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Norwegian government pension fund exlcudes four shipowners over beaching

PostTime:2018-01-18 08:52:41 View:4

Norway’s $1.1trn sovereign wealth fund has excluded investing in four well-known shipowners for their use of the beaching method to scrap ships, and placed a fifth under observation. Norges Bank, which administrates Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, announced on Tuesday it had decided to exclude nine firms, including four shipowners as it said it tried to move towards what it called “ethical investments”. The four shipping companies excluded are Evergreen Marine Corp, Korea Line, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA). It said the exclusion was“based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage and serious or systematic violations of human rights”. All four companies were excluded on the basis of having disposed of decommissioned vessels by beaching at yards in Bangladesh and Pakistan where working conditions were described as “extremely poor” and the process caused “severe environmental damage”. In all four cases Norges Bank said there was no indications that the companies would stop scrapping vessels by scrapping. The exclusion will be re-examined in four years if the company stops beaching vessels or earlier if the company gives notice that it has ceased the practice. Pan Ocean has also been placed under observation for the same reason. “This is the first time that shipping companies have been excluded from an investment fund based on their poor shipbreaking practices, and, coming from the largest investment fund in the world, it sends out a strong signal to all financial institutions to follow suit”, said Ingvild Jenssen, founder and director of pressure group NGO Shipbreaking Platform.  The other companies excluded include US shipbuilder Huntington Ingall Industries due to its production of key components of nuclear weapons, along with BAE Systems, Fluor Corp and AECOM for the same reason.

Greek shipowner newbuilding appetite continues with $1.4bn contracted in 2018

PostTime:2018-01-18 08:51:23 View:5

The appetite for newbuildings is evident as we move into 2018, with Greek owners continuing to building on an impressive $4.7bn investment in projects in 2017. Indeed, over the turn of the year projects involving some 25 vessels surfaced involving a diversified range of ships costing their eight contracting principals over $1.4bn. And just for the record Greek shipping companies invested a confirmed $4.7bn in the acquisition of used oceangoing vessels in 2017. Spending spree was confirmed when Clarkson Research ranked Greek shipping top in transactions and among the biggest investors in new ships, with total investment exceeding $9.3bn for almost 400 vessels. The new year dawned with orders revealed for LNG carriers, VLCCs, suezmax tankers, product tankers and kamsarmax bulk carriers featuring the latest in technology. Contracts for gas carriers and kamsarmax bulker led the way. TMS Cardiff Gas has contracted one 174,000 cu m LNG vessel with WinGD's X-DF low pressure dual-fuel propulsion technology at South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). There is an option for a second vessel, with some saying there is a second option, in a deal which could run to $500m. The contract follows the Christos Economou-led company being selected as a preferred bidder for two seven-year time charters from Total. Economou said: “We look forward to providing them with first-class LNG shipping services as they continue to expand their LNG activities.” Peter G Livanos-backed, GasLog has contracted one 180,000 cu m LNG carrier with X-DF propulsion technology. Booked at Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) the ship will be ready for delivery in third quarter 2019. It is costing an unconfirmed $197m, with GasLog ceo, Paul Wogan, saying "the vessel has been secured at a very attractive cost and will be equipped with the latest propulsion and cargo containment technology". This order lifts to five LNGs now on order for GasLog, three at SHI and two at HHI. Evangelos Pistiolis’ Central Shipping group has taken up two suezmax tanker newbuilding berths at HHI with options for two more. The ships are expected to be built at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, and cost around $60m each, with the firm ships set for mid-2019. Dino Caroussis-led Chios Navigation reportedly ordered a 50,000 dwt MR product tanker at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard just prior to Christmas. The Tier II tanker is due for delivery first half of 2019 and is reportedly costing around $33m. Harry Vafias-led StealthGas is meanwhile being linked to an order for a pair of 80,000 cu m VLGC newbuildings at HHI. Reportedly due for delivery in 2019, the pair, costing around $70m each, are said to be booked on the back of a long term charter to trading house Trafigura. These orders come on top of a number of orders involving Greek interests that came to light in the latter part of December. Embiricos-controlled Aeolos Management booked a 318,000 dwt Imo Tier III VLCC at Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for delivery in 2020, costing around $84m. Enesel / NS Lemos contracted a fourth 320,000dwt VLCC at HHI, with delivery from July 2018 through to September 2019. The Tier III VLCCs are reportedly costing just over $80m each. Lavinia Bulk / Laskaridis booked three 81,500 dwt kamsarmax bulkers plus an option at China's Penglai Zhongbai Jinglu, a deal worth about $100m. It has also emerged that Alpha Bulkers has turned to China for kamsarmaxes with an order for four 81,800 dwt units at Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, delivery in 2018. They are reportedly costing between $24.2m and $24.7m each. It's reported two of the ships will be Tier II and two Tier III, with two flagged in the Marshall Islands and two under the Greek colours.

