Schenker Signs With Second Portal: Schenker, the Germany-based forwarder, has signed with a second multi-carrier Internet portal, GT Nexus. In August Schenker signed on with Inttra, a rival to GT Nexus. The Schenker signing raises the possibility of sharing information among the carrier web portals, which also include Orient Overseas Container Line's CargoSmart. The portals have said customers are welcome to use their systems to connect electronically with member carriers. But all three of the portals have said they do not plan to cooperate with other portals. Loy Says Security Shouldn't Halt Cargo: Adm. James M. Loy, commandant of the Coast Guard, said maritime security must be balanced with the need to keep commerce moving. 'We have to find a way to facilitate commerce,' Loy said. 'If we cost the industry time because of greater security, then let us find ways to regain that time through greater efficiency. One solution, he said, might be 'one-stop shopping' for cargo, having all federal inspections done at the same time instead of at multiple sites. Loy spoke during a press briefing in Washington.
Florida Deploys National Guard At Ports: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered National Guard troops deployed at four seaports -- Miami, Port Everglades, Tampa and Port Canaveral. A total of 335 troops have been assigned to the ports. The move was praised by the Florida Ports Council, which had lobbied for the extra security. Nancy Leikauf, the council's executive vice president, said that although the state plans to provide some funding for added security, ports will need federal money to cover additional requirements imposed by the federal government.Ports Warn Against Steel Sanctions: A group representing ports and maritime companies urged the International Trade Commission to avoid hurting U.S. ports while trying to protect domestic steelmakers. The Free Trade in Steel Coalition, representing 28 ports, stevedores and other maritime organizations and companies, urged the commission to avoid import restrictions that would hurt ports and other segments of the economy. Pat Gallwey, assistant port director at New Orleans, noted that many ships bringing steel to U.S. ports are 'back-loaded' with export grain. 'If there are fewer ships bringing in steel, there will be fewer ships available to take out grain, resulting in high prices for the export of our largest exported product,' he said.
Atlas Completes Acquisition Of Polar Air: Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has completed its $54 million acquisition of Polar Air Cargo from GE Capital Aviation Services. Atlas named Jim Jensen, a retired TWA executive, to replace Michael Snyder as president of Polar. Snyder became president of Polar in July, when the Atlas acquisition was announced. Atlas said it expects to continue using all of Polar's 15 Boeing 747 freighters through the rest of this year's peak season. Afterward, Atlas plans to mothball Polar's 747-100 plane but will keep Polar's three 747-400s and an undetermined number of 747-200s.
ASEAN Approves Singapore-China Rail Link: The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations approved a $2.5 billion rail link between Singapore and Kunming in southern China. The route would be part of a rail network that would stretch through China and across Russia to Rotterdam. It is expected to be ready by 2006 and would provide faster transit times than existing sea routes. ASEAN leaders approved the rail link as a priority project and endorsed three possible routes spanning eight countries. ASEAN comprises Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Brunei and Cambodia.
Sabena Is Declared Bankrupt: Sabena, one of Europe's oldest airlines, was declared bankrupt by a Brussels court. The Belgian carrier grounded its fleet last week after failing to persuade private investors to provide $336 million for a restructuring program. Sabena's fate was sealed when troubled Swissair, which owns 49.50f Sabena, reneged on a pledge to invest $118.8 million. Since it was founded in 1923, Sabena has had only two profitable years, the latest in 1958.
China Seeks Foreign Transport Investment: China will seek foreign investment to develop its transport sector after it joins the World Trade Organization. 'China's WTO entry offers a good chance to boost China's road transportation sector,' said Hu Xijie, vice president of China's Ministry of Communications. He said China plans to build 45 road transport hubs during the next 10 years. 'To solve this problem,' he said, 'more capital inflow should be welcomed through many channels, such as investment from the government, in the form of shares and treasury bonds, and capital from overseas should be introduced in particular.'
Acquisition Boosts Interpool Results: Interpool, the container and chassis lessor, reported third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $11.6 million, up from $10.7 million a year ago. Revenue from continuing operations increased 29.3% to $74.9 million, primarily because of the acquisition of the North American intermodal division of Transamerica Leasing in October 2000. Interpool's fleet of leased containers totaled 414,000 TEUs at the end of the third quarter, up from 368,000 a year earlier. The company's chassis fleet was 169,000, up from 96,000 a year earlier.