Thursday, December 13, 2012


Port Specialist Measures Impacts of Panama Canal Expansion

By Jennifer LeClaire

Spencer: "New cargo patterns and
continued demographic growth will
drive new industrial real estate."

MIAMI-The buzz is mounting about the Panama Canal expansion. But how will the much-talked-about expansion really impact East Coast and Gulf ports? Will the changes alter the landscape for the distribution of goods in Florida? caught up with Curtis D. Spencer, president of IMS Worldwide, Inc., who recently was the keynote speaker atTranswestern's National Industrial Market Symposium, to get his take on the impact of the expanded Panama Canal. From a high level perspective, what’s your opinion as to the general impact on East and Gulf Coast ports resulting from the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015?


The expanded Panama Canal will allow larger ships to transit to East Coast and Gulf Coast ports. 

With larger discharges occurring at fewer ports, those ports selected will have to be able to process larger volumes of freight through their terminals and to extend their reach inland to markets now served by the smaller ships and ports that do not have the rail capability to reach key inland port destinations. How do you see these changes altering the landscape for the distribution of goods within the US and specifically Florida?


With greater flexibility in which ports they use, companies may start to re-analyze the number and locations of their distribution centers, which will likely drive additional large distribution center projects in the U.S.’s southeast markets.

 In Florida, the new cargo patterns along with continued demographic growth will drive an increasing need for new industrial real estate. The availability of on-dock rail capacity at the Port of Miami may drive an increase in TEU volumes transiting through that port complex. In 2015, Port of Miami will be the only Florida and Gulf Coast port with 50-foot water depth. What is the impact of this on South Florida?


In order for this to occur, it will be important for the Port of Miami to provide a flexible, seamless rail solution for the larger TEU and goods volumes that will need to transit inland to other markets throughout the US. 

The Port of Miami is served by Florida East Coast Railway which must connect to CSX or Norfolk Southern in order to reach the major consumption centers where freight will be routed.

This will be an important infrastructure arrangement that must be accommodated in order for the Port of Miami to effectively compete for the larger ships “first call” and the attending larger cargo discharges. 

South Florida will benefit by receiving cargo from the “first call” rotation, but in order to gain this spot in the rotation, there must be an accompanying strategy to assure the ocean carrier that the cargo can move inland at a competitive rate and pace. In major distribution markets, demand for industrial space has improved to the point that speculative development is returning. Much of the new construction is being developed with higher ceiling clear heights, better loading and trailer parking. Is this a natural evolution for bigger and better buildings, or a direct result of the post-Panamax ships?


It is a combination of factors. 

Logistics operations are continuously looking at ways to drive efficiencies and squeeze every penny out of the supply chain. 

For many users, both truck and facility security are top priorities and dedicated truck courts are becoming more important as well. 

 Many investors prefer higher clear heights and better loading from the perspective a preservation of building value. Miami has a new Foreign Trade Zone encompassing much of the northern half of the county through an Alternative Site Framework (ASF) grant. Can you tell us a little about what that means for trade and what impacts it might have on industrial real estate?


Miami has been operating with an antiquated FTZ program in place over the last decade. 

However, with the new ASF project established, this market can now offer one of the nation’s most modern Zone projects. 

The development of this new Zone allows FTZ designated companies the ability to operate within the new Zone (and this can be in almost any industrial building in the county) and receive major benefit and cost saving advantages. In your view of international trade, what is your overall outlook for the economy and industrial real estate over the next 18 to 24 months?


We are forecasting solid, steady growth with rental rates trending higher, but not spiking in the near future. 

With the vast amount of speculative building going on in most of the major, high demand markets, the availability of quality facilities will be a benefit to potential users.

The lottery of life: Where to be born in 2013 ...

Nov 21st 2012 | from The World In 2013 print edition

Warren Buffett, probably the world’s most successful investor, has said that anything good that happened to him could be traced back to the fact that he was born in the right country, the United States, at the right time (1930).

 A quarter of a century ago, when The World in 1988 light-heartedly ranked 50 countries according to where would be the best place to be born in 1988, America indeed came top. 

But which country will be the best for a baby born in 2013?

To answer this, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist, has this time turned deadly serious. It earnestly attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.

Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys—how happy people say they are—to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. 

Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too. In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. 

They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy.

Related topics

Euro zone
United States

A forward-looking element comes into play, too. Although many of the drivers of the quality of life are slow-changing, for this ranking some variables, such as income per head, need to be forecast. We use the EIU’s economic forecasts to 2030, which is roughly when children born in 2013 will reach adulthood.

