MSC Gulson

MSC unveils its newest box ship MSC Gulson

MSC has revised the official capacity of its new ULCV, MSC Gulsun, by an additional 805 teu, to 23,765 teu, making it more than 2,000 teu larger than the biggest ships operated by its competitors.

The liner said the new class of vessel had “been designed with a wide range of environmental, efficiency, stability and safety matters in mind”.

The MSC Gulson, it claims, features a “remarkable approach to energy efficiency” via bow design and minimised wind resistance.

Part of a series of eleven vessels, it is one of six being built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in South Korea, with the other five constructed at compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the MSC Gulsuncompleted its maiden voyage from Asia to North Europe this week.

Although the same length as the 21,413 teu OOCL Hong Kong-series of ULCVs, at 399 metres, the scrubber-fitted MSC Gulson has a beam 2.7 metres wider, at 61.5 metres, enabling an extra row of containers and making 24 rows across the weather deck.

With an optimum load of light medium and heavy boxes, the MSC Gulson would need to be stowed 13 containers high on deck to achieve the 23,765 teu intake, but this is unlikely unless the vessel is topped up with empty containers for repatriation on the backhaul Asia-North Europe service.

Moreover, the extra row across its beam will exceed the outreach capabilities at some ports on its rotation. Indeed, Alphaliner noted that at the MSC Gulson’s first call, at Bremerhaven earlier in the week, the containers to be discharged at the German port were stowed only 23 across, due to the restricted reach of the terminal’s shore cranes.

There are now around 50 ULCVs of 20,000 teu or more operated by ocean carriers, all of which are deployed on Asia-North Europe, with new deliveries expected to double that number by the end of next year. South Korean carrier HMM, which will join THE Alliance next April, has an orderbook of twelve 23,000 teu scrubber-fitted vessels and Taiwanese Evergreen has just disclosed its intention to order up to eleven 23,000 teu newbuilds.

Both carriers have, like MSC, opted for scrubbers to be fitted on the new vessels to enable the continued burning of HFO (heavy fuel oil) after IMO 2020. Depending on the premium payable for low-sulphur compliant fuel after 1 January, it has been calculated that scrubbers could potentially save container lines using the exhaust gas cleaning technology some $2m per Asia-North Europe roundtrip voyage.

Source: The Loadstar

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one belt one road

RZD expands China-Europe rail freight services with new routes

RZD have begun a new container service, with a new connection between China and Germany.

Connecting Yantai and Duisburg, the service initially will operate on a limited schedule, but RZD chief executive Vyacheslav Valentik expects it to become regular by the start of Q4.

“Our cooperation with Yantai station is developing rapidly – just a month ago we launched a service to Moscow, and today we present a transit route to Germany,” he said.

“There is no doubting its successful development… Shandong ranks third in the GDP ranking of provinces in China. It is an industrial region with a high level of production and consumption, which gives us a good chance to work out the issue of reverse loading of transit trains.”

The inaugural service arrived in the German city, after a 19-day transit, on 14 August, carrying auto parts, electrical components and household products.

The carrier said the service was available to a “wide range” of shippers, with further new routes due this month: “The service will be launched on the new route from Jinan City, Shandong Province to Budapest,” it said.

“Now, RZD Logistics has container trains from various cities of the Shandong province to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Minsk and Duisburg.”

The operator has undergone a rash of expansion in recent months, last month launching a service to ship boxes from Korea to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The decision to run the new link followed a trial in June from South Korea’s container hub of Pusan to the Polish rail terminal at Brzeg Dolny.

“Rail delivery is faster than deepsea transport and we offer our clients in the republic of Korea the chance to assess the economical efficiency of the service,” said Mr Valentik. “And the more cargo transported by Trans-Siberian land bridge, the more affordable the service is.”

Also last month, RZD and subsidiary Far East Land Bridge rolled out a container route between Moscow and Yantai.

Sales director at RZD Olga Stepanova said: “We try to find solutions that will meet the needs of our customers. At Yantai it is convenient to consolidate cargo from all over Shandong province, one of the most industrialised in China.

“It is also successfully connected to the sea terminal, with which we also plan to group and ship to Russia and Europe from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Source: The Loadstar

red cross

Carriers to fine rogue shippers for misdeclared goods in containers

Carriers are cracking down on rogue shippers by threatening significant financial penalties for misdeclared shipments, following a series of vessel fires.

Evergreen was first out of the gates announcing fines, ranging from $4,000 to $35,000, for misdeclarations (see below), with Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL following suit.

Hapag-Lloyd, which suffered as misdeclared goods caused a high-profile fire aboard its vessel Yantian Express earlier this year, said it would impose a $15,000 fine per misdeclared box, and OOCL has announced enhanced checks and a hazardous cargo misdeclaration fee.

