Chang Kah Loon

Chang Kah Loon
Chartered Logistician (UK) * Certified Professional Logistician (Aust) * Certified Transport Planner (Aust) * 特许物流师 * 特许交通规划师

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Does the shipping industry need conferences?

As shippers and shipping lines debated the terms and conditions of a post-shipping conference Europe, The Container Shipping Manager advised both sides to seriously consider how the new system would look. We also questioned the importance of these mechanisms and whether Europe and the rest of the world really needed them.

The revealing information below is the result of a study we conducted back in September 2006...

The European Shippers Council (ESC) has long wished to see the end of the conference system. But their efforts may very well be an example of the old maxim: be careful what you wish for.

Shipping lines could stand to benefit from a non-conference system, according to our study of the peaks and troughs in freight rates for the eastbound Transpacific and westbound Asia to Europe trade lanes.

Assuming carriers on the European trade lane adopt a service contract dominated system similar to their transpacific cousins, they could find themselves in a better position. Shippers may cop the short end of the stick. These US contracts include conditions like Minimum Quantity Commitments (MQCs) and liquidated damages if the shipper fails to honour the terms of their contract. In fact, the non-conference system could limit the degree of flexibility shippers enjoy under the conference system.

Carriers may be the beneficiaries of the non-conference system.


Source: Container Shipping Manager, the publisher HKSG Group Media is one of the world's largest providers of shipping information.

Soaring costs to fuel hub and spokes model shipping world

Soaring operating costs and the trend towards bigger and bigger ships on the Asia-Europe trade as well as the lack of profitable backhaul cargo could see ports like Felixstowe completely removed from the port rotations of the major carriers in the near future, an industry insider told the Container Shipping Manager.

“It will just not be economical to call these ports anymore. At Felixstowe, the only backhaul cargo you see being loaded onto these ships is waste paper and scrap metal,” the industry insider said.

Instead, he believes that these ports would be served by feeder connections from larger ports in the area in the future.

“The main line operators will likely call at Rotterdam or Hamburg, and then feeder services will deliver the UK bound import cargo from Asia from one of the larger European ports.”

In this era of cost consciousness, carriers may be unwilling to burn extra fuel, which translates into extra dollars, for a non-profitable port call.


Source: Container Shipping Manager, the publisher HKSG Group Media is one of the world's largest providers of shipping information.

Can India and the Middle East fill the void in consumption left by US and European consumers?

China’s exports fell into negative growth in November 2008, marking the first negative month of growth since its accession into the World Trade Organisation, as news of further job losses and factory shutdowns persist.

The loss of its healthy and robust consumer markets in Europe and the US sent China’s exports into a nosedive for the month of November 2008, leaving many wondering, if China is the seller in the global marketplace, is there anyone else left to buy its goods and who is it?


Source: Container Shipping Manager, the publisher HKSG Group Media is one of the world's largest providers of shipping information.

Does it pay to be environmentally friendly during an economic slowdown?

Shippers are looking to adopt more environmentally friendly policies to “clean-up” their supply chains may soon find that consumers are unwilling to cover the costs that such actions may incur, especially in such economically-tight times.

The real challenge for the Walmart's of the world is to find ways to be environmentally-friendly, while cutting the end-cost of the product, or at least increasing the end cost for the consumer by as little as possible.

Global trade growth, as forecasted by the World Bank, is expected to fall to 4.5 per cent in 2008, down from the 7.5 per cent growth witnessed in 2007. This fall off in trade growth is due to the serious reduction in consumer spending in the consumer powerhouses of Europe and the US, as a result of the economic downturns there.


Source: Container Shipping Manager, the publisher HKSG Group Media is one of the world's largest providers of shipping information.

Oil Price forecasts cut sharply on slowing Demand

Analysts have further cut their 2009 price forecasts by more than $14 a barrel to an average of $58.48 for U.S. crude as recession dampens demand for fuel worldwide, a Reuters poll found on Tuesday. Forecast oil prices have fallen by nearly $60 in the past five months, but analysts still see prices rising early next year from this year's lows of less than $40 a barrel. The consensus forecast was for U.S. crude to average $49 in the first quarter of 2009, down from $64.57 in last month's poll, as analysts moderated their expectations of a price recovery.

The poll also forecast an average for European benchmark Brent LCOc1 in 2009 of $57.21. When oil hit a record above $147 in July, analysts expected U.S. oil to average nearly $116 in 2009, a Reuters poll showed.

Goldman Sachs was then the most bullish bank on prices, expecting an average $148 for U.S. crude next year. It has subsequently cut that same forecast by $103 to $45 a barrel.

"We believe that should the sharp deterioration in demand continue, spot prices will likely remain under significant pressure and may have to decline further to induce a reduction in supply," analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a research note.

Of the 30 analysts surveyed, 23 have lowered their predictions since Reuters last poll on 25 Nov. A crucial consideration in analysts' forecasts was the impact that output cuts made by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would have on prices.

"The OPEC cartel continues to 'bull the market with positive vibes' regarding their future production whilst the bears in the complex will eye the ailing demand outlook for oil across the Asiatic basin," said Robert Laughlin at MF Global.


Source: Reuters

Oil-Refining Margins Are Worst in Three Quarters, BP Data Show

Profits from turning a barrel of crude into oil products are the worst since the first quarter amid waning demand for gasoline and other fuels, according to BP Plc data. BP’s Global Indicator Margin, a broad measure of refining profitability, has averaged $4.84 a barrel so far this quarter through to 18 Dec, compared with $5.69 in the year-ago quarter, and $4.57 in the first quarter, Europe’s second-biggest oil company said on its Web site. Global margins have dropped 40 percent since the third quarter, and almost 80 percent in the U.S. Midwest.

The U.S. economy shrank in the third quarter at a 0.5 percent annual pace as the now year-old recession began to intensify, the Commerce Department said today. Consumers are cutting spending on travel and goods derived from oil, sometimes pushing wholesale gasoline below the price of the crude from which it is made. Northwest European refiners earned $7.76 a barrel so far this quarter, the most of the six regions surveyed, followed by the Mediterranean at $5.15, according to London-based BP.

The lowest margins were in the U.S. Gulf Coast and Midwest, at $2.30 and $2.20, respectively. Those two regions had the highest profit margins in the third quarter. European gasoline’s discount to Brent crude, the region’s benchmark oil, widened to $5.40 a barrel today, from $4.51 a barrel yesterday, according to broker PVM Oil Associates Ltd. Fuels usually cost more than their feedstock, to reflect the expense of processing. BP’s Global Indicator Margin is a generic number derived from third party data, using typical regional crudes and product yields, according to the company’s Web site.


Source: Bloomberg

Tighter Trade Finance Hits Shipping Lines

Demand for shipping is weakening because banks don't want to finance trade during a recession??? Seaborne transportation of goods such as washing machines and other household appliances fell the most in at least 51/2 years in November 2008...?!

