Sohar Port sees progress in tackling cargo traffic
Sohar Port and Freezone says it has seen encouraging progress in its efforts to deal with disruptions in the flow of container cargo in and out of the port during the past month, while the port’s other terminal operations have remained largely unaffected by the delays.
While the handling of containers has seen steady improvement, Sohar Port is gradually expected to reach full international container terminal standards by the year-end, according to a top official at the logistics hub.
“Most importantly, we have seen all parties involved communicating regularly and working together positively to resolve the situation. I can confidently say that the worst is now behind us, although it will still need some more time for the total container supply chain to normalise,” said Andre Toet, Chief Executive Officer, Sohar Port and Freezone. He continued: “We are listening attentively to all sides involved, importers and exporters to Oman, and giving a helping hand wherever we can.”
That situation erupted soon after the Eid holiday, when consignees and shippers complained of long delays in the loading and discharge of containers at Sohar Port. Worse, it happened in the run up to the August 31 deadline for the relocation of all commercial shipping and cargo from Muscat’s Port Sultan Qaboos to Sohar. Source: Oman Daily Observer
Nicaragua Canal construction to begin in December with port, says official
The construction of the 287km-interoceanic canal through Nicaragua should begin in December with the construction of a port on the Pacific coast, Temaco Talavera, president of the National Universities Council, who serves as a spokesman for the government’s Canal Technical Advisory Commission, told local media.
The port would be located at Britto, in the Rivas department on the Pacific coast and “would create all the necessary work to move forward,” he said,In June of last year, a parliament controlled by President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista National Liberation Front approved the project with scarcely a debate.
They handed a 100-year concession controlling a vast area of Nicaragua to Chinese magnate Wang Jing, giving him broad powers as he and his newly formed Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. (HKND) build and manage the 286km-waterway.
The Canal would be three times the length of the Panama Canal with a channel draught of 22m, the locks having 466 m length, being 64 m in width and its cost is estimated at $40B\bn although most experts consider the cost largely under estimated.The project would include two ports, an airport, an artificial lake, two locks, a resort, an area of free trade, roads and cement and steel, according to the Chinese firm HKND Group, concessionaire of the project.
Three months away from the planned start date of construction, there are still no international tenders called neither for the port nor for any infrastructure works or information released about land expropriations required along the canal.
Panama President Juan Carlos Varela during an official visit to Spain said that he did not see the “economic viability” of the project. Panama Canal expansion is well advanced and should begin operations in 2016. Source: Seatrade Global
Grant to Port will boost capacity for ‘super post-Panamax’ ships
The Port of Seattle has won a $20 million grant to rehab and expand one of its busiest container terminals downtown, one of two projects from Washington that successfully competed for a piece of $600 million in federal grants set aside for critical transportation needs around the nation. Source: hellenicshippingnews
LADOL, Samsung to invest $300m in building of Egina deepwater facility
Following the resolution to settle the long-stretched business conflict between both companies, Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Samsung Heavy Industries Korea, has finally formed a joint venture company with Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) to develop a deepwater facility in the country. The joint venture company called SHI-MCI FZE is expected to build a $3 billion Egina FPSO integration and FABRICATION facility at LADOL Free Zone in Lagos
Tests with ships to begin on new Panama Canal locks in mid-2015
Tests with ships will begin in mid-2015 on a new set of locks that are a key component of an expansion of the Panama Canal, the waterway’s chief said.
The 100-year-old canal, which is major global trade artery, is in the midst of a massive expansion that will allow the world’s largest tankers to pass through the isthmus.
The expansion, which involves building a third set of locks onto the 50-mile (80-km) waterway, was originally scheduled to be completed this year, but has been delayed several times, in part due to a dispute earlier this year because of about $1.6 billion in cost overruns.
The deadline for completion is now January 2016.
On Sunday, Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said the locks would likely be ready, holding water, by April or May of next year.
