Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) is proud to announce the re-launch of WISTA Japan.
“We are delighted to welcome Japan back to our WISTA family. Japan plays an important role in the maritime industry, being the second ship owing nation in the world and we are positive that WISTA Japan will contribute greatly to the aims and mission of WISTA International,” said Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, president of WISTA International.
“I am very gland to re-launch WISTA Japan and to be registered as the official member of WISTA International. In the shipping industry in Japan, it is both socially and politically meaningful to create a women’s association. We are looking forward to growing with WISTA International,” said Shoko Kamimori, president of WISTA Japan.
Launch Party for WISTA Japan
WISTA Japan was re-founded by: Shoko Kamimori, Fukada Salvage & Marine Works Co., Ltd., President WISTA Japan; Yoriko Ishida, National Institute of Technology, Oshima College; Akiko Matsumoto, Tokyo Century Corporation; Reiko Yoshida, Atsumi & Sakai; Atsuko Kissho, Atsumi & Sakai; Aya Osawa, The Japan Ship Owners Protection & Indemnity Association; Maki Yoshida, Star Marine Public Relations Corporation; Masayo Wakamori, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping; Yuka Narita, Atsumi & Sakai; Yukako Mori, Atsumi & Sakai; Yukari Aoto, Sonpo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc..
WISTA International is comprised of 40 National WISTA (NWA) around the world and nearly 3,000 members. To launch a national WISTA association, the association must file appropriate paperwork in the home country, have at least 10 members in management positions and pay annual fees to WISTA International. WISTA International and its NWAs facilitate the exchange of contacts, information and experiences among its members, promote and facilitate the education of its members and provide liaison with other related institutions and organizations worldwide.
From July 2018, Swire Shipping will upgrade its multipurpose liner services between North Asia and the Pacific.
Under this enhancement, Swire Shipping will be adding direct calls at the Chinese ports of Nansha and Ningbo and aligning its North Asia services to provide a 10-day service frequency between North Asia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Swire Shipping’s multipurpose vessel in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Other markets served by Swire Shipping’s North Asia services such as Townsville, Noumea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Zealand will also benefit from access to more ports in China. 4 Donald Fraser, Swire Shipping’s General Manager for Liner Trades said, “Swire Shipping is committed to developing and upgrading our services and are delighted to provide our customers with this latest set of improvements. In particular, there will be a sailing every 10 days from China to PNG, complementing our 10-day Southeast Asia-PNG and AustraliaPNG services. We’re very excited to be offering our customers this comprehensive import and export network coverage.”
Source: Swire Shipping
With its fleet of ageing ferries, age-expired locomotives and the need for replacement wagons, KiwiRail is building its case for a large taxpayer investment. David Williams reports.
It was in 2008, an election year, that Helen Clark’s Labour-led government bought back the country’s rail assets under the KiwiRail banner.
Finance Minister Michael Cullen said at the time that during negotiations with the previous owner, Toll, it become clear that buying the rail operating business, including the inter-island ferries, was the best way to increase investment in the industry. Running a commercially viable business would prove extremely difficult without government support, he said, adding: “In the months ahead, I will explore options for significant investments in new, modern rolling stock.”
Instead, Labour lost that election and the global financial crisis kicked in, leading to years of public sector belt-tightening under Prime Minister John Key. Yet, despite all the rhetoric about roads – especially those of national importance – the National government pumped billions into rail. According to The Listener, the previous government spent about $2.1 billion on network maintenance and upgrades, and $1.4 billion for commuter rail upgrades in Auckland and Wellington.
But it’s never been enough. While its freight and tourism businesses manage to make a small operating profit, the company traditionally needs more than $200 million a year to maintain its network. That network includes 3500 kilometres of track, 1322 bridges and 98 tunnels, as well as maintaining its “above-rail” assets.
KiwiRail’s latest half-year report said more than half of the company’s active locomotives in the South Island were bought before 1975. That reflects, KiwiRail chairman Trevor Janes wrote, “decades of underinvestment which has contributed to recent challenges” – including the 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes.
“A rail company cannot live from pay cheque to pay cheque, you need a longer-term focus.” – David Gordon
It’s in this context that KiwiRail started a review. In last year’s Budget, the National-led Government pledged $450 million over two years, on the proviso there was a probe into its operating structure and longer-term capital requirements. “The Government wants to put the rail network on a longer-term sustainable footing,” then Transport Minister Simon Bridges said, in the hope National could suddenly achieve what it had failed to do for years.
The focus of that review changed when Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens formed a Government. (Pre-election, Labour promised to build light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport and a passenger service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.)
