• 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.




2018 October 22

15:34 Nornickel’s Polar Transportation Division carried 2.4 million tonnes of cargo in navigation season 2018
15:10 ESPO congratulates Port of Valencia, Ports of Bremen, Port of Moerdijk and Port of Tangier for renewing Ecoports’ Environmental Standard
14:17 Sovcomflot named a finalist in four different categories of 2018 Lloyd’s List Global Awards
13:55 Onezhsky Shipyard delivered ice-class buoy tender named Fortuna
13:23 Pavilion Energy and BW ink deal for long-term charter of two Singapore-flagged LNG newbuilds
12:58 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 21,455 in RF spot market
12:36 LUKOIL BoD recommends interim dividend amount
12:13 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 9M’18 down 1.5% Y-o-Y to 37.46 million tonnes
11:51 Power of gender diversity on the agenda at Seatrade Maritime Middle East
11:32 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) down 5.6% to 14.69 million TEUs in Jan-Sep’18
11:09 Abu Dhabi Ports collaborates with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company on international blockchain solution Silsal
10:50 Port of Singapore throughput in 9M’18 grew by 0.9% Y-o-Y to 470.49 million tonnes
10:28 Brent Crude futures price up 0.69% to $80.34, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.68% to $69.76
10:09 NYK PCTC receives special award from the Association for Rescue at Sea
09:47 STLC to obtain additional RUB 5.9 billion of federal subsidies in 2018
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,765 points
09:06 ABS awards AIP to HHI’s standardized FPSO topside
08:08 DP World, UAE Region wins Terminal Operator of the Year at Maritime Standards Awards
06:22 ABS awards AIP to HHI’s deepwater FLNG hull

2018 October 21

08:54 20,000 TEU COSCO SHIPPING Sagittarius named in Shanghai
08:50 CFO Paul Smits leaves the Port of Rotterdam Authority
07:52 COSCO SHIPPING starts shipment of Toyota exhibits

2018 October 20

08:47 Boskalis, Van Hattum en Blankevoort and Mobilis construct deep-sea quay for the new HES Hartel Tank Terminal at Maasvlakte
08:10 Navios Partners announce filing of F - 1 for direct listing of Navios Containers
08:06 Maersk Line increases FAK rates for Northern Europe to Middle East and ISC trade
08:04 U.S. Navy contracts Austal to order materials for EPF 13
07:44 EU Commission launches the European Network of U-space Demonstrators

2018 October 19

18:42 ABN AMRO, Samsung SDS and the Port of Rotterdam Authority launch container logistics blockchain pilot
18:07 Stena Line's battery hybrid vessel completes its first month of operation
17:56 ABN AMRO, Samsung SDS and Port of Rotterdam Authority launch container logistics blockchain pilot
17:35 Port of Gdansk participated in the CILF 2018 fair in China
17:11 Gdansk pays a visit to Singapore
16:57 Testbed established for Internet of Ships Open Platform
16:48 Finland’s Water Transport Act aims to improve safety and increases preparedness for the future
16:26 World’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel “Kairos” started its voyage to Europe
16:04 KN will motivate its employees with the company's shares
15:42 New Falck training centre on the Maasvlakte officially openes
15:20 Seimas members visiting Klaipėda discussed benefits provided by LNG terminal
14:59 Ukraine plans dredging of 16.33 million cbm of material in 2019
14:37 UN agencies delivering on maritime security
14:15 Hapag-Lloyd starts new Red Sea service
14:00 Atomflot: shipments from Arctic LNG and Yamal LNG to be assisted by diesel and gas powered icebreakers
13:31 MOL's newbuilt LNG carrier "MARVEL EAGLE" to transport LNG from Cameron project in U.S.
13:11 NIBULON Shipbuilding and Repair Yard launches POSS-115 Project tug
13:05 BigLift Barentsz sails Northern Sea route for Pioneering Spirit
12:48 Glavgosexpertiza approves reconstruction of KSK grain terminal to increase its capacity to 4 million tonnes
12:22 Q&A with ImageSat International released ahead of SMi’s 4th annual Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology conference
12:05 FESCO wins tender for supplying Indian Research Stations in Antarctica in 2019
11:43 Competition for designing and construction of LNG-powered icebreaker to be announced in late 2018 - early 2019
11:20 North Sea Giant turns to The Switch EBL technology
10:54 NOVATEK to place four FLNG facilities on the Northern Sea Route
10:31 RF Navy’s major amphibious ship Ivan Gren enters North Sea
10:07 Port of Vancouver closes 2018 cruise season
09:56 Brent Crude futures price up 0.4% to $79.61, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.35% to $68.89
09:38 Tackling maritime emissions - IMO rolls out ship and port toolkits
09:29 Expert forecasts more favorable ice situation on Northern Sea Route for 30 years ahead
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,565 points
09:07 Hapag-Lloyd, CMA-CGM and COSCO enhance GEM service - covering Mediterranean with the Middle East / ISC
08:37 Samskip launches Netherlands-Italy multimodal rail service
08:07 SEA\LNG submits open comment on the draft supplemental environmental impact statement for Puget Sound LNG facility