Monday, October 29, 2007

Vikings! Put your oars in the water and row like a Mother_____r!

Maersk Line Monday once again denied it is planning to unleash an express 18-day service from the Far East to New York, when American Shipper asked to confirm information received that the shipping line has booked slots with the Panama Canal Authority for its 4,150-TEU B-class ships believed to have service speeds of about 29 to 30 knots.

Six of the seven ships in the Panamax series have been delivered from German subsidiary Volkswerft Stralsund. The last of which, Maersk Brownsville, was named on Sept. 3.

The ships are owned by London-based Maersk Co. Ltd. and are presently deployed on Maersk's Asia/U.S. West Coast TP8 loop. It is said that once all seven are available, Maersk will divert them through Panama to launch a market leading Hong Kong/Yantian/New York service that should attract lucrative time-critical cargo.

Not for the first time, Maersk said it has no such plans. "We review our network on an ongoing basis, including vessel deployment, to ensure the best service to our customers. However, we have at this point not made any decisions as to future changes in the vessel deployment of our B-class vessels," Maersk said in an e-mail.

Okay, just so you know...I think I asked the line to create just such a service back in 1994, when Maersk had some extra tonnage to throw around. Hmmm...its about time they deny (then deploy) this type of service.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dubai Ports in Cuba! The saga continues...

The plans are a holdover from Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which DP World bought for $6.8 billion in 2006, according to Reuters. The state-owned company was forced to divest its U.S. port assets after a domestic political row about whether the DP World terminals would be a potential entry point for terrorists.

The United States currently embargoes most trade to the island nation in an effort to change the communist regime of Fidel Castro.

DP World, the world's third-largest container terminal operator, has ambitious plans to grow in other locations around the world besides Cuba. Chairman Sultan bin Sulayem publicly confirmed earlier reports that the company would sell about 20 percent of the company on the public market next month to raise at least $3.5 billion for its ventures, Bloomberg News said. DP World previously called off an initial public offering and speculation about privatizing the company has followed it for years.

Sulayem said the money would be used to repay two bonds worth $3.5 billion the company issued last summer and provide cash to the government. He said the company has completed all "major acquisitions and investments" and plans to grow by expanding its existing terminal facilities, according to Bloomberg. But a top official told Shippers' NewsWire last week that the company would not rule out a return foray into the U.S. market if conditions change.

The initial public offering is the largest in the Middle East open to all investors. Shares will be sold on the Dubai stock exchange and will help the emirate's drive to become a global financial center, Sulayem said. The Dubai exchange will be affiliated with the Nasdaq Stock Exchange after Dubai bought a stake in Nasdaq several weeks ago.

Last year, the company handled 42 million TEUs and said it plans to handle 84 million TEUs a year at ports around the world by 2016.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Maxwell A. Stolarczyk / Attends Young Leaders State Conference

Maxwell A. Stolarczyk
Hastings Middle School Student Selected For State Leadership Conference

National Your Leaders State Conference in Ohio Honoring Area’s Most Highly-Acclaimed Students to be held October 25th through the 28th

Columbus, OHIO – This October, Upper Arlington middle school student, Mr. Maxwell A. Stolarczyk, will join a very select group of highly-acclaimed students in Ohio to take part in an extraordinary leadership conference sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC).

The National Young Leaders State Conference (NYLSC) in Ohio honors and recognizes outstanding middle school students for their scholastic achievement and leadership potential. Enrollment requirements to attend the Conference are strict, mandating that every scholar who attends must be personally nominated to attend by a teacher or selected based upon extraordinary academic achievement. Mr. Stolarczyk was nominated for the NYLSC by Ms. Linda Citino of Hastings Middle School.

“The aim of NYLSC is to inspire students to recognize their own leadership skills, measure their skills against those of their peers and return home with newfound confidence in their ability to serve as future leaders,” said Michael Lasday, Executive Director of the Congressional Youth leadership Council.

CYLC is an educational organization dedicated to identifying and nurturing leadership in the nation’s highest-achieving students. Since 1985, the Council has inspired more than 200,000 young people to achieve their full leadership potential. Currently, close to 400 members of the U.S. Congress serve on the CYLC Honorary Congressional Board of Advisors and more than 50 embassies participate in the Council’s Honorary Board of Embassies.

For additional information on the National Young leaders State Conference in Ohio, visit

Okay...yeah, I am putting in a plug here for my kid...he deserves the nod. This will be a great experience for him. Yes, I am proud...


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Samskip Inks Deal With Alcoa

Alcoa Fjardaál, a new Icelandic plant for Canada's Alcoa, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum, has contracted Samskip to handle shipments to Europe over the next five years.

The planned annual production capacity of Alcoa Fjardaál is 346,000 tons, of which about 80 percent is expected to go to European customers. Samskip will be responsible for shipments to Rotterdam and for organizing on-carriage to customers throughout Europe.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed but using current aluminum prices and currency exchange rates the annual export value of Alcoa Fjardaál's production could reach 60 billion ISK ($997 million), Samskip said.

