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Added: 02 May 2018
IHMA members are advised that the IHMA Privacy Policy posted on the IHMA website homepage was updated on 2 May 2018.

The changes to our Privacy Policy (which we encourage you to read) reflect changes in the EU to data protection laws and provide additional clarity regarding how we collect, store and process personal information.

If you have any questions or requests with regard to the personal data we hold about you, please contact secretary.ihma@harbourmaster.org
Added: 19 Apr 2018
Watch and listen to IHMA members Capt Paul O’Regan, Harbour Master, Port of Cork, and Capt Kevin Allen, Harbour Master, Belfast Harbour, as they give their thoughts on a new agreement with UNCTAD which reaffirms their ports’ commitment to work together to help counterparts in Africa and Asia boost productivity.
Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdlDwhddPz8&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=CIO+-+General+public&utm_campaign=6a989058d4-UNCTAD+CSO+Newsletter+16+November&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3d334fa428-6a989058d4-70389869
Added: 30 Mar 2018
Port of Milford Haven invests in new lifesaving training and equipment

News has been received that 70 employees who work on or near the water at the Port of Milford Haven have undertaken first aid training based on an intuitive check card system.

Paul Savage of Saviour Medical Ltd. developed check card training programmes initially for the RNLI during his tenure as their Clinical Lead from 2005 to 2014, and was appointed OBE in 2013 for this intuitive work before setting up his own company.

The Maritime Immediate Emergency Care Course, developed in conjunction with the United Kingdom Maritime Pilots’ Association (UKMPA), is designed specifically for maritime boat crews and dock personnel and uses professional lifesaving equipment that can mean the difference between life and death in the first minutes after a serious trauma or illness.

Seventy staff members from teams across the Port including pilot launch crew, marina operatives, ferry terminal operatives and pilots have already completed the course and another thirteen are due to undertake the training later in the spring, it is understood. To complement the training the Port has invested over £20,000 in new equipment including additional automated defibrillators, Saviour Stretchers, treatment equipment packs and the treatment check cards developed by Paul Savage which give step-by-step instructions that can provide valuable assistance in an emergency.

Wayne Evans, Health, Safety and Security Manager at the Port of Milford Haven, who arranged the training, said: ‘The decision to invest in new equipment and training was made following the lessons learned from a tragic incident at the Port of London last year (2017). A large proportion of our workforce work on or near the water so it is vital that they have access to the latest first aid advice in case they ever need to draw upon those skills. Safety is the number one priority at the Port and we will always strive to offer the most up to date training to ensure our staff are prepared for whatever they may encounter.’

Commenting on the training, Paul Savage, said: ‘By using a check card training system the memory test is removed from the rescuer and confidence ensues. Couple this with additional effective equipment that is not usually found in standard first aid kits, but matches the responding emergency services where appropriate, and you can create a seamless approach to care. All of this combined can only help to save salvageable life, and enhance the care that maritime workers can offer when required to do so. It worked incredibly well for the RNLI, so spreading it to other maritime professionals was the next obvious step.’

Photo caption:
Saviour Stretchers were put to the test during training at the Port of Milford Haven.
Added: 23 Feb 2018
IHMA Commercial member Port-Safety ApS is pleased to note that its LifeLadder invention to enhance safety in ports is heading to the world market. Port of Horsens is the third Danish port to install LifeLadder.

As reported in Port Strategy:

“It is different… as such it is a rather simple product with a straightforward construction, but the LifeLadder lights up the dark, to put it plainly’.

So says Claus Holm Christensen, Port Director in Port of Horsens, who has signed an agreement with Port Safety for the delivery of four new rescue ladders. The rescue ladders will be mounted in the industrial area of Port of Horsens. If LifeLadder meets the expectations, Port of Horsens will consider investing in additional ladders.

’I heard about the new Danish rescue ladder for the first time at a conference in Barcelona during the summer and immediately thought that it sounded exciting. In Port of Horsens, we would like to help develop things and improve safety - both for the port’s employees, seamen working aboard the ships that dock in the port and the city’s residents. As we were also due to replace several of the old rescue ladders, it made sense to choose LifeLadder’.
Website: http://www.portstrategy.com/press-releases/2018/port-of-horsens-joins-early-adaptors-of-lifeladder
Added: 30 Dec 2017
ABP Southampton harbour master and IHMA member Captain Martin Phipps received an MBE for services to UK exports in the New Year’s Honours list.

Captain Phipps said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this honour. It is a great privilege to serve as harbour master for the Port of Southampton, the nation’s gateway to the world.

I am deeply grateful for the support of the great team at the port who work so hard to keep trade and people moving safely 24/7, 365 days a year. This honour is also testimony to their tremendous skill and dedication.”
Added: 21 Dec 2017
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe has become the first port in the UK to handle over one million TEU by rail in a single year.

The one millionth unit was loaded on 13 December onto the 1334 Freightliner rail service from the port on England’s East Coast to Birmingham in the West Midlands. Felixstowe is the UK’s busiest intermodal rail freight terminal.

Commenting on the achievement, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, said: ‘This new milestone for the port reflects the dedication of our workforce and the excellent relationships we have developed with all the rail freight operators at the port. Rail is an increasingly important differentiator for shipping lines as well as importers and exporters and we are able to offer them a greater number of rail services to more destinations, more often, than any other port.

‘Rail is also a key factor in reducing the environmental impact of transport and helps reduce road congestion. We are continuing to invest heavily in rail infrastructure at Felixstowe and are currently working with Network Rail on capacity enhancements to the Felixstowe Branch Line.’

Adam Cunliffe, UK Managing Director of Freightliner Group, added: ‘We would like to congratulate the Port of Felixstowe on this achievement. As a reliable, efficient and sustainable method of distribution demand for intermodal rail freight continues to grow. The Port of Felixstowe plays a vital role in delivering a broad network of rail services to all major UK conurbations. We look forward to continuing to work with Felixstowe to further grow the movement of containers by rail.’

In addition to Freightliner, services are offered by GB Railfreight and DB Cargo to a range of destinations including Glasgow, Manchester, Trafford Park, Liverpool, Leeds, Teesport, Birmingham, Doncaster, Rotherham, Hams Hall, Daventry, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Birch Coppice and Bristol.
Added: 19 Oct 2017
On England’s East Coast the latest enhancements to Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe’s rail connections have been given the green light by the Secretary of State for Transport.

The £60.4million scheme, jointly funded by Network Rail and Hutchison Ports, will allow up to 47 freight trains to run per day in each direction between Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Commenting on the scheme, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, commented: ‘Rail is an increasingly important differentiator as shipping lines and cargo owners look to remove carbon from their supply chains. The Port of Felixstowe already has the widest choice of rail services in the UK with 33 daily services to 17 inland destinations.

‘This scheme complements the investment we have made in rail capacity at the port and will allow us to offer an even greater range of sustainable distribution option to our customers. Over 100 million HGV miles per year are already saved by using rail freight from Felixstowe and we look forward to that figure increasing significantly in future.’

Freightliner’s UK Managing Director, Adam Cunliffe, added: ‘We are delighted that the Port of Felixstowe’s improvement plans have been given the go-ahead which will create much needed additional rail freight capacity at the port. As well as satisfying growing customer demand, the environmental benefits of moving freight by rail are significant, and we look forward to operating increased services once the enhanced rail connections are complete.’

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, reflected: ‘Great news, GB Railfreight see this as a huge milestone in the development of a fit for purpose UK intermodal rail freight network. The Felixstowe Branch Line is part of a key strategic freight route through to the Midlands and Northwest. This new capacity connecting the Port of Felixstowe will result in increased modal shift and radically reduce the impact of road vehicles on our environment and public health.’

Hans-Georg Werner, CEO at DB Cargo UK, stated: ‘DB Cargo UK are pleased that these improvement plans have been given the green light. This much needed additional rail freight capacity will allow for more competition which is good for the Port of Felixstowe and good for all rail freight customers.’

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s Route Managing Director for Anglia, concluded by saying: ‘We are improving the Felixstowe branch line to provide a step change for rail freight in Suffolk and beyond as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We are supporting the growth of the UK economy by enabling more goods to be transported on the railway and reducing the number of lorries on the road. The work will also create a safer and more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe.’

Network Rail is delivering the project which will enable more goods to be transported by rail, supporting the growth of the UK economy, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. In the coming months, engineers will start clearing vegetation in preparation for building the second track.
Added: 17 Oct 2017
Port of Durban returns to normal after big storm
(Reported 16 October 2017)
Reproduced by kind permission of Africa Ports & Ships
Photograph by Malcolm Hastie©

With all navigable areas of Durban Bay having been surveyed and declared safe for navigation, shipping activity in the Port of Durban was able to return to normal on Friday, 13 October, three days after one of the worst storms ever to hit Durban brought almost all outside activity to a halt.

The storm broke in mid-morning with sudden ferocity, bringing visibility to almost nil. Winds gusted to a measured 91 knots (168kph) and between 100 and 200mm of rain in less than two hours fell across the southern parts of the city including the port, where ships broke loose of their moorings, others took strain and the port’s fleet of tugs was hard pressed to maintain control.

That they did so to a large extent successfully is to the credit of the marine staff at Transnet National Ports Authority. Where they lost control it was quickly restored. Among their biggest concerns was the plight of the 348 metre, 108,600-dwt MSC Ines which broke free and was blown out into the channels and towards the harbour entrance. That the ship reached this position without major collision elsewhere in the crowded harbour seems a miracle in itself but once in the channel the ship’s luck ran out and she broached across the width of the 220 metre wide channel to become stuck like a cork in the bottle.

Back at the container terminal the equally large MS New York also broke her moorings but went aground on a nearby sandbank where she stuck fast. Another container ship to have broken free of her moorings was the 336-metre long, 109,800-dwt MSC Susanna which had come into contact with other vessels and also appeared to be heading for the entrance before the tugs got control of her, while down at Maydon Wharf the Maritime Newanda had broken some of her moorings and had swung round to double banked with another vessel at a time when the wind was blowing at 80 knots.

In the enclosed bay known as Island View the tanker Bow Triumph had similarly broken from her moorings and was blown the short distance ashore on the sands off Salisbury Island. Fortunately this is soft sand and no breaches of the hull occurred.

As has been reported earlier, once the storm was over the tug crews of TNPA were able to secure the release of MSC Ines from the entrance channel without any reported spillage taking place. The container ship appears to have serious rudder damage which will require repair before she can resume her voyage. As of yesterday (Sunday, 15 October) she was berthed at the City Terminal (Point). MSC Susanna which was also taken to a berth on the T-Jetty for underwater examination has since returned to the container terminal berth 108/9 where yesterday she was working cargo.

MS New York completed her cargo working and has sailed. At Island View Bow Triumph is also working cargo.

Other ships which appear to have received damage include the container ship Maersk Vallvik which is currently at C berth, and the French Navy frigate FS Floreal which was forced to delay the scheduled departure from port. From photographic evidence the ship has some severe denting along her starboard hull with slight denting or paint marks alongside the port hull – whether this is a result of the storm or whether the warship arrived in this condition is not clear.

Parts of the quayside also took damage – again whether this was from one of the ships colliding with the quay wall or from other causes during the storm is not known to Africa PORTS & SHIPS.

Transnet meanwhile has put into place a number of business continuity plans for all three of its operating divisions affected by last week’s severe storms in KwaZulu-Natal – TNPA, Transnet Port Operations (TPA) and Transnet Freight Rail (TFR).

Transnet also reported several premises as having had flood damage arising from the storm – one of these was Transnet School of Excellence which is situated near to Durban Container Terminal on Pier 2. Some cargo handling equipment belonging to TPT suffered damage at the DCT Pier 1 and Pier 2 terminals and damage to key cargo handling infrastructure was reported from the Bulk, Break-bulk and Car Durban Terminals.

A total of eight Ship-to-Shore cranes and three RTGs (rubber tyre gantries) were damaged. Several containers were reported washed into the bay.

Praise for the port marine personnel
The marine crews comprising pilots and tug boat captains and crew at the port are meanwhile due for some deserving praise for the professional and competent way in which they reacted to and handled an unexpected and highly unusual weather condition and emergency. Often the butt of criticism, all those involved came through earning tops marks in our books at least.

