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.
ICS: Route via Cape of Good Hope may become more attractive than Suez Canal
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) - the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet – has voiced serious concerns about toll increases announced by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), to be implemented on 1 May 2013.
For all but the smallest ships, the Suez Canal toll increases range from about 3% to 5% according to tonnage and ship type. These follow across the board increases of 3% which were implemented in March last year despite industry protests.
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, remarked: “Most international ship operators are trading in the worst shipping markets in living memory due to there being too many ships chasing too few cargoes. This is not the time for the SCA to be announcing increases, which for some trades seem very dramatic indeed, and which many shipowners will find impossible to pass on to their customers.”
He added: “We recognise that, with pressure on Egypt’s tourism and its other economic problems, there is increased pressure on the SCA to maintain what is now the country’s biggest source of foreign revenue. But the effect of these increases will be to give a spur to those owners who may already be considering the Cape route as a serious alternative.”
The route via the Cape of Good Hope is already becoming relatively less expensive as many ships resort to slow steaming in an effort to reduce costs and to deliver the reductions in CO2 emissions which are now demanded by their customers.
Lebanon preparing for arrival of power-generating ships
The first of the two Turkish power-generating vessels is expected to arrive in Beirut soon, reported the [Lebanese] daily An Nahar on Saturday, Feb. 09, 2013.
It said that the “Fatmagul Sultan” set sail on Friday, but it did not disclose when it is scheduled to arrive in the country.
The arrival of the ships had been subject to numerous delays.
Reports in December had expected the ship to arrive in Beirut in April even though it was initially expected to dock in Lebanon in November 2012.
Energy Minister Jebran Bassil explained at the time that the delay was attributed to the government's failure to provide the costs of leasing the ships from Turkish power company Karadeniz.
The cabinet agreed in 2012 to lease power-generating vessels that would help provide 700 megawatts of electricity for a period of three years.
Strike Hits DP World's Egyptian Container Terminal at Al Sokhna
Egypt’s Sokhna Port has been hit by yet another labor dispute, disrupting operations and forcing ocean carriers to skip calls at Ain al-Sokhna Terminal, operated by DP World, according to reports from that country.
Reports said nearly 1,200 temporary workers employed by a previous subcontractor at the port began their industrial action Feb. 3, alleging the Dubai-based company had reneged on an agreement to hire them at the terminal.
“We demand that the Ain Sokhna Port come back under the management of the Red Sea Port Authority. That will resolve all labor problems,” union leaders said.
ICTSI wins bid for Honduras terminal at Puerto Cortes
International Container Terminal Services has won the International Public Bidding Process for the design, financing, construction, maintenance, operation and exploitation of the specialised container and general cargo terminal of Puerto Cortes in Honduras. The container and general cargo terminal of Puerto Cortes will have 1,100 meters of quay for containers and 400m for general cargo, 14m of draft (that can reach 15m), 62.2 hectares of total surface area, 12 STS cranes and an annual volume capacity of approximately 1.8 millionTEU. The announcement was made during a public hearing held on 1st February 2013 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.