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The following is the July, 2000 edition of "The Bulletin". Any questions or comments regarding content should be addressed to Alistair Macnab at 713-678-4300.
 The Editorial
     The Marine Exchange of the West Gulf, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, Inc., has been collecting comprehensive data on the private sector’s ocean shipping activities since 1929. The collated information has always been used to ensure that the Port of Houston Authority’s statistics are a true reflection of the private sector’s predominant importance as the principal generator of the port’s business growth and jobs.
      Over the years, this activity has evolved into the Bureau’s exclusive collection of traffic data. This has meant that details of import and export tonnage and teu counts have been assembled elsewhere, usually from U.S. Customs’ sources or eventually from the Army Corps of Engineers. It has to be appreciated that with over ninety individual terminals ranged along both sides of the Houston Ship Channel, that the collection and collating of all cargo data have to be both sensitive and time consuming.
      Sensitive: because private sector terminals will be anxious to protect what can certainly be regarded as commercially and competitively valuable proprietary information, and time consuming: because by the time the numbers work their way through the Customs and Army Corps of Engineers, many months have passed and the information has become of historical interest only.
      Why do we need more timely information? The answer is twofold. First: we need to ensure that the private sector’s tremendously beneficial contribution to the ongoing success of the overall Port of Houston is adequately recorded and, second: it will greatly assist the private sector port operator in ensuring that the role of the Port of Houston Authority (PHA), as the political authority and governing body over the Navigation District, is properly reflective of its responsibility towards those whose businesses create the economic activity as defined by the tonnage and teu statistics.
      So we need your help.
     The Port Bureau has been asked by the PHA to be the neutral party through which the tonnage and teu data generated by the private sector can be assembled on an aggregated monthly basis and I have replied that we’d be glad to be of service. All such information will be likely to loose its sensitive nature when it is aggregated with all the other numbers representing each cargo and mode sector. This will ensure that your proprietary information remains confidential and secure.
      The suggested breakdown of data would separately reflect import, export, domestic inbound, and domestic outbound tonnages expressed in short tons of 2,000 pounds. A further breakdown by dry bulk, liquid bulk, general cargo, project cargo, bagged goods, containers, and reefer cargo categories would also seem to cover the full spectrum of trade activity throughout the port and, of course, a teu count for containers would also be of special value as we seek to increase our port’s and region’s participation in this growing sector.
      It must be emphasized, however, that this will be an “all or nothing” project. The partial collection of data is just as useless as no data at all. It would be a splendid reflection of the private sector’s deep and abiding interest in the progress of the Port of Houston, were we to achieve 100% participation in this program. I hope that we can.
     In the next few weeks, I shall be asking all the private sector terminals that do business in the Port of Houston Navigation District what each can do to bring this project to fruition. Certainly it’s a challenge to us all. I hope we can all look beyond our own particular interests far enough to identify the benefits that will accrue to the port as a whole when tonnage and teu statistics are not only accurate and timely; they are also truly reflective of the private sector’s immense contribution to the ongoing success of the Port of Houston as a world class seaport.

      I have the feeling I’m going to need a lot of help!
 Job Hunter's File
      We have a particularly attractive register of fine, experienced professionals for your review, this month. Please keep in mind, that several candidates are more than willing to take on deadline projects on a contract or consultancy basis either as individuals or as part of an ad hoc team of experts assembled to complete a specific task.
      While our more mature job seekers are certainly looking for full-time employment, they are more than willing to consider any part-time activity to keep the roof over their head and the lights on.
      A better selection of well-seasoned, maritime- and transport-related business men and women willing and eager to fill your job requirements will be hard to find in the Houston market. “The Bulletin” prides itself in offering only the best candidates to the Bureau’s and Exchange’s members and friends.
JDLH Marketing and market-planning specialist with manufacturing businesses In Houston since 1984 with responsibility for organic, strategic, and profitable growth. International and governmental background. Graduate, Institute of Marketing, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland.
GES A real estate background since 1992 was preceded by shipyard design and drafting skills. This candidate has an educational background in civil engineering and zoology having attended Texas universities between 1969 and 1974.
VMO With a hotshot executive assistant background in the public and private sectors, this dynamic candidate has all the professional qualifications and education to organize and manage an executive/administrative operation dealing with communications, events, public relations, and community outreach.
