Saturday, 31 December 2011


The Intra European shipping line stablished by Maersk in 2011, known as SEAGO LINE ( appears to have commenced services with the first arrival at FXT on 01.01.12 with the vessel: Rosa.
The next scheduled arrival is: Maersk Jakobstad on 05.01.12.
Seagoline have announced that they will be operating services with at least 75 vessels of capacities ranging from 375 to 3000 teu.
Details of same of the vessels appears here:

Friday, 30 December 2011

Cosco and China Shipping to get closer

China’s two biggest container lines are to work more closely together as an extensive shake-up of the Asia-Europe trades continues.

Cosco Container Line and China Shipping have unveiled plans to expand their space-swap arrangements next year. The agreement covers both the North Europe and Mediterranean trades.

The announcement comes amid speculation that China Shipping is in talks with the CKYH alliance, which includes Cosco, about a partnership arrangement.

The new space-swap agreement between Cosco and China Shipping covers three services operated by each line, but it is unclear whether this deal involves all the CKYH members.

China Shipping is thought to be in talks with partner Evergreen and members of the CKYH consortium about a six-strong co-operative arrangement covering the Asia-Europe trades that would offer a powerful alternative to the new alliances now being formed by other global carriers.

Talks are understood to be under way between the various parties, although no final conclusions have yet been reached.

But should China Shipping decide to work with the CKYH group of Coscon, K Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin Shipping, it would be able to contribute some of the biggest containerships in the world. The line now has a number of 14,100teu vessels in service, and will have a total of eight in its fleet when all the newbuildings on order are delivered.

The announcement follows news earlier this week that Evergreen is planning to co-operate with the CKYH consortium without actually becoming a full member, while maintaining its links with China Shipping.

At present, the two lines co-operate on three Asia-Europe services. These include a jointly-operated service between Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Felixstowe, Hamburg and Rotterdam that deploys five 9,000teu ships and four 8,000teu vessels, plus another in which Evergreen contributes a 10,000teu chartered vessel and China Shipping six 12,000teu ships. CMA CGM and United Arab Shipping Co also each providing a 12,000teu.

The French line said when announcing a partnership with MSC a month ago that most of its other co-operative agreements would be maintained.

In a third Asia-Europe service operated by Evergreen, China Shipping takes slots. This loop consists of 6,000teu and 7,000teu ships.

And the news that Evergreen was linking up with the CKYH alliance followed the announcement last week that the Grand Alliance and New World Alliance were to join forces in the Asia-Europe trades.

Excellent sites for local news

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Felixstowe: Man dies in crane plummet at port

Police are investigating the sudden death of a man at the Port of Felixstowe this evening.

The man, whose age is yet to be confirmed, died in a suspected suicide at about 5.20pm.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the force received calls reporting a sudden death at the port.

He said the death of the man, who is believed to have fallen from a crane, is not thought to be suspicious.

A spokesman for the port confirmed there had been an “apparent suicide” earlier this evening and said the man was not an employee of the port.


Friday, December 30, 2011
12:00 PM

PATHOLOGISTS will today carry out a post mortem on a man who fell to his death from a crane at Britain’s biggest container port.

The man – in his 50s – died after plunging from the crane on to the quayside in what port officials say was an “apparent suicide”.

The incident happened at the Port of Felixstowe’s new £300million extension, which was opened in the autumn by the Princess Royal during the port’s 125th birthday celebrations.

The man was said to be a contract worker and so was allowed to come and go in the secure quayside areas where access is heavily restricted and monitored constantly by CCTV.

Officials will not say which company employed the man, who has not yet been named.

Outside contractors working for various companies are still employed on aspects of the new deepwater berths eight and nine, such as the commissioning of two massive new cranes and ten rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), which were delivered a few weeks ago.

Although earlier information from the authorities suggested the man had fallen from a ship-to-shore crane, it has now been confirmed that it was one of the RTGs – used to load containers on and off lorries and road tugs – on the quayside

Portworkers have been left shocked by the incident, the second death at the port this month.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports UK, the owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “The man was working at the port as a contractor, one of many people who work at the port for a variety of companies but are not employed by HPUK.

“The man had reason to be there on the quayside and there was no breach of security.”

Mr Davey said it was understood the incident was an “apparent suicide”.

He added: “The port police are liaising over the matter with officers at Suffolk police, who are co-ordinating the investigation.

“They have told us they don’t believe there are any suspicious circumstances.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the next of kin of the man had been informed about his death on Wednesday evening, just a few hours after he died. He said: “A post mortem is due to be held today and an inquest will then be opened, at which time he will be named.”

It is not known yet known whether the Heath and Safety Executive will also investigate, but officials may decide to leave the matter to the coroner as it was not a work-related accident.

The new port extension has 22 RTGs. The newest arrived last month and are not yet in use, with testing under way and electrical systems being put in place. They are operated from a cab on a platform around 25 metres high

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Improving the railway from Felixstowe to Nuneaton involves

What's happening?
The cross-country rail route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Peterborough is being upgraded to run more freight trains and carry the larger containers now used by shipping companies
Improving the railway from Felixstowe to Nuneaton involves:

Gauge enhancements between Peterborough and Nuneaton to ensure the entire route can carry the larger, more economical freight containers increasingly preferred by global shipping firms. This work was completed in April 2011.
Capacity enhancements between Ipswich and Peterborough:
1.A new 1km stretch of track, or chord, north of Ipswich goods yard linking the East Suffolk and Great Eastern lines
2.Two 775m sections of track east of Ely station to enable better regulation of trains through the junctions at Ely
3.Signalling works at Kennett/Bury St Edmunds

A flyover north of Nuneaton station that will allow freight trains from Peterborough to join the West Coast Main Line without the need to cross it at grade.
Our plans for the capacity enhancement at Ipswich - known as the Ipswich Chord - were submitted in June 2011 (read about the public consultations). This £41m investment, along with the enhancement at Ely, will help increase capacity between Ipswich and Peterborough from 10 container freight trains per day (TPD) to up to 24 TPD each direction, and provide capability for longer trains to run in future.

Project Date
Peterborough Nuneaton W10 4 April 2011 (actual)
Kennett resignalling December 2011
Nuneaton North Chord July 2012
Ely Loops February 2013
Ipswich Chord March 2014

The benefits
Environmentally friendly
This work will mean many of the increasing numbers of freight containers coming into Britain’s ports can be transported by rail – one of the most environmentally friendly methods of transportation. The alternative would be to take the containers by road, adding to traffic congestion.

Taking freight by rail rather than by road reduces CO2 emissions by 76%, helping the UK to improve its carbon footprint.

Keeping traffic off the roads
This growth in rail freight on the route will reduce the number of lorry journeys that will be needed if the rail improvements do not go ahead by up to 750,000 a year by 2030.

