Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Felixstowe: Depression led man to jump from Port of Felixstowe crane

FELIXSTOWE: A contract port worker who was suffering a severe mental illness died when he sustained multiple injuries jumping from a crane, an inquest has heard.
Colin Watkinson, who lived in Winfarthing, Norfolk, was discovered by Port of Felixstowe police at the foot of an unattended crane on December 28 last year.
At an inquest into his death at Ip-City yesterday, Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said Mr Watkinson had been treated for depression in the days leading up to his death.
He said while he was given medication, none of the doctors who assessed him feared he was suicidal.
Dr Dean said that there was evidence Mr Watkinson went to the docks “with the intention of doing what he did” and said it was “clear he did that as a direct response to the illness he was suffering”.
But the coroner added: “There is no suggestion in a normal state of mind that he would have taken that action.”
The inquest heard the police officer who found Mr Watkinson’s body on the ground, close to a crane, attempted to give the 52-year-old CPR before paramedics arrived.
The day prior to his death Mr Watkinson was seen by an out-of-hours doctor after his wife and neighbours raised fears about his health.
He was seen by his own GP at a follow-up appointment on the morning of his death.
Dr Dean said it was noted when Mr Watkinson, who worked as an engineer for contractors Serco, arrived at the port, he spoke to an officer at the port’s police station, but gave no cause for concern.
“There were no warning signs flagged up to the officer he spoke to,” he said. “He gave his GP no indication of what took place later that day.
“He was clearly much more ill than he seemed on the surface, and was able to mask the severity of his illness.”
Reading parts of a statement by Mr Watkinson’s wife Carol, Dr Dean said she noted her husband had appeared anxious and made reference to looking at the cranes the day before his death.
But Mrs Watkinson said there were no signs or mention of her husband wanting to take his own life.
Dr Dean recorded a verdict that Mr Watkinson took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Rivals cash in after Maersk cancels eastbound bookings

Tuesday 27 March 2012, 10:43

MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Co has followed a general rate increase, an emergency fuel surcharge and a no-show levy with an emergency equipment imbalance fee as it grapples with severe space shortages in the Europe-Asia trades.

UK tanker drivers vote for strike

Union officials meet this morning to discuss strategy. Army prepares to stand in

Senior union representatives for 2,000 UK fuel delivery drivers were locked in a strategy meeting this morning following their members’ vote in favour of strike action. No date has been announced, and officials say a walkout can still be averted, but there are fears that strikes could take place over the traditionally busy Easter period. Members of the trade union Unite working for seven major fuel distributors voted 69% in favour of strike action on a turnout of 77%. That represents an overall ballot in favour of just over 50%. Drivers at Turners, Norbert Dentressangle, Wincanton, BP and Hoyer are in favour of a walkout while drivers at DHL and Suckling voted against. The Ministry of Defence said no decision had been made to deploy military drivers but confirmed that it was working with the Department for Energy and Climate Change to “identify whether the armed forces might be able to support the delivery of essential services in the event of industrial action”. An MOD spokesman added that the move was only “prudent planning to ensure military personnel are trained and ready to provide support”, and would not confirm whether military drivers would cross picket lines. Union officials deny the dispute is about pay, claiming their members are seeking to ensure higher training and safety standards as well as "stability" over pensions and working conditions. They also say delivery companies are "cutting corners" in order to win contracts from the major suppliers. Diana Holland, Unite Assistant General Secretary, explained: “No longer can it be acceptable that oil giants rake in profits, while shirking their responsibility for the stable supply of a national commodity. The measures we are proposing are reasonable, responsible and sensible. We urge them to act and listen.” The affected companies deliver fuel to a range of household names, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, BP, Shell and Esso. Any disruption to fuel supplies has the potential to be highly damaging to the economy and will raise the spectre of the fuel refinery blockades in 2000 which caused widespread disruption. Union officials say strike action can still be averted but that attempts to reach agreement have been thwarted by "unrelenting attacks on drivers’ terms and conditions".

Terminals must prepare for next-generation ships

With 22,000teu containerships on the drawing board, ports should be making sure their infrastructure can handle them

Designs for 22,000teu vessels are on the drawing board so terminals must be ready to handle them, according to senior port industry executive, Halfdan Ross.

The Managing Director of APM Terminals Crane & Engineering Services was speaking at the TOC Container Supply Chain Asia Conference in Hong Kong, where delegates discussed the challenges posed by next-generation ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs).

“While none have been ordered yet, studies have been completed on the feasibility of constructing containerships with a 22,000teu capacity,” said Ross.

“So planning for infrastructure support to accommodate such vessels is a very necessary exercise for any major hub port.”

He said that as at 1 February, there were 153 containerships on order with capacities in excess of 10,000teu – including 20 of the 18,000teu Triple E Class vessels ordered by Maersk Line, the first of which is expected for delivery next year. There are currently 121 vessels of 10,000teu capacity and above in service.

Ross added that more powerful cranes would be needed.

“There are issues of structural stiffness, weight, visibility and wind load which all must be taken into account with cranes of such dimensions, along with the question of upgrading existing equipment or installing new cranes,” he explained.

Improved engineering, camera-assisted and remote control crane operations were some of the solutions available, he said, although increased power requirements may also pose obstacles, particularly in emerging market areas where there were power generation or supply issues.

Ross told delegates: “The point is that ultra-large vessels are already in service, and even larger ships will follow. So the time to prepare the necessary terminal and quay infrastructure is now.”

Felixtowe: 'Bring on the big ships, we're ready,'

Monday, 26 March 2012

Safety in the dock

On 31 January 2012, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors issued an immediate stop work notice at Berth 2 of the Humber International Terminal, effectively bringing all activity at the dock to a halt. According to HSE, this type of prohibition notice is a big deal, and can only be issued where there is “risk of serious personal injury.”
But it was just a matter of chance HSE inspectors saw this imminent and serious risk. As a designated ‘low risk’ workplace, HSE inspectors shouldn’t have been anywhere near the dock. They caught a glimpse of the potentially deadly practices as they made their way to investigate a dock worker fatality that had occurred at the terminal the Friday before.
Death on the docksIf the ‘low risk’ dock industry was an average UK workplace, you’d expect no more than one death every year or two. It’s currently killing at a rate closer to one a month. Here’s just some of the recent fatalities.23 October 2011 Dock worker Ian Campbell, 45, was killed when the straddler crane he was driving toppled at Tilbury Docks.26 October 2011 Peter Hunt, 68, an agency lorry driver working for Meachers Global Logistics, was killed at a distribution centre at Tilbury Docks when a trailer fell on him.8 December 2011 Marine engineer Jason Burden, 19, suffered fatal chest injuries when a piece of machinery fell on him as he worked for Wear Dock and Engineering Company at South Docks in Sunderland. 16 December 2011 Dock worker Neville Wightman, 52, died of injuries sustained at Ipswich Dock when he was crushed by part of a pontoon during an unloading operation.27 January 2012 Tim Elton, 28, an agency worker working for Grimsby and Immingham Stevedores, was killed when he was buried under shifting coal in the hold of a ship at Immingham Dock.
“It was a defect that was identified while the inspectors were on their way to the incident scene that warranted immediate action,” an HSE spokesperson confirmed.
Agency worker Tim Elton, 28, was working in the hull of the MV Excalibur “trimming coal” – manually pulling it down at the edge of the hold – when the coal moved, burying him.
One workmate told a local newspaper: “It came over the radio that there had been a fatality and everyone stopped working. Workers were trying to dig him out with their hands and then they tried using an excavator as well. The atmosphere down there was just horrible.”
Unite, the union covering dock workers, had raised concerns about excessive agency worker hours at the dock. It is understood the dead man had recently worked 26 straight night shifts without a break.
The dock industry is small but economically important. Several million vehicles and trailers shift over 500 million tonnes of freight every year through UK ports. Government figures suggest over 58,000 people are directly employed in the industry. Add in port-related jobs, seasonal employment and part-time work, and you get a total of about 200,000 port cargo and passenger operations related UK jobs.

