Scorpio Bulkers Places $1.2 Billion Order Like It’s No Big Deal

100+ gCaptain ⚓ Maritime & Offshore News by Rob Almeida  /  11h  //  keep unread  //  hide
bulk carrier iron ore loading australiaBulk carrier loading iron ore, file image (c) Shutterstock/Teun van den Dries

In an emailed statement this morning that didn’t include any executive commentary, Scorpio Bulkers Inc. (NYSE: SALT) announced $1,171 million in newbuilding contracts for twenty Capesize and two Kamsarmax bulk carriers.  The ships and the builders are listed below:

YARD                                                     DWT       Delivery 
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q1-15   
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q2-15   
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q3-15   
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q4-15   
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q1-16   
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q2-16   
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd              180,000      Q3-16   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q2-15   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q3-15   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q3-15   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q3-15   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q4-15   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q4-15   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q1-16   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q1-16   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q2-16   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q2-16   
Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd    180,000      Q2-16   
Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A.                  180,000      Q1-16   
Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A.                  180,000      Q2-16   
Hudong-Zhonghua (Group) Co., Ltd                       82,000       Q1-16   
Hudong-Zhonghua (Group) Co., Ltd                       82,000       Q2-16

In a phone call this morning with Jonathan Chappell, Managing Director at Evercore Partners he wasn’t surprised at all by Scorpio’s move.

“It’s their MO.  Following their IPO last month they have the access to capital and appear to be doing the same thing with Scorpio Bulkers that they did with Scorpio Tankers.”

Will the dry bulk market of 2015 and 2016 have the demand to support 3.4 million dwt in additional capacity?

Jay Goodgal from Castalia Advisors says no in his November 26 editorial, “Too Many Bloody Ships.”  He writes: ”With bulk carrier newbuild deliveries combined with the “shadow supply” of tonnage, the world dry bulk fleet will have over 32 percent in excess fleet capacity over the next few years depending upon market circumstances.”

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Shareholders Back Struggling Dubai Shipowner Gulf Navigation

gCaptain ⚓ Maritime & Offshore News by Reuters  /  10h  //  keep unread  //  hide
gulf sheba tankerImage: Gulf Navigation

DUBAI, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Dubai’s Gulf Navigation received shareholder backing to continue operating as well as approval for measures aimed at fixing its long-standing debt problems, including a write-off of accumulated losses and a convertible bond issue.

Dubai’s only listed crude shipper has been in negotiations with creditors for months after an ambitious expansion plan at the end of the last decade crippled the company as oversupply hit the oil tanker business and transportation rates plummeted.

Shareholders agreed to a motion at a board meeting on Jan. 5 that the business would continue as a going concern and would not be dissolved, a statement to the Dubai stock exchange said on Monday.

Under market regulations in the United Arab Emirates, such a question must be put to shareholders if accumulated losses surpass 50 percent of the company’s share capital, which it did in the third quarter of 2013.

Shareholders approved writing off these accumulated losses, totalling 1.1 billion dirhams ($299.5 million), by reducing Gulf Navigation’s capital – an oft-used accountancy technique where a firm will use its own capital base to expunge its debts.

The sale of two very large crude carriers (VLCC) – Gulf Sheba and Gulf Eyada – ships at the heart of the firm’s failed expansion plan, was also approved.

Local press reports have previously stated the company was in talks to sell the vessels but the process had been complicated by creditors’ claims against them.

In October, it had both its supertankers seized in separate incidents after creditors sought their arrest for due payments.

Other measures agreed to by shareholders include a convertible bond sale worth up to $130 million and the increase in the cap on foreign ownership of shares in the company to 49 percent.

All resolutions still require the approval of the Dubai Department of Economic Development and the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, the statement added.

It was the third time Gulf Navigation had sought approval for the measures, with two previous meetings on November 28 and December ruled invalid due to a lack of legal quorum.

