Alaska may be first state to allow marijuana cafes

first_imgBusiness | Economy | Marijuana | State GovernmentAlaska may be first state to allow marijuana cafesNovember 21, 2015 by Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage Share:(Creative Commons photo by Brett Levin)Alaska is on track to be the first state in the nation to allow recreational use of cannabis at venues similar to a bar or a cafe.In its Friday meeting, the state’s Marijuana Control Board adopted an amendment creating a permit option that will allow for on-site consumption. The measure opens the door for commercial marijuana retailers to set up areas where patrons can use marijuana products.Theresa Collins owns Anchorage business Pot Luck Events, which won a victory with the board’s ruling on the measure, as well as another amendment lifting a ban on marijuana clubs.“We’re hoping to work with the Legislature, the Marijuana Control Board,” Collins said by phone after the vote, “to make sure people have safe, responsible places to consume cannabis.”The board also removed caps on the potency of refined products like oils and concentrates, though it left limits in place for edible products.Taken together, pro-cannabis and industry advocates say the raft of amendments passed during Friday’s meeting are an accurate reflection of the public’s will. In more than 500 pages of written comments over the rule drafting process, many complained of overly restrictive regulations coming from the state’s regulatory body.Collins says many of the changes finalized by the board are closer to what she and other proponents of last year’s Ballot Measure 2 had in mind when they supported a commercial cannabis market.“I’m ecstatic,” Collins said. “And it’s my birthday.”The Marijuana Control Board regulations will now go to the Department of Law for review, and then on to the Lieutenant Governor for final approval, barring any major actions by state legislators during the upcoming session.Though the state has the power to set general rules, cities and towns can opt out of approving licenses, similar to current local option laws on alcohol.Share this story:last_img read more

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Curtain Call: Richard Dreyfuss Remembers the Original L.A. Production of “The…

first_imgTheaterUncategorizedCurtain Call: Richard Dreyfuss Remembers the Original L.A. Production of “The Normal Heart”“As far as I’m concerned, the film of The Normal Heart should have happened 15 years ago”By Craig Byrd – May 28, 2014701ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItLarry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart is finally a movie—and it only took 29 years. Directed by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy (he also did Eat, Pray, Love) the film began airing on HBO this past weekend. But before it was a TV movie, it was a landmark play penned by writer and AIDS activist Larry Kramer. It debuted in the spring of 1985 at New York’s Public Theatre. In December of that same year a production opened at the Las Palmas Theatre in Hollywood. The cast included Kathy Bates, Bruce Davison, and, in the lead role of Ned Weeks, a young Richard Dreyfuss, who at that point was probably best known for starring in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.Set in the early 1980s The Normal Heart depicts the first years of the AIDS crisis. Ned (played by Mark Ruffalo in the film) and several colleagues form the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in an effort to help men who are dying from the “gay cancer.” Weeks’s activism inflames government officials and alienates his friends, but desperate times demand desperate solutions. The Normal Heart essentially depicts Kramer’s experiences during that era. “Every night Bruce and I kissed,” Dreyfuss recalls, “some guy in the audience would slam his program down and say ‘Goddamnit, I’m getting out of here.’ That’s when we knew we were doing it right. It’s a great role and it was timely. It’s like the theatrical parallel of [The Apprenticeship of] Duddy Kravitz. The whole play is a scream of empathy and love. It doesn’t matter that he’s an irritant; look at what he’s fighting.” The Normal Heart finally reached Broadway in 2011. At certain performances Kramer could be found outside the John Golden Theatre handing out flyers to remind the audience that HIV/AIDS hasn’t gone away and that there is more that needs to be done. Clearly the fire still burns. “Larry himself is more willing to go toe-to-toe with people because he’s been going toe-to-toe, like the scene with the mayor,” says Dreyfuss. “Anyone with a brain knows this is a man who is grieving over the loss of his own. He may have a posture, he can misinterpret a phrase and take it as something to ignite, but for the most part he’s a sweet gentleman. As a matter of fact, I’m kind of grieving that we haven’t talked in a bunch of years.”“The most important moment was two years after The Normal Heart came out,” Dreyfuss says. “I spoke to [Larry] and he said, ‘I went to the island and they acted as if the play had never been written. They are behaving like they did before.’ And his heart broke. He realized, and I’m making this up, that his opponent was no longer the straight world, it was the gay world. It was like these kids had never experienced or cared about what he had been writing about and they were behaving as they had in 1969. It killed him.”With actors today still being encouraged not to “play gay,” did Dreyfuss or his agents have any concern about appearing in this play? “No one ever said that or ever would who knew me. Not even in the slightest.” It was the challenge of the role that inspired him. “The challenges were the speeches. There were problems in the staging of the actors at certain moments. There’s that blasting confession when Bruce dies that was never really fulfilled as it should have been. But it’s a pretty exciting thing to provoke an audience into demanding that they listen and watch—and they did.”Does Dreyfuss believe we’ve made progress since 1985? “There were markers along the way like when Magic [Johnson] got sick and talked about it and when Doris Day came out for Rock Hudson. Slowly we began to lose our hostility and fear. However, it would also help to remind different sectors of society—doctors, pharmaceutical companies, gay people, right wingers, Vice Presidents of the United States whose children are gay—there’s more connection than disconnection.” Dreyfuss, who has always spoken his mind, does not have any plans to return to the stage at the moment. “In a certain way I stepped away from acting. Now when I act, I do it to make a living and feed my family. It’s not the love affair it had been for 50 years; it’s a friendship. We have this strange inability to ask the most talented industry in the world to get involved in theater in their own town. And we don’t know how to offer them anything to make this work. I say offer them something they don’t have: complete artistic freedom. And that way you get Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, and Francis Ford Coppola to do theater.” TAGSHBOL.A CultureLarry KramerRichard DreyfussRyan MurphyThe Normal HeartPrevious articleA Walker in L.A.: Stairway to HeavenNext articleFirst Look: Proprietors LLC’s Bar Program for Beelman’s PubCraig Byrd RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORA New Episode of ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ Is a Call to Action in Another Unsolved MurderMeg Stalter’s Awkward Characters Were the Breakout Stars of a Weird YearAn Upcoming HBO Show About the 1980s Lakers Is Packed with Big Nameslast_img read more

