Piper's Pipeline: May 30 - June 3, 2011

Piper's Pipeline: May 30 - June 3, 2011

by Don Piper
6. June 2011 09:47

Soaring above power lines

  • Fees collected last year by the world's largest airlines increased to an estimated $21.46 billion for passenger fees, almost double the amount collected in 2008.
    • In some cases for certain airlines the ancillary fees amounted to 15-20% of all revenues according to the report of a Wisconsin based consultant on airline fees.  Fees are heavily relied on by the airlines. 
  • Technology is on the verge of transforming services by the largest freight railroads. One professor of railway management predicts with additional computer power at control centers and on board the locomotives, the Positive Train Control can allow operation of trains without light signal systems. This would enable trains to operate closer, allowing stopping distance according to number of cars, and the weight of the train.
    • Completing the project to attain such happening is estimated to be $13 billion over the next 20 years.
  • The FMCSA projects an announcement of revised HOS rules to be issued by Oct. 28. Several delays have been involved. The last revision drew heavy criticism from the trucking industry in addition to that of the shipping and receiving segment. There is a strong possibility that past opposition will continue in view of past delays brought about by several protests and court actions. 
  • Lack of infrastructure investment places the US behind other countries. Infrastructure has become a top priority in the following countries:
    • UK has committed $326 billion for projects relating to rails, energy production and broadband access.
    • France, Germany and Spain continue to build high speed rail between cities.
    • Australia is focusing on port expansion, rail rebuilding and traffic congestion relief projects. 
    • China is founding numerous projects including completion of a 10,000 mile high-speed rail network by 2020. Also, new airports, ports and transit systems are all contributing to China's economy.
    • India is seeking private financing to sustain growth and promote its economic potential.
    • Brazil is progressing with road, transit and water projects, preparing for the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics. 
    • A total of $50 trillion over the next 25 years is projected to be involved.
  • Lockheed Martin experienced a cyber-attack that was detected May 21. Immediate actions were taken, and no sensitive information was compromised.
  • NAFTA surface trade has exceeded $80 billion for the first time, jumping 15.6% in March from a year ago, according to the Department of Transportation.
  • On May 31, diesel fuel was reported to have declined 4.9 cents to $3.94 a gallon for the fourth straight week drop.
  • The USPS loss reached $2.2 billion net in the first quarter. Some gains were reported from an expanded shipping services division.
  • Both Germany and Switzerland are reportedly shuttering nuclear plants. Germany is building a mega acre wind farm off shore.
  • Horizon Lines was reported by NYSE to be delisted. A later development was later announced for reorganizing through a stock transaction.
  • Containerized import shipments rose by a total of 8.7% in April. Growth for the remainder of 2011 is expected to be 4.6%. Imports of footwear from China increased 12% despite Southeast Asia's increased production. China still accounts for three-fourths of US footwear.
  • Maersk has removed service from Gioia Tauro in southern Italy to be completed by July. The only service to remain will be a call to the port instead of using the port as a major operation. Their area operation for the area will be Malta Freeport Terminals, which Maersk has agreed to buy half for 286 million US dollars. Activity and "allegations of [Gioia Tauro's] mafia infiltration" forced them to make the move.

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