Shares in Gulf Navigation fell 6.9 percent on Monday, their sixth decline in the last seven sessions. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Louise Heavens)

(c) 2014 Thomson Reuters, All Rights Reserved

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Damen PSV 3300: A Diamond in the Rough

Damen PSV 3300: A Diamond in the Rough

By Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
Monday, January 06, 2014, 10:22 AM
File

The platform supply vessel World Diamond was delivered by Damen Shipyards, Galati, on June 28, 2013, to World Wide Supply. The PSV was built to a completely new and distinctive design from Damen, and World Diamond is the first of six PSVs for the Norwegian owner. The vessel is capable of worldwide operations and its construction involved close cooperation with Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, The Netherlands, which provided engineering and main equipment.
The PSV 3300 represents a new era in Damen’s offshore supply vessel story, having been built to a new design as part of a major extension in the yard group’s offshore portfolio.
The 80.1m PSV 3300 will undertake crew and materials transport to and from offshore platforms but also offers firefighting and oil pollution recovery capability. Equipped with azimuthing thrusters and for dynamic positioning (DP2), the design is distinguished by slender hull lines to meet challenging conditions and minimised fuel consumption, as well as enhanced crew comfort.
World Diamond is the first delivery of the PSV 3300, developed after extensive CFD studies and hull testing at Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) to verify the results. Built to Damen’s “E3” principles, the vessel is distinguished by its sleek bow, slender hull lines and diesel electric propulsion with azimuth stern drives. This combination has been developed to minimize slamming and to balance a relatively high cargo intake with low fuel consumption, not only in calm water but also in rough seas. The azimuthing thrusters with ducted propellers in conjunction with the bow thrusters are designed to provide accurate station keeping. The vessel features DP2 capability as well as newly designed anti-roll tanks, while smooth surfaces and a distinct lack of angles, lines and recesses also have a positive effect on the durability of coatings. Other notable features of design include a new sheltered foredeck and an optimized superstructure for crew comfort, while the steel-welded wheelhouse is mounted on top of the deckhouse to ensure an optimal view in all directions.
World Diamond is powered by a diesel electric solution with Tier II-compliant Caterpillar engines; two C3512 generator sets in combination with two C32 TTA generator sets. The gensets are connected to a waste heat recovery system, greatly reducing fuel costs for heating of accommodation, tank cleaning and other purposes. The vessel is provided with a state-of-the-art Integrated Automation System (IAS) that incorporates a redundant topology reflecting the vessels design intent.

 
Main Particulars – World Diamond
Owner    World Wide Supply
Flag    Norwegian
Classification    Lloyd’s Register
Dwt    3,500 t
Length o.a.    80.03 m
Length b.p.p.    74.75 m
Beam    16.2 m
Depth (molded)    7.5 m
Max Draft    6.15 m
Gross tonnage    3,832 GT
Deck cargo    1,520 t
Cargo area    728 sq. m.
Fuel oil (service)    454 cu. m.
Potable water    817 cu. m.
Ballast capacity    1,694 cu. m.
Liquid mud/Brine    869 cu. m.
Fuel oil/base oil    869 cu. m.
Dry bulk    259 cu. m.
Speed    13.7 knots
Main engines    Diesel-Electric, 690 V, 60 Hz
Propulsion power    2x 1500 ekW
Propellers    2x 2300 mm, FPP, Azimuth in nozzle
Bow thrusters    2x 735 ekW, 1740 mm, FPP
Exhaust gas cleaning    SCR systems on all main generator engines for effective NOx reduction
Ballast water    Ballast water treatment system

Deck Lay Out
Anchor mooring winch    1x electric-hydraulic, with two mooring rope drums and warping heads
Capstans    2x each 5 t pull
Deck crane    1x 1.5 t at 16 m (harbor)
Tugger winch    2x each 10 t pull

Cargo Handling Systems
Fuel oil/base oil pumps    2x 150 cu. m./hr at 90 m head
Fresh water pumps    2x 150 cu. m./hr at 90 m head
Drill water pumps    2x 150 cu. m./hr at 90 m head
Liquid mud / brine pumps    2x 75 cu. m./hr at 85 m head
Dry bulk compressor    2x 75 t/hr at 80 m head
Fire fighting (optional)    2400 cu. m./hr + water spray system

