Cargo Business Newswire ArchivesSummary for October 5 through October 9, 2015:
Monday, October 5, 2015
Labor board upholds ruling against ILWU at Portland’s Terminal 6
The National Labor Relations Board has upheld the August 2013 ruling of an administrative judge that ordered the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, ILWU Local 8, and ILWU Local 40 to cease and desist from a variety of activities at Terminal 6 in Portland that violate federal labor laws.
The illegal activities include engaging in slowdowns and work stoppages, and using threats and coercion to disrupt the operations of Terminal 6 operator ICTSI Oregon.
"We are gratified by the NLRB’s ruling, which rejected all of the ILWU’s legal arguments," said Elvis Ganda, CEO of ICTSI Oregon. "Hopefully, this decision will bring us one step closer to ending the ILWU’s orchestrated and illegal campaign to undermine the success of Terminal 6 and to convincing the shipping companies to return to the Port of Portland. A fully functioning, productive Terminal 6 is critical to the regional economy and benefits local businesses, importers, exporters, farmers and workers across various industries — including rank-and-file ILWU longshoremen who have suffered a substantial loss of work as a result of their leaderships’ actions."
An ILWU spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comments.
The ongoing labor conflict at T6 is a major reason why the terminal's two biggest carriers — Hanjin Shipping and Hapag-Lloyd — terminated their container services at the Portland port.
An efficient and productive T6 is seen as a necessity before port and ICTSI officials can make progress in attracting new container shipping services to Portland.
Port of Oakland receives EPA award to upgrade equipment
The Port of Oakland has received $277,885 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to upgrade cargo-handling equipment and reduce exhaust emissions at its TraPac marine terminal, according to a port statement.
TraPac will use the funds to upgrade four rubber-tired gantry cranes and a top-pick. They will be re-engineered with clean diesel engines or exhaust filters. The retrofits and upgrades will result in a 94 percent reduction in carbon monoxide, a 92 percent reduction in oxides of nitrogen, a 44 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter and a 41 percent reduction in hydrocarbons.
"These reductions represent another great step towards our progress in meeting the port's goal of reducing health risk related to diesel particulate matter emissions by 85 percent," said Richard Sinkoff, director of environmental programs and planning at the Port.
The port said it contacted all four terminal operating companies in Oakland about pursuing the environmental grant. Several expressed interest, but ultimately TraPac stepped forward.
The project, funded under the EPA's National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), is expected to be complete by December 2016.
Panama Canal update on leaks in third set of locks
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that it has received updated information from Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the contractor responsible for the design and construction of the third set of locks, regarding the localized seepage found in the concrete sill between the lower and middle chamber of the canal's expanded Pacific Locks.
In a recent letter, GUPC wrote that the localized seepage was the result of insufficient steel reinforcement in the area, which was subjected to stress from extreme condition testing, according to the ACP statement. After careful examination of all the other sills in both lock complexes, GUPC stated that in addition to reinforcing the sill that presented the issue, they would also reinforce the first and second sill in the Cocoli Locks and the first three sills in the Atlantic-facing Agua Clara Locks as a preventative measure, though these sills have not presented any issue.
GUPC verbally indicated that the completion date for the Expansion Project will remain April 2016, but the ACP said it is awaiting formal confirmation in the form of a comprehensive report from GUPC that should also include the root cause of the detected filtrations.
Matson announces production of container ships for Hawaii service
Matson, Inc. announced the start of production on two new "Aloha Class" containerships designed specifically for Hawaii service, with greater capacity and green technology features. After a small ceremony at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard in Pennsylvania, the cutting of steel plates began, initiating the construction work to build both ships.
In 2013, Matson subsidiary Matson Navigation Company, Inc. signed a contract with Aker Philadelphia Shipyard to build the two new ships for an aggregate price of $418 million. The new vessels will be delivered in the third and fourth quarters of 2018.
The 850-foot long, 3,600-TEU vessels will be Matson’s largest ships and the largest Jones Act containerships ever constructed. They will also be faster, designed to operate at speeds in excess of 23 knots, helping ensure timely delivery of goods in Hawaii.
The new vessels will incorporate a number of "green ship technology" features, including a more fuel efficient hull design, dual fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks and fresh water ballast systems.
