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Month: November 2017

Rail has saved New Zealand $1.5 billion a year, study shows

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the report showed the benefits of investing in rail.

STUFF
Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the report showed the benefits of investing in rail.

New Zealand’s rail network has save the country $1.5 billion by reducing congestion wait times, accidents and emissions, a report has found.

The total cost avoided by having passengers off the roads and on rail was $1.19b alone, according to consultancy firm EY.

Their report was produced in 2016, commissioned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) but the former government never released it.

A year-old study, just released by the Government, shows $1.5b in savings of congestion and safety incidents, by having ...

STUFF
A year-old study, just released by the Government, shows $1.5b in savings of congestion and safety incidents, by having a rail network.

New Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the study supported further investment in rail, and reinforced the Government’s plans to do so.

EY found the net benefits provided by passenger rail amounted to $1.2b in savings from reduced congestion, $8.2m in safety benefits and $3m in reduced emissions.

For freight, there was an estimated total net benefit of $354m.

“The implications of these findings for passenger rail is that the support it receives from subsidies (central and local government) is highly likely to be acceptable because passenger rail is calculated to add significant value by reducing congestion on Auckland and Wellington’s arterial roads,” the report said.

“The implications of these finding for freight rail is that the Government funding it receives is likely to be acceptable as the total benefits (both quantitative and qualitative) could be greater than the Government support it receives.”

However, the study had a number of limitations across all measures, said EY, and a more analysis was needed to confirm freight rail’s benefits outweighed the subsidies afforded it by Government.

The study also broke down the time delay costs for the two major cities; Auckland and Wellington.

In the capital, it found that even with its passenger rail system, 19.8m hours worth of congestion came in at a cost of around $303m in time delay. In Auckland, the traffic situation was more complex.

The net time delay cost was about $882m, and the report’s writers said that represented an 57m extra vehicle hours on Auckland roads.

Twyford said rail was a “great way to travel and move cargo”.

“It takes both passengers and freight off the roads, improving the travel experience of road users and reducing their costs.”

The Government would “restore balance” to transport funding and boost investment in rail infrastructure both for passengers and freight.

“This will include significant investment in regional rail via the Regional Development Fund, as set out in the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.

“The establishment of a light rail network in Auckland will significantly increase the $1.3b a year of benefits that road users, including freight companies, experience from reduced congestion,” Twyford said.

STACEY KIRK – Stuff

IMO Secretary-General outlines challenges facing the Organization

The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr. Kitack Lim, has urged Member States to seize the opportunity to set bold and ambitious goals, when they adopt an initial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping in 2018.

Speaking at the opening of the Organization’s 30th Assembly session, Secretary-General Lim told delegates the whole world would be watching IMO in 2018, looking for something of real substance.

“Next year really will be a time when the world will expect IMO Member States to deliver a clear vision as the first stage of the approved roadmap. I urge you, be bold; set ambitious goals that really will make a difference. You have a real opportunity here to do something of lasting significance. Make the most of it,” he told the packed plenary hall at IMO Headquarters in London. IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is set to adopt an initial GHG strategy in April 2018.

More than 1,500 delegates from IMO Member States, international governmental and non-governmental organizations have registered to attend the 30th session of the IMO Assembly meets from 27 November to 6 December.

Mr. Lim outlined the key elements of the new “Strategic Plan for the Organization” for 2018 to 2023, which is expected to be adopted by the Assembly.

“The seven strategic directions point us now towards more effective rule-making and implementation processes by integrating new and advancing technology to respond to our challenges, among others, to increase ship safety, including addressing new emerging technologies such as autonomous vessels, our contribution to combat climate change, engagement in ocean governance, mitigation of cyber-crimes, and facilitation of international trade, whilst continuing to take due consideration on the human element factor,” Mr. Lim said.

He highlighted his ambition to transform IMO into a “knowledge based Organization”, with appropriate analysis to support and improve the already effective rule making process and enhance implementation.

The rapidly increasing pace of change in every sphere raised a fundamental issue, since technology will move far quicker than the regulatory process, he said.

“Digital disruption will arrive in the shipping world very soon; and, when it does, IMO must be ready,” Mr. Lim said. “For me, this means the regulatory framework for shipping must be based firmly around goals and functions rather than prescriptive solutions. This is the only way to ensure that measures adopted by IMO are not rendered obsolete by the time-lag between adoption and entry-into-force. I know we have already made good steps in that direction but we must go further and faster in the coming years.”

The Organization as a whole needed to become more effective, more nimble and more adaptive, Mr. Lim said, drawing attention to his determination to push forward a “Knowledge based Organization” concept, embracing data in the Secretariat’s work and in the decision-making processes.

