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