View Full Version : A Question for Andrew Craig-Bennett

Alan D. Hyde
03-01-2006, 02:38 PM
Andrew, I've been told that the P & O to UAE deal involves control of NINE terminals among THREE-HUNDRED some at the ports involved.

Is this true?

So far as you know...


[ 03-01-2006, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

George Roberts
03-01-2006, 02:58 PM
At one time the reports were 24 terminals out of 800+ at 6 ports. About 3%.

One reason to manage a small number of terminals at a large number of ports is so you can send a ship from one to to another and guarantee that it will have a terminal when it arrives.

[ 03-01-2006, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: George Roberts ]

03-01-2006, 03:16 PM
Just three of those P&O terminals, Miami, Baltimore, and Newark-New York, handle more than 6 million containers per year, out of an annual total of about 20 million containers per year coming into and out of america per year.

Thats more than 25%.

So harping on this meaningless statistic that its only 9 out of 300 is worse than merely misleading, its a case of there being lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Alan D. Hyde
03-01-2006, 03:58 PM
My initial post on this thread, Pat, was not "harping."

It was not even stating.

It was simply asking... of one who knows WAY more concerning such matters than do I.

It was (and is) an attempt to learn more.

That's why I'm here. :D


Alan D. Hyde
03-01-2006, 04:14 PM
It was meant to make the point of the question, Norman.

Let's wait for a knowledgeable answer, eh?


Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-02-2006, 03:54 AM
Alan, the point that you make is a good one, but it is difficult to be precise, because there is no proper definition of what constitutes a "port facility".

I am using the term "port facility" for "terminal" because that is what is used in the International Ship and Port Security Code, an IMO (UN) treaty that was passed, and brought into effect internationally, with quite amazing speed, at the behest of the USA, in the months following the "9/11" terrorist outrage.

Since there is no exact definition of what constitutes a "terminal", it's hard to say how many P&O have out of the US total, but it would not be hard, within the context of a port security discussion, for P&O to have 9 terminals at 6 locations.

Basically, port security in the USA is, as it always has been, a matter for the US Government, and it has been tightened considerably since 2001.

For example, taking something that I have alluded to before, here, it is no longer possible for foreign seamen to go ashore in the USA, even to post a letter, unless they hold a full US visa, and even then there have been many occasions of crew members not being allowed ashore.

This clip from today's Lloyds List illustrates some practical aspects of this:

STATESIDE opposition to Dubai Ports World’s $6.8bn takeover of P&O offers yet another reminder of the “holy cow” status of security in this country.

The facts that the US Coast Guard remains capable and responsible for port security, and that US ports largely remain municipally owned, have cut no ice with politicians and the common people they seek to inflame. The cheap, convenient cause célèbre now is to banish all those Arabs who would “wrest control over US ports”.

For foreign seafarers sailing into US harbours, such characterisations are old hat. There is no dearth of anecdotes since September 11, 2001, involving valid visa-holding crews forcibly made to remain onboard their ships, either by private terminals or by federal authorities.

Over the last few years, Lloyd’s List has met, or been made aware of, several foreign shipmasters whose crews have faced such hassles. Most of them requested anonymity — their chagrin at being mistaken for terrorists perhaps outweighed by that overwhelming desire to just swallow it and slink away.

Nonetheless, some cases made news. One such in 2003 involved the Arab-owned chemical tanker, the 1982-built, 23,016 dwt NCC Asir, and its Swedish-master led crew who were prevented from going ashore. The Philadelphia Inquirer exposed their troubles, thanks to a business writer familiar with the ways of international shipping.

Still, given the propensity of Americans to fear the worst, it must rank as a minor miracle that, in and around Philadelphia at least, the “shore leave” problem for visa-holding crew is now largely solved.

A large part of the credit goes to Rev James Von Dreele, executive director of the Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia and South Jersey, and Philadelphia port chaplain.

At the invitation of the recently retired US Coast Guard Port Captain, Jonathan Sarubbi, in 2004 Rev Von Dreele became the chair of a docks and terminals sub-committee of the area maritime security committee. The sub-committee was charged with the difficult issue of terminal access.

“This was not an easy subject,” Rev Von Dreele tells Lloyd’s List. “The difficulty after 9/11 was that no one wanted to press the seafarers’ rights issue.

“Politicians would of course not be interested; and even private terminal operators cited their customers’ concerns. The result was that the issue remained in the shadows.”

Nonetheless, the likes of Rev Von Dreele and Doug Stevenson, of the Centre for Seafarers’ Rights run out of the SCI counterpart in New York, raised hell regularly. These efforts finally gained traction in Philadelphia, first with the NCC Asir story, and then when Capt Sarubbi saw the connection between discontented crews and ship safety.

What followed was simply a matter of communication, Rev Von Dreele says.

“The committee’s work opened up much needed communication among the various stakeholders to make the process less adversarial,” he says.

“In fact, several terminal operators proactively reached out to agents, vendors, contractors and others to address their commercial concerns in terminal security.”

There still are isolated cases where seafarers with visas who are caught without proper papers cause the entire ship to be banished, the chaplain reports. Nonetheless, shore leave problems at the 28 terminals along the Delaware River falling within his remit are down to “zero”, he says.

Under the new protocol, “pre-approved” personnel from the SCI have undergone background and drug testing in order to qualify as escorts authorised to take valid crewmembers ashore.

Procedures have also been established to get these crewmembers to and from area shops and establishments without violating the plethora of post-September 11 security laws enforced in the US.

“Clearly, terminal operators saw and recognised the link between crew morale and ship safety,” Rev Von Dreele says.

“Our combined efforts have resulted in seafarers being treated with greater dignity and professionalism, and there is a higher level of safety and security aboard ship and on the terminals.”

Seafarers’ rights advocates nationwide have also begun reporting a welcome decline in discrimination and shore leave denials at terminals in other parts of the US. Rev Von Dreele believes his fellow chaplains have a lot to do with this turn of events.

“The response of chaplains in 2002 and 2003 was extraordinary,” he says. “The coast guard, as it formulated new legislation, held public hearings to get industry reaction.

“There was a chaplain at every single one of these hearings. This, as much as anything else, got the coast guard’s attention, so that finally, most legitimate seafarers now have a reasonable assurance of shore leave when they come to the US.”

[ 03-02-2006, 07:14 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-02-2006, 04:09 AM
Oh, and some more from the same source:

DUBAI-headquartered port operator DP World is confident that its $6.5bn purchase of the UK’s P&O will be endorsed by March 2, despite being delayed by a petition against the deal by a Miami-based firm in the High Court in London.

Court approval had been considered a formality — despite port security concerns in the US — until Eller, a joint venture partner of P&O, filed the writ in London on Monday.

DP World had earlier addressed US security concerns when it announced that it intended to isolate P&O’s US assets held through P&O’s wholly owned US subsidiary P&O Ports North America.

“There has been misconception about our role. We do not intend to embark on a major management restructure nor impact on security. We are a commercial operator and will respond to requirements to create a global network of ports,” DP World vice-chairman Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah told Lloyd’s List yesterday.

“Members of the US Congress and US citizens should understand that DP World is a commercial organisation with economic ambitions. We will use the 45-day US national security review of the deal to explain our position fully. A high-level team from Dubai with legal and public relations consultants will explain our strategy,” said Mr Bin Thaniah, pointing out that DP World already co-operates with US bodies on security measures in Dubai.

At the opening of a terminal in Djibouti earlier this week, DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem focused on the company’s security concerns and told guests at a reception onboard the US Navy vessel Vicksburg that the expansion had been accelerated by the US Navy “who had been keen drivers of the project and close partners with DP World.”

DP World’s UAE interests last year handled a total of 7.62m teu, reflecting a 19% increase on 2004, figures released yesterday reveal.

“The past 12 months have been marked by extraordinary excitement, expansion and change for DP World and that looks set to continue,” chief executive Mohammad Sharaf said in a statement reported by Gulf News.

