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.:Maritime News :.
.: 27-Jul-2015 :.
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Cargo Ships Test New Suez Canal
The first three cargo ships passed through the New Suez Canal on July 25 in a test-run prior to the official inauguration of the USD 8 billion waterway set for August 6.
The first three ships to sail the New Suez Canal were an American container ship en route to Saudi Arabia from Egypt’s Port Said, a Danish container ship heading from Singapore to the United States, and a Bahraini boxship sailing from Saudi Arabia to Italy.
This was the first of several trials prior to the formal inauguration, said Mohab Mameesh, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, also adding that the project was 99.2 per cent complete on Saturday, and it should be completely finished in the following few days.
Once the two-way highway is completed, Egypt expects that up to 20,000 ships will transit the route on a yearly basis. It is estimated that around 10% of all global maritime trade passes through the Suez Canal, equaling to 18,000 ships per year.
The expansion project will pave the way for a transit of ships of up to 20 meters in draft, thus increasing the revenue of the canal to up to USD 17 billion a year.
In addition, over the next five years Egypt plans to invest into construction of an industrial and logistical zone along the canal in order to attract further investment into the area.
Fincantieri Starts Building Silver Muse
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri held a steel cutting ceremony on Friday of Silver Muse, an ultra-luxury cruise ship, which will be built for Silversea Cruises, at its shipyard in Sestri Ponente, Genoa.
Set to debut in the spring of 2017, Silversea’s new flagship, like the previous one Silver Spirit, also built by Fincantieri, is set to keep the line’s high quality in the ultra-luxury segment.
At 40,700 gross tons and 212 meters long, the new unit will be able to accommodate 596 passengers on board and it will maintain the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience.
“The start of construction of Silver Muse is a very proud occasion for us and I am delighted to be back at Fincantieri to celebrate this milestone with my friend Giuseppe Bono”, said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea Cruises’ chairman.
“The concept of this ship descends from our vision of luxury, that is a very personal element for a guest, and that’s why Silversea has always offered a tailored cruise experience, shaped around the preferences of each different person. Silver Muse will make a further step ahead in this direction, offering our guests a simply-divine experience.”
The addition of the Silver Muse will expand Silversea’s fleet to nine ships.
First Cruise Ship Docks at Port of Teignmouth
ABP’s Port of Teignmouth marked a milestone on Thurdsay with the arrival of the first ever cruise ship at the port, the Hebridean Princess, carrying 50 passengers.
The passengers were welcomed by the town officials before embarking on a day trip around Teignmouth, which included a visit to Compton Castle.
The cruise ship, operated by Hebridean Island Cruises, departed Teignmouth in the evening, to the sounds of a sea shanty group bidding them farewell.
Teignmouth Port Manager Dave Atkin said: “This is a historic day. The visit of the Hebridean Princess not only demonstrates our capacity for handling cruises at Teignmouth but also the appetite for cruise companies to bring their passengers to see this beautiful part of the world.
“We hope that this is the first of many cruise calls at Teignmouth and look forward to welcoming many future passengers to this attractive Devon destination.”
Day Trip: Kingston’s Maritime Museum
The Hudson River, “America’s first river,” is a natural and historic wonder that is near impossible not to appreciate, one that residents of Philipstown and Beacon get to enjoy every day. And yet, while locals experience the Hudson year-round, those hometown views are available through just one lens — that of the present day.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM), located on Kingston’s waterfront just 49 miles from Cold Spring, provides a collection of alternate, fascinating lenses through which the Hudson River of the past can be seen. By itself, the museum is well worth considering as a day trip; other attractions and opportunities nearby make it a good choice for a full-day vacation.
HRMM is located on the banks of Rondout Creek, upstream and within sight of the Hudson River. The tugboat Mathilda is on permanent display on the grounds, setting the tone for numerous exhibits inside. The museum tells the river’s story, as far back as 13,000 years, when Native Americans are believed to have first established homes along its banks.
New roads being built to Cat Lai port
Roads connecting Cat Lai Port with the road networks in the area are being built as HCM City seeks to turn the port in District 9 into a modern facility.
The dearth of a good road system was the main cause of frequent traffic jams at the port, the city Department of Transport said in a recent report.
Speaking at a meeting with city leaders on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Cat Lai Port Authority said the increase in cargo handled made Nguyen Thi Dinh Road leading to the port overloaded.
As of July 20, the port had handled 45 million tonnes of goods this year as against 46.6 million tonnes planned for the whole year. On average, it receives 14,000 trucks and other vehicles every day. The huge increase in cargo means container trucks have to queue up to load and unload, causing congestion on Nguyen Thi Dinh Road.
The increasing traffic on HCM City s Beltway No 2 after the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway was opened recently has worsened the congestion.
The Cat Lai Port Authority has asked the city to build a road running from the port to nearby Phu Huu Port and widen Nguyen Duy Trinh Road to facilitate movement of cargo to Phu Huu, which can share the burden currently shouldered by Cat Lai Port.
Nicaragua canal s main project to start at year end
Main construction work on the Nicaragua canal project will get underway at the end of 2015, local media reported.
"The principal works are estimated to begin at the end of the year," state news agency El 19 said on its website, citing spokesman Telemaco Talavera for Nicaragua s Interoceanic Grand Canal Commission.
The mega project is advancing on schedule, with the preliminary work launched at the end of last year, including peripheral infrastructure such as traffic roads.
The main construction work will begin at Puerto Brito on the Pacific and the other terminal of Puerto Aguila on the Atlantic after social and environmental impact study is finished with final design details drafted, Talavera said.
Talavera, who also serves as a presidential adviser, said the canal s enormous potential is attracting investors and tourists alike.
