Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Pilot ladders aren't the only way we board or disembark ships.

Pilot ladders aren't the only way we board or disembark ships. This morning in Southampton a ship from a reputable operator and management company provided me with this gangway arrangement to disembark. Both the duty officer and Chief Officer, advised me that this was safe access!

Hi , many thanks for the photo's, you are absolutely correct to highlight this problem. The Master is required to provide safe means of access to the vessel at all times. Since you were in Southampton maybe one which could easily have been raised with the MCA. Like all #dangeousladders if its unsafe don't use it !!

Morning, having got various personnel called in order to lower the ramp, I wrote the Captain a note pointing out the vessel's obligations to provide safe and proper access at all times when alongside. He has just rung me up to apologise for the state of affairs. The response I had from the Chief officer (1st trip in rank) at 0400 this morning was that it was company regulation not to lower the ramp before starting cargo ops.
Is anybody in at the MCA at 4 in the morning?


 Its good that the Master responded with an apology. Maybe their company need to re-evaluate the policy of not lowering the ramp before commencing cargo operations, presumably the port pilot also disembarked using the ramp.

No idea how the ABP pilot got ashore but it was late last night when the vessel berthed and certainly wasn't at low water.

OOCL Kobe departs Felixstowe for Hamburg almost empty. 18th September 2017

Published on 18 Sep 2017


The OOCL Kobe departs Felixstowe Berth 5 with the assistance of one Svitzer tug. The pilot edges the very light OOCL Kobe off berth and proceeds down the harbour out to the Sunk where the pilot disembarks for his next job. Unfortunately I missed which 3212 tug pulled her off the berth due to traffic to the viewpoint.

Two Svitzer tugs assist the MSC Sveva from Felixstowe Berth 9 18t September 2017

Previous record breaker CSCL Globe departs Felixstowe with two 3212 Svitzer tugs 16th September 2017

Deano C's Harwich Haven videos and shipping news.

Peel Ports secures new WEC Lines service to Liverpool

Peel Ports Group Container Director, Jouke Schaap.
Dutch company WEC Lines is beginning a new service connecting the Port of Liverpool with Huelva, Vigo, Leixoes and Dublin. The service will begin from the end of September with weekly 300TEU vessels, but this is expected to grow significantly once trade develops.
Jouke Schaap, Container Port Director at Peel Ports, said: “We’re very pleased to be welcoming a second WEC Lines service to Liverpool. This further underlines what we’ve been saying about how the dynamics of the UK logistics sector is changing. Shipping directly into the North-west of the UK provides cargo owners with the chance to reduce costs, congestion and carbon emissions by getting closer to their end market. It’s a further endorsement of the compelling case behind our Cargo200 initiative, which is now backed by 225 supporters representing more than 1.5m TEU a year. That is clear evidence of the demand for direct deep-sea calls at Liverpool.”
Nico Valkenier, Managing Director WEC Lines, added: “We are delighted to announce a new maritime link connecting both Huelva in the south of Spain and Vigo in the north of Spain with Liverpool and Dublin. In addition, this new service will improve connection times from Leixoes to Liverpool and Dublin.”
In 2016, WEC Lines began weekly calls at the Port of Liverpool connecting with Lisbon, Setubal, Leixoes and Sines, with other links to Ireland, Scotland, Morocco, Spain and the Canary Islands.
The Cargo200 campaign calls for importers and exporters whose goods begin or end their journey in the north of the UK to switch current delivery of ocean freight from south-east ports to the centrally-located Port of Liverpool. The initiative aims to cut freight mileage by 200 million miles by 2020.
For more information on Cargo200i click HERE.
For more information on our container rail service click HERE.

King George Dock: Hydrochloric acid leak at Hull dock

King George Dock includes several materials companies, shipping services and a ferry terminal

A storage tank containing 580 tonnes of hydrochloric acid split and leaked at a dock in Hull.
Concerns over a vapour cloud the leak caused has led to fire crews spraying a fine water mist to stop it spreading.
Twenty five firefighters were sent to United Molasses on the quayside of King George Dock at 22:15 BST on Monday. 
The leak from the tank has been stopped, but an exclusion zone is in place within the port that has left the eastern access road shut.
Associated British Ports (ABP) said it was assisting the fire service and other authorities "to resolve the situation as quickly as possible".
A spokesperson said: "An exclusion zone within a section of the Port of Hull has been established.
"Please be assured nobody outside the exclusion zone should be concerned."

