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1 MARCH 2003 Surabaya crane collapse Further information has emerged regarding the crane collapse at Terminal Petikemas Surabaya (TPS) in Indonesia in February, resulting in the tragic death of the driver (see News February 2003, p1). Crane No. 7, one of two Impsa units less than two years old, was apparently caught by a microburst, which blew it some 200m down the quay into crane 6 (the other Impsa unit). Crane 7 collapsed on impact, its boom crashing across two bays of the PIL vessel KOTA HARRA and the main structure collapsing on to the quay. Crane 6 was badly damaged in the impact and was pushed into crane 5 which in turn hit crane 4, both older Hitachi units. Cranes 4 and 5 sustained minor damage to the buffers but are now operational again. While the incident claimed one Deepsea tank operator Hoyer- Odfjell BV, the Rotterdam-based joint venture between Hoyer GmbH of Hamburg and Odfjell ASA of Bergen, has booked an order for 2000 ISO tank containers with Burg Intermodal. Reckoned to be the largest single tank container order ever placed, the T-11 (IMO 1) units will be built in South Africa by Burg subsidiary Welfit Oddy. The highly flexible contract allows Hoyer- Odfjell to vary the capacity of the tanks between 21,000 and 26,000 litres according to requirement, with an open ended delivery schedule that will be dictated by market demand. Welfit Oddy says the order represents not more than 28 per cent of its anticipated annual output and that sufficient capacity will remain for all existing The crane driver was killed when crane No. 7 collapsed after hitting crane 6 life, the loss could have been much greater. Some 50 people were sheltering from rain under the awning of the central office at the time and the falling backreach of crane 7 came within 2m of the building. Two yard tractors were hit by debris and one driver was injured. Two cars parked nearby were destroyed. customers, as well as potential new customers currently being quoted. This new order results from the successful operation of 400 tanks ordered from Burg Record tank order Hoyer-Odfjell s order for 2000 tanks is reckoned to be the largest ever placed Intermodal in January To secure the initial order, Welfit Oddy had to incorporate the wellknown Hoyer frame design to meet Hoyer-Odfjell s requirement At this stage TPS is attributing the accident to an extreme weather event, but it is being surmised that there was a failure in the crane s braking system. Microbursts of wind are not unknown at ports all over the world and cranes should properly be able to withstand them. It is understood that the maximum wind speed at the time was around 20 m/sec (45 mph), although the CMS on crane 6 showed wind alarm events at >16 m/sec but no auto shutdowns at 20 m/sec (the in-service limit for safe crane operations). The incident is not, according to brake manufacturers, an isolated event. In 1996 Ican (then Nippon Ican), published a paper Crane accidents due to wind effects arguing that motor integrated brakes and push-down storm brakes are, in many instances, unable to stop a crane runaway caused by a sudden microburst of wind. An investigation is underway to determine what caused the accident and whether there were any systems or component failures. Impsa declined to comment until the investigation is complete. for fleet uniformity. The new design, hitherto built primarily by Van Hool in Belgium, successfully passed all statutory dynamic and static tests and in addition was subjected to Welfit Oddy s rigorous fatigue testing programme. Welfit Oddy s ability to secure the Hoyer-Odfjell order is attributed in part to a decision taken five months ago by parent company Burg Industries to make significant additional investment in the company s Port Elizabeth plant. The new investment included building extensions, new semiautomated circ welders, a new dished-end press, a new seam welder and a new four-roll double pinch roller. The seam welder and the pinch roller have a 7m capacity, which means that Welfit Oddy is the first tank builder able to build all sizes of swap tank of up to litres capacity in one length of stainless steel sheet, without the need for additional circumferential welds. Bubenzer to enter spreader market Leading brake manufacturer Bubenzer Bremsen is developing a crane spreader and plans to enter the market this year. The first units are expected to be launched in the middle of this year. Although the spreader market is very competitive, Bubenzer has identified spreaders as a market where it can grow its business by offering a quality product requiring less maintenance and backed by its after-sales network. Bubenzer is also launching a new range of motor-mounted disc brakes, the type MA series. These are electromagnetic release brakes available with nominal torque from 100 to 750Nm. They are made of stainless steel and aluminium and fitted with sintered metal linings (the same as Bubenzer fits to its hoist brakes) that have been tested to over 30,000 dynamic cycles. No wear compensation is required at up to 60 per cent of nominal brake torque and torque itself is fully adjustable from per cent without removing the springs by adjusting screws inside the cover with a special key. This system also allows the release gap to be adjusted at different points if necessary for uniformity. Bubenzer has launched the MA series of motor-mounted disc brakes To avoid the need for voltage conversion Bubenzer has equipped the MA series with an internal rectifier that allows direct connection to V AC power supply. The rectifier has its own terminal box that, along with the magnet, has a protection class of IP65. The first MA brakes will be fitted to two container cranes later this year. Bubenzer has also launched a new design of hydraulic/gas impact buffer. The new buffers are now field-repairable and offer improved features such as a synthetic impact plate and an advanced metering pin system. Repairable buffers can generate significant savings compared to replacement units; for example, replacing a worn seal can cost as little as 5 per cent of the price of a new buffer. More for Singamas Singamas Container Holdings has entered into a joint venture agreement with Hiking Group Co Ltd to establish a new dry freight box building facility in the northern Chinese city of Qingdao. To be known as Qingdao Pacific Container Co, Singamas will hold a 55 per cent stake in the company with Hiking Group holding the remaining 45 per cent equity. Total investment in the project is put at US$12 mill. The new plant will be built in Huangdao District, close to the new Huangdao container port. Construction is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year with commercial operations starting in January Installed capacity will be 100,000 TEU/year. Qingdao Pacific will be the ninth container factory owned or operated by Singamas and the eighth in China. The company already operates dry freight container plants in Shanghai (two), Xiamen, Guangdong, Tianjin and Surabaya (Indonesia), as well as a reefer plant in Shanghai and a dry freight specials facility in Yixing. The new plant will boost the annual production capacity of the Singamas network by around 20 per cent to 620,000 TEU. This is the fourth new dry freight container plant in China to be announced over the past few months. As reported in the January 2003 issue of News (p1), CIMC is opening new facilities in Yantian and Xiamen this year with respective annual capacities of 72,000 TEU and 180,000 TEU, while CXIC is scheduled to open a 120,000 TEU facility in Ningbo this month. Ironically, CIMC is also planning to boost its dry freight manufacturing capacity in Qingdao by shifting its existing plant to a new site near the port. Production is expected to start in September this year with an installed capacity of 180,000 TEU/year. IN THIS ISSUE NEWS Low noise alarm 2 Cascade buys Itab 3 Igus goes vertical 4 Durban tender imminent 8 Yangshan delay 9 Heathrow deals 16 New reefer swap design 19 TEC in China tank move 21 Korea out of boxes 22 PORT DEVELOPMENT USWC - green headaches 25 Tough going in Brazil 27 Chile blows hot and cold 28 CARGO HANDLING Seoho gets a fix 29 Towards greener RTGs 29 RTGs seeking an edge 30 Heavy lift hangs on 32 INTERMODAL Keep a constant watch 34 Problems for big ideas 35 CONTAINER INDUSTRY Floors - going nowhere 36 Pressure on decal makers 37 Still making a mark 39

2 Jurong jetty monitoring deal UK-based load measurement and stress analysis systems manufacturer Strainstall recently completed a contract to supply integrated jetty monitoring systems for the new VLCC oil import terminal at Jurong in Singapore. The systems are designed to accurately monitor a vessel s speed and angle of approach and, once the ship is safely berthed, provide constant monitoring of the mooring lines to ensure that the tension of the lines remains within pre-defined parameters. The Jurong facility comprises two berths each capable of handling a VLCC, one operated by Exxon Mobil and the other by Tanker Mooring Services. Separate integrated monitoring systems have been installed for each berth, each comprising three proven sub-systems developed by Strainstall - DockAlert, MoorAlert and Berth Manager The Strainstall DockAlert system provides a continuous, realtime readout of the vessel s speed of approach, angle of approach and distance from the berth. This is achieved by two sensors mounted at each end of the berth that transmit laser beams towards the incoming vessel and receive reflections back from the bow and stern. This data is transmitted to the berthing manager s control room and to a large digit display mounted adjacent to the berth that is visible from the ship s bridge at all times. The MoorAlert system measures and records the tension in A newly-launched, directional and locational vehicle reversing alarm, which utilises broad band sound, has been officially endorsed by the UK s Noise Abatement Society (NAS). In addition, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has stated that, in prototype trials carried out with a Cat 966D earth mover, the alarm not only reduces noise emissions by some 5 db(a) compared to a conventional single tone reversing alarm, but could reduce accidents since it increases vehicle localisation capability. Known as bbs-tek and developed by Brigade Electronics plc, the ruggedised device, which is no The Strainstall MoorAlert system at the new VLCC oil import terminal in Jurong automatically measures and records the tension in vessel mooring lines vessel mooring lines and detects any changes in the predetermined values caused by the action of wind, tide and wash from passing ships. Data from the system enables the berthing manager or the vessel master to continuously assess the efficiency of the mooring pattern and to take appropriate action to ensure that maximum mooring safety is maintained at all times. Load measurement at each mooring point is performed by a hermetically sealed Load Measurement Pin that is installed in place of the rear horizontal swivel pin in the quick-release mooring hooks. Forces acting on the pin are converted into an electrical signal and all the hook load outputs are collected via a network on the jetty for processing and display in the system master unit. Prevailing environmental conditions are also measured via a Met/Ocean sub-system, including wind speed and direction. air and sea temperature, humidity, rainfall, sea current speed and direction and wave and tide heights Signals from DockAlert, MoorAlert and the environmental package are handled by Berth Manager, a Windows NT-based software/hardware suite, which not only logs and records the data from the two systems but also provides on-screen, real-time graphic display of a vessel s approach and, when berthed, the current mooring status of each mooring line. Alarm parameters for each line can be individually changed as required. In the case of the Jurong facility two Berth Manager stations were provided - one for each berth. However, it is possible for one station to assume control of the other berth or both berths should the need arise. Low noise reversing alarm bigger than a tea cup, emits (literally) a shhh sound. Compared with a pure tone conventional alarm, says NAS director Peter Wakeham, it is like having your foot trodden on by someone wearing a slipper instead of a stiletto heel. Wakeham checked the device at a Tarmac factory in England, which uses a range of heavy and mid-size equipment such as loading shovels, wheel loaders and FLTs. Vehicle alarms, adds Wakeham, are a source of ever more complaints from people living close to quarries, ports, industrial sites, warehousing/distribution centres, etc. With broad band sound, the noise dissipates much more quickly - ie it does not carry so far (such as over water) - but at the same time it is less likely to be ignored because in a multi-machine/vehicle environment it is easy to detect the source. Brigade offers a complete range of bbs-tek devices to suit all road-going and off-road vehicle types. A number of units have recently been supplied to Australia, for use on FLTs, HGVs and quarry plant. It is understood that trials on bbs-tek are being conducted on straddle carriers at a container terminal in Germany. SCT buys Sprinters Southampton Container Terminals (SCT) has placed an order for five 1 on 1 Sprinter Carriers from Noell Crane Systems, to replace its existing tractor/trailer shuttle between the terminal and the Freightliner railhead, a round trip of around 800m. The road layout to the railhead is being redesigned to optimise the machines travel path. The Sprinter Carrier has been demonstrated to leading terminal operators in Europe, Australia and the US although SCT is believed to be the first to place a firm order. The machines will be delivered during the summer. SCT s engineering director Cameron Waugh explains that the tractor heads currently deployed in feeding the railhead were coming up for replacement so it was a case of buying new or switching to another system which, because of its self-buffering capabilities, holds out the promise of higher productivity. Typically four Sprinter Carriers should be required so the fifth machine provides redundancy. The machine is essentially a cut-down version of Noell s ESW diesel-electric 1 over 2/1 over 3 designs, with six wheels rather than eight. As previously reported (see News January 2003, p36), each of the four drive wheels (the middle wheel on each side is not driven) has a hub motor drive with its own inverter, similar to the latest ESW design. As the present tractor/trailer sets are geared for twin 20 moves, the Sprinter Carriers are being fitted with twin 20 spreaders rated at 50 tonnes in twin mode (and 40 tonnes for single 20/40). As also previously reported, a further tonne SWL (for twin 20s) 1 over 2 Noell ESWs are being delivered to SCT this year, following the delivery of the first 11 machines last year. As is well-known, this order was a major breakthough for Noell as SCT had been a 100 per cent Kalmar (Sisu/Valmet) operation for many years. Kalmar had offered the terminal a power by hour deal but P&O was apparently determined to introduce another supplier. CARGO HANDLING NEWS The picture shows the boom being fitted to the Kalmar Nelcon post-panamax container crane ordered last year by Eurogate, where it arrived by barge in semi-erect form from the Rotterdam fabrication facility last month. As previously reported, this 40 tonne SWL-48.5m (17-wide deck stow) crane is of the traditional Nelcon lattice boon design as previously supplied to Eurokai (three units) except that it has more lift height above rail (32m) and is fitted with Alstom rather than Siemens drive controls. Self-weight of the crane is 1060 tons and it is due to be commissioned at the beginning of June, bringing the crane complement at Eurogate Hamburg (Eurokai) to 13. Last year the terminal logged an increase in throughput of 17.9 per cent to 1.73 mill TEU Hat back in the ring Young An Hat Company Ltd (YAHC), which recently bought Clark Material Handling Company (CMHC) in the USA to bring it out of bankruptcy (see last month s News p3), is close to securing a similar buyout deal with the receivers of Clark Material Handling Europe (CMHE) in Mulheim, Germany. CMHE was put into receivership when YAHC bought CMHC, whose chief executive, Kevin Reardon, said that another As part of its drive to improve national port security, Dutch Customs has taken delivery of a highenergy mobile cargo scanner. The CX-2500M unit, worth US$5 mill, generates X-ray imaging from a 2.5MeV linear accelerator source. The new scanner recently entered service in the Port of Rotterdam, where it is being deployed at various terminals to screen containers for contraband or terrorist weapons. An option exists for a second machine to be acquired for a separate site in Amsterdam. The scanner order was placed in early 2002 with PerkinElmer Instruments, although this company has since sold its Detection Systems division to Massachusettsbased L-3 Communications Security and Detection Systems. The transaction was concluded in June 2002 and all manufacturing of products/systems has since been relocated to a larger site in Florida. Several key personnel have also joined L-3 from PerkinElmer, including technical marketing director, Nick Gillett. Gillett explained that the CX- 2500M design now heads the growing L-3 cargo security range. It has a capability to penetrate a 200mm thickness of steel, while providing a high-resolution image quality, and can typically scan a full container within 20 minutes. To enhance its mobility and simplify maintenance, the imaging device company, which he described as a large US material handling company with a big presence in Europe was also bidding for CMHE. If the YAHC bid is accepted, CMHE will continue to operate in its present form, although staff numbers will be reduced. If YAHC s bid is not successful, naming rights will be retained and YAHC will open a distributorship in the region. Reardon said, however, that the latter would be an unlikely outcome. L-3 for Rotterdam is mounted on a standard Volvobuilt truck chassis. It is also wholly road-mobile when stowed, and is run within a special safety exclusion zone in order to limit the exposure of operatives and other personnel to radiation, which is already restricted to very low permissible levels in the Netherlands. One further safety feature is a portable microwave fence that will switch off the X-ray source in the event of anyone entering the exclusion zone during the scan. The CX-2500M model was derived from the low energy CX- 450M design, similarly developed for the mobile scanning of cargo at seaports and also now forming part of the L-3 range. The latter was produced originally for the US Customs and uses an energy source of 450KeV. CX-450M units have previously been sold to Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the US Army. However, Gillett stated that relatively few units of this size have entered use at seaport container terminals, because of the requirement for a more powerful imaging tool. Although X-rays from a 450KeV source can view containers that are empty, or carrying more lightly packaged manufactured goods, they cannot penetrate denser items, such as raw materials, plant equipment or foodstuffs, which make up a sizeable share of global container trade. The CX-2500M scanner is mounted on a Volvo-built road-mobile truck chassis 2 March 2003

3 CARGO HANDLING NEWS Kalmar lines up Hollandia Hard on the heels of its Tampere product lines outsourcing agreement with TP group (see News January 2003, p36), Kalmar Industries is negotiating an outsourcing agreement for fabrication of steel structures of (ex-nelcon) ship-toshore cranes and RMGs (including any ASCs) with Lubbers Constructiewerkplaats en Machinefabriek Hollandia BV, one of the leading steel construction companies in Western Europe. Under the proposed deal, Hollandia will be responsible for the steel fabrication and assembly of Kalmar cranes while Kalmar Industries BV, Kalmar s Dutch subsidiary in Rotterdam (formerly Nelcon and Groot Hensen), will focus on marketing, R & D, project management and servicing of the cranes. This arrangement will lead to some 100 employees of Kalmar Industries BV being transferred to Hollandia, which will continue to operate out of the former Nelcon factory in Rotterdam, although other Hollandia factories will also be involved so that capacity can be mobilised to provide short delivery times for even the largest projects. Hollandia is a leading designer and builder of steel structures such as bridges and modular buildings - the London Eye is among its achievements. It is not clear at this juncture whether production of HS straddle carriers is staying in house in Rotterdam or is also being contracted out to Hollandia. The duration of the agreement with Hollandia is also unknown. Its signficance, however, is that Kalmar has found a Dutch solution to the problem of ensuring price competitiveness and timely deliveries to match ZPMC, while maintaining Nelcon s traditional high quality standards. By outsourcing production, Kalmar is also insulating itself from market fluctuations. Last year its net sales fell to E719.3 mill, compared to around E800 mill in Contractors such as TP group and Hollandia serve a broad range of industries and may be able to switch resources from one to another as demand warrants. These deals mean that Kalmar is essentially left with two established production operations, Kansas (terminal tractors) and Lidhult/Ljungby (reach stackers and mast trucks), which would be difficult to farm out because there is no other supply infrastructure of sufficient capacity to call on; and one new one, in Shanghai, which it is trying to build up (initially for terminal tractors). It remains to be seen how Kalmar and Bromma spreader and spreader components production at various sites today (Tampere, Stockholm, Roxboro, Ipoh, Polish and Estonian suppliers) is reorganised (see also last month s News, p24). MAN restructuring moves As part of a restructuring of the MAN Group in Germany, MAN Takraf Fördertechnik has taken over the range of shipyard, port and offshore slewing cranes previously supplied by MAN Wolffkran. MAN Takraf is a long-established supplier of heavy duty steel mill cranes as well as various types of cranes for ports and harbours, including gantry grab shipunloaders, double-link level luffing and slewing cranes and floating cranes as well as large gantry cranes for shipyards. MAN Wolffkran s range of luffing and slewing cranes, says a company statement, complements the MAN Takraf programme, particularly as regards single jib cranes. Now cranes with lifting capacities between 5 tonnes and 200 tonnes and slewing ranges of up to 100m are available from a single source. MAN Takraf is currently extending its crane range, particularly with new luffing and slewing cranes for shipyards to complement its existing gantry cranes. Two orders are already being processed for shipyards in Indonesia and Malaysia. As a result of the re-structuring, MAN Takraf Fördertechnik will also be able to cover the market for offshore cranes, taking over more than 30 references for offshore cranes supplied by MAN Wolffkran within the last 25 years. Cascade buys Itab Cascade Corporation has acquired Sweden-based paper roll clamp manufacturer Itab from Nymek AB, which had owned the company for about 12 years. The deal was made through Cascade s European production unit, Cascade Europe, headquartered in Almere, Holland, which will reportedly take over the production. According to a statement issued from Almere, merging the Cascade and Itab product lines and damage protection systems, such as the latter s semi-automated Smart Clamp system, further cements Cascade s position as the premier supplier to the European paper industry. Cascade Scandinavia AB, based in Gothenburg and headed by Tommy Abrahamsson, will be responsible for the Scandinavian market. Savannah additions Two Konecranes superpost-panamax ship-to-shore cranes arrived at the Port of Savannah s Garden City Terminal at the end of last month. The largest ever to operate in Savannah, they represent a US$11.6 mill investment in new infrastructure by the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA). These cranes are 20 per cent larger in size and have hoist speeds almost 50 per cent faster than existing cranes in service at the Port of Savannah, said Doug Marchand, executive director for the GPA. They will not only help us move more cargo faster than ever before, but they will allow GPA to continue growing faster than any containerport in the US. The cranes arrived fully erect aboard the DOCK EXPRESS 10 and successfully transited the Talmadge Bridge, which was closed to traffic during the manoeuvre. The bridge has a vertical clearance of 194ft in the shipping lane at low tide. When the cranes transited, they towered 190ft above the water level. GPA ordered the cranes from Konecranes in late With a lifting capacity of 72 tons under spreader and 95 tons under hook, they have an outreach sufficient to handle a 22-wide deck stow. March

4 Bromma spreader for Freightliner UK intermodal rail operator Freightliner Ltd has retrofitted the Morris RMG (type 0-4-0) at its Leeds (Stourton) terminal with a Bromma all-electric 20-40ft spreader. This is understood to be the first RMG application anywhere in the world for this spreader design, introduced by Bromma about one year ago. One of the biggest customers so far is the Port of Felixstowe which now has the spreader fitted to 11 RTGs. Freightliner s crane engineer Mark O Neil explains that up to now the company has pursued a spreader refurbishment programme at its railheads, but the new Bromma offers some important advantages. It uses much less power, is competitively priced and self-weight is just 5.8 VOLUME 10 NUMBER 3 ISSN EDITORIAL: CHRIS MUNFORD PUBLISHING DIRECTOR VINCENT CHAMPION EDITORIAL DIRECTOR ADVERTISING: SIMON PESKETT ADVERTISEMENT DIRECTOR MIKE FORDER COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR STEPHEN CATCHPOLE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER ADMINISTRATION & CIRCULATION: GILL TILBURY SALES & MARKETING COORDINATOR NICCI VIGORITO MARKETING ASSISTANT CORRESPONDENTS: PAUL AVERY (ASIA) DALE CRISP (AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND) FRANCO CORBELLINI (FRANCE) FRANCE AGENT: VALERIE RUIZ Telephone: tonnes tonnes less than the spreader it is replacing. This will allow an increase in the crane s SWL (currently 30 tonnes) although the new SWL has not yet been set by Freightliner. The crane at Stourton performs up to 60,000 lifts/year and the weight saving will help boost its fatigue life. One reason the old spreader was so heavy was that it was originally a combi-lifter (when Freightliner ran domestic swap body services) and although the legs had been removed, the frame still carried structural weight associated with them. However, the all-electric spreader saves weight in its own right because of more modern construction, and absence of hydraulic rams, oil tank, etc. ITALY AGENT: PAOLA ANDREANI, EDICONSULT INTERNAZIONALE Telephone: Fax: JAPAN AGENT: HIDEO NAKAYAMA, NAKAYAMA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL INC. Telephone: Fax: Igus goes vertical Now well-established in the container crane market with chains for trolley and long travel use, Igus is looking to extend its range by developing cable chains for vertical applications. Today s large cranes usually require a powered reel for the spreader cable and some operators might welcome an alternative solution. Igus has cable chains in other vertical applications, such as theatre lighting, but a container crane is a much more difficult proposition. One of the problems is where to store the chain when the hoist is raised. While there are several possible configurations, Igus is developing a system using a counter- weight that lowers the chain away from the load when the hoist is raised. A test system has been installed on the automated RMG that was built for the Mega-hub intermodal terminal project at Noell s facility in Würzburg. For lifts up to 40m igus offers energy chains in a zig zag configuration where the chain coils left and right as the hoist is raised. Igus also sees this as a new solution for straddle carriers, RTGs and RMGs. Igus continues to build momentum in horizontal travel applications on container cranes. More then 30 container cranes and 400 RTGs are now in operation with its energy chains. Yantai for CSXWT CSX World Terminals (CSXWT) and Yantai Port Authority (YPA) have signed a joint venture contract under which CSXWT and YPA will jointly invest in and operate the container terminal facility at Yantai Port, Shandong Province, in North China. The joint venture - to be known as CSX World Terminals Yantai Company Ltd - will be held 50 per cent by CSXWT and 50 per cent by YPA. CSXWT will provide operating management and global sales and marketing with the aim of establishing the facility as a state-of-the-art container terminal. The Yantai terminal was completed in early 2002 and has a 573m berth with a 14m depth alongside capable of handling the new generation of post-panamax vessels. It is equipped with four ship-to-shore cranes, three rubber tyred gantry cranes and six rail mounted gantry cranes all supplied by SPMP. The Yantai terminal is expected to attract significant volumes of both indigenous and transhipment cargo. Complementing the port is a contiguous export processing zone for warehousing and a logistics park. This is CSXWT s second container terminal investment in North China. The company has been an investor in CSX Orient Terminal in Tianjin since Commenting on the Yantai move, William McHugh, CSXWT senior vice president China Investments, said, The Yantai terminal facility will enable CSXWT to increase its participation in China s fast growing container throughput in future years. Management for the new Yantai container terminal will be provided by CSXWT CARGO HANDLING/PORT NEWS ICTSI bags BCT International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) is to pay some US$40 mill for the right to operate Poland s Baltic Container Ter minal (BCT) in the Port of Gdynia, the Philippines-based company s first foray into Europe. Miroslaw Turzynski, a member of the port authority s managing board, confirmed that ICTSI put in the highest offer for 100 per cent of the shares of state-owned BCT. ICTSI met all other criteria concerning investor obligations, added Turzynski, without elaborating. The Polish media had reported that second-placed bidder APM Ter minals had been unhappy about certain aspects of the award. However, privatisation supervisor board chairman Andrej Grzelakowski stated that the process had been good, clean and transparent. The contract award is slated for the second quarter of 2003, by which time ICTSI should have completed negotiations with the local unions. ICTSI won the concession as highest bidder, says the port authority It is not yet clear whether ICTSI will assume BCT s existing 20-year (extendable) concession or be given a fresh lease of the same duration. Turzynski confirmed that the port will continue to own the land and buildings covered by the facility, which boasts a total quay length of 980m, warehousing of 2.3 hectares and 21 hectares of open storage area. ICTSI has not revealed its plans beyond saying that it would expand BCT s current annual capacity of 350,000 TEU in the near term. Last year throughput came to 252,247 TEU, up 16.2 per cent on BCT s equipment park includes one Konecranes quay crane and three Paceco-Fruehauf Portainers, two Paceco-Fruehauf RMGs, 10 RTGs, an elderly 15 ton Jones mobile crane and two Noell 40 tonne straddle carriers. Unikai closes down Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus AG (HHLA) has closed down its Unikai facility for container shipping. Last month P&O Nedlloyd s 2462 TEU PANTANAL was the last container vessel to call there The ship, operated in the line s WCSA service, discharged 560 containers and loaded 480. The Unikai terminal was opened in 1984 by Hapag-Lloyd and considered state-of-the-art at the time, with one of the first wire-guided RTG stacking systems in Europe. HHLA took over the facility in Some 200,000 TEU/year were handled at the 3-berth facility, equipped with five gantry cranes. With the opening of HHLA s CTA Altenwerder, Unikai is considered surplus to requirements and its staff of 100 will be transferred to CTA, Burchardkai and TCT. Unikai will now be used for ancillary container purposes, including depot work. It is not clear what will happen to the cranes. KOREA AGENT JO, YOUNG-SANG, BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS INC. Telephone: Fax: SPAIN AGENT ANDREW DOUGALL, COMUNICADO SL Telephone: Fax: PUBLISHED BY WCN PUBLISHING Northbank House, 5 Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8BL, England. Telephone: Fax: SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions are available from the address above or via our website: News/ISSN is published monthly for US$155 per year by WCN Publishing. Periodicals postage paid at Rahway, NJ. Postmaster: Send address changes to WCN Publishing c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd, 365 Blair Road, Avenel, NJ March 2003

