Maritime News Update Week 33/2019

(Vietnam) Hanoi Railway Company opens rapid container train
Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company (Haraco) opened a rapid container train with the 40-hour journey running from Yen Vien in Hanoi to Song Than in the southern province of Binh Duong on 31st Jul.
As planned, there will be five high-speed twin trains a week, except for Sunday and Monday, departing from both Yen Vien and Song Than.
The train will receive and return goods at stations of Giap Bat and Kim Lien during the journey. Their departing and arriving time are fixed like that of passenger trains. 
Accordingly, the trains with odd number will depart from Yen Vien station at 7: 35 am and arrive at Song Than station at 2: 40 am in the following day  while the trains with even number will depart from Yen Vien station at 10:30 am and arrive at Song Than station at 6:15 am in the next day. 
The high-speed container train has its loading capacity up to 650 tons, including 20 wagons transporting 20 containers. The specialized wagons are newly built permitting the train to travel at the maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour, meeting technical requirements and the quality of high-value goods.
Haraco has also launched pilot operation of the website: to organize online goods transport from August 1, 2019.

MOL Sets Up Zero Emission Fuel Working Group
Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has taken another step in its plan to cut emissions as it joined the Carbon Capture & Reuse (CCR) Study Group.
Additionally, the company launched the “Cross-industrial Working Group Related to Zero Emission Alternative Ship Fuels” with an aim to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in international shipping’s value chains by using synthetic methane (methanation fuel) as an alternative to fossil fuel.
Synthetic methane is generated by methanation technology that combines CO2 with renewable energy-derived hydrogen.
In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which studies measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in international shipping, set the goals – reduce CO2 emissions by 40% per unit of transport by 2030, and total GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, compared to 2008, and to zero GHG emissions as early as possible in this century.
MOL aims to introduce methanation fuel for ships and establish a supply chain by launching the working group, and will engage in study and promotion of the fuel in cooperation with other industries, other companies, and government agencies.

Yang Ming Reports Net Loss of $41mln in Q2
Taiwanese ocean shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation reported a consolidated revenues of about NTD40.4 billion (USD 1.3 billion) for the second quarter of 2019, up 20.24% compared to the same period of prior year.
Business volumes increased by 5% year-on-year to 1.35 million TEUs. Net loss for second quarter of the year was NTD 1.27 billion (USD 40.99 million).
Meanwhile, Yang Ming’s consolidated revenues for the first half of 2019 rose by 16.77% compared with the same period in the previous year to NTD 75.48 billion (USD 2.44 billion), an increase in business volume of 5% to 2.64 million TEUs. The net loss for the first half year was NTD 1.95 billion (USD 62.94 million).
As reported by analyst firm Alphaliner, the container shipping market remains under pressure due to oversupply capacity in the first half year.
According to its latest projection for 2019, global throughput is estimated to grow at 2.5% while capacity is predicted to grow at 3.1%. The market demand is weaker than expected since the ongoing US-China trade conflict has weighed on the global economy.
In addition, the slight rise in bunker fuel prices affected Yang Ming’s operating costs. Furthermore, the exercise of the new IFRS 16 accounting standard had a negatively impact on Yang Ming’s half-year profitability by around NTD 0.6 billion (USD 19.37 million). Consequently, the company’s operating performance was insufficient to yield profits in the first half of 2019.
Nevertheless, Yang Ming has reduced its financial losses significantly by 66.22% as compared to the previous year, largely due to the result of its strategies implementation and cost control.
Furthermore, the Taiwan Ratings Corp. has affirmed a stable rating for Yang Ming’s outlook in the long term. This result reflects Yang Ming’s improved cost structure driven by its fleet optimization plan.
Since last year, Yang Ming has begun the deployment of its new eco-type containerships while returning some of its higher cost chartered vessels. Through its strategic fleet deployment along with THE Alliance’s expanded partnership and future new service network, Yang Ming will continue to enhance business competitiveness and provide global customer with more excellent and comprehensive service quality.

