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DUBAI: April 13, 2016. DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Georgian prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili have agreed to evaluate constructing a marine terminal, inland terminal, logistics park or economic zone in Georgia.

DP World and Georgia PMThe meeting followed Kvirikashvili’s address to the annual Global Leaders Debate in Dubai where he reiterated his country’s commitment to a transparent business environment and the continuation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement signed with the EU in 2014.

The prime minister (right of picture) said an 80 percent increase to US$1.75 billion of foreign direct investment in Georgia in 2014 was due to a business-friendly attitude: “The most important reason for this upward trend is the country’s business-friendly policies, our constant campaign to reform government services and strong foreign trade relations based on Georgia’s strategic location,” he declared.

Last year trade between Dubai and Georgia totaled AED376 million in 2015 with imports of AED25 million, exports of AED35 million and re-exports of AED315 million.

Commenting on the meeting Bin Sulayem said: “Georgia presents a promising business environment where trade can play an ever greater role in developing the country’s manufacturing base, while encouraging growth of the state’s extensive logistics, distribution and warehousing potential.

"Georgia is also well placed to facilitate trade between Aktau port in Kazakhstan along the New Silk Way, providing access to the Black Sea,” he added.

DP World also advises the Kazakhstan government on developing the country's Khorgos Special Economic Zone and Inland Container Depot, as well as the Port of Aktau, Kazakhstan’s main cargo and bulk terminal on the Caspian Sea.

CALAIS: April 05, 2016. VIIA Britanica, the rail/road subsidiary of SNCF Logistics, has begun a daily round trip rail service linking Calais with Le Boulou on the Spanish border carrying unaccompanied trailers across France and avoiding 1,200 kilometers of roads.

The company said this is the first multi-modal transport corridor linking the UK and the France/Spain border. The rail/motorway terminal in Calais combines rail, sea and road transport for unaccompanied semi-trailers between Spain and the UK or to northern France and Belgium.

VIIAThierry Le Guilloux, president of VIIA said: "This new service will reinforce the rail motorway network, allowing us to offer our road haulier clients ever more efficiency and competitiveness. We are already working on new connections to link Calais to other European terminals soon."

VIIA has signed an agreement with P&O Ferries to develop similar semi-trailer traffic on its 58 Channel crossings per day. Semi-trailers that arrive by train at Calais can now remain unaccompanied for the P&O crossing to Dover.

The company currently operates rail/motorway lines between Aiton (Chambéry) and Orbassano (Turin), and Bettembourg (Luxembourg) and Le Boulou (Pyrénées Orientales).

VIIA said it expects 40,000 semi-trailers a year will shift from road to rail over the next five years to save 50,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum and avoid 250 million kilometres of trucking.

Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president and CEO of the Boulogne Calais Port added: "We are proud to be the first European port that has such innovative infrastructure. Beyond our commitment to make our port eco-responsible and to involve ourselves fully in promoting sustainable development, this facility will benefit the local community by creating new handling activities in the port, thereby creating new jobs."

SYDNEY: March 15, 2016. After a bidding war lasting nine months, rivals Qube and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners have formed a consortium to acquire the assets of Australian port and rail operator Asciano for A$9 billion. The deal is expected to complete in June 2016 subject to regulatory approval.

As part of the transaction, the two sides will acquire Asciano's Patrick Container Terminals business (below) for A$2.9 billion in a 50/50 joint venture.

Subject to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission review, Qube also has the right to acquire Asciano's 50 percent stake in Australian Amalgamated Terminals (AAT) from Brookfield Infrastructure for A$150 million.

Asciano storyQube managing director Maurice James said the purchase of Asciano's container terminals business would be transformational: "The acquisition creates significant opportunities for productivity improvement and innovation across the Australian container terminal, logistics and transportation sectors, delivering substantial value for Qube shareholders as well as the broader logistics chain."

The new Qube Holdings partnership comprises Global Infrastructure Management (GIP); 
the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB); CIC Capital Corporation; 
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners; GIC Private (GIC); the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

As part of the transaction, GIP, CPPIB, CIC Capital, GIC and bcIMC will acquire Asciano's Pacific National rail operation, and Brookfield Infrastructure, GIC, bcIMC and QIA will acquire the company's Bulk & Automotive Ports Services (BAPS) business that also includes a 50 percent share in Australian Amalgamated Terminals for a total of A$925 million.

Qube said the transaction - which has been endorsed by the Asciano board - has been structured to address potential competition issues. In particular Brookfield Infrastructure will not acquire any interest in the Pacific National rail business and Qube will not invest in BAPS.

Qube is a provider of logistics services in Australia that includes automotive, landside logistics, bulk and general stevedoring.

Asciano's business includes container terminal operations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth that have a capacity of approximately 4.9 million TEUs; port, terminal and supply chain services; and nationwide rail operations with the capacity to move 180 million tonnes of freight across mineral and bulk haulage, steel and intermodal sectors.

