Mar 13, 2018 - Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) is very disappointed that the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) today refused a generous salary increase offer during mediation and insists on striking from midnight tonight. LPC has now received strike notices for 13 – 25 March inclusive.
In June 2017, the terminal of APM in Rotterdam was inactive for a few days due to a cyber attack. Parent company A.P. Moller-Maersk’s systems were also down for a few days because of the digital attack. The Danish shipping company lost 250 to 300 million dollar as a result, according to the annual report of 2017. Despite this, the company’s turnover increased compared to the previous year.
The consolidated turnover of the shipping company amounts to 30,945 million dollar. Maersk Line, the group’s container shipping company, recorded a turnover of 24,299 million dollar. The acquired German shipping company, Hamburg Süd, had a share of 458 million dollar in that. This contribution was recorded at the time the takeover was finalised in November 2017. Turnover increased for both Maersk Line and for the complete group. Maersk Line recorded a turnover of 20,715 million dollar over 2016. A.P. Moller-Maersk recorded a turnover of 27,266 million dollar.
Below the line, the total result was in the red. The company recorded a loss of 1,164 million dollar, primarily as a result of worse performances by the APM Terminals and Damco divisions. For these divisions a loss was recorded. The underlying result, an accounting calculation in which the once-only costs and profits are excluded, does result in positive figures. Looking at this entry, the group records a profit of 356 million dollar. This is mostly a result of a better performance by Maersk Line, which makes a profit after loss-making year 2016. A negative impact was also recorded, and the cyber attack during the third quarter was seen in the results. Besides, interest costs increased, and fluctuations in exchange rates had a negative influence on results.
Millions lost after cyber attackIn June, the company was struck by a cyber attack by the NotPetya malware. This malware damaged systems of multiple companies throughout the world, and also brought systems of Maersk Line and APM Terminals to a standstill. “We quickly recovered, but A.P.Moller-Maersk suffered a loss between 250 and 300 million dollar in a short period,” according to the shipping company in the annual report. Looking back, it took a week after the malware infiltrated Maersk’s network before the first positive reports appeared. “The recovery of the systems is going well,” Maersk Line’s website reported on 3 July, a week after the attack. The first important applications were online again, and the system was once again stable. E-mail traffic could also be resumed. A complete recovery of the systems would take several days.
It’s not surprising Maersk mentions a cyber attack as an operational risk with a relatively high probability in its annual report. The recovery of the systems came at a steep cost. The company has now taken several initiatives to improve safety of the digital environment and IT structures.
Takeover Hamburg Süd increases market shareIn November, the takeover of Hamburg Süd, which was announced in December 2016, was finalised. Since then, integration of the shipping company within Maersk has been worked on. The company hopes to be able to profit of synergies among the shipping companies, but doesn’t turn a blind eye to the possible risks of this integration. For now, volumes and the Hamburg Süd brand are maintained.The integration should be finalised this year.
“By combining the strengths of the two companies, customers will get better and more extensive service with a better market coverage, direct services and other benefits of a global network,” according to Maersk in its annual report. The rich history and ‘proud legacy’ of the two shipping companies is also mentioned. Due to the takeover, Maersk Line’s market share increases by about 19 per cent, and capacity now amounts to 4.1 million TEU. The takeover will mostly increase presence on the North-South routes, and is also expected to lead to an increase for APM Terminals.
The Danish shipping company had 282,000 reefer containers at its disposal, and 83,250 reefers from Hamburg Süd are now added to that. In total, the fleet of the combined shipping companies consists of 786 boats, including owned boats and chartered ones. Maersk’s share in this is 680 boats, Hamburg Süd has the remaining 106 boats in its fleet.
Positive signs, further consolidationAlthough the container market gave off positive signs after a weak 2016, it continues to be a challenging market with a surplus in capacity on a global fleet. The sector responds to this continuous overcapacity with further consolidation. COSCO made a bid on OOCL, A.P. Moller-Maersk acquired Hamburg Süd, and UASC and Hapag Lloyd wrapped up their merger in 2017. Besides, Japanese shipping companies NYK, K Line and MOL are still working on a joint venture, which is expected to be presented this year.
