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Monday, April 12, 2021

Southeast Asia News

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Suez Canal Blockage Adds Strain to Global Supply Chains

A stuck container vessel in the Suez Canal, which has blocked the flow of goods through the narrow channel, will add strain to global supply chains already stretched by rebounding economic activity and tight shipping container supplies, analysts said on Friday.The 400-metres long Ever Given container vessel has been stuck in the canal since Tuesday, suspending traffic of containers transporting goods, parts and equipment through the shortest sea link between Europe and Asia.The…

Zen Hong Oh (Photo: Ecochlor)

Ecochlor Expands in Southeast Asia

U.S.-based ballast water treatment sysems manufacturer Ecochlor has appointed Zen Hong Oh as Regional Service Manager for Southeast Asia.Oh has more than 11 years of involvement in the maritime industry both in shipbuilding and in project management of vessel repairs and retrofits. Prior to Ecochlor, he was Field Service Manager at Emerson Process Management Marine Solutions. He also acted as Assistant Manager of Green Technologies for Sembcorp Marine with responsibilities that…

(Image: Fueltrax)

Fueltrax Announces Expansion in Asia

Maritime fuel management systems provider Fueltrax said it is expanding its representation in Asia in response to growing demand for its solutions in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific regions. Joining the company is Faiz Azani, Director of Operations – Southeast Asia, and Chris Pemberton, Regional Representative – Asia PacificAzani joined the FUELTRAX team last month and brings 11 years of experience in the oil and gas, shipping, and marine industry, focusing on Southeast Asia, Europe, & the Middle East. He is a former marine expert to Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) of PETRONAS.

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Mercuria Teams Up with Envysion for Project Investment

Trading house Mercuria and Singapore-based asset manager Envysion Wealth Management have agreed to co-invest in mining and energy projects, as default-hit banks tighten their purse strings and leave commodities firms seeking other funding.The deal, signed on Wednesday, will see Mercuria present potential projects for investment to Envysion, founded and led by former Julius Baer banker Veronica Shim. Envysion will then decide whether to participate via a fund with a start-up amount…

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Strike Stymies more than 140 Grains Ships in Argentina

Loading of more than 140 agricultural export ships in Argentina has been stalled by a port-side oilseed workers' strike that started on Dec. 9, the head of the local chamber of soymeal manufacturers said on Monday, on the eve of talks on a new contract.The CIARA-CEC chamber of soy byproduct manufacturers will meet on Tuesday with the two main unions representing oilseed workers to try and hammer out a 2021 compensation package."We seek an agreement with the unions that allows the efficient…

Illustration - Credit: Igor Strukov/AdobeStock

Argentina Agro-export Firms Improve Offer to End Grains Port Strike

Argentina's influential chamber of soyoil manufacturers and exporters on Sunday spiced up an offer to striking workers, seeking to end a more than two-week standoff that has bogged down exports from one of the world's main breadbaskets.The CIARA-CEC chamber said it would top up salaries by 35% in 2020, a central demand of the striking workers, many of whom stayed on the job through the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The group also offered a 70,000 peso (about $840) bonus…

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Argentina Port Workers to Spend Christmas on Strike

Argentine oilseed workers and grains inspectors said on Wednesday they will spend Christmas on strike, further bogging down agricultural exports by extending a work stoppage that started on Dec. 9.The latest offer from the CIARA-CEC chamber of soyoil manufacturers and exporters was issued late on Tuesday. It was rejected by the SOEA union of oilseed workers and the Argentine federation of oilseed workers."We and our families will spend Christmas on strike," said the two unions…

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Argentina: More than 100 Grains Cargo Ships Delayed by Port Workers Strike

More than 100 cargo ships were kept from loading agricultural goods in Argentina on Monday, as a wage strike by grains inspectors and oilseed workers stretched into its second week, paralyzing exports from one of the world's breadbaskets.Argentina is the No. 1 international exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to fatten hogs and poultry from Europe to Southeast Asia. Contract talks between workers and export companies have broken down over compensation packages, with both sides…

Indonesian President Joko Widodo - (File Photo: Indonesian Presidency)

Indonesia Inaugurates $3B 'Strategic' Port

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated the Patimban sea port in West Java on Sunday, saying the new gateway would have a "strategic" role in boosting the nation's pandemic-hit economy.The 43.2 trillion rupiah ($3.07 billion) port in the town of Subang, 140 km (90 miles) east of the capital Jakarta, is one of the government’s priority infrastructure projects, designed to boost Southeast Asia's largest economy and relieve pressure on Jakarta’s congested Tanjung Priok port.Speaking via link from the state palace…

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Thai Exports Seen Growing 3%-5% in 2021

Thai exports are expected to grow 3% to 5% next year after a contraction of up to 7% in 2020, the shippers' council said on Tuesday, helped by free trade agreements and developments on COVID-19 vaccines, though concerns about a strong baht persist."Signing of the RCEP agreement is good news for exporters," Jintana Sirisantana, secretary general of the Thai National Shippers' Council said, referring to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement.News of an effective vaccine and China's economic recovery also would help exports recover, she added.