APMT attracts new service at JNPT but faces challenge when PSA terminal opens

PostTime:2018-01-18 08:43:19 View:4

APM Terminals-operated Gateway Terminals India (GTI) has outperformed competitor Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) by winning new service calls. However, the opening of a PSA International terminal at India's busiest container gateway threatens to take business away from both terminals at the port. A new weekly intra-Asia service jointly operated by Cosco Shipping Lines and Wan Hai Lines, branded China-India Service VI (CI6), will make its maiden sailing from Shanghai, China on January 24 and then start making its way towards GTI, reported IHS Media. The port rotation for CI6 is: Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Nansha, Singapore, Nhava Sheva (JNPT), Pipavav, Penang, and back to Shanghai. The service will deploy five 4,250 TEU vessels, with Cosco contributing four and Wan Hai, one. That service addition brings GTI's total number of weekly sailings to 14. However, local trade sources told JOC.com that with PSA's entry, there could be service profile changes at JNPT in the coming months. GTI officials declined to comment on that possibility. Another industry source told JOC.com that a nine-vessel consortium led by Hapag-Lloyd that currently uses the port-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal (JNCT), is likely to switch to PSA's Bharat Mumbai Container Terminal upon full-fledged operations. GTI currently accounts for 40 per cent of JNPT's total throughput, after handling 1.5 million TEU between April and December 2017, a 12.5 per cent year-on-year gain, out of 3.6 million TEU shipped through the port. Furthermore, the private operator represented half of JNPT's overall direct port delivery handling in December, processing 23,372 TEU out of 52,013 TEU speedy discharges through the port, statistics show. GTI is a joint venture between APM Terminals Group and domestic rail operator Container Corporation of India (Concor). The terminal has an annual handling capacity of 2.3 million TEU.

Greek shipping company to be prosecuted in Canada for massive fuel spill

PostTime:2018-01-18 08:41:45 View:4

GREEK Shipping company, Alassia NewShips Management Inc, accused of operating a ship that leaked thousands of litres of fuel into Vancouver's English Bay is to be prosecuted by British Columbia's provincial court on 10 pollution-related offences regardless of whether it participates in the legal proceedings. A decision filed by the court says it is "abundantly clear" that the company knew it faced the 10 pollution-related offences. Alassia had argued it was not properly notified about the proceedings, but Judge Kathryn Denhoff says in her written decision that the summons was successfully delivered on two occasions, reported Canada's Financial Post. Ms Denhoff says the summons was served to the company's lawyer and to the captain of another vessel operated by Alassia, who she says qualified as a company representative in spite of being a contract employee. The charges followed a Transport Canada investigation into the MV Marathassa, which leaked 2,700 litres of bunker fuel in April 2015. The trial against both Alassia and the Marathassa is due to commence on February 26.

