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.:Maritime News :.
.: 8-Nov-2017 :.
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Container Shipping Facing Choppy Waters
The container shipping industry will have to ride out a bumpy period amid an anticipated seasonal decline in volumes spilling into the first quarter of next year and growing supply of ships.
According to BIMCO, handling this will be a recurring seasonal challenge.
"Bearing in mind that freight rates are still dropping in mid-October, so striking the right balance must be a priority to stop declining profits. The rates on key trades have once again become so low that any profits have evaporated," BIMCO said in its outlook for the sector.
The average spot rates for US and Europe bound routes have dropped by 22% since the end of July.
As highlighted, despite brisk demand spot rates have fallen significantly as liner companies 'test' the strength of the market by deploying tonnage into the trades until the freight rates drop.
"Only by doing that, can they reveal the true strength of demand. Despite running regular service cuts around Chinese Golden week in early October, an event which brings down demand – freight rates kept falling," BIMCO said.
During the months of May through to September, the idle fleet dropped further to reach 495,000 TEU by October 2, 2017.
"Now that we are entering the winter season where the transported volumes always go down from Q3, the management of deployed capacity on individual trades and throughout the entire network will be essential to limit losses," BIMCO highlighted.
Overcapacity is expected to remain an industry challenge for years to come and keeping sailing speeds at present levels will be critical for the recovery to stay on track.
On the supply side, it has been a steady year in terms of newbuild deliveries into the container shipping fleet, with 898,000 TEU delivered in the first nine months of the year. BIMCO expects 1.1 million TEU to be delivered for the full year. This is more than the 905,000 TEU that was delivered in 2016, but it is likely to be on a par with 2018-
With regard to demolition, during the nine-month period, some 356,000 TEU was sold to shipbreakers.
As opposed to 2016, the demolished ships have become older again (up from 19 to 21 years on average) and they have become smaller in size.
2016: Average size 3,373 TEU – Average year built 1997 (19 years old)
2017: Average size 2,891 TEU – Average year built 1996 (21 years old).
In total, this brings BIMCO's fleet growth forecast for 2017 to 3.3%.
Higher Cargo Volumes Push Finnlines Earnings Up
Finnish RoRo and passenger shipping company Finnlines reported an increase in its earnings in the third quarter of 2017, mainly driven by higher cargo volumes.
The company's revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was at EUR 145.2 million, rising by 11.4 percent from the EUR 130.4 million reported in the same quarter a year earlier.
Cargo volumes improved during the third quarter increasing the revenue. Also, cargo-related bunker surcharge has been higher since respective fuel costs have remained on a higher level.
Shipping and Sea Transport Services generated revenue amounting to EUR 140.1 million, up from EUR 125.1 million, while Port Operations revenue reached EUR 10.6 million, up from EUR 9.7 million.
The company's result for the quarter ended September 30 reached EUR 32.5 million, up from EUR 30.3 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.
"The third quarter of 2017 was the best ever quarter of Finnlines history," Emanuele Grimaldi, President and CEO of Finnlines, said, adding that the recovery of Finland's economy "is reflected in our export and import volumes which have continued to grow over 10 per cent."
For the first nine months of 2017, the company's revenue increased by 12 percent to EUR 404.5 million, from a revenue of EUR 361.1 million reported in the nine months ended September 30, 2016.
The result for the period was at EUR 67.9 million, against a result of EUR 60.9 million seen a year earlier.
Shipping and Sea Transport Services's revenue was at EUR 389.6 million, mainly due to higher cargo volumes in most trades, while Port Operations revenue reached EUR 31.5 million due to increased external and internal cargo handling activities.
"Finnlines has continued to invest in its fleet to become a more environmentally friendly and a more sustainable shipping company," Grimaldi informed.
As the company completed its EUR 100 million Environmental Technology Investment Programme to reduce the sulphur emissions by over 90 percent since the start of the programme, Finnlines launched a new investment programme, the Energy Efficiency and Emission Reduction Investment Programme.
Through the new EUR 70 million investment programme, the company will lengthen four of its Breeze series ro-ro vessels with options for two more ships.
Aegean Anticipates Q3 Loss due to Tough Market
Marine fuel company Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. expects to report a net loss for the third quarter of 2017 ranging between USD 3.4-4.4 million as a result of volatile market conditions dominating the first half of the year.
The loss is being announced despite Agean’s efforts to cut costs as sales margins feel the heat of further pressure, depressing the company’s gross profit.
