Aldubaikhi Named Bahri’s Next CEO
Saudi Arabian maritime transport and logistics company Bahri has appointed Abdullah Aldubaikhi as its new chief executive office. Aldubaikhi’s appointment, which takes effect January 1, 2018, comes as the company gears for a new phase of expansion following several months of growth, according to Bahri chairman, Abdulrahman M. Al-Mofadhi. Aldubaikhi joins Bahri from Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), where he served as CEO for six years. He previously held senior management roles at several firms, including Afwaf Investment, Awalnet and DowLog Technology Company.
XPO’s Jacobs Receives 2017 Connie Award
XPO Logistics chief executive officer Bradley Jacobs received the Containerization and Intermodal Institute’s (CII) 2017 Connie Award during a ceremony December 11 in Newark, N.J. Each year, the Connie Award recognizes individuals for their contributions, innovation and positive example within containerization, trade and the transportation. Jacobs founded XPO Logistics in 2011 and has led the company to become a top 10 global provider of supply chain solutions and one of North America’s largest intermodal providers, generating approximately $15 billion of revenue.
MOL Presidential Awards 2017 Announced
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced that the company held the 2017 commendation ceremony for the "MOL Presidential Awards for Officers and Engineers 2017" on December 8. The awards are intended to recognize the ongoing safety-related contributions of MOL Group officers and engineers and recognize their key role, in cooperation with fellow seafarers and ship management companies, in ensuring the safe operation of vessels. The recipients share a commitment to the education and training of younger seafarers…
South Korea Jails Former Hanjin Shipping Chairwoman
The former chairwoman Choi Eun-young (55) of the now-defunct Hanjin Shipping was jailed 18 months for insider trading, reports Yonhap. According to the report the Seoul Central District Court found Choi guilty of selling off her family-stake in the shipping company days before it declared a court-led debt restructuring plan. She was also fined with USD 1.09 million. The court said, although her charges are grave enough to deserve a heavy punishment, it considered that the stake…
Christophe de Margerie Moves 1st Yamal LNG Cargo
On 8 December 2017, the icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie completed her first loading at the Port of Sabetta, on the Yamal Peninsular, with her first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced at the Yamal LNG plant. The ceremony was attended by: the Russian President Vladimir Putin, together with Sergey Belousov, Aide to the President; Sergey Donskoy, Russia’s Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection among others. Vladimir Putin said: “This is a remarkable day for us all.
BIMCO CEO Extends Contract 5 Years
BIMCO’s Secretary General & CEO, Angus Frew, will extend his contract to the end of 2022. His top priority in 2018 will be environmental legislation. Over the past four years, Frew has been instrumental in modernising BIMCO and in increasing its member-focus. "Right now, is a very interesting time for shipping, and I am very happy to be offered the opportunity to extend my contract. I can continue to lead an organisation that has the practical expertise and the scope to make a real difference on crucial industry issues…
Miriam Maes New Chairman of Rotterdam Port
Miriam Maes has been appointed Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, in accordance with a decision made by the supervisory directors. Maes has served on the Supervisory Board since 1 January 2016. She will be succeeding Rutger van Slobbe, who joined the Supervisory Board in 2006 and has served as its Chair since May 2011. Van Slobbe’s third term will end on 1 January 2018. Miriam Maes: “I have felt a strong commitment to my role as supervisory director of the Port Authority over the past two years…
Clipper Fleet, Dania Ship Announce Partnership
Dania Ship Management has announced plans to extend ship management capabilities to include dry cargo in a partnership agreement with Clipper Fleet Management, part of the Clipper Group. The partnership, which strengthens the commitment by V.Group, Nordic Tankers and Clipper Group to create a compelling platform for Copenhagen based ship management solutions, will see the transfer of 28 shore-based employees and around 1,000 seafarers to Dania Ship Management. With access to V.Group’s global marine services offering and Dania’s ship management platform…
Cargotec to Split Smart Ocean Technology Division into Two
MacGregor, part of Cargotec, had announced the planned measures to achieve annual cost savings of approximately EUR 13 million by reorganising its operations and began statutory cooperation negotiations. The plans included the split of Smart Ocean Technology division into Cargo Handling division and Advanced Offshore Solutions division. With these savings MacGregor seeks synergies by reorganising both the offshore and merchant shipping operations and continues improving operational efficiency and customer centricity.
CMA CGM Launches ‘SERENITY’
French shipping line CMA CGM Group has launched “SERENITY by CMA CGM”, designed to help clients deal with and be better protected from unforeseen events during freight transport. Elie Zeenny, Vice President in charge of Development Projects, said, “By launching SERENITY by CMA CGM, a unique set of products in the maritime transport market, CMA CGM completes its offering to customers for a more effective transport that meets their needs and expectations. The first product in the SERENITY portfolio…
Det Norske Veritas is DNV GL's Majority Owner Now
The Foundation Det Norske Veritas (DNV) assumes full ownership of DNV GL and remains committed to Maritime headquarters in Hamburg. Stiftelsen Det Norske Veritas (The Foundation) and Mayfair announce the sale of Mayfair’s 36.5% shares in DNV GL Group AS to DNV Holding AS. The agreement regarding the leading quality assurance and risk management company DNV GL was signed on 8 December 2017. In 2012, Stiftelsen Det Norske Veritas and Mayfair agreed to build a global quality assurance…
Navios Completes Acquisition of Four Containerships
Navios Maritime Containers, a growth vehicle dedicated to the container sector, announced today that it has taken delivery of four 2008-built Panamax containerships. These vessels are employed on charters with a net daily charter rate of $27,156. The charters expire in 2020 and are expected to generate approximately $70.0 million of EBITDA, assuming expenses approximating current operating costs and 360 revenue days per year. Navios Containers previously agreed to acquire the four 2008-built 4,730 TEU containerships for a total purchase price of $96.8 million.
