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Friday, April 16, 2021

United Nations News

(Photo: BlackSky)

The Suez Canal: A Vital Transit Route With an Ancient History

The Suez Canal, blocked by a giant container ship that ran aground on Tuesday, is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe and about 15% of global shipping traffic moves through it.The 193-km (120-mile) waterway, run by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, is a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt.How much oil goes through the canal?Of the 39.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil imported by seaborne methods in 2020, 1.74 million bpd went through the Suez Canal…

Photo courtesy IMO

IMO Sec Gen: The Crew Change Crisis Remains a Challenge

Even after concerted efforts from leaders in the maritime community and some improvement in the numbers, the crew change crisis caused by COVID-19 restrictions continues to create challenges, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization has warned.In a statement, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim said that based on industry analysis, the numbers of seafarers requiring repatriation after finishing their contracts had declined—from a high of around 400,000 in September 2020, to around 200,000 as of March 2021, with a similar number waiting to join ships.

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Shipping Groups Press EU to Advance 'Fuels of the Future'

Shipping and trade groups are calling on the European Union to advance the development of ammonia and green hydrogen as the best marine fuel options to enable the industry to accelerate decarbonization.With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.To reach goals for shipping set by the United Nations, industry leaders say the first net-zero ships must enter the global fleet by 2030, with vessels powered by green hydrogen and its derivative compound ammonia among the options.The coalition of groups…

(Photo: CMA CGM)

CMA CGM to Expand LNG-powered Fleet to Transpacific Route

Container shipping line CMA CGM is to expand its fleet of natural gas-powered vessels to cover the busy trans-Pacific route between China and the United States as part of a push to use the fuel to reduce pollution, the group said on Thursday.CMA CGM will deploy by next year six chartered ships with a capacity of 15,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) each on its China-Los Angeles service, representing the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled vessels to call in the United States, it said in a statement.The deployment will bring to 32 the number of LNG-powered ships in CMA CGM’s fleet and a

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IMO Condemns Charterers’ 'No Crew Change' Clauses

The head of the United Nations' shipping agency has spoken out against “no crew change” clauses in charterparties, stating such clauses exacerbate the dire situation of stranded seafarers and undermine the efforts undertaken to resolve the ongoing crew change crisis.So-called “no crew change” clauses, which are demanded by certain charterers, state that no crew changes can occur whilst the charterer’s cargo is onboard – hence not allowing the ship to deviate to ports where crew changes could take place.

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Investor EnTrust Global Turns Sights to Green Shipping Assets

U.S. investment company EnTrust Global, already a player in shipping finance, aims to buy ships that generate lower emissions, an executive said, the latest sign of efforts in the shipping industry to go green.Global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions, putting the industry under pressure to clean up. About 90% of world trade is transported by sea.New York-based EnTrust, which has $18.9 billion in assets, lends to the shipping sector through its Blue Ocean Funds.

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China's Exports Pinched by Global Shortage of Shipping Containers

China's world-beating economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is being blunted by a global shortage of shipping containers, sending cargo costs to record highs and hampering manufacturers in filling fast-recovering global goods orders.Exports from China surged 21% in November from a year ago as the country's mammoth industrial engine cranked out mountains of appliances, toys, clothes, personal protective equipment, and other items currently in high demand around the world.But…

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IMO Approves Extra Steps to Curb Shipping Emissions

The United Nations shipping agency on Tuesday approved measures to boost energy efficiency in vessels as part of efforts to reduce the industry's carbon footprint, a UN spokeswoman said.Countries approved the additional regulations to reduce the carbon intensity of commercial ships at this week's virtual Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).Green groups opposed the approval, saying it would allow the shipping sector's share of emissions to keep rising over the next decade…

(Photo: CMA CGM)

CMA CGM to Expand LNG-powered Fleet to 26 Ships

Container shipping group CMA CGM will expand its use of liquified natural gas (LNG) to 26 vessels, it said on Thursday, as part of efforts to reduce pollution in ocean shipping.After announcing three years ago that it would adopt LNG, French-based CMA CGM has made several orders for gas-powered ships and now plans to have 26 such vessels in service by 2022, it said in a statement.Seven of the vessels are already in service, including the giant Jacques Saade, named after the family group's founder and which was refueling in Rotterdam on Thursday after its maiden voyage from China…

