Exploring the OOCL UNITED KINGDOM vessel

Exploring the OOCL UNITED KINGDOM vessel

At the end of September, OOCL commemorated the christening of the latest 21,413 TEU containership to join their fleet this year and last Friday they kindly invited one of the Tuscor Lloyds team to visit the Port of Felixstowe to help them celebrate the vessels maiden voyage.

Named the OOCL UNITED KINGDOM, the vessel is one of the carrier’s ‘G Class’ vessels which are known to be the world’s largest by carrying capacity. The OOCL fleet is planned to contain 6 vessels in total and OOCL United Kingdom is the 4th vessel after OOCL Germany / Hong Kong / Japan.

 

 

“The shipbuilding process is a complicated one. From hull form design, machinery selection, fabrication to assembly, the shipyard must be able to bring a concept on paper to become a technically sound and economically viable product for the shipowner, the shipyard, the makers and sub-contractors. Adding on the fact that many aspects of this class of vessels are in fact record-breaking, be it size or machinery capacity and output, I think SHI should be very proud that it has achieved this goal in the safest and most efficient manner.”

 

Mr Alan Tung

Chief Financial Officer , OOCL

On Friday, Nathan Lang, who is a part of our Operations team had the unique opportunity to enjoy a mini-tour of Felixstowe port and to visit & board the OOCL United Kingdom. What was his impression of this brand new mega vessel? Let’s hear him out:

‘’The day consisted of a mini-tour of the port and then a visit to the vessel where we got to board and visit the captains bridge; once on board the vessel, there was a lift available up to the captains Bridge, or you could walk up the stairs; I took the stairs both up and down; it was 9 x stories & safe to say walking down was easier than walking up. On the bridge, the captain kindly gave us his time to explain different aspects of the vessel/operations and to answer questions across a range of topics that included DG cargo/Reefer Cntr’s/Breakbulk cargo – crew welfare + revealing that the vessel had its own football pitch as one of the facilities available for the crew! The port also presented the captain with maiden voyage plaques for the vessel.

It was an incredible experience and gave a unique insight into port & vessel operations. Prior to boarding I felt like an ant looking up at the vessel and the masses of stacked containers and when on board, looking out from the captain’s bridge in the windy conditions, wasn’t for the faint-hearted’’

Nathan Lang

Tuscor Lloyds

Click on the picture to see the slideshow with more photos from the event!

 

Big thanks to OOCL for this amazing opportunity!

Both Nathan and our mini Tuscor Ted enjoyed the day with you!

My Summer Fling with the Shipping Industry

My Summer Fling with the Shipping Industry

Have you ever had a summer romance? I have. Six short, summery weeks spent with international logistics.

I’ve been around shipping all of my life, in fact, I owe a lot of thanks to it. Both of my parents met working for a shipping line, so I guess you could say I’m an indirect product of the industry. But, I never really understood what their job involved. Yes, nobody expected me to understand but I don’t think I was a total outsider, my parents would discuss their day at the dinner table, so I had an idea of the ins and outs of the industry, but it still seemed, dare I say it, trivial. From my cavalier teenage perspective, shipping was an utterly mundane, utterly banal job that had no broader significance.

And how my childish naivety proved wrong and my summer internship at Tuscor Lloyds, my ‘fling’ if you will, pointed to how wrong I was.

I joined the Media team to learn about international trade and to write on matters regarding the logistics sector. Reading the industry press and engaging with current affairs highlighted the politics, drama and overall importance the industry has in the wider international community.

It only took me 18 years, but now I could finally appreciate my parents and the rest of the industry who are a huge significance in wider international relations.

The shipping industry is the backbone of international trade and in this industry, it’s the people with creative ingenuity who solve the tough logistical problems and keep international trade ticking. 90% of the world’s cargo is carried by sea so the industry is a necessity for trade. Seaborne cargo is the most efficient form of logistics that can meet the demands of the modern world. Without the industry, the import and export of goods could not be moved at the scale that is required. This has created a guaranteed demand for the sea freight industry, a demand that’s set to grow as more countries become industrialised and this has made the shipping industry a huge financial and political asset.

But somehow the future of the industry seems unknown. A sense of confusion and unpredictability is clouding over the industry as shipping lines continue to dig themselves into a deep hole.

The industry has suffered in a state of overcapacity. Drewry estimated that, in November 2016, the combined capacity of idle merchant ships totalled to 1.7 million TEU. In 2016 this capacity would fetch 4th in the carrier capacity rankings. The industry reached this point as shipping lines raced to the bottom on prices as they raced to the top on capacity and this has caused huge losses for shipping companies with an additional case of bankruptcy that sent disaster across the entire supply chain.