STRASBOURG: March 09, 2016. The European Parliament has rejected for a third time European Commission plans to impose a unilateral Ports Services Regulation (PSR) on private and state-run ports to encourage competition.

The EC's proposal would have made free market access the general principle for the supply of port services, but Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) decided "a single system is not appropriate, as the EU port system includes many different models for the organization of port services".

arklow beaconAs a result they have amended the PSR proposal so that "existing port management models established at national level can be maintained" and concluded that ensuring transparency in the setting of port fees and access to public funds should help prevent price abuse and market distortions.

"We have been able to dismiss the forced free market access to port services. Especially for safety and security concerns, ports must be able to decide on the organization of port services," said rapporteur Knut Fleckenstein, vice chairman of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.

"For the first time in the course of the long discussions on the port package, we have the ports, the terminal operators and the unions on board", he added.

The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG), representing 70 percent of Britain's annual port tonnage, welcomed the Parliament's decision saying the PSR "is no longer just a British problem. It's a European problem".

Noting many MEPs from across the EU backed the UK position, the group said that while "there is still a long way to go" the PSR could ultimately be blocked.

UKMPG chairman James Cooper added: "We will continue to work with our government, our colleagues across the whole UK ports industry, our MEPs, and our allies from across the EU, to defend investment, jobs and growth. We will build on the support we have already secured in the European Parliament and remain confident that this unwanted (and unjustified) piece of legislation will ultimately be defeated."

LOS ANGELES: January 14, 2016. APM Terminals’ Pier 400 moved 11,200 containers during the 56-hour visit of the 18,000-TEU CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin last month. APM said accommodating the largest containership at a North American port followed an earlier Pier 400 record of nearly 35,000 container moves from handling three 13,000-TEU class vessels simultaneously.

Ben Franklin CMA CGMThe company said the increasing frequency of Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) of more than 10,000 TEU capacity at the world’s major container ports has prompted the need to improve terminal safety procedures for terminal truck traffic and container handling.

“Our intention is to continue to improve safety performance by increasing the separation between people and machines” said APM Pier 400 managing director Steven Trombley, who added: “Put simply: keep drivers in their truck cabs while inside the terminal, or provide them additional safeguards if this is unavoidable.”

APM said the goal of the program is to reduce the risk of accident or injury to outside truck drivers with business at the Pier 400 facility. Drivers will now be kept in specifically designated and protected areas where they can exit their cabs to lock the pins which hold containers onto container chassis. APM has also created an area for truck parking while drivers address any gate transaction problems, and redesigned the chassis exchange area to improve safety during the pick-up and drop-off of empty container chassis.

The APM response to handling larger ships coincides with a Drewry Maritime Research observation that for the fourth year in a row, fully cellular containership growth has outpaced that of world port throughput and is “fast approaching” a capacity of 20 million TEU.

By the end of 2015 the world’s containership fleet consisted of approximately 5,200 vessels with an aggregate capacity of 19.8 million TEU. Drewry noted that ships of 10,000 TEU or above are now close to 22 percent of the cellular fleet - up from about four percent at the end of 2011. “That share will only continue to rise as ships in that size category currently make up three-quarters of the order book,” it added.

EAST PORT SAID, Egypt: February 26, 2016. A new 8.5 km (5.2 mile) access channel linking the East Port Said port complex to the Mediterranean is now open - eliminating a 6-8 hour wait for vessels heading to the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT).

APM TERMINALS SUEZThe channel project took three months to complete at a cost of US$40 million and provides 24-hour access to East Port Said and the SCCT for 18,000+ TEU-capacity vessels deployed in the Far East/Europe trades.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, SCCT terminal director Jan Buijze said: “I would like to express both my appreciation and my admiration of Admiral Mamish, the Suez Canal Authority, and the Government of Egypt for their inspiring dedication to this historic infrastructure investment, which emphasizes the key role that Egypt plays in global trade and the global economy.”

APM Terminals owns 55 percent of SCCT. Other shareholders include COSCO Pacific (20 percent) the Suez Canal Authority (10.3 percent), and the National Bank of Egypt (5.0 percent).

SCCT said it is exploring further investments into dry port facilities and general and liquid bulk operations in order to meet the needs of Egypt’s growing population of 91 million, the third-largest in Africa (after Nigeria and Ethiopia).

The new access to East Port Said coincides with data from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis that shows world trade did not expand in December 2015 following a 0.3 decrease the previous month.

The Bureau reported most regions were weak in the last month of 2015 with the exception of the U.S. and Central and Eastern Europe, where both import and export volume rose. It noted the largest monthly decline was Japanese export volume.

According to the preliminary data, world industrial production decreased 0.2 percent in December, following a 0.3 percent decline in November – largely concentrated in advanced economies that saw a 1.1. percent fall compared to a rise of 0.6 percent in emerging markets. The Bureau also noted U.S. production declined for a third consecutive month.

NOVOROSSIYSK: November 18, 2015: The construction of a deepwater berth at the NUTEP terminal in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk will allow Russia to offer regular year-round calls for vessels up to 10,000 TEUs for the first time.

