Marine Link
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

French Port News

France to Boost LNG Usage in Shipping

Édouard Philippe. Photo: Gouvernement

France will modify regulations on the natural gas to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering to take place at ports, Reuters reported quoting Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. He said the country will consider changing fiscal rules on amortising investments in new ships or engine technology. “We have to use this (energy) transition to differentiate ourselves on the market - in transport and in port services,” he said. The report said that LNG has been promoted as an alternative to fuel oil for a shipping sector facing tougher emissions standards from 2020…

French Port Workers Join Labor Reform Strike

French CGT trade union port workers will join a nationwide strike against French labor reforms on Sept. 15, the union said on Monday, a move that could disrupt oil, grains and other commodities shipment at French ports. The hardline CGT union led rolling nationwide strikes against the labor reform between April and June against the reform which they said will curb workers rights and make it easier for companies fire workers. The union has demanded that the law be withdrawn. The rolling strikes had disrupted fuel and other supplies at French ports, provoking panic buying and fuel shortages across the country. Reporting by Valerie Parent

LPG Ships Collide in France

Two LPG tankers collided in the northwestern French port of Donges causing 60 tonnes of ship fuel to spill into the Sea. French coastguard said the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) carriers the Happy Bride and the Sigmagas hit each other at 1920 GMT. There were no reported injuries and both vessels had been towed back to port. However, 60 tonnes of bunker fuel oil had been spilt in the collision.

Ferry Services at Calais Shut Again

Image: MyFerryLink

Britons faced chaos in Calais last night after striking French sailors blocked the port for the second time in a week. Ferry services between Dover and Calais were cancelled again on Tuesday as MyFerryLink workers blockaded the French port. Strike action by around 400 workers last week led to major traffic jams of lorries, prompting migrants around the port to try to stow away on trucks bound for Britain. Unlike last week’s industrial action, which saw Eurostar and Eurotunnel also forced to cancel services, only ferry crossings are currently affected.

Ferries Blocked By Strike

Five cross-Channel ferries have been blocked in French ports since Monday because of a strike by workers over plans to cut the work week, their operator, Brittany Ferries, said. Several dozen passengers and trucks were stranded in the ports of Ouistreham, Cherbourg and Roscoff because of the strike, a spokesman of the company said. - (Reuters)

HAROPA ports Road Shows in Indian cities

HAROPA - Ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris to connect India with European markets Photo HAROPA

In a bid to raise the maritime container trade between French port HAROPA and Indian ports, a power-packed delegation is visiting India from February 20-23 to hold road shows in four cities across the country. During the visit, the delegation led by Mr Herve Martel, CEO - Port of Le Havre & President- HAROPA ports will meet customers , trading partners, key port authorities and officials to scout for new prospects and opportunities as also senior government officials to exchange information on various maritime issues  with a view to further enhance Indo French Maritime trades.

Container Vessel Sets Sail After Engine Fix

The Antigua and Barbuda-flag container vessel City of Tunis has sailed from Brest, France, after engine repairs. The 20,252-dwt vessel, bound for Felixstowe in the UK, was towed into the French port after developing engine trouble on Tuesday.

Immigrants Try Floating In On Inflatable Mattress

Two Lithuanian illegal immigrants tried to float to Britain on an inflatable mattress but were spotted at sea and taken back to France. The two men were sighted some seven miles (11 km) off the French coast at 6:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) by crew aboard a P&O ferry heading to the French port of Calais. The ferry dispatched a lifeboat to pick them up and handed them over to French border police on arrival in Calais, a spokesman for the French Regional Operation Centre for Sea Surveillance and Rescue said. As many as 400 illegal immigrants a month arrive in Britain from France on Channel tunnel trains, and nearly 2,500 have been caught trying to board P&O Stena Line ferries since checks were introduced eight months ago. - (Reuters)

Customs Announces CSI Deployment at Le Havre

U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced the deployment of four U.S. Customs officers to the French port of Le Havre, marking the latest step in the agency's Container Security Initiative (CSI). CSI is designed to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the world's sea cargo environment by improving security at key seaports worldwide. Under the program, U.S. Customs inspectors at foreign seaports target and pre-screen U.S.-bound cargo containers before they are shipped to America. Non-intrusive inspection technology is used to screen the containers for weapons of mass destruction, before the containers are loaded on ships bound for the United States. "I am grateful to the French Government for aggressively implementing CSI," said Commissioner Bonner of today's announcement.

