Marine Digest Subscription
Today's Cargo News Archives
Summary for July 9 - July 13, 2007:

Monday, July 9, 2007

Daewoo Shipbuilding raises order target 55%

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. has raised its order target 55% to $17bn for the year, the company said in a Jul 9 statement.

The South Korea shipbuilder said that with the order of nine containerships worth $1.5bn announced earlier this week, it has already met its previous order target of $11bn for 2007, with six more months to go in the year.

The $11bn worth of orders for this year is comprised of 84 ships, including 50 containerships and six ships to carry liquefied natural gas (LNG), the company said.

“We expect more orders for value-added containerships, LNG carriers, drill ships, and floating production storage and offloading units, or FPSOs, to come in the second half of this year,” a company spokesman said.

Another Korean shipbuilder, Samsung Heavy Industries, also recently raised its order goal after winning contracts worth $10bn, its original business goal for this year, by late June.

Daewoo Shipbuilding is the world’s third-largest shipbuilder by order backlog, according to Bloomberg.

Vancouver box truck drivers stage protest

A 500-truck convoy stalled traffic in and around Vancouver, BC, Jul 7 as container truck drivers demanded better wage protection for truck drivers accessing Vancouver ports.

Two years ago, container truck drivers refused to move containers in and out of the ports, costing the economy an estimated $75mn each week of the more than five-week work stoppage, according to press reports.

To end that strike, the federal government imposed an agreement drafted by mediator Vince Ready that imposed rates on companies hiring the drivers.

That agreement is set to expire in early August.

“We do not want another port crisis,” Paul Johal, president of the Vancouver Container Truckers Association and Local 2006 of the Canadian Auto Workers, said in a news release.

“We believe the Ready report that resulted from the 2005 dispute should be extended while we look for permanent solutions,” Johal added.

Last week the Vancouver Port Authority said it was working with the federal and provincial governments and were hopeful that an alternative to the Ready agreement would be in place by the end of the month.

June US rail traffic down

US freight railroad carload traffic fell 2.7% in June 2007 compared with June 2006, while intermodal traffic fell 1.8% compared with the same month last year, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported Jul 5.

Overall, US railroads originated 1,344,296 carloads of freight in June 2007, down 37,679 carloads (2.7%) from June 2006.

US railroads also originated 961,545 intermodal units in June 2007, a decrease of 17,956 trailers and containers (1.8%) from June 2006.

“Rail volumes remained relatively soft in June, though they are up against some very strong comparisons from last year,” said AAR Vice President Craig F. Rockey.

Six of the 19 major commodity categories tracked by the AAR saw carload increases in the US in June 2007 compared to June 2006, led by metallic ores (up 14.7% to 33,982 carloads) and chemicals (up 3.6% to 121,727 carloads).

In Q2 2007, total US rail carloadings were down 3.3%, while intermodal traffic, which consists of trailers and containers on flat cars and is not included in carload figures, was down 2.6%, according to the report.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Containership refloated off British coast

A containership whose cargo drew thousands of looters when it ran aground off the coast of southern England has been refloated, a UK Maritime and Coast Guard Agency official reported Jul 9.

The MSC Napoli was deliberately grounded on a seabed shelf Jan 20 amid fears it could sink after its hull cracked in a Channel storm off Cornwall two days earlier.

The operation in the early hours of the morning to refloat the ship was considered a major step in removing the threat to the marine environment and hailed a success.

Salvage workers spent the morning draining 58,000 tonnes of water from the vessel, and the ship has now been floated off the ocean floor where it was beached, coast guard spokesman Fred Caygill said.

“It’s come away, it’s been turned around, and it’s now facing out to sea,” Caygill said. “The idea has been to refloat the vessel so that we can give divers the ability to check the hull integrity.”

A final decision on what to do with the ship awaits the divers’ survey of the hull.

LA/LB to test ballast water treatment

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced Jul 6 they will partner with shipping line APL to test a shipboard ballast water treatment system designed to remove non-native species from ballast water to prevent their introduction into harbor waters.

“Preventing the introduction of non-native species into the harbor ecosystem is one of our top environmental priorities,” said POLB Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. “This is an exciting technology that promises a safe, effective way to achieve this goal.”

APL has committed $100,000 in funding plus the use of its containership APL England for the project, said the announcement.

The total cost of the project is nearly $1.2mn, for which each port has agreed to contribute $250,000.

In addition, the California State Lands Commission has pledged $100,000, and the University of Maryland secured a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant for nearly $400,000 for the project.

The shipboard ballast water treatment system will be designed to remove aquatic invasive species through technology that removes oxygen and reduces pH levels of ballast water, thus destroying the organisms.

