Thursday, 28 February 2013

Liebherr and Grup TCB debut double boom STS crane concept

Liebherr Container Cranes and Grup TCB have joined forces to create an innovative double boom ship-to-shore (STS) crane concept for the TCEEGE container terminal in Aliaga, Turkey.
Four double boom STS cranes, two of which have recently been commissioned and installed by Liebherr, will replace the existing mobile harbour cranes at the 360 metre long pier at Nemrut Bay/Aliaga.
The new concept will allow up to four cranes to work on the same vessel simultaneously, thus easily exceeding 100 moves per hour per vessel. Alternatively, two medium-sized vessels can be handled simultaneously, achieving a productivity well in excess of 50 moves per hour per vessel.
Speaking about the installation of the crane, Liebherr’s Managing Director, Pat O’Leary said that the “double boom crane design was a unique engineering project in terms of innovation and scale”.
The new Liebherr Double Boom Cranes purchased by Grub TCB will join two Liebherr mobile harbour cranes that have been in operation at the port since 2008.

16 metres high sea water at "Emma Maersk"s engine room

The plan is to slowly pump out the large amounts of water which is still 16 meters high in the engine room, in an attempt to save as much of the precious mechanics as possible.
On Feb 25 at 8 a.m. the disabled "Emma Maersk" arrived in the port of Palermo, after a 1,300-mile long tow from Port Said, where the container ship was hit by extensive flooding in the engine room.
The towing task was carried out by Fairmount Alpine. The plan is to slowly pump out the large amounts of water which is still 16 meters high in the engine room, in an attempt to save as much of the precious mechanics as possible. When the engine room is drained , the container ship will be drydocked at Fincantieri's shipyard in Palermo.
Only when the "Emma Maersk" is drained, it will be possible to determine with the cause of water ingress in the immediate vicinity of a thruster with certainty. Maersk Line is waiting that it will take several months before Emma Maersk is back in operation again.

Super tug Fairmount Alpine has delivered the container vessel Emma Maersk, one of the largest container carriers of its kind, at Fincantieri’s repair yard in Palermo, Sicily.
To tow the 398 meter long 156,907 DWT Emma Maersk towards Palermo Fairmount Marine was contracted by Maersk Line. Tug Fairmount Alpine happened to be in the eastern Mediterranean area and was promptly mobilized to Port Said, where Emma Maersk has discharged her cargo at the Suez Channel Container Terminal.
Fairmount Alpine and Emma Maersk left Port Said on Sunday February 17 for the 1,276 miles voyage to Palermo, where the convoy arrived on Monday February 25.
Fairmount Marine is a marine contractor for ocean towage and heavy lift transportation, headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Fairmount’s fleet of tugs consists of five modern super tugs of 205 tons bollard pull each, especially designed for long distance towing, and a multipurpose support vessel. Fairmount Marine is part of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Unifeeder for sale at DKK 3 billion

The private equity fund Montagu Private Equity has set the Danish shipping company Unifeeder for sale at DKK 3 billion. Maersk Line is mentioned as a potential buyer for the feeder shipping company according to Børsen.
"Unifeeder is put up for sale. The fund has had it for some years, it has gone well, and this is a reasonable and interesting company", a source told the newspaper.

Unifeeder has not confirmed the newspaper's information, but confirms that it is working on a "strategic review" of the company, as a private equity fund in 2007 bought the company founders of between 2 to 3 billion.

Maersk Line's feeder company Seago Line is mentioned as a possible buyer, but the timing is not optimal.

"In better times it had seemed more obvious, but it is not exactly the right time for Maersk Line to make acquisitions at the moment. As long as the container market is under pressure, Maersk Line don’t have any great free cash flow they can use on acquisitions", Jesper Christensen, an analyst from Alm. Brand to Børsen.

Unifeeder was founded by Peter Bohnsen and Tonny Dalhøj Paulsen in 1977. The company is headquartered in Aarhus.