“We hope to start a series of tests with the locks next year in the month of July or August,” Quijano said after overseeing the arrival from Italy of a shipment of four new gates for the locks.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Eric Walsh)
Kenya: Shipping agents say delays at key port costing them millions
Shipping agents want the Kenya Ports Authority ( KPA) management to reduce congestion at the port. In a letter to the Managing Director Gichiri Ndua, and copied to Ministry of Transport Principal Secretary Nduva Muli, Kenya Maritime Authority Director General Nancy Karigithu and KPA Chairman Danson Mungatana, the agents through their lobby, Kenya Ship Agents Association (KSAA), say the deteriorating productivity at the Mombasa port is costing them millions of shillings.
They argue the waiting time across all vessels has ‘drastically’ increased since April this year and that the number of vessels waiting at anchorage per week is increasing. “The situation is especially dire for the container terminal, where productivity does not exceed 30 berth moves per hour,” said David Mackay, chairman of the KSAA in the letter. “Where there has been a decent performance, it should be noted that this has come about as a result of arm-twisting and payment of incentives to make people work.” Last week, KPA had in a notice told shipping lines and agents that it will limit the number of empty containers for export to 500 per vessels.
KPA General Manager -Operations, Capt Twalib Kahmis, said vessels with container exchange of more than 3,000 teus were to berth at berth 17 and 18 on priority basis, in a temporary measure to address congestion, shipping waiting time and space constraints caused by ongoing yard civil works. KSAA however adds that it expects KPA to improve the waiting time and number of vessels waiting in Mombasa to curb declining productivity at the port. Ship owners say they incur losses because assets lie idle at anchorage or extra fuel is burned to make up for lost time and maintain schedule, costing ship owners up to $40,000 (Sh3.5 million) per day per vessel.
But the KPA management blames importers and transporters for the mess, adding that despite improved port efficiencies, importers delay submitting their documents to relevant clearing agents to speed up cargo clearing. The delays in cargo clearance are hurting business at the port. KPA has also expressed concern over the low number of trucks available to collect cargo at the port. While KPA is capable of delivering 2,000 twenty-foot containers in a day, the number of trucks is insufficient to handle the cargo, leading to delays. Even with a single electronic clearance window, containers still stay at the port for up to five days.
Source: Standard Media
SMM, International Maritime Trade Fair, opened in Hamburg, Germany
Ceremonial opening of SMM, International Maritime Trade Fair, was held on September 8 at the Congress Center Hamburg (ССH, Hamburg, Germany), IAA PortNews journalist reports. Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, welcomed the event participants with the opening speech. According to him, 2,100 exhibitors and over 50,000 visitors are expected to take part in the 26th SMM, which is a record high number in the history of this fair. With its 26 national pavilions and exhibitors from 67 different countries, this year's fair is more international than ever, Bernd Aufderheide said. He also noted that SMM will include the conferences and special events like SMM Offshore Dialogue, SMM Ship Finance Forum and Recruiting Day. Senator Frank Horch, State Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Technology of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, told about the integration of Hamburg into the global shipping industry. Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, commented on the importance of the maritime sector as an innovation driver, praising its willingness to embrace high technology. As a surprise crowning the ceremony was the speech of Mike Dawson, a professional skipper who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean several times. He shared his experience with the participants of the ceremony emphasizing the importance of interaction between people of different nationalities during his trips.
Guatemala’s Puerto Quetzal Prepping for Mega-Ships
Grup TCB, a global reference in maritime freight management, has laid the cornerstone of a yard extension to Puerto Quetzal on the Pacific coast in the Guatemalan department of Escuintla. The first phase of the improvements will be complete by the end of 2015, when the company will start operating Puerto Quetzal Container Terminal (TCQ)
Hapag-Lloyd to omit the port of Laem Chabang on its service
Hapag-Lloyd announces, that the Dalian Express (voyage 85W/86E) will omit the port of Laem Chabang, Thailand, the company said in its press release. Shipments normally routed to/through Laem Chabang will continue to be accepted; however, routing will entail transshipment via the port of Singapore. The estimated arrival date at the port of Laem Chabang is October 22, 2014.