Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) employees are extorting shipping operators at Bangkok Port, the Thai Federation on Logistics claimed on Feb. 19, 2013. The shipping operators will front the media today to provide details of the alleged corruption, Thongyu Khongkhan, the federation's chief adviser and executive, said. The port's union, meanwhile, says it will press ahead with its campaign for the PAT director-general to quit. About 300 employees belonging to the PAT union rallied on Friday at the port's headquarters in Klong Toey district, disrupting container movements.
The union is trying to pressure the board to remove PAT director-general Viroj Chongchansittho for his alleged failure to compromise in an overtime dispute.
The protesting workers stopped working overtime on Friday, which delayed shipments from the port.
The workers resumed their duties on Saturday night following talks with PAT chairman Pol Lt Gen Khamronwit Thoopkrachang, who is also the city police chief. However, staff threatened to resume their protest if the board, whose committee will meet today, fails to heed on their demands.
Protesters at Brazil's Santos port occupy Chinese ship Zhen Hua 10
Brazilian workers at the port of Santos occupied the Chinese ship Zhen Hua 10 early on Monday (Fb. 18, 2013) in protest against the government's plan to modernize Brazil's ports, the head of the main labor union representing the protesters said.
The Zhen Hua 10 is carrying cranes that will be deployed at the private container terminal Embraport, owned by local conglomerate Odebrecht, trading company Coimex and the United Arab Emirates' DP World.
The cranes will be used to load and unload shipping containers at the privately run terminal, which is unusual for Brazil, where the vast majority of the port terminals are still under state control. "Workers occupied the Chinese ship to stop it from unloading as a start of protest against Provisional Measure 595. I will be in talks with them to resolve this," Paulo Pereira da Silva, president of the Força Sindical Labor Union, told Reuters.
The government plans to attract $27 billion in private sector investments in the next few years to modernize Brazil's underdeveloped ports and to reform the country's 20-year-old regulatory framework under the measure 595.
Suez Canal Kept Open in Spite of Egypt Protests on Sunday
Thousands of demonstrators shut down the administrative buildings of the Suez Canal terminal in the city of Port Said on Sunday, Feb. 17,2013, as part of a general strike protesting the death sentences handed down three weeks ago to 21 local soccer fans for their roles in a deadly riot last year.
The protests marked the closest that the chaos in Egypt over the last two years has come to threatening the operations of the Suez Canal, an artery of shipping critical to both international commerce and the battered Egyptian economy. www.hellenicshipp...
The movement of goods to and from the Kochi port and the International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadam resumed on Feb. 14, 2013 evening with drivers and crew of container carrier lorries ending their 12-day strike following a negotiated two-year settlement with lorry owners for higher wages and other benefits, reported The Hindu.
Cochin port sources said that the first vessel since the end of the strike had come alongside late in the afternoon and cargo operations were expected to resume any time.
However, the ICTT is now straddled with around 7,200 containers of cargo, which will take a few days to clear. Industry sources said that cargo diversion will be the hardest to tackle for ICTT as some of the key items appeared to go away from Kochi with shippers avoiding the strike-ridden port.
A weekend strike has stopped around 600,000 tonnes of coal getting to Australia’s Newcastle Port, according to media reports. Following almost 12 months of negotiations with Australia’s largest private rail freight company, Pacific National, more than 800 haulage train drivers went on strike for 48 hours over a dispute about a new three year enterprise agreement for its workers. More at www.portstrategy....
Ocean carriers calling at Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal in India’s Port of Cochin announced plans to implement a “trade surcharge” to compensate for loss of business in the wake of an indefinite strike by container trailer drivers, JOC reports.
Unionized drivers walked off the job Feb. 4, calling for wage increases and additional benefits.
“The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that ship operators are left with no other alternative but to impose a cost-recovery surcharge,” a feeder line representative at Cochin said.
He said feeder operators between Cochin and the port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, would start levying a surcharge of $100 per 20-foot-equivalent unit until further notice. A trade notice is expected to be issued shortly.
German JadeWeser Container Port Eyes Part-Time Work Schedule
JadeWeserPort, Germany’s newest container terminal, is planning to put around 400 employees on part-time work because it is has attracted only two weekly liner services since it began operations in the port of Wilhelmshaven last September, JOC reports.
The management of Germany’s first deep-water container terminal will discuss changes to working rotas with union officials on Friday, Feb. 15,2013, according to local media.
The impact on the terminal and the affected employees will be softened by the Kurzarbeit system, under which the German government makes up for lost earnings of workers on reduced hours to protect jobs and safeguard skills.
Eurogate, the operator and 70 percent majority owner of JadeWeserPort, is also suing the Wilhelmshaven port authority over the level of dues which are said to put the terminal at disadvantage to rivals in the neighbouring ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven.
Despite a 70 percent introductory discount on ship tariffs, reduced to 50 percent in January, JadeWeser has only attracted two services, both operated by Maersk Line, a sister company of APM Terminals, which owns 30 percent of the terminal.
Two bulk stevedores merge in the port of Rotterdam
Bulk Stevedoring Rotterdam and Van Uden Stevedoring are merging to become BSR-Van Uden Stevedoring. The combination has terminals in Rotterdam and Moerdijk with a total of five shore cranes, two floating cranes, eight hectares of land and 1500 m of quay, port media reports.
According to the company, the combination is a logical sequel to the intensive cooperation commenced last year. The combination is currently working on the expansion of the storage possibilities and the acquisition of a third floating crane.
2012 Container Volume Slipped 1.7 Percent at Port of Hamburg
Hamburg’s container traffic slipped 1.7 percent in 2012 from 2011 on sharply lower Asian imports, but Germany’s largest port expects cargo to grow again this year on rising European demand and stronger trade flows in its key overseas markets.
At 8.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units, Hamburg’s throughput was sufficient for the port to retain its ranking as Europe’s second-largest container hub ahead of Antwerp, which posted a 0.3 percent decline to 8.64 million TEUs.
Both ports lost market share to Rotterdam, where container traffic was unchanged in 2012 at 11.9 million TEUs.
Hamburg’s total traffic dipped 1 percent from a record 2011 to 130.9 million metric tons, as a 3 percent drop in imports outweighed a 1.9 percent gain in export volume.
Project for a new container terminal in the Port of Rotterdam receives EU support
The European Union will co-finance to the tune of €5 million from the TEN-T Programme a project to build a state-of-the-art multimodal container terminal at the Port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The future Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) terminal will aim to have the highest modal shift ratio for a container terminal in Europe, said in a TEN-T's press release. The project, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call, involves the construction of the new Rotterdam World Gateway (RWG) terminal at the Port of Rotterdam. Once completed, the terminal will use an optimal layout for processing high volumes of freight efficiently between all transport modes, focussing on the facilities needed for the transhipment of goods to/from the port by rail and inland waterways.
Concretely, the project will support the: - Construction of a barge stacking terminal with total stacking capacity of 9,616 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU)
- Building of a dedicated barge terminal equipped with three barge quay cranes to service the water side, enabling a higher water-to-water transhipment capacity - Completion of a dedicated rail terminal expected to handle up to 246,750 TEU per year by the end of 2014.