Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, paid a visit to the International Maritime Organization today to talk with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim about collaboration between the two Organizations, and particularly focussed on Sustainable Development Goal 14 that addresses life below water and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. The issue of microplastic and how to curb its presence in the ocean was discussed as a high priority, and a potential partnership with the World Maritime University, particularly its new Ocean Institute, was explored. There are clearly many areas where the two agencies can find synergies and this visit was a positive step in that direction.
BIMCO has released its survey results for terminal and port performance from around the world covering the period between January 2015 to December 2017. In total 115 ships provided 598 report from 278 different terminals. Overall the survey indicates good and safe performance of the vetted dry bulk terminals. Vancouver terminals saw 10 entries with an average performance rating of 3.6 out of 5. For further details, view the BIMCO news release that contains a link to download the survey results.
Following an extensive and rigorous selection procedure, the Board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has announced that Guy Platten will assume the role of Secretary General upon the retirement of Peter Hinchliffe, who has held the position since 2010. Mr. Platten will step down from his role as CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping to take up the ICS role in mid-2018. Also in recognition of his long and invaluable contribution to the work of the ICS, Simon Bennett, currently Director Policy and External Relations, is promoted to a new position as Deputy Secretary General.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has signed a new partnership agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to promote sustainable shipping through a range of safety and environment-focused capacity-building activities in the maritime and port sectors. It brings together IMO, the United Nations maritime agency which sets global standards for safe, secure, efficient and environment-friendly international shipping, and the multilateral development bank EBRD, which has experience in supporting comprehensive transport related development activities and practices in the maritime and port sectors.
IMO’s pollution prevention and response sub-committee (PPR 5) met this week and proposed that IMO consider implementing a worldwide ban on the carriage of non-compliant marine fuels to encourage the enforcement of the 0.5% global marine sulphur cap in 2020. The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), which has consultative status at IMO, welcomed the recommendation that the IMO imposes the ban at its MEPC meeting in April. IMO PPR also agreed to move forward with the consideration of measures to control black carbon emissions from ships and their impact on the Arctic.
Seaspan Corporation has purchased two 2006-built geared 2500 TEU containerships and entered into fixed rate time charter agreements for the vessels with Maersk Line A/S ("Maersk"). The time charters will be for a term of four years with options for up to an additional two years at increasing charter rates. Seaspan’s operating and managed fleet, including newbuilds, will expand to 112 vessels, of which 18 vessels will be in Seaspan’s managed fleet.
Two of the largest non-operating container shipowners have merged their chartering operations, creating probably the biggest exclusively managed tramp container ship fleet. German shipowner Peter Döhle and Greek owner Costamare advised their clients in a 1 February circular that their chartering desks have now been integrated in a company called Blue Net Chartering. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the chartering outfit will be in charge of marketing a combined fleet of 220 container vessels with an aggregate capacity of 1.1 million TEU. The official launch took place on 1 February.
CP Rail has opened a new Asia office in Shanghai, China, as it looks to further build its book of business, strengthen existing customer partnerships and continue its pursuit of sustainable, profitable growth. The Shanghai office will serve as CP's new Asian home base, to complement the company's existing offices in Beijing and Tokyo. CP offers shortest routes and industry-leading service to key markets, and is a premier partner at the Port of Vancouver, the key entry point for Asian goods into the North American economy.
The United States and Russian Federation have proposed a system of two-way routes for vessels to follow in the Bering Strait and Bering Sea. The nations jointly developed and submitted the proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish six two-way routes and six precautionary areas. The proposed two-way routes will be voluntary for all domestic and international ships. No additional Aids to Navigation (ATON) are being proposed to mark the recommended two-way routes and the routing measures do not limit commercial fishing or subsistence activities.
China has also just announced plans to develop shipping lanes through the Arctic to become a "Polar Silk Route" that could 20 days off the 48 days it currently takes to get to Rotterdam from China via the Suez Canal, estimates suggest.
Rolls-Royce has opened a new Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships in Finland to develop the technologies required for a more autonomous shipping industry. The centre includes a remote and autonomous experience space aimed at showcasing the autonomous ship technologies Rolls-Royce has already introduced as well as those in the development stage. Rolls-Royce and its partners will be able to carry out projects focussed on autonomous navigation, the development of land-based control centres, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations. The experience space also aims to aid the development introduction of new rules and standards for autonomous shipping. Last year Rolls-Royce signed a deal with Google to develop Rolls-Royce’s intelligent awareness software.
