Pack n Send Blog

Barges Idle Along Mississippi-Houston Shipping Co Sees Job Losses

Posted on Wed, Aug 22, 2012

Pack n send is reprinting this article from Time.com as a service to our customers.  While this article states that the idle barges along the Mississippi, does not directly effect consumers, this shut down does affect businesses on the Gulf Coast.  The crop going for overseas shipping, are not leaving the Gulf Coast Ports. This does effect the jobs and livelihoods of companies and individuals along the Gulf Coast.

 

Time.com 

Barges and their towboats accumulate alongside the Mississippi banks of the Mississippi River near Greenville, Miss., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say low water levels …more  that are restricting shipping traffic, forcing harbor closures and causing towboats and barges to run aground on the Mississippi River are expected to continue into October. 

Close to 100 tows sit motionless in the shriveled  Mississippi River along an 11-mile stretch outside of Greenville, Miss. For every day a single towboat sits idle, it costs about $10,000. So when you’ve got at least 97 of them stranded, those costs start piling up quickly.

As the Midwest experiences its worst drought in 50 years, the Mississippi Riveris hitting water levels not seen since 1988, a year viewed by those in the industry as a benchmark of hard times. Back then, hundreds of barges sat idle near the same location that they’re sitting today: Greenville.

Until now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had successfully kept river traffic moving by dredging the river, keeping it at a depth of at least nine feet along its 2,300-mile length all summer, only closing ports here and there temporarily.

But barges and towboats have now piled up nea rGreenville, forcing the Coast Guard to close an 11-mile stretch to shipping this week. That closure will really start to pinch shipping operators who use the country’s inland waterways to deliver a host of commodities, goods and products across theU.S.

It’s difficult to determine exactly how much is being lost due to stopped river traffic. For one, many of the companies along the river are not publicly traded and don’t release financial information.

“Everybody is making guesstimates,” says Dr. Donald Sweeney of the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “But it all depends on how long the drought lasts.”

The point of reference is often 1988 when the shipping industry lost an estimated $1 billion. Currently, 100 tows sitting idle at $10,000 a piece is costing operators $1 million daily. And that’s not factoring in the lighter loads that cargo companies have been forced to carry to stay afloat, as well as the smaller number of barges being towed because the river has become narrower. And while the Coast Guard has reported 97 tows backed up along the river, that number’s growing.

 

“More tows are joining the queue by the hour or have just decided to hold where they are now,” says Lynn Muench of the American Waterways Operators via e-mail Tuesday afternoon. “Most tows will wait further upstream or downstream for the sake of safety, so there are a lot more waiting that we are unable to count.”

Muench says the best-case scenario for opening up the 11-mile stretch for safe passage could take at least several more days as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues dredging the area. Bloomberg News reported that the Coast Guard expected to open up northbound traffic Tuesday, but it will likely take days to get all of the stalled barges moving again.

CEO of the Port of New Orleans Gary La Grangehas estimated that closing the river to shipping altogether would cost the industry $300 million a day. Even with the low water levels, it doesn’t appear that the situation will get as bad as it did in 1988. But for the $180 billion industry, which transports 20% of the country’s coal and 60% ofU.S.grain exports (much of it along the Mississippi), the costs are beginning to mount.

Fortunately, U.S .consumers aren’t likely to see much change in prices for farm products like corn, which is widely transported along the river. That’s because most crops shipped on the inland waterways are export-bound, says Sweeney. But shipping operators are initially going to be squeezed, and depending on what products they ship – which can be anything from petroleum to heating oil to chemicals – those costs could eventually be felt by consumers later in the year.

“There won’t be hardly any impact to U.S .consumers for products like corn or soybeans,” says Sweeney. “Who it’s really bad for right now are the barge companies. They are without a doubt incurring greater costs.” And those costs will get worse every day there’s a stoppage.

