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Monday, April 24, 2017

© hramovnick / Adobe Stock

ESD Systems Recommended for Oil/Chemical Tankers

OCIMF and CDI release new information paper Linked Ship/Shore Emergency Shutdown Systems for Oil and Chemical Transfers. The information paper, jointly released by CDI and OCIMF on April 21 recommends an Emergency Shutdown (ESD) connection that will link ship and terminal ESD systems, so that manual activation by the terminal or ship will stop cargo transfer operations. “Linked ship/shore ESD systems have been a standard safety feature of LNG transfer operations for many years,” said OCIMF Director Captain Andrew Cassels.

Photo: PNCT

Newark Container Terminal Handles Record Volumes

Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) handled a record number of container volumes without disruption to its customers following its January 2017 upgrade to the N4 terminal system. The move to Navis N4 is part of PNCT’s $500 million infrastructure modernization project that is expected to nearly double the terminal’s capacity by 2019. Located within the Port of New York and New Jersey—the largest port on the East Coast and third largest in the U.S.—PNCT is among the most important terminals responsible for moving cargo throughout the nation and abroad, handling 1.3 million TEUs annually.

(Photo: The Northwest Seaport Alliance)

Seattle/Tacoma Box Volumes Rise in March

Total domestic and international container volumes at the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma increased by more than 14 percent for the month of March, and year-to-date volumes were up 10 percent. March international container volumes performed strongly post-Lunar New Year. At 120,018 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), full imports grew almost 26 percent compared to March 2016. At 99,603 TEUs, full exports were up more than 9 percent in March, making it the strongest month for exports this year.

Photo: Port Manatee

Port Manatee, World Direct Extend Shipping Deal

Port Manatee has extended its agreement with World Direct Shipping to maintain its swift weekly service between the Florida Gulf Coast port from the Mexican state of Veracruz for as many as five more years. Under a lengthened pact approved April 20, by the Manatee County Port Authority, World Direct Shipping has committed to bring refrigerated produce and other goods into Port Manatee from the Port of Coatzacoalcos through at least Dec. 31, 2019, with a pair of one-year options extending through the end of 2021.

Supply Chain Advantages for Brazilian-European Trade

After the successful participation in Intermodal South America in Sao Paulo (Brazil), the port of Antwerp in collaboration with the local industrial and agricultural federations organised a business seminar with networking in the nearby state of Minas Gerais. The event was attended by 50 or so prominent Brazilians including shippers, ship's agents and logistics service providers. It was also honoured by the presence of high representatives from both federations, the government of Minas Gerais and the Belgian diplomatic corps in Brazil.

© caocao191 / Adobe Stock

Barge Shipping Steady at Port of Little Rock

The Port of Little Rock had a busy month in March with increased activity across both docks, according to the Little Rock Port Authority. March activity started slowly but increased during the second half of the month. Logistic Services Inc. (LSI), the Port of Little Rock’s stevedoring partner, worked 32 barges with more than 47,000 net tons of cargo during the month. 17 barges were handled at the main river dock, carrying 26,000 net tons of cargo; 15 barges were handled at the slackwater dock, carrying 21,000 net tons of cargo.

Photo courtesy of CargoNet

US, Canada Cargo Theft Trends for 2017

CargoNet recorded 358 supply chain risk incidents across the United States and Canada. Of those 358 incidents, 58 percent involved theft of a trucking vehicle, 54 percent involved theft of cargo, and 7 percent were classified as fraud (often identity theft and wire fraud). In total, 192 cargo theft events were recorded, and the cargo in each theft was worth an average of $149,522, bringing the total estimated loss to $28.7 million for the quarter. There were 339 trucking vehicles reported stolen, including 137 tractors and 143 trailers.

Photo: Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp

Seanergy Bags Time Charter for Capesize Bulker

Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp has entered into a time charter contract (T/C) with a major European charterer, for one of its Capesize dry bulk vessels, for a period of about 18 months to about 22 months. The T/C is for the 180,000 dwt Capesize vessel M/V Lordship and is expected to commence in June 2017, upon expiration of the vessel's current T/C with the same charterer. The net daily charter hire is index-linked rate based on the 5 T/C route rate of Baltic Capesize Index (BCI).

