World Maritime News

WMNF 01/05/2024


Panama Canal to increase transit slots and raise draught limits

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is increasing booking slots and raising maximum draught levels as rainfall improves in the drought-stricken waterway. The number of bookable transits will drop slightly from 27 to 24 in the second week of May for scheduled maintenance before rising to 31 from 15 May. However, the number of slots for the neopanamax locks will remain unchanged at seven until 1 June, when they will rise to eight. That will increase the total slots to 32, where they will remain until further notice. In addition, starting 15 June, the maximum draught through the neopanamax locks will rise to 13.71 meters (45 ft), up from the current limit of 13.41m (44 ft).

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Hong Kong’s competitiveness takes another hit with revamp of alliance connectivity

The southern China ports of Yantian, Nansha, and Xiamen will be the winners at the expense of Hong Kong when Gemini Cooperation — the Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd alliance — and The Alliance restructure their services come next February, an analysis of schedules shows. Yantian, one of the four Shenzhen terminals that handles about 25% of China’s containerized export volumes to the US, will become Gemini’s South China hub, hosting direct calls on 10 Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific, and Asia-US East Coast services. Nansha, about 80 miles west of Yantian on the western side of the Pearl River, will handle calls on two Gemini services — one trans-Pacific loop and one US East Coast service, according to preliminary schedules. Nansha, the main international gateway for Guangzhou, had been Maersk’s hub in South China, with APM Terminals having a 20% stake in Guangzhou South China Oceangate Container Terminal, one of Nansha’s two terminals. Gemini said Hong Kong would be served by feeder services with Yantian.

Read more: JOC


Which ports will win the green fuel race?

A New report from the Global Maritime Forum has identified several ports that could lead shipping’s green bunkering revolution in the future. Singapore, Algeciras, and Corpus Christi have all been named ports that could play crucial roles in the report. As the world’s largest bunkering location, Singapore’s actions regarding methanol and ammonia will impact the shipping industry. Yet the report suggests Singapore will need to import the majority of that ammonia and methanol required to meet demand (based on the IMO’s 5% target), with local production costs too high. Conversely, Algeciras has the potential to make green fuels locally thanks to nearby green hydrogen products set to come online by 2030 and significant solar and wind power capacity.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


China looks to lead low-carbon methanol production

With multiple projects underway, China is poised to lead the market for making lower-carbon methanol to meet future shipping demand. At least four green methanol plants have started construction in China this year, with production expected to commence within the next two to three years. The four projects have an aggregate low-carbon methanol output target of about 1m tonnes. Not all producers have disclosed who will buy their future output. However, Zhao Kai, China’s chief representative of the Methanol Institute, an industry lobby group, indicated that much of it will likely be used as marine fuel. The Methanol Institute expects low-carbon methanol production to reach 6.8m tonnes at the end of 2025, from just 1.1m tonnes at this year’s end. Two-thirds of the 6.8m tonnes is expected to come from China, with Europe and North America making up the remainder. The institute expects low-carbon methanol volumes to nearly quadruple between 2025 and 2029 to reach 24m tonnes.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Slow uptake of green shipping services, but momentum building: Maersk

Maersk saw a 37% jump in the number of ocean containers transported on its low-emission biofuel product in 2023, but the total 660,000 TEUs that were shipped amounted to just 3% of the carrier’s annual volume. While shippers have been slow to embrace the premium-priced green services that several carriers have offered over the past two years, Maersk says there has been a definite shift in attitude from customers toward low-emission shipping.

Read more: JOC


Shippers balk at cost of low-emission products

There have been some high-profile early adopters of low-emission shipping. However, for most shippers, profitability is still more important than sustainability. Container lines have been waxing lyrical about demand for their low-emission products recently. Still, the reality remains that cost is the most significant determinant in whether shippers will put environmental sustainability over sustainable profits. Customer research by Flexport shows that most respondents are interested in sustainability, but it depends very much on the cost. Less than a fifth said using biofuels to cut emissions would be preferable, while 70% said they were interested but only if there was no additional cost. Less than a quarter would be prepared to pay even 10% more for lower-emission shipping.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


MAN claims its ammonia engine’s N2O emissions are ‘extremely low’

MAN Energy Solutions says its dual-fuel ammonia engine emits ‘extremely low’ nitrous oxide (N2O) levels and cuts nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 40% compared with fuel oil. The German engine maker has been testing an ammonia engine since July 2023 and aims to deliver its first edition to the Japanese shipyard Tsuneishi Shipbuilding later this year for installation on a Mitsui OSK Lines vessel. Mitsui E&S, MAN’s licensee in Japan, will build the engine.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Shift to eBLs would mean big cut in carbon emissions: study

A switch to electronic bills of lading (eBLs) from paper-based alternatives would result in an annual reduction of 440,802 metric tons of carbon emissions, a study commissioned by the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has found. The study sought to quantify the per-document savings of migrating paper-based shipping processes to an electronic format to explain the climate-based benefits of such a shift.

Read more: JOC


Hapag-Lloyd widens net amid total shift to electronic bills of lading

Hapag-Lloyd will use electronic bill of lading (eBL) software vendor IQAX to help meet its goal of migrating 100% of paper bills of lading to electronic versions by 2030, the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) announced on 25 April. The carrier’s adoption of the IQAX product is significant for two reasons. First, Hapag-Lloyd already uses IQAX competitor WaveBL as an eBL vendor, meaning the container line sees value in using more than one vendor in its pursuit of a 100% eBL future. Secondly, IQAX will align with a standardized eBL application programming interface (API) developed by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), a nonprofit standards consortium in which Hapag-Lloyd is a member.

Read more: JOCLloyd’s List


Data sharing offers scope for just-in-time arrivals

Terminal scheduling planner Portchain has signed with ONE as its second top 10 carrier. Alignment between carriers and terminals can improve schedules and efficiency. The International Maritime Organization estimates a 6% reduction in fuel and CO2 when port calls are coordinated 24 hours in advance and up to 14% if the entire journey is coordinated. If all boxship arrivals were coordinated on a port-to-port just-in-time basis, the savings could amount to 19m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


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