Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Freight and Logistics Group DHL Comes in for Another Attack After ChickenGate

More Trade Union Accusations as Staff Laid Off 

UK – Nothing seems to be going right this month for logistics outfit DHL. Having suffered the 'ChickenGate' fiasco in which the company, having taken over the contract to deliver basic supplies to Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets, failed dismally causing the majority of stores to close, now the freight and parcels delivery company has once again been attacked for alleged unfair industrial practices. 

Last week DHL was severely criticised by the GMB Union for its attitude toward KFC staff left without work who were simply told to take holiday leave, with the GMB saying DHL should make up the shortfall in wages. Now it says up to 140 workers employed on the O2 contract at a DHL site in Normanton face the sack, this despite the fact that it claims many were set to receive historical enhanced redundancy rights from the time they worked for original contract holders, freight group Tibbet & Britten. 

Under Britain’s Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) workers who transfer over to a new contract holder under a ‘service provision transfer’ receive equal pay and conditions from the incoming contractor provided they have fulfilled the relevant requirements. The GMB is accusing DHL, together with incoming company Brightstar, which took the contract from DHL, of reneging on the TUPE arrangements leaving workers thousands of pounds out of pocket. 

Brightstar, a US owned company is basing the contract in Crewe, almost 100 miles from the current site, and DHL claim that existing staff might have the opportunity of working there, something derided by workers. DHL said it did not recognise trade unions at the Normanton site but would be speaking to staff through its Joint Consultative Committee. A DHL spokeswoman said: 
“Affected staff have been informed of the situation and will shortly enter into consultation with the company to discuss the implications of today’s announcement. “The decision has been taken for commercial reasons and in no way reflects on the quality of service provided. We thank staff for their continued support at this difficult time. We have other customer accounts on site which are unaffected by this week’s announcement.” 

The GMB, which has often criticised DHL in the past, has spoken to local Labour MP, Yvette Cooper, who has offered her support to fight for the workers and their rights and commented that she would be speaking to O2, owned by Spanish multi-national Telefonica, DHL and government ministers about the situation. Andrew Aldwinkle, GMB Organiser, said: 
“These workers have shown nothing but loyalty to DHL and are now being thrown out of their jobs through no fault of their own. DHL are really doing the dirty on these workers, because if that wasn’t bad enough, they have now been told they will not receive their full redundancy package. 

“It is an absolute disgrace, GMB is calling upon DHL to ensure that not one single worker misses out on enhanced redundancy pay. DHL are coming under increased scrutiny and are getting a reputation for the shoddy way they treat their employees. This is a chance for them to get some positive publicity and do the right thing." 

DHL, owned by German goliath Deutsche Post, certainly has a history of upsetting workers and being accused of poor industrial relations. The Handy Shipping Guide’s own comment facility had to be closed down some years ago following a tirade of hate mail aimed at the company’s US operations after we published an article detailing the company’s new investment in Cincinnati, two years after it allegedly sacked 8,000 workers and closed its Wilmington hub. 

Since that time there has been a continuous stream of accusations from around the world about its treatment of staff, not often however in the group’s home territory of Germany where demonstrationsat the AGMs have become the norm. Deutsche Post DHL CEO Frank Appel has been frequently attacked by unions worldwide for promising much and delivering little at these gatherings and, somewhat ironically, recently saw an interview ‘How I Motivate a Workforce’ published in the Financial Times. 
Photo: Happier days. In 2008 the DHL site at Normanton was the first company location to attain 100% carbon neutrality and boasted 99% staff retention and 99.98% stock accuracy on 18 million items 

Pilot fell in water and died after taking container ship out, Lisbon

Pilot fell in water while disembarking from container ship SINGAPORE EXPRESS to pilot boat at around 0130 LT Feb 28 off Lisbon Portugal, after taking the ship out to sea. Adverse weather and night time hampered SAR and immediate rescue, reportedly body was recovered later. understood high waves were the main reason which cause tragedy. SINGAPORE EXPRESS continued her voyage to Tanger-Med, Morocco.
Container ship SINGAPORE EXPRESS, IMO 9200809, dwt 66793, capacity 4843 TEU, built 2000, flag HK, manager SHANGHAI COSTAMARE SHIP MGMT.


