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Arrested Parakou tanker Pretty Scene up for auction on 5 December

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:53:30 View:12

The arrested Parakou tanker Pretty Scene is set to go up for auction on 5 December in South Africa. The 2006-built, 30,068 gt vessel is valued at $15m and was arrested in Durban in June 2016. The Pretty Scene's special survey is overdue and the vessel is also out of class. “A decision was taken by the applicants not to conduct any dry dock repairs prior to sale, which in turn means her special survey is over-due and she will require a re-classification before the successful purchaser is able to trade with her. Despite this, her overall condition is strong,” said Ariella Kuper, md and auctioneer of online auction company Clear Asset. The vessel has a dispensation from the US for Ballast Water Treatment System extension to 30 July 2020. The auction will take place on 5 December, at 10am in Durban at the premises of Bowman's who are acting for Credit Agricole Ship Finance.

First Damco block train arrives in France from China

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:52:30 View:12

Damco's first block train arrived in France from China on schedule on 16 November as Maersk focuses on transport and logistics. The train departed from Hubei in China on 28 October with Damco transporting goods for sports manufacturer Decathlon. The 10,815 km rail journey took 20 days. Rail between inland destinations in China and Europe is seen as faster way of transporting goods than via sea, and more environmentally friendly than the other alternative of air freight. “We are pleased that we have been able to put together this solution for Decathlon, and in fact for the wider market, that has produced immediate benefits on a logistics and economic level,” said Krasper Krog head of rail for Damco. Damco used GPS tracking and daily reports to give the shipper transparency over its cargo. Philippe Dunand, global account director of Damco’s lifestyle vertical said, “The arrival of the block train today, shows that we have a viable service that can support businesses seeking more cost-effective and/or sustainable methods of transporting their goods from China to Europe.” The logistics company plans to roll out the block train service to more customers going forward.

Pre-emptive action urged in handling China wrecks

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:51:23 View:10

The wreck removal process in China is uncertain and there are concerns with transparency when the authorities become involved. As such shipowners are advised to actively and proactively engage the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) the body in charge of administering shipping safety in China. Henry Lee, partner at Shanghai shipping law firm Sloma & Co told the 5th Asia Marine Insurance Conference that "My clients, especially foreign clients are deeply concerned about the transparency of the salvage or wreck removal operations that are done with the involvement of the authorities in China." He added that almost all salvage operations in China are conducted with the involvement of MSA either directly or indirectly. He noted that there are two types of wreck removal in China: compulsory and non-compulsory. Lee said that while in theory MSA is supposed to give owners the chance to voluntarily remove wrecks within a "reasonable period of time", this period is indeterminate and owners are encouraged to proactively approach MSA well in advance. The risk is that if this is not done, MSA may engage their own third party contractors to remove the wreck at high cost which would then be passed on to the owners. In response to a question about what comprises a "reasonable period of time", Lee had no clear answers only suggesting that it is usually less than what owners would think it is and therefore reiterating that they reach out to the MSA pre-emptively to inform them that they will be taking action, thus saving added costs later.

More needs to be done to prevent suicides at sea

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:49:41 View:13

Dubbing it the "silent killer" International SOS medical director Olivier Lo said at a panel at the Asia Maritime Breakfast briefing on -Seafarers Welfare post-MLC 2006, that more needs to be done to prevent suicides at sea. There is not enough recognition of its existence and if the industry does not do more the numbers will continue to rise, he noted. Among the suggested solutions are employee assistance programmes. These however are harder to implement while seafarers are out at sea, he acknowledged. Other means are the use of support services such as having a chief health officer onboard who is trained to recognise the early signs of mental health issues. Lo noted that often mental health issues do not emerge from seafarers initially in that form but rather as complaints in seemingly minor forms such as stomach upsets and so on. It is important to recognise the signs of this he added. Another way is to encourage companies to provide shore support for families. Lo noted that an increase in cases often occurred after seafarers contact with family when they feel a sense of powerlessness that they are not able to deal with a problem back home. Earlier this year the UK P&I Club highlighted that suicide was the highest cause of death at sea, accounting for 15% of fatalities.

