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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Photo: The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd.

G E Shipping Sells Supramax

India’s largest private sector shipping company  Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited (G E Shipping) has contracted to sell its 2003 built Supramax Dry Bulk Carrier Jag Rahul of about 52,364 dwt. G E Shipping said that the vessel will be delivered to the new buyer in Q4 FY 2017-18. The Company’s current fleet (including Jag Rahul) stands at 48 vessels, comprising 32 tankers (12crude carriers, 17 product tankers, 3 LPG carrier) and 16 dry bulk carriers (1 Capesize, 8 Kamsarmax, 7 Supramax) with an average age of 10.24 years aggregating 3.93 mn dwt.

David Kalata (Photo: JAXPORT)

JAXPORT Hires Kalata as Container Accounts Director

JAXPORT has hired logistics and transportation professional David Kalata as Director, National Container Accounts. Kalata joins JAXPORT’s sales and marketing team and is responsible for developing new and existing container cargo business with accounts throughout the United States. Kalata comes aboard as the federal project to deepen Jacksonville's shipping channel to 47 feet is set to begin. JAXPORT continues to record growth in international container volumes while expanding service offerings to and from the Southeastern U.S. to key markets throughout the world.

(Photo: Royal IHC)

Adani Adds Two New Dredgers to Its Fleet

India’s largest private multi-port operator Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) inaugurated two new 8,000m3 trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs) on January 8. Both dredgers were built by Royal IHC in The Netherlands and recently arrived at Adani’s Hazira Port in Gujarat, India, after their maiden voyage through the Suez Canal. The vessels are the 11th and 12th dredgers supplied by Royal IHC to APSEZ and are among the largest in the Indian fleet of TSHDs. “[The new dredgers] will substantially increase our capacity for dredging.

Photo: Kees Torn, Port of Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam: 2017 in Review

Over the past year, 29,646 seagoing vessels entered the port of Rotterdam, up more than 600 from 2016's 29,022. The number of incidents in the port fell from 159 to 129, and included one ‘serious accident’ involving an inland vessel that went adrift after hitting a groyne with its rudder. According to National Harbour Master René de Vries, the decrease in the number of minor incidents can be explained by the Port Authority’s investments in infrastructure in recent years: “Thanks to the new buoy configurations and dolphins…

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

Port of Oakland Records its Busiest Year Ever

The equivalent of 2.42 million 20-foot containers were handled at the Port of Oakland in 2017, as the U.S. West Coast port surpassed its previous record of 2.39 million containers set in 2014. Strong import numbers helped the port to break another two of its cargo records in 2017, with 919,523 loaded import containers and 1.85 million combined imports and exports. Overall, Port of Oakland’s imports increased 4 percent in 2017 over 2016 totals, while December imports rose 6.4 percent over the same month in 2016. The port attributed the import rally to a strong U.S.

Photo: TGP

Trans Global Projects Celebrates 30 Years

International logistics solutions provider Trans Global Projects Ltd (TGP) celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018. TGP was founded on January 4, 1988 by Julian Clarke, Nick Harsant and Colin Charnock, who is the Group’s managing director. Headquartered in the U.K., TGP’s service portfolio comprises activities such as project logistics management, supply chain management, ship chartering, aviation logistics, logistics consultancy and procurement, which are delivered through a network of 20 offices across the world.

Hapag-Lloyd's Nachbar Appointed to Industry Board

The Container Owners Association – the international organization representing container shipping lines and container leasing companies worldwide – has appointed Frank Nachbar, Director - Container Engineering, Hapag-Lloyd, to its Board of Directors. Nachbar joins six other Directors, who represent some of the world’s largest container owners, on the Board of the Container Owners Association. The COA Board comprises senior representatives from some of the world’s largest container shipping lines and leasing companies…

