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.

Federal Maritime Commission voices concern about alliances

From Splash 247:

William Doyle, FMC Commissioner

William Doyle, FMC Commissioner, said, ”We’ve been down this road before with language proposed but not implemented by the P3 Alliance and the language in the existing 2M Alliance.”

The creation of the Ocean Alliance – a new container grouping involving China Lines, OOCL, Evergreen, APL and CMA CGM, has hit a speed bump.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in the US has made a request for additional information on the alliance make-up, which will delay approval from the US by a likely two months.

Commissioner William Doyle explained: “I pay special attention to competition matters especially to small businesses, downstream
participants and the upstream – supplier and vendor markets. We’ve been down this road before with language proposed but not implemented by the P3 Alliance and the language in the existing 2M Alliance. I’d like to see fair dealing and transparency in how the parties handle negotiations with third parties, suppliers, small businesses, and other service providers. Using their proposed buying power through proposed joint purchasing agreements could harm both downstream and upstream participants.”

The delay is unlikely to lead to the planned April 2017 launch date of the Ocean Alliance being pushed back however.

More at this link


Liners leaning more on terminal relationships

From the Journal of Commerce:

Maersk isn’t the only carrier with a terminal relationship [with APM Terminals], with its three closest rivals all involved in the port business — essentially bolt-ons to their core container businesses and with much lower profiles. Mediterranean Shipping Co. owns 65 percent of Terminal Investments — U.S.-based Global Infrastructure Partners acquired a 35 percent stake for $1.9 billion in 2013. CMA CGM owns 51 percent of Terminal Link, with the remainder held by China Merchant Holdings and the French carrier itself is 24 percent owned by Turkey’s Yildirim group whose Yilport subsidiary is racing up the terminal rankings. The newly merged China Cosco Shipping Group owns Cosco Shipping Ports, the former Cosco Pacific, which has been expanding into Europe, most notably transforming the sleepy Greek port of Piraeus into a top European transshipment hub.

More at the JOC


South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping becomes symbol of industry in trouble

Excerpts from Bloomberg:

Hanjin assist

Hanjin assist

Hanjin Shipping Co. is hardly a bellwether in the world of container movers. As lenders halt all support this week, the South Korean company is now emerging as a symbol of the slump that has plagued the industry since the global financial crisis.

Creditors led by Korea Development Bank will end their backing of South Korea’s largest container-shipping company, which may still need as much as 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in cash to roll over debt after losses in four of the last five years. Hanjin Shipping’s board is set to meet Wednesday to decide whether to apply for court receivership, the company said late Tuesday.

Hanjin’s woes show the container-shipping industry is still in bad health, limping from one exigency to another since the 2008 crisis brought trading to its knees. Helped by cheap loans, container lines have hung on even as freight rates to move sneakers to Barbie dolls from Asia to Europe and U.S. plunged. From A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S to Hapag-Lloyd AG and France’s CMA CGM SA, companies have tried all — mergers, acquisitions and cost cuts — while demand revival remains elusive.

Read the rest at Bloomberg


NFU wants Congress to start writing new Farm Bill right away

NFU President Roger Johnson

NFU President Roger Johnson. NFU’s progessive history includes fighting for increased co-operative rights, fair market access for family farmers, and voting rights for women.

Low commodity prices along with record or near record crop surpluses means that Congress needs to get to work right away on the next Farm Bill. That’s according to National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson who says work needs to begin as soon as possible on the farm legislation.

He says besides writing the new Farm Bill, adjustments need to be made to the present farm legislation in order to help producers make it through the present economic downturn.

Johnson says now is a good time to push Congress to get these things done as more can be accomplished while they’re up for election.

Johnson says another thing Congress needs to do is provide more funding for farm service agency direct and guaranteed loans for farmers struggling to get credit.

More at WNAX


Port of Coos Bay CEO has busy first year, focuses on deepening channel

John Burns, Port of Coos Bay CEO

John Burns, Port of Coos Bay CEO, says the port has been working on several projects, including
the railroad rehabilitation project and Jordan Cove.

John Burns has been the Port of Coos Bay CEO for over a year now after being selected for the position, and he says he’s been busy.

Currently, he says the port’s most consuming project has been focused on deepening its channel.

