EBU, ESO and ETF agreed in February on the organisation of working time and provisions on seasonal work in the passenger transport industry. This is a major step forward.

Supported by the European Commission,  the European Barge Union, the European Transport Workers Federation and the European Skippers Organisation have been negotiating to achieve sectoral agreement on the organisation of working time. Social partners felt that  specific working and living conditions in the inland navigation sector required a directive.
The agreement covers both crew members and shipboard personnel,  laying down important minimum rules which apply to all such workers.  

Key elements within the agreement are:

average weekly working time may not exceed 48 hours per week over a 12 month period  
total night working time may not exceed 42 hours per week
the right to at least four weeks’ paid annual leave
paid for annual health checks
the right to at least ten hours’ rest every day (at least six hours must be uninterrupted) and a total of at least 84 hours' rest every week.

The agreement reflects regular working schedules in inland waterway transport and specifies standards for consecutive working and rest days. Where the normal working day is eight hours, daily working time may be longer, and some weekly rest days may be temporarily postponed, provided that the minimum standards set out above are always respected.

The agreement is intended to support the sector in finding and attracting qualified staff. Inland waterway transport offers huge possibilities and challenges and is a major partner in the entire logistic chain.

The social partners are to ask the Commission for its agreement to be made legally binding in the EU.

Source INE

The French city of Marseille is the venue in March for the 6th World Water Forum which, every three years, mobilises and focuses the world’s creativity, innovation and know-how on water.

Stakeholders and experts are brought together to look at today’s local, regional and global challenges – those that cannot be undertaken without the co-operation of all, and a common framework of goals and concrete targets.

The goal is to get water and its vital importance onto the world’s top tables and political agendas. There can be no sustainable development while water issues remain unsolved.

French waterway manager, VNF, will be staging a workshop and debate within the Forum on 13th March that will examine transport by water in the global era, inland waterway transport as a sustainable economic model, and innovation and development in the heart of the inland waterways.

Source INE

Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft Rostock is taking part in the largest international trade fair for the cruise shipping industry – the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention – in Miami (USA) from 12 – 15 March. Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft is joined by five other exhibitors at the fair to promote Rostock-Warnemünde as a cruise destination as well as its maritime services industry.

Kloska Group, a ship supplier and service provider, the tour operators VIP Hanse Touring and European-Land-Excursions as well as the shipping agents HC Röver and Sartori & Berger are joining Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft in a mutual presence for the Rostock port.

Under the motto “Destination Germany” five German cruise ports are present at a joint stand of 27 square-meters in the “German Pavilion”. The Rostock port will be joined at this year’s fair by Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Kiel and Lubeck.

After the big success last year the German cruise ports together inviting the international cruise shipping agencies to an evening reception on March 13 .

Approximately 11,000 visitors from within the industry are expected at this year’s fair. Almost 900 exhibitors including more than 150 ports from all over the world will be presenting the latest trends and offerings of the cruise shipping industry.

The Rostock port has been taking part in this cruise shipping convention in Miami since 1994.
With 180 notified calls of 39 cruise vessels, the cruise port of Rostock-Warnemünde is headed for a new record year in the upcoming season.
So Warnemünde is again the most frequented German cruise port this year.

Source Rostock Port

The Norwegian North East Arctic cold water prawn fishery today became the latest northern European fishery to gain certification to the MSC [1]  standard for sustainable fishing. It joins the North East Arctic cod and haddock fisheries, which gained certification last November.  The Norwegian Seafood Council has been the client for all three certifications, and today announce independent verification of another of Norway’s sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

About the Norwegian prawn fishery
The fishery takes place all year around along the Norwegian coastline, up near Svalbard and in the Barents Sea where both small inshore vessels and larger ocean-going vessels catch around 20 000 tonnes annually. The stock is shared with other nations but the Norwegian fleet, which comprises 89 vessels, catches around 30per cent of the total catch. Europe is the main market for Norwegian cold water prawns where both fresh and frozen prawns are sold in Sweden, the UK, Denmark, Finland, Italy and France.