Accomodation
Crew    16 persons
Passengers    6 persons
Bridge system    Alphatron
Dynamic Positioning    Marine Technologies
Bow thrusters    Schottel
Waste heat recovery system     Ulmatec
Silencers    Axces
SCR installation    HUH
Electrical installation    Eekels
Engine generator set    Caterpillar
Alternator generator set    Leroy Somer
Valves and fittings    Econosto, PCC
Pumps     Allweiler
Bilge water separator     Facet
Purifier     Alfa Laval
Heat exchanger     Alfa Laval
Freshwater pressure set    Sterling Sihi
Hot water calorifiers     Ulmatec
Fresh water generator     Alfa Laval
Vacuum toilet system     Jets
Sewage treatment    BioCompact G&O (TBU)
Remote tank sounding     AE Sensors
HVAC system    Johnson Controls
Emergency generator set    Caterpillar
Dry bulk system     Alphatechnique
Liquid mud agitators    Allweiler
Cargo control systems     Hoglund
Cargo pumps    Allweiler
External fire-fighting pumps    Nijhuis
Fixed installation for internal fire fighting    MX Consoles    Alphatron
Galley equipment    Bouter
Navigational equipment    Alphatron
Windows    Van Wingerden
Window wipers    Wynn
Paint    International Paint

 

(As published in the December2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News –www.marinelink.com)

Maersk’s Mammoth Containerships Making History

By Maritime Reporter & Engineering News

Monday, January 06, 2014, 10:00 AM
File

Photographs of Maersk Line’s 18,000 TEU ships are flooding in from ports around the world as the carrier phases its giant new vessels phase into the AE10 string between Asia and North Europe.  It’s a “Where’s Waldo” with maritime characteristics. Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, Rotterdam, Aarhus, Gdansk – the giant Triple-E Class ships are making history with each port call and tugboats with water cannons firing have been rolling out the aquatic red carpet.
Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller was the first of 20 Triple-Es ordered by the carrier and it sailed into service with much fanfare on June 28. In August she was followed by Majestic Maersk, and Mary Maersk was scheduled to join the fleet in mid-September.
Five of the giant vessels will be in service before New Year celebrations begin and by 2015 all 20 will be in business, an incredible 360,000 TEU of capacity shuttling between Asia and North Europe.
While the trend is big (and since this ship entered service, several carriers have announced deals for even bigger ships) the biggest and best comes at a price, and the first 10 ships cost Maersk Line $190 million each. The carrier expects optimization and energy improvements to the second 10 should see the price dropping to an average of $185 million per ship. Raw materials comprise most of the cost with each vessel requiring 55,000 tons of steel.
Despite initial resistance to slow steaming, shippers have grown accustomed to longer voyage times and have adapted their supply chains accordingly. Guaranteed times have replaced speed, even though it now takes six days longer than in 2008 to ship containers from Shanghai to North Europe.
The two-propeller engine that can push the Triple-Es to 23 knots while operating at slower speeds gives the ship an operational sweet spot lower than the Emma Maersk. Design improvements see the engines in the second batch of 10 vessels reduced from eight cylinders to seven cylinders. The more efficient engines make low fuel consumption one of the Triple-Es greatest advantages. Compared to the 13,000 TEU ships of competitors, vessels of 18,000 TEU are believed to burn around 35% less fuel per container. In fact, Maersk said the vessels will burn 30,000-35,000 tons of fuel a year, which over their lifetime will be close to three times the price of the ship. As fuel accounts for well over half of all voyage costs, this kind of fuel economy is a powerful incentive for ordering the new generation of container ships.
The main drivers behind building the Triple E in the first place were to achieve greater container capacity and better fuel efficiency. Its “Triple-E” moniker refers to economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmental improvements made possible through advances in ship design and technology. At 400 m, the ships are just four m longer than E-class vessels (Emma Maersk) yet can carry 2,500 more containers. An expanded inside cavity in a wider hull with a more bulbous bow allows the additional 16% of boxes to be piled in without significantly increasing the draft. Moving the navigation bridge and accommodation five bays forward and the engine room and chimney six rows back created more space. Despite the increase in container capacity, the Triple-Es will only be one row wider than the E-class ships, 23 rows as opposed to 22. This means the ships can be handled with cranes currently in use in the hub ports.
Maersk believes its 20 Triple-Es will be enough new capacity for the next few years and has long since declined to exercise an option for a third round of 10 Triple-Es.
(As published in the December2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News –www.marinelink.com)

