• m/v Ever Given

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by eolesen
 
ULCV (20,000+ TEU) ships have some limited routing options -- they're too wide for the Panama Canal, and are close to the limits for the Suez Canal. On the east coast, Charleston, Jacksonville, Savannah, Ports of Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Halifax and Sydney, NS can all handle these monsters. Los Angeles and Vancouver see them on the West Coast, not sure about Long Beach or Oakland.

it wouldn't surprise me to see the ULCV's restricted in the Suez after this latest incident.

https://transportgeography.org/contents ... s-classes/
  by Cowford
 
[quote=NRGeep post_id=1567281 time=1617111775 user_id=2807

Apologies for not being clear. My inquiry is if the bigger real ocean ports capacity issues have had any side effects with the smaller capacity Great Lakes shipping lanes and facilities?
[/quote]

Without knowing what Great Lakes port capacity utilization is right now (almost zero, I'd guess, given that the shipping season is just starting), there's likely little correlation between the two port segments. Great Lakes ports are generally oriented to bulk materials. While many ocean ports have similar operations, current issues are related to container terminals. Calling it a capacity issue can be misleading. Business has been brisk, to be sure, but reduced productivity due to COVID-19 work absenses, quarantines and social distancing requirements, etc. was the real culprit. Once things start backing up, it turns into the classic "chocolate factory" I Love Lucy episode.
  by eolesen
 
Compounding the issue is the flow of containers got disrupted so you had Asia out of empties and Europe/US sitting with more empties than they could move...

There are some container movements along the seaway, but it doesn't look like there's much past Montreal.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
As of a few moments ago, www.vesselfinder.com reports that m/v Ever Given is in Great Bitter Lake making way at .03kt. In short, she is dead in the water.

Now what will be interesting if she sails on to Rotterdam, unloads her containers, and carries on. Or will she have her containers transloaded to other vessels at her location? Possibly marine surveyors will inspect her there to determine if she is seaworthy.

The insurers will have a hard choice; was her hull stressed during the grounding to such extent that she must be broken up. The reports stating she was hard aground by her bow and fully loaded could easily mean that the ebb and flow of tides resulted in stresses to her hull for which it was not designed. Lest we forget, when a vessel is drydocked, it is certainly unloaded of both cargo and fuel and is carefully cradled so that the stresses are carefully distributed over the hull. A grounding offers no such protection to the hull.

This shall be interesting to follow; Mr. Cowford, I further defer to you.
  by eolesen
 
I'd read that they were planning to transload to other ships. Quickly.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Ever Given is wrtten off and heads to the breakers.

Insurers pay off the owners.

Up go premiums.

Up goes everything on the shelves at Big Smiley and Wally World.

Admiralty lawyers "lick their chops"; was it Pilot error? Was the ship's design faulty? Properly loaded and ballasted? More to dream up?

Here's an article from The New York Times addressing "here begineth the Blame Game":

Fair Use:
The Egyptians have already reached one conclusion, investigation or no.

“The Suez Canal is not at fault,” Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie, the head of the canal authority, said at a news conference on Monday night. “We have been harmed by the incident.”

Early on, the ship’s owner and operator blamed the wind, and maritime experts agreed that it had been a factor, perhaps the deciding one, as gusts pushed against the vertical wall of containers piled high atop the Ever Given as though against a sail. But General Rabie also suggested over the weekend that human or technical error may have come into play.
  by Cowford
 
Mr Norman - you know as much about the fate of Ever Given as me - I'm no marine surveyor. Quite frankly, I'm expecting the vessel to fade from our memories (she will mine), whether she gets cut up or returned to service.

For those that have access to the Journal of Commerce, there are a few good articles about the expected lingering impact. Maersk is expecting "capacity losses of 20 to 30 percent over multiple weeks," and that the port of Rotterdam is now expecting a surge of 60 vessels.

What was not mentioned: the Netherlands is on lockdown, compliments of a new COVID infection surge, so port productivity may be a factor.

Not good.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The New York Times has a "solid article" describing how the maritime industry lead themselves into these ULCV's:

Fair Use:
The crisis was short, but it was also years in the making.

For decades, shipping lines have been making bigger and bigger vessels, driven by an expanding global appetite for electronics, clothes, toys and other goods. The growth in ship size, which sped up in recent years, often made economic sense: Bigger vessels are generally cheaper to build and operate on a per-container basis. But the largest ships can come with their own set of problems, not only for the canals and ports that have to handle them but for the companies that build them.

