More countries join crew change platform

in International Shipping News 13/07/2020

Thirteen leading maritime nations joined the growing number of states allowing crew changes by signing a pact for exemptions in port controls and more commercial flights to accommodate thousands of exhausted seafarers stuck on board ships around the world.

More than 200,000 seafarers are stranded at sea and have overrun their contracts with another 200,000 waiting to start employment and get paid by working at sea.

The 13 countries – Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UK, United Arab Emirates, and the US – now recognise seafarers as key workers.

A demand proposed by Cyprus and other maritime hubs when the strict lockdown measures were imposed in March.

As ‘key workers’, seafarers would be in the same category as front-line workers in the health and security services of any country, as well as professionals employed in utilities, necessary to keep an economy functioning.

A source at the Deputy Ministry of Shipping said that Cyprus was not among the signatories because it had already adopted crew-change protocols ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit global shipping and Covid-19 travel restrictions were put in place, preventing crews from disembarking.

This was confirmed by an official at the Cyprus Shipping Chamber who said the flag state was among the first to demand and implemented measures allowing crew changes.

“We don’t have many airports to accommodate commercial flights to expedite repatriation efforts, nor is Cyprus a major labour supplier.

However, as a leading hub with Cyprus-owned or managed ships, we had been calling for the relaxation of strict controls on seafarers around the world,” CSC Director General Thomas Kazakos told the Financial Mirror.

The Chamber, whose members employ up to 60,000 seafarers onboard their vessels around the world, had called on governments to follow the example of Cyprus and facilitate crew changes, issuing a statement saying it was disappointed over global delays.

The initiative for the international crew change summit convened in London on Thursday came from the UK’s transport secretary Grant Shapps, according to news reports.

“It is unacceptable that there remain thousands of people stranded at ports around the world and we owe it to them and their families to change things,” Shapps said at the summit.

“Today marks a new chapter for seafarers and alongside our international partners we are taking, a stand to end the bureaucracy preventing men and women around the world from returning home.”

All need to make visa, quarantine, and border exceptions for seafarers now, not tomorrow, not next week, he said.

“This summit is a welcome show of political leadership at a time when seafarers across the world need it most,” said Guy Platten, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Shipping.

“Governments must now use this summit as a catalyst to implement with the solutions the shipping industry has provided, applying the political will needed to put them into practice.

This issue doesn’t require money and did not need complicated negotiations. This summit is a catalyst for action.”

According to the shipping news site, Splash, the International Maritime Organisation has created a 12-step process for states to adopt to make crew changes safe and efficient.

Reacting to the news from the keenly anticipated summit, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) called on the governments to act swiftly to give seafarers visa, border and quarantine exemptions to make crew changes possible and resolve the present crisis.

“Governments today adopted a statement pledging to urgently take forward a range of actions to avert the global crisis that is unfolding at sea for the more than 200,000 seafarers who are trapped working on ships beyond their contracts, and desperately wanting to return home,” said ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton.

“After months of this crew change crisis getting worse, governments must do their bit.

“That means that port states where ships dock; flag states where ships are registered; transit hubs with airports; and the home countries of seafarers, all need to make visa, quarantine and border exceptions for seafarers now, not tomorrow, not next week.”
Source: Financial Mirror

MSC Continues To Invest In Decarbonising Shipping

in International Shipping News 08/07/2020

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, a global leader in shipping and logistics, is heavily investing in its fleet and low-carbon technology to support the industry’s transition towards zero carbon future.

Shipping can be accurately described as the most environmentally sustainable form of cargo mass transportation. Nonetheless, MSC is acutely aware that international shipping has an impact on the climate and our decision to invest in low-carbon technology is complementary to the company’s broader strategic approach to sustainability. The company operates a modern fleet and is running the biggest fleet investment programme in the industry to further reduce emissions.

MSC fully supports the IMO’s policy goals to decarbonise shipping and is actively exploring and trialling a range of alternative fuels and technologies – pioneering large scale usage of up to 30% biofuel blends for container ships, for example – on top of some significant energy efficiency improvements across its fleet.

Around 90% of the world’s trade is transported by sea. To meet the market demand while minimising emissions, MSC was the first shipping company to deploy 23K+ TEU, ultra-efficient vessels on some of the world’s busiest trade lanes (incl. the Mediterranean). In 2019, MSC set a new standard for sustainable container shipping, by introducing the MSC Gülsün with one of the lowest carbon footprints by design, at 7.49 grams of CO2 emissions to move 1 ton of cargo 1 nautical mile.

