Shipping industry hit hard by Hong Kong HIT dock strike
While the dockers strike is costing Hongkong International Terminals a reported HK$5 million a day, the actual cost of the dispute is costing the maritime and logistics industry much more as ships and cargo are diverted to other ports.
Alan Lee Yiu-kwong, chairman of the Hong Kong Container Terminal Operators Association, said it was too early to estimate how much the month-long dispute was costing and how much cargo Hong Kong had lost. The association represents the terminal companies including HIT, Modern Terminals and Cosco-HIT that operate port facilities at Kwai Tsing.
But estimates from the Port Development Council show container volumes through the nine Kwai Tsing container ports fell 5.9 per cent in March to 1.42 million teu (20-foot equivalent units) compared with a year earlier. Lee expected this to fall further this month as the dockers' strike took hold. The April cargo throughput figures will be released by the middle of next month.
Lee said: "We are urging all interested parties to sit down and resolve the issue to minimise the impact on the industry, make Hong Kong more competitive and not hit the 200,000 people who depend on the port for their livelihood."
Shipping lines and logistics firms have also been hit with extra costs as ships burn extra fuel while waiting to berth and vessels and cargo are diverted to other ports. Roberto Giannetta, from the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association, said the strike's adverse impact on shipping lines was "particularly an issue in the days and weeks immediately after the strike started" when arrangements for each Hong Kong shipment had to be sorted out individually. "This was frustrating, took time and effort, and was ultimately [financially] costly."
Giannetta said now various arrangements had been put in place for most of the cargo that needed to be moved via Hong Kong. He said some freight was being delayed while ships waited to dock at the terminals, other cargo was being discharged at other Hong Kong facilities or at alternative ports and being barged or trucked to Hong Kong.
It is the longer term damage to Hong Kong's reputation as a fast and efficient transshipment port that has some senior industry executives concerned. Lee said once container shipping lines "feel that [Hong Kong's] costs are too high and it's not as efficient as other transshipment ports then they will change".
If carriers feel "Hong Kong is not as efficient, then for them to change is easy", he said, adding that Shenzhen, Shanghai, Kaohsiung and Busan were snapping at Hong Kong's heels for transshipment volumes. The last three cities already handle more transshipment cargo than Hong Kong at a time when intra-Asia emerged as the world's biggest trade hub, according to figures compiled by Hong Kong port planning consultant ICF GHK.
Source: South China Morning Post
Total South Africa will expand fuel storage capacity at its Island View Terminal in Durban with a R90 million (€7.6 million) investment. Over the next two years the oil giant will grow its fuel storage depot as it works to increase its fuel deliveries to neighbouring countries.
Total South Africa CEO Christian des Closieres was reported as saying the project is part of his company's growth strategy to expand its presence to markets inland.
Additionally, Total is planning to expand and upgrade its blending plant at a cost of R50 million.
Around 17% of Total South Africa' s fuel products are currently stored at the Durban terminal, with this increasing to 26% once the project has been completed.
Source: Tank Storage
Li fails to get court order to stop the HIT strikers
A Hong Kong High Court judge on April 27 has declined to grant an injunction applied by Li Ka-shing-owned Hutchison Whampoa against strikers camping outside the Cheung Kong Center. The strike looks set to enter its second month next week.
The justice, Derek Pang Wai-cheong, said the issue is not urgent and involves the freedom of expression. He will hear arguments from all parties on 3 May.
Lee Cheuk-yan from the Confederation of Trade Unions said the court’s decision is a “small victory” and “our action will continue.” On April 26, the operation of Kwai Chung container terminals was also paralyzed due to a traffic block created by the strikers. Source: Sino Ship News
Ice on Green Bay slows start of 2013 shipping season
The 2013 shipping season got off to a slow start on Green Bay thanks to thick, difficult ice and winter weather that refused to give up its hold.
Satellite images show ice cover on the bay has shrunk dramatically in the past two weeks. But as late as April 16, the bay was largely covered.