Photo: Port of Kiel

Port of Kiel Posts Record Results

In 2017 Kiel again posted record handling while also passing the seven million ton mark for the first time. Overall, 7,407,376 tons were loaded or unloaded. That represents an increase of 14.3 percent over the previous year and is the best annual result ever achieved by the port. Dr. Dirk Claus, the Managing Director of the Port of Kiel (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG). said, “Kiel achieved a top result and improved performance in all sectors. Particularly outstanding were developments at the SCA Forest Products Terminal…

(Photo: ZIM)

ZIM Hires Geffen as Chief Digital Officer

Israel's largest cargo shipping firm ZIM has hired Liav Geffen to serve in the newly created position of chief digital officer (CDO). “The new Digital Unit in ZIM will drive the digital transformation the company has already embarked upon,” said ZIM president & CEO, Eli Glickman. “We intend to foster innovation and technology across the board, impacting every aspect of our operations. Over the last eight years, Geffen was VP Marketing of Harel Group. He holds a law degree and a business MBA.

Photo: Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

China Rolls-out World's Second-Largest Ore Carrier

The second-largest ore carrier in the world was officially named Yuanhehai and delivered to China Ore Shipping, affiliated with China Cosco Shipping Corporation, in Shanghai, the state media reported. The 400,000-dwt mega ship, which is 362 meters long, 65 meters wide and 30.4 meters high, was delivered almost a year after the deal was made in 2016, China News Service reported. The Yuanhehai is the second-generation very large ore carrier (VLOC) designed by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company. The delivery was the first ship of the second-generation VLOC.

Photo: Capital Product Partners L.P.

Capital Product Partners Buys Aframax

Capital Product Partners has announced that its Board of Directors has approved the acquisition of the eco-type crude tanker ‘Aristaios' (112,800 dwt, Ice Class 1C, built 2017, Daehan Shipbuilding, S. Korea) for a total consideration of $52.5 million from the Partnership's sponsor, Capital Maritime & Trading. The M/T ‘Aristaios' is currently employed under a time charter to Tesoro Far East Maritime Company (‘Tesoro') at a gross daily rate of $26,400. The Tesoro charter commenced in January 2017 with duration of five years +/- 45 days.

Photo: Qatar Ports Management Company​

Hyundai Drive Made First Call to Hamad Port

Qatar’s Hamad Port announced the addition of a new service from South Korean shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) to its growing network list, QNA reported. HMM’s 365.5-metre-long ‘Hyundai Drive’ made its first call to Hamad Port, marking the official start of a new Hyundai Merchant Marine’s KME (Korea Middle East Express) service. It is the largest container vessel to make its maiden call in Qatar since the opening of Hamad Port. The vessel from Kwangyang Port in South Korea arrived at Hamad Port in the container terminal CT1.

LNG transshipment at Montoir-de-Bretagne terminal. Photo: Elengy

Elengy LNG Trans-Shipment at Montoir-de-Bretagne

Elengy, a unit of the French energy company and LNG player Engie, said that the LNG receiving terminal in Montoir-de-Bretagne, managed by the company, has just performed a new generation LNG transshipment. The ice-class LNG carrier Fedor Litke (170 000 cm capacity) has delivered to the LNG Jurojin (155 000 cm capacity) an LNG cargo the size of the yearly gas consumption of a city like Nantes. This was done safely during an twin call thanks l. The LNG was transferred through the cryogenic pipelines linking directly the two berths, without going through the terminal’s tanks.

Dr Lam Pin Min, SMS, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, at the PSA ‘Intelligent Port of the Future’ Exhibition showcasing the transformation of port operations through technology and innovation. Photo:  Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Road Map to Boost Singapore Maritime Industry

Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, launched the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) at the annual Singapore Maritime Foundation New Year Cocktail Reception. Developed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in partnership with the industry, unions and other government agencies, the Sea Transport ITM builds on MPA’s strategic long term plans to develop Singapore’s next-generation port and strengthen our international maritime centre (IMC).

