Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hamburg Süd: mobility at sea and on the Web

I received a press released from Hamburg Sud regarding a new mobile website.
Rather than downloading an app on your smartphone, one can just
access this "streamlined" version of their web-site.

Not sure what other carriers have done, but this makes a lot of sense.

Here's the press release.

Hamburg Süd: mobility at sea and on the Web

Since the beginning of August 2011 Hamburg Süd has offered its customers and others interested in its portfolio of products and services a mobile website for smartphones. Under the domain m.hamburgsud-line.com users can now also very easily access all the important information about the shipping group in German and English when outside the office – without having to install an app.

The resolution of the mobile site has been especially adapted for smartphones and the layout based on the style of the normal website. In addition, the new mobile domain contains detailed information on the “Track & Trace”, “Schedules” as well as “Offices” sections. This enables the user to navigate rapidly and easily in the familiar environment and, for example, find out the current location of his container, the shipping group’s liner service network and the relevant contact person for him.

With the domain m.hamburgsud-line.com Hamburg Süd meets the constantly growing demand for mobile contents while at the same time the new functions expand the range of services offered in the eCommerce segment, supplementing its Web presence, which was relaunched at the beginning of 2011.


For further information:

Hamburg Süd | Corporate Communications

Eva Graumann
Willy-Brandt-Straße 59-61
20457 Hamburg / Germany
Phone: +49 40 3705-2627
Fax +49 40 3705-2649

Friday, August 26, 2011

U.S. Sanction List

If anyone wants to read the sanctions the U.S. has imposed regarding
doing business with other countries, you can find it on the U.S. Treasury web-site.

Here's the link

Sanctions program

Illegal loans to Iran shipping line

The U.S. Government still has restrictions on doing business with certain countries.
Cuba, Iran, and Sudan are some of them.

Somehow the folks at JP Morgan Chase didn't know this, but probably more
likely, just didn't care.

It's costing them $88.3 million, but I guess that's just pennies to them.

From the NY Times Dealbook

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $88.3 million as part of a settlement with the Treasury Department over a series of transactions involving Cuba, Iran and Sudan, the agency said on Thursday.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a news release that JPMorgan processed wire transfers totaling around $178.5 million for Cuban nationals in late 2005 and early 2006, violating United States embargo laws. The bank’s officers discovered the transfers in 2005, after they were tipped off by another financial institution, but failed to report them and did not take adequate steps to prevent more transfers, according to the statement. The release did not say which institution made the initial discovery.

The bank was also fined for a 2009 incident in which it made a $2.9 million loan to a bank that had ties to Iran’s government-owned shipping line, a violation of United States sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation. Again, JPMorgan Chase learned of the apparent violation early on but did not disclose it to regulators until March 2010, three days before it was repaid for the loan.

A third violation occurred in 2010 and 2011, when the bank failed to give up documents about a wire transfer that referred to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. According to the release, the agency gave JPMorgan a list of documents believed to be possessed by JPMorgan. In response, JPMorgan, which previously said it had no such documents, produced more than 20 of the items in question.

Treasury officials called the bank’s actions “egregious” and said that JPMorgan’s “managers and supervisors acted with knowledge of the conduct constituting the apparent violations and recklessly failed to exercise a minimal degree of caution or care.”

JPMorgan said that it never dealt directly with institutions in the embargoed countries and that it had merely acted as a middleman.

The penalty, the government said, had been reduced because JPMorgan cooperated substantially with the investigation.

“The civil settlement resolves a number of OFAC allegations dating back to 2005, none of which involved any intent to violate OFAC regulations. These rare incidents were unrelated and isolated from each other,” said Jennifer Zuccarelli, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan. “We are pleased to have resolved these matters and to move forward with enhancements to our global OFAC compliance program.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ocean Container Business to remain in slump

I know all the carriers have been keeping their fingers crossed, hoping
they were wrong, that things will get better soon. The analysts
are saying it's going to be a while.

Sorry folks.

From The Journal of Commerce

Research analyst says slump could last longer than the 2009 downturn

Container shipping is heading toward a prolonged slump that could last longer than the 2009 downturn, research analyst Alphaliner warns.