What the Norwegian Seafood Export Council says
Ove Johansen, NSC Marketing Manager for prawn says: “Norway has for years been acknowledged as one of the world’s leading nations in sustainable fisheries management. We are now pleased that MSC certification was obtained for Norwegian prawn fisheries as sustainably harvested. The MSC certification is an important tool in our marketing of Norwegian prawns and will help to strengthen our communication with our main markets.”

What the MSC says
Camiel Derichs, MSC Deputy Director Europe says: “The Norwegian seafood industry is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable fisheries through this certification to MSC standards of the Barents Sea prawn fisheries. The certifier found during the assessment of the fishery that cold water prawn stock is in excellent shape, that exploitation levels are moderate to low and that the impacts of this fishery on other species and the ecosystem in the Barents Sea are limited. The fishery received three conditions of certification, which are expected to improve long-term management, including the Harvest Control Rule. I congratulate these fisheries on an excellent result and the MSC looks forward to working with our partners in Norway and more widely to help promote MSC certified Norwegian prawns.”

European Seafood Exhibition

During the ESE in Brussels, the certifier DNV and MSC will be presenting the certificate to the representatives of the fisheries and welcome all partners to the MSC booth to jointly celebrate the certification of the Norwegian prawn fishery.

Source MSC

-      Both APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles and APM Terminals Tacoma take home five Pacific Maritime Association Safety Honors

Los Angeles, California, USA – For the fifth consecutive year APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles was named winner of both the Category A Southern California Area Container Terminal Safety Award, and the Coast Award for the safest terminal on the Pacific Coast by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The awards were announced at the PMA’s 63rd Annual West Coast Safety Southern California Area Award event, held on March 1st in Los Angeles.

On February 29th the PMA held its State of Washington Area Safety Awards, naming APM Terminals Tacoma winner of the Washington area’s Category C Container Terminal Safety Award and the Coast Award for Category C for the safest terminal on the Pacific Coast. APM Terminals Tacoma also won the award for the “Greatest reduction in injury rates for the Washington Area”, irrespective of terminal size.

“We are very proud to have received these safety awards.  The safety of staff and others who visit our facilities is APM Terminals’ highest priority.  It is gratifying that the hard work of our men and women in ensuring the safe operation of our terminals is recognized by our peers in the industry.” said APM Terminals President of the Americas Region, Eric Sisco.

The PMA awards, based on reported injury rates per man-hours worked, are divided by geographic area and by size. Awards are presented for the Southern California ports, and for the Washington and Oregon ports.  Facilities are separated into three categories according to size; Container Terminal Category A are those terminals totaling more than one million man hours worked per year, Category B is for terminals with more than 500 thousand, but less than 1 million man hours worked, and Category C are those terminal operators with less than 500,000 thousand man hours worked per year. Local area awards are presented in each of the terminal categories based on injury rates, and the Coast awards are given in each terminal category for the best safety performance on the entire West Coast.

APM Terminals Pier 400 Los Angeles, the largest container terminal in the United States, handled 1.91 million TEUs in 2011. The Lost-Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) rate at Pier 400 decreased by 22% to 6.01 per million man-hours worked for the year from 2010. On an average day, there are approximately 2,000 longshore workers and others at Pier 400, including 5,300 trucks per day, and 17 doublestack trains per week.

APM Terminals Tacoma, which handled 264,397 TEUs in 2011, improved its LTIF rate by 64% to 8.39 per million man-hours worked for the year.

In January, APM Terminals was presented with The Gerald H. Halpin Safety Excellence Award for 2010-2011 by the Signal Mutual Indemnity Association for safety achievement in its US operations. APM Terminals Pacific, Ltd., which performs stevedoring services at APM Terminals Pier 400 and APM Terminals Tacoma, was also given the Signal Mutual Industry Leader Safety Award for the most improvement of safety performance in terms of declining reported incidents for the past three consecutive years.

