Crown Cargo

Euroseas Signs New Time Charter Agreement for Panamax Bulk Carrier

January 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Euroseas sources say that its subsidiary recently entered a two-year charter agreement for M/V ‘Aristides NP’, which is the 1993-built 69,268 dwt Panamax bulk carrier. The agreement entails a gross daily rate of $18,900. Euroseas owns and operates container vessels and drybulk carriers as well as provides sea transportation for containerized cargoes and dry bulk. The charter agreement is scheduled to come into effect during the end of February and April 2010.

The company expects this new charter agreement to make, during the charter period, a sum of around $13.5 million in gross revenue. Post charter, all of Euroseas’ dry bulk fleet days for the present year [2010] and around 40% for 2011 are tenable under period charters or are already concluded spot charters, Forward Freight Agreements and are thus free from any market fluctuation. With regard to their container fleet the consequent coverage for 2010 stands at 37% and at 16% for 2011. This makes the Euroseas’ combined total fleet coverage for 2010 at 57% and 23% for next year. However, these percentages are not inclusive of extension options, which are held by other charterers.

Aristides Pittas, chairman and CEO of Euroseas, said: “We continue to take advantage of the strength of the drybulk market and we are pleased to announce that we have chartered M/V ‘Aristides NP’ at a favorable rate which enables us to enhance the predictability and strength of our revenues and cash flows. We remain focused in our effort to grow the company and create superior returns for our shareholders.”

Swiss Worldcargo Unveils New Services for North American Network

January 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Direct flights between Zurich and San Francisco have been introduced by Swiss WorldCargo. These new flights come into effect from the June 2 2010. The six-times-a-week service will be operated by the company’s cargo division using A340-300 aircraft, which will double the capacity of the cargo to and from Zurich. SWISS also operates to Los Angeles from this region.

With the new direct-flight introduction, SWISS is capable of linking San Francisco, Los Angeles and Zurich. This gives it the all-important upper hand in terms of the distribution of care-intensive and time-sensitive cargo.

SWISS says that in North America, daily service between Zurich and New York, Boston, JFK, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Montreal are on offer, which is in turn complemented by the RFS network. This includes cities such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Toronto. The newly introduced flights will use up existing aircraft capacity. Additions will happen along with the planned increase in frequency on routes to South America, India and Canada.

Jack Lampinski, managing director of Americas at Swiss WorldCargo, said: “These new services complement our strong North American network and demonstrate our commitment to providing customers with access to strategic global markets with all our range of special products. SWISS is one of the few carriers, which will be able to expand their network further in 2010. The new service to San Francisco shows that we are capable of seizing opportunities in a difficult market environment and we emerge from the crisis as a reliable partner for our customers.”

Agility Negotiates Settlement with Us Government On Overcharging Case

January 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Agility, a Kuwaiti logistics company is in talks with the government of the United States regarding a case of supposed overcharging of the US Defense Department for contracts amounting to over $8.5 billion. The discussions are being held in order to arrange an ‘out-of-court’ settlement regarding the allegations.

Agility was charged by a United States jury in a court in Atlanta on multiple counts for supposedly overcharging the Pentagon. The story is that the overcharging happened by an illegal price hike of contracts regarding food supply.

The allegations are based on three key contracts to supply food items to American troops stationed in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan. Agility has denied all allegations on overcharging.

Zawya Dow Jones was told by a spokesperson from Agility that the court appearance by the company on December 22, 2009 had been postponed, and he said that a new date had not been set yet.

With the case still up in the air and no settlement being reached, the US Department of Defense has temporarily stalled the giving out any further contracts to Agility. Currently, Agility also does not have any pending government work.

In November, Agility won a contract from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which entails them managing the receipt, warehousing and re-exporting of food aid and other commodities.
The five-year contract is worth $10 million a year, while the first task at hand for Agility is around $4 million – where the company has to receive and carry out the storage of food aid at Jaciontoport, Houston which will then in turn, be shipped to Djibouti Free Zone in Africa.

Omega Forms Joint Venture with Glencore Subsidiary

January 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Omega Navigation Enterprises and Topley have signed up for a 50-50 partnership equal joint venture company named Megacore Shipping. Both companies owned by Omega and the Glencore group respectively have chosen to continue their shipping contract agreements with Hyundai Mipo – bringing the total of 10 new building 37,000-dwt product/chemical carriers across to the companies owned by Megacore. The order, however, has been revised, making it two 37,000-dwt product/chemical tankers and seven 75,000-dwt product/oil tankers. Apart from this, one MR1 vessel remains pending and is in the pipeline as a future option for Megacore.