Unlike the 2009 recession, which was by triggered by the first fall in demand for container shipping, the current slump results from an oversupply of capacity and weak demand growth in Europe and the U.S., according to Alphaliner.

“The main carriers’ operating margins have slipped this year and the poor operating conditions experienced these days could well last for two more years, given the prevailing oversupply situation.”
Ocean carriers suffered aggregate losses of $19 billion in 2009, according to Drewry’s, a London-based consultant, as container traffic declined 9 percent from the previous year.

The lull in container ship orders between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2010 reduced the order book from 60 percent to 26 percent of the existing fleet, but did not solve the overcapacity problem, Alphaliner said in its latest weekly report.

Record earnings in 2010 — an aggregate $17 billion according to Drewry’s — helped many carriers to restore balance sheets battered in the 2009 slump while additional capital was raised in the hope of a sustained recovery.

This triggered a rush of orders totaling 2.3 million 20-foot equivalent units since June 2010, which boosted the order book 4.5 million TEUs, or 30 percent of the existing fleet. Overcapacity in the shipbuilding industry is aggravating the problem with carriers attracted by low new building prices, especially in China, Alphaliner said.

The reduction in the idle fleet to just one percent of total capacity masks weak utilization rates through most of 2011. Some industry analysts underestimate container ship overcapacity, based “misleading” supply growth figures of seven percent for 2011 and 2012 and a capacity shortage in 2013, Alphaliner said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Trailer Bridge receives delisting warning from NASDAQ

From the SEC filing of Trailer Bridge

Item 3.01 Notice of Delisting or Failure to Satisfy a Continued Listing Rule or Standard; Transfer of Listing.

On August 18, 2011, Trailer Bridge, Inc. (the “Company”) received a letter from The Nasdaq Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) stating that for the last 30 consecutive business days, the Company’s market value of publicly held shares was below the minimum $15,000,000 requirement for continued inclusion on The Nasdaq Global Market under Listing Rule 5450(b)(3)(C) (the “Rule”). This notification has no immediate effect on the listing of the Company’s common stock. The Rule defines “publicly held shares” as total shares outstanding, less any shares held directly or indirectly by officers, directors or a beneficial owner of more than 10% of the total outstanding shares.

In accordance with Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(D), the Company has 180 calendar days, or until February 14, 2012, to regain compliance with the Rule. The Company will regain compliance if, at any time before February 14, 2012, the Company’s market value of publicly held shares is $15,000,000 or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days.

If the Company does not regain compliance with the Rule by February 14, 2012, Nasdaq will provide the Company with written notification that the Company’s common stock will be delisted from The Nasdaq Global Market. At that time, the Company may appeal the delisting determination to a Nasdaq Listings Qualifications Panel. Alternatively, Nasdaq may permit the Company to transfer its common stock to The Nasdaq Capital Market if it satisfies the requirements for continued listing on that market.

The Company will continue to monitor the market value of its publicly held common stock and consider various options available to it if its common stock does not trade at a level that is likely to regain compliance.

Monday, August 22, 2011

ANOTHER dockworker killed

I find it difficult to believe everyone is just accepting
that these are "accidents".

From The Journal of Commerce

Saturday accident marks the second death on the Philadelphia waterfront in eight days

A longshoreman fell to his death in a breakbulk ship Saturday in the second fatal accident in eight days on the Philadelphia waterfront.

Vernon Knight, 54, a member of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1291, fell from a tween deck into a ship’s hold, said Robert Palaima, president of Delaware River Stevedores.

The ship, the Rickmers New Orleans, was handling project cargo at Tioga Marine Terminal. Palaima said the accident is under investigation.

The fatal accident followed the unrelated deaths of two dockworkers Aug. 12 at Philadelphia and Newark, N.J. In those accidents, Carmen “Chuckie” Dirago, a member of Local 1291, was killed at Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal and Don Denia, a member of Local 1804-1, was killed at Maher Terminals at Elizabeth, N.J.

Knight was the 15th ILA dockworker killed in a work accident in the last four years.

Cosco Bulk Vessels Arrested

I know Cosco would never play this kind of game with their containerships,
but it appears they are playing "hard ball" regarding charter hires
on some of their bulk ships.