Hong Kong-headquartered OOCL said: “We are aware that there has been an increasing number of marine incidents being reported in 2019, many of which were suspected of being caused by potentially undeclared and/or misdeclared hazardous cargo.

“Any inconsistencies between the declared cargo in the documents and what is physically inside the container will result in a hazardous cargo misdeclaration fee.”

The fee payable will depend on the extent of any disparity, with containers potentially being pulled out of service and put on hold if penalties are applicable.

The carrier said it would also strengthen its inspection policy through additional verification prior to loading by selective or random inspections on DG and potential DG cargo.

“It is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the carriage of goods to ensure all hazardous cargo are properly declared and handled according to the IMDG regulations,” it added.

Between 5% and 10% of containership cargo is declared as dangerous goods, but the extent of misdeclaring of goods is impossible to tell.

Mr Storrs-Fox said: “A key element of the campaign is to identify levers – both sticks and carrots – that are available to improve a safety culture in the unitised supply chain, including considering unintended consequences inherent in trading arrangements or fiscal/security interventions and the possibilities presented by technological innovation.

“Penalising shippers where deficiencies are found should be applauded and government enforcement agencies are encouraged to take appropriate action under national or international regulations to deter poor practices further.”

Source: The Loadstar

low tariffs after brexit

Post-Brexit freeport ‘gateway to prosperity’ plan comes under fire

Questions continue to be raised over the announcement that the UK government intends to establish a series of freeports across the country after Brexit.

Trade secretary Liz Truss called on airports and ports to bid for the scheme, saying: “Freedoms transformed London’s Docklands in the 1980s, and Freeports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK.

Claims yesterday by prime minister Boris Johnson that the UK would become a “world leader” on the freeport scene have also been questioned by industry experts.

Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals, Neil Davidson, said it made a freeport sound like a “panacea” for business.

“From what I can tell, no real, proper research has been conducted and there seems to be no idea what markets or sectors the scheme intends to target,” he said.

“Looking at it from a common sense point of view, and from the market perspective, I cannot see it working – at least not without more details.”

Up to 10 freeports are planned, with an advisory panel comprising business owners, economists, ministers and technology experts making the selections.

In the 1990s, the UK had a series of freeports operating and, while one source claimed these had “failed”, Mr Davidson was more complimentary.

“To say they failed is a bit harsh; they had a very specific purpose – for example at Tilbury the purpose was to provide a way around a quota that existed for imports of North American plywood,” he said.

“Shippers’ costs were climbing, and the freeports allowed them to import in bulk and hold and release the wood as and when needed ,without exceeding the quota.

“These freeports worked because they targeted a very specific market and had very specific needs and advantages – those announced by the government last week don’t point to any market.”

As a result, Mr Davidson said he struggled to see the upside, noting that while tax benefits were the main draw, they were also “expected” and won’t on their own make a freeport competitive.

He also pointed to the high cost of labour, land, and utilities as negatives against the UK’s attractiveness.

“Freeports thrive on being cheap to operate, so knowing which ports and the regions the UK intends to compete against is vital for any gateway bidding for this,” Mr Davidson added.

“If it’s Jebel Ali, the cost of labour there is far lower, and if the UK is targeting EU markets, Tangier is a far more cost-effective option. On top of this, if we look at the ports being put forward, some are the ones with the weakest shipping connectivity.”

The decision to pursue the freeports initiative appears driven by the UK’s new prime minister desire to stick to the latest Brexit deadline, and Ms Truss added: “We will have a truly independent trade policy after we leave the EU on 31 October 31.

“I look forward to working with the Freeports Advisory Panel to create the world’s most advanced freeport model and launch the new ports as soon as possible.”

Mayor of Tees Valley, set to bid for the scheme, Ben Houchen has championed freeports and welcomed the initiative.

“Teesport played a crucial role in this nation’s historic trading past, and is key to our great trading future,” he said. “Creating a freeport right here would turbocharge jobs and growth, bringing investment into the region and making us a global hub of enterprise and innovation.”

Source: The Loadstar

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We are one of the top 1000 companies to inspire Britain 2019!

We are very proud to announce that we have been selected as one of the 1000 companies to inspire Britain 2019!

The report pulls together exciting companies that are breaking new ground and making a real difference to the world around us.

We couldn’t have grown as we have without the support of our customers and all those who put their faith in us – so thank you very much.

We certainly couldn’t have got to this point without our fantastic members of staff – thank you for all your hard work and dedication, it really is appreciated.

On to the next year to become one of the 1000 companies of 2020!

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