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Displaying items by tag: Ports and Shipping News

#FirstDividend - Enjoying its biggest ever profits last year, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) has revealed from their 2014 annual report.

SFPC, which operates six ports on the Shannon Estuary and handles international trade valued at over €6bn, saw profits increase to €2.864m from €2.825m in 2013.

The company’s general cargo terminals recorded year-on-year increases of 5 per cent and capitalised on the recovering economy through a GDP growth of over 4 per cent for 2014.

The growth now means the company is in a position to provide a dividend from the 2014 results. For more on the story, The Sunday Business Post reports here.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#COP21shipping – Tackling global climate change is a concern of all European ports, writes the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO).

European ports overall consider that the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is a historic milestone for enhancing global collective action and moving towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. That is why the ESPO decided to join the “Think Climate” coalition that has been set up under the umbrella of PIANC, the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure.

Think Climate brings together major international associations with interests in waterborne transport infrastructure, with the objective to help the sector respond to climate change. By further understanding, providing targeted technical support and building capacity, the coalition has a double aim: first of all, to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, by shifting to low carbon maritime and inland waterway transport infrastructure, secondly, address ways to adapt maritime and waterborne infrastructure and operations to the potential impacts of climate change such as sea level rise and extreme weather conditions. On 6 December, PIANC’s Think Climate coalition formally launched its 2015-2020 “Navigating a Changing Climate” Action Plan.

“We are very pleased we can actively support the Think Climate initiative and step up efforts to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. The engagement of European ports towards addressing climate change is not new. Since years already, there is, among ESPO members, a strong coalition of the willing to pro-actively work on energy reduction and climate change. European ports are key nodes in the global transport and supply chain and play an important role in the supply of energy. Around 40% of the commodities of European ports are sources of energy. With international trade volumes expected to further increase, we should develop ways to do more with less emissions. Moreover, we should reflect on how to play an active role in the transition to alternative and renewable energy”, said ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

The engagement of European port in Climate Change is not new

Even if port infrastructure and operations typically account for only a small proportion of the greenhouse gas emissions to bring goods from origin to destination, European ports are committed to give the good example in minimising the emissions associated with their infrastructure and activities and to strive towards carbon neutrality. The ESPO Green Guide of 2012 has a section dedicated to energy consumption and climate change that calls for concrete action and highlights the best practice examples of European ports.

Port authorities can further bear an influence in reducing the carbon footprint of port areas and the logistic chain.

Engaging with their tenants and operators, port authorities increasingly develop and implement monitoring tools, such as carbon footprint and reporting for the port area and beyond. More and more ports also implement environmentally differentiated port charges to encourage and reward greener behaviour. More than 25 European ports nowadays provide incentives to greener vessels on the basis of the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) tool. ESI has been developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI) under the umbrella of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) and recently celebrated its 5th year anniversary. ESPO fully supports since the beginning all the tools of WPCI and encourages its member ports to get involved.

Further to the existing port initiatives, European Ports call for:

1. Further steps towards increasing efficiency: do more with less emissions

In order to match the needed reduction of the emissions with the expected growth in freight traffic volumes, maritime transport has to become more efficient and the existing capacity has to be used in a more optimal way. To address this challenge, the internal market for maritime transport should be materialised. Shorter turnaround times will positively affect emissions.

The European transport and port sector should seriously look into the untapped potential of further digitalisation. According to the World Economic forum, only about 40% of load capacity is effectively being used today. A further digitalisation must lead to a better utilisation of the existing capacity and infrastructure in ports, to more efficient planning regimes in the whole logistic chain and to a higher overall efficiency of the European Transport System. European ports can play a pivotal role in this process.

2. Ports to play an active role in changing the energy landscape

Ports play an important role in the supply, import, export and even sometimes the production of both conventional and alternative energy. As such, ports can actively manage and promote the transition to alternative and renewable energies.

The Clean Fuel Strategy adopted in 2013 obliges European core ports to provide for LNG refuelling points and to foresee shore side electricity where possible. ESPO encourages ports to meet these obligations as soon as possible.

