Japanese container line joint venture Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Hapag-Lloyd concluded a bi-lateral feeder agreement that will initially cover trades in intra-Asia and intra-Europe. Under the terms of a “bilateral strategic feeder network cooperation agreement,” the lines will share space on their respective feeder vessels. Since the reorganization of the alliance structure, Mr Habben Jansen, Hapag-Lloyd CEO has repeatedly said that lines would likely deepen their cooperation beyond the deep-sea trades into feeder, and even possibly in-land haulage, operations. ONE and Hapag-Lloyd are both members of THE Alliance on the long haul trades.
The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year with a record tonnage of 442.1 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), representing a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year. With this number, the Panama Canal surpasses the cargo projections of 429.4 million PC/UMS tons for FY 2018, as well as the 403.8 million PC/UMS tons registered in FY 2017. The increase was driven by the transit of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, containerships, chemical tankers and vehicle carriers. Panama Canal said that the main users during the period were the US, China, Mexico, Chile and Japan, while some 62.8 percent of the total cargo transiting the canal had its origin or destination in the United States.
Tim Wickmann has been appointed as the new Managing Director for the World Shipping Council’s new Asian office to be located in Singapore. Mr. Wickmann served most recently as CEO of MCC Transport, the Intra Asian arm of Maersk Line, and has worked in various leadership positions in international liner shipping for the last three decades.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) annual Review of Maritime Transport indicates that total maritime trade volumes reached 10.7 billion tons in 2017, an increase of 411 million tons or 4 percent, half of which was dry bulk commodities. A similar 4 percent growth is anticipated this year. Global containerized trade increased by 6.4 percent in 2017. While the liner shipping industry saw further consolidation through mergers and acquisitions and global alliance restructuring. The three global liner shipping alliances that dominate capacity deployed on the three major east–west container routes (the 2M, Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance) collectively account for 93 percent of deployed capacity.
Pacific International Lines [PIL], a Singapore-based shipping company announced its collaboration with multinational information technology giant, IBM (Singapore). The partnership is aimed at improving the process of documentation in supply chain management through blockchain trials designed to create an electronic bill of lading (e-BL). Additionally, it has garnered support from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. The e-BL would mean that shipping companies would no longer have to depend on hard copies of the document and effectively diminishing unnecessary handling costs, potentially making the supply chain more organized and efficient.
Following the fatal Maersk Honam fire that claimed the lives of five seafarers, Maersk has implemented new guidelines on stowage of dangerous goods to improve safety across its containership fleet of over 750 ships. The principles behind their risk-based dangerous goods stowage plan includes a review of over 3,000 UN classed hazardous materials, the different ship containership designs, and six different risk zones. In the coming months, a review aimed at creating best management practices for dangerous goods stowage will be undertaken with participation from ABS, Lloyds Register, the International Group of P and I Clubs, National Cargo Bureau, the TT Club and Exis Technologies. Once the project is completed the best management practices will be published and presented to the IMO.
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has released details of its plans to build 20 new container ships, including 12 vessels of 23,000 TEU each. All of the orders will go to Korean yards, in keeping with the goals of South Korea's state-backed shipbuilding program. Five of the 23,000 TEU class ships will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries, and the remaining seven will be built at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). The eight smaller ships - 14,000 TEU each - will be contracted to Hyundai Heavy Industries, and will be delivered in 2021.
NYK has completed a new concept for a ship's bridge and employed it on a large containership currently being managed by the NYK Group. The new bridge concept has been given the name “Integrated information and bridge system,” and the space and nautical instruments on this new bridge have been optimally, ergonomically arranged and designed to take advantage of IoT aspects of instruments and to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel operation. The shape of the bridge has been optimized to ensure clear sight from a sitting position. The layout has also been enhanced to improve the work environment and reduce weariness during navigational watches.
The International Maritime Organization’s sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC5) has developed draft interim guidelines covering the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. The draft guidelines completes the work undertaken by the Correspondence Group on Development of Technical Provisions for the Safety of Ships using Low-flashpoint Fuels and are designed to provide for the safe design and operation of ships.