Despite the global economic crisis, times have in certain respects never been so good. 

Output growth rates have been declining across the world, but income levels are at or near historic highs. 

Life expectancy continues to increase steadily and political freedoms have spread across the globe, most recently in north Africa and the Middle East. 

In other ways, however, the crisis has left a deep imprint—in the euro zone, but also elsewhere—particularly on unemployment and personal security. 

In doing so, it has eroded both family and community life.

FUTURO INCIERTO: Los escenarios posibles tras la operación de Chávez ...

Abraham Zamorano

BBC Mundo, Caracas

Jueves, 13 de diciembre de 2012

El presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, pasó esta semana por su cuarta cirugía contra el cáncer. Lo hizo en La Habana, días después de designar al vicepresidente Nicolás Maduro como candidato en unas eventuales elecciones que habría que convocar si él falta.

El hecho de que nombrara a Maduro después de anunciar la recurrencia del cáncer con el que lucha desde junio de 2011 hizo pensar en lo peor incluso en sus propias filas, donde la consternación dio paso a las expresiones de optimismo.

Diosdado Cabello, el otro sucesor

Está previsto que Chávez, quien ganó holgadamente la relección en las presidenciales del pasado 7 de octubre, tome posesión de su nuevo mandato el próximo 10 de enero, para gobernar hasta 2019.

Pero al hablar de la posibilidad de que el cáncer se lo impida - algo que, sin embargo, tampoco dio por seguro -, dio cabida a un análisis de los escenarios que esto plantea.

Tales escenarios incluirían lo que la Constitución califica como "falta absoluta": muerte, renuncia, destitución sentenciada por el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), incapacidad física o mental determinada por una junta médica designada por el TSJ y aprobada por la Asamblea Nacional (AN), abandono del cargo decretada por la AN y el revocatorio.

Ante todo lo que hay que tener en cuenta que el chavismo controla la AN, mientras que el TSJ no es elemento de preocupación en las filas bolivarianas.

Chávez reaparece y toma posesión

"Uno siempre ha vivido de milagro en milagro, yo sigo aferrado a ese milagro", dijo Chávez al anunciar la necesidad de someterse a una cuarta operación por la reaparición de "células malignas".

"Uno siempre ha vivido de milagro en milagro, yo sigo aferrado a ese milagro"

Hugo Chávez

Así es que, aunque no parecía demasiado optimista y hablara por primera vez de no estar en condiciones para seguir encabezando la revolución bolivariana, no está descartado que continúe al frente de ella.

De hecho, Chávez, militar de carrera, se ha caracterizado siempre por su fortaleza física. Tanto así, que fue capaz de llevar adelante una dura campaña electoral poco después de haber pasado por varios ciclos de radioterapia.

También podría ocurrir que, aunque salga de la cirugía con un pronóstico favorable, el posoperatorio se prolongue más allá del 10 enero y no reúna las condiciones de regresar al país a tomar posesión.

La Constitución prevé en su artículo 231 que "si por cualquier motivo sobrevenido" el presidente no pudiera tomar posesión ante la Asamblea Nacional, lo podría hacer ante el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia.

Eso para algunos es la puerta abierta a que los magistrados se trasladen a La Habana para tomar juramento al mandatario. Otros, como el jurista Juan Carlos Pinto, consideran que "el asiento de los poderes es el distrito capital de Caracas" y es en esa ciudad en la que debe ser tomado juramento.

"Ni siquiera en la embajada venezolana, que no es Caracas. Para mí es algo restrictivo", le dijo el abogado a BBC Mundo.

Una vez tome posesión, si se produce una "falta absoluta" durante los primeros cuatro años de su mandato habría que convocar a elecciones en un plazo de un mes, tiempo durante el cual el vicepresidente se encargaría de la jefatura de Estado .

Chávez toma posesión sin voluntad para seguir

Cualquier otro escenario de declaratoria de falta absoluta parece difícil a menos que cuente con la voluntad del propio mandatario.

La Constitución también contempla que el presidente de la Asamblea Nacional asuma el gobierno en determinado caso.

Es improbable que desde el propio chavismo se impulse una inhabilitación, y la oposición carece del control de las instituciones necesario para provocar tal desenlace.

Hasta el momento en el oficialismo no ha querido ni hablar de declarar una "falta temporal" que, según la oposición, sería procedente en las circunstancias actuales.

En cambio, si, por ejemplo, el presidente decide retirarse a su Sabaneta natal natal, como alguna vez dijo desear, podría plantear la posibilidad de su renuncia después de tomar posesión el 10 de enero.

