Friday, March 11, 2022

The Weekly Review of Smaller Transport Related Announcements

Hacking, Stacking and Slacking News from Around the Globe
Shipping News Feature

US – Having seen Maersk and MSC recently commence services to Southeast Asia, Vietnam and China and the Indian Subcontinent and Mediterranean, the Port of Baltimore has persuaded ZIM Line to begin its new Zim e-Commerce Baltimore express (ZXB), a service from China and Southeast Asia to the US East Coast.

The new service will begin with bi-weekly frequency with the intention to build up to weekly within a few months. ZXB is operated exclusively by ZIM which says it offers its customers the fastest transit time from Asia to Baltimore, guaranteed space, and equipment without rolling, late cut off from Asia ports, a dedicated out-of-gate lane, and expedited rail/air/road connections to inland destinations.

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is keen to get as many of its members as possible to lobby their MP’s to take urgent action on fuel prices. You can find your Member’s details using this link. Then, after this reveals the details you can use an RHA template email which then ask them to take urgent action to support hauliers, van and coach operators at this difficult time.

Although the template has outline details of what to say, a personalised message is likely to have a greater influence. Also the RHA requests you share the links with other interested parties as more people who write to their MPs, the more likely action will be taken.

JAPAN – US – It seems the chronic congestion which has been blighting the US West Coast ports for months has led to some Japanese lines, specifically Nippon Express, to exploit the little favoured route of moving goods via Mexico, then trucking the boxes north, despite the route often proving three times as expensive.

Although numbers are currently comparatively small, the pressure on firms needing high value components for computers and the like means the trade is likely to grow as long as the delays, often a month or more, on the usual routes continue to impact business.

GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – Hapag Lloyd is advising all customers using its services to immediately change their passwords and access services on its website manually rather than clicking on email links etc. The warning comes after the German line became the latest target of phishing scammers who accessed its data.

Fears are that the Russia – Ukraine situation has encouraged ever more such attacks, Hapag Lloyd has closed its Ukrainian offices and ceased Russian services since the war began. This specific attack hijacked the shipping company website then issued a fake alternative with all details then entered going straight to the hackers.

GERMANY – Marine Service GmbH and Newport Shipping have achieved an Approval in Principle from Bureau Veritas (BV) for a jointly developed containerised LNG solution. The 40' ISO LNG Fuel Tank Container System is suitable for LNG-fuelled new buildings and retrofits of container vessels. The unit is a class approved Type C LNG fuel tank in accordance with the IGF-code and is based on German TÜV certified IMDG Container. The capacity of the tank is 31 gross tonnes and about 33m3 of LNG.

The containers have a fail-safe, dry quick coupling connection and are approved for loading in up to 7 layers high stacks. The stainless-steel double-walled tank is also vacuum insulated and has up to 80 days holding time. LNG piping and venting system as well as firefighting systems are integrated in the container cell guides structure. The gas handling room is arranged adjacent to the container storage and separated from the containers by a cofferdam and fire protection means, allowing to feed low pressure and high pressure fuel gas systems for all known 4-stroke and 2-stroke dual fuel engines.

A full redundant control, alarm & monitoring system for remote system operation, gas and fire alarm with interface to ships’ automation is part of the system. Since LNG containers are portable, the total number of containers can be easily optimised according to the owners’ requirements. Simple and easy to install on board, when a ship is in port, the empty containers can be taken out and replaced by new filled ones.

WORLDWIDE – The MDS Transmodal (MDST) research, commissioned by the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) found that global ports lost over a third of their expected capacity for ship containers during 2021, creating delays and disruption for shippers and economic harm to some smaller developing nations. Lost Capacity is a measure of the total number of container ship slots that were expected to be available at the port but did not materialise because the port was skipped, or the entire service was blanked by the shipping line.

The ports of Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Piraeus (Greece) have been especially hard hit, with about 40% of the expected container capacity failing to arrive in the last quarter of 2021, in comparison with a pre-Covid level of between 15-20%. In addition, in the European, Gulf and Indian Sub-continent (ISC) region, Felixstowe (UK) and Jebel Ali (UAE) failed to see around a third of their expected capacity.

In Asia Pacific, the picture reported showed similar levels of capacity lost with Port Klang (Malaysia) suffering a 40% shortfall and Melbourne (Australia) and Tauranga (New Zealand) down by around a third of the expected container capacity during the second half of 2021. In 2019, average no-shows at these ports amounted to between 10 and 15% of expected capacity.

Most of the expected vessels would have already been fully occupied by containers collected at ports called at earlier on the service rotations. Indeed, the decision to skip a port is often taken because there is no space on board to take any more, or so few spare slots as to make the call uneconomic. As a result, the collapse in service levels available to shippers at the ports affected, and in the hinterlands they serve over the period is stark, and amounts to far more than the inconvenience of having to wait for the next ship.

WORLDWIDE – Expanding on news published originally in August 2021 Proman and A.P. Moller -Maersk (Maersk) have entered into a new cooperation agreement to identify and develop green methanol supply solutions for Maersk’s new methanol-fuelled container vessels. As part of this Proman will aim to supply Maersk with 100,000 – 150,000 tonnes per year of green methanol from its new 200,000 tonnes per year methanol facility in development in North America. The project will be built by Proman with target start of operations in 2025, producing bio-methanol from non-recyclable forestry residues and municipal solid waste.

The pair will optimise global supply at Maersk’s key bunkering ports, Proman is evaluating multiple bio-methanol and e-methanol projects in South America, Europe and the United Kingdom, which Maersk and Proman will explore as part of a longer-term green methanol supply strategy for Maersk and for the shipping industry.

WORLDWIDE – The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has joined the cacophony of shouts from all quarters for governments to act on the steeply rising price of road fuel for commercial vehicles, including capping fuel prices and cutting fuel taxation, it says essential to avert a wider economic crisis.

Global oil prices, this week reaching their highest level since 2008, are set to climb higher amid continuing instability and sanctions related to the Ukraine crisis. Average diesel prices, including taxes and excise, across the 51 countries in all regions that IRU tracks on a weekly basis, have risen by 33% over the past 12 months. With wafer-thin margins, operators must pass on cost increases to users or risk bankruptcy and further pressure on transport networks.

Photo: The Zim Sao Paolo, an extra loader which recently called at the Port of Baltimore.