Planet MUNZ Local 10

Maritime Union of New ZealandTransport plan a chance to rebuild coastal shipping

The Maritime Union welcomes the Government’s transport policy, which was released today, as an opportunity to restore New Zealand’s coastal shipping industry and repeal section 198 of the Maritime Transport Act

Maritime Union of New ZealandMaritime workers back Ports of Auckland health and safety review

Maritime Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Union has repeatedly called for a review of safety practices at all ports in New Zealand.

Felixstowe DockersReefer Ship Attacked Offshore Nigeria. Two Crew Members Kidnapped

Image by Roli B - MarineTraffic.Com


Maritime security intelligence agencies have reported that the Water Phoenix reefer vessel was boarded Tuesday morning off Nigeria by an unknown number of persons and that two Russian nationals have been kidnapped.

Per Praesidium International, a risk consultancy and maritime security company, the incident happened at 5:50 a.m. UTC Tuesday, approximately 34 nautical miles south of Lagos.

"According to the initial reports, the perpetrators managed to board the vessel and kidnap the master and another crew member, both Russian," Praesidium said, adding that the crew includes 18 seafarers, of which seven Russians and 11 Filipinos.

Apart from the two crew members who have, reportedly, been kidnapped, the rest of the crew managed to retreat into the citadel.

The Water Phoenix is a reefer owned by the Dutch company Seatrade Groningen.

"AIS tracking indicates that the vessel was on route to Lagos at 14kts and undertook evasive maneuvers before coming to a stop and is currently drifting," maritime safety intelligence group Dryad Global informed.

Praesidium said Tuesday that the same vessel had been involved in another piracy incident in April 2019, around 80 nautical miles southwest of Brass, Nigeria. The attack was foiled after warning shots forced the perpetrators to abort their attempt.

Nigerian maritime authorities have dispatched the NSS Ekulu to provide assistance, Presidium said.

According to Dryad, the attack on Tuesday was the 13th reported incident in waters of the Lagos Port Complex and Anchorage in the past 12 months "most of which have manifest as boarding for theft."

"This is the 3rd offshore incidents in the waters south of Lagos within 2020,"

Per Dryad, 93 personnel have been kidnapped from vessels in incidents off West Africa in 2020, so far.



Felixstowe DockersIranian Fuel Seized by US to Reach Texas Within Days

Euroforce (© Pak Agen / MarineTraffic.com)

Iranian fuel that the United States seized last month while it was being transported to Venezuela is now being taken to Texas by two tankers due to arrive in coming days, part of Washington’s efforts to disrupt trade between Caracas and Tehran, according to sources and data.

The first fuel cargo, on Liberia-flagged tanker Euroforce, was to arrive in Texas in the coming 24 hours, the sources said. It is broadcasting the U.S. Gulf port of Galveston as destination, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

The second cargo on Singapore-flagged tanker Maersk Progress tanker, is expected to arrive on Sep 19 to Houston port, the Eikon data showed.

Eurotankers and Maersk Tankers, which manage the two vessels, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

The U.S. announced in August that it had confiscated 1.1 million barrels of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela. The sources said the four tankers originally carrying the fuel had transferred their cargoes onto the two vessels, which had special permits to enter into the U.S. waters to deliver the cargoes.

Felixstowe DockersStena RoRo’s E-Flexer GALICIA Delivered to Brittany Ferries – with Higher Passenger Capacity

 

GALICIA, the first of three ships in the E-Flexer class ordered by Brittany Ferries was delivered on September 3. 

The vessel is the third E-Flexer of nine ordered by Stena RoRo from the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling (Weihai). The Galicia will be chartered by Brittany Ferries on a long-term basis and has been especially adapted to the wishes of the French ferry company:

The basic model car deck on Deck 7 has been converted to cabins. This, in combination with the deckhouse having been extended on both Decks 7 and 8, has enabled the number of cabins to be increased from 175 to 343.

Two scrubbers, one for each main engine

Two extra lifeboats added due to the ferry’s increased passenger capacity

The public spaces on Decks 7 and 8 have been partially given over to other functions compared to the basic model, but largely follow the E-Flexer standard.

“GALICIA is special because she is the first in the E-Flexer series to be delivered to an external customer. The design has been adapted to Brittany Ferries’ special requirements and the yard has been able to deliver according to schedule despite the ongoing pandemic, which we are very happy about.”

Per Westling, CEO for Stena RoRo. 

Stena RoRo has an agreement with Brittany Ferries for long-term charters of two more vessels in the Stena E-Flexer series. Both will be powered by LNG, are under construction and will be delivered in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Felixstowe DockersSecond Survivor and One Body Found From Livestock Ship Lost Off Japan

Search continues for lost livestock carrier off Japan

 A second survivor has been located from the livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 lost two days ago in a typhoon according to reports from the Japan Coast Guard. 

The search and rescue operations are continuing in a race against time as a second, potentially even larger, typhoon is nearing the area.

The Japan Coast Guard announced this afternoon, September 4, that it had located a survivor in life raft approximately a mile from Kodakara Island in the East China Sea. 

The Gulf Livestock 1’s last known position was south of there about 115 miles west of Amami Oshima island. Winds from Typhoon Maysak and tides are believed to have carried the raft away from the sinking. 

The 30-year old Filipino sailor was reported in good condition and taken a hospital. The first survivor, who was discovered on Wednesday, also remains in a hospital. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that it was working to repatriate him to the Philippines once COVID-19 protocols are cleared.

Earlier in the day on Friday, the Japan Coast Guard also pulled an unconscious sailor from the water. 

Found floating face down in a life jacket, the sailor was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said identification was pending on this person but that he was in a blue jacket with the label “Fitter” on it.

Felixstowe Dockers24-Year-Old Migrant Found Dead in Vehicle Hold Aboard Ro/Pax Ferry

cruise europa

The body of an Afghan migrant was found Sunday in the vehicle deck of a ro/pax ferry in Ancona, Italy. 

The cruise ferry Cruise Europa arrived in Ancona at about 1700 hours Sunday on a voyage from Patras, Greece. 

The victim's body was found within the vessel's vehicle hold, and it showed no signs of injury or violence, according to the local prosecutor's office. 

The enclosed hold can get as hot as 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer weather, and Italian authorities believe it is likely that the victim asphyxiated while the vessel was under way, according to local media.

Italy's border police are leading an investigation into the cause of the casualty. It is not known whether the victim came aboard in a truck, and the drivers whose vehicles were in the hold did not report seeing him. 

The 24-year-old migrant was identifiable because he was carrying a Greek refugee asylum application, according to InfoMigrants. 

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionVeterinary workers at CRVS ratify first private-sector union contract in the industry

Rally for fair contract: National Veterinary Professionals Union Vice President Tana Greatorex speaks at a rally for CRVS workers in February of this year. Other organizations at the rally included ILWU Locals 4 and 5, the Inlandboatmen’s Union and Jobs with Justice.

Workers at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists (CRVS) in Vancouver, Washington ratified their first union contract on August 12 by an overwhelming margin of 53-1. These workers have been bargaining a contract with CRVS management for over a year, after voting to join ILWU Local 5 in February 2019. The contract is the first-ever private-sector union contract in the veterinary industry. Veterinary service is a rapidly growing, lucrative industry where workers are often faced with challenging working conditions and pay that is not commensurate with the education and skill required for the profession. In recent years, there has been massive consolidation of the industry as large companies acquire locally owned hospitals, leading to a corporate-led environment where workers’ rights and sustainable jobs for local communities too often come second to profit.

Organizing the unorganized

“This is a historic agreement that will set a new standard for wages and conditions in the veterinary industry,” said ILWU International Vice President Bobby Olvera. “I am so proud of the workers at CRVS for their grit, determination and courage. I would also like to thank the staff of the Organizing Department for their work. Organizing workers in an industry with no history of unionization is a difficult task, but also a necessary one. As the seventh guiding principle of the ILWU states; ‘To organize the unorganized must be a cardinal principle of any union worth its salt; and to accomplish this is not merely in the interest of the unorganized; it is for the benefit of the organized as well.’”

Campaign goals

Like the vast majority of first contract campaigns, this one was long and hard fought. CRVS workers began the bargaining process in February 2019. The workers had several primary goals for their first contract:

  1. Enhance worker rights beyond minimum legal (federal/state/ local) requirements;
  2. 2. Raise wages and establish a fair and transparent wage structure;
  3. Improve benefits;
  4. Secure an environment where the union would remain established and be able to improve upon the provisions won in this contract in the future.

By March 2020, like all bargaining tables, the CRVS/ILWU sessions were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, five months later, workers secured their contract.

A base to build on

The agreement was achieved through many collective actions, shows of solidarity, and productive and collaborative negotiations at the table. This is a first contract, and while not all goals were met, many were. The agreement is a marked improvement from the status quo and allows workers the opportunity to continue building the movement as they prepare for second contract negotiations in 2023.  The results of those combined efforts were:

More Workplace Rights:

  • “Just Cause” and progressive discipline standards of treatment;
  • Seniority based layoff and recall procedures;
  • Improved hospital communications such as: required all-staff meetings and establishing office hours for 1 on 1 meetings with administration to address workplace concerns;
  • Grievance Procedure to ensure contractual obligations are adhered to;

Increased Wages:

  • Increased base rate of pay for all positions;
  • Transparency on wages and wage rates;
  • Defined Differentials for additional skills/duties; • Yearly increases to the rates of pay for all positions; Better Benefits: • Increased Paid Time Off (PTO)    accrual and ability to cash out    PTO upon resignation;
  • Paid Jury Duty;
  • Bereavement for loss of a pet;
  • Improved Employee Assistance Program benefits;
  • Expanded rollover options for Continuing Education Credits;

…and a union shop where all new applicants are informed there is a union contract in place before they apply, and a structure whereby the union is able to effectively administer the contract and support workers on the job.

Setting a new standard: ILWU International President Willie Adams posted a solidarity photo on social media in support of workers at CRVS. After the vote ratification, the ILWU Titled Officers wrote a letter to the employer, congratulating them on reaching a fair agreement

Many workers whose wages have languished under corporatized veterinary medicine are now receiving their first increase in years under the agreement. Tracie Vestal, Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) stated: “Since I had not received any meaningful wage increase from CRVS over my five years of employment, I had the lowest hourly wage of any technician with my experience, education, and skillset. This did not reflect the unique role I served in the hospital as the sole LVT expert in laboratory diagnostics. I had considered sub-standard pay par for the course as a veterinary technician and had been debating applying my skills to human medicine/public health sectors, in order to be more financially sound. This was an agonizing consideration given my deep and abiding love and dedication This equity in pay will set CRVS apart as being a leading employer in the local veterinary community.

“I am extremely hopeful that this inaugural contract with veterinary professionals will serve as a model for everyone in this country and prove that negotiating across the employer/ employee divide benefits everyone (most importantly the patients).”

But as all union members know, the struggle is never over. ILWU Local 5 administrators are already building for the next phase of these efforts to ensure that workers are prepared to defend their gains and organize for future negotiations.

Katt Bennett, LVT, Veterinary Technician Specialist (Small Animal Internal Medicine) who was a member of the Member Action Team and instrumental in organizing every solidarity action, including picket lines and rallies, reflects on the struggle and looks to the future:

“It took CRVS over two years to accomplish this feat and this contract is only the first step toward making veterinary medicine a viable career during this time of corporate greed. It will provide veterinary workers with protections, wage equality, and establish a foothold for continued improvements in working conditions. Hopefully hospitals throughout the nation will follow suit, including veterinarians. This is a long journey, but we owe it to ourselves, our clients, and especially our patients to keep pushing for justice and fairness in our hospitals.”

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionRemembering our roots: Local 5 marks 20-year anniversary

Forming ILWU Local 5: EXCERPTS from No Decisions About Us Without Us
By Kristin Russ

[ILWU Local 5 was chartered on August 10, 2000, after a two-year organizing and contract campaign by 400 workers at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. The organizing effort began in 1998 when the company restructured jobs and significantly reduced raises for workers. Powell’s workers filed for a union election on March 12, 1999.  On April 22, they made history by voting to join the union and becoming the nation’s largest union bookstore. In honor of Local 5’s 20-year anniversary, we are running excerpts from, No Decisions About Us Without US.]

Workers Take Action: September 1998

Fighting for a first contract: Workers at Powell’s Books demonstrate in support of their efforts to win their first contract. ILWU Local 5 was chartered on August 10, 2000, after a two-year organizing and contract campaign by over 400 workers at Powell’s.

[Powell’s] employee, the late Marty Kruse, knew his coworkers were upset about the changes, and he decided to take action. The day the email was issued, he wandered around the Burnside store carrying a cardboard sign under his shirt. On it was scrawled: “If you’re pissed off, meet at Ringlers Annex at 11pm.” He flashed his message to fellow booksellers whom he thought might be sympathetic. In answer, about a dozen workers met covertly to discuss their options. The atmosphere that night was heavy with paranoia—even a random bar patron in a cowboy hat was seen as an informant for management. Not knowing how to take the next step, the group decided to seek guidance from representatives with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). One week later, these representatives met with an expanded group of employees, more representative of the broader Powell’s workforce. Once employees began talking, they realized that the wage changes were not their most important concern. Many employees found that lack of management accountability and lack of respect, as well as a loss of specialization in their jobs, were common issues of contention.

Searching and Striving for a Union

[The] new Organizing Committee worked toward a quick declaration of which union they wanted to represent them. It wasn’t long before the Committee determined that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was the best choice for their needs. Under the ILWU banner they were able to charter their own Local, which would be a self-governing, independent division of the larger union.  This Local would function in the same democratic, inclusive and militant tradition of the ILWU. They would no longer be isolated employees of Powell’s Books. They became ILWU Local 5.

Management began to take action to quell the support for the union among employees. By holding informational meetings and sending out letters explaining the ills a union would bring, management vied for employees’ attention. On November 12th, 1998 a letter was sent out to employees on Powell’s letterhead, attempting to dispel rumors of upcoming corporate changes and to show what the company had done for its employees. In efforts to convince employees that a union was not necessary, the corporate managers advised: “We also want to alert people to the fact that if you don’t want to be represented by a union, if you don’t think it’s the right thing for Powell’s, your rights to oppose unionization are protected by law just as much as your coworkers’ rights to support unionization are.” The corporate managers played on the anxieties and affection of its employees, stressing that the uniqueness of Powell’s would be under threat and possible ruin with a union.

Despite Management’s efforts to sway employee interests in its favor, on March 12, 1999 Local 5 had collected enough signed Union Authorization Cards to file for a union certification election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On that rainy Friday afternoon, a rally was held outside Powell’s Burnside store in celebration of the filing. Employees held signs urging a “Fast and Fair Election”. Local 5 had one month to generate the support it needed to win the election. In another testimonial, John McMahon asked fellow Powellsians: “Should Michael Powell be left to speak for all of us, or should we have a strong voice in shaping the future of both this company and the community it serves?”

Vet Pet Care Pioneers: Pictured here are members of the Northwest Veterinary Specialists bargaining committee. NWVS workers were among the first veterinary workers who voted to unionize on the West Coast. Local 5 represents about one hundred veterinary workers at the Northwest Veterinary Services VCA, ranging from receptionists, kennel caretakers, to certified technicians.

On April 22nd, that question was answered. The ILWU was accepted as the union for Powell’s bookstore. Local 5 was official! The vote was close at 161-155. With 90% of the 350 eligible employees casting ballots, only 6 votes had determined the future of Powell’s Books and its employees.  It wasn’t a strong win, but it was a win that would take everyone into a promising, albeit tentative, future. The next nine months were spent organizing toward bargaining efforts, electing a bargaining team, and surveying employee wants and needs. On September 14th, 1999, exactly one year after Corporate’s compensation email and that first meeting of exasperated workers, the Powell’s Bargaining Team and the Local 5 Bargaining Team met across the table for the first time.

The End and The Beginning

The end of bargaining came after almost 11 months and 53 bargaining sessions, with hard feelings on both sides of the table and much conflict within the Portland community. Powell’s Burnside bookstore had become a mecca for the liberal-minded city of Portland, and the ongoing internal rift had been a source of community distress for too long. The hard-won agreement became a commitment to get back to the selling of books. Everyone was ready to move on, although some were uncertain what a unionized Powell’s would mean.

The proposed contract included more than 18% in wage increases over three years; a protection of current health care benefits; and a closed shop. The union lost in the fight for a successor rights clause; however, it was not a big loss as there was no imminent fear that Michael Powell would sell. But if, for example, a future employer should decide to contest the union, then by law a new vote for unionization would take place. Any strongly organized union should have no problem winning such a vote—yet another reason why it is in the best interest of the Local 5 and its members to maintain a good and healthy union.

Growing Seeds Bargaining Committee: Workers at the childcare chain Growing seeds in Portland voted to unionize and join Local 5 March 2020.