Game Changer. Photo: Damen

Damen Yacht Support Vessel Game Changer Sold

Dutch shipyard Damen has confirmed the successful sale of its 70-meter support vessel, Game Changer. The yacht will now return to Gorinchem in the Netherlands for further customisation. Game Changer  is Damen's fourth Yacht Support vessel sold in the 70-metre segment, proving the ongoing demand for large yachting solutions for worldwide adventures, helicopter and dive operations. Damen has a total of 12 Damen Yacht Support vessels delivered or in build. The next available Yacht Support vessel is a 55-metre YS 5009 Adventure, which will be delivered before the summer this year.

© anekoho / Adobe Stock

China's Imports from N.Korea Plummet in December

China's imports from North Korea plunged in December to their lowest level in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014, with trade curbed by U.N. sanctions aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Imports from North Korea slumped 81.6 percent year-on-year to $54.34 million, Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping said in a briefing in Beijing on Friday. That's the smallest monthly value since at least January 2014. The administration of U.S.

Bryceon Sumner (Photo: Foss)

Foss Names Sumner CFO

Bryceon Sumner has joined Foss Maritime as chief financial officer, hired to oversee all aspects of the organization's financial function and performance. Sumner brings to the role years of experience gained at a number of organizations ranging from education technology and real estate, to architecture and financial services. Prior to joining Foss, Sumner served as COO and CFO for public and private companies, family offices and as a senior financial officer of a $60 billion government banking insurance fund.

Photo: Liebherr

EPAS Received Liebherr Cranes for Tandem Lifts

The German port handling company EPAS recently received two new Liebherr mobile harbor cranes type LHM 420. Both cranes together can handle up to 248 tonnes in tandem lift operation. The two devices will further improve the logistic process at the Nordkai terminal in Emden, Germany. Mobile harbor cranes have a long tradition for Ems Ports Agency & Stevedoring (EPAS) Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG in Emden, Germany. To further increase the turnover capacity, the German port company invested in high-end mobile harbor crane technology from Liebherr.

Photo: Port Saint John

Port Saint John Cargo Volume up 15%

Year-over-year total cargo tonnage at Port Saint John, Eastern Canada’s largest port by volume, increased by over 4 million metric tonnes in 2017. Overall cargo tonnage handled for the year 2017 was 30,458,422 metric tonnes, a 15% increase over 2016. All cargo sectors, aside from the anticipated exception of containers, experienced significant gains in 2017. Additionally, the loss experienced in containerized cargo was lessened due the introduction of a new weekly container service by CMA CGM in 2017.

Photo: The Port of Rotterdam

Contargo Rolls out New Service from Rotterdam and Basel

Contargo AG has launched a new rail shuttle service to the German town of Weil am Rhein on the Swiss border. This creates a direct connection between the port of Rotterdam and the important industrial areas around Basel. Three times a week, the container train travels from the DUSS Terminal in Weil am Rhein (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) to Rotterdam and vice versa (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) in a mere 18 hours. In Rotterdam the shuttle will stop at the CTT Pernis Terminal.

Photo: Incheon Port Authority

Port of Incheon Volume Crosses 3 mln TEU

The Container Handing Volume by the Republic of Korea's  Port of Incheon surpassed 3 million TEU that it has processed over 1 year. Incheon Port’s 3 million TEU is a record achieved in 12 years after achieving 1 million TEU (2005) and in 4 years after achieving 2 million TEU (2013) and based on the 2016 performance, it is the best performance and accomplishment in history, putting it in 47th place out of the global container ports. Such container volume was handled with 49 sea routes.

© torsakarin / Adobe Stock

INTTRA Innovates with Information for Measurable Improvements

Digital transactions for the ocean shipping industry have arrived. Are you part of it yet? It may well be true that INTTRA is today the largest neutral electronic transaction platform, software and information provider for the ocean shipping industry. At the same time, however, it is also a fact that fully one-half of all shippers still book container orders in a manual fashion. Technology, often a trailing development for the global waterfront, has fully arrived for the international container shipping industry.