Cosco Shipping Ports 2017 container volumes surge 13pc to 87m TEU

PostTime:2018-01-18 08:40:04 View:3

COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) achieved 13 per cent year-on-year growth in 2017 with container throughput at all its ports reaching a total of 87.31 million TEU. In December, volumes increased by nine per cent to 7.49 million TEU. The gains were driven by CSP's overseas ports, a consistent pattern throughout the year where volumes rose 33 per cent to 1.86 million TEU in December and were up 39 per cent for the full-year to 18.84 million TEU, reported Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK. While the volumes at Guangxi Qinzhou International Container Terminal on China's southwest coast surprisingly declined by a fifth to 99,800 TEU in December, throughput for the year kept up a respectable 19 per cent pace to total 1.36 million TEU. Terminals in the Pearl River Delta and on China southeast coast posted growth in December of five per cent and 14 per cent to 2.33 million TEU and 461,900 TEU respectively. Yangtze River Delta terminals registered two per cent growth to 1.61 million TEU in December while the Bohai Rim region saw throughput decline five per cent to 1.12 million TEU. The northern cluster of ports also saw the slowest annual growth rate among all the different regions. Throughput at terminals in the Yangtze River Delta rose by six per cent to 19.63 million TEU while volumes from Bohai Rim terminals were up just two per cent to 15.36 million TEU. However, the Yangtze River Delta still accounts for one of the biggest chunks of overall volume, with the number of containers moved almost equivalent to volumes at the port of Hong Kong and they exceed all of CSP's overseas ports.

NVOs feel pinch from shipping lines' move to offer digital products

PostTime:2018-01-17 08:43:01 View:14

NON-VESSEL operating common carriers (NVOCCs) increased their market share of US imports from Asia by just 0.4 per cent to 43.1 per cent in the first three quarters of 2017, down from 1.8 per cent growth in 2016. The decline was attributed to the larger shipping lines attracting smaller shippers with digital product offerings. If the growth rate in Asian import share holds for the calendar year, it will be the slowest growth for NVOs since 2012, when NVOs lost 3.5 points of share. In the decade from 2006 to 2016, NVO share of Asian imports recorded a 3.4 per cent compound annual growth rate, reported IHS Media. NVOCCs in the first nine months of 2017 increased their share of all US imports by 0.7 per cent year on year to 38 per cent, according to PIERS, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit. However, the winners in the market share battle between carriers and NVOCCs (forwarders) will be the transportation providers with the best service. "Digitisation, no matter how well executed, has to go hand-in-hand with the ability to provide customer service whenever things do not proceed according to plan," SeaIntelligence CEO Lars Jensen was quoted as saying. Carriers such as Maersk Line, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd have signalled their intention to leverage digital platforms and go directly to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) to boost market share, said Freightos CEO Zvi Schreiber. "With low rates and chronic oversupply, carriers are certainly feeling the pressure to increase direct market share and keep some of the [NVOCC] markup for themselves," Mr Schreiber said. The majority of the biggest carriers tended in the past to focus on their largest customers for most of their business, conceding to NVOCC cargo supplied by smaller shippers. NVOCCs therefore increased their share of US imports from Asia to 43 per cent in 2016, up from 29 per cent in 2006, according to PIERS. "I expect that we will continue to see at least a modest continued growth in [NVOCC] share as [the leading] carriers consolidate, grow larger, perhaps become less agile and focus mostly on just their largest customers," said the president of the Americas at a large carrier. He added that he would not be surprised if the US trade grows to resemble the Asia-Europe trade, where forwarders play a dominant role. However, a number of digitised products offered by carriers and third parties have simplified the booking process and enabled carriers to reach mid-size and smaller shippers they may have failed to go after in the past. Last year Maersk, for example, reportedly restricted rate provisions for named BCO accounts in forwarder contracts, making it more attractive in some instances for the BCOs to deal directly with the carrier. In many cases, BCOs rely on NVOCCs to handle the total transportation move, including purchase order management and cargo consolidation in Asia, ocean transportation, and deconsolidation and inland transportation in the US. For those small and mid-size shippers, it makes sense for the BCOs to rely on sophisticated NVOCCs with comprehensive information technology systems. This is even more the case today with BCOs selling their products not only at stores but through e-commerce and omni-channel outlets as well, said SEKO Logistics COO Tony Barnes. NVOCCs that provide a full menu of value-added services will be especially effective in large volume commodities such as fashion, sportswear, toys, and furniture. In fact, the PIERS numbers show that NVOCCs gained 0.2 per cent share in furniture and 0.1 per cent in plastic articles, but they lost share in electric machinery, TV and sound equipment, and vehicles and vehicle parts. NVOCCs do not have to compete with carriers on price, but rather with their ability to deal with the complexity of multi-channel distribution, Mr Barnes said. Sophisticated BCOs, be they large or small, do not use NVOCCs purely as a price play, even in the current market where overcapacity causes carriers to be flexible on pricing. An importer of hardware products said that when vessel space is tight during the busy periods, low-rated NVOCC cargo is the first to be bumped from vessels. Furthermore, carriers in the past few years have filed for general rate increases (GRIs) almost on a monthly basis. The smaller BCOs who booked their shipments with NVOCCs are the ones paying the GRI, he said. Freightos expects increased volatility this year. "The carrier-forwarder battle will likely escalate in 2018," Mr Schreiber said. He expects carriers that have developed digital platforms will aggressively seek to capture "the long tail of of small and midsize shippers."  

