukundan.

“The overwhelming number of vessels hijacked off Somalia took place east and north east of the Gulf of Aden. The positions of some of the attackers’ motherships are known and it is vital that strong action is taken against them to prevent further hijackings.”

A number of countries are deploying naval ships to patrol high-risk areas. In a recent show of force, the Indian navy captured 61 Somali pirates on a hijacked ship off India’s west coast.

Source: IFW

Monday, April 11, 2011

Swedish import service to Ireland, Guaranteed

One of Irelands, premier freight transport providers, SkanTrans Ireland Ltd, and their Swedish partners, Conroute Logistics are so confident in their operation, they are prepared to offer new clients, a 50% rebate on their freight invoice covering the first 10 shipments booked.

SkanTrans Ireland’s Conor Loughran claims, “We guarantee that the customers’ goods will be delivered in Dublin on Monday and the rest of Ireland on Tuesday and if we don’t meet this transit, we will offer the customer a 50% rebate on the freight invoice.”

The service between Sweden and Ireland has grown steadily over the last year and following the recent visit to Dublin of Johan Hagman from Conroute, it was decided to
Expand the service.

“We will be offering more promotional programmes throughout 2011 and see these incentives as our commitment to the future development of the service” added Conor.

SkanTrans Ireland is a daughter company of EFL International Distribution Ltd., an Irish indigenous company operating freight transport solutions since 1983

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lines calling at Tokyo ports after radiation fears subside

The majority of the world’s biggest shipping companies are continuing to call at ports in the Tokyo Bay area after fears of radiation levels have been eased.
But a number of shipping lines are  redirecting cargo from the ports of Tokyo and Yokohama following the collapse of Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant 220km  to the north of Tokyo.

The US Navy has told reporters that any radiation on vessels which has leaked from the power plant can be washed off with soap and water.

Five of the six biggest container shipping lines, including NYK Line and K Line, are maintaining normal services to Japan.

However, Germany-based line Hapag-Lloyd continues to omit Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya from its sailings but is retaining calls to Kobe.

Evergreen Marine said it is serving the ports in the Tokyo Bay area as normal, while Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM are continuing to call at Japanese ports as scheduled.

Maersk said: “We are communicating with all owned and chartered vessels on a daily basis and vessels have been given the option of requesting a surveyor to perform radioactive measurements while in port.”

OOCL’s services to the ports of Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya are operating as usual. The company said it is closely monitoring the situation.

“We will act upon government advice and recommendations from relevant authorities in reviewing needs to make changes to our operations, including our sailing schedules to and from Japan,” it said.

The line has implemented “precautionary measures” onboard its vessels to ensure safety of its crew and cargo, and said it is also aware of concerns about potential radioactive contamination of goods loaded inside some containers.

“We continue to work with relevant authorities in Japan and various destination countries to meet any screening requirements. So far, there has been no case of radiation contamination detected on any container onboard OOCL vessels.”

Law firm Ince & Co has warned of legal implications to avoiding Japanese ports: “It is not at present clear how wide this [radiation] risk is in physical terms. A ship-owner may be reluctant to sail near the plant and especially within the exclusion zone for radiation, arguing that the risk of radiation makes the port unsafe.

“However, if the radiation risks prove to be exaggerated and unjustified, an owner may find himself in breach of charter for refusing orders to go the relevant Japanese port, particularly if it is out of the "immediate" risk zone.”

It advised that shipowners should therefore not refuse to call at any Japanese port without careful consideration as many ports outside the earthquake and tsunami area are operating as normal.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has implemented a 30km exclusion zone around the Fukushima nuclear power station and has advised captains to stay away.

The UK P&I Club has warned shipowners that they are not insured if their ship or crew are affected by radiation when in Japan, both in the insurance markets generally as well as under P&I Club Rules.

Source:   IFW

Monday, March 21, 2011

Korean orders two more freighters

Korean Air has ordered two new Boeing 747-8 freighters, worth US$639 million.
The order will bring the number of B747-Fs on order for the carrier to seven. Korean currently operates 27 Boeing freighters.