Matson says the first of the two new ships will be named after the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a longstanding supporter of the U.S. maritime industry and its role in supporting Hawaii’s economy.
Container ship missing near Bahamas after hurricane
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 735-foot cargo ship with 33-crewmembers aboard that was reported to be caught in powerful Hurricane Joaquin near Crooked Island, Bahamas.
The container ship El Faro was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida when the Coast Guard received a satellite notification that the ship had lost propulsion and was listing heavily. The crew reported flooding had been contained.
The Coast Guard has dispatched a search and rescue aircraft from Clearwater, Florida and was seeking to contact the ship.
A potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane on a scale of 1 to 5, Joaquin turned northward on Friday and was expected to start gradually losing strength over cooler water in about 24 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
It has started bringing swells to parts of the southeastern coast of the United States, the National Hurricane Center said.
The Coast Guard said Friday there had been no further communications after the vessel issued the emergency call at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Drewry: East Coast cargo traffic will continue to grow
Headhaul flows from Asia to the West Coast of North America during the first half of 2015 were half a percent down compared to a year ago, whereas traffic bound for the East Coast of North America rose by 23.5 percent, according to Drewry Maritime Research.
For the whole of North America, exports from Asia were up 5.4 percent in the first half of the year. In July, WCNA imports were at least showing some growth – albeit less than 1 percent – while the pace of ECNA growth had slowed to 14 percent.
By the end of July, the 12-month growth average for the Asia-WCNA trade had fallen to 2.2 percent – its lowest point since February 2014. The rerouting of cargo from West Coast gateways to those lying east of the Panama Canal continues.
Four fifths of the West Coast eastbound trade is handled at the U.S. terminals, which saw the number of full inbound containers drop by 2.3 percent in July year-over-year, after contracting by 4 percent in the first half. In contrast, the Canadian ports handled 9.6 percent more imports in the first six months while loads to Mexico surged by almost 22 percent.
On an annual basis, today the WCNA ports are handling some 275,000 TEUs of additional Asian imports compared to three years ago, whereas the ECNA facilities are attracting 1.2 million TEUs of added volume.
Throughput results for August at the West Coast ports have, however, bucked the trend. Imports (all trades) landed at the newly combined ports of Seattle and Tacoma soared by 22 percent compared to twelve months beforehand. Inbound traffic at Oakland was 15 percent higher and Long Beach set a pace of 23 percent. Los Angeles saw a growth rate of only 3.8 percent but in pure volume terms the port enjoyed its best August performance since 2006.
This rebound in the fortunes of the USWC ports is not because importers have been entirely forgiving of the ILWU/PMA dispute earlier in the year, but is more a function of the peak season, researchers say. One of the essential requisites for seasonal cargo is a fast transit time, and the West Coast ports – especially Long Beach and Los Angeles – have little competition in that respect.
However, Drewry claims the longer term trend – with the widened Panama Canal due to open in April 2016 – is for more cargo to migrate to the East.
Drewry says the narrowing gap between West Coast and East Coast rates is significant. In the last seven months, the difference between USWC and USEC rates has averaged some $1,800. By the end of September, however, the gap had reduced to no more than $1,000, which is probably the smallest it has ever been. Lower utilization on the USEC loaders is one reason why rates to the East Coast have fallen more sharply; at the same time, the carriers are probably intent on lowering the differential in a bid to lure more West Coast importers to switch to the East Coast.
WCNA exports to Asia have certainly recovered from the slump in volume that occurred during the winter months due to bad weather, congestion and a temporary Chinese ban on American shipments of distillers dried grain. In July, westbound ship utilizations were back up to 42 percent compared to a low of 32 percent in January, but a strong dollar has meant that the actual volume of outbound traffic is no greater than it was a year ago.
In conclusion, Drewry says further migration of cargo to the East Coast can be expected in the approach to the opening of the widened Panama Canal.
Feds approve $7B Oregon LNG port project
Federal regulators granted final environmental approval last week to build a pipeline and port facilities at Coos Bay, Oregon, for shipping natural gas to Asia.
Canada’s Veresen Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta, is leading the $7 billion project.
The final environmental impact statement prepared for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that building and operating the gas terminal and pipeline would cause some environmental damage. However, it noted the problems would be reduced to less than significant with mitigation measures proposed by project developers.
The Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal at Coos Bay would be the first LNG port on the West Coast and would be linked to existing pipelines by construction of the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline across southwestern Oregon.
Final commission approval is expected by the end of this year, with a notice to proceed from the commission by the middle of next year. Gas is not likely to start flowing at the facility until 2019, developers say.
The projects were initially envisioned for importing natural gas into the U.S., but development of gas deposits in the Rockies created an abundance of the fuel that pushed the projects to switch to exports.
Veresen President and CEO Don Althoff said in a statement that the final environmental report was a significant milestone and represented three years of work.
Private landowners and conservation groups oppose the 230-mile pipeline route, which runs from the town of Malin east of the Cascades to Coos Bay. The state of Oregon still has to decide on a Clean Water Act permit for the pipeline, and if FERC approves the projects, a coalition of landowners and conservationists plan to take legal action to reverse it.
The port facilities to be built include a shipping channel, berths for LNG tankers and tugboats and refrigeration facilities to turn the gas into a liquid.
August cargo volume up 8 percent at Port of New York/New Jersey
Last month was the busiest August ever for the Port of New York and New Jersey, with imports driving gains, according to a port statement.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey handled nearly 330,000 TEUs, a 7.9 percent gain year-over-year. Imports were up 5.2 percent, a sign of increasing U.S. consumer demand.
"The U.S. dollar is definitely playing a role," said Cathy Robertson, a consultant with Logistics Trends and Insights in Atlanta who studies port traffic, to The Wall Street Journal. "I also think we may be seeing peak season come early."
Robertson told the WSJ that the strong numbers at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest East Coast U.S. seaport, are a sign that a significant portion of traffic that the East Coast gained after a West Coast slowdown last year related to labor strife, has remained on the East Coast even after business on the West returned to normal.
The number of vehicles passing through the port rose 17.5 percent between August 2014 and August 2015, and the number of containers shipped using the port’s ExpressRail train system grew 5.9 percent compared with a year earlier, the Port Authority said.
Port of Virginia asks state for $350M to boost capacity at Norfolk terminal
The Virginia Port Authority will request $350 million from the General Assembly to expand capacity at Norfolk International Terminals to handle growing volume, according to state Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne.
The improvements would enable the terminal to stack containers higher and closer together.
"The political will is there to invest in this port," Layne said recently. "We see that as a cornerstone of the governor's new Virginia economy."
The request will be part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's infrastructure package to be presented to state lawmakers early next year. The money would come in the form of proceeds from bonds issued by the state in consultation with the authority. If all goes according to plan, NIT would be able to handle an additional 696,000 TEUs a year by 2019; its current capacity is about 1.4 million a year.
The announcement of what some port officials refer to as "Plan B" coincides with ongoing talks between port officials and owners of the Virginia International Gateway terminal in Portsmouth. They're considering reworking the authority's $1 billion-plus, 20-year lease of the facility, now in its fifth year.
"There's probably no more financially efficient way for us to expand our capacity quickly than by doubling the size of VIG," said John Milliken, the board chairman.
Royal Dutch Shell has terminated its plans to continue exploratory drilling off Alaska’s North Slope, but it’s still possible that some of its fleet may return to Seattle.
A city hearing examiner cleared the way for that possibility last week by ruling that using the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 as home-port the Polar Pioneer and its support vessels was a permissible cargo-terminal use.
Deputy Hearing Examiner Anne Watanabe said the city’s attempt to require a new land-use permit relied on "inaccurate and incomplete" characterizations of the work to be done.
Foss Maritime, which leased the terminal for two years to service Shell’s huge Polar Pioneer oil rig and related ships, said it is "awaiting decisions on which vessels will be returning to Puget Sound and where they will be moored."
Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said in a statement the company is demobilizing its fleet after the summer-drilling season in the Chukchi Sea. "How that will impact Seattle in terms of potential future asset staging has yet to be decided."
The company announced it is abandoning the drilling effort in Alaska "for the foreseeable future," citing the disappointing results of an initial well, the high costs of development and the "challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska."
Getting Smart with 3D Printing, WMS and Smart Ships
By William DiBenedetto, CBN Feature Editor
What do 3D printing, warehouse management systems (WMS) and smart ships have in common? Not much, you might say, but they do happen to be trending items in cargo technology circles.