This will significantly reduce pressure on congested roads such as the A14. It is estimated congestion on the A14 alone costs the region £80m each year.

A more reliable service
Today, Anglia's freight trains have to travel down the busy Great Eastern main line, through London and up the West Coast main line to reach the Midlands, North West and Scotland. These infrastructure improvements will provide more direct journeys for freight trains travelling from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands, North West and Scotland, and the potential for faster journeys to Yorkshire.

This increased freight capacity will also help generate further growth of port-related businesses and support services.

Maersk Line COO Reiterates: No expectation to use third Triple-E option

COPENHAGEN (Dow Jones)–Danish Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, has yet to decide whether to exercise an option to increase its Triple-E vessel orders to 30 from 20, but doesn’t expect to do so, a senior company executive said Tuesday.

Maersk Line, a unit of Danish industrial conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S (MAERSK-B.KO), has ordered two tranches of 10 Triple-E ships from South Korean manufacturer Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., and has an option to order a further 10 before the end of February 2012.

“We have not taken the decision yet, but we do not expect to use the option,” Maersk Line Chief Operating Officer Morten Engelstoft said.

Since Maersk Line ordered the first two tranches of the Triple-E ships and secured the option, the global economy has deteriorated, shipping rates have dropped to unsustainable lows and the shipping industry has ramped up orders of new tonnage for the key Asia-Europe routes that Maersk had ordered the Triple-E ships for.

Tuesday’s statement was a repetition of previous comments made by Engelstoft.

“It’s good to have the option open, but I don’t expect that our estimated capacity needs will have changed substantially by year-end, and this would mean we won’t exercise the option,” Engelstoft told Dow Jones Newswires in June.

With a price tag of $190 million each, a length of 400 meters and a capacity of 18,000 twenty-foot containers, the Triple-E vessels are the biggest container ships ever built. The 20 ships ordered are due for delivery between 2013 and 2015.


Not a very happy new year for Asia-Europe trades

Analyst predicts disastrous 2012 for crisis-hit container lines

The rates war that has shattered the Asia-Europe trades this year looks set to worsen in 2012, analyst Alphaliner has predicted in its latest report.

Far from restoring some stability to one of the world’s major shipping routes, the recent round of service restructuring could intensify competition between the major players, warns the analyst.

“These developments forbode that the unrelenting rate war on the Asia-Europe trade is set to continue and could spell disaster for carriers in 2012,” Alphaliner said.

The dire prediction follows some major realignments over the past month as lines respond to Maersk’s challenge to offer shippers daily departures from key Asian ports to northerrn Europe.

First came the vessel sharing and slot exchange agreement between MSC and CMA CGM that will allow the two lines to deploy the biggest and most cost-efficient ships available in their respective fleets in each of their four joint Asia-northern Europe loops.

That was followed last week by the announcement that the three members of the Grand Alliance are to co-operate with their opposite numbers in the New World Alliance in a six line super consortium, the G6. Then this week, Evergreen revealed plans to collaborate more closely with the CKYH alliance.

These moves will prompt the remaining carriers in the Asia-Europe trades to look for further collaborative opportunities, said Alphaliner, “although it will not serve as a prelude to any capacity reduction”.

Both MSC and CMA CGM, plus the G6 lines, have stressed that their respective alliances are not designed to reduce ship supply, but rather to maximise economies of scale.

Indeed, Alphaliner reckons that competition in the Asia-Europe trades will become even fiercer next year, as carriers continue to reshape their networks and alliance relationships, while more tonnage is also in the pipeline.

The grim prediction follows a terrible year for lines operating in this market, with spot westbound freight rates down to around $500 per teu from more than $1,400 at the start of the year. Volumes have continued to increase, albeit at a modest pace of around 4,5%, but capacity has expanded faster as newbuildings are delivered from shipyards.

With lines intent in preserving market share, attempts to lift freight rates have proved futile. Peak season surcharges that a number of lines tried to apply in anticipation of year-end cargo surges ahead of Chinese new year have been shelved after the expected upturn in bookings failed to happen, Alphaliner notes.

Furthermore, with a weaker outlook for Chinese exports next year, any rate gains are likely to be short-lived, the analyst predicts.

“The much-hoped for rationalisation of Asia-Europe services is not bound to materialise, as the consolidation of services under the new partnerships fails to remove any excess capacity,” Alphaliner said.

Furthermore, new tonnage will continue to be delivered from shipyards, with the G6 alliance due to phase in 18 newbuildings of between 10,000teu and 13,000teu in 2012, while MSC and CMA CGM will receive 20 new vessels of between 13,000 eu and 16,000teu.

Alphaliner estimates that Maersk will still have the largest share of the Asia-north Europe trades in the latter half of 2012, albeit down slightly from 27% at the moment to 23%. The G6 alliance will stay the same with a trade share of 23%, with MSC-CMA CGM slipping back a little from 23% to 21%, while the CKYH alliance will lift its share from 14% to 16%.

Alphaliner anticipates that further synergies will occur, with Cosco and China Shipping expected to work more closely together through extensive cross-alliance slot arrangements.

Evergreen eyes link with Green Alliance

In a bid to protect its position in the Far East-Europe trades, Evergreen is joining forces with four other major Asian lines.

The Taiwanese carrier, which has been losing ground as competitors have teamed up with other lines and ordered bigger ships, is preparing to co-operate with the CKYH alliance of Cosco Container Line, K Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin Shipping.

However, Evergreen will not become a full-fledged member of the CKYH group, otherwise known as the Green Alliance.

“All parties intend to enhance highest frequency of service loops, expedition of delivery terms and full scale of port coverage in their services and agreed to strengthen co-operation among one another in Asia-Europe and Asia-Mediterranean trade lanes from the second quarter of 2012,” the five lines said in a statement.

“Although Evergreen will not be joining CKYH, the carriers will co-ordinate with each other to provide more intensive sailings to the level of eight service loops from Asian ports to northern European base ports, and four service loops from Asian ports to Mediterranean ports every week.”

The statement went on to say that the majority of the ships operated in these total twelve loops will range from 8,000 teu to 13,000 teu size.

“Through this co-operation, CKYH, together with Evergreen,will be able to provide the highest quality services to their customers with shortest transit time from major origin ports to European destinations.”

The CKYH alliance is already a powerful consortium, with analyst Alphaliner estimating its share of the Asia-North Europe trades at 14%, a figure that is expected to rise to 16% by the later half of 2012. In the Asia-Mediterranean trades, the CKYH alliance has a market share of 15%.