The B747-8 freighter offers a range of 8,130km and a maximum structural payload capacity of 140 tonnes, according to Boeing. It also offers an additional 120cu metres and 16% more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400F.

“The 747-8 freighter will provide tremendous economics and reliability to Korean Air’s global operations,” said Marlin Dailey, VP, Sales & Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Source:   IFW

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan's southern ports take the strain

Operations at most of Japan’s ports south of Tokyo have returned to business as usual, following the devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami on Friday.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Naota Kan, said that the country was facing its worst crisis since the Second World War.

The north-east coastal ports of Hachinohe, Sendai, Ishinomaki and Onahama are said to have suffered so much damage that they are not expected to return to operation for months, possibly years.

The ports of Kashima and Hitachinaka were only partially damaged and could be back on line in a few weeks.

However, Tokyo and all ports south of the capital are operating normally, but due to a backlog of vessels, delays in cargo handling are expected.

Container carrier OOCL has told customers: “Our thoughts and well wishes go out to everyone impacted by this natural disaster.”

The line said it was waiting for more information, but all bookings to Sendai had been suspended.

It added: “All Sendai imports will be discharged at Tokyo.”

Maersk Line confirmed that it has resumed operations to Japan.

A spokesman said: “There are virtually no delays at this point. APM Terminals runs the terminals in Kobe and Yokohama and they are functioning.”

He said Maersk services to the ports of Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo were operating as normal.

Hanjin Shipping said: “Most of our terminals in Japan, including Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka, resumed normal operations quickly after the reopening of the ports.

“However, due to the backlog of the vessels waiting for berth, some delay is expected.”

The carrier advised its customers to contact local offices for the detailed status of particular shipments.

Mitsui Osk Lines (MOL) said it was still gathering information concerning its vessels that may have been in the Tohoku area, near the epicentre of the Pacific earthquake.

The MOL-chartered CS Victory was carried toward a breakwater by the tsunami and now rests on the bottom of the shallow harbour at Ishinomaki.

“All the crew members left the vessel and none were injured. None of the cargo or fuel oil has spilled from the vessel,” said the line.

Sendai Airport which was badly damaged by the tsunami will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways has resumed flights to Narita and Haneda airports in Tokyo 

Source:   IFW

Monday, March 7, 2011

Services resume at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch

Twelve days after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that caused significant damage to the infrastructure and facilities at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch in New Zealand, more and more of the Port's core services are up and running.

As the gateway to the South Island, the Port's priority was to remain operational to enable essential food, fuel and other supplies to get through.
The wharves held up well enough to enable limited operations within a few days, and two vessels delivered emergency vehicles, fresh water, medical and food supplies on Saturday February 26th.

The Oil berth was back in business by Sunday February 27th, and operations resumed at the CityDepot on Monday 28th. The Port's Inner Harbour Jetty 2, 3 and 7 are operational, Engineers, electrical and civil maintenance continue to assess structural damage on a regular basis, whilst the Port assesses infrastructure, power supply and other services following each aftershock.

Source:  Eyefortransport

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Governments must step-up war on piracy, demand shippers

Shippers have urged governments to step-up efforts to end piracy after seafarer and shipping associations threatened to boycott dangerous areas.
The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) has warned that a boycott of areas affected by piracy would have serious consequences on the supply chain.

The ESC said it had considerable sympathy for ship operators and their crews who are facing this added peril at sea, and fully understands that many must feel they have to take avoiding action in order to protect themselves.

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (Bimco) recently indicated that it was considering an industry-backed boycott in the region of the Indian Ocean and re-routing vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, while the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is threatening to ask its members to boycott vessels plying in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

ESC Secretary General Nicolette van der Jagt said: “The protection of shipping from piracy – regardless of flag, or nationality of the crew – is a clear and legitimate responsibility for governments under the UN convention on the law of the sea.