KiwiRail’s group general manager of investment, planning and risk David Gordon tells Newsroom there’s now a greater focus on “What do you want rail to do?”, as opposed to simply how much will it cost. “A rail company cannot live from pay cheque to pay cheque, you need a longer-term focus. I think everyone understands that. The question is, what is the mechanism by which that’s done and then, obviously, what is the amount.”
One mechanism, announced in April, was a surprise petrol tax hike, something Newsroom Pro’s Bernard Hickey called the Government’s “politically riskiest move since its formation”.
In its policy statement on land transport, which sets transport priorities, the new Government sent a message by adding rail to the list of transport classes that can bid for money from a pot called the national land transport fund. (Auckland is set to get a $2.8 billion increase from the fund, to help pay for a $28 billion transport wishlist over the next decade.)
However, the policy statement said scope for rail funding is “very tight”, and limited to improving struggling urban rail services and contributing to new and existing “interregional” commuter services.
‘Rust never sleeps’
KiwiRail’s review is scheduled to run through the rest of this year. But Gordon says for the biggest-ticket items, which will cost the largest dollops of money, it wants to bring these to the Government’s attention earlier. Those include its locomotives and ferries, which are at “end of life”, and money spent in its freight business “just to remain relevant”. KiwiRail would also like to standardise its equipment and link its IT systems more closely to that of its customers.
The problem is, and always has been, how much money KiwiRail needs just to maintain its network. Two weekends ago, a big chunk of the Auckland network and almost all of Wellington’s network was closed for replacement works. In greater Wellington, five bridges are in various stages of replacement involving 70,000 railway sleepers.
“It goes on all the time,” Gordon says. “Rust never sleeps.”
KiwiRail has also become very good at sweating its big ticket items like locomotives and ferries. But you can only sweat them so much.
Off the back of a record summer season, KiwiRail’s general manager of strategic projects Walter Rushbrook says its existing ferries are at capacity at peak periods. It is considering whether it should buy or lease bigger ships to cope. That’s triggered wider conversations about transport links with the likes including port companies, regional councils and NZ Transport Agency, especially about the future of existing ferry terminals in Wellington and Picton. As Rushbrook says: “Bigger ships mean you need bigger wharves.”
KiwiRail’s Interislander ferries – Kaitaki and Aratere, which it owns, and the leased Kaiarahi – are not expected to have cataclysmic failures as they age, he says. But they might become more unreliable. “The team works really hard to keep it going but it’s like an old car – it’s going to need increased amounts of love as it gets into its twilight years.”
Meanwhile, Gordon says about half of KiwiRail’s 100 locomotives are “age-expired”. New locos cost about $5 million. “You could do the maths there.” Wagons also need replacing – he didn’t hint at how many – standard flat-top wagons cost about $150,000-a-pop.
“So, yes, it’s in the hundreds of millions, absolutely.”
Surely that number could reach $1 billion, over time? Gordon says that as a stand-alone commercial proposition, rail in New Zealand has never been in a position to fund its underlying capital, of about $200-odd-million a year.
“On an ongoing basis, rail will require capital. You do the years long enough it’ll get to be a very big number.”
Asked when big chunks of Crown investment might be needed in KiwiRail’s ageing infrastructure, Gordon and Rushbrook both arrive on a rough timeframe of five years.
Turnaround comes to a screeching halt
Labour would do well to focus on the non-financial benefits of rail – such as carbon emission savings and easing congestion – if National’s record is anything to go by.
In 2010, it enacted a $750 million “turnaround plan” in the hope of making KiwiRail self-sustaining by 2021. The plan was shelved in 2013. A Treasury review found KiwiRail had made substantial progress but the plan had been based on overly optimistic revenue assumptions, inadequate progress in some areas and unexpected factors, like the global recession.
Hundreds of millions of Crown dollars continued to flow into the rail company. A commercial review started in 2014 found that New Zealand’s freight business would never be big enough for KiwiRail to be self-sustaining. By 2016, six years after the turnaround plan started, freight volumes had increased 14 percent, and KiwiRail’s share of import and export volumes had leaped 69 percent. Another 48 locomotives and 1300 wagons were bought.
So much was achieved. And then the Kaikoura quakes hit in November 2016.
In latest KiwiRail accounts, for the half-year, the company notes its insurance only covers loss and damage up to $350 million. The previous Government promised to meet any shortfall, including, in that last six-month period, a $40 million injection, while the company’s accounts took a charge of $134.1 million on its assets “for the capital cost of reinstatement incurred”.
