Wednesday, 30 May 2012

New approaches to container terminal safety

The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) is to publish new industry recommendations on equipment protection and human safety in container yards. This follows the positive response to last year’s Recommended Minimum Safety Specifications for Quay Container Cranes. The persistence of accidents – costly in terms of injury and loss of life, equipment damage and reduced productivity – remains a concern, despite a positive trend in improved port safety over recent years.
PEMA’s decision to compile its initial publication regarding safety standards for quay cranes, published in June 2011 as a joint initiative with the TT Club and ICHCA International, was prompted by the results of the global analysis carried out by the TT Club that showed 34 percent of asset related insurance claims were directly related to quay container cranes.
While existing technologies significantly improve the safe performance of quay container cranes, and help address some of the most common causes of accidents and claims, many of these features are not currently included as standard when specifying new cranes. Such findings formed the basis for Recommended Minimum Safety Specifications for Quay Container Cranes, which is now available for download on the association’s website.
The recommendations were warmly welcomed by the industry, and triggered significant feedback and discussion. PEMA was extremely encouraged by the response, which signalled a high level of concern in the industry over safety, and demonstrated that there was a need for such materials to help improve standards at ports.
A broader scope
The success of this first project led the association to acknowledge that the scope of its work needed to be broader to include yard equipment, not simply quay cranes. Furthermore, PEMA members decided to approach safety issues surrounding yard equipment from the perspective of human safety and equipment protection.
The association established special working groups to tackle the two areas. Marco Bernacchioni, sales manager at Advanced Microwave Engineering heads the human safety group, supported by Walter Schneider, TIM Logistics Automation at SICK, and Rainer Kapelski, managing director at KALP Technologies. Stephan Stiehler, strategic industry manager ports, Corporate Solution Center, Logistics Automation at SICK is chairing the equipment protection brief, supported by Oleg Ermolaev, president of Baltkran.
The results of the current initiatives will be made available in a document entitled Recommended Minimum Safety Specifications for Yard Equipment, which is scheduled for publication at this year’s TOC Europe as a new joint initiative between PEMA, ICHCA International and TT Club.
The document is set to include safety recommendations for rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), rail mounted gantry cranes (RMGs), automated stacking cranes (ASCs), straddle carriers, lift-trucks and reach stackers, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), terminal tractors and trailers.
New ways to identify risks
Underpinning the new recommendations is a more structured appreciation of risk and its impact on safety. By analyzing the likelihood of events that cause damage to personnel or property, we can classify different types of risk.
Risks that may result in injury to personnel include health risks, safety risks and ‘crosscutting’ or organizational risk. Health risks are defined as those that involve exposure to chemical carcinogens and mutagens, or physical or biological agents, sources of air or noise emission, vibration, and ultrasonic radiation. Safety risks cover situations that may result from an accident caused by contact with a tool or a mobile structure.

London Gateway vows to be a hub not a spoke of Continental ports

LONDON GATEWAY, the DP World container terminal under construction in the lower Thames Estuary, is bent on becoming a hub of its own and not spoke for Le Havre, Rotterdam, Antwerp or Hamburg."We are going back to our roots," said London Gateway CEO Simon Moore. "We are getting the biggest ships in the world as close as we can to the biggest point of consumption and giving cargo owners the opportunity to store and warehouse their goods right next to the ships." Only its British rival Felixstowe, owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison, can take in the megaships now flooding the market, he said, according to London's Daily Telegraph. Despite the expansion of Felixstowe, he said there is an increasing shortage of capacity in Britain to handle megaships. "Today there are less than 100 [megaships] of them in service. By the end of next year, there will be more than 200. As shipping lines look to improve their economies of scale, ships are getting bigger and bigger. The UK is an island nation, it has to have port capacity for the 21st century," he said.That makes London Gateway, with its 3.5 million TEU annual capacity at full build-out, an obvious choice for direct calls, he said. "We have 15 million people living within 80 kilometres and a big cost in the transportation chain is the cost of moving the goods from the port to the end user. If you can keep that link as short as possible, if the difference is driving 20 miles or 100, you are saving money," said Mr Moore. Being a hub and not a spoke is important. "It's not that different from the idea of hub airports. If you talk to businessmen in London, one reason they are here is because they can jump on a plane and go direct to Dubai or New York or Hong Kong. What if you couldn't? If you had to go via Schiphol, Paris, Frankfurt. It can be done. But is it going to make the UK more attractive for business or less? It's another link in the chain and that's a disadvantage. "It's the same with ports. 90pc of our trade comes by sea. And we are big enough to have these big ships come in directly. That shortens transit times for importers and exporters. It's about ensuring we keep this island nation directly connected to the M1 of world trade. Otherwise we are an A road or a B road off someone else's highway," said Mr Moore. Asked whether London Gateway has anchor clients, Mr Moore said: "We do, but we're not saying anything yet. People who are coming have concerns over how they may be treated in between time if we make their names public now," he said.

Felixstowe: Crews battle engine blaze aboard vessel

FIREFIGHTERS battled a blaze involved a vessel docked at Felixstowe.

A crew from Felixstowe, another from Ipswich East fire station and a support pump were sent to Trinity Terminal in Felixstowe.
Crews were on scene at 5.45am and discovered a 15metres pilot vessel with a fire in the engine compartment.
The fire was brought under control by 6.20am.

Support the striking Tilbury dockers.

The Swedish Dockworkers' Union have given notice about 24-hour solidarity strikes in Gothenburg to support the Tilbury dockers next week.Wednesday evening, the Immingham-, Tilbury- and Allbridge shifts at the Älvsborg terminal sent a message of solidarity to their British comrades.We will never walk alone again. Support the striking Tilbury dockers.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


The red bricks is where the old dock basin used to be.

The Sloman Provider which is on berth at Trinity Terminal today. This is the type of ship that Felixstowe used to handle many years ago. Its good news that The Port Of Felixstowe are looking at other types of work rather than the container & Ro Ro work.