De hacerlo, tendrían que celebrarse elecciones y el vicepresidente sería el encargado de asumir temporalmente la jefatura del Estado, además de ser el candidato del oficialismo, según la voluntad expresada por el mandatario el pasado sábado.

Analistas consultados por BBC Mundo comentaron que si los eventos llevan a la materialización de esta hipótesis, al oficialismo le interesaría retrasar los comicios lo más posible para consolidar la figura de Maduro, que si bien puede gozar de buena imagen entre las filas chavistas, no es ni de lejos tan conocido ni querido como el propio presidente.

Chávez no llega a tomar posesión

De cumplirse el peor de los escenarios contemplado por el propio Chávez en la alocución en la que anunció la recaída y no llegara a tomar posesión el 10 de enero, la Constitución es clara al establecer que habría que convocar elecciones en 30 días.

Sin embargo, el texto constitucional no resulta, a primera vista, tan claro al respecto de quién asume la jefatura del Estado.

Si el que falta es un presidente electo (antes de tomar posesión), se encargará encabezar el gobierno el presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, cargo que ocupa Diosdado Cabello, número dos del oficialista Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV).

Ahora bien: si el que falta es el presidente en el ejercicio de sus últimos años de mandato, es el vicepresidente, hoy por hoy Nicolás Maduro, el que deberá completar el período presidencial.

Chávez es tanto presidente en ejercicio como presidente electo, con lo que pareciera que cualquiera de las dos premisas podría aplicarse.

Algunos analistas consultados por BBC Mundo opinan que por encima de su condición de electo rige la de presidente en ejercicio y por eso es Maduro el que debe completar el mandato.

Drewry Deciphers Brazilian Port Reform Program ...

Drewry Maritime Advisors decipher the Brazilian Government's long-awaited port reform & investments program, aimed at unlocking existing constraints within the country’s port system.

London, UK, 10th December. 

On December 6th, the Brazilian Government unveiled its long-awaited port reform and infrastructure investments package. 

The announcement of this set of measures was initially to take place in June 2012, but has been postponed several times, an indication of the complexity of the port system’s structure in this leading emerging country.

Seasonal congestion, bottlenecks and queues both in the maritime and the land-side accesses to the ports are recurring realities in many Brazilian ports. 

One of the reasons can be found in the lack of deployment of new port capacity over the years, while importers, exporters, ship-owners and logisticians alike point at two decades of neglect of infrastructure investments in the sector.

The twofold package consists of : 

Public investments in port infrastructure, to the tune of US$ 25bn, will apply to new port projects, dredging programs and improvements to the landside access to the ports

Reforms of various aspects of the current legal and regulatory structure of the port industry will reflect new orientations in the public-private-partnership framework.

The main items on the reform and reorientation front are :

Private terminals will be allowed to handle 3rd party cargo

The selection criteria for terminal concessions will be:

lowest tariff to user i/o highest payment to the Government as hitherto

In both cases, the Government will call the shots, within a pre-established national master-plan

Port Authorities will be modernized, professionalized and de-politized, and subjected to management contracts

Procurement will be facilitated by new, more flexible rules and procedures

A series of thorny issues remain unresolved and will need to be addressed soon to bring serenity back to the sector :

There exist a bitter rivalry between concessionaires in public ports and private terminals in the container segment. 

The former complain about what they consider as the unfair competition exercised by the latter. 

The private terminals position has now been vindicated by the Government, but some concessionaires invoke the unconstitutionality of the recent measures.

There will now be 3 different regimes for port operators: private terminals, concessions based on the highest offer, and concessions based on the lowest tariffs. 

 This new framework is ripe with potential further conflicts on the issue of the “level playing field”.

Contracts at 98 terminals of all types and sizes have expired or about to expire. 

Their operators were anxiously expecting that the contracts would be extended, but for 55 of them, the Government has decided that they should be re-tendered. 

The other 43 might be extended for 25 years, after negotiations involving commitments to carry out new investments and introduce additional capacity and efficiency gains.

While the professional associations invoke the existence of repressed private investments to the tune of US$ 5bn, due to the uncertainty of the situation, there are indications that some of the involved operators might actually elect to go to court to protect what they consider to be their legitimate interests.

These orientations are dividing the private sector, displeasing the incumbent operators and rejoicing the outsiders. Amidst concerns that some developments might lead to a renewed judicialization of the sector, there are also many positive signals.

“These six months of indecision have frozen many new project developments, on the grounds of heightened regulatory risks” says Michel Donner, Senior Advisor at Drewry Maritime Advisors.

