FT. MYERS - Shipping to the Caribbean from the Florida Gulf Coast region will become more convenient with the official opening this Saturday of HBT Shipping, an authorized master cargo agent of Laparkan Shipping.
HBT Shipping Operations Manager Wesley Phillibert says the opening of the company’s 8,000 square foot warehouse along with the introduction of its ocean and air cargo packaging and shipping services under the Laparkan brand will provide residents of Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Venice, Lehigh, Captiva Island, Bonita Springs, Northport and Immocales with convenient pick up, packaging and shipping services to the Caribbean region and further afield.
“There are significant communities of Caribbean nationals in these cities including those who come here to work under the seasonal farm worker and hotel worker programs. These residents often have need for shipping services and quite often have to travel to south Florida to transact their shipping business. That will no longer be necessary. In fact we will also be providing free transportation twice weekly for the farm and hotel workers to the main shopping centers as well as providing them space in our warehouse where they could store their purchases until they are ready to pack their barrels, boxes and containers,” Phillibert explained.
There are over 3,000 seasonal farm and hotel workers in the Florida Gulf region, a majority from Jamaica. There also are sizeable communities of Haitians, Barbadians and Guyanese resident in that region.
“We are happy to be operating under the Laparkan brand because it is well known and respected for its range of products, good customer service and competitive pricing. The products and services really fit the needs of the people we will be serving,” he said.
The HBT management team has been undergoing orientation at Laparkan’s corporate headquarters and main warehouse in Miami recently, familiarizing themselves with the state-of-the-art Laparkan Freight Management System (LFMS) technology in addition to procedures and regulations required by government agencies such as the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), US Customs and the Transportation Security Administration.
Laparkan Chairman and CEO Glen Khan said that the sizeable Caribbean communities in those areas of Florida deserve to have convenient, affordable and customer friendly and efficient service and that the Laparkan HBT alliance would certain be fulfilling that need.
“I am indeed happy especially for the farm and hotel workers who would no longer have to spend time and money to come to south Florida to have their shipping needs addressed,” he said.
The grand opening of the HBT warehouse and packing facility located at 2801 Michigan Avenue in Fort Myers is set to kick off at 2pm on Saturday with the ribbon cutting and official ceremony at 5pm. Among the invitees are community leaders, elected officials, the farm and hotel workers and representatives of faith-based organizations and the business sector.
Bernuth recently sold its Caribbean rotation to rival King King Ocean Services but offered no plans for its idle fleet or Terminal Island facility.
"The technical term is 'been arrested.' The owner of the vessel has failed to pay the mortgage and the bank arrested the ship," said maritime attorney Ross Toyne.
The Nera II was arrested at the Bernuth Agencies cargo facility in March. The Caribbean Jade and Bernuth Calypso were arrested in December 2012.
About $27,000 hasn't been paid to a dozen cargo members, said Toyne, leaving the crew of the Calypso in limbo.
Toyne tried boarding the ship but was denied access to the crew.
Deacon Ronald Perkins was also denied. He is the chaplain of Seafarers' House, an organization that helps international shipping crews.
"I have no idea what the conditions are aboard that vessel or the safety and security of those seafarers," said Perkins. "I have never, ever, ever been denied access to a dock or a vessel and I go on a thousand ships a year."
Mikhail Shikera, the captain of the Calypso, had little to say when he spoke with Local 10.
"Why aren't you paying your crew?" asked Local 10's Todd Tongen.
"I am not authorized to give any comments prior to [the] owner's decision," Shikera answered.
"Why won't you let this priest make a welfare visit to your crew?" said Tongen.
"No, I don't know why," said Shikera.
The Coast Guard intervened, allowing Perkins to check on the crew. He said they appeared to be in good health.
#By NATARIO MCKENZIE
#Tribune Business Reporter
#A MAJOR shipping company yesterday blamed fees levied by the new Arawak Cay Port for its decision to increase container landing charges by between 30-48 per cent, causing one retailer to tell this newspaper: “It’s cheaper to hire a cargo plane and fly your products in.”
#Tropical Shipping Company, one of the largest containerised cargo carriers in the Caribbean region and the Bahamas, said in an e-mail to clients that “due to the increase of costs assessed by the Arawak Port Development Company,” it “must implement an increase to the landing charges for shipments destined to Nassau, Bahamas, effective February 3, 2013.”
#Douglas Cowper, Nassau port manager for Tropical Shipping, declined to comment on the matter yesterday. But sources close to developments told Tribune Business that the company was the last to implement the “inevitable” increases, as several other shipping firms have announced similar rises over the past several months.
#Phil Lightbourne, head of the Gladstone Road-based wholesale/retail operation, Phil’s Food Services, said this was ultimately bad news for Bahamian consumers. “It affects the consumer,” he told Tribune Business.
