Unitrans Global Logistics Newsletter | Edition 22 | April 24, 2015
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In Edition 22:
West Coast Update
Mexico Expansion of ports
German Rail Strike
IAG Cargo offers Constant Climate service in Ecuador
APM Terminals to Open Fully Automated Terminal
Maritime Security

Links of the Week

February 2015 North American Freight Numbers

ATA Truck Tonnage Index Gained 1.1% in March

Video: Gate to Gate: What Happens When a Truck Picks Up a Container?

 

West Coast Update

As West Coast gateways work to clear backlog from the prolonged contract negotiations between the West Coast labor union and employers, many ports have reported an increase in container volumes for the month of March. The Ports of Tacoma and Seattle reported that volumes increased 21 percent compared to volumes during March 2014. The two ports handled 361,951 TEUs last month, making March the second busiest month since September 2014. The Port of Tacoma stated it expects volumes to remain higher than normal in the coming months as vessels return to normal service schedules and manufacturers in Asia work to clear excess inventory.

The nation's largest port complex also reported a year-over-year increase in container volumes for the month of March. The Port of Long Beach announced it experienced a 32 percent increase over March 2014, making it the busiest March in the port's history. A total of 630,084 TEUs moved through the Southern California port last month. Despite the strong month, cargo at the Port of Long Beach is down 3.3 percent for the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2014. Additionally, the Port of Los Angeles revealed a 17.3 percent increase in containerized cargo volumes for the month of March. The Port of Los Angeles handled a total of 791,863 TEUs, the second-highest month in the port's history. Similar to Long Beach, overall volumes are down 5 percent for the first three months of 2015, compared to 2014 container volumes.

On Wednesday, April 22, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach held the first Supply Chain Optimization Forum in the Long Beach City Council Chambers. The two and a half hour forum was the first public meeting between the two ports sanctioned by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which recently permitted the two ports to collaborate on cargo flow issues without violating antitrust laws. More than 70 people representing terminal operators, customers, labor and trade associations, and harbor leaders attended the conference. Watch a recording of the discussion here.

Mexico Expansion of ports

Cathay Pacific Aircraft

The Mexican government plans on investing $5 billion into their ports due to the increasing middle class' demand for more imports and the rise in regional Mexican manufacturing powerhouses. The two-phase expansion project in Veracruz is expected to increase the facility's capacity to 88 million tons, add 35 new berths including two turning basins, a logistics attention center for ground transport and the construction of a 19.5 kilometer double track railway bypass. The completion for both phases are scheduled for 2030.

German Rail Strike

German rail cargo movements halted across the European country this week due to a strike by 3,000 locomotive engineers against the state-owned railway, Deutsche Bahn. GDL, the German rail union, walked out early Wednesday, April 22, demanding an increase in pay and negotiating rights. The strike on freight operations is expected to persist through this morning, April 24. Almost a fifth of German cargo, up to 1 million tons a day, is transported by rail from German seaports.

IAG Cargo offers Constant Climate service in Ecuador

IAG Cargo

On April 4, IAG Cargo announced opening 2 new stations in Ecuador to support the needs of pharmaceuticals and life sciences cargo. This increases the number to 15 Latin gateways for the temperature controlled service. Alan Dorling, global head of pharmaceutical & life sciences at IAG Cargo commented "IAG Cargo's Constant Climate network is world leading. Not only are we the first carrier to be awarded the GDP certificate and the Wholesale Distribution Authorisation for medicines by a national authority, we offer customers one of the largest networks of its kind into Latin America, which is fast becoming on the most important regional markets for pharma."

APM Terminals to Open Fully Automated Terminal

Today, April 24, APM Terminals will officially open the world's first fully automated container terminal in Rotterdam. The terminal is located on Maasvlakte 2, a 5,000-acre tract of land reclaimed from the North Sea. The Dutch King, Willem-Alexander, 500 global shipping and industry executives, as well as government officials from around the world, will attend the ceremony in the Netherlands' capital today. The project cost 500 million euros, or about $535 million USD. The terminal has an initial annual capacity of 2.7 million TEUs, which will eventually increase to 4.5 million TEUs. The terminal's equipment is powered by wind generated electricity, producing zero carbon emissions. APM Terminals says the Maasvlakte facility, with a 1,000 meter quay and a draft of 20 meters, is the world's most advanced terminal, boasting 48 automated rail mounted gantry cranes. Maasvlakte 2 also has a dedicated barge terminal and an on-dock rail terminal targeted at transporting 55 percent of hinterland traffic. Read more about the innovative terminal here.

Maritime Security

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, a bill that will lay the framework for companies to share cybersecurity threat data between corporations and government agencies. The primary focus for the maritime industry is protection from cyberattacks that could sabotage port or terminal operations. Kimberly Peretti, a Washington attorney specializing in cybersecurity, said U.S. ports are particularly at risk. U.S. ports handle roughly $6 billion worth of goods each day and many are ill-equipped to prevent cyberattacks. Following a series of incidents at the Port of Antwerp, cybersecurity has gained public attention within the industry. In 2011, drug traffickers recruited hackers to penetrate computers at the port where smugglers were able to move goods through the port, then delete any evidence that the cargo was there. Hackers first began penetrating the port's system in 2011, but the attack wasn't noticed until 2012 and the story wasn't widely reported in the media until 2013. The new House cybersecurity bill would provide legal liability protections for companies that share cyber threat information, but only after undergoing a series of critical cyber privacy screenings.


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