PortaMiami wins nothing in AAPA marketing contest, not a nod!

 

2015 AAPA Communications Awards Program Winners

Congratulations to all of the ports that submitted winning entries into the 2015 AAPA Communications Awards Program competition!

The recipient of the 2015 Dan Maynard Communications Award for Overall Excellence "traveling" trophy - the top award in AAPA's Communications Awards Program - is the Port of Los Angeles.  Recieving AAPA's 2015 Overall Communications Award of Distinction trophy is the Belledune Port Authority in New Brunswick, while the AAPA 2015 Overall Communications Award of Merit trophy goes to the Hamilton Port Authority in Ontario.

All of the winners in this year's competition will be recognized in a narrated PowerPoint pressentation on Nov. 4 at AAPA's Awards Luncheon during its 104rd Annual Convention & Expo in MiamiFlorida, which runs Nov. 2-4, 2015.


ADVERTISEMENTS – SERIES

Awards of Distinction
Port of Long Beach - 'Better Together' Trade Ad Series [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - LA Waterfront Summer Ad Campaign [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Merit
Port of Montreal - Port of Montreal 'Trading With The World' [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of New Orleans - Our Connections Run Deep Ad Campaign [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

ADVERTISEMENTS - SINGLE 

Awards of Merit
Port of Long Beach - Long Beach Marathon - 'Better Together' Sponsorship Ad [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Maryland Port Administration - WANTED: BIG SHIPS [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

ANNUAL REPORTS

Award of Excellence
GeorgiaPorts Authority - FY2014 Annual Report [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Awards of Distinction
Port Canaveral - Port Canaveral 2015 Report - Print and Digital [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Montreal - The Port at the Heart of Daily Life [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
The Port of New York & New Jersey - Focus Forward [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Stockton - Navigating Success: The Port Aims High [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Award of Merit
PortEverglades - Annual Commerce Report FY2014 [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

AUDIO-ONLY PRESENTATIONS

Award of Distinction
Port of Stockton - Audio Presentation - Boat Tours [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

DIRECTORIES/HANDBOOKS

Awards of Distinction
Ports of Indiana - 2014 Indiana Logistics Directory [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Mariners Guide [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Awards of Merit
Port Everglades - Pocket Facilities Guide [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Georgia Ports Authority - Georgia Ports Authority Guide & Directory [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port Manatee - 2015 Official Directory [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of New Orleans - The Official Directory of the Port of New Orleans [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

MISCELLANEOUS

Awards of Excellence
Port of Everett - Historical Interpretive Program [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Halifax Port Authority - Economic Impact Report [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Think Watershed Field Trips [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - School Boat Tour Program [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Distinction

Georgia Ports Authority - Wellness Brochure [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Georgia Ports Authority - Holiday Greeting [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - Trade Show Wifi & Recharge Lounge [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Scouting at the Port of Los Angeles [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - 2012-2017 Strategic Plan 2014 Update Brochure [Entry Summary, Entry Image]

Awards of Merit
Port of Los Angeles - TransPORTer [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Holiday Greeting 2014 [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Tall Ships Festival LA Duck Education Program [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

OVERALL CAMPAIGN

Awards of Excellence
Port of Long Beach - Education Outreach Program [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - 'Better Together' Campaign [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Award of Distinction
Port of Long Beach - 'Summer Beach Party' Campaign [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Awards of Merit

Georgia Ports Authority - Why SHEP Matters [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Montreal - 'Trading With The World' [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Oakland - US West Coast Labor Dispute: Mitigating the Impacts [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Tacoma  - International Communications Program [Entry SummaryEntry Image

PERIODICALS

Awards of Excellence
Ports of Indiana - Portside Magazine [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Long Beach - 'Tie Lines' Industry Subscription Newsletter [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - LAtitude [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - 'Dock Talk' The Employee Newsletter [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of New Orleans - Port Record Magazine - The Official Magazine of the Port of New Orleans [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Award of Distinction
Port Canaveral - Port Canaveral Magazine - Print and Digital [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Merit

Port of Grays Harbor - Around the Docks [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - LA Waterfront Magazine [Entry SummaryEntry Image
The Port of New York & New Jersey - Breaking Waves [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

PROMOTIONAL/ADVOCACY MATERIAL

Awards of Excellence
Hamilton Port Authority - Port of Hamilton Infographic [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Palm Beach - Fashion Photography Spread in Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Award of Distinction
Port of Long Beach - Cyber Security Employee Training [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Awards of Merit
Port of Los Angeles - 2015 Port of Los Angeles Wall Calendar [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Waterfront Map [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Los Angeles - Facts & Figures/Air Quality Card [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
The Port of New York & New Jersey - A Collaborative Effort For A Collective Change [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

SOCIAL/WEB-BASED MEDIA

Awards of Distinction
Georgia Ports Authority - Social Media Launch [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - 'Summer Beach Party' Social Media Campaign [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

SPECIAL EVENTS

Awards of Excellence
Port Canaveral - Cargo Cranes Arrival [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - 2015 State of the Port [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - Environmental Achievement Awards [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Lunar New Year Festival [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles -
STEM Funshop [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Tall Ships Festival LA 2014 [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of New Orleans - Maritime Workforce Summit [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Distinction
Georgia Ports Authority - State of the Port [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Downtown Harbor Grand Opening [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of New Orleans - French Quarter Fest [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Stockton - Antioch Dunes [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Merit
Port Canaveral - Boat Launch Complex Dedication [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port Canaveral - Business Community Briefing and Tour [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port Everglades - Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Communications Plan [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Georgia Ports Authority - Foreign Trade Conference [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - World Trade Month Celebration of Education [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Los Angeles - International Economic Summit [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Los Angeles - Annual World Trade Week Public Boat Tours [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Quebéc - Open Port Day [Entry Summary, Entry Image]

VIDEOS

Award of Excellence
Port of Los Angeles - America's Port Video [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Distinction
Georgia Ports Authority - People of the Ports [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Georgia Ports Authority - See More. Do More. [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Long Beach - GeraldDesmondBridge Replacement Project [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Awards of Merit
Port Everglades - Master Plan Video [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - Aerial View For 2015 State of the Port Event [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - High School Internship Recruitment Video [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Long Beach - 'Polb In 3' Weekly Video News for Employees [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Maryland Port Administration - Baltimore: Port of Opportunity [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Ports of Mexico - SCT Puertos Marinos - Mexico's Ports & Merchant Marine Deliver: 2014-2018 [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Stockton - Community & Environmental Initiatives Videos [Entry SummaryEntry Image

VISUAL-ONLY PRESENTATIONS

Award of Excellence
Port of Long Beach - 2015 State of the Port Powerpoint Presentation [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Distinction
Georgia Ports Authority - State of Port Presentation [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Long Beach - Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project Old/New Clearance Comparison Infographic [Entry SummaryEntry Image

Award of Merit
Port of Long Beach - Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project "Foundations of a New Icon" Infographic [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

WEBSITES 

Awards of Excellence
BelledunePort Authority - Belledune...Unlimited! [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Hueneme - www.portofhueneme.org [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Awards of Distinction
Port Everett - Port Everett Website [Entry SummaryEntry Image]
Port of Los Angeles - Trade Connect Website [Entry SummaryEntry Image
Port of Virginia - www.portofvirginia.org [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

Award of Merit
Port Manatee - www.portmanatee.com [Entry SummaryEntry Image]

 


Miami Today reports: Port tunnel cuts trucks 80%

 

Port tunnel cuts trucks 80%

Written by Catherine Lackner on June 24, 2015

 

Open not quite a year, PortMiami Tunnel has met expectations and has exceeded some of them, said Chris Hodgkins, CEO of MAT Concessionaire LLC, its operator.

