Felixstowe Dockers

Felixstowe Dockers

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Maersk to quit eight service agreements with CMA CGM

MAERSK Line will terminate eight separate vessel-sharing or slot-exchange agreements with CMA CGM as it prepares to team up with Mediterranean Shipping Co in the new 2M alliance unveiled late last week. 
The new partners have agreed to withdraw from all other alliances to which they currently belong in the east-west trades in order to concentrate solely on 2M. 

That will hit CMA CGM’s transpacific and Asia-Mediterranean services, leaving the French line on its own in some instances. 

The world’s top three lines had been planning to work together on the Pacific, Atlantic and Asia-Europe trades through the P3 Network, until that was abandoned last month following a veto by China. 

Maersk and MSC then decided to establish a new vessel-sharing agreement between the two of them, leaving out CMA CGM in order to keep market shares to a level likely to be acceptable to the Chinese authorities. 

CMA CGM has not yet commented on its exclusion from 2M or revealed what its own plans are now, given the move towards large-scale alliances in order to gain economies of scale and reduce operating costs. 

Both Maersk Line chief executive Søren Skou and MSC vice-president Diego Aponte told Lloyd’s List that they would be quitting other VSAs, with notice already given to partner lines. 

Maersk and CMA CGM had built up a strong working relationship in recent years.The two are together on four Asia-US loops, with MSC also a partner in two of those. 

The services that will be affected by VSA terminations are Maersk’s TP3/TP9 loop from Asia to the US via the Suez Canal; the TP2 and TP8 transpacific loops that involve MSC as well, and TP5 on which Maersk sells slots to CMA CGM. Separately, Maersk and MSC operate a US-flag transpacific service branded by the Danish line as TP8. 

CMA CGM also co-operates with Maersk on services between Asia and the Mediterranean. 

The French line’s Bosphorus Express, which serves the Black Sea, and Phoenician Express, which covers the Adriatic, both involve a partnership with Maersk. So do two others, marketed as AE11 by Maersk and MEX1 by CMA CGM, and the AE20/MEX3 rotation. 

Eight lessons you can learn about the global economy by visiting America’s busiest seaport

The first thing you notice on a visit to the Port of Los Angeles is the cranes towering along the water, poised over the massive ships beneath them. The second is that there are no people, at least none visible: Sometimes you catch sight of a silhouette in a crane’s control room or a truck cab, but the work that goes on is largely far above human scale.

This is the US gateway to the most important economic trend of the new century: The epic export-driven growth of China’s economy. Because it is the deepest port on the west coast of the US and 19 million people live within 200 miles (320 km), it’s the busiest port in the United States. It handles the most containers and the most goods by value, and is the sixteenth busiest on the globe (seven of the 10 busiest ports in the world are in China). Last year, it handled 2,143 ships, and cargo worth $285.4 billion—equal to almost 2% of US gross domestic product.

My recent visit to one of the world’s key trade hubs underlined a few things about how that trade works.

1. Bigger is better—or at least, more efficient

The bulk of the port’s cargo travels in containers, the 20-foot (6.1-meter) long metal rectangles that standardized global shipping and helped make the global supply chain possible. The port handles 7.9 million of them each year. Here’s what merchant ships looked like just as the container revolution was getting underway—the S.S. Lane Victory is a World War II-era cargo ship built in Los Angeles that is now a floating museum:

The S.S. Lane Victory is 139 meters longQuartz/Tim Fernholz
And here’s what container ships look like today. Evergreen Shipping’s Ever Chivalrywas unloading cargo at the port when we were visiting. At 334 meters, it is over twice as long as the Lane Victory, and carries nine times as much cargo by weight:

Massive container ships like this one—a “post-Panamax plus” vessel—can carry about 7,000 to 8,000 containers, although the newest models being manufactured can carry up to 18,000. When they come in, tugboats and pilots pull them into berth, and massive cranes pluck containers from the ships, dropping them onto trucks that carry them to their next destination—customs, one of 40 trains that departs the port each day, or the highway.