Picture caption
MSC Ines stuck across the Durban port entrance channel.
Picture courtesy: Nick Hastie ©.
Added: 29 Sep 2017
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe won the Port Operator of the Year at the Lloyd’s List Global Awards presented on the night of 27 September at the National Maritime Museum in London.

The Port of Felixstowe won the award for a combination of its innovation, focus on reducing CO2, improved safety and emphasis on rail, helping to reduce road congestion.

Commenting on the award, Eric Ip, Group Managing Director, Hutchison Ports, said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement for Hutchison Ports. The Port of Felixstowe is a key element in what was the first, and is still the leading, global port network. I would like to congratulate everyone at the Port of Felixstowe on winning this award and for helping to ensure that Hutchison Ports continues to set new standards.’

Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, added: ‘This year we are celebrating 50 years of dedicated container handling at the Port of Felixstowe. Throughout that time we have maintained a strong focus on constant improvement in all areas of our operations. We have invested constantly in new equipment, systems and people to both improve efficiency and reduce our environmental impact. Mostly, however, this award is a testament to the skill and dedication of our people and shows that, 50 years on from being the UKs first container terminal, we continue to lead the field.’

In his opening speech, Richard Meade, managing editor of Lloyd’s List said: ‘The past 20 years have thrown up many different challenges for shipping. We have seen stratospheric dry bulk rates followed by an unprecedented collapse. We have suffered the resurgence of piracy and the rising threat of cyber-attacks.

‘But we have, at the same time, achieved extraordinary feats of technological distinction, creating the efficient backbone of globalisation, and, I would argue, a better world in the process.’

The 20th anniversary of the awards were attended by over 400 industry professionals and hosted by BBC presenter Jeremy Vine.

Recipients are chosen from entries taken from around the world and adjudicated by a distinguished judging panel.

Picture caption

Simon Mullet, Company Secretary of Port of Felixstowe, collects the Port Operator of the Year Award from BBC presenter Jeremy Vine (left) and Janet Porter, Editor-in-Chief Lloyds List Containers

Added: 25 Sep 2017
OMC’s DUKC® technology taught at University of Melbourne
Case study examples of OMC International’s DUKC® technology are being taught for the first time at the University of Melbourne as part of a continuing partnership that recognises OMC’s expertise as a world leader in real-time Under Keel Clearance (UKC) management.

University of Melbourne’s Ocean Engineering Professor Alexander Babanin said DUKC® content is being taught as part of an intensive week-long postgraduate port engineering unit developed with the support of Ports Australia and input from the maritime industry.

This Port Access and Navigation unit, started on 25 September running until 29 September, is being taught by Melbourne academics and industry experts including OMC. It is an elective in the Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering Master’s programme at the University of Melbourne, and it is also part of the Port and Harbour Engineering Graduate Certificate which is the only formal qualification in port engineering in Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Babanin, the course convenor and original academic developer of this unit previously taught at Swinburne University for ten years, said the University of Melbourne was fortunate to have partnered with OMC this year to present some DUKC® course content to the next generation of maritime engineers.

Professor Babanin said ‘Under Keel Clearance is the single most important issue of shipping in ports, channels and shallow areas, which is not taught in standard engineering programs at universities and so it is a must for this port engineering course. DUKC® is state of the art and we are lucky to have OMC International in Melbourne who help us to teach this specific application.

‘We recognise OMC and DUKC® technology as world leading. It should be understood that we are not researchers or practitioners of this technology, we teach it, and in this regard we rely on the standing, reputation and world-wide practice and acceptance of DUKC® and OMC as the leader.

‘DUKC® can certainly become a standard education tool for future port engineers if it is promoted for port engineering courses in other parts of the world.’

DUKC® was pioneered in the early 1990s by OMC’s Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien – a former University of Melbourne academic who established OMC in 1987 – and this technology has since been further developed by OMC’s team of maritime engineers, some of whom are University of Melbourne alumni.
OMC’s customised DUKC® systems are operational in some of the largest bulk, container and multi-cargo ports in the world, including the Pilbara iron ore ports in north Western Australia (beneficiaries include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group) and in some of the world’s most important waterways, including Torres Strait and Canada’s St Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec City.

The Port Access and Navigation unit with DUKC® course content, is OMC’s second collaboration with the University of Melbourne. Earlier this year, OMC was chosen as an industry partner to undertake a special research project to develop an integrated modelling system for navigational aid in tidal inlets. Professor Babanin said OMC’s CEO Peter O’Brien is leading the project and the other industry partners are the University of Melbourne, Pivot Maritime International Pty Ltd (Tasmania) and MetOcean Solutions (New Zealand).

Babbin added: ‘The research part of this project concentrates on wave-current interactions and the leadership of OMC as the industry partner is apparent as currents would contribute to the Under Keel Clearance.’

OMC, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, moved its Melbourne headquarters to larger premises in Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford in May to house its growing workforce of more than 50 employees, as well as to allow for postgraduate students and short stay collaborative visits with global maritime partners.

Dr O’Brien said OMC was continuing to hire more staff – including graduates from the University of Melbourne – to meet a growing domestic and international workload. He concluded by saying: ‘This is a response to an increasing recognition of our DUKC® e-Nav technology as the industry standard for safe and efficient real-time management of UKC.’

• On 16 November 2015, OMC’s maritime technology won the prestigious 2015 International Bulk Journal (IBJ) Safety in Bulk Handling (Marine) Award, announced at a dinner in Antwerp.

• On 8 June 2015, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Dr Terry O’Brien was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for “significant service to maritime engineering, to the development of innovative marine navigation equipment and to education”.

Picture caption

Aerial image of Port Hedland which has an operational DUKC Series 5 system.

Photograph reproduced by kind courtesy of OMC International©.
Added: 21 Sep 2017
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is particularly pleased with the establishment of international standards for nautical port information. These standards were introduced this week after a long-term international cooperation between various stakeholder organisations, ports and the business community. ’With these standards as a base, we can not only optimise the services to our clients,’ said Allard Castelein, President of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, ’but also develop new services that make the logistics chain more efficient.’

In order to plan shipping as effectively as possible, shipping companies need detailed information about, for example, depth, admission policy, and arrival and departure times. Currently, ports communicate this information in various ways. This is inefficient. The Port Call Optimisation Task Force (Shell, Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM and the ports of Algeciras, Busan, Gothenburg, Houston, Rotterdam, Singapore and Ningbo Zhoushan) therefore united forces in 2014 with the International Harbour Masters’ Association, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office and GS1 to bring standards from the nautical and logistics sectors together. This ensures that the nautical data on board of vessels corresponds to the information from the port, as well as the information used in the logistics chains.

More heavily laden

’These standards provide a strong impetus for safety, sustainability and efficiency,’ Castelein explains. The international unambiguity in communication benefits safety. It also means that lower margins can be maintained, which eventually results in vessels calling at ports faster and with more cargo. This will lead to a reduction in costs and pollution. The initial calculations amount to up to $ 80,000 in additional revenue and savings of 240 tonnes in CO2 emissions per port visit, depending on where the vessel comes from and at which berth it is located.

Avanti and Pronto

The Port of Rotterdam Authority embraces the new standards and has become the first party in the world to use pilots in which they are applied. These are the Avanti and Pronto projects. Web portal Avanti focuses on ’master data’ such as depth and admission policy. Pronto is a communication platform for the port community. The platform assists agents and other operators with a more transparent and efficient planning of services for ships, such as pilotage, use of terminals and bunker services.

Port call optimisation

Both projects are based on sharing unambiguous information based on the new standards, thus improving the safety and efficiency of each service. This will lead to a further optimisation of the ‘port call’. In this context, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will continue to promote the implementation and, above all, the global adoption of standards and the resulting applications. To achieve this, we will actively seek cooperation with other ports.
Website: https://www.portofrotterdam.com/en/news-and-press-releases/port-of-rotterdam-authority-enthusiastic-about-the-standards-of-nautical
Added: 15 Sep 2017
IHMA is delighted to have participated in recent progress on the development of functional definitions for port information describing the ship’s stay in port.

Accurate and reliable port information will enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of ports and shipping across the world and benefit local, national and international economies.

This initiative’s priority is to improve communications between ships and ports using clear and authoritative definitions for the various terms used in daily operations. The definitions have been sourced from existing standards within the shipping industry. Only when no applicable definition could be found was a new one introduced and published via the glossary of the UKHO’s Mariners Handbook (NP100). These include names given to areas within a port; terminology associated with restrictions that might be imposed by an authority on vessel operations related to vessel dimensions, external conditions, manoeuvring and berthing; event information associated with arrival and departure times; and nautical and vessel service times.

These definitions have been collated in an intermediate document and will be incorporated in the next version of the Mariners Handbook (NP100) to be published in August 2018. The Port of Rotterdam will begin using these definitions in 2017.

IHMA’s President, Captain Kevin Richardson said: “Harbour Masters recognise the huge value of agreeing and promulgating definitions that will make the ship’s stay in port safer and more efficient. We applaud the efforts of all organisations that have worked co-operatively on this important project which will have long-term value for ports around the world.”

For further information contact:

IHMA: Ben van Scherpenzeel, Scherpenzeel.ehmc@harbourmaster.org
Added: 13 Sep 2017
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe reported on 12 September that it will welcome its 100th 18,000+ TEU vessel of 2017 on Thursday this week (14 September) as the UK’s maritime industry celebrates London International Shipping Week (LISW).

The 18,270 TEU Matz Maersk is operated by Maersk Line on the 2M Alliance’s AE10/NEU2 service between Europe and Asia.

Commenting on the milestone, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports and a member of the LISW Board of Advisors, said: “The Port of Felixstowe is firmly established as the port of choice for the largest mega-vessels. We were the first port in the UK to handle this latest class of vessel and continue to handle more of them than any other UK port.

“15,000 industry visitors are expected to visit London International Shipping Week and this latest milestone at the Port of Felixstowe helps demonstrate how the UK remains at the forefront of the global shipping industry. Matz Maersk will be the fourth of six mega vessels we are expecting this week and we are on course to exceed comfortably the 137 mega vessels we handled in 2016.”

The other ultra-large container vessels calling during LISW are the current world’s largest container ship, the 21,413 TEU OOCL Hong Kong, the 19,224 MSC Ditte, the 19,100 TEU CSCL Indian Ocean, her sister-ship and former holder of the world’s largest container ship crown, CSCL Globe and the 19,224 TEU MSC Sveva.

In addition, Emma Maersk, which set a new standard when launched in 2006, is also due at the Port of Felixstowe this week. Now with a capacity of 17,816 TEU it is one of over 250 ultra-large container ships to call at the port so far this year.

Picture caption
OOCL Hong Kong and MSC Ditte, the 97th and 98th mega vessels to call at Felixstowe this year.

The 100th, Matz Maersk is due on 14 September.
Added: 31 Jul 2017
It was announced in the last week of July the Port of Felixstowe had ordered two new gantry cranes for its Berths 8 & 9 and work has started to raise ten of the existing cranes on Trinity Terminal at the port.

These new cranes, ordered from ZPMC in Shanghai, will bring to twelve the number on the port’s newest terminal. They will have a 59.5 metre outreach from the quay, sufficient to allow them to handle future generations of container vessel with containers stowed up to 24-wide across the deck.

It is understood that the maximum operating height of ten of the cranes on Trinity Terminal, also built by ZPMC, will be increased to 46.5 metres by raising these cranes. The greater height will allow them to work vessels with containers stowed up to eleven high on deck unrestricted under all tidal conditions.

Commenting on the project, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports, said: ‘The Port of Felixstowe has facilities to handle vessels of all sizes. It is the clear port-of-choice for the largest mega ships and we had 137 calls by vessels of over 18,000 TEU last year. Increasing the total number of cranes on the port and increasing the height of 10 cranes on Trinity Terminal will give us greater flexibility to accommodate the largest categories of ship size. In total, we will have 22 cranes capable of handling the largest container vessels in service.’

Delivery of the new cranes is scheduled for February 2018.

The contract to raise the height of the Trinity Terminal cranes has been let to ZPMC’s Dutch subsidiary. Work is due to be completed in December 2018.
Added: 08 Jul 2017
The Port of Milford Haven reported on 7 July the appointment of Chris Martin as its new Chairman with effect from 1 August 2017.