Port of Long Beach has chosen lead design for the $870 million rail project
HDR has been selected to streamline rail operations and bottlenecks at the second busiest, but also one of the greenest ports in the U.S.
As capacity at the port continues to increase, the design contract for the project to increase the efficiency has been awarded to HDR and is expected to cost in excess of $870 million.
The Pier B on Dock Rail Support Facility Project will expand the port’s capability for loading shipping containers directly onto rail cars instead of being loaded on trucks for short-haul trips. The expansion and reconfiguration of the existing Pier B rail yard will create a staging area for loading freight trains nearly two miles long, eliminating thousands of local truck trips.
Port Executive Director, Mario Cordero, in his State of the Port of Long Beach address in January 2019, said: “This is visionary. This port is taking the lead in rail. The delivery of containers to and from ships by train is the most sustainable and efficient way to move cargo in and out of the port. Each train eliminates as many as 750 truck trips, speeding the flow of goods and cutting traffic on roadways. Train is a big part of our green future.”
The City of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners last month approved the selection of HDR to lead design for the project, as well as site investigations, traffic studies, structural analyses, lighting analyses, program sequencing and more. The selection marks a major milestone for a project that has been in the works for years.
The work continues HDR’s history of improving efficiency in the area. Earlier this decade, the company delivered the award-winning Colton Crossing project about 70 miles east of the port, which effectively removed the biggest rail network chokepoint in the nation. The Long Beach port project will continue that work, creating one of the most efficient, modern rail facilities in the nation at its origin.
HDR will work with sub-consultant Moffatt & Nichol on the Pier B project, scheduled to be completed in three phases, with the first phase expected to be complete by 2024.
HDR’s Tom Kim, Senior Vice President and transportation manager for Southern California, said: “This is a game-changer for the port. We have been working with the port a long time on preparation for this critical project, and we’re excited to see it all come together.”

Port of Los Angeles Reports Record July TEUs
Volumes Increase 9.4% Compared to Previous Year.
For the fourth consecutive month, the Port of Los Angeles has set a new single-month cargo record. In July, the Port moved 912,154 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), the busiest July in the Port’s 112-year history.   
“Container exchange per vessel reached 9,915 TEUs, the highest and most efficient level we’ve ever experienced,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “Despite the continued decline in exports and high level of uncertainty driven by trade tensions, we continue to optimize our facilities and are grateful for the support and confidence of our supply chain partners.” 
July 2019 imports increased 8.7% to 476,438 TEUs compared to the previous year. Exports decreased 4% to 161,340 TEUs while empty containers increased 20.7% to 274,376 TEUs. Combined, July overall volumes were 912,154 TEUs. It was the third busiest month in the Port’s history and the fourth time the Port eclipsed the 900,000 TEU mark. 
Seven months into 2019 overall volumes have increased 6% compared to 2018, when the Port set an all-time cargo record.  
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative, strategic and sustainable operations that benefit Southern California’s economy and quality of life. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $297 billion in trade during 2018. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.