“We are in the era of digitalization and at the United Nations level we are already looking at frontier issues that include emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and the benefits they could have in society as a whole, and to remain relevant,” Mr. Lim said.

“For IMO, we need to have more detailed and deeper analysis of statistics and data so that we can really understand underlying trends and causal factors behind shipping casualties; and we must make sure that additions and amendments to the regulatory framework are also based, wherever possible, on relevant statistics, studies and analysis. This would pave the way for better regulation, one that not only takes into account the work carried out to reduce administrative burdens, but to avoid disproportionate requirements, as well as addressing obsolete and unnecessary ones.”

IMO’s work to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals was also stressed. “Because most of the elements of the 2030 Agenda will only be realized with a sustainable transport sector supporting world trade and facilitating the global economy, aspects of IMO’s work can be linked to almost all of the individual SDGs,” Mr. Lim said.

Mr. Lim concluded by referring to the forthcoming anniversary in 2018, marking 70 years since the Convention establishing IMO was adopted in March 1948. “The theme we have selected for next year – “Our heritage – better shipping for a better future” – looks both at the past and into the next 70 years that lie ahead. It provides an opportunity to reflect and showcase how IMO has adapted over the years as a crucial player to the global supply chain,” he said.

The Rt Hon Mr. John Hayes CBE MP, Minister of State for Transport Legislation and Maritime of the United Kingdom Government, also welcomed delegates to the Assembly, as the representative of the Host State.

The outgoing President of the Assembly, Mr. Federico Trillo-Figueroa y Martínez-Conde, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Spain to IMO, and the incoming President, His Excellency Mr. Rolando Drago Rodríguez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Chile to IMO, also addressed the Assembly.

Election of Officers
The Assembly elected the following officers:

Assembly President
His Excellency Mr. Rolando Drago Rodríguez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Chile to IMO.

Vice-Presidents
1st Vice-President: His Excellency Mr. Euripides L. Evriviades, High Commissioner and Permanent Representative of Cyprus to IMO; and
2nd Vice-President: Her Excellency Ms. Tamar Beruchashvili, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Georgia to IMO.

IMO Assembly
The 30th Assembly of IMO is meeting in London at IMO Headquarters from 27 November to 6 December 2017. More than 1,500 delegates from IMO Member States, international governmental and non-governmental organizations have registered to attend the Assembly, IMO’s highest governing body.

All 172 Member States and three Associate Members are entitled to attend, as are the intergovernmental organizations with which agreements of co-operation have been concluded, and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO.

The Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session. It is responsible for approving the work programme, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Council.
Source: IMO

OOCL introduces the OOCL Scandinavia

In OOCL’s series of six ‘G Class’ containerships on order at the Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI) shipyard, we are pleased to introduce the newest and fifth 21,413 TEU containership, named the OOCL Scandinavia, into our fleet of world trade ambassadors.

The OOCL Scandinavia will be joining her sister vessels on our LL1 service, linking major markets in China and Northern Europe together.

The OOCL Scandinavia unveiled at the christening ceremony held at the SHI shipyard

In commemoration of this milestone at OOCL, we are very honored that Mr. Yue Yi, Vice Chairman, Executive Director and Chief Executive of the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd, was able to join us as our Guest of Honor and witness the christening of the vessel.

The Bank of China is one of the finest and most respected international financial institutions in the industry and their support to OOCL has been tremendous, allowing us to be the best that we can be in providing quality transportation and logistics services around the world, but particularly in China, where OOCL launched and pioneered the reefer-on-rail services from Xian to Qingdao in 1998, the first of its kind in the country.

In 1998, OOCL introduced the first reefer-on-rail services in China

As an active industry player in this vibrant market, facilitating trade and exploring new opportunities, OOCL was front and center in witnessing China’s remarkable growth momentum to become one of the world’s most influential economies today. China is moving towards its next ambitious phase of development by working more closely with its trading partners to realize the One Belt One Road initiative in promoting trade and commerce. In his remarks at the ceremonial event, Mr. C. C. Tung, Chairman of Orient Overseas (International) Ltd., commented on the importance of this initiative and also thanked the Bank of China for their support over the years.

“The One Belt One Road initiative comes at a very important time in the shipping industry where leadership and policy directions to stimulate demand growth is needed most,” said Mr. Tung. “We are in a very capital intensive business, and like the Belt and Road initiative, we cannot do it alone. That is why we are very thankful to have our close business partners by our side in our journey, and we look forward to further deepen our working relationship with the Bank of China in the years ahead.”

