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On July 1, 2016, a new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea convention of the International Maritime Organization or IMO) takes effect requiring shippers whose name appears on the bill of lading to verify the gross mass of a container carrying cargo when tendering the container to the ocean carriers and terminals. Many questions still remain unanswered, and there is widespread frustration about lack of information including from key service provides including container lines and marine terminals. Rules and legal enforcement are likely to vary potentially widely among countries, ocean carriers and marine terminals, making this rule potentially a big headache for shippers to comply with. But a few things are already clear: On July 1 the rule becomes not just international law under the IMO but national law within the 162 countries that are signatories to the SOLAS convention. The legally responsible party for providing a verified gross mass (VGM) signed either electronically or on paper is the shipper. Approximately 300,000 container weights will need to be certified each day globally, and roughly half of all booking requests and shipping instruction submissions each day are non-digital, in other words, in paper form, according to Inttra. Early analysis suggests the ocean carrier and the marine terminal will be strict in not accepting containers lacking an accompanying VGM since under the SOLAS rule they can be held responsible, and thus incur unacceptably high legal liability, for loading a container for which a VGM hasn’t been provided. For example, Hapag-Lloyd said, "A packed container, for which a verified gross mass has not been obtained, will not be loaded on the vessel." Crowley said it "stands firmly behind the rationale for this regulation." Marine terminals may in some cases offer weighing services if it can be done without disrupting regular terminal operations, but this will not be in all cases, as some terminals, such as Maher Terminals at New York-New Jersey, in December said it does not have the capacity to offer weighing services for non-compliant containers and won't in-gate any container without the VGM already received via EDI. Overall, frustration levels across the industry were rising as of January, 2016 based on lack of specific plans by key parties and concerns that individual countries will issue differing regulations, creating a potential compliance nightmare that could impact the flow of trade. Part of the issue stems from the desire by all parties to avoid incremental costs which has resulted in limited progress in the key private-sector issues that the SOLAS rule leaves up to the commercial parties to work out amongst themselves. Bjorn Jensen, vice president for global logistics at the consumer goods manufacturer Electrolux, reflected these sentiments on Jan. 7, saying "I am immensely frustrated, as is every other shipper I have talked to, by the near total lack of industry co-ordination, and indeed by the feeling I'm getting that even carriers have no idea how this is going to play out."
The following questions and answers are drawn from a variety of sources, including JOC.com reporting, published commentaries, press releases, statements by speakers at JOC events, presentations, government and company documents, and an official Q&A published jointly in December, 2015 by the World Shipping Council, TT Club, Global Shippers Forum and International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA). Additional information can be found on the World Shipping Council website here. Links are provided throughout. A page containing the full JOC coverage of the issue is here.
This FAQ has been updated as of Feb. 5, 2016 and we will continue to update it as more information becomes available.
- Multinational shippers are making extensive process and operational changes to their supply chains in order to ensure they are in compliance as of July 1, see 15) below (Feb. 5)
- Containerization founder Malcom McLean "strongly believed that (overweight containers) were dangerous on the road and in the port," his former lawyer said. See 19) below. (Feb. 3)
- A growing question from shippers is what degree of variance from submitted VGMs that coast guard agencies around the world will allow before issuing a violation. See 22) below (Feb. 2)
- An effort is under way to create a new electronic shipping document to convey the VGM from the shipper to the carrier. See 6) below (Feb. 2)
- Terminals at the large JNPT complex at Mumbai, anticipating that many containers will arrive without the VGM, are preparing to conduct weighing to produce the VGM, using yard cranes within the terminal. See 10) below (Feb. 3)
- One NVOCC that loads less than containerload cargo will make its end-customers fill out a weight form but says it will weigh cargo itself to ensure its own declared weight is accurate. See 8) below (Jan. 28)
- There is the beginning of political pushback to the rule. The U.S. Agriculture Transportation Coalition is complaining in Washington that the rule is unworkable and would disadvantage U.S. exporters. See 22) Below (Jan. 27)
- A source at the International Maritime Organization said there are currently no efforts under way to delay implementation of the SOLAS container weight rule, See 2) below.
- Sources are saying that China factories won't be willing to invest in weighing equipment, complicating shippers' efforts to provide carriers with required VGM. See 7) below (Jan. 20)
- Another Method 2 issue is that packing cartons are printed well in advance of packing, and the weight printed on the carton may be different to the mass of the contents, see 17) below (Jan. 20).
- Complying with the new SOLAS VGM rule is mandatory, so carriers will not have a choice of whether or not to accept containers without a VGM, see 2) and 12) below (updated Jan. 20).
1) At a basic level, what is the new requirement put on shippers?
Under the new SOLAS VGM (verified gross mass) requirement, the shipper named on the ocean bill of lading is the party responsible for providing the container carrier and the terminal operator with the verified gross mass of a packed container. The carrier and the terminal operator must not load a packed container aboard a ship unless they have the verified gross mass for that container. The “shipper” according to MSC 1 / Circ. 1475 (the IMO’s guidance on VGM), is “a legal entity or person named on the bill of lading or sea waybill or equivalent multimodal transport document as shipper, and/or who (or in whose name or on whose behalf) a contract of carriage has been concluded with a shipping company.” This responsibility shipper doesn’t go away if a shipper uses a forwarder to pack and weigh a container, forward it to the port and even make the booking with the carrier. If the forwarder is acting purely on the instructions of the shipper to undertake that work on his behalf, and the shipper’s name is still what appears on the bill of lading, it’s the shipper that is responsible for verifying the gross mass weight. The shipper will have to ensure that it’s satisfied with the integrity of the forwarders’ weighing process if it’s relying on the forwarder’s measurement.
2) How will the rule be enforced, and what are the risks for shippers?
Certain basic facts are known. The rule will be officially enforced by the maritime authorities of individual nations, whose implementing regulations will vary, potentially widely depending on country and region. As a practical matter the real-world “enforcement” that will affect shippers most directly seems most likely to be carried out directly by the container lines and terminal operators, who are both required not to load a container without the certified VGM document accompanying it and to use the VGM for stowage planning. Enforcement agencies may implement measures to satisfy themselves that compliance is achieved, which could include documentation checks, auditing or random weight checks. The carriers and terminals are expected to be disciplined in their unwillingness to accept containers tendered to them without the required VGM documentation in order to avoid costs and penalties such as delayed sailings, to avoid costs for the storage and handling of affected containers which could congest terminals and which might be difficult to recover from the shipper, and especially to avoid liability in the event of a casualty whether at the dock or at sea. Hapag-Lloyd in a brochure on the issue said "A packed container, for which a verified gross mass has not been obtained, will not be loaded on the vessel." Thus, “the risk is your container won’t get shipped. It would be turned away from the terminal,” said Global Shippers Forum secretary general Chris Welch told JOC.com in an interview in October. Some, though not all, terminal operators are considering introducing weighing services as a revenue stream and to assist non-compliant containers to be loaded, as this paper from the Port Equipment Management Association suggests. Some terminals like Maher at New York-New Jersey are saying they will explictly not offer weighing services on their facilities and will turn away non-compliant containers at the gate. But not all terminals are expected to adapt such a stringent "no VGM, no in-gate" position since carriers would likely see this as disrupting the flow of their customers' cargo. As a bottom line matter no container lacking a VGM will be included on the "terminal load list" which is the list of all containers to be loaded provided to the terminal by the ocean carrier prior to the commencement of vessel loading. At the same time, some are speculating that since many shippers are telling carriers that they won't be ready for implementation of the rule on July 1 (see report on Inttra shipper survey released on Dec. 1) there may need to be some kind of an initial soft launch, similar to how U.S. container security measures were implemented, following by a hard launch when penalties would take effect. Or if confusion continues to grow some may seek a delay in implementatoin. But that is mere speculation at this point. In fact, an IMO source said in late January, 2016 that no efforts were currently under way to delay the ruling. Some goverments like the UK have begun to issue guidelines for example for certifying those who will be carrying out Method 2 weighing procedures (that is, weighing the contents of the container and adding that to the tare weight, or unloaded weight, of the container).