© Evren Kalinbacak / Adobe Stock

IMO Orders Fuels of the Future

The new sulfur, carbon dioxide limits will demand precise understanding by ship owners and operators. Globally, new regulations are coming into effect governing the Sulfur Oxide (SOx) limits and CO2 emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has updated the maximum amount of SOx allowed in fuels and the European Commission is introducing new reporting requirements to monitor CO2 emissions. Understanding the impacts of these changes on ship owners and operators is critical given the market conditions for maritime services.

Image: Concordia Maritime

Concordia Maritime Charters Two More MR Vessels

Swedish tanker owner Concordia Maritime has chartered in two more MR (ECO) vessels, while also extending the contracts for two of the currently chartered MR (ECO) vessels by a further year. A contract to charter out the P-MAX tanker Stena Performance has also been signed. The contractual partner is a large global oil company and the vessel will be used primarily for niche traffic in the Middle East. As with previous charters, these latest contracts are joint charters with Stena Bulk, and Concordia Maritime’s share amounts to 50 percent.

Image: Tsakos Energy Navigation

TEN Sells, Leaseback Two Suezmax Tankers

Greece-based Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN)  has announced that it has sold for $65.2 million gross, through a five-year sale and leaseback transaction, the 2005-built Suezmax tankers Eurochampion 2004 and Euronike. The sale proceeds have been used to reduce debt and add $16.0 million of cash to TEN’s balance sheet. The vessels were delivered to their new owners in late December 2017. “Following the 15-vessel renewal program that was completed last quarter, the sale and purchase of vessels remains an integral part of TEN’s strategy to maintain its owned fleet modernity and enhance liquidity…

Wan Hai Lines Unveils China-India Service

Taiwan's global shipping company Wan Hai Lines has announced the launch of China – India Service III “CI3 service” on 23 January 2018. This new service will help to expand Wan Hai Lines network by providing direct service from East China to East India. A press release from the company said that the service will also help to complement Wan Hai Lines existing two other East India services with better port coverage and frequency. This service will be jointly operated with COSCO, IAL, OOCL and X-Press Feeders by using 5 vessels with nominal capacity of 4,250 TEU.

Photo: Crowley

Crowley’s Solutions Group Reorganizes

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s solutions group announced that it is reorganizing and establishing new leadership to better serve customers in need of engineering, project management and government services. Solutions is the company’s dedicated, full-service engineering, project management and government services team, reporting to Crowley’s Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager, technical services. Jay Edgar, who is new to Crowley, has been appointed vice president and leader of the company’s newly formed engineering services team…

Photo: Port of Kiel

Forest Products Shed Opens in the Ostuferhafen

Another warehouse for Russian forestry products was inaugurated in the Ostuferhafen on Tuesday January 9th. The new Shed 12 was built inside just six months and represents an investment of € 1.5 million ($1.78 mln). The Managing Director of the Port of Kiel  (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) Dr Dirk Claus said “We are investing in our trade relations with Russia and want to further cement our co-operative partnership with Jacob Jürgensen Wood GmbH.” The Hamburg-based trading company has signed a long-term rental contract for Shed 12 with the port.

Image:  Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement

Schulte Group Buys LNG Specialist PRONAV

Hamburg shipowning and management group Bernhard Schulte has signed a contract for the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the prestigious LNG ship manager PRONAV - subject to merger approval of the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt). The worldwide operating Schulte Group owns about 100 vessels (mainly container, tanker, bulker) and manages 600 vessels in all segments. PRONAV, based in Hamburg, is an internationally renowned ship manager specialized in large LNG tonnage.