DL Union-affiliation journeyman with fabrication, inspection, and safety background ranging from small boats to cooling towers. Recent completion of no fewer than seven safety training programs add to this candidate’s resume of accomplishments.
RGW With a distinguished and high profile background in liner and tramp ocean ship management, this candidate seeks to continue to exercise his many talents with a progressive Houston-based transportation business. A strong interest in steel and project shipments and an unusual expertise in the legal side of transportation add to the list of accomplishments that accompany this job hunter.
      For more details on these and other job hunters, call Alistair on 713.678.4300. Let’s keep these fine people gainfully employed right here in Houston.
Houston’s “Top 100” Role Still Best for Breakbulk Cargoes.
      The international transportation of goods by sea continues to move in favor of increased containerization as witnessed by last year’s breaking of the one million teu threshold at the Port of Houston. Nevertheless, its as a breakbulk port that Houston continues to ensure its ranking in the annual “Top 100” lists of U.S. importers and exporters domiciled in our local market.
      No fewer than 18 breakbulk importers from the “Top 100” were Houston based in 1999 and a further eight were located right here in Texas. As far as exporters are concerned, Houston was home base to eight firms with a further three located nearby in the Lone Star State.
      Clearly fuels were the major category but metals, minerals, chemicals, and plastics also featured as the principal commodities shipped through our port in breakbulk form.
      At a recent meeting of the U.S. Gulf International Commerce Club to discuss the latest importer and exporter rankings, Captain Alistair Macnab, Executive Vice President of the Greater Houston Port Bureau stated: “With this kind of home grown support right in our own back yard, its no wonder that Houston ranks as the top U.S. gateway for international commerce. With just over 70% of Houston’s port traffic destined for or originating in Harris County and Texas, the Port of Houston is its own marketplace. Steady growth at the Port will accompany the steady growth of the Texas economy but for exciting new growth, Houston needs to push out its hinterland frontiers beyond the state to become the regional powerhouse it can and must become”
      The Commerce Club meets at the Fountain View Restaurant’s Plaza Suite on the second Thursday of every month except August. For more information, call Cynthia at the Bureau on 713.678.4300.
Proposed Mandatory Clean Air Measures Continue to Concern Houston’s and Region’s Maritime Industries and Ports.
      A July 5th. meeting of the Houston Maritime Group was convened by the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) to review the latest developments in the evolving State plan to mandate cleaner air in the eight county region surrounding Galveston Bay.
      One of the more onerous proposals presently on the table at the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) in Austin, would prohibit the use of all non-road construction and port-related equipment from operation between 0600 and 1200 hours every day, and the delegates were provided with a detailed study conduced by Bruce Anderson of the Starcrest Consulting Group that demonstrates an increase in the amount of emissions rather than the anticipated decrease envisioned by the TNRCC’s proposal should the time shift prohibition be implemented.
      Other papers reviewed included a catalogue of voluntary, mobile source emission reduction measures suggested by TNRCC. As far as port measures are concerned, suggested areas of potential reduction might include start/stop ship activities, bunker fuel improvements, tug/tow activity restrictions, combustion reductions within the port, preventative maintenance of machinery, and improved freight efficiency.
      It was resolved that further clarification of the suggested voluntary measures be sought since some of the suggestions enumerated by TNRCC were vague in their intent. This could be accomplished when the group met with the TNRCC Commissioners on Monday, July 10th. 2000 in Austin.
      An open stakeholder meeting to address air permitting issues related to dockside marine vessel emissions will be held in Houston at the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Auditorium, 3555 Timmons Lane, on Thursday, July 20th. 2000 starting at 1.00 PM. This meeting is being convened by the Air Permits Division (APD) of the TNRCC. There will be time allotted for questions, answers, and discussions and all maritime interests are being urged to attend.
      For more information, you may call the Bureau on 713.678.4300 or the H-GAC on 713.627.3200 and ask for Jim Dickinson, Transportation Analyst.
U.S. Coast Guard Schedule Marine Transportation System (MTS) Stakeholder Meeting in Houston.
      The Coast Guard (USCG), Maritime Administration (MA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are hosting a regional dialogue session to report on progress in addressing the MTS Report recommendations and to more actively engage local stakeholders in MTS issues.