“We have quickened the pace of expansion with the aim of making sure we are where our customers need us to be. This is the approach we are continuing to take as we grow beyond our home borders.”

The company, ranked seventh in the global port operator league table in terms of throughput, expanded operations last year in Turkey, Yemen, India, the UAE and China and expects to more than double capacity to 42m teu over the course of the next five years.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-02-2006, 04:15 AM
And a bit more:

THE US Coast Guard has rejected a claim by politicians that it had raised “concerns” about DP World’s potential support for terrorism, stating that the so-called revelations were “taken out of context” and ignored the USCG conclusion that no such threat existed, writes Rajesh Joshi in New York .

Just as it appeared that the Dubai controversy would vacate the front pages, lawmakers including Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine trumpeted what was described as a “declassified” USCG assessment.

A Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing was told that this purported assessment concluded that because of US intelligence gaps, the USCG could not determine whether the United Arab Emirates firm might support terrorists.

Ms Collins, the committee chair, declared: “I am more convinced than ever that the process was truly flawed. I can only conclude that there was a rush to judgment, that there wasn’t the kind of painstaking, thorough analysis that needed to be done.”

However, USCG office of public affairs spokesperson Cmdr Jeff Carter told Lloyd’s List: “The comments are being taken out of context because they are being quoted independently, without attaching the conclusion that the Coast Guard also reached.”

A written USCG statement noted that the comments came from a broader Coast Guard intelligence analysis performed as due diligence.

The “full, classified” analysis concluded that “DP World’s acquisition of P&O, in and of itself, does not pose a significant threat to US assets [in] ports”, the statement said. “When taking into account strong security assurances by DP World, the transaction does not compromise US security,” the USCG added.

The agency stands by this conclusion, Cmdr Carter said.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-02-2006, 04:17 AM
Oh, and just to put it in perspective:

AFTER all the melancholy headlines mourning the purchase of British firms by foreign enterprises and of the supposedly risk-averse British chief executives cowed by the City and afraid to buy anything, better news this week. National Grid, chaired by Sir John Parker, who we thought was wholly occupied by the sale of P&O Ports to Dubai (and the subsequent furore in the US) has announced its imminent acquisition of Keyspan, fifth biggest utility in the US. At $7.3bn, it is, we understand, something of a record. John Parker is Chairman of P&O as well.

Garrett Lowell
03-02-2006, 07:12 AM
I doubt there will be any outrage about that last bit, Andrew. Hard to dig up any political advantage in that.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-02-2006, 07:17 AM
I should declare an interest.

I know Sir John Parker.

I've known him for 15 years; he used to be the Chairman of Harland and Wolff. He is a Naval Architect, whose rise to fame and fortune began when he slipway launched a semi-submersible drilling rig, way back in the early 70's.

To judge by the way in which he sold me a very expensive ship, he could sell snow to Eskimos, but although he comes from Northern Ireland he is not any sort of terrorist.

[ 03-02-2006, 08:11 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Alan D. Hyde
03-02-2006, 08:52 AM
Thank you for your excellent posts, Andrew.

They are informative.

And, perhaps such information will act to illuminate the shadowed corners of fear in which many seem to dwell...


Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-02-2006, 08:57 AM
Alan, I'm sure you enjoyed this line as much as I did:

DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem focused on the company’s security concerns and told guests at a reception onboard the US Navy vessel Vicksburg... Now, the substance of your post is quite right; there is no way in which P&O are, or DP World are about to be, in a dominant position on the US waterfront.

Part of the trouble has been that with the advent of containerisation (a US invention, by the way) stevedore companies have had to make enormous capital investments in port facilities and they have chosen to re-label themselves as "port operating companies" because "stevedore" has the wrong public image for the stock markets.

Another source of trouble, equally innocent, has been the enthusiasm with which the Port of Long Beach Authority have embraced raising additional income by leasing out their defunct warehousing to Hollywood for use in action films, inadvertently creating the impression that the modern waterfront is where all sorts of nasties hang out.

[ 03-02-2006, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

George Roberts
03-02-2006, 11:17 AM
Andrew Craig-Bennett ---

Buying name recognition is common. What is less common is buying a reputation.

One of DP World’s stated reasons for buying P&O was to buy P&O's reputation.

I suspect that was a misstatement - much like most of your C&P and the sources used in it.

When the commander and chief makes a statement, many people in government change the past.


This shore leave garbage is just that.

We have laws. The Coast Guard and others enforce them until the laws are changed.

I expect other countries are just as good at making and enforcing laws. I expect a lot of people are denyied shore leave in other countries.

I expect US citizens are given more liberty based on history than some others.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 04:10 AM
You "expect" a lot, don't you, George?

But you don't know much.

You could start by taking spelling lessons.

And then proceed by understanding how the industry works.

One reason to manage a small number of terminals at a large number of ports is so you can send a ship from one to to another and guarantee that it will have a terminal when it arrives.
Not so. Port operators are not usually the same people as the ship owners, and the availability of a berth on arrival will depend on plenty of factors, such as the weather, railway problems, labour relations, and most important whether the ships already on the berth are working to time or have been delayed. To keep a berth idle just to guarantee a berth on arrival for one vessel is poor economics.

[ 03-03-2006, 04:47 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 04:44 AM
Oh, here are some more "misstatements", from the same place, the shipping industry's journal of record for the past two centuries and more:

JUDGES in Britain and the US yesterday effectively cleared the way for the £3.9bn ($7.4bn) takeover of P&O by Dubai Ports World.

But the company faces an appeal over the British decision and the threat of new opposition in Congress despite agreeing to a fresh 45-day review by US legislators.

Following a two-day London High Court hearing earlier this week, Mr Justice Nicholas Warren, in a two-and-a-quarter-hour judgment, agreed to sanction the scheme of arrangement, paving the way for the takeover to proceed.

He was ruling on a last-minute move by P&O’s business partner Eller & Co, which sought to block the deal. However, the judge said: “The objections of Eller do not persuade me that I should not sanction the scheme.” He said P&O members had voted for the scheme and added: “In my judgment it is a scheme that reasonable businessmen could accept.”

However, Eller immediately pledged to fight on. A spokesman said they would be going to the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling as soon as possible.

“Eller is very disappointed that the judge has approved the scheme of arrangement despite all of the well considered argument presented by us and our fellow objectors,” said its spokesman.

“We believe that this case brings up important points of company law which will have a bearing on future transactions of this nature.

“Consequently, we intend to approach the Court of Appeal to seek leave to appeal and if we are successful we expect that appeal to be heard in the very near future.

“We remain deeply concerned for the future of our business and the livelihood of thousands of our staff and subcontractors. We will continue to fight for our survival.”

A federal judge in Newark has also thrown out a lawsuit filed by the state of New Jersey challenging Washington’s approval of the deal, describing the case as “moot” in the light of the company’s agreement to a 45-day review.

New Jersey walked away from this overt defeat claiming victory, saying its lawsuit directly caused DP World to submit to the review.

The ruling from US District Judge Jose Linares came as US politicians showed signs of backing off from threats to introduce legislation that would “block” the global transaction which spans 30 terminals in 18 countries.

Seeking to close an embarrassing rift within the ruling party, Senate majority leader Bill Frist, an early opponent of the deal, began suggesting he was now “more comfortable” with it. President George Bush has steadfastly and explicitly supported DP World, a stance he reiterated after the 45-day review was announced.

However, lawmakers, including senior Republicans, tapping into apparent public opposition warned that the matter was not closed.

Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, who chairs the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, introduced a bill with 81 co-sponsors that would give Congress the right to “block” the deal.

He described the bill as “leverage to ensure that a real investigation is conducted”.

Lawmakers are chafing at the fact that despite the 45-day review, the Bush administration would still have the final say. The review involves the federal multi-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States chaired by Treasury Secretary John Snow.