© Andy Dean / Adobe Stock

US Retail Imports End 2017 with 7% Growth

Imports at the United States’ major retail container ports grew 7 percent during 2017 over 2016 as retail sales continued to increase and the industry wrapped up the year with a strong holiday season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Retail had a strong year fueled by growing wages, higher employment and a boost in consumer confidence,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman, IRClass. Photo: IRClass

Indian Register of Shipping Cautiously Optimistic for 2018

Continuing its growth trajectory, Indian Register of Shipping has concluded 2017 on a successful note with increased class fleet, growing global recognition, improved geographical presence and strengthened its capabilities through several new initiatives. In line with its performance year after year, the classed fleet has grown 5.3% in numbers and 4.8% in tonnage terms. In the last three years IRClass’ classed fleet has grown from 10.89 to 12.70 Million GT. Given the prevailing stressed maritime environment, this consistent growth is heartening, said a press release.

Photo: Port of Marseille-Fos

French SMART PORT in Med Soon

The members of the SMART PORT steering committee adopted a first series of projects designed to take advantage of the digital transition with a view to affirming and consolidating the importance of the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolis as a seaport. The steering committee also supported the creation of a program focusing on research and innovation: the Brain Port Community. This partnership will be based on a multi-party agreement between Aix-Marseille Université, the Port of Marseille Fos, the CCIMP, Métropole Aix-Marseille, and the PACA region.

© Charlie Bird / Adobe Stock

Rail Shipments of Canadian Oil to US Seen Rising over 60%

Canadian crude shipments to the United States by rail could rise more than 60 percent this year on demand by Gulf Coast refiners for the heavy crudes and the wide differential between Canadian grades and the U.S. benchmark. The rail shipments could reach as much as 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) by year end and average some 400,000 bpd in 2019, estimated analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Last year, the shipments averaged 130,000 bpd, according to U.S. government data. Canadian crudes have been replacing heavy oil from Venezuela and Mexico at the Gulf Coast…

© Sandra / Adobe Stock

US Trade Deficit Rises to Near Six-year High

The U.S. trade deficit increased more than expected in November as imports of goods surged to a record high amid strong domestic demand, making it likely that trade will subtract from economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap widened 3.2 percent to $50.5 billion. That was the highest level since January 2012 and followed an upwardly revised $48.9 billion shortfall in October. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit increasing to $49.5 billion in November after a previously reported $48.7 billion deficit in the prior month.

© Chris Gloster / Adobe Stock

In Blizzard's Wake, Northeastern US Brace for Intense Cold

Street crews in the U.S. Northeast raced through the night into Friday to clear snow-clogged streets after a powerful blizzard and restore power to homes ahead of a brutal cold spell that has killed more than a dozen people. From Baltimore to Caribou, Maine, efforts were under way to clear roadways of ice and snow as wind chill temperatures were to plunge during the day, reaching -40 F (-40 C) in some parts after sundown, according to the National Weather Service. The brutal cold was forecast to reach from New England across to the Midwest and down to the Carolinas…

Photo provided by Qatar Petroleum

Qatargas-RasGas Merger

The integration of RasGas with Qatargas will enable the world’s largest LNG exporter to save QR2bn ($550 million) a year, Qatar Petroleum (QP), the state-owned energy giant, announced. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum made the announcement in a press conference held at QP headquarters in the presence of representatives of ExxonMobil, Total, ConocoPhillips, and Shell - the main international shareholders in both companies. Al-Kaabi said “Our aim was to…

© Jelle van der Wolf / Adobe Stock photo

New Platform for Managing Liquid Terminal Product Movements

Oceaneering International, Inc. announced that its TerminalSmart platform can now be used to manage all liquid terminal product movements across the entire facility from the dock to tanks and pipelines. Proven at the dock where it has been used by major oil and gas companies and liquid storage terminals to significantly improve efficiency during a period of unprecedented growth in vessel transportation traffic, the platform now serves as the hub for all terminal logistics, from facilitating key performance indicators (KPIs) to warning users about scheduling conflicts.

