On March 26 the Italian cruise liner MSS MELODY (204,7 m, flag of Panama), launched the spring and summer navigation of passenger ships in 2012 in the port of Odessa. The vessel arrived from Yalta to Odessa and moored at berth #15 at 7.00. 1002 tourists came ashore - among them Italians, Germans, Englishmen, Frenchmen. Sightseeing tours on 12 buses is ordered by 600 persons, the other, in spite of the gale and very cold weather (+ 5 degrees) preferred to get acquainted with the sights of South Palmyra alone or within small groups on walking tours. At 12:30 the ship will head for Istanbul. Boat cruise company MSC, as well as other companies - clients world-famous tourist corporations Intercruises in Ukraine since 2009 serving the Black Sea Shipping Agency "Inflot".  "Inflot", the oldest in Ukraine (founded in 1934) includes eight branches in the largest Ukrainian ports. As a result  2011 "Inflot" served 480 ships (the agency takes second rate in the National Maritime Rating of Ukraine). During the meeting with CEO of M/V MELODY in the port of Odessa CEO CHGMA "Inflot" Olga Bronetskaya noted that the next call of the vessel to Odessa will be significant. This will be the April's visit of the megayacht PEACEBOAT (literally - "Boat of the world"), with 1000 passengers onboard. Tourists (mainly citizens of Japan) will take part in the famous Odessa "Humorina." They will walk through the city in a convoy of carnival, and even perform on stage. This project, admitted O.Bronetskaya "Inflot" was being prepared during 3 months. Press-Service "OCSP".

Source Odessa Commercial Sea Port

Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Dutch authority Rijkswaterstaat regarding delivery of the AIS automatic identification system. The system will increase safety on the Dutch waterways.

The contract means that Saab will provide the complete technical system solution within the DIAMONIS project (Dutch Inland AIS Monitoring System). Saab has forged a partnership with the local company Tein Telecom, which will be responsible for implementing the project locally, providing 24/7 support and more. The delivery comprises approximately 40 AIS base stations, a network solution and a web-based presentation system.

The AIS system transmits regular information about a vessel's position, speed, course etc. to other vessels and operation centres. The vessels are equipped with a transponder, which automatically sends updated information via VHF radio at certain intervals. The system increases safety by enabling vessels to quickly discover how other vessels are behaving in order to detect potential collision risks.

"Saab is a market leader within the AIS domain and the system will increase safety significantly throughout the extensive Dutch inland waterways. Rijkswaterstaat is a highly competent authority that has produced a detailed specification for the project, meaning that our well-established system solution will be enhanced even further in terms of functionality and performance," says Lars Bergholtz, Managing Director for Saab TransponderTech AB.

The contract is valued at over SEK 20 million and includes a number of future options, such as a possibel expansion of the system. The implementation of DIAMONIS will take place over 18 months.

For more than 10 years, Saab TransponderTech has delivered AIS-based products and systems to the world market and also offers advanced multi-sensor system solutions within VTS and Coastal Surveillance based on the internally developed "CoastWatch" platform. Read more here: http://www.saabgroup.com/en/Civil-security/Maritime-Transportation-and-Port-Security/

Source Marine NewsWire

THE eastern Port of Suzhou rose to the No 7 spot on the world's top port for throughput tonnage list last year from year 2010's No 8, Xinhua reports.

Suzhou posted 380 million tonnes last year, 15.6 per cent more than in 2010, surpassing Qingdao's 370 million tonnes to the fifth largest port in China, following Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Tianjin and Guangzhou.

Xinhua says the world's top 10 ports last year in all cargo categories were Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Singapore, Tianjin, Rotterdam, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Qingdao, Dalian and Tangshan. Eight of them are Chinese.

In containers, Suzhou lifted 4.7 million TEU last year, ranking 10th among all Chinese seaports.

At the end of last year, Suzhou port had utilised 60 kilometres of the Yangtze shoreline and had 224 berths in operation with an annual capacity of 210 million tonnes. Its Taicang port area has an annual container handling capacity of 4.35 million tonnes.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SALVAGE crews working on the Singapore-flagged and owned 3,100-TEU Bareli, chartered to CMA CGM, say the ship that ran aground March 15 remains on the rocks off Fujian province across from northern Taiwan, but is in no danger of sinking.