Hapag-Lloyd Bullish on Mexico
After evaluating performance in 2017, the German shipping line serving sectors such as pharmaceuticals, the automotive industry and the technology sector in Mexico expects maritime shipping volumes to experience double-digit growth in 2018 and foresees a continuous increase in cargo volumes. On holding its annual meeting with Latin American leaders in Mexico, the shipping line Hapag-Lloyd pointed to significant growth in infrastructure and operational capacities in the country on reporting its year-end closing for 2017.
Mark Ross Named OCIMF Chairman
Chevron Shipping Company president Mark Ross has been appointed as chairman of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). The OCIMF Annual General Meeting voted on Tuesday to support the Executive Committee’s appointment of Ross, who has served as OCIMF vice-chair since 2015. Ross succeeds Shell’s Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, who stepped down as OCIMF chaurman in November after three years in the role. “I am honored to be working with OCIMF members to advance our priorities,” Ross said.
AGCS Makes Leadership Changes in North America
Allianz Group’s specialist corporate insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) announced today that effective December 31, Henning Haagen will take over as North American Regional Head of Specialty Lines, and Rich Soja will become the North American Regional Head of Marine. These appointments follow the retirement of John Barnwell after more than 20 years with the company. While taking on these new responsibilities, both Haagen and Soja will continue in their current roles as Northeast Zone Executive in the U.S. and Global Head of Inland Marine, respectively.
Donnelly Elected as FFABA Tanker Chairman
Pat Donnelly, of Braemar ACM-GFI, has been elected as Chairman of the Tanker FFA Brokers Association. He replaces Ben Courtney of ICAP Energy who has chaired the group, which represents the worldwide community of tanker Forward Freight Agreement (FFA) brokers, since 2016. Founded in 1997, the FFABA is the worldwide association for Forward Freight Agreement broking firms. Working with the Baltic Exchange, the FFABA organises educational workshops and industry forums in major shipping centres, with the aim of promoting FFAs as an important tool for managing exposure to freight rates.
Port of Kiel Bids Farewell to Knud Sörensen
Knud Sörensen (63), the Marketing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) and Managing Director of Kombi Port GmbH is being seen off into retirement today at a reception in his honor in Kiel’s traditional Eckmannspeicher. “Knud Sörensen has been active in our concern and well known on the north German port landscape for 32 years. He was instrumental in settling SCA and Iggesund Paperboard in Kiel’s Ostuferhafen” recalled Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director of the PORT OF KIEL, in a speech honouring the outgoing Marketing Director.
Danos Announces Executive Leadership Changes
David Cedro has joined the Danos executive team as vice president of finance and administration, with responsibility for overseeing the company’s domestic and international administration, finance and accounting activities. Meanwhile, James Callahan, who previously held the senior finance position, has moved into a new role as vice president of project services. Cedro has more than 25 years of experience in construction and energy accounting and finance, including management positions with Ernst & Young LLP, Arthur Andersen LLP and the Shaw Group.
AMP Names Rep. Scalise ‘Champion of Maritime’
Honored for his support and dedication to the American maritime industry, U.S. Congressman Steve Scalise (La.) has been awarded the American Maritime Partnership’s (AMP) 2017 ‘Champion of Maritime’ Award. Each year, AMP presents the ‘Champion of Maritime’ Award to a Member of Congress who has demonstrated exceptional support for the hardworking men and women of the American maritime industry. “I’m honored to receive the Champion of Maritime Award. The maritime industry is vital to Louisiana's economy…
Fleet Of Babycapes Is Growing: Oldendorff
Oldendorff Carriers has recently increased the number of owned bulk carriers in it Babycape segment by acquiring four more eco 119,000 tonners from compatriot shipowner Hartmann Reederei. The vessels are: MV UBC Ottawa (tbrn: Roland Oldendorff), MV UBC Odessa (tbrn: Rex Oldendorff), MV UBC Olimbus (tbrn: Redmer Oldendorff) and MV UBC Oristano (tbrn: Rik Oldendorff). These ships were built for Hartmann at Sinopacific Shipbuilding in 2011. The acquisitions will increase our total operated Babycape fleet to around 36 units, of which 10 will be fully owned.
Apeejay Shipping Adds New Vessel to its Fleet
Apeejay Shipping, an Apeejay Surrendra Group company, has announced the acquisition of a 76,602 MT DWT Gearless Panamax, Japanese build. The ship is renamed ‘APJ ANGAD 2’. The acquisition takes its total fleet capacity to 5,18,018 MT DWT with an average fleet age of 12.5 years. Earlier in September, the company acquired 74,107 MT DWT Gearless Panamax, Japanese build, renamed ‘APJ UMA KISMAT’. A leading Indian ship-owner, Apeejay Shipping Limited is cautiously optimistic about domestic and international demand prospects.
Eagle Bulk Completes $265 Mln Refinancing
Eagle Bulk Shipping, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Eagle Bulk Shipco and Eagle Shipping LLC, has entered into a series of refinancing transactions, including the repayment in full of Eagle Shipping’s outstanding first and second lien credit facilities, each dated as of March 30, 2016. As a result of these transactions, the company has extended the maturities of the outstanding debt of its subsidiaries through 2022 and achieved additional financial flexibility with respect to its free cash flow.
Protheroe Joins Greystoke Team in Vancouver
Tim Protheroe has joined consultancy Greystoke Marine Management, headquartered in Vancouver. Protheroe is a Master Mariner who came ashore with Lloyds Register in 1992 and worked in several senior positions before being appointed President, Lloyds Register America’s Inc. in 2014. Greystoke recently secured a two-year contract with Swan LNG providing essential marine oversight for the company’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal development in Gujarat on the north west coast of India.
Hopkins Named Managing Director at Harris Pye UK
Nigel Hopkins has been appointed Managing Director of Harris Pye UK Ltd based at the company’s headquarters in Llandow in Wales. He joined Harris Pye on May 1 this year working alongside Dave Hayden, the company’s retiring Managing Director at the Harris Pye UK headquarters in Llandow, South Wales before officially taking over from Dave Hayden on October 1, 2017. Nigel Hopkins started his engineering career in the merchant navy spending 13 years sailing on a variety of vessels including oil tankers…
ZF CEO Sommer Steps Down
ZF Friedrichshafen AG chief executive officer Dr. Stefan Sommer has left the company after five years at the head. Finance Board Member and CEO Deputy Representative, Dr. Konstantin Sauer, will fill in as CEO on an interim basis. The news follows the company's recent appointment of Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen as its new chairman.