According to the port, Coos Bay is the largest coastal deep-draft harbor between the San Francisco bay and Puget Sound.

He says deepening this channel will promote even more job opportunities.

“When we have that opportunity to bring in deeper draft vessels, bigger vessels, it will open up the opportunity to bring in new members of the port community who will be able to take advantage of that deeper channel,” Burns says.

More at KCBY


Matson orders two new shipping vessels at a cost of $511M

Matson ship

Artist rendering of the new Matson ship design. Each ship will be 869 feet long and 115 feet wide at the beam with a deep draft of 38 feet and enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles.

Matson Inc. has announced that its subsidiary Matson Navigation Co. Inc. has contracted with General Dynamics NASSCO to build two new vessels for its Hawaii fleet at a price of $511 million for the pair.

One ship is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019 and the other by mid-2020. Both will be combination container and roll-on/roll-off ships that allow rolling vehicles to be loaded using ramps instead of cranes.

Matson is calling these vessels the Kanaloa Class in honor of the ocean deity revered in Native Hawaiian culture. It will name each after predecessor ships from its 134-year history. The first vessel will be named Lurline, the sixth Matson ship to be called that, while the second vessel will be its fifth named Matsonia.

More at the Pacific Business Journal


NTSB: 26 hours of information recovered from El Faro’s VDR

From gCaptain:

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that will be convening a voyage data recorder group to help develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the El Faro’s bridge audio, following the recovery and audition of the ship’s VDR.

The voyage data recorder from El Faro, a US flagged cargo ship that sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015, was successfully recovered from the ocean floor Aug. 8, 2016, and transported to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 12. Information from the El Faro’s VDR was successfully recovered Aug. 15.

Numerous events leading up to the loss of the El Faro are heard on the VDR’s audio, recorded from microphones on the ship’s bridge, the NTSB said Wednesday.

More at gCaptain


Longview firefighters, longshoremen to host fishing derby Sept. 2

From The Daily News:

Smiley faces from previous Operation Warm project

Part of the funds raised will provide coats for children in winter through the organization Operation Warm.

Longview firefighters are teaming up with longshoremen of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 to host a fishing derby Sept. 2 to raise money for charity.

Money raised will go to the Longview Union Firefighters Benevolent Fund and the Longview Longshoremen’s charity fund. The Benevolent Fund distributes money to local families during the holidays, helps families who’ve been affected by fires, provides coats for kids in the winter through “Operation Warm,” sponsors local youth sports teams, supports cancer victims and much more.

The first-place winner will get $500. The cost for a team to enter is $100.

Weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the ILWU Local 21 hall at 617 14th Ave. in Longview.

For more information, see the full article at The Daily News


Portland auto exports drive ConnectOregon grant

The Oregon Department of Transportation has awarded a ConnectOregon grant of $2.6 million to the Port of Portland along with tenant Auto Warehousing Co. to fund part of a $7 million expansion of auto handling facilities in the Rivergate Industrial District near Terminal 6. Plans call for AWC to develop a new 18.9-acre storage and staging yard to support the continued growth of export vehicles.

AWC leased 130 acres at Terminal 6 in 2005 and currently handles the import of Hyundai vehicles into the United States and the export of Ford vehicles manufactured in North America bound for China and Korea. Export volumes have grown steadily in the last several years, bringing the total vehicles moved by AWC to 126,000 in the last 12 months. Across the Port of Portland marine terminals, auto shipments were up 14 percent during the previous fiscal year, which ended in June.

More at Marine Link


Controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact stalling despite Obama push; working class Americans fear more loss of jobs overseas

From the International Business Times:

Chances have all but vanished for passage of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact despite a huge last-ditch effort by US President Barack Obama and an upcoming trip to Asia to tout the deal.

The White House had been hopeful about nailing down the unprecedented trade agreement with 11 Pacific-Rim nations aimed at strengthening economic ties, cultivating trade and cutting back on tariffs.

But working-class Americans in particular are fearful that the deal will cede too many trade benefits to competitive Asian nations, and the US will continue to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs to overseas locations.

Obama plans to push the plan during a trip to Asia with his top aides in September. But that is not likely help him at home, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The deal is not only controversial in the US. There is strong opposition in a number of other nations.

Thousands of New Zealand opponents protested against the pact earlier this year over fears that the nation would lose jobs to less developed countries where labor is cheaper.

