Industry News




Port of Montreal to reopen after twelve-day wage strike

The Port of Montreal Longshoremen’s Union (CUPE 375) and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) have finalised an agreement to end the twelve-day workers strike at Port of Montreal in Canada.

Following the signing of the agreement, the operations resumed at the port.

The agreement was signed after a labour dispute and includes a seven-month period of truce without a pause in operations.

The strike was initiated on 10 August due to disputes over wages and scheduling. Longshoremen have claimed that they have worked without a contract since 2018.

CUPE 375 spokesperson Michel Murray and MEA president Martin Tessier carried out a joint press conference regarding the issue.

The parties have reached a common ground regarding the truce parameters and are "confident that they will be able to reach an agreement in principle negotiated by the end of the truce 20 March 2021".

In a statement, the CUPE 375 said: “Both parties have agreed to suspend all pressure tactics during these months. By mutual agreement, they will be able to resort to arbitration at the end of this truce if certain points remain in dispute.”

The port started operations from 7 am local time on 23 August, which will facilitate the movement of containers that were stuck.

Due to the strike, many containers and cargo were diverted to other US and Canadian ports.

CBC said that there were heightened tensions at the port when the officials said that they would bring replacement workers to move the stranded containers that included those transporting essential goods amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Workers can initiate a strike if an agreement is not finalised by the end of the truce period in March.




Senegal to move ammonium nitrate from Port of Dakar

Officials in Senegal have requested the transfer of 2,700t of ammonium nitrate from the Port of Dakar, following two very large explosions in Beirut port in Lebanon.

On 4 August, two massive explosions at the Port of Beirut killed more than 200 and injured over 5,000 people.

Lebanese officials said that the explosions were caused by 2,750t of ammonium nitrate that was stored in a warehouse for six years. Ammonium nitrate is highly explosive.

Many buildings near the explosion site and vessels harboured at the port were also damaged. Media reports said that the Orient Queen cruise ship and BNS Bijoy navy ship were damaged.

BBC reported that the chemicals at the port are a part of a previous 3,050t consignment that was supposed to be transferred to Mali. Officials said that approximately 350t was transported.

The Senegal Government said that the consignment owner has requested to have the chemicals moved to a warehouse in Diamniadio, which is approximately 30km away from Dakar.

However, the request is yet to be approved by the Ministry of the Environment, which said that the site did not adhere to the necessary conditions such as carrying out the environmental and social impact study.

Due to the damage caused by the explosion at Beirut, the Tripoli port in Lebanon is preparing to temporarily replace the port. It will provide an economic boost and creations of jobs to the city of Tripoli.

The UN said that the Beirut port is operational at 30% capacity, while the Tripoli port is at 70%.




Bahri orders ten chemical tankers from HMD

Saudi Arabia-based shipping and logistics company Bahri has signed an agreement worth $410m with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for the construction of ten medium-range chemical tankers.

The agreement was signed by Bahri CEO Abdullah Aldubaikhi and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) COO and senior executive vice president Seung-Yong Park in a virtual ceremony.

The purchase of the vessels is part of the company’s aim to expand its marine capabilities and fleet renewal.

The 49,999dwt vessels are scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.

The vessels will comply with the highest environmental, fuel efficiency and safety standards in accordance with Bahri commitment for responsible operations.

Aldubaikhi said: “As a company committed to contributing to Saudi Arabia’s maritime goals set out in Vision 2030, Bahri has always remained keen on the continual enhancement of its enormous fleet of state-of-the-art multi-purpose vessels.

“The new agreement with HMD for the building of ten high-spec chemical tankers represents a major step forward in our next phase of growth and further strengthens our leading position in the global maritime industry.

“With the newbuilds entering our fleet over the next two years, we will be further equipped to cater to the varying needs of our customers around the world.”

Last year, Bahri, International Maritime Industries and HHI signed a memorandum of understanding for very large crude-oil carriers.




Norden forms joint venture with Synergy Group for tanker management

Danish shipping company DS Norden has formed a joint venture with Synergy Group to handle the technical management of Norden’s tanker vessels.

The joint venture, Norden Synergy Ship Management (NSSM), is a 50/50 partnership between the two companies.

Synergy Group CEO and founder Rajesh Unni said: “Norden is a quality, historic and renowned shipping brand with an organisation that truly lives up to its motto Smarter Global Trade.

“We see great alignment when we have partnered previously and we expect that to lead to more mutual wins in the future through NSSM.”

Last year, Norden selected Synergy Group to manage its bulk carrier fleet. The management services would be provided from its Singapore head office and technical office in India.

NSSM will manage the current fleet of medium-range and handysize product carriers of Norden from its Copenhagen headquarters.

The additional technical support will be provided by a wholly owned subsidiary in India.

The seafarers who are employed by Norden will be transferred to NSSM and will continue to work on the vessels owned by Norden.

Unni added: “Both teams are conscious about opportunities to make a difference in the industry. Culturally, the teams have much in common and that to me is the key to this partnership.

“The joint venture will also take advantage of Synergy’s new generation digital ship offering – SMARTShip, an internet of things platform that enables improvement of vessel and fleet efficiency by bringing cutting-edge computing to the high seas.”