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Port Cargo Volumes Rise

Californian Port of Los Angeles has seen its volumes increase by 10 percent in the first quarter of 2017 as it handled a total of 2.23 million TEUs in the three-month period, compared to 2 million TEU seen in the same quarter a year earlier. “We are pleased to end the first quarter of 2017 with strong volumes and continually efficient cargo handling operations,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. Gene adde: “We continue to earn the confidence of shippers and are encouraged by the strength of our supply chain partners.

Photo: Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

First Ocean Vessel of 2017 Arrives at Port of Indiana

The first ocean vessel of the year arrived at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor marking the official opening of the international shipping season. Port officials welcomed the 413-foot general cargo carrier BBC Mont Blanc and presented the captain with the Ports of Indiana Steel Stein. "The arrival of the first ocean ship of the new year is an exciting time not only for our port, but also for our port companies and numerous other regional businesses that rely on the cargoes these vessels carry," said Port Director Ian Hirt. "For northwest Indiana, the opening of the St.

Long Beach Middle Harbor (Photo: Port of Long Beach)

Surging Imports Power Long Beach Cargo Gains

Containers arriving in Long Beach with goods bound for U.S. consumers spiked 20.2 percent in March compared to the same month in 2016, pushing the Port to its best first quarter since 2007. Dockworkers offloaded 249,534 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from vessels in March. Shipments to overseas markets continue to face challenges due to the strong dollar, as exports decreased 5.3 percent, to 120,435 TEUs. Empties numbered 135,413 containers, up 4.2 percent. In total, the Port of Long Beach moved 505,382 TEUs last month — an 8.7 percent increase.

Pic: DryShips

DryShips Enters into Newcastlemax Contract

DryShips Inc has entered into a one year time charter with a major grain house for one of its 206,000 dwt Newcastlemax drybulk vessels for an expected duration of about one year. The Company anticipates a total gross backlog of $7.1 million, and the contract to commence upon the delivery of the vessel, expected before the end of April 2017. Mr. DryShips is a diversified owner of ocean going cargo vessels that operate worldwide. The Company owns a fleet of 13 Panamax drybulk vessels…

Image: Indian Ports Association (IPA)

Indian Ports Register 6.79% Growth in Traffic

The twelve major ports under the Ministry of Shipping, India handled a record 647.43 MT of traffic in 2016-17, registering an annual growth rate of 6.79 percent, as against 4.32 percent last year. With this, these ports have out- performed private ports for the second consecutive year. The private ports have registered a traffic growth rate of 4 percent this year. The top position in cargo handling was retained by Kandla Port that handled 105.44 Million Tonnes of cargo, registering a growth of 5.39% over last year.

ICHCA Seeks Safety Award Nominees

ICHCA International, a global cargo handling NGO association, has opened the second TT Club Innovation in Safety Award which aims to highlight the importance of safety at a time of increased operational demands on cargo handling infrastructure and operations worldwide. The goal of the award is equally to champion and celebrate the many companies and individuals around the world who are 100 percent dedicated to ‘making it safe’ every day, and to acknowledge and foster innovation to improve safety in cargo operations and logistics.

Somali Forces Clash With Pirates, Free Indian Ship Crew

Somali security forces clashed with pirates early on Wednesday and freed nine seamen kidnapped on an Indian cargo ship this month, officials said. The pirates seized the dhow Al Kausar off Somalia's coast, part of a surge of attacks after years without a reported incident. The kidnappers took the crew onshore in central Galmudug state on Monday and clashed with troops two days later, the territory's minister for ports and sea transport, Burhan Warsame, said. "We rescued the nine crew and they are healthy and safe," he added.

Image: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Quality of Ocean Carriers “Poor to Average”

The service provided by container shipping lines is rated as poor to average and has deteriorated in the past year, according to a survey of exporters, importers and freight forwarders conducted jointly by Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC). The ESC and Drewry contacted several hundred shippers and forwarders from all over the world in March 2017 and asked them how satisfied they were with 16 price and non-price related attributes of the services provided by ocean carriers. The survey also looked into areas most in need of improvement and how quality varies by type of carrier.