Born and bred in Pembrokeshire Martin has been Vice Chairman of the Port of Milford Haven for the last four and a half years, a role he will now relinquish to become Non-Executive Chairman of the Port. For the majority of his career he has been a successful entrepreneur building and then selling pharmacy chains in the South West of England and Pembrokeshire.

In more recent years he has fulfilled a number of non-executive and voluntary roles, being Chairman of four successive health organisations in west Wales and the lead Chairman of all health Organisations in Wales from 2009 to 2014. He is also currently a Non-Executive with Alliance Healthcare Distribution (UK) Ltd, Managing Director of his own property development company, Deputy Chairman of the Bevan Commission and a member of the Marie Curie Wales Advisory Board.

Martin succeeds Peter Jones who, in stepping down from the post of Chairman at the end of July, will be drawing to a close an active involvement in the management of UK ports that first began in 1977 and whose career included being Chief Executive of the UK’s two largest port groups.

Commenting on his appointment Martin said: ‘The Port of Milford Haven is a critical gateway for the UK economy. I am truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to play a leading role as Non-Executive Chairman. As the Port moves forward with exciting new developments I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and the executive team to ensure that it continues to be a safe and successful business delivering high quality infrastructure and services and generating growth and employment’.

The Port of Milford Haven is the UK’s top energy port and Wales’ busiest port handling around 20% of Britain’s seaborne trade in oil and gas. It is widely recognised in the industry as the energy capital of the UK. The Port, along with the cluster of energy-related businesses along the Waterway, is a key driver of economic activity in Pembrokeshire, attracting inward investment and supporting over 4,000 jobs.

Also owned and operated by the Port of Milford Haven are Pembroke Port and Milford Dock. Activities such as cargo handling, ferry operations, fish landing and cruise calls as well as operating a first class marina are spread across these two sites.

The Port of Milford Haven is a Trust port – an independent, commercially run organisation that has statutory responsibilities governed by its Acts, to maintain and improve navigation and the provision of Port and Harbour services and facilities. Additionally, the Port provides significant financial and in-kind support to a wide variety of local causes. All profits are retained within the business to fund these objectives.

Photo caption:

Chris Martin appointed as Chairman of the Port of Milford Haven
Added: 21 Jun 2017
On Wednesday 14th June, Julian Seaman, Harbour Master at Shoreham Port was elected President of the UK Harbour Masters’ Association (UKHMA) at its Annual General Meeting.

Julian became a member of UKHMA when he started his role as Harbour Master/Director of Marine Operations at Shoreham Port in 2009. Prior to being elected as President, Julian served as Vice President of the UKHMA for two years.

The UKHMA was formed in May 1993 at an inaugural meeting held at the University of Wales in Cardiff. The meeting, which was an extension to a series of technical briefings held by the University for the benefit of harbour masters, attracted 87 Founder Members from all areas of the British Isles.

The objectives of the Association are to encourage the safe and efficient conduct of marine operations in ports and promote the interests and professional competence of harbour masters.

Julian Seaman commented “It is an honour to be elected as President of the UKHMA. I look forward to the challenges the role will bring. There is great uncertainty in the UK at the moment with the current Brexit negotiations but I am confident that working together we will be able to provide clear guidance to our members and their organisations.”

President of the International Harbour Masters’ Association, Captain Kevin Richardson said “I offer my warmest congratulations on behalf of IHMA to Mr Julian Seaman on his election to President of the UKHMA. Julian has been a member of the IHMA since 2010 and I look forward to further close cooperation with the UKHMA with Julian at the helm particularly in the run-up to the 11th IHMA Congress to be held in London in 2018 where the UKHMA and its new President will have the opportunity to share their experience and expertise with harbour masters from around the world”.
Added: 21 Jun 2017
Australian maritime engineering company OMC International (OMC), a leader in real-time Under Keel Clearance (UKC) management, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a move to larger Melbourne headquarters.

Founder and Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien said OMC is hiring more staff to meet a growing domestic and international workload, a response to an increasing recognition of its DUKC® e-Nav technology as the industry standard for safe and efficient management of UKC in real-time.

DUKC® innovator Dr O’Brien pioneered his first system during six years of development and testing before it became operational at the coal export port of Hay Point, Queensland in March 1993. It was claimed to be the first dynamic UKC system worldwide and monitored the UKC of the ship until 12 hours before its departure from the berth. It delivered economic benefits of more than 30cm extra draft compared to the existing Static UKC rule for most sailings. Further system refinements since then have led to increased maximum draft, allowing more cargo to be loaded in favourable swell and tide conditions.

Dr O’Brien said: ‘In many cases, DUKC® enables large ships to sail up to one metre deeper than permitted by traditional and necessarily conservative Static rules. The concept of sailing with less water under the keel was and still is a concern for some Regulators but DUKC® is always safer than Static rules because OMC’s real-time technology considers all the dynamic variables in the UKC decision making.’

No other maritime organisation offers such a specific focus on the vertical dimension of UKC management, it has been claimed. DUKC® is operational in 22 ports and waterways and of these 11 operate the latest web-based DUKC® Series 5. In addition to the recent upgrade at Hay Point (fittingly the first DUKC® port) and an earlier commissioning of an upgrade for Geraldton, Series 5 has been rolled out to Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert and Dampier ports, Napier, Newcastle, Arrium Spencer Gulf, Whyalla, Geelong, Fremantle, Montreal-St Lawrence River, Port Hedland and Torres Strait (AMSA).

While maintaining safety is always OMC’s first concern, recent advances in its Series 5 systems have contributed to significant economic gains for its users, it is reported. For example, DPCM® (Dynamic Port Capacity Model) is an optional stand-alone capability to DUKC® Series 5 and helps maximise port throughput and channel capacity. The DPCM® has been applied at Port Hedland – the world’s largest bulk export port – and helped increase modelled port throughput by about 80mtpa* for a minimal investment. In a joint effort with Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA), OMC’s Series 5 system recently helped enable the largest ever iron ore shipment – 270,006 tonnes on the Fortescue Metals Group loaded ship HL Tubarao – to leave Port Hedland at a record sailing draft of 19.95 metres.

Meanwhile, at the smaller regional bulk port of Geelong, the Victorian Regional Channels Authority adopted DUKC® Series 5 in 2015 as a way of admitting larger ships with more cargo, without requiring any changes to the channel infrastructure. For one of the port’s shippers, Viva Energy, each extra 10cm in ship draft results in a saving of about $1 million a year. In February, DUKC® technology played a key role in helping GrainCorp set new tonnage records for its Geelong operations, thus improving the global competiveness of Victorian grains.

Looking ahead, Dr O’Brien said that as other companies start to enter the niche business of real-time UKC technology and make claims that they can deliver reliable and valid risk management, it is crucial that government and maritime safety authorities should benchmark any new proposal against the only proven UKC management system which has a significant long-term validity track record of no groundings.

O’Brien concluded by saying: ‘Our Australian technology is world’s best practice for modelling the critical vertical dimension of UKC. DUKC® has an unblemished 24-year record of safe sailings and there is a DUKC® assisted ship sailing somewhere in the world every hour.’

*million tons per annum

Picture caption:
Aerial shot of Port Hedland (which has an operational DUKC Series 5 system)

Photo reproduced by kind courtesy of OMC International©.
Added: 13 Jun 2017
Captain Eric Atkinson OAM, IHMA Past President 2012-2014, is awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for service to the maritime transport industry with effect from 12 June 2017.

Captain Atkinson served 10 years in the British Merchant navy, eight years in the Australian maritime offshore oil and gas industry, 10 years as a marine pilot in the Port of Fremantle and 20 years as Harbour Master at the Port of Fremantle, earning him the record for longest service in this role.

Captain Atkinson became a member of IHMA in 1994, served on the Executive Committee between 2006 and 2014 and was President of the Association between 2012 and 2014.

Prior to becoming President, Captain Atkinson was an active member of the Association who drew on the extensive knowledge and experience of members to promote improvements in safety. In 2005 Captain Atkinson requested information from IHMA members which was presented to the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment in IMO document DE 49/INF.7. This informed IMO document DE 49/8/1 Inspection and Survey Requirements for Accommodation Ladders submitted by Australia. Captain Atkinson also promoted this initiative with a presentation and paper at the IHMA’s Congress held in Malta in 2006.

Captain Atkinson was instrumental in bringing the IHMA’s biennial congress to Perth, Australia, 19-23 April 2010. Captain Atkinson was the driving force behind the congress’s success (despite the volcanic ash cloud disrupting travel arrangements).

As noted above Captain Atkinson became President of the Association in 2012 and used the two years of his presidency to actively promote the Association travelling regularly to Europe to attend meetings of the Executive Committee in person and to speak at conferences. Captain Atkinson’s presidency was notable for the introduction of discounted membership rates for IHMA members from countries listed in the lower half of the United Nations Human Development Index and also included the adoption of the IHMA’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018 at the 2014 Congress.

Captain Atkinson’s personal qualities of drive, determination, and warmth of personality, coupled with a passion for safety and enthusiasm for the role of the harbour master characterized his leadership of IHMA while he was President. Captain Atkinson continues to take an active interest in the Association and attended its recent congress held in Vancouver.
Added: 08 Jun 2017
Madrid Maersk 20,568 TEU

The largest container ship to call in North Europe so far has made its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe. This reported on 7 June.

The 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk, (illustrated) operated on the 2M NEU2 Asia to Europe service, arrived at the port with over 6,000 TEU for the UK loaded in China and Malaysia.

Commenting on the latest in a long line of record-breakers to call at the UK’s largest container port, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said: ‘The Port of Felixstowe is firmly established as the port of first-choice in the UK for the largest mega ships. We were the first in the UK to handle this latest class of vessel and continue to offer the widest and most frequent range of services on the major Asia – Europe trade.’

Built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the Madrid Maersk is 399 metres loa, with a beam of 58.6 metres and is the first of Maersk Line’s 2nd generation Triple-Es, known officially as the EEE Mark II. The original Triple-Es have been regular callers at Felixstowe since 2013. Delivery of the remaining 10 Triple-E Mark II’s is expected to take place between now and the middle of 2018.

Brian Godsafe, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Maersk Line added: ‘With this maiden call of Madrid Maersk, we have yet another opportunity to celebrate our good cooperation with the Port of Felixstowe. As the latest addition to our modern fleet, this new vessel continues our commitment to serve our customers around the world in an even more efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.’

The 2M service has called at Felixstowe since its inception in January 2015. In addition to its core members, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), capacity is also now offered on 2M sailings by Hamburg Sud and Hyundai Merchant Marine.
Added: 05 Jun 2017
Prinsendam will be the first call of the season on 6 June and the Port of Milford Haven is expecting a busy 2017 cruise season with five calls and over 2000 passengers.

Prinsendam, of the Holland America Line is 204m loa, last called at Milford Haven in 2015. This port call is between Guernsey and Liverpool as part of the vessel’s North European cruise.

Silver Explorer will call at Pembroke Port on 10 June. This Silversea Cruises vessel of 108m loa is a regular visitor to Pembrokeshire and will have made an overnight passage from the Isles of Scilly as part of its eleven-day Anglo-Celtic Islands in Spring tour then she will head for Waterford in Ireland on her departure from Wales.

A second call of the season from the Prinsendam is expected on 13 August as she makes her way to northern waters and the polar ice cap.

Two further calls are expected at Milford Haven later in the season with Ocean Majesty on 16 September and Europa on 21September.

Picture caption

Milford Haven’s first cruise call of the season will see Prinsendam on 6 June.
Added: 22 May 2017
Port authority launches new safe boating guide for Fraser River

2017 National Safe Boating Awareness Week 20-26 May

Currently running to 26 May is North American Safe Boating Awareness Week and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is reminding boaters to stay safe this boating season and to keep clear of port operations and commercial activity areas.

This includes activities in waterways around English Bay, First Narrows, Second Narrows, the Vancouver inner harbour, and the Fraser River.

As part of its safe boating awareness campaign, the port authority is offering a safe boating guide for recreational boaters navigating the Fraser River. The guide is similar to the safe boating guide released last year for the Burrard Inlet, but has a few key reminders that are unique to the Fraser River waters, including:

Tow operations: take extreme caution when passing, especially in narrow channels. Keep wake to a minimum and never cross between a tugboat and its tow.
Log booms: watch for log booms along the riverbank – they are not marked, are low in the water and difficult to see in low light.
Seaplane operations – Middle Arm: keep clear of aircraft landing and take-off area.