With MSC and CMA CGM announcing a partnership and the Grand and New World alliances planning to work together, Evergreen was in danger of being sidelined,

The former number one line in the world has always preferred to operate independently, or only form looseknit space exchange agreements with other carriers. However, according to a report in IFW’s sister publication, Lloyd’s List, industry experts have been openly warning that Evergreen risked being forced off the trade unless it took urgent action to protect its position.

But to compound its problems, Evergreen is virtually the only major container line not to have ordered ships of 12,000teu or more. However, despite resistance to anything larger than 8,000teu by group chairman Chang Yung-fa, senior executives are thought to be talking to shipyards about vessels that would be competitive in the Asia-Europe trades where 14,000teu ships look set to become the new workhorses.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Bristol Port Company plans to create a deep water container terminal at Avonmouth.

On 25th March 2010, the Department for Transport gave consent for the construction of Bristol's Deep Sea Container Terminal.

As one of the country's fastest growing ports Bristol is developing its role as a gateway container port for the UK and a transshipment point for the Atlantic seaboard and Europe.

The port has excellent rail and road links, it is close to a large part of the UK's container market, and there is a deep water channel in the Severn Estuary already used by the port. As a result of these inherent advantages Bristol Port plans to expand its facilities with a new deep sea container terminal (DSCT) in the Bristol Channel. The terminal is designed to service not only today’s largest container vessels, but also future generations of ultra large container ships (ULCS) when they enter service.

These pages provide information on many aspects of the new terminal and what the Port is doing to move its plans forward. The Bristol Port Company and Proposed Development sections explain what is being proposed and how it fits into the Company's strategy for the port and Bristol. There are maps, photographs and documents about the proposal in the Information sources section.

More detailed information is available on the Economic, Environmental and Engineering background to the port's expansion plans. The formal process of submitting the proposal for Department for Transport approval is explained in HRO Application.

Carriers merge services to Latin America

Two of the biggest container lines serving South America are teaming up in a concerted move to reduce capacity on the trade and stabilise freight rates.

Mediterranean Shipping Co and Hamburg Süd will be restructuring their services between the Mediterranean and South American east coast next month.

The pair have worked together in the past, but this will be their only current joint-venture.

Two separate services will be fused into one loop that will be operated by eight vessels of 5,900teu nominal capacity. Of those, MSC will provide seven ships initially, with Hamburg Süd contributing one.

Hamburg Süd said it had been operating five ships on this route, and would not be laying up any of those to be withdrawn.

One would remain in the service, while the other four were to be transferred to its Levant service, which was also undergoing a shake-up, the German line said.

MSC is the biggest player in the Europe-South America trades, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence, deploying 27 ships with combined capacity of almost 137,000teu, Maersk Line is the second largest, followed by Hamburg Süd, deploying 16 vessels totalling 68,500teu.

The new port rotation will be Valencia, Gioia Tauro Livorno, Genoa, Fos, Barcelona, Valencia, Suape, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Navegantes, Itapoá, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Suape, Tangier and Valencia.

Box lines are frantically trying to remove surplus tonnage from key trade lanes at the end of what looks set to be a dismal year for financial results. Vessel sharing agreements also enable participants to deploy the most suitable ships for each trade.

MSC recently teamed up with CMA CGM in the Asia-Europe trades, while lines from the Grand and New World Alliances are joining forces on the route as well.

At Christmas, the Ports of Auckland dispute is about family life

24 December 2011

Maritime Union of New Zealand members at the Ports of Auckland are taking industrial action on 23 December and Christmas Day, 25 December.

Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe reported that members met yesterday at a special event that also brought together families.

Refuting claims that the dispute was all about pay, Parsloe said “you can’t just wave around some cash in people's faces and tell them to give up more time with their family when they already work long and unsocial hours."

Parsloe stated that proposed "flexibility" meant workers would be on call for round the clock shift work and lose any semblance of job security through outsourcing and casualisation, at a time when pressure on families was already severe.

"Our members work in 24/7 industry where unsocial hours, long shifts and hard work in an unforgiving heavy industrial environment are the norm. Add to this the issue of two income families with both parents in the same situation and it is really a shameful reflection on the corporate managers."

Parsloe added that the upcoming industrial action was taking place during a time of year the majority of New Zealand managers and workers were on holiday with their families. "Our members already work over this period, yet the employer always wants more."

Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson had also spread exaggerated information about workers’ pay, leading to a breakdown in workforce relations, Parsloe explained. "Our members see Mr Gibson waving around these inaccurate figures in public, yet he has refused to release his own salary and perks to the public.”

Industrial Action Update

This page is the source for the latest updates and information on the industrial action situation at Ports of Auckland.

Maritime Union of New Zealand Local 13 (MUNZ) strike action, and associated lockouts by Ports of Auckland, will result in a closure of the Fergusson and Bledisloe container terminals, and associated road and rail services, over the following periods:

• 10.30 pm Thursday 22 December to 10.30 pm Friday 23 December
• 10.30 pm Saturday 24 December to 10.30 pm Sunday 25 December
• 7.00 am Friday 30 December to 7.00 am Sunday 1 January

Ports of Auckland's on-dock empty container depot, multi-cargo wharves (Jellicoe, Freyberg, Captain Cook, Marsden), cruise business, vehicle import trade, marine services, Onehunga seaport, Wiri Inland Port and Seafuels barge Awanuia are not affected by the stoppages, and will remain open for business.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please be assured that we are working to provide our customers with the best service we can under the circumstances.

ABP first in decade to tap into bonds

23 Dec 2011

ABP is looking forward with developments such as Green Port Hull
Associated British Ports (ABP) has become the first port operator to gain an external credit rating and tap into the bond market in the last decade.

ABP has done this by successfully raising £500m of bonds and £1.86bn of bank facilities. The company says that this is a proactive approach to the ongoing financial crisis, rather than a reactive approach to tough conditions later down the line.

Sebastian Bull, CFO of ABP, said to Port Strategy: “The refinancing has put ABP in an excellent position and enabled us to diversify our portfolio of maturities through a mixture of bank and bond debt.”

He added: “The platform is now in place which will enable ABP to take advantage of any competitively priced investor pool in future – giving us complete flexibility to access markets wherever and whenever we like.”

There were lessons learned by the finance experts too – the refinancing provided an opportunity to educate the rating agencies about the port sector and ABP’s port landlord model, in particular.

The refinancing frees up ABP to focus on more investment too – namely projects at Grimsby, Green Port Hull and Southampton in 2012.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Crane overboard off IJmuiden

A container crane has toppled from a pontoon barge off Ijmuiden, en route from Amsterdam to Rotterdam

A "deafening silence" surrounds the incident, which occurred yesterday morning (20th December) about 20 n/m off IJmuiden. None of the parties involved will comment on what happened or why, or where the cranes were to be delivered.

The main contractor for the shipment is Muller towage and salvage of Dordrecht. The tug was supplied by Kotug and the pontoon by Heerema.

