Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority has launched a maritime single window system that will serve as a one-stop portal for maritime regulatory and port services transactions. Named digitalPORT@SG, the service is meant to improve operations at the port. The portal will consolidate up to 16 separate forms into a single application, a step that is expected to save the shipping industry an estimated 100,000 man-hours annually. digitalPORT@SG will also have data exchange with port community systems such as Portnet and Jurong Port Online to receive relevant information including declaration on dangerous goods operations at the port terminals. The trial started on October 1 for more than 10 companies, and will be progressively rolled out to the industry from December 2019.
Police in Brazil said they have identified a Greek-controlled ship as the source of a huge oil spill off the country's northeastern coast in September. They have issued two search-and-seizure warrants targeting the Rio de Janeiro representatives of the unidentified Greek owner of the vessel. The spill is being treated as a criminal case under Brazil’s environmental law. The spill is believed to have taken place 700km out at sea between July 28 and 29 after the vessel stopped in Venezuela. The spill has impacted 250 beaches, with 2,000 tonnes of sludge collected so far.
Port of Duisburg (Duisport) and Cosco Shipping are partnering to develop the largest inland container terminal in Europe with the goal of transforming the German river port into the main gateway for rail traffic on the China-Europe rail network. While Duisport is already the largest inland port in Europe and a main rail hub for China traffic, the proposed terminal will more that double the amount of China-bound trains handled to 100 per week, generating annual throughput of about 850,000 TEU. The terminal would require an investment of $110M. Construction is set to begin in 2020 and be completed in 2022.
Maersk is calling on the energy industry to focus on developing and producing viable zero-emission fuels as soon as possible, in order that new ships can be designed and built to use them by 2030. Maersk sees 2030 as the deadline because it wants to have all shipping decarbonised by 2050, which given the working life of a ship would require the first non-fossil fuelled vessels to be developed by the end of the next decade. In an effort to accelerate development, Maersk has published a study in conjunction with Lloyd’s Register that has selected three potential fuel sources, alcohol (ethanol/methanol), biomethane and ammonia, that it believes the industry should focus on developing.
Maersk, along with BMW, H&M, Levi Strauss, Copenhagen University and others, formed a coalition to explore the use of "LEO" fuel for sustainable ocean shipping. LEO fuel is a blend of ethanol and lignin, a polymer found in plant cell walls. The project is currently in the lab development phase at Copenhagen University. The next phase will involve testing fuel on vessels, which may come as soon as Q2 2020 and the final phase will involve scaling up production of LEO fuel.
Nike has teamed up with the Ocean Conservancy to launch the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge, inviting businesses and industry to join in a commitment against shipping through the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge invites companies to commit to not intentionally send ships through this fragile Arctic ecosystem. Other signatories include Bestseller, Columbia, Gap, H&M, Kering, Li & Fung, PVH, and ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company.
After introducing the Marine Fuel Recovery (MFR) mechanism nine months ago, Hapag-Lloyd has added an addition supplementary cost to offset the increased costs associated with the incoming sulphur regulations. From December 1, Hapag-Lloyd will introduce an IMO 2020 Transition Charge (ITC), valid until further notice, with customers now being charged an extra $135 per teu on Asia-Europe, $130 on the transpacific and $80 on intra-Asia trades.
At its recent meeting in the Marshall Islands, Panama has been granted full membership in the Tokyo MOU following three years as a Co -operating Member Authority. Panama demonstrated full compliance with the MOU’s qualitative membership criteria. Interestingly during the meeting the Port State Control Committee considered and agreed to conduct a trial on a remote follow-up inspection approach, through which PSCOs would be able to verify and close, without physically visiting the vessel, certain deficiencies in specific circumstances where such a mechanism can be used where there is appropriate and reliable evidence of rectification of deficiencies. The exercise of such a mechanism will be solely at the discretion of the port State.
A British High Court judge has ruled that the Greek owner of the tanker Brillante Virtuoso, staged an attack in an effort to claim USD77 million in insurance money. The accused was found to have faked a pirate attack in which the vessel was torched using an explosive device and fire accelerants. The incident occurred on July 5, 2011 when the Suezmax tanker, filled with fuel oil cargo worth USD100 million, was sailing from the Ukraine to China. Following its transition through the Suez Canal, the ship reportedly came under fire from Somali pirates equipped with small arms and a rocket-propelled grenade. Following the “attack”, a fire initially broke out in the ship’s accommodation block and the 26 Filipino crew abandoned ship with the help of a nearby US Navy cruiser.
