Saturday, 30 November 2013

Classic Clip: Cars Slide From Rolling Cargo Ship in Winter Storm

To all of you who are traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, whether by sea or road, don’t forget to secure your cargo and travel safe!

Archives: Crane demolished at Felixstowe:

From the Shipping TV archives – one of Felixstowe’s 20 year-old quayside dinoaurs being demolished back in 2012. . .

Friday, 29 November 2013

ILA urges FMC to block proposed P3 Network

  • ILA president says agreement will allow three of the world’s biggest shippers to dictate the marketplace

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has urged theFederal Maritime Commission (FMC) to step in and block the proposed P3 Network calling the agreement a clear attempt by the three carriers involved to “dictate the marketplace”.
In a letter sent to the Commission this week, ILA president Harold Daggett said that if the new alliance is approved then it “would present an unprecedented risk of anti-competitive practices”.
“Unlike vessel-sharing agreements between smaller carriers that are designed to enable those carriers to compete in the marketplace, the P3 agreement represents an attempt by three of the largest carriers in the industry to dictate the marketplace,” declared Daggett.
“As president of the largest labour organisation representing longshore workers in the country (US), I can assure you that the agreement presents a clear danger to workers and their families.”
Concerns voiced by the ILA have been echoed by regulators in both the European Union and in China. However, the FMC, who will accept comments on the P3 Network up until Friday, is keeping an “open mind” on the agreement, according to the JOC.
The proposed P3 Network, consisting of Maersk LineCMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company(MSC), will create the largest ever alliance to operate on global trades. It will offer a total of 29 loops, served by 255 vessels initially, and a capacity of 2.6 million TEU on the three major trade lanes, Asia-Europe, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic.

Docks / Ports is a very dangerous environment to work in !!!!

To all you employers out there thinking about out sourcing / having casual labour within your Port. This is what skilled Dockers deal with every day somewhere in the world.

We all believe that it will never happen to 
us!!!!! this is dock work, it does and it will happen.

The majority of Dockers around the world are paid a good wage, the above pictures are one of the many factors for that good wage to be paid.

P3: a recipe for prime vintage or cheap plonk?

For the P3 alliance this is the time of ferment. The plan is to turn container service into a prime vintage of unrivaled first-class global service, dependable, all-encompassing, and low cost. The downside is that the competitive review may dilute the effort into plonk or worse, convert it into vinegar.
Predictably, the regulatory review of the P3 proposal to combine the operations of Maersk Line, MSC and CMA-CGM has the carriers on edge, given past actions and the proposed summit of US, European and Asian regulators to examine the P3 proposal.
The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which suggested the combine, seems hardly staffed to conduct a worldwide review in a short time.
Recall, though, that the FMC last year investigated whether Prince Rupert, Canada, threatened the port of Seattle because of the US harbor maintenance tax. It was a bit of a fool’s errand since the two ports barely compete at the margin. The FMC typically sides with those worried about competition.  
The European Commission has been far more active, but its last act of note was to phase out conferences in the Asia-Europe trades because of shipper complaints about competitive collusion. 
The tilt of the Asian authorities is likely coloured by the fact that P3 has no Asian members. The Chinese, in particular, have demonstrated in the Vale iron ore case that it is willing to make up its own rules, if necessary, to protect its home carriers. One rumor has it that the Chinese would like to enlarge P3 to include its carriers, but that would push the market share capacity for the Asia-Europe trade over the 50% mark.    
It could be that two shipping consortia with a few outliers is the future of liner shipping, but that seems premature and is dependent on the staying power of various carriers. Economics, not regulators, will determine.
The main argument in P3’s behalf is that it would create improved service for shippers.
With its new ships sliding down the ways, Maersk et al already have a jump in network service. The strength of the argument for improved service is also its weakness; it adds to a competitive squeeze that is expected to last at least three more years due to overcapacity.
Already one pundit has quoted a shipper as hailing P3 as an opportunity to ship with MSC and get Maersk service. Ah, but what if the customer ships with Maersk and gets MSC service?

Asian Shippers Council fears P3 will make the market more volatile

THE Asian Shippers Council (ASC) says the P3 mega alliance of Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM is too big and will bring with it greater market volatility.

The ASC said P3 would be far bigger than any other alliance in terms of the number of ships, size of ships' sailing frequency and port coverage, and could accelerate the demise of smaller players, which would increase market volatility.

