Felixstowe Dockers

Felixstowe Dockers

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Peel Ports and ZPMC in Mega-Deal

Peel Ports Group has awarded a multi-million pound contract to Shanghai-based Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. (ZPMC) to supply state-of-the-art mega container cranes for its new ‘Liverpool2′ development project.

ZPMC will initially supply five ship-to-shore (STS) megamax quay cranes and 12 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) for phase 1 of the contract, and a further 3 STS cranes and 10 CMRGs for the phase 2 of the project.

The £300 million investment programme by Peel Ports to expand and develop the existing Port of Liverpool will see Liverpool2 become the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container terminal.

Once completed in late 2015, it will be able to accommodate most of the world’s current fleet of container vessel types and will offer shipping lines a unique opportunity to connect ships of up to 13,500 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) directly to the heart of the UK.
The new container handling equipment will be capable of handling two 380m vessels simultaneously, and ultimately will have a capacity of over one million TEU.
With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail. They will also have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30mph and wind speeds of up to 55mph (88kmph).
The fleet of STS and CRMG cranes will be supported by a multi-million pound investment in state-of-the-art quayside facilities and support technology, including a fully-integrated Navis N4 terminal operating system, autogates and ABB equipment controls. Together, the investments will make Liverpool2 one of the most operationally efficient and modern terminals in Northern Europe.

Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “We have anticipated the future demands and growth of the industry, to ensure that our investment in infrastructure and technology is both flexible and adaptable to the current and future delivery-critical needs of our customers.”
Integral to our investment in leading-edge equipment is the aim of achieving energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. In addition, a key benefit of the enhanced operations when the facility is completed will be the significant increase in cargo capacity, which will also stimulate the economy of the North-west and further afield,” added Mr. Whitworth.
The Port of Liverpool currently handles a diverse range of cargo, including bulk solids and liquids, RORO and containers. In 2012 it was named by leading industry journal Containerisation International as Port Authority of the Year in recognition of its progressive and innovative approach ‘beyond the port gates’.
The cutting-edge ‘megamax’ and CRMG cranes are being designed and manufactured by ZPMC, which has more than 76% of the market share for container cranes throughout 79 countries and was the first recipient of a National Science and Progress Award in China in recognition of its research and innovation.

Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC) has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by Peel Ports to equip its new Liverpool2 container terminal with state-of-the-art ‘mega’ container cranes.

The Shanghai-based manufacturer, as part of a £100 million deal, will supply five ship-to-shore cranes (STS) megamax quay cranes and 12 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes (CRMGs) for the first phase of Liverpool2’s development. A further three STS cranes and 10 CRMGs will be delivered to the terminal for the second phase.
The cranes will allow the new box terminal to handle two 13,500 TEU capacity vessels simultaneously. With semi-automated remote-controlled operation, the cranes will reduce the time taken to transfer containers from port to road or rail. They will also have the ability to operate at speeds in excess of 30mph and wind speeds of up to 55mph (88kmph).
“The specification set out by Peel Ports was extremely demanding,” explains ZPMC senior vice president, Liu Qizhong.
“It is clear their ambition to set new standards in port handling technology is a serious one. The combination of deep water and cutting edge technologies sets a new standard for port innovation in Europe.”
Liverpool2’s fleet of STS and CRMG cranes will be supported by the latest quayside facilities and technologies, including a fully-integrated Navis N4 terminal operating system, autogates and ABB equipment controls.
The £300 million investment programme by Peel Ports to expand and develop the existing Port of Liverpool will see Liverpool2 become the UK’s largest transatlantic deep-sea port and container terminal.
Liverpool2, which will boast a capacity of more than one million TEU per annum, is scheduled to open for commercial business in 2015.

Cargo Ship Burns Off Togo

The 1992-built ConRo vessel M/V Repubblica di Roma, owned by the Grimaldi Group caught fire last week and its current status is unknown this morning. These  images were sent to us from an anonymous Grimaldi employee showing smoke billowing from the ship’s superstructure.
All crew are safely ashore according to our source.
The ship is currently offshore Togo in the Gulf of Guinea and has a cargo capacity of 2,200 cars and 890 TEU.
We have reached out to the shipowner for comment on this incident and will update when new information is available.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

New superports find new business hard to win

Opened in 2012, German superport Jade Weser Port handled less than 100,000 boxes against its 1st year target of 700,000, while London Gateway is only winning changes of call port from nearby neighbour Tilbury.
Staring a brand new port isn’t the easiest trick in the shipping book . .