The three members of the Ocean Network Express (ONE) have announced that their joint venture has now received all the regulatory approvals that it needs. The South African Competition Commission had originally rejected the merger for fear it would strengthen market coordination for liner shipping, car transportation and bulk shipping, has now granted approval with conditions requiring measures regarding competition law compliance. The companies involved in the joint venture are Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha. ONE will be the sixth largest containerline in the world and will be headquartered out Singapore.
China's first 20,000 TEU container vessel COSCO Shipping Aries is undergoing sea trials at the Port of Nantong after a naming ceremony on Tuesday. She is also the first container ship to receive Lloyd Register’s Cyber-enabled ship (CES) certification note Cyber AL3 SECURE PERFORM for its energy management system. . Cyber-enabled systems are considered to be systems installed on board ships that would conventionally be controlled by the ship’s crew but which, through recent advances in IT, now include the capability to be monitored or controlled, either remotely or autonomously.
The sunken Iranian tanker, Sanchi, off China’s east coast has created four oil slicks covering a total area of almost 101 square kilometres after colliding with the bulk carrier CF Crystal. Sadly the bodies of only three of the 30 Iranian and two Bangladeshi crew members have been recovered. The disaster is ranked as the sixth largest spill ever and the largest withni the last 27 years. The Suezmax was carrying 136,000 tonnes of natural gas condensate and the incident has reminded us all that despite improvements over the last several decades, there is always room for improvement. The Sanchi is now lying under 115 metres of water in the East China Sea, about 530 kilometres southeast of Shanghai.
Amendments to the regulation for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships, known as MARPOL Annex V, will enter into force on March 1, 2018. The amendments, adopted at MEPC 70, include criteria for determining whether cargo residues are harmful to the marine environment, and a new Garbage Record Book format with a new garbage category for e-waste. Solid bulk cargo as per regulation VI/1-1.2 of SOLAS, other than grain, shall now be classified per the criteria in the new appendix I of MARPOL Annex V, and the shipper shall then declare as to whether or not the cargo is harmful to the environment (HME). Additionally, the new form of the Garbage Record Book will be divided into two parts, Part I for all garbage other than cargo residues, applicable to all ships, and Part II for cargo residues only applicable to ships carrying solid bulk cargo.
The Suez Canal Authority has extended the discount offered to dry bulk vessels back in April 2017 until the end of 2018. Specifically, a 75 percent rebate of the canal transit tolls is being offered to laden or ballast dry bulk vessels coming or heading to ports at South West, South and East of Australia. The extension also relates to dry bulk vessels coming from the Republic of South Africa ports and heading to the ports in the Mediterranean Sea. The discount is being offered as the canal authority works to attract more ships to transit the waterway.
The Iranian tanker, Sanchi, has been ablaze since it collided with Hong-Kong registered freight ship CF Crystal on the evening of January 13th, 185 miles off China's coast near Shanghai. Since the crash, the tanker has been billowing thick plumes of black smoke. Sanchi was carrying almost one million barrels of highly flammable crude oil to South Korea with 32 crew members on board - 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. All are missing, but the body of a mariner suspected to be from the ship was recovered on Monday. The 21 Chinese crew members on the CF Crystal, carrying grain from the US, were rescued. Ten foot waves and strong winds, along with toxic fumes from the burning oil, have also been hindering the efforts to extinguish the fire.
The International Maritime Organization has issued a news release advising of amendments to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) that take effect starting January 1, 2018. The amendment adds a new provision that prevents any discrimination for shore leave on grounds of nationality, race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, or social origin. Shore leave should be granted, irrespective of the flag State of the ship. If any request is turned down, the relevant public authorities must provide an explanation to the crew member and the master, which the seafarer or master can request to be provided in writing.
The other significant amendment is the requirement for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange, including electronic data interchange (EDI), to transmit information related to maritime transport. This should be in place by April 8. 2019, with provision for a transitional period during which paper and electronic documents would be allowed. Use of a "single window" for data is encouraged, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication.