Monday, 30 April 2012

Bathside Bay port development in Harwich given extra time

Harwich Bathside Bay port development start date unclear

The developers of a proposed £300m container port in Essex have said they are still unsure when work will begin on the site.
The government confirmed earlier this week that planning permission given in 2006 had been extended for a further five years.
Paul Davey, from Hutchison Ports UK, said: "There is not really the prospect of the port in the very short term.
"Beyond that, it really does depend on the economic recovery."
The project will see the quay almost doubled in length to 2,500 metres (8,202 ft), allowing up to four deep sea container vessels at the port at one time.
It is expected to create about 700 jobs.
Mr Davey added: "We've always said Bathside Bay would be built according to market demand and that very much remains the case.'Major catalyst'
"We remain committed to it and are also confident that demand will materialise.
"What we, the government and everybody is unsure about, is exactly when that will come."
Tendring District Council confirmed applications made to it in January requesting more time would not be called in by the government.
A further application regarding upgrades to the A120 into the town is still being considered by the minister for planning, Greg Clark. His verdict is expected at the beginning of 2012.
Mr Davey said before this was resolved, no work could begin.
He said: "The government decided it wanted us to put the road in place beforehand.
"What we've applied for is to allow us to start the reclamation of Bathside Bay before the road improvements are put in place."
He added that work would not start until the second phase of development at its Felixstowe port was completed.
Earlier this week, the Conservative leader of Tendring District Council, Neil Stock, said the delays had been "disappointing", but believed it would be a "huge boost" to the area.
He said: "It is the major catalyst for regeneration in Tendring."

£150m port plan for Southampton docks gets go ahead

Southampton port has been given the go ahead for a £150m expansion bringing 200 jobs.
After months of delays due to legal challenges and red tape a government agency has confirm the project to increase the size of berths at the container terminal can go-ahead.
It will ensure the container terminal’s future competitiveness and safeguard 800 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs.
Port owner ABP wants to combine the existing berths 201 and 202 alongside an upgraded 500m quay wall.

Crunch day for £150m port plan for Southampton docks

THE critical decision on whether Southampton port will be able to press ahead with a £150m expansion bringing 2,000 jobs was due to be announced today.
After months of delays due to legal challenges and red tape a government agency is expected to confirm whether the project to increase the size of berths at the container terminal can go-ahead.
It would ensure the container terminal’s future competitiveness and safeguard 800 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs.
Port owner ABP wants to combine the existing berths 201 and 202 alongside an upgraded 500m quay wall.

An increase in the length of container ships has meant the current deep-sea berths, 204 to 207, can no longer handle four of the next generation of container vessels at once.
The Marine Management Organisation needs to give the go ahead for dredging and upgrade works to begin. ABP rival Hutchinson Ports, owners of Felixstowe, forced a reassessment of the scheme when it launched a judicial review of an earlier consent ago on environmental grounds.
Hampshire MPs have been lobbying the Government for a quick resolution to the hold-ups to avoid fatal delays for Southampton.
Port director Doug Morrison said the decision was vital so contracts could be awarded for work to start in tight time window this September.
Otherwise they could be delayed for another year.
The major works must be carried out between September and March to avoid disturbing migratory Atlantic salmon.
Mr Morrison said if a decision went beyond April it would put the port in an “impossible situation.”

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Boxship Gerd Maersk Adrift Off Portuguese Coast

Container Ship Adrift Off Portuguese Coast
Maersk container ship disabled, drifting off the coast of Portugal after engine failure. Tug ordered just in case. Maersk Line container ship Gerd Maersk, on passage from the Far East to Bremerhaven, following engine failure, was drifting about 20 miles northwest of Porto. The ship's engineers are working to repair the damage, while a small tug - Castelo de Obidos - lies in the readiness of hundred meters from the Danish-flagged container ship, ready to provide assistance should there be need. "We expect to Gerd Maersk will be ready to proceed over the next 24 hours," said press officer Michael Storgaardård, AP Moller - Maersk. Storgaard stresses that the ship is situated far from shore and 1,000 feet of water, so there is absolutely no danger. For safety's sake, Maersk Line, however, commissioned a major tug who is currently on its way to the location. Gerd Maersk was built in 2006 and has a capacity of 6,600 TEUs.
Boxship Gerd Maersk IMO 9320245, dwt 115700, capacity 6600 TEU, built 2006, flag Denmark.

Port Of Felixstowe Sailing Schedule.
30/04/12 19:00
Gerd Maersk
Le Havre
Maersk Line

Friday, 27 April 2012

MSC denies terminal arm listing

MSC has denied any plans to spin off its container terminal division through the issuing of an IPO on the Singapore stock exchange, rebuffing industry rumours surrounding a potential listing,
This is in response to a news item issued by Reuters, suggesting that the company was considering a $1 billion flotation, with PNB Parisbas, CLSA and Deutsche Bank mandated to manage the deal.
The business handles around 15m teu at terminals in 16 countries.
In the past, the chairman of MSC has stated publicly that offers for a 49% stake in the non-core terminal business might be of interest.