Disappearing bodies
HSE says obtaining statistics on injury rates in ports is problematic because of difficulties “coding” jobs, but believes the rate is “above the national all-industry average.”
And how. To be in line with the 2010/11 national fatality rate of 0.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, docks should experience no more than one death a year. In recent months, the industry has had a fatality rate of around one a month. Depending on which employment figure you use, the last year’s death total means docks are running at a fatality rate of at least five times and possibly over 20 times the UK average.
HSE’s difficulties with its figures, though, mean it is statistically oblivious to the carnage. The deaths are there – it’s just HSE doesn’t know they are there.
How low can you get?Dock work can kill you, but that doesn’t mean the government thinks it is worth policing by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) March 2011 strategy document, Good health and safety, good for everyone, classifies docks as one of the “lower risk areas where proactive inspection will no longer take place.” The government workplace safety blueprint, which provides the framework for HSE’s enforcement policy, notes: “These areas include low risk manufacturing (eg. textiles, clothing, footwear, light engineering, electrical engineering), the transport sector (eg. air, road haulage and docks), local authority administered education provision, electricity generation and the postal and courier services.” Tilbury Docks killed two workers in three days in October 2011. Deaths nationwide in the industry are running at several times the all-industry average.
In a 22 February 2012 response to questions from Hazards, an HSE spokesperson said: “There have been two fatalities in water transport (based on SIC) since 1/4/2011, details of both appear on the HSE website.” The word “dock” appears nowhere at all in the listing. And the only worker death identifiable as dock-related is that of Ian Campbell at Tilbury Docks, listed as a “service” sector death occurring in “other supporting water transport activities”.
The death of Robert Fidoe, aged 12, is the other dock-related death visible to HSE. Robert’s death, after he fell from his bike into a British Waterways canal lock in Stourport, is classified as a service sector death concerning a member of the public in “service activities incidental to water transportation.”
The watchdog subsequently admitted its figures exclude deaths in cargo handling, one of the most deadly jobs in the ports, because the coding problems mean it can’t separate out the dock-related cargo handling fatalities from those in air and road transport. Still, Hazards had little difficulty identifying five dock work deaths, all in jobs enforced by HSE, in the 13 weeks from 23 October 2011 alone.
Unbeknown to HSE, at least three other deaths on the docks do appear in its 2011/2012 fatalities list, which as of 27 February 2012 only included deaths up to the end of 2011. But one is classified as a “service” sector death and the other two are classified as deaths in “manufacturing”.
Peter Hunt’s death at Tilbury Docks is listed as a service sector death while undertaking “temporary employment agency activities”. Jason Burden’s death, while working for Wear Dock and Engineering Company at South Docks in Sunderland, is classified as “manufacture of other fabricated metal products n.e.c.” Neville Wightman’s death during unloading operations at Ipswich Docks is classified as “bldg ships/floating structure”.
Unite believes it can identify at least eight deaths in the last year. And there are others, but they don’t appear in HSE’s statistics because some fall under the remit of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Shuffling the deaths into a series of different industry columns – water transport, cargo handling, service sector, manufacturing – and then amplifying the effect by splitting the casualties across different enforcing agencies so they don’t all appear in a single annual body count, means a shockingly deadly industry can appear relatively benign.
HSE’s inability to recognise deaths on the docks is not just a statistical oddity. If HSE cannot even identify dock-related fatalities in its own published figures, this casts serious doubt on the rationale underpinning its current hands-off approach to dock safety.

Risky policy
Unions believe moves are afoot to make a bad situation worse. A draft HSE strategy document for the ports and logistics sector, circulated in February 2012, was described as “poor” by one union source. But it comes as the dock industry, designated ‘low risk’ by HSE, is already at the neglected fringes of HSE’s oversight.
BIG BUSINESS Over 6 million goods vehicles and trailers, transporting over 500 million tonnes of freight, pass through UK ports each year. But an HSE inspector will only pass through if something goes very badly wrong – just one in 10 major injuries on the docks in 2010/11 was investigated.
And HSE sources have indicated unofficially to Hazards that the Dock Regulations 1988, which unions believe place essential, thorough and specific requirements on a very different type of industry, are to be included in the next tranche of laws to be scrapped under the government’s plan to halve the number of health and safety regulations [see: Mad Men].
In an official response, an HSE spokesperson confirmed to Hazards that HSE has “been considering its legislation (including the Docks Regulations) in the context of government initiatives such as the Red Tape Challenge.” He added there have been “preliminary informal discussions… about possible revocation.”
The law becomes irrelevant if there is no-one to police it. Provisional HSE statistics for 2010/11 record 69 major injuries to employees in “water transport,” excluding cargo handling. But figures obtained by Hazards reveal only 7 – just one in 10 – were investigated by HSE. Five years ago, in 2006/07, HSE investigated 18 per cent of fatal and major injuries in the sector. By 2010/11, the official figures obtained by Hazards reveal, this had fallen to just 9 per cent.
Water transport fatal and major injuries investigated by HSE
Notes: The figures are for HSE investigations of fatal and major injuries to employees, the self-employed and members of the public in the water transport industry. * provisional.