3) When does the new regulation take effect?
The new regulation, called Verified Gross Mass, becomes legally binding on July 1, 2016, and will apply to all containers loaded for export on or after that date, from any port in the world. Containers loaded prior to July 1 that are already in transit once the new rule is imposed will not be affected.
Container Weight Infographic. Click to Enlarge.
4) Will legislation be required by each country to make the convention law at their ports?
No. The rule is law in each of the 162 countries that are signatories to SOLAS. The reason is that SOLAS has international legal status so there need not be any further implementing legislation for states that are party to it. There has been no precedent for non-implementation or delay in the implementation of a SOLAS regulation, so there is no reason to expect any delay in implementation beyond July 1, 2016, although due to the many complexities that are arising and described at various points within this Q&A, some are beginning to say that a delay or phased in approach may be neede. As an United Nations agency, the IMO leaves it to each of the individual countries to implement the ruling, which means that the exact system of penalties and procedures is left to each government and managed by the agency representing IMO in the respective country, for example the Coast Guard in the U.S., or the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in the U.K. The exact timing of regulations being promulgated and enforced will inevitably vary country by country. That said, it is understood that several countries’ agencies are currently investigating how to prevent the loading of container without the VGM submitted. However the potential for lack of uniformity in the implementing regulations among countries has created alarm.
5) What is meant by the requirement for a “signature” on the VGM document?
What the SOLAS rule requires is that the shipper communicates the verified gross mass in a “shipping document.” It must be signed by a person duly authorized by the shipper, with a first and last name, not just a company name. The signature may be an electronic signature or may be replaced by the name in capitals of the person authorized to sign it. The VGM and signature can be part of the shipping instructions communicated via electronic data interchange (EDI), or be contained within a separate communication including a hard copy document. In either case, the document should clearly highlight that the gross mass provided is the “verified gross mass.” There is no requirement that a so-called “weight ticket” generated by a weighbridge be presented, but national implementing regulations may require that shippers using Method 1 (weighing of the cargo and container as one) produce weight tickets or other documentation upon request. One NVOCC that handles less-than-containerload cargo has created a document that it is providing its customers to be filled out, but given that it's the shipper on the carrier bill of lading says it will also be weighing cargo that it consolidates along with other customers' cargo, discussed here.
6) How will the signature and documentation be handed off from one party to the next in the supply chain?
This is an area where regulations won’t apply and it will be a matter of coordination among parties, with processes very much still to be worked out as of early 2016. The pressure is on given the large percentage of containers that are shipped using non-electronic documents including hard copies and faxes. According to a Q&A published in December by the World Shipping Council, the Global Shippers Forum, TT Club and ICHCA International, “There are inevitable process challenges to ensure effective coordination between the shipper and hauler to achieve effective documentary handoff (whether electronic or paper) to avoid in-gate delays. Such processes should be discussed between the commercial parties, including the maritime carrier and the terminal operator.” In reality, electronic communication will need to be core to how the signature is passed from party to party, though use of electronic data interchange or other electronic platforms is far from universal within the industry. Maher Terminals at the Port of New Jersey said it will it not accept containers without an electronic signature sent via EDI. The ocean carrier portal Inttra which facilitates electronic documenation has been active in the issue, indicating the importance of EDI and other electronic systems in implementing the rule. As of early 2016 there was an effort under way to create a new, standardized electronic shipping document solely for the purpose of conveying the VGM along the supply chain. According to this FAQ published by Hamburg Sud, it will accept a VGM whether in the shipping instructions, booking request, or separately for example in a declaration containing a weight certificate issued by the weighing party, but irrespective of how it is conveyed it must state that it is the VGM and be signed by the representative of the shipper.
7) When sourcing from contract manufacturers at origin countries, will retailers, consumer product firms and others rely on their manufacturers to conduct the weighing at the origin?
Most shippers use third-party logistics companies (3PLs) to pack and transport containers to ports. Therefore, it is fair to expect that contracts for contract logistics and freight forwarding services will be amended to reflect the VGM requirement. Shippers can expect 3PLs to try to assess an incremental fee to weigh containers. It is unrealistic to expect the shipper themselves to perform this work themselves in most cases since they lack resources, space and staff able to undertake the actual weighing of cargo or loaded containers. Therefore all 3PLs and freight forwarders will have to offer such services in some form, but in order to minimize supply chain disruption as the implementation date approaches in 2016, a customer should inquire early to be certain that the requirement can be met. In situations where the manufacturer loads the container, the shipper - who is the responsible party under the rule - will have to leverage vendor-compliance tools and processes to ensure that the weight the manufacturer states for the bill of lading is the real weight that will hold up in an inspection. But this opens the door to risk; according to one shipper interviewed by JOC.com in January, "what goes on the paper might not be what is in the box, and that will leave us with a serious problem. We will have to enforce the rule at all our vendors." According to some sources, China factories will be reluctant to invest in weighing equipment and overall are shrugging off the impending rule.
8) Are shippers that only tender partial loads to a forwarder or master loader responsible for providing a VGM?
No. The responsibility for providing the accurate, verified gross mass of a co-loaded container remains with the shipper named on the maritime carrier’s bill of lading, i.e. the “master” loader or freight forwarder or NVOCC. The contractual terms between the ultimate shipper and a co-loader may allow the shipper to provide a VGM to the master loader, or the master loader or forwarder might undertake the weighing process themselves, but either way this would be a commercial arrangement between those parties. However, the situation could be different in the case of full container loads that move under NVOs' contracts with the carriers. One larger trans-Pacific NVO told us in mid-December that he expected the NVO to require the shipper to provide the weight of the cargo even if, according to the rule, it is the NVO as the official shipper on the bill of lading who will be required for presenting the VGM to the carrier. However as of mid-December NVOs had not disclosed their official policies. Still, for shippers shipping full container load boxes under an NVOCC bill of lading, they will most likely have to provide a weight to the NVO which would include the figure on its own bill of lading. For shippers using NVOs that consolidate boxes on their behalf - a business dominated by carrier-owned or former carrier-owned NVOs like APL Logistics, Yusen Logistics and Damco, those NVOs will need to undertake the weighing directly themselves in order to be in compliance. This article describes how one NVOCC that consolidates less-than-containerload cargoes is ensuring that the VGM rule gets properly implemented without impacting customers' supply chains or its own operations.
9) Is it most feasible for the weighing process to take place at the port or earlier in the supply chain?