Mr. Tung also thanked SHI for their dedication and support to OOCL over the years to consistently build vessels of the highest quality that greatly strengthened the competitiveness of OOCL’s fleet and capability to deliver reliable and efficient services to customers.

“The incredible work that has gone into the construction of this massive containership before us is the perfect embodiment of what teamwork means and how business collaboration can achieve wonders,” said Mr. Tung. “This achievement is about working to bring people and companies of different professions and nationalities together to reach new heights, innovate, solve complicated engineering problems, and along the way, why not break a world record too!”

The OOCL Scandinavia will be joining her sister vessels the OOCL Hong Kong, OOCL Germany, OOCL Japan and OOCL United Kingdom in serving the Asia-Europe trade lane on the LL1 service and her port rotation is:

Shanghai / Ningbo / Xiamen / Yantian / Singapore / via Suez Canal / Felixstowe / Rotterdam / Gdansk / Wilhelmshaven / Felixstowe / via Suez Canal / Singapore / Yantian / Shanghai in a 77-day round trip.


Source: Orient Overseas Container Line

HMM to Set Sail for 6th Place in World by Placing Orders for 20 Super Containerships

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) aims to become a top 10 global shipping company by ordering 20 super large containerships. HMM is expected to have a capacity of 800,000 TEUs and rank sixth in the world when the company secures a super large containership fleet.

According to the investment bank (IB) industry and shipping industry on November 15, HMM will order 20 large-sized container ships starting early next year. “HMM will order 20 large-sized vessels, including nine 20,000-TEU containerships and 11 11,000-TEU containerships for aggressive fleet expansion,” a high-ranking official in the IB industry said. “This strategy aims to deal with major shipping companies’ expansion through mergers and acquisitions and the introduction of super large ships.” This is twice the size of the order projected in the market (around 10 units). In terms of order sizes (350,000 to 400,000 TEUs), HMM’s order is double that (220,000 TEUs as of the end of October) of Maesk, the world’s top shipping company.

Analysis says that HMM will ramp up the number of super large ships as a strategy to cope with the global division and congregation. HMM currently has 56 vessels and its capacity (maximum shipment volume) is 43,000 TEUs, ranking 13th in the world. On the other hand, Maesk which belongs to the 2M Alliance with HMM has a capacity of 3.55 million TEUs and MSC, 3.02 million TEUs, eight times that of HMM.

In particular, next year, Japan is expected to merge its three major shipping companies (MOL, NYK, and K Line). Then the new shipping company established via the merger is expected to have a capacity of 1.7 million TEUs. China’s major shipping company Cosco (1.81 million TEUs) will finally marry OOCL (670,000 TEUs) of Hong Kong, which is the seventh largest in the world in 2019. Then Cosco’s capacity (including that of ordered ships) will exceed 3 million TEUs, jumping to second or third place in the world. In particular, China’s Cosco (Ocean Alliance) and Japanese shipping firms (THE Alliance) are expected to put 20,000-TEU containerships into the Asian market beginning next year. This means that HMM will not be able to compete in such an environment as the shipping company has a maximum capacity of 400,000 TEU and its largest container ship has a capacity of 13,100 TEUs.

Around the year of 2020, nine 20,000-TEU containerships and 11 11,000-TEU containerships to be ordered beginning next year will be delivered to HMM. Then, HMM will have a capacity of more than 800,000 TEUs, about double its current capacity. This volume exceeds that of now-defunct Hanjin Shipping and close to 1,060,000 TEUs of Evergreen, the biggest shipping company of Taiwan. At the time of the final delivery of the 20 vessels ordered, HMM will raise the number of its over-10,000-TEU vessels from 16 to 36. As HMM’s long-term plan aims at securing a one-million-TEU fleet, the shipping company may order more super large containerships depending on future business performances.

Government addresses concerns of transport industry

Transport Minister Phil Twyford (file photo).

BRADEN FASTIER
Transport Minister Phil Twyford (file photo).

New and additional sources of funding are needed to help fix Auckland’s traffic congestion and growing pains, Transport Minister Phil Twyford says.

But Twyford believes it is not fair for the rest of New Zealand to pay for its biggest city’s woes.

Rail and coastal shipping will be a focus for both Auckland and elsewhere, he said.

The newly named minister made the comments in his first address at the Road Transport Forum’s annual conference in Hamilton on Saturday. “If we had a decent passenger rail from Auckland to Hamilton paid for out of the Land Transport Fund, then I could have been here much earlier,” he joked, referring to what RTF Chief Executive Ken Shirley had said to him after arriving late to the conference, having got stuck in traffic.