Perhaps the latter two can be looked upon as continuing trends, but not 3D printing. According to Strategy& partners Andrew Tipping, Andrew Schmahl and principal Frederick Duiven, in a recent article on 2015 commercial transportation trends, "it’s time to start worrying about the next real danger to the industry: 3D printing."
Their contention is that when times are at least relatively good — meaning low fuel prices, ongoing recovery from the recession and the resulting cost-cutting and streamlining it meant for many companies — it’s wise to "shed ‘short-termitis’ and examine the real but not immediately obvious disruptions that may be on the horizon — to anticipate today rather than react later."
One of those disruptions is 3D printing. "Seen by manufacturers as a way to streamline operations, improve quality, and lower costs, 3D printing has substantial implications for both domestic and international freight businesses, particularly in reducing the importance of some transportation lanes while possibly opening up new ones," they say.
The point is that 3D printing on a large scale could revolutionize the manufacture of parts and products, along with where they are produced. Manufactured items, generally speaking, can have dozens or even hundreds of parts that are produced at different locations, delivered to a factory, and then assembled. But something made on a 3D printer, by contrast, generally has far fewer parts. Thus, as 3D printing becomes more common, many products, parts and raw materials can be made locally — reducing or eliminating the need to ship them to market.
This could mean fewer logistics/supply chain sources and steps for footwear and toys, for example, because both have relatively high shipping costs but are highly suited for 3D printing.
The Strategy& article estimates that "fully 41 percent of air cargo and 37 percent of ocean container shipments are threatened by 3D printing." Footwear, toys, ceramic products, electronics, and plastics have the highest potential for 3D printing, but perishables and pharmaceuticals are far less viable.
Could the distribution centers and warehouse management systems (WMS) of the future become massive 3D printing operations? It’s not that far-fetched.
Speaking of WMS, with or without a potential 3D printing revolution, it continues to evolve rapidly, largely because user requirements continue to demand it and because the "WMS vendor landscape has consolidated through a wave of software company mergers," reports Clint Reiser of Logistics Viewpoints.
Mobility devices such as smartphones and tablets are increasingly being integrated into distribution and fulfillment systems. Smartphones and tablets "provide robust, mobile platforms that can often be leveraged at a lower price point than legacy warehouse mobile hardware," Reiser notes.
Customers are interested in leveraging the capabilities of tablets and smartphones "in support of operational fulfillment roles as well as for warehouse supervision and task management." Although "core" WMS functionality "is more often sufficient for customers today than it was in the past," he adds, "there are some fulfillment processes that are evolving and require WMS modifications. Most notably, the rapid growth in e-commerce has placed additional burdens on fulfillment operations. Retailers, manufacturers with direct-to-consumer operations, and 3PLs need functionality that supports the changing fulfillment requirements driven by the growth of e-commerce and omni-channel fulfillment."
The bottom line is that even with the industry consolidation, WMS continues to be a work in progress. WMS suppliers offer a robust suite of solutions, "along with a technology platform and a detailed product development roadmap," Reiser states. "WMS market competition has undoubtedly benefited the customer."
WMS may encompass 3D printing in the future but it will probably have to integrate with the rise of smart ships much sooner.
Shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries and Accenture are collaborating to design a "connected smart ship" designed to enable ship owners to better manage their fleets and achieve operational savings.
The smart ship will use a network of sensors built into new vessels, enabling ship owners to capture a wide range of voyage information including location, weather and ocean current data, as well as on-board equipment and cargo status data. All data is transmitted in real-time, including the application of analytics to new and historical fleet data, along with data visualization technology. Services are expected to include real-time alerts and warnings, predictive maintenance and more efficient scheduling.
Next: collaboration, the IOT supply chain and Big Data in ports and terminals.
U.S. Coast Guard concludes that the El Faro sank in hurricane
The missing container ship El Faro lost propulsion at sea, a Coast Guard official said Tuesday, leaving it disabled in the path of Hurricane Joaquin.
The U.S. Coast Guard has concluded that El Faro, which was carrying 28 Americans and five Polish nationals, sank last week. It was headed from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, when it disappeared near the Bahamas.
The president and CEO of the ship owner, Tote Services Inc., told The Associated Press that the captain had planned to move ahead of Joaquin -- with room to spare.