Gordon says if Crown money is invested properly it can deliver on Government policy objectives. He points to Government investment in Auckland’s commuter rail network. In 2003, when Britomart station opened, patronage was about two-and-a-half million trips a year. Last August, the rail network celebrated recording 20 million trips in a single year.
Gordon: “I can’t see any reason to suspect that, post the City Rail Link and other things, that could be up in the 50s.”
Peters versus English
A question which seems more relevant in the last 24 hours is, what are the Government’s objectives? Yesterday Labour’s Justice Minister Andrew Little announced he was backing off repealing the controversial Three Strikes law because New Zealand First wouldn’t support it.
In terms of KiwiRail’s future, it’s worth repeating an exchange in Parliament in February 2015.
Bill English, the Finance Minister at the time, found himself defending his Government’s investment in KiwiRail – more than $1 billion over four or five years – under questioning from Finance and Expenditure Committee member Winston Peters.
Plugging capital investment gaps of between $150 million to $350 million a year was a concern, English agreed.
Peters asked English if he’d had any discussions about privatising the ferry service or putting in foreign ships or crews. No, English replied, adding: “This is a business where it’s a real challenge to get it to a sustainable basis, and we are now, I think, on about our third round of having a harder, deeper look at what drives KiwiRail costs and revenue.”
Peters, unsatisfied, pressed further, asking if any Treasury boffins had ever asked about the financial “disaster” happening at KiwiRail, the “almost daily stoppages” and whether it needed to go through the business with a fine-tooth comb. “Surely somebody said: ‘Look, alarm bells should be ringing here. What are we going to do about it?’”
Newsroom asked Peters, the Minister of State Owned Enterprises and soon to be acting prime minister, for his current view of KiwiRail’s operations and the likelihood of further Crown investment. His office didn’t respond.
YM Efficiency, a Liberian-registered cargo ship, was making its way from Kaohsiung in Taiwan to Sydney’s Port Botany on Thursday night when large swells knocked 83 containers into the water off Newcastle.
Roads and Maritime Services was alerted to the lost cargo on Friday.
Spokesman Angus Mitchell said the contents of the containers was unknown, but they’re not believed to contain dangerous goods.
“A full manifest of the cargo on board the vessel, and the condition of the vessel, is being sought,” Mr Mitchell said in a statement.
A further 30 containers on board are severely damaged.
The department said two had been spotted about 100 metres off Fingal Head and Boondelbah Island, near Port Stephens.
It’s now the vessel operator’s responsibility to recover and remove the 40-foot containers and boaters were alerted to the potential hazards on marine radio.
Members of the public can report any sightings to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on 1800 641 792.
The ship was reportedly refused entry to Port Botany on Friday due to the risk of more cargo coming loose.
It will be months before new U.S. sanctions against Iran take hold, but global shipping operators are already pulling back from the big oil-exporting nation.
The world’s two biggest shipping lines, Denmark’s Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co., said they were winding down general cargo shipments, while tanker owners said they plan to move their vessels to other oil-producing countries in the Middle East or West Africa.
Even though the U.S. is alone in imposing the new sanctions, “I don’t think any shipping line that operates globally will be able to do business in Iran if the sanctions arrive in full force, the way they are intended,” said Soren Skou, Maersk’s chief executive.
Maersk and MSC have been moving everything from electronics and household goods to food and heavy machinery to Iran. Mr. Skou said Maersk’s Iran operations are small, but with an Iranian population of 80 million, carriers heralded the lifting of earlier sanctions in 2016 as the opening of an important Middle East trade destination.
The Trump administration has given the industry until early November to end operations in Iran, which exported a record 2.6 million barrels of crude a day in April. The sanctions also will affect ship-insurance premiums, lines of credit for moving cargo, and ship-fuel suppliers.
Pulling Iran off the service map for crude carriers will be a blow to the world’s tanker operators. Shipowners in that sector have suffered from a glut of global capacity and now will see the world’s fifth-biggest oil producer removed from their market. Iran accounts for 5% of global output and the majority of Iran’s oil is exported to China, Japan, India and South Korea.
Shipowners in China, which currently buys roughly 650,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day, said they expect Iran’s total daily crude shipments to drop by more than half.
“We won’t dare to risk any violations as we also have a bulk of our business involving shipping oil between the U.S. to the Far East,” said a senior executive of a China state-owned oil-shipping major, who asked not to be named. “What concerns us is that our ships won’t be able to sail to the U.S.”
The carriers that will hurt the most are Iran’s two state-owned firms, National Iranian Tanker Co. and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.
A spokesman for NITC, which operates around 5% of the world’s tanker fleet, including 38 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, said it was too early to comment on the sanctions. But people involved in the matter said NITC may mothball some of its VLCCs and use them as “floating storage” in view of rising oil prices.