Criminal neglect
The safety watchdog only took docks-related enforcement action on a handful of occasions last year. An HSE document, Statistics report for the Ports Industry 2010/11p (provisional), reveals HSE issued 20 enforcement notices in 2009/10, but this fell to just 7 enforcement notices in 2010/11. In recent years, the number of dock-related prosecutions taken each year by HSE can be counted on one hand. But then, if under its new ‘low risk’ strategy HSE is not to go looking for problems, it’s not going to find the evidence of criminal activity.
According to Andy Green, the Unite convenor at Tilbury Docks and a member of the union’s national executive, the consequence of the government’s decision in 2011 to reclassify docks as low risk “was fewer inspections and less enforcement action, and predictably the downward spiral of poor health and safety began. Except bad health and safety didn’t so much begin to fall in the industry, it’s plummeted.”
Among the casualties was Unite rep Ian Campbell, one of two fatalities at Tilbury Docks in October 2011. HSE initially rebuffed a Unite call to be involved in the investigation, commenting: “As this is a criminal investigation, trade union safety representatives have no statutory role, but they will be interviewed by HSE's inspectors in the course of their enquiries.” The company too tried to freeze out the union, claiming “legal privilege due to the possibility of corporate manslaughter.” All workplace injuries are potential crimes, but injury investigation is also a core trade union and an explicit, legal, trade union safety rep function.
DEADLY NEGLECT Andy Green (right) says safety standards on the docks have “plummeted” since HSE designated the industry ‘low risk’. The Unite convenor at Tilbury Docks, pictured with Unite safety rep Martyn Allen and Ian Campbell’s widow, Caroline, says the move is “bordering on criminal negligence.”
Commenting after Ian Campbell’s death, Unite national officer for docks, Julia Long, called for health and safety action across all ports to reflect the dangers in the industry. She said: “The government has set the ports as a 'low risk' industry. This tragic incident shows that the government needs to have a rethink on its position.”
Unite’s Andy Green believes the decision to sideline docks safety came in response to industry whispers in the government’s ear. “Our view is that the industry has been lobbying hard behind the scenes. These tragic losses of life will be swept under the carpet if we let them, and the industry will attempt to continue with its deregulatory strategy.
“We intend to expose the dock industry as a lethal environment which requires strict regulation and an HSE inspection and enforcement regime if we are to stem the loss of life in our docks and waterways.” He added: “Docks are a high risk industry, that’s not a slanderous remark or a criticism, it’s a fact. The workers within the industry need high health and safety standards, standards with teeth. The industry needs the HSE to undertake a high level of inspection and when needed enforcement.
“Categorising the dock industry as low risk is bordering on criminal negligence; docks are death traps and should be treated with the respect they deserve. It’s time the industry and the government faced the facts.”

The high price of HSE’s low risk strategyCaroline Campbell lost her “rock” and the father of her twin daughters when Ian Campbell was killed at Tilbury Docks in October 2011. The 45-year-old was driving a straddle carrier, a type of crane, when it overturned. “Ian and I had been together for 20 years and married for 17-and-a-half years,” she told her local paper. “Even though I was only 19 when we met I knew within the first month together that I wanted to be his wife and I would love him for ever. He wasn’t only my husband, he was my best friend, my rock.” Caroline said Ian, who was a well-liked Unite union representative at the docks, “had a way of making people feel at ease and he would bring out the best in people. Our children, our nieces and nephews and our friends’ children adored him.” She added: “Ian was one of life’s great helpers. If you needed anything Ian was there to help even if it was just a chat on the phone for some advice and support. The loss of Ian has left a gap in so many lives and a huge gap in our family. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.” Unite's national officer for docks, Julia Long, said: “Unite will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to understand how this terrible accident was able to happen.” The union, which has linked up with Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK), is working with Caroline on a ‘Justice for Ian Campbell’ campaign. Back to main story

Sunday, 25 March 2012

APMT to double productivity at new Rotterdam Maasvlakte container terminal

Lift AGVs for APM Terminals
APM Terminals is believed to be the first commercial customer worldwide for Gottwald’s Lift AGV (the AGV that decouples at the ASC interface)
APMT has placed an order for 36 Lift AGVs for the first phase of its new, automated terminal at Maasvlakte II in Rotterdam, due to open in November 2014. The diesel-electric drive vehicles have a top speed of 22 kph with a maximum payload of 60t.
Gottwald Port Technology, part of Demag Cranes AG, launched Lift AGV, which decouples at the landside interface, more than four years ago and pre-production prototypes have been tested with existing operators of Gottwald's long-established, classic "passive" AGV. APMT Rotterdam is the first commercial customer for Lift AGV worldwide.
Civil construction of APMT's new terminal at Maasvlakte II is due to start this June and the first set of Lift AGVs will be delivered in 1Q/2013, to provide time for thorough testing and integration with other CHE at the terminal. APMT is already studying the feasibility of battery-electric Lift AGVs. (Battery AGVs and the battery exchange system co-developed with HHLA and Vollert have been tested at HHLA's CTA Altenwerder automated terminal).
APMT has not indicated the number of STS cranes it will install in phase 1, or whether it will introduce its Fastnet concept. It is also silent on the number of automated RMGs (ARMGs), but it has stated that there will be 128 storage racks for the Lift AGVs to lift containers on and off.
“The vendor selection of ARMGs and STS cranes is currently ongoing,” said APMT. Based on simulated results for Lift AGV operations and allowing for non-availability of some machines for PM, a fleet of 36 AGVs means eight STS crane booms, which in turn means 16-20 stacks (32-40 ARMGs). 128 storage racks then means there are 6-8 buffer slots per ARMG.
“We have designed the terminal to serve the largest containerships in the world with higher productivity and service level consistency day-in, day-out, while operating in a safe, environment-friendly way,” said Frank Tazelaar, APMT’s Managing Director for Maasvlakte II. “Our estimates show we can deliver 25-50% productivity improvement results for our customers compared to conventional terminal designs.”
A Fastnet system cannot be ruled out of APMT’s thinking at the moment, as most likely the STS cranes at MII will be designed to accommodate ships up to 22,000 TEU. “Studies have been completed on the feasibility of...such ships,” said Halfdan Ross, CEO of APMT’s Crane Engineering Services’ affiliate, speaking at TOC Asia in Hong Kong last week. “With such large cranes there are issues of structural stiffness, weight, visibility and wind load to be taken into account.”

APM TERMINALS, the container port operator unit of Denmark's AP Moller group, is to open a container terminal at Port of Rotterdam's Maasvlakte II area and aims to double productivity when operational in November 2014, building begins in June 2012.The first phase will be able to handle 2.7 million TEU annually through the use of quay cranes and place them on one of 36 lift-automated guided vehicles (Lift AGVs). The 15 metres long and three metres wide Lift AGVs are capable of carrying two containers per move at a speed of 22kph using onboard navigation system to then place them in one or two of the 128 storage racks. The new lift AGVs built by German unit of Demag Crane, Gottwald Port Technology is powered by low-noise diesel-electric motors with feasibility studies in progress for full electric power. The ability for AGVs to place in storage racks for the first time supports the terminal's productivity improvements of 25 to 50 per cent compared to conventional terminal designs, said the company's Maasvlakte II managing director Frank Tazelaar of equipment due for delivery first quarter 2013 for testing.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Public subsidy generates animosity in Liverpool

There seems to be an air of animosity surrounding development work at the UK port city of Liverpool due to contested public funding, but confusion has meant Peel’s projects have been tarred - although privately funded.
There’s certainly lots going on at the Port of Liverpool including the procurement for the new Liverpool 2 container terminal and a proposed redevelopment of waterfront called ‘Liverpool Waters’, which includes a second cruise terminal. These are owned by Peel Ports and Peel Holdings Group – and are all privately funded, the group has told Port Strategy.
However, the issues actually centre on the existing Pier Head cruise terminal owned by Liverpool Council. The council is reported as continuing to revamp the terminal for lucrative turnaround cruises – which could operate from May.
The problem is the council has received a large amount of public funding for the revamp which other port cities, like Southampton, are not happy about.
Recently, it was decided that a GB£9m governmental grant given for the development should be paid back by the council – the original conditions of the grant banned turnaround cruises.
Liverpool Council also received an additional GB£8.6m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help build the GB£21m City of Liverpool Terminal – and there are calls to pay this back too.
An appeal has been filed by a group of MEPs asking that the EU recover the cost of the grant and safeguard fair competition across the cruise industry.

No posts for 2 weeks

There will be no posts for 2 weeks due to the fact that I am having a computer upgrade + a weeks holiday

Friday, 23 March 2012


A somewhat alarming Maersk press release appears here: Temporary cease of booking - North Europe to Asia (Eastbound)* Dear customer, As a result of a large number of consecutive vessel cancellations following Chinese New Year, a significant cargo backlog has been created in North Europe. This has reached an unprecedented level unfortunately necessitating a complete booking stop, effective immediately, in order to prevent further escalation of the backlog. The booking stop is temporary and we are working to clear it as soon as possible so that we can resume booking acceptance as usual. Based on the current situation, an early estimate is for the backlog to be cleared by early May. We are implementing this complete booking stop to ensure we prioritise and deliver on the bookings we have already accepted. By implementing this booking stop, we take action to resolve the situation at the soonest possible, and also hope this will allow you to make alternative arrangements for your cargo flows to minimise impact to your supply chain. For further questions, please contact your local Maersk Line representative

Felixstowe: Port bosses happy with A14 toll road idea

EXECUTIVES at Britain’s busiest port are not against part of the A14 being a toll road – but say there must be provision for those who don’t want to pay.

The Port of Felixstowe is part of a regional group of busines and community leaders pressing for a solution to the severe congestion on the dual carriageway between Cambridge and the A1 at Huntingdon.
A £1 billion scheme to cure the bottleneck was shelved by the government 18 months ago as part of the spending cuts to help deal with the recession.
Now ministers are in favour of building a new carriageway but the extra lane would be a toll road.
Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports UK, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “What we are saying is that if there is a toll lane on the A14, it is very important that there is an alternative – in whatever solution is agreed – that works both for local traffic and those on the strategic road network.
“We are involved in the discussions that have been taking place and will continue to work with everyone in the region in pressing for a solution.”
Hauliers have voiced concern about the added costs of using a toll road and having to pay for a faster route.
Government wants to bring in private investors to run and maintain the existing network and build new roads – believing the private sector with its drive for profits could do it more cheaply than the Highways Agency.
Companies would make money by charging tolls to motorists – such as the London congestion charge or the tolls at the Dartford Crossing – and if they met road building targets would be entitled to a share of road taxes

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Carrier reliability picks up in February

Global container carrier reliability improved from 58% in January to 60% in February; the first increase following four months of decline. According to research published today by Seaintel, Maersk Line maintains the number one spot as the most reliable carrier at 75%, followed by Hamburg Süd at 72% and APL at 67%. Compared to January, Maersk Line is thus seen to have improved 3%, APL has improved 7% while Hamburg Süd has maintained their performance. In the past eight months, Maersk Line has been top performer five times while Hamburg Süd has been top performer three times. Reliability is measured as arrival on the same calendar day or the day before but expanding the on-time definition to include vessels arriving only one day late shows that reliability is 78% while the top three performers remain the same, all exhibiting improvements compared to January. Under that expanded definition, Maersk Line saw reliability increase from 89% to 91%, Hamburg Süd improved from 87% to 88% and APL improved from 86% to 87%. At the lower end of the league, however, MSC’s reliability slid from 63% in January to 61% last month. Out of 8,400 measured arrivals in February 2012, Seaintel’s monthly schedule reliability report now includes 1,900 arrivals in trades to and from Africa, Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Measurements are based on the SeaIntel database comprised of more than 58,000 arrivals across 2,200 vessels, 29 trade lanes and 51 carriers since July 2011.



Cosco, K Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin (CKYH Alliance) and Evergreen line have announced cooperation arrangements on a number of Asia - Europe trade lines which, they believe, will offer the highest frequency of weekly services in the market - No doubt to compete with the Maersk " Daily Service " Vessels to be operated on the routes will be between 8000 and 13000 teu capacity. As the UK port of call on the NE1, NE2, NE3, and CEM services, FXT will see calls by: Cosco: Fortune, Glory, Hope, Hellas, Kaohsiung, Excellence, Development, Oceania, Europe, Pride, Pacific, Harmony, Africa, America, Faith, Yantian, Taicang, Asia, Beijing. Hanjin: China, Italy. Evergreen: Ever Conquest. YM: Utopia, Uniform, Unity, Utility, Unison. KLine: Bridge pre-fixed by: Harbour, Helsinki, Hamburg, Hammersmith, Honolulu. and: Zim Rotterdam, Xin Hong Kong, Xin Fei Zhou, Hatsu Crystal, Xin Shanghai, Tianjin, Xim Mei Zhou, Xin Ya Zhou.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Taking on the TOS beast

Hutchison Ports' Next Generation Terminal Management System (nGen) was launched in 2003 with the first implementation at Yantian, and updated and installed at HIT in Hong Kong in 2005, followed by a number of installations elsewhere in the HPH network.
More recently, HPH's operations development and technology team team worked with local teams in several other HPH ports to simplify nGen's configurability to pave the way for a large-scale rollout to HPH ports still using other systems.
“The entire nGen system has been developed in-house. We invited external consultants from both the academic (universities) and commercial sectors (IT vendors) to give input to the architecture, ensuring the solution designs were aligned with our project objectives,” says an HPH spokesman.
As a global port operator, HPH has accumulated a great deal of operational knowledge and management skills over the years, he says: “Building the nGen system entirely in-house ensured HPH's competitive edge.
“The system will continue to grow (adapted by other HPH terminals) and develop (enhanced with different modules) according to our own development schedule and operational needs. For example, we are building an automated version of nGen in Europe according to the schedule and requirements of the company's business plan.”
HPH says nGen is designed to cater for differences in requirements among terminal operators via customisation - so it can be deployed to fit various port characteristics, while minimising overhead and maintenance costs.
The system is in use at ten ports, including three which implemented nGen in 2010. Four more plan to roll out nGen this year - in Spain (TERCAT), China (HICT), Panama (PPC) and Australia (BCT). “Faster and better system communication between ports, standardisation of terms (a single source), and sharing of operational expertise are some of the benefits of using nGen across the HPH network,” says the spokesman.
“There are many new and unique features, including scalability, real-time operator alerts, and configurable business rules. With real-time operator alerts, control tower staff can customise more than a dozen automated alerts to suit different situations. These alerts will prompt staff to appropriate action at the appropriate time, freeing them from constantly staring at a computer screen looking for problem areas.”