P&O Stena Lines Resumes Operations

P&O Stena Line has resumed full passenger and freight services from the British port of Dover after French fishermen began to lift their blockade of French ports. P&O spokeswoman Gail Isted said that the company's vessel 'Dover' had left Calais in France for Dover in mid-afternoon. "P&O Stena Line ferries will now leave Dover and Calais every 45 minutes and will revert to their usual sailing patterns overnight," the company said in a statement. Isted added that delays to passenger cars of about nine hours and to trucks of six hours were being reduced and would be cleared some time on Friday (Sept. 1). P&O Stena Line ran six tourist ferries from Dover to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge both on Wednesday and Thursday to avoid the blockade, she said.

Calais Port Blocked Again by Protesters

Protesting ferry-workers blocked road access to the northern French port of Calais with burning tyres on Friday, police said. The workers have in recent weeks intermittently blocked the port and sometimes the Channel Tunnel in a protest over job cuts after tunnel operator Eurotunnel agreed to sell its MyFerryLink ferry unit to Danish-owned DFDS. The French government has sought to intervene and propose a solution, but no accord has yet been found. The dispute has added to disruption around the northern port, also struggling to deal with nightly attempts by hundreds of migrants to sneak through the tunnel into Britain. (Reporting by Pierre Savary

Euronext to Add More Wheat Silos at Ports

Euronext is to expand the number of port delivery points for wheat traded on its Paris-based futures market <0#BL2:> and is considering a system of storage certificates to cater for inland grain operators, the European exchange said on Tuesday. Its steps to reinforce its wheat futures, a price benchmark for the European market, come after it scrapped a short-lived premium wheat product, and as CME Group is moving closer to launching a rival European wheat contract. Euronext will launch an additional delivery point at the northern French port of Rouen from September 2017 after reaching an agreement with trading firm Lecureur to use its silo there, Olivier Raevel, head of commodities at Euronext, told Reuters.

Massive Quay Cranes for PortSynergy / Eurofos

Photo courtesy of PortSynergy / Eurofos

PortSynergy / Eurofos have purchsed a set of massive quay cranes, reportedly the largest in the world, becoming the first container terminal to operate cranes of this size. Two cranes 54 meters high with a 72 meters outreach manufactured by Paceco España will be mounted in situ on the PortSynergy / Eurofos terminal in Fos-sur-Mer near Marseille. Crane erection will begin in February 2016 with a view to commissioning in September / October 2016. The acquisition of these quay cranes will provide Fos-sur-Mer with the capability to process all types of vessels…

France Wants Tighter Rules For Ships Near Europe

France plans to press for tougher maritime safety rules within a 200-mile radius of Europe, said French transport ministry officials, adding that they would like the European Union to force ships to identify themselves and be ready for inspection inside the limit. Currently, ships only have to make themselves known if there is an accident. Officials also fell that flags of convenience should be banned. This does not mean countries would not be allowed to run large fleets, but they would be held to tighter rules. France also plans to double the number of its port inspectors to 100 over the next two years and improve its database of ships calling at French ports.

Containers, Cruises Help Boost Marseilles Fos

Photo: Marseilles Fos

Container throughput at French port Marseilles Fos reached 876,711 teu for the period January to September, an increase of 6% on the first nine months last year. The performance - driven by a 9% rise at the Fos 2XL deep sea terminals - was two points better than the trend at other French ports, the port authority said. Container tonnage contributed 8.5 million metric tons to the general cargo total of 13.3MT, with the balance coming from 2.8MT of ro-ro traffic – down 7% - and just over 2MT in conventional trades (+2%).