5 PORT NEWS Newcastle, Kembla on standby The latest expressions of interest period for Newcastle s proposed Multi-Purpose Terminal (see News October 2002, p19) closed on 28 February, with Newcastle Port Corporation (NPC) reporting an encouraging level of response. Though NPC is not releasing the final number and names of companies to be shortlisted, local reports have named usual suspects including Toll, Patrick and P&O Ports, plus a consortium of Egis of France, Flinders Ports of South Australia (in which Egis and Adsteam are leading shareholders) and construction giant Leighton (which has been involved in previous Newcastle terminal plans). It is unclear whether P&O Ports interest is standalone or via its stake in Egis Ports. P&O Ports has extensive activity in Newcastle, including a joint venture with GrainCorp in a bulk agri-products terminal, and plans to develop the K1 berth for the Protech steel rolling mill project. Toll already owns and operates the Eastern Basin Distribution Centre in the port. The submissions will now be assessed by an evaluation panel, before a recommended shortlist is submitted to the Budget Committee of the New South Wales cabinet for approval to proceed and call for detailed proposals. Construction work could commence in mid 2004, Jam today? The government of the south Indian state of Kerala will shortly appoint a consultant to prepare a feasibility report for the development of Vizhinjam port as a major transhipment hub. Nearly 20 international consultants responded to the tender floated by the government last year. Seven of these were shortlisted and those in the final reckoning are Collen Grummit and Roe of Australia, BMT Asia Pacific of Singapore and L&T Ramboll of India. The proposed port is being relocated from a site selected earlier to a nearby fishing harbour. The consultant will prepare a detailed report and project possible container traffic for Vizhinjam. In 1999, the Kerala government signed an agreement for the development of Vizhinjam on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis with Kumar Energy Corporation, but the agreement was terminated last year before any progress had been made. Kocks wins IPRA order Germany-based Kocks Krane International GmbH has won the tender for four superpost-panamax cranes, with options for three more, for Israel Ports and Railways Authority (IPRA) s new Hayoved ( Jubilee ) Port in Ashdod. The contract for the four cranes is valued at 27.5 mill, says Kocks, and the deliveries are slated for July, September and October next year. As previously reported (see last month s News, p10), the first phase of the new port is now expected to open at the end of 2004/early Over the years Kocks has been the IPRA s main supplier of cranes, the most recent being two units for Haifa in 1999 followed by one for Haifa and one for Ashdod last year, which were fabricated locally by Israeli Shipyards. Fabrication and erection of the new cranes will, as in the past, be carried out by suitable and proven local sub-contractors with long experience in this field of business, says Kocks. It is not clear how many companies participated in this latest IPRA tender. It hardly needs mentioning that it is sometimes very difficult for crane makers to deal with all parts of the Arab world, let alone with Israel as well as Arab ports. But this should not detract from the trust built up over many years between the IPRA and Kocks in its guises over the years (cf Salzgitter, Vulkan Kocks, Kocks Krane). with operations commencing in Meanwhile the NSW government has come out in favour of the latest report backing a modest container terminal at Port Kembla, south of Sydney. The draft report, prepared by the Port Kembla Container Terminal Task Force chaired by local parliamentarian David Campbell, found the port could capture second-tier shipping lines concerned over berth congestion in Sydney/Port Botany, and effectively replace the Patrick and P&O facilities in Sydney s Darling Harbour and White Bay when current leases expire in The report found Port Kembla man- agement is pragmatic and does not share the ambitions of Newcastle to develop a 250,000 TEU/year terminal. A 100,000 TEU facility to complement Sydney could be built for relatively little private and public cost. The report says that several lines would consider relocating to get certainty over berthing, despite problems of perception and inertia among major carriers. Sites for supporting intermodal terminals in NSW should be identified. Response to Newcastle s call for EOIs to develop new multi-purpose facilities are said to have been encouraging March

6 Indonesia plans two hub ports... The Indonesian government has decided to develop two international hub ports with a combined annual capacity of 10 mill TEU. Tanjung Priok in Jakarta will become the western hub with the merger this month of Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) and the adjoining Koja Terminal under the name Jakarta Container Port. Bojonegara in Banten province will function as its supporting port. In the east, a new port will be built at Kalilamong in East Java province, with Tanjung Perak in Surabaya playing the supporting role. State-owned operator Pelabuhan Indonesia III (Pelindo III) will build the new port with the help of foreign investors. The new port, estimated to cost US$200 mill, will have a designed capacity of at least 3 mill TEU/year, compared with Tanjung Perak s 1.8 mill TEU. The port complex will be spread over 500 hectares in Kalilamong, about 40 km north west of Tanjung Perak. The port itself will take up 100 hectares, with the remainder reserved for industrial estates. Funding is expected to come from the Surabaya administration and strategic foreign investors. Bidding will open next year. Several port operators, including Hutchison Port Holdings of Hong Kong, PSA Corp of Singapore and P&O Ports, are understood to have expressed interest. Construction is expected to begin in At present, Indonesia s ports have limited capacity to accommodate mother vessels. Most cargo is transhipped over Singapore or Malaysian ports. A study conducted by the government showed that around a third of container loads in Singapore and Malaysia are derived from Indonesia s four large ports at Tanjung Priok, Tanjung Perak, Belawan in Medan and Makassar in South Sulawesi province. Last year, Indonesia s total container volumes reached about 4 mill TEU, but 95 per cent of the boxes were transhipped to Singapore and Malaysia for long hauls, costing exporters around US$720 mill in transhipment charges. New port for UAE Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, plans to develop a commercial hub at Al Hamra Island, according to Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, the new head of the Emirate s Customs and Port Authority. He has promised to kick off the new project by 2004 and bring improvements to existing shipping facilities at Mina Saqr. Shaikh Ahmed claims that the Ras Al Khaimah customs department has become more efficient and user-friendly because of better coordination with other customs offices including those at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, Mina Saqr customs, the land point customs office at Ras Al Dara on the Oman/UAE border, Ras Al Khaimah port, Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone and Jazirat Al Hamra. He also said that Mina Saqr is thriving on well-established bulk cargo operations making it an ideal hub for transhipment because of its location in the strait of Hormuz and proximity to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The number of vessel calls has gone up following a programme to streamline tariff and customs procedures. The port authority said that it is in discussions with a number of foreign and local companies operating large dhows and ships to do more business with the Emirate. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) would appear to be facing problems in Indonesia where legislators have backed a government move to annul its contract to operate and manage Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) at Tanjung Priok. HPH has a 51 per cent stake in JICT, with the government-owned Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) holding 48.9 per cent. Industry sources said relations between the joint venture partners have been strained since Pelindo II began developing the competing Multi-Terminal Indonesia (Serbaguna) terminal at Tanjung Priok. JICT s major customer, Maersk Sealand, has given notice that it plans to shift calls from JICT to Serbaguna within the next few months. Legislators expressed support for the government move after Deputy State Enterprise Minister Ferdinand Naingoland told them some container lines had complained that service standards at JICT had deteriorated. It is understood that APL, Maersk Sealand, P&O Nedlloyd, CMA-CGM, ANL, OOCL and Evergreen have complained about slow loading. HPH denies that services have deteriorated, however. Operations at JICT have improved considerably, it said, adding that the terminal had spent more than US$350 mill since the 1999 privatisation to become Indonesia s first international shipping hub. While acknowledging that complaints had been received, JICT president director W S Wirjawan said quayside productivity had improved, with crane PORT NEWS...problems for HPH in Jakarta? Is HPH about to lose its concession to manage and operate JICT? moves averaging more than 20 per hour, up from the 1999 average of 15 per hour. Ironically, the government s move to annul HPH s contract came just in advance of a ceremony to be held this month to announce the merger of JICT and the adjoining Koja Terminal to form the Jakarta Container Port. Koja Terminal is 52 per cent owned by Pelindo II and 48 per cent by HPH. The two terminals will be linked with the completion of a 513m berth with a draught of 14m, extending the quay to 1,200m and increasing their combined annual handling capacity from 2.8 mill to 3.5 mill TEU. Following Maersk Sealand s announcement that it plans to shift its calls from JICT to Multi-Terminals Indonesia, HPH has suspended business dealings with Singapore-based Portek International, which operates the handling equipment at the Serbaguna terminal in a joint venture with PT Transindo Interdwipantara. HPH claims that under its agreement with Pelindo II, JICT has to reach a certain level of throughput before competing facilities can be developed. HPH said it would not consider further business until Portek stops supporting terminal facilities which infringe the rights of JICT in relation to its operations at Tanjung Priok. More than 10 per cent of Portek s revenue is said to be derived from the provision of equipment and services to HPH-managed terminals. Plate competition The Montecon group of stevedores in Montevideo has forced the container terminal operator, Katoen Natie-backed Terminal Cuenca de la Plata (TCP), to stop using a public berth for its overflow cargo. Joris Thys, TCP s terminal manager, states that his company was within its rights to use the public pier in Montevideo for a small barge operation because it did so under the auspices of a third party, local stevedoring company Norsary. With only one quay, said Thys, we are allowed, under the tender agreement, to use the public terminal. Now Montecon has protested and we cannot use Norsary, but we might be able to use another operator and there are several, apart from Montecon. TCP won a 30-year concession to operate the container terminal in July 2001 (under the Nelsbury consortium banner). For the past year or so Montecon, which bid unsuccessfully for the terminal, has been pressuring the Montevideo port authority (ANP) to allow it to install and use gantry cranes at the public berths, but Katoen Natie says this is against the tender rules until TCP is handling at least 250,000 TEU/year. ANP president Agustín Aguerre has tried to compromise by allowing stevedores to bring in harbour mobile cranes at public berths 8 and 9. Thys added that TCP would like to be involved in the tender for the new multi-purpose terminal planned by ANP at Montevideo (see News, January 2003, p9). The rules, however, may bar it from bidding. One recent plus for TCP has been the arrival of three Maersk Sealand services, including the north Europe service, at the terminal. The operator is estimated to have a 50 per cent share of Montevideo s annual 300,000 TEU container traffic. According to Diego Segura, terminal director of P&O Ports Ter minales Rio de la Plata (TRP) in Buenos Aires, the five operators in the port handled just 550,000 containers (797,000 TEU) last year, a 23 per cent fall compared to 2001 and roughly a third less than 1998, when Buenos Aires handled nearly 1.2 mill TEU. As reported in last month s News (p6) the government is set to allow TRP to take over TPA and other mergers may follow. 6 March 2003

7 Durban box terminal tender imminent The much-debated tender for the concession to manage and operate Durban container terminal is finally to be launched next month. Announcing the decision, Jeff Radebe, South Africa s Public Enterprises Minister, said that his department had almost completed the development of the landlord port authority model, which is to be used for the concession. As a result of South Africa s ongoing internal debate over the ethics of privatisation, the government insisted in its national commercial ports policy that public ownership of the ports must be maintained. The landlord model will ensure that Durban remains the property of the state, whilst at the same time encouraging private sector investment and widening ownership in the sector. Once the finishing touches have been put to the model, it will be presented to the Cabinet for final approval. This has been a complex consultative process, considering the wide range of jealouslyguarded interests in the ports terrain, said Radebe. Most of these have been incorporated, but others have been adjusted to achieve common goals. Funding by the UK government and USAid allowed the South African government to employ an international consortium led by CPCS Transcom of Canada to advise on setting up public private partnerships for the ports. Despite trade union fears, the government has promised not to cherry pick the most lucrative South African Port Operations (SAPO) facilities for private sector control. SAPO currently handles 48 per cent of all South African cargo by weight, while private operators dominate coal and grain traffic. The government hopes its reforms will open up the container market and a successful concession process for Durban is vital, as the port handles two thirds of South Africa s containerised cargo. Radebe is predicting increased investment in the port sector over the coming financial year. The chief executive of the National Ports Authority (NPA), Siyabonga Gama, claims that the severe congestion which plagued operations at Durban last year has been eradicated and should not reappear on a similar scale in the foreseeable future. Gama highlighted the rôle being played by a new committee - the Durban Container Interim Advisory Board - made up of shipping lines, the NPA and SAPO. Last year carriers threatened to introduce steep surcharges of US$75/container, PORT NEWS a move which may have finally forced the government to speed up the plans for privatisation. Although the charges were not imposed, the threat caused maximum delays to fall from 72 hours earlier in the year to 16 hours during the run-up to Christmas. Durban s performance will be tested again, however, during the next peak demand period, in May. SAPO has invested in new equipment (Kalmar straddle carriers) and, looking further ahead, the introduction of a new marine services reservation system should also help. Our sense is that congestion at the container terminal has not been only the result of infrastructure problems, it is also due to productivity issues, said Gama. The port s cranes should move around 25 containers/hour but average rates at Durban are currently around 16/hour. JNP/Kochi boost... In its budget presented on February 28, the Indian government has decided to introduce a viability gap fund for Jawaharlal Nehru (JNP) and Kochi ports. The government wants to develop JNP and Kochi into major hubs and has allocated Rs75 bill (US$1.57 bill) for modernisation and dredging at the two ports. But the funds will not automatically flow into the Port Trusts. The government will not provide open-ended guarantees at any stage of project implementation and operations, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh said. Money will only be provided when there is a shortfall. Kochi Port chairman Jacob Thomas welcomed the decision, noting that the money was being allocated at a time when the port was involved in developing an international container terminal at Vallarpadam (see below). JNP is also planning to build a new container terminal with private sector participation. An annual report on the state of the economy submitted by the government before the budget showed that Indian ports will have an annual handling capacity of 470 mill tons by the end of Of this, the private sector is creating a capacity of nearly 161 mill tons at a cost of Rs108 bill (US$2.27 bill). Indian ports had a capacity of 344 mill tons a year ago but handled only 288 mill tons of cargo....snub for Vallarpadam The proposed Vallarpadam international container transhipment terminal near Kochi has received a poor response from potential bidders. Only CSX World Terminals (CSXWT) and Maersk India showed up for pre-bid talks with Kochi Port Trust (KPT) officials who had invited requests for qualification in January. Three other companies that put in requests for qualification - NYK Line of Japan, Larsen & Toubro of India and PSA Corporation of Singapore - did not join the discussions and officials said the three companies may no longer be interested in bidding for the Rs20 bill (US$420 mill) terminal, which is being offered on build, operate and transfer basis for 30 years. KPT said both CSXWT and Maersk India appeared to be serious about their bids. The two companies wanted to know about the rail link to be provided for Vallarpadam and the timeframe within which operations from Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal at the port must be shifted to Vallarpadam. This is the second time that Vallarpadam has been offered to private bidders. In an earlier round, P&O Ports was the only bidder but it was decided not to offer the terminal to the company. P&O Ports was barred from bidding this time because officials feared the company might become a virtual monopoly operator as it already runs terminals at Chennai and JNP near Mumbai and recently bought the new Mundra container terminal in Gujurat from Adani Ports. 8 March 2003

8 PORT NEWS Perot for Subic? Hillwood, the Texas, US-based real estate development company of US billionaire Ross Perot Jr, is looking to take part in a grand scheme in the Philippines to develop Subic freeport, the Clark Special Economic Zone and outlying areas. Perot s firm was the architect of the Dallas-Fort Worth corridor and it is thought that the same concept can be applied at Subic. The list of would-be Subic- Clark Alliance Development Corp (SCAD) investors also includes American Railworld Corp, Singapore s Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd and several Japanese conglomerates, including Mitsui, Marubeni and Mitsubishi. Officials say foreign investor(s) may be given a 55 per cent stake in SCAD, which will own and operate the infrastructure assets of Subic and Clark and the soonto-be-built toll highway linking the two former US military bases. A 75-year land lease is an option being considered in view of the Constitutional prohibition on foreign ownership of land. The remaining 45 per cent equity will go to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Bases Conversion Development Authority, state-owned Clark Development Corp and the Department of Trade and Industry. It is understood that revenues from Subic s port facilities, the Clark international airport and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac toll road will form part of an equity fund to be managed by the SCAD Corp. The SBMA has taken a pragmatic stand on the row over steel pipe piles for Subic container terminal (see News, February 2003, p6). Victor Mamon, senior deputy administrator for operations, said that changing the rules at this stage would just rock the boat, but SBMA will issue a change order after the bidding that would allow the winner to use locally manufactured, spirallywelded pipes. Latest word is that Taisei Corp has backed out, leaving only three groups to slug it out: Toyo Construction, Nishimatsu Construction and the Penta consortium (Penta-Ocean, TOA Construction and Shimizu). Maher extends gate hours Maher Terminals Inc is extending gate hours at its Fleet Street Terminal in the Port of New York/ New Jersey. The terminal gates will now be open between and hours, Monday through Friday. This development is prompted by strong volume growth and, says Maher, to [our] commitment to providing the trade with the best service levels in the port (see also page 25). By extending gate hours and systematically advancing its optical character recognition (OCR) gate processing technology, Maher is aiming to enhance still further its rôle as the standard bearer for truck processing in the Port of New York/New Jersey. The move is expected to be warmly welcomed by ocean carriers, truckers, importers, exporters, consignees, forwarders, and brokers as they are SPICT and span Three years after terms were originally agreed, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has officially announced the establishment of Shanghai Pudong International Container Terminals Ltd (SPICT). The newly formed company is a joint venture owned by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Stevedoring Company (40 per cent), Hutchison Ports Pudong Ltd (30 per cent), Cosco Pacific (China) Investments Ltd (20 per cent), and Shanghai Investment Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (10 per cent). With a tenure of 50 years the joint venture has a registered capital of RMB1.9 bill. Located in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, SPICT operates Waigaoqiao Terminal Phase I, which has three container berths with a total quay length of 900m and the capacity to handle latest generation container vessels. The terminal, which handled over 1.78 mill TEU last year, covers a total area of 500,000 m 2, including a container freight station (CFS), reefer facilities and dangerous goods handling areas. It is equipped with nine ship-to-shore cranes and 30 RTGs. SPICT has officially been formed to operate Waigaoqiao Terminal Phase I Gate hours are being extended at Maher s Fleet Street Terminal in New Jersey a critical component in safeguarding the increasing volume of just in time shipments. Maher points out, however, that the long-term success of its initiative will be driven by support from the trade. Both of Maher s coop chassis pool depots, located in close proximity to the Fleet Street Terminal, will also operate during the extended gate hours. Cutoffs for the new hours regime can be found on Maher s website at Mexican traffic increase Mexico s ports saw an overall 10 per cent increase in tonnage handled during double the original forecast for the year. Dos Bocas (38.5 per cent), Ensenada (21.8 per cent) and Mazatlán (21.4 per cent) registered the biggest increases, while Veracruz, with mt, logged the largest throughput, accounting for 23.6 per cent of total Mexican port traffic. Lázaro Cárdenas, with a 21.2 per cent increase, is statistically Mexico s second port, although it anticipates a significant boost in traffic once privatisation is complete. Traffic at Mexico s 10 leading container ports grew by 15.1 per cent to 1,554,971 containers. Ensenada s throughput more than doubled to 53,033 containers, while Manzanillo s rose by 38.3 per cent to 634,155 containers. Altamira also had a good year, with throughput growing by 9.2 per cent to 225,937 containers. Veracruz was steady, with traffic up by 0.9 per cent to 548,422 containers. The opening of the first phase of Shanghai s ambitious new deepwater container port at Yangshan islands will be delayed by two years, according to the city s new mayor Han Zheng. An official involved with the project said the delay was caused by difficulties with construction and a change in design, which has expanded the number of berths from five to nine in the first phase. We will finish the design by 2006, but construction is difficult, so that might be delayed until 2007, said the official from the No 3 Navigational Engineering and Design Institute. The construction problems stem from a lack of equipment for deepwater piling. Suitable equipment is currently engaged in projects elsewhere in the world, so the authorities are said to be considering building piling equipment from scratch. The port, being built on Yangshan islands south east of Shanghai in Hangzhou Bay, will include a 30 km bridge to the mainland. Terminal construction will continue, but the berths will not be accessible until the bridge connects them to the on-shore staging area. Analysts said the delay would cause the first-phase cost of the project, estimated at US$1.4 bill, to rise. The move will also hamper Shanghai s efforts to grab a larger share of transhipment cargo from South Korea and Japan. Shanghai was the world s fourth-largest container port last year, handling 8.61 mill TEU, up 36 per cent from Overstretched terminal operators along the Huangpu river will now have to cope for two more years, though other nearby ports, such as Ningbo in Zhejiang province, are likely to benefit from the delay. The setback will also rekindle the debate about whether the Yangshan islands were the best location for a new port, given that Ningbo is one of the Yangshan port faces delay best deepwater ports in the world. Delegates to the Terminals Operations Conference (TOC) in Hong Kong last month may have gained the impression that Eric Ip, managing director of Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), was trying to tell China who should operate the new Yangshan container port by making a case for common-user terminals. Ip said common-user terminals, the business model followed by Hutchison and other international port operators, had many advantages over facilities leased to shipping lines. China, increasingly wary of giving partial control of its fast-expanding container ports to foreigners, is said to be leaning towards leasing Yangshan terminals to shipping lines, an option that would keep full ownership of critical money-spinning facilities. But Ip suggested that once a business model had been chosen, the port owner should stick to it. Hutchison already operates terminals in Shanghai in joint ventures with the local port authority. The two systems are incompatible in the same market or even the same country, Ip said. Common-user facilities are a better allotment of resources because they assure greater neutrality and offer the highest productivity for the available waterfront. One point that needs to be examined very closely is whether a single shipping line will always produce enough volume, because it is very rare for another carrier to call at a facility run by one of its rivals, Ip said, adding that being a common-user facility did not mean that berths could not be allocated to priority carriers. China has yet to even ask for expressions of interest for terminal operations at Yangshan but international port operators have been jockeying for position since the project was announced. March