Rappaport Energy plans biofuels plant

The Port of Vancouver USA Jul 6 announced it has reached agreement with Rappaport Energy Consulting on a Letter of Intent to lease 30 of the 75 total acres of planned industrial property at the new Columbia Gateway project.

Rappaport Energy Consulting will be the first tenant and will build a state-of-the art biofuels facility, which will serve Vancouver and the metropolitan area, the port said.

Vancouver USA port commissioners are expected to consider the Letter of Intent at their Jul 11 meeting.

“When we talk about reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels, it is fuel like biodiesel that we will need to turn to,” said the port’s executive director, Larry Paulson. “Rappaport Energy is on the leading edge of this technology.”

The facility is expected to create 135 construction jobs and 95 permanent jobs. The investment in the facility is estimated at $150mn.

The plant will be designed to handle vegetable oils, animal fats, or palm oil, the port said.

The second phase of project construction will be a cogeneration plant and ethanol biorefinery, the port said.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

MISC expands chemical business

MISC is set to expand the global footprint of its chemical business following the signing of an agreement between MISC Berhad (MISC) and SLS Shipbuilding of Korea (SLS) for the purchase of eight 45,000 dead weight tonnes (DWT) chemical tankers.

The double-hulled IMO II vessels, costing approximately $430mn, are fully compliant with MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) regulations, according to the company.

“Although shipyards in Korea and Japan are well covered into 2010 and beyond, MISC is able to obtain early berth positions from SLS with these vessels being delivered from 2009 and 2010,” said MISC.

The new vessels will help to increase MISC’s global presence in the deep-sea chemical and vegetable oil trades, said the company.

MISC is also strengthening its participation in the regional chemical tanker business by increasing its medium-sized chemical tankers to support intra-regional movement, according to the company.

MISC plans to continue to grow its chemical business, focusing on targeted niche chemical and vegetable oil shipping markets and optimizing its business and asset mix, according to the company.

GPA names McCurry GM external affairs

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Jul 10 announced it has named James “Jamie” C. McCurry as general manager of external affairs.

McCurry previously served the port authority as manager of legislative affairs from 1997–2002 and rejoins the GPA following a successful tenure with Brasseler USA.

“Jamie has an excellent record of building coalitions and contacts within state and federal governments,” said Doug J. Marchand, executive director. “His previous experience with the GPA will serve him well as he moves into his new position.”

In his new position, McCurry will report to the director of external affairs.

McCurry will be responsible for coordination of external affairs staff in the fields of communications, port relations, and government relations and will serve as a spokesman for GPA activities, according to the port authority.

McCurry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Furman University and is a graduate of both Leadership Georgia and Leadership Savannah.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 286,476 jobs throughout the state annually, according to the port authority.

Crowley hires 21 academy graduates

Crowley Maritime Corp. Jul 6 announced it has recently hired 21 graduates from the 2007 spring graduating classes of the nation’s merchant marine academies.

The surge in academy new hires is “part of Crowley’s re-energized recruiting program designed to help address crewing shortages currently facing the maritime industry,” said the company.

These new hires will be given a comprehensive training program to provide them with an introduction to the basics of towing, along with insight into Crowley’s procedures and safety culture, said the company.

After completion of the training program, the new hires sail for approximately one month under the guidance of Crowley’s experienced senior officers, said the company.

Crowley’s intensive academy recruiting campaign is just one of several comprehensive initiatives started by the company over the last year, said the company

“Most training curriculums are focused on larger, deep-sea vessels,” said Tucker Gilliam, director of marine crewing and development.

“The cadet shipping program that takes place on our ocean-going tugs offers cadets invaluable time at sea to gain exposure to towing fundamentals they cannot get in the classroom,” he added.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Portland loses Zim

Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (Zim) Jul 11 announced that its containerships will no longer call Portland, effective Sep 2.

In a letter sent Jul 10 to Sam Ruda, the port’s marine director, Zim Senior Vice President Chaim Shacham wrote that “the current situation for ocean carriers is very harsh … this is the best course of action at this time to protect Zim interests.”

Port officials had earlier projected that Zim would carry about 20% of all of Portland’s container volume in 2007-08.

Ruda said the port was disappointed by the decision, but that container shipping is always volatile. “I am confident we will recover from this,” Ruda added.

The port had been on pace for the best year of any major West Coast cargo port, according to press reports.

The port handled 58% more cargo in the first four months of this year than last, reported the Business Journal in June. No other West Coast port has achieved even a double-digit increase.

“Clean” locomotives commissioned

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and Pacific Harbor Line Jul 11 announced the commissioning of the first of a new fleet of lower emission, clean diesel locomotives.

The switch is expected to improve air quality and make PHL the most environmentally friendly switching railroad in the nation, said the announcement.

