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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Senior China Official: Trade War Could Cut GDP 1 pt

A senior official of China's ruling Communist Party said the trade dispute with the U.S.

AdobeStock / © nightman 1965

Trump: US-China Trade Talks Haven't Collapsed

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said trade talks with China had not collapsed, characterizing the trade war between the world's two largest economies as "a little squabble."He made the remarks to reporters at the White House as Beijing and Washington ratchet up tensions with tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.Trump indicated negotiators from the two countries were still talking, saying they were having a good dialogue.

China's Tariffs on U.S. LNG Mean Nothing, Everything

China's decision to hike import duties on U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a move that means very little for the market in the short term, but it has the potential to deliver outsized consequences the longer the levies remain in place.As part of its latest round of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, Beijing increased the duty on LNG shipments from 10 percent to 25 percent.This will make it even more uneconomic for Chinese buyers to purchase LNG cargoes from the United States.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Renaschild

U.S. Imposes Venezuela Sanctions on shippers, tankers

The United States has imposed sanctions on two shipping companies and two tankers involved in trade with Venezuela, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday.The two companies are based in Marshall Islands and Liberia, and both tankers have Panama flags, the Treasury said in a statement on its website.Reporting by Makini Brice

Image: DFDS Group

DFDS Buys Two Freight Ferries for New Route

Danish roro ship operator DFDS secured a contract from Swedish paper producer Stora Enso to transport 700,000 tons of paper annually on a new route between Gothenburg, Sweden and Zeebrugge,BelgiumDFDS will acquire two freight ferries for the route, said the release. The new route will be operated by three freight ferries. Two freight ferries - Slingeborg and Schieborg - will be acquired from third party owners for DKK 270m.In addition, one freight ferry will be transferred from DFDS' existing route between Gothenburg and Ghent that currently deploys four freight ferries.

APL Enhances Japan Thailand Vietnam Service

APL has announced that the Japan Thailand Vietnam (JTV) service is extending its port rotation to the Philippines and within South China. The refined service will be calling three additional ports in Manila, Shekou and Nansha as part of its service rotation.The enhanced JTV service is primed to facilitate direct shipments from the load ports in South China to the Philippines, promising a fast 3-day Shekou-Manila transit time. The weekly service will also provide direct access to Laem Chabang in Thailand from Manila.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Scanrail

U.S.-China Trade Talks Go to the Wire

World shares tumbled for a fourth day running on Thursday after a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that a long-worked-on trade deal with China was in serious danger.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was heading to Washington for two days of talks, but Trump's insistence that China "broke the deal" and Beijing's response that it would retaliate against a planned U.S. tariff increase raised the stakes.Europe's main stock markets and Wall Street futures sank 0.5 to 1.3 percent after a torrid day for Asia saw more than 1.8 percent taken off China and more than 3 percent off South Korea…

File Image: One of DP world's many intermodal terminals. (CREDIT: DP World)

DP World Acquires Fraser Surrey Docks

DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, said on Thursday it has agreed to buy Canadian marine terminal Fraser Surrey Docks from a Macquarie Group fund.The purchase consideration is below 2.5 percent of DP World's net asset value as of December 31, 2018, the port operator said, which Reuters calculated to be under $300 million.The marine terminal, is being acquired through Canadian subsidiary DP World Canada Investment Inc, which is 45 percent owned by Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec (CDPQ).The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019, DP World said.

File Image / CREDIT: Hapag Lloyd

Hapag Lloyd: Calm Passage Despite Trade War

Hapag-Lloyd is optimistic about the year ahead, despite global trade tensions, the German container shipping company's chief executive said on Thursday after a first quarter earnings rise."Despite all the uncertainty, we see a somewhat stable development," Rolf Habben Jansen told Reuters, adding that trade wars have so far had a limited effect on Hapag Lloyd's business.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China had broken the terms of a trade deal, adding he would…

Logo: ITIC

ITIC: Check Wording in CP Agreements

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has urged ship brokers and managers to check the terms of their charterparty agreements closely before signing, in order to avoid costly mistakes further down the line.By way of illustration, ITIC cites the case of the manager of a tanker entering West African waters who believed that the terms of a charterparty provided that armed guards were to be appointed at the charterer’s expense. The manager duly appointed the guards for the voyage at a cost of $170…

A Hong Kong intermodal facility. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Marco 2811

Trump 'firm' on China Demands, Tariffs part of Enforcement

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that President Donald Trump would "stand firm" on his demands for structural changes to China's trade practices, and removal of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would be a part of a mechanism to enforce any deal with Beijing.Pence told CNBC television in an interview aired on Friday that Trump "remains very hopeful" about reaching a trade deal with China in talks next week in Washington.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington…

Ports Part of Solution, Not the Problem - BPA Chair

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive at the Port of Blyth and Chair of the British Ports Association: "Ports part of the solution, not the problem on a range of challenges facing the UK."A record turnout of over 300 guests gathered in London today for the British Ports Association’s annual lunch and AGM, which struck an optimistic tone about the role of ports in supporting a range of economic and environmental goals.Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, speaking at the lunch, said: “Ports are key to the vitality of the UK economy – underpinning regional and national growth.

