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2021 Shipping Movements

Mr Miserable

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Jul 8, 2019
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If you are waiting for MODEL S or Model X

Although Model S and Model X are made in the same US factory as the Model 3 their delivery journey to you is markedly different.
Both Model S and X are shipped partly assembled in containers (3 to a container) as parts.
They are moved by road from Fremont to the Oakland Joint Intermodal Terminal where they are loaded on to a train.
The train then takes about 9 or more bone-rattling days to travel to Houston. (actually BNSF Pearland).

screenshot-2020-03-08-at-23-32-59-png.580023


The containers are then moved by road to the dock at Barbers Cut (webcams) where they are then loaded on to a scheduled container ship that eventually arrives 15 days later in Rotterdam (Note: Although the ships have a scheduled stop in Antwerp your containers are unloaded in Rotterdam).

The current likely shipping schedules show:
Dep Houston Arr Rotterdam

SAFMARINE MAFADI 7/2 - 22/2

MAERSK MONTANA 14/2 - 1/3

From Rotterdam the containers are moved by road (or barge) to Tilburg in Holland. Your car is removed from the container and then joins a mini production line where it is reassembled. It is then moved to Zeebrugge and shipped to Southampton.

As can be seen, all this takes time.

Finding your car in this complex logistics chain is difficult but there is a man who can. @Vedaprime is the specialist in this area. You can find him here but he normally resides on Twitter.
 
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Mr Miserable

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GLOVIS CAPTAIN is presently off the south coast of Panama and will enter the Gulf of Panama in about 8 hrs time before a gentle cruise up to an anchorage off the entrance to the Canal later this evening (local).
She will drop anchor there for a few hours before commencing her transit in the small hours of tomorrow morning.
Once clear of the canal the ship will update her ETA for Zeebrugge however for the moment I’m estimating an arrival in Zeebrugge around 6 Feb.
I will post information on the Panama Canal and links to the webcams etc a little later this afternoon.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to enter the free GLOVIS CAPTAIN competition. Click HERE to enter - it’s quick and painless.
The competition will close as soon as the ship enters the Panama Canal.

G CAPTAIN PacProg Q121.png


HORIZON LEADER continues to load alongside Pier 80. I am expecting her to depart in the early hours of Tuesday morning. In the meantime I have pencilled her in to arrive in Zeebrugge around 16 Feb.

COSCO SHENGSHI is due alongside Pier 80 on Wednesday and I expect that she will be heading to the Far East.

GLOVIS CENTURY I’m pretty confident that this ship is loaded with the first MIC RHD Model 3s for UK and Ireland. I am not receiving satellite positions from her at the moment and so I have estimated her position on the chart below. Weather conditions in the South China Sea are fine and will remain good for the remainder of her voyage to Singapore . She is due to arrive in Singapore on Wednesday. She will then route to Southampton and at the moment I reckon she will arrive there around 21 Feb.

G Cent S China Sea.png
 

Mr Miserable

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Jul 8, 2019
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GLOVIS CAPTAIN is about to enter the Gulf of Panama and will anchor up this evening just off the entrance to the canal.
She will have paid a fee to jump the queue and so I am pretty confident she will transit the canal tomorrow.
In the wee small hours of tomorrow morning a canal pilot will board the ship and she will then head up towards the first set of locks, the Miraflores locks. This is the first of a set of two locks which will lift the ship a total of 85ft. After Miraflores the ship will motor the short distance to the second set of locks, the Pedro Miguel Locks. The ship will now be level with Gatun lake and she can make her way to the final set of locks, the Gatun locks which will then lower the ship 85ft to the Caribbean in 3 stages.

The Panama Canal provides a shortcut for shipping travelling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and vice-versa. Instead of having to route to the south of South America and then back up, a distance of about 10,000 nm the canal offers a mere 51 mile transit. This comes at a big (normally well into 6 figures USD) price, calculated by a complicated formula, designed to maximise revenue to the canal operators. The original canal opened in 1914 and was an immediate success. In the first year it handled about 1000 ships and by 2008 it was handling nearly 15,000. These figures alone don’t tell the whole story because ships were getting bigger and bigger and one of the limits to the size of ships being built was the size of the locks in the Panama Canal. Ships that were built to fit (just) into the locks were described as Panamax ships. That is why so many cruise ships, container ships and car carriers are 32.3m wide and have a draft of under 12.6m.

The expansion of global trade and the increase in shipping meant that the canal was becoming a bottleneck with frequent delays and queues of ships waiting to transit. Fees for queue jumping became ever more expensive and ever more necessary to avoid delays. Alternatives to the canal were seriously being considered eg the NW passage and a number of alternative canal routes that avoided Panama completely. Panama relies on the income from the canal and could not afford for any of the alternatives plans to be viable and so the plan for the expansion to the existing canal system was commenced in 2007 and completed in 2016. This introduced two new sets of locks built parallel to the existing locks. Significantly, they now allow ships up to 366m long, 49m wide and with a draft of up to 15m to transit the canal. The new locks are of a modern design which use less water and are regarded as safer and more reliable too.