Losses Surge at China Shipping and Cosco

China’s biggest container carriers report increased first quarter losses as operating costs soar
China Cosco Holdings, owner of Asia's largest container shipping company by capacity, and China Shipping Container Lines each saw first quarter losses mount as box container rates remained below the profitability threshold and operating costs soared.
Cosco, whose businesses also include dry bulk shipping and terminal operations, booked a loss of 2.7 billion yuan ($423 million) in the quarter, compared with a loss of 502 million yuan a year earlier, as sales fell 4.5 percent. Volume at the container shipping unit jumped 20 percent, but revenue increased just 2 percent, indicating the rate challenges global ocean carriers face amid tepid growth in demand and rising capacity.
Volume on the key Asia-Europe lane increased 21 percent, the average rate achieved by Cosco, which operates a fleet of 159 container ships and has another 30 on order, declined nearly 20 percent year-over-year.
China Shipping Container Lines, the country’s second-largest carrier, posted a first quarter net loss of 1.5 billion yuan ($229 million), compared with a net loss of 146.1 million yuan ($23 million) a year earlier.
The Shanghai- and Hong Kong-listed company blamed the deterioration of its bottom line on a 1.1 percent contraction in revenue tied to rising operating costs.

COSCO eyes investment in north Croatian Port of Rijeka

Chinese shipping group plans to turn port into China's main link to mainland Europe
COSCO, the Chinese shipping conglomerate, is interested in investing in the Croatian Port of Rijeka, according to COSCO chairman Wei Jiafu.
“It is interesting for us in terms of (getting a) concession” to manage the northern Adriatic port, Jiafu told reporters following a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic earlier this week.
Jiafu was part of a COSCO delegation that had arrived in Croatia to discuss how they could use Rijeka as China’s main link to mainland Europe, which would shorten the transit time for COSCO vessels travelling from the Asian country significantly.
In a statement, Milanovic said that he and his government would do all it can to “remove obstacles to (Chinese) investments.”
“So far there were a lot of talks (between the two sides), now is the right time to put them into action,” he added.
According to Sinisa Hajdas Doncic, Croatia’s Transport Minister, the shipping group is also interested in linking the port with the capital Zagreb via rail at an expected cost of €3 billion.
Last week, the Rijeka Port Authority signed an agreement to build a brand new container terminal in Rijeka Port. The terminal, scheduled for completion in 2017, will be one of the main components of the Rijeka Gateway project, which aims to modernize the Port of Rijeka.
The expansion of the existing Port of Rijeka will cost up to €1 billion, added Doncic.
China is responsible for nearly 5 percent of Croatia’s global trade, and is by far Croatia's leading commercial partner outside Europe.
In 2011, Croatia exported around €28 million of goods to China and imported goods totaling around €1 billion.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Denmark: Daily Maersk – Six Months of Reliable Service

Daily Maersk, Maersk Line’s revolutionary service promising absolute reliability on the Asia – North Europe trade has now been running for six months – serving over 900 customers and shipping more than 93,500 containers.
The service has delivered average reliability of 97% over the last six months, more recently reliability has exceeded 99%.
“We are extremely pleased to see the on-time delivery rate for Daily Maersk improving month by month. We are truly delivering on our promise of absolute reliability,” says Ole Pradsgaard, Daily Maersk Project Lead.
Maersk Line’s unique product offers daily cut off times for cargo loading (rather than weekly cut-offs); providing great flexibility for customers. It also measures reliability based on container availability for gate-out at the destination port and not the transit time for service.
The service has been gaining popularity in the world’s busiest corridors, in the corridor from Yantian in China to Felixtowe in England alone it has transported more than 17,000 containers in the first six months.
Daily Maersk has also helped reduce the carbon footprint of supply chain by producing approximately 13% lower CO2 emissions per container moved than the industry average on the Asia-North Europe trade.

Balfour Beatty lands London Gateway rail terminal contract

DP World’s London Gateway has awarded Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering the multi-million pound contract to build a new rail terminal capable of handling the longest trains in the UK. The UK-based engineering firm will develop the first of three rail terminals and double-track the branch line to the new deepsea container port being built on the north bank of the River Thames, east of London. The rail terminal will be able to accommodate trains up to 34 wagons long, which DP World said would future-proof the new logistics hub. Gina Acosta, London Gateway Port/Park Interface and Rail Terminal Manager, said: “With 33% of London Gateway port throughput expected to go by rail, we are committed to having the right infrastructure and operational processes in place from day one. “We are also future-proofing rail capacity by double-tracking the branch line.” Marshall Scott, MD of Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, said: “This important rail infrastructure will help make the UK more competitive and create new options for distribution of freight.” Opening in Q4 2013, London Gateway is set to become the UK’s premier logistics centre. When fully developed, London Gateway port will handle 3.5 million teu a year, with the adjacent logistics park the largest in Europe.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Capacity on container trades at record high