(Photo: Port of Portland)

Port of Portland Adds New Rail Service

The Port of Portland has created another new option for moving container freight by way of a railway partnership at Terminal 6. Starting this week, shippers can move their product on a rail shuttle to the Puget Sound ports. The new service, in partnership with BNSF Railway, will move containers between Portland and Seattle/Tacoma, where goods can be loaded onto ocean carriers. The rail service will operate five days a week. Today’s announcement follows news that Swire Shipping will begin a monthly container call at Terminal 6 this month…

(Left) Tank of a LNG fuelled vessel and (Right) Tank of a LNG fuelled containership. Image: Gaztransport & Technigaz

GTT to Design LNG Tanks for Korean Shipyard

GTT received at the end of 2017 an order from a South Korean shipyard regarding the design of the LNG tanks of a new LNG carrier. Its delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. GTT will design the LNG tanks of the unit, allowing for a capacity of 174,000 m3. The insulation solution Mark III Flex has been chosen for its ability to reduce the daily guaranteed Boil-Off gas rate to 0.085% of tank volume. 48 vessels in service already benefit from this technology. The shipowner and shipyard's names are kept confidential at this stage.

Matson Increases Neighbor Island Barge Capacity

Matson, Inc. said its subsidiary Matson Navigation Company, Inc. has replaced one of its three barges dedicated to serving Hawaii's neighbor island ports with a newer, larger barge that will improve service levels. The container barge Columbia, to be renamed Mauna Loa in honor of the barge it replaces, is now Matson's largest barge. At 360 feet long, with a beam (width) of 100 feet and cargo carrying capacity of 12,600 tons or 500 TEU, it is 12 feet longer and 40 feet wider than the barge it replaces, with the capacity to carry 180 more TEU or nearly 8,000 tons more cargo.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal. Photo: Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT)

Maharashtra to Modernize Ports

The Indian Government has taken steps to expand and modernise the posts in the state of Maharashtra. The Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya has informed that at present, there are two major ports and 48 minor ports (non-major ports) in Maharashtra. Both the major ports in Maharashtra, Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port are equipped with modern facilities. The infrastructure augmentation & modernization of Major Port is a continual process. Out of the 48 minor ports…

The Turnkey Supply Chain of Cranes

Cranes are much more than just critical equipment. At ZPMC, it means the supply chain itself. In post-Panamax world – that is to say one which includes an expanded, deepened and improved Panama Canal – there are many layers to the logistics onion. These include reinforced and improved berths and bollards, deepened blue water harbors, improved intermodal connections ashore and a reshuffling of ever larger tonnage for ports that can handle those ships. All of that is important, of course…

Energy Scout. Photo: Golden Energy Offshore

Total Extends Energy Scout PSV Contract

Norwegian shipowner Golden Energy Offshore Services has been awarded a contract extension for one of its platform supply vessels with Total in Nigeria. The company announced end of June 2017 to have entered into a contract with Total E&P Nigeria for the PSV Energy Scout - for a firm period of 3 months + optional periods of 3 months each. The Company announced extension end of September 2017. Energy Scout contract is now further extended in Direct continuation present firm contract and vessel now firm until 1st April 2018 + optional periods of 3 months each thereafter.

Image: Ocean Rig UDW

Pankaj Khanna Appointed As CEO of Ocean Rig

Pankaj Khanna has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Rig UDW, a global provider of offshore deepwater drilling services,  effective January 1, 2018. Khanna is 47 years old with 29 years of varied experience in the maritime & offshore industry. He last served as Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer Marine Inc, a drybulk company that he founded in 2013. Prior to his position at Pioneer Marine Inc Khanna served as Chief Marketing Officer at Ocean Rig UDW Inc. from January 1, 2012 to October 2, 2012. Mr. Khanna served as the Chief Operating Officer of DryShips, Inc.

Image: Yang Ming Corp

Yang Ming Announces Subsidiary in Thailand

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation will establish a subsidiary in Thailand - Yang Ming Line (Thailand) Co., Ltd. The new company will provide all services starting 1st January 2018. Mr. Derek Chen is officially appointed as its President. Thailand is located in a strategical position in the middle of Southeast Asia with strong links to neighboring countries, whose economy has been growing steadily over the years. It is expected to see more rapid expansion of the market in the near future.