Hong Kong-incorporated shipping company Sinotrans Shipping, part of Sinotrans & CSC Holdings, has unveiled the possibility of privatization. An announcement regarding the possible privatization of the company will follow a short-term trading halt in line with the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Sinotrans & CSC Holdings and China Merchants Group finalized a merger last April. Operating through three shipping segments, Sinotrans Shipping currently has a fleet of more than 50 bulkers, containerships and tankers, according to VesselsValue’s data.
To assist shipping companies prepare for implementation of the IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil on 1 January 2020, the International Chamber of Shipping’s Marine Committee has developed some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer. New Provisional Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap’ can now be accessed via the ICS website at https://bit.ly/2x7B7tC.
The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit initiative aiming to rid the seas of plastic litter, launched its System 001 equipment on 8 September 2018 in San Francisco. The Maersk Launcher will tow a 2,000-foot-long (600-metre), U-shaped floating barrier with a 10-foot (three-metre) "skirt" below the water's surface to collect the waste. Debris will be funnelled to the centre of the system and the system will skim the surface of the ocean to collect the plastics. Initially the Maersk Launcher will tow the system 240 nautical miles from shore for 14 days of trials. If the trials are successful, the Ocean Cleanup will proceed a further 1,200 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located halfway between California and Hawaii. The patch reportedly contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic and covers an area twice the size of Texas. The organization anticipates that the first batches of plastic will be returned to land in six months, when the waste will be recycled into products that can be sold to help fund future operations.
Regional authorities of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces have recently issued formal notices that ships calling at the provinces’ ports on or after 1 October 2018 will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while navigating and berthing within the provinces’ waters and port areas. Since 1 January 2018, ships have been required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while berthed at all ports within the three ECAs. Ships must switch to compliant fuel within one hour of arriving at their berth and use compliant fuel until not more than one hour prior to departure. The changes affecting ships operating within these emissions control areas (ECAs) which had been expected to take effect on 1 January 2019 will now take effect three months before that date, as follows;
The Secretariat has been advised that the situation in the Pearl River Delta and Bohai-rim Waters ECAs remains unchanged, ships will be required to use compliant fuel at all times when inside these ECAs from 1 January 2019.
At the United Nations in New York, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing shipowners at the start of a major negotiation to agree a new legal instrument for the protection of the ocean under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – which will apply to ‘high seas’ areas ‘beyond national jurisdiction’. ICS fully supports the objectives of the UN negotiations and the critical need to provide environmental protection for the ocean from activities such as fishing and seabed mining. However, ICS says these are activities which, unlike commercial shipping, do not enjoy a comprehensive framework of global regulation such as that which has been developed, over a period of 50 years, by the UN IMO and its 174 Member States. Of particular interest to ICS is that the new UN instrument is likely to permit area-based management tools such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAS) being developed for the high seas. ICS asserts that the detail and appropriateness of any future measures that might apply in such MPAs – for example special navigational measures to protect whales – should still be determined by the relevant specialist agency, in this case IMO, which has long experience of implementing MPAs for global shipping.
On August 28th more than 2,500 AK-47 automatic rifles were seized from a skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden during a counter-trafficking mission conducted by the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109). The US Navy has stated that 2,521 guns were confiscated from the skiff, which was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with international law. Although the origin and intended destination of the skiff were immediately unclear, US officials have said that ships intercepted in this area in the past have been linked to Iranian efforts to support Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Wärtsilä has unveiled a global initiative that aims to transform the world’s marine and energy industry into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound and digitally connected ecosystem. The initiative, which Wärtsilä calls “An Oceanic Awakening”, was announced at the SMM maritime trade fair in Hamburg. Oceanic Awakening will activate a fully-integrated smart ecosystem that will improve operational efficiencies that will lead to greater profitability and sustainability. The initiative will include improving fuel efficiency, reducing port congestion, and leveraging real-time communication between stakeholders. Wärtsilä plans to connect 20 of the most influential marine cities by 2020 into a network that will inspire cooperation and support the adoption and deployment of best practices, embrace digitalization and legislate new environmentally friendlier, sustainable and smarter ways of doing business across our oceans. Under the auspices of SEA20, an assembly of key influencers from five marine cities have already been brought together to determine how these cities can best take advantage of a Smart Ecosystem and all its cascading benefits to society at large.