Significant improvement for Maersk

Sydbank expects A.P. Moller-Maersk to show significantlyimproved accounts Friday morning, when the group publishes the results for 2012. The profit after tax is expected to reach DKK 20.2 billion, an increase of nearly 33 percent.
The bank expects the Group's problem child Maersk Line of having sailed a net profit of 2.6 billion home in 2012, while Maersk Oil contributed with 12.7 billion.

The port company APM Terminals is expected to contribute with a profit of 4.2 billion kroner, while Maersk Drilling is expected to have pulled in2.2 billion kroner.

This year Sydbank expects growth in Maersk Line, Maersk Drilling, APM Terminals, and not least Maersk Tankers. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Gledhill resigns as CEO of Hutchison Ports UK

Davbid Gledhill presenting a Dock Schools donation last year. Image courtesy of the Port of Felixstowe

David Gledhill, the chief executive of Hutchison Ports UK – which comprises Felixstowe, Thamesport and Harwich, has tendered his resignation from his position.
No official reason has been given and a company spokesman said that it did not comment on internal executive moves, but he did confirm that Mr Gledhill’s resignation had been received and that he was now on gardening leave.
It is understood that Mr Gledhill has had health issues on and off for the past couple of years, which have at times forced him to miss work for sustained periods. In his absence, London-based Clemence Cheng, Hutchison Port Holdings’ managing director of central Europe, has been working as acting chief executive of the UK’s largest port, and is likely to remain doing so while the company decides on a successor to Mr Gledhill.
Mr Gledhill was previously chief operating officer at Felixstowe, reporting to then-chief executive Chris Lewis. Mr Lewis retired in August 2010 at the age of 55 after 23 years with Hutchison, and was understood to be leaving for early retirement. However, to the surprise of many in the port industry, a few months later he was appointed chief executive of DP World Southampton, a role that he continues to occupy.

Felixstowe: Big ships bid is quay to future

The Port of Felixstowe's newest extension - the "finger quay" would be added to the southern end at the bottom of the photo to lengthen the berths to accommodate two of the new super-ships.
PROPOSALS for a 190-metre “finger quay” extension to enable Britain’s premier port to handle two of the world’s biggest ships at the same time are set to cross another hurdle today.

Suffolk Coastal councillors are being asked to amend the planning consent for the continued development of the Port of Felixstowe so the extension can proceed without triggering mitigation and rail obligations.
The project effectively starts phase two of the development of the south of the port which means Hutchison Ports UK should build a new permanent visitor centre for Landguard, new viewing area and a berth for the Felixstowe-Harwich-Shotley foot ferry, and spend £40million-plus dualling part of the Ipswich line.
As the “finger quay” is only one third of the full length of the phase two quay, councillors are recommended to agree there is no need to alter the agreements at this stage and the mitigation work should wait until later.
In a report, head of planning services Philip Ridley said: “In respect of the Landguard mitigation works, the proposed quay extension would not result in the loss of the existing viewing area, so there is no need to provide a replacement viewing area.
“HPUK have already agreed to provide an interim visitor centre and this is due to be operational this year. This, together with other works that have taken place on the Landguard peninsula under Phase 1, results in improved visitor facilities in this area.
“It is also recognised that for the port to remain competitive it must be capable of servicing these new larger ships coming on to the market, and therefore meeting the operational demands of its customers, otherwise they will go elsewhere.”
A transport assessment showed the extra quay would not generate more traffic than agreed under previous permission for the port’s expansion and spare rail capacity would be available.
The 190m long finger quay will be added to the new £300m extension officially opened just 17 months ago by the Princess Royal. It will be 94m wide and take 11 months to build and is expected to be complete by 2015.
Another ten cranes would be provided to add to the seven existing on the new terminal and the extra quay will mean the development can handle 1.3m boxes a year.