Because of the wave of takeovers, which started with the merger of Hapag Lloyd and CSAV in 2014, a larger part of the market is concentrated in a smaller group of shipping companies. While the five largest shipping companies controlled 45 per cent of the market in 2014, this share will increase to 64 per cent after the merger of COSCO and OOCL and the Japanese joint venture.
For the future, the Danish shipping company is looking towards the parcel services such as DHL, UPS and FedEx, and uses that sector as an example. “Within three to five years, it should be just as easy to ship a container across the world as it is for consumers to ship a parcel using one of the parcel services nowadays.” To achieve that goal, the company wants to digitise even more, and thus change the container market.
Container market growing, shipping companies order more boatsDemand for containers increased by five per cent last year. That increase was mostly visible in the first three quarters of the year. This growth levelled off in the final quarter. The strong growth figures are partially a recovery after the weak first months of 2016. Besides, it’s going better economically all over the world. Demand for containers on the East-West route was stable last year. Larger import demand from the US and a strong growth in that country boosted that demand. European import also showed a rising line as a result of the better economic climate.
On the North-South routes, some regions in South America and Africa in particular showed a considerable growth. This development reflects an economic stabilisation in countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Nigeria, although this followed several years in which a decline was noted. The Chinese import was on the rise during the first quarter of 2017, but levelled off in the second half of the year. The import followed the general trend of the Chinese economy because of that. Besides, stricter contamination regulations in Northern China and a restriction on the import of rubbish and waste material negatively influenced import figures.
A global container capacity of 21 million TEU was available at the end of last year. That is 3.1 per cent more than a year earlier. As in previous years, newly built boats were dominated by large ships of more than 10,000 TEU. At the beginning of the year in particular, boats were also taken out of use. In total, 427,000 TEU, over 161 boats, was taken out of use.
Last year, more boats sailed the oceans. In 2016, 6.9 per cent of global capacity was idle, last year this was only 1.8 per cent. During the first half of last year, shipping companies placed considerably more orders for new boats. In total, 107 new boats were ordered, good for 671,000 TEU.
Feb 2, 2018 - Rotterdam Authority and IBM announced on Jan. 31 that they will collaboration on a multi-year digitization initiative to transform the port’s operational environment using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the cloud. As the largest port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam handles over 461 million tons of cargo and more than 140,000 vessels annually. Previously the port relied on traditional radio and radar communication between captains, pilots, terminal operators, tugboats and more to make key decision on port operations.
Jan 30, 2018 - 40-foot standard containers are the most frequently used sea containers worldwide. With internal dimensions of roughly 12 by 2.3 by 2.4 metres, they have a loading volume of 65m3 and a cargo load of up to some 26 tonnes. Unloading these containers is heavy work, still mainly carried out manually in the world’s ports.
Jan 4, 2018 - DHL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider, has been named 2018 Top Employer for Asia Pacific as well as eight countries in the region: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
The award was conferred by Top Employers Institute, a global organisation recognising excellence in employee conditions, making this the fourth consecutive year that DHL Express has received the award. This further establishes the company as a regional leader in employment practices and talent development, with a workplace culture built on respect, recognition and equal opportunities.
“The DHL culture is built on the two R’s – Respect and Results. When we value our employees, and provide them with opportunities to achieve, we’re able to deliver the world-class results that our customers rely on to grow their businesses,” said DHL Express Asia Pacific CEO Ken Lee. “It is an honour to be acknowledged as a leading employer and an excellent workplace in Asia Pacific once again, and a testament to the hard work and effort that all our employees invest in really making DHL Express a byword for excellence.”
The Top Employer award has consistently recognised DHL Express’ sustained investment in talent growth, including its Certified International Specialist (CIS) and Certified International Manager (CIM) programmes that have trained over 43,000 employees in Asia Pacific. Nearly 75 percent of executive positions in the region end up being filled by internal candidates thanks to the company’s talent development initiatives, and women hold one in three management roles in DHL Express.“Diversity in leadership and the workplace help us better understand the full range of our customers’ needs and stories – resulting in more effective service for their businesses,” said DHL Express Asia Pacific Human Resources Senior Vice President A. Mateen. “Thanks to a strong diversity management framework in place, coupled with comprehensive feedback from our annual Employee Opinion Survey, we’ve established a workplace culture where everyone has not only a voice, but also the opportunity to grow to their full potential.”
