Pack n Send Blog

Possible Freight Monopoly Affecting Houston and US

Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011

US – There are rumblings of discontent in Washington at the moment about the behaviour of the rail freight carriers, some of whom are being accused of monopolistic behaviour. At a recent hearing of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) rail freight customers demanded federal intervention in a move which may be seen to be taking the industry back where it was before the 1981 Staggers Act.

The Act removed government intervention and led to a recovery of an industry which had been in the doldrums for a decade whilst theoretically protecting against anti trust behaviour. Now, in the intervening years, there has been a degree of polarisation with buy outs and failures resulting in an almost baronial system with little competition on vast sections of track. Dozens of independent railroads have now been distilled down to a handful of mega carriers.

When Warren Buffet made his move for BNSF in 2009 critics said he paid billions of dollars over the book price and now those same opponents say his Berkshire Hathaway group has a monopoly over a large client sector which will be forced to pay a premium rate for cargo by rail as they do not have access to an alternative carrier.

Certain industries, principally coal, chemical and agricultural products, have the ability to appeal the rates they are charged before the STB but the waters are muddied by dozens of exemptions such as container traffic where competition is deemed sufficient and the Association of American Railroads, which represents such industry giants as BNSF, Union Pacific, CSX and Norfolk Southern will have a fight on its hands as the economic noose tightens on producers and consumers alike. Now the veteran leader of the Senate anti trust committee, Sen. Herb Kohl, 77, has this week sworn to make it a priority that his team push for more control over the behaviour of the rail carriers and they will need to defend themselves vigorously to convince the sceptics.

The general feeling amongst many objectors is that the pendulum has swung too far in favour of the rail companies. The industry reply is that not only have the train companies spent billions on getting where they are, the need for infrastructure investment is a pressing one and more regulation will simply lead to a poorer service for the future.

Pack n send is constantly tracking trends and news reports in the domestic and international freight markets.

This article appeared in Handy Shipping News. Pack n send is reprinting this as a service to our customers.

For more information about shippingfreight from Houston, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.  Santa Fe R.R. freight train about to leave for the West Coast from Corwith yard, Chicago, Ill.  1943 March   1 transparency : color.  <b>Notes: </b> Title from FSA or OWI agency caption. Transfer fr...

Tags: Freight Receiving Houston Texas, Shipping Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, Cargo Shipping Houston, Shipping Antiques Houston Texas

Chandelier Shipping Houston

Posted on Fri, Feb 18, 2011

 

Swarovski crystal chandelier

With new homes adding chandeliers as enticement to purchase homes and older residences  adding chandeliers as an  enhancement,  chandeliers are now being shipped throughout the world

Most chandeliers are now made out of crystal, wrought iron, wood or ceramic.  

 For shipping purposes specialized crates must be for each chandelier. The crates need to be lined with Styrofoam, and then the chandelier must be  hung for shipping. The chandelier needs to be braced or fill the space with peanuts for safe travel.

 For crystal and glass chandeliers pieces will need to be cushioned separately with soft Styrofoam or bubble wrap. Each and every chandelier will need to be looked at separately to determine the safest way to pack it for safe shipping. Designers and private individuals ship chandeliers as well as individuals purchasing chandeliers for overseas shipping.

Office buildings throughout the country are hanging chandeliers in their atriums.

In Texas, deer antler chandeliers are popular.  These also require special wrapping and packing before placement inside specially made crates.

When looking for someone to crate your chandelier look for a company that has expertise shipping delicate and high value items.  Make sure that you chandelier is fully valued for both loss and damage.

For more information on safe chandelier shipping, please fell free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

 

Tags: Freight Receiving Houston Texas, Shipping Freight Houston, Chandelier Shipping Houston, Shipping Houstn Texs, Container Loading Houston, Cargo Houston, Freight Forwarding Houston, packing houston texas

Information Update-Air freight From Yemen

Posted on Thu, Feb 17, 2011

 Once again, The United States is accepting airfreight from Yemen. Back in October of 2010 two Untied States bound parcels that originated in Sana’s International Airport were discovered. This was part of a bomb plot that has been blamed on Al-Qaeda.

 It appears that security measures are now in place at Yemen’s airports.  A team from the Untied Sates has looked at Yemen’s s airports and determined that air cargo originating in Yemen can be shipped safely.