#“Whatever it costs us to get the product into the store, we must put our mark-up on it. The only person that could survive this is the person with the best buying power. It’s going to be a nightmare, and it’s going to get worse.
#“When you had the Atlantic-Caribbean Lines and the G&G’s, and those guys to rescue you when Tropical and MSC put these high demands on you, now there is nobody there. You are in a position where you have no other choice.. You only could use MSC, Tropical or Crowley. They have all businesses by the balls. Whatever their fees go to, we have to deal with it,” said Mr Lightbourne.
#Atlantic-Caribbean Line (ACL), which previously held a 15 per cent market share, announced fee increases prior to shutting down its US and Bahamas operations last summer. Crowley also last year announced that due to increased operating costs associated with the Arawak Cay port’s March 1 tariff schedule implementation, the company would apply a new charge to open tariff and contract shipments for both northbound and southbound cargo.
#A Crowley executive told this newspaper at the time that the company had “never seen” such fee increases all at once, and that the Nassau Container Port had made the Bahamas’ capital city “one of the more expensive ports in the Caribbean”.
#“There is no relief in sight. Each time a shipping company pulls out it makes it more detrimental for a businessman,” Mr Lightbourne said.
#“If 10 ships come into a port, that’s 10 fees it collects. If only two or three come into that port they have to make enough from those three ships to maintain the port. Every time a shipping line pulls out it hurts me as a businessman. It could end up only being two shipping lines here in the long run because the fees are so exorbitant. The port has gotten so expensive it’s cheaper to hire a cargo plane and fly your product in, that how hard it’s gotten to import a container.”
#Tropical Shipping said yesterday that landing charges for 20-foot equipment units (TEUs) or containers would rise 30 per cent, from $655.98 to $855.98 - a rise of $200.
#Charges on 40-foot containers will, as of February 3, 2013, rise 43 per cent from $923.23 to $1,323.23. Tropical also announced that containers larger than 40 feet would increase by 48 per cent, from $1,109.48 to $1,640.48, while the $64.14 charge per pallet will rise to $84.14, a 31 per cent hike.
#Tribune Business was unable to obtain a response from Arawak Port Development Company’s chief executive, Michael Maura, prior to press time.
#However, Mr Maura had told Tribune Business previously that shipping companies would use the port relocation as a justification/excuse to increase their rates.
#He pointed out that shipping companies have been losing money in recent years, due to rates dropping amid an economic recession and increased competition with more firms entering the market.
#And Mr Maura argued that the Arawak Port’s fees overall will represent a small increase for the shipping companies. He added that the port’s charges were competitive against rival ports in the Caribbean.
#Regardless of who is to blame, there is every likelihood that the burden of the increased shipping costs will be passed on to Bahamian consumers. That means further reduced disposable incomes, and spending power, in an economy where many are already hard-pressed to meet their obligations - the end result being that economic activity gets more depressed. The fee increases could not have come at a worse time.
#Tribune Business was told by private sector sources yesterday that Tropical Shipping had held off increasing its landing charges as long as it could, with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and others having implemented theirs last year.
#Sources suggested the increases enacted by MSC were in the “same sort of range” as Tropical’s, one saying: “These are serious increases for regular shippers to absorb.”
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reports from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft about 4 hours ago indicated 850-mb flight-level winds of 68 kt and SFMR-adjusted surface wind estimates of 55 kt. The minimum central pressure was estimated to be 986 mb. Since then...deep convection with cloud tops as cold as -90c have almost completely encircled the center of Sandy and NOAA buoy 42058 recently reported a sustained wind of 49 kt with a gust to 64 kt more than 160 N mi east of the center. Based on these data...the initial intensity is raised to 60 kt.
Sandy is moving faster toward the north now...or 010/12 kt. The forecast scenario and the forecast track remain unchanged through 48-72 hours. Sandy should move generally northward for the next 48 hours as the cyclone interacts or merges with a potent mid- to upper-level trough situated to its northwest and a mid-level ridge to the north that is sliding eastward. After 72 hr...southwesterly mid/upper-level flow associated with a second digging trough over the eastern United States is forecast to turn the cyclone northeastward. The NHC model guidance has trended a little more north and west after 72 hours...and the official forecast track has been nudged in that direction. The new forecast track lies near the center of the guidance envelope...and is between the previous advisory track and the consensus models tvca and tv15...and the Florida state superensemble model.
Environmental conditions are expected to remain favorable for additional strengthening to occur up until Sandy makes landfall on Jamaica in about 12 hours or so. After that...land interaction with Jamaica and eastern Cuba...combined with increasing southwesterly vertical wind shear should induce some gradual weakening. However...the amount of weakening that typically occurs under such negative conditions is expected to be limited due to strong baroclinic interaction/forcing associated with the strong upper-level trough. The NHC intensity forecast follows the trend of the previous advisory in showing a 60-kt intensity after 36 hours and the cyclone becoming Post-tropical by 120 hours. However... this remains a low confidence forecast for both the intensity and the structure of the cyclone after 48-72 hours due to uncertainty in the amount of baroclinic interaction.