Pyxis Tankers: $4.8 Mln Private Placement
Pyxis Tankers Inc. said it has entered into a definitive securities purchase agreement with a group of investors, which will result in gross proceeds to Pyxis Tankers of $4.8 million, before deducting placement offering expenses. The company will issue 2,400,000 shares of common stock at a price of $2.00 per share. This private placement is expected to close on or before December 8, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.
Crowley Restructures Business Units
Crowley Maritime Corporation announced it has restructured its business units as the company aims to increase its focus on government-related business and better align vessel operations and fuel distribution services. Over the coming months, the 125-year-old company will transition its non-liner and logistics business units into three main service lines: Crowley Shipping, Crowley Fuels and Crowley Solutions. “This plan facilitates a pivot towards growing the company’s government portfolio of work…
Hyundai Merchant Tops World with 82.9% Operation Reliability
South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) tops highest on-time global performance in October, second time after its first rank in August the company announced. Danish shipping consultancy SeaIntel’s Global Liner Performance Report - calculated for US Europe, Trans Atlantic, India and South America services - showed that HMM once again ranked 1st reliable carrier in October among the 18 global container carriers. HMM’s reliability in October has scored 82.9 percent - improved 6 percent points higher than last month. This was 8.1 percent points higher than the global average of 74.8 percent.
BIMCO, FONASBA Launch General Agency Agreement
BIMCO and FONASBA have once again joined forces to create and launch a new general agency agreement for port agents, shipowners and ship operators contracting port agency services. The new standard contract, which can be downloaded from the FONASBA website and BIMCO’s IDEA, formalizes and sets out clear terms for any agreements made, for the benefit of both sides. Drawn up by the group responsible for drafting the Agency Appointment Agreement which was released earlier this year, the new contract is easy to use and can readily be adapted for single use or a long-term contract.
WFW Advises Italian Shipowners on Partnership with Gigilinis
International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised three leading Italian shipowners -Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, Gesmar and Fratelli Neri – on their partnership agreement with Thessaloniki-based Greek maritime operator Gigilinis Shipping Group. The deal closed on 29 November. The deal represents a strategic milestone in Italian ship owners’ expansion into the Greek and broader Eastern Mediterranean markets, most notably into the key port of Thessaloniki. Rimorchiatori Mediterranei is the leading player in the harbour towage sector in Italy…
NORDEN Opens Vancouver Office
NORDEN has opened a new office in Vancouver, Canada, as the Danish ship owner seeks to expand its global reach and local presence on the North American West Coast. “The new and increased presence on the West Coast will strengthen NORDEN’s ability to provide customers with transport to and from the Americas and from North America to Asia and enable NORDEN to become even more competitive on local coastwise trades,” the company said. “NORDEN has a strong presence with many port calls on the West Coast.
Corvus Energy Names Bjørkeli CEO
Corvus Energy has appointed Geir Bjørkeli as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Bjørkeli was previously Director of Norway for the Dutch company Huisman, and established the company’s Norwegian presence for offshore construction equipment solutions. Bjørkeli will remain based in Bergen, Norway. Prior to joining Huisman, Bjørkeli was a design engineer with the ship designer and shipbuilder Ulstein. He held several positions with Rolls-Royce, including VP Sales for North East Asia and Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Marine Japan…
Rasmussengruppen Sells Stake in Norden
Oslo based financial investor Rasmussengruppen sold its entire stake which is 4.8 million shares of Danish dry bulk bulker owner Norden. The company's share capital consists of 42,200,000 shares of DKK 1 each, amounting to DKK 42,200,000. Rasmussengruppen was the second biggest investor in Norden, after Danish company A/S Motortramp on 28.08%. Norden operates one of the industry’s most modern, flexible and competitive fleets globally within the dry cargo and tanker vessel types. Norden was founded in 1871 and is one of the world’s oldest listed ship owners.
Ship Insurer Britannia Sets Up Subsidiary for EU
Following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, British ship insurer Britannia plans to set up a subsidiary in Luxembourg, Reuters reported. It is to ensure it can continue to trade in Europe, the company said. According to company data Europe accounts for over 40 percent of Britannia’s global business. The report said that insurers are making contingency plans because when Britain leaves the EU on March 29, 2019, they could lose “passporting” rights that allow UK financial services firms to trade in Europe without the need for locally regulated entities.
Hamburg Süd Remains Hamburg Süd
Hamburg Süd remains a commercially independent brand under new owner – Significantly greater product range through global service network – Own sales force provides unchanged level of care to Hamburg Süd customers. With yesterday’s (November 30) closing, the Hamburg Süd Group is now part of the Danish company Maersk Line and thus a subsidiary of the world’s market leader in container shipping. “Under this new umbrella, we can strengthen Hamburg Süd’s position worldwide in a challenging market environment, improve our market position, and offer our customers many advantages,” said Dr.
NAT Gets Finance for 3 Vessels
Nordic American Tankers (NAT) has entered into final agreements with a subsidiary of Ocean Yield ASA for the financing of the outstanding commitments of $39 million per ship, due on delivery. Three NAT newbuildings are under construction at Samsung shipyard in South Korea. 30% of the contract price for each vessel ($55.7 m) was paid cash by NAT to the yard when the vessels were ordered in October 2016. The three Suezmax newbuildings are expected to be delivered during the latter part of 2018. The financed amount by Ocean Yield is about $43 million per vessel.
CMA CGM Completes Sale of Los Angeles Terminal
The CMA CGM Group completed today the sale of a 90% equity interest in Global Gateway South terminal (GSS) in Los Angeles (United States) to EQT Infrastructure III (EQT Infrastructure) and its partner P5 Infrastructure (P5), for an Enterprise Value of USD 875 million. Consequently, CMA CGM received a cash consideration of about USD 820 million that may be completed according to the terms announced last July. CMA CGM will remain a minority shareholder with 10% of the GGS terminal and will continue to be a major user of the facility.
