The Port of Mombasa is edging closer towards attaining 48 hours’ turnaround time for bigger vessels and enhancing its competitiveness following consistent record productivity performances recorded at the facility. This year, the port has established four successive productivity records. On Sunday, another record was broken by container carrier MV Ever Diamond which recorded 1523 moves within an eight hours shift.

The new record by the Panama-flagged vessel comes barely three weeks after another vessel MSC Maxine hit a record 1450 moves within an eight-hour shift. Equally, the vessel recorded an average of 190 gross moves per hour. The record is inching towards 200 moves per hour which is associated with top global ports. Abu Dhabi’s flagship port – Khalifa – crossed this benchmark in 2015. Gross moves per hour is a maritime productivity term that defines the total container movement on loading, offloading and repositioning divided by the number of hours for which the vessel is at berth. Achieving and maintaining these high levels of productivity is one of the key value drivers for both the shipping lines and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in order to maximize efficiencies and increase terminal throughput and capacity.

“We are now targeting to dispatch the big vessels within 48 hours of arrival. That means we are setting a service time of 48 hours.  Once we achieve this target, it will be easier to sustain and manage the fixed berthing windows for all the vessels calling at the Container Terminal”, said Acting Managing Director Dr. Daniel Manduku. Manduku made the remarks in a brief ceremony onboard the container carrier at Port's berth 18 on Monday. KPA Head of Container Operations, Mr Edward Opiyo represented the MD.

Evergreen Line regional agents Gulf Badr Agencies Headquarter Reprensentative, Mr Amr Abdelsalam lauded efficiency being exihibited at the Port of Mombasa. ''The high achievement in breaking records on cargo handling at the Port of Mombasa makes us feel satisfied to do business here,'' Abdelsalam said. He added that they have bigger plans for Mombasa Port in the new year and the future in general. In this voyage the vessel loaded a record 900 full export containers, 1500 empties and discharged 1919 import containers. Apart from the overall performance, two gantry crane operators recorded extraordinary individual feats. Messrs. Francis Mbondo and Isaac Ogolla recorded 445 moves (56 crane moves per hour) and 351 moves (44 crane moves per hour) respectively. The two records also go down as the best stevedoring performances of all time at the port. Stevedoring is the loading and offloading of cargo from ship.

Remarkably, the two operators also hold individual performance records on Ship to Shore Gantry Cranes of 333 moves per hour for Ogolla and 325 moves per hour for Mbondo set in September 2016. The feat earned them a handshake opportunity with His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta. MV Ever Diamond made her maiden call at the Port of Mombasa on July 29, 2018. The Evergreen Shipping line vessel has a length overall of 295 m, a breadth of 32m, a deadweight of 55515 tonnes and a gross tonnage of 52090.

African Shipping Line - Kenya operates Ship Agency at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya.


Hapag-Lloyd unveils new fuel surcharge mechanism for 2019

Hapag-Lloyd on Monday unveiled a new fuel surcharge mechanism designed to help cover the costs of transitioning to low-sulfur fuel, which will be "gradually implemented" as of Jan. 1, 2019.
The "Marine Fuel Recovery" mechanism is a cost formula, taking into account vessel consumption per day, fuel type used and the price of fuel used in each trip while accounting for market fluctuations. The carrier estimates the transition to low-sulfur fuel will cost it $1 billion in additional costs in the first year.

The cost estimates are in line with those provided by CMA CGM, Maersk and MSC, as all carriers prepare to comply with new International Maritime Organization regulations that will take effect in January 2020.

Experts say the cost of transitioning to low-sulfur fuel will be between $24 billion to $60 billion for the entire industry. The largest carriers cited above, meanwhile, are citing between $1 billion and $2 billion hits due to the new rules.

"Given that the industry has only had a cumulative profit of some 8.6 billion USD in the total period from 2012-2017, it is blindingly obvious that the vast majority of this added bill can only be paid by the shippers," Lars Jensen, CEO and partner at Sea Intelligence Consulting, wrote on LinkedIn. "The only interesting question is:


Hapag-Lloyd's solution appears to be to create a simple adjustment formula, pegged in some way to market fuel prices, trade lanes and the total mass carried by vessels.

The solution is similar to Maersk Line's, which in September said its "new bunker adjustment factor" would follow a more vague formula: Fuel price x Trade factor = BAF. The trade factor is calculated by fuel consumption per container moved on the trade, combined with an "imbalance factor" to adjust for headhaul versus backhaul.

CMA CGM, by contrast, opted for a trade-by-trade fuel surcharge system, "at an average of 160 USD / TEU," without a clear explanation of how the additional surcharge was evaluated.

Given the vast costs to the shipping industry, shippers should expect other carriers to follow suit. Shippers' associations, meanwhile, have made it clear they do not approve of the practice.

"Carriers impose it unilaterally without any negotiation with shippers and ignore a market approach to the global problem," the European Shippers' Council said in September, after Maersk's BAF announcement. "This does not set an ideal cooperation scenario."

"It would have been better if Maersk had discussed its plans with individual customers in the course of confidential contract reviews," James Hookham, secretary general of the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), said in a September statement.

"GSF would encourage Maersk to consult with customers and reconsider their strategy," Hookham said. "These new charges may be all about low-sulphur fuel, but they still stink to us!"