“The daily costs increase as more and more vessels are delayed and it takes longer and longer to ultimately return to normal operating conditions,” says Sweeney. We’re unlikely to know how much until the drought has ended and barge operators return to business as usual, which at this point doesn’t seem likely for months.

Pack n send does not ship on the Mississippi, but does pack, crate and freight furniture and office equipment from Houston, Texas. To contact pack n send, please feel free to call 713 266 1450.

 

Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Houston

Houston Freight Company notes China Import Duties

Posted on Wed, Dec 14, 2011

 Free photo - green map pc available in our free stock photos

As reported by  Elaine Kurtenbach with the Associate Press, China is now assessing duties on car and sport utility vehicles made in the United States.

 These duties come a time when US auto makers are trying to pull out of the recession.

 At this point, the duration of the duties set  by the Chinese government are set to last  for two years.

 Not only does this tax effect the car manufacturers, it also effects the bottom line of both shipping companies and  ocean shipping lines.

 The maritime industry ships cars over seas, and shipping companies ship the spare parts for repairs and accidents.

 In this global economy, excessive duties and taxes hurt more than one industry.

 The United States was already at a disadvantge since the Chinese gonvernment already offers subsidies to Chinese manufactured vehicles.

 In some ways the Chinese governemnt is doing what US consurmers have asked their government to do. They appear to be protecting Chinese jobs.  Vehicles made in the United States can be considered outsourcing of manufacturing..something the Chinese are attempting to avoid.  

Pack n send has international shipping and does not face these obstacles in many of the over 200 countries where we ship for our customers.

 For information on packing, freight,  crating, cargo and international shipping, please feel free to contact pack n send at  713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Houston

Eliminating Emmissions for Ships-Houston Freight Co Takes Note

Posted on Fri, Sep 16, 2011

  

Pack n send discovered this information on Shipping World and Ship Builder on Linked in.

We have republished this article as part of pack n sends series about companies and innovations in the shipping industry that are going green.

Infographic: Eliminating emissions from ships in port with shore-to-ship power.

2011-09-12 - Onshore power supplies allow ships in the harbor to turn off their diesel engines and tap into cleaner energy sources.

Over 90 percent of the world’s cargo is transported by ship. Thousands of vessels carry this cargo around the globe and, along with cruise ships and private yachts, arrive at ports every day. Once in port they burn fossil fuels to maintain essential operations or onboard services to their passengers. This practice impacts the local environment, producing emissions, noise and vibrations, which affect the comfort of passengers and in the long-term affects the health and local environment of dock workers and port area inhabitants.

Fortunately ABB’s shore-to-ship power provides a solution to these problems. To illustrate this issue ABB has prepared an infographic highlighting the problems faced by ports around the world and the social and economic advantages to be gained from shore-based power connections. Shore-to-ship power connects vessels to the power grid providing benefits to ship owners, port authorities and utilities alike and is applicable to any vessel at any port.

ABB will be showcasing its shore-to-ship power technology at the Green Port Congress in Hamburg between the 14-15 September 2011.

To learn more, visit ABB Port Solutions.

For more information about freight and cargo shipping from Houston, please feel free to call pack n send at  713 266 1450.

 Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.

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Tags: Houston Shipping, Freight Shipping Houston, Cargo Houston

Upbeat Outlook for Houston and US Freight

Posted on Wed, Jun 22, 2011

US-Started in 2nd Quarter of 2008, the Transport Capital Partners’ (TCP) quarterly Business Expectation Survey acts as an indicator of the state of the American freight trucking market by canvassing industry executives across the country. The company’s most recent study, for the second quarter of this year, found the carriers’ responses have essentially remained unchanged for the last four quarters on capacity plans. The carriers were generally reserved about increasing haulage capacity via acquisition or truck purchases, and the survey attempts to highlight the reasons.

When carriers were asked if they had been able to find reasonable credit, over 80% indicated they had.TCPPartner Richard Mikes, founder of the survey feels this indicates that the credit constraint issue is behind most truckers compared to the first quarter of 2009 when only half the carriers reported reasonable credit and points out most new truck orders are for replacement vehicles.

