Latest Entries »

Bali Cargo news – Another pair of scalps for the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday with the news that Ulrich Ogiermann and Robert Van de Weg, two executives from Luxembourg carrier Cargolux Airlines International S.A., have received jail terms of thirteen months each for their parts in the air freight cartel activities which have scandalised the industry, after personal indictments against them to which they entered guilty pleas.

Cargolux, from the Grand Duchy and the largest European all cargo airline, has been quick to accept responsibility for its actions, pleading guilty in May 2009 and agreeing a fine of $119 million for its role in conspiring with others to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing and coordinating surcharges, including security and fuel surcharges, charged to customers located in the United States and elsewhere for air cargo shipments.

According to the indictment, Ogiermann, a ‘special advisor’ to the Company and a former president and CEO, participated in the conspiracy from at least as early as October 2001 until at least February 2006, and Van de Weg, the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cargolux, participated in the conspiracy from at least as early December 2003 until at least February 2006. Under their plea agreements, Ogiermann and Van de Weg have also each agreed to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation.

Including Ogiermann and Van de Weg, a total of 22 airlines and 21 executives have been charged in the Justice Department’s continuing enquiries into price fixing in the air transportation industry. To date, more than $1.8 billion in criminal fines have been imposed and four executives have been sentenced to serve prison time. The two men were charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine of $1 million and up to 10 years in prison. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

Unlike many of those found guilty of the charges against them Cargolux has been open about the actions it took at the time. The company has stressed that neither man was accused of making any personal gains from their actions and, while expressing its regret for the executives personally, the company views their decision to plead guilty as a way to finally bring this matter to a controlled close both for them and the company. A search of our archives (type key words like cartel or anti trust in the News Search Box) will reveal the extent to which the freight and logistics sector walks a fine line between cooperation and collusion and this situation extends throughout the entire industry from freight forwarders to ocean container fleets.

Advertisements

This week saw two of the most substantial players in their own fields underline similar tactics for dealing with a turbulent freight market. Clarksons the London based shipping services group announced it had acquired EnShip Ltd the Aberdeen based shipping agency and marine industry logistics specialist via its Clarksons Port Services Group. Meanwhile French giant Norbert Dentressangle completed its acquisition of APC Beijing International, a China-based freight forwarding company.

Enship, formed in 2004, has built a reputation as a vessel agency within the UK, as well as being a provider of related support services to both its UK customers and worldwide client base. EnShip also encompasses Opex Industrial Supplies, a procurement house supplying the marine, oil and gas industries. It will retain brand identity and Clarksons says it complements its port sector strategy to expand its geographical reach and broaden its services to existing and new customers in bulk shipping and the offshore and renewable industries. Gross assets acquired amounted to £3 million.

Dentressangle has followed up the Memorandum of Understanding signed in July to take over, APC Beijing International which last year generated revenue of €50 million. APC employs a staff of 270 spread throughout 16 offices strategically located in China’s key costal and inland regions. Known best for its European road haulage operations the acquisition strengthens Dentressangle’s foothold in Asia and says it will enhance the company’s service offering in airfreight forwarding

WORLDWIDE – Lots going on at Emirates SkyCargo with several developments this month, including a pair of heavy lift records and the announcement of a couple of new routes. Not satisfied with setting a new record for the heaviest recorded single item ever carried by a Boeing 777F the airline has now broken its own record for a freight forwarding project by shipping an even larger piece via a Boeing 747.

Firstly the cargo carrier shipped a blowout preventer, a specialised valve used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells weighing 21,157kgs, from Iraq to Dubai. The piece cubed out at over 8m3 and bordered the limit of the 777’s capacity by less than 500kgs. Nihal Wickrema, Emirates’ Manager Freighter Operations & Charters commented that the preparations by the ground handling staff, dnata in Erbil and SkyCargo personnel in Dubai, had been impeccable.

Now the cargo airline has transported its heaviest ever single piece, a 36 tonne rudder section for an urgent delivery from the shipyard in Korea to Dubai using a Boeing 747. The move entailed two 50 tonne cranes and two high loaders to stow and offload the massive piece via the aircraft’s hinged nose section.

A Boeing 747-400F will also feature in the newly announced service which SkyCargo will in future be offering between Dubai and Ghana every Friday. Parent airline Emirates has been operating a passenger service to Accra, with a weekly cargo capacity of 120 tonnes each way in the bellyhold of an Airbus A330-200, since 2004. The new service, to Kotoka International Airport, will operate via Lome, Togo, on the outbound journey and return to Dubai through Frankfurt, Germany. Emirates has also started a regular service to Buenos Aires due to commence on the 3rd January 2012.

Bali Shipping – Anyone who happens to be involved freight distribution and who finds themselves in Hamburg in the next few months might be interested in stopping off at the International Maritime Museum for a nostalgic look at a unique glimpse into the history of the Hamburg Südshipping group. Primarily know for container transport the company predates the origin of the ubiquitous cargo box by almost a century.

“140 Years of Hamburg Süd” celebrates the 140th anniversary of the company, founded on 4th November 1871 by eleven eminent Hamburg merchants and ship owners, by way of a host of historical paintings, posters and model ships. The highlights of the show include the original model of the museum freighter “Cap San Diego” from 1961 and a 4.5-metre-long model of the celebrated Hamburg Süd passenger liner “Cap Arcona” from Blohm + Voss. Also on display are oil paintings by the well-known marine painters Hans Ritter von Petersen, Johannes Holst and Leonhard Sandrock, as well as ship posters from the 20’s and 30’s.

The latter convey a unique impression of the glamorous era of Hamburg Süd cruises. Completing the broad sweep of the special exhibition is a film on the history of Hamburg Süd, incorporating numerous historical sequences, and an interactive sea chart showing the current location of all the shipping group’s owned vessels. Dr Ottmar Gast, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd was enthusiastic about the show saying:

“The exhibition is like a living journey through time covering the different epochs of our history. It shows the dynamic development of a shipping company that started out in 1871 with three small steamers sailing to Brazil and La Plata and today links up the continents as one of the world’s 15 largest container lines.”

The exhibition opened this week and will run until the 25thMarch 2012

Following our story earlier today commenting on the Q3 statistics of container shipping giant Maersk, the logistics arm of the Danish group, Damco, has now released its own independent third quarter figures. These reveal that year to date Damco’s ocean freight volumes increased 14% compared with the same period in 2010 and airfreight tonnage was up by 23% lifted through the acquisition of China based NTS.

Supply chain activity volumes fell back 3% and net revenue rose to $2,156 million, a 6% jump, whilst gross profits increased to $567.7 million up 8%. The year to date EBIT is static at $73.2 million. Rolf Habben-Jansen, Chief Executive Officer, Damco commented:

“The traditional annual peak season in Q3 was rather muted this year. Our result for the quarter is quite satisfactory given these difficult market conditions and the conscious investments we made in growth. We continue to invest in growth, focused on selected industry verticals and on the high growth markets.

“The response from our customers on this has been very positive as illustrated by the again significantly increased customer satisfaction which reached an all-time high in 2011 and by a large number of new business contracts being concluded. Despite the challenging market we remain very positive about our ability to deliver on our growth strategy in the years to come”

%d bloggers like this: