Saturday, 31 May 2014

VIDEO: Oil Tanker Sinks Following Explosion Off Japan – Update

Update:  The vessel has reportedly sunk due to damages sustained. Akihiro Komura, a spokesperson from the vessel owner Syoho Shipping Co. was quoted by the AFP as saying, ““I heard that a crew member was using a grinder to remove paint and that seems to have triggered the blast, which we believe could have occurred when the remnants of the oil caught fire.
“It is a Japanese ship and belongs to our company. All the crew members are Japanese nationals. We have confirmed seven out of the eight are alive and one, believed to be the captain, is still missing.”
Four crewmembers are reported to have sustained serious burns in the explosion.
Earlier:
Smoke raises from the fuel tanker Shoko Maru after it exploded off the coast of Himeji, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 29, 2014. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo
Smoke raises from the fuel tanker Shoko Maru after it exploded off the coast of Himeji, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 29, 2014. Mandatory credit REUTERS/Kyodo
May 29 (Bloomberg) — An oil tanker ship exploded off the coast of western Japan today after delivering its cargo, injuring four crew members seriously and leaving one missing.
The 998-ton Shoko Maru burst into flames while being cleaned off the coast of Hyogo prefecture at about 9:25 a.m., a spokeswoman for Syoho Shipping Co. said by telephone. The woman asked that her name not be used, saying she wasn’t authorized by the closely held company to speak on the matter.
Four crew members suffered burns over their bodies, three were unharmed and the Japan Coast Guard is searching for the missing captain, Yoshinobu Saito, a spokesman for the organization said by telephone in Tokyo. The country’s transport ministry has sent three people to probe the incident aboard the 81-meter (266-foot) ship, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement.
Film on public broadcaster NHK’s website showed the listing tanker billowing smoke while being doused by several fireboats. The fire has since been put out, the Japan Coast Guard’s Saito said.
Smoke rises from the 998-tonne fuel tanker Shoko Maru after it exploded off the coast of Himeji, western Japan, May 29, 2014. REUTERS/5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
Smoke rises from the 998-tonne fuel tanker Shoko Maru after it exploded off the coast of Himeji, western Japan, May 29, 2014. REUTERS/5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
The explosion follows the sinking of a Panama-registered cargo ship off the coast of Japan in March, and the capsizing of the Sewol ferry off South Korea that left more than 300 people dead or missing last month.
Syoho Shipping is based in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan.
The 998-ton Shoyo Maru was built in 1995 and is chartered by Asahi Tanker Co., according to Syoho Shipping's website. File photo courtesy Syoho Shipping
The 998-ton Shoyo Maru was built in 1995 and is chartered by Asahi Tanker Co., according to Syoho Shipping’s website. File photo courtesy Syoho Shipping
–With assistance from Maiko Takahashi in Tokyo.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.

Container Ship Disasters

Friday, 30 May 2014

Evergreen Opts for Felixstowe Port

The Port of Felixstowe has welcomed the first call at the UK’s largest container port of Evergreen’s CES (China Europe Shuttle) service. The 8,452 TEU Ever Laden launched the service from the Port of Britain in late May.

Evergreen Opts for Felixstowe Port
The CES Service links North Europe to Asia with calls in Taiwan as well as China. The service has recently been calling at ports in continental Europe only.

Scott Chang, President of Evergreen Marine Corp., said: “We are pleased to be using the excellent facilities at the Port of Felixstowe for the UK call of our CES service. We are eagerly anticipating this new phase of our service from Asia within the CKYHE alliance.
The improved CES via Felixstowe will provide a direct service from Taipei, Ningbo, Shanghai and Colombo and bring additional benefits to our customers in the UK.”
The first call of the CES service at Felixstowe is part of a realignment of the service which will also see new calls westbound at Colombo in Sri Lanka. Felixstowe already has 3 calls per week by Evergreen and its new alliance partners Cosco, K-Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin.
It is also the only UK port of call for China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and its partners UASC, as well as the world’s largest two container lines, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), for services to Asia.
Subject to regulatory approval of the P3 Alliance, CMA CGM will join Maersk and MSC as a vessel provider at Felixstowe.

P3 to Start Operations in Autumn

CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, today announced that the start of P3 alliance has been pushed back until autumn 2014.

P3 to Start Operations in Autumn
In 18 June 2013, CMA CGM, Maersk Line and MSC announced the P3 Network (P3) cooperation with the intention to start operations by mid-2014.
P3 is subject to the receipt of relevant regulatory clearances. On 24 March 2014, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) decided to allow the P3 Network agreement to become effective in the US.
The P3 partners continue their close cooperation with competition and maritime authorities in Europe and Asia to address questions and to explain the nature of P3.
The P3 Network a long-term operational vessel sharing agreement on the East – West trades. The overall aim with P3 is to make container liner shipping more efficient and improve service quality for the shippers due to more frequent and reliable services.


