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Monday, July 15, 2019

Middle East News

Map: Ocean Network Express

ONE Offers New African Service

Container lines Ocean Network Express (ONE) is launching a new service covering Africa, India and the Middle East (AIM).The new product will broaden ONE’s already expansive global coverage by offering direct port calls between West Africa, South Africa and key locations in West Asia.The new service will offer market leading transit times between the West Asian ports of Jebel Ali, Mundra, Nhava Sheva and Colombo and African ports of Durban, Cape Town, Tema, Tincan and Apapa.The AIM Service…

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Launches New Africa Service

Hapag-Lloyd is expanding its African liner services and will offer its MIAX (Middle East-India-Africa Express) service starting in October 2019. It will include direct connections between the Arabian Gulf, India, Colombo (Sri Lanka), La Réunion, South Africa and West Africa.MIAX is integrated into the Global Mainline Network with the central ports Jebel Ali (Dubai) and Colombo. Hapag-Lloyd will operate MIAX jointly with Ocean Network Express.

Civilian Mariner Kevin Sauls, Ship's master aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), observes the Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) during a replenishment-at-sea drill. Guadalupe is conducting operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

Iran Attempts UK Tanker Block, Fails

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.A week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the Strait of Hormuz…

Captain Andrew Kinsey, Senior Risk Marine Consultant with Allianz Risk Consultant (ARC)

Shipping Losses Lowest This Century as New Dangers Emerge

The Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2019 provides a unique and in-depth look at the emerging risks facing international shipping stakeholders.Large shipping losses are now at their lowest level this century having declined by over 50% year-on-year, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2019. The annual study analyzes reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons (GT). AGCS provides global marine and shipping insurance for all types of marine risk…

File Image: A UK Navy warship on patrol (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker

Three Iranian vessels tried to block a BP-operated tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the UK government said on Thursday.Britain urged Iran to "de-escalate the situation in the region" after the British Heritage, a Suezmax oil tanker operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag, was approached."HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels…

Image:Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Adds VRS

German container shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has decided to implement a global vessel risk surcharge (VRS) following recent maritime incidents in the Gulf of Oman.The container line said that operating costs for its services have increased in the Middle East Gulf region as a result of tanker attacks that took place in the Strait of Hormuz.Other major carriers including CMA CGM, X-Press Feeders, and NYK have already impose a war risk surcharge on cargo destined for the Arabian Gulf or Middle East region due to heightened tensions in the region.As of July 15…

Photo: DP World

DP World Set to Acquire Topaz Energy

The world’s largest port operator DP World is in advanced discussions to acquire Topaz Energy & Marine, marking the Dubai-based company's first potential foray into the oil and gas industry.Britain’s Sky News, citing sources, earlier reported that a $1.3 billion deal for DP World to take over Topaz could be announced as early as Monday. The report didn't specify whether the valuation was referring to the equity or enterprise value of the transaction.However, Bloomberg reported that the port operator is in “very advanced” discussions to acquire Topaz Energy.

© Yasar/Adobe Stock

New Iranian Sanctions Target Leadership

Yesterday U.S. President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order enhancing economic sanctions on Iran, targeting the country's leadership. The executive order, in its entirety, follows:By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,I, DONALD J.

Chart: BIMCO

BIMCO: VLCC Freight Rates from Gulf to China Doubles

VLCC spot freight rates between the Arabian Gulf and China rose 101% in the days between June 13, 2019 and June 20, 2019, in the aftermath of attacks on two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Spot freight rates for a VLCC, carrying 2 million barrels of oil, between the Arabian Gulf and China reached USD 25,994 per day on June 20, their highest level since March and significantly above the May average of USD 9,979 per day.Despite this increase, freight rates on this route only narrowly exceeds the daily break-even costs of a VLCC…

Photo: Goltens

“Cautious Optimism” for Goltens Dubai

The global downturn in offshore energy is well recorded, a downturn which has had impact on various arms of the energy and marine supply chain. While Goltens has felt the downturn like many other companies, it is reporting 'cautious optimism' in the Middle East premised on new international regulation and the need for shipowners to upgrade ships.Almost all the offshore vessels in Dubai are operating, and many have come in from Asia to do the same, but following the offshore crash in 2016, operators are delaying maintenance.

