Planet MUNZ Local 10

Felixstowe DockersDocumentation: Container half truck in Ashdod port

Container dropped on truck in Ashdod port (Photo: Ashdod Today)

Almost a disaster: A container fell on the driver’s cab of a truck on MondayAshdod port
And completely crushes it. The truck driver who was waiting to load equipment was not inside her when the container fell, and no one was injured in the incident. Port Director Itzik Cohen ordered the safety engineers to investigate the incident immediately.
Ashdod container container fell on a truck and crushed it ()The cab is crushed, no injuries
Ashdod container container fell on a truck and crushed it ()
The container fell off after one of the shipwreckers in the harbor accidentally hit her during a ship unloading operation. Ashdod Port said that Cohen’s CEO wanted to bring the findings of the full investigation into his hands, and in the meantime he convened all the seamen for briefing and a refresher.
Benny Eliadi, a worker at the Ashdod port who witnessed the incident, said: “Lucky the driver was not inside and was waiting to load equipment.”
About two weeks ago, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs published the Safety Administration Report, which said the number of work accidents during 2019 was the highest since 2010. The report found that 2019 ended with 84 dead workers, of whom 40 in the construction industry and 44 during other productive jobs. . Of the 44 workers killed in productive jobs, 19 were in the service and commerce industries, 17 in manufacturing and eight in agriculture.
According to the report, in one-third of the cases, workers were killed as a result of a fall, and in about a fifth of the workers were killed by plane bone or a bone collapse. The collapse of walls, mold, scaffolding and other elements accounted for an additional 12% of the number of accidents killed in the Israeli economy.
This past August Killed a foreign worker from China
As a result of a fall in the spokes at Ashdod Port. The 49-year-old worker was pulled from the water by divers who were searching for him after he reported his absence. Apparently, he stumbled into the water as he tried to move from the barge to the platform.

Felixstowe DockersMaritime Union Incensed at Broken Government Promises Over Ferry Wages

Shipping Line Cuts Costs Even Further After Reflagging Vessels

UK – The ongoing row regarding the crewing of flag of convenience ferries in British waters and flouting pay and conditions which would not be tolerated on a UK flagged vessel continues to simmer, and is now subject to yet another attack from maritime union the RMT.

This time however the argument has another dimension with the union directly accusing the government of broken promises, if not complicity. The RMT says on the 11 June 2019 in an exchange between Kelly Tolhurst MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility and Hull East MP, Karl Turner, the latter said: 

”It is disgraceful that P&O Ferries is employing Lithuanian cooks sailing from Hull to Zeebrugge on the Pride of York at €2.04 an hour. Filipino able-bodied seafarers crewing the Pride of Hull are paid $4.45 an hour. Will the Minister meet me to see what we can do together to stop these predatory capitalist companies taking advantage of foreign crews? This amounts to slave labour.”

The response from the Minister would appear to be unequivocal when she responded thus: 
”I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising this point, and he is absolutely right: this is unacceptable, and I am more than happy to meet him to discuss it. But I just want to reiterate that the law is clear that any individual undertaking work in the UK is entitled to receive the national minimum wage; this includes workers in different sectors, which is why we are taking this action, and we will be laying legislation in the autumn.” 

The RMT say that, up to now there has been no meeting either with Mr Turner or themselves. Now the union is pressing the government to honour this commitment and meet with it to resolve the matter. The case escalated when the RMT discovered that P&O, which reflagged all six of its cross channel ferries to Cyprus last year, is about to dismiss Portuguese ratings from the two abovementioned ships and replace them with Filipino staff. 

RMT insist that flying in crews from their native homeland to work for minimal wages could seriously compromise the safety of passengers and crew on busy ferry routes to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has written to Kelly Tolhurst MP saying: 
“As with other Ratings grades on these ships, the OBS crews are currently paid below National Minimum Wage rates to work two-month tours of duty, with no pension provision. The Filipino seafarers scheduled to replace them will be on the same conditions, but will be contractually obliged to work for tours lasting up to six months, raising major safety as well as employment concerns. 

”The exploitation of existing crew on the Pride of York and Pride of Hull was raised with you at BEIS Questions in the Commons on 11th June 2019. In your response, you agreed that the crewing practice described on these two ferries is ‘unacceptable.’ Those practices have now worsened and it is clear to us that P&O sees the recent General Election result as an opportunity to profit from doubling down on seafarer exploitation on international ferry routes from the UK to the Continent. 

”This case lays bare the failure of successive Governments to offer people in our maritime towns and cities the chance to work as Ratings in the UK shipping industry. As such, I seek an urgent meeting with you to discuss this case and the wider issues of UK seafarer employment which it raises.” 

Photo: P&O’s Pride of York.


Changing time forced terminal operators to act says Qube boss

The head of stevedore Patrick’s parent company has made an unapologetic presentation emphasising that port container access charges are here to stay and will rise at stevedore’s  discretion until it is counterproductive to continue.
In a rare intervention from the stevedores’ side, Qube MD Maurice James insisted at an event last month for the Australian chapter of the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) that Patrick was forced to act due to an operating environment that had changed out of previous recognition.
James argues that charging port haulage firms to access containers was the function of a "rebalancing" between stevedoring landside charges and shipping line charges.
"Market changes have led to previous arrangements being unsustainable," his presentation says.
"The stevedores had to act and they did."
At a time when soaring access charges and rising complaints from container trucking, exporters and cargo services has gained state political attention, James rejects any form of government intervention.
He reveals that Patrick provided the Victorian government’s port pricing and access review with "independent economic analysis" from Synergies Economic Consulting that concluded that there is "no persuasive case for regulatory intervention" and attempting to regulate will bring "significant risks and costs".
Despite the ACCC acknowledging there being no market between stevedores and port haulage firms, James insists: "The market should be left to sort it out and I’m confident that the right balance will eventuate."
This confidence is based on there being "serious overcapacity through fierce stevedoring competition", that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reviews the industry annually through both the Waterline and Stevedoring Monitoring reports, and the threat of State intervention if stevedoring profitability is excessive is a sufficient deterrent.

Read an exporter’s critique of stevedores’ container access charging, here

The presentation took the opportunity to address what James suggests are the arguments of the stevedores’ critics:
  • shippers are paying twice – They shouldn’t be and if they are than they should be negotiating down the shipping line terminal handling charges
  • no landside improvement – Conveniently forgets the investment by stevedores and landside performance improvement over many years. Truck turnaround times in Melbourne fell from 34.6 minutes in September quarter 2015 to 26.1 minutes in June quarter 2018
  • landside should be regulated like PBLIS – My advice "be careful; what you wish for". PBLIS is not efficient and carriers pay significantly more in Sydney than Melbourne
  • no transparency on shipping line terminal handling charges – the ACCC monitors stevedores and publishes annual reports which gives full transparency
  • where will the charges end – the market will find a balance and State Governments can and should intervene if stevedoring returns become excessive
  • stevedores should charge the shipping lines – yet carrier lobby groups are still demanding contractual relationships with stevedores and improved landside performance – the shippers are their customers. The carriers can’t have it both ways! Motor vehicle and break bulk cargo pays landside charges so why not containers?
  • mechanism of recovery via transport operators are unfair – carriers add margins to recover additional costs and have had plenty of time to adjust customer contracts to pass this charge through. What’s the difference between a pass through to a transport company or a shipping line? Its more direct in each port to the carrier
  • should regulate a prescribed fee – it’s a market and pricing should be linked to performance but carriers have never pursued it – why? Be careful what you wish for.
James then lobs the suggestion that maybe Patrick should charge the shippers directly.
After giving the longer-term critics short shrift, James turns his sights on state governments, observing that since the port privatisation over the past decade, they have lost expertise and knowledge of port and port logistics and no longer have port authority chairs and executives to provide advice
Attempts to create government freight bodies, such as Freight Victoria, have been unsuccessful.
James argues for a new forum for exchange of information with industry executives.
Government reform is also seen as particularly in rail freight.
Despite promises to ease congestion and in ways that take trucks off the roads, there are "too many self-interested roadblocks to new investment and services".
He notes that, in Victoria, it took Qube 18 months to get all approvals needed for a new terminal in Dandenong and call for the sort of policy certainty that allows private sector needs to make much-needed investment.

