The International Maritime Organization’s sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC5) has developed draft interim guidelines covering the safety of ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol as fuel. The draft guidelines completes the work undertaken by the Correspondence Group on Development of Technical Provisions for the Safety of Ships using Low-flashpoint Fuels and are designed to provide for the safe design and operation of ships.
Hong Kong-incorporated shipping company Sinotrans Shipping, part of Sinotrans & CSC Holdings, has unveiled the possibility of privatization. An announcement regarding the possible privatization of the company will follow a short-term trading halt in line with the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Sinotrans & CSC Holdings and China Merchants Group finalized a merger last April. Operating through three shipping segments, Sinotrans Shipping currently has a fleet of more than 50 bulkers, containerships and tankers, according to VesselsValue’s data.
To assist shipping companies prepare for implementation of the IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil on 1 January 2020, the International Chamber of Shipping’s Marine Committee has developed some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer. New Provisional Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap’ can now be accessed via the ICS website at https://bit.ly/2x7B7tC.
The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit initiative aiming to rid the seas of plastic litter, launched its System 001 equipment on 8 September 2018 in San Francisco. The Maersk Launcher will tow a 2,000-foot-long (600-metre), U-shaped floating barrier with a 10-foot (three-metre) "skirt" below the water's surface to collect the waste. Debris will be funnelled to the centre of the system and the system will skim the surface of the ocean to collect the plastics. Initially the Maersk Launcher will tow the system 240 nautical miles from shore for 14 days of trials. If the trials are successful, the Ocean Cleanup will proceed a further 1,200 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located halfway between California and Hawaii. The patch reportedly contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic and covers an area twice the size of Texas. The organization anticipates that the first batches of plastic will be returned to land in six months, when the waste will be recycled into products that can be sold to help fund future operations.
Regional authorities of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces have recently issued formal notices that ships calling at the provinces’ ports on or after 1 October 2018 will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while navigating and berthing within the provinces’ waters and port areas. Since 1 January 2018, ships have been required to use fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while berthed at all ports within the three ECAs. Ships must switch to compliant fuel within one hour of arriving at their berth and use compliant fuel until not more than one hour prior to departure. The changes affecting ships operating within these emissions control areas (ECAs) which had been expected to take effect on 1 January 2019 will now take effect three months before that date, as follows;
The Secretariat has been advised that the situation in the Pearl River Delta and Bohai-rim Waters ECAs remains unchanged, ships will be required to use compliant fuel at all times when inside these ECAs from 1 January 2019.
At the United Nations in New York, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing shipowners at the start of a major negotiation to agree a new legal instrument for the protection of the ocean under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – which will apply to ‘high seas’ areas ‘beyond national jurisdiction’. ICS fully supports the objectives of the UN negotiations and the critical need to provide environmental protection for the ocean from activities such as fishing and seabed mining. However, ICS says these are activities which, unlike commercial shipping, do not enjoy a comprehensive framework of global regulation such as that which has been developed, over a period of 50 years, by the UN IMO and its 174 Member States. Of particular interest to ICS is that the new UN instrument is likely to permit area-based management tools such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAS) being developed for the high seas. ICS asserts that the detail and appropriateness of any future measures that might apply in such MPAs – for example special navigational measures to protect whales – should still be determined by the relevant specialist agency, in this case IMO, which has long experience of implementing MPAs for global shipping.
On August 28th more than 2,500 AK-47 automatic rifles were seized from a skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden during a counter-trafficking mission conducted by the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109). The US Navy has stated that 2,521 guns were confiscated from the skiff, which was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with international law. Although the origin and intended destination of the skiff were immediately unclear, US officials have said that ships intercepted in this area in the past have been linked to Iranian efforts to support Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Wärtsilä has unveiled a global initiative that aims to transform the world’s marine and energy industry into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound and digitally connected ecosystem. The initiative, which Wärtsilä calls “An Oceanic Awakening”, was announced at the SMM maritime trade fair in Hamburg. Oceanic Awakening will activate a fully-integrated smart ecosystem that will improve operational efficiencies that will lead to greater profitability and sustainability. The initiative will include improving fuel efficiency, reducing port congestion, and leveraging real-time communication between stakeholders. Wärtsilä plans to connect 20 of the most influential marine cities by 2020 into a network that will inspire cooperation and support the adoption and deployment of best practices, embrace digitalization and legislate new environmentally friendlier, sustainable and smarter ways of doing business across our oceans. Under the auspices of SEA20, an assembly of key influencers from five marine cities have already been brought together to determine how these cities can best take advantage of a Smart Ecosystem and all its cascading benefits to society at large.
The third phase of Greece's port privatization efforts will start this fall with 10 ports identified, including four in Northern Greece, three in Attica as well as ports in Patra, Volos and Heraklio. Greece’s public assets management fund (TAIPED) is assessing each port’s potential and proceed with the necessary actions for use. Study results are expected in the coming days and TAIPED is expected to seek public-private partnership opportunities “encourage the advent of investors who have specific knowhow and experience, while at the same time ensuring the public’s best interests.” This third phase follows the sale of the Thessaloniki Port Authority to South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki Limited (SEGT) for €231,926m earlier this year, reported GTP Headlines.