In December last year, Norden formed a partnership with Kvasir Technologies to develop sustainable ship biofuel from plant material.




Yilport joins blockchain platform TradeLens

Turkish port operator Yilport has announced that it has joined the blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform TradeLens.

The cooperation between Yilport and TradeLens began last month with data flow at Yilport Gebze and Gemport Terminals.

The port operator finished and implemented integration studies with TradeLens.

The blockchain platform is collectively developed by AP Moller – Maersk and tech giant IBM. It enables participants to connect, exchange information and partner across the shipping supply chain.

It digitises the supply chain process from end to end and enables authorised participants to access trusted data in real time.

The platform will provide different applications to supply chain stakeholders, including shippers, agencies, port operators, customs authorities and financial service providers.

In a statement, Yilport said: “Yilport will accelerate the digitisation of global trade. Modernising the processes, by which logistics operate, is critical to building a robust and more efficient supply chain.

“TradeLens will contribute to delivering best-in-class service and visibility to supply chain partners for Yilport Holding brand.”

Previously, Russia’s Commercial Port of Vladivostok and Vietnam’s Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT) adopted the TradeLens shipping solution.




IMO provides support to reduce impact of Mauritius oil spill

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is providing support to the efforts undertaken to reduce the effects of the Mauritius oil spill.

Earlier this month, approximately 1,000t of fuel oil spilt from MV Wakashio, a stranded Japanese ship, in Mauritius.

The ship was carrying approximately 4,000t of fuel and was reported to have ‘ran aground’ on 25 July on a coral reef due to bad weather.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and IMO have jointly allocated an expert to advise the Government of Mauritius on how to reduce the impact of the oil spill on the environment and coastal communities.

The expert has provided technical advice, carried out field visits and operational meetings, and spoken with different stakeholders.

On 15 August, the vessel broke into two parts after most of the oil was removed. Approximately 3,000t of oil was removed, however, some residue and other oil remains are present in the stern section.

The operations at the scene aim to salvage and remove the ship, recover the oil and clean up the beach.

The shipowner and International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, along with IMO and OCHA, have started to mobilise the environmental and oil spill experts.

The vessel owner has selected SMIT Salvage to monitor the operations.

IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim said: “I would like to commend all those involved in the international efforts to support the Government of Mauritius and to mitigate the impact of the oil spill from the MV Wakashio.

“I look forward to a full investigation into the incident so that the results and findings can be brought to IMO and we can act on any recommendations.”




Indian oil companies boycott Chinese vessels for transport

Indian oil companies have reportedly stopped using Chinese tankers for the transport of crude and petroleum products.

Bloomberg Quint said that the move follows the increasing tensions between the two countries. However, it will not affect the flow of trade.

Bloomberg Quint reported that Chinese-flagged and owned vessels have been banned from bidding on tanker charter tenders to import oil into the country or export products such as diesel from India.

The ban came after India implemented laws last month on business with countries that share its border.

Major state-owned companies also plan to ask oil traders and suppliers not to ship to India using Chinese ships.

The move could put further strain on ties between the two countries, following tensions at the India-China border in June.

Late at night on 16 June, a Sino-Indian border dispute occurred in the Galwan Valley and claimed the lives of soldiers on ‘both sides’.

On 23 June, India and China agreed to disengage troops and withdraw their military equipment from the LAC.

The trade restrictions imposed by India are expected to reduce Chinese participation in tenders offered by state-owned companies.

Last month, Indian Customs cleared the Chinese shipments that were stuck at ports for the ten days.

There has also been an increase in demands in India to boycott Chinese products due to the border clash. Recently, the Indian Government banned 59 Chinese apps.




Port of Tripoli to temporarily replace Beirut port in Lebanon

The Port of Tripoli in Lebanon is reportedly preparing to temporarily replace the port of Beirut, which was destroyed in an explosion earlier this month.

On 4 August, two massive explosions at the Port of Beirut killed more than 170 and injured over 5,000 people.

Lebanese officials said that the explosions were caused by 2,750t of ammonium nitrate that was stored in a warehouse for six years.

Many buildings near the explosion site and vessels harboured at the port were also damaged. Media reports said that the Orient Queen cruise ship and BNS Bijoy navy ship were damaged.

The Port of Tripoli is smaller than the Port of Beirut, which was used for the import of food and other items.

The Supreme Defence Council of Lebanon ordered that the port of Tripoli for ‘import and export operations’.

Tripoli port director Ahmad Tamer said: “The Port of Tripoli can stand in for Beirut on a temporary basis for the time it will take it to be operational again.”

The United Nations (UN) said that the Port of Beirut is operational at 30% capacity, while the Tripoli port is at 70%.

The ports of Saida and Tyre are smaller and can also offer support, but bigger vessels cannot dock at the ports.

Approximately 85% of the food in Lebanon comes from imports and the UN World Food Programme said that the destruction could worsen the already severe situation.

The Port of Tripoli underwent upgrade works to accommodate increased traffic expected in connection with the reconstruction efforts needed in Syria.