There is a lot of debate and discussion around this issue currently, but the more we look into this the more it looks like ports will for the most part not be equipped to perform weighing services. According to Inttra, it is unrealistic to expect weighting units to be installed at ports in even close to a necessary quantity to weigh every container prior to loading. In most cases, even if the capital and equipment existed, there is simply not enough physical space or related infrastructure (such as roads and cranes) to accommodate weighing for all containers at every port in the world. Maher Terminals at New York-New Jersey said recently that it does not have the capacity to perform weighing services, and we are hearing that most U.S. terminals are adapting the same or similar position. However some port equipment providers are advocating that terminals consider providing weighing services to help shippers comply, offering suggestions about where within their facilities containers could most feasibly be weighed. One port equipment manufacturer said in a recent presentation that weighing at the terminal gate would be difficult since some trucks arrive with two 20-foot containers, while others have noted that use of a weighbridge that weighs the full truck is an imprecise measurement since the weight of the truck and any fuel would have to be subtracted out. Weighing using the ship-to-shore gantry crane is considered too late for the weight to be used for the vessel stowage plan- a requirement that the new rule puts on container lines. Thus the suggests that terminals, if they are to get into the business of weighing containers, should do it in the stacking yard. But there there are also challenges and investment required by termials. According to the monitoring equipment provider Strainstall in a recent white paper, "With the 2016 SOLAS regulations in force, it is likely that all new container handling equipment will be designed from the outset to incorporate container VGM (verified gross mass) technology. Other than for the very few new installations currently in planning, however, SOLAS compliance will need to be achieved via the installation of retro-fit solutions onto existing assets." It is unclear how many terminals globally are making this investment. APM Terminals said for example that it is considering weighing services and other SOLAS rule-related services at some ports. More realistically, however the most likely scenario in most cases will be for the cargo and the container to be weighed separately at origin, under Method 2, and the total weight provided as the VGM with a certified signature. However for some cargoes like scrap metal that is loose and difficult to be weighed on its own, it will be necessary to weigh the packed container on a chassis and subtract the chassis. This can potentially be performed at weighing stations at distribution center facilities or independent stations. It means adding time and cost to the contract for the beneficial cargo owner (BCO) with the trucking company and weighing station, as well as capabilities to receive details from them for submission to the carrier. The documentation submitted to the carrier has to come from the BCO or been authorized in a way that prevents fraud and accounts for liabilities. For standard and smaller items — palettes, crates, parts or smaller industrial equipment — the weighing will most likely be performed at the facilities where the packing is done, whether it is BCO owned or a freight forwarder's distribution center. The latter usually have weights for such items but again, the parties need to augment existing commercial agreements to account for labor, costs and time. In some cases it results in adding more weights to the facilities. In a dedicated distribution center, the customer may have to pay, in a multi-customer DC, the freight forwarder has to pay but will most probably pass over the cost. One service says it will show up to a facility anywhere to weigh containers and transmit the VGM to the carrier.
10) Will some terminals agree to weigh containers on behalf of shippers?
Yes, but not in all regions. In the U.S. most terminals so far have either said or indicated that they do not want to provide weighing services, given the potential to add to port congestion and the possibility that they will make the necessary investments in new or upgraded equipment but not achieve a remunerative revenue stream. However some terminals, such as those at Mumbai according to JOC.com, appear to be setting themselves up to generate a VGM on behalf of the shipper, given the possibility that many containers will arrive unaccompanied by the VGM. According to the DP World terminal at the JNPT complex at Mumbai, "we will integrate VGM with our existing terminal operating systems, or TOS, enabing the yard cranes to capture the verified weight of the container." DP World at JNPT told JOC.com on Feb 3: "We will weigh containers using our yard equipment and shall integrate weight information with our existing Terminal Operating Systems (TOS). The captured information for Verified Gross Mass (VGM) will reflect during the transaction and be further shared with concerned stakeholders. In a situation where a container vessel shows up at the terminal and the VGM is not provided by the shipper, then the terminal yard equipment will be capable of weighing containers and shall provide the VGM information upon request by the shipper and shipping lines." The possibility that many containers will show up at Mumbai with no VGM is driving the terminals' approach. "Proper weighing facilities may not be ready or available close to the port and there are chances that containers may arrive at the terminal gates without the VGM. The weighing activity is with the lifting equipment and the captured information will be relayed through our Terminal Operating System. There will be no delays at the port as we will integrate VGM infrormation with our existing TOS."
11) What will happen if a container is turned away at the terminal gate or allowed into the terminal but not allowed to be loaded?
Containers may get turned away at the gate if they lack the required VGM. Marine terminal operators, already combating congestion due to mega-vessels are concerned that accepting non-compliant containers which by law cannot be loaded risk further congesting their facilities. There are two scenarios if a container gets turned away, one if the container does not arrive at the terminal with the required VGM document and is turned away, and two if it is allowed into the terminal but is subject to a random check and the weight is determined to be different from the declared VGM weight. In the first case arrangements will have to be made to transport, store and weigh the container so a certified VGM can be presented to the carrier and terminal. This will by definition involve additional trucking and storage cost to the shipper, which is leading carriers to be particularly focused on assisting shippers to ensure that containers don't arrive at the gate without the VGM. In the second scenario, the terminal will initially sequester and store the container and will most likely charge appropriate fees, on top of any fines assessed. How each terminal will handle overweight containers is one of the murkiest issues of the container weight mandate. For example, in reference to the question just above this one, it is unclear how many terminals will equip themselves to perform weighing services for containers that arrive at the terminal without a VGM.
12) What is the shippers’ deadline to provide the required container weight verification to the ocean carrier?
The VGM "cutoff" will vary by carrier and port and is not mandated by the SOLAS requirement. However practically speaking the shipper must submit it early enough for the carrier to use the VGM figure in its stowage plan, which is a requirment the SOLAS rule puts specifically on the terminal and carrier. According to Hamburg Sud it is the shipper's responsibility not just to generate the VGM but to provide it to the carrier, according to this FAQ. Given that many terminals will not be offering weighing services and will refuse entry to any containers that arrive unaccompanied by the VGM, practically speaking the VGM will have to be in the terminal's hands prior to the in-gate cutoff for a particular sailing. Some U.S. carriers however are saying that terminals should be able to in-gate containers with no VGM if it is provided quickly thereafter so as not to disrupt the normal flow of the container from the in-gate through to loading on the vessel. Ultimately any deadlines imposed will be a commercial matter that is not determined by regulation, and could reflect the specific needs of certain just-in-time or high priority cargo provided, as determined by the relationship between the carrier and the terminal and provided the carrier can still use the VGM in its stowage plan. This is where commercial relationships among the shipper, carrier and terminal operator will come into play as it relates to certain cargoes such as bulk exports that are loaded into containers near the port and sent to the terminal in large quantities. A system among the commercial parties will be required to prevent delays to such cargoes. Shippers are already concerned that cutoff times may vary widely among carriers. “The primary concern is that there is no standard process that carriers are using to implement this regulation. Many of us have received emails and alerts educating us that this rule is coming, but with no content on the procedure,” Donna Lemm, vice president at Mallory Alexander International Logistics, wrote in a JOC.com commentary in October. Carriers can be expected to provide shippers with cut-off times within which the carrier must receive the required container weight verification from the shipper for vessel stowage planning prior to shipment. This will likely be a newly imposed cutoff time separate from terminal arrival cutoff to make a certain vessel sailing.
13) Can a carrier enforce the rule selectively for certain shippers but not others?
Likely not. Enforcing the rule will start with government agencies — not carriers — with the container simply not allowed to be loaded without the required documentation. The size or importance of the customer to the carrier would not matter. The only area where carriers will have flexibility is concerning how penalties that get assessed are passed to customers, and how selectively they do it. This is important, because while the legal responsibility for submitting VGM lies with the shipper, the carrier is also required not to load container unaccompanied by the VGM. "It is law, and the liabilities (for a carrier) associated with not complying are really enormous" for example if an accident occurs whether at berth or at sea and it were discovered that no VGM had been submitted for a container that may have been involved, World Shipping Council Chairman Ron Widdows told JOC.com on Jan. 19. But if a carrier cannot load a container, the carrier suffers monetary costs — for loss of revenue and any terminal and handling costs associated with a container that was rejected by the terminal for lack of a VGM — even before any fines by the relevant maritime authority. Thus most carriers can be expected to do whatever is necessary to assist the shipper to obtain the VGM information for a container sufficiently in advance of its arrival at the terminal. While some carriers such as Hapag-Lloyd and Crowley have stated already that they will not load containers without the VGM, the reality is the rule is law worldwide and thus compliance is not a matter of choice for the lines. The gate-in event for a container becomes the moment of truth — whether at port or railhead since after that point any costs associated with the container’s rejection becomes the carrier's responsibility, unless it's known in advance that the terminal will weigh the container on behalf of the shipper. But as answers above indicate, it is not yet clear at all which terminals or how many will offer weighing services or who they would even charge for the service. Certainly container lines will want to avoid a scenario where a terminal bills the carrier for weighing a container given the lack of a guarantee that the carrier will be able to pass that bill along to the customer.
14) Are carriers and terminals required to verify the accuracy of the VGM submitted by the shipper?
