Thursday, 30 April 2015

UASC Al Qibla arriving Felixstowe, breezy evening 29 April 2015

UASC's 13,296 TEU Al Qibla arriving at the Port of Felixstowe on the breezy evening of 29th April, 2015.

Shipping TV

20 Ways the Container Won the World

An infographic released by Container Home Plans shows the 20 ways in which the shipping container took over the world, analysing the logistics process before shipping containers were invented, right the way up to the present day.

PTI previously reported 10 unknown facts about the shipping container, including its origins and the number of shipping containers active in the supply chain.
According to the infographic, labour, loss of time and damage to cargo constituted 60-75% of costs before the shipping container came into mass production.
Malcolm McClean, an American entrepreneur, introduced the shipping container to world trade after discovering that this box could be loaded and unloaded onto ships via trucks; a decision that would significantly lower costs and spark globalisation.
The shipping container has since been used for a number of purposes, from building homes to providing a space for quick and efficient lab-testing.
See below for the infographic:
(Source: Container Home Plans)

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Port klang, Malaysia. Oh dear

Any ideas how you get out of this tricky situation.

Over 150 People Successfully Rescued From Burning Ferry Off Spanish Coast

The ferry, which is currently operated by Trasmediterranea-Acciona but owned by the Italian company of Atlantica di Navigazione, sent out several distress calls, as commented by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works via a statement.

“At the time of the accident the Sorrento vessel had a total of 156 people onboard, including both passengers and crew members. None has been left behind and all have been successfully rescued,” Acciona made clear via a statement.

On Tuesday emergency service teams were able to rescue 156 people from the burning Sorrento ferry. The vessel was crossing the Mediterranean en route from the Mallorca island to the Spain-based Valencia port. 
Several Spanish news websites published pictures of the ferry burning. The causes behind the fire remain unknown as of the moment.
The evacuation procedures occurred an hour following the ferry’s departure from Palma de Mallorca, as reported by Acciona.
The captain was at first reluctant to evacuate the vessel, but eventually the passengers along with the crew members left the burning ferry via the use of lifeboats.
The Spanish Sea Rescue Service appointed four boats along with a helicopter to the vessel’s location in order to aid the evacuation. The National Guard also deployed a helicopter and two boats to the scene.
Atlantica di Navigazione has issued confirmation for both the fire accident and the successful evacuation of the passengers and crew members.
The Balearic Island port authority has commented that the burn-out vessel could potentially sink at its current position – 35 miles off the coast of Palma de Mallorca.

Hamburg Süd eyes Ocean Three membership as it expands into east-west trades

Hamburg Süd would be interested in joining theOcean Three alliance if its first steps into the east-west trades prove successful.

That would also mean becoming a tonnage provider and eventually contributing 18,000 teu-class ships in the Asia-Europe leg of the global partnership, Hamburg Süd’s executive board chairman Ottmar Gast said in an interview following the release of the German line’s 2014 performance review.
Acknowledging that becoming the fourth member of the new alliance was still a sensitive issue and not under formal negotiation at this stage, Mr Gast nevertheless said in the long-run, it would “make sense” for Hamburg Süd to have “a higher share of the overall capacity” in the Asia-Europe trades if its initial foray works out.
That could result in full membership of the Ocean Three group of CMA CGM, United Arab Shipping Co and China Shipping, which was formally inaugurated a few weeks ago, if the other members agreed.
Hamburg Süd has already signed a global co-operation agreement with UASC that will give it access to the Pacific and Asia-Europe trades through slot charter arrangements. In return, UASC will have space on some of Hamburg Süd’s South American trades.
Unlike the other global alliances, Ocean Three is a more flexible group that allows members to team up with other carriers where appropriate.
"We are open, if we wish, to add more players to Ocean Three," he told Lloyd's List.

North-south specialist Hamburg Süd needs to reduce its dependence on the South American trades, which have suffered from stiff competition in recent years as lines with ultra large containerships cascaded displaced tonnage into other markets, Mr Gast acknowledged.
Although freight rates in the highly commoditised Asia-Europe corridor have plummeted over the past few months, the South American trades had been even more badly hit, said Mr Gast.
Spot freight rates between Shanghai and the South American east coast, at around $440 per teu, are almost as depressed as those from Shanghai to northern Europe. But ship sizes are smaller, making slot costs more expensive. Port charges are also higher.
So pressure on the bottom line is even worse than in the Asia-Europe trades, Mr Gast pointed out.
“We are too dependent on the markets where we [used to have] a high trade share,” he said.
As lines that had focused on east-west operations started to move into the north-south trades, so privately-owned Hamburg Süd  began to lose the competitive advantage it had enjoyed for so long.
In an interview with Containerisation International and Lloyd’s List, Mr Gast said the Ocean Three alliance would be the most logical one for Hamburg Süd to join, assuming the three founders were in favour, since the older partnerships such as G6 or CKYHE would not have welcomed a newcomer to the already crowded Asia-Europe route.

