Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hapag-Lloyd Eliminates Port of Portland Calls

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Portland, which in early March lost Hanjin Shipping’s direct call service, has now seen Hapag-Lloyd depart for good, the German-based carrier confirmed April 7.

Hapag-Lloyd had represented 19 percent of the business at the port’s lone container terminal, while Hanjin had represented 80 percent, averaging about 1,600 containers per week.

The exit of both carriers means that Portland lost 99 percent of the business at the terminal in less than two months.

In a written statement, Hapag-Lloyd implied that Portland was being dropped from its service between the Mediterranean and the US due to workflow difficulties at Terminal 6, the port’s sole international container terminal.

“We are omitting Portland in the future in our MPS service (Mediterranean Pacific Service),” spokesman Rainer Horn said in an explanatory statement. “The decision was taken in order to maintain the schedule integrity of the (Mediterranean Pacific Service). Therefore customers will also benefit from the decision.”

The Port of Portland has been struggling for years with labor issues that have drained productivity. In early February, ICTSI Oregon, which operates Terminal 6, said productivity at the facility had fallen “well below acceptable historical levels.” In the final quarter of 2014, International Longshore & Warehouse Union labor was producing only about 13.2 moves per hour, compared to 24.8 moves/hour in May 2012, a roughly 47 percent reduction, according to the terminal operator.

The labor issues are related to a jurisdiction battle between ICTSI, the ILWU and another union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which date back to June 2012. The two unions were fighting over disputed jobs involving the plugging/unplugging and monitoring of refrigerated containers at Terminal 6.

Since then, workers have walked off the job numerous times due to what the longshore union calls “multiple pay disputes and associated grievances” associated with the “mismanagement” of the terminal.

The dispute, which is completely unrelated to the contract talks between the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association that were resolved with a new contract in February, has led to multiple container ships bypassing the port over the past two-and-an-half years in order to avoid the situation.
In a statement on Hapag-Lloyd’s departure, ICTSI laid the blame at the feet of the ILWU and said that attracting new business will be challenging.

“For Terminal 6 to be successful, the ILWU must signal to potential container shipping lines that its almost three-year campaign of work stoppages, slowdowns, and safety gimmicks at Terminal 6 has come to an end,” the statement read in part. “No carrier will want to make a long-term commitment to the terminal so long as ILWU workers delay cargo and vessels as a strong-arm tactic to get what they want.”

The ILWU thus far has not responded to ICTSI or responded to requests for comment on Terminal 6’s loss of Hapag-Lloyd.

Port of Anacortes Hires New Executive Director

By Mark Edward Nero

During its April 2 meeting, the five-member Port of Anacortes Commission appointed Daniel C. Worra as the port’s new executive director. He replaces outgoing Interim Executive Director John Hachey, who had been on the job since November 2014.

Worra, an Anacortes resident, came to the port from General Electric where he served as the corporation’s Northwest Field Service Regional Manager. Prior to GE, Worra had a 24-year career in the United States Navy, retiring as the operations officer at NAS Whidbey Island.

He was selected for his new position after a process that included interviews with a community leadership panel, port staff, and the port commission. Worra said he was humbled to have been selected from a field of strong candidates and looked forward to working with the Commissioners and staff.

Prior to Worra’s appointment, the Commission honored outgoing Interim Executive Director John Hachey with a resolution highlighting his accomplishments and thanking him for his dedication to the port.

Hachey, the former Port of Anacortes operations and facilities director, retired from the port in May 2012, but was chosen by the port commission to oversee the organization on an interim basis last November after then-Executive Director Bob Hyde resigned under pressure after eight years on the job.

Rapp Marine Clinches 150-Ton Subsea Crane Deal

By Mark Edward Nero

Deck machinery and winch builder Rapp Marine said that it has agreed on terms with Otto Candies to deliver a 150-ton AHC crane for one of the company’s vessels.

Rapp Marine, which has delivered around 450 cranes throughout its history, said this is the largest crane it has engineered and built to date.

The crane is designed to be capable of lifting 150 tons at 17 meters, and is to be certified by Lloyd’s registry. With active heave compensation and a winch capable of storing 3,100 meters of 77mm wire rope, the crane will be fully outfitted for subsea operation.

“We’re excited for the new challenge presented to us,” Rapp Marine US CEO Johann Sigurjonsson said in a statement. “Our extensive track record in engineering, manufacturing and servicing heavy lift deck machinery and marine cranes equips us to develop an impressive crane for the market.”

The crane was designed by Rapp Marine engineer Helge Stakkeland out of Norway, using techniques and technologies that the company says will increase performance and reduce the crane’s weight.

Rapp Marine says it plans on this crane being the first of many cranes capable of lifting heavy loads for offshore vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world.

Rapp Marine’s US operations, which are headquartered in Seattle, has maintained a working relationship with Louisiana-based Otto Candies for many years, providing electric active heave compensated heavy lift winches as well as service support for several of Otto Candies’ vessels.

Christening Scheduled for LNG-Powered Containership

By Mark Edward Nero

A special event to christen and launch the world’s first LNG-powered containership built by General Dynamics NASSCO for Totem Ocean Trailer Express is scheduled Saturday, April 18 in San Diego.
The ceremony will also commemorate NASSCO’s 100th ship launch.

The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Sophie Sacco – wife of Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO – will christen the ship with a traditional champagne bottle break over the ship’s hull. A fireworks display is planned to commence immediately upon the christening and launch of the ship.

The name of the vessel is expected to be revealed during the ceremony.

The 764-foot long Marlin-class containership, which is part of a two-ship contract signed with TOTE in 2012, is expected to be among the largest dry cargo ships of any kind in the world powered by liquefied natural gas when completed.