ShipMoney Continues to Grow, Announces New Hires

Maritime Payment Solutions, LLC (d/b/a ShipMoney), a provider of payment solutions for maritime companies, announced two new hires. Vanessa Torres has joined as Strategic Client and Business Development Manager in Manila, and Theo Tsokos is the Client Account Manager in Athens.Torres will be responsible for managing clients in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, including Maersk and V. Ships, among others. With more than 20 years of professional experience, she will act as liaison…

Brent Perry, CEO of Sterling PBES is a 40+ year veteran of the marine business, and one of the pioneers in delivering battery solutions to boats and ships at sea.  Photo Courtesy Sterling PBES

Charging Ahead: Brent Perry & his Sterling PBES Team Drive Maritime Battery Tech

Brent Perry, CEO of Sterling PBES is a 40+ year veteran of the marine business, and one of the pioneers in delivering battery solutions to boats and ships at sea. Please give us a by the numbers look at Sterling PBES today?Right now we are sitting in a position where we had anticipated delivering somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-21 million worth of product, which is about 35 megawatt hours. And we’re scheduled to blow past that to almost $40 million. And we’re looking at the following year as a year of over a $100 million…

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Charterers Preventing Crew Change Must Be Held Accountable -INTERCARGO

In a number of instances, charterers in the dry bulk sector have been preventing much needed crew changes from taking place during the period of the charter, despite the ship owner agreeing to accept the associated costs, says INTERCARGO, the body representing the interests of dry bulk sector operators.In these instances, charterers have been seen to simply ignore relevant provisions and charter party clauses that could be employed. It has been reported that bulk carriers changing…

Christophe Mathieu (Photo: Interferry)

Interferry Names New Chair and Board Member

Ferry industry trade group Interferry announced Brittany Ferries CEO Christophe Mathieu as the new Chair of its board of directors. He was elected at the association’s annual general meeting on October 27 - held virtually due to COVID-19 travel restrictions - in succession to John Steen-Mikkelsen, former CEO of Denmark’s Danske Faerger. The meeting also confirmed the appointment of a new director extending Southeast Asia representation on the board.Mathieu, an Interferry board member since 2010…

Dennis de Bruin (Photo: BMT)

BMT Names de Bruin Managing Director for Europe

BMT announced Dennis de Bruin has been appointed Managing Director for BMT’s Commercial Shipping Europe business, with immediate effect.A BMT employee since 2004, de Bruin has more than 20 years of experience in the maritime industry. He has served for the last seven years as Marine Director for BMT's nautical and cargo department of the Rotterdam office.He will succeed Jeroen de Haas as Managing Director of our European offices in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, who has been at the helm of Commercial Shipping Europe since 2001…

Fraserborg loading wheat bound for Italy at the Riverland Ag Corp. terminal in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 15, 2020. (Photo: Duluth Seaway Port Authority)

US Great Lakes Ports See Mixed Impacts from COVID-19

U.S. Great Lakes ports reported mixed results in June with aluminum, road salt and grain shipments holding strong despite the coronavirus pandemic, while shipments of commodities related to steel production and manufacturing have continued to slide.Additionally, the St. Lawrence Seaway reported that from April 1 to June 30, nearly 11.7 million metric tons of cargo was shipped via the bi-national trade corridor. While these volumes were down 8% compared to the same time period in 2019, cargo shipments improved in June narrowing the year-over-year decline.Craig H.

