Friday, May 29, 2009

Ship Owners will own up to 20% of CSAV

Fairplay reports CSAV has reached an agreement with ship owners

CSAV said today that tramp tonnage owners have guaranteed a 100% subscription of a capital increase of $360M. They will grant the Chilean carrier a reduction of charter rates by about one third for a period of two years, from April of this year, and receive the stock in a debt-equity swap late this year or early next year, sources close to the negotiations told Fairplay.

German owners, whose commitment is regarded as pivotal for the survival of the company, may then jointly hold 17-20% in CSAV. They would then constitute the second largest investor consortium in the group.

The exact size of the shareholding will depend on share price developments and the success of two preceding capital increases of $130M and $220M, respectively, over the coming months.

German owners agreed to buy the CSAV shares at a considerable premium to the current price. But many of them still hope to break even on the rate reductions they have agreed to if CSAV gets over the worst and its share price recovers, Fairplay was told.

There is no mention if the vessels on order with Samsung will be delivered, or if they can be cancelled or delayed.

I suspect in a year or so, the ship owners will be owning a bit more of CSAV to keep them afloat.

I could be wrong.

If things really do turn around late this year they might be able to survive.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Future of CSAV

As mentioned last month CSAV is in financial trouble. They think they have vessel owners over a barrel in their negotiations

From Lloyd's List

CSAV was said by participants to have been uncompromising in the negotiations, using its threatened bankruptcy as a bargaining tool.

After last month’s Hamburg meeting, CSAV said it had asked shipowners to contribute $400m to its equity base and claimed the plan had met “a positive response”.

Owners said, however, that they had proposed modifications to CSAV’s offer.

Owners had little alternative but to save CSAV, as an insolvency of the line would mean a huge number of vessels spilling over onto stressed charter markets. “Everybody wants to avoid another Lehman effect,” said a manager close to the negotiations.

I don't know if I agree with that last statement. Everyone said they couldn't allow GM to file bankruptcy, but it looks as if they will.

This is my best guess. CSAV will file bankruptcy, and some other ocean carrier will come in and pick them up for cents on the dollar, with backing from the vessel owners. As long as the purchasing company agreed to keep the ships on charter (probably at reduced rates) it would solve the problem.

I think it will take about 3-6 months for this to play out. It will be interesting to watch.

MOL looking for cheap bulk carriers

Mitsui OSK (MOL) says now is the time to buy bulk ships, and they think they can raise the cash to do so.

“We’re willing to spend several tens of billions of yen on an acquisition,” Kenichi Yonetani, a senior managing executive officer at the company, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. He declined to elaborate further on possible targets.

Japan’s most profitable shipping line expects to be able to borrow funds as it has avoided the worst of a collapse in commodity-shipping rates by locking in fees through long-term contracts. The rates meltdown, caused by rising capacity and slower Chinese demand for iron ore, has pushed at least four dry-bulk shipping lines into bankruptcy.

“This year is a chance for people who can buy,” Yonetani said. “We don’t see a problem in getting financing from banks to pay for our investment.”

click here for article from Bloomberg

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How many oil tankers are storing oil?

Back in January 2009 there were reports of oil tankers being chartered just to store oil. Speculators were guessing the price would go up, and it has. Probably more so due to all this speculation than actual demand.

Oil prices are rising way ahead of reality, way ahead of fundamentals,” said Eugen Weinberg, a senior commodity analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It would be more reasonable for prices to drop a little and correct to $50 or below.”

And, how many ships are storing oil? I don't know how many, but it's gotta be a bunch.

There’s enough unsold crude stored in offshore tankers to supply the U.S. for a week,

click here for complete article from Bloomberg

Will Panama Canal be expanded?

Due to the huge increase in ships transiting the Panama Canal over the last decade, it was decided to expand the canal.

Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks that will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.

However, the bids came in about 35% over budget.

I suspect the Panama Canal authority will ask for rebids.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Will the Somali Pirates stop their hijackings?

The BBC is reporting one of the main leaders of pirates has "seen the light" and will give up pirating.