HKIA sees steady cargo growth handling 430,000 tonnes in October

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:48:30 View:3

HONG Kong International Airport (HKIA) announced that cargo throughput in October rose by 2.3 per cent to 430,000 tonnes compared to the same month last year. The growth in cargo throughput last month was driven mainly by 4 per cent year-on-year growth in exports, with Europe increasing "most significantly" among the key trading regions. Over the first 10 months of 2017, HKIA registered a 9.9 per cent surge in cargo volumes to just over 4 million tonnes, compared to the same period in 2016. On a rolling 12-month basis, HKIA saw cargo throughput climb 9.8 per cent to 4.9 million tonnes, the London's Air Cargo News reported.

Shorter wait times at anchorage as congestion eases at Chittagong port

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:47:23 View:4

CONGESTION at the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh is improving with ships waiting at outer anchorage for between two and three days now, compared with eight to 10 days since April. Vessel turnaround times have been reduced to 48 hours compared with 60 hours earlier this year, according to port spokesman Zafar Alam. "We need long-term planning. We need to raise the number of jetties and equipment to cope up with the growing trade pressure," chairman of the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, Ahsanul Huq Chowdhury, was quoted as saying in a report by IHS Media. The delays, which intensified after an accident this summer took out of service half of the port's ship-to-shore gantry crane capacity, have their roots in several factors. One contributor to the congestion is the small container yard at the port and a lack of container handling equipment. The port has implemented measures to resolve those issues, by taking delivery of and ordering more yard equipment as well as revamping operations to make better use of limited space. For example, customs has cut the percentage of containers that are physically inspected down to 14 per cent, compared with 30 per cent previously. The inspections take place in the port container yard, so the change has freed up more space and improved productivity. "The major problem for the Chittagong port was delivery of goods, which slowed down loading and unloading, causing long vessel queues. Following the introduction of 24-hour work, goods are now being delivered at night, improving the situation," Mr Alam said. In addition to receiving 46 pieces of container-handling equipment in September, the Chittagong port authority in October signed a deal with Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company to purchase six rail-mounted quay gantry cranes. In fiscal year 2016 to 2017 the port bought 71 pieces of equipment and plans to acquire 252 more pieces over the next fiscal year. With a number of new terminals under construction, the port hopes to eventually solve its congestion problems. Work is currently under way on the Bay Terminal, Laldia Multi-purpose Terminal, Patenga Container Terminal, and Karnaphuli Container Terminal. The Patenga terminal is due to open in 2019, followed by the Laldia terminal in 2020, and the Bay terminal in 2021.

Putin wants to bar foreign ships from using Russia's Northern Sea Route

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:45:46 View:7

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has proposed that ships registered under the Russian flag are given the exclusive right to transport oil and gas along the Northern Sea Route. This Arctic route from Southeast Asia to Europe cuts the transportation time in half compared to traditional routes through the Suez and Panama canals. Mr Putin said his proposal is intended to raise Russia's shipping volume, bolster the position of the domestic shipping companies, and create additional opportunities for fleet renewal, reported RT News of Russia. The Northern Sea Route stretches the entire length of Russia's Arctic and Far East regions. "The corresponding bill is currently being considered in the State Duma. I expect that it will be adopted soon," Mr Putin was quoted as saying, adding there are proposals to extend the rule to other maritime areas of the country. "Let's analyse all these questions thoroughly and without haste," he said. The amount of cargo transported via the Northern Sea Route last year reached a record 7.5 million tonnes. The Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport estimates volumes could grow sixfold in the next three years. Ships will mainly transport liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil and coal.