(Photo: DP World)

DP World Completes Integration of Unifeeder and Feedertech

DP World announce Tuesday it has finished integrating its recent acquisitions Unifeeder and Feedertech, creating a feedering and shortsea network serving hundreds of ports across the globe.Unifeeder, which recently acquired Feedertech, operates feeder and shortsea services around northern Europe and throughout the Mediterranean and Northern Africa regions. Feedertech provides similar services connecting ports in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. The…

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Parched Parana River Likely to Hit Argentine Grain Exports through September

Shallow water in Argentina's Parana River will slow exports and hurt the country's soy crushing margins at least through September, officials said, as more cargo ships are needed to carry the same amount of commodities.Drought has pushed the Parana to its lowest level in decades, complicating transportation and soymeal production.An increasing number of ships are running aground and higher costs are pressuring margins at the giant soy crushing plants that make Argentina the world's top exporter of livestock feed…

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Collapsed Riverbank Disrupts Argentina's Exports

Ships transporting cargo from Argentina's Rosario grain hub through the Parana River are having to reduce their cargoes after a bank collapse obstructed the navigation channel, exporters told Reuters.Dredgers are working in the Parana to the south of the Rosario complex to try to restore the necessary depth of water for export traffic, but at present have no estimate of when normal operations on the grains superhighway can resume."Ships cannot leave because they do not have the adequate safety margin…

(Photo: APM Terminals)

Port Improvements Continue in Mobile

The Alabama Port Authority completed its 400-foot container dock extension at the APM Terminals Mobile facility on March 20, and three days later, the terminal for the first time simultaneously handled two containerships at the newly expanded berth.Part of Alabama’s seaport modernization program to accommodate larger vessels, the berth extension enables two x 8,000-10,000 TEU be handled simultaneously. The quay extension was part of a $50 million Phase 3 expansion that increased…

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Indonesia Posts Biggest Trade Surplus Since 2011

Indonesia posted a larger-than-expected trade surplus in February with exports surging and imports contracting amid disruptions in global supply chains due to the coronavirus outbreak, data from the statistics bureau showed.Southeast Asia's largest economy had a $2.34 billion surplus in February, compared with the $90 million surplus expected in a Reuters poll.The surplus was the first in four months and the biggest since September 2011, according to data from Refinitiv. There was a deficit of around $870 million in January.Exports surged 11% from a year earlier to $13.94 billion…

imon R. James (Photo: James Fisher Marine Services)

James Fisher Appoints Subsea Ops Director

James Fisher Marine Services appointed Simon R. James as its new Subsea Operations Director effective February 2020.James joins with more than 25 years’ of experience in the marine, offshore and subsea service sectors, having held director-level roles at DeepOcean, Fugro and Iremis.In his career to date, Simon has worked with large and prestigious companies, both in the UK and abroad. Most recently, he held the position of Director of Operations at EM&I Group where he improved effectiveness and drove efficiency across operations in the Americas, Africa, Canada and Southeast Asia.

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Coronavirus Slows China's Belt and Road Push

When President Xi Jinping made his first state visit this year to Myanmar and signed new infrastructure contracts, there was no indication of the obstacle about to trip up China's plan for railways, ports and highways around the world: the coronavirus.Travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease, which has now killed more than 1,800 people, have idled much of the world's second-largest economy and choked key elements of Xi's signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).Chinese workers cannot get to overseas projects…

PIL Exits Transpacific Market

Singapore shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL) has announced that it is quitting the Transpacific market as part of an optimization strategy. The shipping line has been participating in a half-dozen trans-Pacific services, mostly in slot-charter arrangements.PIL’s last Transpacific sailing will be in March 2020.The company said it has taken the decision as part of a wider strategic review of its business. Henceforth, PIL will focus on further strengthening its position in the North-South Trade such as Africa…

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Port of LA Exec Says US Tariff Tiffs Could Be 'New Normal'

The executive overseeing the busiest U.S. gateway for ocean trade with China on Thursday said the "weaponization of tariffs" to advance U.S. policy interests may now be the "new normal."The comments from Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka came just a day after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu signed a Phase 1 agreement to defuse their 18-month-long trade war.The partial pact will cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese pledges to purchase more American farm…

Ethan Edson of Ocean Diagnostics demonstrates some of his microplastic sensors. Credit: Ocean Diagnostics.

SMTP Helps to Power Future Ocean Tech

On an unseasonably warm October day in San Francisco, hundreds gather in the Dogpatch district to hear about the latest innovations in ocean conservation and science. Bubble barriers to trap plastic in river mouths and portable DNA scanners preventing illegal wildlife trafficking are just a few of the ground-breaking tools and technologies that are transitioning from dream to reality. And the unifying factor amongst these groups is support from Schmidt Marine Technology Partners (SMTP).SMTP is a relatively new program of the Schmidt Family Foundation…