“TCPexpects the second half of 2011 to likely show a greater capacity gap as freight volumes expand and carriers remain conservative on additions” remarked Lana Batts,TCPPartner and the survey concludes that larger carriers (over $25 million in revenue) are more conservative with 32% not adding any capacity compared to 24% reported by smaller carriers. Thirty-nine percent of carriers intend to add some capacity with one quarter acquiring contractors.

Batts and Mikes note that this level of additions indicated in the survey result in truck supply conditions forecast in an earlier TCPwhite paper and are generally still on target favouring carriers. Both partners with extensive experience in transportation directed the survey and analyzed the findings. TCPcouples the survey results with conversations they hold with carriers and others in the industry to present an insightful dialogue on key issues. Interested parties can see more details on the TCP website.

Pack n send has taken this article from the Handy Shipping Guide. We are constantly following trends in the freight industry.  With thirty- nine per cent of carriers expecting to add some capacity during the second half of 2011, this indicates an upbeat attitude for freight shipping in theUnited States.  This  follows the outlook forEuropeas well.

 

For information about freightFreight HoustonMoving Houston, moving, cargo shipping and container loading fromHouston, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Houston, Crating Houston

Large Freight Truck Order in India

Posted on Fri, Jun 10, 2011

Pack n send is happy to report new purchases in the freight industry worldwide.

 INDIA- Surat-based Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd. (SVLL) has made the largest order for medium and heavy trucks by any single operator in India by purchasing 1,111 such vehicles from Tata Motors with all the vehicles to be delivered by March, 2012.

SVLL currently operate a fleet of over two thousand vehicles and advertise themselves as one of the fastest growing companies in the field of road freight transportation in the country, moving diverse products from steel and cement to military hardware and planned expansion into the perishable produce sector.

Mr. Vinod Sahay, Head of Sales & Marketing (M&HCV Trucks) at Tata Motors said, "We are delighted to receive this order and would like to thank SVLL for their continued trust in our brands. We will be commencing deliveries in this month and plan to complete the order by the end of this financial year."

Though the value of the sale has not been revealed it is thought to be in the region of 1.5 billion rupees (£20.5 million / $33.5 million).

Mr. R C Baid, Founder and Director of Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd said that:

"We purchased the first Tata vehicle in 1988, and since then have been purchasing their trucks. We appreciate the quality of Tata products, customer engagement initiatives and their extensive service network. We would like to continue our association and expand our business with Tata Motors vehicles. It is in this light that we have placed a bulk order of 1,111 vehicles."

The sale is the latest success for Tata, which states that the company’s sales rose by 12% in May. With increased foreign interest from the likes of Daimler and Scania in the Indian truck market, maintaining its position with such customers as SVLL will be increasingly important for the Indian manufacturer.

 This article is from the Handy Shipping Guide. 

 For packing, shipping, moving, freight and cargo shipping, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

 [b]Pallets - November Scavenger Hunt [/b]Thank you for your interest in my photos. You\'re welcome to use them! I\'d love to know how they are being used. Please send me a note at ronnieb51@gmail.com, or a message telling me how you use ...

 

Tags: Cargo Houston, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston

Freight Plane Increase Noted by Houston Company

Posted on Thu, Jun 02, 2011

More Upbeat News from the Freight Industry

ETHIOPIAN Airlines is adding to its fast-growing freighter fleet by dry leasing two 777Fs from GE Capital Aviation Services.

The 10-year lease agreement for the new aircraft will begin when they arrive from Boeing Manufacturing in Seattle (US), at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (Ethiopia) in September and October 2012.

Ethiopian has also ordered five 777s, two of which have already arrived; a third is expected in June. The airline is still waiting for its 10 787s.