Auckland sackings stalled as international solidarity escalates

Workers facing the sack in the Ports of Auckland have been given a temporary reprieve after a court granted an interim injunction halting management outsourcing plans.
Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) plans to make 300 workers redundant and outsource their stevedoring work. But, after the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) argued that the dismissals are illegal, the Employment Court has ruled that POAL cannot take any further steps in the redundancy process until after a judicial settlement conference on Monday 19 March. This conference will look into whether it was legal for POAL to sack its workforce while in ongoing negotiations over an employment agreement for those positions.
Meanwhile international solidarity with Auckland workers is stepping up a further gear with protests and pickets taking place outside New Zealand embassies and at ports worldwide.
In Tokyo 200 members of Zenkoku Kowan, the National Federation of Dockworkers’ Unions of Japan and the All Japan Seaman’s Union, staged a demonstration near Tokyo station in solidarity with Auckland workers.
In the Philippines members of aviation union PALEA organised solidarity action outside the New Zealand embassy demonstrating that this dispute has reached beyond the dockers affiliates of the ITF out into the entire supply chain.
ITF inspectors also continue to carry out ship visits informing seafarers about the dispute and hundreds of messages of solidarity have been sent to MUNZ.
Dockers’ section secretary Frank Leys said: “It is a good news day for workers in the Ports of Auckland. This injunction slows the redundancy process down but it doesn’t mean the dispute is over, far from it. The level of solidarity action from unions around the world has been encouraging but we still need to keep the pressure on and show that this isn’t just an issue for workers in Auckland, it’s an issue for workers all over the world.”
Check out the latest Auckland solidarity action going on around the world using the interactive map below and view photos here. This map's being updated all the time so if you've been involved in solidarity action and you can't see it here please let us know by emailing:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Liebherr to deliver three RMG cranes to Felixstowe’s new rail terminal

Felixstowe's new North Rail Terminal will be equipped with three of Liebherr's RMG cranes
Liebherr Container Cranes has announced that it has received an order for the supply of three Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes to the new North Rail Terminal in the Port of Felixstowe.
The supply of these RMG cranes will complement the existing Liebherr STS cranes, which have been in operation at the British port for well over a decade.
“The Liebherr RMG cranes that we are manufacturing for the North Rail Terminal at Felixstowe will have a lifespan of many decades and will be an integral part of the Port of Felixstowe’s continued growth in the years ahead, said Liebherr Container Cranes’ sales and marketing manager, Gerry Bunyan.
“With this in mind, these cranes have been designed with a number of features that will facilitate easy conversion to automatic cranes should it be required in a number of years.”
The RMG cranes supplied to Felixstowe are part of an expansion strategy that will see intermodal capacity at Felixstowe double when the new terminal reaches its full capacity.
Last week, the Port of Felixstowe held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the formal commencement of the new North Rail Terminal project.
The cranes, to be delivered to the terminal, will boast a span of 31 meters, an operational outreach of 17.1 meters on the wide leg side and 12.8 meters on the narrow.
Each crane will have a lift height of 9.8 meters and a safe working load of 41 tonnes under telescopic spreader, with each crane trolley capable of slewing within a 2400 range.
The hoist of the RMG cranes has a speed of 30 meters per minute (m/min) when fully loaded and 60 m/min under empty spreader. The cranes can trolley at a speed of 100 m/min and have a top travel speed of 115m/min, according to Liebherr.

Felixstowe: Port cuts accidents by 24 per cent in a year

PORT workers have today rewarded for their efforts in reducing the number of accidents at Britain’s busiest container port in the past year.

The John Bubb Safety Trophy has been won for the second year in a row by an operational shift at the Port of Felixstowe.
In the past, the port’s rail department and temperature-controlled examination facility have repeatedly taken the title, but last year workers on B Shift claimed the title and this year C Shift has walked away with the award.
Members of C Shift, which includes berth operators, crane drivers, internal movement vehicle drivers, and terminal managers, reduced the number of reportable accidents on the shift by 64 per cent in the last 12 months, one of the largest reductions ever at the port.
David Gledhill, chief executive officer of port owners Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, said: “This trophy recognises the group demonstrating the most significant improvement in health and safety over the year.
“In this case, C Shift have made a dramatic improvement in their accident rates, and I would like to thank them all for their superb efforts and congratulate them on this excellent achievement.
“There is no level of accidents that we consider acceptable. Even one accident is one too many.
“It is encouraging, however, to see that our continual focus on safety and raising the profile of safety in the workplace is paying off, and helping to make the port an ever safer environment to work in.”
The trophy was named after John Bubb, a former manager at the port, in honour of his support and commitment to improving safety.
The port as a whole managed to reduce reportable accidents by 24pc during 2011.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Seaspan Corporation announced yesterday that it accepted delivery of a 13100 TEU containership, the COSCO Faith.

Seaspan Corporation announced yesterday that it accepted delivery of a 13100 TEU containership, the COSCO Faith.
The new containership, which was constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., is Seaspan’s second delivery in 2012 and expands the Company’s operating fleet to 67 vessels.
The COSCO Faith is on charter to COSCO Container Lines Co., Ltd. (“COSCON”) under a twelve-year, fixed-rate time charter. The ship is the sixth of eight 13100 TEU sister ships and the 16th of a total of 18 vessels to be chartered by Seaspan to COSCON.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Felixstowe Port Future, pt 2 - business park battle

The second part of our March 2012 report on Felixstowe Port।

UK: Development Plan for Liverpool’s New Container Terminal Moves Forward

The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Limited plans to announce a tender for dredging works at the port area.
Officials’ plan is to appoint a contractor to undertake a package of dredging, quay wall construction and infilling works at “Liverpool 2” (Liverpool’s new deep water container terminal), Port of Liverpool, which will be located adjacent to the Royal Seaforth Dock at the Port of Liverpool.
The economic operator will be required to dredge, construct and infill (including compaction of infill material) a quay wall of the following approximate dimensions – 850m length x 30m height.
The quay wall will enclose an area of reclaimed land constituting approximately 2,500,000 m3 of predominantly dredged material. The area of reclaimed land will be surfaced (which may, at the discretion of the contracting entity, be procured under a separate package of works) to form a new deep water container terminal of approximately 22 hectares.
It is likely that the economic operator will take design responsibility for some or all of the Works. The economic operator will be required to dredge a berthing pocket in front of the new quay wall. It is anticipated that the economic operator will be required to remove approximately 1,000,000 m3 of dredged material from the quayside berthing pocket.
The source of the infill material is still to be determined, although it is anticipated that suitable dredged material may be obtained from any or all of the following sources – berth pocket dredge, approach channel dredge and maintenance dredge material obtained from the River Mersey or from commercially available sources.
These following works will also form part of this works package: capping beams, rear crane rail piles and further construction work relating to the provision of drainage and outfall extension.
The value of this project will be between £65,000,000 and £120,000,000.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Dock worker death surge in UK