Source APM Terminals

Chopin Airport handled over 584,000 travellers in February 2012, a 6.9% increase year-on-year.

Passenger aircraft movements rose by 2.2%, reaching 8,600.

The airport has served 1.19 million passengers since the beginning of the year, 5.9% more than in the first two months of 2011.

Source Warsaw Chopin Airport

MAN Diesel & Turbo has received an order from the US-based cruise liner company Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) for the maintenance of the engines on nine cruise liners. The service agreement runs for four years and is being handled by the MAN PrimeServ service office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Besides the maintenance work it also covers the supply of spare parts. During the term of the agreement, two further Norwegian cruise ships will be put into service which will then also be incorporated into the contract. The order is worth US$ 30 million.

"The order from Norwegian Cruise Line represents a milestone for MAN Diesel & Turbo and for our service brand MAN PrimeServ," says Dr. Stephan Timmermann, the Executive Board Member of MAN Diesel & Turbo responsible for the Engines & Marine Systems and After-Sales Strategic Business Units. "It is one of the first service agreements of its kind with one of our major customers and constitutes a key After-Sales success in a very exciting cruise liner business."

To date, 52 MAN engines with 542 cylinders from various series have been produced for Norwegian Cruise Line's vessels, including the world's first Common Rail large-bore diesel engine in 2007. The company's next ship with MAN engines will be launched in April 2013.

Source MAN SE

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged US policy makers to improve aviation competitiveness by easing the tax and regulatory burdens on the airline industry.

“Aviation generates up to $1.3 trillion in annual US economic activity and 10.5 million jobs and accounts for up to 5.2% of GDP, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) study. The US has one of the most mobile populations on the planet thanks to commercial aviation. Each and every flight creates jobs, enables commerce and drives connectivity. Policy makers at the state and local level recognize these facts and they work hard to ensure connectivity by attracting air services. But while aviation gets a lot of attention in Washington, it is not always focused on the priority of using aviation as a catalyst for economic activity,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler in his remarks to the 37th FAA Aviation Forecast Conference.

“If creating jobs and encouraging economic growth is a national policy priority, then the lack of a coordinated national policy on aviation is shocking. A national policy is needed and it must be aligned with the economic needs of communities, states and regions—with the goal of improving the competitiveness of the US aviation industry,” said Tyler.

US airlines have gone through a decade of dramatic restructuring during which the industry has lost more the $62.5 billion, laid off 25% of the workforce and cut domestic departures by 21%. Many local economies have seen the impact of the reduced connectivity and are working hard to provide the conditions to maintain services. But there is a policy disconnect between what is happening locally and the national focus.

“If you want to discourage something, wrap it in a web of restrictive regulations and taxes. Taxes and fees now represent 20% of a US ticket. The Administration’s 2013 budget proposal heaps even more taxes on aviation, with much of the receipts used to balance the budget or reduce the deficit. When Washington does look beyond taxes, the agenda often bogs down on complex problems that defy easy regulatory solutions or commercial matters that should be left to the workings of the free market,” said Tyler.

“Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand is a more reliable guide in commercial areas than the hand of regulators. Unfortunately, we are seeing the US retreat from the free market principles for which it is so well known. This desire to regulate market behavior flies in the face of the US deregulation experience, the undeniable conclusion of which has got to be that the market is ruthless with airlines that fail to meet customer expectations,” said Tyler. This point is illustrated with three recent policy initiatives which seek to micromanage how airlines compete:

  • Requiring airlines to hold all reservations for 24 hours, which ties-up valuable inventory and is being applied extra-territorially to non-US airlines.
  • Requiring airlines to include all fees and taxes in the price of the ticket being advertised, when the same is not required of other travel products such as hotel rooms and cruises. Is the policy imperative to hide the heavy tax burden?
  • Considering forcing airlines to sell all of their products through global distribution systems (GDSs), although with a few keystrokes any consumer has access to every airline’s available fares and attributes in every market.

