World’s largest containership HMM Gdansk calls in HK
HMM’s series of 24,000 teu containerships, the largest ever built, continue to make waves in ports around the world, and this weekend it was the turn of Hong Kong with the arrival of the HMM Gdansk.
The Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA) welcomed the 24,000 teu HMM Gdansk at Kwai Tsing Terminal 7. The vessel is deployed on the Asia – Europe trade and started its voyage on 29 June from Busan, South Korea.
Leonard Fung, managing director of Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), said, “We are excited to welcome the world’s biggest vessel on its maiden call at such challenging times. This is a momentous event for Hong Kong’s maritime industry and HIT, signifying a vote of confidence in our offering and allowing us to capture future opportunities.
“Thanks to increased tonnage and capacity fuelled by technological advances and growing customer demand, more and more mega vessels are now coming into service. Many of them choose to berth at HKSPA members’ terminals, demonstrating our efficiency and capabilities in servicing mega vessels,” Fung added.

Singapore port container volumes down, bunker sales up in H1

The Port of Singapore saw a 1% drop in container volumes in the first half of 2020, but bunker sales were up 3.7% in the same period.
According to figures released by the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) cargo volumes were down in the Southeast Asian hub port in the first half of the year, with shipping globally himpacted globally by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The world’s largest container transhipment hub, and second largest box port overall, reported a container throughput of 17.84m teu in the first half of 2020, a 1% drop compared to 18.03m teu in the same period in 2019.
Overall cargo throughput at the port, including containers, conventional, oil and dry bulk cargoes saw 7.3% dip in the first half of 2020 to 292.40m tonnes compared to 315.43m tonnes in the same period a year earlier.
However, while Covid-19 has hit cargo volumes the world’s largest refuelling port reported higher bunker sales in the first half of the year, which coincided with the introduction of the IMO 2020 low sulphur fuel cap on 1 January 2020. In the first half of 2020 24.58m tonnes of bunker fuel were sold in the Port of Singapore, up 3.7% on the 23.71m tonnes sold in the same period last year.

Container volume at major Chinese ports up 3.4% in early July

Container volumes at eight major Chinese ports increased 3.4% year-on-year in early July.
Looking at export container volumes Xiamen port reported a 1.5% increase and Guangzhou port posted over 10% growth rate.
Cargo throughput at major coastal ports increased 12.1% year-on-year, the export cargo throughput increased 14.4%.
Crude oil shipments at major coastal ports increased 26.8% year-on-year, among which the growth rate of Rizhao port and Tianjin port exceeded 50%, while the port inventories increased 28.2%.
Metal ore shipments at major ports increased 18.3% year-on-year, among which the growth rate of Tianjin port exceeded 60%, while inventory volume declined 4.9%.
Cargo throughput at three major Yangtze river ports, Nanjing, Wuhan and Chongqing, declined 4.9% comparing to the same period of last year while the container volume slightly increased 0.2%. However, some of the terminals along Yangtze river had to shut down temporally due to recent floods.

MSC-operated ship loses over 20 containers overboard off South Africa

Earlier this week, a containership operated by Swiss shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) lost more than 20 containers overboard during stormy weather in Algoa Bay near the city of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said.
The ship in question is the 9,411 TEU MSC Palak flying the flag of Madeira.
“The container vessel MSC Palak sailed out Port of Ngqura at 12:00 on the 13th of July 2020 due to high winds and anchored in Number 2 anchorage to ride out the heavy weather. On 13 and 14 July 2020, a severe storm passed the South African coast, causing heavy weather in Algoa Bay. The swell height measured in Algoa Bay was approximately 3.5m,” SAMSA said in a statement.
“At 23:37 on the 14th of July 2020 of a report was received from Port Control that the MSC Palak had lost containers overboard while at anchor.”
Although an initial assessment was that six containers had fallen overboard, the vessel confirmed that 23 containers were lost.
“A fishing vessel reported at 08:00 on 15 July 2020, that they found containers drifting approximately seven (7) nautical miles south of where the containers were lost. SAMSA was informed that no dangerous cargo was lost overboard.”
SAMSA further said that the Port of Ngqura was closed for vessel traffic due to the risk that some containers may have sunk in the approach channel, becoming a danger to navigation. The authority is working with the vessel owner to ensure that all containers are salvaged.
“An aerial surveillance flight was arranged by the owners to locate any drifting containers that may pose a hazard to shipping. SAMSA requests the public to remain vigilant and report any containers sighted to SAMSA,” the authority noted.
Built in China 2016, the Post-Panamax boxship MSC Palak is owned by China’s Bank of Communications and commercially controlled by MSC, data provided by VesselsValue shows.  

(Source: The Maritime Executive, VNCustomsNews, Seatrade Maritime)