Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cargo Crime Increases Over Holiday Periods

From our Friends at Roanoke Trade:     Theresa  Garcia

Last year, FreightWatch reported that cargo crime increases by 28% over holiday periods and that Thanksgiving weekend recorded the most cargo theft activity of all holiday periods in the United States (click here to register to view the report).

Shippers, manufacturers and transportation companies must remain aware of the increased security risks during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Long holidays provide provide criminals with excellent opportunities to target, steal and transport goods to their storage locations before the product is even discovered missing.

Additionally, holidays can cause long delays for drivers attempting to deliver loads. These delays will increase the risk to drivers and loads in-transit by leaving them vulnerable for longer periods of time.

Holiday weekends are notorious for high volumes of cargo theft activity, especially at terminals and drop yards where loaded trailers are parked for long periods of time. This amplifies the need for logistics professionals to ensure their security protocols are up to date and in line with industry best practices. 

For warehousing operations, ensure your security alarm systems are functioning properly. FreightWatch also recommends the following:

  • Treat all alarm trouble signals as an intrusion alarm
  • Do not rely on a backup (cellular/radio) system
  • If primary alarm fails assign security officer to patrol facility exterior or have a member of management remain at the facility
For in-transit operations, FreightWatch recommends drivers remain vigilant and maintain communication with their dispatch when stopped at high risk areas such as truck stops and rest areas. Loads should not be dropped or left unattended for any reason.

For More Information About This Topic  Contact FreightWatch.


As a side note to this posting  Dixie Cullen has always taken the extra steps during the Holiday's to ensure that your material and equipment, that is in storage at our facility, is not an easy target.  Monitored Security by off site firm,  people maintained on site and dogs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

U. S. Trade Deficit Narrows; Exports Hit Record

From Transport Topics 11/10/11

The U.S. trade narrowed by 4% in September as exports climbed to a record high, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
The gap between imports and exports declined to $43.1 billion, the lowest level this year, from a revised $44.9 billion in August that was smaller than originally estimated, Commerce figures showed.

Economists had forecast the deficit to widen to $46 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Exports increased 1.4% to a record $180.4 billion, boosted by sales of industrial supplies, capital equipment, automobiles and consumer goods, Bloomberg said.

Imports rose 0.3% to $223.5 billion. Demand rose for automobiles, food and industrial supplies, but crude oil imports declined, Bloomberg said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do you know about the Houston Ship Channel Security District?

Being involved with International Business and handling material that comes in and out of the port at our warehouse facility,  we are familiar with the Houston Ship Channel Security District.

However I've not had any direct dealings with them,  but earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the Houston Ship Channel Security District  update luncheon,  was  found it extremely informative,  and left the meeting feeling reassured that Houston is in good hands.

I also left the meeting with some facts that surprised me,  and thought I would share some of them here.

  • Houston is the busiest port in the Nation!
  • Harris County Sheriff's Office is responsible for much of the port security both on land and water, and is the 3rd largest police force in the country.
  • If the Houston Port System had to be shut down for a day because of an "EVENT",  it could cost the local economy 300 Million  dollars a day.
  • A common quote that I've heard over the past couple of years was restressed  "so goes the port of Houston, so goes the National Economy"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Turning Basing Terminal Truck Office

Faxed Delivery Orders will soon be History at Port of Houston Turning Basin Terminal Truck office.

The Port of Houston Magazine reported in their September/October issue that After December 31, 2011 faxed or e-mailed dock receipts or delivery orders will no longer be accepted at the North Side Turning Basin Terminal Truck Office.   This change will affect drivers delivering or picking up cargo from the public wharves on the lower level.

The Policy Change will enable the Port Authority to better serve all of its customers because it will expedite the processing of trucks through the Truck office,  eliminate unnecessary delays and reduce the possibility of errors.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Port of Houston Turning Basin upgrades under way to meet today's TRADE!

"In the beginning the Ship Channel was built on the backbone of cotton" says the port's managing director of general cargo facilities.

These days, steel is king, with more than 3.1 million tons moving through the port in the first nine months of this year,  up from 1.9 million tons over the same period last year.

from Houston Chronicle Article  10/29/11  Jenalia Moreno

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Opening the Panama Canal to TEXAS

"As Jeff Moseley sees it,  the widening of the Panama Canal is a "Game Changer" for Texas Business and the Lone Star State's Economy.

