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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Would you live and work in a shipping container?

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Since containerisation started in the shipping industry in 1956, the question has exisited of what to do with them when they are no longer fit for the rigors the sea throws at them? The average container has a life span on the ocean of between fifteen and twenty years and potentially much longer than that back on dry land.

Well, how would you like to use them for your home or office?

They are cheap ($1000-$3000 each depending on the age, type and condition), easy and cost effective to transport to site or re-locate, stackable, secure, incredibly durable, fast to errect with minimal foundations required, easy to plumb, easy to wire and are eco-friendly and can actually look ok.

Alright.....I only said "ok" not "great". There are now dedicated architects for shipping container buildings doing some incredible things with them. Offices, multi-storey hotels, homes, cafes can all be successfully built from them.








I can visualise the funky beach house in the future for the Skelton clan already. Maybe...

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Staggering overcapacity in the global shipping fleet.

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)
I recently received a commentary from Ferrier Hodgson with some amazing facts I thought I'd share on the global shipping fleet and cargo volumes.

In January 2011 there were 103,392 cargo ships operating globally. This number of ships grew an amazing 54% from 2005 in order to meet a pre-GFC high demand.

In this period the number of container ships grew by 83% and bulk carrier numbers grew by 63%. The growth in shipping capacity completed outstripped the growth in seaborne cargo which for the same period was only up 27% to 8879 million tonnes and.....the global fleet is still growing. About 16% more new ships are being added in 2012 from orders placed by ship owners years ago.

A massive imbalance in supply and demand in shipping has been created. Bulk carriers have been the worst affected with current charter rates dropping to the lowest levels in about 30 years.

The value of ships has dropped by about 30% which is causing financiers to get nervous about their security position.

For shippers and freight forwarders this situation is mostly benefiting them. It is leading to some very keen freight rates in some trade lanes as a result of carriers lowering their profit margins in an attempt to maintain or capture greater cargo volume.

The downside is that some ship owners are in a very precarious financial position and cannot withstand much more stress from ongoing operating losses and devalutions of their fleet. Most carriers are continuing to adopt cost cutting measures by dropping port calls and steaming more slowly to save fuel costs.

A consolidation of operators looks inevitable unless cargo volumes really pick up soon. With a lethargic global economy in general, I can't see that sort of growth in trade happening for a while.

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sir Richard Branson's, Virgin Oceanic, and Maersk Line join forces to go down. Waaaay down!

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

To boldly go where no man has gone before, Virgin and Maersk Lines are sponsoring the Virgin Oceanic Expedition. The goal is to have Sir Richard Branson and Chris Welsh, an American sailor, pilot the "DeepFlight Challenger" to the very bottom of all of the worlds five oceans over a period of two years. 

The deepest dive they hope to achieve will occur in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean and will take the specially designed submarine down 11,034 metres(36,000 feet) feet into the trench and then they plan to fly along the trench floor for six miles. Incredible!

They depart from Seattle later this year and have a scientific mission as well to explore and collect samples from the greatest depths of the planet Earth's oceans.

To help you appreciate the depth of these dives you can view an animation of this bold undertaking by clicking here.

Undoubtedly these dives will make world news however I will update you on their progress from time to time in my blog.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke



Sir Richard Branson's, Virgin Oceanic, and Maersk Line join forces to go down. Waaaay down!

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

To boldly go where no man has gone before, Virgin and Maersk Lines are sponsoring the Virgin Oceanic Expedition. The goal is to have Sir Richard Branson and Chris Welsh, an American sailor, pilot the "DeepFlight Challenger" to the very bottom of all of the worlds five oceans over a period of two years. 

The deepest dive they hope to achieve will occur in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean and will take the specially designed submarine down 11,034 metres(36,000 feet) feet into the trench and then they plan to fly along the trench floor for six miles. Incredible!

They depart from Seattle later this year and have a scientific mission as well to explore and collect samples from the greatest depths of the planet Earth's oceans.

To help you appreciate the depth of these dives you can view an animation of this bold undertaking by clicking here.