In addition, to help bridge the gap between shipping today and the zero-carbon future, MSC was the first major shipping line in 2019 to offer clients an option to fully compensate the remaining currently unavoidable carbon emissions caused by the transport of their cargo through participating in MSC’s Carbon Neutral Programme.

Inaccurate analysis of CO2 emissions from shipping

In addition to our massive investment in reducing emissions, MSC fully supports reporting CO2 emissions transparently and precisely in the European Union (EU) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, as mandated by EU legislation. As said in an earlier statement in December, it is vital that the raw data reported in the system are analysed accurately and take operational realities fully into account, to give a realistic picture of the related emissions.

Another recent analysis by Transport & Environment on shipping emissions in the EU, fails yet again to take a number of operational aspects of MSC’s services fully into account, and thus does not offer a complete assessment of our role and impact in terms of emissions. Nor does it support a constructive dialogue around decarbonising shipping.

To provide a comprehensive and accurate conclusion, CO2 emissions should be compared on an equal basis. An analysis focusing on shipping emissions in the EU should only take into account emissions which actually occurred in the geographical area of the EU, if it is going to be compared to other sources limited to the same area. This is particularly relevant for a global company such as MSC, which operates in all the world’s major shipping lanes. A complete analysis would show that only 40-45% of the emissions reported by MSC in the MRV were actually in the EU. In addition, a correct analysis would also show that MSC has achieved 2.5% YOY reduction in absolute emissions under the MRV scheme in a single year.

Further to the company’s own efforts to minimise environmental impact, MSC contributes to the work of industry groups and associations to accelerate decarbonising the shipping industry.
Source: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA

Manukau Harbour ‘wouldn’t work’ as new Auckland port

Manukau Harbour would never work as a new location for Auckland’s port, transport company director Chris Carr says.Manukau Harbour

Manukau Harbour. Photo: RNZ / Jessie Chiang

A report by economic consultancy Sapere published yesterday ranked Manukau Harbour as the best option. It considered Northport, Manukau, the Firth of Thames, the Port of Tauranga and a shared increase in capacity at both Northport and the Port of Tauranga.

An earlier report, backed by New Zealand First, identified Northport at Marsden Point as the best option. The report was completed by a government working group led by former Far North mayor Wayne Brown.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff called the previous Northport work ‘shoddy’ and Transport Minister Phil Twyford said it “had a clearly pre-determined outcome” in favour of moving the port to Marsden Point.

New Zealand First still backs Northport as a new location, with MP Shane Jones saying Manukau was the most treacherous harbour in the country and unfit as an alternative site for Ports of Auckland.

Carr and Haslam director Chris Carr said he didn’t know how the Sapere report had come up with Manukau Harbour.

“It’s probably about the only time in the world I’ll ever agree with Shane Jones,” Carr told told Morning Report.

“The prevailing weather comes in on the western side of the country. Ports don’t exist in the west coast of New Zealand, they exist on the east coast.

“I’m no maritime person but all the shipping companies say that they won’t go to the west coast and that in itself would tend to make Manukau the first shipless port that we’d have in the country.

“It’s simply not suitable operationally and it wouldn’t work no matter how much we might try and make it fit.”

If port had to be moved from Auckland it should be to somewhere ships can get in and out safely, he said.

“You also want to go somewhere near the largest consumption area which is the Auckland-Tauranga-Hamilton-Waikato area.

“The only place you can do that is the Firth of Thames. It’s not ideal.”

He agreed with the Sapere report that Ports of Auckland could keep operating for more than 30 years before it ran out of space where it was.

“But New Zealand’s not good at doing this sort of stuff and we take so long to do it that we need to start working at it and looking at it.

“If you look at it from a logistical point of view the decisions become quite easy – it’s when you get politics involved it becomes quite hard.

“The shipping companies who in the end of the day determine where their vessels come would not choose Manukau, ever.”

Shane Jones told Morning Report he had come off second best to people opposed to a relocation to Northland.

“I had professionally and personally campaigned with my leader for the expansion of Northport and relocation of Ports of Auckland activity to Tauranga and Northland,” he said.

He invoked the sinking of the Orpheus in 1863, in which 189 people died, as reason to not build a port at Manukau Harbour.