Felixstowe DockersWe recently received an unbelievable donation of 🌟£33,412.26🌟 from the wonderful team at MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company)

Blue Cross Suffolk rehoming centre is feeling fantastic.
There are definitely no Monday Blues here at Blue Cross Suffolk today because we've got some AMAZING news that we'd like to share with you...📢
We recently received an unbelievable donation of 🌟£33,412.26🌟 from the wonderful team at MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company), who are based at The Havens in Ipswich. Blue Cross Suffolk was voted in as their Charity of the Year for 2019 and all the staff at MSC have worked tirelessly throughout the year to raise as much money as possible for our centre. 
Everyone here at Blue Cross Suffolk (humans and animals!) would like to say a massive thank-you to every single member of staff at MSC who supported us, and we are truly blown away by the amount that you all helped to raise for our centre 💙


Felixstowe DockersDeep draughted MSC Anna arrives to Felixstowe just after a squally shower passes 17th January 2020

MSC Anna IMO: 9777204 Length: 399.98m Breadth: 58.8m Built: December 2016 19,437TEU Gross tonnage: 187,587t Current draught: 15.5m Wind speed: 26-35 knots Direction: WNW 299° Tide: 2.94m, 36cm above prediction. Last port Tanjung Pelepas Next port: Rotterdam Tugs assisting: Svitzer Deben - centre lead aft Svitzer Sky - starboard quarter Svitzer Shotley - centre lead forward The 400 metre MSC Anna arrives to the Port of Felixstowe straight from Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia. This was unusual, as a ship on this route calls at Rotterdam before sailing across to Felixstowe with a considerably reduced draught. As she tracked through the English Channel, a band of squally showers from the west was rapidly spreading across the UK. As the MSC Anna made her approach to the Sunk, the winds began to increase from the West. A Harwich Haven Pilot launch makes their way to the Sunk Diamond to board a pilot onto the deep draughted MSC Anna.

Once the pilot was onboard, he radios Harwich VTS to confirm he was onboard with a maximum draught of 15.5 metres from Tanjung Pelepas with no defects, inbound for Felixstowe Berth 9. VTS replies that there was a ready berth planned port side to Felixstowe Berth 9 and updated the situation with the tugs. As the Selandia Seaways was inbound for Felixstowe Ro-Ro4 and with the wind increasing to up to 35 knots, the captain requested a Svitzer tug for berthing so there was only 3 tugs available. VTS continues with weather report. The winds were increasing but they would be short lived and should last for about an hour before receding to under 30 knots. Currently the winds were Westerly 26 gusting 35 knots. With the weather how it was the pilot deemed it unsafe to make her approach so reduced speed to a crawl and assessed a little while later. Winds decreasing, the pilot said that he would still make a slow approach to the deep water channel. If the wind stayed at that strength, there would be no choice than to have all 4 tugs but as it died off he would require 3. 

First to meet at 7&8 buoys and make fast centre lead aft, second by the Platters to escort on the starboard quarter and the third inside the harbour bow to bow. At the present time the pilot didn’t know which way they were going to swing and would make a decision when they were in the harbour. Duty tug copied the conversation. Svitzer Deben leaves the tug pontoon to the aft tug. Svitzer Sky leaves Ro-Ro3 to be the quarter tug and Svitzer Shotley leaves the tug pontoon to be the forward tug. On approach to the harbour, the pilot gets in contact with the Deben and goes through the plan of berthing. Sky makes her way out of the harbour to standby on the quarter. Once the Deben was fast aft the pilot gets the Deben to move out onto the port quarter for a powered indirect to help steer the MSC Anna around the 90° Beach End turn into the harbour. Sky makes fast on the starboard quarter as they round the Beach End . Entering the harbour, the pilot decides that they would be swinging to starboard off the berth. Shotley makes their approach to make fast on a bow to bow to pick up the centre lead forward. The main engine stopped, the pilot gets the Deben to favour the port quarter to straighten her up as she began to twist. Shotley fast forward moves out on to the starboard shoulder and builds weight to also straighten her. Drifting into the swinging position, the Sky squares up on the quarter and builds power. All three tugs build further weight on their tow lines to swing her to starboard. After a while, the pilot gets the Shotley to stop towing and come in for a push towards the berth. Deben moves around to the starboard side into a check position. Shotley moves away from the ships side into a check position as she edges towards her final berthing position alongside Felixstowe Berth 9. Final tie up 6 and 2 each end with springs first fore and aft. ETD 15:00 Sunday 19th January 2020

Felixstowe DockersP&O Ferries suspends Calais-Tilbury service

Stuart Todd 

Low customer demand and impact of strikes in France cited as factors

P&O Ferries has suspended its ro-ro service linking Calais and the London port of Tilbury, citing low customer demand and the impact of strike action in France over the past few weeks.
Launched last September, it was pitched as a new option for unaccompanied freight to and from Greater London and the Midlands and which would help maintain customers’ supply chains in the event of a disorderly Brexit.
P&O Ferries underlined at the time that the new route was designed to give freight that was not accompanied by a driver a direct route to a port located just 25 miles from Central London, “further broadening P&O Ferries’ comprehensive service for importers to and exporters from the South East of England.”
P&O Ferries chartered the Caroline Russ with two sailings every weekday and one each on Saturday and Sunday.
The vessel had offered capacity for 100 units of freight and the company estimated a total of 50,000 units could  be carried in the first 12 months with time-sensitive supermarket goods including fresh fruit and vegetables being a mainstay cargo.
Commenting on the withdrawal of the service, a P&O Ferries spokesman told Lloyd's Loading List:
“Owing to less customer demand than anticipated on Calais-Tilbury and disruption caused by the strikes in France, we have suspended the route. We shall continue to provide customers with a fast, reliable and efficient service for unaccompanied freight on our Calais-Dover ships.” He did not elaborate further.

Industrial action by workers at French state railway SNCF in protest to pension reform, which began in early-December, has brought rail freight services at Calais to a halt, with seemingly a direct knock-on effect for P&O Ferries' service to Tilbury for unaccompanied trailers.
SNCF Logistics subsidiary Viia normally operates scheduled  intermodal routes linking Calais with Turin and Le Boulou, near Perpignan on the French-Spanish border.
Last month, it had been poised to launch a new service between the French Mediterranean port of Sète and Calais, transporting mainly semi-trailers and swap bodies originating in Turkey to the UK. However, it soon became a victim of the strike.
A good deal of Viia's traffic, originating in Italy and Spain, is transferred from trains onto ferries bound for the UK and while support for the strike is waning, services are still a long way short of returning to normal. 
Interviewed by the FranceInfo radio station yesterday, Port of Calais chief,  Jean-Marc Puissesseau said the port's rail freight activity had been “at a complete standstill since the start of the strike because there are no train drivers. We have lost traffic representing between 5,000 and 6,000 trailers.”
Calais, along with six other French ports - which include Le Havre and Marseille, the country's biggest box ports, as well as Rouen, Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, La Rochelle and Marseille - is also feeling the effects of a 72-hour stoppage by the ports and docks branch of the CGT labour union which began on Tuesday (14 January)  in protest to the government's pension reform.
“While Calais has not been entirely blocked,  we are a  victim of this industrial action as it leads to a slowdown in traffic and a diversion of traffic to structures neighbouring our port (Eurotunnel). If traffic is slowed down it quickly translates into queues of trucks stretching for several kilometres which is also costly to us in terms of our image and threatens the economic fture of the port,”  Puissesseau underlined.
As Lloyd's Loading List was going to press, the latest tweets from P&O Ferries indicated that the ferry company's departures from Calais to Dover later today were subject but it was unclear whether this due to the strike by port workers.
As for  Eurotunnel,  a service update issued earlier this afternoon, informed customers of waiting times for trucks to check-in on its freight shuttle from Calais to Folkestone of two hours due to heavy traffic.
Returning to the impact of industrial action at France's ports, French business newspaper, Les Echos, yesterday reported that no ships had entered or left Le Havre on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, quoting a port authority source while several ships were at anchor outside the port and others had been diverted to Antwerp and Rotterdam.
Operating conditions are said to be difficult at the other ports where the strike is taking place.


A UK port is set to make an undisclosed number of redundancies as it undertakes a process to “secure efficiencies”.

The Port of Dover, which last month opened its Cargo Terminal West, confirmed in a statement that employees and trade unions are in the process of being briefed as to the nature of cutbacks that may occur.

A Port of Dover spokesperson said: “A process has been started to consider where we can secure efficiencies across our business and our employees along with their representative bodies are being briefed throughout the week on how this might potentially be delivered.”

The port did not confirm to Port Strategy the reason(s) behind the decision, but did allude to “the prevailing market conditions”, which it said has had “an impact” on the business, making it necessary to make changes to operate efficiently and protect future growth opportunities.

Dover Cargo Terminal West was constructed to keep up with the demands of an expanding cargo business, said the port.
In September, Dover was among 16 ports successful in bidding for a portion of £10m funding from the Department of Transport’s (DfT) Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, which offered ports up to GB£1m each to deliver infrastructure upgrades to help with Brexit preparations.