So a Panamax ship like GLOVIS CAPTAIN will use the old locks - Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun locks to transit whereas bigger ships like GLOVIS SUN have to use the new locks at Cocoli and Agua Clara.

The canal is big business and so is generally a pretty slick operation entirely dependent on how much you have paid. The Tesla ships are normally booked in several weeks in advance and are given a pretty high priority. Delays of more than 24 hours are rare and normally we can expect the ships to start their northbound transit in the small hours of the morning and be in the Caribbean around 8 hours later.

There are webcams at the locks so you can watch the ships going through. The link to the webcams are here There are plenty of youtube videos and documentaries on the canal, its operation and construction, many of which are very good.

For GLOVIS CAPTAIN, I expect her to be at Miraflores around 6-7 am UK time tomorrow. By the time she reaches Gatun locks it will be daylight. I expect her to be in the Caribbean shortly after 3pm UK time.

cfabbfa9-7989-4d9f-82b9-fdbe12efee8a-png.582713


Thanks to @Mister J for providing the above graphic.
 

Mr Miserable

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Supporting Member
Jul 8, 2019
5,711
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UK
Last chance to enter GLOVIS CAPTAIN competition!

All you have to do is, using your skill and judgement, decide where GLOVIS CAPTAIN will be at MiddayZ on 01 Feb 21.
It's free, quick and simple to enter and there is no prize. It's just a bit of fun!
Only 1 entry per person
In the event of a tie, the person who chose the closest gridsquare first will be declared the winner.
The competition will close when GLOVIS CAPTAIN enters the Panama Canal.

Click HERE to enter

atlantic-major-squares-png.628081
 

muraliaix

Member
Jan 18, 2021
25
30
France
GLOVIS CAPTAIN is about to enter the Gulf of Panama and will anchor up this evening just off the entrance to the canal.
She will have paid a fee to jump the queue and so I am pretty confident she will transit the canal tomorrow.
In the wee small hours of tomorrow morning a canal pilot will board the ship and she will then head up towards the first set of locks, the Miraflores locks. This is the first of a set of two locks which will lift the ship a total of 85ft. After Miraflores the ship will motor the short distance to the second set of locks, the Pedro Miguel Locks. The ship will now be level with Gatun lake and she can make her way to the final set of locks, the Gatun locks which will then lower the ship 85ft to the Caribbean in 3 stages.

The Panama Canal provides a shortcut for shipping travelling from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and vice-versa. Instead of having to route to the south of South America and then back up, a distance of about 10,000 nm the canal offers a mere 51 mile transit. This comes at a big (normally well into 6 figures USD) price, calculated by a complicated formula, designed to maximise revenue to the canal operators. The original canal opened in 1914 and was an immediate success. In the first year it handled about 1000 ships and by 2008 it was handling nearly 15,000. These figures alone don’t tell the whole story because ships were getting bigger and bigger and one of the limits to the size of ships being built was the size of the locks in the Panama Canal. Ships that were built to fit (just) into the locks were described as Panamax ships. That is why so many cruise ships, container ships and car carriers are 32.3m wide and have a draft of under 12.6m.

The expansion of global trade and the increase in shipping meant that the canal was becoming a bottleneck with frequent delays and queues of ships waiting to transit. Fees for queue jumping became ever more expensive and ever more necessary to avoid delays. Alternatives to the canal were seriously being considered eg the NW passage and a number of alternative canal routes that avoided Panama completely. Panama relies on the income from the canal and could not afford for any of the alternatives plans to be viable and so the plan for the expansion to the existing canal system was commenced in 2007 and completed in 2016. This introduced two new sets of locks built parallel to the existing locks. Significantly, they now allow ships up to 366m long, 49m wide and with a draft of up to 15m to transit the canal. The new locks are of a modern design which use less water and are regarded as safer and more reliable too.

So a Panamax ship like GLOVIS CAPTAIN will use the old locks - Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun locks to transit whereas bigger ships like GLOVIS SUN have to use the new locks at Cocoli and Agua Clara.

The canal is big business and so is generally a pretty slick operation entirely dependent on how much you have paid. The Tesla ships are normally booked in several weeks in advance and are given a pretty high priority. Delays of more than 24 hours are rare and normally we can expect the ships to start their northbound transit in the small hours of the morning and be in the Caribbean around 8 hours later.

There are webcams at the locks so you can watch the ships going through. The link to the webcams are here There are plenty of youtube videos and documentaries on the canal, its operation and construction, many of which are very good.

For GLOVIS CAPTAIN, I expect her to be at Miraflores around 6-7 am UK time tomorrow. By the time she reaches Gatun locks it will be daylight. I expect her to be in the Caribbean shortly after 3pm UK time.

cfabbfa9-7989-4d9f-82b9-fdbe12efee8a-png.582713


Thanks to @Mister J for providing the above graphic.
Very interesting read, thank you!
 
