Tuesday, 31 January 2017

UK Chamber: Action Must Be Taken If We Are To Address Seafarer Shortfall

UK Chamber CEO Guy Platten has responded to the publication of the Department for Transport Seafarer Projections Review by calling on government to back its SMarT Plus proposal.
The Department for Transport has this week published a study to assess the UK supply and demand for trained seafarers to fulfill roles at sea and onshore over the coming decade.
The UK Seafarer Projections study identified a shortage of 3,000- 4,000 UK deck and engine officers, and 2,000 UK ratings by 2026. The report suggests that in order to avoid the shortfall the annual intake of UK officer trainees would need to more than double.

Commenting on the findings, CEO Guy Platten commented,
“This report highlights the need for decisive action if the future of the UK seafaring skills base is to be secured.
“That is why we have called for increased support for maritime training and have presented the government with the SMarT Plus proposals that would create thousands of seafaring jobs for young people in the UK.
“The industry is united in its call for government action, and we urge the government to seize this opportunity, before it is too late.”
The scheme, documented in a business case presented to the Department for Transport and developed by the UK Chamber of Shipping, Merchant Navy Training Board and Nautilus International, calls for the Government to double seafarer training funding from £15m to £30m.
Guy added,
“We know, through working with employers and unions across the sector that we face the combined challenges of an aging workforce and shortfall in newly trained UK officers and ratings entering the industry. Our members have told us they want to provide more training opportunities and we know that there is no shortage of demand from young people looking for a career at sea and with increased support from Government thousands of jobs can be created in the years ahead.
“It is quite simply, a no-brainer.”
At present, Government’s Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) stands at £15m, and has been responsible for significantly increasing the number of cadetships available. But the UK is believed the be the second most expensive place in the world to train a seafarer, and whilst SMarT covered 50% of the training costs in the late 1990s, today it covers barely a third, with the remainder paid for by shipowners. The business case highlights how the economic value of a seafarer to the UK economy is £58,000, up to £17,500 higher than the national average. It also concludes that Government’s £15m investment delivers a £70m annual yield that could be scaled up with additional investment. The paper also highlights how there are 2 credible candidates for every cadetship offered, proving there is no shortage of supply of UK and UK-based citizens wanting a career at sea.
Reference: ukchamberofshipping.com

Maersk CEO: No acquisitions in 2017

In the coming year Maersk will be so busy integrating Hamburg Süd into the business, it will not be eligible to participate in any further consolidation in the container sector in 2017. This is stated by Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Group, in an interview with Bloomberg from the summit in Davos.
The number of consolidations among the container companies in 2016 surprised Søren Skou, CEO of Maersk Group.

"We were all very surprised by the number of consolidations in the last year. We saw a total of six transactions being announced during the year. We entered 2016 with 16 global container shipping companies of importance and about seven were either purchased or included in consolidations over the year," says Søren Skou in an interview with Bloomberg TV from the summit in Davos.
On Bloomberg's question about whether Maersk will participate in consolidations in 2017, Søren Skou said:

"We certainly need to absorb the acquisition of the Hamburg Süd, before doing anything else. We expect to have the authorities approval of the acquisition by the end of this year and then we can go ahead with integration."

So, Maersk will not look for new opportunities in the area until at least 2018 confirms Søren Skou in the Bloomberg interview.

Although the Maersk CEO expects that demand in the container market will increase slightly compared to last year, it does not necessarily mean that rates will continue the increase which has been seen since the price war culminated in March last year.

"What really matters to freight rates is the way shipping companies choose to utilize capacity. There is plenty of spare capacity in the market, so if you want to use more, you can easily do that," says Søren Skou.

Regarding Maersk Energy's future after the split between the group's energy and transportation companies, Søren Skou says that nothing has been decided yet, but that Maersk Energy is likely to be publicly listed.

Source: Maersk / Maritime Denmark

Loading 1.700TON of Steel Pipes in a small Cargo Ship! Liebherr LHM550 in the Port of Antwerp

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Joris Cleiren

Monday, 30 January 2017

Tour an Engine Room

This Friday, Port Technology is treating you to not one, but two engine room tours! It is truly fascinating to have a look at what goes into powering a mega ship.

The first video is from marine Vlogger JeffHK, who has been documenting his life on-board vessels as a third mate. In this video, Jeff gives a tour of the megaship he is currently working on. Keep up with his life at sea here. 