In general, takes Nov 2008 for example, the movements have dropped approximately 12%, as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Some, having issues with letters of credit.

The issue is exacerbating a lack of demand in individual countries' as the global recession takes hold.

World trade in commodities, from oil and coal to timber and grains, has already been hurt by a reduction in the sums banks are willing to advance to customers to ensure payments.

The key driver behind lower demand for container shipping is the sharp reduction in consumer confidence and consumer spending globally.

The cost of shipping containers has declined 'very dramatically' and at 'unprecedented' speed, Mr Deleuran said.


Let common sense guide you in negotiations

By Hal Becker

We seem to need rules for everything in life. Rules seem to go on and on. The rules for negotiating are simple.

There are no rules! Forget the rules, and concentrate on common sense. Think back to the stuff Mom and Dad taught you. This stuff is pretty basic, and sometimes we complicate life with a lot of nonsense. Keep it simple!

Why should we complicate a simple process of listening? Ask questions, hear the answer, and then respond. Simple stuff works, and the job gets done more quickly and with less mess. I know you want some rules, so I will give you guidance. But instead of rules, I want to give you the qualities of a good negotiator:

Discipline
Discipline is what Navy Seals and Tiger Woods are made of, the internal focus that gives us the drive, desire and dedication we need to be at the top of our game. Discipline is what will give us the winning attitude. Without it, there is no motivation and no way to be at the top of your game.

Think of it as a diet: You need discipline to lose weight and even more discipline to keep it off. One problem for most people is that they only go a little way and lose some of the weight. Truly disciplined people lose all the weight and keep it off permanently.

Endurance
Also called "stamina," endurance is the ability to keep going when others have quit. People have always called Henry Kissinger and even Donald Trump incredible negotiators. They are the Energizer bunnies of negotiating. They are in the fight for all 10 rounds and never, never get knocked out. They keep going and going and going.

Respect
Know two things about respect. First, for the other party to respect you, you must earn it. Second, for you to respect the other party, you must do your homework and find out as much as possible so that they in turn have your respect. If you go through life being genuine, nice, and - most important - honest, you will earn a good reputation, which promotes respect.

Tell people upfront what your intentions are. Trust me, they already know, but by being forthright and upfront, you earn more respect at the negotiating table. Honesty and your reputation are key, and you cannot fake them! Also remember that you both have the goal of winning something valuable. Unlike football or baseball, negotiation can produce two winners.

Patience
You have heard that good things happen to those who wait. We are a pretty impatient bunch today, and a lot of us haven't developed the ability to tolerate adversity and to overcome frustration. That's what patience is, and to succeed at negotiating, there's no substitute for patience. You may need to overcome many obstacles to reach your goals.

If you persevere and add a sprinkle of patience, in most cases your outcome will be what you desired. Lots of publishers rejected my first book, "Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?" (After the 34th rejection, I lost count). But I was patient and never gave up, and that book is in its 14th printing.

Empathy
Do I still sound like Mom? Well, Mom is probably the greatest negotiator on the planet.

Think about it: She is constantly negotiating with her kid in the supermarket or in the toy store or even the playground. The kid wants everything, and Mom wants almost nothing the kid wants.

Empathy is the ability to view the other person's feelings and to put yourself in his position.

This is one of the most important traits to carry every day, throughout your life, no matter whom you meet.

You will be a great observer of human nature, and people will appreciate the fact that you truly put their feelings or concerns before yours.

Having empathy for others and observing their behavior require practice. They take years to learn and probably will never be perfected. Strive to be genuine. People can easily spot a truly genuine person - and just as easily spot a phony.

Humor
I am so tired of being politically correct. We can't make fun of anybody anymore. I miss the comedian Don Rickles. He made fun of everybody. His secret was that he always made fun of himself first. If you can first laugh at yourself, then it's OK to take liberties with others because they know you're having fun and aren't being mean-spirited.

And by the way, we need more fun in the workplace. If I'm going to spend two-thirds of my life somewhere, then I am going to have fun. In the boring business world, let's take a few liberties. I'm not suggesting you tell jokes, put a whoopee cushion on chairs or conceal a buzzer in your palm. Just smile and see the comical in things.

The more fun you have, the more fun the people around you will have. When we lighten up a little, so do the people around us. You don't have to wait for the next person to do it first. A smile can light up a room!


Source: Hal Becker, who's a known expert on Sales, Customer Service, and Negotiating. He conducts seminars or consults to more than 140 organizations a year. His client list includes IBM, Disney, New York Life, Continental Airlines, Verizon, Terminix, AT&T, Pearle Vision, Cintas, and hundreds of other companies and associations.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hi there, Merry X'mas

Trade News - Air Transport

Dragonair
Dragonair celebrated its inaugural launch of a scheduled service to Manila to make the Philippine capital its 9th new destination in the last two years. The Hong Kong to Manila KA913 service will depart Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sunday at 2000 hrs and arrive at the capital at 2200 hrs. Flight KA912 will depart from Manila to Hong Kong at 1050 hrs to arrive at 1255 hrs.

Spring Airlines
Mainland China's low-cost carrier Spring Airlines has modified the schedule of the line linking central city Zhengzhou and Shanghai and has recommenced another line from Shanghai to Tianjin. The adjusted Zhengzhou-Shanghai flight service will now take off every day at 1615 hrs from Zhengzhou's Xinzheng International Airport, reaching Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport at 1740 hrs. The return flight will leave Shanghai at 1345 hrs, reaching Zhengzhou at 1530 hrs. The resumed Shanghai-Tianjin flight takes off daily at 0730 hrs from Shanghai's Hongqiao Airport and leaves Tianjin at 2000 hrs on the return leg.

Air China & Sichuan Airlines
Air China and Sichuan Airlines are launching direct services from southeastern city Chongqing to Taiwan on 19 December 2008. Air China's service will offer a flight on every Friday using Boeing 737-700 aircraft. The flight is scheduled to take off at 1510 hrs from Chongqing and return from Taiwan at 2000 hrs.

Sichuan Airlines will also offer a weekly flight, but on every Sunday and using Airbus 320. The flight takes off at 1440 hrs from Chongqing's Jiangbei International Airport, arrives at Taipei's Songshan Airport at 1810 hrs, then heads back from Taipei at 1510 hrs and reaches Chongqing at 2250 hrs. Flight number is 3U8979/80.

Sichuan Airlines is also approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China to launch another service to Taiwan, which is from Chengdu to Taipei. The Chengdu-Taipei maiden flight is also taking off on the same day. It is scheduled to leave at 1430 hrs every Friday from Chengdu's Shuangliu Airport, arrive at Taipei Songshan Airport at 1800 hrs, then return at 1900 hrs and arrives at Chengdu at 2240 hrs. Flight number is 3U8977/8.


