DP World has completed the acquisition of Unifeeder, a European feeder and shortsea shipping line after securing clearance from European monopolies regulators. The €660m deal is the first in which a port operator has taken over a carrier. The European Commission’s competition department has determined that the deal does not raise any competition concerns. Unifeeder is the largest feeder operator in Northern Europe, with a network that connects around 100 ports, serving both deepsea container hubs and the intra-Europe container freight market.
Maersk has announced its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this goal, carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030, and an acceleration in new innovations and adaption of new technology is required. Given the 20-25-year life time of a vessel, Maersk believed that it is now time to start developing the new type of vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050.
Singapore’s Maritime Port Authority (MPA) has announced that from Jan. 1, 2020 the wash water generated from open-loop scrubbers will be banned in Singapore. This is a potential setback to shippers that have invested millions in the exhaust gas cleaning systems. Ships fitted with hybrid scrubbers will be required to switch to the closed-loop mode of operation and Singapore will be providing facilities for the collection of residue generated from the operation of these scrubbers. As a the world’s largest bunkering port, the MPA is working closely with bunker suppliers to ensure an adequate supply of compliant fuel in its port well ahead of the 1 January 2020 deadline. A list of suppliers that can supply compliant fuel will be made available from the middle of 2019.
Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers has signed an agreement with Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry for the construction of up to nine multi-purpose, 62 000 DWT pulp carriers. Cosco has confirmed that five carriers will be constructed and delivered from 2020 onwards. Last year, Cosco ordered three 62,000 dwt pulp carriers at Cosco Dalian Shipyard after the company entered into a COA contract with Brazilian pulp exporter Suzano Group.
Tanker operator Norden and biofuel supplier GoodFuels of Rotterdam announced the successful trial of a CO2-neutral biofuel used as an alternative to low sulphur fossil fuel. In September this year, Norden’s 37,000 dwt product tanker Nord Highlander sailed from Antwerp burning standard fossil fuel. The test documented that second-generation CO2-neutral biofuel supplied by GoodFuels is technically and economically suitable and thereby a realistic alternative to comparable fossil fuel. The test on board the Norden vessel documented that the engine performance is not affected, meaning the full performance envelope can be delivered without restrictions. The initiative is in line with Norden’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Norden has reduced CO2 emissions per tonne cargo transported on owned tanker vessels by 25% between 2007 to 2017.
A new international effort to combat the negative environmental impacts of the transfer of aquatic species through ships has been launched this week. The GloFouling Partnerships project - a collaboration between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - will address the build-up of aquatic organisms on a ship’s underwater hull and on other marine mobile infrastructure. The GloFouling project will drive actions to implement the IMO Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling, which provide a globally-consistent approach on how biofouling should be controlled and managed to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species through ships’ hulls and other submerged surfaces.
Amendments to the IMSBC Code will enter into force on 1 January 2019 as per IMO Resolution MSC.426(98). Although coal is best known for its flammable and self-heating properties, certain coal cargoes may also be liable to liquefaction during transport. The upcoming amendments to the IMBC Code concern the criteria under which coal cargoes are considered Group A, i.e. liable to liquefy, in addition to the Group B chemical hazards which apply to all coal cargoes, such as potential self-heating or methane emissions. Coal cargoes may therefore require the same TML and moisture certification as other Group A cargoes, such as concentrates, nickel ore and iron ore fines. The classification of coal has changed so that all coal is to be treated as both Group A and B, unless otherwise tested. This means that all coal cargoes are to be considered as both liable to liquefy and have a chemical hazard.
Kitack Lim has won the re-election for a second four-year term as Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The former president of Busan Port Authority, Lim has served as the Republic of Korea's deputy permanent representative to IMO from 2006 to 2009 and was chairman of the sub-committee on flag state implementation (FSI) from 2002 to 2004. Mr. Lim is the eighth elected Secretary-General and much of the focus during his next term will be on the implementation of the lower sulfer fuel content regulations in 2020.
Liberia has become the first ship registry to be admitted to the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) as an associate member. Liberia’s fleet of over 4,325 vessels trades in some of the world’s most difficult regions. The MACN, established in 2011, has over 100 members globally and works towards the elimination of all forms of maritime corruption by raising awareness of the challenges faced. Together with MACN, the Liberian Registry will provide the crew of its vessels with its processes and procedures to defeat bribery attempts.
Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. (ONE) announced that ONE COLUMBA, with a carrying capacity of 14,000 TEU, has been successfully delivered at Kure Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation. The sublet owner is Nippon Yusen Kaisha. This is ONE’s 4th newly built 14,000TEU magenta containership delivered this year, after ONE STORK, ONE MINATO, and ONE AQUILA. Currently, 3 more vessels in ONE’s order book are in the construction process and expected delivery is in 2019. ONE COLUMBA, employs a hull form that optimises cargo-loading efficiency, achieved by minimising engine-room space. The vessel is also equipped with dual system application in its main engine, capable of adopting either high or low output ranges, allowing operational flexibility and improved fuel-consumption rate, resulting in significant reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. The navigation bridge adopted the Integrated Navigation System (INS) which consolidates functions of vessel systems to save operators workload effectively. Furthermore, a wide window is also newly employed to enable wider view for vessel operators from the wing of vessel’s bridge when berthing and unberthing for safety improvement.
Japan's largest shipping line by sales, Nippon Yusen K.K., (NYK) is moving towards building an innovative system by launching its own digital currency for seafarers. NYK is aiming to make seafarers' life easier and more efficient by digitalizing their currency. In other words, according to Bloomberg, the company aims to convert the money to local currencies, which is why the company is developing digital cash. It is not clear yet if the company will use blockchain or some sort of cryptocurrency. The company is also looking to collaborate with banks and software developers to make sure that its digital currency will be able to be converted into local currencies. The company's idea is based on the initiative of using smartphones and is set to launch on the first half of 2019.
The social partners, namely the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), convened in Geneva at the Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) subcommittee on seafarers wages to review the International Labour Organization (ILO) Minimum Wage for an Able Seafarer (AB) provided for in Code B of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (as amended). The decision, following two days of negotiations, was to update the minimum wage for an able seafarer by USD27 over the next three years. The wages will provide an overall increase of 4.5 percent on the current rate of USD614, with an increase of USD4 as of 1 July 2019, followed by an increase of USD7 as of 1 January 2020 and a final increase of USD16 as of 1 January 2021.
A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express (ONE) are planning to establish a new container shipping association with the purpose of paving the way for digitalization, standardization and interoperability in the container shipping industry. The IT executives are discussing the creation of common information technology standards with the aim of less red tape and better transparency. The association has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform and will not discuss any commercial or operational matters. The association welcomes other container carriers to join. INTTRA, the neutral digital platform that handles one out of every four container bookings, started as a joint industry effort with many of the same founding members.
IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted (on 26 October) the action plan, to contribute to the global solution for preventing marine plastic litter entering the oceans through ship based activities. Discharging plastics into the sea is already prohibited under regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which also oblige governments to ensure adequate port reception facilities to receive ship waste. Under the London Convention and Protocol on the dumping of wastes at sea, only permitted materials can be dumped and this waste has to be fully assessed to ensure it does not contain harmful materials like plastic litter. IMO Member States meeting in the MEPC agreed actions to be completed by 2025, which relate to all ships, including fishing vessels.
The UN Security Council has renewed for one year, its authorization allowing Member States to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya, as long as there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that they are being used for smuggling migrants or human trafficking. Members States must make good-faith efforts to obtain the consent of the vessel’s flag State before performing that authority. The authorizations apply only with respect to migrant smuggling and human trafficking on the high seas off Libya’s coast, and will not affect the rights, obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It also said that the authorizations do not apply to vessels entitled to sovereign immunity under international law.
In what it says is an industry first Maersk will provide confirmation of a container booking in seconds compared to waiting times of up to two hours in the past. With the solution Maersk customers get visibility of sailing options and vessel space with a certainty that a booking will not then be cancelled. Maersk said that previously 10% of bookings were either rejected or put on an alternative sailing generating 15% of all the company customer service calls and chats, and some 200,000 emails monthly. The instant booking confirmation is currently available to all customers in a beta version. Maersk will also be introducing online booking via the Maersk App allowing instant bookings directly from mobile devices.
The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC) has provided assistance in 150 oil spill incidents since its inception in 1978. IOPC-funds began with the Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967, were it was clearly demonstrated that there was a need for an effective international regime to pay for damages caused by major oils spills. The IOPC-funds are financed by contributions from organizations receiving oil shipments by sea in ports and terminals located in the IOPC member states.