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NEWS BULLETIN
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Inchcape Shipping Services
warns of Belgiun port worker strike

International Maritime Organization
presents exceptional bravery award

BTS making improvements
to transport statistics database

US works deal with Mexico
for expanded air service

BNSF breaking records
with 2015 capital expenditures

Inchcape Shipping Services
warns of Belgiun port worker strike

CHAFFORD HUNDRED, UK — Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is advising that on November 24, port workers in Belgium started a 24 hour strike. The strike by port labourers has been called by three national unions, in protest over the erosion of index-linked pay rises and tax increases. Currently the strike is having a major effect on shipping operations in the area with the ports of Zeebrugge, Ghent and Antwerp particularly affected. ISS Belgium has advised that there is a backlog of 65 ships waiting at anchorage to call the Port of Antwerp with a further 12 vessels waiting to depart. It is anticipated that this current 24 hour strike will be followed by a national general strike on December 15, 2014. ISS will continue to monitor the strike and will report any updates through their website - www.iss-shipping.com.

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US works deal with Mexico
for expanded air service

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that a new, modernized air service agreement has been reached that will expand opportunities for passenger and cargo carriers to provide service between the United States and Mexico. The new agreement with Mexico includes unlimited market access for U.S. and Mexican air carriers, improved intermodal rights, pricing flexibility, and other important commercial rights. The new agreement will remove the numerical limitations on the number of airlines that may provide passengers service in all U.S.-Mexico city pairs. Cargo airlines, for the first time, will have expanded opportunities to provide service to new destinations that were not available under the current agreement and to offer services from the United States to Mexico and beyond Mexico to other countries. The agreement will not enter into force until January 1, 2016, after both parties have completed their necessary internal processes.

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International Maritime Organization
presents exceptional bravery award

LONDON — The 2014 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was awarded to Captain Andreas Kristensen and his crew of the BRITANNIA SEAWAYS, nominated by Denmark for their courage and determination in fighting explosions and fire on board the vessel, at great risk and danger to themselves. One year to the day after surviving the explosive fire which threatened the lives of 32 people on board his vessel, Captain Kristensen and his crew received the 2014 IMO award at a special ceremony on November 17, 2014. Thanks to heroic teamwork, risking their own lives in intense heat to avoid a more disastrous outcome, Captain Kristensen and his crew managed to maneuver the burning ship and head towards the Norwegian coast, taking shelter behind some coastal islands. A firefighting vessel attended the ship from 1:30 a.m. and a firefighter team assisted from 4:30 a.m. with the fire finally extinguished shortly before 8 a.m., on November 17, 2013, some 13 hours after it broke out. This annual award was established by the IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.

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BNSF breaking records
with 2015 capital expenditures

FORT WORTH, TX — BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has announced that its planned capital expenditures for 2015 will be $6 billion. The 2015 plan marks the third year in a row that BNSF has committed a record amount for capital investments. BNSF also updated its planned capital expenditures for 2014, which now are expected to be $5.5 billion. The largest component of the 2015 capital plan will be for the renewal of assets and maintenance, which is expected to cost $2.9 billion. These projects will go toward replacing and upgrading rails, ties and ballast that are due for updating. BNSF also plans to spend almost $1.5 billion on expansion projects. BNSF will also increase the size of its locomotive fleet through the addition of new, energy and fuel efficient locomotives. BNSF will acquire 330 new locomotives to add to its fleet of 7,500 and replace others that will soon reach the end of their useful life.

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BTS making improvements
to transport statistics database

WASHINGTON, DC — New data was added to the North American Transportation Statistics (NATS) Online Database in the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' (BTS) 10th annual website update. The database, a product of the North American Transportation Statistics Interchange, contains comparable transportation-related data available from the United States, Canada, and Mexico in a one-stop online resource. The database covers: demographics, transportation, the economy, transportation safety, transportation’s impact on energy and the environment, domestic and international freight activity, domestic and international passenger travel, transportation infrastructure, and vehicles. The NATS Online Database is co-sponsored by BTS, the U.S. Census Bureau and the federal-level transportation and statistical agencies of Canada and Mexico. With text available in English, French, and Spanish, the NATS Online Database can be found at http://nats.sct.gob.mx/en/.

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