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News / Yang Ming set to receive further government cash to help keep it afloat

first_img In a further move to reassure shippers of its continued financial viability, Taiwanese container line Yang Ming has revealed that its government has upped its stake in the carrier, and is likely to do so again.Yang Ming is set to raise US$54.4m through a privately placed rights issue with six Taiwanese investors and companies.It will offer 161m new shares priced at $0.34 per share to The National Development Fund of the Taiwan Government (NDF), Taiwan Navigation, Taiwan Chinachem, T3ex Global Holdings, Mercuries Life Insurance and Superstar Investment.The key participant here is the NDF, established by the Taiwan government and which will hold a 6.39% stake in Yang Ming after the first round. The total government-owned Yang Ming stock, including the holdings of the ministry of transport and communications, will increase to 36.62% after the completion of this first round.“It is expected the NDF will continue its support of Yang Ming in subsequent rounds of issuance,” the line said in a statement“These investments by the Taiwan government and the private sector demonstrate the staunch and diverse support of Yang Ming,” it added.“It is expected that the company’s financial recovery plan will ultimately result in a greater percentage of government-owned and controlled interest in Yang Ming.”The company published a financial recovery plan in late January, after industry analysts had questioned its financial strength in the wake of the Hanjin bankruptcy and after itself accumulating some $1.2bn in losses since the 2009 financial crisis.However, in contrast to the behaviour of Hanjin last year when similar concerns undermined its attempts to reverse its fortunes, Yang Ming management mounted a very public defence of its accounts within days.Drewry Financial Research Services said: “We believe the company has been forthcoming and transparent and are appreciative of the company’s quick and clear response.“This should likely soothe both the customers and investors’ nerves.“However, we await further actions to review our stock recommendation on YMM, expecting a highly dilutive and large equity injection.” By Gavin van Marle 20/02/2017last_img read more

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PM Welcomes Digicel’s Plans to Move Downtown, Next Year