Source: Shipping Gazette News (20 Dec 2008)

Hamburg Port welcomes two Chinese ships

The Port of Hamburg has received two very different types of Chinese vessel last month, one mammoth and the other ancient.

This comes as the 10,000-TEUs Cosco Indian Ocean docked for the first time at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort on her maiden voyage.

This 111,414-tons mega ship, owned by Cosco Container Lines, is the third of four identical ships built for Cosco at Hyundai's Ulsan shipyard in South Korea and has a draught of 14.5 metres.

Just 3,000 metres away from the Tollerort container terminal, a model of an ancient Chinese treasure ship has been on display at Hamburg's International Maritime Museum since mid-November 2008.

The metre-long model dates from the time of the Chinese explorer Zheng He (1371-1435), and was presented to the museum's founder, Peter Tamm, by Fujian province for permanent exhibition. Treasure ships were among the largest wooden ships ever built.

The junk's bow is ornamented with a dragon's head, and the sides of the ship are painted with eyes to ward off evil spirits. It was designed to demonstrate the power of the Ming emperor Zhu Di.

Container giants like the Cosco Indian Ocean are the modern equivalents of those ancient treasure ships - owing their appeal not so much to their lavish features as to the value of the goods that they carry between Asia and Hamburg.

Source: Shipping Gazette News (20 Dec 2008)

Shenzhen's SCT welcomes its first Taiwan direct call

Shenzhen's Shekou Container Terminal has received the first vessel of cross-strait direct shipping and held a ceremony to mark the historic occasion.

The maiden call was made by China Shipping's 8,500-TEUs New Africa, which is one of its newly-deployed ships. The vessel docked at SCT's new No 8 berth.

Over a third of the lines calling at SCT operate to Taiwan. Cross-strait direct shipping is expected to benefit SCT shippers by reducing sailing distance, transshipment time and costs.


Source: Shipping Gazette News (20 Dec 2008)

YML to build 4 Kaohsiung terminals

Yang Ming Line has signed a NT$16.2 billion (US$499 million) 20-year loan to fund Kao Ming Container Terminal Corp's four-container terminal complex in Taiwan's biggest port, Kaohsiung.

Kaohsiung is to expand capacity to challenge rival ports overseas, and the NT$18 billion Yang Ming Line scheme is one of 12 harbour projects recently unveiled by the Taiwan government.

Yang Ming Line, Taiwan's second-biggest container-shipping line, will operate the Kaohsiung terminals for 50 years under a build, operate and transfer lease from the government.


Source: Shipping Gazette News (20 Dec 2008)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Apology: More Power Than We Think

By Prof Darrell Puls

People Are Afraid to Apologize
In too many cases mediators aim only for settlement of the issues, believing that this will be the best that is possible when in many instances the clients are almost begging for recognition of their humanity or even reconciliation of the relationship. I have come to believe in the power of honest, sincere apology, for I have seen it break down seemingly insurmountable barriers to settlement and even lead far beyond mere settlement to forgiveness and reconciliation. I readily admit that what I will write here is something above what most mediators are trained to do, and also above what happens in most mediations. That does not lower the bar, however, but rather shows us possibilities far greater than most of us believe.

There are cases that are simply different perspectives on the facts and responsibilities where people sincerely believe that they did nothing wrong. However, research shows that people often do blame themselves for what has happened but are afraid to admit it because it will be used against them. They also fear embarrassment, public humiliation and becoming social and business pariahs.

I offer that the role of the mediator is to create a place where it is safe to apologize and that the mediator has the power to create that safety zone. This means requiring a written guarantee that the apology will not be used as a weapon against the apologizer. I require all participants to sign a very specific agreement that no one can disclose anything said or offered during the session without the prior written agreement of everyone, including the mediator, nor use what is said or learned as evidence. If anyone refuses to sign this agreement, I do not mediate. I as the mediator have the power to control how information is disclosed and I believe that exercising this particular power is one of the my stronger tools.

The Power of Apology
Mr. Kichaven states that “apologies are not that useful anyway”. His reason is that they are not believed, ergo, why bother? Apologies are often initially rebuffed, but we need to explore the rebuff for what it truly represents. So what if the plaintiff’s attorney says they do not believe the apology is sincere? One role of the advocate is to posture to get as much as possible for their client. The rebuff may be nothing more than a tactic to show how strongly they believe in their position and the “rightness” of their cause. It may be just an attempt to explore what tangibles may become attached to the apology. That is just Negotiations 101. I see this rebuff as just another opportunity to delve more deeply into interests rather than staying stuck in positions. The fact that they say “no” does not mean it is a permanent “no”.

The answer may be that the apology did not go far enough
About six years ago, I worked with two physicians who headed a very large medical practice that was in danger of disintegration. I will leave the identifying details out, but it became clear as we progressed that each had been deeply hurt by the actions of the other. That hurt translated into anger and fear, which led to escalating responses. In the safe place of mediation, they each became aware of how deeply their actions had hurt the other, and were horrified. Both were very moral, ethical people, but in the crush of conflict they had acted in hurtful, even frightening ways to each other. Once they began to understand the devastating impact of their actions, they both began to offer full apologies and actually fell weeping into each other’s arms. (They do not teach you how to deal with that one in mediator school, do they?) We eventually reached a written agreement that focused on communication practices for the future, and they left.

I saw one of those physicians in August of this year. They had followed the communication protocols we established until they became habit, and still follow them. The practice has expanded and physicians have been added. They attribute it all to my making a safe place for them to talk, listen, understand, and apologize.

The problem may be that we each have a different concept of what constitutes a “full apology”, and we each have different needs that must be met before we can accept the apology and move on with our lives.

I went to South Africa last November as part of my doctoral research into forgiveness. It is one thing to read the transcripts of the victim and amnesty hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but something altogether different to sit down with both victims and perpetrators and listen to their stories. I saw the scars on victims and the haunting pain in their eyes as they told their stories, but I also saw a deep peace in those who had found the way to forgiveness. Surprisingly, I saw the exact same feelings and emotional scars in a man granted amnesty for a murder and two bombings. I listened, I asked questions, and a pattern seemed to emerge. On returning home and burying myself in the empirical literature, I saw the patterns I first became aware of in South Africa replicated in various studies.

It seems that apology can be construed as not a single act but a continuum of acts on the part of the perpetrator. People respond differently based on their emotional makeup and the damage done. What is sufficient for one is insufficient for another.

The lowest level of apology is simply a confession where the perpetrator acknowledges what he or she did. Confession is an act of ownership for the deed and acknowledgement of the damage done. There is no expression of remorse. In other words, the victim hears the truth from the one who did the act. The simple and unadorned “I did it” stage is where the perpetrator takes ownership. Confession is sufficient for some, but not many.