Addressing the US tarmac delay rule, Tyler said “Nobody wants a delay. For passengers they are a great inconvenience. For airlines, they are a threat to their business. Costs increase when crew and aircraft are out of position. No airline wants to risk disappointing customers who have plenty of airline options. Fines won’t stop bad weather, which is usually the instigating factor in most extended delays. Infrastructure investments, on the other hand, could boost system capacity and efficiency. But policy-makers let the FAA re-authorization process, which included critical funding for the NextGen air traffic management system, run on for four years.”

If regulators really want to reduce delays, Tyler offered two suggestions:

  • Ensure that every dollar paid by airline passengers for customs and immigration services is invested to provide officers and airport facilities commensurate with the rising levels of international travelers visiting the US. This will avoid aircraft sitting fully loaded at the gate for hours for lack of room in the immigration hall to unload passengers.
  • Ensure that revenue that is generated from airport fees and charges is used to improve airport facilities. “Since no airline wants to risk a heavy fine for violating the tarmac rule, carriers are pre-emptively cancelling flights that face a risk of an extended delay. The Government Accountability Office has estimated that the number of flight cancellations increased by more than 5,000 since the rule took effect. Extended delays may have gone away but at a price to the economy,” said Tyler.

Aviation’s economic benefits permeate the economy. Travel and tourism are natural and well-known beneficiaries. Global connectivity provided by aviation impacts almost every business—not just travel and tourism, but health care, automotive and fashion among others. Tyler urged the formation of a broad coalition of the aviation supply chain and all businesses dependent on aviation’s connectivity to deliver a strong message for a policy on aviation that includes reasonable taxation and competitiveness-enabling regulation. “Everybody wins with that…including the national economy,” said Tyler.

Source IATA

MARSEILLES' CMA GGM, the world's third biggest container shipping line after Maersk and MSC, has posted a net loss of US$30 million against a $1.6 billion profit in 2010 despite last year's four per cent revenue increase to $14.87 billion.

Container volume was up 11 per cent against market growth of 6.5 per cent reaching a record high of 10 million TEU.

CMA CGM continued to dispose of non-strategic assets, said the company, further strengthening its balance sheet by issuing $500 million in equity notes to the Yildirim Group and raising $945 million in separate dollar- and euro-denominated bond issues.

Disappointing net results were attributed to overcapacity in the trade and a steep rise oil prices, with bunker costs soaring 34 per cent year on year.

"CMA CGM nevertheless enjoyed a satisfactory operating performance, thanks to its efficient fleet, global network and sustained cost discipline," said a company statement.

"Although the beginning of the year was difficult for the entire industry, freight rates are now trending upwards, especially outbound Asia. Several shippers, including CMA CGM, have announced and are introducing significant rate increases as from March," said the statement.

CMA CGM plans to continue implementing operating partnerships with MSC on the Asia/North Europe and South America lines and with Maersk on the Asia/Mediterranean, Adriatic and Black Sea trades.

The group will also deploy more efficient, modern and cost-effective vessels on every trade and develop more innovative, high-quality information technology services with IBM.

CMA CGM is also pursuing a cost reduction plan, which is expected to deliver $400 million in savings this year. "In the same way, the decline in charter rates will reduce operating costs by $80 million in 2012," the company said.

Thanks to all these measures, the group expects to report a profit in 2012, in a market that is difficult to predict given the scheduled arrival of a large number of new vessels and further increases in bunker costs.

The group said it remains confident in the future of the industry and will strengthen its position in Russia, India, Latin America and Africa, as well as in the reefer market.

