Posts Tagged ‘transportation costs’

Michael Alter Joins Investor Group to Purchase The New Republic

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

republic05We are excited to announce that Michael Alter, president of The Alter Group, is part of an investment team that has purchased The New Republic (TNR).  TNR is one of the nation’s oldest political and cultural magazines.  The Obama administration has chosen it as one of the magazines placed on Air Force One, and Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel has said “The New Republic will be required reading in the White House.”

Michael’s status as one of the nation’s most independent and visionary commercial real estate developers and philanthropists makes him an excellent fit with TNR. Since its founding, the magazine has always been fiercely independent, going beyond the rancor of the political debate to be a voice for truth, accuracy and fairness, irrespective of political affiliation.  Under Editor Frank Foer’s fiercely independent leadership, TNR has become aligned with the Obama administration and its left-wing domestic policy, while retaining its fidelity to a strong national defense.  We are proud to claim as our spiritual fathers Teddy Roosevelt and Louis Brandeis.

Currently, TNR is experiencing a resurgence by focusing in-depth on critical issues such as healthcare, the environment, transportation and economic stewardship.  And our staff is extraordinary.  Writer Jonathan Cohn, for example, has become well known on “Colbert Nation”, “Keith Olbermann” and National Public Radio as one of the most progressive voices on healthcare reform.  With TNR readership up by 30 percent within the Washington Beltway, we are implementing a new masthead to freshen our look and are unveiling a new website in the fall to draw younger readers to the magazine.

TNR was founded in 1914 by legendary journalist Walter Lippmann.  During the early 20th century, the publication was the voice of liberalism and a strong opponent of McCarthyism and the Vietnam War.  Over its 95-year history, TNR has published articles by such eminent authors as Virginia Woolf, Phillip Roth, George Orwell, John Dewey and Thomas Mann.

“We are proud to be taking this celebrated institution into the 21st century,” according to Alter. “We will maintain its extraordinary staff of writers and editors, but give them more resources to capitalize on the success of the website and the revamped look of the magazine.”

Well said, Michael.

Mike Rancilio is publisher of The New Republic

High Costs Could Impact Shipping Routes

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Two trends in international trade worth highlighting:

American exports are booming, thanks to the dollar’s current weakness.  This considerable increase in volume has made it virtually impossible for U.S. manufacturers to get space on container ships within a four-week window, especially for products shipping from the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach to any Pacific Rim destination.  To illustrate the scope of the change, container space from these ports was available on demand just one year ago.  And, according to a recent Reuters article, waiting times for cargo space have jumped from two days to three weeks on the East Coast.

Fast-rising transportation costs that are a direct result of the cost of fuel is another important logistics trend – one that could negatively impact globalization.  According to an August 2 article in the International Herald Tribune by Larry Rohter, shipping a single loaded 40-foot container from Shanghai to the United States has soared to as much as $8,000 per unit, compared with just $3,000 earlier in the decade.  Additionally, there are cost add-ons, primarily in the form of fuel surcharges and government-mandated fees.  To save on fuel costs, container ships have shaved their top speeds by nearly 20 percent, which means it takes longer for products to reach their intended markets.

Shipping to and from Prince Rupert in British Columbia is slightly less costly, because the distance to Asian ports is shorter than from Los Angeles or Long Beach.  Still, space amounts to several thousand dollars per container.

“If prices stay at these levels, that could lead to some significant rearrangement of production, among sectors and countries,” said C. Fred Bergsten, author of The United States and the World Economy and a director of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.  “You could have a very significant shock to traditional consumption patterns and also some important growth effects.”

A far better alternative could be to ship to and from Asia from the southern border regions, where the going rate is approximately $800 per loaded container.  That price differential could potentially lure companies to move production facilities to Mexico or the Southwestern United States – primarily Texas.  This would give them the opportunity to leverage the more attractive shipping rates through the growing Mexican ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Punto Colonet.