2. Automation can be harder than it looks

Right now, a single crane at the port can unload about 30 containers per hour, but there is pressure to speed up the system, especially as ships get bigger. Every hour a vessel spends in port is money wasted, and labor relations at ports are rarely easy, especially as many truck drivers are employed as contract laborers rather than full employees. When I visited the port in June, competing shippers were sharing berthing space to make sure they unloaded their vessels before the port workers’ contracts expired at the end of the month. While the port workers’ union iscontinuing to negotiate (pdf), shippers still fear a costly work stoppage—a strike in 2012 left $1 billion a day on the docks and idled thousands of workers without pay.

In 2009, the port decided to upgrade one of its container terminals with new, super-size cranes and “automated straddle carriers”—robots that follow magnetic strips in the ground to position themselves over containers, snag them, and stack them. Such a system could increase the unloading rate to 40 containers per hour, but the one for the port of Los Angeles cost more than twice as much as forecast—jumping from $245 million to $510 million—and has become price-inflation “folklore” in the port world.

3. You never know where investment will pay off

But for all the cost, the investment might be worthwhile. Fifty years ago, this was mostly a fishing port, and a ferry ran between the mainland and Terminal Island, the site of much of the port infrastructure. Back when Terminal Island was home to just a few canneries processing fish, a local lawmaker, Vincent Thomas, began a two-decade-long effort to build a bridge to it. His opponents called it a “bridge to nowhere” when it was finally completed in 1963.

Vincent Thomas bridge
The bridge to somewhere.AP Photo/Nick Ut
But with the advent of containerization—the standard size for shipping containers was set in 1961—Thomas’s vision appeared prescient. It allowed trucks loaded with cargo to leave the port and go straight into the US highway system. It was a major advantage for the port. Today, a few purse-seiners still fish out of the harbor, but the last tuna cannery in the United States was shut down near the port in 2001.

4. Even geo-political enemies work together

Commercial détente.
This picture is a reminder of the binding force of international trade. Shipping companies lease terminals at the port to manage their cargo. Evergreen is a Taiwanese shipping conglomerate that once refused to handle trade from China’s state-owned shipping company because of political tensions between the two nations. But, as over-capacity has led shipping firms to work more closely together to protect prices, Evergreen processes China Shipping’s containers side-by-side with its own in Los Angeles.

5. The biggest sort of contraband isn’t drugs, but clothing knock-offs

Officials at the port brag that 40% of the goods on US shelves come through their facility, and they may not be too far off. They may also be moving goods that don’t wind up on the shelves. Port officials say that the most frequent customs violation isn’t drug or human trafficking, but fake designer clothing coming in from Asia. The three biggest imports to the port are furniture—some 400,879 containers’ worth in 2013—followed by automobile parts and apparel. Electronics only took up 217,617 containers. (Then again, electronic devices tend to be smaller.)

6. One country’s trash is another country’s trade

The port’s scrap-metal processing center.Quartz/Tim Fernholz
The number one export from the Port of Los Angeles is air—empty shipping containers, to be precise. It’s a very tangible manifestation of the US trade deficit with the rest of the world: When you import more than you export, a lot of containers go back empty.

But after air, the next biggest export is trash. Specifically, 293,523 containers’ worth of wastepaper, much of which goes to China to be recycled into boxes to feed that country’s own export machine. The port also handles scrap metal at a dedicated terminal. The terminal includes a “mega-shredder” that can dismember cars and other large metal objects in seconds. After leaving the United States, the metal heads to Mexico, China or Brazil, where laxer environmental regulations allow it to be recycled more cheaply into raw metal, some of which eventually returns to the US.