Trump Warns Tehran of Possible Attack, Calls for Talks

Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.News of the message, delivered through Oman overnight, came shortly after the New York Times said Trump had approved military strikes against Iran on Friday over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called them off at the last minute."In his message…

Tahir Lakhani, UAESA Vice-Chairman (Photo: UAESA)

UAE Shipping Association Looks to Branch Out

The UAE Shipping Association (UAESA) was founded 12 years ago. But Tahir Lakhani, UAESA Vice-Chairman, indicates that in that time the UAE has been much more conducive to foreign companies than domestic ones, owing to a lack of options for ship finance.“We are trying to promote the UAE as a shipping hub, but there are not many shipowners here,” says Lakhani. “There is a lack of funding, and people do not understand ship finance in this part of the world. This is one of the reasons we’re facing a problem attracting new shipowners…

Pic: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Pays Off Bond

German container shipping major Hapag-Lloyd AG has decided to fully redeem the outstanding EUR 280 million in aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 6.75 percent senior note due 2022 on 24 June 2019 at a fixed redemption price of 103.375 percent.The redemption will be done predominantly from available cash. EUR 100 million of the EUR 280 million will be paid from a drawdown of a CDS-based credit facility."The complete repayment of this senior note ahead of maturity is a clear step forward towards further deleveraging and optimizing our capital structure.

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

Pic: GAC

GAC Mulls Expansion

The shipping & logistics company GAC is tapping into the growing contract logistics business potential of the Asia Pacific, Indian Subcontinent and Middle East, with plans to further develop and expand in its operations in the regions.That was the message Lars Bergström, GAC’s Group Vice President for Asia Pacific & Indian Subcontinent, had for the Group’s Contract Logistics Solutions experts who gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to chart GAC’s strategy to increase its share of the business in their regions.

Image CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Japan Oil Industry Braces for Higher Middle East P&I Costs

The costs of buying crude oil from the Middle East could rise as war insurance for ships travelling in the region will be expanded to include vessels travelling off the United Arab Emirates and Oman, the head of Japan Petroleum Association said on Friday.Japan is the world's fourth-largest oil importer and imports 90% of its crude from the Middle East, government data showed.Asian shippers and refiners had put ships heading to the Middle East on alert and were expecting a possible rise in marine insurance premiums following attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipeline facilities earlier in May.Ta

Photo: Abu Dhabi Ports

Two Mega Box Ships Call Abu Dhabi

CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, a container terminal built and operated by China's COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (CSP) at Khalifa Port in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports, has received two of the world’s largest mega-vessels within less than a month - cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a global maritime hub.The ships – MV. COSCO SHIPPING SOLAR and PISCES – are the third and fourth main line vessels to pass through CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal since it started trial operations in April 20, 2019. They follow the arrival of MV.

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates…

Grool Named CEO at ZEABORN Ship Management

Rob Grool has taken over the leadership of ZEABORN Ship Management from Holger Strack, who has been acting as the company’s interim CEO since the beginning of the year.“With the appointment of Rob Grool, we are very excited to have found an internationally renowned executive for our company’s top management. Rob has an excellent industry network, possesses extensive know-how in all areas of ship management and operations, as well as international expertise and many years of leadership experience. He is renowned for managing clients’ vessels with an owner’s view.

Pic: DP World

DP World UAE Wins Sustainability Award

The global port operator DP World's UAE Region has been recognised for its efforts to create a more efficient and sustainable supply chain when it was awarded the Supply Chain Sustainability Award at this year’s Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Supply Chain Conference.Mohammed Sulaiman, Business Development Manager of DP World, UAE Region, received the award on behalf of the company at a ceremony held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai’s Festival City,…

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…

Image: Cosco Shipping Holdings Co.

Cosco Eyes PIL Takeover

After buying several container factories from its smaller competitor Singapore-based shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL), China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. is eyeing it as a potential takeover target.The Chinese state-run ocean carrier  had bought part of debt-ridden PIL’s container-manufacturing business, and executives at the Chinese carrier believe they could wrap up a deal for the entire business if family-owned PIL’s owners decide to sell, reported WSJ.Cosco…

U.S. Urges Response "short of war" to Tanker Attack

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. Iran has denied involvement."We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened…

The VLCC MJAD, reported by Reuters as one of the vessels attacked. CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © piet verspui

Saudi Tankers Among Those Hit off UAE Coast

Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and said it was an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz, but did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it.The UAE had not given the nationalities or other details about the ownership of the four vessels.

Logo: JAXPORT

JAXPORT Unveils New Logo

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) unveiled its new brand today to more than 350 transportation industry professionals from across North America at the JAXPORT Logistics and Intermodal Conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.JAXPORT reimagined its brand with a new logo, new website and updated social media, positioning the Florida port as a premier, global gateway that delivers a world-class customer experience.The new logo reflects JAXPORT’s worldwide trade lanes including connections with Asia…

(Photo: Topaz Energy & Marine)

Overcoming Local Crew Challenges

Dubai headquartered offshore support vessel (OSV) company Topaz Energy & Marine provides marine solutions to the global energy industry with primary focus on the Caspian, Middle East, West Africa and Subsea operations in the North Sea and Gulf of MexicoIn 2017, Topaz awarded Worldwide Recruitment Solutions (WRS) a contract as sole provider of managed services, which saw the UK based workforce solutions provider undertake crew management responsibilities for five vessels, all Topaz owned and operated…