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Displaying items by tag: Ports & Shipping

#ShannonEXERCISE- A two-day exercise held on the Shannon Estuary last week was a first in Europe, in that it involved testing Smartly Remotely Operated Submarines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The exercise replicating the scenario of a 43,000 tonne container ship 'Marée Noire' suffering hull damage when impacting with rock entering the Shannon Estuary due to loss of steering and floundering off the coast of Scattery Island.

The estuary off Co. Clare has become a key European test site for a range of highly advanced 'smart technologies' Marine Robots and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The University of Limerick is leading the integration and deployment of the underwater and aerial technologies, within this exercise as part of a European Research Collaboration NETMAR which has Irish, UK, French, Spanish and Portuguese partners.

The exercise is a first in terms of scale and use of robotic platforms as part of Ireland's largest marine emergency response exercise to deal with a major environmental disaster.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#Ports&Shipping -The latest IMDO Weekly Shipping Market Review reports that the world's largest container shipping line, Maersk Line, is looking to change its path for the trade lane of Asia to US East Coast, by opting for the Suez Canal as opposed to the current Panama Canal.

The re-routing is to take advantage of economies of scale, as Maersk will be able to send a vessel through the Suez Canal that can carry up to 9,000 TEU containers, which would be more cost-effective than sending two 4,500 TEU vessels through the Panama Canal.

Dry Bulk Market: On the back of increased cargo availability, the dry bulk market has maintained its rising momentum. The steady increase is illustrated in the weekly rise in the industry's benchmark, Baltic Dry Index (BDI), finishing at 872, up from 818 the previous week.

Short Sea Shipping: In the European Short Sea Market, as with most weeks lately, can be summarised as "steady/flat", according to HC Shipping & Chartering". However, this week highlighted the abundance of spot tonnage slightly more than most weeks, along with owner's eagerness to cover positions becoming more evident.

Irish Economy: Globalization Ireland has been ranked the world's third most globalised economy in terms of GDP, and the most globalised nation in the western world, according to a new index published by Ernst and Young. The index is measured by a country's openness to trade, movement of capital, exchange of technology and ideas, labour movements, and cu ltural integration. Ireland finished third behind Hong Kong and Singapore, but ahead of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the UK.

To read more and other stories, they can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF from the IMDO Shipping Markets Review for Week 11.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ferry News – Due to heavy seas, Irish Ferries French route vessel, Oscar Wilde had to abandon its approach to Cherbourg last night.

The cruiseferry with more than 500 passengers had departed Rosslare and made several attempts to dock at the French port with the assistance of tugs in winds of up to 100km an hour.

One crew member suffered a broken leg during one of the failed attempts after a line snapped. He is still on board but a spokesperson for Irish Ferries says he is being well catered for on board. For more the Irish Examiner reports.

According to the Irish Ferries website, the vessel is currently offshore of Cherbourg and is awaiting an improvement in weather conditions before a further attempt to berth will be made at 13.00 hours local time today.

 

Published in Ferry

#Ports&Shipping -The latest IMDO Weekly Shipping Market Review reports that Irish industrial production fell by almost 2 per cent in January, compared to the previous month, in line with weakening trend in industry since mid-2012, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

European Ports: Throughput at northern European ports will grow by 1.8% in 2013, after a decline of 0.8% last year, according to the latest North Europe Global Port Tracker report.

Container Market: Asia-Europe trade volumes lane experienced their first year-on-year increase in almost a year, according to Container Trade Statistics. The latest data reveals that westbound volumes on the Asia to Europe trade increased by 2.5% year on year in January to reach 1.3m TEU.

The complete IMDO Shipping Markets Review for week 10 is available as a PDF to read or download HERE.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#FERRY & COACH – In support of the Government's 'The Gathering' initiatives, Irish Ferries is rolling out its own 'green carpet' in pledges worth up to EUR60,000, so to attract overseas visitors from Britain to Ireland this year.

Commenting on the pledges, Irish Ferries Head of Passenger Sales, Dermot Merrigan said "As Ireland's national sea carrier, we plan to play our part in attracting groups from our biggest overseas tourism market – Britain – and ensure that tourism providers around the country benefit to the greatest extent possible from the Government's plan".

First of the support packages, are 100 free return coach spaces that have been set aside on its Holyhead-Dublin and Pembroke Dock-Rosslare routes this year, to support groups wishing to attend the year-long Gathering of events.

Valued at up to GB£50,000 and available to eligible groups participating in officially registered events, this offer is billed as just one of a selection of 'green carpet' offers which the company plans to make available as part of a programme of support for this initiative.

The offer is for a free return carriage to Ireland for groups travelling with coaches, which includes -small mini buses to vehicles with seating for up to 30 passengers. With free coach spaces on offer for travel every week, spread across the entire year, potentially providing free transport for up to 3,000 tourists.

Merrigan added "this allocation of 100 free return coach spaces is the first shot in what we intend will be a number of 'green carpet' offers that we will roll out between now and year end."

Groups wishing to apply for the free transport and on how to make an application should visit www.irishferries.com/thegathering

Published in Ferry

#DREDGING- Since the weekend dredging operations at the entrance to Drogheda Port on the River Boyne have begun and will continue for approximately four weeks, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Drogheda Port Company have contracted Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners trailer suction dredger 'Lough Foyle' to carry out dredging maintenance work at the river mouth and seaward approaches to the Boyne estuary.