In March Ethiopian announced plans to double capacity at its Bole International Airport cargo hub. The airline is also gearing up for the opening of a new hub in Zambia. From 1 May the carrier began flights with cargo capacity to the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Over the last five years the amount of cargo handled by Ethiopian Airlines has more than doubled from 42,000 tonnes to 110,000.

 CHINA Southern Airlines is giving Boeing's order book a boost with an agreement to buy six 777Fs.

The aircraft, to be delivered between 2013 and 2015, have a list price of US$1.58 billion with the purchase being funded by bank loans and China Southern’s operating fund.

The 777Fs will boost the airline’s cargo capacity, measured in available tonne kilometres, by 8.4 per cent.

China Southern is not a new customer for Boeing. Earlier in May the Chinese firm announced that its Xiamen Airlines subsidiary would buy six 787 Dreamliners costing $1.1 billion. The aircraft are due to be delivered between 2014 and 2015.

In November 2010 China Southern had agreed to buy 36 aircraft from Airbus for $3.78 billion. Rival Air China said in March this year it would buy five 747-8 passenger aircraft with a combined list price of $1.54 billion.

 Pack n send has reprinted these articles from Air Cargo News.  They show that the world wide economy is improving.

 For information about cargo, moving and freight shipping, please contact pack n send at 743 266 1450.

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Tags: Houston Mover, Freight Houston, Cargo Houston

Facts About Port of Houston from Houston Freight Company

Posted on Thu, May 26, 2011

Pack n send found this information on the Port of Houston website and have reprinted it for our customers to read.  With the expansion of the Panama Canal, it is expected that the Port of Houston will see even more use. 

The Port of Houston Delivers

First and Foremost from the Very Beginning The Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel have an impressive list of “first” accomplishments.

 • The Houston Ship Channel was the first project to have a local match component. In 1909, Houston Mayor Horace Baldwin Rice and Congressman Tom Ball presented the “Houston Plan” to the U.S. House of Representatives Rivers and Harbors Committee. Congress approved it, and every port constructed in the U.S. since 1910 has followed this concept, which guarantees local financial support.

 • The first direct shipment of cotton to Europe was 23,719 bales that left the Port of Houston in November 1919 on the M/V Merry Mount.

 • By 1930, the Port of Houston had surpassed all its Texas rivals and ranked third in the U.S. for foreign exports. 

• In 1937, the Port of Houston reached the status of second only to New York in tonnage and importance, according to Fortune Magazine. Its position slipped slightly during World War II, but by 1948, the Port of Houston was once again No. 2 in overall tonnage.

 • Synthetic rubber was mass produced for the first time in 1943 by two new Houston area plants and shipped for use in World War II through the Port of Houston.

 • After World War II, development of the petrochemical industry along the Houston Ship Channel accelerated, resulting in the Port of Houston becoming home to the nation’s largest petrochemical production complex and one of the largest in the world.

 For information about freight and  Port of Houston, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

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Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Houston

More Pirate Stories posted by Houston Freight Company.

Posted on Wed, May 25, 2011

Ocean Freight Vessels May Have Armed Escorts Through Pirate Waters.

 Wheels of Power Slowly Turn Toward Private Security Option

 SOMALIA – UK – WORLDWIDE – The scourge of piracy, particularly in the Gulf of Aden and the waters beyond, would seem to be facing a threat of its own as the powers that be tire of the continual attacks on merchant shipping and their inability to respond effectively. Privately armed security detachments accompanying container, general cargo and bulk freight vessels travelling through the danger zone seem to have been given tacit acceptance, if not approval, after long discussions at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in past weeks.

The IMO met between the 11th and 20th May and interim guidance on the employment of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships transiting the high-risk piracy area off the coast of Somalia and adjacent waters was approved by the 89th session of the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). Two documents were produced, one aimed at ship owners, ship operators, and ships masters, the other at flag states, both aimed at addressing the complex issue of the employment of private, armed security on board ships.