Hutchison Ports signs initial pact to develop Chernomorsk port, Ukraine

PostTime:2017-11-22 08:43:52 View:4

HONG Kong's Hutchison Ports is to establish a presence in the Black Sea region, after signing a preliminary agreement with the Ukrainian government to invest in and develop the 1.2 million TEU capacity Chernomorsk port for the next 49 years. Chernomorsk is one of the biggest Ukrainian ports as measured by annual container capacity, however, it struggled to attract sufficient cargo volumes between 2008 when the port handled 670,556 TEU and 2016 when throughput totalled only 18,163 TEU. According to Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Vladimir Omelyan, Hutchison has been interested in expanding into Ukraine since 2007, reported IHS Media. Chernomorsk chiefly handles grain, coal, ore, and general cargoes, while Odessa handles most of Ukraine's containerised trade, but government officials hope that the involvement of Hutchison will attract more container traffic to the port. Containers account for 15 per cent of the cargo mix at Chernomorsk which has a six kilometre quay and 14 metre draft that enables it to handle three containerships of at least 5,000 TEU simultaneously. Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure believes that Chernomorsk will have a good chance to compete with Russian ports on the Black Sea for cargo destined for parts of Europe and Russia, but the port's competitive success will hinge on its ability to attract regular services. Shipping from Shanghai through Chernomorsk would be more expensive than St Petersburg, according to figures from Russian transport analyst Credo Trans. However, depending on the destination, particularly if it is to Baltic states, shippers would benefit from shorter transit times. The rate from Shanghai to St Petersburg is between US$1,400 and $2,100 per TEU and from $2,535 to $2,700 per FEU, according to Credo Trans In comparison, the rate from Chernomorsk would be $1,860 to $2,100 per TEU and $2,535 to $2,700 per FEU. The sailing time from China to St Petersburg is 35 to 40 days, and the transit time to Novorossiysk, on the other side of the Black Sea from Chernomorsk, is 23 to 27 days.    

China War Risk Syndicate launched

PostTime:2017-11-21 09:03:30 View:16

Chinese and Asian shipowners now have added support with the launch of a new marine insurance facility aimed at protecting them from the risks of war and related perils such as piracy. The Hong Kong China War Risk Syndicate (HKCWRS) is available to ship owners in Hong Kong, China and all Asian-flagged, owned, managed or chartered vessels. The facility is supported by Asia Insurance, part of Hong Kong’s Asia Financial Holdings and the insurance covers marine hulls for acts of war, piracy attacks and other perils up to a maximum limit per hull of $100m. Asia Insurance will lead the syndicate, while a number of other high profile insurers including China Taiping Insurance (Hong Kong) are also backing it in a subscription format. Asia Insurance ceo Winnie Wong said: “We believe the time is right for such a facility to be made available for Chinese and other Asian ship owners. Hong Kong and China together form one of the world’s largest ship registries. It is important that as this fleet grows, owners have a range of options available for their insurance needs." HKCWRS will create a specific War Risk Committee including owners, underwriters, brokers, security advisors who will come together to discuss, review and respond to issues. The committee will take into account other similar war committees’ positions but will adopt an independent approach. JLJ md Jonathan Jones said: “JLJ Maritime HK Ltd is honoured to be working with Asia Insurance in the founding and development of the HKCWRS, a facility that will bring real value to Chinese and Asian ship owners. “The facility is on hand to serve the needs of owners locally and our service will be provided on the ground and face to face in local time. Claims will be handled quickly and professionally, and all legitimate claims will be met.”

Greek shipowners own the world's largest fleet by capacity: Unctad

PostTime:2017-11-21 08:56:20 View:18

GREEK shipowners come out top for overall fleet capacity globally, lead the wet and dry categories, and rank third in terms of owning the world's largest containership fleet, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). In its latest review of sea transportation, Unctad places Greece in first place in terms of cargo carrying capacity at 309 million dwt, followed by Japan, China, Germany and Singapore. Collectively, the five countries control a market share of 49.5 per cent of dwt, reported Seatrade Maritime News of Colchester, UK. According to the Unctad report, the global share of Greek-owned vessels in terms of dwt was 16.71 per cent in January 2017 of the world total compared to 16.36 per cent in January 2016, and is expected to grow further. At the beginning of 2017, Greeks owned 4,199 vessels with a capacity of 308.8 million dwt versus 4,136 ships with a total cargo carrying capacity of 293.1 million dwt in January 2016. Greece ranks third among the top five countries in terms of estimated commercial value, after the the US fleet's value of US$96 billion, and Japan. China and Norway follow. A particularly interesting statistics to emerge from Unctad's Maritime Transport Review 2017 is Greek shipowners' increased share in the containership market. The Greek share has expanded, largely at the expense of German owners, to reach 8.13 per cent in container capacity terms. Greek-controlled containerships number 563, with an average capacity of 3,224 TEU. At the same time, the world share of the German-owned containership fleet has declined to 21.46 per cent. The average capacity of the 2,100 German ships is 2,277 TEU.  