Second injury within weeks at East Swanson Dock underscores need for National Stevedoring Code of Practice

A second serious injury sustained by a stevedore employed by Patrick at East Swanson Dock has highlighted the danger of working on the waterfront and the need for the urgent establishment of a National Stevedoring Code of Practice.

The stevedore was admitted to Royal Melbourne Hospital after the straddle he was operating toppled yesterday. Initial tests indicate his spinal column is intact, but he has a broken pelvis and will require an operation on his arm.

It follows an incident last month in which another stevedore was injured while using the same batch of straddles.

MUA Victorian Branch Secretary Kevin Bracken said the union had offered support to the injured worker and his family.

"Our thoughts are with our member and his family who are hoping he makes a full recovery," Mr Bracken said.

"The fact remains that waterfront workers are 14 times more likely to be killed on the job than the average Australian worker."

Mr Bracken said the run of injuries underscored the urgent need for a National Stevedoring Code of Practice for safe work on the waterfront.

"A National Stevedoring Code of Practice would improve safety and save lives on the waterfront. It is long overdue," Mr Bracken said.

"Waterfront workers need employers to stop throwing up obstacles to the establishment of a Code of Practice. We need the rules to be set hard and fast so we can minimise injuries and deaths in this dangerous environment.

"The MUA will not rest until better safety standards are established on the waterfront. The proven way to protect and boost workers' safety in dangerous workplaces is through a strong and active union presence."

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dockers Should Always Stick Together

Today, the collective trade union front shut down 'SITA' in the harbour of Ghent.
SITA started unloading a small barge with other personel than certified dockers. These other employees where working under some form of bogus self-employment.
The dockers and their Unions considered this as a direct attack on the Law of Major and undertook action.
The local police arrived at the scene and made an official report against SITA.
Afterwards, the work continued. An agreement was made for a social dialogue. These discussions will commence on Friday.

Listen, Passos… my name is António Mariano, I’m Portuguese for 55 years, dockworker for 35 and a union representative for 18. We were both elected to represent a particular universe, in my case in direct elections, in yours in indirect, as you have been chosen by a majority of the MPs elected for the Portuguese Parliament.