Monday, 28 May 2012

SinOceanic Shipping takes delivery of 13,000-TEU MSC Regulus

A WHOLLY-owned subsidiary of SinOceanic Shipping ASA, SinOceanic III AS (Sino III), has taken delivery of the MSC Regulus with a capacity of 13,100 TEU and placed her on a 15-year bareboat charter party with Mediterranean Shipping Company, Geneva, at a daily rate of US$46,650.The vessel was purchased for $156 million and the initial working capital requirements of Sino III have been financed by a $100 million secured first priority loan which carries an interest of 12 per cent per annum the first year, and 11 per cent in the second optional year.In addition, the company has arranged for a $20 million secured second priority mezzanine loan which also carries an interest of 12 per cent a year, and a $44 million secured third priority loan which carries an interest of 19 per cent p.a and a back-end fee in the amount of $1 million, payable at maturity. Also these loans have a tenor of one option one year.The latter loan has been provided by Oceanus International Investment, the largest shareholder in the company, and is without recourse to the company. The loan is re-financeable, and it is the company's intention to seek to refinance this loan once the equity markets normalise.It is also the objective of Sino III to refinance the senior and mezzanine loans with bank financing in China, or elsewhere, as soon as possible and in accordance with the terms of the loans. The work to refinance these loans is already in progress.With the delivery of the MSC Regulus, the company has completed its present vessel acquisition programme.The company now operates four container vessels with a total container carrying capacity of 44,000 TEU consisting of YM Portland (4,440 TEU), MSC Vega, MSC Altair and MSC Regulus, which are three Very Large Container Ships (VLCS) each of 13,100 TEU carrying capacity. The fleet makes the company a top tier container ship provider in Europe. Total aggregated fixed freight income from the vessels in the fleet is projected to be $1 billion over the charter party periods, and the annual EBITDA is estimated to be $60 million.

Tilbury dockers begin new strike. Up date 10th July


Row over contracts escalates, but port claims low support for action won't affect operations
David Badger
Monday, 28 May 2012

Dockers at the UK port of Tilbury last night began their second strike this month, protesting against what they say is the arbitrary introduction of new contracts.Employees of Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC) – members of the Unite union – began a 48-hour strike at 10pm last night.The workers are contesting the company’s decision to introduce a “follow-the-ship” contract – meaning that staff work when ships are ready for unloading, and not to set shift patterns.Earlier this month, Unite regional officer Jane Jeffery said: “Our members are set to lose about £2,500 a year because EDC is arbitrarily imposing these new contracts.“Members are annoyed at the complete lack of negotiation and consultation.”A spokesman for the port of Tilbury said: “We believe that this industrial action is unjustified, unnecessary and senseless. “It has not been supported by 70% of the EDC workforce and only involves a maximum of 35 people out of a total of 3,500 people working at the port of Tilbury. “The changes we are proposing, which we have discussed at length with the EDC workforce, are aimed at meeting the needs of customers with a view to helping to secure jobs at the port for the future and we are pleased that a number of employees have already volunteered to move to this new shift pattern. “UNITE should recognise this and work with us to help ensure that the port is able to compete effectively and meet the needs of our customers.”EDC deals with the unloading and distribution of paper reels.

After a long hard fight our brothers at Tilbury have managed to resolve their issues around the introduction of "FLEXIBLE" working. After several walk outs, unexpected help from our brothers in EUROPE numerous ballots and a lot of negotiating. They have managed to get a deal that suits THEM, whilst also been able to meet the company needs. It's a WIN WIN situation. This shows that SOLIDARITY, perseverance and negotiating pays off. WELL DONE TILBURY

Lets keep this in mind when we come to our next hurdle in OUR fight against "FLEXIBLE" working.
This photo was taken when the Swedish dockworkers Union in Gothenburg initiated the first of two SOLIDARITY strikes in support of them.

Update: Carriageway re-opens but long delays expected after lorry earlier jack-knifes on bridge over A14 at Copdock interchange

MOTORISTS are likely to face delays for the rest of the day after a lorry jack-knifed and fell onto its side at the Copdock interchange.

Overturned lorry on the Copdock roundabout with fallen debris on road beneath
The accident, which happened on the roundabout around 10.10am, saw the lorry shed its cargo of doors and timber onto the A14 below, hitting an oncoming car. The female driver of the white Vauxhall Corsa suffered minor injuries and was initially taken to Ipswich Hospital before later being released.
A section of the Copdock roundabout and both carriageways of the A14 beneath have been closed off for most of the day.
However police announced shortly after 5pm that the westbound section of the A14 had reopened.
But diversions remain in place for traffic heading eastbound on the A14 and or southbound on the A12.
Overturned lorry on the Copdock roundabout with fallen debris on road beneath
Police are asking drivers, if possible, to take alternative routes in order to avoid any delays to their journeys.
Structural engineers were drafted in to assess the damage to the bridge and co-ordinate repairs to the crash barrier.
The red lorry - which according to writing on its side is from Barnsley-based Premdor, a joinery manufacturer - was travelling away from Ipswich at the time of the incident.
David Finnie, regional general manager of Norbert Dentressangle, contracted to provide logistics services for Premdor, said: “I can confirm that a vehicle contracted by Norbert Dentressangle was involved in an incident on the A14-A12 roundabout in Ipswich this morning, in which the trailer overturned, shedding part of its load of doors.
“Regrettably, some of these doors fell onto a vehicle travelling on the A14, causing minor injuries to the driver. The driver of the lorry escaped without injury.
“A full investigation into the cause of the accident is underway. In the meantime, we wish the injured driver a full and speedy recovery.”
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the red lorry prior to the collision - call Suffolk Constabulary’s roads policing unit on 101 if you can help.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

UK dock contract dispute sparks international reaction

A contract dispute in the UK port of Tilbury could escalate to an international level, after the repeated refusal of management to engage in genuine dialogue with the union.Workers at the Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC) took strike action earlier this month after being balloted by their union, ITF affiliate Unite the Union. The action was in response to the imposition of a “follow the ship” contract, which stipulates that dockers work when ships are ready to be unloaded, rather than to a set shift pattern. Unite has made repeated calls for genuine dialogue with management on the issue but no opportunity for good faith negotiations has been forthcoming. As a result further industrial action is planned for next week.In addition, general secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey has now written to EDC management to clarify the union’s position and call once again for the opportunity to negotiate. In his letter Mr. McCluskey said EDC was displaying an ‘unacceptable approach to industrial relations.’Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and dockers' section chair, commented: “This is nothing short of an attack on organised labour at the port of Tilbury. EDC is trying to make its workforce entirely flexible, with no thought whatsoever for the impact that will have on the family lives of these workers. As a result, this dispute, which could have been dealt with on a local level, is making its way towards the international arena.”He continued: “The ITF will be ready to stand beside workers in Tilbury if this unwillingness to negotiate continues. We won’t hesitate to call on our affiliates to take lawful action in solidarity with these UK workers, and we know from past experience the level of impact international action of this kind can have.”

