PORT OF ALGIERS CUTS
BACKLOG OF SHIPS
ALGIERS, Algeria - The backlog of ships waiting at the Port of Algiers has been reduced to 10 from 40 last month, the port authority said.
The improvement was made possible by new measures to unblock the port, such as adding space to commercial-operations areas and building new bonded warehouses. Customs-clearance procedures also have been speeded up, and working hours have been extended for cereal and energy-products handling.
ADJUST CURRENCY FACTOR
TOKYO - Three conferences - the Japan/Mediterranean Freight Conference, the Japan/Europe Freight Conference and the Japan/Gulf of Aden & Red Sea Ports Conference - said they have imposed an upward adjustment of the Currency Adjustment Factor to 32 percent from 26 percent as a result of sharp appreciation of the yen.
JAPAN FERRY CRASH
INJURES 128 PEOPLE
TOKYO - A ferry crashed into a pier while docking at the Port of Kesennuma in northern Japan on Tuesday, injuring 128 people, police said.
A local police spokesman said 128 of the 206 passengers on board the 140- metric-ton Kurosaki were taken to the hospital after the accident, which occurred about 280 miles north of Tokyo.
The cause of the crash was under investigation, he said. A Maritime Safety Agency official said more than half the passengers were schoolchildren.
RUSSIAN SHIP DEPARTS
AFTER MONTHS IN WASH.
SEATTLE - The Russian freighter Dmitriy Laptev, stranded for nearly seven months at the Port of Everett, Wash., when it ran into funding and visa problems, finally left the region this week, but without the cargo of U.S. goods it was supposed to bring back to Russia.
The vessel docked at Everett last October, intending to load foodstuffs for sale in Russia. The profits were to be plowed back into the enterprise to fund additional imports, but the ruble's fall last year discouraged the ship's backers.
After arriving in Everett, the crew chose to stay, hoping a deal could be worked out. They did not have enough money to return and didn't have visas to go ashore. Under an agreement with new owners, the Laptev refueled and headed home.