No. The requirement is for the carrier and terminal operator to ensure only that the VGM has been communicated in sufficient time to be used for stowage planning, and to not load a container for which a VGM has not been provided. There is no legal obligation on the carrier or terminal to confirm the VGM communicated by the shipper, and there is no requirement for the VGM to be conveyed to relevant governmental authorities. There is also no requirement that the carrier or terminal operator weigh a loaded container for which the shipper has failed to provide the VGM, and some terminals are already stating that they will not have services available to weigh containers that arrive at the terminal unaccompanied by a VGM.
15) What costs is the shipper looking at for non-compliance?
Actual payment fees for non-compliance have largely not been established or published yet by national governments, but the costs for failing to present a certified VGM document can be expected to go way beyond any actual penalties assessed. In terms of penalties, “Depending on national legislation, national maritime administrations can levy punishments ranging from fines and sanctions to jail time. In the U.K., fines and imprisonment are possibilities,” said Global Shippers’ Forum Secretary General Chris Welsh in a Q&A with JOC.com. But there will be other costs as well. Taking a container off a ship and resulting storage will result in costs applied to the carrier by the terminal. Therefore shippers can expect a non-selective approach by carriers to cost recovery especially now when historically low freight rates in certain East-West trades are leaving container lines with little in the way of profits and a high motivation to recover costs applied to them by marine terminals. Carriers can thus be expected to put preventative measures in place to avoid these costs by ensuring they receive the VGM and refuse to accept containers without it. In a broader sense, multi-national corporations adhere to a policy of 100 percent legal compliance throughout their operations, judging the costs for non-compliance irrespective of the law or jurisdiction to be inconsistent with responsible corporate governance. Thus large shippers are digging deep into their supply chains, making extensive process and operational adjustments in order to ensure they will be in compliance by July 1 irrespective of what guidance, or lack thereof, they are receiving from carriers, governments and other parties. This article describes some of the many steps companies are taking to ensure compliance.
16) Under the new rule there are two two methods by which a shipper may obtain the verified gross mass necessary for submission to the ocean carrier. What are they?
The two options are Method 1 and Method 2. Method 1 is that upon the conclusion of packing and sealing of the container, the shipper weighs the packed container itself, or arranges for a third party to do it. Under Method 2, the shipper or a third party working on behalf of the shipper may weigh all the packages and cargo items in the container, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses of the container’s contents. The tare mass, also called unladen weight, is the weight of an empty container. The tare mass of every container is marked on the exterior of every container at the time of manufacture. Shippers should solely rely on the tare mass number marked on the individual container being used, and should not use a standardized weight for any 40-foot container. Where it is missing, or believed to be inaccurate, the container operator should be contacted to take appropriate remedial action. Some shippers have raised the issue that the tare mass may be inaccurate as a result of an earlier repair or some other reason. For this reason shippers are watching closely what variance from the stated VGM that governments will allow, in the event of an inspection, before issuing a violation. Some governments will require approval for those who carry out Method 2 weighing processes. The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency government states this in an official document providing guidance to shippers on implementing the rule. Usage of Method 2 "requires that the MCA has to approve the certified method used by that shipper."
17) Are there situations where the cargo doesn't have to get physically weighed?
Yes, under Method 2, which allows the contents of the container as well as any bracing materials to be weighed separately and then added to the tare weight (empty weight) of the container, it is possible to sum up the weight of individual sealed cartons where the weight is known in advance and use this figure in the total weight calculation. This method qualifies "so long as the weight is clearly and permanently marked on the surface of each individual sealed package to be stuffed into the container," according to a World Shipping Council spokesperson. "And then the weight of any bracing and securing material, derived by weighing such material, is added along with the tare weight of the container to attain the verified gross mass (VGM) of the loaded container." For example, according to the WSC, "a shipper of identical television sets whose individual cartons are marked by the manufacturer with the shipping weight could calculate the shipment's weight by multiplying the number of television sets in the container by the weight of an individual set, and then adding that to the weight of the combined calculated weight of the packaging, pallets, packing and bracing material and the container's tare weight. This approach has four required elements: It only applies to 1) original, sealed packages, 2) that have been previously weighed, 3) with the accurate mass clearly and permanently marked on their surfaces, and 4) such weights being added to the calculated weight of all packing, securing and other material that may have been used in the packing of the container." The WSC spokesperson added: "We understand this exception will apply to a very small percentage of the total cargo to be moved." However, shippers have pointed out that cartons are made and the weight printed well in advance of the product being packed inside, which could lead to possible discrepancies in the weight of the finished product and its accessories under Method 2. With thousands of boxes in a container, even small discrepancies can make a significant difference to the declared weight. This might help certain shippers in the U.S., said veteran shipping executive Gary Ferulli in a JOC.com commentary published on Feb. 2, 2016. Other than loose agricultural commodities, "those in the U.S. exporting to almost anywhere will have, relatively speaking, the least disruption and additional cost because virtually all packaged goods already have some sort of weight on the packages and in databases for shipping purposes."
18) What are the necessary requirements for those doing the weighing, the weighing equipment itself, and accuracy?
The weighing equipment to be used must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the country in which the equipment is being used. There is no such thing under SOLAS as a “verified weigher.” The only obligation under SOLAS for any party weighing a packed container is to use equipment certified by the relevant national standards. But national standards may get more specific, for example national governments may as part of their enforcement policies implement requirements applicable to owners of weighing equipment and could determine acceptable levels of accuracy of the weighing equipment used. There is no provision in the SOLAS rule for any margin of error; the rule is only a physical weighing requirement, thus verified gross mass derived using compliant equipment and procedures will meet the legal requirements. Some cargo products may incur normal, minor changes in mass from the time of packing and weighing until delivery (e.g. due to evaporation or humidity changes) and some containers’ tare mass may change over time and vary somewhat from the tare mass marked on the container. However, these margins of error should not normally present safety concerns.
19) Why was the container weight rule put into effect?
Simply put, shippers — not all of them but unfortunately still too many — misdeclare cargo on the bill of lading, whether out of sloppiness, negligence or willful intent to ship more cargo than allowed for the same rate. According to the World Shipping Council, it is not uncommon for the actual total cargo weight on a loaded vessel to be 3-7 percent greater than the declared weight (weights have long had to be declared on the bill of lading, with the difference under the SOLAS rule being that the weight value has to be derived from an actual weighing process). The impact on safety to workers, ships and cargo can be catastrophic, as these examples indicate. Misdeclarations apply both to weight and cargo descriptions, though the IMO VGM rule applies only to weight. When cargo is misdeclared, since the cargo itself isn’t visible and the ship master’s knowledge of the cargo on board the ship is limited to what is stated on shipping documents, there is significant danger inherent in shipping by container. This rule aims to crack down on one aspect of misdeclarations, that applying to weight, in the hope that the safety of container shipping will improve and overall risk be reduced. "Misdeclared container weights have been a long-standing problem for the transportation industry as they present safety hazards not only for ships and their crews but for other cargo on board as well as workers in port facilities handling containers and on roads," Matthew Gore of the law firm Holman Fenwick Willan wrote in a 2014 bulletin. It's an issue that's been on container lines' radar screens for years. Container shipping founder Malcom McLean highlighed the issue to his subordinates. According to William Gottimer, McLean's former personal and business attorney and general counsel for all his transportation companies from 1991 until McLean's passing in 2001, it was a big issue for the Sea-Land Service Inc. founder. "Malcom McLean had a visceral sentiment on the issue of overweight containers. He strongly believed they were dangerous on the road and in the port. I believe it stemmed from an accident he either once had or knew of where the driver was unable to control the load due to weight. He also knew commercially that strict weight restrictions led to more containers that needed to be moved. He had me speak with each of the various transportation departments of the states up and down the eastern seaboard to seek their support to limit overweight containers citing the constant damage overweight loads were doing on the roads."
20) Why does it appear that there is no leadership or coordination to efficiently get the rule implemented by July?