Friday, 25 May 2012

Rena officers jailed

The captain and navigation officer of the containership Rena, which grounded on a reef off New Zealand last year, were jailed today for causing the country’s worst environmental disaster.Captain Mauro Balomaga, 44, and navigation officer Leonil Relon, 37, both Filipino nationals, were jailed for seven months. Both admitted charges of operating the Liberian-flagged Rena in a dangerous manner, releasing toxic substances and attempting to pervert the course of justice by altering ship’s documents.The containership ran aground on the Astrolabe reef near the port of Tauranga on 5 October, spilling hundreds of tonnes of fuel oil, fouling beaches and killing thousands of seabirds in what was described as New Zealand’s worst maritime environmental disaster."This was an event unlike this country has ever seen," said Judge Robert Wolff. He said the sentence took into account that the pair had already been vilified, and that they would be held in a foreign jail.The court heard how the captain had ordered the navigation officer to take short cuts to ensure the ship reached Tauranga port on time.The crew had not complied with basic navigation practices, and there had been what the prosecution called "substantial deviations" from the approved course.Salvage teams are still removing containers from the vessel which carried 1,300 at the time of the disaster.Vessel owner Daina Shipping, a unit of Greece’s Costamare, has been charged with discharging harmful substances, which carries a maximum fine of NZ$600,000 (US$454,000), and an additional fine of NZ$10,000 for each day the offending continues.

Carriers add 9,000teu to Asia-Europe

Leading container industry analysts have warned that a new service on the Asia-Europe trade lane will exert even greater downward pressures on container freight rates. They were responding to news from industry analyst Alphaliner that Evergreen and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) will end their joint Asia-Europe offering (CEM/AEX1) at the end of July. CSCL will continue to operate the AEX1 service and will replace Evergreen’s contribution with one idle ship and another currently sailing on the Asia-Middle-east route Evergreen’s CEM service will be joined in August by Hanjin with two ships, which will bring the overall string to nine (but possibly ten) 8,000-10,000teu vessels. Market observers say this will result in additional Asia-Europe capacity of about 9,000teu per week. The container shipping industry lost billions of dollars in 2011 due to an oversupply of capacity. Maersk Line lost almost $600 million in Q1 2012 alone and has tried to remedy the supply-demand imbalance by cutting its capacity by 9%, mainly through slow-steaming. In overall terms, much of that reduction could be offset by a new service on the route, exerting further downward pressure on prices. Neither Evergreen or CSCL responded to requests for information from Lloyd’s Loading, but quizzed on the prospect of the capacity increase, Lars Jensen of SeaIntel Maritime Analysis, said: "The market will basically be back to the same amount of capacity, perhaps slightly more, as that seen in the peak season last year, and we all know what happened to rates as a result of the lack of balance between supply and demand." His comments were echoed by Martin Dixon at Drewry, who said: "Given stagnant growth on the headhaul trade between Asia and Europe, the addition of new capacity will weigh on already weakening freight rate levels." Jensen went on to highlight the poor market conditions facing container shipping on the Asia-Europe trade in the months ahead. "European economies are not showing anything that points to a strong peak season in 2012. Nor are there are any signs that the second quarter of 2012 will be any better than the first which was flat. “The outlook later in the year is not very encouraging either. An OECD economic report concludes that there is likely to be a slight reduction in stocks and inventory in the third quarter of the year.” The World Container Index’s Shanghai-Rotterdam container freight rate on 24 May was down 4.5% on the previous week to US$3,401 per feu – the third successive weekly fall after dips of 4% on 17 May and 4.4% on 10 May. The WCI’s backhaul Rotterdam-Shanghai benchmark also slipped slightly yesterday to $877 per feu, while the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index fell a further $17 to $1,409.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

CSCL Uranus’ First Voyage in Middle East

At the Port Of Felixstowe Berths 8 & 9 with 7 ship to shore cranes working this vessel.

CSCL Uranus’ First Voyage in Middle East
Posted on Apr 4th, 2012 with tags , , , , .

Gulftainer’s Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT), which was proclaimed last year as the ‘Shipping Port of the Year’ at the Annual Supply Chain and Transport Awards in Dubai, received on April 2 CSCL Uranus, the largest vessel ever to have docked at the terminal.
The ship’s captain and crew members have been welcomed at the port by Simon Sundboell, Gulftainer Commercial Manager and Gulftainer management.
“We are very pleased to welcome the CSCL Uranus into Khorfakkan. This is the first journey into the Middle East for this vessel and it’s first docking at KCT; an experience that we are sure will demonstrate our efficiencies. For KCT, this marks another success in our ever-expanding client range,” Peter Richards, Gulftainer Managing Director pointed out amid arrival of the ship.
The mega-size vessel measures 366 meters in length, 51.2 meters in width and 23 meters in height, and has a deck space three times the size of a soccer field. With the overall container capacity equalling to 14, 074 TEUs it represents a colossal structure, which is the product of the latest shipbuilding technologies. The ship construction has been completed on March 9th 2012 at the Korean shipbuilding yard and the ship is now on its first voyage to the Middle East.
Gulftainer’s KCT has been recognized as one of the fastest growing and most productive container terminals worldwide, which is reaffirmed by the choice of CSCL Uranus to dock in KCT on its maiden call.
Gulftainer Group has 36 years’ experience operating in the UAE and around the world. Its three main ports in the UAE are: Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT), Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT) and terminal operations on behalf international plastics solutions company, Borouge, in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Gulftainer also has a number of projects and investments in several countries, including Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, as well as in Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

