PostHeaderIcon FMC okays G6 expansion amendment, sees no violation of US Shipping Act

THE US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has told the expanded G6 Alliance that its proposed amendment to enlarge its size and scope has passed muster and there for it is entitled to ply trades between the Far East and Europe to American ports.Tuesday, 08.Apr.2014, 05:30 (GMT+2)

FMC okays G6 expansion amendment, sees no violation of US Shipping Act

THE US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has told the expanded G6 Alliance that its proposed amendment to enlarge its size and scope has passed muster and there for it is entitled to ply trades between the Far East and Europe to American ports.

Unlike the vote on the giant P3, banding the Big Three - Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM into a mega alliance, the vote was unanimous for the G6, made up of OOCL, APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai, MOL and NYK.

The FMC said the G6 operational alliance was not likely "at this time" to cause as reduction in competition or service, under the US Shipping Act, reported Lloyd's List.

Said OOCL trades chief Stephen Ng: "We are glad about the unanimous decision from FMC to allow the expansion of the G6 scope to take effect and we will work on implementation of the new agreement which will provide better services in terms of coverage and frequency as well as improved cost efficiency and enhanced environmental benefits."

FMC chairman Mario Cordero said the G6 would "increase available capacity in the expanded geographic scope, and has the potential to generate operational efficiencies and positive environmental benefits".

The G6's capacity increase will provide for an additional 17 services and allow members to co-ordinate the operation and space sharing on 180 to 220 ships with 14,000 TEU between them.


PostHeaderIcon CMA CGM, China Shipping, UASC to start Asia-Red Sea Express service

CMA CGM, China Shipping and UASC will introduce its Asia Southern Red Sea Express (REX3) string, a fixed-day weekly service, providing new efficiencies starting May 8, said a company statement.Monday, 24.Mar.2014, 22:51 (GMT+2)

The CMA CGM Group is pleased to introduce the new Asia Southern Red Sea Express (REX3), a new fixed-day weekly service that will broaden our market coverage and provide more efficient and high quality services to customers starting on May 8, 2014.

This new service is in addition to our existing Asia Northern Red Sea Express (REX2) which together will improve our port coverage to meet the growing demand and customer requirements in the Red Sea market.

This new setup is developed through a Vessel Sharing Agreement with United Arab Shipping Company -UASC and China Shipping Container lines - CSCL that leverages on our strong expertise in this region and as part of our continual commitment to better serve our customers by providing competitive transit times between ports in Asia and Red Sea.

This new deployment will also benefit Red Sea exporters in minimizing their transit time through the improved port coverage.

The CMA CGM Group looks forward to this partnership to enhance efficiencies in the deployment of our vessels to provide the most competitive transit times, the widest port coverage, and flexible customized services to meet the needs of our valued customers.

The New REX3 port rotation is as follows:

Xiamen – Yantian – Shekou – Port Kelang – Djibouti - Jeddah– Port Sudan – Djibouti – Port Kelang – Xiamen.


PostHeaderIcon 9/11 saw the ISPS code, but 26/11 saw none – IMO

Comparing the horrendous September 11 attack in 2001 (referred to as 9/11) launched by the Al Qaeda Group upon the United States, a series of security measures have been brought into place. On the maritime side the International Maritime Organization (IMO) came up with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities. Terrorist attacks around the world have become a reality that cannot be ignored.  And although an equally horrific attack took place on 26th November almost a decade later, (known as 26/11) which witnessed a shooting and bombing attack by 12 terrorists on Mumbai by members of Laskhar-e-Taiba, there has been no security measures put in place by IMO following the incident.

Capt Andrew Winbow, Asst Secretary General & Director of Maritime Safety Division of the IMO, referring to the incident confessed that if a similar attack were to take place where terrorists overwhelmed a vessel and use it to attack a nation there is presently no such security measures being implemented to prevent the attack. He regrets that there is nothing that can be done in similar situations.

Seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue (with estimated worldwide losses of US$13 to $16 billion per year) particularly in the waters between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, and also in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore, that are used by over 50,000 commercial ships a year. It only indicates how fragile and defenseless ships are including tankers carrying highly explosive cargo, involved in international trade. God forbid that terrorists take advantage of the situation and use commercial ships for their heinous operations.