      To be held at the J.W. Marriott-Galleria, 5150 Westheimer, on Monday and Tuesday, July 17th. and 18th. 2000, the meeting will commence at 1.00 PM on the 17th. and conclude at noon on the following day.
      This dialogue session is the second round of outreach in developing a customer-based strategy to ensure the marine transportation system meets user and public expectations for the 21st. Century. The two sessions are open to the public and will consist of briefings and facilitated breakout modules.
      Excluding trade with Mexico and Canada, over 95% of the U.S. foreign trade by tonnage is shipped by water. Forecasts show that U.S. foreign ocean-borne trade is expected to more than double by the year 2020. An expanded maritime transportation system will undoubtedly pose greater challenges for protecting and enhancing the environment and many federal agencies, state and local governments, port authorities, and the private sector will continue to share responsibility for recognizing that the economic, safety, and environmental implications of an aging infrastructure are adequately and thoughtfully safeguarded.
      For more information and to register your attendance, you can call Ms. Susan Schaefer on 504.589.2000 x228 or communicate with her by fax to 504.589.6559. The e-mail connection:
Prairie View A & M’s Summer Transportation Institute.
      Designed to introduce promising 11th. and 12th. Grade students to the transportation industry, Prairie View’s Summer Transportation Institute (STI) held its most recent program at the Prairie View campus between June 11th. and July 8th. 2000.
      The four-week program, under the direction of Doctor R. Radha, Department Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Prairie View, attracted approximately fifteen students, not only from Houston and Texas, but also from Croatia and Sudan.
      The STI offers participants the opportunity to explore career choices available in transportation and to engage in a wide range of activities that are both educational and enjoyable. Field trips and hands-on projects were undertaken and guest speakers invited to offer their expertise on land, water, and air modes of transport.
      On the morning of June 22nd. Steven DeWolf, Chief Engineer of the Port of Houston Authority (PHA), accompanied by Robert Morgan, Trade Development Manager of Barbours Cut Container Terminal, addressed the students on the PHA’s facilities and the duties and functions of the Authority’s engineering department. That same afternoon, Alistair Macnab, Executive Vice President of the Port Bureau, was on hand to describe to the students, the private sector’s tremendous involvement with the economic progress and prosperity that the Port of Houston has come to represent and to explain the successful public-private partnership that has made Houston the eighth busiest seaport in the world in tonnage terms.
      A field trip to the Port of Houston on June 28th. included a tour of Barbours Cut and a Bayou cruise on the “Sam Houston”.
Houston International Seafarers Centers: Maritime Gala Ball, 2000.
      A black-tie evening of fine dining, an exciting and tempting silent auction, and music for dancing by “The Blue Monks” swing band, promises to be the social event of Houston’s maritime year and you are invited to attend.
      To be held at the Double Tree, Post Oak on Saturday, September 30th. 2000, tickets are $125 each but for additional premiums going all the way up to $500 per ticket, there are special goodies to be added including a pre-dinner cocktail reception, special seating, and valet parking. Tables of ten may be bought for subscriptions ranging from $1,250 to $5,000.
      What’s important is that your support of the Maritime Gala is for a good cause and will help to support the Seafarers Centers at the Turning Basin and Barbours Cut where a “home away from home” is provided to over 100,000 seafarers in a single year.
      This year’s Gala 2000 Chairs are Genie Kobarg of the W.W. Rowland Group, and Steve Stewart, President of Gulf Winds, International, Inc. Their energetic commitment to the success of the Gala ensures that a good time will be had by all. For tickets and more information, call 713.672.0511.
“Country of Origin” Rules Redefined.
      The Tariff Act of 1930 requires that all “foreign articles” or their packages be marked permanently, legibly, and conspicuously to indicate a product’s country of origin to the ultimate buyer in the United States. This means that a product is deemed to come from the country where its processing or manufacture last caused it to become a distinct product with a new name, use, and character.
      There is, however, a separate standard for Nafta products for which the “tariff shift” test applies. In the case of Nafta goods, a product is considered to come from the country where it was last processed or manufactured to the extent that it underwent a change in classification under the Harmonized Tariff System.
      Furthermore, the U.S. Court of International Trading has recently confirmed that a foreign content of 7% or less shall be considered “de minimis” when it applies to the U.S. Customs’ Country-of-Origin rules.