"Such a concentration of capacity is untenable," said ASC chairman John Lu. "We fear the worst should the regulatory authorities give its approval. With fewer service providers, we can only imagine what effect this will have on freight rates and service levels."

The ASC said the problem could be exacerbated if competitors tried to match the P3 Network by ordering larger ships and expanding fleet sizes. That would worsen the supply-demand imbalance and "bring about price wars and rate volatility".

Said China Shippers' Association vice-chairman Cai Jia Xiang: "Businesses like certainty to allow us to plan ahead, but the shipping environment is anti-certainty. Already, shippers have to put up with fluctuating freight rates, longer lead times and service cancellations."

The proposed alliance will consist initially of 252 ships totalling 2.6 million TEU deployed in the Asia-Europe, transpacific and transatlantic trades with an estimated 42 per cent market share on the Asia-Europe route, 24 per cent on the transpacific and 40 per cent transatlantic.

The ASC described Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM as "audacious" for moving forward without regulatory approval.

"Offices are being set up in London and Singapore - the two centres with no regulatory oversight - and the service was announced on the MSC website. There has also been a string of articles justifying the need for P3 in the media," said the ASC.
The statement referred to remarks by US Federal Maritime Commission commissioner Richard Lidinsky, who said the alliance was moving forward without regulatory approval.

The ASC supported the FMC's decision to invite regulators in the European Union and China to a summit in Washington to discuss the P3 Network. No further details on the summit have emerged.

"The P3 is not a done deal - not by a mile - whatever the alliance may think. We are delighted that the FMC has initiated the meeting of regulatory authorities," Mr Lu said.

The FMC has extended the deadline by 20 days to November 29 for concerned parties to submit comments on the P3 Network.

The alliance has received a mixed response from shipper organisations. The Global Shippers' Forum supports vessel-sharing agreements as long as the carriers pass efficiency gains on to customers. Meanwhile, the European Shippers' Council said that in principle it had nothing against the alliance as long as it did not impact shippers' choice in terms of price, service level and routing.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Death on the docks