A Maersk vessel loaded with Russian fish and South Korean electronics will next week become the first container ship to navigate an Arctic sea route that Russia hopes will become a new shipping highway. The Venta Maersk, a new 3600 TEU Winter Palace class feeder ship, will travel from Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan up and around the Arctic Circle using ECA compliant fuel to arrive in St. Petersburg by the end of September. The exploratory voyage will provide Maersk with scientific and operational data for future consideration.
Carbon dioxide emissions from maritime cargo shipping continued to decline last year, according to a recent report from nonprofit organization BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group. The Clean Cargo Emissions Factors 2018 Report, which took into account emissions data from 22 ocean container carriers on more than 3,200 ships representing around 85 percent of global ocean container capacity, found average CO2 emissions per container per kilometer fell 1 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year. Since Clean Cargo began publicly reporting data from the industry in 2009, emissions per container per kilometer have dropped 37.1 percent on average. Clean Cargo tools represent the industry standard for measuring and reporting ocean carriers’ environmental performance globally.
In 2017, a total of 71,202 hours of idle time waiting to enter ports was recorded from 38,425 container ship calls at Europe’s so-called Tier 1 and Tier 2 Ports. This is an average of 1.85 hours per ship call. Depending upon the “value of an hour”, this might represent a cost reduction opportunity in excess of USD100 million per year for the container industry alone. The 2017 data indicates that the average time between arrival at berth and commencement of cargo operations (first container lift) was 1.55 hours while average delay on departure was 1.52 hours. The reducing idle time with collaboration and data sharing study produced by Sea Traffic Management and co-funded by the European Union, suggests that efficiencies can be gained through dynamic and transparent use of a simple common user application and message standard, which triggers and prompts the various different stakeholders to review exception alerts and take appropriate action (make amendments to plans) based upon their physical capabilities, preferences, and requirements.
INTERTANKO has released a Critical Review that shines a spotlight on contaminated marine fuels and the lack of any response by authorities. Since late May 2018 there have been an increased number of reports on serious technical problems and mechanical damages encountered by more than one hundred ships due to contaminated fuel oils. The contaminated fuels were initially supplied in the Houston area. Following this, the same contaminated fuels were supplied in some Caribbean ports such as Panama and then (so far) "exported" and supplied to Singapore and Malaysia. The first warning sign for those ships was blockage of fuel filters. Initially, the crew not being aware that the fuel was contaminated, tried to find the cause of the problems but, despite their efforts, they experienced more and more problems.
Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL) announced late last week that it has launched a new consortium to explore how blockchain could help shipping operators better trace the source and quality of bunker fuels, including details on its environmental impacts. The group will explore how blockchain technologies could help to provide an "efficient, tamper-resistant and auditable chain of custody" for bunker fuels, providing assurances that can help operators meet tightening global regulations governing carbon emission reporting and air pollution. The consortium includes Lloyd's Register, Precious Shipping, Bostomar, BIMCO, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), and shipping biofuels specialist GoodFuels.
After launching a proof of concept earlier this year, IBM and Maersk have unveiled TradeLens, the production version of an electronic ledger for tracking global shipments. There are 94 participants piloting the system, including more than 20 port and terminal operators, such as the Halifax Port Authority. The goal is to develop a highly secure system that promotes the sharing of information across the global shipping industry that can reduce costs, improve productivity, increase the speed of the delivery of goods and provide transparency. When information is entered or scanned in manually, TradeLens can track critical data about every shipment in a supply chain, and it offers an immutable record among all parties involved. Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru are also participating recognizing that a blockchain ledger provide a higher-degree of certainty of what is in a container.
Klaveness Ship Management (KSM) has completed the first ever approved remote initial MPMS survey on its caustic bulk vessel MV Ballard in June 2018. The survey preparation and execution was done in close collaboration with DNV GL. The traditional engine room inspection was replaced with a video recorded by the use of GoPro camera, which was shared with the surveyor in advance of the survey. The survey was conducted with the surveyor located in Oslo, sharing screen and communicating with the Chief Engineer, who was onboard in Bahrain. The Chief Engineer presented the PMS, the onboard maintenance routines, and answered all questions to the satisfaction of the surveyor. If parts of, or entire, surveys can be completed while the vessel is at sea, this will ultimately reduce workload and fatigue for the crew, allowing them to focus more of their attention on safe cargo and port operations. Klaveness will continue to work with DNVGL to find other survey elements that can be carried out remotely.
Launching at Singapore port’s Marina South Pier in Q3 2018, Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Airbus will be piloting the delivery of spare parts, documents, water test kits and 3D printed consumables via Airbus’ Skyways unmanned air system (UAS) to vessels at anchorage. With the signing of an MOU at maritime trade show Posidonia, the Maritime UAS project agreement covers a joint ambition to establish a framework for cooperation between the Parties, with the aim of investigating the potential deployment and commercialization of UAS for maritime deliveries use cases.