Hapag-Lloyd Completes Integration with UASC
Hapag-Lloyd successfully completed the integration of UASC into the Group on 30 November 2017. At a gathering of the shipping company’s global management in Hamburg, Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, said in the afternoon: “Thanks to the very good cooperation of our teams we have managed to successfully implement this integration in just six months. Hapag-Lloyd merged with the United Arab Shipping Company on May 24, 2017. Within the subsequent six months, the operating businesses…
Maersk Completes Hamburg Süd Acquisition
The transaction between Oetker Group and Maersk Line for Maersk Line's acquisition of Hamburg Süd, the German container line, was closed on 30 November 2017. On 1 December 2016, Maersk Line announced its intention to acquire Hamburg Süd. The acquisition triggered a regulatory approval process in 23 jurisdictions which was successfully concluded on Tuesday 28 November with the approval of the acquisition by the Korea Fair Trade Commission. "With the final approval of the acquisition…
Cosco, PSA Launch New Berth in Singapore
China's Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) is launching a new berth at its joint venture container terminal - Cosco PSA Terminal (CPT) - with PSA Corporation in Singapore. The two parties inked a memorandum of understanding on Thursday for the berth, which will be Cosco Shipping Ports' third at the Pasir Panjang Terminal. Established in 2003, CPT has served as a hub for container shipping in the Southeast Asia region. The launch of the third berth follows the CSP supplemental agreement signed with PSA on 18 March 2016…
Cosco Overtakes Maersk as Top Box Shipper
The Chinese container shipping company Cosco exceeded Maersk Line as the shipping company handling the most containers in the third quarter, Reuters reported quoting data from shipping consultancy Alphaliner. However, this is mainly because the Maersk group was hit by a hacker attack, reports the Alphaliner analysis house. Cosco increased the handled container volume by 23 percent in Q3 to 5.49 million TEU (20-foot container units) and thus exceeded Maersk Line's 5.26 million TEU. It was unclear how much of COSCO’s activity related to inter-Chinese trade.
Kachidurian Named Chief Commercial Officer of Seacube
Jim Kachidurian has been named Chief Commercial Officer of container leasing company SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd. He will report to Robert Sappio, Chief Executive Officer. Kachidurian has executive experience across a variety of financial services and transportation companies, having began his career in container leasing at Transocean Leasing some 30 years ago. He has held senior sales and marketing roles with companies such as GE Capital, Donlen Corporation and most recently as Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing at Stoughton Trailers in Madison, Wisc.
Noble Group Sells Four Vessels to Cut Debt
Hong Kong-based struggling commodity trader Noble Group will sell four dry bulk carrier vessels for about $95 million, as it looks to cut debt to keep its business running, reports Reuters. According to company statement, net proceeds from the disposal, following repayment of bank loans associated with the ships and other costs, will amount to about $30 million. Noble said the sale of the vessels was expected to close next year between March 10 and May 31 and would not significantly impact the operations of the freight business.
Mærsk Strengthens Executive Board
In line with the strategic direction announced in September 2016 A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S has made significant progress in focusing the future business on container shipping, ports and logistics. To further accelerate the development of customer oriented end-to-end transportation and logistics solutions the Board of A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S today announces that it is strengthening the management of the company by appointing the Chief Operating Officer, Chief Commercial Officer as well as the CEO of APM Terminals to the Executive Board.
Speedcast Announces Executive Management Changes
Speedcast International Limited has announced two changes to its executive management team: Keith Johnson will become chief operating officer, and Erwan Emilian will lead the Enterprise & Emerging Markets division. Johnson, currently EVP of Speedcast’s Energy Division, will take over for David Kagan as chief operating officer, while also keeping his existing Energy Division responsibilities. Kagan leave Speedcast in early December for personal reasons, but will remain as an advisor to the CEO on a limited-time basis.
Teekay Tankers Completes Tanker Investments Acquisition
Teekay Tankers and Tanker Investments Ltd. (TIL) announced the closing of the previously announced merger of the two companies. Upon the closing of the merger, each outstanding share of TIL common stock (other than shares held in the treasury of TIL or owned by Teekay Tankers or any of its subsidiaries) was exchanged for the right to receive 3.30 shares of Teekay Tankers Class A Common Stock, and TIL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Teekay Tankers. Teekay Tankers currently owns a fleet of 35 double-hull tankers…
Interview: Brandy Christian - President & CEO, Port of New Orleans
Brandy D. Christian serves as the President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, a public agency that manages more than $60 million in revenues, nearly 300 employees and $200 million in capital projects. Christian is one of 11 female port directors in North America and the first female CEO in the Port of New Orleans’ 120-year history. She brings a global perspective and experience building high performance teams in complex organizations to the role, and emphasizes strategic focus, collaborative partnerships and bold action.
Jackson to Direct Global Marketing at KVH
Elizabeth Jackson has joined KVH Industries, Inc. as chief marketing officer and senior vice president for strategy. Jackson has worked at a variety of companies including Proctor & Gamble, Campbell Soup Company, Summer Infant, and HookLogic, a Bain Capital Ventures portfolio company in ad tech performance marketing. Most recently, Jackson was CMO at DOTS Technology Corp, an NEA portfolio company in health tech. Jackson has a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from INSEAD in France.
Cosco Shipping Bids for Cogent
Cosco Shipping International has issued formal offer documents for its S$1.02 per share bid to privatise Cogent Holdings, reported Business Times. Cosco said that acceptances of the offer must be received no later than 5.30pm on Jan 5. Cosco Shipping had announced on Nov 3 that it is acquiring and privatising Cogent for S$488.07 million. Cosco Shipping had announced on Nov 3 that it is acquiring Cogent for S$488.07 million. The report quoted Cosco Shipping as saying that the rationale for the acquisition is to acquire control in one of Singapore's leading full service…
TOP Ships Acquires MR Tanker
TOP Ships has acquired all of the outstanding shares of PCH77 Shipping Company Limited, a Marshall Islands company that owns a new building contract for M/T Eco California from an entity affiliated with the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Evangelos Pistiolis. Eco California is a high specification 50,000 dwt Medium Range (MR) product/chemical tanker under construction at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co., Ltd. in Korea. The Republic of The Marshall Islands incorporated Company paid $3.6 million for the outstanding shares and the vessel is scheduled for delivery during January 2019.
