By Alexander Whiteman 23/08/2018 The port of Hamburg is continuing to lose ground to its North European container competitors, with another year-on-year decline in first-half results.Throughput for the German port fell 2.7% on 2017 and, despite the port’s best efforts to shrug off the drop, it finds itself lagging behind Antwerp and Rotterdam.However, joint chief executive of marketing Axel Mattern pointed to Hamburg’s position as “Europe’s leading rail port” as a positive.“Our share of loaded containers remained stable in a competitive field, and our [place] as a leading rail port was underlined by growth in railborne containers,” said Mr Mattern. Hamburg Terminal “Against the background of the adjustment of the fairway on the Elbe, it is understandable that carriers utilise slots on mega-ships calling at Hamburg primarily for loaded boxes.”Some 4.3m teu was handled by the port, with the number of empties handled dropping by 15.6%. A statement from the port said this was responsible for 81% of the total decline.Loaded box volumes remained relatively flat on 2017’s performance, down just 0.6% to 3.8m teu, with Mr Mattern calling for final approval for the Elbe dredging.“Unlike cargo bound for the local region and loaded boxes, transhipment cargo and empty containers are less tied to specific ports,” he said. “We therefore hope that planning permission will be granted before the end of the year, and the fairway adjustment finally implemented after a wait of 17 years.”His focus on the positives seen in rail-borne throughput was underlined by the figures, the segment recording growth of 5.4% (at 1.2m teu) compared with 2017.Even so, this has not been enough to offset the loss of volumes that have been switched to neighbouring ports like Antwerp and Rotterdam.Antwerp has been the greatest beneficiary of Hamburg’s failure to push through Elbe deepening, the Belgian port usurping it in the rankings and marching further ahead.Last month, it announced record half-year results, with container volumes up 8.3% year on year to more than 5.5m teu, and May setting an all-time monthly record.Port authority chief executive Jacques Vandermeiren said the strong performance was “good news” for the Belgian economy.“The growth figures confirm our role as a leading world player and demonstrate the continuing attractiveness of the port,” he said. “But they also confirm forecasts that we’ll soon hit max capacity and we have well exceeded optimum utilisation for terminals below the locks, which can negatively impact efficiency.“We will therefore continue to emphasise the importance of having additional and commercially useful container capacity below the locks.”Rotterdam also saw a “clear increase” in container volumes, up 6.2% year on year, noting that the port’s regional market share had hit 31.2%.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Skipper Jason Holder has downplayed the role of the pitch in Sunday’s 48-run defeat to Bangladesh in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series, contending West Indies simply were not at their best. West Indies failed to chase down 279 on a slow track at the Guyana National Stadium, with rookie left-hander Shimron Hetmyer the only batsman to score a half-century with 52.However, Holder said while the target had not been beyond the Windies line-up, the batting side had simply not been good enough, and stressed the side’s overall performance needed to improve in order to bounce back in tomorrow’s second ODI at the same venue.“I think the pitch was good. It was probably similar to the last time we played Pakistan here,” the 26-year-old all-rounder said. “It took a little spin up front because there had a little moisture in the pitch but nothing you couldn’t really get around in terms of rotating and scoring. It’s probably a pitch that you need to spend a little more time on in terms of getting yourself in and I think once you’re set, it becomes a lot easier.”He added: “I think we need to improve in all three departments, just sharpen up. Our generally fielding wasn’t good enough in my opinion – we missed a few chances.“In terms of our bowling, we could execute a lot better at the end. Obviously bowling at two set batsmen at the very end isn’t easy but I thought we could have been a lot better … in terms of our death bowling. “And batting-wise, we’ve just got to find ways to build more partnerships and build bigger partnerships and go as deep as possible into the innings.”West Indies were battered by opener Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 130 from 160 deliveries as Bangladesh reached 279 for four off their 50 overs.Critically, he shared a record 207-run second wicket stand with all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan whose 97 came from 121 balls. In reply, the Windies were 141 for four in the 36th over at one stage but suffered a slump where they lost five wickets for 31 runs in 33 deliveries, leaving tail-enders Devendra Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph, both with 29 not out, to bat out the majority of the last 10 overs.“I felt we weren’t up to scratch today. In the field we were a little sloppy, we missed a few chances,” Holder explained.“I felt we bowled pretty well up until the 45th over or so and we lost our way in the last couple of overs. And then obviously when we batted, there were not enough partnerships up front.” Despite the defeat, however, Holder said the Windies were confident of turning their fortunes around. “I don’t think it’s the end of the world. We know the areas we need to tighten up on. As I said, missing chances in any cricket will hurt you – we missed one or two up front and I said, we just did not execute well at the end,” he explained.“Having said that, I still think we had a few positives in the game. Hetmyer played really well with the bat, the two at the end (Bishoo and Joseph) played a really good part and also bowled well. I think generally most bowlers went well and it’s just a matter of us taking it up a notch come Wednesday.”