Hubline explores liquid bulk sector in tie-up with Petronas Chemicals

PostTime:2018-01-17 08:41:44 View:13

Malaysia’s Hubline is expanding beyond the dry bulk sector it entered in 2016 after exiting the container sector the year before, and looking at opportunities in the liquid bulk segment. The Sarawak-based shipping company said in a stock market announcement that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Petronas Chemicals Marketing (Labuan) Ltd (PCML) to explore the possibility of providing logistic services in the transportation of liquid chemicals. The agreement ties into Hubline’s five-year plan to look at ways to cooperate and collaborate with PCML to develop its chemical vessel technical capability to meet the latter’s needs. Although there is no contractual obligation, Hubline hopes it will form a basis for working together more in future. With Petronas Chemicals’ experience as an international marketer and trader of petrochemical products from Malaysia and other sources, Hubline said the collaboration will give it an advantageous platform to expand its existing dry bulk logistics services. “The MoU creates no contractual relationship between Hubline and PCML but is aimed to provide a framework of cooperation and for any future term arrangement between the parties for dry bulk and liquid chemicals logistic services,” it said. “Upon the satisfaction of this, both parties may enter into negotiations to secure term arrangements for dry bulk and liquid chemicals logistic services with PCML,” Hubline noted. Hubline chairman Ibrahim Baki was quoted in local media as saying at the signing that with PCML’s cooperation, Hubline hoped to expand its reach into markets such as Australia, New Zealand and China, which are areas where Petronas also supplies products such as urea. “Hubline has a fleet size of 25 sets of tugs and barges, fully deployed and servicing the niche Southeast Asian dry bulk market. The current routes cover ports in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines, transporting cargoes such as coal, gypsum aggregates, sand, wood chip and scrap iron,” he said. Hubline quit the container business in 2015 after several years of mounting losses. It restructured and raised money in 2016 to purchase several sets of tugs and barges to expand its breakbulk division and focus on the dry bulk trade. Depressed freight rates, severe overcapacity and strong international competition after cabotage rules were lifted last year have hit Malaysian domestic carriers badly. PDZ recently announced it was entering the Indonesian market instead.