Part of the reason why there appears to be so much confusion, at so many levels, has to do with who's rule this is. The International Maritime Organization is primarily concerned with ship safety and ship operations. The SOLAS convention that was amended to create the rule refers to "Safety of Life at Sea" and traces its origins to the sinking of the Titanic. The IMO has little institutional knowledge of or experience with issues beyond the vessel and especially not into the origins of the supply chain at manufacturing sites where some containers or contents will be weighed possibly hundreds of miles inland from seaports. It is safe to say that in implementing the rule the IMO and others involved were not able to fully envision the complexities involved in complying with the rule, and as a result left the details to commercial parties to work out on their own, with little if any practical guidance other than to say that containers not accompanied by a VGM can't be loaded on the ship. That is why this rule is proving so difficult for so many to get their arms around. The rule brings to mind the U.S. Importer Security Filing, also known as "10+2" to refer to the data points that importers were required beginning in 2009 to submit to U.S. Customs 24 hours prior to the ship sailing from the foreign port. Complying with that rule had significant supply chain implications for U.S. importers, but the rule only applied to the U.S., whereas the VGM rule will be enforced by 171 nations. "Those who wrote the rule have no idea of the complexity of cargo movements through the ports," Agriculture Transportation Coalition Executive Director Peter Friedmann told JOC.com in late January.
21) Is there any global EDI standard in the works to implement the SOLAS VGM rule?
Yes, the UN EDIFACT message standard described in this 85-page document has been published by the standards setting body SMDG, a nonprofit that develops and promotes UN/EDIFACT EDI-messages for the maritime industry and is an official Pan European User Group recognized by the UN/EDIFACT Board. But it’s not yet clear how universal the standard’s adaption will be globally and obviously it won’t apply to the significant amount of cargo whose documentation is currently submitted via hard copy, fax or other non-electronic means. As of early 2016 there was an new effort under way to create a new, standardized electronic shipping document solely for the purpose of conveying the VGM along the supply chain.
22) Is there political pushback to the IMO rule?
Yes, particularly in the U.S. where as of February, 2016 there was an effort by agriculture exporters to get the rule delayed. However whether there might be any change to the current time frame, which has the rule being implemented on July 1, is purely speculative, and as the World Shipping Council has pointed out, there is no precedent for the implementation of an IMO rule being delayed and no provision in the law for a delay. Nevertheless there appears to be growing concern that implementing the rule could impact the flow of international trade and thus have economic consequences. Peter Friedmann, executive director of the U.S.-based Agriculture Transportation Coalition, said that since complying with the rule could impact the competitiveness of U.S. exporters relative to exporters from other nations that he says may be lax in their enforcement of the rule. The group has approached the Federal Maritime Commission and members of Congress to express concerns that the rule is unworkable in its current form. For example, U.S. exporters of transloaded agricultural goods, that is, goods that are shipped to the coast via truck or rail and transloaded into containers, may be unable to provide the VGM to the carrier quickly enough to allow a smooth flow of containers through a terminal and on to a ship. For its part, an IMO source said in late January, 2016 that it was aware of no effort to postpone the effective date or implement a phased in approach. According to Friedmann, “Everyone who knows about how cargo moves from the origin and onto a ship knows that this thing is absolutely unworkable and will create unbelievable congestion unless minds who are familiar with how cargo moves are allowed to intercede.”
22) What happens if upon inspection variation is found between the VGM and the actual weight of a container?
This question is still very much in the air and possibly a major hurdle to worldwide implementation. Under the SOLAS rule, variances to the signed VGM weight aren’t necessarily illegal but must be defined by the maritime authority of the country where the container was packaged and loaded, opening the door to as many regulatory regimes as there are participating states. The U.K. Maritime & Coast Guard agency said in a document issued in 2015 explaining how it will implement the rule that “It is anticipated that Regulators and other authorised cargo inspectors will use an enforcement threshold ±5% of the verified gross mass of the container. However, this will be used on a case by case basis.” (See section 13.1) The key point there being “anticipated” and with the U.K. being the only nation to have published guidance on variation, it remains to be seen how the UK will actually implement the rule and if other countries will match the plus or minus 5 percent threshold for the sake of uniformity, or establish a different threshold altogether.
23) Do containers being transshipped have to be weighed again at the transshipment port?
No, according to an Hamburg Sud FAQ, all packed containers discharged from a SOLAS vessel in the transshipment port should already have a VGM and therefore further weighing in the transshipment port is not necessary.
SeaLand Branded Reefer Discharging
By Sam Whelan 03/02/2016
Intra-Americas shipping line SeaLand has launched a new service directly linking Mexico and Philadelphia.
SeaLand Atlantico will provide weekly coverage between the Gulf of Mexico and the US east coast, connecting the Mexican ports of Veracruz and Altamira to Philadelphia via a six-day transit.
With 95% of trade volumes between the two regions served by overland transport, SeaLand is hoping to provide an alternative route for Mexico’s perishables exports to the US, including avocados, lemons, and tomatoes.
SeaLand Mexico commercial manager Jorge Monzalvo said: “We are pleased to provide Mexican exporters an alternative to land transport with a high level of security and care for their products. With the SeaLand Atlantico customers avoid transloading cargo, congestion at the border and limited truck power between countries.”
Atlantico is only SeaLand’s second new service offering since the iconic brand was relaunched by Maersk Line last year. The decision to reintroduce SeaLand to the intra-Americas market follows Maersk Line’s strategy of deploying independent brands to serve regional trades, namely Seago Lines in Europe and MCC Transport in Asia.
The rationale is to get closer to markets characterised by small-scale shippers with unique needs. In 2014, when the decision was announced to reintroduce SeaLand, Maersk said more than half of its intra-Americas customers were shipping less than 500 containers a year, volumes much smaller than the carrier’s operating platform is generally geared towards.
Furthermore, Maersk estimated, they had a 6% market share of intra-Americas trade at the time, compared with 20% when it bought the original SeaLand service back in 1999. A downward trend it clearly hopes reviving the brand can reverse
SeaLand chief executive Craig Mygatt told The Coolstar the priority had been on setting up service levels and ensuring the organisation was up to speed.
“As far as changing the network, our focus has been on making minor changes as well as starting a new service covering Panama and Colombia, connecting to and from the US east coast,” he added, referring to SeaLand’s North American Express Service (NAE).
Launched with APL in August 2015, NAE begins in Manzanillo, Panama and connects to Savannah, Philadelphia and New York – with Port Everglades acting as a first-in and last-out US call – before returning to the Caribbean and finishing at Cartagena, Colombia.
Despite adding two new services geared towards perishable trades, Mr Mygatt remains cautious about volume growth in 2016.
“Roughly 15-20% of our lift is reefer cargo and we expect that to remain flat in 2016 as product supply remains neutral,” he said.
Port operator Outer Harbor Terminal LLC files for bankruptcy
By: Reuters | Feb 01 2016 at 06:57 PM | Ports & Terminals
CHICAGO - Outer Harbor Terminal LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, two weeks after terminating its lease held in a joint venture with Ports America.
Last month, Ports America, one of the largest marine cargo operators in the country, said it was shifting its business from the Oakland port to other cities along the West Coast, including Los Angeles and Long Beach.
In a Chapter 11 petition filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, Outer Harbor Terminal, which operates part of the Oakland port, listed both assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million.
The Port of Oakland, located on the shore of San Francisco Bay, was one of the first ports in the world to specialize in intermodal container operations.
Atlas Air Worldwide to Acquire Southern Air
x Strategically Compelling, Highly Complementary Business
x Immediately Accretive All-Cash Transaction; No Debt Being Assumed
x Expands Platform into 777 and 737 Aircraft Operations
x Drives Greater Diversification, Scale and Global Footprint
PURCHASE, N.Y., January 19, 2016 – Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW)
today said that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Southern Air
Holdings, Inc., a premier provider of intercontinental and domestic air cargo services, in an
immediately accretive, all-cash, debt-free transaction valued at approximately $110 million. The
transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and approval by the U.S. Department of
Transportation, and is expected to close in the next few months.