Norway to Aid Iran's Fleet
Iran's tanker shipping company plans to expand cooperation with Norwegian suppliers of parts for oil tankers, Financial Tribune daily reported. National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) head Sirous Kianersi quoted as saying that NITC has been in touch with Norwegian ship parts and equipment manufacturers in the last 20 years and we hope to keep up this collaboration. According to the report, the NITC plans to modernize its fleet of around 70 tankers, one of the largest in the world…
Allard Castelein Reappointed as CEO of Rotterdam Port
Allard Castelein is reappointed as Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO. He will be serving a second four-year term as CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Castelein (59) was reappointed by the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Dutch State, the two shareholders of the Port Authority, on the recommendation of the Supervisory Board. His new term will start on 1 January 2018. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Rutger van Slobbe: “Over the past few years, Allard Castelein has proven to be the right man in the right place for the Port Authority and the port of Rotterdam in this period of change.
CMA CGM Appoints Rodolphe Saade as Chairman
Jacques Saadé, founder of the shipping company CMA CGM Group, now the world's third largest container company, has resigned as president. His son Rodolphe Saadé becomes CEO of a group. "In accordance with the wish of Jacques Saadé and after having reunited the positions of CEO and Chairman of the Board, the Board of Directors has decided to appoint Rodolphe Saadé to the position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, and Jacques Saadé Founder-Chairman," said a statement from the company.
Palau Registry Sails into Top Spot
Palau International Ship Registry (PISR) has become the fastest growing flag in the shipping world with an impressive 43.2% growth in the number of vessels joining the registry since 2013 according to Fairplay magazine. Recording strong growth that puts it well ahead of other expanding registries such as Portugal, Saudi Arabia and the Cook Islands, Palau has attracted significant numbers of tankers into its fleet along with Ro-Ro vessels, bulk carriers and offshore ships. Tankers currently comprise just under half of Palau’s fleet and Panos Kirnidis…
Gulf Marine Eyes Acquisitions
Gulf Marine Services (GMS), the leading provider of advanced self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) serving the offshore oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, is looking at acquisitions due to opportunities in the market, reported Gulf News. GMS, which supports the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors with barges, has a fleet of fourteen vessels that help in offshore oil and gas platform refurbishment and maintenance activities, offshore wind turbine maintenance work, as well as offshore oil and gas platform installation and decommissioning, among other things.
Page Named CEO of Hutchison Ports Sweden
Bob Page is the sailing Englishman who loves Sweden. Now he is ready for his final major assignment: To ensure that the container terminal at the Stockholm Norvik Port becomes exactly as good as everyone anticipates. In the 1990s Robert “Bob” Page worked with logistics for Volvo in Gothenburg. He really enjoyed his work and became close friends with his colleague Göran. “Our families celebrated Midsummer according to Swedish traditions and we often went out sailing together. It was a really wonderful time,” Bob Page reminisces.
Two Supramaxes Join Wallem’s Managed Fleet
Wallem Commercial Services said two new Supramax vessels have been added to its commercially-managed fleet. Nitin Mathur, Managing Director of Wallem Group Singapore, said the two new vessels bring the total number of ships under Wallem’s current commercial management to 20.
Diana Shipping Reports 3Q Loss of $24.5 Mln
Greece-based Diana Shipping inc. on Tuesday reported a loss of $24.5 million in its third quarter of of 2017. Its net loss attributed to common stockholders was $25.9 million. This compares to a net loss of $78.3 million and net loss attributed to common stockholders of $79.8 million for the third quarter of 2016. The loss is including an $8.4 million impairment loss on the m/v Melite which was sold for scrap in October 2017 after her grounding in July 2017 and the receipt from the insurers of the insured value.
ZIM Pilots Blockchain-based Bill-of-lading
ZIM said it has successfully completed a trial run of paperless bills-of-lading based on blockchain technology. The pilot, performed in cooperation with Sparx Logistics and Wave Ltd., marks a first of its kind project led by an ocean carrier. Trial participants issued, transferred and received original electronic documents using Wave’s free blockchain-based application, which uses distributed ledger technology to ensure all parties can issue, transfer, endorse and manage shipping and trade related documents through a secure decentralized network.
Optimarin Offering 5-year Parts and Service Guarantee
Norwegian-headquartered ballast water treatment (BWT) specialist Optimarin said it has become the first manufacturer to offer a five-year parts and servicing guarantee. It’s a move that, according to CEO Tore Andersen, has the potential to redefine ship owners’ expectations from suppliers in this ultra-competitive sector. Optimarin said such long-term plans are enabled by its backing from a stable group of investors, together with its considerable order book. The Optimarin Ballast…
Bahri Optimistic of Oil Tanker Market
Bahri, a global leader in transportation and logistics, is very optimistic about the future of the oil tanker market and it believes that there will continue to be demand for this market, said Mohammed Al-Sarhan, Vice Chairman of Bahri, who possesses extensive experience in oil and gas, transportation and logistics, and other sectors. He was talking in the annual Bahri Oil Transportation Forum, which was held in Dubai last week. John Angelicoussis, Chairman of Angelicoussis Shipping Group Limited…
International Ship Repair Facility at Cochin Shipyard
The Minister of Shipping in India, Nitin Gadkari has said that Cochin is all set to become a global ship repair hub. He was speaking at Cochin, after laying the foundation stone for a INR 970-crore (USD 148 million) International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) for Cochin Shipyard Limited. The facility is being built at Cochin Port Trust where CSL has leased out a 40-acre plot for the project. The International Ship Repair facility will be a State of the Art facility that can handle a major chunk of small and medium sized vessels plying in India.