Yet, the industry buys out competitors to increase capacity, orders new diesel ships instead of zero-emissions and test high-tech blockchain systems when it isn’t ready to handle a cyber-attack and, just like a summer romance, this cannot be sustained.

I don’t know whether this is arrogance from carriers who expect a state bail out if they were to fail. Trade relies on the cooperation with shipping lines and they are pushing what they can get away with right to the limit. But this is a ludicrous idea and profound changes need to happen in the industry to head down a sustainable path, if not, questions will linger about the future of the industry.

Alas, the sun goes down alone; my summer fling draws to a close. I wonder what will become of international shipping, the one I spent that summer with.

Is it future, or is it present?

Advanced technology, artificial intelligence – recently all the smart new inventions seem to be promising hope and provoking fear at the same time.

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#TEAMCHABRA

#TEAMCHABRA

Total Warrior is the pinnacle of obstacle racing, providing the most innovative and highest quality obstacle event in the UK. With around 30 punishing obstacles in each of the three courses, Total Warrior also offers greater variety and more obstacles-per-kilometre (or pain-for-your-pound!) than any other race. Total Warrior provides the ultimate test of stamina, strength and determination for individuals and teams and offers a challenge for everyone, regardless of fitness levels.

This year see the event critics are raving about, “Three Men and some obstacles”  Gary “Robo Salsa” Atkins and Matthew “gluten dodger” Asprey are back along with the newest member Nathan “Benjamin button” Lang the guy that not only lies to his partner about his age but also has social media accounts with 15 year old photos.

Last year you gasped, your winced, you gulped as Gary and Matthew along with other members of the “Disposables” completed Total Warrior Lake District in a time that wasn’t anything to write home about but which still didn’t stop them from posting pictures all over facebook about it anyway.  Marvel, or not, as the remaining original members of the Disposables are back flying solo as the other original members have fallen by the wayside or simply got better things to do with their time.  Lee “Crufts” Atkins was asked why he wasn’t able to return and said “unfortunately I can’t commit this year due to a scheduling conflict, I am involved in a photo shoot for Dog Fancy magazine…which I am really looking forward to”.  Gary added “it’s a shame that some of the original members couldn’t make it but I am sure me  Matt and Nathan are going to be hard enough to pull it off”.  When asked why John “Ghost” Ruiz wasn’t stepping back into action, Gary said “no one has seen him since 2015 and even that was only a rumoured sighting.”  At the time of going to print another of the original Disposable lineup, Daniel “Beefcake” Castle, was unavailable for comment but it is understood he is not returning due to “creative differences”.  As always however Gary Matt and Nathan will be cheered on from a long time groupie of the Disposables, Tuscor Ted

Thanks for donating and support for our good friend and work colleague  Aman and the great work of Macmillan Cancer support and Christies.

Donate to Team Chabra's page

People Make the Real Difference

People Make the Real Difference

“A few weeks ago, I had an argument with a customer. It wasn’t over unpaid invoices or unreasonable demands outside our scope. It was about who owned our overseas offices.” – Neel Ratti

Our customer had been sold an idea by a better salesperson than me. The idea that a huge, asset-heavy, multinational is better at delivering global freight services than a medium sized organisation like ours. He didn’t want to use us because we ‘only’ own outright 9 of our overseas offices.

So far, so yawn. As a smaller firm, we often hear this refrain. We tell them calmly that big is not always better. Often its’ worse, and for many reasons. I lost my cool though over his insistence that an owned office network is the only way to deliver specialist, niche freight services overseas.

I found myself suppressing incredulity. What if the overseas office lacked the skills required? And if it was their first shipment of this kind? What if their suppliers were poor? My customer is no fool. He knows that complicated heavy logistics can only be executed by a few specialists in the market.

So how did he buy the line? I realised he had been convinced that big means financial strength, and this camouflage had been artfully draped around the operational weaknesses of my larger competitor.

Worse, the camouflage was woven with lies. As a non-native, it is simply impossible to own and control companies in the majority of countries. Anyone who has expanded into a country outside of the OECD would know this. Somehow my customer swallowed the lot, hook, line and sinker. Dejected, I silently went on my way.

Now for the punchline. I took a call today from our erstwhile customer. He was outraged that such a large shipping organisation couldn’t get a quote to him in 2 weeks. I told him we’ll have a realistic, accurate quote to him in the morning. The camouflage was more of a fig leaf in the end.