Operating on LNG is expected to significantly decrease the vessel’s emissions while increasing fuel efficiency as compared to conventionally-powered ships. Both LNG-powered ships will also include a ballast water treatment system, making them among the greenest ships of their size anywhere in the world.

Upon delivery in late-2015, the Jones Act-qualified ships are planned to operate between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The christening and launch event is planned for 8 pm to 9 pm April 18 at General Dynamics NASSCO, 2798 E. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92113. The gate opens for visitors at 7 pm.
Those seeking further information on the event may email

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

DP World Acquiring Prince Rupert Terminal

By Mark Edward Nero

Dubai-based marine terminal operator DP World said April 2 that it intends to acquire the 59-acre Fairview Container Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert from Deutsche Bank. The amount being paid is $580 million Canadian, which is equivalent to about $457 million US.

Fairview, which was the first dedicated intermodal (ship to rail) container terminal in North America and has a current capacity of 850,000 TEUs, recently announced an expansion that could bring capacity to 1.35 million TEUs.

The expansion, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, is designed to add capacity and efficiency to Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor.

“Fairview Container Terminal offers the fastest access for vessels traveling between Asia and
North America,” DP World’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Sharaf, said. “The terminal also offers the highest productivity rates on the West Coast and an efficient rail link to the hinterland. The long-term concession and ability to build beyond the current phase of expansion presents a fantastic opportunity for DP World.”

The transaction, which is subject to Canadian regulatory approvals, is expected to be complete in the second half of 2015, according to DP World.

DP already operates another terminal on Canada’s West Coast, the Centerm container facility at Port Metro Vancouver.

“We are delighted to extend our global footprint with a second terminal in Canada,” DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said in a prepared statement. “The addition of capacity to our portfolio will contribute to DP World’s continued growth and the delivery of shareholder value.”

Willard Marine Wins Army Boats Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

Anaheim-based boat manufacturer Willard Marine has been awarded a contract to supply two newly designed aluminum riverine boats to the army of the South Asia country of Nepal, the company said April 6.

Under the contract, which was issued by the US Navy Foreign Military Sales office, Willard Marine is producing two 31.5-foot aluminum riverine boats, each powered by Yanmar engines and Hamilton waterjets.

Also as part of the contract, Willard Marine is expected to provide comprehensive on-site crew training regarding the design, operation, maintenance and repair of the boats. The vessels will be used by Nepal to perform search, rescue and recovery operations in riverine and flood environments.

This marks the third contract awarded to Willard Marine by the US Navy in the last year, accompanying a five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for seven-meter rigid inflatable boats (RIB) and a contract for 11-meter RIBs.

Along with military-specific RIBs, Willard Marine also produces a wide range of vessels for multiple applications including law enforcement, search and rescue operations and commercial utilization.

“This order from Nepal underscores Willard Marine’s commitment to serve international military agencies with a large variety of mission-specific vessels, both aluminum and fiberglass,” Willard Marine President Ulrich Gottschling said in a statement. “It is always our goal to build the most rugged and reliable boats that our customers can depend upon in the most challenging environments.”

CMA CGM Takes Delivery of its Largest Ship

By Mark Edward Nero

French container shipping company CMA CGM Group has received the largest vessel of its fleet, a 17,722-TEU containership that was delivered March 31 in Busan, South Korea. It is scheduled to be christened May 12 in Le Havre, France.

The CMA CGM Kerguelen measures 398 meters (1,305 feet) long and 54 meters (177 feet) wide, making it longer than the Eiffel Tower and wider than the Paris monument Arc de Triomphe.

CMA CGM says the vessel will be positioned in the shipper’s French Asia Line, which links Europe to Asia. Plans are for the ship to export consumer products such as fruit, cheese and meat, as well as luxury products like perfumes, wines and spirits, leather goods and industrial products, including industry automotive, electronics and aeronautics.

Its primary markets will be Asia and the Middle East.

The CMA CGM Kerguelen is the first in a series of six ships of the same size that are expected to be delivered this year. It was named after the 18th century French navigator Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen-Trémarec who discovered an archipelago of islands that was later named Archipelago Kerguelen.

Due to advanced engine design, the CMA CGM Kerguelen is expected to emit 10 percent fewer CO2 emissions than the previous generation of vessels, according to CMA CGM.

Crowley Joins Trident Alliance

By Mark Edward Nero

Crowley Maritime Corp. has joined the Trident Alliance, a coalition of shipping owners and operators with a common interest in enforcement of existing maritime sulfur regulations.

“Crowley’s decision to align itself with the Trident Alliance makes sense on many levels,” Mike Roberts, Crowley’s senior vice president and general counsel explained. “First and foremost, Crowley’s long-standing support for and compliance with the sulfur regulations has been demonstrated throughout the years in no small part because, as a leader in the maritime industry, it is the responsible thing to do for the environment.”

In joining the alliance, Crowley signed a statement of commitment certifying that the company agrees to comply with sulfur regulations and support the robust and transparent enforcement of these regulations.

Because sulfur-restricting regulations have resulted in increased fuel costs for shipping companies, some operators have violated regulations by burning cheaper, noncompliant, higher sulfur fuels.

The Trident Alliance is committed to improve enforcement of these regulations in an effort to hold all operators accountable and eliminate the competitive disadvantages that result from deliberate noncompliance.

In addition to enforcement of existing sulfur regulations, the Trident Alliance also works to raise awareness of the issue, foster transparency around the operators’ sulfur compliance activities and develop initiatives to foster innovation in practicable enforcement technologies.

Membership in the Trident Alliance is currently comprised of around 30 companies, including Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk Line and Maersk Tankers, among others.

More information about the group is available at