After a long struggle, Powell’s bookstore had defied the doubts of the retail business and completed what it set out to do—build a strong union. The vote to ratify the contract was a resounding victory at 293-37. A statement at the time from Mary Winzig, who was about to be Local 5’s first President, spoke to the fatigue of Local 5 bargainers and their satisfaction with the results: “I think we got everything we were looking for. It’s a great first contract.” Corporate Manager Ann Smith stated, “Yes, there’s relationship mending to do. But I look forward to moving on the the next chapter. It’s a good contract; it gives us a good foundation to build on.”

It took two years of fighting and rallying, multiple appeals for support from the Portland community, many ULP protests, and one powerful and united workforce to gain a precious first contract, ensuring protection of the livelihood of Powell’s employees. ‘No Decisions About Us Without Us’ had been the proclamation that reverberated throughout the aisles of Powell’s Books and had given a voice to its workers. And this new voice needed to be guarded. Setting the tone for the future of Local 5 and Powell’s, Union member Meredith Schafer stated, “The only way we get what’s in that contract is if we stay together and keep on working. The contract is not a gift—we worked for it and we’ll work to keep it.”

Afterword, The Years Since

In the years following that initial contract, Local 5 has continued to fight and continued to grow. Now with the 7th contract at Powell’s, the agreement has progressed and developed through negotiations, grievances and precedents set. The workers have continued to make gains with the most recent contract providing for over $3 in wage increases over a four-year agreement as well as maintenance of other benefits such as healthcare and PTO. The workers at Powell’s have continued to play a pivotal role in making sure Local 5 is a well-run union and continue the democratic traditions on which it was founded.

One thing has changed significantly over the years, Local 5 is no longer the “Powell’s Union” as it was initially referred to. Local 5 now represents workers from across a diverse set of industries: in foodservice is Aramark workers at the Evergreen State College in Olympia; in museums is Oregon Historical Society; in veterinary medicine is Columbia River Veterinary Specialists and Northwest Veterinary Specialists and in early learning education is Growing Seeds Learning Center. Local 5 is on the move and continues to embrace those workers who are taking a stand in their workplace and demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions. It’s a tradition 20 years in the making and one the Local looks forward to maintaining for another 20 years and beyond. Forward Ever – Backward Never!

 

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionSFVS workers strike to protest illegal actions by their employer, VCA-Mars

Workers at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (SFVS), walked-off the job on July 30 to protest federal labor law violations by their employer, VCA-Mars.  The “Unfair Labor Practices” strike was triggered by a new charge that the ILWU filed against the company and by a new complaint issued by the Federal Government, alleging the hospital committed a host of federal labor law violations.

Solidarity and social distancing

Workers held a small rally outside of the hospital in San Francisco’s Mission District following proper COVID safety protocols, while community supporters and clients listened to the rally speakers over Zoom and participated in a car caravan that circled the hospital.  In 2018, workers at SFVS voted by a 3-to-1 margin to form a union and affiliate with ILWU Local 6. Since that time, they have been trying to negotiate their first contract. Meanwhile, the company has hired anti-union consultants and lawyers to avoid reaching an agreement. The company refused to meet more than one day per month for bargaining until recently, when they finally agreed to meet twice per month to settle a NLRB complaint for bargaining in bad faith in violation of federal law. Standing with Katy

During the strike, workers, community members, and clients also rallied in support of Katy Bradley, an outspoken union supporter, bargaining committee member, and advocate for better patient care who was fired by VCA-Mars hours after the employer was notified that charges were being filed against them for violating federal law. Bradley has been an exemplary employee at SFVS for nearly eight years where she worked as a lead veterinary technician.  “VCA-Mars can lock me out but they can’t keep me from bargaining for a fair contract,” Bradley said during an emotional speech. “We’ve been trying to reach an agreement for 27 months to improve this hospital as well as the pet-care industry. We want a fair contract that mutually benefits the hospital and the employees that work here. We want to improve the staffing ratios so that we can continue to provide the best patient care possible. Despite how reasonable our asks are, VCA-Mars continues to stall bargaining and deny that they can hear our calls.” The big business of vet care

The veterinary care industry is a lucrative, multi-billion-dollar business built on the backs of a workforce that is underpaid for their high level of skill and education. In 2017, the Mars Corporation quietly purchased SFVS, along with hundreds of other animal hospitals and clinics, for $9.1 billion. Mars is a privately-held company famous for their M&M candies. Mars now controls a large share of America’s animal care industry, along with ownership of IAM’s and Pedigree brand pet foods, and other animal-linked assets. Mars has come under fire in recent months by civil rights activists for the negative racial stereo depicted in the packaging of their Uncle Ben’s brand rice products. The company has also been criticized by human rights activists for using slave labor in the production of their cocoa products.

“The ILWU is proud to stand behind Katy and all of the workers at SFVS who are fighting VCA-Mars to improve patient care and reach a fair contract. VCA-Mars is not the first billion-dollar corporation the ILWU has faced. We won those battles and will win this one too,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams.

Support from elected officials

The action drew statements of support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and San Francisco Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Dean Preston.

“Recent developments represent a troubling deterioration of labor negotiations. This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered VCA-SFVS to respond to charges of retaliation and termination based on employees’ protected union activity and refusal to bargain in good faith. And last week, ILWU filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint and 10-J Injunction for the termination of Katy Bradley, a union supporter who rose through the ranks at VCASFVS to her role as lead veterinary technician,” Speaker Pelosi wrote in a letter to the employer.

Supervisor Ronen stated in her letter to the company: “When a company knowingly attacks workers or undermines worker support, that company attacks our community. As the community–elected representative of the city’s 9th District I request that you reinstate Katy Bradley, cease all anti-union activity and you return to good faith bargaining. A quick resolution that is mutually beneficial to all parties is what our community grows and thrives on.”

District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston wrote in a letter the employer, “I have closely followed the multi-year effort of the VCA union. I have been impressed by how committed and serious these professionals are, diligently trying to improve their place of employment for the benefit of workers and patients. Naturally, we expect their employer at VCA – Mars Corporation – not to undermine workers.   “Like most, until I became familiar with the VCA workers’ union, I was unaware of the size and nature of Mars’ investment and growth in the pet care industry. I would hope that a multi-billion dollar company would be thoughtful in disciplinary action towards an employee, particularly during a pandemic and during contract negotiation. I am concerned not only by the report of the termination of Ms. Bradley, but also reports of zero cost of living adjustments, raises or any proactive policy in support of the workers at SFVS during this health crisis, as well as a reduction of hours for support staff and increased patient load on reduced staff.”

The strike, which lasted less than an hour, is an “unfair labor practice” strike, because it responds directly to illegal conduct by the employer, rather than concerns about working standards, such as high-turnover, short-staffing and patient care, problems that have also plagued SFVS.

Liz Hughston from the National Veterinary Professionals Union, called into the rally via Zoom and spoke about the central role Katy has played in the effort to unionize the veterinary industry. “Katy is the reason that unionization in the veterinary industry is as far along as it is,” said Hughston. “Katy started this mission at SFVS. She is the one who connected the veterinary industry with the ILWU and without her we would not be fighting for the rights of veterinary workers to the extent we are today.”

SFVS worker David Lesseps closed the rally out, saying that workers will outlast the company’s efforts to undermine the union. “We have been targeted. We have been threatened. They have tried to wear us down but we are not tired, we are not stopping,” he said.

 

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionExplosion at the Port of Beirut puts spotlight on lax maritime regulations

Aftermath: The warehouse blast decimated the Port of Beirut and killed scores of port and maritime workers.

On August 4, two devastating explosions occurred at the Port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The second explosion, caused by the ignition of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, leveled the port and killed at least 177 people, including seafarers, longshore and other port workers. The blast left an estimated 300,000 people homeless and caused billions of dollars in damage throughout the city. The ammonium nitrate had been confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship, the MV Rhosus, and then stored at the port for six years without safety measures.

 ILWU statement

The day after the explosion, ILWU International President Willie Adams released the following statement: “International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers on the West Coast of the United States and Canada grieve the tremendous losses that Beirut is suffering following an explosion of stored material at a port warehouse. While the chaos of the explosion has yet to reveal the full scope of human loss, we are heartbroken to learn that longshore workers lost their lives when their worksite became ground zero for the catastrophic explosion. The city of Beirut and thousands of families will never be the same.

“Reports that the Lebanese government has put port authorities under house arrest while investigating the dubious storage of these explosive materials on the docks since 2014, and the likelihood that these deaths were preventable, are deeply disturbing but not surprising developments to those of us who work on the waterfront. Employers, port authorities and government agencies should always hold safety paramount on the waterfront – but, left unchecked, complacency and profit motive too often put workers’ lives at risk. The shocking images we are seeing in the news illustrate why dockworker unions fight for safety on the docks and the safe movement of cargo: to protect our lives and communities.

The ILWU is closely monitoring the developments at the Port of Beirut, and we will determine the best way to assist when the facts become clearer. On behalf of my fellow Titled Officers, the Coast Committeemen and the rank and file membership, I extend our profound condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the dockworkers and the people of Beirut.“

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also issued a statement: “On behalf of the ITF and our 700 affiliates from around the world, we send our sincerest condolences and sympathies to all of those impacted by these terrible explosions. The ITF and our affiliates stand in solidarity with all of you, your members, colleagues, families and the people of Lebanon at this incredibly sad time,” they wrote. “We mourn this terrible tragedy alongside you and express our deep condolences to families who have lost their loved ones and wish the injured a quick recovery.’

ITF affiliated unions in Lebanon include the General Confederation of Drivers and Transport Workers in Lebanon (GCDTW), the Union of Beirut Port Employees (UBPE), the Syndicate of Middle East Airlines and Affiliate Companies (MEA), the Lebanese Cabin Crew Association (LCCA) and the Lebanese Seaman’s Syndicate (LSS).

 Profits over people

Protests erupted in the aftermath of the explosion that resulted in the resignation of Lebanese government officials including the Prime Minister. But the gross negligence of the government is only part of the story.  In an opinion piece published in The Guardian, Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, argues that the roots of the catastrophic explosion run “to a network of maritime capital and legal chicanery that is designed to protect businesses at any cost.” At the heart of this “network of legal chicanery” is the “flag of convenience” (FoC) practice that prioritizes the profits of shipping companies over the health and safety of seafarers and port workers, Khalili argues.

Flag of convenience

The FoC practice allows shipping companies to register a ship in a country other than that of the ship’s owners to avoid oversight, regulations, and accountability. Such ships are registered to (and fly the flags of) countries with the weakest labor, environmental, and health and safety regulations.

 The beginning of the tragedy

In her article, Khalili begins the story of the Beirut Port explosion in 2013, when the Russian-owned MV Rhosus, registered to a company in Bulgaria and flagged in Moldova, set sail from Georgia to Mozambique with a cargo of ammonium nitrate. The 30-year old vessel had a hole in its hull requiring water to be pumped out to stop it from sinking. It was operated by a crew of eight Ukrainians and two Russians who were unaware that the previous crew had left the ship in protest of the non-payment of their wages by the ship’s owner.

The Rhosus stopped in Beirut to earn extra cash by picking up additional cargo of heavy machinery. Inspectors were alerted when the ship’s decks buckled under the weight. It was declared “unseaworthy” and Lebanese officials impounded the vessel for failure to pay charges including port fees. The owner filed for bankruptcy, abandoning the ship, its cargo, and its crew in the Port of Beirut.  Port authorities refused to allow four of the seafarers off the ship without a replacement crew.

The captain and remaining crew were trapped aboard the ship—with its 2,750 tons of explosive cargo—for almost a year with no wages, no access to electronic communications, and with dwindling food and fuel provisions, until a Lebanese court intervened and ordered them to be released.  The cargo of ammonium nitrate was confiscated and stored in a warehouse at the port–where it remained until it exploded on August 4.  “Flags of convenience are essentially an offshoring tool intended to protect capital, allowing unsafe ships to sail with crews who are vulnerable to the depredations of unscrupulous employers. Even the wealthiest shipping companies in the world, with headquarters in Europe and east Asia, flag their ships to open registries to save on wages, taxes and insurance,” Khalili concluded.

“The removal of these offshoring provisions, eliminating flags of convenience, and an overhaul of the arbitration mechanisms that so often disadvantage seafarers and less powerful states are only the first steps towards addressing the malfeasance that created [the August 4] tragedy. As the dust settles in Beirut, there is a great deal of work to be done.”

The ITF says that until there is a “genuine link between the flag a ship flies and the nationality or residence of its owners,” abuses will continue.”

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin retires

Screenshot of C-Span broadcast of ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin speaking before Congress.

ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin retired on August 14 after serving the union for over 30 years.  Lindsay’s many contributions to the ILWU and his work with the Legislative Action Committee have left a lasting imprint on the union and membership.   During his tenure as Legislative Director, Lindsay successfully navigated many rounds of contract negotiations, worked diligently to protect our health care and retirement benefits, advocated for investments on the waterfront, defended the Jones Act, and ensured the wellbeing of future ILWU members for years to come.

At the July 17 International Executive Board meeting held over Zoom, IEB members thanked Lindsay for his decades of work.  “I’ve known Lindsay for almost 30 years. This organization owes you a debt of gratitude,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams.  “Thank you for all the years of service. You’ve been a true warrior.”  “One thing you’ve demonstrated was never to be intimidated by these politicians—they work for us,” said Executive Board member Dan McKisson. “You’ve always done a great job for us and I really appreciate it.” Lindsay recalled how he actively pursued a job with the ILWU.

“When the job came open, the first thing I did was read a biography of Harry Bridges and that got me very excited about the ILWU. I wanted the job very badly because I knew this was union with principles,” he said. “I got so hyped-up, I even grew a long mustache so I could look older. I was 27 years old at the time and I thought the union might want someone with more experience.” Lindsay thanked the Titled Officers and Executive Board members for the opportunity to serve the ILWU membership for 30 years. “I may be retiring but I will never leave the ILWU. If the union needs anything from me, I will be there,” he said. Lobbyist Kyle Mulhall, who has

worked with the ILWU Legislative Office since 2015, will be handling the transition of duties for the ILWU Legislative Office.  We wish Lindsay all the best in his retirement and thank him for his many years of service to the union.

Felixstowe DockersDolphin Death Mystery Stokes Anger in Mauritius

Dead dolphins blamed on oil spill, thousands protest against government  inaction in Mauritius - ABC News

The unexplained deaths of Dolphins in Mauritius are fanning anger over the government’s handling of an oil spill that’s the nation’s worst ecological disaster.

In less than a week, 46 melon-headed whales have been found dead on the nation’s southeast coast where the Nagashiki Shipping Co.’s Wakashio leaked fuel, according to the government. Tests so far haven’t linked the deaths to the spillage.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital, Port Louis, at the weekend, claiming the deaths were linked to the spill and blaming the government for failing to prevent the leakage.

“The reasons for the deaths are unknown,” Jasvin Sok Appadu, spokesman for the Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping Ministry, said by phone from Port Louis. “Preliminary reports following autopsies of the first set of dead mammals do not show any presence of fuel oil in their lungs and digestive systems.”

Mauritius was left almost helpless after the vessel spilled about 1,000 tons of fuel into its pristine waters that communities and the government rely on for fishing and tourism. The leakage started more than a week after the ship ran aground on July 25 after salvage operations were delayed.

Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said that the government was unable to act immediately because it lacked the resources.


Luke Smout

Maritime Union of New ZealandHere’s why we need only NZ-flagged ships travelling around our coasts

I work at Ports of Auckland. I’m onsite every day as part of the stevedoring team, in the 20 years I’ve been a watersider, I’ve had just about every job there is. Lasher, straddle driver you name it.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU President Willie Adams’ letter to Gov. Tony Evers on the shooting of Jacob Blake

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU’s 10 Guiding Principles Webinar

The ILWU is hosting a webinar on September 22, 2020, from 6-7:30PM as part of our leadership education programming.  The online event, The ILWU’s Values: Members reflect on the Ten Guiding Principles will feature leaders from across the union discussing the role of the ILWU’s Ten Guiding Principles in their work and union life.

The Ten Guiding Principles were developed in 1953 to codify the cardinal values upon which the ILWU was built.  Since they were first written, the principles have served as a guidepost to ILWU leaders in their work within the union and the broader community.  This webinar will highlight some of the work that union members have done that reflects the ILWU’s values through the lens of the Principles.  Panelists will share personal stories that illustrate how the ILWU’s Principles have applied to their work.

The webinar is open to members and affiliates in good standing with preference given to active members.  Those interested in attending may register by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Please register online no later than 5 p.m. on September 18, 2020

Questions may be addressed to Educational Services Director Robin Walker at robin.walker@ilwu.org

 

Felixstowe DockersWATCH: Truck driver drives off RORO before Mooring

 

Felixstowe DockersUAE Ship And Its Crew Detained By Iran

 UAE Representation Image

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has reported that it detained a UAE-registered vessel on Thursday, 20th Aug 2020 after it was found violating the Iranian waters. 

In a statement made on state television, it also added that UAE had, on the same day shot two Iranian fishermen and seized a boat.

Iran summoned the charge d’affaires of the UAE in Tehran in response to the deaths of the 2 fishermen and compelled them to release the seized boat. UAE in return expressed its ts deepest regrets for the action and returned the boat and its crew to authorities. Transportation of the dead bodies will be undertaken legally. It has also agreed to pay for the damaged caused.