FTA slams 'unacceptable' Dartford toll hikes

Not the best news for London Gateway

The UK Freight Transport Association (FTA) is “disappointed” at news of the rise in charges at the Dartford River Crossing.Under Secretary of State for Transport Mike Penning revealed the increases as part of “plans to tackle congestion and to deliver future improvement at the Dartford-Thurrock crossing”.The FTA was quick to back its members, saying it considers additional costs at the tolls “unacceptable” to the freight industry.The first rise in costs to be implemented will be in October, when the toll charge for a HGV will jump to £5, which the FTA described as “a significant increase from the present £3.70”.A second hike is planned for 2014 up to £6 each way.Operators who use the popular Dart-Tag will not escape the price jump, seeing that cost rising from £3.20 to £4.33 in October.Malcolm Bingham, the FTA’s Head of Road Network Management Policy, said: “We are disappointed, as we feel that the government has not taken any notice of us at all. We had asked them to peg the Dart-Tag fee.“Any toll increase is damaging to our members.”In response to the Department for Transport consultation on the proposals to revise the road user charging regime, the FTA had voiced its concern at planned rises, pointing out that the Dartford crossing was “an essential piece of infrastructure, vital to the effectiveness of the logistics industry for whom no efficient alternative route exists”. It added: “Current levels of congestion – which we believe to a large extent result from the existing charging systems – impose significant costs on the industry and lead to increased emissions.”

Containers seized at Felixstowe port

More than £500,000 worth of stolen metals have been seized by officers across theEast in a joint operation involving our ports. Operation Chisel began atthe end of January to target metal theft in the region.
Containers were intercepted at Felixstowe port as well as Harwich and others across thecountry, as items were about to be shipped to West Africa, China, India and Northern Cyprus.
They seized over 500 liquid propane gas cylinders, cars, caravans and a large quantityof cable. Officers said it was clearly the work of serious and organised crime groups using this as a way to fund organised crime.
"Previous operations we've been running at the port, we've found more whole vehicles butwhat we've found on this occasion is vehicles that have been stolen and withina few days chopped up into parts and sent overseas so you've got to be inorganised groups to be able to sort that out so quickly." – Detective Inspector Gary Brotherhood, Eastern Region Special Operation Unit
The police worked with the Border Force using intelligence on international smuggling to support the operation. The evidence collected over the past couple of months will now help officers make arrests.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Balancing the portfolios

Swings in port ownership throughout southern Europe are changing the face of Mediterranean operations. Alex Hughes reports
Major ownership changes sweeping through ports and terminals across southern Europe will change the focus of transportation in the region.
In Italy, ownership gains and losses for the country’s most important container terminal operator, Contship Italia, have split operational successes.
With interests in five domestic ports, two intermodal companies and an international transhipment terminal in Morocco, Contship Italia has a wide portfolio.
In terms of business in 2011, the import-export terminals did best. La Spezia Container Terminal had a throughput of 1.07m teu (+2.7%), setting a new record high, while Terminal Container Ravenna's 198,000 teu (+14%) brought it back to the pre-2009 crisis level. At Salerno Container Terminal, traffic stagnated at 171,000 teu (-0.3%).
However, the two transhipment terminals struggled. Throughput at Medcenter Container Terminal at Gioia Tauro fell 19.2% to 2.305m teu, while Cagliari International Container Terminal was down 3.2% to 558,000 teu.
The company's intermodal business, undertaken by Sogemar and Hannibal, transported 250,000 teu, a rise of 8.9%.
Contship Italia is mainly focused on marine container terminal and Intermodal transport, stresses company chief executive Cecilia Eckelmann-Battistello.
“Our strategy is to continue to invest in our core business in the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas, as well as worldwide and thereby to achieve constant growth for our container terminal and intermodal businesses,” she says.
In the past, Contship has tried unsuccessfully to obtain concessions to operate at Voltri, but lost out to PSA. When asked whether the port remains of interest, Mrs Eckelmann-Battistello replies: “If the right opportunities arise, we will almost certainly consider them.”
Contship Italia also withdrew from the TDT container terminal in Livorno under what were viewed as acrimonious circumstances, although Mrs Eckelmann-Battistello disputes this. “It is not correct to say that the circumstances were acrimonious. The disagreement between the two controlling parties at TDT was fully regulated by a shareholders' agreement. Contship Italia preferred to exit TDT and cash in its shares,” she says.
In respect of problems at Gioia Tauro, she notes that in July 2011, one of Medcenter's main clients – Maersk - changed its strategy in the Mediterranean in order to achieve cost savings. In effect, Maersk left just a single feeder vessel call as Medcenter, withdrawing its entire transhipment business. This concentrated minds and has ultimately resulted in ownership changes.
In January 2012, TIL, which the industry regards as the effective terminal arm of shipping line CMA CGM, bought into the business, although whether the French shipping line will use Gioia Tauro as its main transhipment hub has yet to be established.
Mrs Eckelmann-Battistello comments: “The entry of TIL - and the continuing partnership with APM Terminals - contributes to further reinforce the terminal commercially and organisationally to allow it to face the challenges of a difficult operating environment in the global container shipping market.”
As for the future of Contship Italia's other transhipment hub at Cagliari, this remains the central Mediterranean hub of the Grand Alliance, whose position was further strengthened following a 90% reduction of anchorage fees as of this year.
Intriguingly, Contship Italia is very much hedging its bets in terms of transhipment. It owns a 20% stake in Eurogate Tanger Terminal, where it forms part of an ownership consortium including Eurogate, CMA CGM and TIL. The presence of the Italians is not a token one, either, since both board presidents to date - Domenico Bagalà and Marco Mignogna – have come from Contship Italia.
Ownership of ports in Spain also took an interesting turn in 2010, when the Dragados-SPL ports holding was sold to JP Morgan, being subsequently rebranded Noatum Ports. It remains Spain’s leading player in this sector, with a trading volume in 2011 of close to 4m teu, 50m tonnes of bulk and other freight goods, and over 400,000 vehicles. Its shipping agencies also attend about 8,000 ships every year.
Although several former high profile Dragados-SPL managers have left the company, replacements have international experience from the sector, as is the case with the new commercial director, Kim Gadegaard.
Commenting on recent changes, he says, “We have consolidated and strengthened the organisation and are now focussed on the ports and port logistics sector as our area of expertise.”
The new owners already have extensive business experience and want to see Noatum become an international transport and logistics platform, he adds. In addition, they have expressed several times their continued international focus, valuing possible new investments in OECD countries, which could generate added value and synergies in the group.
Asked where he expects the main growth to come from in future, Mr Gadegaard says it is not possible to say at this stage. While current terminals and ports have some capacity to grow organically, further growth beyond that will have come from new projects.
“We are continuing to invest in technology and new equipment. Noatum Container Terminal Valencia, for example, has recently bought a new port crane and implemented a gate automation project. We are also analysing potential investments in several countries that will generate added value and more synergies to the group companies,” he says.
The holding also remains open to expansion possibilities. Even though Dragados-SPL sold off its overseas assets prior to its sell off, Noatum, says Mr Gadegaard, does have international aspirations.
“We are in an international business, so we are constantly analysing different markets,” he says.
In respect of the Spanish core market, where Noatum is also open to investment possibilities, Noatum is being very cautious towards forecasts for 2012.
“Obviously, the development of the Spanish economy will have a great impact, but we are equally concerned about our terminals being able to continue to compete with ports and terminals in surrounding countries. If our competitiveness is not improved it could negatively affect the volumes moving through Spanish ports,” says Mr Gadegaard, echoing similar calls from shipping lines and other terminal operators.
Finally, despite the presence of HPH, DP World and APM Terminals in Spain, Mr Gadegaard believes that Noatum does have the ability to compete with all companies whether national or international in the ports where it has a presence.