9 PORT NEWS Long range Dover The UK Port of Dover has appointed consulting firms Halcrow, Eagle Lyon Pope and MDS Transmodal to help it draw up a master plan to look at ways of maximising its potential capacity and, if necessary, propose new capacity outside the existing harbour walls. The aim of the project is to provide a vision of the port as it will be in 30 years time and a clear development plan of how to get there, remarked the port s general manager of property and planning, Bill Fawcus. The port is concerned that demand for its services is beginning to outstrip capacity. Thirty years Coega green light Construction of the R2.6 bill (US$325 mill) first phase of the Ngqura deepwater port at the Coega industrial development zone in South Africa can now start. The formation of the project s environmental monitoring committee (EMC) was the last prerequisite for commencement of work at the site. The committee has been set up to ensure that work on the project complies with environmental standards set by the department of environmental affairs and tourism. Fears over the environmental impact of the project, including the effect upon local communities and upon flora and fauna in the area, held up development of the scheme but the government is now confident that sufficient safeguards have been put in place. Local environ- Demand is beginning to outstrip capacity at the Port of Dover ago Dover recorded annual traffic of 1 mill tourist cars, 5.7 mill passengers and 200,000 HGVs. Last year, despite the Channel tunnel, throughput was 2.6 mill tourist cars, 16.4 mill passengers and 1.8 mill HGVs. These figures give some perspective to the task ahead, said Fawcus. The port is currently building two more ferry berths but considers that much more extensive facility changes will be necessary if it is to meet future demand and maintain high levels of service. Tecon Suape rings the changes ICTSI has rung the changes at its Tecon Suape SA (TSSA) operation in Brazil in an effort to get back on track. Fernando Mota has been replaced as president by Sergio Kano, a former president of Suape Port Authority who has good political connections. Johann Hutzler has left his post as commercial manager, although a replacement has not yet been found. Kano faces an uphill task. In January Hamburg Süd group accounting for 85 per cent of the business shifted most of the calls to Recife. Kano, who helped oversee the privatisation of the Suape container terminal, has been in São Paulo visiting key line managers and is understood to be very close to securing at least one MSC service. He is also targeting the cabotage services of Aliança, P & ONL s Mercosul Line and Docenave, which quit Suape when TSSA announced steep price rises. TSSA has been plagued by labour strife and clashes with shipping line managers since it opened for business in January last year (see News, April 2002, p4 and October 2002, p7). While it was able to reach a compromise over gang sizes with the unions, they are still too high by international standards and its pricing policy has been fiercely resisted by the shipping lines. Recife has been rubbing its hands at the unexpected return of container business. According to Pedro Melo, the port s director for commercial relations, two stevedoring companies at the cramped, congested port, Start Navegação and Brandão Filho, are investing in new container handling equipment to help them deal with the flood of new services. The cabotage services of Aliança, Mercosul Line and Docenave are all now calling at Recife, thereby ending their Suape experiment owing to extortionate fees. A source at one line that was using Suape said that TSSA s management tried to push up its charges from Reais300 (US$86)/container to Reais780. ICTSI paid US$183.6 mill for Tecon Suape back in March According to some industry sources, this was way too much and explains why, in their opinion, they are now overcharging. mental groups, however, remain opposed to the development, not so much because of the port development but because of the proposed industrial clusters that the port is intended to serve. The EMC is to be chaired by Rob Midgley, a law professor at Rhodes University, and contains representatives of local businesses, environmental NGOs, local communities, the National Parks Boards, the local municipality and Coega Development Corporation, as well as the two partners developing the project - SAPO and P&O Nedlloyd. Up to R4.65 bill is expected to be invested in the port development over five phases, including financing for the transfer of manganese ore loading facilities and a petroleum tank farm from Port Elizabeth to Coega. SAGT in rate row After losing around 230,000 TEU to P&O Ports South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) last year, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is using rate cuts to lure lines back to the state-owned Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) at Colombo. It is understood that the SAGT concession provides for a common price and rebate scheme for a period of five years, which does not expire until next year. Under this agreement the SLPA is required to consult with SAGT and give 97 days notice of any change in rebates or base rates at JCT. Under new chairman Parakrama Dissanayake, the SLPA has moved to recapture lost business by negotiating service contracts for the JCT terminal that include volume discounts and, it is understood, serving SAGT with notice only once contracts are signed. So far this year six lines have signed up with the SLPA to call exclusively at JCT, including Maersk Sealand, APL, Hanjin, Evergreen and Gold Star. SAGT maintains that, as per the original agreement, there is no price differential between the two terminals but it is increasingly clear that this is not the case. The chairman of the Sri Lankan Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Maxwell de Silva, has congratulated the SLPA for ending the common pricing and rebate scheme and welcoming price competition in Colombo. Meanwhile, with Colombo s northern entrance reopened, the SLPA is moving forward with its longstanding plan to convert the former oil berth at the north pier into a container terminal. A contract for the supply of container cranes has been signed with Itochu Corporation of Japan. The deal covers three 41 tonne SWL Panamax ship-to-shore cranes from IHI and eight 1 over 5 RTGs from Sumitomo HI. Delivery is scheduled for 14 months from the signing of the contract. The new terminal will increase annual capacity at Colombo by 400,000 TEU to an estimated 3.6 mill TEU. Delays in the clearance of goods at the Port of Tema, Ghana, have provoked a dispute between importers and clearing agents on one side and port security agencies on the other. Some importers have complained that security companies were requiring containers which had already been cleared be returned to Customs for re-examination and that Customs then waited days before reassessing these containers. This has resulted in extra demurrage on the containers and increased transport costs for importers utilising local haulage firms and there have been allegations that officials have demanded bribes to process incoming containers quickly. Many importers have refused to pay for re-examination and parked containers have begun to cause congestion at the port, slowing processing times still further and causing a total breakdown in relations between the two sides. A spokesman for security at Tema grinds to a halt the port confirmed the procedure of double checking and said that there had been a lack of communication with importers. The requirements of national security demanded re-checking, he said. The government has promised to intervene. Some companies have begun to use other ports in the region. The dispute has blown up at a time when Tema was expected to benefit from the impact of the ongoing civil conflict in Côte d Ivoire on operations in Abidjan. Cletus Kuzagbe, operations manager for Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, said that Takoradi had already been asked to take much of the new traffic but could be placed under yet more strain as a result of the situation at Tema. At the end of last month Portcon International, the consultancy and management services arm of South Africa s National Ports Authority (NPA), was awarded a 25-year contract to take over operations at Tema. March

10 PSA/Cosco terminal talks China Ocean Shipping Co (Cosco) is in talks with Singapore port operator PSA Corp about owning or having a joint venture container terminal in Singapore. We have received a positive response from PSA. We are looking for some terminals and some cooperation in Singapore, said Cosco president Wei Jiafu, adding that a joint venture would fit in with Cosco s plans to continue hubbing in Singapore. Cosco already has terminal operating joint ventures at Kobe in Japan and Long Beach in the US. Wei said there would be more talks with PSA management as part of Cosco s strategy to establish hub ports worldwide. Following the loss of Evergreen s transhipment business to the neighbouring Malaysian Port of Tanjung Pelepas last year, PSA The government of Panama has agreed to hand over 29 properties and land occupied by the Panama Canal Authority to enable Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) to expand its container terminal at the Pacific port of Balboa. The government s earlier refusal to hand over the properties had triggered a restructuring of the way the government raised revenue from HPH and the other major port concession holder, Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT), at the Atlantic port of Colon. HPH had used the government s non-compliance to withhold its rental payments, arguing Cosco is interested in operating its own terminal in Singapore said it would be open to shipping lines owning terminals, having a joint venture terminal with PSA or a dedicated terminal in Singapore. Cosco is the first to have expressed interest in having its own that the move was in breach of its concession arrangement, to win an estimated US$500 mill in a renegotiated concession deal. Meanwhile, HPH has dragged Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinnawatra into a dispute over the bidding process for the concession to operate a terminal at Laem Chabang port. HPH-controlled Thai Laem Chabang Terminal (TLT), which lost its bid to manage the C-3 terminal, has appealed to Thaksin to order an investigation into alleged irregularities in selecting the final bidder. Although TLT offered the highest rental of Baht24 bill (US$567 mill) for the 30-year concession, the Port Authority of terminal in Singapore. It is understood that discussions with other shipping lines did not progress far. The Chinese carrier signed a new long-term virtual terminal agreement with PSA at the end of HPH fights its corner Thailand (PAT) selected TIPS, which had offered Baht16.5 mill. Japanese carriers NYK and MOL hold 22 per cent stake each in TIPS and Thailand s Ngow Hock Group and other local firms the remainder. In a letter to Thaksin, TLT assistant general manager Manot Palilai said PAT director-general Mana Patram had explained that his company s claim was rejected because it had insisted on setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary to manage the terminal. Manot said he did not believe this should have been an essential point in determining the award. The bids should have been decided on price, he said. Upgrade for Nacala Following investments at Beira and Maputo, facilities at the Port of Nacala are to be modernised and improved over the next three years. Mozambique s Transport Minister Tomas Salomao announced last month that private companies are to provide most of the required investment, although donor organisations will also contribute. The Northern Development Corridor (CDN) consortium is expected to be awarded a 15 year lease to manage both the port and the Nacala-Malawi railway before the middle of this year. The consortium, which includes American Railroad Corporation and Edlow Resources of the US, as well as local interests, signed a memorandum of understanding with the government last month, under which it agreed to invest US$27 mill in Nacala. An additional US$6.2 mill has already been promised by donors, while the United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has also agreed to support the project. Trade via Nacala should take off following the reconstruction of the Nacala-Malawi line. State-owned CFM Norte which manages the line hopes to carry 187,730 tonnes of goods to Malawi and 219,256 tonnes altogether during the first half of this year. The government has made infrastructural investment a priority in its efforts to rebuild the country after over two decades of civil war. Economic growth averaging 10 per cent/year over the past five years has encouraged more foreign companies to invest in Mozambique as it rebuilds its reputation as a transhipment centre for much of southern Africa. PORT NEWS The SILVER ISLAND is seen making her maiden call at Hutchison s Korea International Terminals (KIT) in Kwangyang to launch a new direct service between Korea and Vietnam. Jointly operated by Sinokor and Hanjin Shipping deploying three vessels per week, the service calls at KIT every Saturday and leaves on the same day for Busan, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Min, Singapore and Pasir Gudang. The service is claimed to offer significant savings to shippers as it only takes six days from Vietnam to Kwangyang, which is used by Hanjin as its transhipment port for cargo destined for the United States. Paul Ho, CEO of KIT commented, We are very pleased to have commenced this new service between Korea and Vietnam. The new service is significant as we strive to build KIT into a major transhipment hub of the region Esmeraldas stalled The Nuevo Milenio consortium s management and operations concession at the port of Esmeraldas in Ecuador, awarded in early February, has effectively been blocked by local business interests and the city mayor. They object to one of the conditions in the 25 year concession agreement, which obliges the consortium to contribute just US$200,000 every other year for social investment, despite this being the best offer of five received by the deadline. During a local meeting held to grant the contract, which would then have to be ratified by the Ecuadorian government, four key members did not participate, leaving the meeting without a quorum. The port authority (APE) s director general Mae Montano was despatched to Quito to discuss possible solutions with president Lucio Gutiérrez, only to be later replaced by Bolívar Vázque, who has been asked to prepare a report on ways to take the privatisation forward. However, the mayor, Ernesto Estupiñán, has asked for the concession process to be indefinitely suspended. Nuevo Milenio, as part of its contract, will have to upgrade three quays, as well as modernise storage facilities for both general cargo and containers. In addition, it will build a further two new quays. Rent of US$825,000 will be payable each year, although the port generates annual revenues of US$7 mill. 12 March 2003

11 PORT NEWS New owner for Port of Gisbourne After a protracted process the Port of Gisborne in New Zealand s North Island has finally been sold to Eastland Energy Trust, effectively maintaining the port as a community asset. The Port of Gisborne has been unable to make any capital investments for several years due to debts of NZ$17 mill and it is now facing a NZ$23 mill law suit from the owners of the JODY F MILLENIUM, which ran aground after allegedly being ordered out of port in dangerous seas last year. The port s new owners have changed its name to Eastland Port in a bid to make a fresh start and disassociate it from the pending law suit. Eastland Port could boom if it can find at least NZ$25 mill to increase capacity as forestry exports from the region are predicted to rise 5-fold over the next 25 years. Hopes that the sale would lead to investment being fast-tracked were quickly dashed, however, when chairman Thomas Carlson issued a statement saying that while some of the port customers would like to see some immediate changes in the operations of the port, these are not possible as the due diligence process undertaken by the community trust revealed many problems that have to be addressed. The first issue the new owners must tackle is a report from the Maritime Safety Authority that identified serious deficiencies in the port s safety procedures and imposed tighter conditions on future operations. Sydney s X-ray vision Sydney s X-ray container examination facility, the second of four being commissioned by the Australian Customs Service at major ports, has begun operations, although critics say throughput at the Melbourne facility, opened last year, has not met expectations. The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, claimed the technology would enable Customs to inspect all containers identified as high risk. The Sydney facility, at a cost of A$56 mill over four years, will inspect up to 100 containers per day, with each X-ray and analysis taking about minutes. Current physical examinations can take well over eight hours. Senator Ellison said the new Sydney facility would increase inspection rates 20-fold and enhance Customs capacity to detect prohibited goods including drugs, firearms and quarantine items that pose a threat to Australia. The facility is claimed to have already proved itself during the testing stage by detecting an attempt to smuggle more than 7 mill cigarettes. This one detection alone prevented an attempt to evade the payment of more than A$1.25 mill in legitimate revenue. Customs has developed integrated facilities to incorporate the new scanning halls and the existing examination facilities. The facilities also utilise other technologies including ionscan particle analysis equipment and pallet X-ray systems. The X-ray units are being supplied by Chinese manufacturer NucTech Co Ltd, with Brisbane and Fremantle facilities due to be completed by the end of However, Customs has been struggling to overcome congestion at the Melbourne site, which was reportedly processing only around 20 containers per day earlier this year. The Service blamed late reporting of cargo and by mid-february was claiming throughput had risen to 65 containers per day. Boxes are generally back in the stack 90 minutes after initial pick-up, provided they are not held for a full physical search. Adelaide topping up on wine South Australian port owner/operator Flinders Ports (FP) is to build a new A$13 mill storage and export warehouse to be used as a shipment point for wine exports by Australia s largest wine producer, Reynella-based BRL Hardy Ltd. FP says the project is the first significant commitment by the state s key exporters to support the company s plans to redevelop the Outer Harbor under a long-term A$400 mill upgrade programme (see News October 2002, pp22-23). Construction of the new 20,000 m 2 facility is expected to consolidate BRL Hardy s South Australian wine export facilities through Outer Harbor, complementing an existing, smaller wine distribution facility constructed in The warehouse, which will have the capacity to store 1.6 mill cases of wine, will be situated adjacent to the CSX Terminal at Outer Harbor. Construction is due to be completed by the end of the year. Flinders Ports CEO Vincent Tremaine said the development would consolidate Outer Harbor s position as a central hub for South Australia s wine industry. Expected volume growth may necessitate the development of a second warehouse in the short to medium term. Our Concept Plan for the future development of Outer Harbor recognises that a major opportunity exists to develop an integrated export wine logistics centre with facilities extending from warehousing to bottling and packaging, he said. Mick Scammell, BRL Hardy group manager, corporate services, added that the consolidation of current transport and logistics arrangements, including the consolidation of a number of warehouses to a single location at Outer Harbor, would provide significant benefits as well as result in reduced handling costs. The new facility will support our current exports and provide for the continuing growth we expect into the future, Scammell said. In October last year, Flinders Ports unveiled a A$400 mill Concept Plan - including the deepening of the main channel from 12.2m to 14m - designed to redevelop Outer Harbor into a more globally competitive port within the next 10 years. The plan includes the construction of wine storage and containerisation facilities, a further three warehouses for containerised or bulk cargoes, a cold store and a mineral sands storage facility, plus an upgrade of the current wharf storage for motor vehicles. March

12 Greenbrier Europe looking up The Greenbrier Companies says that its move to restructure its European operations, aimed at improving financial performance and recapitalising ownership, is bringing improved financial results and increased market share. It is aiming to complete this year the recapitalisation of Greenbrier Europe, comprising Wagony Swidnica SA in Poland and the former Adtranz freight wagon sales, marketing and design group in Germany (Greenbrier Germany GmbH). Operating expenses are said to have been reduced by US$5 mill/year compared to fiscal Greenbrier s European backlog at the 14 end of January this year was 1300 units valued at US$107 mill, up from 1000 units valued at US$70 mill last August and 400 units valued at US$25 mill last May. Sales in fiscal 2003 are anticipated to exceed US$100 mill, up from US$62 mill in The order book includes one from Freightliner in the UK which could amount to around US$30 mill for up to ft flats. Initially 134 have been contracted for delivery by September. This is Wagony Swidnica s first intermodal order from Freightliner although 250 coal wagons have previously been supplied to Freightliner Heavy Haul. Other work-in-progress at the plant includes 186 timber-carrying wagons of a new design for Green Cargo AB in Sweden. The first deliveries of these are due from Poland this month. For first quarter of fiscal 2003 (September-November 2002) Greenbrier reported a net loss of US$0.5 mill on revenue of US$97 mill from North American operations, compared to a loss of US$5 mill on sales of US$71.5 mill during the first quarter of fiscal In a possible new setback to the recovery, however, production of up to 800 drop deck cars for CPR at Greenbrier s Trenton Works, Nova Scotia, aimed mainly at lumber carriage, had to be halted in February, following a preliminary injunction granted in a Pennsylvania court to National Steel Car in connection with a patent dispute. NSC is trying to set aside a Canadian patent held by Greenbrier on the ground that it violates one that it holds in the US. Greenbrier has expressed confidence that the injunction will be overturned. Times remain tough for wagon builders generally, as illustrated by S&P cutting Trinity Industries corporate credit rating at the end of last year. As of the end of September 2002 Trinity had more than US$500 mill of debt outstanding on its balance sheet. S&P remarked that the rating actions reflected the severe and protracted decline in new railcar demand, which accounts for around 43 per cent of Trinity s total sales. S&P added, however, that the outlook is now stable. INLAND/INTERMODAL NEWS PR at the double Pakistan Railways (PR) has launched an ambitious plan to replace the 1760 km track between Karachi and Peshawar, the staging post for Afghanistan (via the Khyber Pass) and China s far west, in order to achieve faster, more competitive transit speeds and strengthen the appeal of Karachi/Qasim as transit gateways. Even more ambitiously it wants to double the track along its entire length over the next few years and is seeking foreign backing. Agreements have reportedly been signed with Chinese and Austrian companies to supply 79,000 tons of rail track for the current year at an estimated cost of US$125 mill to kick off a three year track replacement programme. The project is jointly funded by the PRC, Austria and the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank. Voest Alpine Austria has already supplied part of the contracted track, while shipments from China are expected to start within a couple of months. PR has also opened up talks with ATN-SKC, an international consortium of seven companies from Canada, Egypt and Saudi Arabia seeking investment to double the track. There are four different proposals on the table. According to PR, ATN-SKC has expressed a willingness to invest up to US$6 bill in this and one or two other major projects in Pakistan. In another development, PR is to get 1300 new freight wagons, mostly financed by soft credit worth US$62 mill from the Exim Bank of China. Dongfang Electric Corp (DEC) is providing the wagons, although only 420 will be built in China, with the balance of 880 to come from Lahore Moghalpura Railways workshop over the next two years. According to Railways Minister Ghous Buksh Mehar, DEC was low bidder in the international tender held last year. He highlighted the transfer of technology element, enabling PR to build most of the wagons itself. China is also supplying PR with new locos. PR s overall freight market share today is estimated at 20 per cent. Its services are mainly concentrated on the Karachi-Lahore corridor. Andersons Railcar deal US-based Railcar Ltd, a subsidiary of Progress Rail Services Company, has signed a letter of intent to sell predominately all of its railroad leasing assets to The Andersons Inc. Under the deal, Railcar, a full service railcar and locomotive leasing and management company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, will sell approximately 7,000 railcars and 48 locomotives, most of which are currently under lease, to a limited liability corporation (LLC) that will be owned by a consortium of investors, in which The Andersons will own a minority stake. The Andersons Rail Group will manage the assets for the newly formed company for a management fee. Proceeds of the sale will be used to pay off Railcar Ltd lease obligations. Mike Anderson, president and CEO of The Andersons, said the company s participation in the new LLC supports its strategic growth initiative for the Rail Group. We have been in the railcar leasing, fabrication, maintenance, and component manufacturing business for over ten years. The business has been profitable and has good growth potential. It fits well with our core competencies. It also gives us the ability to offer our customers expanded services and unique lease opportunities. This new arrangement will create additional revenues for the Rail Group through the management fee to be paid by the LLC. The deal will nearly triple the number of railcars under the management of The Andersons Rail Group. March 2003

13 Wagons roll for GB Railfreight GB Railfreight Ltd (GBRf) has taken delivery of 22 twin-coupled 164 tonne glw container flats, developed by Marcroft Engineering and manufactured at its workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The first to be purchased for GBRf, through HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd, the wagons underscore the operator s growing success in the intermodal field and will be used to move containers between Felixstowe and Birmingham (Hams Hall) and Selby, for Medite Shipping. The order was worth around 2.3 mill and was placed with Marcroft by HSBC in the face of strong competition from other GBRf is investing to enhance further its intermodal services for shipping lines UK and European manufacturers. The new flats have been designed to carry a range of container sizes with a maximum payload of 61 tonnes per 60ft platform. They are fitted with Y33 type bogies and are capable of 75 mph operation in both empty and laden conditions. The wagons can take any combination of 8ft 6in high container in any position irrespective of load, so there is no need to leave gaps as is sometimes the case with the multifrets GBRf has been using. Meanwhile, Freightliner (FL) is investing in 134 new 60ft flats with Y25-derived bogies and standard 980mm deck heights for 8ft 6in high containers in W6A gauge. They will be delivered from Greenbrier Europe s Polish factory (Wagony Swidnica) in early September (see page 14). The number of 9ft 6in high containers is growing all the time, but FL is banking on being able to carry 9ft 6in high cubes on standard flats as a result of SRA/ Network Rail gauge enhancements long term, rather than having to increase its fleet of relatively expensive specials (currently made up of megafrets and LTF 25 units). This conservative approach could come unstuck as it is relying on action by someone else, particularly as the Treasury is reining in railway spending. Hedging its bets, therefore, Freightliner is in discussions with Greenbrier about the possibilities for a W6A compliant 9ft 6in high carrier. FL Heavy Haul has started running a daily Ford car train for ANSA Logistics Ltd (part of Autologic Outbound services) from Corby to Garston. This division already runs car trains from Dagenham, Southampton and Bristol to Garston and Mossend. One of the last pieces of the jigsaw regarding the Heathrow, Terminal 5 construction project has fallen into place. PFA will be supplied intermodally by RMC Rugby Cement in 30ft tank containers, using EWS as the rail carrier from the loading site near Daventry to the Colnbrook railhead. The tank containers are lightweight (2 tonnes) units with an mgw of 32 tonnes, designed and engineered by Clyde Materials Handling in the UK and built in the Czech Republic. The first train Pending completion of the 2500 tonne cement store at Colnbrook, to allow supply in PCA tanker wagons by Freightliner Heavy Haul, Lafarge is supplying cement direct to the construction site by truck. Although the T5 planning consent stipulated that all inbound construction materials had to be delivered by rail (see News January 2002, p22), a BAA Heathrow spokesman states that there has always been an understanding that until the Colnbrook logistics centre is ready some construction materials will arrive at the airport by road. At the T5 public inquiry a cap was imposed on the amount of materials that could be delivered to the site by lorry and we are well within this cap. This still begs the question why Lafarge is not supplying BAA, as an interim measure, by intermodal rail to Colnbrook using its piggyback trailers and Mega-3 wagons. This system was finally launched last September INLAND/INTERMODAL NEWS Heathrow T5 deals... load should be dispatched towards the end of this month. At Colnbrook the tanks will be transloaded to skeletal trailers by Containerlift using one of its Steelbro Mark VI self-loading trailers and then drayed to site. The tanks are fitted with blowers to fluidise the PFA for easy discharge without tipping. Foster Yeoman is already supplying aggregates to one new rail siding at Colnbrook, again using EWS as the underlying rail carrier, and transferring the loads there to trucks for the short hop to the construction site....interim measure? with much fanfare as a showcase of the SRA s award scheme under which 2.9 mill was allocated to Lafarge (then Blue Circle Industries). Lafarge explains that this would have meant installing a reach stacker at Colnbrook. Since this is stating the obvious, it must be assumed that the intermodal option is deemed too expensive, possibly because the ground would need to be reinforced to support the heavy front axle loads. What does this say for the future of piggyback? As it happens, the piggyback trials scheduled between Lafarge s Westbury works and Southampton (Freightliner s Millbrook terminal, for onward delivery by road), have still not commenced, although they were announced last September. According to Lafarge, some tweaking had to be made on the Mega-3 even after the launch, while an unexpected planning hitch intervened at Westbury. Enfield scrapped An independent review of Sydney Port Corporation (SPC) s proposed A$90 mill Enfield Intermodal Terminal (see News April 2002 p1) has found the facility would be too big for its suburban location. The review, conducted by former Liberal Transport Minister Milton Morris, asserts the expected 1,600 truck movements per day would overstress surrounding areas. The NSW Opposition had claimed that the Labor Government, which faces an election on March 22, was delaying the report s release - implying that once re-elected it would press ahead with the plan, which had been granted major project status enabling the government to override objections, regardless of the outcome of the report. But the government, which is electorally sensitive in inner suburban Sydney seats, announced Morris findings and accepted his recommendations, effectively cancelling the project, which faced considerable organised community opposition. NSW Transport Minister Carl Scully has now appointed Morris to head up a new committee to What might have been: plans for the Enfield Intermodal terminal in Sydney have been dropped consider the urgent goal of shifting more containers from road to rail. This group will include the Department of Transport, Roads and Traffic Authority, Rail Infrastructure Corporation and the SPC plus, interestingly, the ports of Newcastle and Port Kembla. The SPC expressed its disappointment with the Enfield outcome but said it would work with all parties to find new solutions to what now becomes an even more urgent problem of landside congestion. The Corporation s proposal was not without its industry critics, with some coincidentally including owners/developers of alternative facilities claiming that the location was too close to port and the concept larger than required. The government says a series of small ports in western Sydney is now being proposed. Logically SPC also needs to be able to demonstrate it has landside traffic issues under control if it is to win broad support for its Port Botany third terminal development and that cause will hardly be helped by this setback. 16 March 2003

