Fatigue among transportation workers remains ongoing Safety Board worry

Fatigue among transportation workers remains ongoing Safety Board worry

By Alex Binkley

Fatigued flight, railway and ship crews are a long-standing concern of the Transportation Safety Board and it hasn’t seen enough improvement on the issue to remove it from its watchlist of safety concerns. Board Chair Kathy Fox told a news conference fatigue has been an issue in more than 90 investigations since the TSB was created in 1990. The Board routinely investigates if fatigue was a factor in transportation accidents or incidents, and if it was, it examines whether the operator had measures in place to prevent operations with tired workers. (more…)

Caisse de dépôt and Fonds de solidarité FTQ invest $112 million in Groupe Océan

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) and Fonds de solidarité FTQ (le Fonds) have announced that they are purchasing a minority stake in Groupe Océan for $112 million, shared equally between the two investors. Groupe Océan is a Québec-based maritime services provider that primarily operates in Canada, and now also internationally. Groupe Océan will use the proceeds of this investment to expand its Canadian activities, to continue its global growth and to acquire new equipment. (more…)

Venta Maersk completes first Northern Sea Route passage

By Gavin van Marle

The first Maersk containership to complete the Polar sea passage from Asia to Europe via the North Pole – the so-called Northern Sea Route – arrived in St Petersburg on September 28. Venta Maersk, a 3,596 TEU ice-class vessel designed to operate the company’s Baltic feeder services, departed Russia’s Pacific port of Vladivostok on 22 August. It called at Russia’s other main Pacific box port of Vostochny and the South Korean hub of Busan before transiting the Bering Strait on 6 September. Its next call was Germany’s North Sea transhipment hub of Bremerhaven before its arrival in St Petersburg. (more…)

Capacity cuts and trade war combine to increase container tonnage laying idle

By Mike Wackett

A perfect storm of radical capacity cuts by carriers and U.S. president Donald Trump’s threat to hike tariffs on Chinese goods could see many more containerships laid-up, according to Alphaliner. Shipping association BIMCO warned that over a quarter of container trade on the transpacific could be at risk from the escalating U.S.-China tit-for-tat trade war. The latest data from Alphaliner, based on a survey on 3 September, records 143 idled ships, for 408,283 TEUs representing 1.8 per cent of the total global cellular fleet. It said: “Idled numbers are expected to rise in the coming weeks due to service cancellations for the winter slack season.” Alphaliner noted that that the service cuts announced so far were “significantly more severe” than those in 2017. (more…)

Rush for space on Asia-Europe as box carriers spark new capacity crunch

By Mike Wackett

North European shippers are scrambling to book space on October sailings to Asia, ahead of a new capacity crunch. The decision by ocean carriers to void eleven voyages from Asia to North Europe in October to halt the slide in container spot rates will result in a similar number of cancelled backhaul sailings in November and December. One UK forwarder told The Loadstar today he was encouraging his customers to bring forward as much cargo as possible due to the uncertainty of export ships. “We can’t get any sense out of the carriers as to what ships they will be running and when,” he said, “some have told us that there will be other options, but they have yet to give us any detail. “We are also being restricted on receiving windows at the container terminals, due to congestion on the quay, and some carriers are deciding not to load exports on the nominated calls. That is adding to the supply chain mess,” he said. (more…)