Felixstowe: New visitor centre at Landguard will help promote all of the resort

COMMUNITY leaders have agreed to give a £4,000 cash injection to a project for a visitor centre at Landguard.
Work has been taking place to prepare the footings for the temporary centre, with modular buildings due to be put in place by spring.
The centre – which will be replaced with a permanent building when the Port of Felixstowe undertakes the second phase of the redevelopment of Landguard Terminal – will 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.
Part of the scheme will be an interpretation project, using the latest computer technology to tell people about Landguard Fort, Felixstowe Museum, the nature reserve, bird observatory, and the port viewing area.
The Landguard Partnership wants to enhance this and include information to encourage people to visit the wider Felixstowe area and Felixstowe Town Council has agreed to give £4,000 towards equipment, including a large media screen and software.
Councillors were told the full project was due to cost around £10,000.
Councillor Andy Smith said: “It is a big opportunity to link the town with Landguard and the branding of Great Days by the Sea, promoted by Felixstowe Futures and the chamber of trade.
“The plan is to do this through touch screens and interactive displays to provide the information.”
Councillor Stuart Bird said: “This initiative is going to enhance the centre and encourage tourists to visit other parts of the town and will be dynamic and exciting.”
He added: “Felixstowe needs this.”

Monday, 25 February 2013

Felixstowe Port's competitor picks up the pace

London Gateway Cuts Lorry Miles
New mega port removes 9,000 lorries from UK roads

London Gateway received 90,000 tonnes of aggregate for the construction of the port’s gate complex, in a single direct delivery by the bulk cargo ship Yeoman Bridge, saving 9,000 lorry journeys on the national road network.
Colin Hitchcock, London Gateway Harbour Master, said: “Yeoman Bridge is the largest aggregate ship to come this far up the River Thames to date. The 249 metre long ship arrived with a 14 metre draft and docked safely along London Gateway’s berth two on Sunday.”
Andrew Bowen, London Gateway Engineering Director, said: “This mega delivery was going to be landed at a smaller port in the South East and then transported to us by road, but we insisted the ship make arrangements to unload its cargo here at London Gateway. We were aware that by ensuring the ship docked at London Gateway we would remove 9,000 lorry trips, which is a massive saving in terms of emissions, fuel consumption and impact on our national road infrastructure.”
“In addition to taking shipments by sea and rail, we are recycling and reusing materials and have our own concrete batching on site, to reduce the number of lorries we have coming and going from site.”
The material from the ship will be used to create London Gateway’s fully automated port gate complex, which will use state of the art technology including optical character recognition to read container and vehicle information to manage traffic through the gate process.
Charles Meaby, London Gateway Commercial Director, said: “London Gateway is all about reducing the cost of road miles. We have reduced the number of lorries on the road in the construction of London Gateway and we offer our customers the ability to reduce their lorry miles and save on CO2, fuel and time costs as London Gateway is simply closer to the UK’s major markets, not just in the South East but also the Midlands and the North West.”
Drewry, the independent shipping consultancy, has estimated London Gateway will reduce round-trip transport costs by £59 per container to the Midlands and the North- West, and £189 per container for London and the South-East.
In addition to being closer to major markets, London Gateway will have Europe’s largest logistics park, allowing shippers to cut the cost associated with taking goods to distant distribution centres. London Gateway estimates 65 million road miles will be saved from DP World’s £1.5 billion pound investment into UK transport infrastructure. ENDS

London Gateway, the UK's newest container port and Felixstowe's major new competitor, is picking up the pace with quay container crane and straddle carrier deliveries due in during next week.The new port is scheduled to open in the 4th quarter of 2013, but the word is that it may be open to traffic earlier . .

How much bigger can container ships get?

The world's cargo ships are getting big, really big. No surprise, perhaps, given the volume of goods produced in Asia and consumed in Europe and the US. But are these giant symbols of the world's trade imbalance growing beyond all reason?
What is blue, a quarter of a mile long, and taller than London's Olympic stadium?
The answer - this year's new class of container ship, the Triple E. When it goes into service this June, it will be the largest vessel ploughing the sea.
Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and have a capacity equivalent to 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU).
If those containers were placed in Times Square in New York, they would rise above billboards, streetlights and some buildings.
Or, to put it another way, they would fill more than 30 trains, each a mile long and stacked two containers high. Inside those containers, you could fit 36,000 cars or 863 million tins of baked beans.