 “The concerns have been partly reduced, but not completely removed. However, the package (investments and reform) provides a new landscape for the whole sector, among others by facilitating the penetration by new players. The changes are likely to contribute to unlock the badly needed capacity expansion of the port system, and will bring up a host of new business opportunities for private investors, albeit possibly with lower profitability levels.”

The first projects on the Government’s list are: the container terminal in Manaus, and the Porto Sul deep-water multipurpose port complex in Ilheus (Bahia). It has almost gone unnoticed that, coincidentally, both have at long last received their environmental license in October and November, respectively. 

Another project likely to progress rapidly is the 2nd container terminal in Suape. 

This project was in the starting blocks already in April 2012, but had to be slowed down, pending the release of the Government’s policy changes in relation to PPPs.

As the dust settles and debate in the industry continues, the coming months will prove vital in maintaining the momentum this announcement has created, especially as some issues remain unresolved.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mango dreams in Kahala



Even if the real-estate market were not so tight right now, I’m sure this home would still draw a lot of interest from buyers looking to live in the Puu Panini area. 

It was listed last Friday and hosted more than 80 groups at an open house on Sunday; yesterday at broker’s open, more than 100 realtors came through.

Although it was built in 1962, the single-story home is still in nice condition—it’s only had a little bit of renovation work done, so the mid-century ambience remains intact.

 It currently offers a glimpse of Diamond Head, but, if you build up, (you’re allowed up to 25 feet), you’ll get a more dramatic view.

There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms in this 2,420-square-foot-residence, with a breezy, open floor plan that leads to a large, covered lanai. (Click here for details.)

The huge yard is the main attraction here, though. The lot is 12,214 square feet, and is level—which is rare for the area, and for a property of its size. Behind it is a national guard facility that is never used, so it’s as if there are no back neighbors.

There is a lemon tree, but the focal point is a 60-year-old Hayden mango tree, which is still fruiting. 

Hopefully the new owners keep this tree; according to Candy Suiso of Makaha Mangoes, it’s rare to find such majestic mango trees in metro Honolulu.

Another thing to note is that this is a very established neighborhood: According to realtor Donna Yamagishi, many of the neighbors are original residents who have known each other for 30 to 40 years.

“A lot of them have pets—I’ve never seen so many dog walkers in one neighborhood! It’s so sweet to see them,” Yamagishi says.

Money talk: $1,780,000 fee simple

Contact: Donna Yamagishi, Prudential Locations, 808-284-6464,

Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in Permalink

Japan suspends inspection of fresh mango in Brazil ...

The Agriculture Ministry said this Tuesday that representatives of the Embassy of Japan suspended the arrival of Japanese technicians in Brazil to inspect fresh mango. 

The director of the Department of Plant Protection Cósam de Carvalho Coutinho, of the Ministry of Agriculture, said the removal of the requirement demonstrates greater confidence in the Brazilian export certification, which guarantees the quality mangoes.

Japan is the fifth largest importer of Brazilian mangoes, with shipments from January to November this year of 481.700 tons, which generated USD 1,467 million. 

The main market is made up of countries of the European Union, which imported the first 11 months of this year 80,500 tons, which generated revenues of USD 91.8 million.

So far this year, Brazilian mango exports totaled 112,000 tons and revenues of
USD 120.9 million. 

Compared to the same period last year, volume fell 1.4% and revenues 3.5%.

Based on information from RuralBR

Publication date: 12/13/2012

Mango Hill Greathouse – Caribbean Private Luxury Holiday Villa ...

DECEMBER 12, 2012 22:27

Located in Shoys Estate, St. Croix, Caribbean Mango Hill Greathouse is a private luxury holiday villa designed and built to replicate a Danish Colonial greathouse of 150 years ago, but complete with all the modern conveniences of today. 

Perched atop a private hill in the island’s most desirable seaside neighborhood, Mango Hill Greathouse with 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms is perfect to accommodate 8 persons.

Luxury Villa in St. Croix Will Make You Feel Like a Colonial Aristocrat

Once step inside 4,300 sq ft villa, the arched doorway welcomes you into the living room executed in a pale blue and decorated with spectacular Cruzian and New England antiques. 

Leather bound books give the library a regal touch and the French doors highlight the ocean views. 

The floors in Mango Hill are both traditional stone pavers and stunning Peruvian cherry overlaid by sisal area rugs.

On the first level, there’s also formal dining room with seating for eight, and well-appointed gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art stainless steel European appliances. At one end of this sleek, functional room is a charming breakfast/sitting area with French doors opening to the gardens and a covered patio just outside, perfect for coffee or cocktails.