14 INLAND/INTERMODAL NEWS Lötschberg - what s the point? Alberto Grisone, managing director of RAlpin AG (Ralpin), has launched an attack on the Italian authorities dilatory approach to improving rail assets which connect with the Lötschberg base tunnel. Major improvements at Lötschberg, Simplon and the Gotthard are aimed at procuring a massive shift of Italy-Germany/northern Europe flows from road to rail after 2007, but it looks like the limiting factor will be bottlenecks on the Italian side. As previously reported in News, Ralpin is a joint venture of SBB Cargo (40 per cent), Hupac Intermodal (30 per cent) and BLS (30 per cent) formed in 2001 to operate RoLa services between Novara and Freiburg-im- Breisgau in Germany via the Lötschberg. Originally Ralpin was to be a four-way partnership also involving Trenitalia but as yet the latter operator has not taken up its quota. Currently the Novara-Freiburg run takes 11 hours but it could be cut to hours, said Grisone, lamenting the fact that the 90 km stretch between Novara and Domossodola takes four hours while the 320 km stretch between Domossodola and Freiburg takes only seven hours. The problems could be overcome relatively simply, he argued, since only minor improvements were required to the (single track) Domodossola-Novara line, along with multi-current sidings at Domodossola 2 station and rockslide protection at tunnel entrances. Ralpin dispatched 3400 trains last year (its first full year) and carried 44,500 HGVs. Traffic grew 35 per cent in the first two months of this year. We started with 55 trains a week and are now up to 84, said Grisone. The aim is to reach 90/ week by September and triple this by 2007 when the new Simplon (Sempione) tunnel is completed in Punctuality levels are still not acceptable, however, says Ralpin. Only 70 per cent of trains arrive within one hour of scheduled time, well outside Ralpin s target of 90 per cent of trains being less than 0.5 hours late. DB Cargo, BLS Cargo and Ferrovie Nord Milano Esercizio Divisione Cargo have introduced a five train pairs/week intermodal service for swap bodies, containers and tanktainers between Novara and Gemersheim, via Domodossola and Basle. The train has a maximum trailing length of 550m and weight is 1300 tonnes although this may be increased to 1600 tonnes in the near future. Slated transit times are hours. The partners already collaborate on a six pairs/week service between Milan (Melzo) and Zeebrugge introduced in RAlpin s managing director Alberto Grisone has issued a stark warning Cobelfret in Duisburg Ro-ro operator Cobelfret is to set up a multi-purpose terminal occupying 50,000 m 2 at the Port of Duisburg s new Logport facility, which has purpose-built access to road and rail (see News August 2002, p22). The trimodal facility will be used mainly for movements of unaccompanied trailers and new automobiles to/from Duisburg and Cobelfret s terminals in Rotterdam, Vlissingen and Antwerp, although managing director Christian Cigarang has not ruled out Antwerp as well. The deal underscores Duisburg s rôle as a modal shift node for the Rhine seaports and helps bear out Duisburger Hafen AG s long term vision for Logport. Cobelfret intends to exploit its new Riverliner ro-ro, estuarial barges in its new service offer. As previously reported (see News October 2002, p48) three of these innovative, 110, LOA by 12.5m beam vessels, fitted with a 100 tonne stern ramp, have been ordered from the Damen shipyard and the first services are slated for December. VICS builds new blocks An accelerated container block train service has been introduced by Vostochniy International Container Services from Vostochniy to Almaty (formerly Alma- Ata) in Kazakhstan, via Lotok in the Russian Federation, south of Bryansk. Lotok is some 2500 miles west of Almaty. According to VICS, the first train left Nakhodka-Vostochnaya station at hours local time on 27 February and passed Khabarovsk at hours local time on 1 March. On the same day, at hours Moscow time, the train was transferred from the Far East to Transbaikal railway line at Arkhara junction. It progressed along the Transbaikal line in accordance with its schedule and, at hours Moscow time on 3 March, it arrived at Petrovsky Zavod junction, where it was switched to East Siberian railway, with arrival at Almaty slated for 8 March. The Port of Vladivostock has formed an alliance with Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky port in the Kamchatka peninsula, they are looking to set up a joint venture which will implement a uniform through tariff for container transport. According to Kamchatka s vice-governor Vladislav Skvortsov, the alliance is the first step towards re-establishing regular liner services between the two ports. Two-way container traffic between Vladivostok and Petropvlovsk- Kamchatsky reached 38,290 TEU in 2002 and is growing all the time. Spasmodic services are currently provided by FESCO. Vostochniy recently become the fourth Russian port to join the Tokyo-based International Association of Ports & Harbours, joining Nahodkha, Vladivostock, and St Petersburg. March

15 Anger at rail asset sale Wabtec ballast wagon order Wabtec Rail Ltd, the UK division of Wabtec Corporation, has been awarded a 4.49 mill (US$7 mill) follow-on contract to build 50 specialised ballast wagons for Network Rail (formerly Railtrack) for track maintenance and building purposes. The new contract follows the successful delivery over the past two years of 190 freight wagons of the same type to Network Rail. These wagons played a significant role in the on-time completion of the first phase of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the new high-speed line being built between London and the Channel Tunnel. Wabtec Rail designed and built the wagons, which can carry up to 65 tons of ballast and travel at speeds up to 60 mph. Ballast is discharged to either side of, or between, the rails through doors that are controlled by one operator using a hand-held radio remote-control system. The wagons operate as a fixed set of five, with one in each set containing a diesel generator to power the ballast-discharge doors on all five wagons. The new wagons and associated spares will be built at Wabtec s Doncaster, South Yorkshire, works and be delivered during Network Rail is a valued customer, said John Meehan, managing director of Wabtec Rail. This follow-on order reflects the confidence that Network Rail has in our company and products, and it demonstrates our continuous efforts to use lean manufacturing techniques to improve quality, delivery, cost and performance for our customers. Intermodal trucking guide Intermodal Transport by Land in the United States is the title of a new guide to intermodal trucking written by Malcolm J Newbourne and published by Cargo Transport Corporation. This is a comprehensive work exceeding 250 pages, which manages to be interesting to academics, researchers, journalists etc at the same time as being written in a no nonsense style which provides clear, easily-referenced information and practical advice for those working at the coalface. There are sections on pricing methods (pros and cons), insurance matters, driver recruitment and retention, railroad and steamship line equipment, equipment pools, motor carrier vulnerability, safety concerns, agents, brokers, federal requirements, etc. There is also a useful glossary of terms and a highly informative appendix on seals, which lights up some dark corners and should enable trucking firms to avoid a number of pitfalls. Copies are available from: Cargo Transport Corporation, PO Box 2322, Marco Island, FL 34146, USA. Telephone: (+1) Website: ecargoport.com 18 Australian rail privateers are angry over the outcome of an enforced disposal of surplus Pacific National (PN) locomotives and rolling stock after one company appears to have secured all useful equipment in a closed tendering process. PN, the former National Rail and FreightCorp acquired in February 2002 by joint owners Toll Holdings and Patrick Corporation, was required to dispose of a specified quantity of stock after competition authorities raised concerns that the new entity would control the vast majority of standard gauge locos and wagons. However it emerged earlier this month that Broken Hill-based Silverton Rail had purchased 99 locomotives with conditional contracts for another two, plus 339 wagons, with conditional contracts for a further 33 from PN, with most remaining equipment ending up in the hands of rail museums and preservation railways. The infuriated other rail companies, including Freight Australia and Lachlan Valley, which have made allegations of sweetheart deals and suggested the sale was hardly in the intended interest of more competition between operators. However, Silverton claimed its pursuit of the equipment has a long history and is geared to the company s plans for expansion in the freight market. The company said it had been in negotiation with National Rail and FreightCorp but the sale process had suspended any deals. Pacific National is to develop two-tier container train services and rate levels for regional New South Wales. The move appears to be the company s reaction to harsh criticism - particularly by shipping lines - of its decision to consolidate intermodal terminal operations in the greater Sydney area (see News October 2002 p26). According to PN, daily pick-ups of freight from multiple origins and multiple destinations with excessive shunting at heavily staffed city freight yards is fundamentally unsustainable, especially with Community Service Obligation subsidies ending in Future PN pricing structures will reward aggregation of freight on trains that need minimal handling or shunting, but will provide multiple origin/ destination services for businesses that can pay the extra costs involved. Prices will also reflect earlier bookings, which ensure maximum train loadings which still meet stevedoring windows. Just-in-time facilities will be available at a higher rate. The Ukrainian anti-trust commission has given Ukrrechflot, Ukraine s leading river/short sea shipping company, the green light to take over the inland port of Dnipropetrovsk (River Dneiper). The country s main inland ports are already owned in greater or less measure by Ukrrechflot, through daughter companies, viz: Zaporizhzhya - 94 per cent; Kherson - 34 per cent; and Mykolayiv - 28 per cent. The stake it is taking in Dnipropetrovsk has not been yet disclosed. Dnipropetrovsk has been the missing link from a large vertically integrated structure controlling around 45 per cent of overall Ukrainian sea and river freight. According to Ukrrechflot s management, integration of its activities and those of the port has been on its agenda for some time. INLAND/INTERMODAL NEWS Dnipropetrovsk taken over Dnipropetrovsk has handled more than 8000 TEU during the past three years shipped by the Dnipropetrovsk-Istanbul-Varna-Ilyichevsk service and this traffic is growing by between 15 and 20 per cent/year. The container terminal is being remodelled and expanded and there are plans to acquire a gantry crane this year. Up to now it has not been clear how the port would raise the funds, since Ukrainian inland ports are not allowed to collect port dues. Ukrainian river ports were privatised in 1992 but by the end of the 1990s, most operations had all but ceased due to high channel and lock dues. Ukrrechflot, a joint stock company in which foreign investors now own more than a 25 per cent share, is midway through a major 5-year development plan ( ). March 2003

16 INLAND/INTERMODAL NEWS New reefer swap design The TRAIN della Risaia consortium, whose members include Ansaldo, ENEA, Uniontrasporti, Costamasnaga, Fantuzzi, D appolonia and Trenitalia, has developed a new passive refrigeration system for containers and swap bodies, which is claimed to be capable of maintaining temperatures for days. Developed for Trenitalia Cargo and based on the use of thermo accumulators the system is aimed particularly at the intermodal transport of fruit and vegetable products. TRAIN claims that the new passive refrigeration technology will make intermodal transport preferable to the all-road solution. Advantages claimed for the system include thermal self-sufficiency without energy consumption during operation, no maintenance and operation expenses, no noise since there are no moving parts and a superior ability to maintain product freshness compared to more traditional transport methods. Similar to systems based on the use of eutectic plates, the new passive refrigeration system works by absorbing heat through the pre-cooling of a thermal battery, which contains a liquid with a melting point that helps maintain the temperature in the container/ swap body at an optimum level for fresh produce. The pre-cooling system functions via the circulation of a special gas through the evaporation circuit of the thermal battery. Once the optimal temperature has been reached, the system is self-sufficient and capable of maintaining that temperature for up to 20 days from the closure of the doors. The system is charged prior to shipment or prior to loading the products. If necessary, it is possible to recharge the system and begin the cooling cycle again. Tests made with the new refrigeration system in TRAIN says the new passive refrigeration system will make intermodal transport preferable to the all-road solution a 7.82m long reefer swap have shown it to work extremely well. The length of time that produce can be preserved is on average twice that of conventional refrigeration methods and energy consumption is estimated to be 50 per cent less, TRAIN says. The new system has been successfully evaluated by the Italian National Research Council, which studied its energy consumption and practicality, and by ISMA (Experimental Institute for Agricultural Mechanisation), which analysed the preservation and decay characteristics of produce stored using the new system versus produce stored in traditional refrigeration systems. Wagons roll Indian rail wagon manufacturers have received a boost with Indian Railways (IR), their main customer, announcing it will increase its order for wagons and locomotives in the new financial year beginning next month. Last year the railways had indicated they could buy up to 17,000 wagons but they bought only 8,400. Railway officials now estimate that there is a shortage of nearly 20,750 wagons and 154 locomotives. Nearly a dozen Indian companies manufacture rail freight wagons, but many of them are running at a loss. IR earmarks a budget for procuring wagons annually but often the money is diverted to buying passenger coaches. However, in the first seven months of the current financial year IR met its incremental loading target. Its freight business increased by 11 per cent between April and October last year in terms of net tonne per kilometre. Italo-Spanish joint venture Trenitalia and Renfe have launched a 50:50 joint venture, LMC Logistica Mediterranea Cargo SA, to develop bilateral rail freight business (through France) and, looking ahead, to become an important player on TEN corridor 5 (Kiev-Lisbon). LMS is based in Barcelona with Giovanni Rocca (Trenitalia) as chairman and Juan Manuel Chavarrias (Renfe) as managing director. Other Board members are Roberto Renon and Juan Antonio Villaronte. Hispano-Italian trade has shot up in recent years. In the period it increased annually by an average of 11.8 per cent (Spain-bound) and 2.7 per cent (Italy-bound). But rail s share is a dismal 1.7 per cent. Trucking has a 46.3 per cent share, shipping 44.3 per cent and air cargo the rest. LMS first trains are due to start in June and the plan is to build up business to 194 train pairs/week on the 1000 km run between Milan (Staz. Garibaldi) and Barcelona (Morrot) and 92 pairs/week between Reggio Emilia and Buriana (Valencia), a distance of 1461 km. Door-to-door services are available. It is understood that LMS will operate a fleet of Talgo dual gauge wagons of various kinds, including intermodal flats, although no details are available. (A variant would be required for Ukraine business as Iberian and Russian broad gauges are different). As SNCF Fret boss Louis Gallois has promised full adherence to EU liberalisation (15 March), LMS could potentially operate in France. However, perhaps not wishing to rock the boat, it will use French drivers and locos for the transit between the Italian and Spanish borders. Last month the French track authority RFF revealed that five licensed rail undertakings had applied to operate in France. One of these is Rail4Chem, the Swiss-German tank operator. March

17 Victorian Transport Minister Peter Batchelor (left), Tim Blood, managing director, Australia and New Zealand, for P&O Ports (centre) and Dr Chris Whitaker, CEO, Melbourne Port Corporation (right) are pictured last month at the official opening of the A$20 mill intermodal upgrade at Melbourne s West Swanson Dock. The project restores dual-gauge direct rail links to the P&O Ports facility and feeds a new P&O Trans Australia (POTA) intermodal terminal behind the dock. A partnership between Melbourne Port Corporation (MPC) and POTA, the development is slated to play a key part in lifting rail s share of port traffic to 30 per cent by MPC designed and built the new 1500m dual-gauge rail access track that runs beside Footscray Road from Appleton Dock rail line to Dock Link Road. It includes a dual-gauge siding, on the east of Dock Link Road, for shunting Norfolk Southern down Mexico way Norfolk Southern Corporation has formed a Mexican subsidiary, NorfolkSouthernMexicana, S de RL de CV (NSM), to market the railroad s transportation and logistics services in Mexico. We believe the time is right to raise our marketing profile in the Mexican market, said Ike Prillaman, NS vice chairman and chief marketing officer. With the continued strengthening of NAFTA, and given our extensive service territory in the east, we have had six consecutive years of growth in our Mexican traffic, both in volume and revenue. NS director Mexico, Tony LaRosa, will continue in that role, providing direction for NSM. With the formation of NorfolkSouthernMexicana, we will serve both US and Mexican customers involved in the NAFTA trades and also further strengthen our partnerships with western rail carriers, LaRosa said. NorfolkSouthernMexicana will assist us across the enterprise, including identifying new carload business, such as conversion of long-haul truck traffic to the rails, and providing additional support to recent NS intermodal initiatives linking the two countries, he said. BDP adds in Asia BDP Asia Pacific has opened a full-service, third party regional chemical distribution centre in Singapore to augment the private warehouse and distribution centres it manages in Hong Kong and Malaysia. As with other BDP facilities, operations at Singapore are based on web-based technologies for data, inventory and warehousing management. Situated within the Jurong Industrial District, the centre consists of three separate facilities, totalling 12,000 m 2. Integrated logistics services, such as trade movement, redistribution and short- and long-term warehousing, are available at the site. Also on offer is fully documented container consolidation/deconsolidation, with pick-and-pack and relabelling. In addition, class cargo management is available for sensitive or temperature-controlled items. Using BDPCustomer.com, customers of the Singapore centre can manage inventory and track shipments by means of a single sign-on, customer-centric website launched by parent company BDP International in For example, integrated BDP Data applications offer a variety of historical and real-time reports for clients, through an online data warehouse, one of several supply chain visibility and analytical tools that reside on BDPCustomer.com. BDP Asia Pacific, which has 19 offices in nine countries, offers live inventory status and shipment tracking throughout Asia and worldwide by means of its parent company s global, webbased BDPXpedion platform and network of strategic alliances. The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) is strengthening its chemical Transport Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQAS) programme through revisions of the rail and tank cleaning modules and a successful effort to promote the regime amongst a greater number of industry users across Europe. The SQAS Service Group, which was created in early 2002 to ensure sustainable operation of SQAS, now has 26 member companies, and efforts are underway to increase awareness of the scheme and to gradually expand this membership. SQAS workshops have been held with representatives from the chemical and transport industries in France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden. Eastern Europe, too, is expressing interest in employing SQAS, and similar workshops are planned for Hungary and the Czech Republic. SQAS is based on the principle that the results of a single assessment of a logistics service provider (LSP), carried out by a trained, CEFIC-accredited inspector and filed on a central database, should provide the basis for an informed choice by a chemical shipper on whether to secure the services of that LSP. The SQAS scheme for road transport (SQAS Road) was the first module for which an electronic database system was developed and launched at the end of Today, over 230 assessment The build-up of Bertschi operations in the UK reached an important milestone last month with the opening of its new tank container centre at South Bank on Teesside. All the Swiss tank operator s north of England activities are now administered from the new site. The facility was primarily built to service a new contract with Shell covering the distribution by Bertschi of Shell s range of detergent products throughout the UK and Europe. Bertschi UK also has vehicles based in Hull, Leeds and Widnes and employs 32 drivers and four office staff in the UK. The new terminal, which is close to Middlesbrough, features a 41 tonne gantry crane for the movement of tank containers to and from storage and a large truck INLAND/INTERMODAL/HAZCHEM NEWS SQAS programme on track SQAS Rail is managed jointly by the chemical industry and the rail carriers reports are registered on the database, accessible to the members of the SQAS Service Group. To date, 190 employees of the member chemical companies have been registered as SQAS database system users. More and more chemical companies are actively using this database to evaluate the safety, environmental and quality performance of their transport companies. This is the starting point of a dialogue with their service partners to jointly agree on necessary actions to further improve performance and, as such, contribute to goals of Responsible Care in logistics. Two further modules, SQAS Rail and SQAS Cleaning Stations, are being reviewed and upgraded. The assessment questionnaires have been redrafted and work is in progress on electronic systems Bertschi consolidates Teesside The new Bertschi terminal on Teesside enables UK movements to be planned locally, rather than from Switzerland and on introducing assessor training and accreditation for these modules, too. The SQAS Rail Scheme is managed jointly by the chemical industry and rail carriers. Pilot assessments have already been carried out on eight railway companies in six countries. An international working group is actively promoting the scheme s expansion. In each country a user platform has been created to drive and manage an improvement programme based on the assessment findings. For SQAS Cleaning Stations, chemical producers, LSPs and cleaning stations have launched a joint action programme with a target completion date of January 1, Under the initiative, all European cleaning stations are being urged to fulfil the minimum safety, health and environmental protections requirements. Cleaning stations are encouraged to undertake an SQAS assessment, and transport companies to use only SQAS-assessed cleaning stations. Furthermore, chemical companies should only accept cleaned tanks for loading when accompanied by a uniform cleaning document. In a related initiative, CEFIC is in the process of developing an SQAS scheme for non-assetbased logistics companies that do not operate their own fleet of equipment, but merely organise the logistics services through subcontracting. and trailer parking area of 13 acres, which is capable of holding up to 320 tank containers. Also in place are an external truck wash, offices and a workshop. The separate dispatching department at the new terminal enables container movements to and from the Middlesbrough and Hull facilities to be planned in the UK rather from company headquarters in Dürrenäsch as in the past. Liquip radars on the screen Sydney-based Liquip Sales Pty Ltd has introduced the innovative Diptronic radar-based level gauge for road tankers. Diptronic represents a major breakthrough for the Australian engineering company as the patented measuring device is the first commercially viable application of radar technology in the road tanker sector. Diptronic replaces mechanical dipsticks and cumbersome metering systems traditionally fitted onboard tankers engaged in petroleum delivery services. The radar device provides a level of operator safety and efficiency not previously possible with other technologies, said Ivan Lawrie, Liquip s marketing and export manager. In its simplest form, Liquip s Diptronic uses a permanently mounted electronic dipstick to send fuel level information from each compartment to a central processing unit (CPU) screen viewed at ground level. The CPU converts the radar s level information into usable volumes and communicates with a ticket printer via RS232 communication. Volume information is continuously and readily available at the touch of a button, said Lawrie. The device has gained electrical and weights and measures approvals in several countries and provides a degree of accuracy which exceeds all established requirements for custody transfer. Liquip has developed the technology into several distinct packaged systems, one of which - Diptronic MLS - is designed to replace a conventional metering system. A major advantage of Diptronic is that it obviates the need for staff to mount the tanker and thus the requirement for ladders, handrails and other tank top safety devices. This, in turn, reduces vehicle tare weight and increases payloads. Other tare weight benefits accrue because Diptronic does away with the need for conventional metering systems. Liquip has configured Diptronic so that it can be easily retrofitted to existing tankers. Also, software upgrades can change Diptronic from a simple measuring system to a integrated IT solution for fuel tracking. The first Australian Diptronic system was fitted to a Holmwood Highgate 45,000 litre, five-compartment tri-axle semi trailer newly built for Cootes Tanker Services in It has since made its international debut onboard oil company vehicles in France, the UK and Asia, while Liquip has plans to launch it into several other countries across Asia and Europe soon. Combined with our traditional fluid handling equipment, Diptronic offers a complete Liquip solution, said Lawrie. While standard mechanical equipment remains our bread and butter business, electronic fluid monitoring devices are becoming a larger part of Liquip s product range. 20 March 2003

18 TANK CONTAINER/HAZCHEM NEWS TEC signs Chinese tank deal UK-based container engineering consultancy TEC (International) Ltd has signed an exclusive manufacturing deal with Chinese tank builder JFC in Jiangsu Province to produce a new range of IMDG and US DOT-compliant tank container designs for the international market. Best known for its high volume box within a box Bitutainer and Lubetainer tank designs for the transport and storage of bitumen and lube oils, TEC has developed and patented a new no stress tank frame design which, it says, is unique in that it can accommodate any conventional cylindrical tank of any size or pressure. According to TEC director Rex Michau, JFC will use the new frame design to build a range of competitivelypriced hazardous and non-hazardous tanks which will be marketed by TEC under the Tectainer banner. JFC is no stranger to the tank market having built a wide range of units for the Chinese domestic market, including specialised designs for the carriage of diesel, propane, refrigerant gases, chlorine, yellow phosphorous, liquid ammonia and liquid CO 2. The Jiangsu factory has ASME U stamp approval and has the capacity to build units/year. JFC will be the third Chinese manufacturer to enter the international tank container market after China International Marine Containers (CIMC) in Nantong and Zhongshan Zhonghua Tank Container (ZZTC) in Guangdong. Following successful dynamic testing at the Tergnier test station in France earlier this year (see News February 2003, p14), TEC reports a rapid uptake for its new T-coded Bitutainer design, which fully meets all ADR/RID requirements for the transport of bitumen by road and rail at temperatures up to 200degC as well as IMDG maritime transport requirements. To date, over 90 units have been ordered, customers including Exxon Mobil and giant French civil construction company, the Colas Group, which has ordered 50 units for use in its Northern US and Alaskan operations. The new design, which features a cylindrical tank equipped with TEC s unique heating system housed within a protective 20ft Corten steel container exterior, has a capacity of up to 24 tonnes, some 3 tonnes more than conventional cylindrical bitumen tank designs. The units are manufactured by Singamas Container Industry in Yixing, China. TEC director Rex Michau (centre) recently visited the JFC tank factory to seal the deal UK tackles hazcargo rule update The UK Department of Transport (DfT) and Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are currently embroiled in one of the most complex rulemaking initiatives yet undertaken. The new, consolidated UK Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail Regulations will not only implement changes introduced in both the 2001 and 2003 editions of RID (European rail transport of dangerous goods regulations) and ADR (European road transport of dangerous goods regulations) but also complete implementation of the European Union s Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (TPED). In addition, the new rules will consolidate and replace a large existing regime. Unfortunately, compiling the draft regulations, in the form of a Consultation Document (CD) is proving to be a difficult task. A number of complex legal issues continue to be raised which are taking time to resolve. These include: Ensuring that the obligations in RID/ ADR are placed on the right people (many of these are described passively in RID/ADR). Ensuring that the split in competent authority functions between HSE and DfT is correct and complete (there are over 450 in ADR). Meshing the existing regime on tanks and pressure receptacles with the requirements of RID/ADR and the need to complete the implementation of TPED (there are a number of inconsistencies). Checking that the requirements in the current suite of 12 UK statutory instruments and supporting approved documents are properly accounted for in the consolidation. As a result of these difficulties, the CD is not likely to be submitted to the Health and Safety Commission before May 2003, with publication in June for a three-month consultative period. Timings beyond that are uncertain as much will depend on comments received during the consultative process and the extent to which the draft regulations may need to be revised. The new UK regulations are unlikely to enter into force before March 1, 2004 at the earliest. When the new, consolidated UK dangerous goods transport regulations do enter into force, the great suite of existing rules, including the Carriage of Dangerous Goods (CDG), the Classification, Packaging & Labelling (CDG-CPL), the Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) and the Driver Training Regulations, will cease to exist. March