It's 25 years since the biggest became too wide for the Panama Canal. These first "post-Panamax" ships, carrying 4,300 TEU, had roughly quarter of the capacity of the current record holder - the 16,020 TEU Marco Polo, launched in November by CMA CGM.
The Triple E will not be the largest ship ever built. That accolade goes to an "ultra-large crude carrier" (ULCC) built in the 1970s, but all supertankers more than 400m (440 yards) long were scrapped years ago, some after less than a decade of service. Only a couple of shorter ULCCs are still in use. But giant container ships are still being built in large numbers - and they are still growing.
In the shipping industry there is already talk of a class of ship that would run aground in the Suez canal, but would just pass through another bottleneck of international trade - the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia. The "Malaccamax" would carry 30,000 containers.
The current crop of ultra-large container vessels can navigate the Suez - just - but they are only able to dock at a handful of the world's ports. No American harbour is equipped to handle them.
The sole purpose of the soon-to-be-launched Triple E ships will be to run what's called a pendulum service for Maersk - the largest shipping company in the world - between Asia and Europe.
Container ship graphic
They arrive in Europe full, and when they leave a significant proportion of containers carry nothing but air. (At any given moment about 20% of all containers on the world's seas are empty.)
"Ships have been getting bigger for many years," says Paul Davey from Hutchison Ports, which operates Felixstowe in the UK, one of the likely ports of call of the Triple E.
"The challenge for ports is to invest ahead of the shipping capacity coming on-stream, and to try and be one step ahead of the game."Overcapacity in the world's ports means there is huge competition for business. Operators cannot afford to get left behind, says Marc Levinson, author of The Box - How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger.
"The ports are placed in a difficult competitive position here because the carriers are basically saying to them, 'If you don't expand - if you don't build new wharves and deepen the harbours and get high speed cranes, we'll take our business someplace else.'"
These big beasts of the sea present ports with other challenges too.
Ship owners also want vessels to be unloaded and loaded within 24 hours, which has various knock-on effects. More space is needed to store the containers in the harbour, and onward connections by road, rail and ship need to be strengthened to cope with the huge surge in traffic.
Felixstowe, which handles 42% of the UK's container trade, has 58 train movements a day, but plans to double that after it opens a third rail terminal later this year.
Bigger vessels also behave differently in the water. The wash created by a large ship can be enough to cause other ships moored in a harbour to break free - just as the passenger liner SS City of New York did in 1912 when the Titanic set out on her maiden voyage.
"These days with the increase in traffic, we experience this more and more often," says Marco Pluijm, a port engineer working for Bechtel. "A simple thing you can do is just slow ships down and add some tug boats for better manoeuvring - but that all has cost implications."
There are currently 163 ships on the world's seas with a capacity over 10,000 TEU - but 120 more are on order, including Maersk's fleet of 20 Triple Es.
Bearing in mind that the carbon footprint of international shipping is roughly equivalent to that of aviation - some 2.7% of the world's man-made CO2 emissions in the year 2000, according to the International Maritime Organization - the prospect of these leviathans carving up the oceans in ever greater numbers is likely to be a source of concern for green consumers.
Maersk, however, argues that the Triple E is the most environmentally friendly container ship yet. (The three Es in the name stand for economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmentally improved.)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

MSC FLAMINIA, February 20 2012

Last Friday, February 15, 2013, a contract regulating the disposal of the extinguishing water which is still inside the MSC FLAMINIA, has been signed between REEDEREI NSB and the Danish disposal company Nordgroup a/s. According to this contract, the extinguishing water will be pumped out and transported onboard tankers to be disposed of in Denmark. German and Danish authorities have agreed to this procedure and have approved the necessary proceedings.
On the morning of February 20, 2013, the first tanker loaded with extinguishing water of MSC FLAMINIA has left Jade-Weser-Port for Denmark. Due to the great amount of extinguishing water multiple runs between the vessel’s current position in Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven and the disposal facility are necessary. Currently, REEDEREI NSB estimates that the process of pumping out the remaining extinguishing water and of obtaining the authorities’ permission to leave Jade-Weser-Port will require two weeks. Subsequently, it is planned to transfer MSC FLAMINIA to a shipyard in Romania, where the repair of the vessel is already being prepared.