“The ESC urges governments around the world to uphold their responsibilities in the enforcement of the convention and protection of their flags, and to assist fully in protecting all merchant shipping in their territorial waters.

“The impacts of piracy are not just on the seafarers; they are not just local; they are global, affecting us all – and so everyone must act.”

The Chairman of the ESC’s Maritime Transport Council, Jean Louis-Cambon, said a boycott would have serious economic consequences for businesses already affected by slow-steaming, rising fuel prices, unstable and uncertain market demand and austerity measures.

“Companies are focused on cost reduction within their supply chains, efficiency enhancements, productivity increases, greater flexibility and agility in their supply chains.

“The proposal to divert all shipping away from the affected areas, via the Cape of Good Hope, would add further strains on business, and not least, greater costs.”

Re-routing on a liner trade often means adding another ship to the service to maintain the schedule.

On a Europe-Far East service, re-routing around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope would increase the cost by US$89 million a year – $74.4 million in fuel and $14.6 million in charter expenses.

Source: IFW

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Irish hauliers threaten fuel surcharge

Road hauliers in Ireland say they can no longer guarantee reliable services without introducing a surcharge to offset rising fuel costs.
The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), which represents more than 1,000 Irish haulage companies, has written to the Irish Exporters Association, Irish International Freight Association, Irish Business and Employers Confederation and Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association calling on their members to support their transport providers on the question of introducing a fuel surcharge.

IRHA President Vincent Caulfield said: “Our members are finding it increasingly difficult to offset the high cost of fuel and cannot afford to wait for consignors to come round to accepting the seriousness of this issue. They need action now.

“We believe the haulage industry alone cannot be expected to bear this ever-increasing cost, and it presents the basis for negotiations aimed at maintaining price competitiveness and protecting Ireland’s export business.”

The IRHA claimed the majority of its members were struggling to survive with fuel now accounting for up to 50% of their annual operating costs.

“The two-cent per litre budget increase in the price of diesel has increased the annual cost of keeping just one truck on the road by as much as €3,000 (US$4,062),” said Caulfield.

“When you factor-in the carbon tax, the price of diesel rose by 18 cents a litre, or the equivalent of 17%, during 2010.”

Source: IFW

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thirteen sailors die as ships are torn apart

There are fears that 13 sailors may have perished over the past week when two cargo ships were ripped apart in separate incidents. On 9 February, a 1,400grt Russian cargo vessel was split in two when it was hit by a South Korean containership off the coast of South Korea.

Reports suggest the newly built 80,000-tonne South Korean ship was undergoing sea trails when it struck the Alexandra off the coast of Ulsan.

To date, reports indicate that only one sailor from the crew of 11 Russians aboard the Alexandra was saved, after he managed to clamber onto a raft.

Four sailors have been found dead and another six are unaccounted for.

The South Korean Master of the newbuild vessel has been detained by officials for questioning.

The Alexandra was sailing from Japan to China when disaster struck.

Then, on 13 February, a Turkish cargo ship, caught in a powerful storm while anchored off the coast of Sochi on the Black Sea, was torn in two.

Rescuers attached ropes to the ship and 10 sailors managed to get ashore. But two other crewmembers were seen to be in the water after the vessel had broken in two.

According to reports, attempts to find the two missing sailors were called off later on Sunday due to the bad weather.

The Tanzania-flagged ship was carrying basalt to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Source: IFW

Monday, February 14, 2011

Exports drive revival in Dublin throughput

The port of Dublin saw its cargo volumes jump by 6.1% in 2010, driven by a double-digit increase in exports.
The Irish port handled 28.1 million tonnes in 2010, with imports increasing 2.4% to 16.9 million tonnes, while exports up 12.2% to reach 11.1 million tonnes.

But volumes were 10% down on the port’s best ever performance, recorded in 2007.

Growth was concentrated in the unitised cargo, which was offset by declines in bulk liquid and bulk solid cargoes due to the sluggish performance of the economy.

Ro-ro freight units increased by 12.8% to 725,665 – less than 1% down from the port’s highest ever throughput, while lo-lo container volumes jumped 1.1% to 554,259teu.