The goal was to divert 16,000 vehicles per day – 28% of them trucks – from the streets of downtown Miami to the twin tunnels, and then to speed them to their destinations. It easily met that projection; on a recent peak day, a traffic report showed that 22,000 vehicles used the system.

“More than 80% of all cargo trucks are out of downtown,” said a memo from Mr. Hodgkins. “All truck trips in and out of the port have been cut by almost an hour. The tunnel reduces vehicle idle time as well as cutting the amount of vehicle emissions in downtown streets.”

The tunnels are monitored around the clock through 91 closed-circuit television monitors and a video wall that feed real-time images to a staffed control room. Forty-two emergency phones allow drivers to call for help, sensors check air quality, and 44 powerful fans supply ventilation. In the case of a category 3 or greater storm, massive flood gates are to lock into place to keep the system from taking on water. A live messaging system broadcasts alerts to drivers, and can detect when a vehicle is too tall for the tunnel.

“This is the world’s newest tunnel, and it’s an accumulation of best practices in tunnel engineering,” Mr. Hodgkins said.

The Florida Department of Transportation funds the toll-free tunnel at $2.9 million per month; roughly $800,000 goes for operating costs and to employ a staff of 30, and $2 million toward repaying the construction loan.

Operations have mostly been smooth, but there have been about 250 mishaps since the first vehicles rolled through. One included an 18-wheel truck that broke down inside the tunnel during a Presidents’ Day weekend when the Miami International Boat Show and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival were both in full swing.

“Incident response was crisply executed with great efficiency,” Mr. Hodgkins’ memo said, “and when all was said and done, the tunnel was closed for only 18 minutes.” Rescue crews arrive in six minutes on average, and the concessionaire maintains a fleet of tow trucks that can push or pull a vehicle out, as well as flatbed trucks that can accommodate exotic cars, he added.

Mr. Hodgkins, who lives downtown, said he has noticed an improvement in vehicle traffic when he walks his dog in the morning. “It’s all about quality of life, and since last August it has definitely gotten better,” he said. “We’re very happy with the success of the tunnel.”

 


Oops! American Association of Port Authorities and World Trade Center Miami to battle over delegates (and dollars) this November

 

 

 

AAPA 2015 CONVENTION has been set for Nov. 2-4 in downtown Miami at the Intercontinental Hotel. It is a big deal. The 2015 Convention in Miami will represent the 104th in AAPA’s history.

 

 

AAPA’s 2015 Convention includes technical and policy committee meetings, as well as business sessions and social networking possibilities for port professionals and others in the marine transportation industry. This year, more than 500 attendees are expected, mainly senior and executive management personnel from port authorities and suppliers to the port and marine industries.

 

Bait and switch

 

When PortMiami and the MiamiInternationalAirport pulled out of financially support the World Trade Center Miami’s annual State of the Port Luncheon we wondered what would happen to the bi-annual Sea Cargo and Air Cargo Americas program also underwritten by the port. Who would have thought that the WorldTradeCenter would use the Port-sponsored AAPA convention as bait for an overlapping port and trade event featuring the seaport, the airport, Gov. Rick Scott and Bill Johnson?

 

Or maybe they just got confused about the dates

 

Either way, the show hours for the AAPA conference are Monday, November 2, evening reception in the exhibit hall; Tuesday, November 3, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, November 4, 7:30 a.m. – Noon.

 

Meanwhile, over by the airport at the Hilton Doubletree, on Wednesday, November 4,  at 8:30 am Official Welcome and Opening Remarks will be offered by Charlotte Gallogly, President, World Trade Center Miami; Lenny Feldman, Chairman, World Trade Center Miami; Juan M. Kuryla, Port Director & CEO, PortMiami;Emilio T. Gonzalez, Aviation Director, MiamiInternationalAirport

 

Those will be followed by welcome remarks from Rick Scott, Governor, State of Florida who will be introduced by …. You guessed it! … Bill Johnson, Secretary of Commerce, State of Florida; President and CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc.

           

 

At 9:00 a.m., a panel of distinguished transportation and logistics experts will present their views of current trends in trade, the supply chain and transportation, as well as their visions, strategies and forecasts for the growth of the air cargo and sea cargo in the Western Hemisphere for the next two years. The panelists will provide forecasts on the following markets:

 

Western Hemisphere; Americas – Europe; Americas – Asia; Americas – Africa; and Americas – Middle East.

 

Those AAPA attendees who don’t need to check out or to attend the morning Nov. 4 sessions downtown will be able to drive over and hear Jaime Alvarez P., Senior Director Cargo, Copa Airlines; Donald Francey, Head of Key Clients, Sealand (invited); Jose Perez-Jones, Senior Vice President, Seaboard Marine; Mathieu Floreani, CEO for the Americas, DHL Global Forwarding; Ian Morgan, VP Cargo The Americas, Qatar Airways (invited); talk about trends, visions, strategis and forecasts under the direction of Richard Roffman, Publisher, LatinTradeReport.com, as well as Co-host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show “Made in America”.

 

 

According to AAPA, its Annual Convention and Expo is recognized as the premier gathering of the seaport industry. “If your customer targets include seaports, marine terminal operators, integrators, suppliers and other industry stakeholders, exhibiting at the American Association of Port Authorities Annual Convention will provide you direct access to the top decision makers--port commissioners and senior level port professional, integrator, supplier, and other stakeholder staff from throughout the Western Hemisphere. We understand that in today's competitive economic climate, strategic and cost-effective marketing has never been more necessary.  AAPA is here to guide you and insure your successful expo experience, from exhibit sales through to exhibit floor coordination.”

 

“The Annual Convention and Expo is AAPA's largest membership meeting of the year. Held every fall in a different port city, the Convention includes technical and policy committee meetings, business sessions and social events allowing port professionals and stakeholders in the marine transportation industry to exchange views and expand business contacts. The Expo is an integral part of the convention program providing opportunities for networking and exchange of ideas.”

 

An evening reception will be held in the exhibit hall on Monday, November 2.  During the business program on November 3-4, 2015, breakfasts, breaks, and 2 pre-luncheon networking events are all held in the AAPA Exhibit Hall.  Exhibitors are invited to attend, complimentary, the Convention Business Program.

 

According to the WorldTradeCenter, Miami, Air & Sea Cargo Americas will bring together top executives from all sectors of the aviation, maritime and logistics industries to exchange views and experiences to enhance the growth of the cargo industry in the Western Hemisphere. Airports, seaports, exporters, shipping lines, freight forwarders, shippers, importers, consignees, equipment and technology suppliers, among others, will interact, exchanging ideas and information. Topics will include security, regional consolidation, manufacturer and shipper needs in high growth cargo, trade facilitation, improving productivity, speed and service quality, responding to market changes and demands from shippers, consolidators and forwarders, and controlling costs while streamlining customer services.