The next level of apology integrates confession with expressions of remorse. Here the perpetrator acknowledges the act and the damage, and shows sincere regret through words and body language. The showing of remorse acknowledges that the act itself was wrong, damaging and painful, and the perpetrator regrets the act and the impact on the victim. This is the “I did it and I’m sorry” stage. Many more people will accept this apology than simple confession.

The third level of apology incorporates the first two and adds a repentance phase where the perpetrator states how this has affected him/her and changed him/her to lead a better life. This is the “I did it, I’m sorry, it will never happen again” stage. This stage must often be accompanied by visible, tangible proof of changed ways. Again, this form of apology is powerful enough to be accepted by a large number of people.

The strongest level of apology adds “justice” to the equation. In essence, here the perpetrator adds an open-ended offer of “what can I do to make this right?” This is where mediator creativity is paramount, for justice is a slippery issue. Justice for one is injustice for another. Here is where interests truly come to the fore. In one South African case, justice occurred when a black woman “adopted” the white murderer of her husband and son at his amnesty hearing before the TRC (think about the many implications of this before you react). The white police officer fainted on hearing her make this request.

Yes, there are cases where apology in any form will never happen, and some where it may not even be appropriate. It depends on what we are trying to accomplish through the mediation itself, which is dictated by the needs and desires of the clients. Are we looking for a settlement to a dispute where the parties will go their separate ways and never again interact? Then apology may not occur. But, if we are looking at a wounded relationship in need of healing, then apology appears to be the gateway.

Source: Prof Darrell Puls, who's an adjunct professor of conflict management at Trinity Theological Seminary and private practice mediator, trainer, and writer living in Kennewick, Washington. He holds a doctorate in conflict management, specializes in organizational and church conflict resolution, and has worked in the conflict management field since 1976.

"I'm Sorry": The Power of Apology in Mediation

By Dr Carl Schneider

The Elements of Apology
Apology involves the acknowledgement of injury with an acceptance of responsibility, affect (felt regret or shame - the person must mean it), and vulnerability - the risking of an acknowledgement without excuses. It is repair work - work that is often necessary, but difficult.

Apology is a ritual exchange, where what is offered in exchange for the injury done is, in Tavuchis' phrase, "nothing, except a...speech expressing regret."

Aaron Lazare has best captured the ritual exchange of apology: "What makes an apology work is the exchange of shame and power between the offender and the offended."

Apologies in Mediation
Apology is central to mediation: mediation regularly involves disputes in which one party feels injured by the other. An apology is an act that is neither about problem-solving or negotiation. Rather, it is a form of ritual exchange where words are spoken that may enable closure. In the language of transformative mediation, apology represents an opportunity for acknowledgement that may transform relations. Most of us recognize its role in victim-offender mediation and community conferencing, but it can play an equally critical role in other forms of mediation, including employment and divorce mediation.

Assisting Clients with Apology: What makes it work?
People can authentically apologize in mediation, but they often need help in getting past the defensiveness and fear of blame that preclude apology. Apology can not be imposed. It is a moment of opportunity. Parties often need preparation and help with the words. An apology involves such vulnerability that often the only way it is safe enough is with the mediator's assistance in putting the apology in words.

Apology involves an exchange of power and shame. Apology is a form of non-coercive power-balancing enacted by parties in which the powerful offer their vulnerability and through recognition, the injured/humiliated are empowered.

Apology and the Adversarial System
Apology can be a critical element in the settlement of lawsuits. Many of us have been in mediations in which there is a palpable desire for - sometimes an explicit insistence on -apology from plaintiffs. Many of us have witnessed the enormous cost of missed opportunities for apology. The pairing of the law and the adversarial system, however, makes for a matrix antithetical to apology. The preoccupation of American jurisprudence with defending individual rights and fears of admitting culpability can function to preclude apology with its naked unqualified acknowledgement of responsibility. As Lon Fuller has noted, adjudication involves rational ordering of a complaint according to principle whereas apology is not an appeal to reason. The adversary system breeds defensiveness; apology requires vulnerability.

It is possible to have a legal system more supportive of apology. The legal system in Japan functions quite differently and there apology plays a major role as a social restorative mechanism.

Mediation, Apology and The Law
When attorneys are present in mediation it is generally far more difficult to hold open the space for apology, since attorneys are habituated to their role as "watchdog, guarding against their client's unwitting forfeiture of legal entitlements" (McEwan). This creates a wariness of apology which is a moment where a client relinquishes all justifications, excuses, and counter-claims and instead faces the other with moral transparency.

Apology and the adversarial system resemble David encountering Goliath: the one is loaded down with protective armor, the other comes seemingly defenseless. Many mediations are centrally about a damaged relationship. Trust has been broken. When offered with integrity and timing, an apology can be a critically important moment in mediation. An apology, when acknowledged, can restore trust. As Wagatsuma observes, "There are injuries that can only be repaired by an apology." The past is not erased, but the present is changed.

In divorce mediation an opportunity sometimes occurs for clients to acknowledge they have acted in ways that have created injury and they are sorry for the damage inflicted on their marriage and their spouse. The mediator can help people face damaged bonds and sort through what remains. With the marriage vow broken and trust betrayed, does anything remain? Is everything destroyed?

An apology is an opportunity to say, "Yes, there has been a terrible wound here, for which I am truly sorry. My intention is not to destroy you. I am ending a marriage, but I would like to close that door gently, not slam it shut."

Bibliography:
Lazare, A. "Go Ahead, Say You're Sorry." Psychology Today, January/February 1995, 40-43, 76-78.

Levi, D. "The Role of Apology in Mediation." New York University Law Review. 72, (5), November 1997. 1165-1210.

Moore, D. B. "Shame, Forgiveness, and Juvenile Justice." Criminal Justice Ethics, Winter/Spring 1993.

Scheff, T. J., Bloody Revenge: Emotions, Nationalism, and War. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994.

Tavuchis, N. Mea Culpa: A Sociology of Apology and Reconciliation. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1991.

Wagatsuma, H. and Rosett, A. "The Implications of Apology: Law and Culture in Japan and the United States." Law & Society Review, 1986, 20 (4), 461-498.

Source: Dr Carl Schneider, who has trained several thousand divorce mediators in the United States and abroad. Currently Director of Mediation Matters in Silver Spring, Maryland, he formerly was Director (1981-1989) of the Divorce Mediation Service, a group practice of sixteen mediators in the Chicago area, and Director of the Mediation Program of Woodbury College, Montpelier, Vermont. A registered psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Carl holds his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Why Mediation Often Works When Lawyers Haven’t Been Able To Settle

By Richard Morley Barron

Mediation forces all attorneys to seriously focus only on settlement
Too often attorney settlement discussions are merely a short exchange after depositions, vaguely inquiring about whether the other party is ready to throw in the towel. And when more serious settlement discussions are held, they’re often attempts by one lawyer to see if the other lawyer is willing to modify their “best case scenario” position with obligating the inquiring lawyer to any corresponding concession. Mediation, on the other hand, requires both attorneys and their clients to jointly analyze their case, both strengths and weaknesses, and to prepare for defending and “selling” their position to a reluctant buyer and a somewhat skeptical mediator. Thus, mediation is necessarily more likely to succeed than prior negotiations were because the mediation process forces the parties to be more focused on, and prepared for, negotiation toward settlement.