Port Strategy. Insight for marine technology professionals


Grouping insists East Swanson Terminal reversal will have landside flow-on effects

Stevedore Patrick has announced that, from Monday, night shift operations at its East Swanson Dock (ESD) terminal will be reduced from six nights per week to four – a 33 per cent reduction in night shift vehicle booking slot availability for Melbourne’s wharf road transport operators.
The night shifts to close are: Sunday 10pm to Monday 6am (first shift Monday); Friday 11pm to Saturday 6am (first shift Saturday).
Patrick cites the competitive container stevedoring market in Melbourne and the general reduction in container volumes at Patrick East Swanson Terminal for a move found unwelcome by the containerchain grouping of Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) and Freight and Trade Australia (FTA).
"Wharf transport operators have expressed their disappointment at the lack of consultation and notice, as many transport operators have adapted their businesses to night shift operations over the years, with the full encouragement of the stevedores." CTAA director Neil Chambers says.
"Wharf transport operators are now left to deal with their own staffing, rostering and operational issues to adapt to this almost immediate change."
Chambers reports CTAA "called for and led a productive meeting" with Patrick ESD Terminal management on Monday to work through the implications on the shift reductions.
Wharf carriers are said to be apprehensive about:
  • increased VBS slot and stack run availability on corresponding day shifts to compensate
  • the extension of export receival cut-offs for vessel schedules that may be impacted
  • import container availability times
  • R&D impacts for several train services into the Port of Melbourne
  • the needs of country carriers for early slot availability to deal with their unique scheduling, optimal truck turn cycles, and driver fatigue management obligations.
He also notes that the impact includes wharf transport operators having to change their own staffing, rostering and operational parameters after years of being encouraged strongly by the stevedores to embrace night shift operations.

FTA director Paul Zalai notes that "it’s difficult to reconcile the ever-increasing landside infrastructure charges levied by Patrick Terminals with this reduction in night shift service levels.
"The market anticipates that Patrick will announce further infrastructure fee increases in February for a March 2020 commencement.
"Yet, these landside service levels are being implemented, divorced from the corporate intent of Patrick to leverage more revenue from the landside, and way from their traditional customers the shipping lines.
"This is further evidence that the infrastructure fee increases are about making up for lost revenue from shipping lines, and not as much about investment in landside interface productivity improvements, let alone maintaining existing service levels.
"We will continue to pursue these inequities through the industry’s engagement with the Victorian Government on its Port of Melbourne Pricing & Access Review."
The reduction in shifts at Patrick ESD Terminal is also expected to have impacts on container detention "free time" constraints.
Chambers noted that "the reduced time opportunity for transport operators to pick up import containers from Patrick ESD may lead to a day – or more – of delay from container discharge from a vessel to the time that the container is able to be de-hired empty.
"Many shipping lines now start the ‘detention clock’ from vessel discharge, and not from the time when containers are declared to be available for pick up, or from the time when the container is physically able to be collected."
The FTA/APSA /CTAA alliance recommend that importers should seek container detention free-time extensions from shipping lines for those handled through Patrick ESD as a result of the reduction in available R&D shifts.
"I’m pleased to say that there was good collaboration between transport operators and terminal management at the meeting, and we’ve agreed to monitor the situation closely over the coming weeks and reconvene to review." Chambers says.
Meanwhile, in response to the bushfire emergency and "in keeping with the Australian spirit of supporting the broader community, and in recognition of the tireless efforts of volunteers", Patrick will donate $100,000 split between the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, New South Wales Rural Fire Service and NSW animal rescue service WIRES.

Felixstowe DockersBaltic Ice Class Feeder Vayenga Maersk swings for Felixstowe Trinity 4. 15th January 2020

Felixstowe DockersRusty Maersk Utah breaks away from Felixstowe Trinity Terminal bound for Antwerp. 15th January 2020

Felixstowe DockersMSC container ship crashed pilot boat, Gioia Tauro

MSC container ship struck pilot boat while moving in Gioia Tauro harbor, Italy, on Jan 18. Pilot boat sank, after understood, being crashed between container ship bulbous bow and pier, but was quickly recovered by crane and placed on pier. Boat luckily, was unmanned at the time of an accident. Container ship wasn’t identified, and there are 3 MSC container ships at Gioia Tauro, as of evening Jan 18, but available information points at MSC ADELAIDE, she was in process of berthing on arrival from Genoa.

Container ship MSC ADELAIDE, IMO 9618290, dwt 111500, capacity 8766 TEU, built 2013, flag Panama.

Hi! My name is Stepan Kotcherga, I’m Merchant Marine Navigation Officer, now a Second Officer working on dry cargo ships. My home is in Ukraine. I’m contributing maritime news and inside info.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Felixstowe DockersFingerprint Drug Testing at UK Ports Adopted by Provider of Labour

First Use of Technology Which is Less Invasive and Intrusive

UK – The labour and training provider for ports and port related businesses, Precision Stevedores, has selected the drug testing solution developed by Intelligent Fingerprinting to help support its active employee drug policy at leading UK ports. The test kits available register the use of illicit substances more commonly in use recreationally such as opiates, methamphetamine, cocaine and cannabis.

Precision Stevedores will initially use the system for rapid pre-employment drug screens and monthly random tests for its outsourced workforce across the entire Humber and Trent port area. This is the first time that the easy-to-use fingerprint drug test is being used at UK ports, and is part of a drive to promote safe operations across Precision Stevedores’ business. 

The Intelligent Fingerprinting test detects drug use in around 10 minutes by collecting and analysing tiny traces of fingerprint sweat, and will be used to screen all new Precision Stevedores employees as part of the recruitment process. In addition, the fingerprint test will be used for random drug testing of employees to encourage site safety, and for post-incident and for cause testing, replacing the company’s previous urine test method which harboured drawbacks. Philip Crawford, Precision Stevedores’ Health and Safety Manager explained: 
“As a recruitment and workforce provider for the high-risk ports and shipping sector, it is paramount that we ensure the safety of our employees and their on-site colleagues. Therefore, we have adopted Intelligent Fingerprinting’s innovative technology as part of our active drug testing policy. 

“The process can be carried out on-site and in-house by our HR staff, providing results in 10 minutes and an immediate insight into fitness for duty. In contrast to our old method of urine testing that was unpleasant for our staff to handle and intrusive for employees being tested, the new hygienic fingerprint method is a major step forward for testers and employees alike. 

“At Precision Stevedores our aim is to offer the very best services in our field and, as our people are our most important asset, their safety is at the forefront of everything we do. As an innovative company, we’re pleased to adopt the Intelligent Fingerprinting solution which will help us to lead the way in shipping industry drug safety, and we’re delighted to be the first to be using the test at UK ports. 
“Our Managing Director, John Daniels, and I were immediately very impressed by the Intelligent Fingerprinting technology during initial demonstrations and, considering the strong benefits of convenience, time savings and non-invasiveness alongside the innovation, the decision to invest and adopt the product was an easy one to make. 

”We have had conversations with other organisations within our group and industry who are already showing a keen interest in adopting the impressive fingerprint drug testing method themselves, so we are expecting the fingerprint sweat test approach to catch on quickly.” 

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug testing solution features a small, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge onto which ten fingerprint sweat samples are collected, in a process which takes less than a minute. The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for all drugs in the test in ten minutes. A fingerprint-based laboratory confirmation service is also available. Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates said: 
“Our fingerprint-based drug test provides a hygienic and dignified means of supporting a wide range of workplace drug testing, including fast-moving, high-risk environments such as the busy port environments where Precision Stevedores operates. 

”The fact that fingerprint drug tests don’t require specialised testing facilities or clinical waste disposal services also means that Precision Stevedores can benefit from drug testing capabilities that are much less invasive and significantly more dignified than the urine cup test approach they are replacing with our solution.”

Felixstowe DockersCargo Shift And Damage To Vehicles On Board Ro-Ro Passenger Ferry European Causeway

Toppled trucks and crushed van on deck | Image Credits:

Safety issues

  • the route being followed had not been adjusted sufficiently to mitigate the effects of the sea conditions and reduce the likelihood of severe rolling
  • the cargo lashings applied were insufficient for the forecasted weather conditions and the ship’s approved cargo securing manual provided limited guidance to ship’s staff
  • drivers remaining in their vehicles during the ferry’s passage, in contravention of international regulations and company policy, was not uncommon and is an industry-wide issue
  • Statement from the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents


A recommendation (2020/107) has been made to P&O Ferries Ltd to amend their SMS to provide specific guidance on the lashing of cargo in heavy weather.
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Felixstowe DockersChinese freighter contacted dock at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, both damaged

General cargo ship TAI GANG contacted CSBC shipbuilding Corporation dock at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, early in the morning Jan 6, while leaving the port. Accident was caused by steering failure. Both dock and ship’s bow were damaged, TAI GANG reportedly sustained underwater hull breaches. The ship was towed to berth, she remained at Kaohsiung until Jan 9. On Jan 9 she left Kaohsiung, bound for Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. On Jan 12 she reached Quanzhou outer anchorage and was anchored.