“They did what they thought was most efficient for themselves — make the ships big — and they didn’t pay much attention at all to the rest of the world,” said Marc Levinson, an economist and author of “Outside the Box,” a history of globalization. “But it turns out that these really big ships are not as efficient as the shipping lines had imagined.”
I don't know how the industry can "turn the clock back" and start building smaller vessels. Even though m/v Ever Given has given the maritime community lesson as to just how vulnerable these ULCV vessels have made the industry. Again, if the vessel is deemed no longer seaworthy and in turn broken up, figure on "the cost of everything going up".

It is very difficult to have any emotion towards these vessels; to even think of them in the feminine gender.

Finally, I hope those who have wondered about all this ship talk at a railroad site, it is time to pause how the two industries - rail and shipping - and tightly inter connected. You can be sure that access to the Gulf was first and foremost with CP's play for KCS - and what a gold mine awaits as the only road in town if the Port of Lazaro Cardenas is to be developed.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Cowford
 
I note the commenter, Marc Levison. I didn't realize he had a new book out. He is the author of "The Box", written about 15 years ago. It's a required (and entertaining) read for anyone that takes more than a passing interest in intermodal transportation.
  by JayBee
 
NRGeep wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:42 am Apologies for not being clear. My inquiry is if the bigger real ocean ports capacity issues have had any side effects with the smaller capacity Great Lakes shipping lanes and facilities?
The only container service entering the Great Lakes is a once weekly service handling containers as deck cargo on a break-bulk freighter from Northern Europe. This amounts to 30 or so containers per week to Cleveland. As others have mentioned the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway have just re-opened for the 2021 season.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
"The sum of all fears" noted earlier by Mr. Cowford, are expressed within this Journal article:

Fair Use:
..... Shipowners, exporters and importers are now racing to secure berths and containers at ports, while warning of delays and higher costs for cargoes that are slowly starting to move toward their destinations again. Shipping lines have sent ships on alternative routes, including around the southern tip of Africa, delaying arrivals and adding costs. Port authorities are girding for a flood of arrivals as diverted ships and delayed Suez vessels arrive on top of regularly scheduled traffic.

“A floodgate is going to open, and it will be a fight to get into the ports,” said Bjorn O. Gran Svenningsen, a director of United European Car Carriers AS. The shipping company doesn’t run vessels through the Suez, but when Mr. Svenningsen heard that the Ever Given was being freed, he knew his shipping company could be slammed by port congestion.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The economist, Marc Levinson, noted by Mr. Cowford has a guest column that appeared yesterday in The Times:

Fair Use:
The Ever Given fiasco will work out well for the container-shipping industry, by driving freight rates even higher as delays and detours reduce the number of voyages the vessels can complete between Asia and Europe.

But the good news for ship lines may be fleeting: After the pandemic-driven boom in Chinese exports subsides, trade in the sorts of goods that fill container ships is likely to be anemic in the years ahead. Many of the companies that traffic in those goods increasingly recognize that they’ve done their sums wrong: The long-distance supply chains that have defined globalization since the 1980s hide risks, of which the transport delays caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal are just the latest example.
While Mr. Levinson does set forth some well considered caveats, I continue to hold that any, and I think that is many, whose interest in the railroad industry goes beyond passenger trains and railfanning, recognize how the maritime shipping industry and railroads are "linked hand and glove". This will become even more prevalent as railroads lose "captive" traffic such as coal and the world's economy continues to globalize.

Just think; the m/v Ever Given was handling close to 20K TEU's, or 10K of what normally is thought of as a Container. Just think that is fifty trains of 100 cars each with two containers per car - and that is simply one of these ULCV's, with cargo which need be handled to inland destinations.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by NRGeep
 
JayBee wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:27 pm
NRGeep wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:42 am Apologies for not being clear. My inquiry is if the bigger real ocean ports capacity issues have had any side effects with the smaller capacity Great Lakes shipping lanes and facilities?
The only container service entering the Great Lakes is a once weekly service handling containers as deck cargo on a break-bulk freighter from Northern Europe. This amounts to 30 or so containers per week to Cleveland. As others have mentioned the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway have just re-opened for the 2021 season.

Thanks y'all for clarifying.
  by JayBee
 
Evergreen Marine Corp. has nineteen sisterships identical to the M/V Ever Given. And that's just one company.
  by eolesen
 
Not so sure about that. There were only 11 Golden Class ships in the Evergreen Fleet, plus two others of the same design owned by others. This accident leaves 10 in the fleet. They also have another ten hulls on order that will carry ~23700 TEU's for delivery starting next year.

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