Norwegian ferry operator Norled is developing hydrogen-powered ferries (Image: LMG Marin)

The Path to Zero: First Wave of Ships Explore Green Hydrogen

While there is no consensus on what will be the maritime 'fuel of the future', developers across the world are for the first time testing the use of hydrogen to power ships as the maritime industry races to find technologies to cut emissions and confidence grows the fuel is safe to use commercially.To reach goals for the shipping industry set by the United Nations, industry leaders say the first net-zero ships must enter the global fleet by 2030. Ships powered by green hydrogen…

Abu Dhabi Ports launches Smart Container Initiative, eco-friendly mobile data centers housed in a safe and optimized environment.

"Smart Container" Plan Aims to Cut Emissions 50%

Abu Dhabi Ports launched the "Smart Container" initiative, a prefabricated containerized data center runs a wide range of mission-critical applications, including port and terminal operation systems, visitor passes, and other digital customer services.Powered by renewable energy, the solar-paneled steel and aluminium smart container uses environmentally friendly technologies such as in-row cooling and efficient space allocation that will reduce Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)…

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IMO Head Urges Governments to Resolve Crew Change Crisis

International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim is urging governments to take swift action to resolve the crew change crisis that has left several hundred thousand seafarers stranded at sea and unable to be repatriated despite the expiry of their contracts.It is estimated that more than 300,000 mariners are stuck at sea, and a similar number of seafarers have been unable to join ships and relieve them due to restrictions imposed by several governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic…

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Beirut Blast a Wake-up Call on Dangers of Ammonium Nitrate

The devastating explosion in Beirut should be a wake-up call for countries on the dangers of ammonium nitrate, which caused the blast, experts say.Lebanese authorities said 2,750 tonnes of the industrial chemical had been stored for six years at Beirut port without safety measures. That stockpile exploded on Tuesday, killing more than 150 people, injuring thousands and leaving about a quarter of a million people homeless.Commonly used in fertilizers and as an industrial explosive…

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Shipowners Struggle to Bring Home Crews Amid Coronavirus Chaos

Shipping companies are still struggling to get hundreds of thousands of crew members back home after many months at sea despite pledges by countries to ease transit restrictions for seafarers, industry officials say.Countries including the UK, the United States, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines pledged this month to boost efforts to help seafarers, many of whom have been on ships longer than the 11-month limit laid out in a maritime labor convention.Other countries…

Shipping's Switch to Cleaner Fuel Has Been Smooth Sailing -ING Bank

Seven months after the United Nations' shipping agency brought in hotly anticipated new rules to curb emissions, the raft of technical issues and leap in fuel prices that were expected to result have failed to materialize, ING Bank said on Tuesday.Global shipping and oil firms had flagged major concerns over potential disruptions from International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules implemented at the start of 2020, which capped marine fuels' sulphur content at 0.5% against 3.5% previously.However, shipping and marine fuel suppliers say expected technical issues, such as damage to engines from

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CMA CGM Halts Timber Exports from Gambia Over Rosewood Risk

Shipping group CMA CGM said on Wednesday it was suspending timber exports from Gambia due to suspected trafficking of rosewood in the West African country.Demand for furniture in China has led to widespread felling of rosewood in West Africa in recent years, despite the variety being protected under the United Nations' Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)."Following several suspicions that undeclared rosewood may have been part of cargo shipments from Gambia, the group has decided to halt its timber exports from the country until further notic

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Cuba Cancels Economic Fair as Imports Plummet

Cash-strapped Cuba has canceled its annual international trade and investment fair slated for November due to the pandemic, state-run media reported on Friday, even as fallout from the novel coronavirus hammers revenues and imports.Container traffic at the port of Mariel, responsible for 90% of containers entering the country, was down between 20% and 25% through May, compared with the same period last year, according to a shipping source with access to the data.Cuba does not reveal key economic information in a timely manner…

© Raimo Makinen / MarineTraffic.com

Pandemic Forces Ship Owners to Shelve Scrubber Installs

Ship owners are postponing or canceling the installation of “scrubbers” that extract harmful sulphur emissions from their vessels as the coronavirus pandemic tightens finances.Regulations from United Nations agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which took effect in January, were viewed by the oil and shipping industries as one of the first worldwide efforts to enforce environmental change.The rules aimed to make ships use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5%, compared with 3.5% previously.