File Image: A P&O Ferry / Credit P&O

Cancelled Ferry Contracts Renew Push for Grayling's Resignation

Britain's transport minister was under fresh pressure to resign after the government stacked up a 50 million pound ($65 million) loss for cancelling contracts to charter extra ferries to bring in essential supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.The decision to award the contracts has been a major political embarrassment after it emerged the government handed out a 14 million pound contract for extra ferries to a company that owned no ferries and published terms and conditions on its website that appeared to be for a takeaway food business.Then…

file image: container operations in the port of Hong Kong. What happens in Beijing will likely impact what happens next, here. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Marco 2811

China-U.S. Trade Talks Start Again in Beijing

The latest round of China-U.S. trade talks began in Beijing on Wednesday, as both countries look to end their bitter trade war.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He greeted U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as they arrived at a state guest house in Beijing.The three men exchanged pleasantries, but did not make comments directly to reporters, before they went into the meeting room.Reporting by Ben Blanchard

Photo courtesy of Zeaborn

Zeaborn Acquires CPO Tankers

Zeaborn Group has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Claus-Peter Offen Tankschiffreederei KG, the tanker management subsidiary of Offen Group.The transaction partners signed the relevant contracts on April 29. The completion of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance. The parties have agreed to keep the key financial data confidential.With the takeover of CPO Tankers, Zeaborn stays on track concerning its strategy to further consolidate the shipping industry and expanding its services as an integrated and globally active shipping company.

Photo courtesy of Maersk

Maersk's Digital Ocean Customs Clearance

International trade is subjected to diverse and wide controls and customs regulations that need to be met to ensure that traded goods are entering and exiting legally.If a delay occurs, the entire plan gets affected. A delay causes increased expenses such as storage costs, fines, and penalties, resulting in additional problems for importers and exporters."This new one-stop-shop allows us to timely and efficiently handle export and import declarations for our customers. The solution provides downstream benefits of full governance and compliance…

© WS Films / Adobe Stock

US Officials in China Trade Talks Next Week

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for trade talks beginning on April 30, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.It said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead the Beijing talks for China, will also travel to Washington for more discussions starting on May 8."The subjects of next week's discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers…

VT Halter in Pascagoula, MS, won a $746m contract to build the U.S. Coast Guard's lead Polar Security Cutter. Photo: VT Halter.

VT Halter Wins Historic $746m CG Contract

VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, MS has emerged the victor in one of the most prized and coveted shipbuilding contracts in recent memory, a $746m deal to build the Coast Guard's lead Polar Security Cutter. If two additional ship options are exercised, the total deal could approach $2B.The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, through an Integrated Program Office (IPO), awarded VT Halter Marine Inc., of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a fixed price incentive (firm) contract for the Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) of the Coast Guard’s lead Polar Security Cutter (PSC).

© Kirk Wester / Adobe Stock

Trump Adviser 'Cautiously Optimistic' on China Trade Deal

A top White House economic adviser said on Tuesday the United States and China were making progress in trade negotiations and he was "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects for striking a deal.Speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said the two nations still had issues to address and were discussing a "visitation exchange" as part of their ongoing talks."We're not there yet, but we've made a heck of a lot of progress," Kudlow said in response to questions from reporters.

Sudan Suspends Philippine Port Operator

Sudan's military rulers on Tuesday suspended a contract with Philippine port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc pending its cancellation, the country's Transitional Military Council said in a statement.Workers at Port Sudan's southern container terminal went on strike in February to protest against a 20-year concession signed in January to operate, manage and develop the South Port Container Terminal at Port Sudan.Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz

Photo: Qatar Petroleum

QP Ships Naphtha to Thailand

Qatar Petroleum (QP), a state owned petroleum company of Qatar, said that it had concluded a 10-year sales agreement to supply Thailand's SCG Chemicals with a total of 3 million metric tons of light naphtha starting from this month.The agreement was made for and on behalf of the Qatar Petroleum for the Sale of Petroleum Products Company (QPSPP), Qatar Petroleum said in a press release.This long-term supply agreement is the first QPSPP naphtha feedstock sale to an end-user in Thailand…

A Caribbean-based Svitzer tugboat. CREDIT Svitzer

Svitzer Seals USVI Tugboat Deal

Svitzer Caribbean Dominicana has secured a 5-year contract with Limetree Bay Terminals due to commence on June 15th, 2019.The company expands its market coverage providing tugboat services to some of the key oil refineries and terminals in the region – South Riding Point Terminal in Bahamas, Nustar Terminal in Statia, Buckeye Terminal in St. Lucia and now Limetree Bay Terminals (Limetree) in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.Svitzer Caribbean Dominicana is delighted to add this contract…

Svitzer: 5 year Contract with Oil Refinery

Svitzer Caribbean Dominicana won a 5-year contract with Limetree Bay Refining, LLC, commencing June 15, 2019.The company expands its market coverage providing tugboat services to some of the key oil refineries and terminals in the region – South Riding Point Terminal in Bahamas, Nustar Terminal in Statia, Buckeye Terminal in St. Lucia and now Limetree Bay Refining in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.Svitzer Caribbean Dominicana adds this contract for two tugs to the company’s portfolio and believes Limetree Bay Refining will benefit from adding these young vessels to their operation…

Navios Maritime Discloses Sale, Leaseback Deals

Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation, an owner and operator of tanker vessels, announced that it has completed a $103.2 million sale and leaseback transaction for three MR2 product tankers and two LR1 product tankers. The proceeds have been used to refinance $82.4 million of bank debt.The Transaction provides for 28 quarterly payments of $2.3 million each plus interest at LIBOR plus 350 bps per annum. Navios Acquisition has an obligation to purchase the vessels at the end of seventh year for $39.7 million.

