MEDITERRANEAN Shipping Company's (MSC) 12,500-TEU Fabiola has become the largest containership to call at a North American port, after making a stop at Long Beach on a transpacific service.

The ship called at the Total Terminals International, and was accommodate with a channel depth of 76 feet (23 metres), making it one of the few ports that can handle ships of this size.

The shipping line is expected to continue to add more box ships ranging in size from 11,000-12,500 TEU into its transpacific services over the course of the year.

A report by Alphaliner cited port officials as saying that the MSC Fabiola, "Is the first of what is expected to be a string of larger containerships to be deployed by ocean carriers in Pacific Rim routes."

But the vessel was only 70 per cent full when it arrived and is not scheduled to make another transpacific voyage following its maiden call, said the Paris-based consultancy.

Alphaliner said MSC instead plans to operate three smaller 11,660-TEU vessels on the Far East-US west coast Pearl River Express (PRX) service, which is a joint service with CMA CGM.

"The other carriers active in the trade are not expected to follow MSC's example. They are not expected to deploy ships larger than 10,000 TEU on the transpacific route in the near future, as they are unlikely to be able to fully utilise the available capacity of such ships on the route. The larger ships also pose operational challenges," said Alphaliner.

It noted that the shipping line's giant newbuildings deployed on the Pearl River Express can not call at its regular Long Beach terminal, meaning that ships have to be diverted to the TTI terminal operated by Hanjin Shipping.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SINGAPORE-FLAGGED 3,100-TEU Bareli has run aground on a reef in bad weather off in northern Fujian coastal across the strait from Taipei while carrying 1,913 containers and 1,100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil for West Africa.

"The vessel has a severe crack in the fore body, and has taken on water and is currently on the rocks. There are no reports of oil spill, but booms are in place to prevent on if the situation should change," said a statement from the Oslo-based ship manager Torvald Klaveness.

Said Torvald Klaveness CEO Lasse Kristoffersen: "We are doing whatever we can to empty the ship of fuel oil and dangerous goods."

All 21 crew are Romanian, Filipino and South Africans are reported to have been taken safely ashore. "After the safe evacuation of all crew members already on Thursday night, we have been mobilising all available resources to get the salvage operation underway," said Mr Kristoffersen.

"First priority now is to empty the ship of fuel oil. Shanghai Salvage as been contracted for the operation and is mobilised on site together with our most senior ship management personnel," he said

The 2003-built and 212.75 metre long vessel is chartered by the world's third largest carrier CMA CGM, reported London's Containerisation International.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MARSHALL Islands-based and New York-listed Box Ships Inc has posted a net income of US$12.96 million from its initial public offering on April 14 to December 31 with pre-tax profit of $25.57 million and the time charter revenues of $39.13 million.

"2011 was our first year as a public company and we demonstrated excellent vessel performance with a 100 per cent vessel utilisation rate since inception and strong operating results," said Box Ships chairman and CEO Michael Bodouroglou.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $5.58 million, while the EBITDA was $10.87 million and the time charter revenues were $16.58 million, according to the company statement.

The company operated an average of 5.92 vessels during the period ended December 31, 2011, earning an average time charter equivalent rate (TCE rate) of $24,363, or $25,043 on an adjusted basis per vessel per day.

In the fourth quarter, it operated an average of seven vessels during the fourth quarter, earning an average TCE rate of $24,601 or $25,373 on an adjusted basis per vessel per day.

Looking ahead, Mr Bodouroglou said: "2012 will be a challenging year. We expect our charter coverage and our ongoing cost control measures will continue to fund our quarterly dividends, which as we have previously stated we expect to total $1 per share for the full year 2012."

Regarding its chartering strategy in 2012, the company said it will focus on containerships with capacities ranging from 1,700 TEU to 7,000 TEU and employ them on short- to medium-term time charters of one to five years.

The company said this practice "will provide us with the benefit of stable cash flows from a diversified portfolio of charterers, while preserving the flexibility to capitalise on potentially rising rates when the current time charters expire."