New Bulk Carrier from Imabari Offers Unique Advantages

By Maritime Reporter & Engineering News

Monday, January 06, 2014, 10:15 AM
File

Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. completed the 95,000 DWT bulk carrier, Raga at its Marugame Shipyard. The bulk carrier is unique in that it has adopted a next-generation superstructure called the Aero-Citadel, which according to the shipyard offers significant advantages in both air resistance and antipiracy measures.
The Aero-Citadel has slimly streamlined shape and includes the accommodation quarters, engine room and funnel casing. This superstructure can reduce the wind pressure during navigation by 25-30% based on wind tunnel testing. For example, a Capesize bulk carrier navigating at normal output against about 9m/sec head wind (Beaufort 5 class) will have fuel consumption decreased by 2%. Moreover, the new design incorporates marine use LED lighting in the accommodation and engine room lighting systems, which reduces the electric power required for lighting by about 50%.
The slim, streamlined shape facilitates turning of the bow of the ship toward windward during anchorage and decreases the risk of anchor dragging. All stairs are placed inside the superstructure as an anti-piracy measure, and the entrance on the lower level deck has thick reinforced steel doors. The accommodation windows are bulletproof, and water cannons are placed on the upper deck to prevent pirate incursions into the accommodation. A citadel facility is provided as a refuge area in the superstructure that can accommodate all the crew for several days, protected by double-layer security doors. The facility is also equipped with communication devices usable even in case of blackout, and ship maneuvering equipment such as stop main engine and steering controls, and can gather information about the ship’s status including video images and sound. Imabari Shipbuilding believes that the next-generation superstructure Aero-Citadel should be applied to all possible types of vessels. The accommodation design also includes features in accordance with the SOLAS MLC2006 requirements which will come into effect in near future, such as strengthened noise insulation and vibration counter measure. Improved living conditions for crewmembers are provided and the wheelhouse has widened backward view for safer navigation.
Name    Raga
Type    Bulk Carrier
Shipbuilder    Imabari Shipbuilding
Shipowner    Higaki Sangyo Kaisha
Length, o.a.    234.9m
Length, b.p.    227m
Breadth    38m
Depth    19.9m
DWT/GT    95,666/50,615
Main engine    Hitachi-MAN B&W 6S60ME-C
(Mark 8) diesel x 1 unit
MCR    12,950kW x 101min-1
NCR    11,010kW x 95.7min-1
Speed, Service:     15 knots
Complement    25
Classification    NK
Registry    Panama
(As published in the December2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News –www.marinelink.com)

  • Imbari combines fuel efficiency and anti-piracy into its sleek next-generation superstructure Aero Citadel.  This superstructure can reduce the wind pressure during  navigation by 25-30% based on wind tunnel testing.Imbari combines fuel efficiency and anti-piracy into its sleek next-generation superstructure Aero Citadel. This superstructure can reduce the wind pressure during navigation by 25-30% based on wind tunnel testing.

Chinese Warship Arrives in Cyprus

Naval Today >> The industry’s seaborne news provider by Naval Today  /  7h  //  keep unread  //  hide
Chinese Warship Arrives in CyprusCHINESE WARSHIP YANCHENG

A Chinese warship arrived in Cyprus on Saturday, (January 4, 2014) as part of the international mission to remove chemical weapons from the country, Reuters writes.

