Non-booked regular sized vessels wishing to transit the Panama Canal face a wait of approximately 5-6 days, says GAC. There has been a dramatic increase in the transit backlog as a result of several factors, including heavy arrivals in February/March, averaging 35.8 per day whilst transits average 35.1 transits (approximately 25 panamaxes per day), and extremely high booking utilization (over 97%).
China is moving into the Israeli ports market on a large scale: With one Chinese company having already won a tender to construct the new Ashdod Port, a second Chinese firm will be taking over operations at the new Haifa Port, which is currently under construction by Shapir Engineering and the Ashtrom group at a cost of NIS 3.96 billion.
Shanghai International Port Group has been awarded the government tender to operate the new port in Haifa for 25 years. The new Haifa Port is expected to commence operations in 2021. SIPG was the only company that bid to operate the new facility.
Turkey shuts Bosphorus Strait due to bridge construction
Turkey on Thursday, March 26 closed the Bosphorus Strait, a key shipping channel for Russian oil and other commodities, to allow for construction work on a bridge, shipping agent GAC Turkey said. The strait, which bisects Europe’s largest city Istanbul, was shut at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) and was scheduled to re-open at 7 p.m.
U.A.E. Oil Port Beyond Hormuz Sees Storage Expansion
il storage companies are refinancing debt and planning borrowing to expand terminals at the United Arab Emirates port outside the Hormuz Strait to help traders manage an oil glut with Middle East borrowing rates near a record low.
Fujairah Oil Terminal FZC, a joint venture between China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and a Singaporean partner, is seeking to refinance a construction loan, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. Gulf Petrochem FZC, which operates another storage terminal nearby, is considering financing to expand capacity, according to Paul Nix, general manager for terminal operations.
An oil glut estimated by the U.A.E. at 2 million barrels a day and growing Middle East output of products such as gasoline are boosting demand for storage, benefiting Fujairah, the biggest oil storage port on the Persian Gulf. Refinancing is more attractive with the three-month Emirates interbank offered rate, a benchmark used by banks to price loans, at 0.677 percent last month, matching the lowest since at least 2006. Source: Bloomberg
Associated British Ports’ Port of Ipswich has welcomed the largest shipment of stone in its history, press center of ABP says. The MV Arklow Bay arrived in Ipswich, from Belfast, to deliver 8229 tonnes of stone for Lafarge Tarmac, close to a thousand tonnes more than the previous record of 7371 tonnes. Materials for the construction industry represented around 30% of the Ports total tonnage in 2014. Source: Portnews
Nearly 8.4 million tons of cargo passed through the Port of New Orleans’ public docks in 2014, the highest annual total since 2000. The amount of cargo at the docks increased 28 percent over the 2013 numbers, officials said.
Due to delays during construction works for the service tunnel at Kiel-Holtenau, the Big North Lock Chamber will be temporarily closed between 0800 and 1800 hours today (25 March) and on Thursday 26 March. The Big South Lock Chamber will remain in service.
Cruise ships skip calls at Tunis after terrorist attack
Holland America Line has canceled upcoming port calls to La Goulette on three cruises through the end of May. The seven-day April 19, 2015, “Mediterranean Glamour” voyage on the "Eurodam" now will call in Cagliari, Sardinia, on April 21 instead of La Goulette, the port for Tunis, the capital of "Zuiderdam". The 11-day May 6 “Mediterranean Explorer” cruise on the "Zuiderdam" will now have a sea day on May 9 instead of a call at La Goulette, and a new port of call on May 10 in Olbia, Sardinia, on a previously scheduled sea day. The "Zuiderdam"’s May 17 “Mediterranean Explorer” voyage now will call in Olbia, Sardinia, on May 24, a previously scheduled sea day. May 25 will now be a sea day instead of the scheduled call at La Goulette.The company said scheduled calls to La Goulette beyond the end of May will be evaluated as the sailing dates get closer. Holland America was the latest cruise line to cancel calls to Tunisia after the March 18 attack in a museum killed 23 people, including 12 passengers on the "MSC Splendida" and five on the "Costa Fascinosa". Both MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises suspended calls to Tunisian ports for the remainder of 2015. Star Clippers and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also replaced scheduled calls to Tunisia in April with Sicily instead.
Liebherr to Supply Three Cranes to Port Botany/Sydney
Order includes three unique articulated boom ship to shore container cranes (STS) for delivery to Port Botany.The complete articulated boom and main beam of one of the cranes for Port Botany was assembled in Liebherr Container Cranes facility on a special test bed, where it was tested. This articulated boom design allows these large cranes to operate within the height restrictions prevailing at Port Botany, due to its close proximity to Sydney airport, Liebherr said. Liebherr’s proven ability in designing and delivering innovative projects led to Liebherr being selected to design and build these special cranes. In addition to the innovative articulated booms, the cranes feature an integrated pinning platform and electronic anti-sway to allow for automatic and semi-automatic operation of the load cycle. The finished cranes will have an outreach of 57 m, a lifting height over rail 44.5 m, a span of 35 m and a back reach 25.7 m.
Condor Ferries have made their final sailing from Weymouth. Cross-channel ferry services from Weymouth have come to an end with the final sailing to Guernsey.
Condor is to operate a new and larger ferry on a single service from Poole instead as Weymouth's port is deemed too small. Poole's bigger facilities can accommodate their new vessel - the Condor Liberation.
Condor Liberation marks a £50 million investment and, according to the ferry company, a 'new era in sea travel'. She'll make her maiden voyage this Friday.
The ferry, which features the brand's new colours - dark blue, pink and gold - has Duty Free shop, children's play area, plus a range of eating and drinking outlets.