The lost crane was one of a shipment of three being transported to Rotterdam from AMT (Amsterdam Marine Terminals) at Amsterdam Westhaven. They were sold by Hutchison Port Holdings and are understood to be about 40 years old.

AMT became an HPH subsidiary when the Hong Kong-based global terminal operator purchased all the former Ceres Paragon facilities in Amsterdam from NYK Line.

ECT, which manages the Amsterdam terminals, stated that it had sold the three cranes to an Antwerp trading firm, and that it understood they were destined to be scrapped. A spokesman for the Dutch waterways authority Rijkswaterstaat said it had understood that the cranes had been entirely stripped of their components.

The two surviving cranes were headed for the Uniport container terminal on a temporary basis, and it is understood that they will be refurbished and converted to steel handling for use by Steinweg.

This publicity-shy Dutch stevedore has a track record in crane bargains. It has already converted former Uniport container cranes for a new life using magnet spreaders at its steel slabs (ThyssenKrupp Stahl) terminal at the Maasvlakte. This is the cranes' third life, as Uniport had converted them to container handling from coal work.

More recently the two widespan (16 rail tracks) STS cranes at CTL Lübeck have been redeployed, following a reduction in rail span, at a Steinweg terminal in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Big ships: Container lines reach for scale

On a sunny summer afternoon, workers at the Port of Felixstowe, the busiest container port in the UK, put the finishing touches to the new berths eight and nine, designed to handle ships far bigger than even the biggest on order.

Across the water from the new berths, the port’s existing berths regularly handle ships – such as Maersk Line’s E-Class ships, that carry 15,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers – with nearly twice the capacity of the biggest vessels seven years ago.
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The scene at Felixstowe illustrates a scale revolution that continues to transform container shipping, the backbone of the globalised world’s logistics system.

The growth in size seems relentless. In February, less than five years after its E-Class ships shattered container ship size records, Maersk Line, part of Denmark’s AP Møller-Maersk, announced it was ordering the triple-E class. Its 18,000-TEU capacity adds another 16 per cent capacity to the record.

This pursuit of scale has excited a debate about how far and how fast the continued growth of ships can go on, and about how much upgrading work is needed for container shipping companies’ management systems to cope with a once-unimaginable scale of operations.

Executives hope the result will be a slicker, more professional industry.

As the industry plunges into its second serious downturn in two years, many also hope that it might lead to more consistent profits.

Ron Widdows, chief executive of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines, a noted sceptic about the industry’s size fixation, says the advent of the vast ships now calling at Felixstowe – and the threat that more will arrive soon – is helping to depress earnings.

“All the carriers are scrambling to try to ensure that they have enough cargo to fill these things,” Mr Widdows says.

However, even his company has felt obliged to invest in some 10,000-TEU ships for the vital Asia-Europe service, worried that without these economies of scale it might not be able to compete.

“I have not been enamoured of the big, big ships,” Mr Widdows says. “But it became evident to us, at least in the Asia-Europe trade, if you don’t get a competitive cost structure you’re dead.”

The central calculation for lines introducing the new, far bigger ships is straightforward. A ship carrying 14,000 TEUs of containers will have operating costs much lower than a 7,000-TEU vessel.

Eivind Kolding, Maersk Line’s chief executive and advocate of big ships, told the Financial Times when he was announcing the ordering of the triple-E class ships, that they would cost 26 per cent less per container to run than even the vast E-Class.

But, Mr Widdows and other critics point out, if such large vessels operate less than fully loaded, their higher overall operating costs can make them hopelessly uneconomic. Lines consequently have a tendency to panic if volumes drop and ships look like they may sail only partially full.

These worries, according to Brian Nixon, a container industry veteran and now an executive director at Morgan Stanley, a bank, can push lines to sign contracts in bad times that they either will not or cannot honour in good times, when ships are suddenly full.

The blame for the problem is shared with the shippers – container lines’ customers – he adds.

“It’s no surprise that carriers can’t manage their capacity when some shippers come to them and expect them to deliver up to 150 per cent of [the previously agreed cargo volumes] with no penalty for delivering zero,” he says.

Mr Nixon argues that both sides should make far more use of derivatives based on container shipping costs – Morgan Stanley is a significant broker in this area – to offset risks, reduce volatility and improve profitability.

The derivatives trades could also giving shipping lines a useful benchmark for their salesforce to use, instead of simply undercutting other lines. This is the tactic many use at present.

Mr Kolding, meanwhile, has argued that a key industry aim should be to ensure ships arrive on time – at present only around half do – and to make it easier to book cargo on to vessels.

In June, Mr Kolding launched a campaign to persuade the industry to start addressing the issues, arguing that it had been complacent for far too long about its success over the past 50 years.

However, the Port of Felixstowe faces more practical challenges.

Paul Davey, corporate affairs manager for Hutchison Ports UK, the arm of the world’s largest container terminal operator that owns the port, confesses to a certain relief at news of the ordering of the triple-E ships.

They will be the first to need the 16m water depth and vast cranes that have been expensively provided at berths eight and nine. The cranes can reach across 24 containers, one more than the triple-E ships’ 23 container width.

The port has an extra card up its sleeve – it has built the new facility with the potential to deepen the water to 18m, in case of the arrival of yet another new class of container ships.

The company recognises that, just as in 2002, when berths eight and nine were being planned, secretive shipping lines would never have admitted in public to thinking of 18,000-TEU ships, so another gigantic surprise may soon come steaming over the horizon.

“To a certain extent, we’ve been doing all this blind,” Mr Davey says, referring to the planning of new berths. “The shipping lines, for their own commercial reasons, don’t share their plans with terminal operators.”

Understanding the dangers on dock

The Port of Felixstowe is one of those that has been involved in the development of the new Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) at IMO, and it has also had input into the Lloyd's Register guidelines.

"Greater effort is required by some shipping lines to understand the dangers stevedores face in carrying out this heavy manual task," says Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs at Hutchison Ports (UK).
"The risks include the general condition of some vessels, rusting walkways and access hatches left open. In some cases, lashing gantries are not wide enough to safely handle lashing bars, or lashing gear is left lying around on gantries and not stowed away. Lashing gear is not suitable in some cases and in a poor state of repair on some vessels."

Felixstowe is committed to working to improve the layout of vessels to make them safer for its employees, says Mr Davey. "This includes improving fall protection and ensuring better access to certain lashing areas.

"As a port, we continue to focus on extensive training for all stevedores and ongoing monitoring of tasks. Our safety managers visit vessels on a regular basis and will be called upon whenever there is any doubt. Our normal working procedure is that lashing is a two-man task - and in some cases, specialist equipment will be used, such as frames, spikes and extensions

New Maersk chief wants more consolidation

Container shipping needs shake-out, says new chief executive

Maersk’s new container shipping head, Søren Skou, (pictured) has marked the announcement of his appointment with a call for more consolidation across the industry.

