World Maritime News
Ports prepare for Suez surge
Ever Given（Flag Panama Built 2018 20,388TEU GRT 220,940）land around 0540 GMT 24 March 6NM north of the south entrance of the Suez Canal and refloated 29 March and Suez Canal Authority (SCA) chairman Osama Rabie told reporters that 113 ships were expected to transit the canal in both directions by early morning 30 March.
Attention is now turning to the surge of imports that are due to arrive at Europe’s shores as vessels begin to transit the canal. Terminals will experience high congestion and the severe drop in vessel arrival and container discharge in major terminals will aggravate the already ongoing shortages of empty containers available for exports. High delays in shipments, increased costs, and product shortages are expected.
Bigger ships create bigger problems
One of the world’s largest containerships wedged athwart the Suez Canal has offered the shipping industry a timely reminder that super-size ships can create super-size problems.
The blocking of the Suez Canal should be a wake-up call to an industry that has failed to account for the accumulating risks associated with larger ship sizes. The shipping sector remains largely reactive to incidents and has failed to tackle known safety issues in a sufficiently proactive manner. Fires on board large container vessels are now a regular occurrence but ultra-large containerships pose a complex series of salvage challenges, exacerbated by the fact that firefighting capabilities have not kept up with the upsizing of container vessels. The chaos created by the Ever Given casualty is likely to put pressure on containership owners and operators to address their preparedness to deal with major incidents involving the latest generation of boxships.
After Ever Given, what now for marine insurance
Crews are expected to be interviewed by Panama flag registry representatives on 30 March and hand over the Voyage Data Recorder. Suez Canal Authority, shipmanager and shipowner also expected to conduct parallel investigations as they all pledge to co-operate with all authorities. The Ever Given grounding will have a big impact not just on the physical shipping and ports business, but on the whole maritime white-collar services sector as well. This single case does not put our market under pressure. The bigger picture is liability, and this is where it could get desperate. This is very bad news for the P&I clubs, argues secretary general of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI). Reinsurers face an unspecified “large loss event” potentially reaching hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of the blockage of the Suez Canal.
Forwarders launch new services to stay ahead of China-Europe rail demand
Forwarders have launched a host of new China-Europe rail services in the past few months to capitalize on heavy demand from shippers forced out of air and ocean markets by soaring freight rates and tight capacity. Forwarders are spreading their services across the three China-Europe trade lanes-the northern corridor through Russia, the middle corridor via Kazakhstan and Russia, and the southern corridor via Uzbekistan and Turkey. A record 12,400 trains were deployed in 2020, up 50 percent year over year, with volume up 56 percent compared with 2019 at 1.13 million TEU, according to data from China Railway Express, the state-owned operator of the rail network. Davies Turner, DHL Global Forwarding, Nippon Express, DB Cargo Eurasia, CEVA Logistics, Maersk and DSV are among those forwarders.
Read more: JOC
PSA joins with Duisport to grow Europe-Asia trade flow
PSA International said it had linked with the operator of the world’s largest inland port to invest in multi-modal logistics infrastructure in Asia. The joint venture with Germany’s Duisburger Hafen AG will initially focus on a development in Chongqing, the largest multi-modal logistics hub in western China to be connected to Yzui Rail Terminal. This hub, which falls under Singapore’s third government-to-government project with China, is being developed by PSA International. It will develop both physical and digital services targeting at customers in Europe and Asia. The venture offers an opportunity to access land-locked markets in Asia, said PSA International.
Top US importers from Asia accepting higher contract rates
The top half-dozen US importers of Asia cargo are finalizing trans-Pacific service contract at levels that are approximately double what they signed last year, according to JOC’s conversation with a number of market participants. The approximate rates for the largest retailers are about U$ 2,500 per FEU to West Coast and U$ 3,500 per FEU to the East Coast. In the 2020-21 annual service contracts that run through 1 May, 2021, the largest retailers reportedly signed for about U$ 1,100 to U$ 1,300 to the West Coast and U$ 700 to U$ 1,000 per FEU higher than that to the East Coast.
Read more: JOC
Cosco board eyes order for 10 dual-fuel megaships
Orient Overseas International is expected to join the latest ordering spree of containerships, with the Cosco Shipping unit said to be considering an investment in 10 dual-fuel 15,000 teu vessels. Cosco has been reluctant to burn LNG on its new ships owing to concerns about a lack of fuel infrastructure. But it seems to have changed its mind, prompted by the need to match up with its Ocean Alliance partner CMA CGM’s vessel deployment as well as Beijing’s mandate to decarbonize the country’s economy. China aims to hit peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and aims for carbon neutrality by 2060.
First ship-to-ship LNG bunkering for boxship in Singapore
Singapore has carried out the first ship-to-ship transfer of marine LNG to an ocean-going containership. CMA CGM Scandola 15,000 teu received 7,100 m3 of LNG ship-to-ship from bunker tanker FuelLNG, a joint venture between Shell and Keppel Offshore & Marine. The partners expect to conduct between 30 and 50 LNG bunkering operations in Singapore this year, adding to its track recording built up so far with over 300 truck-to-ship transfers for the supply of LNG as marine fuel.
Read more: Lloyd’s List
MOL makes a foray into liquefied CO2 shipping
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines plans to enter the liquefied carbon dioxide shipping business with an investment in a Norway-based shipmanagement company. The move is part of MOL’s management strategy that focuses on the development of emission-free business. It will invest in Larvik Shipping, which managed liquefied CO2 tankers serving Europe for more than 30 years, with a track record in safety and cargo handling experience. The two company will discuss the adoption of larger ships, aiming to expand both upstream and downstream of the carbon dioxide capture utilization and storage business. An International Energy Agency report said CCUS targets a 15% reduction in cumulative CO2 emissions by 2070.
IMO-Singapore project a Maritime Single Window ship clearance system in a pilot port
The IMO has issued a call for expressions of interest from countries with a medium-sized port to take part in a pilot project to establish an efficient digitalized system for electronic exchange of information in ports for ship clearance. Regulations in IMO’s Facilitation Convention require electronic exchange of data, to ensure the efficient clearance of ships and the single window concept is recommended. Financial support will be provided by Norway and Singapore will bring in its experience to cater to the technical requirements for medium-size ports.
Read more: IMO
Cosco-led blockchain shipping platform wins regulatory approvals
The Global Shipping Business Network, a blockchain-based liner shipping platform owned by leading carriers and terminal operators, has started operation in Hong Kong after gaining regulatory approvals. It plans to establish a framework, under which all stakeholders will share the benefit derived from data products built on top of the platform using their data. Shareholders consist of Cosco Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, Qingdao Port Group, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group. CMA CGM which signed a preliminary shareholder agreement in February 2020 to join the effort, did not appear on the roster this time. The platform, operated by Cosco-affiliated CargoSmart, will open its membership in the coming months.
Read more: Lloyd’s List