“I will prophesy that a thousand years will pass before a new port will ever be located in Manukau Harbour.

“[The Sapere report] wants to take us over the bar of the most treacherous harbour in New Zealand and dredge to a level of spill that will rival Mt Cook somewhere in New Zealand or it’ll be dumped in the ocean.”

Jones said work on a new port needed to “get cracking” in 10 to 15 years.

“In New Zealand we leave too many infrastructure decisions to the last minute.”

No decision is to be made before the election, leaving it for political parties to campaign on.

World’s first full scale ammonia engine test – an important step towards carbon free shipping

in International Shipping News,Shipping: Emission Possible 01/07/2020

The technology group Wärtsilä, in close customer cooperation with Knutsen OAS Shipping AS and Repsol, as well as with the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre, will commence the world’s first long term, full-scale, testing of ammonia as a fuel in a marine four-stroke combustion engine. The testing is made possible by a 20 MNOK grant from the Norwegian Research Council through the DEMO 2000 programme.

“This is a great example that illustrates the importance of dedicated petroleum R&D. This DEMO 2000 project is another steppingstone for reaching our ambitious climate targets and it is also aligned with our recently published hydrogen strategy. We need to develop and use new technologies that reduce emissions. We are very happy to support development work that can lead to increased use of ammonia as a fuel in shipping and in the offshore sector. Know-how from this project will also provide important input to the development of regulations for the use of ammonia and other low-carbon fuels”, says Tina Bru, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

Ammonia is promising as a carbon-free fuel for marine applications, in view of the maritime industry’s need to fulfil the International Maritime Organisation’s vision of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050. Furthermore, ammonia has huge potential for providing green energy to remote power systems, such as offshore installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Development work by Wärtsilä, as it prepares for the use of ammonia as a fuel, continues with this testing programme, which will be the world`s first full-scale four-stroke combustion engine test. The project will commence in the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s testing facilities at Stord, Norway during the first quarter of 2021.

“We are really excited to further develop and understand the combustion properties of ammonia as a carbon free fuel in one of our multi-fuel engines”, says Egil Hystad, General Manager, Market Innovation at Wärtsilä Marine Business.

“Ammonia storage and supply systems will be designed and developed for maximum personal safety, and in parallel with the Fuel Gas Handling System under development as part of the EU project ShipFC. This project is coordinated by NCE Maritime CleanTech, and it involves an ammonia driven fuel cell which will be tested on the Eidesvik Offshore supply vessel, Viking Energy”, Hystad continues.The project leaders pictured at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s test facility at Stord, Norway from left to right: Egil Hystad, Wärtsilä, Willy Wågen, Sustainable Catapult, and Kjell Storelid, Wärtsilä.

The project leaders pictured at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre’s test facility at Stord, Norway from left to right: Egil Hystad, Wärtsilä, Willy Wågen, Sustainable Catapult, and Kjell Storelid, Wärtsilä.

From testing to real operations

Wärtsilä, as part of its development work on future fuels, has studied the use of ammonia as a future carbon-free fuel through the ZEEDS initiative. The company’s first ammonia combustions tests were commenced in Vaasa, Finland, in winter 2020, and will continue with this long-term testing at the Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre facilities in Stord.

“We are extremely pleased to be part of this project that will prove for the industry the robustness of ammonia as fuel. The project confirms our test facilities’ and Norway’s leading position within the testing and development of solutions for the use of maritime carbon-free fuels”, says Willie Wågen, CEO of Sustainable Energy Catapult Centre. The centre is part of the Norwegian Catapult programme that facilitates a national infrastructure for innovation. The programme is run by SIVA in close cooperation with Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council and financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.

The full-scale fuel testing programme can pave the way for ammonia engines to be used in real vessel operations within few years, and several shipowners have shown interest in this possibility. It will also provide important insights into the long-term effect of an ammonia fuelled engine in relation to other systems and components in a vessel, including the required safety measures.

Close cooperation between the government and industry

“A future implementation of ammonia as a carbon free fuel, combined with clean energy production from offshore wind or other renewable energy sources can be the start of a new industrial era for the Norwegian industry”, Egil Hystad points out.