Peter Sand, BIMCO

“It’s the steel production, stupid!”

BIMCO's Peter Sand, in a new report, weighs in on the implications for the Dry Bulk sectors.Chinese imports of iron ore keep falling, while its crude steel production keeps growing. China’s increased use of scrap metal for its production of crude steel is fundamentally critical to the dry bulk shipping industry. Mostly Capesize ships are impacted by this, way beyond the temporary iron ore export disruptions in Brazil and Australia.Chinese steel production grew by a massive 12.6 million tonnes (+9.2%) in the first two months on 2019 as estimated by China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

Logo: ShipMoney

ShipMoney Rolls Out Crew Payment Solutions

Seafarers employed on Tsakos-owned vessels operated under its management arrangement with Columbia Shipmanagement will now be paid electronically as opposed to by ‘Cash-by-Master’, under an agreement signed with global maritime payments provider ShipMoney.The deal means crewmembers will have complete control and access to their wages while onboard ship, including the timing and currency of remittances sent home. It will also dramatically reduce the need for large amounts of cash…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Diesel Laden VLCC Changes Course for Togo

The Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Olympic Lyra changed its destination to Lome in Togo from Southwold in Britain, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed.VLCCs have a capacity of around 300,000 tonnes and their arrival in a region can affect refining margins.The Olympic Lyra, sailing from Asia, was supposed to arrive in Britain around May 7, but the shipping data now shows an estimated time of arrival in Lome on April 25. VLCCs often carry refined, or clean, oil products on their maiden journey before switching to crude oil or fuel oil.Reporting by Shadia Nasralla

Maritime Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

26th Annual Maritime Hall of Fame Honors Five International Leaders, May 8, at the Grand Hyatt New York, New York City The Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ founded the annual International Maritime Hall of Fame in 1993 to recognize maritime visionaries who, through excellence in their company, organization, or services, best exemplify the qualities of futuristic thinking that will guide the maritime industry in the 21st Century. The five honorees are:Harold J. DaggettInternational President…

Dredging Operations at the Port of New Orleans, LA (CREDIT: Port NOLA)

U.S. Lawmakers Seek Massive Infrastructure Funding

Democratic leaders in Congress said on Thursday they would seek President Donald Trump's support in coming weeks for legislation to invest up to $2 trillion to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, including roads, bridges and schools.House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at separate news conferences they would try to revive an effort that sputtered early in Trump's presidency for major investments in aging public works.The White…

L to R -  Matt Heider, Chief Executive Officer of Nautilus, and Greg Trauthwein, Editor of Marinelink (Photo: Marinelink)

Nautilus Secures $11M in 'AI' Funding

Nautilus, the company building artificial intelligence for the maritime shipping industry, has announced $11M in Series A funding led by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, along with Root Ventures. Existing and new investors including Quiet Capital, Trail Mix, and Amplifier Lab participated in the round, which brings Nautilus’ total funding raised to $14.5M.Nautilus was founded in 2016 to advance the efficiency of maritime shipping and build a more sustainable future for ocean commerce. Responsible for 90% of the world’s trade, ocean shipping consumes more than $100 billion in fuel every year.

Trump: U.S-China Trade Pact Possible in 4 Weeks

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States and China were close to a trade deal that could be announced within four weeks, while warning Beijing that it would be difficult to allow trade to continue without a pact.The two countries are engaged in intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war that has rattled global markets, but hopes of a resolution soared after both sides expressed optimism following talks in Beijing last week.Speaking to reporters at the White House at the start of a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Trade Hopes Buoy World Shares

Cautious optimism over Sino-U.S. trade talks underpinned global stocks on Friday as benchmark bond yields ground higher and lifted the dollar to a three-week high against the yen ahead of U.S. job data.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a trade deal with China might be announced within four weeks, although he warned that it would be difficult to allow trade to continue without an agreement. Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly said progress was being made and called for an early conclusion of talks.The pan-European STOXX 600 index nudged higher…

Photo Credit/Port NOLA: Container vessel being worked by current gantry cranes at Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal site.