The second video takes you on an informative tour around the engine room of the containership Ever Lunar. The vessel travels so fast, that you could actually water-ski behind it!
The EVER LUNAR is a container ship built in 2015 and currently sailing under the flag of Taiwan. EVER LUNAR has 335m length overall and beam of 46m and her gross tonnage is 99946 tons.

A couple of people have asked me to make a long video of storm footage

A little background here. Bigwavemaster1 works on a Emergency Response & Rescue Vessel providing support to offshore oil platforms in the North Sea – no matter how bad the weather gets. To his surprise his heavy seas videos have attracted quite a bit of interest on Youtube. But as he points, he doesn’t have the option to just close his browser and go to sleep!
A couple of people have asked me to make a long video of storm footage. Apparently it’s relaxing??? It helps them sleep?????? Not quite sure how that works since it’s the last thing that we can do!!!

Bigwavemaster1 Bigwavemaster1

You can find more of his videos here and be sure to check his Boxing Day storm video HERE

The Hazards Of Being A Ships Pilot

Upper spreader warped, lower spreader tipping outward and multiple runs that need attention. Master made aware .

. Unbelievable!

No shackles, thanks. But can ships rig pilot ladders correctly? Only with tuition from Pilots. MV Wes Sonja

- Another illustration of how well some ships’ masters, officers and crew understand safety.

please note ladder tightly attached to stanchion. Absolutely unsafe.

difficult to transfer from ladder to accomodation without stanchions. What if platform slippery?

Maribo Maersk departs Felixstowe Berth 8 with a powered indirect 26th January 2017

399 metres by 59 metres , Ultra large Maribo Maersk departs Felixstowe Berth 8 at first light with the assistance of two Svitzer tugs for her next port of Algeciras. Svitzer Deben was released from centre lead forward as the Maribo Maersk came ahead on her main engines. The Svitzer Madeleine was held on for a powered in-direct around the Beach End turn out of the harbour.

Dean Cable

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Port and container terminal consolidation can mitigate the impact of ULCVs

© Lai Ching Yuen | Dreamstime.com - Container Terminals
Port and terminal consolidation is the “only long-term answer” to mitigate the impact of fewer calls of ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) bringing bigger box exchanges, argues Drewry.
Neil Davidson, senior analyst at Drewry’s ports & terminal practice, said yesterday that more M&A activity, “both operationally and financially”, was desirable to match that of its liner customers.
Mr Davidson was presenting Drewry’s Terminal Operators Annual Review, and in its assessment of the new east-west alliance networks launching in April, Mr Davidson expected “limited further impact” to North European ports, although he noted that THE Alliance was still to confirm its UK and Baltic hub ports.
He said that disruption at container terminals since the introduction of ULCVs was “starting to level off”, and he thought the “ceiling” had been reached on the size of newbuilds at around 20,000 teu.
“Ship sizes are not going up in leaps and bounds as before,” he said, given that the extra port costs were beginning to negate the unit cost reduction of the larger vessels.
However, Mr Davidson was concerned at the unrelenting cascading of displaced tonnage since the introduction of ULCVs, with ever-larger vessels being squeezed into smaller trades and into terminals not equipped to efficiently handle them.
He expected that there would be more deals, such as that sealed recently at the port of Miami between neighbouring terminal operators SFCT and POMTOC, which have signed up to the Miami Marine Terminal Conference Agreement, receiving the regulatory blessing of the US Federal Maritime Commission.
APM Terminals, which holds a 49% stake in SFCT, told The Loadstar that the problem of “one continuous berth and no room to grow” was the catalyst for the agreement designed to “find new ways to better use both the container terminals” to serve larger ships and larger shipping alliances.
“These larger vessels and larger alliances create pressure on port space and productivity at a time when few port operators are prepared to invest hundreds of millions in new ports and port upgrades,” said an APMT spokesman.
Nevertheless, Mr Davidson said, there was “still room for a well-run small operation” in the port and terminal sector that could compete for niche business.
Meanwhile, on the subject of transhipment, Mr Davidson said it was “difficult to say” whether it would increase or decline as a result of the new alliance structures.
He said the deployment of ultra-large ships should, in theory, lead to fewer port calls and more relay traffic; but on the other hand he noted that alliances were still making multi-port calls in North Europe, which he believed would continue as long as there was an abundance of tonnage and low bunker costs.
And there will be no shortage of containerships in the immediate future. According to the latest data from Alphaliner, some 1.69m teu of new capacity is stemmed for delivery this year.
It is forecasting the industry will create another new scrapping record, 750,000 teu, this year and that 250,000 teu due for delivery will be postponed to next year, but there will still be a capacity growth of 3.4%, creating “havoc”, and “hampering any substantial rise in containership charter rates”.