Probably because of accident, ship’s AIS was faulty, at least during Jan 9-11, showing 30 knots speed and wrongly positioning the ship.
General cargo ship TAI GANG, IMO 9550462, dwt 4631, built 2009, flag China, manager FUJIAN QUANZHOU FENGZE SHPG CO.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.

Felixstowe DockersSeago Piraeus departs Felixstowe Trinity 3. Port swing off the berth with two tugs 15th January 2020


In her first port visit of 2020, Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP has inspected the site of work to upgrade Roll-on/Roll-off facilities at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe.

The works will allow the port to accommodate larger Ro/Ro vessels and improve the efficiency of vessel operations.
Commenting during the Minister's visit to the port, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe and Executive Director of Hutchison Ports, said:
"Roll-on/Roll-off is an important component of the port's business. With three sailings per day to Vlaardingen in Rotterdam we provide a vital connection to North Europe for UK importers and exporters. The port is already Brexit-ready and the improvements that we are starting today, coupled with additional trailer parking that has already been completed, will enhance capacity, capability and performance for Ro/Ro traffic at Felixstowe.
"As well as improving our facilities for Ro/Ro traffic we are continuing to upgrade our containerised capability and are ready to cater for increases in trade with the rest of the world as a result of new trade deals struck following our exit from the EU."
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and local MP, the Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP, said:
"It was great to welcome the Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani, to the Port of Felixstowe as work to enhance the roll on/roll off capacity gets underway. Direct ministerial support and contact is really important to help my work as MP for Suffolk Coastal and for the ongoing success of Felixstowe Port."
The works, which are due to be completed before the end of the Brexit transition period, include the lengthening of the ports No.3 Ro/Ro berth and the replacement of the current hydraulic ramp at No.4 Ro/Ro berth with a larger floating linkspan.
Whilst at the port the Minister also saw the new Ro/Ro trailer storage area created with support from Department for Transport Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity funding and held discussions with Hutchison Ports' senior management on a range of discussions including the Women in Maritime initiative and development of the port's 5G network.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, please contact Paul Davey, Head of Corporate Affairs, on Tel No: +44 (0)1394 602063 or E-mail /
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is strategically located on the UK's South East coast and within easy reach of major ports in North West continental Europe. As the UK's first purpose-built container-handling facility, it is also the largest and busiest container port in the country. With three rail terminals, it also has the busiest and biggest intermodal rail freight facility in the UK. The latest phase of development, Berths 8&9, provides additional deep-water capacity for the world's largest container ships.
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is the world's leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 52 ports spanning 27 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.

Felixstowe DockersThis is the one of safety issues which we are facing in Brazil due Port Facilities are reducing custs

This is the one of safety issues which we are facing in Brazil due Port Facilities are reducing custs, in addition in such cases, they are paying to the vessel's crew to do our tasks, unfortunely from a Year ago becoming a common practice of the Port Facilities in Santos increase the security level of ISPS code to be able to use the Militar Police preventing our access to the vessels in any kind of strike or claim for a better conditions, it's ilegal use the crew to carry out Stevedores tasks, sometimes they are putting at risk the ISPS code using unauthorized personnel to reduce custs and increase the unsafe work conditions.

Felixstowe DockersAccident in Gatun Lock, Panama Canal

Two tugs collided in Gatun Lock while providing transit of a Greek tanker VELOS LEO, in the afternoon Jan 12. One tug literally climbed over another. Cause of accident yet unknown. Tanker wasn’t damaged and continued her transit, en route from Beaumont USA to Lazaro Cardenas port, Mexico. Tanker completed transit late Jan 12, and entered the Pacific.

One worker or tug crew was reportedly, injured or killed in an accident, but there’s no official confirmation. Understood there was some one-way traffic delay or suspension.
Product tanker VELOS LEO, IMO 9381768, dwt 49999, built 2008, flag Marshall Islands, manager VELOS TANKERS LTD., Greece.
My name is Nikolay Torkin, I’m Merchant Marine Master, presently in command of feeder container ship trading in South East Asia. My family lives in Prague, Czech Republic. Mikhail provides me with daily accidents reports, I send him information with regards to accidents and container ships.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Felixstowe DockersMaersk Gairloch inbound for the Port of Felixstowe. 15th January 2020


New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show in the twelve months to September 2019 that UK exports to outside the EU grew nearly five times as fast as exports to countries inside the bloc.
UK exports to the EU grew by 1.3% and now total £296.8bn, while exports to non-EU countries saw growth of 6.3% to reach £376.7bn.
Over the 12-month period, non-EU markets remained the top destination for the UK’s renowned service sector. 60.2% of UK services exports, including financial, travel and transport, go to non-EU markets and are now worth £190.8bn.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said: “These figures show how big the opportunities are for British businesses exporting across the world, and the strength of the trade relationship with the USA and Japan. This government will continue to back our business communities to ensure they have the tools to seize this opportunity and take full advantage of all its benefits.
“My priority is to strike new trade deals with key partners and to open up new markets to British products as we go forward and leave the European Union.”
The USA maintains its position as the number one destination for British goods and services, with increased demand driving exports up 11.4% to £133.7bn – compared to £120bn in the previous 12 months.
Today’s figures also reveal an increase in trade with Japan rising by 7.6%, from £13.8bn to £14.8bn. Japan is already the UK’s fourth largest non-EU trading partner and one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

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Felixstowe DockersPictures taken by Christopher Triggs

Virginiaborg general cargo moored in Alfred Dock, Birkenhead, England. She was waiting for her tugs to take her further into the dock system.

Picture taken by me on 09/01/2020

IMO: 9234290


Vessel Type - Detailed: Cargo/Containership

Status: Active

MMSI: 244632000

Call Sign: PBDL

Flag: Netherlands

Gross Tonnage: 6361 t

Summer DWT: 9600 t

Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 132.2 x 15.87 m

Year Built: 2001

Registered owner: VIRGINIABORG BV

Ship manager/Commercial manager & ISM manager: WAGENBORG SHIPPING BV


Date of Build: 19 Sep 2001

Yard N°: 505

TEU: 550

Reefers: 50 TEU

Number of Holds: 2

Total Capacity of Holds: 12814.00


Cargo Hatchways: 2

Dimension: 1(39,9X13,2) 1(52,5X13,2)

LBC: 22041

Propelling Type: Diesel


Engine RPM: 600

Engine Power kW: 3960

Date of Build: 01 Jan 2001

Builder: WARTSILA NSD Nederland

Place of Build (country): Zwolle (NLD)

Scania auxiliary engines

Bow Thrusters: 1x500 kW

Speed: 15 knots

Virginiaborg general cargo moored in Alfred Dock, Birkenhead, England. She was waiting for her tugs to take her further into the dock system.

Thanks, capt'n'!

We were allowed onboard with express permission from the captain and officer. Lovely ship. Very well kept and looked after! Checks on safety equipment were occurring when we went on board. 

All pic credits to Christopher Triggs

Felixstowe DockersUltra large MSC Jewel arrives to a drizzly Port of Felixstowe. 15th January 2020

MSC Jewel 10.4m draught from Le Havre. Next port Singapore via Suez Canal. 07:30 pilot at the Sunk. Inbound for Felixstowe Trinity 7 planned port side to. Port swing and back up for Trinity 7. Svitzer Sky centre lead aft 120 tonne bollard rating. Svitzer Kent centre lead forward 65 tonne bollard rating. A few odd stacks of boxes but fairly empty.

Felixstowe DockersStrike action looms at port after dockworkers' vote

Sarah Chambers

Felixstowe docks owner Hutchison Ports and Unite officials will meet to discuss a dispute over outsourcing Picture: JANICE POULSON

Fresh talks are due to be held at Felixstowe docks on Thursday (January 16) after union members voted decisively in favour of strike action.