So far, the company has secured 93 per cent of its fleet capacity in 2012 and 71 per cent in 2013 under such contracts.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CONTAINER carrier schedule reliability improved in February, according to the latest report from SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.

Reliability increased from 58 per cent in January to 60 per cent in February, the first increase in four months, American Shipper reported. SeaIntel considers a call on time if it happens on the same calendar day or the day before as scheduled. The analyst also noted an increase in the reliability among the top performing carriers.

For the top 20 container carriers, Maersk Line maintained top spot as the most reliable carrier at 75 per cent, followed by Hamburg Sud at 72 per cent, and APL at 67 per cent.

Compared to January, Maersk improved three per cent and APL seven per cent, while Hamburg Sud maintained its performance. In the past eight months, Maersk has been the top performer five times and Hamburg Sud the other three times.

Out of 8,400 measured arrivals in February 2012, SeaIntel's monthly report now includes 1,900 arrivals in trades to and from Africa, Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. Most of these trades exhibit reliability in line with the global average. However the African import routes exhibit a markedly lower performance, at 29 per cent, from Asia as well as North Europe to Africa.

The measurements are based on SeaIntel's database of more than 58,000 arrivals from 2,200 vessels, 29 trade lanes and 51 carriers since July 2011.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

PORT of Chongqing recorded a surge of 72.6 per cent in its container throughput to 65,200 TEU in February, Xinhua reports.

In the same month, the port's throughput tonnage grew 41.1 per cent to 9.48 million tonnes. Foreign trade cargo weighed 314,000 tonnes, up 68.4 per cent year on year.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

VESSELS of 2,000 tonnes can now sail through the whole of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal after the dredging came to an end recently, reports Xinhua.

The canal's shipping volume grew 8.3 per cent to 223 million tonnes in 2011 while its container movement increased 62.5 per cent to 52,000 TEU against 2010.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CONTAINERISED imports to the United States grew by 4.1 per cent in the month of January at 1.5 million TEU, a 11 per cent increase month over month from December attributed to furniture and auto sales surge.

During the month imports increased for the third consecutive month due to car part shipments up 19 per cent at around 56,600 TEU and home sales furniture at 167,300 TEU up six per cent, according to PIERS.

Menswear imports declined by 10 per cent in January against footwear growth of four per cent, according to Piers data figures.

During the month of February imports from Asia and China were up 2.9 per cent and two per cent respectively. But the meagre increase of 2.5 per cent forecast in US imports from Asia during the whole of 2012 is stark against those imports from Mexico in January at 68 per cent increase alone.

Import cargo is expected to increase by 10 per cent to 1.2 million TEU in March year on year across the US ports followed by Global Port Tracker, according to National Retail Federation it follows a slow month in February.

February is predictably a slow month reaching 1.1 million TEU, a decline of 4.2 per cent year on year. The month reported declines for west coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach of 5.3 per cent and 15.2 per cent respectively.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Middle East Dredging Company will sign a US$1.2 billion contract this week with the Steering Committee of the New Doha Port Project for the dredging and construction of the 15-metre deep access channel into the port, according to the Qatar News Agency.

Earlier this year, the first construction contract for the project was awarded to the China Harbour Engineering Company, who will be responsible for the construction of the port basin and inner breakwaters.

The port, in the region of Mesaieed, will be completed in three phases; the first phase will provide the port with an initial capacity of two million TEU from 2014. The second phase will not begin until 2020, while the third and final phase will commence in 2030.

Once completed New Doha Port, at a cost of $7 billion, will have a total cargo-handling capacity of six million TEU and will span 26.5 square kilometres adjacent to Doha city.

Plans are also in place to link the facility with the New Doha International Airport, according to project manager Nabil al-Buainain.

Master planning for the port is being done Royal Haskoning, with the Scott Wilson Group and Worley Parsons responsible for the its overall design.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

STEEP increases in freight rates and surcharges by shipping lines on key trade lanes are forcing Vietnamese exporters to suffer profit loss, reports VietNamNet Bridge news agency.