The Emirati ship had been held by Iranian Coast Guards as it was found performing illegal trafficking on the territorial waters of Iran. The crew has now been arrested. Iran has warned against further attacks saying that “Tehran will take all necessary measures to protect its vessels and citizens in the Persian Gulf.”

Both actions come at a time when tensions continue to escalate between Iran and UAE

After a surprise agreement last week between UAE and Israel seeking to ‘normalise ties’.

The decision wasn’t taken in well by the Iranian President who called it a “big mistake” as he believed that it will open up the path of Israel to the region.

Abu Dhabi, finding President Hassan Rouhani’s comments “unacceptable and inflammatory” summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires to condemn the rhetoric.

Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, however, maintains that the diplomatic agreement has nothing to do with Israel. The agreement once signed will make UAE the 3rd nation to evolve diplomatic relations with Israel.

The rivalry between the countries has downgraded consistently since 2016 due to rifts between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Despite the troubled relations, Iran and UAE have important economic links with each other, including a significant chunk of Iranian expatriate community in UAE.

Felixstowe DockersTypes of Main Bearings of Marine Engines and their Properties

Main Bearing Top Half

The rotational power of a ship’s propeller is determined by the power produced by the marine engine to rotate the crankshaft. 

The crankshaft of the main engine is supported and connected to the connecting rod via main Bearings whose main function is to transmit the load without any metal to metal contact.

This is achieved by choosing special materials for manufacturing main bearings which float the journal pin of the rotating crankshaft when lube oil is supplied to it.

Forces on Bearings

A ship engine comprises of heavy rotational parts which exert different forces on various parts of the engine crankshaft. One of the significant load-bearing parts of the crankshaft system is the main bearings.

The bearings in a marine engine are subjected to multiple forces which include:

– Gas pressure generated inside the liner

– Dynamic Inertial forces due to different reciprocating and rotating motion of the engine parts

– Centrifugal forces due to different reciprocating and rotating motion of the engine parts

– Friction between the crankshaft and bearing due to engine vibration


Forces on Main Bearing

The main bearing is thus designed to tackle various forces along with supporting the crankshaft rotating at high speed. Hence, the material used in making the bearing is essential so that it can support the crankshaft journal and also adjust to minor surface irregularities.

The engine bearing cannot do the work alone. They need a compatible lubricating oil to bear the load and allow the rotation of crankshaft journal smoothly. The lubricating oil enables the bearing to withstand abrasive particles which create friction between journal and bearing.  


Properties of main bearing materials

For selecting the main bearing for a marine engine, it must have the following features: 

It should be anti-corrosive in nature to avoid corrosion of bearing material and associated parts such as journal and bearing keep

It should be frictional resistant so that there is minimum energy loss between the bearing and the journal

It should have an excellent load-bearing capacity as dynamic load acts on it

It should have good running in and grinding-in ability

The bearing must support the oil film which allows smooth rotation of the journal

The bearing material should be such that it does not react with the lubricating oil

The bearing should have suitable embeddability property so that small particle embed in the bearing surface without harming the journal pin

The bearing material should have an excellent compressive and tensile strength

It must have a thermal resistant property to avoid any damage if it’s running hot


Common defects in bearings

Corrosion: If the oil in which the bearing is placed is acidic, it may lead to corrosion. The surface of the bearing will become discoloured and rough due to corrosion

Abrasion:  If the oil is not filtered and treated correctly and contains minute particles, which are common in engines burning heavy fuel oil, it may cause fine scratches on the bearing surface 

Erosion: When the oil supply pressure is not appropriate, or there is a rapid and unusual journal movement, it will lead the stripping of the overlay layer of the bearing. These phenomena are more common in medium-speed engines.

Fatigue: When the engine load over the bearing is too high, it may lead to the removal of the bearing lining. The bearing surface loads cracked paving.

Wiping:  It is the process when the overlay layer removes due to high temperature. When the bearing is new, wiping is required to remove the initial layer, which helps in re-alignment of the bearing to the journal. However, too much metal wiping can lead to increase in clearances affecting the performance of the bearing

Spark Erosion: When the propeller is at rest, the stern tube, propeller shaft and bearings are in contact with each other. Similarly, main engine bearing and journal are in contact with each other, maintaining continuity of the circuit. When the ship is running, due to the rotation of the propeller and lubricating oil film the shaft becomes partially electrical insulated. It may also happen on the tail shaft using non-metallic bearing which acts as an insulation.

The propeller at the aft is a large area of exposed metal which attracts protective cathodic current which produces an arc while discharging from the lubricating film. This results in spark erosion of bearings, which can lead to a worse situation if lube oil is contaminated with seawater

Crankshaft misalignment: Crankshaft of a marine engine is a massive component when fully put together in the engine. Initially, the complete crankshaft is aligned in a straight line (connection drawn from the centre of the crankshaft makes a straight line) before setting it on the top of main bearings. But with time due to various factors, the straight line may deviate and misalign which can lead to damage to the main bearings

Hence, the increase in the clearance between the bearing and the journal pin can be due to the above-listed factor as well as the following:

-If the bearing is operated above the operating temperature for a longer period

-If there is significant and prolong variation in the engine speed, e.g. over speeding of the engine

-If the lubrication oil film thickness is reduced due to change in the oil flow

–If there is a change in the viscosity of the lubricant 

-If the lubrication oil temperature is high

-If the lube oil used has a different load-bearing capacity than the recommended.  

-There is a change in the engine ambient temperature.

Types of the main bearing

In the maritime industry, there are three famous types of Main bearings used for both propulsion engines which are normally 2 stroke engines and power generation engines which are 4 stroke engines, they are as follows:

1. Lead Bronze Bearing: These bearings consist of the following layers

Flash layer: It is the topmost layer with a thickness of 0.035mm made up of tin and lead. It is used to protect the bearing from corrosion and dust when not in use. This layer flashes off when a bearing is running.

Nickle Barrier: It is the second layer made up of nickel with a thickness of 0.02mm. Its main function is to prevent corrosion and avoid diffusion of tin into bearing metal.

Lead Bronze: The third layer composed of lead bronze which has an excellent anti seizing property and is the principle component which acts as a bearing out of all layers.

Steel back: Steel back is the last and backing part of the bearing used for shape and support over which all the layers are bonded together.

Gudgeon Pin bearing in a 4 stroke engine is usually made of lead bronze bearing and also used for the main bearing for smaller engines.


2.  Bi-metal Bearing: This bearing consists of the following layers

Aluminium Tin: The first layer of bi-metal consists of Al and Sn with a thickness of 0.5 to 1.3mm and this is the main element of this type of bearing.

Bonding Layer: The bonding layer consists of aluminium and it is 0.1mm thick. The main function of the bonding layer is to obtain a good bond between the shell and the top layer.

Steel Back: The backing part used for shape and support.

This type of bearings are used in 4 stroke engine main bearings

3. Tri-Metal Bearing: These bearings are called tri-metal bearing because they consist of three main layers 

Flash Layer: It is the top most layer with a thickness of 1 micron made up of tin and lead and used to protect the bearing from corrosion and dust when not in use. This layer flashes off when bearing is in Running in the period.

Overlay: The second layer made up of white metal (Tin Antimony Copper) which is the main component in this type of bearing. Its thickness is 20 microns.

Interlay: It is the third layer used as an anti-corrosive layer for overlay. It is of 5 microns thickness.

Lining: It is the lining layer between interlay and steel back with a thickness of 1 mm made up of lead and bronze.

Steel Back: The backing part used for shape and support.

Felixstowe DockersFate Of English Channel Migrants Entwined In Brexit Talks

 Immigration - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The ...

The European Union has so far rebuffed British calls for talks on a deal to allow London to send unwanted migrants back to Europe from 2021, and could use the issue as potential leverage in wider Brexit negotiations, diplomats and officials said.

The agenda for this week’s EU-UK talks on their future relationship after a post-Brexit transition period runs out at the end of 2020 did not include specific talks on returning migrants, though London has long pressed for such a deal.

Brussels diplomats and officials following discussions on Britain’s departure from the bloc told Reuters the EU was playing hard to get, believing an agreement on migrants was more important to Britain than the bloc’s 27 member states.

Hundreds of people, including some children, have tried to cross the English Channel to southern England from makeshift camps in northern France this month – many navigating one of the world’s busiest shipping routes in overloaded rubber dinghies.

Britain’s Home Office said this week the uptick in the numbers attempting the perilous crossing was frustrating.

“That is why the (government) is committed … to ensuring we have legislation ready following the end of the transition period,” it said. “This legislation will build on our continuing work with the French government to stop these crossings.”

Britain wants to be able to ship such migrants back to France or Belgium, where they embarked.

But without a new deal with the EU, once its current arrangements with the bloc end it would be obliged under international humanitarian law to take responsibility for anyone landing on its coast, being fished from the water by its ships or brought to its ports by other vessels.

Unlike with Turkey, where the EU needed a migration pact to ensure Ankara keeps on its soil the millions of Middle Eastern refugees it hosts – the 27 EU countries are in no rush.

“The UK has interest in this. We can wait,” said an EU diplomat dealing with migration. “The 27 are not that worried. Of that, 25 do not really care at all. France and Belgium can be to some extent preoccupied, but far less than the UK is.”

Authorities on Wednesday found a dead Sudanese boy on a beach in northern France, as Paris and London said they would shut down the migrant route across the Channel.

SECURITY TRADE-OFF

Sources in Brussels hope a final Brexit agreement will be ready for an Oct.15-16 EU leaders’ summit, allowing time for ratification by year-end, though some have warned it might come later.

EU sources said migration would not ultimately be a deal maker or breaker in the negotiations, where fisheries and state aid arrangements are the biggest lingering hurdles.

But a second EU diplomat said migration could play a role, suggesting a trade-off for talks on a new security and defence pact, which the bloc wants but London has refused to engage in so far.

“If they don’t get the overall deal – they don’t have a migration deal either,” said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If they do go for a deal – they may get something on migration as well.”

The U.N. migration agency expressed concern this week about Britain’s plans to deploy its navy to intercept people and return them to mainland Europe.

“Our collective response should be… from saving lives to combating smuggling rings, expanding legal options, and ensuring that all those who are in need of protection can effectively access it,” said the International Organisation for Migration.

It called on London to ensure vulnerable migrants, such as unaccompanied minors, can continue reuniting with families in Britain after Brexit.

Felixstowe Dockers4 Missing After Dredge Hits A Pipeline And Explodes in Corpus Christi

 Corpus Christi Dredge Explosion

Coast Guard crews respond to a dredge on fire in the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Aug. 21, 2020. 

A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched to the scene, hoisted two injured crewmembers, and transferred them to Corpus Christi Medical Center.

Four members of the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd are missing after a fire and explosion near the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to close the port’s inner harbor, the agency said.

Two injured crew members have been rescued from the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd after it caught fire, while a search for missing crew members continues, the Coast Guard said.

The fire started shortly after 9:00 AM ET (1300 GMT) in an area referred to as “refinery row” because of its proximity to several refining facilities, according to a spokeswoman for the Corpus Christi fire department.

Corpus Christi is home to a number of oil refineries and shipping ports, and has become an important exporting locale for crude oil. Valero on Friday said operations at its refinery were normal.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the Inner Harbor from Harbor Bridge inward of the Port of Corpus Christi ship channel.

Felixstowe DockersMaersk Executive Charged In Petrobras Corruption Scheme

A.P. Moller-Maersk (1) | Supply Chain & Transportation Management Blog

Brazilian prosecutors pressed charges on Friday against two people for an alleged scheme to obtain confidential market information from Petrobras to benefit A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company.

The case stems from an investigation that started in 2014 as part of Brazil’s sprawling Car Wash scandal, which has since included suppliers like Maersk and uncovered corruption throughout multiple countries in more than 70 police operations.

A statement released by prosecutors on Friday said a former Maersk executive in Brazil, Viggo Andersen, participated in a scheme that led to at least $31.7 million in losses for Petrobras.

Andersen denies the accusations and will have his innocence proved, his lawyer Paulo Freitas said in a written response.

According to prosecutors, Andersen participated in a scheme to bribe a Petrobras executive, through an intermediary, in exchange for privileged information that would guarantee more business to Maersk.

Andersen allegedly inflated shipping contract prices and transferred the proceeds to Maersk commercial representative Wanderley Gandra, who acted as a financial operator for the scheme, the prosecutors said.

Gandra, according to prosecutors, then sent some of the money to Paulo Roberto Costa, a former Petrobras top executive, who supplied confidential information on the state oil company’s shipping needs back to Maersk, the statement said.

Gandra’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Costa was arrested in 2014 and was the first of more than 100 people who entered a plea deal with prosecutors. He has provided investigators with information on multiple Petrobras contracts he oversaw, including with Maersk and other international offshore suppliers.

A judge must still decide whether to start a criminal case against Andersen and Gandra or drop the charges.

The alleged crimes relate to the period 2006 to 2014, the prosecution statement said. Andersen left Maersk in 2017, according to his LinkedIn page.

Maersk said it takes the “allegations very seriously and remains committed to cooperating with the authorities.” Petrobras has been collaborating with officials since 2014 and will continue to do so, the company said in a written response.

Last year, Maersk’s offices in Brazil were raided by prosecutors.

Representatives of the Danish company met with Brazilian investigators as far back as 2014 in relation to its dealings with Petrobras during the early stages of the corruption investigation.

Felixstowe DockersMauritius Jails Wakashio Captain Under Piracy And Violence Act

 Wakashio-tanker-captain

Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, master of the MV Wakashio bulk carrier that ran aground on a coral reef, causing a large oil spill, was arrested and jailed by a district court in Port Louis, Mauritius yesterday. 

Captain Nandeshwar, and Indian national, was arrested alongside the chief officer, Tilak Ratna Suboda, a Sri Lankan and charged with endangering safe navigation under the piracy and maritime violence act.

Local news media and police have reported that prior to the grounding incident, the carrier sailed close to the Mauritius coastline to get a Wi-Fi signal because the crew was celebrating a birthday.

“We are carrying out a full investigation and interviewing all the crew members,” Local police inspector Sivo Coothen told reporters. Both will remain in custody until their bail hearing.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) which chartered the MV Wakashio, issued a press release today acknowledging the arrest but offered no words of support for the officers in jail.

“The Master and Chief Officer of Wakashio have been arrested by the local authority on August 18.” says the MOL release. “MOL is fully aware of its responsibilities and will continue to work with the relevant authorities of Mauritius and Japan.”

MOL also stated that it dispatched a team of 6 employees and some equipment to assist in oil recovery efforts but will wait to “dispatch an additional team in later August”.

In contrast to MOL’s lack of support in the wake of this arrest, Nagashiki Shipping did promise a degree of help. “We will continue to support the crew and their families while awaiting future judicial decisions.” said a company official in today’s official statement.  “We sincerely apologize for causing a great deal of inconvenience to everyone involved.”

Neither of today’s statements mention the fate of the MV Wakashio’s 18 other Indian, Srilankan, and Phillipino seafarers after the arrest of their Captain but media reports suggest they are currently being interviewed by police.

The captain and chief officer’s next court appearance is currently set for August 25th.

Felixstowe DockersOffshore Drilling Is ‘Structurally Damaged’ And Help Is Not Coming


Shell-shocked' Trump glum after seeing internal polls that show ...

(Bloomberg) – President Donald Trump helped to clinch an unprecedented deal among the world’s largest crude producers, but the pact hasn’t stopped America’s oil industry from bleeding.

“Offshore drilling is structurally damaged, and recovery is not imminent,” Bernstein analyst Nicholas Green wrote Wednesday in a note to investors. “New contract tenders are few, highly competitive and low priced; most players are badly over-levered and in desperate need of cash.”

The Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on the oil market is rippling throughout the supply chain, from explorers to the companies that provide them with workers and equipment. London-based Valaris, owner of the world’s largest offshore rig fleet, became the latest casualty on Wednesday.

In North America alone, dozens of producers and oilfield servicers have gone bust in 2020, and Mizuho Securities USA predicted earlier this year that as many as 70% of U.S. shale producers may go bankrupt.

Oil prices pulled out of a freefall after an agreement by OPEC and its allies, prodded by Trump, to rein in production. But after embarking on aggressive growth plans when crude was trading above $100 a barrel a few years ago, the U.S. industry is still grappling with crushing debt loads, and demand for oil and petroleum products remains well below normal as nations struggle to control the spread of the virus. Longer-term, oil companies are facing investor calls to address climate change and transition away from fossil fuels.

Trump tweeted in April that the OPEC+ pact was a “great deal for all” and would “save hundreds of thousands of energy jobs in the United States.” He met with oil producers at the White House and directed the Energy Department to buy crude for the Strategic Oil Reserve, but a plan to steer financial aid to drillers didn’t gain traction. U.S. producers are in dire straits just months ahead of a presidential election that could have significant consequences for the oil industry, with Trump trailing Joe Biden in most polls.

