|.: 27-Oct-2017 :.
|Royal Caribbean Returning to San Juan and St. Maarten after Hurricanes|
Royal Caribbean International has announced the cruise line's return to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St. Maarten which were heavily impacted by recent hurricanes.
On Nov. 30, Freedom of the Seas will be the first ship in the fleet to call on San Juan, Puerto Rico, arriving with approximately 3,782 visitors to the island. Grandeur of the Seas will follow suit on Dec. 17 as the first cruise ship to sail into, St. Maarten since Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas arrived to provide humanitarian relief last month.
This announcement comes on the heels of Royal Caribbean's recent news that Adventure of the Seas will be the first ship to call on St. Thomas on Nov. 10.
"Royal Caribbean is encouraged by the commendable progress that has been made by the governments of Puerto Rico and St. Maarten towards the recovery of these destinations and it means a lot to us that we are heading back home. We have been part of the Caribbean community for almost 50 years, and for all of us it has been paramount that we focus on supporting our long-standing partners - who feel more like family after so many years," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
Supporting these destinations that are so reliant on tourism is key to the future of the islands and the best thing we - as travelers and businesses - can do for the islands.
As informed, as of November 30, all scheduled calls to San Juan and St. Thomas across 10 ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet will operate as planned - including calls from Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas.
The scheduled visits to St. Maarten will operate as planned starting on Dec. 17 with the exception of Oasis of the Seas, which will make its first call to the island on January 1 during its New Year's Eve cruise. Additionally, the global cruise line will return to St. Croix on January 8 with the arrival of Jewel of the Seas, which will sail from San Juan.
All calls to Dominica are cancelled through June 2018 and the cruise line said it was working closely with the local government on a return date to the destination.
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|Scorpio Bulkers Abandons Share Offering Plan|
Dry bulk shipping company Scorpio Bulkers has determined not to proceed with its announced underwritten public offering of 10 million shares of common stock, just a day after announcing the move.
The decision was made due to the unsatisfactory price offered to the company, Scorpio Bulkers said.
Scorpio was targeting to sell 10 million shares of its common stock par value USD 0.01 per share.
The net proceeds of the sale were expected to be used for general corporate purposes, including fleet expansion, Scorpio Bulkers said earlier.
Following the completion of the recent acquisition of six Ultramax vessels, Scorpio Bulkers will own 52 bulkers, with a total carrying capacity of approximately 3.6 million deadweight tons. The company also time charters-in one Ultramax vessel.
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|Korea Lines Orders Two Bulkers|
Korea Lines Corporation, part of Samra Midas Group, has announced an investment in two 325,000 dwt bulk carriers.
The company would be paying KRW 184.8 billion (USD 164 million) for the two ships.
According to Yonhap, Hyundai Heavy Industries has been hired for the construction of the two ships, which are scheduled to be delivered in 2020.
Korea Lines said the investment was triggered by a 25-year transportation contract with an undisclosed party.
The company has been linked earlier to a time charter deal with Brazilian mining company Vale, which was said to be hiring 30 Valemax newbuilds from seven different shipping companies.
The companies in question include Chinese joint venture between ICBC Leasing and China Merchants, Pan Ocean, H Line Shipping, SK Shipping, and Polaris Shipping.
South Korean Polaris Shipping has already ordered 15 325,000 dwt dry bulk carriers from Hyundai Heavy Industries to support the deal and will be paying USD 1.2 bn for the new ships.
World Maritime News Staff
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|Milaha Reports Halved Nine-Month Net Profit|
Qatar Navigation's (Milaha) net profit for the nine months of this year ended September 30 has reached QR 363 million (USD 99.7 million) considerably down when compared to QR 759 million for the same period in 2016.
The company's operating revenues came at QR 1.66 billion for the nine-month period, against QR 1.99 billion reported in the corresponding period from last year.
"The weakness in the shipping and offshore marine sectors continued to negatively impact our results, however, I'm pleased to say that net profit improved significantly quarter-on-quarter from Q2 and Q3. We believe we have good momentum going into Q4," said Ali bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Milaha's Board of Directors.
"We are naturally taking concrete steps to manage our costs, however, we also feel encouraged to see a number of new growth opportunities in the short and medium across our portfolio of services, which will allow us to strengthen our market position," said Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, Milaha's President and CEO.