Unite convenor Andy Green gives a stark warning about the dangers of deregulation on the docks.
Over 90% of the UK’s trade comes through its docks, the workers in them are handling hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo every day, hundreds of millions of tons every year. Docks are dangerous places and it’s a sad fact that many workers in our Docks can tell you a story about a friend or colleague who has been killed at work; in the last 3 months the numbers telling those story’s has risen sharply.
In the last 3 months 8 people have been killed in separate incidents in the UK’s docks. The first on October 23rd 2011, Ian Campbell, a dockworker in Tilbury was killed when the Container Straddle Carrier he was driving overturned, a few days later a lorry driver was killed in the same port. There then followed further deaths of a Tugman in Liverpool, an Engineer in Sunderland, a Driver in Ipswich, a Crewman in Felixstowe, another Crewman in Hull and the latest on 27th January 2012, an Agency Worker in Immingham was buried beneath tons of coal inside a ships hold. Surprisingly Docks has just be reclassified as a low risk industry, so why is being inside one of the UK’s ports now more dangerous than serving in Northern Ireland during the troubles.
The numbers of army personnel in Northern Ireland during the troubles ranged between 10,000 – 20,000, these numbers are in line with the estimated numbers working inside our Docks; and with 8 dead in 3 months it would have made it one of the most bloodiest years.
The history of the docks is a tale of poverty, death and injury spanning hundreds of years, such were the conditions that one of the first major strikes took place in the UK occurred in the London docks; abject poverty often saw families starving. Inside the dock, workers were being killed, crushed and drowned on a massive scale, life was cheap.
The very first strike in the modern sense was at the Bryant and May factory when the Match Girls took action over their pay and conditions. Their health and safety was being ignored and many women working at the factory suffered from a form of bone cancer they called Phossy Jaw, this dreadful industrial disease slowly killed dozens of the Match Girls at the factory. The British Government at the time unlike other country’s refused to ban phosphorous as it was deemed a Restraint of Free Trade. Today the Government would call it Red Tape and a Burden on Business, the same vile message being pedalled centuries apart.
Low Risk?
We are all used to hearing these barmy health and safety myths pedalled by politicians, normally involving conkers and pancakes. Well last year this Government following the Lofstedt review decided that health and safety in Docks had improved to such an extent that it could now be considered a low risk industry, and eager as ever to believe these myths the Government acted and downgraded the risk classification of the Docks industry. The result as ever was fewer inspections and less enforcement action, and predictably the downward spiral of poor health and safety began. Except bad health and safety didn’t so much begin to fall into the industry, its plummeted killing 8 people in 3 months.
Statistically when numbers employed are compared to deaths and serious injuries Docks is a highly dangerous environment in which to work. So how did one of the most dangerous industries in the UK come to be downgraded to a low risk industry?
In 1989 Margaret Thatcher met the port employers and business leaders who complained about the National Dock Labour Scheme and its stranglehold on the docks, as ever willing to listen to the business lobby she deregulated the entire industry and so ended the safety and security it provided to the thousands who worked in the docks.
There were immediate concerns about the return to casual labour, workers hired and fired by the day. In response to these concerns the then Employment Minister Norman Fowler made a bold statement that there would be no return to casual labour. As ever with politicians this assurance was not strictly kept and instead of casual labour returning, the dock industry introduced ‘Non Permanent Employees’ who were coincidentally hired and fired by the day. The result was a disaster, deaths and injuries soared to levels not seen for a generation.
There were reviews of the industry and the Transport Select Committee who examined health and safety in our Docks were highly critical of the carnage being wrought on those who worked within them.
The figures were an embarrassment which no end of spin could hide or excuse, in response the Dock industry has attempted to clean up its image and over the last 20 years the numbers of deaths and serious injuries did decline though tracking who was actually working in the docks became increasingly difficult, so a true figure on reductions is uncertain.
Roll forward 20 years and today’s Government introduces the Red Tape challenge on cutting burdensome regulation, big business organisations were moaning about unnecessary bureaucracy and health and safety was their number one complaint.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling in trying to make a bit of a name for himself when it comes to health and safety, launched his Health and Safety Made Simple
“a package of changes designed to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and promote a proportionate approach to managing health and safety”
HSE Newsletter No. 29 summer 2011
And so after a round of consultation with business organisations many of the regulatory burdens of health and safety have been removed. Unfortunately the lessons of history are not often learnt and in the case of the Docks, history is repeating itself. Docks were subsequently reclassified as low risk and deaths and injuries began increasing at an alarming rate.
So who takes on the responsibilities of health and safety in our Docks now that Government feels the industry can look after itself?  
Self Regulation
Over the year the port employers have come together along with others within the industry and formed a number of safety bodies which have attempted to lay down standards and provide support to their subscribing members, each body evolving from the ashes of its predecessor; another new name, another new strategy and another new beginning.
As with all these industrial safety bodies their subscribing members are not compelled to adhere to these standards, it is voluntary. Should a member choose to ignore these standards then that is the end of the matter, there is no compulsion, there is no sanction.  Many of these companies, especially the agencies that supply non permanent workers, attempt to gain credibility and a reputation for good health and safety practice by simply paying the subscription and buying the name.
The current industry safety body for the Docks is Port Skills and Safety (PSS) whose stated purpose is to encourage and promote high standards of health and safety, such bodies as this are the new safety format which Government sees as the answer to regulation. However well intentioned they are they are powerless, but lacking power is the whole point of self regulation isn’t it?
This Government also believes that low risk workplaces can be managed in-house using plain common sense and thereby reduce bureaucracy. Stopping people getting killed at work is common sense isn’t it?
Working in the Docks today
Despite assurances that casual labour would not return huge numbers of ‘non permanent’ workers still sit at the end of the telephone hoping for a few hours work. Not daring to complain about the dangers they face at work for fear of losing the little work they have, they tolerate the most dangerous conditions. They are often put to work with little or no training, their own lives and the lives of others put in danger.
Unite the Union regularly receives reports from workers in the docks about atrocious health and safety conditions and the numbers of reports are increasing.
Speak with most temporary workers and won’t even have seen a risk assessment let alone know what one is. The training they receive doesn’t meet any standard at all, even those laid down by the industry itself. When they receive just 30 minutes training to drive a forklift it’s not just the temporary workers in danger, everyone is at risk.
The hours which temporary workers can be expected to do can be lethal, there are those who are working 26 consecutive night shifts without as break, others who are told to work 24 hour shifts, complain and there’s no more work.
They are being charged for their PPE and so they scrape together old helmets and ragged boots in which to work, and if they are working with dusty cargo their employer will charge them for their Lung Function tests; despite this being a statutory duty of the employer. But who dares to complain?
This dreadful situation will only deteriorate further as these companies now see the low risk industry in which they operate as being without HSE interference. The users of these agency (non permanent) companies do not get involved in the health and safety issues of their labour suppliers; after all it is someone else’s problem, right?
Also worrying is that many labour suppliers to docks have begun using imaginative employment methods as they attempt to avoid the Agency Worker Regulations. As these workers are shifted around they become missing from the statistical radar, becoming lost from sight. Accidents in the docks are going unreported or are attributed to other industries.  
The full time workers in the docks don’t fare much better, there are growing pressures upon dockworkers as employers seek to increase productivity and cut costs, the drive to maximise profits is driving health and safety to the brink.
The story across the entire docks industry is one of reduced spending on Health and Safety, reductions in permanent labour and increases in temporary workers. There is a move to ever more flexible working patterns which impact on pay which drives workers to work ever more hours, disrupting home life and leaving them tired. Spending on maintenance is being squeezed; instead of preventative maintenance there is a trend to provide nothing more than a breakdown service.
The long term impact of these changes is being ignored for short term gain, but now more than ever all workers in our docks need protection
So how could such a situation develop when we have industry safety bodies that lay down standards and guidance?
Where Next?
The increasing numbers of deaths is a sad reflection of the state of health and safety within the port transport industry. Good Effective Regulation is a key requirement but without enforcement they are empty words; it’s like setting a speed limit, removing the police force and asking everyone very nicely to slow down. IT DOESN’T WORK!
We are told that health and safety regulation is a burden on business and excessive inspections on ‘safe’ businesses are unnecessary. But these alleged burdens have saved the lives of countless people at work; these sickening phrases are an insult to the memories of those who have been killed at work. That their expectation of going home to their families after work is a burden on business is beyond words when more widows and orphans have been created in just 3 months than at any other comparable time.
Low risk businesses should be allowed to self regulate according to the Mr Grayling and his Government, it reduces the health and safety burden upon industry. But having a loved one getting killed is the greatest burden of all but that seems to be secondary issue for this Government, when they talked about making cuts in health and safety, most never knew they meant cutting throats, but as this Government will tell you, there’s no money in caring, its a burden.
Docks are a high risk industry, that’s not a slanderous remark or a criticism, it’s a fact. The workers within the industry need high health and safety standards, standards with teeth. It needs the HSE to undertake a high level of inspection and when needed enforcement. Categorising the dock industry as low risk is bordering on criminal negligence; docks are death traps and should be treated with the respect they deserve. It’s time the industry and the government faced the facts.
Andy Green
Executive Council Member
Docks, Rail, Ferries and Waterways
Unite the Union