Mr Abdullah, a well-known pirate chief in Puntland, says his group is not holding any ships at present and the authorities have agreed to give them amnesty for previous hijackings.

"I see myself as someone who has been saved from bad deeds," he told the BBC's Somali Service.

"I understand the wrong things that I was involved in and I'm aware now these acts are wrong in Islamic teachings.

click here for complete article

I guess the pressure mentioned in the NY Times on May 10 worked

“Man, these Islamic guys want to cut my hands off,” he (the pirate) grumbled over a plate of camel meat and spaghetti. The sheiks seemed to have rattled him more than the armada of foreign warships patrolling offshore. “Maybe it’s time for a change.”

Today is a Holiday in the U.S.

Today is a Holiday in the U.S.

It is Memorial Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday in May.

So, if you are trying to contact someone in the U.S., forget it.

Although this is a holiday set aside to remember those who served in wars, generally it's thought of as a long weekend kicking off the summer.

The lakes will be busy, as well as beaches and campgrounds.

I will barbecue in the backyard.

Hope it doesn't rain.

Friday, May 22, 2009

How many U.S. flag ships sail in the Indian Ocean?

The U.S. Coast Guard doesn't know how many U.S. Flag vessels are sailing in waters which are vulerable to pirate attacks.

They think it's probably from 1- 7 ships? And they can't figure it out?
How hard is that!!! What idiots.

If I had about 4 hours to kill I could figure it out.

From the JOC

Christensen said the Coast Guard still doesn’t know just how many U.S.-flag vessels are plying the Indian Ocean, although getting an accurate tally is top priority before Adm. Brian Salerno, assistant commandant for safety, security and stewardship, will testify Wednesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“We’re probably looking at 13 or 14 companies that operate ships in that area,” Christensen said. Some ships are transiting the region, while others are in liner service along the coast of East Africa. “The data varies. It could be one ship, it could be seven ships. We’re trying to get a better handle on that right now.”

Canadians and Italians come to aid of U.S. ship

Pirates first went after a Lebanese ship, Maria K. When they were thwarted, they went after the Maersk Virginia (sister to Maersk Alabama). Obviously these pirates aren't very smart.

From CBS

The pirates broke off their pursuit of the Maria K and headed instead for the nearby American ship.

An Italian Naval helicopter joined the Canadian aircraft. With the helicopters hovering overhead, the pirates gave up their attempted hijacking and threw their weapons overboard before their boat was boarded by Italian seamen.

Good thing the Italians boarded the ship, as the Canadians have that "catch and release" policy regarding "suspected" Pirates.

No word yet on what the Italians have done with these "suspected" pirates.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Which shipping companies will survive?

According to Paul Slater, chairman and chief executive of First International, who was interviewed by Lloyd's List, the shipping companies listed in New York are now in the hands of "day traders".

He makes a very good point. I have been amazed at the activity and unreasonable price of Dryships stock, which Mr. Slater makes a specific reference to in the interview.

He also stated

MORE than half of the shipping companies with stock exchange listings could slide into bankruptcy or administration proceedings in the next year as their cash drains away.
.... forecast that the next 12 months would be “really painful” for the three main shipping sectors of containerships, dry bulk and tankers.

But those in NY are hoping to sweep away these concerns..

But Peter Shaerf, president of the non-profit New York Maritime and managing director of AMA Capital Partners, said shipping’s presence in New York’s capital markets had remained robust this year.

Trading volumes in shipping companies continued to increase, and $1.4bn had been raised in at-the-market or follow-on offerings this year.

The real problem is that most of the shipping companies continue to pay dividends, instead of trying to preserve cash. Investors are only looking at the dividend payments. This will catch up with them.

My money is on Mr. Slater

click here for article and video from Lloyd's List

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The BBC Box delivered in Japan

The BBC Box, NYKU8210506 was picked up and returned empty on May 19, 2009 from the port in Yokohama, Japan.

From the NYK Tracking Site

Status As Of Event Location Mode
MAY-19-2009 10:57

Empty container returned to carrier at destination

Yokohama, JPN


Event Date Event Location Mode
MAY-19-2009 09:05

Picked up for delivery at destination

Yokohama, JPN

The BBC has not made any comment as to who the receiver is in Japan.