George Roberts
03-03-2006, 10:16 AM
Andrew Craig-Bennett ---

I try not to argue with people whose numbers are lower than mine.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 10:18 AM
And I don't take kindly to being called a liar.

03-03-2006, 10:32 AM
Someone sitting next to David Brooks the other night made the point that trying to paint those concerned as racists or xenophobes would include some pretty distinguished people. Like the Coast Guard. Don't shoot the messenger but the dreaded Hillary pointed out that we wouldn't let them run an airport. Contrary to what some scholar on the board might say, the recently reenacted Patriot Act does have the little library and the little librarian in my little town on the hook to tell lawenforcement what books I'm checking out. but concern with the home of two of the 9/11 killers running a port is unreasonable? How many cubic yards of Oklahoma style explosive material with a few shovelfulls of radioactive waste from the former soviet union would a container hold? Set that off at ground zero. This is about money and if someone digs deep enough that will come out.

[ 03-03-2006, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 10:32 AM
Oh, here is some more:

THE Dubai Ports World bid for P&O has caused further political controversy in the US after an Israeli newspaper reported that the company supports an Arab boycott against Israel, writes David Osler .

With the prospect of DP World operating terminals in the US already arousing a massive wave of protectionist sentiment, the revelation could not have come at a worse time for the company.

US law specifically forbids compliance with the Arab League-organised boycott.

The story broke as DP World chief operating officer Edward Bilkey faced hostile questioning before a senate committee earlier this week.

Mr Bilkey answered with seemingly contradictory assertions that, while the boycott is followed, this does not prevent a business relationship with Israeli boxship outfit Zim.

“We serve everyone,” he told the committee. “The largest Israeli shipping firm is one of our largest customers.”

Behind the latest twist in the story is an article carried in the Jerusalem Post.

According to the piece, DP World is owned by a state holding company called the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, known as PCZC.

A reporter was told by a PCZC official that the long-standing Arab League boycott of Israeli products is still enforced.

In addition, Israeli passport holders are not allowed to enter Dubai.

It may be pertinent to recall the ownership of the Jerusalem Post, at this point...

03-03-2006, 10:36 AM
Guessing the Jerusalem Post is owned by a Jew. Your point?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 10:37 AM
Troutman, the USCG don't appear to be opposing this deal.

A seaport is not an airport. As the International Transport Federation (the international trades union body for seamen and dock workers) have pointed out in relation to the shore leave ban, nobody has crashed a ship into an office tower yet.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 10:39 AM
BBC note on ownership of the Israeli press (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4191515.stm)

and the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanWest_Global)

[ 03-03-2006, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Gary E
03-03-2006, 10:47 AM
You are clearly not an American, What Aare you?

The American people are aginst this takeover.

March 1, 2006 Contact: DeeAnn Thigpen
Rep. Ted Poe Co-Sponsors Port Security Legislation
Legislation Prohibits Foreign Governments Operating in US Ports;
Stops UAE/P&O Deal
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced today that he will join Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz of Florida in sponsoring the Port Security Act of 2006. This is the House version of legislation introduced in the Senate by Senators Robert Menendez and Hillary Rodham Clinton. This legislation will prohibit foreign state-owned companies from controlling operations at US ports and stop the UAE/P&O deal by mandating a Congressional review of existing foreign state-owned companies operating in US ports.

03-03-2006, 10:48 AM
ACB, I hope you do not think I called you a liar. That the deal covers 9 out of 300 ports is not a lie. However, purposely trying to suggest from this that only 3% of shipping would be affected would be quite dishonest. You did not do that. The facilities affected are among the largest on the east coast.

03-03-2006, 10:50 AM
Andrew, It's in the news, I got no link the Coast Guard did have strong concerns and those were as usual ironed out behind closed doors. Thanks I thought a seaport was an airport. Could you ship a shipping container full of explosives on a commercial airliner? My point is that we are allowed to be concerned about this issue without being motivated by any base instincts. I'm concerned about LNG being shipped up the Delaware to.
Just wondering what the Jerusalem Post ownership had to do with anything. You said it I didn't. Are you saying don't expect the unbias facts from a Jewish owned paper? Anti-Semitism? I dunno but walks like a duck. . . . .

[ 03-03-2006, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 10:50 AM
My comment was not directed at you, Pat. Your comment was perfectly in order.

Hey, now I'm an anti-Semite as well! :D

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 10:53 AM
A shipping container full of commercial explosives is Category 1 Dangeous Goods under the IMDG code, will be stowed on deck and away from other hazards (on No 1 hatch, in practice) and will be handled at the explosives anchorage, not the main terminal.

03-03-2006, 10:57 AM
Andrew you must be kidding? Do you think a terrorist moled away in the shipping company would label the stuff so it could be put on hatch No 1?

[ 03-03-2006, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2006, 10:57 AM
The American people vote with their wallets, and they vote in favor of free trade.

This is about the operation of a few piers/warehouses, perhaps 3% of the total number of such, at six ports.

Much of what we fought the Revolutionary War against was the result of foolish mercantilist doctrines which sapped our prosperity.

Are we to have a NEW mercantilism, Gary, with Hillary Clinton telling us where we can or cannot buy the goods and services we seek???

I'll stand by Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan, Gary. YOU can have Hillary and Susan Collins and their coalition of the ill-informed and un-informed...


Dan McCosh
03-03-2006, 11:00 AM
FWIW, while Black is not jewish, his partner and wife are both jewish activists. His CFO is Richard Perle. The Post has been an outlet for right-wing jewish positions for several years.

03-03-2006, 11:01 AM
Good to hear from that famous deepwater POE of Indianapolis. My daughter's school is about 3.5 miles from the cranes on the Delaware.

Andrew, you brought up he ownership of the newspaper, not me. I don't know if your an anti-semite or not. Hope not.

[ 03-03-2006, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Gary E
03-03-2006, 11:01 AM
This is NOT about where it's made or where it comes from this is about CONTROLING THE SHIPPING PORT ...

sorta like letting me control whatz in the sack of groceries that arrive at your house...should I be allowed to controll that?

George Roberts
03-03-2006, 11:02 AM
Andrew Craig-Bennett ---

I did not call you a liar.,

I said your sources misprepresented the facts.

There is a differences between you and your sources.

In case you don't realize it I will state some facts for you:

1) All governments lie.

2) All public media lie.

3) all businesses lie.

How much and to what extent depends on the context. Some lies are intentional. Some are just errors.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by troutman:
Andrew you must be kidding? Do you think a terrorist moled away in the shipping company would label the stuff so it could be put on hatch No 1?Now I wonder which of us is kidding?

First, the "shipping company" carries the cargo; it does not own it. The labelling is done by the shipper - the exporter of the goods, the company that sends them to the export terminal to be put on board the ship.

Next, there are no terrorist shipping companies. The folklore about the al -Qaeda owned fleet of ships turned out to be just that - folklore. But there is no news value in that.

Of course, there might be a terrorist mole in a shipping company - maybe there are. Maybe I'm working next to one right now. But what could he or she do? He or she certainly cannot control the carriage of cargo, or the destination of a ship.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 11:40 AM
Gary E - the ports do not control what moves through them. The Customs does that.

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2006, 11:54 AM
it's yet another case of incredibly inept public relations and communications from the White House.

No disagreement there, Norman.


P.S. to Braam, of course, the public wants more free trade than they get, thanks to various lobbies (e.g., the sugar lobby) which conspire through tariffs to line the pockets of their clients...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 12:40 PM
It would be possible to ship a bomb inside a container. It would be difficult, because:

(a) the US Customs select containers for examination at the loading port based on the profile of the shipper.

This means that our putative bomber should ideally work for a corporation that ships many containers to the USA, and should be in a position to load the container himself, with control of its destination.

This will not be very easy, as generally the folks who stuff the containers are not the folks who cut the documents.