first_imgRelatedPM Welcomes Digicel’s Plans to Move Downtown, Next Year PM Welcomes Digicel’s Plans to Move Downtown, Next Year Office of the Prime MinisterOctober 28, 2009 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, has reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to ensuring that the right transport links, amenities and infrastructure, are in place for the redevelopment of downtown Kingston.Mr.Golding made the statement Tuesday (October 27) responding to the announcement that Jamaica-based, regional telecommunications giant, Digicel , the largest mobile telecommunications operator in the Caribbean, will be moving offices to a brand new facility on the waterfront in downtown Kingston.“We are very pleased that Digicel is supporting our downtown rejuvenation efforts and that it is once again displaying its leadership character, deep regard for and commitment to Jamaica, its people and its development. Ensuring that the right infrastructure, amenities and transport links are in place in good time for this move is an absolute priority for us,” Mr. Golding said.Digicel announced Tuesday that it will be moving its Digicel Jamaica and Digicel Group offices downtown, next year.“Jamaica is the home of Digicel, and we are proud of the deep connections we have built here. Since our inception here, eight and a half years ago, we’ve constantly set new standards in everything we do and the way in which we do it,” Group CEO of Digicel Colm Delves, stated in making the announcement.“We have been looking for the right location to house our Digicel Group and Digicel Jamaica offices for some time. Our intention now is to spearhead the rejuvenation of downtown Kingston. This is a great opportunity for Digicel to bring its special brand of vibrancy and positive energy to an area that will benefit significantly. We’re proud to be leading the way and we are delighted to be working with the Government to pioneer this project,” he added.A release from Digicel, said that the company is currently in the final stages of negotiating terms, and carrying out feasibility studies on a plot of land on the city’s waterfront.In January, 2008, Mr. Golding signed contracts, valued at $251 million, for the construction of an urban transportation centre, as well as the redevelopment of St. William Grant Park, in downtown Kingston, projects which are being undertaken by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC).The Prime Minister revealed then, that the Cabinet had taken a decision to bar Government agencies from relocating from the area, to support the redevelopment process.In June that year, the UDC announced a massive downtown Kingston redevelopment project, to be undertaken in partnership with the Kingston Restoration Company (KRC).The UDC’s plan includes the replacement and revitalisation of the West Kingston market district, the establishment of a festival marketplace on the waterfront and the creation of the Ward Theatre cultural square. The Government also hopes to develop an international finance centre in the area.Work has already commenced on the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre, at North Parade. The scope of works to be executed consists of the refurbishing of existing structures for a 350 seat multi-cultural centre and exhibit hall.The Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre is expected to help re-establish the Parade area as the cultural district of the city. Construction of the centre will complement other cultural facilities in the Parade area, including the Ward Theatre and Liberty Hall, the restored headquarters of National Hero, The Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.To finance the project the Venezuelan Government has provided a grant of US$2 million, while a contribution of US$640,000.00 is to be provided by the Government of Jamaica. RelatedPM Welcomes Digicel’s Plans to Move Downtown, Next Yearcenter_img RelatedPM Welcomes Digicel’s Plans to Move Downtown, Next Year Advertisementslast_img read more

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Both Parties Aim to Seize Control of Legislature