Southern Air is the parent company of Worldwide Air Logistics Group and its two operating
subsidiaries, Southern Air, Inc. and Florida West International Airways, Inc.
“We are very pleased to announce a strategically compelling, highly complementary and
immediately accretive acquisition of Southern Air,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide. “And we are eager to capitalize on the substantial
opportunities that the transaction will provide, especially 777 and 737 aircraft operations.
“The result will be a more diversified and profitable company offering access to the widest range
of modern, efficient aircraft, together with a broader mix of services and a greater scale and
global footprint that will drive significant value for our customers and shareholders.”
“We very much look forward to joining the Atlas Air family of companies,” said Daniel J.
McHugh, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Air Holdings. “We share the same commitment to
providing superior customer service via our exceptional team of aviation professionals. And
Southern Air will now have a strong and viable parent to enable us to continue to grow.”
Strategic and Financial Benefits of Transaction
x Enhanced Service Offerings and Customer Relationships: The transaction provides Atlas
Air Worldwide immediate entry into 777 and 737 aircraft operating platforms, with potential
for developing additional business with existing and new customers of both companies.
Southern Air’s main operating company currently flies five 777-200Fs and five 737-400Fs
under flight services (CMI, or Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) agreements with DHL
Express, the leading global brand in the logistics industry.
The platforms provided by these aircraft will augment Atlas Air Worldwide’s ability to offer
customers the broadest array of aircraft and operating services for domestic, regional and
x Complementary Businesses: Atlas Air Worldwide and Southern Air have complementary
operations, which will aid in providing seamless operations for customers. Further, the
transaction will enhance Atlas Air Worldwide’s position as a leading global provider of
outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services.
Southern Air’s highly professional, experienced workforce and its capabilities complement
Atlas Air Worldwide’s 747 ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) and Charter
operations, its 747 and 767 CMI services, and its freighter-centric Dry Leasing portfolio of
777, 757 and 737 aircraft. Together, the companies will have a fleet of more than 75 aircraft.
x Increased Revenues: The combination with Southern Air is anticipated to add
approximately $100 million to Atlas Air Worldwide’s annual revenues and provide a solid
foundation for additional growth.
x Immediately Accretive to Earnings: The transaction is also expected to be immediately
accretive to Atlas Air Worldwide’s adjusted earnings per share in 2016 with EBITDA and
adjusted net income margins in line with Atlas Air Worldwide’s. The impact of this
transaction will be included in Atlas Air Worldwide’s 2016 earnings framework, to be
discussed during the company’s next earnings release on February 18, 2016.
x Transaction Funding: Reflecting the company’s balance sheet position, Atlas Air
Worldwide intends to fund the acquisition of Southern Air using available cash on hand.
About Atlas Air Worldwide:
Atlas Air Worldwide is a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating
services. It is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas) and Titan Aviation Holdings, Inc.
(Titan), and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. (Polar). Through
Atlas and Polar, Atlas Air Worldwide operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter
Atlas, Titan and Polar offer a range of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services that
include ACMI service – in which customers receive an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance
on a long-term basis; CMI service – in which customers receive crew, maintenance and
insurance but not an aircraft; express network and airport-to-airport cargo service; cargo and
passenger charters; and dry leasing of aircraft and engines.
Atlas Air Worldwide’s press releases, SEC filings and other information may be accessed
through the Company’s home page, www.atlasair.com .
About Southern Air Holdings:
Southern Air Holdings is the parent company of Worldwide Air Logistics Group, Inc.
Worldwide is a leading provider of domestic and international ACMI and CMI air cargo services
through its separate operating subsidiaries, Southern Air, Inc., which operates Boeing 777 and
737-400 aircraft, and Florida West International Airways, Inc., which operates Boeing 767-300
aircraft. Worldwide offers customers highly reliable and efficient air cargo business platforms
with a strong record of performance excellence and safety.
Virginia and Cuba shipping ports sign cooperation agreement
The Strategic Sourceror on Thursday, January 7, 2016
Virginia and Cuba shipping ports sign cooperation agreement
This week, United States Gov.Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Port Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, with the Cuban National Port Authority.
"This agreement will enhance Virginia's trading relationship with Cuba and supports our efforts to build the new Virginia economy," Gov. McAuliffe said in the statement. "Virginia enjoys a uniquely productive economic relationship with Cuba, and this MOU will generate additional opportunities for economic and cultural exchange. As relations between our nations continue to normalize, this agreement will position Virginia as a leader in trade relations with Cuba now and in the future."
Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore added that Virginia sold $25 million worth of exported agriculture shipments to Cuba in 2014, which is a perfect example of how the commercial trade and shipping opportunities afford by this agreement will be mutually beneficial.
In addition, Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne agreed that this decision will lead to an improved industry and stronger global economy.
Gov. McAuliffe indicated to Reuters that this "strategic alliance" has the power to grow trade, improve business operations and expand vessel operations between the two parties. Furthermore, the agreement will allow the port authorities to exchange data, market analyses and technological resources.
Trade restrictions impact exports
According to Reuters, in 2000 the U.S. enforced an embargo on agricultural exports to Cuba, which limited Virginia's sales with the Havana port.
In October 2015, Gov. McAuliffe and other representatives wrote a letter to Congress requesting the restrictions be lifted to allow bilateral trade, as well as "the financial, travel and other restrictions that impede normal commerce and trade between our nation and Cuba."
It was also noted in the MOU announcement that Gov. McAuliffe believes the amendment of these trade laws is necessary to maximize the benefits of an alliance between the countries.
"As Cuba and the United States normalize relationships, we'd like to see the Cuban companies establish Virginia as their distribution point for the United States," Port of Virginia Chief Sales Officer Thomas Capozzi said to Reuters.
Though a number of governors have visited Cuba since the U.S. agreed to increase efforts to stabilize relations, Gov. McAuliffe is the first to officially sign a cooperation agreement, the source added.
Global trade port terminal
Cuba recently began the Port of Mariel Special development project, located just outside of Havana, Reuters revealed. It is designed to facilitate trans-ship services, serving as a shipping and logistics hub along the Panama Canal that will manage approximately $1.3 million containers annually.
The Cuba Journal reported that the developments cost $957 million, $682 million of which was paid for by Brazil. The modern renovations include the building of a global terminal for container ships, a freight center and water supply and waste treatment.
The source also added that logistics enhancements were made to accommodate the installation of the updated terminal, including the development of railroad lines and streets.
And although the port provides economic advantages, as well as a free trade zone, it has not been successful in influencing international investments, which the Cuba Journal attributes to complications and legalities in ownership and labor regulations.
The newly launched 18,000 TEU-class capacity CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin deployed on maiden voyage for French-based line’s trans-Pacific Pearl River Express Service linking major ports in China with US West Coast.
CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin docked at APM Terminals Pier 400
The newly launched 18,000 TEU-class capacity CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin deployed on maiden voyage for French-based line’s trans-Pacific Pearl River Express Service linking major ports in China with US West Coast.
11,200 containers handled during 56 hours of port operations, including one shift of nine cranes at 29 gross moves per hour.
2845 inbound rail containers discharged into 12 doublestack trains.
Los Angeles, California USA – The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin became the largest container ship ever to call a North American port when it docked at APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles on December 26th. At 399.2 meters (1,310 feet) in length, and 54 meters (177 feet) wide, the Ultra-Large Container Ship (ULCS) is 60 feet longer than the Empire State Building is tall, and 17 feet wider than a US football field; the ship’s bridge is also as tall as a 20 story building. CMA CGM, based in Marseilles, France, is the world’s 3rd-largest container ship line by capacity, with a fleet of 470 container ships carrying an estimated 13 million TEUs in 2015.
The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin was welcomed into the port by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a ceremony held at APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles which was attended as well by Congresswoman Janice Hahn, who represents California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the Port Complex at San Pedro, in the U.S. House of Representatives; the Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Mario Cordero; Los Angeles City Council Member Joe Buscaino of the 15th Council District of Los Angeles, and other local officials.