Skou, CEO of Maersk Tankers, will take over from Eivind Kolding as head of the Danish group’s container shipping division next month.

Kolding, one of the best known figures in the business, is leaving the group to become chief executive of Danske Bank. He is currently Chairman of the bank, in which AP Møller-Maersk has a 20% stake.

Skou will take charge of both Maersk Line, the world’s largest containership operator, and the African specialist Safmarine.

Skou is also the current chairman of the group’s logistics and forwarding arm, Damco, and Maersk Container Industry, but will relinquish those positions to focus on Maersk Line.

Skou told IFW’s sister publication, Lloyd’s List, that he believed the container industry was in need of a further shake-out, with some smaller players best absorbed by bigger lines.

Although Maersk has been deeply involved in the rationalisation process of the past dozen years, having acquired both Sea-Land and P&O Nedlloyd, Skou refused to be drawn on whether he expected to play a key role in further mergers or takeovers.

Nevertheless, he stressed more tonnage needed to be removed from the container trades, through any number of means, including greater corporate concentration and more ship demolition. The recent vessel-sharing partnership between MSC and CMA CGM represented a start, he said.

Skou said he was taking over at a time when Maersk Line was in “very good shape”, but he warned: “It is also important to realise the industry is in pretty bad shape, so there is a lot of work to do.”

The overall direction of the business would remain the same, Skou said, with the main emphasis on costs, customer service and competitiveness.

After a very tough year for the industry in 2011, he said there was little reason to expect 2012 to be any easier. From an industry perspective, the top priority was to create a healthy structure, and that meant fewer participants.

He would not comment specifically on whether Maersk Line was determined to defend its number-one position, but said his focus would be on generating revenues needed to keep reinvesting in the business.

Nevertheless, he expected Maersk Line to take a leading industry role, as it had been doing under Kolding’s stewardship

Grand and New World Alliances form new Gang of Six

Six leading container lines will launch a new vessel network, the G6 Alliance, for the Asia-Europe trades in April next year.

The grouping brings together members of the Grand Alliance and the New World Alliance and will deploy 90 vessels in nine services to cover more than 40 ports in Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean. Service loops will cover Bohai in China and the Baltic region.

Involved from the Grand Alliance are NYK, Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL, with APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Mitsui OSK Lines from the New World Alliance.

The G6 alliance reflects a regrouping of resources in the container shipping market, spurred by Maersk’s order for a series of 18,000teu ships, with a service that included easier cargo booking systems and guarantees of punctuality on the Asia-Europe trades.

Major boxline owners are now racing to deploy larger ships on trades that offer high utility rates and economies of scale for lower-cost fleet operation.

MSC and CMA CGM, the second and third-largest containerlines, responded by creating an alliance deploying 53 ships, including 33 in the 13,800-14,000teu range, on the Asia-Europe trades, promising to match Maersk’s service levels.

The G6 Alliance responds to the challenge from the giants, creating a bigger alliance to protect its carriers in a market that is fast consolidating.

Steven Ng, head of corporate planning for OOCL in Hong Kong, said the six lines had been planning the G6 alliance for “quite some time” and that it was not a knee-jerk response to the tie-up between MSC and CMA CGM.

The alliance also addresses a problem facing each of the G6 lines individually: all six have ordered ships of more than 13,000teu for delivery over the next 30 months.

“If we are doing this separately, it is quite a challenge,” said Ng, adding that working together allowed the ships “to be introduced over a period of time allowing us to co-ordinate and phase-in to make the transition”.

According to the joint release by the six companies, the nine joint services will offer more frequent departures and more daily sailings from the major Asian, European and Mediterranean ports.

The schedule includes multiple weekly calls in Singapore, south China, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Southampton.

The ports of call are Le Havre, Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Thamesport, Dalian, Xingang, Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Cai Mep, Japanese ports, Colombo, Jeddah, and Port Said.

The new alliance will also offer a direct service from the Far East to the Baltic, with calls at Gdansk, Poland, and Gothenburg, Sweden, as well as transhipment in Singapore.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Ipswich: Man bailed as probe into death at Ipswich Docks continues

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
8:23 PM

A man arrested following the death of a worker at Ipswich docks has been bailed.

Suffolk police arrested a 47-year-old man from Clacton yesterday morning on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter following the death of 52-year-old Neville Wightman.

Mr Wightman, who was from the Ipswich area, was crushed by a section of pontoon on Friday. A man in his 40s from Lowestoft was also injured in the incident and remains in a serious condition in hospital.

A police spokesman said last night the arrested man has now been released on bail and is due to return to the Martlesham investigation centre on Tuesday, March 6.

Southampton to get back on track soon?

ABP's plan to expand Southampton Container Terminal has been delayed following an objection by Hutchison Ports, but the government has promised to review the matter

Last month, Hutchison Ports, whose own Felixstowe South reconfiguration project was completed in September, applied for a judicial review of February's decision by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to give the go-ahead for major works to develop Southampton’s Berths 201 and 202 into a new 500m deep water container quay wall. For background see:

The MMO (formerly the Marine and Fisheries Agency of DEFRA) decided not to defend the challenge, agreeing that the environmental impact of the project had not been fully examined, including the impacts on traffic in Southampton and beyond.

MMO agreed in the High Court with Hutchison's lawyers that its decision should be squashed and it would reassess ABP's application.

Following an appeal by John Denham, the MP for Southampton Itchen Ward and a former Labour government minister, the present coalition government's Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable, said he would look into the "red tape" holding up this and other strategic investment projects.

The legal manoeuvres have delayed vital work to restore a "lost" fourth berth in Southampton. The increasing length of container ships has meant Southampton's existing deep sea container berths 204-207, cannot always accommodate four ULCCs at the same time.

A spokeswoman for the MMO said it had met ABP in recent months to agree the additional information required to reassess its application. "ABP Southampton issued a new environmental statement to the MMO on October 24 and we are currently reviewing this document.

"Once the MMO is satisfied with the scope of the ES we will proceed to consultation with our primary consultees and the public."

ABP now hopes to receive planning consent early next year, so the new quay space would be operational by the end of 2013. However, according to, conditions applied to the original consent to protect migratory Atlantic salmon would have meant the main works would not have begun until September next year in any case.

Container terminal operator sues Port of Rotterdam

19th December 2011 20:03 GMT

ECT owns more than half of the container capacity at the Port of RotterdamThe Port of Rotterdam is being sued for €900 million ($1.2 billion) by Chinese-owned container terminal operator Europe Container Terminals (ECT) over a dispute involving other container operators due to begin operations in 2014.