Despite a note of caution regarding the possibility vessels may also come under the jurisdiction of port and coastal states’ law, ship owners are advised that flag state laws and regulations apply when private security is employed aboard. Flag states in turn are reminded that they should have a clear policy on the employment of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) aboard their vessels. They should also take into account the possible escalation of violence which could result from the use of firearms and carriage of armed personnel on board ships when deciding on their policies.

The IMO is at pains to point out that its interim advice should not be considered as an alternative to the Best Management Practices and other protective measures to deter piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Arabian Sea area. The organization is openly worried about an escalation of violence if the use of armed guards increases but, as most attacks occur from fast skiffs attacking with machine gun and rocket propelled grenades being fired into the targets superstructure, many may consider the pirate gangs fair game. Certainly a reciprocal volley of tracer fire from the deck of a tanker into a light skiff is likely to be more frightening, and effective, than the assault on the larger vessel.

The IMO are also keen to avoid these advices as an endorsement of the use of violence against the pirates and point out the potential legal ramifications of such tactics, however they have been forced to act in an attempt to impose some sense of order to what promises to otherwise be a free for all with different nations, and indeed shipping lines, adopting ad hoc policies in their response to the threat. More statements on the subject can be expected at the IMO’s September meeting.

Pack n send has reposted portions of this article taken from the Handy Shipping Guide. We still find articles about pirates amazing in this time and age.

For information about freight and cargo shipping, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Houston

Mississippi Rover Reopened for Freight and Cargo

Posted on Wed, May 18, 2011

 The Houston Chronicle in an article written by Holbrook Mohr and Allan Sayre  is reporting that the Mississippi river was reopened on Tuesday  north of New Orleans on Tuesday.  This  allows cargo vessels to pass through slowly. 

 The  river was closed at Natchez, Miss on Tuesday  delaying ships going towards the Golf of Mexico. It also blocked vessels heading north. 
Since this is one of the nation’s busiest waterways, this closure has the monetary  of millions of dollars every day that this water way is closed. 

 The Coast Guard is monitoring the river and advising that all vessels steer along the middle of the river.

Traffic is advised to proceed slowly to decrease the strain on levees.  At this time, some of the barges can not proceed on the river because the water has submerged some docks and other docks are at the level of the river.

 Pack n send will continue to monitor the water level on the Mississippi River and it effects on freight and cargo shipping  in the coming weeks. We will post updates on our blog.

 For information about freight and cargo shipping both domestically and internationally, please feel free to call pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Tags: Freight Houston, Cargo Houston

Freight Problems in China Resolved for Now

Posted on Fri, Apr 29, 2011

 CHINA – Strikes undertaken by Chinese truck drivers in Shanghai are reported to have been wound down on Sunday after the local government ordered container shipping and freight distribution centres to cancel or reduce fees for unloading containers, road tolls, and night-time loading.

Local observers report that the waiting lines of vehicles are now moving and logistic services in the city, one of China’s major freight hubs, are returning to normal.

The strikes, which began on Wednesday last week, were in response to rising costs that are being experienced by the country’s freight sector due to escalating inflation, pushing many truck drivers earnings down substantially.

The rapid reaction by the Chinese government is seen as a further sign of how concerned the ruling Communist party is with the economic situation, with inflation reaching 5.4 percent in March, almost the highest level in the last three years.

However, the underlying problems caused by increasing inflation, as well as the alleged corruption amongst freight forwarders seeking to add additional charges to truckers, are largely unresolved and means that it is entirely possible that we shall see renewed industrial action within China’s logistic industry in the future.

Pack n send has reprinted this article from Air Cargo News as a service to our customers.  If freight disruptions occur worldwide, pack n  send attempts to keep our customers informed.  From this article, it there may be interruptions in the future as China adjusts to its robust economy.

 For freight or cargo shipping from Houston, Texas, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

 

Tags: Freight forwarding Houston Texas, Cargo Houston