Forecast positions and Max winds
init 24/0900z 16.3n 77.0w 60 kt 70 mph 12h 24/1800z 17.9n 76.8w 70 kt 80 mph...near Jamaica 24h 25/0600z 20.6n 76.5w 65 kt 75 mph...inland eastern Cuba 36h 25/1800z 23.3n 76.5w 60 kt 70 mph...over water 48h 26/0600z 25.7n 76.6w 60 kt 70 mph 72h 27/0600z 28.2n 76.3w 60 kt 70 mph 96h 28/0600z 31.0n 73.6w 60 kt 70 mph 120h 29/0600z 33.4n 70.3w 60 kt 70 mph...Post-tropical
BRADENTON, Fla. — PortMiami calls it the “Deep Dredge.”
It is so important to the future of shipping and South Florida’s economy that bonds will finance nearly all of the cost to deepen the port’s harbor in the race to be ready for the expansion of the Panama Canal.
Bond financing is not unusual for port projects. But in this case Miami-Dade County is believed to be the first local government or port to say it will finance most of its half of the estimated $180 million cost for the Deep Dredge as well as the federal government’s half, if need be.
The commitment catapulted the long-planned project forward this week when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began soliciting bids for contractors to deepen PortMiami’s channel to 50 feet from its current 42 feet.
The work is expected to be completed in time for the $5.3 billion expansion of the Panama Canal in the spring of 2015. The larger Panama locks will enable passage of supertankers and larger, modern container ships known as post-Panamax ships that require up to 50-foot channel depths.
Stated another way, the expanded “Panama Canal will accommodate container vessels 160% larger than today’s Panamax ships, forever altering global trade routes,” according to a white paper by Colliers International in August.
Miami plans to be among a handful of Atlantic Coast ports where harbors and dockside facilities will be ready to accommodate the bigger vessels.
“As the closest port to the Panama Canal, PortMiami is well-positioned to capture new trade opportunities and the deeper channel will enable the port to double its cargo traffic over the next several years,” said PortMiami director Bill Johnson.
Though Miami is also one of few ports that have all federal and state approvals for the dredging project, funding has been a hitch.
The Water Resource Development Act of 2007 authorized the Department of the Army to deepen PortMiami, though Congress has not appropriated federal funds for the project.
“Consequently, the only way for the congressionally authorized PortMiami deep-dredge project to go forward on a timely basis — to enable the project to be completed in time for the anticipated early 2015 completion of the ongoing Panama Canal improvements — is for the county to commit to both fund its local share of the project’s costs and to advance the federal government’s share,” said a report by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giminez.
County commissioners in July unanimously approved a Project Partnership Agreement with the Corps of Engineers to advance the federal share of costs, estimated to be about $90 million. The county plans to seek reimbursement of the federal cost if Congress appropriates the funds, and has indicated that it must be prepared to absorb the cost if federal funds do not materialize.
To jump-start the project, and be ready for the bigger Panama Canal to open, the county will finance about $110 million of the $180 million deep-dredge cost with port revenue bonds. The debt is expected to be sold in the first quarter of 2013.
The remaining costs will be paid by Miami Dade and $112 million will come from the Florida Department of Transportation.
It is believed that the county’s finance plan will make PortMiami the first facility in the United States to pay the federal share of the dredging cost for post-Panamax shipping, according to Dave Sanford, director of navigation policy and legislation with the American Association of Port Authorities.
“I’m not aware of other ports that have contributed the federal share,” Sanford said. “The two other major deepenings under way now on the East Coast, New York-New Jersey and Delaware River, are both being cost-shared” between the ports and the federal government with previous appropriations.
Whether other ports finance their projects, or wait for federal funds, depends on the White House’s budget request priorities, he said.
Meanwhile, more ports around the nation may need to make greater commitments to their projects because of federal funding issues. “Constrained federal funding both for harbor channels and inland waterways can be expected due to overall economic and fiscal conditions and concerns about the deficit,” the Corps said in a report to Congress in June.
“This underscores the need to consider new and innovative public and private funding sources and financing methods with long-term reliability that can finance the navigation system maintenance and expansion that will be necessary to ensure a globally competitive U.S. navigation system,” it said.
The competition is fierce among ports to be post-Panamax-ready with channel depths of 50 feet and sufficient dock and crane capacity. On the West Coast, ports at Seattle, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach already have 50-foot channels.