During the conference at Claudelands Event Centre, Twyford outlined the government’s direction on the future of transport throughout the country.

Creating a “resilient and multi-modal transport system, reducing carbon emissions and fixing Auckland’s congestion” were the priorities.

“We know the transport system is about networks and productivity and changes to one mode can have flow-on consequences.”

Transport in New Zealand needs to be resilient in the face of shocks, such as the recent earthquakes that shut down the major north-south highway in the South Island.

To do this, changes to funding is required.

Roading is currently funded through the Land Transport Fund, from road user charges, petrol tax and vehicle registration, which generate $4 billion a year.

“We need to tackle the problem of new and additional funding sources and the challenge of dealing with Auckland’s growth pains is one of the pressures here.”

Decades of under-investment and congestion in Auckland is costing the city $1.3b a year in lost productivity, he said.

Aucklanders want it fixed, but Twyford said it will come at a cost.

“They understand that it costs money to do this.”

The Government is committed to a $15 million, 10-year programme that includes a rapid transport system in Auckland, which will join up with the road and highway system.

“We believe rapid transport should be funded in the same way as state highways and there are benefits for at least part-funding the rapid transport through the Land Transport Fund.

“We need to find additional sources of funding as well and we cannot ask the rest of New Zealand to pay the costs of Auckland’s growth.”

If asked, the Government will pass legislation to allow Auckland Council to levy a regional fuel tax, he said.

“We’ve talked about 10 cents a litre and that would generate about $150 million a year, about 10 per cent of the investment that is needed for the Auckland Transport Plan.

“Aucklanders have to be willing to chip in a bit extra.”

Income from targetted rates on what will be “massive increases” in the value of the land around the light rail network in Auckland could be reinvested in the rapid transport system, he said.

“The Government is going to continue to fund rail above and beyond the national transport fund, but what we want is to generate new and additional sources of revenue.

“In the long term, petrol excise will not be a sustainable way to fund the transport system.”

Previous governments had disproportionately invested the fund into motorway projects, leaving regional roads starved of funds, he said.

“Our coalition partner placed a very high premium on investment in the regions, so that will be a priority.”

Reducing carbon emissions

Another priority would be reducing carbon emissions from the transport industry, which make up 18 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

Exploring coastal shipping is one way of doing this, he said.

“I believe if we level the playing field, coastal shipping can be a cost-effective way to move heavy bulk freight that is not time-dependent.”

He also addressed one of the biggest concerns from the industry – the shortage of top-class drivers.

Attendees said the driver-licensing system had become complicated and expensive.

Twyford said the government wanted to weave driver licensing into the school curriculum.

“When people don’t get their licence or never graduate to a full licence, it has downstream negative consequences for them to get jobs.”

He said stemming migrant numbers would not affect those in the transport industry.

“You’ll know the intention to change the immigration settings, as we believe the open door policy of immigration had quadrupled net migration.

“We think we can combat this by taking out the rorts and the scams in the education sector, where so-called education providers have been giving back-door visas.”

There are genuine skill shortages and regional skill lists will mean a particular regions can attract people in to live and work in that region, he said.

Bethunes shareholders to vote on Transport Investments deal next month

Bethunes Investments shareholders will vote next month on a deal to use its NZX listing as a vehicle for freight and logistics firm Transport Investments Ltd to go public while shifting its remaining assets into a new entity.

The company’s 335 shareholders will meet in Auckland on Dec. 5 to consider the reverse listing which if approved will see them own 0.6 per cent of the transport group, which has an enterprise value of $200 million, and keep their relative stakes in a new holding company – New BIL – which will house Bethunes’ existing investments valued at about $486,000.

Independent adviser Grant Samuel’s report judged the deal’s terms were “fair and reasonable to the shareholders of Bethunes not associated with TIL” and that “the proposed transaction is in the best interests of Bethunes given the options reasonably available to Bethunes at the current time.”

“The board considers that completing the transactions will add value for Bethunes shareholders as it presents them with the opportunity to own a shareholding interest in the transport and logistics business of Transport Investments Limited following the acquisition of that business by Bethunes, while also retaining their interest in the business and assets of Bethunes via BIL 2016 Limited,” chair Chris Swasbrook said in a statement.

“Accordingly, the board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions in the notice of meeting.”

If Bethunes’ shareholders approve the deal, the NZX-listed firm will rename itself TIL Logistics Group and replace the board, with Trevor Janes lined up to chair the new directors. He would be joined by fellow independent directors Lorraine Witten and Danny Chan, executive director Jim Ramsay and non-executive director Greg Kern.