Growth in the year was driven in part by the new CLdN ro-ro services to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.

The port is expecting further growth in ro-ro volumes in 2011, after Seatruck Ferries announced a new freight-only service linking Dublin with Heysham.

Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company Eamonn O’Reilly said: “2010 was an exceptional year for Dublin Port. Notwithstanding the poor performance of the economy, port volumes grew by 6.1% as importers and exporters sought to minimise the cost of moving goods to market.

“For 2011, we are projecting continued growth, albeit at a reduced level compared to 2010.”

Source:   IFW

Friday, February 11, 2011

A positive step towards a multimodal Europe

Member state transport ministers, EC Vice-President for transport Siim Kallas and the Chairman of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament, Brian Simpson, met in Hungary on Tuesday to discuss issues related to network planning methodology and financing.

The TEN-T project aims to establish a single, multimodal network that integrates land, sea and air transport networks throughout the EC.

A broad consensus was reached that a lack of financial resources, due to the current economic crisis, does not mean that the long-term aim to extend the network to the outer regions of the EU should be reduced.

Ministers welcomed an EC commitment to continue to make funding available to build the extended network.

Kallas said: “This policy review comes at a crucial time for Europe. This [network] will be vital if European businesses are to remain competitive and we are to make transport more sustainable.

“We will need to effectively link the eastern and western parts of the EU so that all member states enjoy full access to the internal market.”

Minister of State for Infrastructure Pál Völner added: “Social and economic cohesion cannot be achieved without the construction of all the missing elements of the complete TEN-T network and improving the existing infrastructure elements that are in a poor condition.

“Insufficient accessibility may slow economic development across the entire European Union.”

The EC is expected to publish its legislative proposal on the review of the TEN-T policy this summer.

Source: IFW

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More than 40 pirates arrested in one week

The Indian Navy and Coastguard captured a group of 28 pirates after a failed hijacking last Thursday, just days after another band of 15 pirates, who had been terrorising shipping for months, had been arrested.

Officers said the 28 pirates had surrendered 185km off Kavaratti, in Lakshadweep, in the early hours of 6 February after warning shots were fired at the group.
The pirates had attempted to hijack the Greek-flagged cargoship Chios. A Southern Naval Command Dornier aircraft spotted the skiffs used in the attack along with a mothervessel on Friday.

The Indian naval vessel Tir was sent to the area and continued tracking the skiffs and mothervessel until dawn, when a coastguard vessel, the Samar, joined the operation.
The Indian Navy said: “On the order ‘stop and prepare to be boarded’, the pirates in the skiffs opened fire.

“After identifying the mothervessel as Prantalay 11, a Thai fishing boat, the [navy and coastguard] ships ordered it to stop.  "However, the pirates fired yet again, upon which the Navy and Coastguard ship opend fire for effect.

“The pirates immediately signalled their intention to surrender by hoisting a white flag.”
The 28 pirates were then put onboard the Samar which is making its way to Mumbai, along with 24 Thai fishermen, taken hostage when the pirates hijacked their vessel.
The incident comes just days after the Indian Navy intercepted another Thai fishing vessel, the Prantalay, which was also being used by pirates as a mothership to launch attacks.

The navy said the vessel had been a risk to international shipping for many months and had carried out several attacks.
The Prantalay, along with 15 pirates and 20 fishermen hostages, were seized after a failed attack

Source: IFW

Thursday, February 3, 2011

World outrage as pirates execute sailor

Anti-piracy groups have expressed their fury at the cold-blooded execution of a seafarer by Somali pirates last week.

The Baltic and International Maritime Council, International Chamber of Shipping, International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners, International Association of Independent Tanker Owner and the International Transport Workers’ Federation have spoken of their dismay at the murder on the cargoship Beluga Nomination.

The vessel was attacked and hijacked by armed pirates on 22 January in the Indian Ocean, around 700km north of the Seychelles. Three seafarers were reportedly taken aside for “punishment”, after an attempt by the Seychelles Coastguard to free the crew resulted in the death of a pirate.