The 50-billion-U.S.-dollar project, which will rival the Panama Canal upon its completion in 2019, is being built on Rivas Isthmus in southwestern Nicaragua by the Hong Kong-based Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co.
The 278-km canal, able to accommodate container ships of 18,000 TEUs, is expected to boost local economy and turn the country into a central American trade hub.
Abu Dhabi Terminals hit 3 million TEU milestone record at Khalifa Port
2015 H1 throughput volume up by 36% compared to H1 in 2014. Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) announced that on 26 July it set a new volume record when it handled its 3rd million TEU; the figure is ADT’s highest throughput since it commenced operations at Khalifa Port at the end of 2012. The 3 millionth container was achieved while serving the Hanjin Xiamen, a vessel belonging to ADT’s long-term customer, Hanijn.
The new throughput milestone comes in line with ADT’s successful first half of 2015, which saw the terminal operator handle 628,000 TEU – a 36% increase compared to the same period in 2014. Volumes have been bolstered by the rapid growth of polymer export and shipping lines growing transshipment activity in the Gulf region.
ADT has seen a notable increase in the number of import and export cargo in the UAE and the investments the terminal operator made in KPCT’s infrastructure have paid dividends.
Once the next expansion program is completed mid-2016, KPCT will have an additional 3 STS cranes increasing capacity to 2.5 million TEUs per year while ensuring that the turnaround time for containers moving in and out of the terminal will become even more efficient.
ADT will continue to demonstrate that the container terminal is open for business and prepared to handle increasing volumes of cargo from around the region.
Despite all the ports, India will begin making shipping containers only now
The Indian government is leaving no stone unturned to transform the country into world s manufacturing hub. In a new plan, the government now wants to make shipping containers in India.
India relies on imports and orders Twenty feet Equivalent Units (TEUs) from China, Korea and many European countries. The country s largest container facility is at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and has a capacity of 4 million TEUs.
There is handful of container shipping lines in India. "In the short term there may be a cost disadvantage but in the long term this will pay off as trade is getting more containerised," Vishwas Udgirkar, senior director, Deloitte India, told Economic Times.
Meanwhile, officials told ET that the government would soon appoint a consultant to undertake a survey into the capacity available within the country to take up container manufacturing.
If needed, technological experts overseas would be consulted as well in building specialised containers.
Reportedly, container trade in India is growing at over 12% a year. JNPT handles 56% of the total containers, followed by the Chennai port which handles 25% of such cargo.
"There are many companies in the public sector which have idle capacity and can get into these new areas of manufacturing for their own and country s benefit," a senior government official told the financial daily.
"It is good that we want to move as much manufacturing to India as we can but we should examine the underlying economics of doing so. Volumes for containers need to catch up for anyone to set up a facility," Hemant Bhatt, chief executive officer, HMSA consultancy services LLP told ET.
Also, India plans to create trans-shipment hubs on its coastline.
SLPA to hire consultant for East Terminal
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is currently looking at selecting a consultant to carry out a feasibility study on the East Container Terminal (ECT), a top official at the Colombo Port said. “We will be calling for a consultant,” to carry out a feasibility study on the joint venture with an international port operator and SLPA for the ECT, SLPA Chairman Dr. Lakdas Panagoda told the Business Times.
He noted that once the study is carried out on the ECT they would call for bids to select an international port operator to work together with the SLPA on this terminal. The SLPA chief told the AGM of the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce last week that cabinet approval had been obtained for the completion of the ECT by SLPA or as a joint venture with an international Terminal Operator with SLPA holding a majority share.
Dr. Panagoda told the Business Times that they were looking at concluding Phase II of the Hambantota Port this year.
He noted that “fairly soon” they would be calling for a third Request for Proposals (RFPs) for the industrial zone of the Hambantota port.
In addition, the tender procedure for the supply of equipment for the ECT has also won cabinet approval. The SLPA would also be in the process of developing and implementing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System at the Jaya Container Terminal to be completed in August this year.
US Ports Update
U.S. West Coast and Gulf ports seem to be in pretty good operating condition right now. The Port of Houston received over 6 million tons of steel imports in 2014, making it a record year for the port. In a “normal” year Houston can expect to see 3.5 to 4 million tons annually. Our Houston source says the volume of steel imports has diminished in 2015. “The pull back is due to the energy sector—last year a lot of it was steel pipe.”
Steel imports were down 6 percent y/y in May to 497,000 tons. Container cargo increased by 23 percent to 2.1 million tons.
No problems were reported with logistics and warehouse availability in Houston. Although there has been a significant rise in container volumes that have shifted from the West Coast, Houston has not seen any steel cargo changes occurring from this year’s West Coast labor issues.
The Port of Savannah has seen “unprecedented and remarkable import growth in the past fiscal year,” according to Jeff Neil, at the Georgia Ports Authority. Factors causing the increase include: diversion from West Coast ports, the U.S. economic recovery, and regional gateway shifts.
In FY 15 (July 2, 2014-June 30, 2015) total tonnage through the port increased 7.8 percent to 31.7 million tons, compared to 29.4 million tons in FY 14. Total import tonnage increased 19.2 percent to 14.7 million tons from 12.3 million tons in 2014. TEU imports were up 19.8 percent to 1.782 million TEUs.
Iron and steel import tonnage rose a whopping 40.8 percent to 587,000 tons in FY 15.
Neil commented on changes in shipping volumes, “Our container operation has seen phenomenal growth over the past year, thanks in part to cargo diverted from the West Coast, but also from organic growth as existing customers move a greater share of their cargo through Savannah and new customers come online. Savannah’s ability to scale up quickly and effectively has enabled GPA to maintain a higher level of service without sacrificing on time efficiency.”
No problems were reported with congestion or other logistics issues. The Port of Savannah has over 45 million square feet of inventory industrial space and another 1 million is under construction. Warehouse availability is good.