Felistowe Dockers

Felistowe Dockers

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Pilot onboard our ship ~ Amazing footage..

Chris McClelland 

Crane Height Extended In Los Angele's

North America's tallest (167') ship-to-shore container crane is now in operation at APM Terminals' Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles.

Gantry Cranes Group (Official)

Opinion: Will No Single Market Sink Shipping?

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is set to deliver a comprehensive speech today (January 17) that will confirm Britain’s intention to leave the single market.

As she speaks to an audience of press and ambassadors from around the globe, May will attempt to carve the road to triggering the fabled article 50. Despite a clear intention to scrap the single market, it is believed that May will insist that Britain will remain a “best friend” to their European neighbours. During the long awaited speech, the prime minister will also endeavour to outline 12 key priorities for EU negotiations that include a stance on trade and control of borders.
In a point that reflects her views that shipping and trade will be unhindered, May will say that she does not see Brexit as an either/or choice. May firmly believes that whatever final deal on trade and customs duties is decided, lorries will be able to pass through Dover and other ports unobstructed. It is also believed that May will advocate ambitions to extend trade beyond the continent, suggesting that UK is also destined to leave the customs union.
The move to leave both the single market and the customs union is seen by some as a bold one. Back in October 2016, Cabinet ministers were given detailed warnings from thinktank NIER that the UK pulling out of the EU customs union could lead to a 4.5% fall in GDP by 2030, and would ultimately result in the congestion of trade through Britain’s ports. Estimations from NIER are that if Britain is to make an out-and-out withdrawal, they would need to develop trade growth with the 10 largest non-EU partners by 37% by 2030 just to create a trade stand-still. In addition, James Hookham, of the Freight Transport Association, claimed that there would be a “profound” impact if there is a sudden exit from the customs union as over half of Britain’s exports go to the EU. 
There was also doubt from the Leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, who has said that May’s plans are rash and that the prime minister “appears to be leading us in the direction of a sort of bargain basement economy on the shores of Europe where we have low levels of corporate taxation”. Corbyn also added, “It seems to me an extremely risky strategy.”
There are also major concerns surrounding the negotiations for EU workers being able to freely work in the UK. Restrictions on the right of EU workers to work in the UK maritime sector would have a severely detrimental effect on the UK shipping cluster that is reliant on such labour to thrive.  
Conversely, some shippers believe that Brexit offers opportunities for more favourable trade agreements to be decided on a bilateral basis between the UK and countries in Asia, Oceania and the Americas. Politicians in Australia have already said that they are happy to discuss a bilateral deal. U.S President Elect Donald Trump also seems to favourably look at Britain’s decision to “take their country back” and despite Obama’s “back of the queue” warning, it appears that Trump will look to secure a quick UK-US trade deal after he takes office on Friday (January 20).
In line with some of the more optimistic forecasts, shipping analysts Drewry believe that container lines will continue to call directly at UK ports because UK volumes are large enough to justify direct calls with mainline vessels, particularly at ports in the South of England.
It would appear one of the major reasons for Theresa May and the government’s decision to seek a ‘hard Brexit’ is an easing of financial forecast worries. On Monday (January 16) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claimed that their negative outlook for the British economy in the wake of Brexit was misjudged.
Essentially, what May is offering is a clean cut from Europe. No single market, no free movement, no ‘soft Brexit’. This may ultimately equal a deal that in time works for the UK shipping industry, but it is the very nature of the gamble that creates such uncertainty. Steady yourself, because there may be some rough waves ahead. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Advantages and Disadvantages of 12-Hour Shifts


The Advantages and Disadvantages of
12-Hour Shifts

Achieving the “best” schedule requires a complete understanding of all the human and economic factors.

Learn More
CIRCADIAN has collected extensive data from organizations who use 12-hour shifts to gather unique insights about the practices, policies, results and impacts of these schedules.