Maersk this week

APM Terminals Rotterdam retrofits cranes in preparation for larger vessels

  • Five post-Panamax cranes to be extended to a 23-container row reach
APM Terminals has announced that it will retrofit five post-Panamax cranes at its Maasvlakte I terminal in the Port of Rotterdam to accommodate the latest generation of ultra-large container ships.
A team of engineers will retrofit the cranes to a 23-container row reach in preparation for the call of the 18,000 TEU capacity Marie Maersk, the fourth vessel to be rolled-out as part of the company’s Triple-E series, which is scheduled to arrive at the facility on December 6th. The Marie Maersk is operating on the Asia/North Europe AE10 service.
“We are continuously anticipating and adapting to our customers’ needs to provide industry-leading efficiency and productivity,” said APM Terminals’ European portfolio manager, Ben Vree.
The first of Maersk’s Triple-E ships, the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, made its maiden Rotterdam call in August. The giant ship was not only the largest of its kind to be welcomed by the Dutch port but it also enabled the terminal to break its productivity record after making 215 gross moves per hour upon handling its cargo.
APM Terminals’ new Maasvlakte II terminal, being built adjacent to the current site, will boast eight remote-controlled super-post Panamaxcranes with a 25-container wide reach. APM Terminals Rotterdam is currently one of the busiest container terminals in Europe, handling 2.5 million TEU in 2012.

