French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for Europe to create bunker taxes. Carbon taxes for shipping have been in the headlines a great deal of late, with one major shipper warned shipping it should begin to prepare for a carbon levy. Macron will hold a summit with Germany’s Angela Merkel and leading European business conglomerates to discuss innovation. Other European politicians are also assessing shipping’s carbon footprint, including Norway’s prime minister, who recently urged the industry to pursue a more urgent, swift decarbonisation, warning regulators are going to get far tougher on the industry soon.
Delivery of Ritz-Carlton’s first luxury cruise ship has been delayed due to project cost issues and challenges with shipyard management changes. The inaugural sailing of the vessel will now take place in June 2020, nearly five months after initially planned. The vessel, named Ritz-Carlton One, is the first of three luxury cruise ships that the company is due to receive. The specially-designed vessel will have an overall length of 190 meters and come with luxury accommodations for up to 298 passengers in 149 suites.
The Capt. Jacques Cartier, the second of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) designed and built by Seaspan at its Vancouver Shipyards (VSY), began sea trials today from Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock where final outfitting, set to work and commissioning has taken place since its launch in June. This milestone on the second OFSV follows her launch on June 5 and the delivery of the first OFSV, the CCGS Sir John Franklin, on June 27. The CCGS Sir John Franklin is the first large vessel to be built and delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Sea Trials will be largely conducted in the Strait of Georgia as part of a continuous 15-day exercise. Upon completion of Sea Trials, the ship will be moored at Ogden Point on Vancouver Island to prepare the vessel for delivery to the Canadian Coast Guard, which is scheduled for later this year.
KOTUG International B.V. (KOTUG) and Horizon Maritime Services Ltd (Horizon Maritime) have formed ‘KOTUG Canada’, a joint venture company which will offer terminal and harbour towage services across Canada. The joint venture looks forward to developing a strong presence within the Canadian terminal and harbour towing market. KOTUG is renowned for establishing solid, long-term business relationships with leading clients in industries such as Oil & Gas, Mining, Renewables, Offshore, and Port Authorities for high demand operations. Horizon Maritime’s partnership with Heiltsuk First Nation, Heiltsuk Horizon was awarded a Government of Canada contract to provide marine services to enhance marine safety in Heiltsuk territory earlier this year. Heiltsuk Horizon will provide tug and barge services for the reconstruction of 28 navigational aids on British Columbia’s Central Coast, with support from the Shearwater Marine Group.
Four First Nations in northern British Columbia are banding together to support energy exports as they work to attract economic investment in the region despite opposition from other Indigenous groups. The elected leaders of the Haisla, Lax Kw’alaams, Metlakatla and Nisga’a signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on balancing their desire for economic growth with backing climate action. The four Indigenous leaders are taking a broader view that takes into account how exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would displace coal-fired power plants in Asia and therefore help reduce air pollution overseas. The leaders are also backing the federal government’s plan to use a section in the Paris climate agreement that would allow Canada to gain emission credits for exporting LNG to Asia.
The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will retain the requirement for ocean container carriers to file service contracts in response to a petition from the World Shipping Council (WSC) to exempt carriers from publication requirements in the Shipping Act. The FMC agreed that continued publication of essential terms no longer serves a purpose but rejected the WSC's call to eliminate the ocean carrier confidential service contract filing requirements of the Shipping Act, reports American Shipper. "I would point out that we have three very large alliances that carry something north of 80 per cent of the cargo in the US east-west trades," said FMC chairman Michael Khouri. "One thing we're making sure is that there is competitive pricing among the members in each alliance."Mr Khouri also said eliminating the service contract filing requirement at this time would impact the FMC's "effectiveness and necessity for tools to look into areas of anti-competitive behaviours."
China plans to ask the US to lift sanctions against the Dalian units of China COSCO Shipping Corp. during trade negotiations that started earlier today in Washington. Four other Chinese entities were also sanctioned last month along with COSCO but it is unclear if the Chinese delegation plans to seek relief for those companies.
Nearly 300 oil tankers globally have been placed off limits as companies fear violating US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, driving freight rates to new highs. Day rates for VLCC’s are rising rapidly toward the $200,000 per day threshold and some have already fixed at a much higher level. The Tankers International pool reported on Oct. 11 that the 2012-built VLCC Ingrid has just been booked at the equivalent of $301,219 per day (on the basis of 45.4 days). The percentage of the VLCC transport cost to cargo value is now quadruple what it was one year ago – but there still appears to be plenty more room for rates to run. US-listed tanker stocks are now surging upward in response.
The US Surface Transportation Board (STB) is urging railroads to work closely with shippers to address concerns about demurrage practices shippers consider unreasonable and nothing more than revenue generators for the railroads. The federal agency issued a proposed rule on two of three petitions it considered but declined to go beyond a policy statement on the main topic of demurrage and accessorial policies. The statement, however, was clear that railroads must meet certain standards when imposing penalties. Although the decision applies only to non-containerized cargo, the general standards are relevant to the Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC's) proposed interpretive rule on port demurrage, which remains open for comment through Oct. 31. The STB’s decision on the three petitions is open for comment through Nov. 6. The same questions are at the heart of both inquiries. What are reasonable business practices? What is the line between shippers taking too long to turn assets (containers, boxcars, gondolas, or hopper cars) and unreasonably short periods placing an undue burden on shippers?