The global containership fleet is at its largest since last August, as vessel deliveries and a reduction in the idle fleet have raised available capacity to a new record of almost 15 million teu, according to Alphaliner.
The capacity gains have outpaced the growth in demand for space, which is impacting rates and vessel utilisation, says the industry analyst in its latest report.
This could put pressure on the carriers’ aim of sustaining the general rate increases announced for 1 May.
Shipping lines have added capacity on most routes, but capacity withdrawn from the main Far East-Europe and Far East-North America trade lanes has largely been cascaded down to secondary line-haul markets, with South America (up 13%) and Africa (20%) seeing the largest percentage increases, the analyst said.
Sixty-two new containerships have been delivered so far this year, representing a total capacity of 455,000teu. Of these, 23 are above 10,000teu.
This capacity increase has been partly mitigated by increased scrapping of older tonnage, with 55 ships (93,500teu) sent for demolition so far this year.
Click on graph to enlarge
Alphaliner says as much as 200,000teu could be scrapped this year, but against that is the expected delivery of around 1.4 million teu in newbuildings.
After a rise from the low of 0.5% in June 2011 to a peak of 5.8% in mid-March, the idle containership fleet is shrinking again, mostly due to larger vessels being brought back into service.
At 9 April the idle fleet stood at 723,000teu, and it is expected to fall further in the second quarter as most of the ships of above 5,000teu are expected to be reactivated by summer.

Gumley to lead Hutch Oz

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has made a high-profile appointment to head up its new Australian operations, choosing engineer and Officer of the Order of Australia, Dr Stephen Gumley, as CEO.
Dr Gumley was most recently CEO of the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), a post he held from February 2004 until July last year, and prior to that was CEO of the Australian Submarine Corporation and a vice president of Boeing. In his DMO role he was characterised as “Australia’s highest-paid public servant”.
The new CEO will guide HPH’s A$700M investment in its new Brisbane Container Terminal and Sydney International Container Terminal (at Port Botany), which are “expected to bring added capacity and competition to the ports”. HPH says it is also looking to establish itself in Melbourne “in the near future”.
HPH managing director for Australasia and North Asia, Raymond Law, said Dr Gumley’s appointment underlined the group’s commitment to Australia.
“HPH is bringing the full weight of its resources to establishing a technically advanced, strong and efficient stevedore in Australia,” Law said. “We believe that in Dr Gumley we have the person we need on the ground in Australia to channel those resources and create that new entity.”
Dr Gumley said creating more competition in Australia’s major ports would be good for importers and exporters and ultimately Australia.
“While port development has occurred under the existing duopoly arrangements, the introduction of a capable third stevedore can only drive development harder,” he said.

China Shipping expands Far East-north Europe offer with 9 weekly sailings

CHINA Shipping Container Line (CSCL) has announced a new Far East-north Europe service with nine weekly sailings on top the services it has going with Evergreen, reports the Paris-based container shipping analysts Alphaliner. CSCL has slots on five CKYH alliance loops and also joins Evergreen and Zim in its recommencement of AEX 2/CES 2 services, starting in May. Korea's Hanjin Shipping has developed East Mediterranean and Black Sea coverage by taking slots on the Asia-Black Sea Express (ABX) run by CSCL, "K" Line, Yang Ming, PIL and Wan Hai and will soon join an intra-Med string on the Turkey-Levant Service, operated by Arkas Line and Turkon Line (TLS).Hanjin will take slots on the ABX, starting May 18 with the sailing from Shanghai of the Xin Luan Yun Gang. Part of the CKYH alliance, Hanjin together with Cosco, "K" Line and Yang Ming participate in the ABX with "K" Line and Yang Ming, providing ships and Cosco acting as slot buyer.Hanjin joins TLS this week, bringing a third ship into the loop, the 3,017-TEU Ibn Sina, thus transforming it into a fortnightly service instead of the three-week frequency it had before. This will also provide additional calls at Piraeus and Gemlik. The Hanjin ship joins two 1,878-TEU vessels run by Arkas and Turkon. Hanjin will use Port Said and Piraeus as transshipment hubs to cover major Turkish Lebanese and Egyptian ports.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Productivity Rise Benefits Shipping Lines Calling at DP World Southampton, UK

Productivity Rise Benefits Shipping Lines Calling at DP World Southampton, UK.