One of the Beluga Nomination crew died while being “punished”.

In a statement to IFW, the anti-piracy grouping said: “We express our deepest sympathy to the seafarers involved and to their anxious families.

“The international shipping industry is truly disturbed at reports that pirates have been torturing seafarers physically and mentally – often in the most barbaric ways, including hanging them over the ship’s side by ropes around their ankles with their heads under water, and even subjecting them to the horrendous practice of keelhauling”.

Keelhauling involves a sailor being tied to a rope, thrown overboard and dragged under the ship from one side to the other.

“This latest, particularly atrocious, action appears to represent a fundamental shift in the behaviour of Somali pirates. The cold-blooded murder of an innocent seafarer means that shipowners and their crews will be re-evaluating their current determination to ensure that this vital trade route remains open.”

The statement added: “We once again strongly urge governments to empower their naval forces to take fast and robust action against pirates and the vessels under their control, before passing ships are boarded and hijacked.

According to recent figures from the report, The Economic Cost of Piracy, acts of piracy are estimated to cost the global economy between US$7-12 billion a year.

Source:  IFW

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Turmoil in Egypt with ports and logistics at a standstill

Port and logistics operations across Egypt remained at a standstill this morning as the country braced itself for a million-strong demonstration in Cairo against President Hosni Mubarak.
Under government orders, internet and mobile phone connections have been shut down or severely disrupted across the country, and Cairo Airport is open primarily to evacuate tourists, although some cargo is still being uplifted. The Suez Canal remains open this morning, despite violence in the city of Suez, but all major container ports in Egypt are closed.

FedEx said express shipments were suffering service delays across the country. Pick-ups and deliveries were suspended on Saturday, but customers were still able drop off packages at selected facilities as of this morning. “FedEx is closely monitoring the situation and has put operational contingency plans in place to minimise any service delays,” said a statement.

“The internet is still down, but telephone connections seemed to be improving,” said a spokesman.
“There is no loading and unloading of containers; there are no trucks. There are still flights, but they are subject to delays and cancellations. It’s a very difficult situation.”

DP World said it had temporarily suspended operations at its terminal at Sokhna and was closely monitoring the situation in Egypt. “The security of our people remains paramount and we are doing whatever necessary to ensure their safety,” said a spokesperson.

AP Møller Maersk, which employs some 7,000 people in Egypt and runs the Suez Canal Container Terminal at Port Said via its APM Terminals division, said yesterday that all staff were accounted for, but its ports, logistics and forwarding operations were suffering serious disruption.

”There are no terminal operations in Egypt. Maersk Line, Safmarine and Damco offices are closed,” said a spokesman.

Source: IFW

Friday, January 28, 2011

News in Brief

One of Korea’s biggest shipping lines has gone into receivership on the back of recession-related losses. Korea Line, the republic’s second biggest bulk carrier was affected by low freight rates caused by an oversupply of bulk vessels. The majority of the vessels it operates are chartered-in and attempts to re-negotiate charter deals to offset the declining rates failed. Korea Line said it would need to re-structure in order to gain financial support from banks to keep it afloat.

Shipping line Safmarine has introduced a mobile website offering for its customers. The new service can be accessed by all major mobile devices and smart phones.

Dubai International Airport saw robust cargo growth in 2010 as air freight demand recovered from the slump of 2009. Annual cargo traffic jumped 17.7% to 2.27m tonnes last year, close to the airport’s capacity of 2.5 million tonnes. With further growth predicted this year, some cargo operations are expected to be migrated to the new Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International during 2011. 

Finnair Cargo and Neff Capital Management are considering a joint-venture offering international freighter services from Helsinki, prompted by increased cargo demand.

