BIG BEN

Ben Franklin GG BridgeA whopper of a ship, CMA-CGM’s Benjamin Franklin is 1,300 feet long (taller than the Empire State Building) 177 feet wide (wider than a football field) and 197 feet high (the height of a 20-story building).  At a capacity of 18,000 TEU’s, it is the largest vessel to ever call an American port, and it docked in Oakland on December 31, 2015.  What a way to ring in the new year!

Oakland is one of the few “big ship ready” ports in the nation.  Knowing that ocean carriers were ordering larger and larger vessels, the port began preparing years ago. They completed the dredging project to give ship channels and berths a 50′ draft.  They have cranes tall enough to handle the bigger ships and are working diligently to raise the height of four additional cranes. And, they are modernizing marine terminals.

These steps will ensure the Port of Oakland is prepared for the future and these behemoth ships.

Check out the video below of the Benjamin Franklin in the turning basin.

NAME THAT PART

Do you know what this part is?  It is something used in intermodal or truck transportation.  Play “Name That Part” by liking us on Facebook.  Click here to be directed to our Facebook page and place your guess.  Good luck!  Truck Line Up Jan 2016 001

Okay, it is impossible to resist a spoiler on this one.  The answer is…the first of 22 new trucks coming into our fleet! These beauties are destined for the Reno corridor and showcase our commitment and growth on that lane.

Thanks for your support.  We will continue to grow with you.

A WEIGHTY ISSUE

Back in 2014, the United Nations and its International Maritime Organization (IMO) formulated a rule requiring the shipper to provide a verified gross weight for each container.  The rule is part of an international treaty, Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).  It goes into effect on July 1, 2016 and applies to all loaded containers moved worldwide.
The IMO states, “The regulations place a requirement on the shipper of a packed container, regardless of who packed the container, to provide the container’s gross verified weight to the ocean carrier and port terminal representative sufficiently in advance of vessel loading to be used in the preparation of the ship stowage plan.”
Furthermore, the ocean carrier and marine terminal are prohibited from loading a container onto a vessel without a verified gross mass (VGM) weight provided.
Why is it necessary?  The misclassification of container weights contributes vessel breaking/ breaching/capsizing as well as container stack cave-ins and crane collapses.
How do shippers comply?  Compliance can be accomplished in one of two ways:  1) Weigh each item including packaging, pallet, dunnage and securing materials.  Add the sum of these items to the weight of the container (found on the container itself), and you have the VGM.  2) Drive a loaded container onto a certified weigh bridge scale, subtract the weight of the truck, chassis, fuel and driver to obtain the VGM.
Then what?  Once the VGM has been calculated, the shipper will sign a document declaring the VGM and provide this certificate to the ocean carrier and marine terminal operator. Upon receipt of this signed paperwork, the container can be loaded onto ship for ocean-going transit.
We encourage all shippers to start preparing for this regulations to avoid your cargo being left on the dock.Overweight Container w Top Pick

UNION NEWS

ILWU in Action 002In union news, the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) are quickly coming to agreements with employers a full six months before the expiration of the existing contract.  Good news because their last round of negotiations ended up with pickets at the marine terminals and ILWU members refusing to cross the line.
The “Cadillac Tax” on union healthcare plans has been a point of contention in contract negotiations on both the East and West coasts.  Well, the sides received a reprieve when Congress approved a two-year delay in its implementation.

LNG SHIP LAUNCHED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEje7KWlg2c
TOTE launched two liquified natural gas (LNG) powered container ships built in the United States by General Dynamics NASSCO.  The Perla del Caribe (pictured above) will enter service in the first quarter of 2016 and its sister ship, Isla Bella, began service in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The ships were specifically engineered for the US to Puerto Rico trade.  The use of LNG will reduce NOx emissions by 98%, SOx by 97%, CO2 by 72% and particulate matter by 60% over ships currently employed in that lane.