 

Air & Sea Cargo Americas will be held on November 4 - 6, 2015 at the Miami Airport & Convention Center. The conference and show is designed to:

 

Increase two-way cargo growth and international business in the Americas

Present updates on the latest security and safety regulations being used in the Western Hemisphere to secure cargo from the intrusion of biological, chemical or explosive materials

Provide a forum on international aviation, maritime and logistics issue in the Western Hemisphere.

 

According to the Air and Sea Cargo web site its steering committee includes:

·                            ABS Consulting

·                            ACLAIRSHOP

·                            Alliance Ground

·                            Alpine Systems

·                            American Airlines Cargo

·                            ANOVA Marine Insurance Services

·                            Avianca Cargo

·                            Avibiz LLC

·                            Calderon & Associates

·                            Caribbean Airlines Limited

·                            Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, Inc.

·                            CMA-CGM Caribbean, Inc.

·                            Copa Airlines

·                            DHL Aviation Americas, Inc.

·                            DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

·                            EMO 24 LLC

·                            EnterpriseFlorida

·                            Federal Maritime Commission

·                            Florida Custom Brokers & Forwarders Assoc.

·                            Florida East Coast ( FEC ) Railway

·                            Fowler, White, Burnett

·                            FTZ World Services

·                            Globe Air Cargo

·                            IATA

·                            Interport Group of Companies

·                            Lan Cargo

·                            Lykes Insurance

·                            Magaya Corporation

·                            MARAD

·                            Maritime Consulting Ent.

·                            Miami Free Zone

·                            Miami-Dade Aviation Department

·                            NCBFAA

·                            POMTOC (Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co., LC)

·                            Port Everglades Dept. Trade Development Division

·                            Port of Miami

·                            Quick Caller

·                            Right Space 2 Meet

·                            Seaboard Marine

·                            Sustain Global Partner

·                            Swissport Cargo Services

·                            Trade Commission of Peru in Miami

·                            U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami

·                            United Airlines

·                            UPS Air Cargo

·                            US International Trader, LLC

·                            WorldTradeCenterMiami

 

 


CMA CGM explains Cuba deal Wednesday, June 17, 2015

 

CMACGM explains Cuba deal

Wednesday, June 17, 2015   

 

 

 

French shipping giant CMACGM says the agreement it signed with Cuba is designed only to better serve the Cuban domestic market and is part of its strategy to develop its supply chain capabilities.

 

The company, which recently signed a concession agreement with Jamaica under which it will invest US$600 million to upgrade and expand Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) and operate it for 30 years, as well as spend US$130 million to dredge Kingston Harbour, was responding to concerns about the Cuba deal voiced by Mike Henry, the Opposition spokesman on transport and works.

 

Henry raised the matter after it was reported that CMACGM signed a logistics hub deal with Cuba during French President Francoise Hollande's visit to the Spanish-speaking island last month.

 

"The platform of Mariel's is a first step in Cuba's land logistics development," CMACGM Vice-President Mathieu Friedberg was reported as saying in a written statement.

 

Henry, in a statement to the Jamaica Observer, said that prior to the Jamaican Government signing the deal with Terminal Link CMACGM he had made very clear the concerns that the Opposition had over the agreement and as such raised the issue with the Office of the Contractor General, especially as it relates to the full ownership of Terminal Link and the ability of that entity to fast-track Jamaica's port development and the dredging of the port.

 

"I raise this as a great part of my concern was that the development of KCT would be done at the economic discretion of Terminal Link/CMA who, by the terms of reference of the agreement, are allowed to develop at their ability to finance the development and ongoing operations," he added.

 

"My concern is now heightened by the recent signing of an agreement in Cuba by CMACGM, with great fanfare and in the presence of French President Hollande and French Minister of Foreign Trade Matthias Felk, to develop the major Cuban port, as for me and others in the shipping industry it raises the question: How can you serve two masters?" Henry said.

 

But yesterday, CMACGM explained that the deal between it and its Cuban partner, AUSA, covers the operation of a logistics platform located in the Mariel Free Zone.

 

"The platform includes two warehouses and a cold store dedicated to the local Cuban market. The objective of the facility is only to better serve the Cuban domestic market, including warehousing/storage and distribution within the island," the French company's Press Department said in a statement.

 

"The Kingston agreement between the Jamaican Government and Terminal Link is of a different nature, as it concerns the creation of a terminal hub in the Caribbean, similar to other transshipment terminals used by CMACGM around the world (Malta, Tangiers, Port Kelang)," CMACGM said.

 

It added that the Kingston terminal is a major step for the CMACGM Group in anticipation of the enlargement of the Panama Canal and will accommodate some of the largest ships of the CMACGM fleet, trading from Asia, Europe or the Americas.


Loadstar insight into CMA CGM Kingston deal

 

CMA CGM consortium wins 30-year BOT deal for Kingston Container Terminal

By Gavin van Marle
04.08.2015 · Posted in Loadstar postsSeaTopics FavoriteAdd to favorites

kingston

After years of negotiation, the future of one of the Caribbean’s most important transhipment ports, the Jamaican hub of Kingston, appears finally settled. Ownership of its container terminal is to be handed over to a CMA CGM-controlled consortium.

The effective privatisation of Kingston container terminal in a deal worth $509m was confirmed by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) this week, which transferred ownership to CMA CGM on a 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

This will see the terminal expanded in two phases, with capacity taken successively up to 3.2m teu and then 3.6m teu, and the port’s draught deepened to 14.2 metres by the end of 2016, and then to 15.5 metres.

CMA CGM formed a special purpose vehicle to bid for the project – Kingston Freeport Terminal Ltd – comprising its remaining port business, CMA Terminals, and Terminal Link, its container terminal operating company in which China Merchants has a 49% stake.

The consortium eventually ran out as the only bidder interested in the project.

Requests for expression of interest had been sent out to 22 port operating companies and three other “shipping industry groups” that had expressed an interest in the terminal. Five submitted bids: Singapore’s PSA; DP World; the CMA CGM-led consortium; Ports America; and a consortium led by Stevedoring Services of America that also included Israeli shipping line Zim.

PAJ revealed this week that its shortlist was PSA, DP World and CMA CGM. The former two subsequently dropped out following the emergence of another potential Jamaican transhipment project at a greenfield site at Goat Island, proposed by China Harbour Engineering Company.

PAJ said: “During the due diligence proces,s all the bidders expressed concern about the likely impact of the proposed Portland Bight/Goat Island Project on the regional industry, with the likely effect of adverse price competition.

“The Goat Island Project was constantly in the news. The project called for the development of an industrial park and a deepwater container terminal. The likely additional transhipment capacity coming on stream so close to the prospective concessionaire assuming responsibility for KCT was considered to represent a high level of risk that would likely threaten the viability of KCT,” it added.

However, there has been little development at the $1.5bn Goat Island project for over a year, and it was not mentioned in the recent annual speech by the governor general marking the opening of parliament.

The protracted nature of Kingston’s development has been further complicated by the after-effects of the global financial crisis. The port had long been a crucial North American transhipment hub for Zim, but its potential involvement was derailed by the huge financial hole, from which the carrier is only now beginning to emerge.

At the same time, new government debt management policy, whereby it eliminated guarantees of future loans taken on by statutory authorities, meant the port authority itself was unable to finance the box terminal’s expansion because it could neither access capital markets nor fund it from cash reserves.