Shipping getting onboard the blockchain train

PostTime:2018-01-17 08:40:52 View:14

The supply chain is “the nirvana of blockchains” with many applications where they can be employed. According to Guardtime chief risk officer David Piesse, the key to making it successful is making sure everybody who is involved in the supply chain gets onboard. The use of block chain as a disruptive technology has already made inroads into the shipping industry with the launch of the world’s first global platform using the technology for the marine insurance industry in September. This platform, launched by Ernst & Young and Guardtime in collaboration with Maersk, Microsoft and several key insurance industry partners, promises to change the way marine insurance is handled, with a focus on increasing transparency and better pricing. These are characteristics that can also be applied to the ship management industry, Fleet Management gm and assistant to md Vikrant Gusain told Seatrade Maritime News. While conceding that not all of the thousands of shipments and transactions a typical ship management company goes through in a month can be put on a block chain, he said if 60% to 70% of the most important transactions can be captured that would help improve transparency significantly. This would have benefits all through the system, from providing captains more clarity on when their spares will arrive, to giving owners more accountability on cash-outs and payments and expenses, Gusain added. Anglo-Eastern ceo Bjorn Hojgaard saw other applications as well. “I can see the potential value for anything where title is important. So when ships are bought and sold, or even for freight contracts and bunker transactions,” he said. Hojgaard noted however that the relatively slow speed and inefficiency of dealing with a large volume of transaction is a disadvantage in using the technology for many parts of the ship management industry. Piesse however does not see it as being much of a problem. The key issue is scalability rather than speed per se, he said. By doing things a bit at a time rather than processing huge amounts of data at one go, transaction speeds can be significantly improved. Indeed the industry is constantly coming up with solutions. For example there has been work done on a technology called “sharding”, which essentially splits the network into smaller pieces, or shards, to boost transaction speeds. The other key issue is getting the block chain to gain acceptance by signing people onboard. Giving incentives along with the tokens that are needed to use the system is one way to boost usage and currency. Piesse acknowledges however that there are still barriers to acceptance such as resistance to change that may be harder to overcome. Interoperability is also an issue, with the industry having to come to terms with setting out common standards and platforms that all can use. Change however is no doubt coming to the shipping industry. With giants such as UPS and Maersk making bold first moves into the space. UPS has announced that it will join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA), a forum for the development of blockchain technology standards and education for the freight industry which hopes to spur standards development for the shipping industry as a whole by implementing a secure blockchain system. Apart from the marine insurance tie-up with Microsoft and Guardtime, Maersk is also working with IBM on a blockchain solution that will help to digitize the supply chain process and reduce paperwork and the associated security risk that entails. “The technology is getting much more robust and everyone is getting in,” said Piesse, warning that the fear of missing out is very real.  

Concern remains over attacks on shipping to abduct seafarers in Southern Philippines: ReCAAP

PostTime:2018-01-17 08:39:48 View:13

Although there have been no attacks on shipping in the southern Philippines to kidnap crew since April 2017 anti-piracy body ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre says the situation in the Sulu - Celebes Sea area remains a cause for concern. Between March 2016 and April 2017 attacks on merchant ships to abduct crew for ransom in the southern Philippines, claimed largely by Abu Sayaaf, saw 59 seafarers abducted from 13 vessels in the region. While there have been no actual or attempted attacks in the area since April last year Masafumi Kuroki, executive director of ReCAAP, said at a media briefing for the release of its annual report on Tuesday: “The concern and threat is not yet eliminated.” Kuroki said the three littoral states had made efforts with coordinated patrols and the Philippines government was making a lot of progress on the issue. “But still I think that the perpetrators who conducted this abduction of crew, the Abu Sayaaf group is still there. They are not completely eliminated so there is still the potential that the Abu Sayaaf group make conduct other similar types of attacks against ships so I think more needs to be done by the Philippines authorities and the regional states to make sure for the shipping industry this area in the Sulu Celebes sea particularly for ship passage is safe for navigation for merchant ships,” he explained. The first four months of 2017 saw three actual abduction incidents from the Fishing Bianca, Giang Hai and Super Shuttle Tug 1, and four attempted attacks against the Ocean Kingdom, Donghae Star, Phu An 268 and the Dona Annabel. Some nine seafarers continue to be held hostage. The Philippines government has extended martial law in the province of Mindanao, which has seen fierce fighting with insurgents, until 31 December 2018. ReCAAP continues to advise shipping to reroute from the area if possible. “Of course it is up to the shipping industry whether they reroute or not,” Kuroki commented. ReCAAP also remains concerns about the hijacking of small tankers to steal oil cargoes, with such hijackings in the Asian region.