Maersk chief Andersen warns smaller players to stop ordering new ships

MAERSK group CEO Nils Andersen has warned smaller carriers against expanding their fleets and container capacity after announcing strong third quarter results.

Smaller players, he said were putting their shareholders' money at risk by investing in new ships for the sake of remaining global carriers.

Mr Andersen, the ex-Carlsberg CEO, first took over the Danish shipping giant in 2007, when its container shipping arm was not doing well in the aftermath of the P&O Nedlloyd takeover.

Then came the banking crisis in 2009 bringing on the downturn with and cargo volumes declining for the first time since boxes began to carry cargo.

Large economic swings that have had an enormous negative impact on the container shipping, he said.

When times are good, if only briefly, weaker lines tend to order new ships, leaving the whole industry to cope with the fall-out during the inevitable down cycle, he told Lloyd's List.

"There is a lot of value destruction at the moment and a number of investors will not get their money back," he predicted. "You won't make yourself profitable by expanding these days."

Having surpassed most other global carriers after a strong second and third quarters when most were struggling, Maersk wants to take out capacity, rather than chasing cargo and market share, said Mr Andersen.

Although Maersk has retrofitted some ships, raising bridges or changing bulbous bows to expand capacity and improve efficiency, real gains have been made through better scheduling, reduced capacity and associated higher ship-utilisation levels, and slower steaming.

The P3 Network mega alliance, should it win regulatory approval, will deliver more efficiencies, he said.

Mr Andersen is confident that the joint fleet operation between the world's top three lines, Maersk MSC and CMA CGM, will benefit shippers bringing economies of scale provided by larger vessels.

Mega ships risk cargo bunching as boxes will come in waves: APMT chief

CONTAINER terminal productivity is never more important than the current climate of bigger vessels, slow steaming and higher bunker costs, said APM Terminals chief executive Kim Fejfer, stressing the need for speed and efficiency in carriers' networks.

"If you have to offload 4,000 TEU rather than 2,000 TEU then obviously the port stay will be longer," said Mr Fejfer, forcing terminals to improve performance whether through technological advancements, increased equipment and/or labour costs.

APMT reported a strong third quarter due in part to investment in yard improvements like its new container GPS system to trace containers position within a stack.

But costs do arise from improvements and carriers need to share the burden with port operators, said Mr Fejfer.

The supply chain as a whole is suffering from the pressure of larger containerships on intermodal services of road, rail and barge dealing with increasing box volumes. 

For ports, the number of vessels physically able to berth has been reduced, with one mega ship taking up two 300-metre berths. While crane can cope with increased volumes, the number of vessels at a terminal at any one time is down.

"That puts an enormous pressure on the system and what appears to be overcapacity may, in reality, not be overcapacity and that creates a situation that we have to work together on - the shipping lines and the port operators," said Mr Fejfer.

The advent of the P3 alliance of three major carriers, APMT sister company Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM, will present a major network to handle 255 vessels and around 2.6 million TEU.

APMT said the impact of the P3 network on its terminals is unknown with more than 50 per cent of its volumes generated by non-Maersk carriers.

As mature and emerging economies growth gap closes and the latter shows inconsistent growth trajectory, the container ports industry remains on course for annual growth of five per cent, lower than pre-global crisis 2009 at 10 per cent growth.

"Emerging markets will grow faster but the gap to mature markets will not be as big as it was in the last few years," Mr Fejfer said, citing India, Brazil, Russia and several African countries.

Maersk Line cooperating on EC antitrust investigations

Maersk Line cooperating on EC antitrust investigations
from  Singapore
Maersk Line says it has been informed it is part of the European Commission’s (EC) formal antitrust investigations but does not believe it contravened European competition laws.
The Danish shipping company said it had taken note of the EC’s decision to launch formal investigations. “No formal letter from the Commission on the matter has been received yet but we have been informed that we will be part of the investigations,” Maersk said in a statement.
Maersk was one of a number of lines involved in “dawn raids” by the EC in May 2011 over alleged price fixing on the Asia – Europe trade.
Maersk’s parent AP Moller – Maersk believes that the liner company has done nothing wrong. “AP Møller – Mærsk A/S has no reason to believe that Maersk Line has behaved in a manner not in accordance with EU competition law."
Maersk said it had cooperated with the EC’s investigations and would continue to do so.
Another company involved in the 2011 raids Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) said that it is not part of the formal proceedings.