UAE Presence Grows in the Maritime World
Over recent years the United Arab Emirates has emerged as an important maritime hub with grand ambitions. Mark Venables visited the region to discover what is driving that growth.
When the UAE was elected to the IMO Council as a Category B member, it immediately raised its profile within the maritime community. The Emirates have taken a significant step forward in the maritime world.
Despite this success, the region remains a challenging market for shipping and logistics. One of the drawbacks about attracting suppliers to set up base in the respective maritime clusters created around the area is that competition is fierce, a problem sharpened by the oil price collapse five years ago.
According to His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development & Chairman at UAE Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime, the UAE continues its efforts to occupy the leading rankings in all fields and indicators of the international maritime transport industry. He believes that the first year of the UAE's membership in the IMO Council has been a success with the UAE ranked 14th globally in the prestigious 'Leading Maritime Nations in The World' report released late last year.
"The presence of many small, high-income economies among the top ten countries in the field of maritime transport indicates the critical importance of the success of measures and policies of the maritime institutions," Al Nuaimi says. "This includes regulating, controlling and managing the maritime assets efficiently, including investment optimization, which indicates a high value based on increasing research, development, innovation and higher education in maritime transport.
"The FTA, through the maritime transport sector, is working on providing a comprehensive perspective of the future trends and features of the maritime transport industry in the country. We are doing this in co-ordination with our strategic partners to maximize interests and investments in the maritime transport industry and enable them to have a better picture of the latest developments and trends in the global transport industry."
Nurturing the Dubai vision
Despite the aspirations of Abu Dhabi, the jewel in the crown of crown for the UAE remains Dubai. According to the 2019 edition of The Leading Maritime Capitals of The World 2019 report from Menon Economics and DNV GL Publication in the Middle East, India and Africa region, Dubai is the leading maritime center and at a global level, now ranked ninth. The experts predict that Dubai will continue to grow in importance and could be in the top five of the world's most important maritime centers by 2024, albeit with intense competition by the European cities as well as Hong Kong.
According to the Dubai Maritime City Association (DMCA), Dubai currently hosts more than 5,500 maritime companies and 13,000 maritime activities, which in turn support more than 76,000 jobs. The sector contributes almost seven per cent of the Emirates' gross domestic product, equivalent to $7.3bn, which the government hopes to significantly increase this proportion by 2030.
The tail end of 2018 was a significant time for Dubai with the Dubai Maritime Cluster Office (DMCO), part of the DMCA, signing strategic partnerships with the world's leading maritime clusters. These included Germany's Maritimes Cluster Norddeutschland, Canada's Vancouver International Maritime Cluster and the Maritime Cluster of the Panama Maritime Authority.
"The co-operation with a leading international authority in the maritime sector such as Panama reflects the trust and confidence placed by the global maritime industry in Dubai. We are one of the five most competitive and attractive maritime hubs in the world, supported by advanced capabilities in the infrastructure and maritime culture that stimulate innovative research and development," Nawfal Al Journai, director of DMCO, says.
However, according to Al Journai, one of the most significant signs that the UAE plays a growing role in the world maritime community is the establishment of UAE Maritime Week as a significant annual event. "UAE Maritime Week is an important milestone for the sector," he adds. "Other major maritime centers such as Oslo, Greece, and Hamburg hold global Maritime events. In the Middle East, there was nothing until we came up with the UAE Maritime Week."
Leading port in the Emirates
DP World currently has five terminals in Dubai, three at the flagship Jebel Ali Port and one each at Mina Rashid and Mina Al Hamriya, but that will change when the fourth terminal at Jebel Ali comes online later this year. The high-tech terminal was initially slated to open at the turn of the year but has been delayed because of weaker than expected market conditions.
Jebel Ali is already the tenth largest container port globally, handling more than 15 million TEU annually. The original plan was that the opening of Terminal 1 would lead to increased capacity, but now DP World will take the opportunity to refurbish Terminal 1.When it does open, it will feature an innovative High Bay Storage (HBS) system. The design and rack structure of the system allows containers to be stored up to eleven stories high, delivering the capacity of a conventional terminal in a third of the surface area. It is also fully automated eliminating the need for reshuffling.
Abu Dhabi continues to shine
Mina Khalifa, Abu Dhabi's largest port, is set for exponential growth, following the signing of a 30-year concession with the world's second largest container line, Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC). It has been a busy six months for Abu Dhabi ports with a significant partnership along with several sectors increasing their presence. The main highlight came late last year when Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) inaugurated the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port; positioning Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for Cosco's global network of 36 ports and further connecting the Emirate to the major trade hubs along China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The deepwater, semi-automated container terminal includes the largest Container Freight Station (CFS) in the Middle East, covering 275,000 square meters. The state-of-the-art facility offers options for full and partial bonded container shipments, the full range of container packing services, short-term warehousing for de-consolidated cargo as well as easy connectivity with container terminals in Khalifa Port.
KIZAD, the industrial zone subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, launched a Polymers Park which will form an integral part of the polymer conversion ecosystem in the Emirate. This is part of a strategic collaboration framework with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which aims to accelerate investment and innovation in the region's plastics industry. The collaboration aims to offer companies fast and cost-effective access to polymers as well as the option to invest in the Ruwais Conversion Park – an initiative that will take shape over the next few years.
When it comes to transportation links, the rail infrastructure has always been a limiting factor, but that could be changing with the news that Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi Ports have signed an agreement to connect Khalifa Port with the National Railway Network. The deal reflects the mutual efforts of Etihad Rail and Abu Dhabi Ports to support the growth and diversification of the UAE economy by strengthening the transport infrastructure and connecting vital facilities such as ports to the rail network to facilitate the transport of containers and various types of goods in a safe, efficient environment-friendly way.
Offering a third choice
Although Dubai and Abu Dhabi lead the way in the maritime sector in the UAE, they are not alone. Fujairah Port is the only multi-purpose port on the Eastern seaboard of the United Arab Emirates, approximately 70 nautical miles from the Straits of Hormuz and is home to two oil terminals. However, it is the Ras Al Khaimah Port (RAK Ports) and its free zone that has bold ambitions to grow as an alternative to Jebel Ali and Khalifa Ports.
RAK Ports consists of five ports within a 65km coastline. Al Jeer Port to the North, just on the Oman border, RAK Maritime City, which is a free zone, Ras Al Khaimah Port in the city center port, Saqr and Al Jazeera Port. "Each one of the ports contributes in its own way and we have just undergone a strategic exercise to identify more specifically what these ports do and should do," Captain Cliff Brand, RAK Ports CEO says. "As a result, at least two of these ports will be repurposed in the future to accommodate the strategy."
The first significant challenge that RAK Ports face is replacing the trade lost from the Qatar embargo that was imposed two years ago. "It took us almost a year to regain volumes we lost," Brand explains.
Part of this strategy was signing a 25-year agreement with Hutchinson Ports to develop and manage the container terminal facility at Saqr Port. The port comprises a four-berth, 350,000 TEU facility featuring an 800m quay with a depth of 12m. As for the development, the first of two new deepwater berths capable of handling capsize vessels have been completed along with investment in the latest bulk-handling equipment including high capacity mobile harbor cranes. The project will make Saqr Port one of the largest bulk handing ports in the world.