7. There are lots of huge metal reefers

Most containers are just metal boxes, but some of them are special: They have an air conditioner stuck on the back so they can transport goods that need to stay cool—fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. These refrigerated containers are known as “reefers,” and the port of Los Angeles brings in lots of live crustaceans inside of them, and exports a good deal of frozen beef:

A rack of reefers.Quartz/Tim Fernholz

8. Energy and its byproducts underlie everything

An oil lighter loads up, surrounded by a protective boom.
An oil lighter loads up, surrounded by a protective boom.Quartz/Tim Fernholz
Like any center of the modern economy, the port has to deal with the pollution that comes with consuming lots of energy. It launched a massive program to upgrade more of its trucks to low-emitting hybrid or electric engines—a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to taking some 250,000 cars off the highway. That came about because labor unions seeking to improve working conditions found common cause with environmentalists.

The port is also working to upgrade all of its berths with electrical power that ships can plug into. Previously, ships would simply run their diesel engines in port, which is not exactly efficient or clean.

Oil-spill paranoia also abounds. Ships off-loading oil products only do so when enclosed by an oil-catching boom, and an industry-funded rapid-response vessel is on alert 24 hours a day, ready to clean up any spills. Port officials say the water is safe enough for swimmers (there is a public beach in the port) and that sea life, including seals, dolphins and the occasional whale, is frequently seen.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

MSC takes in its largest vessel / Maersk takes delivery of the tenth Triple-E

MSC London IMO number 9606302
The Mediterranean Shipping Co has taken in its first 15,908-TEU, part of six-vessel series. The MSC London is vessel number 26 in the MSC fleet and it is the largest one, the rest ships range between 13,798 - 14,000 TEU (largest among them was the MSC Daniela class).
The 15,908-TEU series are being built at STX Shipyard in Korea on charter from Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) and Zodiac Maritime.
Initially the series were ordered by Zodiac Maritime in October 2010. They were planned with original capacity of 13,000 TEU, but in 2011 the agreement was upgraded. In 2013, two of the six contracts were demised to ESC.
MSC London will be deployed on the Asia-Eastern Mediterranean Tiger service. The vessel's arrival will break capacity records at the ports of Istanbul and Piraeus.
MSC London (IMO number 9606302 and MMSI 352853000) is registered in Panama. The length of the vessel is 399 meters, gross tonnage – 165,000 GT and deadweight – 184,100 DWT.

Mayview Maersk, the tenth Triple-E vessel, has been delivered to Maersk. Now the Korean shipbuilder Daweoo has begun the construction of the second ten vessels from the series.

The tenth Triple-E, the Mayview Maersk has a capacity of 18,270 TEU. It will sail on its maiden voyage on July 29 departing Busan en route to Europe. The vessel will replace Elly Maersk, 15,550 TEU, on the AE10 (Asia-Europe) service. Elly Maersk will be deployed on the AE2, upgraded from 8,400 to 15,000 TEU.

The first vessel from the second Triple-E ten is expected to be Merete Maersk. According to Jydske Vestkysten, a Danish newspaper, the total cost of the twenty vessels will be $ 4 billion.

Mayview Maersk (IMO number 9619995 and MMSI 219578000) has a length of 399, gross tonnage – 194,849 GT and deadweight – 196,000 t. The vessel is registred in Denmark.

Last received position of Mayview Maersk.

Mayview Maersk Triple-E

Maersk unveils low-sulphur surcharge, but customers of other carriers must wait

ship emissions3
Maersk Line is preparing customers for a low-sulphur fuel surcharge of up to $150 per 40ft container after January 1, when stricter ship emission regulations are enforced in the emission control areas (ECAs) of Europe and the US.
However, with less than six months until the deadline, most other major ocean carriers trading within ECA zones seem unprepared for a big hike in their fuel bills.
It appears that only Maersk and Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd have announced an intention to recover the extra cost of the low-sulphur fuel – currently at $900 per tonne it is around 50% more expensive than heavy fuel oil.
Maersk Line estimates that it will purchase 650,000 tonnes of low-sulphur marine gas oil (LSMGO) a year for its fleet, equal to 7% of its annual bunker fuel requirement, at an additional cost of around $250m. Hapag-Lloyd says it faces a similar bill.
However, unlike Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd has not indicated the level of its ECA surcharge, telling its customers they will be informed in a “timely manner”.
But carriers do not have a good track record of explaining surcharges to customers, and the timing of announcement and implementation can also cause confusion and irritation. In fact, in regard to general rate increases, several thousand dollars of GRIs announced this year have been eroded within weeks of their implementation dates, thereby denting carriers’ credibility.

