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Tug and barge launches Thunder Bay shipping season


2020-03-27

 

 

For the first time on record, a tug and barge has opened the Port of Thunder Bay shipping season. The 2020 navigation season officially began with the arrival of the Tug Sharon M1 and Barge Huron Spirit on Thursday evening. The vessel combination came abeam of the Mission Pier entrance at 21:30 March 26, 2020.

Owned and operated by Burlington, Ontario-based McKeil Marine, the tug-barge discharged overnight approximately 5,000 metric tonnes of Calcium Chloride brine solution at Pollard Highway Products (Trillium Distribution) on the Kaministiquia River. The product is used in the Thunder Bay region as a road stabilizer and dust suppressant.

The McKeil fleet, which has recently expanded and grown its presence in the port, has garnered the Top Hat Honour for the first time with the earliest ship to arrive in Thunder Bay after the spring opening of the Soo Locks. It also marks the first Top Hat cargo discharge to take place at the Trillium Distribution facility.

Thunder Bay's Top Hat honour is usually captured by a bulk vessel taking on its first grain shipment of the season; this was nearly the case again: the bulker Algoma Sault arrived in port for grain just hours after the Sharon M1/Huron Spirit. Another bulker that wintered in Thunder Bay, CSL Welland, has also departed the port with a grain cargo.

Captain Ray Davis and Chief Engineer Vladimir Lats receive this year's Top Hat honours, although there is no ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo TBPA)


 
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Port State Control bodies on Covid-19 pandemic

2020-03-27

All three of the leading Port State Control bodies - The Paris MoU, Tokyo MoU and USCG have issued statements about dealing with the Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here they are:

 


Tokyo MoU

Recognizing that, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the industry is facing challenges in meeting statutory requirements stipulated in Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) and relevant IMO conventions, member Authorities of the Tokyo MOU have agreed to adopt guidance for dealing with the circumstances (such as extending periods of service onboard of seafarers, delaying periods for surveys, inspections and audits, etc.) in a pragmatic and harmonized approach.

The guidance is prepared based on the general principle that requests/issues would be considered on a case-by-case basis by the relevant port State Authority. In accordance with the guidance, the port State Authority should request the operator concerned to confirm that flag State and/or RO, relevant seafarers organizations (if appropriate) have been involved in the process. For consideration of the request by the port State Authority, operators/companies concerned should provide a plan or process containing equivalent solutions to address the COVID-19 situation and letters of dispensation or exemption by the flag State or RO, under which the period of grace for delaying surveys, inspections or audits should be no more than three months, in accordance with the relevant regulations of conventions.

The guidance will be reviewed upon any future initiatives IMO/ILO or developments of the situation.

 

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Panama Canal adopts measures to guarantee sustained operations

Le canal de Panama adopte des mesures pour assurer le passage des navires

2020-03-26

 

The Panama Canal Authority has announced on March 25 that it has adopted more measures to guarantee operations and prevent the further spread of the virus after Panama ordered a mandatory nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canal Authority created teams with the necessary staffing levels in order to maintain the safe operation of the waterway and provide continuous service to international trade.

These teams will be transferred to and from their work areas in special transport and in small groups, with the aim of reducing the risk of infection.

Operational shifts will be established to ensure that all workers are adequately rested.
The health and wellbeing of the Panama Canal team is our top priority.

The measures implemented today are in addition to those that have already been implemented to protect employees, customers and crews of ships in transit since the announcement of the global alert for COVID-19, in accordance with Panama Canal regulations and recommendations from the Ministry of Health of Panama (MINSA) and the World Health Organization. The waterway has also been coordinating with MINSA to navigate the situation and raise awareness among the greater public.

«The Panama Canal acknowledges the role it plays in ensuring the global flow of cargo and is working to continue providing a safe and reliable service. We are closely following the situation and communicating with our staff and customers.» Photo, Canal de Panama

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Hapag-Lloyd adds 100,000 TEU of Capacity to cope with demand

Hapag-Lloyd ajoute 100 000 EVP de capacité pour répondre à la demande


2020-03-26

 

 

 

German container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has hired over 100,000 TEU of additional equipment across the globe to keep the supply chain flowing amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

"Our vessels are today operating as usual and our service structure is largely unchanged," Rolf Habben Jansen, Hapag-Lloyd's CEO said in a COVID-19 update.

«In terms of trade, we see that many ports in China have returned to normal operations, and that scheduled sailings and bookings ex-China are gradually increasing.

«So far the crisis has had only limited impact on our business, but we expect a significant effect of the virus on global container traffic in the months to come, and if this happens we will have to make some adjustments to the network. We have - after a very good 2019 in which we improved profitability significantly and reduced debt more than planned - taken additional precautionary financial measures now to assure that even if the crisis persists longer than we expect today, we will be able to offer you the services and products you need.»

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China's container decline accelerating


2020-03-26

 

 

China is heading for an up to 5 percent decline in container volume in 2020, according to Alphaliner, the authoritative maritime research firm, which noted that the initial shock of an extended factory shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been compounded by reduced global demand for Chinese products.

Chinese ports account for one third of total world container traffic, or approximately 230 million TEUs. Seven ports in China are ranked in the top ten.

This will be only the second year since 1970 that China has reported negative growth in annual container volume.  Alphaliner nevertheless commented that the predicted throughput decline was still not as big as the 6.1 percent record plunge in volume posted during the global financial crisis in 2009.

Total container volume handled at China's coastal ports, including Hong Kong, fell almost 16 percent in February year over year.
Chinese ports recorded a 5.9 percent decline in volume in January compared with the same month in 2019, with volumes affected by the early Chinese New Year that fell on Jan. 25 this year. When spread over January and February, two-month volume declined 10 percent year over year, Alphaliner noted.

Apart from ports in Hubei Province, all other Chinese ports have resumed normal operations since the end of February, but volumes have not fully recovered to their pre-holiday levels.

çAlphaliner predicts further volume decline in March, with considerable uncertainty on the outlook for the rest of the year. This will have a major impact on global container volume, as already reflected by the cancelling in February alone of more than 100 sailings by ocean carriers on routes from Asia to North America and Europe, according to the UK-based Drewry shipping consultancy. (photo Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board)

 

 


 
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