Germany: GL, MAN – Study on Costs and Benefits of LNG as Ship Fuel

GL and MAN issue joint study on costs and benefits of LNG as ship fuel for container vessels.
Using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as ship fuel has recently gained more attention not only in Europe, but also in Asia and the USA.
Ship owners interested in LNG as ship fuel are currently facing a number of questions regarding the costs and the possible benefits of using such technology. And they wish to learn whether exhaust gas treatment systems could be the preferred technical solution. At the same time, increasing ship efficiency with advanced waste heat recovery systems becomes feasible.
This suite of technologies is the focus of the GL and MAN joint study on container vessel power generation systems.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ocean Carriers Plan to Double Scrapping This Year

UK now open for trailers on rail

Seven-hour Antwerp-London rail freight service could remove thousands of trucks from cross-Channel route

A freight train carrying unaccompanied lorry trailers through the Channel Tunnel has successfully completed its maiden trip.Rail freight trains carrying truck trailers are a common sight in mainland Europe, but until this morning were absent from the UK rail network.Today’s arrival at the Russell Railfreight Terminal in Barking, outside London, originated in Antwerp, Belgium, and carried goods destined for the auto sector.Neil Crossland, Commercial Director of Europorte Channel, which runs the service, said the journey, which he hopes will become a daily service, takes seven hours.He added that the company would now start discussions with the UK’s rail network operator about extending the service to other major British cities.“The UK is now open for trailers on rail. We’ve proved the route from Belgium across France and that you can now bring a load into London, collect a return and get it back to Belgium on the same day.“Customers have already asked about extending the service, so the next stage will be to start talking with Network Rail about extending up to the Midlands and the North-West.”Europorte Channel says the service is fast, has a low carbon footprint and can operate from as far as Germany or Eastern Europe. This morning’s test run carried goods for Vauxhall Group and was conducted “to the complete satisfaction” of Europorte Channel’s logistics customers, Ewals Intermodal and Ewals Cargo Care.Europorte Channel forecasts the service will remove thousands of trucks from the roads.“What we’re recognising is that rail will have to figure more highly in our customers’ transport strategy for environmental reasons,” said Crossland, “but we will also have to compete on price.”

Monday, 21 May 2012

Welcome To Allseas Global Logistics

Success of unique transhipment solution
Allseas opted for a unique transhipment operation at the Port of Felixstowe when transporting a heavy lift consignment measuring up to 7 metres in height from Scotland to South Korea.
Because of its size and weight, the cargo of cement house units and accessories for the offshore industry could not be taken any distance by road from its Aberdeen manufacturing site, so an additional sea leg was organised.
Allseas shipped the consignment on the coastal barge the V. Ushakov from Aberdeen to Felixstowe, where it was transhipped on to the 9,310 teu Albert Maersk for the month-long voyage to Busan.
The total consignment added up to 174 tonnes and 526 cubic metres. The largest piece measured 4 x 5.9 x 7 metres and weighed in at 40 tonnes. In all, the consignment included four large pieces of breakbulk, three 40-foot high cube containers, and two further pieces subsequently loaded to a 40-ft flatrack for the deepsea voyage.
Although best known as a container port, Felixstowe regularly handles project cargoes and heavy lifts, said David Gledhill, CEO of the port’s owner, Hutchison Ports UK.
Continuing expansion at the port and additional handling equipment, with up to 100 tonne lift quay crane capacity at the port, gives greater flexibility to berth vessels; Felixstowe has confirmed that it is keen to handle more breakbulk and project cargoes for Allseas.

Felixstowe/Trimley: Homes campaigners prepare for public inquiry

CAMPAIGNERS are today looking forward to having a chance to put their case over why fields on the Felixstowe peninsula should not be concreted over with 1,700 new homes.

