Piper's Pipeline: July 18 - July 22, 2011

Piper's Pipeline: July 18 - July 22, 2011

by Don Piper
27. July 2011 10:25



  • The INS Godavari defeated an attempted pirate attack on a Greek merchant ship. The naval operation occurred on July 16 when the Greek ship reported being chased by a skiff between Yemen and Somalia. After locating the ship by helicopter, a group of Indian Navy marine commandos approached the pirates, who dumped their arms, ammo and other piracy gear. The German Navy assisted with the rescue.
  • The Mexico-US border is 1,800 miles long.
    • US border protection costs
      • 1,200 National Guard soldiers for 1 year: $110 million
      • Average officer's salary: $75,000
      • One rail cargo x-ray screenings machine: $1.75 million
      • Drug-sniffing dog: $4,500
      • The 10-year cost of border enforcement: $90 billion
    • US border protection activity
      • 10 years ago, 1.6 million illegal immigrants were caught in one year. Last year, 463,000 were caught.
      • Border guards seized 254,000 pounds of cocaine, 3.6 million pounds of marijuana, and 44200 pounds of heroin. Drugs are now being packed into fenders, dashboards and shoes.

International trade

  • China's refusal to export raw materials breaks global rules, which gives Chinese companies an edge and is the subject of a ruling by the WTO. The restrictions have been the cause of tensions among China and its trading partners. The ruling is highly likely to be appealed, according to a Chinese professor.
  • For the first time since March's earthquakes and tsunami, Japan's trade balance is in the black. The Finance Ministry released figures reporting a surplus of $883.7 million.
  • Container ship MSC Bruxelles, carrying nearly 9,200 TEUs, is the largest to ever call the Port of Charleston, SC. A 109,000-ton ship over 1,100 feet long, 150 feet wide, MSC Bruxelles has a maximum draft of 49 feet it is the first post-Panamax ship to call at Charleston. This is part of the future of the industry, particularly upon the completion of the Panama Canal expansion.
  • New container ships with a total of 1.73 million TEUs capacity are scheduled to be delivered by 2013.

US transit

Pyramids of Nevada

  • Rural air service is the source of looming battle in the US House of Representatives. Three airports would stop receiving passenger ticket subsides in excess of $1,000. An example, every ticket at the White Pine County Airport in Ely, Nevada is currently underwritten $3,720 by taxpayers.

Carrier earnings

  • Second-quarter profit has been reported by numerous truckload carriers. Landstar, Swift and Werner are the latest. Werner's earnings improved by 31%. Analysts predict that more positive results will be available when all carriers have reported.
  • Union Pacific reports record profit from the second quarter: $785 million, a 10% year-over-year increase, in spite of $14 million spent during the floods.

Energy and the environment

  • USPS has claimed savings in excess of $400 million in energy costs from 2007 to date. USPS saved money by streamlining mail delivery, improving energy costs and using of alternative fuels in fleet operations.
  • Tennessee has been reported by the EPA as one for the most toxic air pollution states, ranked number 15. The biggest causes of air pollution come from industrial sources, coal and oil power plants. There are 2 TVA plants in the Memphis area: Allen Fossil Plant, which is coal powered, and the Southaven Combined-Cycle Plant. Toxic air leads to numerous health issues, including asthma, and other respiratory elements, developmental disorders, neurological damage, birth defects, cancer and premature deaths.

Images by Marion Doss and Chovee

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