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Djibouti Offers Crew Change Support

Djibouti announced at the United Nations Monday its readiness to facilitate crew change operations for any ships passing through the Bab el Mandeb strait, with the necessary support provided by the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA).The East African country is responding to a joint statement from the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to support crew changes and ensure that maritime personnel can return…

ABS Chairman, President and CEO, Christopher J. Wiernicki (Photo: ABS)

Do Not Set Seafarers Up to Fail, Cautions ABS CEO Wiernicki

“Shipping’s digital revolution must have its roots in the human factor. Expecting today’s shipboard crews to adopt a digital mindset without the right skills puts them in an untenable position and risks safety for everyone.”That is the message from ABS Chairman, President and CEO, Christopher J. Wiernicki, who is marking the 10th annual United Nations Day of the Seafarer with a call to give crews the support they need to succeed in the digital era.“As a whole, our industry still tends to view crews with a 20th-century mindset and to approach their challenges with 20th-century attitudes…

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Coronavirus Upends Global Food Supply Chains

In the fertile Satara district in western India, farmers are putting their cattle on an unorthodox diet: Some feed iceberg lettuce to buffalo. Others feed strawberries to cows.It’s not a treat. They can either feed their crops to animals or let them spoil. And other farmers are doing just that - dumping truck loads of fresh grapes to rot on compost heaps.The farmers cannot get their produce to consumers because of lockdowns that aim to stop the spread of coronavirus. In India…

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CMA CGM Aims to be Carbon Neutral by 2050

French-based CMA CGM, the world’s fourth-largest container shipping group, said on Tuesday it would aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.The company, headquartered in the Mediterranean port of Marseille, also announced in a statement a target for 10% of its energy supplies to be made up of alternative fuels by 2023.CMA CGM, which was citing objectives set out by Chairman and Chief Executive Rodolphe Saade during a United Nations conference, is following market leader Maersk in aiming to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.The French group…

Stena Lines' new vessel Stena Estrid on the Irish Sea: The E-Flexer vessels represent the next generation RoPax vessels in terms of energy efficiency and can lower CO2 emissions by about 25% compared previous generations of ships. (Photo: Stena Line)

Stena Line is 10 Years Ahead of IMO Emissions Goals

Ferry shipping company Stena Line reports it is 10 years ahead of international shipping's emissions reduction targets thanks to measures such as new, larger and more energy efficient vessels, AI assisted captains and an increased punctuality.The Sweden-based operator says that during 2019 it reduced its total CO2 emissions 1.7 %, corresponding to 24,000 metric tons of CO2 in total, while CO2 emissions per transported ton freight and passenger vehicles on board the vessels fell…

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Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

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IMO Urges Governments to Allow Crew Changes

United Nations shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has echoed industry calls for governments to grant special travel exemptions to seafarers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.In a Circular Letter (link) issued on Monday, the IMO distributed a series of recommendations for governments and relevant national authorities, proposed by a broad cross-section of global industry associations representing the maritime transportation sector.The Circular Letter specifically calls on governments to designate professional seafarers and marine personnel…

Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar (Photo courtesy of UKHO)

Vice Adm. Badhwar Receives Alexander Dalrymple Award

The 2019 Alexander Dalrymple Award has been presented to Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar, National Hydrographer to the Government of India, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian hydrography and across the wider Indian Ocean region.The Alexander Dalrymple Award was first awarded by the UKHO in 2006 and is named after the first Hydrographer of the Admiralty. Recipients of the award are selected by the Executive Committee of the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) for their efforts in raising the standards of hydrography…