With the recent escalation of boxship fires, the International Union of Marine Insurance has called for an urgent improvement to onboard firefighting systems. In 2017 IUMI published a position paper to raise a variety of concerns including inadequate fire detection and onboard firefighting systems both on deck and under deck; and the need to revise SOLAS. Now, in partnership with the German flag state, IUMI is calling for additional support from flag administrations and other stakeholders to bring this issue to IMO’s agenda in 2020.
CMA CGM has launched a new range of financing services dedicated to importing and exporting. Named Shipfin Trade Finance, the venture is in partnership with the invoice finance platform Incomlend. The initiative seeks increase support to the company’s client and aid in developing finance solutions. Supply chain financing seeks to extend importers’ payment deadlines up to 120 days; strengthen supplier relations by improving cash flow; optimize payment tracking by finding all documents in one place; master compliance risk thanks to the KYC (Know Your Customer) assessment achieved by the suppliers; and simplify processes by interfacing IT systems with the platform.
The British Ports Association (BPA) has reservedly welcomed the news that a Brexit deal was finally agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Under the new deal, Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK’s customs territory but also an entry point into the EU’s customs zone.
Although the UK and the EU finally reached the deal, its ratification in parliament is not certain yet as Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) refused to support it. DUP’s concern is that all goods would be subject to a customs check regime despite their final destination and that consumers in Northern Ireland would face increased costs and potentially less choice due to checks being implemented.
The Indian Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) issued an order banning single-use plastic on Indian ships and foreign ships while in Indian waters. The ban enters into immediate effect for such items as plastic garbage and shopping bags. For other items, such as hot drink cups and microwave single-use microwave dishes, the ban enters into effect on 1 January 2020. Foreign ships must place banned items in locked storage prior to entering Indian waters and must make a log entry to that effect.
In line with IMO's Initial Strategy for decarbonisation of shipping industry, Greece has come forward with a concrete proposal for a short-term, prescriptive measure to improve the operational energy efficiency of existing ships, to be considered at the forthcoming meeting of the IMO’s intersessional technical group in November. Building on an existing proposal backed by the ICS and IMO Member States, Greece’s submission supplements the strengthened Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (super SEEMP) in a way that ensures the accomplishment of the IMO 2030 Target, which envisages a 40% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030.
The proposed measure prescribes the limit of the main engine power that ships over 5,000 GT can use under normal circumstances to maintain the level of CO2 emissions from ships at a historical low (2012) over a three-year phase-in period, commencing before 2023. The sectoral prescriptive approach it takes prescribes that bulk carriers and tankers reduce their main engine power by 50% and container ships by 66% and that charterers should clearly be obliged to adhere to any measure adopted to reduce GHG emissions from ships.
The Port of Rotterdam now offers the tracking of dry cargo flows. NPRC, the inland shipping cooperative, digitized its ‘supply chain’ in an efficient way in order to enable clients to monitor the status of their cargo with precision. Clients have been in the position to track connections to sea-going transport in Rotterdam as well as have real-time insight into inland shipping transport. Over the past year, the NPRC started investing in data-driven logistics optimization. NPRC is one of Europe’s biggest bulk providers, handling 14 million tonnes of dry cargo annually, with around 200 NPRC-affiliated inland vessels are in transit somewhere in Europe daily. NPRC’s German agricultural clients can now use the online dashboard to see exactly when they can expect their wheat or animal feed to arrive. The module for sea-going vessels was developed in partnership with the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Nauticor has conducted the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in Germany using its bunker supply vessel Kairos. The operation took place this week at the Elbehafen Brunsbüttel, part of Brunsbüttel Ports. Kairos supplied to 300 cubic meters of LNG to DEME Group’s trailing suction hopper dredger Scheldt River, which is conducting maintenance dredging works on the Lower Elbe. In the future, the vessel will be used to bunker large ocean-going vessels in the Baltic region and Northwest Europe.
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.