CGT Presents New SeaCell Container Design (UK)

A revolutionary new container design is set to change the economics of shipping palletised cargo, allowing cargo owners and consolidators to increase significantly the volume of cargo shipped at any time. UK-based container design company Container Group Technology (CGT) Ltd has announced the availability of the 20-20 SeaCell Container.
From the outside the patented ‘20-20’ looks little different from a conventional ISO 20ft shipping container. However, subtle innovations on the outside and inside of the container enable the unit to provide for 36% greater pallet space.
In practical terms, this means that for each tier, 15 Euro-pallets (1200mm x 800mm) can be loaded into the container instead just 11 Euro-pallets in a standard ISO 20ft dry container. With standard ISO pallets (1200mm x 1000mm), the 20-20 can load 12 units, two more than in a conventional 20ft container.
And by using 100% of the floor area, pallets fit snugly together inside the container making the 20-20 ideal for using lightweight slip-sheets or paper pallets, thereby reducing costs and increasing useable volume and payload at the same time.
The 20-20 SeaCell Container achieves this feat by being exactly 20ft (6096mm) in length and 2426mm wide internally. Standard 20ft containers are, in fact, 19ft 10½ ins (6058mm) long x 7ft 7¾ ins (2330mm) wide internally. Thus the internal length of the 20-20 allows it to accommodate the additional four Euro-pallets or two ISO pallets per tier. The door opening width is 2408mm which allows fork-lift trucks to load pallets two or three at a time.
Twin-lifting for even greater savings
However, the innovation does not stop there. Two 20-20 containers can be easily locked together from the outside with no special tools to make a 40ft container, but again with significantly greater internal volume than standard. Two 20-20 containers will carry six more pallets than one standard 40ft container. It is also possible to mix Euro & Standard pallets in the same 20-20 and still have 100% pallet utilisation.
The 20-20 is fitted with larger corner castings of the type typically used in flatrack containers, enabling them to be lifted by standard 20ft or 40ft spreaders, loaded singly or as a pair into a container ship’s 40ft cells or onto any current road chassis and rail wagon.
An integral locking mechanism in the corner casting is activated from the outside of the container. In just a few minutes, the two 20-20 containers can be securely locked together and lifted as a single ‘40ft’ unit. In the standard configuration, two 20-20s are joined at the front ends, ie, with the doors accessible at each end of the combined containers. However, if requested CGT can also position the locking mechanism at the door-end corner castings so that the two 20-20 units are effectively sealed until reaching their final destination. This is an important feature for high value or sensitive cargoes.
Lifting two 20ft containers together has been made possible in the past decade by innovations in container lifting technology, and it has become increasingly popular with shipping lines and container port terminals as a way of loading and discharging ships faster and more efficiently.
However, it is only now, with the introduction of the 20-20 SeaCell Container, that the ability to lock and lift two 20ft containers and handle them as a single 34 ton maximum gross weight (MGW) unit has been made possible.
The benefits of this innovation are numerous, including:

  • It can significantly reduce ship loading times and the time needed to lash containers on deck
  • Estimates suggest it could reduce handling and transportation costs by 25% to 35%
  • The fact that 20-20 containers can be linked or unlinked at any stage of the logistics’ chain should also reduce the need for empty repositioning, thereby optimising each container’s usage
Prototypes of the 20-20 container have been built and fully tested in China, and the new design is being made available for sale or lease.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Shipspotters Sunday Special 16 - YM UBERTY - IMO 9337444