I represent nearly 400 dockworkers that choose my team to lead our centennial class association, created in 1896, in order to represent our individual and collective interests, as well as that of those who, in the future, will play this profession of passionate risk. You represent further than 10 million citizens of Portugal, in which dockworkers are included. Everything else is a sea of conflicts which divide us, so different are the models of society and the values we stand for.
Starting from the values on which you base your formation, I emphasize the Lie which you embody, which you so well cultivate, which crosses throughout your existence. I look at your example and I find myself thinking how would I be able to remain in the role for which I was elected if I were constantly lying to my associates, telling them one day the opposite of what I had stated the day before, failing to keep with the celestial-music-promises of the last electoral campaign.
I can speculate about the tremendous guilty conscience problems which would assault me, unless I was serving opposite interests to those who elected me, if I had sold myself out. Fortunately the dockworkers would never allow me such a behaviour and, at least, they would have shown me the exit door.
You keep yourself grab to power but I imagine you’ll have sounding reasons to do so, taking into account your gurus, counsellors and the rest of the gang surrounding you. It were those bad influences, allied to the economic groups which sponsor you while dominating the port sector, which led to the legislative attack and to the climate of impunity in view of the repeated legal and contractual violations that we have been subject to.
As you can now verify, by the agreement which we signed on the past day February 14th with the Lisbon employers, the most significant thing we achieved was the reinstatement of the 47 dismissed dockers. That struggle of ours should be yours too, the struggle for quality jobs, with the dignity you should also recognize to the Portuguese, for real employment policies which avoided the bleeding out of our young and less young into rivers of unemployment, emigration, desperation and death.
There is not a single day when you do not talk about the effort of the Portuguese people, as there is not a single day you fail to disrespect them. We, port workers, even during a long struggle process, never failed to ensure the imports and exports which the country requires. What did you do, besides making everything more difficult? Is there a less productive Portuguese than you? Even considering that, for you, economy are the corporations, when for me it is the people. I do not know anyone who has done more to destroy the national economy, moreover in the footsteps of a predecessor of yours, accomplice of this your governance.
The fury with which you implement this ideological agenda is so radical that you are unable to see the consequences for the people’s lives. At the Port of Lisbon, for example, that is the reality I do know best, the irrationality of the ports law, which you approved against everything and everyone, led to 47 dockworkers being wrongly dismissed, when their work was crucial to ensure the best port performance. The employers have already recognized that fact and engaged to reintegrate each and every one of them, but nothing erases the pain of being for a year out of work. Do you have any idea of what that means? I know that your only concern is the performance of exportations – reality that thus you harmed – but let me tell you, your intransigence has a tremendous impact on the real lives of people. Unemployment is almost always the cause of other avatars, from divorce to depression, from giving up having children to the loss of housing, from the lack of horizons to the illusory escape of emigration.
Listen, Passos… we are sick and tired of watching the emigration of our family members, our rights, our dreams, and we will continue to fight to make you understand as soon as possible that the best for all of us is that you, your government, your bankers, are the next to leave. No one will shed a tear when you finally set sail. That trip is now the condition for people to regain hope for a better future. It will not suffice, it is true, but everything will resume at that initial day, entire and clean.

Tales of two ports

Two tales from UK ports make interesting reading this month. In the West, Bristol Port Company (BPC) offered £10m to the local council to buy the freehold to the docks at Avonmouth and Portbury. The company bought the leasehold in 1991 under a 150-year lease.
It now wants to exercise an option to buy the freehold to “secure the port’s future”.
BPC has offered significantly more than the market value of the land, pegged at £3m-£4m by advisers to the port. It’s likely to be accepted by the Council which has publicly stated that a port on leasehold land could put off investors looking for long term security. In reality, what it is perhaps acknowledging is that the port did not blossom under its stewardship and now with a ‘safe pair of hands in place’ why not sell the freehold and put the port on the same footing as other major privatisations of major ports undertaken by the UK Government? It will, of course, also receive cash into the bargain.
On the opposite side of the country another leaseholder has also sought to improve its long term position. However, its bid has not been as successful as that of Bristol’s.

Great Yarmouth Port Company Limited (GYPC) has failed in its legal bid to become the harbour authority, a move it says is necessary to simplify a “complex” ownership structure which it believes is a barrier to trade.
GYPC signed a 99-year lease for the port in 2007 with the current Great Yarmouth Port Authority and since then has invested over £60m into the port - including bringing to fruition the long mooted construction of the new outer harbour in February 2010. It now operates under the title of EastPort UK, a step designed to mirror its wider appeal. The bid to take on the harbour authority’s role – first made back in 2010 - was thrown out by UK port regulator Marine Management Organisation (MMO), a ruling that was upheld on appeal.
Until 2007, when the new outer harbour became operational, Great Yarmouth port was run by commissioners as a trust, owned and managed in the public sector for the benefit of the town.
Does the decision make sense? There are inevitably those that see port authority functions such as safety of navigation, port security and estate management as best undertaken at arm’s length from the operating arm of the port.
On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that these functions can be successfully integrated under the roof of one port body in the UK. Associated British Ports, a private company, is, for example, the Statutory and Competent Harbour Authority for 22 separate ports and harbours located around the UK. Many other ports privatised since the 1990s have also demonstrated strong competence in this regard and thus in certain respects it is possible to see that GYPC has grounds to be aggrieved at the recent ruling.
The MMO’s decision was reportedly influenced by protests from local groups but with the grounds for these contested by GYPC.
Both experiences demonstrate that privatisation is not a panacea in itself but that the process inevitably generates new challenges that require astute navigation and forethought.

Monday, 21 April 2014