“Nobody would have invited us to join an established co-operation. We have not been in the east-west trades before, so we would not have expected somebody to say ‘hey, come in, we are looking for another competitor’,” said Mr Gast.
But UASC, having ordered 18,000 teu ships and with global ambitions of its own, was looking for a partner with a good reputation and also able to generate cargo, particular from Asia to South America via Europe.
“This is an opportunity to step into these markets without taking too high a risk, because if we had entered the east-west trades by ourselves, we would have had to establish our own ship system, and would have created so much overcapacity that we would have destroyed the market and produced large losses, which would have been unacceptable,” said Mr Gast.
The intention, he continued, is to go slowly at first, gain experience of these new markets, and then decide whether or not the expansion had been successful.
“If yes, then I think we should continue,” Mr Gast said.
At that stage, Hamburg Süd  probably would have to contribute its own ships to both the Pacific and Asia-Europe trades. Whereas Hamburg Süd’s 9,000 teu and  9,600 teu newbuildings would be suitable on the Pacific, vessels of 14,000 teu up to 18,000 teu or more are becoming the workhorses of the Asia-Europe trades.
“If you do not have these ships, you cannot be competitive,” Mr Gast noted.
But initially, the line might deploy smaller ships it already has in its fleet in one of the sub-trades along the main east-west corridor.
Once fully committed to the main Asia-Europe trade, however, Hamburg Süd  would have to make a similar big ship commitment, he agreed.
At what stage Hamburg Süd becomes a tonnage provider in the east-west trades depends  on market developments in these trades, and the prerequisite that the existing consortium decided to increase capacity and perhaps introduce an additional string.
With no market protected from outside competition any more, the goal is to broaden Hamburg Süd’s network as a hedge against particular weakness on one route when others might be doing better.
Mr Gast defended the recent acquisition of CCNI, which will increase Hamburg Sud’s exposure in the Latin American trades, as a line that had been in the German carrier’s sights for a considerable length of time.
“From one perspective, it does not make sense,” he admitted of the investment, “but we have been after CCNI for many years, and this was the last potential carrier that we could take over.”
After a long wait, the opportunity finally arose to buy CCNI, with the deal giving Hamburg Süd more influence in certain trades.
While the overall strategy is to reduce dependence on the South American trades, Mr Gast more or less ruled out further merger or acquisition activity in other sectors.
“There is nothing left,” he said, with Hamburg Süd not interested in combining with another line that was the same size, or bigger.
However, Ocean Three membership is of interest to Hamburg Süd. And should that happen, the line would almost certainly have to provide ships as well,  Mr Gast predicted.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

HIT's stevedoring contractors sign deal to cover dockers' 5.5pc pay hike

HONGKONG International Terminals (HIT) has announced agreements with independent stevedoring contractors that cover the costs of a 5.5 per cent cross-the-board raise for the Hong Kong dockers they employ for 2015-2016.

HONGKONG International Terminals (HIT) has announced agreements with independent stevedoring contractors that cover the costs of a 5.5 per cent cross-the-board raise for the Hong Kong dockers they employ for 2015-2016.

The Hutchison unit said it has strengthened communication with stevedoring contractors, who directly hire the dockers, and have also made improvements to the working environment. 

"When setting the terms of the 2015-2016 service contracts, HIT took into consideration the pay increase offered by external contractors, the business outlook, the company's performance, and the operating environment for the company and the industry," said the company statement. 

"External contractors announced a 5.5 per cent increase in basic salary for their workers in the coming year, above the 2014 inflation rate of 4.4 per cent. Ninety-five per cent of their workers have given written consent to the pay rise," said the HIT statement. 

To cover this, HIT's external contractor workers have received a cumulative increase in monthly pay of 26.9 per cent since 2013 and a 44.9 per cent increase over the past five years. In May 2014, HIT introduced a continuing incentive programme to reward workers for maintaining productivity. 