Biggest Ship to Ever Visit US East Coast

Wide, deep channels and big-ship infrastructure will earn South Carolina Ports Authority the desired position as last port of call when the biggest ship ever to call the US East Coast, the COSCO Development, arrives in May. "SCPA has worked aggressively for years to ensure we can efficiently work 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels and be the last Southeast port of call with no navigational issues," said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. "Our naturally wide and deepwater harbor…

Photo: Abu Dhabi Ports

MAQTA Gateway Achieves Complete Digitalization

Abu Dhabi Ports said it has introduced a new stream of digital services in the field of import and export operations for RORO and General Cargo to provide customers and stakeholders accessibility to new benefits from the automation of operational processes and services through its Maqta Port Community System (PCS). The new service marks the completion of the digitalization of all operational services, following the success in providing digital services for container and cruise vessels across Abu Dubai’s commercial ports in 2016.

Photo: GPA

Georgia Ports Authority Reports Record Growth

The Georgia Ports Authority experienced strong growth in containerized, auto and breakbulk trade in March. The Port of Savannah moved 311,770 twenty-foot equivalent units last month, an increase of 5.6 percent or 16,621 TEUs. Total tonnage across all terminals increased 9.8 percent (258,627 tons), moving 2.89 million tons for the busiest March ever in the Authority's history. "Strong demand from retail and manufacturing customers -- both in the U.S. and abroad -- is driving growth in Savannah and Brunswick," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Improves Canada to West Africa Service

 CMA CGM announced a significant improvement of its product from Montreal, Canada to Africa West Coast strategic markets.   Starting May 6th, 2017 with the opening of the new service Med Canada, CMA CGM will connect Montreal cargo to West Africa with our 6 EURAF services via the hub of Tangiers. Transit times will be shortened up to 12 days. Apapa will be reached in 25 days   Angola, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo on EURAF 5 and Gabon, Equatorial Guinea on EURAF 4 will continue to be connected on St Laurent service.  

Photo: SCPA

SC Ports Reports Record Box Volume in March

The South Carolina Ports Authority announced the strongest monthly container volume in its history, with 192,411 twenty foot-equivalent units (TEUs) handled in March. The month was nearly 13 percent higher than March 2016 and surpassed SCPA's previous record, set in January 2017, by more than 7,000 TEUs. Fiscal year to date, the Port has handled 1.58 million TEUs. “The record volumes achieved by SCPA in March result from our broad-based efforts to increase our cargo base by providing good service to clients and enhancing our service offering,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO.

© light_magic / Adobe Stock

US Retail Imports on the Rise

Imports at the Unites States’ major retail container ports should continue to see strong increases throughout the spring and summer as the nation’s economy improves, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates. “Consumers are spending more, and these import numbers show that retailers expect that to continue for a significant period,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

Image: Wison

LNG Innovation: Wison's LNG Distributor

The Wison-LNG-Distributor (LNGD) is a new multi-functional carrier with scalable capacity between 5000 to 20,000 cu. m. Wison-LNGD integrates the functions of LNG loading, bunkering and container delivery, which could make regional LNG redistribution more affordable and efficient. Wison’s LNG Distributor has been purposely designed to distribute partial loads to coastal areas in regions such as Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Northern Europe. Being designed to operate at a shallow draft of 4.5m…

Photo: DP World Sokhna

DP World, Egypt on Expansion of Sokhna Port

DP World and Egypt's General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) have is planning to increase the capacity of Egypt’s Sokhna port located south of Suez Canal, off the Red Sea coast, Egypt’s official State Information Service reported. DP World’s chief executive Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem and GAFI CEO Mohamed Khodair have discussed the next phase of development in Ain Sokhna. The development will increase the capacity of Sokhna port, which sits south of the Suez Canal on the Red Sea on a maritime trade route from Asia to the Middle East and beyond.

