CMA CGM has decided that it its fleet of 500 vessels will not use the Northern Sea Route connecting Asia to Europe through the Arctic in an effort to protect the fragile ecosystem there from the threat of accidents, oil pollution, and collisions with marine wildlife. The Northern Sea Route, which runs the length of the Siberian coast has become navigable due to global warming.
Joint Industry Guidance on the supply and use of 0.50% – sulphur marine fuel has just been developed and released by a group experts in an effort to provide guidance for stakeholders across the marine fuels and shipping industries, from fuel blenders and suppliers to end users. The publication is designed It presents the specific safety and operational issues relating to the supply and use of max. 0.50%-sulphur fuels, an overview of fuel quality principles, and the controls that should be put in place to ensure that safety issues are identified, prevented and/or mitigated. It addresses issues such as fuel compatibility, fuel stability, and fuel handling and storage, and contains a comprehensive review of existing operational factors that can affect safety.
After 34-months abandoned on board the UAE-flagged general cargo vessel Tamim Aldar, the entire crew has now been brought to shore. The ship was abandoned off Ras al Kaimah by owner Elite Way Marine Services with no fuel, food, potable water, or power available. Last week the remaining crew got into a lifeboat and attempted to seek refuge on shore, but were promptly returned to the vessel, which was subsequently towed into position approximately 13 km off the UAE until their rescue earlier this week. The four final crew members to leave the vessel are currently in Dubai, awaiting their unpaid wages. They are very unlikely to receive what they are owed in the full amount – the 39 other seafarers who have already been repatriated have received portions ranging from 40–75% of their wages.
The Norwegian government has approved Enova, a government-run entity, for up to NOK 2.3 billion (US$256 million) in funding to develop the world’s first floating offshore wind farm to power offshore oil and gas installations in the northern North Sea. The offshore wind farm will consist of 11 floating wind turbines with a total capacity of 88 MW, enough to meet around 35% of the annual electricity needed of the five existing oil and gas platforms at the Gullfaks and Snorre fields. During periods of high winds, the percentage could even be much higher.
Australia is on track to surpass Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter. It already surpasses Qatar in LNG export capacity and exported more LNG than Qatar in November 2018 and April 2019. Within the next year, as more of Australia’s projects ramp up and increase operations, U.S. Energy Information Administration expects Australia to consistently export more LNG than Qatar. The country’s LNG export capacity increased from 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2011 to more than 11.4 Bcf/d in 2019. The LNG exports are forecast to grow to 10.8 Bcf/d by 2020–21 once recently commissioned projects start operating at full production.
Evergreen has told clients that any omission, concealment or misdeclaration of hazardous cargoes that it finds will result in fines of $35,000 per container. This decision comes in a wake of several other carriers issuing warnings of fines for misdeclared cargoes, including OOCL and Maersk, though they have not specified the amount of the fine. Hapag-Lloyd and HMM have said clients with misdeclared cargo will face a fine of $15,000 per box charge.
25% of all serious incidents onboard containerships are attributaed to misdeclared cargos that lead to significant fire on boxships every 60 days. Most recently, a fire swept through the countainers on the APL Le Havre, which took four hours to bring under control.
e5 Lab Inc., a venture between Asahi Tanker Co., Exeno Yamamizu Corp., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp is seeking to build the world’s first zero-emission tanker by mid-2021 that will be powered by large-capacity batteries and will operate in Tokyo Bay. Momentum is gathering for fully electric ships, with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc offering battery-powered ship engines starting last year, and Norway’s Kongsberg Gruppen ASA is developing an electric container vessel. There are still challenges in making the technology applicable to ships navigating thousands of miles across oceans because of the need to recharge batteries.
Custom officers have found 4.5 tons of cocaine onboard a containership at the Port of Hamburg, representing the largest-ever cocaine shipment seized in this country. The shipment consisted of more than 4,200 parcels in 211 black sports bags in a container aboard an unnamed vessel. The cocaine has a street value of around EUR 1 billion (USD 1.1 billion).