“The Norwegian culture for collaboration and knowledge sharing across different companies and sectors, is a great support in closing big technology gaps. The assistance, cooperation and funding from governmental institutions are essential to drive the change towards a carbon free future”, he continues.
Source: Wärtsilä

Transport lobby opposes port move north

Northport should stick to what it's already doing according to the trucking industry. Photo / Tania Whyte
Northport should stick to what it’s already doing according to the trucking industry. Photo / Tania Whyte

NZ Insights By: Imran Ali

The National Road Carriers’ Association has released a report it commissioned from TG Enterprises, which opposes shifting Ports of Auckland to Whangārei, saying it would be logistically impractical and cost-prohibitive to do so, while increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, based on interviews with trucking companies and stakeholders, concluded that Auckland’s port provided the best value for money and should continue in its current location until it could not cope with future growth, which it expected would be at least 30 years away.

But those lobbying for the move to Northport, including former Far North mayor Wayne Brown and Northland Mayoral Forum chairman Jason Smith, say the argument for the status quo lacks logic.

With a focus on road freight, the report said the issue was not port location but the efficiency and safety of road (and rail) access to the upper North Island ports of Northport, Auckland and Tauranga. It said servicing customers by road freight from Northport would be nearly eight times more expensive, or more than $1 billion annually, than from Ports of Auckland.

An analysis of road freight cost showed a container truck that made five trips a day between Ports of Auckland and South Auckland for $50 would be only able to achieve one from Northport, at an estimated cost of $230.

“With Auckland’s business growth moving south, and Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty dominating the upper North Island’s economic growth, Northport is too far away,” the report said, while moving to Whangārei would add more than 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for container road freight, compared with about 27,000 tonnes from Ports of Auckland to South Auckland.

That would seriously undermine New Zealand’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, it said.

“The decision to move the port from Auckland to Northport is being rushed. We need to stop. Take stock. Reassess,” the report added.

But Brown said the association had a vested interest ensuring that the port didn’t move north.

He described claims about greenhouse gas emissions, as “total and absolute crap,” saying goods transported to and from Northport by rail freight would mean less pollution and traffic congestion.

“At the moment, more stuff goes to Auckland from Tauranga, which is further away from Northport. Milk from Northland goes to Tauranga for export,” he said.

“Auckland is planning 50,000 houses in the south and 86,000 houses north of (the city). Where are the biggest new commercial businesses like IKEA and Costco going? To West Auckland, not south,” Brown said.

He led the Upper North Island Supply Chain (Unisc) working group, whose report promised an economic boom for Northland if the $10 billion port move happened.

“There’s nothing that will make Northland do better than shifting the port from Auckland,” he said.

Smith said the days of Ports of Auckland were numbered, whereas Northport offered the best deepwater port in the upper North Island.

“Everyone is aware of the growth in Waikato and further south, but the next era of growth in New Zealand will, in my view, be on the north side of Auckland,” he said.

“Ships will be getting bigger in future, and the risk for New Zealand is they won’t be able to come here. That’s where the deepwater port at Northport has an advantage.”

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the report was built around fear and apprehension, citing points of weakness in the state of the trucking industry.

“We’ll see more electric trucks in future, but for now we see a significant role for rail, and I think the trucking industry is churlish in not acknowledging the $700 million put aside for a four-lane highway out of Whangārei heading south,” Jones said.

Through its Provincial Growth Fund, the Government has provided $300 million for work on the existing rail line between Auckland and Whangārei.

Stranded Tauranga ship: Two investigations launched after engine failure

Mauao walkers could see the ship anchored at sunrise. Photo / Trent Sunderland
Mauao walkers could see the ship anchored at sunrise. Photo / Trent Sunderland

Bay of Plenty Times

Dual investigations have been launched after a log carrier’s engine failed at the entrance to Port of Tauranga this morning.

The Singaporean-registered log carrier, Funing-9690913, was bound for China when it lost power at the entrance to the Port of Tauranga about 12.30am.

Without power, it could not steer and drifted to the edge of the channel at the base of Mauao. It is believed to have snagged a marker buoy.

About 20 crew members were on board and there were no reported injuries.

The ship was towed away and is now anchored in deep water outside Tauranga Harbour.

The Funing will not return to port until authorities give permission and its propeller and rudder must be inspected by divers.

The ship’s hull is understood to be intact and there was no pollution.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission and Maritime New Zealand are investigating the incident.

The commission’s investigation will focus on the causes and circumstances of the incident and the Maritime NZ investigation will focus on whether the rules were followed correctly.