King George Dock
Image captionThe leak impacted the east side of the dock near the Northern Gateway

The fire service said it would remain there to assist ABP as the acid was transferred onto tankers to be removed.
Police said traffic in the area was unaffected and access to the ferry terminal and Hedon Road was unaffected.
The "significant" leak, at the east side of the dock near the Northern Gateway, earlier led to people in the area being advised to close windows and doors as a precautionary measure.
Crews wore gas-tight hazardous materials suits while dealing with the incident. 
According to its website, United Molasses Group Ltd trades and markets molasses, vegetable oils and stores bulk liquids.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Port Of Felixstowe Floral Tug / IMV

The work of a well known ex safety manager from the Port who now spends time tending the gardens at an old peoples home in Felixstowe

Port of Liverpool hosts international trade visit

Pic: John Alty, Director General, Department for International Trade, with Stephen Carr, Commercial Director of Peel Ports.
Peel Ports has welcomed a visit to Liverpool by the Department for International Trade as underlining the trade growth potential provided by the port for the UK’s post-Brexit economy.
A team from the department, led by Director General John Alty, carried out a fact-finding trip today (Friday 15 September), including a tour of the Liverpool2 deep-water container terminal.
He also heard from the Peel Ports team that there are significant trade opportunities between the US, and the rest of Americas, particularly in agricultural produce. Liverpool is an existing gateway for food and drink imports, which are used extensively in retail, processing and manufacturing sectors, while there are also major opportunities in UK food and drink exports to the US.
Peel Ports’ Commercial Director Stephen Carr said: “There is huge potential to use our facilities to increase trade with the Americas and consequently strengthen our domestic food and drink sector, which already has a concentration in the Liverpool hinterland. The fact is that our location provides a more efficient route to market for west-facing trade when compared with ports in the south-east of the UK. We’re grateful to John Alty and his colleagues for coming to hear about this first hand and look forward to working with them in future on improving the UK’s international trade via Liverpool.”
Liverpool is the only major container port in the north or west of the UK, offering access for cargo shipped via deep-sea vessels. Its facilities provide capacity for growth, with onward road, rail, ship canal and short-sea shipping connections to markets across the UK and Ireland. Peel Ports also has an established relationship with the specialist transatlantic shipping lines and many of its UK export customers.
For more information on our Liverpool2 development click HERE. Find out about our new container rail service HERE.