Download this whitepaper to obtain a unique, unparalleled understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of 12-hour shifts, based on CIRCADIAN’s 30 years of expertise in providing 24/7 workforce solutions.
Learn More

Rail Terminal At London Gateway

Photo credits to 


ILA-USMX Joint Safety Committee
OSH Circular 2017-01 (03 January 2017)

With Winter upon us, at the more Northern ports it’s realistic to foresee ice-occasioned slippery walking and working surfaces (aboard ship and ashore) as well as ice formations aloft that may have a propensity to thaw and fall (also aboard ship and ashore) upon unsuspecting workers and managers.
In relation to those hazards, common law holds that vessels have a (turnover) duty to inspect for and correct hazardous conditions before the vessel is handed over to the contract stevedore. It doesn’t require a lot of imagination to conclude that iced-up walking and working surfaces encountered aboard ship can be a hazardous condition. Consequently, ocean carriers have a responsibility to ensure that those hazards are corrected before allowing longshore personnel to conduct work. In OSHA’s eyes, marine terminal & stevedore employers share those responsibilities.

Links to pdf-formatted files:
OSH Circular 2017-01 – Hielo – Ice – Versión Español

OSHA’s regulations aboard vessels:
Slippery surfaces. The employer shall eliminate conditions causing slippery walking and working surfaces in immediate areas used by employees.
Ice aloft. Employees shall be protected from ice that may fall from aloft.
OSHA’s regulation on shore:
The employer shall eliminate, to the extent possible, conditions causing slippery working and walking surfaces in immediate work areas used by employees.
Got a Winter Weather-related question? Write to the JSC at: blueoceana@optonline.net Working Together For The Benefit Of All
ILA-USMX OSH Circulars are devised to reflect the best possible information and guidance, and are products of diligent research and the most up to date subject matter knowledge. Consequently, while the information contained herein is believed to be accurate, owing to a host of factors ILA-USMX can convey no direct or implied warranty relative to the reliance of parties upon content. 

AGENA - general cargo vessel passing port of felixstowe for ipswich / GRAND CANYON - multi purpose offshore vessel - port of felixstowe

general cargo vessel agena passing the port of felixstowe on a cold and breezy morning and heading for the port of ipswich.
IMO - 9197430
SIZE - 86.56m x 12.8m
BUILT - 2001

Paul Hiett

125.4m length offshore vessel grand canyon passing the port of felixstowe inbound for harwich.
IMO - 9614608
SIZE -125.4m x 30.1m

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Along New York Harbor, ‘On the Waterfront’ Endures

On an overcast Friday morning last January, longshoremen all over New York Harbor walked off the docks, bringing the port nearly to a stop for a day. What were the longshoremen’s grievances? What were their demands? Many of the men seemed not to know. They hung around the food trucks and milled about the parking lots, unsure why they had stopped working and unsure what it would take for work to resume.
“No one knew what that was about,” one recalled recently.
A year later, the reason for the strike remains unclear, even as the agency tasked with ridding the waterfront of organized crime, the Waterfront Commission, has questioned dozens of longshoremen under oath. One told the commission he learned of the strike early that morning, when it was too dark to see the face of the man giving the order. It could have been anyone.
It was the old D & D — Deaf and Dumb, the classic longshoreman’s response, popularized in the 1954 film “On the Waterfront.”
In that movie, the longshoremen were reluctant, even frightened, to talk to the authorities, whether a priest or a detective, because the mob controlled the waterfront. In the years since, much has changed around New York Harbor; the heavy lifting is done not by hand but by cranes, and human voices are scarcely heard amid the beeping of the straddle carriers, giant insectlike machines that move containers back and forth. But even as New York and New Jersey’s increasingly valuable shoreline is claimed by luxury development, investigators say the mob is still present.
Continue reading the main story
It is where the daughter of one of the mobsters made famous in the 1997 film “Donnie Brasco” is up for a job; where the nephew of another famous mobster pulled down more than $400,000 in a single year because he was almost never off the clock, not even when he was at home sleeping; where three consecutive presidents of a Newark longshoremen’s union were convicted of extortion. There is physical evidence as well, like the $51,900 wrapped in cellophane that was discovered buried in the backyard of a longshoreman. It was, according to federal agents in a 2010 affidavit, the tribute that a group of Newark longshoremen paid the Genovese crime family each Christmas.
“You will need another generation or two to get the mob out of this port, because they are very well entrenched,” said one longshoreman who requested anonymity because of a concern for his safety and his livelihood. Those who step out of line, he said, face being reassigned from high-paying jobs unloading container ships to the cruise ship terminals, where the work and the pay is far less.