Graph: Clarksons Research

Shipping Industry Cargo Journey

The fundamental lying beneath the shipping industry is cargo and its journey, and in many cases the cargoes are the world’s key commodities, says a report by Clarksons Research. In 2014, prices across a range of commodities took a sharp dive, but over the last year or so they’ve started to improve again. So, what do the trends in the prices of the commodities underlying the shipping markets tell us about the shape of things today? Most followers of commodities will be aware of the oil price downturn…

Photo: Georgia Ports Authority / Stephen B. Morton

FMC Oks Virginia/Georgia Port Agreement

Port authorities in Virginia and Georgia will be allowed to engage in discussions about a variety of commercial and operational topics as a result of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) voting to allow the "East Coast Port Gateway Terminal Agreement" to go into effect. The Virginia Port Authority and the Georgia Ports Authority filed their agreement with the Commission on February 24, 2017. Their agreement becomes effective Monday, April 10. Under the terms of the agreement…

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB

India to Establish Multimodal Terminal in Jharkhand

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj, Jharkhand. The terminal at Sahibganj is an important component of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for the augmentation of the navigation capacity of National Waterway-1 (Ganga) from Varanasi to Haldia (1390 km). Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari was also present on this occasion. Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said that…

Photo: European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)

Thessaloniki Completes 20 Years as EcoPort

EcoPorts, the main environmental initiative of the European port sector, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has published an interview with the Port of Thessaloniki, one of the first ports in the EcoPorts Network, to provide more insights in this initiative. The Port of Thessaloniki is a mid-size commodity port engaged in diverse trades, in terms of its major commercial activities, mainly cargo handling. However, these activities often gave rise to environmental issues such as air quality and port area seawater pollution.

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Strengthening EURAF 5 Services

CMA CGM has announced the strengthening of its position on Europe > West Africa route by becoming vessel operator on its current service EURAF 5. Effective April 5th, 2017, CMA CGM operates 2 vessels on EURAF 5 between North Europe and West Africa South Range. With a weekly frequency, EURAF 5 connects Europe to Angola, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cameroon is served on a fortnightly basis. Reefer cargo from Abidjan relies on a direct service to Europe with very fast transit times. Antwerp is reached in 15 days, Le Havre in 18 days, Lisbon in 21 days.

Photo: Tradepoint Atlantic

Tradepoint Atlantic Inks License Deal with Host Terminals

Tradepoint Atlantic, a 3,100-acre multimodal global logistics center in Baltimore, Maryland, that features an unmatched combination of access to deepwater berths, railroads, highways, and storage space today announced an exclusive, 10-year agreement with Host Terminals to oversee the vast majority of marine cargo operations. As part of the announcement, $30 million in combined investment toward infrastructure improvements will also be made to the site. This will further Tradepoint Atlantic’s ability to generate a projected 17…

INTERCARGO Issues Statement on Loss of Stellar Daisy

INTERCARGO is deeply concerned at the tragic loss of the VLOC vessel STELLAR DAISY reported on 31 March 2017; our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the seafarers. As long as there is still hope, our wishes are for the missing officers and crew to be found and the loss of life in this sad event to be minimised, as only 2 of them have been rescued so far, and reportedly 22 still missing. INTERCARGO praises the Search And Rescue (SAR) efforts in response to this unfortunate incident.

Photo: POV

Port of Vancouver USA Tonnage Breaks 7mln Mark in 2016

For the first time in its 105-year history, the Port of Vancouver USA has recorded more than 7 million metric tons of cargo across its docks. The port recorded 7.49 million metric tons in 2016, nearly eight percent more than the 2015 record of 6.95 million metric tons. 2016 was great year for exports, which climbed to 6.32 million metric tons from 5.54 million metric tons in 2015 – a 14 percent increase overall. Grain continues to be the largest exports at the Port of Vancouver by volume, and in 2016 these cargoes increased 17.8 percent over 2015.