Ships from both ends of the size spectrum this weekend, a couple under 2,000 tons, and 2 more larger vessels, 40,000+ tons and 90,000+ tons GRT, departing Felixstowe.
We's got YM Uberty, Mare Arcticum, Noest, and Aquarius

Unite protests at London Gateway’s labour strategy

The forthcoming London Gateway container terminal in the UK could be one of the first in the country without a significant portion of its workforce enjoying union membership, according to representatives for the UK’s largest union, Unite.
Unite regional representative Jane Jeffery told The Loadstar that London Gateway had refused to recognise the union as the company embarks on a major recruitment drive ahead of its planned opening in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We have had three or four meetings with London Gateway management and they have made it quite clear to us that they will not recognise Unite.
“The next step is to try and make our presence better known to them and potential employees, and try to make them see sense. If not, we will be organising a full campaign for recognition,” she said, adding that an initial action had seen Unite representatives demonstrate outside a jobs fair, at which London Gateway had a stand, at the Holiday Inn hotel in Dartford on 5 February.
However, a London Gateway spokesman responded: “Unite representatives have been to visit DP World London Gateway twice within the last year and have asked if we would give ‘site recognition’ to Unite. On both occasions, we have responded that membership of any union, including Unite, would be a free choice matter for London Gateway employees to decide upon, and if membership of one or more unions reached the level where recognition was applicable then we would be very happy to do so.”
Union recognition would allow collective bargaining between the management and union, although even if a union is not recognised, a works council or some other form of consultative body has to be set up.
Ms Jeffery said: “Management has told us that they are doing job fairs now to get the dockworkers in place and training them up during the summer, and that they are looking to recruit from outside the industry because it is going to be an automated terminal, and they do not want to recruit dockers who will then have to un-learn their existing skills.”
This broadly chimes with what The Loadstar has learnt from ports and shipping insiders in the UK – that the company is keen to recruit its labour from outside the existing UK port workforce, seeing the launch of a new terminal as a chance to employ workers “untainted by bad practices at existing ports”.
Terminal operations experts canvassed by The Loadstar also made the point that an experienced crane driver working at an existing UK port may not be as experienced on the cranes London Gateway will deploy. “Any driver is only ever experienced on the equipment he is used to using, so in effect at London Gateway all drivers may be inexperienced unless the same cranes exist at other local ports,” one said.
The general expectation, according to one source, is that London Gateway will hire “a number of inexperienced younger guys to be employed over time, so they can be trained-up specifically on the cranes it is acquiring”, although there is understood to have been a high degree of interest in London Gateway positions from staff at existing terminals keen to know how the terms and conditions compare with incumbent operations.
London Gateway will be the first port in the country to operate automated handling technology – employing a fleet of automated stacking cranes in its yard, with straddle carriers running between semi-automated ship-to-shore gantry cranes. London Gateway said these units will “have significant automation built-in, but be overseen by a crane driver who can take control at any time, particularly at the transfer point. This will allow good crane rates to be consistently achieved with in-built safety”.
However, Ms Jeffery also highlighted Unite’s concern that its members’ jobs at other ports could be jeopardised by London Gateway’s entry into a market that is showing little growth.
“The problem that we have got is that as soon as a line pulls out of Felixstowe or Southampton or Tilbury, some of the jobs at those ports might be lost. Most dockers are well-paid and highly skilled and there is a risk that they will be replaced at London Gateway with roles with inferior terms and conditions,” she said, suggesting that this could force other port operators to seek to cut costs in a bid to retain business.
“There is already overcapacity in the UK’s container ports and we believe that this port should not be opened with the current overcapacity nationally.
“We are presently seeing other port owners and management engaging in a race to the bottom to compete against London Gateway. We are concerned that should DP World embark on this course it could affect the future financial viability of the deepsea container ports at Southampton and Felixstowe/Harwich, where Unite is recognised,” she said.