The combination of heavy ice and high winds slowed traffic on the bay. The first ship in to the Port of Green Bay — the SS Alpena on April 3 — fought thick ice during its transit of the bay and arrived later than scheduled.
The combination of ice and gusty winds also meant delays for ships operated by Ontario-based Lower Lakes Towing. It has a fleet of nine vessels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system. www.greenbaypress...
The Belgian Ferry Company TransEuropa suspended all sailings between Ramsgate and Ostend this week and went into administration, the Thanet District Council confirmed on Apr 25, 2013. It is understood the company owes the council money. The development means that there is no passenger service out of the Port of Ramsgate. It is believed that about 25 jobs are at risk in the town. The council will continue to be actively seeking to re-establish the route across to Ostend because that is workable, despite the problems encountered by TransEuropa Ferries. TransEuropa had run passenger and freight services between Ramsgate and Ostend for the last 15 years.
The company's been running three ships out of the port, one of which was chartered from P&O and ITV Meridian understands that that vessel has been taken back by the company.
Largest iron ore shipment ever leaves Port Hedland on MV PSU Seventh
The Port Hedland Port Authority has recorded its largest iron ore shipment on April 25, with 255,816 tonnes headed for China. The loaded vessel PSU Seventh made its maiden voyage on a draft of 18.82m. It beat the previous record set by Abigail N last November by 1,802 tonnes. Iron ore carrier, Bao Fu, also sailed on the same morning tide, resulting in exports of over 502,000 tonnes on just two vessels.
Source: Port Hedland Port Authority
Repair of new north lock finished, new south lock to be closed from Monday for 12 weeks
The repair work of new Brunsbüttel north lock is finished. North locks will be reopened to traffic after testing on the weekend, on Monday, April 29. From Monday on the south locks will be closed for traffic for abt. 3 months. In June/July the repaired north lock will be reopened and the south lock repairwork will continue till the end of the year 2013. Both old smaller locks are now fully operational.
Turks charge Libyan ship captain with arms smuggling
A Libyan-flagged vessel allegedly laden with weapons and ammunition was seized today in the Turkish port of Tuzla, in what appears to have been an intelligence-led operation.
The Libyan captain and a Turkish national aboard the unnamed 57-metre vessel were arrested. Police units from the İstanbul Customs Enforcement Directorate of Smuggling, Intelligence and Narcotics reportedly found over 400 pistols along with 5,000 rounds of ammunition, 90 pump-action shotguns, a quarter of a million shotgun cartridges and two gas masks. The ship is said to have put in to Tuzla on 4 April for maintenance. The arms were discovered during customs clearance before the vessel was due to leave, supposedly for Libya. Both the arrested men have been charged with arms smuggling. www.libyaherald.c...
Two fishermen dead, 4 missing as trawler collides with ship off south Goa-Karwar coast
In a mishap off south Goa-Karwar coast, two fishermen died and four others went missing after a ship collided with a fishing trawler on Thursday morning.
"We have rescued 23 crew members of trawler 'Sea Messiah' while four are still missing and bodies of two fishermen were fished out in the evening," said a Coast Guard official, who added that incident happened 47 nautical miles off Karwar coast.
While fishermen claimed that it was an Indian Navy vessel with weapons mounted which hit the trawler, Navy sources said no naval vessel was present in the radius of 100 nautical miles at the time. One of the crew members said that distress call could not be given out because the impact broke the trawler, which had left Cutbona fishing jetty in south Goa last night, into two. Krishna Shivpundi, a crew member, said the trawler was illuminated well enough for any ship to notice it when the accident happened.
The trawler crew members were in the water for almost five hours, with safety jackets on, before Coast Guard came to rescue. ibnlive.in.com/ne...
Dutch shipping firm sets up base in Sunderland port
LV SHIPPING is making waves in Sunderland.
The shipping and transport company, part of the Dutch-owned LV Group in Middlesbrough, has been working with the port since 2011, and has now established a permanent base.
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson, who is chairman of the port board, said: “We have believed for a long time that Port of Sunderland has a special and quite unique offer. More to read at www.sunderlandech...