Photo: Hamburg Süd

Hamburg Süd on top in Performance Report

Hamburg Süd takes first place in the SeaIntel Global Liner Performance Report for the month of February 2017 in the category Schedule Reliability for the third time in succession. The company had already reached this top spot in December 2016 as well as January 2017. On the average for 2016, Hamburg Süd achieved second place among 20 container lines rated. “Hamburg Süd takes schedule reliability very serious. Our customers can rely on punctual delivery of their cargo. Within the value chain…

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Reducing Risk of Bulk Cargo Liquefaction

The London P&I Club, working in co-operation with leading classification society Bureau Veritas and its casualty and salvage subsidiary TMC Marine, has produced an operational guide designed to reduce the risk of liquefaction in potentially volatile bulk cargoes such as ore fines and concentrates. Reducing the Risk of Liquefaction is intended to provide general guidance and practical advice to masters, shipowners, shippers and charterers on the loading and carriage of bulk cargoes which may liquefy…

Photo:  International Maritime Organization

Connecting Ships, Ports and People

The theme for World Maritime Day 2017 "Connecting ships, ports and people", provides an opportunity to highlight the value of integration in the maritime and logistics sectors. The theme has particular resonance for International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Facilitation Committee, which is meeting (4-7 April) at IMO Headquarters. The Committee will discuss matters relating to the Facilitation Convention (FAL), which supports international maritime traffic by providing a set of consistent, uniform regulations to facilitate the free flow of commerce.

UK P&I Club Advises on Safe Soya Bean Transport

Petar Modev, Senior Loss Prevention Executive at UK P&I Club, working closely with the expert consultancy CWA International, has produced a guidance on the safe carriage of soya beans. “There have been recent reports of severe delays to trucks transporting soya beans to barges on the Amazon as a result of poor road conditions. This will have an impact on any vessels awaiting soya bean deliveries at the Northern Arc ports in Brazil through increasing the storage time prior to shipment, and increasing the likelihood of cargo claims.

Photo: Maersk Line

India's Box Trade to Grow Double Digits: Maersk

Maersk Line said that the growth of EXIM container trade of India in the current year is likely to be in two digits. The export-import container trade volume of India grew by 10% for the full year 2016, which was double of 2015, that too amid weak global trade. In 2017, the growth is likely to be in two digits provided that India maintains its growth in markets like the Middle East, Latin America and East Africa, enhancing its client portfolio and diversifying the risks, said Maersk in its 2016 Annual India Trade Report.

Photo: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Boosts Walmart Hub at Port of Mobile

APM Terminals Mobile welcomes Arkansas-based global retail giant Walmart’s plans for a new International Distribution Center to be opened 15 miles from the port. The sixth of Walmart’s US international distribution centers, the Irvington, Alabama facility will handle Walmart’s import cargoes destined for Walmart’s Regional Distribution Centers in the American South. The recently completed Panama Canal lock widening project will permit vessels of up to 13,000 TEU capacity to transit the canal…

Indian Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari pinning a flag on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to celebrate the week of National Maritime Day. Photo: Official FB Page of Nitin Gadkari

Capacity Augmentation in Indian Ports

Ports development and capacity augmentation is a continuous process in India, says the ministry of shipping. Government is regularly monitoring the Port projects to modernize and upgrade to increase capacity of the Major Ports and also to bring them to the international standards through construction and modernisation of berths; installation of state of art equipment; mechanisation of cargo handling system at ports and dredging projects to accommodate large-sized vessels. As a result of modernization of port infrastructure…

Indian Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari. Photo: Official Site of Nitin Gadkari

India Boosts Shipping Industry

The Expansion, modernization and upgradation of shipping infrastructure in India is an on-going process to keep the ports abreast with new technologies and also to promote trade and cargo. The Government is committed to provide best possible infrastructure facilities to Indian shipping industry. Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of Shipping has a shipbuilding capacity of 1,10,000 DWT and ship-repair capacity of 1,25,000 DWT to cater to the needs of the shipping industry.

Image: Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District

New Mississippi Container Terminal Planned

Plans have been put in motion to develop a new intermodal container terminal on the lower Mississippi River. Designed to service the largest ocean carriers, the new 1,000 acre container terminal will be capable of docking vessels up to 20,000 TEU with deep-water access and 21,600 linear feet of waterfront allow for multiple ocean and APCT vessels to be accommodated simultaneously. The container port, located between mile 50 and 55 on the Mississippi River, will be the southern-most full service port complex on the river…

© Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Adobe Stock

Baltic Index Hits Two-year High

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for dry-bulk carriers, hit a more than two-year high on Wednesday as rates for panamax vessels rose. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 5 points at 1,338 points, its highest level since Nov. 11, 2014. The panamax index was up 40 points or 3.1 percent, at 1,346 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $318 to $10,805.