Said CEO Rodolphe Saade: "Once again this year, CMA CGM has demonstrated its strong resilience at a time of intense turmoil in our industry. Our operating and financial performances were among the best in the industry. We set up strategic operating partnerships with MSC and with Maersk to address market challenges and maintained our commitment to controlling costs. We expect the market to improve in 2012, particularly in the second half."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MAERSK Line and the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad (BNSF) have agreed to a 95 per cent on-time delivery scheme called Flagship for US-bound Asian cargo via Los Angeles to Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and as far east as Tennessee and Ohio.

Under the deal, Flagship will provide dedicated, non-stop BNSF rail service that arrives at an agreed time. Affected loops will be the TP5, TP6 and TP8, which will result in major changes to alliance agreements, reports London's Containerisation International. Flagship appears to be the transpacific extension of the "conveyor belt" concept of the shipping line's Daily Maersk Asia-Europe service launched last September.

"By ensuring on-time delivery, Maersk becomes an extension of a customer's production line to increase supply chain efficiencies, improve inventory management, and help move products to market as planned," said a statement from the Danish shipping giant.

"Flagship trains bypass connecting points along the route allowing us to give an unmatched velocity," said Maersk, which also recently announced and extension of its fuel-saving slow steaming programme.

But Maersk spokesman Timothy O'Connell cautioned: "Speed is not the essence of this service - being on-time is. Absolute reliability is not about being faster. It's about being reliable."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GERMANY's Hapag-Lloyd, the world's fourth biggest container shipping line, will levy a US$150 per TEU rate increase on March 15 on all cargo from the Far East (excluding Japan) and Oceania to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Rates on all cargo moving from Japan to the Red Sea will be subject to an increase of $250 per TEU starting April 1. From Japan to Australia, the increase will be $250 per TEU from April 1. Hapag-Lloyd said it would apply an increase of $300 per TEU on cargo from northeast Asia to Australia from April 15.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

STRIKE-PLAGUED Ports of Auckland (PoA) will start sacking 292 striking dockers next week and make new hires, said PoA chief executive Tony Gibson, adding that the fired workers could reapply, but under a new contract.

"This decision has not been made lightly, but we believe it is vital to ensuring a successful and sustainable future for the port," said Mr Gibson.

Said Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe: "We cannot let Ports of Auckland get away with this. It's by no means the end of our campaign. Port management wants to take away job security from 300 ordinary working families."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

TOUGH contract talks between maritime employers and eastern North America's International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) are expected after ILA president Harold Daggett spoke of going to "war" with shipping lines that withdrew from the ILA-controlled container chassis scheme.

Some employers see a conflict of interest in that longshoremen not only decide what repair chassis work is needed, but also employ themselves to do the work before they allow equipment to leave the terminals.

"They want to get rid of us in chassis - we'll see about that. We continue to see attacks on our jurisdiction," said Mr Daggett.

"We declare war on this - who gives them the right to say let's get out of chassis; it's in our contracts - it'll put hundreds out of work," he said.

Mr Daggett said the chassis market is vital to protect jobs, so the ILA will not allow carriers to contract out the job of moving chassis to other non-ILA sources, such as pools and truckers.

The master contract between the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) for the Atlantic and Gulf ports will expire on September 30.

There are four major hurdles before reaching an agreement, reports London's Containerisation International. They are new technology and automation, jurisdiction, container weights and chassis.

"Automation is going to be the toughest negotiation - if left unchecked it will be a disaster for organised labour. Look at the European ports where we see the devastating effect on labour," he said.

Speaking for the employers, USMX chief executive James Capo said "failure to reach an agreement is not an option and successful negotiations are in the best interests of us and the ILA".

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

EUROGATE Container Terminal, Wilhemshaven, received four of the world's biggest container cranes from Shanghai's Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC), each capable of handling vessels of 25 container rows across deck with a load bearing capacity of 120 tonnes.

The ZPMC super post-panamax quay cranes arrived following two months at sea on ZMPC's vessel from Shanghai with a further four due to depart from China through to Cape of Good Hope, Canary Islands and on to the North Sea.

