Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
The Port of Cork reported on 27 January that the combined total traffic through both the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company took a dip of 5% from 10.6 million tonnes, to just over 10 million tonnes in 2019. The cause for this minor decline is attributed to less volumes of dry bulk cargo through the port. Overall total imports decreased by 7% while exports decreased by 3%.
Cork Container Terminal
A key area, particularly for the Port of Cork as they look to complete and open Cork Container Terminal in 2020, was the continued increase in container or LoLo traffic in 2019. Over 240,000 TEUS were handled in 2019, a 5% increase on the previous year.
Brendan Keating, Port of Cork Chief Executive said: ‘2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as we prepare to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy, so seeing continued growth in container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy is very encouraging.’
He continued: ‘Once operational the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum. We already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and our work in Ringaskiddy Port will enable us to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide us with a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic.’
In 2019 oil traffic handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery owned by Canadian company Irving Oil, saw a decrease of 9% partially due to a planned maintenance shut down in August.
One hundred cruise liners
In 2019 the Port of Cork handled 100 cruise liners bringing over 243,000 passengers and crew to the region, while Bantry Bay Port Company welcomed ten cruise liners to the harbour town. In 2020 a record 102 cruise ships are scheduled to call between March and December.
The Port of Cork jointly with Lanber Holdings purchased Marino Point in 2017 and following consultation with Belvelly Marino Development Company, stakeholders, residents and a design team, the Belvelly Port Facility Masterplan was developed. The masterplan sets out the strategic approach of Belvelly Marino Development Company and is a guide to the future development of Belvelly Port Facility. It is envisaged that Marino Point will be developed to accommodate a range of industrial and port related activities and could become a dynamic industrial hub for the area, thus creating employment.
Project Ireland 2040
Brendan Keating added in conclusion: ‘As part of the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework, one of the key future growth enablers for Cork is to deliver large scale regeneration projects for the provision of new employment and supporting infrastructure in Cork Docklands, as integrated, sustainable developments, including relocation of sites from the City Docks. Belvelly Port Facility has been identified to enable this type of growth.’
In the current context, marked by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, terminals are showing a considerable drop in overall port volumes. This is associated with a decline in economic activity, and with a large number of blank sailings due to shipping lines’ attempts to align capacity with existing demand.
However, the paradox is that despite the fact that calls and volume arriving at the Port of Barcelona's BEST terminal have decreased, moves per call have significantly increased. This was reported from the port on 29 June.
During week 23 (1-7 June), BEST terminal welcomed the largest vessel to call at the Port of Barcelona, MSC Sixin, with a capacity of almost 24,000 TEU.
Subsequently, similar ships from the 2M alliance (Maersk + MSC) have been arriving on a recurring basis on passage between the Far East and Europe, grouping together all the moves that a few weeks ago were made between different services of the same alliance and which were cancelled due to the exceptional situation currently experienced.
During May and June, BEST terminal saw how the number of moves per call had broken all existing records in the Port of Barcelona – starting with almost 8,000 moves in week 22, all move records broken to reach almost 8,500 moves in week 24.
This change in demand, with large cargo concentration peaks on large deep sea vessels and a smaller number of calls, directly impacts on the way terminals must approach the services they offer.
It was found that the way to put forward a valuable proposal to shipping lines with these types of calls, is to offer productivity per call that exceeds by far the average efficiency in container terminals. With this in mind, it is important to highlight the relevance of the important investments made by BEST, both in the number of cranes capable of operating these types of ship, and in the terminal operating system (TOS) at all levels.
Classification Society ClassNK announced from Tokyo on 2 July that it had released its annual report on Port State Control.
This document aims to assist ship operators and management companies in maintaining compliant operations by providing information about ships detained by PSC as well as deficiencies that were found on board from many port states in 2019.
In line with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, PSC inspections ensure that vessels departing the port meet international standards and have proved to be highly effective in eliminating substandard ships that are in operation. They oversee not only the hardware of a ship, but also the software by examining the maintenance and operation methods being used. In addition to various figures, status of implementation and recent developments in PSC worldwide are included.
This Annual Report on Port State Control (PSC) summarises deficiencies identified during PSC inspections carried out in various countries around the world.
Class NK has prepared it with the objective of building awareness with the present state of PSC and thereby improving future onboard maintenance and inspections, and as well as Safety Management System.