Carriers look to postpone mega-ship deliveries to prevent rate weakness

PostTime:2018-01-17 08:37:41 View:8

COSCO Shipping, the carrier with the industry's largest number of vessels on order, will postpone delivery of 10 mega-ships until 2019, but with so many mega-ships scheduled to arrive this year it will barely make a dent in the capacity scheduled to enter the global fleet, according Alphaliner. In addition to the 10 Cosco vessels, six of which appear to be in the 19,000 to 21,000 TEU range, Yang Ming has also delayed three 14,000 TEU ships it was to have taken delivery of in 2018. The total TEU volume of the ships Cosco delayed is 166,576 TEU, according to IHS Markit data. Even with the deferrals, the total new containership capacity due to be delivered in 2018 will amount to 1.3 million TEU. Approximately 30 per cent of that new capacity will be for ships of 18,000 to 25,000 TEU. The high level of capacity coming online this year is set to be in excess of demand, which will limit the ability of shipping lines to successfully implement rate hikes, reported IHS Media. Data from IHS Markit indicates that container volume growth on Asia to north Europe and the Mediterranean will grow by 4.5 to 4.9 per cent in 2018 compared with the previous year. However, the global container fleet is on track to expand faster, even after scrapping is factored in and a quarter of the capacity is delayed. The data shows Cosco Shipping has a total of 27 vessels on order that will be delivered between January 2018 and December 2019. Of those vessels, 17 are in the 20,000 to 21,000 TEU class that are destined for the Asia-Europe trade. OOCL, which is being acquired by Cosco, has just one vessel from its 21,000 TEU series left to be delivered, after receiving five of the ships in 2017. Alphaliner said the January surge in vessel deliveries of 250,000 TEU will be followed in the next four months by additional new ships with a total capacity of 790,000 TEU, all expected to join the world fleet between February and May. These ships will arrive in time for upgrades planned on various services operated by the 2M, Ocean, and THE Alliance, but will also trigger a cascade of smaller, although still fairly large, ships into secondary trade lanes, such as South America, Indian Subcontinent, and intra-Asian routes. The persistent imbalance in supply and demand is affecting contract rates, with early indications that direct shipper-carrier and forwarder-carrier contracts on the Asia-Europe and Mediterranean trades, usually fixed from January 1, are being secured at the same or slightly below the levels settled at in 2017. According to BIMCO chief shipping analyst Peter Sand, profitability was up for grabs across the container shipping industry, but it would depend on demand growth remaining in the region of four to five per cent and the careful management of fleet growth. One high point as 2018 gets under way is that container exports from Asia will increase in the run up to Lunar New Year beginning on February 15 and extending the traditional peak shipping period by a couple of weeks.  "Although cargo demand has remained strong in the first two weeks of January, with capacity utilisation reported in the high 90 per cent levels across all main trade lanes due mainly to the seasonally strong pre-Lunar New Year rush, both the freight and charter markets are expected to be severely tested in March when demand dips after the Lunar New Year and utilisation levels are expected to fall," Alphaliner added.

HK container volume breaches 20m TEU mark for 2017, up 5pc

PostTime:2018-01-17 08:34:20 View:9

THE Port of Hong Kong had regained the 20 million TEU mark for 2017 with a 5 per cent rise in annual throughput to 20.76 million TEU, compared to 19.81 million TEU in 2016. Throughput at Hong Kong's main Kwai Tsing terminals for 2017 rose 7 per cent to 16.24 million TEU, while at the non-Kwai Tsing terminals volume slid 2 per cent to 4.52 million TEU. In December volumes slid from the previous corresponding period in all segments, but they were an improvement over the preceding months. Overall throughput fell 11 per cent in December to 1.77 million TEU from 1.98 million TEU in December 2016 while at the main Kwai Tsing terminals volume fell 4 per cent to 1.35 million TEU from 1.40 million TEU previously. At the non-Kwai Tsing terminals, volume plunged 28 per cent in December to 420,000 TEU from 581,000 TEU in the previous corresponding month, Seatrade Maritime News of Colchester, UK reported.  

MOL takes over Europe manning agency Azalea

PostTime:2018-01-16 08:49:49 View:11

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) announced that it has fully acquired manning agency Azalea Maritime BV renamed it MOL Maritime (Europe) BV. MOL will enhance the provision of top-quality seafarers for MOL-operated LNG carriers and tankers and continue to aim to become a world leader in safe operation. MOL Maritime (Europe) BV as a manning company, will continue to support MOL safe operation, while inheriting Azalea Maritime’s accumulated experience with European seafarers and know-how of the manning business, MOL said in a press release.