Five UK dock workers have been killed in as many months when the average is normally no more than two deaths per year – so the big question is why have health and safety inspections ceased?
According to the Unite union, the reason is that since last year, UK dock work has been declared as ‘low risk’ in terms of health and safety.
Responding to an article in issue 117 of Hazards magazine, Unite the UK’s largest dockworker’s union finds it “ludicrous” that the government has downgraded the safety of docks and proposed that “proactive inspection will no longer take place” – as outlined in the governmental strategy document Good health and safety, good for everyone.
Andy Green, the Unite convenor at Tilbury Docks (where two fatalities took place last October), said: “Since the downgrade of health and safety, the number of fatal industries has increased…current funding levels are crippling the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with reduced enforcement and inspections in the so called ‘low risk’ dock industry. The truth is that dock workers are being killed at an alarming rate.”
Unite warns that there may also be deaths not included in HSE’s statistics because they may fall under the remit of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). It seems that deaths can fall into a number of different sectors i.e. water transport or cargo handling, which don't result in a single casualty count at a dock – making the industry as a whole seem safer.
Unite is calling for the government to provide the necessary resources to the HSE to better police the industry and help reduce the amount of casualties.

Port of Auckland strike heats up

The dispute over dockers jobs at the Port of Auckland has escalated.
The dock workers are enraged following the Ports of Auckland’s decision to axe 300 jobs and replace the workers with outside contractors.
The employers stated that the dispute is not about money but performance which they say is proving inferior to rivals like Brisbane and Sydney, as freight on container vessels is delayed in other ports whilst unions claim that a leaked document proves the aim is to improve financial returns for the owners Auckland Council Investments Ltd.
Unions say they have evidence that the council owned investment group wants to raise returns to around 12% in five years and the redundancies are needed to fund operational savings.
Yesterday the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) confirmed that thousands of people turned out to a rally in support of the Auckland workers and to show solidarity with members of the ITF affiliated Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ).
A message sent from ITF dockers’ section secretary Frank Leys said: "This is a blatant attempt at union busting and that’s something that the international trade union community just won’t stand for. And, from the turnout at this rally it’s clear it’s not just unions who think the ports management’s treatment of Auckland workers is wrong. Workers from other industries agree that action must be taken to stop big business profiting at the expense of ordinary people who are just trying to make a living."
The redundancies are planned to take place within the next six weeks with stevedoring services being contracted to private companies whilst there have been court injunctions to compel dock workers in other New Zealand ports to load and unload several container vessels delayed by the strike and worked on by non union labour.
On Friday Ports of Auckland announced it has signed contracts with Drake New Zealand and AWF Group following its decision to introduce competitive stevedoring at its Fergusson and Bledisloe Container Terminal operations.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Port of Felixstowe vs London Gateway . . part 1

London Gateway opts for Navis

DP World London Gateway CEO Simon Moore today announced at the TOC Asia conference that the company has ordered the industry’s most advanced terminal operating system. London Gateway, which combines the UK’s new deepwater container port and Europe’s largest logistics park, opening 2013, has selected SPARCS N4 from Navis for managing the movement of cargo through the port. SPARCS N4 will run automated processes at the port’s gate, in the container yard with its automated container handling equipment, and at the rail terminal. In addition, SPARCS N4 will manage the transfer of containers to and from the adjacent logistics park. Late last year, Navis parent Cargotec announced it had signed a co-operative agreement with DP World London Gateway to supply automated stacking cranes and straddle carriers for the new port.

Port of Felixstowe Gets New Rail Terminal on Track

The Port of Felixstowe will today (14th March 2012) hold a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the formal commencement of the new North Rail Terminal project. Performed by Mike Penning MP, Under-Secretary of State for Transport, the ceremony will be attended by a range of rail freight and local dignitaries, as well as representatives of Volker Fitzpatrick, the contractors for the development. The new rail terminal will be the third at the UK’s largest container port and is the first in the UK designed to handle 30-wagon long freight trains, capable of carrying 90 TEU (twenty foot equivalent containers). It will be equipped initially with 3 Rail Mounted Gantry cranes (RMGs) built by Liebherr, increasing to 6 RMGs when the terminal is working at full capacity. Clemence Cheng, Managing Director of HPH Central Europe, in welcoming Mike Penning, said: “This new rail facility is part of the port’s on-going programme of expansion which will further consolidate our position as the leading gateway in the UK for deep-sea container traffic. We already move 750,000 TEU per year by rail and the new terminal will eventually more than double our capacity for intermodal traffic.” Commenting on the new development, Mike Penning MP said: "This is a very welcome investment by Hutchison Ports in an important sector. “It shows that rail freight continues to thrive with private sector investment through difficult economic conditions, bringing benefits to road users and the wider population as well as the customers directly served. “Along with inland rail improvements, this investment will help to confirm the UK's attractiveness for direct calls by the biggest container ships for many years to come, benefitting the local, regional and national economies." David Gledhill, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “One of the advantages that Felixstowe has over its rivals is that we can already offer shippers and shipping companies much greater choice of destination and frequency of rail freight services than any other port in the country. We currently have 58 train movements a day into the port. These are operated by three of the country’s major Railfreight operators, and connect the port with 17 different inland terminals. The new terminal will provide users with even more choice and allow them to achieve greater carbon savings throughout the supply chain.” The scheme, which is receiving a £4.2m European grant from the Trans-European Transport Network Programme (TEN-T), follows the successful opening of the first phase of the port’s latest expansion last autumn. The two new deep-water berths, Berths 8&9, have significantly increased the port’s capacity to handle the world’s largest container ships. Referring to the environmental advantages of the new developments, David Gledhill added: “What many people fail to grasp is that scale is actually very good for the environment. Felixstowe is the only port in the UK able to accommodate the next generation of container ships. These ships will have 50% less emissions than the Asia-Europe average, and the new North Rail Terminal will allow enable us to handle longer and more efficient freight trains. “The scale of our operations at Felixstowe, which will eventually increase to 8 million TEU per annum with the addition of Bathside Bay, also provides the critical mass to support a wide range of coastal feeder services. Taken as a whole, the range of benefits open to HPUK customers is absolutely unique.” The Port of Felixstowe currently operates 29 daily services to 17 inland destinations including Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Cleveland, Birmingham, Doncaster, Tilbury, Selby, Hams Hall, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Birch Coppice, Scunthorpe and Bristol.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Felixstowe: Passenger train cuts call as port starts work on new rail terminal

BRITAIN’S biggest container port was today starting work on a £40 million project to build a third rail terminal – and take 750,000 more lorries off the A14 every year.