Port workers at Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, N.J., after walking off the job last Jan. 29.CreditDave Sanders for The New York Times 

While investigators say the mob and the waterfront remain entwined, both institutions are much diminished today, pushed to the margins of New York City. The finger piers that once extended from much of Manhattan and Brooklyn are mostly gone. These days the most famous shipping line in the city is the Circle Line, which does sightseeing tours.
Container ships generally head across the harbor to New Jersey, toward the ports of Elizabeth, Newark and Bayonne. They unload at a number of terminals, one of which is owned by a Canadian teachers’ pension fund. The pay is pretty good on the docks — plenty of longshoremen make well over $100,000 — but the work is often dreary and dangerous.
“It’s a funny thing about this port,” a hiring agent at Port Newark named Pasquale Pontoriero was overheard saying in a 2009 wiretap, a few years before his license was revoked because he had associated with organized crime figures. “I call it the Broadway of broken dreams.”
Perhaps the starkest difference at the port today is in how many machines there are, and how few people. A century ago New York Harbor employed 40,000 longshoremen, who unloaded ships with hook and sling and brawn. Today, the entire workforce is just under 3,400 longshoremen, many perched behind the controls of cranes and straddle carriers.
Yet amid all the transformation, some investigators say, racketeers and mobsters are still as present as the barnacles attached to the piers.
In the view of Walter M. Arsenault, the executive director of the Waterfront Commission, the fundamental relationship between the waterfront and the mob remains unchanged since “On the Waterfront.”
“The only difference is now, it’s in color,” Mr. Arsenault said.
He based that assessment on several indicators, such as the number of relatives of organized-crime figures who continue to hold choice jobs, many of which involve little work and pay unusually high salaries, like the union shop steward position held by Ralph Gigante, the nephew of the boss of the Genovese family, the late Vincent (Chin) Gigante. Ralph Gigante earned $419,000 in 2014, and has said he believes he holds the union office for life — “until death do us part.”
There is also the fact that some of the same New York and New Jersey union officials whom federal prosecutors have in the past accused of racketeering have since risen to the top ranks of the East Coast waterfront union, the International Longshoremen’s Association.
One is Harold J. Daggett, the garrulous president, who owns a 76-foot yacht, the Obsessionand has been spotted by his members riding in a Bentley. One longshoreman said he had been surprised to catch sight of a holster strapped to Mr. Daggett’s ankle during a meeting.
The Justice Department, which has lost two cases against Mr. Daggett, has described him as an “associate” of the Genovese crime family whose rise through the union ranks was part of the mob’s plan. A good portion of the Justice Department’s evidence against him came from the testimony of an aged mob turncoat, George Barone, who had once been a waterfront enforcer for the Genovese family and who described Mr. Daggett as thoroughly under the mob’s control.
But Mr. Daggett, on trial in 2005, took the witness stand and portrayed himself as a mob target, describing a 1980 episode in which Mr. Barone had put a gun to his head and threatened to kill him and his family — an incident that so terrified Mr. Daggett he urinated in his pants, according to news accounts.
During that trial, one of Mr. Daggett’s co-defendants, a reputed mobster named Lawrence Ricci, went missing. Several weeks after the men were acquitted, Mr. Ricci’s decomposing body was found in the trunk of a car outside a New Jersey diner. The murder, which Mr. Arsenault said is the last known waterfront killing, remains unsolved.


Harold J. Daggett, the president of the International Longshoremen’s Association.CreditThomas Estrin 