Maritime New Zealand’s deputy director of safety response systems, Nigel Clifford, said the vessel would be able to continue on to China, if it is “safe to sail without repairs”.

“If the vessel requires repairs a repair plan will be established by the owners. Authorities would overview any such proposals.”

Commission spokesman Simon Pleasants said a team of three investigators left Wellington for Tauranga mid-morning.

He was not sure whether they would board the ship this afternoon as the interviews could take some time and, for safety reasons, they would not want to be disembarking at night.

A Port of Tauranga spokeswoman said the ship was being piloted out of the harbour “as normal” when the engine failure happened.

“A second pilot was transferred on to the vessel several hours after … to relieve/assist the first pilot.” Both pilots had since been taken off the ship.

Tug boats were also requested to help the vessel.

“Our marine teams did an amazing job in keeping the stricken vessel steady and then towing it to safety.”

“The wind and swell was challenging for all vessels involved but the conditions eased throughout the morning,” she said.

The view of the anchored ship from Mauao. Photo / Trent Sunderland
The view of the anchored ship from Mauao. Photo / Trent Sunderland

The engine failure delayed the arrival of one container ship and one log ship, but there were no long-term impacts from the incident.

“We frequently deal with shipping delays and changes due to weather and other operational reasons.”

There was a 30-knot wind and significant swell when the engine failed.

High tide was at 7.40am.

The Mauao Base Track was closed as a precaution on request from the Harbourmaster but was reopened by midday.

Residents feel railroaded by KiwiRail freight centre plans

KiwiRail’s road and rail freight centre is planned for Railway Rd, just beyond Palmerston North Airport.
SUPPLIEDKiwiRail’s road and rail freight centre is planned for Railway Rd, just beyond Palmerston North Airport.

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Residents living in the path of KiwiRail’s planned freight centre near Palmerston North are reeling as they realise the effect it will have on their properties and lives.

“Our lifestyles haven’t just been thrown under a bus, they have been thrown under a 1.5-kilometre-long fully laden freight train,” said Parrs Rd resident Maree Woods.

She said people in the area between the airport and Bunnythorpe were used to trains going past, but not to shunting yards operating around the clock.

Woods was also worried about traffic patterns once Railway Rd, a busy route from the city to Bunnythorpe and Feilding, was absorbed into the railway yards.

The site for the 2.5km-long KiwiRail centre was announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones in Palmerston North on Thursday.

The planning and land acquisition needed for the development were being paid for from a $40m Provincial Growth Fund grant.

KiwiRail held information sessions about its plans before the Covid-19 lockdown, but delayed the announcement of the site until last week.

A ground-level view of the proposed KiwiRail road and rail freight centre.
SUPPLIEDA ground-level view of the proposed KiwiRail road and rail freight centre.

Roberts Line resident Dee Wallace was one of about 70 people who received letters on Wednesday telling them their properties would be affected.

She had to wait until the formal announcement to find out what the effects would be.

“We are going to be looking straight at it from across the road.”

Her family had for 13 years lived in a 1903 villa that was the original farmhouse in the area.

They had spent a lot of time and money restoring it to its original character.

“It is our forever home.”

Her children, and children she looked after under home-care arrangements, had grown up enjoying the rural lifestyle, being able to feed a calf and pat the sheep.

“It’s actually very peaceful.”

As well as the freight centre itself, it was likely a new access road for trucks would join Roberts Line just outside their gate.

Wallace said she understood the development would create jobs, eventually, “but at what expense?”

KiwiRail’s road and rail centre will transform a semi-rural area into a huge industrial park.
WARWICK SMITH/STUFFKiwiRail’s road and rail centre will transform a semi-rural area into a huge industrial park.

Clevely Line resident Tarsha Isles said she believed the KiwiRail development would be a great thing for Palmerston North, but the implications for her family were devastating.

They would lose their home of seven years.

Isles Construction, in which she is a director, had only recently moved a new home into the area.

Her parents Desma and Bob Isles moved into their house just before Christmas and still kept a watchful eye on the family home they built 33 years ago.

“So we are actually losing three houses.

“It’s still very fresh.

“I’m shocked and devastated, but I understand this is a really important thing that needs to happen.”

Kairanga-Bunnythorpe Rd resident Aaron Fox will be living about 500 metres away from the centre, which would transform a semi-rural lifestyle area into “a huge operation on the doorstep”.

