World Maritime News

WMNF 17/04/2024


Baltimore preps for limited port reopening by end of April

The Port of Baltimore is preparing workarounds to start handling containers and other ocean freight on a limited basis within the next four weeks ahead of a planned full reopening to vessel traffic by the end of May. The expedited reopening marks a rapid recovery for Baltimore following the vessel collision and bridge collapse that closed its main shipping channel early last week. Meanwhile, other ports along the US East Coast continue to process diverted Baltimore-bound cargo with little to no impact on their operations. Even so, ocean carriers are pushing diversion-related fees onto shippers during Baltimore’s closure.

Read more: JOC


Remaining The Alliance partners set out stall

The departure of Hapag-Lloyd from The Alliance will see a slightly diminished transpacific product. But ONE is adding services to its account. The remaining members of The Alliance have set out their new network plans for the transpacific that will come into place following Hapag-Lloyd’s departure from the partnership next year. The shake-up will see a cut in the number of services from 16 to 13, with calls to US east coast destinations falling from five to four and Asia-US west coast services reducing from 11 to nine. For the Asia-US east coast trade, the changes see one less port call in Qingdao, Xiamen, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Cai Mep, and Singapore at the start of the voyages and a reduction of one call each at New York, Norfolk, and Savannah and two fewer calls at Charleston, according to an analysis by Sea-Intelligence. On the Pacific, the reorganization will see the end of calls between Kwangyang and Hong Kong to the Pacific Northwest.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


X-Press Feeders to kickstart European green corridors

Singapore-based X-Press Feeders will launch two ‘green corridors’ in the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia by deploying two dual-fuel vessels using bio-methanol later this year. The company said one vessel would operate between Rotterdam, Antwerp-Bruges, Klaipeda, and Riga (Green Baltic X-Press). At the same time, the other would serve Rotterdam, Antwerp-Bruges, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Hamina (Green Finland X-Press). The services are scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2024. The dual-fuel feeders will bunker with bio-methanol from Dutch supplier OCI Global as part of the companies’ supply agreement. X-Press Feeders said that OCI’s bio-methanol cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 60%. The company also signed a memorandum of understanding with six European ports, Antwerp-Bruges, Tallinn, Helsinki, Hamina, Riga, and Klaipeda, to accelerate the establishment of green corridors in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


APM Terminals steps up port efficiency drive as new alliance launch looms

Maersk’s APM Terminals is ramping up efforts to boost port efficiency. This critical move will help ensure schedule reliability as the shipping group prepares to launch its new shipping alliance. According to the port unit’s Asia and Middle East chief, Jonathan Goldner improved productivity at transshipment hubs will maximize throughput across the entire network and build resilience against ongoing disruptions. He said improving port operational efficiency was crucial to alleviate congestion and absorb shocks. He added that APMT, with a global portfolio of 60 operated or invested terminals across 33 countries, had cut vessel stay time by 15%-20% over the past two years. It was achieved by more precise planning at every step from vessel arrival to departure, including reducing waiting time for ships by advance booking of tugs and line handlers.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Shipping’s choke points at risk from cyber attacks

Onboard systems are open and vulnerable to attack. The effect can be widely felt if something occurs at the wrong time in the wrong place. One of the initial conspiracy theories to emerge from the Dali (IMO: 9697428) casualty at the port of Baltimore was that the vessel was a victim of a cyber attack. While the real cause of the loss of power and steering will only emerge following investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board and other responsible bodies, the truth may become more prosaic. This does not mean a cyber attack could not cause this type of incident.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Large shippers showing more interest in emission-reducing fuels

Large-volume shippers are increasingly looking to burnish their green credentials using carriers’ low-carbon services. However, research indicates that smaller logistics operators still have a long way to go to match ambition with results. Figures released by Maersk show that 212 of its customers shipped more than 660,000 teu in 2023 using green fuels, under the carrier’s definition of the term. This was up from 480,000 teu in 2022, and Maersk said these shipments had saved over 680,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. That is small beer in the face of the 850m tonnes shipping emits annually, but it is a step in the right direction.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


$100 green fuel levy would achieve highest emission reductions in 2030

A $100-a-tonne carbon levy on shipping would result in the highest emissions cuts in 2030 and the highest costs, according to an early comparison of different green policy combinations for the International Maritime Organization. A preliminary report for the IMO by class society DNV modeled scenarios to gauge the impact of measures such as a levy, a greenhouse gas fuel intensity standard (GFS), and a fund-and-rebate (“feebate”) tool. The report, which is not yet public, forms part of the Comprehensive Impact Assessment being thrashed out for the Marine Environment Protection Committee to help countries determine which mid-term green rules would work best to get shipping to net zero by or around 2050.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


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