The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Zim to order 10 TEU 13,000 vessels

Zim ship

Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. is reported to be planning its first newbuilding orders since the financial crash.

Zim president and CEO Rafi Danieli noted that the company has not ordered newbuildings for nearly a decade, having entered the financial crisis with more than 40 containerships on order, most of which were cancelled.

Danieli noted that the company is in talks with yards, owners and banks, with the intention of ordering between seven and 10 ships of over TEU 13,000, to be deployed in the transpacific – whence 40% of Zim revenue comes – are also needed to exploit the expanded Panama Canal that opens next year.

More at Port2Port


Truckers strike four shipping companies at Southern California ports

From Reuters:

Tractor-trailer drivers who haul freight from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike on Monday against four trucking companies, a Teamster union official said, in a move that could revive labor tension at the nation’s busiest cargo hub.

Delegations of drivers notified the companies of their intent to strike at 6 a.m. Pacific time, with picket lines going up immediately at the companies’ truck yards, Teamsters spokeswoman Barb Maynard told reporters on a conference call.

Continue reading at Reuters


European shippers launch global review of mega-alliances

European shippers are stepping up their scrutiny of shipping alliances, launching their own review of the massive vessel-sharing agreements.

Sixteen of the world’s 20 largest container carriers are members of the four so-called “mega-alliances”: 2M, Ocean Three, G6 and CKYHE. And although the alliances received the go-ahead from global regulators, the European Shippers’ Council maintains “there are growing concerns among manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers about the long-term threats of a concentrated container liner shipping industry through alliances.”

More at the Journal of Commerce


DP World to acquire Canadian container terminal

DP World Limited has agreement to acquire Maher Terminal’s Fairview Container Terminal (Fairview) in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada from Deutsche Bank.

Fairview is a purpose built terminal with a sea-rail link and has a current capacity of 850,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units), with a just-announced phase two expansion that will take capacity to 1.35 million TEU.

The concession period runs to 2034 with an extension to 2056 after the completion of phase two.

More at Construction Week Online


Strike threat averted as dockworkers reach pay deal with HIT subcontractors

External contractors for Hongkong International Terminals have agreed to pay an above-inflation 5.5 percent increase in basic salary for dockworkers in the coming year, averting a threatened strike that would have heaped further misery on the struggling port.

A statement by the Hutchison Port Holdings HIT said 95 percent of their workers have given written consent to the pay rise, even though it was below Hong Kong Dockers Union demands of 8.5 percent. Last week the union threatened industrial action if the wage demands were not met.

More at the Journal of Commerce


Elizabeth Warren Tells Obama To Put Up Or Shut Up On Trade

Progressive Democrats have been hoping to see a showdown between Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton for years. Instead, they’re getting a public feud between the senator from Massachusetts and President Barack Obama.

Obama accused Warren and congressional Democrats on Friday of being “dishonest” and spreading “misinformation” about the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade pact the administration is negotiating among 12 nations. The overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress oppose TPP, while Republican leaders support it.

It was an unusually aggressive attack for the president — accusing members of his own party not of having misplaced priorities, but of actively working to deceive the public. Obama is rarely so severe even with his Republican opponents. Obama said that the Democratic criticism that “gets on [his] nerves the most” is the notion that his TPP pact is “secret,” and went on to insist that the terms of TPP will help American workers.

On Saturday, Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) responded with a letter essentially telling Obama to put up or shut up. If the deal is so great, Warren and Brown wrote, the administration should make the full negotiation texts public before Congress votes on a “fast track” bill that would strip the legislative branch of its authority to amend it.

“Members of Congress should be able to discuss the agreement with our constituents and to participate in a robust public debate, instead of being muzzled by classification rules,” Warren and Brown wrote in the letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

Democrats and some Republican critics have been particularly frustrated by Obama’s decision to treat the TPP documents as classified information, which prevents them from responding to Obama’s claims about the pact in detail.

“Your Administration has deemed the draft text of the agreement classified and kept it hidden from public view, thereby making it a secret deal,” the letter reads. “It is currently illegal for the press, experts, advocates, or the general public to review the text of this agreement. And while you noted that Members of Congress may ‘walk over … and read the text of the agreement’ — as we have done — you neglected to mention that we are prohibited by law from discussing the specifics of that text in public.”

Warren and Brown appeared particularly miffed at being accused of lying.

“We respectfully suggest that characterizing the assessments of labor unions, journalists, Members of Congress, and others who disagree with your approach to transparency on trade issues as ‘dishonest’ is both untrue and unlikely to serve the best interests of the American people,” the letter reads.

Read the full letter here

Read the rest of the article at the Huffington Post


Colombia releases Chinese ship, holds captain

Colombia has freed Da Dan Xia, COSCO Shipping’s heavy-lift vessel involved in an illegal arms transport, and has ordered the ship to head to Havana, Cuba, on 21 April.

The ship was detained in Cartagena by Colombian authorities in March this year for carrying illegal weapons. Approximately 100 tonnes of gunpowder, 2.6 million detonators, 99 projectiles, and about 3,000 cannon shells were found on the Hong Kong-flagged ship, which was bound for Cuba, according to local media.

The local court ultimately ruled that because there was no way to unload the weapons and materiel, they are to be shipped out.

More at IHS Maritime


DOJ okays Pasha’s acquisition of Horizon’s Hawaii business

The Pasha Group says that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has cleared its acquisition of the Hawaii trade-lane business of Horizon Lines, Inc. (Horizon). This paves the way for an anticipated final closing before the end of the second quarter.