"In addition, a combination of three hurricanes and one serious refinery fire compounded what was already a tough environment in the third quarter. Despite modest improvement in some segments of the shipping industry, the oil markets and the marine fuel sector remain under great pressure," Jonathan McIlroy, Aegean’s President, commented.
"We continue to see margin deterioration in many of our key markets resulting from lackluster demand and increased competition. This was a deciding factor in our recent decision to withdraw from the physical supply business in the Singapore market."
Agean announced last week that it was exiting the Singapore market as a physical supplier as of January 2018, after almost 11 years, amid pressure from competition.
However, the company said that it would keep a trading presence in the Singapore market by continuing to employ a team of traders and support staff who will support its clients in the market.
McIlroy explained that despite the expected third-quarter loss, the company took cumulative measures through October 2017 that are aimed to yield more than USD 20 million in annualized cost savings.
In addition to the Singapore move, these measures also include downsizing of the company’s U.S. West Coast storage footprint, as well as other fleet savings through the deactivation of unproductive tonnage.
"Even after these savings are accounted for, we believe there remains further opportunity to cut costs across our network. We expect to discuss the market and these cost savings in more detail when we announce full third-quarter results," he concluded.
Panama Canal Welcomes 1st Cruise Ship in 2017/18 Season
On November 7, the Caribbean Princess became the first cruise vessel of the 2017/2018 cruise season to transit the Expanded Panama Canal.
As part of its roundtrip itinerary, the Caribbean Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, did a turnaround transit through Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side. The cruise ship began its roundtrip 10-night itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, passing through the Bahamas, Cartagena (Colombia), Cristobal (Panama), Limon (Costa Rica) and the Cayman Islands with 3,086 passengers on board.
The 112,894 gross ton Caribbean Princess was built at Italian Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in 2004 and has a maximum capacity of 3,600 passengers.
The Panama Canal expects to receive approximately 236 cruise ships through the Panamax and Neopanamax locks during the upcoming 2017-2018 cruise season, which officially began on October 2, 2017.
In April 2017, Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder became the first cruise ship to transit the Expanded Canal. This season, the ship will traverse the waterway again along with the Caribbean Princess, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Splendor and Norwegian Bliss.
Together, the five ships will make a total of 20 transits, and 11 new cruise ships will transit either the Canal’s Panamax or Neopanamax locks for the first time. These vessels are from the following lines: Princess Cruise, Norwegian Cruise, Carnival Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Lindblad Special Expedition and CMA CGM.
ICS: Port State Control to Abandon BGW Lists?
Port state control (PSC) regimes globally could move away from black, gray and white (BGW) performance lists, and focus on expanding an individual ship risk profile approach, according to Intermaritime Certification Services (ICS Class).
The proposal was made at a recent workshop held at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters, along with a range of recommendations regarding harmonization and information sharing.
The workshop recommended that PSC regimes consider developing and maintaining a coordinated list of under-performing ships. The possible development of a common platform for interregional exchange to facilitate informal exchange among PSC regimes, as well as the development of joint working policies, were also recommended.
Furthermore, the gathering noted the growing number of PSC regimes implementing targeted inspections mechanisms, as well as incentive schemes, so that ships found in compliance with international standards are subject to fewer inspections, while substandard ships are targeted more.
Among other recommendations made by the meeting, the PSC regimes agreed to explore the development of statistical output and to look into the compatibility of their systems.
Establishing an outreach partnership between the IMO and PSC regimes to disseminate the outcome of IMO work, to collect first-hand feedback on implementation and to develop technical cooperation, was also considered. The workshop also recommended that the IMO consider developing a harmonized training manual for use by flag state inspectors and PSC officers.
Body Count Rises to Four in Bilal Bal Sinking
Another body of the crew of the sunken cargo ship Bilal Bal has been recovered, bringing the total body count to four, according to the Turkish Coast Guard.
The authorities are continuing their search efforts for the remaining six seafarers who were reported missing after the 2,999 dwt ship sank on November 1 some seven nautical miles off the coast of Şile, Istanbul, shortly after sending out a distress signal.
After the wreck was discovered at a water depth of 88 meters, the coast guard started diving missions to search for the missing crew. On November 3, divers managed to locate the bodies of two crewmembers.
At the time of the incident, the 1974-built Bilal Bal was crewed by ten Turkish seafarers. The ship was sailing from Turkey’s port of Gemlik to the port of Ereğli, carrying a cargo of cast iron, when it ran into trouble due to unknown circumstances.