Sokhna labour dispute resolved

As many as 1,200 employees of Platinum Company, a private company responsible for DP World’s labour supply, issued a strike notice on February 4th in demand of permanent contracts they claim had been previously offered by the Dubai-based terminal operator.
Workers agreed to return to their posts following a presidential proposal to create a new state-owned stock company, which would see the port’s management hold a majority stake in Sokhna Port of 51 percent with investors holding the remaining 49 percent.
Workers have returned to their posts at Ain al-Sokhna Terminal to bring to an end a 16-day strike at the DP World-operated facility. Image: DP World
Workers have returned to their posts at Ain al-Sokhna Terminal to bring to an end a 16-day strike at the DP World-operated facility. Image: DP World

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Emma Maersk: after immediate repairs, the onward journey begins

Immediate repairs to the Emma Maersk are being completed according to schedule. Weather permitting, Emma will be towed to a repair facility on Sunday, 17 February 2013, at around 6am Egyptian time. The full extent of damage to the engines will then be assessed and the work of restoring her back to full health will begin. 
Palle Laursen, Maersk Line’s Head of Ship Management in Copenhagen, says, “We are delighted that Emma is on the route back towards full service. However, this only the beginning of a long journey – once she gets to the repair facility it will still be several months before repairs are completed.” 
He adds: “The efforts of the crew, the local Maersk Line, SCCT, and Svitzer organisations and the underwater repair teams should be fully recognised in enabling this. We also appreciate the full support of the Suez Canal Authority in making this happen so quickly.” 
On 1 February 2013, Emma Maersk, currently Maersk Line’s largest container vessel, experienced an ingress of water into the engine room. She had just commenced her southbound transit through the Suez Canal en route to Asia. The captain decided to terminate the planned voyage and go alongside the nearby Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT). Whilst the exact cause of the incident is still being investigated, it has been confirmed that the water came in through a breach in the stern thruster tunnel. 
According to Captain Marius Gardastovu, there was never any real danger or panic at any point. “Of course it is a shocking experience when you look back and consider what could have happened,” he says. “But given the circumstances, everything was handled as well as possible because of a close-knit crew who knew exactly what to do.” 
She was loaded with containers equivalent to 13,537 TEU of which 6,425 were full. 
Alternate routings 
Alternative arrangements for the cargo have been made whereby sensitive cargo was loaded onto Maersk Line’s existing network shortly after the incident. Further contingencies and schedules have been finalised as part of the cargo was loaded on Maersk Kotka (16B/1301) on 11 Feb, some of the cargo were loaded on CC Medea (3FO/933E) on 12 Feb, and the remaining eastbound cargo will be loaded onto Maersk Kokura (98A/1305) on 18 Feb. 
The developments are being monitored continuously to ensure minimal impact to customers. Maersk Line’s operations teams are working in close coordination with the local customer and sales representatives to keep customers updated on the developments. 
Maersk Line is able to reorganise its fleet without chartering replacement tonnage. The 9,660 TEU 48Y-Butterfly will replace Emma Maersk on the AE10 Asia-Europe service until she is ready to re-enter service. 
The Emma Maersk is an advanced container ship and amongst the very largest in her class. She was launched at the end of 2006 and sails on a regular route between the Far East and Europe through the Suez Canal. 
She sails approximately 170,000 nautical miles a year, corresponding to 7½ times around the world.
Source: Maersk Line

On Sunday the unlucky container ship Emma Maersk left the port of Port Said, where it has remained since it 17 days ago was hit by heavy flooding in the engine room Emma Maersk is not able to navigate under its own power and was helped out of the harbor by a handful of tugs.
Subsequently, the large container ship was towed, bound for a not yet informed European port, where it will be repaired. An operation is expected to last several months.

Giant containership Emma Maersk is heading to Fincantieri’s repair yard in Palermo, Sicily, for repairs after a crack in a stern thruster flooded its engine room.

The company has opted to use a yard rather than attempt the repairs in a terminal berth as it will need to discharge up to 13,000cu metres of contaminated seawater that is flooding the engine room.

Using a repair yard will also provide a specialist workforce for what will become a major job.

