Ocean carriers are canceling services and telling some shippers they can expect weeklong delays due to considerable and unexplained congestion through the Panama Canal.
Various reports have cited adverse weather conditions and repairs to existing locks as explanations for the delays. The Panama Canal Authority, however, did not respond to multiple JOC.com requests for comment on the factors behind backlog, nor the measures that were being taken to remedy them.
Vessels awaiting transit are now facing up to 10-day delays, carriers have told shippers this week, far more than the average transit times of 24 to 30 hours.
The canal was experiencing significant vessel traffic as of Wednesday afternoon. Twelve container ships were transiting the canal and 22 others were awaiting transit — 17 on the Pacific side and five on the Atlantic, according to AIS-data. www.joc.com/marit...
Piraeus Strike Hits Bunker Suppliers with Loading Delays
Extended strike action by pilot and tug operators in the Greek Port of Piraeus has left bunker suppliers dealing with loading delays, Platts reports.
The strike was originally scheduled to last from 6 a.m. local time on Monday to 6 a.m. on Wednesday, but was extended a further 48 hours.
While loadings completed on the weekend are said to have allowed suppliers to avoid delays for the first two days of the strike, continued strike action has put caused issues for suppliers.
"It seems hardly anyone would have enough product on barges for another two days, and who knows, the strike might also continue for another 48 hours Friday onwards," said one Piraeus supplier. shipandbunker.com...
APM Terminals signs MOU with Qingdao Port Group for Vado, Italy
Leaders from Qingdao Port Group met with APM Terminals executives in The Hague to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the APM Terminals Vado, Italy port project. Terms and investment amount were not disclosed. The MOU will create a new joint venture to invest in and work with other potential partners.
APM Terminals Vado is a new terminal in northern Italy, which when opened in January 2018 will handle both containerized and liquid bulk cargoes – and integrated operationally with the existing 275,000 annual TEU capacity Vado Reefer Terminal facility, which was acquired by APM Terminals in August 2015.
Greek ferry workers are staging a two-day warning strike that started on Monday to voice their opposition to growing austerity measures, pension cuts, unemployment and privatization of the country’s ports, following a call issued on Thursday by Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation.
The strike continues today as well, as seamen left their ferries anchored in the country’s ports leaving the nation’s islands cut off from the mainland, local media report.
The seafarers’ move comes amid a general protest that saw the protesters clash with the police on the streets of Athens on Monday.
It is estimated that around 50,000 people joined the strike organized by unions to oppose the austerity measures proposed within the country’s bailout plan, Reuters informed.
The seafarers’ union also revealed their intentions to join the general strike scheduled for November 12th.
Responding to the strike’s impact on local ports and the ongoing migrant crisis, Greek Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas said that the 48-hour strike of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation and other associations of workers “is a legitimate strike.”
The proposed austerity measures are having a ripple effect across the country as workers from various branches are dissatisfied with the plan.
Among these are also rail transport workers, who are to suspend their operations later today as they protest against the merger of their services with the Athens Metro and street car under one operator.
The protest of ferry workers comes just a week after the Crew Union of Towage Companies in Greece held a towage strike on 22nd to 23rd of October.
The Crew Union of Towage Companies said that the action was being pursued as a sign of protest against the planned privatization of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports. worldmaritimenews...
The APM Terminals Global Terminal Network is entering China’s fast-growing grain import market as part of a joint venture with Qingdao Port International.
The newly developed Qingdao Port Dongjiakou Multi-Purpose Terminal, in which APM Terminals will hold a 20% share, is located on China’s Bohai Rim in the Shandong province, on the Yellow Sea.
The Port of Qingdao is one of the world’s busiest ports, ranking seventh globally handling a total of 468 million metric tons in 2014.
According to APMT, Qingdao’s new Dongjiakou Port area is set to become a national hub of Chinese bulk and energy cargos, with a projected volume of more than 300 million metric tons handled annually in this new complex. worldmaritimenews...
DP World takes over ABP’s stake in Southampton’s container terminal
DP World has taken full control of the container facilities at Southampton after acquiring the 49% stake owned by Associated British Ports.
There has been speculation for years that one of the two partners would ultimately become sole owner of the facility, which began life as Southampton Container Terminal in a joint-venture between P&O Ports and ABP.
P&O Ports’ stake was transferred to DP World after the Dubai-headquartered company acquired the British terminal operator in a $6.9bn deal in 2006, and the Southampton facility was later renamed DP World Southampton.