In a recent article in NBIZ Magazine  Jeff Moseley President and Chief executive officer of the Greater Houston Partnership,  states  "It literally will allow Houston to serve the mid-continental United States ~ approximately 100 Million Americans.

The article goes on to share "As the waterway approaches capacity,  the expanded canal will improve the flow of international commerce.  The anticipated increase in containerized cargo going to Houston alone could grow by 15 percent in the next few years,  with a projected 150 percent increase to a total of 4.5 million TEUs by 2030.

We at Dixie Cullen are excited about the future,  and are poised to assist our customers with their storage and transloading needs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love it, or Hate it, CSA is here to stay!

Whether you applaud or oppose the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new truck-safety monitoring program, the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative will no doubt impact the way your carriers operate. Here's what you need to know.

Since its unveiling in 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program has sparked significant interest from the transportation industry. Outcries that the new truck-safety monitoring program will place a stranglehold on the motor carrier industry and cause a severe dwindling of the driver workforce vie against passionate belief that CSA will provide the industry with concise and transparent data that can reduce safety risks on the nation's highways.

A point somewhere between the two extremes seems to be the most realistic outcome of the new program, which the government began enforcing in 2011.

Read full article…

Friday, September 02, 2011


For more information, contact:
Kyle Burns, President & CEO
Office: 210.229.9036

Release date: September 1, 2011

Cross - border Trucking Program
on the Road in the Right Direction

San Antonio, TX - In ongoing discussion with the United States Department of Transportation, Free Trade Alliance has learned that seven companies from Mexico have applied to be a part of the Cross-border Trucking Program, two of which are pending U.S. approval to begin crossing the border by the end of September. It is at that time that Mexico will potentially suspend the remaining 50% retaliatory tariffs it placed on U.S. goods entering Mexico.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Climate Controlled" Storage Space in Demand

As we're getting ready to start our 16th year in business,  we realize that we have continued to grow and service our customers by  offering the services that they need.

One of the services that we have been offering the past couple of years in our Temperature/Humidity Controlled Space,  it has been in such demand that we just expanded the space available by another 18,000 square feet.

This space is designed for "Industrial Material",  "Machinery" and "Equipment".   Our onsite heavy lift capacity can easily handle Motor Control Units,  Compressor,  Transformers and more.

Next time you're in South East Houston,  please drop in for a tour.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Global Economic Cooperation and Recovery

Dixie Cullen 

hosts a visit and facility tour from the
U. S. Department of State
International Visitor - Leadership Program

A Multi Regional Project
Global Economic
Cooperation and Recovery

The U. S. Department of State, International Visitor - Leadership Program, targeted Dixie Cullen Interest for a facility tour of their operation here in South East Houston. This program brought representatives in to discuss how old industrial facilities can be revitalized and put into operation employing more people.

This group is made up of representatives from 7 different countries and is part of a Multi Regional Project for Global Economic Cooperation and Recovery.

Countries included Israel, Brazil, Srilanka, Tunisia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase  Dixie Cullen Interests and the services we offer the international community.

Monday, May 23, 2011

So Far, Japan Earthquake has minimal impact on Trade at Port of Houston

The Port Of Houston Magazine

The massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan had a minimal impact on the Port of Houston.

Japan is not a major trading partner in the Port of Houston or the Port of Houston Authority,  accounting for 0.7 percent of all imports and 1.9 percent of all exports to the Port of Houston in 2010.  Japan accounted for 1.2 percent of loaded container imports and 0.7  percent of loaded container exports for Port Authority container terminals.

Supply chain's in Japan and beyond have been disrupted by the disaster, including auto parts supply chains linked with the United States,  so some  U.S. businesses have been affected.  Cars and auto parts make up the majority  of the 6.4 percent of imports from Japan into the U.S. annually.  About 4.7 percent of all U.S. exports go to Japan.

The largest amount of containerized cargo that comes to the United States from Japan goes through the west coast and is railed to destinations in the U.S., noted Ricky Kunz, Port of Houston Authority Vice President Origination.   That includes most auto parts bound for the Toyota plant in San Antonio.