Protests Shut Channel Tunnel Again

The Channel Tunnel closed again on Tuesday due to protesting MyFerryLink workers, its operator Eurotunnel and French traffic supervision body Bison Fute said. The entrance to the tunnel was blocked by angry workers who set fire to tyres thrown on the tracks, a Reuters witness said. Employees at MyFerryLink, the ferry service recently sold by Eurotunnel maintained their blockade of the northern French port of Calais for a second day on Tuesday after a court rejected their bid to extend a charter contract with Eurotunnel. The MyFerryLink workers argue the court decision jeopardises hundreds of jobs at their company. Reporting by Matthias Blamont

Stricken Ship in the English Channel Is Being Towed

Bloomberg reported that a container ship that ran into difficulties in the English Channel is now being towed to the French port of Le Havre, said an official from the company that hired it. An official at Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA in Geneva, which has hired the MSC Napoli, said the ship was under tow. Earlier today, British Broadcasting Corp. reported that a vessel was sinking in the sea between England and France. The U.K.'s Maritime & Coastguard Agency said the vessel wasn't being towed. All 26 crew have abandoned ship and two Royal Navy helicopters have been dispatched to assist in the operation, which is being led by the French coast guard, the Maritime & Coastguard said in a statement on its Web site.

Strike Blocks Tankers in France

A rolling strike on blocked 14 oil tankers from entering France's biggest oil port of Fos-Lavera, part of the state-run French port of Marseille, according to a Reuters report. The total number of ships is unchanged on the previous day but down four ships compared with May 2. "This includes eight crude oil ships and 6 refined oil tankers," the port said in a statement, adding that one gas tanker and three chemical tankers were also blocked from entering the hub. France's national port union, part of the CGT federation, called on workers last month to stage 24-hour strikes on a weekly basis to protest against government plans to privatise loading activities at state-run ports.

French Port Authorities Ponder Mysterious Vessel

Authorities at the French port of Rouen said on Wednesday they have detained a mysterious vessel for almost a month because of doubts over its name and nationality. The ship, which arrived on April 7 in Rouen under the name White Clipper and was flying a flag from Sao Tome and Principe, had been scheduled to load 7,000 tons of sugar for Senegal and Gambia. But the Sao Tome and Principe authorities did not recognize the vessel's license, said a port official. White Clipper vessel did present itself under an illegal resister," he said. The port of Rouen, citing the Lloyd's shipping register, said the 443 ft. (135-m) ship, first called Matveï Mouranov, was built in Gdansk in 1973 and used by the Azov Shipping Company until 2000.

New Moselle Service To Rotterdam Started

Moselle Terminal

The Bonn port business and freight forwarder Am Zehnhoff-Söns and the French port authority for the Moselle ports have started a direct service to the port of Rotterdam, via the joint venture MMS Multi Modal Shuttle. For the time being shipping line HTAG’s vessels operate a twice-weekly service in either direction. The hub is the port of Bonn on the Rhine. Trial sailings have been under way since April. Before then there were only irregular services to the Westhavens. In the past few years, bridges have been raised, so that containers stacked three high can be transported.

Haropa Ports sees double digit maritime trade with India

HAROPA is positioned as a major maritime hub in Europe, equipped with a competitive and sustainable logistics system. Photo HAROPA

France-based Haropa port expects maritime trade with India to grow at double digit this calendar year after having reported 7% growth in 2016, said Herve Martel, , CEO - Port of Le Havre & President- HAROPA ports. “We have received encouraging response from the Indian policy makers as also from port, shipping lines & Indian trade during our four day visit to India and we hope to build upon this momentum with increasing French investments taking place in India,” Martel said at the concluding leg of the multi city road show that took place in Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad and finally in Mumbai.

EU to Investigate Tax Exemptions for Belgian, French Ports

Photo: Port of Antwerp

The European Commission opened on Friday two investigations into whether tax exemptions for Belgian and French ports breach EU state aid rules. In France, the EU executive cited full corporate income tax exemptions for 11 ports, including Marseilles, Nantes and le Havre, while, in Belgium, a number of ports also enjoy privileged tax regimes, including Antwerp, Brussels and Ostend. "Ports play a key role in the EU's economy," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Hapag-Lloyd Boosts Direct EAX Service Between Europe and Australia

Map by Hapag-Lloyd AG

German liner company Hapag-Lloyd has further improved the Europe Australia Express service (EAX), one of its prime products. New port calls in Fos sur Mer and Pointe de Galets / Short transit times from Europe to Australia unchanged / Italian port switched to Salerno on Northbound leg. According to a media statement from the company, as of December, the French ports Fos sur Mer and Pointe de Galets (La Réunion) will be added to the EAX rotation on the Southbound leg. Furthermore, the Italian call on the Northbound leg will be switched from Genoa to Salerno.

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