first_imgHELENA – The Montana GOP is confident a rising tide of conservative politics nationwide will trickle down into the state’s local races and give Republicans full control of the Legislature for the first time in six years.Democrats believe their effectiveness in running the state will be rewarded on Election Day.In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election, Republicans have launched an aggressive campaign spurred by anger from their base over federal health care reform and spending as they vowed to use control of both the state Senate and House to stymie state implementation of pieces of the health care bill. Local tea party activists say the promise is a result of their demands for a more conservative GOP platform.“I think where our influence comes in is that the tea party groups have spoken out and asked that our elected officials pay more attention to the constitution and some conservative values,” said Jim Walker, chairman of the Big Sky Tea Party in Helena. “It seems like a lot of candidates are picking up on that message now. And as far as we are concerned that is a good thing.”Currently, Democrats hold organizational control of a 50-50 House. Republicans have a 27-23 control in the Senate, and Democrats have little hope of taking it back given the mix of races in play — leaving most focused on who will control the House.While Montana Republicans hope the tea party fervor will give them a majority in both chambers, Montana voters have a history of bucking national political trends as they did in 2008. At a time when Democrats were winning statewide and national races with ease, voters two years ago switched control of the state Senate over to Republicans.“The control of the House is going to be tight,” said Democratic Party chairman Jim Elliott, who was a longtime legislator from Trout Creek. “Honestly, I think it could go either way, which means, optimistically speaking, we can control it.”In recent years, the Legislature has been marked by cantankerous meltdowns and stalemates, high-profile Republican defections and infighting on key votes.Local Democratic candidates fighting a backlash against the party nationally are telling voters that they have done well under Gov. Brian Schweitzer in keeping the state budget balanced without raising taxes or making big service cuts, Elliott said.“They are facing a national perception that does not apply to Montana Democrats. That is hard to beat down,” Elliott said. “But I think the quality of our candidates and the strength of their campaigning is going to overcome that.”Sen. Jeff Essmann, a Billings Republican leading the GOP legislative campaigns, said the local Democrats will still pay a price for the decisions made by their party leaders in Washington D.C.“I think the voters of Montana will want to send a strong message to Montana Democrats to stop supporting these national policies that are harmful to the nation and harmful to the state,” he said.The intense interest on the legislative races is leading to some tough battles.Most notably Democrat Rep. Kendall Van Dyk is challenging Sen. Roy Brown, who ran for governor against Schweitzer two years ago, in the most expensive legislative race the state has seen at over $200,000. The Billings district is getting flooded with attack mailers from both sides, and both candidates are receiving a lot of support from party leaders.Political scientist James Lopach of the University of Montana said that House districts are small enough for voters to know candidates personally, which could help Democrats fight back against negative feelings toward their party. But that fervor could still trickle down into the races.“It seems in terms of intensity of feeling, it is just so strong,” he said. “I really think the average voters, the ones who turn out and vote, they are going to see this election as an opportunity for democratic participation. They want to be heard. And the principle motivation is not to endorse, but is to repudiate.”Other races that could dictate control of the Legislature:— East Helena Rep. Jill Cohenour, a Democrat, is challenging Republican Sen. Terry Murphy of Cardwell.— Cohenour’s husband, highway patrolman Joe Cohenour, is vying for her open East Helena seat and faces a tough battle with Steve Gibson.— Democrats feel confident that Sheila Hogan of Clancy can seize an open seat that has long been held by Republicans. She faces bar owner of Basin.— Both sides are eyeing the rural northeastern Montana House seat held by Rep. Julie French, D-Scobey. She faces a strong challenge from Republican Austin Knudsen, a Culbertson attorney.— Republicans like their chances in suburban Bozeman of knocking off incumbent Democratic Rep. JP Pomnichowski, again facing a challenge from Republican Tom Burnett.— House Speaker Bob Bergren, a Havre Democrat, is seeking an open Senate seat in a race against Republican minister Rowlie Hutton. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

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Libby’s Iron Eagle Maker Goes Big

first_imgDriving into Libby, the reason behind the town’s slogan, “City of Eagles,” is obvious. Massive eagles are everywhere – in backyards, on polls and even on the archway over downtown. Together, there are more than 25 of the iron birds in Libby and artist Todd Berget created all of them. From inside his shop at the end of First Street, Berget has made more than 50 eagles, ranging from six-feet wide to more than 40 feet. Now he’s setting his sights on creating the world’s largest iron eagle that will measure 50 feet from wing tip to wing tip.“I just love (making eagles),” Berget said in his cluttered shop last week. “I have friends who like to hunt and I like to build stuff.”Berget was born and raised in Libby and has been an artist almost all his life, painting murals or sculpting things with metal. He paid to go to college, the University of Montana – Western in Dillon, where he got a teaching degree, by working in the mills and as a logger during the summer. Today, Berget is a teacher at Libby’s alternative high school, but during his free time he can be found welding in his shop. In the summer of 1997, Berget and a friend designed and sculpted their first iron eagle. Berget said his friend was going through a tough time and was looking for a project to stay busy. “The rest is history,” Berget said. Since then, Berget has made eagles, fish, bears, spiders and even fishing rods. Berget usually starts a project with a metal post and makes a frame. From there, he cuts and welds wings and feathers on it. Berget says he doesn’t keep track of how much time each project takes, but one of his largest took less than a month. Berget’s eagles sell for a couple thousand dollars apiece, depending on size. Although the eagles help supplement his teacher’s salary, Berget said he’s not looking to get rich.“If I was greedy I’d sell them for more, but I really enjoy what I do,” he said. “You have a feeling you’ve left your mark. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but it’s neat to leave something behind that you know can’t just be washed away.”Many of Berget’s eagles can be found around Libby, but more than two dozen have been purchased and displayed around the country, as far away as Michigan. Last week, he was putting the finishing touches on an eagle that would be shipped to New Orleans. But Berget’s largest project is yet to come. This year, he hopes to build the world’s largest iron eagle, which will have a 50-foot wingspan. He came up with the idea when he discovered that Dollywood in Tennessee had the largest and that someone in Canada built it.“Why have someone from Canada build America’s national bird?” he asked.The Libby Chamber of Commerce is hoping to display the bird in downtown Libby and is raising $60,000 to pay for it.But even when the world’s largest eagle is completed, Berget says he still plans on building birds for years to come. “It’s something people enjoy and it makes you smile,” he said. “(And) it gets me out of the house, so my wife likes that.”For more information visit Berget’s website at https://www.sites.google.com/site/customironeaglesmt Email Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.last_img read more