George Kassiotis, President and CEO of Omega, said: “We are very pleased to have entered this joint venture with a very strong partner and thus reinforce the already strong relationship with the Glencore group. The joint venture will have access to Glencore’s global trading network and system cargoes and ST Shipping’s commercial chartering experience and will enable us to deploy collectively with our partner a fleet of vessels with significant scale and geographic coverage. This off balance sheet structure and revised delivery dates has enabled the company to shore up its balance sheet and be better able to face these challenging economic times. Megacore gives both Omega and the Glencore group a very strong platform to build upon going forward.”

Company sources stated that the original delivery schedules of the vessels had been amended. The initial schedule was for eight vessels in 2010 and then two in 2011. Now however, with the amendments coming into play, three vessels are scheduled for 2010, four in 2011 and two vessels in 2012.

UPS Provides Update on Diesel Hybrid Delivery Vans

January 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has collated and analyzed fuel economy, maintenance and other relevant vehicle performance data by using its hybrid diesel step delivery vans, according to UPS. The new hybrid diesel vans are supported by the Eaton electric hybrid propulsion system.

UPS also says that the data collected indicates that the new vehicles recorded an improved on-road fuel economy by 28.9% – which is in fact a 15% improvement in the total cost spent per mile. This is also on top of maintaining similar levels of reliability and operational performance when compared to the usual vehicles.

Released on Christmas Eve 2009, the report also includes details of the 12-month long demo project such as information on how the FT&E team gathered and evaluated fuel economy, maintenance and vehicle performance data on vans which were used for UPS’ delivery service. Conventional and hybrid delivery vans were tested during the project in NREL’s ReFuel laboratory in Denver, Colorado while fuel economy and emissions performance on a number of test cycles were also documented.

The hybrid propulsion systems used for the vehicles were provided by Eaton and manufactured by Freightliner. The hybrid system used in the vehicle utilizes an Eaton automated transmission along with an integrated motor/generator and advanced lithium ion batteries. The Freightliner hybrid and conventional model utilize a Mercedes Benz MBE 904 four cylinder diesel engine. A further 200 Eaton hybrid electric-powered vans have recently been ordered by UPS as well.

Lee Slezak, program manager of AVTA at DOE, said: “Having provided funding for the development of the Eaton hybrid system, DOE was eager to participate in testing the system in a commercial fleet. Our goal is to help develop more efficient vehicle technologies and then document their on-road performance.”

Euroseas Delivers Two Cargo Vessels

January 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Euroseas recently sold its two oldest vessels, M/V Gregos and M/V Artemis.

Built in 1984, M/V Gregos is a 38,691 dwt geared dry bulk carrier that was sold for a whopping $7.9 million and will be used for further trading. The 1987 built, 2098 TEU gearless containership, M/V Artemis however was sold for scrap at $282/lwt, fetching around $3.2 million. The sales of both ships mean a book loss of $8.7 million to Euroseas.

Apart from the latest sales news, the company also entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent with Eton Park Capital Management and Rhône Capital III (Rhône). The joint venture was reached with the intent of pursuing shipping investment opportunities.

Euroseas will put up around $25 million in investment while Eton Park and Rhone will cough up close to $75 million. The company and its associates will manage the vessels acquired under the joint venture.

Aristides Pittas, chairman and CEO of Euroseas, said: “As we have repeatedly said in the past, we expect that our core markets will provide us with significant investment opportunities over the next couple of years. During 2009, we disposed of our three 25- year old bulkers and replaced them with three vessels with an average age of 10 years. We have also sold the 22-year old containership, M/V Artemis. As a result of these transactions, the average age of our fleet decreased to approximately 16 years. We have a strong balance sheet which we intend to use to exploit investments opportunities in our market sectors.”

China Airlines, Boeing Sign Agreement

January 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

An agreement has been signed between China Cargo Airlines and Boeing in order to integrate two significant Boeing offerings over the next few months.

China Cargo says the agreement enables them to utilize Boeing Class 3 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) and Airplane Health Management (AHM) modules on their brand new 777 Freighters. The airline expects to have six 777 freighters during Q1, 2010 while the airline also boasts of two 747-400 ER Freighters.

Onboard Performance Tool (OPT) and Electronic Document Browser (EDB) are part and parcel of Boeing Class 3 EFB and provide crucial information from airplane systems, flight crews and cabin crews to the base operation of the airlines. The OPT gives pilots ideal speeds and engine settings for their aircraft, taking into account the type of weather, runway, payload – helping to improve efficiency and range. Instant access to information, replacing bulky paper documents and diminishing the need for manual updating and revision is all thanks to the newly introduced EDB module.

Tools for analysis and alerting regarding system issues, monitoring of tire pressure, oxygen pressure, hydraulic fluid, auxiliary power unit and engine oil levels are provided by the AHM Custom Alerting and Analysis module. Operations of the airplane are optimized by the performance monitoring module which also supports maintenance decision making processes.