However, DP World’s long-term commitment to the terminal has been under scrutiny in recent years. After ploughing huge investment into its new London Gateway development, observers questioned whether it could operate two ports that seemed to be in direct competition, particularly for Asia-Europe services.
Other observers noted that Southampton’s most recent box development, the £100m Berth 5 at the box terminal, which opened last year, was financed by ABP, with the ship-to-shore gantry cranes bearing its distinctive navy blue logo, rather than DP World’s.
Today’s agreement, for an undisclosed amount, was accompanied by a 25-year extension of the terminal lease until 2047. theloadstar.co.uk...
JBOG facility marks 1,000th ship loading in 1 year of operation
Qatargas’ Jetty Boil-Off Gas (JBOG) recovery facility recently achieved a major milestone marking its 1,000th loading on to the LNG ship Rasheeda.
Since starting operations in October 2014, the JBOG facility has safely recovered approximately 535,000 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is enough to power as many as 300,000 homes.
JBOG’s first year of operation has been very successful, with the project team being able to operate this unique facility from start up with no major issues. The team has successfully recovered the boil-off gas from the ships, while at the same time managing all the challenges to operate the facility since the JBOG plant uses one of the largest boil-off compressors ever built, which operates in a wide range of conditions and is a technical first for the manufactures. Favourably, all these challenges have been overcome by the team.
During one year of operation, the JBOG facility has returned over 500,000 tonnes of gas to the ventures and reduced flaring by around 90%. This is a significant contribution from Qatargas towards realising some of the major environmental objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030 for reducing carbon emission and demonstrating its commitment to supply clean energy to the world, safely and reliably.
As part of the Common Facilities Projects at Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC), the JBOG project is led and operated by Qatargas on behalf of Qatar Petroleum and the LNG producers in Qatar.
It is the biggest project of its kind and one of the largest environmental investments in the world, designed to recover the gas flared during LNG loading at the six LNG berths in Ras Laffan Port. www.gulf-times.co...
Giant cranes arrive in Liverpool after three-month voyage from Shanghai
LONDON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- A 30,000-km ocean journey between two of the world's greatest ports, Shanghai and Liverpool, ended Monday when a giant vessel bearing five "megamax" quayside cranes arrived in a mist-blanketed River Mersey.
The vessel was carrying the first of eight giant cranes, built in China, and destined for the Liverpool's new 462-million-U.S.- dollar container terminal, known as Liverpool 2.
The voyage started in Shanghai in August, passing southeast Asia, India, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa via the Cape of Good Hope en route to Liverpool.
The super-structures were produced by Chinese company, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (ZPMC), the largest heavy duty equipment manufacturer in the world, as part of a contract with Peel Ports worth over 154 million U.S. dollars. A total of eight ship-to-shore megamax cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes are being supplied as part of Peel's investment program to expand and develop the existing Port of Liverpool to enable it to accommodate the world's largest container ships.
Each crane measures 92 meters high to the top of the frame, approximately the same as Liverpool's most famous building, the Royal Liver building, rising to 132 meters high when the boom is raised. Each crane weighs around 1,600 tonnes. www.globalpost.co...
On October 29, 2015 Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT) received the maiden call of the 14,000 TEU m/v CSCL Star, the ultra large container vessel (ULCV) of 157,000 DWT, deployed in the Ocean 3 Alliance, marking the first Vietnam/Northern Europe direct service.
Notably, within the last week, two feeder services have also started to call at CMIT to connect both the local Vietnamese export cargo and the international export cargo from Thailand and Cambodia, all transshipped through CMIT.
“This operation fits well into the vision of CMIT to be the first container hub port for domestic and international transshipment,” said Robert Hambleton, General Director, CMIT. “The transshipment operation is also supported by the Vietnamese Government, as Vietnam positions itself within the Cai Mep deep-water container port group to best serve the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement which was agreed to in September.” www.marinelink.co...
United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Gulf Petrochem Group (Gulf Petrochem) has announced the opening of a new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZ) on October 29.
The "state of the art" terminal is reported to have a total capacity of 203,888 cubic metres (cbm), with 37 tanks ranging from 1,700 to 11,200 cbm.
Gulf Petrochem says the facility is intended provide storage capacity needed for the increasing demand in the region, and will also be able to store numerous grades of petroleum products, including fuel oil, gas oil, base oil, bitumen, and naptha.
"Our storage terminal business has become an integral and significant business unit for the Group," said BM Bansal, a Gulf Petrochem board member. shipandbunker.com...