Following last week’s article on OOCL's plans to step up inspections on dangerous goods, Hapag-Lloyd has since advised that it will impose a fine of $15,000 for each container of misdeclared hazardous cargoes starting on September 15th. This decision comes after Hapag-Lloyd’s Yantian Express suffered a fire that caused millions of dollars of damage.
Starting this month and until November 30, 2019, the Panama Canal will promote the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) annual recommendations on speed and maritime transit aimed at protecting cetaceans, which include whales, dolphins and other large aquatic mammals, during their nearby seasonal migration. With these measures, ships should proceed at a speed of not more than 10 knots in specified areas. Panama has monitored this requirement since December 1, 2014 when maritime traffic separation devices (TSS) were installed by both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean entry points to the Canal. The initiative is part of the Panama Canal’s broader efforts to incentivize environmental stewardship and includes watershed conservation initiatives, innovative water-saving basins, and other programs aimed at implementing technologies and standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Iran reiterated last weekend that it will pursue a “toll” on all ships travelling in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian lawmakers demanded that each vessel in the strait pay a fee for safe passage just 48 hours after Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commandos in black ski masks rappelled from a helicopter onto a British oil tanker and took control of the vessel. The ship, the STENA IMPERO, and its 23 crew members remained in detention at an Iranian port Sunday as the West scrambled to figure out how to respond to Tehran’s latest provocation.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) and the Asian Shipowners' Association (ASA) jointly urge immediate action by the international community to stop the escalation of tensions and fully respect international law. Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General, commented that Freedom of Navigation is vital for global trade and is a fundamental principle of international maritime law. Seafarers and ships must be allowed to operate in safety, and it is simply not acceptable for them to be used as bargaining counters in any way.
The South Korean Government announced plans for investments in 12 ports across the country. The expansion plans include the development of Busan as a mega-port, and the expansion of cargo handling capacity of the ports. The overall investment will reach the cost of 41.8 trillion ($35.2 billion). Specifically, the Korean government will inject KRW16.03trn directly and the remaining KRW25.77trn will be raised from the private sector. Busan port infrastructure will see 21 new berths, capable of accommodating 25,000-teu containerships. Cargo handling capacity at the 12 ports will increase to 1.85bn tonnes by 2040 from 1.32bn tonnes in 2017, and container handling capacity will increase to 48.73m teus from 27.17m teus in 2017. Also on in plans are two additional ports. One will be on the southern island of Jeju which will be developed as a cruise port, and another at Donghae on the east coast, which will handle cargo.
The Baltic Exchange is partnering with a spatial big data company, GeoSpock, to create a platform with a focus on shipping emissions. They are seeking to develop an intelligent database that captures data on every measurable aspect of the shipping industry. This includes metadata such as location, weather, emissions, fuel usage, journey routes and times. Using this information, companies will be able to analyse and optimise shipping on a global scale, while providing regulators and governments with an increased level of transparency.
Swedish ship-management company, Marinvest, has announced that the Mari Jone and Mari Boyle, the first vessels powered by dual-fuel ME-LGI (-Liquid Gas Injection Methanol) engines operating on methanol have completed 10,000 operating hours. The company reports that its combined ME-LGI-powered fleet has passed a cumulative total of 50,000 operating hours on methanol. The two methanol tankers are managed on time charters for Waterfront Shipping and operate globally, providing an uninterrupted flow of methanol.
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is stepping up its inspection of containers in a move to clamp down on the transportation of dangerous and hazardous cargo. Concerns with un-declared and/or mis-declared hazardous cargo are driving efforts to strengthen its Dangerous Cargo acceptance and container inspection policy by imposing additional verification before loading through selective or random inspections.
Water levels on the Rhine in Germany are rising after rain this week and shipping has returned to normal. Shallow water had hampered sailings since late July and rain over the past few days has enabled vessels to take on full loads. Shallow water saw shippers impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners. The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal, chemicals and oil products including heating oil.
K Line was convicted by the Federal Court of Australia today for being in a criminal cartel and fined A$34.5 million (US$23.4 million). K Line pleaded guilty last year to being involved in a global conspiracy with numerous other ocean shipping companies to protect market share and fix ocean freight rates for the transportation of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between 2009 and 2012. In 2017, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha was convicted by the court and fined A$25 million ($20 million) for its part in the activity.