This year, DHL Express was also named Best Employer 2017 for Asia Pacific and nine other countries region-wide, as well as ‘Best Employer for Women in the Workplace’ in South Korea and Taiwan, by human capital firm Aon Hewitt. The Great Place to Work Institute also recognised DHL Express as one of the ‘Best Multinational Workplaces in Asia’ for five countries as well as the broader Asia Pacific region.
DHL Express Sri Lanka Country Manager Dimithri Perera commenting on Sri Lanka’s contribution towards this overall recognition said: “We are proud that in the year 2017, DHL Express was adjudged a Top 25 ‘Best Companies to Work for in Sri Lanka’ and also won the Maiden award for ‘Best Multinational Corporation in Sri Lanka’ as well as the prestigious Gold award for ‘Best in Medium-Sized Enterprise Category in Sri Lanka’ awarded by Great Place to Work Institute. These awards have contributed to DHL Express in Asia Pacific earning continuous recognition as one of the most inspiring and rewarding places to work where people can unlock their potential and deliver value to our clients.”
“The success of any logistics operation depends on the skill, adaptability, and resilience of its people, translated across numerous cultures and geographies,” added Ken Lee. “At DHL Express, we’re committed to creating an environment where all employees can thrive and grow. We’re extremely proud to have nearly doubled the number of awards for our culture and workplace this year compared to 2016: Each award encourages us to keep working towards a more inclusive, effective, and empathetic culture in every market where we do business.”
Dec 21, 2017 - A coalition of tech start-ups is using blockchain to build a database of small tea farmers in Malawi to improve supply chain transparency. The tool, which is being piloted by both Unilever and Sainsbury’s as well as several international banks, uses a number of different technologies to gather and record standardised information on small farmers and producers, including quality and price.
Dec 20, 2017 - Delays in collecting containers from the Ports of Auckland is costing the road freight transport industry and their customers, and end consumers could ultimately pay the price. The introduction of automated straddle carriers by the Port has reduced the working area at the container terminal and queue jumping by some trucking companies is creating delays of up to three hours for a truck to pick up a container.
As a result, the road freight transport industry is looking at charging customers for the time trucks sit idle at the Port, waiting to pick up containers.
In the past trucks have usually only had to wait 20 to 30 minutes to pick up a container, but the continued growth in container freight of between five and ten per cent a year is putting more pressure on the Port’s operations.
National Road Carriers CEO David Aitken says the issue has been building for years but recent increases in wait times mean it is reaching the stage where the industry may have to act.
“The time is coming when the industry as a whole may agree to charge for waiting time which will add to costs for end consumers.”
The problem is a complex one, he said, with no easy fix.
While the road transport industry is calling for the Port to be transparent around its booking system and not let some drivers push in when they do not have a slot booked to pick up a container, the solution is not that simple.
“Our industry and customers also have to be more organised and plan ahead at least 24 hours when they ask us to pick-up a container,” said Mike Herrick, the Managing Director of TDL Ltd.
The industry is incurring increased costs with more staff working shifts to pick-up containers at night, as well as the cost of the delays.
Passing costs on to customers when they can no longer be absorbed is becoming a real possibility.
“It’s been happening in Australia for a long time. It has become an acceptable part of the costs of doing business there,” said Top Tranz Ltd Managing Director Marcus de Kort.
“The delays have become the norm,” said Barry Mackenzie, the Managing Director of Philpott Airfreight Ltd. “It’s very frustrating. I know the Port has got to provide a service to the ships and turn them around promptly, but they should also be providing a better service to us.”
“Sometimes the boats are late arriving, but there is no space to store containers,” said. “Yes, there will be a bit more room when the updated automation process has finished, but the freight volume is increasing all the time.”
Mr Mackenzie said there were often queues of trucks, but straddle carriers to load the containers onto them were sitting idle without drivers, compounding the delay problem.