"There is a feeling in our group, and in a number of villages and other action groups, that we have been ignored."
Ian Cowan, STAG.
It will be the main topic when the public inquiry is held into the Suffolk Coastal core strategy, which will shape the way the district develops in the next 20 years.
In the Felixstowe area, around 1,700 new homes will be needed to cope with changing lifestyle patterns, and people moving into the area to take up new jobs.
But campaigners believe enough brownfield land is available. STAG (Save Trimley Against Growth) has submitted an 80-page document showing why it believes too many new homes are proposed and greenfield sites should be protected.
Mike Moore has been appointed as the inspector for the examination in public to determine if the core strategy is a sound document. No date has yet been fixed for the inquiry.
Ian Cowan, of STAG, said: “There is a feeling in our group, and in a number of villages and other action groups, that we have been ignored.
“We welcome the chance to go before an inspector because at last we will be able to have our say.
“It will give us the chance to put our case fully and strongly and explain the difficulties we have had with the consultation process and the many reasons we believe the core strategy is totally unsound.”
Andy Smith, cabinet member for planning at Suffolk Coastal, said Mr Moore would look at whether the strategy was appropriate and deliverable.
“We need to get in place an officially approved ‘sound’ plan as soon as possible to give our district the protection it needs to guard against speculative or ill-suited developments, while putting in place the carefully set out and managed framework that will balance future growth with the need to protect the treasured parts of our district,” he said

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Gdynia Accident, Poland

On the 17th May 2012 at 8:45am, the Stena Spirit was departing from Gdynia Ferry Terminal enroute to Karlskrona, Sweden when she became involved in an accident at the Baltic Container Terminal. The stern of the ferry struck one of the Gantry crane causing it to catastrophically collapse onto the quay below as she was manoeuvring. Three employees of the container terminal were injured, all requiring hospital treatment. Two of the Three staff members are said to be in a serious condition. None of the passengers or crew onboard the Stena Spirit were injured.
A full investigation is being carried out to determine and establish the cause of the accident.

EC demands all truckers comply with Working Time Directive

The European Commission (EC) has called on Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Poland, Portugal and Spain “to take appropriate measures” to apply the Working Time Directive to self-employed road hauliers.The EC warned: “If these member states fail to inform the commission within two months about the measures taken to ensure compliance with EU law in this respect, the commission could refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.”The Directive was adopted in March 2002 “to establish minimum requirements in relation to the organisation of working time in order to improve the health and safety protection of persons performing mobile road transport activities and to improve road safety and align conditions of competition”.However, provision was made to exempt self-employed drivers until March 2009.Now, three years on, the EC claims seven states “have failed to communicate to the commission appropriate measures taken to transpose the directive”, prompting the threat of judicial action.Self-employed drivers in member states ignoring the directive, and in particular its weekly working time limits, would result in “a non-harmonised framework throughout the EU”, and distortion of competition against those member states which have properly applied the directive, said the commission.“The issue of whether or not the application of the rules to self-employed drivers is appropriate was extensively discussed between the commission, parliament and council on the occasion of the expiry of the exemption for this category of drivers,” it added.While the EC saw some practical difficulties (in its application) the European Parliament insisted the exemption should end.In France, there are more than 10,000 owner-operator truckers and the country’s leading road haulage federation, the FNTR, claims there are “practical difficulties” in applying the directive.“It’s important to point out that the directive refers to working time and not driving time, where the same rules apply to all haulage firms,” a spokesman told IFW.“Regulating how many hours an owner-operator puts in away from the wheel appears a nigh impossible task.”

Friday, 18 May 2012

Felixstowe hauliers in 'abuse' allegations

Union says 'small number' of container hauliers breach workers' rights, meanwhile a second strike is announced at Port of Tilbury
Mike Weir
Friday, 18 May 2012

A small number of container hauliers operating out of Felixstowe have been accused by a trade union of “systematic abuse” of drivers’ working conditions.The union Unite says it may name the companies publicly following a meeting next week with UK Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle.Unite alleges that three or four hauliers, most serving the country’s biggest port, are guilty of infringing the industry’s rigorous health and working time regulations. Mark Plumb, regional officer for Unite, claims infringements include excessive working hours, overloading and staff who work up to 15-hour shifts at night being denied appropriate health checks. He added: “Our members are also being encouraged to take their rest periods while their lorries are being loaded or unloaded and, in some cases, being given loads which exceed the maximum weight limit for such vehicles.“We hope Maria Eagle will raise these concerns with Transport Secretary Justine Greening, as these alleged abuses could be mirrored elsewhere in the UK.”Plumb told Lloyd’s Loading he was not aware of any prosecutions and that his ultimate aim was to reach a “positive” agreement with the hauliers in question.“We understand that there are always grey areas,” he said, “but this seems quite systematic.“What’s important for me is that we engage with the companies and move this forward in a positive way, but some of them are negative about Unite and that raises concerns with us.”

Dockers at the Port of Tilbury are set to engage in a second strike over what they describe as an “attack” on their contracts.Around 45 workers at the port’s Enterprise Distribution Centre, a paper reel distribution hub, will stage a 48-hour walkout from 6am on Monday, 21 May.The previous 24-hour strike on 7-8 May was the first such action by dockers at Tilbury in Essex since 1989. Unite regional officer Jane Jeffery said: “Our members are again taking action in a bid to get the company to enter into meaningful talks – if they don’t, the strikes will continue into the summer.”The workers will picket the main gate of the Port of Tilbury over the company’s decision to introduce a “follow-the-ship” contract, which means staff work when ships are ready for unloading, rather than set shift patterns.

Hanjin levies US$300/TEU-$700/FEU Asia-Europe surcharge from June 1

KOREA's Hanjin Shipping, the world's ninth largest carrier, has announced it will impose peak season surcharge by US$300 per TEU and $700 per FEU on all dry reefer and special shipments from Asia and the Middle East to North Europe and the Mediterranean from June 1.The carrier said in a statement: "This peak season surcharge is inevitable for the company to sustain quality service in the midst of rising operating costs resulting from repositioning containers back to Asia to accommodate increased demand for outbound cargo." Other major carriers, including OOCL, MSC and Zim, have announced similar of $300-$375 per TEU on the route in June.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Contract dispute in UK dock

Workers in the UK port of Tilbury have been taking strike action in protest over attempts by their employer to impose a new contract.

Some 45 Forth Ports employees based at the Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC), a paper terminal at Tilbury docks, took strike action from 22:00h on 7 May until 22:00h on 8 May. Represented by the ITF-affiliated Unite union, the workers are furious that the EDC has decided to introduce, without consultation, a “follow the ship” contract. This would mean that staff would work when the ships are ready to be unloaded rather than to set shift patterns. Working conditions for the workers have till now been regulated by local collective agreements between the employer and Unite.

The ITF dockers’ section, affiliates and the ITF inspectorate became involved in the dispute, following news that a vessel was due to enter the port during the strike.

Unite regional officer, Jane Jeffery said: “Our members are set to lose about £2,500 a year because EDC is arbitrarily imposing these new contracts.”