Port of New Orleans to buy New Gantry Cranes

New Cranes Allow Port NOLA to Accommodate Larger Ships and Meet Growing Needs. The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) have voted to approve the purchase of two new 100-foot gauge container gantry cranes to be used at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. “These new cranes are vital to our success and growth here at Port NOLA,” said President and CEO Brandy D. Christian. “They will increase our efficiency so we can accommodate larger and wider ships…

File Image: AdobeStock / © ricardo Arata

Companies Sue Valero for Bad Marine Fuel

Two companies filled lawsuits this week in federal courts in Texas alleging that ships they operated in 2018 were damaged by contaminated bunker fuel sold by a Valero Energy Co subsidiary Valero Marketing and Supply Co, according to court documents.A Valero spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment.The National Shipping Co of Saudi Arabia said it paid out more than $1.1 million for repairs and replacement fuel for a ship that drifted at sea for two days before restarting and arriving at Alexandria…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Customs Demands Bigger Bonds as Tariffs Bite

Stephen Wang is counting the costs of President Donald Trump's trade war. He had to put down 12 times more cash as a guarantee to U.S. customs that he would pay the bill for tariffs on the Chinese-made pumps, valves and motors he imports.The cost of the guarantee - a U.S. customs bond - has shot up, an additional hit to importers already facing steep customs bills adding up to tens of billions of dollars for tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on incoming Chinese goods…

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill)

Trafigura Sends More Asian Gasoline to Americas

Commodity trader Trafigura is shipping this month a second newly built crude tanker with Asian gasoline onboard to South America amid strong demand in the West, four industry sources who closely monitor petrol trade flows said on Thursday.Although it is not uncommon for traders to use a brand new crude tanker of 150,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) to ship clean fuels such as diesel, it is rare to use them for gasoline because of the sheer size."South America likely needs gasoline more than gasoil now.

Photo: BSCS

BSCS Wins Cruise Ship Management Deal

Bernhard Schulte Cruise Services (BSCS) was awarded technical management of Jalesh Cruises’ new vessel, MS Karnika. (formerly Pacific Jewel).The 70,285-ton, 2,000-passenger Crown Princess-class cruise ship is presently undergoing comprehensive refurbishment at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard in Singapore prior to entering service from Mumbai, India in mid-April 2019. MS Karnika will operate cruises from India and Dubai for the duration of 2019.BSCS Managing Director Les Royle and Deputy Managing Director Martin Springer worked closely with Jalesh Cruises on the new partnership.

U.S. Clinches Port Deal with Oman

Tehran has in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Gulf, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.Still, the U.S. official noted that the agreement would expand U.S. military options in the region for any kind of crisis.Duqm is ideal port for large ships. It is even big enough to turn around an aircraft carrier, a second official said."The port itself is very attractive and the geostrategic location is very attractive…

file Image: CREDIT Hapag Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd: Sees Strong 2019 Earnings

German container liner Hapag-Lloyd sees itself on a promising course to achieve better results and further reduce debts as it cuts costs, benefits from merger synergies and finds itself in an improving shipping industry environment."We see fairly stable demand growth and the fundamentals are favorable," said Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen in a call with analysts on Friday."This will enable us to deliver on our goals for 2019," he added.Earlier, the company had reported an increase in operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT) of 7.8 percent to 443 million euros ($500.37 million) in 20

Acontainership delivers cargo at the port of Savannah, GA (CREDIT: GPA)

Trump: China Trade Deal to Probably Happen

U.S. President Donald Trump said trade negotiations with China were progressing and a final agreement "will probably happen," adding that his call for tariffs to remain on Chinese imported goods for some time did not mean talks were in trouble.Trump, in a television interview aired on Friday, also said he expected to keep a 25 percent tariff on the European automobile sector amid separate ongoing trade talks with the European Union."Our deal is coming along very well. We'll see what happens," Trump told Fox Business Network. "I think the deal will probably happen.

Lena River. Pic: Dynagas LNG Partners

Dynagas Vessel Employment Almost Full

Monaco-headquarters Dynagas LNG Partners said that it had estimated contracted time charter coverage for 98% of its fleet estimated available days for 2019, 100% of its fleet estimated Available Days for 2020 and 92% of its fleet estimated Available Days for 2021.As of March 21, 2019, the Partnership’s contracted revenue backlog estimate  was $1.38 billion, with an average remaining contract term of 9.5 years, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) maritime transportation company said.

Macquarie to Sell Gdansk Box Terminal

A consortium of investors including Poland's sovereign wealth fund PFR has agreed to buy the country's largest container terminal in Gdansk from the infrastructure fund of Australia's Macquarie in a deal worth more than 5 billion zlotys ($1.32 billion), the companies said on Tuesday.The container terminal had a capacity of 1.9 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2018.Macquarie launched a sale of the terminal, which sources said in December could be valued at around 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), last year with the help of Goldman Sachs.Reporting by Alan Charlish

Pic: Global Ship Lease

GSL Extends Hapag-Lloyd Charter

Marshall Islands-incorporated  containership charter owner Global Ship Lease (GSL) has agreed a three-year charter with Hapag-Lloyd for the 2015-built, 9,115 TEU containership UASC Al Khor.The new charter is in direct continuation of the current charter and is expected to commence in June, 2019, with re-delivery in the second quarter 2022, said the owner of containerships with a diversified fleet of mid-sized and smaller containerships.The charter is expected to generate approximately $28 million of Adjusted EBITDA.Ian Webber…

Pic: Tsakos Energy Navigation

TEN Charters for Two LNG Vessels

Greek shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) announced new charters for two LNG carriers, the Neo Energy and the Maria Energy to significant international energy concerns for an aggregate period of 36 months. The total gross revenues from these two fixtures, over the duration of the respective contacts, is expected at about $60 million, said the provider of seaborne crude oil and petroleum product transportation services worldwide.“LNG is on top of the agenda for TEN’s diversified energy fleet.

