Beihai Shipping Update
At this point it appears that there is reason to be at least somewhat optimistic about the Class B shipping situation to North America.
Events are changing daily, but Maersk has resumed accepting bookings for North America and bookings are being confirmed. It appears that at least one reason they are accepting new bookings is that additional barges have been added between Beihai and HK.
The bad news is that there was an explosion on Tuesday at a plant in Guangxi which produced chemicals used for making paints and adhesives. Because of this explosion(and caution with regard to the Special Olympics which on currently on-going), no transportation permits have been issued in the last several days. With-out a transportation permit, it is impossible to transport fireworks by truck to the port. The situation has been descriped as "a delay" and not as a perment shutdown, however it is unclear when the permitting process will resume again.
Here is a news release on the Chemical Factory Explosion: CHINA: A series of explosions at a chemical plant in southern China killed at least five people on Tuesday and injured 55. Another 14 people were missing after the blast in the factory in Guangxi which produced chemicals used for making paints and adhesives. Firefighters had struggled to control a raging blaze at the plant in Yizou city but by late afternoon the fire was under control. About 11,500 residents within three kilometres (two miles) of the plant were forced to evacuate the area. Ongoing explosions at the plant had hampered efforts by firefighters to extinguish the blaze, which eventually spread over more than 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft). And another update:
The death toll from explosions that ripped through a chemical plant in southwest China rose to 20 on Wednesday, state media said.
The victims were employees of the plant in Yizhou city in Guangxi province, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Another 60 people were injured in the blasts that started at about 6 a.m. Tuesday and continued until 1 p.m., the report said.
The blaze started in a workshop and spread through the plant as containers with flammable chemicals including formaldehyde and acetylene caught fire, Xinhua said.
Fire spread over an area of nearly 10,000 square metres, Xinhua said, citing an unidentified firefighter in the rescue operation.
The government evacuated 11,500 residents in case of further blasts and chemical leaks.
Poisonous gases were still coming from the site, Xinhua quoted Ge Xianmin, Guangxi´s toxic substances emergency centre director, as saying.
The blast did not seriously pollute air or water in the area, Xinhua said. Rescuers set up four dams at the point where pollutants are discharged from the factory to prevent any from flowing into the nearby Longjiang River, Xinhua said.
Samples taken from the river show it is safe for drinking, it said.
Regional work safety authorities were investigating the cause of the blasts.
Fan Yinfeng, an operator at the fire brigade under the Yizhou Public Security Bureau, said firefighters from nearby towns were mobilized to help.
The plant is in a development zone of Yizhou city and mainly produces chemicals for adhesives and paints, Xinhua said. It is owned by Guangxi Guangwei Chemical Co.Sadly, there was another fireworks related accident this past week, please see the details as follows:Explosion at China fireworks factory kills 15
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 31, 2008
Fifteen people were killed and six injured when a blast rocked a fireworks factory in northern China, state press reported Sunday.
The explosion occurred on Saturday morning in Inner Mongolia's Sijiazi township, destroying 50 workshops at the Xinxin Fireworks Plant, Xinhua news agency said.
The blast occurred as workers at the plant were weighing and mixing ingredients for making the fireworks, the report said.
According to a preliminary investigation, safety regulations at the plant were being violated at the time of the blast, the report said without providing details.