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13 more deaths & 402 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ireland

first_img Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows 13 more deaths & 402 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ireland Facebook Twitter Google+ 13 more people have died from Covid19 in the Republic while a further 402 cases have been confirmed.It brings the death toll here to 98.The number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,849.Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan has the latest information on the 13 people who passed away;Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/18holohan-virus-lead-clip-tl-.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th By News Highland – April 2, 2020 Google+ Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic center_img Pinterest Homepage BannerNews Previous articleGarda appeal over hit and run incident in RameltonNext article68 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Donegal News Highland RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programmelast_img read more

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News / Goldman Sachs retreats from investment in Carrix while Mexican investor moves in

first_imgBy Gavin van Marle 09/01/2014 Investment bank Goldman Sachs has pulled out of its investment in US container operator SSA Marine in what could be the first in a new round of ownership changes in the port sector.The bank’s infrastructure private equity arm, Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners (GSIP), originally bought an undisclosed equity stake in SSA parent company Carrix in 2007, when investment in the port sector was at fever pitch and valuations were at record highs.A concern called FRS Capital Corp later became the parent company of Carrix– which includes SSA and terminal operation software company Tideworks Marine – joining GSIP and the Smith/Hemmingway family as shareholders.Yesterday however, Carrix announced that GSIP had sold its stake to the Smith/Hemmingway family. It also said that to inject further capital, the family had then sold a 49% stake to Mexican businessman Fernando Chico Pardo.While there has been no formal comment on the sale by GSIP, analysts believe it was a move likely to have been driven by the financial structure of the Goldman Sachs-controlled funds, rather than anything industry-related.Neil Davidson, senior analyst – ports and terminals at Drewry, told The Loadstar: “As far as we know, Carrix is a profitable company – it’s certainly very well respected and very well run and ticks all the boxes from an owner’s point of view.“So one would assume that there was a financial driver, in terms of funds reaching their maturity, and things simply having run their course.“The likely financial mechanics of the original investment were that if it was possible for this investor to exit now, in terms of the level of price it could get, then it would do so. So one would assume that the price it has been paid was an expected return on the investment.”The 2007 GSIP investment was made at a time when demand for US container port assets was at an all-time high in the investment community, with AIG Highstar Capital swooping for Ports America owner Marine Terminals Corp, and Deutsche Bank’s infrastructure investment arm RREEF topping the bill with a huge investment – in per teu terms – in New York’s Maher Terminals, prompting the question as to whether a new period of port investment may be on the way given that many of these prior investment may be reaching maturity.“There are probably other instances where similar decisions are being weighed,” added Mr Davidson.Carrix chairman Jon Hemingway said: “We’ve been fortunate the past seven years to work closely with one of the world’s leading investors in infrastructure and their fine people, but appreciate that, as with all investment funds representing an array of investors, they approach their investments with a need to invest, hold and then sell over a defined time frame.”SSA Marine has various container and bulk operations in 210 ports across the world, mostly in the US and Latin America, but some in Asia and South Africa. Its current flagship developments are in Oakland, California, where it is spearheading the development of automated container handling technology in its yard, and in Panama, where it is expanding its facility on the Atlantic entrance to the canal.Fernando Chico Pardo is the founder of Promecap, a Mexico City-headquartered financial investment company with stakes in infrastructure and other companies.He said: “I am looking forward to joining the Smith/Hemingway family in supporting and advancing Carrix in its many activities.“Carrix’s track record speaks for itself. We see a world-class portfolio of strategically well positioned terminals and other assets [which] will be the spring board for sustained future growth.”last_img read more

