Libya's recognised government conducted air strikes against rival government forces trying to seize major oil ports in the east and against targets in the west on Monday, witnesses said.
Libya has had two governments and parliaments since a group called Libya Dawn seized the capital Tripoli in August. The recognised prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, was forced to withdraw to the east.
Both sides are allied to brigades which helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and now vie for political power and a share of the vast oil reserves in a conflict Western powers fear might tear apart the North African country.
A force allied to the Tripoli-based rival government, who opponents say has links to Islamists, launched an offensive on Saturday to take eastern Libyan oil facilities.
A force loyal to Thinni flew air strikes against those rival government troops, located some 40 km (25 miles) from Es Sider oil port, its air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi said. The Tripoli-based government said its troops controlled all roads leading to the country's biggest oil port.
Some 800 km (500 miles) to the west, an air strike also targeted the town of Zuwara near the border to Tunisia, witnesses said. But the rival government kept control of the main crossing in Ras Jdir.
New Carnival cruise port at Amber Cove to open October 2016
Carnival Cruise Lines' new Amber Cove port of call in the Dominican Republic will be ready for guests on Oct. 6, 2015, the cruise line said Friday.
Carnival said its Carnival Victory will make a one-day call to open the destination, which will be featured in a major way in Carnival's Caribbean itineraries.
The line said it has scheduled 37 calls in Amber Cove from October 2015 to April 2016. Eight different ships will call there, including its Breeze, Glory, Splendor and Victory ships from Miami, the Valor and Sunshine ships from Port Canaveral, its Conquest ship from Fort Lauderdale and the Fantasy from Charleston, S.C.
Rotterdam World Gateway sets spring date for maiden weekly call
ROTTERDAM World Gateway, one of two eagerly awaited terminals set to open at Maasvlakte 2, expects to welcome its first weekly service in April of next year, despite not knowing which line will be its first customer.
Agro-bulk terminal work at Oman’s Sohar Port to begin soon
Construction of the planned major agro-bulk terminal at Sohar Port is expected to commence in the next couple of months, said a senior port official.
The first-of-its-kind agro-bulk terminal in the region will be a major component of Oman’s food security strategy and will handle 700,000 tonnes of grain and one million tonnes of raw sugar imports once it is fully operational.
“The ambition is for construction to begin next March,” Edwin Lammers, executive commercial manager, Sohar Port and Freezone, told Times of Oman.
A Chinese trade delegation arrived in Aden to conclude joint accords with Transport Ministry and Aden Container Port’s Administration to use Aden Port as a transit point.
The Chinese delegation included Chief Executive Officer of COSCO International Freight Company for east Asia and Chairman of Feeder Service Company. The delegation seeks to get facilities from the port’s administration to run the shipping line from the ports of China and East Asia to Aden Port, coordinator of the seaports and maritime transport at the Yemeni General Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry told Saba. The COCOC’s shipping line operation from the ports of China and East Asia to Aden Port will enhance the maritime traffic in the container port through using it as a transit point for containers of Hodeidah Port instead of using the Saudi port of Jeddah, the coordinator added.
Aden Port is considered a hub port and a transit point for goods transiting between East and West.
Freight forwarders in Nigeria are threatening to close down ports in protests over alleged illegal charges that they say are being levied by terminal operators and shipping companies.
Earlier this year, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) was appointed as ports regulator and almost immediately tried to bring the Progressive Storage Charge back to the pre-May 2009 rates agreed by the Ministry of Transport. Previously, the terminal operators had ignored this, replacing it with their own rates.
However, terminal owners and shipping companies disrupted the NSC initiative, taking out a temporary injunction at the Lagos High Court. The regulator also introduced other measures, which took effect as of November 3. These were to bring fair pricing and efficiency back to the industry.
However, forwarders remain unconvinced and are now threatening to close down ports as a continuation of their battle, claiming that port service providers have twisted the regulator’s arm in order to get their own way.
Plan to fill Port of Beirut’s Basin 4 sparks controversy
A plan by the Beirut Port’s Port Authority to fill the facility’s fourth basin has caused an uproar among truckers and port workers, who say the project is illegal and will cost hundreds of people their jobs. A lawsuit has been filed against the Port Authority as workers claim the project violates a presidential decree. But the Port Authority argues that the move is part of a necessary expansion for the future of the facility.
The plan to fill the fourth basin is the second phase in a wider project to create more space for container storage at the port. The first stage, completed last year, involved a major extension of Quai 16.
The long-term goal is to make the Beirut Port a transshipment hub, a facility which expedites transport by allowing large shipping lines to drop off containers that are later distributed by smaller vessels.
Annual container traffic at the port has increased from 300,000 to 1 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit or more commonly known as 20-footlong containers) over the course of 10 years. This was partly driven by the closure of Syria’s ports due to the ongoing conflict. Shipping lines pay the Port Authority $1.50/day to store containers, so there has been an increase in revenue due to the traffic.
Today containers make up 70-80 percent of cargo coming into the port. The head of the Beirut Port Authority Hasan Kraytem said the uptick was part of a global trend.
“All over the world these have become the favorite way of moving shipments,” Kraytem told The Daily Star. “Much of the cargo that used to come in general cargo … today is coming in containers.”
But the port’s truckers, ship chandlers and shipping agents make a living off of noncontainer traffic, i.e. general cargo. Source: The Daily Star
Boskalis and KOTUG Forming Harbor Towage Joint Venture
Dutch marine services provider Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. and KOTUG International B.V., a leading harbor towage also based in the Netherlands, have agreed to merge their European harbor towage businesses.
The two companies on Monday announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a 50/50 joint venture that will combine the European harbor towage activities of SMIT, a Boskalis subsidiary, with the European harbor towage activities of KOTUG.
Boskalis says the merger is the final step in the company’s strategy aimed at establishing regional partnerships for its harbor towage activities, as was previously done through Smit Lamnalco, Keppel SMIT and most recently SAAM SMIT.
The scope of the joint venture will encompass the harbor towage operations of SMIT in the Netherlands and Belgium and the harbor towage operations of KOTUG in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, forming a leading provider of harbor towage services in northwestern Europe. The joint venture will serve 11 ports in 4 countries with a fleet of more than 60 tugboats. The total combined revenue of the joint venture is estimated at approximately EUR 150 million.
Boskalis says it expects to free up nearly EUR 100 million in cash from the proposed transaction, primarily due to the refinancing of the activities. The MoU will be implemented subject to customary conditions, such as due diligence and regulatory approval in the countries to which the joint venture pertains, and in consultation with the works councils.
(Reuters) – The union for 20,000 dockworkers and a group of their employers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports say they are making slow but steady progress in months-long contract talks seen by the shipping industry as a contributing factor in chronic cargo backups.
However, neither side has ventured to say how much longer it might take to reach a settlement, and both parties continued to abide by a news blackout on the details of their talks and the issues that divide them.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, representing terminal operators and shipping lines at the ports, opened their talks in May and mutually agreed to keep negotiating after their old contract expired June 30.
The parties said in August they had reached a tentative deal on healthcare benefits, “but apart from that everything else remains on the table,” association spokesman Steve Getzug said.
Since resuming talks after a hiatus in November, negotiators have met on a fairly regular basis, they said.