Villa’s main level is bordered on its entire seaward side with a deep colonnaded verandah, set with a second dining area for alfresco meals and cushioned wicker seating. Just steps away is the forty foot swimming pool, surrounded by gardens and sun deck. Adjoining the pool terrace is Kumquat, a whimsically-decorated tropical guesthouse with a bedroom and its own sitting room.

The carved mahagony staircase in the main house leading to the upper level where you’ll find three serene bedroom/bath suites and a 30-foot library furnished with so much history, including a 17th-century wooden chest.

The 2,500 square feet of outdoor living area, able to entertain up to twenty guests for dinner offers tables and chairs for relaxing in the late afternoon sun or reading the morning papers.

Although the property was built in antique colonial fashion, it has no shortage of modern amenities. Scattered throughout the villa, there are three satellite TVs, WiFi, two DVD players, even a VCR player (for those who refuse to participate in all of this digital nonsense), and a music, video and book library. The villa is located right next to a full-service resort, so that a spa or golf outing is readily available.

Depending on the number of people and the season, prices for the minimum five day stay range from $5,500 to $8,500.

PHILIPPINES: Rehab Scheme For Mangoes Promising ...

Agri Plain Talk


December 12, 2012, 2:43pm

In the past, mango trees in Ilocos Norte used to be very productive. But not anymore. Of late, production had been going down and many of the mango trees have become sickly or even died.

The culprit is the abuse in inducing the trees to flower without applying fertilizers. This was revealed by Ricardo Tolentino at the recent national mango congress in Mandaue City, Cebu. Tolentino is the head of the mango growers association in Ilocos Norte. He himself manages several mango farms and is also active in marketing mangoes.

The decline in the health of the trees was to be expected because many of the mango plantations were contracted by people who did the spraying of potassium nitrate or some other formulations. They sprayed the trees with flower inducers but did not bother to fertilize them.

Alarmed by the decadence of the trees in the province, Tolentino convinced the lady governor, Imee Marcos, to help rehabilitate the trees. She allotted them P5 million for that purpose.

The main strategy adopted was to feed the trees with the right formulation to regain their vigor. Tolentino said that the governor would be happy if the amount budgeted by the provincial government would result in an increase in production of five percent.

Tolentino said that the season is just half way and the development is very exciting indeed. He calculates that the production will not only increase by five percent but most likely by a minimum of 30 percent.

They had the soils in the mango plantations tested so the right fertilizer balance could be applied. 

Fertilizing started last July. 

Rates varied, depending on the age or size of the trees, but here’s an example of what they applied to a 15-year-old tree. 

They applied 3 kilos of organic fertilizer, 2 kilos of complete (14-14-14) and 1 kilo of muriate of potash (0-0-60). Tolentino said the dosage applied probably was not fully adequate but was good enough. By his calculation, production of the fertilized trees will increase by a minimum of 30 percent.

He announced that by the time the 15th National Mango Congress will be held on March 13-15 in Iba, Zambales, the final results would already be known, and he will make the report on that during the congress. 

Hopefully, other LGUs will follow what Imee Marcos did for the mango growers in Ilocos Norte.The mango congress in Zambales, by the way, will coincide with the annual mango festival in the province. At the Cebu congress, the Zambales delegation came in full force headed by no less than their governor, former Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.

The AMIN Foundation headed by Tony S. Rola has also asked his members to give their full support to the forthcoming congress in Zambales. At the meeting of the group at the Rabang Farm in Abucay, Bataan, he asked them to attend the event.


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AUSTRALIA: Mango season wraps up in the Northern Territory ...

Northern Territory

By Matt Brann

Thursday, 13/12/2012

Map of Northern Territory (Australia)

The Northern Territory mango season has wrapped up for another year, with around 60 million NT mangoes picked over the last couple of months.

The official volume of four million trays is down on last year's total (4.5 million), but still classed as a big crop.

President of the NT Mango Growers Association, Ian Baker, says quality was a bit mixed in the Darwin rural area, but fruit from Katherine were excellent.

"Katherine is becoming the premier mango growing region in Australia and continuing to grow," he said.

"We had some quality issues in Darwin, which as an industry we have to deal with.

"Darwin mangoes start off the season in Australia and it's very important we kick it off to a good start and we probably didn't do it as well this year."

In the lead-up to Christmas, the bulk of mangoes will now be supplied from plantations in Queensland.

Last year, the Northern Territory overtook Queensland as the biggest supplier of mangoes in Australia.

Mr Baker says it's a title which will stay with the Territory again this year.

Around 60 million mangoes were picked in the Northern Territory this year (Matt Brann)