More at International Business Times


Port of San Francisco welcomes Pasha Automotive Services to Pier 80

The ILWU Local 10 Drill Team performed August 22, 2016 at the inauguration of the Pasha terminal at Pier 80 in SF

The ILWU Local 10 Drill Team performed August 22, 2016 at the inauguration of the Pasha terminal at Pier 80 in San Francisco.

First ship calls to unload automobiles and boats transforming Pier 80 from an underutilized asset to a thriving marine terminal

The Port of San Francisco today welcomed Pasha Automotive Services (PAS), a subsidiary of the Pasha Group, to Pier 80 for the first ship call to unload 500 automobiles being transported by truck to Northern California dealerships. Pier 80 is the Port’s 69-acre cargo terminal in the southern waterfront.

Pier 80 will employ approximately 50 longshore workers during vessel operations.

“This marine terminal agreement signifies a new beginning for cargo operations at the Port of San Francisco,” said Willie Adams, who serves as President of the San Francisco Port Commission and International President of the ILWU. “We want the world’s shipping community to know that the Port of San Francisco is open for business. We also want to thank Mayor Lee for his leadership and for helping us to support working families in this community.”


First neo-panama vessel calls at London

Sophia Celeste

The Sofia Celeste is the first ship to transit the newly-enlarged Panama Canal and then call at the UK

Shipping firm MSC’s neo-panama vessel Sofia Celeste made its first call to London this week as it arrived into the London Container Terminal (LCT) in Tilbury.

The ship, which has a capacity of around 8,800 TEUs, arrived following its first transit of the newly enlarged Panama Canal and is the first to call into the UK after this journey. It is also the first in a new class of vessels on a reconfigured service connecting the west coast of South America, east coast of North America and northwest Europe.

More at Fruitnet.com


BHP may mothball $2.6 billion Jansen potash project if prices remain weak

World’s largest miner BHP Billiton, the company behind the massive $2.6 billion Jansen potash project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province, may place it in the back burner if prices for the fertilizer ingredient don’t pick up by the end of the decade.

The company, which posted Tuesday its worst-ever annual loss, had already cut $130 million from the planned $330 million capital expenditure to determine the feasibility of the Jansen project in the current financial year. And while BHP continues looking for a partner to finally take the venture off the ground, it now admits that the ongoing slump in potash prices may make it mothball the project.

More at Mining.com


Man crushed by container worked for company with previous workplace violations: OSHA

Man crushed by container at NJ terminal

Jorge Gomez, 51, died Monday at the Norfolk Southern rail yard in Jersey City when a container fell onto the lifting machine he was operating at the time. (Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal)

The ILWU Coast Longshore Division send our condolences to Brother Gomez’ family, friends and colleagues. An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

The man who was killed Monday when a container fell and crushed him at a Jersey City rail facility worked for a company with a history of safety violations, according to U.S Department of Labor records.

H&M International Transportation Inc. — an Iselin-based logistics company — has paid nearly $17,000 in fines for a total of seven infractions found at facilities in Hudson County since 2012, Occupational Safety and Health Administration records indicate.

The H&M employee — Jorge Gomez, 51, of Bayonne — died Monday at the Norfolk Southern rail yard in Jersey City when a container fell onto the lifting machine he was operating at the time.

“Rail yard employees working as ground personnel unlocking stacked container boxes were exposed to crushing hazards during removal of container boxes,” according to an OSHA inspection report from Aug. 4, 2014.

That appears to be what happened when Gomez was killed just before 1:30 p.m. Monday at the County Road rail facility. Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said investigators’ initial assessment is that the wire that was part of the machine lifting a freight container snapped, causing the container to fall on him.

Read the rest at The Jersey Journal


Port of Long Beach posts 7.7% drop in container volumes

Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach fell 7.7 percent in July compared to the same month in 2015 when harbor terminals handled a record amount of cargo.

Dockworkers moved 637,091 TEUs last month. Inbound containers totaled 325,608 TEUs, a 5.9 percent year-over-year decrease. Outbound containers reached 142,812 TEUs, a slight drop of 0.7 percent from July 2015. Empties decreased to 168,671 TEUs, 15.9 percent lower than July 2015, the port’s strongest July on record.

More at American Shipper