As of March 1 container rates will increase by more than US$500 per TEU in freight for those containers to the Middle East, an increase of $400 more from April 1. Rates for freight to America will increase by $300 per TEU from March 15 and $400 per TEU from May 1.

Hapag-Lloyd has raised its shipping fees for routes to South America by $600 per TEU and routes to Panama and Caribbean by $560 per TEU and $800 per FEU. Hong Kong's OOCL will increase its rates $600 per TEU on its routes from Vietnam to North European and Mediterranean countries along with CMA CGM, Maersk and NYK increasing rates by $800 per TEU to $1,000 per TEU.

Crippling freight rates are biting into profits for exporters of fresh fish companies like Hung Vuong Seafood Company already paying as much as $10,400 in additional costs for 13 containers of its frozen tar fish products shipped to Europe, America and South America on a monthly volume of 500 TEU.

This works out as a shocking $800 to $1,000 per container in fees which adds to per kilo costs for the tra fish products, said its general director Duong Ngoc Minh, the news agency reported.

Port fees on services and surcharges are up, accounting for 70 per cent of a sum for one garment business with more costs loaded on trailer transit from port to factory from March 10 at VND200,000 (US$9.60) to VND300,000 per trailer.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ONE of the world's largest package delivery companies, TNT Express, has launched in Hong Kong two 3.5-tonne electric delivery vehicles, making the company the first player in the territory's express market to have electric vehicles in operation with "zero emission" as the most significant feature of the electric cars.

"As a good corporate citizen, TNT is working together with customers, suppliers and subcontracts to continuously improve our overall CO2 efficiency to fight against climate change," said TNT China express chief Peter Langley. "We are proud to play a leading role in spearheading electric vehicles in Hong Kong."

TNT's current project is being supported by the Pilot Green Transport Fund under the Hong Kong Government's Environmental Protection Department (EPD).

"We applaud the Hong Kong Government's Environmental Protection Department (EPD) for providing support to TNT to trial electric vehicles in the territory," added Edward Lau, managing director of TNT Express Hong Kong.

"The transport sector can make a significant difference by adopting new technology to reduce carbon emissions and roadside air pollution. We hope that TNT's innovative initiative will inspire other companies to follow suit to do their part to improve Hong Kong's air quality," said an EPD statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

The US Coast Guard has published its latest rules on standards for living organisms in ballast water discharged in American waters, in which the old practice of exchanging of water mid-ocean will no longer be sufficient.

Instead, the US Coast Guard insists ships have shipboard water treatment systems that meet with the UN's International Maritime Organisation standards, which calls for the killing of living organisms to drastically reduce their number per cubic metre of water.

The US Coast Guard seeks to establish a standard for an acceptable concentration of living organisms in ballast water discharges, reports American Shipper, adding that the USCG is also revising regulations to include an approval process for ballast water management systems.

"Once fully implemented, this ballast water discharge standard will significantly reduce the risk of an introduction of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes," said Rear Admiral Michael Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland.

The US Coast Guard said vessels entering the Great Lakes will still be required to fully exchange or flush their ballast tanks with seawater until they are equipped with the approved ballast water treatment systems that meet the discharge standard.

As for inbound foreign vessels, they will be examined at Montreal by a working group of US and Canadian authorities, including the US Coast Guard, to ensure the ballast tanks are exchanged or flushed as required, the report added.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

 

FINLAND's Cargotec has again won a contract from Volstad Maritime for two active heave-compensated (AHC) offshore cranes, after receiving a similar order from the privately-owned Norwegian specialist operator in April last year.

The two cranes, a 250-tonne MacGregor AHC sub-sea crane and a 15-tonne MacGregor AHC offshore crane, will be fitted to Volstad's new offshore construction vessel (OCV) on order at Bergen Group Fosen shipyard in Norway. The vessel (hull 90) is scheduled for delivery in August 2013, and following this, it will be chartered for sub-sea intervention services.