Port of Felixstowe boss Clemence Cheng has written twice to workers about the threat of strike action  Picture: MIKE PAGE
A row over outsourcing which began with about 116 engineering workers at the docks before Christmas over plans by the Port of Felixstowe to transfer some jobs to Universal Tyres spread to the wider workforce when Unite decided to ballot them on strike action. 
The engineering workers were due to strike just after Christmas, but that action was averted while Acas talks took place.
The company has also refused to comment on the situation, but port boss Clemence Cheng wrote to the workforce before the festive break expressing his concerns about the damaging effects the threatened strike action might have on the business.
He advised workers to "think carefully" and warned the actions could be deeply damaging.
"Any vote in favour of action risks more serious consequences for the business, for your personal earnings, and for jobs," he said.
"We have seen other ports crippled by industrial action in the past and which have not fully recovered to this day."
Mr Cheng admitted he was "baffled" about the point of the ballot, as seven of the eight affected staff have chosen to be redeployed at the port rather than take up jobs at Universal Tyres on the same terms and conditions and one has opted for retirement and he believed the matter had been resolved.
"We have a fundamentally strong business to which I know the overwhelming majority of employees are very loyal. It is ours to lose," he said.
"Strike action, or a vote in favour of a strike, will damage our business and all of us that work in it. No one is threatening your jobs or your income other than those encouraging you to take this action."MORE - Christmas port strike averted as talks continue

Meanwhile, the rest of Unite's 1,800 membership was balloted on industrial action because of fears that the plans to transfers the tyre fitting operation which lies at the centre of the dispute could be the start of what the union views as an unwelcome trend.
The ballot opened on December 24 and closes on January 14.
Felixstowe dockworkers have voted in favour of strike action  Picture: KEN SOUTHALL
Following union members' vote in favour of action, Unite and the company will meet again - but it refused to comment further.
A Unite spokesman said: "Unite members have voted decisively for strike action. As a result Unite is holding fresh negotiations with the company this Thursday (January 16). Unite will not be commenting further until the negotiations are completed."

Felixstowe DockersEditorial: Could a ‘ro-ro’ disaster happen in Charleston? Here’s how to prevent it

Visitors at driftwood beach look over St. Simons Sound where the 656-foot “ro-ro” ship Golden Ray overturned Sep. 8. Crews are now preparing to cut the hull into pieces to remove the wreckage between Jekyll and St. Simons islands. AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

If not for the heroics of a port pilot who intentionally grounded the capsized 656-foot Golden Ray on Sept. 8, the roll-on/roll-off ship could have shut down the Port of Brunswick indefinitely.
The overturned ship now sits squarely between Jekyll and St. Simons islands just south of the shipping channel, and it could take a year or longer to remove the behemoth piece by piece, not to mention the roughly 4,200 vehicles on its 13 decks.
The State Ports Authority, Charleston port pilots and Longshoremen, whose job it is to lash down vehicles on ro-ro ships, should all take note. Imagine the consequences of Charleston’s shipping channel being blocked.
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard
Even to the untrained eye, it’s easy to see why “ro-ros” are unstable compared to container ships. They’re top-heavy and high-sided, with more freeboard exposed to wind and waves. And because they’re essentially floating parking decks, most don’t have sectional bulkheads to prevent flooding along their length.
They’re heavily ballasted to counteract listing, but that makes the ship’s righting motion forceful and quick – “stiff” some naval architects might say — and those jerky motions can put undue stresses on lashings that hold in place everything from passenger cars to 45-ton truck trailers and even heavier rolling stock like earthmoving equipment.
Large fore and aft cargo doors can malfunction and leak. And because of their vast, open spaces, with thousands of vehicles each containing fuel, ro-ros are susceptible to fires. For these reasons, among others, they’re all Class B ships, whereas most container vessels are Class A ships, according to the International Maritime Organization. (Class A ships generally have fewer openings and more watertight bulkheads, while Class B ships have higher freeboard and fewer bulkheads.)
The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating why the Golden Ray capsized. But, according to the Brunswick News, the accident occurred as the ship was turning right in the shipping channel. First, it listed to the right, then flopped onto its left side. About the same time, a fire broke out, possibly before the capsize. The port pilot then intentionally grounded the ship in about 40 feet of water just outside the channel.
Luckily, no one was killed. Little of the fuel and oil aboard spilled into St. Simons Sound, though oily residue has been found along some 30 miles of coastline. Port traffic in Brunswick, the nation’s second busiest for vehicles, was interrupted for only a few days.

Salvage crews won’t be able to pull the ship onto an even keel because the port side has dug some 20 feet into the soft bottom. About 320,000 gallons of fuel have been removed from the ship, as has its rudder, propeller and shaft. Work crews are expected to use a giant cable saw to start cutting the hull into pieces, which will be hoisted onto barges and scrapped. From an insurance standpoint, it’s been declared a total loss.
The safety of ships is mostly regulated by international organizations. But certainly the SPA should be paying special attention to ro-ros calling on Charleston. The capsize of the Golden Ray in St. Simons Sound was the sixth involving ro-ros this past year. Each had fires.

Before a ro-ro can leave port, the captain has to sign a form that includes a calculation that shows the distribution of cargo is safe and that all rolling stock is secured. The SPA and port pilots should be double checking the math and inspecting the loads, and Longshoreman must ensure all latching and locking mechanisms are in good shape. Even small shifts in loads that cause a ship to list can set off a domino effect, causing a ro-ro to capsize.

The Port of Brunswick was lucky the Golden Ray disaster wasn’t worse. Port authorities here must tilt the odds in their favor by making sure all ro-ros calling on Charleston are as safe as possible.

Felixstowe DockersABP is investing £6.8 million in the Port of Hull to install the Humber’s largest roof mounted solar scheme.

Above: ABP’s solar installation making good progress on the Port of Hull. 
Currently, installations at the Ports of Immingham and Goole produce 4.5 MW and 1.1 MW respectively. Once completed, the 6.5 MW solar scheme at the Port of Hull will more than double the Humber Ports’ renewable energy generation, increasing it to over 12 MW, which will supply almost 29% of the ports’ energy requirement.
Simon BirdDirector of ABP Humber
“This solar installation is another vital step toward making our energy supply even more sustainable and even greener. It will make more use of the hybridised port equipment we have invested in to carry out port operations. I’m excited to see where this green energy revolution can take us as a port operator, as we look to decarbonise further our own operations and, in turn, those of our customers and the wider supply chain.”   
The panels, which are being installed by the UK’s leading commercial solar installer, Custom Solar, will cover ABP warehouses and the engineering workshops on the Port of Hull. As warehouses are completed they will be switched on, with the entire installation set to be online and producing clean power by July 2020.
Gary Sucharewycz, Development Director at Custom Solar, said: “In order for this project to be sanctioned, an incredible amount of work has taken place, working with ABP and the DNO Northern Powergrid. It has been a fantastic achievement by all involved and has ensured this project was able to progress to fruition.” 
Once installed, the solar panels will save 2,600 tonnes of CO2e per annum, equating to the energy needs of 1,600 average UK homes. And upon decommissioning, the solar panels and the frames in which they sit are 100% recyclable.
With this new installation up and running, 17 of ABP’s 21 ports will have renewable energy projects in operation, generating clean power for the company. In 2018, 12.2% of all the electricity ABP used was generated by onsite renewable projects and more projects came online in 2019.
Matthew BrailsfordManaging Director at Custom Solar
“We are delighted to be installing another iconic solar project on the Humber for Associated British Ports. It has taken the Custom Solar team over two years to plan the project alongside the ABP engineering team due to the sheer scale and complexity of the project.
We are extremely proud to be installing one of the UK’s largest rooftop solar system and we very much look forward to unveiling the completed system in 2020 once all aspects have been safely installed and commissioned.”

Felixstowe DockersProject Pilgrim Update: £7 million Electric Rubber Tyre Gantry Crane arrival at Immingham

Above: Electric rubber tyre gantry cranes arriving in the Humber, ready to be discharged at Immingham
This week, six electric rubber tyre gantry cranes arrived from China to the Port of Immingham as part of the Project Pilgrim expansion of the container terminal.
Project Pilgrim is a £33 million upgrade to Immingham Container Terminal to future proof the terminal, extend its footprint and improve the service to customers.
These cranes make up over £7 million of investment of the £33 million total. They took 34 days to travel from China to Immingham, where they are being discharged using ship led facilities.
These impressive cranes will be used to stack containers in what is already the largest port by tonnage in the UK.
The sheer size of the vessel and the overhang of the equipment made this an exciting arrival for the team at the Humber Port. Teams worked hard on the planning and execution of the berth.
The cranes will now go through several stages on the Port, including modification works and mapping, ready to be commissioned for work at the end of February.
Simon Bird, Regional Director of ABP Humber, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for containers in the Humber Ports. The investment in this infrastructure is key to ABP’s expansion plans at the Humber Container Terminal on the Port of Immingham and we have already seen huge success from similar investment in our Port across the Humber in Hull”.
He added “The electric rubber tyre gantry cranes will also reduce fuel consumption by 95% and will therefore compliment our efforts to reduce emissions.”
ABP has continued to invest in the Humber Ports to ensure that they have the infrastructure needed to seize opportunities in 2020.
As part of ABP’s ongoing commitment to customers, ABP has been investing in the container infrastructure. In 2018, the container terminal in Hull expanded which saw sailings increase from five to 15 per week in a short space of time, adding new destinations as partners. Project Pilgrim is a similar investment of £33 million and is currently underway in the container terminal in the Port of Immingham which will increase the space, improve the layout and add new equipment. The investment will make sure ABP’s offering to customers is the best available.
This investment across the two terminals in Hull and Immingham is making the Humber Ports one of the most significant hubs for short sea containers in the UK market.