Mr. Daggett declined, through the longshoremen’s association’s spokesman, to be interviewed. But alluding to his brushes with the Justice Department, Mr. Daggett joked at a union conference in Puerto Rico in 2015 that when he was invited to the White House for a labor meeting, “I thought I might have a better chance ending up in the big house, but there I was, your I.L.A. president, at the White House.”
But Mr. Daggett’s lawyer in that 2005 trial, George Daggett (his cousin), said in a recent interview that “the mob on the waterfront is a myth” — something that has not been true for half a century. Mr. Daggett, who frequently represents longshoremen in litigation with the Waterfront Commission, said that the agency prefers to pretend “we’re still in the ’50s.”
“They can’t say, ‘We got rid of the mob,’ because then there’s no reason for them to be in existence,” George Daggett said. “I challenge them to prove mob influence on the piers. What have they come up with? A couple of guys here and a stray guy there?”
The mob’s grip over the New York waterfront began nearly a century ago and was predicated on a few simple facts: The work was uneven, depending on a ship’s arrival time, and yet the cargo needed to be unloaded quickly, so that produce did not spoil and the shelves of America’s stores could remain stocked. Gangsters quickly realized that the piers were the choke point of the economy, and that a dizzying array of rackets were available to them. They pilfered cargo as it came ashore and extorted truckers who had come to collect cargo or drop it off. And, most cruelly, the mob controlled which of the longshoreman would be selected to work.
Theirs was some of the most dangerous work in the country, but longshoremen had to beg to get it. At the shape-ups on the piers, where longshoremen would gather each morning in the hope of joining the group that would work on an arriving ship, it was common for a man to place a toothpick behind his ear, a signal that he would kick back some of his pay.
All this began to change with containerization, as goods were no longer shipped loose but packed into containers that stacked efficiently, and transferred easily between ships and trucks and trains. With cranes doing the lifting, the number of longshoremen plummeted by more than 90 percent. Today, advances in automation threaten to reduce the number of longshoremen even further.
As the workforce dwindled, the remaining jobs became well paid. This was a result of a shrewd move by the longshoremen’s association: The union negotiated a flat fee, today roughly $5 a ton, that the shipping industry would pay into various funds to provide an income for laid-off longshoremen and supplement the benefits and income of those who would work fewer hours as a result. As global trade has soared, the few longshoremen who remain have seen their paychecks grow.
The waterfront today has largely receded from the city’s consciousness and even its geography. And to some extent, so has the mob. Decimated by mass prosecutions over the last three decades, New York’s five crime families have struggled to adapt. While there have been some new, profitable ventures, like online gambling, the waterfront still exerts its own pull. Mr. Arsenault referred to the waterfront as the mob’s “last candy jar.”

In recent years, the union has brazenly recommended friends or relatives of organized crime figures for jobs on the docks, said Phoebe S. Sorial, the general counsel for the Waterfront Commission. She said the union has sought waterfront jobs for “people who posted bail for organized figures” and “people who are in business with organized crime figures,” along with any number of relatives.
In 2014, for instance, the union recommended the 62-year-old daughter of one of New York’s most famous mobsters, Benjamin (Lefty) Ruggiero (played by Al Pacino in the film “Donnie Brasco”), Mr. Arsenault said, adding that other such cases abound.
“You can’t throw a rock on either side of the waterfront without hitting a brother, son or daughter of a made member,” Mr. Arsenault said, using the terminology for someone who has been inducted into a crime family.
The bi-state Waterfront Commission was formed in 1953 to fight organized crime on the docks. For many years, before it came under new leadership in 2008, it was a scandal-scarred and sleepy agency. Since then it has focused on extensive background checks, mapping the familial relationships between mobsters and longshoremen — an elaborate genealogy project.
The Gigantes, for instance, have 10 relatives — mostly nephews, in-laws and grandsons — working on the waterfront, according to the commission. This kind of blatant nepotism was impressive if not especially unusual.
And yet Mr. Daggett, the union president, objects to the assumption that these sorts of arrangements necessarily signal corruption. “There is an old saying,” he once proclaimed at a public hearing, slightly stretching the degree of kinship in the adage, “‘The son or a nephew should not carry the sins of a father or an uncle.’”
Many of those with relatives in organized crime say the insinuation that they themselves are mixed up in racketeering is hurtful, untrue and yet maybe inescapable.

