Tag Archive: export import


US – CHINA – Following our story last month concerning the rebranding of YRC Worldwide, the trucking and logistics group, which incorporates subsidiary YRC Freight, has, as predicted, continued its disposal of assets with the sale of the groups interest in Shanghai Jiayu Logistics Co., Ltd. to its 35-percent joint venture partner. YRC bought its 65% stake in the company in 2008 after a period stretching back several years when it had grown enormously through an acquisition policy started when the Yellow Corporation bought out the Roadway Corporation in a billion dollar deal to form the Yellow Roadway Corporation.

YRC paid $47.7 million when they purchased their share of Shanghai Jiayu Logistics, principally a less than truckload road haulage outfit, but never took up the option they had to buy the balance of shares in 2010 at the $14 million agreed. The deal was described at the time by then Chairman, President and CEO of YRC Worldwide, Bill Zollars, as, “The next step in building a comprehensive portfolio of logistics services for our customers in China.”

As there has been no word from YRC we must assume their investment in JHJ International Transport, which covers all of mainland China having offices throughout the country, remains intact. The sale of Jiayu is subject to Chinese regulatory approval and expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. James Welch, chief executive officer of YRC Worldwide, commented:

“This is another important step in the continuing process to sharpen our focus on North American less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. Our emphasis on core LTL services has resulted in significant increases in on-time service and our customers are responding very favourably. This transaction allows us to further simplify our portfolio and streamline our operations as we concentrate on regaining the North American LTL market leader position.”

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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.

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.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) which represents over 4 million union members associated with the transport industry has expressed fears over the safety of some reefer shipping containers following fatal accidents. In April of this year there were two incidents at a Cat Lai repair yard in the Port of Ho Chi Minh City whilst repairs were under way on Maersk Linereefer boxes followed by another death in Itajai ,Brazil last month.

Maersk tell us that investigations so far lead them to conclude that the three explosions have been caused by a contaminated refrigerant being injected into the cooling system. Incorrect repair processes and procedures would not be able to cause these explosions. Until the exact reason for the incidents is known and a safe repair method has been developed, Maersk Line will continue to ground all reefers that have had a gas repair in Vietnam since the 1st February. This is being done as a precautionary measure the total number of units being involved is 844 whilst the Danish group operate 230,000 reefers in total. Hutchison Ports has also advised its customers to check any containers serviced or repaired in Vietnam recently and there are reports of another similar accident in China earlier this year.

Maersk are in possession of samples from the unit that exploded in Itajai as well as gas samples from containers they have grounded and that have had gas repairs done in Vietnam. Unions are calling for full investigation into the causes and scope of the problem and ITF representative Frank Leys said the unions were pleased to see that big shipping lines like Maersk had reacted so quickly to deal with the situation and urged the US union organisations to ensure companies operating from there acted equally promptly to alleviate any risk. Mr Leys, the ITF dockers’ section secretary continued:

“Where there are possibly contaminated containers still at large, we are calling on port authorities and shipping companies to issue clear guidance on how they should be handled. The health and safety of workers is paramount and in no instance should commercial or productivity issues be allowed to supersede the welfare of workers.”

Seafarers’ section secretary Jon Whitlow added:

“We are extremely concerned for the welfare of those workers on ships who may be unaware that a defective container is being carried on board. Although we acknowledge that the maritime community is moving fast to provide the necessary information and advice on how to handle the contaminated containers in ports, we hope the same approach and priority is given to adequately inform the on board safety officers in order to protect the integrity of seafarers and ships.

“Whilst of course the explosion of a container ashore is a tragic event, we think that a similar explosion on board a vessel could have potentially catastrophic effects on workers, ships and the environment.”

Authorities in Vietnam tell us within weeks Tan Cang will begin verifying the gas quality with a specialist machine before recharging reefer containers. Last week neighbouring Cat Lai port held a meeting to review the situation and the implications for the trade in container repairs and inspections which local sources estimate will cost them up to $20 per box if standard checks are farmed out to other ports en route. A statement said that port bosses agreed to allow the shipping lines to appoint a suitable foreign inspector to oversee repair and inspection procedures.

Vietnam has long provided the essential pre trip inspections (PTI’s) required by refrigerated units. Each reefer is subject to either a 20 minute check which is suitable for empty or loaded containers or an extended test which normally takes around 3 hours and is only suitable for empty boxes. In each case the control system for the fridge unit is checked and that there are no odours, gas leaks etc plus the box is clean and trip worthy

British Airways World Cargo launches commercial operations of the world’s most advanced freighter at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The British Consulate-General will be present at a special event at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Thursday marking British Airways World Cargo’s first ever commercial operations on US soil of their newly acquired Boeing 747-8 freighter aircraft.

Mayor Kasim Reed, will join British Airways staff and customers, together with airport officials in celebrating this occasion, in conjunction with the formal launch of the British Airways World Cargo North America  HQ, recently relocated from New York to Atlanta.

The British Airways World Cargo announcement is a further demonstration of the continuing investment by British business in Georgia and the importance of Atlanta as the logistical hub of the Southeast. There are approximately 500 British companies located throughout Georgia providing around 30,000 jobs. The UK is also a major export destination for Georgia and other South East states and the newly launched British Airways World Cargo B747-8F freighter service will bolster this important trade route as well as trade with many other important global markets.

“I am delighted to see the UK’s flagship carrier expanding their North American Cargo activities from their new Atlanta HQ.  British Airways is a world leading air services provider, and their cargo services are known for the high quality service they provide in the air and on the ground.  Mayor Reed visited British Airway’s cargo facilities at Heathrow last year to view their state of the art logistics and handling operations” said British Consul General Annabelle Malins.

Head of UK Trade and Investment in Atlanta, Rebecca Mowat, said “The new freighter is most impressive and its arrival in Atlanta is a fitting way to mark the opening of British Airways World Cargo headquarters in Atlanta – one of several new British business investments in Georgia this year.  My highly experienced team here in Atlanta are in strong demand to support UK and US companies with international business growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

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