      Recent cases concerning aluminum ingots and peanut butter were judged by the Court to comply with the governing law and that Customs had misinterpreted the “de minimis” precept in their attempts to apply their own rules to these cases. Country-of-Origin rules when it comes to textiles, however, are much more complicated than described here and have recently become more so with the African and Caribbean Trade Bill.
      In the case of textiles, you are advised to consult with an experienced customhouse broker. As the providers of administrative services to the Houston Customhouse Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (HCBFFA), please feel free to call Jeannie Angeli, the Association’s Coordinator on 713.678.4300.
The Houston Center for Maritime Education’s Exciting Fall Lecture Series.
From the Editor:
      A brochure detailing the August-December 2000 series of lectures and courses offered jointly by the Houston Center for Maritime Education (HCME) and Educational Resources International, Inc. (ERI) has been published and is available from ERI by calling or faxing 281.376.4475.
      The listing of programs and courses is extensive and, for the first time, modules will be offered at the Port of Houston location (PH) as well as in Northwest Houston (NW) for the convenience of students.

Aug.9th. Incoterms 2000 (PH)
Aug.10th. Hazmat Certification Training, DOT/IMDG, Surface/Ocean (NW)
Aug.23rd. Advanced Ocean Transportation (PH)
Sept.13th. Buying, Selling, and Financing Transportation Services (PH)
Sept.20th. Supervisory/Management Skills for International Business (PH)
Sept.26th. Hazmat Certification Training, IATA/CAO/DOT/IMDG, Air/Surface/Ocean (NW)
Sept.27th. The Letter of Credit Workshop (NW)
Sept.28th. Fundamentals of Exporting (NW)
Oct.11th. Port Terminal Operations (PH)
Oct.25th. Logistics Management (PH)
Oct.27th. Hazmat Certification Training, DOT/IMDG, Surface/Ocean (NW)
Nov.8th. Advanced Importing (PH)
Nov.9th. Supervisory/Management Skills for International Business (NW)
Dec.6th. Advanced Exporting (PH)
Dec.12th. The Letter of Credit Workshop (NW)
Dec.13th. Hazmat Certification Training, DOT/IMDG, Surface/Ocean (NW)

      Fees range from $125.00 to $195.00 per module, dependent upon content. Attendance is limited so an early commitment will ensure you a place in a class and on a date of your choice. Fees are payable in advance and are not normally refundable but may be transferred to another comparable class or to another nominated individual on a once-only basis with prior notice..
      Corporate sponsorships are encouraged and special arrangements will be made for series and group attendance. For more details on this aspect of the program call Alistair Macnab on 713.678.4300. “Educating Houston’s Future Maritime and Transportation Leaders for a World-Class Role in International Commerce”.
Letters to the Editor.
Billy Messina,
Maersk-Sealand Terminals.
      “I was not pleased by your characterization of ocean carriers as necessarily the “villain” of the intermodal truckers’ problems (Editorial, June 2000). We at Maersk-Sealand are very conscious of the fact that we are a service industry and we rely on truckers, as we do with all other third party service providers, to help us to provide customer satisfaction
      “It is also our duty as a well-run corporate entity to buy in services at the best price and while we continue to look for quality partners, we do purchase services at the market rate offered by the vendors”.
Ms. Jerri Compton:
Houston, TX

      “Many thanks for your support and understanding of the trucker’s problems. My husband, who’s a trucker, said that it was good to see that someone was paying attention and was prepared to say something about it”.
The Editor:
      “Actually, I lie. These were telephone calls rather than letters so I hope I have not mischaracterized the authors in any way. Like everything else, there are many sides to every problem. Let us hope that the logistics expert hired by the Port of Houston Authority to examine the intermodal trucking industry here in Houston can come up with some good ideas to help us all.
      “Many thanks for your participation in the debate. At least I know we have two readers who looked at the editorial”.
Marine Exchange Publishes Half-Year Numbers.
      Traffic volumes at Texas seaports for the January-June 2000 period which the Marine Exchange of the West Gulf tracks for clients, are showing a healthy increase of 6.4% over the same months of 1999.
      Deep Sea Vessel arrivals for the first six months of this year are as follow: -
Brownsville 109
Corpus Christi 845
Freeport 343
Galveston 267
Texas City 732
Houston 3419

      At the Port of Houston, oil and chemical tankers were the predominant group at 48.8% of vessel arrivals but the greatest growth belongs to ro-ro vessels, which registered an 88% increase over the period.
