Home / Signals™ / Signals™ Headlines – May 4, 2011

Signals™ Headlines - May 4, 2011

Court Bars Indigo Logistics, LLC from Illegal Ocean Freight Forwarding Activities

A federal court has barred Indigo Logistics, LLC, located in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, from violating the Shipping Act by acting as an ocean freight forwarder without a Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)-issued license or proof of financial responsibility. Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. issued the preliminary injunction order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on April 15, 2011.

The court’s order applies to Indigo Logistics, LLC, as well as its agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those in active concert or participation with them. The order enjoins Indigo Logistics from acting and operating as an ocean transportation intermediary without a valid license and bond, proof of insurance or other surety.

On April 7, 2011, the FMC initiated an investigation based on evidence that Indigo Logistics had provided services as an ocean freight forwarder since at least 2008 without the requisite license or bond. On April 8, 2011, the FMC requested that the court enjoin Indigo Logistics from further illegal activities. The maximum penalty for a violation of the Shipping Act or Commission regulation is $40,000 per violation.

Members of the public shipping vehicles or other goods overseas should avoid using Indigo Logistics, LLC for ocean freight forwarding services. In response to the court’s ruling, FMC Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. stated: “The public has a right to expect that any company arranging international ocean shipments is properly licensed and bonded as required by U.S. law. The FMC is committed to ensuring that such companies comply with the law. We are pleased that the court acted so promptly to prevent violations of the Shipping Act.”

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Maersk Line Receives FMC Chairman’s Earth Day Award

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. recently awarded Maersk Line the Chairman’s Earth Day Award for innovation and environmental leadership in vessel operation, vessel design, and efforts to increase carbon emissions transparency. This is the second annual award given by the FMC Chairman to the ocean shipping industry’s top leaders on environmental issues. Last year’s recipient was the Port of Los Angeles for the air quality improvements from its Clean Truck program.

Chairman Lidinsky noted that in 2006 Maersk Line was the first ocean carrier to begin voluntarily switching its vessels to low-sulfur fuel. This pioneering fuel-switching program has saved 4100 tons in air pollutant emissions in North America. Chairman Lidinsky also cited Maersk Line’s efforts to drive the efficient design of new vessels. He pointed to Maersk Line’s newly ordered Triple-E class containerships, which will have a hull designed for fuel-saving slow speeds, will employ efficient engines that use exhaust gas to produce extra energy, and promise to reduce by 20 percent the carbon emissions per container shipped as compared to Maersk’s current best-performing vessels.

Chairman Lidinsky remarked: “One of my top priorities at the Federal Maritime Commission is advancing the Obama Administration’s goals of creating green jobs and seeking a more sustainable approach to maritime issues. And Maersk Line has been piloting the way on these issues. I look forward to continuing to work with Maersk Line and the rest of the ocean shipping industry as a helpful partner.”

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TSA Carriers Implement GRIs and File Peak Season Surcharges

Effective May 1, 2011 the carrier members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), FMC Agreement No. 011223, serving the East Asia/USA trade lane, implemented previously announced General Rate Increases (GRI) which increased freight rates to US West Coast Ports by US$ 400 per 40’ container, and to all other USA destinations by US$ 600 per 40’ container; rates for other containers sizes were increased accordingly. This is consistent with the TSA’s 2011-12 “revenue stability program” announced back in November 2010. This GRI applies to both tariff and service contract rates. It also applies to flat rack, open-top, tank and all other types of special equipment. Some shippers have negotiated postponements or reductions to these GRIs, but these are the GRI amounts listed in the tariffs of the carriers.

The TSA Carriers have also filed Peak Season Surcharges (PSS) which will be effective June 15 thru Nov 30, 2011 as follows: US$ 320 per 20’ ctr, US$ 400 per 40’ ctr, US$ 450 per 40’ hi-cube ctr, and US$ 505 per 45’ ctr. The PSS amounts for LCL vary; some carriers have filed US$ 6 per CBM or US$ 12 per 1000 KGS.

Bunker Adjustment Factors (BAF) calculated using TSA’s old monthly formula for May 2011 are set at US$ 1048 per 20ft ctr, US$ 1310 per 40ft ctr, US$ 1474 per 40ft hi-cube ctr, US$ 1658 per 45ft ctr, and US$ 29 per WM (LCL). However, most shipments are subject to the new formula BAF, which is updated on a quarterly basis; for the April-June 2011 quarter the new formula BAF amounts are US$ 468 per 40’ ctr to US West Coast Ports and US$ 879 per 40’ container to US Atlantic & Gulf Coast Ports; BAF for other container sizes applies as per formula. Shipments to US Inland Points are also subject to an Inland Fuel Charge (IFC); for the April – June 2011 quarter the IFC amounts are US$ 295 per ctr for shipments to IPI destinations served via West Coast Ports, US$ 148 per ctr for shipments to RIPI destinations served via East Coast Ports, and US$ 85 per ctr for shipments to Group 4 Points and to East Coast local store door points. An increase to the Korea Documentation and Seal Fee will be effective June 1, 2011; this will increase these fees to KRW 30,000 per bill of lading (US $30) and KRW 5,000 (US $5) per seal for shipments from Korea.

The TSA’s 15 carrier members are American President Lines, CSCL, CMA-CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping, NYK Line, OOCL, Yang Ming Marine and Zim Integrated Shipping Services. The group’s web site at www.tsacarriers.org provides additional information.

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WTSA Bunker Surcharges and Inland Fuel Charge Effective April-June

The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA), FMC Agreement No. 011325, whose member lines serve the U.S. export trades from the USA to East Asia, are imposing the following Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) surcharges effective April 1 through June 30, 2011:

USA Atlantic/Gulf Coast Ports
US Pacific Coast Ports
US$ 971 per 20ft dry ctr
US$ 508 per 20ft dry ctr
US$ 1214 per 40ft/45ft dry ctr
US$ 635 per 40ft/45ft dry ctr
US$ 1615 per 40ft/45ft reefer ctr
US$ 894 per 40ft/45ft reefer ctr

The WTSA Carriers also assess an Inland Fuel Charge (IFC) on shipments from US inland points. For the April-June quarter these are US$ 295 per ctr for rail and intermodal rail/truck shipments, and US$ 85 per ctr for local/regional truck shipments. WTSA is a voluntary discussion and research forum of 10 shipping lines, viz: American President Lines, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Marine Corp., Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd Container Line, Hyundai Merchant Marine, “K” Line, NYK Line, OOCL and Yang Ming Marine. For more info visit www.wtsacarriers.org.

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