“The space is jammed with containers, often they have to shift three or four to get the one we are picking up.”
The Port operates a booking system, so transport companies can reserve a time to pick-up a nominated container. Only so many slots are available each hour, with some flexibility allowed due to Auckland’s increasing traffic congestion.
“But if the system starts running behind time it can never catch up,” said Mr de Kort. “If a truck sits idle for two to three hours its work schedule for the rest of the day is disrupted and it can’t meet other commitments during the day.”
Larger companies had more resources to juggle against hold-ups at the Port said Mr Herrick, but smaller fleets could often not deploy a different truck to do a job originally scheduled for the one held up at the Port.
“The problem is certainly worse at the moment with the pre-Christmas peak,” said Mr de Kort. But when the Port reduced staff numbers at off peak periods the problem has continued.
With exports expected to reach their annual peak volume early in 2018 the delays at the Port are expected to continue.
“When we moved to night shifts, the problem was solved for a while,” said Mr Herrick. “But now we operate 24/7 five days a week, with shorter hours at the weekend.”
Complicating the process are the different booking systems used by the Port, the Metro Port at Te Papapa and the six-empty container depots around the city where containers are stored in between use.
National Road Carriers Association is the largest nationwide organisation representing companies involved in the road transport industry. It has 1700 members, who collectively operate 15,000 trucks throughout New Zealand.
| A National Road Carriers Association release || December 19, 2017 |||
Dec 12, 2017 - A record 4.754 million tonnes of cargo crossed the port’s wharves in the year to 30 September, up from 3.916 million tonnes in 2016. Container volumes grew 12% to a record 288,444 TEU. Log exports also hit a new high, with 1.63 million tonnes exported through Napier – a 35% increase on last year’s record. Napier Port has released its annual results for the 2017 financial year, reporting record cargo volumes and a strong financial result.
“It’s been an historic year for Napier Port,” said Chief Executive Garth Cowie. “We faced a major challenge in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake, and I’m proud of the way our people stepped up.
Napier Port saw a significant and unexpected spike in cargo following the quake on 14 November 2016, as containers were rerouted to Napier.
“Essentially, we saw six years’ forecast growth in one year. The release of our annual results is a chance to reflect on the magnitude of that feat. Absorbing that level of unexpected growth without compromising safety or service is a big task, but our people took it in their stride. It’s a real testament to the calibre of our people and our culture.”
It’s not the only major feat for the port this year. The Ovation of the Seas’ maiden call on January 5th saw the giant liner break the record for the largest ship ever to berth at Napier Port.
“We’ve had a fantastic cruise season, and the Ovation’s call was undoubtedly the highlight. It really showed what we’re capable of achieving, and it was great to have such strong support from our tourism partners and our local community.”
More than 125,000 passengers and crew visited Napier over the 2016-2017 season, bringing around $20 million into the local economy. Those numbers are set to grow, with around 150,000 passengers and crew expected this season.
The port’s onsite packing facility, Port Pack, also continued its growth trend this year, with 48,310 TEU containers handled over the course of the year.
“Port Pack now accounts for nearly a third of Napier Port’s containerised full export throughput, and has grown into one of the biggest packing facilities in New Zealand.”
Napier Port delivered an exceptional financial result, reporting a record $16.7 million net profit after tax, up 46% on last year, while delivering $10.7 million in dividends to its sole shareholder, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company. It invested $18.7 million in capital projects and equipment, including land holdings in Pandora and Whakatu and specialist studies to support its application for resource consent to build a new wharf.
The resource consent application for its proposed 6 Berth Development and Dredging Project was submitted to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council yesterday, and is a crucial element in Napier Port’s future strategy.
“Hawke’s Bay’s economy is in growth mode, and we’re forecast to see cargo volumes nearly double over the next decade, while ship size is also forecast to grow. Having a sixth wharf in place will strengthen our connection to global markets and ensure Hawke’s Bay can continue to thrive and maintain its enduring relevance.” View the full report here.
With export demand climbing steadily, Napier Port is currently planning to develop a new wharf to accommodate larger ships and cargo demand. For more information on the proposed development, see http://projects.napierport.co.nz/the-project