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News / Gloomy view for box trade in 2015, as weak demand spurs global slowdown

first_img US imports are estimated at around 18.1m teu in 2014, up 6.4% on the previous year, buoyed by renewed consumer confidence and falling unemployment.However, according to a leading consultant, “there is a change in the air” that could result in “minimal to no growth” this year.According to the January edition for North America of Global Port Tracker, which based its calculations on reported throughputs and some estimates for the final weeks of 2014, the number of import boxes processed through some west coast ports was the highest since 2009, with the picture on the east coast even healthier.Indeed, east coast ports were estimated to have handled 8.9% more import boxes in 2014 than 2013, to reach 6.7m teu, while the cumulative throughput on the west coast was up by 4.3% at 10.7m teu. By Mike Wackett 13/01/2015 And the Gulf port of Houston also posted a significant year-on-year gains, climbing 16.5% to reach 675,000 teu.Moreover, the strong numbers were achieved despite the obstacles of the Polar Vortex, which hit east coast ports in the first quarter and west coast ports being afflicted in the second half of the year by an expired labour contract and chronic congestion.But the good news for US ports ends there, the report claims.The Hackett Associates – in partnership with the National Retail Federation – report says: “Our model is projecting minimal to no growth for the coming year, a flat world. This is true for virtually all ports on both coasts.”Ben Hackett explained: “The root of the difficulties can be laid at the geopolitical level, where there seems to be fanatical conflicts around the globe. The lack of demand in Europe, driven by ill-advised austerity policies, is having an effect on Asia, particularly China, where industrial activity is slowing down to levels not seen for a very long time.“The net result of this slowdown globally is the drop in the demand for oil, which has plunged the price to just $50 a barrel in less than three months.He added that although consumers were starting to see some benefits from price reductions at fuel pumps, it also meant some economies were set to move into negative inflation and a period of stagnation.Global Port Tracker predictsgrowth for US imports in the first half of 2015 at just 0.5% across west coast ports and 2.3% on the east coast, with the second half veiled in uncertainty.“The knight in shining armour will again have to be the consumer,” said Mr Hackett. “If savings ratios are built up and credit cards are used, then there is some hope that we may overcome the current trend.”last_img read more

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News / Operating results for bellwether OOCL suggest good news for carriers

first_img OOCL has released operational results for the fourth quarter of 2018 which suggest trading conditions continued to improve for global container carriers in the final months of last year.The fourth-quarter and full-year results of the world’s largest container line, Maersk, will be published on 21 February, but the operational numbers from OOCL are generally a good pre-financial results indication of how the industry performed in the previous quarter.The COSCO subsidiary carried 6.4% more containers on its ships between October and December last year than in the same quarter of the previous year, at 1,715,609 teu, and ended the year with total liftings of 6,696,919 teu, 6.3% up on 2017The Asia-Europe trade for OOCL grew 14.4% in the fourth quarter to 335,746 teu, pushing the year total to 1,302,305 teu, an annual gain of 14.5%. By Mike Wackett 28/01/2019 On the transpacific, there was a 6.1% increase in OOCL’s Q4 liftings, to 501,275 teu, and for the full year showed growth of 8.9% and 1,973,884 teu.On intra-Asia/Australasia, OOCL’s biggest region, there was a year-on-year gain of 4.6% in the fourth quarter, to 770,423 teu, but a more modest 2.6% increase for the full-year, to 2,918,202 teu.The only negative performance in terms of liftings was on the carrier’s smallest tradelane, the transatlantic, where there was a 1.6% drop in carryings to 108,165 teu and a marginal 0.9% decline in volumes for the full-year to 426,458 teu.OOCL’s Q4 revenue jumped 13.5% on the same period of last year, to $1.56m, and for the full year revenue increased by a healthy 9.9% over 2017 to $5.96m.The carrier’s star revenue performance was on the transpacific route, which saw fourth-quarter revenues leap 26% to $670,004 to end the year 17.9% higher on $2,437,146, boosted by a spike in spot rates, a consequence of the frontloading of goods to beat US tariff hikes on Chinese imports.There was also evidence of freight rate gains across other sectors, which suggests the carrier enjoyed a profitable quarter, regarded as a positive sign for the results of its peers.Bunker prices started to fall at the end of October and had slumped by around 30% by the end of the year. However, given the six-week timing lag on purchases, much of this benefit will only fall to operators in the first quarter this year.OOCL’s container activities recorded a loss of $73m in the first half of last year. However, this was a more respectable result than many of its peers, the industry suffering from a combination of soft rates and high bunker prices to clock up a massive $2.2bn in negative earnings overall.However, many carriers had substantially improved their results by the third quarter and, depending on the strength of their fourth-quarter results, could have ended the year back in the black.Rumours have also been circulating recently that OOCL is about to place an order at a Chinese yard for six 23,000 teu LNG-ready ULCVs – although so far the carrier has denied the story.Meanwhile, parent COSCO is set to receive 12 19,200-21,200 teu ULCVs in the first half this year, prompting the Ocean Alliance to announce the launch of a seventh Asia-North Europe loop from April.last_img read more

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