HIT noted that the drop in throughput at Kwai Tsing terminals during the first quarter of 2015 combined with uncertainties in the global economy and international trade, need to be addressed. 

"Joint efforts would be needed within the industry to enhance efficiency and competitiveness and ensure Hong Kong retains its status as a major regional shipping hub and transshipment port," the statement said. 

HIT is a member company of Singapore-listed HPH Trust, and also a part of Hutchison Port Holdings' global network of port and logistics operations, which in turn is a subsidiary of Hong Kong's multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited. 

Hongkong International Terminals Averts Strike

Hongkong International Terminals Averts Strike
Port of Hong Kong’s container terminal operator Hongkong International Terminals Limited (HIT) has agreed to a 5.5% increase in basic salary for workers hired by external contractors, avoiding the industrial action announced last week by the Union of Hong Kong Dockers.
HIT says that 95% of the workers have given their written consent to the pay increase stipulated within service contracts for 2015-2016.
HIT’s external contractor workers have received a cumulative increase in monthly pay of 26.9% since 2013 and a 44.9% increase over the past five years, the operator says in a release.
The Union of Hong Kong Dockers initially asked for an 8.5% pay rise,  and for improved communication with the contractors.
The Port of Hong Kong recorded a drop in volumes handled in the first quarter of 2015, which HIT attributed to the uncertainties in the global economy and international trade.

MSC takes in second of twenty 19,224-TEUers from Daewoo yard

THE Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has taken delivery of the second in a series of twenty 19,224-TEU ships, the MSC Oliver from the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in Busan. 

THE Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has taken delivery of the second in a series of twenty 19,224-TEU ships, the MSC Oliver from the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in Busan. 

"It was the turn of Oscar's cousin, Oliver, to break the traditional bottle of champagne against the ship, in the presence of his father, the executive chairman of MSC Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, representing both the Aponte family and MSC Group. MSC Oliver is the second of a total of 20 mega-vessels," a company statement said.

Traditionally, MSC containerships are named after female relatives of company employees. To date, there are just five exceptions: the MSC Aniello, MSC Don Giovanni, MSC Diego, MSC Oscar and now, the MSC Oliver.

"As these are the next generation vessels it is fitting that they be named after the grandchildren of MSC founder, Gianluigi Aponte," said Mr Vago. "Our children carry the promise of this family's future and these ships, the promise of MSC's destiny."

MSC president and CEO Diego Aponte and his son Oscar were in Busan just two months ago, to christen the MSC Oscar, the world's largest containership. 

"MSC Oscar and MSC Oliver are ships of the same class - not only can they carry more containers but they are also greener and more fuel efficient than any other container ship we operate," added Mr Vago. 

MSC Oliver will join the Albatross service which operates on the tradelane between Asia and Europe.

The westbound port rotation is: Dalian, Busan, Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen-Yantian, Tunjung Pelepas, Algeciras, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and, Wilhelmshaven.

The eastbound rotation is: Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Algeciras, Tangier, Tunjung Pelepas, Shenzhen-Yantian, Shanghai, Dalian, Busan and back to Qingdao.

Monday, 27 April 2015

How Many Cranes Does It Take to Unload a Giant Boxship at Port Klang?

Photo: CMA CGM
Photo: CMA CGM
During CMA CGM Kerguelen’s maiden call at Port Klang Port Terminal in Malaysia, the terminal set up a unique arrangement of cranes to match the length of 398-meter vessel.
So exactly how many cranes did it take to unload the vessel? Twelve. Twelve cranes were used simultaneously to unload the ship, which according to CMA CGM is a company record.
Photo: CMA CGM
CMA CGM Kerguelen at Port Klang. Photo: CMA CGM
CMA CGM Kerguelen was delivered to CMA CGM on March 21, 2015. With a TEU capacity of 17,722 TEU, the vessel is group’s largest containership to date. The ship is the first in a series of 6 vessels of the same size that will be delivered in 2015.
Photo: CMA CGM
Photo: CMA CGM


New Service for Container Terminal as Basque Port Commences Freight Shipments This Month