Milaha Maritime & Logistics' net profit declined by QR 13 million year-to-date. However, an increase in net profit was marked quarter-on-quarter, from QR 5 million in Q2 2017 to QR 70 million in Q3 2017, driven mainly by volume increases in container shipping and port services.
Vessel oversupply and depressed rates that have impacted most of the tanker and gas carrier sectors in which Milaha operates, pushed Milaha Gas & Petrochem's net profit down by QR 138 million.
The pressure from oversupply and lower demand was felt by Milaha's offshore business which booked a lower net profit by QAR 126 million, including one-time impairments of QR 57 million.
Milaha Trading's net profit declined by QR 5 million due to lower sales volumes of marine fuels and lubricants, while Milaha Capital saw a dip in net profit by QR 115 million due to lower held-for-trading investment returns and an available-for-sale investment impairment from the first quarter of 2017, the company said.
As disclosed earlier in an interview with World Maritime News, Milaha is evaluating tonnage acquisitions across several sectors at the moment.
Speaking of the strategic investment plans in vessels, taking into account the attractive tonnage pricing of both second-hand ships and newbuildings at the moment, Milaha's CEO said he hopes to be able to announce some of these tonnage acquisitions before the end of the year.
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|Panama Canal Supports Emissions Cuts with New Tool|
As part of its Environmental Recognition Program, the Panama Canal has unveiled a new tool to centralize shippers' emissions data and incentivize the industry to reduce its carbon footprint.
The Emissions Calculator will offer shippers the most accurate assessment of their carbon emissions, rank those who have reduced the most emissions by transiting the Canal versus alternate routes, and encourage action to cut emissions, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said.
"The Panama Canal has always been committed to reducing its carbon footprint and impact on the environment," Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said.
"This new tool allows us to bring that same commitment to our customers, giving them the information needed to make a more informed and environmentally conscious decision when planning their routes," Quijano added.
Panama Canal Environmental Specialist Alexis Rodriguez explained that the Emissions Calculator will work by leveraging technology already aboard the world's maritime fleet to capture an array of data on shippers.
Data will then be centralized in the CO2 Emissions Reduction Ranking, a platform which ranks customers by those with the fewest emissions each month.
Beyond shippers, the calculator will help the Panama Canal reduce its own carbon footprint as well. The waterway will use the Emissions Calculator to measure and track emissions from its domestic day-to-day operations and support the planning of a low carbon strategy that will be used to establish a roadmap for the Panama Canal to become a "Carbon Neutral" entity.
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|DP World Reveals Plans to Develop Jeddah Port|
Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has unveiled plans to develop Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Port in support of the recently launched Saudi Vision 2030.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, outlined the significance of Jeddah Port as a gateway port for the Saudi market and for the region.
Bin Sulayem said that Jeddah's role as a trade hub can be further boosted by DP World’s vision for its development over the next 30 years.
The Saudi Vision 2030 is also expected to play a pivotal role in changing the economic landscape of the Kingdom, wider region and the world. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also announced at the conference plans to build a new USD 500 billion mega project called NEOM that spans three countries.
Bin Sulayem highlighted how DP World’s plans for Jeddah support the project and will help realize the potential for economic growth owing to its geographical proximity to major markets and trade routes -10% of world trade will pass through NEOM, while spurring innovations in the fields of technology, communications and renewable energy.
"As the first major investor in Jeddah port for almost 20 years now, we are committed to supporting the Kingdom's effort to leverage its resources and investment capabilities through the development of Jeddah Port," Bin Sulayem said.
"Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility.., transforming the port to an important gateway to markets serving 500 million people which will make the Kingdom’s ports and logistics services a necessity and not a choice for global trade markets, particularly the Red Sea, which is the blood line of global trade. Jeddah Port is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods between east and west, and in boosting Saudi exports," he further said.
"Trade and infrastructure are key pillars in diversifying economies supported by technology and automation as we've seen at our Jebel Ali Port and Freezone, which together contribute to over 20% of Dubai's GDP. Logistics corridors are another way of making life easier for business, while access to data through digital technology and transparent information are also essential in building governance," Bin Sulayem concluded.
DP World operates the South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah Islamic Port, a crucial link in the world’s busy east-west trade routes through the Red Sea and serving a major domestic cargo base in Saudi Arabia. The port is the main import destination for the country, handling 59% of its imports by sea and serving main commercial centers.