      The Marine Exchange logs every vessel arrival and departure from its observation station at Morgans Point and provides reporting, statistical and data analysis, and telephone answering services for fee-paying clients. For more information, please call Alton Landry or John Wentz on 713.678.7711.
Oil Spill Fines to Rise in Texas Waters.
      The Texas General Land Office (TGLO) Commissioner, David Dewhurst, has announced a steep increase in fines of up to $25,000 per day when shipowners fail to report oil spills in Texas waters. Texas law obliges all oil spills in its coastal waters to be reported to the TGLO as the operator of the state’s oil spill prevention response program.
      From August 1st. 2000, oil spills will draw fines of up to $500 with an additional $250 per barrel of oil spilled.
      In a statement accompanying the revised fine structure, Dewhurst reported that over 1,200 oil spills were reported in Texas waters last year, “most being accidents caused by the absence of established common sense procedures, adequate training, or due caution”.
      U.S federal law also requires that all maritime oil spills be reported to the Coast Guard.
Texas Pilot Commissioners.
      Over the years as seaports in Texas have evolved, there has developed an interesting range of procedures for appointing or electing Pilot Commissioners at the various ports.
      Here in Houston, the Pilot Commissioners and the Board of Commissioners of the Port of Houston Authority are one and the same individuals and this is the similar arrangement at the ports of Freeport and Corpus Christi.
      In Brownsville, the citizens separately elect the Pilot Commissioners but in practice, this has evolved into an arrangement whereby the Port Commissioners and the Pilot Commissioners are the same individuals.
      At the Sabine Ports (Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur) and the Ports of Galveston County (Galveston and Texas City), however, the Pilot Commissioners are directly appointed by the Governor of the State of Texas.
Texas Ports & Waterways Conference in Beaumont on August 1-3, 2000.
      The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas Transportation Institute’s Center for Ports and Waterways are cosponsoring the 2000 Texas Ports and Waterways Conference in Beaumont TX at the Holiday Inn-Midtown on August 1-3, 2000.
      This year’s conference will include a variety of interesting and informative presentations on port, barge, and rail operations as well as an update on TxDOT’s Port Authority Advisory Committee. Speakers will include John Robey, representing the Port of Beaumont, Les Sutton, President, Texas Waterway Operators Association (TWOA) and Rick Couch of Osprey Line, and Henry Lampy, Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
      TxDOT’s representatives will include Walter Crook, James L. Randall, Peggy Thurin, and Raul Cantu while the Center for Ports and Waterways will be fielding Colonel John Basilotto and Doctor Bill McMullen.
      Significant interest is expected during discussions on megaships, and port regionalization and there will be sufficient time set aside for questions and answers and open discussion.
      Registration must be in the hands of the Texas Transportation Institute’s ITEC Office of Conference Management Services by July 18th. 2000. They can be reached by telephone on 979.862 1219 or by fax on 979.862.1225. Their Email address:
      More information can be obtained from Paul Douglas in Austin on 512.416.2342 or John Basilotto in Galveston on 409.740.4883.
Preventing and Responding to the Maritime Emergency.
      South Texas College of Law’s Conference on Preventing and Responding to the Maritime Emergency on Thursday and Friday, July 20-21, 2000, is nearly upon us but it is not too late to register to attend. This can be achieved by calling 713.646.1757. You can also visit the website at
      A great deal of interest has been generated by the scenario which will be examined wherein a tanker, having collided with a moored container ship and a fuel barge, has caused fuel oil and chemicals to spill out into the waterway. Furthermore, a cruise ship and its passengers have been trapped at dockside and all port inbound and outbound traffic has come to a halt
      What to do? Are you and your organization prepared to deal with a situation like this? As a CIMA, local emergency response team, or Clean Channel member you will want to learn more about the legal and insurance implications of such a disaster. There’s sure to be substantial media interest in an incident of this kind. Are you ready to handle TV and the Press? Steve Smith, the former Channel 11 anchor, will be on hand to discuss this very topic during lunch on July 20th.
      Other panels will be moderated by Robert Nicholas Jr., J. Stuart Lilly, Jeffrey J. Puttnam, and Ed Bluestein. The fees are $275 for attorneys and $225 for non-lawyers, which include course materials and lunch on Thursday.
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