“Oil probably in the second quarter faced the biggest challenge it’s ever seen with the largest demand shock that oil has ever experienced,” James West, an analyst at Evercore ISI, said Wednesday in a phone interview. But “we’ve still got plenty of runway for fossil fuels and hydrocarbons. While there’s still a movement to bring in alternatives, they lack some critical mass, and we’re going to be using oil and gas, particularly natural gas, for the foreseeable future.”

Oilfield services and offshore rig providers soon followed shale drillers into bankruptcy. Oil contractors at sea are going bust at the fastest pace in three years as explorers spurn high-cost drilling to deal with the worldwide slump in commodity prices. While newer deep-water projects are less expensive, they still take longer to develop than land-based shale wells and typically are more costly.

Valaris, which was created in 2019 out of the combination of Ensco and Rowan, joins rivals Noble Corp. and Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. in bankruptcy. Pacific Drilling SA earlier this month said it may return to bankruptcy court for the second time in less than three years, and Transocean, the world’s biggest owner of deep-water oil rigs, has said it’s exploring strategic alternatives.

Mixed Record

Valaris’s bankruptcy comes days after the Trump administration authorized a sweeping plan to sell drilling rights and spur oil development in Alaska’s rugged Arctic refuge. While Trump has touted U.S. energy dominance, his record in addressing oil-industry priorities has been mixed. Even as he personally intervened to help broker a global pact to cut oil output this spring, the president trumpeted low crude and gasoline prices as a “tax cut” for consumers.

Energy industry leaders have griped that despite his supportive rhetoric, Trump has routinely prioritised other segments of the U.S. economy, including coming to the defence of coal at the expense of natural gas and adopting steel tariffs that sparked concern about higher pipeline costs. They were also disappointed in his decision to forgo a chance to expand offshore oil and gas leasing in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, amid concerns it would hurt his chances of re-election in Florida. Other moves to aid energy interests have been blocked in court.

Under Trump, the Interior Department has rebuffed offshore oil producers’ pleas for a blanket waiver lowering the royalties they pay the federal government for crude and gas extracted from federal waters.

Still, the oil industry largely views Trump as the preferred alternative to Biden, whose $2 trillion climate plan aims to end U.S. reliance on fossil fuels.

The cascade of oil-patch bankruptcies isn’t likely to stop until supply and demand come back into balance, which could take some time. Global oil demand will rebound next year as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, but won’t fully recover until 2022 at the earliest, the International Energy Agency said in June.

Producers are responding to investor demands for lower spending, however, which will eventually result in a tighter oil market and higher prices, Paul Sankey, founder of Sankey Research, said in a note to investors.

“We are on the path to consumers yelling for oil companies to increase investment,” Sankey said.

Felixstowe DockersMauritius To Scuttle MV Wakashio

Mauritius oil spill: MV Wakashio captain arrested | KYR News

Mauritius said on Thursday it had started to scuttle the Japanese-owned bulk carrier that ran aground off its shores and spilled oil over pristine waters and fragile coral reefs.

The MV Wakashio hit a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began spilling oil on Aug. 6, prompting the government to announce a state of environmental emergency.

Two of the ship’s officers were arrested on Tuesday on charges of endangering safe navigation.

The government’s National Crisis Committee said in a statement the exercise had started at around 1200 GMT.

“The … Crisis Committee has taken note of the progress made with regards to the scuttling exercise of the stem section of the casualty which has reached the identified location as confirmed by the Chief Salvage Master,” it said.

On Wednesday, the government said the ship’s sinking would be done in a way that would avoid further pollution or interfere with maritime routes.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the action would lead to more pollution.

Scientists say the full extent of the spill was still unfolding but the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades.

Reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by David Evans

Felixstowe DockersMaersk line triples profits despite COVID

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The good news is that container shipping looks like it will weather the coronavirus crisis. The even better news is that COVID-19 has accelerated and solidified a new, more resilient business formula for the industry.

On Wednesday, the owner of the world’s largest container line, A.P. Moller-Maersk (APM, Copenhagen: MAERSK-B), posted stronger-than-expected results for the second quarter — the very quarter the coronavirus was peaking.

Maersk’s experiences during the outbreak confirm that liner alliances and consolidation are paying off, allowing capacity to be much more actively managed to match demand, supporting rates. The crisis has also confirmed the value of digital spot-booking platforms.

“Since it has worked so well for us [during the outbreak] why should we change that?” said APM CEO Soren Skou during the conference call, referring to active capacity management. “That will be our approach going forward. In my view, this is a structural change.”

Digital spot booking platforms will likewise be the new normal. “A version of a [digital] spot product will be ‘table stakes’ in two to three years.” Skou maintained.

The winning formula for container shipping that has emerged: consolidate capacity; toggle capacity in line with demand; go for profits not market share; split exposure between spot and period contracts; push spot customers toward digital booking platforms; and use spot booking data to more accurately toggle capacity in line with demand to further enhance earnings.

Strong quarterly results

APM reported net income of $443 million for the second quarter of 2020, almost triple net income of $153 million in Q2 2019. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled $1.7 billion in Q2 2020, 8% above the consensus estimate of $1.58 billion. Projected full-year EBITDA is $6 billion-$7 billion, topping the consensus estimate of $5.8 billion.

In the ocean segment, Q2 2020 revenue was $6.57 billion, down 8.7% year-on-year due to a 15.8% volume decline offset by a 4.5% freight rate increase. Costs fell faster than revenues — down 16% to $5.16 billion due to lower bunker and time-charter costs. Consequently, Maersk’s Q2 2020 ocean EBITDA increased 26%, to $1.36 billion.

Three months ago, Maersk predicted second-quarter demand could fall by 20-25%. As it turned out, demand was down 20% in April, but by a lesser amount thereafter. Demand is down this month by the mid to high single digits, reported Skou.

Maersk “blanked” (canceled) more than 166 sailings in Q2 2020. “Tight capacity deployment led to a decrease in capacity that was slightly more than the decline in actual volume, as we expected the decline in volumes to be steeper,” acknowledged APM CFO Patrick Jany.

Carriers have added that capacity back. Skou said that as of now, Maersk has more capacity deployed in the trans-Pacific market than it did at this time last year.

Capacity reductions in Q2 2020 helped prop up rates. Rising rates in the spot market — which accounts for about half of Maersk’s business — brought up the overall average. Decreases in the Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) due to declining fuel costs have brought contract rates lower. Some contracts adjust BAFs monthly, some quarterly.

Active capacity management

When the coronavirus struck, the initial reaction among analysts and executives was to compare potential outcomes to the aftermath of the global financial crisis. But container lines are behaving much differently now than they did then.

According to Skou, “In 2009, the thinking at Maersk, and I think of the whole industry, was that if you had a network you would have to keep sailing it and filling it up at all costs. We lowered prices in order to fill the network. Obviously, that approach has now completely changed.

“In 2009, we went after market share. This time, we are focusing on profitability. We have been saying that for a couple of years and the pandemic has just strengthened our resolve.

“It’s not just because of the [change in] culture and the way of thinking. We now have a much bigger network, which makes it much simpler to take out capacity. If you’re operating two weekly services from Asia to Europe, it’s a huge decision to take out one string, because you cannot cover all the ports and some customers will not be served. If you’re operating 13 or 14 strings, as we were before the crisis, it’s quite a simple proposition to take out capacity and still serve all customers,” said Skou.

“The other big difference today is that in 2009, the industry, and for that matter ourselves, had an orderbook equal to 50-60% of existing capacity. Today, the orderbook is around 9%,” he added.

Container industry in financial crisis vs. coronavirus crisis. Demand fell in both cases but carriers kept the supply-demand balance and rates much higher in current crisis (Charts: Maersk)

Digital spot-booking platforms

The other big structural change is the move to online spot bookings via platforms such as Maersk Spot. According to Jany, Maersk Spot has gained further traction and accounted for over 40% of the company’s Q2 2020 spot volumes.

“We see plenty of potential for expansion and eventually it will be close to 100%,” said Skou. “The complication right now is how to implement it in the U.S., where there are rules to file with the Federal Maritime Commission that we need to resolve.

“The big benefit for us is that it’s a commitment product. That means the customer makes a booking and actually has to show up with a container or pay a penalty. That, of course, makes it easier for us to plan utilization. We can avoid situations where we risk ‘rolling’ [pushing back loadings of] our customers when we get it wrong.

“There’s also a cost benefit to us because the customer is doing all the work in terms of getting a price online, making a booking and doing the documentation,” said Skou, who added, “Frankly, I think it would be very strange if our industry did not develop in this [digitalization direction], just like we have already in business-to-consumer industries.”

The coronavirus appears to be speeding up the transition. Sea-Intelligence CEO Lars Jensen commented on Wednesday, “The digital change in the industry has been massively accelerated and anyone not ‘on the train’ at this point needs to play catch-up real quick.” 

Felixstowe DockersSomali pirates release last 3 hostages as armed men attack Panama-flagged ship

A solution to Somali piracy is in sight -- local communities hold ...

Somali pirates have released three Iranian hostages held for five years, a maritime security official said on Thursday, as conflicting reports emerged whether another ship had been seized after a three-year hiatus in hijackings.

The three Iranians are the last of the crew of the Iranian fishing vessel FV Siraj, which was captured by pirates on March 22, 2015.

“This marks the end of an era of Somali piracy and the pain and suffering of Somalia’s forgotten hostages,” said John Steed, the coordinator of the Hostage Support Programme, a volunteer organisation based in Nairobi begun to help rescue crews abandoned by their employers.

The release was meant to mark the end of an era for Somalia’s pirates, who held over 2,300 crew between 2010 and 2019.

But instead, six armed men hijacked the Panama-flagged Aegean II late Wednesday after it had engine problems, a regional governor in Somalia told Reuters.

Musse Salah, the governor of Gardafu in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland, said the ship was travelling from the United Arab Emirates to Mogadishu port when pirates attacked it, in what would be the first successful hijacking since 2017.

There were 20 crew onboard, said a resident in contact with the men who had seized the ship.

A regional security official said the men appeared to have links to a local militia that functioned as a police unit in the Bari region. The official asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

POLICE, PIRATES, OR BOTH?

Jay Bahadur, a Somali piracy expert who was previously head of a United Nations group of experts enforcing an arms embargo on Somalia, said that being a pirate and a member of the Somali police had not historically been mutually exclusive.

He said it appeared that a group of men wearing police uniforms had boarded the ship, robbed the crew and taken the weapons of a private security team on board.

The man reported to be the ringleader of the attack on the Aegean II had repeated phone contact with another pirate who was part of a group that carried out Somalia’s last hijacking in 2017, he added. The contact happened in the months prior to the 2017 hijacking.

“If it was indeed the police, it bears resemblance to one of the earliest Somali piracy incidents, when members of the Puntland coast guard hijacked the boat they were supposed to be guarding,” he said.

Satellite tracking data showed the ship appeared to have rounded the Horn of Africa and was going south past the Somali port of Hafun before suddenly turning sharply to the north and docking in Bereeda. Pictures sent to Reuters from Bereeda showed the Aegean II, a small tanker that carries chemical or crude products.

The European Union Naval Force, known as EU Navfor, was checking on the incident, said a source in their Somalia Joint Operation Centre.

At the height of their power in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off the coast of the country, the International Maritime Bureau says, and held hundreds hostage.

The number of attacks later tumbled as shipping firms implemented better security protocols, including posting look-outs, sailing further away from Somalia, and hiring private security. International warships operating as part of a coalition also prevented several attacks.

Somalia has been riven by civil war since 1991 and is controlled by a patchwork of local militias, pockets of federal forces, African Union peacekeepers and Islamist insurgents. The Horn of Africa nation has also been intermittently plagued by pirates.

Source: Reuters

Felixstowe DockersWakashio bow under tow as UNESCO protected sites come under severe threat

 

The bow section of the Wakashio bulk carrier is being towed eight nautical miles to an area with 2 km depth with its hatches open, while the stern of the Japanese vessel remains on a reef off Mauritius, with salvors waiting for the bad weather to pass.

The Panamanian-flagged ship grounded on July 25 and split in two on Saturday. It has quickly become the worst ecological crisis the Indian Ocean island republic has faced.

The latest satellite analysis of the bunker spill from the huge 203,000 dwt ship shows the 8 sq km oil slick has washed up in the UNESCO protected Blue Bay Marine Park, as well as the UNESCO protected Pointe d’Esny Mangrove Forests and the Ile aux Aigrettes nature preserve for endangered species.

The site of the spill in Blue Bay Marine Park is now directly over the site of the 1,000 year old brain coral that was the largest and oldest in the Indian Ocean.

The Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping, is insured by Japan P&I. Insurance experts are now expecting the bill for the clean-up operation from this disaster to top $500m.

Sebastien Lecornu, minister for France’s overseas territories who visited Mauritius over the weekend, said yesterday he believed the clean up operation would involve “at least 10 months of work”.

Christian Bueger, professor of international relations at the University of Copenhagen and and an honorary professor at the University of Seychelles said,

“The 1,000 tons of oil and diesel that leaked close to one of the greatest marine treasures of Mauritius have destroyed the habitat. Recovery will take decades. The disaster will occupy Mauritius for years to come,” Bueger, a director at maritime security network SafeSeas, said.

Investigators are reinterviewing the 58-year-old captain of the Wakashio today.

Felixstowe DockersIs DP World building a shipping line?

DP World Acquires Leading International Marine Logistics Operator

The news of DP World buying over Shreyas Shipping and Transworld Feeders is now behind us with the recent announcement of the deal. 

This follows the acquisitions by DP World in the last two or three years with Unifeeder, Feedertech and Unico Logistics, a Korean NVOCC. There are some interesting possibilities which emerge from these acquisitions.

Together the cumulative vessel fleet of Unifeeder (including Feedertech, Shreyas and Transworld Feeders) adds up to approx. 81 ships with 138,000 teu, propelling it to 17th position in the world container fleet basis current Alphaliner top 100 ranking. 

This surpasses X-Press Feeders’ capacity making Unifeeder the largest feeder operator in the world. The recent Shreyas-Transworld Feeders deal does not take over assets, but includes a long-term charter arrangement indicative of the continued focus on an asset-light model.

Why did DP World select this mix?

There is a likelihood of gradual change in trade patterns with regional trades gaining more ground than traditional east west trades

Unifeeder, Feedertech, Shreyas and Transworld Feeders are the better-known brands in their own segments and regions. 

However, they have businesses other than the feeder operations which are equally strong in the NVOCC space. Feedertech has Perma while Shreyas has Avana Logistek which are both NVOCCs with a decent fleet of containers either owned or leased. 

Avana Logistek has a strong presence in the South Asia – Middle East market while Perma is better connected in Southeast and South Asia. 

Add to this mix, the acquisition of Korean NVOCC Unico Logistics, Unifeeder’s multimodal operations and you have a respectable network in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and Asia Pacific.

Together, these provide the much-needed base cargo which, if gradually supplemented further, can be enough for building an independent shipping line, initially with a regional focus and eventually a multi-regional or global shipping line. 

The apparent question one would then ask is why doesn’t DP World simply buy off another shipping line? There are several possible arguments against this.

First, DP World may not want to position itself as a direct competitor to the shipping lines who are its largest customers worldwide. 

Doing so, may cause it to lose market share to competition, which also includes some of the lines who own terminals themselves. 

By buying out relatively smaller operators like these, DP World is targeting a customer base which was not a direct target of the major lines thereby avoiding stepping on the foot of its customers.

Secondly, the cost of accumulating smaller operators and using DP World’s strength to integrate and convert into a shipping line would be probably lesser than say buying out a top 20 line.

Finally, and this is gaining increasing importance, with the recent US-China trade situation as well as the pandemic induced trade disruption, there is a likelihood of gradual change in trade patterns with regional trades gaining more ground than traditional east west trades. 

While there are a few operators who specialise in regional trades, DP World may be able to garner a decent share of the regional pie.

Felixstowe DockersGreenpeace unveils massive methane leak in the North Sea

Greenpeace unveils massive methane leak in the North Sea

Activists from the environmental group Greenpeace found two huge methane leaks in the UK's part of the North Sea.

On Monday Greenpeace reported that its patrol ship ESPERANZA located two gas-emitting craters on the seabed. Greenpeace says that the leaks were reportedly caused by a 1990 drilling accident by ExxonMobil in an exploration campaign. If this was the case, the leak would have been active for 30 years.

In 1990, the rig reportedly targeted an oil reservoir, which turned out to be a gas pocket. This resulted in a large blowout that left sizable craters in the range of 15-to-50 yards on the seabed.

The activists on board the group's patrol ship ESPERANZA used an ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle) to survey the leak, recording the process from two large boreholes.

A recent independent study hints that a staggering amount of 8,000–30,000 tonnes of the greenhouse gas gets released into the atmosphere from these two boreholes.

Greenpeace has long been a critique of the oil and gas industry, asking the UK government to intervene on the matter and change the scenario in place at the North Sea.

Felixstowe DockersTanker on fire after collision with barge, 14 missing

Tanker on fire after collision with barge, 14 missing VIDEO

Tanker LONG QING 1 with some 3000 tons of fuel on board collided with sand barge in Yangtze Estuary waters in the morning Aug 20. 