Erofey is a Merchant Marine Captain with more than 20 years experience in commanding oil tankers. He works as a Captain, being most of his time at sea. He contributes maritime news.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Sign the petition! Oslo Havn KF and Oslo municipality violate international conventions! ILO 137.

Posting on behalf of Svein Lundeng and Dockers Hangarounds

Sign the petition!

Oslo Havn KF and Oslo municipality violate international conventions! ILO 137.
The harbor workers in Oslo have been banned from most of Oslo's harbor since May 2015. This has Oslo Havn KF, some employers and NHO achieved by means of lies and swear campaigns in the media.

At the municipal elections in Oslo 2015 the political parties Ap, SV, Mdg and Rødt entered into a cooperation agreement, and in that it was stated that ILO137 was to be followed in Oslo port. This election promise has not yet been met.

In the summer of 2017, Oslo Havn KF also took a board decision saying that ILO 137 should be followed in Oslo port, and that social dumping should not occur. Nothing has happened.

Former urban council for nutrition and ownership, Geir Lippestad, has also stated that ILO must be followed and that social dumping should not occur in Oslo port. Nothing has happened.

Oslo Havn KF fails to enforce ILO137, with the result that harbor workers are still banned from their legitimate work. We wish to increase awareness / focus on the lack of willingness of the respondents to act.
Please share!

Following heavy snowfall, operations at DP World London Gateway are currently suspended

Following heavy snowfall, operations at DP World London Gateway are currently suspended, as of 07:00 today, and the port closed to traffic. We are working to clear snow where possible and operations will resume once conditions improve. Updates can be found here:

DP World London Gateway Port and Logistics Park

Update: 12:00, 28/02/2018: Heavy snowfall in South Essex

Operations at DP World London Gateway Port have resumed now that a clear-up of the terminal has been completed. Terminal staff have worked to clear snow from port equipment since the early hours of this morning following last night's heavy snow showers.
Trucks are now being serviced an appropriate level of VBS bookings will resume from 13.00.
We will continue to monitor weather conditions and update further where necessary.
Thank you for bearing with us this morning.

Beast from the East’ no match for the dedicated team that serves these Maga Vessels and ensures it’s business as usual in any conditions.

‘Beast from the East’ no match for the dedicated team that serves these Maga Vessels and ensures it’s business as usual in any conditions.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Manchester Maersk makes maiden call in the UK honouring Maersk Line’s commitment to Britain

  • Maersk’s commitment to British customers continues, with enhanced product offering and strong focus on customer service solutions.
  • Manchester Maersk is the latest next-generation Triple-E vessel – the most modern in the fleet.
  • Maersk Line has just launched a new direct service from the UK to West Africa, improving reliability and creating new opportunities for British shippers.
In 2017, Maersk Line launched its second generation of Triple-E vessels, known for improved energy efficiency and environmental performance. On 25th February 2018, the latest vessel in that class, Manchester Maersk, made her maiden call to the UK and arrived in Felixstowe. With capacity to hold 20,000 containers, the British-named vessel is one of the largest container ships to call British ports.
“The British name of the new vessel is a symbol of our long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with the UK and local customers”, shares Brian Godsafe, Maersk Line’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland. “What is even more important is our continuous commitment to serve the British market and provide services that support local trade ambitions and trigger growth.”
New trade opportunities

While Manchester Maersk and her sister ships operate on the Asia-Europe corridor, Maersk Line supports British customers active on all trades and has recently launched a new direct service from Felixstowe to West African ports of Apapa, Tin Can Island, Onne (Nigeria) and San Pedro (Ivory Coast). The new connection addresses the need for greater reliability and improved connectivity to many other African destinations.
UK has strong trade links with the continent, being the biggest European overseas investor into Sub-Saharan Africa. The UK government is committed to fostering new opportunities in Africa after its departure from the EU through increased trade. “With our extensive network and expertise around the world, we are looking forward to supporting UK’s trade ambitions”, comments Brian Godsafe.