Some impact is expected to be seen in movements of steel because of Japanese plants shutting down.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Texas Economy hits highest point in Two Years!

Report: Texas economy hits highest point in two years

Published: April 14, 2011

The Texas economy is performing better now than anytime in the last two years, Comerica Bank reported this week.

View full article

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Galveston to be Containerized?

This article caught our attention,  as our warehouse is only about 45 minutes from the Port of Galveston, and this could be of interest to many of our customers.
Breakbulk Staff   Tue, 02/22/2011 - 15:35
Breakbulk Online - News Story

Breakbulk port may accept new investors, add boxes to mix

The Port of Galveston, Texas, could be adding containers to its mix of breakbulk, project, bulk and cruise business if a proposed partnership between Hutchison Port Holdings and The Carlyle Group comes to fruition.

The possibility was announced earlier this month when the port’s governing Wharves Board asked port staff to negotiate an agreement for a 75-year master lease with the partnership.

Hutchison wants to bring containers to Galveston, which has been concentrating on breakbulk, ro-ro and project cargo, including high volumes of wind turbine components. The port has gone after container business in the past but the attempt sagged in the face of nearby Houston’s massive operations. The port auctioned off its rusting container cranes several years ago and dedicated the contianer terminal to ro-ro and other breakbulk cargoes.

The new agreement is likely to add containers to the present mix rather than be a major shift, according to Capt. John G. Peterlin III, senior director of marketing and administration for the Port of Galveston.

As outlined, the Hutchison deal would include a new 100-acre container terminal on the west end of Galveston Island, a 20-acre terminal for ro-ro cargo such as farm and industrial vehicles on the east end, and possibly a second container terminal on nearby Pelican.

Galveston’s Wharves Board of Trustees last April hired the Bank of Montreal to look for private investors for the port. Of 80 firms solicited, only the Hutchison-Carlyle joint venture, formed expressly to bid on the Galveston project, was found acceptable by BMO. Hutchison Port Holdings operates more than 50 ports worldwide and handles between 10 and 15 percent of the global container market. The Carlyle Group is a private equity firm based in Washington, D.C.

If an agreement is reached the Port would recieve an approximately US$60 million debt pay off, a share of revenue and profits from cruise and freight business, cash for capital improvements over a 10-year period, and other cash payments. A master lease proposal could be brought before the Wharves Board by this summer, according to local news outlets.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Texas Port Watch: A Year in Review

In 2010 nearly 15,000 ships called on Texas ports – an increase of 11.4% over 2009. 68% of those vessels steamed into Galveston Bay bound for the ports of Galveston, Texas City or Houston. The port of Houston received the lion’s share of those vessels accounting for 47% of the State’s entire volume of deep water arrivals. All told, 2010 was a welcome respite from the doldrums of 2009.

The port of Galveston saw the most impressive gains of the year with a 52% increase and ended the year with a 13% increase over the month of November. Energy appeared to be a dominant feature in the rebound as the energy-centric ports of Texas City and Sabine registered nearly identical annual increases of 22%. Albeit Texas City posted identical month-to-month numbers while Sabine saw 13% more vessel arrivals in December as compared to November.

The Port of Houston experienced a modest gain of 2% over November’s vessel arrival count and finished the year with an annual gain of nearly 8%. There were some interesting month-to-month figures as the year came to end. Specifically, the private docks which comprise the vast majority of the vessel arrival numbers – approximately 70% - were down 1% for the month. Conversely, the public dock vessel numbers were up 11% with general cargo leading the pack. In fact, this category was up 20% in December for the entire port.

Another December trend was that the majority of the storage facilities along the Houston Ship Channel were down – a not unusual event given end-of-year-tax considerations associated with bulk tank farm inventories. Nonetheless, for the year, most of the terminals that handle crude and chemicals saw ship arrival gains in the range of 9 to nearly 30%. This should not come as a surprise as December’s tank vessel arrivals was just 2 shy of August’s high of 317 – a 3.5% increase from November.

Judging by preliminary reports for January vessel movements, it is likely the upward trend will continue into the Spring as crude prices remain strong and natural gas prices continue to firm. Hopefully, trade activity for Texas ports will reflect a modest return to those heady trade days prior to the onset of the Great Recession.

-Tom Marian, Buffalo Marine Service