Monday, May 18, 2009

EU sends suspected pirates to Kenya for prosecution

Thirteen suspected pirates were turned over to Kenya for prosecution.

click here for press release from EU Navfor

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spot Rates in Transpacific below USD 1000 x 40ft

According to the Journal of Commerce

Average spot rates by ocean carriers for a 40-foot container from Hong Kong to Los Angeles fell to $986 this week, down 51.6 percent from a year ago and the lowest level in a trans-Pacific downward pricing spiral.

The trans-Pacific spot rate is the rate charged by carriers for containers that are not booked under their annual contracts with large shippers. The rate applies to containers booked for passage at the last moment.

When cargo volume is strong and space is tight as it was for six years until last year, shippers have to pay whatever the carriers can charge to get their cargo aboard a ship, but when volume is weak, as it has been for the last nine months, some shippers bet that the rates will fall and wait until the last moment to take advantage of the spot rate.

Shippers aren’t guaranteed space, but in the current environment, they are almost guaranteed low rates.

The effect of those low rates can be seen in the financial losses reported by most major carriers for the quarter ended March 31.

As I have been saying, container carriers are not very smart when it comes to pricing.

The freight forwarders are playing the carriers (not the shippers, believe me).

The ocean carriers need to wake-up and start putting in some restrictions, same as airlines had to.

First of all, when a container is picked up for a booking, the shipper should be required to declare what rate it will be booked at, and what vessel it will load onto.

If they don't meet this as was agreed, they should have to pay a penalty.

Now, it would be possible to pick up a container, get it loaded and returned to a carrier in a day, but not a whole bunch of containers.

Anyway, that's my suggestion to the carriers.

They are going to need all the help they can over the next year, as the ink is bright red.

Toxic Waste Dumped in Africa

There have been allegations of toxic waste being dumped in Somalia, which the Somalian Pirates have helped to expose.

Most likely there has been toxic waste dumped in many African countries. A law-suit in Europe regarding toxic wasted dumped in the Ivory Coast by a Dutch company is underway.

correction Trafigura is a Swiss Company. I am not sure why this is being tried in the U.K. I think it's because this court said they would take the case.

...waste that was illegally tipped on Ivory Coast's biggest city, Abidjan. A giant multinational is being sued in London's High Court by thousands of Africans who claim they were injured as a result.

BBC has an article and videos

click here

Friday, May 15, 2009

Update- Rates did not go up

Back on March 20, 2009, in a post called Ocean Rates will not go up this is what I said regarding ocean rates increasing on the Transpacific Trade (which is basically Asia to U.S., sorry Canadians)

Various CEO's of international container companies keep saying there is a need to "restore market discipline", meaning they need to quit cutting rates.

What these guys don't understand is, you can't restore market discipline by saying "don't do that". You restore market discipline by getting the supply more closely matched with demand.
So shippers, or consignees, you don't need to worry too much about the rates going up for some time. I have seen it happen too often - everyone gets together, agrees they will behave themselves, and it all falls apart as soon as there is no cargo.

Now, having said that, if you want the rock bottom rates, you will probably only get a short term contract. If you want a contract valid for 12 months, the rates will be less than last year, but not crazy cheap like they are now.

And, how did it go for contract rates this year?

According to Maersk

Maersk Line chief executive Eivind Kolding described the rate reductions that ocean carriers have been forced to accept for transpacific eastbound cargo as “quite substantial”.

While not quantifying how much lines such as Maersk had dropped their prices, Mr Kolding indicated that reductions exceeded 10%.

The percentage drop was in double digits, he told Lloyd’s List.

And I am quite sure this is the actual rate, not the rate plus the bunker adjustment.

I suspect the decrease is even more than 10%. Maersk said they were determined to keep their market share, and MSC has been aiming to increase theirs.

Leave a comment if you know what kind of decrease was given.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

U.S. Navy detains 17 "suspected" pirates

I find it a bit amusing the news reports are now referring to pirates attacking ships off the coast of Somalia as "suspected pirates", or "alleged pirates".