This contract follows a contract that was secured by Cargotec in April last year for Volstad's hull 89, which is due for delivery from the yard in July this year.

Like its sister ship, Volstad's latest OCV is an ST-259-CD design from Norwegian consultants, Skipsteknisk, and is 125 metres long and 25 metres wide. The vessel is designed to meet the highest environmental standards and Clean Design requirements. It will be classed to Ice-1A.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News


PORT Metro Vancouver (PMV) is getting closer to realising its goal of building a new two million TEU terminal to cater for an expected boom in west coast volumes after it revealed that it expects to enter the project for environmental consideration and approval next year.

"The process can take four years and construction could start by the end of the decade with an opening by the early 2020s. We expect container trade to double for the west coast of Canada, tripling by 2030," port CEO Robin Silvester said, reports London's Containerisation International.

Drivers are Canada's population spurt and continuing export growth to Asia, resulting in expectation that cargo volumes will increase four per cent a year over the medium term.

But Mr Silvester said that the first focus of the port had been maximising existing capacity and de-bottlenecking the railroad facilities to cope with volume growth.

Nevertheless, the planned new terminal - dubbed Terminal 2 - has many environmental considerations attached to it due to the environmentally sensitive nature of the area where it is due to be built.

Notwithstanding these hurdles Mr Silvester said that he was confident that the process would be approved, as the port had done remedial and environmental mitigation work for previous port projects and was working closely with environmental groups.

The port expects overall cargo volume to grow four per cent this year compared to last year when laden volumes climbed two per cent to 2.2 million TEU, with loaded inbound rising one per cent to 1.2 million TEU, and full exports jumped four per cent to 999,725 TEU.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has outlined mechanisms that could form an alternative to the controversial European Union carbon tax scheme following the principle of "common, but differentiated responsibility," on the basis of richer countries paying more.

Trouble is, ICAO must find a way to reconcile the richer-pays-more principle with its own governing Chicago Convention that insists on "non-discrimination" between member states.

Montreal-based ICAO has directed a working group to continue studying the four options and report back in June. During the initial negotiation, representatives from the US, China, Russia and EU countries reached an agreement about the ICAO's suggestion.

Deputy Secretary General of China Air Transport Association, Chai Haibo believe that China's civil aviation authorities will actively participate in international negotiations within the ICAO framework.

Chinese civil aviation industry experts are stepping up the details of these alternative mechanisms for emergency studies to determine which option is more favourable to China, providing a reference for relevant government departments.

Said ICAO council president Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez: "Seeking a global mechanism to solve the problem of aviation carbon emissions is very difficult and complicated, in part because developing countries are more concerned about its impact on the economy."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HONG KONG International Airport (HKIA) has posted an 18.6 per cent increase in February air cargo volume to 287,000 tonnes year on year, the airport authority announced.

"We must note that the gain is partly on account of the low base for comparison, as Chinese New Year fell in February in 2011, while this year it was in January," said HKIA chief executive Stanley Hui.

Looking at the two months together, HKIA has served a total of nine million passengers and handled 55,600 aircraft movements, registering increases of 7.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively. Aggregate cargo volume declined 2.3 per cent, to 562,000 tonnes, when compared with the same two-month period last year.

HKIA's leading position as an air cargo centre has again been recognised recently. HKIA clinched Air Cargo World Magazine's "Air Cargo Award of Excellence" and achieved the highest overall rating in the category of "Airports Asia - 1,000,000 or more tonnes".

Voted by the magazine's readers, the awards recognise the performance, value, facilities and regulatory operations of airports in handling air cargo. HKIA has won the "Air Cargo Award of Excellence" seven times and secured the highest overall rating three times over the years.

The combined decline in cargo throughput for the first two months was mainly attributable to a seven per cent year-on-year drop in exports. Imports decreased two per cent while transshipments registered growth of two per cent compared to the same period last year.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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