In addition, ports are an ideal place for exploiting the potential of circular economy and find ways for eliminating waste or using by-products in an efficient way, and thus reducing carbon emissions. The port authority can be the perfect match maker in bringing together the different stakeholders in the port and can help paving the way for a circular economy in the port.

3. Paris to give a clear mandate to IMO to strengthen its work on reducing shipping emissions

Even if international shipping produces about 2.2% of world’s total CO2 emissions, whereas it transports about 90% of world trade, shipping should clearly contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions reductions like any other sector.

Shipping is a global industry. The Paris conference must therefore be seen as a milestone to further enhance the work at IMO level towards this direction. ESPO acknowledges that the recently adopted tools such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), are steps in the right direction and need to be given a fair chance. It is clear however that more needs to be done at the international level on monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions, on setting concrete reduction targets at global level and on developing further instruments to achieve those.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#COP21shipping- As the Conference of Parties (COP21) on Climate Change began in Paris today, looks back on Brittany Ferries seasonal Cork-Roscoff route cruiseferry, Pont-Aven. In 2016 their flagship on the French service will be the only ferry operating in Irish waters fitted with emission ‘scrubber’ technology, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The installation of emission reducing technology systems due to be completed early next year on the Pont-Aven, follows stricter ‘green’ controls under the EU’s Environmental Low Sulphur Directive introduced at the beginning of this year. Already other ferries in the fleet have been equipped with scrubbers at a Spanish yard. 

Irish waters are not part of a sulphur zone, SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area), however as Pont-Aven also operates a route on the English Channel, this geographical area is a SECA zone along with the North Sea and the Baltic.

As the efforts to reduce the cocktail of harmful pollutants rise, French-owned global container giant, the CMA CGM group, announced last week a 50% improvement in its carbon dioxide (CO2) performance for its owned fleet.

The company cite that this due to an efficient environmental policy sustained by deploying innovative solutions, and that this success was accomplished in 10 years.

CMA-CGM claim that currently a container emits approximately 60 grams of CO2 per kilometre, compared to 120 grams in 2005. The Group best-performing ships emit 37 grams of CO2 per container transported, such as the CMA CGM Bougainville which can carry up to 200,000 tons of goods in 18,000 containers.

Shipping today is the most environmentally friendly transport mode: it is 70 times less polluting than flight transportation.

NOTE: For a Graph showing the reduction of CO2 g/ TEU* km, this can be consulted HERE along with an image of containership equipped with various environmental features. * TEU (Twenty Equivalent Unit) i.e. a 20 foot long container.

In addition to further read details on CMA CGM’s article, click the same link for the graph and containership image, by clicking HERE.

Returning to the context of the ferry industry, critics of the EU Sulphur Directive, have claimed that the costs to introduce the technology on such ships was exoribant and that this was a leading contributor to the closure of certain routes.

This in turn had the consequent effect of notably driving heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s) back onto road networks. The increase in volumes leading in turn to congestion and polluting emissions.

A prime example of a route closure attributed to the directive, was DFDS Seaways Harwich-Esbjerg route, the Danish service which closed in 2014 represented the last scheduled ferry service between the UK and Scandinavia.

The nearest alternative route is Newscastle-Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) incidently a DFDS service, though the company does operate direct 'freight' only routes from Immingham in the UK to Scandinavia. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ShippingReview – Over the last fortnight, Jehan Ashmore has reported on the shipping scene as outlined below.

The leadship of the Royal Bodewes built 5,100dwt Trader (V-class) cargoship's, Arklow Vale was handed over to Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. following sea trials off the Dutch coast. The 89m newbuild made her maiden delivery voyage from to Ghent, Belgium.

The Maritime Services Company of the Year went to Irish Continental Group (ICG) container & terminal devisions at the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) Export Industry Awards. The award was sponsored by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

Shipping volumes in Republic of Ireland ports rose by 12% in Q3 of 2015 when compared to same period in 2014, revealed the iShipIndex published by the IMDO.

Ardmore Shipping Corporation had an Asian double delivery, as two product / chemical tankers were handed over from separate yards. The 49,999dwt Ardmore Chippewa built in South Korea and from Japan, the 25,233dwt Ardmore Seahawk.

