US West Coast ports at gridlock says Pacific Maritime Association

Pacific Maritime Association says US West Coast ports are in a state of gridlock
Pacific Maritime Association says US West Coast ports are in a state of gridlock

Eight months since contract talks began, and after more than two months of ILWU-staged slowdowns that have methodically reduced terminal productivity at the five largest ports on the West Coast, operations are approaching complete gridlock Pacific Maritime Association reports.

Since late October 2014, the ILWU has crippled what were fully productive terminals in the Pacific Northwest and Oakland, and exacerbated a difficult congestion issue at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by intentionally withholding dozens of essential skilled workers each shift for the past 10 weeks.

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Port of Dover hits record level of freight vehicles

The Port of Dover has recorded record levels of freight traffic in 2014. Image courtesy of Port of Dover
The Port of Dover has recorded record levels of freight traffic in 2014. Image courtesy of Port of Dover

The Port of Dover recorded its highest levels of freight traffic since 2007 with throughput in 2014 reaching 2,368,182 vehicles as of Wednesday 16 December 2014. As the Port handles £89bn worth of trade each year, traffic is expected to maintain the present rate of increase between now and the end of the year, meaning 2014 will be a record breaking 12 months for the Port with a total in excess of 2.4 million freight vehicles.

In 2007, the Port of Dover recorded record freight traffic volumes with 2,363,583 vehicles using Europe’s busiest 24/7 roll-on-roll-off ferry port. This year has already seen more freight than 2007, is predicted to see at least 2% more traffic than the previous record and on any one day the Port of Dover now handles up to 160km of freight.

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Southampton Port is set to berth the world’s biggest ships

Southampton Port is ready to handle the world's largest ships
Southampton Port is ready to handle the world’s largest ships

Associated British Ports‘ Southampton Port is ready to handle the biggest ships in the world today and long into the future after a £40 million dredging project.

Dredgers have completed a programme of capital dredging to deepen and widen the approach channel linking international shipping lanes to the Port.

The work ensures ships with a draught of up to 15.5m – the biggest container vessels currently in service – will be able to access the container terminal at Southampton Port.

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Vancouver Shipyards finishes $170M modernisation project

Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards has completed its two year modernisation project ahead of schedule
Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards has completed its two year modernisation project ahead of schedule

Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards officially celebrated the completion of its two year, $170M Shipyard modernisation project ahead of schedule and under budget.

Funded entirely by Seaspan, this project has transformed Vancouver Shipyards into the most modern facility in North America that will establish a shipbuilding and ship repair centre of excellence on the West Coast, and allow for the effective and efficient delivery of non combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.

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Burgess Marine to revive south coast dry dock

Burgess Marine has partnered with Shoreham Port to revive south coast dry dock
Burgess Marine has partnered with Shoreham Port to revive south coast dry dock

Britain’s largest independent ship repairer, Burgess Marine, has partnered with Shoreham Port to revitalise ship repair in the commercially thriving Sussex Port.

Shoreham Port offers one of the few remaining dry dock facilities on the South Coast of England. The Port has had a dry dock facility since the 1930’s and since that time has provided a valuable service to the marine industries on and around the South Coast.

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Lerwick Port Authority to award £16.5 million project

Sandra Lawrenson, CEO of Lerwick Port Authority besides David Nicolson of Bank of Scotland, who provided the funding
Sandra Lawrenson, CEO of Lerwick Port Authority besides David Nicolson of Bank of Scotland, who provided the funding

Lerwick Port Authority has awarded a construction contract for the latest expansion of the harbour’s facilities in a project costing a total of £16.5 million, which will benefit the fishing and oil sectors.

The new jetty at Holmsgarth North will provide deeper berthing and more working area for the fishing fleet, while the outer arm of the L-shaped jetty will create a dock sheltering a planned new white fish market. The outer arm will also be suitable for berthing offshore industry vessels.

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Spain and Italy face European Commission clamp down

The European Commission is taking action against Spain before the Court of Justice of the European Union, because 20 Spanish ports have yet to adopt and implement the port security plan, the Commission said. Spain has failed to transpose the Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security which “aims to guarantee uniformly high levels of security in all European ports” because it hasn’t implemented a port security plan laying down provisions for ensuring port security.

