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Blog Archives

New Container Terminal – Port of Tripoli, Lebanon

Gulftainer has won a bid to develop and run a new container port in Tripoli, Northern Lebanon.  An investment of $60 million will fund machinery for the new port, including three ship-to-shore gantry cranes, nine yard cranes and up-to-date technology to manage the yards and containers in the new port smoothly.

Once the port has been completed, it will be able to receive some of the largest container ships in the Eastern Mediterranean.  The new Port of Tripoli will alleviate some of the congestion at nearby Port of Beirut, and an alternative terminal to that of Tartous and Lakakia in Syria.

The new port will provide another route for imports and exports to Iraq from the Mediterranean Sea.  This will cut transit times from Europe to Iraq, allowing cargo to pass through the new Tripoli Port and travel via road to its destination in Iraq.  Currently the Umm Qasr Port (Iraq) and the Gulftainer Port in Tripoli (Lebanon) are not linked via rail, although it would only take 31km of track to link the two ports.

Call Mercator today to discuss your shipment to or from Lebanon – Tel. 02392 756 575. Email: sales@mercatorcargo.co.uk.

 

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Air Freight Cargo Picks Up

After a very slow and somewhat dismal start to 2011 it looks like Airfreight Export and Import cargo is finally picking up with growth since January around 4% and the annual forecast should be between 5-10% up on the second half of 2010.

However rising fuel prices have squeezed margins for most carriers with increases in Fuel meaning that to secure business the carriers have had to cut basic Airfreight Rate per KG to hold onto and increase market share.

It remains to be seen if traditional Summer and Christmas “peak seasons” will drive volume up, it seems likely that the costs incurred for exporting or importing by air could well result in volumes remaining low until first quarter 2012 when the London olympics should begin to increase overall Import Volume, especially into London Heathrow.

For more information, or air freight rates, services and general guidance please contact one of our expert team at Mercator Cargo Systems on 02392 75 65 75

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Container Freight Rate Increase on Hold

Many carriers are putting planned GRI (General Rate Increase) for the 1st of August on hold due to lower than forecasted Peak Season Container bookings, a number of carriers are already announcing the scrapping of increases way ahead of the proposed implementation date, with most citing growth and volumes at low levels even as we approach the traditional peak season for Christmas goods to begin shipping.

Some industry sources say that peak season this year will fail to materialise, due to the historically low freight rates but also due to some customers getting burnt in previous years with space problems, some of them having already arranged shipment and in some cases already fully stocked for Christmas.

For more information on this or any other container, import or export, freight or international trade matters please call the expert team at Mercator Cargo on 02392 756575

 

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It’s Rugs to Riches

Published in Portsmouth News Mon Feb 09

See the full article here.

A 2,600-year-old work of art is to be brought back to life with the aid of a Portsmouth firm. Iraq, devastated by war, is gradually beginning to rebuild its industries, and one of its core traditional crafts is making some of the world’s finest rugs and carpets.

Now, thanks to a delivery of finest sheep’s wool to Baghdad from across the border in eastern Turkey by Portsmouth shipping specialist Mercator Cargo Systems, work is under way on reviving this ancient craft.

The Iraqi labourers have begun a project to produce replicas of the Pazyryk Rug, the world’s oldest surviving carpet, believed to have been made in Mesopotamia in around 600BC and now preserved in a museum in St Petersburg.

Previously, the factory had been reduced to making tacky designs from poor quality fibre mixed with nylon, many of which ended up in Saddam Hussein’s tasteless palaces.

But a top-grade Kurdish sheep’s wool has now been sourced capable of doing justice to the millennia-old Pazyryk, and with its history of carpet expertise Mercator Cargo was chosen to deliver the raw materials – and may get the chance to deliver the finished articles to the West.

Paul Goehlert, managing director of Mercator, based at St George’s Square, Portsmouth, said: ‘The Pazyryk was found in Siberia. It was frozen and they actually managed to work out, don’t ask me how, that it was made in Mesopotamia. And when they gave the Baghdad factory a project, they thought they’d do a copy of it.

‘All the skills were there, all the workers were there, the loops were there, but they just had rubbish wool, so the products they were making weren’t very clever.’

The operation is headquartered in the Kadhimiya district of the capital, and employs around 750 staff.

It is run by 60-year-old English businessman Richard Ringrose, under contract from the US Department of Defence.

He has worked with Mercator for many years, and although Mr Goehlert said the project would have got off the ground even without Mercator’s help, it was especially gratifying to be involved – for sentimental reasons.

‘I started, aged 10 or 11, running around the City of London as a messenger boy during the holidays. One of the warehouses I went to one day was full of all these Oriental rugs, and I’ve just been gobsmacked by them ever since,’ Mr Goehlert said.

‘Every business has their own particular language. Ours is carpets. We’re probably about the only shipping company in the UK where you could say “40,000 sq ft of Tientsin full cut”, and I’d actually know what that would look like as a cargo.’

 

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