Perhaps this is a run up to an international court to try pirates. It will surely work on the premise of innocent until proven guilty, hence the reference to suspected and alleged.

Anyway, back to the pirates news

The U.S. picked up 17 suspects after an Egyptian flag vessel, the Amira was fired upon.

The U.S. and Korea both sent helicopters after the pirates, apparently tracking them back to a "mothership".

The suspected pirates were brought onboard the USS Gettysburg for questioning.

We will have to follow this story to see what they do with these "suspected" pirates.
My hunch is they will send them to Kenya to be tried, unless perhaps Egypt would like them, as it was an Egyptian flag vessel.

Lloyds List is running a survey asking "Should an international court be set up to try alleged pirates". When I voted the tally was about 90 percent in favor.

I think something will have to be done. I don't really know what happened, as Kenya was to be set up to try the pirates from Somalia. But, I think that was before the administration change here in the U.S., so it probably got bogged down. Hilary must have other things on her plate.

Here is the article from the NY Post with more info on the latest "alleged pirates" activity,

Oh, and Iran is sending warships to fight the pirates.

One good thing about these pirates - it's giving all countries a common enemy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

U.S. Trucker in financial trouble

YRC is the name of the company which resulted from the purchase of Roadway by Yellow Freight. Both of these companies had been two of the largest truckers after deregulation of the trucking industry (which was in the 70's).

As with many things, bigger is not always better.

They did not quickly integrate the two companies, and although I don't know for sure, I suspect they did not make the tough cost cutting moves until it was too late, considering they are now hit with the recession.

I doubt they will survive.

YRC Worldwide warned it may not reach its second quarter earnings requirement as the fragile financial standing at the nation’s largest heavy-freight trucking company seems to be getting shakier.

One Wall Street analyst is not optimistic about YRC’s recovery chances in the thick of a recession.

“We have a difficult time seeing how the math works here to restore the company to profitability,” said David Ross of Stifel Nicolaus. “It has already had its employees take a 10 percent wage cut. Plus, we do not see industry volumes rebounding this year, and industry pricing remains very competitive.”

click here for article from Journal of Commerce

Guards to be required on U.S. Flag vessels

I have been saying for some time the least that should be done to protect against pirates is to have guards, or watchmen.

This is what I said on May 5th, 2009

The international shipping community is content to pay ransoms for ships which are captured, because this is cheaper than arming their ships, and probably even cheaper than even doing the basic things against pirates, such as 24 hour watchmen.

Today the U.S. Coast Guard says U.S. Flag vessel going around the Horn of Africa, which is Somalia, must have guards onboard

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard will require U.S.-flagged ships sailing around the Horn of Africa to post guards and ship owners to submit anti-piracy security plans for approval, a Coast Guard official said on Tuesday.

But, the guards don't have to be armed.

Well, I guess this is something, although one would think the shipping companies would have been doing this on their own.

Furthermore, this only applies to U.S. Flag vessels, of which there are few.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New York Times article re laid up ships

The New York Times has an article on the number of ships laid up waiting for cargo, especially in Singapore.

So many vessels have flocked to Singapore because it has few storms, excellent ship repair teams, cheap bunker fuel from its own refinery and, most important, proximity to Asian ports that might eventually have cargo to ship.

despite some positive signs, including a Wall Street rally and slower job losses in the United States, many in the shipping business say the current level of trade does not suggest a recovery soon.

click here for complete article

Maersk Line looses $559m first quarter 2009

You will see other headlines stating Maersk lost less, around $373 Million. However, that includes non-shipping business related to energy. It obviously made money, bringing the total loss down for the group.

Maersk Line and related activities lost $559m after tax against a profit of $80m a year earlier.

There is no information as to their revenue for the 1st quarter, so it's not easy to compare their losses with Hapag-Lloyd's. However, as Maersk lost around $560 Mil., and they are the largest container carrier, and Hapag lost around $300 Mil, and they are (I think) the 5th largest, I don't think one is any worse off than the other.

