World Maritime News
Q2 results reveal an emboldened container industry
The strategy of matching capacity to weak demand has been widely successful for ocean carriers, lifting financial performance across the board. Even carriers that have been struggling for years to find profitability have managed to brush off falling revenue and turn in dramatic improvements in the first half-2020 earnings. HMM, for instance, a long-time loss maker, ended the first half with a loss of U$ 31 million, but was still a 90% improvement year on year despite a 22% drop in volume in the first six months.
Alliance structure hampers expanding container line offerings
The past six months have clearly shown the value alliances provide to their member carriers of managing capacity in the face of extreme demand volatility. If we look slightly further ahead, beyond the pandemic impact, we are still in a market where the networks on the main deep-sea trades are designed by the three major alliances. Box freight spot rates continue their inexorable rise and the strong spot market is even starting to trickle into the contract rates indices.
Green ship finance now accounts for 10% of market and growing
Green and sustainable models of ship finance are now taking a 10% share of the overall market and will continue to grow, possibly under regulatory pressure, according to analysis by Stephen Harwood. While the trend toward green finance is still led by European financiers, Japanese banks are now getting involved, and lenders from other Asian countries are expected to follow. The best-known lending framework is the Poseidon Principles, published in June 2019, which can be measured against IMO emissions targets.
California air board targets ocean-going vessels and trucks with new regulations
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved new regulations aimed at decreasing air pollution from trucks and ocean-going vessels docked at the state’s maritime community. The new ruling for ships requires that every vessel coming into a regulated California port either use shore power or CARB-approved control technology to reduce harmful emissions. The updated regulation starts in 2023 for container, reefer and cruise vessels.
Read more: Lloyd’s List
Container carriers collaborate over carbon concerns
Maersk and CMA CGM are among container lines launching or joining consortia to push forward shipping’s decarbonization agenda. Container shipping has strong links to their customers, the shippers and beneficial cargo owners. Many of these want to show their own green credentials to their end-customers and so are looking to collaborate with carriers to promote cleaner shipping. The seeds of those initial ambitions have resulted in the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero-Carbon Shipping. The founding members of the fund are Maersk, NYK, ABS, Cargill, MAN Energy Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Siemens Energy. CMA CGM has teamed up with 10 partners with aim to address the challenges posed by sustainable mobility in the transport and logistics industry by reducing emissions, fighting global warming and protecting biodiversity.
Read more: Lloyd’s List
Green hydrogen is leading decarbonization pilot projects
Green hydrogen is emerging as the front runner in the search for a carbon-neutral fuel of the future that will enable shipping industry to meet its 2050 decarbonization targets. The Getting to Zero Coalition, an industry-led group of more than 120 companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors has identified 66 research projects focusing on ship technologies, development and fuel production, with green hydrogen playing a leading role, according to a new tracking report issued on 27 August.
Standards set for wider use of methanol as marine fuel
A new technical reference for methanol bunkering has been developed to boost safety in handling a fuel that could enable the shipping industry to meet greenhouse gas emission targets. The Methanol Institute joined with Lloyd’s Register to produce the reference, which includes checklists for handling of the fuel on board ships, to promote an understanding of how methanol bunkering can be done safely. The international Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels provides a regulatory framework that covers the use of LNG, but not just yet for methanol.
BW LPG places bet on ammonia for zero carbon future
BW LPG chief executive Anders Onarheim said that the company decided to make its very large gas carriers ready to use liquefied petroleum gas as a fuel and is also betting on ammonia as a pathway to carbon neutral and ultimately zero carbon fuels as the conversion of from LPG propulsion to ammonia will not require a big investment. According to the International Energy Agency’s Technology Perspectives 2020 report, the shipping industry need to put 36 ammonia-fueled vessels into service every month to meet any net zero carbon emission targets.
Russia begins building world’s most powerful icebreaker
Russia’s Zvezda shipyard has begun construction of the first ‘Leader’-class nuclear icebreaker named “Russia”, one of the first of a fleet that Russia plans to build by 2035 in a bid to improve ship safety in the Arctic. The Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom said the vessel is slated to become operational in 2027 to escort merchant vessels on the Northern Sea Route (NSR).
Read more: Safety at Sea
British ports urged to explore autonomous shipping implications
UK ports should begin considering the implications of autonomous shipping on their operations, according to the British Ports Association. It is launching an Autonomous Shipping in Ports Network for which it is seeking feedback from the maritime industry on how UK ports should prepare for the eventuality of autonomous ships. The IMO is currently conducting a scoping exercise targeting how it could develop regulations for autonomous ships and what kind of changes it would need to make to its current practices to allow that to happen.
Read more: Lloyd’s List