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

McQuilling ends tanker contracts with PDVSA

A second maritime firm has told Venezuela's state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela it would end all charter contracts with the company as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to an internal document and a person familiar with the matter.U.S.-based McQuilling Partners Inc, which provided PDVSA with four contract tankers, joined German tanker operator Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) in withdrawing from providing oil-shipping services to Venezuela.The United States levied…

Pic: Tankerska Next Generation Inc.

TNG Secures Work for MR2 Vessel

Croatian shipping company Tankerska Next Generation (TNG) has fixed out another of its MR tankers on a period charter.The conventional ice class product tanker MT Velebit  has secured one year contracted employment with immediate effect, it said in a press release.The tanker will be chartered out to a prominent charterer at approximately USD 14,500 per day with usual market terms.Additionally, the charterer has an option to extend the contract for an additional eight months at approximately USD 15…

file Image: an idled PDVSA tanker (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Leslie Brug

BSM: PDVSA Tanker Management Likely Ending

Maritime contractor Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) is considering to stop managing Venezuelan state-oil company PDVSA's tankers by the end of this month or in April following U.S. sanctions against the country, BSM said on Thursday.It also said in a statement that recent political developments made managing assets for the Venezuelan government "an almost impossible task", and it was working on returning Venezuelan vessels to PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina and its subsidiaries.The German firm…

Photo: Roll Group

Roll Group Transports Ethane Cracker Modules

Roll Group has been awarded a contract to transport 24 modules for the Total Ethane cracker project in the USA. The transport will cover seven single voyages, using both RollDock and BigRoll vessels. The services and expertise of Roll-Lift will also play a part in the completion of the land transport aspects of the project.The first voyage is scheduled within the next two weeks. The other transports will be undertaken between April and August 2019. The modules are currently in the process of building in Hamriyah (UAE).

File Image: AdobeStock / © Sunny

U.S. Democrats Initially Cool to New NAFTA

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives gave a cool reception to the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday as the top U.S. trade negotiator opened a campaign to win broad support for the accord in Congress.Several Democrats said a closed-door meeting between United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and their caucus failed to ease their concerns about the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement's (USMCA) provisions on labor, biologic drugs and some other issues.A USTR spokeswoman declined to comment on the meeting.The support of Democrats…

File Image: CREDIT CMA CGM

CMA CGM to Form JV with Ethiopia's MACCFA

French shipping company CMA CGM has signed a letter of intent to form a new joint venture with Ethiopian company MACCFA and to manage Ethiopia's Modjo port, according to a document made available by the French President's Elysee department.Marseille-based CMA CGM, one of the world's largest container shipping lines, recently became the core shareholder in Ceva Logistics, with the company looking to expand in non-maritime freight services.Reporting by John Irish

File Image: CREDIT GPA

Fitch: Port Growth to Level Off

Volume growth will continue for ports throughout the world but at a more modest pace over the next 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. Global port throughput has shown resilience over the last 10 years with throughput growth outpacing economic growth rates despite volatility through the last recession. Containerization of cargo and increasing vessel sizes coupled with supporting infrastructure at ports have all contributed to these throughput trends. However…

Scorpio Bulkers: $48 Mln Sale of Two Kamsarmax Vessels

Scorpio Bulkers announced that the company has entered into agreements to sell two Kamsarmax vessels for $48 million and provided an update to Time Charter Equivalent (“TCE”) rates for the first quarter of 2019.Vessel SalesThe company has entered into agreements with unaffiliated third parties to sell the SBI Electra and SBI Flamenco, two 2015 Chinese built Kamsarmax vessels (the “Vessels”), for approximately $48 million in aggregate. Delivery of the Vessels is estimated to take place in the second quarter of 2019.

A refinery in the port of rotterdam (File image / CREDIT: Exxon)

Rotterdam Port Prepares for Brexit Gridlock

Emergency overflow parking spaces for up to 700 trucks have been created near Rotterdam port, Europe's largest, in anticipation of backups caused by Britain's departure from the European Union.Authorities in the Netherlands said on Monday they expect around 400 trucks per day destined for Britain will arrive at the harbour without proper customs paperwork after the March 29 Brexit day.Five overflow areas have been designated where trucks can park and drivers can file the proper…

File image: credit OPDR

Blackstone Invests in Terminal Operator Carrix

U.S. investment firm Blackstone Group LP said on Sunday that funds affiliated with Blackstone Infrastructure Partners invested in Carrix Inc, the largest marine terminal operator in the United States and the Americas.The company did not disclose the terms of the transaction.Carrix is the parent of SSA Marine and its related affiliates with operations at over 250 port and rail locations worldwide, including 16 container terminals in Long Beach and Oakland in California, Seattle and Tacoma in Washington…

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Imports at Annual Low on Seasonal Lull, Tariff Worries

With the retail industry in its annual lull between seasons and plans for a tariff increase on hold, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to drop to their lowest level in almost a year this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Now that the holiday season is over and summer has yet to crank up, this is the quiet time of year for retail supply chains,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

​MacGregor wins $24 mln in Orders

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has secured orders to provide port, cruise access and equipment for RoRo/Passenger (RoPax) ferries from Europe and China. The total order value is approximately $24.7 mln. The orders were booked into Cargotec's first quarter 2019 order intake, with the delivery of the MacGregor equipment planned to start during the first quarter 2020 and completed during the second quarter 2024.