The EU Member States had until June 15, 2007 to transpose the Directive. The EC has asked Member States with the greatest delays in meeting their obligations, including Spain, to prepare national action plans with precise time-frames for conducting assessments and drawing up port security plans.

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Shipowners ‘need protection’ from excessive port charges

guy plattenUK Chamber CEO, Guy Platten, has delivered a keynote speech to the British Ports Association annual conference in Belfast.

Mr Platten focused on the broad challenges facing the industry, but explained that a system must be found to mediate disputes between shipping companies and port operators over the cost of doing business.

He said: “Shipowners, just like commercial ports, are in business to make money – and expect to negotiate with their suppliers in order to secure a good service at a competitive price. Some UK ports are effective monopolies – and I reveal no confidences when I say that there are concerns that this results in them treating shipowners as captive customers.

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Port of Salalah improves container productivity

The Port of Salalah, the largest port in Oman, has enhanced its berth productivity levels to rank 15th globally and match top container ports in the world according to the independent research firm Journal of Commerce (JOC) which has produced the 2013 Port Productivity report for the second year running.

Based on the 2013 average container moves per ship, JOC has also ranked the Port of Salalah third in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, having achieved an average of 91 gross moves per hour (gmph), a 26% increase over the 2012 average of 71 gmph.

“Our employees have been working hard at improving teamwork and internal processes at the port, and the benefits are shared by our customers as well,” said Ahmed Akaak, Deputy CEO at the Port of Salalah, adding, “for example, we have reduced waiting times at the gate from over 70 minutes to less than 30 minutes, and moreover an astonishing reduction in breakdowns and downtimes, and overall improved levels of work satisfaction and teamwork.”

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Belfast Harbour profits surge to record

belfastBelfast Harbour has posted record profits for 2013, which means they can commit more than £60m to capital expenditure projects for the future. According to Belfast Harbour’s Annual Report, turnover rose strongly by 30% to £50.3m. Profit before taxation also increased sharply too by 42% to £26.2m.

The very strong performance is a reflection of a record year for tonnages handled, increasing by 16% to 22.7m tonnes. The growth in trade was particularly good in sectors such as Dry Bulk Cargo (up 45%). Growth in trades associated with the new and burgeoning offshore wind farm sector also rose from 3,000 to 200,000 tonnes.

Chairman of Belfast Harbour, Len O’Hagan, said,“ Much of 2013’s growth was secured by investments totalling £100m by the Harbour in three sectors – renewables, dry bulk and freight. The single largest expenditure (£53m) was our development of the UK’s first bespoke logistics and assembly harbour to support offshore renewables.

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Port of Dover plans unveiled

Port of Dover plans umveiled
Port of Dover plans umveiled

UK Shipping and Ports Minister, Stephen Hammond, has set out a plan for the future of the Port of Dover that he believes will strengthen community involvement, boosting commercial development and unlocking the potential for regeneration.

Discussions facilitated by the minister over how the port should best be run have resulted in a major step forward, with Mr Hammond setting out a plan that will enable the community and port to work together effectively, providing a catalyst for regeneration which will benefit the port, the people who use it, and the town of Dover.

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SOHAR Port reaches milestone

SOHAR Port reaches milestone
SOHAR Port reaches milestone

SOHAR Port and Freezone, a deep sea port in the Middle East have reached a milestone with the arrival of the first 10,000 TEU ship at the newly expanded Oman International Container Terminal (OICT).

Under the watchful eye of His Excellency Dr Ahmed Mohammed Salem Al-Futaisi, Minister for Transport and Communication, SOHAR, the first 10,000 (TEU) ship, APL shipping line’s Savannah, to dock in the Port was welcomed.

OICT signed the development agreement early last year for expansion of a 70-hectare container terminal at SOHAR. The development will increase capacity from 800,000 TEU to 1,500,000 TEU and will also see yard space more than double from 28 hectares, installation of seven post-panamax quay cranes and 14 rubber-tyred gantry cranes.

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