Home Ports & TerminalsPort Conditions Hot Port News from GAC

Hot Port News from GAC

by admin


Panama Canal, Panama
Aden, Yemen
United States
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Port Kembla, Australia
Maximum Draft Update for New Locks
Thursday, June 2, 2016, Panama Canal, Panama
The Panama Canal Authority is hereby announcing an updated maximum draft limitation for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks, as follows:Beginning June 27, 2016, the maximum allowable draft for vessels transiting the new locks will be 13.11 m (43.0 feet)Tropical Fresh Water (TFW).This draft limitation is based on the current level of Gatun Lake and weather forecast for the upcoming weeks.

The ACP continues to monitor the Gatun Lake level in order to adjust for draft restrictions, and will announce changes in a timely manner.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal, contact GAC-Wilford & MacKay at gac-wilfordmackay.panama@gac.com)

Source: Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Advisory to Shipping No. A-30-2016 dated May 31, 2016

Port ops continuing despite intermittent power
Thursday, June 2, 2016, Aden, Yemen
Operations at the port of Aden are continuing uninterrupted, despite intermittent power supplies.Earlier this week, the city’s electrical power system had shut down due to unavailability of petroleum products. However, an urgent shipment of petroleum products has eased the situation and power is now running three hours on, three hours off.For information about operations in Yemen contact GAC Yemen at yemen@gac.com

Declaration of Verified Gross Mass (VGM)
Thursday, June 2, 2016, United States
From July 1, 2016, the International Maritime Organization’s  new regulation regarding the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) requires the Shippers to declare the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) of the containers before loading.  VGM means that the weight of each packed container must be proven. Estimated weight is not permitted.Shippers will be required to weigh their cargo using one of two methods.Method 1
After packing and sealing a container, the shipper may weigh, or have arranged for a third party to weigh, the packed container.

Method 2
The shipper or, by arrangement of the shipper, a third party may weigh all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage, and other packing and securing material to be packed in the container, and add the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses of the container’s contents.

Under either Method 1 or 2, the weighing equipment used must meet the applicable accuracy standards and requirements of the State in which the equipment is being used.

Responsible Party (What is definition of shipper?)
Exporter / Importer or Freight Forwarder / NVOCC.

Mandatory information must include the below detail:

  • Booking Number                        
  • Container Number
  • Verified Gross Weight
  • Unit of Measurement (LB or KG)
  • Authorized person for VGM weight
  • Responsible Party (Named shipper on B / L) *in CAPITAL letters

Who is responsible for submitting VGM?
According to SOLAS VGM requirements,  the shipper, identified on shipping document, or party authorized to submit on their behalf, is responsible for providing the carrier with the verified gross mass for a loaded container.

  1. Carriers WILL NOT LOAD containers without a VGM.
  2. Carriers will be responsible for relaying the VGM to the terminal.
  3. Container tare weights are listed on the door of the container. However, the official container weight can vary due to container’s condition (e.g. wet wooden floors).
  4. The scale used must be calibrated/certified in accordance with local and / or national rules.
  5. The US Coast Guard will be the enforcer of the VGM regulation in the U.S.

GAC North America is committed to compliance and prepared to support shippers with the new requirements of the SOLAS rules that go into effect on July 1. As with our experience in the worldwide shipping environment, we will help you avoid repacking costs, administration fees for amending documents, demurrage charges, delayed or cancelled shipments, or other costs associated with non-compliance.

For additional information, please contact Yalonda Henderson, National Freight and Projects Manager atyalonda.henderson@gac.com.

Towing voyage surveys conducted by non-Government surveyors
Thursday, June 2, 2016, Hong Kong
The arrangement in conducting towing voyage surveys for issuing port clearance has been adopted by the Marine Department, as described in the following paragraphs.For issuing port clearance to a non self-propelled vessel leaving Hong Kong to other areas/countries under tow, the tug and tow are required to undergo a towing voyage survey conducted by a non-government surveyor. The purpose of this towing voyage survey is to ensure that the vessel and the towing arrangement are fit for the intended voyage.With a view to allowing ship owners in choosing non-government professional bodies to survey their vessels, it is decided that towing voyage surveys conducted by Marine Department recognized organizations (http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/surveycs.html) and Authorized Surveyors appointed under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/lvs.html) would be accepted for issuing port clearance to vessels under tow leaving Hong Kong.

