Oz angst over empty boxes
A surplus of boxes jamming empty con- ● There is a lack of information visibility quences of their actions,” Lovel warned.
tainer parks in Australian ports has caused across the empty container chain. The VTA said road operators would
a major rift between road transport op- ● There is not enough empty container not invoice empty container detention
erators and shipping lines. park capacity now that volumes are return- charges to importers when empty con-
The problem is most acute in Mel- ing to pre-global financial crisis levels. tainer park congestion delayed timely
bourne and Port Botany, although there Lovel highlighted the urgency of the container return.
are reports of empty containers being problem by noting that no ECP wanted “We are at the point where we would
stored on berth faces in Fremantle. to receive 40ft boxes from one particular welcome importers and their transport
Stocks rose during 2009, when de- line, and the line itself had suggested the service providers taking on the shipping
mand for repositioning overseas slumped boxes be returned to importers. lines in court on empty container deten-
sharply and the situation has since been “The shipping lines must be held ac- tion fees. We might even consider setting
exacerbated by an unexpectedly strong - countable. They have narrowed the number up a ‘fighting fund’ to facilitate such legal
and prolonged - import season. of empty container parks they employ and actions,” Lovel said.
The issue has manifested itself in long have under-compensated those parks for
truck queues at empty container parks as years for the services they provide. Now, A number of empty container parks in
hauliers try to redeliver containers for off- they cannot walk away from the conse- Melbourne have reached operational capacity
11553 Linde Ad:Layout 1 23/04/2009 14:50 Page 1
hire. In Melbourne, the Victorian Trans-
port Association (VTA) says this has lead
to increased costs and “extreme opera-
tional frustration” as a number of empty
container parks have reached their op-
VTA chief executive Phil Lovel said
a number of issues were causing the pro-
● Shipping lines have not been repatriat-
ing empty containers overseas.
● Empty container parks have had equip-
ment failures and labour issues, and op-
erational flows have stagnated due to in-
● Empty container parks are not open
long enough, especially now that other
parties in the supply chain, such as trans-
port companies, are moving more towards
24-hour, six or seven day operations.
MSC to quit
MSC will neither confirm nor deny
speculation that it is contemplating mov-
ing its Spanish transhipment traffic to
Tanger-Med. The line is now offering the
possibility of handling containers there on
its website, despite not having any con-
firmed vessel calls for 2010.
There is clearly a major worry in Va-
lencia, which has improved operating
conditions for MSC at the port over the
last 12 months and boosted productivity.
Valencia is also attractive because of its
important import/export market - and it
has good connections to North Africa and
However, notwithstanding these ad-
vantages, MSC does have an agreement
with the Eurogate terminal in Tangier to
move some of its traffic there, or other-
wise risk being fined.
Last year MSC handled 2.3M TEU at
Valencia, equivalent to 65% of total traf-
The height of innovation.
fic. While the port authority is seeking to
offset any loss of MSC traffic by attract-
ing other shipping lines, it is also negoti-
ating with the port unions to find ways The visionary Empty Container Handler from Linde.
of bringing down costs for transhipped
boxes. A precedent for this was set at
Málaga last year by TdS and the unions Forward thinking companies have a habit of designing innovative products that lead
in order to retain Maersk traffic.
the way for others to follow. Linde Material Handling have a reputation for designing
for the future.
The new generation Empty Container Handler from Linde, with its unique hydrostatic drive system, in
combination with power-on-demand working hydraulics place the ability to achieve maximised productivity
firmly into the hands of the operator.
India’s Essar Shipping Ports & Logistics is
The innovative 'reverse' section mast is designed and developed specifically for the handling of wide
looking to develop and operate ports
overseas. “We are looking at ports in vari-
container loads. Control of the unique stress forces this type of load places upon the machine, and, the
ous countries, including the US and reaction of the load force to machine operation is an indication of the technical achievements of Linde
Canada,” director V. Ashok said.
leading the way for others to follow.
In India, Essar manages ports at
Vadinar and Hazira in Gujarat state and is
considering bidding for others such as
The visionary Empty Container Handler from Linde.
Kandla in Gujarat and Vishakapatnam in
The next generation of working solutions delivering
southern Andhra Pradesh.
In order to boost the ports business in
greater productivity and efficiency.
India, the government is auctioning 26
ports across the country for development
by private companies. Ashok said Essar
plans to invest US$1.80B in ports over
Linde Heavy Truck Division Ltd
the next five years.
Linde Industrial Park, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 4LA, GB
The contribution of the ports busi-
Phone +44 (0) 1443 624200, Fax +44 (0) 1443 624302 Linde Material Handling
ness to Essar’s revenues is expected to rise
to 40% by 2014 from 14% now on hopes
the company will receive more manage-
February 2010 11
11_pos15_WCN_Feb.indd 1 05/03/2010 12:56:19
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