As a result, the deal features an unusual arrangement for BOT schemes, whereby the concessionaire is responsible for the dredging – usually undertaken by the port authority – while the existing equipment at terminal is now owned by CMA CGM.

Both port and operator insist that the facility will operate on a common user basis, with CMA CGM saying its cargo at the port amounts to 35-40% of its total volume. The completion of dredging is set to coincide with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal, which will see 12,000-13,000 teu vessels able to pass its new locks.

Another factor will be how the port is included as a hub in the rotation of transatlantic and Asia-US east coast east-west services, and the north-south services between North and South America and South America and Europe, given the burgeoning levels of co-operation between CMA CGM and German shipping line Hamburg Sud, which currently focuses its Caribbean transhipment at Cartagena.

The possibilities of relay transhipment operations at Kingston are interesting, especially as the two lines, along with United Arab Shipping, are increasing the number of jointly-run services.


No local discussion of Chinese ownership of KINGSTON Port

 

China-based terminal operator buys Kingston Container Terminal  

 

When Dubai Ports World purchased the P&O Port Terminals in 2006 the uninformed media misinformed the Congress that the Arabs were buying up the ports of the United States and there was hell to pay, including the creation of Ports America, separate from DP World.

 In April, without any fanfare or political dismay,  the Hong Kong-traded  China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited ("CMHI") acquired part ownership of the Kingston Container Terminal when the Jamaican government sold a 30 year concession to operate the struggling port to Terminal Link, a société par actions simplifiée whose capital is held by CMACGM (51%) and China Merchants Holdings International (49%).

Marching in close step, neither the Jamaican government nor the Caribbean Shipping Association mentioned the involvement of the Chinese in the concession deal.

The official house document of the CSA, Caribbean Maritime Magazine offered a cover story saying CMACGM takes charge in Kingston. The article said “The winner of the 30-year concession is the French company Terminal Link, part of the CMACGM group.” No mention was made of the CMHI involvement in Terminal Link. A similar strategy was employed when Terminal Link bought the APM Terminal at the Port of Miami.

In Jamaica, Terminal Link agreed to pay $75 million within six months of contract signing and $15 million-a-year in addition to eight percent of terminal revenue. And CMACGM agreed to complete dredging to 14.2 meters and invest in new terminal equipment to improve throughput above the current estimated 3.2 million TEUs to 3.6 million.

In a second phase CMA CCM agreed to continue dredging until the port offered PostPanamax depths of 15.5 meters.

 

 With the Kingston deal Terminal Link now owns or operates 16 container terminals in 8 countries across four major continents:

- Container Handling Zeebrugge at Zeebrugge (Belgium);

- Antwerp Gateway at Antwerp (Belgium);

- Terminal des Flandres at Dunkirk (France) ;

- Terminal de France and Terminal Nord at Le Havre (France);

- Terminal du Grand Ouest at Montoir (France) ;

- Eurofos at Fos (France) ;

- Somaport at Casablanca (Morocco);

- Eurogate Tanger at Tangiers (Morocco) ;

- MaltaFreeport Terminal at Marsaxlokk (Malta);

- Terra Abidjan at Abidjan (Ivory Coast);

- Houston Terminal Link Texas at Houston (the United States) ;

- South Florida Container Terminal at Miami (the United States) ;

- Busan New Container Terminal at Busan (South Korea) ;

- Haicang Xinhaida Container Terminal at Xiamen (the PRC).

- Kingston Freeport Terminal Ltd; (Jamaica)

 China Merchants Group & CMHI Chairman Dr Fu Yuning said at the time the coalition was formed with CMACGM , "On the back of a good working relationship already existing between our two organisations for more than 20 years, the linkage through Terminal Link between CMACGM and CMHI not only marks a deeper and closer co-operation from here on, but also rolls out a joint and coordinated approach to developing the ports business with mutual interests that capitalizes on the respective advantages and global network synergy of both parties, with a view to better facilitating international trade activities at the terminal locations through the provision by Terminal Link of more efficient and comprehensive services, whilst creating higher return on investment for our respective shareholders. "

 

The partaicipation of the Chinese investors, however , adds a new dimension to the potential development of Goat Island off Jamaica. As recently as September 2013  the Jamaican Government was discussing plans to have the Chinese Government build a transshipment port at GoatIslands, located off the coast of the OldHarbourBay.

 

That proposal was met with substantial resistance from environment lobby groups, which argued that it would pose some amount of risks to the wildlife and individuals who make a living off the sea.

 

On the other side, the executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) Dr Fritz Pinnock championed plans to establish a trans-shipment port and logistics hub in Jamaica as the best business opportunities the country has ever seen.

 

He, however, urged the Government to devise a sustainable plan that would ensure that Jamaicans are trained to take on the specialized jobs the new business ventures will afford.

Dr Pinnock said he has noted concerns about the environmental impact creating such a hub at Goat Islands, could create, and has called for a more holistic approach to planning, instead of the shelving of such a business venture, according to reports in the local papers.

 

"Whatever we do, the environment have to be protected, but we cannot operate in a stupid way where we shut down everything and we do nothing," he said.

 

 


Avoid warm Florida ocean water and don't rub raw shellfish!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida health officials are warning residents and tourists a rare form of flesh-eating, potentially deadly bacteria has made its way to Florida beaches.
The Vibrio vulnificus bacterium grows fastest in warm saltwater and has already infected at least seven people, killing two this year in Florida. The state health department says there have been 32 cases in the past 12 months. Officials say a spike in cases occurs from May to October when water is the warmest.
Florida Health Department spokeswoman Mara Burger says consuming or handling raw shellfish and swimming in warm saltwater can put people at risk. People with open wounds can also be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater.
The bacterial infection can cause gastroenteritis, sepsis and can lead to amputation.


PortaMiami strong if it avoids new debt -- Fitch

Pom

Fitch Affirms Miami-Dade County, FL's Seaport Revs at 'A'; Outlook Stable

June 09, 2015 04:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time

NEWYORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'A' rating on Miami-DadeCounty (the County), Florida's outstanding seaport revenue bonds. The revenue bonds are secured by net revenues from PortMiami (the Port). The Rating Outlook on all bonds is Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The affirmation reflects PortMiami's leading market position evidenced by its ranking as the largest port for cruise in the world and is also among the largest cargo ports in the state of Florida. The rating also reflects the Port's sizeable minimum annual guaranteed (MAGs) revenues that serve to mitigate potential volatility of cruise and cargo revenues from competition and economic cycles offset by the Port's higher-than average leverage compared to peers and the sizeable capital program, which anticipates significant future borrowing.

Revenue Risk - Volume: Midrange

Stable Revenues: The Port benefits from stable revenue streams through diversified business lines (cruise operations roughly 50% of revenues, cargo 40%). The Port does have some exposure to fluctuations in the cruise business and to the general competitive port environment in South Florida and the south eastern seaboard.

Revenue Risk - Price: Stronger

Concentration Mitigated by Contracts: The Port has some exposure to fluctuations in the discretionary cruise business, though this is partially mitigated by the existence of long-term guaranteed contracts with key cruise customers and long term leases with cargo operators, with minimum guarantees for 2015 covering approximately 84% of 2014 operating revenues. Minimum guarantees are expected to cover 70% to 80% of operating revenues over the next 3 to 5 years.