A mediator’s economic incentive is settling the case
Trial counsel are compensated in different ways, and settlement doesn’t always net them the maximum fee. Moreover, in most cases, as a party prepares for the actual trial, additional expenses such as expert witnesses, etc., are incurred and passed on to the client. And even if a party’s counsel prevails, they can’t guarantee that there will not be an appeal. A mediator has no interest in having a case drag on. On the contrary, a mediator’s reputation for resolving cases, on which his or her practice depends, turns on getting the case before them resolved quickly. Thus, no matter how able one’s trial counsel, it’s often preferable to have a professional mediator to help settle the case. Attorneys have a somewhat different orientation.

Trial counsel have an adversarial orientation
Setting aside economic disincentives, it is hard for a lawyer to get into settlement mode as they are getting ready for trial. The opponent must believe that they are ready, willing and able to go to trial. There is often a fear that counsel’s settlement proposals will be erroneously viewed as evidence of a reluctant to go to trial. There is also a concern about saying anything that might be suggestive of weakness or lack of commitment to the client.

Mediation is structured to produce agreement
In most cases mediation allows parties to be in the same venue but in different rooms for difficult parts of the negotiations. This procedure allows parties to pause before responding, and it encourages each party to compose their thoughts before communicating their positions to the other side. All parties can evaluate opposing parties and their counsel. Parties can ask questions. Parties can present hypothetical solutions without commitment. Parties can normally negotiate face to face, if desired. Parties can obtain impartial feedback from the mediator. Parties can take their time in considering all viable options in a neutral and comfortable setting. The entire process assumes that, with professional assistance, reasonable and knowledgeable participants can jointly arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution of their competing interests.

Mediation puts all players on the field
The ultimate decision maker for each side is almost always at the mediation. This is a vital advantage that is often lacking during regular negotiations. This is especially the case with insurance, corporate and municipal parties. Legal counsel can, and must, deal with their clients on a real-time basis. This prevents the negotiation momentum from breaking down due to having to check with someone or something not present.

Mediation is a black box
Everyone understands that what happens in mediation is totally confidential and will not be discoverable or admissible in a case at a later point. This gives all participants the freedom to explore all possible forms of settlements and even allows them the safety of conceding weaknesses in their case. Parties will not normally share truly sensitive or confidential information nor offer an apology unless they are confident that this will be protected. Mediation is a bit like selecting a pope; the process is subsumed in the result.

Mediators are experts in the process of dispute resolution
Mediators understand the cognitive, affective, equitable and legal aspects of getting parties to “yes”. A good mediator can use their status as a neutral newcomer to the case to carefully investigate with each side the facts, interests and emotions needed to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. A mediator generally will know from experience what will work and what will not. A good mediator serves as a patient negotiation coach who can keep the parties engaged in the negotiation beyond the point at which the parties become discouraged and are ready to give up.

Mediators can confront parties in ways that their counsel cannot
Good attorneys normally know when their clients are being objectively unfair or unrealistic but confronting their client about this is a serious challenge. Mediators can do reality testing with the client without denigrating the legal ability of their legal counsel. Mediators point out to clients that approximately 95% of all civil cases are settled without a trial. They also remind clients that recent statistical studies demonstrate, at least in California, that in only 15% of the civil cases that went to trial did both parties improve their net position over pre-trial offer/demand. Plaintiffs were disappointed in a much higher rate than defendants were. Good mediators can often cause a party to base their evaluation on reality rather than on wishful thinking.

Source: Richard Morley Barron, who's a 1971 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School who has been engaged in civil litigation in federal and Michigan courts for over thirty years in the Flint area. He has mediated cases ordered into mediation by the courts as well as being privately retained by counsel.

An Alternative Approach to Negotiation and Mediation Planning

By Prof Manie Spoelstra

Mediocre and Extreme Issues
It is often of concern for individuals involved in the training and practise of mediation and negotiation to witness how negotiators (even after being trained for several days) still get bogged down in issues that are ‘trivial’ to the central objective or frame. For example, management and labour unions are often drawn into conflict over an extra month maternity leave while less than 2% of their work force is female (and 1% of those are less than 45 years old). Buyers and sellers, in renegotiating an annual contract, often experience outdrawn conflict over penalty clauses while they’ve had an effective relationship for the past ten years! Furthermore a couple, while participating in a mediation about the details of their divorce, fight about the liabilities and not the assets!

Taleb (2007), in his sceptical book on probability theory, ‘The Black Swan’, provides an important view on the kind of data that individuals work with (and how they perceive it) in forecasting or planning. Negotiators, like economists and others, also use available information, expected information and simply guesswork to plan and strategise the outcome of future events.

Taleb (2007, 35) distinguish between two types of data; mediocre and extreme. He makes the analogy that we can often plan the outcome of mediocre variables with an acceptable degree of probability. We can, for example, predict with a fair degree of accuracy, a somewhat linear relationship between rise in annual sales and profitability; or at least draw some sort of bell curve that will indicate the relationship between increased sales and increased capital expenditure.

We could, perhaps, predict, with a moderate degree of probability, the influence of price versus quality in a negotiation between a supplier and a company buyer. We cannot, unfortunately, according to Taleb (2007, 35) predict ‘extreme’ variables (such as exchange rates six months from now) in the same way. We have almost no ability in predicting the influence of some occurrences (plant breakdowns, management changes, staff illness, negotiator emotions, etc) that are ‘black swans’ (extreme cases).

Extreme issues could also be what was traditionally regarded as ‘plannable’ or ‘rational’ such as ‘financial sense’, price, penalty clauses, quality, delivery time, projected sales, payment terms, management changes; in fact, extreme issues could be almost anything depending on the kind of deal that is being negotiated.

How, for example, could any negotiator, politician, historian or economist have predicted the 2008 market crash and financial crises that followed it? This unpredictability possibly has changed many a good deal into a bad one during the past six months.

We do not seem to be good at all in predicting. Especially if we use past data and ‘mediocre statistics’ to predict extreme occurrences (and negotiating could heed extreme behaviours).

For example, who would have predicted in January 2008 that negotiating a merger with a mortgage bank could turn bad, yes, very bad in October 2008. No planning, as is often recommended in books on negotiation and mediation, would have helped negotiators in the past year in any way.