The North-West connection
Vessels in the new series are named after important cities in countries where Maersk has strong presence and significant share of business. It is therefore a recognition of the growing importance of the English North West, with its strong focus on investment in infrastructure and new business development in the region. 
Maersk Line offers direct rail connections between Felixstowe and Manchester, as well as several other locations in the North-West, connecting local customers and their cargo to ocean services calling the south of the country. In addition, in 2016 the carrier’s sister brand Seago Line introduced a direct short-sea service between the south of Spain and Liverpool, returning to the port on the Mersey after a 10-year absence.
Digital future
Service enhancements aside, Maersk Line’s focus is on making customer experience more seamless through new digital solutions. Maersk is also working on improving supply chain visibility and has recently partnered with IBM to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.
In the UK, a customer service chat function has been introduced to cater for customers’ need for real-time, simple and efficient support in solving their basic queries. “This reduces the turn time in reverting to our customers and allows us to quickly address their needs on daily basis”, shares Brian Godsafe.
About Maersk Line 
Maersk Line is the world’s largest container shipping company, known for reliable, flexible and eco-efficient services. Part of A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Maersk Line operates 668 container vessels providing ocean transportation to all corners of the world. 
Every day, 7,600 Maersk Line seafarers and 22,600 land-based employees at 306 offices in 114 countries share their expertise with customers around the world to optimise their supply chains, maximise their distribution networks and most of all realise their business potential. Maersk Line is devoted to creating simple and reliable solutions for customers, continuously lifting industry standards and enabling global trade in the most sustainable manner possible.
For more information:
Marko Mihajić
Regional Communications Manager, Europe Region
Telephone: +485414268
Mobile: +48695999687

Out of the sunshine and into the snow I go!

Manchester Maersk sailing from Felixstowe today

Manchester Maersk departing in the snow after her maiden call to Felixstowe.

UK Port's Post-Brexit Health Concern

By Aiswarya Lakshm     iPhoto: British Ports Association

British Ports Association warned that without agreements on cross-border environmental health standards there could be major disruption at UK and EU ports.
Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said: “Perhaps one of the biggest Brexit challenges ports could face is accommodating new environmental health standards inspections at the border. As the report highlights, delays resulting from inspections at border would lead to increased costs, creating congestion and particular issues for perishable goods. Any Brexit trade deal must include an agreement to overcome the need for such inspections.”
Under present rules, animal and plant products entering the UK and the EU from a third country can require documentary, identity or physical inspections. These port health checks are conducted at a specially designated and designed Border Inspection Posts, carried out by qualified veterinary officers, employed by local authorities. 
As a result of the UK’s membership of the EU, in recent years food and agricultural products have not been subject to port health controls. However when the UK leaves the EU, under present rules, infrastructure for costly Border Inspection Posts would need to be installed at a range of UK ports. 
Much of the UK’s trade with the EU is facilitated via HGVs through Roll-on Roll-off ferry terminals, virtually all of which do not have suitable third country port health inspection infrastructure.
Ballantyne continued: ”Post Brexit, new port health border requirements could be a serious problem for a variety of ports, particularly at Roll-on Roll-off ferry ports. Under present EU rules, plant and animal products could be subject to a hugely disruptive inspection regime at the border. To require lorries to stop and undergo time consuming inspections at ports would lead to significant disruption at the border and create congestion around ports."
"We have had several meetings with Defra who will set the policy for port health inspections in the UK post Brexit, but for traffic leaving the UK there could still be issues at EU ports and it will be important for the Brexit negotiators not to ignore this rather technical but very important aspect of trade policy in their discussions,” he concluded.

Ships Along Side At Southampton By Pam Massey

OOCL MONTREAL Alongside Southampton 20 Feb 2018

TIHAMA alongside Southampton 16 Feb 2018

CMA CGM NEW JERSEY, MACKINAC BRIDGE & THESEUS alongside Southampton on a slightly misty morning 22 Feb 2018

Is It Really Cold Today Here In The UK ??

Monday, 26 February 2018

Long-running strike at Maersk's APMT Gothenburg hits port revenues hard

OPERATIONS at APM Terminals Gothenburg were severely impacted by industrial dispute for 153 days last year

OPERATIONS at APM Terminals Gothenburg were severely impacted by industrial dispute for 153 days last year. Effectively, the Swedish Dockworkers' Unioncost the Scandinavian hub 30 per cent of its annual container volume.

Managing director of APM Terminals Gothenburg Henrik Kristensen said the port lost 180,000 TEU in 2017 due to the labour disruptions plaguing the terminal in a year when other ports in North Europe were booming, IHS Media reported.