Multimodal Group Links Up With Tilbury 

UK – SPAIN – The Port of Pasaia(Pasajes) is little known in the UK but is in fact the second most important such facility in the Basque country. As from this month there will be a brand new regular container service route between the Spanish port and the London Container Terminal (LCT) based within Tilbury docks. The new service will start on 23rd April, Saint George’s Day with a weekly rotation of Pasaia, Tilbury, Antwerp, Pasaia and the route will be operated by JSV Logistic and handle a variety of freight.
JSV connects the Spanish Peninsula with the Canary Islands and other ports situated in the Mediterranean using its own vessels and a variety of multimodal services. JSV is committed to reducing Europe's truck road miles and now intends to transport to the UK containerised steel and paper products, along with a mix of chemicals, autoparts and perishables which would normally be trucked through France and the Channel Tunnel. Mr. Antonio Herzog, from JSV Logistic said:
“The JSV group, whose subsidiary FAHER Maritime operates the new service, is pleased to expand its current Pasaia – Antwerp service into Tilbury. Our company will focus its growth strategy in the promising British market and in the specific trades that better fit with our experience in specialised containers. The link between Tilbury and Pasaia offers new opportunities to the companies in both hinterlands, who will benefit from our wide array of equipment.”
The new service was warmly welcomed by both Spanish and English port management groups. Commenting on the service Mr. Ricardo Peña, President of the Port of Pasaia said:
“Today we celebrate the launch of a new service with the United Kingdom. The UK is a major market for the port of Pasaia and is our main import and export route. We are especially happy to start a strategic alliance with the port of Tilbury, a major gateway to the South East and London areas. Despite its different sizes, both ports will collaborate in the development of intermodal solutions in the Atlantic Arch and will explore together the business opportunities offered by the complementarity between the economies of the regions, including the centre and the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, which is very well connected by motorway and rail from the Port of Pasaia.”
One of the attractive features of LCT for Spanish exporters is the terminal's ability to handle and store up to 1,400, 40 foot High Cube reefer containers at any one time. Welcoming the new service, Angela Black, Head of Commercial at London Container Terminal said:

"We are delighted to welcome JSV and their new service to LCT. This announcement signals growth in the UK construction market with the import of steel to the port and we are delighted to be forming a new strategic alliance with the Port of Pasaia. As London's major port, we are unrivalled in our connectivity in the south east of UK and provide strong supply chain services to our customers at the Port.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Innovative Containership Widening Project Completed [PHOTOS]

We’ve heard of ship lengthening, but German shipping company REEDEREI NSB is undertaking an innovative new project to widen three of its Panamax containerships.
The first of the three ships, MSC Geneva, was successfully widened at the HRDD shipyard in China.
REEDEREI NSB says that widening project will increase the TEU capacity of the ships by 20% and improve stability, while operating costs will remain the same. The company adds that the IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index achieved will be equal to that of a newbuilding.
REEDEREI NSB came up with the idea to widen containership in the summer of 2013, kicking off feasibility studies that analyzed the idea from a technical and economic standpoint.
“We all quickly realized that what we had there was a one-of-a-kind concept,” said CTO Lutz Müller. “A central element of our innovation is that we cut the ship in low-use areas. The widening significantly increases both the load carrying capacity and the transverse stability. In addition, sustainability – an aspect that is getting ever more important in shipping – is increased too. Carbon emissions per ton of cargo will be substantially reduced. Moreover, converting a ship instead of scrapping it will be less harmful to the environment than building a new ship. ”
REEDEREI NSB says the widening offers shipping companies and investors more options. Apart from converting ships of existing fleets, purchasing a used ship and having it widened is less costly than ordering a new one. It is also faster to realize. The widening of the MSC Geneva was expected to take four months, and the next two conversions will be carried out even faster, the company says.
Depending on the ship, the widening can add between two and four container rows. In the case of MSC Geneva, its capacity will be increased from 4,860 TEU to over 6,300 TEU.
The project was carried out with classification society DNV GL.
“We were extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to work with NSB on this project from its beginning,” says Marcus Ihms, container ship expert at DNV GL. “As this is a major conversion we worked intensively with NSB, the yard and flag state authorities to ensure that all of the applicable environmental and safety rules were met. But we believe that this is a solution that allows forward thinking owners to keep their vessels competitive in the market for longer.”
Following the successful completion of MSC Geneva, HRDD will now begin working on containerships Buxhai and MSC Carouge.
“Candidates for the widening are Panamax ships delivered after 2005. We believe that the market potential is big. The enquiries we received in the past months indicate that the special know-how we have acquired is very much in demand,” says Bozidar Petrovic, who heads and supports the first widening project at HRDD on site.
Photos courtesy REEDEREI NSB


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Triple-E Maribo Maersk 1st call, breezy evening of 24th April 2015

The latest Tripe-E to arrive at Felixstowe, Maribo Maersk required 3 tugs on the breezy evening of 24th April 2015.