In the words of Chris Wellstood, Harbour Master and Director of Marine Operations and Security at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority: ‘Promoting safety on the water is something we take very seriously, which is why we created the new Fraser River safe boating guide, which highlights precautions that are unique to the river waters. It is important to know that a larger vessel cannot deviate from its course or come to a full stop in a short distance. Knowledge of safe boating practices and understanding your responsibilities on the water are key to ensuring your outing is enjoyable and safe.’

North American Safe Boating Awareness Week (SBAW) takes place across Canada from 20-26 May 2017. The purpose of Safe Boating Awareness Week is to promote safe boating practices to the estimated 16 million recreational boaters in Canada who head out in canoes and kayaks, sailboards and sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft and powerboats each season.

All vessels operating within Canada’s waterways are governed by the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and are subject to collision regulations. In addition, Canada’s Criminal Code also applies to boating. These laws ensure the waterways remain safe for all users.

The message is Help keep our waterways safe for yourself and others by ensuring you know the Rules of the Road before heading out on the water.

For more information readers are invited to visit:

There is also a Safe Boating Guide on pdf for the Port of Vancouver showing a map of the Fraser River and hazards with a Port Information Guide for localized practices and procedures at the Port of Vancouver.
Added: 01 May 2017
Don’t miss the report of the Navigating a Changing Climate conference held in Brussels, March 27-28.

A report of the conference ‘key messages’ on climate change mitigation and adaptation for ports and inland waterways can be found at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7BzhazI9p3-ZTdtZ1NzWURkSkk

This includes links to all the available abstracts, PowerPoint presentations, and video recordings from the conference.

IHMA President Capt Kevin Richardson (pictured) was conference co-chair.
Added: 19 Apr 2017
After an intensive ten-month review and upgrade of operating processes across the company, Gibdock has made the transition from ISO 9001:2008 to the new ISO 9001:2015 quality management standard, and from ISO 14001:2008 to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental standard. The Gibraltar yard has completed both transitions long in advance of the mandatory date of September 2018 set by ISO.

A Lloyds Register (LR) assessment team visited Gibdock in early April to carry out the external audit and verify compliance, shortly after receiving confirmation that the yard had achieved both the ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards and that its internal processes are fully integrated with the new guidelines.

Francis Mauro, Quality, health, safety and environment manager at Gibdock said: ‘As soon as the new standards were issued, we started work to ensure that we were compliant as early as possible. We were delighted to receive certification from LR and to hear that of all the businesses they have audited to date, Gibdock was considered one of the highest performing in quality management and environmental protection.’

The new standards bring significant changes and Mauro added: ‘In ISO 9001:2015 there is much greater emphasis on corporate responsibility in internal processes, rather than delegation, while on the environmental side the focus is to ensure that procedures and documentation span product lifecycle. That makes us responsible for ensuring traceability from the moment a product is sourced until its disposal.’

UK-based environmental, health and safety and sustainability consultant, Mabbett, assisted Gibdock in making the transition to the new regime. A seven-strong in-house team of auditors was also set up, three of whom were directors, to verify that changes were being made in accordance with the revised guidelines.

Furthermore, Mauro added: ‘We looked at all of the processes we carry out at Gibdock and assessed our suppliers and subcontractors comprehensively. Wherever we could, we have taken the opportunity to strengthen our quality control systems and introduced environmental improvements, ranging from LED lighting to solar panels, and enhanced waste segregation.

Gibdock believes that adhering to the new standards will have benefits for customers.

In conclusion Mauro said: ‘We now have better control and traceability within our procedures, which are documented throughout the chain of command. Many of our customers, especially those in the offshore sector, are especially demanding on documentation and traceability, but now we are ahead of the game and ready for any pre-project audits customers may require. We will be ready to go as soon as the new standards are issued. We expect this will be later in the year.’

It is understood that Gibdock is now turning its attention to adopting the new, but as yet unpublished ISO 45001 Health and Safety Management standard, to transition from the existing OHSAS* 18001 guidelines.

*Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series

Photo: Gibdock©.
Port of Felixstowe welcomes new North Europe Turkey Express servicePort of Felixstowe welcomes new North Europe Turkey Express service
Added: 11 Apr 2017
On England’s East Coast the Port of Felixstowe has welcomed the first call of a new service connecting North Europe and Turkey. Known as the North Europe Turkey Express (NET), the new weekly service is jointly operated by Cosco Shipping and OOCL.

First call for the new service was made at the UK’s largest container port on 8 April by the 1,924 TEU Delphis Finland.

Commenting on the inaugural call, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said:
‘This brand new service will further strengthen the comprehensive network of sailings available to shippers through the Port of Felixstowe. The port has provided important connections for trade with the Eastern Mediterranean region for many years and we are delighted to welcome the NET service as the newest addition to the route. The new NET container service provides UK importers and exporters with greater choice and frequency to an important and growing market.’

As well as calls at Felixstowe, the new service also calls at Hamburg, Antwerp, Piraeus, Istanbul-Ambarli (Kumport), Gebze (Yilport), Izmir and Salerno.

Cosco Shipping and OOCL are both members of the new Ocean Alliance which has chosen the Port of Felixstowe as the main UK hub for its main Europe to Asia services. The other members of the Ocean Alliance are Evergreen and CMA-CGM.

About the Port of Felixstowe
Port of Felixstowe (PFL) is strategically located on the UK’s east coast and within easy reach of major ports in North West continental Europe. As the UK’s first purpose-built container-handling facility, PFL is also the largest and busiest container port in the country. With three rail terminals, it also has the busiest and biggest intermodal rail freight facility in the UK. The latest phase of development, Berths 8&9, provides additional deep-water capacity for the world’s largest container ships.

About Hutchison Ports
PFL is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 48 ports spanning 25 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.

Picture caption
Delphis Finland making the first call at the Port of Felixstowe for the North Europe Turkey Express service of Cosco Shipping and OOCL.
Added: 06 Apr 2017
On 6 April the Port of Felixstowe reported that it has hosted a visit by the Department for International Trade’s Export Hub as part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign.

This vehicle-mounted Export Hub brings together advice and practical guidance for all businesses on how they can find customers overseas for their products and services.

Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said: ‘The Port of Felixstowe has more connections to more overseas destinations than any other UK port. As the country’s largest container port it is a key gateway allowing UK exporters to get their goods to a large number of overseas markets. The port has already featured as part of the (UK) Government’s GREAT campaign and we are delighted to extend the association through this latest initiative.’

Alan Pain, Regional Director for The Department for International Trade in the East of England, added: ‘We were delighted to bring the Export Hub to the Port of Felixstowe, the gateway to UK exporting. This is an excellent way to show businesses just how much demand there is out there for goods and services from this region, something from which many companies are already benefitting.

‘With hundreds of live opportunities available via www.great.gov.uk and the launch of a find-a-buyer service to match companies with worldwide demand, doing business overseas has also never been more straightforward.’

A range of exporters and potential importers were invited to the Hub where they received presentations on practical assistance for exporters from the Department for International Trade, Barclays Bank, Prettys Solicitors and the ETK Group which specialises in business support for Africa.

The Export Hub, which provides a flexible space for seminars and meetings, is touring England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the Government’s effort to encourage UK companies to export their products and services.

Picture caption
The Department for International Trade’s Export Hub at the Port of Felixstowe.
Added: 05 Apr 2017
Figures 2017 Q1
For the first quarter of 2017, the port of Ghent recorded a total cargo traffic of almost 14 million tonnes. That is by a large margin the best quarter ever, according to a report received on 5 April. With this, Ghent Port Company has seen its cargo traffic continue with the same fervour as in 2016, which was the best year ever.

With a total cargo traffic by seagoing and inland navigation of almost 14 million tonnes, Ghent registered nearly 10% more than in the first quarter of last year or an increase by 1.2 million tonnes. This is the best quarter ever for the overall transhipment by seagoing and inland navigation, it is reported.

In the first trimester, the port received 8% more seagoing vessels (a total of 775) than in the same period in 2016. For inland navigation, there was an increase of over 4% in the number of vessels (a total of 3,680) with a total tonnage that was 10% higher.

A record for seaborne cargo
In the first three months of 2017, with a total of 8.2 million tonnes, seaborne cargo traffic has improved by no less than 20% as compared to the same period of last year.

Inland navigation reached 5.6 million tonnes of cargo traffic. This is a decrease by 160,000 tonnes or by 2.7% as against the first quarter of last year.

Cargo categories by seagoing and inland navigation

For seaborne cargo traffic, iron ore, coal, scrap, rapeseed and dry fertilizers are the goods that are increasing in volumes shipped. Petroleum products are less.

Expressed in lane metres, ro-ro traffic experienced a growth by 20% to 530,000 lane metres. Conventional general cargo crosses the threshold of 1 million tonnes (+20%), mainly because of the increasing supplies of steel slabs.

The decrease in inland navigation is caused by the reduced transhipment of iron ore. This is however compensated by the increasing traffic of iron ore by sea. Maize, wheat, crude minerals and building materials on the other hand are doing very well, it is understood. This has delivered a good start to the year for container traffic by inland navigation: +20%, the third best quarter ever. This is the result of the further development of new inland navigation connections with Lille, Rotterdam, Zeeland Seaports and Antwerp.

Added: 29 Mar 2017
The IRIS ONEbox is launched in the UK to port and harbour authorities needing a cost effective turnkey solution that provides a feature rich VTMS system straight out the box

Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd. announces the launch of their IRIS ONEbox, which provides a cost-effective turnkey solution that allows ports of all levels to have access to the right tools for enhancing safety, security and risk mitigation capabilities.

For £30,000, port and harbour authorities are now able to implement a reliable, easy to use, feature rich, low maintenance turnkey VTMS solution. The system is efficiently installed by Marlan’s experienced team and includes a radar, camera, AIS, VTMS software, professional charts and an operator workstation.

“We’ve been selling similar systems to this for a long-time and realised that a significant amount of cost is attributable to the semi-bespoke nature of VTMS projects. Through market research and ongoing discussions with our customers, we have identified a gap in the market for a feature rich, cost effective turnkey VTMS solution that gives peace of mind to small and medium sized ports and harbours, hence our IRIS ONEbox solution” says Alex Sinclair, Managing Director. “We’ve worked with many ports and harbours in the UK and with this launch look forward to making our products accessible to those who previously thought that VTMS was too expensive.”
IRIS ONEbox is based on Marlan’s successful IRIS Traffic Manager VTS system, which has been installed in ports, harbours and maritime surveillance applications within the UK by our in house technical team and internationally through a network of overseas representatives.

About Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd:

Marlan Maritime Technologies creates high performance, cost-effective vessel traffic monitoring and management systems designed to help those responsible for port and harbours, coastal surveillance and offshore asset protection to achieve the safety, security and efficiency they need. Privately held and based in Liverpool, Marlan provides situational awareness solutions for maritime and marine-related industries. With their IRIS Radar and Vision platform at the heart of each system, their solutions are modular and scalable, and built for the long term.

To find out more about the IRIS ONEbox please visit: https://marlan-tech.co.uk
Added: 13 Mar 2017
In a joint effort with Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA), OMC International’s real-time DUKC® e-Navigation technology helped enable the largest ever iron ore shipment to leave Port Hedland (illustrated) at a record sailing draft of 19.95 metres, Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien AM said on 7 March.

Dr O’Brien said: ‘Under DUKC® advice a record 270,006 tonnes of iron ore left Port Hedland – the world’s largest bulk export port – on the Fortescue Metals Group loaded ship HL Tubarao on 1 March.

‘Our technology, which has been operating at Port Hedland for more than 20 years, safely allowed an increased draft of 0.70m over the traditionally conservative static rule, which meant an extra 12,000 tonnes of iron ore could be loaded.’

DUKC® technology, which is supported around the clock from OMCI’s Melbourne headquarters, has also assisted in enabling PPA to ship record iron ore bulk cargoes from Port Hedland in previous years. The largest ever single shipment of 270,006 tonnes of iron ore referred to exceeds the previous record set by the ship CSB Years in April 2015 which loaded a total cargo of 264,858 tonnes under DUKC® advice. It also beats the previous maximum sailing draft of 19.67 metres set by Abigail N in February 2015.