The dredging operations will be carried out twice daily, approximately 4 hours before high water to 2 hours after high water. For further details of operations, the port has issued a marine notice which can be viewed under the heading 'marine' on the homepage www.droghedaport.ie/index_home.html

Lough Foyle is a 848 gross tonnes vessel which has served in Dutch waters as the former Saeftinge and was built in 1979. The 75m vessel has a hopper capacity of 850m3 /1,300 tons.

She is no stranger to the east coast port, for example in 2010 she undertook work which involved removal of sand accumulating at Drogheda Bar following a spate of south-easterly gales.

Published in Drogheda Port

#PORTS & SHIPPING – Nominations are been sought for the Irish Exporters Awards 2012, which is to be held in November and hosted by Irish Exporters Association (IEA).

The role of the export sector has never been more important, and among the 13 award categories the IEA is being supported by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) in the search for the Short Sea Shipping Company of the Year 2012, a key category in the National Export Industry Awards.

The competition is to recognize the outstanding achievement in the delivery of maritime services to and from Ireland, while highlighting the strategically significant role it plays to our island economy. At the gala awards ceremony on 23rd November, which will culminate when the Taoiseach will present the category winner, and the overall Exporter of the Year.

Applications are available from: www.irishexporters.ie/action/ExportAwardsOnlineApplication

Published in Ports & Shipping

#FERRY CABARET – Holiday makers taking peak sailings with Irish Ferries routes to France can enjoy the Wilde Nights Cabaret Show, on board the cruiseferry Oscar Wilde (1987/31,914grt), writes Jehan Ashmore.

Irish Ferries will resume Mini Cruises on 27 August, starting on the Rosslare-Roscoff route and followed next month, they will be made available on Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings. Dependent on which route is taken, the time ashore can be up to 8 hours in France.

Currently there is a special fare for a car, driver and reserved seat from €99 single. The price includes all taxes, noting bookings should be made at least 10 days in advance of travel date. This fare is applicable to sailings made between 2nd September to 19th December.

For further details and other special fares click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#SHIPPING VOLUMES– The following is a statement issued today by Glenn Murphy, Director of the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) in which he outlines the performance of ports in the republic, where ports and shipping traffic sectors declined for the second quarter of 2012.

The latest analysis of the traffic data indicates that only one of the five principal freight segments had any growth over the second quarter while all other freight segments declined compared to the same period last year.

Freight Segments:

Lift on Lift Off Lift-on/lift-off (Lo/lo) Trades were Down -5%

Container traffic (Lo/lo) declined by 5% during the second quarter of the year. Exports a subset of these figures fell by 5% in the second quarter as weaker demand conditions prevailed in major global markets. This was the first quarterly fall for exports since the beginning of 2010. Imports in this shipping segment fell by 6% in the second quarter. This represents the 18th consecutive quarters of declining import volumes as weak underlying domestic consumption prevails. The first six months of 2012, shows that imports declined by 4% while exports declined by 2%.

Roll-on/Roll-offRoll-on/Roll-off (Ro/ro) declined by -4%

Roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) traffic declined in the Republic of Ireland by 4% in Quarter 2. The majority of Ro/Ro freight from Ireland is destined for Great Britain. The UK economy contracted between April and June with marked declines in its construction and manufacturing sectors. The first six months of 2012, shows that Ro/ro traffic declined by 3%.

Dry bulk Dry bulk volumes declined by -6%

Dry bulk volumes through Irish ports fell 6% during the second quarter of 2012 and by 3% for the first six months of 2012 with a notable fall in coal imports and aggregates, however other significant products in this sector such as animal feed and other agricultural products continued to perform well.

Tanker Tanker/Liquid bulk market increased by +28%

Liquid bulk volumes of tanker based petroleum products increased by 28% in the second quarter. This increase was primarily as a result of large volumes of crude oil being transshipped at Bantry Harbours oil storage facilities. Excluding Bantry, volumes would have seen a decline of 8% in Quarter 2, which more accurately reflects domestic demand for petroleum products.

BreakbulkBreak bulk volumes were down by -3%

Break bulk volumes continued to decline into Quarter 2, by 3 per cent with no rise in demand for construction related materials, such as timber, steel or cement. Looking at the traffic data to mid-year shows that for the first six months break bulk traffic declined by 7%.

Outlook: The outlook for the remainder of the year is flat with no significant uplift in volume demand on the key trades expected. The continued economic uncertainty globally is also having an adverse impact on International shipping markets with several leading shipping lines downgrading their volume forecasts for 2012.

Manufacturing orders across Europe also show little signs of imminent improvement as the euro zone's debt crisis threatens some of Europe's major economies.

Going forward two other caveats also need to be taken into account, firstly the weakness of the euro against most major currencies could provide some positive advantages for Irish exporting companies over the coming months, however oil prices remain at historically high levels and any further price rises are likely to have a negative impact on both transportation and production costs.

For further information about the IMDO visit: www.imdo.ie and news reports on port and shipping click HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#SHANNON CRUISECALL – P&O Cruises Adonia is visiting the mid-west port of Foynes on the banks of the Shannon port today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

She had made a call to the east coast last week in Dublin Port and the 30,277 tonnes vessel is the second caller so far this year to visit the Shannon region, when the ultra-luxurious Silver Whisper docked in the Co. Limerick port in mid-May.

A further two cruise callers are scheduled, as Le Diamant is also due to call this week on Thursday. The final caller is Amadea, which is expected to close the season next month.

All cruise callers will dock in Foynes which is one of six port facilities along the Shannon Estuary which is under the control of the Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC).

Published in Cruise Liners
Page 3 of 6

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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