And there is another problem for the embattled carriers hoping to recover the extra cost of the low-sulphur fuel – shippers will point to the already considerable fuel savings that container lines have achieved as a result of slow- and super-slow-steaming.
The major argument from shippers on slow-steaming is that it is done without any form of consultation with the customer, leaving shippers to build expensive bigger inventories to compensate for much longer transit times.
Interestingly, feeder ships transhipping export and import cargo at hub ports in the Channel, North Sea and Baltic Sea must burn the 0.1% sulphur content fuel from next year, while feeders operating in the Irish Sea and serving ports on the UK’s west coast and won’t be subject to the tougher regulations.

Maersk Reveals 2015 ECA Sulphur Regulation Upshots

Maersk Line has issued a statement revealing the projected financial impact of the new legislation lowering the maximum allowed content of sulphur in fuel burned to 0.1% sulphur from today’s 1.0% in the Emission Control Areas (ECA) in North Europe (including the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel) and North America (200 nautical miles from American and Canadian shore).

Fuel with a sulphur content of 0.1% is significantly more expensive than fuel with 1.0% sulphur content required in ECA areas today.
By 2015, Maersk Line expects to purchase 650,000 tonnes of fuel with 0.1% sulphur content annually for their fleet, equal to 7% of all fuel purchased.
Based on the current price difference of USD 300 per ton (approx. 50%), the additional cost to Maersk Line will be around $250m per year.
On top of that Maersk Line will face increased costs for buying services from third-party feeder operators, who will also have increasing fuel costs.
To offset the additional cost incurred, Maersk Line will incorporate the higher average fuel costs into the existing standard bunker surcharge (SBF).
The expected additional cost to customers in affected trades will be between $50 and $150 per 40’ container to and from main ports, depending on transit time inside ECA areas, and whether they are touching ECA areas at both origin and destination.
Maersk Ponders 2015 ECA Sulphur Regulation Upshots
Map of Emission Control Areas in Europe and North America
Reefer containers will incur higher cost due to fuel used to generate power on board vessels; also cost will fluctuate depending on the volatility of low sulphur fuel prices.
The North American ECA requirements are strongly enforced, but the current weak enforcement of the North European ECA requirements, combined with the significant cost burden increase in 2015 might lead to increased non-compliance.
This would not only weaken the positive effect on air quality, it would also be a major competitive disadvantage for the shipping companies that follow the rules.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Burned-out boxship Flamina back on an even keel after two-year repair project


Photographer:Adi Man [View profile]Title:MSC FLAMINIAAdded:Jul 12, 2014
Captured:July 12, 2014IMO:9225615Hits:1,769
Photo Category:Containerships built 2001-2010
MSC FLAMINIA leaving Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries shipyard for sea trials. After five months of repairs she has a new look.

Flag : Malta
Type : Container Ship
GRT : 75590
NRT : 42233
DWT : 85823
LOA : 300 m
B : 40 m
Dft : 14.50 m
TEU : 6732
Main engine : Hyundai - 77655 bhp
Built : 2001 - Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Geoje, South Korea 

