Further to our previous Circulars (17th and 18th March, 9th April, and 12th May 2020), please find a further update on COVID-19 in each country EMCO Group has a presence.
Following the destruction caused by the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4th August 2020, the container terminal (which remarkably remained largely unaffected by the blast) has resumed its operations with a number of containerships having already berthed at the said terminal, discharged their cargo and sailed therefrom. More vessels are expected to call at the container terminal in Beirut in the upcoming weeks. Efforts are being made by the port authorities to receive cargo ships and bulk carriers by cleaning the remaining three undamaged quays. However, given the substantial damage sustained by the port facilities, the cargo will need to be offloaded onto trucks using the vessels’ own gear or the shore cranes that have survived the blast and arrangements must be made for its storage since the storage area at the port has been fully demolished, whereas the Customs Authorities have opened offices in warehouse No. 14 (which was partially damaged by the explosion) and are hoping to be fully operational again within the forthcoming days. The port of Beirut remains under the control of the army.
Further to our Alert on the 5th August regarding the explosion that took place at the port of Beirut last week, the port has been placed under the control of the Lebanese Army with no civilians allowed in.
As you may already have heard from the international media, a massive explosion took place yesterday afternoon in the Port of Beirut. While the cause of the blast was not immediately clear, the explosion is at present being apparently attributed to an incident related to welding being carried out at the entrance to a warehouse containing a cargo of ammonium nitrate stored in the said warehouse for a number of years. The blast had a disastrous effect on the Lebanese capital, with nearly all buildings in a 5 km radius being damaged or destroyed while almost totally flattening the port. As at the present time, at least 100 people are known to have died and over 4,000 people injured. Officials said they expect the death toll to rise further as emergency workers resume their work to rescue people and help the wounded.
It has not been unknown in recent years for some of the largest and well known Charterers to fail with little, if any, warning. When this happens, Owners who are owed money by their Charterers, for example for unpaid hire, may find themselves with limited options for the recovery of their losses. Where the Charterers are insolvent or have no assets, it is likely that recovery will be remote.The following steps should be taken into consideration to ensure that the Charterers pay their hire and Owners are protected as much as possible:
The dangers associated with the carriage of solid bulk cargoes are undoubtedly one of the decade’s hot issues in the shipping industry. Some of the titles that circulated over this decade convey the alarming threats that have shaken the dry cargo-shipping sector, such as: “Cargo liquefaction still a problem”, “Club move to stop liquefaction losses”, “Crew safety should come first”, “Dealing with the unusual”, “Drive to cut liquefaction losses”, “Handle with care” and “Preventing liquefaction tops concerns”, to name a few.
PRIVATISATION OF LIMASSOL PORT
Further to our update of 10th February 2017 on the privatisation of Limassol Port, the latest information on the situation is as follows:
- On 14th February 2017 trailer truck drivers gathered at the entrance of the port at around 10am, blocking vehicles from passing through. The drivers were protesting over the long delay in transferring containers and generally the slow service at the port since the privatisation on 29thJanuary 2017.