Collision impact resulted in fire on board of tanker, while barge sank. Of tanker 14 crew and barge 3 crew, 3 were rescued, 14 remain missing.

Tanker LONG QING 1, MMSI 413495000, tonnage 3948, flag China.

(www.fleetmon.com)

Felixstowe DockersMauritius oil clean-up team turns focus from sea to mangroves

Explainer: Who pays for Mauritius oil spill and how much? - Reuters

A Japanese disaster relief team helping to clean up a devastating oil spill off the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius is focusing on mangroves, beaches and wetlands after most of the oil at sea had been collected, it said on Tuesday.

A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil in what environmentalists say is the country’s worst ecological disaster, killing wildlife and damaging pristine waters.

“As most of the spilled oil at sea has been collected, we are moving into a next stage, with the focus on cleaning up the seaside and minimising the environmental impact,” Keiji Takechi, deputy team leader, told an online news conference from Mahebourg, Mauritius.

“Environmental experts who can give advice and instruction are needed now.”

Japan sent six officials, mainly oil spill experts, to Mauritius last week and plans to send another team of environment ministry officials and specialists this week.

Team leader Junji Gomakubo said the focus was not only on the immediate impact.

“We also need to think about plans to restore the environment in the long run, like in a 10-, 20-, 30-year span,” he said.

The full impact of the spill is still unfolding, scientists say. As island residents scrambled to mop up the oil slicks and clumps, they saw dead eels and fish floating in the water, as fuel-soaked seabirds limped ashore.

The damage, scientists say, could impact Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades.

The bulk carrier, MV Wakashio, owned by Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines, broke apart on Saturday, releasing a small amount of additional oil into the sea, Takechi said.

Source: Reuters

Felixstowe DockersWhy 2-stroke Engines are Used More commonly than 4-stroke on Ships?

Real Life Accident: Ship's Engine Room Flooded In 10 Minutes

When a ship is being constructed in a shipyard, the most important machinery that is to be selected is the main propulsion machinery. 

Both 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines are widely available in the market but for a large ocean-going merchant vessel, a 2 stroke engine is more commonly used as the main engine and has a much better market.

Even with a wide variety of advantages that 4 stroke engine offers like the compact size of the plant, much more RPM or speed etc, a 2 stroke engine outshines with few but vital advantages.

2-stroke Engines

Some of the important reasons why 2 stroke engines are more popular than 4 stroke engines as main propulsion engine on ships

Fuel Selection: The fuel prices have gone sky high and better grade fuel is adding higher costs to vessel operation. A two-stroke engine can burn low-grade fuel oil and hence reduce the running cost of the ship.

Efficiency: The thermal and engine efficiency of 2 stroke engine is much better than that of a 4 stroke engine.

Power: Most of the 2 stroke engines are now large stroke engines that produce more power. Hence they have high power to weight ration as compared to 4 stroke engine.

More Cargo: Ship can carry more weight and hence more cargo with 2 stroke engines because of high power to weight ratio.

Reliability: Two stroke engines are more reliable in operation as compare to 4 stroke engine.

Less Maintenance: The maintenance requirement of the two-stroke engine is much lesser than 4 stroke engine.

Direction control: Direct starting and reversing is easier with two stroke engine.

No reduction attachments: As two stroke engines are low speed engine, there is no requirement of reduction gear or speed reduction arrangement as required for high speed four stroke engine.

However, the ease-of-manoeuvring a two stroke engine is less than that of a four stroke engine and the initial cost of installation of a two stroke propulsion plant is also much higher than running and maintenance cost of a 4 stroke engine. 

In 2 stroke engine, the amount saved on high grade fuel can compensate all other disadvantages and also reduce the whole operating cost of a ship.

Felixstowe DockersHow Do Ship’s Engines Work?

 


Marine engines on ships are responsible for propulsion of the vessel from one port to another.  Whether it’s of a small ship plying in the coastal areas or of a massive one voyaging international waters, a marine engine of either 4-stroke or 2-stroke is fitted onboard ship for the propulsion purpose.
The marine engines are heat engines used for converting heat, which is generated by burning fuel, into useful work, i.e. developing thermal energy and transforming it into mechanical energy. The engines used onboard ships are internal combustion engines (a type), in which, the combustion of fuel takes place inside the engine cylinder and the heat is generated post the combustion process.

Ship Engine Working Principle

As mentioned earlier, IC (Internal combustion) engines are mainly used for marine propulsion and power generation purpose. The working of the marine engine can be explained by the following procedure:
– The fuel is injected at a controlled amount at high pressure
– A mixture of fuel and air is compressed inside the engine cylinder with the help of piston, which results in the explosion of the mixture when pressurised due to compression. As a result, heat is released which increases the pressure of the burning gas
2-stroke & 4-stroke engines
– The sudden increase in the pressure pushes the piston downwards and transmits the transverse motion into the rotary motion of the crankshaft using connecting rod arrangement. The explosion is repeated continuously for maintaining the power output depending upon the type of marine engine and its usage.
The crankshaft is connected via a flywheel, either to the alternator or to a propeller arrangement for doing the mechanical work. To obtain continuous rotation of the crankshaft the explosion has to be repeated continuously.
Before the next explosion, the used gases are drawn out from the cylinder through an exhaust valve and fresh air is supplied, which helps to push the used gas and also to provide fresh air for next combustion process.

Types of marine diesel engines:

The two basic types of marine diesel engines are –
  • 4 stroke engine
  • 2 stroke engine
A 4 stroke engine can be installed on the ship to produce electrical power and also to propel the ship (usually in small size vessel). This engine takes 4 cycles to complete the transfer of power from the combustion chamber to the crankshaft.
The events taking place in I.C. engine are as follows:
  1. Suction stroke for taking the fresh air inside the chamber – which is the downward movement of the piston
  2. Compression stroke to compress the air-fuel mixture – which is an upward movement of the piston
  3. Power stroke – in which the explosion takes place and the piston is pushed downwards
  4. Exhaust stroke – which is an upward movement of the piston to draw out used gases
The four events are completed in four strokes of the piston (two revolutions of the crankshaft). An inlet and exhaust valve is fitted on top of the cylinder head to draw in fresh air and to expel the used exhaust gas.
Both, the valves and the fuel pump (which supply fuel to the injector), are operated using camshaft, which is driven by crankshaft using a gear drive. In a four-stroke engine, the camshaft runs at half the speed of the crankshaft. The crankcase is open to the piston liner arrangement, which assists in the lubrication of the liner.
The 2 stroke engines are used for vessel propulsion and are bigger in size as compared to the 4 stroke engines. In this engine, the complete sequence is complete in two cycles i.e.
  1. Suction and compression stroke –  which is the upward movement of the piston to draw fresh air inside and to compress the air-fuel mixture
  2. Power and exhaust – which is the downward movement of the piston due to an explosion inside the chamber followed by removal of exhaust through the exhaust valve fitted on the top of the cylinder. A stuffing box is used which separates and seals the crankcase against the combustion chamber.

A basic ship engine working video is shown below:

This video shows how a 2 stroke marine engine on ship works-

How and where is ship’s engine made?

If you have seen engines on ships, including small 4 stroke generator engines and also the massive 2 stroke propulsion engines, one thought which must have crossed your mind is how and where these engines were made?
The most famous engine manufacturers, whose engines, are used in ships are:
  1. MAN Diesel & Turbo (Previously B&W engines)  – famous for high, medium and slow speed marine engines
  2. Wartsila (Previously Sulzer Engines) – famous for high, medium and slow speed marine engines
  3. Mitsubishi – producing engines for light, medium, and heavy-duty applications
  4. Rolls Royce – famous for the cruise ship and naval ship engines
  5. Caterpillar manufactures – for medium speed and high-speed marine diesel engines

Material Used For Making Ship Engine

The material used for making the ship’s engine and different ship engine parts are:
Bedplate: The bedplate is the bottom-most portion of the engine which is the base of the engine and accommodates crankshaft bearings and A-frame. For the small engine, a single casting of cast iron is used and for large 2 stroke engines, fabricated cast steel transverse sections with longitudinal girders are used.
A frame: The A-frame, as the name suggests, is similar to the shape of letter ‘A’ and is installed above the bedplate of the engine. It is built separately to carry the crosshead guide and on top, it supports the base of the entablature. The bottom surface of the A-frame is machined for making a mating surface to install on top of the bedplate.
Entablature: The entablature, also known as cylinder block, is made from cast iron and used to accommodate the cooling water and scavenge airspace. Depending upon the size of the engine, the casting can be either for individual or multicylinder (bolted together). The lower portion of the cylinder block is machined to form a mating surface and fastened with the A-frame using fitted bolts.
The other different ship engine parts which are fitted inside the engine are:
Parts of Wartsila RTFlex Electronic Engine


Felixstowe DockersPort of Felixstowe Job Vacancy: Inside Sales Co-ordinator

ACFO job vacancy - en - South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Ref: VAC-13976

Salary:£21,000 + 25000 Start Date:Immediate Location:Felixstowe Industry:Shipping Shipping Line Discipline:Inside Sales Co-ordinator Employment:Permanent

Apply

Job Description

Salary £21,000 – £25,000 depending on experience, plus benefits


Our client is looking for an inside sales coordinator to join their liner team.

The role will involve working as part of the inside sales team, helping manage the house accounts and ensuring targets are met.

The inside sales team are responsible for following up on leads, responding to customers and quoting rates for business.

The role will involve dealing with multiple trade lanes and all equipment types. This will allow each member of inside sales team to really get to understand working with every trade and customer within their allocated sales area.

Other ad hoc duties will involve assisting on invoice queries that relate to the sales team, communicating with other departments to ensure the customer gets a good service and other sales administrative duties.

This role is office based however there will be occasions for team members to go meet customers.

The team also help support the outside sales team remotely to cover for holidays and sickness etc.

Requirements:

Experience of sales ideally from a shipping company or freight forwarding company.

Good IT skills especially excel, word and outlook.

A good communicator who can talk to customers and internal departments.

Time management skills, the ability to manage a number of tasks, this role is part of a very busy team with tight deadlines.

Able to work as part of team, while still being self-motivated.

Have a drive to succeed and enthusiasm for sales.


Apply: https://www.aandsrecruitment.co.uk/jobs/job-details/inside-sales-co-ordinator/9581/

Felixstowe DockersCaptain of Wakashio arrested in Mauritius

wakashio.jpg

The captain of the vessel Wakashio that broke into two off Mauritius has been arrested and charged with endangering safe navigation, it was reported.

Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar has made an appearance in the district court in Port Louis, capital of Mauritius to hear the charges. He has been detained until he returns to the court again on 25 August.

The capesize bulker Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), went aground off Mauritius on 25 July before it split on Saturday.

While nearly all of the fuel oil onboard has been removed, approximately 90 tonnes remained within the vessel and the about 1,000 tonnes of oil have leaked into the sea, threatening the biodiversity-rich marine ecosystem in the area.

The bow of the ship has been towed away from the reef while the rear portion remains stranded on the reef with fuel oil believed to be still onboard.

According to reports, crew members had told police questioning that there had been a birthday party on the ship the day it ran aground. There was also a claim that the ship navigated too close to the shore in order to pick up WiFi signal, according to BBC News.

The National Crisis Management Committee of Mauritius said adverse weather conditions mean it is still too risky to remove the remaining volume of fuel oil in the ship’s engine room.

Mauritius said it will seek compensation from the vessel owner and the insurer, while Japanese firm Nagashiki Shipping has pledged to respond to requests for compensation.

Felixstowe DockersNagashiki Shipping Apologises For Wakashio Oil Spill

 MV Wakashio oil spill aerial photo

MV Wakashio oil spill aerial photo- A satellite image shows the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio and its oil spill after it ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, August 7. Satellite image 2020 Maxar Technologies/via REUTERS

Japan’s, the owner of a bulk carrier that ran aground in Mauritius, causing an oil spill in one of the world’s most pristine environments, said Wednesday it awaited judicial decisions after two of the ship’s officers were arrested.

Nagashiki issued a statement on Wednesday after the arrest overnight in Mauritius of the captain and of the bulk carrier, MV Wakashio, and another of the ship’s officers on charges of endangering safe navigation. It did not provide further details on the situation in Mauritius beyond saying it would support the crew and their families.

“We sincerely apologise for causing a great deal of inconvenience to everyone involved, including everyone in Mauritius, due to this grounding accident and oil spill,” the statement said.

The MV Wakashio struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began spilling oil on Aug. 6, prompting the government to announce a state of environmental emergency

The spill spread over a vast area of endangered corals, affecting fish and other marine life in what some scientists have called the country’s worst ecological disaster. Emergency crews removed most of the ship’s remaining oil before it split apart on Saturday.

The other person arrested was the ship’s deputy captain, a maritime official in Mauritius with knowledge of the incident, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Removing the ship is likely to take months.

Felixstowe DockersHong Kong Cruise Ship Owner Suspends Payments to Creditors

destiney-cruise-ships

Genting Hong Kong Ltd., a cruise ship operator, will temporarily suspend all payments to its creditors, which will likely result in events of defaults, it said in a stock exchange filing.

Its shares slid as much as 20% Thursday morning.

“Such events of default would give rise to a right for requisite creditors of the Group to declare that the financial indebtedness owed to them are immediately due and payable,” the company said in a filing.

The company is part of the the Genting group, backed by Malaysian tycoon Lim Kok Thay. Earlier this year as the pandemic spread, coverage of passengers being quarantined on ships such as its World Dream created a public relations disaster.

As of July 31, the outstanding financial indebtedness of the group is at $3.37 billion. The company’s units have also failed to pay 3.7 million euros ($4.4 million) for the financing of ships, it said in the filing.

The financial stress is evidence of further signs of strain companies in the region face as Covid-19 upends their businesses. The pandemic resulted in the suspension of sailing globally, according to Genting Hong Kong.

Felixstowe DockersContainer Costs Risk Spiraling Out Of Control

Short Sea Shipping In Germany

DUISBURG, GERMANY – 11 August 2012 Riverboat with containers on the river Rhine. Photo By Patrycja Ebis, Shutterstock

Container shipping costs and service levels are at risk of spiralling out of control, according to Drewry.

As well as a massive withdrawal of capacity since the start of the Covid-19 crisis – 468 blanked departures on east-west trades – the analyst said schedule reliability had been “extremely low”.

“In the first half of the year, fewer than two out of three vessels arrived within 24-hours of their ETA,” said Philip Damas, head of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.

“To make matters worse, this is using a measurement which is fairly lenient, because we are setting the ETA at the time of the ship’s departure, by when the carriers should have a good indication of their schedules,” he added.

The blanked sailings and poor reliability naturally resulted in widespread rollovers, said Mr Damas who noted that a Drewry survey of shipper clients had revealed 83% of them had seen cargo rolled.

“It caused significant operational problems for shippers and forwarders; reworking or re-booking the shipment, making a lot of contacts and phone calls and wasting a lot of time working late hours. Many shippers today do not receive good data from carriers on rollovers, or they are not able to measure rollovers using internal systems.

“So our view is that rollovers are a key issue which has been exposed by the recent crisis – this is the new reality of a much more concentrated marketplace in which shipping lines have more power,” he said.

There has also been a notable increase in carriers offering no-roll premiums, which Mr Damas said was needed, but they were really just “offering a normal service at premium prices”.

The root cause of these service level problems is the number of transport crises, Mr Damas believes, noting the increasing frequency of incidents such as the US port strikes, Hanjin bankruptcy, Maersk cyber attack, and now COVID lockdowns and Beirut port explosion.

“So shippers and forwarders should plan for continued disruptions,” he added.

There are widespread cost implications from this year’s container shipping disruptions, too, not least an increase in freight rates.

According to Drewry senior advisor Stijn Rubens, the average freight rate on the Asia-Europe trade between January and August increased 15% year on year, to $1,798 per feu. However, after factoring in other freight costs, such as finance, detention and demurrage, and booking processing, the overall increase was $432, up 16% at $3,115 per feu.

“The indirect cost implications could be multitudes of that,” said Mr Rubens, “from costs related to missed sales opportunities, safety stock levels, customer satisfaction, and retention and internal stakeholders.

“In our view, unless you are really in control of your shipments, and that obviously starts with visibility, then there is a real risk of cost and service levels spiralling out of control.

“Therefore, it’s very important to actively measure your carriers, not just via the EDI data they may send you, but to measure them yourself and benchmark their performance against the market.”

Felixstowe DockersBulker's Crewmembers Force Crew Change By Refusing to Sail

seafarers

According to the International Transport Workers' Federation, the crew of the bulker Contamines recently resolved a crew change dilemma aboard their ship by refusing to work, forcing the vessel's ship manager to arrange for a relief crew.

In early July, the ITF learned that at least some of the crewmembers aboard the Contamines were working on expired contracts, and some had been aboard for nearly a year. 

The Maritime Labour Convention gives seafarers the right to choose repatriation after their contract ends, or they may voluntarily extend their contract up to a maximum of 11 months.