He said he did not oppose progress, but was shocked by the lack of consultation.

Fox said city mayor Grant Smith and city councillors should be standing up for locals, to make sure their interests were protected.

“Let’s make sure it works for everybody.”

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones was in Manawatū on Thursday to announce initial funding for the rail yards.
WARWICK SMITH/STUFFRegional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones was in Manawatū on Thursday to announce initial funding for the rail yards.

Fox said promises the development would create hundreds of jobs and attract billions of dollars of investment should be questioned.

“At the moment people are talking about a lot of zeroes. I wonder what story book they are reading.”

KiwiRail’s investment and capital transactions general manager Olivia Poulsen said visits had started with the owners of the 70-odd properties that would be affected.

About 40 properties were likely to be bought. The other 30 would be neighbours and some of their land might be needed to create buffer zones to manage the effects of the centre beyond the boundaries.

“Our intention is to minimise land acquisition as much as possible.”

Public consultation would influence the final design.

KiwiRail expected to lodge an application to designate the land by the end of September.

Claims Ports of Auckland move to Whangārei is impractical just ‘snobbery’

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has rubbished a trucking association report that says moving Ports of Auckland north would be impractical.

The recently-released report, commissioned by the National Road Carriers Association, looked at the costs and challenges for road freight of moving Ports of Auckland to Northport at Whangārei’s Marsden Point.

Such a move, expected to cost $10 billion, has been favoured by a Government-backed working party, although a final decision on the move is not expected before this year’s election.

Posts of Auckland handles about one third of the nation’s container trade and two million tonnes of general cargo (file photo).
DAVID WHITE/STUFFPosts of Auckland handles about one third of the nation’s container trade and two million tonnes of general cargo (file photo).

But the road carriers’ report said moving Auckland’s port to Northport would be logistically impractical, prohibitively expensive, increase greenhouse gas emissions and add to traffic congestion, by increasing truck trips between Northland and Auckland.

It calculated 340,000 heavy truck trips and 27,000 freight trains would be needed to carry goods from Northport to the proposed inland port at Swanson, in West Auckland, and said current road and rail is not up to scratch.

The National Road Carriers Association says 340,000 trucks and 27,000 freight trains will be needed to transport goods from Northland to Auckland if the ports move (file photo).
ROSA WOODS/STUFFThe National Road Carriers Association says 340,000 trucks and 27,000 freight trains will be needed to transport goods from Northland to Auckland if the ports move (file photo).

The report concludes Ports of Auckland should continue in its current location until it can’t handle further growth, and a super port in the Firth of Thames or Manukau Harbour should be considered as part of a 100-year plan.

But Jones said the report was part of Auckland’s “snobbery” against Tai Tokerau, by favouring a new port instead of the existing deep water port in Northland.

Building a new port in the Firth of Thames would require billions of dollars more than moving to Northport and require an act of Parliament to sign off the resource consent, he said, while using Manukau Harbour would require ships to cross “the most treacherous bar” in the country.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says moving Ports of Auckland to Northport makes more sense than trying to build a new port in Auckland.
HAGEN HOPKINS/GETTY-IMAGESRegional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says moving Ports of Auckland to Northport makes more sense than trying to build a new port in Auckland.

“With Ports of Auckland, there’s no free pass, so obviously I’ve always promoted further utilisation of Northport because it’s got excess capacity, it’s a natural deep access way and it’s a key feature in regional development.”

Jones said the road carriers’ report was also about the trucking industry trying to defend its own interests, which are coming under threat as New Zealand looks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

The port move is reliant on rail and the current Government has already spent more than $200 million on upgrading the North Auckland Rail Line, including $40m to buy land for a rail spur out to Marsden Point which has now been secured, he said.

A further $700m has been allocated to build a four-lane highway south of Whangārei, Jones said.


But the National Road Carriers Association report has been backed by the Road Transport Forum, which said moving freight Ports of Auckland to Northport was “folly”.

Chief executive Nick Leggett said the plan made even less sense in the post-Covid environment.

“New Zealand cannot bear the brunt of the huge $10 billion upfront capital cost required to get Northport and its road and rail supply lines up to task, let alone the supply chain disruption and the five-fold increase in road transport costs that will hit the pockets of householders directly,” he said.

“All household goods, including groceries, will go up significantly if freight comes into New Zealand some 200km further away from its markets.”


