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Largest automated container terminal in Shanghai

China started trial operations of the world’s biggest automated container terminal, the Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port, in eastern China, on Sunday (Dec 10), Chinese official media reported. Located at the south of Donghai Bridge, phase 4 of the Yangshan Port covers 2.23 million sq m and has a 2,350-m shoreline.

Once it enters full operation, the fourth phase of the Yangshan Port will initially be able to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The number will expand to 6.3 million TEUs later on. The automated terminal not only increases the port’s handling efficiency, but also reduces carbon emissions by up to 10 percent, source said.

Shipping costs surging globally

Booming rates to ship iron and coal are giving grain traders a migraine. The cost of moving pretty much every dry-bulk commodity — from fertilizer to salt to rocks — has surged since July, lifting the London-based Baltic Exchange’s main freight gauge to its highest in almost four years.

The rally has been fired by China’s insatiable demand for coal and iron ore, more than tripling rates for giant Capesize ships that dominate both trades. With the surge driving up shipping rate across the board, that’s bad news for agricultural traders already contending with the biggest supply gluts in years: they’re having to pay more to transport crops at a time when they can least afford it.

Essar port to complete Rs 830 crore expansion

Ahead of the commissioning of a new 8,000-tonne per hour ship loader, the Essar Group run Vizag Port is shutting its operations for seven days. The commissioning of the ship loader is part of the port’s Rs 830 crore modernization and expansion project, the Port Said. This expansion will upgrade and expand the harbour’s iron ore handling capacity from 12.5 million tone to 23 mt per annum.

During the shut from December 13 to December 19, other cargo handling equipment, including a new reclaimer and a mechanical conveyor system, will also be commissioned. The new ship loader can handle 120,000 tonne per day cargo which will translate to shorter turnaround time and competitive freight costs for exporters on the East Coast.


Indiato separate Kolkata, Haldia docks

The Shipping Ministry has started work on separating the accounts of Kolkata Dock System (KDS) and Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), which experts say could be the first step towards hiving off the two into independent entities. Currently, both KDS and HDC come under Kolkata Port Trust, one of the 12 government-owned ports. It is also the only port among the dozen with two dock systems. KDS has to improve its performance; it just cannot piggy-ride on HDC. The general view is that KDS should improve its performance and reduce expenditure to make it a viable organization.

Payra to be turned into a deep-sea port for Bangladesh

Payra port in Bangladesh is to be dredged to deliver a draft of 16 metres that would enable large container ships to call and reduce transit time to the country by one month as cargo would no longer require transshipment via Colombo or Singapore.

Dredging is expected to commence soon after a technical evaluation is completed, as the Payra port authority and Jan De Nul have formed a joint venture to handle the US$600 million project, reported IHS Media. Payra will have rail, road, and waterway links with the capital of Dhaka, around which most of the country’s garment industry is based making the area the primary destination for imports and origin point for exports. Bangladesh Railway and the United Kingdom’s DP Rail last year signed a deal to develop a 240-kilometre railway line between Dhaka and Payra seaport.

The Jones act costs all Americans too much

Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane plight has drawn attention to the Jones Act, the 1920 law that compels all maritime commerce between US ports to be carried on ships built, owned and crewed by Americans. The law is adding to the island’s problems, and should be set aside for that reason alone — but the Jones Act was, or should have been, a scandal well before the hurricane hit.

What Americans ought to ask is not whether the law should be waived in the long term for Puerto Rico to speed its recovery, but whether its costs are something the country as a whole should tolerate under any circumstances. To be sure, the island’s needs are most pressing. Jones Act-compliant ships cost more to build and sail than their foreign-flagged counterparts, so Puerto Ricans have to pay more for everything from oil and machinery to food, medicine and clothing.

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