(b) the container would be checked for radiological activity and sniffed for traces of explosives at the discharge port.

I don't know how hard it would be to get round this, but in my experience the US Customs are not stupid.

We would, I take it, want our bomb to go off somewhere where it will kill plenty of people, rather than in a stack at a container port, in a warehouse, on a train or on a freeway.

(Statistically, this makes Chicago the US city most likely to be "container bombed", as that's where most through containers are routed to).

Since delays in transit are uncertain, it would be best to detonate the bomb by radio, rather than use a timer. The person detonating it would have to know where it was - which is not that hard, but we now need two people involved.

There is no benefit to being an employee of a shipping company or a terminal, here. Our putative bomber would do better to work for Ford, General Motors, Nike or Wal-mart.

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2006, 01:53 PM
Unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is slipping, they could replace a bridge with a temporary (combat-type) structure in a few days, assuming environmental impact and related paperwork were waived...


Gary E
03-03-2006, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:
Unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is slipping, they could replace a bridge with a temporary (combat-type) structure in a few days, assuming environmental impact and related paperwork were waived...

AlanWhut are you smokin?
The US cant even get water and candy bars to the people in New Orleans if they all gatherd at the SuperDome... ohh wait...THEY DID GATHER THERE...

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2006, 01:57 PM
Gary, that's because THE STATE OF LOUISIANA was involved...


Gary E
03-03-2006, 02:00 PM
Yeah right....

Arent you due in court soon?
or whuzt da matta, no case?

03-03-2006, 02:10 PM
The COE could put a temporary bridge across the Mississippi? Not questioning their skill but I just can't picture it. they inspect and alarm a fraction of the containers so how is getting a bomb in one such a huge task? Where's that can do attitude. Lastly, the thread is started by some guy in England. Now when they start talking about security in Ipswich I'm figuring that's none of my business.

[ 03-03-2006, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Alan D. Hyde
03-03-2006, 02:32 PM
Here they are bridging the Rhine, PDQ...




George Roberts
03-03-2006, 05:24 PM
Train bridges are a bit different than vehicle bridges.

I expect something would be done.

03-03-2006, 06:31 PM
ACB; Won't go into detaiis here about your bomber scenario, but it could be done by zero persons. Think GPS. Other problems mentioned have been demonstrated to be trivially surmountable (by US media).

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 06:52 PM
David, there's a snag with GPS and containers.

We use GPS for tracking container trucks (my Group CEO jokes that they come in handy for counting the drivers girlfriends) and of course for navigating ships and in the early days of GPS and Inmarsat D there were ideas of using very simple GPS and Inmarsat links to track individual containers, but they all struck one fatal flaw:

Containers are made of steel plate, and they are
very frequently stacked one above another. There is no way an aerial can "see" either the GPS constellation or the Inmarsat geostationary satellites.

03-03-2006, 06:55 PM
Clip a lead from the GPS to the container and use it as the aerial. Wait until the GPS can "see" it's position. They're rarely stacked on transport vehicles, ships and trains being the only exception I know of.

[ 03-03-2006, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 07:26 PM
David, the only time they are not stacked is when they are being stuffed and unstuffed, when they are being cleaned, inspected and repaired and when they are on a truck. The rest of the time (say 90% of it) they are in stacks.

This thread reminds me of the time when I had to deal with a Press and political scare caused by the arrival of a Greek ship with a cargo of US corn, fumigated by the USDA on completion of loading, in Egypt. The Islamist and extreme nationalist sections of the Press, local mullahs at Friday prayers and sundry local politicos were determined that the still-evident traces of fumigant visible were a deliberate attempt by the Great Satan to poison Egypt.

Had the cargo not been fumigated, they might indeed have been at risk from aflatoxin.

This was in the early 1980's.

03-03-2006, 07:45 PM
I don't know about the UK, but here containers are dropped onto semi-trailers or railcars for transport to their final destinations, usually unopened.

I have not thought overmuch about this subject, but I suspect that, where there's a will, there's a way. I can think of other schemes, but let's not give anyone any ideas, eh? ;)

03-03-2006, 07:51 PM
ACB what is your opinion of the FIRD that westinghouse is marketing as a tattle tale and recorder? Would you think it possible to modify one to nefarious ends?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 08:05 PM
Yes, that's the same everywhere. 10% of the container's time, at most.

We won't be giving anyone ideas.

The message that I've been trying to convey is that maritime security against terrorism is very well established. It's had five and a half years since 9/11, and a pretty big budget.

Every ship and every port on the planet has an approved and audited security system, and whilst you would be right in expecting port security in some places to leave much to be desired, any ship that has touched such a port in its last ten port calls comes under enhanced scrutiny and may indeed be banned from the USA.

The fact that a section of the press and a few politicians have just discovered it annoys the hell out of people, very many of them in the US Coast Guard and the US Customs, who have been thinking these things through for years, working with other agencies across the world and setting up what are already well proven systems.

Al-Qaeda mounted an attack on a laden VLCC three years ago; the result was the death of one crewman, some oil in the sea from a single breached tank and some surprise at their inability to select a target properly - the ship was French owned and carrying oil to the perfectly Moslem state of Malaysia!

Way back in the Iran-Iraq war both sides attacked neutral shipping; this included gas carriers and all types of tanker and the attacks on gas carriers resulted in significant fires, soon extinguished, and no explosions.

I still don't see what the ownership of a container terminal has to do with it.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by crawdaddyjim50:
ACB what is your opinion of the FIRD that westinghouse is marketing as a tattle tale and recorder? Would you think it possible to modify one to nefarious ends?Could not comment specifically. There are several devices of this type and yes, I should think almost anything of the sort might be modified for nefarious ends, but then so can an alarm clock.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-03-2006, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by troutman:
The COE could put a temporary bridge across the Mississippi? Not questioning their skill but I just can't picture it. they inspect and alarm a fraction of the containers so how is getting a bomb in one such a huge task? Where's that can do attitude. Lastly, the thread is started by some guy in England. Now when they start talking about security in Ipswich I'm figuring that's none of my business.I'll pass on the first question as its none of my business.

The reason why a proportion of containers is inspected, not all of them, is that the US Customs runs a targetting policy based on profiling. There's a pretty good chance that 400 containers of alternator components, despatched from one Ford plant to another Ford plant in another country contain alternator components, some packaging and not a lot else.

A single container shipped by a hitherto unknown shipper is going to get looked at.

Security in Ipswich, UK is your business, because containers move between Ipwsich, UK and ports in the States. That's the whole point. Shipping connects different countries. Fortunately the USCG and the US Customs understand that very well, and have a very solid track record of intelligent co-operation with other nations and with ship owners.

The Immigration Service have let the side down a bit, but they are starting to improve.

03-03-2006, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the information. I wasn't trying to imply that because of these devices the deal should be nixed. I had seen a magazine article on them and thought of them as a extra level of security.
I would be more concerned about bombs coming across our borders on the backs of illegals or a private boat in a remote location.

George Jung
03-03-2006, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the 'lessons', gentlemen. Ironic that I've learned so much from this thread/forum, as contrasted to what the 'media' has shown. ACB in particular, very illuminating.

High C
03-03-2006, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:
Unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is slipping, they could replace a bridge with a temporary (combat-type) structure in a few days, assuming environmental impact and related paperwork were waived...

AlanBoh Brothers could do it. They did a heck of a fine job on the I-10 bridge over Lake Pontchartrain.


Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-05-2006, 06:58 PM
And here's today's news (Sunday being a working day in both Israel and Dubai...)

ISRAEL’S biggest shipping operator has backed DP World’s bid to operate six container terminals in the US despite allegations that the Dubai-owned concern backs the Arab League boycott of the Jewish state.

Zim chairman Idan Ofer wrote personally to several senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, a leading opponent of the deal.