When the extensively burned-out and listing 6,750teu MSC Flaminia was drifting in the Channel in August 2012, desperately battling against time as it sought a port of refuge, not too many would have expected to see the distressed vessel back in service.
The ship caught fire in mid-Atlantic, en route from the US Gulf to North Europe, claiming the lives of three crew members and forcing the ship to be abandoned.
However, just over two years later MSC Flaminia has left the repair yard in Constantza, Romania, and resumed the remaining three years of its time-charter with ocean carrier MSC.
The ill-fated ship left Charleston on 8 July 2012 bound for Antwerp laden with 2,876 containers. Six days later it was ablaze in the Atlantic Ocean after an explosion in the cargo hold. It is suspected this was the consequence of a rogue container of misdeclared chemicals or a leakage from a tank container.
Fire-fighting tugs managed to bring the fire under control, but not before cargo holds 4, 5 and 6 were extensively damaged and the ship had taken in significant quantities of water, rendering it unstable.
Fortunately the weather was good and a salvage team succeeded in towing the smouldering ship into the Channel; but, thereafter, weeks of frustration ensued as the ship was refused access to port after port before eventually being accepted at Wilhelmshaven on 9 September.

Under assistance, the ship managed to limp into the German port where it was able to discharge the damaged containers mid-ships, as well as the mostly unaffected boxes stowed at the fore and aft of the ship.
In a complex and difficult operation, a total of 25,000 tonnes of fire waste had to be removed from the ship.
No doubt scrapping was the easiest option but the engine room and accommodation block was largely unharmed by the blaze thereby making the ship technically repairable.
In a $22m, five-month reconstruction and repair programme, involving over 200 workers at the Daewoo shipyard at Constantza, the post-panamax ship was given a second life.
Unfortunately for the owners of the cargo, not only did many lose their shipments but the general average bond costs would have reached ruinous levels for many that were under- or not insured at all.

The explosion on the MSC Flaminia could have been caused by the loading of incompatible chemicals in a container, declared or otherwise, and with more than 10% of all container traffic now including an element of dangerous goods, this is an acute problem for marine cargo insurers.
Indeed, a spate of container fires onboard ships in the past few years, and the potential for a major marine casualty and environmental disaster, makes the work of the 2010-founded ocean carrier member Cargo Incident Notification System Organisation (CINS) and its database of information essential for maritime safety.

WATCH: Atlantic Ocean B&B Takes Direct Hit from Hurricane Arthur

Check out these videos shot from the Frying Pan Tower B&B, a former U.S. Coast Guard Light Station located 32 miles south of Bald Head, North Carolina, as Hurricane Arthur made its way up the Eastern seaboard  on Thursday.
The light house was purchased from the government in 2010 by Richard Neal and has been converted into an adventure B&B (seriously). By the looks of these videos, you can see just adventurous it is. 
Photo Courtesy Frying Pan Tower B&B
Photo Courtesy Frying Pan Tower B&B

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Strike closes the pier Cosco

Workers rose up at the pier of Cosco response to the leveling of labor relations experience daily in their work and decided escalating their protests until Monday while creating the association. 

These developments began gushing from early Friday morning, when changing shifts so workers in night shift refused to leave the field of terminal and morning shift stayed outside. 

Employees working and committed attitude concentration putting demands on working conditions. Shortly thereafter held an informal meeting and decided to continue their mobilization until Monday and proceed to create the association. 

Locally arrived responsible company, in which the individual lives and "hired" to Cosco and began negotiations for the requests made​​. 

Note that the first mobilization, which is at the pier of Cosco, highlighting the huge problems that exist on labor relations in the workplace. 

The demands of the workers 

Before some time the workers gathered at the pier of Cosco unanimously approved their requests, which are recorded in a list and depict a working medieval work intensification, which can reach even 16 hours a day (!) Without paid holidays , overtime or weekend work. 

Also very important is the demand for notifiable accidents because like complaining employees in case of accident injured transported by private cars and there is no statement accident. 

Further, the list of demands of workers in Cosco is: 
• Be signed Collective Agreement. 
• To recognize the profession as a heavy and unhealthy 
• To increase the wage. 
• Increase the "posts" on every crane in 5 people from 3 today (was 4 people and decreased by one). 
• paying the kavodesia, overtime, weekends and holidays. 
• notifiable accidents because this time transporting wounded by IX 
• To be paid a special allowance to enaerites. 
• Provide risk allowance. 
• To calculate the 3yrs 
• To build working committee that will discuss the problems at 
• To be breaks within shifts 
• Abolish the 16hr work. 
• To undertake labor regulations. 
• To contribute due. 