Just Behind The Port Of Felixstowe We Have This

Trimley Footpaths. St Mary To St Martin and Back With Two Ponds

Very empty Emma Maersk swings for Felixstowe Berth 8. 16th September 2017

Published on 18 Sep 2017


Monday, 18 September 2017

Analysis: Hapag-Lloyd – a hungry Maersk may be waiting to pounce

The behaviour of the Hapag-Lloyd share price since late 2016 proves the bulls in container shipping circles may be right in largely ignoring the risks surrounding the sector’s leading players, which continue to show optimism after a solid start to the year.
Hapag share price (source Yahoo Finance)
Hapag share price (source Yahoo Finance)
The fundamentals of the German carrier, however, suggest that if a best-case scenario doesn’t play out, and rate levels become more difficult to maintain, the recently drafted optimistic scenarios could become a nightmare as soon as 2019 for its worldwide network, making it one of the most obvious takeover targets in the industry.
Hapag network (source Hapag)
Hapag network (source Hapag)
Down, up, and down
At the end of June 2016, when its shares still traded below the IPO price of €20, the German carrier announced its merger agreement with United Arab Shipping Company and took the lead in a consolidation game that has since seen a slew of M&A deals concluding with Cosco striking the most expensive acquisition in liner history via its OOCL acquisition.
Before tie-up rumours emerged in April 2016, the stock of Hapag traded around €16. It now changes hands at €37, mainly thanks to that deal.
The demise of Hanjin and tighter capacity came to the rescue on the back of a fast-consolidating market, transforming what was a dreadful investment for over a year – as I expected when Hapag was about to price its IPO in late 2015 – into a spectacularly high-yielding investment since the turn of 2016.
With hindsight, Hapag management embraced the only strategy it could entertain at the time, doing all they could to prevent a painfully slow death. Thanks should also go to its bankers, who have little choice but to help the company stay afloat, given the billions they are owed. But where does all this leave Hapag now? And who will end up being the ultimate winner?
Hapag itself could well be answer, I reckon.
Freight rates per trade arguably played in favour of the Hapag/UASC tie-up in the first half, as the chart below shows.
Freight rates per trade (source Hapag)
Freight rates per trade (source Hapag)
The same applies to the development of global container fleet capacity…
Global container fleet capacity (source Hapag)
Global container fleet capacity (source Hapag)
…as well as volume trends, which boosted Hapag’s top-line even before the consolidation of UASC was taken into account.
Transport volume per trade (source Hapag)
Transport volume per trade (source Hapag)
Revenue per trade (source Hapag)
Revenue per trade (source Hapag)
Based on all these elements, it is unsurprising that its shares trade at record levels of €38, which suggests financial investors continue to be happy to buy into a positive outlook for shipping lines – a view that is also shared by several sources in the liner industry I talked to recently.
Hapag has emerged in a more dominant position thanks to rising freight rates and a lack of alternatives on the routes it serves – however, their contribution to its interim P&L figures was more of a marginal embellishment than substantial gain.
And the balance asset, where assets and liabilities are booked, doesn’t look great either, although analysts at Moody’s and sell-side brokers think otherwise, given their projections.
While Hapag management talks of “qualitatively enhanced growth”, its earnings quality has deteriorated, in my view; and surely how that growth is financed is equally important.
Sustainable growth (Source: Hapag)
Sustainable growth (Source: Hapag)
Of course, Hapag minimises certain risks, saying that global GDP growth will accelerate above trends in the next 15 months or so, with volumes comfortably outpacing global economic growth…
Economic Outlook (Source: Hapag)
Economic outlook (Source: Hapag)
The message here is clear: the economy will be the silver bullet the container shipping industry needs at a time when the main players consolidate at the fastest pace in history, determining different pricing dynamics along the value chain that, ultimately, will favour the top five carriers.
Currently, Hapag remains the smallest, and the most vulnerable, based on its current financial situation.
Top five market share (Source: Alphaliner)
Top five market share (Source: Alphaliner)
(A quick digression on the economy: you may not have noticed, but earlier this month the 10-year US Treasury yield hit its lowest level of 2.05% for 2017, down almost 60 basis points from its highest point – induced by the Trump rally – which says a lot about subdued growth prospects for the world’s largest economy, and hence for the rest of the world. Additionally, it is convenient to ignore that the bull market is almost nine years old, while benchmark indices continue to record new highs on a daily basis – however, as latent recessionary forces persist globally, a double-dip in the container shipping industry cannot be ruled out given that the worst year on record for the ocean carriers was little more than nine months ago.)
I have recently warned you that debt trends were not good, either for Hapag nor the broader industry.
The fact that credit rating agency Moody’s recently placed the rating of Maersk under scrutiny is only a minor event, though – the market leader, even following a possible downgrade, will remain in investment grade territory. Based on its current credit rating, it currently ranks two notches above junk.
Hapag credit rating chart (source: Hapag)
Hapag credit rating chart (source: Hapag)
The stock of the Danish behemoth shrugged off the news, but Hapag is an entirely different story, because its balance sheet is significantly more stretched and its credit rating deep in junk territory.
Credit rating grid (source:
Credit rating grid (source:
It is possible that Moody’s is right and, if so, in less than two years the German carrier will have materially improved its financial status.
Moody's forward view for Hapag/UASC (source Moody's)
Moody’s forward view for Hapag/UASC (source Moody’s)
After all, its free cash flow profile received a fillip at the end of the first half…
Hapag free cash flow (source Hapag)
Hapag free cash flow (source Hapag)
… and capex requirements will inevitably fall based on historic standards following the UASC integration (although, inevitably, its vessels will be older than rivals reportedly looking to place new orders).
Furthermore, some key returns figures were better than previously, as the chart below shows.
Snapshot financials (source Hapag)
Snapshot financials (source Hapag)
But the same table above also includes its total financial indebtedness – and that should raise eyebrows, having risen 78% to €7.3bn following the consolidation of UASC, while borrowed capital, which includes other liabilities, is even higher.
Hapag also consolidated additional cash and earnings of UASC when it acquired it – but it’s too early to know whether the deal was actually worth it. Little improvement in first-half ROIC (return on invested capital) metrics – which gauge how efficiently capital is deployed and is a key yardstick for Maersk’s management – prove my point.
Hapag ROIC
Hapag return on invested capital (source : Hapag)
Meanwhile, a tiny free float makes it all riskier for shareholders who are invested, one could argue. Although if a bear-case scenario plays out and the bulls are wrong, that might only be a minor concern.
Hapag Shareholder structure, including free float (source: Hapag)
Hapag shareholder structure, including free float (source: Hapag)
Because then, Hapag – which for so many years was tipped to merge with Hamburg Süd before Maersk swooped – could easily become a target for Maersk once that line’s restructuring is complete, say, in 2019. It wouldn’t come cheap, and could well spark a bidding war.
When asked about the likelihood of Hapag being acquired by Maersk eventually, several executives, who I am grateful to for sharing their views on shipping market trends in recent weeks, agreed: “Such a combination would make a lot sense.”