MARITIME BRIEFS

MARITIME BRIEFS

JAPAN/S. AFRICA GROUP

TO BOOST BOX RATES

TOKYO - The Japan & Hong Kong/South Africa Shipping Conference said it will increase by $100 per 20-foot container equivalent unit the rate for cargo from Japan and Hong Kong to South Africa starting from Sept. 1.

Members of the conference are Hong Kong's Gold Star Line Ltd., Denmark's Maersk Lines, the Netherland's Nedlloyd Lines, South African Marine Corp., and Japan's Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Nippon Yusen Kaisha Ltd.

The conference said the increase is designed to address gaps between the prevailing market rate and the tariff rate.

SUEZ CANAL TONNAGE

RISES AS EARNINGS FALL

CAIRO, Egypt - Total tonnage of vessels passing through the Suez Canal was up in June from May, but Egypt's earnings from canal tolls during the month dropped, said the Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center's August report.

The report put Suez Canal earnings at $163.7 million during June, down

from May's $164.5 million but higher than the $158 million of June 1994.

Total tonnage of passing vessels in June was registered at 30 million, up

from 29 million in May and in June 1994. The number of vessels transiting the waterway in June was 1,248, compared with 1,254 in May and 1,323 in June 1994; 201 oil tankers passed in June, compared with 215 in May and 207 in June 1994.

The report gave no explanation for the lower income, but waterway officials said the Suez Canal Authority now offers a variety of reductions in tolls according to the size of ships.

BEN LINE NAMED AGENT

FOR UNITED TRANSPORT

TOKYO - Ben Line Agencies Japan Ltd. said it became Japan agent for United Transport Tankcontainer in July.

United Transport owns and operates 1,600 tank containers and provides physical distribution service.

The company used to operate mainly in Europe and the United States but recently has been expanding in Asia.

S. AFRICA'S JUNE CARGO

SHOWS A 19 PERCENT INCREASE

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - South African ports handled 12.3 million metric tons of cargo during June, a 19 percent increase from June last year, the state-owned Portnet said Friday.

During May, the ports handled 11.4 million metric tons.

Exports amounted to 10.0 million metric tons, of which 4.9 million metric tons were coal exports from Richards Bay and a further 2.2 million metric tons were iron-ore exports from Saldanha Bay.

Imports were 1.9 million metric tons, of which petroleum products constituted the largest category. Coastwise traffic and transshipment cargo made up the balance.

TREASURE-HUNTING FIRM

FINDS SPANISH GALLEON

BELLEVUE, Wash. - A local treasure-hunting company found a Spanish galleon that reportedly sank nearly 400 years ago in the South Pacific, with a cargo that could include as much as $200 million in gold.

IOTA Partners has an agreement with the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, to recover artifacts from the Santa Margarita and keep 75 percent of the booty. If the estimate of gold on board is correct, it would be a record recovery from a shipwrecked galleon, said IOTA.