Norwegian and Danish convoy is currently in international waters off Syria and waiting for the Chinese frigate Yancheng to begin removing the weapons.

The convoy missed the previous deadline on December 31st because of the weather conditions and the ongoing conflict in Syria, as media reports.

Russia is participating in the mission of removing the weapons, by escorting two cargo ships with chemical weapons on board en route to waters near Italy.

The Cyprus defence minister, Photis Photiou, said that he expects the operation to start in the coming days.
Naval Today Staff, January 06, 2014; Image: Flickr

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Coast Guard Cutter, Bulk Carrier Collide on Lake Michigan

MarineLink.com

Monday, January 06, 2014, 11:39 AM
File Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock continues breaking ice as it transits to St. Ignace, Mich., to undergo a full damage assessment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock continues breaking ice as it transits to St. Ignace, Mich., to undergo a full damage assessment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The U.S. Coast Guard reported that Cutter Hollyhock, a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Port Huron, Mich., was involved in a collision with a 990-foot bulk carrier in northern Lake Michigan Sunday morning. The Hollyhock was conducting an ice escort at the time of the collision.

At about 10:45 a.m., the Hollyhock was breaking ice in front of the motor vessel Mesabi Miner during when the collision occurred. The cutter’s crew reported significant damage to the stern and fantail, as well as two punctures in the hull about 20 feet above the waterline. The crew of the Mesabi Miner, en route to Gary, Ind., reported a 12-inch crack in the bow about 4 feet above the waterline and said the bow is pushed in about 8-12 inches.

No pollution or injuries have been reported concerning the incident and neither vessel has reported any flooding.

The Hollyhock arrived and moored up in St. Ignace, Mich., at about 8:30 p.m., Sunday. It is currently undergoing a complete damage assessment. The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug, homeported in St. Ignace, escorted the Hollyhock as a precaution.

The Mesabi Miner will unload its cargo in Gary, Ind., and then the damage and planned repairs will be assessed.

uscgnews.com

  • Both the Hollyhock and the Mesabi Miner were damaged in the collision but were able to continue underway. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)Both the Hollyhock and the Mesabi Miner were damaged in the collision but were able to continue underway. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Today in U.S. Naval History: January 6

MarineLink.com

Monday, January 06, 2014, 11:55 AM
File USS Hopper. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach
USS Hopper. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach

Today in U.S. Naval History – January 6

1916 – First enlisted flight training class at Pensacola, Fla.

1942 – Japanese capture 11 Navy Nurses in Manila, Philippines

1967- Operation Deckhouse V begins in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

1996 – USS Hopper, named for R.Adm. Grace Hopper, launched.

For more information about naval history, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website at history.navy.mil.

Sea Shepherd and Japanese Whaling Fleet Hook Up in Southern Ocean Sanctuary

100+ gCaptain ⚓ Maritime & Offshore News by Mike Schuler  /  5h  //  keep unread  //  hide
news-140105-1-3-Nisshin-Maru-0014179-800wAerial shot released by Sea Shepherd of the Nisshin Maru factory ship operating in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Image courtesy Sea Shepherd Australia

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has located the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, kicking off what is sure to be another season of clashes in the remote antarctic waters.

In a statement Monday, the anti-whaling group said that the Sea Shepherd Australia fleet has located all five vessels of Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research whaling fleet including the factory ship, Nisshin Maru, at 64°44′ S, 162°34′ W, an area that is inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

“The Steve Irwin, The Bob Barker and The Sam Simon are now in pursuit of the whaling fleet, driving them away from their intended poaching grounds, disrupting their illegal hunt, and preparing to shut down their whale-killing operations,” the Sea Shepherd statement said.

The statement also contained graphic aerial images and video showing at least three Minke Whales on the deck of the Nisshin Maru allegedly captured inside the sanctuary, which Sea Shepherd is using to spark criticism of the Australian government’s broken pre-election promise to send a customs ship to monitor Japanese whaling in the area.

