• 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 June 22

18:24 Shareholders of Volga Shipping Company approve reorganization
18:05 Port of Los Angeles gives $1 million in grants to 30 local organizations
17:50 Denis Khramov appointed as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources
17:29 RF Government approves resignation of Victor Olersky
17:06 TTS Group ASA secures new contracts for RoRo equipment to China
16:05 CMA CGM announces GRR from India to East Africa
15:51 LUKOIL-Bulgaria Bunker starts operating the Bellona tanker at the port of Constanta, Romania
15:34 Port of Rotterdam Authority, DSM, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, FrieslandCampina, Suikerunie, Gasunie, Groen Gas Nederland, ECN, Energy Academy Europe make recommendations for the smarter use of biomass
14:50 Construction works commence in Tallinn Old City Harbour's Terminal D where Tallink ferries are served
14:27 IMO rolls out ferry safety video
14:03 India to make Chabahar Port in Iran operational by 2019
13:38 First shipbroking companies to join SEA\LNG coalition
13:00 Vympel Shipyard delivers 50th fast patrol boat of Project 12150 Mangust to Russian FSB Border Service
12:36 LUKOIL will pay dividends for 2017 in the amount of RUB 130 per ordinary share
12:12 REMPEC hosts regional workshop on response to HNS spills in Valletta, Malta
11:49 IMO regional workshop to address the impacts of fouling
11:25 Ukraine’s water transport carried 0.1 million passengers in 5M’18, up 17.3%, Y-o-Y
11:03 Ulstein announces naming of the Acta Auriga
10:28 “M/V “VASILIY TATISCHEV ” with IMO number 8885157 refused access to the Paris MoU region for the second time
10:21 Brent Crude futures price up 1.15% to $73.79, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.25% to $66.36
10:00 Cargo transportation by Ukraine’s water transport fell by 10.5% to 1.5 million tonnes in 5M’18
09:38 Yevgeny Pankratov appointed as Director of FSUE Rosmorport’s Sakhalin Branch
09:19 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,347 points

2018 June 21

18:27 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Philadelphia with Koch
18:00 CMA CGM announces new rotation on ASAF service
17:56 Russia is in need of small bunkering tankers, LNG bunker supply ships and bunker barges - Damen
17:31 Gate terminal (Gasunie/Vopak) to increase ship loading flow rate
16:58 Antwerp blockchain pilot pioneers with secure and efficient document workflow
16:24 Freeport of Riga Authority joins Cruise Lines International Association
16:02 Danaos Corporation announces comprehensive debt refinancing agreement
15:50 MABUX: All eyes are on what course of action OPEC will call for
15:40 12 LNG bunker supply ships to be put into operation in Singapore by 2025
15:02 Ship garbage recycling pilot wraps up at Port of Brisbane
14:39 Vyborg Shipyard launches port icebreaker Ob built for FSUE Atomflot
14:02 APM Terminals supports World Clean Air Day with App upgrade
13:41 Igor Zolotykh appointed as Harbour Master of port Ust-Luga
13:23 Victor Olersky appoints Igor Ishchenko as Harbour Master of port Primorsk
13:02 EU member states’ experts on ship recycling meet in Brussels
12:39 XI Russian Forum “Current State and Prospects for Development of Russian Bunker Services Market” opens in Saint-Petersburg
12:16 ABS issues industry-leading Guide advancing DC power for hybrid electric applications
12:00 Largest gantry crane in the Nordic countries delivered to Meyer Turku
11:57 HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center and the Rotterdam Port Authority launch unique cooperation
10:55 CMA CGM to acquire CONTAINERSHIPS, a leader in intra-regional transportation in Northern Europe
10:53 Protecting marine life from ship noise is in the focus of meeting on oceans and the law of the sea
10:28 Brent Crude futures price up 0.41% to $75.41, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.59% to $65.3
10:02 Maritime officials in Morocco undergo training at IMO workshop in Casablanca
09:41 Closer look at the interpretation of maritime law
09:19 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,373 points

2018 June 20

18:00 Lead landing ship of Project 11711, Ivan Gren, joins the fleet of RF Navy
17:33 Rosatomflot extends its winter-spring navigation period amid challenging ice conditions
17:05 Genco Shipping & Trading Limited completes common stock offering
16:05 Seatruck Ferries to use larger vessels for Warrenpoint service
15:51 Maritime leaders endorse green initiatives for shipping
15:30 Mitsui to make entry into subsea support vessel business through acquisition of shares in AKOFS Offshore
15:04 Eighty-two Crowley vessels honored with Jones F. Devlin Awards in recognition of 613 combined years of safe operations
14:59 GasLog Partners LP announces new charter agreement with Cheniere Energy
14:24 Small icebreakers of Project 22740 can be converted to run on LNG
14:05 Cheniere Energy and Cheniere Energy Partners announce definitive merger agreement
13:13 ABB brings efficiency and sustainability through system integration to two new Indian ferries
12:39 Dredging works commenced at the port of Ust-Luga