APM Terminals has been named the winner of the 2013 Lloyd’s List Asia Awards annual “Port Operator” Award in recognition of maintaining “the highest standards of operational efficiency and customer service throughout the year” among port and terminal operators in the Far East.

APM Terminals’ industry-leading safety performance and Safety Culture have been successfully implemented across the company’s Asian operations, with the overall terminal Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate decreasing to 2.15 per million man-hours worked in 2012 from 3.59 in 2011. During this period productivity measured in crane lifts per hour increased by 8%, while CO2 emissions per TEU declined by 4%.
Last month, APM Terminals was also named “International Terminal Operator of the Year” for 2013 at the annual Containerisation International Awards in London.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Cut transport bottlenecks to help ports grow, say MPs

The government should do more to support the growth of UK cargo ports by tackling bottlenecks in local transport links, MPs are urging.
The Commons Transport Committee said ports were vital to UK prosperity but were not being given enough priority.
The UK was at a disadvantage to other EU countries, it suggested, and there was inconsistency in who should pay for road improvements around terminals.
Officials said they were investing in new schemes to benefit port users.
The UK commercial port sector is one of the largest in Europe, employing about 117,000 people.
Freight traffic demand has begun to recover in the past two years after a sharp fall caused during the recession although trade - two-thirds of which is based on imports - remains volatile.
'National assets'
Tuesday's report said ports were "national assets" essential to the "economic wellbeing" of the country and there was potential for substantial expansion to meet future demand.
But the cross-party committee suggested the Department for Transport could "do more to promote ports' interests within government and internationally".
It said changes to the powers of local government over strategic transport planning since 2010 had "made it harder for UK ports to ensure projects of strategic importance enjoy the kind of priority they deserve".
The report cited continuing delays faced by hauliers in getting to the Port of Liverpool, Hull, Heysham and Felixstowe as evidence of the need for more concerted action by the government.
"Local bottlenecks remain a key concern to many ports," Louise Ellman, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said.
"Ministers must challenge decisions by local bodies where they fail to prioritise improvements in port access over other, less strategically important, schemes.
"While clear in principle, government policy on who should pay for major new transport infrastructure serving our ports remains conceptually flawed and is applied inconsistently around the country."
A14 row
Port operators, it added, should not be expected to "pick up the entire bill" for road improvements around ports where such projects would deliver "wider economic benefits".
While the MPs said they favoured the current mixed model in which both the government and operators contributed to projects, in consultation with local authorities, it said policy must be consistent.
"While some ports have contributed towards transport schemes to improve access, others have not and the differences in approach have not been explained or justified," the report said.
The government is already reviewing current guidance - under which port operators and other businesses are expected to pay mitigation costs for any transport improvements which disrupt existing road and rail users.
Unlike many ports in Europe, which are state-owned, most ports in the UK are privately run and do not qualify for state subsidies under European Union state aid rules.
'New capacity'
But support is provided within the existing EU rules in certain shipping sectors where UK operators are judged to directly compete with European rivals.
"Ports are vitally important to the economy and have been investing in new capacity throughout the economic downturn," a Department for Transport spokesman said.
"The government is complementing this by investing in a range of infrastructure projects that will benefit port users."
Proposals to pay for an upgrade of one of the most congested sections of the A14 - which links Felixstowe with the Midlands - by building a new toll road north of Cambridge have proved controversial.
Lorries could be charged £3 and cars between £1 and £1.50 for using the 12-mile stretch of toll road, although it would be free overnight.
Local MPs and business organisations have said forcing hauliers to pay to use the road during the day would damage the port, the UK's busiest container facility.
Gary Hodgson, chief operating officer for Peel Ports Group, which operator of Liverpool and Heysham ports, said it welcomed the report.
"Peel Ports believes that the transport planning process as it stands is unnecessarily complicated and in desperate need of streamlining. Too often layers of complexity make for suffocatingly long and unnecessary delays which can have adverse effects on local economies and businesses. The lengthy and convoluted planning process for the Heysham M6 Link Road is a case in point."

