World Maritime News

WMNF 2020/01/23


COSCO boxship catches fire in Arabian Sea off India

A COSCO container ship has caught fire on its way from Malaysia to India and this is expected to lead to a delay of schedule. While the cause of the incident is still being investigated, the carrier has cited the misdeclaration of dangerous goods as the main suspect. “Any undeclared cargo that may ignite or help ignite a fire can be the cause of the accident or the second and third causes of the accident,” it said. The list of human and capital casualties for container shipping from hazardous cargo mishaps has become woefully long in recent years, but incidents keep occurring.

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Panama Canal to cut slots and impose more charges as drought hits operations

The Panama Canal Authority said on Jan 13 that it will cut its daily slot reservations to 27 from 32 due to droughts, and impose a “freshwater” charge on ships to maintain the thoroughfare’s levels, tightening access to one of the world’s most important trading routes. From February 15, a fixed charge would be set at US$ 10,000 for any vessel more than 38.1 m (125 ft) long, and a variable surcharge would also be imposed based on the level of Gatun Lake at the time of transit. If the water levels on the lake improve, the charge could be lowered and the reservation slots could increase, the canal authority said.

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THE Alliance to roll out HMM mega-ships in revised Asia-Europe network

HMM’s 12 ships of 23,000 TEU capacity will be quickly put to use by THE Alliance when they start coming online in the second half of 2020. Those mega-ships replace an 11-vessel string of 15,000 TEU currently deployed by Hapag-Lloyd on the Asia-North Europe service, according to Alphaliner. The mega-ships of HMM will add capacity on an already heavily suppled Asia-Europe market. The larger vessels will only be able to serve hub ports on the Asia-Europe trade. On the other hand, Hapag-Lloyd has signed a space charter agreement with 2M on the Asia-North Europe trade, starting in March. Hapag-Lloyd says that the additional tie-up will strengthen its product portfolio by opening up access to selected services of 2M.

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Five Chinese ports so far have reported ship violations of the IMO 2020 sulphur cap

Three weeks since the implementation of the IMO sulphur cap, five violations have been reported in China. They were announced by maritime authorities at the ports of Qingdao, Dalian and Ningbo, with the two latest from Xiamen and Weihai. The Chines inspectors are obviously very diligent and appear keen to showcase their efforts, as few infringements have been noted elsewhere. One common feature in these found cases is a rather small excess sulphur content, ranging 0.546 % to 0.68 %.

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Technology, mandatory truck slots push LA-LB turn times to near six-year low

The marriage of technology at the gates with mandatory truck appointments, coupled with weaker import volumes, drove December truck turn times in Los Angeles and Long Beach to the lowest point since 2014, with further gains anticipated in 2020. The average truck turn time in December was 67 minutes, down from 69 minutes in November. Turn times in Los Angeles-Long Beach have declined steadily from the 2019 peak of 98 minutes in January 2019. Implementation of technology systems that provide shippers and truckers visibility into conditions at the gates and the status of containers within the facilities are optimized process improvements, especially involving appointment systems. The common observation expressed by terminal operators and truckers is that technology system the terminals have been developing the past couple of years tied to terminal operating systems started to come together last year.

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NY-NJ real-time cameras aim to help port truck flow

Real-time video that enables truckers to view traffic levels on key arteries within the Port of New York and New Jersey is expected to help better inform dispatch decisions and improve truck flow as cargo volumes at the port increase. The video from five cameras posted online since December 31 2019 adds to the live video streams of traffic at the gate of three of the port’s busiest marine terminal – GCT Bayonne, Port Newark Container Terminal and APM Terminals. Dispatchers in particular say the new cameras offer a useful tool, providing an overall bird’s eye view of what is happening at the port in real time. The initiative, launched with the help of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reflects the port’s need to improve cargo fluidity in and around the port.

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