Locally they have been supportive and employees with the president of the Dockers PPA Nikos Georgiou and board members of the Federation of Employees in Ports Greece (OMYLE). 

"The OMYLE from the first moment we emphasize the necessity of a union at the pier of Cosco. H violation of labor rights and the prohibition of association can not cover forever the working middle ages, present in Cosco », said the president of OMYLE George Georgakopoulos. 


A Piraeus MP of SYRIZA Theodore DRITSAS in a statement described the fair demands of workers and noted that "Prime Ministers, former and current, the responsible ministers, the ruling majority and the big bands of Mass Media, and competent services state criminally silent and instead shamelessly indulge in viewing a supposedly idyllic story regarding the status COSCO Piraeus Port. "

"SYRIZA and other parties, the OMYLE the Dockers Union, the PENEN, the Labor Center of Piraeus and many others have repeatedly denounce this unacceptable reality. Sometimes with speeches in Parliament," said Mr DRITSAS. He added: 

"It's time to end all this. We ask you to sign a collective bargaining agreement, to protect the right to organize workers and admitted immediately all laws and super-ripe demands. "

"Particularly so for the complaint that accidents not reported injured and transported by private invite the Prosecutor to intervene immediately. 
In democratic Greece Greek workers one investor is not acceptable to behave either as colonialist is Greek, German, American, Katarianos, French or Chinese. This let's all understand, "said Mr. DRITSAS.

Every port in every country are trying to squeeze the workforce for more profit. The days of Dockers holding Ports to a ransom have long gone, they just want to earn a living with a proper shift rota.

A rare strike was called on Friday at the container terminal at the main port of Piraeus run by Chinese shipping giant COSCO, a union official said.
"A strike has been called until Monday by around 150 dock workers," George Georgakopoulos, head of the federation of Greek port employees (Omyle) told AFP.
The strike was called in demand of back pay and improved labour conditions, Georgakopoulos added, noting that COSCO staff were not allowed to unionise and that employment rules on the dock were unclear.
"Wage agreements are kept private, but we've been told of 35-euro salaries, far below what container crane operators should earn," the union head said.
"It's also unclear what the work schedule is, people are called in via cellphone messages," he said.
In 2008, as Greece plunged into a deep debt crisis, COSCO signed a 35-year concession to expand the two main container terminals at Piraeus. It plans to invest $230 million (170 million euros) in expansion works by 2020.
COSCO's involvement in Piraeus is one of Greece's top privatisation deals, and successive governments have courted Beijing for further investment as it labours to pull out of a six-year recession.
Greece and China last month signed investment and trade deals worth $6.5 billion (4.8 billion euros) during an official visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

Athens (AFP) - A rare strike called at a Greek container terminal run by Chinese shipping giant COSCO has been called off, a union official said on Saturday.
Around 150 workers at the main port of Piraeus had on Friday said they would strike until Monday to demand back pay and improved labour conditions.
But on Saturday, the head of the federation of Greek port employees (Omyle), George Georgakopoulos, told AFP that agreement had been reached on some of the workers' demands and "the strike is called off."
The workers' grievances included low wages, not being allowed to unionise and unclear employment rules on the dock.
In 2008, as Greece plunged into a deep debt crisis, COSCO signed a 35-year concession to expand the two main container terminals at Piraeus. It plans to invest $230 million (170 million euros) in expansion works by 2020.
COSCO's involvement in Piraeus is one of Greece's top privatisation deals, and successive governments have courted Beijing for further investment as it labours to pull out of a six-year recession.
Greece and China last month signed investment and trade deals worth $6.5 billion (4.8 billion euros) during an official visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.