The shipping company, which has management offices in Reykjavik and Rotterdam, said the deal would increase its Icelandic export volume by nearly 25 percent.

"This agreement with Alcoa Fjardaál will clearly lead to enlargement of our shipping fleet and even increased general shipping capacity when the shipments reach their normal level," said Ásbjörn Gíslason, Samskip's president.

Samskip is aiming to build up its facilities in East Iceland following the agreement, and the company has already been allocated a plot in the operations area of Mjóeyrarhöfn Harbor.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

TI Confirms More M&A Via GLS Report

The disclosed value of mergers and acquisition deals in the global transport and logistics industry during 2006 rose 8.6 percent over 2005 to £36.7 billion ($73.4 billion), London-based Transport Intelligence said in a new report.

The report, Global Logistics Strategies 2007, tracked more than 290 deals in 2006, with the largest investment being made in ports, airports and other transport infrastructure operations. Private equity backed deals amounted to £10.7 billion ($21.4 billion), one-third of the total.

The contract logistics, freight forwarding and express sectors accounted for 8 percent of the total with the largest deals being private equity company Apollo’s acquisition of CEVA (TNT Logistics) from TNT and DSV’s acquisition of Frans Maas.

"Acquisitions are being driven by the ambitious growth plans of large and small companies alike. This will ensure that M&A activity remains at a high rate for the foreseeable future," said John Manners-Bell, Transport Intelligence's chief analyst.

"The recent acquisitions of Christian Salvesen by Norbert Dentressangle and Rohde & Liesenfeld by Geodis are evidence of such ambition in both companies’ desire to build regional or even global operations.

"The combination of market fragmentation and ambition will also continue to make the sector attractive for private equity companies looking for arbitrage deals … despite an uncertain economic outlook, we expect many more deals in the near future."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New insects discovered in Colombian Export shipment

Agricultural specialists at San Juan International Airport in Puerto Rico have detected a new species of insect entering the United States during inspections of cut flowers, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said last week.

The new species were identified by Smithsonian Museum experts as Neoxaba sp. and Monolocoris. They were found in a shipment of 42 boxes of foliage from Colombia.

Oh yeah, but they missed the five keys of Colombian marching powder in the "reefer" container full of bananas...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

CSI Signs Deal with ULA

United Launch Alliance's Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket could form part of a bid for funds from NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration programme, if they become available following October's expected departure of Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) from COTS.

California-based Constellation Services International (CSI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with ULA to pursue the potential launching of CSI's LEO Express cargo cannister by an Atlas V for International Space Station resupply and other missions. The COTS programme is intended to provide ISS resupply services after the Space Shuttle fleet is retired.

The LEO Express cargo cannister could deliver up to 13,000kg (28,600lb) to ISS because it does not need propulsion and guidance systems to reach the station. This is because it would be met in its low Earth orbit by a Energia-built Progress vehicle that would have already been docked with the ISS. The Progress would automatically dock with the cannister to act as a space tug and take it to the station.

"The Progress would only have to have a few software upgrades to cope with the characteristics of the new combined [Progress/CSI cannister] vehicle. We know this because we paid Energia for the analysis in 2002," says CSI chief executive Charles Miller.

He adds that should COTS funds be available he would "engage NASA". In COTS RpK was competing with Space Exploration Technologies to demonstrate a cargo transportation system by 2010. RpK failed to meet required COTS financing and technical milestones, NASA could end its involvement by 8 October.

Charles Miller, a colleague I met during Esther Dyson's first FlightSchool(2005), continues to get close to deploying his "space container" technology for the ISS and beyond. Cool stuff...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

BitLogistics Blog

My old buddy Ken Lyon continues to be ahead of the logistics curve with VisableLogistics and its partner site BitLogistics. He was gracious enough to list me on his new blog role, so I am returning the favor. Check it out “logheads!”

BitLogistics provides solutions for monitoring and managing supply chains, both large and small, simple or complex.

Supply chain visibility
Supply chains are a vital support for the global economy. Outsourcing, 'Just in Time' operations and supplier choice, all depend on responsive and reliable supply chains. BitLogistics provides the technology platforms that help to meet these challenges.

Shippers now expect instant access to shipment information, which, up until now, was only available from the large global carriers. Thanks to solutions provided by BitLogistics, any organisation providing supply chain services can do the same.

Regulatory complianceGovernments are increasing the demands for detailed order and shipment information to enhance security and improve Customs clearance processes. Major corporations are expecting more detailed information from their suppliers and trading partners to enhance performance and also ensure legislative compliance. (e.g. Sarbanes Oxley regulations)

More information + More Collaboration = Improved Performance

This builds trust between trading partners and strengthens business relationships.
BitLogistics solutions help customers to reduce cost and improve service. They can show where bottlenecks are reducing operational performance and where excess inventory is absorbing working capital. These solutions can alert customers to problems enabling them to correct issues before they impact the customer.

Read more about what we are up to on the BitLogistics Blog (you can navigate to this blog via the link listed to your right).