Icebreaking services by 14 icebreakers provided to 80 vessels in the Gulf of Finland
14 icebreakers operate in the Gulf of Finland as of January 27. According to the press center of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency, icebreaking assistance of this winter navigation has covered 80 vessels. 7 icebreakers are currently involved including 3 icebreakers operating at Big Port St. Petersburg (Semen Dezhnev, Mudyug, Yury Lisyansky), 2 icebreakers – at ports of Vyborg and Vysotsk (Kapitan Izmailov, Ivan Kruzenshtern) and 2 icebreakers – at Ust-Luga port (Saint-Petersburg and Kapitan Zarubin). 7 icebreakers are in reserve. Source: Port-News
Argentina strangles Montevideo port activity; operators call for a bilateral agreement
“There are days when there is no activity at all at the Cuenca del Plata containers terminal. Activity has dropped 40% compared to previous to 7 November when Argentina implemented its latest battery of measures” said Fernando Correa, manager of institutional relations from Katoen Natie, the Belgian company that controls 80% of the Cuenca del Plata consortium. “We believe there must be a country-to-country, government-to-government understanding to overcome the situation. It's a bilateral issue, we simply can't wait for a Mercosur committee to decide”, insisted Correa. Last November and in retaliation for Uruguay not consulting with Argentina the authorization to increase production of the UPM/Botnia pulp mill, Buenos Aires decided that Argentine cargoes can only be handled in ports whose countries have signed Mercosur agreements on fluvial and sea shipping. Correa pointed out that Katoen Natie will continue to invest in Uruguay as the hub port of the region because it believes that in five years Montevideo can recover that condition if an agreement is reached in the framework of Mercosur. Transshipment operations in Montevideo represent 60% of all activities and 80% of that percentage refers to produce and goods from Argentine Patagonia that now must move on to the southern ports of Brazil. Source: Mercopress
Bankrupt Málaga Port bailed out by Spanish government
The Port of Málaga, which has been criticised by the National Ports Authority, has been thrown a lifeline by the central government, which has offered it €1.9m to offset its 2013 deficit. However, the port authority has accumulated debts of nearly €24m. Port authority president, Paulino Plata, the third to hold the post in the last 12 months, recently conceded: “It is true that we are in trouble, but in the coming years I think ... we will be in a much better situation.” The financial mismanagement is linked to Spain's property bubble, which prompted the port authority to try and pay for civil works in the commercial port through leisure and cultural development in the urban area. Both the cruise liner terminal and the deepening of the draft at the container terminal to 14 metres relied heavily on these investments. Source: Port Strategy
ICTSI invests $100M in its first container terminal at Matadi, Congo
International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has announced the investment in and the establishment of its first terminal in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We have been following the positive economic developments in DRC closely and are proud that we can take part in building the needed infrastructure for the future growth and prosperity of the country,” said Enrique K. Razon Jr, ICTSI Chairman and President. ICTSI Congo DR will be located on the riverbank of the Congo River in Matadi, which is already today the main entry point for containers into DRC serving the greater region and the Kinshasa market. The facility will, in Phase 1, be able to handle 120,000 TEU and 350,000 mts. The capacity and berth length can, subject to demand, be doubled in Phase 2. Phase 1 will consist of two berths with a total length of 350 meters, which will be servicing shipping lines, importers and exporters with its modern infrastructure, state of the art equipment and highly skilled staff, matching international standards. It is estimated that the total capital expenditure of the project for Phase 1 will be approximately US$100 million.
Brazil port workers start six-hour nationwide strike at ten ports, 24hrs Strike on Jan. 30
Workers at 10 Brazilian ports started a six-hour strike on Friday against what they said was increasing privatization, but the country's main shipping port of Santos did not participate. The National Port Federation (FNP), which organized the strike, does not include stevedores, but rather workers in charge of granting permission for docking and undocking of vessels as well as controlling dock access.
"Ten ports have adhered to the strike so far, but more could join," said Adriana de Araújo, a spokeswoman for the FNP in Brasilia. Participating ports included Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Belem, she said. Workers at Paranagua, the country's No. 2 grain-exporting port, were operating on a limited scale known locally as "operação-padrão," or work-to-rule. The Sintraport union at Santos, in Sao Paulo state, said workers had decided not to participate. The FNP has also planned a 24-hour strike for Thursday and will hold a general assembly on Feb. 4 to discuss an open-ended strike.
Monday, 27 January 2014 Bulgaria’s Varna Port is closed for loaded ships, the website of the Ship Traffic Management Directorate announced for Radio FOCUS – Varna. The restriction is valid for all ports and channels. The weather is cloudy, it is snowing. The temperature is -4.5 °C. There are no restrictions on the movement of the vessels. The wind force is of around 4-5 as per the Beaufort Wind Scale. Source: Focus
Fog forces closure of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait to ships on Sunday, Jan. 26
Heavy fog on Sunday, Jan 26, 2014 forced the closure of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait, a vital route for Russian oil and other commodities, to shipping traffic.
Five tankers were waiting to travel north at the mouth of the narrow strait, which links the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. Traffic at the Dardanelles at the other end of the Sea of Marmara was unaffected. Reduced visibility due to poor weather in the winter frequently requires maritime officials to shut the Bosphorus, disrupting the flow of Russian oil and grain to world markets.
Dock workers in Chile end a strike which has damaged the export economy
Dock workers in Chile have agreed to end a crippling strike over pay. A spokesman for the dock workers, Sergio Vargas, said they would return to work on Sunday, Jan. 26 after signing an agreement with the port operators. He said they had settled on a one-off payment for half-hour meal breaks that had not been paid since 2005. The strike, which began at several ports on 3 January, has cost millions of dollars in damages to Chile's fruit and vegetable export sector.
"The managers (port operators) have signed (the agreement)," Mr Vargas told CNN Chile. "It was a long fight for dock workers in Chile. It's a great victory. We're going back (to work)." Early on Saturday, Jan. 25 the government reached a deal with union leaders, yielding to demands for retroactive pay for the past nine years.