Shipping lines calling at Southampton’s container terminal are benefitting from the terminal’s continued drive on productivity as vessels turnaround times reduce.
The South Coast terminal set its best ever vessel turnaround performance when it handled the maiden call of the largest ship in the Hyundai fleet.
The Hyundai Together was turned around in 24 hours well ahead of its allotted window and set new productivity records.
In a 12-hour shift, 600 containers were moved by an individual crane on the Hyundai Together, equivalent to 50 moves per hour.
The overall vessel exchange rate was 147 mph with an average crane rate of 34.58 mph.
Chris Lewis, Managing Director, DP World Southampton, which operates the terminal, paid tribute to staff for the new benchmarks, which follows a 20 per cent rise in productivity last year.
He said: “I would like to publically thank everyone involved in this fantastic achievement, which demonstrates our leading performance in UK ports on reducing vessel turnaround times.
“While this might not mean a great deal to those a few steps removed in the supply chain, we know that this translates directly into less disruption for carriers and shippers.
“Our aim is to make the transition of goods through our terminal as seamless as possible for the UK’s importers and exporters.
“This latest record underscores our collective ambition to be one of the best terminals in Western Europe for customers.
“It is also a reflection of a strong team spirit here at the terminal, from everyone on the quayside to everyone in the office, who understand it’s not just a box we’re moving but goods and merchandise for retailers, manufactures and business throughout the UK.”
Hyundai Together, at 366m long, 48m wide and 13,000 teu, was the first ship to call on the new loop 4 service operated by the G6 Alliance, incorporating Shanghai, Ningbo, South China, Singapore, Southampton, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Singapore, South China and Shanghai.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Control Technique installs diesel saving system on 12 RTGs at Felixstowe Port

Diesel usage reduced by 25 percent per crane with installation of drive-based system
Emerson's Control Techniques has announced that it has recently installed its diesel saving system on a total of 12 rubber tyre gantry cranes (RTGs) at the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port.
The RIS GA drive-based system manages the diesel generator, allowing its speed to be reduced during stand-by, whilst maintaining power for auxiliary and safety equipment.
Diesel generators onboard RTGs and mobile harbour cranes (MHCs) usually run at constant speed to provide the drive system and auxiliaries with a constant supply voltage regardless of whether the crane is in operation or stand-by.
With a recent assessment of diesel usage confirming savings of up to 25 percent per crane, the investment, according to Control Techniques, is expected to grant Felixstowe a return on investment (ROI) of less than three years.The Port of Felixstowe handles over 3 million TEUs annually, with over 40 percent of the UK’s import and export trade passes through the port.
The 12 RTGs fitted with the RIS GA system in Felixstowe are rated at 40 tonnes under the spreader, with a hoist speed of 50 m/min, a trolley speed of 70 m/min, a gantry speed of 140 m/min and a 670 kVA diesel generator. Each RTG will complete around 100,000 moves per year.
RIS GA has been applied successfully on RTGs and MHCs throughout, including cranes manufactured by ZPMC, Kalmar, MGM-OMG, Doosan and Fantuzzi Reggiane.

Maersk planning to introduce “Daily” concept on other trade lanes, says CCO

Maersk CCO tells conference of plans to introduce concept of Daily Maersk on other routes
Maersk Line, the world’s largest ocean carrier, is looking to introduce the fundamentals of its Daily Maersk Asia-Europe service concept on additional trade lanes, according to Maersk’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Lucas Vos.
Speaking at the Global Liner Shipping Conference in London on Wednesday, Vos said that the shipper “would like to take this concept to other places as well”.
“Our ambition in 2012 is to achieve a rate of 95 percent of on-time delivery on the major east-west tradelanes and also in some Oceania and Latin America markets.”
During February the Daily Maersk Europe service had offered an average rate of 99 percent for containers arriving on time.
Vos added that the European service had enabled the shipping line to increase its market share to 25 percent.
However, Vos said that the company’s focus should be on improving customer service and not rates.
“We need to get away from the prize just being on a cost basis... let’s get away from rates. Let’s make the environment, reliability and ease of doing business the new rate war,” said Vos.
“It used to be ‘our way or the highway’, but that is changing. We are listening and have a panel of customers.”
“We don’t start a single project without listening to customers. This is a fundamental change in how we do things.”
Daily Maersk consists of four port calls in Asia (Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian and Tanjung Pelepas) and three calls in northern Europe (Felixstowe, Rotterdam and Bremerhaven).
Seventy of Maersk Line’s largest post-Panamax and Emma Maersk-type container vessels are deployed as part of the service accounting for 25 percent of the line’s total tonnage.
The 18,000 TEU Triple-E vessels currently in production will also be deployed on the service from 2013 onwards.

Felixstowe: Legal issues delay new Landguard visitor centre

Ship-spotters enjoying a morning watching the world's largest container ships arriving at Felixstowe port at the John Bradfield Viewing Area at Landguard.
TOURISTS will have to wait another year at least before a new visitor centre is in place at Landguard at Felixstowe, it was revealed today.

Go-ahead for the project was given last autumn and organisations on the peninsula – the county’s southernmost point – were hoping the centre would be in place this spring.
The area, which includes Landguard Fort, Felixstowe Museum, a nature reserve, bird observatory, and the port viewing area, has more than 700,000 visitors a year.
The Landguard Partnership wants the visitor centre to provide a focal point for those arriving to find out what there is to do at the different attractions.
It will also feature much-needed toilets, an exhibition hall, and a top quality 58-seat restaurant with panoramic view of Harwich Harbour.
But now the centre will not be in place until spring 2013. The delay is due to some legal matters still to be ironed out between Suffolk Coastal council and the Port of Felixstowe over planning consent, and difficulty in appointing caterers.
“The council has market-tested the demand from potential operators to run the proposed Landguard visitor centre and while two local businesses have expressed interest, they have highlighted some issues that we need to iron out with the Port of Felixstowe who are funding the construction of the building,” said a council spokesman.
“We appreciate that there may be reluctance from companies to commit to this project given that the centre is planned to be re-sited during the next five years and then facilities moved to the permanent visitor centre in 2018.
“The council also needs to agree the changes to the original planning agreement for the Port of Felixstowe’s reconfiguration project.
“We hope soon to be in the position to firm up the interest of potential operators and move forward with the appointment of an operator.”