It won't get better any time soon.

In a statement, the group (Maersk) said there was no immediate prospect of any improvement in market conditions.

click here for complete article from Lloyds List

correction - the news release from Maersk gives the revenue, both in DKK (the Danish currency) and US Dollars. I haven't compared it to Hapag's for the first quarter, but it's all bad. Best to just move on.

click here for news release from Maersk

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hapag Lloyd announces loss for 1st Quarter 2009

Almost no one is making money in international shipping these days. Especially not container carriers.

The announcement of first quarter loss by Hapag Lloyd of 302 Million USD, on revenues of 1.5 Billion USD highlights how bad it is.

A German bank is forecasting what Hapag Lloyd will lose for the year 2009....

Commerzbank, a German bank, has forecast Hapag-Lloyd will lose around $545 million in 2009.

If they already lost 302 Million in the first quarter, I think this forecast is a bit low. One would think the loss would be closer to maybe 700 Million.

click here for complete article from Journal of Commerce

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Will the Islamists end the Somalian Piracy?

The New York Times has an interesting article regarding the Somalia Pirates. This is the first of a series.

Here are some excerpts.

For the first time in this pirate-infested region of northern Somalia, some of the very communities that had been flourishing with pirate dollars — supplying these well-known criminals with sanctuary, support, brides, respect and even government help — are now trying to push them out.

Grass-roots, antipirate militias are forming. Sheiks and government leaders are embarking on a campaign to excommunicate the pirates, telling them to get out of town and preaching at mosques for women not to marry these un-Islamic, thieving “burcad badeed,” which in Somali translates as sea bandit. There is even a new sign at a parking lot in Garoowe, the sun-blasted capital of the semiautonomous region of Puntland, that may be the only one of its kind in the world. The thick red letters say: No pirates allowed.

“Man, these Islamic guys want to cut my hands off,” he (the pirate) grumbled over a plate of camel meat and spaghetti. The sheiks seemed to have rattled him more than the armada of foreign warships patrolling offshore. “Maybe it’s time for a change.”

click here for complete article

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Somali Pirates moving to Seychelles

Seychelles are some small islands (just a speck on the map) east of Somalia.

Seychelles asks for naval protection from marauding Somali pirates

Mumbai: Officials on the tourist paradise set of islands called the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean asked for protection after reports the bandits had moved away from the Gulf of Aden since western governments dispatched patrol vessels to challenge them, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.

The pirates can reach the closest Seychelle island in just over a day from Mogadishu – it is just 670 nautical miles.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Somali Pirates release ship for free

They hijacked a ship which was on charter to party in Somalia. Apparently, when the pirates found this out, they said "oh, never mind".

Or, probably more like, when the head of the clan (or whomever was in charge of this particular pirating) found out, the ship was released. I don't think the guys who do the actual hijacking are in charge of the negotiating.

Somali pirates have released the hijacked general cargo ship Almezaan – for free – African sources reported today. Fairplay was unable to confirm the reports with the ship’s owner, Biyat International.

Almezaan had been en route to Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, when it was seized 100km off Somalia on 2 May. It was carrying used cars, flour and sugar. The vessel was reportedly released for free and without conditions when the pirates learned that it was on charter to traders in Mogadishu who demanded its release.

Dryships to sell more stock

The other day I noticed Dryships was one of the most actively traded stocks. They have just announced plans for a second stock offering in 2009.

I think people buy and sell this stock just as a gamble, because the price does not reflect the value, but it continues to go up.

I am not the only one who believes the stock is overvalued.

Martin Sommerseth Jaer, who follows DryShips for Arctic Securities and has a “sell” rating on the shipowner’s stock, says today’s announcement is not a surprise.

He told TradeWinds: “If you look at the extreme leverage in the company, this is an obvious outcome. The equity market is willing to purchase overpriced DryShips shares so why not issue stock?

“It is selling a dime for a dollar and, interestingly, the more dimes it sells for a dollar the more accretive it is for to previous shareholders as it aids net asset value."

