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TonyMWeaver

Confirmed - Maersk to leave Portsmouth

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JOBS are at risk as a major shipping company revealed it would no longer do business with a city port.

Danish firm Maersk will be 'moving away' from the services of council-owned Portico, based at Portsmouth International Port.

Portico, which was previously known as MMD Shipping, confirmed it will need to 'restructure its workforce', but could not say how many jobs would be lost as a result. Steve Williams, Portico’s operations director, said: 'We have exhausted every option to find a way to accommodate Maersk’s larger ships, but their change in fleet is beyond current capacity for Portico. 'Unfortunately that means the Maersk service moving away from Portsmouth. 'We had fought for a different outcome, but sadly, as a result we have to look at  restructuring the workforce. 'We’re now in a period of consultation with staff and will be speaking to everyone directly about how this affects them. 'The size of their new ships means that Maersk have only a small handful of UK ports they can use, none of which have the service levels Portico can supply. However, we understand that this is their business model and will be sorry to see them go.' It comes as fruit shipping firm Geest Line returned to the port as part of a new five-year deal.

Geest Line had quit Portsmouth for Dover in January 2018 due to having bigger boats, but changes at Portico - including a £15m investment of taxpayer cash - meant the freight operator’s fleet was set to return this month.

Mr Williams added: 'We have based our long term strategy in diversifying the business, this now means we can look at alternative options we couldn’t explore previously because of our commitment to Maersk. 'We have built resilience in the business through securing long term sustainable contracts, evidenced by Geest’s return and securing global offshore wind company MHI Vestas. 'Going forward there are real opportunities to secure significant long-term contracts and we intend to revisit business opportunities.'

Maersk was approached for comment.

 

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https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/business/uncertainty-as-major-shipping-firm-to-leave-portsmouth-international-port-1-9194789

Edited by TonyMWeaver

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10 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Didn’t even know Maersk operated out of Portsmouth.

They have done since 2016, a fleet of 23 of their ships have visited since then. 'Maersk Antwerp Trader' was the first on January 20th 2016

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What are the size issues? Length on the berth, draught or freight capacity? Or something else entirely. 

As per TonyMWeaver's comment, an increase from 2550TEU to 3000TEU obviously means "bigger" ships – but are they too large for Albert Johnson Quay?

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16 minutes ago, kenw said:

What are the size issues? Length on the berth, draught or freight capacity? Or something else entirely. 

As per TonyMWeaver's comment, an increase from 2550TEU to 3000TEU obviously means "bigger" ships – but are they too large for Albert Johnson Quay?

The only restriction I can think of is beam width which for the Maersk Feedermax vessels is about 37m. The Albert Johnson Quay has the maintained depth and quay length for them - about 220m long with a draft of 9m.

A 2500 Feedermax has a beam of around 32m.

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Thanks, Jonno

Still a bit confused. Aren't both the Fyffe and Maersk ships self-unloaders? 

I'm starting to think that the issue is one of handling capacity shoreside.

Ken

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On 08/01/2020 at 15:44, TonyMWeaver said:

The size of their new ships means that Maersk have only a small handful of UK ports they can use, none of which have the service levels Portico can supply.

Kenw, the quote above comes from the original report which seems to suggest that the port agents would be able to handle greater volumes so that turns the focus back to the ships themselves. Ed. 

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Containers are craned off either using the cranes on the ship or shore side cranes. Incidentally, 'Maersk Nijmegen' was diverted to Tilbury this week, no explanation as to why but I do know that Portico are currently busy with Wind Turbine blades with 2 ships in last night and 1 today along with 'Lombok Strait' (Bananas). If all goes to plan, 'Maersk Niteroi' will be the last one in next Thursday. The ships visiting Southampton from January 30th are as follows:

Maersk Brani (Jan 30th)
Maersk Batam (Feb 6th)
Safmarine Benguela (Feb 13th)
Maersk Buton (Feb 20th)
Maersk Bratan (Feb 27th)
Maersk Bali (Mar 5th)
Maersk Batur (March 12th)
Maersk Bulan (March 19th)

The list will rotate like this each week.

Many of these ships will fit on AJQ in terms of length but it's the draft and the swing the ship needs to dock and depart that is the issue. It takes 45 minutes for  the current Maersk ships to depart and turn before heading out, even then, FHQ and Berths 1 & 2 need to be clear.

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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3 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Containers are craned off either using the cranes on the ship or shore side cranes. Incidentally, 'Maersk Nijmegen' was diverted to Tilbury this week, no explanation as to why but I do know that Portico are currently busy with Wind Turbine blades with 2 ships in last night and 1 today along with 'Lombok Strait' (Bananas). If all goes to plan, 'Maersk Niteroi' will be the last one in next Thursday. The ships visiting Southampton from January 30th are as follows:

Maersk Brani (Jan 30th)
Maersk Batam (Feb 6th)
Safmarine Benguela (Feb 13th)
Maersk Buton (Feb 20th)
Maersk Bratan (Feb 27th)
Maersk Bali (Mar 5th)
Maersk Batur (March 12th)
Maersk Bulan (March 19th)

The list will rotate like this each week.

Many of these ships will fit on AJQ in terms of length but it's the draft and the swing the ship needs to dock and depart that is the issue. It takes 45 minutes for  the current Maersk ships to depart and turn before heading out, even then, FHQ and Berths 1 & 2 need to be clear.

Interesting. Maersk Nijmegan depicted in your opening post has a draft of 10m which is greater than at least 4 vessels on the list above. If AJQ has a length of 290m surely there's enough anti collision space in order for a 225m vessel to swing and If the FHQ berths need to be clear for the 2550 TEU, 210m ships, having the same for the Feedermax  is business as usual rather than an added risk?

Consider the ferries, there's a big difference between a 200m Superfast and a 215m E-Flexer swinging in Fountain Lake without banging into HMS Bristol.

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The Maersk Ships have to depart AJQ stern first, they then sternboard all the way to the turning basin or North Corner before turning. Anything docked on berth 2 or FHQ (Normally 'Musketier') is asked to leave to allow this movement.

I think these new ships are either more heavier or wider, this seems to be the issue. Some of the Maersk Ships in Portsmouth have been required to leave due to the low tide, then come back in when the tide has risen again.

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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