From Bloomberg News

A China Cosco Holdings Co. vessel was arrested at the request of Bunge SA, at least the third attachment against China’s largest shipping company in two months as owners seek late charter payments.

The Yu Lan Hai was detained as Geneva-based Bunge sought $294,252 in fees plus costs from Cosco unit Cosco Bulk Carrier Co., according to court documents. The ruling was granted by Judge Helen G. Berrigan of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana on Aug. 18.

The arrest followed another attachment in Louisiana earlier this month and one in Singapore in July because of disputes involving late payments. In each case, Tianjin, China-based Cosco was locked into long-term contracts at rates higher than market prices following a collapse in spot rates.

Bunge was owed money from Cosco’s use of another ship, the Coal Gypsy, which was hired out in 2008 at rates of as much as $67,000 a day uhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifntil as late as Dec. 30, 2010, according to the filings. The Coal Gypsy is an 82,295 deadweight-ton bulk carrier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

China Cosco said last week in an e-mail to Bloomberg News that the disputes were part of “normal operations.” It didn’t elaborate further. A spokesman, who declined to be named, citing company policy, referred back to that statement when called today.

click here for link

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Open Letter from New York Shipping Association

I have not followed what happened with this pending legislation, which would
allow ease of hiring of dock workers. This open letter supporting legislation
was written in April of 2011. If anyone can give an update on this, please
leave a comment.

New York Shipping Association Inc.
333 Thornall Street, Suite 3A
Edison, New Jersey 08837
Telephone: 732-452-7800
Fax: 732-452-6315

The Honorable Brian M. Kolb
NYS Assembly Minority Leader
933 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

The Honorable Dean G. Skelos
NYS Senate Majority Leader
909 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247

The Honorable Sheldon Silver
NYS Assembly Speaker
932 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248

The Honorable John Sampson
NYS Senate Minority Leader
409 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 1224

April 2011

Dear Governor Cuomo and New York State Senate and Assembly Members:
You will soon have before you for consideration Bills S-4668 (Lanza/Hassell-Thompson) and A-7155 (Cusick/Farrell) which seek to cure a serious flaw in the Waterfront
Commission Act. This flaw impedes the ability of employers to recruit and hire new employees who are necessary to sustain and grow the business of cargo handling, which
is so vital to the economic well-being of our region.
This legislation is NOT an attempt to eliminate the role or necessity of the Waterfront Commission; but it is a rather prudent and responsible action which ensures port
employers will have a sufficient number of employees when they need them – not when an agency which has no economic investment in the management of the port or its
activities decides they are warranted.
S-4668 and A-7155 are intended to repeal Section 5-p of the Waterfront Commission Act, N.Y. Unconsol. Laws § 9920 (McKinney 2002), in the New York State legislature.
Section 5-p was enacted in 1966 in response to a provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the New York Shipping Association and the ILA which provided
a Guaranteed Annual Income to workers displaced due to the introduction of new technology into the marine terminal environment. At that time, management and labor
agreed that keeping the register open did nothing to further our competitive position, and agreed that the “controlled register statute” made sense. Today, the Guaranteed
Annual Income program no longer exists and ironically, it is now the constraints placed on employers by the Waterfront Commission pursuant to Section 5-p that threatens
the competitiveness of the Port.
There are 361 ports in the United States and the Port of New York and New Jersey is the only port in the Nation where employers are denied their prerogative to determine
when to add skilled workers to their payrolls and when to replace workers lost through attrition, retirement, or illness. Currently the Commission must approve how many
workers can be hired and from where they must be recruited.
New York Shipping Association, Inc., on behalf of the port employers has repeatedly stated both privately and publicly that we strongly support the law enforcement, crime
fighting and licensing roles of the Commission. However, we who responsibly oversee the business of maritime commerce are better suited to determine the manpower level
necessary to maximize the economic contribution of the Port to the quality of life of the tens of millions of people who reside within our service area.
With the impending completion of the Panama Canal Expansion and the reconfiguration of the Bayonne Bridge, the Port of New York and New Jersey will be uniquely
positioned to handle significantly more import and export cargo. Ports all along the East Coast are preparing to compete for the increase in cargo coming directly to the East
Coast. We are hampered by an antiquated process for hiring longshore workers and are put in a competitive disadvantage. This antiquated process must be changed.
The State of New Jersey took legislative action in 2007 to amend Section 5-p, recognizing that the Waterfront Commission should not maintain a role as a commercial
market regulator long after the guaranteed annual income program has ended. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest and most productive port complex on the
East Coast and supports more than 270,000 port related jobs in the northeast. The greater New York and New Jersey region must be permitted to reap the full benefit of
the economic engine that is the Port of New York and New Jersey. Amending Section 5-p will not alter the law enforcement, investigatory or licensing functions of the
Waterfront Commission.
We urge you to support the repeal of Section 5-p by voting in the affirmative on S-4668 and A-7155. More information about Section 5-p is available and we would be happy
to discuss this further with you in greater detail. Your support for this measure will demonstrate a commitment to a stronger economy for the State of New York.
Joseph C. Curto