First project cargo for Manchester Ship Canal’s barge service

ACL vessel Atlantic Concert carried a giant chemicals tank to the Ineos facility in Runcorn. Vessel carrying giant chemicals tank signals start of non-containerized traffic
The first project cargo has been transported on Peel Ports’ barge service on the UK's Manchester Ship Canal.
Until now the barge service operating between Liverpool and Manchester, a ‘Green Highway’ alternative to using the motorway network, has carried only containerized cargo.
The transporting of a giant chemicals tank to the Ineos facility at Runcorn signalled the start of non-containerized traffic.
The 30 meter high 20 tonne tank arrived at the Port of Liverpool from Holland on the ACL vessel Atlantic Concert, and made the onward journey on the Ship Canal to Runcorn by barge.
“This is the latest development in our objective to increase usage of the Ship Canal as a logistics hub that drives down cost and CO2 emissions,” said Stephen Carr, Peel Ports Mersey’s head of business development for the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal.
Each journey equates to a saving of 180kgs of CO2 emissions, creating the potential to save an additional 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
“The sheer size of this cargo made the use of road transport problematic, and the use of Peel’s barge service was the perfect solution,” said Andrew Wormald, senior sales and operations manager at Abnormal Load Services Ltd, Peel Ports’ customer on this project.
“It also saved us on costs and carbon emissions for this leg of the journey from Holland.”
The journey from Liverpool to Runcorn took just over three hours.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Asciano reaches agreement with MUA over new deal for port workers

The enterprise agreement willl finally bring an end to the 18-month dispute between Asciano and the MUA. Image: Asciano
Port operator and MUA settle on new enterprise agreement
Dispute is estimated to have cost Asciano more than AUS$15 million
Asciano, Australia’s largest port operator, and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have announced that they have settled on a new enterprise agreement.
The agreement puts an end to an 18-month long dispute between the MUA and Asciano’s Patrick ports business, which is estimated to have cost the port operator over $15 million from resulting strikes and industrial action.
“We believe we have reached a positive outcome for all parties,” said Patrick director, Alistair Field.
“We are pleased to be in a position to put the agreement to our employees for vote and deliver the benefits of the agreement to our employees and customers.”
Fair Work Australia (FWA) chaired the latest round of negotiations, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Today’s agreement will be put to terminal employees for a vote within the next few weeks.
If employees vote in favor of the newly agreed accord then the agreement will be sent to the FWA for final approval.
“The agreement is a significant testament to the strength of our Patrick management team and their commitment to see these negotiations through to a productive outcome,” commented Asciano’s chief executive John Mullen.
Bill Shorten, Australia’s Workplace Relations Minister, echoed Mullen’s sentiments in welcoming the deal but warned that the approval of Patrick employees is still needed.
“Bargaining sometimes isn't easy,” said Shorten. “However, today's news shows that when parties are willing to sit down and nut their issues out, and when needed, seek the assistance of the independent umpire, positive

UK ports – a serious issue

18 Apr 2012

Mike Penning MP - smaller UK ports need to be made better use of
UK Shipping Minister, Mike Penning MP, met with the All-Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group this week, to give the industry an update in terms of the Government’s port strategy moving forward.
“For too many years the UK shipping industry has not been taken seriously”, he said. “But the fact of the matter is, this country won’t get out of the economic crisis without it.”
So how does the shipping minister aim to help support the industry in so far as ports are concerned? “By encouraging the use of smaller ports and improving infrastructure to take more boxes,” he said. "Smaller UK ports are not currently utilised in the way that they could be."
Sounds simple doesn’t it, but it’s actually a logistical nightmare to improve infrastructure on a small island. But as one attendee said to Port Strategy during the meeting: “It’s entirely possible if every aspect of the industry works together – it works in other countries.”
The government intends to put in more road and rail links to improve traffic flow away from ports – and it was pointed out that there is money available to encourage these improvements in infrastructure too.
“Industry wants to see investment, but we really need to look at private sector funding to do this as well – budgets are limited”, Mr Penning said.
The question of European and UK subsidies and the need to create a “level playing field” between trusts, private and municipal ports was also raised. But talking about the landlord model, Mr Penning was clear in his opinion: “It needs to be fair to the economy instead of just to the ports.”
Perhaps there is a need to clearly define what a UK port is in the 21st century.