“As an Israeli company, security is of the utmost importance to us and we require rigorous security measures from terminal operators in every country in which we operate, but especially in Arab countries,” he said.

“And we are very comfortable calling at DP World’s Dubai ports.”

DP World is due to take over the US leases after buying the British P&O Group. But many politicians have raised security concerns about having an Arab company control such facilities.

The boycott allegations gave critics additional ammunition as US companies are forbidden by law to comply.

Yet DP World operates 15 port facilities outside the Arab world in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

No reports have ever surfaced of it preventing access for Israeli-owned ships, which may of course trade under a variety of flags.

DP World has also issued a statement stressing its long-standing business relationship with Israeli companies. “DP World does not discriminate and has not been charged with violating any anti-boycott statutes,” it stressed.

- The London Court of Appeal is scheduled today to consider an appeal by US ports company Eller & Co against last week’s High Court ruling that allowed DP World’s $6.8bn acquisition of P&O to go ahead, Bloomberg reports.

A stay on the ruling, made on Thursday, clearing the deal has been extended until the conclusion of the appeal.

Eller, which operates the port of Miami with P&O, is also pursuing legal action in an attempt to block the transaction in Florida, claiming it would destroy its business if port authorities cancelled terminal leases on security issues linked to the Dubai group.

Oh, I have to declare another interest; I've met Idan Ofer - at a cocktail party in Hong Kong. So maybe what we have here is an international Jewish-Moslem-Church of England conspiracy to destroy the United States. ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 04:00 AM
Meanwhile, back in the boondocks, or should that be boondoggles:

US Republican Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he opposes the sale of US port-operating rights to a Dubai-based company.

Hunter said Dubai has a track record of transporting weapons shipments headed for threatening nations. He seeks to block the deal or even roll it back by forcing divestitures of any critical US assets in foreign ownership.

Hunter announced his planned legislation at a press conference on the sidelines of a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the deal.

"To those who say my views smack of protectionism, I say: America is worth protecting," Hunter said.

He is a longtime champion of so-called buy-American legislation and has pushed for many other measures to keep U.S. government aerospace and defense contracts in domestic hands.

US Republican. Jim Saxton, joined Hunter at the press conference and said he would co-sponsor the bill.

Both legislators expressed confidence that US entrepreneurs would step up to buy port services and other foreign-owned assets affected by their legislation. Note the last part. That is what this is all about. You bet there are "US entrepreneurs" willing to step up to buy port services and other foreign-owned assets affected by their legislation.

But not at the price DP World is offering.

This whole business is a scam intended to ensure that "US entrepreneurs" pick up the US assets of a British company on the cheap.

Now, the USA is, we are often told, a land of free enterprise and open competition.

If those same US entrepreneurs were as good at running port terminals as P&O Ports have been, then in a land of free enterprise and open competition they would indeed be running them, not P&O, who have the handicap of being foreigners.

This is a nasty little scam.

03-06-2006, 04:12 AM

Thank you for your real life explaination of what going on concering this topic.

It's unfortunate that many of my party, and especially the other party are using this deal for far more than it's truly worth.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 05:16 AM
Thank you, Brian.

I suppose we can say "That's politics".

The party in opposition will always look for an angle to embarass the party in power. Happens in the USA; happens here in Britain.

Where there is widespread public concern, as thers is in your country at present over security, and in mine at the moment over Government corruption, these subjects tend to be the ones picked out for this purpose.

If a business can spot an opportunity to take advantage of this, it will naturally do so.

That's all fair enough, of course.

If a business is actively supporting lobbyists, or even (and it's happened here in Britain, not long ago) paying a legislator, to promote its case, then the process acquires a rather different flavour. I've no reason to suspect that is happening in this case. But we are most certainly entitled to look at what is going on and to try to understand the motives of those concerned.

Because the public know little and care less about merchant shipping, they know little or nothing about what the US Government is actually doing in the field of maritime security. So it is easy to scare them. The US Government is actually doing rather a lot, and doing it well, I think.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 06:07 AM
This is from "Cargolaw", an industry e-zine published in Los Angeles by the law firm Countryman and McDaniel. It gives a more complete answer to Alan's original question.

Any U.S. Port In A Storm ........ as Dubai Ports World's
Feb. 24, announcement of a voluntary 45 day cooling off
period in which it will proceed to close its acquisition
of Peninsular & Orient Steam Navigation Co. on March 2
without taking operational control of U.S. facilities
is a "fraud" that doesn't change anything, said an
attorney representing the Miami-based company that
has filed suit to force P&O to sell its U.S.
terminals & port services to domestic companies. In an
attempt to lower the temperature of the controversy
surrounding the sale, DP World said it would proceed
to take over the British port operator in its entirety,
but refrain from exercising management control over U.S.
operations to give the Bush administration, Congress
and states governments time to sort out disagreements
over regulatory approval of the sale. Critics have said
that giving the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai
is a part, access to vulnerable ports raises the risk
of terrorism. DP World officials have previously made
clear that they intend to keep British & American
managers in place to run the company.

The Dubai company said it will keep the U.S. terminals,
including New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore,
Miami and New Orleans, under P&O management while it
consults with the Bush administration, Congress.
"In practice, this will mean that DP World will not
exercise control over, or otherwise influence the
management of, P&O's U.S. operations pending the
outcome of these further discussions," DP World
said. At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing
Feb. 23, Stewart Baker, the Dept. of Homeland
Security's assistant secretary for policy & Int'l
affairs, confirmed that DP World will keep the
structure of the P&O Ports North America Inc. in
place, meaning that P&O Ports would operate as a
U.S. subsidiary. "DP World has been working for
many years with U.S. Customs, Navy & other U.S.
security officials at its ports in Dubai to ensure
the protection of the U.S. We are highly respected
for the efficiency and integrity of our operations,"
said Ted Bilkey, DP World's COO (an American).
"The reaction in the U.S. has occurred in no other
country in the world. We need to understand the
concerns of the people in the U.S. who are worried
about this transaction and make sure that they are
addressed to the benefit of all parties. Security
is everybody's business," he added.

Criticism of the proposed port investment by a sheikdom
in the United Arab Emirates has centered on concerns
that a foreign government could manage U.S. marine
facilities as an instrument of foreign policy to aid
a terrorist attack on the U.S. But in the eyes of
some the real problem is foreign companies of any
type controlling terminals they believe should be
reserved for American businesses. The current debate
has focused on P&O's container terminals located in
6 major ports: New York and New Jersey, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Miami & New Orleans. But P&O Ports North
America actually operates at least 20 facilities in
U.S. ports handling bulk, breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off
cargo in places such as Port Arthur and Freeport, Texas;
Baton Rouge, La.; and Gulfport, Miss. P&O also handles
containers at the Port of Houston and has a container
joint venture in Norfolk, Va. In Jan., P&O signed a
long-term lease to operate terminal at the Port of
Tampa, including the recently completed Hooker
Container Terminal. The deal was made possible
after a U.S. company, Seattle-based SSA Marine,
agreed to terminate its concession agreement for
terminal space & stevedoring services, according
to the Tampa Port Authority. P&O recently renewed
a contract with the Defense Dept. to load & unload
military equipment at the ports of Beaumont & Corpus
Christi, Texas. All those operations would turn over
to DP World once the sale is finalized. Industry
experts estimate that up to 70% of U.S. marine
terminals are operated by companies from South Korea,
Japan, Taiwan, Denmark, Singapore, China & other

Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fla., has announced his intention
to introduce legislation aimed at preventing foreign
entities from operating U.S. seaports. Shaw's approach
is favored by the Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters and
Eller & Co. Inc., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based cargo
handling company that has a 50% share of operations
with P&O at the Port of Miami's main public terminal.
The Teamsters, which has tried without much success
to organize independent port drivers who shuttle
containers on & off the docks to warehouses for
distribution throughout the country, called on Congress
to block the P&O sale to DP World because of the
"increased security threat of opening our nation's
ports to the UAE." Opponents of the sale say that
the UAE served as operational & financial base for
some of the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers, even though
the Defense & State departments have emphasized
that the Persian Gulf nation is a major ally in
combating terrorism and supporting U.S. military
forces in the region. North America only represents
about 10% of P&O's business, which means it wouldn't
hurt DP World to leave the U.S. facilities behind.