Eventually, Germany's deep-water container port will have 16 of these cranes, with eight on order. Each weighs 1,750 tonnes, a pylon height of 83 metres and 126 metres when extended by jib.

Said Eurogate Wilhemshaven managing director Marcel Egger: "Currently the world's biggest container vessel with a load capacity of 15,550 TEU has 22 container rows on deck, while all other mega carriers, including the 18,000-TEU ship on order have 23 container rows on deck. Our cranes on the other hand are capable of handling as many as 25 containers on deck and are therefore suited to handling ships that are not yet on the market."

The cranes will be moved ashore one by one during the coming weeks and made ready for trial operation with further work to include connection to the medium voltage power supply.

Eurogate Wilhemhaven will have a draught of 18 metres and will handle the world's largest containerships at low tide.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SLOW-STEAMING's impact on costs continues to puzzle shippers and carriers who agree and disagree that it negates advantages of the all-water Panama route from Asia to the US east coast and others asking whether it costs carriers more at a time of low utilisation and more ships on longer, slower loops.

"Ironically, carriers are discovering that slow-steaming increases their operating costs because the fuel savings are more than offset by the higher costs of operating a longer strings," reports DC Velocity, of Attleboro, Massachusetts.

"The roundtrip cost of operating a string of seven 8,500 TEU ships steaming at 13 knots in the US west coast-Far East trade is higher than operating a string of five ships in the same trade steaming at 19 knots, according to data from Paris-based advisory firm Alphaliner," said DC Velocity.

The advantages are also apparent. With bunker costs up to US$650 a ton in 2011 from $350 a ton in recession-wracked 2009, slow-steaming can reduce costs three to five per cent as fuel burn drops as ships move through water more slowly.

"Slow-steaming is here to stay," Rick Wen, vice president of the US arm of Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).

But Theodore Prince, who runs a Richmond, Virginia maritime consultancy bearing his name, has doubts, predicting companies will adopt an inventory bifurcation, with higher-value Asian-made goods entering on the west coast and lower-value commodities heading to the east through Panama where longer transits mean less.

Mr Prince said he believes the expanded Panama Canal will result in little cargo diversion from west coast to east coast ports because slow steaming lengthens transits and magnifies the problems they create.

Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) won't achieve sufficient cost savings from an all-water route through the canal to justify the longer sailing times when compared with offloading cargo on the west coast and trans-loading to rail for the inland move, he said.

"Slow-steaming has just widened the discrepancy," he said. "The railroads haven't slowed down."

Maersk North American sales vice president William Woodhour said carriers may yet launch premium services at faster speeds, which, of course, would come with higher rates. "You have to segment your market and focus faster speeds on customers who want it," he said.

Tim Feemster, vice president and director of global logistics at real estate giant Grubb & Ellis, said it's possible that the marketplace would welcome an expedited form of liner service, noting that railways and truckers have launched similar services in recent years. "The trouble is, we haven't seen the demand for it up to now," he said.

For shippers, a longer voyage could mean additional inventory carrying costs. Slow-steaming also complicates a company's ability to react to unexpected events, such as bad weather or a labour disruption, which could affect product flow. Slower speeds can trigger changes in ordering, production, and scheduling as companies adjust to filling any holes in inventory if the goods are still on the water rather than in a DC or with their customer, said the report.

To offset slow steaming, NCR Corp, a global technology company based in Georgia, will sometimes intercept shipments arriving on the west coast before they can be transloaded to a railhead and have them moved inland by truck for faster delivery, said NCR vice president Michael Chandler.

But Genuine Parts Co vice president Mike Orr said his company has yet to experience any adverse impact on its business as a result of slow-steaming.

Home Depot supply chain vice president Mark Holifield said slow steaming causes his firm no trouble because ocean freight is slow and a couple of days of voyage variability means nothing.

"Predictability and consistency is more important than speed," said Mr Holifield, adding that slow-steaming is acceptable "as long as we can count on the published schedule."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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