 Due to the coronavirus shutdown, travel and crew change have become unusually difficult, and hundreds of thousands of seafarers are working beyond their normal contract lengths worldwide, including some who are without a contract. 

In early August, the Contamines was due to pass through the Panama Canal, and ITF saw an opportunity. Other seafarers have been able to repatriate via Panama, and ITF hoped to get the crew off when the vessel arrived, then return them to their families in Ukraine and Russia. 

The ITF’s Latin America coordinator, Juan Villalón, reached out to the ship’s crew. He learned that their contracts had been doubled since they first signed, and many were over the MLC's legal maximum. 

The crew also told him that the ship’s South Korean owner had promised on a number of occasions to repatriate them. The crew had been growing increasingly frustrated, and they said that some of their salaries were not being paid.

Villalón, who is based in Chile, contacted the ship’s manning agency and requested their side of the story. But after more than a week, there was no response. He sent a second warning and copied in the ITF inspector based in Panama, Luis Fruto. He also asked Fruto to alert the Panamanian Port State Control (PSC) authorities: the alleged MLC violations could be enough to get the ship detained, which could give the crew an opportunity to leave.

Preparing for a "strike"

The manning agency learned of ITF's plans to ask the Panamanian Maritime Authority to detain the ship, and it made contact and asked for ITF’s help to get the crew home. Fruto gave instructions for crew repatriation via Panama, but in the days that followed, the agency allegedly reversed course: there were no flights available out of Panama at the right time, it claimed. Instead, it said that it would do a crew change later at another port. 

According to ITF, the flight information that the manning agency cited was false. “[The company] decided to act in the worst way possible. They blamed, they blustered. But worst of all - they were trying to keep these human beings as slaves aboard their property. I was disgusted,” said Villalón.

As a precautionary measure, Villalón asked the crew if they were willing to stop working if it should prove impossible to reach an agreement with the manning agency. 

Downing tools

On July 24, the Contamines' crew told the ship's managers that they were going to stop working upon arrival to Panama. Within a few days, the company reacted and said they were working out flight options. 

On July 31, the bulker arrived, and the Panamanian PSC and ITF Inspector Fruto were waiting for the vessel, along with an inspector from the ship's open-registry flag state. The flag state inspector pressured the crew to stay on board and wait until Bermuda, according to ITF, but the crew declined. 

The next day, the Panamanian Maritime Authority arrested the ship until crew repatriation could be accomplished. 

Within 10 days, the manning agency arranged for a relief crew and repatriated all of the outgoing crewmembers. The Contamines then transited the canal and sailed onward to her destination in Canada, with three labor-related deficiencies added to her PSC inspection record.

“The crew point blank said they will not accept this. They will not take any more lies from the company and its friends,” said Fruto. “This is an important example to other seafarers – if you stand up for yourself, we will stand with you.”

ITF reports that thousands of seafarers have been contacting their union and asking about how they can get off their vessel, and many are refusing to renew their contracts. However, ITF says that its inspectors can only help when seafarers actively ask for repatriation - something that many are afraid to do out of fear of retaliation or loss of future employment. 

Felixstowe DockersFire Aboard Greek Bulker Kills One and Injures Second Engineer

Fire on Greek bulker kills one and injures second engineer

A fire broke out in the engine room of a Greek-flagged bulk carrier killing one officer and injuring at least one other seafarer. The fire has been extinguished but the vessel may be disabled in the Arabian sea.

According to reports from Hellenic Coast Guard, the 92,485 DWT bulk carrier Faneromeni was sailing empty from Fujeirah in the United Arab Emirates to Port Elizabeth, South Africa with a crew of 18 onboard. The fire broke out about 4:00 a.m. Greek time in the engine room of the 13-year old vessel owned by Marmaras Navigation of Greece. Before the fire, the vessel was reported sailing at 15 knots in the Arabian Sea due in South Africa on August 31.

The cause of the fire is undetermined but the 55-year-old Greek second engineer was killed in the blaze. Also, the 26-year-old third engineer was injured. According to reports from the master of the vessel to the Hellenic Coast Guard, the injured seafarer had been provided first aid and was out of medical danger. Some reports suggested he might have suffered burns and smoke inhalation attempting to assist the other officer. This engineer may be airlifted to shore for additional medical attention.

The vessel issued a distress call and the Mumbai Search and Rescue Coordination Center was reportedly managing the situation. Three other vessels in the area went to the aid of the Faneromeni with several crew members posting firsthand accounts on social media.

The fire was extinguished by the crew members. Some media reports from Greece, however, suggest that the fire might have spread beyond the engine room before it was extinguished.

The Unified Search and Rescue Coordination Center of the Hellenic Coast Guard reported that it is in contact with the captain of Faneromeni to ensure the welfare of all of the crew on board. The Greek authorities will conduct an investigation.

Felixstowe DockersMaersk Tanker Remains Caught at Sea After Rescuing Migrants

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The Maersk product tanker Maersk Etienne continues to find itself caught in a precarious political situation more than two weeks after going to the aid of a boat filled with migrants in danger of sinking between Malta and Tunisia. 

Human rights groups have joined in calling on the governments to resolve the situation.

"The merchant fleet is neither designed nor equipped to care for additional people, and we are quickly depleting the supplies on board," Tommy Thomassen, chief technical officer at Maersk Tankers, told Reuters in an email. 

Yet, the vessel continues to find itself waiting at anchor off Malta with no permission to proceed into port to disembark the 27 migrants that it rescued or permission to return to Tunisia with the people it rescued.

The situation reportedly began on August 3 when a human rights group received reports of a migrant boat in danger of sinking. Raising the alarm, the group convinced the Maltese rescue coordinator to call for action and the Maersk Etienne responded to the call for assistance from a small boat approximately 70 nautical miles north of Abu Kammash, Libya. The migrants, including women and children, were brought aboard the tanker and given blankets and food while the vessel assumed it would proceed to Malta to disembark the rescuees.

Questions emerged after the rescue if the boat was in fact in Maltese waters. Seeking to discourage the flow of migrants to its shores Malta has delayed and the shipping line is left to appeal for action. Reuters is quoting Thomassen saying, "We call on authorities and governments for humanitarian assistance and to urgently find a solution to safely disembark the rescued people." 

Nearly a week ago another human rights group, Sea-Watch International also joined in calling on the Maltese authorizes to assign a safe port.  

For the moment, all Maersk Tankers can do is sit and wait and continue to appeal for a resolution responding to its act of kindness on the seas.

Maritime Union of New ZealandStrengthen our shores. Rebuild our coastal shipping. Sign the petition now.

Aotearoa-New Zealand is an island nation dependent on trade to survive. But because our coastal shipping was deregulated by the Government in the 1990’s, we now rely on multinational shipping companies to carry our...

Felixstowe DockersNigeria Convicts First Pirates Under New Maritime Law

A tanker moored in in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: Igor Grochev / Shutterstock

A Nigerian court made the first convictions under a new anti-piracy law, giving hope to the world’s shipping fleets that legal reforms will help stem rising attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.

The three men fined by the court in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub, on Tuesday were among nine accused of hijacking the tanker MV Elobey VI off Equatorial Guinea in March and securing a $200,000 ransom for the crew.

The merchant shipping industry has long pressed Nigeria to take action in the area, which has been dubbed “pirate alley.”

It accounts for over 90% of maritime kidnappings globally, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), with attacks on everything from oil platforms to fishing vessels.

The court fined the three men convicted 10 million naira ($26,300) each for each of the two counts of piracy to which they pleaded guilty.

The remaining six pleaded not guilty and their trial continues.

Nigerian navy spokesman Commodore Suleiman Dahun said the convictions were the first conviction under the law, passed last year to make it easier to prosecute pirates.

He said the fines were levied in lieu of prison sentences.

While the Gulf of Guinea spans more than a dozen West African countries, experts say the pirates typically come from Nigeria’s oil-rich but poverty-stricken Delta region.

Previously, attackers rarely faced judicial consequences as piracy was not illegal under Nigerian law.

A total of 49 crew were kidnapped in the Gulf in the first half of this year, compared with 27 last year, according to IMB figures. It said attackers were also going further out to sea.

“We need to change the risk-to-reward ratio…,” IMB Director Michael Howlett said last month. “Without an appropriate and proportionate deterrent, pirates and robbers will get more ruthless and more ambitious.”

Felixstowe DockersAsleep at the Wheel: Cargo Ship Runs Aground in Philippines

MV Globe 6 aground in the Philippines. Image courtesy Philippines Coast Guard

A Vietnamese-flagged cargo ship has run aground in the Philippines after the officer on watch fell asleep, the Philippines Coast Guard reports.

The 4,373 dwt MV Globe 6 was sailing from Chi Minh City to Davao City with a cargo of rice when the it grounded between Nagubat Island and Liwagao Island in Philippines’ Antique province when it grounded, the Coast Guard.

The ship has 25 crew members on board.

“PCG personnel immediately proceeded to said vicinity waters to inspect the vessel for possible damages that may cause oil spill and to conduct initial inquiry about the cause of the maritime incident,” the Philippines Coast Guard said in a Facebook post.

A follow up post said that, according to the ship’s Master, Captain Nguyen Hoai, the Officer On Watch (OOW) fell asleep when the incident occurred.

“Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) divers aboard BRP Cape Engaño (MRRV-4411) are on their way to the vicinity waters to inspect the condition of the vessel’s hull,” the Coast Guard said.

Written by Mike Schuler

Felixstowe DockersWakashio Grounding: Who Pays for the Oil Spill and How Much?

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, that ran aground on a reef, at Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius, in this handout image obtained by Reuters on August 11, 2020. French Army command/Handout via REUTERS

A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and triggering a state of “environmental emergency”.

Scientists say the spill is the country’s worst ecological disaster, killing wildlife and damaging pristine waters that attract tourists from around the globe. The full impact is still unfolding. As residents scramble to mop up the oil slicks, they are seeing dead eels and fish floating in the water as fuel-soaked seabirds limp ashore.

The following lays out the legal implications.

THE SHIP AND OPERATOR

The owner and operator of the ship is Nagashiki Shipping, an Okayama, Japan-based private company that said Mauritius had requested compensation. It said in a statement that the cause of the accident was not known and would be fully investigated.

The MV Wakashio, a nearly 300-metre Cape Size bulker used for carrying iron ore, with a deadweight of about 200,000 tonnes, was built in 2007, meaning it should be double-hulled and more protected against rupture.

With a crew of 20 sailors the Panama-flagged vessel was on course for Brazil to pick up iron ore, according to Mitsui OSK, which chartered the ship. The bulk carrier had dropped off a cargo in Tianjin, China, before it headed across the Indian Ocean.

The operator has not explained why it was sailing so close to the reef.

SPILL RECOVERY

The ship was carrying about 3,800 tonnes of fuel oil along with diesel to power its engines. One of its oil tanks, containing about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil, ruptured after it ran aground.

The MV Wakashio passed an annual inspection in March without any problems, Japan’s ClassNK inspection body has said.

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said on Wednesday that nearly all the remaining oil had been removed from the ship confirming an earlier statement by Nagashiki that most of the oil that was still on board had been pumped off.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Under the 2001 International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution damage, which is referred to as the BUNKER convention and has been administered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since it came into force in 2008, the owners of vessels are responsible for damage caused by oil leaks. That means Nagashiki rather than Mitsui OSK is liable.

In an August 13 statement, Nagashiki said it would “deal with compensation claims based on applicable laws”.

Akihiko Ono, executive vice president of Mitsui OSK Lines, has apologised for the spill but a spokesman told Reuters it had no responsibility for the accident.

LIABILITY

Compensation amounts paid by ship owners are governed by the 1976 Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and a subsequent amended convention agreed in 1996. The agreement also requires owners to ensure they have adequate insurance.

According to Toda Law Office in Tokyo, Mauritius has ratified the 1976 version, which limits payments to 2 billion yen ($18.7 million) while Japan has signed the 1996 document which has an upper limit of 7 billion yen.

It will be up to any court ruling on compensation to decide which one applies in this case.

INSURANCE

The Wakashio is insured by Japan P&I Club, the country’s only organization that underwrites protection and indemnity insurance for ocean going and coastal vessels. On Wednesday, a spokesman for Japan P&I said it was “trying to make internal estimates” for how much the clean up would cost.

Jugnauth’s government has said it too has yet to come up with an estimate.

Japan P&I could cover up to as much as $1 billion, because it can count on support from more than a dozen other shipowner insurance unions around the world, according to Koshiro Emura, an analyst at S&P Global Ratings.

SHIP REMOVAL

Removing the ship will be a delicate operation and is likely to take months. France, which once ruled Mauritius as a colony, has said it will assist with the cleanup, while Japan said it is sending experts.

The International Maritime Organization is providing technical advice. ($1 = 106.7400 yen)

(Reporting by Yuki Nitta, Yuka Obayashi Tim Kelly, Sakura Murakami and Kiyoshi Takenaka Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Felixstowe DockersHistory of the Port of Felixstowe: HMS Beehive

 German E Boats Surrender at Felixstowe on the 18th of May 1945

This article is the naval autobiography of Alec Kellaway.

Alec served in the Royal Navy from January 1936 to November 1947. His story shows what life was like training for the Navy immediately before the war as well as service in a wide variety of ships during the conflict.

The book was written by Alec himself and has previously been published on the HMS Hood Association web site (www.hmshood.com) and in the HMS Cossack Association newsletters.

On arrival at Felixstowe I was taken to HMS Beehive, a shore base for coastal forces, there I was told that I was a replacement for a motor mechanic who had fallen overboard and drowned.

I was also told that ML 100 was at Ipswich on the River Orwell, getting overhauled and I would take over ML 105 as their mechanic was on leave and I would stay there until his return.

BRITISH LIGHT COASTAL FORCES CRAFT. SEPTEMBER 1943, AT SEA FROM ...

Now this small flotilla of MLs, four in number, were the first type of MLs (A) produced and had three engines. There were only ten of this class built, one of the main reasons being that the B class only required 2 engines, thereby saving many engines of the type used.

Though ML 100 had been built for anti-submarine warfare she and others in the flotilla had been converted into mine layers, laying their mines in enemy coastal waters. The area our boats operated in was mainly around the Hook of Holland, a very busy area for German conveys. My stay on 105 was extended more than the motor mechanics leave period as he was taken ill and my boat having extra electrical instruments being fitted did not need my presence.

I suppose my stay on 105 stretched over 6 weeks in which we did about two mine laying operations. During this time there should have been a mess bill for the supplies we purchased from the NAAFI, which was nearly a daily routine, however there was a negative bill from the NAAFI and this should not be. After inquiries into the circumstances it would appear that the rating obtaining the supplies would on getting the goods retrieve the demand note without the Naafi’s assistants knowledge so there was no record of purchase. The rating denied any knowledge of this activity and as there was no proof of evidence against him he was not charged but returned to his main depot. This suited him nicely as he was a naval pensioner recalled for war service and would because of his age not have to go to sea again.

Eventually ML 100 was brought down to Felixstowe and I took up my duties, meeting the CO a New Zealand voluntary reserve officer and his second in command a Royal Navy voluntary reserve officer.

I was presented to the crew who except for the leading seaman coxswain were either hostility only ratings or reservists recalled for war duties. It was very peculiar that the CO and I did not get on very well all the time I was aboard 100, though we had a good relationship regarding my duties which could not be faulted. My engine room staff consisted of a Leading Stoker and two stokers, the three of them all reservists, had been on ML100 from her commissioning day.

HMS Beehive, in Felixstowe, Suffolk, crews prepare their boats ...

While on 105 I was told sarcastically that 100 was not likely to do any operations as every time she was due to go out she invariably broke down with some engine failure or other. I thought that this was stretching the point a bit and was determined to make sure that there were no engine failures on my part. I could not understand why the boat had this reputation but it was known throughout the flotilla that she was a jinx.

HMS Beehive, our base, was a very large establishment that catered for about thirty two boats consisting of Motor Torpedo boats, Motor Gun boats and us MLs, who were a pain in the neck for the German shipping. Many a night would see anything up to thirty boats out on operations over the Dutch Coast. The torpedo and gun boats were a nuisance to the residents of Felixstowe in the winter, as the water cooling system was fresh water the fresh water being cooled by sea water, this meant that the boats engines had to be started up every so many hours to ensure that the fresh water did not freeze. This was not so bad during the daytime, but at night the starting up of many engines caused quite a din.

The dock area used by the boats was by the flour mill and the mill was supplied with flour by the Thames sailing barges that made regular trips to and from the mill. There was an area kept clear so that the barges had free access to the mill. The four MLs were berthed near the barge area, while the other boats were on the other side of the dock near the main buildings, one reason for this being that the crews of the MLs lived aboard, the other boats crews were accommodated in the main building as the living space on these boats was very limited and the crews only went on board for routine maintenance and sea duties.

German E Boats Surrender at Felixstowe on the 18th of May 1945

The main building also accommodated the Royal Air Force staff who flew and maintained a flight of Catalina flying boats. There was quite a difference between the shore base at Freetown and HMS Beehive. At Freetown the shore staff only came on board to assist in major problems where as Beehive’s shore staff did almost every check up throughout the boats.