Relevant authorities launched an investigation into the sinking.
World Maritime News Staff
Teekay, TIL Shareholders Advised to Back the Merger
Proxy advisory firms of Tanker Investments Ltd (TIL) and Teekay Tankers have recommended that the shareholders of the two companies vote for the merger the two tanker majors announced in June this year. Specifically, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. advised Teekay Tankers to move ahead with the merger plan with TIL. […]
Nordic Maritime wins offshore seismic contract from Cairn India
Singapore-based Nordic Maritime has received a contract from Cairn India to provide 3D marine seismic data acquisition and processing services...Read More... We have recently upgraded our technology platform. ... News. Nordic Maritime wins offshore seismic contract from Cairn India. Share.
Bulgarian freighter collided with dam at Venice Lagoon, breached
General cargo ship ALTENAVI collided with dam under construction in Venice Lagoon while leaving Marghera port, Venice, at around 0900 UTC Nov 7. The ship was in ballast, after offloading cargo of cereals at Marghera. Bow and fore underwater hull were damaged, ALTENAVI reported collision to authorities and asked for assistance. She was taken back to Marghera and berthed, as of 0500 UTC Nov 8 she remained berthed. Understood there was water ingress. At the time of an accident, there was strong wind with 20 knots gusts.
Exports increased by 15% in Damietta port
A report issued by Damietta Port Authority (DPA) showed an increase of 15.3% in the number of ships on the
Medical fitness requirement for seafarers
A SEAFARER will only be deemed fit to work on a ship when he or she has provided a medical fitness certificate that complies with the requirements and standards specified in the Maritime (STCW Convention) Regulations 2014, and one that is still valid and has not been suspended.
This is part of the rules which make up the Maritime (Labour Convention) Regulation 2017, which is expected to be endorsed by Parliament and implemented in Fiji soon.
The regulation, which is now in its third draft, was issued to seafarers and local shipping stakeholders during consultations held nationwide to get views and feedback before necessary amendments are done to the final draft.
The regulation stated that a seafarer who has been issued a medical fitness certificate shall carry the certificate on board during the term of the seafarer's employment on a ship.
It also clearly highlighted that a seafarer whose medical certificate had expired during the course of a voyage may continue to work on the condition that:
- at the first port of call where possible, the seafarer has to make an application for a medical fitness certificate and be examined by an approved edical practitioner or recognised foreign medical practitioner; and
- the expiry of three months starting from the date of expiry of the certificate.
The draft convention stated no person may work as a seafarer on a ship in a capacity of sea service or in a geographical area precluded by any restriction in that person's medical fitness certificate.
Ulstein to Build New National Geographic Polar Expedition Cruise Ship
U.S.-based Lindblad Expeditions has signed an agreement with Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein to build what Ulstein describes as the world’s foremost expedition cruise ship. Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition travel company that works in partnership with National Geographic. It will be the first polar newbuild in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet. The new vessel will be […]
Sino-Danish Focus on Energy Efficient Ships
Sino-Danish Focus on Energy Efficient Ships Maritime ProfessionalFull coverage
Hopper dredger sank in Malacca Strait, 18 crew safe
Hopper dredger JBB YU HANG 258 sank in the evening Nov 5 7 nm off Parit Jawa, Malaysia, Malacca Strait, halfway between Port Dickson and Singapore, while en route to Singapore. Details unknown, 18 crew rescued by vessels in the area, said New Strait Times. On illustration photo trailing suction hopper dredger.
General cargo vessel ran onto embankment in Kiel Canal
General cargo vessel RMS RUHRORT ran onto Kiel Canal embankment near Fisherhutte at around 0200 LT Nov 7, while transiting Canal in western direction, en route from Finland to UK. Steering control was lost, reportedly on the bridge by a watch officer, who nevertheless, managed to reverse engine in order to avoid grounding at full speed. Vessel freed itself some 20 minutes after grounding and resumed transit, but was berthed at Brunsbuettel for inspection on arrival, at 0450 LT. As of 2300 UTC Nov 7, she was still at Brunsbuettel.
Shell to Add New Barge to Its LNG Bunkering Network
Shell Trading (US) has finalized a long-term charter agreement with Q-LNG Transport for an LNG bunker barge with the capacity to carry 4,000 cubic meters of LNG fuel. As the first of its kind to be based in the United States, the ocean-going LNG bunker barge will supply LNG to marine customers along the southern […]