Felixstowe Port Container Services

Felixstowe Port Container Services Limited (FPCS) provides a comprehensive inspection, cleaning and repair facility for empty containers. Services offered also include cleaning, and container sales and conversions.
Established in 1996, FPCS has quickly developed a reputation as a secure, high quality facility and has expanded its range of services to an increasing number of the Port’s shipping lines and agents.
The depot is built on reinforced hard standing and is serviced by the latest double-lift, empty container handlers. In keeping with environmental requirements, the facility also has a purpose-built steam wash system for safe waste treatment.
Having the advantage of being ‘on dock’, the transfer of containers on to the terminals is easily accomplished and activities fit closely with the Port’s core business of container handling.
Information technology plays an increasingly important role within the business. FPCS is connected to the Destin8 community system to facilitate the fast recycling of container equipment. Reporting is generated from a sophisticated container control system and is available to customers via e-mail.
Investment in modern facilities and equipment coupled with an experienced and highly skilled workforce, ensures that FPCS continues to meet changing customer requirements.

Reefer Monitoring
In addition, FPCS are now exclusive loaded reefer monitoring contractor to the Port of Felixstowe, and can also undertake reefer breakdowns, pre-trip inspections and modifications.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

HPH sees yearly revenues rise 12 percent

Hutchison's European ports and facilities, including Felixstowe (pictured), handled 25.5 million TEU during 2011. Image: Port of Felixstowe
Revenues climb to HK$32.5 million
Volumes increase by 5 % to 75.1 million TEU
Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), the port operating arm of Hutchison Whampoa, reported an increase in volumes and revenues following the opening of additional facilities in Barcelona, Huizhou, Brisbane and Klang during the 2011 calendar year.
The global port operator’s total revenues achieved year-on-year growth of 12 percent rising to HK$32.518 million, while EBITDA increased 14 percent to $11.745 million.
Hong-Kong based Hutchison’s saw its total container throughput rise 5 percent to 75.1 million TEU, with the largest share being handled by Hutchison’s European operations.
Hutchison’s European facilities handled 25.5 million TEU during the twelve-month period, representing 34 percent of its total volumes.
According to Hutchison Whampoa’s end of year financial report, the port company will open six additional deepwater berths in 2012 for the movement of containers.
Hutchison’s network of port operations comprises of 315 berths in 52 ports, spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Maersk still the world's most reliable carrier

Global carrier reliability improved from 78% in February to 79% in March, according to SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.The analyst’s monthly reliability report is based on containers arriving at their destination port within one day of schedule. Of the world’s top-20 container carriers, the three leading positions are unchanged, with Maersk Line the most reliable, followed by Hamburg Süd and APL. SeaIntel said the difference in global reliability across the top 20 carriers remained significant, with just 64% of MSC – in the lowest position in the rankings – sailings arriving within a day of schedule against Maersk Line’s 93%. However, Lars Jensen, SeaIntel CEO, said overall global performance was not always a good indicator for trade lane performance. He said: “For example, MOL is the top performer from North America to South America at 96%, Deutsche Afrika Linien is the top performer from North Europe to Africa at 75% and Matson is the top performer on the westbound transpacific at 100%.” The most significant improvement on a trade lane basis was seen in the southbound trade from North America to east coast South America, where 80% of vessels were on time, compared with 70% last month. The measurements are based on SeaIntel’s database comprising more than 68,000 arrivals across 2,200 vessels, 29 trade lanes and 52 carriers since July 2011.

Felixstowe: Investigation needed into rail line passenger use

COMMUNITY leaders say there must be a full investigation before any decision is taken to axe passenger trains on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line.

The Port of Felixstowe is calling for some under-used off-peak services to be replaced with a quality express bus service to allow more freight trains to use the track and take cargo off the roads.
Watchdog group Felixstowe Travel Watch believes the idea is fraught with problems – and its firm view is that an hourly train service should continue.
Town councillors though say it’s too early to give views on the idea, and want to see extensive research into the claims that some services are not well-used and could be removed.
Andy Smith, chairman of the plans committee, said: “I don’t think this is an issue we can instantly react to in terms of no, no, no, or yes, yes, yes.
“If this is to go any further, we need a proper evaluation so that we don’t jump to any conclusions.
“There are lots of issues to assess, including figures for use of the services, times of trains we are looking at, safeguards there might be for those who need passenger services, and so on.
“We do know that the Port of Felixstowe is looking very hard at its operations with the opening of the London Gateway port expected soon.”
Port of Felixstowe chief executive officer David Gledhill said: “We hope that all interested parties will come together over the next few months to have a sensible debate about how we can, collectively, make the best use of this important asset