According to a press release, ECT believes that the Port Authority is treating them unfairly in favour of other stevedores and is demanding compensation of €900 million for supposed damaged that it might suffer in the distant future.

The port said that ECT believes they have not been given a fair opportunity in the issue of the first terminal on Maasvlakte 2 and that the Port Authority is imposing stricter and more severe conditions than on other stevedoring companies.

The port added that before ECT issued the summon, ECT demanded the Port Authority delay the terminals at Maasvlakte 2 becoming operational.

According to a press release, ECT also demanded that they should not be required to pay for the widening of the Amazonehaven. The port said the demands of ECT are "impossible to meet."

"The first would have meant the one-sided breaking of existing contracts with other customers," stated the port. "The second would have meant large-scale adaptions to fairly new infrastructure for one customer, without that customer having to pay anything.

"Both are disrupting to the free market forces in the level playing field in the port. The demands were and are unreasonable and are incompatible with that which the Port Authority has to do."

Rob Bagchus, spokesperson for ECT told Reuters that the Port of Rotterdam was not sticking to its expansion plans.

"The problem is that there will be new land available and the new terminals are coming online very soon and we think this will lead to a lot of overcapacity," Bagchus said.

The port said it is not concerned with the outcome of the lawsuit.

"The Port Authority and its legal advisors are convinced that, over the years, they have always operated correctly with respect to ECT.

"The Port Authority will not and cannot protect businesses against market forces."

The port added that it will continue its positive relationship with ECT and will let their lawyers handle the dispute.

ECT is owned by Hong-Kong listed company Hutchinson Port Holdings, which owns more than half of the container capacity at the Port of Rotterdam.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Ipswich: Police name man who died in crushing incident at docks

POLICE have named a man who died following an incident at Ipswich Docks on Friday.

Neville Wightman, 52, from the Ipswich area, died after being crushed by a section of floating pontoon at the port on Cliff Road on Friday evening.

A post mortem examination found that Mr Wightman died as a result of massive crushing injuries.

A man in his 40s from Lowestoft was also injured in the incident and was taken to Ipswich Hospital where he remains in a serious condition with non-life threatening injuries.

A joint police and Health and Safety Executive investigation is continuing.

Port of Felixstowe: Man dies after fall on boat

POLICE have ruled out foul play in the case of a man who died in Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe called in the police at 7.42am yesterday to reports a man had fallen from a boat.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

A police spokeswoman said this evening: “Inquiries have been made throughout the day, and have established that the death of the man, a Chilean national, is not suspicious. Police are liaising with the boat’s operating company and other agencies to identify and inform his next of kin.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been informed, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Commissioner Kallas Confirms New Ports Package for 2013

Visiting the port of Rotterdam today, Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas announced his intention to issue in 2013 a package of proposals to help ports remain competitive and support the huge potential for growth in the port sector. This package is expected to contain measures to support the reduction of the administrative burden in ports, proposals to improve the transparency of port financing as well as proposals on port services.

‘Ports are engines of economic development and sources of prosperity for our cities, regions and countries’, said Commissioner Kallas, ‘But in the next twenty years or so, our many hundreds of seaports will face major challenges in terms of productivity, investment needs, employment as well as integration with port cities and regions. My visit to Rotterdam this week reinforces my conviction of the huge potential that our ports have for growth in the years ahead, but we need to tackle the bottlenecks holding back port development and set out now a more coherent policy on ports and maritime infrastructure. I intend to bring forward proposals for the ports sector in 2013.’

The review of ports policy does not come as a surprise, as it was already listed as one of the action points in the recent Transport Policy White Paper. Concretely, the expected proposals will include measures on market access to port services, improved transparency of port financing and support for measures to cut more red tape in ports. The proposals will tie in with existing initiatives, such as the Blue Belt pilot project. Also, the Commission currently has a number studies running, on port labour, pilotage and State aid in ports. The latter was commissioned by DG Competition.

‘We are ready to have an open-minded dialogue with the Commission on all these topics’, said ESPO Chairman Victor Schoenmakers, ‘We believe that the 2007 Ports Policy Communication is still a good basis for action as it was based on a very extensive stakeholder consultation. We especially need legal certainty to ensure a stable investment climate in our ports. This can best be achieved through soft law measures combined with a case-by-case policy where manifest problems exist. I think the past experience with ports policy has shown us that a “one size fits all” regulatory approach does not work.’

In 2012 the Commission is planning to hold a conference on the future of European ports. Following consultation with stakeholders, and an in-depth impact assessment, the Commission will present its proposals for the port sector in 2013.

European capacity question resurfaces

The opening of Maasvlakte 2 will have a significant competitive impact, according to Netherlands-based Policy Research Corp
In sharp contrast to the fears just a few years back that north European ports were heading for a capacity crunch, today’s concern is that there will be too much capacity flooding onto the market too soon.

The well-documented position of the UK one

example but the other prominent example in this respect is the port of Rotterdam where the new Rotterdam World Gateway Terminal and APMT2 Terminal are expected to open for business in 2014.

Practically speaking, this will raise port capacity by 5m teu to 18m teu by 2017. And allied to this, according to a report commissioned by ECT, one of the existing terminal operators, and undertaken by the Netherlands-based Policy Research Corp, the opening of Maasvlakte 2 will have a significant competitive impact.

Those impacts include five container lines that are currently being handled at Maasvlakte 1 shifting their volumes to Massvlakte 2 because they own shares in the new terminals; and by 2017, over-capacity on Maasvlakte 1 in the order of 2.6m teu resulting from the move of volumes to Maasvlakte 2. This level of capacity, the report underlines, is roughly equivalent to that offered by one of the two new terminals.

Another impact identified by the report is the potential major downward pressure on revenue earning capability at the ECT and APMT1 terminals due to both a fall in volume and prices.

The overall implication is that there will be too much new container capacity too soon.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has calculated that it expects the container market to grow by 7% annually up to 2020 at which time existing capacity will be exhausted.

Despite annual container throughput climbing by 12% in 2010 and by 9% in the first in the first nine months of 2011, ECT in particular fears a dissipating market situation in Rotterdam in the near future. Any sustained downturn in the Euro zone’s economic fortunes would obviously serve to strengthen this view.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority declined to join ECT in the commissioning of its study but has recently commissioned a new study from McKinsey into the potential effects of Euro zone problems – clearly there is a recognition that we are in uncertain times.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Hutchison's Harwich extension on the back burner

HPH has been granted a 10-year extension to its planning approval. Credit - Harwich International Port

Following a request from Hutchison Port Holdings, the UK's Secretary of State for Transport has approved a 10 year extension to the company's option to build a new $469m container port at Harwich.

