Piper's Pipeline: January 14 - 20, 2012

Piper's Pipeline: January 14 - 20, 2012

by Don Piper
23. January 2012 11:44

Water transport

    Hawaii Wreck Dive: YO-257 and San Pedro
  • Keoje Marine Co. and two engineers from vessel Keoje Tiger pled guilty in federal court in Honolulu. They were fined $1.15 million for environmental crimes resulting in several charges: dumping oily waste, attempting to cover up the act and obstructing justice during a Coast Guard investigation.
  • Low draft on the Mississippi River below New Orleans, known as the lower Mississippi, caused grounding of a vessel at 7:30 am on Tuesday, January 17. This caused the draft for the area to be lowered to 42 feet. Since then, the Corps of Engineers has begun to work to dredge the river. This effort to deepen the area has been ongoing since the flooding 2 years ago. Release of the ship was accomplished later in the day on Tuesday.
  • Traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway has increased 2.5% in 2011 after a report of decreased traffic in 2007. Vessel traffic in 2011 has increased 7.7%.
    • Iron ore and coal increased exports, as did chemicals, salt and scrap metal. However, grain shipments decreased 6.4% year over year.

Motor transport

  • As of January 3, truck drivers are prohibited from using cellphones (handheld) while driving, in a final rule implemented by the FMCSA. Violations carry a $2,750 fine for each offense and possible revocation of CDL. Companies that allow drivers to use handheld phones face a fine of $11,000.
    • Conversations on cellphones while driving do not get blamed for crashes, but it's activities such as checking apps and other functions that are involved.

Intermodal transport

  • US intermodal traffic was down 9.3% for the week ending January 6.
  • US intermodal traffic surged to an increase of 7.5% during the week ending January 12. Seventeen of 20 carload groups reported year-over-year increases.

Air transport

  • The ban on night flights at Frankfurt, Germany, has resulted in a decrease in freight traffic by 6.5%. At the same time, London Heathrow traffic increased 14.2%, year over year.
    • Germany's government expects the economy will contract even more.


  • Kraft Foods is cutting up to 1,600 positions in North America. About 20% of the positions are not filled at this time. Sales, corporate and other business units were affected the most.


  • Facebook, Google, Yahoo and others face charges in India for refusing to remove material considered insulting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ruling party leader, ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, and major religious figures. Some of the illustrations have shown Singh and Gandhi in compromising positions and pigs running throughout Mecca, Islam's holiest city.
    • There are 21 social networking sites charged with offenses of promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
    • Convictions could bring up to 5 years of imprisonment. At this time, no individuals, only companies, have been named. Repeated requests have been ignored by officials of major Internet companies.
  • US cargo theft increased to a record high number of instances, but the average value per theft decreased.
    • The greatest areas of theft are around Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, the New York metro area, Toronto and actions along the Mexican border.

Images by puuikibeach and Jon Kristian

Don Piper is VP of Traffic Services at CTSI-Global. He has over 60 years of experience navigating the logistics and transportation industries.

What logistics news was important to you this week? Please share your thoughts!

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