19 CorTainer adds LiquiTainer CorTainer Inc of Houston, Texas, has launched a new flexitank design to complement its existing family of bulk containers for the storage and shipment of liquid products worldwide. Like the other containers, the new LiquiTainer is being marketed as a CorTainer/ITW product, following the finalisation of a private label agreement with ITW last November. The LiquiTainer continues CorTainer s use of two thickwalled flexible concentric bladders, each made of foodgrade recyclable polyethylene, in a total thickness that more than doubles the aggregate of the strongest of the many multilayer, thinwall flexitanks on the market. A 15 mil thick seamless inner layer contains the liquid product, while a 35 mil outer layer serves as protection and secondary containment. CorTainer has added a third The Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) has released a new Technical Bulletin (IICL TB 002) entitled Preferred Electronic Data Interchange Standards for the Container Industry, which covers external EDI standards, message types and IICL preferred CEDEX codes. The new bulletin has been published as a reference guide for current and potential users of EDI services and is claimed to offer the first time user the ability to understand, in a condensed guide, the formatting of message types, as well as the all-important use of CEDEX codes in the creation of container repair estimates. IICL stresses that TB 002 does not introduce any new standards, nor does it supersede individual client/supplier operational contractual requirements It does, however, outline IICL members preferred use of various existing standards and conventions. Other useful sections in the bulletin include frequently asked questions, a glossary of EDI terms, links to IICL members and information on contacting the IICL for guidance and direction. TB 002 has been posted in layer in the new LiquiTainer design - a woven polypropylene outer - to ensure that the new flexitank provides a high level of product security and durability. As reported the February 2003 issue of News (p14), CorTainer recently relocated its manufacturing operations into the Glesby Street facilities of ITW s Insta-Bulk division in Houston. Only the enlarged ITW manufacturing presence made this new design possible, reports Charlie Nelson, CorTainer founder and CEO. ITW makes the woven outer layer and, without the economies of scale that working with Insta- Bulk provides, we would have been unable to make this innovation economical. We have also been able to achieve the necessary production levels without sacrificing our metal fittings. CorTainer uses foodgrade bolted stainless steel fittings on its flexitanks, in contrast to heatwelded plastic fittings widely used elsewhere in the industry. Most leakage problems in flexitank operations have occurred around such fittings, adds Nelson. Also, the price of the new LiquiTainer makes it directly competitive with every credible flexitank in the world, without sacrificing the traditional CorTainer flexitank advantages of strength and reliability. The CorTainer/ITW family of products includes flexitanks; collapsible and reusable intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) in the 200-1,000-litre size range; and temporary storage tanks in sizes up to 60,000 litres. Amongst the flexitank range are designs for use in refrigerated containers, while a patented heater system is also available for products that must be reheated before discharge. The new LiquiTainer is compatible with both. IICL EDI standards released PDF format on the IICL website ( and is available for download free of charge by depots, terminals, shipping lines, leasing companies and EDI vendors. The document will be updated regularly to react to current issues which are continually raised by EDI users. Representatives from the IICL member companies who supervised the preparation of TB 002 were Tony Sowry of Textainer Equipment Management, Richard Cornwall of Transamerica Leasing and Bill Brassington of GE SeaCo. The end of an era Jindo Corp has finally decided to call it a day at its original dry freight container/chassis manufacturing plant in Inchon, Korea. A spokesman for Jindo confirmed that outstanding container orders had been transferred to Jindo s northern Chinese plant in Dalian. The Inchon facility, which has been in continuous production since 1978, is currently completing a number of domestic orders for container chassis, but will close permanently once these orders have been completed. As previously reported in News, Jindo was rescued from bankruptcy in November 2001 when creditors accepted a business reorganisation plan and agreed to write off 90 per cent of the company s estimated US$850 mill debt. Though Jindo s aluminium reefer plant in Onyang, Korea, had been closed earlier that year, the reduction in overhead cost resulting from the debt adjustment programme meant that the Inchon plant could continue to compete with Chinese box 12,000 TEU ship Germanischer Lloyd (GL) engineers have been discussing a 12,000 TEU container vessel with a Korean shipyard. According to Dr Hans G Payer, a GL director, the design features a maximum draft of 14.5m, which would allow access to the world s major container ports. Twin propulsion is needed to enable the ship to operate at the required service speed of 25 knots. GL presented a detailed study for a 9200 TEU vessel two years ago, in co-operation with CONTAINER INDUSTRY/SHIPPING NEWS builders for Seoul/Inchon deliveries. That is evidently no longer the case. The closure of Inchon brings to a close all marine container manufacturing activity in Korea. Throughout the 1980s/early 1990s, the country led the world in container production, with output peaking at 376,451 TEU in Since then, however, Korea s position has been progressively eroded by lower cost manufacturers in China. Ironically, Jindo was one of the drivers of the inexorable rise of the Chinese container manufacturing industry, having established three dry freight box facilities in the 1990s in Dalian, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with a combined annual capacity of 185,000 TEU, almost half the size of Korea s highest ever output. These three plants are unaffected by the latest move. A new line for the production of container chassis for the US market is currently being installed at Jindo s Shanghai plant and is due to start operations in May this year. two Korean yards and interest was expressed by several owners. It is not clear how many rows across the GL9200 would have but the most likely result is 17-wide, the same as the biggest post-panamax ships today. In a claimed first for the shipbuilding industry, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has used a new a 3D modelling system, COSMOS (Concurrent Ship Modeling System), on a newbuilding. Tender touch Shipping portal INTTRA has unveiled INTTRA-Tender, an ocean transportation procurement application that uses a common business process framework adopted by global carriers and shippers. Available from June 2003, INTTRA-Tender standardises and supports all phases of an ocean tender, including initial tender creation and request, carrier responses, shipper evaluation, shipper countering and shipper nomination. It is designed to replace a manual process that historically has required the labour-intensive management of numerous and non-standard information exchanges between shippers and carriers. The new application was created by the INTTRA-Tender Council, a group of carriers that have worked over the past ten months with a number of global shippers to design a standard solution that would have broad acceptance across the industry. All carriers can use INTTRA-Tender at no charge. Any shipper who commits to INTTRA services for booking or shipping instructions can also use INTTRA-Tender at no charge. The INTTRA Tender Council has performed a valuable service to the industry, said INTTRA CEO Ken Bloom. By developing and endorsing a standardised process for procurement, INTTRA can help its carriers improve these business processes in addition to those processes to which INTTRA has already made an important contribution. 22 March 2003

20 SHIPPING NEWS First for Mongolia Landlocked Mongolia is negotiating with foreign partners to set up a joint stock company to own and operate what would be the first ship ever to sail under the Mongolian flag in recorded history. The country is considering offers from several foreign operators to assign an existing vessel to the Mongolian flag. According to the country s Infrastructure Ministry, a proposal from Singaporebased Maritime Chain is of particular interest. Preliminary estimates indicate that revenues could come to US$100,000 within the first six month after closing the deal and reach US$80 mill - a massive amount in a Mongolian context - within 10 years. Mongolia has signed up to various international conventions to gain entitlement to have a national fleet. It obtained right of access to 20 Russian ports and the Chinese port of Tianjin in The sky s the limit Hamburg-based SkySails GmbH claims that its patented wind propulsion system can cut the energy cost of operating container and multi-purpose vessels or passenger ships by up to 50 per cent. A Skysails ship would be equipped with a heliumfilled kite sail. The sail is guided with special software based on route management and, it is claimed, is able to generate the same power as a conventional ship s engine. Tests at Hamburg s ships model basin carried out by Dipl Ing Peter Schenzle are said to have been very successful. The patent has been registered worldwide and it will be developed in six different configurations, which should all be ready for production for newbuild or retrofit applications within the next three years. The kite sail has an area of 5000 m 2 and its top will be 100m above the vessel deck. Its position can be changed relative to the ship s deck. The sail can be packed into a 20ft container for transport. German shipping companies Egon Oldendorff, and Rickmers-Linie have both conducted trials with SkySails. In addition to the economic advantages we can achieve a clear ecological advantage, said SkySails managing director Stephan Wrage. The SkySails system is claimed to be able to cut fuel costs by up to 50 per cent Self-service from PONL P&O Nedlloyd is conducting an Internetbased shipping trial in the trans-tasman trade between Australia and New Zealand which, if successful, may signal another nail in the coffin for shipping agents. Tagged youship, the service allows small shippers and freight forwarders to research, book, pay for and receive all necessary documentation for cargo shipments on-line. PONL has set up a dedicated website, which it describes as an exciting innovation that takes the complexity out of shipping. Once logged on, a customer can view vessel rates and space availability, secure space at an advertised price, book and pay online and receive immediate online confirmation of waybill details plus written confirmation by . Upon registration, a shipper can work his way through a simple process and organise multiple users from the same company. Freight rates are inclusive of all surcharges and PONL also offers additional services such as arranging empty container delivery to shippers sites, insurance, customs clearance at shipment and receival and destination land transport. Single payment for all services can be through personal or company credit card or prearranged direct debit. All major ports in Australia and New Zealand are served for eastbound and westbound cargo on PONL s comprehensive network. For a specific enquiry, shippers can select port pairs on the home page and view which vessels are available, or register to receive regular schedules by to assist forward planning. Only dry, non-hazardous FCL cargo is accepted and transhipment or coastal boxes are excluded. Rates and charges for optional services are available to all transacting customers. There are no negotiated rates. PONL advises that sea freight rates may vary at any time dependent on booking demand. So even if you checked a vessel and rate yesterday, that same rate may not be available when you return to make a booking, the carrier says. For door-to-port shipments, any charges that are not included in the prepaid freight will be for the account of the consignee, ie destination Port Service Charge (PSC) and documentation fee. For shipments from New Zealand to Australia, there will also be Goods and Services Tax of 10 per cent on the destination PSC. Cancellation fees apply if a shipment or part of a shipment is cancelled, and must be paid at the time of cancellation. Amendment fees apply to certain types of changes such as transferring the total booking to another vessel, transferring one or more (but not all) of a number of containers on a booking to another vessel and changing commercial details such as consignee after the vessel sails. March

21 PORT DEVELOPMENT So long as it s green The on/off New Century container terminal at Berth 100, Los Angeles is on again following a negotiated settlement between the port, China Shipping and community and environmental groups. The port must carry out a new EIR, to include the phase II and phase III proposals. It must also commit US$50 mill over the next five years to environmental mitigation projects. Of this figure, US$10 mill will go to a scheme to encourage owners to replace, repower or retrofit their heavy trucks to run on cleaner fuels. Caterpillar, for example, has developed a dual fuel engine that uses ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel as a pilot ignition to power the principal CNG fuel. This allows CNG to comprise nearly 90 per cent of the truck s fuel consumption and, says Caterpillar, provides significant reductions in NOx and PM emissions. In addition, ships using the terminal may also be required to use alternative maritime power while at berth. The port itself has already replaced nearly 35 per cent of its total vehicle inventory with alternative fuel vehicles which utilise CNG or LPG (light vehicles) or have dual fuel engines. It is also testing several battery-powered cars and light utility vehicles. Skyline spoilation Another US$20 mill of the settlement fund will go towards general air quality mitigation while the same amount will be spent for community aesthetic mitigation. As previously reported in World- Cargo News, the aspect aspect is expected to include feasibility studies covering the employment of low-profile container cranes, including possible modifications Air quality and noise control pose major problems for the San Pedro Bay port authorities and their tenants...oh, and don't spoil the view either to the four post-panamax ZPMC cranes already at the China Shipping terminal. However, this wish list is highly problematic. Idle penalties In another development, marine terminals at both Los Angeles and Long Beach are now working under a new law that took effect at the start of the year limiting the time trucks can be allowed to wait at terminal gates. The law penalises terminal operators with a US$250 fine for every truck that has to wait more than 30 minutes to get inside the gates. This has prompted the Gate Hours Pilot Project to survey regional warehouses and distribution centres in order to identify companies that are able and willing to receive and deliver containers during off-peak hours. The goal is to generate sufficient truck trips in and out of the greater Los Angeles harbour area that will support second and third shift operations at marine terminals. In the past, some terminals have remained open during offpeak hours in an effort to cut down on congestion but there was not enough truck traffic to make the programme financially feasible, primarily because warehouses and distribution centres were not open in sufficient numbers to support the operation. More capacity At Long Beach, extra truck gate capacity has already been added to the International Transportation Service (ITS) facility on Pier J, used by K-Line, which opened a reconfigured entrance with 10 traffic lanes in February. The terminal s on-dock intermodal rail yard has also been expanded and an additional 15,000ft of storage track has been laid. At Long Beach, Hanjin Shipping s new terminal on Pier T is being completed through a recently awarded US$73.8 mill contract covering the demolition of three former Navy piers, and the filling in of a large graving dock, to create an additional 1324ft of wharf. The work, scheduled for completion in October 2004, will give Hanjin a terminal occupying 375 acres and a wharf measuring more than a mile long. Long Beach has also expanded the California United Terminals (CUT) facility on Pier E, which serves Hyundai, with the completion of a 30-acre landfill project which brings the terminal to 105 acres. Hanjin s former 170-acre terminal at Pier A, now operated by SSA Terminals (SSAT), is also to be expanded. Customers here include MSC and Zim. The Port of Los Angeles may be making unrealistic assumptions about the feasibility of low profile configuration for giant superpost-panamax cranes, even allowing for relatively light wind loads in southern California. The question of whether the ZPMC cranes at NCT (above aerial shot) can be converted is apparently still open, however. (For a discussion of the problems involved, see News, January 2003, p1) New policy Pointing the way to future action at Long Beach, the port has sold all six post-panamax cranes at Pier A to SSAT. A second crane deal at the port has seen Maersk Sealand sell two of its cranes on Pier J to ITS, which has moved the units to the former Sea-Land terminal at Pier G. Long Beach currently owns about half of the 61 container cranes at its marine terminals but has indicated it would like to get out of the crane ownership business. Last year it was able to sell one of its older units to the Port of Vancouver (Wa). The Port of Los Angeles owns far fewer cranes than Long Beach and in recent years has managed to sell off four of its older ones - two going to the Port of Olympia (Wa) and the other two to the Port of Ensenada in Mexico. It is now in the process of examining cranes left behind by Matson Navigation, which has shifted its operations to the former Zim terminal at Long Beach. Four Morgan-built RMGs - part of the famous but ill-fated Matson mousetrap - at the former Matson facility, now operated by San Pedro Bay terminal operators are now liable to a US$250 fine every time a truck has to wait more than 30 minutes at the in-gate, as legislators seek to cut air pollution from idling trucks. But if gate hours are to saty open longer, support is needed from warehouse operators and consolidation centres Tacoma s rising Tide Tideworks Technology of Seattle has signed a contract to implement its Spinnaker planning software at the Port of Tacoma s South and North intermodal yards (NIY and SIY) in the second quarter of this year. Spinnaker has not been used in a rail yard application before but Tideworks managing director Mike Schwank says the software is an ideal match for the needs of the port s rail yards. The flexibility of the software enables rail yard management to easily handle and coordinate all types of intermodal container operation transactions, from receiving and delivery of containers to inventory management, rail planning, yard planning and customized reporting. Spinnaker will replace a legacy rail yard management system but will be interfaced with third party software that includes an auto- mated equipment ID system. The port s director of rail operations Kelly Smith commented that Tideworks was selected because of its proven experience in interfacing Spinnaker with third party systems and service and support that will provide the port with maximum systems uptime and minimal IT overhead. Tacoma is currently experiencing strong growth with volume in January up 35 per cent on last year. This is partly attributable to the backlog following last year s labour dispute on the west coast,º but a third of the increase follows from Lloyd Triestino s new direct service to China. The NIY, which serves Evergreen and K Line, set a new record in February of 7312 intermodal lifts, beating the 6825 recorded the first week after the port dispute ended last October. March

22 PORT DEVELOPMENT This ex-matson crane from Honolulu is being installed by Schnitzer at its Willamette River, Portland (Or) multi-purpose facility SSAT, are being cut up for scrap and three of four narrow gauge container cranes are to follow. Enter P&O Ports? Industry sources indicate that the port plans to retain one of the cranes, which rides on 34ft gauge rails, and lay a third rail to support an additional three 50ft gauge cranes that will be barged across from other port facilities in order to create a relatively modern four-crane facility for another user. This is rumoured to be P&O Ports, although the port says that no tenancy agreement has yet been signed with anybody. P&O Ports is already established on the NAWC range at Vancouver, BC following its purchase of Casco and Centerm from BCR Marine ( News, January 2003, p9) In Oakland, Matson has left behind another three elderly, narrow gauge container cranes at Berths following its move to the new SSAT-operated facility at Berths They are expected Already many port cars and other light vehicles run on LPG or CNG to be scrapped, at a cost of US$100,000 per crane, as the site is redeveloped to provide expansion space for the Ben E Nutter Terminal (Evergreen/Lloyd Triestino) and Trapac (K-Line). Two of the former Matson berths are to be brought into alignment with the berths at Trapac by demolishing the existing apron face and building the berths out 14ft to support 100ft gauge crane rails. Last year, Trapac acquired two 100ft gauge post-panamax ZPMC units and shipped two of its older cranes to the Matson terminal at Honolulu. In turn, Matson sold one of its older Honolulu cranes to Schnitzer Group, which is having the unit installed at its International Terminals multi-purpose facility on the Willamette River in Portland (Or) for container/bulk/breakbulk work. The crane has an outreach of 110ft and a lifting capacity of 40 tonnes. Schnitzer has also indicated an interest in one of the cranes at Oakland. The Port of Evergreen will source its own cranes and straddle carriers for its new operation in Tacoma, with Marine terminal Corporation providing the terminal operation and labour Portland itself, meanwhile, is looking to buy an eighth (and third post-panamax) crane for its Terminal 6 (T-6) operation, but no acquisition date has been set. Portland is also having a number of its older cranes scrapped but has run into problems because of the current low price for scrap metal in the US. Last year, the port contracted with a local salvage company to dismantle two cranes and a ship unloader at its T-4 facility. A Whirley crane, used for both general cargo and containers, was successfully removed but a 36 year-old Hitachi unit, once used by Matson, as well as a 42 yearold Dravo bulk unloader, remain on the dock in pieces. Receding Stars Seattle has had better luck in disposing of several diesel-powered Starporter cranes formerly used by Matson at T-30, a facility now being converted into a combination cargo/cruise ship complex. Two were sold to the Port of Rio Haina, Dominican Republic last year. The third unit remains on site and is up for sale. Three new ZPMC cranes are slated for delivery to the Hanjin facility at T-46, which is being expanded from 70 acres to 88 acres under a US$74 mill modernisation programme. The terminal already has six cranes on site and at least two of the older cranes will have to go. According to port spokesman Mick Shultz, they will most probably be two Hitachi units that have a limited outreach of 115ft. The Port of Tacoma has also managed to sell off several older cranes, including two IHI models, one from T-7 and the other from T-3/4, both shipped to Jurong in February aboard a Jumbo heavylift ship. Still at the port is an old Peiner unit, which is listed as in storage and due to be upgraded. One Sumitomo crane is currently being moved from T-3/4 to T-7 to give K-Line a total of four cranes. Evergreen will purchase the cranes and straddle carriers for its new terminal in Tacoma ( News, January 2003, p1). The ILWU will furnish the labour who will be employed by Marine Terminals Corp. There are no clues as to who will take over Evergreen s existing terminal, where cranes and straddle carriers are owned and operated by the port. In the Vans While the Port of Vancouver, BC has announced a major expansion programme ( News, September 2002, pp19-21), its smaller US namesake in Washington state has completed the second phase of its T-2 redevelopment programme. This includes 800ft of new dock and piling improvements at berths 1 and 2. The port is now moving to redevelop T-3, refurbishing the existing 60-acre facility, adding a further 10 acres of open storage area and modernising the storm drainage system. The project is costed at US$7.3 mill. Another port in the Vancouver, BC area is also expanding. North Fraser Port Authority, located on the Fraser River, is developing a C$30 mill barge terminal near the Arthur Laing Bridge. The 44.5-acre facility is to be built on the site of a demolished sawmill and will offer docking and ramp space for intermodal-type barge operations as well as two 100,000 ft 2 storage sheds. The complex is being designed and developed by a wholly-owned port authority subsidiary, North Fraser Terminals Inc, and will make use of mobile container handling equipment still to be acquired. 26 March 2003

23 PORT DEVELOPMENT Tread the hard road to prosperity The Brazilian economy, South America s largest, has recovered somewhat since the nervous days last October when Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva ( Lula ) was elected national president. To steady the ship Lula toned down his populist rhetoric and appointed financial heavyweights to run the central bank and Finance Ministry. Now everyone is waiting to see how he plans to tackle the growing public debt and punitive interest rates. Executives at the country s ports want him promote free trade to bring more cargo, and push ahead with modernisation of ports and related infrastructure. Former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso had started to tackle Brazil s long protectionist tradition but so far the message from Lula has been mixed. He is wary of a US-led plan to transform the whole of the Americas into a free trade zone but has called for more co-operation in the Mercosur custom union and stronger trade ties with China, India, Russia, South Africa and Mexico. More trade is crucial, says investment analyst Alejandro Peréz at the infrastructure department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) if port operators are to get a return on their investments. Up north Several ports still have privatisation schemes in the pipeline, such as Recife in Pernambuco, where a number of lease projects are coming up this year. The port authority (APR) is working out the bidding rules, but its president Leão Diniz de Souza Leão Avila states that they will be open to local and international companies. APR plans to lease its pet coke terminal and various warehouses, and offload responsibility for port equipment to one or more private companies. Avila believes that international companies are most likely to show most interest in the pet coke and warehousing contracts. APR also wants to lease the container terminal but, says Avila, tendering is unlikely this year. APR is an arm of the Pernambuco state government. Although there is a trend in Brazil to transfer federal or stateowned ports to municipal administration, Avila believes state administration has been the best solution for Recife. Recife coexists with Suape as Pernambuco s major ports and state administration has facilitated communication and cooperation between them which, he argues, would have been more difficult under municipal administration. The transfer of ports in the name of decentralisation to municipalities can be a good thing but, he believes, it should be handled on a case-by-case basis because of the diverse characteristics of Brazil. The Suape port authority is also trying to accelerate its privatisation programme and Peréz believes the IFC will support this. The World Bank s private sector arm could provide the port with long-term financing as it believes that privatisation would help reduce overall transportation costs and increase competitiveness of exports in the north east of Brazil. The immediate priority is the grain terminal, in which the successful bidder(s) will be expected to invest up to US$40 mill. Pear-shaped However, the results of privatisation so far in Suape are hardly encouraging. As well as labour disputes and liner defections over high prices (see page 11), Tecon Suape SA (TSSA) is involved in a dispute with the port authority over lease payments. This follows a new ruling (Resolution 55) from Antaq (the national agency for waterborne transport) on port monopolies. According to port president Alexandre Albuquerque, the authority is obliged to renegotiate some aspects of TSSA s concession. But it is not all doom and gloom. Brazilian ports, says Sidney Rezende, transport specialist at UN-ECLAC in Santiago de Chile, have come a long way in terms of productivity and efficiency since the port reform law of 1993 which set the scene for privatisation and modernisation. Yet both Rezende and local analyst Josef Barat say that the ports have some way to go to reduce the infamous Custo Brasil which continues to hamper foreign trade. They make the point that labour costs in many ports are still too high. The port unions are powerful and still exercise great influence, in terms of the size of work gangs and salaries. Rezende and Barat also agree that in order to reduce costs the Brazilian authorities should look beyond the berths towards more integrated transport solutions and promote intermodal rail and inland waterway as effective means of distributing containers inland. While Tecon Suape is struggling, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for Tecon Sepetiba, which is jointly owned by steel group CSN and mining, ports and logistics group CVRD. So far its major regular call was from Maersk Sealand s NCX service to Venezuela and the Caribbean, which was aborted last year after an 18-month experiment and cargo fell to almost zero. Sudden surge But now Hamburg Süd, CMA- CGM and Maersk Sealand have decided to use the facility. Maersk Sealand s newly introduced L class vessels cannot berth in Rio de Janeiro, because of insufficient draught. Hamburg Süd has also declared that its cabotage arm, Aliança, will call Sepetiba instead of Rio de Janeiro. Gefco has opened an office in the port and persuaded both Hamburg Süd and Maersk Sealand to start calling there on its north European services. Apart from controlling Peugeot Citröen automotive parts business, Gefco is the logistics supplier of choice for Ambev, which is one of Brazil s biggest beer and soft drinks suppliers, and Total Elf. Although Sepetiba is only 80 kms from the city centre, the Rio Mafia of customs officers, despachantes (facilitators), various shipping agencies, etc have not been at all keen to use up several hours of their days travelling out to this remote port. In any case the two key operators in Rio, Libra Terminais (Tecon One) and Multiterminais (Multi-Rio), carry a lot of clout with shippers. ICD support But the new ICD at Cacapava, in the Vale do Paraíba and midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, is a boost for Tecon Sepetiba, long touted as a future hub port for Brazil, with its ample space (40-ha) and up to 16m draught alongside the 540m quay. The ICD has good train links with São Paulo, Santos, Sepetiba and Rio de Janeiro, and Hamburg Süd is keen to see cargo consolidated there and then choose which port is best suited for the cargo. Our services definitely give the ICD hub potential, remarks Davino Augusto Pontual More needs to be done to develop intermodal transport Machado, marketing co-ordinator for MRS Logística. A daily service to Sepetiba seems the logical step for most northbound cargo, reasons Machado, quoting one shipping line s logistics manager as telling him that Sepetiba departures save hours in transit time to the US and Europe. Installed capacity at Tecon Sepetiba, equipped with two superpost-panamax Impsa cranes is claimed, somewhat optimistically, by its terminal director Humberto Ramos de Freitas to be 400,000 TEU/year. Ceará brings up dozen With the commissioning of two HMK 300Es last November in Pecem (Ceará), Gottwald Port Technology now has 12 harbour mobile cranes in Brazil - seven HMK 300Es and five HMK 280Es (the 300 s forerunner). The Pecem cranes, operated by Ceará Terminal Operations (CTO), have a 5m long tower extension to provide a higher cab viewing position as the duty requirement includes working Maersk Sealand s post-panamax vessels. We are ideally prepared for future requirements, said CTO s general manager Patricio Junior. Both Maersk Sealand and CMA-CGM are targeting reefer exports at Pecem. According to News survey records (January 2003, pp31-32), seven harbour mobile cranes were furnished to Brazilian operators last year, including these two from Gottwald. The German company claims that it was awarded contracts for a total of five HMK 300Es in Brazil last year. Regional sales manager Rainer Büssing is confident about market prospects but says that interested terminals are currently in a stand-by mode until the political and economic situation consolidates. Despite the volatility in Brazil there are still projects in the pipeline, he notes. Büssing takes the view that in terms of cranes and technology several Brazilian container ports can hold their own when making international comparison. The importance of container terminals can only grow as the rate of containerisation is still very dynamic. Like many suppliers, Gottwald sees continuing privatisation as a key driver of sales, since concession winners have to upgrade former government-run facilities which are often run down. Two Gottwald HMK 300E cranes were recently commissioned in Pecem March