In becoming part of Pasha, Horizon’s Hawaii business will operate alongside Pasha Hawaii’s existing operations, which include Pasha’s two Jones Act-qualified vessels, the M/V Jean Anne and the new M/V Marjorie C.

More at Marine Log


Port Metro trucking license system unfair, court rules

From ILWU Canada’s web site:

A group of Port Metro Vancouver container truck drivers who were denied licenses to haul cargo in and out of port terminals won their case in Federal Court arguing that the selection process was unfair and their applications should be reconsidered.

Unless Port Metro Vancouver appeals the decision, it means the port will have to issue additional new licenses to applicants representing about 200 trucks.

Port Metro Vancouver brought the new licensing system in as part of the agreement to end last year’s 28-day work stoppage by drivers at port terminals, which ground almost to a halt the local delivery of containers.

More at ILWU Canada


‘Container shipping CEOs have huge egos’ in ordering megaships, says CEO

Interesting perspective from OOCL CEO in excerpts from a Journal of Commerce article titled ”No escape from ship ordering ‘arms race,’ OOCL head says”

Container shipping lines cannot get out of the large vessel arms race and excess capacity will be a permanent problem, according to Orient Overseas International Ltd. chairman Tung Chee Chen.

“In the past when there has been a recession, after one to two years the industry started to recover and the game continued. It became a hiccup. This time around we are into the sixth year of recovery and consumer spending growth is still weak.”

Instead of this putting the brakes on ship orders, the opposite has happened. “Container shipping CEOs have huge egos. In good times we all want to increase our profitability and try to build size, believing the size can be absorbed while we gain efficiency and profitability.”

More at the Journal of Commerce


UP: West Coast woes, Panama Canal expansion won’t spur major cargo shift

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

The JOC reports that, ”Fritz’s comments poured cold water on industry-wide speculation that shipper frustration with months of West Coast delays could trigger a cargo shift like one following the 10-day lockout of longshore workers on that coast in 2002.” Photo shows Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Union Pacific Railroad on Thursday appeared to downplay the idea that U.S. West Coast port congestion has changed its expectations that a low- single-digit share of cargo might shift to East Coast when the Panama Canal opens next year.

Asked by an investment analyst whether diversions from the West Coast to East Coast were “more permanent in nature,” UP CEO and President Lance Fritz reiterated the railroad’s belief that the opening of the expanded waterway might spur a “a low single-digit transfer.” The most efficient container vessels that will serve North America — those capable of handling as much as 15,000 20-foot-equivalent units — will call the West Coast and won’t go through the canal to East Coast ports, he added.

More at the Journal of Commerce


Innovative new tug for Foss Maritime

Michele Foss

The tug is built to ice class DO with the hull designed specifically for polar waters and reinforced to maneuver in ice.

Seattle based Foss Maritime have christened the first of three Arctic Class tugs designed for operation in extreme conditions and now ready for its first job, an oil industry tow from South Korea to the Alaskan Arctic.

Michele Foss was built at the Foss Rainier, Oregon Shipyard and named recently at Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, Washington by the vessel’s namesake, Michele Seaver, one of three sisters who are primary shareholders of Saltchuk, parent company of Foss Maritime.

A number of environmentally focused designs along with structural and technological upgrades introduce a degree of innovation including: elimination of ballast tanks, removing the chances of transporting invasive species; holding tanks for black and grey water to permit operations in no-discharge zones (including parts of Alaska and California); hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil; energy efficient LED lighting; and high-energy absorption Schuyler fendering.

More at Maritime Journal


Portland City Council's Earth Day session disrupted by opponents of propane export terminal

Portland City commissioners walked out of their Earth Day hearing Wednesday after opponents of a proposed propane export terminal in North Portland staged a small demonstration in council chambers.

The council will vote soon on whether to amend zoning at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 to allow the propane terminal to build a pipeline over land that is currently zoned for conservation. The vote has not been scheduled, but opponents have vowed a long and loud campaign to derail the project, proposed by a Canadian company, Pembina Pipeline.

Wednesday’s protest shook up Mayor Charlie Hales, who expressed strong support for the $500 million terminal project when it was first announced last September, and claimed it met all environmental and safety standards before any analysis had been presented on that front.

More at The Oregonian


Workers laying foundation for the new Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach

Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement, artists' rendition

The replacement bridge will feature a clearance of 205 feet to accommodate increasingly large container vessels expected to travel to and from the Port of Long Beach, according to officials planning the project. The existing bridge has a 155-foot clearance.

Construction crews assigned to the monumental task of building the replacement Gerald Desmond Bridge are laying the foundation for two 515-foot towers designed to support the weight of a 2,000-foot span linking the city to Terminal Island.

Workers began work on the eastern tower, nearer to downtown Long Beach, about one month ago. This week, construction crews started the extensive task of building a foundation for the western tower on Terminal Island.

More at the Press-Telegram


Los Angeles, Long Beach port chiefs lead forum to improve supply chain

In today’s Press-Telegram:

With competition looming from U.S. and foreign seaports, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports must work together with other stakeholders to improve and enhance the congestion-plagued supply chain responsible for moving goods in and out of the nation’s two busiest seaports, port officials said Wednesday.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka and Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup led their first Los Angeles and Long Beach Port Supply Chain Optimization Forum in Long Beach City Council Chambers.

The 2½ hour-forum was the first public meeting between the two ports sanctioned by the Federal Maritime Commission, which recently permitted the twin ports to have a formal discussion agreement that would allow them to collaborate on cargo flow issues without violating antitrust laws.

Continue reading at the Press-Telegram