China Diplomat: Real Progress for China-U.S. Trade talks

The Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said on Friday that trade talks with the United States had made substantive progress, and that the two countries' relations should not descend into confrontation.Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of China's annual meeting of parliament, Wang said China had positive expectations for the future of ties with the United States.Reporting by Ben Blanchard

The Icaro (© Leslie Brug / MarineTraffic.com)

PDVSA Insists it's Still Working with BSM

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA said on Thursday it has not halted business with maritime firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), even after the German firm said it would remove the crews that have been operating 10 of 15 PDVSA vessels over unpaid fees and return the tankers.On Tuesday, PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina declared an emergency due to lack of staff to immediately receive the 10 vessels BSM proposed to return to Venezuelan ports due to unpaid bills of at…

Pictured here, the ‘Sajir’ whose 9S90ME-C main engine will be converted to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI unit capable of running on HFO and LNG (Photo courtesy of MAN Energy Solutions)

First Mega-Boxship Retrofit to LNG Ordered

Hapag-Lloyd pilot gas-conversion leads the way for emissions reduction and decarbonizationMAN Energy Solutions has signed a contract for the conversion of a 15,000 TEU container vessel to dual-fuel operation. The container vessel MV SAJIR is owned by Hapag-Lloyd, a leading liner shipping companies, and normally serves a route from Asia to northern Europe via the Suez canal. The pilot project will entail the conversion of an existing, HFO-burning MAN B&W 9S90ME-C engine to a dual-fuel MAN B&W ME-GI (-Gas Injection) prime mover capable of running on HFO and LNG.

Fincantieri, Viking Sign For 2 Ships

In the context of the agreement announced in March 2018 for the construction of 6 ships, Fincantieri and Viking signed the contracts for the first 2 units, which will be delivered respectively in 2024 and 2025.In partnership with the shipowner, Fincantieri will develop an advanced project based on the successful characteristics of the previous ships, upgraded and revisited in line with the latest available technologies. Viking’s current ocean fleet includes ships having exclusively all-veranda staterooms…

World Shares Higher on US-China Deal Hopes

Global shares rose on Monday amid growing optimism the United States and China will reach a trade agreement as soon as this month.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might seal a formal trade deal around March 27, given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.The two nations have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each others' goods, roiling financial markets, disrupting manufacturing supply chains and shrinking U.S.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Redindie

World Shares Higher on US-China Deal Hopes

Global shares rose on Monday amid growing optimism the United States and China will reach a trade agreement as soon as this month.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might seal a formal trade deal around March 27, given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.The two nations have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each others' goods, roiling financial markets, disrupting manufacturing supply chains and shrinking U.S.

Photo: Konecranes

Konecranes Noell Straddle Carriers to Thessaloniki

Konecranes has received an order from the Thessaloniki Port Authority SA for 12 Konecranes Noell Straddle Carriers. The delivery time is exceptionally short. The machines will be ready for acceptance in March 2019. The Thessaloniki Port Authority SA, a privately listed company, is the Concessionaire and Operator of the Port of Thessaloniki, Greece. The Port of Thessaloniki comprises a container terminal and a conventional cargo terminal. This order is part of an ambitious growth program that the Port of Thessaloniki has embarked upon.The straddle carriers on order are of the model NSC 644 E.

File Image: CREDIT Hapag Lloyd

Shipping Recovery Boosts Hapag-Lloyd's Earnings

Full-year operating profit up by 32 percent.Container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd said volume growth and a modest recovery in freight rates in the second half of 2018 helped push operating profit 32 percent higher, lifting shares in the German group on Monday.Hapag-Lloyd said preliminary earnings showed operating profit before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 32 percent to 443 million euros ($502.81 million) in 2018, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 83 percent to 1.138 million euros.

Credit: AdobeStock / © Scanrail

Brent Hits 2019 High on U.S.-China trade Hopes

U.S. crude stocks rise to 454.5 mln barrels as crude exports from U.S. hit record 3.6 mln bpd.Oil prices rose on Friday, supported by OPEC's ongoing supply cuts and hopes that Washington and Beijing may soon end their trade dispute.International Brent crude futures hit a new 2019 high of $67.60 a barrel, up 53 cents from Thursday's close.Further gains were tempered by U.S. crude oil production hitting a record 12 million barrels per day (bpd) and a surge in exports from the country.By 1125 GMT, U.S.

