10 >> 9 ship services

Issue 7 2020 - FBJNA

a time definite, t r ac ka bl e

alternative. “It will allow us to quickly pivot from air to ocean in response to consumer demand. This is going to make a big difference!” he said. Air-City and SEKO’s

international parcel product has also been supported by the mainstream introduction of fast container


as Asia to the U.S. west coast; a consequence of the shipping industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has enabled the two companies to leverage the benefits of faster ocean transit times and Section 321 Type 86 clearances, alongside

Air-City and SEKO’s recognized airfreight expertise to provide a controlled, express-like option within their own Long Beach ocean facility. Brian Bourke, Chief Growth

Officer at SEKO Logistics added: “Marketplaces, merchants and direct-to-consumer


moving millions of packages want to leverage the most viable strategy of shipping from another country into the United States. Obviously, air express is the fastest option but, it’s also the most expensive one for shippers and buyers. And, at the same time, postal services can cause U.S. customers to wait two months to

receive their purchases

from China, which is equally off-putting. We can now fix that with a cost efficient express-like consumer service based on the value of ocean freight but with significantly shorter delivery times and the tracking visibility generally only associated with air and courier express shipments. This is a proven response to the fast-changing regulatory framework around international e-commerce delivery.” SEKO Logistics acquired

New York-based freight forwarder and international e-commerce shipping experts Air-City in January 2020. It was the company’s largest- ever acquisition at the time.

Established in 1984, Air-City had grown to encompass 18 offices worldwide, with more than 400 employees, at the time of the acquisition. It was one of the first groups of freight agents authorized by the China Government in 1994 and holds a certificate of approval for establishment of enterprises in China. Today, the Air-City operation includes three offices in the USA (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Air-City’s Section 321 Type

86 entry expertise provides the ability to manage bulk parcel Customs clearance, allowing for quick release of parcels at low cost.

Mississippi River ship channel

deepening to 50 feet begins

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officially kicked off the historic deepening of the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet on Sept. 11, 2020, as Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge CAPTAIN FRANK started dredging 5 miles above the Head of Passes. The USACE awarded this

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a $15.4 million dollar contract on September 14 to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corporation for

the first

phase of the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project. Construction will commence in the fall of 2020 with expected completion in May 2021. The Project will deepen

the Freeport Harbor Channel to depths ranging from 51 to 56 feet Mean Lower Low Water and widen one channel section making way for larger, deeper-draft vessels to call Port Freeport. Authorized by

Congress under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2014, the Project received $19 million in funding in the USACE FY 2020 Work Plan that was announced in February 2020 and was one of two seaports nationwide to

receive a

“new start” designation for commencement of construction. Port Freeport is a leading port in the export of crude oil and natural gas liquids and nationally ranked 6th in chemicals and 17th in foreign waterborne tonnage. The estimated total cost of

the project is $295 million, of which the federal government

share is $165 million and Port Freeport as the local sponsor is responsible for the remaining $130 million to be funded by the 2018 voter- approved bond package. The Project is broken into five phases and is expected to take several years to complete. “A deeper channel will

enable Port Freeport to serve a wider range of global vessels which will expand our capacity, facilitate additional economic growth and support job opportunities for the entire region,” said


Saathoff, Executive Director/ CEO of Port Freeport A 2019 Economic Impact

Study by Texas A&M Transportation Institution revealed that, nationally, the Freeport Harbor Channel generates 279,780 jobs and has a total economic output of $149 billion. The Freeport Harbor Channel serves BASF, Chiquita Fresh N.A., CMA CGM, Dole Fresh Fruit, The Dow Chemical Co., Freeport LNG, Glovis, Grimaldi Lines, Hoegh Autoliners, Horizon Auto Logistics, Liberty Global Logistics, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, Mammoet, Phillips 66, Riviana Foods, Sallaum Lines, Seaway Crude Pipeline Co., Tenaris, and Vulcan Materials Co.

WFS invests in Johannesburg; Luſthansa, Swiss WorldCargo award 3-year contracts

WFS, the world’s largest cargo handler, expects to handle some 23,000 tonnes per annum for the two airlines, which have both signed three-year handling agreements commencing September 1. In its latest investment in

South Africa, WFS has acquired the lease on a further 3,600 m² of warehouse capacity in Johannesburg, purchased additional cargo handling equipment and increased its workforce to ensure the highest levels of service, safety and security for Luſthansa and Swiss WorldCargo’s air freight operations. Last year, WFS also built a

new 350 m² pharma facility at OR Tambo, which has since gained GDP accreditation for the handling of temperature- controlled healthcare products. Luſthansa uses both Airbus A380 and B747-800 aircraſt between Johannesburg and Frankfurt, while Swiss WorldCargo’s flights to Zurich are operated by Boeing 777- 300ERs. The new contracts will make

Swiss WorldCargo’s flights to Zurich are operated by Boeing 777-300ERs. (WFS photo.)

WFS the second largest cargo handler in Johannesburg. The contracts represent further success for WFS in South Africa. In December, it also won United Airlines’ cargo handling contract in Cape Town.

first contract for the Ship Channel deepening to Weeks Marine on Sept. 3, 2020, and the CAPTAIN FRANK started the historic deepening tonight. The USACE awarded the second cutterhead dredge contract to Manson Construction on Sept. 8, 2020. Manson’s cutterhead, the ROBERT M. WHITE,


expected to begin deepening in late September. Three dredges – two cutterheads and one hopper dredge – will be utilized to deepen the channel in the first phase of the project. Colonel

Stephen Murphy,

Commander of the USACE New Orleans District, explained that by deepening the Mississippi River Ship Channel even by just five feet (to 50-ft) the national economy will see benefits of approximately $127 million annually. “With a benefit- to-cost ratio of 7.2-to-1, the project will pay for itself in two years,” he said. “The Big River Coalition

revitalized efforts to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel

to 50 Feet in

August 2012,” said Sean Duffy, Executive Director of the Coalition.

“The project

will promote the economic advantages of waterborne commerce to shippers by extending the draw area for shipping down this economic superhighway. The deepened channel will offer increased cost savings to shippers and help the US compete in world markets, enhance the system’s water carrying capacity and increase the flood protection of businesses, farms and homes.” Ports throughout the

nation’s interior will benefit from the Ship Channel Deepening. Among them are the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District along with its partners from Plaquemines Parish to the state of Illinois. The Executive Director

of the Soy Transportation Coalition, Mike Steenhoek, a longtime partner of the Coalition offered the following statement.


nation’s inland waterway system - including the Mississippi

River Ship

Channel - provides an efficient connection between farmers in the Midwest and customers around the world. As a result, any effort to improve the channel must not only be regarded as a Louisiana priority, but also a priority for the Midwestern states that feed into it. The Soy Transportation Coalition sincerely appreciates the leadership of the Big River Coalition in promoting the deepening of the Mississippi River Ship Channel and has been pleased to work in collaboration with them in helping the project become a reality.” The overall project will

provide a draft of 50-feet from the Port of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico - over 256 miles of the Mississippi River. In addition, the material dredged from the first 30 miles of the project near the mouth of the Mississippi River will restore an estimated 1,462 acres of critical marsh habitat. Phase 1 of the project will

provide a 50-foot channel from the Gulf of Mexico through

Southwest Pass

to Belmont Crossing and open approximately 175 miles of the ship channel to the deeper draft. Phase 1 encompasses the entire jurisdiction of the Port of New Orleans, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District, the Plaquemines Port, Harbor and Terminal District and the majority of the Port of South Louisiana.


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