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Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port Container Terminal (KPCT) has announced that Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM)’s Korea Middle East Service (KMS) has been added to its growing network list and started calling at the port on Saturday (5 September).

HMM has increased its services at the terminal by adding KMS, which made its maiden call to the terminal with the 6,800 teu ship, ‘Hyundai Bangkok’.

KMS, which provides weekly port rotation between Korea and Middle East Gulf, is the fourth new service calling at the terminal since the beginning of 2015.

The new service’s rotation will include Kwang Yang, Busan, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Yantian, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Kelang, Jebel Ali, Khalifa Port, Bandar Abbas, Karachi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kwang Yang.

KPCT, which is part of the Port of Khalifa, has been managed and operated by the port operator Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT) since 2012.

Simon Brebner, Abu Dhabi Terminals’ CCO, said: “The newly added KMS service links Korea and the Far East directly to major ports in the GCC and has one of the best transit times in the trade which benefits our customers tremendously.”

Khalifa Port, which is the major port of the capital of the United Arab Emirates, ranked 104th in the 2015 issue of CM’s World Top Container Ports, having handled 1,137,679 teu in 2014.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has commissioned a mathematical model study to determine whether the new Panama Canal locks will be safe to operate.

In a statement, the ITF said: “Recent tests raised serious concerns about the condition of the structure, with several cracks being detected in the new locks, even though the structure should be designed to withstand earthquakes. This has created further concerns over the real date the locks will be fully operational, not to mention the low level of Gatun Lake, which temporarily reduced the canal’s operative draught, even before the new locks are filled.”

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has recently criticised the project’s construction contractor Grupo Uniods por el Canal (GUPC) for not adequately explaining why there have been leaks in the locks. The Authority is waiting for the contractor to issue a report before deciding whether to adjust its guidance on the project’s completion date.

The structure is not the ITF’s only concern as the new locks will require changes to working operations. Ivan de la Gaudia, general secretary of Panama’s tugboats masters and mates union, said that he has been seeking engagement with the ACP on a draft of new procedures for the new locks. However, he said the ACP has constantly denied him proper engagement.

A Brazil-based company called Fundacao Homem de Mar (FHM) will carry out the study.

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