“We want to hold meaningful and genuine talks with the management on this issue. This is a 24-hour strike – the first by the dockers in 23 years – but more strikes could be on the cards, if there is no movement in this dispute.”

Since the strike, it has been reported that the employer is now prepared to enter into talks with the union; these are likely to take place this week. However, if talks fail, Unite may ask affiliated unions of both the ITF and the International Dockworkers’ Council to take legal solidarity action in support of the workers.

Maersk Line loses $599 million in Q1

Container line loses more money in first three months than in the whole of 2011
David Badger
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Maersk Line losses in Q1 this year totalled almost $600 million, more than the world’s biggest container line lost in the whole of 2011, it was revealed today.

The line’s poor result wiped out underlying first-quarter profits for Denmark’s AP Møller-Maersk group, which released its figures this morning.

APMM’s core container shipping operation posted a $599 million net operating loss after tax, on revenue up 7% to $6.3 billion.

This compares with a $424 million profit in Q1 2011. But as the year went on, rates on the main tradelanes plunged and Maersk Line ended the year with a loss of $537 million.

Rates earned per container in Q1 on the key Asia to Europe route – which accounted for 37% of the line’s volumes – were down 21% on Q1 2011, although volumes rose 22%. Rates on Latin American services fell 8% on volumes up 23%, while on the transpacific, rates fell 5% on volumes up 21%.

The line has cut capacity on the Asia to Europe trades by around 9% since the start of the year, and imposed general rate increases that have been “almost fully accepted”, said the company.

Maersk said it expected a “negative up to neutral result in 2012”, based on the assumption that its rate restoration programme will continue.

It said: “The outlook is very sensitive towards changes in the market balance. Global demand for seaborne containers is expected to increase by 4-6% in 2012, with lower increases on the Asia-Europe trades, but higher increases on the north-south trades.”

Overall, the APMM group reported net profits up 1% at $1.18 billion on revenue down 1% to $14.3 billion, compared with the same quarter of 2011.

However, the profit was the result of a $900 million exceptional gain after settlement of a tax dispute in Algeria and $324 million in investment gains.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

MSC Vessel Under Repair After Onboard Explosion

None of the 25 crew hurt by accident 70 miles north of San Juan
A Mediterranean Shipping Co. vessel appears to be undergoing repairs after an onboard explosion rocked the 900-foot container ship roughly 70 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

None of the 25-member crew of the MSC Idil were injured, but the explosion caused the ship to begin listing and take water into a fuel tank and cargo compartment, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The crew of the MSC Idil said the explosion, which was most likely caused by onboard welding work, hasn’t caused the leaking of any hazardous materials.

The USCG said Saturday that a commercial salvage team was being sent to determine the condition of the container ship.

Ipswich: Haul of five million cigarettes uncovered in food truck at port

FIVE million cigarettes have been seized by customs officers as experts warn illegal tobacco is “devastating communities”.

Border Force officers found about 250,000 packets of cigarettes, worth an estimated £1million in lost revenue, stashed in a refrigerated food truck as it arrived at the Port of Ipswich.

Today campaigners and councillors claimed sales of cheap illegal tobacco were largely targeted at young people and “brings crime to our communities”.

One study, which suggested that youngsters are four times more price sensitive than adults, said almost a third of people in Suffolk have been offered illegal tobacco (28 per cent) and 14pc admit to buying it.

Elspeth Gibson, chairman of the Suffolk Tobacco Control Alliance, said: “The criminal gangs that sell smuggled cigarettes are not concerned with who buys them, and do not care who they sell to.

“Unfortunately this often includes children and young people who are under age.

“As well as causing criminals to prey upon our children, purchasing illegal tobacco brings other crime to our communities and undermines legitimate businesses.”

Councillor Colin Spence, portfolio holder for public protection, said people did not necessarily understand the consequences of buying smuggled cigarettes.

“It is a scary fact that illegal tobacco also goes hand in hand with the sale of drugs and alcohol, with child exploitation and money laundering.”

Clare Merrills from HM Revenue and Customs said one man had been arrested in connection with the cigarettes discovered at Ipswich Port last Tuesday.

Monday, 14 May 2012

London Gateway March 2012

The construction stage of the new London Gateway Container Terminal at March 2012

HPI plans JICT expansion

PT Hutchison Ports Indonesia (HPI) plans to invest US$100M in the expansion of the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) at Tanjung Priok port.
HPI CEO Stephen Ashworth told reporters that the expansion plan was part of an agreement signed by the company and its joint venture partner PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) II in 1999.
The plan includes the building of a new entry gate complex controlling trucks coming in and out of JICT and the neighbouring Koja Container Terminal, both of which are operated by HPI under a 20 year concession agreement that expires in 2019.
JICT handled 2.3M TEU last year, while throughput at the Koja terminal was 800,000 TEU, well beyond its nominal annual capacity of 650,000 TEU. The expansion plan is designed to boost annual capacity at JICT to 2.8M TEU and to over 1M TEU at Koja.

Felixstowe Port Users’ raise funds for hospice

Felixstowe Port Users Association has donated the proceeds from its annual charity ball to the St Elizabeth Hospice, in memory of its former vice chairman, John Munnings.
Mr Munnings, who died last year, had been involved with the FPUA at various levels since it was established in 1969.
“With his immeasurable amount of knowledge, he played a significant part not only in the association’s affairs but also in the continued evolution of the Felixstowe port community throughout this period,” said FPUA chairman Simon Fraser.
The association decided to give all of the proceeds from the ball, a total £3,450.00, to the hospice.
Sue Munnings presented a cheque to hospice volunteer Peter Neate, at the FPUA’s annual meeting.