Partially lost in all the commotion about a foreign
government-owned company acquiring the right to operate
portions of several U.S. ports is the fact that
Americans account for a sizable portion of the
management team at Dubai Ports World .... or that
13 of 14 terminals at Port of Los Angeles are foreign operated.

As security concerns were being raised on Capitol Hill,
P&O Ports announced it had signed a contract with the
U.S. Surface Deployment & Distribution Command to provide
stevedoring of military equipment at the Port of Beaumont and the port of Corpus Christi. The contract continues a
relationship P&O has had since 1989.


03-06-2006, 09:30 AM
Braam, your in the NW teritories; I'm in Camden NJ looking a a great big ship in the Delaware just going under the Ben Franklin Bridge. The other guy, the shipping expert is in England. Non-citizens with credit cards were able to buy time on flight simulators so they could learn to fly into buildings. No other flight experience, no letter promising a job with an airlines just a credit card we now know was paid by Bin Laden. If you'd have told me you could do that pre 9/11 I'd have thought you were nuts. Andrew may be shipping expert; I'm a common sense expert. They pack a container in Tailand and open it at a K-Mart warehouse. Ship 100 of them full of explosives and 90 get through. You guys aren't Americans; some of us think the guys who approved this in secret haven't done anything right since invading Afghanistan. I'll defer to the experts on all sorts of things but no way anyone on this forum knows more about this than someone with common sense. Just look at the deal in the light of day. (Anybody get the names of Chaney's energy taskforce yet??)

[ 03-06-2006, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 09:43 AM
Troutman, if you want to use explosives, in the USA, you don't need to ship them in from Thailand.

The IRA, who have killed more people in my country than al-Qaeda have in yours, never had any trouble getting explosives. Weedkiller and sugar works quite well...

But your point was?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 09:49 AM
Oh, let me declare another interest.

From a purely selfish point of view, the idea that the 70% of US port terminals currently owned and operated by foreigners should all be taken over and run by 100% American corporations, ideally with 100% union labor (we have all spotted the Teamsters' interest in this matter, haven't we?) is absolutely great.

There is nothing the shipowning business likes better than port congestion. It takes excess capacity out of the business better than anything else except a major war. I reckon my corporation's share price would rise 20% at least on the news of such a law being passed; 50% if the Teamsters got a closed shop on the haulage.

03-06-2006, 10:04 AM
Andrew, the point is the radioacive waste bought from some down and out physicist in the former Soviet Union. The expert on the News Hour on PBS says lead sheathing will deter detection. My point is that the bulk of the bad guys are over there somewhere and if they ship in explosives with some of that radioactive material mixed in it could kill a lot of people and render our historic sites near the Delaware so radioactive that you couldn't visit the Liberty Bell for 10,000 years. Is my "point" that dense or are you being intentionally obtuse?
I respect your knowledge of the shipping business but I have to say it is unseemly for an Englishmen backed up by a Canadian to be the dominent poster on a thread so close to the hearts of Americans. Minimizing the threat just isn't reasonable given the facts. Again, as an Englishmen can you imagine that the NRA so dominates our national life that the FBI cannot cross reference terrorist list with gun applications. Can you imagine a country where you can go into a "sportsmen's show" and buy a gun for cash from a "collector" with just a drivers license. Our ATF after Oklahoma city wanted litte taggants put into explosive making materials and it was killed by well connected lobbists. We have challenges that you don't and who would threaten the Canadians? This is America, the most hated country on earth and we're finally acting like we now know that. Lets just look at the deal. that's the point.

Andrew, google Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and you'll get an idea of where the teamsters and american unions came from. The rich mine owners used to send little kids into places too dangerous for the ponies that came from Scotland.

Braam, when you know all that stuff fell free to "comment knowledgably."

[ 03-06-2006, 10:11 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 10:17 AM
Well, first of all, you've recently taken over from us as the most hated nation on the planet, for which of course we are duly grateful. ;)

Now, does the expert on News Hour on PBS know much about container weights? You can't get that much lead sheathing into a shipping container -certainly not enough to shield high level radiation. And low level waste won't make a "dirty bomb".

Highly radioactive material IS moved by sea - a lot travels between Britain and Japan - in very different, much stronger and heavier, containers, aboard ships with special, quadruplicated, cooling systems, and rather a lot of other precautions.

This thread so "close to the hearts of Americans" is actually about the sale of a British company to a Dubai company.

Yes, I know about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire; this is, specifically, the Teamsters that we are talking about.

[ 03-06-2006, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

03-06-2006, 10:38 AM
Andrew, we talk long enough and it comes down to money for you, the sale of a company, and security for us. Your money, my hometown. (you sheathe something about the size of a TV set containing the bad material and buy it in the explosive and not the whole container.) You keep an eye on your stock portfolio and I'll worry about American security. Basically, Andrew, you ain't got a dog in this fight. How about coming back one last time in that classy English way and say, you know, John, I've thought about it and your right. Maybe this deal should be looked at till fairminded Americans get OK with it? go ahead, it won't hurt. Its only us Americans who can't admit we're wrong, right?

[ 03-06-2006, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 10:54 AM
Because, John, it's not about your security.

It's about people in your country trying to do foreign investors who have put money and effort into building up facilities in your country out of their assets on the cheap, by whipping up a totally bogus security scare.

Read my last c&p - above - which comes from an unimpeachably American source.

Now, do you want the United States to be considered as a high risk area for foreign investment? That's what this is all about.

You may like to think carefully before you jump to a conclusion.

03-06-2006, 11:32 AM
Andrew, we'll never agree on this. We have more on the line here. I wish it were just the money.
I watch on the BBC how the MP's get to question Blair right out in the open. Is that a requirement by your law? Can you imagine that happening here? This has to be discussed. I'd allow secrecy from from real honest, competent leaders but this bunch? Maybe you don't realize; these guys keep us yaking about prayer, evolution, feeding tubes and guns while they pull off deals in secret. What's the harm in a chat. And my fear that investors will deem us a high risk country. No way we love their oil and cheap jeans and they love our $$$.

[ 03-06-2006, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: troutman ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 11:54 AM
John, we may not be so far apart.

There is a 45 day period for investigation. My hunch is that there is nothing improper about this deal and that it will be cleared.

I certainly would not call Blair "honest", and he seems to be learning from a bad example - he said on a TV chat show over the weekend that his decision to invade Iraq was something that only God could judge :rolleyes: (at least he did not say God told him to do it!) but yes, he has to answer questions from MPs once a week and so do all other Cabinet Ministers.

But selling stuff to the US is not the same as investing there. Investment creates employment. The biggest foreign investors in the USA are the British. But you would not believe how badly this fiasco is playing in the City of London...people are saying that China and India may be safer havens than the States. They don't mean it - yet.

John Bell
03-06-2006, 12:31 PM
Andrew, the point is the radioacive waste bought from some down and out physicist in the former Soviet Union. This is a bit of a tangent, begging your pardon.

There is plenty of radioactive waste already here in the US that could be used to make a dirty bomb. And no, it's not all in the government's control. Most of these are small sources used in nuclear medicine and scientific research. If they were incorporated into a bomb, they would have little real effect on the population but the psychological impact would be out of proportion.

One of my shooting buddies spends his life running around the US (and the world) acting as an atomic janitor, gathering up this material and securely disposing of it.

FWIW, he tells me that it would be extraordinarily difficult to make bomb so dirty that "you wouldn't be able to visit the Liberty Bell for 10,000 years."