“This is a very important milestone for American port operations and we are proud to be a part of it, said APM Terminals Chief Operating Officer, Jeff De Best. “We need to continue working with all of the stakeholders to ensure US ports are capable of handling the latest generation of larger container ships now entering service around the world.”
A total of 11,200 containers were handled during 56 hours of operations at APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles, the world’s largest proprietary container terminal. Steven Trombley, Managing Director of the terminal added “Our Operations team has been working eight cranes on a single vessel for more than a decade so we were confident of our core competencies. When CMA CGM presented us with the opportunity to stevedore their 18,000 TEU Benjamin Franklin, we were able to reflect on our past terminal operations experiences, review our best practices for Safety and Productivity, and then apply these skill sets to stevedore this megaship. Our goal was to test our capabilities, our management team, the ILWU labor, and the port’s infrastructure to prove that APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles was indeed, Big Ship Ready.”
APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles has been at the forefront of America’s advancement of port accommodation of ULCS, a category of vessels of over 10,000 TEU capacity, most of which are deployed on the Far East/Europe trade lane, transiting the Suez Canal and proceeding to European ports through the Mediterranean Sea. There are at present 200 ULCS in service in the world’s container ship fleet, with the largest capable of carrying over 19,224 TEUs. Vessels exceeding 20,000 TEU capacity are currently on order. APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles welcomed the previous record holder for largest vessel call at a US port in June 2014, with the arrival of the 13,000 TEU COSCO Development, operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Shipping. In March of 2015 the terminal also set a record with three 13,000 TEU vessels being worked simultaneously, representing a combined 34,465 container moves.
APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles was ranked first in productivity for North American ports in 2014 in the JOC Group’s annual productivity report, with 92 crane moves per hour with a vessel alongside. The terminal has a total area of 507 acres, featuring a 442 acre container yard, an ondock rail facility of 41 acres with an additional 24 acres of ondock rail storage tracks. The facility is the busiest of the five APM Terminals operations in the United States, with a total of over two million TEUs handled annually at the Los Angeles terminal alone.
PortMiami reaches record 1 million TEUs inShare PortMiami posted a 15 percent increase in containerized cargo movements in fiscal-year 2015, and surpassed the 1 million mark for twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, port officials announced today. The increase was attributed to the completion of $1 billion in capital infrastructure projects, as well as the port's partnership with Florida East Coast Railway (FECR). Asian trade at the port is on the rise, with multiple weekly services from Miami to Asia through three of the world's four major carrier alliances including the 2M, O3 and G6, PortMiami officials said in a press release. The infrastructure projects included the addition of super post-Panamax gantry cranes that can service cargo vessels up to 22 containers wide, up to nine containers above deck and 11 containers below. Additionally, a new access tunnel was completed to directly connect the port to the U.S. Interstate system. Also, FECR invested in on-dock intermodal rail service at PortMiami, which has opened new markets for the port and FECR. The service features 9,000 feet of linear track, on which FECR runs multiple daily trains to and from the port. "Through the vital infrastructure improvements both FECR and the port have made we are thrilled to be able to offer customers a seamless transfer of goods from ship to rail via the on-dock rail facility, expediting customers' cargo to market," said FECR President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hertwig in the press release.
Gone but not forgotten and generous even now
By Rick Eyerdam
It is four days before Christmas and the operators of the Kids in Distress shelter in Broward County are desperate. There is no more room at the Broward shelter. Already, two kids who only needed a place to sleep have been placed in a psychiatric hospital. Two shelter cottages stand empty because there is no money to operate them.
As has happened many times before, the Kids in Distress people phone Jim Moran for help. Less than a day passes and Jim, his wife Jan and daughter Pat write two checks for $ 40,000. One is drawn on the family account. The other comes from JM Family Enterprises, the Deerfield parent of Southeast Toyota and, with $ 2.6 billion in revenue last year, the largest privately owned business in South Florida. "It is like this all the time," said Debbie Mason, a JM Family vice president, spokeswoman and gatekeeper for the Morans' substantial philanthropy.
During the past two years. the Moran family has drawn widespread publicity on two fronts: as the targets of several embarrassing law suits and as providers of remarkable philanthropy to South Florida. To outsiders who do not know Jim Moran or his history, this seems like a convenient coincidence. Jan Crocker said she hears the questions of motivation all the time.
Crocker is the executive director of the Broward County Community Foundation to which the Morans recently created a permanent endowment in the form of a $ 500,000 challenge grant for children at risk. Crocker had been asked to identify the least known philanthropist in Broward County. Without hesitation, she identified the Morans.
"Lots of people ask me if I think they do it because they feel guilty for something. And I tell them that I know Jim and Jan Moran. And I know that what they do, they do from the heart," Crocker said. Mason admits that she is the reason it seems the Morans have only recently gotten into the spirit of giving. "They have a $ 90 million in business in Broward with 1,200 employees in Broward and 2,322 across the Southeast, and they did not have any in-house public relations until I came here two years ago," she said.
"Mr. Moran has been extremely generous all his life. He is the most generous man I know. But he always gave anonymously." A couple years ago, for example, Mason said, Moran anonymously gave a million dollars to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. "My job in the past two years has been to let people know about him and Jan and Pat and the business and the good they do."
TWO JIM MORANS
Moran is robust at the age of 75 after heart reconstruction and a bout with cancer. He strides through his airy, oriental motif offices, off Hillsborough Road in Deerfield Beach, greeting visitors at the door, exchanging pleasantries with the staff along the hall. On the walls hang dozens of awards and commendations for good works or sales achievement.
This year, the 25th anniversary of Moran's most recent business venture, his company sold its 2.5 millionth car. Moran is a man who has outlived his legend. Given up for dead 27 years ago, in 1966 Moran left Chicago, where he owned Courtesy Ford, the largest auto dealership in the world and where he was famous both for his pioneering television career and his charitable works. A millionaire at 30, Moran once dressed in cowboy gear to pitch his Ford products on Chicago area television spots.
He won TV Guide awards for his self-sponsored television variety show. He was so famous as an auto marketer and television advertising pioneer he was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
"If an orphanage burned down, chances are it would be Jim Moran, the Courtesy Man, who would start a drive to rebuild it," the editors of Time said in their March 24, 1961 cover story on Moran.
But faced with the prospect of his death, Moran left the limelight and came to Broward to await the final cull of cancer's grim harvest. It was melanoma. His lymphatic system was the target. "They gave me one chance in 10 to survive the year," Moran said, one decibel above a whisper.
"I decided to spend my final days swimming in the ocean and walking on the beach."
But he did not die. And when he did not die he started life over again, quietly.
Quietly, privately, without the hoopla that accompanied his first rise to riches, Moran began again, starting in 1968 with a General Motors dealership in Homestead.
"They shut me out of Miami. They didn't want the competition," Moran recalled. "Even at that, GM made me agree not to go on television before they sold me the dealership."
But Moran did not settle for a little GM dealership in Homestead. His reputation for auto marketing was heard in Japan, where the Toyota family had emerged from the post-war bankruptcy of its textile machine business and decided to build automobiles and sell some in America.
They offered Moran exclusive rights to 10 states if he would come on board and help establish Toyota.
"I decided to join up after that. But they were coy because I had refused them in the beginning. I ended up with only five states." Moran said. Only five states. His influence on Toyota has been dramatic.
Few people remember that it was Moran who persuaded the auto maker to design and develop the Toyota products that would come to dominate the import car market in America.
Few but his closest friends know that the Lexus luxury automobile was a Moran brainchild, as were hundreds of other Toyota innovations, from color coordinated interiors to sporty styling to the first computerized auto parts and inventory control.
Today, Moran's auto company, run by daughter Pat, controls every Toyota car and truck and every Toyota option and accessory and every Lexus sold in the Southeast. With 2.5 million vehicles sold through his distributorship, if the Morans made only $ 100 per vehicle, far less than 1 percent, they would have earned $ 250 million.
