Friday, October 19, 2018

Container Terminal Changes Hands to Start Weekly Shipping and Logistics News Mash Up

Bits and Pieces from Around the Globe Over the Past Few Days
Shipping News Feature

TURKEY – Shipping and logistics group Maersk's cargo handling subsidiary, APM Terminals, has reached an agreement with its current partner SOCAR to pass over ownership of the largest container terminal in the Aegean region at Izmir Aliağa whilst still maintaining management of the facilities there. The terminal, to be named Petlim Container Terminal, is the third largest in Turkey, with a capacity of 1.3 million TEU per year.

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be finalised in the coming months. In the new structure, operating company Petlim will be fully owned by SOCAR Turkey. An APM statement says the facilities are the most modern in the area and that SOCAR ownership will further develop the terminal, which has not only achieved excellent safety standards, but also the highest berth productivity in the area.

EUROPE – This week at an awards ceremony in Brussels, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) announced the 2018 winners of the PRAISE awards, in recognition of outstanding efforts taken by companies to improve road safety at work. The large company award went to CTT, the Portuguese postal services company. In the same category, FM Conway, the UK-based infrastructure services company was highly commended.

The award for a public authority this year is awarded to STIB-MIVB, the Brussels public transport company. Over 25,000 lives were lost on the road in the European Union in 2017, of those a large proportion were victims of work-related road collisions.

UK – One year after opening the doors of its state-of-the-art Manchester facility, freight forwarder Rhenus Logistics has announced 12 months of significant growth for its North West hub. Over 5,000 vehicle movements were processed during the first year of operations at the Manchester depot, including more than 2,500 exports to destinations across Europe, Asia and South America.

The hub, situated at Port Salford, claimed to be the UK’s first tri-modal inland port facility, is home to Rhenus’ UK operations, as well as Staples International, which was acquired by Rhenus in November 2016. A key aim of Rhenus’ investment in the facility was to strengthen its road, air and ocean coverage with the transition to the new facility coinciding with the lunch of strategic services to Mediterranean and North African destinations.

UK – Despite the problems faced at the Port of Liverpool earlier this year with delays to haulage contractors moving containers in and out from the quays, one such operation, independent operator JWT Haulage, which took five acres of container storage facilities some months ago, says it is going from strength to strength.

JWT has increased its revenue by around 30% this year after moving its headquarters to the Peel Ports owned facility and puts its success down to its close working relationship with the port owners giving it direct access to major shipping lines using Liverpool and its ability to handle larger volumes of goods for distribution to stores across the UK.

UK – Once again the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has railed against low emission zones in urban areas. This time targeting a Leeds City Council report recommending acceptance of plans to charge non-Euro VI trucks £50 per day to enter the Clean Air Zone. The RHA estimates that an average SME operator only makes £60 per week profit on a truck, making such a daily charge untenable.

The RHA points out that it feels Nottingham City Council is proving that it’s possible to avoid such charges. They’re set to meet their emissions targets by retrofitting buses with clean exhaust technology and bringing in stricter requirements for taxis and private hire vehicles. With retrofitting technology for trucks currently unavailable it would require public financial assistance to afford fleet upgrades to ensure the survival of such companies.

UK – PORTUGAL – Specialist removals outfit Movers International of Preston is now undertaking regular removals to Portugal every two weeks. Despite operating between the two countries for over 30 years the new service offers the chance for shippers to move a single item, a few cartons, or a part load.

Supported by its own team of packers, and drivers familiar with some of the country’s back roads and remote villages, all the company asks is that they know a final destination in good time as smaller vehicles are often required on some inaccessible final mile deliveries.

UK – Mechanica Utilities, the Dover based marine engineering and repair company formed to fill the gap left by the administration and sale of Burgess Marine a year ago says it has now formed relationships with Eurotunnel, Wärtsilä, Boskalis, Volker Stevin, the Port of Dover, Seajets in Greece, and Incat in Tasmania.

The company operates from a 25,500 square foot workshop just outside the Port of Dover and is focusing on ship care and repair, with work so far including the manufacture of bespoke lobster back bends for Boskalis Westminster, scrubbers for Wärtsilä, pipework for Holyhead Towing, two major aluminium repairs for Incat, fast ferry repairs in Greece and Argentina, as well as the provision of support to Svitzer and the Port of Dover.

UK – The release this week of financial results from on line fashion retailer ASOS, in which the company showed profits up 28% to £102 million on annual turnover which jumped 26% to £2.35 billion, has further incensed the GMB Union which has waged a four-year campaign at a Barnsley company warehouse site managed by XPO Logistics. As we reported earlier this month the union was stepping up its protests for what it terms ‘draconian working practices’.

GMB objections to terms and conditions on the site were reinvigorated after a TUC ruling found sister union Community were in breach of key principles and ordered them to pay £24,000 in settlement to GMB. ASOS shares saw a 15% rise after the latest financuial results were announced, but the stock is still trading lower than previously.

CHINA – Stena Bulk has signed a turnkey exhaust gas scrubber solution agreement with Chinese Bluesoul to equip its Suezmax and IMOIIMAX fleets. The scrubber to be installed is an Open Loop Hybrid Ready with Water Cleaning, which not only removes the sulphur but also particles from the exhaust. In total, Stena Bulk will equip 15 vessels with scrubbers and have an additional 6 options for installation prior to 2020.

Shanghai Bluesoul Environment Technology, with its base in Shanghai, has had a collaboration agreement with the Stena group for more than a year. Bluesoul is the first Chinese enterprise to be awarded Lloyd’s Register Exhaust Gas Cleaning System Machinery General Design Appraisal as well as DNV GL and ABS AiP.

SINGAPORE – Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has opened an Acceleration Centre in Singapore. This purpose-built centre promotes innovation and collaboration with industry, academia, and local partners to strengthen and develop Singapore’s maritime ecosystem. This follows from the agreement signed between Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Wärtsilä in April 2018 to collaborate in areas of intelligent vessels, connected smart port operations, cyber-physical security, and digital acceleration with start-ups.

Wärtsilä will also address cyber security challenges in connected maritime operations by launching its Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence as part of the Singapore Acceleration Centre. The first project for the new Acceleration Centre to be co-created at the Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre is the Wärtsilä IntelliTug. The project to develop a harbour tug with autonomous navigation is being carried out together with MPA and PSA Marine.

MONACO – Refined petroleum product carrier Scorpio Tankers says that, following an agreement to retrofit 15 of its LR2s with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, or ‘Scrubbers’, it has agreed letters of intent to cover the purchase and installation of the technology on substantially all of its remaining owned and financed leased LR2, LR1, and MR tanker vessels (approximately 75 vessels) between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020. The installations are expected to cost between $1.5-$2.2 million per vessel, and the company anticipates that between 60-70% of these costs will be financed. Emanuele Lauro, Chairman & CEO, commented:

“We have long maintained that the IMO 2020 regulations are both disruptive to the shipping industry generally as well as a powerful demand catalyst for product tankers. Although many well-capitalised and publicly-listed ship owners can source capital and publicise their intentions to pursue Scrubbers, most of our industry cannot, and will rely on cleaner fuels to the benefit of tonne-mile demand for product tankers. Irrespective, our focus remains on operating the most competitive fleet in our marketplace, and this has led us to carefully evaluate and ultimately opt for the benefits of fitting hybrid-ready scrubbers on approximately 90 ships in our fleet.”

Photo: Container terminal Izmir.