The Digitalization of Tanker Logistics
The tanker business carefully dips its toes into the digital chartering, analytics and big (data) pond. It is a work in progress.Like every other business, raw materials, refined products and petrochemicals, are undergoing unprecedented waves of digitalization. However, shipping is one linkage, albeit an important one, within the much bigger supply chains for crude oil and products. But cargo is king, raising an important question: Will future efforts to link ship chartering, and ship brokerage…
Boxships Buffeted by Competing Calamities
Overcapacity, Fleet Supply, Weakened Earnings, Consolidation – and now – fears of trade wars fuel further uncertainties for an already unsteady boxship climate. MLPro’s Barry Parker digs in to get to the bottom of all of it.The report season for 2018 Q1 corporate results saw an “earnings miss” (reported earnings below consensus forecasts of analysts) for the bellwether of listed container equities, A.P. Moller (APM), with its largest portfolio holding being Maersk Line. In a media telephone interview…
Managing the New Panamax Containerships
The explosive growth of international boxships is challenging not only the physical infrastructure of North American ports, but also the very nature of the existing supply chains that they impact. The recent dialogue on container shipping has been all about so-called “mega-ships;” those vessels that with larger capacity than those that are already in service at any point in time. In the container trades, as in tanker and drybulk arenas, ocean-going vessels are one link, albeit an important component, within broader supply chains.
Digging Deep for Good News
Dredging firms look ahead to more business, here and across the big pond. Along the way, Mother Nature and good business planning will both help. In the waning days of 2016, the outlook brightened dramatically for the big U.S. dredging contractors. Just before Congress dispersed for the Holidays, then-President Obama signed a pivotal piece of legislation – the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, S612. Authorized needed investment in America’s ports, channels…
Happy Holidays from Hanjin
Barry Parker dissects one the most disruptive events ever to impact the intermodal supply chain. There is more pain to come, lessons to be learned – and corrections applied. The Hanjin Shipping debacle, brewing over time and seeing a full blown eruption in late August, is still ongoing. The company voluntarily opted to enter ‘receivership,’ followed by a Chapter 15 bankruptcy filing in the States, shortly after the initial bombshell. The move provided a template for Hanjin vessels to dock, and cargo to be discharged.
US Boatbuilding: Exports Buoy Bottom Lines
Market conditions dampen some future prospects, but domestic yards have proven that they can compete overseas, and will do so again when the time is right. These are ‘interesting’ times for U.S. shipbuilders. The tail end of one of the biggest boom cycles seen in the last 50 years also finds some builders at the pointy end of once-fat backorder books and searching for new sources of business. This point in the cycle, however, also provides ample proof that U.S. yards can do more than produce expensive blue water Jones Act hulls for the domestic markets.
The Human Aspect of the Autonomous Ship
Arguably a long way off, the autonomous ship is likely coming. What that means for labor, the stakeholders that prepare mariners to go to sea and the firms that will operate these futuristic vessels is another thing altogether. According to Dr. Jeremy Rifkin, a Wharton professor who has advised the European Union on Sustainability, among other things, we are in the midst of a ‘Third Industrial Revolution.’ It is here where information technology and new energy sources are upending business models that have thrived since the second iteration – the era of electricity…
The Other Side of the Flange
Looking beyond the dollars and cents in the demise of bunker giant OW Bunker, MarPro contributor Barry Parker examines the unusual human resources aspect of the story. The old cliché in shipping and commodity businesses says that, “When the tide recedes, you can see which vessels have hulls that are battered up, or worse, actually breached.” OW Bunkering, which took on water and foundered in November 2014 – a mere seven months after a highly successful IPO in Copenhagen that valued the company at nearly $1 billion – offers a case study in bad risk management…
Maritime Professional Q4 Edition Available
Wind Assist Technology: Pipe Dream or Reality? Barry Parker examines wind assisted propulsion in commercial ships. LNG Impacts Ship Design: The use of LNG as a marine fuel is changing ship and boat design. Maritime Recruitment: The Shipyard Roundtable: Leading shipyard recruiters weigh in on trends in U.S. shipyard recruitment.
The Economics of Slowing Down Ships
MarPro crunches the numbers on vessel steaming economics. What should you do? The topics of fuel efficiency, slow steaming and monetary savings have received tremendous attention from all sectors of the maritime business over the past few years. For operators of vessels burning heavy or intermediate fuels, the reasons are well known. High fuel prices (compared to historical levels) in the period from 2010 onward, and the prospects for even higher prices going forward as sulfur is squeezed out of fuels, have focused the eyes of C-level executives on fuel.
Star Bulk CEO Discusses Latest Developments
Spyros Capralos, President & Chief Executive Officer of Star Bulk Carriers Corp., global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargos, was recently interviewed by Barry Parker of BDP1 Consulting. Parker, a frequent contributor to Maritime Professional, asked Capralos to discuss Star Bulk’s latest developments. The audio interview can be accessed from the Star Bulk Carriers website, under Media Interviews or by pasting the following link on your web browser http://www.starbulk.com/en/media.
Aker Rhymes with “Soccer”
In an extraordinary end to an unusually buoyant year for U.S. shipyards, a flurry of new blue water, commercial orders flooded into Tier I shipbuilders in the fourth quarter of 2013. As the year comes to a close, the biggest problem facing U.S. builders was solving the quandary of how to find, train and ultimately retain qualified shipfitters to toil on the vessels sitting on those fat backorder books. While these are nominally ‘good’ problems to have, they are problems nonetheless. Industry is, nevertheless, finding imaginative ways to adapt existing human resources models as a way to cope.
Insights: Cost of Compliance & the Oversupply of Tonnage
Compliance Costs Collide with Oversupply of Tonnage and a Challenged Economic Climate. Can operators cope? And, what will it cost them if they can? MarPro’s Barry Parker weighs in. At a time when most maritime business sectors are suffering the pains of oversupply, the pace of regulation has also increased dramatically. In a business that went from the boom times of five years ago to near bust conditions for weaker players in 2012, penny pinching is now the norm. Nevertheless, the mandated costs brought on by regulation remain in the equation, whether we like it or not.
Shipping's Cash Flow – Staying Above Water
Many corporate strategy articles start by reminding readers that “the Chinese character for risk and opportunity are the same.” Unfortunately, capital providers – especially those layering in debt to shipping company balance sheets – do not see things that way. Risk, in the financial context, always works back to the ability of an asset to service its obligations; first debt, and then equity. But shipping is considered more risky than other transport industries. The lethal cocktail…