Infrastructure and Renewal Risk: Midrange

Manageable Capital Program: The Port is nearing completion on its $1 billion capital improvement plan (CIP), with the Miami Harbor Project set for completion in 2015. Both project delivery and cost management both appear to be satisfactorily managed even with complex elements to enhance capacity and infrastructure covered under the CIP. Going forward the Port's CIP through 2019 is budgeted at $271 million, with $249 million expected to be funded with debt, and the remainder to come from grants and tenant contributions.

Debt Structure: Midrange

Moderate Debt Structure: The 2013 revenue bonds and parity double-barrel, general obligation bonds are fixed rate. The 2014 revenue bonds are variable rate with a five-year direct pay LOC, representing 30% of parity senior debt. Final maturity is in 2051, with existing and future debt service payable from port revenues expected to escalate through 2022. The MADS-based rate covenant and additional bonds test (ABT) are quite stringent when compared with peers.

Financial Metrics

Moderate Financial Profile: The Port's financial profile has historically generated robust coverage levels above 3.4x for revenue bonds, and 1.6x or higher for revenue and GO bonds combined. Liquidity is moderate at 202 days cash on hand. Following the 2013 and 2014 bond issuances leverage is initially high at 9x for revenue and GO bonds, though these levels are expected to fall to the 5x range over the next five years.

Peers: Comparable ports include other Florida ports such as Port Everglades (rated A) and Canaveral (rated A), which serve similar markets and compete with Miami for cargo and cruise business. While PortMiami's current leverage is relatively high compared to peers, leverage is expected to migrate towards levels seen at other Florida ports within 5 years.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Negative: Maintenance of the rating will depend upon management's ability to deliver projected revenue growth in light of increased annual debt service requirements and CIP commitments.

Negative: Future borrowings resulting in higher leverage without the support of corresponding increases to net revenues may pressure the rating.

Negative: While not expected based on analysis of financial projections, further rate covenant violations would likely result in negative rating action.

Positive: Should the capital plan be successfully executed and leverage levels decrease as new revenue streams come online, upward rating migration is possible.

SUMMARY OF CREDIT

PortMiami's operating revenues for FY2014 were approximately $126.1 million, 15.5% higher than 2013. The increase was due to increases in tariff rates, higher cruise passenger numbers (cruise passengers were up 21% to 4.9 million), and increases in related revenues such as parking. The increase in cargo revenues is mostly attributed to increases in tariff rates, offsetting a decrease in cargo activity (TEUs were down 2.7% to 0.877 million, and tonnage was down 3.5% to 7.7 million tons). For the first seven months of FY2015 through April, PortMiami container volumes are up 13.5%. Cruise numbers are also up year to date, and the port is on track to handle over 5 million passengers for FY2017.

Contractual guarantees continue to provide a solid anchor for performance at the Port, with 2015's guarantees of $89 million equalling roughly 70% of the year's operating revenues. Cruise agreements provide PortMiami with annual guaranteed passenger volumes and revenues while providing the cruise lines with incentives for meeting guaranteed levels. PortMiami is guaranteed between $59 million and $65 million in cruise revenues per year through 2019, with 3% escalation built into the contracts. A new cruise operator terminal agreement with Carnival Cruise Line guarantees the equivalent of 1.5 million passenger movements and a gross guarantee ranging from $24 million in FY2015 to $37 million in FY2028. While 15 cruise brands operate out of PortMiami, three major cruise companies (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruise Line) provide roughly 90% of revenues.

Cargo revenues are also protected through minimum guarantees. PortMiami is a landlord port, with containerized cargo activity being handled by three individual terminal operators occupying approximately 240 acres: Seaboard Marine (Seaboard), South Florida Container Terminal/Terminal Link (SFCT) and the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Company (POMTOC). Together, Seaboard Marine and SFCT guarantee approximately $32 million per year in wharfage/dockage and land rent payments. POMTOC's agreement was recently renewed for 15 years (plus two 5-year optional extensions), going into effect in October 2014. The agreement guarantees an additional $31 million in land rental revenue over the previous agreement, and will generate $13 million in land rent and throughput guarantees for fiscal 2015. This brings total cargo MAGs to $47 million for fiscal 2015, and cargo MAGs rise to $56 million by FY2019.

The Port is also aided by the pledge of certain State Comprehensive Enhanced Transportation System Tax (SCETS) revenues which begin to flow from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in 2017 at an estimated $8 million, growing to $17 million in 2018 and thereafter.

Operating expenses for FY2014 were $64.3 million and decreased approximately 2.5% from 2013. The major decrease in the general and administration category is mostly attributed to a one-time $1.3 million marketing incentive payment incurred in FY2013. Costs related to cruise operations, utilities and security rose due to the sizable increase in cruise activity. Operating income in FY2014 exceeded the prior year's forecast by $7.5 million (13.7%), with revenue exceeding forecast by almost $4.2 million, and expenses $3.3 million better than forecast. FY2015 is also on track to outperform the forecasts considered at the time of the 2014 bond issuance. Operating margins at the Port have been relatively stable historically, ranging between 30% and 40% in recent years, and improving to 49% for FY2014.

The port's rate covenant test is conservative, based on maximum annual debt service (MADS) (1.25x MADS on revenue bonds and 1.10x on GO bonds). While this stringent test provides extra protection for bondholders, it provides a challenge in the near term as revenues related to ongoing capital improvements come online. Historically coverage has been strong (3.4x or higher for revenue bonds, 1.6x or higher for revenue bonds plus parity GO debt), and 2014 saw steady coverage at 3.4x for revenue bonds and 2.2x for revenue and GO bonds. However, parity Seaport debt service requirements are expected to step up in coming years, with DSCRs expected to be 2.0x and 1.5x for revenue bonds and combined revenue and GO bonds respectively under a base case scenario. This scenario contemplates cargo and cruise revenue growth based on contracted minimum annual guarantees and modest operating expense growth of 4.5% through 2019. Coverage remains well above rate covenant requirements.

Under Fitch's rating case, which contemplates lower cruise and cargo results coupled with higher expense growth, coverages are more pressured at 1.7x for revenue bonds and 1.4x for parity obligations. Lower coverage levels are in part mitigated by the Port's liquidity position and relatively secure agreements with many of the Port's tenants. The County indicates that the Port's unrestricted cash position is $36 million as of September 2014, representing 202 days cash on hand based on 2014 operating expenses.

The Port is nearing completion on the $1 billion Miami Harbor Project, and the forward capital plan through 2019 is more modest at $271 million. Approximately $249 million is expected to be funded with additional bond issuance in 2018, with the remainder to be funded with federal and state grants and private funds.

 


Gulftainer USA opens for business on June 12th

 

GT USA opens for business on June 12th

By: AJOT | Jun 04 2015 at 11:40 AM | Ports & Terminals  

Canaveral Cargo Terminal Set to Begin Operations;

Grand Opening Ceremony Features Terminal Tour and CMA CGM Group Vessel Call

GT USA’s new Canaveral Cargo Terminal (CCT), the only dedicated container terminal at Port Canaveral, will open for business on June 12, 2015, with an unveiling ceremony and cargo terminal tour showcasing the arrival of a vessel from CMA CGM Group, one of the world’s leading container shipping companies.