The strikes are placing the port's competitiveness in jeopardy since it has invested heavily in infrastructure to develop its gateway-to-Scandinavia status, with rail operations that are able to connect to 300 destinations from Gothenburg.

'There is a threat that not all the 30 per cent of volume we lost will come back,' said Mr Kristensen.

Gothenburg can handle 20,000-TEU plus vessels, but Mr Kristensen said if the dispute continues, it would be difficult to attract mega ships.

The ongoing industrial action has forced shippers in and out of Scandinavia to transfer their cargo shipments to other North Europe ports and use feeder ships or trucks to serve the northern markets, adding to their costs.

'There is a big dredging project planned to secure the future of the port, but all this is in jeopardy because if the customers don't know if they can trust a logistics chain through Gothenburg, they will not use us.'

Mr Kristensen said APM Terminals has twice accepted proposals to reach a labour agreement presented by the Swedish Mediation Institute, but on both occasions the Swedish Dockworkers' Union declined to accept the proposals.

This has left the port in a difficult position. Gothenburg is bound to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the incumbent labour body, the Swedish Transport Workers' Union. However, the Swedish Dockworkers' Union also wants to negotiate a labour agreement with Gothenburg.

The Swedish Dockworkers' Union is affiliated to the Barcelona-based International Dockworkers' Council (IDC), and the IDC's general coordinator Jordi Aragunde Miguens said the conflict situation at the port of Gothenburg was becoming more complicated.

'From our side, we are trying to find solutions to help to finish this situation,' he told IHS Media. 'We've talked with some of the biggest shipping lines, customers, and stakeholders in general, with the main objective to propose new alternatives to reach an agreement. All the parts need an agreement.'

We are hoping for a new dialogue about the port
DEBATE We hope that the Arbitration Court's verdict against the ports of Sweden can lead to a new dialogue, because it is a dialogue we need, not restricted union rights, writes Peter Annerback, Hamnarbetarförbundet.
 07:00 - 21 Feb, 2018
Sweden's Ports (SH) were arrested last week in the Labor Court for breach of the obligation to negotiate and now have to pay compensation to the Swedish Hammerbetarförbundet, an organization that they devoted to the last year to act as negotiating bribery crimes. The verdict is the third dispute from 2017 where AD judges the port workers' benefit. We hope that SH is now learning and welcoming them back to the dialogue on which the Swedish model is based.

The business community has in its aggressive campaign against us dockers accused us of not wanting to compromise and to lower productivity in Gothenburg's container terminal. In January, SVT's mission revealed how these lobbyists really lacked an interest in solving the crisis in the port. Rather, they want to cook on the conflict in order to push the government to eradicate one of the pillars of the Swedish model - strike duty.

We hope AD's judgment can make the ports of Sweden throw their strategy to avoid negotiation and blow new conflicts into the trash.

The background to the judgment in the AD is that the Harbor Workers' Association requested negotiations in the spring to try to achieve a collective agreement solution with comprehensive peacekeeping for the industry, as many demand. But the employers' organization failed to respond, and when they thought they had time to book a meeting, the window of last year's contractual movement was already closed. The strategy is obvious; As long as it is estimated that there is full conflict in the port, there are arguments for limiting the right to strike.

Ready to compromise

We have always been clear. We are ready to compromise, and we are happy to work with Transport in a tripartite agreement or a joint negotiation cartel that can sign agreements with the employer side.

We want the best of the harbor and what benefits the port usually benefits us who work in it. However, it is neither in the interests of the port or port workers that permanent jobs are now being settled and replaced with unsafe crew solutions in the container terminal. APM Terminal's staff policy forced us to strike for eight hours last year. In the same year, the employer stopped production for 371 hours through a lockout that had disastrous consequences for society.

The Mediation Institute's conflict statistics now show that APMT's combat measures alone accounted for 87 percent of the lost working days throughout the Swedish labor market in 2017.

We hope AD's judgment can make SH throw its strategy to avoid negotiation and blow new conflicts into the trash. With dialogue, not restricted trade union rights, we can restore society's confidence in Göteborg's container terminal.

Peter Annerback

Head of Department, Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet Department 4 Göteborg