The second of the Royal Bodewes built class cargoships, Arklow View (yard no. 722) for Arklow Shipping’s Dutch division (see above), made notable progress at the shipyard as the fore and aft sections were joined to form the hull.

Published in Arklow Shipping

#iShipIndexQ3 - Shipping and port activity in the Republic of Ireland rose by 12% in the third quarter of 2015 when compared with the same period in 2014.The figures are from the latest quarterly iShipIndex* published by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).

The latest analysis also indicates that all of the five principal freight segments grew during that period.

Unitised traffic, which consists of Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) and Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo/Lo) traffic, continued to rise steadily and has now shown consistent growth for an extended period, with an average growth rate of 6% per quarter in unitised traffic since Q2 2013 as measured by the iShip Index.

The majority of Ro/Ro traffic moves between Ireland and Great Britain and this freight segment is a simple but reliable indicator of the level of trade between both economies. Encouragingly, the Ro/Ro freight sector saw volume growth of 6% in the third quarter to 254,068 units.

Lo/Lo laden imports have now risen for eight consecutive quarters, reaching 96,828 teu in Q3, 2015. Lo/Lo laden exports grew 0.4% from the previous quarter to reach 68,249 teu in Q3, 2015. Overall, Lo/Lo container traffic increased 2% to 165,076 teu in the same period.

When reviewing unitised traffic, it is worth noting that both Lo/Lo and Ro/Ro freight move in an all-Island setting. Therefore, when Northern Irish ports are included, all-island Ro/Ro volume grew by 5% in Q3 2015. All Island traffic in the Lo/Lo laden sector grew 3% overall, with imports rising 3% and exports by 4% for Q3 2015.

The overall bulk traffic segment saw tonnage volumes increase by 19%, excluding transhipments, when compared to the previous year. Liquid bulk increased substantially by 31%. However, this increase was driven to a large extent by a temporary anomaly in the market in Q3 2014. Break bulk, which largely consists of imports of construction and project related commodities, increased by 6%. Break bulk has now seen ten consecutive quarterly increases.

There was a 12% increase in dry bulk traffic for Q3 2015 with trade in cement and animal feed showing significant growth. However, there is a high degree of fluctuation in traffic volume typical in the dry bulk market when viewed on a quarterly basis.

Note: *The iShip index is a volume index for all freight traffic moved to and from the Republic of Ireland. This does not include passengers, and transshipment activity.

Note: All freight and passenger comparisons are done on a quarterly basis (Q3 2015 v Q3 2014).



Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&ShippingReview – Over the last fortnight, Jehan Ashmore has reported on the shipping scene where among the stories covered was that of Finnlines acquisition of ro-ro freighter Dorset from Cobelfret, which spent a brief spell late last year on their Irish operations.

The 225th anniversary of Drogheda Port Company was marked last month as the origins of the port date to 19th of April 1790 when the very first board meeting was held in the town's Tholsel.

At 290 feet in length, Wilson Dublin became the largest ever ship to berth at the pier in Dingle Harbour from where 3,500 tonnes of stone chipping was loaded from Corca Dhuibhne quarry for the UK roads construction sector. The cargoship sailed to London to discharge at Gravesend on the Thames.

The IMDO released the annual Irish Maritime Transport Economist report that showed in 2014, port volume increases of more than 2%, as measured by the iShip Index*, tracking Ireland's economic recovery. 

Commenting on the reports traffic figures IMDO Director Liam Lacey said, "Irish ports coped comfortably with the growth recorded in 2014. Total volumes have not yet reached the levels recorded prior to the economic downturn in 2007 and at 914 points, port traffic remains more than 12% behind the high-water mark of 1,042 points recorded in 2007.

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD will 'shortly' publish a new ports Bill to transfer to local authorities control of five Ports of Regional Significance – Drogheda, Dún Laoghaire, Galway, New Ross and Wicklow. Details of the enactment of this Bill represent an important milestone in National Ports Policy.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#NewbuildTanker- Ardmore Cherokee, a 25,000dwt products and chemical tanker became the newest addition to Ardmore Shipping Corporation, following delivery from a Japanese shipyard.