Evergreen Orders 10 Mega-Ships

First of 13,800-TEU vessels set for delivery next year
Evergreen Line said it will charter 10 ships with capacities of 13,800 20-foot equivalent units.
The Taiwanese carrier signed a memorandum of agreement to lease the ships from Korea Infrastructure Investments Asset Management Co., a subsidiary of Korea Development Bank. The ships will be built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries. Deliveries are set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Chang Yung-fa, Evergreen’s founder and chairman, has repeatedly stated his opposition to mega-ships, but the company said it is chartering the 13,800-TEU ships to coordinate the size of its vessels with those of alliance partners. The ships will be operated between Asia and Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Like other carriers, Evergreen has been stepping up its use of alliances to broaden coverage, increase sailing frequency and cut costs. Having similar-sized ships in joint services simplifies operations. Evergreen said that when the new ships are delivered, it will return chartered vessels to owners as charters expire.
Evergreen was the only top-tier line to hold off on new orders during the pre-recession boom but is taking advantage of reduced shipyard prices to modernize its fleet.
The newly announced charter deal follows recent orders for a total of 30 new ships with capacities of 8,800 TEUs.
Although Evergreen did not confirm the prices for the 13,800-TEU ships, they are reported to be about $115 million apiece, approximately one-third below the going rate for similar-sized ships a few years ago. The new ships also are expected to burn about 30 percent less fuel than comparable-sized ships ordered just two years ago.
“In the face of increasing pressure brought by high oil prices on shipping companies, these new vessels will significantly enhance Evergreen Line’s competitiveness,” the company said.

Felixstowe: Strong winds disrupt port operations

GUSTS of more than 45mph brought operations at Britain’s biggest container port to a halt today.

With wind speeds above safe limits for quayside crane workers, both yard and rail operations at Felixstowe were affected.
“For the safety of all port users we are currently restricting access to operational areas,” said a port spokesman.
“Vehicles are being marshalled on site and will be processed through to operational areas as soon as it is safe to do so.”
There was likely to be some delays for truckers, and hauliers were urged to consider re-scheduling their arrivals.
Operation Stack is not in use at this stage.

Monday, 16 April 2012

London Gateway Scoops Prestigious Global Finance Award

London Gateway Scoops Prestigious Global Finance Award
The successful London Gateway team was accompanied by representatives from Allen & Overy, Royal Bank of Scotland and Société Générale, who all played key roles in advising and financing the project.
The award recognises the delivery of outstanding infrastructure projects and is recognition of the deep-sea container port’s successful project financing, which was fully secured in December last year.
Sarmad Qureshi, Director of Finance for DP World’s Europe and Russia region, collecting the award on behalf of the team said: “This award is further endorsement of the London Gateway project. It sends a clear message to our customers that this is a globally significant development which has secured world class financial backing. Securing this deal has allowed construction to forge ahead and I am delighted that we were able to close on what has been recognised as the best infrastructure project deal in all sectors. No mean feat, given the economic climate we operate in.
“We are very confident that London Gateway will be able to deliver substantial supply chain cost savings to global shippers. Thanks to our closer location to key UK markets we will also be able help customers move their goods in a greener, more efficient way, reducing CO2 and other transport emissions.”
Kevin Maddick, Head of Infrastructure at RBS said: “Leading the debt advisory and financing on this project allowed us to see for ourselves what a critical piece of infrastructure London Gateway will become for the UK. Working with our partners on the team, we were all impressed by the vision of the project and this award vindicates our confidence in financing its development.”
Conrad Andersen, Partner at Allen & Overy, was delighted to be part of the winning team: “The London Gateway project is one that will deliver tangible benefits to the UK economy. This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in making the project a success and ensuring the financing was put in place quickly and efficiently was an important part of that.”
Charles Greenfield, Managing Director of Infrastructure at Société Générale commented: “I am delighted that the DP World London Gateway has received this deserved recognition. This was a world class financial deal for a world class project. Securing top quality funding for projects has been a challenge for some organisations in recent times. I am pleased that the DP World London Gateway project was able to demonstrate a strong mix of vision and benefits to end users, which went a long way to help secure the financing.”

Backhaul Maersk bookings back on

Maersk Line has told customers it has “relaxed” its four-week old booking embargo on the North Europe-Asia trade lane.The suspension of bookings, announced on 20 March and blamed on a lack of space, was controversial, given the route’s status as a lesser utilised “backhaul”.In an email to customers dated 12 April, Maersk Line warned customers that “strong space pressure” was expected to continue through April and May, implying that pressure would also apply to prices. Meanwhile, the wider industry’s general restoration of freight rates showed little overall sign of letting up last week, although the key Asia-Europe component of the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) did slip US$26 to $1,744.The World Container Index showed no signs of change on the Rotterdam-Shanghai backhaul, which held steady at $608 per feu, but that did not reflect Maersk’s reinstatement of backhaul services.Ahead of yesterday’s transpacific General Rate Increase (GRI), the SCFI’s Shanghai-US west coast and Shanghai-US east coast components saw far bigger moves, with rises of $257 and $309, respectively.Transpacific carriers had previously proposed a $400 increase to take effect on Sunday. Ben Gibson, a container rate derivatives broker at Clarkson Securities, said market participants still doubted that current demand for freight space was sufficiently high to ensure rate increases would hold. “The increases follow the pattern already exhibited by the Asia-westbound routes, as carriers seek to restore profitability to the mainline trades,” he said.“Our analysis follows some of the supply trends that have underpinned these rises, but there is a growing feeling in the market that such strength is unsustainable, given current levels of demand.”The next round of GRIs on the Asia-Europe trade, $400-$450 per teu, is planned for 1 May.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Peel Ports tackles public concerns