Dr O’Brien concluded by saying: ‘OMC is proud of this very productive working relationship with PPA and our joint efforts to find innovative working solutions to safely deliver economic and efficiency benefits when favourable conditions allow deeper drafts and/or extended tidal windows at Port Hedland.’
Added: 21 Feb 2017
Captain Allan Gray, IHMA Vice President and Harbour Master, Port of Fremantle, gave a keynote presentation at the opening of a Workshop on Common Phraseology and Procedures for VTS Communications held by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in association with the Directorate General of Sea Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, Indonesia.

Capt Gray explained that VTS is a primary risk mitigation for the Harbourmaster, it provides more than a conduit for simple information messages and forms the core of situational awareness within the port environment. It must engage with all port users to ensure a clear picture is shared by all. This shared picture requires clear unambiguous open air communications. Common phraseology may deal with simple information but can it deal with the transfer of technical information in an emergency situation? It must therefore go beyond just the VTS and be applicable to all port users.

Captain Gray also visited the Port of Benoa, Bali, where he met the port team as shown.
Added: 09 Jan 2017
Special summit: The Harbour Master of Germany’s largest seaport discusses future prospects on the river Elbe with one of his most important customers

In this joint interview, Jörg Pollmann, Harbour Master of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), and Gerd Rohden, Director Marine Operations at Hapag-Lloyd, discuss the challenges currently faced by the Port of Hamburg. Both are unanimous in arguing for the next fairway adjustment and explaining what it would mean for the shipping industry: Making the fairway a metre deeper could result in saving up to 12 hours in time, handling 10,000 more tonnes of cargo and better adherence to schedules.

What is your assessment of the traffic situation in the Port of Hamburg?


The time frame in which large ships with a lot of draught can call at and leave Hamburg currently stands at 1.5 hours. As a result of the fairway adjustment, the time frame will be bigger for these ships, and even bigger draughts will be possible. So, for us, it’s very important that we are finally able to start with the adjustment of the fairway on the Elbe. This would allow for a much better economic use of the Port of Hamburg. In addition to making the channel deeper, it is also about widening it by 20 metres to create more room on the Elbe. Plans also call for an additional “meeting box,” with a width of 385 metres, to be created on the state border of Hamburg, where ships of every size could safely pass though. With it, we could handle the traffic much more fluidly – and shipping on the Elbe would become even safer, too.


Hapag-Lloyd wholeheartedly agrees with this appraisal. At the moment, we’re in a situation in which we have to hit this time frame very precisely. Even a single minor delay in the outer harbour can already have serious consequences. Then we have to wait about 12 hours for the next high tide. You can hardly make up for this kind of delay. For us, one more metre of depth would also mean that we could transport a lot more cargo. On a ship of the 13,000 TEU class, that is easily 10,000 tonnes or more that we could carry in addition. That’s a massive cost factor.

Before the dredging can begin, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) has to decide on the legal complaints of the environmental associations. How optimistic are you that the court will give the “green light”?


I’m a seaman and, as such, a born optimist. But seafarers are also pragmatists. For several years, the HPA has been preparing the fairway expansion in close cooperation with the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration. We have done all of the planning in an extremely thorough manner. In addition to traffic interests, we have always focused on the unconditional maintenance of flood protection and the widespread avoidance of environmental damage. For this reason alone, we have submitted one of the most comprehensive environmental impact assessments that has ever been carried out for a major infrastructure project in Germany. We are very well prepared. For this reason, there are strong indications, in my opinion, that the BVerwG will decide in our favour at the end of 2016, and that we’ll then be able to get started.

Are there any alternatives to making the Elbe deeper? For example, why not use two smaller ships instead of a very big one?


Because a big ship is much cheaper than two small ones. That’s just a simple calculation. If Hamburg wants to keep up, the port and its infrastructure will also have to continue growing. However, at Hapag-Lloyd, we also believe that the massive growth in ships has probably slowly exhausted itself by now. If the ships get any bigger, we will reduce the number of ports we can still call at. But we want to directly service as many ports as we can in order to save time and reloading costs.

If you’re already sailing with such large ships, why not just call at a port right on the coast rather than at Hamburg? In nautical terms, that would be a lot easier than taking the roughly 100-kilometre trip up the Elbe.


It’s not enough that a port is easy to reach from the sea. Getting things to and from it on land have to be right, too. In any case, a large part of the cargo in Hamburg remains in the metropolitan region. And the onward connections are very good. We are Europe’s largest railway port. By train, we get the goods very quickly into the distribution centres in southern Germany, Poland, Austria and elsewhere. What is most important is that the loading in the port is in time and that it gets back out of the port in time.


Hamburg simply has an unbeatably favourable location. With our big ships, we bring huge amounts of cargo here and then deep into the hinterland. For example, with a single large ship, we can carry 6,000 containers from Cuxhaven to Hamburg in seven hours. As an alternative, we could transship this cargo in Cuxhaven or elsewhere onto smaller ships, trains or trucks. But the reloading alone would take two hours. And then the containers would have to be transported onward. Apart from the fact that the infrastructure might not even exist, depending on weight, you might get 50 containers on one train.

Picture caption

Captain Jörg Pollmann (background) is Harbour Master of the Port of Hamburg. This interview took place in his office at the Hamburg Port Authority
Added: 21 Dec 2016
The Port Authority of New South Wales has awarded Saab a contract to implement a new KleinPilot pilot dispatch application for Sydney Harbour and Port Botany.

The new KleinPilot system will be used by Port staff to more efficiently manage the dispatch of the pilots in the two ports and streamline communications with the pilots.

KleinPilot is based on Saab’s state-of-the-art N-Tier management information system platform and will include the following features and functionality:
- Web-based interface to facilitate easy user access and deployment;
- KleinMobile iPhone application to allow pilots to receive assignments, record job information and submit time cards on their mobile device.

The system will be hosted and maintained by Saab and is scheduled to commence use in live production by May 2017.

Port Authority of New South Wales works to ensure the consistent, reliable and safe movement of cargo and passenger vessels through Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay and the ports of Newcastle, Port Kembla, Yamba and Eden, while providing immediate and appropriate responses to safety and environmental incidents.

KleinPilot is a product of the Maritime Traffic Management product area of Saab, a leading provider of Maritime Enterprise Software and Commercial member of IHMA. Contact Charles Paterson for more information cpaterson@kleinsystems.com saab.com/maritime
Added: 20 Dec 2016
Think Climate Coalition: international climate change conference

The PIANC-led Think Climate Coalition announced on 20 December a major international climate change conference dedicated to the interests of waterborne transport infrastructure owners, operators and users.

The event will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Brussels, Belgium on 27/28 March, 2017.

Registration for the Navigating a Changing Climate Conference is now open and the link is to be found at: http://www.pianc.org/edits/climatechangeconference.htm where registration can be achieved.

More information can be found in the flyer available nearby in pdf form.

Climate change is an important and growing focus of attention. The Paris Agreement on climate change, which came into force on 4 November 2016, is an ambitious international agreement that aims to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. Coming years are likely to see massive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move to low carbon solutions across all sectors: navigation infrastructure is no exception. Notwithstanding the Paris Agreement, however, it is also widely agreed that continuing change in certain climate parameters is now unavoidable. Resilience will need to be strengthened and waterborne transport infrastructure will need to adapt.
Attached File: CC CONF REG FLYER PIANC.pdf
Added: 25 Nov 2016
On England’s East Coast Harwich International Port (illustrated) has been awarded Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The port’s authorisation recognises the high standards achieved and maintained in relation to the movement of goods and the application of Customs procedures.

AEO status is an internationally recognised quality mark indicating that an operator’s role in the international supply chain is secure, and that its customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.

Commenting on the designation, Daren Taylor, General Manager of Harwich International Port, said: ‘The AEO application procedure is extremely thorough and this certification provides an assurance to shippers that procedures at Harwich are of the highest standard. AEO accreditation can help simplify administrative procedures for goods being moved internationally and helps remove risk from supply chains.’

The AEO regime operates under the EU’s Union Customs Code and is administered in the UK by HMRC. AEO status gives quicker access to certain simplified customs procedures and in some cases the right to fast-track shipments through some customs procedures.

The achievement by Harwich International Port follows its sister port at Felixstowe which was the first UK port to receive full AEO status in September 2014.

About Harwich International Port

Harwich International Port (HWH) is one of the UK’s leading multi-purpose freight and passenger ports, with excellent road and rail links to the Midlands, London and the South East. It is ideally located for North Sea freight and passenger traffic to and from Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, offering first class ro-ro, ferry, cruise, container and bulk operations as well as support services for the offshore renewable energy industry.

HWH is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is an investor, developer and operator with a network of operations in 48 ports spanning 25 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.
Added: 21 Nov 2016

OMC International and its new alliance partner MetOcean Solutions announced on 21 November the launch of three new products to help ports and harbours manage under-keel clearance (UKC), the mooring of berthed ships, and weather-related risks.

OMC International’s CEO Peter O’Brien said: ‘These are products that we have had on the drawing board for a number of years in response to customer requests, and our alliance with MetOcean Solutions has helped provide the momentum and support to bring them to market.

‘We are offering these products alongside our flagship DUKC® to assist a wider range of ports and harbours, both in our home markets of Australia and New Zealand as well as internationally.’

The new products are:

• KeelCheck, a simple calculator which helps ports which have not made the step to DUKC® assess the safe clearance of their traditional UKC rules.

• PortWeather, an integrated environmental data management system which will attach to ports’ existing sensors and provide measurements and port-specific forecast data to displays in the port and internet-connected mobile devices.

• BerthAlert, a comprehensive forecasting and monitoring solution for berthed ships.

O’Brien added: ‘We are also providing a number of free online calculators which will help ports and mariners more critically evaluate their traditional UKC practices and make better-informed sailing decisions.

‘Our aim in releasing these new products is to introduce some of the technology and expertise we have built up over 23 years with DUKC® and Berth Warning Systems to a wider range of clients. We look forward to feedback from our customers to ensure the new products satisfy the needs of a wide range of ports.’

For more details of the expanded product range, or to sign up for a free account to trial KeelCheck and PortWeather, readers are invited to visit OMC’s website at http://omcinternational.com/

On 3 October 2016, Melbourne firm OMC International announced it had signed a strategic alliance agreement with New Zealand-based MetOcean Solutions to coordinate research and development efforts and offer an expanded level of maritime forecasting and hydrodynamic services to port and harbour clients.

Added: 18 Nov 2016
Defence and security company Saab has deployed its first Common Operating Picture (COP): an extension of Saab’s KleinPort port management information system (PMIS) that makes ports more efficient and competitive.

As of November 1st 2016, Flinders Ports in Australia began live utilization of the KleinPort COP. KleinPort COP gives all authorized port stakeholders an easily accessible, map-based overview of their port. The information is layered to allow users to select only the data relevant to their area of responsibility. Business staff get a high-level port overview and operations staff can execute routine tasks directly from the COP user interface. From a security and safety perspective, this data can be viewed in real-time by all
parties involved, allowing for response coordination through one common view in the event of an incident.

The Common Operating Picture couples the latest developments in Geographical Information System (GIS) technology with sophisticated KleinPort data to create its port overview interface. Data including detailed cargo information, vessel locations, vessel visit details, AIS transponder data, and emergency response vessel locations are just some examples of what can be shared and dynamically updated in COP.

The Common Operating Picture is an upgrade to the KleinPort port management information system that was previously deployed for Flinders Ports. Flinders are currently using KleinPort to manage and track vessel operations, property, and cargo as well as to generate billing and execute reporting at seven different ports. Flinders also uses KleinMobile, Saab’s mobile pilot application, to communicate pilot orders and receive completed job reports.

"The Common Operating Picture gives us a seamless view of both land and sea operations. The technology’s in-built efficiencies have already boosted productivity and support our safety focus", says Captain Carl Kavina, General Manager, Marine Operations, Flinders Ports.