The IMO II classed tanker was completed by Fukoaka Shipbuilding and she is the fifteenth vessel to join Ardmore’s fleet in service under the technical management of Thome Ship Management. 

Like her fleetmates, Ardmore Cherokee, has been fitted with an array of fuel efficiency technologies, including the SkySails’ performance monitoring system, in order to deliver optimal operational performance. 

Mark Cameron, COO of Ardmore Shipping, commented: “We’re delighted to have taken delivery of the Ardmore Cherokee.  She has been designed and built to the very highest standards and we would like to thank all those involved in her successful delivery by Fukuoka Shipbuilding for their hard work and commitment. We wish her master and crew safe seas and look forward to her contribution to Ardmore’s continued growth.”

The corporation whose principle operating office based in Mahon Co. Cork as previously reported on had reported a net profit of $117,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2014.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&Shipping –The latest IMDO Weekly Shipping Market Review includes the following stories as detailed below.

Irish Ports: EU Programme Co-Funds - Capacity Studies on Port of Dublin. As previously reported on, almost €2.5 million from the EU TEN-T Programme will fund studies into the capacity development of the Port of Dublin.

Environment: Clean-up under way after oil spill from ship in Warrenpoint Harbour. A clean-up operation is under way after a spill of 100 litres of heavy fuel oil from a vessel berthed at Warrenpoint Harbour spread to the shore.

Container Market: Maersk rules the world's commercial shipping lanes. Shipping containerisation has become dominant in every port in every country in the world and accounts for 90pc of global trade.

Innovation: First Installation for Bunker Saving Solar Energy System - Renewable energy systems company Eco Marine Power (EMP) has installed a fuel-saving system with a solar panel array on a Greek ferry.

For more on each of the above and other stories click PDF download: IMDO Weekly Markets Review (Week 44). In addition to coverage on's dedicated Ports & Shipping News section.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&Shipping –The latest IMDO Weekly Shipping Market Review includes the following stories as detailed below.

Irish Ports: Cork Port Receives Recognition for High Environmental Standards – (as previously reported on, the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) was delighted to congratulate the port of Cork, for achieving the Port Environmental Review System (PERS) certification. The port's fourth consecutive occasion to be awarded a PER certification since its inititial launch in 2006.

Container Market: Analysts predict rise in volume but decrease in rates for 2015, as operators look to GRI's for improvements. Drewery's expect growth across major trade lanes to hit a "relatively positive" year-on-year 5.5% in 2015 in its Outlook for Container Shipping Webinar presentation on Thursday. However Drewry's predicted that average rates will decline by 3-4% globally next year, highlighting the need for operators to cut costs.

Tanker Market: Al-Qaeda targets tankers - Security contractors believe tankers and other types of commercial tonnage could become increasingly attractive targets for Islamic terrorists in the months ahead. On Monday MAST joined the growing list of firms that are warning clients to be vigilant in the wake of reports that Al-Qaeda is urging followers to take aim at tankers bound for the West.

Environment: Scrubbers Are the Most Economic Option for Shipowners - Scrubbers are the most economic option for companies looking to become compliant with Emission Control Area (ECA) regulations. Scrubbers, which are outfitted on engines to remove sulphur from heavy marine fuel, are the least disruptive method to meet the regulations. Beginning 2015, sulphur content in marine fuel used in ECAs will not be allowed to exceed 0.10 per cent.

For more on each of the above and other stories click HERE for IMDO Weekly Markets Review (Week 43). In addition to coverage on's dedicated Ports & Shipping News section.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#BantryHarbourPlans - The Port of Cork Company is to embark shortly on what it hopes will be the first phase of a €24m redevelopment by the port for facilities at Bantry Harbour which will encourage more seaborne trade and cruise line business.

The first phase of the plan will be a €7m upgrade of facilities at the town pier, which needs remedial work, and widening to accommodate buses which can meet tenders from cruise liners.

Denis Healy, the deputy chief executive of the Port of Cork, said that dredging would also take place to ensure that larger vessels could pull alongside it.

"We are also going to create an amenity area adjacent to the railway pier, and a new quay wall which will accommodate a 16-berth marina," said Mr Healy.

The Irish Examiner has more to report HERE.


Published in Ports & Shipping
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