Peel Ports has formed working groups of senior staff to tackle concerns raised
Peel Ports in the UK has identified a programme of actions to tackle the main areas of concern raised in the Mersey Ports Master Plan consultation, which took place between June and September 2011.
Nine out of 10 respondents to a questionnaire put to the public during the Master Plan consultation came out in broad support of the strategy – the 20-year vision for growth and future developments at the Port of Liverpool and on the Manchester Ship Canal, which would see a 70% growth in tonnage handled and create up to 8000 jobs.
However, an initial assessment of the 292 responses which were received identified issues regarding Seaforth Nature Reserve, the environment, port traffic and congestion, Eastham Village, the Warrington swing bridges, and jobs, training and skills and procurement.
Peel Ports has formed working groups of senior staff to focus on each area, with the aim of formulating action plans.
These groups have been working over recent months and now, in a newly-published Interim Consultation Report.
Peel Ports Group Head of Planning Warren Marshall said: "We continue to be encouraged by the level of interest in the Master Plan and by the overall support to our strategy from both our partners and from the general public, but we are taking nothing for granted.
"These Action Plans will be further developed and will inform the publication of a revised Master Plan in due course later this year. We are fully committed to continuing to work in partnership with both public agencies and organisations and the people who live in the communities where we operate to ensure maximum gain for the North West Region from our growth and development strategy – which we believe will be substantial."

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Switzerland Based MSC Eyes USD 1 Bln Ports Business

Based on the information provided by IFR, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a privately owned shipping line engaged in worldwide container transport expressed interest in a Singapore listing for its global ports business.
It is said that BNP Paribas, CLSA and Deutsche Bank have been entrusted with management of $1 billion worth deal. Even though the project is still in its opening stage, it could take the form of a business trust or Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The company’s principal activity is shipping, providing direct port calls to the 6 continents and a total of 335 ports worldwide, from Australia and New Zealand, Black Sea, Americas, Far and Middle East to Europe.
At the end of the first quarter of 2012 the company had 473 container vessels with 2,210,000TEU’s intake capacity.
MSC also owns and manages several ports.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Felixstowe: Joy as developer confirms work will begin on new £7million shopping complex this summer

Work on a £7million shopping complex in the resort is due to begin this summer, creating 100 jobs in the town.

Planning permission has been in place to create retail outlets on the Haven Exchange site, opposite Dock Gate One, for the last 17 years.
Cranford Developments, who are in charge of the site, have now announced their intention to begin building and they have confirmed that spaces have been taken up by four national retailers.
Matt Parry, the company’s planning director, said: “The intention is to crack on and build this summer.
“We are really pleased because it’s one of those sites that has been floating about and has never got off the ground.
“We now have a full tenant line-up, which is a great achievement in a difficult market place.”
The company declined to reveal the identities of the shops due to take up residence in the 45,000sq ft complex, due to contractual reasons, but it is believed Next wanted to take one of the spaces.
News about the work has delighted business leaders who believe the creation of around jobs is a major boost in what has been a dire year for traders.
Chamber of the town’s chamber of trade, Andrew Rowdon, said: “The community and businesses need to work together but I do think it’s a real boost and I think it’s definitely a turning point for Felixstowe.
“There has been so much doom and gloom because of the downturn but this is really encouraging.
“I think it’s a massive coup.”
Felixstowe’s mayor, Doreen Savage, added: “It’s absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t be more delighted.
“I think it will be absolutely fantastic for the town and I’m really excited.”
The Haven Exchange should be open to shoppers next summer.

GE Energy wins Felixstowe contract for STS crane upgrade

GE Energy’s Power Conversion business awarded contract for the mid-life upgrade of port's Morris STS crane
GE Energy’s Power Conversion business has announced that it has been selected as the successful candidate for the mid-life upgrade of one of Felixstowe Port’s container handling ship-to-shore (STS) cranes.
The US-based firm will be responsible for the supply and maintenance of the major elements of power, control and automation equipment of a Morris STS.
“We were absolutely delighted to have been selected for our first project with the Port of Felixstowe,” said Steve Raynor, growth region leader for GE Energy’s Power Conversion business.
GE Energy delivered an entire new ProCrane main hoist AC drive and motor system to replace the existing DC equipment. In addition, GE will upgrade the control and automation system comprising a number of PLCs and an extensive SCADA system.
“Our advanced ProCrane AC drive system is in use in a great number of crane applications worldwide,” added Raynor.
“Its extreme high-power density and advanced PECe control concept makes it ideally suited to such upgrade projects as its compact size means that it can fit easily into existing equipment spaces without the need for extensive modification.”
Final commissioning of the upgrade project at the UK’s largest container port was completed last month.