Photo: Orient Overseas Container Line Limited

OOCL Rolls-out Next Phase of OCEAN Alliance

Following the success of the Day One products introduced earlier this year, Orient Overseas Container Line Limited (OOCL) announced the forthcoming launch of the second phase of the OCEAN Alliance products in April 2018, an improved suite of products providing industry-leading services to customers. The emphasis on quality services has long been the hallmark of the OOCL brand. Since the inauguration of our services in April 2017, OOCL has made steady progress to meet the requirements of our customers as they find that we are among the top performers in terms of schedule reliability.

Pic: National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)

NITC Signs 200 Tanker Charter Deals

The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) has signed over 200 leasing contracts for its vessels since the lifting of the Western-imposed economic sanctions two years ago, Financial Tribune reported on Thursday. The report quoted Iran Tanker Company's Chief Executive Officer Sirous Kianersi saying that from the easing of the sanctions (in January 2016) until the end of last month, foreign companies signed 215 time-charter and single-voyage deals for NITC tankers. NITC signed agreements with France's Total…

Photo: Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group Co., Ltd.

China's Ningbo-Zhoushan Becomes World's Top Port

China's super-large port Ningbo-Zhoushan, the busiest port in China, saw an annual cargo throughput of 1 billion tonnes, becoming the first one  globally to reach this volume, according to data provided by the port. The port in East China's Zhejiang province deepened cooperation with major shipping companies and harbors along the Belt and Road, adding five sea routes to raise its total to 86. It also signed cooperation agreements with 20 other ports, Xinhua reported Mao Jianhong, chairman of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group as saying.

Photo: Star Bulk Carriers Corp

Star Bulk to Repay Debt Principal

Star Bulk Carriers announced that, in light of the improved performance of the Company and the dry bulk market in general, it is planning to make debt principal repayments that are in total at least equivalent to the amortization payments scheduled prior to the commencement of debt amortization holidays. The repayment will start from January 1st 2018, under the “cash sweep” mechanism incorporated in its loan agreements. Star Bulk had previously agreed with its Lenders debt amortization holidays that commenced on June 1st 2016 and were due to end on June 30th, 2018.

© carbonyte/Adobe Stock

Trade Wars: Goats Find New Russian Home

As the world becomes a more contentious place, a group of 1,000 French goats find themselves unlikely pawns in a trade spat inspired by trade sanctions on Russia. Russia banned the wholesale import of fresh food from the European Union, including dairy products, in response to sanctions imposed on Moscow after its 2014 annexation of Crimea. As a result, the French goats have found a new home in Russia's Ural mountains as a local company bets on producing European-style cheeses no longer available for import.

Photo: ​d’Amico International Shipping S.A.

D'Amico Announces Sale & Lease Back of MR Vessel

D'Amico Tankers (Ireland) signed a memorandum of agreement and bareboat charter contract for the sale and leaseback of the MT High Freedom, a 49,990 dwt medium-range product tanker vessel, built in 2014 by Hyundai-Mipo, South Korea for a consideration of US$ 28.0 million. D'Amico Tankers is an operating subsidiary of d’Amico International Shipping S.A., an international marine transportation company operating in the product tanker market. This transaction allows d’Amico Tankers to generate around US$ 13.4 million in cash…

Photo: Vietnam National Shipping Lines

Vietnam Sets Up Shipping Alliance

The maritime shipping crisis has forced shipping firms worldwide to join alliances to improve their competitiveness. Such alliances have also been set up in Vietnam. Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) CEO Nguyen Canh Tinh said connecting subsidiaries to improve resources and competitiveness, and to open new routes, is one of the most important plans being implemented by Vinalines. The container transport route to Hong Kong, a service jointly provided by Vinalines Container and Bien Dong Shipping, two subsidiaries of Vinalines, was launched recently.