A report on the options for relocating the Ports of Auckland freight functions, undertaken by independent consultants Sapere on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, has now been provided to ministers.

A timetable for the information’s release is being finalised by the ministry but Jones would like it be released in the next 10 days.

The report comes after the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy working party, headed by former Far North mayor Wayne Brown, favoured a $10b plan to shift the ports north, recommending it be done within 15 years.

But the working party’s work has been heavily criticised, with reviews saying it failed to provide a credible basis for making a decision on the move.

Cabinet wanted to see more analysis before making a decision. Jones said that decision would now become an election issue.

Volkswagen launches world’s largest low-emissions LNG car transport ship

Volkswagen isn’t just trying to reduce emissions in its cars.

The automaker has launched the first of two LNG-powered overseas cargo ships that will replace two of the nine heavy oil-burning ships it currently uses on routes between Europe and North America.


The China-made Siem Confucius left Emden, Germany, on Tuesday with 4,800 cars onboard bound for Veracruz, Mexico. According to the automaker, which is still trying to clean up its image in the wake of the “dieselgate” scandal, the 200-meter-long ship reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent, nitrogen oxide by 30 percent, soot by 60 percent and Sulphur oxides by 100 percent compared to the conventional ships. It is the largest vehicle transporter of its size.

VW Group’s “goTozero” program is targeted at reaching carbon neutrality across the company by 2050 and reducing the lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of the production and operation of its vehicles by 30 percent compared to 2015 levels.

According to VW, the ships cruise at 16.5 knots (~19 mph) in eco mode and can also run on egas or biogas if necessary. The company currently schedules approximately 7,700 shipments annually around the world and will continue to update its fleet.

Shipping is Waiting for the Global Economy to Bounce Back

 Hellenic Shipping News 27/06/2020

The recession currently underway globally is bound to have a negative impact on demand for ships. However, the scale of the recovery will also be key for the shipping industry, as some countries will bounce back quicker than others. Which ones will manage to do this, could be key for shipping. “The World Bank estimates that the global economy will fall by 5.2% this year, underlining that the Covid-19 pandemic has had rapid and massive consequences despite the implementation of unprecedented programs to support local economies”, Intermodal said in its latest weekly report.

Source: Intermodal

According to Intermodal’s SnP Broker, Mr. Zisis Stylianos, “in its report on the Global Economic Outlook the World Bank points out that in the developed economies the decline will be in the order of 7%, while in emerging ones 2.5%. This is the deepest recession the planet has known since World War II, and 70 to 100 million people may find themselves below the poverty line. This revised forecast shows that the damage to the global economy will be worse than estimated in April by the International Monetary Fund that estimated a global contraction of 3% for 2020. China has announced it will not set a growth target for 2020, as the country will focus on stabilizing employment and ensuring the living standards of its citizens”.

The shipbroker added that “while addressing the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, said the decision not to set a development goal was related to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the report shared at the conference, China will focus on maintaining security in the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment and domestic investment. The report also listed six areas the world’s second-largest economy should focus on, namely; job security, basic living needs, the functioning of market bodies, food and energy safety, stable industrial and supply chains and the normal functioning of first-level functions”.

Source: Intermodal

Stylianos also noted that “in the oil sector, the U.S. government is seeking to put an end to oil exports, Venezuela’s main source of revenue, in order to weaken President Nicolas Maduro government. It may even extend its sanctions to a dozen more tankers. So many oil companies are reviewing their plans to charter tankers found in Venezuela over the past twelve months. According to Reuters, Chinese oil companies may soon cease chartering any tanker that arrived in Venezuela during the last year. The aim is to avoid blacklisting if the US decides to impose sanctions on more ships that engage in commercial activities with Caracas”.

“As far as the dry bulk sector is concerned, we are witnessing a very impressive increase in the BDI index in the past two weeks, with the strong momentum pushing the index above the 1500 points barrier. It is worth noting that on June 1st the BDI closed at 520 points and the Capesize index at 82 points with average daily earnings for the big bulkers at $ 3,648/day. Within 15 days both the BDI and BCI increased by more 139% 2,893% respectively, while the average daily fare of Capes went up by 448.9%. Based on the positive market sentiment and the momentum that is inspiring it, the recovery of the ground lost in the past months appears to be even closer now”, Intermodal’s analyst concluded.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide