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Profile picture for user Neptune

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15 years 1 month

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Haha, sure I have an idea Turbinia. Yep schools in different countries differ a lot and politics are once again involved...

There should be caution too though, MODU and FPSOs are, like Dredgers (my last ship) a totally different world from Merchant shipping. These were in the earlier days a different world, where you started as an A/B and headed your way up with a whole bunch of experience. Papers were not really there.
Nowadays IMO is obliging ALL shipping officers to have such papers and hence, like on the dredger, officers from Merchant schools enter those areas too. Of course the older crews don't like it as they see all the young officers jumping over their heads because they have papers (and of course no experience like the older ones). So it's pretty obvious that those are two very different worlds at sea (so they are partially in a fight when they meet, pff, did I hate that last crew and obviously vice versa :d ). FPSO, like dredgers are also working ships and there is little navigation there and much more maintence and heavy work, while merchant officers are of course mainly trained for navigation and cargo work (and you have to take that education to get the papers). Big companies of course succeed in messing with that system and via govt they can give their own papers... A big joke indeed.

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 847

In certain areas we had a big problem with forged/false papers, and in one area we had a huge problem with members of one ethnic group refusing to accept instructions from members of another ethnic group, not to mention the tensions you get between certain nationalities, ah, the joys of mutli-national crewing :D I made a point of comparing budget returns, simple indicators like average hours down time, mean time between failures of critical equipment, crew turnover etc. between different rigs/FPSO's of the same type but with different crew nationality, and the results were sadly predictable and quite a strong argument why the IMO has it's head stuck up it's own ass if it seriously thinks STCW95 has levelled the field in terms of training. My friends in the shipping side had the same views, only more so as they obviously managed a lot more vessels, those 300+ ships :D

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MHI and Nippon Steel develop new
steel for mega containerships
Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Nippon Steel Corporation have jointly developed a technology to
use higher tensile strength steel (HTSS) with yield stress of 47 kgf/mm2 for the longitudinal strength member of
supersized containerships.
Yield stress indicates the limit beyond which permanent deformation occurs. The longitudinal strength member is the
most important part of a containership's hull.
New containerships are increasing in size and the steel plates used for them are also becoming thicker.
However, says MHI, when "plates become thicker, toughness tends to decline. Use of the new HTSS, which has
successfully achieved toughness in addition to increased strength and reduced thickness, will not only contribute to
improvements in weight reduction and fuel efficiency, but also increase the reliability of the ship's hull."
When toughness is high, the possibility of crack initiation will be reduced and resistance to crack propagation
increases.
The first containership to incorporate the new steel will be built at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works
while the HTSS steel plate will be produced at Nippon Steel's Oita Works.
MHI says the 47 kgf/mm2 HTSS is the world's highest strength steel plate for the hulls of commercial ships. In addition
to improved hull safety with higher toughness steel, the reduced volume of steel and resultant lighter ship weight will
allow greater deadweight.
Currently, the highest strength steel plate being used for commercial ships is 40 kgf/mm2 HTSS, introduced fifteen
years ago.
Nippon Steel has developed the new HTSS by applying its Thermo-Mechanical Control Process (TMCP) technology, a
production process that concurrently enhances strength, toughness and weldability of steel through hot rolling and
online water-cooling.
The company has verified the outstanding safety of the steel by using a test facility with giant tensile capacity of 8,000
tons.
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (Class NK) also participated in the development.
MHI designed the hull structure, leveraging characteristics of the steel and realizing increased safety for the hull
structure through optimization such as reduced plate thickness, and steel and welding arrangement.
In general, steel weldability deteriorates in relation to increasing strength. One of the features of the new HTSS is
claimed to be excellent weldability--equivalent to 40 kgf/mm2 HTSS.
MHI has established the most suitable welding method for the new HTSS by conducting various welding tests,
including two-electrode VEGA (Vibratory Electro Gas Arc) welding, jointly developed by MHI, Nippon Steel Corporation
and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Welding Co., Ltd.
"By applying this welding method," says MHI, "it is evident that the resulting product is superior in strength, toughness
and the quality of welded parts over existing HTSS."

With the introduction of large-size containerships that combine highly reliable 47 kgf/mm2 HTSS and MHI's special
design and construction methods, the company says it is responding to the increasing needs of customers for higher
transportation efficiency and reduced environmental load through improved fuel efficiency and enhanced safety of
ship's hull.

Hello Turbinia, might be something of interest to you. I'll try to scan something for you about the design of such ships including computer generated test stuff on motion and strength of these giants. I have it available, but I'm not sure if I can scan it and throw it online (maybe send it to you personally), I'll try to get it here anyway.

Profile picture for user Neptune

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15 years 1 month

Posts: 627

Hello Turbinia, here are some things (I hope, as last time it didn't want to upload, so I'll have to try via photobucket).

Can you imagine this in bad weather (Emma Maersk of course):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/Emmamaersk.jpg

Here is the stuff I wanted to send you. I have them double the size in case you want it. Sorry for the flash, if you want it I can redo it without the flash (or try to do that at least), didn't want to take it with me and scan.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultracon1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultracon2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultracon3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultracon4.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultracon5.jpg

And engines:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultraconprop1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/ultraconprop2.jpg

And here something I found while looking around, but didn't really find the right topic to put it in.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/scheldecom.jpg
The article accompanying it was in native language so that wouldn't be of any use to you. Sorry about the bent nose, it was on the wrong side of the book ;)

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15 years 3 months

Posts: 29

Makes you wonder why the Koreans don't make their own steel... First you need a ship to import the iron ore to Japan, then you need a ship to transport the plates to Korea and all that to just build another ship to transport the iron ore to Japan ;) guess the cirlce keeps itself running this way. (I'm kidding, the tankers etc. have to get built too of course), but still I guess it would be smarter of Korea to start making its own steel!

And China:

Seller's Market means that whatever you build, someone will buy it.
They do however mentiont that China does build its own steel plates... I guess Korea has forgotten something during its growing process, might cost them a lot in the future!

Top-30 producers by International Iron & Steel Institute

63.0 Mton Mittal Steel Company NV (Global) [2]
46.7 Mton Arcelor (Europe) [3]
32.0 Mton Nippon Steel (Japan) [4]
30.5 Mton POSCO (South Korea) [5]
29.9 Mton JFE (Japan) [6]
23.8 Mton Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation (China)
source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_producers

POSCO produces HY100 steel for our U214 submarine and HY130 steel also can be produced if there are a order.

POSCO developed innovative, next generation iron making technology, FINEX process
source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FINEX

and our Big3 ship builder i.e. world's Big3 ship builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries, each company has more than 10 billion USD contract this year FYI.

Profile picture for user Neptune

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15 years 1 month

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HHI buys into Chinese steelmaker
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, has moved to secure a stable supply of steel by acquiring a
20% stake in China Qinhuangdao Shouqin Metal Materials Co for $51.9 mln. The South Korean builder says it will buy
300-500 th. metric tonnes of steel plate from the company next year. The steelmaker is scheduled to complete a steel
plate production facility with an annual capacity of 1.5 mln. tonnes at the end of this year.

From today's newsletter, didn't have anything extra except for these few lines regarding this.

Mittal has recently bought Arcelor I think. There was some commotion about it with governments etc. but in the end I think the deal went through.

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 847

Thanks for posting these Neptune! Great info, I sometimes wonder where box ship development will end, I sometimes worry that we'll see a repeat of the 70's tanker boom followed by collapse (in the 70's tankers expanded massively with ever bigger ULCC's being built, many of which were no longer wanted as they were handed over). I mean, Maersk have a history of predicting right, they didn't get so large and successful by being dumb, but I do wonder. Do you get the magazines of the RINA and IMarE at all?

Profile picture for user TinWing

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15 years 2 months

Posts: 932

And here something I found while looking around, but didn't really find the right topic to put it in.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/Severodvinsk/scheldecom.jpg
The article accompanying it was in native language so that wouldn't be of any use to you. Sorry about the bent nose, it was on the wrong side of the book ;)

Do you have any other details about this Schelde concept? Did the image come from an article or an advertisement?

The design itself isn't entirely new, as it has been displayed by Thales to promote their integrated mast design.

Perhaps I should start a thread dedicated to this stealthy ship?

Profile picture for user Neptune

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15 years 1 month

Posts: 627

Yes indeed, it was in an article, as mentioned it's an article in my native language. I haven't even yet had the time to fully read it, but from scan reading it, I noticed it was mainly about the integrated mast design. I'll have a further look when time allows.

Turbinia, lately there have been several articles showing that indeed there is a growing fear for over capacity in the container fleet. I'll have a look and post some if I have the time. It might indeed collapse if you see what they are building and ordering nowadays. And the simple lack of crewing will soon be apparent too (it is already, but with these ships it'll become even more important). The next in the E-series by Maersk has been named Estrelle Maersk now.

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14 years 7 months

Posts: 847

The market is quite turbulent, a couple of years ago AP Mollers container business (Maersk-Sealand) was barely breaking even and was being subsidised by other parts of the empire to the point where Maersk Supply Service and Maersk Oil-Gas were far more profitable on much, much smaller turnover and capital investment, but when I left it was the container business that was the big money earner, things can change almost overnight. Even then, the container business was generating a lot of cash but when looked at compared to capital tied up and turnover it still wasn't that impressive. Capacity is a nightmare for all the box carriers I think, but they're all still falling over themselves to go bigger than anybody else, makes me wonder where it'll end.
Crew size is a real hot potato, I've seen a few studies that suggest the penalties of much higher maintenance requirements and loss of efficiency later in a vessels life outweigh the short term gains of minimum manning, but there are plenty who'd disagree.

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That is very believable.
If you read the EU "white book" on transportation, you will also see that. In economic lessons we've seen that shipping in general can be an alternative, together with railway transport to the ever flexible (but now less flexible because of our road congestion) road transport. All together railway is used in the wrong way, with an average of 50km of distance, which is not what it was built for...
They even intend to make sea highways under a project called Marco Polo, all together a piece of rubbish... How can you put more ships through the English Channel without having more collisions? In some areas this highway principle might work, but certainly not all over Europe, let alone the world...
For UK, with water all around, I think it might indeed be a good alternative!

One of the biggest problems of the ever growing ports is just that. They grow a lot and fast, they can receive those 6,000-12,000 TEU vessels, but then it ends, because you have to get rid of all those containers... And that's where coastal feeders and inland navigation enters. Yet they are totally underdeveloped and cannot cope with the feed of containers to these large ports. We're gonna get a headache over this in the future with these growing container ships and ports!

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Coastal shipping has been touted as part of the solution to road congestion in the UK for years, but the road lobby is strong and despite high profile statements to the contrarary there seems little real political will to really end our dependence on roads. Sad.

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India To Scrap 56% of Ships
According to reports emerging from India 56% of the national fleet will be headed for the scrapyard in five years.
The Indian shipping industry will be required to spend about $4 billion on fleet renewal, as 56 per cent of the ships
owned by Indian companies will have to be scrapped in five years, according to the Indian National Shipowners’
Association.
The average age of the Indian fleet is about 18 years and 40 per cent of the ships are more than 20 years old, said
the association’s Secretary-General, SS Kulkarani.
According to international practice, all ships over 17, if they have to continue in service, must be overhauled and redeployed.
Even after that, they can serve only up to the age of 25. Internationally, the average age for retiring ships is
22 years.
Moreover, most ships owned by private Indian companies are single-hull, all of which have to be phased out by 2010
under India’s commitment to the International Maritime Organisation.
“For expansion and replacement, along with the International Maritime Organisation’s phase-out programme, the
country will have to invest $4 billion by 2009,” said Indian National Shipowners’ Association President Yudhishthir
Khatau. As of March this year, Indian companies owned 739 ships.
To make matters worse, the threat of scrapping looms over the industry at a time when the share of Indian ships in
the country’s overseas seaborne trade has slipped to 13.7 per cent from the high of 40 per cent in the late 1980s,
while the share of foreign companies has been rising steadily.
“Indian ships’ share in the country’s overseas trade is continuously decreasing and as a result, the country has to
depend on foreign ships to a considerable extent, resulting in higher freight payments,” said Shipping Corporation of
India Chairman and Managing Director SS Hajara.
Companies will feel the pinch of replacement as the prices of second-hand ships have shot up by as much as 60 per
cent in the last three years.
Only the state-owned Shipping Corporation of India has a policy of buying just new ships, while the private sector
generally prefers pre-owned ones.

Of course Trucks do have more flexibility than coastal shipping and that is one of the main points... You can't position all companies near a river/channel or other waterway! And to the customer you still need trucks too. But I do agree that it would help to lighten the load. I saw one inland navigation boat with a plate on the side saying: "here lays a road congestion of 56 trucks" ;)

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Inland and coastal navigation isn't the solution to the UK's transport woes. In the ports, container handling will still be managed by overpaid and militant dockworkers union members. This problem is common to the entire developed world.

The fundimental problem is the UK hasn't had an active or fully funded transport policy since before the Thatcher era. Highway use has exploded during the last two and a half decades, but there hasn't been a coresponding expenditure on infrastructure. In truth, container carrying trucks aren't clogging Britains roads. Private cars are the real culprit for gridlock. Despite the best efforts of governments to tax automobile use beyond the means of the average citizen, the British people refuse to be deprived of their automobiles. Until the expansion of the motorway network is restarted, the problem of roadway overuse will never be solved in the UK.