“The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary has been tainted by the illegal slaughter of these beautiful and majestic Minke Whales by the ruthless, violent and barbaric actions of the Japanese whale poachers,” said Sea Shepherd Australia Managing Director, Jeff Hansen. “One thing is for sure, Sea Shepherd will do what ever it takes to ensure no more whales have to endure pain and suffering at the hands of these whale butchers from Japan.”

RELATED: Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd Are Pirates, U.S. Court Says

Sea Shepherd Australia departed Hobart in December -sans Captain Paul Watson- on their tenth Southern Ocean anti-whaling campaign, this year titled “Operation Relentless”, with the goal of directly intervening against the operations of the Japanese whaling fleet.

While the brutality of the Japanese fleet is almost impossible to deny, the legality of their actions is still heavily disputed in court systems from the United States to Australia and New Zealand, with Sea Shepherd arguing that Japan is skirting a 1986 law prohibiting commercial whaling in the sanctuary on the grounds of ‘scientific research’.

Last year, the Sea Shepherd fleet was involved in numerous particularly aggressive confrontations -including collisions and hurling acid- with the Japanese whaling fleet and the refueling tanker, Sun Laurel.

The group’s dangerous tactics have sparked harsh criticism from many in the maritime community and even led a U.S. judge to rule that some of their actions amount to acts of piracy.

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Felixstowe’s Pain is Gateway’s Gain as Gales Lash U.K. Coast

gCaptain ⚓ Maritime & Offshore News by The Loadstar  /  4h  //  keep unread  //  hide
MOL Caledon docked at DP World's London Gateway, November 7, 2013, becoming the first ship to call at the new 'super port'. Image credit: London Gateway via TwitterMOL Caledon docked at DP World’s London Gateway, November 7, 2013, becoming the first ship to call at the new ‘super port’. Image credit: London Gateway via Twitter

By Mike Wackett

With the UK buffeted by a succession of storms, it has been an ill wind that has blown London Gateway some good over the festive period with DP World’s £1.5bn investment receiving ad-hoc calls from Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe service, plus an MSC ship and a feeder vessel.

High winds caused havoc at Hutchison-operated Felixstowe port over the Christmas and new year period, with some ships being diverted to the more sheltered Thames-sited London Gateway.

Read: Force 10 Storm Aims for UK and Norwegian Offshore Oil Platforms

Maersk Line, which already has a contract with London Gateway through its membership of the weekly South Africa-Europe SAECS service, diverted its 5,500teu Nedlloyd Drake, which operates on the carrier’s AE7 loop. The vessel arrived at London Gateway in the early hours of December 23 and left on Christmas Eve after having discharged 15 20ft and 82 40ft containers for transhipment to UK east coast feeder ports.

This prompted Dutch feeder operator BG Freight Line to call on December 27 with its 330teu feeder vessel Cetus J to relay boxes.

Another coup for the fledgling container terminal was MSC’s decision to send its South Africa-serving MSC Rita to London Gateway, which was able to move onto a berth on January 5 after the departure of the SAECS vessel MOL Caledon. MSC Rita departed in the early hours of today destined for Hamburg.

Meanwhile, with Felixstowe likely to experience further delays and congestion, both on the berth and landside, Maersk has decided to divert the much larger 8,452teu Maersk Seville to London Gateway. It arrived direct from Port Said this morning to discharge around 2,000 boxes for UK destinations.

This is some four times more than the weekly SAECS discharge and will demand a massive realignment of the transport network and put the supply chain under a great deal of pressure. However, Maersk may have considered it a better option than the boxes potentially being stuck on the quay at Felixstowe until the backlog is eased.

But for the industry, perhaps the biggest surprise was seeing an MSC ship at London Gateway – it is a major breakthrough for the DP World facility and suggests that although the port did not figure in the P3 proforma itinerary, it may yet have a role to play in the alliance’s final plans.

It was always the case that winning the relatively small SAECS business from neighbouring Tilbury was, with no disrespect to the South African service, just part of London Gateway’s long-term strategy; it was signing up the members, especially Maersk and MOL, that was the bigger goal.

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