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Lidian Neeleman

Bunge Posts Q4 Loss as Trade War Hits Soy Prices

Global grains merchant Bunge Ltd reported a fourth-quarter loss on Thursday as fallout from the U.S.-China trade war dragged down soybean prices in Brazil.Shares of the White Plains, New York-based company slumped nearly 4 percent in premarket trading to $50.75 per share.Brazilian soy prices had swelled to a steep premium to U.S. beans after China slapped steep tariffs on shipments from the United States in July. But that premium narrowed after the countries declared a temporary truce in their trade war on Dec.

File Image: CREDIT Maersk

Maersk Shares Fall on Trade War Fears

The world's largest container shipping company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, warned trade headwinds would slow growth this year, sending its shares down 10 percent on Thursday.Maersk is also moving ahead with spinning off Maersk Drilling, announcing it expected its new listing in Copenhagen to begin trading on April 4.Maersk, a bellwether for global trade, warned that growth in the number of containers being moved around the world would deteriorate further this year.It expected global container growth of 1-3 percent in 2019…

File Image: CREDIT P&O

DP World buys back P&O Ferries for $421 mln

DP World has bought back British ferry and shipping freight operator P&O Ferries for 322 million pounds ($421 million), more than a decade after it sold it.DP World acquired the British shipping and logistics company in 2006 but soon sold off some assets, including P&O Ferries to its major shareholder, state holding company Dubai World.DP World announced on Wednesday it was buying the company, and a spokeswoman later told Reuters it had bought it back from Dubai World.Dubai World was at the heart of the emirate’s financial crisis at the turn of the decade and was forced to restructure around $

Image CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

Hedge Funds Hunt for Shipping Debt

A growing number of hedge funds are moving into shipping debt, an asset class few have invested in before, looking to buy up loans and bonds as banks cut their exposure to the troubled sector.World economy worries and cost pressures are dampening prospects for a proper recovery in many segments of the shipping sector, which has struggled with tough markets for a decade.Meanwhile European banks, particularly German lenders, are trying to offload distressed and performing loans…

file Image: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

New Round of U.S.-China Trade Talks Kicks Off Today

A new round of talks between the United States and China to resolve their trade war will take place in Washington on Tuesday, with follow-up sessions at a higher level later in the week, the White House said on Monday.The talks follow a round of negotiations that ended last week in Beijing without a deal but which officials said had generated progress on contentious issues between the two trading partners.The talks are aimed at "achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Eremeychuk

India's Thermal Coal Imports Could Rise 10 pct in 2019

India's thermal coal imports could rise by about 10 percent in 2019 due to rail transport problems and other logistical bottlenecks, an executive at the country's largest coal trader Adani Enterprises said on Tuesday.Thermal coal imports rose in 2018 after two years of decline, despite moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to cut the country's imports in a bid to reduce the trade deficit.Rajendra Singh, chief operating officer for coal trading at Adani Enterprises…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Lucasz Z

Dry Bulk Market Outlook Darkens After Vale Casualty

The prospects of dry bulk shippers carrying iron ore from mines to smelters have worsened due to the accident at Vale's Brumadinho dam in Brazil, Golden Ocean said on Tuesday as it presented forecast-beating quarterly earnings.The dam in the town of Brumadinho, which contained tailings, the mud-like byproducts of iron ore mining, burst on Jan. 25, killing at least 166 people and with almost 200 more still missing.Brazil's Vale, the world's largest iron ore mining company, has…

Stena RoRo acquires Japanese RoPax

Stena RoRo has purchased the ferry Yamato from the Japanese shipping company Hankyu Ferry. The vessel will be rebuilt at a shipyard in Europe and be fully adapted to European standards, after which it will be chartered out. This process will begin in spring 2020 and the ferry is estimated to be in traffic by the summer.“This is a typical Stena RoRo project. Through adaptation and flexibility, we design and rebuild vessels to meet our customers’ specific requirements.

Pic: Tsakos Energy Navigation

TEN Wins TC for Two Tankers

Greek shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) announced the contract for the building of two suezmax crude tankers which upon delivery will enter into minimum five maximum 12-year contracts to a significant oil major.The time charter equivalent revenues from these two fixtures, over the duration of the respective contacts, is expected at a minimum $110 million and could reach $300 million should employment be extended to its maximum period. “We are immensely proud to have…

© Mark Rubens / Adobe Stock

Anadarko Nearing FID for Mozambique LNG

U.S. independent energy producer Anadarko moved closer to a final investment decision (FID) to build a giant liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Mozambique after signing up an Indian buyer for the gas and saying another deal was imminent.Anadarko and Exxon Mobil are expected to sanction two separate but neighboring LNG projects in Mozambique this year after finding large offshore gas deposits, turning the African nation into a major global gas exporter.The company said on…

(L-R) Neil McMaster, GAC Dubai’s General Manager – Contract Logistics, Ronald Lichtenecker, GAC Dubai’s Managing Director, Vadim Motlik, Lagardère Travel Retail’s UAE CEO, and Alex Pardo, Lagardère Travel Retail's Supply Chain Director (Photo: GAC Group)

Global Travel Retail Leader Selects GAC Dubai

Lagardère Travel Retail has appointed GAC Dubai’s Contract Logistics team to handle a range of goods sold at Duty Free retail stores at airports in Saudi Arabia and the future Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC).Under the multi-year agreement signed by the two companies commencing March 1st, 2019, GAC Dubai will take care of the port haulage, receipt, storage, pick/pack, transportation, customs clearance and Federal Tax Authority documentation for goods including chocolates, fine foods, fashion, beverages, electronics, cigarettes and cigars, personal care, perfumery and make-up.