It doesn't help that the UK's railways carry an abnormally small fraction of freight. Before privatization, British Railways did nothing to attract new freight business and followed a business model that concentrated on the unprofitable passenger business - and privatization didn't turn around Britain's railway system. In contrast, private railroads in the United States concentrated on the cheap and efficient shipment of containers - and got entirely out of the passenger business. Today American freight railroads are immensely profitable - and their bread and butter is the container business.

In the United States, inland and coastal navigation has its role, but typically only for the shipment of bulk commodities, not containerized freight.

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Coastal shipping has been touted as part of the solution to road congestion in the UK for years, but the road lobby is strong and despite high profile statements to the contrarary there seems little real political will to really end our dependence on roads. Sad.

I really don't see any signs of a victory for the "road lobby." The UK has some of the worst maintained, most traffic clogged highways in Europe. Petrol and diesel prices are tremendously high - even by European standards - due solely to taxation, and despite the fact that the UK is a major oil producer. Then there is the 10 pound toll for even enteriing London....

The reality is that the "road" and motorist lobby has been losing in the UK for decades. An even sadder reality is that the UK's public transport system is old, filthy, overpriced, slow at the best of times and delay prone due to equipment and labor issues. I really pity the people who have to depend on British trains and buses for their daily transportation.

Coastal shipping won't meaningfully improve the transportation situation for the average Britain, but millions in taxpayers money will be spent on environmentally dubious dredging and port improvement projects. More importantly, it will swell the ranks of the dwindling dockworker's unions. After all, there is a reason why they called it the Labor Party.

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Why? To the best of my knowlege the dock unions are a spent force, with many terminals union free zones, and the days of disruptive militant dockers are well in the past in major UK ports. About whether it is viable, obviously it is not a panacea and is of limited application, but there are certainly bulk cargo flows that would be suitable for coastal shipping. And there should be sensible management of import points, for example what is the logic of offloading coal in Scotland to ship to Yorkshire power stations by rail rather than offloading in a port on the Humber (I'll leave the more obvious point on a country with centuries of coal reserves importing huge shipments of coal)? Or why use Peterhead as a offshore base when everything was transported by road from Aberdeen which has it's own port, and if they had to use Peterhead then why send 1000's of road wagons on the road between Aberdeen and Peterhead that could easily go in a small coastal tanker? The UK's roads are a disater area but there is little being done to make rail more attractive, for example Maersk (amongst others) send 1000's of containers on roads that could be carried by container train for the bulk of their journey with road shipment to the final point of destination, and rail pricing is absurd and makes road much more attractive despite the governments constant carping on of wanting to move traffic of roads. I worked in a plant less than two miles from a rail head, yet we brought in bulk liquids by road as the costs of extending the rail head are prohibitive and the red tape is more trouble than it's worth. Basically the treasury is skimming £££££££££££££££££££'s from fuel and road related taxation and I really see little evidence of this money being used for anything useful anywhere other than vanishing into the black hole of government expenditure. UK transport policy is a disgrace.

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I can't speak for UK container terminals and its workers, but over here (inside the "entire Europe" area) the terminals and its workers are about the most efficient. I don't think they are overpaid either, they daily do things a normal man wants to avoid doing even once in his entire life.
Containers all together have a growing pain. They want to move on to 45 foot containers nowadays as a standard, but those don't fit on any conventional current container ship, so they have a major problem now as you can't just adapt the world's container fleet for bigger containers...
The problem is, and I think Turbinia is right with the road lobby there, that road transport is not paying its costs. They pay something, but they by far do not pay for the entire bill of the roads they damage, the pollution and congestion they cause. If they'd have to pay for all that, their prices would rise quite a bit and hence shipping would be even more attractive! Of course rising oil prices will help a bit in that as ships use rather inexpensive HFO.

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UK ports and terminals are also very efficient, and it is now rare to have any labour unrest or problems, they're very competitive internationally and have been for 20 years or more, we've came a long way from the dark days of the 70's, semi-permanent strikes, honesty payments etc :) I'm not claiming we're better than anybody, as these days the competition for business is so intense standards tend to be very high in most port operations (at least in the wealthier world) but the UK has came a very long way from the international joke we were 30 years ago.
The fuel question is interesting, there has always been a debate over the relative merits of the much lower costs of HFO (and IFO) compared to distillates versus higher maintenance costs, consumables and suppressed reliability/life of engines. The environmental issue looms large too, even though the new annex of Marpol on exhaust emissions is now in force it still allows 4.5% S in residual fuels or 1.5% in designated special areas, even the lower 1.5% level still has a major SOx problem and would be totally unacceptable under land based legislation. The control of NOx is also causing major problems, given that without eliminating S it is very dificult to erradicate SOx emissions from vessels I think we may well see a major push to restrict the use of residual fuels or make major investment in new emissions control technologies.