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  August 29th, 2013 | Written by

Dispatches September-October ’13

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CMA CGM, Maersk Line and MSC to establish an operational alliance

CMA CGM, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC) have agreed to establish a long-term operational alliance called the P3 Network on East-West trades. The aim is to improve and optimize operations and service offerings.

The P3 Network will operate a capacity of 2.6 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU)—initially 255 vessels on 29 loops—on three trade lanes: Asia-Europe, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic.

While P3 Network vessels will be operated independently by a joint vessel-operating center, the three lines will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing and customer service functions. The network will provide customers with more stable, frequent and flexible services.

Each of the lines will offer more weekly sailings in their combined network than they do individually. As an example, the P3 Network plans to offer eight weekly sailings between Asia and Northern Europe. In addition, the P3 Network will offer more direct ports of call.

The improved P3 Network is expected to reduce customer disruptions caused by cancelled sailings. In order to provide customers with a consistent service offering across the network, the lines will establish an independent joint vessel operating center.

The lines intend to start operations in the 2nd quarter of 2014, though the starting date will be subject to obtaining the approval of relevant competition and other regulatory authorities. In addition, the establishment of the P3 Network is subject to the lines agreeing on definitive contracts. Finalization and signing of the contracts is planned for the 4th quarter of 2013.



Cargolux Expands North American Network to Columbus

Cargolux Airlines International S.A. announced June 13 that it has added a new direct service from Hong Kong to Columbus, Ohio, effective from June 16. Columbus becomes the latest airport in the network to be served with Cargolux’s new 747-8 freighters. The airline will operate two weekly flights on the route.

Cargolux was able to draw on the valuable support of forwarding company Hellmann Worldwide and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority in establishing the flight. “We are pleased that we are expanding our North American network by adding Rickenbacker International Airport to our global portfolio of destinations,” says Richard Forson, interim president and CEO of Cargolux. “The airport infrastructure and service is very accommodating for air-freight operators and well adapted to the needs of the 747-8F.”

Columbus is one of the world’s major fashion and apparel markets and home to a number of large international fashion companies. The direct Cargolux flight from Hong Kong offers shippers of fashion goods and other commodities fast and convenient connections from Asia to this market. Rickenbacker boasts it is dedicated to air cargo shipments, focused on serving the freight industry and, thus, ideal for Cargolux, whose customers are said to welcome and appreciate the reliable service. Utilizing its advanced fleet of Boeing 747-8 freighters, Cargolux can easily meet the needs of the market, offering additional capacity in line with growing demand.

“The Central Ohio region is gaining a valuable logistics asset with the entrance of Cargolux and its advanced 747-8 freighter aircraft service through Rickenbacker International Airport,” says David Whitaker, vice president of Business Development and Communications for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. “The expertise, flexibility and reliability that Cargolux is known for creates smart opportunities for businesses in our region and beyond.”



Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines Sign Cargo Handling Agreement for New York-JFK and Boston

Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo have entered a multi-year cargo handling agreement in which Delta Cargo will provide cargo handling for Virgin Atlantic at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Boston’s Logan International Airport, effective Aug. 26 and July 15, respectively.

“We are delighted to be working with Delta because they are so well established at JFK and in Boston and share our focus on delivering the highest standards of customer service,” says John Lloyd, director of Cargo at Virgin Atlantic. “We will continue to offer full Virgin oversight at both facilities to ensure we provide a great customer experience and maintain the reliable and flexible service our customers expect from us. Both airlines are committed to making this partnership the best operational offering at the two airports. We want our customers to benefit from this move and to continue to make us their carrier of choice.”

“This cargo handling agreement with Virgin Atlantic at New York-JFK and Boston represents another facet of the expanding relationship between our two airlines,” says Tony Charaf, senior vice president and chief cargo officer for Delta Cargo. “We anticipate more growth potential from this innovative partnership.

New York-JFK is Virgin Atlantic’s biggest cargo gateway in North America, with four daily wide-body flights and annual cargo volume of nearly 10 million kilos. Boston is another of Virgin’s prime North American cargo markets, generating some 2.5 million kilos of freight annually.



South Carolina Ports Finalizes $1 Million Land Preservation Program

Nearly 1,000 acres of environmentally and historically significant properties in the Cooper River watershed are being permanently protected under a $1 million land preservation program by the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA). The effort is part of the SCPA’s $1 million environmental and community mitigation package related to the new container terminal under construction at the former Navy base in North Charleston.

“As the port grows and thrives, it is vital that we continue to be a productive component of the local community,” says Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCPA. “That is accomplished both through the jobs and opportunities afforded to our neighbors through the maritime community and also through efforts like this that enhance the Charleston region overall.”

In all, three properties totaling more than 967 acres are being preserved through the SCPA plan. Protection of the largest tract, the 824-acre Buck Hall Plantation property, was finalized in June.

Additional properties now under conservation easements through the SCPA funds include 22 acres at the St. James Chapel of Ease in Goose Creek and 122 acres at Brickyard Plantation, which is located on the east branch of the Cooper River at the upper stream of Quimby Creek.

The SCPA partnered with the Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust to identify and acquire the properties. The property owners each have signed agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, placing their properties under conservation easements.

Additional components in the SCPA’s $12 million mitigation plan included a $1 million contribution to protect the 126-acre Morris Island site as a public space for future generations, a five-year collaboration with EcoHealth Alliance on aerial surveys of right whale migrations and a $1 million partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources SCORE (South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement) program to restore approximately five miles of oyster reefs in the area. Elsewhere in the harbor, the SCPA will be recreating a 22-acre tract of tidal marsh on the southern end of Drum Island.