The rail demurrage policy statement comes after two days of testimony in May when shippers argued Class I railroads will deliver large bunches of railcars while providing only 24 hours to unload the cargo before assessing penalties. Although the testimony was about commodities, precision scheduled railroading emphasizes longer train sets and can also cause bunching of containers. Class I railroads consider demurrage vital to maintaining network fluidity.
The federal government proposed a new rule today to designate 302,961 square nautical miles in the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for three populations of endangered humpback whales. The proposal is to help protect migrating whales from ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and oil spills.
The rule designates 48,459 square miles of critical habitat off the coast of California, Oregon and Washington for the humpback population that winters in Central America. The Mexico population got 175,812 square miles in the North Pacific Ocean, including Bristol Bay, Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska — regions that also made up the 78,690 square miles listed for the Western North Pacific humpback population. Eliminating the overlap among the three populations, a total of 175,812 square miles are proposed for protection (proposed maps available here).
The Canada Border Services Agency says it seized $7 million worth of possible cocaine at the Port of Quebec last week. Some 148 kilograms of the substance was found, in total. The suspected cocaine was found aboard the Navios Luz, a container ship which docked at the port last week. The ship, which flies the flag of Malta, was carrying iron pellets. So far in 2018-2019, the agency said, it has seized 1,430 kilograms of cocaine and crack.
Shipping Corporation of India may be privatized by the government as part of a wider privatisation programme involving a number of key state assets. The government owns 63.75 per cent of the flagship carrier, which has a fleet of 64 ships, comprising 15 bulkers, 22 tankers, two containerships, four gas ships and 10 offshore support vessels (OSVs), as well as significant real estate holdings in Mumbai. The privatisation plans need approval from the central cabinet before any sales process can commence, reported Singapore's Splash 247. SCI was established 58 years ago through a merger between Eastern Shipping Corporation and Western Shipping Corporation.
Tokyo Gas has rejected the delivery of an LNG cargo aboard the carrier Energy Atlantic, after the vessel suffered a power outage and engine malfunction shortly after entering Tokyo Bay Thursday morning. The vessel – chartered by Cheniere – regained power, but Tokyo Gas did not take delivery for safety reasons, as the carrier operator did not know the reason for the outage. The Energy Atlantic is a 157 000 m3 tanker and loaded the cargo on 3 September at the Corpus Christi LNG terminal in the US.
The Panama Canal saw a 6.2 percent increase in the 2019 fiscal year (FY19) with a record tonnage of 469 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), exceeding its own projections for the year. Most of the increase can be attributed to the increase in transits for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) segments that rose by 37.6 and 6.9 percent respectively, representing the largest gain across all segments. Additional segments with significant transit increases included crude product tankers with a 5.6 percent increase and vehicle carrier/RoRo with a 5.5 percent increase, compared to the previous fiscal year. In terms of tonnage, the container segment continued to dominate with 164.87 million PC/UMS tons, of which 126.2 million PC/UMS tons transited through the Neopanamax Locks.
The main routes using the Panama Canal by cargo tonnage in FY19 include between the US East Coast and Asia, followed by the US East Coast and the West Coast of South America, Europe and the West Coast of South America, the US East Coast and the West Coast of Central America, and the US intercoastal route. The main users of the waterway were the United States, China, Japan, Chile and Mexico.
Teekay Shuttle Tankers has placed USD 125 million senior unsecured green bonds due October 2024 to be listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The proceeds from the bond issue will be used in accordance with Teekay Shuttle Tankers’ green bond framework to partially fund four E-Shuttle newbuilds currently under construction and with planned deliveries in 2019 and 2021.
Another TK related news item, Teekay was presented the “Shipping Company of the Year” award at the International Seafarers’ Welfare awards held during the London International Shipping week. Teekay Shipping provides free internet to all its ships and a support line for seafarers experiencing challenges in their work of personal life. The company provides modern gym equipment on board and social interaction is encouraged with onboard team competitions.
By early 2021, Carnival Corporation’s German market brand, AIDA Cruises, aims to be the world’s first cruise company to test the use of fuel cells on a large passenger ship on board its LNG fueled cruise ship AIDAnova. The fuel cell trial will be apart of the Pa-X-ell2 research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure to develop a decentralized energy network and a hybrid energy system with a new generation of fuel cells for use in oceangoing passenger vessels. In addition to AIDA Cruises/ Carnival Maritime GmbH, other partners include shipbuilder Meyer Werfts and fuel cell specialist Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. The objective is to find practical solutions for climate-neutral shipping.
Cargill, Maersk Tankers and Mitsui & Co. have established a strategic collaboration to accelerate the reduction of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) within shipping. The companies will fully exploit existing fuel-saving technologies and explore new technical solutions. These projects will involve measures to optimize vessel performance by sharing and using data from the vessel in conjunction with weather routing and other mechanisms that will improve performance. The goal is to demonstrate that there are economic benefits that can be derived from sustainable shipping solutions.
On October 2, 2019 the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and Local 514 Ship and Dock Foremen reached a tentative agreement. The last Foremen’s agreement expired on March 31, 2019 and negotiations resumed shortly after the longshore collective agreement was ratified at the end of June. The parties have agreed that no details of the agreement will be released until the tentative agreement has been ratified by both parties.