Felixstowe DockersUK warships support freight in Strait of Hormuz

By Port Technology International Team

The UK will send two of its warships to protect British-flagged commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz following an increase in tensions after the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. 
Ben Wallace MP, the UK’s Defence Secretary, instructed the HMS Montrose and HMS Defender “to return to accompanying duties of Red Ensign Shipping in the Strait of Hormuz”. 
Red Ensign Shipping is a group of British shipping registers, which in turn are operated by the UK, Crown dependencies and UK Overseas Territories, such as Anguilla, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands.
He went onto say that the government will take “all necessary steps to protect” British ships and citizens in the region. 
Soleimani was killed in a US drone attack on 3rd January outside Baghdad Airport and the West is now bracing itself for retaliation of some kind from Tehran. 
In July 2019 Iran seized the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, in retaliation for Britain stopping an Iranian tanker that was allegedly taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, a story Port Technology International. 
The HMS Montrose is based permanently in the Gulf region and operates permanently out of the Royal Navy’s facility in Bahrain. 
What is the Strait of Hormuz?

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the biggest avenues of oil transportation in the world and sees approximately 21 million barrels of oil pass through it every day – 21% of global consumption. 
It is a 21-mile wide channel between Iran and the Gulf states of the United Arab Emirates and Oman that links the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. 
All vessels that transport goods from Iran or the Persian Gulf must travel through the Strait of Hormuz, which makes it a vital hub of global trade.

Felixstowe DockersOrwell Bridge will CLOSE for 10 hours tonight

The Orwell Bridge is due to close. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Highways England have announced that the Orwell Bridge will close from 5pm this evening due to strong winds. 

#A14 Orwell Bridge - We have had our forecast update and we have decided to CLOSE Orwell Bridge from 17:00 today to 03:00 tomorrow morning. We will monitor windpseeds throughout the night and update you all if we can re-open it sooner.

In a tweet, they said: "We have had our forecast update and we have decided to CLOSE the Orwell Bridge from 5pm today to 3am tomorrow morning. We will monitor wind speeds throughout the night and update you all if we can re-open it sooner."
The planned diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich which will be "clearly" sign-posted.
In a statement, a Highways England spokesman said: "Highways England is advising road users in the East of England that the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk is likely to close at 5pm this evening (Tuesday 14 January) for safety reasons, due to high winds.
"Once closed, Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely before making a decision about when to reopen the A14 bridge.
"The worst of the weather is expected between 5pm and 3am tomorrow morning (Wednesday, January 15) but wind speeds will be assessed throughout this period. 
"However, the bridge is expected to reopen at 3am well before the morning rush hour."
Highways England closed the bridge at 7pm last night after winds were predicted to exceed their 50mph safety limit.
The bridge reopened in the early hours of this morning, but with more heavy winds forecast throughout this evening, Highways England have made the decision to close the bridge. 
A yellow weather warning remains in place, with delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport likely.
Some short term loss of power and other services is also possible as southwesterly winds gust to 40-50mph. 
Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route.

Felixstowe DockersDredger attacked, 4 guards killed, 3 Russian and Indian crew kidnapped

Hopper dredger AMBIKA was attacked by pirates at night Jan 2 in Niger river mouth, SW of Barri, according to Dryad Global information obtained from its’ source. Firefighting occurred according to this information, between pirates and military armed security personnel on board. 4 guards were killed, pirates managed to board drdger and kidnap 3 crew, including 2 Russians and 1 Indian. Dredger according to tracks, later resumed her works in river mouth.

Hopper dredger AMBIKA, IMO 7931026, dwt 3488, built 1979, flag Nigeria, manager Deep Frontline Shippers.
Erofey is a Merchant Marine Captain with more than 20 years experience in commanding oil tankers. He works as a Captain, being most of his time at sea. He contributes maritime news.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Felixstowe DockersContainer ship battles surreal storm near Bermuda - The Orwell Bridge Is Closed !!!!!

Think you'd have to stomach to handle a storm like this? Incredible! Source & embed code: For licensing, please email

Could be worse as in being on The Orwell Bridge with this warning 

Strong Wind Warningissued atvalid fromvalid until
08:01 Mon12:00 Tue07:00 Wed
Southerly winds will quickly increase on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening with gusts of 60-65mph possible on Tuesday evening as winds slowly turn more southwesterly. Winds will continue in excess of 60mph mostly into the early hours of Wednesday with a brief gust possible up to 70mph before the passage of a cold front when winds will quickly ease.

Issued by Adam Dury at 08:01 Mon 13 Jan 2020

For out of hours advice (18:00 - 04:30) call the Out of Hours Forecaster on 01603 596015.

The above is for STS Cranes at Felixstowe Port

Most professional lorry drivers manage to criss cross the country with no issues - so am guessing the couple in a Nissan Micra are frightend of being blown off The Orwell Bridge. Another load of misery for Ipswich town centre

Felixstowe DockersLithium batteries identified as cause of fire onboard Cosco boxship

China Cosco Shipping has identified the self-ignition of misreported lithium batteries as the cause of fire onboard its mega boxship Cosco Pacific.
The vessel caught fire while it was enroute to Nhava Sheva, India from Port Klang last weekend, and had to divert to Colombo for inspections.
According to a Cosco update on the incident, the fire started from a container operated by Wan Hai Lines and the burnt lithium batteries in the container, loaded from Nansha and destined for Nhava Sheva, were falsely declared as spare parts and accessories.

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Felixstowe DockersFremantle: Hundreds of Wharfies take 24 hour Strike Action

Two hundred wharfies at the Dubai Ports container terminal in Fremantle have stopped work for 24 hours, accusing the company of failing to bargain in good faith as negotiations for a new workplace agreement drag on for more than 15 months.

The strike, which commenced last night, will be followed by a range of further actions including rolling stoppages that will see every worker down tools for the final hour of each shift, along with a range of work bans.

The Maritime Union of Australia said workers at DP World Australia — the country’s largest stevedore — had been left with no choice but to take industrial action in a bid to finalise a new workplace agreement that addresses important issues around job security and locks in workplace conditions such as parental leave and domestic violence leave.

“Wharfies at DP World’s Fremantle terminal are simply fed up after attempting to negotiate a new workplace agreement for 15 months,” MUA Western Australia Branch Secretary Christy Cain said.

“What we’ve seen in that time is the senior management of the Dubai-based company issue ultimatums, threaten massive job cuts, and attempt to unilaterally strip away workplace rights, all in an effort to force workers to accept their demands.

“Dubai Ports needs to understand that Australian wharfies will not be bullied into handing over hard-won rights and conditions, and we are prepared to fight to ensure we receive our fair share of the productivity gains we have delivered on the waterfront.

“By stopping work for 24 hours, then imposing ongoing stoppages and bans in the days and weeks ahead, Fremantle wharfies are sending a clear message that they are willing to fight for a fair agreement that includes important job protections and workplace rights.

“They are also showing their anger at DP World’s failure to bargain in good faith, and ensuring the company realises that they will absolutely not accept a situation where these negotiations continue to drag on for month after month with no resolution in sight.

“The MUA remains ready and willing to resolve this dispute and bring an end to this escalating industrial action, but that can’t occur until DP World management start to genuinely negotiate in good faith.”

Media comment: Christy Cain 0407 850 084
Further information: Tim Vollmer 0404 273 313

Felixstowe DockersOrwell Bridge closure 'highly likely' as wind speeds of 60mph predicted

Could the Orwell Bridge close this evening? Picture: ARCHANT

High winds of up to 60mph are expected across Suffolk this evening, with Highways England confirming that the closure of the Orwell Bridge is "highly likely".

Despite no weather warning in place for tonight, Highways England bosses have said that they are "monitoring" the wind speeds in the area and will issue updates regarding any possible closures.
The Orwell Bridge is prone to shutting in high winds, and is typically closed whenever winds reach Highways England's limit of 50mph.
In a tweet, Highways England responded to queries about the Orwell Bridge closure, saying that "it is highly likely" the bridge will shut. 
They said: "Unfortunately we've had a weather update that breaches our protocol and it is looking highly likely we will be closing the bridge for 19:00 tonight until 23:00. We are having another call later this afternoon to confirm and we'll update you.
"Please prepare alternative arrangements for your journeys just in case we do close the bridge. You will see our Traffic Officers and Contractors at the scene from 17:00 installing the closure. We're having a final call later to see if we can avoid it."
Adam Dury, a weather forecaster for Weatherquest, said that Ipswich, being further inland, "could see winds speeds of 50-52mph". 
He said: "Widely there will be gusts of 45-50mph across the region, but speeds will be nearer 55-60mph on the coast of Suffolk."
Wind speeds are set to rise from around 6pm, but Mr Dury says that the main peak of the winds will arrive between 9pm and 10pm - after the evening rush-hour. 
He says that these gusts of wind will ease around midnight this evening. 
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind covering most of the east, south and west coasts of England on Tuesday.
Mr Dury continued: "It will be fairly similar tomorrow, with 50-55mph winds inland and 60mph along the coast. 
"The stronger winds will come earlier tomorrow, peaking around 7pm and continuing until the early hours of Wednesday morning."
The Met Office warning states that delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport are likely.
There may also be disruption for drivers of high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges, and it's possible that some people may experience short term loss of power.
The warning states: "Southwesterly winds are expected to strengthen across much of England and Wales during Tuesday afternoon and evening. 
"Gusts of 40 to 50 mph are expected quite widely inland, with exposed coasts and hills having gusts of around 60 mph, perhaps locally 70 mph. 
"Heavy rain may be an additional hazard in places. Winds will ease from the west during Tuesday night."

Breaking News

Here is the latest information on the Breaking News

Road users in the east of England are being advised that the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will be closed from 7pm tonight (Monday 13 January) for safety reasons, due to high winds, and is expected to remain closed until around 11pm tonight.Highways England will continue to monitor wind speeds closely before making a further decision about when to reopen the bridge based on the safety of road users.
Due to the forecasted wind strength and direction it is not safe to allow any vehicles to pass across the bridge during the period of closure.
Met Office forecasts are warning of further strong winds on Tuesday evening and at other times during the week. The bridge will only be closed when it is essential for safety reasons and for as short a time as possible. Drivers are advised to look out for further information on twitter at @HighwaysEAST
Once the Orwell Bridge is closed, the planned diversion route is via the A1156, A1189 and A1214 through Ipswich and will be clearly signed.
Drivers planning to travel are encouraged to plan their journey in advance and check the latest weather and traffic conditions along the route. You can get the latest forecast from the Met Office and local radio.
Drivers making journeys across the region should be aware of sudden gusts of wind, give high sides vehicles, caravans, motorbikes, and bicycles plenty of space.
Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms. Local weather information is also available on Twitter at @HighwaysEAST. The latest weather forecast can be seen online at

Last updated on: 13/01/2020 17:45

Felixstowe DockersFrance protests: PM offers pension compromise in bid to end strike

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has offered a concession to unions in a bid to end nationwide strikes against proposed pension reforms.
In a letter, Mr Philippe said he was willing to withdraw a proposal which would raise the age at which workers can claim their pension from 62 to 64.
One of France's largest unions, the CFDT, welcomed the announcement saying it showed a willingness to compromise.
However, the CGT union called the proposal "a smokescreen".
In a statement it said it was "more determined than ever" to stop the reforms.
Industrial action against President Emmanuel Macron's planned pension reform is in its 38th day and has badly disrupted France's transport system - particularly trains.
Protesters again took to the streets of Paris and other cities on Saturday. In the capital, police fired tear gas at some groups of protesters who smashed windows and set light to rubbish bins and billboards.
Mr Philippe's announcement followed talks between ministers and union leaders on Friday.
The government says the reforms are necessary to make the system fairer and more sustainable, but unions say workers will lose out.
"To demonstrate my confidence in the social partners... I am willing to withdraw from the bill the short-term measure I had proposed" to set a so-called "pivot age" of 64 with effect from 2027, he wrote in his letter to the union leaders.
President Macron described it as "a constructive compromise".

Firefighters try to extinguish the flames after protesters burn a billboard during a protest against the government's pension overhaul in Paris, France, January 11, 2020Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionFire crews were called in after some protesters set light to billboards in Paris

Laurent Berger, secretary general of the CFDT, hailed the government's concession as "a victory" for the union.
Writing on Twitter, he said it marked "the government's willingness to compromise".
"We obtained the withdrawal of the pivotal age, a victory for the CFDT! We will now continue our action for a fairer and more united retirement system," he said.
However, the CGT said it would continue to demand "the withdrawal" of the pension reforms.
It called on people "to participate massively in strikes and demonstrations planned for next week".

Protesters run away from tear gas during a demonstration in Paris, on January 11, 2020Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionPolice fired tear gas to disperse certain sections of the crowd in Paris

French politician and former Socialist Party presidential candidate Ségolène Royal said it was "better late than never".
"I hope that it will allow the resumption of serious discussions. It's a first step, it will take many more," she said, according to Le Figaro newspaper.

What is the strike about?

Workers are striking over Mr Macron's plans to replace France's 42 separate pension regimes with a universal points-based system.
Unions representing millions of staff in both the public and private sectors warn the plan will remove the most advantageous pensions for a number of jobs and force people to work longer or face reduced payouts when they retire.

Media captionParis opera orchestra stages free concert against pension reform

France raised the official retirement age in the past decade from 60 to 62, but it remains one of the lowest among rich countries - in the UK, for example, the retirement age for state pensions is 66 and is due to rise to at least 67.
In November, a report commissioned by Mr Philippe concluded that, under the existing system, the country's pension deficit could be as high as €17.2bn by 2025.

Felixstowe DockersArtist Impression of the design of Seaforth Dock from 1967.

Artist Impression of the design of Seaforth Dock from 1967. few changes to what was built other than lack of railway connections that were added in the late 70's and the bridge over the Seaforth passage. Sadly the quayside rails never saw a train and the majority were removed when the S3 berth was block paved. Gladstone No 3 reverted to general cargo.
 — with Seán Seosamh Robertson.


Philip Parker to 

The contribution that the Liverpool Dockers made to the Dockers jobs should never ever be forgotten

Keeping the spirit of solidarity alive 20 years after Robbie Fowler backed Liverpool dockers

Robbie Fowler of Liverpool shows his support for the dockers strikes
Robbie Fowler of Liverpool shows his support for the dockers strikes


For those who fear communal solidarity no longer exists here’s a tale to lift the spirits.
When five men were sacked in an overtime row 20 years ago, 500 Liverpool dockersrefused to cross a picket line. Despite being described by Lloyds List as “the most productive workforce in Europe” they too were sacked.

Their 850-day dispute became one of the longest in British labour history. With the men risking everything to uphold the most sacred of trade union principles, it was also seen across the world as one of the most noble.
On day one American longshoremen on both coasts and Australian wharfies brought their countries’ ports to a standstill.
On other days every Japanese docker stopped working and in South Africa all ports were closed down “in solidarity with the Liverpool dockers who stood by us during apartheid”.

Colin LaneRicky Tomlinson pictured at Liverpool Town Hall
Ricky Tomlinson pictured at Liverpool Town Hall
At home acts like Jo Brand and Noel Gallagher did fundraisers, footballer Robbie Fowler was fined by Uefa for unveiling a dockers’ T-shirt and support groups the length of Britain swung behind the sacked men.
But with the TGWU neutered by Thatcher’s anti-union laws the dockers eventually lost. One legacy of that defeat is those zero-hours contracts that blight so many lives today.
Yet the solidarity never waned. Under the tutelage of Jimmy McGovern some of the dockers wrote a drama about the dispute for Channel 4, using the £130,000 fee to buy a building in the aptly-named Hope Street. They turned it into a communal hub. A not-for-profit bar, function room and advice centre. An open house for anyone in need of help or radical stimulation. A lasting memorial to the spirit of solidarity shown in their dispute.
Downstairs it hosts everything from Greek theatre and salsa to pensioners’ meetings and political forums. There’s an exhibition about the Spanish Civil War. I even had my wedding do there.

John Bishop
Upstairs they give free expert advice on benefits, employment, asylum, debt and welfare to anyone who walks in off the street. Over the past 15 years it’s estimated more than £10million-worth of advice has been given to people in desperate need.
But due to loss of funding and rent, The Casa faces an uncertain future. They could keep the bar open but unless the rest of the building is used to fight for social justice they feel they’d be betraying their founding principles.
So they won’t do it.

Mark SteelMark Steel
Before Christmas it looked like The Casa had only months left, until solidarity came to the fore once more.
Phone calls to comedians John Bishop, Ricky Tomlinson, Neil Fitzmaurice and Mark Steel and to musicians The Farm and John Power gave us a line-up. Another call to the 1,600-seater ­Philharmonic Hall gave us a venue.