TIL had planned to list through an initial public offering, but gave up on those plans in mid-2017 after being advised “market conditions were not conducive, in part because of the New Zealand general election and likely resulting market uncertainty.” It began discussions with Bethunes in August.

Bethunes had planned an earlier reverse listing with Westgate Power Centre-subsidiary NZ Retail Property Group, however, that fell through when the real estate investor decided it wasn’t a good time to raise capital.

The Grant Samuel report says if the deal isn’t approved, Bethunes will remain a listed shell company seeking investment opportunities, but isn’t likely to try reverse listing another company again. If it is approved, Bethunes plans to relist the new entity.

The documents show TIL expects to report a statutory loss of $10.3 million on revenue of $327.8 million in the year ending June 30, 2018, turning to a profit of $11.1 million on revenue of $335.5 million the following year, when it would expect to pay dividends of 7.4 cents per share, representing a gross yield of 6.8 per cent.

Ports masterplan: The future for Auckland’s downtown wharves

2 Nov, 2017 5:00am

The days of views to the Waitemata Harbour being spoiled by rows of cars on the downtown wharves could be over under a new masterplan from Ports of Auckland.

The port company has today unwrapped a draft 30-year masterplan for the 77ha of land it owns on the city’s doorstep, which includes a five-storey parking building topped with a 1ha waterfront park accessible to the public.

The carpark and park could be connected to a five-storey hotel on Quay St at the city end of the port.

The draft masterplan also includes plans for a 13m piled concrete extension at the end of Bledisloe Wharf, which the company says is essential for a new berth and the success of the other wharf projects.

 It says the extension of 1.25ha is less than 1.275ha of space it will lose by removing Marsden Wharf and cutting back a wharf on the eastern side of Bledisloe.

The extension is bound to draw attention from critics of further expansion into the harbour for port use, but is in line with the recommendations of Auckland Council’s Port Future Study last year and smaller than previous expansion plans.

Since the Herald started campaigning against a 250m expansion into the harbour in 2012, the port company has gradually shrunk back its plans. Two months ago, Ports of Auckland chairwoman Liz Coutts said it was no longer acceptable to reclaim more land.

“We are listening. That’s the new us. We are serious about the way we behave and the way we change,” ports chief executive Tony Gibson told the Herald.

Last night, Mayor Phil Goff said he did not support further extension of the port into the harbour.

“This is a proposal only and needs to be subject to public discussion. Ultimately it will go through a consent process where public can make submissions,” Goff said.

Gibson said the company accepted its owner, Auckland Council, was undertaking a project to relocate the port but finding the best location, getting consent, securing funding and building would take decades.

“In the meantime, we need to ensure that we can continue to deliver freight for our import and export customers, and to Aucklanders.

“In response we’ve developed a draft 30-year masterplan that we think balances Auckland’s economic, social and environmental needs…it creates space for freight and gives Auckland Council the time it needs to make a sound decision on where, when and how to move the port,” Gibson said.

The masterplan addresses the day-to-day port business, including automation of the Fergusson container terminal at the Tamaki Drive end of the port, to provide additional capacity to serve a population of five million people.

A 10ha reclamation of Fergusson Wharf, approved in 1998, will be completed by 2020.

Ports of Auckland masterplan proposed engineering workshop and head office picture supplied by Ports of Auckland

Ports of Auckland masterplan proposed engineering workshop and head office picture supplied by Ports of Auckland

An architecturally designed new head office building and engineering workshop will be built facing the intersection of The Strand and Quay St/Tamaki Drive to improve aesthetics and provide a legacy if the port is moved.

To address significant capacity issues on the general cargo wharves at the city end of the port, the company plans to build a five-storey carpark to hide away the 30,000 cars a month that come across the wharves. It could be built within five years.

The carpark will free up space on nearby Captain Cook Wharf, which the council has been eyeing as the city’s main cruise ship terminal. It will require an extension at a cost of $50m to $100m.

Gibson said by removing Marsden Wharf, one of several finger wharves at the city end, and part of Bledisloe Wharf, known as B1, will create nearly 1km of new general cargo berth space.

Ports of Auckland

Ports of Auckland

He said the company wanted Aucklanders to be proud of their port and the projects outlined in the draft masterplan, which could be built over the next five to 10 years.

“We’ve tried to develop a plan that fairly reflects the feedback we’ve received and also balances sometimes divergent wants and needs,” Gibson said.

Details of the draft masterplan can be found at: www.masterplan.poal.co.nz

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