Zhu Yimin, President, China Cargo, said: “We believe that Electronic Flight Bag and Airplane Health Management will bring increased efficiency and a greater awareness of each airplane’s situation and condition to both flight deck and ground-based personnel. This will benefit our customers by improving on-time service while reducing costly delays.”

Norfolk Southern Goes Green

January 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Norfolk Southern (NS) recently joined the US Green Building Council (USGBC) which is a membership-based, non-profit organization committed to a sustainable future via green buildings that are cost efficient and energy saving.

NS’s most recent public-private partnership initiative, named the Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight programme will make the most of rail transportation in order to cut down on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Under this programme, three proposed intermodal terminals located in Birmingham, Alabama; Greencastle, Pennsylvania and Memphis, Tennessee will be presented for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.

Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern, said: “Railroads are the most environmentally friendly means of moving the goods that move the economy. Norfolk Southern’s goal is to lead the industry in emissions reduction, efficient energy use, and environmentally focused public-private partnerships.”

The company is in the process of implementing a number of ‘green’ activities throughout the operations of its facilities. These include the utilization of low emission cranes and tractors that will lessen particulate emissions up to 90% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 45%. New methods currently being toyed with are to diminish truck idling and also strategies to trim down the usage of electricity.
Chris Smith, COO of USGBC, said: “By becoming a member company of the U.S. Green Building Council, Norfolk Southern is demonstrating its commitment to our shared goal of a more sustainably-built environment.”

One of the US’s top transportation companies, Norfolk Southern Corporation operates close to 21,000 route miles across 22 states as well as the District of Columbia. NS operates on one of the most widespread intermodal networks in the East, and is known to be North America’s largest rail carrier of metals and automotive products.

VSB Chooses Panalpina Brazil

January 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Panalpina Brazil is VSB’s new logistics operator for all inbound cargo for its new plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil. VSB is a joint venture between French Vallourec and Japanese Sumitomo Metals Industries.

Apart from being responsible for 100% of inbound cargo, Panalpina is also in charge of track and trace of all cargo, and will manage national logistics with the aid of an in-site team. They have also been nominated as the preferred carrier for VSB, to carry out ocean charters for heavy sized cargoes.

Luis Guilherme Paschoal Andrade, Project Coordinator – Logistics, VSB, said: “Currently this project is one of three major and complex projects under way in Brazil with several suppliers in different countries. Therefore the partnership with a company with a global presence, experience in managing multiple operations and industries, special visibility and working on reducing costs for customers are vital factors in the choice of Panalpina that differed in these points. We expect the level of service is performed with significant financial gains for our operation.”

The joint venture has also begun on the construction of a new industrial plant, with an estimated investment of around $1.6 billion. The group, functioning under the brand of ‘VSB Vallourec & Sumitomo Tubos do Brasil’ plans to reach an output of 600,000 tons of steel pipes per annum targeted mainly at the petroleum industry.

Panalpina boasts of a network of 500 branches in over 80 countries worldwide and around 13,500 employees. One of the world’s best providers of forwarding and logistics services, Panalpina is well known for air and ocean freight shipments.

Premium Aircraft Interiors Pick Kuehne + Nagel

January 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Kuehne + Nagel has been picked as a partner in global logistics by Premium Aircraft Interiors Group, a globally integrated group of companies dealing with support for the lifecycle of cabin interior products and services.

The decision to outsource airfreight, domestic and international road freight and sea freight logistics operations comes in the wake of meeting cost conscious demands in the market, according to Premium Aircraft.
The deal with Kuehne + Nagel means Premium Aircraft will use their integrated logistics services range specially created for the aerospace and aviation industry in a bid to deliver a physical logistics model to international customers. This also means that Premium Aircraft will benefit immensely from Kuehne + Nagel’s KN Login, their logistics information system and will improve on the visibility and control of its supply chain.

The logistics information system is a web-based platform designed to convey real-time visibility of supply chains and reporting as well.
“There is a much needed shift to customer responsiveness by improving operational performance with no impact to cost. Kuehne + Nagel has delivered against this model. Customers are already seeing the benefits of streamlined reporting and improved physical logistics processes, which in turn will remove waste from the value chain and much needed cost in a struggling airline market,” said Brent Collins, head of global supply chain services at Premium Aircraft Interiors Group.

Chris Edwards, director of airfreight at Kuehne + Nagel North West Europe, said: “Kuehne + Nagel is a leading logistics provider for the aerospace and aviation sector. Through our integrated logistics services, we can offer Premium Aircraft Interiors Group efficient tailor-made solutions to fulfil their bespoke and critical needs. Our partnership with Premium Aircraft Interiors Group also broadens Kuehne + Nagel’s aerospace service portfolio.”