Hapag-Lloyd Reports Better Results for Q3 2017
Hapag-Lloyd closed the third quarter of 2017 with a significant positive Group net profit and a much improved operating result (EBIT). The integration with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is almost completed and on schedule to be finalized by the end of the year. For the third quarter the net profit amounted to EUR 54.3 million (prior-year period: EUR 8.2 million), the EBIT rose to EUR 180.6 million (prior-year period: EUR 65.6 million), and the EBITDA stood at EUR 361.5 million (prior-year period: EUR 184.6 million).
Former Maersk Boss Named Unifeeder Chairman
Nils Smedegaard Andersen has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Denmark based feeder and shortsea operator Unifeeder, taking up his first directorship within the logistics and shipping industry after stepping down from his position as Group Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S in 2016. Andersen, who is a board member and strategic adviser to Unifeeder’s largest investor, e.g. Nordic Capital Funds, also serves as Non-Executive Director at BP plc…
Fincantieri to Delist Vard
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has proposed to seek the privatization of Vard Holdings via a voluntary delisting from the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST). Fincantieri, which holds a 79.34 per cent stake in Vard through a subsidiary Fincantieri Oil & Gas, is now offering 25 Singapore cent per for every share it does not own, one cent more than its previous offer, which closed in January. "Under the Exit Offer, Fincantieri O&G will offer the shareholders of Vard SGD 0.25 in cash for each Vard share tendered in acceptance of the Exit Offer…
TEN Completes Fleet Expansion
Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd (TEN) has reported the delivery of the ice-class Aframax tanker Bergen TS, the last in the 15-vessel, pre-employed on long-term business, growth program, which increased the size of TEN's fleet by 30 percent over the last 18 months. With 65 vessels fully operational, the fleet's minimum revenue backlog comes to $1.3 billion with average contract duration of 2.5 years. "With the largest growth in the company's history, successfully and timely completed, TEN is well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities as they will appear," Nikolas P.
Webb Receives SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence
Rollie Webb, Senior Vice President at Robert Allan Ltd., was presented with the SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence by the Lt. Governor of B.C. Judith Guichon on behalf of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in a ceremony held on November 9 in Victoria. Webb joined Robert Allan Ltd. in 2008 and assumed duties as Senior Vice President in 2015. Webb has more than 40 years of experience in marine engineering and shipyard experience, starting out in ship operations as a marine engineer at sea…
OSM Crew Management for Lauritzen Kosan Fleet
Global ship management company OSM Maritime Group said it has been awarded full crew management of Lauritzen Kosan’s entire fleet of liquefied gas tankers, including 26 refrigerated ethylene, semi-refrigerated and pressurised gas carriers. OSM’s focus on the provision of personal service and expert seafarers, combined with delivering business efficiencies and economies of scale, has seen the company grow considerably in 2017. This latest contract ranks as its largest individual win of the year, bringing the number of vessels OSM provides services to far beyond the 500 mark.
QTerminals Appoints Bissett as CEO
The Board of Directors of QTerminals, the recently-established operator of the first phase of Hamad Port in Qatar, has appointed Neville Bissett as the company’s first Chief Executive Officer. QTerminals was established as a jointly-owned entity by Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) and Qatar Navigation (Milaha), with the former owning 51 percent and the latter 49 percent of the company. Bissett brings to the role international experience in port management and terminal operations.
COSCO: 10 Vessels with Hans Jensen Lubrication System
One of the world’s biggest shipping companies, China COSCO Shipping Group, has placed an order for 10 large ore carriers from China State Shipbuilding Corporation. COSCO specified the order to include the cylinder lubrication system ‘HJ Lubtronic SIP’ from Hans Jensen Lubricators A/S, as it enables large cost savings through reduced cylinder oil consumption, and reduced wear on cylinder liners and piston rings. The first vessel is scheduled for delivery in January 2018. Today’s energy efficient diesel engines for marine vessels are designed to reduce environmental footprints and fuel costs.
DSME Posts Profit for Q3
South Korean yard giant Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) ended the third quarter of this year with a profit of KRW 45.7 billion (USD 41 million), compared to a net loss of KRW 284 billion posted a year earlier, Yonhap said. The troubled shipbuilder is significantly better off than last year after a rescue package from the South Korean government in the spring. DSME, which has battled a highly publicised liquidity crunch for the past two years, posted profit for the third straight quarter from July through September…
China OKs Maersk Hamburg Süd Deal
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in China approved Danish shipping giant Maersk Line’s proposed acquisition of Hamburg Süd, reported Reuters. Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company, will pay 3.7 billion euros ($4.3 billion) to buy German rival Hamburg Sud. However, China has put in place restrictions on Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line’s use of vessel-sharing agreements (VSA). The ministry, in a statement, said the company could not enter a new ship sharing alliance on Far East-South America routes in the five years after the deal.
Dachser USA Expands in Dallas
Dachser USA Air & Sea Logistics announces the relocation and expansion of its Dallas, Texas office. The Dallas office originally opened in October of 2011, and has experienced strong growth over the last few years due to increased demand for access to Asian markets and import/export with Europe, especially Germany. The move to a larger space while remaining close to the DFW International airport will allow Dachser to best serve its customers and meet the increasing demand for air and sea freight services in the region.
SpotSee Appoints Malone as Marketing Director
SpotSee, a leader in shock and vibration monitoring through low-cost connectivity and data, and parent to established brands such as ShockWatch, ShockLog and OpsWatch, announced that it has appointed Jill Malone as the company’s marketing director. In her role, Malone is the brand leader for SpotSee and is responsible for planning, development and implementation of the global marketing strategy, public relations and branding. Malone brings more than 10 years of expertise in strategy and implementation of multi-channel digital marketing campaigns.
Launch: MarTID - the Global Maritime Training Insights Database
MarTID – the Maritime Training Insights Database -- a historic initiative to study global maritime training practices -- launches today. There is broad agreement that as much as 80% of maritime accidents involve human factors causes. As such, top vessel operators and maritime training centers are pouring significant resources into creating best practice and innovative training programs. This is good. To a large degree, however, the industry as a whole, knows little about the training approaches and successes of vessel operators and training centers outside personal circles.