Map: CMA CGM

CMA CGM to Resume CIMEX 9 Service

CMA CGM has resumed the CIMEX 9 service, integrating this third service connecting Asia with Iran to provide enhanced coverage in the region. The service will commence December 16 in Kaohsiung and December 19 in Shanghai WGQ with m/v Basht voy. The service will offer a transit time of 19 days from Shanghai to Bandar Abbas, and 17 days from Ningbo to Bandar Abbas.

Photo:  Euronav

International Seaways Acquires Six VLCCs

International Seaways has entered into a binding letter of intent to acquire the holding companies for six 300,000 DWT VLCCs with an average age of 1.7 years from Euronav NV in connection with the closing of Euronav’s announced acquisition of Gener8 Maritime, Inc. (GNRT). The purchase price for the six-vessel acquisition is $434 million, inclusive of assumed debt. The six vessels that INSW has agreed to acquire include five 2016-built VLCCs and one 2015-built VLCC, each constructed at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co.…

Mark III  System's original design.  Image: GTT

GTT Bags Korean Order for Three New LNG Carriers

GTT has received an order from a South Korean shipyard regarding the design of the LNG tanks of 3 new LNG carriers. The deliveries are due in the first semester of 2020. GTT will design the LNG tanks of the units, each having a capacity of 174,000 m3. The tanks will be equipped with the membrane containment system Mark III Flex, a sea-proven technology developed by GTT. This insulation system guarantees a Boil-Off Rate of 0.085%V/day. It has already been used to equip 48 vessels in service today.

Photo: MPI Offshore B.V.

MPI Pact with Eneco for Prinses Amaliawindpark

MPI Contractors B.V. has signed a contract with Eneco Windmolens Offshore B.V. to provide offshore transport and lifting services during main component replacements planned for wind turbines in the Prinses Amaliawindpark. This Agreement, which will take effect on 1 January 2018, is for a period of five years, with options to extend for a further three and two years. During this period, MPI will mobilise one of its wind turbine installation vessels (WTIVs) for two planned campaigns per year.

Left: Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier Vladimir Rusanov, Right: Yamal LNG Project Trading Routes. Photo: MOL

Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier for Yamal LNG Project Named Vladimir Rusanov

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that on December 21, a naming ceremony for an ice-breaking LNG carrier, which was jointly ordered by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (China COSCO Shipping), was held at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering  (DSME). As a crowd of VIPs and personnel related to the project looked on, the newbuilding vessel was named the "Vladimir Rusanov" by Ms. Veronika Makeeva of PAO Novatek, the major shareholder of the Yamal LNG project. The name is derived from Russian Arctic explorer and geologist.

Photo: APM Terminals

Alabama, APM Invest in Port of Mobile

The Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA) and APM Terminals boards of directors in separate actions have approved a $49.5 million expansion of the container facility at the Port of Mobile. The Port Authority and APM Terminals jointly will deliver a Phase 3 expansion that includes a dock extension and an additional 20 acres of improved yard to maintain excess capacity to accommodate new business opportunities. When completed, the project will accommodate an annual throughput capacity of 650,000 TEU.

Image: Hudong-Zhong Shipbuilding (Group) Co.

ABS Approves New VLEC Concept

ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the global marine and offshore industries, granted Approval in Principle (AIP) for a new very large ethane carrier (VLEC) concept developed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. “As demand for different types of liquefied gases increases, concepts like this will expand the infrastructure and enable more efficient transportation to get products to market,” says ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions Patrick Janssens.

Steve Rampton (Photo: International Geomatics Group)

New Company Opens Houston Hub

A new name in global positioning services has announced the opening of a regional hub in Houston. Recently-launched International Geomatics Group has been founded by well-known industry figures Steve Rampton (CEO) and Ken Adams (COO) and will be the marine focus for disruptive DGPS (Differential Global Positioning Services) provision. It has just opened its first office on the western edge of Houston’s Energy Corridor where it anticipates recruiting up to six new members of staff by the middle of 2018.