The project, which first saw the light of day in 2006, has been delayed because of the current global slowdown.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Arrival of New Cranes at Felixstowe

The UK’s Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, has visited the Port of Felixstowe, the country’s largest container port, to see it take delivery of its latest consignment of new cranes.

Whilst at the port, the Secretary of State met with senior management of the port, before a tour of the facilities. During the tour she was shown the port’s new Berths 8&9 where she took the controls of one of the port’s gigantic gantry cranes under the supervision of a qualified crane-driving instructor and visited the site of the new rail terminal to be built in 2012.

The port already has the country’s busiest intermodal rail freight operation, and the new terminal will be the first in the UK to be designed to handle longer, 30-wagon, freight trains. The longer trains will allow more containers to be moved on the same infrastructure and provide greater carbon savings.

The two new ship-to-shore gantry cranes and ten rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) arrived at the port onboard a special heavy-lift vessel from the Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of Shanghai.
The cranes will be used on the port’s new Berths 8&9. The new ship-to-shore cranes are the biggest of their type in the world, capable of handling container ships with 24 containers wide on deck.

Commenting on the Secretary of State’s visit and the arrival of the cranes, Clemence Cheng, Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings Central Europe division, said:

“We are honoured that the Secretary of State has chosen Felixstowe for her first visit to a major port. The Port of Felixstowe is uniquely located to serve the UK’s deep-sea container trade and these new cranes further enhance its unique capability to do so. No other port offers the same combination of marine access, proximity to the major shipping routes, and ease of access to the whole national hinterland as Felixstowe.
”The range and frequency of services calling at the port, together with an unrivalled choice of feeder services and inland rail destinations, make it the right economic choice and the best environmental solution for UK importers and exporters.”

Justine Greening said:

“Felixstowe has a key role to play in the life of the UK, both as a major local employer and as a gateway for over 40% of goods entering and leaving the country. This is one of the reasons our recent spending review included improvements to the A14 - one of the country's major freight arteries, and why I was delighted to see for myself the excellent work being done at the port to accommodate some of the world's biggest container ships.”

With the new arrivals, there will be seven ship-to-shore cranes on Berths 8&9 and 37 in total across the port. Each of the new cranes weighs approximately 2,000 tonnes and is capable of lifting 2 containers simultaneously up to a total of 70 tonnes.

The cranes will undergo a commissioning process before entering service in the new year. The commissioning will include final installation of local operational and communications systems, as well as checking the full functionality of all the cranes operating systems.

The cranes are fitted with a number of automated driver aids that have been proven to improve the speed of handling. The Automatic Skew Control corrects any skew movement of the spreader caused by wind, vessel cell guides, or load imbalance, and a semi-automatic positioning system allows the crane operator to pre-select a ship discharge or loading operation from which the system will automatically calculate and position the crane with an optimised path and with anti-sway control.

Any storm in the UK ports?

This month, DP World announced a 2013 opening date for London Gateway, as well as the creation of 1,000 new jobs.

In two years the UK will boast a new deepwater port and Europe's largest logistics park. How do Felixstowe and Southampton view this potential rival for their business? asks Isabel Lesto
 The announcement on 4 October received coverage in theinternational press and was attended by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, Shipping Minister Mike Penning, DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, CEO Mohammed Sharaf, CEO of London Gateway Simon Moore and what looked like a good few hundred guests.

It was hard not to get caught up in the moment. In his speech, the UK’s Business Secretary said: “The importance of this project cannot be overestimated. The announcement of these 1,000 new jobs today is a welcome boost to the UK.

“London Gateway is set to become the premier UK logistics centre. Once complete, the new port and park facility will save UK business millions of pounds every year in land transport costs.

“An estimated 65 million road freight miles every year will be saved as many goods will no longer need to be transported from deepsea ports to inland distribution centres.  Instead, goods will be sent straight into the new London Gateway Logistics Park and then directly to shops and homes.”

But then an industry source suggested to me: “If you are shipping freight to London, I can understand you wanting to use London Gateway; but it will take longer for ships to get there and then you are offloading in the most congested part of the country.”

Cue bubble-burst. I decided to ask the ports of Felixstowe and Southampton how they viewed the future UK supply chain in light of the soon-to-be “new kid on the block”.

Both ports see themselves continuing to play a vital role in the UK supply chain come 2013, with neither seeing London Gateway taking the lion’s share of the market. As expected, both believe their location offers the best “gateway” to the UK.

But as Doug Morrison, Port Director ABP Southampton, puts it: “To some extent we are all right, and also all wrong. In the end it depends where the freight is going.”

Paul Davey, Head of Corporate Affairs at Hutchison Ports UK, believes Felixstowe will remain the busiest container port in the UK. “We don’t see the UK supply chain changing dramatically,” he says.

Big ships need to access the whole UK market, not just London, he adds, “and Felixstowe serves the whole of the UK.”

Commenting on London Gateway’s new logistics park he says freight from Felixstowe could find its way there. “I don’t think London Gateway will be the exclusive entry for any warehousing there. There is a role for port-centric logistics, but it is not the panacea for everything.”

He also doesn’t see Felixstowe’s role as the UK’s feeder hub port changing. “To be a hub, critical mass of volume is required. Even if London Gateway eventually develops to its full extent it will still be smaller than Felixstowe today, in terms of quay length, teu and cranes,” he says.

And Morrison believes Southampton will also continue to thrive post-2013. Its strategy is to upgrade Berths 201 and 202 to allow the world’s largest container vessels to dock. Pending planning consent, the upgrade is scheduled for 2013.

Southampton’s market is primarily the South-east and the Midlands, and up to 34% of freight is moved by rail. “I think business will grow – London Gateway and Felixstowe will have more of a bun fight,” says Morrison.

London Gateway, which will open with a capacity of 1.6 million teu, will create 700 construction jobs and 300 port jobs in the coming months. The project has already created more than 600 jobs since January 2010 when major construction started.

Moore says the aim is to move 30% of freight by rail and has plans to double-track the existing railway line to the Tilbury loop, and be operational by day-one.

And there are already discussions with shipping lines. Moore won’t reveal details but says commercial conversations are looking very positive.

In the end, Southampton’s Morrison believes, cost will be the deciding factor. “Productivity plays a part, but in these times it’s all about cost: it’s the cost of a box delivered to the end user, not just the port.

“The shipping lines will decide.”

Monday, 12 December 2011


Drivers urged to be alert as severe weather forecast for southern England

The Highways Agency is advising road users to drive with extra care today (Monday 12 December), in the light of the severe weather which has been forecast across southern England from this afternoon.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather alert, forecasting both heavy rain and strong winds across the south of the country, starting in the South West this afternoon, and moving to the South East and East Anglia through the evening and overnight. Up to 50mm of rain is expected in places, with wind gusting at up to 70mph.

