Sep 04 - Sep 10, 2006

There is severe shortage of marine officers and engineers in merchant shipping and recently there has been a serious attempt by big players around the world to look at Pakistani seafarers.

The representative of Hong Kong's Univan Ship Management Company Limited, Capt. Sanjay Prashar, was recently in Karachi to induct junior officers and trainees. The interviews were conducted at Continental Shipping Office in Karachi and 10 trainee marine engineers from Pakistan Marine Academy (39th Batch) were inducted . This is in addition to one deck cadet and two trainee marine engineers Univan has inducted in their VLCC fleet this year.

The acceptance of trainees by Univan as per Capt. Sanjay Prashar is because of longevity of sea-going career of Pakistani officers (average of 30 years at sea compared to 20 years of other South Asian countries), high contracts completion rate (95% compared to 85% of other Asian nationalities) and competency level being as good as other nationalities. The surprising factor is 85% of the senior officer applicants had done their license from UK rather than from Pakistan.

He was surprised at the lack of government initiative in Pakistan compared to high investment done by Indian and Philippines governments in the training of seafarers. He remarked: "Our Chairman Capt. Vanderperre has high regards for Pakistani officers as they have participated in the growth of Univan for more than 20 years. I have been sent specifically by him to absorb the hidden sea-going talent of Pakistani officers. There is too much of red tape and it's sad to see the stunted growth of Pakistani officers despite their high caliber. If Pakistan's DG Shipping allows private institutions to play an active role in training the officers, then we may see exponential growth for seafarers. I hope to come back here next year to induct 30 trainees from Pakistan Marine Academy as the quality is too good".

We hope this is wake up call for the Pakistan government to utilize the opportunities waiting for the growth of competent professionals at sea.

A long time over due call.

8,204-TEU new builds Cosco Germany to be used on AE-1 service

THE shipping arm of the Nordcapital Group E R Schiffahrt held a naming ceremony for its latest new build, the 8,204 TEU Cosco Germany, at the Tollerort container terminal in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month. The containership was built by Hyundai at the Samho Shipyard in South Korea. She is being chartered for 10 years by Cosco, along with seven other super-postpanamax ships, ranging in size from 7,500 to 8,200 TEU.

TEU= A unit of measurement equal to the space occupied by a standard twenty feet container, used in stating the capacity of container vessel or storage area.


SWISS-BASED Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has doubled its fleet and increased its capacity 150 per cent over the last five years, executives from the company told a recent gathering to mark the firm's 10th anniversary in Hong Kong.

"This year we have already deployed nine 8,000 TEU vessels and four 9,000 TEU vessels," said Carolyn Becquart, line manager of MSC SA, the world's number two container ocean carrier. "Every week, we handle 43,000 TEU. Our vessels call among five continents."

MSC HK managing director Kevin Schellack recalled the firm's Hong Kong beginnings. "When we established MSC HK in 1996, we offered only one weekly service, the Silk Service." Ms Becquart said: "The scale of operations was modest, though we had ambitious plans."

Today, the company provides 13 weekly services to the Far East, North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Schellack recalled that 3,000-TEU and 4,000-TEU ships were typical in the beginning. "The trade has grown substantially," he said. "Last year we handled more than 1.9 million TEU. If we arranged all the containers along a straight line, it would reach a length of exceeding 11,000km - from here to London."

Since the opening of the firm's Hong Kong operation, 18 mainland offices have opened in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhongshan.


ZIM Integrated Shipping Services has invested US$100 million in jointly establishing a container plant in Qingdao, China. Zim said it has a 55 per cent interest in CXIC Star Container Company Ltd together with local industry players, the CXIC Group, Jiaoyun Group and Qingdao Luhai.

The box manufacturing plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 150,000 TEU and annual turnover is anticipated to be around $250 million, a Zim statement said. The Israeli firm described the plant as the company's largest project in China, following several CFS investments in Tianjin, Qingdao, Xiamen and Shanghai.


MAINLAND authorities have recently granted Anhui Hengtai Shipping Company an operating license to establish a base in the Chizhou Economic and Technological Development Zone in Anhui province. What this means in effect is that the city of Chizhou will soon be able to start offering shipping services, Xinhua News Agency reports.

The company also plans to provide logistics and shipbuilding services from the city. Anhui Hengtai Shipping has already taken delivery of its first vessel on order, the report said, and by the end of the year, the company expects to be able to carry up to 35,000 tons of cargo. The company also seeks to boost its carrying capacity to 100,000 tons within the next three to five years.


SEOUL: Hanjin Shipping and STX Pan Ocean have announced they will jointly provide New Hochiminh Service (NHS), an upgraded version of Hanjin's existing HPX, from early September, 2006. Hanjin will join with STX Pan Ocean to operate NHS, which will retain the same port rotation but provide a higher level of service. Three containerships of 1,400 to 1,100TEUs will be deployed in the service from Hanjin and one vessel of the same class from STX Pan Ocean. The new vessels will three knots faster than the previous ships on average. They will also provide about a 60 percent increase in space. The NHS port rotation will be: Busan-Gwangyang-Hong Kong-Hochiminh-Singapore-Pasir Gudang-Hochiminh-Hong Kong-Busan. The reshuffled schedule is due to start on Sept. 10 in Busan (W/B).


PORTLAND: Dr. William Eisenhardt, President of the California Maritime Academy will be the guest speaker at the 2006-2007 Kick-Off Meeting of the Propeller Club, Port of the Columbia River. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12, at the Doubletree - Lloyd Center. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served at noon. Cost is $30 for Propeller Club Members and guests. Non-members cost $35.00.