Romania reopens Black Sea ports as weather improves
Romania’s Black Sea ports including the main port of Constanta reopened on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 after a two-day stoppage as snowfalls and winds eased, a port official said.
“Constanta reopened at 9:15 a.m. (0715 GMT),” the duty port officer told Reuters.
Snow is not forecast for the next few days but temperatures are set to remain around minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Blizzards dropped up to a meter of snow on Sunday, disrupting trains and forcing authorities to shut down all schools in Bucharest and nearby counties.
EU Opens Investigation into Port of Antwerp Container Terminal Operators
(Reuters) – The European Commission said on Friday it had opened an in-depth investigation into alleged state aid to two container terminal operators in Europe’s second busiest port, Antwerp in Belgium.
The Commission said concession agreements for PSA Antwerp NV and Antwerp Gateway NV contained a requirement for the handling of a minimum tonnage. The two did not reach this between 2009 and 2012, meaning they would have to pay compensation to the publicly-owned port authority.
However, the Antwerp Port Authority decided in 2013 to reduce the minimum tonnage retroactively, reducing the compensation to be paid by some 80 percent. https://gcaptain.com/2016/01/15/eu-opens-investigation-into-port-of-antwerp-container-terminal-operators/#.Vp86lirNy9I
Cartagena cruise ship port mirrors growth throughout Spain
Almost 150,000 cruise passengers visited Cartagena in the first 11 months of last year. Throughout 2015 the official statistics showed that the number of foreign visitors to Spain was considerably higher than the year before, providing a boost to the tourism sector of the economy, and the latest data show Cartagena cruise ship port mirrors growth throughout Spainthat the cruise ship ports, including Cartagena, played their part in this increase. Read more at murciatoday.com/c...
Panama locks opening now expected in second half of 2016
The opening of larger Panama Canal locks, already postponed several times by construction delays, has been pushed back again and now is expected early in the second half of this year, a canal official said.
“We expect it to be open for commercial business sometime in the second half of the year,” said Francisco J. Miguez, executive vice president for finance and administration at the Panama Canal Authority, in a speech at the SMC3 JumpStart 2016 supply-chain conference in Atlanta.
Miguez said canal officials hope to be able to set a more precise opening date by late February, after the contractor, GUPC, certifies that the locks are operational, and the canal authority has conducted tests.
The canal has been aiming for an April opening of the new locks, which will accommodate container ships with capacities of up to 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, nearly triple the capacity of the canal’s century-old existing locks.
Miguez said, however, that the contractor has repeatedly pushed back the expected completion date for the $5.25 billion project beyond its original October 2014 date.
Work now is an estimated 96 percent complete, but canal officials want to ensure the locks are working perfectly before commercial transits are allowed through. www.joc.com/port-...
Coast Guard Rescues 7 People Near Port of Brownsville
The U.S. Coast Guard was called out to rescue a group of stranded people near the Port of Brownsville on Monday.
According to a Coast Guard service member, there were seven people involved. Three of them had to be taken to the hospital. One person was unresponsive.
The other four victims were taken to the U.S. Coast Guard station on the island. It is unknown if the people crossing the Brownsville Ship Channel are U.S. citizens.
They also reported finding several bundles of marijuana near the scene. Border Patrol and the Port of Brownsville Police assisted with the rescue. www.krgv.com/stor...
NSW Ports says the strike stoppages are causing cost to operators and loss in trade
Tug engineers working for Svitzer Australia are continuing their 24-hour strikes across ports in News South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia over dispute regarding a proposed new enterprise agreement.
The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers’ (AIMPE) Martin Byrne said almost all of the commercial shipping would be affected at all ports, with exemptions for cruise ships, military ships and the ones facing safety issues.
The strikes began last week in Sydney and Geelong before moving to Brisbane.
Tug and salvage company Svitzer’s new enterprise agreement proposes to consolidate the three agreements (one each for tug engineers, deckhands and tug skippers) into one, which the AIMPE says will reduce qualification requirements for engineers.
Svitzer is now offering its entire workforce an opportunity to vote on the proposed enterprise agreement this week.
While Svitzer says the new agreement has the "in-principle support" of the Maritime Union of Australia and the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the AIMPE says it will recommend its members to vote against the agreement.
Taiwan International Ports Corporation plans Subic Bay Freeport investment
Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) has showed its interest to invest in Subic Bay Freeport in the Philippines. “Subic is the finest commercial and tourism destination that we have seen, and the future cargo shipping destination,” Chih-Ching Chang, chairman of TIPC, said according to The Standard.
Five workers at Nanjing Ningxu Shipbuilding suffered from intoxication in a vessel under construction at the yard on Friday.
According to local reports, the workers were cleaning inside the bottom of a cargo vessel which was near completion when they suffered intoxication and fainted from the high paint concentration in the cabin.
One of the workers struggled out and called for help. Two of the workers died after being sent to hospital, while the other three recovered.
Local authorities have started investigations into the incident.
Toxic smoke continue to hamper operations in Port of Santos
Some port operations continued to be disrupted by the effects of toxic smoke at Brazil’s Port of Santos on Friday, a day after a chemical blaze broke out in around a dozen containers, according to Reuters.
While firefighters had the fire under control they were still trying to snuff it out on Friday afternoon. Smoke drifted over the port and to parts of the city.
Santos port, located in Sao Paulo state, is the busiest in Latin America with dozens of terminals handling a range of cargoes, including solid and liquid bulk, containers and general loads. A quarter of Brazil’s trade passes through there.
Operations were halted at the Localfrio-operated terminal where the fire started and at one adjacent terminal. But the port’s other 53 terminals were operating normally.
Trucks carrying exports were being denied access to the Guaruja side of the port. splash247.com/tox...
Kinder Morgan Houston Ship Channel oil barge docks seeing 12-day delays
Delays in deliveries and pickups at the Kinder Morgan oil barge docks in the Houston Ship Channel have stretched to 12 days, up from the normal five days for the middle of winter, and are interfering with commerce in blendstocks and naphtha, sources said.
Bad weather and choppy water have slowed traffic around the docks, a US blendstocks trader said.
“The barge market is a whole separate animal right now,” he said. “Your barge comes in, and then you are not sure how long you are going to have to wait.”
The National Weather Service at League City, Texas, said Thursday that a strong line of storms had formed along the Texas coast. Market sources said rain and wind will aggravate the already lengthy delays in barge traffic. www.hellenicshipp...