Big or small, people make the real difference.

 

 

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Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Did you know when a movement is repeated over time, a long-term Muscle memory is created for this work?

When you do the same thing over and over, it gets easier with time. You start doing it without thinking.  For example, consider walking: Walking is a big effort for babies, but once you’ve gained muscle memory, it gets so easy.

The muscles themselves do not remember anything; rather, the brain stores memories of actions that muscles repeat. Interestingly, when pianists hear pieces they have played, their fingers begin to follow and play with music.

So, what happens when you have been repeating a task for more than 23 years?

After 23 years of practice, you have perfected shipping methods across the globe.

How do we do it?

We have passion and perseverance.
After 23 years we have made strong and trusted connections with like-minded professionals. Our shipping staff across the globe work closely with over 200 trusted agents in more than 80 countries to offer all the support your supply chain needs.

We get better at the things we care about.
We handle complex shipments that demand a high level of service from experienced personnel. Our innovative shipping methods would not be possible without our huge bank of resources built over 22 years in the forwarding market.

We believe that we can improve.
We can grow our capacity to learn and to solve problems. Our planning procedures ensure we never misdiagnose the correct solutions. We are one of the few forwarders in the industry who can consistently provide stability of service and schedules across multiple trades.

The more you practice ways of doing things, the more naturally they’ll come.

If you want to know how we did it, contact us today!

Mental Health Awareness Week: Helping Seafarers

Mental Health Awareness Week: Helping Seafarers

With Mental Health, no longer a taboo subject, Tuscor Lloyds feels it’s important to share how this demanding and high pressure industry can also offer support to those in need as part of Mental Health Awareness week.

In the maritime industry, one of the most demanding jobs is as a Seafarer. They can spend between 6 months to a year at sea, isolated and with minimal to no contact with family or the outside world.

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70% of Seafarers have access to the internet. Most of the time this doesn’t include Skype or WhatsApp. Currently a lot of the work is taken on by Mission to Seafarers, a maritime charity based in over 50 countries and 200 ports.

Currently offering support for depression and fatigue, they are helping sailors to connect with their families and they even provide support in cases of attempted suicide. Port Chaplains are often at the forefront of these efforts. Based in Scotland, Tim Tunley, who recently commented for Hellenic Shipping News, says he spends a considerable amount of time supporting the general welfare of maritime workers and handling mental health issues, which are becoming all too common.

“The mental health of seafarers is of a serious ongoing concern. In recent years, the merchant shipping industry has undeniably become more pressurised, with increasing amounts of paperwork and shorter turnaround time in ports. While many owners and operators do look to offer suitable support to their seafarers, incidents of fatigue, poor internet connectivity and a lack of shore time are still prevalent, placing a huge strain on the mental welfare of seafarers.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Along with work pressure and loneliness, crew can feel a sense of cultural isolation. Whilst seafarers usually operate in a multicultural environment, happiness on board is highly reliant on the crew all working well together and forming strong bonds. If there are language barriers, lack of shared interest and cultural references, this can lead crew members to feel separated from the very people surrounding them.

The Chaplin’s main role is to act as a companion, somebody for the individuals to talk to. They can also point them in the right direction for more support, online resources like The Big White Wall or ISWAN. The fact that charities are the only organisations looking after these individuals clearly shows that more needs to be done to raise awareness of this issue and more importantly to tackle it, hopefully through educating marine employers about the duty of care and responsibility they have to their own staff.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General at The Mission to Seafarers, said:

“This Mental Health Awareness Week we call on owners and operators to review the pressure put on crews and to ensure that suitable support mechanisms are in place. All our chaplains are trained to respond to a range of mental health issues and help seafarers deal with the stresses and strains of life at sea. We urge any seafarer to contact one of our chaplains in port who will be able to provide a listening ear and support.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Research now shows that as part of the general populations, 1 in 4 people are living with a mental health problem or will experience one in their life time. Proven methods to help with mental health include a healthy diet, proper and regular exercise along with having hobbies away from work. This can prove difficult on board a ship but Mission to Seafarers offer lots of advice around this subject. They say one of the most important ways to combat stress and sadness is to make sure you are socialising with people and the make sure you get ashore when you are at port. With turnaround times taking only 24-48hours you may not have much time to disembark but its key that you take advantage of this when and if you can.

If you feel you are struggling with mental health there are many resources you can access to get help and support. You never should suffer alone or in silence.

Reach out to someone.

 

ISWAN Resources

Mission to Seafarers

Self Help Services

The Sanctuary Group

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