This is because the equity is being raised at share price levels above underlying NAV, he explains.

click here for complete article from Tradewinds

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What percentage of new dry bulk ships will be cancelled?

I think the figure will come close to 50%, although some say 10%, others say 30%

DNV has forecast that 30% of bulk carrier and container orders, and 10% of tanker newbuldings will not be built.

Apparently the Chinese are intent on building these ships, even if they have to finance their sale to new owners. Unless the world wide economy really picks up, this could spell trouble for the entire industry. It would mean continued excess capacity, keeping rates down.

This from Lloyds List

Shipping executives who have recently visited yards in China, where half the world’s bulk carriers are on order, reported that yards were keen to build ships, and open to requests for delivery deferrals, also offering to renegotiate prices based on any cost savings.

Chinese dry bulk carrier says business is still bad

Some of the other dry-bulk carriers have been saying things are picking up. And maybe they are, considering how bad it got.

However, the biggest one, Cosco, expects 2009 will be bad as a whole.

China Cosco is in talks to delay or cancel orders for new vessels as it anticipates a 44 percent drop in dry-bulk traffic this year

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity-shipping rates, tumbled 80 percent in the year ended March as China pared iron-ore imports and new vessels entered service.

click here for complete article from Bloomberg

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Infighting at TUI - will this affect Hapag-Lloyd?

There is some infighting between a large shareholder of TUI and the current management. Not only is there a move to oust the current Chairman, there is also a request for investigation regarding information reported during the sale of Hapag-Lloyd.

I don't know is this will affect Hapag-Lloyd, although TUI still owns 43% of Hapag-Lloyd, so I suspect it could.

Probably after an upturn in the market, in a couple of years, TUI will sell off their remaining stake in Hapag-Lloyd.

From Bloomberg

May 4 (Bloomberg) -- TUI AG dissident investor John Fredriksen called on fellow shareholders to support him as he seeks to oust Chairman Juergen Krumnow at the annual general meeting of Europe’s largest tour operator.

He also called on shareholders to vote in favor of a special investigation into the appropriate publication of insider information during the sale of TUI’s Hapag-Lloyd shipping line, according to today’s statement.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who should pay to fight the pirates?

The problem with the piracy near Somalia is foremost because there is no government in Somalia to fight the pirates, let alone fight them and try the ones which are captured.

The international shipping community is content to pay ransoms for ships which are captured, because this is cheaper than arming their ships, and probably even cheaper than even doing the basic things against pirates, such as 24 hour watchmen.

Now that the issue is heating up, it's all coming to a head, to make the users pay for protection.

There has been experience fighting pirates in the Straits of Malacca.

Most controversially, however, Mr Sasakawa advocated copying the user-pays framework he has advocated to fund maritime safety in the Malacca Strait to help fund anti-piracy operations.

“While it is critical for the international community to cooperate in dealing with piracy, I think the time has come to expect the private sector to also make various contributions,” he said.

And, can the navies really cover the big oceans?

Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also told the media after the conference that he did not support putting arms on commercial ships and that it was up to merchant ships to pay for their own protection.

“I am not a proponent of putting arms on anything,” Adm Mullen said, adding commercial shippers could hire private security, but did not want to “because it costs them too much money”.

He pointed out that less than 1% of the ships transiting the Gulf of Aden fall victim to attack, and combating piracy was therefore not his top priority.

He said one analysis had shown it would take 1,000 ships to effectively fight piracy, more than the entire US Navy fleet. “I’ve got a big globe. I don’t have 1,000 ships that I can devote to that,” he said. -

Greek Ship Registry banned from new ship classifications

Hellenic Register of Shipping (in Greece) has been in existence since 1919.

They register ships, which is similar to registering a car. It means they issue documentation, inspect the ship, and issue pollution prevention documents and other documents required to enter ports around the world.

Apparently, they haven't been doing a very good job lately.

THE European Union has confirmed that the Hellenic Register of Shipping is banned from classing new ships for 17 months while it attempts to save its status as a recognised organisation.

The decision, published in the EU’s official journal, sets stringent conditions following the identification of “serious shortcomings” in Hellenic’s quality control.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why are pirates released?