Moran said he has no idea what he is worth on any given day, nor how much he is giving away. But he knows exactly why he is willing to give and give again.
"The problem with some people with money is that they forget where they came from," Moran said. "I was raised in the Depression and went to work full time when I was 14. I never got past high school. My father didn't have $ 500 the day he died. I remember."
There are a lot people who know Jim Moran only from recent press clips. To them, he may seem like a cross between Scrooge and the Grinch, a two fisted tycoon with little truck for the niceties of affirmative action or egalitarian management. They remember that Moran pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return back in 1984, when the government disallowed his offshore bank account.
They remember he settled or offered to settle suits filed by several failed Toyota dealers who claimed he drove them out of business by dumping hard-to-sell vehicles on their lots and forcing them to participate in advertising campaigns they didn't like. They remember that he has been accused in pending litigation of refusing to sell dealerships to two different black men. Both claim the refusal is racially motivated. Few remember that Southeast Toyota operates several minority dealerships.
Few were listening when Moran said he was settling the suits only because it was cheaper than going to trial. As some see it, Moran has become a bulls eye for litigation that plays on the theme of the little guy against the rich and ruthless businessman.
But don't rag on the Morans among the young ladies of the Pace Center for troubled girls in Fort Lauderdale. These women were hanging from the last rung on life's ladder and ready to tumble when the Morans dug into their unfathomable pockets and bought them a social pillow to slow their fall. Don't remind the folks at the Museum of Discovery and Science that Moran has been the target of business criticism.
The folks at the Discovery museum see Moran as a gentle, generous man committed to opportunities for children. They look across the gleaming lobby of their emerging new facility and see $600,000 worth of dreams; a scene that will open thousands of little eyes to the prospects of a better, brighter future.
And don't bad mouth the Morans to their employees, all of whom are called "associates." When one manager discovered a camp for needy children in Palm Beach and decided to raise money from other managers, the Morans offered to match every dollar their associates raised. When the Moran employees joined the Sun Sentinel Santa program to give toys to needy children, the Morans offered to match every dollar that was raised. Said Mason, "They believe that anything their employees believe in enough to work for should be supported by them."
The Morans reimburse college expenses for every employee who can maintain a "C" average. They provide adoption assistance to their employees by helping offset the cost of maternity expense when their employees adopt unwanted infants.
MILLIONS IN GIFTS
The Morans donated $ 49,000 in corporate money and $ 150,000 personally to assist victims of Hurricane Andrew. They have provided $ 125,000 in gifts in 1993 alone to Broward's arts and cultural organizations, the favorite charity of Jan Moran. They have pledged $ 125,000 to support the Museum of Art in Broward. They donated a total of $ 316,000 to charitable and community organizations in Broward, separate from the arts grants and not counting more than $ 80,000 for Kids in Distress.
And they financed more than $ 215,000 in educational projects in 1993. "I am glad I have supported the cancer and heart funds over the years because I needed them when I had my heart surgery and my lymph system rebuilt," Moran said with a laugh. "But my favorite charities are kids anything for kids, and education."
"The only way to get kids off the streets and out of trouble is to get them jobs," Moran said. "And the only way to get them jobs is get them an education."
Moran said he is most proud of the Youth Automotive Training Center school he established to help at risk teenagers learn the auto trade. It was founded in 1984 when a federal judge ordered Moran to do 720 hours of community service following his guilty plea on the tax evasion charges.
When the clock ran out on his required community service Moran kept on, for 15 years, training at-need students.
"Our kids tell me that all they have to do in other schools is just sit there and they get a diploma. Not our kids. They work and they learn so they can make a living and be proud of what they accomplished," Moran said. “And I am proud of them.”
By: AJOT | Dec 14 2015 at 07:54 AM | Liner Shipping • CMA CGM launches a new line designed for Ecuadorian banana exports •
CMA CGM offers the only direct and weekly service between the Gulf of Mexico and Ecuador on the market CMA CGM, a leading worldwide shipping Group, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Med Gulf Ecuador service (MGE) offering a direct connection between the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador.
It will start on December 19th in Guayaquil. CMA CGM launches a new line designed for Ecuadorian banana exports Thanks to this offer, Ecuador, one of the largest banana producers in the world, will be linked to Malta in 19 days.
Transhipment connections with other Group services offered in Malta guarantee full export solutions for Ecuadorian producers towards all global consumer markets around the world, such as the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, and the Middle East. CMA CGM offers the only direct service on the market between the Gulf of Mexico and Ecuador Moreover, CMA CGM provides the only direct and weekly service between the Gulf of Mexico (Veracruz, Altamira, Houston and New Orleans) and Ecuador (Guayaquil).
The Group answers its clients’ export needs from the U.S. and Mexico towards Latin America.
Thanks to transhipment connections in Guayaquil, transport services are offered to Peru, Chile and Colombia. CMA CGM strengthens its intra America presence a few months ahead of the new Panama Canal opening CMA CGM upgrades its presence on intra American markets and pursues its development strategy in Latin America a few months ahead of the new Panama Canal opening expected mid-2016.
The new rotation will be as follow: Malta, Livorno, Geneva, Barcelona, Valence, Tangiers, Caucedo, Kingston, Veracruz, Altamira, Houston, New Orleans, Kingston, Cartagena, Guayaquil, Kingston then back to Malta. CMA CGM will operate all nine 2100 to 2500 TEU capacity vessels, with large Reefer capacity.
Xavier Eiglier CMA CGM Vice President Caribbean and Latin America Lines By launching this new line, CMA CGM positions itself as a major player on the Ecuadorian Reefer market and offers its clients the best service to the Mediterranean. The Group also provides multiple export opportunities to numerous markets for North and South American clients, thanks to calls at Kingston and Malta Group’s hubs.
Thousands of cans and vacuum-packed bricks of Cafe Bustelo coffee have washed up on the beaches of Indialantic, most likely from a barge container that fell overboard this past weekend.
As many as 25 cargo containers were lost overboard Sunday from a Jacksonville-to-Puerto Rico barge run chartered by the operators of the sunken cargo ship El Faro, Coast Guard officials said Tuesday.
The actual number of containers lost won’t be known before Wednesday, when crews in Palm Beach finish removing about 300 of them from the barge Columbia Elizabeth, said Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss, a Coast Guard spokesman.
Twenty-foot-long containers were perched at odd angles on the edge of the barge, and others could be crushed and concealed under the pile, Doss said. Containers apparently started going overboard offshore Brevard County, and the crew of the tug Capt Latham headed to port to handle the problem.
Doss said nine containers are known for certain to have been lost, one carrying car batteries.
He said that posed a modest environmental risk but might be a hazard if it washed ashore and was opened by someone who was then burned by the batteries’ corrosive contents. About 1,000 cans of Cafe Bustelo coffee washed ashore Monday near a hotel in Indialantic and are thought to have been part of a load of household goods being sent to Puerto Rico, he said.
One container that has been found was not part of the barge’s cargo, according to an email from Mike Hanson, a spokesman for TOTE, the company that chartered the barge.
The same company owned El Faro, the 790-foot ship that sank Oct. 1 when it was battered by Hurricane Joaquin while traveling from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico. Thirty-three mariners were lost in that disaster. Doss said the containers last week might have been lost because of pounding by waves, of being poorly stacked, or because steel cables that strapped them down rusted and failed.
He said inspectors hope they can tell better when the cargo is offloaded and can decide whether any citations or penalties are appropriate. Hanson said arrangements are being made to deliver the rest of the barge cargo.
The barge left Jacksonville last week and was scheduled to reach San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday, Tote’s website said.
Losing groups of containers is relatively unusual, but nationwide it probably happens on a weekly basis, Doss said. A report from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California said up to 10,000 containers are thought to fall overboard annually from a trade it estimated to keep between 5 and 6 million containers in transit at any time.