Capt Winbow contended, “Pirates taking over a ship and terrorists taking over the vessel are two different things as far as IMO is concerned. What if the terrorists take it? I don’t have an answer to that. India has had some experience in Mumbai and India could take an initiative in this regard. Terrorists using vessels and boats are what India has better idea on what can be done. But more seriously after 9/11 besides the changes made to the airline industry, IMO opened the maritime side and adopted its International Ship and Port facilities Security Code (ISPS) which requires ship security officers, port security officers and a whole regime built up requiring member governments and their ports to take action to improve security. Nothing like that has happened after 26/11. We still spend sometimes with various governments giving advice.”

In response an official from the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India replied, “Putting security measures in place could be contemplated, but then at what cost? Can countries afford it?”

Considering the piracy menace, Mr. Winbow said, “Our focus nowadays is very much on West Africa particularly on the Coast of Guinea, West Africa. The situation is better on the East coast at Aden than it was. What we have done is we work very much with the African countries and help them with the new code they have against piracy on conduct and always on individual countries. This includes everything including coast guard, fishing and all issues that call for good maritime administration, good coordination between the administration and the coast guard. For this we will run workshops and set the scene and try to ascertain how they would respond with role playing events so that they can see where the gaps are and once they have got that we try to help them. This is in the Gulf of Guinea and countries on Central West Africa,

IMO was very proactive in supporting the industry’s Best Management Practices giving government support to navies to take action in their specific regions, providing advice to armed guards on board and other allied issues. So IMO did a lot of work on that.

On the East coast there hasn’t been any piracy attack for nearly a year now in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia. The navy is still there which is very good. I don’t think that IMO can take credit for the reduction but certainly with the navies there and the ships getting protected better it has made it difficult for piracy attacks to take place so this inevitably brought down the piracy attack rate. The business model also may be changing in Somalia.


PostHeaderIcon MSC closes in on top carrier: Maersk grows by 0.2pc and MSC by 3pc

MSC closes in on top carrier: Maersk grows by 0.2pc and MSC by 3pc
THE world's biggest container shipping line, Maersk, only grew capacity 0.2 per cent last year while the No 2 line, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) grew its fleet three per cent.

Thus, Maersk Line's lead over its proposed P3 alliance partner, MSC, is narrowing after the Danish carrier halted its fleet expansion programme last year, opting instead to focus on improving vessel utilisation, reports Lloyd's List.

With only 16 more 18,000-TEUers to come, and no new orders, Maersk has a smaller order book than MSC, which operates 445 ships of 2.24 million TEU, against Maersk's 574 ships of 2.6 million TEU.

Maersk took delivery of four 18,270 TEUers in 2013, plus five other ships designed for the Africa and Latin America trades.

Maersk was cited as saying that it has "optimised" network costs by terminating the lease agreements on 14 chartered ships late last year, including five that have been redelivered and nine to be returned to their owners this quarter.

Its total chartered fleet was reduced by 27 ships in 2013 to one million TEU, representing a year-on-year decrease of eight per cent.


PostHeaderIcon Port of Portland to pay Hanjin Shipping to stay at port

The Port of Portland plans to pay up to $4 million more to persuade Hanjin Shipping and other shipping lines to keep calling in the face of ongoing labor problems and weak terminal productivity.
Port commissioners will vote Wednesday on an incentive plan to pay Hanjin and other shipping lines $20 per-container moved through Portland up to a certain threshold. Carriers would get an added $25 payment for each increase in the number of containers they transported.

The incentive plan is being considered as Hanjin officials are poised to decide any day now whether to continue weekly vessel calls at Portland, and it is the most generous package the port has given shipping lines since labor disputes erupted in 2012.
"This is part of our concerted effort to keep Hanjin here," said Sebastian Degens, port general manager of marine business development. "I'm optimistic that it will be successful."
Hundreds of Northwest exporters and importers depend on Hanjin to carry cargo to and from Asia. But Hanjin has suffered heavy global financial losses and looking for ways to cut costs. Hanjin managers said the company may end calls on Portland or Seattle, or at one of two ports in British Columbia: Vancouver or Prince Rupert.

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