• 2017 September 25 17:31

    APM Terminals improves productivity, costs and flexibility with a win-win labor strategy

    Speaking at the annual JOC Container Trade Europe Conference in Hamburg, Germany, Ruud van der Wel, Head of APM Terminals Global Labor Relations outlined the company’s latest positions on port labor and the implications for Europe’s ports in the session “European Longshore Labor: A Growing Issue for Shippers,” the terminal operator said in a press release.

    Bunker prices were once the highest cost element for liner operators. But now, terminal costs are the largest cost for liner customers. With the advent of lower bunker prices, more fuel efficient ships and larger vessel alliances – there is now a tremendous focus on reducing terminal costs and improving container terminal efficiencies. “The pressure is on – our liner customers and landside customers expect port operators to deliver year-onyear cost reductions, higher productivity and show more flexibility in port operations. This impacts the way we organize the work at our Terminals and requires our employees to adjust to this new reality. We must work together with them and their representatives (unions, works councils) to meet this challenge,” said Mr. van der Wel.

    Continuous dialogue is an important aspect in APM Terminals labor relations strategy. The best approach is to work together in a constructive way. “When I compare trade unions of the port industry with other industries – we have a way to go before unions and companies are working on the basis of mutual trust, dialogue and collaboration and with a common long term strategy in mind. This is the best way forward to serve customers and sustain both the competitive success of the company and the unions’ desire for long term employment,” commented van der Wel.

    Nobody wins in labor disruptions. Labor disruptions in Gothenburg were a major flashpoint in European supply chains the past 16-18 months and the situation is unresolved despite two attempts by mediators. 50% of Sweden’s trade flows through APM Terminals Gothenburg which has experienced a 30% drop in volumes due to labor disruptions.

    APM Terminals Gothenburg has a valid collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in place that has been negotiated with the Swedish Transport Union (STU), but has an ongoing conflict with the Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU) who are unwilling to compromise and expects the company to violate the Labor Law and the Swedish Labor System. “We will not agree to violating a legally valid CBA we have with the STU union. We respect the Swedish Labour System and will continue to operate within that context. If a company has a valid CBA in place, they should be protected. We expect the Government should protect the country’s economy and APM Terminals Gothenburg in this case.” added Mr. van der Wel.

    Should governments intervene in Labor conflicts to resolve them? Mr. van der Wel commented “We believe the direct relationship between employer and employee should be cherished. Nobody wants to see governments interfering too much in business, but in circumstances where the national interest of a country is at stake and businesses and economies are being damaged - then yes the Government should get involved.”

    Another important labor development is the European Union’s competition law creating friction in European terminal operations, notably in Spain where this will lead to the restructuring of the local port labor pool system which is viewed as monopolistic and triggered protests that slowed operations earlier this year. The Spanish Government issued a Royal Decree to comply with the EU legislation and this has been approved by the Spanish Parliament. “The new legislation is a fact and everyone has to adjust to this and get on board,” commented Mr. van der Wel.

    Changes to workplace productivity through technology is an ongoing process reshaping all industries. Automation as a means of increasing productivity has been met with some resistance by port labor in Europe, and elsewhere, citing the potential of job losses. Automated and semi-automated terminals, however, such as APM Terminals Rotterdam Maasvlakte II, are increasingly becoming a part of the terminal-operation environment.

    “Automation is never the only reason why we use technology in ports. We have a comprehensive decision-making process that looks at Safety, customer needs, vessel size, port volumes, the type of port, terminal specifications and useable space, market competitiveness and how to differentiate our offering to customers. In our company’s view, automation should not be viewed as -only- a threat to employment; both employers and employees and their representatives must take responsibility and together find solutions. The topic should be on the table to discuss openly and fairly and not kept in silence. We should not forget that there are many advantages to technological innovation, for instance in terms of Safety in operations and new types of work. There is a future for employees in more technology-driven ports”, stated Mr. van der Wel.