GT USA executives, along with Canaveral Port Authority officials, will welcome local, state, national and international public officials as well as industry leaders to the grand opening event.

GT USA is investing $100 million in the new state-of-the-art container terminal, infrastructure, equipment and people. Canaveral Cargo Terminal, initially developed on 20 acres with two berths and two gantry cranes, begins operations with capacity of 200,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) to serve large cargo vessels. CCT serves as an ideal gateway for containerized movements to the Florida market and beyond, and provides an excellent connection to the bustling consumption centers and growing number of distribution centers within Central Florida.

GT USA is the U.S. division of Gulftainer, the world’s largest, privately owned, independent terminal operator and logistics company. The company signed a 35-year agreement with the Canaveral Port Authority in 2014, marking Gulftainer’s first venture in the United States. GT USA offices are located at 445 Challenger Road, Suite 201, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. For more information, go to www.gulftainer.com/us.


Caribbean mosquito conveys Chikungunya - beware

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SPONSOR MESSAGE

A crippling virus has slipped its bonds in Africa and Asia and is invading whole new continents faster than people canlearn to pronounce its name. In one decade, chikungunya (chihk-uhn-GUHN-yuh) fever has gone from an obscure tropical ailment to an international threat, causing more than 3 million infections worldwide. The virus has established itself in Latin America and may now have the wherewithal to inflict its particular brand of misery in cooler climates.

Chikungunya rarely kills its victims, but it can bring a world of hurt. It comes on like the flu — fever, chills, headache, aching joints — and typically lingers for a week. Many patients later develop severe joint pain that can recur for months or years. In the Makonde language of East Africa, where the virus was first identified in 1952, chikungunya means “to walk bent over” or “to become contorted,” a reference to the stooped posture of many sufferers.

Going places

Chikungunya virus has broadly expanded its tropical range and made fleeting inroads into temperate zones. The virus moves via infected travelers who get bit by a mosquito — Aedes aegypti orAedes albopictus — which then passes the virus to its next victim, sparking an outbreak in a new region. Map shows most major outbreaks since 1952. Mosquito ranges are approximations and hint at potentially vulnerable areas.

Click map to enlarge

 

Image description

 

Sources: PAHO; M. Aubry et al/Emerg. Infect. Dis. 2015; A. Powers and C. Logue/J. Gen. Virol. 2007; S. Weaver and M. Lecuit/NEJM 2015; S. Weaver/PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2014

Just how chikungunya went global in 10 years is a story of international travel, viral mutations and an accomplice with wings. Historical accounts suggest that the mosquito-borne virus has ventured from its natural home in Africa several times, even hitting North America in the 1820s. But apart from settling into Southeast Asia in the late 1950s, other sorties from Africa have fizzled.

Not this time. In 2005, chikungunya departed Kenya, hit several islands in the Indian Ocean and spread like a brush fire through India and Southeast Asia, where it lingers today. In 2013, the strain of chikungunya that had been ensconced in Asia since the 1950s found its way to the Caribbean and even nicked Florida in 2014.

It’s not unprecedented for a tropical disease to reach other warm regions. But one strain of the chikungunya virus has found a way to survive in mosquitoes that live in temperate zones, leading to recent forays into Italy and France. North America, China and Europe are now fair game.

That means chikungunya could be coming to a mosquito near you. The virus has not established long-term roots in temperate zones, and no one knows whether it has the chops to do so. But Stephen Higgs, a parasitologist and chikungunya expert at KansasStateUniversity in Manhattan, says U.S. outbreaks are a real possibility.

Crossing the pond

The sleepy island of Réunion sits isolated in the Indian Ocean, far from major shipping lanes. It would seem like an ideal place to dodge global health problems.

But in 2005 and 2006, the French territory became a jumping-off point for the epidemic of chikungunya that sprang from Kenya and still churns in Asia today. The scourge devastated Réunion, racking up 266,000 cases on an island of roughly 800,000 people. At the height of the outbreak, patients were streaming into clinics at a rate of 40,000 per week. The virus also blew through Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles. When it made landfall in India in late 2005, chikungunya hit the jackpot, causing close to 1.4 million infections. From India it crossed Southeast Asia, spawning outbreaks in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and elsewhere.

This explosion of infections from a previously obscure virus stunned global health experts. India had a spotty history of chikungunya, but hadn’t had a case in 32 years. Réunion had never seen it before. Something had changed.

Story continues after interactive map


Western migration

Hot spots of chikungunya transmission have cropped up widely over the last 60 years, lately reaching the Western Hemisphere. The first U.S. outbreak affected a handful of people in Florida, but elsewhere, outbreaks have varied from hundreds to more than 1 million suspected cases. 

SOURCES: M.C. ROBINSON/TRANS. ROYAL SOC. TROP. MED. HYG. 1955; K.A. TSETSARKIN ET AL/PLOS PATH. 2007; REZZA ET AL/LANCET 2007; S.-D. THIBERVILLE ET AL/PLOS NEGL. TROP. DIS. 2013; PAHO MAY 2015; M.L.G. FIGUEIREDO AND L.T.M. FIGUEIREDO/REVISTA DA SOCIEDADE BRASILEIRA DE MEDICINA TROPICAL2014; S. HIGGSAND D. VANLANDINGHAM/VECTOR-BORN ZOO. DIS. 2015; M. AUBRY ET AL/EMERG. INFECT. DIS. 2015; A. POWERS AND C. LOGUE/J. GEN. VIROL. 2007; S. WEAVER AND M. LECUIT/NEJM 2015; S. WEAVER/PLOS NEGL. TROP. DIS. 2014; MOYEN ET AL/PLOS ONE 2014


Réunion seemed an odd stopover for chikungunya because the island had little or no Aedes aegypti, the tropical mosquito that typically carries the virus around Africa and Asia. Researchers soon figured out that the African chikungunya that hit Réunion had mutated to thrive inside a new carrier, the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (SN: 6/29/13, p. 26). Réunion, like many parts of the world, has tiger mosquitoes.

Before the virus mutated, the tiger mosquito couldn’t effectively spread chikungunya. But the mutation has rendered the virus 100 times as adaptable to the tiger mosquito’s innards as it once was. Specifically, the virus underwent a single amino acid change in one of its glycoproteins, a carbohydrate-protein mix called E1, making virus replication much easier in the tiger mosquito. When the mosquito takes a blood meal from a person carrying mutated chikungunya, the pathogen proliferates rapidly in the insect’s midgut and travels to its saliva. As a result, the mosquito’s next bite is like a hypodermic needle loaded with virus. Other mutations found later seemed to help this virus adapt to the tiger mosquito, its new host.

DRILLING DOWN One strain of chikungunya virus has found a way to hitchhike in the Asian tiger mosquito (bottom), which is found in much of the eastern United States. In the tropics, the most common chikungunya carrier is the Aedes aegypti mosquito (top).

BOTH: JAMES GATHANY/CDC

The tiger mosquito offered chikungunya what amounted to frequent flier miles on a fleet of jets bound for cooler climes. Within a few years the virus showed up in Italy and France, ferried from person to person by black-and-white striped tiger mosquitoes. Italy reported about 200 infections in 2007.