Freightos Raises $25 Mln Extension Funding

Freightos, a logistics technology company bringing freight online, has announced the completion of a $25 million Series B extension round, led by GE Ventures, with participation by additional investors that bring the company’s total funding to $50 million. The funds will be used to scale the Freightos Marketplace globally while continuing development of Freightos’ software suite of global freight pricing, routing, and sales automation. Since its July 2016 launch, the Freightos Marketplace has grown exponentially…

Image: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Silver Lining for the Multipurpose Shipping Market

Following another poor year for multipurpose shipping with further erosion of rates making it the worst market in over 10 years, signs of recovery are now evident with momentum expected to build over the next few years, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Annual Review and Forecast 2017 report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Dry cargo demand is forecast to grow by around 3% in 2018, but within that figure it is the market share available to multipurpose vessels which is more interesting.

Image: DNV GL

“Twisties” to Aid Offshore Wind Logistics

DNV GL launched a new joint industry project (JIP) to develop a Recommended Practice intended to de-risk the adoption of “Twisties” and demonstrate the unitization of wind project cargo. The innovative concept is called “Twisties” - a modular project-cargo transport frame system that is sea-fastened using container twist locks – and which gives the frames their name. The increasing size and quantities of wind turbines installed offshore means that a change in requirements is needed for shipping project cargo between manufacturing and marshalling port facilities…

Photo: HMM

FMC's Doyle OKs Boxship Pact

Commissioner William P. Doyle of the Federal Maritime Commission issued the following statement today, Agreement to go into effect March 30, 2017. I voted today to allow the agreement styled the “Maersk/MSC/HMM Strategic Cooperation Agreement” to go forward. The parties to the agreement are Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). However, I take this opportunity to convey to the parties concerns related the shipping public, American businesses and consumers.

© corlaffra / Adobe Stock

Baltic Index Streaks to Highest Level since 2014

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, continued its gaining streak on Tuesday with a fresh more-than-two-year high, driven by strong demand for large iron ore vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 51 points, or 4 percent, at 1,333 points, its highest level since November 11, 2014. The capesize index climbed 145 points, or 5.5 percent, to 2,765 points, its best since November 25, 2014.

Photo: Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha

Singapore Approves Japan Shipping JV

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has given the nod to a proposed joint venture between three Japanese shipping lines. Japan’s big three shipping groups, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK),  announced last year an integration of their container shipping business with the establishment of a joint venture by 1 July 2017 and the commencement of joint servce from 1 April 2018. Under the JV, the Parties will merge their container liner shipping business, and their container terminal services businesses outside Japan.

Photo: JSW Infrastructure Ltd

JSW to Invest USD 1.1bln on Ports

JSW Group will invest INR 7,000 crore (USD 1.1bln) more in the ports sector over next three years to create assets in the country as well as abroad, PTI reported. The company is also looking at diluting up to 15 percent stake in the ports operating company, JSW Infrastructure, to a private equity player soon, and take it public by 2019. JSW Infrastructure Ltd (JSWIL), a 100% subsidiary of Sajjan Jindal led-JSW Group, has  also drawn up a master plan to develop its Jaigarh Port in Konkan as one of India’s biggest ports that could receive big bulk carriers, LNG, LPG and oil tankers.

© Altin Osmanaj / Adobe Stock

Asian Spot LNG Prices Slip on Weak Demand

Asian spot LNG prices fell this week on poor demand from major gas-consuming regions despite a slew of new purchase tenders. The May spot LNG contract fell by $0.25 cents to $5.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), with new production coming on stream in Australia and the United States. Analysts and traders mainly blamed low demand for driving prices lower. In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi was staying on the sidelines of the market and new solar power capacity in Dubai was eroding gas demand there.

© Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Adobe Stock

Baltic Index Rises to Over 4-month High

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, closed at its highest level in more than four months, helped by stronger rates across all vessel segments. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, ended up 44 points, or 3.7 percent, at 1,240 points, a level last seen on Nov. 21. The capesize index gained 137 points, or 5.8 percent, to close at 2,482 points, its highest level since Nov. 23.