2019 October 16

16:57 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in Jan-Sep’2019 fell by 21% Y-o-Y to 8.45 million tonnes
16:22 Throughput of port Vysotsk in Jan-Sep'2019 climbed by 4% Y-o-Y to 14.27 million tonnes
16:22 IBM boards the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project
15:58 Patrol ship of RF Navy’s Black Sea Fleet to take part in events dedicated to anniversary of Navarino battle
15:35 Navios Maritime Partners announces repayment of its Term Loan B
15:19 Throughput of port Primorsk in Jan-Sep’2019 grew by 18% Y-o-Y to 46.93 million tonnes
14:53 Port of Ust-Luga handled 77.49 million tonnes in 9M’19, up 7% Y-o-Y
14:34 NEPTUN WERFT holds keel laying ceremony for AIDAcosma
14:06 Throughput of Port St. Petersburg in Jan-Sep'2019 grew by 2% Y-o-Y to 44.97 million tonnes
13:45 Zvezda shipyard lays down fourth Aframax tanker for Rosnefteflot
13:20 Carnival Cruise Line to add fourth ship in Galveston
12:12 Hapag-Lloyd to apply a Peak Season Surcharge from North Europe to East Asia
11:51 WMU and AHHIC cooperate on marine insurance
11:33 Gazprom Neft establishes a Singapore subsidiary company to develop its international marine lubricants business
11:20 Intensive training on port management and efficiency held in France
10:57 IMO visited United Kingdom to assess country's implementation of special maritime security measures
10:14 LUKOIL enters Ghasha project for extraction of hydrocarbons in UAE
10:01 MPA of Singapore to strengthen collaboration on cyber resilience and response at the 5th Port Authorities Roundtable
09:59 APM Terminals Gothenburg to double rail volumes by 2022
09:52 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.19% to $58.85, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.13% to $52.88
09:36 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,898 points
09:18 Bunker prices are flat at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
08:43 Award-winning yachts honored at Cannes - Azimut, Benetti, and Galeon
08:35 MABUX: Bunker Market this morning, Oct 16

2019 October 15

18:37 MOL conducts tabletop drill based on an incident simulation involving containership
18:07 Fincantieri announces delivery of the fourth Royal Princess class ship at the Monfalcone shipyard
17:55 Tatarstan and Gazprom sign action plan for implementation of pilot project on using LNG powered ships
17:36 Keppel delivers fourth jackup rig to Borr Drilling
17:06 Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore revokes Inter-Pacific Petroleum Pte Ltd’s bunker craft operator licence
16:49 Hudson Shipping Lines joins the Trident Alliance as a member
16:26 PGNiG: a new oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea
15:32 Port of Kiel announces conclusion of cruise season with turnover of cruise passengers having grown by 33.6% YoY
15:04 TechnipFMC awarded subsea contract for PetroVietnam Gas’ Nam Con Son 2 Phase 2 Gas pipeline development in Vietnam
14:35 Deltamarin provides RMC with design services for the Tallink ferry project
14:31 Port of HaminaKotka and Steveco jointly constructed pulp terminal in Kotka’s Mussalo Harbour
13:57 Shore power to improve air quality and reduce noise in Port and City of Tallinn
13:20 “Wind Barriers at the Freeport of Riga” project receives Annual Riga Architecture Award
12:54 Krasnoye Sormovo delivers Pola Pelagia, yet another dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59
12:18 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:55 Khabarovsk Shipyard launched pontoon dock gate for city protection against floods
11:09 Amendments to IMO's Ballast Water Management Convention enter into force on 13 October 2019
10:56 Trade Port Posiet handled 4.4 million tonnes of cargo in 9M’2019, up 4% YoY
10:37 World Maritime University delivered its Maritime Business Integrity and Corruption Awareness Seminar
10:09 Hapag-Lloyd announces rates from East Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean
09:38 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.76% to $58.9, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.67% to $53.23
09:32 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Oct 15
09:22 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,916 points
09:14 Jan De Nul helps to boost Mauritania’s iron ore export
08:59 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa

2019 October 14

18:06 Neptune Energy acquires North Sea assets from Energean
17:57 Rosatom set to have its plan for development of NSR infrastructure till 2035 to be approved by RF Gov't before year end
17:35 2020 Bulkers enters into a time charter agreement for Bulk Shanghai
17:21 Bronka port to handle cargo of up to 500 tonnes
17:05 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
16:50 Names given to first two super trawlers of Russian Fishery Company
16:35 Sasol invests in first South African-owned chemical tanker through Nduna Maritime
16:05 Norsepower signs service agreement with Wärtsilä to strengthen global wind propulsion service network
15:53 Teekay Corporation announces 3.5-year contract for the Hummingbird Spirit FPSO
15:42 Mexico sets high priority on IMO legal conventions
15:13 Rotterdam container placed on ‘Noah’s Train’