 We are still waiting to obtain updated information if other countries are also accepting freight from Yemen.  The United Arab Emeritus had also tightened security at its airports in order to closely monitor goods from various countries including Yemen.

 Even though the air embargo on Yemen has been lifted, al Qaida in Yemen can still try and move its operations to other countries in order to circumvent embargoes.

 While pack n send does freight receiving, we have not received packages from Yemen at this point in time.

 For information about freight shipping and/or receiving in Houston, Texas, please feel free to contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.  We can also assist in  world wide cargo shipping, freight forwarding and crate building.

 

Tags: Houston Medical Equipment Shipping, Freight Receiving Houston Texas, Freight forwarding Houston Texas, Crating and Packing Houston, Container Loading Houston, Cargo Houston, Shipping Houston, Crating and packing Houston Texas

Shipping and Cargo Delay at Port of Houston

Posted on Mon, Oct 04, 2010

Delano, Jack,, 1914-, photographer.  Pennsylvania R.R. [Railroad] ore docks, unloading iron ore from a lake freighter by means of "Hulett" unloaders, Cleveland, Ohio  1943 May   1 transparency : color.  <b>Notes: </b>...  Pack n send is reprinting this article from today’s Houston Chronicle. Since this will directly impact both incoming and out going ships, it is important to note that there will be cargo delays at the Port of Houston this week.

 By ZAIN SHAUK
HOUSTON CHRONICLE

A set of barges crashed into an electrical tower Sunday in the Port of Houston, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down most of the nation’s second-largest maritime shipping complex, possibly until Wednesday.

A towing vessel pushing three barges of scrap metal through the Houston Ship Channel about 6 a.m. hit a 300-foot-tall electrical tower, which carries lines across the artery, said Petty Officer Richard Brahm, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. No injuries were reported.

The crash happened at the narrowest point in the waterway, leaving three-fourths of the port’s terminals inaccessible.

“Maybe if it was wider we could have got boats around it, but it’s not, so it’s a logistical problem,” Brahm said. “It’s a bad place for it to happen.”

There was no risk of electricity-related injuries or effects to the power grid, which is owned by Houston-based CenterPoint Energy, because lines in the area were deactivated prior to the crash for maintenance work, said Penny Todd, a spokeswoman for the company.

CenterPoint was in the process Sunday of moving equipment needed to clear the steel tower and cables from the waterway — work the company expects will be completed Wednesday, she said.

The 25-mile-long port complex is a major economic engine for the region and in 2009 handled more waterborne tonnage than any port in the country, according to the Port of Houston Authority.

About 60 ships carrying $322 million in goods and resources — ranging from crude oil to finished products in containers — move through the port each day, said Chief Warrant Officer Lionel Bryant, a spokesman for the Coast Guard.

19 miles closed

Items shipped through the Port of Houston move to and from destinations in every state, which could mean delays for companies with vessels in the water.

Those ships will have to drop anchor and wait until the steel electrical tower, which was propped up by the barges after the accident, is removed.

At least eight ships were waiting in an anchoring area outside the port after the crash. Five others were waiting to leave.

The Coast Guard closed 19 miles out of the 54-mile-long ship channel, leaving more than 100 terminals — including those for oil giants Shell and Valero — cut off from the sea.

Further delays possible

The few accessible terminals are mostly for container ships and will not be usable by most companies that would need other infrastructure for loading and unloading or that had planned to arrive at terminals north of the crash site, said Tom Pace, presiding officer of Houston Ship Pilots, a labor association.

Three days of backups could result in further delays, even as traffic begins moving through the port again, Pace said.
“It’s going to take probably three days to get everything back to normal after that,” he said.

Crew members from the towing vessel, the T/V Safety Quest, were removed from the boat and tested for drugs and alcohol.

It was unclear how the accident occurred, but the tower’s location has long been known to ship pilots who work in the port, Pace said.

It was one of six towers in the channel, but was the closest to the preferred waterway for traffic.
“The one problem is the tower’s really close to the navigable channel,” Pace said. “That’s probably one of the reasons it had happened.”

 

For more information about shipping cargo and freight receiving through the Port of Houston, please contact pack n send at 713 266 1450.

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