Dredger and hoppers working at Felixstowe, 24 April 2015

Backhoe dredger Manu Pekka, hoppers and tug working on the new 190 metre quay extension at Felixstowe

Friday, 24 April 2015

Cheaper Fuel to Boost Container Shipping – View

Photo courtesy Port of Hamburg
Photo courtesy Port of Hamburg
ReutersBy John Kemp
LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – Lower oil prices are sharply reducing the cost of shipping merchandise from Asia to the United States and Europe as the cost of bunker fuel tumbles.
Container shipping companies deal with the volatility in fuel prices by adding a separate bunker adjustment factor or fuel surcharge to their freight rates.
Fuel can account for more than 60 percent of the total operating costs of moving freight across the oceans so the surcharges are one of the most important elements of total transportation costs.
Surcharges are recalculated quarterly based on the average cost of fuel over a previous 13-week period. So the charge for April-June 2015 is based on fuel costs between December 2014 and February 2015.
Other adjustments are made periodically to reflect changes in average fuel consumption, sailing time, vessel capacity and fuel quality changes.
In September 2008, shortly after oil prices had peaked, shipping lines were adding a surcharge of almost $1,500 to the cost of shipping every 40-foot container between Asia and the West Coast of the United States.
By the second quarter of 2014, lower oil prices and slow steaming, which helped offset the impact of stricter sulfur standards, had cut charges on the eastbound transpacific route to $527 per 40-foot container.
The collapse in oil prices has since cut surcharges by a further 27 percent. From April 1, major shipping lines will add a surcharge of just $385 per 40-foot container on eastbound transpacific routes from Asia to the United States.
On westbound routes from the U.S. West Coast to Asia, surcharges have been reduced 31 percent, from $703 per 40-foot container in the second quarter of 2014 to $481 currently.
Surcharges between the United States and Asia are published by the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), a forum for shipping lines to meet and exchange market information and research (
The TSA, which has 15 members, including Maersk, COSCO and Hanjin, has a limited exemption from antitrust laws to develop voluntary guidelines for rates and surcharges as well as harmonizing other aspects of container shipping service.
The surcharge structure ensures most of the benefit from cheaper bunker fuel prices will be passed on to shippers in the form of lower total freight charges (“Clear evidence box carriers are passing-on bunker savings” April 1).
In theory, shipping lines could try to capture some of the benefit by offsetting lower surcharges with higher basic freight rates.
But the container market is currently over supplied, with a new generation of ultra-large ships entering service, limiting the opportunity to boost basic freight margins (“Fueling the rate drop” March 29).
Cheaper freight costs will filter through to the cost of transporting everything from clothing and foodstuffs to cars and consumer durables.
While freight charges are typically a small proportion of the final sale price, they are large in comparison with profit margins, so cheaper transportation has a direct impact on corporate profitability.
Cheaper bunker fuel therefore acts as a stimulus to large parts of the global economy and should help raise global GDP slightly faster as its impact filters through.
The impact from the shipping sector alone is relatively small but when combined with other fuel-sensitive sectors such as aviation and road transport the total effect is significant.
Marine transport accounted for almost 5.4 million barrels per day of fuel consumption in 2010, equivalent to almost 6 percent of global oil production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The maritime sector has been one of the fastest growing sources of fuel consumption, reflecting the impact of globalization and the rise of Asia. Consumption increased by two-thirds over the decade from 2000 to 2010, with demand rising by almost 5 percent per year.
Bunker consumption includes everything from oil tankers and dry bulk carriers for iron ore, coal and grain to ocean-going container ships, coastal shipping and recreational craft. But the container shipping sector has been one of the fastest growing and accounts for a large share of increased fuel consumption.
Over the last decade, fuel demand has actually been restrained by the high cost of residual fuel oil and marine diesel, which encouraged many shipping lines to adopt practices such as slow steaming.
With lower fuel costs, however, container ships, oil tankers and bulk carriers are speeding up to cut total voyaging costs – sacrificing more fuel consumption for shorter journey times and faster turnarounds.
In the medium term, over a one to five-year period, the global shipping industry could be a significant source of extra petroleum demand if bunker costs remain low. (Editing by Susan Thomas)