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.
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It was reported from Durban on 8 June that Hapag-Lloyd’s container ship Montpellier, deployed on the Middle East India Africa Express (MIAX) service, will have to remain under quarantine after another seafarer on board tested positive for the coronavirus.
The ship is currently at the Durban outer anchorage.
At the end of May the Port of Cork with Independent Container Line (ICL) jointly announced the start of a new weekly direct service from Cork to the USA, giving Ireland its first direct container service to the USA in many years.
At the time of writing the new service was set to commence with the sailing of Independent Vision on 6 June.
A cross-border consortium of companies under the umbrella name Smart Delta Resources is taking the first step towards drastically reducing CO2 emissions in the North Sea Port area (Ghent, Terneuzen, Vlissingen). This was reported by North Sea Port on 29 May.
They have chosen one of the ways to achieve the climate objectives: capturing CO2 and then reusing it or storing it underground.
‘The arrival of MSC Sixin at Barcelona is the start of a new era in our container sea trade,’ said Guillermo Belcastro, CEO of Hutchison Ports BEST*. ‘MSC Sixin operating at BEST is symbolic of the effort of both shipping lines and port operators who continue to work together, in spite of the current social and economic world situation, pushing efficiency levels to even higher standards to enable goods to arrive at their destination.’ This was reported by BEST on 1 June.
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
French container carrier, CMA CGM has announced its intention of launching a new product called Round the Africa (RTA) service to add to and complement the current 31 CMA CGM services already operating to sub-Saharan Africa.
A bit of a misnomer, the service is unique in terms of providing a direct service from Asia to Senegal and Sierra Leone along with best transit times, as well as calls to other selected West African ports.
Dakar is reached weekly from Ningbo in 35 days, from Nansha in 32 days. Freetown (Sierra Leone) is reached in 35 days from Nansha. The service offer to Tema (Ghana) is improved with three weekly departures.
‘Our exporters from West Africa will benefit of excellent transit time and direct service to China. Shanghai is reached in 29 days from Abidjan, 31 days from Tema, 36 days from Freetown and 39 days from Dakar,’ says the line in a statement.
One is left to assume the Round Africa part comes from the ships returning to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope.
Round the Africa service rotation is as follows:
Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Singapore – Malta – Tanger – Dakar – Freetown – Tema – Abidjan – Port Kelang – Shanghai
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.