There is no word from the Norwegian ship manager or from the charterer, Marseille-based CMA CGM, whether a General Average will be declared, but it seems the ship is a total loss.

The ship, built in 2004 is owned by Antarctica Shipping Pte Ltd of Singapore and managed by Oslo-based Klaveness Ship Management AS. It is manned by Romanians, Filipinos and South Africans and is insured by Gard, according to the ship manager's website.

Klaveness Ship Management says 220 tonnes of fuel has been removed, and another 224 tonnes was being taken from another tank, part of the 1,100 tonnes aboard. While this work continues, 40 containers being removed every day. The next priority is the recovery of dangerous goods containers among the 1,900 aboard.

"Some sheen, probably diesel oil, has been observed on the sea in the area of the accident. But it is not clear whether this is from Bareli or from the numerous ships working and trading in the area," said the Klaveness statement.

Heavy fuel oil continues to be pumped out of it tanks and by Thursday, one tank containing 220 tonnes of bunker is expected to be emptied. The emptying of a neighbouring tank, containing 224 tonnes, will commence after that, said the ship manager.

One tank, containing 205 tonnes of bunker has been damaged, with "probable water ingress", but no oil appears to be leaking and salvage crews expect to empty that tank as well, said the statement.

"Weather conditions in the area have now improved, with good forecasts for the next days. This is good news for the salvaging operation," said Klaveness CEO Lasse Kristoffersen.

Chinese maritime authorities, with active support from Norwegian management company and insurers Gard, are in full operation.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHINA's central government has approved Ningbo port's expansion plans with the opening of a new port area called Meishan and a new berth in Beilun port area to foreign vessels, Xinhua reports.

The Meishan port covers 27 kilometres of quay lines has five container berths and two multifunctional berths. It was put into trial operation in August 2010 with temporary restrictions in place. The Meishan Free Trade Zone located in the port area will further boost development in foreign trade and port logistics after the expansion.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

IN February, ports in northeastern China's Liaoning province lifted 1.05 million TEU, an increase of 39.5 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

But this remained at the same level achieved in January, Xinhua reports.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTH China's Huanghua port in Hebei province posted a container handling increase of 325 per cent in February year on year 5,001 TEU.

The port also handled 10.4 million tonnes of cargo, up one million tonnes or 10.6 per cent over the month before, reports Xinhua.

The volume of coal for power plants increased 14.2 per cent to 8.99 million tonnes against January while the ore volume hit 1.09 million tonnes.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CHONGQING is to establish a new agricultural product logistics and processing area, which aims to have a trading volume of CNY100 billion (US$15.8 billion) by 2015, Xinhua reports.

The area is to cover 8.9 square kilometres and will offer distribution, trade and warehousing services for agricultural products in and around the city.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

NORTHWEST Qinghai province has invested CNY15 billion (US$2.37 billion) in rural roads, building over 30,000 kilometres of new highways in the past five years, reports Xinhua.

The investment grew 21.6 per cent against 2010's expenditure of CNY13.56 billion, building 1,000 kilometres of expressways and 1,767 kilometres of rural roads including the construction of 306 village bridges.

The province's 4,172 villages among six autonomous districts are connected by highways which are constructed in a ecological manner.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE commonplace hazard of berthing a vessel can be reduced with load monitoring system to measure both the impact on fenders as continuous force is applied when the ship bears against the dock while coming alongside, reports the UK's Handy Shipping Guide.

Trelleborg Marine Systems, manufacturer of docking, mooring and berthing equipment, has received patent pending status on a system for monitoring the load on marine fenders, said the report, adding that the system will also help avoid disputes and downtime associated with insurance claims.

"The data collection device may be located within the fender, on the structure (jetty), or at a remote location, depending on the needs of the customer. If more than one fender is providing load sensing data, this can be transmitted to a central data collection and processing system. The system is also apt to be retrofitted into existing fenders," said Trelleborg's technical chief Scott Smith.

When analysed, the data obtained has the potential to be used in a number of ways, such as developing a deeper understanding of berthing dynamics, which in turn could assist with future fender and wharf design, and further, feed into the revision of safe and acceptable berthing operations and procedures, said the report.