"Regrettably, he suffered a mechanical problem with his main propulsion system, which left him in the path of the storm," Phil Greene told the AP. "We do not know when his engine problems began to occur, nor the reasons for his engine problems."
"They were disabled right by the eye of Hurricane Joaquin," said Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor to CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday. "If they were able to abandon ship and put on their survival suits, they would have been abandoning ship into that Category 4 hurricane. So you're talking about 140-mile-an-hour winds, 50-foot seas, zero visibility. It's a very dire situation, a very challenging situation even for the most experienced mariner."
Port Metro Vancouver truckers angered by truck ban
Unifor, the union representing truckers at Port Metro Vancouver, has said the port has ordered trucks older than 10 years be restricted from the port starting in 2019 — costing its membership tens of thousands of dollars each.
Unifor B.C. area director Gavin McGarrigle said the port currently requires trucks older than 2005 to be retrofitted with an emissions-filtering device that allows them to meet environmental requirements.
But come 2019, only vehicles built in 2009 or newer will be allowed to service the port, the union said in its application to federal court.
Port Metro Vancouver could not comment on the case, saying it was before the courts. But its materials suggest the truck age requirement would be implemented even sooner — as of Jan. 1 2016, the port said, "any new truck requiring approval" must be from 2010 or newer, though existing approved trucks reapplying have until 2019.
"They never outlined any rationale for this other than this is a good idea, and they don’t even require their vehicles at the port to follow it," McGarrigle said. "The trucks are safe, they meet emissions standards for anywhere in Canada and they can go to the United States. The only place they can’t go is Port Metro Vancouver."
The union is filing to court to declare the port’s truck licensing system as unreasonable and in violation of the law, and to keep the old regulations until an environmental, economic and social viability and impact study is done.
Hartz Mountain Industries snags $35M loan for property near Port Elizabeth
Cronheim Mortgage has secured $35 million in financing for a 509,093-square-foot industrial property in Elizabeth, NJ, less than two miles from Port Elizabeth.
The loan was structured with a five-year term and 30-year amortization for the borrower, Hartz Elizabeth, Inc., an affiliated entity of Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., a family-owned company with vast real estate holdings in the NY-NJ metropolitan region.
The property, located at 201 Bay Avenue in Elizabeth, was constructed circa 1990 and features warehouse ceiling heights of 26 feet, 61 loading docks, and 9,000 s/f of mezzanine office space.
The facility is located in the heart of the ports of Newark and Elizabeth, with access to the largest consumer market in North America.
With new 1000-foot double track rail siding, the property is now one of the only buildings in the port district that is has a private connection for industrial transport to nearby APM Terminal, Maher Terminal and Port Newark Container Terminal.
More than $8M in cocaine confiscated at Port Everglades
More than 615 pounds of cocaine, with a street value of about $8.4 million, was seized at Port Everglades recently, federal authorities announced Friday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found duffel bags containing the drugs on Sept. 26 while they were inspecting shipping containers on board a vessel that arrived from Cartagena, Colombia, spokesman Keith Smith said.
The bags were found inside one of the containers, officials said.
Trans Pacific Partnership marks biggest regional trade deal in history
The largest regional trade deal in history, an agreement was reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership by negotiators on Monday in Atlanta, after ten years in the works. It sets new terms for trade and business investment for the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations — a group with an annual gross domestic product of nearly $28 trillion that represents about 40 percent of global GDP and one-third of world trade.
The product of 10 years of negotiations, the agreement is a victory for President Obama, who has pushed for a foreign-policy shift to the Pacific Rim. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership remains politically divisive on Capitol Hill.
The TPP countries include the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.
Supporters say it opens opportunities for all nations involved and will "address vital 21st-century issues within the global economy." Further, it is written in a way to encourage more countries, maybe even China, to sign on. Opponents in the U.S. view it as a giveaway to business, encouraging manufacturing jobs to go to nations with cheaper labor while limiting competition and encouraging higher prices for high-value products like pharmaceuticals.
Issues addressed by the pact include tariffs and quotas; environmental, labor and intellectual property standards; data flows; services; and state-operated businesses.
China's slower growth and economic transition will pose significant risks for the shipping sector, which already faces overcapacity, weak freight rates and stretched financials, according to Fitch Ratings.
