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.
Following a strong start to CLdN’s* weekly Con-Ro service from Cork to Zeebrugge, the shipping line announced a second call to accommodate demand. This second direct service from Cork to the EU commenced on 7 January offering more flexibility to Irish customers, ensuring supply chains are maintained.
Considering Brexit and combined with the modal shift from accompanied to unaccompanied shipping, having a second direct link between Cork and Zeebrugge will bypass the UK Landbridge. For importers and exporters this means avoiding unnecessary border checks thus ensuring cargo flows more effectively and in a cost-efficient manner from Ireland direct to the continent.
According to CLdN, over the last months, there has been steady growth in customer demand for reliable, low cost and Brexit-proof unaccompanied freight products. Shipping unaccompanied trailers, (tank) containers, finished vehicles or project cargo between its own ferry terminals provides a one stop shop for customers to get goods shipped across the North Sea without running the risk of disruption.
A spokesperson for the Port of Cork said: ‘Recently we have seen the spotlight on ro-ro freight since Brexit came into force, however CLdN have seen a shift to unaccompanied freight, which is clearly popular among logistic companies and advantageous. The benefits of unaccompanied freight can bring a reduction in costs, greener freight movements as minimising the amount of time your drivers are on the road and greater flexibility depending on the type of cargo being shipped.’
A spokesperson from CLdN added: ‘As we have shown and continue to deliver, we will deploy larger vessels or add more frequency to match demand to and from Ireland and will react immediately the market signals a requirement, as we see the Irish market as a core route in our portfolio.’
Crew changes are once more becoming difficult as much of the world locks down again following the emergence of several new and more transmissible variants of Covid-19, crew specialist Danica has warned.
With travel corridors being closed and new travel restrictions imposed, airlines are once again cancelling or reducing flights which poses a problem for crew transiting to vessels. It is understood from Danica that ports too, if they have reopened, are imposing greater restrictions.
Henrik Jensen (pictured), Managing Director of Danica Crewing Services, has warned: ‘I believe we may be heading for a new crew change crisis every bit as bad as last spring. Over the past six months crew changes have been possible in many cases, although they have been costly and complex. However, now we are seeing a range of new restrictions and barriers to crew travel while also facing some serious issues in relation to crew health risk factors. I can foresee this impacting heavily on crew changes for the next few months.’
Danica specialises in crew deployment and has been assisting a range of ship operators in order to achieve crew changes over the past year. As a result, the company is fully aware of the latest rules and restrictions and well-placed to notice how they are impacting crewing.
Jensen explained: ‘In response to the rapid increase in infections around the world, governments are imposing new or additional measures including travel restrictions. Although these measures are understandable in the circumstances, based on scientific evidence, and intended to provide protection for their populations, they also cause operational and logistical problems for crew changes.
RightShip and INTERCARGO announced on 21 January the launch of an important new quality standard for the dry bulk sector, DryBMS. The standard will be governed by a new NGO to be established later this year and will support the improvement of safety in the dry bulk segment.
Both RightShip and INTERCARGO have strongly and consistently advocated the need for significant improvements to dry bulk safety standards. In August 2020 both organisations combined their expertise to create a single framework for the whole industry.
Supported by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and BIMCO, DryBMS now exists as a simple set of best practices and key performance indicators and raises the bar on safety, environmental and operational excellence.
RightShip’s CEO Steen Lund says that he is confident that such a programme will be supported and adopted: ‘We are proud to launch DryBMS to the industry. The standard is a product of extensive collaboration with many stakeholders within the dry bulk sector.