The Highways Agency has issued an amber warning for drivers of vulnerable vehicles to avoid particularly exposed parts of the network such as the M4/M48 Severn Crossings in the South West, the M25/A282 Dartford Crossing in the South East and the A14 Orwell Bridge near Ipswich in the East of England. All drivers are advised to check conditions before they set out, and to drive appropriately for the conditions. The alert comes into effect at 4pm today until 5am on Tuesday morning.

Highways Agency severe weather manager Mark Clark said:

“The Highways Agency is working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions and keep the road network running safely. But drivers have a role to play too. High sided vehicles, those towing caravans or trailers and motorbikes are particularly susceptible to windy conditions, but a sudden gust of wind can catch any driver out so it is important that people drive with extra care and leave plenty of extra space between vehicles. When the road is wet, it can take up to twice as long to stop so it makes sense to slow down when it is raining.

“There could also be the chance of aquaplaning if drivers drive too fast in the heavy rain conditions expected. Please ensure you slow down, give yourself and others plenty of braking distance and drive with dipped headlights in reduced visibility conditions.”

“Conditions look set to remain difficult for the rest of the week, so I’d advise drivers to remain on their guard.”

Live traffic information updates are available on the Highways Agency website at and the latest weather forecasts can be found at Drivers already on the road are advised to keep up to date with traffic news on local radio.
For further information please contact Jane Manning or James Wright. Tel: 01306 878110, 01306 878442 or 01883 745364.

Pdports Council

We are all brothers fighting the same cause.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

EU announces intention to help ports remain competitive

Siim Kallas is backing proposals to ensure port competitiveness
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas has announced his intention to issue a package of proposals to help ports remain competitive and support the huge potential for growth in the port sector.
This package is expected to contain measures to support the reduction of the administrative burden in ports, proposals to improve the transparency of port financing as well as proposals on port services.
"Ports are engines of economic development and sources of prosperity for our cities, regions and countries," said Kallas.
"But in the next twenty years or so, our many hundreds of seaports will face major challenges in terms of productivity, investment needs, employment as well as integration with port cities and regions. My visit to Rotterdam this week reinforces my conviction of the huge potential that our ports have for growth in the years ahead, but we need to tackle the bottlenecks holding back port development and set out now a more coherent policy on ports and maritime infrastructure."
The review of ports policy was expected as it was already listed as one of the action points in the recent Transport Policy White Paper.
The expected proposals will include measures on market access to port services, improved transparency of port financing and support for measures to cut more red tape in ports.
In 2012 the Commission is planning to hold a conference on the future of European ports. Following consultation with stakeholders, and an in-depth impact assessment, the Commission will present its proposals for the port sector in 2013.

PD Ports introduces new apprenticeship for young people

PD Ports apprentices
The UK's PD Ports has announced the introduction of a new Dock Operations apprenticeship for young people aged 18-30 years old.
The port said it will provide 13 apprentices with over 18 months of training for those wishing to pursue a career in the port industry.
"This new apprenticeship programme is about raising aspirations of the young people across the region, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to master a trade," said David Robinson,
"With the reopening of the Redcar Blast Furnace in the New Year and the subsequent increase in steel handling at Teesport, it is our intention to help create employment for the apprentices at the end of the scheme."
The apprenticeship will take a group of students that have finished their foundation degree in Port Leadership and Management. The degree is a partnership between PD Ports and Teesside University and was launched in 2009.
"We're delighted to partner with a local University and offer a unique degree. Hopefully it has attracted more people to the University and it gives us great pleasure to train the next generation of port managers," said Robinson.
"This degree, along with the apprentice scheme, demonstrates our commitment to training and recruiting young people from the North East region, and further afield."

Friday, 9 December 2011

Productivity reaches new heights at Southampton

DP World Southampton is leading the way on vessel productivity when quay crane rates hit a new high this past weekend.
On Sunday 30 October, 535 boxes were handled by one crane in a 12 hour shift on the vessel OOCL Southampton.
Through a concerted team effort on changes to working agreements, systems and equipment deployment, the South Coast container terminal has seen quay crane rates rise almost 25 % throughout 2011.   Average quay crane rates across all vessels is now significantly improved over historic productivity numbers and places Southampton in a leading position in the UK.
Earlier this year DP World Southampton also set another productivity record on the OOCL Southampton with a total of 176 moves per hour over the total vessel call.
Similar improvements on landside operations have also resulted in Freightliner’s Maritime Terminal recording its highest ever daily throughput at Southampton since records began in 1997.  On Wednesday 14th September, 1164 containers were moved to and from the rail terminal.  This has been achieved as a direct result of the completion of the rail gauge clearance project earlier this year which, across all three rail terminals in Southampton, increased the percentage of inland rail containers moves from 30% to 36%.
Chris Lewis, Managing Director, DP World Southampton, said:
“We have set out to demonstrate to our customers and the industry that Southampton can consistently provide a high quality service.  This is truly a team effort across the terminal and I am delighted that all these efforts are paying off in terms of service delivery to our customers.
Chris added:
“This is just the beginning of a fundamental business process change and I am confident we will rise to the challenge and gain the reputation for being the most productive terminal in the UK providing the best service for its customers.”

Bathside Bay Harwich

It is widely recognised that new container terminal capacity is needed in the UK. There are, however, only a limited number of locations where development would be possible.

Bathside Bay has a number of crucial advantages as the site of essential new facilities:

Harwich International Port already handles a significant amount of passenger and freight traffic. By combining this new development with the existing Port, it is possible to generate greater benefits for lower cost, both financial and environmental, than if it were an all-new, stand-alone facility.
Its East coast location is ideal for larger containerships, all of which also call at other major North Sea ports in continental Europe. A central North Sea location will allow the Port to compete for important transhipment traffic to the Baltic and Scandinavia, as well as to Ireland, Iberia and the Mediterranean.
The development’s close proximity to Felixstowe means that it will benefit from existing infastructure, and will be able to capitalise on management and development expertise of the Hutchison Port Holdings Group.
The Harwich Haven channel at 14.5 metres, is already the deepest approach of any UK container port. Linking Bathside Bay to the existing Harwich Haven deep water channel represents a much smaller dredging commitment than would be required elsewhere to provide similar access.
As a former British Rail port, Harwich International Port has excellent rail connections and improvements to the A120 will be delivered as part of the container terminal development.
Situated within the area covered by the Haven Gateway Partnership, a wealth of local expertise and support services already exists. Harwich Haven benefits from the unrivalled expertise and experience of the Harwich Haven Authority, an independent body responsible for the conservancy and sustainable management of Harwich Harbour and its seaward approaches.
Harwich is situated in an area in need of economic regeneration and inward investment.