Source IFW

U Freight on the move in China.
As a result of steady business expansion, the UFL office in Yantai, China was relocated at the end of last year (this is the office of UFL subsidiary, Dalian China Express International Transportation Ltd).
The address of the new office is Room 1309, Huaxin International Building, No. 28, Changjiang Road, ETDZ Yantai 264006, China Tel. (86) 0535 3975315 Fax (86) 0535 3975215
As one of the first non-local forwarders to develop a network in China, UFL has continued to increase its presence in China through a range of strategic office openings and relocations that has worked to consolidate U-Freight’s strategic involvement in one of the world’s busiest and most important freight markets.
The developments place the U-Freight group in a strong position to ensure a high profile in the Chinese import and export markets. In China the company operates under a number of brands including U-Freight China, Shanghai Rijin, Dalian China Express and Shanghai Renaissance - each servicing different trades or types of industry. In Ireland, UFL have been working exclusively with EFL International Distribution Ltd., a wholely owned Irish company, well known in the Irish market.
Relocations, such as this in Yantai, allow us to take advantage of what we see as China’s second phase of economic and industrial development, we look to these developments to allow us to increase our intra-Asian services into and out of China which we are confident can only get even better.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suicide bomber strikes at Domodedovo

Domodedovo Airport has re-opened after a terrorist detonated a bomb yesterday, killing 35 and injuring more than 100 people.
The suicide bomber detonated around 7kg of TNT in the airport’s busy international arrivals zone at around 4.32pm local time. A Briton and a German were among those killed, while reports of the number of people injured vary from 46 to 168.

According to reports, inbound flights to Moscow’s busiest airport had to circle for some time before being given permission to land. At least one British Airways flight from the UK was forced to turn around midway to Domodedovo.

US news channel CNN quoted a spokesman as saying the airport had re-opened within 20 minutes of the blast. Currently, 77 airlines offer regular flights to Domodedovo, the busiest of Moscow’s four airports, with those flights covering 241 national and international routes.

It is also used by members of airline groupings Star Alliance and Oneworld as their hub in Russia, and it has the country’s largest international air cargo terminal. Russian officials are blaming the blast on airport management.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said: “Someone had to try very hard to bring through such a vast amount of explosives. “Judging from the location and other indirect signs, this well-prepared terrorist attack aimed to kill as many people as possible.

“The airport is good, and this is recognised by all. It is new and modern. However, what happened shows that, clearly, there were violations in providing security.

“Those who take decisions there, and the management of the airport itself, must answer for this.”

As a result of the attack, Russia has increased security measures in Moscow and at airports and other transport hubs. Medvedev has also ordered an investigation into how the security measures failed.

“After previous similar events, we passed appropriate legislation, and we have to check how it has been applied, because obviously there have been lapses.”

The attack has been blamed on militants from the North Caucasus.

Source: IFW

Friday, January 21, 2011

Brisbane berths back in business

Berths at the Australian port of Brisbane are now almost all open, but the clean-up of flood debris in shipping channels will affect operations for weeks ahead. Hydrographic vessels were being used to locate obstacles in the water and measure siltation levels, said Port of Brisbane (PBPL).

Berths at Hamilton Reach are still being cleared, but all other berths are open and most wharves are undamaged by the recent Queensland floods. “There are varying levels of siltation in the port channels and berth pockets,” said the port. “PBPL is working on a dredging plan to clear these areas as soon as possible.

“However, all channels, swing basins and berth pockets are operational and functioning with conditions.
"While all forward-scheduled vessels should be able to access the port, we are working to return the port to design standard as a priority to facilitate forward planning for shipping lines and customers.”

Limited calls by containerships at the port have been possible since Sunday, although it was unclear earlier today whether car-carriers were yet able to access the port. Llew Russell, CEO of Shipping Australia, told IFW: “It will take some weeks for containers diverted to Sydney and New Zealand to be repositioned back to Brisbane.” Hinterland road and rail connections are expected to remain in a state of chaos for weeks.

One major agricultural shipper told IFW that many rail systems across Australia’s eastern seaboard – in particular southern Queensland, northern New South Wales and Victoria – were still underwater or covered in debris.