MSC JEWEL sets record as cleanest container ship to travel U.S

The cleanest container ship to visit the United States – MSC Jewel - stopped by the Port of Long Beach last month. The news was first announced by the Port on Aug 02nd.
MSC Jewel arrived at Total Terminals International’s Pier T facility on July 12. The ship, 1,200 feet long with a capacity of 14,436 twenty-foot equivalent units, was built in 2019 and is powered by Tier III diesel engines (main propulsion and auxiliary power), which are 75% cleaner than the Tier II standard set by the International Maritime Organization.
MSC is heavily investing in a number of technical solutions to meet or exceed the new regulations, finding innovative solutions and maximising its environmental performance. Our vessels are designed with environment and efficiency in mind, bringing benefits for business, customers and partners.
The Port of Long Beach is the premier gateway for trans-Pacific trade into U.S. and a pioneer in innovative environmental stewardship and sustainability. MSC runs the largest terminal, which is also one of the most productive in North America.
All MSC vessels that visit California ports are shore-power equipped, which means they are also able to connect to the land side electrical grid to minimize emissions when berthed.

DP World accuses Djibouti government of ‘complete disregard’ for global legal system
DP World has accused the government of Djibouti of “complete disregard and contravention” of the global legal system as it plans to rule all international adjudications on the Doraleh Container Terminal null and void.
As the case over the Djibouti government’s cancellation of DP World’s 2006 concession agreement for Doraleh Container Terminal, and subsequent awarding of a new concession to China Merchants Port Holdings, rumbles on the government is now set to apply to the country’s high court to declare five international adjudications that found in favour of DP World null and void.
DP World said the plan showed the government of Djibouti had “complete disregard for and contravention of the global legal system and existing contracts”.
“The move is proof of Djibouti’s complete disregard for recognized legal practice and respect for contracts calling into question any investment in the country both now and in the future,” it added.
Under the concession agreement DP World held 33.34% interest in Dorelah Container Terminal SA with the country’s government holding a 66.66% stake. The government of Djibouti seized the terminal in February 2018 as a four-year dispute dragged on over claims that DP World had failed to meet the terms of the concession agreement.
The most recent LCIA Tribunal ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $385.7 million plus interest for breach of DCT’s exclusivity by development of container facilities at Doraleh Multipurpose Terminal. DP World noted the award showed that the 2006 concession agreement remained valid.
“DCT and DP World continue to seek to uphold their legal rights in a number of legal fora, following Djibouti’s unlawful efforts to expel DP World from Djibouti and transfer the port operation to Chinese interests,” DP World.
The Dubai terminal operator is also continuing litigation against China Merchants in the Hong Kong courts.
Opened in 2008 and inaugurated in 2009, the terminal had aspirations to expand capacity to 3m teu per annum, and currently has capacity for 1.6m teu with a 1,050m quay with 18m draught and 8 super post panamax cranes. In 2013 the terminal handled 743,000 teu.