Flinders Ports is South Australia’s leading port operator, and has been a KleinPort customer since 2004. In addition to the seven ports that they operate, Flinders owns and operates the container terminal in place at Port Adelaide. KleinPort Common Operating Picture is a product of the Maritime Traffic Management product area within Saab business area Surveillance, a leading provider of Maritime Enterprise Software.
Added: 12 Nov 2016
On 9 November Bremenports GmbH & Co was awarded the ESPO Award 2016 in recognition of its strategies in safeguarding and further upgrading the nature and ecosystem in the port area (on land and/or waterside). The ESPO Award was presented by the Director General of DG MOVE**, Henrik Hololei, during a ceremony at the Egmont Palace in Brussels.

Looking back at the selection process in this eighth in a series of the ESPO Awards, the Chairman of the Jury, Pat Cox, said: “All the projects are good examples of port development combined with an ecological consciousness. In the jury’s assessment process of the nature conservation and enhancement programmes of the competing ports we looked to law and regulation for guidance but beyond the law also for a deeper sense of conviction, values and commitment.”

Cox further commented that every port entry is a winner when a port commits to combining economic and operational activities with the protection of its natural environment and the opening up of that resource to its host society and users.

The theme of this year’s ESPO Award was Nature in Ports.

Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG won the 2016 Award for its project, Luneplate, which is the first project to implement large and varied tidal habitats behind the main dyke in connection with a special flood barrage. The project is an excellent example of an integrated approach combining economy and ecology, bringing world port development requests together with the needs of a very sensitive environment, that is to say the UNESCO World Heritage Area Wadden Sea.

On the basis of intensive stakeholder communications, a sustainable solution has been created that will also be successful under the conditions of climate change.

Intensive monitoring stated the effective implementation, it is understood. The comprehensive visitors’ concept opens the area to the public and provides transparent information. Last but not least, the Luneplate project is an example of organisational changes to a better societal integration of ports.

Reflecting more specifically on the Bremenports project, the Chairman of the Jury said: ‘The Luneplate project has managed to turn the negative environmental impact caused by several former port extensions and infrastructure projects in Bremerhaven into actions ensuring both environmental aspects and social needs. In the Port of Bremen, nature protection goes hand in hand with economic development.’

The ESPO Award 2016 saw eleven projects from ports from all over Europe compete for the prize.

Bremenports GmbH & Co. KG beat shortlisted projects from the ports of Cartagena, Dunkirk, Guadeloupe and Riga.

Picture caption
Bremen’s Luneplate project stands for commitment to biodiversity, for active involvement of the interests of the local public, local farmers and nature protection NGOs in line with the economic interests of the port.

*European Sea Ports Organisation.
**The EU Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport.
Added: 06 Oct 2016
On 4 October it was reported from Barcelona that the Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST), a subsidiary of Hutchison Ports, and the Port of Barcelona and Merlin Properties’ intermodal logistics platform, Logistics Activity Zone (ZAL Port), had signed an agreement to optimise and reduce supply chain costs.

ZAL Ports is located adjacent to BEST, reportedly one of Southern Europe’s most advanced deep-sea ports, and offers the possibility of setting up logistic centres with easy access to an extensive network of highways that connect to the main Spanish cities and others elsewhere in Europe, to three freight railway stations, and situated just six kilometres from the cargo centre at Barcelona El Prat International Airport. This combination makes the area an essential logistic node for South and Central Europe.

Guillermo Belcastro, CEO of BEST, (pictured, left) said, ‘This cooperation agreement is a game-changer and will allow logistic operators to find the most cost effective, efficient and reliable supply chains. We believe that the combination of BEST and ZAL will bring real value to the market and enhance Barcelona’s position as the main gateway to Southern Europe for Far East traffic.’

Alfonso Martinez, CEO of ZAL Port, (pictured, right) said, ‘This cooperation will allow the logistics market to grow, bringing the port new clients with new freight, giving them a complete solution for their logistics chain, creating value through exclusive and unique logistics offerings.’

Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) is the first semi-automated terminal of Hutchison Ports and the most technologically advanced port development project in Spain, it is claimed. It is capable of serving a number of large container vessels simultaneously and has an eight-track railway facility, said to be the biggest on-dock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean, connecting it to traffic coming from, and destined for, Southern Europe.

ZAL Port has been described as the most important logistics platform in the Mediterranean. Through promoting the integration of transport and distribution activities, it aims to attract maritime traffic with valuable logistic services.

BEST is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is one of the world’s leading port investors, developers and operators with a network of port operations in 48 ports spanning 25 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transport-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.

About CILSA-ZAL in the Port of Barcelona

CILSA (Centro Intermodal de Logística, S.A) is the company that manages the port concession in the Logistics Activity Zone (ZAL Port) in the Port of Barcelona. CILSA is 63% owned by the Barcelona Port Authority, 32% by MERLIN Properties and 5% by SEPES, Entidad Pública Empresarial de Suelo (Public Enterprise for Land under the Ministry of Development).

Today, CILSA manages 212 hectares (ha) located in the municipalities of Barcelona (69 ha), in Prat de Llobregat (143 ha) plus 27 new hectares located in the CZFB, and has a total of 403,280 square metres of logistic warehouses built on-site in the ZAL Port including an office building of 11,254 square metres known as the Service Center. In addition, CILSA has granted leases to clients who have built industrial units on some 232.000 square metres, setting up a logistics park of 635,000 square metres, a pioneer in Spain in this type of development.

The ZAL Port, with this new surface leased to the CZF, makes 565,000 m2 of net land in total available on which more than 350.000 m2 of new logistic units can be built, which allows them to offer flexibility to the clients and meet any type of logistic requirement.
Added: 03 Oct 2016
Melbourne firm OMC International has signed a strategic alliance agreement with New Zealand-based MetOcean Solutions to coordinate research and development efforts and offer an expanded level of maritime forecasting and hydrodynamic services to port and harbour clients,

CEO Peter O’Brien said on 3 October: ‘We are very pleased to announce that we have agreed to align our ongoing research and development efforts to maximise the benefits of our respective technologies to our clients.

‘Over the years we have come to recognise MetOcean Solutions as a world-leader in providing port-specific environmental models and forecasts of waves, tides and currents, and these are already inputs into our DUKC® systems at several of our client ports.

‘Accurate weather forecasts and experience applying those forecasts to operational decision making in ports and harbours are critical components of OMC International’s unique reputation for safe and efficient Under Keel Clearance (UKC) management.

‘The recent successful implementation of a DUKC® system at the Port of Geelong is a good example of the value of the alliance in producing an optimum outcome for the client. OMC International and MetOcean Solutions provide their respective services and the port’s client, Viva Energy, benefits by saving around $3 million per year in reduced shipping costs. Aligning our research and development efforts will help OMC extract additional economic benefits for our clients.

‘At OMC we pride ourselves on the close and long-lasting relationships we have built with ports and harbours around the world and continuing to offer the highest levels of service to OMC International’s operational customers remains our top priority. However, we are pleased to be able to offer both our existing and new clients the additional services available through our strategic alliance with MetOcean Solutions.’

Combined, OMC International and MetOcean Solutions employ more than 80 staff, including engineers, naval architects, scientists and software developers. In addition, the alliance will receive support from MetraWeather, the international brand of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand, which is a 49% shareholder in MetOcean Solutions. MetraWeather have offices in Sydney, the UK, Southeast Asia and New Zealand and employs more than 240 staff.
Maritime engineering firm OMC International, founded in 1987 by Executive Director Dr Terry O’Brien AM, is the recognised world-leader in real-time UKC management technology. OMC’s innovative maritime technology, which enjoys an unblemished 23 year safety record, continues to win international accolades, including the prestigious IBJ ‘Safety in Bulk Handling’ (Marine) Award in 2015.

Picture caption:
A tanker with OMC engineers on board heading into the port of Geelong.

Photo: OMC©.
Added: 22 Sep 2016
Euroports, one of the largest port companies in Europe, is investing €10 million in a new hangar at the port of Ghent’s Sifferdok. As a result, by mid-2017 its storage capacity will increase twofold to 85,000 metric tonnes. The new hangars will be deeper and taller it is understood, and this increase in scale will allow Euroports to serve its customers faster and with greater flexibility. The new hangar will be built on the site of the prominently visible pink and blue-painted hangars (illustrated), which are due to be demolished in September marking the end of one of the port’s most iconic landmarks.

The land that Ghent Port Company is leasing to Euroports has been increased by two hectares to cover just over seven hectares. The Port Company not only aims to attract new businesses, it also wishes to support existing companies and encourage them to continue investing at the port of Ghent.

Colourful hangars as a landmark
The conspicuous blue and pink-painted hangars at the Sifferdok cannot possibly have escaped the notice of anyone who has ever taken a boat tour of the port of Ghent. In fact, the Euroports hangars were painted in these colours back in 1979, with the stylised waves creating a visual connection with the water.

This month the obsolete hangars – an art project initiated by André Reyniers – will be torn down. Reyniers, the head of what was then Reyniers Frères & Sogama (the current Euroports), hit upon the idea at the time. He had noticed how corporate buildings in the Port of Göteborg were being brightened up with various colours and motifs. His idea became a reality thanks to two art students in Ghent: Patrick Lefebure (now at Archipl Architects) and Pieter Claerhout (now at Claerhout Communicatiehuis) wanted to make the world more attractive, paint it in bright colours and combat greyness with imagination.

In addition to this, they wanted their design to serve as a landmark: ships approaching the port would be able to steer just as easily towards these orientation points as towards impersonal port numbers. Together with some of their fellow students, they spent the 1979 summer holidays providing the hangars with ‘colour and rhythm’ using 17,000 litres of paint. Their work was festively inaugurated on 28 September 1979.

Ghent as part of the European network
Although the port of Ghent can boast a rich mix of activities, it has traditionally always been a bulk port. In fact, Ghent has been Belgium’s largest dry bulk port for several years in a row. In 2015, for example, 16.7 million tonnes of dry bulk (including fertilisers and minerals) passed through the port, and in this connection dry bulk accounts for almost two thirds of the maritime shipping volume.

Ghent is a key player in Euroports’ European network of bulk terminals, and in 2015 it invested in a new crane at the port. The investment in the new bulk hangar is a logical next step for further growth in this sector. Moreover, the Port of Ghent has excellent connections to inland shipping routes, enabling customers to achieve considerable savings.

New hangars to become operational in mid-2017
Euroports also intends to store bulk goods, such as chemical fertilisers and minerals, in the new hangars. These will then be brought to their final destination by ship, train or heavy goods vehicle. In addition to storage, Euroports will now be offering sieving and bagging services. These new hangars will become operational in mid-2017.

About Euroports Belgium
Euroports is one of the largest port companies in Europe, handling approximately 50 million tonnes of dry bulk and cargo every year. Through a network of 22 port terminals in Europe and three in China, complemented by an extensive portfolio of logistics services such as transport, shipping and added-value activities,
Added: 21 Jun 2016
IHMA, the International Harbour Masters’ Association, celebrated its 20th anniversary at its congress in Vancouver where more than 100 delegates gathered from 30 May to 2 June 2016 to consider the theme of port expansion. This meeting was supported by an extensive industry exhibition.

Keynote presentations at the congress included the expanding role of VTS and the impact of e-Navigation from the Secretary-General of IALA-AISM, Mr Francis Zachariae, with the e-navigation theme also reflected by Captain Simon Pelletier, President of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association, who spoke about megaships and advanced pilot technology.

The origins of the International Harbour Masters’ Association can be traced back to the 1950s when harbour masters of the major ports of north west Europe began to meet regularly. Despite working in ports of diverse scale and operation, there was a strong thread of common purpose and a view that their shared interests could be developed for the benefit of all. The European Harbour Masters’ Association (EHMA) was established in 1985.

Agreement to work towards an international association led to the inauguration of the IHMA on 21 June 2006 with Captain H-J Roos, harbour master of the port of Bremen, elected as first President of IHMA.

Reflecting on the past 20 years, IHMA’s President, Captain Kevin Richardson (formerly Chief Harbour Master Dover), recognised a debt of gratitude to IHMA’s founding members and how the role of the harbour master has expanded and evolved.

Captain Richardson said: ‘The role of the harbour master is no longer a purely technical role, it much wider than that and today harbour masters must be commercially astute, strategically focused, business aware and risk averse.