MacGregor, Rolls-Royce to Study Containership Autonomy

A new collaborative research and development initiative will explore the impact of developments in autonomy for cargo ship navigation and cargo systems onboard containerships. The research will be conducted by partners MacGregor, part of Cargotec, and Rolls-Royce, who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaboration. Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital and Systems, said, “Rolls-Royce is pioneering remotely controlled and autonomous ships and believes…

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Rolls Out Asia-West Coast South America Offer

CMA CGM has  announced the launch of the new service offer between Asia and West Coast South America, the most comprehensive offer on the market between these two strategic areas. - 4 direct weekly services between Asia and West Coast South America and the Caribbean (NEW ACSA1, NEW ACSA2, NEW ACSA3 et PEX2). - The largest port coverage in Asia, in South America and the Caribbean with 29 ports called. - The best transit times on the market between Asia and West Coast South America.

File photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

Doyle Urges 2M Partners to Honor Their Commitments

Commissioner William P. Doyle of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) calls for honoring commitment to shipping public, American businesses and consumers. In mid-December 2016, Maersk Line announced that, together with its 2M Alliance partner Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), it was entering into a “Strategic Cooperation” with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). The agreement would establish a framework for the three companies to share space in the U.S. trades with a combination of slot exchanges.

Photo: FotoFlite / DS Norden

Baltic Index Inches Up on Firmer Panamax Rates

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged up on Thursday as panamax rates increased. The overall index, which also factors in rates for capesize, supramax and handysize vessels, closed up 6 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,196 points. The panamax index jumped 51 points, or 4.6 percent, its biggest daily percentage gain since March 1, to close at 1,170 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $406 to $9,404.

Photo: Nakilat PR

Nakilat Transitions LNG Mesaimeer to In-house Management

Nakilat has assumed full ship management and operations of Q-Flex LNG carrier Mesaimeer from STASCo (Shell Trading and Shipping Company Ltd.) with effect from March 23, 2017, as part of the planned and phased transition announced on October 19, 2016. With a cargo carrying capacity of 216,312 cubic meters, Mesaimeer is wholly-owned by Nakilat and chartered by Qatargas. The vessel built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries was delivered in March 2009 and has been in service ever since.

File photo: Port of Duluth/Superior

Optimistic Ports Outlook for 2017 Great Lakes-Seaway Season

While the first-half of 2016 was tough for many due to global economic conditions, a strong fourth quarter has spurred optimism as the 2017 shipping season gets underway with this week’s opening of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system. Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows said, “Certainly there was a big improvement in the last quarter of 2016 with the resurgence of iron ore pellet exports out of the U.S. and a strong grain season. “The overall feeling in the Port of Duluth-Superior is positive…

Photo: Northwest Seaport Alliance

Seattle/Tacoma Container Volumes Up 8% for 2017

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, consisting of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, has recorded an 8 percent year-to-date increase in container cargo through February. International container volumes for the month of February remained steady with a 9.1 percent year-to-date increase despite fewer sailings. Compared to same time last year, full export loads saw a 4 percent increase, and import loads were up more than 7 percent for the year. As anticipated, we saw fewer vessel arrivals and amended service schedules by ocean carriers in February due to the Lunar New Year holiday…

New Container Service between Cork and Liverpool

BG Freight Line, a fully-owned subsidiary of Peel Ports Group, is introducing a new weekly container service between Cork and Liverpool. This is the first time the two ports have been connected directly, with the service starting on Monday 27 March. It is intended that the new route will offer greater opportunities for customers in the Republic of Ireland to make connections with the deep-sea services now calling at the Port of Liverpool, particularly from Canada, the east coast of the US and the Mediterranean.

Image: Inland Waterways Authority of India

Ro-Ro Terminal in Assam to Boost Traffic

The government of India said berthing operation of a vessel was carried out at the newly-constructed Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal on the Brahmaputra in Assam. The  Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) vessel will be deployed for Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off) service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari with a total waterway length of 29 km. Ro-Ro ships are vessels used for carrying wheeled cargo. IWAI's initiative opens a new gate of opportunities in the region by paving the…