24 PORT DEVELOPMENT Chile blows hot and cold Peace has broken out in San Antonio, Chile s top container port, after two years of soured relations between the port authority (EPSA) and San Antonio Terminal Internacional (STI). STI is owned 51 per cent by Stevedoring Services of America through a local holding company and 40 per cent by SAAM. The World Bank s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), holds the balance. Throughput last year of 5.27 mt (4.45 mt in 2001) included 189,000 containers (168,000 in 2001). The port as a whole (STI, TEM, Terquím and Vopak tank farm) handled a record 9.27 mt last year (+ 5 per cent) and is clear leader in Chile s Vth Region (serving Santiago de Chile), with a 57 per cent cargo share, compared with Valparaíso s 28 per cent and Puerto Ventanas 15 per cent. The source of the dispute was the state-owned Terminal Espigón Multioperador (TEM). As previously reported in 28 There is no consistent message on privatisation in Chilean ports - some people want more and others less News, STI claimed that EPSA was subsidising the private stevedores at TEM. In the end, for some reason EPSA backed down, making it unnecessary to go to arbitration. There is no perfect world but today the waters are calm, says Eric Petri, executive of the SEP holding company for state-owned port terminals. The commercial managers for both EPSA and STI, Ricardo Schelchter and Danilo Cancino, also say that the issues have been resolved and that the relationship is now good. Shoot the messenger One would not have thought this from a visit to Chile last November by US trade representative Harry Caldwell, who sparked controversy after he was quoted by local financial daily Estrategía as calling for privatisation of TEM to eliminate potential unfair competition ( News, January 2003, p6). According to Schelchter, Caldwell (who does not speak Spanish) was misquoted...and this was later confirmed by Caldwell personally. STI and TEM compete in the sense that, subject to contract, a vessel can call at either facility if there is berthing space. But if two ships arrive at the same time, the question of priority arises. Under the settlement, only one of the two berths at TEM which can handle containerships has priority status, making it more likely that the ship will call at STI. Another point is that EPSA is now obliged to include any money it puts into TEM within the tariffs it charges the stevedores there. Bird s eye view The view of Dr Jan Hoffmann, international transport analyst at UN-ECLAC in Santiago, is that TEM and other Chilean port terminals still under state ownership should in the long-term be privatised because otherwise there will always be a potential source of conflicts. Ultimately the government does aim to lease all state-owned port terminals, says Petri. However, the current dual system will continue until there is a level of cargo traffic that justifies handing everything to the private sector. He could well have in mind the controversy in Valparaíso where, at the beginning of this month, the government was forced to call off the port authority (EPV) s planned tender for the Espigón terminal. As previously reported in News, the port s existing concessionaire, Terminal Pacífico Sur (TPS), the 70:30 Von Appen (Ultramar) and Port authorities are being pulled in different directions by their tenants/lessees HHLA Hamburg joint venture, has opposed the EPV s plans. The Germans threatened to sue the government if the tender went ahead. The EPV is caught between a rock and a hard place. Agunsa, which has been pushing hard for the tender, has said it will take legal action to seek to revert the decision to postpone it. The market is tight and Valparaíso has been losing market share to San Antonio in any case. Last July, for example, MSC quit TPS for STI. The TEM settlement in San Antonio has set a precedent and Agunsa can no longer get favourable terms working a public berth in that port or in Valparaíso. Another one In the north, another controversial privatisation has gone ahead, with Antofagasta port authority (EPA) confirming that some facilities have been leased to Consorcio Antofagasta Terminal Internacional SA (CATI). As previously reported ( News, January 2003, p6), this is a joint venture of SAAM and Inmobiliaria Marítima Portuaria SA. It won the tender in January as sole bidder and its lease runs for 20 years with an 10-year option extension. The deal may lead CPM to scale back at Mejillones. In the extreme south, there are no short-term plans for privatisation at the Port of Punta Arenas, even though port officials are optimistic about prospects for growth. Last year a Spanish delegation from Valencia showed interest in investing in the port. Nibaldo Astete, chimerical manager for the port authority (EPPA), explains that the three terminals have different specialisms. Arturo Prat terminal is for cruise ships; José de los Santos Mardones terminal handles only cargo; Transbordadores de Puerto Natales is dual purpose. Cruising ahead The cruise business has boomed in recent years and cargo is expected to grow because of the region s salmon and methanol industries. EPPA will invest some Pesos260 mill this year to remodel and improve the Arturo Prat terminal in time for the cruise season. Astete adds that the 70,000-plus cruise passengers Punta Arenas receives yearly spend an average of US$55-65/day when they trek around the city and its surroundings. EPPA will invest Pesos140 mill at the Puerto Natales terminal this year to prepare for a significant increase in salmon-related cargo traffic over the next three years, focused on berth improvements to accommodate bigger vessels and better warehousing and reefer storage facilities. Finally, Mardones will receive a Pesos60 mill investment, also in part to improve reefer storage capacity. There is another interesting project on the table. Enap is studying the possibility of exporting products derived from its methanol plant in the region. It may team up with EPPA to construct a new berth to handle exports. No final decision has been made and even if there is a green light for the project, any new terminal would be at least two years away because of different studies that have to be made before construction. Petri considers that interest among private investors to participate in any future tender in Punta Arenas will in part hinge on the project with Enap. Better outlook In San Antonio, EPSA and STI are confident that the port is on course for another record year, due to a better-performing economy and increased foreign trade on the back of free trade agreements signed last year with the USA and the EU. This year a free trade agreement is expected to be hammered out with South Korea. The Santiago Chamber of Commerce has forecast that the Chilean economy will grow 3.3 per cent this year with exports and imports increasing by eight per cent and five per cent respectively. EPSA s long-term goal is to create a 30 mta port. Plans are focused on a 100-ha area, with the aim of increasing the number of berths from nine to 23 and ensuring adequate backlands. There is no definite time horizon for this. STI says that it has so far invested US$42 mill in its concession, including civil works, handling equipment, computer systems and training. It plans to invest another US$13 mill extending the berth another 300m to around 1000m. The investment will be undertaken when the economic factors improve sufficiently to recover it. Throughput and profitability have not reached the levels STI budgeted when it won the tender in Cancino claims that STI is the most efficient container terminal on the South American west coast as its two gantry cranes handle on average 45 containers/ship hour, which compares well with international benchmarks. Containers are STI s main business and most of the contracts it has with the lines are long-term ones, so it will continue to focus on boosting its share of bulk and breakbulk traffic this year. On the move After six years in post, Dr Jan Hoffmann is moving from UN-ECLAC in Santiago de Chile to UNCTAD in Geneva, where he will continue working in the area of international transport, ports and shipping. Hoffman s achievements in Chile include the web-based Maritime Profile of Latin America and the Caribbean and the BTI international transport database. He wrote regular bulletins about maritime transport in the LAC macro-region and published research on coastal shipping, hub ports, the process of concentration in liner shipping, port privatisation and the determinants of international transport costs. March 2003

25 CARGO HANDLING Seoho steers by satellite Seoho Electric of Korea is offering a GPSbased auto steering system for RTGs. It previously offered auto steering using CCD cameras to capture deviation from a painted line, but in 2001 began developing a GPS system using real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS technology. RTK (or carrier phase) technology achieves a higher degree of accuracy than standard DGPS and calculates position in real-time but is more complicated and, therefore, more expensive. It is, however, becoming more commonplace. Recent examples include a container position system developed by Sanderson Logistics in Australia for Patrick Stevedores East Swanson and Port Botany terminals, ZPMC s RTG auto steering system and Rahco International s steering system for large stackers at mining sites. The Seoho system consists of dual frequency GPS receivers and antennae, RTK processors and a 2.4 GHz wireless LAN. One GPS unit and an RTK processor are fitted at the base station and each RTG has two GPS units and a processor. For the system tested at Korea International Terminal in Kwangyang in May last year, Seoho fitted a dual frequency GPS receiver produced by NavCom of California and a frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) wireless LAN. Hop it Seoho s choice of FHSS is interesting since direct sequencing (DSSS) is perhaps more common in port applications as it is generally reckoned to be less subject to signal dissipation (multipath fading ). Seoho director Seung-Nam Kim says that the company has supplied spread spectrum remote wireless LANs since 1997 and, to date, has found FHSS to be more reliable, possibly because of interference problems at specific sites. Kim is not entirely happy with FHSS, however and says we are looking for a stable wireless LAN system but there is no definite answer yet. A DSSS does allow higher speed but, says Kim, creates another problem in licensing a frequency between 3.5 and 5.5 GHz. Seoho considers that effective auto steering requires accuracy within the Impsa project As briefly reported in last month s News (p1), Impsa Port Systems is entering the RTG market in its own right, in the shape of a Letter of Intent from the Port of Bintulu in Malaysia for two machines. This is Impsa s first venture into rubber-tyred port cranage, leaving aside a project being executed with Kalmar for one RTG for Tecon Paranaguá in Brazil. According to Impsa, despite the fact that there is even more competition in the RTG market than in the ship-to-shore container crane sector, it recognised a need to be able to offer both product lines as many customers want to source quay and yard cranes from the same supplier in the interest of compatibility. Impsa adds that the RTG project has been carried out completely in house by its own engineering and R & D department. The RTGs for Bintulu will have a span and stack 1 over 4 x 9ft 6in high (not 1 over 5 as stated last month), while SWL under spreader is 40 tonnes. They will be fitted with Impsa s own full ac drive controls incorporating Siemens components. Rated load and empty hoist speeds are 20 m/min and 40 m/ min, trolley speed is 70 m/min and long travel speed is also 70 m/min. The cranes will be fitted with electronic anti-sway and DGPS for auto steering and position determination. The delivery term committed with Bintulu for the supply of the two RTGs is 14 months. Seven Hyundai-Paceco Transtainers at Kwangyang have been fitted with Seoho s GPS-based auto steering system. A GPS-based PDS is being developed for a fully-automated RMG range of ± 15mm 95 per cent of the time and ± 20mm 99 per cent of the time. To keep the RTG on the desired path at maximum travel speed the system must be capable of measuring deviation with an update interval of less than 150 m/s. Measuring and processing of information is performed at a 10Hz data rate using real-time GPS data processing software developed at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton, Canada. This software features UNB s Optimal Method for Estimating GPS Ambiguities (OMEGA), for resolving ambiguities in position information. While RTK systems are more accurate than standard DGPS, they still require an uninterrupted line of vision between the receiver and, usually, six satellites. The number of satellites that are visible depends on the elevation between the receiver and satellite; if the angle is too low atmospheric conditions can degrade the signal and differences in atmospheric pressure can affect the position calculation. Ion filings Most GPS receivers have an elevation mask of 10 to 15 deg, below which the signal from satellites is excluded when calculating position. One benefit of RTK GPS is that it uses a more complex ionosphere model that allows for differences in the ionosphere at the horizon. To compensate for incomplete GPS information most auto-steering systems use information from a variety of secondary sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes, wheel encoders, etc) to maintain performance when satellite vision is obstructed or there is multi-path propagation of the GPS signal. Kim claims that the performance of the Seoho RTK algorithm and the UNB software is such that system accuracy can be maintained when the number of satellites drops to five even with zero degree elevation mask. When only four satellites are available Seoho incorporates information from wheel speed and the known dimensions of the RTG into the algorithm. Seoho claims that system availability exceeded 99.9 per cent even when the satellite availability was sub-optimal (ie clear vision to less than six satellites). Performance-wise, the RTG stayed within 2cm of a virtual track 99 per cent of the time and 1.5cm 95 per cent of the time. Since the testing was completed Seoho has fitted the system to seven Hyundai- Paceco Transtainers at Kwangyang. Latitude effects One issue surrounding GPS-based automation systems is how well they perform at sites where latitude or site conditions are unfavourable. Kim says Navcom Engineers found the availability of GPS satellites at Kwangyang was reasonably good, but if the elevation mask was set to 10 deg, only five satellites were available at certain times during the day. Other suppliers have claimed that these periods of unavailability are never longer than 1-2 minutes and, therefore, do not cause a problem but Kim says they can last for minutes. Furthermore, as satellites orbit the earth 4 mins faster than a 24 hour day, the unavailability period shifts by two hours a month. Seoho considers that a feasibility test is required before it can really be determined whether a particular site is suitable for a GPS system. Seoho is also developing the positioning system for the automated RMG - termed automatic transfer crane (ATC) - that Hyundai is building for the phase III automated project at Kwangyang. For long travel and trolley travel Seoho is using a GPS system together with absolute encoders. Kim explains: the GPS system is used not only for the positioning but also for the girder deflection to get accurate height of the spreader from the girder for automatic operation. An absolute encoder is also fitted for the spreader height, while laser sensors are used to position the spreader. As previously reported, Hyundai has built one AGV for this project but development of the RMG was delayed and commissioning is now scheduled for May this year; a second AGV should be built by June. Once testing is complete the automation systems will be removed from the ATC, which has been purchased by the Korea Container Terminal Authority for Kwangyang, phase II. Greener RTG ZPMC is confident that the super capacitor will prove a viable way to power RTGs and AGVs, deputy general manager Liu Qi Zhong told the TOC conference in Hong Kong last month. ZPMC has fitted one RTG in Shanghai with 400 x 100,000 farad super capacitors as part of a test. Liu says that the super capacitors provide a starting current of around 400A and, therefore, only 200A need be generated from the diesel engine. This means that the size of the diesel engine for a typical 40 tonne SWL RTG-8 can be reduced from 400 kw to 150 kw. ZPMC s next plan is to experiment with super capacitors on AGVs. As the AGV has no hoist to produce energy during lowering, less of the required power can be provided through a super capacitor. According to Liu, an AGV requires a peak power of 180 kw, of which 60 kw could be provided through a super capacitor. Using super capacitors to power RTGs, cranes and other port equipment is unlikely to be any cheaper than current diesel or electric methods and the capacitors themselves will add complexity and increase maintenance requirements. However, for ports under pressure to reduce emissions and power requirements, super capacitors may be an attractive option. The Port of Oslo, for example, had to invest in electric-powered RTGs to satisfy environmental concerns. Liu says a particular advantage of the test RTG is the elimination of the smoke billow at the beginning of hoisting operations, one of the most visual displays of pollution. Super capacitors wil help ports clean up their act, believes ZPMC March

26 CARGO HANDLING Technology seen as a foil to falling RTG prices With the CEO of one leading RTG maker, Christer Granskog of Kalmar Industries, remarking that prices for RTGs have fallen by 20 per cent since 1998, now is not a time for the faint-hearted. The RTG market appears to be moving in two directions. On the one hand the sell is based primarily on low price and, on the other hand, the product commands a premium because downtimes and running costs can be shown to be lower. It is difficult to make hard and fast comparisons, however. Different working practices, union agreements, computerised yard management systems, safety requirements and even areas such as gate control and documentation processing can all affect RTG productivity, beyond the control of the OEM. Rival camps Nevertheless the two camps appear to be equally strong which, if one compares the sector with the state of the ship-to-shore crane market, is no mean achievement for the top drawer suppliers. They must have a fairly persuasive case. Otherwise, what operator would acquire 3-4 RTGs when the same money could buy 4-5 from somebody else. Their selling point has to be superior uptimes and lower overall running costs; their problem is that downtime is often not factored into RTG acquisition costs. To quote Granskog again, price is one important component of purchase decisions but it is time to shift the focus to value creation through optimal handling solutions, efficient maintenance setups, adequate financial solutions and new, useful product features. By implication, these should not increase downtime by becoming unreliable over time. Kalmar s SmartRail auto-steering and position determination system has been an undoubted boost to its production of RTGs and, although an option, is specified on most of its output. Its fitment on the four new RTGs recently delivered to the Port of Oslo is virtually mandatory as these machines, uniquely, are supplied with power through a Stemmann cable reeling system located in a Panzerbelt trench. Electric blues The Port of Oslo has undertaken a temporary rehousing scheme for container storage centred on a quay area some 500m to the south of the Ormsund terminal which is currently served by two Kone gantry cranes, the latest of which was delivered last year. As previously reported, the landside handling is switching to a unique allelectric, widespan (9 + 1) RTG design (for last reports, see World- Cargo News, May 2002, p44 and September 2002, p25). The deal, eventually awarded to Kalmar, was the outcome of a 30 month study by the port which, due to the close proximity of residential areas to the container yard and for environmental reasons, specified a plug-in electric feed. Electric drive RMGs were considered but the additional civil engineering costs were deemed too high, particularly if, as seems likely, the RTGs were to be relocated to the new Sjursøya terminal after a few years. Also, the noise of the RMGs moving at high speed over the rails would have been the subject of objection. Overall width of the RTGs is 34.5m, while wheel span and clearance between legs are 31m and 29.8m respectively. Overall height, to the top of the maintenance crane, is 23.15m, while clearance heights under portal beam and spreader are 17.6m and 15.2m respectively (1 over 5). Thus, not only are these RTGs believed to be the widest yet built, they are also the first pure electric drive RTGs. No diesel gen set is fitted and instead the full ac drive is fed by a hv cable. If the RTGs are required to move off the stack, the wheels can be turned through 90 deg in the normal manner and the unit towed by 4x4 ro-ro tractors to its new location. Special attention has been paid to the bogie design, which is essentially the standard Kalmar single wheel configuration, to support the all-up unladen weight of 144 tonnes. SmartRail auto steering is fitted, which is considered essential as the RTG has to long travel very precisely in order to follow the cable duct. Taking full account of winter conditions in Oslo, a Panzerbelt system was specified to protect the cable duct and the cable reel is mounted on the outer side of the RTG frame. Why GPS? Some industry observers, however, question the incorporation of a GPS-based auto steering system. They argue that a simpler and possibly more accurate guidance system could have been incorporated using the actual cable trench. This could perhaps have been based on an optical guidance system, although there would always be uncertainties about operations in snowy conditions. The problems could have been overcome using a clearance and rotating brush device or even using a magnetic or wire guidance track in the trench which could be read from the bogie stations prior to the cable being laid in the trench, so there would be no electrical interference. However, Kalmar claims that its GPS-based SmartRail is a proven, bolt-on solution that can accommodate the same levels of accuracy and can be fully supported by its technicians on site, so there is no need to source another system provider. Hidden advantages The price of these RTGs, which will replace the current mast truck/reach stacker yard system, has not been disclosed, but is obviously more than a conventional RTG. The port, however, was insistent on electric power, mainly to overcome local residents objections to noise levels. But there could be cost savings over conventional RTGs in that there is no maintenance requirement for a diesel engine and alternator and there is no need to refuel the unit at regular intervals. While a full electric design will not become an industry standard, there are undoubtedly applications where it might provide a better solution than a diesel-get set power supply. Recent entry A relative newcomer to the RTG sector, Liebherr Container Cranes has recorded some notable successes to date, even though the company states that it cannot compete on price with OEMs such as ZPMC or even Kalmar. It has tended to pitch its marketing to its existing ship-to-shore crane customer base on the basis that the design and construction of its RTGs offers the same quality as its quayside cranes and a high degree of commonality. Certainly in the ship-to-shore crane sector, despite relatively high prices, Liebherr has retained a comparatively healthy position. (Is this in spite or because of not outsourcing any fabrication or erection work?) While Liebherr claims, naturally, that its approach results in a better product, it certainly demands a heftier price. Justifying this at a time when stevedores are under intense pressure to contain or even reduce charges, can be very difficult. Winning over Liebherr recently won an RTG order from Dublin Ferry Terminals (DFT). This is an interesting case since when DFT originally converted to RTGs it opted for Kalmar machines equipped with Smartrail, ordering three in Although it was thought that the selection of Liebherr this time was influenced by the prospect of Irish government grants under its national development plan aimed at assisting transport and port infrastructure projects, it is understood that no funding for DFT s upgrade has been made available. As the Kalmar RTGs are equipped with SmartRail autosteering, DFT specified a similar package from Liebherr. Liebherr has previously fitted SmartRail to RTGs in Jebel Ali, at the request of Dubai Port Authority, but in this case it has opted to develop its own system in conjunction with Götting, based on a DGPS positioning system cross-referenced with onboard encoders. Swaying arguments Liebherr claims that the main advantage of its RTG design lies in the increased productivity that can be achieved through its unique reeving system. The system as such is not new (it has been employed on heavy shipyard cranes for many years) but its application on an RTG is a departure. Essentially, the hoist ropes are angled out to widely spaced sheaves on the trolley instead of having a vertical configuration, to create a stable lifting geometry. Echoing Konecranes, Liebherr claims that it is not in fact an anti sway or sway dampening system acting on sway that has already occurred, but one which prevent sway from arising in the first place. The spreader is suspended by eight ropes clamped to the single hoist drum, reeved through the trolley pulleys and down in four V formations to their connection points directly on the spreader. This configuration is essentially a single fall reeving sys- There is still scope for high price/high availability designs in the RTG market sector, even though all prices tend to fall in line with supply/demand trends 30 March 2003

27 CARGO HANDLING The Konecranes RTG design has taken the US market by storm tem instead of the usual two fall arrangement and requires a compact planetary gear drive instead of the usual two drum, two gearbox design. This simple reeving system requires no ancillary devices for anti-sway (although hydraulic cylinders are employed for manual trim and skew control). The downside is that the single gearbox must be capable of transmitting twice the torque of a conventional system. This makes it considerably more expensive, even when considering the cost of conventional anti-sway systems. There would also need to be some reengineering of the support system if the customer were to specify an expanding twin 20 spreader. Liebherr has supplied two RTGs with twin 20s to Ceres in Halifax and has five on order from Gulf Stevedoring in Jeddah, but has yet to supply any with expanding twin lift. Pull the other one The Konecranes anti-sway system can, in one sense, be compared to the Liebherr system in that widely spaced ropes form the stabilising factor, but in this case the ropes do not form part of the hoist and are controlled by individual tugger winches. The main hoist wires are configured in the vertical manner with the hoist ropes wound onto two drums. This system can also perform fine positioning for trim and slew and thus has the advantage of not requiring any hydraulic functions. Konecranes thus markets the design as an all electric RTG, as the only hydraulic requirement is on the spreader. This is fully independent of the crane as the hydraulic pumps, cylinders, tank etc, are mounted on the spreader and only require a power feed and control. An apparent disadvantage of this system is its complexity, particularly with regard to the synchronisation of the winches. In total there are two main hoist winches plus the four tugger winches which all require separate drives. As with Liebherr, Konecranes designs and supplies its own drive package based on an ac frequency control system and thus is in a position to control costs and engineer the system to suit particular requirements. Big in the US Since being introduced in 1995, the Konecranes RTG design has been par- Purfleet refurb job Thames Purfleet Terminal, operated by Cobelfret, has had an early 1980s RMG built by M B Wild completely upgraded by Qualter Hall. The scope of the project included fitment of new long travel motors, refurbishing the gearbox, installing new hoist brakes and assemblies, rewiring and fitting electronic drive controls. The SWL has been increased to 40 tons by fitting a lightweight Elme 20-40ft spreader, supplied through Transtec, and the cantilever has been brought back into use, to allow truck/ stack interchange outwith the frame and hence enabling denser stacking. A project to refurbish a second RMG, an elderly Liebherr unit, is now underway. This was originally at Purfleet Deep but has been off site for some time. The tracks at the terminal are being lengthened by 135m and the intention is that the Liebherr will work the stacking area extension. ticularly well received in North and Central America. Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) recently placed an order for six machines for operation in Savannah, with delivery scheduled for September GPA was the first client for the RTG design some seven years ago and has good support from KCI Koneports Americas, Konecranes local maintenance organisation specialising in port services. The RTGs will be manufactured in Europe and erected on site in Savannah. The price for the latest GPA contract has not been disclosed but the Konecranes RTG is definitely out of the top drawer. In 2001, for example, MPA Baltimore committed to six (+ 12 options) RTGs, stacking 1 over 5 and and including GPS-assisted autosteering and position determination, at a price of Liebherr RTG with 50 tonne SWL (for twinlifts) at Ceres terminal, Port of Halifax some US$1.6 mill apiece. Even allowing for any special Maryland state conditions, this was some deal! The new GPA contract follows the delivery earlier this year of 10 RTGs to the Port of Houston s Barbours Cut terminal in La Porte, and will take the total of Konecranes RTGs operating in North and Central America to 120 units, around 50 per cent of all RTGs ordered in this region since Konecranes made its first deliveries to Savannah. Other recent deals include eight more RTGs for APM Terminals: six more for Elizabeth, NJ (to make 16); and two more for Houston (to make four). Another four are at APM s facility in Norfolk, Hampton Roads. March