May 21, 2014

Thursday, 29 May 2014

We're going to need a bigger crane: Terrifying moment 600ft crane costing £3.2m toppled over in Scottish harbour Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2620867/Were-going-need-bigger-crane-Giant-vehicle-topples-Scottish-harbour.

  • Stabilisers sank into ground causing crane to fall at Peterhead Business Park
  • Fortuitously no one was working on it at the time
  • Crane weighs 825 tons and can travels up to 50mph on roads
  • Whyte Crane Hire and Aquatic firms have both launched investigations

A crane toppled onto its side yesterday at an industrial yard when one of its stabilisers sank into the ground.
The Whyte Crane Hire vehicle was left balancing on its side with its wheels in the air at Peterhead Business Park this afternoon.
No one was believed to have been operating the crane which has an estimated reach of almost 630 feet (191m) when the incident happened near the town harbour in Aberdeenshire.
An industrial crane collapsed at Dales Park Industrial estate Peterhead, Aberdeenshire after one its stabilisers gave way
An industrial crane collapsed at Dales Park Industrial estate Peterhead, Aberdeenshire after one its stabilisers gave way
It was thought to have been used by subsea engineering firm Aquatic to load equipment on to a low loader.
A company spokeswoman said no one was injured.
 
She said: "Aquatic, an Acteon company, is investigating reports of an incident at our Peterhead facility.
An industrial crane collapsed at Dales Park Industrial estate Peterhead, Aberdeenshire although fortunately no one was working in it at the time
An industrial crane collapsed at Dales Park Industrial estate Peterhead, Aberdeenshire although fortunately no one was working in it at the time
An unfortunate legend on the wall of subsea engineering firm Aquatic at Peterhead Business Park
An unfortunate legend on the wall of subsea engineering firm Aquatic at Peterhead Business Park
The Whyte Crane Hire vehicle was left balancing on its side with its wheels in the air at Peterhead Business Park this afternoon
The Whyte Crane Hire vehicle was left balancing on its side with its wheels in the air at Peterhead Business Park this afternoon
"Our senior leadership team has launched an investigation.'
The subsea firm specialises in laying and lifting equipment and cables from the seabed for oil and gas firms.
MailOnline contacted the hire firm for further details but was told that the company has no comment to make while an investigation is under way.
It was thought that the crane had been used by subsea engineering firm Aquatic to load equipment on to a low loader
It was thought that the crane had been used by subsea engineering firm Aquatic to load equipment on to a low loader
From a distance: Aquatic is a subsea firm specialising in laying and lifting equipment and cables from the seabed for oil and gas firms
From a distance: Aquatic is a subsea firm specialising in laying and lifting equipment and cables from the seabed for oil and gas firms


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2620867/Were-going-need-bigger-crane-Giant-vehicle-topples-Scottish-harbour.html#ixzz336g25nRo
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London Thamesport Clinches West African Ro-Ro Service

The Netherlands-based RMR Shipping has chosen London Thamesport to handle the UK call of its North West Europe – West Africa Ro-Ro service.

rmr
The first call of the service was made by the 176-metre long Ro-Ro vessel Dresden on May 25, 2014.
The vessel has the versatility to handle a wide variety of cargoes through quarter and side ramps which allow cargo to be loaded and discharged directly onto the quay.
It has the capacity to hold some 4,000 + cars and Ro-Ro units on various fully enclosed decks.
Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, said: “We welcome RMR Shipping to the Port with this new North West Europe – West Africa Ro-Ro service.
London Thamesport has the flexibility and the workforce to meet a huge range of customer needs and we are confident in our ability to provide an excellent service to RMR Shipping and their customers.
Martin Fleet, Director of AB Global Logistics Limited, said: “We are very excited at the move to London Thamesport, with our bi-monthly service and the introduction of the stern quarter ramp vessels.
The port facilities are of a very high standard and the cooperation with all the staff within the port has been exceptional.
We feel the location of Thamesport will be a positive move for all the clients and their cargoes. We look forward to this new and positive relationship.”
London Thamesport handles a variety of deep and shallow-drafted vessels carrying a broad range of cargoes including Containers, Break-bulk, Ro-Ro and Project Cargoes.
The efficient shipside operation, fast turn-around time of vessels and road vehicles allows London Thamesport to provide its customers with a cost-efficient service in the heart of south-east England.