OSMC Holds India Seafarers Conference
Oman Ship Management Company (OSMC) has staged a conference in India enabling seafarers to share best practices and expand industry knowledge.It comes as OSMC figures reveal growth in its managed fleet expanding from 27 to 38 in last two years, largely due to expansion in its chartering business. More than 100 delegates joined the Officer’s Conference at the JW Marriot in Juhu, Mumbai. The two-day event involved seafarers from OSMC fleet vessels, office staff, crewing agencies and industry experts such as from Shell, P&I Clubs and Lloyds Register.
Craig Group Sells Shipping Business
Family-owned Craig Group, of Aberdeen, has sold its core North Star Shipping business to international investors Basalt Infrastructure Partners in a move described as “restructuring for a new era”. "North Star Shipping has been acquired by Basalt Infrastructure Partners. The existing senior management team, staff and crew of North Star will remain with North Star, under the new owners," said a press release from the company. "The opportunity arose to secure the long-term future of North Star Shipping under new ownership who could bring even more opportunity for further investment and growth.
Reedy Joins DHT Holdings Board of Directors
DHT Holdings, Inc. said it has appointed Susan Reedy to its board of directors as a Class I Director with a term expiring at the company's 2020 annual shareholders meeting. In connection with Reedy's appointment, the company's board has increased to six directors. Reedy’s appointment as a director is in accordance with the Investor Rights Agreement (IRA) entered into between the company and BW Group Limited on April 20, 2017. Pursuant to the IRA, BW Group is entitled to nominate two persons to the company's board. Reedy is the second person to be nominated by BW Group as a director.
Fitzgerald Named CEO of Maersk’s Container Unit
Sean S. Fitzgerald has been named Chief Executive Officer of Maersk Container Industry (MCI), effective January 1, 2018. MCI develops and manufactures refrigerated containers, dry containers and the Star Cool refrigeration machine for the global intermodal industry and is part of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s Transport & Logistics division. Fitzgerald will assume overall responsibility for the strategic direction and the entire operations of the company including its more than 5,000 employees in three container manufacturing plants in Chile and China and its R&D center in Denmark.
CMA CGM Gets 'Gold Recognition Level' for the Third Consecutive Year.
For the third consecutive year, CMA CGM received the "Gold Recognition Level" by Ecovadis, the first collaborative platform providing Supplier Sustainability Ratings for global supply chains. The Ecovadis’ report underline's the CMA CGM Group's performance in environmental compliance, labor practices, fair business practices and sustainable procurement. Across all categories, CMA CGM is part of the top 1 percet of the most successful companies. In the sea and coastal water transport category, Ecovadis rated the Group CMA CGM among the top 2 percent of the most successful companies.
Patriot: 20 Years in Ship Management
Patriot Contract Services, LLC (PCS) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its operations as a completely U.S.-owned ship management company. During the past 20 years PCS and its affiliate American Ship Management, LLC have provided ship management and other maritime services to valued customers such as the Military Sealift Command (MSC), the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), American President Lines (APL) and Schuyler Lines Navigation Company, while Patriot Maritime Compliance, LLC has provided expert regulatory guidance to both U.S. flag and international clients.
Aegean Becomes Fourth Bunker Supplier to Exit Singapore
Aegean Bunkering Pte Ltd will halt physical supply operations in Singapore by January, the company said, becoming the fourth such firm to exit the world’s largest marine refuelling hub after it adopted tougher bunkering procedures this year. Since adopting mass flow meters (MFM) to streamline operations on marine refuelling, or bunkering, barges at the start of 2017, suppliers in Singapore have seen margins squeezed and competition surge in the battle for market share. “2017 has seen heightened commercial pressures in Singapore…
Crowley Adds New US, Central America Service
Crowley Maritime Corporation announced it will begin offering weekly, fixed-day, full and less-than-container-load (LCL) shipping and logistics services between Wilmington, N.C., Guatemala and Honduras, effective with the northbound sailings on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and Wednesday, Nov. 22, respectively. The new lift-on/lift-off (LO/LO) service is designed to give customers an additional, more northwardly Atlantic Coast destination for cargo entering the U.S. from Central America, ultimately adding flexibility to the supply chain while reducing total landed costs, Crowley said.
Ocean Signal Appoints Nieuwenhuis as Sales Manager
Ocean Signal has appointed Kris Nieuwenhuis as its new global Commercial Sales Manager. An experienced technical sales manager in the maritime industry with a strong background in AIS and marine safety, Nieuwenhuis will focus on launching upcoming Ocean Signal productsto the commercial sector. His new role will also involve increasing awareness of the Ocean Signal E101V float-free EPIRB with memory capsule for VDRs and growing sales of the established SafeSea range of GMDSS products.
Bishop Appointed Chairman of Selandia Ship Management
V.Group announced Bob Bishop has been appointed chairman of Selandia Ship Management in addition to his current role in business development of the Group. The acquisition of Selandia Ship Management in 2016 provided V.Group a unique opportunity to promote and develop a well-established specialist brand working in vibrant and developing markets. This appointment will allow Bishop to focus and use his expertise to build on the quality reputation of Selandia to enhance and expand their current fleet of more than 140 vessels.