Market Survey on Eco-Shipping: Innovation Boost from Eco-Ships and Retrofitting

German and international shipping companies are currently building up new fleets with modern eco-ships while at the same time retrofitting some of their existing ships in order to make them more efficient.
The aim is to meet the growing challenges facing global shipping with regard to efficiency and environmental regulations. This is revealed by the market survey on the subject of “Eco-shipping” published for the first time by HSH Nordbank. It provides a picture of sentiment in the sector on the basis of a customer survey. Some 60 shipping companies took part, providing information on their preparations for the new and more stringent emission regulations, measures to improve efficiency and the related cost and financial situation. 44 percent of the shipping companies participating are headquartered in Germany, 40 percent in the rest of Europe, the majority of which are domiciled in Greece, 11 percent in North America and 4 percent in Asia.
Almost 90 percent of shipping companies agree that as a globalised industry, the shipping sector needs dependable international emission regulations. Background: As of 2015 the new regulations drawn up by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) require a reduction of the maximum admissible sulphur content of marine fuel from one percent to 0.1 percent and a further reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions of up to 80 percent in certain Emission Control Areas (ECAs). These special zones initially cover the North Sea and the Baltic as well as almost the whole of the North American coast. Further ECAs are planned for the Mediterranean area and Japan. Although the environmental balance per shipped ton in the shipping sector is still the most advantageous among all means of transport, the industry emits more than twelve million tons of sulphur oxide and in excess of two million tons of nitrogen oxide a year. Apart from soot particles, sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide, exhaust fumes from ships also contain heavy metals, ash and sediments.
“The drastic decrease in charter rates, increasing bunker prices and stricter IMO regulations mean that shipping companies have to minimise their operating costs while simultaneously ensuring that their ships operate in an environment-friendly manner,” says Ingmar Loges, Global Head Shipping International Clients at HSH Nordbank “Three quarters of the shipping companies that took part in the survey are already investing in measures to improve efficiency with a view to meeting the much higher fuel costs and more stringent environmental requirements. With this in mind almost half of the shipping companies are building new eco-ships. These are types of ship that are planned, designed and built exclusively in accordance with the latest energy-efficient and environment-friendly standards. Furthermore, 42 percent of shipping companies participating in the survey are retrofitting their fleet in order to increase efficiency. 36 percent of the companies state that they are bunkering their ships with a much more expensive fuel, which has a considerably lower emission level compared to conventional heavy fuel oil.
Shipping companies converting half of their fleets
“29 percent of the shipping companies involved in our survey stated that they were converting more than half of their fleet,” said Christian Nieswandt, Global Head Shipping Domestic Clients at HSH Nordbank. However, 38 percent of the shipping companies are only modernising up to ten percent of their own fleet. “Generally speaking, spending on retrofitting makes much more economic sense for larger and more modern ships than for smaller, older ones,“ says Nieswandt.
A third of the shipping companies report that above all optimising and modifying the rudder and propeller number among the most important conversion measures to increase efficiency. In addition one fifth of the shipping companies say that subsequent optimisation of the bow and/or hull represents one of the most important improvements. 22 percent of the shipping companies invest in retrofitting using scrubber technology, which removes the sulphur from engine emissions.
62 percent of shipping companies order newbuilds – almost all of them based on the eco-design
At the time of the survey 62 percent of the shipping companies had already ordered new ships or are planning to do so in the coming year. Of these almost all (94 percent) the shipping companies state their intention to fit their new ships with efficiency-enhancing features. Only six percent are ordering a standard design. 60 percent of the companies agree that this new generation of eco-ships will endanger the competitiveness of the existing fleet. Almost 90 percent even believe that in future the market will be split, with different charter rates for standard designs and eco-designs. “This means that in future older standard designs will be less and less profitable,” explains Nieswandt. “For one thing, compared to modern ships with an eco-design they suffer from lower charter income while at the same time they generate much higher operating costs.”
Most shipping companies invest up to a million US dollars in retrofitting per ship
35 percent of the shipping companies are prepared to spend up to an average of a million US dollars on retrofitting per ship. Almost a third anticipate costs of between half a million and a million US dollars. Overall more than 80 percent of shipping companies interviewed expect their capital spending on retrofitting measures to pay for itself in between one year and five years.
The HSH Nordbank eco-shipping market survey shows that shipping companies are proactively facing up to the ecological and economic challenges by taking measures to improve the efficiency of their active fleet and buying modern ships. Overall the international shipping sector is thus looking to a remarkable innovative boost by means of eco-ships and retrofitting in spite of the still difficult underlying conditions.