Hanjin and Hyundai must sell assets and cut more costs to survive the headwinds

Hanjin ship
Against the continued toxic mix of oversupply and weak demand, cash-strapped ocean carriers are being forced to consider every creative financial angle to boost balance sheets and keep the wolves from their doors.
In the case of state-owned Chinese carriers Cosco and China Shipping Container Line, asset sales have been the solution until now, but “selling family silver” is a short-term fix – a return to profitable trading is the only solution.
Like their rivals across the East China Sea, South Korean carriers Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine have experienced severe trading difficulties and both posted massive losses in 2013.
Indeed, this was the third consecutive year of red ink-stained results produced by Hanjin and HMM, and this combination of weak fundamentals and poor financial health is having an increasingly adverse affect on their all-important credit ratings.
Moreover, in newly-published reports from Drewry Financial Research Services, the transport consultant is not optimistic about the prospects of profitability for either South Korean carrier this year or the next, with a return to the black “unlikely” before 2016 for HMM and a year later for its compatriot carrier.
Drewry said Hanjin’s interest burden, which has grown by 164% over the past five years, was “straining the bottom line and leading to severe equity erosion”.
In addition, Hanjin’s net gearing spiked by a massive 1,175% last year – the highest in the industry – from 622% in 2012, adding to the company’s woes.
The world’s eighth biggest container carrier’s weak financial health is proving to be the carrier’s “nemesis” said Drewry which added: “We do not see any recovery in the near term.”
In Seoul, in a lifesaving bid, shareholders have agreed to merge the business and brands of Hanjin Shipping Holdings with its troubled subsidiary, Hanjin Shipping, under a restructuring deal designed to circumnavigate accounting restrictions on the latter receiving cash injections from its parent.
It is part of a complex restructuring plan, devised by the Hanjin group to gain liquidity for its ailing shipping operations, that involves equity swaps and sweeping management changes and throws up the prospect that the container carrier will ultimately become a part of the group’s flagship operation, Korean Air.
The restructuring at Hanjin is difficult to comprehend and prompted seasoned Hong Kong-based transport consultant and analyst Charles De Trenck to blog: “This is nuts. I recall that some of the big US banks were involved in helping to restructure Hanjin post-financial crisis. Now it is already time to restructure the restructured unit. And why do we have overcapacity…?”
There is no doubt that both South Korean box carriers are facing considerable challenges. Not least of which is the need to compete with other carriers and join the incessant drive towards economy of scale ultra-large containerships – but the cost of these ULCS adds more stress to their balance sheets.
Further, in the case of Hanjin, it has another disadvantage – the line is a member of the CKYHE alliance which, compared with the larger G6 and the even-bigger proposed P3 alliances, is, and will be for a while, hamstrung by a higher unit cost base, further reducing Hanjin’s prospects of turning a profit.
Meanwhile, before the industry can recover from its malaise of overcapacity-induced losses, both Hanjin and HMM will have no option but to keep selling assets and slashing costs.


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Death of 3 people on board of freighter Suntis in UK still a mystery. Absolute mystery.

The death of three people on board of German general cargo vessel Suntis in Goole port, UK, is still a mystery. BBC reported men were taken to hospital in the morning May 26, one died shortly after 07:00 BST and the other two died later. They were according to BBC, a 60-year-old German, a 33-year-old and a 38-year-old, both from the Philippines. BBC and other media news didn’t specify the men’s positions and ranks, one may assume they’re dockers (three workers died after becoming ill…), except for their nationalities. According to AIS, vessel arrived to Goole from Riga, Latvia, on May 24, passing Hull in the morning. According to media, vessel was berthed at West Dock on Bridge Street, loaded with timber. The deaths are absolute mystery, even the locations of the men in time they fell ill, and the circumstances. Did it happen in or near cargo holds, or did it happen in a superstructure? Assuming they were crew members, one of them, of German nationality, should be an officer, maybe a Master. Judging from all information available, deaths were not caused by violence. Carbon monoxide poisoning is mentioned, which means there could be fire and smoke contamination. Timing of the accident – early morning – points to fire/smoke as possible cause, too.
General cargo vessel Suntis, IMO 8513314, dwt 1815, built 1985, flag Germany, manager WARNECKE SCHIFFAHRT GBR.



