Thursday, 28 November 2013

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.

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