On The Right Track
See tonight’s Ipswich Star and Felixstowe Star for a special 24-page supplement on the Port of Felixstowe’s rail operations, plans for the future, and the rich heritage of the 135-year-old Felixstowe to Ipswich rail line.
The scheme at the Port of Felixstowe could mean some changes to the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line, with executives calling for a rethink on the use of the track and suggesting off-peak less-used passenger trains could be cut to make way for more freight.
Services would be replaced with a top-quality express bus service.
Mike Penning MP, under-secretary of state for transport, was today due to carry out the ground-breaking ceremony for the new rail terminal, watched by rail freight industry representatives, local dignitaries, and officials from contractors Volker Fitzpatrick.
The rail terminal will be the third at Felixstowe and the first in the UK designed to handle 30-wagon long freight trains, capable of carrying 90 standard-sized containers.
Clemence Cheng, managing director of HPH Central Europe, said: “This new rail facility is part of the port’s on-going programme of expansion which will further consolidate our position as the leading gateway in the UK for deep-sea container traffic.
“We already move 750,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year by rail and the new terminal will eventually more than double our capacity for intermodal traffic.”
The port has 58 train movements a day currently and connections with 17 inland destinations. Its berths are able to handle the world’s largest ships.
David Gledhill, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “What many people fail to grasp is that scale is actually very good for the environment.
“Felixstowe is the only port in the UK able to accommodate the next generation of container ships. These ships will have 50pc less emissions than the Asia-Europe average, and the new North Rail Terminal will allow enable us to handle longer and more efficient freight trains.
“The scale of our operations at Felixstowe, which will eventually increase to eight million TEU per annum with the addition of Bathside Bay, also provides the critical mass to support a wide range of coastal feeder services। Taken as a whole, the range of benefits open to HPUK customers is absolutely unique.”

Kirton/Trimley: Residents set to fight port business park project

Opponents believe it is completely the wrong site for such a scheme and are worried about noise, traffic, floodlighting, loss of much-needed quality farmland, and the destruction of the rural nature of the peninsula.

"One of the biggest fears is they will be looking for an easier way to get to the port and could drive a new road across the countryside to the northern part of the port."

Colin Jacobs, parish councillor

The 200-acre project would be built right in the middle of the Felixstowe peninsula – putting container storage areas, haulage yards and distribution warehouses right next to the A14.

They believe the park should be sited closer to the port – though landowners Trinity College, Cambridge, says land on or nearer the port is in short supply – or on sites further afield.

Now an action group has been set up, including members of Kirton, Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary parish councils, to monitor the project and ensure residents’ views are put forward every step of the way.

The park – which would be larger than the built-up area of Trimley St Mary – would be sited on the field alongside the A14 from the Brightwell turn-off to Old Kirton Road, bounded by Innocence Lane and Croft Lane.

Parish councillor Colin Jacobs, one of two councillors representing Trimley St Mary on the action group, said: “Although Trinity College says this plan is not imminent, we believe progress could be made rapidly and we need to be on our guard.

“There are a number of concerns and all sorts of rumours flying around at the moment.

“One of the biggest fears is they will be looking for an easier way to get to the port and could drive a new road across the countryside to the northern part of the port.”

Trinity College has said the project is “long term”. So far only a first stage feasibility study has been done to see if it was possible to develop the land.

Tim Collins, a partner in Bidwells, agents for the college, said: “Finding extra port employment sites will be the number one issue for Felixstowe in the next few years.

“There will be a lot of discussion this year about how these sites are brought forward and will be something we continue to promote.”

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Auckland port dispute heats up

Auckland port dispute heats up
Dave Badger Tue, 13 Mar 2012
Police called and injunctions filed as Maersk denies it will avoid the port

The four-month dispute at New Zealand’s port of Auckland is set to enter the courtroom amid increasingly angry scenes over almost 300 redundancies.Maersk Line has denied it is avoiding the port, but says it does have contingency plans.The Maritime Union of New Zealand has reportedly filed an injunction with the country’s Employment Court in an attempt to halt the redundancies, while police were called on Monday after a complaint that non-union staff and truck drivers had been physically prevented from entering the terminal complex. The industrial action delayed at least one containership as well as a cruise ship at a neighbouring wharf. Ports of Auckland (PoA) Chairman Richard Pearson dismissed Maritime Union of New Zealand claims that its protest had been lawful. Police told those on the picket line to let the vehicles through, but made no arrests as protestors, port and union leaders gathered at the town hall. PoA sacked 292 workers, mainly stevedores, last week in an escalation of its four-month industrial dispute with its staff. The dock workers, or “wharfies” as they are known locally, are angry after PoA replaced the union workers with outside contractors. PoA says the dispute is not about money, but performance which they claim is inferior to rivals like Brisbane and Sydney. Yesterday, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) dockers’ section secretary Frank Leys said: “This is a blatant attempt at union busting and that’s something that the international trade union community just won’t stand for.” The Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown, whose council owns the port, tried to mediate in the dispute, but angered some by stating his dissatisfaction with union bosses whom he said dithered for eight months when they could have been bargaining. Port workers in Wellington and Australia have shown solidarity with their Auckland counterparts by refusing to unload ships handled by non-union workers in Auckland.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Five Shipping Companies Enter into Individual Cooperation Agreements on Asia-Europe Trades

Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin and Evergreen Line have agreed to initiate individual cooperative arrangements on Asia-Europe trades starting from April 2012 as announced last December.
This cooperation between the four CKYH Lines and Evergreen Line is designed to offer customers best sailing frequency, transit time and service coverage so as to fulfill customers’ needs.
These bilateral arrangements will be implemented in 8 weekly services for Asia – North Europe and 4 for Asia – Mediterranean including direct services for Asia – Adriatic regions calling Rijeka, Koper and Trieste.
Especially, weekly services for Asia – North Europe, which in fact, offer the highest frequency in the market, will also provide very attractive transit times from Asia to major European ports including Rotterdam, Hamburg and Felixstowe (i.e. 26-27 days from Shanghai/Ningbo and 23-24 days from Yantian).
The majority of the fleet operated in these total twelve loops will be ranging from 8,000TEU to 13,000TEU size.