Maersk expands trade financing to shippers' suppliers

PostTime:2017-11-21 08:47:53 View:19

DANISH shipping giant Maersk Line plans to expand a new programme providing trade financing to customers by also providing credit to customers' suppliers as well. It said it is close to sealing four loan agreements that are the first in a new "supply chain" initiative created in a trade-financing programme launched by company as it looks for ways to distinguish itself from competitors. After a successful test, beginning in India two years ago, Maersk launched the programme in Singapore, Spain, India, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands. In May, it began offering it in five American states - New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and Georgia. For the first time, a Maersk customer can use their own creditworthiness and their relationship with the carrier to help a vendor get trade financing in the carrier's trade financing programme. The first four customers are in the garment, agricultural products, refrigerated cargo and manufacturing sectors. Maersk says it has so far underwritten credit in excess of US$150 million in the programme, which it says can help shippers cut 15 to 30 per cent from their financing costs, IHS Media reported. Maersk says it can provide trade finance faster and easier than banks. The carrier says the programme comes with little risk of a loan default to the carrier - or any need for the customer to provide collateral - because Maersk controls the cargo. The programme initially focused on providing finance to exporters and importers, but Maersk is looking to broaden it to help vendors - a move that the carrier says has stoked considerable interest. "This is where the industry is going," William C Duggan, Maersk's head of trade finance north America, told the 29th Apparel Importers Trade & Transportation Conference. "We think this is the wave of the future." Trade financing is typically sought by shippers to provide a financial bridge while the cargo is in transit - helping the supplier, who wants early payment, and shipper, who does not want to pay until the goods arrive. Such financing typically takes the form of a loan or letter of credit that provides for payment once the bank receives certain documents, such as a bill of lading. The World Trade Organization estimates that 80 per cent of global trade is supported by some sort of financing or credit insurance, and Maersk is not the only logistics company to take an interest in the concept. Flexport, the digital freight forwarder, has linked up with Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, in a trade-financing programme in which the freight forwarder would use its trade data to evaluate the financing applicant before advancing the funds.

SIPG's profits could be hit by move in China to lower handling tariffs

PostTime:2017-11-21 08:34:23 View:18

MOODY's Investors Service has warned that a decision announced on last week by China's state-run National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to reduce handling tariffs for import and export containers could lead to lower profits for Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG). The move was prompted by the Chinese government's antitrust review on the business operations of coastal ports that is intended to reduce overall logistics costs and promote a fairer operating environment for shipping companies, reported Port Technology of London. Other measures announced by China's economic management agency included a further opening of tugboat, tallying and shipping agency markets, and cancellation of unreasonable contract clauses. SIPG is the top terminal operator at the port of Shanghai, which is the largest container port globally by throughput volume, and as of this September it was 59.38 per cent directly and indirectly owned by the Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC). Moody's vice president and senior analyst Osbert Tang was quoted as saying: "The reduction in tariff will negatively impact SIPG's profitability and cash flow generation capability from 2018 onwards, and reduce the financial headroom for its standalone credit profile." "Effective January 1 2018 the import and export handling tariff for non-transshipment containers at the port of Shanghai will be lowered by 19.4 per cent to US$72 (CNY480) per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU). "The NDRC also ordered tariff cuts of between 11 per cent and 21 per cent at several other ports - including Tianjin, Ningbo-Zhoushan and Qingdao - that enjoyed dominant market positions in their respective servicing regions." As a result of the tariff reduction, Moody's estimates that SIPG's container handling revenue will fall by $0.15-0.226 billion in 2018, resulting in a lower gross profit margin of 52-53 per cent for this business segment during the same year when compared with the 57 per cent achieved during the first half of 2017.