Vigor selects Vancouver, Washington site for a state-of-the-art, all-aluminum fabrication facility. Rendering courtesy VIGOR

Shipbuilding: Vigor Picks Expansion Site

West Coast U.S. shipbuilding and repair powerhouse Vigor has selected a Vancouver, Washington site to be the home for its new  all-aluminum fabrication facility.With a nearly billion dollar contract in its hip pocket to build the U.S. Army’s new landing craft over the next 10 years, Vigor is expanding it's shipbuilding operations to a new state-of-the-art aluminum fabrication facility with this project serving as the anchor for production.The facility as formerly the home of Christensen Yachts, deemed by the company as the best location to build the U.S.

Pic: United States Navy

HII to Build Two Carriers for US Navy

The United States Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding a contract for two aircraft carriers, the first of its kind since the 1980s.A notification from the office of the navy chief of information said that the contract for the construction of CVN 80 and CVN 81 was awarded to Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS).The contract modification is worth $14.9 billion to cover remaining ship design and construction costs of CVNs…

AdobeStock / © sunnys

Trump: U.S. Will be Able to do Trade Deal with China

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he thinks the United States will be able to strike a deal with China, as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He visits Washington for trade talks in a bid to ease tensions between the two economies.Reporting by Steve Holland

© zhu difeng / Adobe Stock

ITIC E-learning Vid Highlights Dangers of Switch Bills of Lading

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) produced an e-learning video for ship agents on the use of ‘switch bills of lading,’ a second sets of bills used as a substitute for the original bills of lading issued at time of shipment.ITIC legal advisor Mark Brattman said, “There are a number of valid reasons why a carrier may be asked by the holder of a bill of lading to issue switch bills. For example, the original bill might name a discharge port which is subsequently changed…

Image: Hurtigruten

TTS Group Bags Hurtigruten Contract

Norway-based TTS Group ASA, a global provider of handling solutions and access systems and services for the marine and offshore industries, has been awarded a contract for sideloading systems for Norway-based expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten.TTS Group has also won a contract for ships equipment to another buyer. Total value of the orders is approximately NOK 38 mln (USD 4.5mln).Hurtigruten, the world’s largest and most sustainable expedition cruise line, is expected to install…

Pic: Diana Shipping

Diana Shipping Fixes with Uniper and Phaethon

Diana Shipping announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has entered into a time charter contract with Uniper Global Commodities SE, Düsseldorf, for one of its Post-Panamax dry bulk vessels, the m/v Amphitrite, for a period of minimum 14 months to maximum 17 months.The global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels said in a press release that the gross charter rate is US$5,000 per day for the first five (5) days of the charter period and US$12…

A rendering of the Envirocleanse 'in tank' system. CREDIT: Glosten

Envirocleanse inTank BWTS Receives Fleet Sale Commitment

Envirocleanse is billed as the first approved BWTS to treat during voyage: No Filter, No Change to port activities, The highest confidence of compliance with the least impact to vessel operations.Envirocleanse LLC, division of Charter Brokerage LLC, a BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY company has announced a fleet sale commitment from Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A.both for the bulker and tanker arms. The initial installation will be in the 2nd Quarter of 2019, with an additional 30+ vessels over the following 5 years.Mr.

Image: AdobeStock © Nightman 1965

UK Shipping Lobby: 'Get a grip on Brexit'

British businesses implored politicians on Monday to stop quarrelling over Brexit and agree an orderly exit from the European Union, as some big firms set up emergency situations rooms to cope with the possible tumult of a no-deal divorce.With less than nine weeks until the United Kingdom is due by law to leave the European Union on March 29, there is no agreement yet in London on how and even whether to leave the world's biggest trading bloc.Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement…

File Image (CREDIT: CMA CGM)

CMA CGM in Effort to Buy rest of CEVA Logistics Shares

CMA CGM launches 30 Sfr/shr tender offer for CEVA shares; CEVA recommends shareholders decline the offer.ZURICH, Jan 28 (Reuters) - French shipping company CMA CGM on Monday formally launched a cash offer to buy out other shareholders of Ceva Logistics, valuing the Swiss freight forwarder at $1.67 billion as the companies pursue closer ties aimed at fueling growth and savings.CMA CGM, which already controls 50.6 percent of CEVA, and the Swiss company last year began developing a business plan to boost commercial cooperation and complementary services.At the time…

The Wärtsilä Aquarius UV Ballast Water Management System. Image: Wärtsilä Marine

Wärtsilä Bags New Orders for Aquarius UV BWMS

Finnish technology giant in the marine and energy markets Wärtsilä Oyj announced that it has recently been awarded a number of contracts to supply its Aquarius UV Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) to global shipping operators.According to the provider of smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions, the systems will enable the vessels to be compliant with the Ballast Water Management Convention regulations that entered into force in September 2017 for all new build vessels.The contracts cover in total 13 systems…