Apparently the reason pirates are being released is because there are not absolute orders from "the top" to prosecute them. I could understand. If they didn't attack a ship or persons from your country, is it really your problem once you have effected the release?

Prosecuting pirates will be expensive and time consuming. NATO apparently has decided to deploy ships to deter piracy, but has no policy in place to detain the pirates.

The U.S. had talks with Kenya last year regarding them accepting pirates for prosecution. Apparently there was no follow through by NATO with this initiative.

More on this subject from Edward White, a Florida Bar Board Certified attorney in Admiralty Law

Somali piracy: A seagoing anomaly in maritime law


Obviously the problem of the current Somali pirates is complicated by NATO policy. It is further complicated by the fact of multiple jurisdictional aspect of international shipping. It is common for vessels to be flagged by countries where the licensing is easy, cheap and taxes are low, such a Liberia, Cyprus, Panama, Togo, etc. The vessel is normally owned by a corporation headquartered in another country, it is chartered by a company from another country, and the crew is made of other foreign nationals.

There are exceptions, the French have an absolute policy of deterring piracy and eliminating pirates by force. They board the hijacked vessels when they approach the coast of Somalia, a red line status. French commando units board the vessels and attack the pirates. This has of course lead to loss of life for hostages as well as the pirates. In one case the pirates escaped ashore in Somalia, and the French pursued them into the desert. There are currently 12 captured pirates in French custody being returned to France for prosecution.

French are the most agressive against pirates

Go Frenchies!

I hope that is not a derogatory term.

The French have been the most aggressive going against pirates attacking all ships, not just theirs.

I don't know why, but it's certainly nice to see.

NAIROBI, Kenya – A French naval vessel intercepted 11 suspected pirates traveling off the Somali coast on Sunday in two assault vessels and a so-called "mothership" loaded with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers, the French Defense Ministry said.

It was the French ship's third pirate intervention in a month. France has been the most aggressive in pursuing pirates out of more than a dozen nations patrolling shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

BBC - story regarding "The Box" arrival in Japan

The BBC has an article and video after the arrival of "The Box" in Yokohama, Japan.

However, they still don't make any mention of how the car parts destined for Russia will get to the destination. They only mention "food stuffs" for Japan.

click here for link

Pirates, caught with explosives, are released

Again, we have an instance of pirates being captured, only to be released.

The 19 pirate suspects were released because they had not attacked Portuguese property or citizens.

And these pirates had explosives

The Portuguese helicopter chased the pirates back to their "mother ship", or command vessel, and briefly detained about 19 pirates, a Nato spokesman said.

Explosives and grenade launchers were discovered on the mother ship when Portuguese special forces boarded "with no exchange of fire", Lt Cmdr Alexandre Santos Fernandes said.

"It was almost a kilogramme of high explosives. If used correctly it can open a hole in the hull of a ship and sink her," Lt Cmdr Fernandes said.

"It is the first time we have spotted high explosives on board a pirate ship, normally they just stick to AK-47s and RPGs (grenades)."

click here for complete article from the BBC

Friday, May 1, 2009

Double Handling

I hope this article is incorrect.

They say goods will be shipped by vendors to consolidation centers in Atlanta, So. Calif, and North NJ.

Then, they will be resorted, and delivered to distribution centers in Atlanta, Dallas, and So. Calif.

That seems like a lot of rehandling to me. Can't they make them consolidation/distribution centers?

Probably someone decided to build the warehouse in Dallas, and now they have to justify a way to use it.

Vendors have traditionally delivered product directly to each Stein Mart store, but with APL Logistics’ help, the fashion discounter is scrapping that system in favor of a layered distribution system, where vendors will deliver product to Stein Mart consolidation centers being established in Atlanta; Compton, Calif.; and Secaucus, N.J.
The consolidation centers will re-sort shipments for delivery to distribution centers in Atlanta, Dallas and Compton. At distribution centers, merchandise will be checked to ensure it’s floor ready and if not, problems will be corrected. Merchandise will then be sorted for delivery to Stein Mart stores.