A Planning Method for the Unexpected
Although Taleb accepted that there are very little one can do about the occurrence of ‘Black Swans’ in project planning, in forecasting and in most forms of future planning, he does propose a ‘grey solution’ by accepting . that the unexpected will occur . and then hedging for the 15% unexpected. For the remaining 85% he proposes a conservative approach, in other words, carefully and meticulous information gathering and planning.

With the above notion in mind, Spoelstra (2008) conducted a series of practical ‘experiments’; asking one group of negotiators in training sessions to make use of one method of planning: The method can be called . ‘traditional’ . as it is based on the ‘older’ or ‘traditional method of identifying, weighing and prioritising issues (Lewicki and Litterer, 1985, 60, Bazerman and Neale, 1992, 17). Secondly, he asked another group to plan according to what he calls the ‘Black Swan’ method (due to a lack of a better description).

The ‘Black Swan’ method involves that negotiators, during preparation, list issues and then divide them in ‘mediocre’ (the known) and ‘extreme’ (the deal breakers or the known unknown). Mediocre issues (those they can predict) would in some cases represent 90% of issues. Extreme issues would, in rare case be as many as 20% of the issues.

After negotiators have divided their issues into extreme and mediocre, Spoelstra made them plan to do ‘horse-trading’ of ‘mediocre’ issues, based on reciprocity. He further tried to commit negotiators never to turn mediocre issues into major conflict and to exercise extreme flexibility (because they were mediocre anyway).

On the other hand he demanded from negotiators to develop as many creative alternatives, ‘hedging systems’ and ‘different approaches’ to extreme variables.

The consequences of this approach was that negotiators were seldom drawn into conflict about non-essential issues and focused on those issues that really matter, resulting in significant more resolutions.

The results of this ‘narrative’ experiment’ seem to head significant better results than the ‘traditional’ approach of ranking and prioritising issues and by using the reasoning of Taleb.

Bibliography:
Bazerman, M H, and Neal, M N; 1992; Negotiating Rationally; The Free Press; New York.

Lewicki, R J, and Litterer, J A; 1985; Negotiation; Richard D Irwin, Inc, Illinois.

Spoelstra, H I J; 2008, The Effect of Different Methods of Preparation in Negotiation Outcomes; Unpublished Report, International Negotiation Academy, South Africa.

Taleb, N N; 2007; The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable; Penguin; London.

Source: Prof Manie Spoelstra, who has published numerous articles and books on negotiation, general management, strategy formulation and participative management, and has often consulted to many leading companies on these topics. By regularly attending advanced seminars at institutions such as the Harvard Center for Management Research in Boston and the Stanford Business School in San Francisco, and by continuing to teach negotiation at the Witwatersrand Business School and the Rand Afrikaans University, he has maintained his intellectual prowess and has ensured that the courses the International Negotiation Academy offer are consistently of the highest international standard.

Opening of Euromax Terminal in Rotterdam by Asian lines

Hanjin Shipping and its container partners have announced the opening of the Euromax Terminal in Rotterdam, Netherlands that took place on 5 September 2008.

The Euromax Terminal has been developed jointly by ECT (Europe Container Terminal) and the CKYH (Cosco Group, K-Line, Yang Ming Line and Hanjin Shipping) Alliance. The terminal is located in Maasvlakte-1 with 4 berths in Phase-1 and shall be expanded to Phase 4. A total of 2.3 million TEU can be handled in Phase-1 and the terminal will be able to handle 5.6 million TEU once Phase 4 is completed.

Hanjin Shipping, with another European dedicated terminal in Antwerp introduced back in 2006, is studying the possibility of securing more dedicated terminals in a variety of logistics hubs such as in the Mediterranean, South East Asia, etc.

Noxious liquids leak out your tanks

Damage & Emergency
Minimise risks through preparation
What will you do, when noxious liquids leak out your tanks? With GL you minimise risks to lives, properties and the environment. If it has come to a worst case, know why it happened - and you are better prepared next time.

Emergency Response Service
A cruise ship scrapes a reef. A fire breaks out in a storage room. The many different scenarios the Emergency Response Service (ERS) of Germanischer Lloyd has to handle are often hazardous for passengers, seamen and the environment. The emergency service for ships in trouble consists of a computer based contingency planning system available around-the-clock. In the case of an emergency, the service includes expert analysis of the damage and a detailed recommendation for the rescue procedure. The benefits for the shipping company are evident: An accident can often cost several hundred million euros. If an efficient crisis management system is in place, save considerable amounts of money can be saved and serious environmental damage avoided.

File Access Service
With the File Access Service (FAS), GL offers the permanent storage of plans within the framework of the Non-Tank Vessel Response Plan (NTVRP), required by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) for immediate access 24 hours per day. The NTVRP requires that operators of non-tank vessels should identify the shore location and 24-hour access procedures for shore-based calculation data, such as plans and drawings that might be useful in an incident. In case of an emergency, the availability of these plans shall help to evaluate damages and to compile a data model for further investigations.

SOPEP Approval
The "Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP)" is an information from the owner to the master of a particular vessel how to react in case of an oil spill. It describes the actions to be taken within various scenarios as well as communications to be made, listed in a format required by the MARPOL Convention Regulations. The plan is compulsory for all ships of 400 GRT and above. It has to be approved by the flag administration or a recognized organisation like GL.

SMPEP Approval
The "Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP)" is an information from the owner to the Master of a particular vessel how to react in case of a spill of noxious liquid substances (NLS) onboard. It tells how to act proper and immediately and whom to contact in such a case - all in a format required by the MARPOL Convention Regulations. The plan is compulsory for all ships of 150 GRT and above which are certified to carry noxious liquid substances in bulk (NLS). The IMO recommends furnishing a combined plan dealing with oil and NLS spills. The plan has to be approved by the flag administration or a Recognized Organisation. GL is authorized to approve the SMPEP.

Damage & Repair Management
Germanischer Lloyd co-ordinates all of hull and machinery related damages and the required repairs of the world wide GL classified fleet in service. GL issues technical reports and expert opinion reports for civil and legal affairs concerning shore plants and their sub-systems, power and heat systems and more. We accompany and mediate laboratory failure analysis of the material. Shipowners benefit from macroscopic documentation, our evaluation of damage characteristics, tests of material quality and micro investigations. We evaluate ship-side operational data and identify fracture appearances of wear mechanisms by scanning, electron microscopy and calculation for docking in loaded condition.

Source: Germanischer Lloyd (GL), who's a ship classification society and an international inspection, certification and technical consultancy company. Both business fields follow the same approach of technical competence, uncompromising quality and first-class services around the world.

Intelligent Ship-Breaking Getting ready for 2013

Ship Recycling, a challenging aspect on the conscience of shipping, is finally being addressed by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). The new convention will provide regulations for the design, construction, operation and preparation for recycling of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling. How can shipowners and yards prepare for the new requirements?