“We are relying on haulage, but this is also difficult due to road damage, including bridges and roads being entirely washed away, and capacity issues,” said a spokesperson. “It has been suggested it could be weeks before transport systems are back in a [suitable] condition. “Having said that, work is under way to ensure these issues are rectified as soon as possible.

“Roads can be fixed to a usable condition more easily in the short term, but rail infrastructure damage will take a significantly long period to resolve.”

Source: IFW

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The true cost of piracy

The average ransom paid to pirates last year jumped almost 60% on 2009, with the highest ransom on record coming in at US$9.5 million.

According to the Economic Costs of Maritime Piracy report, produced by the One Earth Future Foundation, in 2005 the average ransom paid to pirates was US$150,000, by 2009, it had reached $3.4 million, but last year it jumped by 58.8% to reach $5.4 million.

The report says: “Problematically, increasing ransom payments appear to be lengthening negotiations, and therefore the duration seafarers are held hostage.

“The average length of negotiations has more than doubled over the past year, as pirates seek, and receive, larger ransom payments. Ships were held for an average of 106 days between April and June of 2010, up from just 55 days in 2009, and the last four ships released in November 2010 were held for an average of 150 days. Seafarers now face the likelihood of three to four months of captivity.”

The report also found that the cost of a ship being held hostage did not end with the ransom payment. “The total cost of ransom is estimated to be around double the value actually paid to pirates. The cost is duplicated by a number of factors: the cost of negotiations, psychological trauma counselling, repair to ship damage and the physical delivery of the ransom money, often done by helicopter or private aircraft.

“Finally, large costs result from ships being out of service. For instance, it costs around $3 million for a cargoship to be held for two months at a charter hire rate of $50,000 a day.”

The report puts the total cost of piracy at between $7 to $12 billion a year.

This figure takes into account ransoms, insurance, re-routing of ships, security equipment, naval forces, prosecution, piracy deterrent organisations and the costs to regional economies.

Source IFW

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Floods peak in Brisbane

Large parts of the Australian city of Brisbane and surrounding areas were under water and infrastructure devastated after flood waters peaked.

Access to the port by road was possible and power had been restored, but terminals remained closed to shipping.

Large swathes of the road and rail network in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales are unusable with many remote communities cut off from supplies. Brisbane Airport remains open, but access by road is limited.

It is predicted that widespread destruction caused by floodwater across Queensland and northern New South Wales would cause logistics chaos in the weeks ahead.

Llew Russell, CEO of Shipping Australia, said that even once the port of Brisbane re-opened, queues should be expected. “There is a lot of debris in the river, and when that is cleared there has to be inspections of the berths and probably a hydrographic survey of the swing basin for vessels seeking berths at Fishermen Islands. “One would hope that the port will re-open no later than next Monday – hopefully earlier.”

Russell said some cargo had been taken to New Zealand, while a number of vessels had been forced to discharge cargo in Sydney. “Hopefully this can mostly be transhipped back to Brisbane at a later date,” he added.

David Anderson, Ports Australia Chief Executive, said supply chains would be disrupted for an extended period even after floodwaters had retreated. “It will have a huge impact on the community and on the infrastructure level,” he said. “We have to do what we can to address both of those impacts and we would be expecting a fair bit of government assistance to get transport infrastructure up and running as it’s important for our overseas markets and our reliability as a supplier.”

Demand for freight and express services is forecast to spike in the coming weeks as relief efforts gets under way.

Source  IFW

Monday, January 10, 2011

Panic over dead dog.

A dead dog in a cardboard box on board a flight from Newark to Los Angeles last week sparked a bomb scare when airport security officers discovered the package hadn’t been screened.

Concerned that the carcass could contain a bomb or be a disease-carrier, security staff in Newark had to decide whether to divert the aircraft that was already at 30,000ft.

Barbara Powell, the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Security Director at Newark Liberty International Airport, determined the risk was not sufficient to recall Continental Flight 41.

The TSA said the airline should have screened the box at its cargo facility and are considering a formal investigation.

Source: IFW