Ty Smith finds himself in a precarious situation in his second training camp with the Devils.The 19-year-old, whom the Devils drafted No. 17 overall in 2018, failed to make the team’s roster last fall and returned to his junior team in the Western Hockey League, the Spokane Chiefs. If the NHL brass wanted to see continued development from Smith last year, they sure got it — he scored 69 points in just 57 games played, led Spokane to the WHL conference finals and earned the CHL’s Defenseman of the Year award to top it all off. After the Devils’ preseason game against the Bruins on Monday, Smith said he feels more comfortable in his second go-around in an NHL training camp.”Some new faces, but mostly guys I’m pretty familiar with [from] playing a couple preseason games last year and going through camp,” Smith told Sporting News. “It’s been pretty fun so far, so I hope that continues.”Team management has not yet determined whether he’s ready for the NHL this year, but it seems the Devils’ top defensive prospect is ready for a jump to tougher competition. Unfortunately, though, Smith’s only options this year are the NHL or juniors once more. As The Athletic’s Corey Masisak noted before training camp started, the league’s agreement with the Canadian major junior leagues requires players younger than 20 to return to their junior team if they are not assigned to the NHL.For Smith, it means he can’t play with the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton, N.Y., yet — even if it would best serve his development this season.He played an impressive game against the Bruins to open his preseason campaign. Smith notched two assists and skated more (23:16) than anyone else on New Jersey’s roster in a 4-3 overtime win. Even star defenseman P.K. Subban, completely new to the organization, took notice.”[Smith], he’s a young guy, but man he looks good out there,” Subban said.In his next game on Wednesday against the Rangers, Smith skated fewer minutes than any other Devils defenseman and was attributed with three giveaways. The Devils won that game, too, but it was a very different evening for the young blueliner.Smith’s play may not need to be perfected in order for him to make the NHL roster, but on a defense that now includes a true top-pairing defender in Subban in addition to last year’s regulars, it could be hard for Devils coach John Hynes to find a regular place for Smith. Teams want prospects to skate a lot of minutes more than anything else as they develop. The Devils issued Smith No. 24 when he arrived in New Jersey for training camp. In his third exhibition game, No. 24 will reportedly skate alongside No. 28, Damon Severson, against the Islanders. It will be Smith’s second game in a row playing with Severson, a five-year league veteran. Smith told reporters he hopes the familiarity they gained against the Rangers can allow him to play a stronger game against the Islanders.”If I see a play I think I just have to make it,” Smith said. “Use my skating ability to my advantage, my playmaking ability, and I think I just kind of need to have some fun. I’m a younger guy here, and I think that’s something lots of younger guys forget coming in. They’re thinking about every factor, everything but just having fun.”When I’m playing my best, I’m having fun out there — obviously working hard, so I’m being competitive, but definitely trying to have some fun, skate, and make plays.”