Germany Seizes Another 1.5 Tons of Cocaine on Boxship
Following the recent record seizure of cocaine shipment at the Port of Hamburg, local customs officers have discovered a further 1.5 tons of cocaine on board a containership.
The cocaine was found during a search of an unnamed boxship last week, Oliver Bachmann, a spokesperson of German Customs Authority, said in a statement.
A total of 1,575 packages of pressed cocaine was hidden in 64 sports bags. The shipment has a street value of about EUR 350 million (USD 392.3 million).
As informed, the container was loaded with tobacco boxes in Rio Grande in Brazil and bound for Antwerp in Belgium.
Customs added that the cocaine has already been destroyed under strict confidentiality and extensive safety measures.
On August 2, customs revealed they landed Germany’s largest-ever cocaine bust. Several weeks ago, they seized a total of 4.5 tons of drugs in a container also destined for Antwerp.
UK Seizes USD 48 Mn Worth of Heroin from Container
British authorities have removed around 398 kilograms of heroin from a shipping container in what was described as one of the largest ever seizures of this drug in the UK.
The country’s National Crime Agency had identified a container vessel suspected of carrying a large drugs shipment en route to Antwerp, Belgium.
The undisclosed vessel docked in Felixstowe on August 1 and the following day officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container in which the heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes.
The heroin was removed and the container returned to the boxship, which carried on to the port of Antwerp.
On arrival, the container was collected by lorry and taken to Rotterdam – all the time under police surveillance. On 5 August, as suspects took steps to unload the contents, Dutch Police moved in and made two arrests.
The NCA simultaneously arrested a man from Bromsgrove who is currently being questioned by NCA officers.
The drugs would be worth at least GBP 9 million (USD 10.9 million) to organised criminals selling the whole consignment at wholesale, and at least GBP 40 million (USD 48.6 million) at street level in the UK and other European countries.

Authorities Seize 51 Kilos of Cocaine in Port of Thessaloniki
Greek authorities have seized almost 52 kilos of cocaine hidden in a container in the Port of Thessaloniki.
The drugs were concealed in the refrigeration system of a container loaded with bananas from Latin America.
The Hellenic Coast Guard cooperated with the port authority’s drug enforcement unit to detect the narcotics with the help of K9 units and X-Ray devices, the coast guard said.
According to the service, a total of 47 packages containing 51.9 kilograms of cocaine were uncovered.
The refrigerating unit in which the drugs were found was seized as part of the ongoing investigation.
It was not revealed on which ship the cocaine-laden container arrived.
The Greek drug bust comes on the back of German authorities reporting the seizure of 4.5 tons of cocaine, worth USD 1.1 billion, at the Port of Hamburg. The operation marked the country’s largest cocaine interception ever.

Hapag-Lloyd to Fine Shippers for Misdeclared Hazardous Cargoes
German shipping major Hapag-Lloyd revealed its plans to implement a penalty of USD 15,000 per container for mis-declared hazardous cargoes.
The company said that the measure would be effective as of September 15th , 2019, and was introduced “in the overall interest of safe operation onboard.”
The move comes on the back of a major incident that occurred on one of the company’s containerships earlier this year. The 7,510 TEU vessel Yantian Express suffered a fire, while sailing some 650 nautical miles off the Canadian coast in January 2019. A month later, the Yantian Express berthed in Freeport, Bahamas, for an evaluation process and cargo discharge preparation.
Hapag-Lloyd explained that, in order to ensure the safety of its crew, ships and other cargo onboard, it holds the shipper liable and responsible for all costs and consequences related to violations, fines, damages, incidents, claims and corrective measures resulting from cases of undeclared or misdeclared cargoes.

(Source: Seatrade Maritime, Sea News, VN MOT, World Maritime News, Marine Link)