Every new ship would have to enter service with a certified Inventory of Hazardous Material (IHM). "This has to be updated through a ship's life time", explained Henning Gramann, Environmental Engineer and expert for Ship Recycling at GL. "Existing ships would also be provided with such an inventory within the first five years the convention enters into force - or before the vessel is sent for demolition, whatever comes first."

Recycling Facilities would need to comply with safety and environmental requirements to gain their authorization and e.g. handle and dispose of hazardous material safely. Ship Recycling States will be required to take effective measures to ensure that Ship Recycling Facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the convention. "When an owner decides to scrap a vessel, a facility approved in line with the requirements of the convention has to be chosen. The combination of the abilities of and methods applied at this facility and the ship characteristics like size and hazardous materials contained, will be considered for preparation of the specific Ship Recycling Plan by the ship recycler.

This plan has to be approved by the Recycling State and is required for issuance of the International Ready for Recycling Certificate by the Flag State", he added. "This means ships will have to undergo an initial survey to verify the inventory of hazardous materials at the beginning of their operational life, or in-between for existing ships, re-surveys during the life of the ship, and a final survey directly prior to recycling."

In order to assist shipyards and shipowners in the implementation of the new convention a series of guidelines are being developed. The entry into force criteria for the convention (number of states required and percentage of gross merchant shipping tonnage plus consideration of ship recycling capacity) will be decided by the Diplomatic Conference when formally adopting the proposed convention and starting the ratification process.

If the convention enters into force in 2013 as expected, globally approximately 50.000 ships will fall under the new regulation.

Source: Germanischer Lloyd (GL), who's a ship classification society and an international inspection, certification and technical consultancy company. Both business fields follow the same approach of technical competence, uncompromising quality and first-class services around the world.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trade News - Seaborne

Yang Ming Line (YML) increases intra-Med coverage
Yang Ming Line (YML) shall launch its second East Mediterranean feeder service nextmonth, connecting hub port, Port Said with Istanbul, Haydarpasa, Izmir andAshdod deploying two 1,800 teu vessels.

Hyundai bumps up Asia/Europe capacity
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is to start deploying 8,560 teu vessels on its Asia/Europe Express (AEX) service to replace 6,800 teu vessels from late February 2009. In what is an unusual move given the present market conditions, HMM will begin phasing in the larger vessels as replacements for those of 6,800 teucapacity with the first of a class of four newbuildings chartered from Zodiac Maritime on February 24th.

Charleston reduces rates
The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) is to reduce rates at Charleston through the mid-Winter period by 5% to "provide near-term reliefto customers impacted by the current global economic situation", the Authority announced. The reduction will run between January 1st and March 31st 2009 and cover contract unit fees for container carriers. The SCSPA also confirmed today that in the first five months of fiscal 2008 (July/November), container volumes were down 4% on the same period last year

Source: PR News (Copy 5831, 5832, and 5833)

NOL announces cost reduction initiatives


Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) is to cut its global workforce level by around 1,000 people, and shift its US regional headquarters from Oakland to a "morecost effective location" in the US, in the latest of a series ofcost-cutting initiatives undertaken by the Singapore-headquartered group.

The move follows the decision by NOL last month, to cut capacity on theAsia/Europe and Transpacific trades.

These capacity reductions are estimated to save NOL some US$200m next year.

Some 50 jobs are also expected to go at the Singapore headquarters, andthere will be a series of changes in the way the APL Logistics is managed,which is expected to create "efficiencies and a clearer line of sight ofroles and accountabilities".

NOL Group president/ceo, Ron Widdows said he anticipated, "NOL's plans wouldlead to a restructuring charge of approximately US$33m in NOL Q4 financialresults, but would deliver positive financial outcomes in future years".

Source: PR News (Copy: 5782)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tiada sebab mansuhkan sekolah vernakular

Tiada sebab kukuh untuk sistem persekolahan vernakular dimansuhkan.

Menurutnya, ini berikutan prestasi akademik mereka amat memberangsangkan.

Kalau prestasi mereka menurun, cadangan yang dikemukakan oleh Datuk Mukhriz boleh diterima akal.

Tetapi, sekolah vernakular menghasilkan ramai pemimpin dan usahawan berjaya dalam pelbagai bidang, malahan pandai bertutur dalam pelbagai bahasa termasuk bahasa kebangsaan kita.

Cadangan Ahli Parlimen Jerlun untuk memansuhkan sistem persekolahan vernakular dan digantikan dengan sistem menggabungkan semua aliran persekolahan tidak dapat diterima.

Walaupun Mukhriz mendakwa ia rasional dengan tujuan menyatukan semua kaum di bawah satu sistem persekolahan namun cadangannya itu boleh membawa kepada perpecahan kaum.

Isu sekolah vernakular sepatutnya tidak disentuh tetapi beliau boleh mengemukakan cadangan lain yang boleh diterima oleh masyarakat berbilang bangsa di negara ini.

Kepentingan mempelajari bahasa Tamil dan Cina tidak diketahui oleh sesetengah pihak.

Menurutnya, bahasa Tamil dan Cina amat diperlukan dalam urusan eksport dengan negara luar kerana negara China dan India merupakan pemasaran eksport utama di negera kita.

Sekurang-kurangnya 60 peratus daripada eksport negera ini, adalah untuk negara India dan China dan jika kita tahu bahasa mereka, mereka lebih selesa untuk berunding dengan orang tempatan dan akan membantu lagi meningkatkan prestasi ekonomi negara.

Pertumbuhan ekonomi di Malaysia melalui pelbagai bahasa (multilingualism).

Source: Front Page on Sinar Harian on 9 December 2008

You may visit International Multilingual Research Journal (IMRJ), by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates and Arizona State University.

IMO publishes new IMDG Code (2008 Edition)

A new edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the standard guide to all aspects of handling dangerous goods and marine pollutants in sea transport, has been published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in hard copy, as a download and as an internet subscription. The new edition includes the changes in Amendment 34-08, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2008.

Although the information in the Code is directed primarily at the mariner, its provisions are essential for a whole range of industries and services. Manufacturers, packers, shippers, feeder services such as road and rail, and port authorities will find reliable advice on terminology, packing, labelling, classification, stowage, segregation, and emergency response action.

The new amendments to the Code are mandatory as from 1 January 2010 but may be applied by Administrations voluntarily from 1 January 2009.

The many detailed changes introduced by Amendment 34-08 include:

- In the Dangerous Goods List, there are 12 new UN numbers going up to 3481, with explosives going up to 0508;

- There are also 5 UN numbers which were previously not listed in the IMDG Code because they were not regulated under it;

- Appropriate training for shore-side staff involved with dangerous goods is now mandatory instead of just recommended, and may be audited by the competent authority. Persons not yet trained may only operate under the direct supervision of a trained person; and

- Additional changes concerning marine pollutants, IMO tank instructions, excepted quantities, limited quantities and radioactive materials of class 7.