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Mr Miserable

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GLOVIS CAPTAIN is making good progress through the Panama Canal. She is now exiting the Pedro Miguel locks and is now 86ft higher than the Pacific. She will now motor through the Culebra cut towards Gatun lake. There don't appear to be any delays at Gatun locks today and so this could be a nice delay-free transit.
 

Mr Miserable

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Whilst waiting to enter the locks I'm pretty sure the Atlantic weather situation will have been given some close attention. Unlike some Atlantic crossings the route from Panama to N Europe has options and so can vary significantly and with good passage planning bad weather (delays) can be avoided.
The first option to consider is the choice of Atlantic entry point. The shortest route is via the Mona Passage and the alternative is via the Windward Passage.

Caribbean.png


At this time of the year there is an argument to keep the course as far to the east as possible (avoiding the winter storms that run up off the eastern seaboard of the US) which would favour the Mona Passage. After that, the decision will be whether to steer a traditional great circle (shortest distance between 2 points on a sphere) course to the English Channel or a rhumb line (constant heading) course through the Azores. Again, a rhumb line course may prove to be a better option at this time of year.
Is the weather a problem? These ships are designed to be ocean going and can withstand the worst that nature can throw at them however they cannot always maintain their speed and therefore bad weather can cause delays. Running to schedule is the Captain's responsibility and if he wants to continue to be a Captain he/she needs to keep to it. Succesful Captains use the least fuel whilst maintaining the schedule. Choosing a route that avoids bad weather makes life so much easier.
Looking back through my archives, I see that GLOVIS CAPTAIN chose the Mona passage last March and the Windward passage last August.
We will have to wait for a couple of hours after the ship has left Panama to see whether the Mona or Windward route has been chosen for this voyage...
 
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Mr Miserable

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GLOVIS CAPTAIN is currently negotiating the Panama Canal and is making excellent progress too.
Once clear of the canal the ship will update her ETA for Zeebrugge but until then we’ll have to make do with my estimate of an arrival in Zeebrugge around 6 Feb.

HORIZON LEADER continues to load alongside Pier 80.
I believe the plan is for the ship to depart in the early hours of tomorrow morning. The weather deterioration that was expected hasn’t developed to any extent - it’s just a going to be a bit windy, possibly gale force. This type of ship is not particularly aerodynamic and strong winds particularly at low speed when negotiating harbours are not welcome. She will have tug assistance to safely depart and the good news is that she will be sheltered to a large degree whilst in the San Francisco Bay. Given the opportunity however, she may want to depart late tonight rather than wait for the morning when the wind is forecast to strengthen . We shall see…
In the meantime I have pencilled her in to arrive in Zeebrugge around 16 Feb.

COSCO SHENGSHI is due alongside Pier 80 on Wednesday and I expect that she will be heading to the Far East.

GLOVIS CENTURY I’m pretty confident that this ship is loaded with the first MIC RHD Model 3s for UK and Ireland.
I am still not receiving satellite positions from her at the moment and so I have estimated her position on the chart below. (The eagle-eyed may spot that I may have been a little ambitious with my estimated position yesterday) Weather conditions in the South China Sea are fine and will remain good for the remainder of her voyage to Singapore . She is due to arrive in Singapore on Wednesday. She will then route to Southampton via the Suez Canal and at the moment I reckon she will arrive there around 21 Feb. It all very much depends on how long she stays in Singapore.

G Cent S China Sea.png
 

Mr Miserable

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GLOVIS CAPTAIN is now in the Caribbean and has updated her AIS to confirm that her destination is Zeebrugge and her ETA is, as forecasted here, 6 Feb.

She has now entered the traffic separation scheme, a 20 mile long one-way corridor that exists north of the canal entrance that will restrict her freedom to manoeuvre for the next hour or so. Once clear of that she will then set course for either the Windward or Mona passage.
 
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Electroman

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Aug 18, 2012
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Mr. Miserable, I presume the canal is two way passage so that both directions can go freely at all times without worry of opposing traffic?

How is traffic regulated in the narrow passages of Gatun lake? Looks like some sections are perhaps 500 meters wide?
 

Mr Miserable

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Jul 8, 2019
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Mr. Miserable, I presume the canal is two way passage so that both directions can go freely at all times without worry of opposing traffic?

How is traffic regulated in the narrow passages of Gatun lake? Looks like some sections are perhaps 500 meters wide?
Yes, it is quite narrow in places but particularly in the Culebra Cut. Here, 2 way traffic is not possible with the large ships using the new locks. Traffic is controlled by radio from the control centre direct to the canal pilots which are onboard every vessel - no exceptions. In order to reduce the number of conflicts they have introduced a wave system - a northbound wave of 5 or 6 ships followed by a wave of southbound ships - twice a day. There are holding areas (anchorages) in Gatun Lake if you miss the wave or are held up for any reason. The old locks allow for 2 way traffic but the new locks are one way only. As a result, it is rare to encounter opposing traffic in Gatun Lake, and although the channel appears narrow, it is well marked and dredged and would allow ships to pass quite comfortably.
 
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