28 HEAVY LIFT Heavy lift shipping hangs on Fully (or near fully) erect transport remains the preferred method of shipping ship-to-shore container cranes, but demand for new cranes slipped last year. Dockwise, formerly the clear leader in this niche market, now finds itself in the number two slot, simply by virtue of ZMPC s policy of carrying its own prodigious crane output. Dockwise carried 34 cranes last year on 15 voyages, while 25 cranes have been booked so far for this year occupying 10 voyages. Contract negotiations are currently ongoing which will result in about the same level of moves as last year, although delivery schedules for Fantuzzi-Noell from the Abu Dhabi fabrication yard (IMAC) may be disrupted by the Iraq/US-UK conflict. Last year Dockwise loaded 10 Noell cranes at Abu Dhabi in four voyages for Los Angeles out of a total of 15 cranes in total for Fantuzzi group, with four loaded Dockwise s SWIFT carried out this 3-crane shipment for Fantuzzi Reggiane. Note that the complete upper works were lowered inside the frames at Xiamen and one at Monfalcone. This year, Dockwise has carried six cranes for Fantuzzi in two voyages. Three loaded at Monfalcone for Maher in New Jersey and another three were transported from Xiamen to Port Qasim, on SWIFT and TERN respectively. Overall, the SWAN class ships remain firm favourites of Fantuzzi-Noell over the dock type ships, mainly because they are more cost-effective as they can carry three or even four superpost-panamax container cranes. However, for the ultralarge cranes, it is necessary to modify the cranes to provide adequate stability when stowed athwartships and also to pass under bridges, as was the case for the three Reggiane cranes carried by SWIFT earlier this year to Maher Terminals in New Jersey. In this instance, the boom structure, complete with machinery house and backreach, was placed inside the portal frame. The assembly was skidded off as one unit and the boom was jacked vertically into place (picture left). Chinese takeaway While these ships are proving particularly useful for multiple crane transport, having already carried or being booked for 14 crane moves this year against 11 for the dock type ships over five voyages apiece, they could soon face still greater competition. Later this year or early next, two Chinese-built semi-submersible vessels ordered by Cosco will enter service. Sized between the MIGHTY SERVANT and SUPER SERV- ANT class ships, they will pose a serious threat to Dockwise s SWAN class ships as, says Bert Bekker, Dockwise s CEO, we cannot compete with Chinese pricing. Bekker concedes that Dockwise might withdraw two or more of ZPMC now has the world s biggest fully-errct crane container shipping operator, saving millions in hard currency. to move its cranes. This is one of two cranes delivered to Ports of Auckland Ltd, New Zealand, last year its multi-purpose SWAN vessels from the heavy lift market and place them in the wet products trade where rates are bad but at least we can keep trading. On the other hand, the Cosco ships are highly sophisticated, which is one of the reasons cited for their delayed delivery. They are equipped with an expensive dynamic positioning system normally employed on offshore drilling and support vessels. As such, if the ships charter rate takes this into account, they may be too expensive for the crane market. However, Bekker avers, Chinese contract rates can be less than realistic. Show a leg In addition to undertaking transportation contracts, Dockwise is encouraging other value added services. Last December, for instance, two second-hand container cranes and two redundant RTGs were transported on DOCK EXPRESS 10 from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City for Portek Systems & Equipment. The ship was redeployed from Port Klang, whither it had carried two new Mitsui Paceco Portainers which had been loaded in Tamano, Japan. However, Vietnam International Container Terminal (VICT) not only has a different railspan to the 18m of the quay where they were stationed in Singapore, its own two quays have different rail spans m on the new quay and 16m on the old one. Accordingly its was decided to modify the cranes prior to shipment, to enable them to enter service directly and take advantage of the technical and engineering expertise available in Singapore. As previously reported in News, Portek has pioneered a method of changing the crane span during the loading phase of the crane when a forklift vessel is used. Only the Japanese-operated barge BINAN has a similar configuration to the Dock Express dock ships and Portek worked closely with Dockwise to develop the system. It facilitates substantial cost savings and greatly reduces the time that the crane has to be out of service. Step by step Prior to shipment, reinforcement and new leg joints are added to the cranes, while lifting brackets are attached to the old leg and part of it is cut in preparation for removal. During the first step of the operation, the ship lifts the crane completely from the quay using the forklift method. Then the ship moves forward and lowers the landside bogies of the crane onto the waterside rail, so that the crane is partly sitting on the rail while still being supported by the ship. In this position the landside legs are cut away, the crane is lifted again while the landside bogies, sill beam and part of the legs remain on the quay. After lifting clear from the landside sill beam, the ship moves aft about 2m until the new leg is in position above the sill beam, with guides on the leg assisting the positioning of the leg exactly over the sill beam. The next stage is to lower the crane on the sill beam using the ship ballast system. The new leg is secured to the sill beam and the span change is completed. In the case of the VICT cranes, the complete installation of the new legs and span change took less than six hours for each crane. The final step of the span change and loading operation is to lift the modified crane clear from the quay, have it skidded to the stowage position and seafastened. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City the cranes were offloaded using the one-step forklift method, resulting in minimum disturbance to the traffic in the Saigon River and at the terminal. The whole project of loading, modification and offloading of the two cranes and two RTGs took exactly two weeks. After the offload Portek started the commissioning works, including painting the cranes in VICT s colours. Within three weeks of offload the first crane was in operation. Expanding market While Dockwise and ZPMC have a market lead in the fully-erect container crane transport sector, there is plenty of competition in other sectors. New Orleans-based Intermarine s Industrial Maritime Carriers, for instance, has recently chartered the semi-submersible CONDOCK III dock ship and shallow-draft INDUSTRIAL LEADER to provide more diverse ocean transport capacity. Together, the ships broaden its scope to carry project and other out-of-gauge, heavy cargoes. They also provide access to limited, untraditional port environments and thus access to new markets. The charter terms are for at least a year with options to extend if necessary, although no purchase options are included. Intermarine maintains a policy of keeping a core fleet of three fullyowned ships, which are supplemented with additional tonnage to suit market conditions and expectations. Intermarine had previously chartered CONDOCK I, sister ship to CONDOCK III, as well as having INDUSTRIAL LEADER (ex- HASS BOYE) on charter previously. Although the overall market for project transport remains depressed, the diverse characteristics of project cargo is as broad as ever, states Roger Kavanagh, Inter-marine s president. To participate in the total project market, one cannot limit the ships to one type or set of vessels. With CONDOCK III, Intermarine gains the flexibility of a ro-ro vessel which is also able to take floating cargo with a fully laden draught of less than 5m. INDUS- TRIAL LEADER provides more than 4000 tons of shallow draught deadweight capacity with an overall length of less than 9m. Both ships have cranes which are capable of lifts of 120 tonnes. CONDOCK III is a 4400 dwt roro, dock-type vessel with dual March 2003

29 HEAVY LIFT tonne cranes combinable for 126-ton lifts and an unobstructed and floodable 87.5m long hold. This makes it ideal for the carriage of floating plant such as yachts, tugs, small dredgers etc, while modules can easily be handled at facilities primarily designed for barge operations using a roro mode over the stern ramp. The 4000 dwt INDUSTRIAL LEADER is a more conventional vessel similar to Intermarine s existing fleet composition, being equipped with a box hold served by dual 60 tonne cranes combinable for twin 120 tons lifts and compensated by a heeling system of sufficient capacity to stabilise the vessel when handling heavy lifts to ensure very limited heel and trim angles. The overall length of only 88.4m and fully laden draught of 6m allow the vessel to work at extremely limited terminal facilities. New century One of the latest contracts undertaken by the company involved the transportation of a sophisticated 2000 tonnes/hour shiploader and supplying support facilities during its erection on the end of a 1 km long jetty. The shiploader was carried from Corpus Christi, Texas to Venezuela by one of Intermarine s new series of heavy lift vessels, INDUSTRIAL CENTURY. The dual orbiting slewing unit, claimed to be the world s first, was designed and erected by Svedala (now Metso) Industries for the Sincor Coke and Sulphur handling project in José, Venezuela. The vessel transported the unit part-big to the Port of Guanta, where it was transferred to Intermarine s 300ft x 100ft ocean going flat deck barge SOPHIE J. After deployment to José, SOPHIE J, which is currently based in Venezuela, was used as a staging platform for construction support during the assembly of the shiploader at the erection site. The shiploader and all its components totalled about 12,000 m 3 of which most were odd-size pieces. The heaviest pieces were the counterweights at 120 and 110 tonnes each. The cargo utilised almost 100 per cent of INDUSTRIAL CENTURY s capacity, which features a hatch opening of 71m, box shaped-holds, and adjustable tweendecks. INDUSTRIAL CENTURY is one of seven 8000 dwt sister ships with a 16.5 knot service speed and two 200 tonne electro-hydraulic cranes combinable for 400 ton lifts. All seven ships are operating in Intermarine services. Here comes Jumbo Jumbo has also been active in the bulk handling equipment transport field, recently being awarded the contract to carry a fully-erect Alcan Alesa alumina shipunloader weighing 500 tonnes and measuring 59.07m high with a width of 22m and a rail gauge of 34.14m. The unloader will be loaded in Durban, South Africa, by JUMBO VISION using its two 400 tonne capacity cranes, and discharged directly onto rails on the Norsk Hydro berth at Sunndalsora, Norway. Rotterdam-based (and Geneva-registered) Jumbo is also active in the container handling equipment field. Its handy-size vessels are well suited for lolo or ro-ro transport of RTGs and RMGs. At the end of May, for instance, its E- type FAIRLIFT is due to load four KCI 16- wheel RTGs in Hanko, Finland for Manzanillo in Mexico. This follows a recent contract to carry four Kalmar RTGs, each measuring 26m high, 26m span and 11m wide and weighing 140 tonnes. They were loaded in Gdynia, Poland and discharged at the new Napoleon Avenue container terminal in New Orleans. Navy days Jumbo has also recently completed what could be the first of (possibly) more than 20 fully-erect crane moves for the US Department of the Navy. As previously reported, the USN placed a US$180 mill contract with Samsung to construct 21 heavy duty jib cranes over a six year period for various bases around the world. The first one was delivered late last year to Puget Sound in Washington state. As this was a military contract, the USN imposed stringent demands on the selection procedures for the transport, including full compliance with its Accident Prevention Plan. Jumbo accordingly had to submit detailed calculations and engineering drawings for each stage of the loading, discharge and carriage, including sea fastenings of the jib crane which had to be approved prior to the contract award. Not only was this a complicated and expensive pre-tender operation, there was also no guarantee that the contract would be secured. However, once this process has been carried out, it provides a competitive edge as well as a reference, for the future crane moves. Turning heads As the crane had been fabricated and erected some distance from the load out quay in Koje, a set of temporary rails was laid to connect the construction site with Four Kalmar RTGs were recently shipped on Jumbo s FAIRLIFT to New Orleans from the fabrication and erection site in Gdynia, Poland the berth. This meant that the bogies of the crane were at 90 deg to the quay edge when it was moved into the loading position. However, the crane had to be carried with the bogies fore and aft ready to lift directly onto rails in the US base. The 800 tonne lift capacity JUMBO VI- SION was mobilised for this contract. It lifted the crane using its two 530 tonne SWL cranes, with the lift beams placed under the machinery house of the crane. This enabled the pedestal, which was now freely suspended under the slew ring, to be turned through 90 deg using the crane s own power supplied by its onboard diesel generator set. March

30 INTERMODAL Keeping a constant watch on intermodal assets Interest in real-time intermodal asset tracking and condition monitoring is growing, although cost remains an issue despite improvements in price/performance ratios. In addition to the normal cargo/transport asset security issues associated with customer service, shipper confidence, JIT exigencies, insurance claims, theft, tampering, etc, active, real-time tracking and monitoring took on an added dimension in the post-911 environment. In due course, available technologies could influence standards required by US authorities for container entry. Among the latest to enter the field is UK-based OxLoc Ltd. The company s 80AL Asset Alert comprises battery, GPS receiver, GSM transceiver and antenna. The tag can provide independent, positioning and condition monitoring services similar to those of other tracking systems, such as those from Sky-Eye, Transportdata and Eritrak. GSM comms The OxLoc unit offers a GPS location as frequently as every three minutes as well as a range of condition monitoring parameters. While Sky-Eye makes use of low earth orbiting (LEO) satellite communications (previously Orbcomm but now known as Leocomm ) which provide almost uninterrupted global tracking, OxLoc relies on GSM mobile phone networks to transmit data back. To this extent it is comparable with the Transportdata system. This has been in use with DB Cargo for about a year, but coverage outside Germany is probably some way off. OxLoc already uses a dual-band system and is in the process of upgrading to tri-band. to provide worldwide access to GSM networks. Horses for courses Which communications system to chose depends to a great extent on the application and the demands placed on the transport service providers by cargo owners. Sky-Eye can point to [almost] uninterrupted coverage. Suppliers using GSM. On the other hand, will claim that, for Europe at least, the coverage is virtually continuous, at least on land. Cost is an issue with customers although suppliers have tried to make them more transparent. Nevertheless there are conflicting views on the cost of satellite usage against the roaming charges of GSM networks. Where OxLoc does have an advantage is its size; at 53 x 120 x 150 mm it is less than one eighth the size of the Sky -Eye P series transceiver unit, and far less obtrusive than Transportdata s NavMaster unit. Exception reporting As well as using the tracking location, speed, altitude and velocity (even, it is claimed, with just four satellite fixes available), the OxLoc 80AL Asset Alert uses a number of external sensors to detect conditions such as temperature and relative humidity and register and record vibration and impact. Via the OxLocTrax secure web site, users can set their own thresholds for any of these factors and be alerted, by or text message, when a threshold is passed. When the system is outside the range of a GSM network, the OxLoc system stores the data it collects and transmits them at the next opportunity. The customer is able to determine how often position information is collected, from every three minutes to once a month, and can change it via the web. The most obvious out-of-range situation is containers at sea. Customers will be able to gather collected data and reestablish contact with their containers when they cross the virtual geo-fence that many ports now have around them. With the OxLoc tag placed inside a container it is possible to track the conditions of the load; particularly important if the cargo is temperature- or humiditysensitive, such as cocoa or coffee beans or any reefer cargoes. Animal magic An external antenna is available if the tag needs to be sited inside a container, in order to give line-of-sight communication with the GPS satellites and a good signal to the GSM phone networks. Having originally been developed for use in the extreme conditions of northern Europe/Scandinavia, for the purpose of tracking wild animal movements, the tag has an operating temperature range of - 20 degc to + 50 degc. Powered by a D-cell, roughly equivalent to three AA batteries, the Oxloc system can transmit over 1000 position references in one year. With the additional primary, rechargeable or external power source this can be extended to match scheduled container maintenance plans or customer requirements. The power management system and the casing for the unit, developed to withstand extreme and harsh environments, mean that this system can virtually be fitted and ignored until the battery needs changing. The Sky-Eye system offers the option of solar panels to recharge its battery and the NavMaster system specified for DB Cargo has a six year maintenance-free guarantee, which helps explain its size, inside an explosion-proof casing. As OxLoc is extending its tagging system to include tri-band operation for coverage across North America, US-based wireless communications specialist Qualcomm is about to launch its own system that is capable of covering the whole European market. Following the success of Eutel- TRACS, a version of TrailerTRACS that has been providing real-time back-to-office location information for hauliers in the UK, the company is poised to launch a Europe-wide version at the end of March. While the Qualcomm system still needs the assistance of a tractor-fitted mobile wireless communications system, the company has recently announced that it is starting to develop a stand-alone system for unaccompanied transport. 34 March 2003

31 INTERMODAL Big infrastructure projects head for grand non Two major French transport infrastructure projects are in doubt, following a report commissioned by the government from a topranking civil service committee (Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées) - the Seine-Nord canal and the Lyon-Turin rail link. The government s point of departure is that its predecessor gave its backing to a number of mega-schemes without undertaking an objective cost:benefit analysis. With forecasts for economic growth suggesting that ambition needs to be reined in, the conseil has delivered a message which is more to this government s liking. The Seine-Nord link is the flagship project of Voies Navigables de France (VNF) and was widely thought to be secure, particularly since the long-discussed, millenarian scheme to link the Saône/Rhône system with the Rhine - a massive project requiring staircases of locks to defy the watershed (bief de partage) - had previously been discarded. Centrepiece As previously reported, the centrepiece of the Seine-Nord project is the digging of a new, 105-km long canal between the Oise just upstream of Janville, near Compiègne, and the Dunkirk- Scheldt canal, designed to be capable of receiving barges/push convoys up to 4400 dwt. It is costed at around 2.6 bill and was to have been ready by 2014, but the conseil says it should be put off until (at least) 2020, although it is not clear how this affects linked projects, costed at around 100 mill, to remove bottlenecks on the Oise and the Dunkirk-Scheldt canal, originally slated for completion in The socio-economic benefits of the new canal are too low to warrant it being prioritised, argues the conseil; one reason being uncertainty about corresponding improvements to canals in Belgium. The conseil reserves judgement, pending the conclusion of reports underway by other parties, on another project involving VNF - a new canal dedicated to container barges, requiring a lock and turning basin, between the Ocean dock and the new Port 2000 terminals in the Port of le Havre. This is costed at around 100 mill. Latest figures from VNF show that container traffic on the four waterways where container barges operate increased 3.7 per cent last year ( per cent in TEU/km terms) to 220,625 TEU: Saône/ Rhône - 21,387 TEU; Seine - 37,500 TEU; Nord - 35,752 TEU; and Rhin - 125,986 TEU. Huge potential In fact traffic on the Nord fell by 25.9 per cent to 35,752 TEU, but the potential of a 4400 dwt Rhine seaports-paris water link is surely enormous. At present container operator NCS links its feeder service from Dunkirk (for Rotterdam, Intermodal barge traffic over France s Rhine river ports has increased steadily but the greatest potential for growth would be via the threatened Nord-Seine link Two of France s most cherished modal shift schemes have been treated to a touch of sang froid Felixstowe and Le Havre) with barges to Lille, Valenciennes and Béthune. Bridge height is to be raised on the Dunkerque- Valenciennes canal, while the planned re-opening of the Condé-Pommerouel canal will avoid the Nimy-Blaton-Péronne canal detour. As previously reported ( News, December 2002, p90), the new boat lift at Strépy-Thieu and canal bridge at Houdeng provide 1350 dwt barge access between Dunkirk and the Belgian Walloon market (Mons, Charleroi, Liège, etc). Big shock The civil servants opinion on the Lyon-Turin link (Transalpine) is even more controversial. In essence, this project dates back to the mid-1990s when SNCF Fret elaborated an ambitious scheme for an autoroute ferroviaire between Ambérieu-en-Bugey (just east of Lyon) and Orbassano, near Turin ( News, February 1995, p23 and February 1996, p22). Subsequently, the project took on a more obvious political dimension, as it was officially adopted at the Franco-Italian summit of 2001, although the target completion date has since slipped from 2012 to Baulking at the huge costs (now estimated at 12 bill, of which 8 bill would fall on the French side of the border), the conseil again questions the socioeconomic benefits. Instead of a new twin bore base tunnel through Mont Cenis (Moncenísio) between St Jean de Maurienne and Susa, more modest improvements are recommended at Chartreuse and Belladonna (Modane). This approach would have been politically impossible as little as a year ago. Not only was local feeling against the Mont Blanc tunnel ever again being opened to truck traffic running high, but the overburdening of the Fréjus as a result of the Mont Blanc closure was also becoming intolerable. Perhaps with this crisis having receded somewhat, the Rhône- Alpes congestion problem has less political urgency. One reason the report advises caution is that the major Swiss projects at the Lötschberg and Gotthard could in future divert Italian o/d flows away from France. However, this smacks of complacency since the Italians are behind on their connecting links. In fact Ralpin, the Swiss-Italian joint venture, has been making strong complaints about congestion problems (see p17). Meanwhile, in a flat dismissal of popular perception, the conseil argues that truck traffic (via Mont Blanc and Fréjus) and rail traffic (via Mont Cenis) have not increased since But even if this is true, what about truck traffic via Ventimiglia? The report has aroused concern in the Rhône-Alpes region while, according to Raymond Barre, a former prime minister who heads up Transalpine, without the new rail link the number of trucks in Rhône-Alpes crossing to/from Italy could reach 4.1 mill/ year by 2015 and 6 mill by 2030, compared to 2.5 mill in Surely there has to be modal shift to both rail and shortsea. Trouble ahead Even if the Transalpine is saved, short term plans to increase rail traffic via the existing Mont Cenis rail link could be heading for trouble. Key hauliers/logistic companies such as Norbert Dentressangle and Charles André are threatening to boycott the Modalohr-C service planned for a June start-up between Aiton and Orbassano (near Turin) this June. The Modalohr wagon received final approvals last month. However, not only do the hauliers want SNCF to go back to the original Ambérieu- Orbassano scheme, they also want it to use the Roos Rail small wheel wagon, which has never been homologated in France. The ballpark prices being touted by Modalohr-C are competitive ( 500 round trip and less than 300 one way) but the time element is less favourable. It takes three hours to drive from Lyon to Aiton, 0.5 hours to load the train, hours to get from Aiton to Orbassano and another 0.5 hours to unload the train. That is hours but the driver then has to wait to observe the remainder of the compulsory 9-hour rest period. The longer train journey from Ambérieu would take up most of the 9-hour break. Call my bluff? Perhaps SNCF should call the hauliers bluff, since they are in effect asking it to absorb bigger costs - the longer the linehaul, the less economic hauling all that deadload becomes. Pending interim tunnel gauge improvements, Modalohr-C can cater only for road tankers in any case, a fraction of the overall market. Nevertheless, the service is symbolically important. Getting off to a bad start will do nothing to convince Alpine riverains that anyone shares their concerns. Key potential customers are threatening to boycott the inaugural Modalohr-C service March