Thousands rally for sacked Ports workers

Thousands of people have rallied in Auckland City in support of almost 300 Ports of Auckland workers who have all but lost their jobs.
The port announced on Wednesday that it would make nearly 300 Maritime Union of New Zealand union members redundant, and replace them with contractors.
Industrial action across the country has swelled in the past month, and today many of those involved in came out in support of the watersiders.
The rally kicked off this afternoon at 4pm at Britomart, followed by a march, and then speeches in a nearby park.
ONE News reporter Stephen Smith said around 5000 protesters, including firefighters, meat workers, rest home nurses, even politicians, took to street, yelling slogans such as "workers rights are under attack!" as well as "stand up fight back, workers rights are under attack."
"It's (the protest) wide-spread and strong these people are angry and they have every right to be, and we're angry for them, " Labour MP David Cunliffe told ONE News.
The huge swell of support is a morale boost for the 290 port workers who were told on Wednesday their jobs were gone.
The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Helen Kelly said despite the port announcing that it has commenced redundancy proceedings; the issue is not over for the workers affected.
"New Zealanders are increasingly concerned about the impact of casualisation on their families."
"We need jobs that are secure and safe, and that's what the Ports of Auckland dispute is about - a group of workers who want the ability to be able to say when they'll be free to spend time with their family, without the worry of being called in to work." Maritime Union of Australia workers are among the international contingent in Auckland for today's rally.
"We're obviously to support the workers, the workers that have been sacked from the Port of Auckland - it's a disgrace," said Stuart Traill from the Electrical Trade Union Australia.
Their colleagues back in Sydney are also making a stand by refusing to unload the Maersk Brani, which docked in Sydney this morning, because it was loaded in Auckland on Wednesday by non-union workers.
"It's got nothing to do with productivity, it's about busting unions. Unions are vital in the workplace and this about respect and dignity, and about maintaining the Port of Auckland in public hands," Traill said.
Earlier in the week, port workers in Wellington, Tauranga and Lyttelton also refused to unload vessels loaded by non-union workers.
As well as the Australians and Europeans, there's also big support from United States unionists, with the union reps from there say the fallout from these redundancies could spread north.
"We're here to support the working class and the port workers here with the Maritime Union of New Zealand," Ray Familathe from International Longshore & Warehouse Union told ONE News.
Kelly said that the rally is a chance for the public of Auckland to let the Auckland Council know they expect better from its Council companies, to treat workers fairly.
"And the public of Auckland, who own this port are coming out today to tell the mayor and the council to lift their game, the Ports of Auckland to stop the nonsense, to stop destroying the port and stop destroying people's lives," said Gary Parsloe from Maritime Union NZ.
But the Port said today it is time to move on, and its decision to make redundancies has been made. The workers should now start thinking about the future.
The Maritime Union now counting on the Employment Court to grant an injunction and at least delay the outsourcing of their jobs.
Strike action spreads to Sydney
Earlier today, union members at the Ports of Sydney refused to unload a ship which was worked on by non-union staff in Auckland.
The Maritime Union of Australia confirmed to ONE News that union members are refusing to unload the Maersk Brani, which docked at Sydney DP World Wharf at Botany Bay at 5am.
The Maersk was handled by non-union staff at Ports of Auckland, before going to Sydney. It left Auckland on Wednesday evening.
There is also a 'community picket' outside Ports of Sydney, with between 30-40 workers protesting.
Union members at Wellington and Lyttelton ports had also refused to work on 'blacklisted' ships, which had been loaded by non-union workers at Auckland while Maritime union members were on strike.
In both cases, judges ruled the action illegal, and ordered workers to unload the vessels.
Maersk has been accused of deliberately turning off ships' navigation devices to prevent workers from knowing that ships had visited the strike-ravaged Auckland port.
The Maritime Union has revealed, what it claims, is correspondence between a ship spotter at Ports of Auckland and Maritime NZ, which it says confirms its concerns.
It says two ships, the Maersk Aberdeen and the Irenes Remedy, turned off their Automatic Identification System (AIS) shortly before reaching New Zealand.
Maersk has said the union's claims were "completely without foundation".

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Felixstowe: Nesting Peregrine falcons stop crane demolition work

WORK to demolish two old and out-of-date port cranes has been delayed because a pair of Peregrine falcons has made one of the structures their home, it was revealed today.

Officials at the Port of Felixstowe had plans in place to topple the cranes – sited on the unused Landguard Terminal – next week.
Now they have decided to put the project on hold until after the breeding season.
Nigel Odin, of Landguard Bird Observatory, said the Peregrine falcons had been present around the port for several years.
“They appear to be finally getting down to serious nuptials this spring. They can be observed in courtship display over the container terminal on fine sunny mornings around the cranes,” he said.
A pair of carrion crows that successfully nested on the southernmost green crane last year have unwittingly provided a nesting platform for the Peregrines to use.
“Peregrine falcons begin nesting early in the spring and can be incubating eggs by the end of March. No nest is built with the eggs traditionally laid onto a bare ledge,” said Mr Odin.
“Whether the female will settle here is yet to be seen, but if she does settle down the pair will keep any of the breeding herring and lesser black-backed gulls that nest in the docks at a respectable distance from the nest site.
“With the security around the port and CCTV cameras on site, the birds should be well protected from possible human interference.
“Interestingly the birds are very tolerant of all the hustle and bustle going on beneath them and if they do settle to breed it will be seen as a feather in the cap for the port authorities.”
David Gledhill, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the port, said: “Having assessed the situation, and after consultation with the RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust, we believe that the falcons are preparing to nest on one of the cranes due for demolition. To avoid disturbing them, we have taken the decision to postpone the demolition until after the breeding season.”
The cranes are clearly visible from the port viewing area.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Felixstowe: New bid to get freight off the roads and onto the rails

SMALL and medium sized companies are today being given a cash bonus to switch transport of their goods from road to rail.

An innovative project has been launched with the aim of taking 30,000 containers off the roads and cutting carbon emissions.
The £7.5 million Low Carbon Freight Dividend project, created by the Haven Gateway Partnership, offers grants of up to 30 per cent for moving freight from truck to train for firms which have traditionally only used road transport.
The move comes as the Port of Felixstowe is set to start work on a new rail terminal to double its rail freight capacity.
Speaking at the launch at The Alex restaurant in Felixstowe, Rail Freight Group chairman Tony Berkeley said: “This is a really creative and fantastic scheme to encourage smaller firms to use rail freight for their container transport inland from the Haven ports.

“It will widen the interest in rail freight and demonstrate to them and their customers just how effective rail freight can be and the benefits, in time, cost and carbon reduction, that it can deliver.
“It will also demonstrate to Government and industry just how much of a contribution containers by rail can make to its target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. I look forward to seeing a strong take-up of this imaginative scheme.”
Project manager Lisa Brazier said there would be “significant environmental benefits” with at least 11.7 million kgs of carbon dioxide removed from the logistics supply chain.
“This is the first scheme to offer small and medium-sized companies support for trying rail for the first time – an initiative that we believe will be very much welcomed by companies wanting to make more environmentally friendly choices in the current economic climate,” she said.
A key part of the project will be a Containerised Cargo Carbon Calculator, an online tool where logistics operators can compare and contrast cargo movement methods (road, rail and water) and the carbon emissions for each system.