Don't know if anyone has seen this - the small freighter Suntis passes Felixstowe every week or two to run up to Ipswich with timber, and 3 of her crew just died as she was unloading at Goole, on the Humber:

Zero hours contracts at Tilbury docks at the centre of 48-hour stoppage

Zero hours contracts at Tilbury docks at the centre of 48-hour stoppage

27 May 2014  

Dock workers go on strike over zero hour contract threat

Thurrock Gazette: Dock workers go on strike over zero hour contract threatDock workers go on strike over zero hour contract threat
WORKERS at the Port of Tilbury went on strike over plans by a Swedish firm to introduce zero hour contracts.
The two-day strike by port workers represented by union Unite, which stared today, only hit ships serviced by Swedish-owned SCA Logistics, whose UK base is at the port.
Unite is fearful that the 24-strong permanent workforce at the firm could be replaced by lower paid agency, or casual, workers on zero hours contracts.
Jane Jeffery, Unite regional officer, said: “If this is allowed to happen, we will be turning the clock back 50 years to the bad old days when you had to rely on the tap on the shoulder to see if you had work for the day in the docks.
“Only today, the call will come on your mobile – but the culture will be the same, low-waged and insecure employment. Wages could drop substantially, while the cost of living continues to rise.”
An agreement is currently in place at the firm allowing for a certain percentage of agency workers to be used.
But Unite claim this is being undermined by the ongoing replacement of permanent trained dockers, who currently number about 24, by even more agency and casual staff.
Ms Jeffery added: “It seems that the management of SCA Logistics is hell-bent on antagonising and prolonging the dispute, instead of reaching a settlement through discussion and negotiation.”
A move by the hardline management of SCA Logistics, based at Tilbury docks, to drive down wages by introducing zero hours contracts, has provoked a two day strike.

The dockers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, started a 48-hour stoppage at 06.00 today (Tuesday 27 May) in the dispute which the union fears could see the permanent workforce being replaced by lower paid agency/casual workers on zero hours contracts.

Unite regional officer Jane Jeffery said: “If this is allowed to happen, we will be turning the clock back 50 years to the bad old days when you had to rely on the tap on the shoulder to see if you had work for the day in the docks.

“Only today, the call will come on your mobile – but the culture will be the same, low waged and insecure employment. Wages could drop substantially, while the cost of living continues to rise.”

Unite said that a collective agreement is in place which allowed a certain percentage of agency workers, but this was being severely undermined  by the ongoing replacement of permanent trained dockers, who number about 24, by even more agency/casual staff.

Jane Jeffery said: “Although the action is for 48-hours, our members are being denied overtime and prevented from booking holidays. Agency labour is being used to cover their duties and working 14 hour days in order to do so.

“It seems that the management of the Swedish-owned SCA Logistics is hell-bent on antagonising and prolonging the dispute, instead of reaching a settlement through discussion and negotiation.

“Unite will strongly resist the very real threat of the workforce at this company becoming 100 per cent employed on zero hours contracts.”

The strike will only hit vessels being serviced by SCA Logistics at Tilbury.

ENDS

For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065.

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org

•    Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

MSC Terminal Valencia selects CERTUS Port Automation for Gate operatio

CERTUS Port Automation, an end to end provider of port automation and security, has announced the award of an Automated Gate project at the MSC Terminal in the Port of Valencia, Spain.

CERTUS will provide complete automation for seven truck gates at the MSC Terminal including Container OCR, Driver Kiosks, Traffic Control Equipment and the CERTUS PASS (Port Automation and Security System) which will manage all gate data and activities and interface to the terminal TOS.
“We are excited and honored to be implementing this project with MSC” stated Leander de Nooijer, President of CERTUS.
“Our unique and multi-level approach of bringing efficiency to terminal operations has enabled us to provide value and benefit to our customers, creating a partnership with our customers for the long term.”
Automated gate operations enable improved truck turnaround time by keeping the driver in the vehicle and automating the entire process of data capture, processing and reporting. Trucks are guided through a specific process managed by the software. The trucks pass the kiosks and screens and unique data is captured and matched with pre-registered data enabling efficient and effective movement through the gate and onto their pre-set destination within the terminal. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Three dead after Suntis ship illness at Goole Docks




Three dead after Suntis ship illness at Goole Docks

Police cordon along Goole docks in front of Suntis shipEmergency services were called to the ship at Goole Docks on Monday

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Three workers died after becoming ill on a German cargo ship berthed at Goole docks, police say.
The men were taken to hospital on Monday morning, one died shortly after 07:00 BST and the other two died later.
Police said the men, who had been working on the ship, became ill on the Suntis, which was carrying timber and berthed at West Dock on Bridge Street.
Officers said it was too early to say what caused the men's deaths and have not released details of their injuries.
The men, who have not been named, were a 60-year-old German and a 33-year-old man from the Philippines.
The nationality of the third man, aged 38, has not been released.
'Tragic shipboard incident'
Humberside Police said it was working with the Health and Safety Executive and the Maritime Agency to establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
Det Insp Emma Heatley, of Humberside Police, said: "All we know is that they've been working on the ship. As a result of that they've been taken ill.
"It's early days for us to be able to say what's actually the cause of death."
In a statement, port operator Associated British Ports said: "We are continuing to work closely with the relevant authorities.
"Our thoughts are with those affected by this tragic shipboard incident."