Ellis Named Chembulk Tanker CEO
Chembulk Tankers appointed David Ellis as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Jack Noonan who will retire after 10 years of leading the team at Chembulk Tankers. Effective November 1, 2017, Jack will take on the role of CEO Emeritus through the balance of the year and will continue to advise and counsel Chembulk as part of the leadership transition. Ellis has more than 30 years in chemical and petroleum transportation experience, including over 20 years with Odfjell SE in…
TOTE Maritime Boosts Support for Puerto Rico Relief
TOTE Maritime is increasing its service offerings and customer support to meet a growing demand for services as part of the ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico. TOTE Maritime is adding two barges to its fleet. The first barge departed from Jacksonville yesterday with 375 FEUs of cargo. The second barge is scheduled to depart early next week and will carry 350 FEUs of cargo. “The addition of these barges to our service offering will allow us to better support the increasing and changing needs of Puerto Rico as relief…
Seaspan Appoints Bing Chen As Chief Executive Officer
Seaspan Corporation announced that Bing Chen will be joining the Company as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and appointed to the Board of Directors in January, 2018. Gerry Wang will be retiring as CEO and Director of Seaspan effective November 3. Upon Wang’s retirement, Peter Curtis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will also serve as Seaspan’s interim chief executive officer until Chen’s arrival, after which he will continue in his current role. David Sokol…
Continuing to Pay Crews with Cash Will Bring Further Challenges
Paying crew members in cash will lead to further challenges of increased incidents of piracy and theft, says global financial payments company ShipMoney. ShipMoney President Stuart Ostrow will address delegates at Crew Connect Global, taking place between in Manila November 6 to 8, explaining the challenges ship managers face by continuing to pay their seafarers with cash. The company believes that shipping businesses are leaving themselves open to increased incidents of piracy and theft by not looking at alternative payment methods and fully embracing the new digital age.
Cosco to Raise $2 billion to Build Ships
Chinese container carrier Cosco Shipping is thirsty for expansion and will raise CNY 12.9billion (USD 2billion) in new capital, according to Reuters report. The money will go to the construction of 20 new vessels. The carrier will use the raised fund to fund the building of six 21,237 TEU ships and five vessels of 20,119 TEU, with the remaining nine comprising five 13,800 TEU and four 14,568 TEU ships. The container shipping industry entered a period of recovery this year after a prolonged slump, which has prompted shipping lines to contemplate new ship orders, says the Reuters report.
Star Bulk Rolls Out Logistics Venture
Star Bulk Carriers, a global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargoes, announced the expansion and diversification of the Company's commercial activity with the launch of the new subsidiary Star Logistics Management S.A. Star Logistics will focus on servicing the end user by connecting origination and destination of dry bulk commodities. The move is expected to further expand the commercial capability of Star Bulk through additional commercial expertise and advanced tools on the Kamsarmax and geared bulk carriers.
Attica Buys Grimaldi Stake in Hellenic Seaways
Attica Group has announced that it reached an agreement with Minoan Lines, owned by Naples-based Grimaldi Group, for the acquisition of its 48.53 percent stake in Hellenic Seaways. According to an announcement, the agreement provides for Attica Group to purchase Hellenic Seaways’ shares for 78.5 million euros, sell the SUPERFAST XII vessel to a member company of the Grimaldi Group for 74.5 million euros and sell the HIGHSPEED 7 vessel to Minoan Lines for 25 million euros. Attica…
WFW Advises BPM on Navigazione Refinancing
International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) advised Banca Popolare di Milano S.p.A. (BPM) regarding a US$28.8m loan facility granted to L.G.R. di Navigazione and secured by, inter alia, mortgages over two medium range ice class tankers, the “Cenito” and “Posillipo”. Founded in 1865 by future Italian Prime Minister Luigi Luzzatti, BPM was Italy’s second co-operative bank. It merged with Banco Populare on 1 January 2017, to form Banco BPM, Italy’s third largest retail and corporate banking conglomerate. Naples-headquartered L.G.R.
Wallem Appointed Manager for Sanasia's New PCTC
Wallem Ship Management has been appointed to manage Sanasia’s new pure car/truck carrier (PCTC )vessel, currently under construction and to be delivered next year. Wallem siad it was first choice for Sanasia thanks to a relationship which goes back decades with Wallem having been appointed to manage Sanasia's vessel the Golden Fan back in 1995. After coming to Hong Kong in 1993, Haruki Aono started his career in the Hong Kong-based company, Sanasia. In 1995, when he secured his first vessel to be operated out of the region…
NAT Closes Newbuilding Loan
Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) has announce that it has signed the main terms with a major international financial institution for the financing of the outstanding commitments, due on delivery, for the three Suezmax newbuildings to be delivered during the latter part of 2018. "We expect the agreement to be fully executed about mid-November 2017 at which time the full financing of the newbuildings will be completed," said a company statement. "Recently, we have seen comprehensive discussions about the new sulphur requirements for bunker consumption on ships to be in effect from 2020…
DP World Reports 13.5% Container Volume Hike in Q3
DP World Limited handled 52.3 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first nine months of 2017, with gross container volumes growing by 10.0% year-on-year on a reported basis and 9.6% on a like-for-like basis. The third quarter growth rates accelerating to 13.5% year-on-year on a reported basis and 13.3% on a like-for-like basis, ahead of second quarter growth and Drewry Maritime’s upgraded industry estimate3 of 5.5% throughput growth in 2017.
MacGregor Named Operations VP at DPH/Patriot Rail
Diversified Port Holdings (DPH)/Patriot Rail, parent company to Seaonus and Portus, announced the promotion of Scott MacGregor to Vice President of Operations. He will have the primary responsibility of overseeing all DPH port operations in Florida. DPH and Patriot Rail is a combined port and rail logistics company serving international companies throughout the Southeast and Gulf ports and operates multiple short line railroads and rail service companies across the U.S. MacGregor…
Suez Canal Revenues Fall
Suez Canal revenues fell 2.2% month-on-month in September 2017, according to official data. Revenues amounted to $459.8 million in September 2017, versus $470.6 million in August 2017, the data showed. However, Suez Canal Authority (SCA)'s revenues raised by 3.4 per cent within the period from January-October 2017, increasing to $US4.3 billion up from $US4.2 billion in 2016. The chairman of SCA and SCZone (Suez Canal Economic Zone) Mohab Mamish said that that the number of ships crossing the canal waterway increased by 2.9 per cent…
Nakilat Net Profit Down for the Last Nine Month
Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), the largest LNG ship owner in the world, concluded its financial results for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2017, with a net profit of QR 607 million compared to QR 749 million of the same period last year in 2016. The lower profit was mainly attributed to the effect of changing the estimated scrap value of vessels in accordance with applicable International Accounting Standards and the lower number of charter hire days in the current period compared to the same period last year (2016 was a leap year).