February 22 - While the on-off strike that threatened to close the US East and Gulf coast, further south another country is facing a blockade by striking longshoreman.
In a dawn raid on Monday, dock workers at South America's largest port invaded the Chinese heavy lift vessel Zhen Hua 10 as it was preparing to unload equipment, including three ship-to-shore gantry cranes for the new private container and liquid bulk terminal of Embraport (Empresa Brasileira de Terminais Portuarios) at Santos, Brazil. The boarding was partly to protest against Chinese crew/workers being used to unload the cargo and also the beginning of a tranche of protests against new port legislation from Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. The first strike, by port workers at Maceio port in Brazil has now kicked-off, heralding choppy waters for shipping lines.
Brazilian trade unions have been promising for almost a month that strike action against the government's plans would follow the end of the country's world-famous Carnival celebrations and now seem to have come through on the threat. A possible nationwide port strike over the next few weeks is now very much on the cards.
This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Broekman Project Services, located in the Port of Rotterdam, which offers a total solution for handling and assembly of project cargoes - www.broekman-group.com/bps
International security tensions and immigration issues are trapping seafarers on board ships when in port as the right of seafarers to shore leave is being increasingly compromised, say maritime employers group the International Shipping Federation (ISF) in a submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Facilitation Committee. Particularly hard hit are sailors on tramp services who will not have the opportunity to apply for a visa in advance.
Koji Sekimizu, secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), is in the middle of his first-ever visit to Jamaica a year after he became secretary general. He is leading a delegation of IMO representatives, on what is only the second visit to the country by a serving IMO secretary general.
Seafox goes to sea
Crane ship Seafox 5 has embarked on its maiden voyage with four 65 m monopiles as part of the development of the DanTysk offshore wind farm located 70 km west of Sylt, on the border between the German and Danish economic zones. The newbie 151 m vessel will be used to install all 80 monopiles at the site, using its crane capable of lifting up to 1,200 tonnes.
Port to port
The port of Le Havre in northern France has handled a 375-tonne generator component for power company EDF measuring 12.7 m long and 4.20 m in height. The shipment was moved from Saint-Leu-d'Esserent on the heavy lift barge Exelmans before freight forwarder Paris Transport International (TPI) organised a quayside sheer leg crane lift at the Le Havre ro-ro terminal (top right).
International oil and gas service company ASCO Group has signed an agreement with Brazilian logistics firm LLX to support the development of the USD2.5 billion Acu Superport. The port, which lies north of Rio de Janeiro at São João da Barra, will be able to handle 350 million tonnes-a-year of exports and imports and rank among the top three largest ports in the world.
100 not out
Shipping giant Maersk Line has celebrated a century of trading with Brazil since the line first landed in the country on February 19, 1913, docking at Paranagua with 2,800 tonnes of cargo. One hundred years on, the line is putting its hand in its pocket by investing USD2.2 billion in 16 new ships specially designed to visit Brazil's shallow-water ports.
On the runway
The fleet of Sharjah, UAE-based cargo airline Aquiline International has just got bigger: a Boeing 747-300SF (Special Freighter) with a 100-tonne payload has joined its fleet (pictured right).
Luxembourg based B747 freighter operator Cargolux is to add Port Harcourt in Nigeria as a new destination to its African network from early March to serve the strong oil and gas industry in the region that increasingly demands more direct flights for its equipment and support-related items.
Here comes the sun
Cargolux has transported the solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse, with a wingspan of 63.4 m, between Switzerland and the USA. Solar Impulse was loaded on board a B747 freighter at the Swiss military airfield of Payerne (pictured right).
Jolly boating weather
The Nautical Institute has launched Numerical Weather Prediction - a practical guide for mariners, aimed at explaining the benefits and limitations of numerical weather prediction (NWP) so that mariners can get the most out of it and confidently rely on it for safe operations.
On the forwarding front
Auckland-headquartered forwarder Ellery OS Project Cargo has become the latest company to join the Project Cargo Network (PCN), representing New Zealand. Established in 1969, it has a strong background moving heavy and oversize loads for the oil and gas, mining and engineering industries (pictured top right).
Eight large modules weighing 30,000 tonnes have been moved from Tarragona, Spain to a jobsite in Le Havre, France by Logistics service provider Altius (pictured second right).
Blue Water Shipping has inked a deal with Singapore-based offshore group Keppel FELS for the heavy-lift transportation of five semi-submersible rigs in prefabricated structure from Keppel yards in the Philippines and Singapore before being fully assembled at the BrasFELS shipyard in Angra dos Reis, Brazil (pictured bottom right).
Hatches, matches and dispatches
Two decades after joining forwarder Geodis Wilson from the former Wilson Logistics, Kim Pedersen (pictured right) has achieved the position of executive vice president, effective March 1, 2013. His promotion means he also becomes a member of the Group's executive management.
Having held management positions within Germany's Hochtief Solutions for 15 years, Nikolaus Graf von Matuschka has been appointed to its executive board and as labour director, with immediate effect. His most recent position was ceo of the Service Solutions division, which he remains.
Air Charter Service (ACS) has promoted Justin Bowman to group deputy managing director of the global charter broker, having worked with ACS founder and chairman Chris Leach from the early days of the company's formation.
All about Evie
Diamonds are Friday Flyer gossip columnist Evie Aufheben's best friend as she is well known for her love of bling and all things sparkly. As she enjoyed her Swiss adventure, skiing by day, enjoying warm Glühwein by night in front of a roaring fire, her head was turned by the news of the brazen robbery at Brussels airport that netted USD50 million in diamonds. Unkind people who might suggest that her arrival in Switzerland, the ultimate destination for the diamonds, and the theft are not co-incidental are just wrong.
Ms Aufheben has never actually sailed around Cape Horn but she knows many sailors who have on board a multipurpose vessel. It is a matter of concern to her that while she can trip down the gangplank at ports from Southampton to Copenhagen to New York, many sailors cannot set foot on terra firma when their ships dock. The situation must change, she demands, to allow hardworking sailors to come ashore for much needed rest and relaxation.