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Container recovery operation a complete success



Container recovery operation a complete success. Image: AMSA
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The AMSA led operation to recover containers lost from the YM Efficiency off the NSW coast is complete.

The vessel MV Pride returned to Port of Newcastle for the final time to discharge containers and pollution recovered from the ocean floor.

The recovery operation began on April 3 and has seen 63 containers and tonnes of associated pollution successfully recovered from the ocean.

AMSA’s General Manager of Response Mark Morrow said that the operation has been a complete success.

“The recovery teams have done a remarkable job in removing this pollution from our oceans in such a professional and efficient manner. We thank the seafarers from both Australia and overseas who have completed this work away from their homes and families in this time of a global pandemic.

“By recovering these containers and the tonnes of plastic and other rubbish contained inside we have ensured that future generations are not picking up Yang Ming’s mess off the regions beaches for decades to come.

“This project was forecast to take a month and was done in 35 days, including 7.5 days of delay for weather.

“Also, although originally expecting 60, we have recovered 63 containers, a remarkable result.”

In December 2019, AMSA signed a contract with Ardent Oceania to undertake the clean-up operation.

Ardent’s approach utilised a custom manufactured steel basket which was lowered to the ocean floor where remotely operated underwater vehicles assisted in transferring the containers and associated rubbish into the basket to be brought on board the ship.

The offshore construction vessel MV Pride made four trips to port to discharge the recovered containers, which were processed at a specially constructed facility and recycled where possible.

The final six containers will now be processed at the facility within Port of Newcastle operated by AVCON projects before the site is decommissioned.

The total cost of the recovery operation to remove and dispose of 63 containers is about $17 million, which, unless recovered, will be funded from levies collected from the shipping industry.

Since this pollution event occurred in June 2018 AMSA has attempted to engage with the Taiwanese owners of the YM Efficiency, Yang Ming, about their ongoing responsibility to remove the remaining containers from the seafloor.

AMSA’s Chief Executive Officer Mick Kinley said that this operation has finally exposed Yang Ming and their insurer’s arguments against removing this pollution as nonsense.

“Yang Ming and their insurers Britannia P&I have tried every trick in the book to attempt to shirk their responsibilities to clean up their mess.

“They said that attempting to remove these containers was dangerous. That was wrong.

“They said trying to remove them would cause more damage to the environment. That was wrong.

“They said that these containers and their contents aren’t pollution. There have been tonnes of garbage that show that was wrong too.

“Yang Ming are out of excuses and they should pay up.”

AMSA has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court to recover all costs associated with the recovery operation from Yang Ming and their insurers.


SC Ports welcomes American solar module maker to SC



SC Ports welcomes American solar module maker to SC. Image: South Carolina Ports
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S.C. Ports Authority is pleased to announce that First Solar, Inc., America’s largest solar manufacturer, has selected Greenville, S.C., for its new distribution hub on the East Coast.

Headquartered in Arizona, First Solar operates the Western Hemisphere’s largest photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing footprint in Northwest Ohio, as well as factories in Malaysia and Vietnam. The company plans to open a 450,000-square-foot distribution hub in Greenville — its first in the Southeast — to warehouse and stage deliveries for its customers in the United States.

“As America’s solar company, First Solar is proud to power communities, innovation and prosperity with our solar module technology,” said Bart Verbeke, First Solar’s Senior Manager of Global Logistics. “Our investment in this distribution hub will help enable our commitments to deliver modules where they’re needed when they’re needed, thanks to the connectivity that S.C. Ports is able to offer.”

First Solar will benefit from both the Port of Charleston’s access to international markets, such as Vietnam, and its overnight rail connection from the Port of Charleston to Inland Port Greer, S.C. Ports’ inland operation in Upstate South Carolina.

First Solar anticipates bringing up to 7,000 containers per year through the Port of Charleston, beginning in late May. Upon arrival at Inland Port Greer, cargo will be transported to First Solar’s nearby distribution hub in Greenville.

“We are thrilled to announce First Solar’s decision to invest in South Carolina, and we extend a warm welcome to them as a customer of S.C. Ports,” S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said. “S.C. Ports offers access to global markets, efficiently run terminals and rail-supported inland ports to meet our customers’ needs. We look forward to supporting First Solar’s efforts to deliver American-designed solar modules to their customers in the United States.”

The facility sits near Inland Port Greer, which is located along Interstate 85 in Upstate South Carolina between Atlanta and Charlotte. Inland Port Greer extends the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland by providing overnight rail service via Norfolk Southern. The inland terminal reaches 90 million consumers within a 500-mile radius, which can be reached in a one-day truck trip.

S.C. Ports Authority opened Inland Port Greer in 2013 with BMW Manufacturing Co. as its launch customer. The inland operation has seen consistent growth since then as more companies use it to move cargo overseas and to handle imports for a quickly growing Southeast population. Inland Port Greer handled a record 157,000 rail moves in calendar year 2019, up 29% year-over-year.

“First Solar’s decision to choose Greenville for its new distribution hub is great news for Senate District 7 and for the Upstate,” said Sen. Karl Allen, SC Senate District 7. “With its proximity to Inland Port Greer and our world class port system, First Solar’s investment in the economic and job growth of the Upstate will be pay dividends for years to come. I look forward to continuing to support this great project.”

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Lower first-quarter seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg – repercussions of the corona crisis make their mark



Lower first-quarter seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg – repercussions of the corona crisis make their mark. Image: HHM / Michael Lindner
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Even Germany’s largest universal port is affected by the repercussions of the corona crisis. Seaborne cargo throughput in the first quarter of the year at 31.9 million tons was 7.9 percent down on 2019. Container handling at 2.2 million TEU was 6.6 percent lower. Container hinterland transport services remains comparatively stable, while the drop in demand for transhipment handling was more obvious.