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|Consolidation in Container Shipping May Lead to Oligopoly|
Increased consolidation among carriers driven by a continued oversupply of vessels could bring some order to the market, however, the recent mergers and mega alliances may lead to oligopolistic structures, UNCTAD warned in its latest report on maritime transport.
"A slower demand than earlier projected, coupled with a large influx of vessels, has led to a continued oversupply of shipping capacity," said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
The consolidation and pooling of cargo could improve economies of scale and reduce operating costs, UNCTAD said, stressing that the transition is posing certain risks.
Namely, shipping lines may exert market power, limit supply and raise prices in the long run and once the industry reaches stability. Furthermore, the growing concentration of the market has increased the risk that fair competition may become distorted which might impact freight rates and shippers.
"The risk is that growing market concentration in container shipping may lead to oligopolistic structures," says Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director of the UNCTAD Division on Technology and Logistics.
"In many developing countries’ markets, there are now only three or even fewer suppliers left. Regulators will need to monitor developments in container shipping mergers and alliances to ensure there is competition in the market."
It has been pointed out that, as a result, revisiting the rules governing consortiums and alliances may be necessary to determine whether these require new regulations to prevent market power abuse and to balance the interests of shippers, ports and carriers.
The report further indicates that world container ports face mounting pressure from ever-larger ships. In addition, they must cope with the cascade of vessels from main trade routes to secondary routes, as well as growing cybersecurity threats.
"Although investment is key for ports to improve, the amount needed to accommodate ever larger ships may not be worth the extra cost, unless the bigger vessels guarantee more cargo. Otherwise, ports will have invested in larger yards and additional equipment to handle the same total volume," the report adds.
Between 2000 and 2016, a total of USD 68.8 billion in private investment was committed across 292 port projects aimed at improving port infrastructure and superstructures.
What is more, the Review of Maritime Transport 2017 says that, on average, transport and insurance costs account for about 15% of the value of imports, but that this is much higher for smaller and more vulnerable economies; on average 22% for small island developing states, 21% for the least developed countries and 19% for landlocked developing countries.
The persistent transport cost burden on many developing countries stems from lower efficiency in ports, inadequate infrastructure, limited economies of scale and less competitive transport markets, UNCTAD noted.
"Helping developing countries improve the factors behind high transport costs is therefore key for economic development. This can be done through soft measures, such as providing training and facilitating reforms, or hard measures, such as upgrading infrastructure and improving equipment," the report concludes.
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|Injured Seafarer Evacuated from Bulker off South Africa|
South African authorities evacuated an injured crewmember from the bulk carrier Cape Enterprise, operated by Japan's K Line, on October 26.
The 24-year-old crewman was suffering from an injured left thumb and the ship's Master, in communications with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and a Government Health EMS duty doctor, concluded that it was necessary for the crewman to be evacuated for further treatment.
In the afternoon hours the same day, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Mykonos duty crew rendezvoused with the bulker 8 nautical miles off the shore of St Helena Bay.
The injured man was transferred onto the sea rescue craft and brought to shore in rough seas with 3 to 4 meter choppy sea swells.
At the time the 185,909 dwt Cape Enterprise was heading towards St Helena Bay. AIS data provided by Marine Traffic indicates that the 2003-built ship is currently in the St Helena Bay anchorage.
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|Costamare Secures Loan, Reports Strong Quarter|
Greece-based containership owner Costamare has entered into a loan agreement to finance the acquisition of 7,471 TEU containership, Maersk Kowloon.
The 2005-built vessel was acquired in the previous quarter and commenced its 5-year charter to Maersk Line.
The loan facility, agreed in August 2017 with an undisclosed European financial institution, will be repayable over 5 years, Costamare said.
The company unveiled the financing deal as part of its financial report for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2017.
Although its net income decreased for the nine-month period to USD 70.2 million from USD 92.7 million seen in the first three quarters of 2016, Costamare's net income for the third quarter rose.
The company ended the quarter with a net income of USD 24.1 million, compared to a net income of USD 20.6 million reported in the third quarter of 2016.
In August and September 2017 the company sold the 1988-built container vessels Mandraki and Mykonos for demolition and recorded an accounting gain of USD 1.5 million.
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