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Longshore Workers Killed last Friday

Call me cynical, but I find it strange there were 2 longshore workers
killed in "accidents" on the same day, one in NJ, and one in Phili.

Looks to me like there is something behind this besides just bad
workplace practices.

I hope I am wrong, but I trust the FBI or someone is looking into
these deaths.

From The Journal of Commerce, Aug. 15, 2011

Two longshore workers were killed in work accidents at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia and Maher Terminals in Port Newark, N.J.

Carmen “Chuckie” Dirago, a member of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1291, was killed in Philadelphia when a tractor-trailer backed into him, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Don Delia, a member of ILA Local 1804-1, died in the Newark accident. Details of the accident were not available.

ILA President Harold Daggett extended condolences to the victims’ families and directed George Lynch, an ILA safety director, to investigate. Friday’s deaths raise the number of ILA members killed in work accidents in the last four years to 14.

“These deaths of our two ILA beloved brothers demonstrates why we must be vigilant with safety and put it at the top of priority list,” Daggett said. “It’s why the ILA wants top-level training, why we want accurate container weight measurements. Brother Dirago and Brother Delia’s deaths will not be in vain and, in their memory and inspired by them, we will work to make certain these accidents don’t happen again.”

Private Equity Funds Invest In Ships

Up until now, those involved in owning ships have been individuals or families,
mainly in Europe.

The world is changing, and private equity funds in the U.S. have decided
now is a good time to start buying ships, especially tankers.

There is a lengthy article in Bloomberg, highlighting this, as well
as how the demand for oil and oil products will change, due to
refineries being built in China, and the waning of the European and
U.S. economies.

As I have stated before, the U.S. economy will soon be overtaken (if not
already) by China and India.

From Bloomberg
Billionaire Wilbur Ross is betting that the slump in shipping which drove oil-tanker returns to a 14-year low and rates for commodity carriers to the cheapest in a decade is ending.

The 73-year-old, whose New York-based WL Ross & Co. manages about $10 billion in assets, is part of a group spending $900 million on 30 ships hauling gasoline, diesel and other refined products. It is Ross’s first shipping investment and deploying “another few hundred million” in the industry “is certainly easy to do,” he said in interviews on Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.

That outlook contrasts with the pessimism of John Fredriksen, the founder of Frontline Ltd., the biggest operator of the largest crude carriers. The 67-year-old billionaire said in May it would probably be another year or two before ship values collapse and he can start adding to his fleet.

“The history of the industry is one that goes from immense prosperity to immense poverty and back again, and we think that’s going to continue,” Ross said by telephone. “We’re not necessarily at the exact bottom of the cycle, but we think we are relatively close to it.

Demand for shipping will strengthen because new refineries are being built in China and India, increasing the distance that vessels have to travel to deliver crude and pick up refined-oil products, Ross said. That will compensate for a “lackluster” U.S. economy, Europe “in much the same condition” and “very modest” growth in Japan, he said.

click here for link to article

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What Now?


Who would have guessed what happened this last week in the U.S., which of course will rattle the world wide markets.

The stocks of shipping companies of course have dropped, along with all stocks.

And now everyone is jittery, so once again shipping will be in a turmoil.

The U.S. is still a big player in the world economy, but becoming less and less, with China now becoming a dominant player.

I guess stocks will drop more in the next week.

Personally I thought the market was a bit too optimistic, but now as usual, there has probably been an overreaction.