That’s a modest number, but it established that chikungunya could successfully venture outside the tropics. “That was a game changer,” says Scott Weaver, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Westward bound

A second surprise came in 2013 when chikungunya showed up on the sun-splashed Caribbeanisland of Saint Martin. A traveler — from the Far East according to genetic characteristics of the virus — apparently arrived in Saint Martin carrying the virus and was bitten by a local mosquito, which then spread it to other people, says Ann Powers, a molecular virologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colo. This launched the epidemic in the West.

“Our luck ran out,” Weaver says. In the ensuing year and a half, chikungunya established a foothold in the Americas that it may never relinquish. Florida had 11 cases in 2014 transmitted by local mosquitoes. The warm GulfCoast may be at risk since the tropical Ae. aegypti,which appears to be driving the epidemic, can live there, says Higgs.

The good news for now is that the chikungunya strain that hit the Caribbean and Florida isn’t carried by the much-despised tiger mosquito, he adds. That’s probably why the Caribbean infections haven’t penetrated North America beyond Florida. If chikungunya were to catch on in Europe or the eastern United States, it would arrive in a sick traveler but would need to be a strain already adapted to the tiger mosquito.

Meanwhile, Ae. aegypti is spreading the Asian strain of chikungunya in Latin America and the Caribbean, with tens of thousands of cases confirmed and more than 1 million suspected. The epidemic has stretched to Brazil, which has reported hundreds of cases of person-to-mosquito-to-person spread.

Much of Brazil is home to both the tiger mosquito and Ae. aegypti, and scientists are trying to determine which insect is spreading the virus there. Brazil has a second two-headed problem: It has cases of the Asian strain of chikungunya that swept the Caribbean as well as the African strain of chikungunya that spilled into the Indian Ocean and learned to ride the tiger mosquito. Researchers don’t know yet if the African strain has mutated in Brazil as it did in Réunion and parts east.

The three strains of chikungunya virus

 

West African strain

  • Spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti
  • Largely confined to West Africa

Asian strain

  • Spread by Aedes aegypti
  • Originated in Africa
  • Emerged in Southeast Asia in the 1950s, where it is endemic
  • Carried to the Caribbean in 2013 and now detected in Latin America

East/Central/South African strain

  • Spread by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito)
  • Found widely in sub-Saharan Africa. After an outbreak in Kenya, one form of this strain moved offshore in 2005, mutating in Indian Ocean islands and later hitting India, Europe and Southeast Asia. Another East/Central/South African strain recently appeared in Brazil.

Source: David Morens and Anthony Fauci/NEJM 2014

If the virus in Brazil morphs, the West could face a worst-case scenario, because Panama, Mexico and many other countries also harbor both mosquitoes. The risk posed by having a version of chikungunya in the West that has adapted to temperate-zone carriers keeps U.S. infectious disease experts up at night.

“It’s certainly something I worry about,” says Mark Heise, a virologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There is plenty of air traffic between Brazil and North America, he says, and the tiger mosquito’s ever-expanding range includes much of the United States east of the Mississippi River.

To become contorted

The best that can be said about a case of chikungunya is that it confers lifetime immunity. People rarely get it twice. Once is bad enough.

Ann Powers first witnessed people with chikungunya in Comoros in the Indian Ocean, which was hit about the same time Réunion was. “It was incredible to see people in that much pain,” she says. Powers interviewed some patients as they lay down because their ankles were so inflamed they couldn’t stand. “Shaking hands hurt them,” she says.

In a long-term study of 102 Réunion patients, 60 percent still reported joint pain three years after contracting chikungunya, a French team reported in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases in 2013. In Italy, a one-year follow-up found nearly 67 percent of patients continued to have joint or muscle pain.

Why the virus goes after the joints is a mystery. Joints lack circulation, which might help the virus evade the immune system, Heise says.

The crippling joint symptoms can disable a whole community, says David Morens, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md. “In Asia you see these really massive outbreaks where everybody gets sick at once. The whole town gets incapacitated. There are no taxicabs, no teachers.”

Pregnant women face special risks. Of 39 pregnant women in Réunion who had chikungunya fever around the time they were in labor, 19 had infected newborns. Ten of those infants developed serious complications, most with swelling of the brain. Four became disabled, a French research team reported inPLOS Medicine in 2008.

Treatment options are lacking. Aside from fever reducers and fluid replacement, the drug ribavirin shows some benefit. Antibodies from a recovered chikungunya patient might help an exposed person, but more testing is needed.

A 2013 study identified antibodies in mice that can neutralize chikungunya virus and prevent the animals from getting ill. The antibodies even worked when injected after the mice were exposed to the virus, but not if the animals were already showing symptoms, says Heise, who co­authored the report, in PLOS Pathogens.

One of the problems with chikungunya is how little scientists know about it. In humans, the incubation period — time between exposure and first symptoms — is a guesstimate of one to 12 days. Lab tests show mosquitoes other than Ae. aegypti and Asian tiger are capable of harboring the virus, but whether they do so extensively in the wild isn’t known. Chikungunya has circulated in Africa for hundreds of years. The natural reservoirs are understood to be nonhuman primates and maybe rodents or other animals. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, that infected blood can be transmitted to humans with the next bite. But even though Asia has millions of monkeys and a history of outbreaks, no wild reservoirs have been identified there.

Outwitting a tricky virus

The molecular structure of chikungunya may provide more guidance — and a way to stop it. The virus relies on two glycoproteins, E1 and E2, to enter and infect a cell. It targets cells found in the blood, muscle, joints, lymph nodes and liver. Once inside a cell, E1, E2 and other viral proteins trigger a complex series of events that revs up manufacture of more virus. In the Réunion outbreak, the mutational change in the viral E1 glyco­protein put this process into overdrive in the Asian tiger mosquito, which spread it around the island, Higgs and his colleagues reported in 2007 in PLOS Pathogens.

chikungunya virus particle

DAZZLINGLY DANGEROUS A chikungunya virus particle comes studded with tools for infecting cells. The E2 glyco­proteins (fuchsia) anchor the virus on cells by binding with protein docking stations called receptors. The E1 glycoproteins (red, blue and yellow) orchestrate cell penetration and virus replication. The viral membrane (green) encloses chikungunya’s genetic material. Once inside a cell, the virus induces its host to produce more virus.

FELIX REY/PASTEUR INSTITUTE

These same proteins might be turned against the virus in a vaccine. One candidate vaccine that contains E1, E2 and other chikungunya proteins can elicit an immune reaction in monkeys and people. In 25 volunteers, a three-shot regimen of these proteins triggered neutralizing antibodies against chikungunya after two doses, NIAID vaccine researcher Julie Ledgerwood and colleagues reported December 6 in the Lancet.

The protection remained for 44 weeks and probably lasts longer, she says. Vaccination helped turn the corner against yellow fever, another mosquito-borne virus. While yellow fever is deadlier, it has been suppressed by a long-lasting vaccine and now crops up only sporadically, usually in parts of Africa with low vaccination rates.

Another group is testing a chikungunya vaccine added to a measles shot. At the 2014 meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans, Erich Tauber of Themis Bioscience GmbH in Vienna, reported that 42 healthy volunteers given the vaccine produced a strong immune response after the second shot of a three-shot regimen. And Weaver and his colleagues reported in theJournal of Infectious Diseases in 2014 that a vaccine they developed showed strong protection against chikungunya in monkeys.