Undoubtedly these dives will make world news however I will update you on their progress from time to time in my blog.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke



Monday, 18 April 2011

Check out JUMPSHIFT !

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

One of my friends and mentors, Alan Anderson, has just co-authored a book with Michael Sherlock who was one of the founders of Brumby's in Australia. The book is called "JUMPSHIFT" and it is packed with ideas, tools and resources to help any business owner or manager create alignment and direction for their business and team.

I particularly love their ideas about staff members who have what they call "the owners eye". By this they mean people that approach every aspect of their role with the company in the same manner as if they owned the business themselves. Alan and Michael contend that these are the people you really need to reward very well and promote and retain.

I wholeheartedly agree and reading the book prompted me to think about who on my team has "the owners eye". Then I asked myself "Am I looking after them well enough?". To be blunt, those that don't have the owners eye, can go down the road to our competitors if they like and become their problem. They are usually the same team members that you constantly have to ride to comply our customer service standards and company procedures anyway thus taking up precious manangement time and energy. The team members that have it, I am making sure that they know they are sincerely appreciated and valued. Those people are like part of the family almost. JUMPSHIFT has reminded me that having and developing the right team and a high performance culture is EVERYTHING.

This is one example of the type of thinking and great experience that Alan and Michael share. All of their ideas can be easily and quickly applied by anyone.

JUMPSHIFT is a fun, light and informative read.  You can order JUMPSHIFT direct from their website HERE . Alan and Michael are also supporters of Care Australia so $2 from the sale of each book goes to this wonderful charity and serves as a testament to the good blokes that they both are.

If you would like to be personally connected to the authors then leave a comment on this blog and I am sure they will respond.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke

Check out JUMPSHIFT !

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

One of my friends and mentors, Alan Anderson, has just co-authored a book with Michael Sherlock who was one of the founders of Brumby's in Australia. The book is called "JUMPSHIFT" and it is packed with ideas, tools and resources to help any business owner or manager create alignment and direction for their business and team.

I particularly love their ideas about staff members who have what they call "the owners eye". By this they mean people that approach every aspect of their role with the company in the same manner as if they owned the business themselves. Alan and Michael contend that these are the people you really need to reward very well and promote and retain.

I wholeheartedly agree and reading the book prompted me to think about who on my team has "the owners eye". Then I asked myself "Am I looking after them well enough?". To be blunt, those that don't have the owners eye, can go down the road to our competitors if they like and become their problem. They are usually the same team members that you constantly have to ride to comply our customer service standards and company procedures anyway thus taking up precious manangement time and energy. The team members that have it, I am making sure that they know they are sincerely appreciated and valued. Those people are like part of the family almost. JUMPSHIFT has reminded me that having and developing the right team and a high performance culture is EVERYTHING.

This is one example of the type of thinking and great experience that Alan and Michael share. All of their ideas can be easily and quickly applied by anyone.

JUMPSHIFT is a fun, light and informative read.  You can order JUMPSHIFT direct from their website HERE . Alan and Michael are also supporters of Care Australia so $2 from the sale of each book goes to this wonderful charity and serves as a testament to the good blokes that they both are.

If you would like to be personally connected to the authors then leave a comment on this blog and I am sure they will respond.

All for now,
Brad Skelton
The Shipping Bloke

Thursday, 9 December 2010

New Incoterms come into force on 1 January 2011.

(You are getting this note because you subscribed to The Shipping Blokes Blog by Brad Skelton)

The International Chamber of Commerce has recently overhauled the Incoterms used in world trade and there are some substantial changes coming into effect on 1 January 2011. About every ten years the ICC reviews and attempts to make sure Incoterms align with current trends and methods of world transport.

Rather than attempting to explain all the new terms in this blog, you can get a short overview by watching a 4min 28sec presentation on this by clicking here.

For more information please feel free to post a question on this blog or alternatively you can order the ICC's Incoterms 2010 book detailing them all, online by clicking here.

Undoubtedly there will be some short term confusion until everyone involved in world trade gets used to using the new terms. Old habits die hard sometimes...

All for now,

Brad Skelton

The Shipping Bloke