Fitch says these pressures will likely lead to bankruptcies among smaller shippers and could drive consolidation. They say the impact is likely to vary by segment, with dry bulk and possibly container shipping most at risk while tanker shipping is likely to fare better.
China is a key player in global trade, accounting for two-thirds of global iron ore imports, 20 percent of world coal imports and 16 percent of global oil imports. Asia (mainly China) was responsible for 40 percent of container import volumes in 2014.
China's slowing growth will therefore significantly cut demand for shipping services, while oversupply is rife in all segments except tanker shipping. This will put further pressure on freight rates, Fitch asserts.
With iron ore and coal representing well over half of the seaborne dry bulk demand, dry bulk shipping is most exposed to the transition of the Chinese economy.
The Baltic Dry Index average for the year to date is at its lowest in 10 years. Several small dry-bulk shipping companies have filed for bankruptcy and more are likely. The companies are also adapting through consolidation as shown by the potential merger of two large Chinese shipping groups - China Ocean Shipping Group (COSCO) and China Shipping Group, which are involved in various shipping segments.
Fitch analysts say they expect tanker shipping to be more resilient to China's slowdown than other shipping segments due to better supply-demand fundamentals as a result of a more disciplined capacity growth in 2014-2015.
EUROGATE buys stake in Brazil’s CONTRAIL logistics firm
EUROGATE announced it has acquired 16.67 percent of CONTRAIL Logistica, located in Cubatão, Brazil, a provider of intermodal transport solutions in the hinterland of Santos.
Santos is Brazil’s largest container port, with over 3.6 million TEUs handled last year. CONTRAIL Logistica is planning to expand its intermodal network, involving its own inland terminal, for the Santos-São Paulo-Campinas and São José dos Campos corridor. The focus will be to shift of container traffic from roads to rail.
"CONTRAIL has the opportunity to change the transportation matrix in the region of Santos and increase the overall rail market share from 2 percent to 20 percent," said Guilherme Quintella, board chairman of CONTRAIL. "We will develop a new logistics system to transport containers by rail between Santos and the state of São Paulo, including a network of intermodal facilities, double-stack cars and a new rail hub in Santos. EUROGATE brings credibility to CONTRAIL, with regard to operation skills, and relationships to market actors within the global container market."
EUROGATE says it has the option to acquire an additional 16.67 percent at any time by 30 June 2018 and to increase its share to a total of 33.34 percent.
CONTRAIL Logistica operates its own inland terminals and uses the rail infrastructure from provider MRS Logistica.
EUROGATE, headquartered in London, is a group of freight forwarding companies present in 8 European countries with 16 offices.
Greek port sale pushed back a few weeks
Greece will put off by a few weeks the sale of a majority stake in its largest port, Piraeus, after a Sept. 20 snap election delayed work at ministries, according to the government.
Setting a date to submit bids for Piraeus port is one of the actions that Athens must complete to conclude its first bailout review and qualify for more funds from its $96.7 billion bailout.
China’s Cosco Group, APM Terminals and International Container Terminal Services have until Oct. 30 to submit binding bids for a 51 percent stake in the port operator OLP.
But the early election has held up work and the deadline may be pushed back, government officials said.
"We will fall behind by about 20 days because the concession agreement that the shipping and finance ministries have to sign is causing a short delay," a government official close to the matter told Reuters.
Cosco currently manages two cargo piers at the Piraeus Port under a 2009 concession agreement. Athens operates one pier at the port, which is currently 74 percent state owned.
Under the deal, would-be buyers will also have the option to acquire an additional 16 percent stake in OLP over five years after completing mandatory investments.
Mariner sues shipping firm alleging negligence for injuries
A Jones Act mariner is suing a shipping company, alleging negligence for injuries he sustained in an accident aboard one of its vessels.
Wesley Russell filed a lawsuit Sept. 25 in Galveston County District Court against Marquette Transportation Company Gulf-Inland, alleging negligence and un-seaworthiness.
On March 9, the complaint states, while working aboard the MV Darin M. Adrian, owned by Marquette Transportation, Russell was instructed to use a ratchet tool, which came apart and caused him to fall, injuring his back and neck.
The suit says the defendant was negligent in failing to properly supervise and train its crew, failing to provide adequate safety equipment and medical treatment, failing to safely operate the vessel and other negligent acts or omissions.