As for the ports issue, I don't see the why the big brouhaha myself. Other than somebody trying to make political hay, that is.

03-06-2006, 02:20 PM
You and your shooting buddy are on a tangent in never land if you think what's swept up here is the concern that what came out of the reactors of the rusting Black Sea Fleet is. Haven't run your coordinates but are you another foreigner who thinks American security is debating team fodder.
I got no coordinates; Mapquest Woodbury NJ. My little boat is 2.3 miles from the river and 3.5 miles from the cranes. If this deal is clean what's 45 days out in the open going to do to it.
About 30 miles from here men got shot and froze for our right to govern ourselves. How about we try that and talk about this deal?

03-06-2006, 02:36 PM
A remarkable post Troutman!

Could we have the english version please? ;)

03-06-2006, 02:51 PM
You guys have it all wrong.

Suppose I am some God-is-great, don't-touch-my-beard raghead terrorist freak. I want to hit the Great Satan by sea. I got me a bomb made by Pakistan's "Dr. Nuke", AKA "Dr. Pardoned-by-Musharraf", the purchase of which was financed by Saudi fatcat donations, which in turn came from $60/barrel oil, brought to them by Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I send a lackey to Greece and buy a bargain sailboat - maybe a Beneteau former charter boat, if I am feeling brave and suicidal ;) . I load the bomb into it at a small port in Egypt, or Algeria, or even Nigeria, if that is what it takes.

My martyr-wannabe brainwashed disciples sail it over to America - even a Beneteau might make it in the right season, down the trades. They head into New York harbour. They wave at the Coast Guard plane that does a flyby, their faces properly whitened using whatever Michael Jackson used, a French flag prominently flying at the stern. They radio in their approach, and declare their intentions to call US Costumes and Intimidation as soon as they dock, as the law requires.

They sail very close to the financial district, quickly hoist the bomb to the crosstress using the port jibsheet winch and a four-part tackle, and just before the mast buckles... BOOM! :eek:

Since I assume Homeland Security has been monitoring my posts to the bilge for a while now, I won't be sailing Dalia to the States, at least until you guys elect a serious government... :D

03-06-2006, 02:57 PM
Meer, Who woke you up? Reads fine to me. I rely on a certain quick wit around here. Your not it today are you? Your too late to the dance on this one and don't have the context. Lazy posting on your part. go back to sleep; No worry about the noobie roughing up your buddies. I think Andrew with his 8,000 plus posts might actually agree with me that actually looking into this for 45 days can do no harm. Send something in english when you can.

[ 03-06-2006, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: troutman ]

03-06-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by troutman:
Haven't run your coordinates but are you another foreigner who thinks American security is debating team fodder.
From what I figure, his coordinates show he is posting from somewhere in northern Georgia, or perhaps Eastern Tennessee...

But you never know where those pesky America-hating foreigners could be hiding - he might be a Mexican illegal... :rolleyes:

03-06-2006, 03:01 PM
Jeez. its bad when Brazil is making fun of you. George, where do you think they dump those kids anyway? Want a reference Google Brazil Children Disappear. Sounds like Brazil has got its own messes and ought to stay out of our port issues. Just a thought.

[ 03-06-2006, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: troutman ]

John Bell
03-06-2006, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by George.:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by troutman:
Haven't run your coordinates but are you another foreigner who thinks American security is debating team fodder.
From what I figure, his coordinates show he is posting from somewhere in northern Georgia, or perhaps Eastern Tennessee...

But you never know where those pesky America-hating foreigners could be hiding - he might be a Mexican illegal... :rolleyes: </font>[/QUOTE]I'll make it easy for you troutman...

My Coordinates (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=N+34%C2%B0+07%27+55.1%22+W+84%C2%B0+38%27+13.0%2 2&ll=34.142427,-84.628544&s pn=0.014847,0.06815&t=k)

03-06-2006, 03:11 PM
Hey troutman, I'll let you into a little secret:

Every country has its messes. Google "United States Torture" and find out.

I am not a country. I am a free man. I can comment on any damned thing I want, without asking for your permission. My comments stand on their own merits, regardless of my national origin. As do everyone elses. Otherwise, Americans on this forum should be too ashamed to ever post. tongue.gif

03-06-2006, 03:14 PM
Perhaps some kaopectate can help with troutman's port issue. :D

Alan D. Hyde
03-06-2006, 03:50 PM
Thank you, Andrew, and others, for the illumination here.

Troutman, I'll just observe, that, as a U.S. citizen, I'm opposed to my country making bad decisions on the basis of ignorance and fear.

The more free trade we have, the better it will be for ALL of us...


Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 06:14 PM
In the London lawsuit filed by Eller & Co, the Court of Appeal has rejected Eller’s application for permission to appeal against the Court’s decision to sanction the acquisition of P&O's issued and deferred stock by Dubai Ports World.

As a result, P&O promised to file court orders to make the sale binding on DP World and its stockholders.

So the attempt by a US company to stop the sale in London has come to an end. This is not the end of the matter in the States, but it is in Britain.

03-06-2006, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:

The more free trade we have, the better it will be for ALL of us...

AlanSure - if you don't mind your kids competing with Indians and Chinese living in mud huts.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-06-2006, 06:37 PM
David - I am with Alan here.

Wikipedia entry for Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Advantage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage)

another good explanation of the Theory (http://internationalecon.com/v1.0/ch40/40c000.html)

George Roberts
03-06-2006, 07:00 PM
"The more free trade we have, the better it will be for ALL of us..."

The assumption that makes that claim plausible is that we all play fair and do not try to game the system.

In point of fact: No one plays fair. We all game the system.

We often don't play the same game.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-07-2006, 06:56 AM
Now, this seems sensible:

THE Bush administration's plan for securing America's ports is inadequate and funding should be nearly double the White House's budget request for next year, a key Senate Democrat said on Monday.

Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the senior Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, called for spending more than $1bn on port security in fiscal 2007.

In remarks to reporters, Lieberman noted that the Bush administration budget only calls for $551 million for port security in the fiscal year starting on October 1.

"This budget fails to address the damage that terrorists can do to us with weapons of mass destruction or dirty bombs in containers shipped into this country," Lieberman said.

Democrats' criticism of the administration's spending priorities came amid an uproar over White House approval of a state-owned Arab company's plan to manage six American ports.

The plan for Dubai Ports World to buy P&O is under a 45-day review and some Republicans in Congress have vowed to block it.

Separately, a White House spokesman expressed confidence that lawmakers would ultimately support the $6.85bn DP World deal.

03-07-2006, 09:55 AM
So lets recap: John Bell sends me a half an hour of stuff to crank into my computer to find out where he lives. No thanks. The Brazilian is now into torture and Meerat shows up and immediately its kaopectate and people living in mud huts. Kiss off. We got Joe Lieberman the Democrat saying lets look at funding and the Reeps vowing to oppose the port deal. Andrew and Alan, I think we three agree that looking at this for 45 days isn't a bad thing. I'm a Dem but if the Prez wins over his own party, I'll back the deal. Just ask yourself why this was secret from the people and their president till 2 days before it was announced to the public. Heading back to my mud hut now located at N 55 E 44. Somebody check my spelling.

03-07-2006, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by troutman:
Heading back to my mud hut now located at N 55 E 44. Somebody check my spelling.And your position... tongue.gif :D

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
03-07-2006, 10:07 AM
Nowt wrong with 55°N 44°E.

Nizhni Novgorod (http://www.unn.runnet.ru/nn/)

03-07-2006, 10:16 AM
Personally my big problem with the ports deal is not the security as much as that they choose a on US company to manage the ports, i would like to see that money stay in the US. even if it does stay in the hands of the super rich, atleast its in the US

03-07-2006, 10:19 AM
As far as I know, most of the "super rich" invest their $ where they get the best return. That's how they get/stay "super rich."

