World Maritime News

WMNF 12/06/2024


China’s ports still lead performance rankings, while India’s move higher: CPPI

China’s ports occupy seven of the top 20 rankings in the Container Port Performance Index (CPPI), including Yangshan, which has been the No. 1 port for two years. While the upper tier of global container ports mainly remained unchanged last year, the middle tier saw upheaval as ports at emerging export economies joined the ranks of top performers, according to the 2023 CPPI.

Read more: JOC


Terminal congestion spreads through Asia

Increasing port congestion is adding another level of disruption to the situation in the Red Sea as carriers struggle to maintain services because of diversions around the Cape of Good Hope. Its global port congestion indicator has hit the 2m teu mark, accounting for 6.8% of the global fleet, with Singapore becoming the latest congestion chokepoint. Berthing delays at the world’s second-largest container port were up to seven days, with the total capacity waiting to berth rising to 450,000 teu in recent days, Linerlytica said. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, waiting times are extended between 72 and 96 hours, depending on the terminal. A report from HSBC said that congestion had been building in Asia due to Red Sea rerouting with two to seven days’ delay at some ports.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Peak season capacity crunch looms as Asian port congestion grinds on

Congestion continues to grip Asian container ports, which offers little respite for stretched supply chains and could keep freight rates elevated despite recent signs of slowing exports out of China. Although total capacity waiting to berth at Singapore, the world’s largest transshipment box port, has reduced to 398,000 teu from 450,000 teu in the past week, the pressure has shifted to nearby Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas, said research firm Linterlytica in its latest report. Major Chinese ports, especially Shanghai and Qingdao, also face long waiting times, according to Linterlytica. Singapore reactivated several older berths to help handle surging traffic and unclog jammed container yards. At Shanghai’s Yangshan deep-water port, priority berthing is given to export-laden container ships to ease yard congestion, a port manager told Lloyd’s List.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Shippers cry foul again as container rates approach pandemic peaks

Skyrocketing container shipping rates are again fraying nerves among shippers, with some taking the familiar path of petitioning their governments for support. While rate hikes on trades to Europe accompany longer distances from detouring around Africa, those on other routes don’t, but some are still approaching pandemic peaks. Alphaliner, however, noted elevated rates may not last too long and could even fall sharply. “With over 2m teu of new slots to be delivered before the end of this year, the shortage of ships will, however, no longer remain an issue. “Any solution of the Gaza conflict, and a return of the main Asia – Europe loops to the Suez route, would immediately lead to an oversupply of tonnage with a very predictable (negative) effect on spot freight rates.“

Read more: Lloyd’s List


No industry consensus on duration of Asia-Europe ocean disruption

Stakeholders hold divergent views on how long the unexpected demand surge will continue to fill all available capacity on the Asia-Europe ocean trade, with predictions ranging from the end of peak season to the Lunar New Year at the end of next January. Hapag-Lloyd expects a return to normal later this year, while some forwarders and shippers believe the high demand and trade lane disruption will last longer. “We expect the situation to last until Chinese New Year 2025 as the restocking will seamlessly go into the peak season, possibly with just a little dip after Golden Week [in October],” senior vice president for European ocean freight at DHL Global Forwarding told the Journal of Commerce.

Read more: JOC


Onboard carbon capture feasible, but only if it is incentivised

The Norway-based classification society has published a white paper exploring the feasibility of onboard carbon capture as a decarbonization solution Onboard carbon capture is feasible but will require collaboration within the shipping industry alongside incentivization by regulators. A DNV White Paper explored the future of onboard carbon capture on vessels as a genuine decarbonization solution. The technology used to capture carbon has been successfully trialed on a containership before. However, the DNV study noted that size and trading patterns would dictate whether onboard carbon capture would be feasible for individual vessels.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Hydrogen investments constrained by lack of reliable off-takers

Global investments in hydrogen electrolyzers are constrained by uncertain demand and a lack of reliable off-takers. Still, overall clean energy investments will continue to rise in 2024, driven by spending on renewable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. Investments in hydrogen electrolyzers, needed for green fuels such as e-ammonia and e-methanol, were set to increase by nearly 140% in 2024 to $5bn, with most of this amount to be used to replace existing hydrogen infrastructure in sectors such as oil refining, the IEA said. China will see a 140% increase in hydrogen electrolyzer investments in 2024, representing 40% of global investments on the back of planned facilities to produce low-emission hydrogen and ammonia. The IEA said China’s hydrogen capacity could reach 6.9GW by 2026. Meanwhile, Europe is expected to experience a 120% increase in hydrogen electrolyzer investment in 2024, accounting for less than a third of global spending. The US is also forecast to see a 120% rise in electrolyzer investment this year, owing to its generous subsidy scheme that offers $3 per kilogram of low-emission hydrogen. The IEA expects overall clean energy investment to surpass $3trn in 2024, reaching twice the amount spent on fossil fuels.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Subsidies a must for EU emissions regulations to hit home

If the EU’s emissions regulations are to shift the decarbonization dial, then the logical answer is subsidies. Star Bulk’s chief strategy officer, Charis Plakantonaki, told a BIMCO seminar at Posidonia that owners required more carrots rather than the all-too-aggressive stick in the shape of financial penalties. Funds raised, she said, through the EU Emissions Trading System and the impending FuelEU Maritime regulation must be returned to owners via subsidies if these regulations are to be meaningful.

Read more: Lloyd’s List


Financial burden of decarbonization more likely to fall on ocean carriers

Global maritime regulators are no closer to approving a carbon tax to incentivize the use of high-cost zero-carbon fuels, increasing the odds that the financial burden will fall on ocean carriers with little ability other than a solid market to pass those costs on to customers. To the extent they can’t pass those costs along, the industry faces the prospect of sharply higher costs for zero-carbon fuels and potentially further consolidation and reduction in choice for shippers.

Read more: JOC


Google researchers take aim at liner network design challenge

Google researchers said they have figured out how to help shipping lines tackle inefficiencies in network design and scheduling, which could result in higher profits using fewer ships by considering multiple variables simultaneously rather than sequentially. The announcement, described in a blog by two software engineers in Google’s Operations Research Team, said an optimization plug-in the company has developed could “double the profit of a [shipping line], deliver 13% more containers, and do so with 15% fewer vessels.” The audacious claim is part of a new release Google calls its Shipping Network Design API. “Network design determines the order in which vessels visit ports, network scheduling determines the times they arrive and leave, and container routing chooses the journey that containers take from origin to destination,” authors Virgile Galle and Tom Tangl wrote in the post. “Every container shipping company needs to solve all three challenges, but they are typically solved sequentially. Solving them simultaneously is more difficult, but you will likely discover better solutions.”

Read more: JOC


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