Load data may also be used to determine when maintenance is needed or when replacement fender is required. In the event of an accident, or a fender failing, the data can be used to provide information as to why - providing valuable data for insurance claims, and helping ports and shipping lines to avoid the costly downtime associated with disputes, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SEAPORTS must be ready to handle 22,000-TEU ships now that feasibility studies have been completed on their deployment, says APM Terminals Crane & Engineering Services managing director Halfdan Ross.

"The point is that ultra-large vessels are already in service, and even larger ships will follow," he told the TOC Container Supply Chain Asia Conference in Hong Kong. "So the time to prepare the necessary terminal and quay infrastructure is now."

While no 22,000 TEUers have been ordered, feasibility studies have been completed. "So planning for infrastructure support to accommodate such vessels is a very necessary exercise for any major hub port," he said.

As of February, there were 153 containerships of 10,000 TEU or more - including 20 of Maersk's 18,000 TEU, the first of which is expected for delivery next year. There are currently 121 vessels of 10,000 TEU ships at sea.

"There are issues of structural stiffness, weight, visibility and wind load, which all must be taken into account with cranes of such dimensions, along with the question of upgrading existing equipment or installing new cranes," Mr Ross said.

Better engineering, camera-assisted, remote controlled cranes were options, he said, but the increased power needed was often unavailable at emerging market ports.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SWEDISH logistics firm Greencarrier Freight Services has purchased a majority shareholding in the leading logistics service provider in Poland, Transpoint International, in a bid to strengthen its position in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions.

The shares were purchased from the managing director of Transpoint in Poland, Arkadiusz Prejna, who will retain the remaining shares.

Transpoint in Poland provides cross-border transportation services, delivering parcels and part- and full loads between Finland, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, the UK, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

"This acquisition is in line with Greencarrier Freight Services' strategy to be the best transport solution provider having the Nordic and the Baltic Sea regions as its domestic market," said Peter Nevhagen, CEO of Greencarrier Freight Services International. "Transpoint International is a perfect match for us since Poland has been a white spot on the map for Greencarrier until now."

The acquisition consists of Transpoint in Poland and its subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company brings 80 employees to serve Greencarrier's customers in this region.

"Greencarrier Freight Services is an ideal partner for us with its network of offices in our major markets in the Nordic countries, the Baltic states and the UK," said Mr Prejna, who will continue as the managing director of Transpoint in Poland. "Together with Greencarrier we plan a continuous expansion of our business activities not only in road freight but also in ocean and air freight."

With the acquisition of Transpoint International, Greencarrier Freight Services expects to generate a turnover of EUR175 million (US$230.0 million) and have 425 employees in 13 countries, the company said in a statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE UK P&I Club is reorganising its structure to establish UK Europe as the sole provider of direct insurance to UK Club members.

Under the new structure, the Bermuda-based UK Club will cease to write direct insurance business. Its existing direct business will transfer to UK Europe. UK Bermuda will become the re-insurer of UK Europe. It will continue to be the holding company controlled by the club's members, who are shipowners with vessels insured by the Club, the association announced.

By reducing the number of separately regulated insurers from two to one, the UK Club aims to streamline governance, reduce compliance costs and manage more efficiently the club's solvency capital requirements while meeting the impending Solvency 2 regulations for insurers in the European Union.

Solvency II is an EU Insurance Directive which will replace Solvency I, the current Insurance Directive which has been in place since 2002. It governs the amount of regulatory capital an insurance undertaking is obliged to hold against unforeseen events, otherwise known as the solvency margin.

The reorganisation will not affect UK Club members' terms of entry, cover or premium. They will continue to be members of UK Bermuda but will be insured by UK Europe.

The new structure will take effect from February 2013 and so does not impact members in the 2012 policy year.

At present, many members are insured directly by UK Bermuda through its respective branches in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. However, a substantial number are insured by the wholly-owned subsidiary, UK Europe. Both UK Bermuda and UK Europe are reinsured by the UK Club's wholly-owned subsidiary International P&I Reinsurance Company (IPIR).