32 Any company or entrepreneur who can come up with an environmentallyfriendly product that can match apitong plywood in terms of technical performance and be produced in large volumes at a comparable price could make a killing in the container flooring market. Simple? Unfortunately not. The only killing going on at present is the continued destruction of the world s tropical rainforests to feed the voracious appetite of industries that have come to rely on apitong plywood. Not least among these is the container manufacturing sector, which last 36 CONTAINER INDUSTRY Floors - going nowhere slowly? The search for environmentally-friendly alternatives to apitong plywood for container floors is ongoing, but progress to date has been negligible year consumed more than 500,000 m 3 of apitong and will require at least as much again this year. And the chances are the industry will have no problem in securing the necessary supplies. Despite severe logging and export restrictions imposed by the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia, the main suppliers of tropical hardwood container flooring, widescale illegal logging of often immature trees continues to ensure a ready supply. Quality may be variable - an issue that is being addressed by the IICL s recently issued Preferred Standards for Hardwood Plywood Floor Panels - and the price may fluctuate - it is currently around US$530/m 3 (US$200 per 20ft set) up from US$480/m 3 (US$180 per 20ft set) at the beginning of the year - but apitong plywood continues to be almost universally specified for dry freight containers and remains the technical and commercial benchmark against which alternatives are measured. Little headway Small wonder, then, that pro- motors of environmentally-friendly flooring alternatives have made little real headway to date. Though a number of products have been developed that match apitong plywood from the technical standpoint, few have come close to matching it in price or availability. And though most container owners agree with the need to move away from tropical hardwood on environmental grounds, there are not many prepared to pay extra for being seen to be green while apitong plywood is still in plentiful supply. The latest project to bite the dust is a non-wood floorboard substitute developed by Korean coatings manufacturer Kumgang Korea Chemical Co (KCC). Manufactured from a combination of cellulose fibres and resins, the KCC board fully meets the ISO plus 33 per cent (7260 kg) floor strength test and is comparable to apitong plywood in terms of weight, strength and moduli of rupture and elasticity. Its technical performance has been validated by in-service trials carried out by Maersk Sealand and P&O Nedlloyd over several years. Despite setting up a pilot production plant in Korea and working on the product for over seven years, however, KCC has decided to shelve the project. A spokesman said simply, Unfortunately we couldn t manage to commercialise it due to its high material cost compared to its market price. Hanjin will have the Chemfree board installed in 6,000 20ft boxes this year The KCC board joins a lengthening list of non-wood flooring alternatives that have failed to make it to market. A number of high and low density polyethylene plank floors, and boards made from a variety of recycled plastic waste materials, have made it into trial operation and proved themselves technically, only to be sacrificed on the altar of commercial expediency. Still they come Not everyone has given up the hunt, however. A plastic floor developed in Korea by Chemfree Tech Co and marketed by Container Network Corporation (CNC), has been supplied in small volumes to a variety of shipping lines and leasing companies, including Hanjin, Textainer, KMTC, Maersk Sealand, Dongnama and Weidong, since Similar to the KCC board, the Chemfree board is manufactured in an extrusion process from cellulose fibres and modified polyolefin resin and is claimed to exhibit technical characteristics similar to or better than apitong plywood. Hanjin had the Chemfree floor installed in 3,800 20ft dry freight boxes and 200 open tops last year and will take a further 6,000 sets for 20ft units to be built in China by Jindo from this month. MOL is also to undertake trials with 50 20ft units this year. According to CNC, a large number of potential customers have enquired about the Chemfree floor and expressed the wish to carry out trials in order to compare it with apitong plywood. Supply, however, is currently limited to around 900 TEU sets per month and at US$1000/m 3 (CIF China), more than a few are likely to baulk at the price. Another Korean company, Dongyang Hichem Co, which is best known for its range of ventilators, sealants and composite stringers for reefer containers, has also developed a new plastic floor and carried out a trial last month for K-Line at the Shanghai CIMC Far East factory in China. According to Kazufumi Katajima of K-Line s containerships business group asset management team, the test was unsuccessful as the Dongyang board cracked during a pass of the ISO test machine. Undeterred, however, Dongyang has taken steps to strengthen the board and a second trial is scheduled for the end of this month. If successful, we will carry out field trials with the new floorboard in new containers, Katajima said. The cost of the Dongyang board has not been revealed, but, like Hanjin, K-Line would appear to be willing to swallow any premium over apitong plywood, particularly if the promised downstream benefits of reduced M&R costs and the recyclability of such boards at the end of the container s life prove to be valid. The development of new floorboards is an important matter for us. We shall adopt them positively in place of apitong boards in the near future, Katajima said. Bamboo promise Of all the alternative wood and non-wood container floors developed over the past few years, the Greentech bamboo/pine composite plywood floor, developed by Hong Kong-based Techni-Con International Development and manufactured in China by Jianou Greentech Boards Industry Co, is widely acknowledged as having shown the most promise in terms of environmental acceptability, technical performance and price. Manufactured from a core of 19 plies of Chinese red pine sandwiched between outer plies of bamboo - both rapidly renewable resources - the Greentech floor has been installed in many thousands of containers since its introduction in 1996, major users including Maersk Sealand and P&O Nedlloyd. Though slightly more expensive than apitong plywood, it was only a limited production capacity of around 2000 TEU/month that prevented Greentech from being more widely adopted. As previously reported in News, however, plans for a major increase in production capacity were stymied in mid when a quality defect in the pine core led to a large batch of Greentech floors being rejected by the customer. Investor support was withdrawn and Jianou Greentech was forced into bankruptcy. Efforts by Techni-Con to find new investors for the project have so far been unsuccessful. Alternative sources? It now transpires, however, that - officially or unofficially - the Greentech floor is available from at least two other locations in China. Guolin Bamboo and Rattan Scientech Co in Anhui Province claims to have signed an agreement with Techni-Con for exclusive authority for the manufacturing and sales of bamboo/wood composite container floors, though Techni-Con itself denies that any licence arrangement with Guolin exists. Notwithstanding, Guolin has registered Greentech as a trade mark in China and is actively promoting it. Samples are known to have been sent to various potential buyers. Production equipment imported from Germany is claimed to be capable of producing 20,000 m 3 (around 55,000 TEU) of Greentech floors per year. Meanwhile, Zhonglin Industry Development Co in Shenzhen, in which Guolin has an interest, also claims to have authority to manufacture Greentech floors. The company puts its annual capacity at 22,000 m 3 (around 60,000 TEU) per year. Guolin and Zhonglin s combined capacity of 42,000 m 3 /year is, of course, a drop in the ocean compared to the 500,000 m 3 plus of apitong plywood currently used by the container industry annually. It is, however, at least a small step in the right direction. March 2003

33 CONTAINER INDUSTRY Decal makers feel the pressure Suppliers of decals, in common with most producers of components for the container manufacturing industry, have found the going tough in recent years. The average price of a finished vinyl decal set has long remained static and forced all participants, from companies producing the precursor film to those carrying out decal conversion work, to pare down overheads. Prices have been largely held in check by intense competition and a general scaling-up and streamlining of production processes. Today, even the most expensive finished container decal, made from engineering grade cast vinyl film, can be obtained for a little over US$5 per m 2. Average raw material costs are around US$3-4 per m 2 or below. These prices are barely unchanged on their level in the mid-1990s. The cheapest decal set, made from non-cast vinyl and featuring minimal logo content (but including all mandatory ISO numbers and lettering), can today be purchased for a price as low as US$ Even the largest banner-style corporate liveries, specified by some shipping lines, now rarely cost much over US$100. The shift towards the use of decals of ever-smaller size has long been an industry trend, although some container operators have reverted in more recent years to larger displays in the wake of ultra-competitive prices. Market led The overall annual demand for decal film is, of course, determined mainly by global container output, which has fluctuated sharply in recent times. Back in 2000, almost 1.3 mill decal applications were required for new dry freight boxes, which compared with below 1 mill in At least 90 per cent involved the fitting of vinyl sets, with the balance accomplished by using the more recently adopted paint mask alternative. The total annual figure fell to nearer 850,000 sets for 2001, when the market was weaker, but then recovered to around 1.1 mill in 2002 and could be at a similar level this year. It is further estimated that around 150,000 decal sets are required annually for reefers, tanks, domestic boxes and other specials, which can sometimes command a small premium. Naturally, the near-static vinyl decal price has been dictated by the recent steady fall in newbuild box prices, which remain at a historic low. Many container buyers have, at the same time, increasingly opted to leave the procurement of decals, as well as other items, to the box builder. This has further impacted pricing, as well as the product/application selected, as container factories invariably use the cheapest supplier rather than opt for a particular specification as is the case when the container purchaser makes a definite choice. Cast offs This trend has accelerated the use of cheaper calendered vinyl films rather than the cast alternative, and also encouraged the use of the paint mask or stencilling method. The latter technique, which is the cheapest option available, is now used to produce logos on a rising per cent of all new containers (see page 39). However, the overall business has clearly been impacted most by the near wholesale shift of all vinyl container decal fabrication to China. Around 95 per cent of all printing/conversion work is now Container decal manufacturers may have witnessed some improvement in demand following the recent recovery in global box production, but they remain under as much pressure as ever Chinese State Railways recently started using Ritrama film for its container decals carried out by a few Chinese companies, with producers in all other regions, including South Korea, now fast exiting the market altogether. Precursor film could also soon be sourced in greater quantities from within China, even though buyers have voiced doubts as to the quality of some Chinese film produced to date. The leading international supplier of cast vinyl film, 3M Co, established a Chinese subsidiary several years ago, while Avery Dennison, which produces both cast and calendered types, is planning to start manufacturing in Shanghai later this year. The new factory is presently under construction and it will produce Avery Dennison s range of cast (XL1000) and calendered (600 Series) container decal films. All production of these products will be transferred in stages from their present sites in the US and Europe, with the whole process being overseen initially by engineers from Avery Dennison. Eventually, according to technical marketing manager, Chris van de Klugt, the plant will run autonomously, with all raw materials sourced in Asia rather than being imported from Europe/US. Cost factor Predictably, the decision to set up in China was driven almost wholly by the need to cut production and distribution costs. As van de Klugt puts it, China is now home to the whole container manufacturing process and claims the vast majority of screen printers, so it is logical to relocate our production to serve this market direct. The prospect of cheaper manufacturing and more immediate access to end-users is expected to maintain the competitiveness of Avery Dennison in the container market and safeguard its future involvement. Avery Dennison has been a leading supplier of container decal film for many years since its acquisition of the UK Fasson range. 3M too is a longstanding participant, although its involvement in the container sector is in decline. It is apparent that the company has been discouraged by the ongoing fall in margins and instead concentrated on more lucrative markets, including the supply of vehicle display logos and specialist reflective materials. 3M s main production centres in the US and Europe have also stayed with the exclusive manufacture of cast vinyl for container use, which remains a relatively expensive option. However, its largely autonomous division in China, which is increasingly addressing the needs of the local container market, is not confined solely to the supply of cast vinyl. Other important suppliers of precursor vinyl are MACtac of Belgium and Ritrama Group based in the UK. MACtac, which is part of the Bemis Group, a leading US manufacturer of flexible packaging, is another very well known supplier of container decal film. Most production is still carried out at the company s main plant in Belgium and, although sales for container end-use make up only a small part of its overall business, the company is still committed to serving this sector. MACtac has traditionally focused on the manufacture of calendered vinyl, but also introduced a cast version in relatively recent years. Despite this, MACtac notes a recent steady growth in the demand for calendered products and continues to strongly promote the latter range. Export manager Serge Vincart stated that the specification of most calendered films has improved greatly during the past decade and they today offer the same mechanical strength and conformability as cast versions. Crucially, though, they are still cheaper to produce, which explains the steady growth in sales [to the container sector]. As with the other suppliers, MACtac has made efforts to limit overheads and improve its links with the dominant market in China, with just about all vinyl destined for use as container decals now routed through its branch office in Shanghai. A rapidly growing share is sold direct to local screen printers and ultimately to major container producers. China focus Ritrama similarly offers cast and calendered vinyl versions of decal film, and is also continuing to sell direct into China. Customers include Cosco Containerlines, China Shipping Group and, most recently, Chinese State Railways. All original manufacturing is still carried out in Europe. Ritrama has now been active in the container sector for several years and recently extended its range to include a series of solvent-based adhesive products, which were developed to assist the application of the finished decal in demanding and extremely lowtemperature conditions. The innovation is applicable to its entire range of products and complements the use of emulsionbased adhesives. Moreover, the newly enhanced range comes fully supported with a seven-year lifetime warranty and ISO9000 certification. Ritrama technical man- March

34 CONTAINER INDUSTRY ager Martin Attwood stated that this latest development, coupled with the company s flexible manufacturing process, assists container decal printers and buyers in their final decision on specification. The vinyl sheets can, for example, be produced to customer-specific widths, thereby minimising waste. Leading light The largest single supplier of container decal vinyl is the Arlon Group of the US, which attained its dominant position through the earlier acquisition of the US Meyercord Co in Meyercord was one of the best known providers of decal precursor materials, having developed an allinclusive system comprising vinyl film, top clear and branded inks. This had been perfected to produce highly durable decals, capable of application and operation in all climatic temperatures and conditions. The former Meyercord range has since been extended and renamed MII, and is increasingly being sold under the Arlon brand. The majority of sales still concern film of high-grade calendered type, which was a Meyercord speciality, although Arlon has added its own cast version as well. One of the best known formulations is the company s 72A Series noncast vinyl, which is particularly suited for all-weather applications. Other variants include 52P, 22T and 87V. All, as in the past, are supplied together with high quality generic inks as part of the total package. Arlon provides an estimated 45 per cent of the total world requirement for container decal vinyl and has clearly benefited from the recent switch, on the part of many end-users, to a greater use of engineered calendered vinyl. The latter is now reckoned to account for well over 60 per cent of all decal film specified globally for container end-use and compares with a share of below 50 per cent several years back. Not what they seem According to George Notter, sales manager (Asia Pacific), Arlon s annual production of cast vinyl container decal film has also grown rapidly since its introduction in 2000, though output of this material has declined more recently, mainly because of the increased use of locally made cast container films in China. Many of these have subsequently been identified as cheaper domestic calendered grades, however, and a number of purchasers, including P&O Nedlloyd and Triton Container, are understood to have mounted an investigation. In some instances, the deception was not picked up until the finished container was finally inspected. Some of the suspect film originated from 3M China, which has confirmed that it is definitely of low-cost calendered type and thus neither directly suited to container end-use nor from official sources in the US or Europe. Much of the deception is alleged to have been carried out by certain screen print companies in China, while it has clearly been overlooked by some container manufacturers as well. The problem of utilising potentially inferior decal products is hardly new, with most recent years featuring at least one scare story. In the late 1990s, one major European shipping line experienced premature failure of many thousands of decals, following the unauthorised use of a low quality printing ink. This was found to have reacted with the decal adhesive and caused it to weaken. Again, much of the blame was apportioned to the (Chinese) decal converter even though little action could be taken subsequently. In this particular instance, the degradation of the decal adhesive was accelerated by exposure to high temperatures, with containers landed regularly in the Middle East experiencing the earliest and most frequent losses of decal panels and lettering. It cost the operator around US$50 to re-decal each container, not to mention the disruption associated with grounding equipment that was lacking vital ISO serial numbers and identification lettering. Cost pressures Such incidents probably stem from the extreme financial pressure being borne by film suppliers and screen printers alike, as they are compelled to keep production costs as low as possible. And observers suggest that the likelihood of sharp practice could well increase, with the final container buyer placed at a growing disadvantage, due to the very close proximity of many Chinese screen print shops to each other, as well as to their main box building customers and to suppliers of locally made film. At the same time, most non-chinese suppliers have been shut out of the business altogether. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in South Korea, where the manufacture of vinyl container decals has now all but ceased. This contrasts with the situation only a few years back when the country still led the market and met over 40 per cent of world demand. One of the best known names, Kochiam International, has only in recent weeks decided to stop producing container decals, after more than 20 years in the business. This firm, which achieved an annual output of over 350,000 sets at its peak, was still managing to sell over 100,000 sets two years ago. Managers at Kochiam have confirmed the imminent closure of its container decal factory, with no orders accepted from March Only the company s production of advertising signs and vehicle liveries is to continue. The exit of Kochiam follows an earlier withdrawal from the market of its former Korean rival, Sun-Hwa Decal Co. This leaves Korea Decal as the sole producer of vinyl container decals, although its output is now also in steep decline. Korea screen printing firms have, for many years, been increasingly less able to compete with their Chinese counterparts on price and delivery, while most Chinese box builders have favoured local decal suppliers ever more strongly. In addition, Korean makers of vinyl decals have further lost out to their local paint stencil counterparts. Korea s two established box building groups, Jindo Corp and Hyundai Mobis, have traditionally stayed loyal to home-grown component producers, but are now buying only small, and decreasing, volumes of decals. Hyundai s production is now confined to just one Chinese plant, building around 60,000 TEU per year, while the three sites in China still operated by Jindo are not building much more than 100,000 TEU per annum. This, combined, is barely 10 per cent of average world output. Last of the few Indeed, much of the business now open to non-chinese producers of decals (not to mention other box components) is that being placed by a few, strong-minded container buyers, who are keen to prevent the Chinese industry from dominating entirely. This has allowed a few non-chinese decal plants to stay active, albeit on a very small scale. They include Bangkok Decal Industries in Thailand, which is still producing small runs of container decals for selected container operators/owners. In Europe, meanwhile, it is only the relatively small refurbishment sector, plus a requirement for liveries for fitting to swap body, palletwide, tank and other more specialised box types, which is now keeping the local manufacture of vinyl decals alive. Sies, of Italy, for example, is continuing to produce decals for use by Italian box builders, but confirms that just about all its output now goes for swap body end-use. The company exclusively uses cast film, from MACtac and Avery Dennison, and now also offers its own paint stencil alternative. The latter, according to Agostino Casale, vice-president, is already gaining in popularity, particularly amongst swap body operators. Sies overall involvement in the container sector still accounts for per cent of company turnover, although that share is inevitably in decline. Another longstanding European name, Siebdruck Blasé of Germany, is also known to be producing some container decals, but on a very small scale and only for local use. Rapid growth The recent casualties in Korea, Europe and elsewhere have served to fuel the rapid growth in Chinese decal production and been sufficient to support a number of largescale screen-printing plants. All are capable of a substantial output and, as with the box building sector, could out-produce actual global demand by a very wide margin. Amongst the largest is Jiang Yin Longchang Plastics Chemical Co (JL Plastics), which is based in Jiangsu Province and has been manufacturing container decals for over 10 years. It claims to have JL Plastics, which has been manufacturing container decals for over 10 years, is putting increasing emphasis on the domestic market an installed capacity sufficient to produce up to 400,000 container sets per annum, with output coming close to this figure in some recent years. General manager Su Fuzhang indicated that the majority of finished sets are supplied direct to container manufacturers, with only a part sold to the actual buyer of the containers. Decal film is purchased from all the main suppliers, including Arlon, 3M, Avery Dennison and MACtac,. JL Plastics is another supplier to have recently added a separate paint stencil range. However, it has no plans to expand its existing output for the container industry, even if the company is moving further into other, more locally oriented business sectors. JL Plastics has a local rival in Shanghai in the shape of New Century Decal Co - Shanghai Pudong New Area. This factory was originally associated with its larger, older and more southerly counterpart, New Century Decal (Shenzhen) Ltd, but broke away completely in 1999 and has since traded autonomously. Despite retaining the New Century name, the Shanghai company has a wholly separate management and marketing/sales organisation from the Shenzhen operation and is understood to have increased its output of container decals in very recent years. Its facilities are also relatively advanced and feature a high degree of computer control, as the plant was only established in the late 1990s. NCD (Shenzhen), meanwhile, dates back to the 1980s, but has greatly enhanced its screen printing process and capacity in recent years. The company operates at a 2,000 m 2 site close to Shenzhen city/port and has recently gained the updated ISO 9001 (2000) accreditation. This followed the earlier award of ISO 9002 (in 1999). Annual production of decals has increased tenfold since the early 1990s, and currently amounts to upwards of 200,000 sets/year, equating to a delivery record of more than 2.25 mill TEU worth of decals in the 12 years to end Output peaked at a record 340,000 TEU (or 210,000 sets) in the highly productive year of NCD (Shenzhen) managed to supply 275,000 TEU worth of decals in 2001, when the market was significantly down. The company regularly imports and stocks film, application tape, inks and other precursor materials from all major suppliers, and has sold its finished product to the vast majority of container owners (lines and lessors) at some time or another. Crucially, it has also established strong and extensive business relationships with many container builders during the past decade. All sales/marketing is handled through the NCD (Far East) office, which has been registered in Hong Kong since Near neighbour Ocean Shine Decal Industries (Shenzhen) Ltd operates in the same vicinity as NCD (Shenzhen), but lays claim to an even greater screen print capacity. The company s 3,000m 2 plant commenced operation in 1995 and today offers an annual capability to produce over 360,000 TEU worth of container decals (including its own paint mask version), with the container market still accounting for much of its business and forming the main focus of research. It too has ISO 9002 accreditation, and markets through a separate office in Hong Kong. Ocean Shine has similarly sold to most container operators/owners at some time, and can list more than 50 regular buyers, although it confirms that the majority of orders are now placed directly by box builders in China (and overseas). As such, only a small quantity of sales is transacted with the final buyer. However, as stated by production manager, M T Tang, much of the original specification (including the selection of film supplier) is decided by the actual purchaser of the container, rather than by the factory where it is being produced. Vinyl film is sourced mainly from Arlon, Avery Dennison and 3M. New entrant The most recent entrant in China is Shenzhen Graphictech Decal Co (SGDC), which was founded at the beginning of The company is headed by Keith Brentnall (ex-ocean Shine and NCD), who confirmed that, despite the challenge of starting its decal production from scratch, SGDC has been very successful in winning specification approval from numerous owners and is fast building a reputation in a very competitive, cut-throat sector. Listed amongst initial customers are most top leasing names, including Amficon, Bridgehead, CAI, Cronos, Capital Lease, Transamerica Leasing, Triton and Textainer, and shipping lines such as CP Ships, Delmas, Geest NSL, Hamburg Süd, Maersk Sealand, Mitsui-OSK, MSC, PIL, Zim and Safmarine. However, in line with all its larger competitors, SGDC is primarily doing business with the container builder, rather than final purchaser. Sales during its first year amounted to around 90,000 decal sets and are forecast to increase by at least per cent in Around 70 per cent of this combined output comprised conventional vinyl decals, with the balance produced using SGDC s newly developed paint mask system. As a result, SGDC is already looking to move to larger premises later this year, while incorporating more computer plotters for the manufacture of kiss-cut markings. These, according to Brentnall, are far more flexible than using steel or thermal dies. The company is also evaluating the potential for using ultraviolet inks for container decal printing, which is expected to reduce costs significantly by cutting application and drying times and lowering the incidence of print rejects. At the same time, SGDC is attempting to broaden its manufacturing operation to cover products for domestic use in China. These include packaging labels, vehicle liveries and aids for the construction and decorating industries. 38 March 2003

35 CONTAINER INDUSTRY Still making its mark The use of paint mask or stencil decals is continuing to gain ground, but it still courts some controversy. Although a growing number of container owners see it as an ideal lowcost alternative to the use of vinyl decals, others remain sceptical. There is also a division of opinion amongst container manufacturers, which have to incorporate the technique within their existing production lines. Some have encountered few problems, but others complain of loss of productivity and extra working hazards created by the secondary spraying operation, which is often carried out manually. The durability of paint-on decals is also a continuing source of debate. Examples have been seen where lighter colours have darkened and discoloured within a few years due to a slow ingestion of grime and fumes. Detractors attribute this problem to the fact that the painted decal is not always baked on after initial application. As the decal surfaces never undergo proper curing at high temperature, they can remain porous and reactive over an extended period. Some box builders have had difficulty addressing this problem because the painting of decals is a secondary process and requires a re-run of the container through the manufacturer s paint booth. This, they suggest, is too complicated and time-consuming to be accommodated easily. Minor issue Such difficulties are largely dismissed by the strongest paint mask adherent, Maersk Sealand, which suggests that it usually requires only a small reconfiguration of existing manufacturing lines to accommodate the process and that the paint treatment issue is greatly overstated. Although the company accepts there may be some loss of overall productivity when using the paint mask system, it has not been found to materially affect larger runs. Moreover, because the manufacturing process is slowed slightly, it actually provides more time for the paint to cure and Maersk Sealand reports no problems to date with fading or degradation. Although the Maersk Sealand logo is black and largely immune to any discolouration, the company has continued to specify a blue side-panel/ white star logo, none of which has shown any more deterioration when painted than would have occurred if a vinyl decal had been used. The oldest painted logos have been in service since 1997 and are approaching the warranty time limits offered for vinyl decals. The biggest attraction of painted decals, of course, is reduced cost, with Maersk Sealand claiming it has achieved savings in the multi-million dollar range. The company states that it could be spending around US$ per vinyl container livery, compared to around US$40-50 when stencil systems are used. Furthermore, tired or scratched logos are easily retouched at depots. Pioneering role Korea-based Dado Corporation was one of the pioneers of the paint mask system, having launched and patented its process in Stencil sales have since grown steadily, with more than 100,000 sets supplied in That number has since fallen, primarily because Maersk Sealand and other shipping lines reduced their investment in new containers during 2001 and The challenge for Dado, therefore, is to attract more business from leasing companies, many of which are continuing to purchase containers in large numbers, but still specify conventional decals. One already using the paint mask system is Capital Lease, which has been impressed by the sizeable cost savings. Dado s main rival in Korea is AD&ADD Co, which set up its current facility in early This company exported around 25,000 stencils of its own design during 2002 (its first year of commercial production) and is supplying box factories across China, including those operated by CIMC, TYC and Jindo. The stencils have been used to mark new containers for Hapag-Lloyd and a spread of Korean carriers, including Heung-A, KMTC, Pan Ocean, Sino-Kor and Dongin. Managing director ES Tark is anticipating a doubling of output during the coming year, with most buyers looking to place repeat orders. He commented that the company s existing plant is able to cope with any increase in demand. A third Korean producer is Jung Eun Trading Corp, which has been active in the decal field for almost 30 years and originally supplied liveries and name plates to former Korean box builder, Hung Myung Industrial Co. The company launched its first paint stencil system in 1993 and has since sold over 200,000 sets. Recent production has topped 40,000 sets per year, with Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai MM, Dongnama Shipping and Maersk Sealand amongst its biggest clients. Chinese challenge Although the majority of paint mark stencils are still being produced in Korea, this country no longer has the business to itself. Stencil manufacture has already started in China, and is growing fast. Almost a third of all container decal output from the new Shenzhen Graphictech plant, for example, is of stencil type, while this business is increasing in importance for nearby Ocean Shine Decals. The latter has introduced two versions of paint mask stencil, made respectively from paper and vinyl (for application to deeper corrugation depths), and become a nominated supplier to various end-users, including Capital Lease and Termcotank. It has also supplied stencils to Brigantine Services, for application to refurbished Maersk Sealand boxes, and to over 12 box building plants in China. Stencil production is also now being carried out by New Century Decal in Shenzhen and most recently by JL Plastics, in response to increased customer demand. Maersk Sealand reports no problems with fading or degradation with paint mask systems March

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