The Port of Hamburg remains fully operational. In the difficult economic conditions caused by the worldwide corona crisis, the port performs an essential function in maintaining reliable supplies of products and raw materials for the economy and the population.

The slackening of import and export flows apparent in Germany’s largest universal port can be explained by the interruption to transport and supply chains caused by the impact of the corona crisis. “The partial shutdown of the Chinese economy, resulting in blank sailings in shipping, has led to lower cargo handling in Hamburg as well,” explained Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

Lower first-quarter seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg – repercussions of the corona crisis make their mark. Image: HMM

Lower first-quarter seaborne cargo throughput in the Port of Hamburg – repercussions of the corona crisis make their mark. Image: HMMMattern pointed out that the port with its high-performance cargo handling terminals and inland transport services remains fully operational. He expressed thanks for their dedication at a difficult time to the port’s up to 156,000 directly and indirectly employed staff and the companies in the seaport business, who all ensure smooth cargo handling, day in, day out. “We assume that with its large workforce and well-established enterprises, the Port of Hamburg will successfully surmount this crisis,” said Mattern.

In the container handling segment, in the first quarter of 2020 a total of 2.2 million TEU – 20-ft standard containers – were loaded or discharged across the quay walls of the Port of Hamburg, representing a 6.6 percent downturn on the previous year. Among the Port of Hamburg’s most important partner countries by volume on seaborne container traffic, first-quarter trends varied a great deal.

At 579,400 TEU, the total number of containers handled during the first quarter in the Port of Hamburg for China, its most important trading partner, was 14.6 percent lower. “The downturn in seaborne cargo throughput with China is explicable in connection with the repercussions of the corona crisis,” said Mattern.

Following in second place in the ranking of Hamburg’s container partners, in the first quarter the USA accounted for 146,100 TEU, still reporting 20.7 percent growth. “This strikingly good trend in container services with the USA is attributable to four container services newly started from Hamburg at the beginning of 2019. These made excellent progress and ensured larger throughput volumes, above all with US East Coast ports,” said Mattern.

In third place with 111,000 TEU, Singapore also achieved an advance in the first three months of the year. Growth of 10.5 percent was reported for seaborne container traffic. Axel Mattern surmised that the trend can be explained by the transfer of transhipment services from other Asian countries to Singapore.

In Hamburg, by contrast, the transhipment sector, or container throughput between ocean-going and feeder vessels, was especially affected by the corona crisis with a decline of 10.8 per cent to 772,000 TEU. Seaport-hinterland container services by rail, truck and inland waterway craft proved more stable in the first quarter, volume being just four percent lower at 1.4 million TEU.

Of such significance for the Port of Hamburg, railborne freight transport, down 4.3 percent at 11.9 million tons, or 4.6 percent at 663,000 TEU, on the first quarter of 2019, was still at a considerably higher level than the 612,000 TEU for I/2018.

“In recent weeks the Port of Hamburg’s superb hinterland connection has played a major part in ensuring that even in difficult times its effectiveness has remained unimpaired,” said Jens Meier, CEO of HPA. “Despite temporarily lower container volumes caused by the corona crisis, in the first quarter the Port Railway was able to report stable utilization and indeed even to improve on the 2018 level. That was by no means to be taken for granted, but is the result of systematically boosting efficiency and continuously expanding the Hamburg Port Railway.”

First-quarter throughput of bulk cargoes was 11.9 percent lower at 9.4 million tons. In this throughput segment, exports performed well, being 11.9 percent higher at 2.7 million tons. The trend was sustained by notable increases in exports of grain, up 177.2 percent at 694,000 tons, and of fertilizers, 8.1 percent higher at 638,000 tons.

For the next few months, Axel Mattern assumes that the Port of Hamburg must initially adapt to a continuation of blank sailings and falling total throughput. “From June, it is entirely possible that with a gradual pick-up in the economy in China and Europe, we shall be seeing an increase in sailings and rising volumes on port throughput and seaport-hinterland services,” asserted a confident Mattern.

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Master Terminal by Navis now integrates into Navis smart ecosystem




Master Terminal by Navis now integrates into Navis smart ecosystem. Image: Navis
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Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation, and the provider of operational technologies and services that unlock greater performance and efficiency for the world’s leading organizations across the shipping supply chain, announced today that its Master Terminal by Navis TOS for mixed cargo terminals, has been successfully integrated into the innovative Navis Smart architecture.

With this integration, Master Terminal customers will be able to take advantage of the Navis portfolio by accessing applications that can enhance their investment in Master Terminal. The first application to be integrated is OpsView, a business intelligence tool for tracking operational performance.

Integrating Master Terminal with Navis Smart is part of Navis’ strategy to ensure that customers have a path to get more from their existing terminal operating system while futureproofing their investment.

When general cargo terminals and container terminals are being run by the same operator, Navis Smart OpsView can provide a unified view of both types of operations, improving visibility and management of the entire business.

Due to the connected offerings from Navis Smart Suite, terminal operators are now able to access more data and insights, which are being leveraged by advanced technologies for better decision making.

The suite can be deployed in the cloud without the need for upgrades making it easier for terminal operators to get additional functionality to their teams more quickly, enabling them to increase efficiencies, lower costs and improve customer service.

“Master Terminal is a leading general cargo TOS, and now that it is part of the Navis portfolio, there are more ways to offer additional applications and functionality; and for multi-terminal operators, we can integrate and share data across general cargo and container sites for better operational visibility and productivity,” said Andy Barrons, Chief Strategy Officer at Navis. “This is another step towards the next generation of TOS which will be an important system supporting the integrated supply chain of the future.”

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