Along the Atlantic Coast, Baltimore and New York have, or will soon have, 50-foot channels, and Norfolk already has the required depth, according to the Corps report. Below Norfolk, Va., along the Southeast and Gulf Coasts, no ports have 50-foot channels, though Charleston can accommodate most of the big vessels with five feet of tide and Miami has begun its channel-deepening project, the Corps report said.
There are currently 17 active studies investigating possible port improvements, most associated with post-Panamax projects.
The preliminary estimate to expand some ports along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts is $3 billion to $5 billion, according to the Corps.
The federal funding question led Miami-Dade County officials to approve the funding agreement with the Corps in July.
“This is, I believe, one of the most important infrastructure projects in the history of the port of Miami,” Johnson, the port director, told a county committee reviewing the financing plan. “It clearly will help transform our port to make it not just a regional niche player, but a national player. This is a huge step forward.”
Johnson predicted that the project “will represent billions and billions and billions annually of additional economic value” to Miami, Florida and beyond.
“It is a transformational project,” he said.
The deepening of Miami’s channel will create 33,000 new jobs, double cargo passing through the port, and increase PortMiami’s annual economic impact to more than $34 billion, according to an economic study.
Miami-Dade County will pay for Deep Dredge in phases of $108 million in fiscal 2013, $62 million in fiscal 2014 and $10 million in 2015.
Bids for the project are due to the Corps on Nov. 30, according to Becky Hope, the county’s environmental manager and project manager for the project.
“The Corps is expected to award the project in mid-February 2013,” she said.
Along with the harbor-deepening, more than $2 billion in capital improvement projects are under way or planned at PortMiami, including dockside improvements to receive post-Panamax ships. The port also is creating an on-dock intermodal rail facility offering service with Florida East Coast Railway. Shipments by truck also will be eased when the construction of twin tunnels is completed in the summer of 2014.
The tunnels will divert shipping and cruise traffic from congested downtown Miami — currently the only way to access to the port — to a quicker link to major highways.
The world’s only planing, beaching, swath hulled ferry vessel built at a hideously enormous expense ($80M+?) to the US Navy for a destination to nowhere and a service that none wants”, is up for sale. At least that is how the U.S.-flag’s hardest supporter, describes it.
The ship, named the MV Susitna, was made in 2010 at former Alaska Ship & Drydock in Ketchikan (now Vigor) at the request of the Office of Naval Research that was looking to test new designs which might someday work as military ships. When construction started, the vessel MV Susitna was to be owned and managed as a ferry in Alaska for the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough securing service among Anchorage and Port Mackenzie while being assessed by the ONR. The only one problem, however, was that there weren't ferry terminals and the ship never entered service. So now it’s up for sale!
The MV Susitna ferry ship is unique in a number of ways and actually quite interesting. In the end it just did not work.
The design for the “expeditionary ship” was made by Guido Perla & Associates, Inc (GPA) and is based on a concept made by Lockheed Martin. It is a ABS-certified “E-Craft” which measures fifty-nine meters in length and is available of carrying 129 people, plus twenty vehicles or one tractor-trailer rig. The ferry also incorporates elevator technology which is going to allow the ferry to change from the Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) mode to barge mode by lowering or raising its center deck. The ferry also built with an ice strengthened hull (the 1st-ever for a SWATH hull) and is beachable.
But what probably could the MV Susitna be used for? We’re not sure, but someone mentioned that Shell fits the buyers profile. Who knows though, the E-Craft might be yours for an unspecified price.
MSC HAS sued Florida’s Bernuth Lines, seeking $4.2M related to the 2010 sinking of the box ship Angeln. While on sub-charter to Bernuth, the 8,329dwt, 2004-built ship – owned by Angeln GmbH ...
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
King Ocean Services on Monday confirmed the acquisition of loops controlled by Miami-based compatriot Bernuth Lines.
Franco Da Costa Gomez, a spokesman and son of chief executive Jose Da Costa Gomez, tells TradeWinds the routes will continue to operate under the Bernuth brand for another year.
When the smoke clears, King Ocean will oversee a fleet of 15 containerships after taking over chartered tonnage operated by its former competitor.
Da Costa Gomez says Bernuth employees are being encouraged to apply for positions with King Ocean but understands that Captain Jordan Monocandilos, who founded Bernuth some 30 years ago, intends to “retire to shipowning” with his own stable of shallow draft vessels.
At the time, the speed with which the cases were resolved came as a surprise to many in Miami shipping circles given rumours the company was struggling to stay afloat due to the market downturn but prompted talk that a sale or merger was on the horizon.
Today, with no ships or routes to call its own the survival of the Bernuth brand appears unlikely, which has prompted questions about the outcome of ongoing cases filed against the company in US courts.
According to US legal filings, at least two cargo claims and a personal injury complaint lodged earlier this year remain open. Calls to Bernuth seeking comment were not immediately returned on Monday.