IRISL, which operates about 120 container ships, dry-bulk carriers and chemical tankers, has been looking to replace its aging fleet and join the world’s big shipping alliances.
It has placed orders for four container ships and six chemical tankers with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., worth about $650 million, according to people involved in the deal.
IRISL is considering whether to ask Hyundai Heavy to speed up deliveries before the sanctions go into effect, delay or cancel the orders, according to people familiar with the matter. Hyundai Heavy didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“The U.S. sanctions create a very challenging environment for shipowners, ” said Basil Karatzas, a New York-based shipping consultant, who works with some of the world’s biggest shipping companies. “They could be blacklisted for moving Iranian crude or other cargo, fined and prohibited from doing business with the U.S. It’s not worth the risk.”
Chinese container shipping major COSCO Shipping Corporation has taken delivery of its fifth 20,000 TEU containership, COSCO Shipping Virgo.
Built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, the ship is 399.8 meters long and 58.6 meters wide. It boasts a deck area equivalent to almost four standard football fields and can achieve a speed of 22.5 nautical miles per hour.
COSCO Shipping Virgo has a maximum carrying capacity of 20,119 TEU, and it is equipped with 1,000 reefer sockets.
The giant boxship was classed by both DNV GL and China Classification Society.
According to COSCO, the ship’s fuel consumption and energy-efficiency have been optimized through latest energy-saving rudder and propulsion systems. In addition, the ship is equipped with intelligent ship management systems and allows for one-man bridge operation.
It is worth USD 122.95 million, based on the valuation from VesselsValue.
The delivery of COSCO Shipping Virgo comes on the back of four 20,000 TEU boxships delivered since the beginning of this year.
COSCO Shipping Taurus, also built by SWS, and COSCO Shipping Aries, built by Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering (NACKS) were delivered in January this year.
KiwiRail is welcoming the Government decision to investigate upgrading and expanding rail north of Auckland.
The initiative was announced by the Ministers of Transport and Regional Development as part of a package of Provincial Growth Fund improvements to help Northland’s economic and social growth.
They pledged $500,000 to examining the potential for rail improvements.
The coalition agreement between Labour and NZ First said the new Government would commission a feasibility study on the options for moving the Ports of Auckland, including giving Northport serious consideration.
Friday’s announcement did not mention the port specifically.
“We are looking forward to participating in the business case process. As the Government has indicated, KiwiRail has the ability to drive economic growth in the regions through our freight network, world-class tourism services and the passenger services we enable,” said KiwiRail chief executive Peter Reidy.
“Using rail also delivers a range of significant benefits including reducing carbon emissions and road congestion, making our roads safer, lowering spending on road maintenance and upgrades, and reducing fatalities.
“Every tonne of freight carried by rail is a 66 per cent emissions saving over heavy road freight.
“Northland’s rail lines are under-used and much of the rail infrastructure is old, reducing the speed at which trains can travel. The tunnels are not fit for purpose when it comes to container freight and considerable investment is needed to bring the rail line up to modern standards.
“If it proceeds, this work will allow for faster trains, larger modern sized containers and tourism services.”
KiwiRail currently runs one weekday return service to Auckland on the line predominantly carrying dairy and forestry.
Friday, 1 June 2018, 1:21 pm Press Release: KiwiRail
Trains will be moving again on the Napier to Wairoa line for the first time in six years next Wednesday.
“The project to re-open the line will pass a significant milestone when a work train travels up to Eskdale from Napier delivering ballast,” KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy says.
“Having work trains running is an important part of getting the line open to shift logs by rail and take trucks off the road.
“The line is expected to be ready for logging trains by the end of the year.
“This is also a good time to remind people of the need to take care around the rail line. Because it has not been in use by trains, people need to be aware that trains will now be on the line, and that they need to be looking out for them,” Mr Reidy says.
There will be a ceremony to mark the return of trains at KiwiRail’s operations depot in Ahuriri.
There are good vantage points for members of the public who are keen to see the train as it passes at Meeanee Quay and Domain Rd at around 11.30am.
The line is being re-opened by KiwiRail using $5 million of funding from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, and will be used to transport logs to Napier. The work is expected to take two years to fully complete.
“This is an important project for the region, for New Zealand and for KiwiRail. It lifts the regional economy. It makes the roads safer by taking logging trucks off roads that were not designed to cope with growing volumes. It helps the environment by cutting carbon emissions,” Mr Reidy says.
KiwiRail has estimated that using the Wairoa-Napier line to move the logs could take up to 5,714 trucks a year off the road, and cut carbon emissions by 1292 tonnes.