Replacement of the locomotives is part of an agreement between the ports and PHL, which provides switching services for port customers and dispatching for all BNSF Railway and Union Pacific trains within the ports.

The locomotives emit 70% fewer diesel particulates and 46% fewer smog-forming nitrogen oxides. The new engines also cut greenhouse gases by burning 30% less fuel, according to the announcement.

“PHL is to be commended for taking this giant step,” said Richard D. Steinke, Port of Long Beach executive director.

“Port of Los Angeles terminals with on-dock rail handled more than 1.3mn containers during 2006 — 28% of all containers handled at our port,” said Port of Los Angles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz.

“That’s why PHL’s clean fleet investment is so important to us,” Knatz added.

COSCO gets half-billion $ orders

COSCO Corp. Ltd. Jul 11 announced it has secured more than half a billion dollars worth of ship conversion and shipbuilding contracts from international customers.

The Singapore-listed firm said its 51% owned COSCO Shipyard Group won the contracts totaling $563mn but did not name the customers.

The projects, which include 10 conversions and the building of eight new bulk carriers, will be carried out at COSCO’s shipyards in China, COSCO Corp. said in a statement.

Each conversion will take between 160 and 180 days to complete, with progressive deliveries expected by the third quarter of next year.

The bulk carriers are to be delivered from May 2009 to March 2010, COSCO said.

“Many of our contracts had been sealed with world-renowned global industry players,” said Ji Hai Sheng, COSCO Corp. vice chairman and president.

“We are pleased with the substantial progress made in diversifying our customer base of world-class corporations,” said Ji.

Ji said this has positioned the company for its “strategic leap into the global marine engineering playing field.”


Friday, July 13, 2007

Port of San Diego projects growth

The Port of San Diego Jul 12 released the second half of its draft Maritime Business Plan at its Board of Port Commissioners meeting.

The plan, developed by TEC Inc., an international planning consulting firm headquartered in Charlottesville, VA, outlines scenarios that would provide facilities needed for potential growth.

Maritime activity at the port’s two terminals is anticipated to grow at an annual rate of 15%. To accommodate that growth, certain development projects may be implemented, said the port.

TEC Inc. analyzed the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal’s projected growth up to 2030 and proposed three scenarios for the terminal.

Of the three, TEC recommended scenario two for implementation. This scenario will accommodate the projected 2030 tonnage levels while minimizing impact on current operations, said the port.

It will also provide space for new cement and sand operators, breakbulk fruit, and miscellaneous breakbulk.

TEC also outlined three scenarios for the National City Marine Terminal’s projected growth.

Work to upgrade the property and plans associated with these two scenarios would be confined to port areas and would not impact adjacent land, said the port.

FKI Logistex opens training center

FKI Logistex announced the Jul 17 grand opening of its new multimillion-dollar FKI Logistex Technology & Education Center (TEC) in Cincinnati, OH.

The 31,000 sq ft training and demonstration center “offers FKI Logistex customers access to fully functional automated sortation, conveying, AS/RS, and order fulfillment systems for solutions demonstrations, proof-of-concept testing, and operator training,” said the company.

Visitors to the TEC receive personalized guided tours through the facility, said the company.

“The TEC provides FKI Logistex customers with a state-of-the-art, technology-rich, material-handling environment to see the industry’s latest solutions in action,” said Stephen Legg, director, product and technology development.

At the TEC, visitors “can test their own products and containers on the FKI Logistex equipment and preview innovative material-handling solutions developed by FKI Logistex engineers.”

The TEC “enables companies to jump-start training for new installations and learn best practices for operation and maintenance of existing systems,” said the company.

“The FKI Logistex TEC is unique in the automated material-handling industry,” said Steve Ackerman, president, FKI Logistex North America.

Tacoma port backs funding plan

The Port of Tacoma Commission has unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Joint Roads and Transit Package that will be before Washington state voters on Nov 6.

The Jul 12 announcement cites the need for transportation funding throughout Puget Sound and the importance of reducing regional traffic congestion.

The resolution notes the “urgent need for funding of transportation projects to ensure capacity for the movement of people and commerce, to reduce congestion, and to strengthen the region’s economy.”

The resolution also expresses that Puget Sound’s regional transportation system has failed to keep pace with its growing needs,

and that “our economic vitality depends on significant and immediate improvements to increase safety and capacity.”

Passage of the Joint Roads and Transit Package would result in $17.8bn in transportation improvements in central Puget Sound that would be paid for, in part, with a 0.6% increase in sales tax.

The funding package also includes a 0.8% motor vehicle excise tax.

The Port of Tacoma handles an estimated $35.6bn in annual trade and 2.1mn TEUs.

[ TOP ]