The 2006-built, 15,500teu vessel is being towed from Suez Canal Container Terminal where it berthed following an accident that occurred as it prepared to enter the canal southbound two weeks ago.

AP Møller Maersk-owned Svitzer has contracted the tug Fairmount Alpine to tow the vessel.

Maersk Line’s head of ship management, Palle Laursen, confirmed that the vessel would arrive in Palermo next week and would remain alongside for about three and a half months, although the length of the repair work will be determined by what is discovered once the seawater is removed from the engine room.

Maersk decided to keep the engine room flooded to prevent excessive corrosion of sensitive machinery and electronics.

Laursen said it was too difficult to estimate the cost of the repair work until the extent of the damage was clear. It will take about a month to pump the water slowly from the engine room.

Although the extent of the damage remained unknown, he said it was unthinkable that the vessel could not be fully repaired, adding that where parts of the huge main engine could not be replaced, they could be reconditioned.

When the water is removed, a full inspection will be made of the stern thruster area where the flooding occurred. Surveyors from the vessel’s classification society, Houston-based ABS, and thruster manufacturer Rolls-Royce will examine the damage and make recommendations.

Laursen said it was too early to say whether any work would need to be carried out to prevent such an accident occurring again on Emma Maersk or the seven other vessels in its class that have now been told not to use their stern thrusters.

Additional work is likely to be carried out on the outside of the thruster to strengthen the current temporary repairs, blanking off the thruster until the vessel’s next scheduled drydock in about four years’ time. It is not a class requirement for vessels to have thrusters.

Laursen believes that had Emma Maersk been due to dry-dock next year, the decision might have been made to send the vessel for full repairs, bringing the docking schedule forward.

Emma Maersk had 13,537teu on board at the time of the incident, of which 6,425 were full. The containers were offloaded at SCCT and Maersk Line said it has reorganised its fleet without chartering replacement tonnage.

The 9,660teu 48Y-Butterfly will replace Emma Maersk on the Asia-Europe service until it is ready to re-enter service

China Shipping levies US$700/TEU peak season surcharge March 15

CHINA Shipping Container Lines (Hong Kong) has announced a US$700 per TEU peak season surcharge on the Far East to Europe and Mediterranean westbound cargo from March 15. 

The company gave as its reason the "current market situation" in a general notice to trade.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Record attempt moving containers at Southampton

The crane operator

Darren White has been operating the port’s giant cranes for 14 years and he is one of the best in the business.

Darren White

Crane operator Darren White has the job of unloading large number of containers from ships which the port handles.
Crane lifting containers
There's a lot of pressure driving them. They're very fast. You've got to concentrate like never before."Darren White
He and his colleagues move nearly two million containers every year carrying a wide variety of goods which keep the wheels of British industry turning, and retailers in business.
Darren has been operating the port’s giant cranes for 14 years and he is one of the best in the business.
His operator’s cab could be working at 50 metres up in the air so he needs to have a perfect swing action. The position and movement of his crane and its load are critical.
"There's a lot of pressure driving them. They're very fast. You've got to concentrate like never before," says Darren.
"You've got to keep your eye on the ball."
We join him as he takes on the record-breaking challenge of unloading 500 containers, the highest number of boxes ever moved in a 12 hour shift at Southampton.
A target of 500 is rarely ever reached but he and his team are determined to top the champion’s league of container shifting.

Terminal supervisor

Peter Berbier is the port of Southampton's terminal supervisor.
Peter Berbier comes from a long line of Southampton dockers.
He is the terminal supervisor.
The port of Southampton is a gateway to the world and its activities need careful co-ordination and supervision. Peter plays a vital role in keeping the port’s activities on track.
“I love my job. It’s probably the best job I’ve ever had.
“When I first came to work in the port I had long hair and wore flares. That’ll give you an idea of how long I’ve been here.”
His family have worked at the port down the generations.
“My father and my grandfather were here – and my uncle. So through the whole of the century – if you like - through the 1890s onwards, I’ve had family in the port.”