This left the crew with only daily routine work to do. All my engine room checks were done by the shore staff, it was only left for me to ensure that my duties kept the engine room compartments sea worthy and to do everything possible to any failings at sea. Unlike the sea duties at Freetown where we would be at sea for three days or more our operation at Felixstowe took us from six PM one day to eight am the following day.
This operation was carried out only on specific nights and was performed on information supplied from intelligence quarters. In all I only did carry out ten mine laying operations during my stay at Felixstowe. Though on many occasions the boats went out to lay mines but the operation was cancelled and a couple of times the operation was aborted due to some defect on one of the flotilla. One such time being that my centre engines sustained engine main bearing trouble.

It was normal routine when leaving for mine laying, that my three staff would each man an engine for leaving harbour with me in attendance, on clearing harbour two of the staff would leave the engine room and myself plus one would stay and man the engines until we had cleared the coast and the boats were heading towards Holland.

It was generally the procedure for the three MLs in the operation to clear the harbour, turn to port and proceed towards Great Yarmouth which took about one and half hours and opposite Yarmouth turn to starboard heading towards Holland, at this point I would leave the engine room after checking that everything was in good working order. My three staff would then work between themselves to cover engine room duties. I would go and get my evening meal until about ten PM when the boats would be entering enemy waters. I would then return to the engine room until about one am when the mines would have been laid and we were leaving enemy waters. My staff would operate the engine room until we finally entered harbour.

HMS BEEHIVE AT Felixstowe - 20 Photos - Royal Navy Wwii Coastal ...

To return to my centre engine troubles on that specific night, I was entering the wheel house which was above my cabin, when our flotilla navigator whose responsibility it was to ensure that the mines were laid in the exact designated area, said to me that he was having difficulty getting a reading on the depth recorder. It would appear that the electric pulse being transmitted to the seabed was being vibrated out of line by some unknown vibration from within the boat. He did state that we were nearing our laying area but that if he could not get an accurate depth reading the operation would have to be aborted so could I try and locate the interference. I immediately went into the engine room and the first thing I did was to check all the instrument panels; I noticed that the centre engine oil pressure gauge was reading 15lbs per square inch instead of 45lbs per square inch. This indicated to me that the main bearings of the engine were damaged and would be causing the vibration. I then checked the engine pressure control unit and found that this was loose, I reset it and tightened the locking nut, the oil pressure returned to normal but the damage was done, it only remained to shut the engine down and report my action to the bridge. The mine laying operation was called off and the boat returned to port.

WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar’

Felixstowe DockersWatch: Cruise Ship MS Monarch Arrives at Turkish Breakers

In what is a sure sign of the times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1991-built MS Monarch has arrived at a Turkish shipbreaking yard for dismantling.

With cruises around the world suspended due to the pandemic, the former Royal Caribbean ship was sold for scrap along with the MS Sovereign and MS Horizon. All three were part of the fleet of Pullmantur Cruises, a Royal Caribbean subsidiary.

The MS Monarch was built in 1991 as Monarch of the Seas. It sailed up until earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, halting cruises across the globe.

Felixstowe DockersCOVID-19: Cruise Ship Linked To Australia’s ‘Worst Outbreak’

Ruby Princess Cruise Ship In Los Angeles

Ruby Princess Cruise Ship docked In Los Angeles in 2016. Photo by John Konrad

The leader of Australia’s New South Wales state apologised on Monday for failing to stop people carrying the corona-virus from disembarking from the  Carnival Corporation owned ship, Ruby Princess, in Sydney in March, triggering what was at the time Australia’s worst outbreak.

The apology from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her government’s poor handling of the outbreak aboard the Ruby Princess came as the number of deaths from a second wave of infection in Victoria state hit a record 25.

Australia has reported 23,500 COVID-19 cases and 421 deaths, far fewer than many other developed nations, but missteps in the handling of the Ruby Princess and possibly also with hotel quarantine in Victoria have proven costly.“The lessons weren’t learnt soon enough and again I apologise unreservedly on behalf all of those individuals and agencies who made those mistakes,” Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

A public inquiry in the Ruby Princess outbreak concluded last week that NSW health officials made “inexcusable” mistakes when they allowed about 2,700 passengers, 120 of whom were feeling unwell, to leave the Carnival Corp-owned ship on March 19.

The inquiry found 914 infections could be traced back to the Ruby Princess, mostly among passengers. The outbreak led to 28 deaths.

Berejiklian apologised particularly to the 62 people who contracted the virus from a passenger.

“I can’t imagine what it would be like having a loved one or being someone yourself who continues to suffer and experience trauma as a result,” she said.

Felixstowe DockersWakashio Breaks Apart With 166 Tons Of Fuel Oil Still Aboard

Wakashio Oil Spill

A general view shows the bulk carrier ship MV Wakashio, belonging to a Japanese company but Panamanian-flagged, that ran aground on a reef, at Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius, August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Reuben Pillay

A Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef in Mauritius last month threatening a marine ecological disaster around the Indian Ocean island has broken apart, authorities said on Saturday.


The condition of the MV Wakashio was worsening early on Saturday and it split by the afternoon, the Mauritius National Crisis Committee said.


“At around 4.30pm, a major detachment of the vessel’s forward section was observed,” it said in a statement. “On the basis of the experts’ advice, the towing plan is being implemented.”


The vessel struck a coral reef on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and endangering corals, fish, and other marine life in what some scientists have called the country’s worst ecological disaster.


On Friday, some residual oil from the ship leaked into the ocean, Mauritius Marine Conservation Society President Jacqueline Sauzier told Reuters on Saturday morning.


Authorities deployed booms on Saturday to help with oil absorption around the vessel.


The Crisis Committee said special attention was being given to sensitive sites such as the Blue Bay Marine Park, Ile aux Aigrettes and the Pointe D’Esny National Ramsar Site.


The weather is expected to deteriorate over the next few days with waves of up to 4.5 meters (15 feet), authorities said.


Most of the oil from the vessels has been pumped out, the Mauritian government said on Thursday, but there was still 166 tonnes of fuel oil inside and authorities were working to remove it.


Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said on Saturday Tokyo planned to send a team of officials from the ministry and other specialists to assess the damage. The MV Wakashio is owned by Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).


Scientists say the full impact of the spill is still unfolding, but the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades.


Removing the ship is likely to take months. Former colonial power France has said it will assist with the cleanup.


Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo and Omar Mohammed; Editing by Shri Navaratnam, William Mallard and Frances Kerry

Felixstowe DockersCOVID-19: Panama Canal Shipping Rebounds From Pandemic Lows

Photo: Panama Canal Authority

By Michael McDonald (Bloomberg) 

The Panama Canal is seeing signs of a rebound in global trade as ship transits recover from the depressed levels caused by the pandemic.


Total transits through the waterway rose to 933 in July, from 845 in June, which was the fewest since the canal opened an expanded set of locks four years ago to accommodate bigger ships.


Initial August numbers show further improvement, Canal Authority Deputy Administrator Ilya Espino de Marotta said in a phone interview.

 

Container shipping between the U.S. and Asia, the canal’s most important route, began to increase this month, she said. But cruise ships continue to cancel their slots, and the trade in Liquid Natural Gas may also take more time to recover, she added.


“If you go by segment we think containers might recover strongly, cruise liners not at all,” Espino de Marotta said.


More than 3% of the world’s maritime commerce transits the waterway, according to Fitch.


The canal’s locks are fed mainly by water from Gatun Lake, which also provides drinking water for Panama City. A series of droughts in recent years has caused the lake’s water levels to dip, forcing the canal to implement water-saving measures and restrict the depth of ships crossing the canal.


The canal authority has researched alternative water sources including nearby rivers and reservoirs they could potentially tap. The authority will open bidding in the next two months for feasibility studies for projects to tap new water sources, Espino de Marotta said. These will require an investment of as much as $2 billion, she added.

Felixstowe DockersMarine Autonomy Continues As A Huge Growth Market During COVID-19

The Bathymetric Explorer and Navigator, or BEN isa 13-foot diesel-powered unmanned surface vehicle that has an endurance of over 16 hours and is equipped with hydrographic survey equipment. Here, BEN is shown underway from NOAA Ship Fairweather off Point Hope, Alaska, July, 2018. Image via NOAA

While the maritime world struggles with COVID-19, one industry segment continues to grow at a rapid pace: Marine Autonomy.

With companies like the MIT startup, Blksail completing autonomous trials remotely, autonomous inland shipping companies like ZULU Associates preparing to enter the New York market, and larger scaleups like Sea Machines closing large strategic investment deals, the rapid growth of autonomous solution providers is impressive. 

The U.S. Navy and the NOAA has also made rapid progress in vessel autonomy by signing a new agreement to jointly expand the development and operations of unmanned maritime systems in the nation’s coastal and world’s ocean waters.

“With the strengthening of our ongoing partnership with the Navy, NOAA will be better positioned to transition unmanned maritime technologies into operational platforms that will gather critical environmental data that will help grow the American Blue Economy,” said Tim Gallaudet, assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. 

NOAA conducts research and gathers data about the global ocean and atmosphere to forecast weather, predict climate, protect the ocean, and sustainably manage marine resources. These missions rely on new technologies such as unmanned systems to improve data gathering. 

“This agreement lays the foundation for collaboration, engagement, and coordination between NOAA and the U.S. Navy that our nation has never seen before,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC). The NMOC’s mission is to define the physical environment to deter aggression, maintain freedom of the seas and win wars.

The new arrangement corresponds with rapid expansion and innovation in the use of unmanned systems across the government, academia and private enterprise. 

The new pact formalises the Commercial Engagement Through Ocean Technology Act of 2018, which directs NOAA to coordinate with the Navy including research of emerging unmanned technologies. Additionally, this agreement is among NOAA’s follow up actions from the November 2019 White House Summit on Partnerships in Ocean Science and Technology.

One reason for the growth in autonomous solutions is a large number of mariners unable to sign off ships because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. While smarter ships might help with these problems, many of the deals we are seeing today are not positioned to replace commercial mariners. ZULU Associate’s move into New York is focused on cargo that currently moves on trucks, the US Navy and NOAA are not commercial entities, and the MIT startup blkSAIL is investing in ways to empower, not replace mariners. 

“While the blkSAIL system can already operate fully autonomously, that is not our goal.” said blkSAIL founder Mohamed Saad Ibn Seddik, “Our AI and Decision Support tools that enable safer, more sustainable, and more profitable industry with no CAPEX and no workflow changes.”

It is unclear how the broader industry will perform in the post-coronavirus world but it is clear that marine autonomy will play a large and critically important role.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionThe Docker Podcast with special guest ILWU President Willie Adams

The Docker Podcast featuring special guest ILWU International President Willie Adams is now live. Listen via the player below. You can subscribe to the Docker Podcast through iTunes or your Android podcast app. You can also listen to the episode at the Docker Podcast website.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionVeterinary Workers at CRVS Ratify First Private-Sector Union Contract in the Industry

VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON – Workers at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists (CRVS) in Vancouver, Washington ratified their first union contract last night by an overwhelming margin of 53-1. Workers have been bargaining a contract with CRVS management for over a year, after voting to join the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 5 in February 2019.

This historic contract is the first-ever private-sector union contract in the veterinary industry, a rapidly growing, lucrative field where workers are often faced with challenging working conditions and pay that is not commensurate with the education and skill required for the profession. In recent years, there has been massive consolidation of the industry as locally owned hospitals are acquired by large companies, leading to a corporate-led environment where workers’ rights and sustainable jobs for local communities too often come second.

“This contract is only the first step toward making veterinary medicine a viable career during this time of corporate greed. [Our contract] will provide veterinary workers with protections, wage equality, and establish a foothold for continued improvements in working conditions,” explains Kat Bennett, LVT VTS (SAIM) at CRVS.

Despite this spring’s unprecedented disruption due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the worker-led bargaining committee and CRVS management worked together remotely to continue negotiations and arrive at an agreement. Highlights from the contract include a Just Cause standard of protection (rather than “at-will employment) with regards to discipline/termination, and fair policies for determining lay-offs and recalls based on a seniority system.

Workers also advocated for an equitable and transparent wage structure that would create a fair living wage for all hospital workers. The first contract achieved a number of victories on this front. All workers will be compensated via an agreed-upon wage structure, including differentials for overnight work, additional certifications and demonstrated proficiency, and seniority tiers. The agreement, which is retroactive to January 1, 2020, also includes yearly Cost of Living wage adjustments in 2021, 2022 and 2023. When the contract is implemented, workers are projected to see an average wage increase of about 7%. By the end of the agreement in June 2023, current CRVS employees will see, on average, a 17% increase in pay. Raising wages in the veterinary industry will help retain and attract qualified, dedicated staff to CRVS and allow staff to support themselves and their families.

“Since I had not received any meaningful wage increase from CRVS over my five years of employment, I had the lowest hourly wage of any technician with my experience, education, and skillset,” explained Tracie Vestal, an LVT at CRVS. “I had considered substandard pay par for the course as a veterinary technician and had been debating leaving the industry. This was an agonizing consideration given my deep and abiding love and dedication to the veterinary profession.”

Thanks to CRVS’s new union contract, employees like Vestal will be able to make veterinary medicine a sustainable career. CRVS will also benefit by retaining dedicated and experienced employees who have a passion for veterinary medicine. According to Vestal, “This equity in pay will set CRVS apart as being a leading employer in the local veterinary community.”

Looking forward, CRVS workers recognize that the fight for higher standards, safe working conditions, and living wages in the veterinary industry stretches far beyond Columbia River. Veterinary workers throughout the country continue to organize, support each other, and advocate for a stronger and more equitable veterinary industry. CRVS’s union contract has shown veterinary workers and hospitals across the country that it is possible to create a fair union contract that benefits all parties.

“Hopefully hospitals throughout the nation will follow suit, including veterinarians,” says Bennett. “This is a long journey, but we owe it to ourselves, our clients, and especially our patients to keep pushing for justice and fairness in our hospitals.”

Felixstowe DockersA14 set for 24 WEEKS of overnight closures

Real Time Travel on Twitter: "#A14 #Suffolk No reported incidents ...

HGVs heading from The Port of Felixstowe will be diverted through villages as part of the closures. 

Some east Suffolk residents have been given less than a week’s notice as Highways England announced 24 weeks of overnight closures on the A14.

As part of the scheme, sections of the road between Seven Hills and Felixstowe will be subject to overnight closures every weekday from 8pm until 4am, running from Monday, August 10 until January 29. Safety barriers will be upgraded, while new signs will be introduced alongside replacement road markings and road studs.

But some local residents did not receive any notification of the roadworks until Friday morning, August 7, and are concerned over the amount of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which will be diverted through local villages.

Notices for the works had been available on parish council websites.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “To be given just three days notice of this major disruption and upheaval to our lives, planned by Highways England for months and months, is nothing short of a scandal.

“For thousands of people in Trimley St Martin, Trimley St Mary, Walton and Felixstowe the only time they get peace on the ultra-busy High Road is at night."

“Twenty four weeks of container lorries thundering through the villages, where in places historic houses are just a few feet from the road, will ruin sleep for so many. One accident would block the road and Felixstowe would, effectively be cut off if there was a major emergency needing a multi-agency response.”

Both Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary parish councils have been working with Highways England to reduce the amount of time lorries will be on their roads, with Trimley St Mary Parish Council chairman David Southgate saying their intervention has seen the timeframe reduced.

Residents in High Road in Trimley St Martin however will still endure 13 consecutive weeks of disturbances.

Mr Southgate said: “We have done our best to reduce the impact of these closures, but still every heavy vehicle that drives over a manhole cover is going to echo like a drum.

“What we would have preferred is a contraflow system, but unfortunately Highways England say the carriageway is not wide enough to safely allow this.”

Phase one of the multi-million pound project will begin Monday evening, and see the westbound carriageway closed between junctions 60 and 59 for 10 days.

A Highways England spokeswoman said the authority is continuing to write to local residents.

She added: “Throughout the 24 weeks of work we’ll be working closely with The Port of Felixstowe and will adjust the times of our road closures according to peak traffic travelling to and from the port, which will reduce the amount of HGVs using our diversion routes.”


EADT

Felixstowe DockersWorld’s First All-Electric Tugboat Delivered, Three More on the Way

electric tug zeetug

Navtek Naval Technologies has laid the groundwork for the future by designing and building the world’s first all-electric tug, ZEETUG® – short for Zero Emissions Electric tug.

It started with two – superficially straightforward – renewal requests: Gisas Shipbuilding asked for harbor tugs that were both “lower emission and smaller size” than its previous fleet. The tugboats have to meet a rising environmental awareness along with a particularly tight operating environment inside the Port of Tuzla, Istanbul.

Built at Navtek’s parent company TK Tuzla Shipyard for Turkish owner GISAS Shipbuilding Industry, the first ZEETUG®, Gisas Power, went into service this year, operating in the shipyard zone in the Port of Tuzla, Istanbul. Designated a ZEETUG®-30 design for its 32 tonnes of bollard pull, Gisas Power has an overall length of 18.7 m, beam of 6.7 m, depth of 4.7 m and design draught of 3.5 m, with a service speed of 10 knots.