NUTEP, a subsidiary of DeloPorts and sister company to multimodal transport specialist Ruscon, is already the largest container terminal in Novorossiysk but currently handles most deepsea cargo via transshipment at Istanbul or Piraeus.

CMA CGM Elbe - Konstantin Kalugin, CCO of NUTEP said: "The new deepwater quay will alter the status quo on the Black Sea and change existing supply chain networks in the region. It will reduce both shipping and terminal costs for clients and increase delivery speed by 4-12 days for cargo headed for Russia." As part of the project, the NUTEP terminal will double in capacity to handle 700,000 TEU per annum.

CMA CGM already operates several vessels of around 10,000 TEU (right) specifically designed to meet the constraints of navigating the Bosphorus and accessing Russia's Black Sea container ports of Odessa and Ilyichevsk.

DeloPorts also owns and operates a grain terminal and a bunkering services company in Novorossiysk. A spokesman said the NUTEP expansion is an integral part of the company's strategy to develop the stevedoring assets of the group. "We are investing in our facilities to ensure we can continue to offer our customers exactly what they need: fast, reliable and cost-effective services."

DUBAI: February 12, 2016. DP World says it wants to commit an additional US$1 billion in India following US$1.2 billion already invested in six port concessions at Gujarat (Mundra), Maharashtra (Nhava Sheva), Kerala (Cochin), Tamil Nadu (Chennai) and Andhra Pradesh (Visakhapatnam).

DP world IndiaThe company, which says it already handles 32 percent of India’s container trade, wants to expand brownfield container terminals, acquire long-term greenfield container concessions, establish Inland Container Depots and expand existing inter-modal rail services.

The announcement was made during a visit to New Delhi and Mumbai by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi (left in picture), and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World. In Mumbai they inaugurated DP World’s new 330-meter Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal facility at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

The visit follows a two-day official trip by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to the UAE last August.

Sheikh Mohammad commented: “The UAE and India enjoy historic bilateral relations and these potential investments reinforce our confidence in the long term growth of the Indian economy and our desire to actively contribute to the economic development of this friendly nation.”

Sultan Ahmed added: “Being one of the strongest emerging economies in the world, India offers immense potential for growth in the maritime sector.”

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade with India grew 144 percent from AED 44.87 billion in 2004 to 109.34 billion by the end of 2014.

PortOakland home 20OAKLAND, CA: November 13, 2015: The Port of Oakland is talking with real estate developer CenterPoint properties to develop the next phase of its planned 170-acre Seaport Logistics Complex.

Port officials said they're creating the largest logistics complex at any West Coast U.S. port in order to make Oakland "a magnet to attract additional containerized cargo volume". Subsequent phases will include a regional distribution center and warehouses.

This second phase will be built on 20 acres of land acquired by the port at a decommissioned army base and include the facility to transload and cross-dock TEUs from ships to trains. It will be adjacent to phase one of the Seaport Logistics Complex, a 13-track rail yard that's nearing completion.

"We're pleased to engage with one of the most respected names in industrial development," said Maritime director John Driscoll, the Port's lead negotiator. "And we're excited to realize our vision for the Seaport Logistics Complex."

The Port of Oakland oversees the city's seaport and airport and supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the U.S.

SYDNEY: January 28, 2016. Port and rail operator Asciano says it has received a bid from the Qube Consortium to acquire the Australian logistics company for nearly US$6.4 billion, following a similar offer last year from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.

The consortium, made up of Qube Holdings (Qube), Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and the China Investment Corporation (CIC Capital), says its bid “represents superior value to the conditional scheme of arrangement and conditional takeover offer by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners”.

Qube logisticsQube, a provider of logistics services in Australia that includes automotive, landside logistics, bulk and general stevedoring (right), says combining Asciano’s port assets under a single ownership and management structure will generate A$30–50 million of benefits from synergies and business improvement.

Asciano's business includes container terminal operations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth that have a capacity of approximately 4.9 million TEUs; port, terminal and supply chain services; and nationwide Australia rail operations with the capacity to move 180 million tonnes of freight across mineral and bulk haulage, steel and intermodal sectors.

Consortium member CIC was set up in 2007 as a vehicle to diversify China's foreign exchange holdings. At the end of 2014 CIC's total assets amounted to US$746.7 billion, including the Goodman Trust Australia and Investa Property Trust.

Companies in GIP’s transport portfolio, featuring Edinburgh, Gatwick and London City airports and Argentina’s largest container terminal, have combined annual revenues of over US$5 billion and employ approximately 21,000 people.

At the time of the Brookfield offer last year Asciano chairman Malcolm Broomhead said: “We are pleased to recommend to our shareholders this compelling transaction with Brookfield Infrastructure”. Reacting to the Qube offer, Asciano said that while it will consider the new proposal it “continues to unanimously recommend the Brookfield proposal in the absence of a superior proposal”.

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