UK Bermuda will continue to be the holding company, controlled by its members, and will also become the reinsurer of UK Europe. IPIR will cease underwriting while UK Europe will establish new branches in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The transfer of liabilities from UK Bermuda to the head office UK Europe will be carried out by a legal process known as a Part VII transfer under the terms of the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Under the terms of the act, the transfer process is supervised by the English High Court together with the UK Financial Services Authority and an appointed "independent expert".

The Bermuda Supreme Court has a supervisory role in the transfer of interests. In addition, the local Asian regulatory authorities will supervise the transfer of liabilities of the other branches.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

TNT EXPRESS, recently sold to US-based United Parcel Service (UPS), has opened its new Hong Kong regional hub at Asia Airfreight Terminal (AAT), indicating that UPS will make its base here after the merger wins regulatory approval.

There was talk on the sidelines of the 20,000 jobs that might be lost worldwide through the merger, but hope was expressed that TNT's Asian operations were in a better position because UPS, the world's largest international package shipper by revenue ahead of FedEx, is comparatively weak in Asia.

The Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad reported that TNT chief executive Marie-Christine Lombard said the loss of up to 20,000 jobs is possible, adding that lay-offs would be evenly spread between TNT and UPS.

TNT employs 77,000 people; UPS has a head count of 400,600.

TNT denied a report about the potential loss of up to 20,000 jobs, reported Dow Jones. "It's too early to comment about possible job losses," said TNT spokesman Job van Harmelen, adding that the number of potential job losses mentioned makes no sense."

Having invited and disinvited the media to the Hong Kong official opening, the customers-only tour continued with dignitaries giving speeches.

"The regional hub is a state-of-the-art logistics facility that will cater for the increasing cargo flow in the region as well as generate greater connectivity between Asia Pacific and Europe using Hong Kong as a base," declared Hong Kong Transport and Housing Secretary Eva Cheng at the opening ceremony.

Said TNT regional managing director Michael Drake: "The opening of our new Hong Kong regional hub is a symbol of our commitment to our customers and our confidence in the long-term growth of the Pearl River Delta region as one of the world's leading manufacturing and trading hubs."

The 7,380-square-metre (80,000-square foot) facility incorporates the most advanced sorting and security technology and features in-house customs clearance, said the TNT statement.

"It will sit at the centre of a highly efficient air and road network that includes air links to TNT's European hub at Liege, Belgium, and to the rest of Europe, as well as TNT's road networks in China and Southeast Asia," TNT said.

Able to handle up to 600 tons of cargo daily, the Hong Kong hub will enhance TNT air services between Asia and Europe and its unique Asia Road Network, which offers day-definite delivery service from China through to Southeast Asia.

TNT Express operates a network of regional hubs globally, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Perth and Liege.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

INDIA has forbidden airlines to comply with the European Union carbon tax, joining China in barring its airlines from paying or providing tax need in tax collection, reports Agence France-Presse.

Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the "imposition of carbon tax does not arise" because Indian airlines will refuse to disclose emissions data, upon which the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is based.

"Though the European Union has directed Indian carriers to submit emission details of their aircraft by March 31, no Indian carrier is submitting them in view of the position of the government," said Mr Singh.

India and China have said the EU tax is a unilateral trade levy disguised as an attempt to fight climate change. China has also ordered its air carriers to not buy long-haul European made Airbus aircraft, having recently told Hainan Group-owned Hong Kong Airlines from continuing with such a purchase.

Airbus CEO Thomas Enders called for a freeze on the EU tax, saying that it would otherwise cost thousands of jobs. "Delay it, freeze it for one or two years," he said, according to Dow Jones, adding that the scheme "will do nothing but induce strife, retaliation and counter-retaliation."

But the EU climate change bureaucracy holds fast to their plan, having been backed up by the European High Court that quashed a US plea. Bureaucrats insist that the cost to airlines is manageable. Earlier this month the head of the Airbus parent company EADS said Beijing had already begun to block purchases of Airbus planes by Chinese companies in reaction to the dispute.

A key objection is that the EU scheme does not limit itself to taxing carbon emissions over EU airspace, but for the whole flight. European climate change officials say this is not unusual because conditions are often imposed on flight by one country and enforced in another, citing the American demand that passengers remove shoes for inspection before boarding on US-bound flights as an example.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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