With the aid of a modular system, ZEETUG® has an integrated electrical propulsion system available to be tailored to the client’s specific operation profile (from 5T BP to 75T BP).

ZEETUG-30 draws all its power from two 1,450-kW lithium-ion battery packs supplied by Corvus Energy. For safety, the tug has two redundant battery rooms, one forward and one aft, which are maintained at a constant temperature by an air cooling system. ZEETUG® has been designed and built according to Turkish Lloyd’s rules, and meets any IACS member classification society’s valid and related requirements.

To optimise electric power consumption, analyze the operational profile and extend the range of the electric tug, Navtek designed the Smart Tug Energy Management System (STEMS). The STEMS software monitors ZEETUG®’s performance via an onboard data acquisition system. It tracks tug speed, motor speed, power consumption, battery-motor temperature, and battery state of charge, providing feedback and suggested actions to the captain. 

Remote monitoring and diagnostics allow technicians and engineers to resolve any issues in real-time. Within hours, we are able to perform updates across our entire client fleet. 

A full charge for the tug can be accomplished in one hour by a quick-charging station. The time it takes to charge a ZEETUG® varies based on the charger used, like other electrical devices. We adjust the technical characteristics of ZEETUG® according to the existing operating profile and needs/requirements of our clients. The QCS (quick charge station) is also designed and built by Navtek.

Compared with similarly sized diesel-mechanical tugs, the all-electric ZEETUG®-30 is expected to save 210 tonnes of CO2 emissions and nine tonnes of NOx emissions in a year.

ZEETUG® is a budget-friendly green technology, and the 85% lower operating cost of its full-electric propulsion system is also a real benefit for the operator. The return period of investment is amazing.

Further, the high power output comes with a significant increase in comfort levels, with no noise, no vibration and no emissions! Just efficient operations.

Our solution partners are BMA Technology (the electrical systems integrator), Corvus Energy (the battery supplier) and ABB (the drive and converter supplier). We want to thank Gisas Shipbuilding Industry for their trust in choosing us. We have two more 30T BP and one more 45T BP ZEETUG’s in our order book for our good client Gisas. The construction on these follow-on vessels will start in 2020.

Felixstowe DockersEmissions Projected to Rise 50 Percent by 2050

European Commission: EU Action on Ship Emissions Helping to Reduce ...


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) released the long-awaited 575-page final report for its Fourth IMO Greenhouse Gas Study. 

Coming six years after the third report, the results are viewed as a critical scorecard measuring the success of the shipping industry towards the goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The IMO is not commenting on the study at this stage, noting that its Marine Environment Protection Committee is being asked to consider and approve the study, but those in the industry as well as government and environmental groups are all anxiously reviewing the results and will begin providing their independent analysis.

The key finding of the report indicates that the shipping industry’s greenhouse gas emission increased by nearly 10 percent between 2012 and 2018. 

The international consortium of research institutes and universities that prepared the report also forecasts that shipping emissions will increase by up to 50 percent until 2050 relative to 2018 despite further efficiency gains, as transport demand is expected to continue to grow.

“The report will provide the IMO with a factual basis for the negotiations on measures to address greenhouse gas emissions from shipping,” says Jasper Faber who was project manager working at CE Delft that lead the consortium. “It has again improved on the methods and presentation of the previous Greenhouse Gas studies. We are proud to have assembled a truly global consortium bringing together some of the best experts in the field.”

In total, the report finds that GHG emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), for the total shipping industry (international, domestic and fishing) increased 9.6 percent from 977 million tonnes in 2012 to 1,076 million tonnes in 2018. 

Looking specifically at the CO2 component of the emissions, they found a similar rate of increase from 962 million tonnes in 2012 to 1,056 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2018. As a result of this, they estimated that shipping’s share of global emissions increased slightly from 2.76 percent in 2012 to 2.89 percent in 2018. 

The fourth report also introduces several new elements, more details and analysis. “This study represents a significant step forward in estimating emissions inventories, and for the first time uses a fully IPCC-aligned approach to estimate international shipping emissions,” said Elena Hauerhof, of UMAS who was the leader of the inventory work. 

“The study has also significantly advanced the accuracy of AIS based estimations for any ship, and evidences this by undertaking a detailed validation against fuel consumption and other key parameters reported in EU MRV for over 9000 ships”

Due to developments in data and inventory methods, this study is able to produce greenhouse gas inventories that distinguish domestic shipping from international emissions on a voyage basis as well as a new voyage-based allocation of international shipping. 

While the data shows an increase in CO2 emissions from international shipping on the voyage-based allocation it also reveals a lower growth rate than total shipping emissions and an approximately constant share of global CO2 emissions over this period. 

Using the vessel-based allocation of international shipping CO2 emissions increased more than eight percent but again slower than total shipping.

Another important area that the study looks at is the carbon intensity of shipping. It is reported to have improved by about 11 percent, but the growth in activity was larger than the efficiency gains according to the study. Shuang Zhang of Dalian Maritime University, leader of the work on carbon intensity commented, “Carbon intensity of international shipping is a new addition to the IMO GHG Studies, in response to the Initial IMO GHG strategy. 

The estimates provided by this report have clearly shown where we are on the way towards low-carbon shipping.” The analysis, however, notes that improvements in the carbon intensity of international shipping have not followed a linear pathway and more than half the improvements were achieved before 2012. 

The pace of carbon intensity reduction has slowed since 2015 the report says.


For the first time, the study also includes estimates for other elements such as back carbon which the report points to as having consequences both for climate and human health. Known as a super pollutant the data shows a 12 percent increase in black carbon emissions as well as more than a 150 percent jump in methane emissions. The report points out that total LNG use in international shipping increased by less than a third. The explanation for the difference in growth rates for fuel consumption and methane emissions is associated with a shift in the mix of machinery being used across the fleet during this period.


Looking forward the report provides a range of long-term economic and energy scenarios creating a projection that emissions will increase from about 90 percent of 2008 emissions in 2018 to 90-130 percent of 2008 emissions by 2050. 

The authors expect that emissions in 2020 and 2021 will be significantly lower based on the impact of COVID-19, but note depending on the recovery trajectory, overall the impact of COVID-19 is likely to be smaller than the uncertainty range of the presented scenarios.

Felixstowe DockersTankers Are Looking at More Uncertainty Moving Forward

Ocean Shippers Fear Engine Failures as Industry Forced to Upgrade ...


The end of the oil storage play, together with uncertainty over crude oil demand in the months to come, are expected to exert pressure on the tanker market in the weeks to come. 

In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic there was but one freight market to be hindered by what was going on. Market participants witnessed skyrocketing volumes being traded during the March-April period, driven by the monumental drop in oil prices which reached levels not seen since 2003.

 With many traders looking to get their hands on as much oil as possible and utilising all storage options, freight rates reached record highs”.

Source: Allied Shipbrokers

“However, since then this rally has come to an abrupt end, with the BDTI slumping to levels even below the 500bp mark.

Undoubtedly, in all this freight market splendour, low oil prices were the key driver. Key importance to this has been the role of the supply glut created during this time. 

The collapse in discussions between OPEC and Russia over production cuts led to an excessive flow of oil reaching markets, pushing both Brent and WTI to record lows. 

These excesses did eventually scale back, with the OPEC+ group eventually coming to an agreement for a massive output cut program of approximately 9.7 mbpd for the period of May-June”, Allied said.

Source: Allied Shipbrokers

According to Allied’s Research Analyst, Mr. Yiannis Vamvakas, “this is set to be scaled back to 7.7 mbpd for the remainder of 2020 (although production cuts for August and September could end up being deeper as some countries may need to compensate for previous lack of compliance), while come January 2021 this is set to drop to 5.8 mbpd. 

All these gradual increased flows at any point could be met by the potential of an increase in Iranian exports, which although currently at around 150,000 bpd, could easily reach 2 million bpd at any point. 

US oil production has also increased by 1.2 mbpd to around 10.9 mbpd as of late, a fair level though still much lower than the 13 mbpd seen back in March. 

At the same time and on the side of demand, the pandemic has had considerable effects as well, having caused a severe drop in consumption from all OECD as well as a large number of major developing economies”.

Vamvakas said that “a second wave of lockdowns will definitely dampen any anticipated recovery, but the impact is not expected to be as severe. 

The recent news regarding a potential vaccine have helped calm down fears, with oil demand forecasts having been revised up by between 5 and 7 mbpd for next year. 

Meanwhile, demand data for 2020 is also improving, with OPEC estimates for the year standing at 90.72 million bpd, an increased of 0.13 million bpd compared to its previous forecast. In China, official data illustrated a significant rise in volumes coming out of domestic refineries. In particular, June data showed a volume output of 14.08 million bpd, 1 million more than in May. 

The respective figure back in February, at the peak of pandemic spread, was only 10 million bpd. However, this boost in China may only be temporary, with local storage capacity looking to have already peaked during previous months”, Allied’s analyst noted.

Source: Allied Shipbrokers

“Meanwhile, the EIA has recently stated that demand for petroleum and liquid fuels is not expected to surpass 2019 figures before August 2021, despite the recent uptick in demand. Things are pointing to a possible mild recovery in consumption during the coming months, which though may be disrupted by a second wave of lockdowns, it is unlikely to be hindered to the same extent. 

At the same time, the supply of oil coming to the market is expected to rise by a fair amount over the coming months, likely keeping a solid cap for now on these low oil prices. 

Taking everything into account, there can be a case to argue for much better freight market conditions to emerge during the latter half of the year, though surely not to the extent seen back in the March-April period”, Vamvakas concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Felixstowe DockersSmaller Bulkers In High Demand

Small Bulk Carrier Ship Loading Coal Riga Editorial Photo - Image ...

Ship owners in the dry bulk market have been adding more tonnage, as demand is picking up. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “the dry bulk sector is beginning to recover from reduced SnP activity recorded in the first quarter of 2020. 

According to Mr. George Kallianiotis, from Intermodal’s valuation department. Handysize and Supramax vessels were the best sellers as they totalled 64% of reported sales while Kamsarmax and Post-Panamax vessels were the least popular among bulk carriers.

 Additionally, 31% and 18% of all confirmed buyers were Greek and Chinese, respectively. Vietnamese, various Middle Eastern and Indonesian buyers followed and equally constituted a total of 23% of the overall deal landscape”.

Kallianiotis said that “Greek buyers were involved in acquisitions across all vessel sizes and ages. They displayed an aggressive appetite for modern Handysize and Supramax vessels and a more moderate desire for similar vintage tonnage. 

Greek buyers were also responsible for 38%, 63% and 23% of Capesize, Kamsarmax and Ultramax purchases respectively. 

As per usual, the majority of 15 and 20-year-old Supramax, Panamax and Capesize vessels were acquired by Chinese buyers. Vietnamese and Greek buyers competed for 10-year-old Handysize vessels as they acquired an equally shared 38% of the total tonnage. 

Various Middle Eastern buyers were behind the purchasing of the largest number of currently known and reported Ultramax vessels (31%) as well as some less modern Supramax vessels (12%). Indonesians increased their overall Supramax and Panamax fleet stocks by 14% and 19% respectively by adding 7 Supramax and 3 Panamax vessels to their tonnages”.

He added that “the dry bulk sector is currently at its highest point since the start of the year due to consistent increases in recorded SnP transactions. 

However, the recent resurfacing of certain port closures in light of the escalated spread of COVID-19 are projected to strain SnP activity as crew changes in usual delivery ports are gradually becoming ineffective. 

The potential ramifications of the aforementioned phenomenon on the future outlook of dry bulk SnP remain to be seen”, Intermodal’s expert concluded.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Felixstowe DockersMaersk: Keeping the entrepreneurial spirit high

Customers and society at large are showing a growing appetite for integrated transport and logistics solutions amid the pandemic, with Maersk teams finding new ways to move global trade and critical supplies.

As factories were closing, roads blocked and workers put in quarantine, supply chains began to congest.

The impacts of the coronavirus outbreak escalated in China in early February. For instance, a global, leading agriculture company and key Maersk customer urgently needed alternative ways to keep its goods moving out of more than 50 Chinese factories to ports across Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

To avoid a major disruption of critical supplies during peak season for agricultural products, Maersk’s 4PL team in Qingdao quickly mobilised a cross-functional task force. The team organised alternative transportation using inland haulage, barge service, rail and air freight to supplement the ocean product and created several end-to-end solutions.

Extraordinary efforts

Enabling global trade has been A.P. Moller – Maersk’s finest task for decades, but in recent months there has arguably never been more pressure on keeping goods moving freely. In extraordinary circumstances, colleagues across the world have gone extraordinary lengths to serve customers in new and creative ways, while taking care extra care of each other and helping society to get through the crisis.

In six critical weeks, the Maersk task force in Qingdao hosted more than 80 virtual, hyper-care meetings with the agriculture customer and multiple supply chain partners. As a result, the customer had daily visibility with clear order impact that enabled it to prioritise critical orders and mitigate huge sales losses.

Ultimately, more than 2,600 containers – hereof 40% dangerous cargo and 22% critical cargo – made their way to destination, with a 98% on-time departure success rate for priority cargo.

“Our efforts were highly appreciated by the customer who avoided a complete stop to its supply chain as well as ensuring the delivery of critical agricultural supplies across the world,” says Caroline Wu, Managing Director for the Greater China Area at Maersk, and adds:

“In these difficult times, customers value Maersk because of our resilient business continuity plans and our integrator offering of alternative solutions that are proving critical in mitigating disruptions in their supply chains.”

International rail offers a faster alternative for customers who experience blank sailings, congested ports and sky-rocketing air rates.

New opportunities emerge

This customer solution in China is just one example of how Maersk is keeping the wheels of global trade spinning. As an epidemic quickly became a pandemic in March, the early supply challenges in China turned into a global slowdown in demand, with government restrictions forcing shops to close and consumers to stay home in many countries.

While total demand has dropped, key areas of Maersk’s business are experiencing growing needs from customers. In Logistics & Services, for instance, new opportunities are emerging with customers looking for alternative modes of transport and storage solutions due to fewer and slower ocean transits.

As roads and borders closed, intermodal trucking transport also experienced a dramatic reduction in capacity. Several customers across industries such as retail, automotive and lifestyle have turned to intercontinental rail (ICR), some even for the very first time, to beat delays of up to 70% truck shortage and get goods to market in time.

Rail offers fast and efficient alternative

This increased demand means that Maersk’s combined ocean and rail service from Asia to Europe (AE19), which was previously offered on a monthly basis in west-bound direction only, is now available every week in both directions.

Transit times from South Korea and Japan to Northern Europe have been reduced to 23-32 days from the previously 52-57 days through intermodal transportation. As such, the extended and improved rail offering offers a faster and cost-friendly alternative for customers who experience problems such as blank sailings, congested ports and sky-rocketing air rates.

“Frequent cancellations and congestions in ports and airports around the world have made the usual ocean and air services less attractive for customers. Evidently, AE19’s volumes have increased by approximately 30% compared to before COVID-19, compensating for the reduced demand for our other services,” explains Jason Park, Head of Maersk in Korea.

Cross- and upselling opportunities are also on the rise for Maersk’s blocktrain offering. Customers including Decathlon and Aldi have either increased volumes or bought into the service for the first time to capture important sales in stores and supermarkets across Europe.

Keeping the fruit fresh in the new cold chamber at APM Terminals Buenos Aires

Reefer innovation as cold storage peaks

After the congestion in Chinese ports in February and March, reefer containers continue to be in short supply in many parts of the world. As a response, Maersk was able to bring 1800 reefers from Asia to help Brazil meet strong export demand in early April, supporting its fruit and livestock sectors.

In Argentina, APM Terminals commissioned a new cold-store chamber in May. The chamber can maintain constant temperatures as low as -35°C, enabling it to handle a variety of cargo, including fruit, frozen produce and meat.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, our cooling chamber may have arrived at a vital moment, given that cargo often have to be stored at specific temperatures to maintain their quality,” adds Marcelo Siminet, Head of Operations in APM Terminals Buenos Aires.

The chamber can store up to 11 standard pallets and is located within the customers’ bonded area of the terminal, reducing the need for additional transport costs as well as the inconvenience, risk and paperwork that come with off-terminal facilities.

Appetite for more

Throughout the pandemic, Maersk has retained its focus on three priorities: Protecting people, serving customers, and helping society fight COVID-19.

The list of examples of how colleagues have kept Maersk’s entrepreneurial spirit high in times of crisis to find new solutions to challenging supply chain problems grows every day – and customers’ increasing appetite for integrated transport and logistics represents a tangible proof point of the strategy.

“Our strategy of becoming the global integrator has truly been validated by the pandemic. Ocean customers actually want to buy more logistics services from us and recognise the value from dealing with the asset operator. This is a huge opportunity for us, which we will pursue in the coming years,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

As society gradually recovers, Maersk will move from defense to offense by having the network and capacity in place to meet demand when and where it returns, while looking for opportunities to accelerate the transformation – e.g. through acquisitions and new investments in digital.

Source: Maersk

Footnotes