Details:
Product code: IG200F, ISBN: 978-92-801-2406-4
Product code: IG200S, ISBN: 978-92-801-0182-9

The products listed above are available from...

International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code

The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code was developed as a uniform international code for the transport of dangerous goods by sea covering such matters as packing, container traffic and stowage, with particular reference to the segregation of incompatible substances.

Development of the IMDG Code
The development of the IMDG Code dates back to the 1960 Safety of Life at Sea Conference, which recommended that Governments should adopt a uniform international code for the transport of dangerous goods by sea to supplement the regulations contained in the 1960 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

A resolution adopted by the 1960 Conference said the proposed code should cover such matters as packing, container traffic and stowage, with particular reference to the segregation of incompatible substances.

A working group of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee began preparing the Code in 1961, in close co‑operation with the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which in a 1956 report had established minimum requirements for the transport of dangerous goods by all modes of transport.

Since its adoption by the fourth IMO Assembly in 1965, the IMDG Code has undergone many changes, both in appearance and content to keep pace with the ever‑changing needs of industry. Amendments which do not affect the principles upon which the Code is based may be adopted by the MSC, allowing IMO to respond to transport developments in reasonable time.

Amendments to the IMDG Code originate from two sources; proposals submitted directly to IMO by Member States and amendments required to take account of changes to the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods which sets the basic requirements for all the transport modes.

Amendments to the provisions of the United Nations Recommendations are made on a two‑yearly cycle and approximately two years after their adoption, they are adopted by the authorities responsible for regulating the various transport modes. In that way a basic set of requirements applicable to all modes of transport is established and implemented, thus ensuring that difficulties are not encountered at inter‑modal interfaces.

IMDG Code classes
For the purposes of this Code, dangerous goods are classified in different classes, to subdivide a number of these classes and to define and describe characteristics and properties of the substances, material and articles which would fall within each class or division. General provisons for each class or division are given. Individual dangerous goods are listed in the Dangerous Goods List, with the class and any specific requirements.

In accordance with the criteria for the selection of marine pollutants for the purposes of Annex III of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), a number of dangerous substances in the various classes have also been identified as substances harmful to the marine environment (MARINE POLLUTANTS).

Responsibilities
The classification shall be made by the shipper/consignor or by the appropriate competent authority where specified in this Code.

Classes, divisions, packing groups
Substances (including mixtures and solutions) and articles subject to the provisions of this Code are assigned to one of the classes 1-9 according to the hazard or the most predominant of the hazards they present. Some of these classes are subdivided into divisions. These classes or divisions are as listed below:

Class 1: Explosives
Division 1.1: substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.2: substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.3: substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.4: substances and articles which present no significant hazard
Division 1.5: very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.6: extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard

Class 2: Gases
Class 2.1: flammable gases
Class 2.2: non-flammable, non-toxic gases
Class 2.3: toxic gases

Class 3: Flammable liquids

Class 4: Flammable solids; substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
Class 4.1: flammable solids, self-reactive substances and desensitized explosives
Class 4.2: substances liable to spontaneous combustion
Class 4.3: substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases

Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
Class 5.1: oxidizing substances
Class 5.2: organic peroxides

Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances
Class 6.1: toxic substances
Class 6.2: infectious substances

Class 7: Radioactive material

Class 8: Corrosive substances

Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

# The numerical order of the classes and divisions is not that of the degree of danger.

Marine pollutants and wastes
Many of the substances assigned to classes 1 to 9 are deemed as being marine pollutants. Certain marine pollutants have an extreme pollution potential and are identified as severe marine pollutants.

Buy the IMDG Code
The IMDG Code (Latest edition - Amendment 34-08) can be bought in hard copy and electronic format from the IMO Publication section.

Also available is the IMDG Code Supplement, containing several related texts including a new revised EMS Guide, and the mandatory INF Code.

IMDG Code for Windows v9 (DG200E) and the intranet version (DG201E) will be available from http://www.imdgsupport.com/

What's in it
The Code lays down basic principles; detailed recommendations for individual substances, materials and articles, and a number of recommendations for good operational practice including advice on terminology, packing, labelling, stowage, segregation and handling, and emergency response action.


Source: International Maritime Organization, which is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing polution from ships.

The Week at a Glance

Allied Shipbrokering Inc says "unemployment" is becoming the No 1 issue with published statistics creating fear and uncertainty.

It was further elaborated that, in USA in November 533.000 jobs have been lost, increasing the number of jobs lost since January 2008 to 1,91 million, thus creating a 34 year high! Pretty scary?

In the Euro zone, OECD foresees worsening of therecession. Growth for the year 2009 is anticipated to benegative at around minus 1% whereas inflation isexpected to be at the region between 1,1% and 1,7%.

Commodity speaking, BHP Billiton will follow its rivals Vale and Rio Tinto in cutting down production of iron ore after seeing Far Eastern steel mills not increasing their stocks. In oil, Saudi Arabia will reduce its crude production in January as demand keeps on dropping.

Source: S&P Weekly Glance, Allied Shipbrokering Inc (Week 50, 2008)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Admission to MIArb


Conflict, probably the dispute, prevention and management, or rather its transformations are deemed as core issues in development planning and management works, simply because development projects are, under normal circumstances, not only affected by conflicts or disputes, but also run at the risk of aggravating conflicts that already exist or even of triggering off new conflict dynamics.


The evolution of conflict prevention and management (CPM) as a practice shall depend on the necessary resources being committed to the relevant initiatives in the future. CPM faces serious problems in this respect because it is extremely difficult to evaluate whether conflict prevention initiatives have been responsible for a conflict not having happened?


It, ideally, includes Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), a combined theoretical and practical approach for arbitration, mediation & adjudication, as widely promoted by the relevant professional bodies, such as "Institut Penimbangtara Malaysia" or Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators (MIArb).


Being a professional logistician, having involved in international trade and logistics management regardless of sea, air, rail and land modes, I’m always of the great interest of CPM and ADR.


I think it's ideal to have a forum that involves representatives from various cultural and educational backgrounds, combines a theoretical and policy outlook with a strong focus on the development of new methods for CPM and ADR as well as confidence building. Specifically, the aim is to identify methods, models and strategies for the necessary improvement. This shall be achieved by the sharing of ideas and experience between leading academics, politicians, practitioners, policy makers and leaders abroad.


I'm pleased greatly that I have successfully been admitted as an Associate of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators, which entitles the letters "AMIArb". I'm, with inspiring hopes, looking forward to serve, rightfully settle, to my best of knowledge and belief, any Logistics and Transportation related dispute(s) and/ or conflict(s) in the international trade.