No guarantees that a US based firm will invest its profits locally ...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-07-2006, 12:19 PM
As noted above, 70% of container terminals in US ports are foreign owned.

Whilst there are impediments in the way of a foreign corporation seeking to operate a terminal in a US port (been there, done that thing, got the T shirt, as the Aussies say) there are no such restrictions on US corporations doing so.

Therefore, if (as we assume) the United States is the home of free enterprise and open markets, and most of its terminals are foreign owned, we must conclude that foreigners are better at managing them.

George Roberts
03-07-2006, 03:21 PM
American companies may have deep pockets but foreign goverments have deeper pockets. Foreign governments can always outbid American companies if they wish.

Foreign companies may have different profit motives than American companies. In particular, foreign companies may have lower costs or may be happy with lower profits.

Lots of reasons why one group gets out of the game.

03-07-2006, 03:27 PM
OK, same old recycled crapola on this now. Let's halt and gather in 45 days to rehash. Anybody know when the 45 days started? Will someone commit to alerting us? the decision will be keyed to GW's polling numbers at that time. I'll be in my mud hut. Meer, ask someone to translate that into English for you.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-08-2006, 08:29 AM
AQ report from an industry conference in Long Beach:

THE political storm in Washington over the prospect of an Arab company buying some US port facilities is causing many of the country’s business leaders deep embarrassment, writes Janet Porter in Long Beach.

Most of those directly involved in the ports, shipping or logistics industries do not share the view that the takeover of P&O’s US port facilities by DP World poses any security threat.

Many are shocked by the level of ignorance about how their industry works and as surprised as those outside the US about why a well-publicised acquisition that had been under negotiation for several months suddenly ran into so much controversy.

But there are also hopes that the unwelcome publicity may have the positive result of persuading the US government to allocate more funds to supply chain security.

A poll of delegates planning to attend this week’s Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference in Long Beach found that 58% did not feel the acquisition would increase the security risk for the US.

That sentiment was repeated time and again during the opening day of the conference attended by more than 1,100 industry professionals.

The majority see the deal as a straightforward commercial transaction and say those in Congress opposed to the sale are using scaremongering tactics for their own political purposes that have little to do with genuine security issues.

Christopher Koch, president of the Washington-based World Shipping Council, spoke for many when he described the outcry as xenophobic.

Of those surveyed, 55% said the government should allow the deal to go through, while 24% thought it should be blocked and another 21% said they required more information.

In a separate question, 62% of respondents said the 45-day review of the transaction currently under way was a sufficient amount of time for the government to review the implications of the deal.

“Those who work in the international logistics field are not generally worried about this transaction,” said Peter Tirschwell, editorial director of the Journal of Commerce, which conducted the poll.

However, respondents also said that supply chains overall are not safe enough, with an overwhelming 84% answering ‘no’ to a question about whether supply chains are safe enough.

The effectiveness of security still varies considerably from one facility to another, said Sean Strawbridge, vice president of the IT firm Embarcadero Systems Corp.

One potential weak spot is the screening of personnel allowed into ports with a national credentialing programme one way of tightening the level of port security in the US.

If my experience of the US maritime industry is any guide, I would be rather confident that Republicans outnumbered Democrats in that room.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-09-2006, 06:10 AM
And here's some more :

LEGISLATION now before US Congress to tighten waterfront security following the political hysteria over DP World’s acquisition of P&O could make inefficient US ports even slower and more congested, transport industry leaders are warning.

In the past fortnight, 11 separate pieces of draft legislation have been tabled.

The most extreme calls for every container arriving in the US to be screened.

Another, introduced by Congressman Duncan Hunter, would ban any foreign ownership of critical infrastructure. That would force those companies that already own US assets that become classified as critical by the Department of Homeland Security to sell, even if they come from a country regarded by the US as friendly, such as the UK.

One proposal causing particular alarm calls for all boxes to be secured with a mechanical seal. That recommendation, say experts, could jeopardise the safety of personnel that have to clamber among containers to check the seals.

Neither would seals make a container any more secure, as law enforcement agencies know from their attempts to crack down on narcotics trafficking, said Douglas Tilden, president and chief executive of Marine Terminals Corp.

There are any number of points at which the supply chain can be compromised, and other ways in which to break into a container, he pointed out.

Those working in the US shipping, ports and logistics industries fear that lawmakers will pay little attention to advice from those who understand how terminals operate. The current feverish atmosphere “is not conducive to making rational decisions”, Mr Tilden said.

Earlier, World Shipping Council president Christopher Koch had said the outcry showed a lack of understanding of port operations and security issues. That view is widely held.

But while there are very real concerns now in business circles that the backlash against Dubai will drive away foreign investment from the US, the country received a vote of confidence from the head of a Taiwan shipping line that has a US terminal.

Chang Kuo-cheng, vice group chairman of Evergreen Group and chairman of Evergreen Marine, said the storm of protests over ownership of port facilities by government-owned foreign entities would not damage the international standing of the US.

“The US is still the most attractive country in the world in which to invest,” he said in a rare interview.

“I don’t think it will discourage other foreign investors.”

- DP World’s takeover of P&O has opened up “unprecedented access” for US federal agencies to the Dubai firm’s records. This could serve as a “template” for other foreign firms as US intelligence agencies aim to get “inside information about global shipping”, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the Wall Street Journal, writes Rajesh Joshi.

While allowing the Dubai takeover to proceed uninterrupted would enhance the authorities’ ability to maintain security at US harbours, this new advantage would “evaporate” if Congress manages to stop the deal, Mr Chertoff said.

The interview was published as it was announced that a delegation of US executives based in the United Arab Emirates, choreographed by the Abu Dhabi-based American Business Group, would travel to Washington this month to “educate” lawmakers on the whole affair.

Lawmakers, however, were in no mood to be educated. Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday embraced a bill that would block the deal, vowing that they “would not let Democrats get to the right of them on national security”.

- One US port that has felt the full force of political firepower, albeit on a local level, has shelved expansion plans.

The port of Hueneme, the specialist facility just north of Los Angeles, had wanted to use under-utilised berths in an adjacent navy base in order to cater for cargo growth.

Local politicians accused the port of secretly campaigning in Washington for the closure of the entire base. Friction between the two sides has become so intense over the past year that the port, which handles fresh produce and automobiles, has now abandoned its modest efforts to increase capacity, marketing director Will Berg told Lloyd’s List.

[ 03-09-2006, 06:57 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-09-2006, 06:16 AM
Meanwhile, back in the real world:

P&O, one of the most prestigious names in UK industry, will today pass into the realms of history for the London Stock Exchange.

The company’s shares are being officially de-listed following the acquisition by Dubai Ports World.

After being suspended yesterday, the shares will also be delisted from the Tokyo and Australian stock exchanges.

P&O was first listed in London around January 1841. It was founded as the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 1837.

It was incorporated by a Royal Charter in 1840 and its name therefore includes neither ‘plc’ nor ‘Limited’.

At one time, P&O boasted the largest and most varied fleet of ships in the world. In recent years, the company has increasingly focused on container ports.

DP World’s $6.8bn acquisition of P&O is proceeding after the Court of Appeal in London this week turned down objections brought by US ports company Eller & Co.

But DP World has agreed to an additional 45-day investigation by President George W Bush’s administration after members of Congress threatened to pass legislation delaying or blocking the acquisition.

Gary E
03-09-2006, 09:00 AM
P&O, one of the most prestigious names in UK industry, will today pass into the realms of history for the London Stock Exchange.

The company’s shares are being officially de-listed following the acquisition by Dubai Ports World.

After being suspended yesterday, the shares will also be delisted from the Tokyo and Australian stock exchanges.

P&O was first listed in London around January 1841. It was founded as the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 1837.
Cant ya just hear the violins playing???

If ya wanted to keep it ya shouldn't of sold it to the Arabs.

But maybe the PAYDAY looked Sooooooo Good.