‘At our tenth biennial congress in Vancouver as we tackled the theme of ‘port expansion; the challenges’, we considered models for port infrastructure development, port amalgamation, climate change considerations for port infrastructure, the latest on dynamic under-keel clearance and the recurring theme of social acceptance. Port expansion affects people and communities, and the efforts of ports and harbours to engage with and work with their local communities is high on the harbour master’s agenda. This was very well illustrated in Vancouver where case studies demonstrated just how important social acceptance has become when dealing with port expansion and how harbour masters and harbour authorities must now invest considerable time and money consulting with port and local communities affected or potentially affected by changes to port infrastructure or trade.

‘Many of the subjects under discussion at the IHMA’s inaugural meeting twenty years ago remain on our agenda today including the relentless advance of maritime technology and the availability and training of port marine personnel. We have made progress on the latter through the development of the International Diploma for Harbour Masters and the UK’s Harbour Master Certificate, with continuous professional development for harbour masters also discussed in Vancouver. But this is unfinished business. Our founding members resolved to develop and draft an International Standard on Training and Certification of Port Marine Personnel with the aim that it should be adopted at the International Maritime Organization. The international recognition of the role of the harbour master and their knowledge and skills is a challenge to which we should now return if the role and its contribution to the success of a port business is to be fully developed and recognised.’
Added: 28 May 2016
It was announced from Houston, Texas, on 26 May that Tideland Signal Corporation, now part of Xylem, had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Julius Signal, extending the company’s extensive portfolio of marine and offshore aids to navigation offerings.

Julius Signal originated from Pintsch Aben’s marine and aviation signalisation business, a company with a long heritage of expertise and innovation in aids to navigation aids traced back to the original founder Julius Pintsch over 150 years ago.

This acquisition adds a diverse product portfolio, expanded market access and a great team to Tideland Signal, it is reported. In addition to a strong market position in Julius Signal’s home market of Germany, the company has long enjoyed an extensive international presence.

Julius Signal’s product portfolio includes a wide array of marine aids to navigation products, highly complementary to Tideland Signal’s product list, and extends its capabilities with hazard warnings, marking of offshore wind installations and inland waterway aids to navigation including lock signalling and navigation signage.

Said Matt Scheuing, Tideland’s Managing Director: ‘We are pleased to have Julius Signal join the global Tideland Signal team. Following on the recent acquisition of IMT, and now with the global backing of Xylem, we are in a position to serve our ocean and coastal customers with a broader array of Aids to Navigation solutions.’

About Tideland
Founded in 1954, Tideland Signal delivers world leading aids to navigation products, services and customer care, with innovation, safety and compliance. This mission is accomplished with offices in the USA, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, Dubai and Canada. Tideland’s customer base includes coast guards, navies, ports and harbours, offshore oil and gas companies, and marine authorities.

About Xylem Analytics
Xylem’s analytics businesses are leading manufacturers of premium field, portable, laboratory and online analytical instruments used in water and wastewater, environmental, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and life science applications. The company’s meters, sensors, analyzers and related consumables are used every day by thousands of end-users worldwide to analyze and control quality in countless applications where precise measurement is required.

The company does business in more than 150 countries through a number of product brands.

The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting its water-centric business.
Added: 14 Dec 2015
After announcement of potential acquisition of NOL by CMA CGM in week commencing 6 December it was reported by Hapag-Lloyd on 11 December that the current G6 Alliance service structure will remain stable. The G6 Alliance members are: APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line. (The accompanying illustration is of mv Antwerpen Express, one of the biggest Hapag-Lloyd ships and seen here on the Elbe outside Hamburg).

On 7 December 2015, Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), parent company of G6 Alliance member APL, announced the potential acquisition of NOL by CMA CGM. This transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Until there is further development, the G6 Alliance assures that its current service structure will remain stable, and expects to operate as aligned through 2016.

Members of the G6 Alliance stay committed in offering reliable shipping services that meet the needs of customers. The G6 Alliance will make further announcements should there be any development.

Added: 14 Dec 2015
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which has represented global ship operators throughout the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, has commented on the latest draft UNFCCC* text which – although still not finalised – currently contains no explicit reference to international shipping (or aviation). This is understood from a communiqué issued by ICS on 10 December, two working days before the final day of the conference.

ICS says it would be helpful for the new agreement to reiterate the vital role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the development of further measures to reduce shipping’s CO2 emissions. This would give extra encouragement to build on the global regulations IMO has already successfully adopted and which should reduce CO2 per tonne-km 50% by 2050. However, the absence of text is unlikely to inhibit the aspirations of governments – which are shared by the industry – for IMO to take further action.

Said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe (pictured here): ‘While text on shipping could be useful, the negotiators are now having to focus on the really high level things like climate finance to ensure the overall agreement is a success, which is what everyone wants’.

Virtually all UNFCCC Parties and IMO Member States have made clear that they expect the industry to deliver more, and that work on CO2 reduction must continue at IMO, as set out in the original Kyoto Protocol.

In 2016, work will continue at IMO to finalise the adoption of global CO2 reporting systems for ships as the first step in a process that is expected to lead to additional actions that could include a Market Based Measure (MBM).

In addition, IMO has already agreed to have a discussion about CO2 targets for international shipping, as requested by the Marshall Islands and supported by the European Union. IMO, with its specialist expertise, is the best forum in which to have this important debate and ICS will participate constructively, it was announced on 10 December.

‘The message from Paris is clear,’ added Hinchliffe who continued: ‘Governments and society expect international shipping to play a full part in the reduction of CO2 and we accept our responsibility to do this. We already have ambitious CO2 reduction goals consistent with what is currently possible. As soon as our member national shipowners’ associations have digested the full implications of the final UNFCCC agreement, ICS will be proactive with ideas for debate at IMO next year.’

*United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

About the ICS
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the global trade association for merchant shipowners. Its membership comprises national shipowners’ associations from 37 countries representing more than 80% of the world merchant fleet.
Added: 14 Dec 2015
IHMA was represented by Anne Carnegie, Secretary General, at the COP 21 Transport Day on 6 December at which the PIANC-led climate coalition was launched both in a break-out group and in a short statement to the plenary session, along with other initiatives. Much effort has been put into the development of a ‘Navigating a Changing Climate’ action plan.

This PIANC-led coalition is about adaptation, resilience and decarbonising port and inland water transport infrastructure.

At COP 21 in Paris a group of 400 participants from the public and private sectors gathered with a common interest to raise the profile of transport. Without doubt the event was an opportunity for delegates to learn and exchange views with other participants and speakers about the actions the sector needs to undertake on Transport and Climate Change.

As the COP 21 negotiations drew to a close it was noted that the draft text of the global climate agreement was anticipated as ambitious and will be able to empower the transport sector to actively contribute to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change in coming years.

The nearby pdf to this posting contains a report for Transport Day with a summary of what was shared in the plenary and breakout sessions. It is understood that most of the presentations made have been uploaded on www.transportday.org
Attached File: COP21 Transport Day Report.pdf
Added: 09 Dec 2015
It was announced simultaneously in Singapore and Marseille on 7 December that CMA CGM has made a pre-conditional voluntary general cash offer for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), south east Asia’s largest container shipping company subject to the satisfaction of specified pre-conditions. It is understood that NOL’s majority shareholders (Temasek and its affiliates) have irrevocably undertaken to tender all of their shares in acceptance of the offer.

Commenting on this transaction, Rodolphe Saadé, Vice-Chairman of CMA CGM, said: ‘This transaction will represent a significant milestone in the development of CMA CGM. Leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies, CMA CGM will further reinforce its position as a leader in global shipping with combined revenue of US$ 22 billion and 563 vessels. By bringing together the knowhow of both teams, the enlarged group will be even better positioned to provide premium services to its customers across all markets. At a time when the shipping industry is facing strong headwinds, scale is more critical than ever to capitalize on synergies and capture growth opportunities wherever they arise. I firmly believe CMA CGM will enable NOL to address the industry’s new challenges. We recognise the strategic importance of Singapore as a key hub for the maritime industry and we are committed to reinforcing its regional leadership.’

Ng Yat Chung, CEO of NOL, commented: ‘The combined market presence delivered by the transaction would achieve the scale needed to enhance competitiveness for NOL’s operations and offer a clear and sustainable long term direction for the combined entity. The transaction would enable NOL to grow as part of a larger entity with the resources of the world’s third largest container shipping line.’

Tan Chong Lee, Head Portfolio Management at Temasek, added: ‘We are supportive of this transaction as it presents NOL with an opportunity to join a leading player with an extensive global presence and solid operational track record. The combination of NOL and CMA CGM will create a leading shipping company that delivers reliable and efficient service to its customers. Their complementary strengths will yield mutually beneficial results. We also note and welcome the commitment of CMA CGM to enhance Singapore’s position as a key maritime hub and grow Singapore’s container throughput volumes.’

Created in 1978 by Jacques Saadé, CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container shipping firm, with 469 vessels and a global market share of 8.8%. In 2014, the Group handled over 12 million TEU and generated US$ 16.74 billion in revenues. A founding member of the Ocean Three Alliance with UASC and CSCL, CMA CGM is present across 160 countries, with 22,000 employees in 655 offices, and has a fleet capacity of 1,781 thousand TEU.

NOL is a leading shipping company operating under the American President Lines (APL) brand. In 2014, the company’s revenues reached US$ 7.04 billion. Currently, NOL has more than 7,400 employees in 180 offices across more than 80 countries and operates 94 vessels, representing 618 thousand TEU in fleet capacity.

This acquisition if it proceeds would enable CMA CGM to reinforce its position in the container shipping industry, and achieve the following: capacity of 2,399 thousand TEU and combined fleet of 563 vessels with market share of approximately 11.5% (versus 8.8% for CMA CGM and 2.7% for NOL) combined turnover of circa US$ 22 billion.

CMA CGM has a leading position on the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Africa and Latin America routes, whilst APL is strong along the transpacific, intra-Asia and Indian subcontinent shipping routes. The enlarged entity will strengthen its position on strategic shipping routes, especially in key markets such as United States, intra-Asia and Japan, and will boast a balanced trade portfolio. Following the transaction, the combined group would hold market shares from 7% to 19% on the routes on which it operates.

Picture caption:
CMA CGM Marco Polo.
Added: 07 Dec 2015
It is understood that President Obama is expected to sign a five-year, $305 billion transportation reauthorization bill that Congress overwhelmingly passed on 3 December which includes $11 billion in new freight funding grants and programs and other top priorities among America’s seaports.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (H.R. 22) is the first long-term transportation bill in ten years, and the first to make freight a priority and significantly focus on port eligibility throughout the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) funding and planning programs.

The following is a statement from Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of America’s seaports.

‘The FAST Act is a major achievement, and not just for seaports and the freight community. Passenger mobility will also be improved through congestion relief with the FAST Act provisions that fund and promote more efficient goods movement mobility. These provisions will enhance our international competitiveness in the global economy.

‘During the past 18 months, AAPA, its member ports and freight industry partners have worked diligently with federal lawmakers, the Obama Administration and USDOT officials to ensure key freight provisions were included in the final bill.

‘We are pleased to have played a role in getting this bill approved. It provides $6.3 billion for the new National Highway Freight Program (NHFP), which for the first time provides dedicated formula funding to states for freight projects, including the 1,400 miles of connections with ports and other intermodal facilities. It also funds $4.5 billion for the Nationally and Significant Freight and Highway Projects program, which includes $500 million for multi-modal freight projects and a $450 million (10 percent) ‘carve-out’ for projects ranging from $5 million to $100 million.

‘We also advocated for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program in which lawmakers agreed to legislate port eligibility and include a section on port-related equipment and vehicles that are eligible for funding.

‘Furthermore, the bill reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, requires states to file State Freight Plans to be eligible for NHFP formula funding, and establishes a working group comprised of a broad spectrum of freight interests, including ports, to develop appropriate port performance measures.

‘Finally, we are happy that lawmakers authorized more than $1.4 billion for TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) to help finance major infrastructure projects, including those at ports like bridges, overpasses, tunnels and rail systems.

‘In short, this bill recognizes that ports and their connections are integral parts of our nation’s economy and surface transportation network. It provides resources and policy to help ensure America’s freight moves efficiently and safely on our evolving freight network.