Hanjin posts operating loss of US$196 million in first quarter

SOUTH Korea's flag carrier Hanjin Shipping has posted an operating loss of KRW218.4 billion (US$196 million) due to soaring bunker prices, delayed freight rate recovery and poor performance in container shipping.During the first quarter, the company recorded a 7.4 per cent year-on-year growth in transport volumes despite slow US economic recovery and European debt crisis. But quarterly revenue was down 0.5 per cent to KRW2.26 trillion compared to the same period in 2011 due to decreased freight rates. The company said its container business unit registered an operating loss of KRW238 billion mainly due to high bunker costs. But it said it was able to improve operating margin by attaining a year-on-year transport volume increase of 7.4 per cent, cutting down supply on non-profitable routes and raising freight rates of the transpacific and the Europe routes during the first quarter. Its bulk unit was booming with an operating profit of KRW10.3 billion, up 27.2 per cent year on year.In order to return to profits in the second quarter, it said: "The container business unit has rolled out plans to ensure positive turnaround by launching new routes, adapting early peak-season surcharge in addition to other freight rate increase efforts, and lowering operating costs through deployment of low-cost mega vessels, and container transport volume as well as freight rates are on the increase since March. As for the bulk business, factors such as seasonal rebound in the Chinese iron ore industry, greater demand for coal to power the approaching summer's electricity supply and southern hemisphere's harvest season are expected to bolster the cargo volume compared to 1st quarter."

Asia-Europe capacity in 20,000teu swing

Capacity on the Asia-Europe trade lanes could fluctuate by 20,000teu a week over the next three months, because operators are deploying different sizes of vessels on the same services. Analysts at SeaIntel Maritime say the variation in vessel capacity could be large enough to affect supply and demand, and might also make it difficult to assess the impact of the container lines’ programme of General Rate Increases (GRIs). More GRIs were announced last week, but the European component of the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI) – a key indicator of Asia-Europe container prices – fell 6% on Friday. Commenting on the capacity fluctuation, Lars Jensen of SeaIntel Maritime, said the variation was equivalent to the rapid phasing in, or out, of two super-post-panamax strings.He added: “We have found that 22 [Asia-Europe] services have periods where the capacity on offer changes by more than 1,000teu from one week to the next – either up or down – while seven services exhibit capacity swings in excess of 3,000teu.“These swings are of a sufficient size to directly impact the supply-demand balance in any given week – either in a positive or negative direction. “This, in turn, means that if capacity becomes tight one week it cannot be taken as a sign of a stronger overall market. Conversely it is not possible to conclude that one week of poor vessel utilisation is an indication of an overall weakening of the market. “For carriers and shippers alike, these swings will only serve to further complicate the game currently ongoing in terms of newly announced rate increases.” The container lines, which lost billions of dollars last year and many of which are reporting further losses in Q1 2012, are struggling to lift rates to a profitable level against a backdrop of excess capacity. Recent rounds of GRIs have found significant traction, but many market participants remain doubtful that rate increases will hold in the long term. Container rate derivatives broker David Barnes, of Clarkson Securities, said: “Given that the SCFI Europe route showed such a strong decline this week, there is clear evidence of the still mismatched supply-demand fundamentals on this trade lane and the need to alter the balance to bring longevity to higher freight prices.”

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ports Policy Review Will not Result in One Size Fits All Approach

ESPO Presents Manifesto at 9th Annual Conference, Advocating A Renaissance of Port Management and Policy
Today and yesterday, ESPO held the 9th edition of its annual Conference in Sopot, the elegant Polish seaside resort town located in between the ports of Gdansk and Gdynia, who were hosting the event.
The conference revolved around the theme of port financing and investment, the most important enabling factors behind port development. The conference also devoted attention to the review of European ports policy that the European Commission recently announced. Other topics which were discussed during the first day included the financial capabilities of port authorities, public private partnerships, concessions and regional investment opportunities. On day two, the conference continued with a session on the European policy context followed by a roundtable discussion on port privatisation. This has again become a topical issue in Europe as the economic crisis is pushing some countries to sell off ports and other vital infrastructures.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas gave the closing keynote speech of the conference. “The ports policy review will not be a one size fits all approach. After all, there must be sufficient flexibility to take local circumstances into account. It is certainly not for the Commission to tell ports how their business should be run, or to suggest particular business models”, said Mr. Kallas, “The review is about having greater transparency and fewer restrictions, to remove barriers for new entrants wanting to tender fairly and openly for port services. Fair competition is a healthy – and I would say, usual – requirement for improving port performance generally and for the system's overall efficiency.”
In his conclusions, ESPO Chairman Victor Schoenmakers emphasised the need to balance legal certainty with the flexibility that port authorities need to manage the dynamic nature of the industry. “This is the most important challenge to resolve”, said Mr. Schoenmakers.
During the conference, ESPO presented a manifesto, advocating a ‘renaissance’ of port management and policy. The manifesto addresses port authorities, governments and the European Union. It advocates first of all a change of management culture among port authorities, one that combines a dynamic business policy with good corporate governance and transparency, both within and beyond the port area. Secondly, it invites responsible governments to devise frameworks that guarantee independent port management, removing all necessary bottlenecks. Finally, it recognises the potential of the European Union to be a positive force by ensuring a level playing field and legal certainty and fostering growth and development of ports.
Next year, ESPO is heading to the Black Sea region where the Port of Varna will be hosting the 10th ESPO Conference, on 30-31 May. All presentations given at this year’s conference will be available from the ESPO website next week.

European Port Policy: A new port package in 2013

In a video interview to the Dutch newspaper Nieuwsblad Transport, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas responsible for Transport announced his intention to bring forward in 2013 a package of proposals to help ports remain competitive and support the huge potential for growth in the port sector.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Ipswich/Felixstowe: Port worker found guilty of manslaughter of 43-year-old stabbing victim


A FELIXSTOWE port worker has been convicted of the manslaughter of an Ipswich man who was stabbed 27 times.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court today found 22-year-old Sebastian Kornjaca of St Anthony’s Crescent, Ipswich, guilty of killing Lee Jackson, of Chesterton Close, Ipswich.
But he was found not guilty of murdering the 43-year-old.
Mr Jackson died on October 22 last year at the flats where he lived after Kornjaca went to Chesterton Close in the early hours of the morning.
The qualified engineer went to confront Mr Jackson about a fire he suspected him of starting earlier the same night at his girlfriend’s father’s home In Coltsfoot Road, Ipswich.
During Kornjaca’s trial the court heard that among Mr Jackson’s injuries was a wound to his head which was delivered with such force that the tip of the knife broke off and was left embedded in his skull.
Giving evidence, Kornjaca - who denied murder - claimed he acted in self-defence after Mr Jackson attacked him with a knife.