“When I started out, people were a little standoffish because of fear, because of my ancestors,” James Anastasio said. His father’s uncle was Albert Anastasia, once the head of what the press called Murder, Inc.; he was “Lord High Executioner,” as his 1957 obituary in The Daily News put it. “Although once they got to know me and realized I had nothing to do with that, they treated me as a normal person.” Mr. Anastasio, who runs a training institute for longshoremen and is also an executive at a crane company, said that in his long career on the waterfront, “I’ve never really come across the mob.”
“As far as I know, no, the mob is no longer on the waterfront,” he added. “I can’t say there are not small pockets of bad people, but as far as big influence — not that I’ve seen in my lifetime.”
George Daggett, the lawyer and cousin of the union president, said that the Waterfront Commission has taken to harassing some longshoremen with relatives reputed to be organized crime figures. He cited a lawsuit he had brought on behalf of a longshoreman in New Jersey named Pasquale Falcetti Jr. Mr. Falcetti, he said, was denied a port registration card by the Waterfront Commission for no other reason, apparently, than “who this kid’s father is” — Pasquale (Uncle Patty) Falcetti, a convicted racketeer and reputed leader in the Genovese family, currently finishing a federal prison sentence.
The union has complained about such aggressive tactics, and the longstanding antipathy between the longshoremen’s association and the Waterfront Commission may have been the driving force behind the strike last year. And yet a spokesman for the longshoremen’s association, James McNamara, said the union did not give the order for the strike and urged the longshoremen to return to work. “What we had heard,” Mr. McNamara said, “was the men were seemingly protesting against the Waterfront Commission and what was perceived as harassment.”
As for the presence of organized crime along the waterfront, Mr. McNamara said the mob had no influence anymore. “They just don’t,” he said. “It’s a highly automated, highly sophisticated industry.”
He added, “You just don’t hear about that at all anymore.”
But another viewpoint was offered two years ago by Sabato (Sal) Catucci, a legendary waterfront figure who operated the stevedoring company that ran the Red Hook docks in Brooklyn until 2011. At a public hearing before the Waterfront Commission in 2010, he protested investigators’ insinuation that the ports were under mob control. He was so wary of being tarred as a mobster that he even chose what to wear with care. “I didn’t come in here with a black shirt today, because I don’t feel that I wanted to be stereotyped,” he said.
Yet just a few years later, Mr. Catucci, now locked in a battle over a contract to operate the Red Hook port, accused the longshoremen’s union of threatening him during negotiations. He had been told he would be taken out “in a box,” according to a lawsuit he filed. One vice president of the union “shoved me and threatened to knock me out,” Mr. Catucci said in a 2014 affidavit, in which he claimed that some of the waterfront’s most powerful figures “are, or are associated with, thugs who get their way by intimidation and force.”


Sabato (Sal) Catucci, shown here in 2009, operated the stevedoring company that ran the Red Hook docks in Brooklyn until 2011. CreditPiotr Redlinski for The New York Times 

Investigators insist that the same rackets that gave life to “On the Waterfront” continue today. Mr. Arsenault checked off the various forms of thievery and extortion, both big and small, that he learned of through his investigations. Forty-foot-long containers occasionally disappear, most likely the result of theft. Truckers, in order to be allowed to retrieve their container and leave the port, have been encouraged to buy overpriced bottles of water, or even Girl Scout cookies from the longshoremen, he said.
Robert Stewart, a longtime anticorruption prosecutor who until last year had worked in a court-appointed role for 13 years to rid a longshoremen’s local in Bayonne of organized crime, said that mob influence on the waterfront was “a tad better” than in the past. “You don’t have bodies showing up,” he said.
But he said he wondered whether the mob had not simply directed its attention to a different source of income.
For years, investigators have suspected that the mob’s most lucrative targets on the waterfront are the longshoremen benefit funds, including what is known as the “container royalty fund,” the fund that pays extra wages to longshoremen each year as compensation for the diminished work that came with containerization. The funds are worth a great deal of money; one received more than $95 million in 2014. They also tend to be rather opaque.
“It is an awfully inviting target, and knowing the cast of characters involved here, to think they’re not getting a piece of this is unrealistic,” Mr. Stewart said.
The list of employees at the benefits fund, said one law enforcement official, include an accountant and a director of operations who are the children of dead organized crime figures.
But John Nardi, the president of the New York Shipping Association, a trade group that has a role in managing the funds, said he had seen no evidence of misconduct. “Based on people’s names you can make a lot of assumptions,” he said. However, he said, “All monies are accounted for.”

Evelyn Maersk sailing from Felixstowe

Prithvi Singh