World Maritime News

WMNF 10/01/2024


New action plan aims to reverse Hong Kong’s maritime fortunes

The Hong Kong government has formally unveiled its maritime industry revitalization strategy to reverse the city’s decline in port throughput and shipping services. The so-called action plan, published by the Transport and Logistics Bureau, includes building green methanol bunkering infrastructure, enhancing port digitalization, and considers further tax relief for commodities trading and ship leasing. However, the long-standing industry call for a statutory maritime body remains unheeded.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Asia-Europe boxship freight rates more than double after Houthi attacks

Container freight rates have more than doubled in two weeks on routes from Asia to northern Europe and the Mediterranean after Houthi attacks on commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea triggered costly and time-consuming diversions around the Cape of Good Hope. Rates for the Asia-to-Mediterranean route spiked by 123%, while Asia-Europe rates were 163% higher than mid-December, with further rises likely if container lines add more surcharges during January.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Diverting Red Sea ships to boost South Africa bunkering demand

Bunkering demand in South Africa’s primary refueling ports could rise as vessels reroute from the Red Sea to sail around the Cape of Good Hope following the recent attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Market sources said bunker suppliers in South Africa’s main hubs, Cape Town and Durban, have reported unusually many inquiries. Global marine fuel demand could also rise if the disruption in the Red Sea continues, as more vessels would be sailing longer voyages. Other bunkering hubs that could benefit from diverting vessels include those in West Africa, including Walvis Bay in Namibia and the Ivory Coast’s Abidjan, according to Danish supplier Monjasa. Large container ships’ rerouting around Africa could add $1m to each vessel’s fuel costs, according to Peter Sand, chief analyst at Xeneta.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Alternative fuel vessels made up nearly half of 2023 orderbook

Alternative fuel vessels, including LNG and methanol, accounted for 49% of the total orderbook in 2023 in terms of gross tonnage, according to Clarkson Research Services. LNG was the most popular alternative fuel choice for vessels above 100 gross tons, accounting for 37.5% of all such ship orders last year. Methanol dual-fuel vessel orders made up 8.3% of the orderbook in 2023 in terms of gross tons, while battery-fitted and LPG vessel orders accounted for 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Maersk signs pact to develop methanol bunkering at Japan’s Yokohama port

Maersk has teamed up with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and city authorities in Yokohama to develop green methanol bunkering infrastructure at Japan’s second-busiest container port. The move is the latest effort by Maersk to secure methanol supplies for its fleet of 25 methanol-enabled vessels, including 12 of 16,000-TEU green methanol-powered ships that will start to be delivered in January. Maersk and its two Japanese partners will plan to develop and operate port bunkering facilities for green methanol at Yokohama as part of a four-point plan outlined in a memorandum of understanding signed on 27 December. Yokohama’s mayor, Takeharu Yamanaka, said the port plans to invite more carrier partners to join the methanol bunkering initiative.

Read more: JOC


EU ETS kicks in as prices rebound

The European Union’s Emissions Trading System started to include shipping emissions as of 1 January 2024, as the price of CO2 emissions has rebounded in recent days. Vessels above 5,000 gt will have to pay for CO2 they emit as of 1 January for their voyages that include an EU port. Shipping’s inclusion starts with a phase-in period of three years that will only require 40% of emissions to be accounted for in 2024, rising to 70% in 2025 and 100% in 2026. Vessels’ ETS payments will begin in 2025 for the calendar year 2024. EU Allowance (EUA) prices reached €74 ($81) per tonne on 2 January, having dropped to as low as €67 per tonne on 15 December, according to Ice Exchange data. EUA prices have fluctuated between €65 and €100 in the past year. A €10 change in the EUA price has a nearly €1bn impact on the total cost for shipping.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


IMO’s upper targets should be considered as ‘absolute minimum’

According to a University of Manchester paper, the shipping industry should consider the more ambitious of the IMO’s new emissions targets as the “absolute minimum” to be compatible with the Paris Agreement. “Shipping has moved a long way since 2018, but if the industry does not start cutting emissions now, it will have to deliver deeper cuts in the 2030s and 2040s,” Simon Bullock, a research associate at the university’s Tyndall Centre, told Lloyd’s List. IMO member states agreed on indicative checkpoints in July 2023 to cut shipping emissions by 20% by 2030 and 70% by 2040 while also agreeing to strive for higher cuts of 30% by 2030 and 80% by 2040. The latter would have a chance of complying with the international goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Bullock, one of the paper’s authors, said shipping has two sets of actions to cut emissions. “The first one is developing new fuels that will be needed for the 2050 target. The second one is energy efficiency measures that the industry needs today.”

Read more: Lloyd’s List


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