Taking into account that there are substantial differences in risk levels, competence and technical support requirements in conducting surveys between vessels engaging on short coastal towage and ocean towage, the following acceptance criteria are adopted:

(a) for short distance coastal towing voyages to Mainland ports within Chinese waters extending from Guangxi to Xiamen (including Macau), surveys conducted by either a surveyor of a recognized organization or an “Authorized Surveyor” can be accepted;

(b) for long distance coastal towing voyages to Mainland ports outside (a) above and ocean towing voyages to other countries, only surveys conducted by a surveyor of a recognized organization will be accepted.

To ensure that the survey by these professional bodies can adequately cover the safety of the tug and tow for the intended voyage, the attending surveyor is required to:
(a) complete a declaration with a checklist for voyages prescribed above, or
(b) issue an appropriate recognized organization survey report for voyages prescribed above.

To facilitate the survey for short distance coastal towing voyages, guidance notes are provided at Annex 2. For long distance coastal and ocean towage, surveyors of the recognized organization are required to take into account the guidance provided in IMO circular MSC Circ. 884, and any relevant requirements of the recognized organization in respect of vessels involved in towing.

To apply for port clearance for a towing voyage, the Master of the tug is required to submit a completed application form, together with the declaration or survey report issued by the attending surveyor, to the Licensing and Port Formalities Section of the Marine Department.

(For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)

Source: Government of Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.68 of 2016

Removal & laying of private moorings in Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter
Thursday, June 2, 2016, Hong Kong
For approximately 6 months, marine works involving removal and laying of private moorings will be carried out in the following areas in Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter.Area 1:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (G):
(A) 22 deg. 17.132’N / 114 deg. 10.997’E
(B) 22 deg. 17.160’N / 114 deg. 11.103’E
(C) 22 deg. 17.150’N / 114 deg. 11.106’E
(D) 22 deg. 17.148’N / 114 deg. 11.096’E
(E) 22 deg. 17.110’N / 114 deg. 11.107’E
(F) 22 deg. 17.106’N / 114 deg. 11.100’E
(G) 22 deg. 17.093’N / 114 deg. 11.051’EArea 2:
This area is bounded by straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (H) to (L) and the adjacent shoreline:
(H) 22 deg. 17.137’N / 114 deg. 11.186’E
(I) 22 deg. 17.171’N / 114 deg. 11.230’E
(J) 22 deg. 17.131’N / 114 deg. 11.261’E
(K) 22 deg. 17.117’N / 114 deg. 11.259’E
(L) 22 deg. 17.091’N / 114 deg. 11.222’E

One derrick barge will carry out the works. One tug will provide assistance.

A working area of approximately 15 metres around the barge will be established. Yellow marker buoys fitted with yellow flashing lights will be laid to mark the positions of the anchors extending from the barge.

The hours of work will be from 0700 hours to 1900 hours. No works will be carried out on Sundays and public holidays. Vessels employed for the works will stay in the works area outside the hours of work.

Vessels engaged in the operations will display signals as prescribed in international and local regulations.

Vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with caution

(For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)

Source: Government of Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.69 of 2016

Severe weather expected over weekend
Thursday, June 2, 2016, Port Kembla, Australia
The Harbour Master at Port Kembla has issued a warning of impending severe weather (high winds and swell from the North East, as well as heavy rain) for the Illawarra Coast. Port stakeholders are advised to monitor Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasts and make independent decisions without waiting for advice from the Port Authority of New South Wales.The Harbour Master will conduct risk assessments for shipping movements with the Marine Pilots, as required. Delays to marine operations within the port are likely from Saturday (4 June) onwards and efforts will be made to provide as much notice as possible. Based on the current forecasts, the worst of the weather appears to be during the period from 1200Saturday (4 June) until 1200 Monday (6 June), but this could change with very little notice. The longer range forecasts show some poor conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday next week too.The latest Bureau of Metrology forecasts and warnings can found at http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/illawarracoast.shtml

VTIC will broadcast warnings on our routine 4 hourly VHF forecasts from midday tomorrow (3 June), depending on the latest updates in the morning.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at shipping.australia@gac.com

You may also like

Leave a Comment