These vaccines are likely to protect against all three major strains of chikungunya, Ledgerwood says, including the morphed virus carried by the tiger mosquito. The greater challenge may be to find funding for testing and mass production. “We’re not short on ideas or tools,” Higgs says. “We’re short on investment.” Whether Big Pharma will go all in against an obscure virus with a funny name is anyone’s guess.

North versus south

How chikungunya will play out in cool climates is equally unclear. If the virus sparks new outbreaks in temperate regions, they will probably be summertime events, Powers says. Winter would douse the fire in North America. “You’re much more likely to have annual reintroduction of the virus” in warm months by travelers coming from endemic areas, she says, than year-round spread.

The use of bug spray and mosquito avoidance might — at least in developed countries — offset the growing reach of the Asian tiger mosquito and thwart chikungunya.

“My feeling is that people in countries like Italy and the United States are probably not exposed to mosquitoes enough,” Weaver says. “We might see small outbreaks but not major epidemics,” thanks mainly to air-conditioning and window screens. Whether those upgrades will be enough to stall the disease remains unknown.

Heise says a lack of these amenities in poor parts of cities could make them high-risk areas. The Asian tiger, he says, “is an incredibly aggressive mosquito.”

For people in the American tropics, the deal may be done. “I don’t see us, in these circumstances, driving chikungunya out of South and Central America,” Higgs says.

Some tropical countries with both kinds of mosquitoes lack good sanitation and have people housed in close urban quarters, a recipe for mosquito-borne disease transmission, Morens says. These conditions, often considered the price of finding work and getting ahead in life, are an ideal setting for disease spread. “Human progress creates opportunities for microbial progress to follow,” he says. 

Others doubt that the disease will linger in the West. Historically, chikungunya (mistaken for dengue before the 1950s) may have emerged from Africa every 50 or 60 years, run rampant and burned itself out, says Scott Halstead, an infectious disease physician at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He was in Asia in the 1960s when the virus seemed to do just that, even though conditions were ideal for its continued spread. For this reason, Halstead doubts that the current global expansion is permanent.

Morens says that for the virus to stay in the West, it has to either adapt itself to humans or to wild animals. If it infects New World monkeys, as yellow fever did, chikungunya could linger under the radar and periodically jump to people. This is what chikungunya does in Africa. “The other possibility is more alarming,” he says. “The virus adapts itself to a new cycle, completely human-to-mosquito-to-human. Once in that cycle, it’s almost never going to go away.” This is how dengue fever established itself in the Americas, and it’s how chikungunya spreads in Asia.

Infection rates in Central America are down during the current dry season. But that’s about to change, Powers says. “Expect an increase in the number of cases in the near future.” The rainy season is right around the corner.

 


Canaveral's new terminal Gulftainer challenged in right wing press

 

Senior Official: Gulftainer Shipping Weapons to Iranian-Backed Terrorists In Iraq

·                         Published on Sunday, 31 May 201508:40

Written by Alan Jones

Alan Jones | 1776 Channel

Gulftainer shipping weapons to Iranian-backed terrorists in Iraq: Former senior official for coalition embassy in Iraq cites Iraq port authority officials’ leak to Iraqi media

 (1776 Channel) Gulftainer, the UAE container terminal operator that was recently awarded a 35-year lease at strategically-important Port Canaveral, FL, adjacent to a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, has allegedly been shipping weapons through the Port of Umm Qasr to two Iranian-backed terrorist militia groups in Iraq, the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), according to a leak from Iraq General Port Company officials in Basra to Iraqi media.

    “AAH is an Iranian-backed Shiite militant group that split from Moqtada al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) in 2006. Since that time, AAH has conducted thousands of lethal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces, targeted kidnappings of Westerners, rocket and mortar attacks on the U.S. Embassy, the murder of American soldiers, and the assassination of Iraqi officials”. – Institute of the Study of War

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The Iraq General Port Company, part of the Iraq Ministry of Transport, is the embattled nation’s port authority.

UMM QASR PORT, IRAQ, Iraq General Port Company administrative offices.

 A former senior official with a coalition embassy in Iraq has confirmed to 1776 Channel that the report, which was published in Arabic by electronic newspaper Al-aalem Al-jadeed on February 10, 2015, charges that Gulftainer is moving weapons to terrorist groups the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH).

Al-aalem Al-jadeed describes itself as an “electronic newspaper free from influence of partisan and sectarian and owners.”

Gulftainer’s 35-year lease with Port Canaveral was negotiated in secret and then approved by the Obama Administration, without a national security review, despite Port Canaveral’s strategic location and it’s extreme proximity to some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive space and defense installations.

SEE RELATED STORY: America’s strategic infrastructure compromised: Did Clinton pay-to-play arrangement hand over port container operations inside national security nexus to wealthy foreign associates?

Gulftainer operates the Iraq Container Terminal inside Iraq’s deep-water UmmQasrPort, located on the Persian Gulf near Kuwait.

 

PHOTO ABOVE from this SOURCE and Google Translate to English is HERE, and Kolff Tinner is Gulftainer

The Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) are backed by Iran’s extremist Islamic regime.

Both Shiite militant groups are listed as terrorist organizations by the UAE government, according to the report.

Privately-owned Gulftainer and its corporate parent the Crescent Group are based in the UAE.

Hadi Al-Ameri leads the Badr Organization, a Shiite political faction in Iraq associated with the Badr Brigades. Al-Ameri is the former Iraq Transport Minister, and likely has deep connections with port officials and shipping companies.

Gulftainer’s shadowy deal with Port Canaveral

As reported earlier by 1776 Channel, Gulftainer’s new GT USA division plans to begin operations next month in Port Canaveral, FL near sensitive U.S. national security installations including a U.S. Navy submarine base and NASA’s KennedySpaceCenter.

Map of Port Canaveral, Florida showing Gulftainer’s area of operations, US Navy Trident submarine base and Canaveral Air Force Station.

Gulftainer’s 35-year lease at Port Canaveral, secretly negotiated by Canaveral officials under code name ‘Project Pelican’, was approved without a national security review by Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew, a long-time associate of former President Bill Clinton.

It is unclear if Treasury Secretary Lew, the Department of Commerce or other officials within the Obama administration accessed any intelligence reports indicating that Gulftainer was possibly involved in trafficking weapons to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq. U.S. officials decided that Gulftainer should not be subjected to a national security review before commencing operations at Port Canaveral.

Gulftainer previously attempted to secure a lease at the Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT), close to NavalSubmarineBaseKingsBay and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, but was abruptly rebuffed by Port of Jacksonville officials.

Bill Clinton met last summer with Malik Jafar, a member of the family that owns Gulftainer and who is also a top executive at Crescent, the parent company of Gulftainer.

Although the official business of the meeting between former President Clinton and Jafar concerned the Business Backs Education Foundation, the two men met during the same time period in which Gulftainer and Port Canaveral officials were secretly negotiating Project Pelican. 1776 Channel reported on that meeting and the possibility that Clinton engaged Gulftainer in a pay-to-play arrangement to secure Department of Treasury approval for the deal.

SOURCE: 1776 Channel

Alan Jones is an investigative journalist who published a series of groundbreaking stories at the Washington Times Communities. Several of those stories were subsequently covered by other media outlets, including World Net Daily, Infowars, Daily Caller, and New American