Accidents On The Docks

Gantry Cranes Facebook

Maersk Line Awarded Client Relationship Management Award

Representation Image – Credits: maersklinesocial.com

Maersk Line took home the Client Relationship Management award at the recent Gulf Customer Experience Award ceremony. Competition was particularly fierce as it came from across multiple industries in the region.
The Gulf Customer Experience and Gulf Digital Experience Awards are widely considered to be the ultimate accolade for customer experience in the Gulf. Entrants extend across many industries such as real estate, banking, telecommunications and range from Jumeirah to Etisalat and HSBC to name a few.
“Customer first” is at the heart of the Transport and Logistics vision to become the global integrator of container logistics. Being selected in the face of such strong competition is not only a glowing testament to the United Arab Emirates cluster, but also a demonstration of how teamwork, being proactive and a culture of customer care can make that vision a reality.

Getting ahead of the competition

There were five areas that the judges felt separated Maersk Line UAE from the rest of the contenders. As cluster top, Christian Juul-Nyholm explains, “Firstly, our objectives were based on clear insights derived from a number of sources – customer satisfaction surveys, customer focus groups, pulse surveys and employee surveys.
Second, our care culture laid the foundation for proactively building relationships with our customers. Third, was our ability to identify customer motivations; customers want to have a seamless online experience, with us being accessible and responsive to their needs at all times.
Then there was having a constant feedback loop that ensures we listen to customers and incorporate findings to improve our current setup.
Last but certainly not least, it was about being stronger together across functions, clusters and CEN so that global inputs and best practices are shared to find local solutions. For instance, talking to Dubai Customs Authorities for pioneering e-delivery order in this region which was an outcome of more than two years of continuous dialogue.”

More is coming

Reflecting on the importance of the award, Christian notes that “Customer First is a priority as part of the 2017 Must Win Battles, and it’s an area we are seeing improvements day by day, with all departments pitching in. The award is a great recognition of that, whether it’s through stabilized accessibility and IQ, improved payment application and turn time at our counters, there are many areas of success.
Best of all, more is coming. There are E-initiatives both internally and externally and better, smarter payment options for our customers on the way. This means there are great opportunities to build on this progress and make further strides in earning the trust of our customers.”
Reference: maerskline.com

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Commission to tighten labour rules for truck drivers in May

EU transport chief Violeta Bulc plans to tighten enforcement rules so employers respect the law more.

Truck drivers and trade unions have formed an alliance to demand the European Commission close loopholes that let underpaid workers from poorer EU countries deliver goods anywhere in the bloc.
Ahead of a legal reform planned for May, Violeta Bulc, the EU transport chief, said yesterday (24 January) that so-called letterbox companies that drive down truckers’ salaries are “one of the main causes of tensions between low-wage and high-wage countries”.
A Romanian truck driver and union representatives packed a hearing room in the European Parliament to warn Bulc about underpaid, exploited truckers who are sent on long-distance trips across the EU and who fall through the cracks of what they call shoddy social welfare rules.
Bulc vowed that she won’t liberalise EU rules on cabotage that allow truck drivers to stay in another EU country for up to seven days and still be subject to the national laws of their home countries. But she does plan to beef up enforcement measures to prevent employers from breaking the law.
Cristina Tilling of the European Transport Workers’ Federation said that could mean requiring commercial trucks to use devices that register a driver’s nationality, where they drive and how long they stay on the road.
“It’s the most important thing to determine the labour law that applies to the driver,” Tilling told EurActiv.com.
Cross-border freight deliveries by truck have increased in the EU. Polish drivers transport more freight across EU borders than any other nationality in the bloc, while Germany and France receive the most deliveries by volume from foreign drivers, according to 2014 Eurostat figures.


Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc wants to stop companies that use legal loopholes to underpay truck drivers. The executive says social dumping is rampant among truckers who drive between multiple countries every month—and Bulc wants to clamp down this year.
Forty-two percent of Bulgarian and Romanian truck drivers travelling through Denmark said they earn on average €1,400 per month while Danish truckers earn three times that amount, according to a 2015 survey carried out by Danish consultancy COWI.
Marius Stanca, a Romanian truck driver, spoke at yesterday’s hearing about dangerous, unhygienic conditions and long hours. Stanca, who now works for a Danish haulage company, said that everything improved for him when he signed a Danish job contract.
“Not everybody has my luck,” he said.
The Commission has so far struggled to enforce EU-wide social standards for truck drivers who frequently travel between countries.
Last summer, the executive opened an infringement case against Germany and France for breaking EU internal market rules after national authorities required foreign trucking companies to pay drivers their national minimum wage whenever they pass through the countries.


The European Commission launched legal action against Germany on Tuesday (19 May), accusing the government of illegally applying the national minimum wage to a number of trucking and haulage companies from Austria, Poland and Hungary.
Bulc said in yesterday’s hearing that national minimum wage laws “should not be applied in a piecemeal way”.
She is drafting the new labour rules for truck drivers with Marianne Thyssen, the Commissioner in charge of EU social affairs, and said they will include measures to explain how a separate bill on the posting of workers will apply to the road freight sector.
The posted workers bill, which sets out rules for employees who are sent temporarily to other EU countries, has been stuck in fraught negotiations between national governments, the Commission and MEPs.
Some countries such as France have argued for tighter rules to prevent social dumping from underpaid workers, while a group of Eastern European countries have pushed back against measures they say are protectionist and discriminate against companies that already take on higher legal and administrative fees to send workers abroad.
Agnes Jongerius, a Dutch Socialist and one of two MEPs corralling the controversial posted workers bill through the Parliament, called trucking “the most visible sector for the exploitation of workers”.
She said it’s “really strange” that the Commission separated labour rules for truckers from the posting of workers bill. The executive proposed changes to the posting of workers directive last March, meaning drivers and freight companies may be in legal limbo if negotiations on the new trucking rules drag on much longer.
Jongerius suggested the Commission’s actions are driven by the rules it applied in its legal case against France and Germany’s minimum wage laws.
“I don’t think they [the Commission] take the safety and protection of people working in road transport as seriously as the internal market,” she told EurActiv.

Dearth of Road Haulage Drivers Blights Freight and Logistics Sector  

New Apprenticeship Scheme Makes a Start on Addressing the Balance 

Shipping News FeatureUK – Over the years, many vested road haulage industry interests have warned of chronic shortage of skilled workers in the UK's freight and logistics sector and with increasing pressures on the industry to deliver goods to increasingly tight timescales, the need for skilled HGV drivers only becomes more evident. The industry estimates that there could be up to 35,000 vacancies for trained operators across the country. To start addressing the problem, government funding to train up to 200 HGV drivers is being made available to Freight Transport Association (FTA) members through a new partnership with The Real Apprenticeship Company (TRAC). 
Applications for funding will need to be made before the end of March 2017 and trainees enrolled by the middle of April. Learners need to be aged 23 or below and hold a Category B (car) driving licence before starting the course. Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Campaigning at the FTA said: 
“This is a great opportunity for members to get free training for the drivers they are recruiting now. We are pleased to be able to offer this funding to members to help them tackle the persistent shortage of qualified HGV drivers." 
A total fund of £1 million has been secured by TRAC and, depending on the training programmes selected by employers, this amount would be sufficient to fund up to 200 drivers through driving licence acquisition training. It is being offered to FTA members and covers the full cost of approved training to include Category C and potentially C+E driving licence acquisition. 
This will be the last tranche of Government funding available that does not require a contribution from employers. Following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, the funding rules will change, meaning only the smallest operators will not be liable for a contribution fee. Pierre de Carteret, Chief Operating Officer at The Real Apprenticeship Company said: 
“While there is currently a reduced appetite to commence training apprentices now, there is a very clear economic rationale for doing so. This is most definitely a case of use it or lose it and it’s extremely unlikely government will provide another funded opportunity like this again.” 
Employers interested in taking up this opportunity should email FTA@thereal.company. Funding will be allocated to qualifying employers and learners on a first-come-first-served basis.