PAJohn Power, lead singer of Cast
John Power, lead singer of Cast
All of them agreed, in a ­heartbeat, to do their bit.
And so we have The Casa ­Solidarity Show on Friday April 17, the tickets for which go on sale today at the Liverpool ­Philharmonic website.

Colin LaneLiverpool actor Neil Fitzmaurice
Liverpool actor Neil Fitzmaurice
Buy one and not only are you guaranteed to have a cracking night, you’ll keep a treasured ­institution built on rare principles going for another few years.
More than that, you’ll keep alive a truth which says no matter what you throw at working people, no matter what you try to take from them, when they stick together they won’t be beaten.

When Liverpool Dockers refused to cross a picket line on 29 September 1995 and were immediately dismissed by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, no-one could imagine the full consequences. Port after port joined the fight against casual labour and deregulation as dockworkers around the world recognised that they confront the same issues in a global industry.
This website traces the Liverpool dispute and the growth of an international dockers movement, as they unfold. You can begin anywhere.
The Liverpool dockers refused to cross a picket line set up in support of a group of fellow dockers working for Torside. That was on 29 September 1995, and they were sacked by their employers. Some dockers were offered new contracts but all contracts were subject to alteration by the MDHC, so the dispute began. Over the next two and a half years the dockers waged a very high profile public campaign for their reinstatement, and allied themselves with dockers worldwide and support groups such as Reclaim the Streets. The strike failed in its declared objectives, but was very successful in providing a modern example of strong social movement unionism in the United Kingdom. A t-shirt was designed to show support for the dockers incorporating the Calvin Klein 'CK' into the word docker.[1] The t-shirt was worn by many celebrities but most famously by Robbie Fowler during a goal celebration while playing for Liverpool F.C..
The dispute went on to be one of the longest in British industrial relations history. It was in February 1998 that the dockers finally accepted a settlement.
After the dispute some of the dockers bought the Casa Bar on Hope St. in Liverpool town centre.[2]

Felixstowe DockersGlobal Shipping Faces Troubling New Smuggling Questions

As container ships get bigger, drug smugglers are growing bolder in hitching rides on commercial supply chains

Felixstowe DockersCocaine delivered on board of Sealand ship in unusual manner

Ecuadorian Navy seized 88 packages of cocaine stashed in container on board of container ship SEALAND LOS ANGELES on Jan 7, circumstances rather unclear. The ship left Guayaquil Ecuador, in the evening Jan 6, understood bound for Balboa Panama, or probably, she was to make one more call to Ecuadorian port, port of Puerto Bolivar. Early in the morning Jan 7 while under way, the ship was boarded by two armed persons, who allegedly, put packages into container. SEALAND LOS ANGELES arrived at Puerto Bolivar in the evening Jan 7 and was berthed, container with cocaine, initially bound for Balboa, was offloaded. Crew wasn’t mentioned, and hopefully, will be left out of it. Trafficked in containers drugs are nothing unusual, the way situation develops unusual will be the ships without illicit drugs, stashed somewhere in containers, in cargoes whatever they may be, or anywhere else, but the manner in which drugs were delivered on board, seems to be out of ordinary.

Container ship SEALAND LOS ANGELES, IMO 9383235, dwt 34330, capacity 2546 TEU, built 2008, flag Liberia, manager ZEABORN SHIP MANAGEMENT.

My name is Nikolay Torkin, I’m Merchant Marine Master, presently in command of feeder container ship trading in South East Asia. My family lives in Prague, Czech Republic. Mikhail provides me with daily accidents reports, I send him information with regards to accidents and container ships.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Felixstowe DockersSecurity alarm is no joke – giant container ship sealed off by counter terrorism teams

A turmoil in and around Kwai Chung Container Terminal in Hong Kong early in the morning Jan 10 worried many people including residents. Berthed container ship OOCL HAMBURG was surrounded by water police boats, strict security measures were implemented in port. As it came out, all the trouble was triggered by accidentally pressed SSAS (Ship Security Alarm System) button. The ship was sealed by security forces for some three hours. After inspection and confirmation of a false signal, security emergency was called off.

There wouldn’t be so much commotion and trouble in case of wrongly activated EPIRB, but SSAS is a different matter, duty officer or Captain can’t call the authorities and notify them of a false alarm – if it’s a security alarm, Captain or officer on watch, or whoever is talking on the phone or radio, could be doing it with a gun pointed at his head. That’s why the ship was immediately surrounded by police and counter terrorism teams, both on pier and from seaside, sealed off and thoroughly checked.
Container ship OOCL HAMBURG, IMO 9252008, dwt 99517, capacity 8063 TEU, built 2004, flag HK, manager ORIENT OVERSEAS CONTAINER LINE.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Felixstowe DockersDeath of Operation Brock is a Metaphor for Brexit

Hope Springs as Barriers Come Down
UK – The decision to remove the physical barriers put in place to control traffic should the much maligned Operation Brock be instituted, are to be taken down the government said today. It is estimated the removal works, starting on Monday January 13, will take a fortnight, and this action could well be taken as a metaphor for the process of Brexit itself. 

It seems no time at all since then minister Chris Grayling was paddling around in a mess of his own making when we witnessed the creation and inception of the scheme to divide the M20 motorway in Kent, using one carriageway solely for freight traffic heading toward the Channel Ports, whether such traffic was moving or not. 

The scheme presupposed that everybody involved in road haulage was an idiot, with many trucks heading for export despite their lack of documentation. The fact that the major delays might actually be occurring involving import traffic seemed never to occur to government. History tells us these routes often suffer problems, sometimes due to weather conditions, sometimes by industrial action of the type we are currently seeing in France. 

A year ago, almost to the day we saw the ‘trialling’ of the system, devised with the assistance of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA), but immediately the initial test was derided for including only a tiny fraction of the number of vehicles it was envisaged would need to use the scheme in case of problems, judging by the past history of its predecessor, Operation Stack

The government had already fouled up with its much vaunted giant Stanford West lorry park, hailed as the saving grace until kicked out after all plans had been drawn up when a Judicial Review heard it had failed to undertake the mandatory environmental study in one of the most picturesque areas in the south of England. 

October 2019 we were told would see the Operation Brock scheme sail into action however, like a company with no ferries, or most of the Brexit talk that never happened, and one hopes that henceforth, after the removal of the metal barriers to mark its passing, a deal can be worked out with the EU to ensure that trade at least keeps flowing unhindered. On hearing the latest news Heidi Skinner, FTA’s Policy Manager for the South East, said: 
“FTA welcomes the removal of the Operation Brock barriers and calls on government to develop a permanent solution to Operation Stack which can effectively manage freight traffic during cross Channel disruptions. In the view of our members, it is crucial for all logistics vehicles to be ‘border-ready’ before entering Kent to avoid additional delays. And, until the threat of a No Deal Brexit is completely off the table, FTA is still advising its members to make all necessary preparations to ensure the industry can keep Britain trading.”

Felixstowe Dockers6 containers lost in stormy Aegean sea

Container ship MEDKON ISTANBUL encountered severe storm entering Aegean sea early in the morning Jan 6, after transiting Dardanelles, en route from Rodaport Marmara sea to Aliaga, Turkey. The ship lost 6 containers being N of Bozcaada island, Turkey, resumed sailing after reporting accident to maritime authorities.

Container ship MEDKON ISTANBUL, IMO 9103386, dwt 8943, capacity 652 TEU, built 1995, flag Panama, manager MEDKON LINES, Turkey.

Hi! My name is Stepan Kotcherga, I’m Merchant Marine Navigation Officer, now a Second Officer working on dry cargo ships. My home is in Ukraine. I’m contributing maritime news and inside info.

Maritime and Crimean Shipping News

Felixstowe DockersSmall But Loud Explosion At The Port Of Felixstowe This Morning

It was an engineering van at the port carrying a gas canister that exploded.

No physical injuries. Definitely in shock.

14508Fire11-Jan-2020 08:54FELIXSTOWE DOCK2We mobilised the following fire appliances: 1 from Felixstowe, 1 from Felixstowe Dock

WATCH: Dramatic footage captures explosion and fireball at Felixstowe docks

PUBLISHED: 10:32 11 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:32 11 January 2020
Video has captured the moment of an explosion at Felixstowe docks Picture: TRACEY HUMPHREYS
Video has captured the moment of an explosion at Felixstowe docks Picture: TRACEY HUMPHREYS

The dramatic moment an explosion rocked Felixstowe docks and shook homes seven miles away has been caught on camera.

Watch: A gas tank explodes at Felixstowe Docks
A gas tank that was attached to a welders van which fire exploded at Felixstowe Docks on Saturday January 11. There were reports of people hearing a loud bang several miles away.
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