‘We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Administration on implementing the new programs in the FAST Act – and to keep freight moving’

About AAPA
Founded in 1912, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is the recognized and coordinated voice of seaports in the Americas. This trade association represents more than 150 public port authorities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. In addition, association members include more than 300 sustaining and associate firms and individuals with an interest in the seaports of the Western Hemisphere.

AAPA is dedicated to strengthening the ability of member ports to serve their global customers and create economic and social value for their communities. The association promotes the common interests of the port community, and provides leadership on trade, transportation, environmental and other issues related to port development and operations. Furthermore, AAPA also raises awareness among the public, media, and policy makers about the essential role ports play within the global transportation system.

HQ of AAPA is located in Alexandria, Virginia. Its annual budget is approximately $2.7 million and it is governed by its ten-member Executive Committee and 52-member Board of Directors. AAPA has 12 technical and three policy committees; there are 350 individual corporate and almost 200 individual associate members on the committees.
Added: 04 Dec 2015
On Sunday 6th December, Transport Day at the Paris #COP21, PIANC’s Think Climate coalition will formally launch its 2015-2020 Action Plan, entitled Navigating a Changing Climate. A copy of the Navigating a Changing Climate Action Plan can be found at http://www.pianc.org/thinkclimate.php

The international associations that are partners in the PIANC Think Climate coalition, including International Harbour Masters’ Association, have prepared this Action Plan jointly as an initiative under the Transport Focus of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda coordinated by the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate. The Navigating a Changing Climate initiative forms part of the COP21 #WeAreTransport campaign, which seeks to deliver urgent action: decarbonising the transport sector, improving the resilience of transport infrastructure, and adapting transport infrastructure to the effects of the changing climate.

The principle of stronger together underpins the work of the Think Climate coalition: broadening effort, scaling-up activity, and reaching out to an extended audience around the world. The Action Plan sets out the measures required to realise the coalition’s vision of ensuring the owners, operators and users of navigation infrastructure, globally:

- are aware of the issues associated with the changing climate, and of the need to act now
- have access to existing and new, sector-specific technical and institutional resources aimed at facilitating climate change mitigation and adaptation
- have developed the capacity to make timely and effective mitigation and adaptation decisions, and
- collaborate with others within and beyond the sector to identify and deliver integrated, resilient and sustainable solutions, with an emphasis on Working with Nature.

By providing a one-stop-shop for information and support, inter alia through the preparation of technical good practice guidance and the organisation of conferences, workshops and webinars, the Think Climate coalition will encourage the navigation infrastructure sector:
- to take measures to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions; to take decisions that avoid locking into fossil fuel futures; and to move to low carbon infrastructure
- to act to prepare for climate change, to strengthen resilience, and to adapt inland and maritime waterborne transport infrastructure to sea level rise, more frequent floods or droughts, more extreme wave, wind or flow conditions and other effects, and
- to seek integrated and sustainable solutions by Working with Nature and by engaging with others, both within and beyond the navigation sector.

Geoffroy Caude, President of PIANC, said “This is a vitally important initiative. Waterborne transport infrastructure has always been designed and operated taking into account extreme water levels, storms, waves and droughts but climate change is exacerbating these conditions and we are already seeing conditions rarely if ever seen before – for example the120 consecutive days of low water experienced this year on the River Rhine, Europe´s busiest waterway, or the severe water shortages in lake Gatun (the source of fresh water to the Panama canal locks) associated with the strongest El Nino event recorded since the opening of this canal in 1914.

Events of such significance require a commensurate response. PIANC’s new Think Climate coalition therefore brings together all the major international associations with interests in navigation infrastructure, with the objective of hastening mitigation action to reduce emissions from waterborne transport infrastructure; improving preparedness; and promoting the adaptation of infrastructure to the effects of the changing climate.

PIANC is proud to lead the Think Climate coalition and to be part of the #WeAreTransport campaign”.

Captain Kevin Richardson, President of the International Harbour Masters’ Association, added,

“Harbour masters keep the 90% of global trade that comes by shipping on the move. We’re at the front line when it comes to experiencing the threats of climate change from rising sea levels or changes in weather patterns. Whether it’s world ports with millions of tonnes throughput or harbours of small island developing states, we share innovative ideas to help ports stay open for business and adopt technology to reduce port infrastructure emissions. IHMA is delighted to be contributing to the Think Climate coalition through sharing good practice and educational initiatives.”
Added: 19 Jun 2015
Gibraltar-based ship repair company, Gibdock, has built up a close working relationship with Solstad Offshore, with a number of the Norwegian operator’s specialist offshore craft being repaired at the yard over the past few years. This partnership was recently rekindled when a Construction Support Vessel (CSV), the 5000dwt Normand Pacific, arrived in Gibraltar for its first special survey.

Gibdock managing director, Richard Beards, commented: ‘Solstad Offshore is a repeat customer that we hold in very high regard and we were delighted to welcome them back again. They are a quality operator and it is a positive reflection on our growing reputation within the offshore sector that they have chosen us to repair and maintain their vessels.’

Normand Pacific, 122metre loa, which was built at the Fosen shipyard in Norway in 2010, entered the Gibdock yard in mid-May for a three week programme of works, including two weeks in drydock and one week alongside. The vessel had been operating offshore West Africa, but was due to commence a new deployment offshore Mexico. Richard Beards added, ‘Gibdock was ideally located to carry out the required special survey and pre-contract repair and maintenance work. Solstad Offshore was able to redeploy this valuable asset with limited deviation, and hence lower costs.’

A key element of the drydocking works was the requirement to service Normand Pacific’s two Schottel propulsion thrusters which, in addition to three Brunvoll tunnel thrusters and a Brunvoll retractable azimuth thruster unit, were dismantled in the dock, and moved to the yard’s workshops for extensive overhaul work. Gibdock fitters assisted owner-arranged manufacturer technicians with the servicing of all six units.

In addition, Gibdock assisted MacGregor service engineers with the overhaul of the Normand Pacific’s 200 tonnes lift capacity offshore crane. Paul Cano, Gibdock ship repair manager, said: ‘This was in many ways the most demanding aspect of the project, as it involved removing three out of the four hydraulic boom cylinders, each of which weighed eight tonnes, and transporting them to the workshop, where they were stripped down and overhauled. We then returned them to the ship, lifted up the boom and refitted the cylinders in place, while other works on the crane and surrounding area were ongoing.’ When the crane was fully operational once more, Gibdock sub-contracted Water Weights to carry out a load test, to class requirements, using water bags.

The three-week stay of Normand Pacific at Gibdock also saw the yard carry out extensive pipework for various systems onboard, including the installation of 57metres of new piping for new ballast water treatment technology. Additionally Gibdock fabricated and installed pipelines for the cooling system, and carried out a range of standard drydocking works, including external hull coating and overhauling the sea valves. The vessel’s lifeboats and davits were also tested and serviced during Normand Pacific’s stay in Gibraltar.

Added Cano: ‘…We worked well with Solstad Offshore and the crew of Normand Pacific to undertake an extensive scope of works in what was quite a demanding time frame. In the event, Gibdock completed the job slightly ahead of schedule, ensuring the vessel was able to sail on to its next charter on time on 10 June.’

Established in 1964, Solstad Offshore has grown to become a leading global offshore services provider. It operates a fleet of around 50 fully- and partly-owned vessels, including Platform Support vessels (PSVs), Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) craft and Construction Support Vessels (CSV).

Pic caption
Normand Pacific at Gibdock.
Added: 15 Jun 2015
Customers benefit from several enhancements
CC2 service to include a permanent Busan call
SC1 service to be upgraded by Kaohsiung call

The G6 Alliance offers a variety of services between Asia and Europe, Asia and North America as well as on the Transatlantic covering all major port pairs with weekly sailings. Members are: APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.

On 15 June it was reported from Hapag-Lloyd in Hamburg that in response to market demand, members of the G6 Alliance had announced the following service enhancements in the Asia – North America (Pacific Southwest) trade:

CC2 (Central China 2) Service – Additional Busan call
The CC2 service will be upgraded to include a permanent Busan call. Transit times from other origins will remain unchanged.

New port rotation: Ningbo – Shanghai – Busan – Long Beach – Ningbo
Effective voyage: OOCL Kuala Lumpur OKL 075E, ETA Ningbo 28 June 2015 and ETA Long Beach 16 July 2015

SC1 (South China 1) Service – Additional Kaohsiung call
The SC1 service will be upgraded to include an additional eastbound Kaohsiung call.

New port rotation: Xiamen – Chiwan – Yantian – Kaohsiung – Los Angeles – Oakland – Kaohsiung – Xiamen

Effective voyage: APL Houston AHT 008E, ETA Xiamen 1 July 2015 and ETA Los Angeles 20 July 2015

Picture caption
Cherry trees in blossom outside Ballin House, Hapag-Lloyd’s HQ in Hamburg.
Photo reproduced by kind permission of Hapag-Lloyd©.
Added: 15 Jun 2015
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the principal global trade association for merchant ship operators, held its Annual General Meeting in Rotterdam in week commencing 7 June, at the kind invitation of the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners. The International Chamber is the global trade association for merchant shipowners. Its membership comprises national shipowners’ associations from 37 countries representing more than 80% of the world merchant fleet.

Membership of ICS, which now includes the newly admitted Russian Chamber of Shipping, reviewed a number of important regulatory and policy developments affecting global maritime trade. These included many of the issues set out in the 2015 ICS Annual Review published in conjunction with the AGM and available at:

In particular, ICS members focused on the following critical issues:

The migrant rescue at sea crisis
ICS members welcomed recent efforts by EU Member States to increase search and rescue resources for migrants in distress in the Mediterranean, and the subsequent decrease in the numbers of lives lost. However, ICS members agreed that the current level of state-backed search and rescue resources available to address the on-going crisis is still woefully insufficient and urgently needs to be dramatically increased.

Speaking after the meeting, ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka, said: ‘It is simply not acceptable that merchant ships are still being routinely called upon by rescue co-ordination centres to assist with the majority of rescue operations currently taking place, having already assisted with the rescue of more than 50,000 people since the crisis started to escalate last year. Apart from the fact that commercial ships are wholly unsuitable for rescuing hundreds of people at a time, the search and rescue obligations that exist under international law were never created with the current situation in mind.’

ICS members agreed that governments must urgently find a solution to the crisis. In the meantime, while it continues to be necessary for the international community to rescue tens of thousands of people, state-backed search and rescue resources must be increased immediately.

Continued Marooka: ‘It is unreasonable for governments to continue relying on merchant ships as a long term solution, placing civilian merchant seafarers at considerable risk. The current situation is neither sustainable nor tenable.”

United States ballast water problem
ICS members welcomed the recent progress made by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee, in May 2015, towards solving many of the serious implementation problems associated with the IMO Ballast Water Convention. ICS members agreed that this will probably help to ensure that the Convention will now receive sufficient ratifications from governments to enter into force sooner rather than later.

However, ICS members also agreed that those flag states which have not yet ratified the IMO Convention may continue to be deterred from doing so because of the unilateral regime adopted by the United States with respect to the approval of the very expensive new treatment systems required. This currently means that shipowners who, in good faith, install equipment approved in accordance with IMO standards can have no confidence that they will be able to trade to the United States when the IMO Convention eventually enters into force, possibly by the end of 2016.

Masamichi Morooka commented: ‘ICS members are committed to the implementation of a ballast water treatment regime that will be fit for purpose worldwide. Frankly speaking, the United States is creating an impossible dilemma that can only be solved by the U.S. approving treatment systems immediately and finding a pragmatic approach to reconciling the conflicting timelines within the IMO regime and its own. Apart from the chaos that the United States is creating for international shipping, it is also holding back the ratification of an important IMO Convention that is intended to bring environmental benefits to the entire world, not just the needs of a single country.’

Masamichi Morooka (Japan) continues to serve as ICS Chairman having already been elected for a second two year term in 2014. The 2015 AGM re-elected the following Vice Chairmen: John C Lyras (Greece); Karin Orsel (The Netherlands); Gerardo Borromeo (Philippines); and Esben Poulsson (Singapore).

Princess Margriet of The Netherlands
Members of ICS were honoured by the presence of HH Princess Margriet of The Netherlands, patron of the Dutch Merchant Navy, at a gala dinner in the cruise vessel Jules Verne, held in conjunction with their AGM.
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